A Scottish Affair

Anne here, wishing you all the best for 2011. Every New Year, when I hear Auld Lang Syne, my Scots blood stirs. I've had a love affair with Scotland all my life, even though my original Scottish ancestor arrived here in the 1880's. That side of the family is prone to poetry and, courtesy of Great Grandpa Dunn's influence, we grew up with Rabbie Burns quotations and recited the Selkirk Grace before dinner:

Some hae meat and canna eat,   
And some wad eat that want it, 
But we hae meat, and we can eat,   
And so the Lord be thankit.

So when my Dad got the chance to live and work in Scotland for a year — and take us with him — he seized it.  I was eight, and I attended the local primary school. Here I am with my Scottish classmates, in the middle of the second front row.
Annescotland
There was a resurgence of Scottish nationalism at the time and it fed my fascination with all things Scottish. I devoured everything I could on Scottish history and Scottish stories and legends and Scottish music. 

12_Scotland Every second weekend we'd hitch up the caravan and head off to explore Scotland. We travelled its length and breadth, visiting great castles, crumbling ruins, austere little kirks, misty glens, and windswept islands. I scoured the grey surface of Loch Ness, looking for Nessie, cautiously offered handfuls of grass to horned highland cattle peering out from behind long russet fringes, and wanted desperately to adopt a wee black-faced lamb that had been orphaned and which the farmer let me feed from a bottle. It was a magic time. My siblings and I also acquired excellently broad Perthshire accents fairly quickly — I wanted rid of the label, the wee Australian lass. (My brother and I maintained our accents in private long after we'd returned to Australia. It was a great way to have conversations that were unintelligible to others.) 

Yet I've never written a Scottish-set story. I did have plans for one once, but my editor at the time was English and could see nothing at all romantic about Scotland or Scotsmen and firmly squashed the idea. Scotsmen were unromantic and Scotland had bad weather and midges. Regency England, she said, would suit me much better. And I have to say, Regency England has suited me very well.

But when Trisha Telep invited me to write a short story for the Mammoth Book of Scottish Romance, I jumped at the chance. And I had a lot of fun with it, too.

It's always a bit of a mystery to me where my stories come from. I tossed ideas and situations around,and browsed through images of Scotland, and for some reason I kept coming back to this image. 

(Photo used with permission: http://www.scotland-flavour.co.uk/sheep.html )

Sheep_scotland_4687

 I love highland sheep, with their long swishing skirts of wool and their dear little black-faced lambs. 

And slowly, a story coalesced…

It's a classic premise: my hero, Cameron, is laird in name only — his inheritance is in the hands of his uncle until Cameron turns thirty, or marries. His uncle is spending money like water and nothing Cameron says will stop him. Cameron storms out, swearing to marry the first eligible woman he meets… 

So Cameron sets off, followed by his two cousins, who've bet on the outcome of the vow — and taken a wee dram or three of The Good Stuff along the way…

Of course, the first woman Cameron meets is entirely unsuitable…. on the surface. Not that he can see much of her surface — he's run her and her sheep into a bog (which is where that gorgeous picture came in) and she's covered in mud. 
But a vow is a vow, and Cameron's never broken his word in his life.

However there's more to Jeannie Macleay than meets the eye… And she's no pushover.
Here's an excerpt:

The girl scrutinised his face, then turned to look at each of his cousins. "Marriage?" she said eventually. "You're proposing marriage to me? To me?"

Cameron nodded. "Aye."

In her dirty, mud-streaked face, her blue eyes gleamed bright with suspicion. "Why?"

Cameron shrugged. "I must marry someone. Why not you?" It was ridiculous when said aloud, but with the eyes of his cousins on him, he wasn't going to back down. He'd never broken his word yet. 

But he might not have to. The girl could still refuse. He waited.  Down the road the girl's sheepdog barked. A sheep baaed in response.

"You're tetched in the head," she told him. "You canna mean such a thing. Why, you never set eyes on me before today."

"It sounds mad, I know, but it's an honest offer I'm making ye," Cameron told her.

Stunned, Jeannie Macleay chewed on her lip and stared at the solemn young man in front of her. He was asking her to marry him? It couldn't possibly be true. He probably wouldn't even recognize her if he met her again—she was all over mud, anyway. He was drunk, or tetched in the head, but… Marriage? The thought gave her pause.

She would have married almost anyone to get away from Uncle Ewen and the sheep. And suddenly, like something out of a dream, here was this tall, beautiful young man, asking her.

He'd wiped his face clean of mud. His cheekbones and jaw might have been cut with a blade, they were so perfect and sharp. His nose was bold and straight as a sword and his mouth firm and unsmiling. And his chin … her mother always used to say a man with a firm chin could be relied on.

Warrior stock, no doubt, like many folk in the highlands, of Viking descent. His hair was brown and sun-streaked yet his eyes weren't Viking blue, but hazel. They watched her steadily, but she sensed an intensity beneath the calm manner. He was well off, too, going by the quality of his clothes and his horse. 

God knew why he'd even looked twice at her, with her in her uncle's old coat and boots and covered in mud, but he had. And try as she might, she could not dismiss it. She pinched herself, hard, to be sure it wasn't a dream.

"I don't know you from Adam," Jeannie said to silence the clamor in her head. 

"My name is Cameron Fraser."  Fraser. It was a common enough name around here.  Oh Lord. She ought not to even consider his proposal. The poor lad was no doubt a wee bit soft in the head, and his friends were too drunk to realize what he was doing.

But she was only human. 

The choices loomed large in her head; life with Uncle Ewen, the stingiest, gloomiest, dourest man in all of Scotland— or life with this tall, solemn young man.  The rest of her life spent on the moors, half the time cold, wet and hungry, looking after Uncle Ewen's sheep — or marriage to this beautiful young man who was probably tetched in the head to be offering marriage to her on so little acquaintance. 

No choice at all.  People said better the devil you knew. Not Jeannie. 

"Do ye have a house?" she asked.  "I do." "Would I be its mistress?" It was the summit of her dreams — to have a home of her own, to be beholden to no-one. To belong.

He nodded. "My mother died when I was a bairn. You'd be the woman of the house."

The woman of the house. There it was, her dream laid out for her. All she had to do was to say yes. She swallowed.

* * * * *

Mammothcover Mine is just one of twenty-one stories in the collection. It's a fabulous read. The Mammoth Book of Scottish Romance – edited by Trisha TelepReleased TODAY in the USA, Jan. 27th in the UK

So what about you — do you like Scottish romances? Long to visit Scotland? Fancy a man in a kilt? Or do you agree with my former editor, that Scotland and Scottish men are not at all romantic.

90 thoughts on “A Scottish Affair”

  1. Anne, you know me, I do love a good man in a skirt, whether he be Scottish or a gladiator or an ancient Greek. Bring it on!
    And I simply adore your Cameron Fraser and I love that he found his match in Jeannie MacLeay. Bravo and congratulations on the release!

    Reply
  2. Anne, you know me, I do love a good man in a skirt, whether he be Scottish or a gladiator or an ancient Greek. Bring it on!
    And I simply adore your Cameron Fraser and I love that he found his match in Jeannie MacLeay. Bravo and congratulations on the release!

    Reply
  3. Anne, you know me, I do love a good man in a skirt, whether he be Scottish or a gladiator or an ancient Greek. Bring it on!
    And I simply adore your Cameron Fraser and I love that he found his match in Jeannie MacLeay. Bravo and congratulations on the release!

    Reply
  4. Anne, you know me, I do love a good man in a skirt, whether he be Scottish or a gladiator or an ancient Greek. Bring it on!
    And I simply adore your Cameron Fraser and I love that he found his match in Jeannie MacLeay. Bravo and congratulations on the release!

    Reply
  5. Anne, you know me, I do love a good man in a skirt, whether he be Scottish or a gladiator or an ancient Greek. Bring it on!
    And I simply adore your Cameron Fraser and I love that he found his match in Jeannie MacLeay. Bravo and congratulations on the release!

    Reply
  6. Thanks for the endorsement, Trish.
    (Trish Morey is one of my good writing buddies, and as such, she’s already read the story. So she’s not exactly unbiased. But she is verrry nice )

    Reply
  7. Thanks for the endorsement, Trish.
    (Trish Morey is one of my good writing buddies, and as such, she’s already read the story. So she’s not exactly unbiased. But she is verrry nice )

    Reply
  8. Thanks for the endorsement, Trish.
    (Trish Morey is one of my good writing buddies, and as such, she’s already read the story. So she’s not exactly unbiased. But she is verrry nice )

    Reply
  9. Thanks for the endorsement, Trish.
    (Trish Morey is one of my good writing buddies, and as such, she’s already read the story. So she’s not exactly unbiased. But she is verrry nice )

    Reply
  10. Thanks for the endorsement, Trish.
    (Trish Morey is one of my good writing buddies, and as such, she’s already read the story. So she’s not exactly unbiased. But she is verrry nice )

    Reply
  11. From your editor’s comment, it seems that women either love men in kilts or hate them. I can go either way. I prefer regencies, though, so I want my men in kilts to be Regency men in kilts.

    Reply
  12. From your editor’s comment, it seems that women either love men in kilts or hate them. I can go either way. I prefer regencies, though, so I want my men in kilts to be Regency men in kilts.

    Reply
  13. From your editor’s comment, it seems that women either love men in kilts or hate them. I can go either way. I prefer regencies, though, so I want my men in kilts to be Regency men in kilts.

    Reply
  14. From your editor’s comment, it seems that women either love men in kilts or hate them. I can go either way. I prefer regencies, though, so I want my men in kilts to be Regency men in kilts.

    Reply
  15. From your editor’s comment, it seems that women either love men in kilts or hate them. I can go either way. I prefer regencies, though, so I want my men in kilts to be Regency men in kilts.

    Reply
  16. I love the excerpt, Anne, and I can safely say that your name on a piece of fiction is all it takes to persuade me to read it. I’ve also found that the Mammoth collections make great car books. I can read a short story while I’m waiting for a family member to run an errand or for one of the grands to finish soccer or choir practice. I look forward to this one.

    Reply
  17. I love the excerpt, Anne, and I can safely say that your name on a piece of fiction is all it takes to persuade me to read it. I’ve also found that the Mammoth collections make great car books. I can read a short story while I’m waiting for a family member to run an errand or for one of the grands to finish soccer or choir practice. I look forward to this one.

    Reply
  18. I love the excerpt, Anne, and I can safely say that your name on a piece of fiction is all it takes to persuade me to read it. I’ve also found that the Mammoth collections make great car books. I can read a short story while I’m waiting for a family member to run an errand or for one of the grands to finish soccer or choir practice. I look forward to this one.

    Reply
  19. I love the excerpt, Anne, and I can safely say that your name on a piece of fiction is all it takes to persuade me to read it. I’ve also found that the Mammoth collections make great car books. I can read a short story while I’m waiting for a family member to run an errand or for one of the grands to finish soccer or choir practice. I look forward to this one.

    Reply
  20. I love the excerpt, Anne, and I can safely say that your name on a piece of fiction is all it takes to persuade me to read it. I’ve also found that the Mammoth collections make great car books. I can read a short story while I’m waiting for a family member to run an errand or for one of the grands to finish soccer or choir practice. I look forward to this one.

    Reply
  21. Anne, I love the extract and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book! I enjoyed reading about your experiences in Scotland and thank you so much for that wonderful picture of Eilean Donan Castle. It has been raining every time I’ve been there but hey, that’s Scotland and it didn’t spoil a thing. So, bad weather and midges… Yes, true, but that doesn’t matter to me. And of course Scots men can be romantic. My dh is half-Scots. Case proven! I’m so glad that you have finally written your Scottish-set story and I hope many more will follow!

    Reply
  22. Anne, I love the extract and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book! I enjoyed reading about your experiences in Scotland and thank you so much for that wonderful picture of Eilean Donan Castle. It has been raining every time I’ve been there but hey, that’s Scotland and it didn’t spoil a thing. So, bad weather and midges… Yes, true, but that doesn’t matter to me. And of course Scots men can be romantic. My dh is half-Scots. Case proven! I’m so glad that you have finally written your Scottish-set story and I hope many more will follow!

    Reply
  23. Anne, I love the extract and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book! I enjoyed reading about your experiences in Scotland and thank you so much for that wonderful picture of Eilean Donan Castle. It has been raining every time I’ve been there but hey, that’s Scotland and it didn’t spoil a thing. So, bad weather and midges… Yes, true, but that doesn’t matter to me. And of course Scots men can be romantic. My dh is half-Scots. Case proven! I’m so glad that you have finally written your Scottish-set story and I hope many more will follow!

    Reply
  24. Anne, I love the extract and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book! I enjoyed reading about your experiences in Scotland and thank you so much for that wonderful picture of Eilean Donan Castle. It has been raining every time I’ve been there but hey, that’s Scotland and it didn’t spoil a thing. So, bad weather and midges… Yes, true, but that doesn’t matter to me. And of course Scots men can be romantic. My dh is half-Scots. Case proven! I’m so glad that you have finally written your Scottish-set story and I hope many more will follow!

    Reply
  25. Anne, I love the extract and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book! I enjoyed reading about your experiences in Scotland and thank you so much for that wonderful picture of Eilean Donan Castle. It has been raining every time I’ve been there but hey, that’s Scotland and it didn’t spoil a thing. So, bad weather and midges… Yes, true, but that doesn’t matter to me. And of course Scots men can be romantic. My dh is half-Scots. Case proven! I’m so glad that you have finally written your Scottish-set story and I hope many more will follow!

    Reply
  26. Anne
    I love that excerpt and Scotland is one place I have always dreamed of visiting a man in a kilt oh yea and those castles. I have Scottish blood running through my viens as well so maybe one day I will get there, in the mean time I read Scottish tales to help get me there LOL
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  27. Anne
    I love that excerpt and Scotland is one place I have always dreamed of visiting a man in a kilt oh yea and those castles. I have Scottish blood running through my viens as well so maybe one day I will get there, in the mean time I read Scottish tales to help get me there LOL
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  28. Anne
    I love that excerpt and Scotland is one place I have always dreamed of visiting a man in a kilt oh yea and those castles. I have Scottish blood running through my viens as well so maybe one day I will get there, in the mean time I read Scottish tales to help get me there LOL
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  29. Anne
    I love that excerpt and Scotland is one place I have always dreamed of visiting a man in a kilt oh yea and those castles. I have Scottish blood running through my viens as well so maybe one day I will get there, in the mean time I read Scottish tales to help get me there LOL
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  30. Anne
    I love that excerpt and Scotland is one place I have always dreamed of visiting a man in a kilt oh yea and those castles. I have Scottish blood running through my viens as well so maybe one day I will get there, in the mean time I read Scottish tales to help get me there LOL
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  31. Anne, I want that book just so I can finish that story.
    I adored your blog about your Scottish year. It’s a dream every child dreams of living close to the land and exploring and getting muddy and wet but having the time of your life. It’s a bit like an Enid Blyton story you know.

    Reply
  32. Anne, I want that book just so I can finish that story.
    I adored your blog about your Scottish year. It’s a dream every child dreams of living close to the land and exploring and getting muddy and wet but having the time of your life. It’s a bit like an Enid Blyton story you know.

    Reply
  33. Anne, I want that book just so I can finish that story.
    I adored your blog about your Scottish year. It’s a dream every child dreams of living close to the land and exploring and getting muddy and wet but having the time of your life. It’s a bit like an Enid Blyton story you know.

    Reply
  34. Anne, I want that book just so I can finish that story.
    I adored your blog about your Scottish year. It’s a dream every child dreams of living close to the land and exploring and getting muddy and wet but having the time of your life. It’s a bit like an Enid Blyton story you know.

    Reply
  35. Anne, I want that book just so I can finish that story.
    I adored your blog about your Scottish year. It’s a dream every child dreams of living close to the land and exploring and getting muddy and wet but having the time of your life. It’s a bit like an Enid Blyton story you know.

    Reply
  36. I was fortunate enough to visit Scotland for a week when I was in undergrad school. My visit was in March so you can imagine how cold it was! I loved the men in kilts and the musical lilt of the language. The land is rugged and beautiful and so clean and fresh and yes, romantic! I want to back some day and spend more time there. Can’t wait to read the rest of this story!

    Reply
  37. I was fortunate enough to visit Scotland for a week when I was in undergrad school. My visit was in March so you can imagine how cold it was! I loved the men in kilts and the musical lilt of the language. The land is rugged and beautiful and so clean and fresh and yes, romantic! I want to back some day and spend more time there. Can’t wait to read the rest of this story!

    Reply
  38. I was fortunate enough to visit Scotland for a week when I was in undergrad school. My visit was in March so you can imagine how cold it was! I loved the men in kilts and the musical lilt of the language. The land is rugged and beautiful and so clean and fresh and yes, romantic! I want to back some day and spend more time there. Can’t wait to read the rest of this story!

    Reply
  39. I was fortunate enough to visit Scotland for a week when I was in undergrad school. My visit was in March so you can imagine how cold it was! I loved the men in kilts and the musical lilt of the language. The land is rugged and beautiful and so clean and fresh and yes, romantic! I want to back some day and spend more time there. Can’t wait to read the rest of this story!

    Reply
  40. I was fortunate enough to visit Scotland for a week when I was in undergrad school. My visit was in March so you can imagine how cold it was! I loved the men in kilts and the musical lilt of the language. The land is rugged and beautiful and so clean and fresh and yes, romantic! I want to back some day and spend more time there. Can’t wait to read the rest of this story!

    Reply
  41. Linda, I can’t seem to stray too far from the Regency, either, so this story is still in the general time period.
    Janga, it is a good car book. Rather than a big feast on which you gorge, it’s a book of nibbles — scottish tapas, if you like.
    Nicola, thanks for setting the scene for me with your gorgeous New year’s blog on Scotland. And of course you have a half-scottish hero.
    And the point of all all romance and fiction is that you can edit out such things as midges and use bad weather only when you want it.

    Reply
  42. Linda, I can’t seem to stray too far from the Regency, either, so this story is still in the general time period.
    Janga, it is a good car book. Rather than a big feast on which you gorge, it’s a book of nibbles — scottish tapas, if you like.
    Nicola, thanks for setting the scene for me with your gorgeous New year’s blog on Scotland. And of course you have a half-scottish hero.
    And the point of all all romance and fiction is that you can edit out such things as midges and use bad weather only when you want it.

    Reply
  43. Linda, I can’t seem to stray too far from the Regency, either, so this story is still in the general time period.
    Janga, it is a good car book. Rather than a big feast on which you gorge, it’s a book of nibbles — scottish tapas, if you like.
    Nicola, thanks for setting the scene for me with your gorgeous New year’s blog on Scotland. And of course you have a half-scottish hero.
    And the point of all all romance and fiction is that you can edit out such things as midges and use bad weather only when you want it.

    Reply
  44. Linda, I can’t seem to stray too far from the Regency, either, so this story is still in the general time period.
    Janga, it is a good car book. Rather than a big feast on which you gorge, it’s a book of nibbles — scottish tapas, if you like.
    Nicola, thanks for setting the scene for me with your gorgeous New year’s blog on Scotland. And of course you have a half-scottish hero.
    And the point of all all romance and fiction is that you can edit out such things as midges and use bad weather only when you want it.

    Reply
  45. Linda, I can’t seem to stray too far from the Regency, either, so this story is still in the general time period.
    Janga, it is a good car book. Rather than a big feast on which you gorge, it’s a book of nibbles — scottish tapas, if you like.
    Nicola, thanks for setting the scene for me with your gorgeous New year’s blog on Scotland. And of course you have a half-scottish hero.
    And the point of all all romance and fiction is that you can edit out such things as midges and use bad weather only when you want it.

    Reply
  46. Helen, so many Aussies and New Zealanders and Canadians have Scottish ancestry, and we lap up Scottish romances. And though it’s true that some men can’t wear the kilt well, I say it’s the kilt that shows us the way.
    Keira, it was a time of enchantment for me, and yes, a bit like an Enid Blyton story. I actually don’t remember if any of her books were set in Scotland — I remember Wales, but not Scotland.
    Thanks Louisa — it’s been too many years since I was in Scotland — at least 10, and I’m itching to get back there. I prowled around on google earth and found the house in Abernethy where we used to live, and I could even see the attic window I used to gaze out of. We don’t usually have attics in Australia, so even that was magic, too.

    Reply
  47. Helen, so many Aussies and New Zealanders and Canadians have Scottish ancestry, and we lap up Scottish romances. And though it’s true that some men can’t wear the kilt well, I say it’s the kilt that shows us the way.
    Keira, it was a time of enchantment for me, and yes, a bit like an Enid Blyton story. I actually don’t remember if any of her books were set in Scotland — I remember Wales, but not Scotland.
    Thanks Louisa — it’s been too many years since I was in Scotland — at least 10, and I’m itching to get back there. I prowled around on google earth and found the house in Abernethy where we used to live, and I could even see the attic window I used to gaze out of. We don’t usually have attics in Australia, so even that was magic, too.

    Reply
  48. Helen, so many Aussies and New Zealanders and Canadians have Scottish ancestry, and we lap up Scottish romances. And though it’s true that some men can’t wear the kilt well, I say it’s the kilt that shows us the way.
    Keira, it was a time of enchantment for me, and yes, a bit like an Enid Blyton story. I actually don’t remember if any of her books were set in Scotland — I remember Wales, but not Scotland.
    Thanks Louisa — it’s been too many years since I was in Scotland — at least 10, and I’m itching to get back there. I prowled around on google earth and found the house in Abernethy where we used to live, and I could even see the attic window I used to gaze out of. We don’t usually have attics in Australia, so even that was magic, too.

    Reply
  49. Helen, so many Aussies and New Zealanders and Canadians have Scottish ancestry, and we lap up Scottish romances. And though it’s true that some men can’t wear the kilt well, I say it’s the kilt that shows us the way.
    Keira, it was a time of enchantment for me, and yes, a bit like an Enid Blyton story. I actually don’t remember if any of her books were set in Scotland — I remember Wales, but not Scotland.
    Thanks Louisa — it’s been too many years since I was in Scotland — at least 10, and I’m itching to get back there. I prowled around on google earth and found the house in Abernethy where we used to live, and I could even see the attic window I used to gaze out of. We don’t usually have attics in Australia, so even that was magic, too.

    Reply
  50. Helen, so many Aussies and New Zealanders and Canadians have Scottish ancestry, and we lap up Scottish romances. And though it’s true that some men can’t wear the kilt well, I say it’s the kilt that shows us the way.
    Keira, it was a time of enchantment for me, and yes, a bit like an Enid Blyton story. I actually don’t remember if any of her books were set in Scotland — I remember Wales, but not Scotland.
    Thanks Louisa — it’s been too many years since I was in Scotland — at least 10, and I’m itching to get back there. I prowled around on google earth and found the house in Abernethy where we used to live, and I could even see the attic window I used to gaze out of. We don’t usually have attics in Australia, so even that was magic, too.

    Reply
  51. When I first started reading romances (20 years ago+), I cut my teeth on Scottish historicals, namely those of Julie Garwood and some Jude Deveraux. I *LOVED* Scotland and men in kilts; and then Braveheart came out and my brain exploded with all things Scottish. If it wasn’t Scottish, it was crap sort of mentality.
    And then I stopped reading them. A lot of them seem to take place around 1600s or so, or maybe the Battle of Culloden–and those aren’t my favorite Scottish time periods. I’m definitely a Wars of Independence girl (both American and Scottish) and there didn’t seem to be a lot of Scottish books in this period.
    However, my pickiness has paid off. I “discovered” a series set in Braveheart’s era, but the heroes are like Special Ops. Special Ops in KILTS, people! There is enough history to be interesting and feel authentic to the period and the characters, but enough “modern” sensibility to enchant the 21st century romance reader. Beautiful. Monica McCarty’s new series.
    Hell, I’m almost tempted to pick up her backlists, even though they take place in the 1600s that’s how good this woman writes.
    So yes, keep bringing on the kilted heroes if they’re as well-written as these. And Annie, I know you’re a brilliant writer. I’d read your grocery lists!

    Reply
  52. When I first started reading romances (20 years ago+), I cut my teeth on Scottish historicals, namely those of Julie Garwood and some Jude Deveraux. I *LOVED* Scotland and men in kilts; and then Braveheart came out and my brain exploded with all things Scottish. If it wasn’t Scottish, it was crap sort of mentality.
    And then I stopped reading them. A lot of them seem to take place around 1600s or so, or maybe the Battle of Culloden–and those aren’t my favorite Scottish time periods. I’m definitely a Wars of Independence girl (both American and Scottish) and there didn’t seem to be a lot of Scottish books in this period.
    However, my pickiness has paid off. I “discovered” a series set in Braveheart’s era, but the heroes are like Special Ops. Special Ops in KILTS, people! There is enough history to be interesting and feel authentic to the period and the characters, but enough “modern” sensibility to enchant the 21st century romance reader. Beautiful. Monica McCarty’s new series.
    Hell, I’m almost tempted to pick up her backlists, even though they take place in the 1600s that’s how good this woman writes.
    So yes, keep bringing on the kilted heroes if they’re as well-written as these. And Annie, I know you’re a brilliant writer. I’d read your grocery lists!

    Reply
  53. When I first started reading romances (20 years ago+), I cut my teeth on Scottish historicals, namely those of Julie Garwood and some Jude Deveraux. I *LOVED* Scotland and men in kilts; and then Braveheart came out and my brain exploded with all things Scottish. If it wasn’t Scottish, it was crap sort of mentality.
    And then I stopped reading them. A lot of them seem to take place around 1600s or so, or maybe the Battle of Culloden–and those aren’t my favorite Scottish time periods. I’m definitely a Wars of Independence girl (both American and Scottish) and there didn’t seem to be a lot of Scottish books in this period.
    However, my pickiness has paid off. I “discovered” a series set in Braveheart’s era, but the heroes are like Special Ops. Special Ops in KILTS, people! There is enough history to be interesting and feel authentic to the period and the characters, but enough “modern” sensibility to enchant the 21st century romance reader. Beautiful. Monica McCarty’s new series.
    Hell, I’m almost tempted to pick up her backlists, even though they take place in the 1600s that’s how good this woman writes.
    So yes, keep bringing on the kilted heroes if they’re as well-written as these. And Annie, I know you’re a brilliant writer. I’d read your grocery lists!

    Reply
  54. When I first started reading romances (20 years ago+), I cut my teeth on Scottish historicals, namely those of Julie Garwood and some Jude Deveraux. I *LOVED* Scotland and men in kilts; and then Braveheart came out and my brain exploded with all things Scottish. If it wasn’t Scottish, it was crap sort of mentality.
    And then I stopped reading them. A lot of them seem to take place around 1600s or so, or maybe the Battle of Culloden–and those aren’t my favorite Scottish time periods. I’m definitely a Wars of Independence girl (both American and Scottish) and there didn’t seem to be a lot of Scottish books in this period.
    However, my pickiness has paid off. I “discovered” a series set in Braveheart’s era, but the heroes are like Special Ops. Special Ops in KILTS, people! There is enough history to be interesting and feel authentic to the period and the characters, but enough “modern” sensibility to enchant the 21st century romance reader. Beautiful. Monica McCarty’s new series.
    Hell, I’m almost tempted to pick up her backlists, even though they take place in the 1600s that’s how good this woman writes.
    So yes, keep bringing on the kilted heroes if they’re as well-written as these. And Annie, I know you’re a brilliant writer. I’d read your grocery lists!

    Reply
  55. When I first started reading romances (20 years ago+), I cut my teeth on Scottish historicals, namely those of Julie Garwood and some Jude Deveraux. I *LOVED* Scotland and men in kilts; and then Braveheart came out and my brain exploded with all things Scottish. If it wasn’t Scottish, it was crap sort of mentality.
    And then I stopped reading them. A lot of them seem to take place around 1600s or so, or maybe the Battle of Culloden–and those aren’t my favorite Scottish time periods. I’m definitely a Wars of Independence girl (both American and Scottish) and there didn’t seem to be a lot of Scottish books in this period.
    However, my pickiness has paid off. I “discovered” a series set in Braveheart’s era, but the heroes are like Special Ops. Special Ops in KILTS, people! There is enough history to be interesting and feel authentic to the period and the characters, but enough “modern” sensibility to enchant the 21st century romance reader. Beautiful. Monica McCarty’s new series.
    Hell, I’m almost tempted to pick up her backlists, even though they take place in the 1600s that’s how good this woman writes.
    So yes, keep bringing on the kilted heroes if they’re as well-written as these. And Annie, I know you’re a brilliant writer. I’d read your grocery lists!

    Reply
  56. I certainly like reading about Scottish heroes. I mean, who can resist a masculine man in a kilt? I enjoy reading Highland romances!

    Reply
  57. I certainly like reading about Scottish heroes. I mean, who can resist a masculine man in a kilt? I enjoy reading Highland romances!

    Reply
  58. I certainly like reading about Scottish heroes. I mean, who can resist a masculine man in a kilt? I enjoy reading Highland romances!

    Reply
  59. I certainly like reading about Scottish heroes. I mean, who can resist a masculine man in a kilt? I enjoy reading Highland romances!

    Reply
  60. I certainly like reading about Scottish heroes. I mean, who can resist a masculine man in a kilt? I enjoy reading Highland romances!

    Reply
  61. Scotland & Scots men aren’t romantic?
    Where in Scotland did she tour?
    Scotland, modern or old, has different scenery & settings traveling around the country. Castles, hoff’s, loches, thistle, hills, heather, etc., where is her imagination?
    Yes, & I dated a hot Scots man & even visited him in Scotland. That is the best way to get to know Scotland, know a Scots man & allow him to take you on a tour around his country. I will never forget that vacation.

    Reply
  62. Scotland & Scots men aren’t romantic?
    Where in Scotland did she tour?
    Scotland, modern or old, has different scenery & settings traveling around the country. Castles, hoff’s, loches, thistle, hills, heather, etc., where is her imagination?
    Yes, & I dated a hot Scots man & even visited him in Scotland. That is the best way to get to know Scotland, know a Scots man & allow him to take you on a tour around his country. I will never forget that vacation.

    Reply
  63. Scotland & Scots men aren’t romantic?
    Where in Scotland did she tour?
    Scotland, modern or old, has different scenery & settings traveling around the country. Castles, hoff’s, loches, thistle, hills, heather, etc., where is her imagination?
    Yes, & I dated a hot Scots man & even visited him in Scotland. That is the best way to get to know Scotland, know a Scots man & allow him to take you on a tour around his country. I will never forget that vacation.

    Reply
  64. Scotland & Scots men aren’t romantic?
    Where in Scotland did she tour?
    Scotland, modern or old, has different scenery & settings traveling around the country. Castles, hoff’s, loches, thistle, hills, heather, etc., where is her imagination?
    Yes, & I dated a hot Scots man & even visited him in Scotland. That is the best way to get to know Scotland, know a Scots man & allow him to take you on a tour around his country. I will never forget that vacation.

    Reply
  65. Scotland & Scots men aren’t romantic?
    Where in Scotland did she tour?
    Scotland, modern or old, has different scenery & settings traveling around the country. Castles, hoff’s, loches, thistle, hills, heather, etc., where is her imagination?
    Yes, & I dated a hot Scots man & even visited him in Scotland. That is the best way to get to know Scotland, know a Scots man & allow him to take you on a tour around his country. I will never forget that vacation.

    Reply
  66. You know me! After watching my mother’s male members of the family strut around in full regalia, how can I not love a man in a kilt? And I agree too, that if your name is on the story, it’s an auto buy for me. I can’t wait to read this one.
    (pssst…love the sheepies!)

    Reply
  67. You know me! After watching my mother’s male members of the family strut around in full regalia, how can I not love a man in a kilt? And I agree too, that if your name is on the story, it’s an auto buy for me. I can’t wait to read this one.
    (pssst…love the sheepies!)

    Reply
  68. You know me! After watching my mother’s male members of the family strut around in full regalia, how can I not love a man in a kilt? And I agree too, that if your name is on the story, it’s an auto buy for me. I can’t wait to read this one.
    (pssst…love the sheepies!)

    Reply
  69. You know me! After watching my mother’s male members of the family strut around in full regalia, how can I not love a man in a kilt? And I agree too, that if your name is on the story, it’s an auto buy for me. I can’t wait to read this one.
    (pssst…love the sheepies!)

    Reply
  70. You know me! After watching my mother’s male members of the family strut around in full regalia, how can I not love a man in a kilt? And I agree too, that if your name is on the story, it’s an auto buy for me. I can’t wait to read this one.
    (pssst…love the sheepies!)

    Reply
  71. Hi Hellion — thanks for the kind words. Not so sure about the grocery list, though. Very dull. No plot at aaalll. LOL
    I agree with you about Monica McCarty’s books — they’re very good, I think. I read the first one and have the next in the TBR pile. I tend to be a bit picky about Scottish books, and I think Monica gets it right.
    Hi Deb, thanks for dropping by. Glad to see I’m not alone in enjoying highland romances.

    Reply
  72. Hi Hellion — thanks for the kind words. Not so sure about the grocery list, though. Very dull. No plot at aaalll. LOL
    I agree with you about Monica McCarty’s books — they’re very good, I think. I read the first one and have the next in the TBR pile. I tend to be a bit picky about Scottish books, and I think Monica gets it right.
    Hi Deb, thanks for dropping by. Glad to see I’m not alone in enjoying highland romances.

    Reply
  73. Hi Hellion — thanks for the kind words. Not so sure about the grocery list, though. Very dull. No plot at aaalll. LOL
    I agree with you about Monica McCarty’s books — they’re very good, I think. I read the first one and have the next in the TBR pile. I tend to be a bit picky about Scottish books, and I think Monica gets it right.
    Hi Deb, thanks for dropping by. Glad to see I’m not alone in enjoying highland romances.

    Reply
  74. Hi Hellion — thanks for the kind words. Not so sure about the grocery list, though. Very dull. No plot at aaalll. LOL
    I agree with you about Monica McCarty’s books — they’re very good, I think. I read the first one and have the next in the TBR pile. I tend to be a bit picky about Scottish books, and I think Monica gets it right.
    Hi Deb, thanks for dropping by. Glad to see I’m not alone in enjoying highland romances.

    Reply
  75. Hi Hellion — thanks for the kind words. Not so sure about the grocery list, though. Very dull. No plot at aaalll. LOL
    I agree with you about Monica McCarty’s books — they’re very good, I think. I read the first one and have the next in the TBR pile. I tend to be a bit picky about Scottish books, and I think Monica gets it right.
    Hi Deb, thanks for dropping by. Glad to see I’m not alone in enjoying highland romances.

    Reply
  76. Kathryn, I actually don’t think that editor was making a judgement based on any particular experiences. I really think a good part of it was something like ancient emnity between the English and Scots — not actual emnity, as such, but the inherited echo of it coloring her views.
    Sounds like you had a fabulous time in Scotland. What’s not to love about being shown a country by a gorgeous man?

    Reply
  77. Kathryn, I actually don’t think that editor was making a judgement based on any particular experiences. I really think a good part of it was something like ancient emnity between the English and Scots — not actual emnity, as such, but the inherited echo of it coloring her views.
    Sounds like you had a fabulous time in Scotland. What’s not to love about being shown a country by a gorgeous man?

    Reply
  78. Kathryn, I actually don’t think that editor was making a judgement based on any particular experiences. I really think a good part of it was something like ancient emnity between the English and Scots — not actual emnity, as such, but the inherited echo of it coloring her views.
    Sounds like you had a fabulous time in Scotland. What’s not to love about being shown a country by a gorgeous man?

    Reply
  79. Kathryn, I actually don’t think that editor was making a judgement based on any particular experiences. I really think a good part of it was something like ancient emnity between the English and Scots — not actual emnity, as such, but the inherited echo of it coloring her views.
    Sounds like you had a fabulous time in Scotland. What’s not to love about being shown a country by a gorgeous man?

    Reply
  80. Kathryn, I actually don’t think that editor was making a judgement based on any particular experiences. I really think a good part of it was something like ancient emnity between the English and Scots — not actual emnity, as such, but the inherited echo of it coloring her views.
    Sounds like you had a fabulous time in Scotland. What’s not to love about being shown a country by a gorgeous man?

    Reply
  81. Thanks, Theo, I hope you enjoy the book.
    The wee lambs are gorgeous, aren’t they? I really fell for them when I was a kid, with their earnest little black faces. And when the sheep are trotting along, their long wool swings like a kilt.
    And yes, growing up with men who can wear the kilt is a fine thing. I don’t ever remember my dad wearing one, but my brother wore the kilt very well. Far from it being a man-in-a-skirt thing, a masculine man, I think, looks even more masculine in the kilt. Well, all you only have to look at Sean Connery to see that.

    Reply
  82. Thanks, Theo, I hope you enjoy the book.
    The wee lambs are gorgeous, aren’t they? I really fell for them when I was a kid, with their earnest little black faces. And when the sheep are trotting along, their long wool swings like a kilt.
    And yes, growing up with men who can wear the kilt is a fine thing. I don’t ever remember my dad wearing one, but my brother wore the kilt very well. Far from it being a man-in-a-skirt thing, a masculine man, I think, looks even more masculine in the kilt. Well, all you only have to look at Sean Connery to see that.

    Reply
  83. Thanks, Theo, I hope you enjoy the book.
    The wee lambs are gorgeous, aren’t they? I really fell for them when I was a kid, with their earnest little black faces. And when the sheep are trotting along, their long wool swings like a kilt.
    And yes, growing up with men who can wear the kilt is a fine thing. I don’t ever remember my dad wearing one, but my brother wore the kilt very well. Far from it being a man-in-a-skirt thing, a masculine man, I think, looks even more masculine in the kilt. Well, all you only have to look at Sean Connery to see that.

    Reply
  84. Thanks, Theo, I hope you enjoy the book.
    The wee lambs are gorgeous, aren’t they? I really fell for them when I was a kid, with their earnest little black faces. And when the sheep are trotting along, their long wool swings like a kilt.
    And yes, growing up with men who can wear the kilt is a fine thing. I don’t ever remember my dad wearing one, but my brother wore the kilt very well. Far from it being a man-in-a-skirt thing, a masculine man, I think, looks even more masculine in the kilt. Well, all you only have to look at Sean Connery to see that.

    Reply
  85. Thanks, Theo, I hope you enjoy the book.
    The wee lambs are gorgeous, aren’t they? I really fell for them when I was a kid, with their earnest little black faces. And when the sheep are trotting along, their long wool swings like a kilt.
    And yes, growing up with men who can wear the kilt is a fine thing. I don’t ever remember my dad wearing one, but my brother wore the kilt very well. Far from it being a man-in-a-skirt thing, a masculine man, I think, looks even more masculine in the kilt. Well, all you only have to look at Sean Connery to see that.

    Reply
  86. I have my man in a kilt and wouldn’t trade him for anyone else. As far as a kilt being manly, a man has to be pretty sure of himself to wear one.
    I loved the excerpt and look forward to reading the whole story. I have been waiting for this book since I got THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF TIME TRAVEL ROMANCE. I love anthologies and these are great, so many good authors in one place.

    Reply
  87. I have my man in a kilt and wouldn’t trade him for anyone else. As far as a kilt being manly, a man has to be pretty sure of himself to wear one.
    I loved the excerpt and look forward to reading the whole story. I have been waiting for this book since I got THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF TIME TRAVEL ROMANCE. I love anthologies and these are great, so many good authors in one place.

    Reply
  88. I have my man in a kilt and wouldn’t trade him for anyone else. As far as a kilt being manly, a man has to be pretty sure of himself to wear one.
    I loved the excerpt and look forward to reading the whole story. I have been waiting for this book since I got THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF TIME TRAVEL ROMANCE. I love anthologies and these are great, so many good authors in one place.

    Reply
  89. I have my man in a kilt and wouldn’t trade him for anyone else. As far as a kilt being manly, a man has to be pretty sure of himself to wear one.
    I loved the excerpt and look forward to reading the whole story. I have been waiting for this book since I got THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF TIME TRAVEL ROMANCE. I love anthologies and these are great, so many good authors in one place.

    Reply
  90. I have my man in a kilt and wouldn’t trade him for anyone else. As far as a kilt being manly, a man has to be pretty sure of himself to wear one.
    I loved the excerpt and look forward to reading the whole story. I have been waiting for this book since I got THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF TIME TRAVEL ROMANCE. I love anthologies and these are great, so many good authors in one place.

    Reply

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