Well, well. Lookie at what we have here! For your dose of the Highlander, UTC has brought to you, Vonda Sinclair! Vonda writes fierce historical romances about hot Highlanders, so today we’ll be talking about her two books and more!  For more information on Vonda, please check out her website here. She also has a fun Facebook page, so don’t forget to check that out as well!
Welcome to UTC, Vonda! Let’s talk about your road to publishing. My Fierce Highlander is your first book. Was it difficult to get published? How long did it take you to finish this book?

Thanks so much for allowing me to visit your blog today! Yes, My Fierce Highlander became published in a very roundabout way. Finishing the book took about seven or eight months. Getting it published took… longer. 🙂  I sent out queries to agents seeking representation for the manuscript. One agent said she loved it and signed me. She spent over three years trying to sell the book to NY publishers. We got several requests, even a revision request. Editors said they loved it and that it was publishable quality, but they simply couldn’t publish it right now for various reasons. Move forward a few years and, with the proliferation of Kindles, Nooks and other ereaders, and Amazon’s and B&N’s brilliant idea of letting authors publish their own books, I took the plunge. The book is selling well and I have a second book in the series out, My Wild Highlander.

What would you say is the best quality about Laird Alasdair MacGrath? What is his worst quality? 
Alasdair is honor personified. Most everyone around him looks up to him with respect and admiration. He’s a fierce, skilled warrior when necessary, but he also has a heart of gold with a lot of compassion and love to share. His worst quality is probably that he wants to believe people are basically good (like he is) but he finds out the hard way this isn’t the case. So in that way perhaps he is too trusting at times. But he’s also highly intelligent and quickly figures out people never change.

My Fierce Highlander has lots of historical details in it. How much research went into this book? Have you ever visited Scotland?

Yes, I’ve visited Scotland three times. It’s my absolute favorite place to visit or go on vacation. You can’t sunbathe on any of the chilly beaches or swim in the ocean (although I’m sure some tough and brave people do), but it is an amazing place. I love visiting castles, exploring abandoned castle ruins or prehistoric sites. The scenery and views are simply breathtaking, and the weather is always unpredictable. Exploring Scotland has allowed me to put much more realism into my books. The only way to accurately describe the violence of a gale, the atmospheric dampness of a moor, or the smell of peat smoke is to experience it first.

Alasdair’s rakish younger brother Lachlan has his own book called, My Wild Highlander. What can we expect from the second book?
You can expect to catch him doing his favorite thing… seducing the ladies. LOL But that doesn’t last long. Once he meets Angelique, the woman the king wants him to marry, Lachlan realizes he could be so much more than he ever imagined. More than his father or anyone expected of him. He can become an earl and a chief, just like his brother, but he has to marry a hellcat first. And she is the only woman he can’t charm with a wink and a smile. It will take a lot more work to earn her trust because she knows exactly what he is and believes he could never be a faithful husband. Lachlan’s warrior side also comes out as he has to protect her from the vultures circling, hoping to snatch up Angelique or her inheritance.

When you write do you have any rituals or habits? 
I like to drink flavored coffee, preferably chocolate or hazelnut. When I’m writing new material I like to listen to certain kinds of music, like Celtic New Age. I find it helps me think more creatively and get into the mood of the story.

What inspired you to start writing? Why did you choose to write historical romance? 

I’ve always loved reading historical romance. It’s amazing to be able to escape to the past, explore a different world and fall in love along with the characters. Even as a child, I had a vivid imagination but I didn’t write any of these stories down until later. Back then I had no idea I wanted to be a writer. But the more romance novels I read, the more I thought… why not create my own stories and my own hot heroes?

Who is your favourite author and what is it about their work that resonates with you?

My absolute favorite author would have to be Laura Kinsale, who writes historical romance. Her work is simply amazing and indescribable. She creates art when she creates stories. I’m in awe of her writing ability. Her heroes are flawed and imperfect and I can’t help but fall in love with them. They’re so real and multifaceted but at the same time every woman’s fantasy. With her prose, she creates beautiful imagery and emotions. She makes you think hard and feel deeply. If you haven’t read one of her books, give Flowers From the Storm or The Shadow and the Star a try. Those two are my absolute favorites but all her books are on my keeper shelf.

Fun questions! What is it about Scottish Highlanders that gets your heart racing? 

Oh wow! Everything! LOL The ones I like to read about (and write about) are tall, broad-shouldered, tough-as-nails, highly-skilled warriors. Their defined muscles say they can swing a sword all day if they have to, fighting for their rights or their freedom, or protecting those they love. With those muscular calves, they look hot in a kilt (or without.) LOL They’re a bit untamed but also honorable.

If we snuck in your house (not that we would!) what book would we book would we find on your bedside table?
 You would find my iPod Touch containing my growing ebook collection. At the moment I’m reading Beyond a Highland Whisper by Maeve Greyson, and I’m loving it!

If you could drop your characters into another author’s world, whose world would you pick and why?

I’m going to choose the world of Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander series. It’s one of my favorites. I love the way she mixes history with myth and legend to create a fun read.
Thank you, Vonda for  chatting with us today! We really appreciate it!
Thank you so much for the awesome interview!
If your interested in Vonda’s amazing Highlander books, you can find My Wild Highlander and My Fierce Highlander on Amazon. 
Vonda is generously giving away a ecopy of My Fierce Highlander! *squee* Open to everyone! Winner will be chosen using Random.org
Gwyneth Carswell, an English lady banished by her father to the harsh Scottish Highlands, wants nothing more than to take her young son away from the violence of two fighting clans–her own distant kin, the MacIrwins, and their enemies, the MacGraths. She risks everything to rescue the fierce MacGrath warrior from the battlefield where he’s left for dead by her clan. She only knows she is inexplicably drawn to him and he wants peace as she does. When her clan learns of her betrayal, they seek vengeance. Dare she trust the enemy more than her own family?

Laird Alasdair MacGrath is driven to end two-hundred years of feuding with the MacIrwins. But by taking in and protecting Lady Gwyneth and her son, he provokes more attacks from his mortal enemy. As the danger and conflict surrounding them escalate, Alasdair and Gwyneth discover an explosive passion neither of them expected. With the arrival of a powerful man from her past, a horrible decision confronts her–give up her son or the man she loves.

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  1. This is awesome!! Loved reading what Vonda had to say, and have to agree with her about KMM’s highlander world. 🙂 Mostly I can’t believe I have never stumbled across these highlander books until now…can’t wait to read them!

  2. Wonderful interview! And THREE trips to Scotland? I envy you so much. Best of luck, my friend, but I know you’re not going to need it. You’re stories are pure gold!

  3. Love your writing rituals, Vonda. It’s almost as if everything has to be just so for those Highland spirits to flow from you to your keyboard. Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it! And best of luck with your growing Highland clan.

  4. Thanks Michelle! I cut my teeth on Julie Garwood’s historicals. (Well, not literally. But they were among the first romances I read.) 🙂 And KMM’s books are all on my Keeper shelf.

    Pat, you’re right about that! Have to weave a magic spell so those Highlanders will manifest. LOL

    Patti, thanks for wanting it!! 🙂

  5. This sounds like a great book! I find Vonda’s path to publishing interesting – especially since publishers liked the book but didn’t think it was the right time to publish it. I’m glad she was able to self-pub, that’s for sure!

  6. This looks like a really good book. Vonda Sinclair is an author I have not read yet but has been on my wish list. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of this book.

  7. I am currently reading My Fierce Highlander and absolutely love it. Wish I could finish it in one more sitting, but life gets in the way. Vonda is one of my favorite writers and anytime I can get my hands on one of her stories, I grab it.

  8. I step out for a few hours and WOW all these wonderful comments! Thanks so much everyone! To those who have read the book, thanks and I’m so glad you enjoyed it! 🙂 You guys are the best!!

  9. Great interview I love to find out snippets about how an author writes and what influences them. I’m incurably nosey probably:)
    Love highland warrior books,thank you for the chance to win yours!

  10. Julie, I know what you mean! I love reading Highlander books! Thanks!

    Lizzie, thanks for buying and reading my books, lovely lass!! You are the best! I hope your predictions are spot on. 🙂

  11. Scotland is one of the places I’d love to visit one day! Love the book cover!!

    Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

  12. I’ve just kind of recently discovered your blog, and I must say… I’m hooked. I used to feel kind of guilty and a smidge perverted (lol) for liking this kind of risque genre, but *shrugs* can’t help it!

  13. I so love highlanders! I say often that I want to go to Scotland, those green hills and old castles!! A long way to go on boat since I don’t fly! It really was a fab interview and so good to get to know you more. I never read Laura Kinsale but heard so much good about hers! Do you remember your first historical romance you read?

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