True Love

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

1 John 4:9

What is Romance P.S.?

Romance P.S. is an entertainment blog about two of my very favorite things — movies and books.

The title actually stands for Romance with the page and screen so it's not just about romance alone but all kinds of movies and books. Though I will confess that my favorites always seem to be romances in some way ;)

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July 11, 2014

Author Interview and Giveaway with Sue-Ellen Welfonder

Today we have the wonderful Sue-Ellen Welfonder joining us! Hello Sue-Ellen! It’s so good to have you here! 

Sue Ellen: Thanks so much, Jenn!  I’m so happy to be here.  It’s always a pleasure to visit with you.
JennJ: Sue-Ellen could you please start by tell us a little about yourself for those who maybe aren’t familiar with you and your writing?

Sue Ellen: Here’s a bio:

USA Today bestselling author, Sue-Ellen Welfonder, is most defined by her passion for Scotland.  She also loves animals, medieval history, and the paranormal.  She puts her pen where her heart is, writing Scottish romance with a touch of Highland magic.  A former flight attendant, she’s proud of her Hebridean ancestry, spent fifteen years in Europe, and visits Scotland as often as she can.  She’s devoted to her Jack Russell terrier, enjoys living quietly, and shares her desk with her alter-ego, Allie Mackay, who writes Scottish-set contemporary paranormals.  Sue-Ellen is married and resides on Florida’s Gulf Coast. 

That’s me in a nutshell.  I’ll add that I’m really excited to now be part of a 7 member Scottish historical author group.  We’re the Guardians of Cridhe, Gaelic for Keepers of the Heart.  Our first collaboration is Highland Winds, Scrolls of Cridhe Vol. I, a collection of original Scottish novellas, releasing Nov. 17th.  

We have a group FB page, so I hope everyone will join us.

Guardian Members are (in alphabetical order): Lily Baldwin, Kathryn Lynn Davis, Ceci Giltenan, Kate Robbins, Tarah Scott, Suzan Tisdale, and Sue-Ellen Welfonder.

*Note you can click on any of the book covers in the post to order your copy today.*  Could you please tell us about your latest release?

Sue Ellen:  My most recent release is a Scottish medieval, To Love A Highlander / Scandalous Scots #1. The series is about four bastard heroes who were born and raised at the royal court of Stirling Castle.

To Love A Highlander is Sorley’s story.  He’s had a rough past, but his early trials made him the man he is now.  He’s strong, proud, and bold, and very much a rogue.  But I never write a hero without honor, and Sorley has it in spades.  But it’s his own brand of honor, just as he makes his own rules in life.

He has a history with his heroine, Mirabelle, and when she comes back into his life, they learn the importance of forgiveness.  So the book is all about redemption and, of course, the healing power of love.

Here is the blurb for To Love A Highlander...

Book 1 of a 4.5 book series, Scandalous Scots, published by Grand Central Publishing. (Series launched in Dec. 2013 with an e-novella, ONCE UPON A HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS)

4 1/2 Stars TOP PICK from RT!


As one of the bastards born to the Stirling court, Sorley the Hawk has never known his mother or father. It’s a burning quest he has devoted himself to uncovering at any cost. But as a roguish warrior who serves at the pleasure of the King, his prowess-both on the battlefield and in his bedchamber-is legendary. So when a flame-haired Highland lass sneaks into his quarters with a tantalizing proposition, he can’t resist taking her up on her offer . . .


Lady Mirabelle MacLaren will do anything to keep from marrying her odious suitor, even sully her own good name. And who better to despoil her than his sworn enemy, the one they call “Hawk?” As they set about the enjoyable task of ruining her reputation, Hawk and Mirabelle soon learn that rebellion never tasted so sweet.

JennJ: You write so passionately about Scotland and your brawl highlanders and lassies, and I know you have been to Scotland many times. 

Can you tell us why Scotland is such a passion for you? (I have to admit I’m obsessed with Scotland too. I have been for years and I hope someday to get to visit there myself lol.)

Sue Ellen: Thank you so much for such a lovely compliment.  Scotland, and especially its medieval past, is my greatest passion and always has been.  So I’m glad that comes through in my writing.

Loving Scotland comes natural because I’m of Scottish descent and was raised to love and appreciate all things Scottish.  A passion for Scotland has always there.  Yes, I’ve been traveling to Scotland all my life, so my experiences craft my stories.  For example, my settings are always places I know and love.  I return to them in my heart and mind when I write. Was it always your dream to become an author or what did you want to be when you were growing up?

Sue Ellen: No.  I wanted to be an airline stewardess and see the world.  I did that, for 23 years, and I miss flying to this day.  I was encouraged to write by the late Becky Lee Weyrich, the Time Travel Queen of the 1980s and 90s.  We became friends after I sent her a fan letter.  I started sending her letters about my travel adventures in far-flung corners of the globe.  She said that reading them made her feel as if she was there with me.  So she began urging me to write.  She became my mentor, and so I just sort of slid into being a writer.

JennJ: Who are some of your favorite authors?

Sue Ellen: Becky Lee Weyrich remains my top fave.  Her books are currently being re-released in digital and I am so happy to be able to enjoy them again.  I also love Anne Stuart.  She’s a goddess.  Barbara Erskine is another fave.  Many, many more.  I won’t name friends because I’d surely forget someone and feel awful.

What are a few of your all time favorite books (can’t have just one if your like me lol) as a reader?

Sue Ellen: Thank you so much for allowing me more than one.  It’s so hard to name just one.  So in no particular order, because I love them all:  Anya Seton’s Katherine (which does top my list of all-time greatest medieval romances) ~ Anya Seton’s Green Darkness ~ M.M.Kaye’s Far Pavilions ~ The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough ~ Anything by Mary Stewart, Daphne du Mauier, and Victoria Holt.  (gloamed their gothics and still love them).

Also loved Jude Deveraux’s classic, A Knight in Shining Armor, Kathleen Woodiwiss’s Shanna, Rosemary Rogers’ Sweet, Savage, Love, and anything by Heather Graham.  Must also mention Anne Stuart’s Nightfall. What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process or no?

Sue Ellen: I’m laughing because I love research so much that I really wish I’d become a historian rather than a writer.  Scotland and medieval history are lifelong passions and will remain my passions long after I stop writing.  So when I became an author, I already had a good general knowledge of the world I write about: medieval Scotland.

Traveling to Scotland also helps.  I don’t need to use books, movies, or the Internet, for a sense of place.  I have Scotland in my mind and heart, from my trips.

I have a large research library and these books are useful if I need specifics I may not be familiar with, such as the Black Death for A Highlander's Temptation.  The story took place when the plague was rampaging across Europe and England, and also parts of Scotland.  The timing was unavoidable, so I needed to know as much as possible about the plague, including its impact on Scotland.  I had about six books on the Black Death and read them all.  The knowledge gleaned helped me plot the book, also giving me a few neat tidbits to weave in.

JennJ: Do you listen to music while you are writing, and if so what music is it? 

Sue Ellen: Yes, but only music without words.  I listen to classical, Celtic/Scottish, and New Age music. If you could be any of your characters – Who would you be? And why? 

Sue Ellen: Devorgilla.  For readers not familiar, Devorgilla aka ‘old Dev,’ is a Highland cailleach (wise woman) who weaves mischief and magic through all my books.  She also helps me on FB, my blogs, and other places.  Readers who know her, are aware of her powers.  So, of course, I would love making use of some of those skills!

Who wouldn’t want to turn their worst enemy into a ring-tailed, cross-eyed newt?  Devorgilla can do that and more.  She also speaks her mind.  So woe be to my foes if ever I should become her. 

JennJ:  If you could travel back in time to any period and place where would it be and when? (And do you think you would have any trouble blending in, in that different time?)

Sue Ellen: Medieval Scotland.  I am sure I’d fit right in.  If ever I find a time portal and get there, no one will see me again.  I wouldn’t come back.

JennJ:  Is there a genre of book and/ or setting or both that you would like to write but haven't yet?

Sue Ellen: Not really. I’m writing what I love: medieval Scottish romance and time travel / light contemporary paranormals set in Scotland.  If ever I add a new genre, I’d continue to write my Scottish books.

JennJ:  Now I know that you wrote several books under the pen name of Allie Mackay (which I absolutely LOVED by the way). Do you plan on writing more books in that series or any more books under that name in the future? Ellen: I am so glad you asked!  I love my Allie Mackays and I absolutely am writing more.  Several months ago, I re-released Highlander in Her Dreams.  I re-vamped the story, brushing up here and there, also adding bonus content to the back.  The book is available now (digital) for only $3.99, so if anyone missed it when it originally released, they can read it now, at a bargain, and re-vamped.

Recently, I received the rights back to several more Allie Mackays and I am doing the same with them.  I hope to have them available by summer’s end.

I’m also writing a new Allie Mackay trilogy that I am really excited about, and have more series plotted and ready to be written.

I’m indie pubbing all Allie Mackay titles now and really love the control and power self publishing gives writers.  So, yes, these books will ‘ride again,’ as will new ones.  It’s wonderful to be able to bring them back to life on my own now, and to write new ones that I can put out myself, the reins in my hands this time.  I love that!

JennJ:  What characteristics make up the perfect hero and heroine to you and why?

Sue Ellen: For me, a hero must always be honorable.  It might be his own brand of honor, but it has to be there.  He must be fiercely loyal.  Once he meets the heroine, he is hers alone, his heart belonging only to her.  And he must love animals.  A sense of humor is another plus, even if it’s a very dry wit.  (such as Sir M in my Mackenzie series)

A heroine has to be strong.  I can’t stand heroines who are weepy, bursting into tears at every turn.  My heroines must have spirit and backbone.  No shrinking violets allowed in my books.  She also has to be likable.  That is huge.  If she is mean, even only at the start of a book, I can’t like her.  Ever.  She simply must be sympathetic.  She must be kind.  Someone the reader would enjoy having as a best friend.  Like my heroes, she must love animals.  (I’m a huge animal lover myself, so my characters are, too.)  Do you find it difficult at times to write love scenes, how do you handle those?

Sue Ellen: No, but I prefer writing the emotional intimacy to the physical bits.  There are only so many ways to describe certain acts, so it can be challenging for that reason.  Otherwise, as long as such scenes occur at the right time for the hero and heroine, feeling natural and not forced, I’m fine writing them.  I prefer not to be too graphic and do not use either ‘c’ word, opting more for a sensual than erotic tone.  It doesn’t bother me that people read them, if that’s what you mean.  Sex is healthy and natural.  None of us would be here if people didn’t engage in it, after all.

What does irritate me about love scenes is how non-romance readers always hone in on sex as if nothing else happens in the stories, and that is so wrong.  In a good romance, the love scenes are only a part of the whole.  An important part, but not the entirety of the book as is often implied.  That is a shallow and ignorant opinion of the genre.  I wish such attitudes would go away, but that isn’t going to happen, sadly.

JennJ: I whole heartedly agree Sue-Ellen. That is something that has always really made me angry that a lot of people think that romances are just fluffy, trashy, non-books really - instead of the truly great books they are. 

JennJ:  What is the most unusual thing you have ever had happen to you on a book tour or at a signing?

Sue Ellen: I’ll go with unusual.  Happened in Scotland.  I was a guest author at a week-long book festival and was asked to assist one of Scotland’s top celebrity chefs at an evening performance.  He can be compared to America’s Bobby Flay, and was there to promote his latest cookbook.  So he was doing a demonstration at a posh hotel.  I acted as his ‘hostess,’ introducing him and then assisting him on stage, and there was a huge crowd.  I was afraid I’d be nervous, because he’s very handsome and charming, and, of course, has a sexy Scottish accent!  But he was super nice, putting me right at ease.
JennJ: And if you had the chance which character or characters from your own books would you like to have dinner with?

Sue Ellen: Duncan and Sir M from my MacKenzie series, simply because I’d love to see their ‘banter’ live.  Grim and Kendrew from Highland Warriors trilogy (Grim is also in my Scandalous Scots series), because I love them both so much.  Bran of Barra from my Allie Mackay books because he’s one of my favorite heroes.  Wee Hughie, also from my Allie Mackays because, even though he’s a ‘windbag,’ he’s interesting and makes me laugh.  And Devorgilla.  Can’t leave her out!

JennJ: Since Romance P.S. stands for romance with the page and screen can you tell us some of your favorite movies?

Sue Ellen: Great blog name, by the way.  Very clever.  I love happy-ever-after romantic movies that pull on the heartstrings.  If they also make me laugh, I’m really happy.  So favorites are Ever After, Love Actually, P.S. I Love You (not because of Butler, but because of Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Love him!), and Letters to Juliet.

JennJ: Do you ever use real life actors or actresses as how you see your characters when you write in your head? I know I personally see them as the main characters a lot in the books I read when I’m reading them so I was just wondering if authors do that as well when they are writing them?

Sue Ellen: No. I don’t watch much television and rarely go to the movies, so I’m not up on Hollywood celebrities.  I do love, love, love Jeffrey Dean Morgan and could see him as Kendrew especially (Temptation of a Highland Warrior/Highland Warriors #2).  Nicole Kidman comes close to how I envision many of my heroines.  But generally, I just see them in my mind.  They are themselves. Can you share any future book plans with us?

Sue Ellen: Next up is my Scottish medieval novella which will be in the bundle by my author group, Guardians of Cridhe.  The collection is titled Highland Winds, Scrolls of Cridhe Vol. I and releases Nov. 17th.  Long-time readers will be pleased to know that my story is set in the world of my MacKenzie series.  I’ll also be re-releasing several Allie Mackay titles soon.  I’m going through the books, brushing them up, adjusting a few scenes to how I’d originally wanted them to stand, adding bonus content, etc.  So even readers who read the original editions can enjoy the stories anew, as they’ve been revamped.  I’m also working on a new Allie Mackay trilogy, as well as more Scandalous Scots titles.

I’m a so-called hybrid author now.  Still NY contracted, but moving more and more into indie.  I love the power and control indie pubbing gives writers, especially the ability to set reader-friendly prices, keeping them low and affordable.

JennJ: What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? Facebook page? Blog? Twitter? Group?

Sue Ellen: All of the above.  But the best way to hook up with is Facebook.  I have an author page that’s all about Scotland, Highlanders, kilts, all things Celtic, and my books.  I’m on there daily and interact with visitors.  Email is fine, but I receive tons, so it can take a while for me to respond.

Here are my social media links:

Sue-Ellen Welfonder: Book News Only Blog:

Mailing List: Sign-Up Here

Guardians of Cridhe Facebook Page:

Blog: Tartan Ink: All Things Celtic, Highland Magic, Kilties, 
& Other Neat Things

**Please note, my main website is currently stagnant and will be redesigned later this year.  For now, up-to-date info and book news can be found at my book-news only site:

Or my ‘emergency website’:

JennJ: Again thank you SO much for taking the time to do an interview with me Sue-Ellen it is ALWAYS a pleasure talking with you dear!

Sue Ellen: The pleasure was all mine, Jenn!  You asked great questions.  I’m delighted to be your first author guests at Romance P. S.  (love the name so much!)  Thank you!!

It was great having one of my all time favorite authors as a guest! Now is your chance to win a free signed copy of her latest release To Love A Highlander! Once you read it I'm sure she will be one of your favorites too! ;)

Enter for your chance to win below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. :) Isn't Sue-Ellen awesome?

    2. Atfernoon, Jenn! Hello, Everyone! Jenn, thank you so much for inviting me to your lovely new site. It's beautiful and I really love the blue. My favorite color. Everyone else, thanks for looking in. I appreciate it. I'll look in again later today or this evening, should anyone yet stop by.

    3. Hope this doesn't post twice, my first hello to dstouthholcomb disappeared. Anyway, I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview. Jenn asked great questions and that always makes the difference. This was fun. Thanks for looking in!

    4. Hi Sue-Ellen! It was a true honor to have you here dear! LOVED the interview with you it was so much fun. And thank you so much on your kind comments on the blog. I'm so glad you like it. I think it's easy to tell what my favorite color is huh lol.

      So anyone that wants to ask Sue-Ellen anything that I missed she is going to be checking in later be sure to leave a comment and ask her whatever you like! :)

      BIG HUGS!

  2. Nice interview. I enjoy Sue-Ellen's books. I look forward to more books in the future under both pen names.

    JennY, congratulations on your new blog. It is off to a good start. I will be glad when I am back to using a real computer. Traveling and trying to catch computer time on my kindle is for the birds.

    1. Hi Pat! Thank you so much! I'm having a ton of fun so far with it. Safe travels to you and here is hoping you can catch more regular computer time soon! :) Big Hugs.

  3. What a great looking Blog. I love Sue Ellen's Highlanders and can't wait to read this one. I'm always transported to Scotland when reading her books.Loved the questions and answers.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  4. Trying again...first post didn't show...

    Waving at Sue-Ellen!

    Love all her stories! :)

    Sorley and Mirabelle will leave your heart feeling full when you turn that last page. Can't help but love a man who will go to the lengths Sorley does rescue a kitten like he did. ;)


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