Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Another of my historical novels is now available on Kindle. A Drink for the Bridge was first published by Macmillan back in 1976.
Here’s a summary of the plot: Sunday, December 28, 1879 was a cruel and tragic date in Scottish history. Of the 75 train passengers who plunged to their death when the Tay Bridge fell only 25 were recovered from the river's murky depths. Among the characters lost, or who by a stroke of fate missed the train, were those whose lives were changed for ever. In this cross section of Victorian society, from the wealthy Clara Thoms, whose only concern was that her dinner party had been ruined by this inconvenience, to the poor servant lass Rosie, an unmarried mother with a crippled daughter who lives on the other side of the River Tay. Then there is Emily, middle-aged spinster with her fantasies involving the local doctor, whose daughter is forbidden to marry a gypsy lad. And big Nessie a medium who foresees a terrible calamity that she cannot interpret...
What does destiny hold for them? Who will board the ill-fated train and who will await its arrival in vain only to know sorrow and heartbreak?

My historical novel about the lives of two young men caught up on opposite sides of the Spanish plan to invade Elizabethan England, first published back in the 1980’s by MacDonald Futura, has just been published on Kindle. 
That’s the smart thing about the Kindle - it allows books of mine which have long been out of print to be available now and reach a world wide audience. 
Here’s a summary of the plot: Magnificent, proud and with a seabird's grace, the pirate ship Black Duchess joins Spain's ‘Most Holy’ Armada. No less proud, the ship's captain, Don Felipe Flores y Lennox de Montreuse, godson to King Philip of Spain but reared in far-off Scotland beside his English twin-like cousin Amyas Lennox whose face mirrored in his own he would behold through the closing smoke of the sea battle. Certain of victory he could not foresee defeat, nor the stowaway Maeve O'Neill who would teach him the meaning of love - and loss. Nor the dreaded Isles of Orkney, 'the World's End’, where witches conjured up seal people and starving wreckers under a tyrannical ruler preyed on shipwrecked sailors. As a sole survivor, Don Felipe would meet Lady Sibella Stewart with her dark secret and know murder, betrayal and revenge.


Wednesday, 20 January 2016

“Death in Carasheen” has just become available on Kindle and picks up where “The Final Enemy” left off.
Faro is looking forward to a restful visit at Imogen Crowe's home in County Kerry, Ireland, only to discover, on arrival, the brutal murder of a young couple and a community terrorised by a trio of young thugs, the Cara brothers, lairds of Carasheen. Reluctantly agreeing to assist the local police, there are three more inexplicable deaths - accidental or to avenge the murder? Faro’s ruthless search leads him into a web of life-threatening danger as well as imperilling Imogen and their future together.  

Thursday, 17 December 2015

My new collection of tips and tricks for aspiring writers to get their first book or short story published is free on Kindle until Sunday. 

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Often when I do library talks, alongside requests for signed copies of the book I am promoting, I sell a slim yellow pamphlet with over 100 golden rules for writing fiction. This has a lifetime of tips and tricks to get on the creative path to having your first book or short story published. 

I have updated the text to make it ready for the digital age. When I wrote the pamphlet it was a time before the internet when electric typewriters were the height of technology and the floppy disc wasn’t yet invented. 

It has just gone live and become available on the Kindle. If you are an aspiring writer I hope you find inspiration here.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Inspiration? The answer to that most-asked question is more like perspiration, constantly fighting time with six months to write one historical crime a year, excluding the research involved, meanwhile no coffee mornings for the novel’s duration, and my friends know the rules. A computer at 9 am is not my best hour but I have learned the trick of leaving a sentence uncompleted or characters with a cliff hanger. The creative juices, alas, have a limited period - what RL Stevenson (my inspiration!) called ‘the orange is squeezed dry’. By 1 pm returning to face 21st century domestic chores but never quite escaping ‘and what happens next?’ I write crime having always loved puzzles, addicted to sodoku, crosswords, jigsaws, anything to keep the little grey cells ticking over and on my daily walk in southside Edinburgh, setting of so many invented homicides, I have dialogue with my characters much to wry glances from passersby. 
Although a certain glamour surrounds being a novelist, I tell fans who regard my list of books with awe that for me, it is just a job like their own. Writing is  what I have always done, long before my first novel was published nearly fifty years ago and having a series, Inspector Faro and Rose McQuinn have become real people (also to my readers). In moments of exasperation I’ll say: ‘This is your story, you tell me what you did next.‘ But writing ‘The End’ feels like closing the door on much loved friends, wondering when we will meet again - if  ever. Then waiting until the seed of the next plot, lurking somewhere beyond  the horizon, springs into life. I don’t pursue it, I wait patiently until  it is strong enough to have dialogue, arguments and resolutions. 
One day, it’s there!  And off I go again. Next book, please.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

My Dickens inspired novel Miss Havisham’s Revenge will be free to download on Kindle from Thursday, January 29th to Monday, February 2nd.

In ‘Great Expectations’ Charles Dickens left an unsolved mystery with few clues. Estella is forced into a loveless marriage by the eerie Miss Havisham who had raised her to ‘break men’s hearts’. She finds herself in a house of evil corruption and danger. Accused of murder, she flees from pursuit to seek safety and unravel the truth of her life built on a web of lies and secrets.