Anniversary Series Announced

Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce the forthcoming release of a new series of novels celebrating fifty years of the Brigadier!

In 1968, Doctor Who viewers were introduced to the character Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart.

Created by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln for the serial, The Web of Fear, Lethbridge-Stewart returned the following year in The Invasion, now promoted from colonel to the brigadier in command of UNIT. A legend of Doctor Who was born, and the Brigadier (as he became to be known) continued as regular fixture in Doctor Who until 1976, alongside both Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker. He would return to the series several times during the 1980s, and be mentioned often in the revived series from 2005, with a guest appearance in Doctor Who spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures, and his daughter, Kate, was introduced to the series in 2011 as a semi-regular feature. Beyond the TV series, the Brigadier has enjoyed a long life in spin-off media, including novels, short stories, audio plays, comics and, of course, his own series of novels with Candy Jar since 2015.

To celebrate this milestone, Candy Jar Books is releasing a series of six titles. The first five fall under the banner of The Laughing Gnome, and follows Sir Alistair, Brigadier Bill Bishop and Dame Anne as they adventure through time, visiting the 1930s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and the 2010s! These are followed by a novel that takes the readers right back to the start of the Brigadier’s journey and reveals the decision that changed his life forever!

The Laughing Gnome consists of Scary Monsters by Simon A Forward, The Fear of Web by Alyson Leeds, The Danger Men by Nick Walters, Day of the Matador by Robert Mammone, and Lucy Wilson and the Bledoe Cadets by Tim Gambrell. These are followed by On His Majesty’s National Service by David A McIntee & Dr Lynette Nusbacher.

Simon Forward, who previously wrote Blood of Atlantis, says: “To be invited back to contribute to the Brig’s fiftieth anniversary celebrations is a huge privilege. And with that privilege, like great power, comes great responsibility. We have a duty to the character and to Nick Courtney, the actor who ensured him such a long life in our imaginations. And we have the pleasure of throwing him into new situations and adventures. For my part, I’m aiming to pit him against a terror that is very much a part of his time but one that should resonate with our present. An international thriller, a haunting episode from the past, for our very British hero, teamed up with a returning character from Blood of Atlantis. Who you could call Watson to the Brigadier’s Holmes, but then he’d have to kill you.”

Alyson Leeds, penning her first novel for the series after her contribution to The HAVOC Files 4, says: “Doctor Who was never part of my childhood. Born in the late ‘80s, I did not have a Doctor of my own, and by the time of the revival I was in my late teens. Though I enjoyed the show well enough it was the expanded universe of Who, the novels and audios, that made me a fan. It was here that I first met the Brigadier, and where he instantly became a favourite character. It had always been my ambition to write, and I hoped that I might eventually get a chance to write for the world of Who. Never did I imagine that my first novel would roll both ambitions into one! That I should be writing for the Brigadier, and at so significant a point in his history, was certainly beyond my wildest dreams. Fifty years on from the Brig’s first appearance, so beautifully realised by Nicholas Courtney, many have talked about what makes the Brig such an enduring and beloved character. I find his simple honesty of spirit appeals to me most. He is not a complicated man; he does what he thinks is right, in a way that does not compromise his duty or his beliefs. In a world increasingly beset by troubles, a hero who will not hesitate to step forward and do the best he can is a perpetual breath of fresh air. My part of the story takes the Brig and Anne back to their ‘beginning’, to 1969 and the Underground. Having lived her life and come to terms with the losses she has felt along the way, Dame Anne is suddenly presented with the opportunity to change the past and save someone dear to her – her father. There will be consequences, that is undeniable, but how far would any of us go to save someone we loved?”

Nick Walters, author of Mutually Assured Domination and The Man from Yesterday, says: “Candy Jar is doing something rather special and unexpected to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Brigadier. When Andy [Frankham-Allen, range editor] first told me about it a few years ago it sounded bonkers. A simple ‘X Doctors’ style reunion nostalgia trip this most certainly is not! It’s a bold, interesting and challenging idea which is going to take people by surprise. I was thrilled to be asked to write a story for this series. The idea for my story originated in a striking image which came to me last August whilst sitting in a coffee shop with Andy and all the other writers. I pitched the idea to Andy and he was on board straight away! The Danger Men is on the surface quite a straightforward, fun, spy thriller, a homage to everything from Bond to Bourne, Le Carre and Mission Impossible, and even the Milk Tray Man! There’s some serious stuff behind it, though, mainly in the backgrounds and motivation of the Bond-style villains of the story, who are led by the wonderfully-named (even though I say so myself), Dieter Allegro. Nothing is quite what you expect…”

Robert Mammone, who wrote this year’s Travers & Wells, says: “The Brigadier is what every authority figure should be – steadfast and loyal, with just a hint of a twinkle in the eye, indicating he gets the joke as well.  It is right, then, that the inheritors of that formidable legacy, Candy Jar, celebrate the character in his fiftieth anniversary year. Thanks to Candy Jar, I’ve been given the opportunity to write a story which honours the Brigadier, and celebrates the character Nicholas Courtney. Together with Anne and Bill Bishop, the Brigadier will face off against an old foe in the London of 1973. And lurking in the cracks of history, an ancient evil threatens to re-emerge into the light of day and overthrow the human race…”

Tim Gambrell, who is also writing his first novel, having contributed several short stories for the series, including The Bledoe Cadets and the Bald Man of Pengriffen, says: “Writing for an icon like the Brigadier is an honour at any time, but how much more so to be given that opportunity as part of the character’s fiftieth anniversary celebrations? He’s such a likeable, enduring and, above all else, real character. What a joy to be able to take him by the hand and immerse oneself fully in the extended world that Candy Jar has created. It lets you write big stories, with real impact, but in small worlds, and affecting real people. I get the Brig, the Bledoe Cadets and Lucy Wilson as my playmates in a story that stretches from Alistair’s childhood to his days as a grandfather.”

David A McIntee teams up with Dr Lynette Nusbacher, military historian, and says: “As I’ve said before, for me, the Brigadier’s place is all about Nick Courtney and the ideal match between character and actor, with both fitting the other so perfectly. It was said of Sean Bean than he didn’t so much play Sharpe as wear the role, and this is so true of Nick and the Brig as well. It’s such a rare thing to happen, and therefore particularly special that the resulting figure reaches fifty years or popularity, that it’s astonishing to be involved in looking back at that half century. Astonishing too, to be taking that figure to its basics, and exploring what’s really deep within this character. Every man is the sum of his memories, as the Doctor once said, but he’s also a product of the world around him, both inside his perceptions and outside. Worlds are big, bigger than you’d think, and you don’t need a TARDIS to have a range of experiences enough to fill anyone’s imagination. We may not have Nick any more, but he’s still in the Brigadier, and always will be, however big and involved the Brig’s world turns out to be.”

The Laughing Gnome blurb:

December 2011, and the Lethbridge-Stewart clan are gathering. The patriarch, Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart is not well. In fact, he’s dying.

He’s determined to face his end with dignity. He has lived a long life, seen a lot of strange things, saved the world more times than he can count, but he has also made a lot of mistakes.

What if he had a chance to revisit some of those mistakes?

NB: IF YOU HAVE A SUBSCRIPTION THE ANNIVERSARY SERIES IS COVERED BY THIS.

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New Hardback Novella Range Announced

Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce its brand new limited edition Lethbridge-Stewart novella range!

Three new hardback novellas will be released throughout 2017, strictly limited to 400 copies each. March sees the release of The Life of Evans by John Peel, with Day of the Intelligence by Andy Frankham-Allen following in May, and The Flaming Soldier by Christopher Bryant in July. Each can be pre-ordered separately, or as part of a discounted bundle.

Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell, says: “We’re very excited to announce these novellas, a way to tell stories that may not necessarily work as full-length works, giving us a chance to explore different corners of the Lethbridge-Stewart universe. We’re launching this new range with three very special releases, all with very specific goals.”

Day of the Intelligence is released to celebrate fifty years of the Great Intelligence, telling the official origin story, fully authorised by Haisman & Lincoln, with The Flaming Soldier being released to commemorate the World War II hero, Eileen Youghusband.

But first comes The Life of Evans, which tells the untold story of Driver Evans, everybody’s favourite Welsh slacker.

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen says: “I always had a plan to develop Evans beyond the obvious cliches of his television appearance, but it turned out to be one-too-many character arcs for the series. As such Evans disappeared after 2016’s The Grandfather Infestation. Fortunately, the idea of the novellas came along, and due to the popularity of Evans, I decided it made sense to explore Evans’ character arc in the first novella. John Peel was the obvious choice; he writes quickly, and works very well to spec, and since we’ve had a lot of readers ask for more Peel, it seemed the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. And, naturally, John nailed it.”

John Peel says: ”Part of the fun of writing this kind of story is inventing new menaces. This time I got to create two – only one of which was alien. Another part of the fun is doing terrible things to our favourite characters, and I certainly put poor old Evans through the wringer. I think he’ll survive it.”

Also included in this book is a bonus short story by Robert Mammone, called Time and Again. The story serves as a sequel to the 1985 Doctor Who television serial Timelash, and is a prequel to the forthcoming spin-off series, Travers & Wells, revealing more of the mystery that was first seen at the end of the novel, Times Squared. Travers & Wells will be a new novella series, echoing the novellas of HG Wells, such as The War of the Worlds.

Frankham-Allen says: “I contacted Glen McCoy in 2016 about using the characters from his Doctor Who adventure, and after a lovely phone call with me explaining my ideas for the series, he was more than happy with what he called ‘a wicked imagination’. Once that was settled, it was just a case of finding the right person to launch the series, so I turned to Robert as I was very impressed with his speed and level of excellence when he wrote us a Halloween story last year.”

Robert Mammone says: “When Andy and I were chatting on Skype about the upcoming novellas it suddenly dawned on him we could set up the range with a prequel short story.  I immediately said yes and then knuckled down to getting the ideas, themes and plot straight. I didn’t want the story to be a direct sequel to Timelash, but I did want to take elements from that story as a way of looking at how those who assume authority after toppling a dictatorship can end up aping some of the actions of those overthrown. And despite the melancholy tone, it was an exciting project to work on – be faithful to the source material, but broaden and deepen the themes to bring them up-to-date with 21st Century sensibilities. I hope everyone enjoys it and stays for the ride that is about to begin!”

The Life of Evans is available for pre-order now, for £12.99 (+ p&p), and will be which published in hardback, with a strict print-run of only 400 copies. You can pre-order individually or as part of the discounted novella UK bundle for only £38.40, saving £9.57, or an international bundle for only £55.59, saving £7.40. Order early to avoid disappointment. Only available directly from Candy Jar Books HERE.

HAVOC Files 2 – Pre-order now!

Candy_Jar_THF2_Cover_SmallCandy Jar Books is pleased to announce the release of the second volume of The HAVOC Files, collecting the short stories released during the first half in 2016, in print for the first time!

Early this year Candy Jar Books released the first volume of The HAVOC Files, an instant hit among fans. And now with The HAVOC Files 2 they bring together another batch of short stories previously only available in digital format:

In His Kiss by Sue Hampton, The Lock-In by Sarah Groenewegen BEM, The Black Eggs of Khufu by Tom Dexter, The Band of Evil by Roger J Simmonds & Shaun Russell and The Playing Dead by Adrian Sherlock.

As with the previous volume, The HAVOC Files 2 also includes new stories exclusive to the book. Once again range editor Andy Frankham-Allen returns, this time with the short story Ashes of the Inferno. “As the title suggests this story is connected to the 1970 serial Inferno; indeed it begins the same day the Doctor returns from the alternative Earth,” says Andy. “A lot of readers have asked how the expanding mythology of the Lethbridge-Stewart series fits into the UNIT era of Doctor Who, and this story goes a little way to explaining that. But it’s much more than just a response to readers’ questions, it’s a story about loss and coming to terms with losing everything that matters to you. A theme that I often come back to, and one that is even more poignant right now as only recently I lost a friend in very tragic accident. This story serves as something of a tribute to that young man, who was not only a friend but a huge Doctor Who fan, and the family he left behind, who are trying to cope with such a monumental loss.”

The second brand new story is House of Giants by newcomer Rick Cross. It picks up on a thread referenced in the most recent Lethbridge-Stewart novel, The Grandfather Infestation by John Peel, and deals with aftermath of the Doctor Who serial, Planet of Giants. Rick Cross says, “Planet of Giants is a personal favourite of mine, an inventive and unexpected First Doctor experiment that has resonated in my mind since I first saw it, so it’s been fun writing a sort of coda to it. I’m thrilled and honoured to bring the Brigadier and Anne Travers onto the scene of this classic Doctor Who story, and can’t wait for fellow fans to see what awaits them there.” Rick may be a familiar name to some, as he had a small piece published in the first volume of The HAVOC Files. That vignette was the prologue to his forthcoming Lethbridge-Stewart novel, Times Squared, which was written before House of Giants. Says Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell, ‘Rick was brought in by Andy, a result of successful networking on Facebook. We’ve been so impressed with Rick’s abilities as a writer that we thought it’d be nice to have him write us a short story while Andy works on his forthcoming novel.” On the subject of having his second piece of Lethbridge-Stewart fiction published first, Rick says, “’I’m actually quite pleased that House of Giants will arrive ahead of Times Squared. I hope it will serve as an appetizer of sorts to the entree to come, one that will introduce Lethbridge-Stewart readers to my particular Yankee style, borne of a lifelong obsession with Doctor Who, sci-fi films and Stephen King novels. Hopefully, they’ll come away eager to explore the labyrinthine streets of late-‘60s New York City… and what lies beneath.”

Not content to simply provide new stories for their readers, Shaun and Andy have also added two special extras to the book. The first is the unpublished interludes from The Showstoppers by Jonathan Cooper. Andy says, “I decided to remove the interludes from the novel because, in my opinion, they slowed the pace of the story down too much. However, the background on Schädengeist and Commander Shepstone was too good to simply consign to the rubbish bin, so it’s a great pleasure to make the interludes available as one short story.” The second extra is the original prologue from John Peel’s The Grandfather Infestation, which reveals why the Ymir brought their Grandfather’s to Earth in the first place.

It will also feature brand new cover art by Adrian Salmon, which will be unveiled soon!

13686769_10153684572416190_5339647797179615501_nThe whole collection is dedicated to the memory of Rhys Rubery, friend of the range editor and Doctor Who fan, a sixteen-year-old who lost his life in a tragic accident in July 2016. You can find out more about Rhys, and how to support the RR81 Legacy by going to this website: http://jonrubery.wixsite.com/rhysrubery

As with the first volume, The HAVOC Files 2 will only be available as a strictly limited edition print run, available directly from the Candy Jar Bookstore. It will not be available for sale in any shop, on the high streets or the Internet, and is due to become a collector’s item. PRE-ORDER now!

The HAVOC Files 2 is now available for pre-order, for £8.99, directly from www.candyjarbooks.co.uk.

The next series of Lethbridge-Stewart begins in October with the release of Times Squared by Rick Cross, followed by Blood of Atlantis by Simon A Forward and Mind of Stone by Iain McLaughlin.

The Playing Dead – New Free Short Story

CJ_TPD_SmallCandy Jar Books is pleased to announce the release of their latest free digital-only short story, The Playing Dead by newcomer Adrian Sherlock.

Adrian Sherlock is an Australian author who created the popular web-set Damon Dark and the Kindle series Sherlock Holmes: Time Detective.

“It’s been a long held dream of mine to write a story about the classic era of Doctor Who and the Lethbridge-Stewart series is a hugely exciting way to do that,” said Adrian. “It was also personally very exciting to write a story which harkens back to classics like The Twilight Zone and The Last Man on Earth, but with a very Who-ish twist. I’m eternally grateful to Andy for the chance to push the brave but unsuspecting Bishop into a world of shadows and dangers.”

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen said: “Adrian came to my attention via John Peel. He’s one of the many new voices we’re encouraging through our short story initiative, although we kind of did it backwards with Adrian. A novel pitch (set in his native Australia) led to this short story.”

Blurb: Lieutenant Bishop has survived a dangerous mission in Australia and is looking forward to going home. But he wakes up to find the streets of Darwin are empty; he seems to be the last man on Earth. Until from the shadows come strange creatures. The dead are walking, and they want Bishop. But Bishop has more to worry about than just himself – where is Anne Travers?

Keeping with the experimental nature of the free short stories, The Playing Dead is the first story to focus on Bill Bishop, the ever-popular adjutant to Lethbridge-Stewart. Adrian Sherlock said: “I had a lot of fun getting into the mind of Bishop, a character created especially for this series. It’s telling that he is just as rounded and as interesting as Lethbridge-Stewart and Anne Travers. He is a worthy addition to the role-call of heroes we know and love from the classic era of Doctor Who. A joy to write for.”

Although set within the current narrative of the book series, The Playing Dead moves the story forward half a year. Shaun Russell, Head of Publishing, said: “It’s nice to dip in and out of Lethbridge-Stewart’s life with the short stories, and as we know where the characters will be six months later, namely Australia, we thought it would be fun to give a few hints to our readers.”

The cover art is by Richard Young. “How could I say no to creating something a little different from my usual style? It’s always nice to show people your range. Different strokes for different folks. And, of course, a chance to turn the Brig into a zombie… What’s not to love?”

Candy_Jar_TGI_Cover_SmallThe Playing Dead will be given free with every pre-order of The Grandfather Infestation by John Peel, which is due out at the end of July. All subscribers will receive the short story automatically, as will those who purchase any of the bundles for the 2016 series.

In addition Candy Jar has created a Spotify Lethbridge-Stewart playlist. http://tinyurl.com/hyynbth

The Grandfather Infestation is now available for pre-order, for £8.99, directly from www.candy-jar.co.uk.

 

Lethbridge-Stewart series 1:

  • The Forgotten Son by Andy Frankham-Allen
  • The Schizoid Earth by David A McIntee
  • Beast of Fang Rock by Andy Frankham-Allen
  • Mutually Assured Domination by Nick Walters

Lethbridge-Stewart series 2:

  • Moon Blink by Sadie Miller
  • The Showstoppers by Jonathan Cooper
  • The Grandfather Infestation by John Peel

Lethbridge-Stewart series 3 COMING AUTUMN 2016:

  • Times Squared by Rick Cross
  • Blood of Atlantis by Simon A Forward
  • Mind of Stone by Iain McLaughlin

MONSTER OF ROCK! New free digital-short story!

Lethbridge-Stewart_Free_Story_The_Band_0f_Evil-1Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce the release of their latest free digital-only short story, The Band of Evil.

Lethbridge-Stewart editor Shaun Russell has joined forces with Candy Jar author Roger J Simmonds to pen this story of rock music aliens on the rampage in Wembley.

Shaun said: “Although I’ve had a hand in establishing the direction of the series it’s been my goal to write a Lethbridge-Stewart story myself, but this has always proved difficult due to health and work commitments, so when the opportunity to work with Roger on this short story presented itself I jumped at it. The story is a classic ‘base under siege’ tale with a rock ‘n’ roll twist.”

The book also contains a preview chapter of Roger’s autobiography Standing on the Sidelines. Roger’s life has been a rock ’n’ rollercoaster of a journey. Highlights of his remarkable career include playing the 2is club in Soho at the height of its popularity, being part of the only Welsh group to play The Cavern Club, working alongside the influential record producer Joe Meek, getting drunk with The Krays, and being present when Tom Jones got his name.

Roger J Simmonds, who was once a touring member of The Honeycombs, said: “I met some of the most influential performers during the ‘60s including George Harrison, Brian Jones, David Bowie and Tom Jones. My autobiography captures the glamour and sleaze, the hedonism and idealism and the sights and smells of the British rock scene. It was great to transfer these experiences to the world of Lethbridge-Stewart.”

Hayley Cox, senior publishing coordinator at Candy Jar Books, feels that Roger was the perfect choice to collaborate with Shaun. She said: “Currently the Lethbridge-Stewart stories are set in the tail end of the swinging ‘60s and who better to draw upon these exciting times than someone who was actually there. I believe that Roger and Shaun have captured the rock music scene perfectly.”

showstoppersThe Band of Evil will be given free to every person who pre-orders The Showstoppers by Jonathan Cooper, which is due out at the end of June. All subscribers will receive the short story automatically, as will those who purchase any of the bundles for the 2016 series.

In addition Candy Jar has created a Spotify Lethbridge-Stewart and Standing on the Sidelines playlist.

For Lethbridge-Stewart please follow at http://tinyurl.com/hyynbth

For Standing on the Sidelines please follow at http://tinyurl.com/go4n2l9

The Showstoppers is now available for pre-order, for £8.99, directly from www.candyjarbooks.co.uk.