GORDON M BURNS
Stories of people whose time-placed lives, inspired in Scotland, are hooked into world reality.
In intellect and looks mundane, Arianwyn - an innate stubborn and kind nature her only appealing features - is born of flawed parents and, ultimately, faces a pathetic future - conformity to the fundamental needs of society and others, closely followed by a lonely, dire death.
Gifted her name by her mentor, the Spaewife, a chance-fortune friendship with Grainne, provide for Arianwyn a mystery of storytelling and confusing close relationships, which serve as an initiation in the search for the meaning of her existence. However, the manipulative world works to hold Arianwyn fixed to desires of human frailties where, driven by wants and needs and her attraction to the heartless Talorcan, the wanton world conspires to entice her to be ruined by his avaricious character. Rash decisions rent deep the hopes of youth and no less, Arianwyn.
Via Acerbum, the second part of five stand-alone books in the epic romantic adventure ‘The Torc’, covers the events in Arianwyn’s life as she sets out to make her mark on the world. From her Dark Age world, Arainwyn is thrown into the wonder, adventures, loves and terrors of the Roman and Byzantine world of the 6th century.
Accompanied by her friend Grainne, Arianwyn - now devoid of the aid of the Spaewife who has died - finds the world rudely awakening her to its nature. Capricious choice has denied her Talorcan her true love, and now realising that Galam, her handfast partner, is a disappointment she is enslaved by Bile then freed by Rory. Next her mother’s uncle, Artuir, plans to sell her back into slavery. This takes her into a war-torn Italy during the reign of the Emperor Justinian where little goes to plan for anyone. Only Grainne appears to have the strength to bind them through the perplexing adventures that reflect a world in conflict. However, if she should fail, if the Torc constricts Grainne’s neck so that she should snap, who then will save them?
In World’s Desire, the dark romantic adventure of The Torc continues. Set in a Byzantine past, events reflect issues relevant to the present age. At one level, ostensibly one girl’s struggle with adolescence - where pressures of self-image, failed relationships and an outlook influenced by her perceived misgivings of self and others viewpoints - the tale begins to take on deeper aspects. A friend, the girl has known and trusted all her life, takes on a strange new light and suggests hidden intentions with their relationship, which shimmer uncertainly between intimate closeness and a wider spiritual meaning. Whatever purpose Grainne has for he, it is not anything Arianwyn has encountered in the world and as if by sixth sense or design, others join her seeking a greater understanding of themselves and their lives. Along the way events, thrilling and mysterious, shape Arianwyn into a young woman capable of making mistakes but also able to play a crafty strategic hand in outwitting dark forces bent on destroying her contrasting band.
PUBLISHED 01 10 2014
Escaping the clutches of Emperor Justinian, Arianwyn begins to see the vision Grainne has planned for her. The journey home is not without event and other are attracted to Arianwyn's mission.
WELL AT WORLD'S END
Is it that love breaks the cycle of avarice and abuse or is it itself an illusion, a sharp spoke of the World’s Torc of torture? Only Arianwyn’s love for Grainne has kept despair at bay and that Grainne’s hidden intention with Arianwyn now revealed, how taht young woman yearns to enfold it completely, body and soul. However, only a few can understand its nature and only a meeting at the World’s End Well will witness if Arianwyn has the will to accept her destiny.
ISBN - 9781310486210
Written through the eyes of Asa a, word blind and slightly autistic eighteen-year-old girl, Stoneset Odds is a challenging book to read shot through as it is with confusion language and structure. So, there you are, warned, keep clear.
Five years ago, Asa was a happy child but now she teeters on the brink of self-destruction. At seventeen, she worries about her obsessive pebble collection and a hidden secret past. Asa gathers evidence, which points conclusively to one fact - Asa will become another one of a line of notorious and abused females.
Asa is popular, attractive and gifted in her own way - an autistic tendency inhibits her to recognise inference and innuendo –a tense relationship with her jealous sister, Jane, and her cold-natured mother, Inga, have created an underlining emotional fragility in Asa. Left alone as a child while Inga meets men, Asa’s granny and her Norwegian friend, Oskar, bring some stability into Asa’s life but the old couple have retreated from the world. Asa’s friends, Rosie and Julietta try to bring her into the world, but they are too forward and self-assured and the incidents the three girls delve into with boys end up in disaster for Asa.
Soon to leave to Glasgow - from her island home in sight of the north of Scotland - Asa is anxious to find out what type of woman she will become and after two difficult relationships, one with a policeman, Lachlan, and one with a young farmer, Dave, she is firmly convinced she will end up callously bouncing from one empty and abusive relationship to another. Resigned to this, she considers she might as well begin behaving as the women of her family’s renowned reputation. However, a last hope remains not formed in fact - the essence of the Island.
Claiming he knows her, a stranger challenges Asa to revaluate her life and relationships, which uncovers repressed memories of love, risk and abuse. The stranger, Cameron, gradually remembered by Asa, unleashes from her past a mixture of emotions that indicate she desires love. Is Cameron intent on replaying a time best forgotten for its dread?
With a 1st in Mechanical Engineering, Asa has turned her back on Scotland for a successful career in Calgary. Leaving her friends to the prosaic life of Orkney, an undefined incident at Birsay with Roddy has appeared to sever her wish to ever return. Her close friends, Rosie and Julietta, have sent Cameron to tempt her back for at least to visit home. When Asa does recall Cameron, she is contemptuous of him and it looks as if he has failed. However, surprisingly, Asa finds she has offered him dinner before he leaves for Orkney.
At the restaurant, Asa’s is in a quandary with herself because of work, news from home and why the date with Cameron. Her boss, Austin, with whom she has recently finished a stormy relationship, and a colleague, Kinga, interrupts the dinner. Through both Kinga’s insight of Cameron and his dealing with Austin, Asa finds herself warming Cameron but in the end she feels he in being opportunistic.
Then, a few months later on a stop over visit to Orkney, Asa visits with her family and friends. She ignores past and present truths as she toughens up to contain her self-image. Asa, although floored by the revelation of a past abuse, feels she is intact. To move on for good there is still the island to revisit and in selecting Cameron, the centre of her abject past, as her allotted guide she take one last hard-edged look at what she is rejecting in Orkney.
Disillusioned with police work in an Edwardian spa town, in highland Scotland, Duncan Gow’s renewed but unlikely relationship with the unorthodoxly stunning Haldane sisters has made him confident. Margaret, Eupheme and Sibylla are the daughters of a local laird, girls he once met as a young boy when their romantic notions equated him with the mythical warrior-poet, Ossian. Having found love with one of the sisters, when Sibylla drowns, Duncan is plunged into a dark world of unexplained deaths that lead towards all his hope’s destruction.