Monday, November 29, 2010

Fàilte Sky Purington

Please join me in welcoming Sky Purington back to SOS Aloha.  We first met Sky on October 29 during the TWRP spotlight.

Thanks so much for having me back to visit SOS Aloha during St. Andrew’s week, Kim!  As a writer with a heart that often revolves around Scotland it’s a pleasure to be here to celebrate Cill Rìmhinn (St. Andrew).  While the actual celebration is tomorrow, the 30th, I’m proud to be part of this. Mind you, my Scottish works are a rich blend of the religions that made up the medieval period. A time when Christianity and Paganism battled it out, when the Celts had a firm and long lasting influence on the land. It was, without doubt, a turbulent time.

When first I started researching what I’d like to write of about Scotland, it didn’t begin where I thought it would. Seriously, who would have thought the clan I decided to research and write of (my husband’s) would have originated in Ireland? And who would have thought the bloodline came from one of two sons who marked the last of his clan? One who created the Mac’Ferarcher clan, now known as Lamont (Gaelic pronunciation is Mac’Lomain)

Clan Lamont

Wow! It blew my mind as I continued researching. The Viking & Norse connection, the ‘most powerful clan in Scotland’ connection, aye, they all made my eyes bulge. And every little new fact uncovered had me zooming to local libraries, scouring the net, interviewing everyone I knew that was Scottish. All said, I definitely settled down into a solid pattern of good research. Took me three months by the way! But well worth it. In the end, I arrived at a place in which I was able to sit down and pen a trilogy.

Kim asked me, what is my favorite clan and plaid? Naturally, I have two. One is the Highland Mac’Lomain plaid (blue and green). The other is that which I descend from, the East Lothian lowlander Broun clan and their plaid (black and red). And of course (this is the icing on the cake folks) the two clans were intermarried for 300 years during the medieval period. As I’m sure you already gathered, this made for something out of a romance novel and I had all the research I needed to get started! *smiles*

While I won’t be talking overly about the trilogy itself this visit, I will be touching on parts of it through the remaining questions Kim provided me when she asked me to appear at SOS.

If I were to list a favorite castle of course it would be the one in my trilogy. This beauty, full of spires, turrets and wall walks is surrounded by two moats and curtain walls and perches at the tip of the Cowal Peninsula. It is purely fictional. However, I’m thinking Kim would like to know what my favorite castle that stands to this day is.

{Kim would really like to know if she can keep the Highlander}

Not to sound cliché but I believe St. Andrew’s Castle, Fife, is a good example of a structure that has withstood time. In fact, it changed hands many times during the War of Independence when Robert the Bruce strived to free Scotland from King Edward 1st of England. Let me just tell you, if I could rave on and on about ‘the Bruce’, I would. While William Wallace did wonderful things, highly recognized in the movie ‘Braveheart,’ what Bruce did for his country…well, it’s what can’t-put-this-down-until-I-read-the-last-page good novels are made of. He was very much a true hero to the country of Scotland.

St. Andrew's Castle

Time to step off the ‘serious’ platform. On to the fun stuff! Kim would like to know what my favorite Scottish drink is. Well, bit of a loaded question. My Scotsmen characters love their whiskey. (Medieval brand…can you imagine?) but we won’t tell them how nasty it must taste compared to our smooth blends now. As for me personally? I prefer a good ale.

One more question was presented to me by the gracious hostess of this blog. My favorite Scottish saying. I have a few and wouldn’t exactly call them happy-go-lucky. I lean toward realism when I write. Especially about my warriors. Naturally, I tend to see things as my Scottish characters do. I am drawn to a belief system that may strike some as…cynical, hackneyed. Then again, I mostly live in the minds of medieval Scotsmen and in my own way, have dealt with more death than I’d like. Can you blame me for the following? The quotes…

“Courage is the thing. All goes if courage goes.”
~James Matthew Barrie

J. M. Barrie

“Tell a man he is brave, and you help him to become so.”
~Thomas Carlyle

Thomas Carlyle's portrat in the National Gallery

“Temper is a weapon we hold by the blade.”
~James Mathew Barrie

Thank you so much, Kim for allowing me to swing in and chat up a Scottish storm! I hope I haven’t rambled on too much. St. Andrew’s is a wonderful week of celebration. That you celebrated it here at your blog is beyond fantastic. For those of you interested in learning more about my Scottish trilogy feel free to pop over to my website,

Best Regards


Tapadh leat (thank you) Sky for sharing your Scottish research!   I will give away a Hawaiian trivet each day in the design of a quilt square (as unique as a clan's tartan). Each day will be a different design.

Breaking News:  Sky is giving away an autographed copy of SYLVAN MIST. 

To enter the giveaways,

1. Leave a comment about SkyClan Lamont, and St. Andrew's Castle.

2. Make sure I know how to contact you - send your email to

3. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents. Trivets will be sent by priority mail so winners will receive then in time for holiday dining. Only one trivet per reader.

Mar sin leat (good bye),

Kim in Hawaii

Dh'aithnichinn air do sheirc do thabhartas.
I would know your gift by your graciousness.

The Clan Lamont also feuded with Clan Cambbell.  The Clan Lamont Society website provides specific details of the conflict.  The Lamonts supported the MacDonalds against the Campbells and paid the ultimate price.  In 1646, the Campbells massacred the Lamonts at Dunoon.

Each clan resided in Argyl - the Lamonts in Toward Castle and the Campbells in Castle Campbell.  Both castles are now in ruin.   In 1654, other clans burned Castle Campbell when the clan chief, the Earl of Argyl, supported Cromwell.  Eight years later, the earl was executed for treason when King Charles II claimed the throne.

Toward Castle
Castle Campbell


  1. St. Andrew's Castle looks like one of those castles that, along with many other ones in Scotland, are brimming with age -- and history. They are truly beautiful.


  2. Great blog, Sky! Sylvan Mist sounds like a great book too.

  3. Sky,
    Your books look so fantastic! I'd love to read Sylvan Mist :)

    I've never been visited St. Andrew's Castle or Scotland at all for that matter, but I bet it's beautiful. Maybe someday!

    Happy Monday!

  4. Welcome Sky,
    St. Andrews castle is impressive as are all the others in Scotland.

  5. Scotland is definitely up there on my "Places to Visit"

  6. Great post!
    I would love to visit St Andrews castle and see the 'bottle dungeon'.

  7. Aloha, Emily, Jessica, Stephanie, jane, Izzy, and Estella!

    Sky is a kindred spirit and I hope you enjoy her books as much as I have. I also appreciate your steadfast support of SOS Aloha!

  8. The clans are so interesting.


  9. OMG! You have a picture of a place I've visited before! When I was just out of college over 20 years ago, I went on a British Isles trip for 10 days with a college friend of mine, Malcolm Campbell. It was really a whirlwind trip of England, Ireland and Scotland. The whole reason Malcolm wanted to go on this trip was so he could visit his ancestors' castle - Campbell Castle!

    I didn't really know too much of my own ancestorial history at that time, but I knew Scotland "sang" to me in a way that I couldn't explain. Looking back, I wish I had done some research in my family tree and I would have gotten much more out of it.

  10. I so love to wander around the Scottish castles Next time I head home I will visit St Andrews Castle.
    I am in total agreement with you Sky The Bruce did more for Scotland than William Wallace. Though he played an Important role in Scotland Independence.
    I have been to Stirling Castle many times It one of my favorites.
    would love to read your books Sky I will put them on my TBB list.
    BTW My clan Scott, Ramsay, McClaren
    Have a good one Ann.