March Newsletter

Cats, Whales And Rom-Coms

The weirdly named whale readers

killer whaleHighland Fling is a rom-com. Romance is a big market and its fans often referred to as whale readers, i.e. folks who’ll happily devour one or more books a day. I have no idea why people hit on the word ‘whale’ to describe voracious readers.

Anyway, I wanted to write something that seemed more commercially viable than anything I’ve written so far.

What’s it about?

Here’s the blurb:

Gaby’s recently split from her boyfriend of ten years and needs to escape fast. Where better than the Highlands of Scotland where she can lick her wounds and recover in peace and quiet?

Fate has different ideas in mind. First, there’s the rough and ready Jack McAllan who bears more than a passing resemblance to the fabled Jamie Fraser of Outlander fame. He’s an important part of the local community, even if he’s failed to impress Gaby so far. Who knew a guy could be so rude and taciturn?

Then, there’s the mystery of the woman whose home she now inhabits. Kirsty’s left too many tantalising clues for Gaby to resist. Why did Kirsty run, and does it have anything to do with the red-haired Scot who keeps turning up in Gaby’s daydreams much as she tries to resist…

Featuring kilts, mist-cloaked hills, lochs where the water runs deep and a little too much whisky, Highland Fling is a fun-filled romp through Scottish village life, finding love, making a fool of yourself and discovering that an overactive imagination leads you into all kinds of trouble…

Reading

Tombland coverTombland by CJ Samsom—the next in the Matthew Shardlake series. The books are set in Tudor England, focussing more on ordinary people and the social upheavals of the time, rather than what the aristocracy is up to.

When it comes to the Tudors, those kings and queens have been done to death.

The Shardlake stories are powerful books. Vast inequalities marked the most of the Middle Ages—from justice as rich people could buy royal pardons getting them off murder charges while for the poor, criminal court cases took half an hour and they weren’t allowed counsel.

Landlords could do what they wanted, enclosing land, and throwing people off when they couldn’t pay thanks to bad harvests and food price rises.

Tombland details the Kett Rebellion, which took place in Norfolk in 1549. I’m ashamed to say despite having spent three years in Norwich as a student, I hadn’t heard of it.