For those who missed it...Westering Home is out! It is available on Amazon, Smashwords, and elsewhere in print or any ebook format. A print copy can be ordered from any brick and mortar store.
An early reviewer says:
I consider the Blue Bells Chronicles to be the best fiction I have read in my life. I include in that list C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Arthur C. Clarke, Asimov..... The development of characters in her books reminds me of Tolstoy's work in Anna Karenina, but I think her work is better. Her meticulous research reminds me of Elizabeth Kostova's work in The Swan Thieves, and The Historian, but Vosika's work in Scottish history is much better.... [Her] books are eminently readable, you can't put them down. Her work has been compared to the present day Dana Gaboldon.....
The piece in the video is Kelvin Grove, played on alto flute at Crossraguel Abbey. This abbey is in the Ayrshire area, in the southwest of Scotland, and was founded by Donnachadh, one of the earlier Earls of Carrick. Students of Scottish history will know the more famous Earl of Carrick, the Bruce himself.
The name may refer to the Cross of Riaghail (St. Regulus) that once stood on the grounds. It was a Cluniac Abbey, run by monks known as the black monks for the color of their robes. Readers of the Blue Bells Chronicles will remember the black and gray friars of Carlisle--also named after the colors of their robes.
Crossraguel Abbey was sacked by the army of Edward I in 1307. Given that he died at Burgh by Sands near the Solway Firth, looking into Scotland on July 7 of that year, Edward himself was presumably not there. Or, at least, only in spirit. How appropriate.
It's days as an abbey ended in 1560 with the Reformation, although the last monks were allowed to live out their lives there, the last dying in 1601. However, the abbey lands were 'acquired' by the Kennedy family in 1565 by means of torturing Allan Stewart, Commendator of Crossraguel Abbey, until he 'agreed' to hand it over. Funny what a little roasting over an open spit will convince a man of, and really, could there be a more honest way to acquire lands?
And so, today, Crossraguel is a beautiful ruin set on green lawns, where children visit and people play alto flutes to the glorious acoustics of the vaults that remain.
The song is Kelvin Grove. It refers to an area northwest of Glasgow, where young people once liked to gather on summer afternoons.
Let us haste to Kelvin Grove, bonnie lassie o
Through its mazes let us rove, bonnie lassie o
Where the rose in all her pride
Paints the hollow dingle side
Where the midnight fairies glide, bonnie lassie o
And many more verses.....