Friday, 18 November 2022

New Release - Igloo, young adult romance by Jennifer Burkinshaw

A surprise Christmas holiday in the French Alps should be a dream come true, but not for sixteen-year-old Nirvana. She has an important project to complete at home, and tensions are high with her parents. In desperation, Niv skips ski school and heads off-piste towards the forest, where she discovers a hidden igloo. Better still, it’s empty.

When its builder, Jean-Louis, finds her trespassing, he suggests they share the igloo, and as the pair find common ground in their struggles to be themselves, they realise they are each other’s perfect Christmas gift.

Too soon, Niv must return home to Lancashire. Now in two different countries, each faces new problems, alone, and their battle to be together becomes infinitely harder.

Is it a battle they can win? Or will their sweet, fledgling romance be lost to the seasons, like the igloo where it began?

Where to buy IGLOO:


Other purchase links:

Find out more about launches and book signings on Jen's website and Instagram.

Meet Nirvana - the star of Igloo

Follow @jenbwriter on TikTok

@deb248211 New release - Igloo by @jenbwriter - it's awesome! #romancebooktok #youngadult ♬ original sound - Debbie McGowan

Wednesday, 6 July 2022

Beaten Track Midsummer Releases and Round-up of 2022 (so far)

It's been a while since our last post (November 2021), for reasons that have affected all of us over the past couple of years, so we shall say no more on it.

Congratulations to Larry Benjamin!

Just over a week ago, the Lambda Literary Awards took place, and Larry’s young adult gay romance Excellent Sons won the award for best Gay Romance.

You can watch Larry receiving his award here:

Midsummer's Day Releases

Broken Ground

Things aren’t going well in Arlo’s life, but they get a whole lot worse when a strange, heavily tattooed girl keeps appearing everywhere he goes. When he starts losing everything and everyone he cares about, is he prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to save his friends and family? Broken Ground draws on the ancient folklore surrounding the harvest, giving it a contemporary and timely context.

A Young Adult novel from Lu Hersey

A Little Book of Tarot Tales

Step into the world of tarot through the doorway of story. Be greeted by elementals, celestials, wise women, shadow beings, and much more as you journey through a forest of metaphor and symbol. There are many guides to meet: the Ancient One, the Wise Woman, the Shaman, the Devil.

An illustrated journey through tarot by Diane King

Also published in 2022

Monday, 1 November 2021

New Release + Book Blast: The Photograph by L.E. Luttrell

A Detective India Hargreaves Mystery

Published: 1st November 2021
Length: 80,460 words (approx.)

In a quiet Sydney suburb, soon-to-be-married Sonny Day sets off on his bike to catch the train to work. He never makes it to the station. After his fiancée Chrys reports him missing, DI India Hargreaves launches a low-key investigation.

Weeks later, a man’s body is found, mutilated and buried, on a nearby building site, but it’s not Sonny, and with no solid leads, both investigations stall…until a letter arrives from Sonny, claiming he’s met someone else.

Chrys insists Sonny wrote it under duress. She convinces India to investigate further, beginning with the photograph that came with the letter and ending in Scotland and the discovery of more mysterious deaths. But two questions remain unanswered.

Whose body was buried on the building site? And where is Sonny Day?

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78645-507-9
eBook ISBN: 978-1-78645-508-6
ASIN: B09KH5119W

Available from Beaten Track,
and anywhere books are available.

Thursday, 3 June 2021

New Release: Writing Out of Earshot by Ian D. Hall

Ian D. Hall
Language: English
Published: 3rd June, 2021
Paperback ISBN: 978 1 78645 490 4
eBook ISBN: 978 1 78645 491 1
Length: 19,000 words (approx.)
Category/Genre: Poetry, Literary Fiction
Where to buy:
Beaten Track (ebook)
Beaten Track (paperback)
Amazon (paperback/ebook)
Barnes and Noble


“Never talk in front of Dylan Thomas,” they said as they consumed their pints and spoke of their woes and tribulations, and of the weird relative coming to stay awhile, “for the Welsh Bard will somehow weave his mercurial magic for others to consume, just as he consumes life with heart, spirit and desire flowing through him.”

I have very little in common with Dylan Thomas, except for a once fondness for whisky, a love of poetry—of which he is one of the masters of the twentieth century, alongside Allen Ginsberg, W.H. Auden, Maya Angelou, Adrienne Rich and Liverpool’s very own Roger McGough—and that we both at one time performed our work in New York.

It is, however, to Dylan Thomas that Writing Out of Earshot is dedicated, along with Ginsberg. The book of poetry you hold in your hand is a response to my long-lasting adoration of these two men.

Writing Out of Earshot is also a confirmation that writing, for me at least, encompasses several aspects of life, of struggling with illness and the feeling of being invisible in a crowd, when people will say anything in front of you because they cannot see you. The life of a poet is not all drinks at The White Horse Hotel surrounded by hundreds of people; it is one that captures a moment when you are hidden away in your room, remembering, recalling certain words and worlds and transforming them as you give birth to the next poem.

“Do not go gentle into that good night,” for the moon outside your window is full, and the passing months have yet to tell their story.

Ian D. Hall, 2021

Editor's Review

It's release day for Writing Out of Earshot - another excellent anthology of poetry and prose from Ian D. Hall, and this is my favourite, mostly for the collection of poems personifying the months. I'm not always in agreement with the poet when it comes to the characteristics of each, but it's a lot of fun reading them through his eyes, and that's very much how it goes in real life. Our perceptions of others differ, but that doesn't mean any of us are wrong, although I must say it was much easier to like February on paper than in reality. It's my second least-favourite month (after January), yet I feel a little sorry for it, what with having to fight for its days and all.

Flippant mini-spoilers aside, there's a more serious note to this collection, which is apparent in its title but becomes more poignant as the poems progress. I hope Ian won't mind me sharing this small excerpt from the title poem, as he says it so much better:

It came perhaps late in life,
the urge to shut the door
not with drama,
out of spite,
but for my own peace of mind,
to keep the noise down to a minimum
and keep
writing out of earshot.
To express time in notes,
pence and the bond of suffering
as you shake your head
from side to side, an out of time
king as a tongue biting down
desperate to fill the space
and ask, “What do I do?” behind
closed doors…

Writing is a solitary pursuit. Often our only interface with the world at large is the printed page, and it often does feel like we're bleating into the ether, or 'out of earshot'.

For sure, Ian D. Hall won't be out of earshot this time around, as there's also a collection of songs and spoken word recordings inspired by his work, entitled Listening Out of Earshot, being released within the next few weeks, for which I can take no credit, as it's been recorded and produced by Andrew Hesford, Mark Sebastian D'Lacey and Tony Higginson. Proceeds from sales go to Whitechapel Centre, Liverpool, UK.

Monday, 24 May 2021

New Release - Road to Juneau by Liam Quane

Author: Liam Quane
Language: English
Published: 18th May, 2021
Hardcover: 978-1-78645-473-7
Paperback: 978-1-78645-452-2
eBook: 978-1-78645-453-9
Length: 111,000 words (approx.)
Category: Fiction
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy


New York: two years after the Third World War.

Humanity is rebuilding its cities brick by brick; the damage done to the people, however, is a lot harder to repair. Dan Hardacre is one of those people. An aspiring stage actor and experienced draft-dodger, Dan struggles to find his place within the Utopic rebuild of New York City. When he’s not caught up with the duties of work, Dan lives a quiet life in mourning for his mother, Dyani, who went missing when he was a teenager.

One night, Dan experiences a vivid, terrifying nightmare that puts him right on the front lines of the war for which he dodged the draft; it ends with him facing Death itself in the form of a metallic, faceless humanoid creature that calls itself the Valkyrie. To investigate the reason behind his haunting experience, Dan seeks out a meeting with his estranged father, who reveals the startling truth about Dan’s dream: it wasn’t a dream.

With this newfound knowledge and the powers it brings, Dan makes it his mission to return to the scene of his nightmare. However, he soon comes to know that confronting the Valkyrie not only endangers him but the war-withstanding world he leaves behind.

Editor's Review

I have so much I want to say about this novel, but most of it would be spoilers. This is an incredible debut from Liam Quane - an author who has brought his scriptwriting and directing talents to the printed page, and his worlds translate very well into this format. It's helpful that the setting for much of Road to Juneau is a near-future/alternate post-apocalyptic New York City, so the reader has a frame of reference, albeit one slightly removed from the NYC we know. In that regard, the author does some light-touch world-building to set the scene, which in first-person present tense feels like Dan Hardacre - the main-character-sort-of-hero - is giving us a guided tour of his hometown, along with a brief history lesson.

So the scene is set. Now, I'm not a fan of post-apocalyptic fiction, and it's important I make it clear that this isn't really post-apocalyptic in terms of themes, merely setting. The story, at its heart (for me) is about unchecked power and (ir)responsibility. Thus, to some extent, Road to Juneau is allegorical - a critical perspective on current affairs as much as the fictional future, and aside from the 'nature' of the central characters, it is a future that's potentially only a step or two from where we are now.

For all of that, the novel isn't hard-hitting political commentary, although there is plenty of politics in it. There's also lots of subtle diversity, wry humour, fantastic adventures on Earth and elsewhere, and a few tear-jerking moments. In short, it's a darned good read - one which I wouldn't usually select as a 'pleasure read' based on genre, but the, the cover! That would definitely have captured my interest, so I'd have ended up reading the book even if I hadn't had the privilege of publishing it.

Road to Juneau is an intelligent, entertaining, beautifully written novel for young and not-so-young adults and is available in hardcover, paperback and ebook formats. 

Purchase Links

Beaten Track:
Other Vendors:

Friday, 27 November 2020

A book and a yearly screening


My grandmother didn’t die from breast cancer.

I had my mammogram today, and this was what crossed my mind as the technician was arranging my body for the scan. I don’t remember what year it was or how old I was when my grandmother was diagnosed. Old enough to know the basics but too young to fully understand what was going on.

She had cancer twice, with a long span in between—more than ten years. The first time, they removed a lump the size of a pin head. I remember that because they talked about how it was a good thing she’d gone for her checkup and how it was all relatively smooth. No complications. Nothing in her lymph nodes.

It served as a life lesson. I was clear that when I reached the appropriate age, I was going to begin my yearly screenings too. I learned from it that if you pay proper attention, they can catch these things before they progress too far.

My grandmother had cancer again years later, this time much more serious. She had a double mastectomy and rounds of chemotherapy. Even so, they still got it all. It was another long while before she died, unrelated to any cancer.

She didn’t die from breast cancer. Neither did my college classmate’s mother.

That was a tricker situation. Her mom was young, and I learned that sometimes screenings fail to catch things. I was studying to be a nurse, and now I knew the benefits of doing self-checks in between and making sure I kept up with my annual visits with the gynecologist.

I don’t know a whole lot about what happened with my classmate’s mom, only that she’d caught the lump herself and that they’d had a hard time diagnosing her because it didn’t show up on the mammogram. That’s probably how I learned to be persistent in demanding my health concerns be taken seriously.

My grandmother didn’t die from breast cancer. Neither did my college classmate’s mother. But my friend did.

I’ll call her Jenny. We worked together for two summers at a Christian camp. She’d grown up in it; I hadn’t. I was introduced to this camp when I was recruited as a teen.

Jenny and I couldn’t have been more different. I was an apostate Jew who somehow fell in with the evangelicals (don’t ask). She was from a non-religious household but had become a Christian at the camp when she was a child. She was taller, blond, lean, and athletic. I was shorter, dark, curvy, and had two left feet. She was open-minded and open-hearted; I kept a lot to myself. (In fairness, I was trying to hide things a Christian camp wouldn’t have been pleased about.)

We lost touch after that, as happened in the days before instant internet connectedness. I saw her again some years later when I was running the camp and pregnant with my oldest. We didn’t see or hear from each other again until the early days of Facebook.

I think it wasn’t long after that when I learned she had metastatic breast cancer. She was only in her mid-thirties when she died, less than a year younger than me.

She kept a diary of her journey, telling the world about each test and procedure and medication she tried. I read every single one of her updates, hoping each time for good news. She always kept a positive spirit, right up until the end. Her husband had the last word, sharing her final moments with all the people who had followed her saga.

My screening will likely be fine, despite family history. But these things go through my mind every year when I do this.

At this point, you’re probably wondering what in the world any of this has to do with books or writing or publishing, so let me explain. I had the privilege of proofreading one of BTP’s recent releases, The Killing of Tracey Titmass, by Estelle Maher:

Jo Kearns has breast cancer.

While juggling her job, her boyfriend and the cancer, she discovers that her home has been invaded by Tracey, her tumour in insidious human form.

Jo’s diary tells the story of her battle to evict the malignant Tracey from her house and the disease from her body.

Based on Estelle Maher’s own cancer journey, this book is at times hilarious, at times poignant, but always unflinchingly honest and inspiring.

The story is delightful and funny and moving and uplifting. Although I’ve never personally gone through it, having known enough people who have, it was an emotional read. The author herself is as wonderful as the story, and I’m so glad she put these words out into the world.

I’m not sure we talk directly about this enough. Sure, we have Awareness Campaigns and Awareness Ribbons and Awareness Month and Awareness Memes. Everyone always says, “I know someone who had breast cancer!” But it often stops there. We don’t see the intimate details and the feelings and the ways in which people cope.

In the same way my friend Jenny’s online diary did, the book brings all of that into the light in a way that’s relatable and humorous and sometimes devastating. Fortunately, it has a different outcome than Jenny’s story, but the principle is the same: these aren’t things we need to keep hidden and secret.

My challenge to you is to read this and absorb it. Whether you’ve been there yourself or know someone who has, I hope the story will be as meaningful to you as it was to me.

You can find the book here or at your favorite bookseller.

Friday, 23 October 2020

Monsters under the bed and ghosts in the attic


We’re a week away from one of my favorite holidays: Halloween!

Not that there will be too many trick-or-treaters at my door this year.

Since I’ll be missing out on seeing the kids’ costumes, from the sweet to the sinister, I’ll have to content myself with spending a night in, reading. Good thing I have a long list of books (and all the candy we won’t be giving out).

Just in case you’re in need of something holiday-appropriate to take your mind off all the social distancing, we’ve got you covered. Check out these links for some of our spine-tingling books. What are you in the mood to read?


Crime, Thrillers and Mystery



Dark Romance