Monday, May 07, 2012

Antique Textiles, Scottish Islands and eBooks on Amazon Kindle

When the gorse is in bloom, kissing's in season.
As many readers of this blog probably know by now, I have two jobs although I'd find it hard to say which is the  'day job' because I'm fairly obsessive about both of them. I buy, collect and sell (when I can bear to let them go!) antique and vintage textiles of all kinds - and research and write about them whenever possible. But the other half or more of my time is spent writing mostly fiction, mostly novels as well as the occasional stage play. Two of those novels are set on small Scottish islands and in both of them, the landscape of the novel is an essential part of the story.

The first of them, The Curiosity Cabinet, was published in the conventional way first (you can still find the odd paperback copy on Amazon) but when it went out of print, the rights reverted to me, and last year I published it on Amazon's Kindle Store. You can find it here, if you're in the UK and here if you're in the US.

Gorgeous cover art by textile artist Alison Bell
This is essentially a historical novel, in which the troubles of the past are in some way resolved in the present. The gorgeous cover was made for me by my friend and mentor, Scottish textile artist Alison Bell - it's as beautiful as a piece of lace, and I'm eternally grateful to her for it! The Curiosity Cabinet will almost certainly be of interest to textile nuts like me, because the 'cabinet' in question is an embroidered, raised work Jacobean box, and there is also a certain amount of description of period costume within the novel.

My other 'Scottish Island' novel is called Bird of Passage. (Or look here, if you're reading this in the US) Dealing sensitively with the shocking realities of state-sanctioned physical abuse and its aftermath, this is a powerful story of cruelty, loss and enduring love. In 1960s Scotland, young Finn O’Malley is sent from Ireland to work at the potato harvest and soon forms a close friendship with Kirsty Galbreath, the farmer’s red-headed grand-daughter. But Finn is damaged by a childhood so traumatic that he can only recover his memories slowly. 
What happened at the brutal Industrial School to which he was committed while still a little boy? For the sake of his sanity, he must try to find out why he was sent there, and what became of the mother he lost. As he struggles to answer these questions, his ability to love and be loved in return is called into question. 

Why am I posting about all this on The Scottish Home now? Well, if you're reading this blog during the week beginning 7th May, you can download Bird of Passage to your Kindle - free - on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th May. And if you fancy reading The Curiosity Cabinet as well, I suppose that means you could get two novels for the price of one. Other books are available, especially my big new romantic historical novel set in Poland. It's called The Amber Heart and there's lots of lovely period costume detail in that one as well. I'd be grateful for any reviews, especially if you enjoy what you read. And please do spread the word to anyone else you think might be interested in these novels. And if you want to read a bit more about my 'other day job' have a look at my website: 


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