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Blurb from Dragon's Curse
Brianna MacLeod has accompanied a shipload of her guardian’s friends to a remote island off the coast of Scotland. She eludes these Highland hunters to keep her innocence…and her gift of sight. Her attitude against falling for womanly desires changes when she nearly drowns. Saved by the talons of a terrifying winged beast, she awakens—naked—in a cave, beside an unusual man.
Cursed by a vengeful witch to transform into a dragon at inopportune times, Draco MacDonald hides on this deserted island to live alone: until he plucks a servant girl from certain death. Fueled by jealousy, and tempered by fear for her safety, he succumbs to an unfamiliar desire to mate. Her kisses propel him to dare to make her his own.
Set in 1592 on the Scottish island of Staffa, the cursed hero battles a ghostly witch, a hunter set on rape, and his own growing desire for a young woman with premonitions of his death.
Let's get to know, Nancy...
First, thank you for having me today. I am a ‘new’ author, and DRAGON’S CURSE is my first foray into writing a Scottish historical paranormal. Romance is the foundation and keeps my story flowing. I had a great time writing a man’s point of view, especially when he was in dragon form!
1.) What sub-genre of romance do you most enjoy writing?
This is a tough question since I am so new. I started writing about three years ago and wrote several contemporary romances and a romantic suspense. I then decided to try two new things: write a novella, and use my knowledge of Scottish history. While finishing DRAGON’S CURSE, I sold a contemporary romance titled SECRET LOVE MATCH under the pen name, Nancy Lennea. Red Rose Publishing released it the same time as DRAGON’S CURSE. I have three more full-length paranormals in the works, also based in Scotland, plus another set in present Day Raleigh, NC. I believe the stories with Highland heroes amid paranormal twists have edged out the other two genres, but I hope to write in both for the near future. I recently sold my romantic suspense, DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN, to Red Rose Publishing, so there you go.
2.) When did you decide to combine your love of the Scottish Highland Games with your writing?
The truth? I started the moment I realized my other manuscripts were not selling. As I walked around the New Hampshire Highland Games, where my family members continue to volunteer, I visited the historical village display. Dozens of re-enactors cooked, knitted, spun wool, cleaned weapons, and lived in tents on the site. Seeing them gave me an excellent idea for a time-travel story. Later, when I visited the Grandfather Mountain Games here in North Carolina, I took notes and snapped hundreds of photos. I wrote dozens of pages of a storyline as I incorporated everything I could smell, hear, and taste. Surrounded by sheep, bagpipes, and meat pies helped! I finished that story, and started on DRAGON’S CURSE. I integrated bits and pieces of my notes after researching a time line and conflict. The novella sold in less than a month to Whispers Publishing.
3.) Tell us about your hero. What makes a great hero in a romance novel?
My hero is not a happy-go-lucky man about town. My story takes place in 1592 Scotland. Sixteen-year old Draco Macdonald lost everyone on the island of Eigg, massacred by the Macleod clan. A dead witch accuses him of leading the killers to their hiding spot. Her reappearing ghost curses him to shift into a dragon at inopportune times. Basically, he cannot control the change nor can he die, so he hides out on the deserted island of Staffa. His life goes on for fifteen years until a boatload of hunters arrives. He comes to the aid of nearly drowned Brianna Macleod and everything changes. He comes out of his shell, so to speak, and grows to love her. He aches when she leaves the island and rescues her again when her boat sinks. Attempted rape, a death, wild animals, dark caves, and stormy seas balance out the romance and make this a quick, dark read…with a happy-ever-after ending.
4.) Did you have to do a lot of research for your book? What was the most challenging part of writing your historical romance?
Writing a historical novel takes a little more work than writing a contemporary romance. I believe you should write what you know, which is easier when you are writing about a present day event. Research is the key for a historical, so I picked my husband’s brain and scoured his books. He is a European history major of Scottish descent, which is another reason we attend Highland games. First, a writer must pick a time. The time line is crucial. You do not want to mention the wrong king or refer to an event in past tense if it has not yet occurred. I chose my timeline based on the massacre on Eigg in 1577. Historical facts about this event fill the internet. I chose a nearby, uninhabited, unusual island as Draco’s new home, mainly because of Fingals’ Cave on Staffa. The volcanic rock formation, size, vegetation, wildlife, and lack of trees all become parts of my story.
5.) What are you working on now and what can we expect from you in the future?
I am working on my Scottish paranormal that I thought was finished. Nope. Since it is more than three times the length of DRAGON’S CURSE, I am able to include more characters and more ups and downs for those characters, but it needed work. A present day witch accidently sends herself back in time to 1598 Scotland. She does not know it. She volunteers at a Highlands Game in New Hampshire so everyone around her is dressed like the re-enactors and the visitors. Haven MacKay meets a hunter named Kirkwall Gunn who propositions her, then runs into a warlord and his mercenaries. Chased, she is rescued by Kirk. He and his men are heading to a wedding. She does not find out until much later of Kirk’s betrothal. He is to marry a woman from an enemy clan in order to halt a century-old feud. Again, I used fact and research for my conflict and plot. I think the time travel aspect is small. It is the developing relationship, and the outcome, which makes a great story. I have written over 1/3 of the second installment of the series, and hope to sell it soon. For more information on the games where I gleaned inspiration: Grandfather Mountain Games, July 8, 9, 10, 11 2010
Thank you for joining me today, Nancy. You are truly passionate about what you write, so I can only imagine that your readers will feel that in your books.
Visit Nancy’s websites: Nancy Lee Badger and Nancy Lennea
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