Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
***All photos accompanying posts are either owned by the author of said post or are in the public domain -- NOT the property of History Undressed. If you'd like to obtain permission to use a picture from a post, please contact the author of the post.***

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Seeing the World in Blue and White by Sherrie Hansen

Welcome to History Undressed, guest author, Sherrie Hansen! She's written a great post for us today about Scotland! Enjoy!


Seeing the World in Blue and White
by Sherrie Hansen


I’ve been hearing Scottish accents in my head for over a decade, and now, after returning from my second trip to Bonnie Scotland, my mind’s eye is just as steeped in images of the highlands and islands I’ve been writing about.




Our trip was a flurry of wildflowers and walled gardens, castles and keeps, and lochs and legends. My mind is whirling with the characters and construct of a new story, ancient ghosts and curses, and modern day longings and desires set to clash like pitchforks and swords at Culloden.





One of my characters is the “rightful” heir of a castle and as fascinated and enamored of Scotland as I am, the other is there only because she could find no other way to wiggle out of her duties as the legal heir of a castle she cares nothing aboot.



Even more exciting is the sense of déjà vu I feel about the Wildflowers of Scotland books I’ve already written.



As I spotted each of the wildflowers I’ve featured in Thistle Down, Wild Rose, Blue Belle, Shy Violet, and Sweet William, and the castles and kirks that provide a backdrop for each of the stories, the characters have come to life for me all over again.




One of the highlights of the trip was the day I left a copy of Shy Violet with a random staff member at Eilean Donan’s Castle Café, where many scenes in the book take place. A few days later, on our way back from the Isle of Skye, we stopped once more to eat lunch. The recipient pulled me aside, and in her delightful Scottish accent, said “I’ve begun to read yer book, and I’m loving it! Ye’re a very good author, and I thank ye so much.” 



The whole time we were at Eilean Donan Castle, I kept catching glimpse of people who looked like Nathan or Violet. William and Lyndsie, the stars of Sweet William, felt very close to me when we were on Skye - walking around the mysterious Fairy Glen at Uig, watching the cows graze on Claigon Coral Beach near Dunvegan and dipping a toe in the Fairy Pools at Glenbrittle. Because I know what happens to William while he’s on Skye, I had a deep, sense of foreboding until we were on our way home, and I knew everything was okay.


There’s a magical connection between Scotland and me. I’m a Blue Belle, and always will be. (For those of you who don’t know me, I have a B&B and Tea House called the Blue Belle Inn.) Loving the blue and white Saltire of Scotland is a natural extension of my love of blue.




If you’ve yet to fall in love with Scotland, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of one of my Wildflowers of Scotland novels and see if the highlands and islands of Scotland resonate with you like they do me.



Age old castles and blue-watered bays,
White sandy beaches and quaint cottage stays.
A rainbow of colors and chocolates, hand-dipped,
A valley of bluebells and sheep, freshly clipped.




Legends galore, buried treasure, and more…   
In the Wildflowers of Scotland novels, that’s what’s in store.



Twenty-four years ago, Sherrie Hansen Decker rescued a dilapidated Victorian house from the bulldozer’s grips and turned it into a B&B and tea house, the Blue Belle Inn. Sherrie and her husband, Mark, who is a pastor, live in 2 different houses, 85 miles apart. Sherrie writes murder mysteries and novels whenever she’s not working at her B&B – or trying to be a good pastor’s wife. Her contemporary romantic suspense novels include Night and Day, Love Notes, and Thistle Down, Wild Rose, Blue Belle, Shy Violet and Sweet William, her Wildflowers of Scotland novels.




You can see what’s she’s up to at: 
 http://sherriehansen.wordpress.com/
www.BlueBelleInn.com or www.BlueBelleBooks.com

Sherrie’s new release is Sweet William.

He’s a real sweetheart. She’s a wee bit tart. When Minnesota farm boy, William McKnight, and sassy Scot, Lyndsie Morris, are forced to work together in the kitchen of Rabbit Hill Lodge, the atmosphere is as charged as an episode of Chopped. Will someone get cut, or will they find a recipe that works? Things just start to get spicy when an angry bull butts his way into the picture, and Lyndsie has to decide if she loves William more than everyone and everything she holds dear.




4 comments:

Romy Garofalo said...

Just breathtaking pictures!! Thank you for sharing.

Mark Decker said...

''Twas a joy to share our visit to Scotland with you. Hopefully we will return soon.

sherriehansen said...

Thanks for making my blog and photos look so beautiful, Eliza! If anyone is interested, the link to Sweet William is: https://amzn.com/B01H2TUD3U

Mary Gillgannon said...

I finally got her, Sherrie. Your pictures are so lovely and evocative. Sigh. I visited Scotland a couple of years ago and didn't have nearly enough time there. Wonderful inspiration for books, although I've yet to have a story set in Scotland come to me. Clearly, I need to go back.

Best wishes on your books.