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Dark Scotland a Charity Anthology

I rarely read, or indeed write, short stories. However, when I was approached to contribute to the anthology produced by Dark Stroke Books where the profits are divided between two Scottish charities, ME Research and The Halliburton Foundation for homelessness, I penned a tale and was honoured to have it accepted. When I discovered that the foreward had been written by Wendy H. Jones, the president of the Scottish Associaon of Writers, I was thrilled.

The Blurb

Scotland – a mysterious place full of dark happenings…

Discover Dark Scotland in our new collection of short stories written by award-winning and international bestselling authors!

Let our tales of ghosts, ghouls, mysteries, and madness get under your skin, as we travel the length and breadth of Scotland – and across the sea to Nova Scotia. Encounter old battles, dramatic landscapes, hidden worlds, and intriguing characters.

First, head back to World War I when a young officer is sent from the Western Front to Edinburgh to be treated for shell-shock – and finds his own salvation in poetry. Then we visit Tarbat Ness Lighthouse, where the Summer Solstice reveals what it truly means to be a lightkeeper.

Next, we meet a doctor with a fascination of scalpels and an ex criminal hiding from his past, before we head to Milngavie where a fresh start ends up in a disagreement over a rowan tree – with unexpected consequences.

Desperation explains a love of dog and cats, and, staying with animals, a girl and a dog are trying to hold on after the world has collapsed.

Discover who is really dancing to Free Reel’s Dance of the Dead, then head to the rugged west coast where myths and legends have grown from truth. Among the mists, they wait for their prey.

And onwards we delve into the 16th century, where Catherine tries to escape her cruel husband before we learn how a woman who’d suffered a great loss adjusts to a new kind of life.

Head to Edinburgh in 1781, where a storm is looming, heralding the end of the world. Meanwhile, in St Andrews, a drunken student stumbles into an eerie twilight world hidden in the shadows of the cathedral ruins.

Now you cross the Atlantic to Nova Scotia! A family heirloom drives a young couple to the brink of insanity. Then we find ourselves on the Isle of Skye where the lives of two legends of Irish mythology are changed forever.

Join us in 1984 during the Miners’ Strikes, where tensions run high in a small Scottish mining town, and the cause pits brother against brother. And finish with a camping trip that takes a horrifying turn when three teenagers break into a supposedly abandoned house!

Dark Scotland: sixteen gripping short stories that make you want to leave the lights on!All proceeds we receive for Dark Scotland go to two worthy charities: The Halliday Foundation in Glasgow and ME Research in Perth.Authors featured:Sue Barnard, J.K. Fulton, Ross Alexander, Penny Hampson, Val Penny, Joanna Krystyna Radosz, Edward Yeoman, Denise Bloom, Jennifer C. Wilson, Brodie Simpson, Alan Taylor, Patrick Welsh,Tom Halford, Caoimhín de Paor, James Gault, Samuel Best. With a foreword by Wendy H. Jones, Author of the DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries, and President of the Scottish Association of Writers.Order your copy now of this unique collection of short stories set in Dark Scotland!

The Charities

ME Research

The principal aim of ME Research UK is to commission and fund high-quality scientific (biomedical) investigation into the causes, consequences and treatment of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (also known as ME/CFS). This is a debilitating illness which affects between 120,000 and 240,000 people in the UK, but is neither well understood nor, in many cases, properly recognised.

We also have a mission to Energise ME Research, which involves raising awareness of the need for biomedical research into ME/CFS globally, and providing high quality information on all aspects of the illness for a wide range of audiences – from summarising and appraising scientific literature on ME/CFS to informing the policy agenda.

The Halliburton Foundation

The Halliday Foundation use skills and knowledge to build relationships with our service usersensuring individuals know they are valued and feel there is hope. This person centred approach will then progress onto engaging with other services such as drug rehabilitation programmes and accommodation which will hopefully see light for a future.

Anyone who is rough sleeping, staying overnight in hostels, being allocated a temporary or settled tenancy or in danger of becoming homeless in the first place, can rely on our skills, resources and contacts will be used to support and care for them in anyway we can – including giving guidance to other services provided by our local community partners.

We build and maintain relationships by working with members of the public, engaging with primary and secondary schools and gaining support from local and corporate businesses who all want to make a difference.

This continued support allows us to operate the above services. We will continue to build on this support by engaging with new organisations, people and other charities who want to come on board alongside The Halliday Foundation to help stop homelessness.

The Review

This is a collection of diverse and dark stories all set in Scotland and each donated by an internationally best selling author for the benefit of the named charities. I particularly enjoyed the story by Sue Barnard who managed to successfully combine the First World War, Wilfred Owen and the Crailockhart War Hospital in Slateford, Edinburgh. I was also enthralled by the historical piece by Jennifer C. Wilson, the ghost story by Samuel Best and the neighbourhood surprise written by Penny Hampson.

I highly recommend this eclectic anthology of stories to all who love Scotland, and a little darkness in their lives.

The Foreward

International Award Winning Author Wendy H. Jones lives in Scotland, and her police procedural series featuring DI Shona McKenzie are set.Wendy has led a varied and adventurous life. Her love for adventure led to her joining the Royal Navy to undertake nurse training. After six years in the Navy she joined the Army where she served as an Officer for a further 17 years. Killer's Countdown was her first novel and the first book in the Shona McKenzie Mysteries. Killer's Crew won the Books Go Social Book of the Year 2017. The seventh book in the series. Killer's Curse will be released early august 2020. The Dagger's Curse, the first book in The Fergus and Flora Mysteries, was a finalist in the Woman Alive Magazine Readers Choice Award Book of the Year. Turning to humorous crime the Cass Claymore Investigates series was born. She is also a highly successful marketer and is currently in the process of rereleasing her completely updated marketing book Marketing Matters. This will be part of the Writing Matters Series following the release of Motivation Matters. She is also the author of the Bertie the Buffalo picture book and associated soft toy and colouring book. Wendy is delighted to be one of the authors in two anthologies aimed at empowering women - The Power of Why, and Women Win Against All Odds. She is proud to be the President of the Scottish Association of Writers and is the host of The Writing and Marketing Show podcast, a writing and marketing coach. and CEO of Writing Matters online writing school, Authorpreneur Accelerator Academy.

Val Penny

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