The Laughing Gnome Book Three!

Candy Jar Books is proud to announce book three in its anniversary series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels, The Laughing Gnome: The Danger Men.

Following on from The Laughing Gnome: Fear of the Web, book three sees the focus shift to Brigadier William Bishop, who, after several astral jumps through time, is beginning to wonder if he’ll ever return to his life in 2011!

The Danger Men sees the return of popular novelist Nick Walters for his third Lethbridge-Stewart novel. Nick previously wrote Mutually Assured Domination in 2015 and The Man from Yesterday earlier in 2018.

Nick says: “When I was told of the story arc for this anniversary series, I immediately knew what I wanted to do: a straight spy thriller, with no sci-fi or fantasy elements other than the framing story and elements of the wider Whoniverse. At the same time, I had the idea for the opening scene, and it’s more or less exactly as you read it in the finished book! It’s rare that ideas come so fully-formed so quickly, but it’s wonderful when they do. I intended The Danger Men to be a homage to James Bond, Jason Bourne, Mission: Impossible and the works of John Le Carre, spoofing some elements yet taking the story deadly seriously. For example, women are always throwing themselves at James Bond, and the same happens to Bill in this book, but, of course, because he’s a gent and loyal to Anne he cannot reciprocate, leading to complications and comedy.”

This is the first book in the range to focus primarily on Bill Bishop. Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen explains that decision: “Ever since his first appearance in the first Lethbridge-Stewart novel, Bill has proven very popular with our readers. Up to now the books have been led by either the Brigadier or Anne, so the decision was made that, during this contained series of novels and under the steady hand of Nick Walters, we could take the risk of allowing one of our series-originated characters to take the lead. Bill was the only choice for that, really, easily being the most popular and the most connected to both the Brigadier and Anne – especially Anne, seeing as they got engaged during the course or the series and have been shown to be married by the 1990s. Of course, both the Brigadier and Anne make cameo appearances, and their presence is felt throughout. It is still every bit a Lethbridge-Stewart novel!”

Music has a large influence on The Danger Men, and Nick explains more: “The story arc title, The Laughing Gnome, was inspired by David Bowie, of course. It’s set in 1999 so there are a lot of references to contemporary pop, rock and indie, in chapter titles for example, and the naming of operations by Department M, which subverts the conventions of naming such things after works of high culture in Le Carre and Deighton novels.  There is, however, one group, one very famous group spanning the ’80s and ’90s, who are still going now, who inspired the majority of the character names and references. Stella Van Steiner, Dieter Allegro, Otto Di Catania – I’ll let you guess who! We plan to do a soundtrack for the book, containing all the songs referenced therein, which should be available on Spotify soon. Such things as pop music references are great fun, of course, but only the icing on the cake. The Danger Men is, I hope, a fast-moving, thrilling, funny and sometimes alarming spy caper with loads of twists and turns. It’s also a study of identity – Bill has to take on various aliases in his mission, and the more he takes on the further he feels isolated from his true self. So, underneath all the fun is all this existential musing on the nature of existence.”

The cover is by Paul Cooke, returning for his second novel after providing the artwork for Nick Walters’ previous book, The Man from Yesterday. Paul says: “It was a very pleasant surprise to be asked back to do another cover for the series. When I read what the story was about, I was thrilled – it was a perfect opportunity do a cover influenced by some of the period film posters I enjoy. I was thinking I would approach this in a slightly different style to my last one, a bit more painterly. The only problem was not to make it too pulpy in look, which is when I hit upon the idea of the computer screen type, which immediately gave the piece a sense of time.”

Blurb:

2011 and Brigadier William Bishop visits his old commanding officer, Brigadier Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, who is a little concerned about a garden gnome he recently found. Soon both Bishop and his wife, Anne Travers, find themselves dragged through time after the Brigadier…

He’s a man on a mission. But he has no idea what the mission is. It’s 1999. Bill Bishop is plunged into a world of intrigue as he inhabits the body of Calum Bence of Department M – aka the Danger Men – on the trail of millionaire entrepreneur and suspected super-spy Dieter Allegro.

But is Allegro really the bad guy he’s made out to be? And who is the mysterious Otto Di Catania, and why is he so interested in the contents of a certain CD-ROM?

As he seeks these answers, Bill can’t help but wonder: will he ever find Anne and the Brigadier, will he even return to 2011, or is he destined to be lost in time forever?

Join Bill in his borrowed body as he travels from Johannesburg to London to Torquay and Austria on his mission impenetrable…

The Laughing Gnome will continue in early 2019 with book four. The Day of the Matador, by Robert Mammone, sees our heroes reuniting in 1970s England dealing with gangsters and Dominators! This is followed by book five, Lucy Wilson and the Bledoe Cadets by Tim Gambrell, with On His Majesty’s National Service by David A McIntee following a month later.

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

The Laughing Gnome: The Danger Men is available for pre-order now for £8.99 (+ p&p). The book is due for release at the end of November.

http://www.candy-jar.co.uk/books/dangermen.html

Advertisements

The Laughing Gnome Book Two – Pre-Order!

Candy Jar Books is proud to announce book two in its anniversary series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels, The Laughing Gnome: Fear of the Web.

Following on from The Laughing Gnome: Scary Monsters, book two sees the focus shift to Dame Anne Bishop (nee Travers) as she finds herself dragged back in time from 2011 to a pivotal moment in history – February 1969, and the events of the Doctor Who serial, The Web of Fear!

Fear of the Web is written by first-time novelist, Alyson Leeds, who contributed a short story to 2017’s The HAVOC Files 4.

Alyson explains being called on to contribute: “I was quite stunned to be asked if I would write a book as part of the upcoming 50th Anniversary series. It was both an exciting and fairly intimidating prospect, having never written a novel before, but I knew it was an opportunity I didn’t want to pass up. The scenario that Andy gave me was too interesting to refuse.”

Range Editor, Andy Frankham-Allen, explains: “Alyson’s short story needed very little work, and since then I’ve called upon her military knowledge for other books, so it was an easy call to invite her to join the line-up for The Laughing Gnome. For someone who’s done little professional prose writing, she turns in a very solid piece of work, which is every editor’s dream. As we are celebrating fifty years of the Brigadier, it was forgone conclusion that we would go back to the beginning, his first appearance in Doctor WhoThe Web of Fear, as written by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln. Like all the authors for this range, I gave Alyson the basic premise; put Dame Anne into the missing two weeks mentioned in The Web of Fear –  during a small briefing scene between Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart, Captain Knight and the Doctor – and finally show just what did happen when the mist started spreading across London, and add to that the idea that Dame Anne will be faced with the notion that she could, theoretically, changed things to ensure her father is never possessed by the Great Intelligence! Alyson jumped at the chance, and soon had an outline ready to go.”

Alyson talks about her approach to developing the idea: “The London Event, indeed The Web of Fear, was the making of Lethbridge-Stewart, but was never just his story. There’s an awful lot that goes on off camera there; the slow advance of the mist and Web, the escalation of the crisis, and the total evacuation of London – no mean feat! Introducing an older, experienced Anne who has known both joy and loss over the years into that scenario presented some interesting questions. After everything she’s been through with HAVOC, you would think Anne would know better than to try and change the past; but when faced with the chance to save a loved one from a truly horrible fate, who’s to say to what lengths she might go? It also presented a chance to explore a little further the relationship between the Travers family and the Silversteins. I always felt bad for Mr Silverstein, getting bumped off simply for being unlucky enough to own the Yeti, and revisiting this point in time allowed me to touch on the repercussions that his death would have on those closest to him.”

The cover is by Martin Baines, whose work was previously featured on the covers of 2016’s Times Squared, and 2017’s The Dreamer’s Lament. Martin says: “The Web of Fear is rightly regarded one of the gems of Doctor Who in the ’60s.  It’s brilliantly written and well directed and has aged very well.  When Candy Jar asked me to illustrate a cover depicting another story set during the same period I was really thrilled, especially when they asked me to show London deserted and covered in web (which was not seen in the original story but mentioned). It took a number of roughs to do justice to the idea, but when I saw some images of London in smog I knew the direction to take.”

Blurb:

Dame Anne Bishop learned a long time ago that for every fixed point in time, this a fracture point, an event that is susceptible to catastrophic changes in the timeline. And when she is catapulted back in time, she discovers first hand that February 1969 is one such point.

Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart is on manoeuvres with the Scots Guards in Libya. Only, he’s about to receive a call from his old commanding officer, Colonel Spencer Pemberton. A call that will drag him to London, and set him on a direct course for destiny! 

The London Event, the trap set for the Doctor by the Great Intelligence, changed the course of human history, and for Anne Travers it set into place a series of events that would see the death of her father barely a year later.

 Now, waking up in the body of a woman she barely knows, Dame Anne is faced with the idea that perhaps she can change things – not enough to damage the timeline, but enough to save her father.

 Future and past are set to collide, which could have irrevocable consequences for the timeline…

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

The Laughing Gnome: Fear of the Web is available for pre-order now for £8.99 (+ p&p). The book is released at the end of September.

http://www.candy-jar.co.uk/books/fearoftheweb.html

New Lethbridge-Stewart Announced

Award-winning independent publisher Candy Jar Books is publishing a new series of novels, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries. A spin-off from Candy Jar’s Lethbridge-Stewart range, Lucy Wilson will likewise feature fully licensed characters and concepts from the BBC’s beloved Doctor Who.

Twelve-year-old Lucy Wilson doesn’t want to move from London to sleepy Ogmore-by-Sea in south Wales. But when she arrives in her new seaside home, it isn’t as boring as she expected. The village is under the control of a mysterious alien force, and it falls to Lucy and her new friend, Hobo, to stop it.

Lucy is a new character in the Doctor Who universe, but she has illustrious heritage. She is the granddaughter of the iconic Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, one of Doctor Who’s longest running characters. The Brigadier, as he is known to fans, was played by the late Nicholas Courtney, whose death in 2011 prompted the show to pay tribute to him in the series finale, The Wedding of River Song.

So far Candy Jar Books Lethbridge-Stewart series has continued on from the BBC’s Web of Fear, taking place in the 1970s period known as Doctor Who’s “classic era”.

But three years into the series, Shaun Russell, head of publishing, thought the time was right to broaden the Brig’s horizons. He says: “The great thing about Doctor Who is that it appeals to adults and children alike. There’s something for everybody to explore, from The Sarah Jane Adventures for the very young, to Torchwood for those a bit older. Lethbridge-Stewart’s last appearance in any Doctor Who media was, in fact, in The Sarah Jane Adventures. I’m sure that sent a lot of kids back to the classic series to see what all the fuss about. And once you’re a fan of that, you’re generally a fan for life.

“The Brig is such a fundamental part of classic Doctor Who, but after Nicholas Courtney’s death, he’s naturally become less a part of the ongoing programme. We thought that, with the Lucy Wilson series, we could ensure his legacy continues into the modern day – at the same time hopefully sending young fans back to the classics! This is why we have decided to pit Lucy up against the iconic Great Intelligence.”

Not only is the Great Intelligence making a guest appearance, but also the Brigadier and a couple of other characters well-known to fans of the Lethbridge-Stewart range of books, and The Web of Fear.

Not that Lucy needs much help. A modern girl with strong values and opinions, she’s dauntless, loyal and whip smart – qualities long embodied by the Doctor himself. Jodie Whittaker’s recent casting as the first ever female Doctor has spotlighted the positive example the character provides young viewers. It is a tradition Candy Jar wanted to continue with its own contributions to the Who universe.

Sue Hampton, author of two previous Lethbridge-Stewart stories, says: “I’m sure that the new Doctor will defeat her enemies with courage and ingenuity – and with the help of her friends. It’s great for kids to have someone like this as their role model. They’re the values of the show. And while she’s very much her own girl, we see Lucy as embodying similar traits. We hope young readers will find her just as inspiring.”

The book has been endorsed by Eggheads presenter and Radio 2 DJ Jeremy Vine. He says: “A great read – brilliant characters and a plot that keeps surprising you. Sue Hampton writes in three dimensions! Avatars of the Intelligence draws you in from the very first page.”

The cover art is by Steve Beckett, a freelance writer and illustrator who has contributed artwork for the UK’s longest running children’s weekly comic The Beano, including The Bash Street Kids, General Jumbo and Bully Beef and Chips.  He says: “I am very excited to have contributed to the expanding Lethbridge-Stewart universe. Shaun contacted me because he was familiar with my work for The Beano. He wanted something that could appeal to the young and adults alike. Hopefully I have achieved this. Drawing the Intelligence in my cartoon style was great fun, and I have certainly grown quite fond of the characters. I’m really looking forward to seeing how Lucy’s adventures develop.”

Avatars of the Intelligence by Sue Hampton is available for pre-order exclusively for fans until the end of September, with dispatch shortly thereafter. The commercial release of the book will be early next year.

BLURB:

Lucy Wilson doesn’t want to move from London to sleepy south Wales. But when she arrives at her new seaside home, it doesn’t appear to be as boring as she expected.

Ogmore-by-Sea seems to be under the control of a mysterious and powerful force. But why is Lucy its target? And why, when students at her new school start to disappear, does no one seem to care?

With the help of her new friend Hobo, Lucy Wilson must assume the mantle of her grandfather, the legendary Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, and defeat an invisible enemy before it’s too late.

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries is a Lethbridge-Stewart spin-off adventure and features licensed characters created for Doctor Who by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln.

Please visit http://www.candy-jar.co.uk/books/bumpersummersale.html to pre-order the book.

Good News & Sad News Roundup

The HAVOC Files Cover Revealed and New Story Announced

Candy Jar Books is pleased to unveil the cover art of The HAVOC Files 2, collecting seven short stories and a couple of extras!

candy_jar_thf2_final_cover_smallHead of Publishing, Shaun Russell, says, “With the previous volume we collected the many short stories published in 2015, but it was a little different this time since we have released fewer short stories this year. However, as we like to spoil our readers, we decided it would be nice to produce new exclusive material for the collection, as well as give a couple of extras. And, just to make this collection even more worthwhile, and a collector’s item, we’ve decided to add yet another story to the mix.”

The story in question has something of a twist to it. Written by Andy Frankham-Allen, The Lost Skin is a novella that is set concurrently with the forthcoming Lethbridge-Stewart novel, Times Squared. “The plan was originally to release the novella alongside Times Squared, but time kind of ran away from me, so I suggested instead we release it as part of The HAVOC Files as a three-part story over three volumes. I mean, who doesn’t like a cliffhanger or two?”

The Lost Skin focuses on a several of the regular cast of characters, including the return of journalists, Harold Chorley, Larry Greene and Charlie Redfern. More importantly, it features the first full appearance of Professor Edward Travers, last seen in 2015’s The Schizoid Earth, who heads to John o Groats to investigate a bit of Scottish lore.

Adrian Salmon once more returns to Lethbridge-Stewart for cover art duties, for the second time this year. As well as previous Lethbridge-Stewart covers, he has also done artwork for a multitude of publications, including Doctor Who Magazine and Big Finish Productions. The cover art for a collection of short stories presented a unique problem; how to touch upon the various stories and yet still have a striking image to attract readers’ attentions. Adrian says, “A unifying cover idea for a mix of stories was never going to be easy but the central idea of an incredible shrinking Lethbridge-Stewart made small work of it!”

The short stories include the previously available, 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, The Playing Dead by Adrian Sherlock, and brand new stories House of Giants by Rick Cross and Ashes of the Inferno by Andy Frankham-Allen.

Not only these short stories, but the collection also includes Schädengeist’s First Love by Jonathan Cooper and Exodus from Venus by John Peel, deleted material from The Showstoppers and The Grandfather Infestation respectively.

The 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. The cut-off point for pre-orders is fast approaching, although the actual date will only be announced at the time, with no pre-warning. So PRE-ORDER now, directly from www.candyjarbooks.co.uk. It will be released at the end of September.

World War II Hero and Candy Jar Author Passes Away

Hayley Cox, Eileen Younghusband, Andy Frankham-Allen, Shaun RussellCandy Jar’s very own Eileen Younghusband has died in hospital in Cardiff at the age of 95.

Born in London, Eileen joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force during World War Two and worked in the Filter Room, the top secret hub of Britain’s air defence, which processed information from coastal radar stations to give air raid warnings and enable the RAF to intercept German bombers. After D-day, she was sent to Belgium with a small team of women using their mathematical skill to locate the mobile launchers for the V2 rockets then raining down on London and Antwerp.

After the war, she spent most of her life in hotels and catering. She moved to Wales in 1984 and became known for her campaigning on health and education issues. She was awarded the British Empire Medal in 2012, for her tireless work against cuts to adult education.

At the age of 87, she completed a degree from the Open University and was named as one of its Students of the Year. Her autobiography, Not An Ordinary Life, was published the following year and began a series of books and talks about her wartime experiences.

Her television appearances included BBC Breakfast, The One Show and Eggheads, as well as the BBC series Britain’s Greatest Generation, Channel 4’s WW2: The Last Heroes, and the ITV Wales programme Welsh Heroes of World War Two. Her book, One Woman’s War, won a People’s Book Prize 2012/13 – something she was always incredibly proud of.

A life size figure of Eileen as a 21-year-old WAAF officer stands in a replica of a filter room at the Battle of Britain museum at Bentley Priory. Her advice on the WAAF was sought by historians, documentary makers and even a Hollywood scriptwriter.

Her latest book, Eileen’s War, was written for children and was completed and published only weeks before her death. Eileen saw Eileen’s War as her ‘legacy’ book. On the day of its release she said: “It is my hope that all children will read my book. I think it is really important to engage with young people about World War II. It’s a pivotal moment in our history. If my story can live on from generation to generation this will be wonderful.”

From those who only met her on occasion to those who knew her well, Eileen made a remarkable impression on everybody she spoke to. Shaun Russell says, “We at Candy Jar knew her as a fiercely determined author, a brave and inspiring woman, and a very dear friend. We will miss her lots, but we feel very lucky to have known her and played a small part in the adventure of her life.”

The Band of Evil, included in The HAVOC Files 2, features the first appearance of Captain Derek Younghusband, created in honour of Eileen Younghusband…

 

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

One Cold Step… For Free!

We’ve locked David A McIntee in a room to finish The Schizoid Earth undisturbed; in the meantime, we at Candy Jar Books offer you a free short story to set the scene… The story is set during The Schizoid Earth, and the days leading up to it, and features the return of both Anne Travers and her father, Professor Edward Travers, who has not been seen since 1968’s The Web of Fear.

In The Forgotten Son Anne Travers was last seen at the engagement party of Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart and Sally Wright, and there she explained that she had to return to work at the Vault. While there, Lethbridge-Stewart also learned that Professor Travers was planning a return visit to the monastery at Det-Sen, only another member of the Travers’ family has something to say about that…

Download it HERE on pdf. (Subscribers to Top Secret Files will receive it by email automatically.)

 

Step Back in Time

How about a little trip back in time, to February 1968? We’re happy to share with you a few clippings from Radio Times, which talked about The Web of Fear, building the London Underground in the studio, and a few words from Tina Packer who played Anne Travers…

29762 29760 1968-03_London_Transport

 

*click for larger versions
**With thanks to Simon Meade