Céad Míle Fáilte
"A Hundred Thousand Welcomes"
Letter to Readers
First of all, THANK YOU for reading and enjoying the books in my Highland Adventure Series and linked Scottish Treasure Series. I dedicate My Rebel Highlander to you in an effort to express my profound gratitude. In these stories, I write from my heart and soul. I don't know where inspiration comes from, but I treasure it. I love the feeling of being immersed in the story and discovering what happens next as I'm writing. My imagination has always been an important part of who I am. When I was a kid, long before I started writing, escaping into the stories I created in my mind was a favorite pastime. I was never bored. I kept myself entertained with my own imagination. And of course I've always loved reading, too. I became so wrapped up in the stories I was reading, the characters, and their emotions, that I felt I had entered a new world. This is one reason I've always gravitated to positive, uplifting, feel-good stories with happy endings.
I confess: I love my job! Writing Scottish historical romance is the ideal occupation for me. I get to spend most days in the Scotland of my imagination. Having visited Scotland a few times definitely helps because I have a feeling that nowhere on earth is quite like Scotland. It is an incredibly beautiful and moody country. No, it isn't all sunshine, flowers and warmth. This quote, one of my favorites, probably describes Scotland best:
"There is no sunlight in the poetry of exile. There is only mist, wind, rain, the cry of the curlew and the slow clouds above damp moorland. That is the real Scotland; that is the Scotland whose memory rings the withers of the far-from-home; and, in some way that is mysterious, that is the Scotland that even a stranger learns to love". H V Morton, English travel writer, in his classic book In Search of Scotland written in 1929.
Scotland is often rain-drenched, chilly and windy. But when the sun finally beams through the clouds and illuminates the vivid green hills in summer, you will never see anything more beautiful. The dark lochs reflect the blue sky, and the heather-covered glens gleam in hues of purple and pink. It's a colorful, breathtaking landscape then. If you happen to see a castle on a tiny island in a loch, that completes the perfect picture.
I realize, sadly, that some of you who love Scotland are unable to travel there, for one reason or another. That's why I endeavor to show you that Scotland is a stunningly beautiful and amazing place. I want to take you there through my stories and photos.
Each book in my series stands alone as a complete story, and the books don't have to be read in order. But readers tell me reading them in order enhances the overall experience. Each story is related in some way to the other books. Most of the characters are friends, relatives or acquaintances of the others. Secondary characters from the early books get their own stories later in the series. Early main characters show up again in later books so we get to see what they're up to, how their lives and relationships have been progressing. Maybe they even have wee new bairns. :)
Each story features a Highland hero who is a strong and honorable warrior who loves his clan, family, friends and country… and of course the new lady who comes into his life. Though each hero is different in personality, each has a protective and compassionate nature. I enjoy writing about these tough Highlanders who fought for everything they had. Enemies were often challenging them from all sides, if not Englishmen, then the neighboring clan, some greedy and vengeful enemy, or even their own clansmen. Politics was an ever-shifting sea. Sometimes whether someone was friend or foe was unclear. Treachery and intrigue ran rampant.
My heroines are unconventional for historical romance. The heroines who pop into my mind have an interesting past and usually they've endured hard times in one way or another. They are similar to modern women in some ways. Of course, they have to conform to their society's edicts to an extent, but they're not defined by it. They have usually been controlled by men in the past, but when they have an opportunity to make their own decisions and choices, they go for it. Deep down, they're strong, admirable women who care about their family members and friends, and would risk life and limb for those they love. But they're not perfect. They have flaws, and in many cases, some of the men in their lives in the past have forced them into abhorrent situations. But this doesn't destroy the women. The saying what doesn't kill you makes you stronger applies in this case.
I love writing about the complex and spellbinding process of two people falling in love. It is a combination of intense emotions such as fear, hope, joy, excitement, anger and many other things. Setting these stories in historic Scotland dictates that the characters must follow a certain set of cultural and societal guidelines, which I enjoy. It's wonderful to watch love flourish in these sometimes harsh conditions, like seeing beautiful heather blooming on a rock cliff.
Again, thank you for reading my stories!
I love romance and Scotland. Here are some of my favorite quotes:
"Do try to sound the "r" although not with the exaggerated trill usually given to it by so-called Scots comedians. But, again this to my English readers, don't even attempt to get the guttural sounds of "ach" and "loch". You will only strangle yourselves. To say "ach!" correctly you need generations of Scots blood behind you and you must have been born with the peat-reek in your nostrils and the sight of the hills as the first thing ever you clapped your eyes on."
~Ronald MacDonald Douglas
"For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul."
"Thou art to me a delicious torment."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Old Shiel Bridge
Gardens at Dunvegan Castle