Archive for April 29th, 2009


Running from their pasts

Margaret Dalrousie was once willing to sacrifice all for her calling. The talented artist would let no man interfere with her gift. But now, living in a small Scottish cottage on the estate of Glengarrow, she has not painted a portrait in ages. For not even the calming haven in the remote woods can erase the memories that darken Margaret’s days and nights. And now, with the return of the Earl of Linnet to his ancestral home, her hopes of peace have disappeared.

From the first moment he encountered Margaret on his land, the Earl of Linnet was nothing but annoyed. The grieving nobleman has his own secrets that have lured him to the solitude of the Highlands, and his own reasons for wanting to be alone. Yet he is intrigued by his hauntingly beautiful neighbor. Could she be the spark that will draw him out of bittersweet sorrow—the woman who could transform him from a Scotsman in sadness to a Scotsman in love?

When I first came up with the idea of A Scotsman in Love, I kept getting flashbacks to my childhood. My mother was an artist, someone who had numerous shows throughout the country, and one in Paris.  Despite this, she never had much self-confidence about her work.  In addition to painting – she used oils, predominantly – she also took up photography and went on to win awards for her black and white photographs.

As a child, I can remember her standing in the den, or the living room, or whatever room had the best light at the time. As Air Force dependents, we were forever moving, so the locale always changed. She would stand and stare at the canvas, as if willing the images to appear. She did the most beautiful character studies of people. She enjoyed painting the elderly because, as she said, “their lives show on their faces.”

When Margaret Dalrousie was born in my mind, I couldn’t help but remember all those occasions watching my mother. She was so immersed in her work, so totally taken by it. I have often thought that I’m a writer because she was an artist. I, too, have that sense of time standing still. It’s nothing for me to be immersed in writing and look up to find that morning has faded into night.

Another thing we have in common, that I never realized until I became a writer, is the fact that her self-doubt mirrors mine.  I think, perhaps, that doubt is a job requirement for artists and writers.

Strangely enough, Margaret Dalrousie  does not doubt her own talent.

In fact, she’s probably arrogant about it. It’s something she’s always had, like the color of her eyes, and when she loses it, she’s devastated.

A Scotsman in Love is the story of two people who don’t particularly care about love, or perhaps they simply don’t believe in it. Each of them comes to rely on the other, and the passion, then the love they feel makes each a better person.

If you get a chance to read A Scotsman in Love, I hope you’ll tell me what you think.

Excerpt can be found here.

Drawing can be found here.

Warm fuzzies!

Karen Ranney

Web site: www.karenranney.com
Warm Fuzzies! Blog:  http://karenranney.wordpress.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/KarenRanney

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