Wednesday, 22 February 2012

One step forward.....

The blog has been neglected in favour of using any available time to progress the new novel. I suppose I should be pleased I've managed to avoid a number of distractions (though not all by any means).
As this story is also set on Bute, the research about what happened there during the last war has been very interesting. It's amazing how you think you know a place really well and then when you do some digging you find out all sorts of things.
The story of Last Dance at the Rothesay Pavilion concerns what happens when the Pavilion is being renovated and among other snippets I discovered that The Canadian Barn Dance, that stalwart of many a Scottish ceilidh, was first performed in the Pavilion,written by a young commando who was training on Bute.
And the Scottish Country dance evenings were so popular the doors had to be closed at 8.30 p.m.
I can now understand why some historical novelists find it so difficult to finish their books!

The Rothesay Pavilion at its busiest during the 'Big Man' event - when everyone turned out!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

A BIG thank you!

Thanks to everyone who commented on Rosemary's interview with me,either here or on the blog:

It's been great experience and very spite of what Alison had to say!
Last Ferry to Bute and The House at Ettrick Bay are now both available on Kindle,assuming there are no gremlins in the system. The 'special price' of £1.90 will be available all through February.

Something strange is going on at the Hereuse Nursing home on the Isle of Bute. One of the residents, Jessie McAdam, thinks her life is in danger. Alison Cameron, who is reluctantly arranging a college reunion on the island, agrees to find out what is causing her mother’s old friend, Jessie, such concern. Before long Alison finds herself involved in a series of mysterious deaths. Meanwhile Alison’s daughter, Deborah, has started a new job at the Regius Gallery, owned by an antiques dealer whose activities are suspicious. Can Alison find out what is happening before it’s too late?

                                                      THE HOUSE AT ETTRICK BAY

                                       When her friend Susie inherits a house on the island of Bute,
                                       Alison Cameron finds her decision to help involves her in a
                                       series of increasingly frightening 'accidents'.
                                       An archaeological excavation near the house leads to an exciting
                                       discovery, one which means Susie may have to change her plans.
                                       When the next 'accident' turns out to be murder, Alison knows she
                                       and Susie are in danger. There are people on the island who have
                                       an interest in Ettrick House - could one of them be willing to kill?

Back to the new Bute novel and keeping Alison in check!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Over to you,Alison Cameron!

Hello Everyone,
For some reason I've been asked to write this blog today. This is something I've not tried before and I hope it's not going to become a regular feature of my life in the novels. As if I haven't enough to do.
Don't get the wrong impression -I don't go out looking for trouble, but it seems as if it comes after me.
Every time I go to the island of Bute, it's with the intention of having a rest, a break from the routine of working as a teacher in Glasgow. Simon (that's my husband) and I only went to Bute the time before last because my best friend Susie inherited a large Victorian house there. That seemed simple, but it almost ended in disaster.
And my most recent visit to the island was to help organise a reunion for my old college friends. 'Help' - that's a bit of a misnomer. I ended up doing most of the work. And if Deborah (that's my younger daughter) hadn't become involved wth a man who was much older than her, it might all have worked out. But then again, it might not. Betsie (the friend who came up with the idea for a reunion) wasn't quite the person I thought she was.
And now I find that in the W-I-P I'm no longer a teacher,but have had to take on a commission to write a history of the Rothesay Pavilion. I ask you! I'm not at all sure I'm up to that task, even though I have a great young research assistant,Tara. I was a bit dubious when I saw her at first -I think Goth describes her way of dressing- but at least she has good research skills. Though I'm very worried about the bearded man who is lurking about. I've no idea what he's doing and what's more, I suspect Myra doesn't know either.
That's probably enough for now. I have to find a way to get out of my latest difficulty and I'm getting little help from the author.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Bute in winter

January in Bute but this year the snow hasn't (yet) appeared. There's no more than a dusting on the hills.
Rothesay is quiet and it will be a long time till the summer visitors appear. Of course there are all kinds of activities that take place in winter and those who live on the island have plenty to choose from, but to the casual visitor the whole island seems asleep.
 Here's a reminder of  the weather on Bute last winter. It may have been cold,but it was lovely to look at.

I think I preferred the snow rather than the incessant rain and wind. The ferries have been off much more than I ever remember and the option of going round by the Rest and Be Thankful road doesn't appeal. It didn't acquire that name by chance!