Wisdom from a Wordsmith — Episode 31

I have been quite MIA when it comes to my Wisdom from a Wordsmith series since I got back home from Scotland at the end of May. In case you didn’t hear, I ended up testing positive with COVID and couldn’t travel back to the US — extending my stay in Edinburgh for ELEVEN more days!

During that extension, I mostly focused my alone-time on writing and catching up on school projects — but I was dealing with quite a bit of COVID brain fog, and all my projects were slo mo go. But, my friend Alissa, who was also stranded, had time to read — and one day she raved about a novel by an author of Scottish historicals — Nichole Van.

Alissa and I in Edinburgh (Alissa has a lovely Bookstagram — https://www.instagram.com/bookstagrambyalissamorgan/)

Alissa said that Nichole’s books were clean, but the KISSING scenes — woo, woo, woo! So, of course, I had to download Suffering the Scot and see what Alissa was talking about. Before I was even a quarter into the book, I had messaged Nichole with an “You have to come onto my blog!”

The cover of this novel is especially dear to me, because men in kilts became quite the theme with some of my new friends that I toured Scotland with. I will save those details for another time, but here is a photo with my roommate Julie and the gigantic torso that took up the wall behind our beds in our hotel room in Edinburgh!

Here is a glimpse about what Suffering the Scot is all about:

Lady Jane Everard cannot abide the new earl of Hadley. The unmannered Scot is a menace to genteel ladies everywhere, what with his booming laugh and swishing kilt and endless supply of “ochs” and “ayes”. Jane wishes Lord Hadley would behave as an earl should and adhere to English rules of polite conduct.

Andrew Langston, the new earl of Hadley, knows that the English aristocracy think poorly of his lowly Scottish upbringing. This is hardly new. History is littered with the English assuming the worst about Scotland. By living up to their lowest expectations, he is simply fulfilling his civic duty as a Scotsman.

Jane sees Andrew as an unmannered eejit. Andrew considers Jane to be a haughty English lady. But, as the saying goes, opposites attract…. And what if beneath his boisterous behavior and her chilly reserve, Andrew and Jane are not nearly as different as they suppose? Can Scotland and England reach a harmonious union at last?

Nichole Van graciously sent back her interview answers, but as she was dealing with tendonitis, she sent a voice recording. And since I am still dealing with a bit of COVID brain fog and I am weeks behind with my writing, her beautiful voice has been buried in my TO DO pile. Tonight I decided to take a break from Voices in the Sanitorium to catch up on some blogging and marketing. I decided to just share Nicole’s recording — she is so well-spoken, and I think after hearing her speak, you will be eager to read one of her novels!

Nichole Van’s interview from May 30, 2022

I think Nichole is one of my soul sisters — ha ha. I too have a reading addiction. I put myself on a weekly book limit while raising my kids — and totally gave up writing novels for over a decade because I couldn’t control my obsession. Nichole also taught writing — though my students are much younger than hers were. I love that Nichole is a photographer and that she lives in Scotland — lucky woman!

Nichole’s recent release is Love Practically. I cannot wait to read it! Here is the blurb and the sale link:

As a young woman, Leah Penn-Leith fell hopelessly in love with Captain Fox Carnegie—the only irrational mark on her decidedly sensible life. Fox, unfortunately, did not return her regard.

Their story should have ended there. After all, Fox left for India. And Leah returned home to Scotland to rear her much younger brothers.

But twenty years later, Fox appears on Leah’s doorstep—older, scarred, and world-weary—proposing a marriage of convenience between them. He needs a mother for his young ward, and Leah, with her capable good sense, comes highly recommended. What woman could say No to such a proposal? Not Leah. Fox has always wreaked havoc on her ability to think rationally.

After their marriage, Leah confronts the chaotic reality of Fox’s life. His castle, ten miles up a rugged Highland glen, is shambolic. His ward, Madeline, is a precocious handful. Fox’s time in India is shrouded in rumor and mystery. Worst of all, Fox himself is distant and broken, his personality as altered as his scarred body.

Throughout it all, Leah is left with two questions: What happens to a woman after her most-cherished fantasy comes true? And can a marriage, begun in practicality, transform into something deeper? Something like . . . love.

Here is a glimpse of Nichole’s photography talent!

To find out more about this gifted writer and photographer and designer, check out her website and her Amazon author page:



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