Uncaged welcomes Elizabeth Rose
Welcome to Uncaged! You will be releasing, Highland Soul in March. Can you tell us more about this book and this new series for Dragonblade Publishing?
Thank you for having me, it is an honor to be here. To answer your question, Highland Soul is book 1 of my new Scottish romance series called Highland Outcasts. From heroes to outcasts in the blink of an eye, these four men need to find redemption in order to be welcomed back into the clan. What did they do to be considered outcasts? All they did was to break a few tavern rules at the Horn and Hoof, owned by old Callum MacKeefe – the crazy grandfather of their chieftain.
What is the most difficult scene for you to write? What is the easiest?
Since the four books of the Highland Outcasts include other characters of my MacKeefe clan from some of my other series, the most difficult part is to tie it all in and make it work. I’m not one for keeping good records of things like age of characters, hair and eye color, siblings or children, or even names of castles, etc. Therefore, I have to go back and look up all the answers in my past books and that tends to be very time-consuming. The easiest part to write for me, is dialogue. I LOVE dialogue and use it heavily. Actually, I guess you could say I can hear the voices of my characters in my head, and just kind of take dictation and write down what they are saying to each other. Easy!
Do you have a favorite character you’ve written? Has there been a character that’s been hard to write about?
One of my favorite characters from when I first created the MacKeefe clan is that rugged warrior Highlander, Storm MacKeefe. His story can be found in Lady Renegade – Book 2 of my Legacy of the Blade Series. He eventually is chieftain, and shows up in many more of my following series as well. As for the character that is hard to write . . . I’d have to say it is the one that won’t do what I want him or her to do, and who goes off in a direction all their own. Yes, I let my characters get away with it, and I can’t control them no matter how hard I try. A lot of times they surprise me with what they come up with regarding their backgrounds and plot advancement, or in what they say or do. There will be times when I get to the end of a chapter and wonder what the heck is going to happen next, because I honestly have NO idea.
How do you come up with the title to your books?
For me, the title of my book is always decided before I even start writing, and is also the last words of the book. Highland Soul came about because I wanted to tie in the fact that my heroine was the daughter of a cordwainer – shoemaker. (Sole – soul, get it? Plus, my hero has lots of soul.) Highland Flame – Book 2 of my Highland Outcasts Series incorporates the fact that the heroine is the widow of a chandler – candlemaker. (The flame is for the candle and also the attraction between the hero and heroine.) The rest of the series that will release this year consists of two more books. Highland Sky – where my hero needs to help the heroine and her clan repair thatched roofs, since he caught the roof of the tavern on fire. And the last book is Highland Silver. In this story, a silver chalice plays a big part of the plot. The hero has lost the chieftain’s chalice, and the heroine ends up having it. She’s reluctant to give it up and wears it connected to a chain around her waist.
Read the rest of the interview in the issue linked below.
Elizabeth Rose is the bestselling, award-winning author of nearly 100 books! She writes medieval, paranormal, small town contemporary and western romance. Elizabeth has been writing romance for over twenty-five years, her first book being published in 2000. She lives in the suburbs of Chicago and can be found in her ‘writing hammock’ in her secret garden during the summer months, creating her latest novel.
Can a Highlander and a cordwainer’s daughter surrender to love, heart and soul?
Welcome to book one in the adventurous new series Highland Outcasts from bestselling author Elizabeth Rose!
From admired warriors to outcasts in a blink of an eye, these rugged Highlanders are out to find redemption.
Gluttony, lust, pride, and greed, might sound like deadly sins. However, they are nothing compared to the wrath of Old Callum MacKeefe if you break his rules while drinking in his tavern!
Highlander, Gavin MacKeefe. He’s been called gluttonous because of his never-ending love of food and drink.
Gavin foolishly breaks some of Old Callum MacKeefe’s tavern rules and ends up as an outcast of the clan. His biggest offense is breaking rule number one: Never waste Old Callum’s precious, homemade Mountain Magic whisky. His second mistake was breaking rule number nine: Never step on, or soil Callum’s Cordovan leather boots.
Gavin is sent to town to help the cordwainer’s daughter since her father was attacked and left for dead. He also needs to help construct and bring back a pair of Cordovan leather boots for Callum. If not, he’ll never be welcomed back into the clan. The cordwainer’s daughter takes him under her wing, but he discovers she needs his help with her family matters even more than he needs her.
The Cordwainer’s Daughter:
Davita is the cordwainer’s daughter, trying to save their shoe business in her father’s absence. She’s asked for help from the castle. To her dismay, they’ve sent her the Highlander, Gavin MacKeefe. She’s seen this man more than once drinking too much in the town’s tavern. In a desperate deal with the MacKeefes, she promises to keep him away from whisky and to help him construct a pair of Cordovan leather boots. It should be a simple task, but when he turns out to be her savior, she has a hard time letting him go.
Two people from different walks of life find that they need each other more than they think. But can a Highlander and a cordwainer’s daughter find happiness together? One of them will have to give up everything they love if they are to make this work. Love acts in strange ways. Sometimes, it steals one’s heart and soul.
Enjoy an excerpt from Highland Soul
“Open the bluidy cell door and let us out,” shouted Gavin, his deep voice echoing off the cold, stone walls of the dungeon of Hermitage Castle. His long fingers wrapped around the rusty iron bars and he shook the locked door with angry fists. If his teeth hadn’t been clenched, he was sure they would have rattled in his head from the jolting movement.
“It’s no use, Gavin, give it up,” complained his good friend, Cam, sitting on the dirty floor with his back propped up against the wall. The dungeon was attached to catacombs that snaked around underground, with tunnels leading deep and far, and even all the way to the other side of the border. It was a nasty place, and feared by all.
Cam pulled his blond hair back into a queue, tying it with a leather band. Next, he pulled off one boot and rubbed his foot. Spotting a rat sneaking through the bars, he quickly hurled his boot at it. Missing the rat, the boot ended up hitting North instead.
“Och, what was that for, ye fool?” North rubbed his knee. “I’m no’ the one makin’ all the ruckus. Ye should have thrown it at Gavin instead.”
“Arrrrg!” bellowed Gavin, kicking at the locked door of the cell, and then cursing. “We’ve got to make noise if we’re ever goin’ to get out of here. We’ve been locked up for three days now. This is insane.”
“Ye heard Ian tell us that they are waitin’ for Storm to return.” Nash stood in the shadows. He used an object to clean under his nails. “By the way, I agree with Cam, Gavin. Ye’re makin’ so much noise ye’re goin’ to wake the dead.” He cleaned off the object against his green and purple plaid – the colors that depicted they were from the MacKeefe Clan.
“We’ve got to get out of here.” Gavin paced back and forth like a caged lion. “It’s just no’ right that we’ve been imprisoned in our own castle when we really didna do anythin’ wrong. We are heroes, no’ outcasts!”
“I agree,” remarked Cam from the floor. “However, we’re in here, and that crazy old man is out there, decidin’ our fates.”
Clan MacKeefe was from the Highlands. They had a camp in the Grampian Mountains near Oban. However, they also had holdings in the Lowlands, near the border. Years ago, they managed to secure Hermitage Castle, taking it back from the English. That’s where they were now.
“There’s nothin’ we can do about it until Storm returns,” continued Cam with a yawn, crossing his arms over his chest. “Ye ken we’ll rot here until Callum cools off.”
“Aye,” agreed North, rubbing a weary hand through his long brown hair. He and Nash looked very similar, but were not identical twins. They both had long brown hair, but Nash was a little shorter, and his face was more rounded than North’s. Nash’s eyes were also hazel, while North’s were silver. Their mannerisms were quite different as well. “I now regret drinkin’ so much of Old Callum’s Mountain Magic. If I had kent he was goin’ to shove his silly rules in our faces, I never would have done it.”
“Me, too,” agreed Nash. “But Callum has never done anythin’ like this before,” he pointed out. He continued to clean his nails.
“I think he’s been upset about somethin’ lately,” said North.
“He does seem more ornery than usual.” Cam nodded in agreement.
“I think our chieftain, Ian, is ailin’,” said Gavin. “He looked ill and in pain to me.”
“That would make sense,” said Nash with a nod. “Callum is worried about his son.”
Gavin stopped in his tracks and looked over at Nash, surveying what he was doing. “What’s that?” he asked.
“I said that would make sense.”
“Nay! I mean . . . what’s that in yer hand, Nash?” Gavin couldn’t believe his eyes. He hurried over to him and gripped Nash’s wrist, holding it up for the others to see. “I dinna believe it.” A dirk reflected in the dim glow from the light of the torch burning outside the cell. Gavin’s jaw ticked in aggravation and he tried not to explode. “Ye have a bluidy dirk,” he said through his teeth. “Ye’ve had it all along.”
“Aye,” Nash answered. “It’s the one I always hide in my boot. Ye ken that.”
“He has a dirk?” asked North from the front of the cell.
“Aye, he has a dirk,” Gavin repeated, his fingers gripping tighter around his friend’s wrist now. “Yet, he didna think to mention it to us three days ago.
“What?” This news actually got Cam off his arse. He jumped up and headed over to them.
North watched from over by the door. “Brathair, we could have used yer blade to pick the lock and get the hell out of here by now. I canna believe they missed yer blade when they removed all of our weapons before throwin’ us in here.”
“Leave me alone. All of ye.” Nash pushed Gavin, and pulled his hand back, still clenching the small blade. “It doesna matter. We’re outcasts now with nowhere to go. If we had used it, we’d be on the run for the rest of our lives.” Nash bent over to replace the dirk in his boot. But before he could stand back up, Gavin tackled him and brought him to the ground, punching Nash in the face.
“Blethers, Gavin, ye’re goin’ to hurt my brathair.” North dove atop the pile, struggling with both of them. A sea of green and purple plaid got tangled around their legs as they rolled over and over in a heated struggle, fighting for the blade.
“Stop it,” said Cam, but of course they didn’t listen. So, Cam put his fingers in his mouth and whistled loudly to get their attention.
Read the rest of the excerpt in the March/April Issue of Uncaged Book Reviews