Geoff Varley joins the ‘Eros’ cruise liner on its maiden four-month world cruise, as the Writer in Residence. It’s a new venture for the shipping company and for him too.
Passengers’ demons are laid to rest, creative minds are hard at work and on-shore adventures are both hair-raising and intriguing. Drug running and stamp collecting, ornithology and ship arrests, sumptuous meals and crippling debt, terminal illness, shattered dreams in the South Atlantic, a philanthropic opportunity at sea and a resolution in Senegal, not to mention two surprising romances somehow all revolve around the Writer in Residence.
This is an opportunity for you to enjoy a four-month world cruise from the comfort of your armchair or in bed, in your imaginary luxury cabin!
Restless Waves 0-7552-0260-0
The Last Shepherd
A successful but arrogant banker has a spring holiday with his family in rural south west Scotland where his values and his attitude cause mayhem. The Last Shepherd shows the errors of his city ways with assistance of a mysterious mute benefactor whose actions climax in a tragic but resolute ending, touched by romance.
“I was shocked to discover I knew so little of rural ways. It was a real education.” Pete Newbrook.
“A way of life we should lose at our peril. But the romance was very touching.” Jane Houston.
“I could not put it down. When I did, I read it again.” Drew Sloan.
“A very sad and poignant read with so many slants to the story. I enjoyed it very much.” Lesley Fudge MSc BA (Hons) RGN
Miss Martha Douglas
Martha Douglas encountered several needles in her remarkable yet troubled life.
One needle brought anguish while another brought relief
One brought pleasure while another disbelief
One needle eased suffering amid the horrors of war
The final needle brought contentment on a far off shore.
In an era of discrimination bold acts of the day
Swayed the thoughts of many that never went away
Today equality is for everyone with no exemption
Martha broke the mould, resulting from much tension.
A historical novel containing authentic unseen period photographs from this gifted Scottish storyteller.
“A simply wonderful story recalling the life of Martha Douglas. Surely this is a story which should be made into a successful film? Through all her trials and misfortunes, her determination shines through whether in prison or the Palace. I thoroughly recommend you to read this book and it will be your favourite for the year.”Susan Railbrook
ISBN (Paperback editions): 0755206894
ISBN-13 (Paperback editions): 9780755206896
The Parrot's Tale
Returning from hospital, octogenarian Harry Dynes finds his pet parrot of thirty-five years, Kofi, has escaped. Retired Wildlife Police Officer John Reid offers to help Harry find his parrot while also hoping to shed some light on his missing teenage daughter, Morag.
So begins two quests with this unusual duo seated on the back of a powerful motorbike. Kofi is always one step ahead, making headline news in legal, sporting, political, medical, religious and social situations. Harry and his parrot are thrust into the world of celebrity even appearing on the Graeme Norton show, while John’s quest seems to be leading nowhere… until Kofi makes an astounding connection.
Have you ever come across a plot more delightful and engaging than that of an African Grey Parrot turned police detective, on the loose in the Scottish countryside?
That is the original and creative premise of new book The Parrot’s Tale by Miller Caldwell, whose endearing protagonist is 35-year-old Kofi, with a distinctive red tail, a great knack for mimicking voices and a thirst for adventure.
A delightful mix of comedy, crime and thriller, the book follows Kofi as he solves an array of unlikely mysteries, problems and crimes, often in the most hilarious of manners.
These range from bringing a boy out of a coma, to unwittingly helping a political party, to uncovering an international human trafficking ring and helping bring the criminals to justice by mimicking the voices of the gang.
Not only does this cement Kofi in Scottish policing history as the best honorary avian detective ever known, it also brings him celebrity status.
It’s not too long before the publishers take an interest in his story, soon followed by movie producers offering million dollar film rights.
One step behind him every step of his adventure, desperately trying to catch him, is his hilarious owner, Harry Dynes, a sharp and quick-witted octogenarian who has his own fair share of escapades along the way, including being wrongly held in a mental hospital overnight. An unlikely companion for Harry comes in the shape of John Reid, a retired policeman and wildlife officer who is searching for his own daughter, Morag.
Popular school girl Morag disappeared unexpectedly four years earlier on the eve of her 16th birthday, leaving not a trace.
Although presumed dead, John is determined to find her, and decides to use Kofi’s publicity to help re-draw people’s attention to her disappearance.
Can Kofi and his escapades somehow help trace Morag and bring peace to her bereft father? Can there be a happy ending both for Kofi and Morag?
This is a fast-paced rollercoaster of a book, that moves smoothly and light-heartedly from scene to scene, bringing alive countless characters along the way.
Laced with regional dialect, it sets Scotland in a golden light, and is laugh-out-loud funny.
With something for all ages, it effortlessly blends contemporary crime fiction with comedy and is completely original.
The Parrot’s Tale is author Miller Caldwell’s sixteenth book, and will surely go down as one of his best, being loved both by readers and critics alike.
The Parrot’s Tale is out now in paperback, priced £9.50.
The Crazy Psychologist
Dr Angela Lawrence is appointed Director of the new Hazelnut Assessment Centre for anorexic and difficult adolescents on the island of Rousay in Orkney. Her husband Sam is an artist delighted to be on Orkney to further his seascapes after years in Manchester.
Sam is becoming increasingly concerned about Angie’s unorthodox treatments but events elsewhere begin to unwind her tragic background. So why did Angie became a psychologist in the first place? Can Angie bring together a fractured family before it is too late? And can she cope with two doctorate students who are not what they seem to be?
Published date 12th March 2015 £8.99
Listen to Miller's interview with BBC Radio Orkey below: