If you’d like to read more about the books and see some of the excellent reviews before you buy, please click here.
Only till the end of February 2018!
One Sweet Moment, my story of love across the class divide in 1820s Edinburgh, is also available for 99p and corresponding prices until the end of February only. Or you might like to buy the physical book, for a wee bit more than 99p!
This year we celebrate the centenary of women over 30 in Britain finally winning the right to vote but what links Red Clydeside & the Scottish (and English) suffragettes? Quite a lot, actually. You can read about the connections in the new paperback edition of When the Clyde Ran Red: A Social History of Red Clydeside.
The book is available for pre-order now and I’ll be speaking about it at Aye Write! at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow on Sunday 18th March from 1.15 – 2.15. I’ll be on with Natalie Fergie, who will be talking about her novel, The Sewing Machine.
Over Christmas and New Year, the ebook version of my novel One Sweet Moment is available on Amazon UK for only 99p and on Amazon US for the equivalent in dollars and cents. If you fancy buying the book in paperback or the audio version, these are also available on both Amazon UK and Amazon US. To buy the paperback with free postage and packing throughout the world, check outThe Book Depository. The pb version is of course also available from High Street bookshops.
One Sweet Moment is listed by the Scottish Book Trust as one of 15 Romantic Novels set in Scotland. A coming-of-age story and a poignant tale of young love and old Edinburgh which moves between the gloomy and dangerous underground vaults of the Old Town and the sparkling chandelier-lit parlours of the elegant Georgian New Town, One Sweet Moment has been described as “almost Dickensian in the richness of its storytelling” (Christina Banach) and as “a big, huge, romantic story.” (BBC Radio Scotland)
The cover of the paperback incorporates a drawing by Walter Geikie, a sadly short-lived Edinburgh artist whose favourite subjects were the ordinary people of Edinburgh. He makes a cameo appearance in the book.
And with that, Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year when it comes.
Looking forward to speaking about Jacobite men as well as Jacobite women as part of a panel at the Gordon Highlanders Museum in Aberdeen next Monday, 6th November, on the subject of ‘The Scottish Warrior in Commemorations, Museums and Politics.’ This is a free event but booking is required here.
Doors open at 5.30, when refreshments will be available and a selection of my books will be available to buy. Panel presentations start at 6.00 and end after an audience Q & A at 7.30.
#ScotWarrior2017 #jacobites #university of aberdeen #gordonhighlandersmuseum
In the Sunday Herald of 22nd October 2017, Angus Robertson, SNP MP and journalist, wrote a moving article on the ‘forgotten front’ of the First World War, the struggle between Italian forces and those of the soon-to-crumble Austro-Hungarian Empire. Because so much of the fighting took place in the snows of the foothills of the Alps, the Italian front became known as the White War.
As Angus Robertson pointed out in his Sunday Herald article, 24th October 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the 12th Battle of the Isonzo, when, after more than three weeks, Austro-Hungarian troops broke through the Italian defences. The previous eleven battles had been indecisive. The fighting in the White War resulted in huge loss of life, with more than a million casualties.
Some of the wounded were nursed by Scottish volunteer Red Cross nurse, Henrietta Tayler, (1869-1951). Weeks and months after the Armistice of 1918, she was still caring for prisoners-of-war in Montecchio Maggiore, west of Venice and east of Verona. Her wartime memoir includes the dry comment: ‘Nursing prisoners in tents in the snow was somewhat of a new experience for me.’
She did her very best for them, making sure the dying were comforted and those recovering from injury and illness were nursed, washed, cared for and reassured. Hetty, as her friends and family called her, was a gifted linguist, which was just as well. Her prisoner-patients were of a variety of nationalities: Austrian, Hungarian, Bosnian, Serbian, Czech and more. She made sure to learn as many helpful words in each language as possible.
Her patients conferred and decided to call her Mutter, mother in German. That moved her to tears, especially when they told her that, as prisoners, they hadn’t expected to be treated with such care and kindness. Hetty’s comment on that was simple. A patient was a patient, whatever their nationality, ‘and weakness and misery must always appeal to one wherever found.’
As A & H Tayler, Hetty and her brother Alistair were prolific historians. Before the war, they published The Book of the Duffs, a detailed and entertaining account of the wider family to which they belonged. After the First World War, they researched and wrote numerous books and articles on Scottish history, particularly that of the Jacobite risings of 1715 and 1745.
On Thursday 12th October, from 18.30 – 20.00 (doors open 18.15), I’ll be one of a panel addressing different aspects of the 1745 Jacobite Rising at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. I’ll be talking about the women I wrote about in Damn’ Rebel Bitches: The Women of the ’45, Arran Johnston will be talking about the Battle of Prestonpans, about which he’s just published a book, On Gladsmuir Shall the Battle Be, and Professor Robert Dunbar will be talking about Gaelic language and culture and the suppression of those after Culloden. There will be a panel discussion and Q & A with the audience after our brief presentations. It’s sure to be a lively debate, this is such contested history. More information and how to get tickets from the NMS website.
On Saturday 30th September, I’ll be in conversation about Damn’ Rebel Bitches: The Women of the ’45 with my friend and colleague Lin Anderson, founder of the Bloody Scotland crime writing festival and award-winning author of the Rhona MacLeod series.
The event starts at the NTS visitor centre at Culloden at 1.30 pm, doors open 1 pm. Book your ticket here. I understand they’re going fast!
When I did my research for Damn’ Rebel Bitches: The Women of the ’45 twenty years ago, that had to be done the hard, albeit very enjoyable way. I’ve just written an article on the subject for Historia, the online magazine of the Historical Writers’ Association, which you can read below.
This year I’m celebrating the 20th anniversary of the publication of Damn’ Rebel Bitches: The Women of the ’45.
Writing this book was a labour of love for me. With no Internet to speak of back in 1997, I did the research in the old-fashioned way, travelling to libraries, archives, museums and locations up and down the country, from the Public Record Office in Kew in London through York, Carlisle and Edinburgh to Aberdeen and Inverness.
DRB, as we call it in our house, has had some wonderful plaudits over the years.
‘glitters with eye-catching gems that shed light on everyday 18th century Scottish life.’ Roddy Philipps, Aberdeen Pressand Journal.
‘a racily written, well-researched and heart-warming account.’ Elizabeth Sutherland, Scots Magazine.
‘a modern classic.’ The Herald.
‘bold and argumentative … resounds with authority.’ Scotland on Sunday.
‘This book changed my life.’ Young woman at Linlithgow Literary Festival.
Readers furth of Scotland and the UK might like to know that The Book Depository send books worldwide at no extra cost for postage and packing. All my books are also available worldwide as ebooks from Amazon, Kobo and other online retailers.
In the afternoon, I’m hosting a wee Jacobite afternoon tea party. Tea played a crucial role in the Rising of 1745, even if one prominent Scotsman back then described it as a “vile drug and a contemptible beverage.” Or maybe because he did!