Welcome Claire Gillies

Born and raised in the Highlands of Scotland, Claire’s homeland continues to be a stream of inspiration for her. A clothing designer too, Claire (Lorna) creates one-off bespoke garments using Scottish tweeds and tartans.

Claire currently splits her time between Scotland and Australia with her lovely Irish husband. She is a cat lover (without the cat) and can be found either drinking coffee, researching the best cake haunts, or watching yet another costume drama!




Claire, thanks so much letting me feature your book today. Did you always want to be an author?

I didn’t really, I had ideas of becoming a fashion journalist when I was younger.  But I am from a line of storytellers; my father would write all the time.  He would wake in the middle of the night and need to write – mainly songs, his thoughts on life and stories too.  His father before him was known as a storyteller in our area, but back then it was oral stories that were told in the pub on a cold winter’s night.  My mother’s father also wrote; putting the world to rights with his political views.  I only realised recently that I have storytelling it in my blood, it just took a while for it to come to the surface.

Can you tell us a little about the publication of your first book?

It was released on Amazon on the 8th of June, and I will make it more readily available on other platforms in due course.  I’m so excited, I never dreamed I would release my own book!  But the whole process has been incredibly easy to do and so far, the connections I’ve made with book bloggers and readers has been wonderful.  Creating the book comes from a place of love, and I’m feeling the love back from reviews!

Besides yourself, who is your favorite author in the genre in which you write?

I do like Jenny Colgan (a fellow Scot).  I love a happy ending…especially in today’s climate! There’s nothing like curling up with a book and knowing you’re escaping into a world where everything is going to be OK.  I think we all need that from time to time.  But having said that I do love reading other genres like historical fiction and fantasy too.

I’ve read Jenny Colgan myself, Claire, and I do enjoy her work. What’s the best part of being an author? The worst?

The best is having that space for ‘me time’.  Immersing myself into these beautiful worlds where I know the characters.  The worst is how solitary it is.  It’s difficult to talk to others when you’ve built a world in your head, but that’s why it’s important to keep social – it is for me anyway.  Also, the more you’re out and about the more you can be inspired to write – maybe you hear someone talking at the coffee shop and you think “Oh that would make a great scene in my book!”

What are you working on now?

I am writing about two sisters who travel from Australia to Scotland to scatter their mother’s ashes.  But the journey doesn’t run so smoothly as either of them would like.  I’m also editing my second novel, it’s about a city girl who needs to go back home due to a family incident, and there she encounters her high school sweetheart.  I will be releasing that hopefully towards the end of 2021.  Both of these novels are feel-good reads, and set in Scotland. 

They sound like great reads! I’ll be looking out for them. I do appreciate your time, and I’d like to finish up with a blurb and short excerpt from On the Edge.


Catherine MacGregor spends life daydreaming her way out of the perils of a dead-end job, and a dwindling love-life. Rather than face imminent redundancy, Cat finds herself giving up her life in the city, and moving to a remote Scottish island for a fresh start.

Unlocking her passion for art, things have never looked better, until the handsome but elusive musician Patrick Flannagan takes to the stage, complicating her best-laid plans.

Cat’s past could be catching up with her at last. Can she unlock her own secrets, and learn to love again, in time to save her brave new beginnings?


“Hey, just because I don’t go around snogging boys!  I’ve only recently split up with my long-term boyfriend!”

“That was two months ago!” Jess cried,

“I know – that’s recent!”

“No it’s not!  It’s not like you’ve been left a widow and loved your husband ’til the end; you told me you’d fallen out of love with Dave a long time before you left.  What are you waiting for?” Jess looked wide-eyed.

Cat chewed the inside of her mouth and looked down, unable to meet Jess’s gaze.  “I don’t know”.

Just then the phone beeped, making the two girls jump.

“It’s fine, whatever the outcome” Cat assured herself loudly.

Jess pressed buttons on her phone, and silently read for what seemed to Cat an eternity.

“You are good to go my friend!” Jess wiggled on the bed and held her phone up to Jess to read “Single!”

The two girls whooped and bounced on the bed.

“You read that for a long time.  Jeez, I can’t believe how much I wanted him to be single!” Cat screeched, then quickly covered her mouth in surprise and embarrassment.

“Well, the lovely Kate said he was with a girl for a few years.   She was local, but she’s now living in Australia.  They split up, not sure why.”  Jess re-read the message aloud, and they both settled down on the bed.

“What now?” Cat grinned at her friend.

“Bacon and eggs?” Jess pleaded with big blue eyes.

“I’ll get my purse,” Cat smiled and for the first time in a long while, thought that life couldn’t get any better.

About Elaine Cantrell

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She has a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America. Her first novel A New Leaf was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Press. When she isn't writing you can find Elaine playing with her dog or maybe collecting more vintage Christmas ornaments
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3 Responses to Welcome Claire Gillies

  1. Welcome, Claire! I have to say that I am a bit envious of your life. I wish you all the best.
    BTW, this might amuse you: the Joyce side of the family went big into genealogy and traced the name back many, many generations to a familyof Joss/Joass in Scotland. Now, all of those relatives have claimed Scottish, and are even now trying to get a tartan officially recognized! (It’s a nice blue and green, actually.)


  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Welcome, Claire! My husband’s family came to America from Scotland, so I’ve always wanted to visit. I checked out your website, and I see you have a very busy life! Your book sounds lovely. Best wishes for its success!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeff Salter says:

    Welcome to 4F1H.
    I love your line, “you hear someone talking at the coffee shop and you think “Oh that would make a great scene in my book!”
    That happens to me a lot, though not in coffee shops, which I rarely visit. I stumble across those scenes in the grocery, at the place I exercise, at a doctor’s office, etc.
    I’ve always wanted to visit Scotland. We have some kin there — McLeods (variously spelled).

    Liked by 1 person

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