My romantic suspense novella, The Scottish Diamond, is now available on pre-order on Amazon. I really enjoyed writing this story, not least because it’s set in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a city I love. If you’ve ever visited Edinburgh, you’ll know how easy it is to dream up romance and mystery in this unique and beautiful city.
Setting is important to me in all my stories, and in The Scottish Diamond I really felt the setting almost became a character in its own right, from the very opening scenes.
I thought I’d post some photos here today, interspersed with some extracts from The Scottish Diamond, so you can get a taster of my mysterious and romantic tale.
I had a premonition, even before the plane landed in Edinburgh, that things between us were about to take a turn for the worse. The weather was not on our side. On a clear day, there would be glorious views over Scotland as the plane descended; the sea lapping the coast, the arches of the Forth Bridge rising and falling over the river, and the Highlands just visible in the north, all greens and soft greys. But summer was over, and with the approach of autumn a low, sullen mist clung to the ground, swallowing up the aircraft as we made our descent, and creeping up to our windows as we juddered down the runway.
He took my hand, and as we began to stroll around the top of the hill, stopping several times to gaze at the sights below us, I gradually forgot all about the events of the afternoon. There was the high, rugged mound of Arthur’s Seat beside us, the sun glittering on the river Forth, the Palace of Holyrood, the bustling length of Princes Street with the Castle at the far end of it, and in the rare sun, my beautiful home city sparkled at its very best. All in all it was a wonderful contrast to the drab day of our arrival. And it was such a delight to show the sights off to Léon, who seemed to share so much of my joy in them, that I gradually dismissed my encounter with the men from Montverrier along with my actor’s superstitions.
Edinburgh Castle is more than eight centuries old. It looms over the city on top of a dark volcanic crag, and people say it was built on the site of a shrine to the witch Morgan le Fay. For hundreds of years its dark battlements have dominated the Edinburgh skyline, a symbol of royal power. This is no fairy tale castle, but one of military might. Whenever I pass through the imposing stonework of Portcullis Gate, I think of all the footsteps that have trodden this path before me down the ages – of the bloody battles, the royal ceremonies, of King James VI’s birth here, the deaths of queens, of Oliver Cromwell’s army, and of the doomed Jacobite uprising. The walls enclosing the castle bear witness to great turning-points in history. It’s a place to inspire awe.
Léon and I slowed our footsteps as we crossed beneath the stone gate and onto the cobbled interior. The sun was lowering in the western sky, and dark shadows spread from the battlements. A few tourists were still strolling around the Argyle Battery, the row of cannon that continues to point menacingly over the city. Of the two Montverrians there was no sign.
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I hope you enjoyed my extracts and photos, and the taster of Edinburgh – and The Scottish Diamond. The novella is available on pre-order now on Amazon, and will be released on Saturday – so if you’re looking for a weekend read to transport you away, I hope this will be just the thing!
Do you find the setting to a novel as important as I do? Would you ever choose a novel just for the setting alone? And have you ever visited Edinburgh, and if so, did you love it as much as I do? If you have any comments at all, I’d love to hear from you!