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Monday, 30 December 2013

Happy New Year


Unbelievable as it may seem, it is the end of not just another month, but another year. It hardly seems a moment ago that we raised our glasses and toasted a New Year.

Here at Famous Five Plus it has been a fabulous year with new published books from our talented members. But what has made our year memorable is that you took time out to visit our web site, you took time out to read and review books from our exciting Books Page. You supported us, you made us feel humble and honoured and more importantly you inspired us.

Thank you from all of us. Wishing you a wonderfully happy and healthy New Year and may it be filled with enough time to snuggly down with a good book!

Raising our Glasses.... Cheers!


Pauline, Chris, Eileen, Gilli, Lizzie, Madalyn, Tanya and Suzy

Monday, 23 December 2013

Merry Christmas


From everyone at Famous Five Plus we wish you a wonderful Christmas, may it be filled with love, laughter and peace, and a good book, especially one from the Famous Five Book Page!


Merry Christmas



Saturday, 21 December 2013

HUG A BOOK with Lizzie Lamb


Hug A Book is sponsored by




It’s HUG A BOOK and this weekend it’s with Lizzie Lamb

And

You could win a Kindle copy of
Tall, Dark and Kilted




Meet Lizzie


Lizzie Lamb - After thirty four years as a primary school teacher, Lizzie decided it was time to find out if she had it what it took to become a published author. Leaving the chalk face behind, she toyed around with various romantic sub genres before deciding that rom coms were her ‘thang’.

She joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association and spent the next few years honing her craft. It was at an RNA Conference that she met Amanda Grange (Mr D’Arcy’s Diary) who was self publishing her back catalogue on Amazon -quite an innovation at the time. Mandy encouraged Lizzie to write from her heart and not to focus too overtly on what she ‘believed’ agents and publishers were looking for.

After some deliberation, Lizzie formed the New Romantics 4 with three other members of the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme and went down the self-publishing route. It was the best decision she ever made. With help and encouragement from Mandy and the other three members of NR4 she finished Tall, Dark and Kilted and published it as a paperback and formatted it for kindle download on all amazon sites in November 2012.

Since then she has written and published Boot Camp Bride and has designated November 2013 her promotional month. Boot Camp Bride has won Lizzie a nomination in the New Talent Award at the forthcoming Festival of Romance. Watch this space !!


Details of Tall, Dark and Kilted


Fliss Bagshawe longs for a passport out of Pimlico where she works as a holistic therapist. After attending a party in Notting Hill she loses her job and with it the  dream of being her own boss. She’s offered the chance to take over a failing therapy centre, but there's a catch. The centre lies five hundred miles north in Wester RossScotland.

Fliss’s romantic view of the highlands populated by Men in Kilts is shattered when she has an upclose and personal encounter with the Laird of Kinloch Mara, Ruairi Urquhart. He’s determined to pull the plug on the business, bring his eccentric family to heel and eject undesirables from his estate - starting with Fliss. Facing the dole queue once more Fliss resolves to make sexy, infuriating Ruairi revise his unflattering opinion of her, turn the therapy centre around and sort out his dysfunctional family.

Can Fliss tame the Monarch of the Glen and find the happiness she deserves?


Available for Kindle & paperback

paperback UK    http://tinyurl.com/cn8fylt
kindle UK           - http://tinyurl.com/cdjyec6




Excerpt


Two hours later, Murdo pulled off the main road and started a long slow descent, leaving the mountains behind and following a minor road flanked by a mixed plantation of pine and deciduous trees. Eventually he stopped and pulled off the road, turning round to Fliss he gestured at the stunning view in front of them.
‘There she is: Tigh na Locha, Fliss. The House by the Loch
‘Oh God.’ Isla laid her head on her arms on the dashboard. ‘Dead man walking,’ she intoned, as if thoroughly dejected by the thought of the life she’d left behind in London.
‘Don’t be such a drama queen, Isla,’ Cat slipped in one last dig as she and Fliss clambered out of the Land Rover with Lassie hard on their heels. 

From their vantage point, the mountains behind them were hidden by trees and Fliss could see soft, rounded hills that swept all the way down to a large loch. The colours were dazzling; the green of the hills and trees, the blue sky reflected in the deeper blue of the loch and the ochre of the sandy beach, which gave way to paler sand near a pebble path. The shore line dipped in and out of the expanse of water and in the distance, at vanishing point, the opposing shores appeared to link hands, cutting the loch off from the sea.

And, way below them, nestled in the trees with a wide lawn leading down to the waters’ edge where it became a beach, was Tigh na Locha. Solid, ancient, a slice of Scottish history complete with white painted turrets and stepped gables, and with a look of permanency that said: ‘I’ve been here for a thousand years. Wha’ dares challenge me?’
After the car journey, the view of the loch was balm to her soul and Fliss let out a long, shuddering sigh. Unasked for tears prickled her nose and blurred her view. ‘It’s beautiful,’ she said, a catch in her voice. Then she whispered softly so that no one could hear: ‘I’ve come home.’


Lizzie’s Links
twitter: @lizzie_lamb
twitter: newromantics4


 



Enter below for a chance to win a copy of this fab book!



Friday, 20 December 2013

Taster: Schrodinger's Cat by Eileen Schuh



A taster from Schrodinger's Cat by Eileen Schuh

Chorie slipped on her rubber gloves, grabbed the toilet brush, and sighed. She’d read somewhere that despite today’s technology, she did more chores than the privileged of the middle ages. In other words...
She opened the toilet seat, held her breath, and squirted the blue cleaner around the rim...queens and princesses in the ancient world didn’t scrub their own chamber pots...or their own floors. Hell, they didn’t even suckle their own babies; wet nurses did.
She turned her head and inhaled deeply before leaning over the bowl to scrub. She thought of cold, dark, stone castles lit only by candles, smelling of rancid smoke…and mould in damp corners…and un-bathed bodies. She thought of beheadings and public hangings. Of witches and knights and dragons…of untreated infections…of mothers dying during childbirth….
Of children dying….
She flushed the toilet and watched the water swirl down the drain. There would still be a brown stain at the bottom once the blue left. Probably some streaks on the side. There always were. A taunt. Because in some lab somewhere, a man who’d never cleaned a toilet in his life, decided the cleaner should be a thick blue. So thick and blue those who did clean toilets, couldn’t see where they needed to scrub. She caught the sound of a moan over the whir of the water and stepped to the open door to listen.
Children dying.…
Another listless whimper wafted over the back of the sofa, a soft cry of pain rising from behind a veil of sleep.
She flipped the lid closed without checking for spots and ripped off her gloves. She hadn’t planned for her life to turn out this way. She hadn’t wanted children, but Gus had. So, she’d conceded—on the condition she wasn’t going to be a stay-at-home mom. She’d keep her career. Hire a nanny. Maybe a housekeeper. That’s what the deal had been.
She left the aseptic aromas and cool smooth lino of the bathroom and made her way to the great room. Her stockinged feet whispered against the plush burgundy carpet. The fridge kicked in with a low hum. The neighbour’s dog barked.
She peeped over the back of the black leather sofa and caught the strange metallic scent of approaching death.

Buy your copy now!




Thursday, 19 December 2013

Review for Storm Clouds Gathering by Pauline Barclay

Below is one of the reviews on Amazon for Storm Clouds Gathering by Pauline Barclay. To see all the reviews for this book please click on Amazon.co.uk



Lizzie Dripping reviews, Storm Clouds Gathering

I loved this novel because I grew up in the sixties and many of the (very accurate) references to clothes, social mores and living conditions had a resonance for me. That aside, the interwoven lives of the three female characters were totally realistic and reflected the changes moving society forward from the dullness of the years after the war when everything (including excitement ) was in short supply, to the bright, new Swinging Sixties. But such change is slow outside London and the bigger cities and the journey which the characters undertake demonstrates this. I was so hooked into this story that I stayed up late to finish it. If you aren't rooting for one (or all) of the characters I'd be very surprised. Looking forward to Ms Barclay's next novel.





Links for Pauline Barclay:




Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Reviewed: Night Watcher by Chris Longmuir


Night Watcher by Chris Longmuir..... are you being followed? 

This review of Night Watcher, written by Cally Phillips, was originally posted on the Indie e-Book Review sit on 26 April, 2012. If you want to see the original review and the comments it generated click on Indie e-Book Review

The review was subsequently included in the Eclectic Electric book review site on 5 September, 2013. You can click on Eclectic Electric to view.

I particularly like the reference to Jane Austen and Agatha Christie in this review, and it reflects a completely different view of the novel, than the one taken by other reviewers.


Night Watcher Reviewed by Cally Phillips

I’ll admit I picked this up primarily because of its Dundee setting. ( I spent some of my childhood there so looked forward to seeing how the place would be described). I’m not a crime thriller aficionado and I was initially surprised by it. The word that kept running read this through my brain as I read on, was ‘domestic’. Not in a bad way, just because I kept thinking ‘if Jane Austen wrote crime fiction this might be the sort of thing she’d write.  While there is the dark outsider, the stalker, the Nightwatcher of the title; the main action seems to revolve around a much more domestic picture and this seems to me to offer some of the strength of the novel.  We are being shown that fear, caused by misuse of power, is at least as devastating when carried out on a domestic level as that caused by the ‘mad’ outsider.  And since we all face fear on that domestic level, it’s a clever move adding a sort of reality to the story. My ‘domestic’ does not mean ‘mundane’ it simply means that the story revolves more around the daily lives, hopes and fears of a bunch of people who you might meet in any department store (where a lot of the novel is set). The detail of description of place and ‘costume’ also puts me in mind of something more domestic.  It would perhaps be ‘mundane’ without the fear factor but the fear factor is the core of the novel.

The Nightwatcher himself is motivated by ‘evil’ and ‘the voice of God’ but the characters in this novel are more influenced by a more domestic version of evil, the power-struggles inherent in relationships, specifically in marital and extra marital relationships.  I found both Nicole and Julie to be ‘nippy sweeties’ and Longmuir is brave in presenting no obvious hero/heroine to drive the story. Even her ‘anti-hero’ remains out of sight for most of the novel, lurking in the background as the personification of unseen fear. Most if not all of her characters are flawed (in the way that real people are) and while one might see Julie as the central protagonist on a redemptive journey, I’m not sure if that’s not stretching the point towards an unnecessary level of analysis.

For me, unused to plot driven stories, I found the ‘set up’ somewhat slow burn, but this was Longmuir’s method, reminiscent of that old Agatha Christie speciality, setting up everyone as a potential suspect.  Once one got to the point in the novel where you were wondering who’s going to die next, and who’s doing all the killing, the pace really sparked up. And of course in the ending, nothing is as it seemed and there was always just one more twist. The ending would surely send crime/thriller readers towards Dead Wood, the ‘sequel’ which won the Dundee Book Prize in 2009, to find out what happens next.  I’m guessing they won’t be disappointed.
 Reviewed by Cally Phillips 


Chris Longmuir


Amazon author page - Amazon


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Traz - Gripping!

Eileen Schuh shares some gripping reviews for the first in her Back-Tracker series, The Traz



viewBook.at/B007JW8RMA “Exciting, powerful, and tragic first in series, young adult book for all ages" THE TRAZ  #Drugs #Gangs #Cops viewBook.at/B007JW8RMA
  
"She drifts towards the tough world of a biker gang where drug dealing and killing are the norm." THE TRAZ viewBook.at/B007JW8RMA

"I can't wait to read the next instalment of the BackTracker Series" #Cops #gangs #drugs THE TRAZ viewBook.at/B007JW8RMA

Another 5-star Amazon review of THE TRAZ "...criminal elements exist and prove dangerous indeed..." viewBook.at/B007JW8RMA
"Young people. Their grief, fears & overwhelming struggles to find where they belong." THE TRAZ viewBook.at/B007JW8RMA

“Hard-Hitting, gritty teen novel.” THE TRAZ viewBook.at/B007JW8RMA

"...bad choices spiral out of control until there is no simple way out..:" THE TRAZ ViewBook.at/B007JW8RMA

“...but nothing is quite what it seems.” THE TRAZ #bikers viewBook.at/B007JW8RMA

THE TRAZ -Cops vs bikers on the Canadian prairie #Action viewBook.at/B007JW8RMA

“How easy it is for even an intelligent person to slip into bad choices…” THE TRAZ #gangs #violence #teens viewBook.at/B007JW8RMA

THE TRAZ “…grief, fears and…overwhelming struggle” http://ow.ly/cHCAQ #teens ViewBook.at/B007JW8RMA

 
viewBook.at/B007JWGHZE
THE TRAZ School Edition “A study guide with resources for students dealing with life issues” #eBook http://ow.ly/auLeO #teachers

THE TRAZ #SchoolEdition “I recommend this dark and compelling story…” #ebook http://ow.ly/auLeO #gangviolence

THE TRAZ School Edition “I was heart broke when it was over” #eBook http://ow.ly/auLeO #teenviolence

“The Traz is a must-read for tweens, teens & parents" #SchoolEdition #eBook http://ow.ly/auLeO #gangs #drugs

THE TRAZ #SchoolEdition #goodreads “A great tool in connecting with & engaging teens" http://ow.ly/auLeO #amreading

http://www.eileenschuh.com
Canadian Author, Eileen Schuh






Monday, 16 December 2013

Meet Our Sponsor Volkan Watches


Today at Famous Five Plus HQ, Pauline Barclay talks to entrepreneur Sam Cohen, the man behind Volkan Watches.

Hello Sam, thanks for taking time to come to FFP HQ, as you know you are a very special person to FFP with your sponsorship of our Books Page and our special weekend feature, Hug A Book, but you are far more famous for your fabulous designer Volkan watches.
What made you go into designing watches?

I have always had a passion for watches for as long as I can remember. I find them fascinating and having spent many years in the jewellery business I felt it was time for me to create not only a brand, but a collection of designer watches. In 2011 Volkan Watches was born.

What makes your watches special?

Living on the volcanic island of Lanzarote, an island that is as rugged as it is beautiful and where extreme sports are world known and respected, Volkan was born. These watches are designed to meet the demands of the extreme, from stepping out in a dress suit to keeping your cool surfing in the tumulus ocean.

Who are you aiming your designer watches to?

For everyone!  If style is in your makeup, then there is a Volkan watch in the collection for you.


This September you brought out a colourful range of watches for ladies, tell me more.

There are four eye catching colours to meet every occasion in this, the first of the ladies collection, pink, blue, white and black and all with Swiss movement.





Where can we find your watches?

You can purchase from the collection, on-line from our web site, shops throughout the Canary Isles, there are also a number of stockists in the UK.

What have you planned for the future?





To continue to design world class watches to meet every demand.

Thanks Sam for taking time out to come along to FFP HQ and talk about your fabulous new collection. They all look irresistible! Wishing you amazing luck with all your designer watches and as always thank you, not just from me, but from everyone in the group for your wonderful support.






To watch the trailer click on the link....
Enjoy!


Volkan Links


Saturday, 14 December 2013

HUG A BOOK with Chris Longmuir



It’s HUG A BOOK and this weekend it’s with Chris Longmuir

And

You could win a Kindle copy of
A Salt Splashed Cradle





Meet Chris


Chris Longmuir - I won the Dundee International Book Prize in 2009 with my first crime novel. The prizewinning novel, Dead Wood, was published by Polygon and was so successful that the first print run sold out within four months.
Night Watcher is my second crime novel and is now published as a Kindle edition ebook. My third book in the series, Missing Believed Dead is now available.

 I have also published a historical saga, A Salt Splashed Cradle, set in a Scottish fishing community, and two books of short stories - Obsession & Other Stories, and Gost Train & Other Stories. I also write short stories and historical articles for magazines which are published in the UK
and the US. I am currently working on a further two crime novels. I am fascinated by electronic gadgets of all types and descriptions and am never happier than when experimenting with new hardware and software. I designed and put up my own website and build computers in my spare time. I describes herself as being a bit of a techno-geek.

  
Details of A Salt Splashed Cradle


This historical saga is set in a Scottish fishing village in the 1830’s and reflects the living conditions and the morals of the ordinary fisher folk of that time.
The novel follows the relationships of Belle, her husband, Jimmie, her daughter Sarah, her mother-in-law, Annie, and the rest of the Watt family.
James and Annie Watt are a typical fisher family, and Annie is horrified when Jimmie, her eldest son, brings Belle to the village as his new bride. She makes her displeasure obvious to Belle who struggles to find acceptance in the village. Belle is engaged in a losing battle however, because the villagers regard her as an incomer.
Jimmie, anxious to buy his own boat, leaves the fishing village to sail with a whaling ship. The story follows him to the Arctic
, and on a whale hunt, before he returns home again.
Meanwhile in his absence, Belle has fallen for the charms of Lachlan, the Laird’s son, and embarks on a tempestuous affair with him. When Jimmie returns she struggles with her feelings for him and for Lachlan.
By this time the women in the village are starting to regard Belle as a Jezebel who will tempt their men away. A mood of hysteria engulfs them and they turn against Belle, in an attempt to force her out of the village.
What will Belle do?
And will she survive?




Available for Kindle & paperback





Excerpt

A Salt Splashed Cradle

The walls of the house were closing in on her and the only sun Belle had experienced over the past six weeks had been that which sneaked in when the door opened. The boats had been to sea at least four times since Sarah’s birth and Belle had not been allowed to step outside the door of the cottage. Her nerves were now at screaming pitch, and she was convinced she’d been condemned to a life of green-tinged gloom.

‘You can’t go out until you’re ready to be kirked,’ Annie told her, ‘for it’s not a changeling you’ll be wanting.’
‘I don’t believe in your silly superstitions,’ Belle wanted to retort, but held her tongue. There were so many customs and beliefs held by the fisher folk that seemed strange to her, and she was finding it more difficult than ever to fit in.

‘You’ll wait to be kirked,’ Annie’s tone had been final.

Belle bit her lip but knew better than to argue with her mother-in-law. Anyway, how could she tell Annie why she did not want to be kirked, or why she did not want Sarah christened. She had too many bad memories of churches and ministers. Of the things her uncle had done to her, and the penances he had made her perform afterwards for making him succumb to the temptations of the flesh.
Eventually Belle’s longing for fresh air and sunshine became too much for her and she agreed to the kirking in order to get out of the house. Now, as she struggled to fasten her best dress, she pushed the thought of the christening to the back of her mind.

The heat of the sun struck Belle like a physical blow when she left the house. Narrowing her eyes against the impact she was not sure if she was crying for joy, or whether the glaring brightness was forcing the water from her eyes.

The villagers were already making their way to the church, up the path that led to the top of the cliff, and Belle could sense their curiosity. It shimmered in the air like the heat waves rising off the cliff, seen but unseen.

The shawl clad figures walked in little huddles that were in some strange way attached to each other, but separate from her. She was not one of them. Their eyes never seemed to meet hers, while at the same time they exuded a barely concealed air of contempt for her, bringing out all the feelings of worthlessness and vulnerability that she was trying so hard to suppress. It was just as well she’d put on her finest dress and daintiest slippers, because this was the only way she could show them she was better than they were in their dull, coarse skirts and blouses, and their heavy, ungainly shoes.

‘Belle,’ Annie’s voice sounded sharp, ‘the bairn will slip and fall out of that shawl before you’re halfway up the cliff path. Come back in and I’ll give you one of mine.’

‘Sarah’s fine, she’ll come to no harm.’ Belle forced the words out. She fingered the silk and wool shawl that she had wound round Sarah before strapping her to her breast and thought of the length of time it had taken to arrange the pattern and the fringes to their best effect. She did not want one of Annie’s shawls which were horrid homespun things. They were scratchy and uncomfortable and would hide what she was wearing. The clothes she was relying on to boost her confidence.

‘I’ll brook no argument. I’ll not have you kill the child, for that path’s steep and your shawl’s too silky to hold her. Take it off.’
‘Can I wear Belle’s shawl?’ Jeannie had followed her mother out of the door.
‘No you may not, and neither will Belle.’
Belle unwrapped Sarah and removed the silky shawl, reluctantly winding the one Annie handed her round her shoulders and round Sarah.

‘That’s better,’ Annie said, pinning it into place.

The shawl smelled of fish combined with soot from the fire, and the roughness of it scratched her neck. Belle felt like crying and her resentment of Annie increased. The baby did not seem to mind though, as she snuggled into her mother’s breast, alternatively sucking her lips and making little mewing noises.


Chris’s Links






Now watch the Trailer


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Friday, 13 December 2013

A Taster: Tall, Dark and Kilted by Lizzie Lamb


A taster for Tall, Dark and Kilted by Lizzie Lamb.
Enjoy!

            ‘I’d like you to come up on the hills with me. There’s something I’d like to show you,’ Ruairi said.
            ‘More etchings?’ Fliss raised her eyebrow.
            ‘A Brocken Spectre - if we’re lucky.’
            ‘A what spectre? Like Most Haunted?’ Now her curiosity was piqued.
            ‘You’ll see.’
            ‘What should I wear?’
            ‘Plenty of protection against the -’
            ‘Spectres?’
            ‘The midges.’
            He bent down and took the mug from her slack fingers, his face just inches from hers. Fliss sensed that he badly wanted to kiss her and his ardent look showed how much he wanted to climb into bed with her and conclude last night’s lovemaking. But, clearly he thought better of it, because he turned on his heel and left her to finish her coffee and cold toast alone.


An hour later, they made their way along a ridge towards a triangulation point high above Kinloch Mara. They walked in silence, aware only of the uneven ground, the damp atmosphere and drop below them hidden by enshrouding mist and cloud. The grass was wet and Fliss was glad of her waterproof walking gaiters, otherwise, her jeans would have been sodden. Out of breath from having walked up a punishing incline, she stopped and pressed her hand into her right side where a painful stitch was making itself felt.
            ‘I am so out of condition,’ she said and flopped onto a large boulder.
            ‘Here,’ Ruairi rooted around inside his rucksack, found a bottle of water and passed it to her. She took a large swig from it and handed it back. Without taking his eyes off her, he drank from the same bottle and wiped the back of his hand across his mouth. The gesture was highly erotic and Fliss felt as if she’d been kissed by proxy when she took her turn with the water bottle. His searing look made it plain that last night’s interrupted lovemaking hadn’t been consigned to the past; it had simply been put on hold.
            ‘I’m surprised you don’t bottle your own water off the hills. Remember the episode of Only Fools and Horses where Del and Rodney sell tap water as Peckham Spring Water? Maybe you and Murdo could set up a profitable sideline doing that. Aren’t landowners supposed to diversify or die?’ Fliss made the joke to cover her churning emotions - this man rocked her to her core, even when he was just drinking from a water bottle!
            ‘Diversify, yes; break the law? No.’ He held out his hand and pulled her to her feet. ‘Come on. Not far now until you see the spectre.’
            ‘Is this one of those rituals where the heir is shown some hideously deformed monster mummified behind a brick wall on coming of age and is sworn to secrecy? Like the monster of Glamis?’ She gabbled on as goose bumps travelled the length of her arms - was he really going to show her a ghost?
            ‘I’m impressed that you know your Scottish history. But no; it’s nothing like that. Wait and see.’
            They climbed higher and were soon above the clouds with the sun on their backs. Ruairi’s grip on her hand tightened as they climbed the last few feet to the summit. Then, taking her by the shoulders he looked down into her eyes.
             ‘Do you trust me?’ Her teeth were chattering with a mix of fear and anticipation but she nodded. He positioned her so that the low sun warmed her back and the mist-shrouded valley was in front of her. ‘Close your eyes and put your hands out like you’re flying. Now don’t move. I’m going to take a few steps away and then I’ll ask you to open your eyes.’
            She heard the long grass brush against his waterproof gaiters, smelled the crushed blades beneath his boots and heard the wind singing in her ears. Behind her closed eyelids it was semi-dark, but she wasn’t afraid; she knew he wouldn’t place her in any danger. Holding her arms out like Kate Winslet on the prow of the Titanic, she gave a nervous giggle.
            ‘Aren’t you supposed to say: “I’m King of the World”?’ She rocked on the balls of her feet in borrowed boots that were too large for her. ‘Oops.’
            ‘Okay. Open your eyes.’
            It took a few seconds for her to become accustomed to the light, and then she saw it. Not a ghost or a spectre, but her own form cast as a huge shadow onto the cloud bank below her. She wiggled her arms up and down like she was indeed flying and her shadow followed suit. When she saw the nimbus around her ‘shadow’s’ head - all red, gold and green, like a pre-Raphaelite saint’s, she drew in a breath and instinctively reached out for him.
            He’d taken precious hours out of his busy schedule to bring her here and share something special with her. Her eyes pricked with tears and she knew in that instant that she was falling, deeply and irrevocably in love with this proud, complex man.
            ‘Oh My God. What is it?’
            She clung to him as if she couldn’t believe her eyes or trust her brain to make sense of the tumultuous feelings rocking her. Their shadows merged onto the clouds and the nimbus of light encompassed them, making it seem like they were literally standing beneath the arc of a rainbow.
            ‘It’s called a Brocken Spectre and it’s a natural phenomenon.’
            ‘But how - how does it happen?’ she asked in a whisper.
            ‘Okay - here’s the science bit. First, the weather conditions need to be perfect - like today. The spectre - in this case, you - must climb to a high point while the morning sun is low in the sky. That’s why I got you out of bed so early.’
            ‘I get that bit, but . . .’ Ruairi pulled her into his side and silenced her with a kiss.
            ‘The spectre must stand with her back to the sun so the shadow is formed. The spectre’s halo - or glory - occurs when droplets of water are suspended in the air and sunlight reflects off them, shines back toward the sun and . . . us.’
             ‘Wow.’ The word was inadequate and hardly described the spectre or what she was feeling.
            ‘Wow - indeed. You make me feel King of the World - know that?’ Unexpectedly serious, Ruairi turned her round and looked as if he was committing her face to memory. Then he drew her into his arms and kissed her. If they hadn’t been lost in the kiss they would have seen themselves surrounded by glory as the light shimmered and diffracted around them. Ruairi was first to break off. ‘Forgiven?’

            ‘Nothing to forgive.’ To hide the catch in her voice she moved away from him and their shadows broke apart. ‘But, Ruairi how can this work - you and me?’ He turned his back on the Brocken Spectre as if it was too distracting, and looked instead across the wide acres of Kinloch Mara just visible through the shifting mist.

Get your copy  now!




Tall, Dark and Kilted - Notting Hill Meets Monarch of the Glen - 2012