Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dawn Marie Hamilton: Just Beyond the Garden Gate

Congratulations to historical romance author Dawn Marie Hamilton, whose Scottish time travel novel, Just Beyond the Garden Gate, is available now on Kindle. To help celebrate, Dawn is giving away a PDF copy of this wonderful romantic adventure, the first of her Highland Gardens Novels.

Welcome back, Dawn. Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from?
I’m a ‘Jersey’ girl. I don’t pump gas. And I’m proud of it. Actually, I grew up in Northern New Jersey and lived there for most of my life. I moved to the Sandy Hook Bay area when I was married. Loved living near the water. Four years ago, we moved to Southern Maryland. We enjoy the milder weather.
What sparked your interest in writing?
As a tween, I kept a daily dairy. Dark thoughts mostly. :) Then, inspired by my High School English teacher, I wrote short stories. They all ended tragically. Go figure. I was a ‘dark’ teenager. College and then work life got in the way and I didn’t write for pleasure but authored technical training documents. Urgh! During an assignment in Brussels, while riding in a taxi, I glimpsed a large billboard advertising whisky. The hunk-worthy, bare-chested Highlander with kilt and claymore reminded me of the Scottish historical novels I read on long flights. I wanted to write about honorable Highland men who had to use brain and brawn to keep their family and clan safe. Thus, I started writing for pleasure again. Just Beyond the Garden Gate was the first story I wrote.
How would you generally categorize the books/stories you write?
Scottish inspired fantasy and paranormal romance. Just Beyond the Garden Gate is a Scottish historical time travel rife with faeries and one mischievous brownie.
Do you set your books/stories in your hometown, or do you prefer more exotic locations?
Certainly not hometown, but I’m not sure we can call the locations exotic. The Highland Gardens series, for the most part, takes place in two locations and times. The present day portions occur in Andersen Creek, a fictitious small town near Grandfather Mountain in the Blue Ridge of North Carolina. Some quirky Scottish ex-pats live there. However, the majority of each story plays out in the Scottish Highlands during the early part of the sixteenth century. My Crimson Storm series is a bit more complicated with sailboats, port of calls along the present day eastern seaboard of the United States and the everglades, and Jamaica 1715. The Bermuda Triangle is thrown in for some paranormal fun. I enjoy researching the different locales.
How much of your writing is based on people or events familiar to you?
Very little. But one of Laurie’s memories in Just Beyond the Garden Gate is actually my memory of hurrying along Fifth Avenue in New York City one night after work and running into a famous actor’s entourage.
Do you celebrate when you finish a story, and if so, how?
Oh, yes! A glass of expensive pinot noir and Belgian dark chocolate. Delicious! Wish I just finished a new book!
Sounds good to me! Do you listen to music when you write?
No! I need quiet. I’m inspired by Celtic music, but can’t listen while writing.
Name a few titles I’d find if I browsed through your personal home library.
Faeries by Brian Froud and Alan Lee, The Republic of Pirates by Colin Woodard, and Crockett’s Flower Garden by James Underwood Crockett are sitting on my desk right now.
What’s next for you? Can we look forward to a new story soon?
Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon, the second book in the Highland Gardens series, is planned for release in September 2013.
Who supports your writing activities most?
My family is very supportive and my network of writer friends is priceless.
Name a few of your favorite non-writing activities.
Cooking, gardening, hiking, and camping. Oh, yeah, and our newest hobby—canoeing.
What advice would you give an aspiring author?
Dare to dream!!
Great advice, Dawn! Thanks so much for visiting The Plain again. And now, let’s take a peek at Just Beyond the Garden Gate.

The Scottish Highlands—a place where faeries and brownies and other fae creatures dance through time. On occasion, so do mere mortals.
Determined to regain her royal status, a banished faerie princess accepts a challenge from the High-Queen of the Fae to unite an unlikely couple while the clan brownie attempts to thwart her.

Passion ignites when a faerie-shove propels burned-out business consultant Laurie Bernard through the garden gate, back through time, and into the embrace of Patrick MacLachlan. The arrogant clan chief doesn’t know what to make of the lass in his arms, especially when he recognizes the brooch she wears as the one his stepmother wore when she and his father disappeared.

With the fae interfering at every opportunity, the couple must learn to trust one another while they battle an enemy clan, expose a traitor within their midst and discover the true fate of the missing parents. Can they learn the most important truth—love transcends time?

Journey from the lush gardens of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to the Scottish Highlands of 1509 with Just Beyond the Garden Gate.

A tinkling noise startled her. The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. An out-of-place exotic fragrance scented the air.

Sensing movement at the rear of the garden, she set her wine glass on the concrete bench and strode toward the gate.

The previously closed gate hung open.

An impressively tall, breathtakingly gorgeous man—wrapped in what could only be described as a large plaid blanket—stood in the woods just beyond the garden gate.
Laurie’s gaze locked on the man’s face. Her mouth went dry. Words lodged in a tight throat. Who was this man? He seemed familiar.

Impossible. He was fearsome. Built like a romance cover model.

"Go to him," a compulsion whispered within her mind. She stepped forward. No. This can’t be right. Unable to resist, she took another small step, but stopped short. What is this? A barrier, invisible—seemingly made from some shrink-wrap like material, stretched taut—blocked the way through the gate.

She pressed a palm against the barrier. A vibrant pink light twirled around her tingling fingers and Laurie drew them away. The color dissipated.

What on earth was going on?

Laurie glanced through the gate.

Gazes colliding, the man’s dark eyes pierced her soul. Every passion visible.

Unable to turn away, she stood motionless. A jolt of energy—as if shot with lightning—raced through her. Almost immediately, the energy seeped away. A boneless sensation buckled her knees. Laurie groped for something solid to hold onto and grabbed the gate.

The barrier had disappeared! So had the man.

Simply vanished.
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About Dawn Marie Hamilton:

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.

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Just Beyond the Garden Gate / E-book Available From


  1. Good morning, Pat. Thank you for having me as a guest at Across the Plain of Shining Books today.

    1. My pleasure, Dawn. Congratulations on the release of Just Beyond the Garden Gate!

  2. Congrats on your release, Dawn, sounds wonderful!

    1. Thanks, Cynthia! As you can imagine, I'm tickled pink.

  3. Sounds like a good read, Dawn!

  4. Hi, Jen. Thanks! I just love the fantasy aspect.

  5. Congratulations on your release, Dawn! Scottish time travel - two of my favorite things.

  6. Wonderful interview, Dawn and Pat! I loved the excerpt! Congratulations on your new release!

    1. Thanks, Vonda! It's always fun to chat with Pat.

  7. Congrats on the release of your book Dawn! Celebrating with choc sounds great, maybe I should do that at the end of the day! :)

    1. Hi, Linda! I highly recommend chocolate. The darker, the better. :)

  8. Jennifer (JC Page)May 30, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    Loved the interview Dawn! Thank-you for the advice, Dare to dream...All the best and congrats!!

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! Dare to dream is my motto. My mantra. I wouldn't be here without it.

  9. Sincere thanks to everyone who stopped by to wish Dawn and her "Garden Gate" well. She's gone off for an internet-free weekend and asked me to announce her Giveaway winner. Congrats, Jen Black! When Dawn returns to civilization on Monday, she'll send your e-copy along. Thanks again, everyone!

  10. Congrats, Jen! Your copy of 'Just Beyond the Garden Gate' should be in your e-mail box. I hope you enjoy the story.

    Thanks, everyone, for stopping by and wishing me well!

    ~Dawn Marie