Keira: What was the first romance novel you ever read? Was it the one that got you hooked on reading them?
Zarabeth: The first romance novel that I ever read was Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. It was actually a romantic suspense. It was absolutely not the one that got me interested in romance. It was recommended to me by my art teacher in high school. I liked the romance part but hated the mystery aspect. I tried reading a bunch of the big name romance authors and I couldn’t get into them. I got hooked when I bought a complete cookie cutter type romance from the airport for something to read. It was cheap (not a category) and I fell in love. Completely random.
Keira: What are your top 3 favorite Highlander romances and what would you rename them if you could?
- The Laird Who Loved Me by Karen Hawkins becomes The Laird’s Revenge (and how he is thwarted to catch himself in his own trap.)
- Devil of the Highlands by Lynsay Sands becomes Escape into Passion.
- Some Like It Wicked by Teresa Medeiros becomes The Surprising Journey to Love
Keira: What’s your stance on Time Travel romances? Would you prefer to have a Medieval or Highlander hunk come to the present or go back in time to meet him?
Zarabeth: Go back in time to meet him. I don’t think the Highlander hunk would do well in today’s setting. What makes them Highlander hunks aren’t valued in today’s society, which might be the problem with society but let’s not go there.
Keira: What is your favorite and/or least favorite plot, character type, or literary device?
Zarabeth: I like spinsters and the plots that usually accompany them. Those heroines are far more interesting to me. They generally know who they are and what they care about and they don’t annoy me. My least favorite plots are the ones where the hero gets tricked into marriage by matchmaking mommas even though they usually end up working out. It’s just a bad premise all in all because why on earth would a real guy fall for that and how could it really work out well in the long run? I just picture future fights ending with him saying something like, “Well I never wanted to marry you – you tricked me!”
Keira: How do you define love?
Zarabeth: I’m not sure I can. In my life, love is friendship, respect, and passion all rolled into one and increased by many orders of magnitude. He is my best friend, the person I trust without doubt, a person I greatly admire, and someone I simply can’t get enough of ever. I also have to know that it is mutual.
Sometimes in our books our hero/heroine is so certain that they are in love with the other after just a few minutes of interaction, but for one reason or another assumes that the attraction is not mutual. Other plots have our hero/heroine absolutely refuse to admit that they are in love until some near-death situation. This leads to internal angst and lots of tension.
Both of these settings actually really upset me because I do not believe love should be a difficult and distressing part of life. I believe it is a blessing and always should be.
Keira: You’re lost wandering around a Scottish moor all by yourself when you stumble upon a fairy willing to grant you one hero to accompany you and help you get safely home. She also promises that if you fall in love by the time you get home he’ll be yours forever. Which hero do you pick and why?
Zarabeth: Simon from Some Like It Wicked.
He is the kind of man who could never be a nincompoop. He is a strong, confident (though sometimes overly so), intelligent man. He has a solid history of being able to take care of himself and the people around him (especially his heroine). He is passionate and serious about every opinion he has. I very much admire his conviction and would find every conversation ultimately stimulating and satisfying for the rest of our lives.
Keira: What do you look for in a heroine? Do you like her to be similar to you, or do you want someone completely different?
Zarabeth: I want to be able to follow her thought process and usually that means she needs to be similar to me, but a great author can make any heroine relatable.
Keira: When it comes to sex scenes in romances what are some of your turn ons/offs?
Zarabeth: I guess I’m a little bit of a prude when it comes to the sex scenes. I really don’t want to read those “dirty words” which I’m sure you can fill in. My other turn offs are when the hero so convinced of his charm and sexual appeal he manipulates the heroine into sexual situations. That doesn’t seem to work in real life. Major turn ons include: when the heroine is certain of what she wants and goes and gets it, that’s pretty sexy and passion. Flat out passion and good sexual tension! Love.
Keira: Describe the perfect hero in 10 words or less:
Zarabeth: Confident but humble, burdened, honorable (eventually), dark, masculine (no dandies).
Keira: Is there anything else you’d like to share or discuss?
Zarabeth: Give me solid plots! I know this is an escapism genre but I still want intelligence from my authors.