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Highlands serve up inspiration for debut romance novel


By Alan Beresford

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THE wild majesty of the Scottish Highlands provides the stunning backdrop for a debut novel.

George Alston's newly published book The Blue Sky Door turns the clock back 50 years, spanning not only the decades but humanity, love and morality.

George began life in Lancashire, moved to Kent then migrated to Scotland. As an avid mountaineer, it is no surprise that the outdoor world features prominently in his work.

He now lives in Keswick, Cumbria and spends most of his time painting and writing.

George said: “I am creative in several fields of endeavour – painting, sculpting, writing.

"I received countrywide publicity for my artwork in the 1980s from the BBC, ITV, The Guardian, Daily Telegraph and other news outlets. I’ve written articles and taken photographs for numerous climbing and outdoor magazines and also been published in women’s magazines.

"It seemed only natural to follow this up with a novel.”

The novel, he said, was on the one hand simple while also packing a bit of a punch.

He continued:, “This is a simple tale of romance between a man and a woman, but it also reflects aspects of the human condition with which we can all identify – love, joy and sadness, greed, choice, egotism, evil, retribution, followed by redemption.

"An original storyline, set in the Highlands of Scotland, it takes us into a quirky world of individuals who all revolve around the two central characters. The plot reveals a surprise ending in which the reader, as well as being an onlooker, also becomes an important feature of the denouement.”

Set in the 1970s, The Blue Sky Door follows Stewart, who deserts his girlfriend, leaves his job and departs for the Highlands of Scotland.

Here, he meets and connects with a mysterious young woman, Melanie, who lives on a mountainside.

His arrival is resisted by some of the villagers and he struggles for acceptance. As his bond with Melanie grows, she becomes more resentful of anything that takes him away from her.

While Stewart is open about his past, Melanie reveals very little about her own background – and the arrival of Stewart’s ex-girlfriend adds fuel to the fire. Are the odds against them just too overwhelming?

The mountains symbolically represent the struggles Stewart faces, and the truths that he must accept, as well as providing a stunning backdrop to this novel about humanity, love and morality.

Published by Troubador Publishing, The Blue Sky Door costs £8.99, ISBN: 9781838595432.



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