Monday, August 26, 2013

Aloha to Amanda Scott and THE KNIGHT'S TEMPTRESS


On this day in 1768, Captain Cook sailed from England aboard the HMS Endeavour.   His travels to the Pacific would expand England's colonies to Australia and Polynesia.   In fact, Cook named an archipelago as New Caledonia - its coastline reminded him of Scotland, his father's homeland.

Sigh.  Scotland.

Scottish flag over Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness

Amanda Scott brings romantic adventure to life in historic Scotland.  She joins me for a cozy chat to celebrate her upcoming release, THE KNIGHT'S TEMPTRESS.

Kim:  You lived in Honolulu for one year - do you have a favorite memory from your time in Paradise?  

(Captain Cook is credited as the first European contact with the Hawaiian islands in 1778 during his third voyage to the Pacific).

Amanda:  I have lots of fond memories but the strongest is probably being a member of the Honolulu Junior League Children’s Theater and playing Little Red Riding Hood at schools on Oahu and the Big Island (at Volcano, Hilo, & others), mostly for primary grades but occasionally for older kids as well. The play was interactive, so the children were the trees and shrubs of the forest that Little Red had to walk through to get to Grandma’s house and where she met the wolf. It a was wonderful experience. The children would scream to warn me that the wolf was coming, and offer to let me hide behind them, and they’d yell at the “wolf” to “shoo” or “get out of here!” There were four of us in the cast, and once, when a teacher who hadn’t quite got the message about how the play worked and kept ordering the children to be quiet, our wolf sat on the teacher’s lap, put her arms around the teacher’s neck, and quietly informed her that we were delighted to have the children so involved in our play. The kids thought it was great that the wolf ‘hugged’ their teacher, and went into gales of laughter when one wag screamed out, “Don’t eat her!” Definitely a fond memory, but there were many, many others. In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, just going up to Volcano was a special treat. The Hawaiian humidity had been strongly affecting me, so getting to the higher altitude was blissful. Other members of the cast were complaining about “how high” it was (about 4,000 feet, if I remember correctly). But I’ve spent a good portion of my life at 7,300-8000 feet, so for me, it was just heavenly to be able to breathe naturally again. I did adapt, though, and my husband still misses the island life (and the food, snorkeling, everything), I think.

Sea arch in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
near Volcano and Hilo

Kim:  You are well read in history, especially British History. You have written romances across several centuries. What draws you to the British Isles? If you could travel back in time, where would you like to visit in what year?

Amanda:  The British Isles have fascinated me for as long as I’ve known they existed, and I have a Masters Degree in History with specialties in England and Scotland. My ancestors on both sides came from Scotland and England (Scotts, Douglases, Jamisons, and Logans, primarily). My first English ancestor, a Lowell on my mom’s side, came in the late 17th century. The first Scotts and a Welshman on my dad’s side named John Rice Jones arrived in the mid-to late 18th century. They settled in New York, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, then Arkansas, the Northwest Territory, and Missouri, and later moved on west to California. One great-great-great grandfather, Judge Andrew Scott, was the first “Supreme” Court justice in Arkansas. His brother was the first senator from Missouri and named the state of Arkansas … oh, and in a fit of nepotism, appointed his younger brother the first judge for the “Post of Arkansas,” which is pretty much all there was then. Judge Andrew served a number of terms, fought and won at least two duels (one of them against another judge over a card game), and lived a wonderfully colorful life. I have a copy of a letter that he wrote to his wife to open in the event of his death in that one). My paternal grandfather loved family history and told me stories culled from ours from the time I was small, so writing about Scotland came naturally to me. I began with the 16th century but moved back to the medieval period and am now moving slowly forward again.

As for where I’d visit if I could go back in time, frankly, I like 2013 and would not want to live in any century but the present one. Spending my summers in a rustic cabin, as I do, is enough historical living for me. I like libraries, iced mochas, and driving fast cars. Living in a drafty, smoky castle might be interesting for a sennight or so, and I love good haggis, but after that … nae, moran taing! (no, thanks). On the other hand, if I could drop back in time and find some extraordinarily rich person to adopt me and see that I had access to all the finer things that the period had to offer, I might just consider one quick fling. It wouldn’t be Scotland though. I’d like, more than anything I can think of in the historic field, to go back to fifteenth-century England—London and Yorkshire, specifically—long enough to find out what really happened to the Princes in the Tower. I don’t believe that Richard III killed them, but I’d like to see that longtime historic mystery laid to rest. If you are interested in my reasons for believing in Richard, take a look at my book The Rose at Twilight, available now in most electronic formats, including Kindle and Nook. That book and the rest of my backlist can be found, with buy-links on my website and at 


Kim:  Tell us about the Lairds of the Loch series and your new release, THE KNIGHT'S TEMPTRESS.

Amanda:  The germ for my Lairds of the Loch trilogy, of which The Knight’s Temptress (Forever, August 27, 2013) is Book 2 and follows The Laird’s Choice (Forever, Dec 2012), came to me one day while I was enjoying my morning walk. I have long wondered about certain instincts that we all seem to share to one degree or another, things like the tickle one gets or the way the hair raises on the back of one’s neck as a warning of danger, the way some people (like Lee Childs’s Jack Reacher, for example) just know what time it is without a watch or a clock, and others know exactly how much time has passed since we put something in to bake and can reach the oven just as the timer dings. Many of us know who is on the phone, even when we haven’t heard from that person in months, or we’re reaching for the phone to place a call, and it rings. The person we were about to call is calling us! I also considered horse whisperers and people who insist that their cats talk to them (I’m one of them), people who can calm a frightened or wild animal with seemingly nothing but a calm voice or an outstretched hand, people who have a nagging feeling that if A happens, B will follow but have no reason, let alone a logical one, for thinking so … and prove to be absolutely right. How do they know? And, more importantly, why do most of us distrust such feelings, rather than exploring them and learning to trust them or trying to strengthen them. In thinking about all that, it occurred to me that these might be remnants of survival instincts of long ago, in which case they would likely have been stronger and more closely heeded then. In the usual manner of such things when an author is concerned (this one, at least), I began to wonder just how strong I might make such “instincts” and still have a plausible story. Then I discovered the myth of Camilla, the huntress and Amazon warrior, who was a friend of the goddess Diana. In reading about her early days, the prologue for The Laird’s Choice was born, along with the trilogy’s ongoing conflict between a laird whose lands and chiefdom had been usurped and the traitorous cousin who stole them. The laird, determined to win back his chiefdom but blessed with only three daughters (his sons having been murdered during the coup) is scheming to marry his daughters to warriors from powerful clans who can help him. His daughters (loosely based on the three Fates) each have special gifts and a few that they share. Andrena (Book 1) has a peculiar affinity with the birds and beasts of the forest. Lachina or “Lina” (Bk 2) has a gift of serenity, in that she can calm others just by being near them, and unbeknownst to her, she has inherited her mother’s gift of foresight. And Muriella, the youngest one, loosely based on Clotho, the spinner of life, wants to be a seanachie (clan tale-spinner and historian), and has a fertile imagination and an eidetic memory. 


The Knight’s Temptress is Lina’s story. When she and her good friend Lizzie Galbraith fall captive to renegades who have seized the royal castle and burgh of Dumbarton, Sir Ian Colquhoun, a daring knight who has been tasked by the King of Scots to retake the hitherto impregnable stronghold, which sits on a hundred-foot rock a mile around and has only one entrance, realizes that if he is not to risk the deaths of the two maidens, he must rescue them first. Lina has known Ian since the days when he considered her a too-dignified child and could never resist an opportunity to ruffle her dignity. She thinks he is too reckless and often fails to think before he acts, and she has occasionally been right about that. Her rescue may even be a case in point, because in rescuing Lina, Ian discovers not only that his followers think he is mad but that Lina is now in more danger than ever, and the only solution … Ah, that would be telling too much, wouldn’t it?

School children as tour guides at Linlithgow Palace,
home of the Stewart Kings in Amanda's books

Kim:  What's next for Amanda Scott?

Amanda:  I just finished The Warrior’s Bride, which is book 3 in my Lairds of the Loch trilogy, and having recently written two trilogies set in the Highlands (Scottish Knights and Lairds of the Loch) and one set in Dumfriesshire & Galloway (Tamed by a Laird, Seduced by a Rogue, and Tempted by a Warrior), I’m ready to return to the Borders for a while. I mean to continue with Scott and Douglas history for the background. I tend to move forward chronologically with the history, so I’ll set the three books around 1426-1436, the end of James I’s reign (Jamie Stewart). That trilogy is tentatively titled Border Nights, and the first book tentatively titled The Love Thief. Its hero will be the second in a long line of Sir Walter Scotts —actually, not all Sirs, but there was a Walter Scott in every other generation in the Buccleuch line, and other lines that branched off of it, from the early fourteenth century right down to my grandfather, who was named for his grandfather. And no, we are not related to the poet/author Sir Walter Scott, except insofar as we most likely have some common ancestry.

Memorial to Sir Walter Scott
in Edinburgh

Mahalo, Amanda, for visiting SOS Aloha!  I am giving away a print copy of THE KNIGHT'S TEMPTRESS to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about a "famous" person in your family history ... or at least a famous person with the same last name.   My father, born in rural Mississippi, was named after Andrew Jackson ... I don't know if we have common kin with the Seventh President and Army veteran.  But my father's tree does include many veterans, including the Civil War, WWII, Vietnam, and my father's own service during the Korean conflict.

2.  This giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, August 31, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, September 1.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

My boys pose with the bagpiper at
Huntington Tower in Scotland.


  1. My X-Husband's Grandmother traced their family tree back to Alexander Hamilton. No one famous in my family though.

  2. No one famous I can recall. My Grandmother worked in a castle in England as a young girl. So some association there.

  3. No one famous in my family....the closest I came is a great Italian restaurant in Chicago who's owners last name is similar to my last name.

  4. I don't have anybody famous in my family either. However, my Granddad did work in the royal mews many, many years ago.

  5. No one famous... Not even with the same name...

  6. Unfortunately a rather mundane family. No claim to anyone famous in the family. My maternal grandmother's last name was Chan. I can think of 1 famous person with the same name: Jacky Chan! Can't claim any relationship tho :p

  7. No one famous... that I know of :) Thanks for sharing!

  8. The closest I can come is that on my mother's father's side she had a cousin who was the first wife of Johnny Cash - Vivian Liberto (my mom's maiden name).

  9. There is no one that can be traced as famous in either my husband's or my families. I guess the closest I can come in name is Phillips 66.

  10. I Love Amanda Scotts work Thank's to you Kim for introducing me to her Books.
    I have to wonder if Amanda & I are related Scott Was my Mothers Maiden Name & we are from the Dumbarton Area.
    I hold the Ramsay name Grandmothers Maiden Name Ramsay belongs to the House of Dalhousie .
    Can't wait to read The Lairds Choice.
    Have a good one Ann/alba

  11. NO one famous as I recall in my family. Sorry

  12. My Great-Great...Grandfather was Rev. Robert Jordan - he was a minister for the Church of England and came to Maine in the early 1600's. I don't know the reason (it was a religious/political disagreement), but apparently he really annoyed the Puritans and they thru him in jail in Boston.

  13. The only celebrity I can find with the same last name is Billy Bob Thornton, and I'm not sure I'd want to be related to him, LOL. My grandmother had a thing for president's though, she named three of her sons after them, Grover, Herbert and Woodrow (for Grover Cleveland, Herbert Hoover and Woodrow Wilson).

  14. I'm a distant relative from the Unsinkable Molly Brown from Titanic fame? Does that count? :)
    I LOVE Amanda's books.

  15. My paternal grandfather came from Germany and my father claims that someone in his family was a baron.

  16. I had a great-great grandfather who was named after the fictional character Lemuel Gulliver.

  17. I am a very very distant cousin of Mary Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's wife.

  18. I have no one famous in my family...kinda happy about that for some reason.