Highland Passage: Audiobook Preview

With production of the audiobook underway, I thought I’d share a preview. I can’t wait until April. We’re all in for a treat with Jeff Leslie’s narration.

In this clip from Chapter One, Mac is on her way home from another blind date arranged by her well-meaning sister, when she’s caught in a snowstorm. While maneuvering the twists and turns of the icy road, Mackenzie loses control of her car and crashes into the rocky hillside, where a rugged Scotsman pulls her to safety. (I really think AAA ought to add this feature to their roadside service.)

Coming this Spring

Lightning strikes an ancient stone chamber, thrusting cyclist, Violet Quinn, back in time. Emerging amid the frenzy of the Scottish Reformation, her life is at risk as she searches for a way home.

Enigmatic knight errant Robert de Mallay is on the most important mission of his life: to protect an ancient secret. He detours to rescue a beguiling young woman in peril. Now both are in danger as they fight off pursuers, all the while knowing that completing the mission will part them forever.

Their greatest battle of all will be against their own hearts.

New ‘Ivanhoe’ Adaptation

Irvine Welsh, Jon S. Baird Reteam To Adapt Walter Scott’s ‘Ivanhoe’

- Iconoclastic Scottish writer Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting) and director Jon S. Baird(Filth) are re-teaming for a bold new adaptation of the classic Walter Scott adventure tale Ivanhoe.  Jens Meurer is producing through his Berlin-based Egoli Tossell Film banner. Meurer previously worked with Welsh and Baird on Filth, which is how this latest collaboration first sparked.

Basil Iwanyk and his company Thunder Road Pictures are also on-board as producers, along with Stuart Pollok , and Film House Germany’s Christian Angermayer.

Very much the standard bearer for the knight in shining armour genre, Ivanhoe follows the story of a worthy and noble knight who returns to England after the third Crusades. He fights to restore the good King Richard, believed to be held captive in an Austrian prison, and depose Richard’s wicked brother John.

Scott’s iconic romantic novel, first published in 1820, has been adapted numerous times for the big and small screen, memorably in 1952 with a cast that included Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders and Robert Taylor as Ivanhoe.  The book is also notable for having first introduced audiences to the character of Robin Hood, known here as Locksley, and his band of merry men.


John Knox and the Monstrous Regiment of Women

John Knox and the Monstrous Regiment of Women | Presbyterian Historical Society

Hmm…So John Knox had some issues.

Before John Knox returned home from exile to become a hero of the Scottish Reformation, he penned a shocking polemic against women in roles of authority: The First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women. The diatribe, which he planned to follow with a second and third blast, set the stage for a tumultuous relationship with four ruling queens: Mary of Guise (1515-1560), Mary Tudor (1516-1558), Mary Stuart (1542-1587), and Elizabeth Tudor (1533-1603).

Knox used “monstrous” and “regiment” in an archaic sense to mean “unnatural” and “rule,” arguing that female dominion over men was against God and nature. He lamented that the future of the Protestant faith lay solely in the hands of a female monarchy largely hostile to its precepts. Echoing the era’s widespread assumption that women were inferior to men, capable only of domestic acts such as bearing children, Knox placed blame on the “abominable empire of wicked women” for the trials and tribulations of the Reformation.

John Knox and the Monstrous Regiment of Women | Presbyterian Historical Society.

Best Valentine Verse Ever

Best Valentine Verse Ever

(From: http://fuckyeahrichardiii.tumblr.com/post/111029712319/sadies-royal-smorgasbord-onlyalittlelion)

What did Chris say?

I’m in a writers’ group with author Chris Ward. (Buy his books. He’s a wonderful writer.) On a regular basis, Chris throws out British expressions that I have to look up. So I decided to create a blog feature about it.

So, what did Chris say today?

“Broke my duck” — Originating from cricket, it comes from the phrase “to break your duck’s egg.” It means to do something for the first time. For more info, click here.

“Big girl’s blouse” — a wuss

The other day, he said something about a kip. — It means to get some sleep or take a nap.

Alan Cumming Narrating Macbeth

I haven’t really posted very much about books—which, you’re probably thinking, might have been the obvious topic of choice. The truth is, I barely find time to write my own books, let alone write about books by others. For a number of reasons, I have no plans ever to write a review (of any sort—book or otherwise), but I don’t mind sharing things that I like. Alan Cumming’s Not My Father’s Son, is a powerful book, beautifully written. However, I read it on my Kindle, when I really should have listened to the audiobook—read by him. So now I will make up for my error by listening to him read a novelized version of Macbeth. (I just love listening to him.)

Snowy Day Music


Oh the snow it melts the soonest when the winds begin to sing;
And the corn it ripens fastest when the frosts are setting in;
And when a young man tells me that my face he’ll soon forget,
Before we part, I’d bet a crown, he’d be fain to follow it yet.

Oh the snow it melts the soonest when the winds begin to sing;
And the swallow skims without a thought as long as it is spring;
But when spring blows and winter goes my lad then you’d be fain,
With all your pride for to follow me, were it ‘cross the stormy main.

Oh the snow it melts the soonest when the winds begin to sing;
And the bee that flew when summer shone in winter he won’t sing;
And all the flowers in all the land so brightly there they be,
And the snow it melts the soonest when my true love’s for me.

So never say me farewell here, no farewell I’ll receive,
You can meet me at the stile, you’ll kiss and take your leave;
And I’ll wait it till the woodcock crows or the martin takes its leave,
Since the snow it melts the soonest when the winds begin to sing.

This Day in History

January 24, 76 AD, Roman Emperor Publius Aelius Hadrianus Augustus, known for his wall, was born on this day in history. But the History Channel’s lead story is: January 24, 1935, First Canned Beer Goes on Sale. Haha [amusement added].

According to Wikipedia:

In 122 he initiated the construction of Hadrian’s Wall. The wall was built, “to separate Romans from barbarians,” according to the Historia Augusta (Augustan Histories).[33]

BBC News – Lower Bockhampton Kingston Maurward housing development plans dropped

BBC News - Lower Bockhampton Kingston Maurward housing development plans dropped

Plans for a housing development near the old home of Dorset author Thomas Hardy have been dropped.

Kingston Maurward College wanted to build 70 houses on parkland at Lower Bockhampton, near Dorchester.

It said “several important issues” were raised during the consultation and it was withdrawing the plans.

The Open Spaces Society, which had campaigned against the development, said Hardy would have “breathed a sigh of relief”.

The author was born at Higher Bockhampton in 1840, and wrote Far from the Madding Crowd there.

BBC News – Lower Bockhampton Kingston Maurward housing development plans dropped.

Highland Passage, The Audiobook!


I’ve begun work on my first audiobook. Highland Passage will be released in audiobook format this spring. More details will follow as we get closer to the projected April release date.