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

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Mind of Stone – Press Release

candy_jar_mos_smallCandy Jar Books is pleased to announce the final Lethbridge-Stewart novel of 2016!

Mind of Stone is by Iain McLaughlin, and sees Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart sent to prison for destroying a rural Enlish village! It also brings back fan favourite, Captain Knight, from the 1968 Doctor Who serial The Web of Fear.

Iain McLaughlin is a scottish author well-known for his Doctor Who audios scripts and creating Erimem, the Egyptian pharoah companion for Peter Davision’s Fifth Doctor. His Doctor Who debut came in 2001 with the Big Finish audio drama, The Eye of the Scorpion, which introduced Erimem. He went on to write several audio plays and short stories for Big Finish, as well as a novel called The Coming of the Queen, the origin story of Erimem. In 2015 he launched his own Doctor Who spin-off series of fiction, based on the now amnesiac time travelling Erimem. In 2004 he also co-wrote two scripts in Big Finish’s UNIT series, both of which featured Nicholas Courtney as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen says: “This was a fun story to break. The idea of Lethbridge-Stewart serving time in prison came from Shaun; it was one of the earlier ideas we discussed. I personally wanted to bring back both Captain Knight and Colonel Pemberton, who have both been mentioned several times in the series. Indeed both have appeared in some of our short stories, so it was nice to bring them into the novels properly. I approached Iain after he was recommended by a friend, although I was aware of his work I had forgotten he’d written for the Brigadier back in 2004. Iain was up for it, and took on board the small ‘shopping list’, building a very solid story from the initial ideas.”

Iain says: “Back in 2004 I was lucky enough to write for the older Brigadier in Big Finish’s UNIT series. That was an absolute joy. It was an older, wiser but always resolute Brig. Passing years hadn’t diminished his sense of duty or his willingness to risk everything to do what needed doing and do what was right. Writing those scripts was as big a buzz for me as writing for the Doctor. Hearing Nick be complimentary about how we had handled the Brig was one of the happiest moments of my career. Writing a younger version of the Brigadier was something I had pondered, but I didn’t see how I could do it… until news of the Lethbridge-Stewart books came along. When I had the chance to pitch I jumped at it, just for the chance to spend some time with a character who feels like an old friend.

“I wanted the book to start with a bang – and so we go straight into the Brig being sent to jail. From there… well, life inside Britain’s prison system wasn’t easy. I’d read about Wormwood Scrubs having been used as a military installation during WW2 and that helped me shape the story and plan how it would unfold. Using the Scrubs made me think of TV and films from the 60s and 70s that had a real edge. McVicar, Get Carter, Target, The Long Good Friday… suddenly the Brig in jail had some edge, and it was the kind of situation we’d never seen him in before. But he’s clever and he’s resourceful… the Brigadier isn’t Colonel Blimp. He’s a damned good soldier, and he’s a dangerous man in the right situation. I hope that’s the Brig you see in this book. As an outline it went through a few revisions, as most books do. But through the writing and the rewriting, the joy at the heart of it is the Brigadier having new adventures. Taking this wonderful character, putting him in situations he needs to resolve and writing dialogue people will read in Nick’s wonderful, rich voice… that’s an honour and a pleasure. Nick and the Brigadier? Splendid fellows, both of them.”

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, says: “It was I who came up with the initial idea, of putting Lethbridge-Stewart in prison, so it was a lot of fun to finally read the book (by the time I read them, at the formatting stage, these books are fully written). It was just as I hoped it would be. Iain has done a fantastic job on this book, bringing some much-needed comedy touches to the Brigadier’s time inside.”

Blurb: ‘You will be taken from this court and remanded in custody until your trial.’

Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart has been remanded to Wormwood Scrubs Prison, and his team have no idea why. Secrecy surrounds his case, but his team barely have a chance to process anything before they are sent on a mission to Egypt.

Why does it seem like Lethbridge-Stewart is going out ofhis way to court trouble from the prison’s most notorious inmates?And what does it have to do with well-known gangster Hugh Godfrey?

In the Ptolemaic Museum of Cairo, Anne Travers and her team aretrying to uncover the mystery surrounding some very unusual stone statues.Statues that resemble those held in a secure military facility in Berkshire.

One thing connects these events; the mysterious cargo transportedby Colonel Pemberton and Captain Knight in August 1968.

The cover of Mind of Stone is by regular cover artist, Colin Howard, who recently produced the cover for the animated Doctor Who DVD, The Power of the Daleks. Colin says: “I really enjoyed bringing Captain Knight to the fore, as I particularly like the performances that actor Ralph Watson brought to bothThe Web of Fear and Horror of Fang Rock, and he deserves such a homage. Andy knows my strength, and gave me a brief that really brings out the best in me.”

Mind of Stone also features a forward by former Doctor Who script editor, and author of the classic Fury from the Deep, Victor Pemberton, close friend of Mervyn Haisman and the man after whom Colonel Pemberton was named.

The book is due to be shipped out mid-December 2016.

Mind of Stone can be pre-ordered individually, or as part of the Series 3 Bundle (both UK and overseas), which includes the previous novels, Times Squared by Rick Cross, andBlood of Atlantis by Simon A Forward, or the subscription deal for those wishing to get six books for the price of five.

Read the prologue HERE for free!

Candy Jar is pleased to announce that the subscription offer is now being extended to international customers. Please see http://www.candy-jar.co.uk/books/subscriptions.html for more details.

Series Three Announced! Times Squared for Pre-order!

candy_jar_tsq_cover_smallCandy Jar Books is pleased to announce the return of the Great Intelligence, and its foot soldiers the Yeti, in the first novel of Candy Jar’s third series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels.

The Great Intelligence and the Yeti first appeared in the 1967 Doctor Who serial, The Abominable Snowmen, written by Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln. It was such a success that the two authors were quickly commissioned to write a sequel, and in 1968 both the Intelligence and the Yeti returned for The Web of Fear, a story which also introduced Lethbridge-Stewart himself!

Apart from the straight-to-video film, Downtime, released in 1995, it was many long years before the Great Intelligence returned to Doctor Who; Christmas 2012. Two more appearances followed in 2013. This trilogy of stories (The Snowmen, The Bells of St John and The Name of the Doctor) was penned by Steven Moffat and introduced viewers to a future version of the Intelligence, which led into the events of the first Lethbridge-Stewart novel, The Forgotten Son, a story that saw the final death of the Intelligence and revealed a previously unknown link between the Intelligence and the Lethbridge-Stewart family.

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen says: “For The Forgotten Son I was interested in wrapping up the story of the Great Intelligence as seen in Moffat’s trilogy, and exploring something of its origins. So now it’s time to go back to the Intelligence as depicted in the original Haisman/Lincoln stories. Ever wondered what happened to it in those long years between The Web of Fear and The Snowmen, and how the 1995 straight-to-video film, Downtime, fits in? Well, now it’s time to start finding out.”

Times Squared, written by first-time novelist Rick Cross, takes place some eight months after The Web of Fear, transferring the Yeti from the London Underground to the underground network of New York. Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, says: “I had the idea of the Yeti roaming through Times Square, plaguing the immense underground of New York. And by throwing in a bit of time travelling shenanigans, the title was an obvious one.”

Andy says: “After Shaun came to me with the basic idea, it was quickly decided we wanted, ideally, an American author to write it. I turned to Rick Cross, an aspiring US author I knew via social media. We talked and he jumped at the chance. We spent a short while discussing story ideas, telling him the elements I wanted, and he came to me with a few ideas of his own. And it has turned out rather brilliantly; the first bona-fide sequel to The Web of Fear, dealing with the Intelligence from that story, as well as a story that brings back Owain, Lethbridge-Stewart’s nephew, last seen in Beast of Fang Rock. A character with a very special relationship to the Intelligence.”

Rick says: “It’s been an exciting opportunity. Hard work, trying to remember the British rules of grammar, but I’ve enjoyed telling my story and delving into the relationship between Lethbridge-Stewart, his fiancée, Sally, and his nephew, Owain. Owain in particular has been fun, exploring his freedom of spirit, and his destiny – which is, one day, to be reincarnated into the person who will ascend to be the Intelligence.”

On bringing back the Yeti, Rick continues: “I had this brilliant idea about the rats in the sewers of New York, and their connection to various plagues throughout the years. What if one such plague was the result of the Intelligence? Coupled with that was my desire to explore the origins of the Yeti. Who made them? How did so many of them get to be in the London Underground in The Web of Fear? Remember, in that story it is revealed that Travers only brought one of them back from Tibet with him. Hopefully Times Squared will provide fans with an interesting take on that, as well as expanding the mythology surrounding the Intelligence and Yeti.”

Not only does this novel bring back these classic enemies, but it also brings back a character from the BBC’s range of Eighth Doctor Adventures from the 1990s.

Andy adds: “Ever since first reading about this character in 1997 I’ve wanted to use her; indeed, she featured in an unpublished Doctor Who novel I wrote in 1998. Her connection to UNIT, and consequently the Brigadier, has been something I’ve wanted to explore since day one of this series. In particular to show the origins of how she came to know Lethbridge-Stewart and what piqued her interest in all things alien.”

The character in question if Adrienne Kramer, future brigadier-general of the US arm of UNIT, who made her official Doctor Who debut in the 1997 novel Vampire Science by Jonathan Blum and Kate Orman. Although she originally appeared in a fan-made video, also written by Jonathan Blum, Time Rift.

Rick says: “It was a wonderful opportunity. Andy set it all up, put me in touch with Jon, who compiled a detailed background document for the character. I had never heard of Kramer, but did my research, and it has been brilliant writing for her, exploring the young woman she was in 1969, long before she became the tough soldier in Vampire Science. I’ve been very blessed to play with all these wonderful much-loved Doctor Who characters in my book, and add one of my own creations to the mythos of Doctor Who.”

Cover art is provided by Martin Baines, whose portfolio includes the Wallace & Gromit comic, Commando, The Beano, and more recently Thunderbirds Are Go magazine. Martin says: “As soon I was briefed on the key scene in the book, Yeti robots covered in rats coming out of the New York underground, I was onto a winner with the cover. This horrific, stark image along with the brilliant writing by Rick Cross makes this a worthy continuation to the classic Web of Fear.”

The book has a forward by Terry Molloy, who is no stranger to either Nicholas Courtney or Lethbridge-Stewart. He worked with Courtney on the audio series, The Scarifyers, and has narrated the first series of Lethbridge-Stewart audiobooks. He is perhaps best-known, among Doctor Who fans, as the actor to have played Davros, creator of the evil Daleks, more times than any other, including three 1980s Doctor Who serials and many Big Finish audio dramas.

Blurb: When Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, his fiancée Sally Wright, and nephew Owain Vine, embark on a much-needed holiday to New York City, the last thing they expect to find is a puzzling mystery involving coma patients, a stranger from a distant land and a dark menace lurking in the bowels of the city’s labyrinthine subway system.

Before long, they’re battling an ancient evil pursuing a deadly campaign of terror that could bring Manhattan under its control… and the world to its knees.

Times Squared can be pre-ordered individually, or as part of the Series 3 Bundle (both UK and overseas), which includes forthcoming novels, Blood of Atlantis by Simon A Forward, and Mind of Stone by Iain McLaughlin, or the subscription deal for those wishing to get six books for the price of five (UK only, covering the series three titles, plus the series four titles released early 2017)! Pre-order directly from http://www.candy-jar.co.uk; Times Squared is due for release at the end of October.

CJ_THF_Cover_SmallA free digital-only short story, The Wishing Bazaar by Sharon Bidwell, will be given out to all pre-order/subscription customers in October.

The previously limited print-collection, The HAVOC Files, has also been released on Kindle. Buy it here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lethbridge-Stewart-HAVOC-Files.

It’s Still Out There

The Web of FearIn 2013 Doctor Who fans all over the world celebrated the return of long-lost stories The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear. But this wonderful event had one small problem to mar it; episode three of The Web of Fear was not among the found episodes.

Fans of Lethbridge-Stewart especially were, and remain, disappointed since episode three was the debut for Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart (although they had to wait until the novelisation by Terrance Dicks [and latterly Lethbridge-Stewart:The Ambush by Andy Frankham-Allen, first published in Doctor Who Magazine] to see the first meeting between the colonel and the Doctor). It seemed a little suspicious that the one episode still missing was probably the most anticipated find of all.

But this past weekend Philip Morris (the man who returned the episodes to the BBC) revealed at the Pandorica convention that episode three of The Web of Fear was among the collection when he first located the missing stories. Alas, and somewhat mysteriously, by time the six-month negotiation was conlcuded, episode three had vanished. Morris believes that when word of the find was leaked out, an offer was made by a private collector.

So, there’s still some hope that Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart’s first appearance may be seen again. If and when the private collector breaks his/her silence.

Whatever Happened to… Anne Travers

Anne Travers, the forthright scientist daughter of Professor Edward Travers, first appeared in The Web of Fear, the creation of writers Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln and based on Haisman’s wife, Vina. Anne was brought to life by actress Tina Packer. She made quite an impact on Doctor Who and, one can reasonably assume, the formation of UNIT, especially at the outset of the Pertwee years. The character of Liz Shaw certainly owes a lot to Anne Travers. With such a strong character, and the future return of Lethbridge-Stewart assisted by a smart female scientist, it’s a wonder why Anne Travers never returned to Doctor Who. Her only substantial return was in the novel Millennial Rites, set on the cusp of the year 2000, which saw her as the respected Dame Anne OBE. So, what happened to her after The Web of Fear? We know that four years later she was back in America with her father, his house being looked after by his old friend Professor Watkins. So, what happened in between? Readers of The Forgotten Son will already know she was retained by the British army, and sent to work in a secret vault in Northumberland. She returned to assist Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart against the Great Intelligence in Bledoe, and was last seen briefly at Lethbridge-Stewart’s engagement party.

She’s due to make a return in the next two Lethbridge-Stewart novels, The Schizoid Earth and Beast of Fang Rock (the latter of which is all about Anne and her family), with her becoming the co-lead of the series next year! Until then, why not take a peek at her stats HERE, and read a little extract below (and learn a little more about the origin of the Vault*)…

Anne_Travers_Text

 

*first seen in The Scales of Injustice and used with kind permission of Gary Russell