Spotlight & Giveaway: In the Heart of the Highlander by Maggie Robinson

Posted October 16th, 2013 by in Blog, Spotlight / 56 comments

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Maggie Robinson to HJ!

Hi Maggie, welcome to HJ!

What would you say are the defining characteristic of your novels?

Maggie RobinsonA reviewer categorized them as having “humor, heat and heart,” and I’m sticking with that!

5 things HJ readers should know about you?

a. I live on a lake at the end of a dirt road in the middle of the woods in Maine, yet TJ Maxx is only 10 minutes away. A perfect world!
b. I’m both an early and late bloomer. I graduated from college at 19, but didn’t start writing until I was “a woman of a certain age.”
c. I have 4 grown kids and 4 grandkids.
d. My husband and I love to travel, and usually go to England at least once a year. We just came back from a transatlantic cruise on the Queen Mary 2 and are going on the Queen Victoria around the coast of Spain in December. I don’t know how I’ll justify it in terms of research, but I’m going to try!
e. I have a border collie mix named Fitz who is running circles around my life.

What is your favorite trope to read, one you will never get tire off?

I LOVE marriage of convenience stories. Really, any “opposites attract” story has my name on it.

Let’s talk about your newest release: IN THE HEART OF A HIGHLANDER

ITHOTHIf you had to summarize In The Heart Of A Highlander for the readers here…

Heroine Mary Evensong has been masquerading as a seventy-year-old woman to keep her aunt’s unusual employment agency afloat. She gets the chance to tear off her gray wig and masquerade as an heiress when the hero Lord Alec Raeburn hires her to trap his enemy and avenge the death of his wife.

Please tell us about the characters in your book.

Mary is independent, wise beyond her years, level-headed. But once she sees Alec in his kilt, she longs for a bit of adventure. Alec is haunted by a personal failure, but is in every other respect an alpha male with a well-deserved notorious reputation.

What scene did you have the most fun writing? Why?

The story takes place in a hydropathic spa in the Highlands. Alec sneaks into the room where Mary is about to be massaged to talk to her. When Mary discovers that the hands that have been such heaven on her shoulders belong to Alec, much mayhem ensues.

Alec was less than impressed with the Forsyth Palace Hotel. Yes, the building was magnificent, the food fresh, delivered daily, and well-prepared, the beds angel-soft. The spa staff, however, left a great deal to be desired, and it was not only Josef Bauer who concerned him.
It had not taken much to bribe the beefy bath attendant. Good Lord, he could be anyone come to murder Mary Arden. His reputation should have given the masseuse pause, but his pound notes overcame her scruples. Alec should not be where he was right now, in a windowless room lit only by a fragrant candle, the door shut and locked. He should not be anywhere near Mary, who lay facedown, naked, and helpless on a treatment table. True, most of her was wrapped in a warmed linen sheet, her back still pink from its scalding bath. Her auburn hair was swept up, damp ringlets clinging to her slender neck, and it was all Alec could do not to bend over and bite her like a vampire.

What scene was the hardest to write? Why?

Mary has always wanted to learn to drive, and gets the opportunity when Alec is injured. I did a ton of research on early cars, but it really was like reading a foreign language. I don’t think I’m smart enough to have been able to drive in the early 20th century–I would have needed a chauffeur, LOL. This scene is probably loaded with errors!

He held on to the bonnet. “I already checked everything before Bauer knocked me out. The radiator’s full, and the petrol cock is open. The hand brake is on—you’ll have to release it so we can back out.” Alec slid into the passenger seat and tried to steady himself without knocking into any levers.
“What should I do first?” Mary asked, looking anxious.
“You’ll have to turn the crank a few times. Keep your thumb under the handle—we wouldn’t want you to lose it if the car backfires. Then switch on the magneto.” Mary looked at him blankly. His hand wavered in its general direction. “See? It’s in the A position, which means it’s off. As soon as the engine turns, move it to the M angle.”
Mary made a few less-than-robust assaults on the starting handle. Miraculously, the engine sputtered to life, and she hopped into the car. Alec pointed to the various knobs and gauges, all the while sounding very much like he’d committed the driving manual to memory, which he had. Every car manufacturer did things their own way—there was no uniformity in the fledgling industry whatsoever. While Alec had mastered his Pegasus, other car models were complete mysteries to him.
“Ease back on the throttle . . . close the carburetor choke . . .” He went on, gently chiding her when she was too tentative. They had rolled backward out of the stable and were perilously close to smashing into the trees. “Brake!” He reached over and helped her shift gears, wincing.
“I can do it!”
“Of course you can.” Her hands were riveted to the steering wheel. She was as white as parchment, each golden freckle standing out across the bridge of her nose. Maybe his best strategy was to pass out and wake up at Raeburn Court and not witness her terror, for her terror was contagious.

Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book was optioned for a movie?

Isla Fisher would be a good Mary. Dylan McDermott for Alec.

What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2013 into 2014?

I’m working on another Ladies Unlaced book for my Edwardian-set series. The hero is a virgin, which is a first time for me as well. 🙂 I hope to self-pub my first crack at a contemporary Christmas love story soon. The hero is a viscount though–can’t stray too far from my roots.

Where can readers get in touch with you?

My website:
Twitter: @MaggieLRobinson


Giveaway: print copy of IN THE HEART OF A HIGHLANDER

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and post a comment to this Q: Most historical romances take place in Regency and Victorian times. Are you willing to move into the 20th century to the Edwardian era (1901-1910)? Why?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Alec left Mary in the bath, dressed quickly, and went downstairs to the library. He was not going to dwell upon what had just happened, and what he hoped would happen again. And again.
And maybe again before he put her on the train Tuesday morning.
Or Wednesday.
He should be angry at Mary Evensong. Furious. She and her aunt had tricked him—hell, they’d tricked the entire ton for four years. Imagine, sending a little slip of a girl into the lion’s den like the Burleigh house with an unloaded gun, washing society’s dirty laundry as well as matching mistress with maid and bride with groom. The Evensong Agency did it all, and did it well.
And sweet blushing Mary had been at the heart of it all.
Well, perhaps she wasn’t so sweet. Alec had felt the laceration of her tart tongue. But not, he reflected, quite where he wanted it now.

56 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: In the Heart of the Highlander by Maggie Robinson”

  1. Cari White

    Not really willing, because it’s too close to current times to feel as mysterious and romantic. Westerns are different, but still prefer mid-to late 1800’s.

  2. ndluebke

    I love to read about these times but personally, I love my creature comforts, like proper bathrooms and kitchens. I especially like electricity.

  3. Marcy Shuler

    I’d follow if the writing is good, but I do prefer Regency. Though my all time favorite is Medieval.

  4. jdh2690

    Yes, I’m willing to read about Edwardian times for my romances. They are still historical after all. It would be interesting to note what the differences are from Regency/Victorian times to Edwardian. Having a car would be one difference for sure. And romance is romance, so of course I would read it!

  5. shadowluvs2read

    nope, not at all. maybe go back and observe but to actually live, nope, definitely not! i cant stand the society rules and the way people were. i have a mind and a mouth. id probably be beat to death. lol

  6. Vivian Situ

    I would love to live in those era. I like their gowns and balls. You actually get to socialize with real people. Oh, and I love the fact that curvy and plump girls are considered sexy in those times. Today, if you’re size’re considered fat. I hate that notion.

  7. Diane Sallans

    A visit would be interesting, but wouldn’t want to make a permanent move – I like our modern conveniences too much and when you know about something you will miss it.

  8. Erin J.

    I think it would be awesome to see and visit and participate in for a bit…but not live. I’m definitely a child of technology and I enjoy not being held back for being a woman.

  9. ki pha

    Of course I’m willing to move along with my authors! There’s cars and electricity for heaven sake! And we can still look good in dresses, gloves, and bonnets. LOL

  10. Donna D

    I’m willing to give the Edwardian era a try. I’m not too sure it will evoke the kind of feel, or interest, that the Regency and Victorian eras do. But as long as the story is a good one – and feels like it belongs in that early 1900 time period – I’m willing to read it.

    Now, if you’re asking if I’d want to live in that time period [i.e. “…move into … “], well — no, I don’t think so. I like reading about that time period, and like movies about then, but, I like the conveniences of today, AND the status of women of today.
    But if you mean, move into that period in the books I read — I’ll try it.

  11. falicesidoma

    My sister’s and I have played that game What if. I would love to live in the edwardian era. there is a lot if things that i would think i would like. from the dresses the more easy times not so much techno. where people actually talk face to face. people walked. more drive to strive in life. I also remember when i was little we cook everything home made. Ground our stuff to make tortillias. real food not packaged. The few things i would miss would be the medical progress we have and TV sometimes because i really do read more than I watch TV. I love this ? but have to end it because i could on and on and on.

  12. Stephanie F.

    If I could find me a sexy Highlander to take care of me I might consider it. It would be hard though to give up all the things we take for granted though. I love my electronics and modern appliances lol.

  13. Barbara Elness

    Oh yes, I’ve enjoyed stories set in the Edwardian era before, so I’m definitely up for a story set in that time. I think it’s an exciting time and it’s a nice change of pace from the Regency and Victorian set stories so prevalent these days.

  14. Kai W.

    I don’t think I would like to travel back to the Edwardian time and lose the comfort of current technologies. It is simpler time but I have to consider the tolerance of race and color. It would be quite difficult for me to blend into the Western world.

  15. Claira Pam

    I love reading about that time period, but I’m a little too used to my creature comforts to be able to live there!

  16. flchen1

    I love reading lots of different time periods–what I really love is the author’s ability to take me to a different time and place 🙂 It’s more armchair traveling, which I really love!

  17. Linda Thum

    A short stay would be great but I think it’d be difficult permanently. I’d end up missing too many of our modern conveniences & freedom.

  18. Tin

    I’d love the chance to visit and experience their world, but I don’t think I’d want to live there permanently — I love technology too much (and peanut butter, too.) to imagine living without them. ^_^

    Congratulations on the new release!

  19. maggierobinsonwriter

    Thanks for all the great comments! For those of you not into reading about the “too modern” Edwardian age, I have a big backlist of Regency historicals. 😉 I was thrilled to write about a new time period though–it really energized my writing and gave my characters a little more freedom. But like most of you, I don’t think I’d want to go back to any era in the past and live–I’m much too addicted to my creature comforts…and my computer! Thanks so much to HJ for having me here!

  20. KateS

    YES!! I’d love to live when women were finally being valued.. Besides… I am a huge fan of Downton Abbey… lovely dresses & hats!! Great looking food!! Snarky old ladies!! I would fit in!!

  21. Sharlene Wegner

    I would love to see the changes that have taken place in history & what they were up to in the Edwardian era.

  22. BethRe

    Sure I could move on as long as the story is well written and keeps my interest I don’t really care what time period it is in.

  23. Sandy Xiong

    I guess it would depend for me. I’m not a big fan of Edwardian era but since it is historical, I guess moving back to that time would do me good in seeing how much of a difference it is to the Regency and Victorian times.

  24. leslee kahler

    If I was one of the upper class and rich I’d be willing, other wise it would be a very hard life

  25. catslady

    Actually I like any time frame except maybe the present lol. I want to be taken to a different world.

  26. gamistress66

    the edwardian is pushing the edge of what i enjoy in historical romances (and i’m not much for contemporary either), i prefer pre-industrial age as a rule, that being said, the right story can tempt me no matter the period.


    Sure. I love all things romance. The time period wouldn’t much matter. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

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