Monday, June 23, 2014

The Beauty of Scotland

When Neely Powell (Leigh Neely and Jan Powell) began writing True Nature, I (Leigh) was fortunate enough to visit her son's family in Scotland. Due to the birth of her granddaughter and the subsequent birth of her grandson, she spent a total of four months in and around the area of Giffnock, just a little ways from Edinburgh.

It really is a culture shock to live away from America. Grocery stores are different, the number of incredibly old buildings just boggles the mind, and the value of learning the history of where you are seemed enhanced.

I loved Giffnock. I became accustomed to walking everywhere, something I'd never done in America. There were times, however, when I did have to ask my sweet daughter-in-law to let me sit a while between going to the post office, the grocery store, and the local park. Unfortunately, I did not continue my walking once I returned home.

Giffnock looks much like a village of old, with its beautiful stone buildings and narrow streets. I didn't drive while over there. I was sure I'd forget which side of the road I should be on and cause an accident. My son and his wife have adapted well and since leaving Scotland, have lived in Dublin and are now in London. It makes for wonderful vacations and give us opportunities to get to know places in the UK, not just visit them.

At any rate, Giffnock plays a significant role in the story of True Nature. The family of shape shifters the story focuses on are from this area and have a long and colorful Scottish history that includes a battle between clans.

Here's an excerpt:

My thoughts went back to the little kitchen in the cottage where Hunter and I stayed. We were there for two months, in the countryside between Glasgow and Edinburgh. It was close enough to town to have fun and had enough land attached to give Hunter a place to roam free and work out the kinks of shapeshifting.

We were looked after that summer by two of the MacRae family’s devoted employees. Tall, spare Robert McPhee had once been the right hand man of Hunter’s grandfather and great-grandfather. Though his face was seamed with age, he didn’t miss a beat. He knew where Hunter and I were at all times, and had even shown up a time or two unexpectedly, both in the city and out in the countryside.

It was eerie, I remembered. It was as if he had a special ability where Hunter was concerned. Robert’s wife, Molly, was as short and round he was tall and thin. Though as ancient as he was, she kept the cottage sparkling and the scent of delicious savories and sweets coming from the kitchen. That trip was one of my best summer vacations.

The beautiful countryside of Scotland seemed the perfect setting for the home of shape shifters and dysfunctional psychics! Read True Nature for their story!

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