Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Highland Savior Sneak Peek

Eliza Knight had a great post over at Mama Writers today and got my wheels turning.

So often I have also heard the phrase, "Don't piss me off or you'll end up in my next book!" I think anyone who has a creative craft uses real-life experiences to influence them. Whether you're a musician or a writer, I think real-life experiences play an integral part in what you do. 

Eliza's post had me reflecting on my current manuscript, Highland Savior. I would like to say all of my characters are real, but most were masterfully created out of this writer's head. Can you tell I've been editing a lot lately? Yes, yes, only to avoid synopsis writing! 

My heroine, Lady Rosalia Armstrong, was based loosely on my great-grandmother. My great-grandmother, Rosalia (pronounced ro-zal-yah), was a 16 year-old mail-order bride from Czechoslovakia. Her husband, my great-grandfather was 30+ years old. That could be a story in itself!

James Montgomery, Lady Rosalia Armstrong's BFF, was based loosely on my own childhood BFF, Jimmy. To this day, he still blushes when I thank him for all of those years of friendship!

I even threw in some pets!

Magaidh, Lady Rosalia Armstrong's dog, is the name of my sister's dog. Magaidh is Gaelic for Maggie. 15 minutes of fame, Maggie!

Noonie, Lady Rosalia Armstrong's horse, was loosely based on stories I gathered about my mother-in-law's first draft horse.   

Before I give you a sneak peek at Highland Savior, I need to seriously thank my CP, Mary Grace. Your brutally honest critiquing keeps me on my toes. From battle scenes to bedroom scenes, no subject is left unturned! You are awesome!

Highland Savior-Sneak Peek. I pulled out a few lines for your enjoyment! Please note: All material is copyrighted by me. 

* * *

The raucous sounds of laughter and snatches of song filled the air. As he glanced around the hall, men socialized and were dressed in their finery. To him, they all looked like exotic birds—peacocks mayhap. The heat was so unbearable he did not know how the women managed with so many layers of clothing. He pulled at his restricting silk doublet at the thought.

Ciaran and his men stayed within their inner circle and were not interested in courtly conversation. Having no tolerance for nonsense, he tried to blend into the woodwork with Aiden.

A raised, scolding voice caught his attention.

“How many times have I told you to watch that Highland tongue of yours, Rosalia? It makes you sound daft. I will not tolerate your deliberate attempts to thwart your chances with an English gentleman. You are a score and one. How many chances do you think you have left? No one shows interest in you. Did you notice your waistline is much larger than the other women in attendance? I will not tell you again—do as I say or suffer the consequences.”

Ciaran watched the English dragon scamper off, but not before she pinched the woman in the arm. Stains of scarlet appeared on the woman’s cheeks. When her heightened color subsided, her features were arresting. Loose tendrils of tawny hair softened her face. She had more curves than most, but she was a wild beauty.

For a brief moment, her azure eyes met his. He attempted to ease her embarrassment by offering her a gaze that was as soft as a caress. She offered him a small, shy smile and inclined her head in a small gesture of thanks before she walked off in the wake of the fiery beast.

“Och, I pray fer a son,” said Aiden, a suggestion of annoyance hovering in his eyes. “We need women as that on the battlefield—aye, brother? Her venom alone would bring a mon to his knees.”

Ciaran shrugged dismissively, but his eyes still followed the woman.

* * *

Lady Rosalia Armstrong of Mangerton was crimson with resentment and humiliation. She prayed no one heard her mother’s tongue. When she looked up to ensure no one was in earshot, he stood there, devilishly handsome. He exuded masculinity. She did not know who he was, but his profile spoke of power and ageless strength. Even in a crowd, his presence was compelling.

The muscles rippling under his silk doublet had quickened her pulse. She found it impossible not to return his captivating smile. That was the moment she realized he overheard her mother’s words. She became keenly aware of his scrutiny and knew he pitied her. Rosalia had to step away from his observant eyes.

To be continued...


  1. I enjoyed your excerpt, Victoria. Sounds like you have lots of fun writing! Glad you have such an interesting cast of characters to inspire you.

  2. Thanks, Pat. I think we all have "interesting cast of characters" that inspire us.

  3. You just can't leave us hanging!