Spotlight & Giveaway: His Secret Highland Bride by Allison B. Hanson

Posted May 13th, 2024 by in Blog, Spotlight / 37 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Allison B. Hanson to HJ!
Spotlight&Giveaway

Hi Allison B. Hanson and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, His Secret Highland Bride!

 

Please summarize the book a la Twitter style for the readers here:

Upon Shane’s return to his clan, he is reluctant to go up to the castle because his father has arranged a marriage. Instead he stays in a cottage near the village.

Lindsay had come the village to tend to a sick aunt, but now her father—the Wallace laird—has ordered her to stay and marry the new laird on the MacPhersons. Instead of going to the castle to declare herself, she stays in the village and meets Shane…
 

Please share the opening lines of this book:

Breathing in the scents of blooming heather and sunshine,
Shane MacPherson allowed the first moments of his return
home to sink in.
“Go away, you rotten whoreson!” A woman’s shout rent
the clean mountain air he’d been enjoying.

 

Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

  • I changed the heroine’s name three times because I’d already had other characters with the same name.
  • This is my second Highlander series.
  • I once vowed I would never write historical stories.
  • I’m planning to travel to Scotland next year.
  • I set my books in the late 1600s so the characters have time to live a long, happy life before the Battle of Culloden.

 

What first attracts your main characters to each other?

Mostly the fact that they are not the person their fathers chose for them to marry… except they are!
 

Using just 5 words, how would you describe your main characters”love affair?

Mistaken identities and fated love
 

The First Kiss…

Like many nights, his pleasant dreams turned to the war,
finding Maria, and eventually to that night in his room when
he woke choking on smoke, unable to breathe. The feeling
of being trapped gripped his throat, cutting off whatever air
was left until he woke up gasping for breath, Lindsay’s hand
on his shoulder.
“You’re having a bad dream,” she said.
He coughed a few times as if clearing the imaginary
smoke from his lungs. “I’m sorry I woke you.”
“Do you want to talk about it?” It was nothing they
hadn’t already discussed, so he shook his head.
“Nay. Go back to sleep.”
“Very well.” But instead of pulling away, she came
closer. “Sleep well,” she whispered.
She leaned in to kiss him on the cheek, and in a moment
of weakness he turned his head so her kiss found its home
against his lips rather than his face. The shock of it caught
them both off guard, but rather than pull away as he felt he
should, he leaned closer and took her lips once more.

Without revealing too much, what is your favorite scene in the book?

Shane looked to Munro in confusion.
“A woman in the village is married to one of your men.
She asked if I might help her make some arrows.” He turned
about as if looking for someone. “Where did she go?” He
shook his head. “Anyway, after she mentioned the threat
of war with the MacColls, the lot of us decided it was
important to make sure you and your men have what you
need to protect the clan. We all did our part so you might
do yours.”
Shane didn’t need to ask the name of the woman who’d
prompted the village to make so many arrows. It was
Lindsay. And his wife just may have saved them all.

Lindsay couldn’t seem to catch her breath as she rushed
back to their cottage. She’d tried to refuse joining
the other villagers on their visit to the castle, but they’d
insisted. They’d wanted her to accept her proper accolades
for motivating everyone to help the clan. While that hadn’t
been possible, she reluctantly agreed to go with them. She
was sure to stay to the back of the group while their gift was
delivered to the MacPherson laird.
Or rather, to her husband.
The MacPherson laird.
She’d not understood why he was accepting the gift from
the villagers or why Munro called him “laird.” And then the
truth seemed to punch her right in the chest, stealing her
breath.

 

If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would be absolutely crucial to include?

Lindsay should have continued on as planned, but she
couldn’t pretend she didn’t know the danger they faced. She
was worried for her husband and this clan she had never
wanted to claim. “I wonder if you could melt down different
metal items to make arrowheads?”
The man showed his surprise at her question. “What
need do ye have to make arrowheads?”
She came closer. She knew the warriors did not have
proper weapons. She wanted to do whatever she could to
ensure Shane and the other warriors could not only protect
themselves but defend the rest of the clan as well.
“My husband is a MacPherson warrior. He has told me
the old laird has left the finances in a bad way. As such, they
don’t have proper weapons to protect us. I thought perhaps
if I brought some things from home, you might be able to
melt them down to help. I’d rather not send my husband off
to battle the MacColls with sticks and stones.”
The man’s brows lifted, and he leaned closer.
“Do you think there’s a chance we could go to war
against the MacColls?”
She bit her lip, not wanting to worry the man. But while
she didn’t want to set the village to panic, it might not hurt
for them to know what they were facing if they didn’t find a
way to help. Preferably before it was too late. Fortunately,
she didn’t need to say anything. Her silence must have told
him what he wanted to know.
“We must do something straightaway.” He went to the
corner of his open shop and clanged two large pieces of
metal together.
Lindsay didn’t know what making such a racket would
do until the villagers began to gather.
“What is it, Munro?” one of the older men asked.
“We’re being called on to help the warriors in the castle.
Bring me any metal you don’t have a use for so it can be
melted down to make weapons.”
A murmuring went through the crowd.
“What business is it of ours? We don’t have enough
ourselves, and the castle takes and takes.”
“And ye know none of us will even have the chance to
carry the name MacColl if it comes to that. You’ve heard
the tales. They don’t just kill the warriors when they take
over a clan.”
The group nodded, and a round of “ayes” went about.
She had only asked this Munro about making
arrowheads, but the man took it upon himself to delegate
other tasks as well.
“You with children, take to the woods and look for
straight sticks and branches, no thicker than your finger.
Take them to these men, Roddy and Samuel, and my boys.”
Her heart warmed at the way this man claimed her
cousins.
“What are we gonna do with a bunch of sticks?” one of
the older men asked.
Munro smiled, making him look younger than she’d
originally thought.
“Ye men spend your days whittling anyway. You’re going
to shave them down to arrow shafts.” The men frowned but
nodded, though Munro wouldn’t have seen because he’d
turned to a plump couple at the other side of the crowd.
“Hal, we need goose feathers for fletching. Can ye help
us with that?”
“If I butcher the geese for feathers, who will buy the
meat?” the plump man asked.
“Throw them in the pot to feed us all while we work,”
Munro suggested.
The man grumbled again but relented.
Lindsay stepped up next to Munro.
“I will put these rabbits in the pot as well to help feed
everyone. I know we don’t have much to give, and I know in
the past the laird and lady selfishly took without seeing the
village taken care of.”
She received a few nods and kept going.
“But there is a new laird now.” The man she was
supposed to have married. A man she didn’t know and who
could turn out to be the same as his father. But she wanted
these people to have hope. She wanted to have hope herself.
“We have a chance to have better lives if we pull together.
If we don’t, we may not have any life at all.” That got the
crowd moving.
Munro continued to order people about, taking several
older lads to help him and her cousins in the forge.
“You’ll learn some fine skills helping me, lads. The
lasses love a blacksmith.”

 

Readers should read this book …

Fans of Heather McCollum and Keira Montclair will love this tale of warring clans, a braw Highlander, and a secret none of them saw coming.

 

What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned?

The second book in the Clan MacPherson Series will be called His Forgotten Highland Bride and it stars Shane’s stepbrother, Ronan.

 

Thanks for blogging at HJ!

 

Giveaway: $25.00 Amazon Gift card

 

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Do you prefer your kilted heroes be alpha, grumpy, or cinnamon rolls (kind of crusty on the outside but sweet and gooey on the inside)?

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
 

Excerpt from His Secret Highland Bride:

With the taller man down, Shane turned toward the
other one, who, after seeing his friend bleeding on the
ground, spun and ran away like a coward. At the sound of a
loud thwack, Shane turned back to the man on the ground
to see he was knocked out, and the Valkyrie was once again
wielding her large stick.
She gripped it tightly as Shane slid his sword into the
sheath strapped along his back. He held up his hands, palms
out, to show he meant her no harm. “Ye are safe now,” he
told her, hoping it was true.
MacPherson soldiers armed with worthless weapons
and no respect for women didn’t bode well for the state of his
clan. The clan he would soon be in charge of. Shame roiled
through him at the thought. When Shane had last stood on
MacPherson lands, he’d been barely a man at twenty. Now,
he felt aged beyond his years. Unlike Ronan, Shane had
managed to come back much the same as he’d left. At least
in body. His mind, however, would never be the same.
“Who are you?” the woman asked, still holding out
the stick in what she probably thought was a threatening
manner.
That was a very good question. Who was he? A laird
who wasn’t ready to rule.
He didn’t know if he’d ever be ready, but he planned to
take a few more days regardless, especially since the letter
he’d received included even worse news than the loss of his
father. Before his death, the laird had negotiated a marriage
between Shane and the daughter of another clan.
His father had no way of knowing Shane had already
been married to a woman who had called his heart to
pounding just to look at her. He’d lost her. And with her, his
own soul. He would make a terrible husband to this poor
woman his father had shackled him to. Not that she would
expect any less. Alliances through marriage were common
in the Highlands. Shane always knew he was destined for
such a fate.
Making a match to strengthen his clan was one thing.
Despite wishing to be alone, he took no issue with marrying
to gain cattle to feed his people or land, or even an ally. But
marrying to gain more riches for his conniving stepmother
didn’t sit well with him. Shane wondered who this woman
was who would be sacrificed to gain coin for Deirdre’s
desires.
Embarrassed by his clan and the name he’d once felt
honored to own, Shane offered a shrug and answered the
trembling woman. “I’m just a soldier. Ye can call me Shane.”

Lindsay Wallace frowned at the man. Shane.
He had possibly saved her life, her virtue for certain,
but he was even more imposing than the two lads who had
attacked her. He’d held the large claymore as if it were no
heavier than the stick in her grip.
Actually, the stick was becoming quite heavy as she
attempted to hold it out from her body. Her hand shook
either from fatigue or the reality of the situation settling in.
In the end, it wasn’t the fact that he’d sheathed his giant
sword, or that he was holding out his hands unthreateningly,
or even that she grew too tired to hold up the stick.
It was the smile he offered that made her stand down
and relax.
She instantly felt silly, for a smiling man could be as
deadly as a sneering one. Perhaps even more so. But this
man’s smile, despite the emptiness of it, spoke of safety.
Shane. His brown hair and moss-green eyes had disarmed
her of more than the stick. She blinked rapidly, trying not to
allow the tears building in her eyes to fall. She didn’t want
to seem weak, but if this man knew all the things she had
endured in the last month, he could never think her weak.
Lindsay, daughter of the Wallace laird, looked nothing
like she had when she’d left her home a month ago. Her
mother had sent her to the MacPherson clan with a maid
and a retainer to care for her mother’s sister, who was ill.
But when Lindsay arrived, she’d learned her aunt had
already passed. Her uncle begged her to stay on to help him
tend to his three motherless boys, but as soon as the retainer
left to return home to Riccarton, everything descended into
chaos.
Her maid ran off in the middle of the night, taking
Lindsay’s gowns and jewels with her. Her uncle’s lingering
gazes unsettled her. The boys were sheer demons who, like
their father, treated her like a maid. When she wrote to
her mother requesting safe passage home, she was denied
for reasons she still couldn’t accept. Her father planned to
marry her to the heir of the MacPherson clan. She couldn’t
think of a greater disgrace than becoming a member of this
horrid clan.
Except, perhaps, returning home to tell her father she
had rejected yet another betrothal he had arranged for her.
Last summer, she had refused Robert Fletcher, the heir to
the Fletcher Clan, and caused great embarrassment for her
father.
She shivered at the memory of seeing such
disappointment in her papa’s eyes. But, surely, he would
need to understand why becoming the mistress of the
MacPherson Clan was entirely unacceptable.
“Are ye a MacPherson?” she asked, her chin lifting as if
she could tell if he offered a lie.
“Aye, though I’ve not been here in five years. I’ve only
just returned today.” He frowned at the man lying on the
ground, who was still breathing but unconscious from the
knock to the head she’d delivered.
“It appears my clan has declined in recent years, if these
two are any testament to the men tasked with protecting the
people here.”
She sniffed. “I’ve not seen many better than these two.”
“And yet you go about the forest unaccompanied.” His
frown showed his disapproval, but she saw something else as
well. Worry. For her? Still, his reproach ruffled her feathers
greatly.
She wished she hadn’t tossed away her stick, for she
would have pointed it at him for greater affect. “Do ye think
to judge me for taking a moment to sit on a rock alone in the
middle of the woods? Why should I not be safe here? This is
how the MacPhersons treat their women?”
Once again, Shane raised his hands in forfeit. “You have
the right of it, Valkyrie. You should be safe to go anywhere
you desire. I apologize for my clan that it isn’t so. May I offer
my escort?”
She looked back to where the village lay beyond the
forest. She wasn’t yet ready to return to the cottage with her
uncle and the wee devils. She’d come to the woods for a bit
of peace and had gotten just the opposite.
“I would request a moment to sit in silence before I
return.”
He gave a single nod and gestured toward the rock
where she’d originally hoped to find refuge. It looked out
over a river that was swelled and rushing from the melting
snow flowing down the mountains.
“I’ll wait until you are ready to depart and ensure no
one bothers ye.”
He took a seat on a nearby stump and seemed content
to wait for her no matter how long it took.
Shifting on the rock to find a comfortable position,
she allowed the July sun to soak into her back as it sifted
in through the trees to warm her. She looked down at her
hands, red and chapped from the work she’d been made to
do.
She wasn’t against labor. She enjoyed helping the
Wallace women in the kitchens, and she took pride in what
they accomplished by providing a hearty meal. The pleased
grunts from her clan and the scraping of trenchers were her
reward. But here, it was different.
Her uncle barked orders and forced her to do everything
while he and his sons watched and made cruel jokes. They
made her tasks more difficult for their entertainment.
Tripping her while she was carrying wood. Bumping into
her and making her spill the water she’d collected to make
their meals.
She was exhausted most nights but feared sleeping too
soundly for needing to keep watch. Her uncle had made
no move to act upon his glances, but Lindsay worried it
wouldn’t be long before he worked up the courage to do so.
“You would have been better not to have come here,” she
said, breaking the easy silence between them. “Wherever
you were, it was surely better than this place.”
He sniffed and frowned. “I don’t wish to argue, but, as
I said, I’m a soldier. I’ve been fighting in France and Spain
for the past five years. These two mutts don’t bother me
compared to a line of French muskets.”
She recognized the pain swirling in his green eyes
and wondered at what horrors he must have seen. Still, he
wouldn’t find much peace here. “Ye haven’t been in the
village yet, I assume.”
He laughed at that and then shook his head. “What is
your name, lass?”
She rather liked the name he’d given her. After all,
Valkyries were women of power and prestige. At least the
Norse knew to respect their females. “Lindsay,” she said,
pausing before providing her surname.
This man, honorable as he seemed, was a soldier just
returned from war and most likely hurting for coin. Would
he turn his back on honor if he learned who she was? The
daughter of the Wallace laird, promised to the MacPherson
chief, would bring a high price in ransom if given the
opportunity.
At the last second, her lips formed the name of her
feckless maid instead. “Cameron.”

Excerpts. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
 
 

Book Info:

t’s been five years since Shane MacPherson stepped foot on his clan’s lands. Still haunted from years at war and the painful ache of loss, duty has called once again…and with it, his obligation to claim his place as the new laird of Clan MacPherson. But when Shane encounters a lass—a Valkyrie in both temperament and foul tongue!—in trouble, he puts title and duty aside to defend her…

Lindsay Wallace would rather die than call the MacPherson lands her home—let alone their horrid clan. She just has to survive a month with her vile uncle before being married off as a peace offering between the Wallaces and MacPhersons. The only person she can trust is a simple soldier who is strong of body and heart. She has no interest in marrying her betrothed…so why not give in to the temptation of a soldier’s kiss?

But promises made can’t be broken or forgotten. And as shadows and war rise once again in the Highlands, Shane and Lindsay must find the courage to face their deepest secrets and their duty…before both love and clan are ripped apart.
Book Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Goodreads |
 
 

Meet the Author:

One very early morning, Allison B. Hanson woke up with a conversation going on in her head. It wasn’t so much a dream as being forced awake by her imagination. Unable to go back to sleep, she gave in, went to the computer, and began writing. Years later it still hasn’t stopped.

Allison’s historical romances are filled with kilted heroes. She lives near Hershey, Pennsylvania, and enjoys candy immensely, as well as long motorcycle rides, running and reading.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | | Instagram |

 
 
 

37 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: His Secret Highland Bride by Allison B. Hanson”

  1. Laurie Gommermann

    Alpha- Independent , arrogant, strong willed, intelligent, athletic
    He’s not looking for love or marriage. Love it when a woman turns his world upside down, when he realized he wants and needs this woman in his life!
    Just read Lyndsay Sands trilogy featuring Highlanders: Cullen, (The Devil), Alex(The Beast) and Kade (The Warrior)

  2. Amy R

    Do you prefer your kilted heroes be alpha, grumpy, or cinnamon rolls (kind of crusty on the outside but sweet and gooey on the inside)? Alpha

  3. Nicky Ortiz

    All of them.
    But I’m into the grumpy, dominant, protective alpha
    Thanks for the chance!

  4. Crystal

    I want mine to be cinnamon rolls.
    By the way giveaway keeps saying starting soon, got this giveaway last night-what is going on ?

  5. Anita H.

    I like a combination of the three, a grumpy alpha hero with a sweet gooey inside that he doesn’t show with anyone else but the heroine!

  6. Terrill R.

    I like a mixture of all three. Although, if an author can write a convincing grumpy hero that finds a love that takes the edge off that grumpiness, I can make my heart happy.

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