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

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Black Lives Matter - black voices, white privilege, our responsibility

Black Lives Matter
Beaten Track Publishing is fully committed to treating all people equally and with respect, so yes, of course we believe all lives matter, but it’s not ‘all lives’ when black people are murdered and subjected to violence daily, repeatedly, systematically. It’s only ‘some lives’. This is why, right now and for as long as it takes to eradicate racism, black lives matter.

#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.

White Privilege
Beaten Track isn’t like other publishing houses. It is more of a collective of authors, editors, proofreaders and illustrators, many of us from marginalised communities. We have come together because our voices are not welcomed elsewhere, and as such our existence is a form of resistance. But we can do more. We must do more, do better. As a collective, we possess a lot of white privilege; recognising that, we have a choice what we do with it.

We will not be bystanders.
We will speak up against racism.
We will share black voices.

Black Writers’ Guild Open Letter
The Black Writers’ Guild (BWG) is a newly formed organisation representing the black publishing community in the UK. On 15th June 2020, the BWG released an Open Letter requesting that all UK publishers provide a full audit of their books published by black authors, their acquisition process and management/editorial structure. The letter begins with the following statement:

We are the Black Writers’ Guild, representing the black publishing community in the UK. Our membership group includes over 200 published black writers, including some of Britain’s bestselling authors and leading literary figures.

The protest movement sweeping the world since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has forced an international soul-searching to understand the pervasive racial inequalities that haunt most sectors of our society – including our own major institutions and industries.

Publishers have taken advantage of this moment to amplify the marketing of titles by their black authors and release statements of support for the black communities who have been campaigning for equality for decades.

Although we welcome your support at this time, we are deeply concerned that British publishers are raising awareness of racial inequality without significantly addressing their own.

We are calling on you to help us tackle the deep-rooted racial inequalities in the major corporate publishing companies and support grassroots black literary communities such as booksellers, book clubs and the Black Writers’ Guild.

Equality is our destination, and we have a hard journey ahead of us.

Black Voices at Beaten Track
Authors who publish with Beaten Track:
Dee is an author of M/M romance, an accomplished proofreader and brilliant cover designer (find out more at

By Dee Aditya:
A Boy Named Khwahish – a young adult gay romance;
part of Take a Chance anthology.

Dr. Imani Tafari-Ama is the author of: Blood, Bullets and Bodies: Sexual Politics Below Jamaica's Poverty Line, Up For Air: This Half Has Never Been Told (an award-winning novel) and Lead in the Veins (poetry) as well as several book chapters and articles. She is also a multimedia journalist who has produced several audio-visual documentaries including 'Setting the Skin Tone', which explores the catastrophic social practice of skin bleaching. This eight-and-a half minute video documentary (produced in 2006) is an excerpt from her Doctoral research.

Bronx-born wordsmith, Larry Benjamin considers himself less a writer than an artist whose chosen medium is the written word rather than clay or paint or bronze.

By Larry Benjamin:
Novels: Unbroken (Lambda Literary finalist); In His Eyes; The Sun, The Earth and The Moon
Short Stories/Novelettes: Black&Ugly; The Christmas Present; Vampire Rising; Damaged Angels

L.D. Valentine is a self-confessed nerd who loves fantasy but could never see himself in the characters, so he did something about it and decided to make his own.

By L.D. Valentine:
Novel: Rising (Coven of Zora #1)
Blog post: Black, Queer, and Nerd?

Unoma Azuah teaches writing at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, Valdosta, GA. Her research and activism focus on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights in Nigeria, and her recent book project is Blessed Body: Secret Lives of the Nigerian LGBT. Some of her writing awards include the Aidoo-Synder book award, Spectrum book award and the Hellman/Hammet award.

By Unoma Azuah:
Embracing My Shadow: growing up lesbian in Nigeria

Self-publishing authors who work with Beaten Track:
Jade Calder is a mum and author of children's books featuring black families.

By Jade Calder:
The Magic Hair Stick

coming soon…
I Am NOT Too Small!
Mummy, What Is Black Lives Matter?

Keysha is a qualified nursery nurse and psychology graduate whose writing is inspired by years of encouraging children to brush their teeth at nursery through engaging stories.

By Keysha Naomi Binns:
The Gum Chums – Decay in the Fruit Garden

Kukuwa Abba is a Health and Social Development professional with over thirty years experience, specialising in Public Health Education and Policy, Health Literacy, Mental Health Promotion and Culture and Health.

By Kukuwa Abba:
JA Herbs – 40 Jamaican Medicinal Herbs

Friday, 15 November 2019

New Releases from Larry Benjamin, Sossity Chiricuzio and Sheila Kendall - 15th November 2019

Beaten Track has three new releases out today! There really is something for everyone (or all the adults, anyway - more to follow for the littluns in November and December). I'm covering all three in one post for...ease of navigation. ;)

The Sun, the Earth and the Moon by Larry Benjamin

(That 'and' should be an ampersand, but Blogger doesn't cope well with ampersands.)

Language: English
Published: 15th November, 2019
Edition: 2nd, revised
ISBN: Paperback ISBN: 978 1 78645 348 8
eBook ISBN: 978 1 78645 349
Length: 60,700 words (approx.)
Category: Non-Fiction
Genre: LGBT, Romance and Relationships, Literary, Family and Friendship

Purchase Links:

Beaten Track Shop: Ebook EditionPaperback Edition
Other Vendors: SmashwordsAmazonKoboGoogle PlayApple


When seventeen-year-old Thomas arrives for his freshman year at the University of Pennsylvania, he thinks he is ready for anything. Anything arrives quickly in the form of Dondi Whyte. Dondi is handsome, glamorous, and rich—everything Thomas is not. Is Thomas really ready for anything?

Thomas falls helplessly in love with Dondi and the two begin a love affair. When it ends abruptly, Thomas is devastated. To make up for breaking his heart, Dondi invites Thomas to spend the summer at his family—s mansion by the sea. There, Thomas meets Dondi’s brother, Matthew, and discovers it is sometimes in an ending that we find our beginning.

This is a revised edition of What Binds Us, previously published electronically by Carina Press.

Editor's Review:

Author Larry Benjamin and I 'met' not long after his debut novel, What Binds Us, was released (by Carina) and mid-prerelease of Damaged Angels (Bold Stroke Books). I don't clearly recall the ins and outs, but it had something to do with a book we'd both read and loved and becoming friends on social media. At the time, I included books on BTP that were written/published by like-minded authors/publishers, and Larry asked if I would list What Binds Us, so I did. In time, that friendship deepened, and finally (after much badgering by Nige, I suspect), Larry afforded me the great privilege of publishing his other work.

I should backtrack a little and own up to having cried buckets reading What Binds Us, as did my youngest daughter. And then we did it all over again with Unbroken - Larry's second novel - published by Beaten Track. Woot!

Of course, Unbroken also marked the commencement of The Comma Wars, whereby every comma I add or delete is held up and...erm scrutinised by the author. Our in-document arguments have, at times, become heated, but isn't that the mark of a great friendship? We can disagree on Very Important Matters yet remain as close as always.

And so Larry and I have come full circle in a way, with the release of The Sun, the Earth and the Moon, in that it is a revised second edition of What Binds Us, although the first edition was released only in ebook format, whilst The Sun, the Earth and the Moon is also available as a paperback. The revisions expand and tidy up the original text, but the story remains essentially the same.

What I said above about the gallons of tears shed, I should clarify: this novel, like Larry's other novels, is gay literary fiction with significant themes of romance and friendship. There is tragedy too, and I am ever grateful to authors who foreground this at the beginning of the story so I can prepare for the events which follow. However, all those tears are not really because of the sad moments; Larry's prose is beautiful and moving, and if you haven't read any of his work yet, you really should!

Video Trailer:

Honey and Vinegar: Recipe for an Outlaw by Sossity Chiricuzio

(Yep, another ampersand.)

Language: English
Published: 15th November, 2019
Edition: 1
ISBN: Paperback: 978-1-78645-371-6
eBook: 978-1-78645-372-3
ASIN: B07YR391D1
Length: 30,450 words (approx.) (34 images)
Category: Non-Fiction
Genre: Memoir, Biography, LGBT, Politics, Feminism

Purchase Links:

Beaten Track Shop: Ebook EditionPaperback Edition
Other Vendors: SmashwordsAmazonBarnes and NobleKoboGoogle PlayApple


Honey and Vinegar: Recipe for an Outlaw gives an intimate look at how the values and hopes of the 1960s carried through into the queer activism of the 1990s. It's a story told from various locations including ashrams, community housing, and not so great neighborhoods from the middle of Arizona to the middle of Florida, and back again. Exploring issues of class, family, embodiment, sexuality, identity, and agency in an illustrated series of vignettes that blur the lines between poetry and prose, Honey and Vinegar is a scrapbook of resistance.

Editor's Review:

Long ago, in my rather grim youth, I read one memoir. One. It was The Moon's a Balloon by David Niven. I'm not sure why. I wasn't especially a fan of David Niven, although I found his acting suave and frightfully gentlemanly. But read it I did; almost forty years later, I have absolutely no recollection of it.

You see, fiction is my thing - worlds to which I can escape, and there has been much in my life from which I have needed that respite. Real life can be dark and brutal, and it is most often the worst aspects that are showcased in memoirs and autobiographies.

Thus, you won't find many non-fiction books in Beaten Track's catalogue because, ultimately, I decide what we publish, and if I have to edit the thing then I want to enjoy it.

This means that the few memoirs you will find on BTP are very special indeed, and I'm so proud to share with you Sossity's memoir: Honey and Vinegar. Aside from being a stunning piece of literary non-fiction, I so often during editing found myself thinking 'god, yes, I've been here, and I'm so sorry you went through this too'. This could be any woman's story, any queer person's story, but it's Sossity's, and she tells it with such energy and honesty - the dark and the light - it is as compelling and consuming as any fiction I've read.

On a nuts and bolts level, Honey and Vinegar charts the formative moments in the author's childhood and adolescence, illustrated perfectly by Queeriam's sketches, but my words do no justice. I mean, how dry does that sound? 'Formative moments...' blah, blah, blah. Honey and Vinegar is a vivid swirl of anger and joy and frustration and relief and finding and losing oneself all at once. It is about the roots of Sossity's activism and a whole lot of life experience I wish I'd had (as well as the stuff I wish I hadn't).

Video Excerpts:

Tangled Webs by Sheila Kendall

(Not an ampersand in sight!)

Language: English
Published: 15th November, 2019
Edition: 1
ISBN: Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78645-388-4
eBook ISBN: 978-1-78645-389-1
Length: 75,200 words (approx.)
Category: Fiction
Genre: Women's Fiction, Crime, Thrillers and Mystery, Family and Friendship, Romance and Relationships

Purchase Links:

Beaten Track Shop: Ebook EditionPaperback Edition
Other Vendors: AmazonSmashwords • Barnes and Noble  • KoboAppleGoogle Play Books


When Carol makes a decision to trace the baby who was stolen from her over a decade ago, she has no idea of the tangled web of lies and deceit that await her. But Carol has secrets of her own, which she has promised to keep—secrets that will put a long-standing friendship in jeopardy if they are ever revealed.

As we follow the threads of Carol’s search, we realise that whatever we do in the past, whatever mistakes we try to put behind us, someday, somewhere, they will come to light.
The past can never be left behind.

Editor's Review:

This is the third book of Sheila's I've published, and it delights me that she's a genre hopper just like me. Her first BTP novel, Mission Accomplished, was a historical/paranormal mystery/romance; her second book, Deadly Chains, was more a murder mystery. Tangled Webs is a mystery/thriller, and there is a crime element to it, but it's...not really a crime mystery/thriller. There's also some romance, but it's not a capital R Romance, and it's a bit more plot-driven than slice of life. Above all, it's women's fiction, with strong female leads and a smattering of decent men, but this is a story laced with everyday feminism.

And it's one of those novels I want to read a little bit of every day, like it's a big bar of chocolate and I'm pacing myself so it lasts longer - just a taste to keep me going. I suppose that's mostly because of the focus on the characters and their interactions - the tangle of lies and secrets - and the journeys those characters take. It's no secret that I'm a sucker for a character-driven story. I don't even care that much if there's a plot, but I should point out that Tangled Webs does have one.

See, this is the kind of book (and Sheila is the kind of author) that led me into publishing. I once attended an author fair where one of the top literary agents said we should approach finding an agent/publisher by first walking into a bookshop and figuring out on which shelf our book belongs, but that's so restrictive, never mind that it curbs creativity and the freedom to just tell the stories we need to tell.

That's what I love about Sheila's stories. She takes them where they need to go rather than sticking to a formulaic 'insert murder suspect #2 in chapter 8'. She also tells stories about ordinary working-class northerners, which is important because you'd be forgiven for thinking, based on the average British fiction bookshelf, that we're all middle-class southerners.

Are we 'eckers like. Now, where did I leave me flat cap and whippet.

That's all from us…for now.
Please buy, read and review.
We really like it when you do!

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

New Release: The Golden One - Reckoning by Hans M Hirschi

Title: The Golden One - Reckoning
Author: Hans M Hirschi
Language: English
Published: 19th September, 2019
Length: 71,000 words (approx.)
ISBN: Paperback: 978-1-78645-315-0
eBook: 978-1-78645-316-7
Category: Fiction
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Jason is staying with the ailing Cheyenne elder Ninovan. Only the most heartbreaking news from Amberville can bring him back to face the biggest trial of his young life. Will Jason be able to fulfill his final mission as the Golden One? A mission from which no Golden One has ever returned?

Reckoning is the final installment of the gripping fantasy trilogy about Jason Mendez, the Golden One, who is called upon to save the world with his four best friends. Will Jason be successful? At what price? Will Earth be safe?

The Golden One is an exciting fantasy trilogy dealing with urgent topics affecting humanity today.

Editor's Review:
This is it: the end of an era, or a series at least.

Today is release day for Reckoning, the third and final part of The Golden One - Hans M Hirschi's young adult trilogy following the adventures of Jason Mendez who is, indeed, the 'Golden One'. If you haven't read the previous instalments, the links are at the end of this review.

I have such mixed feeling when I reach the end of a beloved series - for any readers new to Beaten Track Publishing, we publish the books we love, so my experience of reading them is much the same as yours. I go through every book at least twice, the first time tackling the nuts and bolts of the writing, checking the plot hangs together and that characters don't suddenly change the colour of their eyes, and so on.

The second time through is where I finally get to pay attention to the story, and I'll admit right here that The Golden One has had me raging and swearing (at the villains), smiling like a loon (at the sweet moments), laughing and rolling my eyes (usually at Peter - one of Jason's close friends and 'crew'), slumping in despair (at the injustice) and finally, in Reckoning, sniffling, oh, I have something in my eye, no I'm not crying, you're crying...

Obviously, I'm not going to tell you what made me so teary because I'd be giving away the plot, and we've kept this publication safely tucked away, no advance copies, until release day specifically to avoid spoiling the ending. Suffice to say it's a satisfying one...mostly. ;)

I kind of did a 'Best Supporting Role' for the first two instalments, with Laurel coming out as my favourite character from book one and Hannah in book two. For Reckoning, that prize goes to...[drum roll]...Micah. Yes, she is a cat, just an ordinary cat, but she's brave, loyal, feisty, and, of course, Jason can understand what she's saying. There is maybe a bit of anthropomorphising on the author's part when it comes to Micah's scepticism, incredulity and some of her judgements of human behaviour, but her nonchalance, especially when she's miffed with Jason, is pure cat and hilarious - a bit of light relief in the darker moments in Reckoning.

So the conclusion is here. No more Golden One, and while I hate saying goodbye to characters with whom I've spent a fair bit of time and know better than I know most people in the real world, it is a fitting conclusion to the trilogy and a journey I'm glad I had the opportunity to make.

The Golden One - Reckoning is book three and the final instalment of The Golden One trilogy, available in ebook formats from the usual places. Paperback available from Beaten Track Publishing and (imminently) Amazon.

Also available: The Golden One - Blooming (book one); The Golden One - Deceit (book two).

About the Author:
Hans M Hirschi has been writing stories since childhood. As an adult, the demands of corporate life put an end to his fiction for more than twenty years. A global executive in training, he has traveled the world and published several non-fiction titles as well as four well-received novels. The birth of his son provided him with the opportunity to rekindle his love of creative writing, where he expresses his deep passion for a better world through love and tolerance. Hans lives with his husband and son on a small island off the west coast of Sweden.


Thursday, 29 August 2019

August Releases: Round-up

Due to a hectic month, this post will be a round-up of August releases (six in all), most recent first as there are two brand-new releases today (29th August)!

Space Train by David Bridger

Language: English
Published: 29th August, 2019
ISBN: ISBN: 978 1 78645 334 1
eBook ISBN: 978 1 78645 335 8
Length: 98,600 words (approx.)
Category: Fiction
Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure, Romance and Relationships

Purchase Links:

BTP eBook | Paperback
Amazon | Smashwords

About the Book:

Published: 29th August, 2019
Length: 98,600 words (approx.)

FIREFLY meets WAGON TRAIN. Space pioneers, frontier worlds, alien societies, war refugees rebuilding their lives, heroes with heart, loving relationships of many flavors, and a scarily clever ruthless enemy.

Tom is a man of color in a social system where the respectable classes are exclusively white. An interstellar freighter captain who flew refugee ships for the resistance during the galactic war, he is tormented by the memory of a terrible tragedy. Never again will he lose a ship or allow anyone to hurt passengers he’s promised to keep safe. Not ever!

Nene is a telepathic blue-skinned alien spy embedded in a tyrannical regime that looks likely to reignite the galactic war, and she is dangerously attracted to the haunted human who flies refugee families to start new lives far away.

Saxe, an elite security executive whose career was damaged when Tom escaped from his custody during the war, is driven by cold hatred and revenge. If the only way to destroy Tom is by destroying the galaxy, then that’s what he’ll do.

Space is vast, but with a hunter so ruthless and the prospect of war so close, can people of peace ever find a safe place to live?

I'm also delighted to announce that Beaten Track is now the publisher of David Bridger's back catalogue! :) Links to his other books below:

A Flight of Thieves

BTP eBook | Paperback
Amazon | Smashwords

Damage Control

BTP eBook | Paperback
Amazon | Smashwords


BTP eBook | Paperback
Amazon | Smashwords

The Honesty of Tigers

BTP eBook | Paperback
Amazon | Smashwords

Quiet Resistance

BTP eBook | Paperback
Amazon | Smashwords


BTP eVook | Paperback
Amazon | Smashwords

Pocket Guide to the Voice by Ruth Royall

Language: English
Published: 29th August, 2019
Publisher: Independent
Edition: 1
ISBN: Paperback ISBN: 978 1 78645 341 9
eBook ISBN: 978 1 78645 350 1
ASIN: B07WK486C2
Length: 12,698 words (approx.) (54 images)
Category: Non-Fiction
Genre: Music, Stage and Screen, Instruction and Study

Purchase Links:

BTP eBook | Paperback
Barnes and Noble
Google Play

About the Book:

Pocket Guide to the Voice offers an easy and fun look at the voice, helped along by Ellie. With easy to understand exercises and digestible nuggets of anatomy and vocal function, this book will help open the door to your vocal journey.

Meredith's Dagger by Debbie McGowan

Language: English
Published: 20th August, 2019
Edition: 1
ISBN: Paperback ISBN: 978 1 78645 318 1
eBook ISBN: 978 1 78645 319 8
Length: 125,000 words (approx.)
Category: Fiction
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, History, Paranormal, Women's Fiction, LGBT, Romance and Relationships, New Adult, Feminist, Slice of Life

Purchase Links:

BTP eBook | Paperback
Barnes and Noble

About the Book:

Huddled in a doorway, unseen by the men passing on great horses, Meredith watched from within the hood of her cloak. The pain of the cold, wet morning impaled her, rooting her in place, even as the cat rubbed against her shins with a force that should have felled her. She shooed him away. Go home. But he would not.

She wished she had died that night. She wished she had died, for to live like this was not to live at all.

* * *

When Richie Moorcroft takes a housekeeping position to finance his studies, it means moving back to his childhood home: an ancient, almost-derelict cottage locals claim is haunted. But he never believed those stories; he knows where they came from, and in any case, he has a job to do: keeping nineteen-year-old Julian Denby on the straight and narrow without Julian realising his wealthy parents are paying Richie to do so.

Luckily, Julian’s not very astute, although the same can’t be said for their newest housemates: Richie’s bestie, Anneke, and Julian’s older sister, Tamara. Add in George, the cat who appeared from nowhere and is in no hurry to leave, and that makes five…about to uncover the sinister history of their new home.

Callum and the Mountain by Alan McClure

Language: English
Published: 15th August, 2019
Edition: 1
ISBN: Paperback: 9781786453266
eBook: 9781786453273
Length: 40,700 words (approx.)
Category: Fiction
Genre: Children's Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure

Purchase Links:

BTP eBook | Paperback

About the Book:

It's a quiet wee village, Skerrils. Not much going on. Shingle beach, pretty walks, peaceful library, exploding school, talking dogs, carnivorous monuments, interfering all-powerful nature spirits and a mountainous secret too baffling to tell... Callum Maxwell and his pals are in for the strangest, scariest, most exciting summer of their lives. Join them and you'll never look at the natural world in quite the same way again.

"A totally original story with genuine heart."
- Karen Campbell, author of The Sound of the Hours, Rise and This is Where I Am

"Alan McClure's Callum and the Mountain introduces a fresh voice, full of energy, humour and love of place. He writes with a performer's instincts and an exuberant joy in language - an author we will be seeing more of."
- Joan Lennon, author of Silver Skin (shortlisted for the Scottish Teenage Book Prize) and Walking Mountain

"We're listening to a born storyteller, and he's unpacking a great shaggy monster of a tale for us."
- Paul Magrs, author of Strange Boy, Lost on Mars and The Novel Inside You

Animalimericks by Kate Andrew

Language: English
Published: 8th August, 2019
ISBN: Paperback ISBN: 9781786453327
eBook ISBN: 9781786453334
Length: 2,800 words (approx.) (46 images)
Category: Fiction
Genre: Children's Fiction, Humour, Poetry

Purchase Links:

BTP eBook | Paperback
Barnes and Noble

About the Book:

An otter potter, a sailing snail, a crooning baboon and a cat scared of mice…
These are just some of the animals featured in this book of wacky limericks.
Resist them if you can!

A hairy hyena called Honey
Could not laugh for love or for money;
She said, “I’m not sad,
I’m not mad or bad,
I just don’t find anything funny!”

This collection of limericks, written and illustrated by Kate Andrew, is suitable for children of all ages - from 3 to 93!

The Invasion of Tork: The Complete Collection by Claire Davis and Al Stewart

Language: English
Published: 7th August, 2019
ISBN: Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78645-311-2
eBook ISBN: 978-1-78645-312-9
ASIN: B07W5QDGBM Length: 69,000 words (approx.)
Category: Fiction
Genre: Young Adult, LGBT, Romance and Relationships

Purchase Links:

BTP Paperback
Amazon Kindle

About the Book:

Available on Kindle Unlimited and as a paperback.

Collection includes the novellas The Invasion of Tork, The Invasion of Adam and If I Should Stumble – three young adult LGBTQ romances set in the UK, exploring social issues such as immigration, mental health and homelessness.

The Invasion of Tork

Adam is cool, intelligent and drop-dead gorgeous - all the guys tell him so! When he is forced to start voluntary work at the local homeless shelter, all he worries about is keeping the clients well away from him and finishing the placement as soon as possible. Until he meets Tork.

Tork is clever and funny. He makes origami models and reads Dickens. Tork has green hair and makes Adam's heart race with longing. But Tork is homeless and not at all impressed with Adam's attitude.

Can Adam see past his fear and arrogance? Can Tork give Adam a chance?

Can two such different men turn the world upside down and find out what really matters?


The Invasion of Adam

College life, fun nights out, guys everywhere—Adam thought his life was perfect…

Until he met Tork.

Green-haired Tork creates origami models and reads Dickens. He lives in supported housing, and he is absolutely not impressed by money.

Adam and Tork come from opposite worlds, but even as Adam fights it, the attraction stays strong.

Will Tork win the battle to understand his past and be well? Is there another Adam beneath that polished surface? Can they overcome their differences, and will there be dancing at midnight?


If I Should Stumble

Love is sure and timeless and forever. It whispers over the morning coffee and the last thought before sleep. Love is beyond hope, and cruel as life.

Kaz has been in the UK for almost a year, but the days pass by in an endless round of alcohol and nothingness. He has a story but no words good or bad enough to tell it, until one day, he is assigned a new peer mentor who asks him to help train a sponsored running team. Something that was stretched as old parchment breaks inside, and memories begin to re-surface.

Zack is overjoyed when his friend Adam asks him to be part of the sponsored run team trying to make money for the local homeless shelter. All day he makes cakes to lighten people’s load, but something is missing from his life. Then he meets the boy with eyes like the desert, and with every step he runs, Zack’s light burns away the darkness in Kaz’s heart.

As the race heats gets nearer, Tork, Adam, Zack and Jo realise that under Kaz’s careful programme, they have a chance to qualify and set right some of the wrongs of this world.


One person can change the world, and that person is Tork.

Friday, 19 July 2019

Recent Release: A Rising Evil by Graham West + never seen before epilogue!

Title: Mosswood
Author: Graham West
Language: English
Published: 219th July, 2019
Length: Length: 110,000 words (approx.)
ISBN: Paperback: 978-1-78645-257-3
eBook: 978-1-78645-258-0
Category: Fiction
Genre: Paranormal

On the edge of Tabwell lies a forest where the dark secrets of the past wait to be uncovered...

It all began when Jenny Adams first dreamed of a young girl imprisoned in a dark attic. Now, over six years later, she's back where the nightmares started.

Mosswood has been transformed into a successful adventure park, and it is there Jenny meets troubled, flame-haired teen Bailey Rosales, and Cody Nelson, a seven-year-old who has some very special friends. Dead friends.

Why is Dennis Blakely, the park manager, tormented by visions of his own horrific demise, and why is an ex-councillor warning them to stay out of the forest at all costs?

Once again, Jenny finds herself calling on the spirit of Amelia Root in the search for answers, but it is a search that leads the whole family into a terrifying confrontation with Tabwell's past and the secrets that lurk beyond the dark waters of Mosswood's lake.


Publisher's Review:
I'm keeping this brief because the Mosswood launch party starts in exactly 45 minutes, and I don't want to be late. Equally, I didn't want to post this too much before the launch.

Of course, if I were better organised, I'd have written this earlier today...

Mosswood is book three of Graham West's Beyond the Dark Waters trilogy, and what a satisfying conclusion it is. As with Finding Amelia and A Rising Evil, we're following the paranormal twists and turns in the lives of Rob Adams and his daughter Jenny, now grown-up with a child of her own. It all began with a hit and run that killed Rob's wife and youngest daughter - Jenny's mother and sister, and it's a must to read these three books in order to fully understand the connections between the different characters, particularly in terms of family and who is related to whom.

I especially enjoyed seeing certain characters get their just desserts, and I still belief this is a brilliant exploration of the evil men do to women. Whether that's intentional on Graham's part or not, this is not only brilliant trilogy, it's also a saga with plenty of  (optional) food for thought.

I'll leave you with a little bonus content - never seen before, not in the published versions, but here is the epilogue that greeted me as I neared the end of Mosswood:


Jenny glanced across at her father, who was staring at the TV screen. “It’s been quite a journey, hasn’t it?” she mused.

Robert Adams nodded. “Yeah, but thanks to you, it all turned out okay.”

“Thank to me?”

“Yeah, you’ve held everything together.”

Jenny laughed. “Hey, you did okay. You’re a good person, no matter what some people say about you!”

Rob frowned. “People? What people? What have they said?”

“Well, Debbie McGowan thinks you’re sexist!”

“Debbie McGowan? Who’s Debbie McGowan?”

“She’s the one who’s been trying to keep you on track for the past few years.”

Jenny saw that look in her father’s eyes. He wasn’t going to let this lie.

“And who else has been slagging me off?”

“Well, Andrea Harding thinks you’re a prick, and she thinks you were a bit too quick taking up with Josie.”

“Oh, does she now!” Rob thundered. “Well, you can tell her from me—it’s none of her business!”

“Hey, don’t be getting stressed…”

“And this Debbie person—I bet she lives on her own in a bedsit with fifty cats…”

Jenny grinned. “No, actually, she’s a social scientist and she’s married to Nigel.”

Rob spun around. “What? Farage? Well, he should bloody well stop buggering off to Brussels and get his own house in order. I mean, this country wouldn’t be in such a mess if they hadn’t given women the vote!” Rob huffed loudly, turning up the volume on the TV. “I can’t believe it. Me? Sexist? Bloody cheek!”

Jenny smiled. “Dad?”

“Yes, sweetheart?”

“Do you think Debbie will have guessed we’re trying to wind her up?”

Rob smiled—a smile that really did reach his eyes. “I imagine she will have, yes.”

“Aren’t you scared?”

“We’re fictional characters, babe. What can she do?”

Jenny laughed. “Yeah, but that Graham West isn’t!”

Rob rolled his eyes. “Yeah, poor bloke. I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes!”

[Yeah, he'd better watch his step, Rob. That's all I'm saying. ;)]



About the Author:
Graham West studied art at Hugh Baird college in Bootle, Merseyside, before joining the display team at Blacklers Store in Liverpool city centre where he spent seven years in the art department before moving on in 1981 to become a sign writer. He lives in Maghull with his wife, Ann, and has a daughter, Lindsay, and two grandchildren, Sonny and Kasper. Graham also plays guitar at weddings, functions and restaurants. He took up writing in 2000 and has had a couple of factual articles published in magazines. Mosswood is his third novel.