Wednesday, May 27, 2009

IMHO Welcomes Scottish Historical Author Monica McCarty!

IMHO is pleased to welcome Monica McCarty to IMHO today. Monica burst onto the romance scene in 2007 with the release of her debut back-to-back trilogy featuring Clan MacLeod—hitting both the USA Today and NY Times extended lists. HIGHLAND SCOUNDREL, the third book in Monica’s latest back-to-back trilogy from Ballantine (this time featuring Clan Campbell), was released last month and debuted at #23 on the NYT (as well as hitting the USA Today and top ten Borders list). Monica, a fellow “Wild Card” (RWA Golden Heart 2005 nominee), is a former litigator married to a former Major League baseball player who was part of the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox team.

Monica’s HIGHLAND WARRIOR, the first book in her Campbell trilogy (look for the second book HIGHLAND OUTLAW as well), is the final book in our “Mother May I?” gift basket this month. Romantic Times Magazine gave HIGHLAND WARRIOR a 4½ Star TOP PICK review.

IMHO: Welcome, Monica, and tell us a “wee bit” about your Dark Knight in Shining Armor.

MM: Thanks for having me, TJ! I was so excited when I saw the topic this month because "Dark Knights in Shining Armor" is actually something I was thinking about when I was developing the character of Patrick MacGregor for HIGHLAND OUTLAW.

Patrick is everything a Highland chieftain and “Knight in Shining Armor” should be: he’s honorable to the core, proud, strong, brave, tough and—of course!—handsome as sin. But he’s also an outlaw. Dispossessed of his lands and hunted like a dog for years, by the time Patrick meets Lizzie Campbell, there’s more black on his armor than shine. He’s a man living on the edge of civilized, who’s just about lost hope, until Lizzie pulls him back in.

The very first time they meet, Patrick witnesses a humiliating event at which Lizzie is at the unfortunate center. At great risk to himself and his clansmen—and much to his surprise—he comes to her aid. Lizzie is shocked to discover that the man who she thought of as her “knight in shining armor” was actually an outlaw. Is it possible to be both? That’s the question she needs to answer.

These two tensions: the honorable/knightly core and the dark, hardened “outlaw,” were things I really had fun playing with and—I hope—made for a much more interesting story. Readers have seemed to agree. From the number of emails I’ve received, Patrick is probably the favorite hero of mine to date. I think the dark edge—and the gallant knight inside—is what really makes him intriguing. What’s better than Lancelot? How about a “bad boy” Lancelot, LOL.

I’ve always been drawn to the dark and dangerous heroes—especially in romance. I think it has a lot to do with the idea of love as a taming and redeeming force. Nice guys are supposed to fall in love. But bad boys...they fight it ever step of the way, making the “fall” all the more satisfying. The same reasoning applies to “Dark Knights.” It’s the darkness and danger that makes their journey to love feel even more powerful. It’s also probably explains why I’ve always preferred Batman to Superman!

IMHO: Thanks, Monica. Patrick is an intriguing Dark Knight, indeed! So, IMHO readers, Monica wants to know: do you have a favorite “Dark Knight” in movies or books? Leave a comment for Monica for a chance to win the “Mother May I?” gift basket.

Remember May’s basket will contain signed books by Deanna Raybourn, Catherine Kean, Tera Lynn Childs, Monica McCarty, TJ Bennett, a $20 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble, and a unique handcrafted “Charmed” jewelry set by BlackDogWhiteDogJewelry, local Houston artisans. To be eligible, leave a comment on our May guests’ posts (the more posts you comment on, the more chances to win) during the contest period. Sorry, US and Canada residents only, please. Further details are on my contest page.

And be sure to join us in June as we celebrate “the wedding month” with our new theme, “Weddings and Beginnings.” On board will be bestselling RITA® nominated inspirational author Deeanne Gist; Harlequin Historical author Kathryn Albright; bestselling author of the Spying in High Heels romantic mystery series Gemma Halliday; and award winning Medallion Press author and humorist Kathy Carmichael. We also have a special bonus for June: Eppie Award-winning paranormal/romantic suspense author Teri Thackston. It promises to be a wonderful month, so stop on by! And don't forget to comment on Monica's post.



Margay said...

This book sounds fantastic! And love the cover art!

At Home Mommy Knits said...

The book sounds great. I love finding new authors to read!

JeanP said...

I can't wait to read this book. It sound great.

tetewa said...

I'm always looking for new authors to read, the book sounds good!

jcp said...

I've heard so much about your books...I need to pick up one.

Anonymous said...

My favorite movies/heros...Last of the Mohicans (kind of a bad boy on the fringe of society), Colonel Brandon in Sense & Sensibility, Point Break (any guy who'd jump out of an airplane without a parachute for a girl, ya gotta love), Enmen from Cold Mountain. So, I guess my favorite heros will kill for, or die for the heroine, or love her enough to let her go.


Monica McCarty said...

Good morning, everyone, thanks for the great welcome! Margay, AHMK, Jean, Tetewa, and JCP, hope you get a chance to check out the book! (And Margay, I love the cover, too. The one for OUTLAW was my suggestion. :)).
Kelly, What a great list, I especially love Colonel Brandon--such a great movie. I might have to watch that one again. I'm with you on killing for or dying for the heroine--it's a prereq for my heroes when I'm writing.

Jody F. said...

My favorite Dark Knight is the actual Dark Knight, Batman. I like his mysterious quality and his sense of justice.

The cover of your latest book looks great! I hope to be able to read it soon.

Cindy W said...

I have all 6 of the Highlands books in my tbr pile! I've given up books until I pass a test (should be 8 weeks away!)I loved the post. Okay Ms. McCarty, What are you working on next?

As for a "Dark Knight", probably Wolverine. I just saw the movie this weekend, it rocked!

~Ley said...

You mean other than THE Dark Knight? LOL Okay, I'd have to say, Lucian, the werewolf, from the Underworld movies. Very dark, there.... :)

Highland Outlaw sounds very much like my kind of book. I must add it to my list! Thanks for the interview.

Maureen said...

My favorite Dark Knight is David from Madeline Hunter's By Arrangement. Even though it is not a medieval, David is a merchant, not a knight but he is very emotionless at the beginning, involved with polital intrigues. By the end of the story his emotions are definitely involved.

Monica McCarty said...

Thanks, Jody, glad you like the cover. :) I love Batman, too. Christian Bale (despite the temper) is yummy, isn't he?

Thanks for picking up the books, Cindy! Hope you get a chance to read them soon. :) I haven't seen Wolverine yet, but I'm a big Hugh fan. Good luck on the test!

Judy said...

I can't wait to read this series. It really sounds good.

RachieG said...

I <3 the ultimate Dark Knight...Batman! I also really liked Wulfgar (sorry, I'm at work but I think this is his name!) from Kathleen Woodiwiss' book. He was strong, mysterious, and kind of sweet...all at the same time.

Lyoness2009 said...

It's silly, but I kind of think of President Obama as a dark knight. He's mysterious, smart, and I have faith he can be our knight in shining armor. :)

lyoness2009 AT hotmail . com

Minna said...

Sounds like a great book!

Robena Grant said...

Being of the Grant clan, I enjoy anything Scottish except perhaps haggis. : ) One of my most favorite trips was to Northern Scotland, loved the rugged terrain, the mists that seemed to arise from out of nowhere.
Your books sound terrific and I'm looking forward to reading them and I love the cover art work.

flchen1 said...

Hi, Monica!! I've got your books in my hot little hands, but haven't had enough time to get reading yet--the last few weeks of the school year are turning out to be quite busy! And dark knights? I do like that sort of "bad boy" hero, where someone who outwardly has a bit of tarnish, but who clearly is living up to an internal code. I love when they're won over by the love of a woman ;) Sebastian St. Vincent (Devil in Winter) is one of those "reformed rake" types--it's all the more appealing when he is brought to his knees since he's not much the on-his-knees type at all!

Can't wait to actually read Patrick's story for myself!

Stephenia said...

Monica I love your books - keep the great scottish hero stories coming! I'm a batman fan, I like the dark heros best also.

Monica McCarty said...

Judy, hope you get a chance to check out the books!
Rachie, another Batman it. Wulfgar sounds really familiar. I'm sure I've read that. If you figure out the title let me know.
Lyoness, not silly at all! I hope so, too. This economy is crazy.
Thanks, Minna!
Robena, I hope you'll check out the books--no haggis involved, promise! I've only had it once, but let me tell you...I know why they make whisky. Need something strong to wash that down, LOL. I'm hoping to go to Northern Scotland next year. I've spent quite a bit of time in Edinburgh and the Western Isles.

Hey flchen, Hope the end of the year goes well and you can get to reading soon. I LOVE Sebastian from DIW. I'm a total LK fangirl, LOL. Hope you like Patrick. :)

Thanks so much, Stephenia! I really appreciate it. I've go a whole new series of Scottish heroes coming soon. So glad you like the books. I think Batman is the winner!

Cindy, sorry, forgot to answer earlier about what I've got next. I have three more books coming out next year starting in March. These won't be back to back, but spread out a few months apart. I'm going back a few hundred years to Robert the Bruce. I'm super excited about the series. Think Braveheart meets Suzanne Brockmann. I'll be posting more about it next month on my website.

Mary M said...

Hello Monica!!

Your books soothe the soul when I'm missing the mists of the Highlands! I was there in Newtonmore a few weeks ago and must admit that the haggis was indeed delicious...of course I had a wee dram to go with. I truly love all your stories and look forward to many love the covers, too.

Mary M

gaby317 said...

I haven't read anything by her yet but this sounds sooo good. A bad boy Lancelot! Love that!

gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

Pam P said...

Hi Monica. I did like Patrick a lot, though my two favorites are Jamie and Lachlan.

A favorite bad boy is Sawyer on Lost, hot and sexy, and he sure has fought to not show his better side all along, though the ladies have softened him a little. He sure did show his feelings when Juliet fell down that hole.

Virginia said...

Hi Monica, welcome to IMHO! You writen my kind of book because I love me some Highlanders Ymm! They are a sexy lot! Your book sound like a fantastic read! Thanks for sharing them with us!

Cheri2628 said...

Monica, I absolutely love your Highlander books! You create such fascinating characters. I also love visiting your website and seeing the pictures of the locations from the books. As a reader, I really appreciate all the background info.

TJ Bennett said...

Well, folks, heading on to midnight here. I think we all agree that Monica was a wonderful guest today. *round of applause here*

I know you'll keep leaving your comments for her, too, as you are wont to do. :-) Remember, you have until May 30, 2009, to leave comments for all the guest hosts for the month of May. On June 1, I'll award the "Mother May I?" gift basket to one lucky winner.

On June 3, we will kick off a new basket, new month. Come back and check out all our hosts, and if you are a newsletter member, stay tuned for a REALLY BIG ANNOUNCEMENT. And I do mean big. So, if you haven't signed up for my newsletter yet, be sure to do so, because you, lucky followers of IMHO, will be the first to get the word.

Thanks, Monica!


Monica McCarty said...

Slainte, Mary! Thank you so much for the lovely comments. I'm so glad you've enjoyed the books (and I'm so jealous of your recent trip). Sigh...

Thanks, Gaby, hope you'll get a chance to check him out. :)

Hi Pam, I think you picked my two favorites, but I'll deny it if asked, LOL. You're going to love my next book...I LOVE Sawyer, too. I thought his storyline was really good this year. I was surprised about how much I liked him and Juliette.

Hi Virginia, thanks for the great welcome. Hope you get a chance to check out the books--plenty of sexy Highlanders to go around. :)

Cheri, thank you so much! Yeah, I'm so glad you've enjoyed the books and thanks for mentioning the website. It takes a lot of time and I always wonder whether people are enjoying it...

Thanks for having me, TJ, and to everyone who stopped by today. I really appreciate all the kind words and lovely welcome.

Carol L. said...

Oh my God I love Sottish Highlanders.Monica's books as well as the covers are awesome to say the least. I love them all. I always wait for Monica's next books like a child waiting for Christmas. lol
Loved the interview. Thanks TJ and Monica

LadyVampire2u said...

Great post. I'm already a fan of your Highlander books though and they are on my keeper shelf here. Love them. Would love to have a signed book by you. The crowning point of my collection then.
My favorite Dark Knight? Well, in the movies and graphic novels, my favorite is Batman. In books, my Dark Knight pick would be Kerrigan of Kinley MacGregor's novel "Sword of Darkness".


Babyblue22 said...

Hey Monica,
I Love Scottish Historicals!!
I haven't read your work yet, but I'm going to pick up your books the next chance I get. They sound Great!
The only Dark Knight that comes to mind at the moment is Clive Owen Arthur in the movie King Arthur, I love that movie..sigh..

Thanks TJ for introducing me to a bunch of great new to me authors.


Tara W said...

I love reading Scottish historicals and I look forward to reading your Campbell trilogy.

Monica McCarty said...

Carol, thank you SO much. You are so sweet. I'm so glad you've been enjoying the books. Christmas will be coming next March, LOL.

Lady Vampire, Thank you so much for posting! I'm so glad you've enjoyed the books. I love that I'm on that keeper shelf--what a great compliment. :) I LOVE KM books, Kerrigan was awesome.

Afshan, Hope you get a chance to try one of the books. Isn't Clive Owen yummy in that movie? I recently re-watched it. Sigh. Lots of good eye-candy. :)

Hi Tara,
Yeah, another Scottish fan. Hope you get a chance to check out the books (and like them. :)).

Thanks again everyone for the great welcome!

Kaye said...

Oh, I just love books set in Scotland. Please enter me in the drawing.

etirv said...

I have read Monica McCarty's first 3 books and have her latest 3 books here lined up to read! Thanks for featuring her! delilah0180 (at) yahoo (dot) com