Just after I first started blogging in 2015 I had a smashing guest post from Alison Baillie on Linda’s Book Bag and I reviewed her wonderful novel Sewing the Shadows Together in a post you can read here. Since then, the blog has changed quite a bit and I have been delighted to meet Alison in real life so it gives me enormous pleasure to welcome her back to Linda’s Book Bag today to stay in with me.
Staying in with Alison Baillie
Welcome back to Linda’s Book Bag Alison. It was so lovely to meet you recently. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me here on the blog.
Thank you for inviting me!
Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
I’ve brought along a copy of my second novel, A Fractured Winter, which just came out at the beginning of this month.
Congratulations Alison and a belated happy book birthday. I’ve heard marvellous things about this book from other bloggers so what can we expect from an evening in with A Fractured Winter?
I hope you will be caught up in an intriguing mystery set in Switzerland, Scotland and Yorkshire. Reviewers have said it’s difficult to put down – and one said it caused her to burn her dinner, so it’s probably best to avoid reading and cooking at the same time.
(No worries there. My husband does all the cooking these days. He had to learn or starve when I worked away from home!)
The book describes one winter when the seemingly idyllic life of Olivia, a young Scottish mother living in a small Swiss village, begins to crumble. Her daughter’s best friend goes missing and figures from the past come back into her life. She is terrified that someone knows her secret, the reason she had to leave Scotland and, while she is haunted by memories from her childhood, she becomes obsessed with the search for the missing girl. It is a story of the search for the little girl, and for love and identity. It also deals with rejection, loss and trust. One reviewer described it as ‘A family drama with a deeply sinister edge’.
(I know I’d love this Alison. I so enjoyed Sewing the Shadows Together and I love your writing.)
What else have you brought along and why?
I’ve brought along some raclette for us to eat. This is a Swiss mountain delicacy and is basically just cheese melted on a grill or by the fire, eaten with boiled potatoes and pickled onions and gherkins. You can also add bacon and salad, but the great attraction for me is that everyone cooks it themselves – and it is delicious. I chose this dish because Olivia’s family eat it in the last scene in the book.
(You’re my kind of guest Alison. I love anything with cheese – though I’m less keen on pickled onions so you can have most of those.)
It’s usually accompanied by Swiss white wine, but as I don’t think you drink wine I’ve brought some herbal tea for you, which is also often eaten with it.
(Thanks! Though I notice you sneaked in some wine for yourself. You’re right. I rarely drink ordinary wine these days – seems to make me ill!)
And, of course, I’ve also brought some Swiss chocolate for us to eat afterwards!
(Oh… It was meant for afterwards. Oops…)
Thanks so much for staying in with me and telling me about A Fractured Winter Alison. It sounds such a good read and I’m looking forward to it.
Thank you very much for having me, Linda!
A Fractured Winter
A missing girl.
Olivia’s idyllic family life in a Swiss mountain village is falling apart. She thought she’d managed to escape the past, but it’s coming back to haunt her.
Has somebody discovered her secret – why she had to leave Scotland more than ten years ago?
What is her connection to Marie, a lonely schoolgirl in a Yorkshire seaside town, and Lucy, a student at a Scottish university?
A story of the shadows of the past, the uncertainties of the present and how you can never really know anybody.
Published by Williams and Whiting, A Fractured Winter is available for purchase here.
About Alison Baillie
Alison Baillie was brought up in the Yorkshire Dales, but has always felt Scottish. Her parents were both from Scotland and, as soon as she could, she went back there to study English at the University of St Andrews. After a year in Finland she taught English in several Edinburgh High Schools. She then moved to Switzerland, where she still lives, but her heart will always be in Scotland, where she goes as often as possible. She loves travelling, reading crime fiction, going to crime writing festivals and being with her family and friends.