A CUMBRAE-loving author shared her passion for the island’s Viking past with MSPs and VIPs at a special Scottish Parliamentary reception.

Maura McRobbie, who released ‘Vikings and Skylarks on Cumbrae’ last year, attended the event hosted by Lord Thurso, chairman of Visit Scotland, to celebrate Scottish Year of Stories 2022.

The author, who’s debut novel was highly commended by the Scottish Association of Writers, says the high profile event was a great chance to showcase her passion for the island.

Maura, pictured at the event with Pam Gosal MSP, said: “Everyone there was passionate about promoting Scotland’s culture, trade and most of all stories, to the world.

“It was a cross party event and well attended by MSPs from every political persuasion.

“It was great to be able to speak about Cumbrae in this setting."

The evening reception in the garden lobby of the parliament celebrated those who had participated in Scottish Year of Stories from all of the country's local authorities.

Speeches were made by high-profile politicians including Ivan McKee, minister for business, trade, tourism and enterprise, and fellow MSPs Evelyn Tweed and Neil Grey.

Maura believes her book is an example of how true events can become stories that capture the imagination, as well as raising awareness of a part of Scotland that is little-known for its historical legacy.

She explained: “It’s amazing how many people on the east coast of Scotland have never heard of Cumbrae. By writing the story, I wanted to put the island’s Viking legacy on the map.

“As a former primary depute head, I spent every summer on the island and I was aware that there was a rich source of Viking/Celtic evidence to rival the island of Iona.

“As a child I used to lay flowers on Viking graves and spent my summers running wild and free over the hills, on foot or on horseback. For me there was no other feeling like it.

“It was these scenes I wanted to recreate in the book, of a young Scots girl and a Danish boy Sten who lived in the Viking encampment on the island, and where the Battle of Largs will decide their fate.”

‘Vikings and Skylarks on Cumbrae’ is available locally in Cumbrae Crafts and Webb’s Newsagents in Millport and to order in Waterstones or directly through Amazon.

Further details can be found on Maura’s website at www.mauramcrobbie.com