By Rachel M. Anderson, Freelance Writer
(Twin Cities) - Everyone loves a good love story. So, it should come as no surprise that romance novels are the most popular genre in modern literature. According to Romance Writers of America, in 2009, when more than 9,000 titles were published, romance fiction generated $1.36 billion in sales, giving it the largest share of the overall consumer book market.
So what is your favorite romance story? Most people would say that depends. Those who enjoy stories where the man and woman get together despite all the roadblocks standing in their may consider a book like "Gone with the Wind" their favorite. Those who enjoy a tale of forbidden love may be particularly fond of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet."
But what about those readers who are looking for an inspiring story about what wonders can be achieved if they only open their eyes to the possibilities? "Westering Home" by Audrey McClellan isn't a classic yet, but it may be one day. The story is a modern-day romance that appeals to men and women alike who dream of one day finding their true love, their soul-mate, the person they are supposed to be with for the rest of their life.
The tale begins as Jean Abbott, a soon-to-be divorcee from Milwaukee, arrives on the remote Scottish Island of Eilean Dubh (pronounced ale-en dew). Her reasons for coming are two-fold: to get as far away as possible from the husband she just learned has been cheating on her for years, and to try and find her roots.
While handling her Great-Aunt's affairs after the older woman's death, Jean had found letters in her desk and a note saying they were written by her great-great-something grandfather to a woman who lived on the Scottish Island of Eilean Dubh. Jean knows the man had died of old age in America, and feels compelled to find out what happened to his true love.
One of the first people Jean meets after arriving on the island is a tall, dark haired stranger named Darroch Mac an Righ, someone she swears she has seen before, but doesn't recall where. Their first encounter is a bit awkward. At their second meeting, however, they discover they have a lot in common and their relationship begins to grow.
McClellan says she worked hard to make sure Jean and Darroch's relationship would be as realistic as possible. "I don't believe in people falling in love at first sight. I like my stories to be true to life the way a relationship is developed," said McClellan.
Like any other couple getting to know each other, McClellan's characters have their ups-and-downs. One minute they are madly in love. The next they are filled with doubt, wondering if their relationship is all a big mistake.
"Readers have told me they like the quality of the love story, and the way Jean and Darroch relate to each other and become friends and then lovers. A lot of people have told me they are interested in the Scottish background. They say they wish they could go there. But first they say they wish they could meet a man like Darroch," said McClellan.
"Westering Home" is available both in print and eBook format. The print copies are available online at McClellan's website www.ScottishIslandNovels.com or on Amazon.com. The eBook is available for download on www.ebooksforpleasure.com. Site founder, Chris Fayers, was the designer for McClellan's latest book, "O'Leary, Kat and Cary Grant: Adventures with a Paranormal Cat."
"After Chris completed work on O'Leary, he told me he was going to start an eBook business. I thought that was a great idea because a lot of people have asked me if my books are available as eBooks."
All eight of McClellan's novels are now available on the site. "The White Rose of Scotland" and "The Devil and The Dark Island" are sequels to "Westering Home." McClellan's other books feature original storylines.
"When people ask which of the books is my favorite, I ask if they have children. If they say yes, then I ask which is their favorite child and they pause. I tell them just like you don't have a favorite child, I can't say I have a favorite book of the ones I've written. I like them all for different reasons."
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About Audrey McClellan
Like many authors, Audrey McClellan has enjoyed a life-long love for writing. Her first novel, Westering Home, was published in 2003. Since that time, seven other Scottish Island novels have followed.
McClellan has been active in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Celtic community for 25-years. She is past president of the Twin Cities Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, co-founder and past president of the St. Piran's Cornish Society, and past vice-president of the St. David's Welsh Society and the St. Andrew's Society. She lives in south Minneapolis with husband Mike and two cats, Teddy and Bailee the Burmese.
If you'd like to meet Audrey McClellan in person she will be reading from her novels at "The Spirit of Eilean Dubh," the ninth annual concert featuring music written for the books by local composer Sherry Ladig, on Friday, February 11, 2011, beginning at 7:30 p.m., at the Olivet Congregational Church located at 1850 Iglehart Avenue in Saint Paul, Minn.
McClellan will also be at the Scottish Ramble at Landmark Center in St. Paul, Minn., on Feb. 19 & 20, 2011; and the Minnesota Scottish Fair & Highland Games in Farmington, Minn., on Saturday, May 14, 2011. The event takes place at the Dakota County Fairgrounds.
Her books are available for purchase right now at www.ebooksforpleasure.com.