Book Title: Heart of the Highlands: The Beast (Protectors of the Crown Book 1)
Author: April Holthaus
Category: Adult Fiction, 326 pages
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Grey Eagle Publishing, LLC
Release date: July 2015
Tour dates: Nov 27 to Dec 15, 2017
Content Rating: R (for graphic sex scenes, and mild language)
For hundreds of years, Scotland has battled the English for their freedom. Now, they face a new enemy. In a divided world between politics and religion, the young King James V faces the threat of his own people rebelling against him. As civil war breaks out among the Highland clans, James recruits a secret group of warriors for protection. He calls them the Protectors of the Crown.
Ian MacKay has one mission; to defend the crown no matter the cost. Along with his men, Ian’s mission is to hunt down one of the most dangerous men in the Highlands. But when the daughter of an enemy enters his life, his heart becomes captured instead.
Keira Sinclair has lived a life of peace and simplicity until now. With her clan on the verge of losing everything, she is forced to wed a Laird from a neighboring clan to ensure that hers survives. During her travels to her new home, her carriage is attacked and Keira is taken hostage by a ruthless man.
Caught in the middle of a war that she does not understand, will Keira’s secrets be safe, or will she succumb to the Highland warrior who now threatens to capture her heart?
Why I became a Historical Romance Author.
My journey did not start the way many other authors have. I never aspired to become a writer and for most of my life, I never really enjoyed reading. Growing up in a broken family, I moved around a lot, bouncing from school to school and always struggled. From Kindergarten until the time I went to college, I had attended 13 different schools and moved to various suburbs outside the Twin Cities in Minnesota. So focused on my home life, I grew up wanting to care for others. At first, I wanted to be a doctor, then a nurse, then I became interested in caring for wildlife. But math and reading were always my worst subjects and I was unable to finish my bachelor’s due to my lack of comprehending calculus. Looking back, I am not ashamed of this because my life has steered me into a new direction.
My interests had always been sporadic. I loved the medieval era, romance and fantasy so when I came across Susan Paul’s The Bride when I was 19, I completely feel in love with the world she had written. I started looking for other Historical Romances similar to that genre and over the years had read hundreds of books. But even this did not make me want to be a writer.
It wasn’t until just before my grandmother passed away. She had started to put together our family tree and had all the names listed up to my 5th Great-Grandfather, Chief White Eagle of the Iroquois tribe from Quebec, Canada. During the French Indian War, his daughter Morning Star (my 4th Great-grandmother) married a name named Cpt. John Black. Their story intrigued me just as many other stories she had told me of my ancestors. Soon after she passed away, I began to finish her work and construct the family tree. Over the past 10 years, I have found over 400+ direct bloodline grandparents dating back to 900’s England.
My love for history grew. Together with my passion for romance, I came up with a story idea for a Highland Laird named Rory MacKinnon. The hero of my first book The Honor of a Highlander. After learning about self-publishing through some new authors I had befriended on social media, I obtained an editor and published my first story in September 2013 believing that no one who ever read it and I would never receive more than 3 stars. Within the first month, sales soared and The Honor of a Highlander became one of the top selling books on Amazon. I was floored. I could not believe the remarks and response that book had received. It was my readers that encouraged me to keep writing. And after 4 years, I now have 7 published novels and have plans for 4 more this coming year.
Praise for Heart of the Highlands:
“The Beast was a highly enjoyable romance.” – Readers Favorite Book Reviews
“Heart of the Highlands: The Beast reminded me why I love historical romances and need to read more of them!”- NightOwl reviews
“The romance was sigh-worthy.” – Kilts and Swords
“A new and exciting series.” – My Book Addiction and More
“Rich, Rich, Rich in detail. Well written and researched.” – World’s Best Story Judge
2017 Reader’s Favorite Book Award Honorable Mention
2016 World’s Best Story Award 2nd Place Winner
2015 RONE Award Nominee
Heart of the Highlands: The Beast is the first installment of the Protectors of the Crown Series. Here are the other books to follow:
Protectors of the Crown Series
Book Two- Heart of the Highlands: The Wolf; published
Book Three- Heart of the Highlands: The Dragon; 2018
Book Four- Heart of the Highlands: The Lion; TBA
Book Five- Heart of the Highlands: The Stag; TBA
This series follows a group of five warriors who live their life protecting their king and country. The historical setting is Scotland 1537-1538 during the reign of James V of Scotland.