Every story is different, and every book requires a different kind of research. This is especially true if, like me, you write about everything from magical parallel worlds to modern-day Scotsmen — oh, and of course, the occasional hot firefighter! The research involved varies from one book to the next, even within a series. Take my newest release, Scandalous in a Kilt.
After writing two previous books in the Hot Scots series, you might think I’d done all the research I’d need. Ha-ha! Good joke! Alas, no. Like I said, every book is different. In Scandalous, my hero is not only Scottish, he’s also a solicitor. For my American friends, I’ll translate. He’s a lawyer.
I knew nothing about Scottish solicitors. Research needed.
For this book, I also decided my American heroine should relocate to Scotland early in the story. Emery and Rory get married lickety-split and take off for the Highlands. Where should they live? What should they do for fun?
(Assuming Emery can convince Rory to have fun!)
No idea. Research needed.
That’s just the beginning of the research odyssey I undertook to write this book. Today, I’m sharing with you my five favorite things I learned from Scandalous in a Kilt.
1. Becoming a solicitor requires a different educational path than for U.S. lawyers. American lawyers generally need a four-year degree and three years of law school. Scottish solicitors can take five to seven years, depending on which of three paths they take. Rory went the standard route, meaning four years of college, a fifth year to earn a special diploma in Professional Legal Practice, and finally two years of traineeship.
2. Scottish solicitors get a nifty ID card. I’ve never met an American lawyer who had a special picture ID identifying him as a lawyer. Solicitors get one. Cool!
3. You can buy a Scottish castle. Okay, I suspected as much before I started researching my book, but I had no idea how many historic castles in Scotland are for sale. If you’ve got a few million bucks lying around, you can buy your own Highland castle, just like Rory. Check out some of the offerings on this real estate site.
4. New Orleans has a voodoo museum. I veer away from Scotland for my last two favorite facts. The opening chapters take place in NOLA (a nickname I learned during research), so I had to share something about this iconic American city. Get a glimpse of the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum on its website.
5. Nevada isn’t the only place in America where you can get hitched quick. I wanted Rory and Emery to have a quickie ceremony, but Emery lives in Colorado. Turns out, in Colorado you can get married as quick as in Vegas or Reno. Voila! Rory and Emery are husband and wife.
This is why I love doing research. The librarian in me and the writer in me intersect when I start hunting for facts to inform and inspire my fiction.
The best fiction, after all, is based on a foundation of reality, even when the story centers on supernatural beings — or Scottish lawyers.
Intrigued? Explore the world of Scandalous in a Kilt by grabbing a copy today. Below is a universal link to take you to whichever retailer you prefer in whatever country you call home.
A free-spirited American. An uptight hot Scot. When passion ignites, no rules can survive the heat.
An office drudge by day, a free spirit by night… For Emery Granger, getting laid off from her job as a computer programmer liberated her from imprisonment in an office cubicle. The problem? She has no career and almost no money. Desperate to forget her quandary for one weekend, she takes off on a spontaneous trip to New Orleans — where the unconventional American collides with a sizzling-hot Scot.
Uptight lawyer by day, steamy seducer by night… After surviving three disastrous failed marriages, Rory MacTaggart has no desire to get entangled in another relationship. But with his two brothers now living in wedded bliss, he’s enduring the well-meaning pestering of his entire family. Rory’s solution? Get himself a trophy wife.
A one-night stand leads to a marriage of convenience, and a culture clash when Emery must adjust to a new life in Scotland and her new husband’s need for rules. When Rory’s ordered life explodes, the reluctant husband may just have met his match in the passionate, adventurous wife he swears he will never love.
Scandalous in a Kilt is the third book in the award-winning, bestselling Hot Scots series of erotic contemporary romances. Catch up with the MacTaggarts in the first two books, Dangerous in a Kilt and Wicked in a Kilt.
He slanted forward a touch, and the light gleamed on his short, light-brown hair, setting off golden highlights. “College graduate, eh? I found an intellectual woman to bide my time with. What was your field of study?”
Ech. This was where I lost a lot of guys. Supposed I could’ve lied, but I preferred to tell the truth, even to a gorgeous stranger from another country. Besides, I wasn’t embarrassed. I didn’t want to scare off a hot prospect, though.
I sat up straight, hands on my thighs. “Computer programming.”
“Ah,” he said, drawing out the single syllable as if he relished the taste of it. “You expect me to be less than impressed.”
“My occupation isn’t the stuff of men’s wet dreams, now is it?”
His throaty chuckle shivered along my skin like a physical touch. “I prefer professional women. And anyway—” He bent toward me, so close his breaths whispered over my lips. “You’ll be featured in all my dreams tonight.”
My throat went thick, my skin tightened. I’d come to New Orleans for excitement and adventure, an escape from my boring life, to shed my corporate skin and let my wild side out to play. Why not flirt with a stranger? Naughty flirting, no less.
Excitement zinged through me, an electric current like nothing I’d experienced in a long, long time. You’re overdue, girl, go for it.
“Tell me,” he said, “what is a beautiful, intelligent woman doing all alone in a bar? You should have a horde of men slavering to do your bidding.”
“I got into town this evening. Haven’t had a chance to drum up a horde.” I wiggled on my seat to angle toward him. Our faces hovered deliciously close, and I pulled in a deep draft of Scot-scented air. Crossing my legs, I lay an arm on the bar while my other hand rested on my thigh. “Would you do my bidding?”
The part of me that conformed to expected behavior winced. The other part of me, the one I kept quiet most of the time out of necessity, thrilled at the prospect of…whatever I was doing with this man.
“Ah, lass,” he purred, fingering a lock of my pale, ash-blonde hair. The lighting had imbued it with an almost ethereal glow. “For you, I’d go down on my knees and do whatever is necessary to make certain you feel nothing but satisfaction.”