Peggy Seddon of Middlewich 1914-2009
Sue Wincent-Dodd

Peggy was born on the eve of the Great War and lived well into the 21st century. She grew up in rural Britain when horses jostled with cars on the streets and the country had not yet broken with the values of the previous century. Many of her experiences were shared with other women of the time. She saw her young husband leave Britain for the next war and did not meet him again for several years. She gave birth to her children when peace was new but England was a ravaged country with rationing still in place. Peggy also experienced difficulties and tragedies that most of us are spared. She faced these challenges in her own unique way with the help and support of her sister and friends and carved out a life for herself and her children that was very different from that of her younger years in Cheshire. Her privileged childhood endowed her with the knowledge of her own worth, but equally the understanding that every individual is entitled to a good and fulfilling life.
Published: May 2019
Paperback: 292 pages
Price: £12.00
ISBN: 9-781912-419692

UK Only
£12.00 (+ £2.50 postage)
Number of copies:

Kindle Available on Amazon

Sue Wincent-Dodd was brought up in Cheshire and Shropshire soon after the end of the 2nd World War. She studied at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne before teaching English in Germany, France and Sweden. She moved to Sweden for good at the age of 28 to work for the Swedish International Aid Agency (Sida). Having retrained in Sweden as a librarian, she worked and taught at the University of Uppsala.
Reviews...

Edinburgh Fringe – a YouCaxton play

Liz is married to someone – but who is it? Perhaps she’s married to Brian – or is it Graham? And why did Brian sneak down to the kitchen in the early hours?And what’s butter got to do with it? And why is Graham threatening suicide?

Two men and one woman debate the possibilities in Three, Two, One … Bob Fowke’s new play, due to be performed by Theatre troupe Enemies of Reason at the Edinburgh Fringe from 14th to 18th August. The venue is the Novotel and performances start at 11.30 am each day.

Bob Fowke is Manging Editor at YouCaxton. and his play is classified as ‘absurdist new writing – somewhere between Pinter and Beckett’.

 

My Parent’s Darkroom
Reinhard Tenberg

Jonas inherits an old cigar box from his parents containing relics which transport him back to his childhood.
However, it also contains some sinister items – a page torn out of his mother’s 1945 war diary, as well as his father’s 1939 ciné film and an undeveloped film roll.
What will these sources reveal? And where is the rest of the diary? Who has hidden it all these years and why?
Librarian Bettina reluctantly helps Jonas to discover the shocking truth about his parents’ role under the Nazis.
But what secret is she hiding from Jonas?
Will their love affair endure?
Published: April 2019
Paperback: 250 pages
Price: £9.99
ISBN: 9-781912-419715

£9.99 (+ £2 postage)
Number of copies:


Available on Amazon



Sales@youcaxton.co.uk
Reinhard studied English Literature, Linguistics and Politics and taught at the universities of Bristol, Palmerston North (NZ), Middlesex and Cambridge before joining the Foreign & Commonwealth Office where he spent the latter half of his career. Reinhard writes full-time now. He also writes short stories and poetry and has now embarked on his second novel. He continues to live in Cambridge.
Online Bookclub - Official Review:
My Parents' Darkroom by Reinhard Tenberg
4 out of 4 stars


"I don't know what you did in the war, Dad. I was always afraid to ask--all of us were--and now it's too late. However, I'm certain the war left deep scars on you--not just physically, but it changed who you once were. And, since you are a part of my history, I need to find out more about you."

After his mother is placed into a care home, Jonas inherits a wooden cigar box containing relics from his parents' past. The box includes some trinkets that trigger memories from his childhood, but when he discovers a 1945 page from his mother's war diary, an undeveloped film canister, and 1939 ciné film, Jonas realizes how little he knows about his parents' history. In the suspenseful historical fiction, My Parents' Darkroom: Developing the Past, by Reinhard Tenberg, Jonas tries to unravel the family secrets surrounding his parents' involvement under the Nazis during the war. In his search for answers and the rest of his mother's missing diary, he falls in love with Bettina, who seems to have her own secrets. Can their love survive the shocking truth?

Not only is the 189-page book well written and flawlessly edited, the author skillfully pairs strong characterization and a suspenseful plot. The page-turner is written in the first-person narrative from the perspective of Jonas, a professor at a London university, who teaches post-war German history. As is often the case with brothers, Jonas and Helmut are polar opposites. Jonas is compelled to find out the truth about the degree of his parents' involvement with the Nazi Party, while Helmut prefers to let sleeping dogs lie. However, both brothers are relatably flawed and believable. When Bettina enters the story, the author reveals layers of her character over the course of the story.

I most liked the suspenseful aspect; Jonas was so driven to find out the truth about his parents that it elevated the plot to a mystery that was hard to put down. Each time a question was answered; another took its place. Why was the page torn from his mother's diary, and where is the rest of it? Who are the people in the photograph with his father? Does Bettina know more than she is letting on?

There honestly isn't anything I disliked about the book. Although I tend to prefer mysteries with tidy endings wrapped in a bow, I found the not-so-wrapped-up ending satisfying, as it prompted the hope of a sequel. I'm pleased to rate the book 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to both fans of historical fiction and suspense lovers. However, I caution sensitive readers regarding references to the Holocaust, although they are not graphic in nature. Due to the subject matter, profanity, and a few sexual scenes, the book is intended for a mature audience.

Posted by Cecilia_L (Member of the Month) 08 Jul 2019

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)
Number of copies:


Available on Amazon

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.


Stratford Literary Festival

YouCaxton are holding a self-publishing workshop at the Stratford Literary Festival, 4.00 pm – 5.00 pm on Friday 3 May, at the Stratford Playhouse. It’s called ‘Self-Publishing – a Useful Map’ and it’s led by Bob Fowke. YouCaxton’s Managing Editor. The workshop will give a useful introduction to the various stages of self-publishing, including marketing, design, editing and printing. The fee is £10 (£8.00 for students).

 

 

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

Paperback edition (UK only)
£18.50 (+ £2.50 postage)
Number of copies:

Also available from Amazon

Hardback edition (UK only)
£27.50 (+ £2.50 postage)
Number of copies:


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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Wolverhampton Self-Publishing Workshop

YouCaxton are conducting a self-publishing workshop on Saturday 2 February 11 am to 1 pm at the Wolverhampton Art Gallery as part of the Wolverhampton Literature Festival. Admission is free and all are welcome. The workshop will provide an opportunity to learn about all aspects of self-publishing from completing the manuscript, to decisions about design and layout, through to the final print-ready files and publication. There will be plenty of opportunity for questions.

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)
Number of copies:


Available on Amazon

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.
Reviews...