>Giveaway & Guest Post: Blue Bells of Scotland: The Trilogy by Laura Vosika


Courtesy of PUMP UP YOUR BOOK VIRTUAL BOOK TOURS, we have a book giveaway of the newest book by Laura Vosika, Blue Bells of Scotland, which is an intriguing blend of historical fiction and time travel. Please see below for the giveaway details.


Shawn has a skyrocketing musical career, fans, fame, money, his beautiful girlfriend Amy, and all the women he wants. Everything changes Amy has enough and leaves him stranded in a Scottish castle tower overnight. He wakes up in medieval Scotland. Mistaken for the castle’s future laird, he is forced to make a dangerous cross-country trek with a beautiful woman wielding a knife, pursued by English soldiers and a Scottish traitor, to raise men for the critical battle at Bannockburn.

Niall Campbell, Shawn’s opposite in everything except looks, is no more happy to find himself caught in Shawn’s life, pursued by women, the target of an angry girlfriend, expected to play a sell-out concert, and hearing the account of his own death and Scotland’s annihilation at Bannockburn. He vows to figure out what went wrong at the battle, and find a way back to change it.

Blue Bells of Scotland is both an action-packed adventure and a tale of redemption that will be remembered long after the last page has been turned. Available at Amazon.

On the Banks of the Bannock Burn
In May of 2008, I left my car at the side of a Scottish road and walked down to the Bannock Burn. I found a small creek meandering through a shady bower of trees meeting overhead. Children can wade in it. But this small, unprepossessing stream gave name to Scotland’s greatest moment, the Battle of Bannockburn, on the 23rd and 24th of June, 1314.

There is rarely a single cause to battles, especially one as significant as Bannockburn. Military considerations, political desires, and twists of fate all forge into unstoppable forces. In addition to these, behind the drive toward Bannockburn can be seen the personalities of Robert and Edward Bruce of Scotland, and England’s two Edwards, father and son.

In simplest terms, Edward I of England wanted Scotland and so, with an army at his back, announced that it was his. Although England had briefly been the feudal superior of Scotland, the Quitclaim of Canterbury in 1189 ended that nearly a century before Edward I’s reign. His decision that he was Lord Paramount is best understood in his character. Ronald McNair Scott says: He was a man of commanding presence. On the field of battle he was fearless….He was sober in his mode of living, dressed simply and was constant in his religious devotions. But the overriding element in his character was his unquestioning belief that whatever he desired was right….

A contemporary of Edward I said, He is valiant as a lion, quick to attack ….a panther in fickleness and inconstancy, changing his word and promise, cloaking himself by pleasant speech….the path by which he attains his ends, however crooked, he calls straight and whatever he likes he says is lawful.

So, believing he ought to be overlord of Scotland, Edward I set out with powerful armies, ex-communicating Popes, broken promises, and brutality to make it so. Such was the force of Edward I’s personality that his belief in his right to rule Scotland outlived him. On July 7, 1307, he died at Burgh-on-Sands; his last sight was of the still-unconquered Scotland, across the Solway Firth. His last demand was that his son boil his flesh from his bones, and carry those bones at the head of his army, until Scotland was subdued.

The personalities of Edward II, and the Bruce brothers, Robert and Edward, now came into play. Edward II’s first acts as king were to drop off his father’s body, flesh and bones intact, at Waltham Abbey, call his friend, Piers Gaveston home from exile, and make a half-hearted entrance into Scotland, leaving again without a fight. He put the Earl of Pembroke in charge, and did not return for three years. Robert Bruce used the time well to rise from little more than a hunted fugitive-king to a great power, steadily re-claiming his country. Still, Edward II had been raised on war against Scotland, no doubt imbibing his father’s beliefs with his bread and ale. Despite diversions of civil war, and steady losses to Bruce, he pursued the claim of overlordship. In this determination, at least, he was his father’s son.

At last, with only Berwick, Bothwell, and Stirling in English hands, the hot-headed Edward Bruce made a deal with the commander of Stirling. If Edward II did not send reinforcements by Midsummer’s day, Stirling would be relinquished to Scotland. Brash and confident, Edward Bruce even allowed a request for relief to be sent to England. It can be asked, What if? What if Edward Bruce had had more of Robert’s calm and steady disposition? Would Bannockburn have happened? But he didn’t have his brother’s temperament. He made a direct challenge to a large and powerful nation, which Edward II could not refuse. Nor could Robert Bruce. They gathered their troops, England’s army outnumbering Scotland’s about three to one, and marched toward pitched battle in the marshy land surrounded by the River Forth, the Pelstream, and the Bannockburn.

Edward II, however, had neither the generalship nor the commanding personality of his father and Robert Bruce, and on June 24th, 1314, Edward’s soldiers, routed and in disarray, fled back across the Bannock Burn, so many drowning in the process that others could cross the stream on their bodies.

It is an experience to stand on the banks of this tiny stream and contemplate the great events, and powerful clashes of personalities and men, to which its name harkens. In this peaceful, shady bower, I felt a strong reminder of the need to live wisely, for our personalities and choices may echo for generations, beyond what we think our day to day actions warrant.

Laura Vosika grew up in the military, visiting castles in England, pig fests in Germany, and the historic sites of America’s east coast. She earned a degree in music, and worked for many years as a freelance musician, music teacher, band director, and instructor in private music lessons on harp, piano, winds, and brass. Laura is the mother of 7 boys and 2 girls, and lives in Minnesota.Visit her blog here.

Her latest book is Blue Bells of Scotland: The Trilogy.
You can visit her website at http://www.bluebellstrilogy.com/ .

Thanks to Laura for providing us with her guest post!
And for the blog readers of The Burton Review, we have one copy to giveaway of Blue Bells of Scotland for US/Canada residents.
To enter, please leave me a comment to say hello to Laura, and tell us what your experiences have been regarding Scotland, while reading of it or visiting it… also leave me your Email address in your comment.
+1 entry for a Twitter post linking to this post
+1 entry for a Facebook or blog post
Please leave links for these extra entries.
Good Luck! Ends 10/02/2010



Filed under 2010 Releases, Author Post, Scotland

18 responses to “>Giveaway & Guest Post: Blue Bells of Scotland: The Trilogy by Laura Vosika

  1. Hi Laura, and Marie,I've never been fortunate enough to have visited Scotland, but I've read lots of historical fiction, esp. involving Edwards I and II. Thanks for this giveaway. I'm looking forward to the book, and to the rest of the book tour.lcbrower40(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. Hi, Linda,Thanks for stopping by! I've also become fascinated by Edward I and II, especially the dramatic differences in personality.Laura

  3. What an interesting series! I totally love the idea of it because being a history major I would LOVE to go back in time. Although my luck I'd be a serf not a lady. 🙂 Thanks Laura and Marie! I've never been to Scotland but it's high on my list. I've been to England, Wales, and Ireland but not Scotland. I can't believe it! Thanks again!

  4. Marie, I totally forgot my email. Oops!Amandalibraryofmyown at gmail dot com

  5. I have never read about nor visited Scotland so this could be a good start! Thanks for the giveaway!Rachelhwallen@gmail.com

  6. I haven't visited, but have read many books taking place in Scotland. Most recently was the Outlander series. meredithfl at gmail dot com

  7. I would love to visit Scotland. Maybe someday. I do enjoy novels that take place there. What a boring comment. Not feeling well today.thanks,kaiminani at gmail dot com

  8. Thanks for the comments. Amanda, if I were to go back to school, I think I'd major in history, this time. I have really enjoyed getting to know a time and place in depth. Visiting Scotland has been one of the high points of my life! I hope all of you can make a trip there someday. It's a beautiful country.Laura

  9. I love historical fiction and though I've never been to Scotland this is definatly a dream destination (esp. since I have some Scottish in me). Who knows maybe I'm a decendent of King Edward.hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com

  10. Hello Laura! My family is from Scotland and many of my relatives still live there. I got the chance to visit when I was 19 and LOVED it! My cousin and I took day trips to Edinburgh, Glasgow and a lovely weekend try to Skye. I wish I could live there, but I don't think my husband would be too happy about that :)!Thanks!candc320@gmail.com

  11. I love story about Scotland and read alot of Highlander books. Good luck.lorettalbcanton@verizon.net

  12. Hello Laura & Mariethis is my first time here kind of stumbled upon you.Laura your title caught my attention Bluebells are my favorite flower I loved going too the parks or the countryside in Scotland seeing them covering the ground I never left without a bunch in my arms for Mom.I am adding this trilogy to my list of books to buy.have a great day Ann.alba47@gmail.com I will be sure to share on facebook I'm aa gfc.

  13. Hi Laura and Marie, I've never been to Scotland but I've read a lot of books that take place there. My dad was there during the second World War and a friend of mine has just returned from a vacation there. She hasn't had a chance to tell me about it yet or show me all the pictures she took. I did get a postcard of Edinburgh Castle! I'd love to read this book!mittens0831 at aol dot com

  14. I've been to Scotland once. I loved it…well, except for the cold (it was dead off winter). One of the things I noticed most was the eyes of the people (I am such a people watcher)…they were so lively…whereas the eyes of the English seemed so less so. spvaughan@yahoo.com

  15. Hello, and thank you for so many wonderful and kind comments! Hodgepodge, I was there in late May (08) and this Minnesotan was COLD the whole time, lol! I routinely wore 7 layers, a hat, and gloves. The temperature was probably around 60 the whole time, but always windy. Of course, they said this was good because it kept the midges away!Carol, I caught the end of a bagpipe band event at Edinburgh, but never actually went in the castle. It's very impressive from the outside, though, and a great climb up all the steep hills there.Alba, I was surprised (though I guess I shouldn't have been) to find bluebells EVERYWHERE in Scotland, in huge carpets of them in the forests, and in people's gardens, in all colors.Colleen, I also went to Edinburgh and Skye, and Skye is definitely on my list of places to return. I'll go to Glasgow, too, as part of book 2 of the trilogy takes place there.Hendy, best of luck getting to Scotland! I enjoyed it so much!Laura

  16. I actually didn't come to my love of Scotland through a book, but through a movie. My favorite movie, Braveheart. Since then I've read biographies of Robert the Bruce and William Wallace. I have not visited Scotland, but I hope to get the chance someday.Thanks for the giveaway!tweeted: http://twitter.com/truebookaddict/status/26181911858Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/michellestockardmiller?v=wall&story_fbid=158664697484630&ref=mftruebookaddictATgmailDOTcom

  17. Hi, Michelle,I loved Braveheart, too, although I have never actually watched his execution. It's been really interesting learning more of William Wallace's actual history.Laura

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