We have a double-treat today! Please join me in welcoming author Heather McCollum to Preternatura, because you know how much we all love pirates (although we’re partial to French ones, oui?). Heather is stopping by today as part of her virtual book tour celebrating the release of her latest book, Tangled Hearts. Tangled Hearts is the second book in Heather’s Highland Hearts series and is being published today, January 28, by Entangled Select.
Heather McCollum is an award winning, historical paranormal romance writer. She earned her B.A. in biology from the University of Maine, much to her English professor’s dismay. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers and the Ruby Slipper Sisterhood of 2009 Golden Heart Finalists. The ancient magic and lush beauty of Great Britain entranced her heart and imagination when she visited there years ago. The country’s history and landscape have been a backdrop for her writing ever since. She currently resides with her very own Highland hero and three spirited children in the wilds of suburbia on the mid-Atlantic coast. You can learn more about Heather by visiting her website, on facebook or by following her on twitter.
ABOUT TANGLED HEARTS: The Tudors take on The Pirates of the Caribbean in this 16th century romantic adventure. Pandora Wyatt is the most complicated woman alive. Raised by a pirate captain, Dory risks exposure of her magic to free the only father she’s ever known from the Tower of London. But when she’s tied to a smoldering witch’s pyre, her powers aren’t enough to save her. Ewan Brody is on a mission to deliver a traitor’s corpse to King Henry VIII when he rescues a beautiful spitfire from a horrific fate. Saving the lass’s life leads him on an adventure he never intended. Thrust together in the roles of husband and wife, they dodge royal intrigue, dark twists, and secrets as they attempt to find the true traitor at the Tudor court. Magic and adventure spark, igniting a fire between Ewan and Dory, consuming them and tangling their hearts together forever. But to reach forever, they first need to survive the day.
And now, let’s hear from Heather…
Give us the “elevator pitch” for your latest work.
Oooo, I’ve never been very eloquent with my elevator pitch. Perhaps that’s because I’m claustrophobic (LOL). When those doors close everything, except fight or flight, flees my brain. But here goes:
TANGLED HEARTS combines the opulence and court intrigue of The Tudors and the raw adventure and humorous essence of the Pirates of the Caribbean. Dory is a witch, pirate, heiress on an impossible mission. Ewan is simply fulfilling a promise with a goal of returning to a familiarly comfortable life in the Highlands. When their adventures collide and they must work together to survive Henry VIII’s court, their worlds and then their hearts become irreparably tangled together.
Describe your favorite scene in the book? Why is it your favorite?
Dory was raised by pirates so her language and opinions about sex and love are not the norm for ladies of 16th-century Britain. There is a scene in a garden where Ewan and Dory discuss “swiving” and Dory’s request for education on the subject. The scene is laugh-out-loud hilarious. She could make a Highlander blush! Every time I read it, I love it even more.
Hardest scene you’ve ever written:
So far, the hardest part (not just one scene) to write has to be the first 70 pages of the full-length sequel to TANGLED HEARTS, which I just finished writing. In CRIMSON HEART, Searc is all grown up and thrust into an adventure of his own. I kept trying to make him funny like Ewan and he just isn’t. Every time I’d try to get Searc to say or do something light-hearted, he’d roll his eyes at me and walk away. I re-wrote those first 70 pages three times before I realized that Searc had a dark past that made him quite serious and rather sad actually. Once I finally stopped trying to force Searc into a personality he didn’t have, the scenes began to flow. But it was extremely frustrating in the beginning. I had to stop and create a visual collage for the book to figure out what was going wrong.
What’s on your nightstand or top of your TBR pile?
I just started Gena Showalter’s Alice in Zombieland (and am loving it), but I’m waiting with baited breath for Darynda Jones’s Sixth Grave on the Edge, which is coming out in May!
Favorite book when you were a child:
Little House on the Prairie series. I just re-read it to my 7yo and fell in love with Laura, Mary, Carrie, Pa, Ma, and their good old bulldog, Jack, all over again.
Your five favorite authors:
Oh my, this is hard! There are so many…Okay, here are 5, but my list of favorites is definitely not this short!
Julie Garwood; Karen Marie Moning; Darynda Jones; Laura Ingalls Wilder; Janet Chapman
Book other than your own for which you’re an evangelist:
I just love Darynda Jones’s grave series. She writes contemporary paranormal romance and has the snappiest, funniest voice. I finished 15 months of chemo to beat the crap out of ovarian cancer and during that time I couldn’t read or write fiction. For a time I didn’t believe in happy endings. But Darynda sent me her book, First Grave on the Left. It was so much fun, the dialogue so witty and engaging, that I just kept reading. It was the first book I was able to finish when I was sick. I’m in remission now, BTW, and I take every chance I can to educate women about ovarian cancer. The symptoms are listed in the back of my books and on my web site. Please check them out. It might just save your life. http://www.heathermccollum.com/ovarian-cancer/
(Applauds Heather–So glad you’re in remission!)
Book that changed your life:
That would probably be the very first romance book I read when I was fourteen as it opened up an entire world of happy endings for me. It was The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. The hero is Brandon and the heroine is Heather. I think it’s rather amazing that I married my own hero and his name is Braden : ) Pretty close!
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
Okay – please don’t judge : ) I really enjoyed the Twilight series. I am so Team Edward! I have the ARC for Twilight that Stephanie Meyers set on chairs at an RWA conference before it came out. I would love to read that again for the first time.
Favorite book about books or writing:
Since I write a lot of different historical time periods (in the Dragonfly Chronicles) I love The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in…books by various authors. They give a writer a quick snapshot of basic setting details like clothing, food, money, government, religion, transportation, medicine, etc. They are quite helpful for the basic information on a time period.
I have a novella coming out to follow TANGLED HEARTS. It really ties up any little loose ends from the full-length and is a fun adventure with Will, Dory’s adopted brother from TH.
And I just finished writing the third full-length book in this series. CRIMSON HEART, an all-grown-up Searc Munro to the Scottish court of Marie de Guise. Searc has a very different kind of magic from his mother, a magic he’s hidden his whole life.
Also, in a completely different direction, I have my first Young Adult paranormal romance coming out February 18th, SIREN’S SONG.
Someday I do plan to write some non-fiction books about my journey surviving cancer. I think the first one will be called, A Wuss’s Guide to Chemo, as I was horrifically afraid of needles when I started. At last count I’ve had 91 sticks over the past 2.5 years. I guess I’m over that particular phobia : )
There is a tour wide giveaway associated with Heather’s book tour. Enter below for your chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or one of three ebook copies of Tangled Hearts.
AND, because I was so touched by all Heather has overcome, I’d like to offer up a copy of Tangled Hearts from me as well to a commenter here on the blog. This is a choice of print or digital copy. Just tell me the truth….are you Team Edward, Team Jacob, or Team-Don’t-Want-Glittering-Vampires?