A Conversation With Author Cristine Eastin

Screen-Shot-2019-07-14-at-4.51.57-PM-2Hi there, friends.  I have something fun and a little different for you today.  Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with talented fiction author Cristine Eastin who, like me, has a deep and profound love for Scotland.  Her most recent novel, Love Inherited, is set in the Scottish Highlands.  Although relatively new on the literary stage, Cristine is a skilled and creative storyteller.  She describes herself as an “author of contemporary fiction spiced with romance, faith, and hope”.  I am so delighted to introduce her to you today!  So without further adieu…

Wendy:  Welcome, Cris.  Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me.

Cristine:  Thanks so much for the privilege of getting to do this!

Wendy:  It’s my pleasure.  Let’s just jump right in, shall we?

Wendy:  What was the inspiration behind Love Inherited?

Cristine:  Hmm…a gorgeous American woman inherits a huge Highland estate and tons of money and gets the drop-dead gorgeous laird…I didn’t have to go very subconscious to get to…wouldn’t that be fun?  But seriously, having been an American young woman transplanted to England for two years, I know the outlander experience.  And I wanted to write a story that, when the reader came to the end, would count for something.  So I gave the main characters deep wounding or hurts they had to struggle with.


Wendy:  The story of Love Inherited takes place in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland. Why did you choose this location as the setting for your book?

Cristine:  Because I love, love, love Scotland.  It’s where I’d love to live if they didn’t drive on the left.  Living there in my writer’s head was second best.  Having made eight trips to Scotland, I know it fairly well and I thought I could convey the setting to the reader.

The actual location of Love Inherited, Fionnloch, is a fictionalized Gairloch in Wester Ross in the northwest Highlands.  My husband and I stayed at Shieldaig Lodge a few years ago and I was so captivated by the area that I set my book there.

Shieldaig Lodge, Gairloch, Wester Ross…inspiration for Craggan Mhor in Love Inherited. When we stayed here in 2014, it was still operating as a hunting lodge and was all cozy and homey. (It’s since been done up.) -Cristine

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A Silent Eloquence

One of my heart’s desires on our recent trip to Scotland was to find a bluebell wood. I worried that we might have been too late, but was absolutely delighted to find them still in bloom. These photos were taken in a wood next to Boleskine Burial Ground on Loch Ness.

It’s the little things.

A fine and subtle spirit dwells
In every little flower,
Each one its own sweet feeling breathes
With more or less of power.
There is a silent eloquence
In every wild bluebell,
That fills my softened heart with bliss
That words could never tell.

∼from “The Bluebell” by Anne Bronte

Happy Summer Solstice!

“Bed In Summer”

-Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

 

In winter I get up at night 
And dress by yellow candle-light. 
In summer, quite the other way, 
I have to go to bed by day. 

I have to go to bed and see 
The birds still hopping on the tree, 
Or hear the grown-up people’s feet 
Still going past me in the street. 

And does it not seem hard to you, 
When all the sky is clear and blue, 
And I should like so much to play, 
To have to go to bed by day?

-from A Child’s Garden of Verses

Scott Monument

Hi friends,

I have a case of the glooomies. I can think of no other reason except that it’s the end of February, which here in Virginia feels like the purgatory of months. It may be the shortest month but somehow it feels like the longest! We’re too far removed from the holidays now to bask in the nostalgia and still a few weeks away from the the warmth and beauty of a new season. We’re caught in that yucky in-between time where winter feels unrelenting. Hurry up spring!

Friends, today I want to take a look at an iconic feature of Edinburgh’s skyline. When you visit the city, you notice right away that the landscape is dotted with spires. Perhaps the most recognizable among them is the awesome, gothic tower that looks as if it could have come straight out of J.R.R. Tolkien’s imagination.

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“O Were My Love Yon Lilac Fair”: A Poem by Robert Burns (and one of my personal favorites)

“O Were My Love Yon Lilac Fair”, by Scottish poet Robert Burns

O were my love yon Lilac fair,
Wi’ purple blossoms to the Spring,
And I, a bird to shelter there,
When wearied on my little wing!
How I wad mourn when it was torn
By Autumn wild, and Winter rude!
But I wad sing on wanton wing,
When youthfu’ May its bloom renew’d.

O gin my love were yon red rose,
That grows upon the castle wa’;
And I myself a drap o’ dew,
Into her bonie breast to fa’!
O there, beyond expression blest,
I’d feast on beauty a’ the night;
Seal’d on her silk-saft faulds to rest,
Till fley’d awa by Phoebus’ light!

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!

XOXO


Merry Christmas!

Heap on more wood! – the wind is chill;
But let it whistle as it will,
We’ll keep our Christmas merry still.

∼From “Marmion”, by Sir Walter Scott

warm-and-cozy-1975215.jpg

May your Christmas bring joy to your hearts and happiness to your homes.  Love,  peace, and God’s blessings to all.

XOXO,

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And this is the testimony:  that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.           

∼1 John 5:11

 

*star photo courtesy of Pexels; popcorn photo courtesy of Pixabay