Thursday, August 9, 2012

Her Highland Champion: An Interview with Author Alexa Bourne and a Giveaway!

As I read through this interview the first time, I thought, "I could have written this!". When it comes to the Scottish Highlands, Alexa Bourne and I share a similar love and I'm pleased to welcome her today as we talk about her novella, Her Highland Champion. Welcome Alexa! 

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?

LOL! Getting published was the biggest challenge. I submitted my 1st book in 1999, when I really had no business submitting anything. But I kept at it, kept learning and writing and using constructive criticism to get better. I finally signed my 1st contract in December 2011. I think I just wanted it so badly that I was prepared to keep fighting for my chance to share my stories.

Is writing a full-time career for you? If not, how else do you spend your work day?

No, not yet! That is my ultimate dream, though. I actually quit my teaching job 2 years ago so I could find a job that supports my writing more and to spend more time on my dream of getting published. I now work several part-time jobs while I write. I’ve done a lot of soul-searching over the last 2 years and now I’m on the hunt for another full-time job.

If you had to sum it up Her Highland Champion in 30 or less words, what would you say?

She needed a hero. He had no courage to be one. But danger from her past will force them to find courage in themselves…and each other.

What inspired the idea behind your book?

In 1997, I took my first tour of the Scottish Highlands and I fell in love with the places I visited. At the time I was toying with the idea of writing my very first romantic suspense story. While on the trip, I kept getting ideas for scenes. I wanted to bring the beauty and peace I experienced during that trip to my readers. As soon as I got back to the States, I began planning the book. 

What has been your greatest challenge in writing Her Highland Champion?

Because this story started out as a 400 page book with HUGE plot holes and way too many leading characters, I'd say the greatest challenge was letting go of what I loved about it as a reader and accepting the revisions needed from a professional writer's point of view to make it a better written story.

Tell us about your favorite character in this book!

Meggie MacDougall is my favorite character. She’s a secondary character and is the town gossip. She makes a lot of mistakes, puts her foot in her mouth often, but she’s got a good heart. I hope I get to write her story at some point.

What has been your greatest pleasure in writing this book?

My greatest pleasure with this book has to be that I finally got to share Malcolm and Heather's story. You see, this concept and these characters were my very 1st romantic suspense written back in 1998 & 1999 (after my trip to the Highlands in ’97). Of course, I had no idea what I was doing, but I had so much fun writing it. As I collected rejections and went on to write more stories, I often thought about these characters. I finally promised myself that when I was a better writer I would go back to Malcolm and Heather and give them the story they deserved.

What do you have in store next for your readers?
Well, my 2nd book, Fractured Paradise, which is set in Sunderland, England, is coming out soon. And I'm thrilled to announce I just signed a contract with Decadent Publishing for my 3rd Honor Guard novella, Simple Treasures, which should be out around the holidays. I've also just submitted a full-length romantic suspense for a different publisher as well. (Fingers crossed they want it!)

Who or what has most influenced your writing?

Stephen J. Cannell was the most influential person in my writing. His tv shows shaped my fascination with suspense and the good guys winning. My first serious piece of writing was a 100+ page piece of fan fiction for The A-Team when I was in middle school. I wrote fan fiction for many of his other shows throughout the following years until I discovered romantic suspense books when I got to college.

Is there a genre you wish you could write, but haven’t made the plunge? Which one and what appeals to you about it?

I would love to be able to write historical romance. I love reading it, but honestly the research feels overwhelming. Plus, I wouldn’t want to get something wrong and offend my readers. BUT, I have been asked to consider writing a short historical romance. I’m hoping I can talk myself into doing that in the next couple of months. (Wish me luck!)

Do you have any interesting writing quirks?

I don't know how much of a quirk it is, but I write my first draft of any story in notebooks. The closer I get to being finished with a manuscript, the more time I spend on the computer. My other “quirk” is I can't write in chronological order. I write scenes and then rearrange them to fit the plot as it becomes clearer to me.

Favorite place?

Great Britain

Favorite author?

Laura Griffin, romantic suspense author

Favorite movie?

The Bourne Identity (Actually, I love all 3 Jason Bourne movies!) and Highlander (the original)

Favorite dish?


The Book

Heather Winchester leads a charming life. With good friends, a beautiful flat in one of the most amazing cities in the world, and a promising future once she finishes her Ph.D., she is finally pursuing her own dreams instead of catering to everyone else’s…except she doesn’t remember any of it.

Malcolm Fraser has returned to his Highland village to forget his failings as a professional bodyguard. Believing he could just lose himself in the mundane activities of running his bed & breakfast, he finds a woman’s lifeless body by the loch instead….

Captivated by Heather as she regains her memory, Malcolm is thrown into the line of duty. As danger comes knocking on their doors, will he be strong enough to love her and keep her safe?

The Giveaway
Want a chance to win a copy of Her Highland Champion? Comment to be entered into the giveaway! The lucky winner will be drawn on 16th! 

Where can your readers find you?
Twitter: @AlexaBourne

An Excerpt

She turned to the bedside. A man stood there dressed in dark green sweats, with both hands clenched around the silver bedside bar. He was handsome, with light eyes, dark hair cropped close to his head, and a firm jaw. It was his hands, though. They drew her attention. Clean skin, defined knuckles, large fingers. Hands rough enough from a hard day's physical labor, and yet, she imagined, gentle enough to caress the afternoon's sufferings away.
"It's good to see you awake." He smiled. "You gave us all quite a fright."
Okay, the Scottish accent drew her attention, too. At once it both melted away some of her fears and sparked a whirlwind of questions. "Where am I?" Her throat scratched like sandpaper.
          "St. Catherine's Hospital."
          She swallowed hard."Where is that?"
          "Fort William." He reached for something on the table by her bed and brought back a plastic cup with a straw. "Here."
          "Thank you." The warm water coated her sore vocal cords. She handed the cup back to him.
          Wait a minute. Fort William? The only Fort William she knew was in Scotland. "I don't understand. How did I get here?" Ignoring the aches in her body, she pressed palms to the sheets on each side of her and pushed herself up. The blanket fell away from her chest and a new chill surrounded her. "What's going on?"
          Her arms shook, and she collapsed back to the bed.
          "Relax." The man set his palm on her shoulder, as if to keep her flat against the mattress. The heat of his fingers seeped through her hospital gown and into her skin. "I found you unconscious on the beach in Glenhalish. I called for an ambulance, and they brought you here."
          "I was in Glenhalish?"
          "Aye, on a three day tour of the Highlands. Do you not remember being there?"
          "No." She squinted and studied him. No memories surfaced. "Do I know you?"
          He shook his head. "Only from the beach. I'm Malcolm Fraser."
          She opened her mouth and then closed it again. Her gaze drifted to her lap as tears burned in the corners of her eyes. Panic swelled in her chest and into her throat.
          "What is it, lass?" he asked with such tenderness.
          "Can you tell me my name?"

Book Information:
  • Print Length: 78 pages
  • Publisher: Decadent Publishing Company, LLC (March 27, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007PJ1GM0 
  • Buy the Book!


  1. Congrats on your release. I loved your description in less than thirty words. Don't think you can go wrong with The Bourne movies. They make my best list too.

  2. Thanks,Shelley! And yes, I'm pretty sure Jason Bourne is close to my all-time favorite fictional hero.

  3. Great post and these sound like great books!

  4. Terrific interview! Can't wait to see what's next :)

  5. Great having you with us today Alexa!

  6. Thanks for stopping by, April & Kit, and thanks to MK for inviting me!

  7. Intriguing plot, wonderful location, great characters, and a beautiful cover. Sounds like a great book! Thanks for sharing your 'journey'.