It's my pleasure to welcome Rebecca Hagan Lee to TRD today. An award-winning author, Rebecca has received the Maggie Award from Georgia Romance Writers, various Romantic Times awards and has been a Romance Writers of America RITA® finalist. Her books have been published in nine languages and are currently being re-issued in English by Amber House Books.
You can find more information about Rebecca at her website and connect with her online at Facebook.
Please give Rebecca a warm welcome!
Thank you, PJ and Andrea for inviting me to talk about A HINT OF HEATHER, my latest release from Amber House Books.
Set in the highlands of Scotland in 1716, A HINT OF HEATHER is the story of one clan’s desperate struggle to survive the harsh British occupation following the first Jacobite rebellion. Or to use my publisher, Teresa Medeiros’s, tagline: “If a spirited Highland lass kidnaps an English earl, does she get to keep him?”
It’s the story of Lady Jessalyn MacInnes of Clan MacInnes and Neil Claremont, a major in His Majesty’s Royal Corps of Engineers. Jessalyn and Neil find themselves in an unlikely alliance when she becomes the new Laird of the Clan and her well-meaning clansmen decide to abduct a bridegroom for her—and not just any bridegroom, but an English earl and the grandson of “the King-maker”, the powerful Marquess of Chisenden.
Neil is Jessalyn’s wedding gift from the “Ancient Gentlemen of the Clan.”
When I think back on the writing of A HINT OF HEATHER, I realize that the idea of the story was a gift to me. I was sitting in a workshop on writing a bestseller at a Romance Writers of America conference when a scene popped into my head. Like watching a Technicolor movie, I saw a British major hanging upside down and tied across the back of a Highland pony being led by a group of Scottish Highlanders. Neil Claremont’s story had begun…
During a recent move, I came across the description I jotted down of that scene amid the notes of that RWA workshop while packing up my office. Like BRIGADOON and HIGHLANDER or BRAVEHEART and ROB ROY, or the Scottish Highlands, A HINT OF HEATHER was the story I had to tell in order to share my love of Scotland and all things Scottish. It was as magical and rare as the beautiful purple and white heather on the Scottish hillsides.
Unfortunately, the original publication of A HINT OF HEATHER never found its readership. But my friend, Teresa Medeiros, CEO of Amber House Books, thought A HINT OF HEATHER and I deserved a second chance.
You see, once upon I time, I dreamed that writing romance novels readers wanted to read was enough. But after writing and publishing fourteen full-length romance novels and two novellas for Berkley Jove and winning several awards, my career had come to a standstill. I spent the next six years writing and re-writing and submitting proposals and a full-length women’s fiction contemporary to my agent without success. I was told no one wanted to read what I wrote. No one wanted to read Americana westerns or Regencies or late Victorian settings or Scottish books.
I thought my dream was over. Then three things happened to give me hope.
Debra Dixon invited me to write Regency novella for a Christmas anthology. I sold a book to Berkley Sensation. And Teresa Medeiros approached me with her desire to start a boutique publishing house for the purpose of “Entertaining readers. Empowering Writers.”
Since July 2013, my dream and my career have been reborn. Teresa Medeiros and Amber House Books have enabled me to entertain my original readers and to gain new readership. She’s re-branded and published my Americana westerns, GOLDEN CHANCES, HARVEST MOON, SOMETHING BORROWED, and TWICE BLESSED as “The Borrowed Brides Series” and added A HINT OF HEATHER to the list.
I’ve not only been empowered, I’ve been inspired…
The films I mentioned inspired my love for Scotland. What Scottish films or settings inspire YOU?
Rebecca would love to give one Lucky Commenter today a $25 Amazon gift!
I've always been fascinated by Rosslyn Chapel for its historical significance and for the legends linking it the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail.ReplyDelete
All good reasons, Jane! One of these days I'm going to make it over there.Delete
The film that inspired my love of Scotland was BRAVEHEART. Sue-Ellen Welfonder loves Scotland and she posts a lot of blogs about Scotland, so I feel as though I have been there seeing all the sights she talks about.ReplyDelete
Such a good film. I have no doubt that BRAVEHEART inspired a lot of people to visit Scotland, Cathy.Delete
I first read the book KIDNAPPED by Robert Louis Stevenson as a child. I think I have seen every screen adaptation & loved them all. I can see the Highlands & hear the bagpipes as I type. BRAVEHEART & ROB ROY are great favorites too.ReplyDelete
I read KIDNAPPED as a child too, Mary. My love of Scotland has been nurtured from a very early age. :)Delete
I don't watch a lot of movies, but the James Bond movie, Skyfall, does come to mind. I read somewhere that CNN named the movie as the main reason Scotland was named 2013's Top Travel Destination (even though other parts of the movie were filmed elsewhere). Can't you just see the panoramic landscapes now, as envisioned by "James Bond"? Beautiful. Just beautiful.ReplyDelete
I'm a 007 fan but haven't seen any of the Daniel Craig Bond movies. Must rectify that.Delete
Donna Kauffman's Scottish series of books.ReplyDelete
BRAVEHEART is one of my favorites as well. I have a framed movie poster of it hanging in my office. When I was a little girl, I was enthralled by the Disney versions of KIDNAPPED and ROB ROY, but I think my first introduction to Scotland might have been THE THREE LIVES OF THOMASINA starring Patrick McGoohan, (Edward the Longshanks in BRAVEHEART)ReplyDelete
Susan Hampshire and Karen Doltrice.
I was enthralled by THE THREE LIVES OF THOMASINA. I was twelve when it was released. That may have been my first real exposure to Scotland but it could have been BRIGADOON also. Can't remember which I saw first but I loved both.Delete
BRIGADOON was the first live theater performance I ever saw and I never miss an opportunity to see it even now. I didn't see the movie until much later, but it was a great introduction to the the magic of Scotland.Delete
I am STILL blushing at the lovely things Rebecca said about me. I'M the one who's had the privilege of bringing her wonderful books to a fresh audience. She's an absolute delight to work with and I'm beyond excited that a brand new "Borrowed Brides" book is coming soon :)ReplyDelete
I'll be delighted right along with you! :)Delete
Welcome, Rebecca! We're delighted to have you join us today. I'm so glad Teresa approached you about reissuing your books. I missed them the first time around and plan to correct that error now. I also happen to be a reader who loves Americana Westerns!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much. I'm delighted to be here. So many people I've talked to love Americana Westerns. I'm so grateful Teresa made it possible for mine to reach a new audience.Delete
I've always been fascinated by Scotland, though I've never visited. The playing of the pipes has always brought me to tears and photos of her lochs and hills creates a yearning in my soul and has since I was a child. I recently discovered that I'm descended from a Highlands clan. It all makes sense now.ReplyDelete
I'm descended from a Highland Clan, too. Maybe we're cousins from way back! I also believe the love of bagpipes is imprinted on our DNA.Delete
I'm a big believer in generational memory being embedded in our DNA, PJ! Because why not?Delete
Scotland and Ireland have always been my passion. It where my father, who is Irish and my maternal grandfather came from. I have been lucky to visit both places many times..And reading about places I have been delights me even more.ReplyDelete
Rebecca, congratulations on your renewed success!! How exciting! I love your last statement about you being inspired.ReplyDelete
I heard about your book through Teresa on her Facebook page and my friend Sheila, who loves anything Scottish. I have always liked Scottish settings in historical romances: a brawny, handsome man in a kilt wooing a young English miss or a Scottish lass. Big Sigh.
My husband loves the movie "Braveheart", so we watch it whenever it comes on television. I, too, have always thought Scotland would be a neat place to visit. I met a mother and daughter from Scotland who came to visit a cousin of mine. She had met them on her trip to Scotland and they became good friends. Being only 14 at the time, I didn't understand that McDonalds and Campbells were like the American Hatfields and McCoys, but I played a Scottish song for them on the piano....yep, "The Campbells Are Coming." They just smiled and the mother said, insert Scottish accent, "Now, isn't that lovely?" Hahaha. ;)
Thanks for being at TRD today.
I guess I should clarify that their surname was McDonald!Delete
Thank you, Deb. I have definitely found a renewed inspiration for writing. There is sheer joy in being able to write what I love.Delete
I love your story. You had the courage of a Highland Scot to play piano for your guests--especially the tune you chose. ;)Delete
This looks fabulous and considering she is Georgia Maggie winner I can't wait to read her book. I love supporting authors in my state.ReplyDelete
Thanks. Maybe I'll get to meet you at Moonlight & Magnolias in the fall.Delete
Braveheart and Rob Roy are some of my favorite movies about Scotland. Sounds like I would enjoy A Hint of Heather!ReplyDelete
You know, I have yet to see Rob Roy. Must correct that!Delete
You really must see it, PJ. Liam Neesan is superb and the supporting cast is incredible. And, of course the Trossachs region of Scotland makes for a beautiful backdrop.Delete
Looking forward to reading your work!!!!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Tammy! I loved telling Neil and Jessalyn's story.Delete
I don't think any one thing has inspired my fascination with Scotland, but a number of small things. Hearing bag pipes the first time, my great grandfather was part Scottish, so he told lots of stories. The bravery of the men, the fierceness of the women, the heather...all of it conspired to win me over.ReplyDelete
Laney, the Scottish landscapes in SKYFALL were gorgeous. I fell in love with the old manor house on the moor with its secret priest hole and tunnel and the elegant arched windows. I didn't see the CNN piece, but I can believe the movie would certainly boost Scottish tourism. 2014 is the year to come home to Scotland. I'm hoping to do so later in the summer.ReplyDelete
The Isle of SkyeReplyDelete
I haven't been to Skye yet, but I look forward to going.Delete
I love all things Scottish because of books written in different years, but the men are always big and strong, and I read his accent in my head lolReplyDelete
Scottish heroes always speak to me in Sean Connery's voice! If you have voices in your head it might as well be Sean.Delete
I second that, Rebecca! :)Delete
the castles, pictures, and other historical romances by julie garwood and catherine coulter have made me fall in love with scotland. the brogue makes me shiver. lolReplyDelete
Julie Garwood's Scottish historicals are among my favorites. In fact, her SAVING GRACE is my all-time favorite comfort read. Makes me want to board the next place to Scotland!Delete
Scotland is just so romantic as a setting, and I have to admit that I love it when a Scottish hero uses that kilt as an all-purpose cloth...and wraps himself up in it with his lady.ReplyDelete
It wasn't a film. It was my brother's honeymoon video from their trip there. It was a very realistic view and I would love to go myself and see it.ReplyDelete
Lucky brother...and his bride! :)Delete
This book sounds great. I am buying it asap. Scotland is a favorite book setting, but there are not enough movies featuring Scotland. I remember "I Know Where I am Going."ReplyDelete
Thank you, flip. My favorite more modern Scottish movie is DEAR FRANKIE starring Gerard Butler and Emily Mortimer.Delete
I am looking forward to reading these!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Judy. I appreciate it.Delete
Congratulations Rebecca. I just love Scottish settings, Braveheart is definitely one of faves but I really enjoyed Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series and am patiently awaiting the television series.ReplyDelete
Uron, you and half the romance reading world are awaiting that series! *grin*Delete
I loved the Thomasina movie, but I think my love of Scotland came from my junior high pen pal, a Scottish boy from Glasgow. We wrote to each other for several years. I still have the calendar he sent me with photos of Scotland.ReplyDelete
I love all the friendships that grew from those pen pal assignments!Delete
Movies haven't inspired my fascination with Scotland. Books have! I have read SO many Highlander historical romances! I will actually be visiting Scotland and Ireland in a couple of weeks, and I can't wait!ReplyDelete
I hope you have a wonderful time! And I wish I was going with you! I always tell people that anytime they need a traveling partner to Scotland or Ireland to call me. I'm your girl.Delete
Lucky you, Cheryl! Have a wonderful time!Delete
Braveheart is what got me started on my love for Sxotland. Then came Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series (which is now going to be a series on Starz - SQUEE!) And one day I hope to visit this gorgeous country.ReplyDelete
and it would help if I hit the correct keys (or checked my comment before hitting REPLY!) to spell Scotland! argh!Delete
Typos happen to all of us. I'm currently being "helped" by my miniature schnauzer. Any typos I make are hers. :)Delete
I'm a little biased about all things Scottish. My family is of Scottish ancestry so we were all introduced to plaids, tartans and bagpipes at an early age. Every summer when I was a kid we attended a family reunion. My fondest memory was of a young boy of 4 or 5 in a kilt. Of course someone had to ask him what a Scotsman wore under his kilt. In reply the young kilt wearer prompted flipped up his kilt revealing.......shorts. :-) So apparently young Scotsmen in the 20th century wear shorts under their kilts. Congrats, Rebecca and I wish you great success in your new series.ReplyDelete
How wonderful that your family keeps your heritage alive for the younger generations!Delete
I love Brigadoon, even the parts where it makes no sense. :)ReplyDelete
ashleaharvey @ yahoo.com
You must mean the parts where everyone sings and dances. ;)Delete
My parents were from Scotland so I get it honestly. Rob Roy and Braveheart!ReplyDelete
My husband was in the Navy stationed at Holy Loch. Alas, it was before I met him, but his brother married a local girl, so my sister-in-law is Scottish.Delete
One of my favorite settings for books is ScotlandReplyDelete
I've got Scottish roots, whit a bunch of cousins who live in Scotland and come over for the occasional family reunion. I don't love the colors in my clan tartan, but it's cool anyway because it's MY CLAN tartan. So that's what inspires me!ReplyDelete
I enjoyed visiting Edinburgh even though it's been 20 years.ReplyDelete
44 Scotland Street is a wonderful series. Alexander McCall Smith is one of my favorite all time authors.ReplyDelete
Anything Scotland inspires me! And just what publisher told you no one wants to read a book set in Scotland???? That's crazy!ReplyDelete
My agent told me no one wanted to buy a Scottish book from me. They weren't selling and my name wasn't recognizable. She's doesn't represent me any more.Delete
Braveheart comes to mind first, but really any of them because the scenery is so beautiful.ReplyDelete
I took a trip to Scotland in my early years and brought back a wool blanket woven there. Favorite thing to do is wrap up on colder days (or when I crank the AC) and read books set in Scotland!ReplyDelete
Sounds wonderful! And I'm thrilled to learn that I'm not the only one guilty of cranking up the AC to light a fire in the fireplace and wrap up in a cozy blanket and read. It's my idea of heaven.Delete
Both Braveheart and Brigadoon are favorites of mine...but its hard to compare the 2! They seem like different worlds!ReplyDelete
Hey, as long as we're talking Scotland today, can anyone identify a book for me?? I read it when I was a teenager back in the late 60's, early 70's. It was a bit of a time travel book (I think), but the scene I clearly remember is where they used a landscape with moss and rocks to create a map of where various troops were at. So the scouts could check in and make changes so others could casually walk by, and if they knew what was up, they could see what was happening. I read it several times, but now I just can't remember the title! I would enjoy reading it again.
"I Know Where I'm Going"ReplyDelete
I've never seen I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING. I'll look it up. Thanks, jcp.Delete
Brigadoon & The Quiet Man (I know, Ireland not Scotland) are two of my most favorite movies everReplyDelete
The 39 Steps is my ultimate favorite ever. I enjoy many novel set in Scotland. Congratulations and best wishes.ReplyDelete
Thank you. And thank you for reminding me of THE 39 STEPS. I had forgotten about it.Delete
All of the 1950's novels written by A.D.Scott are memorable and fascinating.ReplyDelete
I don't know those books, but I'll find them. Thanks.Delete
my fiance promised me a trip to Scotland and Ireland for our honeymoon. I've read the Highlander series books from Melissa mayhue and I'm excited to see that this book is also capturing my interest will look forward to reading it soon.ReplyDelete
Congratulations on your engagement! Have a wonderful honeymoon in Scotland and Ireland! I wish you all the best!Delete
Congrats on the new opportunity to increase your audience. I love the idea of a "boutique publisher". Your novel A HINT OF HEATHER sounds like a great read. All the best for the future.ReplyDelete
I have only wonderful things to say about my "boutique publisher". Thank you. I hope you enjoy meeting Jessalyn and Neil and Clan MacInnes.Delete
I have a bit of scottish in me, I think I have always been interested in it. I have vague memories of scottish ghosts on tv in the 70's when i was a kid and loved them! Bewitched and scooby doo always had red haired scottishmen ghosts in kilts. LOL who knew they could also be sexy?ReplyDelete
I thought of more movies. MRS. BROWN starring Judi Dench and Billy Connolly, MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS starring Vanessa Redgrave and Timothy Dalton.ReplyDelete
Oh, and I adore Brian Keith's character in THE RARE BREED starring James Stewart, Maureen O'Hara, Brian Keith and I think, Juliet Mills.ReplyDelete
Congratulations on your opportunity! I am woefully lacking in my knowledge of Scottish films and settings. Most of my exposure comes from JD Robb books :)ReplyDelete
Braveheart and am also looking forward to Outlander which is set in Scotland in the 1700's.ReplyDelete
I didn't know that Outlander was being made into a movie! How wonderful! Do you know when it will be released?Delete
Outlander is being made into a series on Starz and premiers this summer. Watch the trailer: http://www.starz.com/originals/outlander/videos/video/379Delete
I've read more Scottish romance than I have seen movies, but I truly do like Braveheart!ReplyDelete
Hi Rebecca, you are a new author to me but will check out your book. Love Scottish romances. I have always wanted to go to Scotland but only get there in books. I will be watching for Outlander to come out in a movie, sound awesome. Thanks for the great giveaway and sharing your books with us.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much! I really appreciate it. I'm so happy to make new friends and find new readers. And, of course, you can't go wrong with OUTLANDER. It's a classic!Delete
I keep thinking I must have been Scottish in another lifetime lol. Loved Braveheart and Scottish medievals are my favorite types of stories.ReplyDelete
Scotland is my favorite location for a book. My ancestors were Scots and I hope to visit some day. Bagpipes sing to my heart and soul.ReplyDelete
Patricia, I enjoyed your post. I happy for you that you've been given a second chance at writing. -TerriReplyDelete
Loved your post. For me Scotland, anywhere there!, is a favorite spot for my reading and for any movies set there. Scotland and the bagpipes just call to Scottish side of me.ReplyDelete
Congratulations on reinventing your career! Teresa recommending you would have maid me a fan if I didn't already love your books especially the Borrowed Brides series!ReplyDelete
Thank you for your kind words, Donna. I'm so glad you like the "Borrowed Brides" series. I'm looking forward to giving you another Borrowed Bride soon. I am so fortunate to have Teresa in my corner!Delete
I think I saw "Braveheart" five times in the theatre. Brigadoon has always been a favorite, and at the other end of the spectrum "Highlander". Fog, heather, and last names that begin with "Mc"ReplyDelete
Did you happen to see the first BRAVEHEART before it was re-edited for length? There were scenes that did not appear in the dvd or Blu-Ray Director's Cut dvd? I know I didn't imagine it!ReplyDelete
Rebecca, I am SURE you didn't imagine it! I saw it in all it's lengthy theatrical release glory. It was epic. I felt like a dork, but I cried every time I saw it.Delete
Congrats to Rebecca on her new release!!! Thanks for such an interesting post :) The only "scottish" film that I can recall seeing is Braveheart. Before Mel went crazy and I started boycotting his movies.ReplyDelete
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
It has been my very great pleasure talking with all of you today. Thank you, PJ, Andrea, and Ladies for welcoming me so warmly. Goodnight.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Rebecca. It's been our pleasure!ReplyDelete
I do admire the gorgeous scenery found in the highlands of ScotlandReplyDelete
Along with BRAVEHEART & ROB ROY, I would also add the animated Disney /Pixar film BRAVE featuring Scottish Princess Merida.
I enjoy Karen Hawkin's series of stories featuring the MacLean and Hurst families.
I really admire Scotsmen with their history of clan loyalty, integrity, pride, sense of honor and athleticism.
I also admire the rugged landscape of New Zealand featured in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
I love Scottish highland romances, That's probably why I also love Braveheart. I've always wanted to visit Scotland for the castles, the lakes, the kilted men and the Scottish burr.ReplyDelete
Gosh. Braveheart is the only one I can think of and I haven't seen it in years. But I should watch it again. I remember I liked it.ReplyDelete
In our house Braveheart is a favorite Scottish film. My husband insists it's a romance but I had to disagree with him since there is definitely no HEA for that couple.ReplyDelete
Odd your agent and publisher said no one wanted to read what you wrote. Highland set stories, Westerns, and suspense are my favorites and always have been.ReplyDelete
I really have no favorite Highland set movies. My love of the area stems from books. The first romances I read were set during medieval times, many in the Highlands. Since then I have read many set in the Highlands from medieval through Regency to modern times with some paranormal ones thrown in. There is something about the harsh but beautiful land and the strong, loyal, resilient people who live there that resonates with me.