Dawn Marie will gift a Kindle edition of Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon to a lucky commenter who answers the question: What is your favorite gemstone and why? Be sure to include your email addy. Feeling shy? Email Dawn Marie. A name will be pulled out of the garden hat on Tuesday September 17.
Susana: What inspired you to write?
Dawn Marie: I was always a voracious reader. In my pre-teens, I wrote diaries. Glad those all disappeared. J During high school, I wrote short stories with tragic endings. I was a dark teenager. Those have all vanished too. J College and a career kept me busy for the longest time. Then one day while on a business trip to Brussels, I saw a billboard advertisement for whisky with a hunk-worthy, bare-chested Highlander, carrying a claymore, the large two-handed sword of the Scots. (Similar to the cover for the first novel in the Highland Gardens romance series, Just Beyond the Garden Gate.) It occurred to me that I would much prefer to write about men in kilts, time travel, and faeries than instruct business analysts in the use of buggy software.
Susana: How long have you been writing?
Dawn Marie: A tad more than ten years. When I started writing, I had no clue there were rules. LOL! I joined RWA and my local chapter, took workshops, joined some online chapters and a critique group, and rewrote the first novel several times. I’m happy with the results.
Susana: What advice would you give writers starting out?
Dawn Marie: Dare to dream!!! Join writing groups, take workshops, and find a good critique partner or group.
Susana: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Dawn Marie: Mostly pantser. Ideas percolate in the back of my mind for a while then I jot down a vague outline and start writing. While writing, I create character cards with character specifics. Once a couple of chapters are drafted, I use a storyboard with colored stickies to follow point-of-view shifts and plot threads.
Susana: Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb?
Dawn Marie: Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon is the second novel in the Highland Gardens series. The High Queen of the Fae has challenged a banished faerie princess to unite three unlikely couples living in different time periods. The first match takes place in book one. Finn, the hero of the second book, started talking to me while I was writing the first so I wrote him in as a secondary character. Of course, he wanted his own story. The heroine, Elspeth, is also a secondary character in the first book. They’re prophesized to be together, but must overcome treachery from several directions in order to secure their happily-ever-after.
Susana: Are you working on something new?
Dawn Marie: I have two works-in-progress for the Highland Gardens series. Potentially a novella with a holiday theme and a novel that takes place shortly after the Battle of Flodden.
Susana: Do you have a favorite quote or saying?
Dawn Marie: Absolutely. “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” ~Michealangelo
Susana: What is your favorite color?
Dawn Marie: Peridot. It’s my signature color.
Susana: What is your favorite gemstone?
Dawn Marie: I love a rainbow of gems. My birthstone is peridot so it is my favorite. But I also love sapphires and garnets and amethysts and especially moonstones. Each couple in the Highland Gardens series has a signature gem. Finn’s and Elspeth’s in Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon is moonstone. Moonstones have unique qualities. Legends claim that some of the milky, blue stones have the ability to reunite lost lovers while others give the bearer the gift of second sight.
About Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon
What happens when a twenty-first century business executive is expected to fulfill a prophecy given at the birth of a sixteenth-century seer? Of course, he must raise his sword in her defense.
Believing women only want him for his wealth, Finn MacIntyre doesn’t trust any woman to love him. When, during Scottish Highland games, faerie magic sends him back in time to avenge the brutal abduction of his time-traveling cousin, he learns he’s the subject of a fae prophecy.
Elspeth MacLachlan, the beloved clan seer, is betrothed to a man she dislikes and dreams of the man prophesized at her birth, only to find him in the most unexpected place—facedown in the mud.
With the help of fae allies, they must overcome the treachery set to destroy them to claim a love that transcends time.
Finn gripped the rowan staff in one hand and leaned against the castle’s outer wall, trying to catch his breath. The short trip from the garden left him weak. If his stamina didn’t return soon, he’d go crazy. He needed to be healthy and strong so he could go after Maclay. Then he must travel home before he did something rash concerning Elspeth.
He stopped again at the castle gate and gulped air to remain standing.
Motion on the bay caught his attention. Men rowed toward the castle in several small boats of the type made from skins and wicker, the kind Highlanders called currachs. When the crafts beached, he recognized Donald MacLachlan as the man jumped from one, strode across the pebbly beach and headed toward him.
Suddenly a weight slammed against Finn, knocking the hard-won air from his lungs. His walking stick flew from his hand as he fell to the ground. Pain shot from his thigh, to his groin, to his chest. Gasping for breath, he found Elspeth’s soft body entangled with his.
Her lush curves wrapped around him, filling his senses with all that was missing from his dreams. The scents of sunshine and roses intoxicated him. His hard-on was instantaneous.
Shit! He attempted to detangle their limbs and set her away from his ill-timed erection, but her body melded with his. She felt so right in his arms. He was tempted to hold onto her and never let her go.
Elspeth caught her breath. Everywhere Finn touched her as they tried to break apart, her skin tingled. When their gazes met, everything else faded away. The world reduced to only the two of them, and his mouth dipped toward hers.
His lips grazed hers and fire blazed through Elspeth to her toes, the moment lasting an eternity. Finn’s tongue pushed between her lips, seeking entrance. Her mind reeled. With little thought, she wrapped her arms around his waist and twirled her tongue around his. Passion. Unlike the minimal pecks she’d received from Alexander, Finn’s fierce kiss conquered, possessed.
She wanted more.
The sound of a throat clearing broke the spell, and Finn’s sinful mouth pulled away, leaving behind a fracture in the foundation of Elspeth’s expectations for the future.
How could she go on as before?
“Let me help you.”
She gazed up through the haze of awakened sensation. Uncle Donald stared at her, a sly gleam in his eyes. He reached a hand down and helped her rise before assisting Finn. Unstable on his feet, Finn leaned on her while her uncle retrieved the walking stick.
She swayed—not from the burden of Finn’s weight, but the desire awakened by their kiss.
About the Author
Dawn Marie Hamilton dares you to dream. She is a 2013 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist who pens Scottish-inspired fantasy and paranormal romance. Some of her tales are rife with mischief-making faeries, brownies, and other fae creatures. More tormented souls—shape shifters, vampires, and maybe a zombie or two—stalk across the pages of other stories. She is a member of The Golden Network, Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal, Celtic Hearts, and From the Heart chapters of RWA. When not writing, she’s cooking, gardening, or paddling the local creeks of Southern Maryland with her husband.
Thanks for having me as a guest at Susana’s Morning Room. It’s been a pleasure to visit.