Great Summer Reads 1

historical cc for summer 2017

Do you want to travel this summer? Come on a journey without leaving your armchair. No matter what the weather is like, I can take you on a trip around the world to sunny climes, to sinister places, to past times as you’ve never experienced them before.

Journey across Europe on the hunt for lost treasures in Nancy Jardine’s thriller Topaz Eyes. Or relax in sunny Corsica while brave Rachel traces her family history through a cache of love letters (The House at Zaronza by Vanessa Couchman).

What if the story of Romeo and Juliet didn’t end the way we think it did? Travel to medieval Verona to relive the events of the famous play, in Sue Barnard’s The Ghostly Father.

Cathie Dunn takes us to the twelfth century in Dark Deceit, where England and Normandy are being torn apart by a bloody civil war. Young Alleyne de Bellac must decide which of her would-be protectors she can trust – the other is deceiving her for his own gain. Jennifer Wilson’s Kindred Spirit is a light-hearted look at the dead kings and queens of England – Richard III haunts the Tower of London, and he has plenty to say about modern day visitors to his haunted home.

And in Lamplight Olga Swan takes us on a journey across the world at the beginning of the twentieth century – from impoverished Birmingham to the bright lights of New York, David Klein seeks his vocation as a war photographer, finally finding himself recording the rise of Nazism in pre-war Germany.

And my books? The Calgary Chessman and its sequels are contemporary romances, but each has an archaeological theme. The first introduces the early mediaeval Lewis Chessmen, the second involves a dig at a 6th century monastic site, and the third investigates the march of the Roman Empire into eastern Scotland.

These are just a taste of what Crooked Cat has to offer. Why not join our reader community We love to hear comments from our readers – and if you’re fascinated by a particular part of the world or period of history, let us know. There might just be someone out there writing about it.

The Calgary Chessman

The Ghostly Father

Topaz Eyes

The House at Zaronza

Kindred Spirits: Tower of London


Dark Deceit






Here is my interview with Yvonne Marjot

My blog interview with Fiona McVie. Thanks, Fiona.


Y Marjot author pic Aug 2014

Name Yvonne Marjot
Age 52
Where are you from? I was born in England but grew up in New Zealand. Now I live on the Isle of Mull, off the west coast of Scotland.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Yvonne Marjot was born in England, grew up in New Zealand, and now lives on an island off the West Coast of Scotland. She has a Masters in Botany from Victoria University of Wellington, and a keen interest in the interface between the natural and human worlds. She has always made up stories and poems, and once won a case of port in a poetry competition (New Zealand Listener, May 1996). In 2012 she won the Britwriters Award for poetry, and her first volume of poetry, The Knitted Curiosity Cabinet, was published in 2014 by Indigo Dreams Publishing.

She has worked in schools, libraries and…

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…yeez’ll never guess… what do Crooked Cat Publishing, the Middle East, and Tobermory on the Isle of Mull have in common?…

…yeez’ll never guess… what do Crooked Cat Publishing, the Middle East, and Tobermory on the Isle of Mull have in common?….

The Calgary Chessman book launch – all welcome

Ever fancied a visit to the Isle of Mull? This Saturday, 6th September would be a great time to go. Not only is the weather still warm, with the prospect of sunshine, but the local book (and fishing gear) shop, Tackle and Books, will be hosting the launch of my novel, The Calgary Chessman. 11am to 1pm. I’ll be reading excerpts, signing books and enjoying a glass of wine or two with friends and visitors alike. It’s going to be great!

Of course, if you can’t be there you can still soak up the atmosphere of Mull by buying the print or e-book version of the book. It’s available from Amazon, Smashwords and direct from the publisher,

TCC first copy at Green Rooms Aug 2014

The Calgary Chessman – new book by Yvonne Marjot

Thanks, Angelika, for coming up with a really fun interview – and for hosting me on your blog.

Angelika Rust

Yvonne Marjot, the name rings a bell, doesn’t it? Right, over the past months, she contributed greatly to my little PublicTransport PoeTry project. Today, her book The Calgary Chessman was published. I’ll admit, I haven’t yet finished reading it, but I’ve read the first few chapters when it was still on authonomy, liked it a lot and thus was delighted when she asked me whether I’d be willing to bang a few drums for her.

So let’s move straight on to what she has to say.

WhoY Marjot author pic Aug 2014 are you?

My name is Yvonne Marjot, and that’s also the name under which I’m published. I did think about having a pseudonym, but my surname’s pretty unusual and I hope that means I stand out. Don’t worry if you’re not sure how to pronounce it – even my family aren’t entirely sure!

Until now, I thought it’d be with a j as…

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The Calgary Chessman today

My first novel is published today, by Crooked Cat Publishing, Edinburgh. Here’s the release info from the top of my launch page on Facebook:

RELEASED TODAY, the quite individual Scottish tale, Yvonne Marjot‘s THE CALGARY CHESSMAN

Buy in the UK:

Buy in the US:

And order yours in all major book stores.

Join us at for some good craic, and the chance to win some Calgary Chessman related goodies.TCC cover art front

Win a copy of The Knitted Curiosity Cabinet

Competition to win a copy of my poetry book, The Knitted Curiosity Cabinet. Just join The Calgary Chessman group on Facebook and post three words that best describe what you expect from my upcoming novel, The Calgary Chessman. The winner will be chosen by me in a completely non-random and partisan way. Competition closes 10 July.

If you’d like to know a bit more about the book, take a look at my blog post from 23 June 2014.

Getting the words from brain to page

I’ve had the most wonderful day. I spent it wrestling with the behemoth that is re-writing. At 11 o’clock this morning I didn’t think I was going to write anything – it was like squeezing a stone and expecting to get lemonade.

I gave up and went for a walk, a coffee and a read of the paper. I was making my slow way up the hill again when a story started to tell itself in the back of my head. I practically sprinted the rest of the way, in order to get onto the PC and start typing before I lost it again. I’ve now printed off 5000-odd words. It doesn’t look much, but it adds 9% to the novel, and it has completely answered my problem as to how to give the MC’s love interest a voice of his own.

It has been wonderful to have a whole day to dedicate to writing (even though I still spent a large proportion of it on writing avoidance strategies). It wasn’t so much the number of words – I can often get 500 or 1000 words done on a work day, although the housework and family suffer a bit – but to really get my head round a new idea or direction, I need the time spent walking, thinking, letting it percolate.

How is this interesting or useful, you ask? I suppose what I’m trying to say is that it’s okay to waste a day, allowing your ideas to ferment in your subconscious. You might not think you’re working, but your brain is still chewing away at it. And also that it’s terribly easy to lose heart, if you tell yourself you must write for the next two hours, and then it doesn’t happen. Persevere. It will be worth it in the end.

Queen of a sandy kingdom

To keep my hand in while I wait with (oh yes – it’s the perfect cliché) bated breath for the first copy of The Calgary Chessman to come off the presses, I’m going to tell you about my protagonist.

Cassandra Longmore is a New Zealander who finds herself marooned on an island off the West Coast of Scotland, following her divorce. Feeling lost and unloved, she walks away loneliness on the beach at Calgary Bay, generally with no more company than the wind and a few oystercatchers. One day she stumbles across a mystery buried in the sand. Researching her find and discovering where it has come from will open the door to friendships and the promise of new beginnings.

There are three men in her life: Sam, the son she loves, Ewan, the good friend to whom she is attracted, and the new man in her life, archaeologist Niall. All of them introduce Cas to new ideas and feelings, and challenge her to take charge of her life and move into the future and, when she stumbles, her best friend Bernie is there to pick her back up and administer a much needed dose of tough love.

The Calgary Chessman is the first in a trilogy of novels about Cas, her family and friends. Crooked Cat Publishers will release it as an e-book and print-on-demand on 16 August 2014. You’re all invited to my online launch party at or join the facebook group The Calgary Chessman if you’d like to get updates.