25th January, as well as being my parents’ wedding anniversary (blimey – 62 years and counting!) is traditionally the day on which premier Scottish poet Robert Burns is celebrated. Happy birthday Rabbie – you’d have been 261 today! 🙂
So I thought it would be appropriate to share a snippet from an old story of mine set in Scotland, Snared. Here are the opening lines:
Martin used his elbow to ring the doorbell of the Callander B&B and did his best not to bleed on the paintwork.
“Good gracious!” The lady who opened the door blinked up at him like a startled lamb, the resemblance enhanced by her spry little figure and tightly curled white hair. She seemed at a loss for any further words. Martin didn’t blame her—after all, it wasn’t every day strange men turned up on your doorstep with their hands all covered in blood—at least, not in Martin’s experience, although maybe they did things differently in Scotland.
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When Martin Lowrie rescues a wildcat from a snare, he thinks a few scratches and a tetanus jab are the worst consequences he’ll have to face. But then he meets the enigmatic and strangely compelling Calum. He spends the night with the handsome, unsettling Irishman and discovers Calum’s secret: he’s the wildcat Martin rescued, in human form.
But Calum’s not the only werecat in the village, and the others aren’t so keen to risk Martin revealing their secret, no matter how much Calum wants to protect Martin from harm.
And if you prefer mice to cats, you can read Burns’ poem on the subject here: https://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poem/mouse/