January 16, 2012

Author Spotlight: Guest Post + Giveaway by Melissa Schroeder!

Hello, everyone! My name is Melissa Schroeder and I am one of the featured authors AAD. First, a big thanks to Damaris for inviting me to be on the blog.

In case you don’t know who I am, I write historical, contemporary, paranormal and futuristic romances, in heat levels ranging from sensual to erotic. I am a military wife who is suffering through her last two years of active duty with her husband stuck in a BUG PLACE.

Today, I am here to talk about Callum, the first of my five book paranormal series The Cursed Clan. I came up with the concept a few years ago when I was at a writer’s retreat in Texas (another bug state I have had to endure). I knew I wanted to write Highlanders, but I wanted to make it contemporary with some paranormal. I am a big fan of Karen Marie Moning’s work and I will admit, reading her highlander books inspired this series.

Of course, you can’t have a good Highlander book without a brooding hero and we get that in spades with Callum Lennon. He’s the laird and is doing everything he can do to break the curse his clan has suffered for centuries.

Here is a little tidbit from Callum and there is a contest after it.


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See the trailer:

As Laird, Callum Lennon feels he has always failed to protect his cousins. Callum’s impulsiveness caused the death of his father and the experience has scarred not only his body, but his soul. From that point on, he made sure to always go with the more logical choice in every matter. When his younger cousin Angus finds clues that might help break the curse, Callum begrudgingly hires Phoebe Chilton to investigate. Callum doesn’t like bringing outsiders into their family affairs. Their life would become fodder for the tabloids if anyone were to find out about the curse. It doesn’t help that the instant he meets Dr. Chilton he’s attracted. But, he doesn’t really have a choice because she might be their last hope.

An expert in archeology, Phoebe has always been dwarfed by her parents’ shadow. Their high standards had her in college by thirteen and earning a second PhD by twenty-two. But her career and her broken marriage have left her needing something more than just diplomas and degrees. She wants to prove that her interest in legends, especially Celtic legends, is as important as her parents’ work. When the Lennon family contacts her, she sees the opportunity to win a massive research grant. With a long-time rival breathing down her back, she jumps at the Lennons’ offer her, hoping it will ensure her the grant. But uncovering the Lennon family secrets, and her attraction to Callum, could prove more than she can handle.

Forces outside the family are determined to ensure that they fail. When an old enemy threatens both the well being of the clan and the fragile new love, Callum will have to choose between believing his mind or his heart.


Callum Lennon was another story altogether.

Before coming to Scotland, she had researched the Lennon family, especially their leader. It was her way. Any smart woman would do the same before embarking alone on a mysterious trip like this. Other than the fact that he headed up one of the most successful corporations in the UK—if not the whole bloody world—Phoebe found precious little else. No pictures, no personal information. A man with this sort of money usually took pains to be seen out, a beauty on his arm, attending benefits, galas and whatnot. Truthfully, though, she doubted any photo could have lived up to the flesh and blood man standing before her. And what beautiful flesh it was.

From his expression to his dress, black suited him. Ebony hair, peppered with bits of gray, was cut ruthlessly short. Like his office, he was dour, and more than likely, predictable as a schedule. Where his cousins seemed approachable, Callum’s demeanor was a red light.

The only thing appealing about him, other than the fact that he possessed one of the best bodies she’d ever seen, was his eyes. The shape of them would be considered bedroom sleepy, seemingly half-closed. The lazy sensuality was belied by the vigilant alertness she sensed in his study. This man missed nothing, but that wasn’t their most amazing quality.

The color held her almost mesmerized. Deep blue, a completely boring description, would not do justice to their beauty. She had never seen that particular shade, as if there was something unworldly about them. And when light struck them in just the right manner, there was a hint of green. She’d sigh over them, if it wasn’t a completely adolescent thing to do. She’d just have to wait until she was in her room alone. With the lights turned out.

“First, we need to talk contracts.” The burr in his voice had thickened since she’d first heard him speak, making her belly flutter. When his words registered, she sighed in regret. Such a beautiful man, completely out of her league, but she’d hoped they’d work on friendly terms.

“No. First, we need to talk about what you want me to do.”

He didn’t respond for a moment, clearly taken back by the fact someone disagreed so openly with him. There was a flash of irritation and something akin to admiration—which was an odd combination, to be sure—in his gaze.

“There is no discussion of anything until you sign a contract. We, meaning Lennon Enterprises, must protect our name.”

He crossed his arms over his broad chest and gave her what she was sure his most intimidating stare. Silly man, didn’t he know anything about her? She was handling professors who were just as intimidating when she was barely thirteen. And nothing would stand between her and the grant she needed to complete her most important work ever.

“No. As I discussed at length with Angus before I traveled here, I made it very clear that once I arrived I wanted information up front. I will sign a confidentiality agreement, but I will not sign a binding contract. I understand the need for secrecy, but I assure you there is no problem. I have a reputation that far exceeds even your vaulted standing in the business community.” One ebony brow rose in aggravation or respect for her snooping. “All I know is that it’s a serious matter dealing with an artifact you found and need help translating. We will work much better together if I understand what I am dealing with.” She offered him her best business smile, the one she used on interviewers and donors.

“I’ll no’ risk my family name, our honor, to be sold to the highest bidder. The information you could gather would be more valuable on the open market.”

Her temper wasn’t quick to ignite, but was a dangerous thing once it did. And Callum Lennon was perilously close to burning.

She took a deep breath. Then another. “Are you questioning my integrity? That something in your twisted logic thinks I would take what information you give me and sell it, my reputation be damned?”

By the time she finished her voice had risen almost to a shout, but the moment she stopped talking, deadly silence filled the room.

Callum’s eyes flashed and narrowed. “I doona know or care about your reputation. I have a policy for dealing with this situation. I willna have my family used.”

She counted backwards from ten, then did it twice more. Questioning her honor, was he? Granted, she wasn’t being completely honest with him, but she knew if she rolled over on this one, he would either be suspicious of her motives or think he would win every argument.

Phoebe pushed herself to her feet even as she told herself smacking a six and a half foot broody, totally delectable Scotsman wasn’t a good idea.

“Phoebe.” She didn’t even flinch when Angus tried to interrupt. “Dr. Chilton.”

She ignored the worry in the younger cousin’s tone. Locked into stare-down with his cousin, Angus’s voice didn’t completely register. The room, and everything in it faded away, until only she and Callum remained. Fire leapt in his eyes, showing his barely-controlled temper. His rigid stance bespoke his command over his emotions. He probably hadn’t said even a tenth of what he was thinking, and she was already offended.

She was no coward, but she tended to work with people, negotiate. Her parents had taught her from an early age to be diplomatic. So, it was complete surprise that the urge to push him further, question his integrity, and make him slip over the edge of control, almost overwhelmed her.

Before she could stop herself, she stepped closer to the desk. His expression shifted, turning from anger to something that resembled…lust? Her heart tripped over itself, and her nipples tightened against her cotton bra. His nostrils flared. A charge filled the air, drifting over her, heating her. Bloody hell, every drop of moisture in her mouth evaporated.

Something primal that she’d never experienced before leapt in her blood. Her breath tangled in her throat. All she could think of was touching him, moving her hand over his flesh. Bare flesh.

And that was their first meeting. So, for the contest, you can have your choice of anything in my backlist in digital, that is still in print. Just tell me, would you rather have a modern day or historical Highlander, and why?

- Must be 18 or older to enter this giveaway.
- OPEN International - As long as you have a way to read the ebook you choose.
- Winner will be chosen at Random.
- Winner will be announced on our Facebook & Twitter Page.
- Contest Ends January 23rd.

To enter simply answer Melissa's questions in comments below. Make sure to leave a way to contact you if you should win.

"Would you rather have a modern day or historical Highlander, and why?"

Good luck!

Author Links:
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  1. Modern day Highlander would be my choice. I like to read about historical highlanders but I fear they would be too domineering and chauvinistic for me.

  2. I would love have a historical highlander. I adore historical romance, and love Jaime from Outlander.

  3. I'm with historical highlander, but my very favourite are time travels books, so the best option is a mix of both :D

    Thanks for the international chance!


  4. Gesh. I think they'd both be great. I can't decide. I want both. There, I said it. No choosing, I'll just take both. Now I'm a happy camper.


  5. I would go for a historical highlander. I think they would have a sweet way of talking to me and an old school way of adoring me. I love old school guys. Thanks for the giveaway. You can hit me up on twitter at 1wren

  6. I love history, but I know that I would not be able to deal with lack of modern conveniences so it would either have to be a time traveling historic Highlander or a Contemporary Highlander for me.

    Thanks for that electrically charged excerpt! That was an awesome first meeting.


  7. I think I like the historical highlander the best. Something about going back to that time and having him sweep her off her feet. I just think it's magical.

    mary_reiss @ hotmail.com

  8. I would have to say modern. I am too set in the way of the world now to be shuffled back in time. Hahaha


  9. Hmmm...I'm pretty independent, so I'd probablly have to go with modern.

    pandaluvsu82 at gmail dot com

  10. I would go for the historical highlander. They are headstrong and domineering, but with the right woman, you could have them wrapped around your finger and loving it.


  11. I would definitely choose the historical Highlander!! They are so fierce and strong and sexy and ... well, I could go on all night but I think you get the idea!!! Thanks for the awesome giveaway:)

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  12. Oh, I would love any Highlander, lol. I would probably go with present day just because I don't think I could live int the past for very long.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  13. I've read quite a few historical highlander, but I would love to read more modern day ones. Either way highlanders are hot, so to me it doesn't really matter:)


  14. While historical highlanders in books are dashing, nice and clean, I have a feeling in real life they were pretty darn unlikeable for a modern day woman, so I'd go contemporary highlander. (Unless he changed with the times like Duncan McLeod from Highlander...yum)


  15. I'm thinking both, I'd definitely have to compare before I make a choice. I'm thinking a month with each then I'll be able to tell you! I've read some great books with both modern and historical highlanders and both have been really hot!


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  17. thanks for the giveaway and trailer. I would prefer the historical version as they were a protecting women kind of men! But if they would be that way in contemporary versions, I wouldn't mind it!
    delivery.RN at gmail dot com

  18. Ooh! I prefer the historical highlander. He's just so much more primal and untarnished by modern living. I think it would be an interesting experience:)



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