Eileen Ramsay and her books


I was born and brought up in the South-West of Scotland, and I used this lovely countryside in my first historical saga, The Broken Gate.

I never thought much about what I wanted to be when I grew up. My dream was to be a ballet dancer; it never ever occurred to me that I could be a real writer for I wrote all the time, stories and poetry, all long lost, thank goodness! I took what seemed the only option open to me and became a teacher.

After graduating I went to teach in the USA for a year - and stayed 18 years, so many of my special memories are connected to my time there. My first job was at the Sacred Heart School in Washington D.C.- a school full of high-powered little people with famous parents and I was petrified at the idea of teaching them. Needless worry, for they were all delightful - some, all these years later, are still friends - and they taught me a valuable lesson. All children, rich poor, black white, sick well, are the same and deserve the best of what you can give them.

I travelled with the children of Senator Eugene McCarthy - that's the nice Senator McCarthy - during the 1968 campaign and learned lots about the life-style of international politicians. Finding the singing trio Peter, Paul and Mary or even the gorgeous Dustin Hoffman on the doorstep were everyday occurrences.

I never thought about it much. It was only years later when my children would say, Who did you say you had dinner with? that I realised how special a time it was. And no, I will never write about any of the people I met.

When I married Ian, a Scottish scientist working on the first moon shots, I was taken away from the Washington high life to sunny California. There I fell in love with Mexico, heading 'south of the Border' as often as possible, took two university degrees and had two children - my supreme accomplishment. I wrote stories for my boys - published them in small magazines and then thought of a NOVEL -a Regency romance - which I wrote while pretending to watch my sons swim. In fact a lot of my work was written while I pretended to watch cricket, rugby, riding etc etc.

We returned to Scotland and after teaching for a few years - and getting up at 4am every morning to write - I became a full time writer and have since published novels, serials, short stories, and a novel for young teens.

Apart from my family the great love of my life is opera. I remember vividly hearing a snatch of a tenor aria on the radio while I was at college and humming it to every musicologist I met for years before discovering it was from Mozart's Don Giovanni. It seems that every major city in which we've lived has built an opera house the year we left! Now we're back in Scotland and Edinburgh and the Festival Theatre and the wonderful Scottish opera are not too far away.

I'm fascinated by the way everything in life affects everything else. Although I enjoyed writing historical novels and am very interested in how women have had to struggle for their place in the sun I decided to write a novel that had a background in the opera world. To make sure that background was authentic I researched the career of Placido Domingo and an admiration for his outstanding voice led me on to research the whole fascinating world of the opera. Every day, it seems, I learn more, hear another incredible voice, marvel at the brilliant blending of different voices in a quartet; a fascinating study.

I spent some time in Curnavaca, Mexico, with my sons while I was studying for my master's degree and I was able to take a fascinating class on Mexican music. That led to a love affair with the guitar. I don't play but love to listen. When I'm ironing or peeling potatoes, all sorts of music soars out of my kitchen windows- Alfred Brendel playing Beethoven piano sonatas, Segovia playing the guitar, John Denver singing his beautiful love songs. I have catholic tastes.

I'm an honorary member of the Angus Writers Circle, and was vice president of the Scottish Association of Writers. For many years I have been a member of the Society of Authors and was on the committee of the Scottish branch for about six years and for four was the Secretary - very time consuming but rewarding and enjoyable. A few years ago I joined the Romantic Novelists Association and wish I had discovered them years ago. Their conferences are wonderful.


  1. Rainbow's End

  2. The Stuff of Dreams

  3. A Way of Forgiving

  4. Someday, Somewhere

  5. The Mysterious Marquis

  6. A Broken Gate

  7. The Dominie's Lassie

  8. Butterflies in December

  9. The Quality of Mercy

  10. Walnut Shell Days

  11. Harvest of Courage

  12. Danger by Gaslight

  13. Cookery Book for SOS

  14. Villages

  15. Never Call it Loving

  16. The Winter Holiday

  17. Sampler

  18. The Feein' Market

  19. Wings of Friendship

  20. Lace for a Lady

See below for more
details about each
of Eileen’s books...

Rainbow's End

RNA award winner Eileen Ramsay delivers a passionate new novel, set in the tumultuous world of classical music.

Juliet Crawford is a brilliant and beautiful young orchestra conductor, living in Edinburgh, and dreaming of success.

When she is offered the chance of a lifetime to get ahead with her career, with the incredible possibility of permanently leading a prestigious American orchestra, she decides nothing will stand in her way.

But it is there that she meets the handsome young Czech conductor Karel Haken.

As the attraction between them builds to a crescendo, she knows their ambitions will always push them apart.

Does she dare to love him despite everything?

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The Stuff of Dreams

ISBN: 0340835125 Hodder and Stoughton

Rich, romantic storytelling marks Eileen's magical new novel.

A fire.

A scandal.

A famous actor is dead and his lover, a famous actress, is arrested...

Years later, Abbots House is rebuilt, and a mysterious woman who hides her face and talks to no one lives there.  Rumours fly through the Scottish seaside village.  Kate Buchanan can't leave her tragic past behind - nor can she remember what actually happened that fateful night. Now, though, snatches of her memory start to return - and an epic love story spanning two decades returns to haunt the woman who survived.

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A Way of Forgiving

Hodder & Stoughton General; ISBN: 034082574X

The past is never forgotten - but can it ever be forgiven? When a terrible accusation ended her marriage five years ago Sophie Winter was determined she'd never be hurt again. With an exciting job at Scotland's new parliament and a fulfilling social life, she finally feels she has buried the bittersweet memories of her past. But some things aren't easily forgotten... A family wedding draws her back to Tuscany and Sophie encounters Raffaele de Nardis again. The world famous pianist is proud, passionate and devastatingly handsome. He is also her ex-husband. Sophie realises that she can only face the future if she confronts the past.

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Someday, Somewhere

Hodder & Stoughton General; ISBN: 0340825723

Holly Noble believes she was the most important person in her Aunt Tony's life: summers spent as a child with the reclusive painter are some of her most precious memories. When Tony dies, Holly returns to the cottage at Torry Bay in Argyll to claim her inheritance. What she finds in the attic changes her life forever... A series of beautifully painted pictures depicting the world famous opera singer Blaise Fougere hints at a secret love affair that spanned the decades. Determined to show Tony's lost genius to the world, Holly decides to exhibit the works. Blaise's arrogant nephew, Taylor Hartman, refuses to believe that his uncle is the subject of the paintings and decides to prevent what he believes to be the deluded dreams of a frustrated artist being shown to the world. But as each canvas is hung, and the story of 'Toinette' and the man Holly only knew as 'Uncle Fire' is told, the colour, the passion and the beauty of the paintings draw Taylor and Holly ever closer.

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nominated for the

Parker RNA

Romantic Novel of the Year


also chosen as


Scottish Book of the Month April 2004

"...utterly captivating romance...

The beautiful Scottish setting only adds to this

poignant and poetic journey through the generations.

This book is as unique as it is exquisite."

Daily Record

The Mysterious Marquis

Originally published by Walker Books 1985 ISBN 0-8027-0859-5

A Regency novel set in Scotland.

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A Broken Gate

Warner 1994 ISBN 0-7515-0748-2 Little Brown 1995 ISBN 0-316-91399-5

A realistic picture of life in a mining village at the beginning of the century.

Can you love too much and is it wrong to want the best for those you love?

Set in Dumfries, this book spans the years from 1910 to 1945 and centres on the character of Kate Kennedy.

She is just 13 when her mother dies. Kate takes over the running of the household and acts as a mother to her younger siblings. When Kate grows up, she decides to marry Charlie.

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The Dominie's Lassie

Warner 1995 ISBN 0-7515-1132-3 Little Brown 1996 0-316-91377-4

A story about a school teacher's daughter who fights to become a teacher in the early days of the century.

The Great War changes everything for her and the men she loves.

Kirsty strives to become a teacher. She falls in love with the local landowner's son, Hugh Granville-Baker, who is forced to leave her to fight in the trenches.

Her heart breaks for Jamie, a gifted boy who must leave school to work on a farm, but it is Jamie who rescues her when Hugh dies on the Somme leaving her with a fatherless baby.

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Butterflies in December

Little Brown 1995 ISBN 0-316-91422-3 Warner1996 ISBN 0-7515-1649-X

Well researched novel about the studies and eventual careers of two women doctors from different classes at the beginning of the century.

This novel goes from the diplomatic homes of Washington DC to the slums of Dundee, from wealthy landowners to the mud of the trenches.

You will never forget the remarkable women in this story.

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The Quality of Mercy

Little Brown1997 0-316-88114-7 Warner1998 ISBN 0-7515-1849-2

How did a girl from a Glasgow orphanage become a barrister in the 1930's?

Ferelith, born out of wedlock and brought up in an orphanage, decides on a career in law - a bold choice for a woman in 1930s Edinburgh. Her marriage to a fellow student ends in disaster with a revelation about her origins and she buries herself in her studies. But love hasn't finished with her.

From the slums of Edinburgh to the Lord Advocate's office, from the horrifying and surprising ending of her first romance to success in a profession that tried hard to keep her out, Ferelith's story will enthral you.

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Walnut Shell Days

Little Brown 1997 0-316-64135-9 Warner 1998 ISBN 0-7515-2098-5

Story Sound Audio Book ISBN1859033121

`An unpredictable ending, a few surprises along the way and several tear jerkers

I enjoyed every minute of it'


Victoria loves the Angus farm where she was born and hopes to spend her life, but fate intervenes and Victoria has to work in a Dundee Mill.

She leaves the mill for the office and then travels to India while, unknown to her, her estranged father goes to Mexico.

Her happiest Walnut Shell Day sees Victoria back on her beloved farm unaware of how her life will change by what is happening in Mexico.

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Harvest of Courage

Little Brown 1998 ISBN 0-316-64146-4 Warner 1999 ISBN 0-7515-2110-8

Story Sound Audio Book ISBN: 1859033148

Two boys grow up together and their dreams are interrupted by the Great War.

One, the poet, is a conscientious objector who does more than his share; the other, the scholar, is almost destroyed by shell shock while Mairi waits at home on the farm, working the land until the joy of the harvest.

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Danger by Gaslight

Scottish Children's Press 1998 ISBN 1-899827-83-8

A novel for the older primary age, it tells the exciting story of Jamie who lives in Aberdeen at the end of the 19th century when the world is changing and Jamie's life with it.

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A Cookery Book for SOS Children's Villages

This little book, with cover design by William Littlejohn RSA, RGS, RSW, and recipes from celebrities and local friends was produced to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this incredible organisation. Every penny of the price goes directly to needy children.

Contact Eileen direct to order a copy


Never Call It Loving

Severn House (2001) ISBN 0727857045

A woman reasses her view of her life (Lake District life and married with children) as she visits Rome and New York to write the authorized biography of of one of the world's greatest operatic tenors.

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The Winter Holiday Sampler

The Regency Press November 2000 ISBN192908546X

A collection of seventeen short stories set in Regency England, including Eileen's.

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The Feein' Market

Magna Large Print 0-7505-1759-X

Four different men love beautiful and intelligent Rowena Farr and she loves them in return- but all in different ways, Angus, her employer who hired her at the market, Marek, the Irish gypsy, Tam, the horseman, and Matthew - the gambler. An irresistible heroine.

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Wings of Friendship 

Magna Large print 0-7505-1760-3

A sequel to Walnut shell Days. Continuing the saga of Victoria and her beloved farm, and two boys from different backgrounds who are involved with the Cameron family. They meet at a Scottish public school, become friends, and then the second world war changes the world for all of them.

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Lace for a Lady

Severn House ISBN 0-7278-5846-7

A Regency romp set near the ancient Scottish capital, Arbroath.

The impoverished Balgowan estate on the east coast of Scotland is suffering from the restrictions forced upon it due to the interminable war with Napoleon. The beautiful Liddy Carpenter, and her sisters, are desperate for the few luxuries which women, in their position in society, deserve: primarily scented soap and fine clothes. Liddy, in her desperation, invents a daring scheme to smuggle goods into England from France. When her lifelong friend, and secret love, Keir, Lord Pittenmuir, joins the motley crew of smugglers in his guise of local servant, Liddy is unaware of his real identity and suspects he may be the spy who is filtering secrets to the French. Amidst the crumbling facade of the Balgowan estate and the sumptuous elegance of the Pittenmuir household, Liddy finds her emotions are in turmoil as she discovers just how far love and loyalty can be tested to the full...

Of course true love and honour win the day.

Large print now available.

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Eileen’s Books