A Candy ChristmasBookmark and Share

Sunday, 1 December 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books (Credit: Candy Jar Books)This Christmas, Candy Jar Books are offering readers in the UK a chance to win a surprise bundle of books from their collection, to arrive specially wrapped for the festive day itself!

To be in with a chance to win the bundle, simply answer this question:

How many episodes of Doctor Who have been broadcast on Christmas Day?

Please send your answer along with your name, address and where you heard about the competition (news site, news app, other website, etc.) to comp-candyjar@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Christmas". Open to readers within the United Kingdom only. Only one entry per household will be accepted. Closing date: Monday 16 December 2019.




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.




Kklak: The Doctor Who Art of Chris AchilléosBookmark and Share

Sunday, 24 November 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced a new book to feature the classic Doctor Who artwork of Chris Achilléos:

Kklak: The Doctor Who Art of Chris Achilléos (Credit: Candy Jar Books)In his five decades as an illustrator, painter and conceptual artist, Chris Achilléos has four best-selling books of his art, Beauty and the Beast, Syrens, Medusa and Amazona. He worked with the likes of George Lucas, as well as producing the iconic promotional art for the cult film Heavy Metal. But it is probably his work for Doctor Who that is the most enduringly popular.

His covers for the official Target novelisations, which began in the early ‘70s, defined a generation’s image of the Doctor and his adventures – particularly after the show disappeared from British screens in the late ‘80s.

Lavishly detailed, with psychedelic overtones and an unapologetically pulpy sensibility, these covers perfectly captured the eccentric appeal of the classic series. To this day, Doctor Who luminaries tip their hat to the influence of Achilléos’ work. The opening of a 2016 exhibition of Target’s cover artwork at the Cartoon Museum, London, attracted the series’ then-showrunner Steven Moffat, as well as twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi.

With the Doctor long back on our screens, and more popular than ever, it is perhaps surprising that Achilléos’ Whovian oeuvre (or Whoeuvre, if you will) has never been collected in one place.

Kklak: The Doctor Who Art of Chris Achilléos, an upcoming title from award-winning independent publisher Candy Jar Books, aims to address this. For the first time, it collects the entirety of Achilléos’ Doctor Who artwork in chronological order, along with commentary from Achilléos himself (as well as some fans) – presenting the definitive guide to his seminal work. The book also includes a small contribution from twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi and a foreword from Achilléos’ long-time friend and collaborator, the late Terrance Dicks.

Achilléos explains his motivations for compiling the book:

I go to a lot of conventions, and the enduring affection of the fans for those Target novelisations is such a compliment. As an artist you’re always wary of being pigeonholed – you want all your work to receive the same amount of attention! But Doctor Who is such a phenomenon, and the commitment of the fans so pure, you have to be grateful. I hope they enjoy this special book.

As the home of the Lethbridge-Stewart series, one of only a handful of fully licensed Doctor Who ranges outside of the BBC, Candy Jar was the natural home for Achilléos’ new title. As Candy Jar’s head of publishing, Shaun Russell, explains:

The Target novels were a huge part of our childhood. And when it came to our own range of Doctor Who books, they were an inspiration. You could always tell that they were produced by people who cared. There was an attention to detail, and a level of quality, which quite frankly, went above and beyond what was necessary. Doctor Who will sell regardless, but as a series it means so much to people – and to us here at Candy Jar – that you want to do repay that. And from the first moment you picked up a Target title, with one Chris Achilléos’ brilliant designs on the cover, you knew that you were in for something wonderful. His work manages to capture everything that makes Doctor Who special, and stand alone as works of art in their own right. When Chris first spoke with us, I jumped at the chance to work with him.

Featuring every one of Achilléos’ Doctor Who designs, as well as never before seen material giving insight into his creative process, Kklak: the Doctor Who Art of Chris Achilléos is released in April 2020 by Candy Jar Books.

The book will be available as paperback and deluxe hardback edition, and can be pre-ordered from Candy Jar Books.




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.




Lethbridge-Stewart: Home Fires BurnBookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 September 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announce more details about the first novel in its seventh series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels, Bloodlines:

Lethbridge-Stewart: Home Fires Burn (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Lethbridge-Stewart: Home Fires Burn
Written by Gareth Madgwick
Cover by Richard Young


1943. Britain's Home Front is feeling the pain of war.

The Fourth Operational Corps has other things to worry about. A downed plane in the High Peak leads Professor Travers to a village full of buried secrets and a family that are far more than they seem.

Her first assignment sees new recruit Eileen Le Croissette infiltrating a Sheffield Steelworks. Buried within is a weapon that could change the course of the war, but what does the secretive Mr Huxtable have to do with it?

Avoiding his domineering father, Matthew Lethbridge-Stewart is also on the case. But he wasn't banking on meeting a group of homicidal little robots…

The pieces are being set for another conflict, one that started a long way away, to erupt in the middle of wartime Britain.

Home Fires Burn sees the return of Section Officer Eileen Le Croissette, based on real-life war hero Eileen Younghusband, on her first mission for the Home-Army Fourth Operational Corps, once again alongside Professor Edward Travers. It also features the return of the Brigadier’s uncle, Matthew Lethbridge-Stewart and the Quarks (last seen in the Lethbridge-Stewart novel, Mutually Assured Domination!)

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen said:
As with The Laughing Gnome sequence of novels, I came up with an arc in which to tell some non-chronological stories. Shaun and I wanted to highlight some of popular secondary characters, so I looked at which characters would make for a good mix. And, to add to the mix, which monsters had not used independently before. In this instance, the Quarks (baring some comics in the 1960s) always tend to appear alongside their masters the Dominators, so I thought it would be interesting to utilise them without the Dominators. And bearing in mind this first book is set in 1943, that presented the author with another challenge. How to use them without the Dominators, and in a time period long before they ever came to Earth. One other element I wanted to include, just so we had at least one Lethbridge-Stewart in the book, was to bring back the Brig’s uncle, Matthew, a character Gareth handled so well in his previous short story. I’m happy to say Gareth produced a great story that brings all these elements together, as well as honours the great men and women who served our nation during World War II.
This is the first novel by Gareth Madgwick, who had previously written two short stories for the Lethbridge-Stewart range, The Great Magician and Spirits of the Vasty Deep in The HAVOC Files 4 collection, and Inheritance in the Lineage anthology. He said:
I was thrilled when Andy asked me to write my first full length novel, and even more excited when I found out that I would be writing for Edward Travers, Eileen Le Croissette and the Fourth Operational Corps during the war. After all, an eccentric scientist, a confident young woman and a not completely trustworthy military are what the big old Doctor Who universe is all about if, like me, you started with the Pertwee repeats in the ‘90s. The story really began to come together best after Andy asked me to avoid anything that wasn't really known in contemporary literature and science of 1943. That led me down the path of some of the wonderful genre fiction that predated the 1950s, when we think science fiction started. A lot of that has influenced the book in its feel. It's been a blast writing it. Although a massive step up from the two short stories that I'd written for Candy Jar previously, it was a natural progression. I felt that I was combining the character work of Inheritance with the historical research that I did for The Great Magician (although I have to say, Sheffield's libraries have rather a better selection of Second World War material than information on Owain Glyndwr for some reason).
The cover is by returning artist Richard Young, whose previous cover art includes The Flaming Soldier, A Very Private Haunting, and Scary Monsters. Richard said:
I’ve wanted to tackle the Quarks for a long time and knowing that the book is set in Sheffield during the Second World War, I felt that they should have an authentic wartime look. Added to this, I wanted to feature a different picture of Eileen. After a bit of research, Shaun found a wonderful photograph. I just hope people like what I have done.
Gareth adds:
The beautiful cover has really captured the feel of the book.

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 said:
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.

Home Fires Burn can be pre-ordered now either on its own or as part of the Bloodlines bundle from the Candy Jar website. It is also part of the series seven subscription.




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.