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To learn more about Christine Young's HIGHLAND HONOR, please click image.

Today’s guest is Christine Young, who brings with her the deeply romantic tale of HIGHLAND HONOR. Today’s visit offers the chance for you to get to know more about Christine, her breathtaking new release, and the details of a fabulous giveaway you won’t want to miss. ($50 gift card to Amazon … ’nuff said? LOL.) Needless to say, this is a great place to be right now, and I’m so glad for each of you to join us.

Christine, welcome, and thank you for being here. HIGHLAND HONOR is a historical romance taking place in the Scottish Highlands. When were you first introduced to this setting? What made you fall in love with this time and place?

The Scottish Highlands has always been a part of my life from stories passed down from my mother, to real life stories about my great grandparents who emigrated from Scotland in the early 1900’s. Highland Honor, as with the other two books in this series, holds a piece of my heart. The rugged hills and the beautiful castles, all so different, are my heritage. When I was writing these books, I could well imagine an ancestor being part of my story.

As a Scottish Highlander, Collin “Hawke” MacPherson is larger than life. He is as rugged and dangerous as the wild Highland hills. Who couldn’t fall in love with a time and place that is cloaked in legend and romance?

It sounds incredibly romantic! And to feel that connection through your mother’s stories must really make this series special to you. :c) How did you research this book? Have you been to modern-day Scottish Highlands? If not, how did you bring the setting to life for your readers?

I did a lot of reading and spent time at the library for part of the research. The most valuable information for this series came from attending the Highland Games at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham Oregon. I ate authentic food, found many books and two maps of Scotland; one a Historical map and the other a clan names map. I also have a traveler’s map of Britain. Watching men in kilts actually toss a caber made the adventure real.

What a really cool way to research! Just a few moments at the Highland games “in costume” so to speak can really bring it all together, can’t it? (And men in kilts make for great studying as well, don’t they? LOL.)  I noticed you’re a high school math teacher. I love math and science myself, and that’s usually seen as a conflict of interest to writerly-types (the whole left brain – right brain thing, lol). Do you feel writing is an outlet for your mathematical self (or vice versa), with one providing a mental break from the other? How do these two “opposite” loves collaborate when it comes to your writing?

Well, I came to be a math teacher in a very convoluted way. I started out as an Art major, decided to try my hand at medical illustration. (I had already done a few drawings for various doctors I knew in the area.) But OSU would not allow me to basically formulate my own degree so I migrated to the Science department, which helped me form a core of classes that would accomplish my goals. However, when I applied to graduate school, my art portfolio could not compete with the real art majors. I graduated with a BS in science, went to school another year and became a certified Biology teacher. Hired at a small school, I was needed to teach other areas. I had enough math classes in college to become certified in math. Eventually I ended up teaching just math. Ironically, math is my least favorite subject ,however I do love geometry which is very visual and also very right brain.

Talk about truth stranger than fiction . . . that’s quite the path! LOL. (I loved math, but those darn theorems were my nemesis!) If a reader is unfamiliar with your work, which of your books would you suggest he or she read first?  Why?

I generally write series books and it depends on which part of history a person likes best. Highland Honor is the first in the Highland series and has received good reviews. Dakota’s Bride is the first book I sold to Kensington and it is the first in the 5 book Lakota/Pinkerton series. It is a historical western. And Allura is the first in my 12 book regency series. These would all be great reads.

Wow, you definitely have something for everyone. That’s an impressive list! Which genre are you drawn to as a reader?  Do you prefer to read in the same genre as your WIP or do you mix it up?

I mix it up. I actually love to write contemporary, but I only have one published and a soon to be published novella.  The novella is part of an April Fools anthology to be published in 2012. I always fall in love with the time period I am working on.

I bet it would be hard to write without loving the time and place of your work-in-progress (although I can’t tell you how often I find myself staring daggers at my WIP itself, LOL.) On the subject of good lovin’ (*grin*), let’s look back over all of the intimate moments you’ve created between characters. Which scene would you most like to experience for yourself?  What makes it so alluring?

I always try to put really romantic sexy intimate scene in my books.  One of the scenes in The Locket, the third book in the Lakota/Pinkerton series, is my favorite. I feel I became part of the scene as the hero gently made love to the heroine. He related the scene to painting a picture and I thought it was very beautiful, romantic and creative, if I do say so my self.

 It sounds beautiful, and very much like he benefited from your artistic side. (Or perhaps the heroine was the lucky one, LOL.) From romance to conflict (isn’t that usually the route? LOL), have you ever battled with any of your characters over their personality traits?  If so, who won – you or the character?

I can’t say that I have battled characters over personality traits but my characters sometimes take over the story. Actually, not sometimes—always—as they have done in the novella I’m working on now. And the characters always win.

It’s a proud moment for an author when characters are so strong! :c) Have you ever made big changes in your story because someone – your crit partner, a friend, or beta reader – really didn’t like it?  Are you glad you did (or didn’t)?

I will always take changes under consideration and I usually modify. I don’t ever remember a critique partners suggesting a big change. I would have to agree with the suggestion one hundred percent to make the change.

Definitely — no one knows your story as you do! How do you keep track of plot elements or twists?

I use detailed scene plots. I start with the first and last sentence and write to the last sentence. When I’m really on my game, the last sentence is a cliffhanger. The scene plot includes basics such as pov and turning point but also foreshadowing, setting important elements, theme, motivation, tone, the twist, tension, and conflict (internal, external and romantic)

Wow, that’s impressive! I only wish I could be so organized, LOL. I bet that allows you to be highly productive, too. What are you currently working on?

I am working on a novella, working title Sharks. It will be part of an April Fools anthology. I am also editing Highland Magic to be rereleased soon. And I am reworking Ghost Dance, which was originally the first book in the Lakota/Pinkerton series. This book will be a new release for me.

Sounds like there’s a lot on the horizon for your readers! Let’s get them started with a closer look at today’s feature book, HIGHLAND HONOR.

HIGHLAND HONOR | blurb & links

Willfully stubborn, innocently courageous, Callie Whitcomb braves a journey through the treacherous highlands to the MacPherson castle. Callie flees from an unwanted marriage as well as her ruthless half brother. Naively she believes Colin MacPherson, the head of the clan, is loyal to her father and will give her sanctuary, protecting her from the vile plans that have been made for her.

As hard and as unyielding as the winter storms that sweep through the countryside, Colin is irresistibly drawn to the impetuous beauty who has magically appeared on his doorsteps. Despite his vows of revenge against her father, she stirs his passion as well as his sense of justice…but to love her would violate all his vows of revenge.

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO PURCHASE: ROGUE PHOENIX PRESS

CHRISTINE YOUNG  | bio & links

Born in Medford, Oregon, novelist Christine Young has lived in Oregon all of her life. After graduating from Oregon State University with a BS in science, she spent another year at Southern Oregon State University working on her teaching certificate, and a few years later received her Master’s degree in secondary education and counseling. Now the long, hot days of summer provide the perfect setting for creating romance. She sold her first book, Dakota’s Bride, the summer of 1998 and her second book, My Angel to Kensington. She is the author of 10 published romance books and 2 novellas. Christine is a retired high school math teacher. Her teaching and writing careers have intertwined with raising three children.  Christine’s newest venture is the creation of Rogue Phoenix Press. Christine is the founder, editor and co-owner with her husband. They live in Salem, Oregon.

LINKAGE: BLOG | ROGUE’S ANGELS BLOG | ROGUE PHOENIX

HIGHLAND HONOR | excerpt & links

“Where are we going?” she asked as they rode side by side across a vivid green meadow. Even before she asked the question, she had guessed his intentions. They were two-fold.

“To find a private spot, a place where we can eat and,” he paused thoughtfully as he turned to look her way. Then his roguish smile captured her heart. He could make her heart melt with just a smile.

“And?” she queried even as her cheeks heated, knowing the answer before he spoke.

His grin widened, then he winked. “Race ye to the trees.” He waited silently for her to accept the challenge he tossed her way.

“Ye would like that wouldn’t ye? But I won’t fall for the bait ye toss my way. We both know who has the fastest horse.”

“And who would that be?” he asked, laughing.

“I do.” She had waited long enough for him to drop back a few strides, giving her more of a head start than she knew he would have allowed. She gave a silent command to her horse. The mare lunged forward.

“Callie–” she heard him cry out her name, laughingly. “Cheater. I’ll get my revenge.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO PURCHASE: ROGUE PHOENIX PRESS

**GIVEAWAY**

As promised, here are the details on Christine’s awesome tour-wide giveaway. You ready for this?

  • One randomly drawn commenter from the tour will win a $50 Amazon GC!
  • At each tour stop—including this visit—one randomly drawn commenter will win a Clan MacPherson book mark.
  • The blog host will the most comments will win Antique Gold Double Broche. My own comments don’t count and neither do Christine’s, so get on it, wouldya? ;c)

To see other tour stops, get to know Christine better, and increase your chances of winning, please click here. (Do that after you comment, mkay? *grin*) Christine, thanks so much for joining us today. It has been an honor. (No book title pun intended, LOL.)