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Guest blogger: Lizzie Lamb

6 February 2022

I was born in Scotland and lived there until I was eleven years old. I’ve never lost that connection with Scotland and when we cross the border and I see the ‘Welcome to Scotland’ sign I feel tingly all over and I know I’m home. Although I no longer ‘sound’ Scottish, I soon find my accent when I’m in the midst of my family and start using the ‘Old Scots’ words: scunner, peely-wally, dreich and swally. It was a no brainer to set my novels north of the border and to remind myself what my Scottish heritage means to me.

Growing up in the Central Belt with the Ravenscraig Steel Works literally at the bottom of my garden (so not romantic!) I created an alternative reality. In the nearby woods I went in search of faeries under toadstools, nyads at the bottom of wells and dryads hiding in the trees. Having no luck in finding them, I discovered the romance of history: castles, knights and feisty princesses prepared to give any dragon a run for its money and I never looked back. Until, that is, I read my first Jilly Cooper novel and became hooked on contemporary romance.

The faerie realm still appeals to me. Perhaps that’s why I’ve set four of my six romance novels in Scotland—a magical, mystical place where anything can happen: creatures in the mist, myths and legends, clootie wells, Jacobite treasure and water horses.

I took early retirement from teaching to concentrate on my writing. Everyone expected me to write children’s books, but that didn’t appeal one bit. However, the heroine in Harper’s Highland Fling (romance #6) is a primary school headmistress who finds herself in a spot of bother after meeting the hero, Rocco Penhaligon. Many readers have wondered if the character is me, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

I adore Wester Ross and the coast from Fort William to Ullapool and beyond, so writing the novel was easy. The words poured onto the page. We have a large caravan and have twice completed the North Coast 500 in it and this summer spent six weeks sightseeing, chilling, researching, writing, absorbing the scenery and culture around Mallaig, Camusdarach and Arisaig where my next novel, Dark Highland Skies, is set.

This year is the tenth anniversary of my becoming an indie author, having self-published Tall, Dark and Kilted in 2012 when indie authors were rare beasts and social media was in its infancy. In 2020 I was nominated as Indie Champion of 2021 by the Romantic Novelists’ Association, in recognition of my achievements and the help I give to aspiring indie authors. Who knows, I might win next time! I’m currently working hard on book #7, Dark Highland Skies, but if you would like to check out my novels on Amazon and read a FREE extract, here’s the link.

Thank you for having me on the ARRA blog. I know there are many Australians of Scottish decent who would enjoy reading my novels and connecting with the old country. Do get in touch via any of my media links if you’d like to learn more, I’d love to hear from you.

You can find Lizzie here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Harper’s Highland Fling

After a gruelling academic year, head teacher Harper MacDonald is looking forward to a summer holiday trekking in Nepal. However, her plans are scuppered when wayward niece, Ariel, leaves a note announcing that she’s running away with a boy called Pen. The only clue to their whereabouts is a footnote: I’ll be in Scotland. Cue a case of mistaken identity when Harper confronts the boy’s father—Rocco Penhaligon, and accuses him of cradle snatching her niece and ruining her future. At loggerheads, Harper and Rocco set off in hot pursuit of the teenagers, but the canny youngsters are always one step ahead. And, in a neat twist, it is the adults who end up in trouble, not the savvy teenagers.

 

20 Comments
  1. 9 February 2022 11:00 pm

    Lizzie’s novels are very engaging, full of great characters and plots with a touch of humour.
    There is nothing I like better than curling up with one of your books. Great blog, loved hearing about your influences and how you have progressed. Can’t wait for your next book!!!

    • Lizzie Lamb permalink
      9 February 2022 11:13 pm

      Many thanks for leaving a message Phyllis. One of the hardest things when you start out as an author is building up a readership. Working hard to finish number seven and hope you’ll have it before the end of the year.

  2. 9 February 2022 10:54 pm

    I love curling up with one of Lizzie’s books they transport me into another world.
    Very enjoyable blog, so interesting to hear about what inspires you and how you have progressed as an author.

  3. Joan Davies-Bushby permalink
    8 February 2022 12:41 am

    If you haven’t read any of Lizzie’s books then you are in for a treat. Her love and knowledge of Scotland shines through her stories. I can’t wait for the next one, so keep on writing Lizzie!

    • Lizzie Lamb permalink
      8 February 2022 1:40 am

      Many thanks for taking the time to leave such an amazing bit of feedback, Joan. You;ve been a supporter over the last ten years. I hope you’ll have a free date in November for when we hold our big celebration and book launch.

  4. 7 February 2022 10:31 pm

    What a fabulous post. Lovely to read all about the stories behind the stories. Your love and knowledge of Scotland shines through perfectly in your novels, Lizzie, all of which have been an absolute joy to read. Congratulations on your achievements. You’re an inspiration! xx

    • Lizzie Lamb permalink
      7 February 2022 11:41 pm

      Thanks very much For leaving this comment Jan. I don’t think we’ll make a trip to Scotland this year but I have lots of images and memories stored up to help my writing. The one thing about writing Scottish themed romance is that when I’m in front of the computer I’m immediately transported back there.

  5. Isabella permalink
    7 February 2022 6:50 pm

    I’m a great fan of Lizzie’s books and can’t recommend them enough! I am eagerly awaiting for her new book I hope it’ll be out soon! Great blog post 🤩🤩

    • Lizzie Lamb permalink
      7 February 2022 8:31 pm

      Thank you for coming om board, Isabella. As a reviewer and avid reader of all genres of romance I especially value your opinion. I hope you won’t wait too long for #7. I want to have it out before the end of the year.

  6. 7 February 2022 9:16 am

    Fabulous blog Lizzie and what an amazing insight into what makes a novelist. I love all your books, and the love of your homeland always intertwines beautifully with the heart of the story, always managing to be funny, poignant and totally gripping at the same time. So looking forward to your latest novel – ready to be swept away, yet again! X

    • Lizzie Lamb permalink
      7 February 2022 8:34 pm

      Morning Adrienne, as an author, you know the trials and tribulations of getting a book out to readers. You said; ‘ the love of your homeland always intertwines beautifully with the heart of the story’. I could say the same about your books which are set in Ireland. Not for nothing are we called the Mad Celts !!

  7. 7 February 2022 4:07 am

    Reblogged this on New Romantics Press.

    • Lizzie Lamb permalink
      7 February 2022 4:39 am

      Thanks for the reblog, June.

  8. 7 February 2022 2:15 am

    Great post, Lizzie. My maternal grandmother was Scottish – born in Dumbarton Castle way back, when her dad was quartered there with one of the Highland regiments. I visited some years ago and climbed all those hundreds of steps! I first discovered your work when I read Tall, Dark and Kilted and since then I think you’ve gone from strength to strength.

    • Lizzie Lamb permalink
      7 February 2022 2:23 am

      Thank you Jill. I’m so glad that you’ve enjoyed my books. It’s a steep learning curve but I think (over ten years) I’ve learned a lot. Trying to find time to write isn’t always easy but I would like to have my WIP on Amazon by the end of November ’22. Hope that’s do-able.

  9. jessiecahalin permalink
    6 February 2022 9:49 pm

    Congratulations on ten years of writing wonderful novels for us to escape to. I enjoyed discovering how your childhood inspired you to create your own world. You are a great writer and amazing champion of writers.

    • Lizzie Lamb permalink
      6 February 2022 10:03 pm

      Thanks, Jessie. I must admit that I was amazed at the impact my childhood in Scotland has had on my writing. I love helping other writers, especially indies, as I know how much effort goes in to getting a book ‘out there’.

  10. 6 February 2022 9:46 pm

    I’ve loved every one of Lizzie’s books. She’s such a great story-teller – with a real love, (and knowledge of) Scotland.
    I’m hoping another one is on its way!

    • Lizzie Lamb permalink
      6 February 2022 10:00 pm

      Thanks for your message, June. Working hard on getting the next one out there.

  11. Lizzie Lamb permalink
    6 February 2022 9:02 pm

    Reblogged this on Lizzie Lamb – author and commented:
    Many thanks to the Australian Romance Readers Association – and in particular, Debbie – for featuring me on their wonderful blog. I’m very pleased to be a Guest Blogger today and hope to reveal news of my new book in November 2022. Watch this space.

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