Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Outcast Highlander by R.L. Syme ~ The Highland Renegades ~ Bridging the Gap Blog Tour ~Guest Post ~

The Outcast Highlander
The Highland Renegades
by R.L. Syme

Giveaway: 2 great prizes !! Grand Prize: R.L. is giving away a Kindle Paperwhite. As a secondary prize, she would like to give away a set of Scottish Historical romances from some of her favorite authors. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. 


The Hardest Scene

When rewriting this book, my editor felt like I needed to add a scene right around the climax of the book where Broccin ends up in Berwick. I won’t give away too much, because there are spoilers, but let’s just say he doesn’t plan to be there, and he doesn’t really leave. Not for awhile.

Because this scene was written so long after the book had been finished, I was really afraid that it would feel different from the rest of the book. So I worked pretty hard, going back and reading Broc’s cadence and looking at his emotional state up until then (and after). The initial storyline had called for Broc to participate in the battle of Stirling Bridge during this scene, instead of to be at Berwick. But the rewrite made Stirling Bridge timeline-impossible. 

It was a constant struggle, as I wrote this chapter, to make sure that I was being fair to where Broc was at that time, emotionally, and to what he was expecting from the scene. Most of the time, when I’m writing a scene, I’m not 100% sure what’s going to happen after, but in this case, I had to fill a hole. I found it very rewarding to go back through and read the chapters on either side and feel like I’d done him justice. Sure, there’s a time jump, but that was intentional. There are some important things that happen to that group of people in Berwick, but Broc is not the POV character for those scenes, so I wanted to wait and write them from the POV character.

Does that mean that you have to read the second book to really understand what happened during those months in Berwick? Yes. I know, I know, I’m a horrible person. I’ll live with that. 


He's lost his family, his title, and his honor, but he can't lose her...

Kensey MacLeod returns home after a failed marriage alliance in France to find her world in turmoil: her best friend married to an English sympathizer, her mother at death's door, and her father imprisoned and thought dead. As an English lord descends to claim her father's lands, Kensey escapes north with her mother and brother, and runs straight into the arms of the outcast Highlander.

Driven from home and family by a crazed father, Broccin Sinclair refuses to stand aside while the English invade his beloved Scotland. But who should he champion? The freedom fighter who saved his life, the family who has forgotten him, or the woman who captured his childhood heart?

Scottish Historical Medieval
Sweet Romance
254 pages, self-published

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“If it wouldn’t be too much trouble, may I ask why your horse grazes yonder when there are men who chase you?”
“Oh, stop, you impertinent fool.” Kensey shook his hand away and searched the area around her for something. “I was knocked off my horse.”
“What are you looking for?”
She sighed. “I would like to get up and resume my travels.”
So she looked for something to pull herself up with, yet ignored his help. How like her. He must be beneath her notice. Or her care.
“Let me help you.” He stood and offered both hands. She considered him for a moment and finally touched him again. He couldn’t deny a tiny thrill at having won the fight, or at having her hands in his. But her frustration continued.
She furrowed her brow and released his hands. First one step, then another. But on the third step, she began to sway and Broc had to follow quickly to catch her.
“You’re in no state to be walking.” He swept her into his arms, despite her protest, and stilled her grasping hands by hooking both of her wrists together in one grip. “Nor riding.”
He deposited her atop his horse and jumped up before she could make any more fuss. The Ross men obviously hadn’t followed them, but they would have to proceed carefully from here, knowing they may come back upon them at any time.
Broc urged his horse forward into a slow cantor, searching for the least dense path forward. In his lap, Kensey pulled on the dirty folds of her dress, dislodging bits of the forest floor that still clung to the delicate fabric.
“What are you doing here?” she demanded.
“Let’s get you out of here first, lass.” He glanced back into the thick canopy of stillness for a moment. “Ross’s men may be quick on our heels.”
Sitting against him as she was now, she felt tiny and vulnerable. His cloak had opened as he’d climbed onto Gaidel’s back and she was now sitting in the midst of it, against his nearly bare chest. She seemed to suck up all the warmth in his body as she curled against him. Her eyelashes blinked furiously, as though she tried to keep herself awake when sleep called. He reached down and wrapped the warmth of the cloak around her.
“You can sleep. It appears we’ve lost our pursuers and it will be slow progress back to the trail, if we even dare to follow it.”
“I’m not tired.” She yawned and her weight pressed even more against him. She would no doubt be asleep soon. His body tensed against the desire that tried to consume him. This was his brother’s intended.
He was merely delivering her back to him.
Not enjoying having her in his arms. Not at all.

Author bio:

R.L. Syme works at a youth theatre, teaching kids performing arts and musical performance classes/camps when she's not writing. Otherwise, she's putting her Seminary degree to good use writing romance novels. Let not all those systematic theology classes go to waste...



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