It’s All About The Books – Book Week Scotland 2023 @scottishbooktrust

As it’s currently Book Week Scotland here in my home country, I reckoned now would be a good time for a post about my current favourite contemporary Scottish authors.

It wasn’t easy to pick only a few of the many wonderful writers who are either Scottish or based in Scotland so in the end I went with the ones who came immediately to mind. So here you go…

It will come as no surprise to regular readers of my blog that my favourite genre is contemporary romance so I’m going to start with that category.

Margaret Amatt: amazingly prolific and author of two wonderful series – one set on the Scottish island of Mull and the other set in the Scottish Highlands in fictional area of Glenbriar. I can’t wait to read her latest in the Glenbriar series Snowdown at the Old Schoolhouse which will be published in a few days’ time on the 18th November.

From the back cover:

Whatever happens this Christmas, they didn’t forecast this!

When charismatic and handsome weather presenter Marcus Bowman walks back into Willow Roxburgh’s life three weeks before Christmas, her quiet job as an admin worker at the Old Schoolhouse residential care centre in Glenbriar is shattered. He’s not only the man she used to crush on, he’s also the one who thwarted her TV forecasting dreams.

But she’s no longer the anonymous studio assistant; she’s secretly Scotland’s new favourite weather forecaster, Rocky Rainman.

With the Schoolhouse facing closure, Marcus is on an assignment to drum up festive support. However, he’s discovered the internet sensation Rocky Rainman lives somewhere nearby and is determined to expose him after Rocky’s recent damaging comments on social media. Seeing Willow, the girl he used to obsess over, shakes his priorities.

When a blizzard hits, Willow and Marcus are snowed in, and she discovers her perception of him wasn’t as accurate as her forecasts. Marcus isn’t convinced it’ll be a white Christmas, but he’s determined to win Willow’s heart. Can their new love weather storm if he discovers her secret? Because how can there be a future for Marcus Bowman and Rocky Rainman?

Author Website

Nina Kaye: writes lovely standalone romantic novels. My favourite one is One Night in Edinburgh. The story starts at Hogmanay so it’s a good one to read over the coming festive season as the new year approaches.

From the back cover:

One night. But how many second chances?

Heartbroken on Hogmanay, Steph wanders through the Edinburgh street party until she bumps into Jamie. He’s funny, attractive and clearly interested. In a word, he’s perfect – but she didn’t get his number. All she remembers is his lime and mango beer.

Determined to be reunited, Steph tracks him by a milk carton style campaign, sticking a message to his favourite beer across local pubs. Although eventually reunited, Jamie is frequently uncontactable and evasive, and Steph worries she’s on the path to heartbreak once more.

There’s a fine line between being patient and being gullible, and Steph’s reaching her limit. When a chance encounter with Jamie reveals his secret, she faces an even tougher decision. Should Steph give love another chance, or was one night in Edinburgh all she and Jamie were meant to have?

Author Website

Mhairi McFarlane: I’ve enjoyed all of this authors books very much. Her latest is Between Us and I loved it.

From the back cover:

 When Joe and Roisin join their group of friends for a weekend away, it’s a triple celebration – a birthday, an engagement and the launch of Joe’s new crime drama on TV.

But when Roisin sees secrets she shared with Joe play out on the TV screen, she knows that between us means nothing at all.

Roisin finds herself searching for clues to the truth – about her life, their history, and the man she thought she loved. And it’s then that Roisin finds the most unexpected plot twist of them all. Among those same old friends, there’s a surprising potential for new beginnings . . .

Author Website

Maggie Christensen: Maggie is Scottish born but Australia dwelling and she writes romantic fiction where the main characters are ‘mature heroines coming to terms with changes in their lives and the heroes worthy of them’.  Her books are so refreshing as they show that falling in love can happen past the age of forty and that you’re never too old for love and romance. I’ve very much enjoyed her latest series set in the fictional town of Bellbird Bay in Queensland and the latest one in the series Celebrations in Bellbird Bay is yet another great read.

Sandy Elliot is devastated when a fire destroys her new business and doesn’t know how she can go on. When she receives a call from her grandmother’s old friend seeking her help, a trip to Bellbird Bay seems like the answer to a prayer.

Rob Andrews is proud of what he has achieved with Bay Bikes, the business he set up when he returned from Afghanistan. But the memory of his time there still plagues him and has always prevented him from forming any close relationships, afraid his deep-seated guilt and recurrent nightmares would scare off any woman foolish enough to become involved with him.

Upon meeting, it’s certainly not love at first sight. Sandy hates his beard and tattoos while Rob, though attracted to Sandy, doesn’t believe he deserves to find happiness.

But Bellbird Bay is a small town, and their paths continue to cross, making it impossible for them to ignore each other or to deny the attraction between them.

With the festive season approaching, can Sandy and Rob overcome their pasts and enjoy a celebration of their own?

Author website

As a writer of romantic fiction, it’s probably not surprising that it’s my go to genre for my reading as well. But I do occasionally need a break from all the kissing and cuddling and my go to genre when that happens is crime fiction.

Scotland has so many famous crime authors, it’s hard to pick a favourite but leaving aside the usual suspects (see what I did there?) … I have chosen just one author in this category and it’s one whose latest book is a wee bit different.

Helen Forbes: Author of several crime fiction novels, this writer’s latest, The Queen of Grime, is a refreshingly original take on this genre. The main character isn’t a detective or forensic scientist. She’s a crime scene cleaner and the story is gripping from the start.

From the back cover:

The Queen of Grime is about to pay. Big time.

Erin Flett is used to clearing up the sad debris of forgotten lives and tragic deaths. A crime and trauma scene cleaner from a deprived Edinburgh housing estate, she’s made a good life for herself and her daughter. But a secret from the past is about to catch up with her.

Ten years ago, Erin told a desperate lie with serious consequences. Now, someone else knows, and they’re determined to make Erin and her loved ones pay.

Following a terrifying late-night attack, the tension mounts until Erin doesn’t know who she can trust. As she struggles to keep her family safe, little does she realise just how close the danger is…

Queen of Grime is the first in a new series introducing Erin Flett, crime and trauma scene cleaner, and a rich cast of characters, set against the backdrop of the city of Edinburgh. With an occasional undertone of dark humour, it is a tale of family lies and family ties, friendships, secrets and loss.

Author website

And finally, it’s an author who took me surprise and completely blew me away …

Doug Johnstone: This author writes crime fiction – great crime fiction that I can highly recommend BUT this year he strayed into science fiction and not only that, I read it, and also not only that, I LOVED IT.

Yes, you read that right. I read and loved a book in a genre I never read!

The book? It was The Space Between Us and it was just fabulous. It’s been described elsewhere as a cross between ET and Local Hero – and it is that – and then some.

From the back cover:

Connecting will change everything…

Lennox is a troubled teenager with no family. Ava is eight months pregnant and fleeing her abusive husband. Heather is a grieving mother and cancer sufferer. They don’t know each other, but when a meteor streaks over Edinburgh, all three suffer instant, catastrophic strokes…

…only to wake up the following day in hospital, miraculously recovered.

When news reaches them of an octopus-like creature washed up on the shore near where the meteor came to earth, Lennox senses that some extra-terrestrial force is at play. With the help of Ava, Heather and a journalist, Ewan, he rescues the creature they call ‘Sandy’ and goes on the run.

But they aren’t the only ones with an interest in the alien … close behind are Ava’s husband, the police and a government unit who wants to capture the creature, at all costs. And Sandy’s arrival may have implications beyond anything anyone could imagine…

Author website:

Whether or not you’re a Scot, have you read and enjoyed any Scottish based/authored books recently or in the past? Have you attented any Book Week Scotland events in person or in line? Please do feel free to share and comment below.

You can find out all about Book Week and the many events on offer (some of them online) here at their website

November Writing News


November is turning out to be a busy month for me. There’s lots of writing and writing-related work to be done. And I’m really looking forward to it all.

So what’s on? See below…

As well as the final push to complete the first draft of the novel-in-progress, I have both teaching and author talk commitments.

The librarian at my local library in Portree has asked me to deliver three weekly afternoon sessions this month teaching creative writing to interested adults. The first session was a couple of days ago and I certainly enjoyed it  – and the participants seemed to as well.


I’ve also been asked to do two author talks during Book Week Scotland (run by the Scottish Book Trust) in the week beginning 21st November.

New Change of Life Cover SMALL AVATAR


The first talk is, again, at the library. It is scheduled for the 21st and is for adult readers. I’ll be appearing as my Anne Stormont novelist persona and speaking about my already published novels as well as giving a preview of my new one due out in 2017. Its title is Settlement and is a sequel to Displacement.

Displacement Cover SMALL AVATAR


But I will also be speaking as Anne McAlpine, children’s novelist, and talking about The Silver Locket, my novel aimed mainly at nine to twelve year-olds. Folks who come along to the talk will also get the chance to buy my books.

The Silver Locket Cover SMALL AVATAR

My second author talk during Book Week will be at my local primary school where I’ll be presenting myself only as Anne McAlpine and talking about The Silver Locket to pupils in Primary Six. There will also be a sneak preview of The Silver Axe, my planned follow up to The Silver Locket.

All-in-all I’m quite excited!

Click here to find out about lots more happening throughout Scotland during Book Week.