Blurb: (from goodreads) When Innes Buchanan inherits the title of Laird, he is entrusted with the Scottish family estate, the ancestral home, and centuries of noble tradition. Sadly, he also inherits the family bank balance which, after death duty, is crumbling faster than the walls of their ancient castle.
After exhausting even the most unlikely of cash generating alternatives and with bankruptcy on the horizon, Innes stumbles across one last initiative, a research scholarship in Texas to establish a new herd of cattle. With a lifetime of sheep farming and no room for failure, Innes’s luck returns on a chance encounter with Orley MacKenna, a born and raised Texan cowgirl who needs little convincing to leave her past behind. Though a likely couple, the two settle for an unlikely business partnership, and return to Scotland to try and save the Buchanan fortune.
Told with timeless Scottish romanticism and a knowing sense of humour, Bagpipes and Bullshot twists an everyday love story with a whole cast of village eccentrics who integrate seamlessly into a fantastic play on rural life.
Vacationing on the beautiful Caribbean island of Antigua, Janey Sinclair is persuaded by her magazine editor boss to do a quick island hop in order to supervise an impromptu photo-shoot for the front cover. With no flights immediately available, Janey is directed to the harbour.
Captain Travis Mathews hates tourists, although he’s not above making a bit of money off a prissy and sharp tongued young British girl when she’s desperate to get to the neighbouring island of Tortola.
After striking a deal, they set off together in Travis’s weather-beaten old boat. When the vessel comes to a sudden full stop in the sea, the mismatched pair end up as castaways on an uninhabited island.
In this fast moving romantic adventure about a vacation that turns into a tropical nightmare there’s more fun than you’ll find in any travel brochure.
A message from Janice:
I was incredibly fortunate to spend most of last summer in the Caribbean, writing and researching my latest novel Castaway in the Caribbean. The Virgin Islands inspired me with the modern day setting for this romantic adventure novel because, of this chain of around ninety small islands, islets, cays and rocks in the Caribbean Sea, many are uninhabited. For proper research I got to sail around Tortola, the larger of the British Virgin Islands, in a restored schooner that had been used in the filming of the original Pirates of the Caribbean movie. To better write my story and to develop my plot, I explored many other Caribbean islands, tropical jungles, and cave systems.
You may be interested to know that in one of the pivotal scenes my heroine, Janey, has to climb up a tall and rather perilous waterfall. A couple of chapters later, she then has to get down that same waterfall and to do so she has no choice but to throw herself from the top and into the raging flow of water by way of a series of naturally formed ‘flumes’ in the rock. I described the scene – and the sheer terror of my poor heroines’ experience, through her point of view and that description comes from personal experience! When I was on the tropical rainforest Caribbean island of Dominican Republic, where they filmed the Jurassic Park movie, I did indeed climb up and jump from several tall waterfalls – although unlike my heroine I was wearing a life vest and a helmet to protect my head!
Many of my other experiences while researching in the Caribbean are well documented on my website at janicehorton.co.uk and on my blog and Facebook page too, if you are interested in reading the details and seeing the photos!
I eventually settled down to write this romantic adventure story on the Caribbean island of Utila, the smaller of the Bay Islands, just off the coast of Honduras. Likened to the Key West of long ago, Utila is a quaint, unspoiled and laid-back little island. Sitting on the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere, it is also a paradise for scuba diving, which is exactly what my husband was doing every day while I was busy writing this story.
Research is a valuable tool for a writer, so I do hope all the fun and adventure I had in the Caribbean has found its way into the pages of Castaway in the Caribbean.
Love Janice xx
Janice Horton writes contemporary romantic fiction with a dash of humour and a sense of adventure. Look out for Janice’s new release for 2015 ‘Castaway in the Caribbean’ and her Amazon Kindle bestselling books ‘Bagpipes and Bullshot’ and ‘Reaching for the Stars’ and her fun ‘Voodoo Romance’ series of novellas. Her nonfiction guide to online promotion ‘How To Party Online’ is recommended reading for all authors and writers by publishers. Janice is a regular blogger from her website at janicehorton.co.uk and you’ll also find her on Facebook and Twitter.
Janice Horton – writer of romantic adventure novels
Robbie Burns Night Celebrations with Janice Horton
I’m so glad you were able to work me into your busy schedule, Janice. You’ve been snap-gapping all over the place of late so I’m thrilled to have you here at Celtic Connexions. You’re looking very “Scottish” today, all decked out in your tartan.
I take it you’re ready for a good old-fashioned ceilidh – Canadian style.
Here, come sit by the fire take the chill off (escorts my esteemed guest to one of the tartan wing-back chairs facing the crackling fire ).
I’ll summon my manservant, Donald (the Red) , to bring us some refreshments. Would you care for a wee dram? Perhaps Glengoyne – Scotland’s only un-peated single malt?(rings bell and gives manservant instructions)
I think you’ll like what I have in store for you at the ceilidh tonight. I tried to get the Old Blind Dogs but they weren’t available. That’s okay as I do have a vast collection of Scottish music on CDs – Old Blind Dogs, The Corries, Runrig and the list goes on.
(swish of swinging door as the manservant returns with a tray carrying a decanter of whisky – 18 year old Glenlivet no less, two glasses and water). “Your whisky, my lady,” he says as he places it on the table.
As the manservant straightens to leave, I cry out… “Donald, where’s your trousers?” because so unlike him, he’s wearing a kilt!
Overcome by the shock of seeing him dressed in that fashion, it takes me a moment to regain my composure. (fans self with copy of Leopard Magazine).
Well, while we wait for our meal to be ready, Janice, let’s chat about your novel. I’m really interested to find out more about it and your creative process. You spent three months on the Island of Utila researching and writing Castaway in the Caribbean. Can you tell me more?
Yes, I had the most amazing time in 2014 visiting, researching and writing in the Caribbean. While there I spent a lot of time in boats (as one features in my new novel) and even got to sail off Tortola in the British Virgin Islands in a schooner used in the making of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie! After visiting lots of islands, my husband and I settled down to island life for a stay of three months on Utila, a tiny Caribbean island off mainland Honduras. This is where I wrote the first draft of ‘Castaway in the Caribbean’.
When do you expect to release it?
April 2015. I have promotional online book tours organised for April and May.
What made you choose that title?
I feel the title suits the story line perfectly. The premise of the book is that the two main characters, a surly boat captain who hates tourists and a girl holidaying in the Caribbean who desperately needs to get to a neighbouring island, end up castaway together on a remote island. It’s a fun, fast paced romantic adventure novel that I hope will be the perfect beach read for 2015!
The manservant returns and tells us that dinner is served… so we pick up our drinks and at the first skirl of the pipes, wait for him to enter the room and we get piped in to the formal dining room (I wish I had one of them, too) to the strains of The Bonnie Lass of Fyvie for a traditional Robbie Burns feast.
Once everyone is around the table, we begin with The Selkirk Grace.
Some hae meat and canna eat, And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat, Sae let the Lord be thankit.
Our first course is Cock-a-leekie soup.
Not strictly traditional as I don’t put prunes in it.
You mentioned (or did I pick up on it) something about the names of your characters. Was there a particular reason why you used those names? If so, can you share it?
I wrote the first draft with my husband’s name, Travis, as the romantic hero’s name and the heroine of the story is called Janey (which is kind of like my name, Janice). I fully intended on changing the names in the second draft but for some reason ended up not doing so. The characters of Castaway in the Caribbean are Travis and Janey in their own right – they are not meant to be me and my husband – and the story is definitely a work of fiction!
The soup course is cleared away and the skirl of the pipes begins again. The door opens and the haggis is brought into the room with great pomp and circumstance.
Address to the Haggis
We’ll have a bit of a musical interlude courtesy of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers before we carry on with the rest of the evening’s festivities.
What’s your next project? Do you have another novel started?
I have a few ideas in mind for new projects. I’m travelling again this year and I’d like to continue the theme of writing romantic adventure novels set in places that inspire me.
Now that we’ve talked about your WIP (work in progress for those not accustomed to author-speak and abbreviations), tell us more about you and how the readers of Celtic Connexions can follow you?
Thank you, Melanie. I really enjoy connecting with people. I’m a keen blogger. I’m always on Facebook and I love to Twitter too. So here’s my links:
Janice Horton writes contemporary romantic fiction with a dash of humour and a sense of adventure. Look out for Janice’s new release for 2015 ‘Castaway in the Caribbean’
and her Amazon Kindle bestselling books ‘Bagpipes and Bullshot‘
and ‘Reaching for the Stars‘
and her fun ‘Voodoo Romance’ series of novellas.
Her nonfiction guide to online promotion ‘How To Party Online‘
is recommended reading for all authors and writers by publishers. Janice is a regular blogger from her website at janicehorton.co.uk and you’ll also find her on Facebook and Twitter. She is also associate editor at the award winning online magazine Loveahappyending Lifestyle Magazine where she produces her monthly ‘The Bookshelf’ feature and her seasonal ‘Snap Gap Travel’ features.
Thank you so much for coming to my “un”conventional Robbie Burns Night. I hope you won’t have a sair heid tomorrow. I see the chairs have been rearranged in the front room so shall we move the party in there and let the ceilidh begin?
Gay Gordons, anyone?
My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King