Hi Maeve and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Sadie’s Highlander!
*Waving from Kentucky* Hi y’all! Thanks so much for inviting me to your lovely corner of cyberspace!
Please summarize the book for the readers here:
A Medieval Highlander relocated from the tenth century to modern day discovers one thing is always the same no matter the decade you’re in: when you find the one who makes you whole, you make her yours and never let her go even if she needs convincing that she’s worthy of your love.
Please share the opening lines of this book:
Forget the roller coaster. Where do I get a ticket to ride him? Sadie Williams peered over the tops of her sunglasses, inching them lower to get an unobstructed view of the man currently flexing his assets.
Please share a few Fun facts about this book…
- SADIE’S HIGHLANDER takes place in Brady, North Carolina. “Brady” is a fictitious town but the Cape Fear River area of North Carolina is quite real and was settled by many Scots when they were forced out of Scotland during the Highland Clearances that started in the 18th century and continued on intermittently through mid 19th century. So, Alec MacDara and his family fit in quite nicely in North Carolina.
- Highland Life and Legends is the Scottish theme park that the MacDara family runs as a cover for the Heartstone and their goddess-given weapons. I like to think of it as my own little Six Flags Over Scotland that’s filled with sexy kilted eye candy.
- Sadie’s mean-spirited sister is based on a real person—a person I had the displeasure of working with at the steel mill. She attempted to have me fired. She lost. They fired her instead of me and…well…I just couldn’t leave it at that even though it happened quite a few years ago. So, let that be a lesson boys and girls—never piss off an author or you’ll end up in a book.
Please tell us a little about the characters in your book. As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?
I admired Sadie for her strength after a childhood spent not only dealing with bullies at school but bullies at home with the family who adopted her. It’s hard to survive emotional and verbal abuse from those who are supposed to love you. Those scars might not be visible to anyone else but they run just as deep and ache just as badly.
And even though I didn’t quite plan for Alec to be as vulnerable as Sadie, as it turned out, in his own way, he was just as insecure as she was because he’d been yanked away from all he’d ever known and dropped in the middle of a time that still didn’t make sense to him even after fifteen years of struggling to acclimate to the modern world.
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of the main characters and why?
**I’d have Sadie and Alec act out this scene. It shows Alec at the disadvantage rather than Sadie. The actor would be required to struggle with Alec’s insecurities while still attempting to connect to Sadie. The actress portraying Sadie would have to assume the role of warming up to Alec while still trying to keep their relationship professional rather than teetering off into something a great deal friendlier—yet.
“Esme is dining in her room, where she’s also likely to spend the rest of her life if her mother and I can’t talk some sense into that hard head of hers.” Miss Lydia plopped a heavy ceramic soup tureen down on the table and handed Alec the ladle. “Serve your lady and yourself while I finish dishing up the barbecued brisket and the bread.”
My lady. Quite the ring to those words. Alec stole a discreet look at Sadie, relieved that she didna seem bothered a bit by Miss Lydia’s verbiage. “D’ye fancy chicken and dumplings then? Mistress Lydia lets nothing go t’waste. Last night’s leavings of the roasted chickens are today’s tempting stew.”
Sadie leaned forward, holding out her bowl. “Waste not, want not, and what better way than with chicken and dumplings? I adore them.” Her eyes grew ever wider as Alec kept ladling, filling her bowl to the rim with a Highlander-sized portion. “Uhm . . . wow—that’s a lot.”
“Are ye no’ hungry then?” Alec frowned down at her full bowl. She’d just said she loved chicken and dumplings. He wanted to be certain to give her plenty. By the gods, surely she’s no’ like Esme and tryin’ to thin herself down to a bare twig that the wind would snap with the slightest breeze. “Yer no’ dietin’ to fit into some dress, are ye?”
“Alec Danann MacDara!” Entering the kitchen just in time to hear Alec’s question, Sarinda cuffed her son across the back of the head. “That’s no’ a question a gentleman asks a lady.” Sarinda seated herself opposite Sadie, shot a dirty look in her son’s direction, and then leaned across the table with an apologetic smile and an extended hand. “Please dinna hold my son’s words against him. He oft forgets to think his words through afore he opens his mouth and spews them out. I’m Sarinda, the silly boy’s mother, and ’tis my pleasure t’meet ye.”
Sadie stole a glance at Alec, pressing her lips tightly together, but not before a soft, snorting chuckle escaped. She lightly cleared her throat as she took Sarinda’s hand with a smile. “I’m Sadie, and it’s good to meet you too.”
Embarrassment flushed hot through him. What the hell had he been thinkin’ when he’d proposed their first meal together should be with his family?
“Forgive me.” He dipped his chin at Sadie. “I meant no insult or disrespect.” But dammit t’hell, I have good reason to ask. Filling his own bowl, he avoided Sadie’s gaze. “It just seems that every damn woman in this century is no’ happy unless she looks like a starved waif just off the ships after the Highland clearances. I fail to understand why they wish to look like nothin’ more than skin-covered bones.”
Sadie frowned as she scooped up a spoonful of the steaming creaminess, pursed her lips, and blew on it. She stared at the fluffy dumpling balanced in her spoon, then shifted her attention to Alec, bitterness reflecting in the depths of her dark eyes. “It’s the curse of society’s idea of the ‘beautiful’ woman. Everywhere you look—magazines, television, movies, internet—females are blasted with unrealistic images that are labeled as perfection and we’re bullied and shamed if we don’t mimic—or at least attempt to look like—all that photoshopped bullshit.”
She popped the dumpling in her mouth and licked her spoon clean with a shrug of one shoulder. “I’ve never fit that bill and I gave up trying a long time ago.” She patted her curvy hip. “I like to eat. I know I’m a big girl and extra curvy, but I’m healthy, and I’ll be damned if I make myself miserable by living on celery, carrot sticks, and distilled water.”
“Well stated, m’dear!” Sarinda raised her glass with a pleased nod.
“Yer a lovely woman and there’s no’ a thing about ye that should be changed.” Alec reached across the table and rested his fingertips lightly on the back of Sadie’s hand. The soft silkiness of her skin didna escape him. He spread his hand across hers, glorying in the inviting warmth of her as he finished the awkward apology. “Forgive me if m’words offended or made ye feel ill at ease. Please ken that I meant ye no harm or disrespect.”
His heart fell as Sadie slid her hand out from under his. Dammit. This was no’ going well at all. Me and my ill-chosen words. But then Sadie placed her hand atop his and squeezed. “You didn’t offend me. You’ve been nothing but kind.”
Alec flipped his hand before she could move, laced his fingers with hers, and returned the squeeze.
Miss Lydia placed a platter of sliced barbecued brisket, still steaming and smothered in what smelled to be her homemade spicy sauce, on the far side of the soup tureen. She plopped a basket of sliced hard rolls down beside the brisket, then stepped back and examined the spread. “That should hold y’all ’til suppertime.” She pursed her lips and turned her attention to Alec, the focus of her glare targeting his hand that still held tight to Sadie’s. “Are you gonna let loose of her hand so she can eat while the food’s hot or are you just gonna sit there like a bump on a log and make moon eyes at her?”
What do you want people to take away from reading this book?
Never give up, believe in yourself, and don’t be afraid to take a chance. Life’s short. Do you really want the last words on your lips to be, “I wish I had done…”? You might not succeed at everything but at least you won’t fail because you didn’t try.
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2017?
Of course, SADIE’S HIGHLANDER releases on September 12th. I just turned the second book in the series, JOANNA’S HIGHLANDER, in to my editor and now I’m outlining and sticky-noting the third book in the Highland Protector Series, KATE’S HIGHLANDER, because Ramsay is an impatient MacDara brother and his kilt’s getting all twisted in knots because I haven’t started his story yet. Men can be SUCH divas!
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: Ebook: SADIE’S HIGHLANDER by Maeve Greyson (Gifted via Amazon)
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: If a sexy hot Highlander said he wanted you to be his personal assistant 24/7 for six weeks, would you immediately:
- A) Jump at the chance with a “Hell Yeah!” and seize the opportunity at hand.
- B) Play it cool and tell him you’ll get back to him. After all, hard to get can make things even spicier once you get “got”.
- C) Stare at him with a deer in the headlight look and shyly nod, silently thanking the benevolent fantasy-made-real gods for granting you such a gift.
Excerpt from Sadie’s Highlander:
“It’s beautiful here. You are a very lucky man, Mr. MacDara.”
The wood of the railing creaked as Alec leaned on it next to her. “I prefer ye call me Alec—aye?” He took a slow look around the area, then nodded toward the blazing reds, oranges, and yellows of the autumnal wood. Here and there the vibrant colors were interrupted with the rich green of lush pines pushing their way toward the sun. “And yes—I’ve been blessed with many opportunities and the good health to work hard enough to make them a success.”
Hmm . . . did I word that wrong? Sound as though I thought him entitled? Sadie inched sideways, surreptitiously putting a little more space between them. “I didn’t mean to sound as though I thought you hadn’t earned”—she waved a hand toward the wood—“all this. The park. The lodge . . . I mean the keep.” Great. And now the babbling begins. Just stop. “Sorry. I don’t always word things right—at least not when I’m talking out loud.” That sounded awesome. Maybe I should tell him when I’m writing, I’m great. I edit out the stupid—talking, not so much.
Alec’s gaze dropped to his arms propped atop the railing, then he subtly shifted sideways, closing the distance she’d just placed between them. Without looking at her, he nudged his shoulder against hers. “Rest easy, lass,” he whispered. His voice vibrated with a deep, soothing tone she’d replay in her dreams. He sidled a glance at her and grinned. “Ye’ve nothing to fear from me. I swear it.”
Maybe if she grabbed this Scottish bull by the horns and got all her misconceptions out in the open, she’d feel better. She hadn’t had this bad a case of uneasiness in years and she didn’t like it a damn bit. She faced Alec, keeping one hand planted on the wood railing. “If I have nothing to fear from you—no worries about ulterior motives or . . .” she struggled to pick the right words “. . . or whatever.” She released her choke hold on the railing and flipped one hand in the air. “Then tell my why—straight out and in plain terms: why am I here?” She pointed at him, taking great pride in the fact that she’d managed to keep her hand from trembling. Confidence bolstered, she jabbed her finger in the air. “Why am I here with you for the next six weeks?”
Alec straightened from his relaxed lean against the wood railing, his gaze focused on the colorful tapestry of the acreage of trees surrounding the keep. His smile was gone, replaced by an unexplainable look. He seemed lost in a daydream—a daydream that had him puzzled.
“Thirty-one emails,” he finally said with a decisive dip of his chin.
He turned and faced her, dead serious, with a look in his eyes that made her forget to breathe. “Thirty . . . one . . . emails,” he repeated, enunciating each word slowly and clearly to prevent the slightest hint of misunderstanding.
Sadie traced her fingers along the rough grain of the wood plank, willing the board to give up all its secrets about Alec MacDara. The disturbingly handsome man was so damned unreadable. “What do you mean by thirty-one emails?” she finally asked, while staring down at the rough-grained board and tracing the pattern with her fingernail.
“Ye asked why ye were here.” Alec leisurely turned around and leaned back against the railing. Fingers laced together, he folded his hands across his middle and propped his elbows on the sturdy banister behind him. “’Tis because of yer emails. Yer way with words.” His voice dropped lower, took on a quiet sultry tone—and sounded almost . . . lonely. He looked at her—not just a glance, but something more. His gaze heated, growing more personal and soul-piercing by the second. “Each email ye sent drew me in—touched me in ways I canna explain. I heard yer laughter in each line. Felt yer joy. I glimpsed yer heart in those words. Saw their purity. Learned yer truths.”
He reached out and smoothed a curl of hair away from her cheek and tucked it back behind her ear. The unexpected gentleness of the touch stole her breath and made her heart double-thump with a giddy rhythm.
“The more I read, the more I realized I needed time with the writer of those messages. I needed time with you,” he finished, his expression almost . . . hopeful.
“They were just emails,” Sadie whispered, mesmerized by the softness of his touch and the turbulent storm of emotions she saw in his eyes. A hungry loneliness was reflected in their depths and Alec no longer attempted to hide it.
She’d written the first missive in standard marketing snag their attention style. But then after a spark of intuitiveness—or maybe what some might call divine guidance—she’d been inspired to write the rest of the emails as though she were clueing in a long-lost friend on all the silliness of the fool’s-gold glitter of Hollywood. The more she wrote, the more she envisioned the reader as a cherished pen pal she hoped to meet someday.
Delia would have fired her on the spot if she’d read any of those emails. Of course, Sadie had also figured the reader of the emails was some grossly underpaid assistant working in small-town North Carolina—maybe even a woman her own age—lonely and looking for a friend. Sadie tried not to flounder even deeper into the mire of need reflected in Alec’s gaze. She had so figured this all wrong. Who would’ve thought Alec MacDara would have read those emails himself? All thirty-one of them.
“J-just emails,” she hesitantly stammered. Her alarm bells clanged even louder, and a sense of imminent danger surged through her like the burn of good whisky. “I thought I was sending them to . . . y-your assistant. You know . . . a counterpart. Somebody on my level. They weren’t addressed to the CEO. I wouldn’t have used such silly words to the . . . b-boss of the company.” The way Alec’s tempting mouth quirked to one side as his full lips barely parted made it difficult to speak intelligently, and even more impossible to think.
“They were no’ just silly words.” Alec leaned in close, barely frowning as he slid his fingers from behind her ear and cautiously cradled her cheek in his large, callused hand. “Ye ken that I mean ye no harm, Sadie Williams,” he said, ever so slowly drawing her in. “Ye ken that for certain . . . aye?”
Ken? She had a pretty good idea what ken meant but damn sure didn’t trust herself to answer. At the moment, standing upright with a minimal level of composure instead of either tossing caution to the wind and climbing aboard this delectable Scottish mountain of a man or turning and running like hell in the other direction was all she could manage. She wet her lips and focused all her senses on the totally kissable mouth hovering so close she could almost feel the velvety heat of their pending touch. Yeah. I’m so not running.
“Ye dinna answer,” he whispered, shifting ever so slightly and brushing a hand down her arm from shoulder to elbow with an awkward, hesitant stroke. “I do mean ta win yer trust,” he finally said. Then he fell silent, his mouth still excruciatingly close to hers. All she needed to do was lean in—just lean in a little closer. No. He needs to do it. She felt the warm, soft brush of his breath against her skin. Sadie held her breath. She waited and hoped like hell that Alec MacDara would finish what he had so artfully started. He needed to be the one to kiss her. Not the other way around.
Alec’s hand that had been hesitantly brushing up and down her arm paused just above her elbow and squeezed, holding tight as though he suddenly feared she was about to turn and run. Running had left the list of options at least a dozen heartbeats ago. She wasn’t running anywhere. She wasn’t about to leave until she figured out what the devil was going on. And she also wasn’t about to miss what promised to be the best kiss of her life.
Just one kiss. No harm in a little kiss. Sadie risked sliding a hand to the center of Alec’s firm chest, tracing her way up the ridge of buttons tight between his pecs, until she brushed her fingertips along the heat of his bare throat. His pulse was pounding out a rhythm just as thunderously scattered as hers. Damn. He’s as scared shitless as I am.
Alec squeezed her arm again while lacing the fingers of his other hand into her hair and tilting her head back.
Good. He’s finally going to kiss me. What could one little kiss hurt?
Something suddenly flickered in Alec’s eyes and he stiffened beneath her touch. His hands dropped away and he took a step back, politely ducking his head and pointedly doing all he could to avoid making eye contact. “I’ll leave ye now to unpack yer things.”
He coughed, covering his mouth with his fist as his voice rasped with a deep huskiness—the huskiness of a man fighting for control. “I’m certain ye wish t’get settled afore ye start yer duties.”
Duties. Yeah. Right. Sadie didn’t say a word, just folded her arms across her chest and leaned back against the deck railing.
Alec cleared his throat again, then stole a quick glance up at the sun. Flexing his hands into fists, then slowly relaxing them, he jerked his chin down with a decisive nod. “Aye, ye’ll get yerself settled and we’ll have the noonday meal with the rest of the family. I’ll send Ross or Ramsay t’fetch ye, then I’ll give ye a tour of the park and we can get better acquainted so ye can feel comfortable teachin’ me all ye ken about this filming business yer sister has planned for Highland Life and Legends.”
Still refusing to look her in the eye, Alec politely nodded in Sadie’s direction, then was gone before she could reply. If she didn’t know better, she’d swear the man was doing his best not to break into a run. Tapping a finger against her disappointed lips, Sadie couldn’t help but smile. Maybe she wasn’t the only one on treacherous ground here.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The Highland Protector series brings to life four mouthwatering Celtic brothers in twenty-first-century North Carolina—where the lasses are anything but tamed.
Highland warrior Alec MacDara and his brothers traveled forward in time to protect the sacred Heartstone. Their cover? Owners and operators of a theme park called Highland Life and Legends. As the chairman, Alec has been fending off requests to film at the breathtaking property. It’s only because of the charming correspondence from an enterprising production assistant that he agrees to a meeting at all. That’s when Alec meets a woman whose lush curves make him forget, for the first time, all about tenth-century Scotland.
A lowly assistant for her sister’s motion picture company, wannabe screenwriter Sadie Williams is shocked when Alec agrees to let them film at the park upon one condition: that she report to him daily. Sadie’s sister always told her that their parents only adopted her because they felt sorry for the ugly little stray. But Alec looks at Sadie like she’s the most tempting creature in the world. And with his gleaming, musclebound body stripped down to nothing but a hip-hugging kilt and boots, Alec clearly knows a little something about temptation.
Meet the Author:
Maeve and her hubby of over thirty-eight years traveled around the world while in the U.S. Air Force before returning to their five-acre wood in rural Kentucky where she writes about her beloved Highlanders and the sassy women who tame them.
Her full-timeday job at the steel mill is now a thing of the past so Maeve spends her time matching the sexy Highlanders in her head with women that are certain to drive them crazy. When she’s not plotting the perfect snare, she tinkers with new technology and computer programs where she knows just enough to be dangerous and never learns to stop saying, “I can do this without reading the directions.”
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