Monday, November 11, 2013

An Exclusive Interview with Ceci Giltenan + Giveaway (Thank you, Authors! Thank you, Fellow Readers!)

Ceci Giltenan is a debut author whose book I featured in my Debut Novels of 2013 posts. She contacted me via email about her book and we started chatting about it. It was a wonderful conversation (and the longest I've had with any author -- the extent of my conversation with authors is usually "I loved your book. I'm a big fan!") but Ceci was very comfortable to talk to.

She's also a milestone for me because she featured my review of her book on her blog and she addressed my one niggle about the story. It's lovely that she took the time to read my review and to analyze my analysis of her book. ^_^

After my wonderful experience with Evelyn Pryce, I gathered up the courage to ask Ceci and she very kindly agreed to this interview. Since it's that time of the year of very significant holidays, I came up with themed questions below. (Indulge me. ^_^)

LStW: What was the inspiration behind Highland Solution?
Ceci Giltenan: I have always been intrigued by the concept of arranged marriages. I have a friend from India whose marriage was arranged by her parents. Once I asked her, “What if you didn’t like him or you didn’t get along?” She explained that it was her responsibility to make the marriage work. Her responsibility? That seems rather one-sided and unfair, however that was her family’s and her community’s expectation. I have read a lot of historical romances where the heroine was bold and defiant in the face of an arranged marriage and this never sits well with me. I suspect a medieval woman would have had to approach her arranged marriage in the same way that my Indian friend did. She would have to figure out how to make it work. So I threw a lovely, gentle young woman into a marriage with a flawed, emotionally damaged man and imagined what would happen.

LStW: (Halloween) If you could dress up as any character, real or fictional, who would it be?
Ceci: I would be a Fairy Godmother. I love the concept of Fairy Godmothers. A Fairy Godmother doesn’t sweep in to save the day; she just gives the princess a boost. Even if it is just a beautiful dress and glass slippers, it is enough to help the princess overcome the adversity.

LStW: (Thanksgiving) As a writer, what are three things that you are most thankful for?
Ceci: *My family. They provide an unending stream of love and support, without which I would accomplish very little.
*My editor. I wrote a good story. She added the polish to make it a great read!
*My friends and fans. Highland Solution is my first published novel. I had no real idea how to promote it, but several kind authors allowed me to be a guest on their blog and expose my new release to their fans. Their fans read my book, left great reviews and began to spread the word themselves. I couldn’t have reached so many readers without their help.

LStW: (Christmas) Do you have a favorite thing to gift friends for Christmas?
Ceci: This is a hard one. I do try to pick unique gifts that have special meaning for each person. I love angels. I have seen angels working in my life and frequently give angel themed gifts. However, until recently we lived in the northeast United States where the winters are cold and often gray. I loved to give plants that would bloom indoors in January, such as Amaryllis, paper white Narcissus, or tulip gardens.

LStW: (New Year) What's next for Ceci Giltenan?
Ceci: I am thrilled to announce that I just received a contract for my second novel, Highland Courage, which is scheduled for release in April. Highland Courage picks up the story of Tadhg Matheson, who readers meet in Highland Solution. I am also working on the third book in the series, which doesn’t have a title yet, but will focus on Fingal MacIan. I hope to complete it early in the New Year.

* * *

Niall MacIan, a Highland laird, desperately needs funds to save his impoverished clan. Lady Katherine Ruthven, a lowland heiress, is rumored to be “unmarriageable” and her uncle hopes to be granted her title and lands when the king sends her to a convent. King David II anxious to strengthen his alliances sees a solution that will give Ruthven the title he wants, and MacIan the money he needs. Laird MacIan will receive Lady Katherine’s hand along with her substantial dowry and her uncle will receive her lands and title.

Lady Katherine must forfeit everything in exchange for a husband who does not want to be married and believes all women to be self-centered and deceitful. Can the lovely and gentle Katherine mend his heart and build a life with him or will he allow the treachery of others to destroy them?

* * *

Ceci’s sixth grade class predicted that she would be an author. “But I want to be a nurse!” she said, in her typically bossy style. As it turns out, she became both. She started her career as an oncology nurse at a leading research hospital, and eventually became a successful medical writer. In 1991 she married a young Irish carpenter who she met at a friend’s wedding. They raised their family in central New Jersey and now with their youngest off to college, Ceci is breaking away from “primary efficacy endpoints” and writing a few “happily ever after’s.”

To find out more about Ceci Giltenan and her books, click below:

* * *

It's almost Thanksgiving and this is my way of saying "Thank you" to all the wonderful authors and to all the wonderful romance readers in the world.

Image from

As support for the authors, I'm hosting a giveaway for one copy of Highland Solution. (Fellow readers, this is a book you'll enjoy. I promise! ^_^)

*This giveaway is via Rafflecopter and is open to International Readers.
*This giveaway will run until November 18.
*One entry per household per IP.
*Rafflecopter will select 1 winner who will receive a Kindle copy of Highland Solution by Ceci Giltenan.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* * *

This has been an awesome, awesome experience so far and I'm incredibly grateful and amazed at the positive response fom the authors I've contacted. So that I could feature everyone before the end of 2013, this feature will now be every Monday and Wednesday of the week. (Which means, more fun interviews to read and more books to be won! Yay!)

So, drop by on Wednesday for the next interview and giveaway. ;-)


  1. Thank you for featuring me in this segment as well as for the lovely review of Highland Solution. I'm glad you enjoyed it and I hope some of your readers do as well. :-) Ceci

  2. Hi, Ceci!

    What an intriguing plot! I’m looking forward to reading it and thank you for the great giveaway!

  3. Congratulations on the publication of your first novel, Highland Solution! It sounds like a fascinating book and I look forward to reading it. Thanks for sharing the great interview.

  4. This sounds like an interesting read and I can't wait to read it. Thanks

  5. I do hope you all enjoy it. This world of publishing is completely new to me. I still giggle every time someone refers to me as an author and I am absolutely humbled by the fact that people all over the world have both read and liked Highland Solution. It is all a bit surreal. Fun, but surreal.

  6. Highland Solution sounds great! Thanks for sharing with us! (My husband might not be happy with my extended wishlist though. ;-) )

  7. Hi, Ceci!

    Thank you, again, for agreeing to this feature!

    Hi, all!

    Thank you for helping me welcome Ceci to my blog! I'm really excited to share her debut novel with a lucky reader this Thanksgiving. ^_^

    Have a great day!

  8. Sounds like an exciting book. I love historical fiction and historical romance, but then, who doesn't? Thanks for the post.

  9. Hi, how do you choose your names for characters?

  10. Ceci- What made you want to write about Highlanders? Do you have any personal connection?

  11. Meghan, I have always loved Highland romance. I started reading historical romance when I was a teenager. Although my family has been in the United States since the 1600s, I do have strong Scottish heritage so I started reading historical romance in Scotland and the Highlands and was hooked. There is something elementally romantic about the medieval Highlands so that is where I have chosen to set my first books.

  12. Mary, a lot of things come into play when choosing names for my character. I create a list of Gaelic names that I like. As I develop a character in my mind, I look through the list for a name that resonates with who I imagine. Sometimes the meanings of names come into play. For example, the horse that Niall gives Katherine is named Eachan, which means "brown horse."

    The boy Tomas is named after a dear friend's son, Thomas. Thomas is grown up now but when I imagined what Tomas looked like, how he would act, and what he would say, I imagined Thomas when he was little.

    Katherine's name has special significance. My mother-in-law (who I adored, God rest her soul) was named Katherine Giltenan. She possessed a quiet strength and humor that I truly admired. My daughter's middle name is Cathleen (the Irish Gaelic for Katherine), in honor of her Grandmother. She too is a loving, wise, compassionate woman. Katherine's character is formed using many aspects of both of these women who I love and respect.

  13. Wow! Great questions!

    And, Ceci, thank you for sharing these personal insights into the making of Highland Solution. ^_^

  14. They are great questions. So good in fact that I have featured them on my blog today. Thanks again for sharing my interview with your readers.



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