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Green Gold newsletter No.9

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Jeffrey pine nicola macartney

No.9 of my newsletter is now available, featuring stories linked to the creation of my historical novel: Green Gold - the lost journals of John Jeffrey.

Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi) painting in progress by Nicola Macartney

In this issue, a new extract from the book, more stunning botanical art by NicolaMacartney, how to gift a book patronage this Christmas, plus good news on…

Gift a book patronage

Monday, 16 October 2017

Dl book patron

Why not gift a book patronage this Christmas for a truly unique present. Every supporter will have their name listed inside the book.

Giving a book which doesn't yet exist

The one downside to the gift of a Green Gold book patronage is that the book doesn't yet exist (remember it's your support which will make it happen)! To help you give something physical to prove your endearing love…

Book extract: Lampreys, 15th June 1853

Saturday, 14 October 2017

800px boca de lamprea.1   aquarium finisterrae

An extract from John Jeffrey's lost journals

Lampreys, 15th June 1853

At Klamath Falls there was a great gathering of Indians, apparently from several tribes, given the varieties of costume and appearance on display. They were all there for a common purpose however; to gather lampreys.

The only lamprey I have seen in this country before now was firmly attached to the flanks of a large…

A new discovery

Monday, 25 September 2017

Tsuga nicolamacartney greengold

Following visits to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) and Benmore Botanic Garden, collaborating botanical artist Nicola Macartney has started work on some painted sketches of western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) including foliage, cones and a small section of bark. These are the elements which she intends to include in the final painting.

John Jeffrey, the protagonist in GREEN GOLD…

Talk at Oxford Blackwells

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Eventbrite tickets logo

I'll be talking about GREEN GOLD at Oxford Blackwells on Friday 13th October (19:00-20:00).

The event is a 'pledge party' organised by the publishers Unbound, and I'll be keeping good company with five other Unbound authors offering short talks on an eclectic selection of topics. It promises to be an interesting evening.


Kalypso Nicolaidis – Exodus, Reckoning, Sacrifice: Three Meanings…

Stunning botanical art will help celebrate the life of John Jeffrey

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Pinus jeffreyi cone nicolamacartney

Drawing of the cone from a Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi) by Nicola Macartney.

Botanical artist Nicola Macartney and I are collaborating to help make an exhibition together at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RGBE) in 2018. Nicola is hunting for plant material associated with John Jeffrey, the main protaganist in GREEN GOLD. Some reward levels include an invitation to the exhibition and other…

Gifting a voice beyond the grave

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Johnjeffreyletter gabrielhemery

Now I've completed the draft of my first full-length novel—a work of historical fiction—I feel as though I travelled alongside my protagonist as he walked thousands of miles across North America in search of plants. Yet I went on a very real journey myself, learning about Victorian exploration, the wildernesses of North America, the Gold Rush, and Native Americans. Then further challenges came…

Collaborations with Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Rbge logo

Behind the scenes I've been collaborating closely with Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) ever since starting work on GREEN GOLD.

Plant-hunter John Jeffrey, the main protagonist in Green Gold, was employed by RBGE, and his exploits managed by a newly formed group - the Oregon Botanical Association. I therefore relied on the archives of RBGE for my research as it holds many letters and the…

The extraordinary journey of John Jeffrey

Sunday, 14 May 2017

John Jeffrey, the main character in my latest book Green Gold, walked, paddled and rode at least 10,000 miles across North America while hunting for plants from 1850-4. During the two years I spent researching and writing the book I plotted his travels in detail and can now publish the route in full for the first time.

After sailing 2,600 nautical miles from London, via Stromness in the Orkney…

Jeffrey's shooting star

Friday, 5 May 2017

Dodecatheon jeffreyi gabrielhemery

In September 1852 young Scottish plant hunter John Jeffrey came across an attractive flowering plant in northern California. After samples were received by his sponsors at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh it was named in his honour.

Jeffrey's shooting star (Dodecatheon jeffreyi) is also known as Sierra shooting star or tall mountain shooting star. Its glowing pink flowers, which appear between…

Film released to mark book launch

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

I'm delighted to see my first book with Unbound Publishing launched.

It's taken two years of research and writing, interupted frequently by a busy day job, to reach this day yet I've enjoyed writing the story more than I ever imagined.

They say truth is stranger than fiction, and in the case of the true story of John Jeffrey I've learnt it's even more extraordinary too.

During the winter…

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