In 2016, Beth Anne Miller travelled over from the US to walk the West Highland Way with myself (Scarlet) and Alex. Over the course of the trek it emerged that Beth was not only a wonderful customer, but also a wonderful author. She was so inspired by the trek that when she went home she decided to write a fictional, romantic book about trekking in Scotland. We were thrilled to welcome Beth back to Scotland again in 2017 for further trekking with us. We have also helped Beth with the technical details of her book, which is based on The Skye Trail. We are delighted to announce that after lots of hard work Beth’s new book is now ready to order! Find out more about the book and how you can order it below:
Under A Storm-Swept Sky:
A book inspired by my long-distance treks in Scotland with Thistle Trekking
By Beth Anne Miller
Beth’s Inspiration for the Book
In 2015, I got in my head that I wanted to walk Scotland’s West Highland Way. “So what?” you might scoff, “thousands of people walk it each year.” Right, but I’d never done anything like that before. And I’m from Long Island, NY, where there is virtually no terrain on which I could train. What made me think I could walk 96 miles through the Scottish Highlands? But when I get an idea in my head, I can’t let it go. Research led me to Scarlet Trevett and Thistle Trekking (which was still Explore Outdoors UK at the time). Many emails with Scarlet later, I booked the WHW for May 2016, and I did the best I could to train. But those ten-mile walks on the flat, paved path to Jones Beach were all but useless after Day 1 of the WHW. I struggled up nearly every hill (I still have nightmares about Conic Hill), and was in tears going down those hills. It was only thanks to a fun, supportive group and a guide with the patience of a saint that I finished.
I returned home and whimpered over my blisters for a few days. Then, while I was finishing up edits on a romance novel that was publishing in March 2017, I thought about how a long-distance trek in Scotland would make a great setting for a romance novel. The heroine could be someone like me, who has never done a long-distance trek before, and who comes from a flat place like Long Island. She butts heads with the guide, who doesn’t think she belongs there. I knew it had to be set on a really difficult hike, and while the WHW was difficult for me, it isn’t that difficult in the grand scheme of things. So I looked through Thistle Trekking’s offerings, and saw the itinerary for The Skye Trail. Having been to Skye before, I knew how mountainous it was, and when I ran the idea past Scarlet to get her take, she agreed that the Skye Trail would be a great setting for my book, and kindly offered to help me out in any way she could.
The story developed further. I didn’t want the heroine to be careless, someone who would do a hike like the Skye Trail on a whim without any training or experience, so she’s doing the hike not because she wants to, but because she has to, for “reasons” (you’ll just have to read it! 🙂 ). And the guide (who’s obviously Scottish) isn’t just a jerk (because he’s the hero, and we need to like him); he has his own demons that drive him.
And so the book was born. The publisher loved the idea and set a due date of September 1, 2017 for the manuscript, but I knew I couldn’t write it until after I did my May 2017 East Highland Way Trek (I needed the pain to be fresh). I added a few days on Skye to the end of that trip for research. I sent long-winded emails to Scarlet and to Alex Kendall, who had been my guide on the WHW. And I wrote like a maniac, finishing a first draft in 10 weeks.
The end result is Under A Storm-Swept Sky, which will be published on April 16, 2018, by Entangled Publishing.
The Official Description:
An eighty-mile trek across the rugged, stunning beauty of Scotland’s Isle of Skye isn’t something I imagined myself doing. Ever. This isn’t a trail for beginners. And I’m not a hiker.
But I have to finish it, even if it kills me. I have no choice.
With the ever-changing weather and relentless terrain, I’m in over my head.
Rory Sutherland, my guide on this adventure, is not happy. We clash with every mile, but we recognize a shared pain. Not only is the journey a struggle, but the tension between us is taut with unsaid words. And hope.
He’s broken. I’m damaged. Together, we’re about to make the perfect storm.
And Some Early Praise:
“Beth Anne Miller hits it out of the park with Under a Storm-Swept Sky. Beautifully evocative and romantic, you feel as if you are right there with Rory and Amelia as they hike the treacherous countryside of Skye on a journey of discovery and love.”- Monica McCarty, New York Times bestselling author
“With a breathtaking setting and riveting romantic tension, Miller’s latest is a surefire hit. It’s impossible not to get swept away with this heart-pounding read. UNDER A STAR-SWEPT SKY’s broody Scottish hero, whirlwind travel romance, and gorgeous writing will captivate you!”- Kelly Siskind, author of Stud
“I love books that transport me to a completely unfamiliar setting and through the writer’s skill alone, make the experience so real that it’s as if I’d traveled there myself. Under a Storm-Swept Sky is exactly this, plus an irresistible romance and a modern day journey of self-discovery on Scotland’s rugged, windswept Isle of Skye.”- Megan Westfield, Author of Leaving Everest
How to Order:
Here are some links to order the e-book. The print book will be available around April 16, 2018.
Thank you so much to Scarlet Trevett for all her advice and support, and for generously offering to let me share this on the Thistle Trekking site!
~Beth Anne Miller
Beth Anne Miller has a fascination for all things Scottish (including, but not limited to, men in kilts), which has influenced all her writing to date. Her first novel is a time travel called INTO THE SCOTTISH MIST; her second, A STAR TO STEER HER BY, has a Scottish hero; and her newest book, UNDER A STORM-SWEPT SKY, is set on the Isle of Skye, and was inspired by her own long-distance treks in Scotland. A native New Yorker, Beth Anne lives on Long Island and works in the publishing industry. She’s looking forward to her next trip to Scotland. https://www.bethannemiller.com/