Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Seekerville Welcomes Guest Eva Maria Hamilton

Bring it on Speedbo!

Congratulations to all of you who have taken this Speedbo challenge! It will take a lot of hard work and mental power to get you through this, so with the release of my novel Highland Hearts this month I’m here to offer my publication story as motivation for you to get to those beautiful words: the end.

But first fill up your cups and plates at the buffet table with whatever you have been craving most – this is Speedbo after all and you’ve been working hard so you deserve it!

Now, let’s start at the very beginning… no wait, that’s a line from The Sound of Music… Ahem… Let’s fast forward past my formative years where I devoured books…

I wrote my first novel about five years ago. Back then, I wrote in complete isolation. I didn’t know the RWA existed or writer’s conferences or critique groups or any of the rest of this writing subculture. I just felt the need to write a story while I was bedridden during a difficult pregnancy – which is a whole other story!

Suffice it to say, when my daughter was born that sweet romantic novel got tucked away. But after a couple of years I pulled it out. I couldn’t just forget about it and I started editing it. Then I began scanning the internet, researching publishers and agents until I found something that I literally couldn’t believe was real – a library in a major city about an hour away from where I live was hosting a Romance Writer in Residence. I didn’t know what to expect from this but I knew I had to be a part of it. This seemed like divine intervention!

During the course of two months in the fall of 2009, I used this program as a crash course on the romance industry. In that time, I submitted a part of my manuscript to the Writer in Residence, Deborah Cooke. It was fantastic to have a successfully published author critique my work. And to top it off she thought it had potential! Seriously, I asked her – so this whole publishing thing isn’t just an online scam? She assured me it wasn’t. And how could I not believe her, she was in fact a case in point, being a New York Times bestselling author and all! And as the saying goes, she had never lied to me before! Lol

So all these people telling aspiring writers to read what they want to write wasn’t just a way to sell more books… Hmmm… Well I had been working my way through the classics for some years, but there was little chance that I would find a time machine to take me back to write along with Jane Austen, Charles Dickens or the Bronte sisters, so what should I read?

Again, the answer presented itself… Deborah had guest bloggers from all different genres of romance come by to chat and that is when I got introduced to Inspirational Romance thanks to Linda Ford and Lyn Cote. Needless to say I was hooked! I searched Inspirational Romance out on and joined that friendly community forum. And I read several titles such as A Forever Christmas by our very own Seekerville writer Missy Tippens who introduced me to this remarkable blog, which added to my knowledge of writing immensely and let me meet some fabulous writers both published and aspiring of course! And that’s why I didn’t just bring a batch of cookies today, you all deserve more, so I brought a whole buffet!

Anyway, back to that book. I rewrote it more times than I care to count but it never quite fit the line I was targeting. So in the spring of 2010 I wrote Highland Hearts with Love Inspired Historical in mind, but before I sent it in I submitted it to a couple contests to get some feedback. And then I waited. And waited, until I got that feedback. And then I revised. And revised. Lol By the end of 2010, a year after I started seriously looking into publication, I sent in my manuscript to Harlequin and I got “the call” in April 2011 with the news that Highland Hearts was set for publication nearly a year later in March 2012! So you see it can be done!

Here is the back cover description of Highland Hearts set in 1748 Scotland:

Logan McAllister survived years of indentured servitude in the Americas to reach this moment. Now he’s returned to Scotland, ready to redeem the secret promise from Sheena Montgomery’s father – that his years as an indentured servant would earn him Sheena’s hand in marriage. But when he arrives home, he learns that Sheena’s father has died, his contract has been lost… and Sheena is engaged to another man.

If anyone is interested in reading the first scene from Highland Hearts please follow this link: And if you would like to see the book trailer for Highland Hearts please follow this link: But then of course please come back!

Now I know from reading this blog we all have different paths to follow on the road to publication, but the one thing that is constant for all of us is that the only way to actually get a book published is to write one! So go for it! Do what you love to do – write! And let us know where you are in your writing journey so we can cheer you on!

And if you’d like to be entered into the drawing for a chance to win a signed copy of Highland Hearts please answer the following question: since I am always looking out for new names for characters, what are some of your favorite Scottish names, both first and last names, male and female? (Winner announced in the Weekend Edition)

Thanks again for having me on Seekerville today! I’ll be checking in to respond to comments so let the party begin!


Eva Maria Hamilton spent years studying people from all different areas of academia and brings that understanding of the human condition into each of her written pieces. An advocate for lifelong learning, Eva Maria Hamilton studied in both Canada and the United States, earning a diploma in Human Resources Management, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, an Honors Bachelor of Arts Degree in History, and a Master of Science in Education.

Today is another day of our March Speedbo. Find out more about Speedbo and our exciting weekly prizes here. Comment today for a chance to win! Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.


  1. Hi Eve Maria!

    I've been waiting for Highland Hearts to show up at our local Walmart (the only place in town that sells LI), and I'm still waiting!

    So do you have another book in process? (Of course!) Is it another highland novel, or are you writing about something else?

    Favorite Scottish names? It's hard to choose - there are so many interesting ones!
    Male: Duncan
    Female: Elspeth
    Surname: McPherson

  2. WOOOOTTTT!!! Welcome, Eva Maria!

    I am so jazzed to see a Seekevillian debut!!

    What a total kick!!!


  3. I hope you don't have to wait too much longer Jan! :)
    Duncan is a good name - I've already used it! :)
    Elspeth is very interesting - a version of Elizabeth, it means "my God is a vow"
    I like McPherson! Thanks for sharing those :)
    I am working on a proposal right now for another Highland novel that I am very excited about! :)

  4. Thanks Tina! Can't wait for the full party tomorrow! :)

  5. Well my favorite Scottish name is my husbands and now mine.
    He is from the "Kerr" clan.
    Our war cry is:
    "Late but in earnest" !
    Thanks for asking....

    oh, & I would certainly be interested in reading your book!

  6. Eva Marie:

    I deleted my comment since the name wasn't Scottish. :)

    But never fear, the coffee is still ready.

    And I enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing.


  7. Waving at Eva Marie as I grab a handful of items off the buffet and return to the Speedbo cave.

    Congrats on your first release!

  8. WOW!! I love that cover!!1

    I'm a huge fan (arms out wide) of Scottish literature, old and new.

    My maiden name (and publishing name) is Carmichael and my brother has visited our old, burned out castle. An eagle lives there now, and maybe some mice.
    Let's see: these are all family names... Mary, Rose, Isobel, Fiona.
    We also have McDonnel, Hammish, and Dumont. (I know the last one is originally french, but my g-uncle and g-father were both named Dumont.

    My father's name is Murphy. How's that for a good name?? Murphy Hammish Carmichael! My brother's name is Dennis Conrad, another one from the great- great uncles, but I don't think the names are actually Scottish. French and German, at the roots.

    I can't wait to read this!!

  9. Jan, there are a lot of Elspeth characters out in YA right now. The Red Queen is one. I think there's another in the LAsky's kid lit 'Wolves of the beyond' series.

    Hot name!

  10. We have the Scottish Festival every year here where I live outside of Highlands Ranch Colorado.

    Scottish Festival

  11. Jan! You have to read Karen Witemeyer's To Win Her Heart, if you haven't yet. There's a character in there named... Duncan McPherson. Seriously!!!

    Eva Maria, congrats on your debut novel! I have a finished one and thanks to Speedbo will have a second finished one at the end of this month. And it's being written with LIH in mind. I got 1,099 words today but need 2,300 more to catch up. I hope everyone else in Speedbo is trucking along and doing great. =)

  12. Congratulations Eva Maria!!!!

    SO exciting... Appreciate sharing your story too.

    Speedbo is coming along but could be faster... Still - doing more now than I have been. It's all good.

    Just got home from being a poll watcher at our elections. Thought I'd check in.

    Night everyone. *yawn*

  13. I like these names plus others. lol
    Duncan and Sheena McPhee

    Hi Eva Maria, I have Highland Hearts on my wish list and looking forward to reading. Congratulations
    Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  14. Good Morning Eva and Seekerville folks that are working so hard in Speedbo.
    scottish names hold a boldness to me, I like Tavish and Gawain for men and Katherine for a woman.
    thanks for sharing your start in writing that first book, seems there is more to writing a story then I ever thought.
    I would love to have chance to win this book.
    Paula O(

  15. Hi Eva so good to see you here.
    My friend loved Scotland and they named there three children scottish names.
    Bonnie Skye
    I think I like Hamish or Lachlan
    for a girl Kyla also my friends first name is scottish and nice, Robina.

  16. Good morning, folks. I must say I have even more respect for Ruthy. I am up early to write and then will be with the grandchildren for the day. I need a rooster and maybe some energy bars. Coffee, lots of coffee!

    Eva Maria, bedrest makes one creative, doesn't it? Been there and done that with my daughter. So glad you got TWO babies out of that bargain.

    My two favorite Scottish names are Logan and Sheena right now. Eva Maria has written a wonderful book. It may be one of the few I have seen where the cover exactly matches a scene in the romance!

    Yippee, Eva Maria!

    Peace, Julie

  17. The 'big' name in my ancestry is Forbes and our battle cry is "Grace Me Guide" although there are plenty that would dispute that during the Jacobite rebellion when the clan leader played both sides of the fence.

    I went to Wally world yesterday and there are never any of the historicals to be found. They either get snatched up the day they come in or they aren't there at all. I'll have to try for the kindle version.

    Congratulations on your debut, Eva Marie. What a treat! Sometimes I wonder how many books I could have written by now instead of rewriting the first one 50 times...

    The other Scottish names in my family are lowland names, not what you find in the romance novels, but I had Uncles named James, Alexander, John, Duncan, William...

  18. Favorite Scottish name? Logan, of course! ;)

    Logan has Norman, Scottish and Irish origins, so where it began is anyone's guess, but the Logans and Macks came here from Ireland and Scotland so I'm just plain Celtic!

    First name: Men... Ian

    Women: Anna or Annabella

    A story with Ian and Anna Logan... Now that's what I'm talkin' about! ;)

    Eva Maria, I'm so excited to see this book! Can't wait. I'm searching this week for yours and Regina's... I love to read new authors. To me, that's a huge indication of what a line is looking for NOW... Like you said so succinctly, study those new authors in the targeted line and that will help you find your spot!

    Loving the buffet! Thank you, Eva!

  19. Helen, darling, you know that Ireland and Scotland had invaders galore, right?

    Our claim to fame is that our women were delightfully enticing and the men stayed, married them and assimilated.

    Logan really truly may have come from Normandy, but my family came from Ireland and Scotland so if your Derek claims Scotland as his, I won't argue it, LOL! If we think about it, we can't all be named Adam and/or Eve, right?

  20. Eva--love your cover! What a great story. And i LOVE historicals--set in Scotland--yes--LOVE them.
    My fav Scottish names--well, Jamie will be forever etched in the mind after Outlander-I've always like the last name MacTavish--was that Jamie's last nameP Probably! Ha!
    I like the name Sheena from your novel-one of my friends named her daughter Sheena. I like the colors of the clans, too. That's always interesting to me.
    Inspiring post-thanks for sharing.

  21. Good Morning, Eva Maria! I love hearing about how authors worked hard and achieved publication--especially a Seeker Villager! I can hardly wait to read your first book! (I'll be haunting Walmart weekly!)

    I've always liked the name Ian.

  22. Oooo, I love the cover of your book! And I love anything Scottish and I hope one day to travel there!

    It is so hard to choose favorite names!

    Male: Ian
    Female: Fiona
    Surname: Anything with a Mc!!! McDougal, McKie, McIntyre...etc.

    I've been having SpeedboFail in hitting my daily goal BUT I have been writing EVERY day, which is an improvement!!!!!!

  23. Good morning Eva Maria and thank you for joining us in Seekerville. I loved reading about your road to publication. You are right when you say we all have our own special road to follow.

    Of course my favorite name would be Edward. Or maybe that's English. I know there were some Scottish men with that name.

    Blessings and have fun today.

  24. Love the cover of HIGHLAND HEARTS, Eva Maria! I can't wait to read the story!

    Favorite Scottish names: Jamie, David, Bruce, Malcolm (I guess I like kingly names).

    Going good on SpeedBo hit the 30,000 word mark yesterday for the entire time since March 1.

  25. Eva, congrats on your debut! I love reading about how people hung in there and kept working until they made their dream come true. It's inspiring for all of us!

    Seekers, I've read Highland Hearts, and it should definitely be on your TBR list :)

  26. Eva Maria!! Congratulations on Highland Hearts!!! Thrilled for you!! I'll be looking for your book.

    Thanks for your encouraging post. Takes me back memory lane, a longer path than yours. But it's fun to see how green we all are when we start the journey.

    Thanks for the buffet!

    Go SpeedBo-ers!!!


  27. Virginia, my mother's maiden name was Carmichael. Maybe we're related. :-)


  28. Hi Eva,

    Glad to wake up to your post today.

    Since, I'm fifth generation from Scotish ancestors, I'll have to go with Duncan and Jeanette because that was my great, great grandparents names!

    And surname....Ross, of course!

  29. Thanks for sharing your author journey! Love that you just went for it!!

    So -- Scottish names:

    Male: Bram -- it means bramble, also raven and the raven represents death or destruction. Wouldn't it be lovely to create a tortured hero who seems destined to live out the meaning of his name -- all prickley and gloom and doomy. Only the heroine won't let him, right?

    Female: Ellsie which means pledged to God. I used to go to school with a girl named Ellsie -- straight off the boat from Scotland. Love that name so much that's what I called one of my shetland sheepdogs. LOL.

  30. Great story. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

    I'm not sure if I know any scottish names. Does Scotty count as one? Lol.

  31. What a great story of your road to publication! Thanks for sharing and for giving encouragement. I love Scottish/Irish novels, and this romance sounds fun.

    Favorite names: Ian MacPherson
    I do love Elspeth. And Maggie.

    Congrats on the new release. I wish you success!

  32. Congrats on your debut novel, Eva Maria! Thanks for sharing your story, and please enter me in the drawing for Highland Hearts.


    I can go on!


  33. I absolutely LOVE Scotland. Not many other places in the world where you can walk down the streets of a city and have a gentleman say to you, "good mornin, lass." I loved how Edinburgh is so "walkable" from one end of the Royal Mile to the other. And the beautiful lochs. Castles. Winding roads through the heathered hills... :)

  34. Eva Maria, congratulations on your debut novel! I so enjoyed reading your story, thanks for sharing it. :) I think all the Scottish names I like have already been listed, so I won't repeat. :) Hope your next proposal is accepted!

  35. Morning, Eva Maria! Congrats!!! How exciting to have your book come out this month! This is definitely a book I want to read. I just placed it on my wish list. :D

    Where am I at?

    I've finished book 1, though I still go back and tweak it as I seek publication. My heroine's name is Beth (Elizabeth) Gallagher, btw. ;-)

    I'm working on book 2 and that's my SpeedBo goal - to reach the half-way point or beyond on my wip. If I can get down at least 2000 a day, I'll be a happy camper. So far, I'm just under 7600 for SpeedBo.

    More names:
    Another favorite name is Galbraith. LOVE that name! One of my pseudonyms is Rose Galbraith after a Grace Livingston Hill character.
    OH! My pastor is Scottish - Dr. Sinclair Ferguson. Now that's a nice strong male name! :D

  36. So happy for you Eva Maria!
    I'm looking forward to reading your book. I started posting at the LI sight when you were just about to get the call, so I feel like I've watched it unfold.

    Scottish Names:
    Female: Blair
    Male: Taran
    Surname: Irvin
    I like Irvin because my husband is adopted and when we found out his biological father was an Irvin we traced it on and found that my husband is a descendant of a king of Scotland. Because this particular line goes back to the time of creation it's all speculation, but my little girls are convinced they're princesses.

  37. OMIGOSH, EVA MARIA (uh, please note I got the name right this time!! And, Linnette, you're not alone -- I botched Eva Maria's name last time, too. Think I called her Ave Maria or something like that. As Ruthy would say, "oy").

    LOVED hearing your story, Eva Maria, and HOLY COW, love, love, LOVE that cover, girlfriend!!! Hubba Hubba on the hero, but missed the kilts till I read the blurb. :)

    The cover alone will sell a bunch, but I'm sure the story inside even more. SUPER CONGRATS on your release!!


  38. I'd love to read your book. Sounds great.

    Congrats on you debut.

    The only names Scottish names I could think of turned out to be Irish and Welch.


  39. Hi Eva,

    I would love a copy of the Highland Hearts...romantic location, romantic tension, romantic time. So, how about

    Male: Ayson McDoogal
    Female: Cameron Kellogg

  40. Oh, and my Speedbo is going well.
    Keeping with my goals.

    I planted my garden on Monday and now I can barely sit because the chair rubs the back of the thighs. Muscles feel like someone beat with a baseball bat. Pathetic.

  41. Oh and as far as where I am on the journey to publication: I'm waiting, waiting and waiting.

    Two manuscripts in the hands of editors. Each morning I clean out my spam box, just in case. I don't want anything getting lost. When the phone rings I jump (no one ever calls here except for my husband) and I know the sound of the mail lady's truck by heart.

    Speedbo has really helped. It couldn't have come at a better time.

  42. Glynna - You make me want to visit Scotland. Right now. Is there a magic carpet anywhere?

    Oh, and Julie mentioned kilts! There is NOTHING so grand and distinguished as a man in a kilt. Nothing.

    But my dear husband still won't wear one.

    My great-grandmother was a Cunningham, her mother was a McPherson - that has to be where I get my love for kilts and bagpipes.

  43. Jamie, I'm at the same place you are...checking my email every hour or so...keeping my phone charged and ready...

    And Speedbo is helping me keep my mind focused on the new project - just what I needed.

    I was doing well on my Speedbo goal until yesterday, when I spent my writing time in the waiting room of the car dealership waiting for a diagnosis on our sick car. Loose cable, and hours wasted.

    But it was only one day - I'm back to my normal routine today!

  44. Eva Maria, I can't tell you how exited I was to hear you'd sold!! I'm still excited a year later and CAN'T WAIT to read your book!

    I remember your story! I recognize the blurb and know I judged it in a contest sometime. It's that memorable! :)

    Thanks for joining us on the blog today! A very inspirational post.

  45. Congratulations on your debut.

    I love reading Scotish historicals.

    My mother, big on our ancestry, research our family tree so my favorite name would be Hendricks.

    The clan I'm from migrated to Ireland and then to the United States where they changed the spelling of their last name to Hendrix.

    My sister and I used to make up stories of why and who they were hiding from.

    Anyway my maternal grandfather's name is MacDuffie Hendrix. I think he was named for our clan, not sure about that.

    Putting your book on my TBR list.

  46. Eva Maria, you are one of our more quiet behind the scenes Seekervillians. Always there but quiet.


    Tell us a little about your writing schedule and I am dying to know about your time in the US going to school. (I AM NOT NOSY!!!)

  47. Oh I'm with you. I love Fiona for a female lead. And Duncan or Macdugal, nickname Mac for a guy.

  48. Honestly, between having a root canal today, wanting to relax on the beach in Seekerville with a good book, Barb's party in Iceland, and the frantic pace of Speedbo, I don't know if I'm coming or going, hot or cold, or just plain out crazy!

    Pam, the Whirling Dervish...

    I'm whirling off to the dentist office. Say a prayer!

  49. Eva Maria, the book sounds wonderful. I love highlanders. :) Must be the kilt???

    Thank you for your kind words about Seekerville. Part of your blog, where you talk about writing alone with no idea RWA was out there, is sooooo my story. Except this was before Al Gore invented the internet, or at least before I had it at my house!

    So it all took me a LOT LONGER.

    (yes, let's blame the internet for how long it took me. I can find happiness in that theory)

  50. And Eva Marie, I SO want to read your entire post, but it's got to come later in the day!

    Love your book cover!

  51. Romance Writer in Residence sounds like a super cool program. I can't believe your book is about out!!! *squee!!!*

    Congrats, girl!

    I like the name Ewan...makes me think of a certain actor. *grin*

  52. Eva Maria, how exciting about your debut novel!

    So, if I understand correctly, you sold the second novel you ever wrote.



    After Mary's Boot Camp post the other day, and all the confessions (including my own) about all the completed but forever unpublished books languishing in computer files everywhere, I'm trying to get my head around that.

    Actually, I'm trying not to cry!

    Seriously, Eva Maria, you are a shining example of doing everything right the first (or at least second) time! Kudos, kudos, kudos, girlfriend! The rest of us can learn so much from you!

  53. Eva, What a great summary of your book. I can't wait to read it! How can you not want to know what happened next?
    My favorite is Kinsey or McKinsey, I think it's Irish. Kinsey is my heroine's father's name in my WIP.

  54. I love scottish characters, too. I read once....some romance novel...the hero was half Scottish Highlander, half Comanche ... possibly the two greatest warrior nations in the history of the world.
    I've always loved that image of the alpha male warrior hero forced into a modern civilized world.

    Mac as a prefix is Scottish, right and Mc is Irish?
    So I haven't always been faithful to the Scottish reflex I have but in my heart, they're all highlanders. :)

  55. Brave Myra to mention the tears.
    I'm fighting them myself. Me and my twenty unpublished books.

  56. Helen, you deleted yours so I deleted mine :)

  57. Melissa, hope your Speedbo writing went well last night!

  58. Oh, and, my mom's dad is 100% Scottish.

    His parents came from the old country.

    His very SCOTTISH name? Frew?

    No romance there!

    Like Connor MacLaughlin would've killed him, huh?

  59. Virginia, that is just about the coolest thing seeing your family's old castle! I so want to see photos of that! :) And I love the name Carmichael! Thanks for coming up with so many names! I will need to print these :)

  60. Tina, thanks for sharing that link to the Colorado Scottish Festival! I'll be checking that out :)

    Nancy, good for you! Keep going, you'll catch up! :)

  61. KC, thanks! Glad Speedbo is working for you :) And good for you "ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country"! :)

  62. Congrats on your release, Eva Maria! You can't go wrong with a Scottish setting!

    I'm not real up on my Scottish names, since the family in my novel is Irish. I did A LOT of research into their names.(Deegan and Devany were my favorites!)

    But my grandmother's side is Scottish, so a few family names we have are McCosh and Blair (last names). My grandmother's name is Rheuvilla, which she claims is an old Scottish name handed down. It will not be handed down to my children!

    KRISTEN A, you are smoking on the SpeedBo!

  63. misskallie, there is a Sheena and a Duncan in Highland Hearts - so aye, I do like them :) Thanks for sharing McPhee it has a very long history :)

  64. Paula, Thanks for commenting! Such great names! Gawain means Little Hawk or White Hawk - that's cool :) Tavish means twin - I am getting all sorts of new story ideas just from these names :)

  65. Frew? I see a scene. Fiona slaps him and declares...


  66. Julie, Ave Maria is a great name, too.


    And glad you didn't SMACK ME for making fun of you.

  67. I love seeing Seekerville readers gain publication! So, so, so good!!

    I love the cover of your debut novel, Eva Marie and your story! :D

  68. Thank you, Mary. I feel better now.

  69. Congratulations on your publication - I love the cover!
    I like Alistair, Ishbel, Gordon - oh, and Jamieson (pronounced Jimmy-son)

  70. Wow, Rheuvilla. That sounds kind of like an offense to your grandma.

    My grandma's name was Adda Latta and she was called Latta.

    In the book I wrote based on her and my grandpa's marriage of convenience, I renamed her Adelaide and called her Addy. My mom wanted to know why I did that, what's WRONG with Adda Latta?

    It just wasn't ROMANTIC mom.

    Somehow everything I did with my grandparents' story just felt like LYING...instead of fiction.

  71. My family name works only as a punchline, thank you for reminding us all of that, Tina.

  72. What a beautiful story!


    Thanks for sharing & God Bless!

  73. MARY, yes, Rheuvilla sounds an awful lot like "rubella." I love my grandmother, but her name is dying with her.

    What makes it worse is that the "original" Rheuvilla (five or six generations ago) had a twin sister named Lucrezia.

    Yes, twin girls named Lucrezia and Rheuvilla.

    On the other side of the family, though, my great-grandmother and her twin sister were named Pearl and Opal. At least one side had sense.

  74. (I was unable resist, Mary. Drawn in by the Scottish DARK SIDE!)

  75. Attention Speedbo Participants. All 113 of you.

    A good time to check in. Midweek.

    What's happening in your Speedbo world and which prizes are you hoping for this week? Next Week's Speedbo Prizes are listed below.

    To be entered simply join Speedbo and leave a comment this week on any post. Tell us about your progress or Speedbo in general.

    March 10:
    Mary Connealy critique
    Tina Radcliffe critique
    Missy Tippens critique
    Debby Giusti Chat
    Ruth Logan Herne synopsis critique

    Any reader cheerleaders out there?

  76. Hi, Eva Maria!!! Your book, Highland Hearts, sounds really good!!! Definitely want to read it. And I enjoyed your story of how you wrote your first two novels, learned about the industry and writing, and go published!

    I finally got some words in for Speedbo. I'm at 1,500 for the month! LOL! Yes, I know that's terrible. But it is what it is. I will be finishing up this book, which is contracted and comes out next March, some time this month. Lord willing and a house doesn't fall on me, or something worse! LOL!

  77. I love the name Liam (as in Neeson). Also Ian...Alec...Angus too, for some reason, though it's not a great name for a hero, perhaps his best friend?

    Sheena is lovely, as you already know. Fiona is too. Both have been mentioned already. I don't know many other female names that are distinctly Scottish.

    I love McGregor, because Rob Roy is one of my all time favorite movies (Again with the Liam Neeson).

    Also McKinzie, in it's various spellings (this one is my sister's).

    Kincaid is another. The hero of my favorite Julie Garwood novel is Alec Kincaid. I suppose that's why both names made my list.

    I love Scottish romances. Highland heros always make my heart go pitter-patter.

    I would love to win a copy of yours, Eva Maria!

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

  78. As of yesterday my speedbo word count is 7008. I hope to add a couple thousand words this afternoon.

    I promised the kids homemade pizza for lunch but after that it all writing time.

  79. Eva Maria,

    Congrats on your book (from one Ontario gal to another).

    I wonder if we were ever at a TRW meeting at the same time? Haven't gone in a while and didn't renew my membership after I joined ACFW. But I remember the feeling of first going and meeting people who actually wrote books and had them published! Wow! I went to a Debra Dixon workshop before I joined the chapter and was blown away!

    Love your cover and the premise of your story.

    My grandmother's father was a Scot and his name was Donald Morrison. Not to exciting for a hero's name, but I'm throwing it out there.

    Sick with a cold today. The Speedbo is not going as well as I'd hoped. I don't know these characters well enough yet - I think that's the problem. Plugging on....

    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  80. Jenny, Thanks! Thanks for all the great names you suggested :) I will have to look them all up!

  81. Julie, it's funny that it's called bedrest, because there was nothing restful about it! :)

    lol Logan and Sheena! ;)

    Have fun with your grandkids today!

  82. Debra, Forbes means field. How cool that you know your families battle cry and can trace your ancestry back to the Jacobites!!

    You rewrote your novel 50 times - ouch! I understand that merry-go-round :)

    But I disagree, I like those lowland names! :)

  83. Ruthy, what can we say about the name Logan - it seems strong and yet gentle at the same time :)

    Aye, there is lots of cross over between the Highlands and Ireland :)

    Ian, is good - I used that :)
    Annabella - I love! But to fit my time period I'd probably have to go with ANNABEL

    Thanks for seeking out my book! I hope you like it :)

  84. Lindi, thanks for visiting :)

    I like Jamie it means supplanter - perfect for a villian :) And back before the 19th century it would have only been for a boy :)

    MacTavish - that name has a very long history :)

    How sweet that your friends daughter is named Sheena :)

    And I love tartans too :)

  85. Glynna, thanks!!! I hope you find my book soon :) I like Ian too and used it in Highland Hearts :)

  86. Sherrinda, thanks! I hope you get to go to Scotland one day!
    Thanks for the names! I like anything with Mc or Mac too :)
    Glad your writing everyday - even if you're not hitting your goal you'll still have a good amount by the end of the month :)

  87. Sandra, the road to publication is funny how it is so different for everyone and even the road after publication varies greatly :)

    The Scottish version of Edward is Eideard :)

  88. Thanks everyone for all these names! I'm loving them!

  89. Kirsten, congratulations on getting to 30k!! Good for you! Keep writing! You're well on your way to writing "the end" :)

    Kings names are good! Thanks for sharing them :)

  90. Mia, thanks!!

    So glad you enjoyed Highland Hearts!!! Thanks for recommending it!

  91. Janet, thanks!
    Aye, there is a lot to learn! :)
    Hope you find the book and enjoy it :)
    How neat that you and Virginia may be related ;)

  92. Rose, 5th generation, neat!
    I used Duncan and the surname Ross in Highland Hearts! :)
    There are three Scottish variants for Jeanette - Jessie, Sìneag, Teasag - thanks for the names :)

  93. Kav, thanks!
    I see I'm not the only one who can weave a tale around a person's name! Fascinating isn't it? :)
    I love Bram - raven.
    Elsie is also giving me Scottish names such as Beileag, Lileas, Lilias, and Lillias.
    I've had two Shelties Kav - I love that breed! :)

  94. Uh... is William Wallace Scottish?

    Cuz that's all I got ;).

    And if it's wrong please take pity on the poor unfortunately, Scottishly ignorant one and enter her anyway?!

    Will definitely be keeping an eye out for this one too :D.

    All while trying to get my Speedbo count where it should be... ;)

  95. Annie, thanks for stopping by! Of course Scotty counts! :)

  96. Emily, thanks!! I'm glad my post encouraged you :)
    MacPherson and Elspeth keep popping up today...hmmm! ;)
    Highland Hearts has an Ian and a Maggie! :)

  97. Whitney, thanks!
    That is a great list! Thanks again! And if you want to go on please do!!! :)

  98. Eva Maria, if you want to see this pics, we're facebook friends, right? My brother is Dennis Carmichael and his photo album 'Edunburgh' is public, I think. If we're friends I think you can head over there some time and check out the pics. My favorite is the eagle nesting at the top!

    My brother knew it was burnt out so he brought his climbing gear and scaled the walls to get up to the upper floors. *shhh* Don't tell the magistrate!

  99. Glynna, can you believe that at one point in history Scotland was seen as anything but beautiful, it was completely despised!
    Always nice to be called a lass ;)

  100. Janet, if we're related, you can be my claim to fame!! :D

    Tina, hahahahaha! You frew me for a loop...

  101. Jeanne, thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoyed reading my story! Thanks for stopping by! :)

  102. Linnette, thanks!! I hope you enjoy Highland Hearts when you read it :)

    I like your heroine's name!
    2000k per day is a quite a good goal! Go for it! I hope you make much farther then half way ;)

    Galbraith has a very long history too! Nice pseudonym :) Aye, your pastor does have a strong sounding name!

  103. Jamie A, thanks!!
    That's neat that we get to watch each other's lives and careers progress! What did we do before the internet? ;)

    I love that your lasses think they're princesses!!! What a great family story! So cool!

  104. Julie, thanks! And yes, name correct, check ;)

    Yes, that dress act where they couldn't wear kilts started in 1746 and lasted until 1782! :(

    Thanks again Julie! :)

  105. Connie, thanks!
    It acutally feels like Spring here today - I'm loving it! Hope your muscles ease up soon! Glad you're doing well with Speedbo! Keep at it :)

  106. Eileen, how about Eileen? lol That's a great name! Thanks for sharing the others :)

  107. Jamie A, 2 manuscripts out - congratulations! Fingers crossed :) Keep us updated!
    And good luck this month with Speedbo! Knowing everyone else is writing is great motivation to keep going :)

  108. So far I've accomplished 1161 words for SpeedBo today! :D

    Frew. :) *giggle* Loving all the Frew jokes. ;-)

    Mary Connealy, I dove through Calico Canyon and straight into Gingham Mountain. Thanks for distracting my SpeedBo! *rolling eyes at self* I haven't let myself pick the book up today, though. I will have self-control. I will! I'm dying to visit Grant's ranch, but I WILL wait!

    Okay. Maybe not...

    Thank you! :D
    BTW, I love Scottish Highland type romances. I've read both of Jennifer Hudson Taylor's and LOVE them! I'm sure I'll love yours too! :D

  109. Jan, nothing beats the sound of bagpipes! :)

    I'll keep my fingers crossed for you too! The waiting with crossed fingers never seems to change ;)

  110. Missy, thanks, thanks, thanks!!!

    I hope you'll enjoy the book when you get a chance to read it, but for now if you get a moment read the acknowledgement page off Amazon - your name is in there, along with Seekerville ;)

  111. Bridgett, thanks!

    I have cousins on my husband's side whose last name is Hendricks :)

    Great family history! I find that stuff absolutely fascinating! :)

    Thanks for adding more names to my list :)

  112. I tried to post last night but when I hit the submit button, the Internet said no go. Took me until this morning to figure out one of the dogs unplugged the router.

    Eva, I think you are my new best friend! LOL! I will be hitting the bookshelves asap!!!! I love Highland stories. They are, in fact, my first love. I've finaled in several contests but have always been told the market for Scottish historicals in the mainstream is pretty tight. That's okay. I think God has bigger things in store in the inspirational world.

    I have a slew of Scottish names- I have one Scottish complete ms and one partial with two others fully plotted. If I gave you my favorite Scottish names, I'd be giving away my secrets. *g* But you can never go wrong with Ian. My heroine used to be Fiona but I realized there were a lot of Fionas out there so I changed her name to Soifra.

    Congratulations on your book. I hope to see many more.

  113. Hi Eva Maria,
    So glad you found Seekerville. Our win for sure!

    Congrats on your debut. Love the cover and blurb! A MUST READ!

    I brought iced tea and fresh fruit for an afternoon pick-me-up for everyone who is working hard at SpeedBo.

  114. I love Scots stories! It was good to see your post. I'll look for Highland Hearts (or win it?)!
    My finished novel (not my project for Speedbo), is The Tenth Month, in which one of my characters is
    Arran Wallis (for the Isle of Arran where his parents honeymooned, and Wallis as a form of Wallace.
    His sister is Cameron for their mother's clan.
    Lamont is my clan and my son's middle name.
    Blessings on your work.

  115. Tina, thanks, I think ;) lol

    My writing schedule right now is lacking but I know that will change after my debut month is over. I am so ready to get these fingers flying over this keyboard! But usually I either write in the morning or the evening, sometimes if I can I'll sneak in time during the day. I'm pretty flexible, so I don't hold myself to certain hours, I just go with the flow :)

    I went to school in Amherst, NY. I know you know where that is since you live nearby :) I actually only live about an hour from the US border. I got my masters degree in the US over almost a two year period so I feel like I lived in the US for a couple years :)

    And if you want to pick my brain - go ahead! :) I don't consider it nosy - just sociable :)

  116. Pam, I'll add you to my prayer list! Let us know how it went if you can! Hope it doesn't hurt!

  117. Mary, thanks!!

    I remember when you wrote about your journey and I know I thinking oh good I'm not the only one :)

    Yes, blame the internet! The Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) was invented in 1982 - why did it take them so long to popularize it? Didn't they know us writers needed it! lol

  118. Jessica, thanks!!

    Can't wait to see you go through your debut month in April!

    That was the first time that library ever had a Romance writer for the residency and Deborah Cooke did an amazing job!

    I used Ewan in Highland Hearts :)

  119. Hi Eva Maria,

    I would love to win one of your books. The photo's of Scotland I have seen are beautiful, would like to visit sometime.

    Scottish names I like:

    Elspeth (was in a book I read-the story line was in Scotland and have liked the name ever since)

    Kerr (my mother's maiden name was Carr-a form of Kerr I am told-doing genealogy on family)

    McLintock (from favorite John Wayne movie)

    Blessings, Tina

  120. OMG you went to Buff State?

    Hello, Amherst, that is like blocks from my high school, Kenmore East.

    My aunt still lives in Amherst. I grew up in Kenmore/Tonawanda. SMALL WORLD.

  121. Loved reading your story, Eva Maria. It give me hope. :)

    I'm Irish in background, married to a Scotsman. Now that's a combination and a half! I have a friend named Morag who has always typified the Scottish in my mind. I'm also partial to Heather... Morag has a daughter of that name, as do I.

    I've been trying to keep up with all the comments, but had better get back to my writing. I managed to revise three more chapters yesterday, but am slow getting started this morning. ::snitching goodies from the generous buffet table on my way past::

  122. Myra, thanks! You're making me blush! But, please no crying! Publishing isn't a linear industry, it has ups and downs, twists and turns and we can all learn from each other :) I know I've learned a lot from everyone on this blog!

  123. Donna, thanks! lol
    I like Kinsey - good luck with your WIP! :)

  124. Mary, you just published one of those seemingly unpublishable stories so who knows what the future will hold for the others! :)

  125. lol Mary!

    Frew, can be heroic - Holt Renfrew is a high-end department store in Canada that I've always liked the name of :)

  126. Congratulations!

    As for names

    Ian MacGregor
    Laura MacKenzie

    Jodie Wolfe

  127. Watched your book trailer, Eva Marie! Wonderful! Dying to read it. I LOOOOVE to read about ANYTHING Scottish.

    Let's see. Scottish Names:




    Thanks for sharing your story! Very encouraging!!

  128. Stephanie, thanks!

    Rheuvilla... how do you pronounce that? I can't find the meaning or the origin of that name! So therefore even though you may not want to give it to your daughter I'm pronouncing cool and if you don't agree at least you can't deny that it's unique, right? :)

  129. Ah, me lassies, all this Scottish talk has brought out me brogue...

    Can we talk about Scotland without mentioning Sean Connery?

    And no one has mentioned "Monarch of the Glen" - a Scottish soap opera, to be sure, but the scenery is beautiful...

    And you must listen to this music on Youtube - 'twill bring tears to your eyes, longing for a peat fire and oat bannocks...

  130. Ruth, you can't go wrong with Ave Maria - it's a beautiful song :)

  131. Casey, thanks!
    I always love seeing those I know get published! And I'm always wondering who will be next! ;)

  132. Alison, thanks! Those are all great names! Thanks so much for sharing them!

  133. Pamela, thanks! And thanks for stopping by! :)

  134. Stephanie, that's a lot of twins in your family - watch out! ;)

  135. Melanie, thanks! And I'm not going to worry about your word count - with so many published books out I have every confidence in you to get this one done too! :) Good luck!

  136. Andrea, thanks!

    You've come up with a great list! Angus is actually the name of Logan's brother in Highland Hearts! lol

  137. Jamie, good luck on your word count tonight! Check back in if you get a minute to tell us how you did! No pressure though :)

  138. Susan, thanks!

    I just joined the TRW for the first time this month!!! I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone from there, they seem like a great bunch!

    Thanks for the name Susan! Isn't it fascinating how many people trace their ancestry back to Scotland? I guess that's why there's a book out about how the Scots revolutionized the world ;)

    Sorry to hear you're not feeling well Susan, hope it passes soon because we are having some fabulous weather in Southern Ontario!

    Writing can go up and down, hopefully it will come together for you and then the words will pour out! :)

  139. Carol, yes William Wallace is Scottish! :)

    Good luck with Speedbo!

  140. Tina, I have only written 7000 words but am making sure I write daily. Got up this morning at 5am to flesh out a scene. Never would have done that before Speedbo. Oh, I used the O word. Thanks for the check in.

  141. Tina, I have only written 7000 words but am making sure I write daily. Got up this morning at 5am to flesh out a scene. Never would have done that before Speedbo. Oh, I used the O word. Thanks for the check in.

  142. Virginia, yes we're friends on fb and I found your brother but not the pics :( If it's not too much trouble can you message me the link in fb! Thanks if you do :)

  143. Linnette, you're welcome and thanks! I loved Jennifer's first novel too (haven't read the others yet!)

    1161 words - yay!

  144. Christina, my new best friend - that's funny and yet I'm sure it was frustrating not knowing why your internet wasn't working!

    That's the right attitude Christine - keep at it :)

    And I understand completely! :)

  145. Lois, thanks! Thanks for sharing those names and their importance to you! Good luck with your writing! :)

  146. Mrs Tina, thanks for your list of names! I used the name Kerr in Highland Hearts! :)

  147. This comment has been removed by the author.

  148. Tina, you may just be the closest Seekervillian to me :) And yes - Very small world! :) But no I didn't go to Buff State, although I drove by it enough! I went to Daemen College, they had a program geared to Canadian students.

  149. YAYAYAYAY!!! What a great story, and I am so excited for you!

    Highland Hearts sounds wonderful. I love me a good Scots story. Must be the Celtic blood.

    My favorite Scots names: Calum, Niall, Jamie, Kirsty, Meghan. For last names, I'm partial to the ones in my own family tree. Mason, Wallace, Sinclair.

    My favorite fictional hero is Scots, from the Dick Francis mystery To The Hilt. His name is Alexander Kinloch. :)

  150. Congratulations. Yours is a wonderful success story. Thanks for the motivation.

    Your book's cover alone would draw my attention; the back cover description would cinch the sale.

    As far as Scottish names go, how about Kenna? And Knox? They're both strong and appear little used.

    I'd love to be included in the drawing.


  151. Carol J, I'm so glad and thanks! :)

    Morag means great and interestingly Heather wasn't used as a name until the 19th century!

    Good luck with your writing today, you seem to be getting a lot done!

  152. Lois, Malcolm is a strong name! Thanks for adding more names :)

  153. Jodie, thanks! And thanks for adding those names :)

  154. Natalie, thanks! I'm glad you found it encouraging!

    I'm so glad you like my book trailer! If you get a chance to read Highland Hearts all those images have meaning to the novel! :)

    Great list of names! :) Thanks so much for sharing them!

  155. lol Jan!

    Sean Connery didn't show up until 2:41pm! Where are all the James Bond fans? :)

    I loved the show Monarch of the Glen!

    And thanks for the link :)

  156. Thanks to Jan I know have bagpipes playing in the background as I write this! :)

  157. Erica, thanks!!!

    Great list! Thanks for sharing it and for stopping by!

  158. CaraG, thanks so much!

    So glad you found the post motivating!

    Kenna is a great name, lots of possible variations :)

  159. Wow!! A LIH novel set in my fav place, fav time period!! Would love to win a copy, but will have to buy me one in any case ;)

    Thanks for the encouragement on this rocky road to publication. Keep on trudging, praying, and most of all, writing :)

    Fav Scottish names?

    Guy - Hamish (begged my hubs to name one of our sons this wonderful Gaelic name, to no avail)
    Gal - Ainsley (or maybe Fiona, it's a close tie)
    Last Name - Cameron!!!!! (yeah, it's a clan thing)

  160. Och, I'm with you on the kilt thing, Jan D. Swoon.

    Actually bought my hubs one on our last trip to Glasgow, in his family tartan and complete with ghillie shirt, etc. Authentic and soooo worth the investment, even if he only wears it for me ;)

  161. Diana,

    "Keep on trudging, praying, and most of all, writing." That is a great motto to have always! Thanks for reiterating it!

    And thanks for your list of names! Would your husband agree to Hamish for a pet's name? :)

  162. Virginia, you're your own claim for fame!

    I wish I had time to research all sides of our family geneology. I love history, especially family history.


  163. Hi Eve Maria,
    Congrats on the new LI book. I'd have to say my fav Scottish boy names belong to my grandson's Bryce and Brady (which means second son, BTW). And my son's name is Ross, which is a fav too.

  164. Lyndee, thanks! Those are all great sounding names! And you have good reason to love them! Thanks for stopping by :)

  165. Congrats Eva Maria, on your book! Looks amazing! I will be looking for it on the Wal-Mart shelf very soon!

  166. Eva Maria, I would pluck that book from the shelf based on that cover. Furthermore, I'd buy it :-) Congratulations -- and thanks for the inspiration of your story.

    Favorite Scottish names (based on some research I did a while back):
    Girl: Kelcy, Maisie,Ailsa, and Ilsa.
    Boy: Leith, Edan, Britt, Tevis/Tavis, Calen
    Last name: Dundas, Lindsay, Cameron, McIlroy.
    Sidenote: this was a helpful resource:

    Tina, "I'm so frew with you" ... thanks for the laugh. Status update: pleased with the quality but hoping for more quantity. And which prize? As in 'choose the favorite child'? :-) Seriously, what prize wouldn't be wonderful?

    Oh, and someone mentioned Ontario. Do you know about the Kincardine Scottish Festival and Highland Games? Well worth seeing. The last evening, the pipers lead a parade (everyone invited) up and down one of the main streets.

    Okay, back to the keyboard. You folks are great inspiration.

    Nancy C

  167. Faye, thanks! I hope you'll like it! :) Thanks for stopping by!!

  168. Nancy C, thanks! You made me smile! :)

    And now you've given me a huge list plus a link - Wonderful! Thank you! :)

    I've never been to the Kincardine Festival, but I should try to somehow swing that with a cottage stay ;)

    Good luck with your writing Nancy!

  169. Hi, Eva!

    I am sorry it took me so long to get here. I pre-ordered your book back in mid-February and tried to download it several times. However, I couldn't do it until March 1st. (This means I don't need to be in the drawing.) I have started reading it and it's great.

  170. Enjoyed the post, Eva Marie. Congrats on your new release! Woohoo! I love Inspirational Romance Historicals, so I'll be on the lookout for it.

    Scottish names:
    Male - Tam (short form of Thomas)
    Female - Aileas
    Last name - Kirk (mean church)
    I have Kirkman relatives, so I'm assuming that they were "church men" at some point.

    Congrats again! Keep Speedbo-ing!

  171. Thanks Walt! I am so happy to hear you're enjoying Highland Hearts!

    Funny, I pre-ordered my book, along with others way back in November and I haven't gotten those yet, but I got the ones I ordered from Harlequin last month :) Every store seems to have its own release date :)

    Anyway, thanks for coming by :)

  172. Rebecca, thanks! I hope you find it and enjoy it! :)

    Great list of names - thanks for sharing those!

    And good luck to you during Speedbo! :)

  173. There is a drawing? I wasn't sure. Please count me in. :)

  174. Oh! And I made it as far as 1839 for the day. Had to run and play mom for a while. :D

    Woot! SpeedBo is doing it for me! Maybe I should SpeedBo every month. Hmm...

  175. Eva Maria,

    In case I don't get to stop back in, I wanted to thank you for spending so much time with us today.

    We'll all be looking for your release! We can yell "I KNOW HER!!"

    Tina Radcliffe

  176. Thanks so much for having me be a guest today Tina! It's been lots of fun! I love chatting with everyone and it was nice to set aside a day to do that :)

  177. Scottish names:
    That's an easy one since my ancestors are McGregors. :-)
    So for surname: McGregors as the clan name, and Davis as the family name.
    Male: Gavin or Tavish. Blake if you chose Gaelic.
    Female: Catriona or Iona.

  178. Hello Eva Maria!! So wonderful to see you here (sorry I'm so late joining in--FULL day). Thanks for this encouraging post, and your book is BEAUTIFUL! Congratulations! Since LIH are my favorites, I'm looking forward to reading your book (and feel sure you'll have many more coming out in the future!). ~ Favorite Scottish names: Male: Finlay Female: Annabel Surname: MacDougal ~ Thank you again for sharing today! Blessings, Patti Jo

  179. Daphne, thanks for adding to the list! Great names! :)

  180. P.S. Speedbo update for moi: Am continuing to polish ms (it was completed before S'bo started); Working a LOT on it daily, then after it's finished (hopefully by tomorrow!) I'm digging in to a NEW one! ~ Back to my polishing, PJ ;)

  181. Thanks Patti Jo! Glad you stopped by! And thanks for the name suggestions! :)

  182. Thanks everyone for coming by today! I can't wait to find out who wins a copy of my novel Highland Hearts! I'm saying goodnight, but I'll stop by tomorrow to see if there are any more comments! :)

  183. Hi Eva Marie, slipping in just before the pumpkin hour. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I'm really looking forward to reading your book.

  184. Laura AKA Loves 2 Read RomanceMarch 7, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Hi Eva Maria!! I just got here and wanted to say Congrats on your first novel! I haven't seen it at my Walmart yet but once I do I'll be sure to grab it!!


  185. Congratulations, Eva! Your book sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  186. MaryC, thanks! I hope you like it and thanks for stopping by! :)

  187. Hi Laura! Thanks! That's wonderful! If you can take a photo and I'll share it on my social media :)

  188. Thanks for the kind words PatriciaW!

  189. I'd love to read HIGHLAND HEARTS. I like the names Hamish & Catriona & for a Surname just put a Mc or Mac in the front & I'm happy.


  190. Thanks for stopping by Marybelle and for adding more names! :)

  191. Thanks to everyone who stopped by!

    The names everyone posted were wonderful!

    I had fun chatting with each and everyone of you! :)

    God bless!