Honora and Arthur – the Last Plantagenets
Joanne McShane

Honora and Arthur - the Last Plantagenets
At the age of 18, Honora Grenville, daughter of a wealthy Cornish landowner, is swept off her feet by Arthur Plantagenet, the handsome, illegitimate uncle of Henry VIII. Since childhood, her dreams have been of a handsome gentleman who would whisk her away to live in far-off palaces and to wear fine clothes. Now, in Arthur Plantagenet, it seems that her dreams are about to come true.
Alas, it is not to be. Henry VIII orders Arthur to marry Elizabeth Dudley Grey, Viscountess Lisle, and poor Honora is cast into an abyss of despair.
Whilst still trying to put Arthur from her mind, she reluctantly marries John Basset, a Devonshire widower twenty-eight years her senior.
After thirteen years of what turns out to be a tranquil and fruitful marriage, John Basset dies and Arthur Plantagenet, also recently widowed, re-enters Honora’s life. The passion, which has never died for either of them, is rekindled in an instant. They marry, and she leaves Devon to begin her new life as a grand lady at the court of Henry VIII.
Published: July 2019
Paperback: 428 pages
Price: £14.99
ISBN: 9-781912-419838

UK Only
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For Australia and USA, order from Amazon.com
But the times are changing as Henry seeks to divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn.
When King Henry orders Arthur to take on the role of Governor at Calais, the couple find themselves at the centre of the fast-changing and tumultuous political climate of the English Reformation.
That which began as a dream turns into a terrifying battle for survival.
Reviews...

Hi Jo - Just finished your book, it is brilliant, I have so enjoyed it and looking forward with great anticipation to the next one.

David Hartland - (Amazon reader)

A great read, i didn't want to put it down. It brought that period of history alive from a different perspective.
I have always loved the Tudor period, but this book brought the real problems of living in those difficult times to life.
I am looking forward to Joanne McShane's next book.

When I Was Young – Memoir of Norman Wimbush
Mark Todd

In late Victorian Birmingham the Wimbush family with their three children gain their livelihood and maintain their respectability in a small café and confectionary business in the centre of the city. Their son Norman, writing in middle age in the 1940s, recalls their everyday life and his parents’ contrasting personalities in painstaking detail, and also his life in local schools and as a clerk at the firm of Nettlefolds, from where his studies at night school eventually enable him to go to University. Re-development of the city centre in the early twentieth century destroys his father’s business and contributes to his early death. Other chapters describe the world of Norman’s grandparents – grandfather Wimbush a tenant farmer in rural Oxfordshire and grandfather Hill a baker in Birmingham Horsefair – and some of the characters of their children, Norman’s uncles and aunts, including his young uncle Ambrose Wimbush as he takes the first steps in developing his bakery business. In the opening chapter Norman tells the story of his mother Annie’s journey as a teenager in the 1870s with her sister and brother-in-law Minnie and Frank Jackson as they emigrated to USA to live and work in Boston, Massachusetts.
Published: May 2019
Paperback: 180 pages
Price: £10.00
ISBN: 9-781912-419647

£10.00 (+ £2.50 postage)
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Women Misbehaving – Five women, too many lies, and gossip that rocks a community
Victoria Bullimore

Women Misbehaving
Five friends, too many lies, and gossip that rocks a community

All Minty wants is an easy life but it seems that’s too much to ask. With the shadow of her baby’s death darkening her days and a growing dependence on alcohol she is spiralling out of control. Who can help her to get her life back on track? Carol is too immersed in her own struggles after a humiliating divorce, and the lovely Bridie is just too naïve and innocent to know what’s really going on. Sarah can’t help, she’s obsessed by sex and her longing to have a baby. Jules, the cleaner who comes and goes with the stealth of a cat, thinks she knows all the town’s secrets but it turns out she’s not as smart as she thinks she is.
In a small town little lies can grow out of control, and when secrets are revealed friendships and lives can be changed forever.
Published: June 2019
Paperback: 254 pages
Price: £6.99
ISBN: 9-781912-419777

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Charles Waterton – Creator of the First Nature Reserve
Barbara Phipps

Born in 1782, Charles Waterton was the eldest child of Thomas and Anne Waterton, of Walton Hall in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Based on extensive research, Barbara Phipps's fascinating, fictionalised biography show us an intelligent, and fearless man, one gifted with humour and strongly held opinions. His early love of nature, especially of birds, meant he was often in trouble as a tree-climbing, bird-nesting boy. He travelled extensively, seeking to show others all he had observed by publishing his notes and preserving specimens. His method of taxidermy has never been bettered. He survived yellow fever and malaria, earthquakes and shipwreck, and many accidents both at home and abroad.

By building a wall around his parkland, and banning the gun, he created a sanctuary for all creatures with the exception of the fox and the rat, having a particular dislike of the latter. His book, ‘Wanderings in South America, the North-West of the United States and the Antilles,’ has never been out of print.
Published: June 2019
Paperback: 412 pages
Price: £15.00
ISBN: 9-781912-419678

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Waterton can justifiably be given credit for creating the first nature reserve.
It is a concept that has spread, not just around Britain, but also right across the world.

Bill Oddie
Reviews...

28.6.2019 - Amazon, five star:
Took me back to my own childhood, a lovely read. Anyone with a love of nature will identify with Charles Waterton.

Mashies and Mash Tuns – A Whisky and Golf tour of England, Wales & Ireland
Andrew Brown

Following the success of Of Peats and Putts, this book explores how whisky and golf, ‘Scotland’s two gifts to the world’, have developed across the rest of the United Kingdom and Ireland. Again visiting nine distilleries and nine golf courses -four in both England and Ireland and one in Wales – the author discusses how these two great Scottish exports have fared outside of their native land. Many of the themes of the first book are developed; the importance of location, the role of landscape, the environment and people as well as the author’s contention that these two popular pastimes can be seen as metaphors for the vagaries of life. The author finds that there is always more to learn about both whisky and golf and starts to form a personal manifesto as to how each should evolve.
Published: May 2019
Hardback: 166 pages
Price: £19.50
ISBN: 9-781912-419753

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Andrew Brown was born in Edinburgh, brought up in the Borders and educated at Loretto School in Musselburgh. After reading history at Cambridge University, he pursued a career in the food industry, marketing many famous brands such as Bisto, Hovis and Mr Kipling.
He has three grown-up children, is now retired and, outside of his regular visits to Scotland, lives in the Chilterns. Apart from playing golf he is an enthusiastic dog walker, a very average tennis player and a novice gardener.
Reviews of Peats and Putts...

Charles Maclean, Whisky Writer and Master of the Quaich
It is astonishing that until now nobody has sought to bring together Scotland’s two greatest gifts to the world – whisky and golf.
This little book is a personal journey of discovery. In ten chapters, each devoted to a region or county – from Sutherland in the north to East Lothian in the south and Islay in the West - Andrew Brown reviews a golf course and a locally made malt whisky.
As he travels from one place to the next he ponders how and why these two products developed in Scotland and what it is about the country, its landscape and people, which connects them. As he writes: “Both whisky and golf are more than just a drink and a sport; both can be seen as metaphors for the vagaries of life itself.” Indeed!

Golf Quarterly Review June 2018
This is a delightful, well-written little book – part travel guide, part history, part personal philosophy, and part unwitting nationalist tract (what better way, after all, to celebrate Scottish distinctiveness than through writing about its two most famous exports?). It takes the form of a tour of nine regions of the country, in search of the author’s favourite distilleries and favourite golf courses along the way.
I can imagine peripatetic golfers with a fondness for an evening dram, or whisky aficionados with a set of clubs in the boot of their car, packing this little volume and reading up on pleasures planned for the following day. It will be equally enjoyable, though, with a glass of single malt to hand in the privacy of your own home.
What gives the journey special significance is the author’s playful exploration of the similarities and connections between whisky and golf. Andrew Brown, a native Scot who spent most of his career in the food industry south of the border, suggests that location, history and architecture are crucial to the two experiences. History, for instance, is an important part of the narrative that accompanies both playing and drinking. Just as we like to know the origins, ownership and social impact of a particular whisky brand (notwithstanding the marketing hype), so hearing about how and when a golf club was founded, who played there and who designed and changed it invariably enriches a round of golf.
Perhaps design is the most striking common factor given the simple, limited and seemingly unpromising ingredients that course architects and whisky manufacturers both start with. All golf courses are hewn out of sand and soil, while the essential elements of any whisky are also the same: only malted barley, water and yeast are permitted in anything that calls itself Scotch. What produces so many different and unique variations of the spirit is everything from the distilling process to the local landscape, whether it be the taste of the water, the quality of the soil, or the extent of the annual rainfall. In the case of golf it’s the eye and skill to use nature to best effect.
Each chapter describes the idiosyncrasies of a favourite course and distillery. The golf choices are far from predictable – Brora rather than Dornoch in Sutherland, Kilspindie rather than Gullane, Luffness New or Muirfield in East Lothian, the Eden rather than the Old Course in Fife. These reflect not just a conscious decision to stay away from Championship venues but those the author considers best meet his three criteria for selection: a tough but enjoyable (and affordable) test for all levels of golfer, delightful surroundings and a welcoming clubhouse. There is an equally diverse spread of distilleries, old and new, large and small, ranging from multinational owned enterprises such as Glenmorangie to independent Edradour in Perthshire (20,000 cases of which went down off the island of Eriskay in 1941, inspiring Compton Mackenzie’s wonderful book Whisky Galore).
Wisely, the author does not take prior knowledge for granted though spelling out a three-shotter for golfers or mash tuns for devoted whisky drinkers may mildly irritate some. I liked his many diversions - musings on what makes a good golf hole and a good malt, for example, thumbnail sketches of important golf designers like James Braid and Harry Colt, and reflections on the history and practise of naming golf holes. There are plenty of surprises (at least to this non-expert whisky drinker). Did you know that eight of the world’s top ten whisky brands are Indian, while the country that consumes the most whisky on a per capital basis is France (the United States being second and the UK third)?
Tim Dickson
Editor
Golf Quarterly

Simon Marquis, Cornwall
Of Peats and Putts will appeal to anyone who enjoys golf and/or malt whisky. Andrew Brown is an enthusiastic amateur of both and his enjoyment shines through this delightful scamper across nine of Scotland’s finest golf holes, and a rather more leisurely trundle around nine of its distilleries. The real pleasure of this short volume though is the author’s drawing of nice parallels between these twin pleasures and life itself. Golf has its ups and downs as do our lives, some of them at least, perhaps smoothed away by a late evening dram or two!
The book is a pleasure in itself. I eagerly await volume two.


The Smuggler’s Fingers
Paul Webb

The Smuggler's Fingers
The Smugglers’ Fingers, a satire, which often descends into farce and outrage tells the story of the village of Plompley and its population of eccentrics who suddenly find themselves under siege from ‘Green’ energy developers who, in cahoots with a local landowner and corrupt council officials decide they’re going to build a giant wind farm in the heart of the community. The villagers mobilise but when egos and grudges tear apart the campaign groups and it becomes clear whose side the council is on, the hapless local anarchist takes the law into his own hands and the whole village resorts to ever more desperate methods, from the unorthodox to the downright dangerous. Meanwhile the wind farm developers, eager to jump on the subsidy gravy train, use every legal trick in the book to get their way, and a few not so legal, employing violence and vandalism when they deem it necessary. As the battle rages on through a wet and dismal summer the strain starts to tell on both sides and the services of the local Magistrate’s Court and general hospital find themselves increasingly in demand. Observing and commenting wryly from the wings are an ambitious local reporter and a disgraced city banker, both in pursuit of the same story. Meanwhile Mother Nature broods in the background poised to finally reveal the real secret of The Smugglers’ Fingers.
Published: April 2019
Paperback: 304 pages
Price: £11.99
ISBN: 9-781912-419081

£11.99 (+ £2 postage)
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Paul Webb was born in 1959 in Berkshire. A somewhat rebellious grammar school boy and university refusenik he went straight from school into the property business where he spent most of the next 25 years running his own company in south London. During this time he also got involved in the rough and tumble of local politics, at one point attracting a libel writ from one of the major parties. In 2000, after re-marrying and embarking on a round the world sailing race - jumping ship in The Philippines with ‘...better things to do.’ - he and his wife, Ruth decided on a radical lifestyle change and early retirement. Never comfortable in the south-east they started edging north via a series of farmhouse ‘projects’ firstly in Shropshire and then the Welsh Marches before settling on the edge of the Lake District. They travel regularly, particularly to East Africa and southern Spain, while in Cumbria life revolves around the ‘3Bs’: boots, boats and books. Both Paul and his wife are keen fell and long distance walkers, they keep and sail a small homemade boat on the lakes and are avid readers and book collectors. They have three grown up children between them scattered round the world. The Smugglers’ Fingers is Paul’s first book and with tongue firmly in cheek it draws on his personal experience of the property business, the internal workings of local councils and the wiles of would-be wind farm developers. It is of course a work of fiction and all the usual disclaimers apply. Paul Webb is currently seeking an agent to represent him and promote his second book.
Reviews...

***** Nellie - 29 May 2019
Hysterically funny

Grab yourself a glass of wine, turn off your phone sit back and read this book. You will giggle knowingly and laugh out loud.
Following the shenanigans of country life as a village tries to stop the development of a wind farm.
Although the book is funny it relates a very important message about the tensions for sustainable energy, local corruption (allegedly!) and business.


***** Amazon - 25 May 2019
Eccentric villagers cause hilarity and chaos in this wonderfully observed satire.

I loved this book! If you are looking for a rollicking ride and plenty of laughs , then I would thoroughly recommend this book - a great holiday read. The plot moves quickly, and the antics of the villagers of Plompley are hilarious as they band together to foil plans of a local wind farm.


Poor Puss – A Social History of English Cats
Marilyn Crowther

At the turn of the 19th century, in support of the first animal welfare campaigners, cats told their own stories through a series of best-selling children’s books. They moused in high places but pay was often poor, as revealed by Florence Nightingale in her memo complaining of the meagre rations for cats in the War Office. Many cats worked at home in London - where rats were a scourge – and enjoyed the luxury of a daily fast food service: a slice of horse flesh on a skewer delivered through the letterbox by the Cats-meat man. On the steam railway network, cats had power: the safety of the travelling public was largely dependent on the hunting skills of the signal box ratters. Crowds flocked to the first cat show held at the Crystal Palace in 1871, when aristocrats and royalty obsessed over their competitive hobby of breeding longhairs.
Published:April 2019
Paperback:166 pages
Size:250 x 250 mm
Price:£18.50
ISBN:9-781912-419579

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A spoilt Persian puss scratched the hand of the Prince of Wales and even more spoilt ladies chased the terrified exhibition organizer round the hall for something he had forgotten to do. The National Cat Club was founded along with the first stud book as a guide for ‘points of excellence.’ Technical advances in colour printing raised the profile of cats; their image was everywhere, on greetings cards, valentines, picture post-cards, sheet music and advertisements that sold every kind of product imaginable. Poor Puss is the story of cats as they bravely clawed their way up the social ladder - out of persecution and superstition - to gain their rightful place as cherished family pets today. With impressive research, over three hundred archival pictures and entertaining anecdotal detail, meaty as a plump mouse. You may never view your cat in the same way again!
Reviews...

Jilly Cooper
Marvellous historical background and all the glorious illustrations

Dear Marilyn, A million congratulations on your wonderful book Poor Puss. A Social History of English Cats, the marvellous historical background and all the glorious illustrations make it the perfect present for any cat lover. Truly well done, Love, Jilly Cooper.


London Metropolitan Archives
'impressive in every way'

Look Inside
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The Swinging Pendulum of the Tide
Chris Green

The Swinging Pendulum of the Tide
Tom is an Anglican clergyman battling with his beliefs. He can’t come to terms with his wife’s tragic death in a car accident. He’s on his way to the remote Welsh island of Bardsey where he hopes to rekindle his faith away from the rush and demands of everyday life.
Beth is an Arthurian scholar on a quest to uncover the truth behind Bardsey Island’s claim to be Arthur’s Avalon. But, abandoned by her former lover, she too has her demons.
They meet in the bar of a hotel on the mainland where they are staying, before setting off to Bardsey on their separate quests. It is the beginning of a long and tortuous path which they must both tread. But it is a meeting that is destined to change their lives for ever.
Published: January 2019
Paperback: 372 pages
Price: £11.99
ISBN: 9-781912-419548

£11.99 (+ £2 postage)
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After an early career in broadcasting (Granada TV) and PR (Britain in Europe Campaign 1975 and Queens’ Silver Jubilee 1977) Chris Green has worked in the cultural industries for 40 years. He was Popular Events Director of the City of London Festival (1978-1991), Director of The Poetry Society (1989-1993) and Chief Executive of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors (1998-2008). He co-chaired the Music Industry’s Broadcasting Committee at the time of the 2006 BBC Charter Review. He contested Hereford and South Herefordshire for the Liberals (Liberal Democrats) in 1979, 1983 and 1987 when he came within 1200 votes of winning. He currently works as an independent arts consultant from his home in rural Herefordshire. He is chair of the Education Charity ‘Learning Skills Research’, a board member of Hereford’s Courtyard Arts Centre, a member of the newly formed Herefordshire Cultural Partnership and chair of the Francis W Reckitt Arts Trust. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Freeman of the City of London. He was awarded the BASCA Gold Badge of Merit for service to the Music Industry in 2009. ‘The Swinging Pendulum of the Tide’ is his first novel.
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