01 May 2011

Guest Author: Margaret Mallory

This week on Excerpt Thursday, we're welcoming regular contributor Margaret Mallory, as she celebrates the release of THE GUARDIAN, her first book in THE RETURN OF THE HIGHLANDERS series set in 1513. It is available in print and ebook May 1st. Join us Sunday, when Margaret will be here to talk about her novel and give away a signed copy!

Here's the blurb:


Four fearless warriors return to the Highlands to claim their lands and legacies. But all their trials on the battlefield can’t prepare them for their greatest challenge yet: winning the hearts of four willful Scottish beauties.


After years of fighting abroad, Ian MacDonald comes home to find his clan in peril. To save his kin, he must right the wrongs from his past . . . and claim the bride he’s long resisted.

As a young lass, Sìleas depended on Ian to play her knight in shining armor. But when his rescue attempt compromised her virtue, Ian was forced to marry against his wishes. Five years later, Sìleas has grown from an awkward girl into an independent beauty who knows she deserves better than the reluctant husband who preferred war to his wife. Now this devilishly handsome Highlander is finally falling in love. He wants a second chance with Sìleas — and he won’t take no for an answer.

TOP PICK!  ½   Mallory’s “sensuous and highly passionate tale grabs the reader and doesn't let go. ~ RT Book Reviews.

Can you tell us a bit about the historical backdrop for your new release, THE GUARDIAN?
Most of the story takes place in the Western Isles of Scotland in 1513, shortly after the Scots’ disastrous loss to Henry VIII’s forces at the Battle of Flodden.  Ian MacDonald returns from France to find his king and his chieftain dead, his clan in grave danger, a rebellion brewing, and factions fighting for control of the crown.

So tell us a little about the relationship between your hero and heroine. 
When they were children, Ian was always having to rescue his young friend Sìleas from trouble. Sìleas is an awkward 13-year-old and Ian a handsome young warrior when she corners him into saving her yet again. When his good deed leads to a forced marriage, Ian is furious with her and sails for France as soon as the vows are said. Ian returns five years later intent of dissolving their false marriage…but he finds that nothing at home is the same as when he left, including Sìleas.
This is both an ugly-duckling story and a story of second chances.

You incorporate historical characters into your novels. Any particularly interesting ones in this new book?

I found so many intriguing historical figures in this period of Scottish history that it was a challenge not to overcrowd my book with them. Fortunately, THE GUARDIAN is the first in a four-book series so I’ll be able to bring more of these characters into later books.
When I discovered that the first chieftain of the MacDonalds of Sleat had six sons by six different women and that the animosity among the six half-brothers led to two generations of murder, I knew I had found my heroes’ clan. One of these half-brothers causes a lot of trouble in THE GUARDIAN.
I like to include a bit of royal politics, so I sent Sìleas and Ian on a journey to Stirling Castle. Margaret Tudor, who was queen of Scotland and the sister of Henry VIII of England, makes an unpleasant appearance there. Margaret’s husband, James IV, has just died in the Battle of Flodden at the hands of her brother’s forces. Despite being pregnant by her dead husband, Margaret has taken up with the young and handsome Douglas chieftain, whose interest is in controlling the crown.
What’s next?
THE SINNER, the second book in THE RETURN OF THE HIGHLANDERS, will be out Nov. 1st.  By the way, readers will meet all four heroes in THE GUARDIAN.
Thanks for telling us about your new release, THE GUARDIAN!
I’d love to respond to comments!  I’ll give an autographed copy of THE GUARDIAN to one of the commenters.

Thank you, Margaret! Please leave a comment to win a free copy of Margaret's latest, THE GUARDIAN.

Margaret Mallory, named by Booklist as one of "the new stars of historical romance," is the award-winning author of the medieval series, All the King’s Men. Her newest release, THE GUARDIAN, received a TOP Pick,   ½ TOP PICK review from RT Book Reviews.


LilMissMolly said...

Hi Margaret! I fell in love with your books last year. I'm so glad you have 3 coming out again fairly close together. I hate it when a new book takes a whole year. Of course, I empathize with you having to write them all. :)

Margaret Mallory said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Margaret Mallory said...

Thanks, LilMissMolly! I'm so glad you loved my ALL THE KING'S MEN trilogy. I think you'll be happy to hear that this series has 4 books. And yes, it is hard for me to write a book in 6 months. :P Good thing I love what I do.

Janette Harjo said...

WOW! Your books are so laden with Hunky Heros! I can't wait until I have achance to READ them!!


Virginia said...

This book sounds like a fabulous read and I would love to read it. You just can't help loven those highlander hero. I could just eat them up. Thanks for sharing your books with us today.


Diana Quincy said...

Six sons by six different mothers! Sounds like an intriguing start. I can't wait to read The Guardian. I've enjoyed your books and look forward to reading them all. Good luck with The Guardian. I hope to see it on the bestseller list soon!

Dalila G. said...

Hello Margaret!

I look forward to reading your series THE RETURN OF THE HIGHLANDERS.
Everyone knows you can't go wrong reading about strong sexy highlanders! :-)

I read ALL THE KING'S MEN trilogy, wonderful reads.
I especially loved the cover of KNIGHT OF PLEASURE, her green gown was awesome!

Thank you Lisa for having Margaret as your guest today.

Have a lovely day ladies!

StacieDM said...

Hello Margaret!

I love that he was forced to marry this ugly duckling and returns to find her a radiant beauty. I would imagine that when he left for war the heroine must have been terrible hurt. I do enjoy second chance stories but I'm sure she will make him grovel a bit before they are reunited. It sounds great!

user1123 AT comcast DOT net

Maria said...

This sounds like a great book! Love sexy highlanders and I love to read historical series!


Jen B. said...

I admit it, I do love a good Highlander romance. This one sounds really good. I have always wondered, where do authors come up with the names for the characters in the Highlands novels? Are your character names authentic or something plucked from your imagination? Thanks for the contest.

Barbara E. said...

I love the premise of The Guardian - forced to marry, and then given a second chance at love with that previously unwanted bride. It sounds wonderful and I can't wait to read it.
Barbed1951 at aol dot com

Mariee said...

Great interview!
I can't wait to read this book. I love ugly-duckling stories and Highlanders.

marieimy (at) gmail (dot) com

Margaret Mallory said...

Thanks for all the comments! I had to be driving and away from the internet for most of the day, so it was lovely to come back to them.

Carol L. said...

Hi Margaret,
I know this will be another fabulous read. I loved the Knight books and since Highlanders are my favorite read I definitely can't wait to read about Ian and Sileas. Love the story premise. And love series books and knowing there are 4, makes my day. :)
Carol L

Margaret Mallory said...

Many thanks to those of you who made nice remarks about my earlier books. And thanks for all the well wishes on this one. :)

Carol: I love your photo.

Karyn Gerrard said...

Hi Margaret,

All the best for your release, I have heard such glowing things about this book, and I love anything Highlander!


Flour Child said...

I have yet to read a book set in the highlands, because I'm a bit intimidated by the accents, but this sounds intriguing. Thanks for sharing your interview!

Margaret Mallory said...

Flour Child, since you don't usually read Scottish historicals, you might want to read this review by someone who doesn't usually read them either. She loved it or I wouldn't be sharing it. ;)

I'm glad to hear so many of you like ugly-duckling, second chances, and Highlander stories!


chey said...

This sounds like a book I'd really like to read!
chey127 at hotmail dot com

Chelsea B. said...

I am so looking forward to reading your new book, Margaret! I'm all about me some Highlanders! :-)

Alison said...

I'm always a bit wary of books set in Scotland, since I know it so well, but you do seem to have done a lot of research!


Maureen said...

I do enjoy an ugly duckling story and haven't read one in a while. Congratulations on the new series.

gamistress66 said...

congrats on the release & rave reviews. it sounds like one heck of a family (glad it's not mine, but sure sounds fun to read about) :)

Margaret Mallory said...

Thanks for the comments & good wishes on my new release. Gamistress, I loved your comment:

it sounds like one heck of a family (glad it's not mine, but sure sounds fun to read about) :)