All the featured authors are from the Romance Writers of Australia or Romance Writers of New Zealand, and have just been or are newly published with the digital imprints of Australian publishing houses like - Random House, Harlequin, Penguin and Pan Macmillan.
This week, please welcome Alison Butler.
Allison Butler lives in a small country town in NSW Australia with her very own Scottish hero, two beautiful daughters and a Jack Russel named Wallace.
Allison writes by day and cares for the elderly by night. She loves travelling, dancing like no one's watching and seeing the sights from the back of her husband's motorcycle.
Title - THE BORDER LAIRD'S BRIDE
Release Date - 10th February 2013
Publisher - Penguin's Destiny Romance
Call Story - I attended the Penguin launch of their new digital-first Destiny Romance imprint at the RWA 2012 conference on the Gold Coast and when they announced they were taking pitches, I decided to give it a go. I pitched the next day to the lovely Carol George and she requested the full manuscript. I returned home, finished polishing my story and sent it off. Three weeks later, I received the 'CALL' from Carol. I pretended to be calm and in control, but must admit to shedding a few happy tears.
Hero - Jamie Graham is a gorgeous, strong hero with a kind heart, protective instincts and a dash of humour, who has promised to sire an heir but has vowed never to fall in love.
Heroine - Kenzie Irvine is a likeable firebrand who bravely protects and provides for the neglected, but has vowed never to marry and bring a child into an uncaring world.
Setting - The Scottish Borders.
To fulfill his father's dying wish, border laird Jamie Graham must marry and sire a legitimate heir. But his marriage will be one of convenience, for he has vowed never to open his heart for betrayal. While guarding his cattle from thieves, Jamie catches the spirited daughter of a neighbouring laird stealing his horse.
Despite viewing an arranged marriage as a death sentence, feisty Kenzie Irvine has no choice but to wed the domineering laird. But she has sworn an oath never to bring a child into an uncaring world...
'All I possess becomes my brides the day we wed. My home is a castle. The people of clan Graham are my family, and my garron, De Brus, is a sturdy mount and is brave of heart.'
She stared into the fire, hard. Was talking his special form of torture?
'Aren't you curious to know who the lucky lass is?'
The only thing she was curious about was what he would do once she escaped.
'I also have a talent for making the ladies sing.'
Before she knew it, she found herself looking at him, watching his brows waggle above his glittering blue eyes, brows a shade darker than his wheat-coloured, shoulder-length hair.
She frowned. He should save listing his attributes for his unfortunate bride.
A wave of pity swamped her for the woman destined to be his wife. Jamie Graham was charming and smiled often and with ease. A dangerous smile that could melt the stoutest of icicles clinging to winter trees.
Whoever the woman was, she'd best have her wits about her at all times. She'd soon be lost within this man's beauty, his confidence and his charm. A shade, as many women who wed became. Women like her mother had been - alive but adrift; known but forgotten. A shade instead of a whole.
'I also have a large herd of prized cattle. But you are aware of that already.'
Her gaze met his before darting back to the fire. She swallowed. She'd been lulled by the sound of his voice and teasing banter. For a few moments, she'd forgotten why she was here. His next words ensured she'd never do so again.
'Lifting a man's cattle is punishable by death.'
The teasing tone had been stripped from his voice. A chill swept through her.
'A fitting punishment, and one I'm certain you know of also.'
She forced her gaze to meet his, refused to show him any fear.
'My bride will take my name and have my protection,' he said quietly.
He held her life in the palm of his hand, yet continued speaking of what his wife would gain when they wed. Just like her father, his thoughts only ever concerned himself.
'What say you, Kenzie?'
Her senses scattered, torn from her mind like the last autumn leaves clinging for life to bare branches.
'Aye. I know who you are. I also know I am the only one who can keep the noose from about your bonny neck.'
His soft-spoken words sent her world tilting again, but she refused to let him see. She returned his stare and despite his calm facade, she noticed the anxious gleam lighting his eyes.
He wanted something from her. Just as she expected.
'Marry me, Kenzie?'
Her heart seized, and then pounded in her ears. She fought for every breath and with each breath she won, her shock and fear subsided.
She swallowed and looked into his summer-sky eyes. 'I'd rather hang.'
Any upcoming releases? I'm currently revising another Scottish medieval romance tentatively titled, The Healer. This story is linked to THE BORDER LAIRD'S BRIDE and I'm hoping it will be published late 2013.
Thanks so much for having me, Kylie.
It's been a pleasure having you visit, Alison! :-)
If you want to find out more about Alison go to her website, or you can follow her on Facebook.