A Chat with Grant Cummings from Janet Grunst’s The Year Without a Summer

Welcome to Novel PASTimes, Grant Cummings. Could you please tell me a little bit about your family and what you do for a living?

GC I’m from the Highlands. My family has lived south o’ Inverness in Tullochgorum near the River Spey and Cairngorm Mountains. My folk have been crofters for decades, but tis just my Ma ‘n’ Keith now since Pa passed. Ma was a flax spinner ‘n’ Keith is but a wee lad.

I’m a builder ‘n’ was workin’ on the lochs at Telford’s Highland’s Caledonian Canal.

What caused you to move to Ulster?

GC When Ma took ill, I returned to Tullochgorum. With her passin’, I needed to care for Keith, ‘n’ needed to find work. We had no kin left in the Highlands as many had emigrated to Northern Ireland or America.

Ma left me a note askin’ me to go to her sister Katherine Grant in County Londonderry, Ireland. Katherine would care for Keith and I could find work there. Since I never wanted to be under the heel of the local laird, when the evictions came, I saw the wisdom of my Ma’s wishes.

What do you think of your new landlady Molly MacGregor?

GC Ahh, that Molly MacGregor, she’s a bonny lassie to be sure with her blue eyes ‘n’ golden locks. Her pa also passed recently ‘n’she has a brother about Keith’s age. Katherine’s cottage was a wee bit small for the three of us so she directed us to Molly who had a hut to let. Seemed the perfect answer for both of us. But the lass has strange notions of Highlanders. She’s a kind ‘n’ generous soul underneath her reserve. Molly stirs me in ways I’ve never known, but the walls she’s built around her heart are formidable.

What kind of work have you been able to find near your home?

GC Aunt Katherine suggested there might be construction jobs a few miles east at Agivey Bridge. For now, tis hopeful ‘n’ Keith is getting the care he needs.

Do you think you want to return to your home or stay in Ulster and why?

GC There’s na future for us in the Highlands with the Clearances. There’s hope in Ulster so we’ll give this a go, or who knows. We’ve cousins in America, so that is a possibility too.

Thank you for visiting with us on Novel PASTimes today, Grant. May God guide you to the right place! 

About The Year Without a Summer , a novella in The Highlanders, a Smitten Romance collection:

Shoved off his family’s land in Scotland in 1816, Grant Cummings looks for work in Ulster, Ireland. He needs money and a home to raise his young brother. Molly MacGregor loses her father and his income, but she has no time to grieve as she sews and spins to earn enough to keep her and her young brother alive. Renting out the hut on their land might be the answer, but only if she can overcome her prejudice against the handsome Highlander who moves in. Her heart might soften toward him, but not when he plans to set sail for America.

Author’s Bio:

Janet is a wife, mother of two sons, and grandmother of eight. She lives in the historic triangle of Virginia (Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown) with her husband. Brought up in a Navy family, she’s lived throughout the United States as well as Spain. A lifelong student of history, her love of writing fiction grew out of a desire to share stories that communicate the truths of the Christian faith, as well as entertain, inspire, and encourage readers. You can find Janet at: https://JanetGrunst.com

She is the author of the A Revolutionary War series:

A Heart Set Free, A Heart For Freedom, and Setting Two Hearts Free (releasing Oct. 2020)

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