Commemorating those Airmen from the 94th Bombardment Group of the USAF
Within a short distance of the magnificent cathedral at Bury St. Edmunds lies a tranquil rose garden. I was interested to see how the gardens began – who inspired such a beautiful place. I was genuinely surprised to find out that it was a fellow American, Mr. John T. Appleby served with the 487th Bomb Group located near Lavenham in Suffolk. He was stationed in the county for only half a year…but it was long enough for him to fall in love with the area. He decided to write about his experiences, and penned a slim volume entitled, Suffolk Summer. Mr. Appleby did not accept the royalties on the book, but instead donated them to the rose garden to commemorate those brave souls who lost their lives fighting a war so far from home.
Over the past 15 years, I’ve published eight books on travel, local history and historical fiction. Several years ago, after speaking with family members in England, a name popped up that I hadn’t heard in ages. It was the dreaded name of Sawney Bean, a wicked and despicable Scottish folklore character from the 1600s. After researching Sawney and his clan, (the BBC did a documentary and tried to locate his cave) the inklings of a story began forming. The first book of what has become a trilogy, Forbidden describes Catherine MacDonald, who becomes a nun after being left by her mother at a priory. After an unusual encounter with a young woman she undertakes a journey to Scotland where she discovers what really happened to her mother, and the horrifying life she endured just to stay alive.
In the second book, Damaged, Catherine tries valiantly to restore her respectability but is thwarted at every turn. Tainted by her mother’s legacy, she is shunned by the church, and by many of her friends. Unhappy and disillusioned with her life, she decides to embark on a journey to the New World.
The final book, Expectations, will be published in the fall of 2014.