Special feature: Celtic Roots Part 1, with Lizzie Lamb @lizzie_lamb @newromantics4

By | November 29, 2016

It’s almost a year now since I first met the lovely ladies that make up the New Romantics Press – Adrienne Vaughan, Lizzie Lamb, June Kearns and Mags Cullingford – and they’ve become some of my favourite party companions. I’m really delighted that Lizzie and Adrienne have agreed to join me here on Being Anne this week, on successive days, to talk about their lives and their writing.

We looked for a perfect theme, and it was really obvious from the start. Many of you will now that I’m a Welsh girl living in Yorkshire – so what better subject than Celtic Roots?

Here’s Lizzie to start us off…

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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.

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Both novels have gone down a storm in countries where there are ex-pat Scots – USA, Australia, New Zealand or Canada; it appears that second and third generation Scots are eager to learn about the old traditions and their former homeland. And if they learn through my novels, then so much the better. My novels are meticulously researched and, as a Scotswoman, I write with complete authenticity about the land and its people.

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Romance readers simply love a novel which features a man in a kilt. The element of ‘costume’ (i.e. 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!

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. All of 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 hero from leading a happy life, have resolved.

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My interest in kilted heroes began as a child growing up in Scotland, reared (courtesy of Saturday morning cinema) on the exploits of highlanders in such movies as Rob RoyBonnie Prince CharlieThe 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.

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Lizzie in Largs, around 1960

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.

A hero wearing a suit, carrying duct tape, rope and plastic ties just doesn’t cut it for me – sorry, E.L.James. Give me an exiled, romantic Jacobite every time.

I have travelled extensively throughout Scotland researching my novels and have blogged about it. Details of all my books are on my Amazon page. In 2015 I was also privileged to have a personal tour of Castle Stalker near Fort William and this inspired me to write novel number four – hopefully due for publication in April 2017.

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Thank you Lizzie! For more of her writing also try Boot Camp Bride – not Scotland this time, but romance and intrigue on the Norfolk marshes. You’ll find a tapas of novel openings to pique your taste buds (from all four members of New Romantic Press) in Take a chance on us, and more from Lizzie (and Adrienne) in Hocus Pocus 14 short story anthology. Tomorrow, I’ll be delighted to welcome Adrienne Vaughan… 

Lizzie’s Links

Amazon page (UK) | Amazon page (US) | Facebook  | Twitter | Website | Linkedin |  Pinterest

New Romantics Press links 

Twitter | Facebook | Blog

21 thoughts on “Special feature: Celtic Roots Part 1, with Lizzie Lamb @lizzie_lamb @newromantics4

  1. adrienneauthor

    I love Lizzie’s books, infused with Celtic love, laughter, food, fun and a touch of naughtiness! That describes her too, a warm, generous, lovely friend – captured here so well Anne, good work!

  2. Lizzie Lamb (@lizzie_lamb)

    Morning Adrienne, looking forward to reading your blog tomorrow. Anne’s done a fantastic job with my scribbled notes 🙂 It was a love of books and writing which brought us together, but it is our Celtic roots which bind us. Looking forward to reading your next one.

  3. Lizzie Lamb (@lizzie_lamb)

    Good morning to you, too, Anne, you’ve produced a really fabulous blog post – I love it. Seeing that creased photograph of me in Largs in the early sixties brings memories rushing back. I’ve really enjoyed taking part in your blog and look fwd to reading Adrienne’s tomorrow. Have a great day xx

  4. Jan Brigden

    Great post, Lizzie & Anne. Entertaining and full of warmth. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of Lizzie’s novels and swooned over those heroes. It’s great to learn more about the background and to follow Lizzie’s research travel stories too. Looking forward to book number 4 immensely! 🙂 Xx

    1. Lizzie Lamb

      Thanks Jan. I have to do a lot of research for these men in kilts – so exhausting. I love writing about Scotland and I go to great lengths to make sure it’s accurate. Looking forward to your next book too.

  5. junekearns

    Lovely post! It’s so interesting tracing Lizzie’s influences. Her love of Scotland comes through loud and clear in her fabulous books.
    (Love that picture of Lizzie in Largs!!)

    1. Lizzie Lamb

      Thanks June, we used to love going ‘doon the watter’ to Dunoon and other places on the west coast on the paddle steamer ‘Waverley’. Great memories never fade, do they?

  6. Elizabeth MacGregor-Kirkcaldy

    Good morning, ladies. What a lovely and interesting post… and I must say I agree whole heartedly with your choice of a Scottish hero and setting. I have your novels on my TBR List, and I’m moving them up to the top straight away. So looking forward to reading them, and your new novel as well. Happy reading and writing… xxx ☕️📚

    1. Lizzie Lamb

      Thank you so much for commenting Elizabeth. Great surname BTW – my maiden name was ‘HILL’, not very Scottish sounding. Other branches of the family are: Dougal, Balcarres and Cameron, but in the end I choose my married surname as my author name as I thought the alliteration worked. I hope you enjoy my novels, I can’t help writing about Scotland.

  7. Joan Davies-Bushby

    Really enjoyed reading your post Lizzie and can’t wait for book number 4!

    1. Lizzie Lamb

      Thanks Joan – as a friend and a beta reader you opinion of my first draft is very important to me as I know you won’t pull your punches (!) And, you never know, I might ‘turn to crime’, one of these days.

  8. Judy Hodgetts

    Really enjoyable post, Lizzie and Anne. I love Lizzie’s books, and it’s so interesting to read about her background and her research. Can’t wait for number 4! 🙂

    1. Lizzie Lamb

      Thanks for commenting, Judy. I’ve enjoyed both of your books, too and I’m glad that you’ve moved closer and can now attend the Leicester Chapter of the RNA. Hope 2017 is a great year for both of us, writing wise.

  9. Isabella

    Such a great blog post and a pleasure to read! I am a big fan of Scotland and of Celtic culture, and I am looking forward to reading Adrienne’s contribution tomorrow!
    I admire you all so much!

    1. Lizzie Lamb

      Thank you Isabella, we are lucky to have you as a friend, a fan and the Italian branch of the Crazy Celts!

  10. Wendy Janes

    What a great post. My favourite line: “Give me an exiled, romantic Jacobite every time.”

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