New Release: The Healer’s Gift by Willa Blair

The latest in Willa Blair’s popular Highland Talents series just released!  The Healer’s Gift is a novella that takes place just after the first book in the series, Highland Healer.


Coira MacDugall paid with her life for her attack on the Highland Healer. But her victim did more than heal Coira’s fatal wound that awful night.  Now drowning in the unwelcome emotions of others, Coira wonders if her new empathic ability was meant as a gift or a curse.

Logen MacDugall must discover who killed three previous lairds if he hopes to survive for long in the position. He believes Coira’s new sense can help him root out the conspirators, but after her disastrous time in the Highlands, the last thing she wants is to get involved with another laird. Logen must help Coira gain control of her talent in time to save him and their clan from those intent on destroying MacDugall.

Can Coira believe this laird truly loves her? Or will her memories lead her to madness again?

SARA Café welcomes Angela Smith!

The SARA Café is an occasional feature that puts the spotlight on a SARA author. This month, it’s Angela Smith’s turn to answer a few questions.

by Mary Brand

Angela(2)SC: When did you join SARA and for what reason?

AS: I joined SARA in November, 2013 after attending two previous meetings, because I longed to meet and network with other romance authors. I had been writing forever then stopped for a few years, but I had recently been published and knew finding a group was an important next step. I live over 80 miles away from my nearest romance writers group, so it took me longer to find a great group and to travel a long distance to attend meetings. I love that they meet on Saturdays and I love how I was immediately welcomed as part of the group.

SC: What sub-genre of romance stories do you write?
AS: I write romantic suspense, though I have dallied in inspirational and Young Adult. 

SC: What about the romance genre appeals to you?
AS: I love love. I believe in love. I love watching people fall in love and fight falling in love because it isn’t in their immediate plans or because they’ve been hurt before and don’t want to take that risk again. I love the mystery of relationships, what makes them work and what doesn’t, and the psychology of why people are attracted to each other. In the end, I love watching people make it all work, despite the odds.

SC: Do you consider yourself a romantic?
AS: Depends on how you view romantic. I don’t really fall for flowers, poems, pet names, or candlelight, but I believe there’s someone out there for everyone. I just believe that the majority of people don’t see it, run from it because of their own fears, or they place their happiness too much on love and romance without realizing they are the ones in charge of their happiness. I believe you can be romantic in the everyday things. My husband leaves sticky notes in odd places for me occasionally, and that, to me, is romantic. I won’t lie, though, I do like some romance—some music and flowers occasionally-but I wouldn’t consider myself a romantic.

SC: What are your ultimate goals as a writer?
AS: My ultimate goals are to one day retire from my fulltime job and make enough money with writing, to grow a strong following, to continue to publish at least one book a year, and to be an author where fans can’t wait for my next book.

SC: If you could have any actor/actress cast as the hero/heroine of your latest work, who would you choose and why?
AS: That’s a hard one, mostly because I envision my hero/heroine perfectly and haven’t been able to find anyone yet that closely matches either looks or personality. Garret, in my first novel Burn on the Western Slope, could be played by Chris Hemsworth, but I haven’t found a match for Chayton or my heroines.

SC: What is the best book you’ve ever read about the craft of writing?
AS: Stephen King’s On Writing.

SC: Do you have a writing routine? What does it involve?
AS: I (usually) get up early in the morning and try to get an hour of writing in before work, but most of my writing is done in the evening.

SC: Do you have any writing superstitions?
AS: None at all.

SC: What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have any hidden talents?
AS: I love to play the drums, but I am nowhere near talented at it. I love to read and I love the outdoors (even better when I can put the two together). I raise hens and keep a garden, and my husband and I love to travel and go new places.

SC: What is your favorite part of the writing process?
AS: I love it when the words flow and my fingers seem to know exactly what is going to happen before my brain does. I also love research and character development.

SC: What would happen if you didn’t write?
AS: The voices in my head would probably make me go crazy.

SC: How do you know when your research is done?
AS: I’m not sure my research is ever done. I love learning new things and I love to research. However, my characters usually tell me when I’ve done enough research to make my story work.

SC: Name one thing you absolutely can’t write about.
AS: I’m not sure there’s a subject I would shy away from, but I don’t think I’d want to write horror.

SC: Name one of the challenges you had writing or as an author and how you met that challenge.
AS: The biggest challenge I have ever had is working full time and trying to pursue and maintain a writing career on the side. I actually published two novels over six years ago under a pseudonym, but my job got in the way and I was very private about my writing because of my job. My boss since retired and I continue to work for my new boss (my former is very proud of me and regrets I never told him, by the way, although I still think it would have been different when he was still District Attorney. I realized I could no longer let my career get in the way of what really spoke to my heart, and I had to stop doubting myself. I also decided I needed to be true to myself, hence the reason I no longer use a pseudonym.

SC: Thanks so much, Angela!

Article by Mary Brand, Photo credit to Alicia Moffett of Whoopsie Daisy Photography.