Monday, April 7, 2014

My Happy Place

A lot of people might be surprised with an American woman writing Scottish contemporary characters and a Scottish setting. For me, it feels perfectly natural. I traveled to Glenfinnan, Scotland, a tiny village in the Highlands on the shore of Loch Shiel. It quickly became my favorite place on the planet. We had beautiful weather with bright sunshine, blue skies and lush, green hills. Few people roamed through the dark grass and colorful flowers, and those who did always had a kind word. I confess to being a sucker for the Scottish accent, but it’s the openness and friendliness of the people that really drew me.
When I started writing Broken Road there was no doubt in my mind it would take place in Glenhalish, my fictional version of my favorite Highland village. And indeed, Cat, the Broken Road heroine loves it there. She can’t imagine ever leaving. Ian, the hero, lives in Edinburgh, but his job as a bodyguard takes him all over the world. He loves to return to Glenhalish every so often to visit friends and family, to calm his soul, and to ease his weary body and brain.
As anyone who knows me can tell you Scotland is my “happy” place and if I could I’d move there tomorrow. I’d do it without a second thought. Since I’m still in Texas, I guess I’m not going anytime soon. I’m relegated to writing about it instead. Still, if my words can show what I love about the country and as long as people are interested in reading about such magical places, I’ll keep returning in my thoughts, dreams, and books.

Catriona MacGregor leads a quiet life, working in the local school of Glenhalish, Scotland and spending time with close friends. She’s content to sit back and be an observer of the life around her. But all that changes when a recently deceased family friend leaves her a flat in Edinburgh and challenges her to spread her wings.
   With his work as an international bodyguard, Ian MacKenzie has no time for a serious, committed relationship. Yet when he comes home to Glenhalish for a visit and to clear his mind, he is drawn to down-to-earth Cat. The more time they spend together, the more he wants her.
Though they agreed to a friends-with-benefits arrangement, Cat soon discovers exactly what she wants for herself and it involves all of Ian—body, mind and soul. Their connection ambushes Ian. He’s not ready for the intensity they share.
   Can this Highland lassie steer her lad back onto the right path to a love that will last a lifetime?

Cat sat at one of the foldaway tables and sipped her wine. A pleasant breeze rolled off the loch and made the candlelight shimmer. So much laughter and chatter whooshed round her, and again her heart hung heavy. Could she give up all she had here for a new life in Edinburgh? Did she have the courage to try? What if Fiona had been wrong in her will and given Cat more credit than she truly deserved?
Ian marched toward her, pulled her glass from her hand, and set it on the table. “Come.” With a firm but gentle grip, he tugged her out of the chair.
“I need you to save me.” He whirled her round and pulled her close to his hard-muscled body. She pressed her palms to his chest. The heat under her fingers shot straight into her center. He wrapped his arms round her waist and eased them onto the dance floor in time to the slow rhythm of the music.
Cat laughed. “You, a big, braw lad, need me, a wee lass, to rescue you? I find that hard to believe.” But, she was ever so grateful for whatever sent him to her. They’d always been friendly with each other, sort of like her relationship with Ewan, except…not.
He spun her round so she could see the other side of the dance floor. “See those lasses flirting with the MacDougall brothers?”
Women with tight clothes and high-pitched laughs dangled over the makeshift bar. “What about them?”
“Two of them are trying to lay claim to me.”
“I don’t do romantic relationships.”
“What?” Handsome, smart, strong. He had it all.


Alexa Bourne is a teacher by day and a romance writer by nights, weekends, and all school holidays. She also teaches online classes for writers throughout the year. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance and is thrilled to have the chance to share her stories with readers everywhere.
When she’s not concocting sinister plots and steamy love scenes or traveling and exploring new cultures, Alexa spends her time reading, watching brainless TV, and thinking about exercising. Okay, she also spends way too much time interacting with readers and writers on social media sites. But don’t tell her editors! Find out more about her and her books on her website,

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