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Lake of Destiny Paperback – April 25, 2017
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From the Author
I was driving in the Highlands of Scotland years ago and came across a rusting black-and-white road sign pointing to Rob Roy MacGregor's grave. Now, being a sucker for Scottish history, Sir Walter Scott, and Liam Neeson in a kilt (not necessarily in that order), I had to take the detour. Right? No choice at all. And I fell utterly in love with the Balquhidder Glen.
The location itself was beautiful, of course, in that wild way of Scottish glens with steep-sided, heather-covered braes and lochs glittering silver beneath an endless sky. But it also had an aura of something magical.
In addition to the grave where Rob Roy, a "MacGregor Despite Them," lies buried beside his wife and two of his sons, the glen houses the ruin of an old stone church where a soberly Presbyterian minister, the Reverend Robert Kirk, preached in the seventeenth century. While engaged in said preaching, he also reportedly wandered into an enchanted world. Years later, according to legend, instead of dying, he was taken back to that Otherworld to become the chaplain to the Fairy Queen.
As if that wouldn't have been enough to fire my imagination, I also had an encounter with a flock of meandering sheep, a lonely horse bit the side mirror of my rental car when I tried to stop petting him, and a shaggy Highland bull charged over to lick my camera lens while I was trying to take his picture. (I have the photo of his tongue somewhere, I swear.) Add to that a lovely meal and a passionate conversation with a Scottish nationalist, and it was a day I've never forgotten.
I always knew I would write about the glen someday. Of course, it's changed some since I visited that first time. And because it has changed, and because my story is fiction which has resulted in some alterations to the landscape, while I'm keeping much of its history and the names of the clans who've traditionally resided there, I am calling it Balwhither instead of Balquhidder. For what it's worth, Balwhither is how you pronounce the name anyway, and it's also how Robert Louis Stephenson wrote about it in his books.
If you've been to Balquhidder, you'll find yourself a little disoriented. The people, places, and events that populate my glen are fictitious, and even the historical events and figures, actual geography, and landmark businesses in the glen are fictionalized. But I hope I've captured the beauty of the place, and I hope it inspires my readers to go and see it for themselves.
In case you're sad to leave the charm of small-town life in a magical setting behind when this story is over, keep an eye out for additional free-standing books in the Celtic Legends series. And if you like Scottish food, try the recipes included in the book. Maybe they'll turn out well enough at your house to help persuade your own man to try a kilt!
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Top customer reviews
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Anna reminds you of a typical career woman. She wears her high heels, lugs around her briefcase and really has her S*it together... at least on the outside. I had no trouble at all relating to her as she tries to hold it all together. BUT, After two failed relationships and the downfall of her dream career (not to mention the family pressure) Anna's about had it. She decides a holiday is exactly what she needs to regroup & Her aunt, who claims she could use her help with an upcoming festival she's planning, happens to live in a small highland village...so off Anna Jets.
This is where it gets interesting. You've got a small village in a beautiful setting full of opinionated and somewhat quirky personalities, which the author writes exceptionally well. Not entirely unlike Stars Hollow (if your a GG fan & GG had men in kilts) the village and its people are delightful. With a motley group of gossips and bag pipe players, a man with a secret he's desperate to keep safe, and another equally good looking man with a possible hero complex there is comedy around every corner ( also sheep & a particular troublesome dog so watch your step).
There is a good dose of romance artfully done with the overall feel of a romantic comedy. There is some tension along the way, and a bit of a mystery to solve which keeps the reader turning the page just to see what else could possibly go wrong.
My favorite part of this story was watching all of these characters as they unintentionally looked inward and figured out things about themselves they never imagined. I enjoyed every moment of the story and I'm looking forward to Martina's next novel.
When I started reading, I knew immediately that I'd love Anna. The girl is a mess, and as a twentysomething who is also more or less a mess, I can totally relate, with the exception of my love life being good. Literally within ten minutes of arriving in the village, Anna manages to find herself in a pretty unique form of trouble. You know how I said earlier that Martina is a woman after my own heart? I think Anna has her beat. She's such a real character, and it's easy to imagine being friends with someone like her. You root for her, you feel for her, the whole nine yards.
Speaking of characters, Martina has crafted an entire village full of very... *ahem* big personalities. Honestly, even the sheep have some mischief in them. Don't even get me started on the dog. The village is quite small, so it ends up feeling more like one decently large hodgepodge dysfunctional family, which is a fun dynamic to read about in itself. Jokes are made about how arguing is practically a sport around town, and Anna finds this to be 100% true when she takes on the role of mediator. It was interesting to watch a woman who by all means thought she was prepared to take on a few villagers, but immediately finding out she's in over her head.
The setting of Lake of Destiny just radiates this magical, almost whimsical feel at times. I mean, Scotland is already a place that I desperately want to visit, but I feel like Martina captured the very essence of a small Highlands village, with all the magic and even a bit of mystery involved. From the people, to the animals, to the land itself, I felt fully immersed, like I was Anna herself, experiencing the story firsthand.
As a closing note, I should warn you not to read this book on an empty stomach, because it will make you so hungry. It was the most unexpected thing, but there's some awesome food mentioned throughout the story that made my stomach growl.
With a lovable cast of characters and a magical setting, Lake of Destiny stole my heart. Without a second of hesitation, I give it 5 stars and urge you to pick up your own copy ASAP.
This was a beautifully written story with wonderful elements that added depth to the characters in the story. it was a clean story without sex or language. It made me want to visit Scotland, even more. The description of the scenery and the people there added so much to the story. This is the second of this series that I have read and I enjoyed it even more than the first.
Most recent customer reviews
Quick to read, if it weren't for life's interruptions, because the story flows...Read more