posted on June 27, 2014 by Heather McCollum

Mixing Fiction & True History

Characters in the Highland Hearts series by Heather McCollum

Crimson-Heart-500Thank you so much for having me here today on Writerspace to talk about my Highland Hearts romance series set in 16th century Britain! I’m thrilled about the release of the third full-length book in the series, CRIMSON HEART!

I have always loved history and the inherent drama that unfolds whenever humans are given power and responsibility. Swirl a dose of love into the mix, and all hell usually breaks loose (like when Henry VIII broke from the Catholic Church to marry Anne Boleyn). When I visited Britain, I fell in love with the rolling land, the rocky ruins, the authentic people and the achingly rich history of triumph and defeat. Historians know the well-documented incidents and the façades of the powerful people of the Tudor time, but as a writer, I like to imagine the private turmoil and celebrations of these characters. The Tudor and Stewart time in Britain was rich with intrigue, passion, and deadly power struggles. What a fabulous setting for a series!

I quickly realized when writing the first book in the series (CAPTURED HEART) that I needed a family tree for the Munros and the Macbains, two feuding clans in the Scottish Highlands. So I began to draw it out. What I didn’t realize until the second book, TANGLED HEARTS, was how closely they became tied to a hidden survivor of the Plantagenet family of England’s War of the Roses. My Highland Hearts series family tree branches back into real history, giving true motivation for my characters. Most of the characters in my series are fiction, of course, but they represent the strong people of the time with their quests for survival and personal fulfillment.

I also love to throw an element of magic into my stories which flows easily in this time of legends and superstitious myths. The women who are born along a certain branch of the family tree, stemming from a fictional healing witch from 10th century Denmark, are gifted with a magical blue light. This light has the power to heal injury and illness by manipulating small particles in the body. One of the women has also discovered how to use that same magic to move particles of air to control the weather.

How these women and their families view the magic is ripe with conflict possibilities. Is this magic a gift or a curse? In a time when a woman could be burned for witchcraft, how can the person wielding this unnatural power be protected? Can the ability to heal also be used as a weapon? My characters deal with these issues as they continue to strive for life and love.

In my newest release, CRIMSON HEART, we meet the first man in the family to inherit the magic, but instead of healing, Searc Munro’s magic kills. When Searc’s secret magic is revealed, he journeys east to Edinburgh where no one knows about his curse. On the way he rescues an English lass, Elena, who is fleeing England’s Bloody Queen Mary and the threat of the executioner’s block with secrets of her own. Thrown together by secrets, drawn together by desire, they must learn that love and trust go hand in hand before their secrets are exposed and Elena becomes the next victim of the murderer stalking the Scottish court?

Ahh…sometimes I wish I could whisk away into Renaissance Britain with a gorgeous Highlander at my side. Wait! I do almost every day : ) It’s fabulous to be a writer!

Thank you so much for having me here today! Although each book in the Highland Hearts series can stand alone, it is more fun to read them in the following order:

HIGHLAND HEART – short prequel novella (Only $0.99)



UNTAMED HEARTS – long novella (Only $0.99)


If you could whisk away with any type of character, who would you choose? And if you could wield a magic power, which would it be?

For more information on Heather McCollum and the HIGHLAND HEARTS series, please visit her website at She can also be found here:

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Heather McCollum

Heather McCollum is an award winning, historical paranormal and YA romance writer. She earned her B.A. in Biology, much to her English professor’s dismay. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood of 2009 Golden Heart finalists. The ancient magic and lush beauty of Great Britain entrances Ms. McCollum’s heart and imagination every time she visits. The country’s history and landscape have been a backdrop for her writing ever since her first journey across the pond. When she is not creating vibrant characters & magical adventures on the page, she is roaring her own battle cry in the war against ovarian cancer. Ms. McCollum recently slayed the cancer beast and resides with her very own Highland hero, rescued golden retriever & 3 kids in the wilds of suburbia on the mid-Atlantic coast. For more information about Ms. McCollum, please visit

3 thoughts on “Mixing Fiction & True History”

  1. Avatar Lynn/MI says:

    Good luck on this series, it sounds like great reading!

  2. Avatar cheryl c. says:

    I love a Highlander hero. I just got back from a dream trip to Scotland, and it was fun to see the location of so many of my favorite romances.

  3. Thanks, Lynn!

    Oh Cheryl – so happy you got to go over to Scotland! Isn’t it gorgeous in all its rugged, raw beauty?! I went last summer to the Highlands. Very inspiring ; ) Heather

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