Gunther Conrad comes from humble beginnings in early twentieth century Hamburg. Pursuing his dream, he makes his way as an actor in the world of theatre and then the cinema, during the rise of the Nazis. After a stint in Hollywood in the heart of the studio system at the advent of sound, Gunty returns to Germany. However, as the Nazis increase their stranglehold on the country, political tensions force him to leave home again and he ends up in Britain at the centre of the show business world. But Gunty’s personal life will tie him to Germany where the ever-encroaching power of the Nazis engulfs his homeland, Europe and then the world in destructive conflict. Meeting important British political figures through his growing status as a star, Gunty is presented with a new opportunity to help banish the Nazis once and for all. He moves back to Hollywood again to make take up a major contract and to make his contribution to the war effort. Gunty’s rags-to-riches story provides a nostalgic look back at the film industry during the Golden Age of Hollywood before anti-trust legislation and television presented a dual threat to the established studio system. He mixes with many of the greats of the time from the star actors to the moguls in charge of the film business who ran the big studios with a rod of iron. Set against the backdrop of changing political, social and cultural times in the first half of the twentieth century, Gunty’s War will give readers a picture of life in the inter-war years, including the cosmopolitan culture of 1920s Berlin, the pre-war society in London and life in Los Angeles during Hollywood’s heyday when for so many people in the United States and around the world, going to the cinema was an essential part of their weekly lives.
Price - £14.95
IBSN - 978-1-8382223-1-4
Life was difficult for Angela who grew up in ghetto-like poverty in the lush, beautiful land of Guyana.
The strict religious, cultural discipline of patriarchs and matriarchs was the unwritten law; they decided children’s choices of partners and were always the ones calling the tune. Angela remembers in vivid terms her childhood and the abuse meted out to her and her mother by their drunken father.
She recalls meeting her future husband while he was in the Army and how the relationship turned sour and into a tirade of frequent abuse, mentally and physically by a bully, a liar and a controller. His deviance to get what he wanted knew no limits.
Her life after her bitter divorce is one of peace and contentment. In her retirement it has given her the chance to reflect on her continuing struggle against the odds. Her perseverance shines like a beacon. She has emerged a better person as a result.
IBSN - 978-1-8382744-0-5
Price - £8.95
Teenage tales are recalled in this detailed account of the lives of a group of seven pals whose meeting place was affectionately known as The Black Wall. Set in a poor, downtrodden area of Salford, it tells of the exploits and escapades of the young daredevils and their couldn’t care less attitude to life.
It’s a portrait of youth with time on its hands and its utter disregard of others. It perhaps reflects the time when we were young and thought nothing of what we did. But through it all one thing emerges and that’s the camaraderie and loyalty within the group.
Price - £8.95
IBSN - 978-1-8382744-6-7
In London’s East End, Perry Shoebottom, an ageing man working in Fish Island’s cooperage, finds himself stuck in a dreary way of life. Trapped in a loveless marriage to a jealous woman and father to a good-for-nothing son, Perry is dissatisfied. Everything is as it always has been, until one day at work, when he befriends a comely young woman named Valerie working in the cooperage’s canteen.
When they discover Valerie is pregnant, Perry vows to help her raise her child. In order to ensure his wife, Edna, approves of the arrangement, they employ the help of his son, Callan, to act as the real father.
While Perry, Valerie and Callan are living a lie to shield Edna from the truth, Perry has secrets of his own. An annual commitment in trips to the continent and a troubling source of income keep Perry comfortable, offering an escape from his unstimulating life on Fish Island. But secrets can’t stay hidden forever. Who is Perry Shoebottom? How far will he go to secure his own happiness, and where do his loyalties lie?
Price - £8.95
IBSN - 978-1-8380464-7-7
The story take place in present-day Athens on a beach and adjacent café over two winters. This location, the weather and a love of the sea, bring an eclectic group of people together on Sundays, to pursue their passion for swimming.
Sundays revolve around Betty, her café, her son Jacob and Louli, the brindled cat. The swimmers, of all ages, backgrounds and types, have their views on life in Athens as economic, political and social tensions across Europe take effect on Greece. As well as swimming, they relax together, using the café and the beach as their oasis in difficult times.
A mysteriously staged suicide sets events in motion which will affect them all to various degrees. Against this clandestine backdrop, the stories unfold about the swimmers’ lives, past and present and their hopes for the future. They experience happiness and joy, tragedy and loss and become close friends who try to help each other wherever possible.
For those who have visited Greece and fallen in love with the land and the people, the book may offer a deeper insight into realities of life there and to Greeks, many of the characters and stories may seem all too familiar.
The Winter Swimmers’ Club has a message about the positive power of love and friendship and how it can sustain us and offer us all hope in the face of adversity. The story unfolds with a dose of romance, mystery and a passion for life which should entertain readers of all ages.
Price - £9.95
IBSN - 9781838092979
It is the early 1970s and Bernard is part of a group of seven young adults who most Wednesday evenings meet at the Green Man, a pub in the west country town of Steynmouth. Included in this soon to disintegrate assembly are Clive, an old university acquaintance whose fragile mental state becomes a seriously threatening presence, and two vivacious young women, Liz and Amy. It's the latter two who contribute in Bernard's life to roller-coaster of emotions, into which there is a further intrusion from Deborah, a former teenage girlfriend from his home town in central Wales. The backdrop is the resort and small fishing village of Steynmouth itself - but there are short interludes in Wales and France. The final 'resolution' is as multi-faceted as the social interplay that takes us there..
Price - £9.95
IBSN - 9781838092962
Summers of Light, Hearts of Gold is a fictional story about the power of music to alter, affect and raise spirituality in individuals receptive to it.
The main character is subtly touched by music during his experience of Cranleigh Choral Week. When the week concludes, he has been permanently changed by it.
While there, he sees people for whom music is a dedicated way of life. He sees that they have a vitality of spirit affecting and influencing them, their attitudes to life and other people. Is life for them harder or easier because of the joy of music?
The week makes him review himself as a person and he finds aspects he likes but also, ones he does not. He vows to leave those traits behind. His relationship with a woman he meets during the week forces him to continue examining everything in his life, especially his primary relationship.
After returning home, the character continues to look at his life and attitudes prior to taking part in the event. He acknowledges that his mind, opinions and attitudes have changed. He has become softer, more forgiving and less harsh. He sees and accepts a different life around him.
The music and its effects gradually recede as more layers of his home life overlay the Cranleigh Choral Week experience. But will he be able to implement his decision to change himself or will it be eroded by his day-to day life back at home?
Price - £8.95
IBSN - 978-1-8380464-5-3
Welcome to Allbrite a sleepy town in Montana, USA where three generations of the O’Brien family are raised. Follow their trials, tribulations and celebrations as they cope with contemporary life. What happens when Mama vanishes without a trace? Will Eric ever settle down? Can the beautiful Candice ever find true romance? Will the family succeed in a constantly changing world? Explore Guatemala, Laos, Montreal, Los Angeles, glamping, cruising, fund raising, unemployment, war wounds, dyslexia, child prodigy, bullying and attempted rape. Will life run smoothly for such a diverse bunch? Who says nothing ever happens in Allbrite?
A young men's club devoted to standing on high parapets; a gambler who gets tips from his late wife; a boy hunting the streets of a strange town for his unknown father. These are among the matters at the heart of the worlds through which Alan Franks's exhilarating new novellas move. Linked by the traffic of lives between the north and the south of England through the pre-war years of the twentieth century to the present day, they sweep across a broad social canvas which veers between the dark and the dazzling. It takes in the haughty gibberish of a faded Oxford don, the hopes and despairs of a bypassed ship town and the survival of a lone house in the wreckage of Manchester. Against the backdrop of the 1992 general election, we meet the self-conscious Old Etonian Fabian and his love rival, the radical Bill Haycraft; on the eve of the millennium we encounter the sinister and ambitious Methodist Fazackerley; then, in a time just beyond the reach of our present one, we come face to face with the legacies of our own and the nation's past. The repercussions run like a bursting river into every domain from the private to the political, the marital to the musical. We have even found an ancestor piecing together the road to the Peterloo Massacre as its two hundredth anniversary draws near. The protests and betrayals of the Sixties are sounding quaint from here.
The year is 1937 and this is the story of David Denby, an eleven-year-old boy from East Yorkshire. As military and diplomatic tensions escalate in Europe, David Denby wins a scholarship to his local grammar school. He quickly settles in to school life – his teachers immediately recognising his natural, academic potential. Then, on the very day Britain finally declares war with Germany, personal tragedy strikes at the heart of David and his family.
Man Of The House spans the rest of David’s life – following him as he must abandon his academic ambition, take on new responsibilities and then as he conscripts in the final months of the war, and how all of these events overshadow and disrupt the simple life he longs for.
''Every single one of us has a story to tell.'' This story revolves around two girls of the same age with initially apparently very little in common characterwise, called Madeleine and Madison Moretti. One is an intelligent and hardworking medical doctor interested in clinical chemistry, the other seemingly a Japanese pop culture expert, and a manga, anime and gaming enthusiast with deep roots in the land of the rising sun where the cherry blossoms fall. The story is rich with interspersed cultural and comedic elements. Flipping seamlessly from Madeleine's medical drama to Madison's everyday life and her figurine and keychain collections, unexpected revelations are made. Moving from daily routines to illusions beyond the looking glass that transcend the mortal realm, to the vermillion gates of Inari, and the Coomassie's brilliant blue waters, even deeper secrets surface at the end. The girls touch upon the artefact called romantic love with its many shapes and guises, ranging from Tietz's fiancee, the unique allure of virtual characters, and a fateful chance meeting. Philosophical musing on what constitutes true `happiness' after a potentially fatal incident, and the strong thematic element of duality, blend in to make the story more intuitive and accessible. It incorporates suspense, and final realisations as to who Madison and Madeleine really were, or who they could have been, with depiction of chemical pathology through the eyes of a girl and references drawn from famous Japanese pop culture elements by a girl who's story could no longer be told.
Rose of September is penned by Oksana Verpakhovskaya, a practicing obstetrician-gynaecologist. It consists of eleven charming, true stories that will amaze and inspire you. They will help you to believe in the inexhaustible ability of human beings to maintain hope even when there seems to be no way out. The thoughts on a doctor’s role in her patients’ lives runs like a scarlet thread through each story.
Please see our news page to view Oksana signing her lovely book.
One of Ukrainian leading creative fashion designers Fedir Vozianov has kindly provided this glowing review
We all love stories. Regardless of where we live and which language speak we all love stories about people resembling ourselves, or those ones that do not resemble ourselves, or about people we wish to resemble, or about those ones we do not wish to resemble. In the book of Oksana Verpakhovskaya “The Rose of September” stories of various people are gathered. To be exact, relations of various people. The ideas of these stories are not the result of author phantasy, but the reflection of events happening in real life. The author, a professional doctor that meets many people in everyday life, influences their destinies and even exchanges places with her patients sometimes making them protagonists and leaving for herself the role of story-teller. This story-teller has one special feature. She once gave the Hippocritic oath. That is why feelings filling her true stories, the faith of her characters in themselves and in a miracle, anticipation of love regardless of the burden of external circumstances, give these stories the effect of magic cure. Cure from depression, unbelief and apathy!
Guy de la Moroz is a direct descendant of a Dutch mercenary who had come over with William the Conqueror. As magic often attracts magic, natural evolution has made Guy into the most powerful witch in the country and he had risen to be a Madge. By travelling the world, he had also become a shaman in many cultures including Aboriginal, Hindu, American Indian and Amara, Inca and Nazca from South America.
Guy lives on a seventy-two foot Big Woolwich ex-working narrow boat named The Wizard of Oz. His boat is also magical and often talks to Guy. His brown and white spaniel called Dorothy is his witch’s familiar. Although never married he has two children in the village of Coven, his adopted home. His relationship with the mothers of his two children and various lovers in the village only complicates his life.
Coven is a quiet little village in Shropshire until one day the vicar’s wife is killed on the village green in broad daylight; another murder soon follows which embroils Guy in a merry-go-round of jealousy, madness, revenge and passion as he uses his magical abilities to help solve the case.
Churchwarden Christopher Jamieson has devoted himself tirelessly to St Benet’s Church and its Anglo-Catholic tradition. Single, lonely and prickly, he feels happier in the company of eighteenth century church architecture and beautiful vestments than in that of his colleagues. But the parish is struggling and, when the Church authorities plan a takeover by a hugely successful and popular Evangelical church, Christopher finds himself at odds with his upbringing, his associates, his fellow churchwarden, Caroline, and even his loyal and sympathetic friend, Max. As the takeover becomes more certain, his outlook on life becomes more bleak and desperate, until he takes a step that will change everything.
Ralph Waters, a successful, wealthy and gay Queen’s Counsel and, since May 2015, the elected Conservative Member of Parliament for the constituency of Pepynbridge Forest, spends most weekends in a rented cottage in the village of Pepynbridge, accompanied by his much younger partner, Pascal Legrand, a retired black African Top 14 French rugby union player. Ralph and Pascal’s request that Herbert Onion, Rector of Pepynbridge, should conduct their marriage in St Aidan’s Abbey and the knowledge that Ralph is promoting a Private Members’ Bill in Parliament to force the Church of England to permit same-gender marriage in church, unleash controversy in the village and further afield that challenges long-held assumptions about homosexuality and entrenched attitudes towards same-gender marriage; and puts at risk not only a livelihood, but a life as well.
The Portrait of Eve is a deep, profound and intense love story. As a novel it literally rivets the reader and brings to light hidden human aspects in the name of love and eroticism that escape the confines of the ordinary. James is undoubtedly playing with the psyche of the reader as he or she is engulfed in the same uncontrolled emotions as the protagonists.
A sad and tragic love story is certainly not uncommon, but the love story told through The Portrait of Eve is totally different. Jacques and Eve could be the people next door but experience situations far beyond the ordinary.
The story takes place in the two most romantic cities in Europe, Paris and Venice. You will be transported there as you enjoy and endure the happiness and anguish of Jacques and Eve.
The backdrop to Lizzie Steeples is Lancashire in the mid 20th century with a declining cotton industry. It is a story of multiple rapes and murders. It is also the story of a young woman, struggling in those hard times, to bring up three children.
Michael Yates describes the events preceding the tragic rape and murder of a young girl out to celebrate her 18th birthday. The police are then called to also investigate the murder of a man whose body is discovered twenty-four hours later in a disused mill. A young suspect is arrested and sent for trial but while he is in custody two more women are murdered and a third is badly beaten and raped, all in the same manner. The police uncover some startling evidence that confirms that there is another killer out there; nearer to home than anyone suspects? This is a thriller with many unexpected twists and turns, right up to the final chapter.
STIRRING THE WATERS is a gentle novel and includes many characters and locations. It follows the gradual disillusionment of an Anglican priest with his church and the mental torment that results from an enfolding story of middle-age love. It explores a number of complex entanglements between romance, genuine affection, lust and friendship. It graphically illustrates that these can exist just as easily in this unusual background as in what the reader might consider a more worldly location.
Pepynbridge is a large village in the East Midlands, with an abbey as its parish church needing £1million to repair its roof, but riven by disputes over its style of worship and with a dreadful track record of not hanging onto its rectors. Into this toxic mix, the Reverend Herbert Onion, a bachelor and gifted musician with strong views about worship, but nurturing a dark and potentially catastrophic secret, arrives as the new rector. As Pepynbridge struggles to accommodate the outsider, relationship storms break out that threaten not only Herbert Onion’s reputation and liberty, but the futures of others in the community as well.
Outwardly successful with everything life could offer at her fingertips, Amelia holds a dark secret. She is responsible for the death of her sister.
Like the author, she was raised in a cult and the psychological scars of her upbringing are evident from the very first page of this amazing and fascinating book.
At times, irreverent; at times, belligerent and most of the time, unsure, self-deprecating and fearful, funny and sometimes tragic, Amelia’s emotions and coping mechanisms, grew from a need to make sense of the world and of her past.
This book is written for a diverse readership. It seeks to introduce God in a different light, for those who would seek to mock, denigrate, disbelieve or have merely - given up hope; for those who would never in a million years pick up a self-help book or a book on spirituality and for those who would laugh at ‘new-ageism’ or the traditional teachings of the Bible. Then there are those who know they don’t need God; it also acknowledges and reflects their opinion fairly.
The aim is to achieve an entertaining path down a controversial subject, which hopefully may answer or at the very least attempt to fulfill inquisitive minds.
Striking scenery and accounts of characters past and present make a colourful and worthwhile read.
Our protagonist looks back with hindsight at the story that currently is still unfolding. Concern for the declining standards of their beloved sport; a group of skiers choose to shoulder the wheel of a project to turn around a dilemma caused by certain pitfalls. However, the truth revealed was that the more they strived for answers, the nearer they come to unveiling their own personal hidden traits as the boiling pot of working closer together simmered progressively. From the start there had always been a faithful friend in their midst, with his invaluable help, it had been his family’s attribute to be delivers of support. The group little realise how this will be turned around and their voluntary aid will be required, to present a far bigger story than their own.
After the success of his first book ‘Now It Begins’, Gary Markwick has ventured into the world of docu-fantasy, chronicling the life and times of his grandfather’s adventures in America, Canada and Europe.
The ‘Adventures of The Great Marlo and The Blue Pearl’ opens up a ‘Pandora’s Box’ of delights. Journey with ‘The Great Marlo’, Marko the Magician and the many friends and foes, experience the thrills and spills of life on the edge as well as the spiritual enlightenment that comes their way. This is a book like no other you have read before, part documentary, part fantasy it manages to mix the two in a sympathetic and bold manner that leaves the reader hanging out for more.
The story unfolds, as seen through the eyes of David – "The Great Marlo", who left his home in Edinburgh at the age of 12 to join a travelling circus where he met Marko a magician who tells him the story of ‘The Blue Pearl’.
Deep below the surface of Buddha's birthplace in Lumbini lies the sacred Buddha Stone, which holds the secret of the Blue Pearl! What is the secret that the Blue pearl possesses?
Filled with mysticism and intrigue the great adventure unfolds, covering the period from the late 1800’s to the 1960’s and crossing India, USA, Canada and Europe. We see truth and enlightenment on a spiritual journey revealed before our eyes.
David Galloway Lindsay later became well known as an escapologist (The British Houdini) a magician, a palmist, and a performer with mind reading skills. Working with his son Roy, and later on his daughter Georgina, he performed with the BBC and theatres around Great Britain, and some parts of the USA, going on to become famous as "The Great Marlo and Georgina".
In his debut novel, Back in the Frame, Jake Yardley has produced an intriguing tale about world snooker champion John Kelly.
From the trappings of fame and success achieved at a young age, Kelly suddenly finds his world collapsing around him through no fault of his own.
Jake demonstrates both sensitivity and insight as he tells of how his hero copes with the many difficulties, physical, professional and romantic, that litter his path.
Andy Fine is a brilliant, unscrupulous young businessman.
He transforms his father’s Manchester based textile company into a huge corporation. He agonises about his sexual orientation. Andy’s arrogance eventually results in the loss of his job. Andy’s father, Rube, is blackmailed after the mysterious death of his mistress.
Andy meets New York banker Mario Franconi and becomes head of the London branch of Franconi’s bank. What is Franconi’s background? Why does the bank crash?
Valerie, Andy’s ex-wife, meets Charles, a religious Jew. They fall in love. Charles asks Valerie to convert to Judaism to marry him.
What secret is Valerie’s mother guarding? Will it affect her daughter’s life and happiness?
Andy is forced to sell his home. A mysterious lady arrives at the eleventh hour to make an unusual offer! Could this be his salvation?
Most of us know a Ray Taylor. He was a familiar figure in the more down-trodden town-centre pubs of the last two centuries. He would be perched on his usual stool at the end of the bar, chatting and joking with all and sundry. The landlord (and especially the landlady) would have been his bosom friend and he would have considered it his duty to support the hostelry come rain or shine. But in living this life, all else is sacrificed. So home for Ray is a cold lonely place.
Only his pub friendships survive as he erratically steers his life from one family and relationship disaster, to another. Ray has a certain native charm and is not unintelligent but in true Man o’ the World fashion, he eventually destroys and loses almost everything of meaning to him.
We are indebted to Graham Ashworth for penning this sometimes sad but always entertaining and humorous, life-story.
Pieter Deminey has used his vast experience as a doctor in South Africa to write this fascinating and thrilling story. However, this is certainly NOT a medical book. It is the story of one man, Oscar Brand, a conscript in Angola, who after a fairly disastrous start struggles hard to make something out of his life.
Like Oscar, Pieter is deeply religious and is saddened to be an observer of the moral and ethical decline of world standards. Oscar is typical of many people Pieter has encountered over the years. They are badly managed and forever misunderstood and are indeed fortunate if they have the faith to struggle against the worst excesses of our age.
The Story of Britain in the Grip of a Tyrant……….
NEW! Souls Apart is the story of Britain, just a few years from now, falling under the domination of one evil man. The novel starts many years previously by explaining the background of the two main characters; the tyrannical Colonel Sidney Charleston and his identical twin birth brother Jeremy Pearson; separated at birth it is left to Jeremy, a gentle man of God to become personally involved in the resistance to his brother’s evil regime. Much of the action takes place in 21st century Manchester and central London.
Iraq. In the middle of a sea of sand dunes, five friends whose hopes and ambitions have been cut short by society’s biggest lie, dive into the trepidation of a living desert.
After their graduation the five friends had gone their separate ways and lost sight of each other. Three of them left a hurting Baghdad behind while two of the friends stayed in Iraq. Tragic events, unfulfilled dreams and four years later they return to Baghdad, broken and seemingly aged by decades. In search of their lost innocence, they decide to take a trip together to the north of Iraq but instead fall into the hands of unscrupulous kidnappers. After a turbulent ride they find themselves in the middle of the unforgiving Iraqi desert and here the story of the five friends begins as their naked feet on hot sand connect them to the anguish of the silent desert.
If you thought it was only school children who were bullied, this book will come as an eye-opener to you. In a story inspired by true events, Tamara West, has addressed the topics of workplace bullying, sexism and racism with great sensitivity.
Rebecca is a charming, highly intelligent yet vulnerable Property Consultant. She works at Benton Price, a large multinational corporation but is treated appallingly by Derek, her immediate superior. Rebecca truly is a woman of valour as she places her own health at risk in her quest for justice. However, there are mysterious undercurrents at play in Benton Price that deny Rebecca her chance of fulfilling her potential while Derek’s devious tricks seem set to protect him from receiving his just desserts…