BLACK Isle author Stephanie Parker McKean has used her latest novel to pay tribute to her son, US Marine Corps Major Luke Parker, who was killed in an air crash a year ago.
The 37 year old veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan was the sole casualty when the light aircraft he was piloting crashing on approach to an airfield in North Carolina in November last year.
Now his mother is including some of her son’s own writing in new novel Bridge Beyond Betrayal, the second in the US born author’s romantic suspense series about Michal "Miz Mike" Rice.
"While it was originally written to be just the second instalment of my latest series, when Luke died I turned the project around to instead honour his memory," McKean explained.
"The entire story was dedication to him, and I also include a powerful prophetic poem that he wrote about two years ago. So, he lives through each page in spirit."
McKean’s own life has been an eventful one, from running away and living underneath a bridge to escape sexual abuse, to being mauled by a lion and being bitten by a potentially deadly water moccasin snake.
She now lives in the Highlands where her husband and fellow author, Alan T. McKean, is minister at Fortrose/Rosemarkie and Avoch parish churches.
Bridge Beyond Betrayal, which is published by the Sunpenny Publishing Group, sees Miz Mike investigate another murder when she stumbles across a body in a pickup truck in the small Texas town where she lives.
"The narrative itself is one of high-adventure, with plenty of murder and mystery thrown into the mix," she said.
"It’s not necessarily dark, but Miz Mike always seems to attract dark and unconventional twists wherever she turns. I won’t say too much at this stage, but who knew health supplements could be so scandalous?"