Gerri Russell’s Latest Heroic Laird

My guest today is award-winning author Gerri Russell, who’ll chat with us about her latest Scottish historical.  Welcome, Gerri!

Hi, Nancy. It’s great to be back here with you all in the Lair.

Your new release, This Laird of Mine, continues your Scottish highland theme. What draws you to that setting?

Why do I love Scotland? I wish I could take you all with me right now and show you, but let me list a few of the reasons here: 

1)     Aberdeen was built from granite and sometimes when the sun shines, it sparkles. It’s a beautiful city and is the third largest in Scotland. I was surprised by the sandy coastline. That’s something you’d expect to see in California, not Scotland.

aberdine

 2)     Edinburgh’s old town still looks Medieval. For someone who writes in this timeperiod, seeing what things looked like helps enrich my writing. The entrance to Rosslyn Chapel is below.

Rosslyn

3)     Scotland has over 3,000 castles. I have a thing about castles…Love them! Eileen Donan is one of my favorites!

EileenDonan 

4)     The Isle of Sky is magical The Island is not only beautiful, it has a rich history of clan warfare, the Highland Clearances, the infamous ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ and the Jacobite Rebellion.

 Skye 

5)     Scotland has some of the oldest settlements at Skara Brae. It was buried under the sand for a long time until a great storm hit in 1850 and revealed this treasure on the Orkney Islands.

 SkaraBrae

6)     The official animal of Scotland is the unicorn. It really is! Check it out here. http://bit.ly/1aY2cLK

 

7)     Glencoe is breathtaking. It’s the only place in the world that I’ve been to where the scenery made me cry, I was so overwhelmed by the natural beauty. This picture doesn’t capture the full colors or sensory details of the moment.

 Glencoe 

8)     Scotland has a bad ass Disney Princess. Merida has given a whole new generation of girls the message that sometimes you can be your own hero, and that you don’t need a man to make you complete.

Who are the hero and heroine of This Laird of Mine, and what keeps them apart?

 Originally readers will have met my Highland Bachelors in A Laird for Christmas, where six valiant heroes answer a plea from Lady Jane Lennox to help her save her castle. She needs a husband, but can select only one of the six men who come to aide her. Once she chooses her one and only, that left five other very worthy men who deserved to find their own happiness. The series continues in This Laird of Mine featuring Jules MacIntyre and Claire Elliot.

Claire Elliot has two weeks to win the heart of Jules MacIntyre—and then break it. To save her wards from a vicious blackmailer, she dares to enter the laird’s castle, claiming to be the wife he’d recently wed. But no such wife exists!

The brooding Jules invented a bride to silence his well-meaning, matchmaking friends, so he never expected her to arrive on his doorstep. He is suspicious of this beautiful stranger, but he’s also steadfast, courageous, and effortlessly seductive. In fact, he’s the very man Claire would choose to love…if she weren’t forced to betray him.

She is an intruder at best, and a liar at worst, but still Claire enthralls Jules like no woman before. He agrees to let her stay—at least until he uncovers the truth—and soon she is filling his manor and scarred heart with the warmth they have both been lacking.

While an unknown enemy has chosen Claire as a weapon to destroy the laird, Jules vows to fight for the passion he has found with his fantasy bride made flesh.

If you’re interested, I have a book trailer up at You Tube for This Laird of Mine at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQsiT-zAyz4

Would you like to share an excerpt?

Laird_Mine_full1-198x300Certainly. I love “first meet” scenes, so here are Jules and Claire when they first set eyes on each other.

“Greetings, my dearest friends,” an unfamiliar voice called from the doorway behind her.

Claire stiffened, forced her chin up, and slowly turned around to see the man who was her husband. Conversation moved around her as the newly dubbed laird of Kildare Manor greeted his friends. Claire saw their smiles and heard the joy in their voices as they reunited until all sound faded, and all she heard was the sound of her own heartbeat as it filled her ears. She waited. She watched. She couldn’t take her eyes off him and hoped no one else noticed the fact that he would wait to greet his “wife” last.

But those moments with his friends gave her time to appraise him. She wasn’t sure what she expected, never having seen even a portrait of him, but it wasn’t the handsome man before her. His wavy blond hair fell to the collar of his coat. He was much taller than she expected, and his body though relaxed still hinted at lithe power. His jaw was strong and defined, his cheekbones high, and he had a slight cleft in his chin. Her gaze drifted to his lips—lips that were full and expressive and made for kissing. The thought warmed her cheeks as she met his startling blue eyes.

Those eyes narrowed on her. “My dear, sweet wife.” His voice was rough-smooth with the hint of a Scottish burr. His gaze shuttered as he came toward her. Only a slight curl to his upper lip indicated his current disposition. He was angry, but he would not reveal that to his friends. Only to her.

The air between them all but crackled as he took a final step closer. He leaned toward her, slid his arm about her waist and pulled her forward, caging her against his body.

Her nerves flicked and her fantasy of having him wrap her in his arms and accept her without question shattered about her feet. This close to him, the scent of soap and mint filled her senses. She could feel the tension thrumming through his body, see the challenge in his eyes.

“Jules.” She didn’t press back or retreat. She held her body erect and tried to force a look of nonchalance into her gaze. He studied her eyes, her lips. Against her will her lips parted.

“Oh, how I have missed you,” he said. His voice lowered to a gravelly purr as his gaze fixed on her mouth.

“I’ve missed you, as well, my dearest husband.” The words rang with outright challenge as she met his gaze, dared him to reveal that they had never met.

Will there be other books in this series?

I’m thrilled to say yes. The series continues with A Laird in Shining Armor in the Spring of 2015. 

You’re also venturing into contemporary romance. Please tell us a bit about that.

My first contemporary romance will be release in December. Right now it’s titled A Taste of Temptation, but the title will change. Too many books with a similar title out there. The book is a labor of love. It takes my interest in cooking and pairs it with the city where I live, Seattle. Mix together the sweetness of joy, the bitterness of betrayal, some salty angst, a dollop of spicy attraction and the luscious taste of love and you have the recipe for A Taste of Temptation. Stop by my website for updates on a title and release information www.gerrirussell.net

Thanks for hosting me today, Nancy! It’s always fun to be here with you all.

It was great to have you!

Of all the places Gerri listed above, which would you most want to visit, and why?

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Comments

53 Comments

  • Caren Crane says:

    Gerri, welcome back! I seriously want to explore ALL of Scotland. I’ve never been and it’s on my “must visit” list, for sure. I want to crawl (and hike) and Edinburgh, but I also want to see the lesser-known parts of Scotland. I wish I had the stamina (and time and money) to do a months-long hike through the country, meeting locals and seeing all the things tourists don’t normally get to see.

    Then again, there are several countries I’d like to visit that way!

    Now you’ll have me daydreaming at the Dreaded Day Job all day! 😀

    • Gerri Russell says:

      Caren,

      It’s great to be in the lair today! I can’t wait to go back to Scotland someday soon. The pace of life was so much kinder there. The people seem to get as much done each day as we do, yet they also find time to relax and share stories and make time for each other. I miss that sometimes more than the scenery.

    • Caren, congrats on the rooster! Maybe you can put him to work at the DDJ. I also wish I had the stamina for a hiking trip. There are so many beautiful footpaths in the British Isles.

  • Caren Crane says:

    Hey, how did I get the GR? I didn’t even mean to do that. He’ll cause all sorts of ruckus at the office. Ack!!

    • Gerri Russell says:

      Congrats on the rooster! The heroine in THIS LAIRD OF MINE had to learn how to pluck a pheasant. You could always threaten him with that and ~maybe~ he’ll behave. 🙂

  • I’d have to say the Orkney Islands and the Isle of Skye because I’ve been to the rest. 🙂 We only had a week in Scotland a few years back and as my book was set in the Highlands, we concentrated our sightseeing there. But I’d love to go back and take a more leisurely view of Scotland.

    • Donna, I am so looking forward to The Whiskey Laird’s Bed!

      That sounds like a great trip you outlined. I’m partial to islands.

    • Gerri Russell says:

      Hi Donna!

      I spent three weeks in Scotland and it still wasn’t enough time. There is so much to see. One of the things I liked about seeing the outer islands was that the travelers were so few. It was nice to enjoy the scenery without the usual tourist-y feel.

  • Sorry for the late posting, everyone! I somehow set the post time as this afternoon and didn’t catch mistake.

  • Gerri, all the places you visited are fabulous! If I had to pick one, it would be Skara Brae for all the history or Skye for the Flora MacDonald connection(do I have that right?)

    I have This Laird of Mine and am eager for life to settle down so I can read it. I love all your books.

    • Gerri Russell says:

      Good morning, Nancy! Thank you for hosting me today. Yes, you have that right. I saw Flora’s grave when I was there. It’s on the top of a hill where you can look out over the land below. It’s very scenic and memorable.

  • Deb says:

    Gerri and Nancy, thank you for the post today. Gerri, your book sounds so good. It’s been a long while since I’ve read a story set in Scotland, and Claire sounds like a saucy heroine. 🙂

    I think the scenery of Glencoe looks beautiful, but I think I would like to visit a castle in Scotland. I’ve seen 4 castles, but was only able to visit one. Kronsborg Castle in Denmark; the setting for HAMLET.

    Congrats on your release!

    • Gerri Russell says:

      Hi Deb,

      Thanks for stopping by! I’m with you, castles are wonderful. I love visiting and thinking about all the people who’ve lived there and what their lives were like a the time.

      If you ever make it to Scotland, be sure to head to Aberdeenshire and do the Castle Trail. You can see 17 castles along the trail. 🙂

    • Deb, aren’t all those pictures gorgeous? If you like Scottish historicals, you should definitely try Gerri’s. They’re great.

      How cool that you saw Hamlet’s castle! I’m always up for touring a castle.

  • catslady says:

    I would have to say anywhere in Scotland because historicals set in Scotland are my favorite type of reads. I must have been Scottish in another life lol.

  • Jane says:

    Hello Gerri and Nancy,
    I would love to head to Edinburgh to visit Rosslyn Chapel. I’ve always been fascinated by the stories and legends regarding the Knight’s Templar and Robert the Bruce.

    • Gerri Russell says:

      Jane,

      So glad you could join me here today! If you like Rosslyn Chapel, I’m sure you’ve seen the movie The da Vinci Code? It was filmed there. Dan Brown helped save the chapel by all the tourists he sent there after the film. They’ve been able to do some much-needed restorations.

    • Jane, I find Robert the Bruce fascinating, too. I’d love to see Rosslyn Chapel.

  • Jane says:

    Hello Gerri and Nancy,
    I would love to head to Edinburgh to visit Rosslyn Chapel. I’ve always been fascinated by the stories and legends regarding the Knights Templar and Robert the Bruce.

  • Helen says:

    Hi Gerri and Nancy

    What a great post and I do love the sound of this series 🙂

    I would love to visit all of the places you have mentioned but if I had to pick one it would be The Isle of Sky I have read many books with this place in them so it is a place I would love to go to

    Congrats on the release

    Have Fun
    Helen

  • Amy Conley says:

    I’d have to say Old Edinburgh. I love history, and my dream is to visit, for a long while, all of Scotland, I, d have to start there.

    Your hero is described as having “long, wavy blondle hair” but the guy on the cover has dark hair. This is one of those little things which drive me crazy! Makes me feel like the person who did the cover never read the book and the neither did the editor. Sorry, just one of those things which drives me bonkers.

    • Amy, that sounds like a wonderful trip. I’d love to poke around in Edinburgh.

      I understand your feeling about discrepancies like the one you mentioned. It used to drive me crazy when comic book covers depicted events not in the comic. Actually, cover artists don’t read the books so far as I know. They don’t have time to do that and keep up with the production of covers. I can’t speak to Gerri’s situation, but unfortunately, authors often have limited cover input.

    • Gerri Russell says:

      Hi Amy,

      Put Edinburgh on your bucket list. It’s worth it!

      As far as the cover is concerned, it’s one of those things authors have little control over. Unless we are a huge name and have cover input, we usually get the covers we get. I wasn’t too unhappy about the hair, the rest of the cover model was … exquisite. 🙂

      • Amy Conley says:

        okay I will give you the model being exquisite, even without blonde hair. Just a pet peeve of mine. Makes me
        Feel the author is being disrespected.

        And several people have read the book BEFORE covers are done. I just think it is an insult most authors don’t deserve.

  • Becke says:

    Nancy and Gerri,
    That is so unfair to make us choose. I just want to visit Scotland. I’m not choosy. I’ll have one of each, please.

    Loved the dialogue with the pretense for the friends and the challenge of H/H.
    b

  • Shannon says:

    The castle tour. I love to see castles; not sure I’d have liked to live in one, but they’re fascinating. My favorite in the UK was Dover Castle.

    • Shannon, I also love castles but prefer to live somewhere with central heat/ac and actual plumbing.

      Dover Castle is one of my favorites, too. Not only is it huge, but it has its floors and ceilings.

    • Gerri Russell says:

      Shannon,

      You are so right about castles. Fun to look at and dream about, terrible to live in!

      I’m so jealous of your trip to Dover Castle. That is on my to-be-seen list.

  • Sorry to be away so long. The boy and I have been running errands, and then the car decided to act up.

  • What a great post and a great excerpt! Can’t wait to read the book! I’ve been to Edinburgh and it truly is an amazing city! I’ve never been to Glencoe and I think I would love to see it. There is something about the beauty of the Scottish countryside – a silent majesty that touches your deepest soul. Like you, Geri, I have a thing for castles. Any and all of the castles would be a fine destination for me.

    • Gerri Russell says:

      Thanks for stopping by Louisa.

      Do you have a favorite castle somewhere in the world whether you’ve been there or not? I love the ruins of a castle almost as intriguing as the ones that are still occupied. How about you?

    • Louisa, I’ve always thought your travels were wonderful. I would’ve loved to hear you sing in thesecplaces.

  • Gerri, welcome back to the lair. Nancy, great interview! Gerri, I love these new titles – they’re romantic and sexy and clever at the same time. Did you come up with them? Like you, I’m a Scotland fanatic. There’s just something magical in the air there that I haven’t felt anywhere else. One of my favorite places is Iona – you really can feel that this is a sacred place and you’re privileged to be there.

    • Gerri Russell says:

      Anna, I came up with the titles myself. There are six books in the series, all of which have LAIRD in the title. That was a little tricky to come up with that many title no one had ever used before.

      And I agree, Iona was special. I spent a whole day there and it was one of the most peaceful days of my life.

    • Anna, thanks! I’ve never been to Iona but would like to see it. That and Lindisfarne. Isn’t Macbeth buried on Iona?

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    Hi Gerri! *waves madly* Am I allowed to say All of the Above?

    I really, really, really want to go to Rosslyn Chapel. Totally HAVE to see the Tattoo at the Ediburgh Castle. Must see Loch Loman and Loch Awe.

    The Kelpies. The standing stones. The Witchery.

    Yeah…list is long and varied.

    • Gerri Russell says:

      Jeannie,

      What a great list! Can I come with you? I’m starting to miss all those places. I simply must go back again. 🙂

    • Jeanne, I would love to see the Edinburgh Tattoo one day. It looks so dramatic, all those kilted musicians in front of the castle.

  • Alyn says:

    I would love to explore all of Scotland. I always see so many beautiful pictures.

    • Alyn, it does look gorgeous, doesn’t it? I would love to explore it, too.

    • Gerri Russell says:

      Alyn,

      So glad you could join us! Believe me, the pictures cannot capture just how beautiful Scotland is. The lush greenery, the smell of heather and peat…there’s no what to fully capture that. 🙂

  • Gerri Russell says:

    Nancy, Thank you so much for having me as a guest today. It was great fun taking a journey through Scotland and taking about books.

    To everyone who dropped, thanks for spending a little time in the lair.

    Happy Reading, everyone!

    Best wishes,

    Gerri

  • Laurie G says:

    I would love to hike the Glencoe area. The Highlands are so gorgeous an dimpressive on calendars. I’d like to see the Isle of Skye too. If there are castles in the vicinity I’d check them out too.

    I’d like to visit the Loch with the Lochness Monster. I’d like to visit a museum to check out Scotland’s colorful past and independence struggle from England.

    Actually all the places you mentioned sound fascinating and beautiful. I’d visit a pub and eat some Scottish food except haggis.

    Great excerpt. I want to follow your series!

  • bn100 says:

    Isle of Sky looks nice