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Bookmark and Share Lethbridge-Stewart: A Very Private Haunting

1/08/2018 09:16:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Candy Jar Books opens its fifth series of ongoing Lethbridge-Stewart novels with the publication of A Very Private Haunting at the end of this month:

Lethbridge-Stewart: A Very Private Haunting (Credit: Candy Jar Books)A Very Private Haunting
Sharon Bidwell
Cover artwork by Richard Young

Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is not a man who likes to leave things unfinished. He is, therefore, at a loss when forced into taking leave after his recent tussle with a ‘shadow creature’, a case that has yet to be fully resolved. Anne Travers is tired of the loss burning in her heart. So when Lethbridge-Stewart is called to Glencross to help the son of an old friend, she insists on going with him.

In Glencross, young Tomas Campbell has gone missing, and his friends band together to uncover the dark secret at the heart of the village. Meanwhile, Arthur Penrose had returned to his ancestral home to find a haunted residence, and a doll with a message.

What connects the doll to the strange sounds that scurry around Penrose Manor, why do the adults of Glencross seem so intent on keeping their children from leaving the village, and what has all this got to do with the ‘shadow creature’? It is up the Lethbridge-Stewart and Anne to find out.

This special edition includes an extended version of Sharon Bidwell’s short story, The Wishing Bazaar.

Author Sharon Bidwell previously wrote the Lethbridge-Stewart short story, The Wishing Bazaar, and has worked with range editor, Andy Frankham-Allen, on several projects since 2011, even co-writing a book. For this nverl, Sharon said:
Andy didn’t leave me with a choice. He’s always dragging me into things. I want to say he ‘invited’ me, but he was very adamantant that I’d write for the series. Which is a compliment, and Andy has a way about him, so one day I just emailed a first draft of the manuscript to him without any warning.
Andy Frankham-Allen said:
It did come out of the blue, but it was a nice surprise. So, I had the book in my files for almost a year before I found a suitable place for it, and then it all came down to finding a way to make it fit the ongoing narrative, tweaking it here and there, and suggestion a few changes to Sharon. In fairness, beyond series continuity, there wasn’t much to do. Sharon has always had a good grasp of story, and knows how to mix good character work with layers of meaning and emotional resonance.
Sharon adds:
I'm not a writer who consciously considers theme in a first draft. It's something that presents itself to me sometimes as much as three-quarters into a preliminary version. It's hard to choose a defining one in this book. The book questions the keeping of secrets, outmoded beliefs, what can happen if people never question their convictions. I also wanted to explore human behaviour in a macabre setting. The dictionary defines macabre as: disturbing and horrifying because of involvement with or depiction of death and injury. It seems to fit. One thing I was certain I wanted to incorporate was Edison's talking dolls. The problem I stumbled into was the 'why'. I know I wanted to use the doll but a writer cannot simply use a great idea if it doesn't fit the story. I not only constructed an answer, I formulated one that provided me with a well-rounded end to the book.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing, said:
This book has a touch of The Daemons about it, in regards the atmosphere it creates. Perfect reading for a night in front of the fire, with a storm raging outside. It gave me the creeps in places, and I don’t even have a fire to read in front of!

The cover is by regular artist, Richard Young:
I've always wanted to do a cover for a horror type novel. I love the old Hammer horror films so I wanted to do something in that vein… with my own twist.

All pre-orders of A Very Private Haunting will receive a free digital short story called The Comrades by Brian Gallagher, a tale set during the Cold War which sees Brigadier Douglas and Captain Bishop working alongside the SAS. It can be pre-ordered individually, as part of a discounted UK bundle or an international bundle, or as part of a yearly subscription offer. Full details are available from the Candy Jar website.

A Very Private Haunting will be followed by The Man from Yesterday and The New Unusual.