So. Tonight's a big night for the party crowd at RWA, when most of the publishers have shindigs for their authors and honored guests.  By this point in the week, everyone's either talking about how their "agent and editor" appointments went -- when they pitched their manuscripts for potential sale, or themselves for representation -- or just totally jazzed and invigorated by all the new stuff they've learned about the writing biz.   The big talk o' the romance-education town?  Online promotion and learning to be wise during contract negotiation.

But neither wisdom nor negotiation is on my mind tonight. No, rather, a certain pair of manly gams topped by a flirty tartan has me reminiscing about last year's Harlequin party (Hquin/Kimani Press editor Kelli Martin, at right)* in San Francisco...

You see, every year the Harlequin party's the hottest ticket in town, cause the music, the eats and the company are fine.  And last year I spent much of the event -- as did most of the women present --  wondering about the status of a certain plaid-clad art director's kilt equipment.**  As it were. 

Many of we romance fans are suckers for anything that smacks of Highlander.  The braw heroes, the ungainly when-transposed-into-fiction brogue, the claimores cla'mores claymores and, especially, the way our Brodricks and Tavins and Leathans rage agin' the mon who would dare look the wrong way at the bonnie lasses our heroes are dyin' to toop marry after respectfully courting.

Whether it's the strapping big lad who fights valiantly at Culloden -- or Jaimie Fraser way back in "Outlander" -- it's hard to resist the notion of a Scott rolled up in a bit of tartan. So when a big roomful of hundreds of romance-loving women spies a pretty good-looking guy in one at a romance conference?  There's bound to be a little uproar. 

Tonight at the Harlequin party, I'll be on a mission: Find the man in the kilt,*** and see if  what they say about art directors in kilts is true.  Oh, not that, you cheeky things. I'm just wondering if they really do try to match the models with the characters. 

Let's go with that, shall we?



I love Marsha Canham's Lions Higlander novels set around Culloden.  What are your fave Highlanders novels and Highlander characters?

*Photos placed after tonight's party.  Kinda like a Highlander time-travel romance. W/out the Highlander. Or the romance.
***Kilt Man (above). Read 'tomorrow's' post to find out why he's out of uniform...

Message Edited by Michelle_Buonfiglio on 08-14-2009 11:57 AM
by amyskf on ‎07-17-2009 11:54 PM

Oooooh, I so remember him. He had us at, "here are my kneecaps," and remember he wore combat boots with his kilt. sigh.


Karen Marie Moning, love her highlanders. I liked the touch of paranormal, sometimes it was time-travel or the berserker, and you could read them out of order without the world coming to an end, but they were tied I'm thinking of men in kilts.

by amyskf on ‎07-17-2009 11:56 PM

I have to add: command(o)er - ha!


As if we couldn't get that out of our heads.

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎07-18-2009 01:35 AM
Amy - it brings some great images to mind, doesn't it?
by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎07-18-2009 08:10 AM
And don't think that wasn't the question on every woman's mnd, amyskf and becke.  Oh, those KM Monings!  My fave was Daegus' story (maybe that's spelled wrong), cause he was so dark and had, like, what, 13 horrid, evil ancient Celtic spirits in him. And a totally curvy, real=life sized heroine.  The time-travel element was always fun.  But have I mentioned I like Marsha Canham?  I may occasionally bring her up here at H2H...

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎07-20-2009 11:48 AM

Oh god just the mention of a kilt gets my blood pumping a little faster and I guess at my age that's a good thing.

My fav Highlander novels are the Outlander series by Diane Gabaldon, Karen Marie Moning her Highlander series, Hannah Howell, Lynn Kurland. Sandy Blair and many more. 

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎07-21-2009 03:18 PM
dhaupt, I finally met Hannah Howell last week at rwa!  she was at the breakfast and is really quite shy, but kind of funny about it.  I wonder why Highlanders and time travel seem to end up together so often...
by Moderator becke_davis on ‎07-21-2009 03:25 PM

I saw Hannah Howell, too, but didn't get to meet her -- got sidetracked by other authors (not a hardship, it was just impossible to meet everyone). 


I got an update today about a new release called Sleepless in Scotland -- I'm anticipating more kilts! By the way, my last night at National, I was sitting in the restaurant with Anna Campbell (clanging name dropping) and there was a guy in a formal kilt at the table next to us -- very distracting! 

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎07-21-2009 03:38 PM
Were you sitting close enough to get a proper view Becke?
by Moderator becke_davis on ‎07-21-2009 04:12 PM
Unfortunately not. Although when I told my roommate, she told me not to worry -- if she spotted him, she was wearing patent leather shoes and would put them to work. (She said it -- don't blame me!)
by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎07-21-2009 04:44 PM
Oh, my gosh, I think I saw him after the RITAs. Dreamy. I don't think I ever thought a man in a kilt was anything but odd until after I read romance.  Not a lot of Italian guys in plaids. Shows both my provinciality, as well as my lack of imagination.  Thank gawd I got I got romance.
by Moderator becke_davis on ‎07-21-2009 10:44 PM

One word: Utilikilts. Check out the videos!

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎07-22-2009 09:27 AM
Hmmm paten leather shoes I'll have to remember to wear them if I'm ever in a place that requires the wearing of the plaid.
by on ‎07-22-2009 11:15 AM

You all would love a certain Sci-Fi author who is extremely fond of wearing kilts. In fact, over lunch once, he explained to me how the Romans developed the kilt for long marches as they worked liked a fan on their, uh, nether regions. There's an image for you!


The author, by the way, shares his name with a famous Western outlaw. Any guesses?

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎07-22-2009 11:36 AM
I'm going to a writer's workshop in the fall -- it's taught by novelist Todd Stone, author of NOVELIST'S BOOT CAMP.  I have it on good authority (from author Gia Dawn) that he teaches this class while wearing a camo kilt. I will report back after the workshop!
by Moderator becke_davis on ‎07-22-2009 11:40 AM
Paul - I'm blanking on the author you mentioned. Maybe Google will help. . .
by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎07-23-2009 10:39 AM
Oh, Paul. You had me at 'nether regions.'  And may I remind everyone that those enterprising Romans were Italians and, well, you know how I feel about Italians.  But now you're killing me 'cause I'm so sci-fi illiterate. Where's Paul Goat Allen when we need him?!
by ‎07-23-2009 11:12 AM - edited ‎07-23-2009 08:56 PM

Another hint. This, er, bodice ripper plays into many of the kilted author's books. Image removed? Stay tuned for another hint...

Message Edited by PaulH on 07-23-2009 08:56 PM
by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎07-23-2009 03:13 PM
Could that be Super Man, Paul?  Getting close?  We do so like the shy-to-"super" romance heroes...
by Moderator becke_davis on ‎07-23-2009 03:46 PM

Oh my -- while Googling Paul's mystery man, I came across this link:


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