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text 2019-01-19 10:44
Rural life warts and all.
The Nessman - Alastair Campbell

The Nessman looks at life through the lens of rural Scotland in the early - mid 20th century. The celebrities are local legends and life is hard, based on farming and fishing. Colin is an unlikable smart arse who is ill fitted to a life on the land and heads for academia and Aberdeen University. The narrative shifts from third person to first person when he starts letter writing. Through both we see his downward spiral into alcoholism and lack of ambition. It is not an uplifting tale but is full of humour, mostly self-deprecating on the part of Colin, and has a poignant honesty too it about what it means to be an outcast.

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text 2019-01-13 18:18
The Sunday Post - Seals and Soup

Happy Sunday!

 

I haven't read much this week (owing to the Great Gaudy Book Hangover), but it has been quite a week in other ways. 

 

My cooker (hob and oven) had packed it in over the holidays and I have been trying to arrange to get this fixed over the last week ... but with busy work commitments, I took some time to get this arranged. Yesterday, finally, was the day. It's still not fixed, but it is now working enough to last me until the new appliance gets delivered. Yay!

 

All of this, of course, had to be celebrated, and what better to do this than to make some soup!?

 

 

The recipe can be found here ... but I had to leave out the spinach as I forgot to pick some up. 

 

In other news, I  really needed the soup today. I've been on a little outing earlier and got soaked through with freezing rain and chilled to bones by that ever-present North Sea wind. 

 

But it was worth it to see the seal colony that has made its home just north of the city. 

 

 

They are so cute, and so impressive. They are completely wild but you would not really know it when they swim up right to the other end to the river mouth (the one that is safe for visitors and seals, and unlikely to distress the colony while hauled out on the other bank). Seriously, they came right up to the edge of the water! They are such nosy buggers! And so cute. Have I mentioned this already?

 

I hope you all had a great day. 

 

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url 2019-01-10 10:38
All That You Want To Know About Golf Vacation Package

When you talk about Golf Vacation Packages then Go Golf Scotland is the one stop solution for Go Golf Holidays. We offer mainly overseas clients the chance to experience Golf in Scotland and other enthralling opportunities into what the country has to offer.

 

Read more-: All That You Want To Know About Golf Vacation Package

 

Source: www.playbuzz.com/gogolfscotland10/all-that-you-want-to-know-about-golf-vacation-package
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review 2019-01-06 09:59
A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz
A Bound Heart - Laura Frantz

Though Magnus MacLeish and Lark MacDougall grew up on the same castle grounds, Magnus is now laird of the great house and the Isle of Kerrera. Lark is but the keeper of his bees and the woman he is hoping will provide a tincture that might help his ailing wife conceive and bear him an heir. But when his wife dies suddenly, Magnus and Lark find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of accusations, expelled from their beloved island, and sold as indentured servants across the Atlantic. Yet even when all hope seems dashed against the rocky coastline of the Virginia colony, it may be that in this New World the two of them could make a new beginning--together. Laura Frantz's prose sparkles with authenticity and deep feeling as she digs into her own family history to share this breathless tale of love, exile, and courage in Colonial America.

Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

Magnus MacLeish and Lark MacDougall grew up together on the Isle of Kerrera, Scotland. Now it's the year of 1752 and Magnus is laird of Kerrera Castle while Lark is the castle beekeeper, herbalist and manager of the castle stillroom. When Magnus's young wife, Isla, suffers her 6th miscarriage, he goes to Lark requesting something that will not only bring his wife physical comfort while her body mends but also something to help her successfully bring a child to term. Lark certainly has elixirs for pain management, but getting a pregnancy to stick? That's trickier. She seeks counsel from her grandmother, who trained her in the ways of medicinal plants. Lark's grandmother vaguely remembers something that may work, but she's struggling to recall the full recipe. 

 

When Lark's cousin goes into labor (this is a baby-making lovin' place, people!) Lark rushes to assist. Upon her return to Kerrera Castle, she finds the place in an uproar. Castle staff tell a wild story about Lady Isla apparently going mad from something, running off, her body later discovered at the bottom of a cliff. To Lark's shock and horror, fingers point to her as the culprit, even though several voices come to her defense, noting that she wasn't even in the area when all this went down!

 

It's for naught though... she's the herbalist, and it's suspected that Isla's sudden burst of madness was due to an overdose... but Lark hadn't given her anything yet, so how can that be? At least, nothing that would cause that kind of reaction in a person. What really went down? Lark's guess: Isla, having previously showed signs of depression, turned suicidal. Her parents, not wanting to deal with any social stigma attached to suicide, looked to have a scapegoat to save face for the family name. Lark was the easiest target. 

 

After a short joke of a trial, Isla is found guilty of manslaughter. Rather than the death penalty, she is sold into indentured servitude in the American Colonies (Virginia, specifically) for the duration of 3 years. Placed on a womens' transport ship, she gets word that two Kerrera locals are on the mens' transport: Laird Magnus (charged with wearing a kilt, of all things) and Lark's pirate friend, Rory MacPherson (charged with smuggling goods).

 

Magnus uses his connections to pull some strings and have Lark moved to the mens' ship, so that she may serve as the ship's herbalist / botanist. Immediately, Lark's beauty grabs the attention of every man on board, though Rory finds himself unable to shake the sailor's superstition of women on a ship being bad luck. {Considering the events that later unfold, he may have been onto something!}

 

Magnus has his work cut out for him, protecting Lark from the ship's lust-filled men, the main one to watch being Surgeon Alick Blackburn. Magnus and Lark now both being convicted criminals -- guilty or not -- brings them back more on equal footing, as far as societal ranking goes. Lark's family name, MacDougall, was once one of great prestige but later fell out of favor and "time and misfortune turned them common". In recent years, Magnus's family line had taken hard hits as well -- father killed in battle, mother and sister dead from pox, Magnus's wife's struggles with pregnacy... and now she's gone... with Magnus headed to the New World, people may give an impressed nod to his former titled self, but it'll mean little else beyond that outside his homeland. Besides, Magnus hears rumors that he may be sent to a Jamaican estate to serve out his sentence, not Virginia with Lark. Can he manage to find a way to stay with her? If not, can he convince her to wait for his return?

 

Though I have a few other of Frantz's books on my TBR shelf, this is the first of hers I've now read. Inspired by the story of some of Frantz's own ancestors, A Bound Heart lacked a lot of heart IMO. It's not a bad story by any means, but all the 5 star ratings I'm already seeing for it (being offically released just a few days ago) strike me as awfully generous. Frantz has a solidly enjoyable writing style, the novel definitely shows the woman is dedicated to research! The novel is detail-rich, but almost to a fault, as the plot is very slow-going. 

 

Now typically I don't hate a slow-burn novel if a steady increase or layering in plot complications or character histories can be seen. I'm all about being invested in fictional worlds! Unfortunately, this one fell a tad short for me in that department and I found myself not only not attached to the characters but I think at one point I believe I literally fell asleep mid-read. There are little bursts of action here and there but they are SUPER brief. The rest of the story seems to be just general conversing, lots and lots of conversations going down while characters (and readers) wait for their lives to turn eventful. That said, I will say the pace of things noticeably picks up once our primary characters board the transport ships. 

 

The romances -- or the suggestion of pairings, anyway -- tickled me about as much as flat soda. The only character that really struck my interest was Lark's smuggler friend, Captain Rory. He appeared pretty personable in the beginning of the novel, but boy, did he end up showing his true colors towards the end! Trevor grew on me a bit, but he seemed like the type who'd want to pin down Lark's strong, independent nature. As far as Magnus and Lark, there's a sweet friendship there to be admired but the reader isn't really given enough of a backstory between them to really feel much for them beyond that. 

 

The glossary for Scottish terminology provided at the beginning of the book was helpful. While I was already familiar with some of the terms, there were a few in there that I'd never heard used before. Also a nice touch, the quotes from famous poets, novelists and philosophers that Frantz uses to foreshadow each chapter's events. She found some particularly great quotes to reference! 

 

FTC Disclaimer: Revell Books kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own.

 

 

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url 2019-01-04 04:58
Golf Holidays in Scotland - Go Golf Scotland

When you talk about a right Golf Holidays in Scotland then, you are the next place for you where you can rely on. We offer a list of everything you could possibly require to enjoy your golfing holidays in Scotland. Contact us!

Source: www.gogolfscotland.com/the-ultimate-package
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