Saturday, 24 December 2016

That's Christmas: A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all...

That's Christmas: A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all...: Everyone at That's Chirstmas would like to wish our readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and prosperous New Year. We would ...

The Enemy Within

The Enemy Within is a historical novel set in the recent history of the 1980s Miners' Strike.

For his debut novel former mining engineer Robert MacNeil Wilson gives his readers an exploration of the 1980s miners' strike.

It relates the story of Jim, who is a young colliery manager, an Paul, who is a miner, as together they battle to save their mine.

Half a mile beneath ground they face the miners' age old enemies, flood, roof collapse and fire.

However, the miners' strike drags them into conflicting sides of the conflict that tears asunder ties of friendship and of blood as friend is pitted against friend and family member against family member, rendering their pit village inot a battleground.

The novel also touches on the plight of the women of the pit village as they struggle to come to terms with the new reality that has been thrust upon them, as they struggle to make sense of what is happening and of the new reality that has become their life.

Based upon the experiences of Robert MacNeil Wilson when, as a young mine engineer of 24, he was, on more than one occasion, the only manager in charge when the mine was besieged by massed flying pickets.

The book is a riveting read and explains what happened and what went wrong. And who went wrong.

It costs £8.99, and can be bought here>>>

The Magdeburg Relic

In his novel The Magdeburg Relic, author C. M. Chadwick takes his readers on an exploration of black magic, paganism and folklore in this, his debut novel.

It is an occult novel following in the fine traditions established by one of the founders of this genre, the late Dennis Wheatley.

In fact C. M. Chadwick states: "My book is a serious attempt to write a heavyweight occult novel in order to continue Wheatley's tradition."

It is his hope and desire that the book will be an enjoyable read for those readers who like exploring paganism, black magic and folklore.

The novel is set in the mystical English county of Wiltshire and follows the story of a vicar, who is also an occult investigator, Callum Dood.

He uncovers the conflicting forces of devil worship and paganism.

Togetrher with a group of trusted compatriots, Dood fights with a Satanic cult for possession of the Magdburg Relic, the rediscovered relics of Adolf Hitler.

It is the intention of the cult to use them for occult purposes; It is the intent of Dood and his helpers to thwart them.

The action takes place in a variety of locations, including Nuremberg, the site of Nazi rallies and to a necromantic ceremony, where the soul of Hitler is raised.

The action then moves to a mysterious crypt beneath the former home of occultist Aleister Crowley where the battle nearly ends with the death of Dood and his plucky band of fellow workers.

Later they face, at Carn Brea, in Wiltshire, the opening of a gateway to the underworld through which the Satanic cult hopes to draw legions of the former followers of Hitler.

However, they were not counting on the fact that Dood would be able to recruit the assistance of a pagan group who still hold firm to the old religion and who still converse in the Celtic language of their ancient forefathers. They hold in veneration the Celtic god Taranis and together both groups work together to defeat the cult.

But will they succeed? Read this thrilling novel to find out!

This book is definitely in the tradition of the late Dennis Wheatley and the only way one can tell that it is not a book by Wheatley is that there are references to modern matters such as emails. And, yes, I do mran that as a complement to the author, C. M. Chadwick.

It is published in hardback by Matador at £12.99 an d you can buy it here >>>

The Seven Letters

In her debut novel 'newly minted' author Jan Harvey brings readers a poignant and moving novel that weaves a fascinating series of deeply interwoven stories that proceed through the decades of wartime Europe and toward the present day.

Claudette Bourvil is a timid country girl who, after her recruitment by the French Resistance, is directed to work in Paris, as an undercover agent within a bordello that is operated by the calculating and hard Madame Odile.

Whilst she is at the bordello of Madame Odile, Claudette meets and falls in love with one of the habitues of the bordello, a German Nazi officer, Fritz Keber.  

He is a deeply complex man with secrets of his own, which, when she discovers them, absolutely horrifies Claudette.

The story progresses to England some seven decades later. It is 2014 and Connie Webber is a witness when her friend the playwright, Freddie March, ends his own life by suicide.

Matt Varney, a kindly stranger, who is also on the scene offers her his comfort and they become firm friends.

Matt offers to assist Connie in the task of sorting through Freddy's possessions and they discover a cache of seven letters which are the key to the mystery of his mother.

The letters lead them to Paris. There, they meet a former prostitute who reveals the story of a maid who worked at the bordello who was, in reality, an agent of the French Resistance.

Connie and Matt follow the trail to a quiet village in the Normandy countryside where they discover a terrible truth relating to the fate of Freddy's mother.

The book will be published in February 2017 at £9.99 by Matador.

It will be available for purchase here>>>

The Universe is a Machine

The Universe is a Machine is a debut non-fiction work by Chartered Engineer James Hughes.

In it offers a new and unique explanation of the science of what might have happened during the Big Bang, when our universe came into being.

It is a novel solution to the problem of where all the antimatter went after the Big Bang, why it is still in existence and the reasons as to why it has never, at least so far, been detected.

It is written in the form of a treatise which explores the so-called "smoking gun" of a clue that points to there having been a distinct mechanical process that took place during the aftermath of the Big Bang, superimposed, as Hughes argue, upon the thermodynamic and nuclear processes that are linked to the evolution of the early stages of our universe.

It is the current orthodoxy that the antimatter was utterly destroyed in the events of the aftermath of the Big Bang.

However, Cambridge alumnus and chartered engineer James Hughes argues that this was not the case.

He has a unique explanation to what happened to the antimatter, where it is and why it has not -at least, yet!- been subject to detection.

This paperback book is published in paperback by Matador at £78.00, though a Kindle version is available for £68.00.

It is available for purchase or download at our shop>>>

Saturday, 17 December 2016

That's Christmas: The Funniest Stuff

That's Christmas: The Funniest Stuff: This is the latest book from Colin West and it's going to be a must buy Chirstmas gift for the children in your life!" It's...

Under the Knife

Under the Knife is a fascinating new book by autohr Gulzar Mufti.

A retired urologist with decades of experience in the UK and abroad, Gulzar Mufti brings his readers a wide ranging array of medical and surgical stories from all over the globe.

Some of the anecdotes are light-hearted, some dramatic,  some tinged with sadness, but they are all very real examples of what happens in medical establishments the world over.

It also shows the human side of the doctors, the surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and other healthcare professionals who look after patients to the best of their abilities and, sometimes who go the extra mile and then some in order to help the sick people who are in their care.

Read how Professor K was able to make a diseased appendix just 'pop out', how the Kashmiri barbers dealt with hair and also with other matters such as teeth, removal of earwax, draining of abscesses and circumcision, too.

Also read how a simple typographical error was, actually, quite well received and how not everyone a doctor meets should be fully trusted!

This book is a must buy Christmas gift for everyone involved in medicine and also, everyone else, too!

It is published by the Book Guild at the modest price of £8.99 and is available for purchase from our own book and gift shop here>>> but please do remember you might need to use the express delivery option as it is so close to Christmas.

Portals of Discovery

Portals of Discovery is a fascinating new book by George Norrie, the second Baron Norrie of Wellington, New Zealand.

Lord George Norrie has had a fascinating life. He has served as a member of the armed services as a soldier, worked as a horticulturalist and is, by inclination, an entrepreneur and has served as a parliamentarian.

In his memoir which is frank and honest, he raises some very interesting points. For example he argues that the choices that we make during our lifetime should not, usually, be considered to be mistakes.

He concurs with the Irish author James Joyce, they are not to be considered to be mistakes, they are, "portals of discovery," or gateways inot new worlds and are opportunities for bus to learn more about life.

Lord Norrie is a delight as he does not take himself too seriously and employs a self-deprecating wit and casts an eye on contemporary life.

He details the story of his life that begins in the Gloucestershire of the Second World War, to South Africa, New Zealand and the Middle East.

He shares with his readers an important account of the vital role that the House of Lords plays in the examination and reviewing of new proposed legislation, pointing out some changes that he was able to introduce to legislation as it progressed through the Upper Chamber on key environmental matters.

His time in parliament was brought to a somewhat abrupt termination when reductions in the number of hereditary peers allowed to sit in the House of Lords was reduced, but he is still very active in helping to look after the natural world.

The key themes of this memoir are self-knowledge and the importance of looking for new understandings.

It is published by the Book Guild and in hardback it costs £14.95 and is available here from our own bookshop and gift shop >>>, but do please remember if it is a Christmas present, do please use the express delivery option.

Broccoli and Bloody-Mindedness

This is the story of Antonia Lister-Kaye as she takes a highly illuminating look back over her roller-coaster of a life.

She was born prematurely and was not a wanted child, in army barracks in the year of 1931.

She had cerebral palsy, yet she had a mind that was sharp and she had what was described as "a sense of fun."

Her childhood was chaotic and tinged with rage, some naughtiness and a few escapades and narrow scrapes.

Somehow, and it has to be said, the odds were somewhat stacked against her, Antonia was able to attend university and after leaving university she took up a career as a teacher in London.

She discovered sex and found that she quite like it and, after a few exciting and exhilarating years she, perhaps unexpectedly, got married to Hugo.

This brought about adventures of their own, as Hugo took her off to live in the African country of Nigeria.

Some time later they move to South Africa where Antonia discovers apartheid and realises that she hates it, which brings her suppressed rebellious nature to the surface.

She decides that she will make her way into Black zones that are normally forbidden to white people.

How does she do this? By the simple expedient of selling coffins ad teaching black students.

The South African authorities find her attitudes if not in breach of the apartheid regulations, certainly somewhat disturbing so they "invite" the family to return to the UK.

Domestic tasks were beyond her -due to three small children- and she eventually suffers from a breakdown in her physical health, with resultant chronic back pain.

Eventually Hugo leaves her and things get a little chaotic.

She finds that teaching is now too physically demanding and so she takes the decision to retrain as a psychotherapist, which results in more years of work that she found utterly fascinating and rewarding, in the main.

In later years she has campaigned for the re-legalisation of cannabis for medical use and when asked recently by her doctor how she had survived so long she responded with the improtal line: "Broccoli and bloody-mindedness!"

The book is illustrated with photographs and it is an autobiography that really shoulds be bought as a  Christmas present for those who like autobiographies about real people.

It is published by Matador at £7.99 and is available for purchase here >>> but od use the express delivery option if you ant it before Christmas.

The Conisbrough Chronicles

This book, written by McMullen Country, tells the history of the Conisbrough family down through the last 1,000 years.

Seen through the eyes of several different narrators, we read the history of this great family as they amble through the last Millennia as they interrelate and interact with other families and characters, often with utterly disastrous consequences. Usually for them and not for the Conisbrough family members, however!

We see how the family participated -even sometimes if only in vaguely tangential ways- with the great and the good and the small and the not all that good, really, figures of British history.

We learn of what things were really like in the Middle Ages (it's filled with stuff you probably never knew until you picked this book up)  the goings on (diverse and interesting)  at the Court of Queen Elizabeth I, what the English Civil War was like (at least from the point of view of the Conisbrough family) and the dark doings that took place during the Industrial Revolution.

We meet greedy people, mad people, sad people and bad people and the third part of the book brings us right up to date with the relations between the Conisbrough family and the modern world.

And the great thing is? The entire book is all culled from the fertile imagination of McMullen Country, as the Conisbrough family is a work of fiction!

He reports, somewhat gleefully, that his "proof reader said she had never read anything like it!" which he, probably wisely, chose to take as a compliment.

This book will make a nifty stocking filler this Christmas so please quickly your copy from our book shop, here >>> Probably better to use "express" options for delivery, now.

That's Christmas: May it Please You, Madam

That's Christmas: May it Please You, Madam: May it Please You, Madam, by Neil Hickman, is just the type of book that I love. It is sub-titled a little book of legal whimsy and it c...


In  Dublin author's Bernadette Quinn's new novel, Salvage, she explores a situation of marital crisis and destruction.

Based on events from real life -not those of the author- the novel tells the story of a typical Irish couple, Pam Cronin and Pat McElroy.

They meet, by chance, at a seminar. He is a youthful and ambitious architect, she is an equally youthful and equally ambitious newly qualified medical doctor.

They meet again and quickly realise that they are falling very deeply in love  and quite soon they are married and have two children.

However, their married life takes a change for the worse when Pam wishes to return to work as a doctor. Perhaps somewhat inexplicably, Pat forbids this from happening.

In order to appease her husband, Pam  acquiesces to his arguments that she should be a stay at home mother and concentrate on raising their two children.

This is, however, the start of what eventually become serious problems within their marriage.

With the passage of time their relationship deteriorates more and more. Pam attempts to raise these important issues with her husband but he dismisses her concerns. As far as he is concerned they have the perfect marriage and any problems that Pam perceives are only within her own mind.

Perhaps in order to shock him into realising the severity of their marital disharmony, Pam suggests a trial separation, he is angry and very dismissive of the idea. But demands that if they separate, that he would seek custody of their two children.

Aware that their marriage is, in fact, dying, Pam realises that she must now make plans to create a new life for herself, a life that does not involve her husband or her children.

However, fate takes a hand when Pam is severely wounded when she attempts to save a child who is in danger of being run down by a bus.

She is alone in her hospital bed  and she begins to think about her life and her family. Will she be able to continue with her life as a wife and mother or could she decide to carry out her plans for a new and different life, facing the world, alone?

This is an emotionally charged and highly realistic novel and will make an excellent Christmas present for those for whom Mills and Boon is not their cup of tea.

It is published by Matador at £9.99 and can be bought here >>>

Emotions of a Book

In his book "Emotions of a Book" author Guido Parisi explores the links between the author and his novel.

In a way that many might feel follows on in the tradition of Six Characters in Search of an author, the important 1921 play by fellow Italian Luigi Pirandello, this arguably equally important work explores the relationships between the author and the book that the author is creating.

Does the book have a personality of its own? Is it, in fact, a living creature in its own right?

Parisi argues that this point of view can be extended to all other artistic categories, the musical, artistic, dramatic, painters, sculptors and so forth.

Written by lecturer, teacher and a professor of literature, Emotions of a Book is a work that belongs on the bookshelves of anyone with even a passing interest in the arts and the meaning of life.

Although a work that touches on a great many different, yet, in reality, related themes (the arts, history, the nature of love and friendship, truth and so on) it is written in a style that is easily accessible by anyone who cares to read it.

The ideas that flow through and from this book are important and this book will make a excellent Christmas present for anyone who loves the arts and life in general.

It is published by Matador at £10.99 andis available for purchase here >>>

Sunday, 11 December 2016


Rasmus is a dark and entertainingly cynical take off of the television industry, written by P J Vanston.

Rasmus. Exactly who, or what, is Rasmus?

He appears to be a TV visionary, a producer of reality television shows, but he has a desire to push, pull and cajole the genre to either scale untold heights, or to plumb the lowest levels of some post-Dante vision of Hell.

Take your pick.

His programming corrupts all who participate,  all who watch it and his rivals in the television industry, worldwide.

Great and terrible things happen, people will die live (if you'll pardon that expression) on TV, celebrities will be consumed, no, make that celebrities will be eaten and all for higher ratings.

All culminating in Death Hunt compared by the bouncy Alicia McVicar, where the name of the game is delete or be deleted.

Of course, nothing like this could ever happen in real life. Or Could it?

Not for the feint of heart this book is published by Matador at £8.99 and will make a superb Christmas present who like their fiction to be thrilling, satirical and just a little off the wall.

You can buy it here from our own book and gift shop which you will find here >>>

That's Christmas: The Primacy of Your Eye

That's Christmas: The Primacy of Your Eye: The Primacy of Your Eye is a fascinating book by author, artist and qualified art historian Allan W. Beckett. It is a handbook that belo...

That's Christmas: The Rhyming Diary of Jason Smith

That's Christmas: The Rhyming Diary of Jason Smith: If you have a teacher or a child to buy a Christmas present for, then you really should get a copy of veteran schoolteacher Trevor Cattell...

Snake Ring at Risk & Other Stories

Snake Ring at Risk & Other Stories is a refreshingly brilliant collection of short stories from author John Holroyd.

The stories are aimed at children and contain good, positive moral underpinnings, but children of ages 9 to 99 (and beyond) will find these stories equally enchanting.

 You will reads about the Witch that wasn't, the not stupid at all boy who should not have been called Pie, a kitten who was full of mischief, the mystery of what the old lady in black was really singing and that's all in the first story!

There's the exciting new game that Sammy invented for himself, which resulted in him working to free a planet from an influx of giant snails, but it was only a dream. Or was it?

There are stories of revenge that was misplaced and erroneous, and also what happened when the Snake Ring was at risk.

The book costs £7.99 and is an essential read for everyone.

It is published in January and you can pre-order your copy here at our book and gift shop >>>

Mr Churchill's Driver A Murderer's Story

If you are a lover of mystery novels Mr Churchill's Driver A Murderer's Story should be high up on the list of books to buy in 2017. (It is out in January 2017.)

It is written by Colin Farrington and is a stunner of a debut novel.

The book is intriguingly described as being based on "real events" and "events that may be real."

It is July 1940 and Britain stands alone against the dark and brooding menace and threat that was Nazi Germany.

What if, the book posits, Britain's Premier, Winston Churchill, had met with the Irish leader Eamon de Valera?

What if Winston Churchill had agreed with de Valera to unify Ireland in return for the entry of the Republic of Ireland into the war?

Is it possible that they might have even discussed terms from Germany to bring an end to the war?

The novel is largely the memoir of William Gilbey. It commences with the story which had been told to him by Bert, his father.

Bert, it transpired, had been a driver for Winston Churchill. He claimed that he had driven the Wartime Premier to the Welsh port town of Holyhead for a clandestine meeting with the Irish
Taoiseach, Eamon de Valera.

William's own story is a little complicated because as the novel commences he has just been released from prison after serving 12 years for murder.

It is his intention to find out the truth about the life of his father who was also found guilty of murder, but who was executed for his crime and was notorious as being the last man to be hanged in Britain in 1964.

He also plans to go straight, but not before retrieving stashes of jewelry and cash secreted by his gang.

But his efforts are not going unobserved. He has raised the interests of three groups, the British Secret Service, his own former gang members and Irish Nationalists.

They believe that his father may have informed him of the existence of documents relating to secret peace negotiations and there's the other matter of antiques and money smuggled from Northern Ireland to England during the war years.

This book is published by Matador at £8.99 and will be available for pre-ordering here >>>

That's Christmas: Chasing Cloud

That's Christmas: Chasing Cloud: If you have to buy a Christmas present for a lover of historical fiction, here's a book that will fit that bill perfectly. Chasing C...

That's Books and Entertainment: All About Cruising

That's Books and Entertainment: All About Cruising: All About Cruising is a new and highly amusing look at cruiseships and those who cruise around the world on them. It is a mixture of car...

That's Christmas: The Key to the Half Worlds

That's Christmas: The Key to the Half Worlds: Andrew Chaplin's debut children's novel, The Key to the Half Worlds, is published by The Book Guild at £8.99. It tells the excit...

Saturday, 10 December 2016

That's Christmas: Deathling of Dorn

That's Christmas: Deathling of Dorn: Deathling of Dorn, by John Timmis, is an ideal Christmas gift for the lovers of Fantasy Fiction in your life. It tells the story of the ...

All About Cruising

All About Cruising is a new and highly amusing look at cruiseships and those who cruise around the world on them.

It is a mixture of cartoons and the written word all crafted by qualified Yachtmaster and former Royal Navy member "Boz."

Boz takes a look at the history of cruiseships and holiday cruising, pointing out that perhaps the first cruiseship master was actually Noah? And that other early proponents of the cruising life were Polynesians, Vikings and the like.

He lets us look at what life is like on modern cruiseships from the point of view of the crew and the passengers.

He also, to coin a phrase, lifts the hood on the esoteric world of the Private Charter Cuisers and luxury full rigged sailing ships. Although he does say something about them that does, somewhat, dispel their mystique. But what this is you can find by buying this excellent book  here >>> at £9.99.

It's a great Christmas gift for the armchair traveller or for those people who have been on, or who are going on a cruise.

That's Christmas: Hidden by the Leaves

That's Christmas: Hidden by the Leaves: Hidden by the Leaves is a new novel by S D L Curry, which draws upon his extensive knowledge of the history of Medieval Japanese society. ...

Cancer A Journey's End

In this very moving book Prashant Naik gives an account of his wife's amazing fight with cancer.

In the year 2012, Tanvi Naik was given the diagnosis that she had breast cancer.

She commenced her course of treatment with hope and optimism and with a loving, caring family (her husband and two young daughters) she was firm in her resolve that the only option was her full recovery and that death would not result from her cancer.

She actually said: "That's for other people!"

However, the treatments for her breast cancer did not work and it was realised that her cancer was far more aggressive than at first thought.

Sadly, the major fear of the family came to pass, the diagnosis was that Tanvi's cancer was, after all, terminal.

But Prashant did not want the incredible story of his wife's brave struggle to go unrecorded and unnoticed, so he has written this book as a loving memorial to her fight against her cancer.

This book will be an ideal gift for anyone who has been touched by cancer or who needs to counsel or treat people who have cancer.

It is published by £8.99 and is available for purchase via our online bookshop >>>

That's Christmas: The First English Explorer

That's Christmas: The First English Explorer: Ask most people who the first English explorer was and they would probably come up with a whole range of different names. But they would a...

Living With the Leopard

Living With the Leopard is the latest novel from author Maggie Allder.

It is the follow on novel to Courting Rendition.

It relates the story of a young and recently wed couple, Tom ands Carrie.

They look to have a bright future ahead of them, despite the fact that they are both members of a religious sect that a concerned government has determined is "extremist."

They are inhabitants of a somewhat stable community so they are, to an extent, protected from the problems caused by poverty and discrimination in the outside world.

But when they are invited to become activists, they become targets of surveillance by the government.

They rapidly find themselves targeted by the Anti-Terrorists Task Force (the ATTF) and are bewildered by the changes in their once settled and ordered lives.

They find themselves involved with a group that organises an escape route to assist dissidents to escape the clutches of the government.

They even find themselves offering shelter to a person who is wanted by the government.

When Carrie falls into ill health they find that their benefits are revoked and they eventually come to realise that they are no longer able to know who, within their community, is trustworthy or not.

They find their religious faith and even their marriage is at risk and they conclude that their own escape is now the only valid option. But who can they trust?

Can they make one last, desperate gamble to achieve their freedom together?

This is an interesting and thought-provoking novel and will make an excellent Christmas present for the lover of cerebral fiction.

It is published by Matador at £7.99 and is available from our very own shop which you will find here >>>

Monday, 5 December 2016

That's Christmas: The Inventing Tubes

That's Christmas: The Inventing Tubes: The Inventing Tubes is a new book by Bryony Supper who, after surviving a career as a children's TV star, has reinvented herself as a ...

That's Christmas: Dead End

That's Christmas: Dead End: Dead End is a new crime thriller by novelist Daniel Pascoe. (You may well have read his previous novel The London Sniper, published last...

That's Christmas: Hoping for the Best

That's Christmas: Hoping for the Best: Hoping for the Best is an amazing debut book from Sarah Berryman -non-fiction, bless her!- about what it is really like to become the moth...

Sunday, 4 December 2016

That's Christmas: Death in Winter

That's Christmas: Death in Winter: Death in Winter is a new crime novel from veteran crime writer Ian McFayden who is certainly going to please his fans and new readers alik...

That's Christmas: James and the Amazing Gift

That's Christmas: James and the Amazing Gift: James and the Amazing gift is a wonderful book that will make a stupendously great Christmas gift for young boys and girls. It is debut ...

That's Christmas: Beyond All Doubt

That's Christmas: Beyond All Doubt: Beyond All Doubt is a new crime thriller novel from the pen of Evesham author Paige Elizabeth Turner. Intrigued by the recent advances i...

That's Christmas: The Great Wizard Wars

That's Christmas: The Great Wizard Wars: The Great Wizard Wars is a fantastic new novel for children of 7 to 11 years of age and their mums, dads, grandparents and older siblings ...

That's Christmas: Georgina A song of youth

That's Christmas: Georgina A song of youth: Georgina A song of youth is a new novel by Cedric Paul Foster. It relates the story of Georgina, who is an extraordinary woman. She is...

That's Christmas: Love Across the Decades

That's Christmas: Love Across the Decades: In his new collection of short, romantic stories, writer Steven Baker (who we just met, you will remember!) has produced an entirely diffe...

That's Christmas: Battling Spirits and Kindly Hearts

That's Christmas: Battling Spirits and Kindly Hearts: Battling Spirits and Kindly Hearts is a new novel from author Steven Baker. It tells the story of young Londoner Michael Forbes. His was...