Monday, 15 January 2018


Britain’s Got Talent legend Lorraine Bowen has written a children’s book, The Crumble Lady, based on the song that first shot her to fame on the popular ITV talent show.

Lorraine says: “I am really excited to be launching my new fiction book for children. It’s been really fun creating these crumbletastic stories with crazy characters and surreal situations! I hope that all the young readers out there like what I have done.”

Lorraine’s first venture into children’s fiction is a selection box of delicious and zany adventures about her fictional alter-ego, the Crumble Lady. Added to this, the book also features five scrumalicious crumble recipes –perfect for baking!

Lorraine joins the ranks of recent celeb authors such as Tom Fletcher and, of course, Lorraine’s biggest supporter, David Walliams.

Of The Crumble Lady, Walliams says: “My golden girl Lorraine Bowen’s talents are endless. Making crumble, singing about crumble, and now writing a book about crumble. It’s sure to become a literary classic that will go down in history as one of the greatest books concerning crumble ever written. Lorraine Bowen is a golden talent. I predict this book will win the Booker Prize!”

The Crumble Lady is yet another string to Lorraine’s bow in her mission to bring a little sunshine into the world. Over the years Lorraine has been touring with her own variety roadshow, pouring positivity wherever she can. Best known across the globe for her Golden Buzzer performance on
the television reality show Britain’s Got Talent (which has now reached over 9 million views on YouTube), Lorraine has been performing all over the UK for over a decade with live shows such as Lorraine Bowen’s Vital Organs, Lorraine Bowen’s Polyester Fiesta and most recently Be Original,
described as “an interactive musical ideasfest for 8-11 year olds” and funded by Arts Council England.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at independent publisher Candy Jar Books, says: “We’re delighted to have Lorraine on our roster, and with such a cheerful and energetic book! Lorraine is a storm of positivity in every project she undertakes, and this has been no different.”

Reminiscent of Jeremy Strong and the Horrid Henry series (with artwork by Basil M Waite) The Crumble Lady features a troupe of colourful characters living on her “not normally very normal” street in Brighton, from the Crumble Lady herself to her neighbours: policeman Constable Seaweed; Vegetable Sue, the friendly local greengrocer; Gellina Gelato, the Crumble Lady’s good friend and fellow dessert-lover; Mr Staccato, who runs the village choir; Pearl Barley, and Mrs Marge.

Shaun continues: “Lorraine’s fictional alter-ego is certainly the star of the show, and is just like the real person – fun, compassionate, and into everything! The Crumble Lady is perfectly portioned for dipping in and out whenever you need a giggle, and Lorraine seems poised to conquer the world.”

The book is released alongside Lorraine Bowen’s audio CD of the same name, featuring fifteen original tracks including The Crumble Lady Theme, Catfood Crumble, The Measuring Song and Life is Like a Crumble – so you can sing along as you read. The album is available to purchase as CD
from her website, mp3 download from Amazon plus streaming from Spotify.

The Crumble Lady is published 25th January 2018 via Amazon and Candy Jar Books

Contact Info
Lorraine is a lively and entertaining interviewee and is available for appearance and performance on live and pre-recorded TV and Radio shows. Interviews can be arranged in person, by phone, Skype or
submitted in writing by contacting:
Shaun Russell at Candy Jar Books

Telephone: 02921 157202. High resolution photo and audio files available on request.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017


Lethbridge-Stewart is expanding, and not just with more books. We’re launching you deeper into the universe of Doctor Who with a website dedicated to the UNIT.

The website commemorates the life of our beloved Brigadier, his comrades, along with the release of the fifth Lethbridge-Stewart season.

Expect to see interviews, forums, never-before-seen material, the chance to sign up to a newsletter, and downloadable free stories. There will be constant updates providing information on upcoming releases and information about the Lucy Wilson Mysteries, a spin-off series featuring the Brigadier’s granddaughter.

We want you to make your journey through The Lethbridge-Stewart collection. This website is a portal for the next experience in your reading.

The website can be accessed here.

Saturday, 28 October 2017


Written by 
Keren Williams

Award-winning independent publisher Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce that the world of Lethbridge-Stewart is getting BIGGER, with the launch of its brand new website just for fans!

Website designer at North East Design Consultants, Richard Young, says: “Creating a website for Candy Jar is one of the most enjoyable projects I have ever been involved with. There are so many different elements to the site. It’s something you can easily get lost in and thoroughly enjoy exploring.” 

Candy Jar’s Publishing Coordinator, Lauren Thomas, said: “With the fifth Lethbridge-Stewart season due soon, Richard has managed to create a website which celebrates our beloved Brigadier. The site contains interviews, forums, and never-before-seen material, and the chance to sign up to a newsletter and download a variety of free stories.”

Constant updates on the upcoming books in the series will be added as the site develops. Alongside this, information about The Lucy Wilson Mysteries, a separate series about the Brigadier’s granddaughter, is also available.

Editorial Co-ordinator, Will Rees, says: “Since we launched the books we’ve had lots of questions and comments from fans about the Brigadier’s time in Doctor Who, as well as our novels. We wanted this site to keep readers completely up-to-date with every aspect of the series, explore the mythology of the Brig, and act as a news portal for new releases.”

The Lethbridge-Stewart novels are set just after the Doctor Who serial, The Web of Fear and feature the characters and concepts created by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln. Lethbridge-Stewart is one of Doctor Who’s longest running characters, and is better known to Doctor Who fans as the Brigadier. Between 1968 and 2008 he was played by the late Nicholas Courtney, whose death was paid tribute to in popular series finale, The Wedding of River Song. Head of publishing, Shaun Russell, says: “With the fiftieth anniversary approaching we wanted to do something special for the fans. This website collects together everything you need to know about the Brigadier and we plan to add much more content as the months roll by.”

To celebrate the launch of the website, Candy Jar Books is offering readers a chance to win a one-of-a-kind Lethbridge-Stewart original painting created by Richard Young. To enter the competition, just visit the new website and enter Candy’s Jar poll to vote for your favourite book, short story and cover design, and then you will automatically be entered into the prize draw.

The website address is

For more information please contact

02921 157202

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

A SPIN-OFF SERIES: The Lucy Wilson Mysteries

Eleven-year-old Lucy doesn’t want to move from the big city. But when she arrives in her new home in south Wales, she’s surprised to see it’s not as dull as she thought. The sleepy village is being taken over by an unknown extraterrestrial force, and it’s down to Lucy to put a stop to it.

Our Lethbridge-Stewart range has a new edition: The Lucy Wilson Mysteries.  She might be the new girl, but don’t be fooled. She has a powerful ancestry from who she has adopted the skills similar to the Doctor. Her grandfather, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart has taught her all she needs to know.

We didn’t want you to feel the Brigadier was lost after Nicholas Courtenay’s death. So what better way to continue his legacy than through his family?

Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of Intelligence can be purchased from Candy Jar Books.

Monday, 24 July 2017


Michelle lives with her husband and two sons in the small village in Surrey where she was born. For twelve years she owned and ran two nursery schools, and her favourite part of the day was always story time. She noticed that the children always enjoyed the rhyming stories the most, and so when it came to writing her first book, Can You Hear It Too?, Michelle knew that it should be in verse.
Can You Hear It Too? is based on Michelle’s childhood memories of playing in the great outdoors with her friends.
She says: ‘We were lucky enough to grow up in an area with just a few houses and fields and woodland all around us. We used to have great fun building dens in the woods. When we heard noises from outside, we would huddle in the den wondering what it might be, but it always turned out to be friends, people we were familiar with or woodland creatures.’
These days Michelle enjoys walking, cycling, going to music concerts, holidaying with her husband and children. In between all this, Michelle works as a teaching assistant. 

Tuesday, 11 July 2017


Britain’s most loved children’s poet, Brian Moses, has returned with a novella bursting with adventure and mystery. After the success of his heart-warming memoir, Keeping Clear of Paradise Street, a reflection on his childhood in post-war Ramsgate, Moses couldn’t stop there with retelling the stories of his childhood.

Python tells the tale of a group of schoolboys hunting for the ghost that’s rumoured to haunt their school’s playground. Amidst the mystery of the ghost, there’s also the concern of the of a twelve-foot boa constrictor nesting in the attic of the protagonist. Whilst it very unlikely Brian’s father kept a python in his attic, he encapsulates the perfect setting of storytelling: “anything’s possible”.

Brian says: “Kids love that sense of a little danger. And if they must be shielded from such things, then literature’s precisely the place for them to give them that – that little thrill that it’s perhaps too dangerous to expose them to in real life,” and Python creates this exact effect. What better fun it is to imagine a snake in your attic rather than a real one there.

In his professional life, Brian advocates for children’s literacy by touring the country visiting schools, theatres and festivals to share his music and poetry with children. In return for his commitment, he has received appreciation from Cambridge University and the National Literacy Trust.

Brian Moses' Python can be purchased at Candy Jar Books: 

Tuesday, 30 May 2017


Now, everyone loves a quiz, especially a Doctor Who one.

Buckle up for 750 questions on the UNIT era of Doctor Who. We bring you The Lethbridge-Stewart Quiz Book - an exciting spin off from the Doctor Who Quiz Book – containing trivia spanning from all fifty years of the Brigadier’s on-screen life. It is packed with questions from the television series, the Target novels, the Big Finish and BBC audio stories, comic strips and The Lethbridge-Stewart novels.

Prepare yourselves for hours of entertainment and competition.

You’re not a true Doctor Who fan unless you can answer them all.

The Lethbridge-Stewart Quiz Book can be purchased from Candy Jar Books.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

2 for £17

Buy The HAVOC Files 3 and The Life of Evans together for £17! Also buy The Schizoid Earth, Beast of Fang Rock, Moon Blink & The Grandfather Infestation for £5!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017


Penarth Pier Pavilion in Cardiff will host a special event based on the Doctor Who reference book Connecting Who: Artificial Beings on Sunday the 26th March 2017 at 6pm.

Written by Penarth-based Peter Grehan, the book is a perfect read for those who want to delve deeper into the hidden mysteries and secrets of the Doctor Who universe.

In recent years Penarth Pier Pavilion has staged several Doctor Who events, and guests have included Sophie Aldred and Louise Jameson. Peter says: “Penarth Pier Pavilion has a growing reputation for high quality cult events. It such a privilege to be included in the line-up and I hope many fans come along to see me.”
Free entry to the event includes a presentation entitled “HG Wells and the Daleks,” catering for a mature sophisticated audience, as well as appealing to younger fans of Doctor Who. This will be followed by a question and answer session and book signing.

Connecting Who: Artificial Beings examines some of these connections; specifically in regards to those artificial beings (clever computers, robots, androids and cyborgs) we find in Doctor Who.
Peter says: “Imagine Doctor Who as a tree trunk that keeps growing taller and taller, fed by roots that reach down into history, mythology, psychology, folktales, religion, science and the wealth of science fiction that exists in the world. It’s not surprising therefore to find that Doctor Who connects with a lot of other stuff. “
The book investigates artificial beings such as the Cybermen, Daleks, Autons, Weeping Angels, Gangers, Morbius, Xoanon and the Yeti, making connections to literary and scientific sources.
Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar Books, feels that Connecting Who: Artificial Beings offers a fresh perspective on the Doctor’s travels through space and time. He says: “Peter has been a fan of Doctor Who since day one and his take on the Whoniverse offers a personal outlook on growing up with the series. His childhood love of robots coincided with the introduction of the Daleks and, despite the Daleks not really being robots, their cries of exterminate cemented his love for all things Doctor Who.”
Peter is no stranger to Doctor Who, having worked as a host at the Doctor Who Experience and penning the audio drama Sontarans: Silent Warrior for BBV. He says: “In my book I have enjoyed making the connections between Doctor Who and real-life computers, robots and cyborgs. These connections run deep into culture, history and science. It is my hope that fans will not only enjoy reading my book, but begin to connect the dots themselves.”
Connecting Who: Artificial Beings is available from

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Happy St David's Day!

Today is the 1st of March (*pinch, punch, first of the month!*), and so we go hurtling on towards Spring. Finally!

But even more importantly, we have arrived at St David’s Day! As a Welsh company based in the capital, we take this day very seriously... which means looking at loads of pictures of cute family members/random babies/pets of acquaintances dressed up in traditional Welsh costume*, eating Welsh cakes, and maybe buying a bunch of daffodils on the way home from work.

But, to celebrate, here are some of our Welsh-iest titles: written by Welsh authors, based in Welsh settings, and inspired by Wales!


(Best English-language Book with an authentic Welsh background).

"My pigeon’s gone missing. Seen him waddling about? Answers to the name of Mister Lloyd. Light grey feathers, dark underbelly. No? Yes? What? You think so? In which direction?"

Where do you even begin to search for your lost pigeon? Of course you put up LOST posters, pinning them to as many tree trunks as possible and handing them out to people in the street, but it’s not like you can actually look for a pigeon... or can you? Mister Lloyd fails to return home from his first international race much to the distress of Mostyn Price, a young pigeon fancier from North Wales. His grandfather presumes he’s been devoured by a falcon but Mostyn is hell-bent on proving him wrong, determined to conquer his sense of loss, especially as his own dad also vanished a few years earlier.

A mysterious tip-off suggests Mister Lloyd has landed in London and the search shifts to the metropolis

Silent Mountain – Michelle Briscombe
(Best English-language Book with an authentic Welsh background)

Jack Jupiter is not cool, he is not brave and he is altogether unremarkable. That is, until his grandmother uses her ‘talent’ and foresees a terrible future for Jack. With this, our young hero is dragged into a world of fantastical creatures and unrelenting enemies who force Jack to muster whatever courage he can find to escape, discover the truth about his

father and reach the mythical Silent Mountain.

In 1836, Harriet’s papa, a ship’s officer on HMS Beagle, returns from a long journey at sea. On his arrival home, Harriet and her friend Lily become involved in a dangerous secret with tragic consequences.

Almost two centuries later, Flora’s best friend Archie experiences a ghostly encounter at her dad’s reclamation and salvage yard.

The haunting takes the two friends on a detective adventure with a difference, and leads them to an unexpected and supernatural discovery.

Flora and Archie & Harriet and Lily’s lives are soon entwined in a way that they could never have imagined possible.


A magical story of cave dwellers, clowns and vegetarian dragons.

Dion has Asperger's Syndrome. He is an intelligent boy who lives in the functional ordered world.

When he is kidnapped and taken to a place beyond the imagination, Dion finds that his disciplined mind becomes strength. But little does he realise his life is now in danger.

Will his sister Megan get to him in time? Not if the evil Queen has anything to do with it.

For a boy who doesn't like change. Dion's strength and determination is the one thing he will have to rely on.

Tommy Parker: Destiny Will Find You! - Anthony Ormond

Whilst the idea of time travel seems like great fun, an innocent trip into the past could have devastating consequences.

When Tommy Parker goes to his grandpa's house for the summer he has no idea that his life is about to change forever. But that's exactly what happens when he uncovers a fantastic secret: a pen that lets him travel through his memories and alter the past!

This book deals with the everyday problems of time travelling teenagers. It will appeal to fans of Doctor Who, Terry Pratchett and JK Rowling.

A genuine page turner that combines historical events with a fantastic sci-adventure.


Book Worms - Jane Cohen

Meet Professor Wormsworth and his twin boys, Wurzel and Walter. The cleverest worms in the wormiverse! But on a holiday to China by wormaplane they discover a terrible secret. It’s the ghastly ‘Earth Dragon Soup’ made by an evil wizard. Walter and Wurzel find themselves on a mission to save a million billion earth worms. But can they do it?
Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant Hapus!
Click here to check out all of our Candy Jar titles, or click any of the titles above to buy!

*If you have never seen a dog dressed as a leek, please take a moment to search it. We’ll wait.

Monday, 28 November 2016

What's the Matter With Slithers?

Snakes – ew! Cold-blooded, poison-fanged, slithering about the place…  They’re creepy, right?

Well, not according to Barbara Michaels, whose first book, What’s the Matter with Slithers?, provides a rather different picture of these oft-maligned creatures.

Not that she always felt so warmly towards our no-legged friends. When her grandson first decided to get a pet snake, Barbara was wary. But the newly christened Mr Slithers soon won her round.

Barbara says: ‘You might not think so, but snakes have personalities. A snake is as much an individual as a cat or a dog. And just like a cat or dog, once you get to know one, it becomes part of the family.’

And so, hoping to show this seldom seen side of snakes, Barbara was inspired to write What’s the Matter with Slithers?, a charming tale of a corn snake with an itch he just can’t scratch. Adorably illustrated by up-and-coming artist Sian Bowman, it is a tale that manages what to many might seem the impossible: making a snake not only sympathetic, but cute!

The conclusion is gently educational, revolving around Slithers shedding his skin. While What’s the Matter with Slithers might be Barbara’s first book, it draws on her wealth of writing experience.

Barbara Michaels

Barbara has had several short stories published, contributed to the award winning Laughing not Laughing, and has worked for many years as a journalist and a freelance writer; she is also part of the editorial board of Bimah, the magazine for the Jewish community of mid and south Wales. But most importantly, for many years Barbara has played the role of storyteller to her family. Barbara continues: ‘As a mother and a grandmother – soon to be great-grandmother. This isn’t the first time I’ve had to spin a tale to dispel a child’s fears, or to teach them something without them even realising it. I thought about this a lot while writing my book. I wanted to capture the feeling of a good old fashioned bedtime story: something cosy and comforting which leaves you having learned something, but most of all, with a smile.’

So Slithers might just dispel the phobias of children and parents alike. The launch of the book on 26th November was a great success.  

What's the Matter With Slithers? launch. From left to right: Matt, Holly, Barbara, Verity, Liberty, Holly.

Candy Jar’s Editorial Coordinator Will Rees says: ‘What’s the Matter with Slithers? is a truly endearing tale. The illustrations alone are enough for you to want a Slithers of your own, and combined with Barbara’s sweetly traditional storytelling, the book is an irresistible package.’

Friday, 25 November 2016


What’s a cowboy without a horse? Or a carriage without a horse to draw it? The partnership between horses and humans goes back over five thousand years. Many stories have featured these docile, faithful and intelligent creatures, with each generation having its own equestrian epic. Remember Champion the Wonder Horse, Mr Ed, Black Beauty or War Horse? Well, move over, Stable Gossip is here, ready to capture the hearts of a new generation.

And yet, to most of us – children and adults alike – horses remain mysterious creatures. Dogs love us, cats judge us… but horses?

It is to shed light on these enigmatic animals that Joanna Fisher has written her debut book for children, Stable Gossip, a collection of six original short stories lovingly illustrated by Eric Heyman.

As international Grand Prix dressage rider and trainer, Joanna has been riding for nearly forty years. And though the Stable Gossip gang are a bit more talkative than your average horses, their stories and personalities are all based on Joanna’s own animals.  

Joanna says: “Everything in this book actually happened, so in a way these stories write themselves. But to give my horses a voice, I had to get inside their minds, to understand what they were thinking and their behaviour. Luckily, I have a gift of understanding.”

Formerly representing Great Britain internationally in Dressage for five years, being shortlisted for two Olympic Games, and having spent nineteen years training abroad, Joanna believes her success as a horsewoman is due to this all this hard work.

Joanna continues: “It’s always better to sit on a friend than to sit on an enemy. If you understand a horse, you can empathise with it, and together you can develop a relationship based on mutual trust and understanding, working daily with each other to achieve the best results.”

So as the Stable Gossip gang bicker, the young reader will learn about the real-life personalities of a group of horses, the way they see each other and about the bonds that form between these deeply social animals. Such lessons are woven effortlessly into the stories, so that the reader will come to understand the psychology of horses without even realising they are being taught.

There are the self-obsessed ones, like Nosey, prone to talking a lot, not to mention running amok through dressage competitions. There are the dopey ones, like Leo, constantly unsure of what exactly is going on. Or the prim and proper ones, like Flo – who’s a princess, don’t you know?

Along with their friends, Rumbo, Charmeur and Coco, the Stable Gossip gang are an eclectic bunch, but in their differences they express a message of companionship that is true to the spirit of a stable full of horses, as well as a positive moral for the young reader.

Across six stories, the gang argue, fall in love, practice for their competitions, celebrate Christmas and, well, just generally horse around. These stories are the first in what is intended to be an expanding range of Stable Gossip adventures, including future books and a possible animated series. 

Editorial Co-ordinator for Candy Jar Books Will Rees says: “As a brand, Stable Gossip has huge potential. A lot of children’s books are about anthropomorphised animals. But Stable Gossip is that rare thing: a children’s book where, behind the fun, there’s an author who’s a bona fide expert on her subject. Young readers will not only be entertained by this book, but will learn a lot too.”

The Wishing Bazaar

Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce its latest brand new free story!

The Wishing Bazaar by Sharon Bidwell will be sent out to all subscription customers, and those who pre-order the forthcoming novel, Blood of Atlantis by Simon A Forward.

Sharon Bidwell was born in London on New Year’s Eve. She has been writing professionally for many years, with her first short story recieving praise for being “strong on characterisation, and quite literary, in terms of style”.Her work has appeared steadily in both print and electronic publications, such as Midnight StreetAoife’s KissNight To Dawn, and Radgepacket. She has written several romance novels under the name Sharon Maria Bidwell, including Snow Angel and A Not So Hollow Heart, as well as dark fiction under the name Sharon Kernow. She was propelled into the universe of Steampunk as one of the writers for Space: 1899 & Beyond, winning the approval of series creator and award-winning game designer, Frank Chadwick. She wrote three books in the series, one of which was co-authored with editor (and writer) Andy Frankham-Allen.The Wishing Bazaar is her first piece of Doctor Who related fiction.

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen says: “I first met Sharon via the wonderful world of social media back in, I think, 2009. I was very impressed with her work, and soon enlisted her for my Space: 1889 & Beyond series. Her work ethic was proven to me when a novella fell through at the last minute and she agreed to co-author a replacement with me – which we did, in only two weeks! Sharon’s first drafts are often better than a lot of published works out there, and from the off I told her that I would get her writing for the Lethbridge-Stewart series. She resisted for all of five minutes.”

Sharon says: “I've written for and with Andy before with great success, so I was not entirely surprised when he got in contact about his latest project. For one thing, he'd been 'hinting' for some time that he wanted to rope me in and Andy isn't someone who understands no as an answer.Whenever I hear from Andy, I never know whether to cheer or groan. All those who write novels for well-known television shows now have my utmost respect. Some find it easy; for others the experience feels difficult and involves a lot of angst. I'm one of those worriers. Despite the responsibility, Andy has dragged me into incredible worlds and stories that are part of history and there's no way not to be grateful for that.Invariably the experience of writing for Lethbridge-Stewart was, for me, daunting, exciting, fun, and adventurous…a bit like the character himself.”

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, says: “Sharon was an unknown quantity for me, but I knew that Andy had worked with her before, so I was more than happy to see what she’d come up with. Having read her short story, and looked up her other work, I now believe she’s going to be a wonderful addition to our stable of authors on this series.”

This story is set between Times Squared and Blood of Atlantis.

Blurb: Back from New York, Lethbridge-Stewart is investigating one of the strangest cases that has come across his desk yet. Wishes are coming true, and if there’s one thing Lethbridge-Stewart still doesn’t believe in it’s magic. But what if he’s wrong?

The cover of The Wishing Bazaar is by regular cover artist, Richard Young.Richardsays:“I adore working with Candy Jar, and their cover briefs are always so specific, but this one was rather ambiguous as there were several elements that I could have used on the cover. I decided to concentrate on the alien of the piece.One passage of the story mentioned its burning eyes. Using a combination of traditional drawing and then colourisation in Photoshop (to really get the blazing eyes right), this is what I came up with.And I'm pleased to say everyone loved it.”

The Wishing Bazaar will be sent out to every person who pre-orders Blood of Atlantis (as a single book, or as part of our bundle/subscription offers).

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

Candy Jar is pleased to announce that the subscription offer is now being extended to international customers. Please see for more details.

Candy Jar is also offering a special promotion for its online customers. Buy Blood of Atlantis for £8.99 and get Times Squared for £5. This promotion also applies to six other Candy Jar titles. Please see for more details.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Cult Fiction- Gangsters

Candy Jar Books is reissuing the two Gangsters novelisations written by Philip Martin, the writer of Vengeance on Varos and The Trial of a Time Lord parts 5-8.
Originally broadcast as the 1975 Play for Today, Gangsters featured Maurice Colbourne (Resurrection of the Daleks and Attack of the Cybermen) and provoked a storm of controversy. Its violence was graphic, its portrayal of contemporary racism authentic, its depiction of the mean streets of Birmingham unsparing.

But Gangsters combined this scandal-inducing realism with a daring, postmodern style of storytelling, eschewing the po-faced worthiness of much of Play for Today’s output for a genre-bending self-referentiality that aimed to entertain as much as to hector.

Critics dismissed it, but audiences loved it – so much so that the BBC quickly commissioned two series to continue its story. Airing in 1977 and in 1978 these two six-part serials prompted a critical reappraisal, and ever since, Gangsters has been considered a cult classic, garnering plaudits as one of the most singular shows ever broadcast by the BBC.
This reputation for originality is well deserved. Gangsters featured one of the first truly multiracial casts to be seen on British screens; it depicted both the exploitation of illegal immigrants and the conniving of magical kung fu assassins; the misery of heroin addiction and cut aways to Martin himself dictating the script. It is a truly unique piece of writing.

Now Philip Martin’s uncompromising, anarchic take on the crime genre returns with the re-publication of the two novels that accompanied the TV series. Together in the same volume for the first time, A Life for a Life and Vendetta are two standalone stories that demonstrate the same cocktail of verve and verisimilitude that characterises the show.
Not only furthering the story of the show’s protagonist, John Kline, but setting up what will be the first brand new addition in the Gangsters story for almost thirty years – Death Touch, to be published by Candy Jar Books in 2017 – Philip Martins’ Gangsters is an indispensible addition to this chapter in cult television history.

As the editorial coordinator for Candy Jar Books, Will Rees, says:
‘With our recent publication of the Dr Strangelove novelisation, and our Lethbridge Stewart range, Candy Jar has an established reputation for publishing quality material from the world of cult film and television. Fans of cult media are real devotees, and it is their fandom that keeps these original and challenging works alive. The Gangsters novels have been collector’s items for far too long, and we will get as much of a thrill from making them available to all the fans as they themselves will get from reading them.’

So with these upcoming releases, enthusiasts will finally be able to complete their Gangsters collections, and this iconoclastic blend of the high and the low, the serious and the absurd, the realist, the postmodern and the sheer surreal can finally be enjoyed as its creator always intended it to be.

Philip Martin’s Gangsters is available from the Candy Jar Books website.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Top Tips for Submissions!

If you’re thinking about submitting some work to us, we’d love to hear from you, but you might like to have a look at these guides for sending your work to us. 
  1. Include a cover letter – We’d like to know a little more about you and your story. You can tell us anything you think is relevant about who you are and where your inspiration for the story came from.
  2. A synopsis is always helpful – You will only be sending us a small portion of your book, so it’s helpful to us if you can send us a synopsis. Just a brief account of the plot of your book is what we need. 
  3. Don’t send us too much – We love reading your work and finding new authors, but we do receive a lot of submissions. Just 2-3 chapters are enough to give us an idea of what your book is like.
  4. Is your book like another you’ve read? – It’s always helpful for us to know the sort of books you think yours is like. If you’ve written the first book in a series of books about a boy who discovers he’s a wizard, and also the son of a god, you might liken your book to Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.
  5. Who is going to read it? – It’s also useful to us to have an idea of who your book will appeal to. Is it a general fiction novel? Is it a children’s fantasy novel? Or a Young Adult Contemporary novel? Either way, we’d like to know.  
  6. Have patience – We receive a lot of submissions, and while we try hard to get through all of them as quickly as possible it does take time, so please have patience with us while waiting for a response.
So there you have it! 6 key tips for sending in your submissions to us. For more information on where to send them, visit our website!

Monday, 19 September 2016

Lethbridge-Stewart: 2 for 1 Super Sale!

Candy Jar Books Exclusive
Super Sale!

Lethbridge-Stewart Two Book Bundle
For a limited time only! Buy The Schizoid Earth (Lethbridge-Stewart Series 1, Book 2) and receive Beast of Fang Rock (Lethbridge-Stewart Series 1, Book 3) completely free!

Head over to our shop right now to claim this exclusive deal!

The Schizoid Earth (Lethbridge-Stewart Series 1, Book 2):-
Lethbridge-Stewart was supposed to be in the mountains of the east. Things didn't quite go according to plan.

On the eve of war, something appeared in the sky; a presence that blotted out the moon. Now it has returned, and no battle plan can survive first contact with this enemy.

Plagued by nightmares of being trapped in a past that never happened, Lethbridge-Stewart must unravel the mystery of a man ten years out of his time; a man who cannot possibly still exist.

Why do the ghosts of fallen soldiers still fight long-forgotten battles against living men? What is the secret of the rural English town of Deepdene? Lethbridge-Stewart has good reason to doubt his own sanity, but is he suffering illness or injury, or is something more sinister going on?

The second novel in a brand-new series of novels set just after the Doctor Who serial The Web of Fear, featuring the characters and concepts created by Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln.
Beast of Fang Rock (Lethbridge-Stewart Series 1, Book 3): -
Fang Rock has always had a bad reputation. Since 1955 the lighthouse has been out of commission, shut down because of fire that gutted the entire tower. But now, finally updated and fully renovated, the island and lighthouse is once again about to be brought back into service.
Students have gathered on Fang Rock to celebrate the opening of the ‘most haunted lighthouse of the British Isles’, but they get more than they bargained for when the ghosts of long-dead men return, accompanied by a falling star.
Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart is brought in to investigate what he believes to be signs of alien involvement. But it is not only Lethbridge-Stewart who has an interest in Fang Rock. Anne Travers is called to her family solicitor’s, who have in their possession a letter from Archibald Goff, the paranormal investigator who once visited Fang Rock back in the 1820s, and along with it a piece of alien technology.
What connects a shooting star, ghosts of men killed in 1902 and the beast that roamed Fang Rock in 1823? Lethbridge-Stewart and Anne Travers are about to discover the answer first hand.

Don’t miss out! Order now while the offer lasts!