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Books - Scotland Promo

 

 

I suppose I shouldn’t be waxing on about Scotland on a day that belongs to the Irish, but it is what it is. I’m lucky enough to have visited Scotland. Ireland is on my bucket list, and when it happens, I’ll write about it. I hope it’s soon!

Blue Belle Promo Poem

Blue Belle was the first novel I set in Scotland, although in the release date queue,  it follows Thistle Down (a novella) and Wild Rose. An editor first planted the seed in my mind to write a book set in Scotland. I was at a conference sponsored by the Romance Writer’s of America pitching books set in southern Minnesota and Iowa, and the editor I met with told me that people flock to buy books set in Scotland. By that time in my life, I’d visited England twice and fallen in love with all things British Isles, so it didn’t take much nudging to point me in that direction.

Scotland - Tobermory 5

 

I started to research Scotland online and stumbled onto the Isle of Mull, and the village of Tobermory because it’s known for its weddings. And, they have a rainbow-colored waterfront whose buildings are reflected in the water. And, they have a chocolate factory, and castles galore, mountains, and white sandy beaches. And, there is a centuries old legend about a Spanish galleon, filled with gold, that sunk in the bay back in 1588 that was never recovered (although several attempts have been made.) In my mind, that covered all the necessary ingredients for a great story.

Scotland - Celtic Cross

 

The rough draft of Blue Belle was nearly finished by 2007, when I got to visit Tobermory and the Isle of Mull in person. By that time, I felt like I knew the Island intimately, since I’d been “living there” in my mind for months. It was more than a dream come true. I had a strong sense of deja vu as I wandered around the harbor and saw Duart, Torosay and Glengorm castles for the first time.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]  Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]

It was on that same trip that my husband and I stumbled across St. Conan’s Kirk on Loch Awe. This old church was another case of love at first sight. My mind started reeling the second I rounded the hedge of rosy rhododendrons and saw the stone spires and awesome views. It’s definitely not the biggest or most grand cathedral in Scotland – more of a country church, really. But the crumbling steps and flying buttresses and angelic stained glass windows, and the copper, rabbit-shaped drain spout drew me in immediately, captured my imagination and inspired Wild Rose and Thistle Down.

Wild Rose - tag line

Shy Violet? I got the most beautiful photo of a totally gorgeous bagpipe player standing in front of the Eilean Donan castle, playing a haunting melody. I decided then and there that it was going to be on the cover of one of my novels.

Scottish Bagpipe player 5

The Wildflowers of Scotland concept? I bought a deck of cards at a gift shop titled the Wildflowers of Scotland. Among the cards were Wild Rose, Bluebell, Shy Violet, and Sweet William.

Sweet William

 

I have no idea if there will ever be a book called Sweet William, but last summer, I started seeing the flowers everywhere after not noticing that variety of flowers in any garden I’m aware of for decades. That must mean something. The wheels are turning.

WI2 - Thistle

 

Whether you love Scotland already or will one day, whether you’ve already visited Scotland in person or just imagined it in your mind’s eye, I hope you’ll come along for the journey.  Thistle Down and Wild Rose are available from Second Wind Publishing or your favorite online bookstore now. Blue Belle should be out this May. Shy Violet is half done, so you shouldn’t have to wait long. Although there are recurring characters throughout the novels, the plot lines and stories are unrelated – each one a new adventure.

13 Scotland - Band in Kilts

I’m pleased to unveil the cover of my upcoming release, Wild Rose, the first of my Wildflowers of Scotland novels. The tentative release date is late April, so please watch for future updates. I’m also working on a novella – a prequel to Wild Rose, that I hope to release in early April, a teaser, to introduce you to Ian MacCraig.

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When Ian MacCraig tries to capture the thief who is stealing artifacts from his kirk in Loch Awe, Scotland, the last things he expects to find on his video is a woman engaging in a passionate romp under the flying buttresses.

Rose Wilson is mortified to learn that Digby, the online friend she met for a harmless rendezvous, is a common criminal.

Now that Ian, the constable, the board of Wilson Enterprises, and half the town have had a glimpse of Rose in all her naked glory, it seems even her family looks at her differently. What remains to be seen is how far Ian will go to defend Rose’s honor and if the church ladies will forgive Rose now that they know who she really is… and if Rose can believe she’s worthy of someone as good and kind as Ian MacCraig.

Wild Rose and Pastor Ian MacCraig… a match made in heaven or one hell of a predicament?

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For the past year, I’ve been living in a fantasy world.  The scene is Loch Awe, Scotland, at a magical place called St. Conan’s Kirk.

Scotland - St. Conan's

It’s a very real place, one that really exists – and not just in my mind.

Scotland - St. Conan's Stone wall

It’s made of stones and timbers, spires and cloisters, flying buttresses and secret abbeys with curved staircases carved in stone.

Scotland - St. Cuthbert's

The water on the loch is glassy smooth, so still that clouds float in the water and the stray rhododendron petals gliding over the surface never sink.

Scotland - St. Conan's View

Bad things happen in my fantasy world, just like they do in the real world, but something good always comes out of them, and not twenty years later, when you’ve forgotten all about the inciting incident and are too old to care, but in short order.

Scotland Baptismal Font

Because in my fantasy world, there are only happy endings. And they occur in a reasonable amount of time – less than 400 pages.

Scotland - St. Conan's Stained Glass

I should know – I’ve been living there for months. It’s a bit like slipping off on a vacation. You can sleep until noon if you want to, and you get to decide what it is you want to do every morning – which can be whatever in the world you want it to be. You can eat whatever it is that you want to, because you’re on vacation. There are no restrictive diets or rules or deadlines or obligations. Anything goes. Anything can happen, and usually does. Whatever yer fancy.

Scotland - Cambo gardens4

You see, in my fantasy world, I’m the Captain of the Starship Enterprise, and when I say, “Make it so,” it is.

Scotland - Stained Glass

So a day ago, when I wrote the last page of Wild Rose, the first in my Scottish Wildflower Trilogy, I felt like I was sinking into the bottomless abyss of Nothing. The story ended and now, I’ve got nothing to do (well, really I do, but nothing I want to).

Scotland - Conan's Stained Glass

I miss Rose already, and Ian MacCraig, and their dilemmas, and wondering what they’re going to do, and how they’re going to feel.  I even have a hankering to see Digby again, and Torey MacDougal, and the church ladies. How I’m going to get on without them, I really don’t know.

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It’s a magical place – a book, that is – and once you’ve been to a good one, you never want to leave. At least I don’t.

So I’ll tell you a secret… Wild Rose has a surprise ending, and it happens in Tobermory, on the Isle of Mull, off the west coast of Scotland – another favorite place of mine.

Scotland - Tobermory 5

I can’t tell you exactly how, because I’ve only just gone there, but the story will live on, and I’ll get to see Rose and Ian again. So will you, if you take the ferry and come to visit.

Scotland - Duart Castle

You see, there’s a bonny lass called Isabelle, and a gent who calls himself Michael St. Dawndalyn, and an evil, evil man named Damien who’s about to cause all kinds of trouble for them. And they’re going to need Rose and Ian’s help.

Scotland - Celtic Cross

There’s also a castle, and an old Celtic cemetery, and a keep that’s in ruins, and so many secrets… deep, dark secrets that are bound to come to light…

Scotland, St. Conan's Church

And the story lives on.

Scotland - Celtic Cross

(Watch for Wild Rose by Sherrie Hansen, coming in April 2013 from Second Wind Publishing, Blue Belle by Sherrie Hansen, coming in November 2013?, and Shy Violet by Sherrie Hansen, coming in… nobody knows…)

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RAGGED ROBIN – New Release

PLUM TART IRIS – New Release

Seaside Daisy

NEW RELEASE!

Daybreak (Sequel to Night & Day)

Night and Day

Golden Rod

Sweet William

Shy Violet

Blue Belle

Wild Rose

Thistle Down

Love Notes

Stormy Weather

Water Lily

Merry Go Round

What You’ve Missed

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