Whisky, Meat Pies & Castles
by Nancy Lee Badger
What do you think of when you hear someone mention Scotland? Castles? Whisky? Bagpipes? The Loch Ness Monster? I always picture Highland cows, heather-covered moors, and spiky purple thistles. People around town know my Jeep because my bumper sticker says Kiss My Thistle!
When tracing our family’s roots back to Scotland, we discovered that Scottish heritage is celebrated here in America, and in neighboring Canada. My husband and I were drawn to the Highland Games when we stumbled on a small Scottish festival in Pugwash, Nova Scotia, Canada. How could I not notice that Nova Scotia means New Scotland?
My family has attended various Highland Games ever since, and have volunteered at the New Hampshire Highland Games for decades. How better to live the life of historic Scots? What is better than watching kilt-wearing, muscular men compete on the athletics field? A trip to Scotland would be nice, of course, but until I have the chance to stroll the battlements of an ancient Scottish castle, these games will have to do. The festivals give us the flavor and music of Scotland with their marching bands, ethnic food, and color plaids.
The New Hampshire festival has turned into a three day event visited by thousands of people. This annual celebration has turned into a major undertaking. Coordinating sheep dog trials, vendors, rock band concerts, marching band performances, and other competitions requires people, which is why we help out.
Want to look like a well-dressed Scottish lord? Vendors fill tents with their wares. Choose a dress, chemise, kilt, lacy shirt, ghillie brogue shoes and tassels, or kilt hose. Even the tiny but lethal sgain dubh, a tough little dagger you stick in your sock or boot, is available for a price.
I always come home a little poorer in the pocket, but full of great ideas for a book. I carry a journal to make notes, and a camera to take great photos. Check out the cover of My Honorable Highlander. I photographed the women on the lower front while at a small festival in North Carolina. The fighting men on the cover of My Banished Highlander were also play-acting at a Scottish festival. Since my books are part of the Highland Games Through Time series, these photos add to the story.
I also carry business cards to network with the people, performers, and vendors. I have interviewed people I have met on my blog. I recently met a couple of vendors who also have a shop in Charlotte, NC where they sell Scottish wares during the year. They now sell my two books at their store. I never would have met them nor would they have heard of me and my Scottish romance novels if we had not met at a Scottish Highland games.
An author should do more than sit at a desk and type out the next best-seller. Research and participation are the inspiration that continues to drive me toward the completion of my series. Keep watching for the third book in the series, and enjoy the first two books. My Honorable Highlander and My Banished Highlander are available as ebooks and in PRINT.
My Honorable Highlander log line
Present day herbalist Haven MacKay’s love spell goes awry, is cast back in time, and meets her true love -- Laird Kirkwall Gunn.
All Romance EBooks: http://bit.ly/JmqjXJ
Also available in PRINT!
My Banished Highlander log line
With a letter in her hand and a Highlander at her back, what could go wrong?
Also available in PRINT!
More About the Author
Nancy Lee Badger loves chocolate-chip shortbread, wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander, the clang of broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, Nancy moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, the Celtic Heart Romance Writers, and is a proud Army Mom.
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