When Anna MacDonald leaves Edinburgh to find peace in the Scottish Highlands, she gets a twofold surprise: a lost sailor teaches her to love again…while a mysterious stranger has plans to kill her.
Passed over for promotion by her boss—and boyfriend, Anna walks off the job in anger. But being reactionary has its price. No longer afford the rent on her Edinburgh apartment, she retreats to the only place she has ever felt happy – her grandmother’s croft on the edge of a Highland loch. With no phone or neighbours, and only two border collies for company, Anna sets out to finally achieve her lifelong dream; to write—and sell—the novel that has burned within her for years.
Luke Tallantyre, a renowned Cape Cod artist, has sailed across the Atlantic to escape an artistic dry spell. When his yacht develops a problem he drops anchor in Loch Hourn. He rows ashore, and knocking on the door of the croft, asks to use the telephone, but the reception he receives is less than welcoming – in fact it’s downright frosty.
Anna resents the cranky American’s intrusion to her seemingly idyllic life. Luke thinks she’s an ill-mannered hermit. But an unseen assassin is after one of them. So they unwillingly join forces and embark on an adventure neither ever imagined…including a chance at true love.
Targeted Age Group: 16 Plus
Book Price: $1.99
How is Writing In Your Genre Different from Others?
My romantic suspense novels are based loosely on factual events. I might hear something on the news, or read an article in the newspaper and think “that would make a good plot.” Or I might be on holiday and the town or city I’m visiting might become the setting for a novel.
My novels have a recurring theme; my heroines all leave the safety of their backyards to discover the truth. Most of us never find the inner strength to do that. My heroines do.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
Learn your trade. Read everything you can about creative writing, and how to format a manuscript. Never submit a manuscript until you are sure it is as near perfect as it can be. Check your manuscript to ensure your time line is correct, that Ann on one page doesn’t become Anna on page two! Spell check was invented for a reason, so use it. Edit, not once, not twice, but as many times as it takes to refine your work into a well-honed story that will have the reader waiting for the next twist in the plot. You’d be surprised how easy it is, during the course of a long manuscript, to make simple errors that could mean the difference between rejection and acceptance. And talking of rejection and acceptance – remember it’s nothing personal. Publishing houses on average, receive upwards of three hundred manuscripts a day, so a good query letter and synopsis is essential. And lastly, never give up!
Victoria Howard is the author of three romantic suspense novels, The House on the Shore, a finalist in the 2009 Joan Hessayon Award, presented by the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Three Weeks Last Spring, a Pushcart Prize nominee, and Ring of Lies, as well as a number of short stories.
Born in Liverpool, Victoria, trained as a medical secretary, and subsequently worked for the National Health Service. She spent twenty years living on a croft in the Highlands of Scotland, and while there managed a company involved in the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry.
When not working on a manuscript, Victoria can be found curled up with a book, gardening, designing knitwear, travelling the world or walking her Border collie, Rosie.
A member of Romantic Novelists’ Association since 2009
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I lived in Scotland for many years and I knew I wanted to set a book there. The plot and idea for The House on the Shore came from the experience of working for a rather eccentric estate owner, managing a family business involved in the UK oil and Gas industry, and living in a remote area. In 1975 Howard Doris was granted permission to use Loch Kishorn on the west coast of Scotland for a deepwater construction facility for the production of oil platforms for the North Sea Oil industry. Loch Kishorn lies to the south of Loch Hourn, the setting and the idea behind for The House on the Shore.