Thursday, January 31, 2008

Meet Terri Brisbin … and her sexy Highlanders!

by Anna Sugden

I’m delighted to welcome my good friend, two-time RITA nominee Terri Brisbin - and her Highlanders - to the Lair!

Terri has been writing romance fiction since 1995 and has had 16 historical and time-travel romances published by Berkley-Jove and Harlequin Historicals. When not living the glamorous life of a romance author in the southern NJ suburbs, Terri spends her time being a wife to one, mom to three boys as well as a dental hygienist to hundreds. Active in several RWA local chapters, Terri currently serves on the Board of Directors of Romance Writers of America.

And, on a personal note, I’d like to add that Terri is a great champion and supporter of her fellow romance writers - she keeps us motivated through the best and worst of times!

To find out more about Terri or her fabulous books, please visit her website:

Welcome Terri

Anna, thanks for that warm welcome and the invitation to visit with the Romance Bandits and readers.

I know we have a number of visitors to the blog who LOVE Scotsmen … a few Banditas too *grin*. Would you introduce us to your Highlanders?

This trilogy of stories (and there may a fourth at some point) is all about the wonderful MacLerie men – Connor, the laird, had the first book (TAMING THE HIGHLANDER), now Rurik, his loyal friend and cousin is featured in this new book, SURRENDER TO THE HIGHLANDER, and the clan tanist and negotiator, Duncan, will be featured in an August release (POSSESSED BY THE HIGHLANDER). They are all very interesting and have their flaws and strengths – Connor has a terrible reputation as a wife-killer and does not like to be questioned, Rurik is half-Scots/half-Norse and is a true prodigal son who wants more, and Duncan places honor and his clan above everything else in his life. Don’t they sound like men in need of a good woman?

Tough heroes need strong heroines. How did you choose the heroines for these three tough men?

Well! A long time ago, a wonderful author (Delia Parr) suggested during a workshop that in order to create strong conflict you should give the hero the absolutely worst kind of woman for him. So Connor, who still carries the terrible secrets of his first wife’s death, is forced to marry someone who is protecting her own secrets. Rurik, who loves women and who loves to do two things in life (both start with “F” and one is fight!) has a heroine who is a nun! (Well, he thinks she is a nun!) Duncan, who lives by his honor, is forced to marry a woman who has none...or so he thinks!

It must be fun researching these books. I know you love to travel. Have you got some interesting tales of your quest for things Scottish?

I have had the chance to travel to Scotland twice and have visited many of the places I write about. On my first trip there in 2002, Sue-Ellen Welfonder took me to Dunstaffnage Castle and I had the chance to stand on the battlements and look out over the Firth of Lorne. This turned into a scene I wrote for THE MAID OF LORNE. Also, eerily, it was also there that I found what looked to be the archway through time I described in my very first romance, A LOVE THROUGH TIME. The strange thing is that I’d never seen pictures of this castle until my visit but it all felt familiar.....

I am going back to Scotland in the spring and can’t wait to visit some places I haven’t seen yet – Stirling Castle, more of Edinburgh, and a side trip to the Highlands.

Unfortunately, my other Scottish quest – to meet Gerard Butler – has not been successful...but I’m still trying!

As lovely as your Highlanders are, you write about Englishmen too (YAY!). And a fascinating time period. Can you tell us a bit about some of the other books you’ve written?

Sigh..... I also love medieval England. I’ve written 4 novels and 2 novellas that are all set in the late 1190’s and early 1200’s and involve the Plantagenet dynasty – Henry II and his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and their sons Richard and John. And talk about different, non-traditional heroines! those stories feature women who were very different from most noble-women of their time—one is the king’s mistress, one is pregnant with another man’s child, one has been held hostage and pretends to not remember all that happened, one is the village harlot, one almost died and has amnesia, and one is on the run after refusing her parents’ choice of a husband.

Next up will be a trilogy set during the Norman invasion in 1066 and I can’t wait to write those! I plan on visiting some of those sites on my spring trip, too.

If you were to travel back in time to one of your favourite time periods, which would it be and what would you miss most about life in 2008?

I think I would love to visit Elizabethan England and see her up close. Elizabeth defied all the odds countless times and became one of England’s strongest rulers. She took a nearly-bankrupted, religiously-divided, politically-threatened kingdom and brought it back from the brink of disaster to make it a world superpower. You gotta’ like a woman who can do that!

Toilet paper! Email! Telephones! On a more mundane and practical level – I would miss medicines and hot water and a good bed and so many other things. I am definitely getting old and crotchety and need my comforts!

Over to the rest of you. Terri would love to answer any questions you have about her books and research trips. And we’d both like to know which time period you’d travel back to, as well as what you would miss most.

Terri will be giving away prizes to two lucky visitors. She’ll pick up something special on her upcoming trip to Scotland for two winners and they’ll get their choice of any of her available backlist books.


flchen1 said...

Welcome, Terri! Highlanders are very appealing!

flchen1 said...

Thanks for the neat interview! I love the idea of choosing the absolute worst possible woman for the hero--there's something about opposites and seeing how that comes together that makes for very compelling stories!

As for what time period I'd be curious to visit, I'd love to visit old China (as a rich person, of course!), to see what it would like to live in those enormous family "enclaves" and the beautiful finery (no thanks to the foot-binding though). And I'm totally spoiled, and am not sure I could seriously do without hot running water and central heating and a microwave! ;)

Have fun on your upcoming trip!!

Eva S said...

Thanks Terri for all your wonderful medievals! Now I'll have to find me a in earth will that be possible...
But a trip to Scotland would be fine!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Fedora!!! A rooster to visit! Eva, coming from Finland, wouldn't you rather find a man from somewhere WARM???!!! Mind you, all that cold weather is good excuse to cuddle up ;-)

Jennifer Y. said...

Fabulous interview Terri! You know I love your books! I somehow missed TAMING THE HIGHLANDER, but will have to try and correct that.

As for which time period I'd travel back to...hmmm...I am not a kid I always wanted to travel back to the old west...but as I grew older and read more about medieval times that began to appeal to me...that and the Regency era.

As for what I'd miss...well, the Internet, my Intuition razor, basic hygiene products, air conditioning (although I live in a house without it so it might not be that bad), and many other things we probably take for granted now.

I hope you have a wonderful time on your trip! I have always wanted to go to Scotland.

Eva S said...

Hi Anna,
we don't have very cold weather here right now, no snow and it's raining every day..Funny winter! But the dark time is also good excuse to cuddle up, and I've always been fascinated of the Highlanders, and medieval heroes.

Anna Campbell said...

Terri, clearly another Scottish fanatic! And I don't mean John Knox! I love me a good Scotsman, especially between the pages of a great book and yours sound fantastic. Welcome to the MacLair! We raise our claymores in your honour!

Where do you hope to go in the Highlands? The Scottish Highlands are actually my favourite place in the entire universe (seeing I know SOOO much about Mars and Jupiter). I particularly love the west coast and the Hebrides. There might be something in racial memory because that's where the Campbells come from. Mind you, could also be that it's all spectacularly beautiful and I love seascapes and they've got some of the best there. What's your favourite place in Scotland? And why?

Anna Campbell said...

Yeah, Eva, there's something about a long dark knight, isn't there? Snort! We're having a funny summer too - lots of rain and not particularly hot although VERY humid.

Ann M. said...

Waves hi to Terri. Good to see you on the internet. Sniffs that our East Brunswick Borders is gone so no more Romance Readers Club meetings there.

Ann (the one without the e)

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, and don't forget Anna and Beth are talking about category romance over at the Romance Novel TV Bandita Invasion today -

There are PRIZES!!!

Only one more day of Bandita invasion left after today. Let's finish with a bang (no, Cassondra and P226, that's not an excuse to bring out the pistols!).

p226 said...

I'd probably time-travel to Libya in March of 1941 to November 1942.

Alternately, to a tiny little string of Island in the south pacific collectively referred to as Tarawa. I'd be there starting November 20, 1943.

I'd also really like to swing back to about 1774, here in the colonies. About a ten year stay in that period would be pretty informative. I'd hang out with Thomas Jefferson for a while. I'd follow that guy around and soak up information like a sponge. Maybe enlist in the continental army. It's my understanding that General Washington was a powerful presence anywhere. Meeting the founders would be awesome.

PJ said...

Hi Terri!

Great interview! I was first introduced to your books when I met you at the Atlanta RWA booksigning. My good friend, Falcon had told me to look for you and, boy, am I ever glad I did. Not much warms me up on a cold night faster than a hot Highlander and your's are definitely HOT.

I loved TAMING THE HIGHLANDER and was excited to return to Clan MacLerie with SURRENDER TO THE HIGHLANDER which I just finished reading about five minutes ago! I bought it this afternoon and, let me tell you, it was well worth staying up until 1:00am to finish!

Can't wait to see what you have in store for Duncan.


p226 said...

(no, Cassondra and P226, that's not an excuse to bring out the pistols!).

Awwww.... But clearly we're outgunned.

We raise our claymores in your honour!

Whoa. Claymores? Are the fuses in those things? I mean... the casualty radius on those things is like, 120m. Please pay attention to the front of it. Particularly where it says "This side toward enemy."


I know. You're talking about the big two handed swords. But... I like things that go bang... And, claymores are fun! (the gobang kind)

Anna Campbell said...

Actually, P226, TJ is one of those people I would have loved to have met too. He was such an incredible polymath. There was a wonderful Ken Burns doco about his life that was shown here and I was in absolute awe of everything he managed to do. And of his amazingly clear-sighted vision. People like that are so rare.

Claymores are seriously scary, aren't they? I honestly don't think I could lift one! I think you could drop it on your opponent's toe and win the match!

Aunty Cindy said...

Congrats on the GR, Flchen! Keep him nice and warm and cozy... NO, not in the oven! :-P

VA and Terri, GREAT INTERVIEW. Thanx a bunch for bringing your Highlanders to the Lair. Ah, there's nothing like a brawny, bonny Scot to inspire a writer!

I, too would love to know your planned destinations, Terri. I've only ever made it as far as Edinburgh, so I need to plan for an extended visit, all in the name of research, of course. ;-)


Aunty Cindy said...

Oh and FORGET the time-travel! I love my hot and cold running water, indoor plumbing and electricity too much to live any time else!

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Terri - Welcome to the lair.

There's so many interesting time periods it would be difficult to choose one so I'll be a time jumper please. Spend a little time in Medieval times than jump to the American revolution, jump to the wild, wild, west - you get the idea. Somehow I'd have to figure out how to get email & I'd have to carry a lifetime supply of Diet Dr. Pepper with me - or DIet Coke in a pinch.

Jane said...

Hi Terri,
I will definitelyr go pick up some of your books. I wouldn't mind being transported back to 1066 so that I can meet a sexy Norman. I might even want to go further back to Ancient Greece. It seems those Romans knew how to throw a party or better yet an orgy.

Amy Andrews said...

Ooh Terri - I've been to Stirling Castle and stood on the Hastings battlefields. I'm sure you will find plenty of grist for the mill in both those places. Love, love, love Scotland and Hastings, around Battle Abbey, is eerily peaceful.

I think I'd like to go back to the sufragette era. Rub shoulders with Emmeline.
What would I miss - with apologies to P226 - tampons. And codeine for when you have to use the aforementioned unmentionable. I'd hate to have to spend a day biting a block!!!
Maybe also the great civil rights, feminism and flower power eras of the 60's and 70's.

Helen said...

Congrats flchen1 on the Gr have fun with him

Loved the interview Terri and Anna. You sound like one very busy Lady Terri but obviously love writing. I will be looking for these books I love a scotsman and the highlands is the place I would love to go back in time to those Scots are just awesome in their kilts with the claymores and the castles yes. Although I don't now whether I could do without elecricity hard to read a book by candlelight might not need to read as much with a burly scotsman to keep me company and I don't think I could do without flushing toilets.
Have Fun

Maureen said...

Hi Terri!
Congratulations on the new book. If I traveled back in time I think I would want to want to go back to the Victorian era, a time when the world was changing rapidly.

Caren Crane said...

Hi, Terri! (waving madly) I am a Terri Brisbin fan from way back. I no longer recall where we met, but maybe it was a Lowcountry Romance Writers beach retreat? *shrug* Anyway, we are thrilled to have you in the Lair!

I am another Scotland fanatic - love men in kilts! That was a seriously cool story about finding the archway like the one in your time travel. I'll bet that gave you a real turn!

I would love to travel back to Renaissance Italy and hang out with the artists and intellectuals (maybe even a de Medici or two *g*). I would also love medieval France (at court, of course) and Elizabethan England. *sigh*

Of course, without modern medicine, I would be in a coma in a few days and dead in a couple of weeks, so I suppose I am best off here and now. Oh, well, a girl can dream!

Fedora, congrats on snagging the GR! He will be happy to get back to a place with really good coffee, I'm sure. ;-)

Eva, welcome back! How odd that you are having a warm, wet winter in Finland! I am in the southern USA and we are having a warm, dry winter. It's cold right now, but has been unusually warm for months. I enjoy the cold weather (in winter), so I miss it!

P226, I dated a guy from Libya (still a dear friend). I guess that's not the same as fighting Rommel there, huh? *g*

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I would like to travel back to c1800 Scotland, or England, or Ireland. In another life I had to have lived one of those areas because I drawn there constantly. With my luck I was probably a maid but hey, I could live with that.
Terri, I have read some of your books and I loved them but I have never even seen one of the Highlander books, that really bums me out, I so love a Highlander. Now of course I will have to track them all down and start a reading marathon.

Gillian Layne said...

Terri, great interview! And boy do I wish you were my dental hygienist; I wouldn't be scared of the dentist anymore. I should be listening to romance novels on a Mp3 while they work, shouldn't I?:)

I am sold on your books and looking forward to reading them. Could you share some of your impressions of Edinburgh, and your favorite time of year in Scotland?

Anna Sugden said...

Wow! Mention Highlanders and everyone comes out to play early! The poor Sassenachs wait idly by ... must keep them company ;)

Flchen1 - congrats on nabbing the rooster!

Ancient China sounds so interesting - what's raised your fascination with that period and country?

Anna Sugden said...

Welcome Eva ... it's not so far from Finland to the Highlands, so you never know.

We're having a weird winter here in NJ too ... hmmm ... what's up with that?

Anna C - does that mean you want to cuddle with an eskimo? *grin* or maybe a hunky hockey player?

Anna Sugden said...

Jennifer - you have a really fun blog - stumbled across it the other day!

I'd love to go back to the Old West too. To meet some of the famous people like Wild Bill, Butch and Sundance, Doc Holliday and the Earps. I had such fun visitng Tombstone a couple of years ago.

Anna Sugden said...

I don't know about Terri's favourite place (I wish I could have included more of her fab pics!) - but I loved the islands - Arran, Mull, Tyree.

Ann without an e - welcome. I didn't know that Borders had gone! I miss the B&N on 5th in Manhattan. I'd just got their romance department trained!

Anna Sugden said...

Yes, Beth and I are giving away books! Beth is giving away the February Superromances and I'm giving away the February Special Editions to go with our discussion on De-virginising Category Romance!

P226 - interesting times and battles. Not surprised you wanted to steer clear of Europe during that time!

If I could travel back, I'd like to go back to London of the WW2 period (with a guarantee I'd survive!) - an amazing time for so many reasons.

Anna Sugden said...

Yay PJ on having finished Terri's latest - Surrender to the Highlander! I'm saving that one for my trip home - long flights to the UK are great for reading special books in one sitting!

LOL on the Claymore instructions - I won't cite an English joke with so many Highlander fans around ;)

AC - definitely go north! Stunningly beautiful! (of course Cambridge would be a great place to visit too *grin*)

brownone said...

Ooh, I fell in love with "highlanders" ever since I read "Outlander"! :-)

As for time travel, sorry, not for me. I don't think I could adjust. I mean, the lack of electricity alone would kill me! I went through Hurricane Andrew in August of 1992 and we didn't get electricity back at my house until November (We luckily had a generator we used at night). I know what it's like to be without it and NO THANK YOU! I don't know how people survived without it. Now, if I could travel back WITH electricity, I wouldn't mind checking out England back in the time of Henry VIII. I've been reading up on it and court life sounds very fascinating. I mean, the wrong word and "off with your head!" ;-)

Anna Sugden said...

Donna - LOL on the sodas. And you'd have to handcuff your laptop case to your wrist! ;)

Jane - no, no! Say after me - No sexy Normans! Sexy Englishmen only ;)

Amy - that's my gal! Battle and Hastings are beautiful. There are so many castles and battlements around the coast that are inspiring and haunting.

I'm with you on what you'd miss!

Helen - I like the way you think! Must remember that during the next power-cut.

Anna Sugden said...

Maureen - the Victorian times were so fascinating! I used to love teaching that period - even if I had to put up with comment about having been around in that time!

Caren - oh yes, Renaissance Italy would be interesting. Course Italy now is pretty interesting too!

Hrdwrdkmom - don't forget you can get Terri's books by clicking on the covers on the blog - they'll take you straight through to Amazon. Terri's books are well worth the wait!

Anna Sugden said...

Gillian - what a fab suggestion - I'll do that next time I'm in the dentist's chair (am I the only one who gets bravery stickers?!)

Brownone - LOL I so know what you mean about no electricity. Being without a boiler back home, so no heating or hot water was a killer too!

AndreaW said...

Hi Terri!

I love the pictures of Scotland! I SO want to go there someday...

I've never read your books before, but I love me some Highlanders, so I need to rectify that! Off to check out your website...


Gannon Carr said...

Hi, Terri! Another lover of all things Scottish here! Especially those hot Highlanders! Yummy! I've been to Scotland twice, and the Highlands are truly magnificent. Not to be missed!

If I could travel back in time, Elizabethan England would be me choice. I've always been fascinated by that period. Of course, it would have to be a brief visit--indoor plumbing and the rest of my modern day creature comforts would beckon!

terrio said...

First off I have to say great name. *g* I rarely see the name Terri used on books and never on anything but contemps. How have I missed you all this time?!

I love that tip about creating heroines that way. I had never thought of that. And it's not even that they ARE opposite but almost appear opposite at the outset. But by the end the reader sees how they fit perfectly.

I love the little epiphanies I get around here. For years friends have told me I was more at least 100 years too late if not more. I'm an old soul and I would love to go back but for me it would either be the Victorian Era or the 1940s. Oh, I would love to have been in my early 20s back in the 40s. The Golden Era.

Anna Sugden said...

Andrea - you're in for a real treat!

Gannon - what fascinates you about the Elizabethan period? I love the changes that were happening, kind of like the Victorian period.

Terrio - funnily enough I've sometimes been told that too! Oh yeah to the 20's, 30's and 40's And not just because they had such great shoes ;)

Beth said...

Welcome to the lair, Terri! Your books sound wonderful - there's nothing better than cozying up with a hot highlander *g* (in a book, that is)

I'm totally a modern girl - no time traveling for me. But history fascinates me and I love reading stories set in different time periods :-)

Thanks for the great interview, ladies!

doglady said...

Hi, Terri! I love your books. My two favorites are THE EARL'S SECRET and THE DUCHESS'S NEXT HUSBAND. Yes, I am a Regency girl, BUT a handsome Highlander I will follow into ANY time period!!

Time travel? I know I would miss toilet paper, the internet and actually that is about it. I'm not much for modern conveniences.

I so envy you your trip to Scotland, Terri. I visited there in 1980 in March and froze to death, but loved every minute of it. It really is a beautiful place. You need to visit the Lair again when you get back and share your photos.

If I could time travel I would have to visit Regency London. Every research book I read about that time and place makes me think I would be in research heaven there. The elegance and manners - the intrigue and duplicity. All of it.

Terri Brisbin said...

Just running in for a moment -- I have a bunch of appointments this morning but will be back shortly to answer all your questions!! And thanks for asking them all!


Buffie said...

OMG Terri, I just bought your book this morning at the store!! How cool is that!

I must say that this will be the first book of yours that I have read. The cover and the title jumped right out at me (I love highlanders!) and I couldn't help myself! I am so happy to here that you have written lots of books as that means I will have quite a few to read through. I am also excited that you write medievals. I love medievals and there are so few around now.

I love that the first hero in this trilogy was named Connor. That is my son's name, and it is spelled the same way.

Someday I want to go to Scotland and walk along the roads and fields. As far as time travel, I'd love to go anywhere as long as it was a short trip (a couple days or so). Just enough time to see the time period and live it, but be able to come back to modern plumbing :)

MsHellion said...

SCOTLAND!!! Yeah! I love coming to this blog; I always discover new people I should be reading!

Okay, Terri, what was your favorite place to visit in Scotland? (Can you narrow it down? *LOL*) Did any place give you the "chills" in the way of you could feel the history around you, almost like you were there, or the ghosts of the past were around you?

Okay, I got a bit purply--but I always imagined Scotland would be a place that as soon as you stepped into Stirling castle or overlooked Loch Ness--you felt: at home, in the another time.

How's the food there? (That'd be very important to me. *LOL*)

Trish Milburn said...

Terri! Go good to see you here. Your highlander books sound so good. I just happen to be going to the bookstore today, so I'll have to seek them out.

Y'all, Terri keeps us on the RWA board in candy and laughing during those long board meetings.

Like flchen1, I think it'd be awesome to visit China in the past. I'm fascinated by it and love movies with that setting (House of Flying Daggers, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, etc.). But Scotland or Ireland hold appeal too -- part of my heritage, I guess. And I've been in love with the Old West (at least the romantic vision of the Old West) for as long as I can remember. But I think in all these situations, it'd be nice to be an observer and be able to flit back to modern day when I wanted to leave. Think of the awesome historical accounts I could write. :)

Terri, when you go to Scotland, do you travel on your own or go with a tour company/group?

Have fun cleaning teeth today. :)

MsHellion said...

Other half of question:

Time travel to: I probably wouldn't travel too far--I always though the 1940s WWII war era was very gritty but very romantic at the same time. Plus, I love those somewhere where I'd get to see a sailor boy occasionally.

What would I miss about modern living? Convenience foods, stockings that stayed up, not having to wear a girdle *every day*, sugar-eggs-milk (ration times, you know), antibiotics and my allergy meds.

jo robertson said...

Wow, Anna, super interview. Welcome to the Bandit Lair, Terri!

I'm amazed at your wide range of historical settings, very impressive. Your Highlander books sound marvelous. I can't wait to add them to my TBR list. I, too, fell in love with Scotland when I visited.

Oh, BTW, the reason you haven't bumped into Gerard Butler is that I have him locked up in my basement. I'm teaching me to give the most amazing massages and foot rubs. Tee hee.

ruth said...

Thanks for the wonderful and interesting interview! Your novels are compelling and fascinating. I would love to visit Renaissance Italy since that era and country is a wonder of history and culture.

diane said...

Welcome Terri! Your novels are a delight to read and such a pleasure to soak up the history. I would love to travel back to England of the 1920's and experience the changes after the Great War.

Christie Kelley said...

Terri, welcome to the liar! I love your books.

As far as traveling back in time, I'd love to go back to Regency England. Of course that's only if I'm of the gentry or ton. Wouldn't love to be a servant back then.

I would miss the most practical things in life-soft toilet paper, tampax and Mortin.

anne said...

Welcome Terri!
Your interview was great and informative! I am enthralled with your books and love that time period.
I would love to travel back to the Victorian Era and live in the beauty of the countryside in England or Scotland.

alissa said...

Hi Terri,
Your interview gave me so much insight into your great novels. The Highlander novels sound so appealing and the characters memorable.
The time period that I would have loved to experience would be the simplicity and bucolic serenity of England in the 1930's before the upheaval.

jenna said...

Your books have been a delight to read. I enjoyed your interview and wish you all the best on your upcoming trip.
It would have been the ultimate to live during the Victoria Era. Proper manners, stately homes and gardens.

Gannon Carr said...

Anna S, I'm really fascinated by Queen Elizabeth I and all that she accomplished as a monarch. Particularly because she was a woman who ruled alone, with no king by her side. Rock on, girl!

Anna Campbell said...

Anna, just send over that hunky Eskimo and see how quickly he's cuddled! And yeah, if the hockey player showers first, he's MOST welcome ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Anna, no wonder you have such a lovely name ;-) I adore the islands. I had a long trip in the UK in 2004 and managed to get to a lot of them (they take time!). Mull would probably still be my favourite, but Iona and Barra and Tyree and Harris are all pretty special too.

Cassondra said...

What would I miss - with apologies to P226 - tampons.

Yeah, this is always the one that gets me. Toilet paper and tampons. I think I could live without ALMOST everything else. A good supply of clean water--I'd miss that for certain too.....but I could get by with carrying it from a well (been there, done that) and I could make do with an outhouse I suppose. But toilet paper and feminine needs...gotta have 'em.

Very practical and a little gross, yes, but....I swear I don't know how people LIVED then. You know, in the winter when the leaves are frozen and you have to go...well...???? Never mind.

Anna Campbell said...

Ms Hellion, I'm delighted to say that the food in the UK has improved out of sight over recent years. When I first visited in 1985, I swear it was ATROCIOUS Anna, will you back me up here?). Like something out of a World War II ration book except fattier. But the last time I was there, last year, I had some absolutely lovely meals. They're really pushing quality local produce cooked simply but well. I think you'll survive in Scotland - which by the way is really pushing its local seafood, yum! Scottish smoked salmon. Double MacYum!

Cassondra said...

Terri, welcome to the lair! So glad you could join us to talk about your books.

I go to a lot of Highland games, and I felt that ancestral pull--the sense of coming home--when I crossed the border from England into Scotland. Half Murray, half Grant I am. About as Scottish as you can get without being born there I think. So my connection to Scotland is no mystery to me. And a hunky guy in a kilt--that's no mystery either ;0)

But I've always wondered what the appeal is of the Higland romances. They're immensely successful, and readers devour them like chocolate.

What do you think, Terri? You write these stories, and have your finger, obviously, on the pulse of what drives the reader to these books. Even folks who have no observable Scottish heritage love a Highland romance. I have a few ideas, but I'd love to hear yours.

What is it about a guy in a kilt that holds such universal appeal?

Anna Campbell said...

I know toilet paper and tampons are important, C, but I've got to say modern medicine would be what I missed. I watched a doco on the Brontes last night - Mr Bronte had a cataract operation without anaesthetic. Eeeeek! And it worked - which wasn't always the case. But imagine the pain! And then he had to lie in the dark for months not moving. And those poor women dying at a young age of consumption (for three of the siblings) and chronic morning sickness for Charlotte. These days, they could hit a lot of those bugs on the head. No, thanks, I'll stay in Australia in 2008! I like to imagine the past. I don't want to live there.

Cassondra said...

Anna Campbell said:

When I first visited in 1985, I swear it was ATROCIOUS Anna, will you back me up here?). Like something out of a World War II ration book except fattier. But the last time I was there, last year, I had some absolutely lovely meals. They're really pushing quality local produce cooked simply but well. I think you'll survive in Scotland - which by the way is really pushing its local seafood, yum! Scottish smoked salmon. Double MacYum!

Anna C, I'm really glad to hear this too.

Actually, I didn't mind the food in Scotland. The meat pies and country pubs had decent fare.

But in England, I would have starved had it not been for McDonalds. And I hate that. I want to go to a country and eat THEIR food--experience their way of life. But I was a poor graduate student, and the only thing you could get in a London pub was fish & chips, and peas were the only green veggie I saw the entire time I was there. (Cabbage does not count as a green veggie). The downtown restaurants were stupidly expensive, so all there was was the pub (and that only if you got there before 2 o'clock, after which you had to starve) or the Golden Arches.

The baked goods were lovely, and I lived on a lot of scones from castle tea rooms, but you can live only so long on scones and shortbread ya know?

I ate better in Scotland and Wales by far. I found the peasant food--as you said, fatty--but it was still pleasant and filling for a college student who was walking all over the British Isles.

I'm really glad to hear that they're improving their food. Food then was NOT the reason to go to England. Or Scotland.

I'd go back anyhow. Scotland is worth the trouble.

Jennifer Y. said...

Jennifer - you have a really fun blog - stumbled across it the other day!

Thanks Anna S! I am having fun over there.

terrio said...

Anna S. - The shoes! I'll buy any pair that looks like Ginger would have worn them.

Cassondra - have you seen a man in a kilt?! 'Nuff said. LOL!

Cassondra said...

Terrio said:

Cassondra - have you seen a man in a kilt?! 'Nuff said. LOL!

I have Terrio. My husband wears a great kilt when we attend games, (he actually wears my family tartan cuz he says the Murrays are more fun than the MacDougals. (grin)) and of course, most of the men at the games wear kilts, and there were kilts all over Scotland--at least in the cities. But I'm of Scottish ancestry, and that's my heritage. So I don't know if that makes a difference or not. That's what I'm wondering. What is the universal appeal of the time period and of Scotland itself for the romance reader who may not have ancestral connections?

tetewa said...

Enjoyed the interview today and hope you have a great time on your trip! I've always wanted to visit Scotland.

Anna Sugden said...

Beth - I don't blame you on the time travel ... I get fussy about ordinary travel these days *grin*. I've been spoiled!

Dog lady - Terri does write such wonderful books! If you like the idea of Regency London, I can recommend a trip to England and Bath, in particular!

Yay Buffie on discovering terri's books - you're in for a real treat with her back-list!

MsHellion - never fear - the food in Scotland is good - and hearty! Edinburgh is full of really great restaurants.

Anna Sugden said...

Trish - I'm not surprised Terri keeps you all going on the Board! She's such a hoot!

MsHellion - I agree with you about the War era. I'd love to write some romances set in that period some day - when the publishers start aceepting them! After all - there are some great romantic movies set in that time!

Anna Sugden said...

Jo - ah so that's where Gerry is hiding from the hordes of fans!

Ruth - definitely on Renaisance Italy. Actually - Venice today is a pretty good reflection of those times, especially if you go on some of the tours they do of the private mansions.

Diane - mwah! It was a fascinating time in English history after the Great War - especially for women! (Actually we have quite a few interesting time periods in our history! LOL)

Anna Sugden said...

Christie! Are you officially on sale tomorrow?! Folks make sure you rush out and get Christie's debut book!! She's an awesome writer!!

Anne - mwah to you too. The English countryside is beautiful! It's sad so many people miss that side of England when they only visit London (not that London isn't great ... but the rest of the country is pretty neat too!)

Alissa - ah yes - another fan of that fab period in England! Especially, in some of those country estates!

Jenna - LOL on the proper manners of the Victorian era ... kind of like a swan ... looks calm and serene on the surface, but beneath the water her little legs are paddling away furiously. Victorian England was very much like that!

Gannon - yes, QE1 did rock! I used to love studying Tudors at school - that whole period was so fascinating.

Anna Sugden said...

Foanna - the view of those lovely cottages as you sail into port in Tobermory is breath-taking.

And yes, I will back you up on how much the food has improved over the last decade. I think the celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey, Rick Stein (for the fish especially), Nigella and Gary Rhodes had really made the UK sit up and take notice.

Anna Sugden said...

Cassondra - totally agree!

The interesting thing about a kilt is that it can make almost all men look great. Having been to a few Scottish weddings, it never fails to amaze me how it can transform guys.

You know, Terrio, Katherine Hepburn used to wear great shoes too *grin*

Anna Sugden said...

Tetewa - hope you get your wish to visit Scotland ... and will find time to go further south too ;)

terrio said...

Cassondra - maybe it gives women the impression the man is secure. You know, he can be a *guy* and still be willing to wear the thing. That takes security if you ask me. Just a guess. I'm not Scottish at all but I have Scottland at the top of my "places to be visited as soon as humanly possible" list.

MsHellion said...

What's the appeal of Scotland?

I'm not sure--maybe it's that they appear sorta like the fantasy "alpha" rogue. That tradition of "reiving" and "handfasting" sorta turns a girl's head. PLUS the kilt, obviously.

TECHNICALLY, if you research a little, medieval Scotland doesn't sound like a prime place to time travel to. I'm pretty sure I'd be dead in about three days. You had to be hardy to live to the ripe middle ages these guys lived to... But that's my personal preference. In my "dream home", I prefer not to rough it, as it were. *LOL* And I would prefer a place with a few more dental practices. And hygiene.

But FANTASY wise, the kilts are sexy, the brogues are sexier, and the men usually know exactly what they want and aren't afraid to break a few rules to get it. I cut my teeth on Julie Garwood's historicals of Scotland--and I think that's just what it is. I loved Julie Garwood's medieval Scotland.

And BRAVEHEART helped. *LOL* Who wouldn't want to travel back to that time, to that land for Mel Gibson in a kilt, brandishing a claymore and a deathwish?

catslady said...

I too want the long haired, muscled, scott in a kilt with a huge sword lol. My husband would look horrible in one - he's bowlegged lol. I only want all this in my fantasy world. I'm sure the realty of living in that time period would be way too harsh for me. I would miss all the things of today's world - too many to list.

Terri Brisbin said...

Okay - I'm back after running all over south Jersey and want to chat - you ask such interesting questions!

You mentioned about choosing the worst possible woman for the hero (or vice versa works too) - I think this just ratchets up the tension and the conflict. Another writing friend, Madeline Hunter, recommends that the heroine must need something or have to do something and the hero must stop her or prevent her from accomplishing her goal. (she's much more articulate than that, really!)

What that does is sets up a head-on crash and raises the stakes of their emotional battle. Cool, huh? Ready-made conflict...oohhh.


Terri Brisbin said...

Anna C and MsHellion --

Of the places I've visited in Scotland, my favorite places were in the Orkney Islands and on Skye.

In the Orkneys, I love Kirkwall..the streets were narrow and crooked (we had to drag our luggage through the streets because the bus didn't fit!) and I loved walking through the city, visiting stores and having tea.

On Skye, I absolutely loved the ruins of Duntulum that hang on the edge of the sea and from which you can see the Hebrides -- stunning views!

MsHellion --

About the food -- I have pretty plain tastes so I was just fine. Actually, the first time in Scotland, I did a fish 'n chips tour of every pub I could find..LOL!


Terri Brisbin said...

Ann M --

Good news! The Romance Readers group moved to the Barnes and Noble store right down Route 18 in South Brunswick!! I'm visiting them next Tuesday....


Terri Brisbin said...

PJ -

I am so glad you read and enjoyed the Highlanders so far. And about Duncan?

I ended up sobbing while I wrote the last three chapters of his book. My son, who was in the next room playing Wii with friends, kept coming into my office, staring and frowning at me and asking..."this is about the writing, right? you're ok, right?"

I had to tuck a pile of tissues down the front of my pajama top (I did a couple of all-nighters as usual) to keep from getting soaked and so I could continue to type! LOL -- oh the glamorous life of a romance writer!

I hope you'll enjoy POSSESSED BY THE HIGHLANDER when it comes out in August. Let me know!


Terri Brisbin said...

Caren --

Yes, I think we did meet at the Lowcountry Retreat and have seen each other at RWA stuff over the last couple of years...

Great to see you here....

Trish --

Don't spread it around that I supply candy at Board meetings! Gosh, the dental hygiene police could be listening! LOL!

PSA -- Chocolate is good for you and doesn't cause cavities!


Suzanne Welsh said...

Terri, welcome to our Lair! Beware of Banditas swinging from the rafters and Joanie's Romans serving as cabanna boys! We do inventory them to be sure none have accidentally left with our guests! :)

I have a research question. If you find a way to meet Gerard Butler can you let me know?

Anna Sugden said...

Catslady - you'd be surprised! Kilts can cover all multitude of sins (

and those of you on here with dirty minds can take that comment how you like!)

Terri Brisbin said...

Aunty Cindy --

The first part of my trip is as part of a high school trip to the London area...I am NOT a chaperone, thank goodness!, just an 'adult companion'. Then I'm spending some extra time in London alone..and going out to Bath for a day, too.

In Scotland, I'll be mostly in Edinburgh and hope to get out to Stirling Castle and the Highlands on a bus-trip. In Edinburgh, I definitely have to visit the Castle and Holyrood, the Georgian House, the Museum of Scotland and I have a private visit to a historic library arranged too! CANNOT WAIT!

I think I'll need a vacation after the trip, but it will be worth it.


Cherie J said...

Wonderful interview! Thanks for being here Terri! Interesting question. When I was younger I used to think it would be romantic to live in Regency England. Now I know better. I am too used to my creature comforts like toilet paper and hot water. I would hate to live that far back in the past. Now that I am older and wiser I know I would have hated it. Still, it is enjoyable to read as long as I don't think of the realities.

Terri Brisbin said...

Gillian --

Impressions of Edinburgh? I love the different cities -- part very very old, part old, part new. I love strolling down the Royal Mile, exploring the alleys and closes, stopping along in the way in historic buildings and stores and little tea shops. I love the architecture in both the medieval parts and the Georgian areas.

Most of all I just love watching and talking to the people. I loved listening to the accents (and the conversations) and the music.

My favorite time of year? I've only been to Scotland in late April/early May and late September/early October and found it to be as changeable as I expected on the cusp of seasonal changes. My visit to the Orkneys included snow, rain, hurricane force winds and then sunshine ALL IN ONE DAY! I loved it..


sabrina said...

Hi, Terri.
Your interview introduced to me your books which I had heard so much about. The characters and the stories are fascinating reading. My heart and soul belongs to another era. I am totally enthralled with British history and the Regency era is so appealing. Living in those times, the dress, the homes, country and city living, all interest me greatly. have a wonderful trip.

Terri Brisbin said...

Doglady --

I am so glad you enjoyed my Regency historical romances!! One is set in Regency Edinburgh, THE EARL'S SECRET, and I got the inspiration for that story's location from my last visit to Edinburgh.

Also, you might notice that both of those Regencies are really loosely-based on Rock Hudson/Doris Day movies from the 60's? Two of my favorites were Send Me No Flowers and Lover Come Back....!

I have to say that writing those were the most difficult stories I've written -- something about Regencies were just really tough and I got caught up on the details several times...almost lost the story for the details... I love the results, but I am much more comfortable writing medievals!

BUT, I am pleased you liked them...I did too!


Anna Sugden said...

Cherie J - LOL - I like your thinking! It is nice to read as long as you don't think of the realities!

Sabrina - glad we were able to entice you to Terri's books. You won't be disappointed!

How cool about the Rock Hudson/Doris Day connection, Terri. I'm a big fan of their movies too!

Nathalie said...

The cover is pretty hot... I always love a good highlander story :)

Jennifer Y. said...

I also love Rock Hudson/Doris Day movies!

Lily said...

Thanks for blogging with us... I also like a good highlander/medieval secret... though I know I have enjoyed some of your older historicals :)

Anna Campbell said...

Terri, the Orkneys are magical, aren't they? I only visited on a day trip - we did nearly everything but at breakneck pace. I'd love to go back and take my time. I could spend all day at Skara Brae. The prehistoric monuments on those islands are mind-blowing, aren't they? Actually, the wind is what's REALLY mind-blowing there! Never been in such a windy joint in my life!

blackroze37 said...

would love to be you and go to ireland. and love highlanders

Corrina Cowan said...

Hi Terri! Have fun in Scotland in the spring. I'm green with envy. One day, I'll get there. Taming the Highlander was fantastic. I can't wait to read the next in the series. As for what time period I'd travel back to medieval Scotland, definitely.

Laura J. said...

Thanks for a great interview! And please have a little fun for me in Scotland. It's a place that I would love to visit sometime.

Terri Brisbin said...

Suzanne --

About my favorite Scottish hunk - Gerard Butler..If I find him, I could never share the info with anyone! I would have to protect his privacy....and him....

Have you seen the trailer for his new movie with Jodie Foster - Nim's Island? OH WOW OH WOW!!

I wonder if it will open in Scotland the same day it opens here?


Anna Sugden said...

Both Highlanders covers are great, aren't they, Nathalie!

Lily - bet you'll enjoy the Highlanders too.

Welcome Blackroze37 - Terri does take great trips!

Anna Sugden said...

Welcome Corinna - hope you get your trip to Scotland too!

Laura J - Terri always has fun - as you can tell ;)

Terri Brisbin said...

Anna C -

We visited Maes Howe, Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness on the Orkneys... they were stunning. It was on the day of the changing weather and I wish I could have held my camera steady... We were there with Leland Burbank (who's done some cover-modeling) and his wife (they got married in Inverness) standing on the huge rock, facing the wind, her behind him, hair flowing, incredible pose...very romantic...another magical moment in the visit...


hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Alrighty, I have Taming the Highlander on the way!!!!! Found a couple more that I haven't read as well, oh no, here we go again....LOL

PJ said...

Terri, hope you have a wonderful trip to Scotland. I will make it there someday. I'm determined!

Oh my, that much sobbing in Duncan's book? Should I be laying in a stock of kleenex before I start reading? I cry at commercials so if we're talking a lot of emotion I'll be crying a river. Still, I'm anxiously awaiting August, tears and all!


Anna Campbell said...

Terri, this was such a flying visit. I really will have to go back. We saw Maes Howe from a distance. Went to the ring of Brodgar - but with a coach full of people and 20 minutes, it lacked something ;-) Your description of going there gave me goosebumps!

doglady said...

Wait did someone say a new Gerard Butler movie?? Be still my heart!! Now that is a part of Scotland i would not mind paying and extended visit!!!

I guess because it was so long ago when I lived there I don't remember the food being bad in England. I was a kid, so bangers and mash were a real treat.

Now in Scotland I DID try haggis. Uhm.... interesting?? Blood pudding? NOT interesting.

Oat cakes - hey I liked them!!

Terri Brisbin said...

I'm still here to answer any questions and to make pithy comments if anyone wants them?? LOL! It has been amazing fun to be here today...

I would like to thank all the Romance Banditas and especially my friend and chaptermate Anna Sugden for the invitation to be a guest today. Maybe I'll stop back after my trip and tell you about all the wonderful things I discover in Scotland?

Happy Reading!


Anna Campbell said...

Terri, you've been a great guest. And I'd LOVE to hear about your trip to Scotland (as you can gather, I'm green like the grass over there with envy that you're going). Travel safely and happily and come back and tell us your adventures. Thanks for visiting us in the lair!

Helen said...

Terri I for one would love to hear about your trip to Scotland and the places you will be visiting Scotland is one place I would truly love to go.
I will be out looking for your books asap I can't wait to read them
Have Fun

Anna Sugden said...

Hrdwrkmom - glad we could tempt you!

PJ - perhaps we'll have to get Terri to give away tissues for her readers!

Doglady - bangers and mash! Now you're talking! I like haggis too - but only from McSween's in Edinburgh. Uggh on black pudding, white pudding etc.

Anna Sugden said...

Terri - you've been a wonderful guest - thank you so much! And we'd love to have you back after your trip!

Anna Campbell said...

And Terri, please show us your photos when you come back! Can't wait! Have a wonderful time!

squiresj said...

Loved reading your blog. Sure would love to win one of your books. They all look exciting and worth the time. God Bless.

Terri Brisbin said...

PJ --

I hope that my need for a half-box of tissues while writing the last 3 chapters of Duncan's book means that readers will feel the emotions too. That is the dream of most authors! I always feel that the author has succeeded when I laugh or cry while reading a romance.

So, let me know once you have the chance to read it in August. I think it's my newest favorite of all my books, replacing the hard to replace THE KING'S MISTRESS in my feelings... We'll see...


Anna Sugden said...

Thanks everyone for visiting and commenting. Don't forget to check back and find out who won Terri's prizes!

CrystalGB said...

Hi Teri. I love your writing. The time period I would enjoy traveling back to is Regency England.