Books

Winter Downs reviewed

A page-turning read from the start, this is a wonderful murder mystery set in a fascinating time. Bunch Courtney and her sister Dodo are engaging, interesting sleuths, as is Chief Inspector Wright, the enigmatic detective seconded from Scotland Yard for the duration. Jan Edwards’s characters are very real and you sense they’re full of hidden depths to be gradually revealed through the series. A satisfying mystery, puzzling and unpredictable with – like the times – an edgy sense of urgency and danger. The atmospheric setting is superb with the snow-bound Sussex Downs as central to the story as Morse’s Oxford. I love the way the author depicted a newly changed rural community with all its sense of loss and intrusion. The period detail is effortlessly done, absorbing the reader into Bunch’s world. A great treat.

— John Bainbridge on Amazon . There are several more, equally good reviews on their website.

 

 

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Picking Up the Pieces: book review

Picking Up the Pieces by Misha Herwin has received an excellent review on the Chat About Books website:

 This is a lovely story of friendship which I am sure many readers will relate to. With very real characters, who I easily warmed to, I soon found myself immersed in their story, almost as if I was a fourth friend sharing their troubles with them and cheering them on as they moved on to happier times and a successful future ahead of them.

Read the full review here.

 

New Title: Winter Downs by Jan Edwards

Book launch!

We are delighted to announce the launch of  Winter Downs by Jan Edwards!

3rd June 2017

ISBN 978-0-9930008-6-7 / paperback £7.99 tbc  | ebook £2.99 tbc

The Winter Downs launch party will be held in the Tolkien Room at the City Central Library, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent on 3rd June at 11.30 am with plenty of  1940’s styled fun – tea & cakes and of course a reading and Q&A session from Jan herself as well as some guest readings (tba).

Be there to get your signed copy of Winter Downs!

***

In the January of 1940 a small rural community on the Sussex Downs, already preparing for invasion from across the Channel, finds itself deep in the grip of a snowy landscape, with an ice-cold killer on the loose.

Bunch Courtney stumbles upon the body of Jonathan Frampton in a woodland clearing. Is this a case of suicide, or is it murder? Bunch is determined to discover the truth but can she persuade the dour Chief Inspector Wright to take her seriously?

Winter Downs is first in the Bunch Courtney Investigates series.

Published in paper and e formats.

 

 

SO, WHY THE CAT?

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So, Why the Cat? by Jan Edwards

One of the most frequently asked questions from people who first see my Fables and Fabrications collection is ‘why the cat?’ Title and covers are frequently  the hardest part of writing, or in the case of Fables and Fabrications  compiling a book. It could be seen as something of a chicken and egg process.  Is the cover suggested by the title? Or does the cover dictate the title?

With a collection such as Fables and Fabrications that process was made harder because the stories contained within are so diverse within that broad spectrum that is Fantasy. It is not a book of horror (though many of the stories are admittedly dark). It is not a book of fairy tales,  fantasy,  steam punk, myths or science fiction, though all are touched upon in various forms. (more…)

Why Do I Write?

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Penkhull author Misha Herwin asks “Why do I write?”

I’ve talked about my book at “Hot Air” the literary festival in Stoke-on-Trent, where I live: set up a Facebook page: sent out a pre-publication news-letter: searched the internet for bloggers who review women’s fiction: given out review copies: talked to everyone and anyone I’ve met and have just invited friends and neighbours to the first of a number of celebratory tea/mini launch at my house at the end of July. (There will be more such events, living room is too small to have everyone at the same time.) There will be coffee, cake and wine, hopefully followed by a few book sales.

Much as I enjoy all this, there are also the moments of panic familiar to all the writers I know about whether their book is good enough to see the light of day, let alone be read by the thousands/millions of readers we are hoping for.

(more…)

Something Remains

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Penkhull’s Peter Coleborn blogs about the forthcoming Alchemy Press book, Something Remains, which he co-edited with Pauline E Dungate:

At the 2013 World Fantasy Convention, held in Brighton, Joel Lane’s Where Furnaces Burn won the World Fantasy Award for Best Collection. Due to personal problems Joel wasn’t able to collect the award in person. I had intended to visit Joel soon after, meet up for one of our irregular balti meals with mutual friends Dave Sutton, James Brogden, John Howard, Mike Chinn and Stan Nicholls, and to toast Joel for the win. Sadly, that visit to Birmingham didn’t materialise in time – for not long after the convention Joel passed away in his sleep. His death left a huge cavity in my life.

(more…)

Bristol Beauty

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Penkhull author Jem Shaw writes:

“I’ve just completed the second of The Larks aircraft. This time it’s the Bristol Scout that Colin Hingley takes over, much to the envy of Andy Palmer, who gets sentenced to the BE2c ‘bloater’ following his less than impressive first squadron flight.

This Scout caused me some grief when writing the book. I have a signed Ivan Berryman print of Lanoe Hawker’s encounter with three Albatros and I’ve always been fascinated by its gun arrangement. The idea of trying to chase an enemy aircraft and then kick your own machine sideways to point the gun in the right direction gave rise to a sequence of which I was particularly proud. Which just served me right when I found out that the mounting had been changed by 1916 and the upper-wing mounting allowed the gun to fire more or less in the same direction as the aircraft happened to be flying. Still, the waste paper basket seemed to enjoy it.

I found David Bremner’s website while researching this illustration. He’s rebuilt the Bristol Scout flown by his grandfather in the Great War, basing his reconstruction on parts found in his ancestor’s effects. It’s an incredibly engaging account and I can heartily recommend a visit. You’ll find his site on bristolscout.wordpress.com.