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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Today's Special - - Cara Elliott


We are happy to welcome Cara Elliott back to The Romance Dish today to celebrate the release of Passionately Yours, the third book in her The Hellions of High Street series.  I've loved the first two books in this series and can't wait to dive into Caro's story. All three books have been released in digital format with print copies to follow at a later date.  

For more information about Cara and her books, please visit her website.  Readers can also connect with her online at Facebook, Twitter and at the multi-author blog, Word Wenches.  

Welcome back, Cara!



Hi Everyone,

Yes, it’s me again! Last time I stopped by at the Dish (I love dishing here!) I talked about heroines, and how fun it was to create a trio of sisters with a passion for writing. Well, today I’m going to talk about heroes—a subject that is near and dear to all of our hearts.

It’s probably no surprise, but one of the most delightful challenges of the writing process is “fleshing out” the perfect hero for my heroines. While I have some core characteristics that are integral to a worthy man—honor, integrity, humor, a romantic heart—it’s wonderfully intriguing to add all the other little quirks of character that make a hero unique.






In Passionately Yours, the third book in my “Hellions of High Street” trilogy—pssst, which came out yesterday!—I tried something new. Alec McClellan, Caro Sloane’s love interest, is a moody Scottish baron with a sharp tongue and a flinty reserve that she finds hard to crack. Now, I’ve never written a Scottish hero, so it got me to thinking about what’s the archetypal appeal of hunky Highlanders. (Hmmm, that’s a rather nice question to ponder, isn’t it?)










So, here are my thoughts. Scottish heroes are strong, warrior-types. Like the wind-carved granite moors and stormy loch, they are tough, wild, austere, and perhaps a little forbidding. Yet, there’s a softer beauty there—think of how the purple heather looks adds a subtle beauty to the gray granite. You just have to look closely to see it.














Scotsmen also have a poetic soul, though they often take pains to hide it. Robert Burns writes lovely verse, and Sir Walter Scott’s novels are lushly romantic, so trust me, ladies, beneath the gruff growls, a Scottish hero has a tender heart. (Fluttery sigh—isn’t that irresistibly sexy?) It just takes the right heroine who willing to work hard to get him to admit it.  Which is, of course, no easy task.











But if it were easy, it wouldn’t be quite so much fun! I confess, I make Caro Sloane, the heroine of Passionately Yours, have to use a hammer and chisel to break through Alec’s stony façade. But she’s strong enough to persevere—the truth is, she nearly as feisty as he is, so they make a few sparks fly when they clash. Which makes it all the sweeter when the chips fall away revealing two tender hearts aching for true love.

Now, just in case, I haven’t quite convinced you that Scottish heroes are ruggedly handsome and wildly sexy, allow me to state a few names of real life Scots: Gerard Butler. James McAvoy. Ewan McGregor. Sean Connery. I rest my case.







So what about you? Do you find Scottish heroes irresistible? Have you a favorite Highland hunk, either in real life or in romance novels? Do dish! A winner will be chosen at random from among the comments to receive a digital copy of Passionately Yours



The youngest of the Hellions of High Street, Caro Sloane has watched her two sisters have exhilarating encounters with dashing heroes, and now she is longing for some excitement of her own. After all, how can she write truly passionate poetry until she has experienced a Grand Adventure? But that seems unlikely to happen as she’ll be spending the next few weeks in the quiet spa town of Bath, where nothing grand or adventurous ever happens . . . until she and her new friend Isobel are nearly abducted while walking on a quiet country road—only to be rescued by Alec McClellan, the moody and mysterious Scottish lord she met at Dunbar Castle.

Alec has come to England to deal with a treacherous betrayal and fears that his half-sister Isobel is in peril from an old enemy. Does he dare share his secrets with Caro? The bold and brave beauty leaves him no choice, and together they are quickly caught up in a swirl of dangerous intrigue . . . where fiery desire between them may ignite into the greatest danger of all.

54 comments:

  1. I love Scottish heroes. I have since I read Julie Garwood's historicals. My favorite is Gabriel from Julie's "Saving Grace." In real life I'm quite partial to Kevin McKidd.

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    1. Garwood's Saving Grace is my all-time favorite comfort read. Gabriel set the bar for all the Scottish heroes to follow.

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  2. I love Scotish heroes. My favorites at this time are the ones written by Sue-Ellen Welfonder.

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  3. I do enjoy Scottish heroes. My favorites are the men from Jennifer Ashley's Mackenzie Family series.

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    1. She does write delicious Mackenzie heroes, doesn't she? Love them! ♥

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  4. Thanks for having me back at the Dish, PJ! . . . and what could be more fun than dishing on handsome men! (Jane, I must check out Kevin McKidd. It's research, right? )

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  5. I love Scottish hereoes.. Especially when I am picturing those handsome Scott's men while reading...

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  6. Hi Cara! *waving*

    I have enjoyed this series so much and I can't wait to read Passionately Yours. It's on my Kindle calling to me. ;-)

    I knew (well, I hoped) the minute Alec appeared on the page in Sinfully Yours that he'd be Caro's hero. What amazing chemistry these two have!

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  7. I really do love Cara's books. However, I only read print books, so please don't enter me into the contest. I can't wait for this series to come out in print.

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    1. You're in for a treat with these books, Diane. They are wonderful!

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  8. Cara, do you have a projected timetable for the print copies of these books yet?

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    1. Alas, right now I am told they will be out next Jan-Feb-Marh as the same 1-2-3 release. Sorry it's going to take so long

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    2. That is a long time to wait. But, I'm sure that the wait will be worth it. :-)

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    3. Thanks, Diane D. I know many people prefer paper (I love it too) but the trend in publishing is e-books, so my publisher wanted to do it this way.

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  9. My favorite Scotsmen are the heroes from Karen Hawkins' MacLean and Hurst series!

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  10. Hi, Cara! Like PJ, I am eager to read Passionately Yours. As for Scotsmen as heroes, I 'm a big fan of Jennifer Ashley's Mackenzies, and I have adored Emilie Richards's Men of Midnight--Duncan Sinclair, Iain Ross, and Andrew McDougal--since I first read that series nearly twenty years ago. Mary Jo Putney's Ian Cameron is another favorite. I cast my vote for Gerard Butler as RL Hot Scot, although Ewan McGregor is a close second.

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    1. Thanks, Janga! Love all your choices . . . and as for Gerard Butler—fluttery sigh.

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  11. Hi Cara

    I wonder if perhaps authors should be aware that men also like to read romantic novels, though admittedly not many comment on blogs like this. When creating a hero the physical (muscle bound?) hunk may not be so appealing as the lean athletic performer! LOL

    Scotsmen also have a poetic soul, though they often take pains to hide it.
    Humm I'm not sure that the Scottish rugby squad for example, would appreciate your thoughts about their softer side Somehow I can't see them reciting poetry in the pack while engaging the hated English to win the triple crown! LOL
    Perhaps the ability to write romantic poetry rarely coincides with high athletic ability?

    For my own reading I would like to see the more intellectual male qualities emphasised. Remembering that James Clerk Maxwell (Electromagnetic theory) and Peter Higgs (Higgs boson of elementary particle physics) are just two outstanding examples of famous Scottish scientists.

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    1. Very interesting points, Quantum! I actually envision my heroes are the lean, muscled types, not bulging, beefy guys. And couldn't agree more about cerebral being sexy! (Maybe the the rugby guys would fool you, I know some pretty brainy athletes.)

      Love your examples! A good friend of mine is a physics nerd and he's been waxing on about the Higgs boson! He will be delighted to hear that romance readers know who Peter Higgs is!

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  12. Thanks for stopping by, Cara! I love a good brogue and an occasional kilt. When there is a softer side that he is willing to share with his heroine all the better. I was fortunate to be able to receive an ARC of Passionately Yours, I loved it and the series was brilliant. Looking forward to your coming books!

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    1. Thanks So much, Lisascrapbooker. I really appreciate that!

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  13. Oh yes, Scottish heroes rock! But I can't decide who's my fave, maybe at the moment is Sam Heughan from "Outlander" movie. But I guess as long as he has a castle, I'm okay with it. :D :v

    P.S. ~ I can't have enough of your books, Cara E. ;)

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    1. I can't have enough of your books, Cara E. ;)

      I feel exactly the same!

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  14. I love Scottish heroes. I put them up there with the cowboys and I do so love both. I would love to visit the highlands of Scotland but I only get there in books.

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    1. I hope you get to the Highlands, Quilt Lady, because it is spectacularly beautiful, in a very austere, rugged way.(Sort of like Scottish heroes!)

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  15. Congratulations on the new book. I think Scottish heroes can be hard to pull off. Some authors go overboard on the brogue, while others barely reference it in the dialogue.

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    1. Dialect in book is a tricky call. It can be intrusive, and thus annoying. I tend to err the other way.

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  16. Before we talk about heroes I have to let you know how I love that Passionately Yours just cam out yesterday but even more that Scandalously Yours and Sinfully Yours came out in January and February! I don't know how you manged it but it's wonderful to read them so close together instead of waiting months to find out "what happens next" and all I can say is a big thank you!

    Having Scottish blood running through my veins means that I love all Scottish heroes! It's the same as trying to eat only one M&M or decided one color is better than another! You really have to love them all no matter the shape or size they're all a woman could want and aren't just heroes but men with pride and power. Did I mention that I particular like a man in a kilt? Especially if the wind is blowing!

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    1. Jeanne, thanks so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed having the series come out in a 1-2-3 release. When I love the start of a series, I am always eager to get to the next one, so I loved my publishers idea of doing them all together. It did mean I had no book come out last year, because I needed to have all the books done! (To stay on deadline, I finished Scandalously Yours by kerosene lamplight during Hurricane Sandy (charging my laptop with a small generator in between running the sump pump) But it was worth it. It's been fun having them out so fast. I hope readers agree!

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  17. I've been hooked on Scottish heroes ever since I picked up my first Garwood :) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Erin, that a very good reason to be hooked!

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  18. Hello again, Cara! So glad you keep on writing your lovely stories...so that I again have something to look forward to reading. And yes, I adore Highland Hunks! Not just their mysterious kilts (ahem), but also their brogue and brown, their taciturn speech. Personally, I do not like chatty cathies as their chatter drives me up a wall. I like to get said what needs to be said and from time to time make a comment if it's important. I'm of an age that my fave Highland Hunk is still Sean Connery. I'm sad I don't see him much anymore. :-( As for books, I've read too many lovely stories about the Highlands to have a favorite hero. There are just too many to enumerate. And so I continue to read Highland stories because they are like a drug for me. :-) Thanks for this post and for the question. jdh2690@gmail.com

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    1. Thank you, Janice! That's so nice of you to say. I agree—Sean Connery gets an award for being an incredibly sexy man for, um, I don't know how many decades. (Who's counting!) Glad you love Highlanders and Highland stories! Keep reading!

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    2. I was 9 years old the first time I saw Sean Connery in a movie. Even at that young age, I recognized there was something special about him up there on the big screen. He only got better with age!

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  19. Oh yes, I do find Scottish heroes irresistible! My favorite Highland hunk is Gerard Butler, he's got the brogue going and is so funny as well. :D

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  20. Barbara, I think you have plenty of company finding Gerard Butler irresistible!

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  21. There's so many great Scottish heroes in books--I wouldn't know where to begin to choose a favorite! From your list of actual Scottish inspirations, I'd put Sean Connery at the top.

    Thanks for visiting. I'm looking forward to reading your newest.

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    1. Thanks for popping in! Have to agree with you on Sean Connery.

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    2. Thanks, LSUReader. Sean Connery is a great place to start with Scottish heroes!

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  22. My favorite Scottish heroes are from Julie Garwood's books. Her's were the first romances I read and they fall into the "First Love" category. First is Brodick Buchanan from RANSOM and second is Gabriel MacBain from SAVING GRACE. I am long overdue for a reread of these two books in particular and the rest of her historicals.
    It sounds like I will definitely have to read the HELLIONS OF HIGH STREET series. I hope PASSIONATELY YOURS is doing well.

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    1. Thanks so much, librarypat! Julie Garwood is fab! I hope you'll give the Hellions a try too!

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  23. How can you resist a Scottish hero? The brogue along is enough to hook a girl. I too fell in love with Scottish heroes because of Julie Garwood. Saving Grace was the first one I read and it pretty much set the bar for all other books to follow. And I have to say, I don't think I've found many that compare to the level of Gabriel McBain. Can't wait to read Passionately Yours! I always enjoy Cara's books!

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    1. That's so nice of you to say, Ada! I'm flattered to be mentioned with Julie garwood.

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  24. I love Scottish heroes! They're strong, moody and broody. My dream trip would be to Scotland...the land of the kilted man. ;-) I love THE SECRET by Julie Garwood.

    I'm really looking forward to reading this series, Cara. And the covers are just stunning.

    Marcy Shuler

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  25. Sean Connery, he just keeps getting better and better! And what an accent, I could listen to him talk all day long. Thanks for the chance to win this book. I love Cara's books.

    mlawson17 at Hotmail dot com

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  26. Scottish heroes are so much fun! I love the ones by Karen Hawkins and Julie Garwood. Definitely looking forward to reading Cara's latest!

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