“The words spewed from Da’s mouth. A sinister, dark shadow cloaked his face. Muscles twitched in his jaws and his hands clenched in tight fists. I stepped back. He abruptly turned, making his way up the stone steps to the upper story bed chambers, feeling the wall for security. When his foot struck the arisaid I’d dropped on the stair, he reached down, seized the garment, flung it with a vehemence I rarely witnessed from him, and continued up the staircase. The large dog followed at his heels. Not knowing what to do, I grabbed the arisaid, wrapped it closely around my shoulders, pulled the hood over my head, then ran toward the door of the great hall. Ellic waited in the garden. I wanted to be near him, feel his embrace, and listen to the sweet words he would whisper in my ear.”

From A Highland Emerald by Brenda B. Taylor

The desire to write historical fiction has long been a passion with Brenda B. Taylor. Since elementary school, she has written stories in her spare time. Brenda earned three degrees: a BSE from Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas; a MEd from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; and an EdD from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; then worked as a teacher and administrator in the Texas Public School system. Only after retirement could she fulfill the dream of publication.

Brenda and her husband make their home in beautiful East Texas where they enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and working in Bethabara Faith Ministry, Inc. She crafts stories about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people in her favorite place overlooking bird feeders, bird houses, and a variety of blooming trees and flowers. She sincerely thanks all who purchase and read her books. Her desire is that the message in each book will touch the heart of the reader as it did hers in the writing.

Her latest book is the Scottish Historical Romance A Highland Emerald.

Book Description:

Aine MacLean is forced into an arranged marriage with Sir William, Chief of Clan Munro, yet her heart belongs to a handsome young warrior in her father’s guard. She must leave Durant Castle, the home of her birth on the Isle of Mull, and travel across Scotland in a perilous journey to her husband’s home on Cromarty Firth. William agrees to a year and day of handfasting, giving Aine an opportunity to accept him and his clan. He promises her the protection of Clan Munro, however, Aine experiences kidnapping, pirates, and almost loses her life in the River Moriston. She doubts the sincerity of William’s promises and decides to return to Durant Castle when the handfasting ends. William determines to win Aine’s heart. Will the brave knight triumph in his fight for the bonnie lass?

A Highland Emerald is the third book in the award-winning Highland Treasures series. The novel tells the story of Aine MacLean and William Munro and is the prequel to A Highland Pearl.

Interview:

Welcome Brenda! The desire to write historical fiction traces back to when you were a child. What sparked the interest of writing this genre at that young age?

Brenda: I loved studying history and making up stories, so combining the two came naturally. I made up stories in my head for many years until I retired and could put them on paper.

Are you a detail freak when it comes to writing your novels?

Brenda: My research for the historical novels is extensive, so I do attend to detail. I like to have the facts correct, but then the stories are fiction. Although the storyline, characters, and some places are fictitious, I try to make them correct according to the setting and time period.

How hard for you was it to sit down and start writing your novel? Did you have all these ideas swirling around your head or did it take some time before you were actually ready to sit down and begin?

Brenda: My first novel took several years of thinking about it, attending conferences, and studying the art of fiction writing before I finally typed the first word.

Writers are often associated with loner tendencies. Is there any truth to that?

Brenda: Out of necessity, writers are very introverted and self-absorbed. I spend a lot of time alone with my thoughts and ideas, yet I enjoy being with others and schedule times I can interact with friends and family.

I am so excited about your novel, A Highland Emerald. Can you tell us a little bit about the main characters?

Brenda: Aine MacLean, whose home is Durant Castle on the Isle of Mull, Scotland, is the heroine of A Highland Emerald. Her father, Lachlan Og MacLean, Chief of Clan MacLean, arranged her marriage to William Munro, Chief of Clan Munro, who resides across Scotland in Fàrdach Castle on the banks of Cromarty Firth. William understands Aine’s hesitancy in marrying him and agrees to a year and day of chaste handfasting or trial marriage. The couple must make a perilous journey across Scotland from Aine’s home on the Atlantic Ocean to William’s home near the North Sea. Aine is a pampered daughter at the beginning of the story who grows into a responsible wife and mother. Most of the time William is understanding with Aine, trying to win her affection and respect, but she does try his patience.

They say all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point when the reader just can’t put the book down. What is one of the pivotal points in A Highland Emerald?

Brenda: The pivotal point in A Highland Emerald is when Aine is forced to choose between ending the chaste handfasting and taking William as her true husband or enduring the imprisonment of her body guard, Sion.

What’s next for you?

Brenda: I recently finished a novella in the Highland Treasures series entitled, A Highland Bride. Next I plan to write a novel or novella in the post-Civil War series, The Wades of Crawford County.

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