Lethbridge-Stewart: The Ever-RunningBookmark and Share

Monday, 21 June 2021 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Candy Jar Books has announced a new collection of short stories in their Lethbridge-Stewart series:

 

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Ever-Running (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Ever-Running
Written by Richard Brewer

 

Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, the stoic and ever dependable defender of Earth, is about to discover that reality is under attack from an enemy that strikes from beyond the boundaries of space and time. The Ever-Running have vowed that they must never be caught, and to prevent capture they are willing to destroy all that Alistair has sworn to protect.

 

Explore six new adventures throughout Alistair’s life and beyond, including a desperate battle for survival on a distant ice planet, General Lethbridge-Stewart facing the outbreak of World War 3 in the 1980s, a young girl escaping a remote Hampshire village where the sick never return from an idyllic island, and three further adventures that take the Brigadier to the far future, and a realm beyond the universe itself.

 

The Ever-Running is written by Richard Brewer, the author of the short story File# 161229 and Shadows in the Glen. Profits from this book will be donated to the Brain Tumour Charity.

 

 

If you are a fan of dystopian melodrama or futuristic space operas, then this collection is just for you. However, this book offers something for everyone, especially if you are fond of the classic Doctor Who stories The Daemons or The Android Invasion.

 

The collection of stories form an arc taking the Brigadier into situations and locations that he has never encountered before, and is written by Richard Brewer, who previously penned Shadows in the Glen for the first Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Collection.

Candy Jar’s Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell, said:

I was very impressed with the quality of Richard’s work, and after he submitted A Message from the Brigadier – a companion piece that featured alongside the free Lucy Wilson story Copy/Paste during lockdown in 2020 – we began to talk about him writing a full book.

The book introduces a new enemy for the Brigadier,one who has the ability to manipulate his timeline and beyond! Richard said:

I wanted to take the Brigadier to places that he has never been before, It was tremendous fun to drop him into unknown territory!

However, the book had been written whilst Richard had received terrible news:

I started writing The Ever-Running during a particularly difficult time. My wife was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the beginning of last year. At first, she and I shared a deep sense of powerlessness and frustration at the news. But after the initial shock, and following some investigation into the current state of research into brain tumour treatment, we both knew that we desperately wanted to raise some money. I approached Shaun about writing a selection of short stories to raise funds for this urgent cause and he readily agreed.

Shaun found himself working on The Ever-Running under similar circumstances, as his daughterwas knocked down by a car, fracturing her lower back and pelvis on both sides leaving her unable to walk:

COVID restrictions meant that I had to stay with her as she recuperated in hospital, so as she was sleeping (or playing on her Nintendo Switch) I edited Richard’s book, and I am so grateful that I was able to do this during the obvious worrying times I was facing. As a cancer survivor, I wholeheartedly support this book and encourage all readers to support Richard, either by buying this book, or donating to the Brain Tumour Charity.

 

The Ever-Running is available to pre-order via The Candy Jar website and will be released in early July 2021. Please note this book is not covered by any subscription offer.

 

Every year some 16,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour; a disease which is responsible for more deaths of children and adults under the age of forty than any other cancer. Sadly, despite this startling fact, the funding into research is very low, as is evidenced by the fact that the prognoses for brain tumours have not changed in forty years. The Brain Tumour Charityhelps lead the fight against this devastating and indiscriminate disease.

You can find out more and donate via their website at www.thebraintumourcharity.org

 

 

We are delighted to be able to present Richard's short story Shadows in the Glen for readers as a PDF; click on the cover image below to read it!

 

Lethbridge-Stewart: Shadows of the Glan (Credit: Candy Jar Books)





Lethbridge-Stewart updatesBookmark and Share

Friday, 12 February 2021 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Candy Jar Books have announced the second novel in series eight of Lethbridge-Stewart:

 

Lethbridge-Stewart: Fear Frequency (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Fear Frequency
Written by George Ivanoff
Cover by Adrian Salmon

 

Former pop star turned entrepreneur Trevor Delacy and his Electric Soundscapes company are about to launch their new synthesiser onto the market. But all is not what it appears to be.

 

With much fanfare, a scary new science fiction series, Fear Frequency, premiers on British television. Cheaply produced and rather schlocky, it nevertheless makes an impact in an unexpected way, attracting the attention of Lieutenant Bill Bishop, who is still recovering from the events of ‘Domination Game’.

 

Discovering a connection between the television series and Delacy, Lethbridge-Stewart sends Regimental Sergeant Major Samson Ware to infiltrate Electric Soundscapes. Meanwhile, Bishop is eased back into active duty with a supposedly easy investigation of strange goings-on at an old persons’ care home.

 

Of course, nothing is ever easy for the Fifth Operational Corps, and Lethbridge-Stewart and his men soon find themselves battling against numerous opponents and frightening new weaponry.

 

Fear Frequency is the first Lethbridge-Stewart novel written by Australian author, George Ivanoff, who previously wrote a short story for The Laughing Gnome anthology. Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen says:

I’ve been in contact with George for a couple of years now, initially via Twitter, as is pretty normal these days for authors outside the UK. Over time it became clear that he wanted to write for the LSverse, so it just became about timing and finding the right slot for him. I was impressed enough by his short story in The Laughing Gnome that I immediately knew I was going to ask him to contribute to the final year of Lethbridge-Stewart novels. Indeed, Shaun (Russell, Head of Publishing at Candy Jar Books) was also impressed by the short story that he’s already got George working on a special Lucy Wilson Mysteries novel. But that, as they say, is another story.

George Ivanoff is a Melbourne author who’s written more than a hundred books for kids and teens, including the Gamers trilogy, the interactive You Choose series, the RFDS Adventures, the OTHER WORLDS series, and the non-fiction Survival Guides; as well as many of school readers and educational books. George’s books and stories have been shortlisted for numerous awards, some of which won their categories. Talking of his new book, he said:

Having written a short story for The Laughing Gnome anthology, I was eager to write more for the Lethbridge-Stewart range. So, when I was asked to pitch for a novel I jumped at the opportunity.

I’m a long-time Doctor Who fan. My favourite Doctor is Jon Pertwee, my favourite era is the UNIT era and my favourite supporting character is Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart. So, getting to write that character has been a fan-boy dream come true.

My main objective with Fear Frequency was simply to tell a good story. But I also wanted to be faithful to the characters created by other writers, and I wanted to make sure that, while the novel needed to fit in to the timeline of events in the Lethbridge-Stewart range, it could also be understood and enjoyed as a stand-alone.

Fear Frequency brings the team back together, including RSM Samson Ware, who hasn’t been seen in the ongoing series since The Man from Yesterday, and plays on a familiar theme from the 1970s, as well as tapping into some of the real-world resistance to Doctor Who in both the 1960s and 1970s.

 

The cover sees the return of Adrian Salmon:

My inspiration for the Fear Frequency cover began with the original posters for Hitchcock's Vertigo and Hammer Films' Hysteria. I very much liked the idea of using concentric circles to visually show the sound. Whilst sketching I was hit by the brainstorm of centring the circles with Trev Del's single, and voila, I had a very strong central motif to hang the other images from. The Fear Frequency titles were of course a nod to 1960s Doctor Who, using wavy lines to indicate sound waves. Originally, I planned to add this digitally but decided to draw it in ink, only adding the text on the computer. The unknown woman with hands over her ears was referenced from Barbara Shelley in Quatermass and the Pit, who sadly passed away recently.I really enjoyed working on this cover as it hit so many of my personal touchstones.

 


 

Lethbridge-Stewart: Times Squared (2021) (Credit: Candy Jar Books)A special edition version of Times Squared is to be released, featuring a brand new story by Rick Cross and updated cover by Martin Baines.

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

Times Squared is one of our most popular Lethbridge-Stewart books and has been out of print for a while now. We’ve had many emails requesting a new print and, for a while we made it available via Amazon’s POD service, but now it is time to give this wonderful book a new burst of energy.

The novel is set some eight months after The Web of Fear, transferring the Yeti from the London Underground to the New York City Subway. On bringing back the Yeti, Rick said:

I had this brilliant idea about the rats in the sewers of New York, and their connection to various plagues throughout the years. What if one such plague was the result of the Intelligence? And in these days of COVID-19, this story is more pertinent than ever. 

Martin was really thrilled to revisit the artwork:

Times Squared was my first cover for the Lethbridge-Stewart range. With Yeti robots covered in rats coming out of the New York underground, I couldn’t believe my luck. When Shaun asked me to revisit the artwork for this new format, I jumped at the chance. The changes are subtle, but I truly believe that the final version is much better than the original.

 





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.





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.




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.




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.





The Lucy Wilson Mysteries - Christmas CrackersBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 27 November 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced a festive collection of tales for The Lucy Wilson Mysteries:

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries - Christmas Crackers (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Lucy Wilson Mysteries - Christmas Crackers
Written by Cherry Cobb, Tim Gambrell, Terry Cooper, Keren Williams, Chris Lynch
Cover by Steve Beckett

Ogmore-by-Sea seems to have gone back to its old sleepy way. But adventure never stops for Lucy Wilson and her best friend Hobo, not even at Christmas...

In the run up to the holiday season, Lucy and Hobo help out at the school Christmas Fayre. But what’s inside the Christmas crackers? Why are people going missing? How does everyone seem to be so unlucky? And who is the mysterious Crone?

A collection of five short stories set between Christmas, the New Year and beyond... this book is Christmas Crackers!

Head of publishing at Candy Jar, Shaun Russell, says:

We’ve had such good feedback for the series of books. Reviews have been encouraging and fans seem to have embraced the series completely. As a small thank you for all of the support received, we wanted to release something completely unexpected in time for our readers to enjoy over the Christmas period.

The short story collection entitled contains five stories by a range of different authors.
  • The Mobile Army, written by popular children’s author Cherry Cobb
    I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to write a Lucy Wilson story, having read the books I fell in love with Lucy as a strong independent character who isn’t afraid to stand up for her beliefs. I hope my daughter grows up to have the same outlook on life.
  • The Christmas Cracker Conundrum, written by Tim Gambrell (originally given away for free in 2018)
    It feels very fitting, to me, for The Christmas Cracker Conundrum to make its way into print, now, for a whole new set of readers. Lucy Wilson, Hobo and I have been on something of a wild journey over the last twelve months. It started with Shaun asking me to contribute a Lucy Wilson short story to Candy Jar's 2018 advent calendar, then it ran through my two 2019 novels, and the journey now comes full circle, back to The Christmas Cracker Conundrum!

    I love the characters, their energy, their individuality and the world they inhabit. And Lucy doesn't just speak to kids her own age, either. In the best tradition of children's literature, there's always something in her stories for everyone. Shaun gave me pretty much free reign with my short story, only specifying that it had to involve Christmas crackers, somehow. That's more than enough to get the imagination flowing. We all know where the mystery is with a Christmas cracker, until it's pulled. And if my story makes the readers pause momentarily before they pull their crackers over Christmas dinner, then I'll consider my job well done!
  • Crimes of Fashion, written by Terry Cooper
    I read some of the previous books and couldn't wait to jump into Lucy’s adventures. The story takes inspiration from my teenage years as a rapper and break dancer, when the fashions were highly sought after and everyone was looking for the latest trends in shell suits and trainers. Added to the familiar sci-fi genre, it was great fun to write!
  • Imposters, written by Keren Williams (Candy Jar’s publishing co-ordinator)
    I joined the Candy Jar team just after the very first book in the Lucy Wilson series, Avatars of the Intelligence, was published. Since then, I have had the greatest pleasure of working through the entire range. Being given the opportunity to become a writer in the series has really made my year, but I just hope I’ve written something that everyone can enjoy.
  • Past, Present and Yet to Come, written by Chris Lynch
    I also wrote my story for the Candy Jar Christmas advent calendar last year. This story is a light reworking of A Christmas Carol and explores the future possibilities of the Lucy and Hobo characters.

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Christmas Crackers is available to pre-order from the Candy Jar website, and will be released just in time for Christmas.




The HAVOC Files: Loose EndsBookmark and Share

Monday, 25 November 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Previously delayed from earlier in the year, Candy Jar Books have announced its next short story collection is now being printed:

The HAVOC Files: Loose Ends (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The HAVOC Files: Loose Ends
Written By Andy Frankham-Allen, Tim Gambrell, Sharon Bidwell and John Peel
Cover by Adrian Salmon

Events in life are rarely tied up in a neat little bow. There are always loose ends. And for Anne Bishop, nee Travers, nearing the end of her life, this is painfully true.

She receives a visit from a friend she thought lost to her and shares stories about loose ends that were tied up at the last minute.

These include a return to Glencross and dealing with fallout of the events of ‘A Very Private Haunting’, the arrival on Earth of the Star Maidens of Drahb who are in search of the Dominators, an unexpected reunion between the Brigadier and a friend he thought dead for nineteen years, a visit home for Owain Vine and the discovery of a family secret that will change his life forever, and an awkward visit for Lance Corporal Evans to the mother of his dead sister.

At the end of all these tales Anne discovers that one more mission awaits her, when she learns the true story of Rhys Rubery...


This collection also features an exclusive sample of the forthcoming novel 'Downtime 2'.

This collection was originally due early in the year but had been delayed by real life events. It was originally intended to be a collection with only one author, Andy Frankham-Allen, but to ensure it got finished before the end of the year Andy called on the help of a few authors. Andy explained:

As ever, real life drama intrudes on the creative process and when it became clear that I wouldn’t have the time to finish the collection, I decided to give two of my story ideas to two other authors, as well as use Sharon (Bidwell)’s short story sequel to A Very Private Haunting, as it fit the theme of the book. And that theme is, as the title suggests, tying up loose ends left over throughout the original run of the Lethbridge-Stewart range.

The collections features three stories written by Andy; Hide No More (which sees the Brigadier reunited with an old friend) and O Brother, Where Art Thou (Owain returns home to discover a family secret that changes everything), and the two-part The Stories We Tell (in which Anne is visited by an old friend and discovers she has one final mission to undertake), which bookends the collection. The Arrival, which brings the Star Maidens of Drahb to Earth, is written by Tim Gambrell, and Tall Tales, written by John Peel, brings back Evans who has some bad news to share. The collection is topped off by Remnant of a Haunting by Sharon Bidwell, which sees Anne returning to the Glencross, the scene of the novel A Very Private Haunting.

Keren Williams, Publishing Co-ordinator, said:

It’s a great little collection, with a nice mix of sci-fi, ghost stories, and some solid real-world drama. The Stories We Tell is a particularly touching tale, bringing as it does a parallel between the fictional life of Anne Travers and the real life of a Doctor Who fan who died in 2016 at the young age of only sixteen.

The cover features brand new art by Adrian Salmon. Andy explained:

It was important to me that this book was dedicated to the family of Rhys Rubery, my young friend who died three years ago, and so Adrian did a wonderful little portrait of Rhys for the cover.

The book can be ordered from the Candy Jar website.




Lethbridge-Stewart: The ShadowmanBookmark and Share

Sunday, 20 October 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced the second novel in its seventh series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels, to be released in late October:

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Shadowman (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Lethbridge-Stewart: Bloodlines: The Shadowman
Written by Sharon Bidwell
Artwork by Paul Cowan


A new reality has been created by the temporal disruption ripping through the causal nexus. Welcome to 1978… with a difference.

Anne Travers, co-founder of UNIT, and her husband, Bill, are celebrating their wedding anniversary in France, which is the perfect opportunity for Anne to catch-up with an old friend; Madeleine Bonnaire.

At the institute owned by Madeleine’s father, one professor is more interested in his own project than any work for which Bonnaire has hired him. His need for secrecy and his attitude irritates his assistant, Paul Larousse, who would prefer to dwell on his feelings for Madeleine. Meanwhile, Victor Bonnaire is not at all happy to hear of Anne’s visit, not least of all because he’s always viewed Anne as a bad influence on his daughter.

What seems like a simple case of familial friction takes a bleak turn when a local unknown threat makes the news. Suspicion abounds and throws Anne and Bill into an unexpected mystery. What is the strange threat, and does it present a direct danger to anybody at the institute? Or to those who ask too many questions? Unable to walk away from her friend, Anne has no option but to investigate, little knowing she’s about to face the darkest shadow of her life so far.

The Shadowman is set in an alternative 1978, and serves as a sequel to author Sharon Bidwell’s previous novel, A Very Private Haunting. It picks up a thread left over from that novel, set in a world where Lethbridge-Stewart never took part in the London Event, and was never involved in the creation of UNIT. Instead it’s a world where Anne Travers became a founding member of that august taskforce. It also features a new version of her husband, Bill Bishop, as they head to France to celebrate their wedding anniversary.

Sharon said:
Some stories feel unfinished. When I wrote A Very Private Haunting, I left a few threads I was unsure I would ever pick up again. I already had the title of the book long figured out together with my basic idea when asked to write another novel in the range. My book, to once again feature Anne Travers, couldn't have come together more perfectly, though with consequences I never imagined at the beginning. The Shadowman features a returning character from A Very Private Haunting, which allowed me to play with someone who comes across as a thoroughly nasty character, though I see a greater depth to him. I'm a multi-genre writer, though I tend to gravitate back to what I call dark fiction, and there's definitely darkness in The Shadowman. I'm finishing some lighter projects at present intending to work on my first horror novel in the new year after completing some preliminary notes and research, so going through The Shadowman again recently has been very useful in that regard.
Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen said:
I take Sharon wherever I go. She’s worked with me on many projects now, so it was inevitable when I heard that Big Finish were looking for more female authors, that I would put her name forward. I’ve read her story, had some input, and it’s going to be a lot of fun for fans of Jo Grant and the Eleventh Doctor. In terms of The Shadowman, Sharon sent it to me some time ago, at which point it wasn’t part of any particular novel sequence, but rather a continuation of the ongoing narrative began in 2015. But once the Bloodlines concept was developed, it seemed to me that Sharon’s story was a perfect fit, with a few continuity tweaks here and there to place it in an alternative reality in which the events of A Very Private Haunting still happened – more or less as featured in that novel.
The cover is by a new artist to the Lethbridge-Stewart range, Paul Cowan; Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, said:
I’ve known Paul for thirty years. He’s a great artist with a flair for almost any style. He is particularly well-known for his beautifully illustrated trading cards and TV tie-in comic strips. When the opportunity for him to do a cover came up, I could think of no one better to tackle the Shadowman.
Paul said:
Joining the team at Candy Jar is quite literally a dream come true. I get to illustrate stories featuring much-loved characters from my childhood. I have the honour of seeing my work adorn the covers of some quite wonderful stories by a very talented team of writers, many of whose works line the bookshelves in my studio. I get to join a list of hugely talented artists I admire and who have been major influences on my life and work. But best of all, I get to finally work with my friend, something that's been long overdue.

With the cover to The Shadowman, I wanted to evoke the feeling of 1970s Doctor Who. I knew I wanted to homage the Pertwee years, so the illustration of Anne Travers was very much based on the character of Section Leader Shaw from Inferno, whilst the background should be instantly recognisable to any true Doctor Who fan. The Shadowman himself is actually straight out of one of my own nightmares and when Shaun described the character to me, I knew immediately how he should appear. I used pen and ink with a base wash of alcohol marker, embellished with coloured polychromous pencils and white ink for highlights. I then added lighting effects in Paint Shop Pro, which is my go-to software of choice. It's a relatively new style for me and something I'm still trying to perfect.

The Shadowman is due out at the end of October 2019, and can be pre-ordered now either on its own or as part of the Bloodlines bundle; it is also covered by subscription.


Paul, who has MS, is raising money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. If you visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/artrelief and donate £5 your name will go into a hat and the winner, chosen at random, will get a hand-drawn A4 portrait of your chosen subject. This can be a friend, relative, child, pet, favourite animal or celebrity. If you donate £15 (or equivalent) or more, then Paul will draw you an A4 portrait of your choice.