Thursday, 27 August 2015

Free and reduced prices for downloads

I have neglected this blog for far too long but this morning a new follower on Twitter has spurred me on to return. Sorry for my absence old friends and welcome to new ones.

This seems to be the time of year when publishers hold sales or do their best to promote our books. All of my books have now been re-published as e-books and my sagas are available as large print and audio books.

Last week there were free downloads of Coming Home. This week from 25th to Saturday 29th August 2015 Endeavour Press are offering a free download of

Love's Ransom
 
Love’s Ransom  by Gwen Kirkwood Free to download from Tuesday 25th to Saturday 29th Aug.

This is not my usual kind of story but I enjoyed writing it. It is set in the Scottish Borders in the 1600’s when the Border Reivers are a law unto themselves. Isabella Ellwood loves her brother dearly. When he is taken prisoner she offers her life in exchange for his but the clan chief, William Douglas, recognises her courage, as well as her youthful beauty. He demands a different ransom instead of a life for a life. Isabella is dismayed but feels she has no choice if she is to save Jamie, and surely no fate could be worse than falling into the hands of Neb Truddle, the hateful neighbour who is the instigator of all their troubles.

 
 
 
While I am here I will give a little advance notice of a book which will be available throughout the month of September to download for 99p. This has been re-published as an e-book by Accent Press and is the first in a series of three.
 
The Series follows the life and fortunes of Victoria Pringle who is orphaned at birth and raised by Jane McCrady, her great grandmother, who is cook at Darlonachie Castle. When Jane dies Young Victoria is taken in by the Pringle family who live in the gardener's cottage and also work on the estate. The young Pringles, especially Andrew, take Victoria under their wing. She is allowed to work in the Castle kitchens but times change after the First World War and the new mistress is jealous of the talented young cook who is blossoming into a beautiful girl. Victoria must face new choices and come to terms with a long-buried secret from her past. 
 
 
 

Monday, 9 February 2015

First six weeks of 2015 - photos & a recipe

View of Criffel from my window with snow highlighting the peaks and slopes
Wood pecker eating nuts while hungry sparrows fight over a fat ball
Winter sunset
Hazel catkins,
Viburnum in blossom
and snowdrops in flower
 

 
 

Now a recipe for a winter's day.

Miracle Pudding or Shepherds’ Pudd.
Lightly butter an oven proof dish which will hold at least 2 pints of liquid. This mixture does not look much but it rises and expands during cooking. You should end up with a golden brown topping, succulent sultanas and a rich butterscotch sauce underneath. Serve hot. 4 persons (or six if you serve with custard or ice cream). It is quite filling for a cold day – hence the Shepherd’s Pudding.
 
 Rub 3 ounces of margarine or butter into
5 oz self raisng flour and add
4 ozs sultanas.
Mix with milk until it forms an elastic dough.
Place in greased bowl.
Sauce
Dissolve 4ozs brown sugar and
3 ozs butter (or marg) in
2 cups of boiling water (15 fluid ounces)
Poor over the dough. Do NOT stir or mix.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes at 180 C or 350 F until well risen,
crisp and brown on top.






Thursday, 9 October 2014

LIST OF MY BOOK TITLES IN ORDER - TO 2014

I have recently had several queries about the order in which some of my Sagas were written, especially for those people who like to listen to the audio books.
 
List of Book Titles by Gwen Kirkwood


Moorland Mist due 2015

Beyond Reason   May 2014 (audio in production)

 
1.Dreams of Home (title for  e-book is Coming Home)

2. A Home of Our Own

3. Heart of the Home

4 Another Home-Another Love

5 Darkest Before the Dawn

 
1.  Secrets in the Heather

2 Call of the Heather

3 When the Heather Blooms

 

1 The Laird of Lochandee (audio books for this series due soon )

2 The Legacy of Lochandee
 (original title of hardback is A Tangled Web)

3 Children of the Glens

4 Home to the Glen

 

1 Fairlyden

2 Mistress of Fairlyden

3 The Family at Fairlyden

4 Fairlyden at War

(Shorter romances. All single novels. Available as e-books See my website for direct links to Amazon for all of my books)
Lonely is the Valley

The Wary Heart

The Laird of Lochvinnie

The Silver Link- The Silken Tie

Written on the Wind

A New Beginning (original title  Shattered Dreams)

A Question of Love (available only as an e-book to download)

Love’s Ransom        ( “                                                         )

Sunday, 24 August 2014

FREE DOWNLOAD OFFER FOR HEART OF THE HOME

I am pleased to tell you that HEART OF THE HOME is available to download FREE from
Wednesday 27th August to Sunday 31st August.

I have shown  the urls for all the Home Series. but Heart of the Home is the third one. Many of the characters become like old friends and continue through all the books but each story is separate and has its own hero and heroine.
If anyone reads them out of sequence I would love to hear what you think and whether you pick up the threads easily.

HOME SERIES URLS

COMING HOME  ( original title of hard back DREAMS OF HOME)
http://amzn.to/1AQHJaG

A HOME OF OUR OWN
http://amzn.to/1mi6CCq

HEART OF THE HOME
http://amzn.to/XzO37q

ANOTHER HOME-ANOTHER  LOVE
http://amzn.to/1pAjS9f

DARKEST BEFORE THE DAWN
http://amzn.to/164QNac   Amazon.com
http://amzn.to/1ev5mwZ  Amazon .co.uk

 

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Another download available - Heart of the Home

I am pleased to say Heart of the Home is now available to download as an e-book, re-published by Endeavour Press. This completes all five novels in the Home Series as e-books and traditionally published. Some of the book jackets may have been changed for e-publishing.
All the links are below in order of writing.
HEART OF THE HOME
Avril Gray, has returned home, having just finished her master’s degree in science, Avril finds herself back at Riverview, the family farmhouse that lies close to the Scottish border, but it is not the happy home that she left. Her mother is gravely ill, and her step-father and brothers are struggling. Avril can’t bear to leave her family when they need her most, so she settles back into the village and its way of life, with her close friends and family surrounding her, and with the love and guidance that she needs during this trying time.
She is reunited with Dean, son of a neighbouring farmer, whose ambitions are greater than his family will allow him. Avril and Dean grow close, much to the chagrin of his mother who cares more about class than character, and is determined to find out the truth behind Avril’s upbringing and family.
Will Avril and Dean find a way to be together? Or will she have to sacrifice all to save the Heart of her Home?

‘Heart of the Home’ is a moving romantic drama. It is the follow up to 'Coming Home' (Note : Original title of hard back was Dreams of Home) and ‘A Home of Our Own’.

Praise for ‘Coming Home’:

'A classic story of love and hope'. - Holly Kinsella, best-selling author of 'Uptown Girl'.

'A gripping read'. - Robert Foster, best-selling author of 'The Lunar Code'.
 
 
COMING HOME  ( original title of hard back DREAMS OF HOME)
 
A HOME OF OUR OWN

HEART OF THE HOME

ANOTHER HOME-ANOTHER  LOVE
 
DARKEST BEFORE THE DAWN
http://amzn.to/164QNac   Amazon.com
http://amzn.to/1ev5mwZ  Amazon .co.uk

 
 
 
 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

BEYOND REASON plus a little about the background to the story

Beyond Reason is completely fictional although it is set between the towns of Annan and Dumfries in South West Scotland. I have used the principles of the first Savings Bank to illustrate how important it was to people at that time to preserve their pride and independence, how they dreaded the poor house, and how much they valued education.
Below are a few facts about the Ruthwell Savings Bank which was established by the Reverend Doctor Henry Duncan in the Village of Ruthwell for people with little money but who wanted to save. Anyone interested in the facts of this great enterprise will find many interesting articles and books written about the Rev.Henry Duncan. 
He believed in the dignity of the ordinary working people and he encouraged thrift. Despite the appalling poverty at that time, he was against the introduction of a poor rate and fostered a spirit of pride and independence whenever possible.
The cottage which was the Meeting
 House where the world's first
Savings Bank started.
 
It exists today as a small museum
He used his knowledge,
gained during the three years he spent working in Heywoods Bank in Liverpool, but he believed a savings bank could only succeed if it were self-supporting and based on business principles. He gained the backing of the landowners – possibly because they welcomed the idea that the poor might no longer need their support.
The plaque on the wall.
 
As writers we all know the value of marketing and publicity to sell our books. The Rev Duncan had the same idea when he founded a local newspaper, The Dumfries & Galloway Courier, and published his proposal for a parish bank in Ruthwell.
 
On 10th May 1810 in the Society Room in Ruthwell he explained his ideas for a parish bank to his parishioners. Established banks needed £10 to open an account.(A small fortune to working people at that time). Sixpence would be enough to have an account in the Ruthwell Savings Bank. The deposits were placed with the Linen Bank in Dumfries and received 5% interest. Members received 4% interest - on whole pounds. The surplus provided a charity fund, increased interest for long-term savers, and a sum for administering the bank. The administration in Ruthwell was done by the Rev Duncan himself but he did not take any remuneration. Instead he used the money due to him to build another school in the parish. During the first year £151 was deposited in Ruthwell and there were savings banks throughout the UK within five years of the bank opening. The movement spread to Europe and the United States.
 
The Ruthwell Cross does not feature in my novel but it would be a pity to mention Dr Henry Duncan and Ruthwell and not include a little about it here in this blog post. The Cross is reputed to be late seventh or early eight century and is one of the finest Anglo-Saxon crosses in Britain. The Rev Duncan rescued it from the manse gardens where it had lain broken for many years after being cast out as idolatrous by previous Church of Scotland officials. Rev. Duncan restored it and it now stands in the Ruthwell Church where visitors can see it. The Savings Bank Museum can supply more information about it and the man who was minister for almost fifty years.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Although he was Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland the Rev.Doctor Henry Duncan also played an active part in the Disruption of 1843
 
 
        
BEYOND REASON is 
published in hardback by Robert Hale Ltd £19.99 and will be available to download to digital readers in May 2014.
 
shortened link to Amazon  http://amzn.to/RHGHfr  

 Janet Scott loves books, and learning, and is happy living at the schoolhouse where her grandfather is the dominie. When tragedy strikes, and her grandfather dies suddenly, everything changes, and she is sent to work for farmer, Wull Foster. Life with no one to protect her is tough, and Janet experiences first-hand the dangers which can befall a young woman. So, when philanthropist, Josiah Saunders, an old friend of her grandfather's takes her in they both enjoy the companionship, but Josiah's avaricious relatives resent his generosity and are furious when he encourages Janet to stay at Crillion Keep. He considers ways to thwart their scheming. Janet loves Fingal McLauchlan but while he is only a lawyers' clerk he is unable to offer the help she needs to keep her promise to her brother and care for their mother. She faces a difficult dilemma when Josiah offers her marriage, and security, but even worse problems arise when Josiah's relatives devise an evil plot to be rid of her.

 

 

 

Friday, 7 March 2014

Secrets in the Heather now available as an e-book

 
 
 
I am please to say Secrets in the Heather is now published by Accent Press and is available to download at a very affordable price. It is the first in a series of three Heather books which were first published by Severn House in hardback, available from libraries and book shops. It is also available as an audio book for those who like to listen while they work or drive.

Victoria MacLauchlan was orphaned at birth and raised in a cottage on the Darlonachie Estate by Jane McCrady, whom she believes is her great-grandmother. When Jane dies Victoria is given a job in the Castle kitchens and offered a home by the Pringle family, also tenants of the Laird of Darlonachie. They are a kindly couple with four sons. They have known Victoria all her life but they have never guessed there is a long buried secret in her past. 
 
The First World War is over and times are changing. A new generation has taken over, both above and below stairs, making life difficult for Victoria, especially as she is growing into a capable and beautiful young woman. She must make difficult choices and come to terms with the secret which is accidentally revealed and which will have far reaching consequences, not only in her own  life.