For Readers and Bookworms

#Shoutout 10:54 on Tue 04 Jul 2017 by MKRY Publishing   , , based in/near to

Historical fiction about Scotland  –  right here in the Borders!!

Border Brothers CoverThemes of herbal medicine and heresy, intrigue and ancient practices, superstition and supernatural forces, saints and sinners, violence and virtue, myths and martyrs, heresy and history expunged. What more ingredients could you want?

The action takes place on mysterious and sinister moorlands, remote and romantic islands, Scotland’s episcopal centre of St Andrews. 

 It’s all here in:-

BORDER BROTHERS by MARGARET COOK

Do you read historical fiction?

#Shoutout 12:20 on Sun 02 Jul 2017 by MKRY Publishing   , , based in/near to

Calling all readers and enthusiasts of historical fiction; specifically about Scotland, even more specifically about the Borders! Here is a book about Soutra, that mysterious moor with the amazing views towards the north, towards Edinburgh, the Firth of Forth, many hill ranges and even Highland peaks. All you will see at the site is the Soutra Aisle, a family vault dating back to 1689, and built of the stone that once made a part of the immense Abbey Hospital that stood here for 3 centuries.

Some visitors think that the Aisle is the old abbey church; but no, it is of much later date. And the original Soutra Church of the Holy Trinity was of comparable size to other Borders Abbeys such as Jedburgh or Melrose (see below). This is known because of the size of the foundations of Soutra. Much of the history of the ending of Soutra Hospital is as mysteriously hidden as the physical remains.

       So that is the story in the book ‘BORDER BROTHERS’ by Margaret Cook. A good, serious, summer read? A welcome present for your book-avid friend or family-member?

Available on Amazon, Wordery, many bookshops.                           Border Brothers CoverBorder Brothers CoverBorder Brothers Cover

Margaret Cook and ‘Border Brothers’

#Shoutout 10:15 on Wed 28 Jun 2017 by MKRY Publishing   , , based in/near to

Gripping historical fiction with a Borders theme.  

Here are comments made by readers:-

 

‘You do not know where history stops and fictions begins….’

‘A page-turner; you want to know what happens next.’

‘A compelling sense of doom…’Border Brothers Cover

‘The writing is highly accomplished…’

‘A fantastic central character and strong independent female characters…’

‘The book deals with political, social and religious themes well; everything in the multiple strands of the plot fits together well.’

‘Great characters and very well-plotted.’

‘I really did fear for Soutra as events against it were put in motion….’

Available on Amazon, Wordery, in many bookshops.

Comments from readers about ‘BORDER BROTHERS’ by Margaret Cook

#Shoutout 11:56 on Mon 26 Jun 2017 by MKRY Publishing   , , based in/near to

COMMENTS about ‘Border Brothers’ :-

 ‘You do not know where history stops and fictions begins….’

‘A page-turner; you want to know what happens next.’

‘A compelling sense of doom…’

‘The writing is very good  –  competent, entertaining and engaging.’

‘The writing is highly accomplished…’

‘A fantastic central character and strong independent female characters…’

‘The book deals with political, social and religious themes well; everything in the multiple strands of the plot fits together well.’

‘Great characters and very well-plotted.’

‘I really did fear for Soutra as events against it were put in motion….’

Border Brothers Cover

 Border Brothers can be bought online at Amazon, Wordery and other online bookshops; as well as Waterstones, Blackwells, Whities in Peebles, Far from the Madding Crowd in Linlithgow, the Bookmark in Grantown on Spey, the House of Soutra café, Mainstreet Trading Bookshop in St Boswells, Royal Botanic Gardens shop, Edinburgh.

 

 

Civil War Re-enactment Event

#Shoutout 18:40 on Sat 24 Jun 2017 by Thirlestane Castle   , , based in/near to ,

Missed the Civil War Re-enactment Event at Thirlestane Castle today?

Don’t worry, it’s on again tomorrow from 10am!

Come and witness what life was like for soldiers and ordinary people during the civil war.

There’ll be military drills with muskets and pikes, cooking demonstrations in the living history camp and even the odd skirmish.

Tickets available on the gate.

 

Experience Civil War at Thirlestane Castle

#Shoutout 18:33 on Fri 23 Jun 2017 by Thirlestane Castle   , , based in/near to ,

Civil War Re-enactment Weekend

Thirlestane Castle, Lauder.

24th/25th June 10am-4pm

The Sealed Knot, the UK’s oldest re-enactment group, will be transforming the castle grounds into a civil war military camp. There will be musket and pike drills, cooking demonstrations and even a skirmish.

The castle will also be open both days and admission includes access to both.

Tickets available on the gate.

Border Brothers by Margaret Cook – Book Launch Party

#Shoutout 12:35 on Fri 23 Jun 2017 by MKRY Publishing   , , based in/near to

I am holding a Book Launch Party for this book in Blackhall Library in Edinburgh in July; this is my local library, and a very fine setting for the event. Border Brothers CoverI shall be talking about the book itself, but even more, the inspiration for it, the various history trails I followed, the blank walls I encountered, and the personal medical memories that went into it.  Ideally I should like to talk to people in Borders libraries also. Please contact me via the borders.co.uk website if you are interested in such a speaking event (there won’t be wine and nibbles on all occasions, alas).

What happened to Soutra Hospital? A tantalising mystery.

#Shoutout 12:24 on Fri 23 Jun 2017 by MKRY Publishing   , , based in/near to

Probably many historical records are suppressed if the truth embarrasses someone of importance. The story of the ending and demotion of Soutra Abbey Hospital in the Middle Ages seems to have been extraordinarily comprehensive. My fictional account in ‘BORDER BROTHERS’ may be near the mark; a story of power and greed by Church and State.Border Brothers Cover

At the top of Soutra Moor, 10 miles north of Lauder, there are ghosts stalking the top of the hill. Some call them wind turbines. But there are no romantic ruins as in Melrose, Jedburgh or other Border Abbey sites; all the remains are buried underground, a suitable analogy for the blank holes in the historical record, not only about the ending of the Abbey but also about its importance in history. I wonder if there is information concealed in a dusty file or drawer somewhere in a library or castle ?

Compare the two pictures, one of the ruins of Melrose Abbey, still bearing witness to its beauty and power, both secular and spiritual, centuries after its ending; and the bleak windswept hilltop with no evidence of the grandeur that once was here. Only a small family funerary vault made of the stones that once graced Soutra Hospital.

                             

Border Brothers – Places to buy

#Shoutout 16:13 on Fri 09 Jun 2017 by MKRY Publishing   , , based in/near to

You can buy BORDER BROTHERS by Margaret Cook at many online outlets including Amazon and Wordery; at many Edinburgh bookshops, including Waterstones and Blackwells. In the Borders it can be found, inter alia, at the House of Soutra and at the wonderful Main Street Trading Bookshop in St Boswells.Border Brothers Cover It can even be bought from the Book Mark in Grantown on Spey.

On Soutra Open Days, organised by Dr Brian Moffat, Border Brothers has been on sale on site, whatever the weather. There will be more Open Days at the end of August.

Border Brothers is the story of the end of the hugely important and powerful mediaeval Abbey Hospital at Soutra in mid-fifteenth century, an event that is shrouded in mystery. If you stand on top of Soutra Moor, there are no visible ruins of the immense institution this once was; they are all underground. A suitable analogy for the record of its demise.  One can only ponder, imagine and create a story, which may or may not be near the truth. Where once stood this huge edifice, with a church that was at least as big as Jedbergh Abbey, now all is animal pasture and wind farms. The wonderful view towards the Forth and beyond however has not changed since those distant days, and if you gaze long enough at approaching storms from the north, you wonder if they are wandering ghosts of long ago.

 

MKRY Publishing Border Brothers in Borders Bookshops

#Shoutout 11:09 on Wed 07 Jun 2017 by MKRY Publishing   , , based in/near to

 

Being a Bookseller must be an even more precarious life than that of an indie-author. I have visited a number of web pages of fabulous-looking bookshops, only to find that they only exist in a virtual world. One in the Borders called ‘FounditatLast’ – in the back of beyond – had turned into a smithy and storage room!
Other bookshops find a way to flourish, like the fabulous Damascus Drum in Hawick and Mainstreet Trading Company in St Boswells. A cosy community cafe atmosphere in both is very welcoming.
I was on a pilgrimage, marketing my book ‘Border Brothers,’ set on Soutra in the Borders, so I’m getting to know my patch.
The beautiful House of Soutra Cafe – on the A68 just below Soutra Aisle – is a delightful place to stop for coffee and sticky cakes and buns. And it stocks some local books too, including mine!

Image may contain: text
Image may contain: outdoor
Image may contain: one or more people and text