Today’s guest is Lecia Cornwall, author of the Once Upon A Highland Series.
Oh, the terrible trials of being a writer! You’d think it would be an easy thing, telling the story of two people who meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after, especially when there’s magic, and snow, and Christmas in the glorious Scottish Highlands involved.
But it’s not.
Good characters—the kind who satisfy a writer’s need to create someone real as well as magical, can be incredibly stubborn. The simply refuse to lie down on the page and do as they’re told.
Take the Heroine of Once Upon A Highland Christmas, for example. Lady Alanna McNabb is the middle sibling of three willful sisters. She’s used to hand-me-downs, being the peacekeeper in the family, and staying quietly in the shadows as her older and younger sisters get all the attention. She even prevents a potential scandal by agreeing to marry the insistent suitor her older sister rejected. Alanna uses her head, not her heart. She will do her duty, please her family, and marry Lord Merridew, even if she doesn’t love him—or even know him.
But Alanna has just as much pluck as the rest of her family—she is a McNabb, after all—and after two books, we know that the McNabbs never settle for anything less than true love, and mayhem will always swirl around them like a snowstorm until the final I do’s are said.
Secretly, in her heart of hearts, Alanna wants a man who loves her for herself, not because her brother is an earl and her dowry is huge, or her sisters are the prettiest lasses in the Highlands. She decides a wee walk in the hills on the eve of her wedding will surely sweep such foolish notions away. The day is fine when she sets out, but the weather in the Highlands can be as unpredictable as love—or magic— and she suddenly finds herself lost in a blizzard, and freezing.
It isn’t every day a man finds a beautiful lass in the snow, half frozen, and in need of rescue. Laird Iain MacGillivray saves Alanna’s life, spending a night in an abandoned cottage, holding her body close to his to warm her. He tells himself it’s the right thing to do, and love and desire don’t enter into it for a minute. Iain believes there are two kinds of men—those who put honor and duty and responsibility above their own feelings, and those who live for pleasure. He’s the first kind of man, thank you very much. Throwing lovely, half-frozen lasses in front of him appears to be a waste of time.
But everyone at Craigleith Castle knows Iain has met his perfect match the moment they see him carrying Alanna, wrapped in his plaid—everyone except Iain himself, of course. His kin suggest that he claim her and keep her in the old Highland way, but Iain is a modern man, not a reiver. His head tells him his cousin Penelope will make the perfect bride. She has the right upbringing and the training to be a suitable countess. Love doesn’t enter into it. Why should it? The needs of his people come well before his own desires, and that’s that.
Were there ever two people who needed a healthy dose of magic more? Continue reading