Check out our interview for HIGHLAND LOVER by Amanda Scott with the author.

Author Amanda Scott

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Highland Lover by Amanda Scott – Author Interview

Hi Amanda! Welcome back to Under the Covers! We are glad to have you back!

Since you were here last you released HIGHLAND LOVER, how would you describe HIGHLAND LOVER, the third book in your Scottish Knights trilogy?

HIGHLAND LOVER, the third and final book in my Scottish Knights trilogy, follows HIGHLAND MASTER and HIGHLAND HERO. All three stories take place in early fifteenth-century Scotland at a time when the third person in line for the Scottish throne was absolutely determined to rule Scotland. The heir to the throne was a reckless, womanizing profligate, and the second in line was a seven-year-old boy. The three heroes are close friends, all knights, who studied together under the Bishop of St. Andrews and became members of a secret brotherhood that he formed, but they never knew each other’s full names at St. Andrews. They will do whatever they must to support the rightful heir in his battle against the murderous efforts of his wicked uncle to seize Scotland’s throne. Each knight also has a particular skill at which he is either Scotland’s champion or one of the best in Scotland.

HIGHLAND LOVER is the story of Captain Sir Jake “Sea Wolf” Maxwell and Lady Alyson MacGillivray, a cousin of Sir Ivor “Hawk” Mackintosh (HIGHLAND HERO) and friend of Fin of the Battles (HIGHLAND MASTER). Lady Alyson, recently married, has seen almost nothing of her husband Niall since their wedding, because he serves the Earl of Orkney. So when Niall agrees to take Alyson with him when he sails with the earl to France, she hopes they will enjoy a romantic journey. She soon discovers, however, that the ship is secretly carrying Jamie Stewart, the young heir to Scotland’s throne, to safety in France and away from his villainous uncle, the Duke of Albany, who currently rules Scotland. Albany wants nothing more than to get his hands on Jamie, so he can continue to rule the country when the aging King dies. When “English pirates” attack the ship in a storm and leave Alyson locked in a chest to drown, Jake Maxwell witnesses the attack and rescues Alyson and a boy. They are miles from home, and although they are off the coast of England, it’s a good distance away and Jake’s ship has vanished in the raging storm.

Can you tell us a bit about The Wolf, Captain Jake Maxwell? What is it about him that you believe will capture readers’ attention?

Jake Maxwell was a boy in KING OF STORMS (Warner Books, Aug 2007). His father was ship’s captain to the Duke of Albany until the hero of that tale needed a ship and “borrowed” Albany’s Serpent Royal with Jake and his father aboard. In the meantime, Jake has lived in the western Highlands and at St. Andrews as a student under Bishop Traill, who began the long tradition of education there. Jake won his knighthood and now has his own ship, the erstwhile Serpent Royal, rechristened Sea Wolf, which was the name that Jake assumed at St. Andrews (like Sir Ivor’s “Hawk”). What I love about Jake is that his feistiness as a child has led him far. His boyish Borders accents have mostly vanished but pop up now and again, and his stubborn determination to do the right thing remains. He is, however, a man who values his freedom (especially on the sea) above all else. Lady Alyson, on the other hand, is an heiress, has a clinging family that she dearly loves but from whom she would like some distance, so she wants nothing more than a home of her own with a husband at her side to help her run it. Jake and Alyson are both extremely competent, capable, intelligent people, accustomed to doing things their own way, which proves to be a very good thing at the end of the book when everything they come to believe turns upside down and inside out.

Many considered you to be an accomplished historical author. Can you share some of your favorite historical authors? What is it about their work that resonates with you?

I rarely read historical romances, but I do love Sharon K. Penman’s books, and my all-time favorite historical author is still Jan Westcott (Border Lord, The Hepburn) with Dorothy Dunnett (Game of Kings, et al) a close second. In both latter cases, what resonated was the accuracy of their research and the fact that they were telling tales about my own ancestors (although the plain fact is that when I first read their books I had no idea that I had any kinship with their heroes…so, go figure. They were favorites then and still are now.) The history that I read is nearly all for research: clan histories, Scottish history, and primary sources (documents, historical manuscripts, and family histories when I can find them).

Along the same lines, what book(s) have you read recently that you would like to share with our readers?

I’m always at a loss when people ask this question, because I rarely read the competition and, for pleasure, prefer to read books far removed from those I write myself. Accordingly, my favorite downtime authors are Lee Child, Kate Wilhelm, Robert Crais, Vince Flynn, Greg Iles, Brad Thor, Daniel Silva, Nelson DeMille, and others of their ilk. In other words, I prefer legal and political thrillers over books that I find myself editing as I go. Escape for me, as for nearly everyone else, is reading something that takes me away from my everyday life.

When you aren’t reading or writing, what hobbies keep you busy?

I used to say “family history” when asked this question. However, it’s been a very long time since I’ve had time to work on that. I don’t have hobbies, but I enjoy traveling and spending time in the mountains, where I swim, canoe, hike, and spend more time with friends than I do when my office is right upstairs. For some reason, sitting on the porch at the cabin or in a deck chair in the middle of the cabin’s front room with my laptop, feels much more like a vacation than my office does and I stick to my work hours more firmly. At home, the temptation to get “one more thing” or “one more scene” is harder to ignore.

If you could go back in time, what would you do?

Find some extraordinarily rich person to adopt me and see that I had access to all the finer things the period had to offer. Otherwise, the cabin life is rustic enough for me, thanks.

What is one thing you require in order to write a book?

Solitude enough to research it, outline its plot, write it, and edit it. Writing books is not something easily done in small bits and pieces when the rest of one’s Life allows it. One must be willing to sacrifice other things to gain the space, time, and peace to think, to do the reading necessary to collect new details for each book, and to experiment with plot elements—organizing and reorganizing them—as one outlines the story. Then one has to write the book, revise it if editors request revisions, proofread, deal with copy-editors, production, promotion, travel as required, and so forth, and so forth, and so on.

What does your writing space look like? Neat and tidy? Or cluttered and stacked with papers? Any visual would be nice.

As I look around right now, it’s fair t’ middlin’. This morning, piled on one desk, I had Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, the Scots Thesaurus, two brainstorming pads of wide-margin ruled paper (one white for current notes, the other yellow for wild or crazy ideas), a folder containing the questions for this blog, a few remnants from finishing ups taxes, promotional material for the next Scottish games I’ll attend to sign books for a vendor, a Highland clans almanac, the notes for the next chapter of the book I’m currently writing (the sequel to Book 1 of my Lairds of the Loch trilogy, THE LAIRD’S CHOICE (Forever, December 2012). I loathe clutter (another reason I like to get away to the cabin), but when I “submerge” to write, I can easily get snowed under. That desk also holds a sometimes-neat row of books under the window it faces, books about character, character names, and setting information, and a few other things to which I refer often. My computer desk sits at a right angle to the one under the window (which is also the famous one my husband bought me when I said I’d like to write). The computer desk holds my computer, a giant monitor, laser printer, and scanner, as well as a few reference books that are specifically Scottish, and a file with costume information. It also has two shelves of references such as thesauruses, usage, phrase and quotation books. Two full walls of my office contain books, one has cabinets under the shelves, the other shelves all the way down. The window wall also has two filing cabinets, one built into the wall, the other not. Where the built-in one is, I also have book shelves for larger books. One is nearly as long as the file cabinet is. Oh, behind the computer desk is a wall to wall bulletin board that I try to keep uncluttered. It has family pictures and funny things, a huge map of Scotland, and a picture of my cat. He, of course, considers the office, like everything else in the house, to be his.

Grab it on Amazon


Ever inquisitive, Lady Alyson MacGillivray embarks on a sea voyage and makes a shocking discovery: The young future king of Scotland is secretly traveling on board. Yet her surprise soon turns to terror when pirates attack the ship, take the boy prince hostage, and leave Lady Alyson to drown.


Known to the world as the The Wolf, Captain Jake Maxwell had been commissioned by the King to follow the prince’s secret transport. When he spies Alyson struggling against a violent sea, he moves swiftly to save her. Soon desire sparks between them, bringing them pleasure-powerful and deep. But the young beauty’s connection to the prince’s abduction puts her in danger. And if their love is to survive, Alyson and Jake must play a game of intrigue with royal-and lethal-consequences.

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  1. Great interview. I have not read this series yet. I’ll have to check it out. The books sound amazing. Can’t wait to read them. Thanks for the giveaway.


  2. I always wonder about an author’s work process. I imagine that writing is like any other job and has to be done with planning and time allocated to the tasks. Thanks for the glimpse into your writing world. jepebATverizonDOTnet

  3. I love a series where the characters are connected & pop-up in each others stories. The fact that these are Highlanders makes them even more interesting.
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

  4. Great interview. I am already a fan of Ms Scott and would love to have this book. I have to agree that cabins, etc is rustic enough. I don’t think I could handle no running water, sewage systems, or electricity. I could probably do OK for a day without electricity, as long as the Kindle was fully charged and I had lanterns, etc to read by.

  5. Amanda is a new to me author. I love highland stories, so this is most definitely going on my summer reading list. Thanks!
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com