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Meet My Friend . . . Samantha James

 As promised, I would like to introduce you to my friend, Samantha James.  She was kind enough to let me bug her with questions about her writing and her new book, Bride of a Wicked Scotsman, and then I even roped her into blogging on Thursday as well. That’s what kind of friend she is! So without further ado, here is Samantha James:

EB:  What do you think the lure of the plaid is? How come Scotsmen make such great heroes?

SJ:  The accent. Hands down, it’s the accent. When I think of Scotsmen, several things pop into my mind – well, actually it’s several men.  One is Mel Gibson in the role of William Wallace in the movie Braveheart.  Another is Sean Connery in . . . well, anything. Still another is Adrian Paul in the TV series Highlander.  The commonality? Three men who are extremely easy on the eye and with that very sexy Scottish accent. What woman wouldn’t mind being swept off her feet by the likes of Mel Gibson, Sean Connery and Adrian Paul?

Many a reader lost her heart to Scotsman Alec Kincaid in Julie Garwood’s The Bride (including me!)  Jamie Fraser in Outlander pulled us in even more. Maybe it’s just me, but I suspect that Braveheart actually did go a long way in casting Scotsmen as beloved romance heroes. Mel Gibson’s portrayal of William Wallace brought to life the strength, the intensity, the passion and the fire of the Scottish warrior (remember this is just my humble opinion!).

The Scottish have been fighting to survive for centuries, warring between the clans – fighting the English  –  being beaten, but never into the ground.  In every Scottish hero lurks the soul of a warrior, and it’s that innate fierceness that’s so compelling and irresistible. That, IMHO, is the lure of the plaid.

And – oh, yeah — let’s not forget the accent.

EB:  See me trying to determine which picture to download, Mel, Adrian or Sean. Oh, the terrible dilemmas I go through for all of you. Okay, back to Samantha. Can you please tell us a little bit about Bride of a Wicked Scotsman. What drew you to write this story?

SJ: Well, Bride of a Wicked Scotsman is the last book in the McBride family trilogy. Alec has been calmly sitting on the sidelines for two books, doing all those duke-ish things a duke must do.  I saved his story for last, because I needed just the right feisty heroine to set him back on his heels. She didn’t make her presence known to me until my husband and I made a visit to Ireland. I was standing at the top of a cliff, on the ruins of Dunluce Castle, looking a hundred feet down where the castle’s kitchen, had tumbled into the sea during a raging storm. Yes, it really happened. In fact, it’s mentioned in Chapter 1 of the book. Okay, I’m prattling. Back to the book.

There’s an ancient curse. A deathbed promise. Skeletons rattling in the closet. Alec finds himself tricked into marriage with Irishwoman Lady Maura O’Donnell. Alec knows she’s after something, he just doesn’t know what. You’ll see Irish pitted against Scots  (read: Maura vs. Alec, or perhaps it’s Alec vs. Maura).  I had loads of fun writing Bride of a Wicked Scotsman.

EB: Speaking of reading Bride of A Wicked Scotsman, I just want all of you to know that while it doesn’t come out until February 24th, you can read a great excerpt on Samantha’s site. Now don’t go racing off and read it just yet, because I still have more questions for Samantha and you don’t want to miss the contest. So back to Samantha. What has always intrigued me about your books is the many time periods you write in. Do you have a favorite?

SJ:  Oooh, Elizabeth, I should have known you’d ask me that question! It’s a tough one because I can’t choose! I love medievals. I’m the first to admit I love massive stone castles and mist curling around the towers.  I love being able to drop a character into the events of the period – so much turmoil – and it makes for immediate conflict. But I love the Regency era just as much. But I also love being able to see my heroine dressed up in a glittering ball gown on the arm of a dashing Regency buck. But it isn’t so much the time period that I choose, but rather the characters that often dictate the time period.  Here’s an example:  In His Wicked Ways, I knew what how I wanted the book to start. I knew what I wanted for the very first line. Be not afraid. In my mind, the era could only be medieval. It simply wouldn’t wash in any other time period, since the hero kidnaps the heroine from a convent. His Wicked Ways is just happens to be about warring clans, and course, the requisite Scottish hero. I built the story and characters around that line. Sometimes the muse works in mysterious ways.

EB: Anyone else notice how she neatly avoided answering that one? I don’t blame her. I have a soft spot for medievals as well. Since I know you are research geek like myself, anything you discovered researching Bride of a Wicked Scotsman you’d like to share?

SJ: Well, I found out I knew precious little about the Spanish Armada. I thought all of their ships were in the English Channel. I had no idea the Spanish Armada sailed anywhere near Ireland. After a number of skirmishes with the English fleet, the Armada started to flee, sailing around Scotland and Ireland. One of the ships, the galleon Girona, sank near Dunluce Castle in a horrid storm; another part of my plot that was spawned there. The ship was filled with treasure, gold and silver. What’s the first thing you think of when it comes to treasure? Pirates. And that’s when the idea of pirates and curses lurking in Alec’s past came about . . .  at least what I  think of. And I knew then that one of Alec’s ancestors was a pirate — more the way my muse works!

EB: Thanks Samantha for dropping by!

And now onto the contest.  All you need to do is post a comment on this blog and you are entered. Want a second entry?  Send a friend over to comment. A third chance? Use the social links on the comments page and link this blog to your Facebook, MySpace, or wherever you hang out. Then you’ll be entered three times. A fourth entry? Post again on Thursday. Send a friend. Use the social links to increase your odds. In all, you can earn six entries into the contest.

And the winner? You’ll get an autographed advance reader’s copy of Bride of a Wicked Scotsman and movie tickets to Regal Cinemas.

Don’t you love it when I invite friends to visit? So comment away, ask Samantha questions, tell us what you think of the excerpt . . .

43 comments to “Meet My Friend . . . Samantha James”

  1. Keira Soleore
    February 2nd, 2009 at 7:35 am · Link

    Hellooooo, Samantha!! So great to see the inside deets of your story, especially pitting the two Celtic cultures against one another.

    But first things first…the Scottish accent, the kilt, Julie Garwood’s medievals, rough-tough warrior men with hearts of gold…well, what’s not to like?

    Rob Roy was another story that I really liked (though it’s set much later than Braveheart). Mel Gibson fills that anachronistic plaid ooh very nicely; adore Braveheart. And Gerard Butler in a kilt? (swoon)

    Hooray for the medievals. I’ve been lamenting the loss of them for a few years now. No one was writing them. Now suddenly they’re gaining popularity again, and I’m a happy camper.

    First we have this hunk Alec. Then we have Scottish v. Irish. Then we have castle kitchens falling to the sea, Spanish gold, pirates (yes!), ancient curses… WHEN?! is this book being released? Tomorrow?!?!

  2. Keira Soleore
    February 2nd, 2009 at 7:37 am · Link

    Posted to FBook.

  3. Elizabeth
    February 2nd, 2009 at 7:40 am · Link

    Thanks Keira! And I have to admit, I adore pirates as well. That’s why I made Thomas Dashwell one. Well, he’s a privateer, but a darn good pirate at heart.

  4. Sarah Tormey
    February 2nd, 2009 at 9:22 am · Link

    I agree, the accent is certainly a large part of the draw! But let’s not forget the kilts . . .

    I loved the excerpt and can’t wait of my copy to arrive in the mail! Although I am still hopeful I’ll win the advanced copy contest.

  5. PJ Ausdenmore
    February 2nd, 2009 at 9:52 am · Link

    Terrific interview! Samantha, I love this series and am counting down the days until Alec’s story hits the shelves. I haven’t read the excerpt. I want to wait until I have the book in hand so I can savor *every* word from beginning to end.

    Count me among those who adore medievals. I’m so glad to see more authors writing them. If they are set in Scotland that’s even better!

    Ah yes, Dashwell. Sigh…


  6. PJ Ausdenmore
    February 2nd, 2009 at 9:57 am · Link

    Posted to my Facebook profile.

  7. Samantha J.
    February 2nd, 2009 at 9:58 am · Link

    Keira, that’s so funny! Rob Boy is on my list, too. It’s a testament to how the passion and love endures. I was running long, so I didn’t list it. Have you heard the soundtrack? It’s wonderful — and so is Last of the Mohicans.

    Bride of a Wicked Scotsmam goes on sale February 24th. Mark the date!

    And Elizabeth, that picture of Mel . . . that’s the one I see in my mind’s eyes whenever I think of him in Braveheart. His expression, his eyes, so blue and intense, his expression so driven.

  8. Samantha J.
    February 2nd, 2009 at 10:04 am · Link

    Sarah, yes!!! Those tough, masculine, oh-so-swoon-worthy men in kilts are to die for.

  9. Samantha J.
    February 2nd, 2009 at 10:15 am · Link

    PJ, I hope to someday write another medieval. But for the moment, I’m having SO much fun with the Regency/Victorian books I may stay in the 1800s for a while!

    Elizabeth, Dashwell’s book sounds like a must read.
    It’ll be at the top of my list on my next visit to the bookstore.

  10. Quilt Lady
    February 2nd, 2009 at 10:36 am · Link

    Hi Samatha, It is so nice to see you here. First off let me say I love reading about Scottish heros. I would give anything to go to the Highlands of Scotland just once for a visit. This has always been my dream. So thats is why I travel there in books.
    Oh and their accents are awesome. Just keep writing about our Scottish heros and we will keep buying your books.

  11. Samantha J.
    February 2nd, 2009 at 10:45 am · Link

    Why, thank you! Glad you enjoy my books.

  12. Samantha J.
    February 2nd, 2009 at 11:28 am · Link

    Oops, Keira, I just realized something. My comment about Rob Roy actually . . . um . . . is one that applies to Thursday’s blog, when I’ll be talking about my favorite romantic movies.

  13. Keira Soleore
    February 2nd, 2009 at 12:19 pm · Link

    Oh, don’t worry, Samantha. I have some wicked scenes from that movie that I liked and the ease of the kilt for certain activities. I’ll expound in detail on Thursday. 🙂

  14. Marie
    February 2nd, 2009 at 12:25 pm · Link

    Hi Samantha!

    I totally agree, Scotsmen make great heroes! For me it’s all about the accent. My favorite is Australian, but Scottish is a very close second!

    Great excerpt!

  15. CRP
    February 2nd, 2009 at 1:34 pm · Link

    I’m putting this in my Amazon cart now so I don’t forget to buy it in my next order.

  16. Cheryl C.
    February 2nd, 2009 at 1:39 pm · Link

    Oh, this book sounds soooo good! I love a good Scottish Highlander story. There is just something so sexy about a possessive Alpha male with an accent and wearing a kilt and a big…knife! 😉

  17. Stacy S
    February 2nd, 2009 at 1:55 pm · Link

    I love the accent! Rob Roy is one that I really liked. Looking forward to the new release.

  18. Samantha J.
    February 2nd, 2009 at 2:08 pm · Link

    Marie, yes, yes, yes. Aussie is good. So is Irish.

    Stacy, speaking of Liam Neeson – he might not have the goods in the looks department, but he makes up for it with the voice.

    Cheryl and Stacy, hope you like the book!

    One more thing to throw in . . . I have three daughters who think Sean Connery is hot-hot-hot. They don’t give a fig about his age. My husband just doesn’t get it!

  19. Lori Ann
    February 2nd, 2009 at 3:01 pm · Link

    Hi Samantha,

    I went to your website to read the excerpt. Wow, what a great teaser that was! It really peaked my interest in the book.

    I love Scottish heroes. I agree with everything you wrote about every Scottish hero having the soul of a warrior. There is just something so appealing about that. I cannot wait to read Bride Of A Wicked Scotsman. Alec and Maura seem like a great match.

  20. LauraR
    February 2nd, 2009 at 3:06 pm · Link

    Oh, mama, Gerard Butler in a kilt. woo hoo. And the voice & accent. Yummmm

  21. LauraR
    February 2nd, 2009 at 3:07 pm · Link

    Posted to Facebook.

  22. Samantha James
    February 2nd, 2009 at 3:59 pm · Link

    Ladies, I aim to please. I had a blast writing the repartee between them. I must say, they do sizzle together.

  23. Amy Lytle
    February 2nd, 2009 at 4:14 pm · Link

    Hello Samantha…
    I have to say that more than the accent, is the voice. Sorry, did that sound like something out of “The Little Mermaid”…LOL Anyway, when I read, I hear the voice in my head, and the hero has a voice more than an accent, although that is there, as well, and that is what curls my toes. Now I am going to give my sissy the floor, Erin, so that she can tell you what she thinks!!! That Samantha James is a Uber Genius just like I think most likely!!!!!…LOL
    Amy L.

  24. Samantha James
    February 2nd, 2009 at 4:30 pm · Link

    Oh, I agree, Amy. It’s that richness of tone. Sean Connery and Liam Neeson have it in spades. And of course, James Earl Jones.

  25. Samantha James
    February 2nd, 2009 at 4:57 pm · Link

    INCREDIBLE timing! HarperCollins/Avon has just posted the first three-plus chapters of Bride of a Wicked Scotsman on their website! Here’s the link:


    Be aware, it does cut off right in the middle of a paragraph. You can also read (on-line) Gabriel’s Bride in its entirety. Both are up for a limited time only.

  26. Jamie
    February 2nd, 2009 at 5:39 pm · Link

    I’m anxiously awaiting this book! It sounds amazing! I love when there is a little story in there besides just the hero & Heroine’s story. When it comes to Scottish men, I must say that the first two I think of are Gerry Butler and James McAvoy. 😀 As for time periods, my favorites are Regency and Victorian.

    Can’t wait to see what are your fave movies and scenes from on Thursday!

  27. Samantha James
    February 2nd, 2009 at 5:53 pm · Link

    Jamie, can’t wait to talk about my fave movies (and everyone else’s)!

  28. Julia Quinn
    February 3rd, 2009 at 12:09 am · Link

    I can’t wait to read this! It’s first on my list as soon as I get this (insert expletive) manuscript done!

  29. Rhonda Despins
    February 3rd, 2009 at 6:43 am · Link

    Hello Samantha, I love your books and would love to win a copy of Bride of a Wicked Scotsman 🙂

  30. Penney
    February 3rd, 2009 at 12:17 pm · Link

    Hi Samantha

    Your books Bride of a Wicked Scotsman sounds great! I love your books.

  31. Samantha James
    February 3rd, 2009 at 1:15 pm · Link

    Thanks, all, to everyone that’s participated!

  32. PJ Ausdenmore
    February 3rd, 2009 at 2:03 pm · Link

    Samantha, my RT magazine just arrived. Congratulations on the TOP PICK review for BRIDE OF A WICKED SCOTSMAN!

  33. Jane
    February 3rd, 2009 at 3:33 pm · Link

    Hi Samantha,
    Congrats on your upcoming release. I’ve had a thing for Scottish heroes since I read “Saving Grace” by Julie Garwood. Gabriel is one of my favorite heroes of all time.

  34. Laura
    February 3rd, 2009 at 4:34 pm · Link

    Samantha, I love your books! My favorites are A Perfect Groom and The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell. They were so good! 🙂

  35. Laura
    February 3rd, 2009 at 4:36 pm · Link

    I just saw there is another Laura that posted before me. I’m Laura B.

  36. Keira Soleore
    February 3rd, 2009 at 7:26 pm · Link

    I can’t wait to read JQ’s (insert rapturous word) manuscript. 😀
    Samantha, congratulations on the RT Top Pick review.

  37. Pam P
    February 3rd, 2009 at 8:14 pm · Link

    Congrats on the RT TOP Pick, Samantha, so looking forward to Alec’s story. I never tire of reading more Regencies or Victorians, but do hope we get to see more medievals, my very favorite for historicals. Who can resist a brawny Scot in a kilt with their sexy accents.

  38. Samantha J.
    February 3rd, 2009 at 10:13 pm · Link

    Rhonda, Penney, PJ, Pam P and Keira – thanks!

    Jane, I love Julie Garwood, but it sounds like I missed a goodie. That’ll be rectified . . . as soon as I finish the book I’m working on!

    Laura B – I hate to say that I love one book/hero over the other, but I’ve always had a soft spot over Justin and Simon. Such tortured
    souls who really deserved their HEA.

    I’m with you, Pam P. I wish there were more medievals to choose from. I think we need a blockbuster Middle Ages movie to get readers pumped up and clamoring for medievals again.

    Keira, I’m with you and all the other JQ fans, lined up and (im)patiently waiting for the next book.

  39. Samantha J.
    February 3rd, 2009 at 11:40 pm · Link

    Since we were just talking about upcoming books, I just read Elizabeth’s sneak peek for Confessions of a Little Black Gown. This, and Memoirs of a Scandalous Black Gown are going straight to the top of my TBR

    But I have to come clean. I am soooooo jealous of the cover for Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress (sniff, sniff). It’s just too gorgeous for words.

  40. Elizabeth
    February 4th, 2009 at 11:13 am · Link

    Samantha, I got so lucky on those covers. I won’t even tell you how many times I had to sacrifice to the cover gods to get them. But I believe I do owe someone my firstborn. And there are days when they can have him. But they can only have him on those days.

  41. Laura B.
    February 4th, 2009 at 11:56 am · Link

    Samantha, your covers are nice too!

    Elizabeth, I like the comment about sacrificing to the cover gods.

  42. Samantha J.
    February 4th, 2009 at 12:15 pm · Link

    LOL on sacrificing your firstborn. There were times I used to say if my youngest had been my firstborn, she’d be an only child .

    Anyone else know a surefire way to get the cover gods to smile on me, too? Rub the belly of a buddha? Hang a horseshoe? Find an acorn? Darn, it’s the wrong season.

    And I just noticed a little faux pas in my other post. It’s Memoirs of a Scandalous RED Dress that’ll be going to the top of my list. Don’t put a curse on me, Elizabeth. I’ll be doomed and NEVER find those cover gods.

  43. Samantha J.
    February 4th, 2009 at 12:19 pm · Link

    Laura B., yeah, you’re right. I should stop my grumbling. I *adore* the covers of the McBride family trilogy.

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