The Banyan tree sits in the middle of the town square in Lahaina, Maui. It is the largest Banyan tree in America. It was planted in April, 1873, as a memorial to the Christian missionaries who preached in the area. First thing in the morning, and at dusk, the chorus of birds is truly wonderful. During the day, the huge branches provide shade to the thousands of visitors and residents who sit under the boughs to enjoy their lunch.
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.