As the title suggests, this is a novel about a relationship between a mismatched couple. Felicity, the daughter of a retired tea planter, is on holiday on the Isle of Skye in 1937 when she meets John Norman, a young fisherman. Their first encounter is a prickly one but when they later bump into each other during a London air raid, a tentative friendship begins. As a merchant seaman, John Norman is caught up in perilous convoy duties while Felicity finds a role at Bletchley Park. Their long-distance relationship falls prey to doubts and misunderstandings that have fateful consequences, not only for them but into the future.
Do you know the beautiful song by Robert Burns, ‘Ae Fond Kiss’?
‘Ae fond kiss and then we sever
Ae fareweel, and then for ever,
Deep in heartwrung tears I’ll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and hopes I’ll wage thee.’
I’m using a line from the 4th verse – ‘Had we never loved so blindly’ as the title of my third historical novel, set during the Second World War. It should be published late this year.
Events at Fort William and Edinburgh
As part of Book Week Scotland in November 2019 I gave a talk at Fort William Library and enjoyed some lovely cakes. This was followed by another talk at the Pentlands Book Festival in Edinburgh where I spoke about the influence of myths and legends on my writing. The Waters of Leith made a welcome break from the busy streets. This was followed by an enjoyable session at Dingwall library after driving through beautiful countryside.
I gave a number of talks while I was down in Galloway in March. The first was at Lockerbie Library. The fine sheep sculptures are in the High Street. This was followed by a talk at the Beltie Book Shop and Café in Wigtown and I had to include a picture of the photogenic local cattle and lastly I did a book signing at WHSmith in Dumfries High Street. The antibiotics seem to be working and Steve is feeling more human now. We’ve got a big new screen which I’m enjoying using.
I had the pleasure of travelling to Stornoway on a very cold but sunny day in February 2019. Once there I was made very welcome by Euan at the museum and Rhoda from the Islands Book Trust.
I spoke about Mary MacPherson, the subject of ‘Love and Music Will Endure’ and the next day I saw the famous Lewis chessmen and the very moving exhibition about the Iolaire disaster of 1919 when two hundred returning sailors were drowned in sight of the shore.
The fern design is Victorian and was found underneath layers of paint when the breakfast room was renovated.