I’m delighted to have fellow Celtic Hearts member Mageela Troche here as my guest today.
Hi, Mageela, welcome. Tell us a little about The Marriage Alliance.
The Marriage Alliance is set in the majestic highlands of Scotland in 1256. A marriage will be peace between two warring clans, the MacLeans and the Camerons. As Ailsa Cameron finds her place with the MacLeans, she learns her value and finds love in the man she was raised to hate.
Her hand in marriage could secure peace.
Lady Ailsa Cameron has slept through a few masses. She isn’t the most patient of souls. However, the gentle lass never did anything wicked enough for her father, Laird Cameron to demand she wed Black Duncan, the Laird of Clan MacLean.
The leader of the Spartans of the North, Duncan MacLean inspires many gruesome tales in the majestic highlands and beyond. Duncan accepts Laird Cameron’s offer of his daughter’s hand in marriage to war against their shared enemy, Clan MacKinnon. Wed to the ravishing woman, he aches to possess her even as he vows never to lower his defenses, again.
Can past enemies become lovers?
As love blooms between them, a betrayal incites a war, endangering his clan, and jeopardizing Ailsa and Duncan’s lives and their chance to love ever after.
What inspired this story?
I don’t remember. But I wrote this novel as a test to myself in the beginning of my writing pursuits. I did it and that helped built my confidence. I never expected publishing it.
What are you working on now? Do you have any releases scheduled for this year?
I’m currently working on the follow up to The Marriage Alliance. My second novel will feature Alisa Cameron’s brother Alec Cameron.
What are your writing goals for this year?
Most important are the novels of the characters met in The Marriage Alliance. I plan 2013 in the Highlands of the 13th century.
How do you come up with ideas?
I wish I knew. They just pop into my head and come from various sources—quotes, books and sometimes, a scene forms then a story develops. I think the most important for any writer to be open to ideas.
Can you share with us “the call” story?
I had written The Marriage Alliance about 2005. My local RWA chapter, RWA/NYC held a contest along with our 2012 Publisher of the Year, Secret Cravings. The winner would win a book contract with them. So, I pulled out this one, cleaned it up and submitted. I placed second. Then about two weeks later, they offered me a contract and I signed.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
There is just too much to enjoy. Because even when that cursor is blinking at me and I’m stuck, it is still the best job I’ve ever had.
Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, character, or…?
The characters come to me first. Then I blend the research with the plotting.
What is the best thing about being an author?
The best thing is turning a spark of an idea into a complete novel. It’s a marathon of words.
What did you learn from writing your first book or what do you wish you’d known before becoming published?
I wish I had do better social media and developed my author brand.
Do you have a favorite time of day for writing?
Living in the heart of Manhattan, I love writing at night. The city is quiet. Yes, it does sleep. So no distracts and I’m focus.
How do you balance writing and everyday life?
I’m still learning to find that balance. So, if anyone has any advice, please share.
Where is your favorite place in the world?
What do you like to read?
I read various genres. I’m always on the lookout for a good book or an interesting tale. I really love when someone tells me about a book and their excitement gets me interested.
Do you listen to music while you write? What are you listening to now?
I do listen to music when I write. Right now, I’m listening to Pride by Amy MacDonald. The song is matches the tone of my novel.
Who first introduced you to the love of reading?
I never remember a time when I wasn’t reading. Books are a wonder for me—the weaving of words that create a world. It’s the only true form of magic.
Who influenced your decision to become a writer?
As an Air Force Brat, we moved around a great deal. I met different places and saw different lives. Even in the car as we drove by homes, I wondered about people’s lives, the mundane things like what the interiors looked like or whether they were happy with their lives? Was that the life they wished to live? Also, I’m not a person to speak of my emotions or thoughts but picking up a pen and writing was like flying and I was above it.
What don’t most people know about you but you would like to share?
I have a black-masked Lovebird named Boobala who is more of a fighter than a lover. He doesn’t have a mate, which only proves my point.
These are few of my favorite things:
1. Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
A Giveaway! Mageela will give one lucky commenter a copy of her e-book. What do you like most about Highlander heroes?
The door swung open to reveal a flustered man with hair as fair as Moira’s ermine locks and pure blue eyes, a broken nose and bow lips that looked alluring on Moira but too soft on him. However his glower wiped away any softness. But the two small boys clinging to his thick legs had Ailsa grinning.
“Please my lady, come in. My wife is visiting her sister and I was appointed commander of the wee devils.” Ailsa pretended not to witness the shared look between the men nor the shake of Caelan’s head.
“This is my brother Malcolm and the wee devils are Braden and Liam. And that wee lass is my niece, Helen.” The twins bowed their towheads while keeping hold of their father’s thick legs while Helen tottered over on bare, pudgy feet. She picked up speed and rammed straight into Ailsa’s leg, knocking her back two steps. She grabbed hold of the stool for support and neared the fire.
“She can walk but stopping seems to be a difficulty,” Ailsa said, laughing. She hunched down, eye level with the blue-eyed tot and was rewarded with a gummy smile. Staring into her wide and trusting eyes, Ailsa wondered about her bairns. Would they resemble Duncan or her? Would they have her red hair or Duncan’s deep brown? Have brown eyes flecked with gold or green as hers? One thing for certain, Duncan’s children would scowl.
Helen stretched out a dimpled hand and her fingers opened and closed. Not rising, Ailsa scooted to grab the ragdoll on the basket behind her. “You want your bairn.”
Helen took it and started gnawing on the doll’s yarn hair.
As the child mumbled her language and drooled, Ailsa couldn’t help herself and embraced the tiny lass and inhaled her fresh, baby scent and the smell of burning hair.
“Fire!” Caelan roared from across the cottage. Ailsa turned around as Moira screamed. Before she could find the fire, Caelan yanked her plaid from the flames and stomped on the edge.
“I was on fire,” Ailsa asked as she gazed down at the smoke rising from her charred parti-colored plaid. “I was on fire!”
“Are you harmed?” Caelan demanded, trying to peer at her legs under her gown. She batted away his hands.
“Nay, I feel no pain.” Moira bent down checking the back of her legs.
“You are unharmed though your plaid isn’t.” Moira crinkled her nose in regret.
“Where’s MacLean?” Malcolm prompted.
“Nay! Please do not tell Duncan.” When Caelan opened his mouth to disagree, she cut in, “I shall tell him.” When the moment was right, she said silently. Which wouldn’t be for some time. “I was on fire,” Ailsa repeated, looking down at her singed plaid.
Moira patted her on her back. “It happens to quite a few people.”
Ailsa didn’t believe her nevertheless she held onto her hope. “Has it happened to you?”
Moira contemplated lying to save Ailsa’s delicate feelings but the truth won. “Nay but…” Moira looked from Caelan to her brother imploring for assistance. Both men were at a loss for consoling words. What did men know of consolation? Nothing.
“It does not matter. I am unharmed though humiliated so all is well.” She clasped Moira’s hand. “I thank you for your attempt.”
The twin boys eyed her as though she was a halfwit. The same regard directed her way this day and it wasn’t even finished. Ailsa wanted to fit in with the MacLeans but her every action ended with a disaster.
Tears welled up. A couple of tears fell. She blinked the rest back before another fell. From across the room, Caelan’s hushed voice floated to her. “I’ll take her back. It might be safer.”
Ailsa sprang from the chair and charged from the cottar. Not caring in which direction, she headed. She ran and ran, not slowing as Moira called her name or Caelan screamed for her to halt.
She stopped when she came upon the loch. Panting, Ailsa climbed onto the rocks jutting out into the tranquil loch. To the east, she saw the fortress rise. But that isn’t where she wished to be. Ailsa hungered to be somewhere welcoming to her, a place where her foolish actions would not reflect badly. One place where she belonged. She hoped, prayed, and wished this were the place since MacLean land was the last place she would ever venture.
An Air Force brat, Mageela Troche landed in New York City and wanted to leave the same day she arrived. Yet, with her stubbornness, she learned to like the place and the libraries were the main reason. Once she learned to read and write, she decided to be an author and an actress. Once in college, she changed her life plan in the pursuit of money. After all, college loans must be repaid.
With life’s twists and turns, she returned to writing and focused on the romance genre. She joined RWA (Romance Writers of America) in 2004 and soon discovered RWA-NYC. At her first meeting, Keynotes Editor volunteered her to write an article and she knew she found her group. She placed second in Best Love Scene contest and in 2012, RWA-NYC annual award ceremony, the Publisher of the Year, Secret Cravings Publisher, held a contest. First place winner would have their novel published.
Mageela lost, placing second however, the publisher wanted her book, The Marriage Alliance. She signed the dotted line a couple of weeks later. Her debut novel is out now.
You can find Mageela at:
You can find The Marriage Alliance at:
All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-themarriagealliance-1169652-156.html