Today I’m delighted to catch up with Dora Bramden to discuss her brand-new indie release, A Dance with the Laird. This sexy contemporary romance – featuring a hot Scottish laird, no less! – won the prestigious Romance Writers of Australia Emerald Award in 2013, and it’s out now at Amazon.
Welcome Dora! Can you share a little about your journey to publication? When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
I bought a computer when I was home with babies and began writing a romance novel. It wasn’t until they were finishing school that I went back to study a professional writing course. I then joined Romance Writers of Australia (RWA) and Melbourne Romance Writers Guild (MRWG) and kept working on my craft. I actually finished a book and began another one. I remember how great it felt to be able to say I’ve written a book.
Tell us about the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald competition and what it meant to win this prestigious award.
A Dance with the Laird was the second book I finished. I put it into the Emerald award without expectation and was thrilled beyond belief when it won. It gave me a huge confidence boost and took me from thinking of myself as a romance writer hobbyist to viewing myself as an author.
Why did you decide to go indie/self-publish A Dance with the Laird?
I’d tried to find a home for it with the bigger, short, sexy, publishers, but it didn’t quite fit anywhere. Then I became really ill and nearly died. I had a change of heart about it all. I decided to back myself and put the novel, so close to my heart, out there for others to enjoy. Why wait when life can be short?
Tell us more about your new release.
A Dance with the Laird began as a germ of an idea sparked while travelling in the UK. I got lost while driving to Jane Austen’s house and a kind man in a village pub led me back to the freeway. Being a writer I started to think about wouldn’t it have been wonderful if…
Although I wrote Natalie and Angus’s story before I became ill, I have since been on a similar journey to finding love. Natalie is overcoming a major trauma in her life, and Angus is questioning who he is and what he can expect from life. In coming together they challenge each other to reach for what they truly want and in doing so become true to who they really are.
What’s next on the writing horizon for you?
The next book in the Baxter sister series will be my next release. Natalie’s ballerina sister, Katrina Baxter, has been secretly married to an Italian racing car driver. The title of the book is The Rinaldo Heir so that gives you a clue. 🙂
How do you balance writing with other aspects of your life?
I like to write during ‘9 to 5’ office hours on the days I’m at home. That way I can enjoy being with my partner after work. But if he falls asleep on the couch watching TV, I’ll sneak off to the office and put down a few more words.
What’s your favorite time management tip?
I’m not great at time management. Give me a deadline, and I’m able to push everything aside and get it done. I have to plan to write and decide how much before I begin. When I want to push my chair back and go eat a snack because I’m stuck, I check the word count so far and make myself stay until I reach it.
What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least?
I love the time spent in my created world with people I’ve made up. I love hanging out with other authors and talking about writing. I really find proofreading the hardest thing. The desire to be creative makes me wants to change everything and rewrite, but at this point I’m not making it better, just different so I have to resist.
If you had one piece of advice for aspiring authors, what would it be?
Professional development is the key to writing. We are all so creative and have brilliant ideas, but getting them out of your head and onto paper requires writing craft skills.
Blurb for A Dance with the Laird
Forbidden passion begins in a dance with the Laird. Australian event organizer, Natalie Baxter, is on assignment in the UK. She’s striving to build a new life after losing her husband and unborn child in a horrific car accident. Unable to conceive again she’s organizing fundraising events to help the world’s most vulnerable children. This is to be her future life’s work but her philanthropist client, Lord Angus McLaren, stirs her heart once more in a dance which undermines her new life plan.
Angus needs to keep his heart on ice. His last attempt at making a life with his brother’s widow ended in divorce. This time around he’ll marry for practical reasons and produce a blue blood heir for his family estate. The work of his Foundation for orphans in the third world must be secured for the future, but Natalie, the only woman he can think about spending his life with can’t give him a child of his own. Can he put aside a succession that goes back five hundred years, find a way to secure the future of his foundation, and have his heart’s desire?
The hotel room key card trembled in Natalie’s fingers as she tried unsuccessfully to place it in the slot. Angus stood close behind her. The heat of his body enveloped her. His desire for her pressed against her. His breath warmed her neck and shoulder sending shivers of anticipation down her back. Knowing the passion that would be unleashed once inside her room did nothing to calm her. She tried to insert the key card one more time but it slithered in her fingers and missed the slot again. Angus took the card and in one swift movement pushed it into the slot and retracted it. The green light lit and the buzzer sounded for them to enter.
As the door closed behind them, Angus dipped his head and captured her waiting mouth. Natalie’s pashmina slipped to the floor. Heaven descended and she pressed her body against his.
Now she could let every bit of pent-up need have its way. She wanted to become one with Angus. Hungrily he kissed her, plunging his tongue into her mouth and making her shiver all over with thrills of icy heat. She stood on her tip toes so they touched hip to hip. His hands gripped her bottom and pulled her in close. The bulge in his jeans pressed firmly against her.
Natalie’s fingers speared through his hair. No longer shaking, they explored new ground. She wanted him. She wanted him this one night. No one knew what tomorrow might bring. The last year had taught her that life could change in one devastating second. The ache in her heart had grown quiet. This one night she would fall heart and soul into Angus. She was alive: not cold and buried with the dead.
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