Plucky Heroines and Stubborn Heroes

Today’s guest is Lecia Cornwall, author of the Once Upon A Highland Series.

Once Upon a Highland Christmas book bannerOh, 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?

But even the magic refuses to act the way it’s supposed to. It’s a simple spell, hard to get wrong. All a girl has to do is to wrap a lock of her hair around a bundle of herbs, and say the words “Show me my true love and send him to me by Christmastide.” Just toss the whole thing into the fire and wait for a sign.

Is a sudden snowstorm a sign? Or a gossipy clan that spreads wildly exaggerated rumors of Alanna and her strange arrival at Craigleith far and wide across the hills?

It’s an author’s job to create the kind of situations that make stubborn characters see sense, to help them fall in love when they’re supposed to. It wasn’t easy with Once Upon A Highland Christmas —Alanna and Iain are determined to put honor ahead of their own desires. And there are other forces—human ones—just as determined to keep them apart.

As kith and kin converge on Craigleith Castle on Christmas Eve, no one is willing to give an inch, even for love. Cue the best ally an author ever had (besides true love)—Christmas in the Highlands of Scotland, when magic, joy, and happiness have a way of nudging things into place, of softening hard hearts and harder heads. Sigh. Now that’s why writers write. There’s nothing like a happy ending, especially when the characters take their time getting there.

Highland Christmas AuthorI hope you enjoy watching the mayhem and magic of Alanna and Iain’s story unfold, dear reader! I also wish you the best of Christmases, filled with love, magic and family.

I’ll be dropping by throughout the day to answer questions and chat, so please leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Once Upon A Highland Summer, the first book in the McNabb series. Tell me, what’s your favorite Christmas song, the one that always puts you in a holiday mood?

Please visit my website to find out more about the Once Upon A Highland series, and all my historical romances. You can drop me a line by e-mail at, and for a graphic look at how I picture the characters and settings for Once Upon A Highland Christmas, check out my Pinterest board at

About Lecia Cornwall

Lecia Cornwall lives and writes in Calgary, Canada, amid the beautiful foothills of the Canadian Rockies, with four cats, two teenagers, a crazy chocolate Lab, and one very patient husband. She is hard at work on her next book.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Once Upon a Highland Christmas (Once Upon a Highland Season # 3) by Lecia Cornwall

Releasing: December 9th, 2014

Publisher: Avon Impulse


Lady Alanna McNabb is bound by duty to her family, who insist she must marry a gentleman of wealth and title. When she meets the man of her dreams, she knows it’s much too late, but her heart is no longer hers.

Laird Iain MacGillivray is on his way to propose to another woman when he discovers Alanna half-frozen in the snow and barely alive. She isn’t his to love, yet she’s everything he’s ever wanted.

As Christmas comes closer, the snow thickens, and the magic grows stronger. Alanna and Iain must choose between desire and duty, love and obligation.

But it’s Christmas in the Highlands, and there are bound to be a few surprises.

Add Once Upon a Highland Christmas to your Goodreads shelf.

Purchase Once Upon a Highland Christmas (Once Upon a Highland Season series Book 3) on Amazon | Barnes | iTunes

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