Tag Archives: novel

Booklist Online Review ~ A Carpet of Purple Flowers


Fantasy fans will wait eagerly for the next instalment in McCartney’s series, enchanted by the complicated love story and the surprising cliffhanger ending.

— Amy Dittmeier


Book Website HERE




Artúr mac Aedan of Dalriada

Among the men proposed as the historical King Arthur is a young Dalriadan prince named Artúr or Artuir. Could this prince have been the historical King Arthur?

3b7f2299758652591408e24836e39d46Birthdate: 556
Birthplace: Dalriada, Argyll, , Scotland
Death: Died 590 in Scotland
Immediate Family:
Biological son of Áedán mac Gabráin, Rí na Dál Riata and Ygerna del Acqs (Fictional)
Foster son of Domelch verch Maelgwyn
Husband of Gewenhwyfer De Bretagne
Brother of Domangart mac Áedán, Rí na Dál Riata; Eochaid Buide mac Aidan, Rí na Dál Riata; Conaing Macaedan; Bran Dál Riata; Gartnait Dál Riata and 3 others

The political situation in northern Britain was complex during Artúr’s lifetime, the last third of the sixth century A.D. Northern Britain was inhabited by four ethnic groups in close proximity: the Irish (Dalriada Scots), Picts, Britons, and Angles. Interaction between these four groups was extensive in warfare, alliance, and intermarriage.

The Irish had settled in western Scotland before recorded history but probably during the late Roman period (Nieke and Duncan 1988:6–11). The political history of the Dalriada in Britain is traced from the time of Fergus Mor (d. 501), who moved the seat of the royal dynasty of Dalriada from Ireland to northern Britain.

Scottish Dalriada was confined to the western coast of modern Scotland, including Arran, Jura, Islay, Mull, and numerous other smaller islands, with its seat at Dunadd in Argyll (Nieke and Duncan 1988:7). From 574 to 606/8, Dalriada was ruled by one of its most dynamic and successful kings, Aedan mac Gabran (Bannerman 1974:80–91), the probable father of Artúr.

The Picts held most of modern Scotland north of the region between the Firths of Clyde in the west and Forth in the east. Most of Pictish history has been lost but they are believed to have followed a unique mode of royal succession (Anderson 1980:165; Farmer 1990:46). With extensive intermarriage between all four groups, sons of foreign princes and kings often successfully claimed the Pictish throne (Anderson 1980:167–175). Dalriadan territory expanded mostly at the expense of the Picts, with whom the Scots were at a nearly constant state of war throughout the sixth and seventh centuries. During Artúr’s lifetime dominance continually fluctuated between the Picts and the Scots, and Artúr participated in these wars. More HERE

Artúr is mentioned in three medieval manuscripts. In Book I, chapter 9 of Adomnan’s8 Life of St. Columba (Anderson and Anderson 1991:32–33), written c. 700, Aedan asks Columba which of his three sons Artúr, Eochaid Find, or Domangart will succeed him. This chapter illustrated Columba’s prophetic powers, having him predict Aedan’s successor and the fates of three of his sons, including Artúr. The History of the Men of Scotland (Senchus Fer nAlban), a royal genealogy and military roster cataloging the strength of each of the three main tribal groups or cenéla of Dalriada (Bannerman 1974:154–6, 91; Anderson and Anderson 1991:160), was originally compiled in the seventh century, probably c. 650–700.9 Artúr is mentioned in the genealogical section of this document. Artúr’s death is also mentioned in the Annals of Tigernach (abbreviated AT), which date from c. 1088.

The King Arthur Conspiracy: How a Scottish Prince became a Mythical Hero by Simon Andrew Stirling – Amazon



ACoPF Author Interview by Shirley Golden


Interview with Tracey-anne McCartney

‘A Carpet of Purple Flowers’ is your wonderfully imaginative debut novel; have you written other fiction prior to this publication?

Only as a child, and then my stories would never be finished.

Up until around a year and a half ago, I lost myself in art projects but found myself researching folklore more and more. Then one day, I decided to put all of the information gathered over the years into a story, and here we are. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure if I could do it, especially as I’ve never attempted writing of this magnitude in my life. Even formatting a manuscript had me in a spin! However, I fell in love with the fairy tale and its characters so much I had no choice but to listen to my muse and write. I became hooked. It still amazes me today that we can create an elaborate world simply from a collection of ideas. I must add, I have a new admiration for authors, having been through the process. It’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.
Have you always been attracted to the fantasy genre?

Yes, it’s where magic exists, and we all love a bit of the magical, don’t we? A little escapism from reality is a splendid thing. A brief respite from normal life.

Apart from fantasy, I also enjoy crime and psychological thrillers. Usually gangster related. I love Martina Cole’s characters, rough, gritty and raw. I think this explains why Brandon was created. A South London lad, a petty criminal, who becomes lost in drink and drugs. He brings a sense of reality to the magical elements. Each character has been created for a reason, even Fez, the Fennec fox. Though it might not appear obvious at this point in the story. None are wholly good, and none wholly bad. Each feel as if they’re doing what is right for them, selfish perhaps, but karma has a way of setting the balance right. *Winks*
I love that you have beings that are from two sects of a different world. What inspires you to create fantasy?

Childhood daydreams that refused to leave my heart. :o) We never had a television or a phone, so I would sit in my room and create fantastical worlds. I have a fascination for folklore and cross- referencing mythical information. Yup, crazy I know, but it lights up something within, and my imagination fires up! If I’m not writing, I’m researching.

In the book, I include elements of fantasy, but in a way that seems believable. So perhaps, it’s more magical realism than fantasy. I write as I see the story play out in my mind, blending genres, creating a story that refuses to slot into a specific box. This is why Urbane Publications felt like the right choice for me as a writer. A publisher that sees beyond genre labelling.

I’ve always thought of magic as a ‘feeling’. A spark that lifts the spirit, and to me, it is the strongest magic of all. I guess that’s why I’m a romantic, a romantic realist if there can be such a thing. I believe in love, in all its forms, but remain very much aware that it can be an electrifying ride of both positives and negatives. This is where I write from.

As for fantasy inspiration, the beings in the book are inspired by many supernatural elements, but mainly the Tuatha Dé Danann, translated as people(s)/tribe(s) of the goddess Danu, who are thought to represent the main deities of pre-Christian Gaelic Ireland. Also, the folklore of the Aos Si, a supernatural race in Irish and Scottish mythology, which I blend with other cultures myths and philosophies. I believe that many stories from all over the world stem from one original source, and this is where I draw my inspiration, from those similarities.
Bea is caught in a love triangle and a war. I felt sympathy for the two Otherworldly beings in her life: Karian and Chance. I realise you’ve touched on this above, but did you intend to create an ambiguous feel, or did you see it as a straightforward good versus evil approach?

Oh, I most definitely wanted to create an ambiguous feel. You could read the book as a ‘normal’ love story, but there are layers if you care to look deeper. It is not an evil vs. good in any way, more a light vs. dark. Yin and Yang. We all have positive and negative personality traits, it’s what makes us interesting individuals with depth. Love is a perfect example of yin and yang. Where rational thinking goes out-of-the-window in matters of the heart. I suppose it depends greatly on the level of love/relationship.

Mistakes make us who we are, and I write my characters embracing these imbalances/flaws. I want them to grow, learn from each other through emotional hurt and joy, as we all do. People’s values/lifestyles differ on such a tremendous scale, and I wanted to portray this via my characters. Much in the same way that readers will relate to different aspects of the story, dependent on their perspective. Such as, Bea’s relationship with two men. How can she really be in love with two people? Why can’t she just choose between them? Hmm, but what if you have another person’s soul inside you? Can she truly be criticised for not being able to make rational choices, especially when everything around her is irrational? How would you stop ‘feeling’ the other soul? It would drive you crazy. Add to that, both men that she loves are not human and are on opposing sides of an old war, not of their creating, poor young Bea has a lot to contend with.

How can you be gentle, yet strong? How do you remain true to yourself when different people require different things from you? Bea has to find answers to some of these questions and more. Through the choices she makes, major changes are on the horizon.

I’ve also tried to create a story that subtly connects love in a more spiritual way, via Calageata (the elemental realm) visualisation, fingertips, and Otherworldly meetings, of which none are accidental. It is all a part of a divine plan and in book two, the characters realise how deeply karma (Vororbla) has played a role in their lives, and the truth of how these characters relate is finally revealed. The question is… Do they have the power to change destiny, and would they want to?
I have mentioned my favourite moment in my review. Your idea of a fabricated reality disintegrating is steeped in gothic imagery. Have you been influenced by gothic literature?

Hmm, good question. Yes, I love gothic visuals/themes. Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop is a favourite. Dorian Gray. Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Poe. Older fairy tales could also be classified as having a rather gothic feel, which I enjoy. Blending dark, melancholic tones with light. I guess that’s why I wrote that particular scene in this manner. I wanted to create a strong, dark transition, a peeling away of unquestioned reality. How a lie feels outside of itself.

A favourite quote used in the book by the famous English travel writer, H.V. Morton, who visited Menteith Lake in the 1930s wrote:

“Far in the middle of the lake was a low greyness that rose and fell in queer shadows, as though the once holy isle of Inchmahome was built up out of lake water like a mirage.”

Although he is not a gothic writer, this section describing the lake really grabbed me. Contrast is important in writing and I wanted to capture that essence.
Your novel has a sense of completeness to it but there is clearly scope for more. I was delighted to see you are working on a sequel. When is it due out?

Thank you, Shirley. Yes, ‘A Carpet of Purple Flowers’ is a part of a much bigger story. One which spans over different eras. A karmic cycle that, until resolved, will continue to cause mayhem in people’s lives.

This epic tale will be explained over three books, a trilogy, but Bea’s part is told within the first two, which I’m in the process of writing – ‘Awake in Purple Dreams’.

Rest assured, unresolved questions will be answered in book two. ‘A Carpet of Purple Flowers’ is really an introduction to a different world and its people. ‘Awake in Purple Dreams’ is the middle, and ‘The Purple Book of Menteith’, the end of that particular tale.

I also intend to write a fourth novel, a stand-alone, pre-history of this other world – ‘The Butterfly Bridge’. This was actually the original story that introduced itself, long before ‘A Carpet of Purple Flowers’.

You can read a little more here

I am in the process of outlining ‘Claíomh Solais’ (Shining Sword), possibly a novella, to accompany ‘Awake in Purple Dreams’, which happened quite by accident the other day. A character just decided they wanted their story heard and I listened. :o)

A big thank you, Shirley, for your kindness in giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts here. It’s been a wonderful, reflective experience.
Thank you, Trace! It has been a fascinating insight into your novel, the cross-referencing mythical background to it, and the folklore inspirations that helped to create it.


Shirley has a fabulous book ~ Skyjacked ~ Check it out. ;o)

Separated from his son, only a galaxy stands between him and home… The year is 2154, and Corvus Ranger, space pilot and captain of the Soliton, embarks on a penal run to Jupiter’s prison moon, Europa. It should be another routine drop, but a motley band of escaped convicts have other ideas. When Soliton is hijacked, Corvus is forced to set a new destination, one which is far from Earth and his son. Unable to fight (or smooth talk) his way to freedom, Corvus finds himself tied to the plans of the escapees, including their leader Isidore and a gifted young boy who seems to possess strange abilities. Desperate to return to Earth and the son he left behind, Corvus is thrown into the ultimate adventure, a star-strewn odyssey where the greatest enemy in the universe may very well be himself.


Booklist Online Review – A Carpet of Purple Flowers ~ Book 1

Bea lives a quiet life as the owner of a second-hand bookstore. She enjoys cups of tea and her newfound solitude, having just left a toxic relationship. However, her life is irrevocably changed when she bumps into a man named Karian and discovers a world she never imagined existed, that of the Sidhe, along with two loves—Karian and Chance. They hail from opposite sides of the Sidhe war, which ignited when Princess Alithia was murdered hundreds of years ago. Though Bea is human, her soul is that of the slain princess, and she is able to see the Sidhe that reside concealed in England. Chance understands Bea as the woman she is, while Karian recognizes her as his past love, Alithia. Bea can envision futures with both men and cannot decide which to follow. McCartney relies on Bea’s emotional relationships with Karian and Chance to build their love triangle rather than on their sexual chemistry. Fantasy fans will wait eagerly for the next installment in McCartney’s series, enchanted by the complicated love story and the surprising cliffhanger ending.

— Amy Dittmeier

(See review HERE)

Book Website HERE

Amazon HERE


A Carpet of Purple Flowers ~ Debut Novel

About this author:
Tracey-anne lives in SW London with her family. She loves the diversity of a big city, and enjoys her work as a mixed media artist and writer.

Certified to teach, her world is filled with various forms of creativity. Her qualifications include Specialized Paint Techniques and Surface Design. Tracey-anne has exhibited art dolls in a Canadian gallery and has been published in various US magazines.

With her active imagination, mingled with a love of folklore and the old mysteries, she felt inspired to write a fictional story revolving around love and karma, blending reality with fantasy.
Her novel ‘A Carpet of Purple Flowers’ is synchronicity of a debut writer’s mind with an artistic heart.

book post v

Book Blurb:

Bea lives a simple life residing in a SW London second-hand bookshop. It’d been an especially difficult year, first with Bea’s uncle dying, then splitting up with Brandon, her philandering, druggie boyfriend. The shops trivial daily conversations, local faces and ordinary calm was all she desired but that was all about to change. No-one expects to bump into supernatural beings, let alone two opposing sects of a forgotten race. Bea’s quiet existence turns into turmoil as she slowly starts to unravel a secret past, a lost history in which love, revenge, betrayal, magic, power and karma are not mere cycles of a soul, but a sacred journey upon a web of many possibilities. The future is not set in stone, and the choices that Bea makes ripple through the cosmos. As the secret unfolds she realises that no matter what form your soul takes there are consequences for your actions in which time has no relevance we call it karma, they call it Vororbla.
Will she cope with the heartbreak and truths revealed before her?

What would you do if your very existence came into question?
Join Bea on her journey as she uncovers the truth of her past via A Carpet of Purple Flowers.

iuhbko lif book blurbz

Book Website ~ http://www.traceyannemccartney.com

Goodreads ~ https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25339089-a-carpet-of-purple-flowers

Urbane Publications ~ http://urbanepublications.com/books/a-carpet-of-purple-flowers

Amazon ~ UK  or  Amazom.Com

Facebook Page ~ https://www.facebook.com/Traceyannemccartney