Sunday, 10 June 2012

My garden plus a free novel download

This is a woodpecker which I managed to snap from my bedroom window, though even when I am indoors he senses the slightest movement and darts away.
The housemartins are not so shy and continually dart from under the eves of my house, returning year after year. 

When I moved from the farmhouse I was supposed to be retired -except for writing novels of course. I didn't think I would want a vegetable garden with only me to tend it and eat the produce. However I missed the fresh vegeatbles and, being diabetic, they are good for me. Here are some of my vegetables in assorted pots. My runner beans are just off the picture beside a trellis. I like my potatoes in large pots so that I only need to use a few at a time. I am pleased with my leeks, carrots and onions as I use a lot of them for soup in colder weather. The large pot - almost a raised bed - was a re-cylced container which my son cut into sections. Next year I may try another as my cauliflower and broccoli are doing well. I also have three large containers of strawberries so that one is replanted each year in rotation. In the corner of my bordes I have a Victoria plum tree with rhubarb beneath. The blossom was early this year and spoiled by a very cold spell, but I also have a small apple tree and it has set a good crop so far. I have a loganberry and a few raspberries canes, while my conservatory has helped me keep myself in summer tomatoes for the past few years.

The book below is fiction but it gives a good account of farmlife during the first world war.

Family at Fairlyden is free to download from Amazon on Sunday and Monday June 10 & 11th. Follow this link

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Book 4 - Fairlyden at War

This is the fourth and final book in the Fairlyden Series covering three generations of Scottish farmers.
(Originally published by Headline in hard and paper back). They are all available now for downloading from Amazon


It is the 1930’s with men desperate for work and food. Fairlyden has survived due to Logan’s skill and his wife’s thrift. Their daughter, Kirsty is proud of her father’s achievements but her brother, Luke is afraid of animals and his fear leads to tragedy.

James MacFarlane has spent his first twenty three years learning all he can from Logan Fairly at Fairlyden. So when he chooses to live with his great-uncle at Nithanvale, the Fairly family’s greatest rival, Kirsty feels betrayed. To make matters worse she is jealous of Mary MacFarlane, who is the last of the MacFarlane line, along with her half cousin.

Kirsty’s responsibilities are heavy when the second world war breaks out and they are increased when evacuees arrive at Fairlyden but her sense of humour sees her through and her determination to keep the farm never wavers in the face of

Book 3 - Family at Fairlyden

I am pleased to say I have now uploaded the third book in the Fairlyden Series.

The Family at Fairlyden – blurb

In 1906, Beth Jamieson, is a little girl of eight, with honey gold curls, blue eyes and the sweetest nature. Her father is Mistress Fairly’s right-hand man and when Nick’s wife dies, Sarah Fairly treats Beth as her own.

Sarah’s daughter Sadie is jealous and does everything she can to prevent the growing relationship between the small girl and Logan, Sadie’s youngest brother: `She’s a labourer’s brat! She’ll never be mistress here! Never!’ she is heard to say. Yet, sharp tongued and vicious though she is, Sadie fails to stop the first childish closeness then, as the years roll by, the encompassing love that draws Logan and Beth together.

Throughout the country, the early years of the century are a time of social change: in London suffragettes chain themselves to railings and the Kaiser visits the King; in the Scottish borders, the Fairlys witness the first motor cars and increasing mechanization on the local farms, while on the far horizons dark clouds of war are massing.

Although Logan would rather breed cows and horses and stay with Beth at Fairlyden, he knows he must fight. As they take their leave beside the burn, one soft autumn day, the lovers cannot foresee the problems, the heartbreak and the joys which the future holds. Or who will inherit Fairlyden.

As the third volume in this magnificent Fairlyden quartet, The Family at Fairlyden takes up the moving love story of Beth and Logan while also chronicling the continuing saga of the Fairly family in this beautiful corner of rural Scotland.