In my story, Kristin, the heroine, has always held romantic dreams about going to Scotland, the land of her grandmother’s birth. But as the story opens, her reality is that she’s stuck working on a Saturday in a bodycare-products factory in her Vermont hometown, and left solely responsible for a shift of overtime workers as her bosses tend to their personal lives. When she hears a Scottish accent coming from the plant manager’s office, she is thrilled, but she thinks she is dreaming.Malcolm is at Kristin’s factory with a mission to acquire it for his uncle’s Scottish-set family business. It’s critical that he keep his true plans—and his identity—secret. Having attended school in the States, he’s pretty good at keeping his accent under wraps--the overheard phone call to his sister his only lapse--and easily explained away.
But it’s Kristin that gets to him—her care to the employees in her factory, her kindness to him, her enthusiasm for all things Scottish, including the dreaded, surprise Burns Night celebration he’s forced to sit through when the wintry Vermont weather delays his ride from picking him up. Malcolm is determined that Kristin and her family not learn he’s from Scotland. He will not slip! And yet—he can’t help it. For Kristin, he reads one of Burns’ poems, in his best Sir Sean Connery accent.Here’s a bit from the poem “To a Mouse”:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!
Still you are blessed, compared with me!
The present only touches you:
But oh! I backward cast my eye,
On prospects dreary!
And forward, though I cannot see,
I guess and fear!
Maybe you recognize some of the lines?I took a few photos relating to Robert Burns when we toured Scotland. Above at a whisky store, here are some lines from Burns’ famous “The Selkirk Grace.”
To the right is his portrait from The Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
To the left, the Writer’s Museum in Edinburgh features Burns, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Louis Stevenson.
I’m giving away copies of The Sweetest Hours to randomly-selected commenters. Do you like poetry—any favorites? Or just drop a quick hello—I’m interested in hearing from you!
Thanks for reading--I’ll post winners on Saturday.
Cathryn Parry has written four Harlequin Superromances. She lives in New England with her husband and neighbor’s cat, Otis. Please see her website at www.CathrynParry.com.