Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Highland Blessings ~ Review/Interview
by Jennifer Hudson Taylor
$ 9.99 (kindle)
About the book:
Highland Blessings is the story of a highland warrior who kidnaps the daughter of his greatest enemy and clan chief to honor a promise he made to his dying father. Bryce MacPhearson, a highland warrior, kidnaps Akira MacKenzie on her wedding day to honor a promise he made to his dying father. While Akira s strength in the Lord becomes a witness to Bryce, she struggles to overcome her anger and resentment when he forces her to wed him, hoping to end a half-century-old feud between their clans. While Akira begins to forgive, and Bryce learns to trust, a series of murders leaves a trail of unanswered questions, confusion, and a legacy of hate that once again rises between their families. Clearly, a traitor is in their midst. Now the one man Akira loves no longer trusts her, and her own life is in danger. Can Bryce look beyond his pain and seek the truth? Will Akira discover the threat against her before it s too late? How will God turn a simple promise into bountiful Highland blessings?
I'm not usually a fan of medieval type books but this particular book caught my eye with the word "Highland" in the title. Granted I didn't realize it was a medieval type book and I was a little disappointed when I realized it. In fact, I was really hoping that it would open in the medieval period for some background and then fast forward to modern day Scotland - but then I got caught up in the book and before I knew it I was very engrossed in the story and everything that was happening.
Highland Blessings is a book filled with action, angst, mystery, romance - and a few murders thrown in for good measure. Very well written I found I was reading everywhere and whenever I had a chance to get in a few more chapters - Village Inn, sitting in the movie theatre (while waiting for the lights to go down), during the kid's naptime, their movies..... I think you get the idea.
It is a Christian Romance - the scripture passages are strong, Akira's faith is strong from the beginning of the book and Bryce's faith gets stronger and he learns to lean on God as he makes decisions and as the danger mounts he also begins to trust God for Akira's safety. Jennifer Hudson Taylor is a new author for me and I think she has gone to the top of my favorite author pile (if I had a pile of her books that is). If you love a good romance (without a lot of bedroom scenes, filth and language) you will love this book.
Link up with Jennifer at:
An interview with Jennifer Hudson Taylor:
I took a few moments to ask Jennifer a few questions about her writing and what she hopes you take from her books.... Read on:
Me: I enjoyed the way you shared the good news of Christ and the strength of Akira's faith and prayer life - what is one thing you'd like readers to come away with from reading your books?
JHT: I try to include a unique message in each book, but I always want people to know that Christ will never forsake them in their troubles and will always be there for them no matter how far they stray. His love is unconditional.
Me: Where/how did you come up with the idea of your book?
JHT: I believe it came to me over a period of time in various stages. I first started writing Highland Blessings in 1998, but it wasn't published until 2010. Over that period of time, I rewrote it several times and inserted various scenes and deleted other scenes.
Highland Sanctuary is another matter. I modeled the heroine after my daughter who has Epilepsy. As we dealt with pediatric neurologists, went through MRIs, CAT Scans, and EEG's, and meds, I wondered what it would have been like for someone like my daughter in 15th century Scotland, the place and time period of my characters in the first book. Then I allowed myself to wonder about people with various issues and the Village of Outcasts was born for my second novel, Highland Sanctuary.
Me: What kind of research did you do for this book? Did you do any?
JHT: For Highland Blessings, most of my research came from years of reading and studying Scotland, the ways of the people and the 15th century. I purchased books and devoured them as I found time so I could learn about castles, the clan system, clothing. When it came time to write the sequel, Highland Sanctuary, some of the basics were already researched from the first book, but it was necessary to provide more in-depth research on specific things such as the church system, the court system, how they would handle a person thought to be demon possessed, the geography and layout of the land in Caithness, Scotland, thoughts on seizures, and the King of Scotland.
ME: Have you ever been to Scotland for research or just for fun (this is a dream of mine - so I'm going to live vicariously through you - so expand if you'd like - this may mean a 2nd post LOL)?
JHT: No, Scotland is my dream. I fear we will both have to live vicariously through Liz Curtis Higgs. She goes each year. I keep praying that God will one day provide a way for our family.
Thank you for having me, and I feel so honored that you enjoyed my highland set (of) novels.
About the author:
Jennifer Hudson Taylor is an award winning author of historical Christian fiction and a speaker on topics of faith, writing and publishing. Her debut novel, Highland Blessings received a 4 1/2 star review from Romantic Times and won the Holt Medallion Award for Best First Book. Jennifer's work has appeared in national publications, such as Guideposts, Heritage Quest Magazine, Romantic Times Book Reviews, and The Military Trader. She serves as the Publicist at Hartline Literary Agency. Jennifer graduated from Elon University with a B.A. in Journalism. When she isn't writing, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, genealogy, and reading. (from Jennifer's blog)
Disclaimer: Highland Blessings is a book that I purchased and chose to review on GivingNSharing.