Category Archives: Scotland

Book Review of the Month ~ Secrets of the Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford

Today I am reviving my monthly book review, but this time I will post it on my blog before adding it to my rolling reviews on my Book of the Month Page.

Why did I choose this book?

I was drawn to Secrets of the Sea because:

  • I have visited Harris, Lewis and Uist and was drawn to the landscape; wild and rugged in contrast to the great expanse of machair, with wild flowers almost hidden by flowing grasses, a reflection of the sea and long sandy beaches.
  • I enjoy historical fiction and yet …
  • I also love reading novels in parallel time scales. I love the way they are woven to overlap and yet they are two stories in one, bringing history into the present day.
  • I have been inspired by local folklore in Scotland and Selkies intrigue me!

Did you feel empathy with any particular character?

Oh yes. Ruth’s struggles to shed her past memories. Memories are a bit like witness statements ~ it’s surprising how inaccurate they can be, especially those from childhood, and yet Ruth has resilience and a good man watching out for her.

Is there a lasting thought or memory of the book which remains with you?

Oh yes. I want to know more about the research and history behind the theory of where Selkies come from and I yearn to visit the islands again, especially Harris, North Uist and Benbecula, which we visited only briefly. I need more time to explore and absorb the essence of those places.

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Filed under Book reading, Book reviews, Scotland

Spring Bank Holiday ~ May 31st

Happy Spring Bank Holiday to all in the UK!

What does Spring Bank Holiday mean to you?

This is what it means to me. Lots of memories!

I was very fortunate growing up and then teaching because spring bank holiday, and the week’s holiday certainly enjoyed in England, usually meant that I didn’t go to school or subsequently have to teach on my birthday. Rarely it happened. Both my birthday and my Mum’s was around the same time, and so over the years we were often able to celebrate our birthdays together. Such happy memories! One was in 2016 when my cousins came over as a surprise on Mum’s birthday (30th) and visited us in Fife. Here are a couple of recent ones:

A cruise with Mum and Dad on the Oriana in 2017
Enjoying Loch Marie on my birthday 2018

This year we have decided to go away for a long weekend up to Glen Clova, a very special place just on the southern tip of the Cairngorms, with an abundance of pathways leading up glens and into the mountains. It has poignant memories for me of 2020, when we were not able to share our birthdays due to Covid, so it is lovely to look back on happier times.

Glen Clova Hotel

It will be good to recharge the batteries, enjoy a little bit of new found freedom to travel, albeit relatively close by, to have plenty of fresh air and walks and to be ‘in the moment’.

What have you been doing?

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Filed under Events, Memoirs, Scotland

Author Roderick Hart takes up the ‘Throw a Dice Challenge’

I’m really pleased to welcome author Roderick Hart who is taking part in my

‘Throw a Dice Challenge’

Please can you share your author bio:

 

Roderick Hart

has published poetry in anthologies of verse, made bubble gum in Philadelphia, studied folk music in Afghanistan, and worked for many years in a recording studio, training students in scripting, recording and editing. He lives with his wife in the grounds of an old convent in Edinburgh.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT ONE OF YOUR CHARACTERS ROD

Louise Galbraith is a lawyer in my novel, Interleaved Lives. She is first asked to defend her wealthy friend, Alison Ogilvie, who is accused of arranging the death of her husband. She is later persuaded, against her better judgement, to defend the main character, Douglas Hunter, a private detective employed by Alison Ogilvie to investigate the real cause of her husband’s death.

I am part way through Interleaved Lives and believe that I am just about to meet Louise Galbraith, so this is really interesting for me:

Now can you reveal more about Louise by sharing some of her memories?

We throw a dice. One is the most tragic or horrific memory to a six which is the most fantastic or beautiful memory. Here goes:

 

Memory 1

Louise is described by her friend Alison, as career-oriented, with no family of her own but two nieces kindly provided be her sister.

Memory 2

When Douglas Hunter first meets Louise she is wearing a t-shirt bearing words which typify her in-your-face approach: SEE YOU IN COURT

Memory 3

When defending Alison against police accusations, Hunter finds she is also defending her against him, at first on grounds of conflict of interest and later because she believes that Hunter is after Alison’s money.

Memory 4

On arriving at the police station to represent Hunter, Louise is outraged by DS MacNeil’s attitude, which stops in her tracks – but the tassels on her ethnic headgear don’t stop with her, a comic effect at odds with her ability.

Memory 5

At first misled by Louise Galbraith’s shambolic appearance, it gradually dawns on DS MacNeil that Louise Galbraith is much sharper than she looks.

Memory 6

As Hunter is being interviewed, very aggressively, by DS MacNeil, Louise notices something about MacNeil which Hunter, though a detective, has failed top pick up.

Click photo for Amazon.co.uk

 

 

Now I really am intrigued! I must say that I’m really enjoying ‘Interleaved Lives’ so far and hope to review it for readers soon. 

JUST RLEASED!

Interleaved Lives by Roderick Hart is a crime novel with the protagonist a private detective, ex policeman living in Edinburgh, a city the author knows well.

I wish Rod well deserved success with this novel which has just been released in e book format worldwide!

 

 

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Filed under Book reading, Events, Guest author, Marketing your novel, Reading a novel, Scotland