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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Guest Author - - Hannah Howell

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Hannah Howell is our special guest today! Hannah has had a long and rewarding career as a writer. Her first novel, Amber Flame, was published in 1988 and she has since penned over 40 books, many of which are set in beautiful Scotland. Her Highland series and Murray clan series are among many readers' favorites. Her latest series is set in Late-Georgian England and features 2 connected families. The first two, If He's Wicked and If He's Sinful, released in June and December of 2009, respectively. Her newest, If He's Wild, hits shelves today! Please help us welcome Hannah Howell to The Romance Dish!



The Hero’s Not In a Kilt?


No, and probably never will be and it was a little scary to step out of my ‘comfort zone’ with this trilogy. Why mess with a good thing?, my brain kept asking. Unfortunately, my brain also kept giving me these ideas that really did not work in medieval Scotland. I have put the hint of a psychic talent in several of my Highlander novels, the Murray clan being strongly blessed with ‘gifts’. Yet, due to the time period those tales are set in, it was difficult to make such gifts too big a part of the story. It was lethal to be seen as too different in those times. The urge to make psychic talents a bigger part of my story kept growing and I knew I had to come forward in time if I was to do that. That brought me to England and the late Georgian period, a time known for its scientific research, a more modern time yet not so modern that superstitions and fear of the ‘different’ had faded.

And so the Wherlockes and Vaughns were born – English, settled happily in late-Georgian London or at their country homes, and gifted with psychic talents that never fail to lead them into trouble. They are a reclusive family, the dangers of the past having made them secretive, but they know they must use their gifts for good when the need arises and do so unflinchingly.

IF HE’S WILD is the third in a trilogy concerning cousins of this extraordinary family. Alethea Vaughn Channing has visions, can even have them if she touches certain objects. If that is not burden enough, she has seen the same man in visions since she was a child. Now, she sees him cruelly murdered and wonders if this was the reason she has been glimpsing parts of his life for so long, if it all led to this warning she had to act upon. She packs up her household and heads to London to warn Hartley Greville, Lord Redgrave, of the danger he faces.

Lord Redgrave is stunned, suspicious, and disbelieving when the pretty Alethea and her uncle tell him she has ‘seen’ his death. His two compatriots are more open-minded but it doesn’t take too long for Hartley to become a believer, too. He also finds himself strongly attracted to Alethea as they work together to fight his enemies and find his missing niece and nephew. But how can a man of science and logic find happiness with a woman of visions and dreams?

In IF HE’S WICKED, the first of the trilogy, the heroine has dreams of what is to come. In IF HE’S SINFUL,the second book, the heroine can see ghosts. In all three books – which can be read separately with no trouble as the connection is only familial – they fight disbelief and their own fear of dangerous superstition and rejection. They also all find themselves knee-deep in trouble that makes them use their gifts to the fullest. Other unusually gifted members of the clan weave in and out of each tale and I do have plans for them. I haven’t given up on the Murrays but I am excited to have yet another family to write about. I hope you will give the Wherlockes and their cousins the Vaughns a chance. Good reading!

Dear Readers, have you ever stepped outside your "comfort zone"? Have you ever taken a chance and read a book outside your "comfort zone"? What were the results?

15 comments:

  1. Happy Release Day, Hannah. I have stepped out of my comfort zone a few times and I was pleasantly surprised. I picked up my first urban fantasy a few months ago and I wasn't sure if I would enjoy such a book because there was little romance in the story. I'm glad I did read this book because the story sucked me in.

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  2. I have to admit, it took me an incredibly long time to step outside of my comfort zone, both as a reader and writer.

    Jane Green's Jemima J did it for me. It was on display in a bookstore, and I did my normal routine: check out cover art, read back cover blurb, flip to opening of first chapter. I literally broke out in laughter in the store. I called a friend, and read it to her right then and there.

    I haven't looked back since. I love to read anything and everything. Who knows what you might like.

    Hannah, I like the way you searched for the right period in time for your story in order to add in some of the elements you wanted to introduce. It makes it more believable for me as a reader. When it's forced it takes me out of the story because I never believe that that thing...whatever it is would happen.

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  3. Oh wow, I have been reading your books forever and I did miss the highlanders a bit when you started the new triology but you had me hooked within the first chapter. I have read out of my comfort zone which says a lot because I have a HUGE comfort zone...LOL.

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  4. Hi Hannah! Congratulations on your new release If He's Wild.

    I really enjoyed If He's Wicked and loved that you set it in the late Georgian period. I loved the gothic feel of it. I'm so far behind in my TBR pile, I haven't yet read If He's Sinful . But I'm excited that I'll be able to read the last two books in the trilogy in a row.

    I seem to always step outside of my comfort zone when reading by trying different authors and genres. I remember reading a review of Chelsea Cain's Heartsick, a book about a serial killer... I picked up the book and I was hooked. I love being surprised by books I thought I'd never read and then being captivated.

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  5. Hello and welcome to The Romance Dish, Hannah! We're so happy to have you here today. Congrats on your newest release!

    I have stepped out of my comfort zone a few times in real life, but I prefer not to. I really like routine. But, I have stepped out of my comfort zone with books and in that I was pleased with the results. It opened my eyes to a whole new world of stories. :)

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  6. thoroughly enjoyed the first 2 books in this trilogy and have been looking forward to this one. Glad it's finally release day so I'll soon be able to read it. The Wherlockes and Vaughns are facinating. And the balance is just right btwn the romance and paranormal for me. Also enjoyed all the Murray clan books. Hope there's plenty more of both clans' stories.

    My comfort zone is fairly broad but when I do go outside of it, I generally go only "outside the fringe" of it. So it isn't so much going outside the comfort zone as expanding it. :)

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  7. Happy Release Day! I have stepped out of my comfort zone a few times while reading. Some of my experiences have been good. Such as when i was fifteen and i stepped out of my comfort zone and read my romance and it's pretty easy to see where that ended up. ^o ~. Others haven't been so good. I read one horror book before and it took me awhile to get out of my that every noise isn't a murderer coming to get me.
    It's nice to step out of your comfort zone every now and then. It adds a nice zing to your literary life. ^^

    Melissa

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  8. I am stepping out of my comfort Zone as a reader and writer, into Contemps. Never thought I would ever read them, let alone write one.

    Read the first two in this series, will read this one as well! Esp. With Nathan Kamp on the cover. Shameless, I am.

    All the best for your release Hannah, love your books!

    *Highlanders rule*

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  9. I've enjoyed so many of Hannah's books over the years, especially the ones with Highlanders. *g* I haven't started this series so I'm looking forward to reading all three books back to back. :)

    Over the past few years I've learned to step outside of my reading comfort zone more often and, in the process, have discovered authors and sub-genres that I've enjoyed immensely.

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  10. Welcome, Hannah! I'm so looking forward to reading this series--the books just keep piling up *g*--and with Nathan Kamp on the cover, you cannot go wrong. ;-)

    I have definitely stepped out of my comfort zone as a reader and have had the joy of discovering some wonderful new-to-me authors.

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  11. Congratulations!
    I have stepped out of my comfort zone. Usually when I've heard how great a book was by a few people, or I accidentally picked up a book that wasn't what I thought it was. I've found some great books and authors that way.

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  12. Okay - going to a massive reply here - stupid heat and humidity was making my computer act up.
    JANE - Thanks. Stepping out of one's comfort zone in reading as well as in writing is always good.

    ANGELA - Thank you. I've also read things that just don't 'fit' and you're so right - it yanks you right out of the story.

    DIANNA - The Murrays will be back. Finishing up Sir Simon Innes tale right now - gave him a Murray lass to bedevil him.

    MARISA - Thank you. And I also like to be surprised by books. Those are the ones you remember and whose authors you'll now keep an eye out for.

    ANDREA - Thanks for having me here. Stepping out of your comfort zone does indeed introduce you to so many new worlds and so many new, excellent writers.

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  13. 2nd round - LOL
    GAMEMISTRESS - Many thanks to you - hope you enjoy it. And - the Murrays will be back. HIGHLAND PROTECTOR will be out in December.

    MELISSA - Thanks. And - Oh, yeh - have a problem with horror myself. Yet I read some pretty dark murder mysteries so go figure.

    KARYN - Thanks. And there are some very good contemps out there. Good luck!


    PJ - Thank you. It was the recommendation of a friend that dragged me out of my comfort zone and I haven't turned back yet.

    GANNON - Thanks and I have a huge TBR pile too!

    CHEY - thanks. And - again - recommendations are what took me down new paths to find some utterly fantastic writers. I make sure to 'recommend' now myself all the time.

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  14. Hi Hannah! Thank you so much for stopping by. Sorry you had problems with your computer!

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  15. Happy Release Day, Hannah. I'm especially enjoying your new series because of the pyschic elements, which always draws mein, no matter the genre, and I'm a fan of Georgians for the same reason.

    Though I have my favorites genres (historicals and paranormal/fantasy), I still read and fit in other genres to mix it up so I wouldn't say there is much out of my comfort zone. I do tend to read less contemps mainly because of so many of my favorite genres, but recently I've become a big fan of a few contemp authors, like Julie James and Elizabeth Naughton. Horror is probably the one area out of my comfort zone, though I have read mainstream suspense that get a bit into horror.

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