Lethbridge-Stewart updates/competitionBookmark and Share

Sunday, 6 December 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Candy Jar Books has released details on the next series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels for 2021, plus the chance to colour in the Brigadier!

 


 

Picking up from the events from series five's ; the new three-book series returns to the 1970s with Domination Game by Aly Leeds & Megan Fizell, Fear Frequency by George Ivanoff and The Haunting of Gabriel Chase by Andrew Allen.

Range editor Andy Frankham-Allen said:

It was always our intention to return to the 1970s and finish our mission of leading the Brig to his destiny with UNIT. And so, after a couple of years of telling very different stories looking at different later times of his life, we’ve decided it’s now time to return to our original mission. Thus, the next three books are kicking off the final two and a half years of novels that will, indeed, end with the events that lead to the formation of the illustrious organisation. But before all that, there’s a few loose threads to pick up with Domination Game


 

Lethbridge-Stewart: Domination Game (Credit: Candy Jar)Domination Game
Written by Aly Leeds and Megan Fizell
Cover by Paul Cooke


It’s time to move on.

Sally Wright has had enough of the Fifth Operational Corps to last a lifetime. She has been chased, kidnapped, and dogged by unknown horrors – and to top it all, the end of her engagement to Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart has cast a shadow over her career. In an effort to leave it all behind, she requests a transfer back to the Regular Army... But, after everything she’s seen, is it possible to return to normal life? And will the Brigadier let her go?

Harold Chorley cannot move on. While searching for answers to the missing gaps in his memory, he makes an alarming discovery; the Dominator war lord, Dominic Vaar, is no longer in prison. Hot on Vaar’s trail, Chorley discovers an experimental military project that seems sinister in its appetite for volunteers. Volunteers who are never heard from again.

William Bishop is not looking forward to life at the Madhouse without Anne Travers, but in heading up a mission to Gloucestershire with Sally and Chorley, he soon finds other things to worry about.

One thing is for sure, not everybody will survive this encounter with the Dominators!

 

 

Aly Leeds is a regular contributor to the range, having penned a few short stories and 2018's Fear of the Web; this time, however:

2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, presenting us each with a unique set of challenges. During lockdown it became clear that I was going to need some help with the manuscript, so I asked Megan Fizell, winner of the 2019 Short Story competition, if she’d step in prior to her debut novel in the LSverse. We’d chatted a lot and found we had similar ideas about what we like in a story, so we worked on blocking the book together. Like me, Megan was eager to see Sally get a fitting finale. I think we’ve done her justice.


Long-time readers of the range will be familiar with Lance Corporal Sally Wright, one-time fiancée of Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart. They became engaged in the very first Lethbridge-Stewart novel, but since their engagement fell apart in 2017’s The Daughters of Earth Sally’s life hasn’t gone so well. Hints of her ultimate fate have been dropped in several stories published since then, especially in Rise of the Dominator and Tall Tales, so most readers won’t be surprised by at least one resolution of Domination Game. But, of course, it’s how everything reaches that point, and the full magnitude of the events, that makes for a compelling story. Aly continued:

Following the positive reception of Fear of the Web in 2018, Andy asked if I’d be willing to write a second book for the series. My answer was ‘Yes!’, but commitments at the time meant I couldn’t take on any of the upcoming Bloodlines titles. Knowing that several loose ends were being tied up prior to the series moving on, I asked Andy what was going to happen to Sally Wright. We last left her in Glastonbury in Piece of Mind, having recently ended her engagement to Lethbridge-Stewart, and I wanted to know where her story went from there. I was told, while a book had been planned on the subject, nothing had come of it and so, unfortunately, she would be exiting the series without fanfare. The news upset me, and I was a little angry on Sally’s behalf. Here was one of the series’ two female characters, who had developed so much from ‘the love interest’ since her debut, a character many people had become fond of, about to be dealt a Liz Shaw? Absolutely not! So, I asked Andy to give me the book and I’d write Sally a decent send off – and, happily for me, he agreed.
Andy added:
Yes, before Aly Domination Game was assigned to two other authors but, for various reasons, nothing clicked into place. It was, in part, that which saw the end of the ongoing Lethbridge-Stewart narrative for a while. A sure sign that we all needed to do something a little different for a while. But when it came time to think about returning to that narrative, and Aly expressed an interest in wrapping up Sally’s story, I knew it was time to return. And so Aly had a look over the original outlines, expressed some very strong objections and told me what they’d like to do with it. Including turning a very important aspect on its head. An aspect they wasn’t sure I’d agree to. But I did! It’s so nasty, that I couldn’t say no.
Aly concluded:
This story was a chance to show Sally at her best, operating away from Lethbridge-Stewart and all the unwanted baggage their relationship brought her, choosing to go her own way. It also sees her go up against an old enemy in the form of Dominator Vaar, now a prisoner of the Crown and himself, in a pretty precarious position. Hot on Vaar’s heels is Harold Chorley, who is close to finding the answers to what happened to him at the Dominex plant in 2015’s Mutually Assured Domination. There’s a fair amount of change, too. We have Bill and Anne contemplating a future away from HAVOC, and Lethbridge-Stewart is moving on in his own way from the events of The Man from Yesterday... with someone very special. There’s a lot going on, and we’ll see where it leaves our heroes afterwards.

The book cover is by artist Paul Cooke, whose previous covers were for The Man from Yesterday and The Danger Men wo fasdf With both of those being by Nick Walters, it seemed apt for Paul to contribute to the next story to feature Dominic Vaar, created by Nick. Paul said:

I was asked to do an illustration that echoed the feel of my last one, The Danger Men; action packed, and like a movie poster, this time including Sally, as well as Bill Bishop once again. But also Vaar. I was excited to receive a commission that included the Dominator. Firstly, I like what Candy Jar have done with the character, but am also a big fan of Adrian Salmon (the only artist to draw Vaar thus far) and how he draws the Dominators: chunky, large hands. A real solid look to them. So, I took that as my inspiration and went for it. I'm so pleased Andy went for it, too. I couldn’t find any reference for prison uniforms, even asking an ex-prison officer friend, so I used the uniform from Porridge! It's set in the ‘70s, so I pushed the colours; I remember as a kid the ‘70s being very bright, and let that influence the palette.

 

Further details of the new series and how to pre-order can be found on the Candy Jar website.

 


 

Lethbridge-Stewart Colouring Book (Credit: Candy Jar)Meanwhile, the Lethbridge-Stewart Colouring Book will be released just in time for Christmas!

The collection of artwork features twenty brand new pieces of art by Thunderbirds, Danger Mouse and Doctor Who artist Martin Baines. concentrating on the Lethbridge-Stewart series of novels and features the Dominators, Quarks, Yeti, Anne Travers, Bandrils and much more. Added to this, the book also explores the UNIT era of Doctor Who.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar Books, said:

2020 has been a difficult year for all of us. Lockdown has taken it’s toll, and it is quite likely that we still haven’t seen the end of COVID-19. Normally we do something special for Christmas. For instance, in 2016 we released The Xmas Files – a collection of Lethbridge-Stewart-inspired Christmas stories, in 2018 our online advent calendar (still available on the Candy jar Books website), and last year The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Christmas Crackers collection of stories. Sadly, due to other commitments, this has not been possible this year. So, when Martin approached me to do the colouring book, I thought why not. This is not strictly a Christmas project, but it certainly is a great stocking filler.

In 2020 Martin created some of Candy Jar’s most popular covers, including the Downtime sequel Child of the New World (released this summer), as well as Kiss of the Ice Maiden and 100 Objects of Doctor Who, both of which are due out in a couple of months. Martin said:

Shaun and I chat regularly about future projects. The conversations are always great fun, particularly when it’s about Lethbridge Stewart and Doctor Who. We are currently developing an epic comic strip starring the Brig (which will hopefully be released 2021). So, having worked on this artwork, I thought a Lethbridge-Stewart colouring book would be something special to end the year. I was so glad when Shaun agreed. The Lethbridge-Stewart Colouring Book is the celebration of the Brigadier and classic Who in general. If you like the Brigadier, UNIT, Quarks, Yetis and even the Bandrils this is the book for you!

Shaun continued:

I suspect some people will prefer not to colour Martin’s images, but instead keep them as a lockdown memento. I’m certainly considering framing one or two of his striking pieces personally.

Martin concluded:

Early Doctor Who has for me been a real discovery and I hope this book adds to the legend. I have put in a lot of research and fleshed out certain elements. The Bandrils were particularly interesting to draw, and fleshing out the Lucy Wilson characters was quite fun. I also loved drawing Professor Travers and Sergeant Benton.

 

Further details on the book and how to pre-order can be found on the Candy Jar website.

 


 

Competition!

 

Candy Jar have kindly offered a chance to win a copy of the Lethbridge--Stewart Colouring Book and their recent novel Downtime: Children of the New World; in order to do so, simply answer the following:

The original Downtime introduced us to the Brigadier's daughter - what was her name?

Send your answers to comp-candyjar@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Chap with crayons: five rounds rapid!" along with your name and address. The competition is for UK readers only, and the closing date is 16 December 2020 (allowing the prize to be sent out before Christmas!)





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.