Hi 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.
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.
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.
“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!