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.