Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Scottish-themed Novels with Lizzie Lamb

I’m delighted to welcome popular author, Lizzie Lamb, to the Reading and Writing blog today. Lizzie originally hails from Scotland which is very evident in her entertaining Scottish-themed novels, and I love the humour she brings to each story no matter the stakes for her appealing heroes and heroines. Lizzie tells us a bit more about her settings and inspiration below as she introduces her new novel, Girl in the Castle - available now to pre-order from Amazon worldwide.


Why I write Scottish-themed novels

Thank you for having me on your blog, Rosemary, I hope your followers will enjoy reading my post about why I write Scottish-themed contemporary novels. (It’s a pleasure, Lizzie!)


My interest in kilted heroes began as a child, reared (courtesy of Saturday morning cinema) on the exploits of highlanders in such movies as Rob Roy, Bonnie Prince Charlie, The Ghost Goes West and, sob, Grey Friar’s Bobby. After the movie (or fil-um, as we pronounced it) we’d re-enact Rob Roy’s leap and subsequent escape through the waterfall, or the scene from Kidnapped, where Davie Balfour is almost murdered by his evil uncle. Our dogs were dragooned into being "Bobby", loyally guarding his master's grave in Grey Friar's kirk, Edinburgh. And I longed to be Flora Macdonald, helping Bonnie Prince Charlie escape over the sea to Skye and away from the Redcoats. Tales of brave Covenanters and Jacobites stayed with me as I grew older and read Scottish-themed novels: The Jacobite Trilogy by D.K. Broster (falling in love with Ewen Cameron), The Lymond Chronicles (who could resist Francis Crawford?) 

More recently, the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon featuring uber-hero Jamie Fraser has fired my imagination. For me, he is the ultimate kilted hero and has it in spades – looks, sense of honour, loyalty, is sex-on-legs and can speak Gaelic. I’ll even admit to subscribing to Amazon Prime so I could watch the TV Series: OUTLANDER.


Readers, I have discovered, are drawn to the mystical, dreamy highlands of Scotland as the backdrop to contemporary romance. As a writer, born and bred in Scotland, I heartily agree with that sentiment. Tall, Dark and Kilted, features a sexy laird Ruairi (Roo-ary) Urquhart who has to fight to safeguard his land and inheritance. In Scotch on the Rocks, kilt-wearing American, Brodie arrives on Eilean na Sgairbh on the back of a storm wind and turns my heroine's life upside down.

In my latest novel Girl in the Castle the heroine - a disgraced academic - hides away in a castle in the highlands while she sorts out her life. There’s a phantom piper, a lost Jacobite treasure and a love affair to keep my readers interested. Here’s the blurb in the form of a book trailer.


Romance readers simply love a novel which features a man in a kilt. The element of ‘costume’ (ie the kilt), especially in a contemporary setting, removes the hero and the reader from the everyday and transports them into the realm of fantasy and romance. And, in the case of a kilted hero, there is also the tease of whether he’s followed tradition and gone ‘commando’, or not! My novels seem to hold a particular resonance for ex-pat Scots in USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada and sell well in those countries. Born in Scotland, I try to write with complete authenticity about Scotland - the land and its people.


The kilted hero in my novels is, generally, aristocratic – a laird, at the very least. And, while he does not have to work to earn his daily crust, he carries the weight of his inheritance and the welfare of his tenants and family on his shoulders. He often has emotional scars which only the heroine can heal. My novels have a happy ending and readers can close the book with a satisfied sigh knowing that all the obstacles which have prevented the hero and heroine from leading a happy life have been resolved.

I hope you have enjoyed learning a little about what drives me to write Scottish-themed romances. You can learn more about them and me on my website and via my other links. Do get in touch as I love hearing from my readers.

Thanks for a great post, Lizzie!

After teaching her 1000th pupil and working as a deputy head teacher in a large primary school, Lizzie decided it was time to leave the chalk face and pursue her first love: writing. In 2006 she joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme, honed her craft and wrote Tall, Dark and Kilted (2012), quickly followed a year later by Boot Camp Bride (2013) and Scotch on the Rocks (2015). Girl in the Castle is released this month.

Scotch on the Rocks was a finalist in the prestigious Exeter novel prize. Lizzie is a founder member of the New Romantics Press along with three other members of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

If you have a dream - go for it. Life is not a rehearsal.

Find out more about Lizzie and her novels on her Amazon Page, Goodreads and twitter: @lizzie_lamb

30 comments:

Lizzie Lamb said...

Rosemary, what a beautiful blog. I am thrilled to appear on it. I am also in awe of your creative output as shown on the side bar. I think I'd better get down to starting number five. I do love writing Scottish-themed contemporary romance (it's a pity that Amazon doesn't have a category specifically for that genre.) When I run out of inspiration, I watch OUTLANDER for the nth time and listen to my Runrig CD's and then I'm off . . .

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thank you, Lizzie! It's a pleasure to host you here and I do hope lots of new readers get to enjoy your brilliant novels.

Liz Ringrose said...

I have read all Lizzie Lamb's novels to date and look forward to reading her new one, The Girl in the Castle. This is a lovely blog entry - well displayed, entertaining and draws the reader in. Well done, Rosemary Gemmell for producing such a well-designed, attractive blog and featuring excellent writers such as Lizzie Lamb.

Margaret Kaine said...


I've loved Lizzie's previous novels and once I've finished this post, am off to pre-order The Girl in the Castle.
Lizzie has a fresh, humorous and yet deeply romantic approach in her books, and they offer perfect escapism. Just what we all need at the moment.

And a terrific blog, Rosemary. Thank you.

Adrienne Vaughan said...

I too have loved all of Lizzie's novels, her characters and the settings are so vivid, the reader can't help but fall in love with everything about her captivating stories.

What a fantastic blog Rosemary, showcases Lizzie and her fab books perfectly!

Good luck with the new one, Lizzie. My copy well and truly ordered!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Liz - many thanks for your kind comment about the blog! It's lovely to host an author like Lizzie so thanks for dropping in.

Thanks for your lovely comment, Margaret! I love Lizzie's novels too - always a great read.

Thank you for the kind comment, Adrienne! I'm looking forward to reading Girl in a Castle too.

Julia Thorley said...

Ooh, this sounds proper Scottish. BTW, I've never thought about a 'moving blurb' before. I had now idea these were a thing.

Jan Brigden said...

What a great post, ladies! I'm a big fan of Lizzie's writing and cannot wait to read The Girl in the Castle. If the heroes are anything like the ones in Lizzie's previous books I'm in for a fair treat. Great to learn more about you & your writing, Lizzie.

Isabella said...

It's such a great blog post, a pleasure to read and I love the photos too!
Looking forward to reading Lizzie's new novel, I have loved the previous ones, and can't wait to know the new kilted hero!

Nicola said...

One of my favourite books is set in the Highlands and as a child I spent many a holiday in Scotland. Congratulations Lizzie and I look forward to reading your new novel.

June Kearns said...

Lovely blog (great photos!) - and super post, Rosemary. I've so enjoyed Lizzie's first three books and the new one sounds just fabulous! Not long now.

Lizzie Lamb said...

Thanks to everyone who's taken the trouble to come over and leave a comment. And, yes, isn't Rosemary's blog fantastic? It's a pleasure to be a guest on it. I've had the idea of a book trailer buzzing around in my head for quite sometime. Inspired by Rosemary's trailers, I thought I'd have a go at making one (with the help of Sarah Houldcroft https://t.co/QOqtBoxSai) who formats my books.)I love the trailer so much, I can't stop watching it. Thank you to anyone who downloads Girl in the Castle, I hope you like it.

Rosalind Rendle said...

Great article which gives a very good flavour of both author and books. I'm intrigued to read one now. Thanks.
Ros

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for commenting, Julia - yes, a trailer is a great way to show off a book!

Hi Jan - thanks for your kind comment. I love Lizzie's heroes too so I'm with you there.

Many thanks for your lovely comment, Isabella - I'm sure we'll bith enjoy Lizzie's new book!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Nicola - thanks for that comment. You'll enjoy all of Lizzie's books, I'm sure!

Many thanks, June - looking forward to Girl in the Castle!

Hi Ros - thanks for commenting. I can definitely recommend Lizzie's books!

Phyllis King said...

Loved this blog about Lizzie's new romantic scotish novel.
I adore, romance, adventure with a sence of humour on a backdrop
of historical facts. Thank you for this interesting blog.
I will definitely be looking out this book and your recommendations.

Judy Hodgetts said...

What a lovely blog post, Rosemary. Really interesting to read about Lizzie's love of Scotland, and what inspires her. I've pre-ordered her book and can't wait to read it.

Lizzie Lamb said...

So nice to hear from more avid readers/writers and artists. What a fabulous community we are. I've had a bit of an easier day today, but am gearing up for the weekend when I hope to bring Girl in the Castle to an even wider group of readers.

Helena Fairfax said...

What a lovely post, Lizzie and Rosemary. I love the photos. Congratulations on your release, Lizzie. Looking forward to immersing myself in your Highland story!

JoanD-B said...

I can't wait to read The Girl in the Castle. I've so enjoyed Lizzie's previous novels and look forward to falling in love with another Scottish hero.

Vallypee said...

Great post! I like the fact that Lizzie is a Scot too! No wonder her settings are so authentic!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Phyllis - thank you for your lovely comment. I'm sure you'll enjoy Lizzie's books!

Many thanks for your kind comment, Judy - I'm sure you'll enjoy Girl in the Castle!

Thanks for joining us here, Helena!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Many thanks for commenting, Joan - Lizzie's heroes are certainly worth waiting for!

Absolutely, Vallypee - and she researches them well too! Thanks for commenting.

Lizzie Lamb said...

I've been trying to find the 'individual reply button,' but can't see one. So I'll just add a block thank you to today's postees. So nice of so many lovely bloggers and readers to drop by. I hope anyone who downloads Girl in the Castle enjoys it.

Rae Cowie said...

Lizzie on Rosemary's blog is a match made in heaven! Love the fact that your interest in writing about Scottish heroes was fostered by the movies you enjoyed, Lizzie. You can't beat a Scottish hero! Love the trailer for Girl in the Castle. Wishing you every success. xx

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for that lovely comment, Rae!

Lizzie Lamb said...

Yay. Found the reply button. Thank you for your kind remarks Rae. When I find I've got writers block I go off and watch a movie; it seems to free my mind to solve our plotting issues. And you're right you cannae beat a Scottish hero!

Carolb said...

Enjoyed discovering more about Lizzie's books. I'm currently reading Scotch on the Rocks...

Maria said...

Love the images and this new book sounds really intriguing.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for commenting, Carol - I enjoyed that one!

Thank you for commenting, Maria!