Monday, October 7, 2013

A Dream Trip

by Cathryn Parry

Do you have a place that you’ve been eager to travel to, ever since you were young?  Have you made that journey yet?
My place is Scotland.  This year, for the first time, I finally got to make an extended visit.  It was more inspiring than I’d dreamed.
Scotland Edinburgh
Edinburgh Castle

First, some background about my desire: I grew up hearing stories from my grandmother about her Scottish ancestors--her mother’s people by way of the Highland Clearances, from the Hebrides to Cape Breton Island, Canada; and her paternal grandmother by way of Glasgow to Providence, Rhode Island, to work in the cotton mills.  My grandmother showed me romantic nineteenth-century photos of distant cousins wearing kilts.  She had portraits in the attic, and a ceremonial sword which only fueled my romantic imagination further, especially when my ballet teacher required us to learn the Highland Fling and the Sword Dance for our yearly recital. 
(Yes, I still have my tartan skirt, and I still remember the dance moves.  I also brake for bagpipes.)

bagpiper Loch Ness Scotland
A bagpiper beside Loch Ness

Culloden Battlefield Scotland
Standing Stones near Culloden Battlefield
Then, in third grade, a teacher asked us to choose a country on which to write a class report.  My choice was clear: Scotland!  I teamed up with now-Harlequin Blaze author Karen Foley, and we used our enthusiasm with our Scottish ancestry to learn more about the country’s history.  I still have my copy of our report, and much better, I still have Karen’s friendship: She’s my best writing-buddy friend today, all these decades later.

So when it came time to create proposals for my future Superromance books, I had the idea for a story with an American heroine and a Scottish hero.  The two meet in her hometown in Vermont, and after his family's business takes over her town’s shampoo/body products factory, she follows him to Edinburgh, determined to get her town's jobs back.

Scotland Inverness
Driving to Inverness (on the "wrong" side!)
Of course, the story required much research—the perfect opportunity for that long-desired-for trip to Scotland.  I enjoyed it so much, I’m planning two more stories set in the same story world, as well as future trips back to the country.

The Superromance is called “The Sweetest Hours,” and it’s available next month at eHarlequin  and December 1st everywhere else.   

Thanks for reading!  And I'm curious: Do you have a “dream trip” that you’ve been longing or planning for?  Please let me know your thoughts in the comments.  As a thank you, I’d like to give away a few books from my backlist.  From the comments to this post, I’ll randomly select winners.   Have a great week!
Cathryn Parry is the author of Something To Prove, The Long Way Home, and Out of His League--all from Harlequin Superromance.  She lives in New England with her husband and her neighbor's cat, Otis.  Please see her website at


Di said...

I was in Scotland many, many years ago and would like to get back and drive around at leisure (last time was on a bus tour). I found my family name is the Glasgow phone book (with some different spellings) and would love to find the connection.

sallans d at yahoo dot com

Colleen C. said...

I dream of one day seeing Ireland! I want to see the castles, all of that green and hear that wonderful accent.

linda s said...

My dream vacation is to the southern states - a 6 week road trip in the spring to Tennessee and Louisiana visiting small music festivals and craft fairs.
I have airmiles but, alas, no time.

My highland Scot grandmother was disowned for marrying an Englishman. In those days...

Emily B. said...

I have always dreamed of going somewhere tropical maybe the Bahamas or Jamaica.

Cathryn Parry said...

Di, we followed some of the bus tours while at museums, etc., and heard some wonderful commentary. But there is great freedom in driving--hope you get there soon!

Cathryn Parry said...

Hi Colleen,

That was my mom's dream! I went with her a few years back, and she absolutely loved it--wants to go again!

Cathryn Parry said...

Hi Linda,

That sounds wonderful!! You have just put a future vacation idea into my head... :-)

Cathryn Parry said...

Hi Emily,

Somewhere tropical sounds great! Ah, I'm imagining an umbrella drink on a lounge-chair beside the turquoise-colored sea. Heaven!

Christy Olesen said...

I have only a drop of Scottish in me (I'm mostly Danish and English), but the country calls me. I was able to travel the Great Glen by car. I had three weeks to travel 90+ miles, taking my time and painting watercolors.
I'm always looking for contemporary Scottish romances.
christy at christy olesen don com
Her Scottish CEO

Mary Preston said...

My dream trip would be Great Britain. I'd love to visit each country at leisure.

My Maternal Grandmother was born in England & my Mother still has cousins there that I could visit.

Jo's Daughter said...

Would really love to go to Devon, seen a cookery program filmed there & dreamed of going ever since. Nature is stunning there in the autumn & I loved the quirky villagy places they showed. Can totally see myself exploring things there, but don't see it happening any day soon...

Laney4 said...

My destination is wherever my sister and her family live. I would LOVE to visit her/them again. They are currently 2000+ miles away and we just can't afford to visit them. Thankfully, after us visiting them at least once a year for over 10 years while our kids were young, they now visit us every two years. It's better than nothing. When they are here, we enjoy ourselves just fixing things around the house, geocaching in the area, visiting our local libraries, or just playing board/card games in the evenings. Home is where my heart is.

penney said...

I lived in England and been to Wales but never Scotland I always wanted to go there but never made it. We are in California now, I miss the cold weather there in England.

penney said...

I can't wait to read your new book it sounds very good

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