I want to welcome Brenda B. Taylor. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.
Writing is a life-long dream I waited until retirement to pursue. After retiring from Texas public schools as a teacher and school administrator, I began writing the first books in the Wades of Crawford County series. The stories came from genealogy research. The same is true of the Highland Treasures series. I found a connection to Clan Munro in the Scottish Highlands and traveled to Scotland three times. I found our family and visited the seat of Clan Munro, Foulis Castle. A novella in the series is planned for writing and publishing this year.
Tell us about your latest release.
A Highland Ruby is the second book in the Highland Treasures series. The story follows Gavin Munro, brother of Chief Andrew Dubh Munro, and Flora Vass through a turbulent courtship. Gavin and Flora were secondary characters in the first book, A Highland Pearl, who now have their own story.
Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.
1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?
Hugh MacKenzie in A Highland Ruby is one of my favorite villains. I enjoyed writing him into the novel. He is a large, comical chief of Clan MacKenzie, and the Munro’s neighbor who delights in tormenting Andrew. The MacKenzie and the Munro have running feud brought on by decades of mistrust, reiving, and deception between the clans. Andrew finally takes steps to bring about a reluctant peace with his neighbor.
2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?
My favorite character is Flora Vass in A Highland Ruby. Flora is a strong, self-sufficient lady. She loves with all her heart, and will fight for those she loves. She is loyal, brave, and honest to a fault. Gavin finally realized her special qualities, and determined to make her his own.
3.) What genre do you write? What made you pick that one?
I write historical romance with inspirational elements, family relationships, and strong characters who are not afraid to express their love. I have a teaching field in history and enjoy the research required to write stories set in a historical time period.
4.) What are you working on now?
I am working on a novella in the Highland Treasures series entitle, A Love for All Seasons. The story takes place before A Highland Pearl, and is about the courtship of Andrew’s and Gavin’s parents. The heroine’s name is Aine, the Gaelic word for Ann and means harmony.
5.) What got you to start writing?
The impetus that started my writing was a constant nudge from an inner voice. Stories, characters, and conversations kept running around in my head. I finally sat down and put words to paper.
6.) Where do you get your ideas from?
The ideas for both series, The Wades of Crawford County and Highland Treasures, came from genealogical research.
7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?
I waited until after retirement to begin writing historical fiction. My one regret is I didn’t begin sooner. I have a friend who works as a school secretary and writes during her lunch hour. Several times I’ve read about authors holding down day jobs and writing before going to work. The stories ran around in my head and begged to be on paper, but I ignored the impulse to write them, thinking I was too busy. They should have been written.
8.) Do you have any special talents?
I love to play the piano and the organ. I play for our church. I also enjoy art, photography, and traveling in our recreational vehicle. Reading is a passion, and I love reading on my iPad apps.
9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?
The one piece of advice came from my husband. He told me if I wanted to write, to stop talking about it and do it. He is my biggest fan and encourager. I couldn’t do this without his encouragement.
10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?
I would talk with Jane Austen. She is one of my favorite romance authors who overcame many adversities to write her stories. I visited her home in Chawton, England and gravesite in Winchester Cathedral, Winchester, England this past summer.
11.) What song would you say describes your life?
The song sung by Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, I Did It My Way.
12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?
If I came back as an animal, it would be my son’s basset hound. He has two and they are well attended.
A Highland Ruby: Highland Treasures Book 2
She must choose between a life of adventure with the man she loves or a settled, secure life with her betrothed. Flora Vass put Gavin Munro out of her heart and mind until he returned to Scotland after an adventurous five years in the New World. Gavin left no doubt he returned to make the bonnie Flora his own and intended to fight for her. Flora’s betrothed, Iain MacKay, and Gavin’s brother, Chief Andrew Munro, had other plans. Andrew needed her to marry the MacKay to bring peace between the two clans. Iain MacKay wanted an heir. War with England loomed on the horizon, forcing Flora to choose between her heart’s desire and her logical choice.
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He dozed and dreamed of Flora in the emerald gown again. Now her waist-length hair matched the deep red color of the large ruby hanging from a gold chain. The ruby and gold glinted in shards of green light flashing around her and in her eyes. How lovely she appeared, with flawless white skin, ruby red hair, and eyes to match the emerald gown. Gavin’s heart near burst with her beauty. While he watched, Flora removed the ruby from her neck, dipped the stone three times in a crystal goblet of clear water. The water turned red as the ruby.
She held the goblet out to him. “Take this and drink. The ruby’s water will drive the evil away and make you weel.”
“Aye. I desire to be well.” Gavin reached for the beautiful crystal chalice now filled with red water.
Just as his hand touched the chalice, a large boot kicked his foot. Flora disappeared with the red, healing water. Gavin’s eyes popped open. He remained still, grabbing the sgian dubh from his boot with one hand and the pistol from his belt with the other.
About Brenda B. Taylor
The desire to write historical fiction has long been a passion with Brenda B. Taylor. Since elementary school, she has written stories in her spare time. Brenda earned three degrees: a BSE from Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas; a MEd from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; and an EdD from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; then worked as a teacher and administrator in the Texas Public School system. Only after retirement could she fulfill the dream of publication.
Brenda and her husband make their home in beautiful East Texas where they enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and working in Bethabara Faith Ministry, Inc. She crafts stories about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people in her favorite place overlooking bird feeders, bird houses, and a variety of blooming trees and flowers. She sincerely thanks all who purchase and read her books. Her desire is that the message in each book will touch the heart of the reader as it did hers in the writing.
Connect with Brenda
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/JV31xY
Book Information: http://historicalheartbeats.com/highland-treasures-series