Monday, May 27, 2013

Christine Presents: Highlander's Hope

Please welcome Collette Cameron author of Highlander's Hope.

Collette will be awarding a gift basket that include a gift card, blue rose tea cup, blue rose soap, vintage looking cameo pendant, shortbread, tea, and other goodies to a randomly drawn commenter during the tours.
Gift Basket


Collette Cameron

Thank you so much for hosting me today. I’m so excited to be here!

1.What or who inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, or maybe I should say, it has always come easily for me. I’d never seriously thought about writing a book until a couple of years ago. Then the urge hit me and there was no turning back. I quite literally plopped myself in front of my computer in February 2011 and, on a whim, started writing a romance novel. Highlander’s Hope is the result.

2.How did you come up with ideas for your books?
Ideas just pop into my head. I’ll play the scene out in my mind, and if I think I can expand the plot into a novel, I make a note of it in a notebook I keep just for story ideas.

It drives me bonkers though when I’m writing one book, and I keep getting scene ideas for one of the other books I’ve got started making notes about.

3.What components are necessary for the genre of this novel? Regency novels have very tight constraints. The dress, customs of that changing period, even the language are very precise. Readers of Regency expect accuracy. I also have a suspense element which adds to the tension and conflict. And because there is tension from internal and external conflict, as well as the suspense, I have bits of humor to lighten the mood and ease the tension.

4.What expertise did you bring to your writing?
I do have a Master’s in Teaching so the mechanics of writing, punctuation, formatting, and so on are pretty ingrained. I’m also an editor for a small epublisher. That’s been invaluable in learning to spot common writer errors. That’s not to say I don’t make mistakes in my writing or overlook errors when I’m editing my manuscript. It doesn’t matter how many times I read my own work, I miss something.

5.What would you want your readers to know about you that might not be in your bio?
How about some of my favorites? Peonies are my favorite flower, and I love peppermint candy ice cream. I can’t stand peas, beets, or mushrooms.

I named my daughter, Brianna, after a character in one of the very first romance novels I ever read. The minute I read the name, I knew if I ever had a daughter, that would be her name. Thank goodness the hubby didn’t argue.
6.As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?
I just contracted the second book, The Viscount’s Vow in my Blue Rose Trilogy,  and I’m hard at work on the third novel. I have a six-book highland saga I want to write, though there’s a stand-alone novel that insists it get written first. I also have ideas for another five books.

7.If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?
Adaira Ferguson, the heroine in The Earl’s Enticement, the book I’m writing right now. She’s fiery, unconventional, and not afraid to speak her mind. She’s also compassionate, fiercely loyal, and wears breeches.  

8.Do you belong to a critique group? If so how does this help or hinder your writing?
I’m not part of a critique group, though I do have three amazing critique partners. I didn’t have any for Highlander’s Hope. I adamantly believe if I had, I wouldn’t have had to do as much rewriting or cutting to get a polished manuscript worthy of publishing.

My critique partners are great for calling me out (nicely of course) for being too wordy. They also point out what works well and what I need to rethink.

9.When did you first decide to submit your work? Please tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step?
I was so eager to submit Highlander’s Hope when I finished it—at least I thought it was finished. That was in the fall of 2011. I can unequivocally say it was the beta readers I had at that time that encouraged me to submit it. Oh, and the fabulous group of writers at Rose City Romance Writers. 

10.         What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)
Best advice? You know your story better than anyone. Seriously consider comments and critiques, learn from them, and then disregard what won’t make your story stronger. Also, reader and author tastes differ so don’t get offended or upset when someone doesn’t like your writing. You might not like theirs either; it doesn’t mean you can’t write.

Never let yourself get stagnant or too comfortable with what has worked well for you. Keep learning and honing your craft.

Worst advice? You can’t get published without an agent. I did.

11.         Do you outline your books or just start writing?
For Highlander’s Hope, I literally sat down and started writing it on a whim. The novel turned into a 156,000 word horror that I had to drastically cut. I’m much more of a punster, (A friend of mine calls me a linear panster) but I do have specific elements I want to include in the story.

My last two novels I’ve completed Goal, Motivation, and Conflict charts for each of my hero/heroine. I also have a detailed questionnaire—over 50 questions—I complete for my hero and heroine. That has helped enormously.

I still get a thrill out of my story taking a turn I didn’t expect or my hero or heroine doing something unpredictable. In Highlander’s Hope, Yvette, a most respectable and proper young woman, slugs the hero. I didn’t see that coming, but, oh, but did it work for the scene.

12.         Do you have any hobbies and does the knowledge you've gained from these carry over into your characters or the plot of your books?
I have several hobbies: gardening, bird watching, interior decorating and collecting all kinds of things. All my books have references to birds in them, and I’ve had a couple of characters that use their knowledge of herbs for medicinal purposes.

13.         Do you have an all time favorite book?
I do… and you will laugh. It’s The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss. It was the very first romance novel I ever read and I named my daughter, Brianna, after the heroine, Heather Brianna.

14.         Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your book?
I’m writing away on The Earl’s Enticement. The story is about Adaira (Addy) Ferguson, an outspoken Scottish aristocrat who cares more for horses than she does society’s conventions. She wears breeches, swears, and mistaking him for his blackguard brother, abducts Roark (Rory) Marquardt, The Earl of Clarendon.

15.         Do you have any family traditions or recipes you might like to share?
16.         What is your favorite reality show?
I watch very little TV; I’d rather be writing, but my husband and daughter started watching Duck Dynasty. I’ve watched it a few times with them and always have a good laugh.

17.         Who is your favorite actor and actress?
18.         Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?
There’s an intense scene during supper at Craiglocky Castle when Yvette discovers she’s married to Ewan and the marriage is legal and binding. It packs quite an emotional wallop.

19.         If you were a casting director for the film version of your book, who would play your lead roles?
20.         Anything else you might want to add? No, except, except to thank you again for  having me as a guest. It’s been fun!


Not a day has gone by that Ewan McTavish, the Viscount Sethwick, hasn't dreamed of the beauty he danced with two years ago. He's determined to win her heart and make her his own. Heiress, Yvette Stapleton, is certain of one thing; marriage is risky and, therefore, to be avoided. At first, she doesn't recognize the dangerously handsome man who rescues her from assailants on London's docks, but Lord Sethwick's passionate kisses soon have her reconsidering her cynical views on matrimony. On a mission to stop a War Office traitor, Ewan draws Yvette into deadly international intrigue. To protect her, he exploits Scottish law, declaring her his lawful wife—without benefit of a ceremony. Yvette is furious upon discovering the irregular marriage is legally binding, though she never said, "I do." Will Ewan's manipulation cost him her newfound love?   

Highlander's Hope Excerpt-Pirate Scene

She stepped back as he pushed his way into the room, leaving the door ajar. His hair was damp, no doubt from bathing, and the stubble darkening his face earlier was gone. Feet bare, wearing only buckskin breeches and a shirt unbuttoned to the waist, he resembled a pirate—a dangerous, rakish, sinfully handsome pirate.

She sucked in her breath. He oughtn’t to be here, but he’d said he wanted to talk to her, and he had promised to behave.

Yvette’s eyes traveled the path of silky hair from his chest until it disappeared into his waistband. Her stomach flip-flopped. Sweet Lord above. She pressed her hands to her frolicking middle.      Why doesn’t he say something?

A distraction, that’s what she needed. She escaped to the lumpy bed where she had flung her clothing before bathing. She folded and packed the garments into her valise and set it on the floor beside her trunk. She bent to retrieve her bath towel, and peeked side-ways at him from the corner of her eye. He hasn’t moved. What’s he about?

Grabbing the towel, she glanced down and froze. The candles to her left bathed her in a stream of light. She could clearly see the outline of her legs. Her nightwear was almost translucent in the candlelight and gave him a shadowy view of— dear God—nearly everything.

No wonder he hadn’t moved, the bounder.

Standing upright, she held the towel before her, and faced him. “Enjoying the view, your lordship?” she snapped.
Ewan still leaned against the doorframe, watching her. “Immeasurably.”

A life-long Oregonian, Collette Cameron was born and raised in a small town along the northern Oregon coast. Today she makes her home in a rural community, 30 minutes west of Portland. Her Victorian farmhouse sits on a one-acre certified wildlife habit, interspersed with a plethora of gardens: English, rose, butterfly, rock, water, and of course, vegetable.

A voracious reader of romance since her teens, she even named her daughter after a heroine in her favorite romance novel. An enthusiast of times gone by, and anything related to romance, she writes Historical Romance, with a dash of inspiration, a pinch of humor, and a liberal portion of suspense.

Having dabbled in interior decorating in her youth, Collette returned to school, graduating summa cum laude from Oregon State University, and going on to obtain her Master's Degree in Teaching. She is member of Romance Writers of America, Rose City Romance Writers, The Beau Monde, and Love Faith and Hope, Inc.

Some of Collette's favorite things include unique blends of coffees and teas, trivia, Cadbury Milk Chocolate, inspirational quotes, and scented candles. Her Christian faith, husband, three adult children, and five miniature dachshunds round out her life quite nicely! When she's not teaching or writing, she enjoys amateur photography, bird watching, gardening, interior decorating, rock-hunting, boating or fishing on the Columbia River, and reading.


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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

MomJane said...

You sound like a prolific writer. Just keep on writing. I love the way your books sound.

Collette Cameron said...

Thanks so much for hosting me today, Christine. I love your site!

Christine Young said...

Thanks, and welcome, hope you have a great tour.

Anonymous said...

I'm a punster myself...sounds like fun!


Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

Hi, Collette! So nice to learn more about you. Hope HIGHLANDER'S HOPE is doing well!

bn100 said...

Nice expertise to bring into your writing

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

cyn209 said...

Highlander's Hope was such a good read!!!

thank you for the giveaway!!

cyn209 at juno dot com

Andra Lyn said...

Peppermint Candy ice cream??? I have no idea how that would even taste! Thin mints that are cold? lol
Thanks for sharing!

andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

June M. said...

Love Highlanders! Congrats on your release. I will definitely have to check out your book.
manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com

Karen H in NC said...

Thanks for the chance to win. I love these blog hops since I meet so many new-to-me authors.
kareninnc at gmail dot com