I’m delighted to welcome Cathy MacRae here today for an interview and a look at her historical romance, The Highlander’s Accidental Bride.
Hi Cathy, so glad to have you here today. Tell us a little about The Highlander’s Accidental Bride. What a fun title!
The Highlander’s Accidental Bride is set in the Highlands of Scotland. King Robert, in an effort to end a feud between the Scott and Barde clans, has ordered Earl Scott wed the Barde heiress. Negotiations break down, and with the threat of the loss of his lands and title and lands, Earl Scott takes matters into his own hands and kidnaps his bride-to-be. Or so he thinks.
When I started this book, it was based on the simple question, ‘what if he marries the wrong young woman?’ It seemed an interesting question to me, and so the book was born. Would the pair work through their differences? How could I raise the stakes between Mary and Eaden? There is some suspense, a good bit of angst, and a lot of romance that takes place before they reach their happy-ever-after.
“Chaos reigns between the Scott and Barde clans in 14th century Scotland. To end the generations-long feud, King Robert II of Scotland decrees Eaden, Laird Scott, and Lady Miriam Barde wed with all haste. When marriage negotiations break down, King Robert threatens Eaden with the loss of his lands and title. Forced to take matters into his own hands, the laird kidnaps his bride, only to find the young woman he mistakenly drags to his marriage bed is not Laird Barde’s daughter, but her lady companion.
Mary Marsh fights for her freedom from the laird and the unwanted marriage, refusing to accept her new life as Lady Scott. Realizing his error, Laird Scott develops an attachment to the feisty young woman he has accidentally married. Can he win her heart and convince her she is more than just a ‘duty’ to him? Or will the bond forged between the lady’s companion and the laird be destroyed by secrets and the feud that will not be laid to rest?”
What are you working on now? Do you have any releases scheduled for this year?
I am currently working on the third story in the Highland Bride series. Each is a stand-alone novel, but features characters from previous books. I will be submitting the second to my editor in the near future.
What are your writing goals for this year?
My goal is to finish the third book and decide if there is a fourth book in the making. There are a couple of possibilities based on characters in this third book.
How do you come up with ideas?
I wish I could take credit for all the ideas, but even though some are just random ‘what if’ thoughts that occur to me, the second book is a direct request from my critique partners. The heroine for the third book was pretty obvious. J
Can you share with us “the call” story?
Sure. The ‘call’ was actually an email I received during my local writers’ chapter meeting. I truly was paying attention to the business meeting, but when the editor’s name popped up in my inbox, I just had to peek. Amazingly, it was a lovely letter offering to publish the book and it got a lot of attention from my friends sitting on either side of me. Needless to say, the news was a big hit at the meeting, and it was fantastic to share with the people who had watched me grow as a writer over the years.
Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, character, or…?
My writing starts with an idea for a character or plot, but I try to do the basic research for time period, conflicts, clothing, food, etc. before I get in too deep. I can get really distracted doing research while I am writing, so, unless it is a major issue, I will often simply write XX and highlight it to indicate something I need to look up once I’ve concluded writing for the day.
What did you learn from writing your first book or what do you wish you’d known before becoming published?
Oh, what every author needs to know- how to market the book. I am not a very tech savvy person, and my eyes tend to glaze over as I go over the lists of review sites and such that I need to contact. Setting up blogs, author pages, a twitter account – I’d much rather be writing!
Where is your favorite place in the world?
I love to travel, and I can’t really say I have a ‘favorite’ place. But I was fortunate enough to visit Scotland last year and walk the places I was currently writing about. That was a truly wonderful experience, and I would certainly do it again. I loved the people and the country.
These are few of my favorite things:
1. Chai tea latte
2. Long walks
Thank you so much for having me on your blog today, Babette! I was delighted to be here!
A knock sounded and Miriam whirled, jolted out of her musings. The door swung open and one of the largest men she had ever seen entered the room.
“Who are you?” Her hand flew to her throat in fear.
The man gave her a sardonic smile and paused inside the doorway. “I am Earl Scott. Ina tells me ye’re having trouble with yer memory.” His voice rumbled deep.
“I have a bump on my head,” Miriam replied tartly. This was her husband-to-be? Her eyes drifted up the length of him, unnerved by the narrowed look he gave her. His nearly black eyes and soot-dark hair lent him a devilish air, more frightening than intriguing, and Miriam nearly swallowed her tongue as she imagined herself bound to this man.
“Doesnae matter. Ye’ll marry me this day.” He crossed the room to stand before the fireplace, holding out his hands to the one welcoming element in the room. After a moment, he turned back to where she still stood frozen.
“Rest assured I am no more in favor of this marriage than ye are.”
“Then why am I here?”
“To appease the king and end a feud between our clans.”
“Ina said you kidnapped me last night and brought me here because you did not think my father would honor the king’s edict.” Miriam winced at the word ‘father.’ It sounded foreign to her. Did she not get along with him?
“She told me ye’ve no memory of last night.”
“I have no memory of anything before I woke this morning,” Miriam replied with some asperity. The feeling of being trapped crept over her again, along with the inability to resign herself to marriage with this man.
“I apologize for the bump on yer head. It was quite unintentional, but ye fought me and I couldnae allow ye to raise the alarm. I simply made sure ye honored the king’s command.”
She waved her hands dramatically in the air. “And you are so certain we would have not married in a more normal fashion in time?”
The earl’s face darkened. “Aye. Yer response was somewhat less than enthusiastic.”
Miriam paled at the harshness of his words. “You cannot be sure it was more than just talk. I cannot imagine happiness at being forced to marry someone I don’t know.”
“Don’t play coy with me, milady,” Eaden snarled. “Ye know damn well ye wouldnae have married me now or a month from now. Everything I have is forfeit if this wedding doesnae take place. King Robert has placed his seal on the documents and we only await the priest. Ye will be downstairs this evening, dressed and prepared to say yer vows!”
Without awaiting her response, the earl turned on his heel and strode from the room, slamming the door with a resounding crash, causing Miriam to jump at the sound.
“He will not intimidate me!” she swore aloud, but her words rang hollow. Her lower lip trembled, and she could do nothing more defiant than lift her chin. No matter what she said in defense of herself, she would not be believed. Come morning, she would be forever bound to this ruthless man.
Cathy wrote her first historical manuscript based on a love of all things Scottish. Weaving tales of romance in the Highland mists, her books feature strong heroes and feisty heroines pursuing their happily-ever-afters in medieval Scotland.
When not writing, Cathy can be found curled in a chair with a book, outside gardening or playing with her Welsh Corgis (who are quite possibly the reason for the need to repair the garden), or any of a number of outside hobbies in the beautiful hills of Tennessee.
Cathy is a member of Romance Writers of America, her local chapter, Heart of Dixie, and the online chapter, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. She is currently working on another Highland romance novel and planning her next trip to Scotland.
You can visit Cathy at:
Her blog: Celtic Queens
The Highlander’s Accidental Bride is available from: