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Tour: A Highlander's Temptation by Sue-Ellen Welfonder...

September 28, 2009
a highlander's temptation tour button

Today's tour is for Sue-Ellen Welfonder, and her newest book, A Highlander's Temptation. There's lots to peruse, so grab a cuppa, snuggle up to the computer, and READ ON!! =)

Sue-Ellen has taken the time to put together a lovely essay to share with you--complete with breath-taking pictures! Check it out:
Heart Places

We’ve all heard the term “happy place.” You know – it’s where people go (or would like to) when life gets stressful. But what if you just plain want to be somewhere else?

As a card-carrying Scotophile, you can guess where that place is for me.

I visit Scotland as often as I can, but it’s never enough. The longing to return is fierce and ever-present. It’s a terrible thing, really. Not fatal, thank goodness. But it sure can make you miserable. Anyone who loves Scotland and travels there and then – oh, no! – has to board a plane that will carry them in the wrong direction across the Atlantic (namely away from Scotland) knows what I mean.

Even before you fasten your seatbelt, you’re aching to be there again!

Realistically, at that point, it’s too late to do much more than accept your fate. Sad that it is!

But once you gulp and get past the initial pain, there are a few things you can do to relieve the suffering.

Reading Scottish-set books is one. If the author did her job right and genuinely loves Scotland, her words will soon whisk you where you want to be.

My own latest Scottish medieval, A Highlander’s Temptation (GCP, Oct. 2009) will sweep you right into the heart of some of Scotland’s finest scenery. You’ll get to visit Eilean Creag Castle in Kintail which, my readers know, in reality is none other than Eilean Donan Castle near Skye.

Eilean Donan is probably Scotland’s most photographed castle. Of all the photos I’ve taken there, I’m rather partial to this one.

duncan's castle

It’s easy to see why Eilean Donan – called Eilean Creag in my books – is so well-loved. A Highlander’s Temptation (GCP, Oct. 2009) opens there, as do many of my MacKenzie Scottish medievals. The castle is home to Duncan MacKenzie, after all. He was the hero of my first book, DEVIL IN A KILT, and his story launched an entire series.

A Highlander’s Temptation (GCP, Oct. 2009) is the tale of his eldest daughter, Arabella. And although she loves her home dearly, she really wants to go on an adventure. She wishes to journey to the Seal Isles which are part of her dowry. Much to her father’s dismay, the Seal Isles also happen to be located at the far end of the Hebrides. In fact, Duncan thinks of them as being at the very edge of the world.

They are, of course.

And that just gave me – as the writer – even more opportunities to revisit some of my very favorite places in Scotland as I wrote A Highlander’s Temptation (GCP, Oct. 2009).

Writing Scotland is the next best thing to being there.

Scotophiles who read A Highlander’s Temptation (GCP, Oct. 2009) should also enjoy Arabella’s journey. They’ll get to visit the medieval village of Kyleakin on the Isle of Skye. And they’ll even be able to experience setting sail from Kyleakin harbor, journeying on a merchant cog.

kyleakin harbor

Other Highland places await your reading adventure. A Highlander’s Temptation (GCP, Oct. 2009) will transport you to Devorgilla’s fabled Isle of Doon, MacConacher’s Isle, which is the wild and windswept home of the hero, Darroc MacConacher. And you’ll also get to explore Arabella’s super-special Seal Isles. These isles might be fictitious, but they are based on very real Hebridean isles such as my own ancestral isle, Colonsay.

Olaf Big Nose’s isle will give you a good look at a lusty and colorful Viking settlement. And for those who, like me, are also keen on all things Norse, there are glimpses of Asa Long-Leg’s home in Shetland. Scalloway (Asa’s village) is very real and a place I love visiting. I had lots of fun going there again in the pages of A Highlander’s Temptation (GCP, Oct. 2009) and I hope readers will, too.

Of course, there are times when the best books and even the most fun writing sessions aren’t enough.

If those times fall when you can’t board a Scotland-bound plane, a great emergency treatment is to seek out a substitute heart place.

No, I am not joking.

Such places do exist.

And if you use your imagination, for a brief time, you can pretend yourself into your heart place. Sort of like Dick van Dyke did in that wonderfully whimsical sidewalk painting scene in Mary Poppins.

In case anyone is rolling their eyes about now, here are just three examples of heart place magic.

***Spoiler alert – Only those with whimsy and imagination should read on!***

Here we go…

I took this photo during a lovely evening stroll at Findhorn in Scotland. Findhorn is a very magical place and even the air there feels special. I also have a very dear friend, Eileen, who lives near Findhorn.

findhorn sunset

Sometimes when I really wish I was at Findhorn again, walking with Eileen and having a wonderful time as only good girlfriends can, I interrupt my daily cycle round to sit on this bench you see below.

manatee bench

This bench has a view that – come on, admit it! – could be anywhere. As this is Florida, there are often manatees in the water, which is neat. But to me, the real attraction is that I can sit here, stare across the water, and use my imagination to transport myself to Findhorn.

The next comparison is a bit of a stretch, but you have to remember that I’m in Florida. And it helps, too, to have a vivid imagination.

Below you see a wooded path in Scotland’s far north. It leads to a ruined crofting settlement in Strathnaver.

wooded path

Here now is a subtropical ‘wooded path’ that I pass every day on my cycle rounds. (yes, I cycle daily – it helps against deadline spread) It requires lots of fantasy, but each time I peddle past this path, my heart leaps because - for a fleeting moment – this view takes me back to Strathnaver. Once again, I am marching along through a Scottish wood, on my way to spend time in the ruined crofting settlement of Rosal.

rossal road

My third example is better. When in Scotland, I love staying in self-catering cottages, cozy inns, and bed-and-breakfasts. But every once in a while, I enjoy treating myself and will stay at a fine country house hotel. These richly atmospheric places always have lovely gardens such as this one in Royal Deeside.

raemoir hotel

Now take a look at the magnificent tree below. You guessed it, I pass this tree on my cycle rounds. Sure, the tree and this bit of green isn’t Scotland. But when I am stuck here in Florida and yearning to be there, riding past this tree gives me a few moments of pleasure.

fake scotland tree

Because, whether it’s in Florida or not, the look and feel of this tree transports me. When I see this tree, I can almost imagine it’s a cool misty day and that I smell woodsmoke drifting on the air.

I enjoy these heart place substitutes.

They work like emotional band-aids until I can be back in Scotland for real. And if Scotland is the place you love, I hope you’ll let A Highlander’s Temptation (GCP, Oct. 2009) take you there.

Question – where is your heart place?

Scotophile readers looking for a Highland fix can find that and more at my website: www.welfonder.com.

Isn't this just the most lovely guest post you've ever seen? I love the pictures!! Thank you so very much for sharing, Sue-Ellen!

About the author:
Sue-Ellen Welfonder is a card-carrying Scotophile whose burning wish to make frequent (free) trips to the land of her dreams led her to a twenty year career with the airlines. Bi-lingual, she flew international all those years, working her flights as foreign language speaker. Her flying career allowed her to see the world, but it was always to Scotland that she returned.

Now a full-time writer, she’s quick to admit that she much prefers wielding a pen to pushing tea and coffee. She spent fifteen years living in Europe and used that time to explore as many castle ruins, medieval abbeys, and stone circles as possible. Anything ancient, crumbling, or lichened caught her eye. She makes annual visits to Scotland, insisting they are a necessity as each trip gives her inspiration for new books.

Proud of her own Hebridean ancestry, she belongs to two clan societies: the MacFie Clan Society and the Clan MacAlpine Society. In addition to Scotland, her greatest passions are medieval history, the paranormal, and dogs. She never watches television, loves haggis, and writes at a four-hundred-and-fifty year old desk that once stood in a Bavarian castle.

Sue-Ellen is married and currently resides with her husband and Jack Russell Terrier in Florida. Readers can learn more about her and the world of her books at: www.welfonder.com.

a highlander's temptationGiveaway!
Thanks to Hachette Book Group, I have up to five copies of A Highlander's Temptation for you...
Rules:
-- Contest is open to US and Canada residents, no PO Boxes please!
-- To enter, comment and share: Where is your heart place?
-- Follow for 1 extra entry.
-- Share for 2 extra entries (let me know what & where, please).
-- Every 10 people entered gets another copy in the hat, so tell everyone! =)
-- Do it all before 6:00 pm CST October 11th. Good luck!

Tour stops:
9/24:
Yankee Romance Reviewers
Book Soulmates
Seductive Musings
Just Another New Blog
9/25:
Starting Fresh
Bloody Bad
9/26:
Sapphire Romance Realm
9/27:
The Plumber's Wife
Found Not Lost
Readaholic
9/28:
Bookin' with Bingo
drey's library
9/29:
All About {n}
9/30:
My Guilty Pleasures
10/1:
Revenge of the Book Nerds!
My Book Addiction and More
10/2:
Libby's Library News
Foreign Circus Library
Bibliophiles 'R' Us
10/3:
Books and Needlepoint
A Book Blogger's Diary
RR@H Novel Thoughts and Book Talk
10/4:
A Journey of Books
10/5:
Cheeky Reads
10/6:
Pudgy Penguin Perusals
10/7:
HODGEPODGESPV
Park Avenue Princess

45 comments:

lilly said...

The pictures are indeed beautiful. They remind me a lot of Poland, my homeland, and therefore cause a little bit of homesick nostalgia but it's a lovely post nonetheless.

Heather Farquharson-Burnett said...

Being resident in the Highlands of Scotland I am sadly ineligible for this rousing tale. However, I would like to say how much I enjoyed this well designed essay, which covered areas close to my own heart.
My own very special heart place is the remote Isle of Noss, which I notice from Sue-Ellen's website is also very dear to herself.

chey said...

Great post!
Gros Mourne park in Newfoundland is my heart place.

I follow

chey127 at hotmail dot com

rubynreba said...

Scotland sounds beautiful. I think my heart place is a small lake in northern Minnesota.

+1 I follow
pblcark(at)netins(dot)net

Sue-Ellen Welfonder said...

Morning, Ladies -

Drey, thank you so much for posting my essay. You did a lovely job presenting everything so nicely. I really appreciate it.
I'm delighted to be here today and will look back in later so that I do not miss anyone.

Lilly - I'm so glad that you enjoyed the photos. I have been to Poland a few times and even have a friend here who is from there. Her name is Jola and she makes the most fantastic bigos in the world! -- Please excuse me if I misspelled bigos. Everyone else, that's a delicious Polish traditional specialty sort of like goulash but with sauerkraut mixed in. It simmers for days and is sooo good!

Heather - Thank you so much for looking in here. I appreciate it. And, yes, I am fond of Noss.

Chey - Thank you so much for looking in here. I can well imagine Gros Mourne park is spectacular. I've only been to the Gander airport in Newfoundland, sadly. I'm sure it's beautiful indeed.

RubynReba - Minnesota is God's country. I'm sure your small lake there is gorgeous. Thanks so much for looking in here.

Good luck everyone in the drawing!
And have fun.

Morning Glow said...

Wow, what beautiful pictures... it makes me want to go back to Scotland! I got the chance to go when I was 12, and it was a great experience.

My heart place would have to be Ireland. I got to vacation there not this past May, but last year. I never felt more at peace, more at home than I did there. I went so far as to try to convince our tour bus driver to adopt me.

+1 I follow!

Thank you for showing us those beautiful photos!
Morning Glow
ohmorningglow AT aol DOT com

Sheila Deeth said...

I love Scotland - had some wonderful vacations there in my youth. And I loved your pictures.

My own heart place is probably anywhere by the sea - again, many vacation memories; and just the sound and the expanse of it.

I follow

Dixie said...

My heart place is the Blue Ridge Mountains. They are visible from my mother's back porch and I am truly at peace when I look out at them.
southrngal(at)gmail(dot)com

Dixie said...

I'm a follower.
southrngal(at)gmail(dot)com

dor said...

My heart place is in the woods, with tree-lined trails by the lake with a huge dock where I can dunk my feet in. Where is it exactly....everywhere.

dorcontest at gmail dot com

dor said...

I follow on google friend.

dorcontest at gmail dot com

Karen H in NC said...

IMO, Michigan's Upper Peninsula is God's Country and my heart place. Actually, the entire state could be considered my place of the heart. I was born & raised in SE Lower Michigan and lived there until 1999. For all the beauty of the state and the seasons, the long, cold winters are just too harsh for my blood...so I now live in North Carolina. I visit twice a year including one visit in the middle of winter. That reminds me why I left! LOL And even though NC has a lot to offer, I do miss my Michigan.

I am a follower

kkhaas AT bellsouth DOT net

CrystalGB said...

My heart place is the Southern US. I love all the Southern culture, landscapes and cuisine.

I am a follower.

Crystal816{at}hotmail{dot}com

elaing8 said...

please enter me in the giveaway
my heart place?..I don't have really have one. I guess wherever family is.But not one specific place.

elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

elaing8 said...

I'm a follower

elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

Jane said...

Congrats on the new release, Sue-Ellen. My heart place is New York. There's something for everyone here.

I'm a follower of this blog.

janie1215 AT excite DOT com

RachieG said...

+1 Love Illinois...It's where the last six generations of my family have come from and everytime I'm there it just feels like home. The green hills and the peacefulness.

+1 I follower!

+2 I tweeted! (R8chieg)

rachie2004 @ yahoo (d0t) COM

Julie said...

My heart place is at my cottage on Georgian Bay up in the Canadian Shield...it's so beautiful I cannot think of a place I would rather be.

I also follow,
Cheers
julie.sherritt[at]gmail.com

lag123 said...

My heart place is Pensacola Beach, FL. There is no place like it.

lag110@mchsi.com

lag123 said...

I follow.

lag110@mchsi.com

Virginia C said...

Thanks for another beautiful post, Sue-Ellen! My heart place is my home place, the beautiful mountains of Southwestern Virginia. I am a Highlander!

I am a Google Connect Follower and a subscriber. gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Chelsea B. said...

That was a great post! Beautiful pictures!

My heart place is where I've lived my whole life, Mississippi. I'm a southern girl, and I'd be lost anywhere else :)

cheryl c said...

Lovely pictures! I really want to visit Scotland now.

I have read other Highlander books by Sue-Ellen, so I am looking forward to this next one.

My heart place is anywhere near the ocean.

+1 I follow :-)

Sue-Ellen Welfonder said...

Evening, Ladies! - It's late Monday night, or early Tuesday morning depending on how you look at it. I'm checking back in and am delighted to see so many lovely responses. Thank you!

Morning Glow - I smiled to see you in here. You know by now that I'm in love with your dog. And I'm delighted that you enjoyed the photos. I agree that Ireland is wonderfully special. I loved hearing how much you love being there and how Ireland embraces you. You definitely have a soul-bond with the land.

Sheila Deeth - I'm so glad you've been to Scotland. You'll understand its magic and pull. The sea... m'mmm, you're so right. There's nothing quite like a walk on the beach or the timeless roar of the sea. Excellent choice as a heart place.

Dixie - You warmed my heart. The Blue Ridge Mountains are incredible. They remind me so much of the Highlands. In fact, it's always to the NC mountains that I go when I can't be in Scotland. Your mother's back porch sounds like my idea of heaven.

Dor - I love your tree-lined paths and wooded lakes. That's exactly the kind of place I love, too. Wonderful choice as a heart place.

Karen H in NC - Wow! You've got me sold on Michigan. I'm ready to pack my bags. Oh, my, oh, my. I've only ever been to Detroit, so don't know the rest of Michigan at all. I'm so glad that you get back so often. I'm definitely putting Michigan on my to-visit list!

CrystalGB - A girl of the South! You're making me smile. And you're so right - the Southern US is special. Having been born and raised in the South, I'm so glad someone spoke up in favor of this region as their heart place.

Elaing8 - Thanks so much for looking in here. Your answer is poignant and so true. Your family is blessed to have you. It's so important to keep our loved ones first and foremost in our hearts.

Jane - New York is an exciting city. There's definitely something there for everyone. And the food ... oh my! One of my favorite highlights when I'm there is visiting the New York Library. What an amazing place! Thanks so much for the good words on this new release.

RachieG - You made my heart swell with your good words about Illinois. Six generations will create deep ties. And green hills and peace sounds so lovely. Big sigh....

Julie - Georgian Bay up in the Canadian Shield sounds like my idea of heaven, too. I hope you get to be there often. Sounds like God's country.

Lag123 - Pensacola Beach, Florida is lovely, I agree. I'm in Sarasota and love it here, but I love the beaches of northern Florida even more. I heartily agree with your choice of a heart place.

Virgina C - (with the darling cat) I have finally figured out who you are. Ha ha! Yes, you're a true Highlander, indeed. And you definitely live in spectacular country. No doubts there. Your Southwestern Virginia Highlands are gorgeous.

Chelsea B - Another Southern girl! I'm so glad to see you in here. The South is very special, I agree. It's so heartwarming to see that you love your home, Mississippi, so much.

Cheryl C - Thank you so much for your good words about my books. I hope you'll enjoy this one. And I'm delighted that you enjoyed the photos. The sea ... oh, yes, there's something incredibly soothing and magical about the sea, isn't there?

Drey - Thank you again so much for presenting this book and my essay in such a beautiful way today. I appreciate it very much.
Thank you!

Everyone else - good luck! I've so enjoyed hearing about your special places.

Beth (BBRB) said...

I think my heart place is a little place on a lake in New Hampshire.

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

Beth (BBRB) said...

I'm a follower.

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

Sue-Ellen Welfonder said...

Hi Ladies -

I'm just checking back so that I don't miss anyone.

Beth - Your heart place sounds ideal. A 'little place on a lake in New Hampshire.' It's so lovely up there this time of year. Big sigh.... Excellent heart place.
Thanks so much for looking in here and good luck in the drawing!

Anonymous said...

What an excellent interview...and the pictorials were stunning...My most favourite 'heart place' is the simplicity of the Amish in Lancaster, PA...not the 'tourist showcase' but the real/true farm life. I love the simple beauty of the area and the people.

karen k
kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)com

Carol L. said...

Having never been to Scotland..sigh.... I always look at your pictures Sue-Ellen and read your books. Your post was very interesting and I don't know what it is but I'll see beautiful pics in Scotland and it's as if it's calling to me. :) Our imagination I'd imagine is what will take us wherever we want to go. Thanks Sue-Ellen.
Carol L.
Lucky4750@aol.com

Carol L. said...

oops--forgot I'm a follower also.
Carol L.
Lucky4750@aol.com

Cindy said...

I loved reading about Scotland and seeing the beautiful pictures.

I too am a Southern gal, so my first heart place is Mississippi, where I grew up. I still love to visit there and I will always love the rain, trees, trains and Southern cooking, thanks to my Misssippi roots.

But, since I have lived in Texas for over 30 years, that is my second heart place. There's no place like Texas and I have grown to love this state as much as the natives do. I especially love being close to the Gulf and the beach. Living in such a friendly and casual place is really nice and relaxing.

I follow your blog on Google.

I also follow you on Twitter. My username on Twitter is Soccermom213 and I tweet often about your blog and giveaways.

Cindy
Socmom213@aol.com

Nicole said...

My heart place is in the Midwest.

+1 follower

Sue-Ellen Welfonder said...

Evening, Ladies -

I'm just checking in again so that I don't miss anyone.

Anonymous - Thank you so much for your good words. I'm so glad that you enjoyed the essay and photos. I agree about Lancaster. I love PA. Especially Bucks County. You're so right about the simple beauty of the Amish and true farm life thereabouts. I hope they can hold onto that specialness.

Carol L - Bless you for looking in here. And for your good words. You're such a true-blue reader and I appreciate it so much. I sure hope you do get to Scotland one of these days. I know how thrilled you'd be to go. I've got my fingers and toes crossed for you!

Cindy - Thanks so much for looking in here. I'm so glad that you enjoyed the essay and photos.
Your sentimental musings about Mississppi make me want to go there tonight! You captured everything special about the South in a few short words. Absolutely lovely. And I loved to see you mention rain and trains. I LOVE rain. And is there anything more romantic than hearing a distant train whistle in the night?

And you're so right about Texas. What a great state! I was lucky enough to live for some years. Like you, I fell in love with the Lone Star State. In fact, I'd move back again in a beat, I loved it that much. Wonderful place and the best people on the planet. It's been years, but boy did Texas impress me. You're blessed to be there.

Nicole - Thank you so much for looking in here. Some of my best friends hail from the Midwest. They all, too, say there's nowhere else they'd rather be.

Ladies - Thanks again for looking in here. I wish you all the best of luck in the drawing!

debbie haupt said...

Sue-Ellen you're on of my most favorite authors. And who on earth could resist a Highlander hmmm.
My heart place in my tiny River Town on the Mississippi River in rural Missouri where I can sit on my screened in porch hear the barges in one direction and the lonely whistle of the freight trains in the other.
Deb

dhaupt@falkharrison.com

Sue-Ellen Welfonder said...

Morning, Ladies! - I'm just checking in again...

Debbie Haupt / Deb - Thank you so much for your good words. They made me smile. I'm so glad that you enjoy my books so much.

Your River Town on the Mississippi sounds like such an idyllic place. A very special heart place, for sure. Your porch, with its coziness and views, sounds atmosphere-rich. I love such places and am so glad you have one of your own to enjoy.

Thanks so much for looking in here. And I hope you'll enjoy this new book.

Ladytink_534 said...

I adore these pics! My heart place is in the woods surrounding my great-grandmother's home.

I'm a follower

Ladytink_534(at)yahoo(dot)com

Sue-Ellen Welfonder said...

Morning, Ladies!

I'm just looking in so that I don't miss anyone.

Ladytink - Your heart place sound so lovely. Woods are always so special.

Good luck in the drawing, everyone.

And have fun!

Anita Yancey said...

My heart's place is in the mountains of West Virginia, where I was born. Please enter me. Thanks!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Anita Yancey said...

I am a follower!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

budletsmom said...

My heart place would be in our local mountains or redwoods - really love the redwoods but it has been years since I have been there.

budletsmom at yahoo dot com

budletsmom said...

I am a follower.

budletsmom at yahoo dot com

booklover0226 said...

My heart is in Alaska... I want to return there.

I am a follower.

Thanks,
Tracey D
booklover0226 AT gmail DOT com

CherylS22 said...

My heart place is in Venice, Italy - I just loved Venice when I visited & have some fond memories of the city.
Thanks ~ megalon22{at}yahoo{dot}com

CherylS22 said...

I follow ~ megalon22{at}yahoo{dot}com

Self Catering UK said...

Offthemainroad.co.uk provides beautiful holiday place in Scotland, self catering accommodation in Scotland, self catering UK, self catering accommodation Oban, luxury self catering accommodation UK, self catering cottages in Scotland.

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