Author in the Spotlight: Samantha Beiko

Today I’m pleased to welcome Samantha Beiko as my guest!

Profile1Samantha Beiko has worked in the Canadian publishing industry for the past three years in various capacities, first in marketing and publicity, now in editorial and layout design. She has had the opportunity to acquire and edit some remarkable books, and along with Sandra Kasturi, Samantha edited Imaginarium 2013: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing for ChiZine Publications. Samantha is also an emerging author, and her first book, a YA fantasy novel called The Lake and the Library, has recently come out with ECW Press. She currently resides in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and is working to broaden the speculative fiction community there through her writing and publishing work. Samantha also has a few independent projects, namely a blog for a speculative fiction bookstore she would like to one day open called Valkyrie Books (http://valkyriebooks.tumblr.com). She also co-chairs the Winnipeg ChiSeries, a quarterly genre reading series, with Winnipeg urban fantasy author Chadwick Ginther.

Other artistic ventures include drawing, painting, and sculpting, and any kind of craft she can get into. By day Samantha works full-time as the Marketing Coordinator for the Manitoba Conservatory of Music & Arts (in addition to working for ChiZine Publications via telecommute). She takes vocal lessons at the MCMA, and is currently singing a mix of opera and folk song. She loves vintage everything (preferably the 1930s-mid 60s), having just started a collection of animal bones.

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SEVEN SPOTLIGHT QUESTIONS:

#1: Why do you write?

Well, that’s a new question! I don’t think anyone’s ever asked me why, and come to think of it I’ve never asked myself. It has nothing to do with wanting fame or glamour, because that kind of thing isn’t the reward you aim for, and there isn’t any clear formula to getting there. I just like telling stories, I suppose. And any creative person will tell you that there’s a magic in being able to bring to life something that only exists between you and a fleeting daydream. But the best part is being able to share it with someone else, and have them engage with it—inviting someone else in, turning a solitary experience into a shared one. That’s what I really enjoy. Lots of things have changed for me in my life and career, but the joy of creating and sharing has always been constant.

#2: What was your earliest writing experience:

My brother was big into fantasy RPGs and reading epic fantasy. He was 4 years older than me, and wrote a lot of creative fiction based on video games for his classes, and being a younger sibling, I wanted to do EVERYTHING HE DID. So I decided I would be a writer too, but that my breakthrough piece would be an original scary story a la Are You Afraid of the Dark or Goosebumps (we ordered all those books via our Scholastic Book Orders like addicts.) This first-ever story was done on loose leaf in 2B pencil and was titled “The Black Plague.” Being a seven year old with no concept of the world, I thought the Black Plague was some kind of monster creature–pale, hairless, and wandering around my neighbourhood on Halloween night trying to eat people. It could only be stopped by a courageous girl and her older brother (obviously). When my brother told me the black plague was actually a disease and not a monster, I was crushed. I think I have the original copy somewhere! I even wrote it by candlelight in my kitchen because ‘that’s what authors did.’

#3: Describe a day in your writing life:

It’s definitely difficult to get a lot of work done when you have a full time job, and when you’re working on publishing other people’s books at the same time . . . and also trying to stay in shape or see your loved ones every now and again, or, you know, sleep. But you’ve got to make the time, otherwise the book just won’t happen. My typical day is to spend all my waking hours at work thinking about writing, plotting things in a Hilroy scribbler on my lunch breaks, coming home, continuing publishing work, and finding myself staring down midnight. I try to get in at least 500 words minimum a day though, even when there’s no time for it. I’ve got friends who pump out 3000 words or more a day, which makes me feel very inefficient, but even if I haven’t written a word, I try to plot and plan, which does provide a bit of relief when the writing comes. Sticking to a schedule has always been a challenge for me, but luckily I have a ton of writer friends who are very encouraging and inspire me to just Get It Done. And it’s NaNo month, so everyone needs a solid push—even those of us who’ve already been published! I wish every day was the same, or that I could just stay at home and pump out two books a year, but the reality is that you have to squeeze in the craft in those rare pockets of time . . . and avoid the internet while you’ve got them.

#4: What authors influenced you and how?

Too many to name! Big ones like Diana Gabaldon, Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman, Tolkien, and the less known like Nancy Springer, Caitlin Sweet, Mary Stewart . . . these authors drive home to me some basic values about writing: belief and conviction in the worlds that you create and the characters inhabiting them is a vital part to writing the best story you can. They also taught me that I should never feel limited in what I can write, because there are no hard and fast rules. It’s never ‘can I write this’ or ‘should I write this’, it’s more ‘what’s stopping me?’ Usually it’s ourselves who inhibit our own writing, so constantly finding new authors that are intent on pushing the envelope keeps me wanting to challenge myself more and more.

#5: What are some things you learned to help with your success?

I work in the book publishing industry, which opened my eyes to a lot of things while I was in the midst of signing my contract. I realized very quickly that what I was learning in my program, as far as marketing and publicity went, I would have to do myself, as an author. Being knowledgeable about what’s behind the ‘curtain’ certainly helped, and kept me level in terms of what I could expect from being published.

Writing the book is the easy part. It’s getting it out there and into people’s hands, and connecting with the people who have read it, that takes a lot of work. There’s only so much your publisher can do for you, in terms of publicity and promoting. They have other books to worry about, and can’t put all their eggs in your basket. So there is quite a bit more leg work that is expected on the author’s end: keeping up with Twitter, Facebook, a blog; going out and doing readings and querying your local library or bookstore if they’ll host you, pitching yourself to conventions as a panelist, etc. Whatever ‘success’ I’ve had with my first book has come from making myself present in my community—as a writer, publishing professional, and reader—and being willing to put the time into going to conventions, speaking on panels, or hosting workshops accounts for a lot. Know that from the get-go, be willing to put yourself out there, and keep learning from everyone you meet and everywhere you go. The promoting bit can be like another full-time job, but it’s necessary if you’re going to stand out at all.

#6: Describe your writing method:

I like to plot a rough map of each chapter with snippets of action, dialogue, and most of all intent, before I commit anything to the actual manuscript. I usually write these by hand, because it trains me to only write the bare necessities (because hand cramps suck). I used to plot on a computer, but found I was just getting long-winded and writing more plot than actual story. After I’ve got a rough idea of where the chapter is going, I’ll sit down and throw myself into it. If I know I’m going to call it quits soon, I try to write until I’m in the middle of a chapter or a scene, so that when I come back to it, the mood and tone will already be set, and I can just get right back into it. I always find it difficult to get back into the writing if I’ve just finished a chapter and I’ve got to jump right into a new one without anything set.

I also write linearly (meaning I write from beginning to end). I’ve tried the ‘write whatever scene you feel like’ method and it didn’t really work out for me. I’m a simple point A to B gal. Going all over the map drives me insane. I write until I’ve got a good rough draft, then I’ll go through it with Track Changes on, leaving myself notes all over the MS so that I can track consistency, especially if elements of the plot change throughout. I do this two or three times until I feel that I’ve got a ‘solid’ draft, then I send it off to some readers. After that I’ll polish it up again, and try to find the book a home.

#7: Tips for aspiring writers:

  1. Never Stop Writing. Write every day if you can, prose or plot. And if you can’t write every day, stare into space for a while. Dream up your story. Keep it on a short leash and close to you; don’t let it fade, especially if you believe strongly in it.
  2. Read. Read a lot. Read everything. This is your best Writers School, by far. Read books that are great. Read books that are not so great. Learn something from every single one of them. Apply it to your work.
  3. Writing is a solitary job. You hole yourself up for months, lost in your head, and then you send that story out into the world. Realize now that if you want to be a ‘successful’ author, the book is the easy part. It’s engaging with your audience, local writers, and your community that will get you to ‘success’. Be willing to do readings at your local bookstores and libraries. Attend writers festivals, book fairs, conventions. Meet writers in your neighbourhood and in your genre at large, stay on top of your market, and remember that while writing is All About Being Alone, engaging people with your book is Super Social. So learn how to use Facebook and Twitter. For real.
  4. Don’t give up on yourself. You can do it! And if you don’t know how to do it, or you need motivation, never be afraid to seek it out.

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About Samantha’s book:

The Lake & the Library is a young adult paranormal fantasy published by ECW Press (Toronto) in May, 2013.

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16115365

Wishing for something more than her adventureless life, 16-year-old Ash eagerly awaits the move she and her mother are taking from their dull, drab life in the prairie town of Treade. But as Ash counts the days, she finds her way into a mysterious, condemned building on the outskirts of town—one that has haunted her entire childhood with secrets and questions. What she finds inside is an untouched library, inhabited by an enchanting mute named Li. Brightened by Li’s charm and his indulgence in her dreams, Ash becomes locked in a world of dusty books and dying memories, with Li becoming the attachment to Treade she never wanted. Soon, Ash must choose between the road ahead or the dream she’s living, before what she wants most consumes her. This haunting and romantic debut novel explores the blurry boundary between the real and imagined with a narrative that illustrates the power and potency of literacy.

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Buy Links:

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/lake-and-the-library-the

Kindle: http://www.amazon.ca/Lake-Library-S-M-Beiko-ebook/dp/B00BAH7X98/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1383777743&sr=8-2&keywords=the+lake+and+the+library

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-lake-and-the-library-s-m-beiko/1113730501?ean=9781770903852

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Connect with Samantha:

Webpage: http://www.smbeiko.com

Twitter: @SMBeiko

Contact form: http://www.smbeiko.com/#!contact/c16fm

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Author in the Spotlight: Linda Poitevin

Today I’m pleased to welcome Linda Poitevin as my guest!

author_photo_red

Author of the Grigori Legacy, a supernatural thriller series published by Penguin USA, Linda Poitevin was born and raised in B.C. Growing up in an era when writing was “a nice hobby, dear, but what are you going to do for a living?” Linda worked at a variety of secretarial jobs before applying to be a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Due to an error in measurement, however, she was turned down when she didn’t meet the height requirement of that time. Undeterred, Linda became a civilian member in the force and was a dispatcher for two and a half years, during which time she met her husband, a police officer.

Following their transfer to Ottawa, Linda went on to become a real estate agent and then a human resources consultant before starting a family. She remained a stay-at-home mom, homeschooled her youngest daughter for nine years and, now that she has realized writing can be more than a nice hobby, continues to vicariously live her dream of being a cop through her characters.

Linda currently lives near Ottawa with her husband, youngest of three daughters, one very large husky/shepherd/Great Dane-cross dog, two cats, a rabbit, and a bearded dragon lizard. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found in her garden or walking her dog along the river or through the woods.

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SEVEN SPOTLIGHT QUESTIONS:

#1: Why do you write?

The voices make me do it… 🙂

Seriously, I can’t imagine not writing. I’m forever playing out scenes in my head and wondering what if? The only way to make a story go away and stop hounding me is to write it down. To-do lists are the same, but not nearly as much fun. 😀

#2: What was your earliest writing experience:

The earliest I remember was a poem I wrote in grade 3. My teacher, Miss Taylor, called in my mother for a special meeting about it because she liked it so much. She was an awesome teacher.

#3: Describe a day in your writing life:

We have a kitten in the house, so it has become impossible to work from home lately, so I’ve returned to the coffee shop I used to write at when I was escaping children (they’re all grown now). My day typically starts at 6 a.m. (earlier in the summer when it’s not so dark…and cold) when I get up, feed the dog and two cats, have breakfast, and get ready. I try to be at the coffee shop when it opens at 7:00 so I can get my favourite table tucked away in a corner by a window. I generally write until somewhere between eleven and noon – that takes care of the fiction portion of my day. Then lunch and a walk with the dog, followed by freelance work, marketing, blog posts, catching up on email, and so on.

#4: What authors influenced you and how?

I think every author I’ve ever read has influenced my writing in some way. I read widely across many genres, and I see that in my own work – the multiple points of view from thrillers, the romantic element from romances, and so on. Even authors whose work I don’t care for have had an impact on shaping my style.

#5: What are some things you learned to help with your success?

Two big things. First, “talent” is nothing if it isn’t backed by solid writing skills. No matter how good your story idea might be, if you’re going to pull a reader into a story, suspend their disbelief, and hold them there, you need to know your craft. Things like point of view, verb tense, pacing, conflict, motivation, and yes, even basic grammar are all important. A reader may not notice those elements are in a story, but they’ll certainly notice if they’re not.

Second, the definition of “success” is a very personal thing. I try not to measure myself against other authors, instead focusing on what my goals are. I don’t always succeed, but I try! 😉

#6: Describe your writing method:

I used to be a full-out pantser (writing by the seat of my pants without pre-plotting), but writing a series has taught me that plotting has its upside, too…mostly in saving me from writing myself into impossible corners that I then have to live with in future books. Now I plot out the major scenes using sticky notes on my office wall. I like to be surprised still, so I don’t try to capture the entire story—just enough to make sure I have a c0hesive story arc. Once I begin writing, I add more sticky notes as the story unfolds—one for each scene. Around the two-thirds mark, I begin shuffling the notes around to rearrange the scenes (this step generally requires much muttering and pulling of hair), certain that the entire story is utter tripe.  Once the sticky notes are in an order that makes sense, I rearrange the scenes in my electronic manuscript. This entire process generally takes place two or three times before everything settles into place.

#7: Tips for aspiring writers:

  1. Read, and pay attention to what you’re reading. What do you like/not like? Why/why not?
  2. Take time—and make the effort—to learn the craft. Join a writers’ group where you can critique one another’s work.
  3. No matter what stage you’re at in your writing, be active in social media and start building relationships—every friend you make online now is a potential reader and/or promoter of your work when you’re ready to publish.
  4. Know what your definition of success is, and celebrate every step you take toward it.
  5. Never stop having fun.

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About Linda’s book:

The Grigori Legacy is a dark urban fantasy series published by Penguin USA. It is set  in Canada and features a Toronto homicide detective who finds herself caught up in the war between heaven and hell.

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SotA coverBook 1, Sins of the Angels:

A detective with a secret lineage. An undercover Hunter with a bullet-proof soul. And a world made to pay for the sins of an angel…

Homicide detective Alexandra Jarvis answers to no one. Especially not to the new partner assigned to her in the middle of a gruesome serial killer case—a partner who is obstructive, irritatingly magnetic, and arrogant as hell. Aramael is a Power—a hunter of the Fallen Angels. A millennium ago, he sentenced his own brother to eternal exile for crimes against humanity. Now his brother is back and wreaking murderous havoc in the mortal realm. To find him, Aramael must play second to a human police officer who wants nothing to do with him and whose very bloodline threatens both his mission and his soul.

Now, faced with a fallen angel hell-bent on triggering the apocalypse, Alex and Aramael have no choice but to join forces, because only together can they stop the end of days.

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Buy Links:

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/books/Sins-of-the-Angels/O-HByo8uGkO6aiiQgycDPw

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Sins-Angels-The-Grigori-Legacy/dp/0441020917/ref=tmm_mmp_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1345483464&sr=1-2

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sins-of-the-angels-linda-poitevin/1101566415?ean=9780441020911

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Books 2 and 3 of Linda’s Grigori Lecacy series are also available:

Sins Of Sons high res

 

 

SinsOfTheLost_highres

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Connect with Linda:

Webpage: http://www.lindapoitevin.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/lindapoitevin

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LindaPoitevin

Fan email address: info@lindapoitevin.com

Author in the Spotlight: Ceci Giltenan

Today I welcome fellow Champagne Books author, Ceci Giltenan!

ceci-giltenanCeci always wanted to be a writer but during college practicality won out and she became a nurse. She started her career as an oncology nurse at the National Institutes of Health, and eventually became a successful medical writer and a specialist in early drug development. In 1989 she met a young Irish carpenter at a friend’s wedding and she eventually married him. Now, with their children in college, Ceci is breaking away from “primary efficacy endpoints” and writing a few “happily ever after’s.” She primarily writes historical romance although she has several fantasy romance novels drafted as well. Her debut novel, Highland Solution, a medieval Highland romance was released by Champagne books in September. Currently it is Champagne’s number one best seller and is among the best-selling Scottish romances on Amazon. Her next novel Highland Courage will be released by Champagne in April 2014.

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SEVEN SPOTLIGHT QUESTIONS:

#1: Why do you write?

There are two answers to this. I do medical writing to earn a living. I am very good at it and I find it interesting. However I write fiction for the pure joy of it. I have always been a daydreamer. If I am bored or unoccupied, I slip away into another place for a while. Writing fiction allows me to take an extended vacation to a dream world of my creation. Every detail is subject to my whim. I can even control the weather. What could be more fun?

#2: What was your earliest writing experience:

I remember writing little poems when I was about six. Later I made my own newspapers. I must have done stuff like this throughout grade school because my sixth grade class predicted that I would be a writer. I said I wanted to be a nurse; Frank, the kid in charge of writing the predictions, told me someone else was going to be a nurse. “You be a writer, you’re good at that.” As it turns out I became both. I eventually combined my clinical knowledge and writing skill to become a medical writer.

#3: Describe a day in your writing life:

Because I am a professional medical writer, I write all day, every day. I generally start the day with any writing that I have to do for clients. But I switch back and forth throughout the day. When I need a break I pull up whatever manuscript is calling to me for a while. Although this sounds disjointed it is actually anything but. When I run into a snag in my medical writing, I put it aside and work on fiction. Somehow the problem tumbles around in the back of my mind until I see the answer. The reverse is true for my fiction. When I hit a block, I switch back to medical writing and mull the problem over in the background until I see the way forward. However, I tend to do most of my serious writing late at night when everyone is asleep and the phone doesn’t ring.

#4: What authors influenced you and how?

There are so many writers whose work I love, E.B. White, Louisa May Alcott, Laura Ingalls Wilder, C.S Lewis, J.K Rowling, Julie Garwood, and Robin McKinley to name a few. I suppose they have all had some influence. However, if I had to pick one, it would be C.S. Lewis but probably not for the reasons you might expect. C.S. Lewis authored a book called The Four Loves in which he examines the nature of love. He describes storge—affection, philia—friendship, eros—romantic love, and agape—unconditional love. This has always fascinated me and as you might expect eros plays a strong role in my romance novels. However, I really try to reveal all of the facets of love in my writing. It is really gratifying to read reviews left by readers and see comments on all of these.

#5: What are some things you learned to help with your success?

I am still learning. I have lived in a very different world until now. I think the thing that has helped the most is acknowledging that I am out of my element and putting my trust in the experts. I listened to my editor. I gave the publisher and cover artist free rein. I asked successful authors their opinion on promoting my book. The result was a good book, in an attractive cover, which was introduced to the right audience.

#6: Describe your writing method:

I think I apply the scientific process that I use in medical writing. Essentially I ask a “What if?” question. “What if a medieval woman in Scotland was forced to marry a stranger from the Highlands?” Obviously this is not a unique situation; there are many novels written with this basic design. The elements that an author adds to a standard plot are what can make each story exciting and unique. So I start creating an environment and characters. I spend a lot of time building characters, imagining his or her entire history in detail. Finally when I know the characters well enough to imagine how they would react in any situation and can clearly see the settings where the action will occur, I insert the problem. The story evolves as I imagine what happens.

#7: Tips for aspiring writers:

Write. Although I have been employed as a medical writer for years it really didn’t fulfill the creative drive within me. I wanted to write fiction. I thought about it for a long time. I imagined characters and settings, problems they might face, and possible plots. Quite literally I pondered it for over thirty years. In fairness, I had a job and a family to raise, but still it was my fondest desire. Once I sat down and started, it was as if I took a daily trip to paradise. I loved it. Nothing I have ever done was that much fun. Why on earth did I not start sooner?

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About Ceci’s book:

 

Highland Solution is a historical romance released the September 3, 2013. It is currently Champagne Books’ number 1 best seller and is among the bestselling books in its genre on Amazon in the US, UK, Canada, and Germany.

 

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Laird Niall MacIan needs Lady Katherine Ruthven’s dowry to relieve his clan’s crushing debt but he has no intention of giving her his heart in the bargain.

 

Niall MacIan, a Highland laird, desperately needs funds to save his impoverished clan. Lady Katherine Ruthven, a lowland heiress, is rumored to be “unmarriageable” and her uncle hopes to be granted her title and lands when the king sends her to a convent. King David II, anxious to strengthen his alliances, sees a solution that will give Ruthven the title he wants, and MacIan the money he needs. Laird MacIan will receive Lady Katherine’s hand along with her substantial dowry and her uncle will receive her lands and title.

 

Lady Katherine must forfeit everything in exchange for a husband who does not want to be married and believes all women to be self-centered and deceitful. Can the lovely and gentle Katherine mend his heart and build a life with him or will he allow the treachery of others to destroy them?

 

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Excerpt:

 

“Lady Katherine, oh, Lady Katherine, there you are,” said an ashen faced chambermaid as she rushed into the kitchen. “You have to come quick. There are two Highlanders in the great hall with your uncle. Sir Ruthven bid me to fetch you there now.”

 

Hot, flushed, and certainly not prepared to receive visitors or face her uncle again so soon, Katherine sighed, saying, “You stay here. I’ll go to the great hall alone. It never pays to keep Uncle Ambrose waiting.” At the look of panic on the girl’s face, Katherine added, “I’m sure it’s nothing, don’t worry.”

 

Katherine froze when she saw at least a dozen rather imposing Highland warriors waiting in the courtyard. An even larger group of Ruthven soldiers kept their distance, observing the strangers cautiously. Knowing she’d pay for it later, she stepped back into the kitchen and asked Moyna to offer them food and ale. Then, fearing she had already kept her uncle waiting too long, she hurried into the great hall.

 

She entered with her head down. Sometimes a show of subservience tempered her uncle’s anger. He read from an unfurled scroll and didn’t acknowledge her immediately, so, with her eyes still downcast, she took a quick look to her right. Two sets of feet in the open leather shoes Highlanders wore caught her attention. Unbidden, her eyes followed the nearest thickly muscled bare legs up the length of the man’s tall, powerfully built body. He wore typical Highland clothing, a belted linen tunic that barely reached his knees, with a plaid fastened by a brooch around his massive shoulders. She had to tilt her head back to see his face. The grim expression he wore startled her. Clearly this man was not happy and she suspected Uncle Ambrose had something to do with it.

 

Katherine realized eventually that her uncle didn’t intend to acknowledge her. Unable to stand the tension any longer, she said, “Uncle Ambrose, you sent for me?” Chancing another quick glance at the Highlander she saw his grim expression replaced first by confusion, followed very quickly by anger.

 

Turning her attention back to Uncle Ambrose, his barely concealed glee worried her. Finally he answered her, “Yes, Katherine, my darling, we have received a missive from the king and it concerns you.”

 

This is definitely not good. She carefully kept her emotions masked. “Me?” she asked calmly.

 

“Yes, my sweet. This is Niall MacIan, Laird of Clan MacIan,” he said, gesturing to the angry warrior she had eyed, “and the commander of his guard, Diarmad. Our king has requested that you become Laird MacIan’s wife.” Katherine took a breath and, with supreme will, continued to appear calm and emotionless.

 

“Requested that I become his wife?” she asked slowly.

 

“Of course, my dear, it is a request.”

 

“I can decline this request?

 

“Of course you can, Katherine. However, His Majesty says if you choose to decline, it is in your best interest, and the best interests of Clan Ruthvan, for me to be named Lord Ruthvan and for you to enter the religious life.”

 

“And what happens to Cotharach and my people if I accept the proposal?” she asked, a note of panic creeping into her voice.

 

A look of smug satisfaction crossed her uncle’s face, and he spoke to her as if she were a very dull child.

 

“Oh, my dear, I have bungled this badly. I will start over and try to help you understand. His Majesty feels it is in the best interests of Clan Ruthvan for me to assume control as Lord Ruthvan and rule Cotharach. He is giving you two options. The one His Majesty prefers is for you to marry Laird MacIan and go with him to his home in the Highlands. As your husband, Laird MacIan will renounce his claim to your title and lands. In return, he will receive an exceedingly generous dowry. However, if this is not acceptable, you may choose to enter the religious life. The good sisters will receive a modest dowry, but His Majesty has determined that Laird MacIan will still receive the bulk of your dowry because of his willingness to aid his king in this matter. Does that make it clear, my dear?”

 

Katherine felt as if she had descended into swirling chaos and she trembled. Trying not to reveal her inner turmoil, which would add to his pleasure, she bowed her head and whispered, “Aye, uncle. I understand.”

 

After a moment, she looked directly into the eyes of each of the three men staring at her. In Uncle Ambrose’s expression she read joy, in Diarmad’s, pity, and in Laird MacIan’s, iron determination. She wanted to run—she needed to think.

 

Her uncle prodded, “Well, dear, which will it be?”

 

“You want a decision now? Am I to be given no time to consider this?”

 

In a colder, less unctuous voice, Uncle Ambrose said, “You must choose now. You can leave for the convent within the hour or, if you choose marriage, we will summon Father James and you can be married as soon as he arrives. Laird MacIan is anxious to return to the Highlands, so he wishes to depart immediately after exchanging wedding vows. Either way, you leave today.”

 

Katherine knew her uncle had won, she just didn’t know how he had done it. From the day her father died, Ambrose had wanted the title and lands that were to be held in reserve for her husband. How had this Highlander been convinced to marry her and relinquish all but a portion of her wealth? She didn’t relish either option. Finally she said flatly, “I will marry.”

 

“Very well, I will send for Father James.” As Katherine turned to leave, her uncle demanded, “Where are you going?”

 

She glanced down at the old gown she generally wore when working and realized the absurdity of this situation. She lifted her head, stared at her uncle, and said, “For the next few minutes at least, Uncle, I am Lady Katherine Ruthven. This is my keep. I am going to pack my things and dress for my wedding.”

 

She turned again to leave the great hall, and for the first time, she heard her betrothed’s voice, “Lass, one bag is all ye’ll be bringing.

 

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Buy Links:

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Highland-Solution-ebook/dp/B00EXYAEYQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383403549&sr=8-1&keywords=ceci+giltenan

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/370391

Champagne Books: http://champagnebooks.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=693

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Connect with Ceci:

Webpage: www.cecigiltenan.com

Twitter: @CeciGiltenan

Facebook: Facebook CGiltenan

Fan email address: cecigiltenan@comcast.net