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The Beast on the Broch

The Beast on the Broch cover

A lonely girl. A wild beast. An unforgettable friendship.

12-year-old Talorca is a Pictish girl living in North-east Scotland in 799 AD. When Gaelic-speaking Dalriadans attack her village, her world is turned upside down. Her only friend is the mythical Pictish Beast, who has been injured by the Dalriadans. Talorca decides to take a stand against the invaders and hatches a plan to drive them out.

But she can only do that with the help of the wild beast on the broch.

Published September 9th 2016 by Cranachan Publishing as part of their Yesteryear series of historical children’s fiction.

ISBN: 1911279033 (ISBN-13: 978-1911279037)

Cover art by Dawn Treacher, with design by Anne Glennie at Cranachan.

Where to buy:



Waterstone’s (also available in-store at selected branches in Scotland)


Book Depository


Amazon UK (Also on Kindle)

Amazon US (Also on Kindle)

For trade enquiries, contact BookSource.


Abi Elphinstone, author of The Dreamsnatcher, The Shadow Keeper, and The Night Spinner:

“A compelling tale steeped in magic and myth.”

Gordon Askew at Magic Fiction Since Potter:

“It is … important, however, that children outside Scotland also have the opportunity to come to know and value something of the the history and culture of this unique, special and, in many places, unspeakably beautiful country (midges apart). This fine book will, I’m sure, contribute significantly on all these fronts, as well as giving many children a hugely enjoyable and entertaining read. It could well end up helping to grow their humanity too.”

Heather Lawson at Heather Reviews:

“With a story that pulls you through history to a simpler, yet more dangerous, time, The Beast on the Broch is a tale not to be missed.”

Anna at Anna’s Adventures in Bookland:

A magical story that will capture your imagination and your heart.”

Wendy at Little Bookness Lane:

“Bursting with adventure, bravery, and a glorious Pictish charm.”

Fiona Sharp at Independent Book Reviews:

“A mythical tale perfect for children.”

Barbara Henderson at Write4Bairns:

“… resurrects a world about which we know little, and yet renders it completely plausible.”

Kate at The Quiet Knitter:

“… the story is one that you can happily become transfixed with and spend a happy few hours soaking in every page of this beautifully written novel.”

Annemarie Allan, author of Hox (winner of the Kelpies Prize), Breaker, Ushig, and Charlie’s Promise:

“…skilfully recreates the people and the landscape of Scotland’s distant past, with a strong emphasis on timeless themes of loneliness, loyalty and friendship.”

More information:

The Wreck of the Argyll

The Wreck of the Argyll

Dundee, 1915. Twelve-year-old Nancy Caird is desperate to do her bit for the war. So when she suspects one of her teachers of being a German spy, she’s determined to foil his plans, and ropes in the reluctant Jamie Balfour to help her uncover the scheme.

Midshipman Harry Melville is on his first voyage aboard HMS Argyll as it forges through the black and stormy North Sea, unaware of both hidden rocks and German plots that threaten the ship.

When Nancy and Jamie’s suspicions are confirmed, and they discover HMS Argyll is in deadly danger, they’re drawn into a web of espionage, secrets, and betrayal, where no-one is as they seem and no-one can be trusted.

Winner of the Great War Dundee Children’s Book Prize.

Published September 25th 2015 by Cargo Publishing (now part of Freight Books).

ISBN: 1908885513 (ISBN-13: 9781908885517)

Cover design by Michael Gallacher based on artwork by Qynn Herd.

Where to buy:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Note: The Wreck of the Argyll is now out of print, but some copies are still available used and new on Amazon.


Theresa Breslin, the Carnegie Medal-winning author:

“The book is a thrilling and fascinating story based on an actual exciting event.”

Allan Burnett, author and historian:

“It’s an exciting and fast-paced spy thriller. The Wreck of the Argyll is my kind of story.”

Helen Sedgwick, Joint Managing Director of Cargo Publishing:

“The Wreck of the Argyll stood out as such an exciting story – we’re delighted to be publishing it.”

Jo Clarke, children’s librarian (

“… the perfect mix of brave children, dastardly villains and a totally dramatic but believable plot.”

Wendy at Little Bookness Lane:

“… fast-paced with some great dialogue exchanges and there’s the most fantastic conclusion … It really is quite a little gem.”

Abi Elphinstone, author of The Dreamsnatcher, at Moontrug:

“… perfectly captures the clandestine world of spies and all the excitement and danger lurking there.”

Sonia Alejandra Rodriguez,  at the American Library Association’s Booklist Online:

“… the story is action-packed, fast-paced, and easy to follow, making it ideal for middle-grade readers.”

Julie Shatterly,  at the School Library Journal:

“Suspense slowly builds as Nancy pursues her theory, and the pacing reaches a fever pitch as her suspicions become confirmed… A satisfying World War I mystery with age-appropriate themes that will resonate with young readers.”

More information:

Short stories

“Time for Tea”, Shoreline of Infinity issue 3.

Shoreline of Infinity