Guest Author Blythe Gifford!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today I would like to welcome back to Book Junkie author Blythe Gifford to celebrate her release of RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR! This is book one in her new trilogy the Brunson Clan released from Harlequin Historical. I had the opportunity to read RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR and I simply loved it. Please read on for my review as well as Blythe's Q&A! .........................

Not always feeling loved and welcomed he believed all his life that his own father tossed him off to court because all his love and focus was on his older brother who would one day be Laird of their clan. Torn between his loyalty to the King, his love for his family and now the feelings that he has developed for Cate at times it seems that John is a man lost. One who needs to look into his heart to find his true path and follow what that heart is telling him.

With a phenomenal supporting cast of characters that will win you over and capture the readers heart. You can’t help but feel invested in what happens to John and Cate and the entire clan as the events unfold with every turn of the page. Passionate love between John and Cate also will warm your heart on these cold winter nights, with all the drama and emotion that weaves through the beginnings of a masterful plot creating in-depth characters and perfectly illustrating who they are and how they feel. Fun and intense the words flow from the pages in a way that entices the reader with the satisfying exploration of the complexities of loyalty, love, and desire.
Book two, CAPTIVE OF THE BORDER LORD, will be released in January 2013. Book three, TAKEN BY THE BORDER REBEL, will be released March 2013.
Please read an excerpt on Blythe's website, the link is:
Word in the Royal Court has spread that the wild Scottish borders are too unruly. Upon the King's command, John Brunson must return home…
Once part of a powerful border clan, John has not set eyes on the Brunson stone tower in years. With failure never an option, he must persuade his family to honor the king's call for peace.
To succeed, John knows winning over Cate Gilnock, the daughter of an allied family, holds the key. But this intriguing beauty is beyond the powers of flattery and seduction. Instead, the painful vulnerability hidden behind her spirited eyes calls out to John as he is inexorably drawn back into the warrior Brunson clan….


Blythe Gifford introduces The Brunson Clan in RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR

If you had to write one sentence that summed up your writing career thus far, what would it say?
It’s been nothing like what I expected, but exactly what I needed.
Could you start things off by telling us a little about your release RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR?
RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR is the first of three about the Brunson Clan, a family of Reivers on the Scottish Borders during the early Tudor era.  It is the story of John, the youngest son, who returns home after years of serving as a “big brother” to the young Scottish king.  John is a man with something to prove, both to himself and to his family.  As the only blue-eyed Brunson, he’s always felt as if he didn’t belong.  Now, he no longer wants to.  As soon as he enforces the king’s command for peace, he plans to return to his life at court and leave the valley of his birth for the last time.

But first, he must persuade Cate Gilnock to release his family from their promise to avenge her father’s death.  Cate is a woman fierce as a warrior, but behind her eyes John senses vulnerability and secrets she refuses to share.  Bit by bit, he falls in love with her, and with each step, he is drawn back into the life he thought he had left behind forever.  Because of Cate, he discovers he is more like the rest of his family than he thought until, finally, he must decide:  Is he truly a Brunson?  Or is he the King’s man after all?

CAPTIVE OF THE BORDER LORD, January 2013, will tell the story of John’s sister, Bessie Brunson and finally, Black Rob Brunson, oldest son and leader of the family, meets his match in TAKEN BY THE BORDER REBEL, March 2013. 

How did you come up with the plot for RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR?
The trilogy overall was inspired by a real historical event, the execution of a famous Border Reiver, a story that is told, or sung, more accurately, in “The Ballad of Johnnie Armstrong.”  Johnnie was one of the most notorious reivers on the Borders.  According to the balladeer, Johnnie was not lawfully tried and convicted, but basely murdered when he was lured to a meeting with the king by a “loving letter” that insisted he come unarmed.

I thought Johnnie deserved a happy ending, so I set out to write one.  Of course, everything changed along the way, but the essential idea behind the series remained.

Was it easy to decide what challenges to throw at John and Cate?
Writing is a little like childbirth, or so I am told.  You forget the pain quickly, or you would never do it again.  I keep track of the time spent on each book and a few notes on each day’s work.  Early on, I wrote “this is going to be just as hard - or harder - a book as I thought.”  And I did not figure it out all at once.

What was the biggest setback in writing this particular series for you?
Cate’s emotional journey is a difficult one.  When I turned the manuscript in to my editor, she gently pointed out that I had focused on my heroine’s personal journey at the expense of the romance that readers would expect.  It was a blow, because for a period of weeks, I did not know how I could fix it.  Ultimately, I realized how tightly her personal journey was connected to the hero and I was very happy with the final result. 

Do you have any other projects you are working on currently?
Readers will get a bonus with this series.  Harlequin has asked me to do a free, online read!  It is scheduled to run February25 to March 24, with a brief “chapter” each day.  So I’m developing that – on a tight timetable, using a character you won’t meet until CAPTIVE OF THE BORDER LORD.  This is a first for me, and I’m having a lot of fun.   

Are you a full time writer or do you have a day job? If yes, How do you divide your time?
I also have a day job, but I’m self-employed, so I do both jobs from my home office.  On a normal day, I write in the morning and work on my day job in the afternoon.  How many days are normal?  The majority, although when I travel, all bets are off.

If you could live during any period in time, what would that be and who would you be?
I love history, I truly do.  But I also love electricity, hot and cold running water, and the internet.  I’m not really tempted to live in the past permanently, with the exception of one special time and place.  Offer me the chance to live in Paris in the 1920’s, hanging out in the cafes with Hemingway and Fitzgerald, and I’d say show me the time machine.

Do you have any questions you would like to ask the readers?
Where do you read? On the train?  In bed?  With the television in background or music or do you need silence?  I love to imagine my readers with my book – print or electronic version!
One lucky reader who comments on today’s blog will be randomly selected to win a signed copy of RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR.  

Blythe Gifford has been known for medieval romances featuring characters born on the wrong side of the royal blanket. Now, she’s launching a trilogy set on the turbulent Scottish Borders of the early Tudor era, starting with RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR, November 2012, Harlequin Historical.  CAPTIVE OF THE BORDER LORD will follow in January 2013, and TAKEN BY THE BORDER REBEL in March 2013.  The Chicago Tribune has called her work "the perfect balance between history and romance."  Visit her at,, or on Twitter @BlytheGifford. 
Photo credits.  Cover used with permission.  Author photo by Jennifer Girard.




Ingeborg said...

I read while sitting on the couch or relaxing on the bed. I don't like a lot of background noise so I turn the TV off.


November 8, 2012 at 3:06 PM
Mary Preston said...

I'd be happy to travel back in time, but just for a quick visit.

I love to read on my lounge chair. I love peace & quiet & prefer a print copy to hold.


November 8, 2012 at 7:31 PM
LilMissMolly said...

Highlander Romance, how can a girl go wrong! I usually read in bed. I also listen to audio books while commuting or doing mundane chores.

November 8, 2012 at 8:50 PM
Tore said...

I read anywhere I can. Anytime I get a moment. I read even with the television on and music. Thanks for the giveaway.

November 8, 2012 at 8:57 PM
Linda said...

Congrats on the release of your book! It sounds like a wonderful read (good review!) & the cover is awesome.

I love to read at night when it's quiet (tho I will/do read any/every time of the day) snuggled up in bed. If I'm reading I don't need/want any other distraction (TV/Music), just the book & me.

November 8, 2012 at 9:18 PM
Kai said...

I love to read in the living room and bedroom. I would love to read in the car or train but I get motion sickness when I do that. Such a waste of time not being able to read in a moving vehicle but I don't want to make public nuisance of myself.


November 8, 2012 at 9:27 PM
Blythe Gifford said...

Love hearing your stories - and thanks for the congrats. How do I read? Print and e. Not audio. And I have even read on my iPhone. Extensively. Cause it is always with me and if I have a few minutes...

November 9, 2012 at 7:39 AM
Lexi H said...

An execution, a great inpsiration. =) Or at least a great entertainment back in the day.

Fun to see how people prefer to read. Me I love print, and I carry a book with me everywhere. With three little kids even 10 min is a break to me. If only I didnt get car sick I would read when my husband drives!

November 10, 2012 at 3:10 PM
LilMissMolly said...

Sounds like another great series! I love audio books too.

November 10, 2012 at 10:11 PM

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I am a working mom with an addiction to coffee, chocolate, and books.. I read an average 3 to 4 books a week to escape reality. I have setup this site to organize my own thoughts and help others when choosing what to read. Since I can be a dimwit at times I decided to keep a record of the books I read. This record turned into reviews so I would remember if I liked the book I forgot I had read. I am not particularily funny and my grammer sucks so please don’t expect much. Basically I don’t know jack about many things, but I do know what I like in a novel and what makes me want to spend my money on an author.
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