August 28, 2017 by Valerie Ullmer
Book Feature – The Marriage Alliance by Mageela Troche #characterinterview #authorinterview
by Mageela Troche
Her hand in marriage could secure peace and safety for those she longs to protect.
Lady Ailsa Cameron is not the most patient of souls. She has even slept through a few high masses. Still, this gentle lass never did anything wicked enough to deserve her father’s pronouncement that she must wed the dread Black Duncan, Laird of Clan MacLean.
As leader of the Spartans of the North, Duncan MacLean has inspired many a gruesome tale throughout the majestic highlands and beyond. Duncan accepts Laird Cameron’s offer of his daughter’s hand in marriage and pledges to make war against their shared enemy, Clan MacKinnon.
Duncan aches to possess his ravishing bride as passionately as he vows never to lower his defenses again. Love blooms between them nonetheless, until betrayal incites a war. Clan MacLean is in danger as are Ailsa and Duncan – but the thing in most peril is their love.
Can past enemies become lovers at last? Or will the flame in their hearts be consumed by the fires of war?
The Marriage Alliance is available exclusively at Amazon.
“Ailsa Erin Cameron,” Father Murray announced and earned a sigh in return. Father Murray continued as though her drawn-out sigh never fanned his red face. Ailsa bowed her head and tapped her fingers together. For generations, woman dreamt of perfect weddings and Ailsa was no different. She knew most wishes might not be attained, but she had not presumed it to be this nightmarish.
Her hands held no flowers, though weeds might have been fitting. She donned an everyday airisaidh that was neither special nor memorable. Ailsa chose to forget the offer to wash. It only hindered her argument. If this were her momentous day, the rest of her days seemed bleak.
Her head flew up when Father Murray uttered that hateful word—obey.
She had to promise that. Every woman’s bane in life was obeying a man who never cared. For her, obey was a punishment. Ailsa prayed her husband acted better than her father did. She hadn’t much hope for that possibility.
Father Murray brandished a benevolent smile. However, his life resumed without this man. MacLean drummed his fingers against his sculpted arm. She dared not look up at the man. Father Murray leaned toward her, giving her a silent message to speak those two little words that cleaved her to the brute until her last breath.
“I do,” she uttered while sending the Lord a quick prayer for forgiveness when she failed to follow it. After all, obey was a four-letter word and those were always the worst ones, like hell.
As Father Murray blessed the union, she wagered every Sassenach in England heard her gulp. She was the wife of Black Duncan MacLean, the scourge of the Highlands. To her way of thinking, this union needed more than Father Murray’s blessing, though a blessing was a fair start.
Craning her head back, she peered at her husband as he bent his head. Before she grasped his intention, his mouth nuzzled her own stiff one.
His calloused thumb caressed the creamy column of her neck, over the rapid thumping of blood coursing through her. His light touch skimmed over her skin, feeling as if her hair tickled her. She trembled. Ailsa wished to be kissed without an audience. Then she cared no more.
Her lips parted. His tongue swept into her mouth and stroked hers. His kiss was gentle, enticing her to respond. A boldness overcame her, and she wondered what he would do if she touched her tongue to his. When she did, he delved deeper, exploring her where no man had before. He didn’t demand. He coaxed a response. The fleeting stroke of his mouth foreshadowed what waited that night.
Her heart raced in her chest. Her blood drummed in her ears and tiny tremors quaked through her.
His hardened body, so close, his heat seeped into her. A mist whirled around her and pulled her in. She raised her hands to his shoulders, needing the support of his solid form to keep her from crumbling at his feet. He grunted softly. She felt that most delicious sound rumbled through her.
Just as she wanted more, he pulled back and threw his arm over her shoulder, almost knocking her to the ground. The cheering crowd yanked her out of her dreamy state. Her first kiss and it was in front of her father, brother, and a priest. Ailsa took a great interest in her feet, her father’s feet, Alec’s too. Her hands warranted the same inspection. However, she learned two things.
The first being she liked kissing and wanted a great deal more of it.
And the second was her husband had velvety brown eyes—soft and luxurious.
Character Interview with Duncan MacLean from The Marriage Alliance
What impression do you make on people when they first meet you?
I am Duncan MacLean, Chief of Clan MacLean. Most people are in awe or fear of me as it should be.
How about after they’ve known you for a while?
People are still in fear and awe of me however, they realize that I am not the hard man that my reputation as Black Duncan portrays.
What is your profession?
I am Chief of Clan MacLean. I defend my people, lead them and serve the king.
Tell me about your best friend.
Best friend–I trust those closest to me. My two brothers–Hector and Niall–and my two commanders, Lachlan and Caelan. Those men have always been at my side and see the man beneath my duty.
Describe your ideal mate.
I always thought that I wanted someone who gave me peace. Then I married Alisa Cameron and I haven’t had peace since we wed. She brings me to life.
What’s the most important thing in your life?
My family. I nearly lost them because of my foolishness. I will not make that mistake ever again even as I wed my enemy’s daughter. Ailsa Cameron will learn that.
Your thoughts on love?
I don’t think about love. I have people in my life that I love but I do not let any others in.
Your greatest extravagance?
My bed. I may be able to sleep with just a plaid I still like my comforts.
Is there anything you haven’t done that you want to do?
Not one thing that I can think of. Well, punch my father-in-law in the face–aye, that sounds nice.
Your quirky habits?
I think best when I am standing on the battlements. It’s something about the view that stirs up ideas. I hate waste and useless objects.
What quality do you like most in a man/woman?
Trust, honor and loyalty.
What trait do you most despise?
Faithlessness and fickleness.
What are you most afraid of?
Being betrayed again. Betrayal can undermine a person in a way that a sword cut never can.
What do you value the most?
My honor without it I have nothing.
Trout in leeks and honeyed pears.
What would you consider your perfect night out?
The night is usually for raiding.
What was your first thought or impression when you met the person you fell in love with?
When I first saw my wife, I thought she was puny. It’s the Cameron blood. Ailsa is puny but she is determined as she likes to tell me.
What would you change about the person you fell in love with?
If I changed one thing about Ailsa then she would no longer be her and the woman I love. But she could argue with me less.
What do you like most about the person you fell in love with?
The way Ailsa sees the world. To her everything is bright and if it is not, she makes it that way.
What would you change about yourself?
That’s something you have to ask my wife. She’ll have a list. But there is nothing wrong with me.
Author Bio and Author Interview: Mageela Troche
An Air Force brat, Mageela Troche landed in New York City and wanted to leave the same day she arrived. Yet, with her stubbornness, she learned to like the place and the libraries were the main reason. Once she learned to read and write, she decided to be an author and an actress. Once in college, she changed her life plan in the pursuit of money. After all, college loans must be repaid.
With life’s twists and turns, she returned to writing and focused on the romance genre. Mageela Troche’s first break came when she sold a short story to a magazine. She sold two more before the publication of her historical romance novel The Marriage Alliance. She has gone on to write four more novels and a novella.
She is currently writing in the cramped corner of her Big Apple apartment. She is the proud owner of a Black-masked lovebird named Boobula. She loves to hear from her readers and can found online at MageelaTroche.com
When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?
When I was a child, I wanted to be a writer. I used to write stories. At the time, they were children stories and not the romances I write today.
How many books have you written?
I have written five novels and one novella with an e-publisher. Sadly that publisher closed so I am self-publishing the novels myself. The Marriage Alliance is my first novel.
How long does it usually take you to write a book?
I am pretty fast. I can write a book in three months with a lot of coffee, no interruptions and even less sleep.
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
Some might hate me for this answer but I don’t usually try to come up with ideas. They just come to me. An idea might come from a character, something I read or watch or a piece of information I think is really cool. Then I mull it about my head and develop it. That usually comes after asking myself what if and developing the character.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have so many favorite authors that range from Edith Wharton and Jane Austen to Sherry Thomas and
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
One challenge I have in writing is making such the emotions are true. I want my readers to feel the emotion whether it is tears, laughter and everything else.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I love to write in bed but I must admit that is not the best place from my concentration. But I wouldn’t mind writing in Edinburgh.
When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?
I’m somewhere in between those two options. My characters are developed but as I write I start to layer who they are because of scenes and background that I develop because of something I wrote inspired me.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
I wish. I’m envious of those writers who have a set goal from the day. I don’t have that. I write until I can’t think of anything for that day. When I did NanoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) I wrote the 1664 words a day to met the 50000 word count for the month. It was torture for me and I couldn’t write anything because I was so stressed about reaching the word count.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Making the story interesting
What is the easiest thing about writing?
Having finished writing.
Do you use images to develop your character’s looks?
Oh yes, I do. I like to look over the photos to see details or find something that intrigues me and my character.
Are your characters based on people you know?
No, they aren’t. So my family and friends can rest easy. But I will confess that my heroine Ailsa Cameron from The Marriage Alliance is somewhat based on me. That’s all I’m confessing to.
Do you use your experiences in your books?
You cannot write without drawing on your experiences whether its emotions or experiences.
Do you ever get writer’s block?
Not really. I might have a hard time with something for a short while but I know that is because of stress or pressuring myself to write a certain way. So, I try to let the stress go.
What do you think makes a good story?
Anything that makes the reader or me feel or entertain me. I want to do the same thing for my readers.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both. When I am about to write, I am filled with so much energy. I can’t wait to sit at my computer. Then when I have poured it all out then I am exhausted.
What has been one of your most rewarding experiences as an author?
I received a letter from a fan. I still have it and when I have moments of doubt I pull it out. I am glad to say that I am still in contact with my fan who is now a friend.
What do your friends and family think about you being a writer?
They all think it is cool. I never have to tell anyone I’m a writer because they do it for me.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
During those moments, I usually read or watch tv or spending time with my family and friends. Those non-writing times are just as important as my writing time because it helps me rejuvenate.
Do you like music or silence when your write?
I like music mostly. I do playlist for my books so I write to them or listen to Maria Callas. I love her. I do write in silence. Usually it’s because I’m mulling over an important scene.
Do you outline or do you just write?
I do outline especially those plot important scenes but other than those I just write those scenes.
Do you prefer pen and paper or computer?
Pen and paper are great for working out a difficult scene but I generally write on my computer.
Do you write as routine or do you write when you feel like it?
I write everyday whether I feel like it or not. If I’m not writing, I usually doing something that pertains to my writing whether it’s promotion or something else.
What do you love best about your current book?
I love my characters and how they interact with each other. I also love the funny moments.
What is your next project?
I plan to re-release my second novel, The Laird’s Right which is Alec Cameron’s story as well as a novel based in Mary, Queen of Scots’ court.
Find Mageela Troche