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‘Finding My Highlander’ by Aleigha Siron – and the joy of writing romance

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Today I’m really thrilled to be able to welcome and host  author Aleigha Siron, as part of her blog tour for ‘Finding My Highlander’, a novel that sounds right up my street. Aleigha has kindly written a piece about why she writes romance novels and I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I have. Many thanks Aleigha, and over to you:

Hello Violet Fields,

I’ve greatly enjoyed the interviews and posts from other authors you’ve hosted, and I’m honoured and grateful to join their ranks. Today, I’m going to answer the annoying question so often heard by romance novelists, including myself.

23rd May 2016 AleighaSiron why i write romance

 

Why do I write romance novels?

 

Every writer in the romance genre has had this question hurled at them when they address an audience, or speak to friends, acquaintances, or family members about what they’re writing. Invariably someone will offer one or more of these trying responses.

 

I don’t read romance novels.

They’re too formulaic.

They’re repetitive and boring.

I prefer a mystery, detective, paranormal, dystopian, drama, historical, western, epic, comedy, satire, erotic—novel.

 

There are so many genres and sub genres it is sometimes difficult to determine where a particular book falls in the compendium of literary categories. Especially since, you’ll find elements of every genre mentioned above and more in the romance genre.

 

When I began to write romance novels, I did my share of apologizing and minimizing. This was largely due to my initial unthinking response to negative comments about love stories. As though writing a love story somehow diminished my writing and research efforts.

 

The one “formulaic” element consistent in the romance novel would be the “happy-ever-after” component. It is not always the ending the reader expected based on where the story began, but romance novels always resolve to a satisfied completion. Lovers always find their way to the one who fulfills their desires, who brings them happiness, who promises a life of bonded devotion and unwavering support.

 

Stories about the fall from grace to redemption found through love is one of the oldest forms of story telling. The Greeks first popularized it in stories about Odysseus and Penelope, Psyche and Cupid, and the list goes on. Samuel Richard’s Pamela, written in 1740 and of course the stalwarts such as Jane Austin, Emily Bronte, and others from the 1800’s, started the trend that evolved into our modern day romance novel.

 

The characters in romance genres, like any other genre, must travel the path of self-discovery. These confused, stubborn, flawed characters, so like ourselves, must survive and transcend their personal prejudices to become the hero of their story.

 

Their discoveries through trial and error, understanding and misconception, mind and spirit, shine a light on our own stories. They give hope where despair and discontentment exist. If the character catches our attention and we delve deeply into their journey, we begin to see ourselves through them. This experience may open a door to sacred, soul-wrenching personal recognition. Even if that doesn’t occur, they teach us how to look deeper into the hearts of our loved ones, friends, and family.

 

I revel in the pleasure found from creating characters with multi-dimensional, flawed personalities who must face challenges we can all relate to, and some we can hardly imagine. These characters, who eventually find their courage and their heart inspire us, and sometimes teach us how to open ourselves to the possibility of love.

 

In a time of personal despair, these amazing novels shined a light on love, hope, and yes, provided an escape when I needed it most. So I assert wholeheartedly and without apology, I love my love stories. To borrow a phrase from Jane Austen, I ‘greatly esteem’ writers, editors, and publishers who honor the difficult and sometimes terrifying journey to create stories about flawed characters who seek redemption and understanding by opening their hearts.

 

These are only a few of the many reasons why millions of people read romance novels, and why I decided to write in this genre. It doesn’t mean I’ll only write romance novels, but for now, this is my troupe.

 

The joy is in the creation, and love is where you seek it.

FindingMyHighlanderbyAleighaSiron-200

 

Excerpt:

 

“Lass, can I help you?” His voice was softer than the others, his stance relaxed, composed, despite the dirt and blood splattered over his massive arms and clothing. He seemed to be a quiet, gentle man, though physically as imposing as the others.

 

“You could bring me my bag.”

He moved his hand from behind him and cautiously extended her mother’s old carpetbag. “Do I need to check it for weapons?” A slight crinkle lifted the corner of his mouth. A piece of leather cord tied wavy, light-brown hair at the nape of his neck and tight braids spilled alongside sharp, scruffy cheeks. His eyes were dark and shadowed.

“Thank you…it’s Rabbie, correct?”

“Aye,” he nodded.

Andra granted him a guarded smile. “I’ll pull no further weapons if you promise to be kind.” The slight attempt at humor from both of them eased the tension coiled in her gut.

He swept an arm gracefully in front of him and bowed, “Always, m’lady, as I learned at me mother’s knee.” Then he left her to tend the horses.

She searched her bag for the washcloth, hand towel, and first aid kit she always carried when traveling. The washcloth came to hand first. She dipped it into the cold water and wiped the dried and clotted blood from her face and hair. Then she dunked her head in the pool several more times.

“I seem to be awake,” she whispered, just for the comfort on her own voice. “My surroundings feel solid enough,” she pounded her fist on the dirt, “so it must be real. Accept it, Andra, and decide what to do next.”

She could hear the men speaking Gaelic, hushed yet clearly distraught about the condition of their clansman. They gathered near another pool of water several yards from where she knelt. She watched them over her shoulder for a few minutes struggling to fit the scene into her new reality. A million questions rose in her throat.

“Not now. Patience and observation are what’s required. All will be revealed in time.” What a stupid cliché.

Should she offer her help with their friend; would they accept it? She could not sit here and do nothing when one of them was seriously injured. Besides, anxiety always spurred her to take action. Her father had always said, “Move, keep busy, and don’t let dust gather under your feet.” With her father’s words ringing in her ears, she approached the men cautiously, keeping her eye on the mean one, Struan.

“May I be of assistance?” She stood with her feet firmly planted on the hard-packed, dirt floor, her head held high, one hand pressed flat against her side, the other rested on the cross dangling on her chest. It took an extreme effort to control her trembling body. Her palms moistened with sweat. She steadied her focus on Kendrick. His strong hands moved carefully over his brother’s body. The mean one harrumphed and growled.

A growl? Really?

Kendrick looked up, concern etched on his face. His dark, probing eyes bore through her. “Are you a healer, then?” he asked.

“Not a healer exactly, but I have cared for ill and injured persons and have some training in first aid. I wish to help if you’ll permit me.”

“I dinnae ken your meaning. What’s the first aid of which you speak? As you can see, we give him aid, but if you can do anything to help save my brother’s life, I will gladly accept your offer.”

The mean one growled again. “Don’t trust her, she’s the enemy and will just as soon slit his throat.”

Ignoring the slur, she continued, “Have you determined the extent of his injuries?”

“Aye, his shoulder is dislocated, several fingers broken, which we have straightened and bound as best we’re able. We need to stitch multiple, deep wounds, and he’s lost a lot of blood, though blood no longer flows freely.”

The injured man lay on a plaid, stripped completely naked, his kilt torn away from his battered body. Mud, blood, and all manner of vile debris caked the hard planes of his bronzed chest. Andra couldn’t identify the severity or location of all his injuries. He moaned but appeared unconscious, or so she assumed, since he hadn’t opened his eyes. Clumps of dried blood crusted over wounds on one leg and foot. Dark, matted refuse covered the entire other leg.

His manhood lay flaccid against his thigh, and none of the men seemed concerned about his state of undress in front of a strange female. She stood quietly, waiting for several breaths.

 

 

 

Blurb:

On a windswept cliff above San Francisco Bay in 2013, 27 year-old Andra Cameron, the last member of her family, prepares to scatter her family’s ashes to the wind. An earthquake catapults her to the Scottish Highlands in 1705. She wakes, aching and bloody, to the sound of horses thundering through the trees. Terrified and with no other options, Andra accompanies these rugged warriors. She can’t deny the undeniable attraction that ignites between herself and the handsome but gruff Kendrick. Will she trust him to provide protection in the harsh reality of 18th century Scotland and with her secret, or will she find a way to return home to the 21st century?

Laird Kendrick MacLean and his men, escaping a recent skirmish with their worst nemeses, clan Cameron and their Sassenach allies, are shocked to find an injured, unprotected female in their path. How could she not know her kin and how had she landed in the middle of the wilderness alone? His men suspect she’s a spy or a witch. Still, Kendrick will not abandon an injured woman, even if she speaks unusually accented English, and her name is Cameron. Will he ransom her to others or will their closed hearts open to each other? Although he questions her every utterance, this feisty, outspoken woman inflames his desire like no other.

 

Buy Links

 

Amazon us:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DFGYURE/ref=as_li_ss_tl

 

 

Amazon uk:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01DFGYURE

 

 

Nook:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/finding-my-highlander-aleigha-siron/1123595128

 

 

Apple:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/finding-my-highlander/id1097148126?mt=11

 

 

Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/625227

 

 

Kobo:

https://store.kobobooks.com/ebook/finding-my-highlander

 

Author Bio and Media Links

AleighaSiron

After more than twenty years writing and delivering management and other training programs for modest-sized to Fortune Five Hundred companies, and ten years developing community crisis-intervention training programs, Aleigha turned her writing efforts to her first loves, fiction, and poetry.  Her poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies and university presses over the past few decades. Following a difficult period in her life, she discovered solace in romance novels that inspired her to write in this genre.  As she says, “who doesn’t desire a guaranteed happy-ever-after scenario?” Always interested in the concept of time-travel, she knew her first few stories would follow that theme.

 

When not writing, her trusty four-legged companion/helper, Strider, accompanies her on sunset walks along the shore. During these quiet walks under an expansive sky, with the whoosh of waves across the sand and her gaze drifting over the rolling sea, her best glimmers of inspiration come to mind.  Following the recent discovery of distant Scottish ancestors, she embarked on a trip to the Highlands. Although she had already developed the characters for Finding My Highlander, her trip to the Highlands enriched the characters and enhanced the story direction. This is her first full-length romance novel.  Aleigha is working on a prequel to Finding My Highlander, and another time-travel novel set in a later period.

 

 

WWW (Aleigha’s WebPage)

http://aleighasiron.com/

 

Aleigha Siron’s Book page at Tirgearr Publishing

http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Siron_Aleigha/finding-my-highlander.htm

 

Tirgearr Publishing Home Page

http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/index.htm

 

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AleighaSiron

 

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/people/Aleigha-Siron/

 

*****
GIVEAWAY!
Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here: http://www.writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/aleigha-siron/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

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One Response to “‘Finding My Highlander’ by Aleigha Siron – and the joy of writing romance”

  1. Randi says:

    We need a lot more inighsts like this!

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