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Scottish American Society

"These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves. By opening one of these volumes, one can call into range a voice far distant in time and space, and hear it speaking, mind to mind, heart to heart."
    - Gilbert Highet, Scottish-born American classicist (1906-1978)

We are always interested in information - fact or fiction - which features different aspects of Scotland or life there. 

Read any good books lately that will fit our parameters?  Please submit your review for this area.

Please Note:  Links mentioned within the author's reviews are not necessarily clickable.  If you wish to access the information, please copy and paste into your browser. 

A PARCEL OF ROGUES. The authors description; May 2022

A Parcel of Rogues is a quirky, tongue-in-cheek, madcap comedy set in Glasgow and the Isle of Skye. The author JAMES FINDLAY SLEIGH, doggedly hacked away writing this novel for over half a century(!) and thus suspects he might remain a one-book author. Opportunistic and crafty, the protagonists, Gourlay and his crony McMinn, become bumbling members of a group dedicated to setting Scotland free. One professional reviewer wrote,"This is a funny book, one brimming with deliciously irreverent insights".

If you type my full name, JAMES FINDLAY SLEIGH, into a search engine, a remarkable and global range booksellers who carry my novel is listed. The novel is available on Kindle for $9.95, in paperback for $19.95 ($16.13 at Abe Books), and in hardcover for $29.95.

Our own Bob Morehead has published a book of his poetry titled "A Collection of Lyrical Verse". It includes his losing poem in the last McGonagall contest. He notes:
Aspiring persons are permitted to preorder procurement of my poesy at this place:


By Charlie Maciejewski

This book is a tongue in cheek compilation of less than complimentary comments made about people and places in Scotland by (generally) wealthy visitors in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is a contrast to the current well deserved reputation of Scotland as a tourist destination. It will hopefully provide a bit of light relief during these strange times.
The quoted comments were made at a period when many Scottish ancestors left Scotland through necessity or choice to seek a better life. No doubt the authors of these comments would be surprised at just how much Scotland has improved, the success emigrants made of their new lives, and that the Scottish national identity still perseveres and indeed grows.
The book can be ordered from the publisher Luath Press Ltd, 543/2 Castlehill, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 2ND, website https://www.luath.co.uk. They currently have free shipping for international orders of over £30 ($42) should a few members like to get together to purchase copies.

The Scenery of Dreams: The True Story of Robert Louis Stevensons "Kidnapped".

By Lachlan Munro

Inspired by the authors retracing of the footsteps of David Balfour and Alan Breck from Mull to Edinburgh,The Scenery of Dreams; traces Stevensons inspiration in writing;Kidnapped,; one of the worlds best-loved adventure stories - the book that Stevenson himself was most proud of. The extraordinary feature of Stevensons classic, however, was that for the most part it was true, inspired by real characters and events, and this offers his readers a glimpse, not only of his creativity, but into a fascinating period of Scottish history - the aftermath of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745.

After describing the book's early origins, written when Stevenson was gravely ill, the author then takes us into the substantive world of Highland and Jacobite history, filled with amazing real-life characters such as Cluny MacPherson, Rob Roys wild sons, and of course, the legendary Alan Breck, accused of the mysterious;Appin Murder;

The book is available on Amazon.


Afore ye sail awa -- Jim Frost's The Scotland They Left is available for purchase.  Fill in the gaps of what you know about the Scotland your Great-Grandparents knew. 

Copies are available from JIM FROST @ $20 per.  Paper & spiral bound.  Contact Jim at:  330-882-0342, or jfrost1934@gmail.com


Farming Stories from the Scottish Borders: Hard Lives for Poor Reward
By Colin Whittemore (U. of Edinburgh, UK)
ISBN 9781910456743, Paper, $14.95 USD
156pp, B&W Ills., 2017
Published by Old Pond Publishing, an imprint of 5m Publishing (UK)
Distributed in North America by ISBS Publisher Services
Engaging, enjoyable and informative, Farming Stories from the Scottish Borders takes the reader through three centuries of change in the countryside, including two farming revolutions. Farming issues, past and present, are illustrated by recounting the lives of country people, from farm worker to estate owner. Focusing on the Scottish borders, but reflecting lives across the UK, these tales give historically factual accounts of real life people and their ups and downs in dealing with the forces of nature, the varying states of economic depression that swept through the countryside, and the everyday conflicts that arise in family life. Based on painstaking research and many interviews, as well as the author’s own personal experience of a lifetime in farming, Farming Stories from the Scottish Borders tells of the struggle against adversity and the human story behind modern farming ways. It will appeal to anyone who has an interest in the history of the countryside and the people who live and work in it.

By Robert Sibbald
Translated by Dr Lee Raye

Ancient Scottish nature comes to life in this new translation of Robert Sibbald’s classic natural history. Animals of Scotland was the first ever wildlife handbook for Scotland. Written in Latin three hundred and fifty years ago, this forgotten text has only now been translated into English by Dr Lee Raye of the Linnean Society.

This text describes a pivotal moment in Scottish history. In the seventeenth century, the wolf, the bear and the beaver had disappeared from across Scotland. Eagles still fished for salmon in the eastern estuaries, and wildcats chased hares across the Highlands, but the ecosystem was starting to fail. Robert Sibbald knew that Scotland’s animals were in decline, but tragically, he never connected the dwindling of the environment to the hunting of individual species. Animals of Scotland is the sad, sobering story of the intensified exploitation of Scotland’s natural resources for medicine, food and profit in the face of an environmental catastrophe.

Print book on Amazon: $16.99
Kindle ebook: $10.34 (or free with print book)

You can also contact the author on Facebook.

If I Settle on the Far Side of the Sea

By Dr. Brian Thompson


This is a first person account of the author’s journey from a childhood in Yorkshire (England) and adventures there, followed by crossing the Atlantic at the age of 16 to wind up in East Liverpool Ohio.  There he lived with his 83 year old Great Uncle until his marriage at the age of 18 and a move to the Cleveland area.


His life had many twists and turns – good and bad.  He persevered through it all with determination and a devout faith.  Those from the Cleveland area may recognize several local references.  It is interesting to see them from Dr. Thomson’s viewpoint.


At age 76 the author is still working full time in three professions:  attorney at law, certified public accountant, and lay minister.  He declares that the motto of the State of Ohio is true, “With God all things are possible.”


The sales price of the book is just $15.00. The best thing is to have people buy it from invisiblep.com. It is also available at Amazon.com.

If you can catch him, the author carries extra copies of his book in his van.



A Double Life

By David Hutchison


When respected Gentleman and City Councillor, Deacon William Brodie, chases his love of gambling, he is drawn deep into a double life. Before long the open respectability of day gives way to a hidden life of crime at night, and soon, Brodie is on a trajectory to disaster — one which leads him to the gibbet.

Set in the Edinburgh of 1788, Deacon Brodie: A Double Life is a fact-based novel which shows Brodie's love for gambling and risk sweeping him into a life of crime. Betrayed by an accomplice, and revealed as a "Gentleman by day, thief by night", Brodie escapes the city, is captured in Holland, then faced with a trial before a city where once he was a leading citizen.

When he is sentenced to be hanged, his closest friend has a different idea and, in full view of everyone, Brodie takes his riskiest gamble yet . . .

Deacon Brodie: A Double Life, a re-imagining of Will Brodie's last year in Edinburgh, is the first novel by David Hutchison and is available as either a Paperback or an e-Book from Amazon @

Paperback: $12.95 and $5.99, e-book. 


Visit David Hutchison @ http://bit.ly/1pC5d1K



Essays on Life

A book written 100 years ago by a Scottish farmer is helping to brighten up the lives of disabled children and adults in Scotland.

Farmer Thomas Mitchell (1870 – 1950) filled several school exercise books with essays on how to live a good life, which he presented to the local Mutual Improvement Association in Newburgh, Aberdeenshire. With chapters covering the art of living, the value of work, thrift, education and its values, he covers all aspects of life, with work being a strong theme throughout. “Work is a great teacher and work is essential to human dignity

Many of his contemporary readers feel his thoughts are just as relevant today as they were then, and those interested in history gain insight into Scottish rural societies in the years preceding the First World War.

One hundred years later, his granddaughter Sheila Harrison, thinking that the essays merited a wider audience and looking to raise funds for Crathie Opportunity Holidays (www.crathieholidays.org.uk) a charity of which she was chairperson, successfully submitted the essays for publication. Crathie Opportunity Holidays (COH) is a registered Scottish Charity which provides high quality accommodation for disabled people.

The Duchess of Cornwall, or the Duchess of Rothesay as she is known in Scotland, is a “proud Patron” of COH and she and Prince Charles have made several visits, the cottages being situated by the gates of Balmoral Castle, the holiday home of the Royal Family.

The book ordered directly from the publisher  www.vagabondvoices.co.uk is $20.84 which includes postage of approx. $6.75. The postage is per shipment so more than one book would be cheaper.  It is also available to e-readers.


"Whisky Tales: Tastings and Temptations"
By Linda L. Peterson

A fun filled how to guide for whisky tasting and collecting through the eyes of a single malt Scotch enthusiast's journey from novice to mastery.  The author speaks from experience.  She is well known for talks and tastings in the Boston (USA) area.

Kindle price:  $3.99
Hard copy price:  $24


Lorraine Johnston
Later Tartan Gator is a charming Scottish/American fusion; a children’s picture book suitable for under 7’s, full of fun and capers.Gator gets a shocking fright after some visitors to Audubon Zoo ignore the signs saying: DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS AT ANY TIME. How will Gator solve his colorful problem? Will anyone or anything come to his rescue?
(A portion of all book sales will be donated to St Thomas Community Health Centre in New Orleans) Available from Mascot, Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes and Noble. Website www.LaterTartanGator.com

by Jennie Havord
"An amazing tale of 70's life on a remote Scottish farm" Southall Film Studios

“I have to state right now that we never had any intention of buying a farm. Least of all in South West Scotland. It wasn't one of those nice, rational decisions that we all think we will make, when the time comes. It was totally irrational and made absolutely no sense at all - but we made it just the same!”

So begins a new life for Jennie and her actor husband Conrad, star of the long-running TV series, William Tell. This is the story of their titanic struggles against cold, wind, drought, disease, illness and ill luck of every kind in their establishing of a home and a viable farm against the backdrop of a mountain called Skeoch.

We feel with the author the joy of bringing a newborn lamb back from the brink of death, and the anguish of losing a herd of dairy cattle to brucellosis. There is the day when the hay garnered at great pains blows away along with the barn in which it was stored, and times when financial ruin threatens. There are deprivations, born with fortitude and good humour, but also the delights of introducing two small daughters to life on the farm and the natural world around it.

This is a book which envelops you in its world and has you feeling every disaster and every triumph as if you had lived it.
 It has been published by Any subject books as a paperback and also as an e-book and is available on Amazon under the title Skeoch. It  can also be purchased on the following link: http://www.anysubject.com/skeoch-our-new-life-on-a-scottish-hill-farm.

A Hitch-Hikers Guide to Scottish Independence
Andy Pickering was a middle-aged accountant who had loathed his dull job for thirty years. He was on his third mid-life crisis and desperately needed an interesting project before he started self-harming. Although English, Andy had a lifelong fascination with Scotland and was an expert on the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion, his specialist subject when he won a place on the BBC's Mastermind. When it was announced that there would be a Scottish independence referendum held in the autumn of 2014 and that there was now a very real chance of Scotland leaving the United Kingdom, he resigned, hoisted up his rucksack and set off to see what all the fuss was about. Despite not having hitched a lift since his student days, he thumbed the route of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite Army from the Highlands of Scotland to the southernmost point they reached in Derby, then back north to Inverness, the scene of their final defeat. Along the way he talked to the people he met to find out what both the Scots and English think about themselves, each other, and independence. The result is an affectionate, amusing and controversial book which gives real insight into the minds of the Scots and the English, and the possible outcome of the independence referendum. This is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the political future of the United Kingdom.
 Available as an E-book via Amazon Kindle Store

John Newlands Books

Go on to Amazon.com/ select Kindle Books/ then type in John Newlands in search box at top.

My four books should then appear...and  they are..

1) A Sprint Down Memory Lane.

2) When I had more hair than Elvis ( a continuation of Sprint).....

3) The Brightest Star (Currently #1 Best seller in its category on Amazon in the UK)

4) Hame made Scottish Poetry....Wi'  a Free translation for foreigners.

The first two I mentioned concern life as I remember it growing up as a wee boy in Barrhead and going on through to getting married in 1967. These books offer a broad look at life through the 50's 60's and 70's and are mainly humourous...but also tinged with sadness and poignancy.

The Brightest Star is about a young Guardian Angel righting a wrong for a terminally ill girl here on Earth.

And finally my book of poems...These are daft wee poems which cover Scottish weather...midges...Scotsmen's drinking habits....and much more.

A Sprint Down Memory Lane by John Newlands (Feb 25, 2012) - Kindle eBook = $1.70

When I Had More Hair..Than Elvis. (A Sprint Down Memory Lane Book 2) by John Newlands (Sep 8, 2012) - Kindle eBook - $1.70

The Brightest Star by John Newlands (Jan 25, 2013) - Kindle eBook - $1.50

Hame Made Scottish Poems...Wi' Free Translation for Foreigners. by John Newlands (Jun 29, 2013) - Kindle eBook – Kindle purchase - $.0.99


A Timber Idol: Mr Punch in Scotland, by Martin MacGilp


Probably everyone has heard of the popular puppet show of Punch & Judy, but perhaps most people do not think of it as being particularly “Scottish,”  but did you know that Mr Punch has been amusing Scots for almost 350 years?  Mr Punch is usually thought of as being the “Common Man,” and as such he is of all Nations and no Nation – he is all of us. Mr Punch has enduring popularity, and is a part of many cultures around the world – his puppet show is funny, slapstick, and very silly! A book examining the historical evidence of Mr Punch in Scotland has been published, and is available now.


This book examines the evidence for Mr Punch in Scotland, from the seventeenth century right up to contemporary times. Punch’s Italian origins are considered, along with information about some of the performers who have kept this silly, funny and entertaining folk-play alive across the centuries. After examining the evidence for Mr Punch in many locations throughout Scotland, some direction is given to those who would seek further information on the subject, and also to those who may desire to take up with Punch and Judy themselves. Many illustrations, mostly in colour, show a variety of colourful puppet characters who have entertained Scottish audiences over the years, and shows Punch, Judy, the Baby and other cast members in a number of performing situations, such as on the street, on beaches and indoors.


Paperback. Over 200 pages, more than 100 illustrations, several tables, appendices and an index.

ISBN 978-0-9571881-0-5


Retail price £25 UK Pounds plus shipping, available from www.gilpress.co.uk.  Or contact Martin MacGilp, 10 Cullernie Gardens, Balloch, Inverness, IV2 7JP, Scotland, UK.

e-mail is   martin.macgilp@btinternet.com



Amazing New Year Sale on  'Max Power and the Bagpipes' book right now:

Buy 1 copy, get 2 FREE! That's 3 great gifts for wee ones for the price of 1 ($17.99) ! 

Please check it out at www.powerfamilies.com 

Max Power and the Bagpipes
by Suse Moore and Andy Elkerton

Join Max Power and his sheepdog Haggis for a fun-filled, action packed adventure on his Scottish farm when he tries to conjure up the wind with an old pair of bagpipes. This delightful, hardcover book for children 3-7 years old is from award-winning children’s publisher, Jack Hook.  The story is beautifully written with fantastic illustrations and the books are printed in the USA. 

Please order through www.powerfamilies.com

author comments:
The Forgotten Rebellion
Ben Rudall

Scotland, 1815.Courageous and beautiful Maggie Burns becomes swept up in an elaborate plot that will destroy the heart of Scotland and England forever. Propaganda and rumour turn the Scottish people against England, causing rebels to take up arms and fight. Maggie is targeted by a mysterious monk to solve a mystery that will change Britain as we know it. Along with Richard, to whom Maggie feels herself drawn, they undertake their quest. Yet, as Maggie finds out to her peril, not everyone is as they seem and more than one person is using the art of double crossing .... Benjamin Rudall has produced an intricately detailed historical novel, The Forgotten Rebellion, which engages the reader to accompany Maggie on her journey to find out the truth. Written against a backdrop of the battle of Waterloo, violence, romance and history combine together to create a unique experience of Britain in the early 1800s


Available from Amazon.com


author comments:
This is a Photographic Journal, self-published by Raymond Eagle and printed by Friesens of Altona, Manitoba on high quality paper. It has a soft-cover and is 8-1/2” by 11” with 96 pages. The price is $20 plus postage where applicable (total $25 in Canada - $28 to U.S.) Contact details: r.eagle@telus.net or 1-604 886 7444. Mailing address: 28-696 Trueman Road, Gibsons, B.C. V0N 1V8, Canada

Here is a selection of photographs plus the cover. I have taken the photos over the past 35 years on visits to the Highlands and the Inner and Outer Hebrides. The book contains approximately 100 photos from full-plate to 1/4 page, landscapes and seascapes that capture the beauty of this land of lochs and mountains. It also includes some historical text and four biographical profiles  that I wrote for "The Highlander" magazine.  They are: Marjory Kennedy-Fraser, who researched and published the three volume "Songs of the Hebrides"; Sir Hugh Roberton who founded and conducted the famous Glasgow Orpheus Choir; the Rev. Kenneth MacLeod who collaborated with Kennedy-Fraser, and also wrote "The Road to the Isles", and Seton Gordon the naturalist/historian whose biography I wrote, which was published in Scotland in 1990. Their lives are unique and truly inspirational. 



The book, called Favourite Scots Words, is available for reading on a kindle from Amazon: link  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Favourite-Scots-Words-Betty-Kirkpatrick-ebook/dp/B00MFP4N2E/. Alternatively you can download a kindle reading app for free at www.amazon.com/gp/kindle/kcp.and read the book on your iPad or other tablet etc.

Note: Favourite Scots Words, previously available only as an ebook,  is now also available as a printed book  from Amazon.             

Favourite Scots words

This e-book consists of a series of articles giving a light-hearted look at some of my personal favourite Scots words. The articles give the meaning (or meanings) and history of the words and often provide example phrases or sentences showing how the words are actually used. A simple guide to pronunciation is given where this is necessary.

Scots is rich in words which somehow manage to capture the very essence of the meaning being conveyed much more successfully than their English counterparts. Such words include swither which means to be completely undecided about which course of action to take and to keep changing your mind; trauchled used to refer to someone who is absolutely exhausted and harassed; carnaptious meaning ill-tempered; in a dwam an expression indicating that you are not paying any attention to the present situation because mentally you are somewhere else or are in a state of utter blankness; snell bitterly cold, as of a winter wind;  stramash, a row or uproar.

Sadly many of our Scot words are no longer as commonly used as they once were because we have failed to pass them down to succeeding generations. The words are a very important part of our Scottish heritage and we need to make sure that they are not forgotten. I hope my book will help to do this.


Author comments:
The Mortal Messenger by Ruxton Brown

Jack Munro is a journalist and was embedded with The Black Watch Regiment in Afghanistan. The indelible name “The Black Watch” has resonated across continents for centuries and its repute in battle is legendary. These indomitable Celtic warriors hail from Scotland, a land of great mystery.


During a skirmish in Afghanistan, while saving a soldier’s life, Jack is seriously injured and is comatose for a month, during which time news of his heroic deeds have spread. When he wakes from his coma, Jack is embarrassed to discover he has become a national hero. Not comfortable with the adulation, he disappears from the limelight and retreats to Balhousie Castle in Scotland, headquarters of The Black Watch Royal Regiment.


Jack discovers a chest of old documents that span 500 years and engages the help of experts to decipher them. The documents tell the story behind the founding of the United States and the International Banking System. These are secrets that shouldn’t be told – explosive, controversial and fodder for dark forces.


Jack is visited by a spirit entity and becomes coerced into their world – recruited by them to be their Mortal Messenger. In turn, Jack finds himself living between both worlds, exploring history’s deceptions, secrets, and lies. However, exposing the truth is dangerous work and dark forces are against him. Both worlds are rapidly changing and there is much work to be done.


Ruxton Brown sets the stage in part one of this extraordinary story, leaving the reader unable to determine what is real and what is fiction. The Mortal Messenger is a game changer in the thriller genre, as the blurred line between truth and fiction will leave the reader changed forever. Ruxton Brown truly sets the spark that ignites a revolution, inspiring an evocative way to view ourselves.

EBook Digital Download $3.99 @ www.BlackWatchDomain.com
Paperback $14.99 @ www.BlackWatchDomain.com
Will be released by Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and Apple's iBookstore in approximately 30 days.

By Nancy Parsons
This delightful book about growing up in a Scottish American household is one that should be preserved and cherished by all those who share the same experiences.  Perhaps it will shed a little light on the subject for those who do not have the same heritage.   In any case, it is a pleasant read for anyone.  I highly recommend it. 
Order from the author at:  writer.parsons@verizon.net
Or from this website:  www.foursquare-books.com.  Reviews and excerpts are included there.



James Loftus

The author comments:

I am the author of Celtic Blood a historical novel set in 13th century Scotland. I watched Roman Polanski's MacBeth as a small boy in the 70's and was mesmerised by this dark tale of psychological decay driven by ambition. The inevitable fate of MacBeth who seemingly is blessed by the three weird sisters. MacBeth, inspired an ambitious novelist, me. Celtic Blood the novel, like MacBeth the play, is driven by paranormal forces that dictate the course of lives. Celtic Blood, like MacBeth, is driven by the same themes of love, betrayal, death, within, a weirdness where what is sometimes is not, and what can't be sometimes, is. A longing for a more unspoilt and wilder earth where the forests are endless and untouched and man must be all that he can, to exist for nature rules, not he.
Nigel Tranter is also an inspiration, he brings history to life. My work is meticulously researched, and casts a light down the ages reflecting the acts of those who preceded.

This book is available from Amazon.com


The book Captains of Concrete by author Sonny Moran is about North America's first self-propelled ship made of concrete.  
The book can be purchased at this Web site http://captainsofconcrete.web.officelive.com/info.aspx


The Mystery Animals of the British Isles:

The Western Isles (ISBN 9781905723423)

This award winning book covers both the Inner and Outer Hebrides and brings together for the first time reports of the strange and mysterious animals from past centuries to the modern day.

The land, inland waters and surrounding sea are all covered; reported sightings include demon dogs, big cats, water horses, lake monsters, sea serpents, mermaids, Albert the lonely albatross, and the fate of the great auk.

Featuring werewolves on Lewis, big cats on Mull and Colonsay, faery dogs on Uist, sea monsters in the cool waters off Skye and dragons on Islay, while Benbecula has played host to a multitude of creatures including faery dogs, a bear, a globster, and there is even the grave of a mermaid to be found - the only sign of a tragic tale.

Complementing the text are illustrations, maps, an illustrated spotter’s guide, a glossary, and a comprehensive index. The book covers subjects as diverse as cryptozoology, folklore, history and mystery and will be of interest to inhabitants of and visitors to the islands alike.

Variously described as ‘a cracking read’, ‘an excellent and valuable study’, ‘the work of an old world story teller’ and ‘a travel guide’ The Mystery Animals of the Western Isles is in a league of its own.

The book is available in the United States at: www.amazon.com

It is currently priced at from $19.65



By John Young


I have just published an historical novel based on almost 30 years of research into an apparent piece of Scotland’s missing history. The title is 'The Scottish Armada', which features Lord John Maxwell 8th Lord of Caerlaverock Castle near Dumfries in Scotland as the principal hero.

I was born in Glasgow and moved to Ayr where I started researching my historical novel as the result of locating Spanish galleons sunk in the Solway Firth. 
The story is based on the involvement of Scottish Catholic Lords with Philip II of Spain, where a plan was agreed to land Spanish troops at Kirkcudbright near Caerlaverock Castle in 1588 and join with the Scottish Catholics to attack England. I have documented proof that Lord John Maxwell, Earl of Morton was in Madrid with Philip II to formulate these plans, from the translations of Philip’s papers the ‘Simancas’.

'The Scottish Armada' ISBN 9781449023898 and is now launched and is available in 32 outlets including Amazon etc. www.bookbutler.com will give full details. I felt it might be of interest to your members. The novel was launched in Kinsale, Ireland, where I live, on the 28th November and was well received.

The launch in Scotland will be in the spring of 2010. If you require further information please contact me.
Sincerely John Young


Contact John via e-mail at:  igraine_camelot@hotmail.com


My Mother's Cousin and Other Memorable Characters
by Bill "Snakebite" Ferguson
Bill writes of his book: "It is a series of short stories covering my Uncle Jock's adventures from the 2nd. World War in North Africa to his civilian life as a senior official working in the deep level gold mines near Johannesburg. Those mines are more than two miles deep. I also write about some of his contemporaries and some of the real characters I worked with in the same mines. I had a career in mining that spanned forty seven years, and describe what it was like working more than 12000' underground. There are thirty four stories in the book and my Uncle is the central character. He was my mother's cousin and he and my father, both single at the time, immigrated to South Africa in the mid-thirties. They had worked in Knockshinnoch coal mine in New Cumnock, Ayrshire."
The book is 267 pages in length, including foreword and glossary and costs $18 (Cdn).  For more information, you may contact the author,
Bill Ferguson.   Box 519, Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba, Canada.  R0E 1A0
or via e-mail at:  mbferg@mts.net
This book is a jolly good read.  It provides an insight into mining operations that can only be provided by someone who has been there, and amusing anecdotes about an uncle who must have been a real and very Scottish character. [m.a.f.]. 

My Mother's Cousin. To link to the author's Blog page, click here

Scotland:  A Very Short Introduction by Rab Houston.
This is an excellent summation of Scottish history, covering everything from the Jacobites to devolution and the modern economy.  It has it all - in brief - or at least about as brief as it is possible to be and still contain information that will be useful.  This is Scotland's story without the myths.  While the myths are delightful, sometimes you need just the plain unvarnished (and unexaggerated) truth.  This book has it.  No doubt it should be on all our bookshelves. 

To order this book, contact the Oxford University Press, 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016-4314.  Or e-mail andrew.varhol@oup.com

Better yet, click here for the link to Amazon.com:

Scotland and the Hebrides, by Robert Colley

This is a 260 page book of color photographs of Scotland and the offshore islands compiled over 40 years.  It is an American photographer’s homage to the land of his

ancestors. The book divides into six sections, each with its own historical commentary and accompanying poetry: the mainland and then 5 of the Hebridean islands: Lewis, Harris, Skye, Mull, and Iona.

The book can be ordered via the web site standingstonebooks.net, for $32.  The shipping is free. The book can also be ordered by contacting the author directly at standingstonebooks@gmail.com.


A Scottish Year: Twelve Months in the Life of Scotland’s Kids

A Scottish Year is a picture book bursting with national pride. It is a snapshot of Scotland as a nation, blending modern-day culture and lifestyle with past traditions and strong heritage. Its pages feature meandering text, dates and gorgeous illustrations, showcasing five Scottish children at play, at school, at home, and enjoying the sights and sites of Scotland-from heather-strewn Highlands to historical cities, pristine outer islands and charming rural towns.

For families with Scottish heritage, along with schools and families wanting to explore the heritage of other nations, this book is a must.

Published by:  EK Books (a division of Exisle USA/distributed by Quarto/QDS) for more information, contact Jennifer Prost:  jprostpr@comcast.net, Web site: http://www.jenniferprost.com



By K.D. Neill


My debut novel, which is based on true events, is the adventure story of two young Scotsmen who immigrate to the Cape Colony in South Africa in the 19th Century, sent to save the Xhosa natives from extinction.

This is the first volume from the DECEIT OF THE EMPIRE, trilogy and is available from Amazon books, paperback and download from Amazon Kindle. This is a historical novel set in 19th century South Africa in the Cape Colony.

You can read all about it on my website www.kdneillbooks.com .

This book is not suitable for under 18s.



Free as the Wind by Ian Couper
Book available as e-book on Kindle and Kobo – links and full synopsis on website www.ic-booksandmusic.co.uk
Scottish short stories embracing the wonderful Scottish island and mainland scenery with contemporary and nostalgic story lines. They encompass traditional folklore and mysticism, tragedy and historic events.
FREE AS THE WIND  -PART 1 – A short story set around a proposed oil industry development on the Hebridean island of Skye and the magical, mystical opposition to the project from around the Outer Hebrides.
FREE AS THE WIND - PART 2 – A follow-on story that includes additional locations in Orkney together with visits to the parliaments in Westminster and Holyrood. It also features Chinese involvement and all again set within a mystical and folklore background.
THE LASSA STORIES – A series of short stories portraying life and events on a fictitious Hebridean island set in the nineteen sixties: Never on a Sunday / The Stranger / Ship in distress / The Big Match / Iain’s eventful summer.
LASSA 2012 – The next generation visits the fictitious island and becomes embroiled in a further adventure set around a renewable energy project.
THE WITCH OF KINTYRE – Revenge and romance set around the Kintyre peninsula and also featuring the gloriously scenic islands of Islay and Gigha.
SAFE AND SOUND – A short story about two friends escaping after the battle of Culloden against the background of a family feud. It is set around Ross-shire and Helmsdale in the Sutherland area of Scotland.

Old Man of Hoy, one of the stories in Frank Demain’s collection of four short stories, Off the Beaten Track.

Our Scottish hero, Peter Sinclair, crosses from Orkney Mainland to Hoy in search of his family roots and discovers an illicit distillery – to his cost – and I mean substantially more than just a sore head from drinking substandard whisky!

The intrepid traveler also encounters some unexpected adventures whilst seeking a leisurely break with family and friends. He is drawn into a dispute between rival criminal gangs as he cruises around the Canary Islands and is drawn into an attempt to smuggle stolen diamonds into Spain; he is accidently caught up in a planned uprising led a criminal resurrection of the National Liberation Committee of Istria in Croatia; and he encounters a band of ruthless smugglers in a cave on the North Yorkshire coast of England.

Off the Beaten Track is now available from Amazon on your Kindle, iPad or other e-reader for only $ 1.47!




Selected Poems and Songs

of Robert Burns

edited by Robert P. Irvine.

This marvelous new selection offers Burns's work as it was first encountered by contemporary readers, presenting the texts as they were originally published. It reproduces in its entirety the volume which made Burns famous--Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, published at Kilmarnock in 1786--and it showcases a generous selection of songs from The Scots Musical Museum and A Select Collection of Scottish Airs, complete with their full scores. Robert Irvine's Introduction examines Burns's life and career, the publication of his poetry, his later concentration on song writing and song collecting, and the political contexts in which he wrote, both local and national, before and after the French Revolution. Comprehensive notes describe the circumstances in which other poems and songs found their way into print, both before and after the poet's death. The edition also includes early reviews and important letters by Burns, a glossary of Scots words that explain obscure expressions, and explanatory notes clarifying historical references, composition and publication details, and much more.

Handsomely produced with original illustrations, maps of places often mentioned in Burns's poems, head and tail bands, and a ribbon marker, this superb selection makes an ideal gift for anyone who loves poetry, folk music, Scottish culture, or Romantic literature.

$24.95 - Available from Oxford University Press - www.oup.com


Just a Little Drop More
by Gordon MacLeod
Gordon MacLeod, a Scottish author, released his third novel on
Amazon, for Kindle and other applications, during the third week of
July 2012.
'Just a Little Drop More', follows in the footsteps of his previous
successful releases about the Clearances in 2011, and about the threat
to the environment of a Scottish island in 2009.
Gordon's last novel recieved good reviews in the press in the United
Kingdom, in the United States, and on Amazon.
His first novel published in 2009 by Tartan Moon was one of that
publisher's best sellers at the time, and was compared by them to a
modern day 'Whisky Galore'.
'Just a Little Drop More', by Gordon MacLeod, was released on
Amazon for Kindle in mid-July, priced $7.63:

'76 Arran
Gordon MacLeod
A novel based on the Clearances that took place on the island of Arran in Scotland.  It follows one man's attempts to trace his ancestors, taking him across parts of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.  As part of his quest, he has a plan to mark these momentous events.
The novel is on Amazon for Kindle and other applications.  Simply type in, when on the Amazon bookstore, the words '76' and 'Arran' and it will come up priced around US $1.50.



How would 16th Century Scotland have been handled by 21st century media networks?  In contrast, we have Maolcolm, a man of the church, relating his storied life to the patrons of a 16th Century alehouse.  Clamoring outside is a Scotland undergoing one tumultuous event after another.

Available copies from Jim Frost include shipping and handling at this price - $10.00
Maolcolm's charmed life and a penchant for story-telling wouldn't have come as a surprise to the monks of Kilkillian Priory in Ireland where he was raised as a lad.  They would never find out, however for they lay dead, slaughtered by those who lusted for the presumed wealth of the monasteries of the sixteenth century and others, who were caught in the frenzy of reducing to mere brick and mortar a church they thought had strayed.
Maolcolm, the son of a midwife and blacksmith, two professions with exceptional powers, would carry on their legacy under the guise of a penitent banished from the priory in order to do penance in Scotland just as an ancient predecessor had done. Maolcolm follows pilgrim tracks across midland Scotland oblivious to the turmoil going on around him, including of all things, the Protestant Reformation.  As he travels, he encounters endless perplexing individuals, some reasonable, some saintly and some downright daffy.  His adventures enchant endless audiences in ancient alehouses or wherever he is able to assume his place beside the hearth.
There's a seriousness to Maolcolm's quest to accomplish the tasks that the monks of Kilkillian want him to accomplish, but alas, forces beyond his control twist his mission within a mix of sometimes tragic, sometimes triumphant, but always colorful circumstances.  A fatal error in judgment at the end of his journey was by design as we come to find out.
It wasn't his passing that was so disturbing, it was the demise of oral traditions and old belief systems that otherwise would be transmitted naturally to future generations.  Imperative was the need to find an ear to hear his story and possibly save the wealth of traditions for another millennium.  All is told in the old alehouse on the west coast of Scotland. 

Books are available only through the author Jim Frost at:  jfrost1934@nls.net
or call:  330-882-0342. 
Appeal  The Scottish and Irish among us
             Those who love fantasy
             Those who have a love of history
Others who have found as I did that 16th century Scotland is an endless source of movie plots.


By Alexander McCall Smith
This is a charming mystery written with an eye to detail for all those who know Edinburgh well.  Isabel Dalhousie, a middle aged, rather well off lady, is rather fond of problems - even though she knows they are none of her business.  When she witnesses the death of someone she doesn't know, she makes it her affair to find out more about it and to solve the mystery behind it.  A good read.  Alexancer McCall Smith has written other books, well worth pursuing:
The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Tears of the Giraffe
Morality for Beautiful Girls
The Kalahari Typing School for Men
The Full Cupboard of Life
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies



A Cadger’s Curse

By Diane Gilbert Madson

Who’d have guessed that running employee background checks at a data corporation would make DD McGil the target of a ruthless killer?

For DD, a thirty-something English professor turned investigator, the routine job should have been a welcome distraction from her fiancé’s death and her eccentric aunt’s quest to authenticate a literary treasure.

Relying on her own moxie (bolstered by the occasional shot of Glenlivet),and help from others, she races to find out the source of high-tech treachery at the data corporation.

Available from www.midnightinkbooks.com, $14.95 US.


Farming Stories from the Scottish Borders

By Colin Whittemore


This book is about the generations of people who have made the farms we know today. Engaging, enjoyable and informative, the author uses various family experiences to take the reader through three centuries of change in the countryside, including two farming revolutions.


Farming Stories from the Scottish Borders can be ordered directly from the Old Pond website: https://www.oldpond.com. For further information please email victoria.delahunty@5mpublishing.com.


Working Scottish Trucks: Through the Lens

By Ian Lawson


Working Scottish Trucks is a photographic book bringing together 262 images of commercial vehicles spotted across some of the most scenic parts of Scotland. The beautiful landscapes offer a fantastic backdrop to the large range of haulage companies based in this rural, rugged and often difficult area. With just one picture per page, this book reproduces Ian Lawson’s perfectly captured shots to maximum effect.


Working Scottish Trucks can be ordered directly from the Old Pond website: https://www.oldpond.com. For further information please email victoria.delahunty@5mpublishing.com.