This week, prolific author Raven McAllan joins my lockdown book blog with a special guest post that gives us a peek into the world of writing hot romance – one of several genres of highly commercial fiction she has established herself in.
First, Raven introduces herself and her writing process, then she tells us a list of Ten Things about herself and her new novel Love by the Stroke of Midnight. Set in Scotland at Samhain when the veil between this world and the spirit one is at its thinnest, this feelgood novel is romantic and witty, and quite a bit hotter than the Scotland we think we know and love. Warning – you might need to switch the aircon on before you read the extract!
|Love by the Stroke of Midnight|
Raven Rambles on life and writing
When I was asked to write a blog, and I decided I’d do ten things about me and my writing process, I honestly didn’t think how hard it would be to find ten things that I thought were interesting.
After all, if I say my writing works better with coffee, biscuits and chocolate, that doing the ironing or changing the bedding is good—and justified—procrastination isn’t very exciting. It happens, but…you get the gist.
So, I sat down (with wine and chocolate…after all it was six pm) and had a think.
And realised that once we’ve moved house, my writing process will change.
I say will because we (the lovely husband and I) have been in rented accommodation whilst our new house is being built.
Whereas I used to write in my study overlooking the lawn, and a Scottish forest, the last few months it’s been at a table by the window, overlooking the garden of our rental near the Yorkshire coast. I’ve swapped seeing red squirrels for grey ones, woodpeckers for ringed doves, and sparrows for…sparrows. Oh and lots of seagulls.
Soon I’ll be writing in my new study, overlooking a new garden with fields beyond it.
I hope my creative juices still flow. (Urgh, that sounds nasty, but you know what I mean)
It’s not been east living out of boxes and inevitably things I could have done with are in storage. Mind you I made sure I had the basics. No not the biscuits and chocolate (I bought those from the local shop) but some reference books, plenty of notebooks (I’m a sucker for a nice notebook) pens, pencils, and coloured markers. Oh, and some books I’d earmarked to read for relaxation. And my eReader of course. What did I do before eReaders? (Filled a suitcase with books when I went on holiday and shoved half my clothes in the lovely husband’s suitcase).
None of which is really about my writing processes and my new book.
1 I can write anywhere, and block noises, people and activity out. I used to get a lot of writing done on a long haul flight. The only interruptions are food, drink, and the inevitable…oohh, what are you writing.
2 I type two fingered.
3 I love research, but oh how easy it is to get distracted and end up with a lot of interesting facts, none of which relate to what I’m supposed to be researching.
4 Raven (and my other two alter egos Kera Faire, for darker romance, and Katy Lilley for romcom) were chosen, not because I didn’t want to use my own name, but because they help me get into the mind set for what I’m writing. Plus a Raven is the bringer of news and I saw one just before I got my first acceptance, and McAllan is a play on probably the best whisky in the world.
|Raven McAllan writing as Kera Faire|
6 The island where Love by the Stroke of Midnight is set, is based on an island on a loch near where we lived.
7 I have a great friend who is Wiccan and who helps me to get details about Samhain and other Wiccan and paranormal things correct.
8 Marcail is a Scots version of Margaret, which means Pearl and is important to the story.
9 Paden means royal.
10 The story mentions Wanaka in New Zealand where we were lucky enough to have a fabulous holiday, just before lockdown. The second book, which I’m half way through is Marcail’s brother, Baird’s story, and…*wink* well, you’ll need to wait and see.
Love By The Stroke of Midnight (Totally Bound publishing)
History, family, fate. Accept it or deny it at your will.
The day you discover your boyfriend is using you as a free meal ticket—and a way to save his money—is the day you say bye-bye.
Marcail Drummond does better than that.
She sells up, plans the rest of her life and heads north. It’s time to go home, to a castle on an island in a Scottish loch, and face up to the fact she’s not quite the same as the rest of her family. They can see the past—and the future—and hear others. Heal the sick and help the broken-hearted.
After all, talking to yourself isn’t the same thing, even if one of the voices in your head is male and argues a lot.
As far as Marcail is concerned, it’s just her way of amusing herself.
To Paden, it’s more than that.
To him, it’s a matter of life and death.
A wee tease…
Marcail Drummond staggered out of bed, tired and sated, and wished she could sleep for a few hours more. As it wasn’t going to happen, she turned to speak to the man who had shared her night to…to what?
To see no second indent in the pillows. No crumpled sheets except where she’d slept—or not slept, as the case may be.
In fact no sign of any occupant—except herself.
She surely hadn’t imagined the night she’d just had? The sinfully sexy, hot, male, aroused body next to hers. The way his hands had caressed her so skilfully and held her close when she flew over the edge and into one of the best climaxes ever. How he’d gradually inched inside her, almost reverently, until she’d tightened herself around him and begged… “Please fill me now…please.” And he’d obliged so they could move together.
Then another climax, this time as he also came hard and fast, and the long gradual coming down to earth, held close and cherished.
The soft words in her ear… “Mo ghaol, it’s been oh so long…”
Marcail blinked. Had she dreamed it all, or…or what?
There couldn’t be any other explanation—could there?
Somewhat disgruntled, she stood up and stretched.
Boy she ached. Ached in places she hadn’t known it was possible. If that was what happened after an erotic dream, she wasn’t sure she’d have another one in a hurry.
“I’m here when you need me.”
That was the last thing she wanted. She had enough to worry about, without him niggling her. It was bad enough to know his voice was in her head—whoever he was—but surely he wasn’t in her dreams as well?
“You know I’m yours, however, wherever and…”
“Enough.” She put her hands to her hot cheeks. “Go away and let me get on in peace.”
“As ever, I’ll do your bidding.”
That’ll be the day. Marcail muttered under her breath, stripped the bed, got washed and dressed and headed out. She hadn’t the time to argue with herself, voices, or the man in the moon. Dammit, she hadn’t even seen his face.
“You’ll know me.”
|Also from Raven McAllan|
You can find me here…
my web (which includes my blog)
Thanks so much for letting me pop by and ramble on,
Love Raven xx
|Raven McAllan writing as Katy Lilley|