Afternoon Tea With Samantha James

Bride of a Wicked Scotsman - March 2009

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Samantha James, enjoy afternoon tea, and discuss her newest release, Bride of a Wicked Scotsman which arrives in bookstores Feb. 24. I love Samantha’s books and neither dust, dogs, nor deadline will keep me from reading one of her books when it comes out. So pull up a chair, help yourself to some tea, and let’s enjoy our chat.

LH: What makes this Scotsman so wicked?

SJ: Thus far in the trilogy, we’ve see Alec in his role as the Duke of Gleneden, head of the family. But in Alec’s book, the sexy, rakish, wicked side of him is revealed. Alec is charmingly audacious, very, very much a ladies’ man. And of course, there’s the fact — unbeknownst to all – that he’s the descendant of a pirate!

LH: What can you tell us about the curse?

SJ:   I’ll do one better. I’ll let it speak for itself!

From out of the mists and magic steeped in time came a myth — a myth that was born on the lands of the people who came to be called the clan McDonough. It was here, on the very tip of the peninsula, in this place where the wind meets sea and sky, and the sky the earth, where Druids reigned and pagans came to worship their Celtic gods in a temple ringed with standing stones. It is here, said the tale, that the Circle of Light first came to be, beget by the Druid priests. Conjured from sea and sky and water and earth, a symbol of the eternal cycle of life. Of purest silver it was made, a simple pattern, weaved together, a circle that had no end and no beginning.

The Circle of Light resided high upon an altar of stone — floating, suspended with a power of its own, slowly rotating, ever turning, shimmering with myriad color and warmth. The Druids proclaimed that all people of the clan McDonough who worshiped — all who believed in its powers of endurance, would be blessed.

So wondrous was the Circle of Light that St. Patrick himself came to see it. He, too, blessed the Circle, and all of the McDonough and their lands. He decreed that it should remain forever in this place of ancient worship; the clan was charged with its guardianship. In thanks for this blessing, the clan McDonough built their church in honor of St. Patrick, bringing fortune and favor to their lands and people.

As time and tide went by, the McDonough came to believe that to lose the Circle of Light — this enduring cycle of life — would be to lose their good fortune. Such was their belief. Such was their faith. Night after night throughout the centuries, high above the statue of St. Patrick, the Circle of Light was seen through the window to the north, casting out its glow. Shifting and shimmering through mist and moonlight and the darkest night, bringing forth luck and prosperity to the lands of the McDonough as promised. Like a crown of warmth and hope, its light could not be dimmed.

Until the night the Black Scotsman came plundering across the seas, to the land of the McDonough where he seized the Circle for his own . . .

And the truth of the legend came to be.

LH: Reading the excerpt posted on your website,, I loved how you brought one of F.J. Sparrow’s characters to the costume ball. Loved the entire excerpt actually. Alec seems to be quite a bit of fun, and I can already tell that the heroine is a great match for him. I read in another interview that you’d saved his story for last because he needed a special heroine. How did you finally find her and how is it that she’s his match?

SJ:  You noticed the F.J. Sparrow character! I wondered (read: hoped) if that would happen. That costume ball was so much fun . . . Back to Alec, though. Somehow I couldn’t see Alec falling for a white-gloved, fashionable London debutante. He’d be bored silly. He needed to be paired with someone who didn’t conform to Society’s ways. Someone who was more unconventional, more adventurous. And rather than see Scottish vs. English yet again, I thought it would be more fun to pit Irish vs. Scottish.

LH: If Bride of a Wicked Scotsman were to be made into a movie, who would play the hero?

SJ: Do I have to have just one? Because it could be Pierce Brosnan.  Or Hugh Jackman. Or Gerard Butler. But if I have to choose, well, I’ll go with Pierce Brosnan. He’s first in the alphabet.

LH: Tell us five things about Samantha James that we might not know.

SJ:  My favorite food is

peppermint ice cream.

My least favorite food is berries—any kind of berry. And mushrooms. And fish. Oh, that makes three. The strange thing is, my husband detests those same foods.

I’m a back-seat driver. Does t

hat make me a control freak?

My favorite vacation spot is Scotland. Anywhere in Scotland.

I stayed in a haunted castl

e – really. Yes, in Scotland, of course. Alas, I must have been sleeping when the resident ghost appeared.

LH: Oh, I’ve always wanted to visit haunted castle! How fun! Although I don’t know if I would have slept a wink.

Samantha, I want to thank you for joining us today. It’s been a delight as always. To those joining us today, what questions do you have for Samantha?

Bride of a Wicked Scotsman – March 2009
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