Terrance Dicks - A Tribute (Candy Jar Books)Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 15 September 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have released a special tribute to Terrance Dicks as a free-to-download PDF.

Terrance Dicks - A Tribute (Credit: candy Jar Books)Last week the world of Doctor Who lost Terrance Dicks. To celebrate the life and career of ‘Uncle Terrance’ Candy Jar has released a free PDF, Terrance Dicks – A Tribute.

Terrance Dicks wrote thirty-five episodes of Doctor Who, including classics such as Horror of Fang Rock and The Five Doctors; he was script editor of the show for six years, overseeing the transition from Patrick Troughton and the entirety of the Jon Pertwee era; he wrote over sixty novelisations of Doctor Who stories; and all this is before even touching on his multiple stage, audio, and non-fiction productions, or his innumerable scripts and children’s books outside of the Who universe.

Wherever stories of the Doctor were being told, Terrance Dicks’ name was sure to be found, whether in the Target Books of the ’70s and ’80s, or the Virgin New Adventures and Big Finish productions throughout the ’90s and 2000s. Through the fallow years before Doctor Who’s return to screens, the fandom was kept alive in no small part to Terrance Dicks’ prodigious output.

He was an ever-present at conventions and on documentaries, a warm, witty and humble custodian of the show he had been so pivotal in developing. In the words of James Middleditch in Candy Jar’s free PDF: “The wisdom and twinkling joy with which he spoke about Doctor Who would… become fundamental to the experience of the series in the 1990s.”

Terrance Dicks – A Tribute is a collection of memories from the authors and artists who were inspired by Terrance’s work. This range of writers and artists – with Nick Walters, Chris Achilleos, Gary Russell, John Levene, John Peel and many more – is a testament to the depth of Terrance’s influence.

In Nick Walters’ own words:
I know for absolute certain that I am not the only writer who will say that Terrance Dicks was a major, if not the major, inspiration for their career. His books, with their clarity of prose, vivid descriptions, and economic yet evocative renditions of televised Doctor Who stories, were our bread and butter.

And it’s not just writers who hold him dear. Shaun Russell, Candy Jar’s head of publishing, was motivated to compile this collection by his own debt to Terrance’s work:
Like a lot of our readers, I grew up on Target’s Doctor Who books. And when we first acquired the rights to Lethbridge-Stewart, it was their example that we aspired to. With those titles – and none more so than in Terrance’s books – you could tell that the storytelling came from a place of deep understanding and genuine love for Doctor Who and its universe.

There’s a great piece in the collection, by George Ivanoff, which talks about Terrance’s wonderful way with opening lines – how he could suck you into a story with just a few words. That’s the standard for us always: that deep knowledge, that genuine affection, but most of all that flair that came pouring off of every page of Terrance’s work. I very much doubt I’d be doing what I am today if it wasn’t for his influence. It was only right that we add Terrance Dicks – A Tribute to the many accolades he will no doubt be receiving over the coming weeks.

The free PDF also includes artwork by Adrian Salmon, Terry Cooper and Paul Cowan.

Terrance Dicks – A Tribute is available free from the Candy Jar website.





Lethbridge-Stewart: On His Majesty's National Service updateBookmark and Share

Sunday, 8 September 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: On His Majesty's National Service (John Peel) (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books have announced a change of author for the coda of their The Laughing Gnome series of books.

On His Majesty’s National Service was originally scheduled to be written by David A McIntee and Lynette Nusbacher for a June release. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, David McIntee was unable to continue.

Head of Publishing Shaun Russell said:
I have always been a big fan of David’s outstanding Doctor Who work, and I truly regret having to engage a new author. It is unfortunate that, in David’s own words, he was ‘over committed’, but we’re lucky to have found such a wonderful replacement in John Peel.

The new version of On His Majesty’s National Service will be set during the same period of Lethbridge-Stewart’s life, but will be telling a different story.

Editor Andy Frankham-Allen explained:
John promptly came up with some ideas and a basic outline that fit the shopping list of elements I gave to him – certain story beats needed to be hit, to fit continuity from other books. I did give David the option of allowing John to use elements from his story, should they fit, which David was quite happy to do. However, beyond a few background details, John has opted to go his own way. It’s going to be an exciting adventure story set during the Korean War, in which we see the events that turned Lethbridge-Stewart into the hero we all know and love.

The book is currently available to pre-order from the Candy Jar website.
There was always one question that bugged Bill Bishop, what turned Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart from a man interested in teaching to a career military hero? Using the power of the Laughing Gnome, Bill travels back to the 1950s to find out...

As a young man Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart never wanted to follow in his illustrious family military history, he just wanted to be a maths teacher. But then the Korean War broke out and he was called up for National Service. He soon met Spencer Pemberton – and his life was changed forever!




Candy Jar Books release online Lucy Wilson short-story by Sue HamptonBookmark and Share

Sunday, 18 August 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have released an online short story by Sue Hampton to tie in with their spin-off Lethbridge-Stewart series of books, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries:

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries - The Llanfairfach Rebellion (Credit: Candy Jar)ONE WORLD, ONE LAST CHANCE:
AWARD-WINNNING AUTHOR ARRESTED

Sue Hampton, the award-winning author of Thinner Than Water (“enjoyable and fascinating” – Beverley Knight), Just for One Day (“terrific” – Michael Morpurgo) and Candy Jar Books’ first Lucy Wilson instalment, Avatars of the Intelligence, has been arrested.

On 15th April 2019, Sue peacefully occupied Waterloo Bridge, as part of Extinction Rebellion’s month of protest against the “criminal inactivity” of the government in the face of today’s climate crisis. Their cause is a popular one – its urgency couldn’t be greater, the science any clearer. And yet in April alone, over a thousand protestors were arrested.

The granddaughter of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Lucy Wilson is no stranger to radical action herself. And Sue’s short story sees her in the thick of the action – on the site, in fact, where Sue was herself arrested, Waterloo Bridge.

For figures such as Sue, the repercussions of a criminal record are potentially severe. A one-time primary school teacher, Sue has been a professional author for over a decade, and much of her time is spent touring schools giving talks to students across the country. Her theme, both in her work and her talks, is the importance of love and respect. As a long term sufferer of alopecia universalis, and an ambassador for Alopecia UK, it is a subject close to her heart.

Head of publishing at Candy Jar Books, Shaun Russell, explains why he thought it was important to give Sue this platform:
We’ve all seen the news – the predictions for the coming decades if we don’t change our ways. Not everyone will agree with Extinction Rebellion’s way of doing things, but everyone has to agree they’re right about one thing: we’re running out of time. I’ve been working with Sue for years; she’s always been tireless in her pursuit of what’s right – whether it’s her work raising money for Alopecia UK, or her tours of the country’s schools talking to school children. The idea that she might be prevented from carrying out her work in schools because of a criminal record is ridiculous. All she’s doing is campaigning for a sane climate policy – for a future for our children. For what it’s worth, we wanted to show that her publisher was behind her.
Editorial Coordinator in Candy Jar, Will Rees, says:
Sue wrote the first Lucy Wilson novel, and she was a big part of making Lucy not just a tireless in her fight against extra-terrestrials, but forthright in her social and political views. Like many I’ve been inspired by the speeches of Greta Thunberg; the current wave of climate activism is a fight being led by the next generation. Thanks to Sue, Lucy is a very modern young woman, and we have no doubt that the girl from Ogmore-by-Sea would also be fighting for our planet.

The short story can be downloaded here.




New Countermeasures Novel for 2020Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 21 July 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced a brand new two-book novel, based on the Intrusion Countermeasures Group that first featured on television in 1988's Remembrance of The Daleks. The first part is due to be published in 2020:

Countermeasures: Birds of Passage (Credit: Candy Jar Books)
Birds Of Passage
Written by J Frank Andreas


In the 1960s Ian Gilmore led a special military group that dealt with the unusual and the unexplained. Including, occasionally, aliens. They were the Intrusion Countermeasures Group. Eventually it was determined the group was no longer needed, and soon other organisations took their place; like the Fifth Operational Corps and UNIT.

Almost a decade later, Air Vice Marshal Gilmore is looking forward to his retirement, enjoying life as a father and husband. But a someone is out to discredit him and the work he did, targeting both him and his family! Soon, Gilmore has no choice but to go on the run in an effort to protect his son. Only there is a further complication.

The think-tank that his wife was involved in has disappeared. Help appears in the form of Major Bill Bishop of the Fifth Operational Corps, and former member of the Intrusion Countermeasures Group, Allison Williams. Together they will attempt to uncover the architects of the conspiracy, and rescue both Gilmore’s and Bishop’s wives; Anne Travers and Rachel Jensen!


From the creative minds of Andrew Cartmel, Andy Frankham-Allen and Ben Aaronovitch comes a new thriller series featuring characters originally created for Doctor Who.

Birds of Passage and the follow up book Birds of Prey will form one story told over two novels, described as a series of thrillers akin to recent best-sellers by Vince Flynn, Steve Cavanagh and James Swallow, aimed at a more mature readership than the family-friendly Lethbridge-Stewart range.

Author J Frank Andreas says:
It was a real pleasure to be asked by Candy Jar to bring this hard-hitting story to life. The two Andrews (Frankham-Allen and Cartmel) have come up with a cracking story. I’m very much on board for doing some vastly different to Big Finish, taking the characters in a completely new direction. Hopefully those who love the Big Finish ranges will find something to love here, while people who have never experienced the Countermeasures Group at all, can come in and enjoy the thrill ride and get to know them for the first time!

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen explains how Birds of Passage came to pass:
I’ve always loved the characters Ben created for Remembrance, and it was a joy to write for Gilmore in my short story, The Dogs of War. In 2017 I had the pleasure of writing for the full team in a Big Finish adventure, and when the news hit that Big Finish were no longer producing an ongoing series of New Counter Measures (although they have since began producing occasional stories), I saw an opening to bring the team to prose and do something a little different with them. I wanted to take them in a different direction to Big Finish, and so I approached Andrew Cartmel, who remains great friends with Ben Aaronovitch. We quickly secured a deal with Ben, which saw Andrew coming on as executive consultant – meaning he’s involved in developing the stories and character arcs alongside me.
Andrew Cartmel says:
I’m proud of the work I did on Doctor Who, and in particular I’m enormously proud of Remembrance of the Daleks. Thanks to the brilliant writing of Ben Aaronovitch, and performances by a sterling cast, we managed to craft a story which I think stands with the finest in the history of the show and will continue to do so. And, speaking of continuing, it’s a pleasure to know that the characters from Remembrance are enjoying a healthy afterlife in the adventures of the Intrusion Countermeasures Group, now in the form of a new series of novels from Candy Jars books. I’m looking forward to it, and to working with Andy as a consultant on this series.

Birds of Passage is due out in 2020, with Birds of Prey following in 20221. Both can now be pre-ordered from the Candy Jar website, either individually or both together, with a limited discount available now.




Lethbridge-Stewart: BloodlinesBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 18 June 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: Home Fires Burn (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books has announced the seventh series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels, a five-book series with an overall title of Bloodlines.

The series launches in September with Home Fires Burn by Gareth Madgwick, which sees the return of real-life World War II hero, Eileen Younghusband. Set during the Second World War, the novel reunites Eileen and Professor Edward Travers. They are joined in this adventure by Matthew Lethbridge-Stewart, the Brigadier’s uncle, who first appeared in the Lineage anthology.

Home Fires Burn is released to tie-in with the 80th Anniversary of World War II. Shaun Russell, Head of Publishing at Candy Jar Books, explains a little of Eileen’s role in the war:
With eightieth anniversary of the start of the war, we felt that we really wanted to acknowledge the contribution the greatest generation made to all our lives. In 1941 Eileen signed the official secrets act, and wasn’t able to talk about her work in the top secret Filter Room. In 2017 she was featured in The Flaming Soldier and we’ve had so many requests to bring her back. So, here she is launching the new series of books, and this time round her contribution to this story will have major affect on Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart’s life.
Gareth Madgwick said:
I've really enjoyed writing this book. The Second World War is an era that has always fascinated me, including the bravery and steadfastness of those like Eileen Le Croissette (later Candy Jar author Eileen Younghusband). Setting it in the beautiful Peak District and also the nearby Sheffield steelworks gave me an opportunity to look into areas of the war effort that aren't always explored elsewhere, and the sacrifices made.

The second book in the sequence is The Shadow Man, written by popular author Sharon Bidwell, her second novel for the series. In The Shadow Man we unveil the Bloodlines connection a little bit more, and focus in on Anne Travers and Bill Bishop as they head to France to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Sharon said:
When asked to write a novel focusing on Anne and Bill, I welcomed the chance to explore their relationship a little more than the series has hereto allowed for. What better way to add to this universe, than working with a quintessential strong female, one known for speaking her mind, for her intelligence, for her independence, as well as being a mother, and a woman in love?

The third book in the sequence is An Ordinary Man by Andy Frankham-Allen. In this book, the Bloodlines sequence starts to come together as we explore an alternative timeline in which Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart never went into military service. Andy said:
This was originally planned as the opening book in the sequence, but we reshuffled to tie in the Eileen book with the World War II anniversary. As a result, this is a wonderful mid-season (as it were) cliffhanger book, that brings to the fore the hints of the mystery littered throughout the previous two titles. It’ll end on quite the cliffhanger, setting the stage for the next two titles due out early 2020.

Later books in the series are written by Chris Lynch and Baz Greenland, with a sixth tangentially connected title to follow by Robert Mammone. Details on these releases will be announced later in the year.


The series is available to order as either a three or six book bundle from the Candy Jar website; the series is also covered by those with a regular subscription. If you purchase Home Fires Burn you are also entitled to 10% off the following Eileen Younghusband titles: One Woman’s War, Men I Have Known & Eileen’s War (proof of purchase required).

Home Fires Burn: The War is in full swing for Professor Travers, Section Officer Le Croissette and the Fourth Operational Corps. But beneath the farms and factories of the Home Front, another conflict threatens to erupt.

The Shadow Man: A private laboratory. A secret experiment. A lethal mistake. Anne and Bill are about to stumble into one man's obsession, causing someone to pay a deadly price.

An Ordinary Man: Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart lives a simple but fulfilling life as a teacher in Liskeard Grammar School. Owain Vine, former student of Mr Lethbridge-Stewart, also lives an ordinary life. An only child, he is happily settled in his home village of Bledoe. But then strange things begin to happen in February 1969. He starts hearing voices, getting visions of a London covered in web! What connects these visions to his old school teacher? And just who is the strange old woman seen in Bledoe, who claims to know everything about Owain and Mr Lethbridge-Stewart?




Candy Jar Books: updateBookmark and Share

Monday, 20 May 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: Short Story Collection 2 (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books has announced the winner of the Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition. The winning story, Gone Fishin’, is written by Megan Fizell from Maine, USA.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, says:
All the stories this year have been outstanding and we would like to thank all those that entered, but there can be only one winner. Megan has written a wonderful story that took us all by surprise. Her instinct for characterisation is refreshingly different. In particular, we liked the way she portrayed the burgeoning friendship of the Brig, Sally, Anne and Bill. We look forward to working with her in the future.

Andy Frankham-Allen, range editor of Lethbridge-Stewart says:
This year the level of entries was particularly high, both in number and quality. And, although these stories are not part of the Lethbridge-Stewart canon, the entrants didn’t let that stop them exploring their imaginations! Shaun and I split the entries in half; he picked five finalists and I picked four. Our two top picks then went to Keren Williams, so she could pick the winner of the two. I’m delighted that Keren picked Megan’s story, as it’s a touching little tale and it’s always nice to have another female voice brought to the Lethbridge-Stewart range. Which, of course, Megan will as part of her prize for winning the competition.

Megan Fizell says:
The inspiration for Gone Fishin’ came as much from Thoreau – 'simplify, simplify' – as it did from the desire to give some of the HAVOC crew a well-deserved break. I'm pleased the premise worked as well as it did.

The idea for the Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition came from the company’s commitment to shedding light on fresh writing talent. Since 2015 the Lethbridge-Stewart novels have championed previously unknown authors such as Tim Gambrell and Harry Draper, alongside famous writing names in the Doctor Who universe including John Peel, Nick Walters, Simon A Forward and David A McIntee. This new collection is available to order from the Candy Jar website and features eight featuring Lethbridge-Stewart at various stages in his life:
  • Day Trip by Alan Darlington
  • Marooned at Teatime by Ryan Fogarty
  • Give Me Five Minutes by Mike Warrick
  • The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by James Connarty
  • The Eye of the Beholder by Gary J Mack
  • Summertime Blue by Alexander Whittam
  • The Mystery of the Locked Room by Beau Waddell
  • Nightmare at Lavender Lawns by Bedwyr Gullidge
  • Gone Fishin' by Megan Fizell


Candy Jar is also releasing a special edition of their 2017 limited print run anthology, The HAVOC Files 3. This reprint will contain updated editions of previous stories, and two short stories available for the first time in print. Head of Publishing Shaun Russell explains:
With the success of The HAVOC Files 2: Special Edition earlier this year, it was a forgone conclusion that we’d do a special edition reprint of The HAVOC Files 3. As with the previous release, we decided to look at it as an opportunity to revise a few of the stories, fixing continuity errors and the like, as well as bringing to print two short stories only previously available digitally.

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen continues:
This time around we decided to replace The Lost Skin part two (available as part of the larger whole in The Lost Skin novella) with Steven Walton’s The Case of the Missing Fairy. This was originally released digitally for Christmas 2017. Steven is taking the opportunity to expand it somewhat for the print edition. Joining it will be another previous Christmas free story; this time A Funny Turn by Alyson Leeds. Alyson is a solid writer, who wrote last year’s highly popular Fear of the Web. A Funny Turn is set during the earlier days of Lethbridge-Stewart’s career, and sees him being targeted by the Great Intelligence in a rather unique way.

Lethbridge-Stewart: The HAVOC Files 3 Special Edition (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The HAVOC Files 3 Special Edition

Strange fungoid creatures in Hull, a deserted Scottish village at Hallowe’en, wishes coming true, and a special mission for Samson and Evans in Llanfairfach. Young Ali Lethbridge-Stewart and his friends investigate strange happenings in Pengriffen, and Professor Travers returns to Tibet, only to find he’s being followed by enemy agents.

Ten short stories, including two previously only available in digital format, published in print for the first time.

  • The Bledoe Cadets and the Bald Man of Pengriffen by Tim Gambrell
  • A Funny Turn by Alyson Leeds (previously in digital format)
  • The Last Duty by Christopher Bryant
  • Eve of the Fomorians by Robert Mammone
  • The Wishing Bazaar by Sharon Bidwell
  • The Feast of Evans by Simon A Forward
  • Home for Christmas by The Author Collective
  • Slouching Towards Det-Sen by Shaun Collins
  • The Case of the Missing Fairy by Steven Walton (previously in digital format)
  • Lucy Wilson by Sue Hampton
The book is available to order from the Candy Jar website.




Lethbridge-Stewart: On His Majesty's National ServiceBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 8 May 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: The Laughing Gnome: OHMNS (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books have announced the final novel in their anniversary series of Lethbridge-Stewart books, The Laughing Gnome:

On His Majesty’s National Service picks up where book five left off, seeing the heroes go back in time to the 1950s and the Korean War:
As a young man Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart never wanted to follow in his illustrious family military history, he just wanted to be a math’s teacher. But then the Korean War broke out and he was called up for National Service. He soon met Spencer Pemberton – and his life was changed forever!
The book is written by David A McIntee and Lynette Nusbacher, with the cover by Steve Beckett, who has provided the covers for The Lucy Wilson Mysteries range. Beckett said:
I was thrilled to be invited to illustrate the cover for the Lethbridge-Stewart novel On His Majesty’s National Service. This allowed me to depart from my usual cartoony art style seen on the Lucy Wilson books and work in a style influenced by some of my childhood favourite comics, Battle picture weekly and Commando. I really enjoyed working on the piece which involved a little research into the Korean War and particularly the Hungarian army. I hope regular readers enjoy the explosive cover art and my rendition of a young moustache less Lethbridge-Stewart.

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen explained:
We knew we wanted a Commando-style cover, and it took us a while to remember we had an artist who has done some work featuring military characters over the years. Although Steve is primarily known for his Beano work (as evidenced by the style of the Lucy Wilson covers), he can turn his hand to many different styles. As usual, I consulted the author, asked him what he wanted, and we then sent these suggestions to Steve.

Author David A McIntee added:
I wanted both Lethbridge-Stewart and Hooper on the cover, as well as two Korean characters, with Lethbridge-Stewart and Hooper in Hungarian uniforms, just to further tease the audience and make them wonder why... And, I’m glad to say, the final result is pretty much exactly what I’d imagined. I’ve been lucky to have some great covers over the years, and this is easily right up there with them.

The Laughing Gnome: On His Majesty’s National Service is available for pre-order now from the Candy Jar website. It is also covered by the normal subscription and The Laughing Gnome six book bundle.




The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Bandril InvasionBookmark and Share

Monday, 6 May 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced the latest in their The Lucy Wilson Mysteries novel range:

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Bandril Invasion (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Bandril Invasion
Written by Wink Taylor
Artwork by Steve Beckett

Billy Bandril is the TV sensation sweeping the nation! The hilarious antics of this anarchic puppet have kids and their parents waiting all week for another episode of mayhem.

Fresh from her latest adventure, Lucy Wilson could use some time relaxing in front of the box. But Hobo isn’t too sure... There’s something sinister about Billy and his influence over the viewing public.

When Lucy finds herself live on air with Billy, it’s up to Hobo to interrupt the broadcast, before the curtains close... forever.

The latest in the series is written by Wink Taylor, one of the writers behind children's TV characters Sooty and Basil Brush, and the Theo the Mouse Show tour. The Bandril Invasion draws upon this background with its own maverick children's character, Billy, whose motivations are not all in good fun. Taylor explained:
I spent a lot of happy years writing for children's television and theatre, the bond that kids form with the characters is one of the most rewarding aspects. I was always determined to honour that bond, and make certain that the magic was never broken. It was a privilege to write for such household names and it always fascinated me that the puppeteers at all times remained firmly hidden. This got me thinking: what if the motivations behind this were not benign and were in fact ... thoroughly evil!!

The cover is by regular artist to the ranger, The Beano's Steve Beckett:
This bold, bright cover was a blast to do. Developing a Doctor Who monster, a Bandril, into children’s TV’s hottest new star was great fun. It still has a slight air of menace about it though – poor Hobo!

The Bandrils made their first appearance in the sixth Doctor adventure Timelash; range editor Shaun Russell, said:
Timelash is probably one of the most Marmite Doctor Who stories ever made, either you love or hate it! In my opinion it does have some of best and worst monsters ever featured in the series. The Borad, for example, is wonderful. Others are not so good. The Bandrils, however, are quite puppet-like, and this was my inspiration for this Lucy Wilson story. And that’s when we thought of Wink Taylor. His television and theatre background really helped in creating this slightly oddball Bandril story, which draws upon Doctor Who’s past in many exciting ways.

At the crossroads of old Who and new, with the heart of Jacqueline Wilson, the comedy of David Walliams and drawing on the creativity behind some of children's entertainment's most enduring hits, there's something for readers of all ages in the book.

The Bandril Invasion is available to pre-order exclusively from the Candy Jar and Lethbridge-Stewart websites.




Lethbridge-Stewart: Travers and WellsBookmark and Share

Saturday, 27 April 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the paperback release of the novella Travers and Wells as it launches a new spin-off series of books featuring the characters Professor Edward Travers and HG Wells on their travels across parallel worlds en route to the alien world of Karfel - where the Dominator fleet is about to attack!

Lethbridge-Stewart: Travers and Wells: Other Wars, Other Worlds (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Travers and Wells: Other Wars, Other Worlds
Written by Robert Mammone

"For a time I believed that mankind had been swept out of existence, and that I stood there with my friend, Edward Travers, the last men left alive."

Edward Travers, pulled out of time by a mysterious force, finds himself on a hill with a young man called Herbert George Wells. Together the men travel across England, intent on discovering where they are; a world distinctly different from the one they know. And yet, for Edward Travers, it is one that seems vaguely familiar...

For strange, meteor-like objects have landed in the heart of England, and the inhabitants of Earth have found themselves victims of a terrible attack. A ruthless race of Martians, armed with heat rays and poisonous smoke, is intent on destroying everything that stands in its way.

Only things have not turned out the way Travers' expected, for this is not the war of the worlds HG Wells wrote about, but something much worse.

Originally released in 2017, the backdoor pilot to this series has been retitled Other Wars, Other Worlds. Talking about the reception of his book, author Robert Mammone said:
I am gobsmacked by the overwhelmingly positive reception. You hope that when the results of all that hard work venture into the world readers are at least kind to it, but the lovely reviews on the internet, and the personal comments I've received left me feeling giddy. When I heard the hardback had sold out so quickly I looked forward to the day when more people could pick up the paperback, and that day is almost here! Here's to more readers enjoying the adventures of Travers and Wells!

Range Editor, Andy Frankham-Allen explained how the new series developed:
The potential of the series was always to be determined by sales and critical response, which, we are glad to say, have both proven to be sufficiently positive. The series itself, and the adventures contained therein, are based on the works of Wells, following the example set by the Doctor Who serial Timelash by Glen McCoy, which saw a younger Wells encounter several people and situations that inspired some of his best known works. Every book in this range will be a play on a story written by Wells, and not always the most obvious ones. Although, naturally, the first two novels pull from two of Wells’ biggest hits, The War of the Worlds and The Island of Dr Moreau.

As indicated above, the second book in the series will be called The City of Dr Moreau, written by Andrew Allen:
"Wells blinked a couple of times, balling a fist into his eyes to rub away the sweat trickling there. But it was no good; the room was too dark and he still couldn’t see anything. Nonetheless, he was painfully aware that someone – something – was in the room with him. He heard a snuffling, a guttural breathing, and the thing moved closer."

Edward Travers and HG Wells are flung once again into an alternative reality: a London both achingly familiar and quite unlike the city either of them know. In the dying days of the Edwardian empire, public protests over the increasing use of vivisection in animal research collide with rising fears about looming war.

Connecting both is the mysterious Dr Moreau. Wells is fascinated by the accomplished scientist, but Travers is horrified by the dark truth of the man that he previously had believed to be mere fiction.

As the two men begin to discover the purpose behind their adventures out of time and come face to face with who is controlling their journey, they pursue Moreau to the inevitable conclusion: his very own island of creation, a perverse garden of Eden that’s very close to home...

The paperback edition of Other Wars, Other Worlds is available to pre-order from the Candy Jar website, as is a limited edition hardback edition of The City of Dr Moreau; the latter can also be pre-ordered in paperback for a limited time ony as part of an exclusive bundle with the first book.





Candy Jar's The Lucy Wilson Mysteries Nominated For Scribe AwardsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 17 April 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse Of The Mirror Clowns (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Welsh indie publisher Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce that The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse of the Mirror Clowns by Chris Lynch has been nominated for the prestigious Scribe Awards.

The Scribe Awards, from the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, acknowledge and celebrate excellence in licensed tie-in novels and audio dramas based on TV shows, movies, and games.

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries is a licensed Doctor Who spin-off novel and features the granddaughter of the Doctor’s best friend, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Based in Ogmore-by-Sea these YA sci-fi books tackle prejudice against differences and promote diversity, self-confidence and acceptance for young people.

Three books have already been published by Sue Hampton (Avatars of the Intelligence), Chris Lynch (Curse of the Mirror Clowns) and John Peel (The Midnight People), with two more on the way by Wink Taylor (The Bandril Invasion) and Tim Gambrell (The Brigadier and the Bledoe Cadets).

Curse of the Mirror Clowns by Cardiff-based film and comic writer Chris Lynch is fighting its corner against some of the biggest TV and film franchises in the world including Star Wars and Small Foot, as well the New York Times bestselling author, Jonathan Maberry. Chris says:
I was delighted to discover I’d been nominated for this award. I’m certainly in illustrious company! Hopefully my clowns are up to the challenge.

Originally created by Shaun Russell and Andy Frankham-Allen, the first Lucy Wilson novel was brought to life by YA author Sue Hampton. Shaun says:
Sue’s instinct with the first book Avatars of the Intelligence was spot-on. She got the characters straight away and delivered a book reminiscent of the popular Sarah Jane Adventures, also based on Doctor Who.

Sue really enjoyed working on the first book. She says:
Lucy is dauntless, loyal and whip-smart. She’s a modern girl with strong values and opinions, which means that she feels the injustices in the world even more strongly than most and always stands up for what’s right. I wish Chris good luck with the awards.





Lethbridge-Stewart: Pirates of the Prime MeridianBookmark and Share

Saturday, 13 April 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced its latest free-for-download short story in its Lethbridge-Stewart series:

Lethbridge-Stewart: Pirates of the Prime Meridian (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Pirates of the Prime Meridian
Written by Roy Martin

When Spencer is on holiday with his dad in Peacehaven, he is surprised to see that the town is bursting with pirates. Most are typical tourist-friendly types, but several seem slightly more sinister. He tries to tell his dad, but is not believed. It is only when he meets Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart that he discovers that Peacehaven and the pirates have been connected throughout time.

Based on characters created by Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln.

Roy Martin, author of the novel NV-66, wrote this story especially for Candy Jar. He said:

As I was part of the Doctor Who audience growing up in the ’70s, it was great to have the opportunity to write a short story featuring a fantastic character such as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. For me it was exciting to adapt my writing style to integrate with a pre-existing universe.

I chose to include pirates in the adventure, because for me, they represent enigmatic and shadowy characters from the murky past of history, epitomising working class entrepreneurs; forging fortunes in life, by their own sweat and guile, not afraid to operate outside of the establishment. Plus, when writing I like to get into character, and who doesn’t like dressing as a pirate for the day?

A word of warning for the unwary, ill prepared traveller of adventures. Never upset a pirate. A scallywag will find themselves dancing the hempen jig soon enough.

Pirates of the Prime Meridian can be downloaded from the Candy Jar website.




Lethbridge-Stewart: The Brigadier and Lucy Wilson unitedBookmark and Share

Thursday, 28 March 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced the fifth book in The Laughing Gnome series, which sees the worlds of Lethbridge-Stewart and The Lucy Wilson Mysteries collide:

The Laughing Gnome: Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Laughing Gnome: Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets
Written by Tim Gambrell
Cover by Steve Beckett

Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart is still lost in time, cast through his own time stream by the mysterious Gnome.

Answers are presented to him when he meets the architect of his travels, and is told he has one adventure ahead of him. A chance to make sure his legacy is secure. He will be sent to 2018, and a meeting with his granddaughter, the protector of Ogmore-by-Sea, Lucy Wilson.

In 1937, young Ali Lethbridge-Stewart and his brother James find themselves face to face with smugglers, while in 2018 Lucy and Hobo are preparing for a trip to Cornwall.

What connects 1937 and 2018? The Brigadier and Lucy Wilson are about to find out, when they are cast back in time and join the Bledoe Cadets in solving the mystery at Redgate Smithy. The price will be high for at least one of the Cadets. But for the Brigadier and Lucy, it is a chance to understand what truly binds them together, what it is to be a Lethbridge-Stewart!

Following on from The Laughing Gnome: Rise of the Dominator, books five and six sees the Brigadier team-up with his granddaughter, Lucy Wilson, in an adventure through time! The two-book special, Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets and The Brigadier & The Bledoe Cadets, finally solves a mystery that has been two years in the making, since 2017 and the novels Night of the Intelligence and Avatars of the Intelligence (the very first Lucy Wilson Mystery - how did Lucy and Hobo end up in 1937 to have a picture taken with young Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart and his brother James?

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen set the scene:
Ever since The Lucy Wilson Mysteries was devised, Shaun (Russell) and I had in a mind an adventure that would see Lucy team up with the Bledoe Cadets. We knew there was much fun to be had in having a mixed-race teenage girl interacting with children from 1937. We sowed the seeds in the very first novel in The Lucy Wilson Mysteries range by having her see a photograph of herself and her grandfather as a child, this was built upon in my own novel, Night of the Intelligence, in which it is revealed that James has memories of Lucy and Hobo. So, it’s been a lot of fun exploring those plot points and finally revealing the truth behind them.

The author for that exciting story is first-time novelist Tim Gambrell, who originally won a competition to have a character named after him, and later wrote a short story for The HAVOC Files 3: that story, The Bledoe Cadets and the Bald Man of Pengriffen, led him to being considered for Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets:
After my short story was published, I pitched another story idea which Andy asked me to develop into a novel proposal. I very much felt, from that point on, that Andy was keeping me on his reserve bench, waiting for the right position to ‘play’ me in. The creative process has been pretty fluid ever since the first writers’ meeting in Cardiff, with a strong sense of collaboration and mutual support between Andy and all of the writers. That’s certainly been appreciated by me, with this being my first published novel. Each of our slots came with a character to focus on, but otherwise we were pretty free to tell the sort of story we wanted to tell. However, my slot came with a shopping list. I was given the title, Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets, so I knew from the start it would be a cross-franchise book. Some of the book needed to take place in 2018 to mark the 50th anniversary of Lethbridge-Stewart. Added to that, the story would have to feature time travel so that Lucy, Hobo and the Bledoe Cadets could meet. And it couldn’t contradict anything already established regarding the Bledoe Cadets and alien encounters. Finally, it had to be set before the events of 1938 in The Forgotten Son, so that Sir Alistair could spend time with his brother James. That might sound like a whole lot of limitations, but I found it really liberating. It focuses the mind, being given restrictions like that.

Andy continued:
From the moment I first read that short story, I knew Tim would get it right. He has a great handle on the Bledoe Cadets, who I created for my novel, The Forgotten Son, and I’m rather protective of them. But Tim ‘got’ them. Of course, the only risk was trusting a first-time novelist with this story. I’m happy to say, it’s a risk that paid off!

Head of Publishing Shaun Russell said:
Once the story was decided, Andy and I bounced back and forth the idea of having the story told from both the Brigadier’s point of view, and Lucy’s. Telling the adventure for the more mature readers in the Lethbridge-Stewart range, and then retelling it for a younger reader as part of The Lucy Wilson Mysteries. We had hoped to release both books simultaneously, but the logistics didn’t make that feasible, especially as, for Tim, it would essentially mean writing two novels at the same time! So, it was decided that Tim would write the Lethbridge-Stewart version first, and then we would sit down to discuss how to approach The Lucy Wilson Mysteries version. Lucy’s own perspective brings with it some unique things, not least a different opening before the Brigadier turns up. Although it’s essentially the same story, both books can be read independently, however reading both version will provide a more fuller take on the story.

The Laughing Gnome: Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets will be released in late April, with The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Brigadier & The Bledoe Cadets due out in the summer. Both books are now available for pre-order from the Candy Jar website.

The Laughing Gnome series will conclude in May with book six, On His Majesty’s National Service, by David A McIntee.



Candy Jar Books are also involved in an inspiring book event at The Comic Guru (which has recently relocated to St David's Arcade, Cardiff). The comic shop is celebrating the role of women in film, TV and comics on Saturday 30th March between 11:00am and 4:30pm.

STRONG FEMALE VOICES AT THE COMIC GURU: MEET THE AUTHORS!

As we approach the end of this turbulent decade strong female characters have begun to take centre stage across all film, comics and TV drama, most especially sci-fi. Both DC and Marvel have had enormous successes with Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel respectively.

One such organisation to embrace this change is the Comic Guru, now located in the Queen Street arcade. And to celebrate this, the Comic Guru is partnering with another staple of Cardiff’s sci-fi scene, award-winning independent publisher Candy Jar Books.

To coincide with the recent release of Captain Marvel, the first woman-led instalment in Marvel’s cinematic universe, the Comic Guru is hosting its first collaborative event with Candy Jar, an author meet and greet showcasing just a few of Candy Jar’s strong female authors. Fans will get a chance to meet Alyson Leeds, an author from the Doctor Who spin-off Lethbridge-Stewart series, as well as children’s sci-fi authors Cherry Cobb and Michelle Briscombe.

Owner of the Comic Guru, Kristian Barry, says: “Both the DC and Marvel comic and film franchises have been at the catalyst of change. They have always embraced diversity and championed equal rights. Captain Marvel shows that women can be superheroes too. At the Comic Guru we want to celebrate this, and with Mother’s Day coming up we thought it was an ideal opportunity.”

Candy Jar’s range of titles spans everything from children’s fiction to war memoirs. It is perhaps best known, however, for its Lethbridge-Stewart series, a fully licensed collection of novels about the adventures of the classic Doctor Who character Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. As one of the only non-BBC official Doctor Who products out there, the series has attracted an international readership, and it is currently in its sixth series.

Alyson Leeds, whose debut novel entitled Fear of the Web is based on old Doctor Who story, The Web of Fear, states: “The one thing I always disliked about The Web of Fear was how male dominated the storyline was, and being a part of the Lethbridge-Stewart series has given me a chance to make sure the females are given their platform to speak.”

Michelle Briscombe’s novel, The House on March Lane, contains two brave female protagonists, one from the modern day and the other from the Victorian era. Both characters are free thinkers and despite being separated by one hundred years they become unlikely friends.

Cherry Cobb, author of Will’s War, a book about a boy who time travels back to World War Two London, focuses mainly on male characters. Cherry says: ”My dad was eleven when he was evacuated from Plymouth. He often used to tell me stories about how they lived and I think this is why it felt more natural to me to write about the experience of a boy. Although Will’s War has a lot of male characters, I did not aim it at boys, but as something to be enjoyed by everyone.”

Shaun Russell continues: “We’re proud of the stand sci-fi has been taking recently. We’ve tried to make our statement with our authors, as well as our Lethbridge-Stewart spinoff, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries. Sci-fi is for everyone, boys and girls, and this event has something for the whole family. Not to mention, as it takes place the day before Mother’s Day, it might be just be the perfect opportunity to pick up a last minute gift.”

Publishing Co-ordinator, Keren Williams, elaborates: “Alongside author meet and greets, there will be a chance to get your hands on some free books, and if you are interested in becoming an author yourself, Candy Jar’s team will be available to chat throughout the day.”

And just for balance, Terry Cooper, author of the sci-fi comedy Kangazang! Small Cosmos, and director of the Welsh independent film, Offworld, will also be signing at the Comic Guru. He says: “I have two daughters myself and do recognise the importance of strong role models for girls. Despite my book being a laddish adventure story, it is the female character that ultimately saves the day. Equally in Offworld it is the female spaceship Captain that takes centre stage in my story.”

Kristian Barry continues: “I’m really looking forward to welcoming this group of talented authors into my shop, it is sure to be a stupendous start to many more Comic Guru events.”




Lethbridge-Stewart: The HAVOC Files: The Laughing GnomeBookmark and Share

Sunday, 17 March 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced a brand new limited edition anthology of short stories set within The Laughing Gnome series:

The HAVOC Files: The Laughing Gnome (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The HAVOC Files: The Laughing Gnome
Cover by Colin Howard

Sir Alistair, Dame Anne and Brigadier Bishop have been astral projected throughout the Brigadier's timeline by the mysterious entity known only as the Laughing Gnome. Thirteen jumps, thirty-nine different adventures.

Explore eight new encounters through time in the brand new anthology, including Sir Alistair finding himself in the body of his uncle, Matthew Lethbridge-Stewart, in the 1930s; uncovering a Silurian relic in the 1980s; and an encounter in Africa with his eldest son, Mariama Lethbridge-Stewart, in 1963! And Dame Anne encounters the Borad in 1930s Scotland, in a new story by the creator of the BBC smash, Land Girls, Roland Moore!

Featuring stories written by some of the most popular Lethbridge-Stewart authors, including Harry Draper (Lineage, Short Trips: The Last Day at Work), Sarah Groenewegen (The Daughters of Earth), James Middleditch (Piece of Mind), and John Peel (The Life of Evans, Doctor Who: The Daleks’ Masterplan).

From September 2018 to May 2019, the Lethbridge-Stewart range has been releasing The Laughing Gnome sequence of novels, which sees the Brigadier, Anne Travers and Bill Bishop astral projected throughout the Brigadier’s timeline. The six-book series covers the major points in the sequence, but not all the astral jumps through time. The HAVOC Files: The Laughing Gnome explores a further eight adventures in the sequence.

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen explains further:
Between Fear of the Web and Rise of the Dominator there are twelve further jumps; that’s twelve time periods in which our heroes find themselves. Three times twelve, in fact, as each of our heroes have an adventure in any given time period. Some of these jumps have been mentioned in the sequence of novels, but by the time of Rise of the Dominator only one of these adventures has been chronicled (the third novel in the sequence, The Danger Men, shows Bill Bishop’s adventure in 1999). This anthology chronicles a further eight adventures covering 1929, 1963, 1986, 1955, 1993 and more!

Among the eight authors selected for The HAVOC Files: The Laughing Gnome anthology are popular Lethbridge-Stewart writers John Peel, Sarah Groenewegen, Harry Draper and Shaun Collins, as well as acclaimed Australian author George Ivanoff. A full list of authors and story titles will appear on the Candy Jar website in due course.

The cover is by Doctor Who and Lethbridge-Stewart artist Colin Howard.
Finally, The Laughing Gnome gave me an opportunity to paint Nicholas Courtney’s likeness ‘undisguised’ on the cover of a Lethbridge-Stewart book, after a hiatus from the covers, due to working on the BBC Animations for Shada and The Macra Terror over the past couple of years. For this cover I utilised screen-grabs from of both the Brig and Anne Travers, which I then sketched digitally into position. From there I painted them digitally, using my usual technique, whereby I start with mid-skin tones, then add shadowed areas, down to almost black, then return to adding the lighter areas on the portrait up to white to give a nice realistic feel. In the detail areas I tend to zoom-in to a minimum of 250-300 pixels per square inch to ensure a realistic finish to my painting and to achieve the finer detail. I decided to go with a classic military green for the Brigadier’s uniform rather than the awful washed-out khaki/ochre of season seven.

With Anne, I used the same technique, although, when you get a nice likeness/screen grab, it often means that you have areas of the head cropped out of screen-shot, so I looked for other scenes where the rest of her hairstyle can be ascertained; in this case a small 1960s beehive, which she had in the latter episodes of The Web of Fear, although I did exaggerate it slightly to mimic a Gnomes hat. I also did a little bit of a search online to get eye/hair colour, etc, and incorporate those into the artwork. Each Portrait is around one-two days’ work, plus background, so in the end it takes around a week to paint each cover.

One of the things I have always enjoyed with some of the art jobs I’ve had in my career is when I get to create something from the author’s descriptions in the text, and with the Laughing Gnome a nice detailed description was available from Simon a Forward’s Scary Monsters. So I did a few slight alterations from my initial sketch, and ended up with the ‘cheery/sinister fellow’ featured on the final art, complete with a weathered look of an old Ornament with moss/lichen decorating his visage. This is probably the part of doing these books I enjoy the most, when your creative side is challenged, and you get to design your own creature from a brief, and you aren’t just copying a design or just adding effects/filters to a photograph. Like most of the other covers out there these days.

The HAVOC Files: The Laughing Gnome will be a limited edition release, available to pre-order now exclusively through the Candy Jar website.

Note: The HAVOC Files: The Laughing Gnome is not included in any subscription or multi-book deal.







Lethbridge-Stewart: The Brigadier DeclassifiedBookmark and Share

Sunday, 10 March 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the forthcoming release of their celebratory non-fiction book about the Brigadier:

The Brigadier: Unclassified (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Brigadier: Declassified
Edited by Andy Frankham-Allen
Cover by Richard Young

Celebrating one of Doctor Who’s most legendary characters, The Brigadier: Declassified is a collection of articles and essays covering the Brigadier’s storied career.

From 1968 to 1975, Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart was a regular feature on Doctor Who. He returned to the show several times through the 1980s and later in the spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures. But his appearances were not limited to the television; he has appeared in comics, novels, audio dramas and even a straight-to-video film!

Join us as we take a look at Nicholas Courtney’s life in Thirteen Objects, explore the concept of parallel worlds with Peter Grehan, refresh your knowledge of Big Finish and the Lethbridge-Stewart range books, learn about the work that goes into bringing the Brigadier to life with artists Adrian Salmon and Colin Howard… and much more!

Also features reviews of every televisual appearance by the Brigadier with Simon A Forward and Glenn Bartlett, and an exclusive interview with the Brigadier’s right-hand man, John Levene!

With a foreword by Terry Molloy.

Looking at the many lives of Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart from his TV years through to his appearances in audio dramas and prose, the book was originally planned for 2018 under the name The Brigadier: 50 Years of Lethbridge-Stewart.

Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell, explains the background of the book:
The plan was to release a book about the Brigadier in all his many iterations, but sadly due to some behind-the-scenes issues the book had to be delayed. We lost our original editor. I asked Andy (Frankham-Allen) to take over, which meant trying to fit it into his busy schedule. Andy also had to start more or less from scratch, which meant seeking out new contributors.
Editor Andy Frankham-Allen continues:
It’s been enjoyable process, although somewhat long-winded. I wanted to get as much variety as possible, with articles looking at not only the Brigadier’s television adventures, but also his other media appearances, including his time with Big Finish and our very own Lethbridge-Stewart range of novels. The result is, I hope, a nice mixed bag, which a little something to interest every fan of the Brigadier. I am pleased to say that the book is nearly finished and should be released very soon.

The Brigadier: Declassified is now available for pre-order directly from Candy Jar Books.