Hey guys, we're joined today by author Molly Ringle!! She's going to talk to us a bit about Scotland....a place I want to visit one day:) I hope you all enjoy what she has to say as much as I did!!!
Do you want a haunted city? And do you also like shortbread and high-quality whisky and gorgeous sinister castles looming over the town? Then Edinburgh is the place for you.Last time I stayed in Edinburgh, you could see a graveyard from our hotel room window, and that was right in the middle of the city. In fact, Edinburgh has several cemeteries stuck into spare nooks of the busy, medieval Old Town, which alone would be enough to make you start considering the possibility of ghosts. Then you learn that in past centuries the castle used to host witch burnings and other executions, and that murders took place by the hundreds in those dark, skinny alleys (they're called "wynds" or "closes" on the street signs), and you decide you'll never, ever walk certain Edinburgh streets alone at night.But you will want to walk them with a friend, or during the daytime, because Edinburgh is gorgeous. Besides the majestic architecture of its medieval Old Town and Georgian New Town, it contains gardens with tidy iron fences and bright flowers, friendly citizens with downright awesome accents, and trendy shops selling books, chocolate, high-quality wool clothing, music, and of course Scottish clan regalia. Just outside of town, grass-topped crags rise up, inviting you to hike to the top and admire the view of the city and the chilly Firth of Forth. (It's a body of water, where the River Forth runs into the North Sea.)In short, I love Edinburgh. I've visited three times and spent a few months there in total, and must go back again someday. (And again, and again...) That's why I knew I had to set a novel there. What Scotland Taught Me dips into my own experiences as a young American getting to know Edinburgh, and adds a bunch of romantic drama, and of course some of those delectably creepy ghost stories. Amber, one of the characters in the novel, is a ghost-seer, or so she likes to believe. At one point she drags her friend Eva, the book's narrator, into Greyfriars Kirkyard ("kirkyard" = "churchyard," or cemetery) to look for the ghost of Bloody MacKenzie. This is supposedly a real ghost: the spirit of George MacKenzie, a 17th-century judge who sent several convicts to the gallows, is a notorious poltergeist said to have inspired a lot of terror in real life, freaking out visitors and tourists every so often to this day.Are the ghosts real, or a product of psychological influence suggested by the marvelously spooky atmosphere? I'm not sure myself, and the characters in What Scotland Taught Me come away with varying opinions on that. If you can't afford to jet over to Edinburgh anytime soon and decide the matter for yourself, consider reading the novel and enjoying a mini-vacation without the airfare fees. Happy travels!
Fresh out of high school, Eva Sonneborn is headed to Scotland with her best friends: scholarly, sarcastic Laurence; gorgeous, ghost-seeing Amber; and responsible, sweet Shannon. They plan to spend the next six months in Edinburgh, enjoying an adventure-filled work-abroad journey before parting ways for college.
But when Eva meets Gil, a local bartender, she figures a little innocent flirting won't hurt her relationship with Tony, her ever-faithful boyfriend back home. But just when things turn less innocent with Gil, the trip starts throwing curveballs at not only her but her friends too. By the end of the trip, they've all fallen in love, sometimes with the wrong people - and with consequences that may tear their friendship apart forever.
About the author:
Molly Ringle has been writing fiction for over twenty years. With her intense devotion to silly humor, she was especially proud to win the grand prize in the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest with one (intentionally) terrible sentence. Her academic studies include a bachelor of arts in anthropology (University of Oregon, Clark Honors College) and a master of arts in linguistics (University of California, Davis). Molly lives in Seattle with her husband and kids, and worships fragrances and chocolate.