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Friday, January 25, 2013

Highland Quest

Today I'd like to introduce you to B.J. Scott, author of Highland Quest. The author is doing a Super Book Blast Tour with Goddess Fish Promotions and will be giving away gifts of swag (including a canvas tote bag, a mouse pad, a pen, book thong, bookmark, can cooler, magnet, and key chain -US/Canada only) to randomly drawn commenters from this tour and her Virtual Book Tour, and a grand prize of $50 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter from this tour. So make sure to stop by and leave as many comments as you like!

With a passion for historical romance, history in general, and anything Celtic, B.J.  always has an exciting work in progress. Each story offers a blend of romance, adventure, suspense and, where appropriate, a dab of comic relief. Carefully researched historical facts are woven into each manuscript, providing a backdrop from which steamy romance gripping plots, and vivid character - dashing alpha heroes and resouceful, beguiling heroines you can't help but admire - spring to life. A member of RWA, Word Romance Writers, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, and Savvy Authors, B.J. also writes contemporary, paranormal, time travel and romantic suspense.

C.S. Lewis first captivated B.J.'s imagination in the fourth grade, and her desire to write sprang from there. Following a career in nursing and child and youth work, B.J. married her knight-in-shining-armor, and he whisked her away to his castle by the sea. In reality, they share their century-old home in a small Canadian town on the shore of Lake Eerie with three dogs and a cat. When she is not working at her childcare job, on her small business, or writing, you will find her reading, camping or antique hunting.

Here are some links you might be interested in:

http://www.authorbjscott.com

https://www.facebook.com/authorbjscott

http://authorbjscott.wordpress.com



I had the opportunity to ask B.J. some questions, and here are her answers:

1) Is B.J. Scott your real name, or did you choose this pseudonym because you want to write about Scotland?

While I was born in Canada, my ancestry is Scottish, Irish, and English. B.J is my first initials (Barbara Joyce), but I chose the pseudonym Scott because it is the maiden name of both my maternal and paternal grandmothers. My father’s mother, Barbara Scott was born in Kirkintillock Scotland and came to Canada on her own when she was 21. She passed away a few weeks before I was born and was named after her. My mother’s mom, Gertrude Scott was born in northern England, very close to the Scottish border. I found it very interesting that both women had the same last name. Kind of a sign if you will. While there is no proof they were ever related, it is possible given the constant shift in the border during the middle ages that at some time in history, they might have been from the same clan. By choosing this name, I am honoring three women in my life, both grandmothers, my mom (her name is Joyce) and still using my own initials. Given my passion for Scottish historicals this penname was a logical choice.

2) Did you know there is also a singer called B.J. Scott?

I was not aware of that but will have to check it out ;)

3) When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I always loved to read and have jotted down stories since I was a child. But I started to write in earnest about twelve years ago. I took a break when I met my husband, but got the urge again about three years ago. I dusted off some of my old manuscripts, all in desperate need of rewrites…amazing what you learn over the years, and started to work on some new projects.

4) Did your family, friends etc. encourage you to write?

The first encouragement came from a teacher I had in a creative writing course I took several years ago at the local college. She told me she thought I could write for Harlequin. When my hubby saw me jotting down ideas and asked what I was doing, he read some of my work and encouraged me to try submitting to publishers. My husband and family are my biggest fans and supporters.

5) Is Highland Quest your first book?

Highland Quest is the fifth book I completed but the second I have published. While it is written to stand alone, it is actually the sequel to my first book, Highland Legacy, released in Nov 2011. It did very well, making the Amazon best seller list for historical romance all of Jan and Feb 2012 and a finalist in the Oklahoma RWA international digital awards. Highland Quest was planned but I pushed it to the foreground when requests from people who liked Highland Legacy started to come in.

6) Was your road to publication a hard one?

Not as hard or long as for some, but long enough lol. When I first finished Highland Legacy in 2010 the trend was away from Scottish historicals, the market saturated with them. Fortunately it shifted and I was able to submit to publisher and was offered a contract.

7) How do you manage your research? Ever been to Scotland?

I read anything I can get my hands on about the time period, battles, dress and traditions of the time period I am writing. I have never been to Scotland but it tops my bucket list of places I want to go.

8) How do you characterize your main characters?

Both Hero and Heroine are strong, honorable, resourceful, compassionate, self-sacrificing and tenacious. An alpha hero you love and a heroine you can admire and relate to.

9) Suppose some critic would make shreds of your novel – how would you react?

That is part of writing and putting yourself out there. You are never going to everyone and sadly the ones who chose to shred your novel do a thorough job of it. Seems critical reviewers are more vocal than the ones who love the book. I have had a few people say they did not like the book, did not like the characters, the plot or the premise. They were very specific and some would say they went overboard to make their point. But you have to be prepared for this. There are some people you will never please and those who look for anything they can find to be critical of. I have found the couple (and thankfully there have only been a couple out of the thousands who bought my first book) often did not read the book or they did missed key points. It is evident in their comments and recaps of the events.

Regardless, every reader has a right to their opinion and I respect that. It is not easy to hear negative comments about your work, but you can use them to your advantage if you look beyond what might have been written with malicious intent and try to sift out some valid points you can use to improve your future books. The only down side is that people tend to gravitate to the negative and they do stick out. Some people will read a bad critique and believe what they read, even if it is way off base, but I choose to believe most readers have a mind of their own, see the book in the way it is intended …a means of escape and will make their own judgment.

10) Is there anything you want to tell the readers?

That without readers, authors would not have a job ;) We appreciate your support and comments more than you know.

And finally, some teasers to end!


BLURB:

No longer content in the shadows of his older brothers and on a quest to find his destiny, Bryce Fraser's chosen path is fraught with danger, passion, and decisions. Can his unspoken love for spirited, beguiling Fallon be triumphant in a time of war and uncertainty, or will they both fall prey to the devious plans of a traitorous laird from a rival clan?

EXCERPT:
 
Loch Ryan Scotland, 1307

“Wa . . . water,” Bryce mumbled, but there was no one there to listen.

His throat was parched and he ran his tongue over dry, cracked lips, but his action offered no relief. An entire loch lay only a few feet away, but he couldn’t muster the strength to drag himself to the bank and quench his thirst.

“Cold . . . so cold.”

Despite the sun beating down on him, he’d swear he was encased in ice. His life’s blood seeped from his wounds, soaking the ground beneath him. He tried to raise his head, but the excruciating pain radiating across his chest stole his breath away.

Was this what it felt like to die? If so, he prayed the Almighty would be merciful and take him now.

Bryce moaned, a shift in his position bringing on another nauseating wave of agony. He sucked in a short, sharp, gulp of air and stretched his arm out as far as he could, his fingers grappling in the dirt.

If only I could reach my sword.

Beads of perspiration dampened his brow. As the strength slowly drained from his body, drawing a simple breath became more difficult. The end grew near. No time to make amends for sins of the past, and he had committed his share.

Regrets? He had those, too. “Fallon.” He whispered her name then heaved a ragged sigh.

18 comments:

  1. I don't think you can ever have too many Scottish historicals.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. I agree with you Mary. Finding a Scottish historical you can enjoy is like having a piece of chocolate cake for breakfast...Yummy. I know, not a healthy way to start the day, but when I was a kid and my mom broke with the rules and let us endulge, it was heaven ;)

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  2. Thanks for hosting me today on your blog. I apprecate your support and look forward to spending the day with you and your visitors.

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    1. It is my pleasure having you here, B.J. I also think I'm going to buy at least one of your novels for a taste - if I like it, I'll buy more!

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    2. By the way, meant to mention that today is Robbie Burns day. Anyone here having haggis for dinner?

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  3. The story of your grandmothers is really interesting. I love learning new things about people.

    You book covers are heavenly and I can't wait to read all of your books!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by today Sarah. Always appreciate the support of friends and fellow authors. Your new book should be out soon too. Wishing you luck with that one.

      Yes when choosing a pen name, the one I picked was logical, especially being named after my one grandmother and both having the same maiden name Scott ;)

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  4. Great interview.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by today Ingeborg! Always nice to see you ;)

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  5. Sounds good, I don't think I've read many Scottish historicals and after reading your comments now I crave chocolate cake :D

    shadowrunner1987(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. I know what you mean. Had a chocolate hunger on all day. Actually picked up a chocolate bar at the corner store when out doing errands so will endulge a little latter.

      Thanks for dropping in to say hello, Ami

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  6. I love reading historical novels about Scotland. This one sounds excellent.

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    1. Thankd MomJane. I hope you enjoy it. I got an email last night from Night Owl reviews and they gave it 4 1/2 stars and a stellar review. I was both pleased and humbled by the wonderful comments. Then to make it even more exciting, they send me a second review, this time for the first book in the series Highland Legacy. The reviewer said she enjoyed Highland Quest so much she had to read the first book. She gave the first book 5 stars. It was quite a good end to a long day.

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  7. Scotland is an interesting setting, love to read more books set there.

    emiliana25(at)web(dot)de

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    1. Hello Emiliana and Happy Robbie Burns day!!!!!!! Yep today is the birthday of the Scottish poet and all over the world they celbrate with various foods and drink. No haggis on my table though. Hubby would not be impressed lol

      I love anything Scottish or Celtic and dream to some day visit Scotland. Until then, I read anything I can about the place.

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  8. Sorry for the late post. I’m playing catch-up here so I’m just popping in to say HI and sorry I missed visiting with you on party day! Hope you all had a good time!

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

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  9. Thanks for dropping by Karen. Hope you get a chance to read my books ;)

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