"Thrilling & Heartfelt" - Highland Renegade by Cynthia Breeding - Interview
“Lush, evocative, and sizzling-hot.”
—Ann Major, USA Today bestselling author
"I loved the characters. They are very well described, and each has a unique personality. The conversations are realistic, and the various personalities often clash with interesting results. I found the pace to be perfect, allowing for the characters to grow to know each other and fast enough to make it a page turner. If you haven’t read this series, I urge you to give it a try. My regards to author Cynthia Breeding, thank you for a thrilling and heartfelt novel." — The Reading Cafe
Emily, the Dowager Countess of Woodhaven, has received title to lands in the Highlands—MacGregor lands—and after surviving an abusive marriage, she’s determined to make a new start…without a man. She just has to win over the handsome Scottish laird whose family has lived there for centuries. How hard could it be?
When Ian MacGregor heard that the Sassenach countess was actually laying claim to his lands, he figured to scare the aging widow away by showing her the hardships of living in the Highlands. She’d leave before the first snowflake fell. But he never imagined that the widow was young and beautiful and more territorial than a she-wolf. No matter, he’ll prove that a fragile, London woman like her would never survive life without her servants…and if he happens to give her the coldest and most remote rooms, all the better.
Despite his best efforts to freeze her out, things between them heat up. But Highlanders hate the Sassenach, so Ian faces a dire choice—his clan or the irresistible English aristocrat who seems to have taken not only his lands, but also his heart.
In the author's words . . .
Q&A with Cynthia Breeding
Give us a little tease about Highland Renegade.
Highland Renegade is the first of a trilogy about Clan MacGregor who were outlawed by Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1563. She awarded authority to John Campell of Argyll to oust MacGregors by fire and sword. In 1589, her son James VI, renewed the sentence and added that any clan giving aid to MacGregors would be met with the same fate. The king further banned their clan name in 1603. In 1625, Charles I renewed the statue. Charles II restored their name in 1660, only to have William III reinstate the condemnation in 1688. The clan became known as “Children of the Mist” for their ability to escape the Crown’s forces by blending in with their surroundings.
It wasn’t until 1774, that their rights were fully restored and that is when this novel takes place.
Do you remember the moment when you first considered yourself a writer?
I wrote my first “novel” at age eleven about a girl and her horse. I was a completely horse-crazy child. Interestingly, when I was cleaning out my mother’s house several years ago, I came across my hand-written version. Thinking it would be fun to see what my child mind conceived, I was pleasantly surprised to find it did have an actual plot. I played around with it and did some revisions and finally had it published by Highland Press under author name Cynthia Roepke. The title of that book became Nostalgia Road and was the first of a trilogy which I set in the Sixties.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
I attended a workshop years ago put on by (Stephen) Covey Leadership Center based on his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. I was always impressed with Habit # 2: “Begin With The End In Mind.” I use that when I begin an outline for a new book. Besides, the obvious HEA of the romance genre, how do I want the story to end?
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I love history so I’m always doing research of a sort. It’s on-going and I keep notes on index cards. Generally, I find an interesting period that I want to write about and then come up with the characters and situation that can be turned into a story.
I developed a love for the Arthurian legends when I taught them to high school sophomores. For fun, I started researching the origins of the legends—the non-fictional theories—as well as reading nearly every version of fiction. I accumulated approximately 300 books on the subject over the course of five years. At some point, I decided it would be interesting to do a book based on Gwenhwyfar’s point-of-view. Nearly all fiction blames her for the breakup of the Round Table and the downfall of chivalry, so why not take a completely different stance? The result of that was my first published novel Camelot’s Destiny, which went on to become an award-winning romance.
What appeals to you most about writing romance?
What I most like about the romance genre is that there is always a happy ending, just like the faerie tales we read as children.
Too often life gives us lemons that cannot be made into lemonade.
If we live long enough we all encounter personal tragedies, turmoil, and trouble. (Case in point: 2020 has been devastating to so many of us and seems like a year lost.)
I think what most writers of any genre enjoy is being in control of the story. In romance, we are also in control of the ending which is always an uplifting one.
Books & Benches: Thank you so much for a glimpse into the interesting history behind the book and your writing.
"A great story with well-developed characters, a chemistry-laden romance, and an intriguing mystery, Highland Renegade is the perfect story for lovers of historical romance." —One More Book
Meet the Author
An avid reader of anything medieval, Cynthia Breeding has taught the traditional Arthurian legends to high school sophomores for fifteen years. She owns more than three hundred books, fictional and non-fictional, on the subject. More information on Arthur, Gwenhwyfar and Lancelot can be found on the Historical Account link.
In addition, she has won numerous awards including the Holt Medallion, Beacon Contest, Barclay Gold, More Than Magic and Ancient City Romance Authors.
Cynthia lives on the bay with her Bichon Frise and enjoys sailing and riding on the beach.
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Entangled Amara
Series: Children of the Mist, Book One
Release Date: September 21, 2020
Content Note: 4 Hearts
During the blog tour, the author is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on October 9th. You must be 18 or older to enter. Void where prohibited by law. This giveaway is sponsored and hosted by the author and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.