Join me today in welcoming author Elaine Coffman to the Preternatura blog! Since her first publication in 1988, New York Times bestselling author Elaine Coffman’s books have been on the NYT, USA Today Top 50, and Ingram’s Romance bestsellers lists, and won four nominations for Best Historical Romance of the Year, Reviewers Choice, Best Western Historical, and The Maggie. Elaine lives in Austin, Texas, where she is working on her next book! For more information, please visit http://www.elainecoffman.com/.
Elaine’s new book, a time-travel paranormal romance called The Return of Black Douglas, was released by Sourcebooks Casablanca on April 1there are a ton of new books out this week in our favorite genres (for the uninitiated, that’s urban fantasy, paranormal romance, YA paranormal, sci fi and fantasy). I have lots to get up on the blog this week so I’m going to try something different—and it is a really great read (because I, like, want my own 16th-century Scottish hunk). The nice folks at Sourcebooks will be giving away two copies so read through to the contest info at the end!
First, about The Return of Black Douglas: He’ll Help a Woman in Need No Matter Where She Came From… Alysandir Mackinnon rules his clan with a fair but iron fist. He has no time for softness or, as he sees it, weakness. But when he encounters a bewitching young beauty who may or may not be a dangerous spy, but surely is in mortal danger, he’s compelled to help… She’s Always Wondered if She Was Born in the Wrong Time…Thrown back in time to the tumultuous, dangerous Scottish Highlands of the 16th century, Isobella Douglas has a lot to learn about her ancestors, herself, and her place in the world. Especially when she encounters a Highland laird who puts modern men to shame…Each one has secrets to keep, until they begin to strike a chord in each other’s hearts that’s never been touched before…
Welcome, Elaine! What drew you to writing historicals, and to Scotland specifically?
I’ve read you’re a stickler for research, and you’ve used fascinating details about 16th-century archaeology and medicine in The Return of Black Douglas. What’s your research method? Do you have favorite sources?
Which came first: the Douglas sisters’ occupations (archaeologist and physician) or the plot that called for someone in those occupations—which I guess is a roundabout way to ask whether you come up with the characters first, or the situation/plot?
I knew the twins’ occupations as soon as I decided to take the twins back in time. Knowing their occupations was a driving force for plotting when I outlined the book.
One of the most fun scenes to read in The Return of Black Douglas is Alysandir, a 16th-century Scottish warrior, fiddling with an iPhone. What was the most fun scene to write?
Truthfully, there were so many fun scenes in this book that I found myself laughing out loud frequently. From the first moment they met, the hero and heroine seemed to take over and define their relationship. I think it helped that the heroine was an educated woman, as was the hero, and that they were equally matched in the stubborn department—the perfect fodder for humor. I loved the wit born of their first meeting, her adventure with the thorns, and yes, the iPhone scene, because I had so much fun with Alysandir’s childlike awe, especially when he picked up her backpack and, handing it to her, asked if she had more.
More than ten years passed between The Bride of Black Douglas and The Return of Black Douglas—numbers one and two in the Mackinnon-Douglas series, but you also have a long-running Mackinnon Brothers series. Can you talk about how all these are interrelated?
What’s your favorite time period/place about which to write?
What’s next for the Mackinnon-Douglas series? Will we learn what happens to Elisabeth Douglas?
Thanks, Elaine! Want to win a copy of The Return of Black Douglas? (Don’t worry about the series order because this works great as a standalone.) Leave a comment, and you know the rest of the drill. One entry for comment, another for blog follow, a third for a Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and a fourth for a Tweet or Retweet. Be sure to include your email. Now…Go forth and comment!