Coming back from an impromptu holiday with a guest post from author Evie Alexander.
A fiery heroine, a Scottish god, a cabin, a castle, and enough heat to warm the coldest Scottish winter…
Highland Games is an unputdownable, enemies-to-lovers, romantic comedy, with sparkle and sizzle and a guaranteed happy ending. This sexy, witty, debut from Evie Alexander will have you laughing, swooning, and staying up way past your bedtime…
Perfect for fans of Sally Thorne, Talia Hibbert, Sophie Kinsella, and Helen Hoang. If you’re looking for a riotous romantic comedy with plenty of heat, then Highland Games is for you!
Welcome to Kinloch, and the hottest winter Scotland’s ever seen.
Zoe’s always played it safe, just as her parents wanted. But when her great-uncle dies and leaves her a ramshackle cabin in the Scottish Highlands, she decides it’s time to change her life.
Upping sticks seems like a good idea in her cosy flat in London, but the reality is very different. There’s no electricity or running water, the roof leaks and there’s no front door. If that wasn’t bad enough, she’s moved up in the depths of winter and her scorching hot neighbour wants her out.
Rory’s got a fifty thousand tonne problem. If he can’t make Kinloch castle profitable, he’s out of a job. He needs a clear head, but there’s someone living in the cabin he saw as his own and she’s turned his world upside down.
Rory needs Zoe out of Scotland, and out of his life. The trouble is, she has no intention of leaving.
Let the games begin…
My journey to publication
Highland Games has had a fairly long and eventful road to publication. It started out as an idea I had whilst driving along the M27 after an evening spent with a business coach. He was the ‘business dad’ of a friend of mine, and he had got me to open up about my desire to complete one of my half finished novels. I started writing when I got home, but only got eleven thousand words in before the usual unconfidence got to me and I put it aside. Fast forward two years, and I was coming out of a very tricky life situation, where I had decided to get a job I was really not suited to. One of my closest friends, the one to whom I have dedicated Highland Games, saw how unhappy I was, and told me I had to do something for myself. When I told her I always wanted to finish a romance novel, she told me to write for half an hour a day and then send her what I had written. At this point in my life, I had started multiple books but never finished any of them. So I started, and with her encouragement I did write every day. I started with my ‘Scottish novel’ and it was like the stopper finally came off the bottle. Within the next four months I wrote nearly two hundred thousand words and could finally write ‘the end’.
However, that was only the start. I had written it for fun, but now I realised I had something that was potentially good enough to put out into the world. This was when the hard work really started, as I had to find a way to split the book into two, as well as hone my craft. The next two years were spent doing this. I found beta readers all over the world who read my first draft and were extremely helpful at pointing out structural and technical issues. I then found an editor, who continued to work with me on the increasingly painful process of making each book a standalone as well as the continuation of the same story. I ended up cutting over fifty thousand words and writing fifty thousand new ones. Each time I thought the final hill had been climbed, another one appeared. I often felt that the books would never be ‘right’ and spent hundreds of hours brainstorming with my editor, friends and fellow authors.
Eventually, in 2021, my editor and I felt we had the final draft. I sent it to a proofreader who is the husband of a friend. He is a six foot six, skinhead, ex-copper crime novelist and extremely scary. I expected a proof read. He wrote me a forty word report on top of the proof read, pointing out what he considered to be a fundamental flaw in the story. Even though my editor and my author friends told me it wasn’t an issue, now that I knew it was there, I had to fix it. A month of soul searching followed as I tried to fix a problem that I genuinely thought was unfixable. Thankfully, in the end a solution presented itself that made the book so much better in so many ways and I am so grateful I made the changes. So, Highland Games and Hollywood Games took about four years from start to finish, starting out as one story and then finishing as two!
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Evie Alexander is the author of sexy romantic comedies with a very British sense of humour. She takes a method approach to her work, believing her capacity to repeatedly fail at life and love is what has given her such a rich supply of material for her writing.
Her interests include reading, eating, saving the world, and fantasising about people who only exist between the pages of her books. She lives in the West country with her family.