Elspeth’s Herbal, Part Five PEPPER HISTORY Peppercorns are the seed berries of the Piper nigrum. Pepper is a perennial plant is a woody spreading perennial vine. Its fruit is called a drupe and when dried it is a peppercorn. Pepper originated in India over 4,000 years ago. It is the most popular spice in the … Continue reading Elspeth’s Herbal Part Five
MINT Mints are aromatic herbs, primarily spreading perennials. Mentha grows best in wet environments and moist soils but is easily grown elsewhere. Because they spread easily, mints are considered invasive. HISTORY Egyptians cultivated M. piperita and dried leaves were found in several pyramids. Mint is also recorded in thirteenth century Icelandic Pharmacopoeias In Rome, Pliny … Continue reading Elspeth’s Herbal Part Four
DATES HISTORY The date palm tree, Phoenix Dactylifera, is one of the oldest fruit trees in the world. There are hundreds of varieties. The most important for the desert people are the driest dates which can be ground into flour. Dates were cultivated more than five thousand years ago and are mentioned in the Koran … Continue reading Elspeth’s Herbal Part Three
ELSPETH’S HERBAL PART TWO A continuance of things that might have been in Elspeth’s Herbal…with a bit of history and legend for added flavor. HERBALS – History, Legends and Use BAY BAY – LAUREL Laurus nobilis, of the plant family Lauraceae, is also known as sweet bay, bay tree, true laurel, Grecian laurel, laurel tree, … Continue reading Elspeth’s Herbal Part Two
Elspeth MacLeod’s Herbal – Part One To the Reader: While writing The Convenient I renewed my interest and research into herbal remedies. My protagonist, Elspeth MacLeod, was trained to be a Healer before she went to Italy to study medicine. All women were expected to be proficient at healing, spinning, sewing, cooking, brewing and … Continue reading Elspeth MacLeod’s Herbal…
The follow-up book to The Convenient is called Skyehag and should be finished by the winter of 2019. Also, a book intended for young readers, based on the adventures of one of the characters in The Convenient is underway.
Some Observations on the Criteria for Beauty While doing research for our next book “Skyehag,” I found a charming book written more than three hundred years ago. By now, my eyes automatically replace what looks like an “f” in original manuscripts, with an “s” so I have copied it verbatim, and hope it … Continue reading Beauty
"In this debut novel set in 18th-century Scotland, a group of physicians gets caught up in disease, murder, and political intrigue. As smallpox sweeps through Edinburgh, headstrong physician Malcolm Forrester is determined to run a study to test one of his hypotheses: that inoculating people with smallpox scabs will make them immune to the illness. … Continue reading Kirkus Review of The Convenient
"The Convenient is a compelling historical mystery set in Scotland in 1705, a time of political turmoil and intrigue, as well as contagious disease. The authors use real situations to inspire an eventful novel of medical heroism, murder, and much more. As the story begins, physician Malcolm Forrester of Torrport, a small village near Edinburgh, … Continue reading BlueInk Reviews The Convenient
The Convenient can be purchased from the following online sites: Amazon.com - Kindle ebook and paperback available at Amazon sites around the world. Kobo - Kobo ebook at Kobo sites around the world. Barnes & Noble - Nook ebook Barnes & Noble - paperback Feedbooks.com - ebook Book retailers can order The Convenient through our distributor Ingram.
Convenient, mistress, whore (B.E.) Cant expression of standard meaning, favorable to one’s comfort. The illustration of the man was taken from an antique medical book. Malcolm Forrester a physician from Edinburgh, and Elspeth MacLeod, a healer from the Isle of Skye, were both educated in European universities, but only men are permitted to practice medicine … Continue reading The cover of our book…
DOLLS OF DECEIT by Bettyanne Twigg It is said that the history of dolls is the history of mankind. Children mimic their mothers, and the first dolls were probably found objects that resembled the human shape. Dolls are made of rag, stone, bone, wood, wax, china...anything that can be formed into a human … Continue reading DOLLS OF DECEIT
In a scene from Chapter Eight: Lady Julianne holds the baby, born premature in Elspeth's cottage. Elspeth's dog, Scathatch stands guard. Julianne sat quietly before the fire staring at him. He was still not moving much, but he was taking a bit more substance. I had made him a honey tit and he seemed to … Continue reading Lady Julianne and the wee bairn
Malcolm often hired the grey mare "Gracie" and a gig (a 2-wheeled sprung carriage pulled by a single horse) from Daniel, the blacksmith's apprentice.
This is a photo taken of Torrport located on the Great Canadian Grid. http://www.greatcanadiangrid.ca/. It is a virtual world and you can walk around and see the sights! Malcolm's infirmary is in the far left building. Torrport was created by the authors to help imagine scenes in the book. You are most welcome to come … Continue reading Torrport Harbour
The book begins with Malcolm coming back from Torrport to see the first smallpox patient, Jean Tremblay of Rouen, France. We meet a few of the men Malcolm will be working with later in the book.
This is the first draft of the start of Chapter 15 I wrote yesterday. It is Malcolm speaking. Hope it brings a smile. *** “It’s a breech birth and we have to turn it or it won’t come out and they could both die.” My head was turned to speak to him as I was … Continue reading An Excerpt from Chapter 15