We’re celebrating those sexy men in kilts this week with some of our favorite highlander romances on sale for just 99¢ Not only that but you can join the authors all week long as they share their travels, recipes and more. Today E. Elizabeth Watson is joining us on the blog.
Scottish romance and Outlander fans! I’m E. Elizabeth Watson, and I’ve just returned from the land of kilts—Scotland. And I must tell you all about it. I kicked off the trip by flying into Edinburgh with my mother-in-law. Girls’ trip! I love this city so much. Edinburgh Castle touches the sky and looms over the glens surrounding it. It’s one of the most scenic cities I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. But I used to live just south of the Scottish border, and have spent many a day in Edinburgh, so it was time to hop a train and travel to parts of this beautiful and sparsely populated country I’d never seen before: the Highlands.
Bagpipe busker in Edinburgh
We arrived in Inverness, known for many things, not least the Loch Ness Monster, and took a bus to Culloden Battlefield. Outlander fans and history buffs will know this as the tragic battle that ended the Jacobite Uprisings and Bonny Prince Charlie’s bid to take back the Scottish crown. The battlefield boasts a lovely museum, and provides demonstrations about 18th century weaponry and medicine. A staff member decked in a traditional tartan kilt posed for a photo with my Ladies of Scotland books! (He was such a good sport, and told me that he hopes his photo goes viral. Do your thing, internet).
Culloden Battlefield expert kindly posing for a picture with my Ladies of Scotland books! He gave a wonderful presentation on 18th century medical treatment…something I hope to never endure!
The battlefield itself is a solemn and barren moor, blanketed in heather, foxglove, thistles, and grasses. The beauty is hard to describe, and rather, it’s more of a feeling that lingers in the heart after leaving. You can see the surrounding hills and mountains in the distance, and walk the lines of the Jacobite and government troops. More than 1500 Highlanders are buried in the middle of the field, marked by simple but profound headstones placed upon the mass graves more than a century later. Many a flower clipping adorned the Clan Fraser headstone and battlefield plaques, but it’s important to note that many other clans suffered great loss there, too.
Clan Fraser headstone at Culloden Battlefield
After visiting Culloden, I dragged my mom-in-law on a short hike to Clava Cairns, a set of Bronze Age stone circles surrounding ceremonial cairns, where Author Diana Gabaldon was photographed with a cleft standing stone for the back of her Outlander book. It’s similar to the fictional stones of “Craigh na Dun” in her stories that act as the time-travel portal. Admittedly, I was giddy, though not because of Outlander, but because I used to study Neolithic and Bronze Age rock art and visiting this archaeological treasure was a treat for me. A whole other story!
Clava Cairns. Outlander!
After this, we traveled to the Isle of Skye, one of many islands comprising an archipelago called the Inner Hebrides, and visited the The Old Man of Storr—a rock formation that commands lordship over the sea. I’ve included a link below to photos of this magnificent place! The isle is shrouded in folklore. Tales of magic, and clan feuds between the Macleods and the MacDonalds, abound. At every turn, the dramatic landscape reveals itself differently. On our way back to Inverness, we stopped at the famous Eilean Donan Castle, featured on many a book cover and the site of the Piano Guys’ rendition of Fight Song/Amazing Grace (Here’s the link. Do yourself a favor and watch it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOO5qRjVFLw). It sits out in the water, tethered to land by a stone bridge. The castle you see today was actually rebuilt after falling prey to the tumult of the Jacobite Uprisings.
Tour guide who drove us to Isle of Skye with my Ladies of Scotland books! He was such a knowledgeable and entertaining guy.
I was so refueled with book ideas after this trip! It ended much too soon for my liking. I cannot wait to return for another visit! Make sure to visit my Facebook page to see photos and videos that I’ve shared with readers along my journey. Thanks for reading!
Links for further reading:
- Eilean Donan Castle – http://www.eileandonancastle.com/about/history/
- Old Man of Storr – https://www.isleofskye.com/skye-guide/top-ten-skye-walks/old-man-of-storr
- Culloden Battlefield information – https://www.nts.org.uk/visit/places/culloden
Can’t get enough of Highlanders? Then be sure to pick up The Maiden’s Defender by E. Elizabeth Watson for just 99¢!
Training men to be ruthless soldiers is a skill at which Highlander Teàrlach MacGregor excels. After he rescues a ward of the king, the beautiful Lady Madeline Crawford, the fierce warrior begins to yearn for a cottage of his own in the Highlands, with the sweet, delicate Madeline as the mother of his bairns.
Madeline begins to see a side of Teàrlach that nobody else does. The strong, silent Highlander takes her to her first fair, teaches her to read, and bestows upon her a passionate kiss—her very first. But Madeline is informed that she is betrothed to another with the blessing of the king, making her and Teàrlach’s love forbidden.
Teàrlach vows to make Madeline his, even if that means defying the king.
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