As we celebrate the release of Lecia's newest book, Once Upon a Highland Summer, she'll take readers on a tour through beautiful historical Scotland. All week, you’ll find out about the romantic setting, the lively characters (both alive and…otherworldly), and the Scottish romance genre in general! Commenters will have a chance to win a signed book by Lecia (US & Canada only).
Happy release day, Lecia! Once Upon a Highland Summer is on sale today from Avon Impulse!!
I have the pleasure of presenting you a Q & A with Lecia Cornwall where she talks about her research behind Once Upon a Highland Summer. Reading her beautiful account of Scotland and the breathtaking pictures, its almost like we're there with her.
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This is your first Scottish historical romance. What inspired the switch in location?
One of the things I love most about being a writer is the ability to go wherever my imagination takes me. (My last book, The Secret Life of Lady Julia took place in the glorious setting of Vienna in 1814.) I have always loved curling up with a Scottish historical novel, or a book of Scottish folk tales. I also have a strong family connection to Scotland, since my husband was born in Glasgow. For me, Scotland is a place of romance, fascinating history, magic, pride, and incredible natural beauty. Where better to set the story of two people facing tremendous challenges in finding true love?
Were you able to do any live research of the setting?
I visited Scotland with my family in 2009. I started writing Once Upon A Highland Summer in 2003, and I always wanted to come back to it. Originally, it was mostly just the ghost story, but Caroline’s story—and the curse on her love life—fit in so perfectly that I revised it to make it her story.
We visited so many wonderful places in Scotland—Culloden Moor, the site of the famous battle, was one of the saddest, most haunting places I’ve ever been. We also visited Cawdor Castle, an ancient castle set next to a rushing river the color of Highland whisky, and filled with family portraits of lovely Regency ladies like Caroline. We went to Culzean Castle, the seat of Clan Kennedy, my husband’s ancestors. There’s a portrait there of Sir Thomas Kennedy, an Elizabethan ancestor, who looks just like my son.
We had the opportunity to drive through the Highlands on a misty, magical day, past Loch Torridon and Eilean Donan Castle, down the Great Glen, and through the Trossach Hills to Glasgow, where my husband was born. His grandfather worked in the shipyards there, and my mother-in-law told stories of growing up in Glasgow during World War II. Scotland is an easy place to imagine the past coming to life, and to picture love blooming among the heather.
You’ve used some great Highland traditions and lore in ONCE UPON A HIGHLAND SUMMER, love potions, their bogey tales about Englishmen (and the English characters’ bogey tales about the Scots) what were some of your favorite facts and legends you found in your research?
I have always loved Scottish history. There was a science teacher at my elementary school who used to wear his Black Watch kilt to school, and play the bagpipes out in the school’s courtyard. Oddly, to this day, when I picture a Scottish castle in my mind, it looks kinda like the layout of my old school.
I find such incredible emotion in the real history of Scotland, in people like Mary Queen of Scots, and the events of the Battle of Culloden, the Glencoe Massacre, the Clearances, and the wonderful stories my Scottish mother-in-law told about life in Glasgow just before and during World War II.
If you belonged to A Scottish clan, what would your clan motto be, and your tartan colors?
I am fortunate to be a Kennedy by marriage, through my husband. The Kennedy motto is “Avise la fin”, which means “Consider the end”—can you imagine a better motto for a writer than that? My son, now 22, had a kilt made in the Kennedy modern tartan while we were in Scotland, and still wears it as formal wear, and to his university exams for luck. It’s a gorgeous sett—a dark green field with stripes of red, yellow and magenta. Is there anything handsomer than a man in a kilt, be he son or romance hero?
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Once Upon a Highland Summer
After an ancient curse, a pair of meddlesome ghosts, a girl on the run, and a fateful misunderstanding make for the perfect chance at true love.
Lady Caroline Forrester is on the run from her brother's scheme to marry her off to the highest bidder. An escape to Scotland offers a chance at employment as a governess and freedom from an unhappy marriage - it's the perfect solution. But Caroline wasn't prepared for the feelings that her new employer brings out in her.
Alec McNabb, the reluctant Earl of Glenorne, never expected to return home to Scotland. But now that he's there, he realizes he has obligations that he cannot escape. Alec needs to marry well, and quickly.
When a case of mistake identity - coupled with the sensual, magical atmosphere of Glenorne castle - results in a passionate encounter, Caroline and Alec must decide whether their attraction is enough to overcome the problems of their pasts, or whether this one chance at true love was over before it began...
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Thank you so much for stopping by today. Don't forget to visit each blog on its designated day to get the full behind the scenes picture of Once Upon a Highland Summer!
11/4 - Rakes, Rogues, and Romance: Find out all about the hero & heroine
11/5 - Crystal Blogs Books: Lecia shares pictures from her firsthand research of the Scottish setting
11/6 - For the Love of Bookends: Learn more about the ghostly matchmakers who bring our hero & heroine together
11/7 - Romancing the Readers: Lecia names some of her favorite Scottish-set historicals
11/9 - Coffee Time Romance: Top 10 Best Scottish Romances of all time!