The Highland Hens are on their way.

I’m so excited about my new novel, The Highland Hens, which will be published on August 4th. I visited the Scottish Highlands earlier this year, and the location is so stunning that it had to be the star in a story. In The Highland Hens, Mimi McKinlay, an 88-year-old woman who was once a celebrated chorus girl in London musicals, now lives in Glen Carrick House with her three sons, Finlay, Angus and Hamish. Jess Oliver is a visitor to the area but she finds herself staying on. Mimi is lonely most of the time, dressing up in stage costumes, performing her old routines and drinking too much Chardonnay. Occasionally she escapes with her Italian friend Isabella and the two women have a reputation locally for behaving badly. Jess’s arrival brings some stability to the chaos that is Mimi’s life.

Their local village is Drumnadrochit, nestling in the hills on the edge of the loch. Loch Ness is a large freshwater loch to the south west of Inverness, beautiful at all times of day, from the rising mists of the morning to the sunsets on the water at night. Deer roam and wild boar wander, and these animals had to feature in the book along with a faithful black labrador called Thor who has an adventure all of his own. There are waterfalls and forests and mountains. In the novel Jess, new to the Highlands, explores the forest late at night with one of Mimi’s sons, spotting wild deer. Being alone in the dark of a Highland pine forest with a handsome man is always going to lead to an exciting chapter or two…

Mimi and two of her sons take Jess to the Isle of Skye, the largest of the Inner Hebrides, best known for its rugged landscapes, picturesque fishing villages and medieval castles. While they are there, Mimi performs one of her old musical songs while splashing in the waves on a sandy beach. She performs another one half way up Ben Nevis and a third in a posh hotel in Inverness. Then there’s her rendition of Singing in the Rain

The Highland Hens celebrates many things that are wonderful about Scotland; mountains, castles, lochs, beaches, the stunning wildlife and the hospitality. It’s also a story about relinquishing the hurts of the past and embracing the future. Mimi and her irrepressible friend Isabella get into trouble wherever they go, despite being octogenarians. And neither of them has given up on finding love.

Mimi’s three sons adore her and they often join in the chorus line with her – they’ve been doing it since they were boys. Each son is very different, each with his own set of baggage, but Fin, Angus and Hamish are equally adorable. Fin has an angry ex-wife; Angus is recovering from an accident; Hamish is married to his music. But which one will Jess pick, if any? You’ll have to read the book to fnd out. It’s availabe for preorder onhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Highland-Hens-Judy-Leigh-ebook/dp/B09WTNZWB4/?_

I hope you’ll enjoy reading The Highland Hens.

Loch Ness

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