Lethbridge Stewart: 50th Anniversary NovelsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 22 April 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the forthcoming release of a new series of novels celebrating fifty years of the Brigadier!

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Laughing Gnome (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Laughing Gnome

December 2011, and the Lethbridge-Stewart clan are gathering. The patriarch, Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart is not well. In fact, he’s dying.

He’s determined to face his end with dignity. He has lived a long life, seen a lot of strange things, saved the world more times than he can count, but he has also made a lot of mistakes.

What if he had a chance to revisit some of those mistakes?




In 1968, Doctor Who viewers were introduced to the character Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart.

Created by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln for the serial, The Web of Fear, Lethbridge-Stewart returned the following year in The Invasion, now promoted from colonel to the brigadier in command of UNIT. A legend of Doctor Who was born, and the Brigadier (as he became to be known) continued as regular fixture in Doctor Who until 1976, alongside both Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker. He would return to the series several times during the 1980s, and be mentioned often in the revived series from 2005, with a guest appearance in Doctor Who spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures, and his daughter, Kate, was introduced to the series in 2011 as a semi-regular feature. Beyond the TV series, the Brigadier has enjoyed a long life in spin-off media, including novels, short stories, audio plays, comics and, of course, his own series of novels with Candy Jar since 2015.

To celebrate this milestone, Candy Jar Books is releasing a series of six titles. The first five fall under the banner of The Laughing Gnome, and follows Sir Alistair, Brigadier Bill Bishop and Dame Anne as they adventure through time, visiting the 1930s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and the 2010s! These are followed by a novel that takes the readers right back to the start of the Brigadier’s journey and reveals the decision that changed his life forever!

The Laughing Gnome consists of Scary Monsters by Simon A Forward, The Fear of Web by Alyson Leeds, The Danger Men by Nick Walters, Day of the Matador by Robert Mammone, and Lucy Wilson and the Bledoe Cadets by Tim Gambrell. These are followed by On His Majesty’s National Service by David A McIntee & Dr Lynette Nusbacher.


Simon Forward, who previously wrote Blood of Atlantis, says:
To be invited back to contribute to the Brig's fiftieth anniversary celebrations is a huge privilege. And with that privilege, like great power, comes great responsibility. We have a duty to the character and to Nick Courtney, the actor who ensured him such a long life in our imaginations. And we have the pleasure of throwing him into new situations and adventures. For my part, I'm aiming to pit him against a terror that is very much a part of his time but one that should resonate with our present. An international thriller, a haunting episode from the past, for our very British hero, teamed up with a returning character from Blood of Atlantis. Who you could call Watson to the Brigadier's Holmes, but then he'd have to kill you.

Alyson Leeds, penning her first novel for the series after her contribution to The HAVOC Files 4, says:
Doctor Who was never part of my childhood. Born in the late ‘80s, I did not have a Doctor of my own, and by the time of the revival I was in my late teens. Though I enjoyed the show well enough it was the expanded universe of Who, the novels and audios, that made me a fan. It was here that I first met the Brigadier, and where he instantly became a favourite character. It had always been my ambition to write, and I hoped that I might eventually get a chance to write for the world of Who. Never did I imagine that my first novel would roll both ambitions into one! That I should be writing for the Brigadier, and at so significant a point in his history, was certainly beyond my wildest dreams. Fifty years on from the Brig’s first appearance, so beautifully realised by Nicholas Courtney, many have talked about what makes the Brig such an enduring and beloved character. I find his simple honesty of spirit appeals to me most. He is not a complicated man; he does what he thinks is right, in a way that does not compromise his duty or his beliefs. In a world increasingly beset by troubles, a hero who will not hesitate to step forward and do the best he can is a perpetual breath of fresh air. My part of the story takes the Brig and Anne back to their ‘beginning’, to 1969 and the Underground. Having lived her life and come to terms with the losses she has felt along the way, Dame Anne is suddenly presented with the opportunity to change the past and save someone dear to her – her father. There will be consequences, that is undeniable, but how far would any of us go to save someone we loved?

Nick Walters, author of Mutually Assured Domination and The Man from Yesterday, says:
Candy Jar is doing something rather special and unexpected to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Brigadier. When Andy [Frankham-Allen, range editor] first told me about it a few years ago it sounded bonkers. A simple ‘X Doctors’ style reunion nostalgia trip this most certainly is not! It’s a bold, interesting and challenging idea which is going to take people by surprise. I was thrilled to be asked to write a story for this series. The idea for my story originated in a striking image which came to me last August whilst sitting in a coffee shop with Andy and all the other writers. I pitched the idea to Andy and he was on board straight away! The Danger Men is on the surface quite a straightforward, fun, spy thriller, a homage to everything from Bond to Bourne, Le Carre and Mission Impossible, and even the Milk Tray Man! There’s some serious stuff behind it, though, mainly in the backgrounds and motivation of the Bond-style villains of the story, who are led by the wonderfully-named (even though I say so myself), Dieter Allegro. Nothing is quite what you expect...

Robert Mammone, who wrote this year’s Travers & Wells, says:
The Brigadier is what every authority figure should be – steadfast and loyal, with just a hint of a twinkle in the eye, indicating he gets the joke as well. It is right, then, that the inheritors of that formidable legacy, Candy Jar, celebrate the character in his fiftieth anniversary year. Thanks to Candy Jar, I’ve been given the opportunity to write a story which honours the Brigadier, and celebrates the character Nicholas Courtney. Together with Anne and Bill Bishop, the Brigadier will face off against an old foe in the London of 1973. And lurking in the cracks of history, an ancient evil threatens to re-emerge into the light of day and overthrow the human race...

Tim Gambrell, who is also writing his first novel, having contributed several short stories for the series, including The Bledoe Cadets and The Bald Man of Pengriffen, says:
Writing for an icon like the Brigadier is an honour at any time, but how much more so to be given that opportunity as part of the character’s fiftieth anniversary celebrations? He’s such a likeable, enduring and, above all else, real character. What a joy to be able to take him by the hand and immerse oneself fully in the extended world that Candy Jar has created. It lets you write big stories, with real impact, but in small worlds, and affecting real people. I get the Brig, the Bledoe Cadets and Lucy Wilson as my playmates in a story that stretches from Alistair’s childhood to his days as a grandfather.

David A McIntee teams up with Dr Lynette Nusbacher, military historian, and says:
As I've said before, for me, the Brigadier's place is all about Nick Courtney and the ideal match between character and actor, with both fitting the other so perfectly. It was said of Sean Bean than he didn't so much play Sharpe as wear the role, and this is so true of Nick and the Brig as well. It's such a rare thing to happen, and therefore particularly special that the resulting figure reaches fifty years or popularity, that it's astonishing to be involved in looking back at that half century. Astonishing too, to be taking that figure to its basics, and exploring what's really deep within this character. Every man is the sum of his memories, as the Doctor once said, but he's also a product of the world around him, both inside his perceptions and outside. Worlds are big, bigger than you'd think, and you don't need a TARDIS to have a range of experiences enough to fill anyone's imagination. We may not have Nick any more, but he's still in the Brigadier, and always will be, however big and involved the Brig's world turns out to be.

The Laughing Gnome is available from the Lethbridge-Stewart website and will also be available from the Candy Jar webstore. It also forms part of any existing subscriptions.




The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence + Free DownloadBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 28 March 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have released details about the history of the first book in their forthcoming spin-off series from Lethbridge-Stewart, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Independent publisher Candy Jar Books is tackling prejudice against differences and promoting diversity, self-confidence and acceptance for young people, in publishing their latest sci-fi adventure series for children.

The series begins with The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence. The action-packed adventure story is set in the sleepy Welsh town of Ogmore-by-Sea and features the young, sharp-as-a-tack Lucy Wilson, a London-bred pre-teen with mixed-race parentage, and her perennial side-kick Hobo, a highly intelligent boy with alopecia.

The book is written by author Sue Hampton, who was diagnosed with the condition alopecia universalis in 1981 and has since become an ambassador for the charity Alopecia UK. With Sue’s first book, The Waterhouse Girl, inspired by her own experience of learning to live with the sometimes overwhelming condition, Sue feels that it’s incredibly important that young people who feel “different” are positively represented in mainstream fiction, in ways that don’t portray them as “other”.

She says:
Writing The Waterhouse Girl changed my life, and changed the way I saw my alopecia. I began to feel braver, because my character was dealing with alopecia better than I was. Since then I’ve wanted to write stories where the characters are not defined by their condition, because that’s not what defines me. In Avatars of the Intelligence, Hobo does have alopecia, yes, but he is also loyal, brave and intelligent – all the qualities that Lucy needs in a friend.
Through her work with Alopecia UK, Sue visits schools across the UK offering education and support to those in need, and this experience has taught her how big a difference having friends can make to somebody living with a condition like alopecia.

A representative for Alopecia UK says:
At this time it’s very difficult to say with any certainty just how many children are affected by alopecia, however it’s likely to be thousands rather than hundreds.

The Lucy Wilson series acts as a spin-off from Candy Jar’s existing science fiction range of Lethbridge-Stewart novels starring the character from the 1960s classic era of Doctor Who Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, created by Henry Lincoln and Mervyn Haisman and portrayed by Nicholas Courtney in the television series. New protagonist Lucy Wilson is the granddaughter of the Brigadier, and carries the formidable legacy of the Lethbridge-Stewart name along with her. Sue 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.
Avatars of the Intelligence deals with themes that affect many young people, such as feeling like an outsider and being bullied, in a way that Sue hopes will empower and inspire readers. Recent statistics from Childline show that as many as one in six young people experience anxiety-related problems, and in the top five concerns raised in counselling sessions over twelve months were low self esteem, feeling sad, low or lonely and bullying.

Lucy Wilson: Avatars of the Intelligence is a celebration of characters who boldly refuse to become victims of their circumstances. Despite the fact that both Hobo and Lucy are initially viewed as outsiders, they find courage and friendship in each other and, together, take on an unseen evil force tormenting their school – the Great Intelligence.

Themes of self-acceptance and confidence are further reflected in the cover artwork, created by Beano artist Steve Beckett. Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar Books, says:
We felt that it was really important that we didn’t have Hobo hidden in any way on the cover – no hats or hoods. This is a character who is totally unashamed, and we felt it wouldn’t be right to present him otherwise. We want this to inspire other children who might feel like they’re different, if they feel lonely or left out, that it’s our differences that make us who we are.
The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence is now available to order.

Firstly, I’m delighted that so many of you enjoyed Avatars of the Intelligence very much.

“This is one of the only books I have been interested in for a while. I used to hate reading but ever since I read this book I have loved reading.” “I don’t think it could be any better.” Most of all I’m happy that you like my characters. People said some positive and perceptive things about Lucy – “I love Lucy’s character because she is strong-willed and determined (although a bit stubborn)” – but on the whole Hobo seems to be the favourite. “Hobo is a unique and original character who teaches us loads about alopecia and people who might not look like other people but are still really interesting and do good things.” “I particularly like Hobo. He is a character that shows how you can face bullies with a smile. Instead of shying away from comments about his alopecia he faces them head-on which makes him a really strong character in the book.”

A lot of you are interested in alopecia and the way I used my own experience of hair loss. “I really like how Sue takes something that happened in her life and turns it into something great.” I never thought of it that way when I was writing it but I’m happy for anyone to see the book in that light. Here, having already written two novels in which alopecia is the story, I wanted to introduce a clever, funny and individual character who just happens to have no hair. I also wanted to show that alopecia has made him stronger, kinder and wiser. As Ambassador for Alopecia UK I’ve met many young people with alopecia and that’s what it seems to do. Like all challenges it teaches people a lot about themselves and being human. “The book demonstrates how outcasts face challenges. Hobo is an extremely interesting character because he doesn’t fit into society’s expectations.”

A few people said the book starts slowly. The beginning of a novel is always the hardest part because there’s a lot to establish, especially in the kind of book that’s driven by character. It takes a while to get to know characters well enough to care, and it’s REALLY important to me that readers do care about mine. The first mysterious, creepy action is on page 13 but there are lots of sci-fi references before that to hint at what’s to come, and the emotional action starts on page one.

Two of you added that it’s a bit confusing at first with various characters named in the first few pages. That’s because, in this book which begins a series, we start with Lucy, but being a Lethbridge-Stewart she’s really the next in line: it’s in her blood. So unusually, I was handed a central character with a family tree, ready-made. I gave Lucy a personality, interests, strengths and weaknesses, but the Lethbridge-Stewart legacy is already established. There are many novels and short story collections published by Candy Jar about her grandfather, who even has a Wikipedia page! For the fans of that legacy, I had to acknowledge her family from the start; they’ll know at once who Conall is, and Nick, and all the family members. The book is meant to appeal to existing Whovians and fans of Lethbridge-Stewart, and some of its biggest fans so far are adult, like the guys who praised my book on a podcast for Doctor Who fans. But it’s also meant to appeal to readers from Y6 up, some of whom will come to it completely fresh, with none of this background. As a reader I’m always happy to wonder and deduce for a few pages before a relationship structure firms up, and by the end of chapter one those characters should all be clear. Using close third person means that I follow Lucy’s thoughts and perspective so people can’t be identified with labels, because she would think of Conall and Dean by name, not as her eldest, gay brother and his husband. I’ve written it so that readers can work all that out pretty quickly.

The colourful cover, which is the work of a Beano artist called Steve Beckett, really does appeal to Y5/6 readers – you should see them drawn to it in primary schools when I visit – and I hear that they enjoy the story, while teenage and adult readers will be more aware of the emotional dynamics and issues of diversity that some of you mentioned. I’ve been contacted by a father and daughter and a father and son who reported that both generations thought it was great. I came across a division into hard’ and ‘soft’ science fiction, and this book is definitely soft in the sense that it’s driven by character and its ‘science’ (in this author’s head, at any rate) is psychology rather than physics. I’d say this generally applies to Doctor Who, too, but some fans might like to challenge me on that.

You may have noticed that there’s plenty of imagery. It’s a playfulness with words and can give energy to a story, be fun or funny, crank up the excitement – sometimes in a horrifying way – and create an atmosphere. Sci-fi has its own vocabulary, of course, and like the action the language can be highly dramatic. It’s my thirty-first book but my first venture into this genre.



The Lucy Wilson Collection (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar has produced a 95-page free ebook The Lucy Wilson Collection. This contains The Two Brigadiers by Jonathan Macho, Lucy Wilson by Sue Hampton, an extract of Avatars of the Intelligence by Sue Hampton, an extract of Curse of the Mirror Clowns by Chris Lynch, and a non-fiction chapter about the Brigadier written by Andy Frankham-Allen.

The e-book is available to download via our website.





Lethbridge-Stewart: Short Story CollectionBookmark and Share

Saturday, 24 March 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: Short Story Collection (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce an exciting new collection of stories featuring Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart. The Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Collection comes off the back of the publisher’s mission to find new writing talent in south Wales and beyond.

In August 2017 Candy Jar offered aspiring writers and fans of the Lethbridge-Stewart series the opportunity to pen their own chapter in the Lethbridge-Stewart universe.

The results are in, and Candy Jar has collected the best and brightest writers in this short story anthology. Head of publishing, Shaun Russell, says:
With The Havoc Files coming to an end, and the Brig celebrating his fiftieth anniversary this year, I am very excited to be presenting a new take on this iconic character. We’ve had such high quality stories and we feel the fans will enjoy taking an alternative journey alongside the Haisman characters.

The book features eight exclusive short stories featuring Lethbridge-Stewart at various stages in his life. This is a chance for fans to see the Brigadier like never seen him before!

The eight stories are:
  • Shadows in the Glen by Richard Brewer
  • The Friendship Paradox by Thomas Firth
  • Special Responsibility by Gary Tinnams
  • Soldier in Time by Martin Gregory
  • The Man with the Red Case by Matthew Ball
  • The Brigadier Rides Again by Ross Hastings
  • In Machina Exspiravit by Anthony Robertson
  • Burning Daylight by Paul Chase


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 Jonathan Macho and Gareth Madgwick, alongside famous writing names in the Doctor Who universe including John Peel, Nick Walters, Simon A Forward and David A McIntee.

Lauren Thomas, publishing co-ordinator at Candy Jar Books, says:
It’s been a real eye-opener to witness the abundance of creativity and passion held for the Brigadier by Doctor Who fans. We always knew that the submissions wouldn’t disappoint, but we’ve truly been delighted by the quality of writing.

Range editor, Andy Frankham-Allen, says:
As we move into our planned second phase for the Brig, we feel it’s time to explore all aspects of his life across the decades. This new approach will be seen first in Lineage (available to pre-order here) and will be followed by our six anniversary novels (due to be released later this year). As an alternative take on the character The Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Collection fits perfectly within this new mindset.

Candy Jar will announce the top story in this collection later in the spring, and will reveal which author will get to work with Andy Frankham-Allen, Lethbridge-Stewart range editor and author of The Forgotten Son, Beast of Fang Rock and Night of the Intelligence, on a new Lethbridge-Stewart novel.

Andy continues:
It takes something special to get into the mind of the Brigadier and I’m anticipating great things from all of these talented new writers. You never know we may be launching a new Chris Chibnall or Terrance Dicks at the beginning of their career.

£1.50 from each book will be donated the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff. Shaun, who received chemotherapy treatment at the centre, says:
In 2015 I was diagnosed with bowel cancer, just as we were launching the first Lethbridge-Stewart series. As you can imagine, undergoing six months of treatment was physically and emotionally draining. If it wasn’t for the support of the centre I wouldn’t have got through this difficult time. This is my way of giving something back.

As well as many other stories, the book features young Alistair in World War Two, the 1970s Brig in action, and retired Alistair as he discovers the real nightmare of commuting. Customers are advised that this book will be a limited edition release, only available to purchase directly from Candy Jar Books for £8.99 and with limited copies available.

The short story collection is in part a celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Brigadier, and comes alongside Candy Jar releasing another limited edition release, Lineage:

The Lethbridge-Stewart name carries with it stories of integrity, honour and courage. But was it always so? From its earliest origins with the Clan Stewart in Scotland, and the Lethbridges in Devon, England, the name has a storied past. Historical figures, history makers, military heroes… Lineage presents seven brand new tales from some of the most popular authors previously published in The HAVOC Files collection.




Lethbridge-Stewart: The Man From YesterdayBookmark and Share

Monday, 5 March 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
After fourteen novels, Candy Jar Books have announces the conclusion to their Lethbridge-Stewart ongoing storyline that began with The Forgotten Son:

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Man From Yesterday (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Man From Yesterday
Written by Nick Walters
Cover by Paul Cooke


Gordon's alive?

The English Channel, May 1945. Leading his squadron of Hawker Typhoons back to base from a traumatic mission in the Baltic, Wing Commander Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart goes missing – one of the unsolved mysteries of the Second World War.

Cromer, 1970. Doctor Anne Travers and Lieutenant Bill Bishop are investigating a mysterious phenomenon after hearing reports of ‘pink lightning’ seen over the Norfolk coast, while strange elfin creatures are glimpsed by the locals. And in the Red Fort, his new base of operations deep below Norwich, General James Gore is making his plans.

Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart receives a phone call that will change his life. Could it be, after all this time, that his father has come back from yesterday?

Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell, said:
We decided some time ago to wrap up the novels as a continuing storyline, although it’s not the end of the Lethbridge-Stewart range. They will merely continue in a different vein. We have one more standalone novel, The New Unusual, set just before The Man from Yesterday coming in late spring, and then in the summer we begin to release our special anniversary series of books (six new novels that dip into various points within Lethbridge-Stewart’s timeline).

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen said:
It’s been great fun developing and guiding the ongoing story, with plots and themes continuing from The Forgotten Son through to The Man from Yesterday, but Shaun and I decided it’s time for something a little different. The Man from Yesterday is the perfect finale, taking the series full circle, wrapping up themes set up with that first novel, and bringing the whole thing into sharp focus with Lethbridge-Stewart’s family at the centre. Just as it began! And who better than Nick Walters, who was there at the beginning of the series, to wrap it all up for us? What’s also great about Nick’s return, is that he is the only author to pen a second novel in the series (other than me). Up to now each book has been written by a different author, which is, I feel, something we can all be proud of.

The Man from Yesterday sees the return of Lethbridge-Stewart’s missing father, Wing Commander Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. Nick observed:
After Mutually Assured Domination, which was a knockabout, fun romp, it was great to write something with more depth. We’d been kicking about the idea of the Brigadier’s father returning for some time, but hadn’t found a suitable plot. The Man From Yesterday started life in early 2016 as something quite different, a tale of alien map-makers called The Cartographers of Oberos (after a potential sequel to The Turing Test, also bringing Gordon back, just didn’t click for us). This initial version had too much focus on the aliens, and once this was scaled back, the story really began to take shape. Especially when the title came to me out of the blue one afternoon. The idea of setting it (mostly) within the county of Norfolk was quite deliberate – firstly, there is, obviously, the Cromer connection, and, secondly, I thought it rather fun to have a story set in one small geographic location, for a change. It doesn’t mean the story is small – not by any means – it’s big in terms of themes and ideas, and of course that alien element still remains.

Wing Commander Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart was created by Andy Frankham-Allen for The Forgotten Son in 2014, and has appeared in a couple of short stories since, but this is his first full-novel role. Talking about developing him further, Nick commented:
I was given free rein with Gordon and decided to imbue him with the core Lethbridge-Stewart values of integrity, bravery, duty, responsibility etc, but also introduce a slightly odd side to him (because of what’s happened to him). In appearance I struggled to visualise him until I put him in a suit and hey presto, Sean Connery in The Rock! I also gave him some action scenes to demonstrate that he’s still a badass despite his advanced years. He’s a man out of time, and there’s an element of that about him too, especially in one scene where he wanders the streets of Norwich. And despite the emotional heft of the story, I found him a fun character to write, and some of his scenes with his son are hilarious.

The book features a forward by Paul Leonard, author of the ever-popular Doctor Who novel, The Turing Test, among many others. Of Nick he said:
He’s achieved a writing career through sheer determination and hard work, keeping going through a third of a lifetime, learning as he went, earning very little, working till the small hours to get the stories finished on time. Perhaps as a result of his other [writing] work, he brings a clarity of style and depth of characterisation still too rare in genre fiction to his Who-related material, taking even occasional followers like myself into the world of the Doctor and making it a reality.

The cover is provided by Paul Cooke, who previously provided the artwork for the free short story, Eve of the Fomorians:
I've been a fan of the Lethbridge-Stewart books from the start. In fact I loved the first one that much I drew a fan art cover in the style of the old Target books, and cheekily asked Andy if there was any chance of doing one. Flash forward to September 2016, I had the opportunity to do a cover illo for a free digital story they sent out to subscribers. I had hoped to be able to contribute another, but when you have artists of the calibre of Adrian Salmon, Richard Young and Colin Howard working on them, I'd sort of given up hope. Then one day out of the blue, only weeks ago really, Andy asked me if I fancied doing one!

(The inspiration) was to be an image based on, and mirroring, the layout of the first book. One of the nice things I had to do was come up with a portrait of the Brig's dad, and a new race of aliens (who doesn't want to draw aliens?). Once Andy told me what he wanted from the cover, I set about doing some design sketches of the dad and the alien for both Andy and Nick Walters to approve – it's easier to get it wrong and change it at this stage than spending hours painting and then have to change it! Once the sketches had been approved, I then went to sketches of the cover, to get the placings correct. At this stage, I realised one of the suggestions to the cover didn't work within the layout (Cromer), so Andy suggested a replacement (the Hawker Typhoon plane) which was perfect. A few little revisions, and it was on to the painting. I work mostly digitally now, in a program called Manga Studio, so it was onto the computer and putting the time in to do the best job I could.


This edition of The Man from Yesterday is limited to 400 copies and is due out early March. All pre-orders of series five will receive a free digital short story called The Comrades by Brian Gallagher by the summer. It is available to pre-order from Candy Jar individually, part of the discounted UK/International bundle, or as part of the yearly subscription offer.

NB. the special anniversary series is covered by the annual subscription.




The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse of the Mirror ClownsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 11 February 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the latest novel in their Lethbridge-Stewart spin-off series, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries:

Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse Of The Mirror Clowns (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse of the Mirror Clowns
Written by Chris Lynch
Cover by Steve Beckett


The circus is coming to town – and it may never leave.

Lucy Wilson is just about getting used to life in Ogmore-by-Sea. School, homework, friends, and the occasional alien... It’s not easy being the new girl in town but, with the help of her steadfast companion Hobo, she’s making it work.

But when a mysterious circus opens for one night only, the town suddenly finds itself overrun with invisible clowns and the gang are faced with their biggest mystery yet – the disappearance of Lucy Wilson herself.

Thankfully, they’ve got help – a mysterious stranger from another world with a special box that moves in time and space.

Curse of the Mirror Clowns is written by Cardiff-based film and comic writer Chris Lynch who commented that t writing the book gave him the opportunity to tackle a personal fear:
Did you ever think you saw something, just out of the corner of your eye? It happens to me all the time and it freaks me out quite a bit. So, when I got the chance to add my own monster to the Lucy Wilson universe, I knew it had to be a monster that you couldn't always see. I also wanted it to be a clown because, if there's something that freaks me out more than things I can't see, then it's something I can see – clowns. Of course, that's not all I added – there are plenty of other surprises in there that I hope people will really enjoy. It's been great fun adding my own strange and spooky elements to Lucy's world and I hope to be back very, very soon.

The book is available to pre-order from the Candy Jar Books website.



The 29th March sees Candy Jar officially release The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence by Sue Hampton. The book was previously available exclusively to fans since September, but will now be made available to the wider public.

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

We’ve had such good feedback for this book. Reviews have been encouraging and fans seemed to have embraced Lucy and Hobo. Moreover, we’ve also had a positive response from the general public. We’ve been trialling Avatars of the Intelligence with 1300 school children and the initial feedback has been very promising. In particular, we’ve had high praise for Steve Beckett’s cover design and, consequently, Curse of the Mirror Clowns has another fantastic piece of artwork by the talented Beano artist.

Lucy and her family have featured in two recent Lethbridge-Stewart short stories: Lucy Wilson by Sue Hampton (The HAVOC Files 3) and The Two Brigadiers by Jonathan Macho (The HAVOC Files 4). Added to this, they will also make an appearance in the upcoming short story collection Lethbridge-Stewart: Lineage in two further stories.




Lethbridge-Stewart: LineageBookmark and Share

Sunday, 21 January 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced a new collection of short stories. Lethbridge-Stewart: Lineage is a series of tales about the Lethbridge-Stewart family from the early 1600s right up to the present day (including three brand new adventures featuring the Brigadier himself).

Lethbridge-Stewart: Lineage (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Lineage
Stories by Andrew Allen, Harry Draper, Richard Dinnick, Gareth Madgwick, Wink Taylor, Chris Lynch, David A McIntee and Andy Frankham-Allen
Edited by Andy Frankham-Allen


The Lethbridge-Stewart name carries with it stories of integrity, honour and courage. But was it always so?

From its earliest origins with the Clan Stewart in Scotland, and the Lethbridges in Devon, England, the name has a storied past. Historical figures, history makers, miitary heroes…

Lethbridge-Stewart: Lineage presents six brand-new tales from some of the most popular authors previously published in The HAVOC Files collection, as well as one from the creative mind of writer and film maker Chris Lynch.


Based on characters created and inspired by Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln.

The stories take place during the 1600s, 1800s, 1940s, 1970s, and 2010, and explore the ancestors and descendents of Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell says:
We’ve been pondering doing a collection like this for some time, but it never seemed to be the right time. But with the impending fiftieth anniversary of the first appearance of the Brig in Doctor Who, combined with the recent appearance of the Brigadier’s grandfather in Twice Upon a Time, and the positive response that garnered, it seemed that the time was, finally, now.

Editor Andy Frankham-Allen says:
I love exploring the Brigadier’s lineage, be it his immediate family in the shape of his mother and father, or his descendents, in the shape of his son and grandchildren. But I’ve always wanted to go deeper, to look at some other Lethbridge-Stewarts, or indeed Stewarts and Lethbridges, to find out what kind of impact they had on the world. Sometimes that impact can be huge, and sometimes it can be the smallest thing that has the biggest repercussions. With this collection, we get to explore some of the lesser known ancestors, and introduce some never even mentioned before. And, of course, we get to visit the rising star that is Lucy Wilson, the Brigader’s adventuring grandaughter!

Authors include Richard Dinnick, with Shaun observing:
We are delighted popular Doctor Who author Richard Dinnick is contributing a story to the Lethbridge-Stewart Lineage collection, tentatively called The Soothsayer and set in 1603. Richard's first piece of professional fiction was produced by Big Finish in 2005, a short story called Neptune, the first of a two-part story, the second of which was written by our range editor, Andy Frankham-Allen. This was followed by a co-authored audio script, also with Andy, for the Space 1889 series, The Lunar Inheritance. He has since gone on to write countless Doctor Who stories for Big Finish, BBC Books and Titan comics. And plenty of non-Doctor Who stuff too!

Lethbridge-Stewart: Lineage will be available as a hardback for a strictly limited time, and is available for pre-order now. This volume does not form part of any bundle offer.



There are also two free Lethbridge-Stewart stories currently available for download via the Candy Jar website.

What’s Past is Prologue by David A McIntee, and The Note by Andy Frankham-Allen were released over the festive period to subscribers of the Lethbridge-Stewart series, and are now available to the general public.

The two stories are connected by a Lethbridge-Stewart family secret which has its origins in 1902 and is not revealed until 1945. Both stories focus on the relationship between the original Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, the British Intelligence operative from the early twentieth century, after whom the Brigadier was named, and his brother, Archie. Not only do the stories feature the Brigadier’s namesake, but also takes a deeper look into the life of his father, Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart.

Range Editor and author, Andy Frankham-Allen explains:
This story plays with family secrets, adding further depth to the Lethbridge-Stewart legacy. So, now we have a story set in 1917 that sets up the secret from 1902, and a story set in 1945 which reveals what really did, or did not, happen.

Both stories can be found via the Candy Jar website.

Lethbridge-Stewart: What's Past Is Prologue (Credit: Candy Jar Books) Lethbridge-Stewart: The Note (Credit: Candy Jar Books)




Lethbridge-Stewart: A Very Private HauntingBookmark and Share

Monday, 8 January 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books opens its fifth series of ongoing Lethbridge-Stewart novels with the publication of A Very Private Haunting at the end of this month:

Lethbridge-Stewart: A Very Private Haunting (Credit: Candy Jar Books)A Very Private Haunting
Sharon Bidwell
Cover artwork by Richard Young


Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is not a man who likes to leave things unfinished. He is, therefore, at a loss when forced into taking leave after his recent tussle with a ‘shadow creature’, a case that has yet to be fully resolved. Anne Travers is tired of the loss burning in her heart. So when Lethbridge-Stewart is called to Glencross to help the son of an old friend, she insists on going with him.

In Glencross, young Tomas Campbell has gone missing, and his friends band together to uncover the dark secret at the heart of the village. Meanwhile, Arthur Penrose had returned to his ancestral home to find a haunted residence, and a doll with a message.

What connects the doll to the strange sounds that scurry around Penrose Manor, why do the adults of Glencross seem so intent on keeping their children from leaving the village, and what has all this got to do with the ‘shadow creature’? It is up the Lethbridge-Stewart and Anne to find out.


This special edition includes an extended version of Sharon Bidwell’s short story, The Wishing Bazaar.

Author Sharon Bidwell previously wrote the Lethbridge-Stewart short story, The Wishing Bazaar, and has worked with range editor, Andy Frankham-Allen, on several projects since 2011, even co-writing a book. For this nverl, Sharon said:
Andy didn’t leave me with a choice. He’s always dragging me into things. I want to say he ‘invited’ me, but he was very adamantant that I’d write for the series. Which is a compliment, and Andy has a way about him, so one day I just emailed a first draft of the manuscript to him without any warning.
Andy Frankham-Allen said:
It did come out of the blue, but it was a nice surprise. So, I had the book in my files for almost a year before I found a suitable place for it, and then it all came down to finding a way to make it fit the ongoing narrative, tweaking it here and there, and suggestion a few changes to Sharon. In fairness, beyond series continuity, there wasn’t much to do. Sharon has always had a good grasp of story, and knows how to mix good character work with layers of meaning and emotional resonance.
Sharon adds:
I'm not a writer who consciously considers theme in a first draft. It's something that presents itself to me sometimes as much as three-quarters into a preliminary version. It's hard to choose a defining one in this book. The book questions the keeping of secrets, outmoded beliefs, what can happen if people never question their convictions. I also wanted to explore human behaviour in a macabre setting. The dictionary defines macabre as: disturbing and horrifying because of involvement with or depiction of death and injury. It seems to fit. One thing I was certain I wanted to incorporate was Edison's talking dolls. The problem I stumbled into was the 'why'. I know I wanted to use the doll but a writer cannot simply use a great idea if it doesn't fit the story. I not only constructed an answer, I formulated one that provided me with a well-rounded end to the book.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing, said:
This book has a touch of The Daemons about it, in regards the atmosphere it creates. Perfect reading for a night in front of the fire, with a storm raging outside. It gave me the creeps in places, and I don’t even have a fire to read in front of!

The cover is by regular artist, Richard Young:
I've always wanted to do a cover for a horror type novel. I love the old Hammer horror films so I wanted to do something in that vein… with my own twist.

All pre-orders of A Very Private Haunting will receive a free digital short story called The Comrades by Brian Gallagher, a tale set during the Cold War which sees Brigadier Douglas and Captain Bishop working alongside the SAS. It can be pre-ordered individually, as part of a discounted UK bundle or an international bundle, or as part of a yearly subscription offer. Full details are available from the Candy Jar website.

A Very Private Haunting will be followed by The Man from Yesterday and The New Unusual.




The Case Of The Missing FairyBookmark and Share

Sunday, 17 December 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: The Case of the Missing Fairy (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books have released a free Lethbridge-Stewart story for Christmas that can be downloaded from their website.

Talking about The Case of the Missing Fairy, range editor Andy Frankham-Allen says:
When Shaun told me he wanted a Christmas story, I groaned and said, ‘well, I don’t have time to write one,’ but then I re-thought and realised that I may have a man who did. So I turned to a young writer I know who wanted to write for the series. Enter Steven Walton. He jumped on board with barely a second’s hesitation, and I then tasked him with sending me a few ideas set within the period that Lethbridge-Stewart served as maths teacher in Brendon School, a period of his life we’ve not really touched upon yet. Steve sent me a few ideas, but that one that appealed to me the most was the whimsical notion of Lethbridge-Stewart investigating the disappearance of a Christmas tree fairy.
Steven Walton says:
I’ve always considered the Brigadier to be the Doctor’s Watson, but as this range has him in the lead role I thought why not make him Sherlock Holmes? Set in a time when he can’t remember the Doctor, the story focuses on those mini adventures in his everyday life. And what a better time to do a silly but fun detective story than at Christmas.
Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, says:
Our seasonal short stories have become something of a tradition, and it was important to me that this year be no different. Steven had produced a lovely, and amusing, little ditty for Christmas, and in quick time, too. Perfect reading after a hearty Christmas dinner!

Further news from Candy Jar Books:
  • A limited edition range of series five novels will be available early 2018, beginning with A Very Private Haunting by Sharon Bidwell. And later in the year the novella range continues with The Lost Skin by Andy Frankham-Allen. Both are available for pre-order.

  • Candy Jar Books recentlry announced that, for the forseable future, there will be no new editions of The HAVOC Files. Editor Andy Frankham-Allen has issued this statement those who submitted story ideas through this year’s open submisson window:
    There are several logistic and legal reasons behind our decision, however, please note we are not cancelling the range, just resting it for the forseeable future. So to anybody who submitted a story idea to us, please be aware that there are two options open to you; you can either retain your idea and repurpose it for other use, or you can allow us to hold on to it and look at it again if/when we do another HAVOC Files release. Please drop us an email (havoc@candyjarbooks.co.uk) to let us know which option you wish to take.

  • Candy Jar currently has a Christmas sale, covering many of their varied titles, including several Lethbridge-Stewart titles.




Lethbridge-Stewart: The Lost SkinBookmark and Share

Sunday, 26 November 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced the next in its limited edition Lethbridge-Stewart novella range:

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Lost Skin (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Lost Skin
Written by Andy Frankham-Allen
Cover by Adrian Salmon

Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is on leave in New York, but in Scotland word reaches the Fifth Operational Corps that Harold Chorley, journalist and pain in Lethbridge-Stewart’s rear, has got wind of the Corps’ presence in Stirling.

A plan is set in motion to take Chorley on a wild goose chase to John o Groats, as far from the Corps as possible. RSM Samson Ware and Professor Travers travel to the edge of Scotland, leaving a trail of breadcrums, which are picked by Chorley and his old chum, Larry Greene.

But it soon becomes clear that there is a real mystery in John o Groats, a strange link between Mhairi Docherty – a woman from Huna – and the Orkney Islands, and the local legend of the Selkie. To protect Mhairi, Samson needs to sideline Chorley and Greene, but the ever-erratic Professor Travers has other plans.

What is drawing Mhairi to the Orkney Islands? What hold does Chorley have over Greene? And, more importantly, what links Chorley and Greene to the secret history of Mhairi?

Originally intended as a novella, Candy Jar previously published parts one and two of The Lost Skin in The HAVOC Files 2 and 3, and will now be completed (with 50% new material) as the novella it was originally designed to be.

Range Editor and author, Andy Frankham-Allen explains:
When I first came up with the idea for The Lost Skin, or When Harry Met Larry as I called it then, I didn’t even tell Shaun (Russell, Candy Jar head of publishing) about it, intending to simply write it without worrying about a deadline, and then let him know it existed. But when it became clear that The HAVOC Files 2 was under length I mentioned the novella, and Shaun suggested we seralise it. I was a little cautious, but decided to go for it. Sadly, when I was trying to work on part three, a few things occurred in my personal life which brought on the horrid return of depression and I just knew there was no way I could complete The Lost Skin in such a piecemeal way.
Shaun Russell observes:
Obviously the mental wellbeing of my authors, and in this case range editor, is important so I told Andy to just stop, focus on something that would help him straighten out his mind again. Which he did. Later the topic of The Lost Skin came up again, and we decided maybe it would be better to finish it as the novella Andy had intended it to be.
Andy continues:
This suited me better, and as I was in the process of ‘clearing the decks’ mentally, I decided that not only would I finish The Lost Skin, I would add material to the first two parts so that the novella version would contain a good fifty percent new material. This way, not only do I tell the story properly, but the readers will get enough new material that, for those who read parts one and two, they will feel like they’re almost reading a new book.

The Lost Skin features Professor Travers, but also brings back Harold Chorley and his old chum, Larry Greene. Andy explains:
Larry Greene was never meant to be. He was designed as a replacement for Harold Chorley in The Schizoid Earth, as Chorley’s appearance in that book contradicted the events of the then-forthcoming novel, Mutually Assured Domination. That’s the real world reason why they seem so similar. But in the fiction, there needed to be a reason for this similarity, and so I came up with a back-story, one I never revealed to anybody, although hints have been given in the Lethbridge-Stewart novels over the last few years. So, one of the main goals of The Lost Skin is to finally bring Harold and Larry together (and throw our other journalist, Charlie Redfern, into the mix) and explain their back-story.

The cover is by regular artist Adrian Salmon, who was selected specifically for this cover by Andy. He says:
All our artists have their own particular approach and we love them because of this. However, I really wanted Adrian’s stark style for this cover. It really sums up the emotional isolation I’m trying to depict in the book.
The cover features both Harold Chorley and Larry Greene, as well Samson Ware and the ‘lost skin’ of the title, against a nice backdrop of the Orkney Islands. Adrian comments:
I love a good symbolic cover, and this was the perfect opportunity by showing Samson examining the empty skin representing the mystery of the Selkie that gives title to Andy's book.

The Lost Skin is now available for pre-order as a limited edition hardback, and is only available directly from Candy Jar Books or from the Lethbridge-Stewart website.




Travers and WellsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 19 November 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced that the expected third volume of their novella series will be Travers and Wells, with the original title Day of the Intelligence being cancelled.

Travers and Wells (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Travers and Wells
Written by Robert Mammone
Cover by Richard Young

"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.

As the title suggests, this novella features Edward Travers teaming up with the grandfather of sci-fi, HG Wells in what may be the first in a series of adventures exploring the inspiration behind many of the Wells’ classics.

Range Editor, Andy Frankham-Allen explains:
This novella serves as a kind of back door pilot for a possible series. It’s all dependent on the reception the book receives, and whether or not there is enough interest in an occasional series with Travers and Wells at the helm. The original plan was for me to write a sequel to The War of the Worlds, but then word reached me of the Stephen Baxter sequel and it was clear that we’d not be able to compete with that, so, not wanting to waste all the research and notes, I hit upon the idea of turning the story into an alternative take on the classic novel, and utilising the Doctor Who connection with Wells that Glen McCoy created for his 1985 serial, Timelash. And so we worked out an arrangement with Glen and set the potential series up with, first, the end of Times Squared, and then a short story called Time and Again.

Due to scheduling conflicts, Andy handed over the writing duties to Robert Mammone, who previously wrote the short story, Eve of the Fomorians. First Robert wrote a kind of prologue, Time and Again, that was published into the first novella, The Life of Evans, before turning his attention to his own novella.

Robert says:
When Andy and I were chatting on Skype about the upcoming novellas it suddenly dawned on him we could set up the range with a prequel short story. I immediately said yes and then knuckled down to getting the ideas, themes and plot straight. I didn’t want the story to be a direct sequel to Timelash, but I did want to take elements from that story as a way of looking at how those who assume authority after toppling a dictatorship can end up aping some of the actions of those overthrown.

I jumped at the chance to write this first story in the series. After I sent off the email saying yes, it suddenly hit me that I would be dealing with one of science fiction’s foundational texts. Some days later, when the shock had worn off, I began my research. Of course re-reading The War of the Worlds was a must, but also an early Wells short story called The Crystal Egg as it related in part to the story I was crafting. Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds also helped inspire me, especially during some of the very late night writing sessions.

In writing the novella I drew inspiration from images of the Blitz – particularly St Paul’s wreathed in smoke. Given the events I describe in my story, it seemed appropriate that I pay homage to another, more terrible invasion. There are also hints and nods to Wells’ other works, and I weave in real world events from the period the original was written in, as I find that approach adds flavour to the reading experience. Andy was a great sounding board in helping the plot come together, and his editing skills and input helped shape the novella.

The cover is by regular artist Richard Young, who was responsible for all the novella covers so far. It features a younger Travers and Wells, as well as Richard’s own take on the infamous Martian war machine. Richard says:
I was over the moon to be doing the cover for Travers & Wells. I treated this slightly differently than the previous two novellas, in that I wanted something that would had a film poster quality to it. In fact there is a version of the artwork knocking around that has been put together as if it was a film poster.



Travers & Wells is part of the three novella bundle, and also available to pre-order separately. Customers who pre-ordered the three-novella bundle will automatically receive Travers & Wells upon release. Only available directly from Candy Jar Books or from the Lethbridge-Stewart website.




Lethbridge-Stewart website launchedBookmark and Share

Saturday, 4 November 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart website (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books have announced the launch of a website dedicated to the character of Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart.

Head of publishing, Shaun Russell, said:
With the fiftieth anniversary approaching we wanted to do something special for the fans. This website collects together everything you need to know about the Brigadier and we plan to add much more content as the months roll by.
The site has been designed by Richard Young of North East Design Consultants:
Creating a website for Candy Jar is one of the most enjoyable projects I have ever been involved with. There are so many different elements to the site. It’s something you can easily get lost in and thoroughly enjoy exploring.
Candy Jar’s Publishing Coordinator, Lauren Thomas, added:
With the fifth Lethbridge-Stewart season due soon, Richard has managed to create a website which celebrates our beloved Brigadier. The site contains interviews, forums, and never-before-seen material, and the chance to sign up to a newsletter and download a variety of free stories.
Editorial Co-ordinator, Will Rees, said:
Since we launched the books we’ve had lots of questions and comments from fans about the Brigadier’s time in Doctor Who, as well as our novels. We wanted this site to keep readers completely up-to-date with every aspect of the series, explore the mythology of the Brig, and act as a news portal for new releases.

The site will continue to be developed, with updated on upcoming books in the series added in due course. Alongside this, information about The Lucy Wilson Mysteries, a separate series about the Brigadier’s granddaughter, is also available.


The Lethbridge-Stewart website can be found here.





The Brigadier (Credit: Candy Jar Books)To celebrate the launch of the website, Candy Jar Books is offering readers a chance to win a one-of-a-kind Lethbridge-Stewart original painting created by Richard Young. To enter the competition, just visit the new website and enter Candy’s Jar poll to vote for your favourite book, short story and cover design, and then you will automatically be entered into the prize draw.





Lethbridge-Stewart: The New Unusual / fifth series limited edition runBookmark and Share

Thursday, 12 October 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart exclusives (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books have announced the fifth series of the Lethbridge-Stewart range of novels will be released as limited editions available exclusively via their website, with the first book, The New Unusual, now available for pre-order.

The New Unusual sees Anne Travers and the team investigate strange goings-on at hippy dream-ins, which sends them to Australia. Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen says:
Adrian Sherlock first came to my attention via John Peel, and when Shaun and I discussed the idea of sending the team to Australia, it seemed common sense to have an Australian write the novel.
Adrian continues:
That was an idea I warmed to immediately, having always wanted to see Australia more connected with world of science fiction. Australia’s an amazing country, with many exotic and fascinating wonders, so it was a lot of fun to include them in the narrative.

The New Unusual takes its title from a favourite line of dialogue spoken by the Doctor in the opening episode of the Doctor Who serial, The Mind of Evil. He states that the purpose of the Brigadier's team is to investigate new and unusual menaces. When Andy first gave me the chance to pitch an idea for the novel, I knew I had to tap into the spirit of the times and that meant a fad or a craze, something the kids were into. Furthermore, I knew there had to be a hint of the mind-bending surrealism of the time, which reflected some of the experimentation with drugs such as LSD. But it had to have an explanation that was right for the world of Lethbridge-Stewart, something unearthly and threatening.

Anne Travers takes centre stage for the first half of this novel, with Shaun Russell, head of publishing, explaining:
Anne continues to be a popular character, easily strong enough to lead a book on her own. When planning these books out we like to keep a balance between our two lead characters, and this year we’ve already had two Brig-centric novels and one Anne. This marks Anne’s second major plotline this year, as she continues to deal with the fallout of her father’s death and what effect it has on her place in the world.
Adrian adds:
I had the idea that Anne knows there is a menace and becomes increasingly determined to uncover it. But in any good story, the main characters encounter opposition when they pursue their goals. It seemed to me that Anne might do what she has to do to succeed, overcoming opposition, yet feeling increasingly that she is unhappy with herself. A crisis comes when any one of us betrays our own values in order to achieve an end. I was fascinated by the notion that she might not like who she is becoming, if she goes too far and leads her friends into too much peril.

And with Lethbridge-Stewart, the story offered a good opportunity to present him as a man in total contrast to the youth of the time and their willingness to seek that which is ‘new and unusual’. I knew that he had to go beyond simple soldiering and face real threats and the possibility of his own death. I knew he had to see himself, to learn a little something about himself, in this adventure into the unknown.

The book continues a trend running through Beast of Fang Rock, Moon Blink and Night of the Intelligence, taking a look at aspects of the hippy movement of the late-‘60s, early-‘70s. The striking cover art, featuring Anne Travers and Bill Bishop is full hippy get-up, is by Adrian Salmon:
I knew my wife would kill me if I didn't draw the cover. She's a tough Aussie gal and when I found out The New Unusual was set in Australia, I asked to be the artist to bring Old Tom, Anne and Bill in all their grooviness to life!


Novels in the fifth series are limited editions of 400 copies, and will only be available to buy from Candy Jar Books - they will NOT be made commercially available. The New Unusual can be pre-ordered individually or as part of the discounted UK bundle, international bundle, or part of the yearly subscription offer.

Lethbridge-Stewart: The New Unusual (Credit: Candy Jar Books)It's the early 1970s, a time of change, a time of turmoil, a time of surrealism, LSD and the Age of Aquarius, a time of fads, Moon landings and wars, and the young people of the world are seeking something new - and unusual!

For Anne Travers, an encounter with a so-called 'dream egg' is just the beginning of a long nightmare. Her scientific curiosity aroused, Anne begins to probe the secret underground scene known as 'dream-ins', where students and others meet to get involved with a new craze and, perhaps, something far more alien to human experience.

And for Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, who finds himself drawn into Anne's investigations, this probe will lead him and the Fifth Operational Corps to the wilderness of the Australian Outback, to a little opal mining town called Coober Pedy and a search for answers.

The New Unusual includes a revised ‘exclusive’ version of The Playing Dead short story.



Please note this is the final week to be able to get a preview copy of The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence. The book will not be made commercially available until March 2018.




Lethbridge-Stewart: '48 CrashBookmark and Share

Sunday, 1 October 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar have announced '48 Crash, a Lethbridge-Stewart short story to tie in with the Radio One's 50th Annversary weekend:

Lethbridge-Stewart: '48 Crash (Credit: Candy Jar Books)In tribute to the 50th anniversary of BBC Radio 1, Candy Jar Books has announced a Kindle-only short story, ’48 Crash by Mark Carton.

This weekend sees the BBC celebrate with a three-day “vintage” digital radio station, Radio 1 Vintage, with 50 one-hour themed shows compiled from Radio 1 archive material, featuring DJs from across its entire history. To coincide, the story ’48 Crash will be available to buy from Amazon Kindle over the same period.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar Books, said:
Having grown up listening to BBC Radio, I’ve been waiting to hear what they had planned for the 50th anniversary of Radio 1. It seemed like a fantastic opportunity to celebrate a British institution that has had such an impact over the years. When Mark suggested that he’d like to write a short story to mark the event, I thought that combining his core idea with the Lethbridge-Stewart range was a no-brainer.

This celebratory release aligns with our Kindle release of the individual short stories featured in our limited edition HAVOC Files one through three. Each short story will now be available to download from Amazon Kindle individually for £1.29. Customers who previously missed the PDF e-books will be able to read each story in isolation without having to commit to the whole load. This is something we’ve been asked for many times. You ask, we do!

Mark Carton has been an avid follower of the Lethbridge-Stewart range, and is the author of Candy Jar children’s novel The League of the Red-Nosed Gentlemen. He says:
The Brig is an iconic part of Doctor Who history, which itself, of course, an iconic part of the BBC’s story too. In tribute to Radio 1’s Birthday, we thought it would be fitting if he returned to the fold, so to speak, to help out Auntie once again! It’s an action-packed tale, and a little irreverent, which we thought was befitting of Radio 1’s ethos. Lethbridge-Stewart must solve a mystery encoded in some of the popular hits of Radio 1’s early days. When the music’s over, does he succeed? I’ll leave that to the readers to find out!

A free PDF version of ’48 Crash will also be available to customers who purchase The Flaming Soldier from the Candy Jar website.



  • It is also possible to pre-order a preview copy of the new Lethbridge-Stewart spin-off, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries, announced last month. The book is due to be released widely in early 2018, but limited copies are available now via the Candy Jar website.
  • Candy Jar Books is also offering an exciting new opportunity for aspiring writers. Launched at the Candy Jar Book Festival in Cardiff this year, the Candy Jar Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition invites writers to submit a short story based on the Doctor Who character Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. More details about how to submit can be found at the Candy Jar Books Festival website.




Lethbridge-Stewart: Series Five titles announcedBookmark and Share

Saturday, 23 September 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the titles for its fifth series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels:

Lethbridge-Stewart: The New Unusual (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen introduces the fifth series of books:
It’s quite an exciting series, with three very distinctively different stories. Each explores very different aspects of the Lethbridge-Stewart universe. A New-Age thriller taking the team to Australia, a ghost story set in and around a haunted manor, and an all-out adventure which pits very branches of Lethbridge-Stewart’s family against each other.

This series of books sees our lead characters, in particular Lethbridge-Stewart and Anne Travers, dealing with the fallout from the losses they suffered in series four. The series ends on something of a cliffhanger, which will have repercussions for the series as a whole for a long time.

Series Five opens with The New Unusual by first-time novelist, Adrian Sherlock, who wrote the short story, The Playing Dead, in 2016. This tale sees our heroes being drawn to Australia after investigating strange goings-on at dream-ins, mysterious new age gatherings in which people explore their deepest desires through eggs of alien origin. This book features the return of Lethbridge-Stewart’s nephew, Owain.

A Very Private Haunting by Sharon Bidwell, who is no stranger to wrting novels, with quite a CV behind her, including the Lethbridge-Stewart short story, The Wishing Bazaar in 2016. This books sees Arthur Penrose finally take ownership of a Scottish manor house that’s been in his family for generations. There are many secrets in the house, but what connects them to the mysterious shadow creatrues that Lethbridge-Stewart and his men are investigating?

The series is wrapped off with The Man from Yesterday, by popular novelist Nick Walters, who returns with his much-anticipated second novel in the Lethbridge-Stewart series, following 2015’s Mutually Assured Domination. Here, Lethbridge-Stewart learns the truth behind his father’s disappearance at the end of World War II, when aliens arrive on Earth from a mysterious reigon of space known only as the Realm. This book features the return of Lethbridge-Stewart’s brother from another reality, James Gore, and his father, Air Commander Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart!

Head of Publishing Shaun Russell says:
Series Five is the last in the ongoing series for a while, as next year we’re stepping out of the usual narrative to present a special series of novels celebrating fifty years of Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart and Anne Travers.

The New Unusual, A Very Private Haunting and The Man from Yesterday are all available for individual pre-order, or as a discounted bundle. They are also available as part of the yearly subscription offer. Full details from the Candy Jar website.



Candy Jar Books will be at the Cardiff ComicCon this Saturday and Sunday if people want to visit say 'hello'!