Thank you for having me as your guest in the lovely Plotting Shed again, it’s great to be back!
Last time I was here I think I talked about dogs, because of Grumpy and the fact that my first novel featured two little dogs just like my own. I hope you won’t mind if I do it again? As you’ve probably gathered, I love dogs (well, all animals really, as long as they have no more than four legs!), so I guess it won’t be a surprise to hear that I decided to include a dog in Highland Storms as well – a deerhound called Liath.
This time, however, I gave him more of a starring role. Perhaps because a deerhound is so much bigger than the small, fluffy pooches I wrote about before, I was able to include him in the plot to a greater extent. And being an intelligent hound, he’s also a whole lot more obedient than the ones I live with in real life – trust me, you couldn’t get less obedient if you tried! Anyway, Liath is the heroine’s constant companion, friend and guard, and boy does she need him! He saves the day at least once and does his best to help out in every way, and that, to me, is what a proper guard dog should do.
The best thing of all, however, is that Liath likes the hero and decides not to guard the heroine against him, which annoys her no end at first! To me, this just showed that Liath was clever and knew a good person when he saw one, but it takes a while for the heroine to reach the same conclusion. I had great fun writing those scenes!
Different breeds have different characteristics, of course, and I tried to incorporate those of a deerhound into Liath. The lovely features and the fact that although they’re big, they are gentle and docile if treated right. The more I read about them, the more I wanted one, but sadly I don’t think my current dogs would accept another one into their pack. One day maybe …
I enjoyed all aspects of researching this novel, because I love Scotland and all things Scottish. It was a great excuse for visiting the Highlands and taking my daughter to see Loch Ness, where she hadn’t been before. Urquhart Castle, Eilean Donan and all the other sights we saw were breathtaking. We also enjoyed getting to know a small herd of Highland cattle (which are also mentioned in the story), owned by a friend of mine. The calves were adorable and some of the bigger animals allowed us to go near and even comb them! (I was a bit wary of those horns though.)
But enough about animals, I think. Instead, here is a short synopsis of Highland Storms:-
Who can you trust?
Betrayed by his brother and his childhood love, Brice Kinross needs a fresh start. So he welcomes the opportunity to leave Sweden for the Scottish Highlands to take over the family estate.
But there’s trouble afoot at Rosyth in 1754 and Brice finds himself unwelcome. The estate is in ruin and money is disappearing. He discovers an ally in Marsaili Buchanan, the beautiful redheaded housekeeper, but can he trust her?
Marsaili is determined to build a good life. She works hard at being housekeeper and harder still at avoiding men who want to take advantage of her. But she’s irresistibly drawn to the new clan chief, even though he’s made it plain he doesn’t want to be shackled to anyone.
And the young laird has more than romance on his mind. His investigations are stirring up an enemy. Someone who will stop at nothing to get what he wants – including Marsaili – even if that means destroying Brice’s life forever …
To win a signed copy of this novel, please tell us which breed of dog you like best and why?