I am pleased to welcome, Dawn Marie Hamilton and Finn MacIntyre, the hero from Dawn’s newest release Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon. (Psst…and check out the end of this post. Dawn has graciously offered a Kindle version of Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon to one lucky person!)
Congratulations on the new book, Dawn. I’m so glad you and Finn could visit with me today.
Dawn: Thanks for having us.
Finn: Yeah, thanks. It’s a pleasure to meet another romance author.
Dawn, why don’t you provide us with a setup of the story?
Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon is the second novel in the Highland Gardens Scottish, time travel, romance series.
What happens when a twenty-first century business executive is expected to fulfill a prophecy given at the birth of a sixteenth-century seer? Of course, he must raise his sword in her defense.
Believing women only want him for his wealth, Finn MacIntyre doesn’t trust any woman to love him. When, during Scottish Highland games, faerie magic sends him back in time to avenge the brutal abduction of his time-traveling cousin, he learns he’s the subject of a fae prophecy.
Elspeth MacLachlan, the beloved clan seer, is betrothed to a man she dislikes and dreams of the man prophesized at her birth, only to find him in the most unexpected place—facedown in the mud.
With the help of fae allies, they must overcome the treachery set to destroy them to claim a love that transcends time.
Now, Dawn, I have a question for you first. This story has interesting elements that some people don’t necessarily believe in. Why don’t you tell us about them?
Dawn: We have time travel—in this case, to the past, scheming faeries, a mischievous brownie, a wily old wizard, and Elspeth, Finn’s ladylove, is the clan seer. When reading a story from the Highland Gardens series, one doesn’t need to believe in the reality of the fantasy elements, but be willing to let the fantasy and romance whisk them away to a world filled with possibilities.
It sounds almost like bringing out our inner child to remember all those things we used to believe in and dream about. Love it!
Finn, thank you for joining us. It certainly is a pleasure to meet you. Tell me about yourself, what do you do in your “normal” life?
Finn: I haven’t had a normal life since I met Dawn. (Anne laughs) Before Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon, I was the CEO of my family’s business consulting firm in Manhattan and on weekends, attended Highland Games around the country as a Scottish historical reenacter.
I’m curious. How did you and Dawn meet, and how did you convince her to tell your story?
Finn: My cousin Laurie had career burnout. Don’t roll your eyes, Dawn. I admit it. I was partly to blame for her severe stress. After all, I was her boss. Anyway, a local magazine did a cover story on me and named me the Most Eligible Bachelor in Manhattan.
Well, I can certainly see why (Anne fans self)
Dawn: Finn, you’re blushing.
Finn: Well, it was humiliating. Unfortunately, as soon as the magazine hit the newsstands woman started chasing me, wanting to trap me in an unwanted marriage. To put an end to the insanity, I left Manhattan and walked into Laurie and Patrick’s story, Just Beyond the Garden Gate.
Ah, yes, I remember Laurie and Patrick.
Dawn: I didn’t have much say in the matter. Finn is a persuasive alpha type.
(Anne laughs) Yes, I can sense that, too.
Finn: And I’m your favorite hero. Admit it.
Dawn: For now.
Can you tell us about the fae prophecy, Finn?
Finn: Rory MacNaughton is a local storyteller in the Anderson Creek, North Carolina area where my cousin went to live after her burnout. He often spins yarns about faerie folk. One of his tales is about a faerie-kissed, enchanted sword and a prophecy. Many thought it referenced my antique claymore because my sword has the same gemstone in the hilt. I never believed it. Boy, was I wrong.
Ooh, that sounds interesting. I’ll have to check it out. So, what’s it like to travel in time?
Finn: Unnerving. Frightening. Like spiraling downward into a bottomless pit.
That sounds scary as hell! I was on a ride recently that gave me that exact feeling. Didn’t like it too much. Dawn, were there any parts of the story you disagreed on or had a difficult time believing yourself?
Dawn: I’m open to most things magical, so I had fun writing Finn and Elspeth’s story. I smile every time I read it.
And, Finn, what about Elspeth? How did you two meet?
Finn: She appeared to me in my dreams, calling for me to come save her. I first met her in the flesh after traveling through time to Scotland 1511 and waking up in a bedchamber in Castle Lachlan with her leaning over me, looking like she wanted to taste me. In the most pleasurable way, of course.
You’re naughty ;) It must be so strange to talk with somebody from a completely different time. I would imagine you’d have completely different experiences and reference points. What were some of your more interesting challenges?
Finn: I had some experience with ancients from the first book, so when I landed in sixteenth century Scotland, I tried to speak as they did, though it was difficult not to slip in a modern word here and there. When they spoke Gaelic, I was at a complete loss. Since they thought I was from France, it wasn’t a problem. Elspeth is perceptive by nature and she noticed the strangeness of my speech early on and guessed I came from the same place as my cousin Laurie had in the first book. She didn’t give me away though, not until she thought she must.
I hope your cell phone didn’t ring. Can you image the roaming charges on that call? (laughs). I understand Elspeth has a special ability. Can you explain it to us non-time travelers?
Finn: My angel was the clan seer. She often had visions of what she perceived as the future. During one such vision, she somehow projected her thoughts to me, demanding I come save her.
I guess it’s a good thing you were available then. What qualities do you value most in a partner?
Finn: The most important is trust. I need to trust my partner and she must trust me. I’ve found the perfect mate in Elspeth.
And what turns you off?
Finn: Aggressive and greedy behavior, like that of Amy in Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon.
What’s next for you and Elspeth?
Finn: We plan to show up in another of Dawn’s novels. Perhaps the Christmas story she is working on.
Finn: You don’t know everything. You’re a pantser.
He’s got you there, Dawn! I have to say, I’m very curious now. How about sharing a sample with us?
Finn gripped the rowan staff in one hand and leaned against the castle’s outer wall, trying to catch his breath. The short trip from the garden left him weak. If his stamina didn’t return soon, he’d go crazy. He needed to be healthy and strong so he could go after Maclay. Then he must travel home before he did something rash concerning Elspeth.
He stopped again at the castle gate and gulped air to remain standing.
Motion on the bay caught his attention. Men rowed toward the castle in several small boats of the type made from skins and wicker, the kind Highlanders called currachs. When the crafts beached, he recognized Donald MacLachlan as the man jumped from one, strode across the pebbly beach and headed toward him.
Suddenly a weight slammed against Finn, knocking the hard-won air from his lungs. His walking stick flew from his hand as he fell to the ground. Pain shot from his thigh, to his groin, to his chest. Gasping for breath, he found Elspeth’s soft body entangled with his.
Her lush curves wrapped around him, filling his senses with all that was missing from his dreams. The scents of sunshine and roses intoxicated him. His hard-on was instantaneous.
Shit! He attempted to detangle their limbs and set her away from his ill-timed erection, but her body melded with his. She felt so right in his arms. He was tempted to hold onto her and never let her go.
Elspeth caught her breath. Everywhere Finn touched her as they tried to break apart, her skin tingled. When their gazes met, everything else faded away. The world reduced to only the two of them, and his mouth dipped toward hers.
His lips grazed hers and fire blazed through Elspeth to her toes, the moment lasting an eternity. Finn’s tongue pushed between her lips, seeking entrance. Her mind reeled. With little thought, she wrapped her arms around his waist and twirled her tongue around his. Passion. Unlike the minimal pecks she’d received from Alexander, Finn’s fierce kiss conquered, possessed.
She wanted more.
The sound of a throat clearing broke the spell, and Finn’s sinful mouth pulled away, leaving behind a fracture in the foundation of Elspeth’s expectations for the future.
How could she go on as before?
“Let me help you.”
She gazed up through the haze of awakened sensation. Uncle Donald stared at her, a sly gleam in his eyes. He reached a hand down and helped her rise before assisting Finn. Unstable on his feet, Finn leaned on her while her uncle retrieved the walking stick.
She swayed—not from the burden of Finn’s weight, but the desire awakened by their kiss.
~ ~ ~
Now, Dawn, I understand this book is part of a series. Would you like to mention the first book? Are they linked to each other?
Dawn: In the Highland Gardens series, the High-Queen of the Fae challenges a banished faerie princess to make three unlikely matches in order to regain her royal status. Just Beyond the Garden Gate is the first match—Patrick and Laurie’s story. The stories are related. They can be read as stand-alone, but would be more enjoyable read in order.
Check out when Dawn visited with Just Beyond the Garden Gate
Thank you so much Dawn and Finn. It’s been an absolute pleasure to visit with both of you today.
Finn: Our pleasure.
You can buy Just Beyond the Garden Gate here:
And Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon here:
Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon will be available for Nook soon.
Dawn Marie Hamilton dares you to dream. She is a 2013 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist who pens Scottish-inspired fantasy and paranormal romance. Some of her tales are rife with mischief-making faeries, brownies, and other fae creatures. More tormented souls—shape shifters, vampires, and maybe a zombie or two—stalk across the pages of other stories. She is a member of The Golden Network, Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal, Celtic Hearts, and From the Heart chapters of RWA. When not writing, she’s cooking, gardening, or paddling the local creeks with her husband.
To connect with Dawn Marie, visit
Dawn Marie is giving away a Kindle edition of Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon to a lucky commenter who answers the following question…
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