Guest: Sherrie Hansen - Scottish Doors

I have a confession to make. I've never been to Dorney. I've been as close as Eilean Donan Castle, but I was in a hurry to get to Fort William, and I never thought to go up into the village. Now, I'm writing a book called Shy Violet, the main characters are living in Dorney, and I'm left wishing I had walked a bit further and scoped out the town with my own two eyes.
That's the way it is with doors. We choose to walk through them, or we skip on by, oblivious to what might be inside.
I've always been fascinated by doors, so when we started exploring Scotland, it came as no surprise that all kinds of unique and intriguing doors caught my eye.
 Sometimes, when we get to a door, we're hesitant to open it. Because doors can lead to places you'd rather not go.

 Sometimes, when you see a door, you're consumed with curiosity about what's on the other side, and you can't be happy until you know.

 Doors can be a bit daunting - after all, one can never be quite sure what you'll find when you open them. 

 Doors can be portals to a make-believe world.

 The sights you see through an open door can make your imagination soar.

 Doors can lead you deeper and deeper into a mystery that will take you who knows where.

 Doors can lead to an alternate reality - perhaps one from which you will never escape.

 Doors can open up to adventures you've never even dreamed of.

 Doors - and the places they lead to - can inspire overtures and epic poems and all kinds of artistry.

 Doors can be common, comforting, familiar and welcoming.

 Doors can be austere and foreboding.

 Doors can be pretentious affairs.

Doors can be plain and functional.
 When a door opens, light floods into the dark corners of you mind and enlightens every last nook and cranny.

When you unlock a door, you never know what secrets you'll uncover.

 When a door shuts behind you, sometimes you wonder if you'll ever go home.

Sometimes doors are a nice fit. Not too big, not to small.

 Although it's always wise to mind your head.

Sometimes doors dwarf you, and you wonder, who were these doors made for, giants?

Some say that when God closes a door, he opens a window.

But we all know that when a door is closed, you can get left standing outside in the cold.

Next time you go in or out a door, I hope it leads to somewhere you want to be - maybe even Scotland - and that someone you love is waiting on the other side.

About Sherrie Hansen  

Twenty-one years ago, I bought a dilapidated Victorian house in northern Iowa so I could move home and be nearer my family. I rescued an amazing but very run-down old house from the bulldozer's grips and turned it into a bed and breakfast and tea house, the Blue Belle Inn. Since then, welcoming guests, running the business and cooking wonderful food has consumed the largest chunk of my life.

Before that, I lived in Colorado Springs, CO, and before that, Augsburg, Germany. I attended Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL and spent one life-changing summer in Bar Harbor, Maine. I grew up on a farm in southern Minnesota.

After 12 years of writing romance novels late at night when I couldn't sleep (mostly because I was so keyed up from working 12 hour days at my B&B), I met and married my real-life, romantic hero, Mark Decker, a pastor. I enjoy playing the piano with the worship team at church, needlepointing, photography, renovating and decorating historic houses, traveling, and going on weekly adventures with my nieces and nephews.
I live in 2 different houses, 85 miles apart, and write on the run, whenever I have a spare minute. “Wild Rose” is my sixth book to be published by Second Wind Publishing.

Please visit Sherrie online:

Thistle Down (a novella length prequel) and Wild Rose

Wild Rose is the first of my Wildflowers of Scotland novels, to be followed by Blue Belle early next year and Shy Violet later next year. Thistle Down, an eShort prequel, is currently free or 99 cents online.  

Thistle Down:  Can tenderhearted Pastor Ian MacCraig keep a pair of prickly sisters from marrying the wrong men?

Emily Downey has found the perfect groom. If only she loved the man... Chelsea Downey wild about her boyfriend. Trouble is, he’s two-timing her and everyone sees it but her.

Their thorny situation gets even stickier when the church ladies come up with a plan.

Can Pastor Ian MacCraig weed out the thistles and get to the heart of the matter in time to save the day?

Wild Rose:  When Ian MacCraig tries to capture the thief who is stealing artifacts from his kirk in Loch Awe, Scotland, the last thing he expects to find on his video is a woman engaging in a passionate romp under the flying buttresses.
Rose Wilson is mortified to learn that Digby, the online friend she met for what she thought was a harmless rendezvous, is a common criminal.
Now that Ian, the board of Wilson Enterprises, the constable, and half the town have had a glimpse of Rose in all her naked glory, it seems even her family looks at her differently. What remains to be seen is how far Ian will go to defend Rose's honor and if the church ladies will forgive Rose now that they know who she really is... and if Rose can believe she's worthy of someone as good and kind as Ian MacCraig.
Wild Rose and Pastor Ian MacCraig... a match made in heaven or one hell of a predicament?


Rose Wilson turned away from the wind that whistled across Loch Awe in a futile attempt to keep her hair from being blown into a tangled knot.
Something nipped at her ankle and she reached down to swat it away. Pesky midgies. 
Ouch! Her hand scratched against the thorny stem of a thistle. One more thing. As if the sticky wicket she’d gotten herself into hadn’t already worked her into enough of a dither. She glanced up at the lofty spires of St. Conan’s Kirk. If she were at all religious, she might think God was trying to tell her something.
Where could he be? It had been nigh on three years since she’d stood waiting, and waiting, and waiting at Robert’s and her favorite restaurant. When he never showed up, she’d been angry – thought he’d gotten too busy at work, forgotten she was waiting, or, worse yet, remembered and blown her off.
How could she have known he was dead?
Here she was again. So it was a kirk and not a restaurant. A man she didn’t know all that well instead of her husband. The emotions felt the same. She was peeved. So peeved she could almost forget what it was like to feel abandoned, to hurt so badly she could barely keep her head about her.
She took a deep breath and tried to relax. Would she ever get over being scared that something horrible had happened every time someone was a wee bit tardy?
He was almost an hour later than he’d said he’d be. She peeked through the hedge and tried to see round the bend that led to the village.   
What were the odds that two men she was supposed to meet would die en route to their rendezvous point? She paced up and down the path that led to the kirk, squelching her nervous energy only long enough to look at a bee dipping into a rhody that was a lovely shade of lavender. And then, she was back at it, scanning the roadside for Digby’s car, checking the time on her mobile every few seconds, and imagining the worst. 
She’d been waiting for an hour – plenty long enough for Digby to get there even if he’d been temporarily detained at work, gotten a speeding ticket, or stopped by the mini-mart to buy her flowers. Besides, the man had a mobile.
She clicked hers open and pressed the green button twice. Still no answer.
Where could he be? And why now? Was it because she’d been too intimate with him? Not intimate enough?
“Excuse me, ma’am.”
She blinked and looked in the direction of the voice, but the sun was in her eyes, and all she could see was a soft sheen of light backlighting the silhouette of a very tall man. Too tall to be Digby. She raised her hand to her eyes to shade the light but the sun was still blinding, clinging to his head like a halo.
“Forgive me,” the man said, just as she saw his collar, the white square gleaming brightly between the black, and thought, shouldn’t it be me saying that?
“Sorry to intrude,” he continued. “I couldn’t help noticing that you seem to be looking for someone.”
So much for her and Dig having the place to themselves. Of course, as of this moment, there wasn’t a “them” anyway, so it mattered little if they had privacy. Besides, she had been going to tell him that they couldn’t do it again, that it was too soon, that what had happened shouldn’t have. Not yet. That didn’t mean she didn’t want to be alone with him, to do something. She probably did, eventually. Just not so much, or quite so fast.
“I’m waiting for a friend,” she said.
“You’ve still plenty of time,” he said. “Worship doesn’t begin for another half hour.”
The sun wasn’t in his eyes, but behind him, illuminating her face. She knew, even without being able to see his eyes, that he could read hers perfectly.
“I didn’t realize...”
“We’ve a small but active congregation,” the man said, extending his hand. “Ian MacCraig. St. Conan’s pastor.”
He nodded at a stone cottage with windows rimmed in tiny stones. It was mostly overgrown with creepers. She had assumed it was unoccupied.
She gave her hand, took his, and was surprised by his warmth. “Rose Wilson.” Her hands had been perpetually cold ever since Robert had died. The only reason she’d come to meet Digby in the first place was to get warm. But holding hands with Digby didn’t even compare to the heat this man radiated.
“I’m not from Lochawe. Just up for the day from Glasgow.”
She turned just enough to get the sun out of her eyes and looked up into his face. And started to melt. Warm times ten. Honest, intelligent eyes, longish hair the color of butterscotch. Wide shoulders perfect for shielding a companion. A genuine, concerned smile tinged with the slightest whisper of what? Guilt? Her mind flipped back a page. Forgive him for what? For startling her? For intruding on her reverie? For being concerned enough to acknowledge her presence? To see if she was in need of someone to talk to?
He had such a beautiful aura about him. So serene. So utterly masculine. She felt like she was in a dream, or starring in a film. She resisted the urge to pinch herself. The vicars she knew were old and gray – most, gone completely bald.  This one – Ian, wasn’t it? - didn’t fit any of the pastoral images she held in her mind.
Pastor Ian’s eyes blinked wide open a split second before she felt a movement to her left. A stream of men streaked towards them, guns drawn. She could see them out of the corner of her eye. What the devil was going on?
 Wild Rose by Sherrie Hansen

Wonderful excerpt, Sherrie! Thanks so much for being our guest today!


Carole St-Laurent said...

I love doors too! I like the blue one better. ;-) Nice post!

Carly Carson said...

This is one of my favorite posts ever. Thank you! I hope you have a Pinterest account.