Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Interview with Melissa Mayhue

Hullo all you lovely readers! I've got the fantabulous Melissa Mayhue on the blog today sharing her latest release, Warrior's Redemption. Let me tell you, this was my first Melissa Mayhue book *waits for gasps to die down* and I love, love, loved it! More highlanders please! I've been stuck in the Regency Era for so long, I've forgotten my first love: Highlanders. Melissa was just here on the blog not too long ago so she's a repeat offender. :) Let's give her a warm welcome:

HOWDY MELISSA!!!!

Meet Melissa:
Melissa Mayhue is the award-winning author of nine romances for Pocket Books: Thirty Nights with A Highland Husband, Highland Guardian, Soul of A Highlander, A Highlander of Her Own, A Highlander's Destiny, A Highlander's Homecoming, Healing the Highlander, Highlander's Curse and Warrior's Redemption. She and her family live in Colorado in the shadow of beautiful Rocky Mountains with two insanely spoiled dogs, one domineering cat, a turtle with attitude, and way too many fish in their aquarium. 

Where To Find Melissa: Author Site | Facebook | Twitter




Kati: Let's jump into things since you recently celebrated the December Joyathon with us here on Romancing Rakes. Tell us about WARRIOR'S REDEMPTION. 
Melissa: WARNING: Telling you more about this book MAY include spoilers for earlier books!!! Let me also assure your readers that even if they have not read the earlier books, they can start with this one and they’ll know everything that’s happening.

WARRIOR’S REDEMPTION is the first book in The Warriors series, a spin-off from The Daughters of the Glen. In this first book, readers of the old series will see some familiar names and places right from the beginning. There’s a visit to Wyddecol [home of the Fae] where they first meet Elesyria, a character who was first mentioned in A HIGHLANDER’S HOMECOMING. She’s the Faerie mother of the heroine in that book, Isabella MacGahan.

This story picks up a little over a year after Isabella and Robert [along with Jamie], escape through time. Since Isabella is no longer in the time and place where she belongs, Elesyria – who’s been keeping an eye on her all these years – thinks she’s dead… and she’s out for retribution.

In addition to furious Faeries, we’re introduced – actually Re-introduced – to characters who were more than they seemed when we first met them in that same book. The MacDowylt brothers, Malcolm and Patrick, are central to this book and we find that they’re direct descendents of the Norse god, Odin. We also meet more of the MacDowylt family, in particular, their younger sister and brother, Christiana and Dermid, and their powerful [and totally corrupt] brother, Torquil.

I had so much fun writing this book! The characters took on lives of their own and the story just kept growing! Elesyria, for example, was originally intended to be only a bit player in the story, but as I got to know her better, she totally stole my heart. I’m working on the next in the series now, WARRIOR’S REBIRTH, and even I’m surprised by the characters who are showing up! (From the preview at the back of WARRIOR'S REDEMPTION, I am eagerly awaiting it!)

K: Tell us about your hero and heroine.
M: Malcolm MacDowylt was the brash young warrior in A HIGHLANDER’S HOMECOMING who’d arrived to claim Isabella’s hand in marriage and through that, Castle MacGahan. We pick back up with him just over a year later, after he’s gotten what he wanted, and we see the price he’s paid for his marriage to Isabella. As is not all that unusual for my heroes, he’s tormented by his past, burdened by the responsibility of consequences of all his actions.

I really like Malcolm. He was originally created to be a second tier bad guy, but I learned quickly enough as I wrote him in that first book, he was no bad guy. He has a heart of gold and a serious case of “I-Must-Save-The-World”-itis!!! His preference is to save everyone without endangering anyone – not an easy task in 1294 Scotland. Perhaps because of what he is, he tends to over-think every step. But once he’s decided on a course of action, he goes for it!

Danielle Dearmon is one of the most dedicated and stubborn heroines I’ve known in my stories. She has believed in Faeries since she was eight years old and she knows deep in her soul they have a purpose in mind for her. When Dani find something she wants – or someone she cares for – nothing can stop her from doing what she thinks is right.

K: What drew you to writing time travel romances?
M: I love the Happy Ever After of romances and I love the excitement of fantasy. Time Travel romances are a natural for me because they allow me to indulge in all of what I think is best in a good book.

K: Do you have any writing rituals? (eating cookies, drinking wine, absolute silence...)
M: I used to think that I did, but now that I’m working on my tenth book, I realize that the process – and what I have to do to capture those words! – changes from book to book. Most of the time I need to listen to music while I write. Music, but not singing. Words bring me out of the story and I find myself ‘seeing’ what’s happening in the song rather than what’s happening in the story I’m writing.

I typically write in my office [aka: the messiest place on the face of the Earth]. But sometimes, especially near the end of a story or close to a deadline, I have to get away from the familiar. There’s a Starbucks in town that I like to visit for those times.

K: What do you have next in store for readers?
M: As I mentioned earlier, I’m currently working on the next book in this series, WARRIOR’S REBIRTH. The hero has never appeared in one of my books… though readers may know OF him. It’s Chase Noble, the long-missing brother of Destiny [A HIGHLANDER’S DESTINY] and Leah [HEALING THE HIGHLANDER]. And the heroine? Christiana MacDowylt!

From there? Another Warrior book, though I’m not sure who the main players will be yet. I have several who are clamoring for my attention… and as the action in this current book grows, their demands are all pretty darn compelling!!

K: Thanks so much Melissa for hanging out with my readers again. :)
M: Thank you, Kati, for inviting me back! I’d like to extend an open invitation to all your readers to visit my website at www.MelissaMayhue.com where they can learn more about the series, little tidbits about the family lines [family trees] and even view recipes sent in by my readers! While they’re there, I’d also like to encourage them to consider signing up for my newsletter, where we hold special contests just for our subscribers!

WARRIOR'S REDEMPTION:

Malcolm MacDowylt sees himself a failed warrior, haunted by the death of the woman he married to become laird of Clan MacGahan. Neither his Viking heritage nor his claim to descend from Norse gods can restore his confidence in his ability to protect his people. His sister is held captive, her life in jeopardy, and his Magically powerful half brother wants him dead. The last thing he needs is more responsibility, but that's exactly what he gets when his Faerie mother-in-law arrives seeking justice for her daughter in the form of an enticing woman from seven hundred years in the future.

Danielle Dearmon has waited fifteen years to discover the life she is supposed to live. She just never dreamed she'd end up in the thirteenth century with a handsome Scot bent on saving everyone but himself.

With the lives of those most dear to him hanging in the balance, Malcolm sets out to battle a powerful evil magic, only to learn that the redemption he seeks exists in the arms of the woman he loves.
Where To Buy: Amazon(pb) | Kindle | B&N(pb) | Nook | Book Depository
Book Extras: Read an Excerpt

A huge thank you to Melissa for hanging out on the blog again and to Ayelet Gruenspecht for forwarding correspondence between Melissa and I.
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