So, the UK is now on GMT rather than British Summer time, nights are darker, weather is colder and it is perfect for curling up in a chair with a good book. I have just received my author copies of Beneath the Major's Scars, one of two books I wrote about identical twins, and this, the first book, is released in December. It is such a long time since I wrote this book that I might very well indulge in re-reading it, since it features a part of England that I love, the West Country.
As the title suggests, my hero Dominic Coale, was badly injured during the Peninsula War and has retreated to the wilds of Exmoor to live a solitary existence. As a West Country girl myself, I love this part of England and have taken great inspiration from the beautiful landscape. The last time we were there I took a walk along one of the bridleways and was amazed at the lovely cobbled surface. In Dominic's day this was probably one of the main routes, and I could imagine a curricle or carriage rattling over this surface – it made me quite thankful for today's pneumatic tyres and tarmac roads!
The plot of Beneath the Major's Scars involves a headlong ride to the coast and I used a very isolated and dramatic area for this, Hartland Quay. The picture here shows just how wild and isolated it is. In tudor times it was a thriving port but steadily fell into disuse. It would still have been a busy place in the early 19th century, so I used a little artistic licence, changed the name and made it much more run-down– and of course the rum characters I added are entirely fictional!
And just a final note to our friends on the eastern coast of North America – you have suffered enough with the recent storms so maybe you don't want any more excitement at the present time! Understandable, and my thoughts are with you.
Beneath the Major's Scars HH Dec 2012
The Illegitimate Montague M&B 2012