Guest blog: Why I write Scottish-themed romance

Braw! I’m very glad to be welcoming Lizzie Lamb to my blog today. I’m a fan of her novels set in Scotland, and I hope you will be too!

Thank you for having me on your blog, Eleanor, I hope your followers will enjoy reading my about the reasons why I write Scottish-themed contemporary romance.

The cover of Lizzie Lamb's novel "Scotch on the Rocks"

My interest in kilted heroes began as a child, reared (courtesy of Saturday morning cinema) on the exploits of Highlanders in such movies as Rob RoyBonnie Prince CharlieThe Ghost Goes West and, sob, Greyfriar’s Bobby.  After the movie (or fil-um, as we pronounced it) we’d re-enact Rob Roy’s leap and subsequent escape through the waterfall, or the scene from Kidnapped, where Davie Balfour is almost murdered by his evil uncle. Our dogs were dragooned into being “Bobby”, loyally guarding his master’s grave in Greyfriar’s kirkyard, Edinburgh. And I longed to be Flora Macdonald, helping Bonnie Prince Charlie escape over the sea to Skye and away from the Redcoats.

Tales of brave Covenanters and Jacobites stayed with me as I grew older and read Scottish-themed novels . . . The Jacobite Trilogy by D.K. Broster (falling in love with Ewen Cameron), The Lymond Chronicles (who could resist Francis Crawford?) More recently, the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon featuring uber-hero Jamie Fraser has fired my imagination, For me, he is the ultimate kilted hero and has it in spades – looks, sense of honour, loyalty, is sex-on- legs and can speak Gaelic. I’ll even admit to subscribing to Amazon Prime so I could watch the TV Series:
Outlander.

The cover of "Tall, Dark and Kilted" by Lizzie Lamb

Readers, I have discovered, are drawn to the mystical, dreamy highlands of Scotland as the backdrop to contemporary romance. As I writer, born and bred in Scotland, I heartily agree with that sentiment. Tall, Dark and Kilted features a sexy laird Ruairi (Roo-ary) Urquhart who has to fight to safeguard his land and inheritance. In Scotch on the Rocks, kilt-wearing American, Brodie arrives on Eilean na Sgairbh on the back of a storm wind and turns my heroine’s life upside
down.

The cover of Lizzie Lamb's novel "Girl in the Castle"

In my latest novel Girl in the Castle, the heroine – a disgraced academic – hides away in a castle in the highlands while she sorts out her life. There’s a phantom piper, a lost Jacobite treasure and a love affair to keep readers interested.

Romance readers simply love a novel which features a man in a kilt. The element of ‘costume’ (ie the kilt), especially in a contemporary setting, removes the hero and the reader from the everyday and transports them into the realm of fantasy and romance. And, in the case of a kilted hero, there is also the tease of whether he’s followed tradition and gone ‘commando’, or not! My novels seem to hold a particular resonance for ex-pat Scots in USA, Australia, New Zealand and
Canada and sell well in those countries. As a Scot, I try to write with complete authenticity about Scotland – the land and its people.

A Scottish castle in a book with hearts floating over it.

The kilted hero in my novels is, generally, aristocratic – a laird, at the very least. And, while he does not have to work to earn his daily crust, he carries the weight of his inheritance and the welfare of his tenants and family on his shoulders. He often has emotional scars which only the heroine can heal. My novels have a happy ending and readers can close the book with a satisfied sigh knowing that all the obstacles which have prevented the hero and heroine from leading a happy life, have been resolved.

The Route 500 logo, a circle with the names of the towns around the outside, with "Route 500" in the centre over a cross of St Andrew.

I love travelling round Scotland and have completed Coast 500 and as I travel I pick up ideas for future novels. As for the Gaelic, I have Gaelic-speaking friends on Islay and South Uist who help me. In case you’re wondering what my favourite Gaelic phrase is, here you go: ‘Is tu an solas na mo bheatha. You are the light of my life.’ Or, in the slightly more prosaic lingua franca of the Central Belt: ‘I wisnae pushed, I didnae shove, I just met you and fell in love.’

Lairg, West Highlands

So, dear and gentle readers, I hope you have enjoyed learning a little about what drives me to write Scottish-themed romances. You can learn more about them, and me, on my website and via my other links. Do get in touch as I love hearing from my readers.

See Lizzie Lamb’s books at Amazon, sign up to her newsletter, visit her website, check out her titles on Goodreads, and find out what she’s up to on Twitter.

Girl in the Castle

Her academic career in tatters, Dr Henriette Bruar needs somewhere to lay low, plan her comeback and restore her tarnished reputation. Fate takes her to a remote Scottish castle to auction the contents of an ancient library to pay the laird’s mounting debts. The family are in deep mourning over a tragedy which happened years before, resulting in a toxic relationship between the laird and his son, Keir MacKenzie. Cue a phantom piper, a lost Jacobite treasure, and a cast of characters who – with Henri’s help, encourage the MacKenzies to confront the past and move on. However – will the Girl in the Castle be able to return to university once her task is completed, and leave gorgeous, sexy Keir MacKenzie behind?