Wednesday, February 27, 2013

H. K. Carlton, You Found Me

AUTHOR: H K Carlton                 
BOOK TITLE:  You Found Me
PUBLISHER:  MuseItUp Publishing

Tell me a little about your book.

You Found Me is a historical romance and your classic love triangle. Take two men, add a damsel in distress throw in a little mystery and you have the perfect formula for turmoil and heartache. What makes the situation a little more complicated is the two men involved are brothers.

What gave you the idea for this particular story?

This story began with the tangled triad between the three major players but as I developed the characters the relationship between the brothers took over, for me. (But any one who follows me, even just a little, knows that I have a fascination for brothers, but that’s another story) LOL. Marcus Sunderland, the Duke of Carlton reared in England and his half-brother Laird Niall Lummisden, raised in Scotland, are two very different but captivating men. Despite the political and cultural ramifications they choose to make the relationship work. There is mutual love and respect between them, which makes the growing rivalry all the more disconcerting.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?

I am a part-time writer. I do have other responsibilities, luckily those I can accomplish from home for the most part. I try to spend the majority of the morning, replying to e-mails, promotion and blogging while I attempt to fit in the rest of my duties. I write or edit during the afternoon, when possible. I also like to write at night, when everything else has settled down.

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

I am an avid reader (well, I was when I had the time) and I have always written for my own enjoyment but I’d have to say only in the last four years have I taken my manuscripts seriously, or even referred to them as such. To that point, I hadn’t shared my stories with anyone else. It wasn’t until I completed You Found Me that I thought that maybe I had something special this time. I approached my sister and she offered to read it. That in of itself, was a big step for me. Luckily, she loved it. With her encouragement, You Found Me was the first manuscript that I sent out to potential publishers.

What do you hope readers will take from your writing?

I hope the story and the characters are memorable. When I find a book that I love; I remember the characters if not the entire story. And the ones you love kind of stick with you. I hope You Found Me stays with some readers. That would be cool.

Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why?

I write erotic, historical and contemporary romance. I enjoy writing in all genres; I don’t have a preference.

What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?

The toughest part for me so far, has been promotion. I didn’t realize how time consuming and detailed it might be. I am learning as I go. I also find writing a blurb or synopsis difficult. I tend to be wordy, so taking a 147,000-word manuscript and summing it up in 200 words or less, or even down to five pages—not my thing.

Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it.

The brothers are loosely based on people that I know. Some of the character traits might be familiar, if they only knew.

How much is your protagonist like you? How different?

Unfortunately, the female lead and I do have several traits and experiences in common; but none that I would like to disclose.

What kind of research did you do for this type of story?

When I was strictly a reader, I read mostly historical romance—the more Scottish/British the better. Several of my family members were also born in the UK. Some things I knew at the onset from personal knowledge and from reading, but geography and costuming a time period piece took a little research and some help from my fabulous editors.  In addition, writing the phonetic dialogue for Niall was a little tricky for a novice. I also hadn’t realized how authentic and accurate historicals needed to be. While I was writing You Found Me, I didn’t give it an exact date stamp for that very reason. It is a work of fiction; I didn’t want a specific era to give readers any preconceived notions or opinions for the period or the characters.

Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not?

The highly sexual scenes don’t bother me at all given that I also write erotic romance. But sometimes I find the violent scenes or highly emotional ones a little demanding. I get involved with my characters at times. But I’m learning to let go with more ease now that there are so many characters running around. I don’t have as much time to dwell before moving on to the next project.

What about your book makes it special?

I think the relationships forged in the book make it special. It is a character driven story.

What is your marketing plan?

Marketing Plan…I’m on the Trial and Error plan. Lol. I promote using Twitter and Triberr and I have a blog where I post my own news and host some guests. I am slowly acquiring a following, but finding the time to fit everything in is challenging.

Where can people learn more about you and your work?
From my publishers MuseItUp Publishing and Total-E Bound. People can also check out my blog Pick a Genre Already or follow me on Twitter I’m also on Facebook and Goodreads or Amazon

Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of your book?

Don’t give up. If you don’t find a publisher right away for your work, learn, make it better and try again. Eventually, you will find a place and the right publisher.

What’s in the future for you?

For the month of February, along with You Found Me (MuseItUp), I also have an erotic time-travel novel entitled Lost Time (Total-E-Bound) being released.
And coming out in April I have another historical romance The Devil Take You also from MuseItUp as well as an erotic short story from Total-E-Bound, Streetlight People, my first ménage piece.
I’m also working on several projects in various stages of completion.

Blurb ~ You Found Me
Injured, lost and alone what more could a girl ask for than to be rescued by a roguish Scottish Laird and a proper English Duke.

Marcus Sunderland reared in England, groomed from birth to be the Duke of Carlton. He is everything a proper English gentleman should be. Unwaveringly loyal to his liege and childhood playmate Queen Elnor, devoted to his people and his country.

Laird Niall Lummisden of clan Logan in Lomond Scotland is everything a roguish Scottish Laird should be. Dedicated to his clan. Friendly, easygoing, born with confident swagger, he is the complete antithesis to his English half-brother Marcus. 

As the brothers travel to a royal engagement they discover a woman left for dead in the road, beaten beyond recognition. Decreed by his Queen, Marcus must take the stranger back to his estate to recover from her injuries. The unidentified woman not only survives the vicious attack, but as she begins to heal and communicate, struggling to recall her life before they found her, both men are intrigued and attracted to her.

The Duke and the Laird have survived a lifetime of cultural and political differences, but will the brothers survive her?

Excerpt: You Found Me
Nor’s face ran the gamut of emotions at once. She surged to her feet, turning to him and grabbing his arms with surprising strength. Her eyes darted wildly from side to side. “Carlton, you must…” She swallowed quickly and nodded her head.
“You must take her. Get her away from here. Tonight. This night. Take her away from here,” she repeated.
Marcus struggled to gather her against him to comfort her, but she pushed at him. “Do not!”
“Nor, calm down. Tell me why this woman bears the same mark as you, and we’ll figure this out. She cannot be moved this night. She would not survive the travel. Be she kin?”
“Do not question me, Carlton. Do as I ask. Take her home with you. Take her to Tranmere. Keep her there until I can figure this out.” She swiped at her brow. “Prepare her to travel as best you can, Janess, and hurry.”
“Right away, Highness.” Janess went to the door and requested help from the other women.
Elnor bent quickly and rubbed dirt onto the wrist of the mystery woman. She grabbed Marcus by the arm and guided him from the hut.
“Who is she, Nor?”
“I do not know. This could all be a plot. Just get her away from here. I do not need any more scandal around me right now. For now, just do as I say. I will reward you greatly when this is over.” She walked away from him swiftly.
Puzzled, his gaze followed Nor’s retreating figure. Never had he seen her act this way in all the long years he had known her.
Niall approached him, apparently mistaking the look on his brother’s face.
“Has she gone?” He frowned trying to look over his brother’s shoulder into the darkened hut.
“No, no.” Shaking his head in denial, Marcus clapped a comforting hand on Niall’s shoulder.
“Nor wants me to take her to Tranmere. Now!”
“Now?” Niall’s voice rose incredulously. “She’ll die fer sure! She canna be moved again!”
“I know this, but I cannot disobey my queen.” He faced his brother, hands turned palms up, shaking his head as if asking for another solution.
Niall walked quickly toward the castle, chuntering in Gaelic. Marcus was not fluent in his brother’s tongue, but he did recognize the phrase “not my queen” in his limited understanding of the language. Marcus had to sprint to catch up to him. He grabbed his brother’s shoulder, spinning him back around.
Niall turned, ready to fight. “Your queen,” he sneered, “is no’ always, righ’!”
“Oh, so if you stormin’ up there gets you beheaded, me thrown in the dungeon, then that poor girl,” he pointed, “still gets no help. Is that what you want?”
All the bluster went out of Niall. “I’ll go find our horses. I’m sure we’re gonna need ’em to attend a burial this eve.” He stomped past Marcus back toward the village.
Marcus paced, as he tended to do when he needed to think. He lost track of time as he pondered the possibilities. He did not know how much time had passed when he heard horsemen approaching. He looked up to see one of the queen’s coaches and fifty or so soldiers appear on the road before him.
“Your Grace,” the captain nodded formally from atop his horse. “We are to escort you to Tranmere.”
Marcus nodded, then followed on foot as a multitude of questions tumbled through his mind. What was Nor keeping from him? What sort of plot might be afoot surrounding this girl that warranted fifty soldiers as escort? ’Twas overkill, in his opinion. More a mission in futility. The woman would surely succumb to her injuries as they travelled. Marcus scrubbed his chin absentmindedly as he contemplated the symbols on their wrists. From what he’d observed, the markings were indeed similar; only the lettering differed, and the mystery girl’s appeared more crude, perhaps disfigured in her attempt to fend off her attackers. What danger was Nor so afraid of that she felt she could not share her thoughts with him?
Marcus and Nor had spent most of their childhood together, their parents close. He had thought he knew everything about her and her family, descendents of kings. Damn it!
He should storm the castle himself and demand she answer his questions, given that it was he who was putting himself and his brother into the path of who-knew-what by taking the girl with them, along with a royal guard in tow. He would not be able to get near Nor now, she’d made her decision. Given him his orders. Sent her guards. ’Twas done.
By the time Marcus had cleaned up and sufficiently filled his belly enough to ride again, his burden was already loaded into the royal coach.
Niall was mounted and joking with the English knights, none of his contempt for their queen evident. Marcus went to mount his horse as well, but Niall’s voice stopped him.
“Are ya no’ ridin’ with the lass?”
“No. I am no nursemaid, nor do I wish to ride with a corpse.”
Niall vaulted off his horse and threw his reins at Marcus, all in one fluid motion.
“Then I will. She’ll no’ die alone this nigh’!” He yanked open the door of the coach and climbed inside. Marcus watched as Niall gingerly situated himself, then re-positioned the girl so her head was cushioned against his chest. He wrapped his large arms around her. The space was cramped now, with Niall’s big body in there. He reached in and covered the pair with a blanket and wondered why he was ever surprised by his brother’s behaviour. Niall grumbled with revulsion something about riding inside the English queen's coach. Marcus began to chuckle at his brother's discomfiture when the young woman mumbled a pathetic sounding "Thank you," against Niall's chest.
"Ah, Sweet," Niall breathed, in apparent empathy.
Marcus closed the door with the knowledge that if the poor thing were conscious then she had just witnessed them predict her demise.


  1. Great interview ladies!. H K, your book sounds wonderful, and what an eye-catching cover!

    I'm going to get this one! Good luck and much success!

    Penny Estelle

    1. Thank you so much, Penny, I hope you enjoy it.

      The cover is lovely, isn't it? C.K. did a fantastic job.

      Thanks for stopping over.

  2. I could not put this book down. And that was strange for me because I normally don't read this genre, but H.K. Carlton grabbed me in the first paragraph and didn't let go. I'm talking, I was thinking of the characters if I wasn't reading about them. I can't wait for her next book.

    1. Thank you so much Marian. You have made my day (again). :D

  3. Blurbs are always hard to write, aren't they? Nice excerpt and interview!

  4. Thank you, Cheryl. The blurb is definitely not my favourite thing to write.

  5. Wonderful interview, and wow, now I have to know what happens!

    Great job Penny!

  6. Nice to see so many fans stopping by and leaving comments! A pleasure to have you today, H.K.

  7. Wow this looks like a good read, even if I am a bit late to the party!

  8. Great interview!
    This one is definitely going on my TBR list!

    Congrats, HK!


  9. Hi, H.K.,

    You've got a gift for Scottish dialect. In both this excerpt and the one from Lost Time, the voices ring true.

    Meanwhile, I hear you about trial and error! None of us really knows how to generate sales. The rules/recommendations keep changing.

    There's only one rule I know that won't change: you've got to keep writing and submitting, no matter what the outcome.