SCOTLAND, JULY 1746: an army of occupation ravages the Highlands, committing atrocities with consequences that will reverberate across generations. From this bloody cataclysm, the hardened professional soldier Mordaunt saves an infant who becomes his heiress and his obsession: on his shattered estate, a traumatised Franco-Scottish laird, Ewen Stirling, offers protection to a boy damaged by unspeakable horror.
    These lives, fatally bound, unfold against the turbulence of the eighteenth century, in a magnificent, uncompromising saga of love and the human cost of war.


“Tell Me a Story . . .”


The story begins:
    You ask me, how shall we overcome these shadows? How much truth is unbearable?
    I have known the darkness, and the poignancy of the light. I shrink from neither, deny neither.
    They are my truths; it was my life.

    These are my truths.
    Why did I write Coronach? I wrote it because it came to me, the greatest gift any writer can receive: a story no one else has ever told. The eighteenth century and the '45, the Jacobite rebellion, and its consequences, which included the notorious Highland Clearances, have been romanticized out of all recognition by historians and popular novelists alike. It’s time to set the record straight: to tell the truth. Coronach wrests the rose-ringed legend of the '45 from entangling myths and clichés and sets it within the context of a century of war, a world war fought on land and sea, from the ancient killing-grounds of the Low Countries to the raw wilderness of North America, by the superpowers of the time, Britain and France. And in this relentless struggle for global supremacy, the life of an individual is a mote of dust, and of as much consequence to an invading army.
    Why is it so violent? Because Coronach does not compromise. It is a novel about the human cost of war. War annihilates, and among its first casualties are the innocent. An army of occupation commits atrocities, and civilians die. Women, children, the old, the vulnerable, the non-combatants suffered as certainly in the eighteenth century as in Vietnam, when Canada first became aware of the full horror of collateral damage, as they suffer in Iraq and Afghanistan. In this, Coronach is as relevant as today’s headlines.
    Why should you read it? If you are American, it will speak to you of the founding of your nation, and cast a perhaps unexpected light on the seeds of revolution. If you are Canadian, as I am, you will understand the Scots who settled, explored, charted, fought for and governed this vast, fur-bearing territory, and inscribed Scotland forever on its maps, from Nova Scotia to the Mackenzie and the Fraser. If you are English, Coronach will illuminate a century of magnificence and power; if you are Scottish, this is your heritage. These are your truths. If you are French, Coronach will evoke for you the menace and the majesty of Britain’s implacable foe.
    If you are a woman, this is the story of an indomitable woman, whose life was lived against the background of that turbulent century. She is not me, but she is a part of me, and of all of us. If you are a man, Coronach will speak to you of the honour, courage and vengeance of men, and the greatness of the human spirit. If you are a soldier, you will read of duty, service, and the habit of command, the uniform’s brotherhood; if you are a pacifist, you will find justification. If you are a believer or an atheist, you will see the struggle for God amidst the surrounding darkness.
    Coronach is a novel of passion, explicit and powerful, for sexuality is perhaps the most profound of all human experiences. It is a novel of the many aspects of great love. Whatever your sexual orientation, it will speak to you. Of love between women and men, of love between men, when homosexuality in the armed forces was an offense punishable, at least in theory, by death.
    If you are human, it will speak to your humanity, and your compassion.
    As readers, we all come to a book with an open mind, an open heart, and say, “Tell me a story.”
    Let me take you by the hand into the eighteenth century, and I will show you how it was.

Ordering Coronach

Coronach, which is published by AuthorHouse UK, is available online in hardback (ISBN 9781434312990), trade paperback(ISBN 9781434312983) and as an e-book (Kindle ASIN: B005WU5OY0) in the United Kingdom, United States and Canada.

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