While it may be hard to believe, it’s that time of the month again! August has flown in and we’re looking forward to the busy numbers of tourists visiting Edinburgh for the Edinburgh Festival, Fringe and Book Festival.
At the top of the new releases list in Scottish fiction this month is this extraordinary and un-put-down-able wartime romance, We Fought for Ardnish.
Following the tremendous success of Ardnish Was Home (now on it’s 5th reprint), this is a sure-fire hit for the summer. The story focuses on a young Highlander recruited to his local regiment at the beginning of the Second World War, and follows his dangerous liaisons with a Canadian SOE agent.
We caught up with author Angus MacDonald to discuss all things writing, Ardnish and his latest novel –
Jenny: Firstly Angus, tell us a bit about your latest novel, We Fought for Ardnish…
Angus MacDonald: The book is the sequel to ‘Ardnish was home’, a romantic story about a lad growing up on the remote West Highland peninsula of Ardnish. At the outset of WW2 he joins the local regiment The Lovat Scouts and then switches to the Special Operations Executive (SOE), in order to fight with the French resistance. On a mission in the alps he meets Canadian SOE agent, Francoise who has a mission to complete. Their lives become intertwined; dangerous and romantic…
J: Set in the Second World War, how does this differ from your first novel? Did you undertake a lot of research in the period?
AM: The baby from the first book becomes the hero of the second. The stories of the highlands and Cape Breton in Canada are true and the details of the Lovat Scouts and SOE are accurate. The characters are fictional however.
J: Tell us about Donald Angus and Francoise, the heroine?
AM: Donald Angus is a proud, generous and capable lad, brought up in a very simple existence in a crofters house on the shoreline. A legendary bagpiper and soldier who is rapidly promoted, his love for his beloved highlands is completely authentic.
Francoise is strong, fearless and very intelligent. Her father is a doctor in Cape Breton, Canada. The deprivations she copes with during her mission behind enemy lines are remarkable.
J: Both of your novels are set (in part) in the Scottish Highlands – do you find your surroundings influence your writing? Why does this setting appeal to you?
AM: The village on Ardnish is a row of houses along a sandy beach with the islands of Eigg and Rum the view. Its impossible not to marvel at the beauty of this place, its stirs the heart.
J: Has your own background in the military influenced your writing?
AM: My ability to rise at 3.45 in the morning to write and discipline of focusing and getting on with the job may be a result of time in the army. But the writing is such a pleasure its easy to do really.
J: Since you’re not a full time writer – we’d imagine you have a very busy schedule. How do you find time to fit writing in?
AM: I write in the winter months, and the early start allows me to do my day job. The editing process as I work with Erica Munro, Jo-Anne MacDonald in Canada and Alison Rae from Birlinn is a long and sometimes painful experience.
J: We hear you have a great deal of publicity for your latest release – tell us all!
AM: BBC Alba, the Gaelic TV station, and Radio Nan Gaidheal came to visit Ardnish and interviewed me, aired on Monday 9th July. And BBC Scotland had Janice Forsyth interview me, really thorough and interested questioning. Nevis radio and Oban FM too. Lots of coverage in the regional press as well as The Scotsman so far. The Inverness Courier will run almost a full page along with their many subsidiary newspapers across the north of Scotland in mid July.
I’ll be at The Edinburgh Festival, Wigtown, Mallaig and Tobermory festivals over the course of the next few months.
J: If you had to sum up We Fought for Ardnish in a tweet, how would you describe it?
AM: A dangerous war time mission resulting in romance, ‘We fought for Ardnish’ is better than Outlander.
J: And if you imagine the reader you think would most enjoy this novel, how would you describe them?
AM: Considerate, exciting, loves adventure and the Highlands.
J: And lastly, if you could only recommend one place in Scotland for someone to visit, where would it be and why?
AM: Two miles north of Lochailort on the A830 past the stunning ‘Our lady of the Braes’ church, park in the big lay-by on the left. Peanmeanach is signposted, put on good boots and set along the same route that Donald Angus and the hundreds of people of Ardnish before him walked for two hours to their stunning village. Sit on the rock that Francoise would have as she looked down to where her beloved Donald Angus was brought up. Wave, then walk down to Ardnish and home…
Angus’s recommendation sounds truly blissful, as is his writing. We’d highly recommend We Fought for Ardnish as an addition to your range this summer – it’s available from Lomond now.
The search for the Loch Ness Monster has been ongoing for years – it attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to Loch Ness every year and many people have dedicated their lives to it.
Myths around the monster range from it being an escaped circus elephant to the last remnants of the dinosaurs, or just a floating tree branch.
But have you ever wondered what will happen if someone actually catches the Loch Ness Monster?
Nessie Code of Practice
Well, believe it or not there is actually an official code of practice for what would happen should Nessie be found.
Scottish Natural Heritage have been in possession of the ‘partly serious, partly fun’ plans since 2001, and according to BBC News SNH are preparing to bring out the code again – just in case – amid DNA collection from the loch.
Catch and Release
Should Nessie be found, the SNH will protect him or her as a new monster species and they have stipulated that once DNA samples have been taken, Nessie should be released to back into the loch.
SNH have added that should Nessie be discovered today, local communities and businesses would need to be consulted about her protection.
First Minister – ‘I’m a Believer’
Just last month, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that she believes in Nessie’s existence in the loch – and she joins a huge number of people who are convinced that this mythical creature lies in wait under the surface.
So why hasn’t Nessie been found yet? Well, it’s not for want of trying. With origins in 565AD, the tantalising, brief sightings of something in the water have kept cropping up in the news. There have been numerous small and large expeditions to find the monster – including a £1m operation in the 1980s.
But Loch Ness is not your average body of water. In fact, it contains more water than all of the lakes in England and Wales combined.
(and even at that, Loch Morar is deeper and Loch Lomond is bigger!)
It’s 23 miles long and at it’s deepest is 230m deep. That’s an awful lot of water to look in, and that gives Nessie plenty of opportunity to evade discovery!
So, the search for Nessie will continue – but at least we can all be safe in the knowledge that should the monster be found, it will become Scotland’s newest protected species and allowed to live in its natural habitat.
If you’re among the 400,000 people visiting Loch Ness this year be sure to keep an eye out for oor Nessie. And if you’re not, try your hand at spotting her on Google Earth!
July is here and with it summer has really hit its peak. With the lovely weather comes plenty of people venturing outdoors, and we have great guide books and maps for all areas of Scotland that are sure to be popular with tourists.
This month we’re also featuring children’s outdoor books in our Lomond Letter, alongside some great summer reads and new maps and guides. We have plenty of books to encourage children to explore the outdoors, as well as activity books to keep young mind occupied on family outings. Be sure to have a read of our July Lomond Letter over on our website, and take a look at our July catalogue!
It’s Monday, the sun is shining and it’s the beginning of a new month. July brings with it the start of the school holidays in Scotland and we’re sure to see an upturn in customer numbers as people get out and about to enjoy this surprise, sensational Scottish summer!
To help you to maximise your sales this month, we’ll be recommending a variety of books to encourage your customers to get outside and enjoy themselves – both adults and children, with titles across a variety of genres.
And for more in depth range recommendations bespoke to your outlet, speak to your sales representative now to arrange a visit – we can facilitate this for you from the office so just call us on 01506 855955 and we’ll take care of it for you!
Whisky – or uisge beatha – remains one of the world’s most popular spirits and Scotch its most famous and recognisable expression.
This large format hardback, The Story of Scotch Whisky, is a celebration of both whisky drinking and of Scotland, covering every facet, from the distilling process to guided tours of the best-loved distilleries of the Highlands, Islands and Lowlands.
Beautifully illustrated with more than 150 photographs and featuring numerous reproductions of items of whisky memorabilia, including letters, posters, licences and advertising art, readers can fully immerse themselves in the heritage of the nation’s favourite spirit.
Whisky’s history dates from the late fifteenth century. From these ancient origins this seasonal, homespun spirit gradually evolved into Scotland’s most famous liquid export, surviving wars, tax, temperance and Prohibition.
This volume retells the story of whisky and guides the reader around dozens of distilleries from Orkney to the Mull of Kintyre. Through the text and tasting notes, author Tom Bruce-Gardyne explains just the individual flavour and character of whiskies, even if produced just a few miles apart, can be so different.
We’ve just added The Story of Scotch Whisky to our special value range which means it now has a discounted selling price from £25 to just £9.99 – making it a superb value book for both you and your customers.
It’s available to order in all the usual ways and listed on the website here.
We’re thrilled to announce a new Lomond publication for later this year – an updated and re-formatted “Scotland’s Nature & Wildlife”. This popular title will be in the same format as Scotland’s 100 Best Walks, a compact and condensed paperback with a glossy cover. It’s an ideal size for visitors to take home, as well as for locals to keep on their bookshelves.
Here’s the book’s description:
Want to glimpse a falcon on a quiet crag, scent wildflowers close to the centre of town, or hear a whale’s breath out on the ocean?
Want to do it in Scotland?
This is the book that can point you there. Whether your interest is in wee beasties or large mammals, birds or plants, there’s something in here for you. Information on how, where and when to enjoy a host of Scottish wildlife is presented in easily read but authoritative text, illustrated by some of Scotland’s top wildlife photographers.
Distilled from the author’s decades of practical experience, this is one of the most comprehensive popular guides to Scotland’s wild side ever published. Part master class, part calendar, part gazetteer, and sprinkled with dozens of mini features on a wide range of species, it’s a choice blend, finely tuned to Scottish needs.
The geographical scope is vast, ranging from wave-pounded cliffs to the outermost isles to parks at the heart of cities. From Shetland to the Solway, the Western Isles to Grampian, and a host of areas in between, the book suggests methods and places to help you make the most of Scottish nature.
There’s something here for wild country rover and urban stroller alike. The message is simple – wherever you are in Scotland, if you want to get acquainted with some wild neighbours, you can. Let this book be your guide and inspiration.
Scotland’s Nature and Wildlife will be published by Lomond in August 2018 and will retail at £10.99. It’s available to pre-order now either through your sales representative or on the website.
Now in our special value range with a selling price of just £3.99, this hilarious children’s book is a superb buy.
David McNiven has a uniquely funny, rhyming style, that became popular in his previous collection of stories Granny and the Loch Ness Monster.
In this book for younger children, the mystery of the haggis is revealed…
“What is a haggis? Every year millions of people visiting Scotland ask this very question, and the answers they get are very often confusing!
Granny is having none of that nonsense though – haggis is made of minced meat and vegetables, of course.
That is, until she pops one in the pan and finds it eating all the vegetables…”
Comedic chaos ensues as Granny tries to catch the haggis. This will be a surefire hit with children and adults at story time.
Granny & the Wild Haggis is available from Lomond now.
The start of the 2018 World Cup is imminent, and even though Scotland aren’t playing, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some football fever!
For our young football fans, we highly recommend the Scotland Stars series from Floris. Aimed at ‘reluctant readers’, these stories are accessible and engaging, full of action and illustrations. There are also lots of extras like character cards to collect and football tips, puzzles and games.
The stories are based around 10 year old Calum Ferguson. He’s recently moved to a new town and is struggling to fit in, and is also fighting for a place on the school football team.
Packed with excitement on and off the field, these books will appeal to girls and boys interested in sport and football. There are six books in the series as we follow Calum from his new team right through to the cup final.
As the season marches on, our big cities are getting busier and busier. We have some fantastic maps in the range for visitors to Glasgow and Edinburgh from Quickmap Limited that are perfect pick-ups for your stores.
These simple and easy to use maps have a clear purpose – showing visitors what to see and h