I am delighted to welcome award-winning, best-selling author Eliza Knight to my blog today!
Tell us a little about your newest release, The Highlander’s Conquest. I love the cover. What inspired this story?
The Highlander’s Conquest is the second book in my Stolen Bride series. The series is 6 books long, with each book encompassing a love story with one of the Sutherland siblings or cousins. My love of romance, Highlanders, realism mixed with fantasy and history inspired the story. I’ve always been fascinated with William Wallace and his war against the English to insure Scottish freedom. Each of my heroes plays a part in the war on freedom, and each of them ends up taking a bride they would have never thought to take before. Their tales are of romance, loyalty and just a bit of realism/humor when needed. I tried to stay true to history as much as possible while blending in these very real characters from my head.
What is a Highlander to do when he falls for the daughter of his enemy?
Highland warrior, Blane Sutherland, has one mission: disguise himself as an Englishman, cross the border and retrieve Lady Aliah de Mowbray. Always up for a challenge, he agrees, pursuing his conquest with vigor—and trying to deny the powerful desire that eclipses him each time he touches his charge. A rogue of the highest order and a younger son, he has nothing to offer a lady but a broken heart.
And what is a lady to do when she cannot trust her heart?
Aliah is skeptical of the English noble who has come to take her to her father and sister in Scotland, but she pushes her doubts aside. Without word in months, she must make certain her family is safe, then she can return to England to join the convent to which she has sworn to pledge her life. But then her escort reveals his true self—he’s a Highlander and his kisses are more seductive than the sweetest of wines.
Surrender never tasted so sweet…
What are you working on now? Do you have any releases scheduled for this year?
I am currently working on finishing the third book in the series, The Highlander’s Lady, which is the story of one of the Sutherland’s cousins, Daniel Murray. The third book will release in December. I also have a short story releasing November 14th —Highlander Brawn—which is the sequel to my short story, Highland Steam.
What are your writing goals for this year?
My writing goals are multi-faceted J I aim to write 3K a day/ 5 days a week, and I don’t stray from that—unless going on vacation. My plan for this year was to complete 3 novels and a couple of short stories which I’ve done. Next year there is even more!
How do you come up with ideas?
I’m not so sure I come up with ideas per se, its more like they come to me. I’ll be in the shower or chopping vegetables or doing dishes, mundane, mindless things, and all the sudden, WHAM, an idea hits me. I’ve left a lot of chores unfinished this way 😉
What do you enjoy most about writing?
What I love most is meeting and getting to know my characters, falling in love with them and being able to share their amazing stories with others.
Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, character, or…?
I typically start with two characters and a short what if—say for The Highlander’s Conquest—what if the brother of a laird, who dresses in disguise and an Englishman, is given the task of bringing an English lady to Scotland. From there, I will plot out scenes and chapter sequences, do my research, then begin writing. I will most often write one chapter/scene a day.
Do you have a favorite time of day for writing?
When I only had one child, I used to love writing at night. When I had two, I would get up early and write in the morning. Now that I have three… I typically write best after lunch for a few hours before they start coming home from school. I save mornings for promotion, blogging, editing and household chores/errands.
What is your favorite scene from this story and why?
My favorite scene from this book is when my heroine accidentally (except it’s kind of on purpose!) injures the hero. I don’t want to give too much away, but the reason I love it, is because it’s a major game changer. She’s realized something about herself and has to deal with it. And of course, I think it’s hilarious.
How do you balance writing and everyday life?
It is a precarious balancing act and a lot of times they mesh and blend and it’s not always pretty. Writing is my everyday life. My kids have grown up with it, my husband lives and breathes it (even dresses up in Highland garb for me at a book festival!) I try to set priorities. My family comes first always, then writing, then household things. So my house is probably always a mess!
What is your favorite food to cook or eat?
I love to bake! Bread, muffins, cookies, cake. Love it!
These are few of my favorite things:
2. Being outdoors
Northern England, 1297
A violent banging at the manor door startled Aliah from her studies and set Frosty, the family’s monstrous Irish wolfhound, to barking ferociously. Aliah jerked backward against the oak chair she sat in, hitting her head against the ancient wood and stifling a harsh word beneath her breath.
Her father, Baron de Mowbray, had left a small contingent of men to protect her while he escorted her older sister Arbella to her bridegroom in Scotland. These men would fight to keep her safe until their very last breaths.
But who was to say they hadn’t already taken that last shuddering inhale?
Aliah glanced around the room, filled with memories, but not with people. Today, her maid Glenda was her only companion. Well, Frosty as well—who in fact was a far superior protector than her maid. Swallowing her fear, she rubbed the ache from the back of her head and squared her shoulders. Strength. That was what she needed, even if the sound of someone knocking made her want to run to the opposite end of the manor and hide.
Her father should have returned a month ago. The only news she’d managed to garner was that a battle took place at Stirling Bridge in Scotland—the very place her sister was to marry.
Had the battle now come to her own door?
Aliah jumped as a strong fist once again slammed the door.
“Glenda, would you answer the door?” Aliah asked.
’Twas Saturday morning and most of the servants had gone to tend family or to enjoy themselves in whatever way they did, leaving Aliah quite alone—and at the mercy of whoever stood outside her door. Could they have dispensed of her father’s guards so quickly?
Glenda, afraid of her own shadow, started to shake her head, but Aliah gave her a stern look. The woman had been driving her mad since she was a babe and ever since Arbella left, Aliah had little patience for the older woman’s nonsense.
Aliah set down the book of Gaelic she’d been studying—she was determined to learn the language because she secretly believed the Scots would soon invade. Understanding their barbaric conversations was crucial. Aliah smoothed her gown and stood tall.
Glenda scurried toward the door, Frosty a foot ahead of her.
Aliah tried to find comfort in the fact that perhaps the guards had allowed whoever came knocking through the manor gates. She’d heard no clanging of metal or yells of pain. Aye, the only conclusion that made sense was, they were not enemies, but friends.
She could use a good friend. The comfort of someone she knew. Aliah frowned. She had few friends, and seldom was it that they dropped by.
So who had the audacity to practically beat down her door?
“Wait!” Aliah shouted just as Glenda touched the wooden plank barring the door.
She hurried to retrieve her bow and an arrow from beneath her chair. As swiftly as possible, she cocked an arrow and aimed it at the door. Taking a deep breath, she nodded for her maid to open it. If her father’s enemies dared to come after her, they were in for a big surprise, she wouldn’t surrender so easily.
An interminable amount of time seemed to pass before the door was fully open. Aliah stepped back, speechless. Standing before her was the most staggeringly handsome man she’d ever seen—and he was quite alone. Frosty growled for only a moment, quickly silenced by a motion the stranger made with his hand. What? How had he done that? Aliah struggled to keep her mouth from falling open at the man’s effortless command of the dog. The animal had favored her sister, but since Arbella had left, Frosty refused to leave Aliah’s side.
She felt a certain amount of betrayal at Frosty’s easy acceptance of this stranger. Who in the name of God was he? And why didn’t one of her father’s men escort him? She’d have to speak with them about that later.
The visitor wore an intriguing cap of deep burgundy, a dark feather jutting from the side, held on by some sort of medallion. A thick black wool cloak lay open to reveal a matching tunic, and leather studded armor. White hose outlined the shape of his legs in a way that drew her eyes from his intense dark green gaze. His boots were made of soft, expensive-looking leather, and the gilded belt at his waist held a gleaming, sharp sword that was hard to miss.
Aliah allowed her gaze to travel over the length and breadth of his solid form, before getting ahold of herself.
“Will you shoot me, my lady?” His voice was deep, raspy, and stroked along the ends of her nerves in a way that made her want to run away and kiss him at the same time.
Bio: Eliza Knight is the multi-published, award-winning, Amazon best-selling author of sizzling historical romance and erotic romance. While not reading, writing or researching for her latest book, she chases after her three children. In her spare time (if there is such a thing…) she likes daydreaming, wine-tasting, traveling, hiking, staring at the stars, watching movies, shopping and visiting with family and friends. She lives atop a small mountain, and enjoys cold winter nights when she can curl up in front of a roaring fire with her own knight in shining armor.
You can find The Highlander’s Conquest at: