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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mini Interviews and Scots/Highland Giveaway: TWO Books - THREE Winners!

Please learn a bit about these two fine authors who share some writing thoughts below.


Great Scots & Highland Heat

Blog Tour with
Amanda Scott
Margaret Mallory

Mini Q&A with Amanda Scott:
Q1.  When you do a series do you have each book plotted out before you start the first one or do the subsequent books flow from the first book?
o   I’ve done both. My Isles/Templar series began with a two-book contract, for which I’d planned to write about the twin brothers who became the progenitors of Clan Maclean/MacLaine. Those books are Highland Princess and Lord of the Isles. I knew how the hero and heroine of Highland Princess had met and married, because their story is true and documented. I also knew that the twin brother of Lachlan the Wily, the hero of Highland Princess, was known as Hector the Ferocious. That gave me a clue to his personality, and I knew that he had married Christina Macleod of Glenelg. But I knew nothing more, so I gave Christina a bunch of sisters. Then I recalled that the Knights Templar had likely ended up in Scotland not long before these stories took place and realized how easily I could bring them in. Well, the series grew to six books (from Highland Princess to Lord of the Isles on my book list at I do write a general outline for trilogies now, if only to decide how I’m going to connect the 3 books. For example, with my new Scottish Knights trilogy, Highland Master [Forever, Feb 2011], Highland Hero [Oct 2011], and the forthcoming Highland Lover (Forever, April 2012), the stories take place in early fifteenth-century Scotland at a time when the third man in line for the Scottish throne was utterly ruthless and determine to rule Scotland. The heir to the throne was a reckless, womanizing profligate, and the next person in line was a seven-year-old boy. My plan for the Scottish Knights trilogy was for the heroes to be three close friends, all knights who had studied together under the Bishop of St. Andrews but who never, as students, knew each other’s real names. Those heroes do all that they can to help the rightful heir in his battle against the murderous efforts of his wicked uncle to seize Scotland’s throne. Generally, I do plan and outline what I write, but I always leave myself an opening in case a secondary character in one book simply cries out to be the hero or heroine of the next. I’ve posted the first chapter of Highland Hero [Forever, Oct 2011] on my website If readers have questions or comments, they will also find a link there to my email, which is I have learned a great deal from readers, love to hear from them, and I answer all messages.

Q2.  What inspired you to write this genre?
o   I didn’t know that I was writing Romance when I started. I thought I’d just written a historical novel. So it came as a surprise to learn that there were categories. I’ve written 58 books in all so far, set in the English Regency and Victorian periods and in Wales, as well as the Scottish Historicals that I’m writing now. I have a Master’s Degree in British history with an emphasis on England and Scotland, and my heritage is Scottish on both sides with the addition of Welsh on my father’s side. Although I have written a number of books set in the Highlands and have ancestors who were Fergusons from Galloway or Perth and Jamisons from Clan Gunn and Orkney, most of my Scottish ancestors hail from the Borders (Scott, Douglas, Logan, and related septs). I tell people I have horse thieves (reivers) hanging from every branch of the family tree.

Q3.  If you could jump into a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
o   If you mean one of my own books, I can’t imagine. I’m in them – at least, my mind is – when I write them, but I would not want to live in the 14th or 15th century. I spend my summers in a rustic cabin in the High Sierras with no road, no sewer, no telephone, and no Internet. That’s enough historical living for me. I like libraries, iced mochas, and driving fast cars. Living in a drafty, smoky castle might be a hoot for a sennight or so, and I love good haggis, but after that…nae, moran taing! (no, thanks)

Please check out my Review of Highland Hero - a sensual richly historical read. 

Mini Q&A with Margaret Mallory:
Q1.   What are some of the best tips you’ve received on writing?

Stephen King’s recommendation in his book, On Writing, to set daily and weekly writing goals has been enormously helpful to me. When I am writing the first draft of a book, I live by my daily and weekly word count or page goals.

I keep an index card by my computer to remind me of Dwight Swain’s advice inTechniques of the Selling Writer to leave out the boring parts.

Q2.  Do you have any strange habits when you write?

I often get caught up in my work and stay in my pj’s far too long.

Q3.  Which authors have influenced you most how?

I’ve always been a big reader of all kinds of fiction. It’s hard to say which of so many authors influenced me, but I loved the old historical sagas by James Clavell and Michener  for immersion in another time and place, the Judith MacNaught and Julie Garwood historical romances for emotional connection to characters, and the old spy thrillers by Le CarrĂ© and Ken Follett for suspense and intrigue.

Please check out my review of THE SINNER - a sexy read.

Thank you to Jillian at Hachette for these two books to read and for providing THREE sets of BOTH BOOKS for giveaway!

1. Visit BOTH Margaret's website and Amanda's website and tell me something you found interesting and each site.
You must visit both please.   This is required for entry and worth TWO entries.

2.  For extra entry, comment on one or both of the reviews - worth one entry each.

3.  For an extra entry, become a follower or tell me if you are already a follower.

4. For two more entries, blog, facebook, tweet (any of those networks!) about this giveaway and tell me where you did.

It isn't necessary to use separate entries unless you want them in different chronological order.
(Seven total entries possible.)

* This contest is only open to residents of US and Canada.
* No P.O. Boxes Please - for shipping reasons.
* Limit one win per household.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on December 2, 2011.
The winners will be randomly selected from all entries and announced on December 3 with 72 hours to complete the winners form.


  1. I am a follower :)

    I didn't know Amanda Scott was from Canada :) Very cool!

    I love that Margaret Mallory grew up in Michigan EXCEPT for the two years she spent in Africa!!

    rachie2004 AT yah00 *d8t* c0m

  2. Interesting post! I like the "Reader Letter" Amanda Scott has on her website. It's a really different concept and had lots of information. On Margaret Mallery's site I like her "Margaret's Musings" page where she has links to pages highlighting some of the research information in her books.

    Total entry points

    +2 Mandatory post
    +2 Commented on both reviews
    +1 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +2 Tweeted giveaway:!/crazymidwestgal/status/137958103500079106

    Total Entry = 7


  3. I liked the videos and such on Margaret's website.


  4. I liked the readers letter on Amanda's website.


  5. I left a comment on Sinner review.


  6. I left a comment on Highland Hero review.


  7. I am a GFC follower.


  8. I like how Margaret has a section for her videos and slideshows.
    An interesting face for Amanda is: She has sold every manuscript she has written

    GFC follower




  9. +1 I found out that Margaret lived in Africa.

    +1 Amanda was a Sputnik child, one of those selected after the satellite went up for one of California’s first programs for gifted children.

    +1 I am already a follower.
    +1 commented on Highland Hero review.
    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com
    +1 commented on Sinner review.

  10. I learned that Margaret spent two years in Africa a place Ive always wanted to get and that Amanda did graduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill which is like 20 minutes from my house very cool.

    Wanda f

  11. gfc follower
    wanda f
    email follower

    posted to my blog
    shared to facebook!/profile.php?id=535516088

  12. I like Scott's reader letter, it was really nice. I liked the background and videos on Miranda's site. edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom
    GFC Krystal Larson

  13. Margaret Mallory spent two years in Africa.

    Amanda Scott was a Sputnik child.

    GFC follower- Lisa Richards!/alterlisa/status/138398772815331328

    alterlisa At yahoo DOT com

  14. Thanks for participating in our blog tour & for the review of THE SINNER. If it's any comfort, my mother also thinks there's too much sex. ;) Glad you enjoyed the book anyway!


  15. I was super happy to find out that Margaret has two more books coming up in the Return of the Highlanders series... yeah!

    And on Amanda's site I learned exactly how many books she has written. Wow, over 50! That's what I call a great career!!!

    I commented on both reviews. Thanks for the interview and the chance to win two books that I want reaaaly bad :)

    booklover1335 at gmail dot com

  16. Margaret helped abused children and the elderly
    Amanda's mom was a child actress
    follow on gfc as Helen
    helldog3 at

  17. +1 At Margaret's site, what I found interesting was that she has lots of great 'behind-the-scenes' things to share, such as photos of Scotland that inspired her books and recording of her interview about writing her books.

    +1 At Amanda's site, I found that it was interesting how she grew up in a family of lawyers!

    +1 commented on review of The Sinner

    +1 commented on review on Highland Hero

    +1 already GFC follower


  18. on margaret's site i found the covers for the next two books! they look great!
    on amanda's site I found chapter one of this book!

    Thank you!

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

  19. i'm a gfc follower!

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

  20. i tweeted here:!/in_the_hammock/status/142711836989591553

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com


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