Where are the Kilts?
By Carrie Lofty
Not everyone in Scotland wears kilts. Or wore kilts. Or belonged to a warring clan in the Highlands.
I was pleased to learn this because, frankly, so many romance authors write incredible, sweeping Highland Scots novels. No sense competing where the field is already packed, especially when I had a very different Scottish romance to write.
STARLIGHT, the second in my Christies series of Victorian romances from Pocket, is set in Glasgow. A city! In Scotland! But in the early 1880s, when STARLIGHT is set, Glasgow wasn’t any ol’ city. It was the fourth largest metropolis in the world, behind London, Paris and New York. Many of those famed Highlanders were like the rural farmers and frontiersmen in the United States during the same point in the Industrial Revolution. They headed to the cities in search of jobs.
The beginning of Glasgow’s rise to economic prominence began with weaving, until the deep harbor of the River Clyde made it the perfect place to build Queen Victoria’s massive naval fleet. Ships became king. Men who’d made a good living in the mills headed to the docks, hence transforming Glasgow into a heavily masculine city. If one didn’t work in the shipyards, one was not a real man.
So… Polly Gowan. She’s my heroine, you see. And a weaver. And the de facto leader of the weavers union. The girl knows how to handle men! She also knows that her industry is in need of protection, before it’s swamped by the tide of shipmaking. She also knows that none of the men in Glasgow will be an ideal partner. They’re simply too…unaccepting. She had a brain and ambition. Can’t have that!
Lucky, she found Alex Christie:
She had expected some equivalent of a desk clerk, stooped and thin. Or just the opposite—a fat man with heavy jowls and a pocket watch worth more than her parents’ tenement flat. Instead, Mr. Christie was the worst sort of challenge. He had caught her off guard.
Where was his coat? And his neckcloth? She couldn’t remember the last time she had seen a gentleman so informally dressed—if ever. The shock of finding a hint of chest hair poking out from the collar of such a fine, expensive shirt was dangerously distracting. The contrast of wild and civilized was as pronounced as the stark white cloth lying against his tanned neck.
He wore that beautiful white shirt and finely tailored woolen trousers, yet the simmering anger pulsing from his robust body was anything but elegant. More like . . . brutal. There was no mistaking how his baser instincts would resolve matters.
Most masters left their dirty work to hired brutes. This Mr. Christie looked ready to knock heads. Polly shivered and returned her gaze to his face. But that was no help either. Breathtaking hazel eyes stared back at her, narrowed, fierce in his disconcerting blend of ire and intelligence.
He shows up just in time to save her from being unappreciated and unheralded as a sexy, clever, amazing picture of womanhood. She would’ve been left to fight and scrape and push to even be seen, let alone accepted and cherish forever.
Man, oh man, do I love writing romance. Even if there’s not a kilt in sight!
What’s next for me:
After RT BookReviews 4½ Star Top Pick STARLIGHT hits the shelves, I'll be looking forward to the release of HIS VERY OWN GIRL [http://carrielofty.com/HVOG.html], a historical romance set in World War II. It's not women's fiction. It's not literary fiction. It's a genuine romance, complete with sexy times and a happy ending. Look for it September 4th as a Pocket Star digital original novel. I cannot wait to see how readers respond!
I'll also be launching a new co-written pseudonym, Katie Porter, with my long-time friend and critique partner, Lorelie Brown. Our "Vegas Top Guns" series of contemporary erotic romances will launch from Samhain on July 31 with the release of DOUBLE DOWN, which is also a RT BookReviews 4½ Star Top Pick. Two more from the series, INSIDE BET and HOLD 'EM, will follow in August and September. You can learn more about these and future books at our website [http://katieporterbooks.com].
Where to find me:
I'd like to give away a copy of STARLIGHT, and I'll ship anywhere. Just answer the question: How far are you willing to go for Scottish romance? Does an urban setting in that much-loved country appeal to you? (Please leave a comment with email address if you are interested in entering giveaway.)
Thanks again to Hanging with the Bells for having me!
Book 2 in The Christies series
Author: Carrie Lofty
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release date: 6/26/12
Passion sparkles forever . . . in the shining eyes of a true love.
An esteemed astronomer, Alex Christie, the eldest and most steadfast of the Christie siblings, has never possessed his late father’s ruthless business drive. But to protect his frail infant son from his cruel father-in-law’s bid for custody, the young widower must undertake Sir William Christie’s posthumous million-dollar challenge: to make a Glasgow cotton mill profitable. At sea in an industrial world of sabotage and union agitation, Alex meets Polly Gowan, daughter of a famed union leader, who hopes to seize a mysterious saboteur without involving the police.
Because a sympathetic mill master would aid her cause, Polly becomes Alex’s guide to urban Scotland. From soccer games to pub brawls, Alex sees another side of life, and feels free for the first time to reveal the man—vital and strong—behind his intellectual exterior. Polly is utterly seduced. Their ambitions, however, remain at odds: Alex vows to earn the mill bonus to save his child, while Polly fights for the needs of her people. Is there strength enough in their sparkling passion to bind them together in their quests—and in a lasting love that conquers all?
Find Carrie Lofty online:Goodreads