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Why you must read Catherine M Byrne’s Follow the Dove

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At fifteen years of age, Isa Muirison loves her life working for the floating shops of Orkney at the turn of the 20th century. But her happy family life is thrown into turmoil by her father’s decision to emigrate to Canada, her sister’s illness and her own love for Davie, a penniless whisky runner.

Despite her family’s opposition, she follows Davie to his tiny island home where she is met by the fierce hostility of his mother and his childhood sweetheart, Chrissie.

Alone among strangers, Isa’s unrelenting determination gains acceptance and popularity in the close knit community. But no one could have foreseen the tragedy that rips the heart out of that community and shatters Isa’s security.

Meanwhile, Chrissie has found solace in the arms of Davie’s violent brother Jack, only to discover a darkness in his soul she could never have imagined. Events are set in motion over which the two women have no control.

This is the start of a series, right? What genre is it?
The Raumsey series is a historical family saga with a difference, where each book is stand alone and has it’s own thrust.

Originally aimed at middle aged or older women, I have been surprised and delighted to find that these books have been enjoyed by all ages and both sexes.

I have tried to move from the formula of the family saga genre to make my stories more exciting and mysterious thus capturing a wider audience and given the responses I have had so far, I believe I have succeeded.

Tell us about Isa, Davie and Chrissie.
Isa is a strong willed young girl, who is willing to give up everything for love. Davie however, does not live up to expectations. He is weak but likeable and has a love of the whiskey, which he brews himself. The other person in this triangle is Davie’s childhood sweetheart and the woman who expects to marry him, Chrissie Adams. Both women are strong, but very different both in looks and character. The island itself is also very much a character in its own right.

We’re curious about the rest of the series.
The Broken Horizon is the sequel, and this time Chrissie is the main character. Broken hearted by Davie’s betrayal, she turns to his violent brother, Jack.

After a particular brutal attack, she is driven to offering him poison. With no memory of that night, she believes she has killed him, especially when she discovers the remains of a body buried in the byre.

In spite of her guilt at having taken a life, Chrissie eventually finds love again. Her strength, determination and love for her fellow islanders carry her through fourteen years of hardship, intercepted and exacerbated by the Great War.

But the past won’t stay hidden, and fourteen years after that fateful night, Chrissie is forced to confront the nightmare which has overshadowed her life.

With the arrival of a letter, she discovers that nothing is as it seems. A series of events over which she has no control is set in motion. Lies and secrets are uncovered, leading to a dramatic and tragic climax.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born on the island of Stroma, off the north coast of Scotland and was brought up with stories from my parents and grandparents about the island life of previous generations. It was from these stories that the idea for the Raumsey trilogy sprung. Stroma is no longer inhabited and the way of life recorded in my novels has gone forever.

I have had several short stories published in woman’s magazines. My main ambition is to write novels, and I have now retired in order to write full time.

Since first attending the AGM of the Scottish Association of Writers in 1999, I have won several prizes and commendations. In March 2010, I won second prize in the Constable trophy competition for Follow the Dove. It should be noted that I was competing against many published writers. I have attended an Arvon Foundation course and was chosen from among many applicants for a Hi-Arts writing program, as one of the ten Scottish writers most likely to be published.

Do you have a website where we can keep up with your work?
www.catherinebyrne-author.com.

How can we follow you on Twitter and/or Facebook?
https://www.facebook.com/FollowTheDove
@Katrine66
http://isabellacatherinebyrne.blogspot.co.uk.

What’s next?
I am at present working on Book number three in the Raumsey series, The Road to Nowhere.

I have also just finished a non-fiction, the story of a boy from Bangladesh who was brought into the UK and sold into slavery. Unthinkable of what is going on in the developed world. Samir was ‘discovered’ and rescued during a drugs raid on an Indian restaurant.

The Five Taka Note should hit the bookshelves soon.

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