The Sound of a Hero

For my American friends, I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. Those of you from other places may wonder a bit about our yearly turkey orgy, but it really is about more than over-indulging in food and football. It’s a time to give thanks for the people and blessings in our lives. Heaven knows, I’ve got plenty to be thankful for (not the least of which is that the left overs are almost gone!)

My blog guest today shares how an author can deliver not only the sights of her setting, but its sound as well. Mary Wine is a fellow Brava author who sets her historical romances in beautiful Scotland. She found a unique way to fix her hero’s brogue in her ear.

My blog is now yours, Mary!

Mary Wine Meets a Scotsman

What makes the holidays so special? A feast for the senses. All the good cheer begins with the smell of the house, cinnamon, bread, turkey, candles and a host of other things. It all rolls together to make these days amazingly special.

I think a good book should hit a reader the same way. You should be able to feel the frost on your nose if it’s winter time or smell the flowers if it’s Spring. That’s a challenge for an author but one that I think completes the story. Sure, we all read for the story but the setting is important too. Just tossing in a few ‘ye’’s and ‘yer’’s doesn’t transform the inside of that book to the highlands of Scotland.

Although, getting a grip on the Scottish brogue is interesting work. I had a wonderful opportunity two years ago when I turned around in of all places, a historical cat house in Alaska and discovered myself sitting next to a gentleman from the Highlands. I actually asked him where he was from because I didn’t want to put my foot into my mouth by saying he was from Scotland, in case he wasn’t. He laughed at me and asked “Cannae ye tell woman?”

It was the beginning of a wonderful conversation. It turned out he was in fact a Highlander and traveling on the same ship we were. Now, it’s the honest truth I met him in a bar, that was also once an infamous whore house. Over the next few days, I was privileged to spend a fair amount of time with him and it was enthralling to listen to his brogue. It was also very interesting to learn about Scotland from someone who called it home.

Yes, ladies, he did in fact bring his kilt. On formal night, my husband and I love to dress in our Victorian finery. Hey, they said formal but they neglected to give a year. Well, our new highland friend was very happy to join us in his kilt and he looked smashing in it.

When I returned home and began to work on ‘To Conquer a Highlander’, I think I heard his voice in my head as I was writing the dialog. It really brought Torin to life, just a little bit more for me. Not that I have trouble seeing my heroes, in fact, there has been more than one instant when I’ve had to demand they take a break so I can sleep! Scottish Highlanders like Torin don’t like to be told what to do…by the way. But no book was ever written in a single day…I keep trying to tell my heroes this fact and they just glare at me and interrupt my sleep. LOL.

Yes, I’m that into my writing. I do wake up at night, with the perfect scene in my head and I debate whether or not to get up and write it. I hope you all enjoy the book enough to feel it’s worth it and thanks for having me by to blog.

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Mary’s bio: Mary Wine has written over twenty novels that take her readers from the pages of history to the far reaches of space. When she’s not abusing a laptop, she spends time with her sewing machines…all of them! Making historical garments is her second passion. From corsets and knickers to court dresses of Elizabeth I, the most expensive clothes she owns are hundreds of years out of date. She’s also an active student of martial arts, having earned the rank of second degree black belt.

Thanks for visiting, Mary! I’d so love to see your costume closet sometime. Here’s our question for discussion today: Why do you love Scotish-set romances?

20 thoughts on “The Sound of a Hero

  1. librarypat says:

    Interesting post, Mary. I think my celtic roots must call to me when I go looking for books. I seem to be drawn to stories set in the Highlands or Ireland. The wild land and independent nature of the people that inhabit it are the draw. The Scots and Irish fought to retain their culture and way of life. That they have managed to rebuild as much of it as they have over the years is a testament to their determination. The music, food and culture reflect on lives that are lived hard and celebrated hard. If there is a man in a kilt on the cover, you know I will pick it /I#39;ll be looking for TO CONQUER A HIGHLANDER.

  2. Regina Jeffers says:

    Great post, Mary…I am working on a story line which crosses back and forth between Scotland and /Being of Scottish descent, I devour everything /Happy St. Andrew#39;s Day, by the way.

  3. Barb H says:

    Love the post, /br /What fate to run into your Highlander when you did. I#39;ve always loved Scottish historicals. The men are so independent and #39;the good kind of#39; alphas–willing to be tamed by a canny lass. The land itself is lovely, too. I fell in love with Scotland for real a few years ago when I was lucky enough to /br /Mia, I#39;ve loved your moving party. Thanks for all the wonderful guests you#39;ve had.

  4. Brenna Ash says:

    Great post Mary! That must#39;ve been an awesome vacation. I#39;m a huge fan of Scotland and can#39;t get enough of listening to the Scottish and their accents! The first romance book I read was a Scottish Historical. I#39;ve been hooked ever since!

  5. Chelsea B. says:

    For me, it#39;s definitely the accent :-)

  6. Obe says:

    Oh what a lovely way to spend a cruise. I remember as a child watching the Disney version of Kidnapped. Peter O#39;Toole and the romance of the brogue. Those kilts ahhhhh yes, It#39;s awesome. br /br /Nan

  7. Christie Craig says:

    This sounds wonderful. There are times nothing suits my mood better than a good Scottish romance. Thanks for sharing Mia and /br /CC

  8. Sandy says:

    I started loving them when I read a few of Julie Garwood#39;s books, and I#39;m not even a historical reader. /br /Mary, do you believe in destiny? I think you were destined to meet your highlander to make your story more authentic.

  9. Deb says:

    I#39;m not sure why I like Scotland-set romances. I have seen pictures of this beautiful land and have often wondered what it would be like to walk along heather-bordered paths. I think it is just the romantic soul in me that enjoys reading about rugged, yet tender heroes who hail from a rugged, beautiful /Besides, who can resist a man in a kilt. ;)

  10. says:

    I love historical romance because Scotland is part of my soul. As a youngster my great Uncle who came to America from Aberdeen would tell be stories of the highlands and to quot;beware the Englishquot; (my maiden name was Ryon and my mother#39;s maiden name was Bingham). He said I had Scotish blood running thru my soul and it was stronger than the Englsih. He also told be of a great-grandfather who sailed out of Glascow before coming to America and settling in /br /A few years ago my husband and I finally were able to visit Scotland and I finally understood what my heart had been missing. It#39;s a mystical magical place and the place that reading romance had helped bring me to love.

  11. Donna Marie Rogers says:

    Hi Mary amp; Mia! I#39;m not sure if I can pinpoint it exactly, but I#39;ve always loved Scottish romances. The heroes are just so darn sexy…sigh. The first one I read was by Johanna Lindsey; I can#39;t even remember the title, but I loved it. Then Julie Garwood wrote one I really enjoyed. It#39;s been awhile since I#39;ve read one, so I have my fingers amp; toes crossed I win…LOL

  12. PJ says:

    I adore romances set in Scotland; medievals, regencies, time-travels…even contemporaries. The accent has something to do with it, I#39;m sure. With historicals, a lot of it has to do with the struggle for survival against the land, the elements and the English. Also, the fierce, alpha males who are willing to fight to the death to protect clan, land and family but who are gentle and loving with the woman who claims their heart. I discovered Mary Wine#39;s books about a year ago and she#39;s become one of my quot;go toquot; authors of books set in Scotland. I haven#39;t read all of her books yet but I hope to!

  13. Jena Lang says:

    I love a man in a kilt, Scottish brogues, and Mary Wine#39;s books!

  14. Rachel E. Moniz says:

    Hi Mia and Mary!br /I love Scottish set romances because of all the wonderful, eccentric characters (especially male)We have drunken lairds, lecherous lairds, alpha-lairds. br /My favorite is the alpha-laird…men with fire and passion but also tenderness and kindness towards their women.

  15. MiaMarlowe says:

    Romance Girl–Good luck getting Jamie through those new airport screeners! :-)

  16. MiaMarlowe says:

    Jane L–I#39;m sure Scotland is beautiful in a lonely rugged sort of way. I love that kind of wild place. Makes me think the men who live there are probably correspondingly wild as well. In a good way, of course.

  17. Romance Girl says:

    Oh my I do love a man in a kilt. Not only do I love the lilts; but I love the brogue. I have always loved romances and stories set in the Highlands; but I fell head over hills from the Outlander series. So much so, my husband and I are going in May for our 15th wedding anniversary for 2 weeks. Maybe I will see Jamie and stuff him in my suitcase. Please don#39;t tell my hubby though. :-)

  18. Jane L says:

    I like the Scotish set romances, for a couple reasons. A good writer can create the scene of a rugged, but mystical place, that I have never been too. Also the heros are usually very Alpha male, which I am very fond of. Last, they are just usually a deep historical romance, filled with /br /Mary , I also would LOVE to see your costume closet!

  19. MiaMarlowe says:

    A kilt is hard to beat IF the man has the legs for it. br /br /Since I respond to voices, I#39;ll have to admit that whisky accent gets to me. Gerard Butler, Daniel Craig, Ewan MacGregor, Sean Connery … don#39;t get me started! Give me a rumbling bass with a brogue and I#39;m a happy camper.

  20. Debra says:

    I love a man in a kilt, I especially like highlanders they are rough and tough and all man. Scotland is also beautiful and wild, untamed.

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