Name: Alice W. Ross
Residence: Hilton Head Island
Book: "Message in the Skye"
Printed by: smashwords.com
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Where to buy: E-book on Kindle and Nook, or by downloading from Smashwords
First sentence: "Thees Bartley burst into his father's massive study like a windstorm whipping through an open door."
Plot summary in 50 words or less: "Message in the Skye" is a sequel to my first book, "Pictoral Adventure." A woman named Kiska is researching her Scottish heritage and trying to find out how her mother died. But not everyone cares to have the past brought back to life, and Kiska finds herself in grave danger.
Story behind the book: From the time I was in elementary school, I dreamed of writing books. After college, I got married and raised two wonderful daughters. The dream stayed with me, but somehow time went by too quickly. Now that my children are married and I am a grandmother of five, I finally decided to fulfill my dream. My stories bring together years of travel in Great Britain and an imaginative perspective on a mysterious group of people called the Picts.
How did you first learn about the Picts? I was looking at travel books in the Hilton Head Barnes & Noble one day. I picked up a book about Scotland and just happened to turn to a page with the following statement: "The biggest mystery in Scottish history is what happened to the Picts." I immediately wondered why and started doing research on the Picts. I was fascinated by my results because I never realized how much the Picts changed Scottish history.
What was your most interesting discovery while conducting research for the novel? The Picts lived in the Scottish Highlands from prehistoric times until almost the 10th century and then disappeared. The Romans were never able to defeat them. The Picts left behind stone carvings all over the Highlands with intriguing symbols that researchers have yet to translate. They built drystone brochs (walled structures) that still exist today. More importantly, historians believe that without the Picts, Scotland would not be the same country it is today.
Favorite books: "Rebecca," by Daphne du Maurier; "Twilight," by Stephenie Meyer; and any Agatha Christie mystery.
What's next? I am writing the third book in the series called "Lost in the Ce." In September, Scotland voted not to secede from the British Union. The outcome of that election will come into play in the book.
Follow reporter Erin Shaw at twitter.com/IPBG_ErinShaw.
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