Why I Write by Lizzie Lamb

I am delighted this week to welcome Lizzie Lamb, author of Dark Highland Skies to my blog. Today, Lizzie is going to talk about why she writes Scottish contemporary romance. Over to Lizzie …

I write to escape from the here and now. This was especially true during Covid when I hid away in my study and travelled every day to the mythical, magical west coast of Scotland in my imagination. The result was Dark Highland Skies which was published on Valentine’s Day 2023 and been well-received by readers and followers. (See blurb and extract below)

Why the west coast of Scotland and contemporary romance? 

Let me explain . . . 

I was born in the Central Belt of Scotland and all I knew of the highlands was what I had seen on video: The Ghost Goes West, I Know Where I’m Going and Local Hero; or read in tattered library books: Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped, John Buchan’s Thirty-Nine Steps and D.K Broster’s trilogy The Flight of the Heron. To me, the highlands was a distant place redolent with history, mystery, and romance but out of reach. 

Then, in 2014, we bought our first caravan off eBay for £300 and our highland adventures began as we visited all the places I dreamed about. Now, every time we cross the border at Gretna Green something magical happens. I get a shiver down my spine and my heart beats a little faster and I know I’ve come home. In subsequent years we have bought bigger and more self-contained caravans, undertaken the North Coast 500 challenge and found more to fall in love with: Plockton, Wester Ross, Gairloch and Scourie in the northwest of Scotland. Caravanning suits us down to the ground because we can go where we like, when we like and, thanks to my trusty MacBook, I can write to my heart’s content.

Inspired, we have returned to further research my novels. In 2017 we toured Castle Stalker on Loch Linnhe, the inspiration for Girl in the Castle. I used what I’d seen in Castle Stalker to add colour to my novel although I re-named the castle Tearmannaire which means guardian or protector.. Another year we undertook a tour of whisky distilleries on Speyside and went ‘doon the watter’ to Dunoon to check out Holy Loch. Both were the inspiration behind Scotch on the Rocks.

Images of Castle Stalker

Harper’s Highland Fling was inspired by my experiences as a teacher and the beautiful village of Plockton in Wester Ross. There I found the ideal house for my hero on Harbour Street where the front gardens are separated from each property by the road through the village. The gardens are beautiful and palm trees (Cordyline Australis) flourish there, thanks to the Gulf Stream. When we give up caravanning, I would like to rent a cottage there for the summer and spend time writing and enjoying everything that part of Scotland has to offer.

Plockton Images

However, to go back to the beginning of my writing career, my debut novel – Tall, Dark and Kilted, was set in Notting Hill (influenced by the film and a private tour of the gardens in 2010) and Wester Ross which we had just visited for the first time. Although I am a real history buff, I write contemporary romance as opposed to HistFic because I was influenced in my early writing career by Jilly Cooper and aim for her lightness of touch, humour and hot heroes.  We have already planned this summer’s highland fling when we’ll tour the highlands and celebrate fifty years of marriage. Now you understand why I love Scotland and write contemporary romance.

Open garden squares Notting Hill

Finally, last year we stayed in Arisaig (from where Bonnie Prince Charlie took his boat over the sea to Skye), explored Mallaig and the Silver Sands of Morar. I used this location in Dark Highland Skies which I adored writing, and I am still in love with the hero ‘Tor Strachan. Crazy writer, right?

The Bothy, River Morar 

All About Lizzie Lamb

Hi, I’m Lizzie and I like writing about the ‘moment’ when the hero and the heroine fall in love. That, and trying to track down the all-elusive hero-in-a-kilt, is what gets me in front of the computer each morning. Since 2012 I’ve published seven novels: Tall, Dark and Kilted, Boot Camp BrideScotch on the RocksGirl in the CastleTake Me, I’m YoursHarper’s Highland Fling, and my latest  Dark Highland SkiesI organise the Leicester Chapter of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and present workshops on indie publishing to new writers. My feel good/uplit novels would be happy to sit alongside Jilly Cooper, Jenny Colgan, Jill Mansell and Carole Matthews on your bookshelf. 

I love writing because it has given me the chance to celebrate everything I love about Scotland, and to share those feelings with my readers. When I’m not writing, I spend summer with my husband touring Scotland in our caravan researching my next novel and avoiding the midges. 

Slainte Mhath. 

To keep in touch with Lizzie, you can use the following links:-

WEBSITE – http://www.lizzielamb.co.uk

TWITTER –  https://twitter.com/lizzie_lamb

INSTAGRAM – https://www.instagram.com/lizzielambwriter

FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/lizzielamb-writer

NEWSLETTER – https://tinyurl.com/ELNL-2016

About Dark Highland Skies

Astrophysicist Halley Dunbar has spent her career peering into the space hoping to find the one-in-a-billion exoplanet outside our solar system capable of sustaining life. Such a find would be the climax of her scientific career and establish her as a force majeure in a male-dominated world.

When her great-uncle dies, she travels to Lochaber in Scotland to arrange his funeral, reluctant to leave her research and her million-pound telescope behind in Hawaii. In Scotland, she encounters an assortment of characters who make her realise there’s more to life than searching for something that might not exist.

The years are ticking by and Halley (35), starts to question the life she’s chosen. When the laird’s son, Tor Strachan, rocks up, he turns her world upside down and Halley discovers, not the new exoplanet she’s spent her academic life searching for, but the one-in-a-billion man who can make her happy.

Forced to question her life choices, Halley wonders if she’ll be able to return to stargazing and leave behind a place and a man she’s come to love. However, Afghan veteran Tor has demons of his own to confront before he can be the man Halley deserves. And, as for Halley, she has secrets of her own; ones she can’t share with anyone, including Tor.

Readers can read an extract here

Click and download the novel here.

Astrophysicist Halley Dunbar travels to Scotland to arrange her uncle’s funeral. There she meets the Laird’s son, Tor Strachan, who forces her question her life choices. Will she be able to return to stargazing and leave behind a place and a man she’s come to love? Will Tor, be able to confront his own demons and become the man Halley deserves?

Thank you, Lizzie. I have detailed Lizzie’s other novels below. What an exciting selection to read if you haven’t already! Mx

Take Me I’m Yourshttps://mybook.to/TakeMeImYrs

Boot Camp Bridehttps://mybook.to/BootCampBride

Harper’s Highland Flinghttps://mybook.to/HarpersHighlandFling

Scotch on the Rockshttps://mybook.to/ScotchontheRocks

Tall, Dark and Kiltedhttps://mybook.to/TallDarkandKilted1

Girl in the Castlehttps://mybook.to/GirlintheCastle

Dark Highland Skieshttps://mybook.to/DarkHighlandSkies

Thank you for visiting my blog – Morton S. Gray – Author. I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Summer at Lucerne Lodge published as an eBook, paperback and audio download too – Amazon Check on my Choc Lit author page for other purchasing options here 

Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe published as an eBook, audio, paperback and large print – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and Choc Lit for other options.

Sunny Days at the Beach is now available as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and at Choc Lit for other options.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is available as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon KindleAudioApple iBooksKobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.

The Truth Lies Buried is available from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKoboApple iBooks and also as a paperback and audiobook.

The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available as a paperback and from all eBook platforms – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.

By Morton S. Gray

Author of romantic suspense novels. http://mortonsgray.com


  1. Thank you very much for having me on your blog Morgan and for making such a great job of the jumble of notes and photos I sent over to you. I’m having a bit if a sabattical during March but will be raring to go again in April with #8 – working title: twice in a lifetime. Dark Highland Skies is doing well and I enjoyed writing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Lizzie Lamb – author and commented:
    Manythanks to Morton Gray for hposting me on her fabulous blog today. I really like how Morton arrnaged the page, giving me and my books the best chance of reaching new readers and writers,.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a lovely article/piece/account. What comes over so strongly is Lizzie’s passion and if she is passionate about her subject matter, the readers will be too. Many thanks for sharing and good luck with the new book.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Brilliant interview with the equally brilliant Lizzie Lamb – well done Morton! I’ve loved all of Lizzie’s books, she so eloquently whisks the reader away to her beloved Highlands, firstly to fall in love with the landscape and then, of course, with her hero. Tor is one of my absolute favourites and I loved how Halley – so confident and resilient – was hiding a bitterly broken heart all the time. A wonderful novel and a great blog. Thank you both. Xx

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Thank you Adrienne (and Morton). I can’t wait to read your new novel. I saw the cover on Twitter today . . . it looks gorgoeus. I’m sure the story will be equally gorgeous, too.

          Liked by 2 people

  4. I always enjoy learning more about the stories behind the stories – so entertaining and informative. I loved Lizzie’s latest novel as I have done her other books. Lovely blog post, Lizzie & Morton Xx

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: