Monday, April 30, 2012

Interview w/ Tamara Morgan + Giveaway!

Tamara Morgan is a romance writer and unabashed lover of historical reenactments—the more elaborate and geeky the costume requirements, the better. In her quest for modern-day history and intrigue, she has taken fencing classes, forced her child into Highland dancing, and, of course, journeyed annually to the local Renaissance Fair. These feats are matched by a universal love of men in tights, of both the superhero and codpiece variety.
Where to Find Tamara:

TBQ: Hi Tamara! :) Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Tamara: Hello back! Thanks so much for inviting me to be on your blog today.

I'm a contemporary romance author and (admittedly) a bit of a geek. In addition to loving historical re-enactments, you can often find me playing video games and watching zombie movies. I expect much of this has to do with growing up with two (also admittedly geeky) brothers. I live in the Inland Northwest (the non-Seattle side of Washington State) with my husband and daughter.

Also, there is almost nothing I won't do on a dare, unless it involves goats or Muppets, both of which I despise.

TBQ: I absolutely loved Julian and Kate's story (Love is a Battlefield). Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Tamara: Love is a Battlefield is a battle of the sexes story between two modern-day historical re-enactment groups. Julian is the leader of a band of Scottish Highland games athletes, and Kate is part of a Jane Austen society. When it turns out they both want the same plot of land for their annual conventions, they naturally start a war trying to oust the other side.

It takes my favorite parts of a good Highland romance and pairs it with a decadent Regency novel—and all in a fun, fast-paced modern setting.

TBQ: Julian is a very complex hero—there is much more to him than meets the eye! His mother was from Guam, and his stepfather is from Scottish descent, which is where Julian gets his love of the Highland Games from. What gave you the idea of creating a Highlander...that's not a traditional Highlander? [And may I say, I love this idea?]
Tamara: Julian was such a process to create, it's hard to pinpoint his exact origins. I originally created him as a traditional Scotsman, with red hair and a bit of a brogue and a huge family of brothers who looked just like him. But as I developed the story further, I realized I was playing too close to stereotypes, and my story lacked because of it. [That actually makes sense, and I'm glad he turned out the way he did!]

So instead of relying on Scottish norms to define his character, I veered in the exact opposite direction. I wanted to make a Highland warrior we could recognize not because of how he looked or where he came from, but because of how he personally identified with the culture. [And thank you! I love Julian to pieces.]

TBQ: Am I the only one who wanted to smack Jada? Will she show up in future books, and if so will she grow as a character?
Tamara:You aren't alone—there is so much Jada hate out there!! I had no idea she was going to be such a point of contention, and while I'm glad she made such an impression on readers, it's never been my intention to bring her back into future books. [Yeah--sorry Jada. LOL]

I think we all have friends like Jada, the ones we carry with us from our childhood and can never quite seem to shake. They're too much a part of who we are and how we see ourselves. I like to think that Kate moves forward knowing that Jada will always be a part of her life, but that she doesn't have to rely on her best friend to define her anymore.

TBQ: The Highland Games—what gave you the idea for a series based around it?

Tamara: Like I said, I'm a big fan of historical re-enactments. In my city, we have an annual Civil War battle, a Renaissance fair, and the Highland games. I defy anyone to attend their local Highland games and not feel inspired to transform all those men walking around in kilts into romance heroes. It's impossible! [Amen to that! :) I'm still plotting my stalking of the Highland Games--who's with me?]

TBQ: What do you think it is about Highlanders that make many readers (myself included!) drool over them?
Tamara: Besides the kilts, you mean? :)

It's the swagger, for sure. There is something so unapologetic about a Highlander in romance. He knows who he is and what he wants and how hot he looks in plaid. He fights for the woman he loves and doesn't share her with anyone. Who doesn't secretly want that in a man? [I know that's the kind of man I want! Which is why I need to stalk the Highland Games...]

TBQ: You next book, covering Michael's story will be out in June. Can you tell us a little bit about it, and how it is the same or different from LIAB?

Tamara: The next book in the series is called The World is a Stage, and it finds the Highland athletes up against a Shakespearean acting troupe. Several of the characters from Love is a Battlefield make a return appearance, but you don't have to read the books in order or even at all to pick it up.
There is less of a focus on the Scottish games in this one, since it's the off season for the athletes. This gives them plenty of free time to take over a production of Antony and Cleopatra being put on by a local Shakespeare group that specializes in doing scandalous plays (they wear lingerie and add kissing scenes!).

But don't be afraid of the Shakespeare stamp—I promise, you don't have to be the least bit literary to enjoy this book. Michael O'Leary, the hero of the book, loves dirty jokes and buys the heroine her own miniature kilt to wear. He keeps it all pretty low-brow.

TBQ: Are there other genres you would like to write about?
Tamara: I'll write in any genre where I can get away with over-the-top humor and a good time.
In addition to a superhero novella, Playing with Fire, coming out this summer, I've got a romantic heist caper book in the works, and I've also been playing with the idea of a zombie romance novel without any actual zombies in it. Because in my world, that makes perfect sense. [LOL. I look forward to seeing how that turns out! :)]

TBQ: I know we all hate this question, author and reader alike. :) But I have to ask: What are a few of your favorite books and/or authors?
Tamara: This changes all the time for me. I go through phases where I read nothing but historicals, and then nothing but contemporaries, and then nothing but literary classics. Right now, I've been enjoying the m/m fiction world, and I've fallen hard for Tamara Allen and JL Merrow.
In terms of all time favorites, though, it would have to be The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer. Nothing will ever trump my love of that book.

TBQ: Have you ever fallen for a hero, either from one of your books or from another author? If so, who is he and what drew you to him?

I ADORE Lincoln from Rainbow Rowell's Attachments. He's a total nerd who works in Information Technology and plays D&D and lives with his mother. (I think my geek flag is showing again.) As much as I love the Highland swagger, it's the quiet softies that really get to me. ["I think my geek flag is showing again"---Maybe just a little, but don't worry, you're among friends! :)]
A day on a secluded island OR a day at the spa?
Secluded island (I get to take my Kindle, right?). People touching my feet and face freak me out. [Of course the Kindle's allowed!]

Reading a spicy romance novel OR a sweet “my-heart-skips-a-beat” one? Sweet books, all the way. I love a good sex scene as much as the next girl, but I grew up on the chaste, swoon-worthy tales of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer.
Will he do? :)
Which would you rather have an affair with: a sexy highlander OR a devilishly handsome English lord?
Sexy Highlander. Those accents! [I should have known--but I had to ask! :D]
Hot summer days OR cold winter nights? Can I pick a crisp, fall afternoon instead? [Absolutely--sounds even better!]
Where would your dream house be: in the city, where all the action is OR nestled in the mountain where you can enjoy the quiet and the wilderness?
Take me away to the mountains, please! My goal in life is to become a hermit. (Though I probably won't garden. Or keep angry predatory goats. Or live too far from civilization.) [Oh, Tamara--a hermit, really? Well, while hermitting away somewhere, will you at least still send in your books to be published? LOL.]
If you could live in any time period, past or future, which one would it be? The romantic in me wouldn't mind being whisked away to Regency England, but the practical Tamara knows she can't live without Ibuprofen and Internet access and processed cheese. [LOL]
Cover Lover OR Blurb Fan?
Blurb Fan—I've read too many AMAZING books with horrible covers to judge.
Steamy Novella OR Sweet Novel? (aka, Quickie or Slow Build Up?) Sweet Novel—I like a slower-paced character development.

TBQ: Thanks so much for stopping by, Tamara,  and please know that you are welcome back anytime! Do you have any questions for our readers—something to spark a good discussion? :)
Tamara:Thank you for having me!

What I love best about my Games of Love series is that it combines two different historical tropes/genres in one book. If you got to pick from any of your favorite types of romances (Viking, Western, Highland, Medieval, Regency, etc.), what would you like to see mashed up in a story?

Love is a Battlefield by Tamara Morgan
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (February 14, 2012)
Series: Game of Love Series, 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance

It takes a real man to wear a kilt. And a real woman to charm him out of it.

It might be modern times, but Kate Simmons isn’t willing to live a life without at least the illusion of the perfect English romance. A proud member of the Jane Austen Regency Re-Enactment Society, Kate fulfills her passion for courtliness and high-waisted gowns in the company of a few women who share her love of all things heaving.

Then she encounters Julian Wallace, a professional Highland Games athlete who could have stepped right off the covers of her favorite novels. He’s everything brooding, masculine, and, well, heaving. The perfect example of a man who knows just how to wear his high sense of honor—and his kilt.

Confronted with a beautiful woman with a tongue as sharp as his sgian dubh, Julian and his band of merry men aren’t about to simply step aside and let Kate and her gaggle of tea-sippers use his land for their annual convention. Never mind that “his land” is a state park—Julian was here first, and he never backs down from a challenge.

Unless that challenge is a woman unafraid to fight for what she wants...and whose wants are suddenly the only thing he can think about.

Warning: The historical re-enactments in this story contain very little actual history. Battle chess and ninja stars may apply.

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

Other Books in the Series:
Click on the covers to buy from Amazon.

Book 2, out June 5th, 2012!


Thanks for stopping by--this Giveaway is now over.
I'm giving one lucky reader the chance to start this sexy and witty series!

ONE (1) E-Copy of "Love is a Battlefield" by Tamara Morgan!

Winner will get to choose one of the following formats: NOOK or Kindle. I will be ordering the book after the winner has chosen.


How to Enter:
Mandatory: You must leave a comment on this post--Please Answer Tamara's Question!

Mandatory: You must fill out the Rafflecopter's first option (all other options are for extra entries and therefore are not required).

^A note on email addresses: Your email address must be visible to be entered into this contest. Why? This makes it easy for me to contact the winner and therefore get the prize out! Visible means: a) Email is left in your comment (ninja style is perfectly fine); b) Email is visible on your Blogger profile (or other such website--Twitter, Facebook, Blog, etc); or c) Email is used to log-in and fill out the Rafflecopter.

Tamara's Question:

If you got to pick from any of your favorite types of romances (Viking, Western, Highland, Medieval, Regency, etc.), what would you like to see mashed up in a story?

Giveaway open April 30th through May 5th! I will pick and announce the winner Sunday morning (May 6th). Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanks so much, Tamara, for agreeing to stop by today--I had a blast doing your interview! :) Sorry that it was such a long one--I just had so many questions. I hope I didn't bore you, or our readers, to death. LOL

I cannot wait to get started on Michael's story (hopefully I can start it this weekend!).

Don't forget, Tamara will be back May 21st with a guest post for us to enjoy! And around that time I'll also have my review up for The World is a Stage--who knows, maybe I'll throw in a giveaway on that post, as well! ;)


Until Next Time,
*TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

***Please note: I do not claim any of the pictures used in this post. All of the sexy men in kilts were found by Google. If any of these pictures belong to you, and you do not want them up, please email me and I will take them down immediately!***


Anonymous said...

This book sounds like so much fun! I think it would be fun to have some sexy cowboys due battle with some hawt highlanders. Bronco busing with swords & kilts?!?! Could be interesting... Thanks for the giveaway.

The_Book_Queen said...

Now THAT sounds like an interesting story in the making! :) I'm all for it. LOL.


April Alvey said...

I think id like to see Medieval and Highland mixed together. Oh yea that would be cool.

Book Flame said...

I love reading about the Regency era and Vikings so it would be interesting to see those two tied together somehow.

Unknown said...

WOW!! That is so funny you ask this question. My hubby is constantly trying to "mash up" some of my favorite genres of romance. (Just so he can act them out!)It has become somewhat of a joke around here now. The latest one he has come up with for me is a Highland,shapeshifting werewolf, cowboy. Yeah...that is a heck of a combination. LOL! I love all romance so I think I would be happy with anything!
bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

The_Book_Queen said...

:) Anything with Highlanders would be great, don't you think?


The_Book_Queen said...

Oh, Regency Vikings--yes, I can see that happening. Now, who to write it? Hm....


The_Book_Queen said...

LOL--I'm like you, I think I'd still read it! :) Depending on who writes it, how it is written, etc, that could be very entertaining... :D


Tamara Morgan said...

You're so right about cowboys. I think they're near the top of the Official Hawt Factor List (below the Highlanders, of course!).

Tamara Morgan said...

I'm such a sucker for medieval re-enactments! (As a shamefully self-promoting aside, there is a bit of medieval vs. Highlander in this book. Just a smidge, though.) :)

Tamara Morgan said...

It's impossible for me to visualize Vikings without thinking of True Blood's Alexander SkarsgÄrd. Mmmmmm.

(Also, TBQ, I see what you're doing there.)

Tamara Morgan said...

My theory is that if they can turn cowboys versus aliens into a movie, there is no limit to the mash up potential!

The_Book_Queen said...

*Blink, blink* Who, me? I'm afraid I don't know what you are talking about..... :D

Highland Hussy said...

I heard about this book from a couple blogger friends of mine-they know my taste pretty well, so I added it to my tbr list.

All I can say, is what a fun idea for a romance novel!

Tamara Morgan said...

Thanks for the kind words! I hope you enjoy the book--it was a lot of fun to write. :)

Unknown said...

I would love to see some Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddess go up against some Greek Gods and Goddess.
I know, weird. lol

I'm looking forward to reading this. Looks very interesting.

So happy I found you, or you found me, or we found each ever you want to look at

The_Book_Queen said...

Oh, I would totally read that! :)

Thanks for stopping by! :)


Tamara Morgan said...

Trellyn--I hadn't even thought of adding ancient Egypt or Greece into the mix! I LOVE when those topics are introduced into paranormal and UF romances.