‘Tis a thrilling adventure unfurling in the Scottish highlands.
This fiery, passionate romance thrills without much graphic reference. True, Lady Kara wears a see through gown, revealed at the top of the story. However, it’s not her choice. She makes many choices, good and bad, but her gowns are imposed by her vile father.
Comments are in regular type. My questions are in italics. Shey’s answers are in bold.
1 – Shey, I want to draw Lady Kara in her gowns. It feels like 1700. Is there an exact year to this tale?
I based the Trojan horse premise of this book on the actual Glencoe Massacre. Let’s be clear that whole bit of Scotland was a law unto itself. South of the highland line was an entirely different Scotland. Anyway, the way to get into Glencoe, which was pretty impregnable at that time, was to come as friends. I liked that idea of a small clan who largely survived where they were because no-one could get in or out.
I looked up the Glencoe Massacre. It was in 1692. So, without mentioning an exact year, the flavour of your writing sets up the right time frame.
2 – Ewen and some other characters speak in a dialect that give the Scottish highlands an authentic feel.
“Whit? Can ye no see Ah’m busy.” “How is it no’? Mah horse, laddie.” Is this written by ear, or have you studied Gaelic? Or?
Now here in Scotland we probably speak English, in a local dialect. This is sometimes incomprehensible to those who are not local.
We also speak…maybe not old Scots but certainly Scots as Ewen and some of the other characters do. Gaelic would have been spoken by the clans. It was mainly spoken in the Highlands and islands of western Scotland. It is still spoken by about 58,000 people in these parts. When you’re writing dialogue and trying to give something an authentic feel, you’re torn between that and being understood which was why I didn’t have everybody speaking in some form of Scots. I think it’s fair to say we often joke that there’s more than one book set here which we don’t understand because the dialogue is not authentic. For example ‘donnae’ is a name, not the word for ‘don’t’ which is ‘dinnae’!
3 – I find certain small bits of your writing make me laugh…..such as Ewen’s talents, the description of the green dress and Callm asking himself:
Is it just me? Or do you insert this humour on purpose?
No and no. It’s not just you and no I don’t mean to do it, but it sort of comes out. I mean, I love that people have idiosyncrasies. They are what makes us. Kara’s little habit of firstly, secondly, thirdly, and her mantra about doing things that she will be happy, or not happy with, when it comes to choices–quite awful things in some instances. These are her little idiosyncrasies.
Also people can be gloriously unselfaware. As you see with Callm asking himself why he shouldn’t be considered suitable, is a rich seam to be mined. Also let’s face it too, funny things do happen to people. Things like Kara not being able to get on that horse and walking round the yard trying to, while making out she knows what’s she’s doing. Well, honestly one day in the middle of nowhere in Yorkshire of all places, this woman asked if I could hold this absolute beast of a horse steady while she got on it. She’d been walking for miles at this point trying to do just that and hadn’t come across anybody. As for asking me? Well… But hey (no pun intended) I did it.
In truth I’ve never been any good at being serious, or keeping a straight face. It’s probably why my palms have half inch fingernail dents in them. Just joking. But not actually. So I guess I don’t bung the humour in on purpose. It just appears.
4- Near the end of the story, Ewen joins Callm on the mission. It’s a wonderful twist of sorts, that solidifies the family. When asked why, Ewen answers – “Te get mah bride, Kertyn. Or Ardene. Whitever ane will hae me.
Kertyn returns with Callm and Ewen’s entourage. Does this mean Kertyn marries Ewen?
Well now… I didn’t want to ruin it entirely for the poor girl given he’s not exactly an oil painting, but I guess she is gonna be lady ruler of Lochalpin while Kara is gonna rule her glen. That’s if Kertyn doesn’t do a runner next!!!! I honestly just don’t like writing cardboardy villains. No-one is all bad. (except maybe Snotra from the Viking!)
Hahahaha! No oil painting! Just oily! Still, you gave Ewen the talents of dancing and cooking/baking!
Lol…I did!! I wanted to give him something!! Also, I wanted to explore resentment between two brothers who ultimately are still brothers.
I wanted to explore Ewen as the younger sibling, the one the lassies never looked at. As he says, no very bonnie, he’s loud, overweight, and cos he has had the glen handed to him on a plate, even down to Callm keeping it safe for him, he’s fallen in with the wrong crowd and is throwing his power around. Meantime here’s the big bro who obvi has done so much right… the wife, the child … in the past anyway.
And by the way Shey, OMG! Snotra is a total bitch!!!
On that note, I thank Shehanne Moore for answering all of my questions. I totally enjoyed this book! A+
You can connect with Shey on her blog Shehanne Moore -Smexy Historical Romance
OR Click on the book cover below, and go to her Amazon page where this and all of her titles are available.
Remember, never judge a book by it’s cover, unless there’s a gown on it!