Lethbridge-Stewart/Lucy Wilson updatesBookmark and Share

Sunday, 20 September 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: Kiss of the Ice Maiden (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books has announced the second of its standalone Lethbridge-Stewart hardback novels for 2020, Kiss of the Ice Maiden by Michael Sloan:
Lethbridge-Stewart moved through the overlapping shadows in the cemetery with his heart pounding in his chest. The coffin was shrouded by rain that sheeted across the ground. He knew what would be waiting for him, but he could not turn away from it. He approached the grave carefully, aware that one of the shadows could manifest itself into the shape of the creatures. Vines had wrapped their tentacles around the coffin. Lethbridge-Stewart stepped up alongside it, holding onto his revolver, and lifted the lid. He shoved it to one side, revealing the creature lying beneath. She was a scarecrow of the vision he had in his mind. Her skin was dry and flaked off when he touched it. She was a husk, wasting away as if ravaged by a deadly disease. Her eyes were obsidian, her long eyelashes a mockery of the once beautiful face. Its texture repelled him. It was his worst nightmare.

Michael Sloan has hundreds of TV credits to his name, including Battlestar Galactica, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Six Million Dollar Man, The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. However, he is perhaps best known as the creator of the original The Equalizer TV series, which has subsequently been adapted into a billion-dollar franchise starring Denzel Washington.

In the late ‘60s, early ‘70s Michael spent a great deal of time in the UK and fell in love with Doctor Who, particularly the Jon Pertwee era. Michael said:

I have been a fan of Doctor Who for as long as I can remember. I wanted my Lethbridge-Stewart book to be a distinctive departure for his character. So, in my book the Brigadier falls in love!  This is a thriller and, as you would imagine, the course of true love does not run smooth. Despite this, I thought it would make a change for the readers to see Lethbridge-Stewart wrestling with his emotions. He is vulnerable and his normal stalwart persona has been emotionally comprised.

Kiss of the Ice Maiden is reminiscent of the early 1970s Hammer Horror films set in present day such as Dracula A.D. 1972. It has supernatural and horrific overtones, and is the kind of book that would expect from the creator of The Equalizer.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, said

A few years ago I worked together with Michael on Lost in Christmas, a children’s book about a family who become trapped inside Christmas cards and have to find a way to escape. While working on this, I sent Michael some Lethbridge-Stewart books and he devoured them. It wasn’t long before he pitched his own idea and I jumped at it. His story is certainly a different perspective on our hero. It also takes us right back to the 1970s, and picks up where we left off after A Very Private Haunting.

The Kiss of the Ice Maiden delves deeper into the Brig’s past to find out what makes him tick. Alongside this, Anne Travers has lost her father to the Great Intelligence, and has turned her back on HAVOC. Michael’s story is an emotional punch-up and is reminiscent of The Equalizer. Michael continues:

The book does echo some of my screenplays I have written over the years, where the hero is flawed, but still very much a hero.  I did this with some effect in the three Equalizer books. The Robert McCall character is tough, edgy and mercurial, all qualities that he shares with Lethbridge-Stewart. Particularly when he has been played with such strength and vision by Denzel Washington in the two Equalizer movies that have been shot by Sony/Columbia.

The striking cover art is by artist Martin Baines, who created artwork for the Downtime hardback. Martin said:

For me book covers need to convey the feel and mood inside a book. I don't think you are treating the reader well if every cover looks the same with a generic photoshopped face of the hero on the cover and is often short sighted. When I was briefed by Candy Jar I instantly thought of the brilliant painted covers for Pan's paperbacks in the sixties and posters for Hammer Horror. I do not normally use this type of palette so it was a bit of experiment but I really liked the poster of Hammer's The Gorgan and thought it was a good starting point. I think it makes this cover slightly different and more special for the readers. The empty fairground also brought great images in my head.

 

There will be two editions of The Kiss of the Ice Maiden, both now available for pre-order from Candy Jar Books, a standard paperback edition limited to 200 copies, and a limited edition hardback, which also includes a postcard and free book featuring stories from the Lethbridge-Stewart universe.

Please note that this special is not covered by any subscription offer.

 



Lucy Wilson: The Phantom of Tucker Road (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The latest instalment of The Lucy Wilson Mysteries will be The Phantoms of Tusker Rock by Christopher Bryant:

Lucy Wilson might be the scourge of all things extra-terrestrial, but her latest opponent is a little closer to home. Try as Lucy might, her dad just doesn’t get it. Earth’s last line of defence doesn’t get to take days off, even if it means staying out on a school night!

Particularly when those nights are broken by the sound of supernatural howling. And ghostly Vikings stalking the streets. And a mysterious coven of druids, led by someone who looks awfully like the little old woman down the road…

Whatever her dad says, Lucy’s got a job to do. But with night falling, and the waters rising, soon she finds herself cut off from everyone she loves.

Like several of Lucy’s previous adventures, the latest mystery is rooted in the area’s ancient legends. It was a concept that appealed to author Christopher, whose Welsh heritage has always informed his life and work. In The Phantoms of Tusker Rock we find Lucy and her superbrain sidekick Hobo encountering the ghostly cyhyraeth – a disembodied howl portending the death of the listener, which, legends say, can be heard emanating from Ogmore’s Tusker Rock to this day. The Rock has long been a source of legend, the ruin of unwary ships for centuries. And where myths collide, and the supernatural threatens, Lucy Wilson is sure to be found.

Christopher said:

One of the things I’ve always loved about Doctor Who is how it opens a portal – sometimes literally – between the everyday and the fantastic. In particular I’ve always liked the episodes that take the viewer into history. Whether it’s the Doctor’s flirting with Elizabeth I, or taking a jaunt around Dickensian London, it’s such a cool way of giving young viewers a sense of connection to their heritage. When Candy Jar approached me, I saw the opportunity to root around in that rich trove of folklore and myth and, hopefully, introduce it to a new generation.

South Wales, of course, has been a hotspot of all things extraterrestrial, extratemporal and extraordinary ever since the BBC established the home of Doctor Who in Cardiff. As the capital of not only (unquestionably) the world’s most beautiful country, but also one of its most loved and enduring franchises, in recent years the city has drawn in tourists from all over the world, keen to see the real-life home of the Doctor’s adventures. As Candy Jar’s Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell, put it:

You can go anywhere in the world and people know Wales because of the Doctor. When we started the Lucy Wilson series, we knew we wanted to build on this connection; not only did basing our stories in Wales help establish an internal logic within the wider universe, but being a Cardiff company built up Lucy’s adventures. Lucy is a mixed-race character, who moved to the area from London. Using her character as the means to explore Wales’ folklore, we hope to paint a picture of Wales in the modern day – a country proud of its traditions yet cosmopolitan, diverse, and entirely at home in the twenty-first century.

 

The Phantoms of Tusker Rock is available to pre--order from the Candy Jar website.

 


 

Candy Jar Books currently have a sale on for their range of books, and have also made an additional free story available to listen to, Edge of Glory.





The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: 8.46Bookmark and Share

Monday, 13 July 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lucy Wilson Mysteries: 8.46 (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books has announces its latest free-for-download short story in The Lucy Wilson Mysteries:

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: 8.46
Written by Julia Press Simmons

It's 2020 and Lucy Wilson has just witnessed the death of George Floyd, followed by the toppling of the Edward Colston statue in Bristol.

Over eight minutes and forty-six seconds, Lucy and Hobo travel through time to discover why the past still has lessons to teach us all.

Written by critically acclaimed African American author, Julia Press Simmons, 8.46 has been created in response to the death of George Floyd and protests that followed. She says:
When Shaun at Candy Jar asked me to work on this story I was so pleased. Lucy Wilson is an amazing character and I am honoured and humbled to play a small part in her universe.
Head of publishing, Shaun Russell, felt that it was very important to tackle this subject:
Lucy Wilson is a not only a lead female character (which there are very few), but also a person of colour. I felt it would be a dereliction of duty to not cover this topic. I also wanted the story to feel authentic so, through a mutual friend, I contacted the wonderful Julia Press Simmons.

Julia has written more than twenty books including The Strawberry Mansion, and the award-winning play Down There (selected by the Black Festival Emerging Playwright’s series in Nashville). 8.46 is a departure from the standard Lucy Wilson tale. Julia has written a story which is based on her real-life experiences growing up. She continued:
I must admit that initially I struggled with the tone of this project. Lucy is such a marvellous role model for children and I wanted her story to capture my personal experiences while keeping it age-appropriate. Although BAME life in the UK is different from the African American experience I felt that there was enough commonality for me to tell this tale.

Tim Gambrell, who has written Lucy Wilson & the Bledoe Cadets, as well as several short stories including the upcoming The Midwife & the Alien, was involved in the editing process of this story. He said:
8.46 is a brief and powerful story that needs to be told, in my view. It doesn’t labour the fact. It doesn’t accuse the reader of anything. It just tells a simple story and packs quite an emotional punch with it.”

To download The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: 8.46 please visit the The Candy Jar website.




100 Objects of Dr WhoBookmark and Share

Sunday, 12 July 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced a new non-ficton book collecting together facts and opinions from all fifty-seven years of the rich history of Doctor Who:

100 Objects of Dr Who (Credit: Candy Jar Books)100 Objects of Dr Who
Written by Philip Bates
Cover by Martin Baines


So, all of time and space, everything that ever happened or ever will: where do you want to start…?"

100 Objects of Doctor Who is a celebration of everyone’s favourite sci-fi show. Perfect for fans, no matter your mileage – whether you’ve just started your journey through all of time and space, or have lived through the highs, the lows, the Wildernesses, the Androzanis, and the Twin Dilemmas.

Inside, you’ll find: A terrifying army of three Daleks! Death’s Head's head! A really quite astonishingly heavy door! Dinosaur fossils! A framed piece of wall!

And much, much more!

This is a book about Doctor Who. But probably not the one you’re expecting.

Candy Jar Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell, said:
When Philip Bates submitted his piece for The Brigadier: Declassified I was blown away by the quality of writing. His take on the series was unlike anything I’ve read before. His writing reminds me of Doctor Who: The Completely Useless Encyclodpedia from 1996 by Chris Howarth and Steve Lyons. I am truly excited that we have been able expand beyond ten objects.
Philip said:
My book does feature the behind-the-scenes trivia you would expect, but I wanted to go one further. So, I’ve included sections on the live events not everyone’s been lucky enough to experience, asked the question how Christ the Redeemer relates to Doctor Who, as well as looking at the bizarre world of fake merchandise. I basically wanted to go off the beaten track, jumping backwards and forwards in Who history.
Objects of interest include the Space-Time Visualiser, the sonic screwdriver, a talking cabbage, the Revenge of the Cybermen VHS, River Song’s diary, the BBC Sound Effects No. 19: Doctor Who Sound Effects vinyl, the 1996 Series Bible, a Bubble Shock bottle, the Seal of the High Council of Gallifrey, and a mouldy old Slitheen.

The cover has been produced by Martin Baines, who recently completed the art for Candy Jar’s hardback edition of the Downtime sequel, Child of the New World:
I really enjoyed working on this book. I wanted to emulate the look of 1970s comics such as Scorcher, Valiant or TV Comic. Added to this, I’ve always loved Doctor Who Weekly and it was great to pay homage to this as well.
Philip observed:
When Shaun sent me Martin’s cover I thought, wow! You don’t need me to tell you how brilliant it is: feast your eyes! Spotting the small details is a joy, but the most impressive thing is how evocative the piece is. There's a warmth and playfulness about it. The yellowing page surrounding instantly brings to mind that wonderful smell that encompasses you when you enter a second-hand book store – a reminder that all these stories have been experienced by previous generations. Suffice to say, I love it.

100 Objects of Dr Who is available to order from the Candy Jar website.




Lethbridge-Stewart: The Schizoid Earth: I, AlistairBookmark and Share

Sunday, 28 June 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar has announced the nexxt novel in their ongoing Lethbridge-Stewart range of novels:

Lethbridge-Stewart: I, Alistair (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Lethbridge Stewart: The Schizoid Earth: I, Alistair
Written by Robert Mammone
Cover art by Richard Young


HAIL THE LEADER!

Under the gentle guidance of the Leader, Britain has flourished after the removal of the dead hand of democracy and the old, corrupt aristocracy. Dominant in Europe, a Great Power around the world, the Republic stands as a beacon to wise, benevolent and firm leadership.

The team led by Column Leader Alastair Lethbridge-Stewart is the best and brightest of us all, ensuring that attempts to overthrow the natural order will be stamped into submission.

Those who stand with the Leader ensure that Britain remains great, a Power to be reckoned with, and a dominant force across the globe.

UNITY IS STRENGTH!

The Schizoid Earth: I, Alastair is a semi-sequel to David A McIntee’s 2015 Lethbridge-Stewart novel The Schizoid Earth. Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen said:
We’ve been thinking of doing a follow up to The Schizoid Earth for quite some time. Of course, some of the threads set up in that novel have played a major role in other Lethbridge-Stewart novels, through the role of the Brigadier’s brother, James Lethbridge-Stewart. Since series seven is all about parallel realities, it seemed the perfect opportunity to do a novel set entirely within the Schizoid Earth. And Robert Mammone was the first and only author I considered for the task.
Robert Mammone said:
While daunting, writing a novel set on the Schizoid Earth opened up a lot of exciting possibilities. I've long been a fan of alternative history science fiction, particularly authors like Harry Turtledove and especially the darker fiction of SM Stirling. The chance to use familiar characters, in unfamiliar ways, in a setting way worse than the timeline of 'our' Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart was one I couldn't say no to. Of course, when you're dealing with a villain, as the Column Leader clearly is, you have to ensure you're not making them the hero of the piece, even if they are the lead. There's a lot of fantasy/science-fiction writing out there today that embraces the anti-hero as being someone to admire. While that has its place, in no way is the Lethbridge-Stewart of the Schizoid Earth a hero – he’s a broken man ill used by his father and a servant of a monstrous regime intent on ensuring the last remnants of resistance are stamped out.
As one might expect, with a book set in a parallel world, much like the Doctor Who serial Inferno which inspired it, The Schizoid Earth: I, Alastair features regular faces from the Lethbridge-Stewart range. Robert continued:
Like what SM Stirling did with his Draka books, he made one small change to history, and the result was worse than anyone could imagine. The Republic is led by vile men who do vile things, and while the Resistance is admirable in their intent, their methods tend to ape that of the Party. I had a lot of fun throwing in bits and pieces that call back to events in the Doctor Who universe. Andy is as always a font of information about the setting, and was a great sounding board when I found myself lost in the weeds. His work editing The Schizoid Earth: I, Alastair has made it an even better book (he also supplied the title – it is better than my choice 'I, Brigade-Leader'!), one I hope readers, new and old, of the range, will embrace and enjoy and celebrate!

Cover artist Richard Young said:
Evil Brig, who wouldn't want to draw him. Inferno has to be in my top ten Doctor Who stories, and I love parallel universe, what if scenarios. Added to this, who doesn't want to draw Big Ben blowing up?


Originally meant to be the sixth release in this seventh series of novels, the current COVID-19 pandemic has led to delays to the fourth book, The George Kostinen Mystery, leading to the decision to bump The Schizoid Earth: I, Alistair up the schedule, owing it it not being directly connected to the five-book Bloodlines sequence and so can be read indepedently to the others.

The book can be ordered from the Candy Jar website, and is inclueded in subscriptions.


The Schizoid Earth: I, Alastair will be followed by the delayed The George Kostinen Mystery and the final in the Bloodlines series, Back to the Past. A new novel, set between A Very Private Haunting and The New Unusual will be released later in the year, written by Michael Sloan, creator of The Equaliser.




The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: LockdownBookmark and Share

Monday, 25 May 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced a collection of lockdown-inspired Lucy Wilson short stories is now up for pre-order, and will be released in two weeks. The royalties from sales will be donated to NHS charities and Candy Jar will double this amount.

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Lockdown (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Lockdown


Earth is in lockdown. But for Lucy Wilson, staying home doesn’t mean staying safe.

Dinosaurs, killer plants, even Meme Lords – some enemies just don’t respect social distancing. So Lucy and her brainbox sidekick Hobo have no choice but to come to Earth’s defence again – although never forgetting to stay two metres away from each other!

In this collection of short stories, Lucy finds herself contending with the challenges of a pandemic, while continuing to rise to the mantle of her legendary grandfather, Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart.



This collection contains eight short stories, featuring Andy Frankham-Allen, Tim Gambrell, John Peel, Tom Dexter, Alan Stott, Cherry Cobb, Paul W Robinson, Adrian Sherlock and Shaun Russell.


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


Shaun Russell, Head of Candy Jar Publishing, said:
At the start of isolation I asked Jonathan Macho, the author of the most recent Lucy Wilson book The Serpent’s Tongue, to write a short story about Lucy being stuck at home, and we recieved some very positive feedback.
Jonathan Macho said:
When Shaun asked me to write ‘Copy/Paste’ as a free download story, I was really grateful for the opportunity to make a small, positive contribution for young readers. When he got back in touch to let me know about the book, I was over the moon. The chance for me to play my part means a great deal, and I really appreciate Candy Jar making my story a part of it.
Shaun continued:
Around about the same time, Andy Frankham-Allen (the range editor of the Lethbridge-Stewart books) contacted me with an idea to send Lucy back to the 1974 dinosaur invasion. Of course, I thought this was too good of an idea to pass up. I was intrigued by how Lucy would cope knowing she could be infected with the coronavirus, but not wanting to pass it on to the Brigadier, or potentially change the past! So, in collaboration with Tim Gambrell (The Brigadier & the Bledoe Cadets), Andy made a start on the story. After this things just fell into place and we soon had eight stories.

Tim Gambrell said:
There’s a real sense of shared experience between the writers and the characters, and it feels special and personal to be able to give something back to the NHS in this way. Added to this, the brief was something I could not refuse. Lucy in an empty London during Invasion of the Dinosaurs! My immediate thinking was not to do the Doctor Who story over again. The biggest gap in the TV story, for me, was the lack of consideration for the poor dinosaurs, scooped up from their homes and plonked into London. There was also little appreciation, by the characters on TV, of the sheer beauty and size of the dinosaurs. So those were my starting points. ‘The London Invasion’ came together incredibly quickly after that, within the framing scenes which Andy had developed.

Adrian Sherlock said:
For most of us our daily routine under lockdown is extremely repetitive, so I thought what if Lucy experienced a lockdown day over and over again? I always loved Sapphire and Steel and The Twilight Zone and these series often did stories such as this, so when Shaun approached me about contributing something to the book my imagination was fired.
Shaun added:
I really enjoyed working with Adrian on ‘Repetitive Strain’. He is such an imaginative writer and it was a pleasure to collaborate with him on his Groundhog Day-type escapade.

Candy Jar also released Sweet Revenge by Paul Robinson as a free download story. Publishing co-ordinator at Candy Jar, Keren Williams, is excited to showcase Paul’s talent:
When we asked Paul to contribute a short story he immediately understood the tone we were after and delivered a cracking adventure for all of us who are stuck at home.

The only female writer for this collection is Cherry Cobb, who successfully contributed to last year’s Christmas Crackers anthology:
When Shaun asked me to write ‘Flower Power’ for this book I leapt at the opportunity, firstly because I can’t think of a better cause than raising money for the NHS and, secondly, I know that lockdown is proving a challenge for many children and adults. Reading is a great way to relax and escape from reality for a time, and with Lucy Wilson by your side you can be sure of so many great adventures along the way.

The next story, The Edge of Glory, is written by Alan Stott, the author of the anarchic children’s book Those Kids Next Door (due to be released by Candy Jar in the autumn). Keren commented:
Last year we previewed Those Kid’s Next Door at our summer pop-up shop and Alan was like a magnet to children. They really loved his energy and couldn’t get enough of his slapstick humour. Aside from this, his books sold really well, so when I needed a safe pair of hands to contribute to this collection he was my first choice.

Another consummate professional is John Peel, the author of many classic Doctor Who, Star Trek, Quantum Leap and Lethbridge-Stewart novels. Shaun observed:
John previously wrote the brilliant Lucy Wilson book The Midnight People. I wanted a story where Lucy and Hobo were trapped in the pages of fiction, so I approached John and within a couple of days he emailed ‘Get Lost in a Good Book’ back to me, and it was exactly what I’d asked for.

Lockdown concludes with a scary romp written by Tom Dexter. Shaun said:
When we started the Lethbridge-Stewart range Tom wrote two short stories for us: ‘The Fright Before Christmas’ and ‘The Black Eggs of Khufu’. Since then we’ve tried, on many occasions, to get him back, but Tom is always very busy. Thankfully isolation has slowed him down a bit. His story ‘Home Invasion’ really rounds off the collection with its heart on its sleeve, and includes a fantastic tribute to all the nurses, doctors and NHS staff that are helping us get through these difficult times.


The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Lockdown is available to pre-order exclusively from the Candy Jar website.

The royalties from this book will be donated to NHS charities. Whatever is raised Candy Jar will double.




The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Sweet RevengeBookmark and Share

Sunday, 26 April 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar has released its latest free-for-download short story:

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Sweet Revenge (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Lucy Wilson Mystery: Sweet Revenge
Written by Paul W Robinson


Lucy Wilson is stuck in isolation, away from her best friend Hobo Kostinen. Life for Lucy is boring and slow, especially when aliens aren’t following the lockdown rules! How can Lucy and Hobo defeat the monsters, but stick to the two metre rule?

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

Prolific writer Paul W Robinson is new to the world of Lucy Wilson and, following in the footsteps of Jonathan Macho, has written a story especially for fans during lockdown. He says:
I love science fiction and have always been a fan of Doctor Who, but I knew nothing about The Lucy Wilson Mysteries until I worked with Shaun from Candy Jar on my novel Charlie Abroad. Shaun was kind enough to send me the first three or four books and after that I was hooked.
Sweet Revenge recognises that people, and even aliens, aren’t always what they seem. Paul continues:
I have always liked writing about strong female characters to try to redress the balance. Lucy Wilson is strong, fearless, resilient and quick-thinking. And Hobo’s no pushover either!” Although only young, like the Brigadier, Lucy Wilson is a valiant hero. There is much more to her than meets the eye!

Publishing co-ordinator at Candy Jar, Keren Williams, is excited to showcase Paul’s talent. She says:
We’ve been working with Paul on a number of projects recently including something rather special to be released later this year. When we asked him to contribute a short story he immediately understood the tone we were after and delivered a cracking adventure for all of us who are stuck at home.

To download Sweet Revenge visit the Candy Jar website.





The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Copy/PasteBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 7 April 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced its latest free-for-download short story:

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Copy/Paste (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Copy/Paste
Written by Jonathan Macho


It's 2020 and Lucy Wilson is stuck at home, locked down with her family and feeling glum. She's used to being the hero, but this particular type of heroism is hard and slow. Luckily, her friend Hobo is just a few clicks away. Isn't modern technology amazing?

But why does the video keep glitching? Who's that smiling with Lucy's face? And can she really save the world when she can't even leave her house?


The story also includes a special message from the Brigadier (as recently discovered by author Richard Brewer)

The Serpent’s Tongue and The Two Brigadiers author, Jonathan Macho, has written this story especially for fans in lockdown:
When Shaun at Candy Jar asked me to work on this story I was honoured. I’ve been enjoying and appreciating the work of some of my favourite writers and other creative professionals while stuck at home, including the team at Doctor Who, so I know how magic an escape right now can be. The chance to contribute something small to that brilliant effort was pretty special.
Jonathan’s story also recognises the important job our key workers are doing for us in these difficult times:
Shaun already had a lot of great ideas for how to tell the story, including the new menace our heroes have to face, and getting it written was a lot of fun. I took the chance to grapple with my own lockdown demons, some sock related, take a moment to appreciate the marvels of modern technology, and of course salute the people who are working so hard to keep us safe right now, including all of you at home. I hope you enjoy Lucy and Hobo’s new adventure, and thanks to Candy Jar for giving me the opportunity to do my little bit.

For Doctor Who fans that are unaware of Lucy Wilson, she is the granddaughter of the iconic Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, one of Doctor Who’s longest running characters. The Copy/Paste free story also includes a message from the Brigadier, with Head of Publishing at Candy Jar, Shaun Russell, commenting:
When Richard Brewer sent us the message from the Brig we contacted him straight away to ask if we could share it with our readers. Richard agreed and we are pleased to present this long-lost UNIT message to Doctor Who fans.

To download The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Copy/Paste visit the Candy Jar Books website.




Candy Jar Books: Short Story Competition 2020Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 March 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster
South Wales Story Competition 2020 (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Following the success of the first two Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competitions, Candy Jar is presenting a third competition, again open to previously unpublished writers both in and outside the UK.

Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell, said:
In these trying times, we all need something to focus on, to keep us all sane. For a lot of people that’s writing. So it’s seems the perfect time to run another competition, give people something to aim for; a chance to write something for potential publication.
Andy Frankham-Allen, editor of the Lethbridge-Stewart range, added:
This time we’re opting for a theme, something to combat the doom and gloom that threatens to overtake us all at the moment. And that theme is The Perfect Day. The challenge is, what can you do with such a theme? What kind of story does it suggest to you? How would such a story work for our characters (the Brigadier, Anne, Bill, Lucy, Hobo, etc)? And, like in the previous entries, everyone is free to use any original character from both the Lethbridge-Stewart and Lucy Wilson Mysteries ranges, plus our licenced characters. But, and I can’t stress this enough, not characters owned by the BBC or any other creator, without express permission (proof will be required).

The winning entry will receive a Kindle Fire and Lethbridge-Stewart or The Lucy Wilson Mysteries publishing deal. All shortlisted entries will be published in The Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Collection Vol 3.

Shaun continued:
Our two previous winners are Sean Alexander and Megan Fizell, and we look forward to publishing their new Lethbridge-Stewart stories very soon (subject to world events, of course).

With the opportunity to enter the brand-new writing competition, and a much wider scope for creativity, this is an exciting opportunity for any writer or fan of the Lethbridge-Stewart world.

The entry fee is £5. Visit here to register.
Please include: Your name, age, email, address and telephone number.

Submissions can be entered from 29 March 2020 to 24 September 2020.

Submission guidelines for the Lethbridge-Stewart South Wales Short Story Competition:
  • Maximum of 3000 words.
  • You must include your name in the document, along with the title.
  • Word (or Word compatible) files only. We do not accept PDF submissions.
  • This competition is open to anybody, whether you’re a fan of Doctor Who and Lethbridge-Stewart or not. We’re looking for stories that utilise any character from the Lethbridge-Stewart and The Lucy Wilson Mysteries range of books (list of Lethbridge-Stewart characters here: http://www.lethbridge-stewart.co.uk/characters/). It is not necessary to fit within the timeline; these stories are out of the canon of the series, so feel free to let your imagination run wild!
  • A selection of free short stories will be sent to any applicant on request, should you need to see our characters in action.
  • Our license is with the Haisman Literary Estate only, therefore you CAN use any character from the Doctor Who serials The Abominable Snowmen, The Web of Fear and The Dominators, or any original character found Candy Jar Books’ Lethbridge-Stewart and The Lucy Wilson Mysteries series (except characters from Doctor Who that appeared in the ranges under express permission).
  • You can NOT use any other Doctor Who characters or monsters. (Unless you have proof of permission from the creator of the chosen monster/character.)
  • You can NOT use UNIT or any associated characters.
  • Any entries that feature a Doctor Who character not owned by the Haisman Literary Estate (and without express permission) will be instantly disqualified, with no refund.





The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Serpent’s TongueBookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 March 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the latest in their The Lucy Wilson Mysteries novel range, The Serpent’s Tongue, which this time is set during the William Shakespeare Jubilee celebrations of 1769:

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Serpent's Tongue (Credit: Candy Jar Cooks)The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Serpent’s Tongue
Written by Johnathon Macho


Lucy Wilson is really getting the hang of being a hero. She’s faced alien monsters, travelled through time and saved the world more than once! So when a school trip to Stratford-upon-Avon takes a turn for the weird, throwing her and Hobo back in time hundreds of years, she’s more than ready for another adventure.

That is, until the adventure follows her home...

With alien bears on the hunt, something massive lurking in the canals and two mysterious figures watching her every move from between the curtains, Lucy needs to face up to her responsibilities and make an impossible choice.
Take your seats. The show’s about to begin.


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

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, said:
Jonathan Macno is an exciting new talent from Cardiff. In 2014, at the age of 19, he was a runner-up in our second South Wales Short Story competition and was featured in the accompanying book Breaking the Surface. After that, in 2016, Jonathan wrote the Lethbridge-Stewart short story The Two Brigadiers. This was well-received by our fans, so I contacted him immediately and asked him to write for the Lucy Wilson series.
Jonathan, who is currently doing a Creative Writing MA at Cardiff University, continued:
When I first submitted work to the South Wales Short Story Competition back in 2014, which feels like forever ago, I had no idea all the brilliant opportunities that would follow. Telling a story in Lucy’s world is a privilege I’ve been working towards for a while and it’s thrilling to see the book, my first published novel, come together. The whole thing is surreal in the best possible way. The Serpent’s Tongue is special to me for a lot of reasons. I was given plenty of free reign and support from Shaun and everyone at Candy Jar, so I used the world of Doctor Who to give a platform to that most underrepresented of writers: William Shakespeare.

School kids can struggle with Shakespeare because of the way he’s often dropped on them without context, humour or fun, and that means they miss out on some wonderful worlds. I still remember the first Shakespeare I saw, a brilliant production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream my parents dragged me to that changed my life, no doubt about it. Lucy herself isn’t the Bard’s biggest fan, so this book is me trying to get her on board, and hopefully some of the readers too.

The novel is available for pre-order from the Candy Jar Books website.




Throughout the coronavirus isolation Candy Jar will be giving away free books on Kindle each Friday (and for 5 days afterwards). The first is The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence. To download visit Amazon Kindle.




The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Serpent’s TongueBookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 March 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the latest in their The Lucy Wilson Mysteries novel range, The Serpent’s Tongue, which this time is set during the William Shakespeare Jubilee celebrations of 1769:

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Serpent's Tongue (Credit: Candy Jar Cooks)The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Serpent’s Tongue
Written by Johnathon Macho


Lucy Wilson is really getting the hang of being a hero. She’s faced alien monsters, travelled through time and saved the world more than once! So when a school trip to Stratford-upon-Avon takes a turn for the weird, throwing her and Hobo back in time hundreds of years, she’s more than ready for another adventure.

That is, until the adventure follows her home...

With alien bears on the hunt, something massive lurking in the canals and two mysterious figures watching her every move from between the curtains, Lucy needs to face up to her responsibilities and make an impossible choice.
Take your seats. The show’s about to begin.


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

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, said:
Jonathan Macno is an exciting new talent from Cardiff. In 2014, at the age of 19, he was a runner-up in our second South Wales Short Story competition and was featured in the accompanying book Breaking the Surface. After that, in 2016, Jonathan wrote the Lethbridge-Stewart short story The Two Brigadiers. This was well-received by our fans, so I contacted him immediately and asked him to write for the Lucy Wilson series.
Jonathan, who is currently doing a Creative Writing MA at Cardiff University, continued:
When I first submitted work to the South Wales Short Story Competition back in 2014, which feels like forever ago, I had no idea all the brilliant opportunities that would follow. Telling a story in Lucy’s world is a privilege I’ve been working towards for a while and it’s thrilling to see the book, my first published novel, come together. The whole thing is surreal in the best possible way. The Serpent’s Tongue is special to me for a lot of reasons. I was given plenty of free reign and support from Shaun and everyone at Candy Jar, so I used the world of Doctor Who to give a platform to that most underrepresented of writers: William Shakespeare.

School kids can struggle with Shakespeare because of the way he’s often dropped on them without context, humour or fun, and that means they miss out on some wonderful worlds. I still remember the first Shakespeare I saw, a brilliant production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream my parents dragged me to that changed my life, no doubt about it. Lucy herself isn’t the Bard’s biggest fan, so this book is me trying to get her on board, and hopefully some of the readers too.

The novel is available for pre-order from the Candy Jar Books website.




Throughout the coronavirus isolation Candy Jar will be giving away free books on Kindle each Friday (and for 5 days afterwards). The first is The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence. To download visit Amazon Kindle.




The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Serpent’s TongueBookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 March 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the latest in their The Lucy Wilson Mysteries novel range, The Serpent’s Tongue, which this time is set during the William Shakespeare Jubilee celebrations of 1769:

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Serpent's Tongue (Credit: Candy Jar Cooks)The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Serpent’s Tongue
Written by Johnathon Macho


Lucy Wilson is really getting the hang of being a hero. She’s faced alien monsters, travelled through time and saved the world more than once! So when a school trip to Stratford-upon-Avon takes a turn for the weird, throwing her and Hobo back in time hundreds of years, she’s more than ready for another adventure.

That is, until the adventure follows her home...

With alien bears on the hunt, something massive lurking in the canals and two mysterious figures watching her every move from between the curtains, Lucy needs to face up to her responsibilities and make an impossible choice.
Take your seats. The show’s about to begin.


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

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, said:
Jonathan Macno is an exciting new talent from Cardiff. In 2014, at the age of 19, he was a runner-up in our second South Wales Short Story competition and was featured in the accompanying book Breaking the Surface. After that, in 2016, Jonathan wrote the Lethbridge-Stewart short story The Two Brigadiers. This was well-received by our fans, so I contacted him immediately and asked him to write for the Lucy Wilson series.
Jonathan, who is currently doing a Creative Writing MA at Cardiff University, continued:
When I first submitted work to the South Wales Short Story Competition back in 2014, which feels like forever ago, I had no idea all the brilliant opportunities that would follow. Telling a story in Lucy’s world is a privilege I’ve been working towards for a while and it’s thrilling to see the book, my first published novel, come together. The whole thing is surreal in the best possible way. The Serpent’s Tongue is special to me for a lot of reasons. I was given plenty of free reign and support from Shaun and everyone at Candy Jar, so I used the world of Doctor Who to give a platform to that most underrepresented of writers: William Shakespeare.

School kids can struggle with Shakespeare because of the way he’s often dropped on them without context, humour or fun, and that means they miss out on some wonderful worlds. I still remember the first Shakespeare I saw, a brilliant production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream my parents dragged me to that changed my life, no doubt about it. Lucy herself isn’t the Bard’s biggest fan, so this book is me trying to get her on board, and hopefully some of the readers too.

The novel is available for pre-order from the Candy Jar Books website.




Throughout the coronavirus isolation Candy Jar will be giving away free books on Kindle each Friday (and for 5 days afterwards). The first is The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence. To download visit Amazon Kindle.




Lethbridge-Stewart: The George Kostinen Mystery.Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 14 March 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the next book in their Bloodlines series of Lethbridge-Stewart.

Lethbridge-Stewart: Bloodlines: The George Kostinen Mystery (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Lethbridge-Stewart: Bloodlines: The George Kostinen Mystery
Written by Chris Lynch
Cover by Adrian Salmon


With the fate of every reality hanging in the balance, the Accord sends Lethbridge-Stewart to a brand-new version of Earth.

His mission: to find Lucy Wilson. She is the final agent the Accord needs to fix the damage done to the quantum realm, but the world Lethbridge-Stewart finds himself in is quite unlike anything he’s ever seen before.

A dystopian nightmare, the UK is caught in a power struggle between the Clown Tithe, the deadly Kruge and the ever-mysterious Volpertinger.

Lethbridge-Stewart’s only ally in this nightmare world is a sixteen-year-old boy from Ogmore-by-Sea called George Kostinen. A boy who, in the real world, should be best friends with Lucy Wilson. Only is this reality – he’s barely heard of her!

How can Lethbridge-Stewart’s mission succeed when Lucy Wilson is a nobody? A girl who’s never even heard the name Lethbridge-Stewart before…

Following last year’s crossover between the Lethbridge-Stewart and The Lucy Wilson Mysteries range of novels, comes a new crossover event. The George Kostinen Mystery is written by Chris Lynch, whose work includes The Lucy Wilson Mysteries novel, Curse of the Mirror Clowns.

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen says:
Bloodlines was always about taking a different look at our own characters, so this was a nice chance to offer up a unique look at the world inhabited by Lucy Wilson and her friend Hobo – only seen through a distorted mirror. The obvious choice for me was Chris – we haven’t actually worked together before, but we spent a lovely day at a convention a couple of years ago and after meeting to discuss the potential of this book, I knew he was the right man for the job. We had much success with our Lethbridge-Stewart/Lucy Wilson crossover project last year, but obviously we don’t want to hit the same beats again. The George Kostinen Mystery is a crossover quite unlike the previous one.

Chris Lynch says:
Andy and all the writers who have worked on the Lethbridge Stewart range before me have created such an intricate, well-realised universe that I have to confess I was a little nervous about stepping into it. It's somewhat like being given a very beautiful, very complicated grandfather clock and then being asked to service a number of vital parts using only a butter knife while wearing a blindfold. Thankfully, I've been let loose in my little pocket dimension where I can forget about butter knives and go at this thing with a nuclear-powered chainsaw. It's enormous fun putting Lethbridge-Stewart, George, and all other characters through the ringer, transforming jolly old Blighty into a dystopian nightmare, creating new creatures to scare people with, and revisiting my very first addition to this universe – the Clowns.”

The cover is by regular Lethbridge-Stewart contributor, Adrian Salmon. Adrian says:
This was a fascinating cover to compose because of the various components and the fact I had the honour of being only the second artist to interpret Lucy Wilson on a cover – the less said about getting her hair style right the better! The Kruge were a lot of fun to draw, and if you look closely you’ll spot the little drawings of their victims faces scratched into their armour.

The George Kostinen Mystery will be followed by Back to the Past, which wraps up the Bloodlines saga, and then the final book of series seven which will see a return to the Schizoid Earth in I, Alastair.

The book is available for pre-order now, an is including in the book subscription with Candy Jar Books.




Celebrating Chris Achilléos - Your MemoriesBookmark and Share

Sunday, 9 February 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster
An update from Candy Jar Books on their forthcoming book about Doctor Who artist Chris Achilléos:

Kklak: The Doctor Who Art of Chris Achilléos (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books would like Doctor Who readers to share their thoughts and memories of Chris Achilléos’ Doctor Who artwork (as well as the Target books that featured his art).

Whether they set you on a path that ultimately led to a career, or simply gave you a few lazy Sundays’ entertainment, we’d love to hear your stories. Do you have images of you with Chris, or photos of yourself reading these iconic Target books as a child? We’d love to see them. We want to pay tribute to why these books really matter – how they have touched lives all over the world.

Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell, says:
Last year, we put out a free release celebrating the career of Terrance Dicks, after his passing. A lot of our contributors said that Terrance, and the Target range which he and Chris defined, got them into reading, got them into science fiction, got them into writing as a discipline and ultimately a career. These books changed lives! They changed my life! We want Klaak! to celebrate this.
These contributions will be compiled into a chapter in the upcoming book, Kklak!: The Doctor Who Artwork of Chris Achilléos.

Send your memories, photos or artwork to Shaun Russell with the subject heading KKLAK!.

Each contributor will receive a personally signed paperback copy of the book.
The final date for submissions is the end of February.



Book details:
For the first time ever, an upcoming book, Kklak: the Doctor Who Art of Chris Achilléos, will compile into one volume the entirety of Chris’ artwork for Target. The artwork will be presented chronologically, with accompanying commentary from the artist himself. The book will begin with an exclusive foreword from Achilléos’ long-time friend and collaborator – and the most prolific and popular of all Target’s writers – the late Terrance Dicks.

In many ways, Kklak… is a love letter to the Target range, which was itself a love letter to the Doctor Who fandom. It was Target’s genuine, tangible affection for the universe of Doctor Who that first inspired Candy Jar’s head of publishing, Shaun Russell, to get into the book world. As Shaun explains:
The Target novels were a huge part of our childhoods. And when it came to our own range of Doctor Who books, the Lethbridge-Stewart series, they were an inspiration. You could always tell that they were produced by fellow fans. There was an attention to detail, and a level of quality, which spoke of the affection their creators held for the show. From the first moment you picked up a Target title, with one of Chris Achilléos’ brilliant designs on the cover, you knew that you were in for something special.
Featuring every one of Achilléos’ Doctor Who designs, as well as never before seen material giving insight into his creative process, Kklak: the Doctor Who Art of Chris Achilléos is released in late spring 2020 by Candy Jar Books.




Lethbridge-Stewart: An Ordinary ManBookmark and Share

Monday, 16 December 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the third instalment in the six-book Bloodlines sequence of novels is now available to pre-order:

Lethbridge-Stewart: Bloodlines: An Ordinary Man (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Lethbridge-Stewart: Bloodlines: An Ordinary Man
Written by Andy Frankham-Allen and Tim Gambrell
Cover artwork by Colin Howard

The destruction of the causal nexus continues, as the timelines of the Lethbridge-Stewarts and Traverses are wiped out of existence.

A new reality has been created, so very close to the essential timeline. And it is into this reality that Anne Travers is sent to retrieve a man who bears a shocking resemblance to Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart.

February 1969, and school-teacher Archie Lethbridge-Stewart lives an ordinary life. A contented life with his little family in the Cornish village of Bledoe. But that is all about to change. First his old pupil, Owain Vine, is having strange visions. Visions of a London covered in web! And on the news it seems London itself is being evacuated – a major gas leak and bears breaking free of London Zoo. Can these events be connected?

Linking all this is a strange old man. A man who insists he knows Archie. Only, the man insists on calling him Alistair. Who is this strange old man? What is this talk of the future? And why should Archie and Owain risk everything to go with the old man to London?

Anne Travers has the answers. But, unfortunately, she appears to be little more than a ghost!

Originally intended as a solo project by Andy Frankham-Allen, An Ordinary Man is now a co-authored project, with Tim Gambrell coming on board to share the author duties. Andy explained the change in author line-up:
The same life stuff that got in the way of Loose Ends got in the way of this book. When it became clear I would not have the time to write the novel, I turned to a trusted author, one who understood the main setting of the book, the village of Bledoe.
Tim Gambrell said:
An Ordinary Man has certainly been no ordinary book. I have enormous respect for Andy; it takes guts to admit all is not well and that you need help with something. When he asked me to write this with him, I did what I'd do for any mate in trouble: I shifted things about in my own life and agreed immediately. Andy had laid the book's groundwork for me. This is still his book at the end of the day. The cornerstones of the plot and the structure had been laid, and the cast assembled. My initial challenge was planning a lot of the bits that went in between – plotting the character journeys from A to B to C. First and foremost, this is a character-led story, not an action-packed adventure. There are characters here I'd not written for before, such as Owain. But I know Bledoe, I've long known its occupants and, because I've always been a reader of the series as well as writing for it, I felt comfortable with Owain.
Andy added:
Unlike a normal Lethbridge-Stewart commission, this one had much more than a shopping list of elements. The story was already laid out, the opening chapters written. Tim had a very specific brief. Once he’s finished his work on it, I shall then take a pass over it myself, tweaking scenes here and there so that it more accurately matches my vision of the story.
Tim continued:
What I've enjoyed most about writing An Ordinary Man has been immersing myself in these characters, because they're not quite what we expect them to be. I've loved seeing how far I can push a situation before the characters say 'enough is enough', or ‘okay, you win’. And what really prompts us, as human beings, to take action outside of our comfort zone, or make changes to our lives for anything other than selfish reasons. I've got a wife and a young family, I've got adult responsibilities. And I've done a lot of soul-searching in writing this book. And it's got a cover by Colin Howard. I've not had one of those before, so that's exciting!

Colin Howard returns for cover-art duties, and he was particularly excited by the challenges presented to him:
I had quite a lot of fun with this cover, despite the original brief. That posed a few challenges. For Lethbridge-Stewart on this occasion it required him to be of the same age as Web of Fear’s colonel, however in this novel he is simply a Cornish School teacher in Bledoe, minus the famous moustache! So, time for screen grabbing Web again, to find a suitable reference of Nick Courtney at that age. Then I had to view elements of Inferno, to find a forehead reference as well as top lip! In order to flesh out my digital painting, I also added a blazer and tie of the type worn by the younger school-teacher Brig in Mawdryn Undead. I then opted for my usual ‘Way too much detail’ background of a Cornish Fishing Village. I sketch these digitally first, then paint over the sketch at around three hundred times magnification on multiple layers to allow for necessary repositioning if required at the cover layout stage. Anne Travers was again a challenge, as Tina Packer spends most of Web playing a supportive sympathetic cast member in two-hander scenes with Patrick Troughton, so therefore is subsequently ‘facially in-shadow’ with most of her scenes in the Unit base. I then had to add more of a 1970s hairstyle and dress, as her character does a little inter-dimensional time-hopping!
On top of those challenges, Colin was excited to be able to do the one thing he’d wanted to do since first joining the Candy Jar artist roster in 2015:
I have been desperate to get to do a Yeti-related cover, but things didn’t ever quite work out. So this time I ‘politely insisted’. In this novel I was told that the Great Intelligence’s London invasion is more successful without the Doctor or Lethbridge Stewart to thwart them. I decided to go to town a little with Big Ben swathed in flowing web, and two of our furry friends looming in the foreground of that section. The other element I was originally asked for was the ‘Sphere-crackling with energy’, so that completed my design idea.

The novel is available to pre-order from the Candy Jar website, and is covered by subscriptions.


Candy Jar Books is currently having a Christmas Sale: more details here.