Lethbridge-Stewart: Pirates of the Prime MeridianBookmark and Share

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

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

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

Based on characters created by Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln.

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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







Lethbridge-Stewart: The Brigadier DeclassifiedBookmark and Share

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

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

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

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

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

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

With a foreword by Terry Molloy.

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

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

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




Lethbridge-Stewart: The HAVOC Files 2 special editionBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 20 February 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced a special edition of The HAVOC Files 2 to be released at the beginning of March:

Lethbridge-Stewart: The HAVOC Files 2 Special Edition (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The HAVOC Files 2 - Special Edition
Cover by Adrian Salmon

Ghosts in Cornwall, zombies in Australia, aliens at Wembley, trouble in Egypt, a siege on the Kent coast, and an investigation into the strange goings on in a small house in Mevagissey, which sees Lethbridge-Stewart and Anne Travers cut down to size. And, much later, the ashes from a destroyed Earth fall on Lethbridge-Stewart and his family.

Just a few things our heroes have to face in this volume of collected short stories.

This new revised version of The HAVOC Files 2 contains the original six short stories, plus a new version of Ashes of the Inferno, and two new stories exclusively published in print for the first time.
  • Piece of Mind by James Middleditch. Lethbridge-Stewart and Sally are sent on a retreat with a difference.
  • Vampires of the Night by Chris Thomas. World War II and Professor Travers is called in to help with a deadly experiment on British soldiers.
Includes:
  • Vampires of the Night by Chris Thomas
  • In His Kiss by Sue Hampton
  • House of Giants by Rick Cross
  • The Black Eggs of Khufu by Tom Dexter
  • The Band of Evil by Roger J Simmonds & Shaun Russell (updated version of the story)
  • Piece of Mind by James Middleditch
  • The Playing Dead by Adrian Sherlock (updated version of the story)
  • Ashes of the Inferno by Andy Frankham-Allen (new version of the story)
  • The Lock-In by Sarah Groenewegen BEM
  • Schädengeist’s Lot by Jonathan Cooper (interludes from The Showstoppers)
  • Exodus from Venus by John Peel (original prologue from The Grandfather Infestation)

Originally published in 2016 as a limited print-run, The HAVOC Files 2: Special Edition is a reprint with a difference, containing as it does new editions of previous stories, and two short stories available for the first time in print. Head of Publishing Shaun Russell explained:
We have often been asked by those who missed The HAVOC Files 2 the first time around if we’d ever reprint it. After much discussion, we decided doing so would present us with a couple of challenges and opportunities. One, at least one story in the original collection was set in the ‘future’ (Ashes of the Inferno), with information that, at the time, hadn’t been locked down. The author of the story in question, Andy Frankham-Allen, realised it would be the perfect chance to update that story so it better fit the narrative revealed since early 2016. Two, another story has since been released as part of a full-length novella, and thus it seemed redundant to print it again in this format. So, faced with this, I made the decision to instead replace it with a couple of short stories only previously available in digital format.
Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen continued:
We have a few digital-only stories, plus some still unreleased short stories, so we had a fair few to pick from. We decided on James Middleditch’s Piece of Mind, and Chris Thomas’ Vampires of the Night (both originally planned for the cancelled HAVOC Files 5), two vastly different stories, one dealing with Professor Edward Travers, and one dealing with the Brigadier and Sally Wright. Coupled with the chance to fix previous errors that crept into the other stories, The HAVOC Files 2 is quite a different experience now. Still contains everything in the original, but with bonus material for those wishing to double-dip, and loads of fresh material for those who missed the original version. All wrapped up in the wonderful new cover design, with, once again, Adrian Salmon’s brilliant artwork!

The HAVOC Files 2: Special Edition is available for pre-order now from the Candy Jar website.



Candy Jar is also releasing updated versions of Mutually Assured Domination by Nick Walters and The Forgotten Son by Andy Frankham-Allen. Both books have around 3000 words of bonus material. These books can be pre-ordered from the
Candy Jar website.


Competition

Candy Jar Books are offering readers a chance to win copies of the books The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Midnight People by John Peel, Lethbridge-Stewart: The Danger Men by Nick Walters, and God Bless Hooky Street: A Celebration of Only Fools and Horses by Grant Bull and Richard Colleran.
To enter the competition simply answer the following question:
Who directed The Dominators?
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 "Command accepted". Open to readers worldwide. Only one entry per household will be accepted. Closing date: Sunday 3rd March 2019.




Lethbridge-Stewart: Rise of the DominatorBookmark and Share

Sunday, 17 February 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the fourth book in its anniversary series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels, The Laughing Gnome:

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Laughing Gnome: Rise of the Dominator (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Laughing Gnome: Rise of the Dominator
Written by Robert Mammone
Cover by Adrian Salmon

London 1973 - A man in police custody burns to death with no known cause of ignition. Anne Travers and Bill Bishop find themselves catapulted into the middle of a police investigation into the rise to power of the newest criminal godfather – the Big Man, aka, the Dominator, Dominic Vaar!

A Spanish safe cracker lands on the English coast and is whisked away to a secret meeting with none other than Vaar. His mission? To liberate a priceless sword forged when Sumer was young, a sword whose unshakeable thirst for life threatens the existence of all life.

And lurking in the background, plots a fugitive Nazi, using Vaar's rise to power and his own knowledge of the occult as cover for his plans to build a new Reich on British soil.

Lost in time and brought together by destiny, can Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, Dame Anne Travers and Brigadier Bill Bishop stop Britain being pitched into a new age of darkness?

Following on from The Laughing Gnome: The Danger Men, the new book sees the team get back together when they all arrive in 1973 and face off against the Dominator, Director Vaar! Writer Robert Mammone says:
When Lethbridge-Stewart range editor Andy Frankham-Allan reached out to me and asked if I was interested in being a part of the latest run of Lethbridge-Stewart books, I was, of course, surprised, ecstatic and to be honest, a little daunted. Writing my Travers & Wells novella had been a relatively smooth affair, but a 40,000 word novella is a different beast to a full novel. There were a few times during the writing process where I wondered whether I had bitten off more than I could chew but, thankfully, Andy talked me off the ledge and here we are!
Rise of the Dominator sees the return of Director Vaar, the Dominator behind the nuclear machinations in the 2015 novel, Mutually Assured Domination (a special edition of which is due publication to tie-in with this new release). Andy Frankham-Allan talks about why it took so long for the Dominator to return:
The Dominators, in particular Vaar, was originally planned to return in 2017 but sadly that novel fell through, and then it was planned for 2018 with a different author, but the cessation of the ongoing narrative put it on hold once again. The Dominators are, of course, the main antagonists behind the Travers & Wells range, as seen in the short story, Time and Again. But the idea of bringing Vaar back as a gangster in 1970s London has been on the backburner for a couple of years, and when it was decided that The Laughing Gnome would be set in the various decades of Lethbridge-Stewart’s association with Doctor Who, it seemed the time was right to finally do a Gangster Dominator story.
Talking more about the development of the gangster story, Mammone said:
I’d long had a story idea lurking around in the back of my head for a while about alien knowledge that looks like black magic, with Nazis thrown into the mix, which I readily adapted to this new storyline. The setting was the key for me, and early ‘70s Britain, with its Satanic rituals in cemeteries, and the tabloid coverage of it, seemed the place to be. There’s something about the grit and grime of the 1970s that is inherently appealing, against the rather slick and superficial modern day we’re forced to endure. 1970s London is set, is a case in point. I’ve strived for verisimilitude for the most part – sideburns, flares, corduroy, The Sweeney, end of empire ennui, three-day weeks, uncollected rubbish, criminal gangs, Soho are all there, but so are an alien warlord on the make and a lurking Nazi.
As well as alien warlords and Nazis, Rise of the Dominator finally reunites the Brigadier, Bill and Anne Travers, who have been separated since the end of book one, Scary Monsters. Mammone continued:
I really enjoyed writing for Anne Travers and Bill Bishop in my short story for Candy Jar, Eve of the Fomorians, so it was a pleasure to return to them in far different circumstances. And the chance to have Lethbridge-Stewart front and centre in the novel was something I could barely have thought possible. He was a lot of fun to write, in what is effectively a dual role. I hope that in my hands, the stoic, upright soldier with a twinkle in his eye still shines strongly through.
Head of Publishing Shaun Russell explained how the 1970s setting carried with it something special for fans of Doctor Who:
As this range is a journey through the Brigadier’s association with Doctor Who (each book is set in a decade that featured him on the television series), setting a book during the UNIT era was a forgone conclusion. Of course, UNIT and the Doctor do not appear, but there are plenty of fan-pleasing nods to that era.
The cover is by regular Lethbridge-Stewart artist Adrian Salmon, currently best-known for his work on the recent Doctor Who DVD animations, including the forthcoming The Macra Terror:
Illustrating Dominator Vaar as a cross between Al Capone and Reggie Kray was probably the best thing I’ve ever been asked to do by Candy Jar Books; I mean how can you go wrong? Once I’d settled on the central image, which included a menacing Golem from the story, I worked out the car chase. This being the ‘action scene’ of the cover, it needed to be dramatic and exciting, breaking out of the design template. Finally, I created a suitably seedy London street at night (think Soho), resplendent with neon lights and noir shadows. Eagle-eyed viewers might even spot that a certain film, which was doing the rounds at the time the book is set, is showing at the private cinema club.

The Laughing Gnome: Rise of the Dominator is available for pre-order now from the Candy Jar website, and is due for release at the end of March. The book is covered in the Laughing Gnome subscription and the six book bundle.




Downtime: Children of the New WorldBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 28 November 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the first of their standalone Lethbridge-Stewart novels to be released next year:

Downtime: Children of the New World (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Downtime: Children of the New World
Written by Andy Frankham-Allen
Cover by Adrian Salmon


Kate Lethbridge-Stewart joins her father, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, in a mission to save her son’s life!


For the last nine years Kate’s life has been a happy one. Other than a minor blip in 2003, she hasn’t had to worry about aliens bothering her or her son. Indeed, her biggest concern is Gordy’s first girlfriend. But it all changes when a face from her past appears, bringing with him a warning.

Gordy and his cousin Conall are kidnapped by a radical group calling themselves the Followers of Maitreya!

The Brigadier and Kate join forces with Douglas Cavendish and Anne Travers on a mission to save Gordy and Conall, which leads them to the ruins of Det-Sen Monastery in Tibet where deadly Yeti roam, and a prophecy is about to fulfilled!

What connects the Followers of Maitreya to a developing online school, Asteroid 4179 which is heading towards Earth, and the Brigadier’s family?

The novel is a sequel to the 1990s video film Downtime, and is published in co-ordination with producers Reeltime Pictures. The novel continues the story of a pre-UNIT Kate Lethbridge-Stewart and her son Gordon, set some nine years after the events in the original film and a little after its sequel, Dæmos Rising; it also serves to introduce Reeltime's forthcoming release in the series, Anomaly (in which Beverley Cressman reprises her role as Kate). As a Candy-Jar book, the story incorporates elements from their own Lethbridge-Stewart series, including the Brigadier's eldest son, Conall Wilson.

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen, and author of the book, explains how it came to pass:
When I first heard of Reeltime’s forthcoming film, Anomaly, which would see Beverley returning to the role of Kate, I contacted Keith Barnfather. Initially it was simply to express my interest in Kate’s return, and how I’d be open to us working together to cross-pollinate our two ranges. Keith was very open to the idea, and before we knew it the conversation turned to prose and the idea of doing a sequel to Downtime. It took a while to work out when to set it, and after watching Dæmos Rising it became clear the book needed to be set after that film. The only proviso Keith gave me was that I needed to “set up” Anomaly.

All background details from Downtime will be treated the same way one treats background detail in a normal standalone novel; the reader will be told everything they need to know for the story to work. Of course, further insight can be gained by picking up Downtime, but it won’t be essential. Children of the New World is its own story. The basic idea came to me fairly quickly, but it wasn’t until I rewatched both films and had a chance to look through Marc Platt’s novelisation that the main plot point presented itself. I was determined to write a solid standalone tale, but one that was a logical continuation of Downtime, while at the same time bringing Kate and Gordy fully into the fold with the Brigadier’s extended family. The chance of having the Brigadier’s two grandsons together was too good to pass up, and that quickly became the crux of the plot.
Cover art is by popular Doctor Who artist Adrian Salmon, who said:
Great to be asked to draw a cover for the new look Lethbridge-Stewart range! Andy and I had a lot of fun with this cover; as soon as he told me what the book was like, I knew the kind of thing I wanted to do. He gave me an open brief to redesign the Yeti, to make it more of a simian creature, and less like the way they’re previous been depicted in Doctor Who. I wanted to incorporate silver into the design, initially as a kind of harness, before we settled on a fearsome face mask, to suggest the controlling intelligence and to make it clear these are not the Yeti fans have previously seen.

There will be two editions of Downtime: Children of the New World, a standard paperback limited to 500 copies, and and limited hardback edition of 50 copies. Both are avaialable for pre-order from the Candy Jar website. Please note that this novel isn't part of any subscription offer.




Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse of the Mirror Clowns book launchBookmark and Share

Saturday, 24 November 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse Of The Mirror Clowns (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books have announce the official release of The Lucy Wilson Mysteries novel Curse of the Mirror Clowns, which will be celebrated with a book launch on Saturday the 24th November from 11 until 3 o’clock at Heroes, Aliens and Monsters Comics in Tonypandy, featuring the book's author, Chris Lynch alongside Kangazang illustrator and author Terry Cooper.

Chris says of Curse of the Mirror Clowns:
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 back very, very soon.

Terry Cooper, often found impersonating Captain Jack Sparrow all over South Wales, is author of the science fiction trilogy Kangazang!, the third installment of which was recently launched at Cardiff Film and ComicCon; he will be signing copies of the book and CD (voiced by Sixth Doctor Colin Baker).

Head of publishing Shaun Russell states that:
There will be a range of books for sale on the day, but we also wanted to provide fans with a chance to ask the authors any questions they may have. Whether they’re about the writing process, the worlds they have created or what their favourite colour is!





Lethbridge-Stewart: The Laughing Gnome: The Danger MenBookmark and Share

Saturday, 10 November 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announcedd the third book in its anniversary series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels, The Laughing Gnome: The Danger Men:

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Laughing Gnome: The Danger Men (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Laughing Gnome: The Danger Men
Written by Nick Walters
Cover by Paul Cooke

2011 and Brigadier William Bishop visits his old commanding officer, Brigadier Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, who is a little concerned about a garden gnome he recently found. Soon both Bishop and his wife, Anne Travers, find themselves dragged through time after the Brigadier…

He’s a man on a mission. But he has no idea what the mission is. It’s 1999. Bill Bishop is plunged into a world of intrigue as he inhabits the body of Calum Bence of Department M – aka the Danger Men – on the trail of millionaire entrepreneur and suspected super-spy Dieter Allegro.

But is Allegro really the bad guy he’s made out to be? And who is the mysterious Otto Di Catania, and why is he so interested in the contents of a certain CD-ROM?

As he seeks these answers, Bill can’t help but wonder: will he ever find Anne and the Brigadier, will he even return to 2011, or is he destined to be lost in time forever?

Join Bill in his borrowed body as he travels from Johannesburg to London to Torquay and Austria on his mission impenetrable...

The Danger Men sees the return of popular novelist Nick Walters for his third Lethbridge-Stewart novel. Nick previously wrote Mutually Assured Domination in 2015 and The Man from Yesterday earlier in 2018.

Nick said:
When I was told of the story arc for this anniversary series, I immediately knew what I wanted to do: a straight spy thriller, with no sci-fi or fantasy elements other than the framing story and elements of the wider Whoniverse. At the same time, I had the idea for the opening scene, and it’s more or less exactly as you read it in the finished book! It’s rare that ideas come so fully-formed so quickly, but it’s wonderful when they do. I intended The Danger Men to be a homage to James Bond, Jason Bourne, Mission: Impossible and the works of John Le Carre, spoofing some elements yet taking the story deadly seriously. For example, women are always throwing themselves at James Bond, and the same happens to Bill Bishop in this book, but, of course, because he’s a gent and loyal to Anne he cannot reciprocate, leading to complications and comedy.

This is the first book in the range to focus primarily on Brigadier William Bishop. Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen, explained the decision:
Ever since his first appearance in the first Lethbridge-Stewart novel, Bill has proven very popular with our readers. Up to now the books have been led by either the Brigadier or Anne, so the decision was made that, during this contained series of novel and under the steady hand of Nick Walters, we could take the risk of allowing one of our series-originated characters to take the lead. Bill was the only choice for that, really, easily being the most popular and the most connected to both the Brigadier and Anne – especially Anne, seeing as they got engaged during the course or the series and have been shown to be married by the 1990s. Of course, both the Brigadier and Anne make cameo appearances, and their presence is felt throughout. It is still every bit a Lethbridge-Stewart novel!

Music has a large influence on The Danger Men, with Nick explaining:
The story arc title, The Laughing Gnome, was inspired by David Bowie, of course. It’s set in 1999 so there are a lot of references to contemporary pop, rock and indie, in chapter titles for example, and the naming of operations by Department M, which subverts the conventions of naming such things after works of high culture in Le Carre and Deighton novels. There is, however, one group, one very famous group spanning the eighties and nineties, who are still going now, who inspired the majority of the character names and references. Stella Van Steiner, Dieter Allegro, Otto Di Catania – I’ll let you guess who! We plan to do a soundtrack for the book, containing all the songs referenced therein, which should be available on Spotify soon. Such things as pop music references are great fun of course but only the icing on the cake. The Danger Men is, I hope, a fast-moving, thrilling, funny and sometimes alarming spy caper with loads of twists and turns. It’s also a study of identity – Bill has to take on various aliases in his mission, and the more he takes on the further he feels isolated from his true self. So, underneath all the fun is all this existential musing on the nature of existence.

The cover is by Paul Cooke, returning for his second novel after providing the artwork for Nick Walters’ previous book, The Man from Yesterday. Paul said:
It was a very pleasant surprise to be asked back to do another cover for the series. When I read what the story was about, was thrilled - it was a perfect opportunity do a cover influenced by some of the period film posters I enjoy. I was thinking I would approach this in a slightly different style to my last one, a bit more painterly. The only problem was not to make it too pulpy in look, which is when I hit upon the idea of the computer screen type, which immediately gave the piece a sense of time.

The Laughing Gnome: The Danger Men is available for pre-order now. The book is due for release at the end of November.


The Laughing Gnome will continue in early 2019 with book four. The Day of the Matador, by Robert Mammone, sees our heroes reuniting in 1970s England dealing gangsters and Dominators! This is followed by book five, Lucy Wilson and the Bledoe Cadets by Tim Gambrell, with On His Majesty’s National Service by David A McIntee following a month later.




Lucy Wilson updateBookmark and Share

Monday, 29 October 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced the latest The Lucy Wilson Mysteries novel, The Midnight People, is now available for pre-order:

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Midnight People (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Midnight People
Written by John Peel

Monknash was once home to a band of smugglers, but it is now dull and boring. Except to Greg Morton, who’s absolutely terrified something unimaginable has happened to everyone in the village.

He telephones his friend, Hobo, to ask for help. When Hobo and Lucy arrive, they discover that something odd is definitely going on – but what? People seem joyless and dull, showing no emotions at all.

Even Greg, who now insists that he was joking, seems very different. Why are people walking toward the cliffs at the stroke of midnight? Who is the lady in the wheelchair? What are the villagers trying to protect What are the villagers trying to protect in the caves? And why can't the local policeman see anything strange?

Can Lucy and Hobo take on an entire village by themselves?

The Midnight People is written by John Peel, who wrote the novel in a style reminiscent of the HTV series Children of the Stones but with a modern twist. John said:
Lucy and Hobo are lovely characters to write for. They aren't superheroes, they're just youngsters who rely on their wits and their courage, and have to fight off fears of insecurity. Are they seeing more than is there? And, if not, can two teens save the world – again? Plus, of course, I’ve introduced another of my odd aliens.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, said:
John has written two Lethbridge-Stewart books for us, The Grandfather Infestation and The Life of Evans, both of which have been very popular. I always wanted him to tackle a Lucy Wilson story. He’s very adept at focusing on character and I wanted something that was dark and moody, and John, as I expected, did not disappoint.

The book is available for pre-order from Candy Jar Books.


Shaun adds:
It seems that people are really embracing Lucy and Hobo. We will be launching Curse of the Mirror Clowns by Chris Lynch at the Turn Left Doctor Who Convention in Cardiff on 1st December in Cardiff. Chris will there talking about the book, as well as Simon A Forward, Alyson Leeds, Andy Frankham-Allen and myself.

Turn Left also features Louise Jameson, Matthew Waterhouse, film actress Sarah Douglas, illustrator and painter Chris Achilléos, former Doctor Who Script Editor Andrew Cartmel, and music composer Mark Ayres.
Curse of the Mirror Clowns was originally released as a fan exclusive in May, but will be on general release from the 29th November.


Lucy and her family have been 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, she and her family will also make an appearance in the upcoming short story collection Lethbridge-Stewart: Lineage.


In addition, the children at St Leonard’s Academy, Hastings have been busy writing their own Lucy Wilson stories, which can be downloaded for free via our website.




Lethbridge-Stewart: The HAVOC Files: Loose Ends and new short story competitionBookmark and Share

Saturday, 29 September 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: The HAVOC Files: Loose Ends (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books has announced a brand-new short story collection, The HAVOC Files: Loose Ends, written by range editor, Andy Frankham-Allen.

Explaining the origin of the anthology, Andy said:
Once it became clear we were bringing our ongoing narrative to a close in the beginning of 2018, Shaun and I discussed what to do with the dangling plot threads, and character arcs that never got fully resolved. And answer some questions the readers don’t even know they have! We decided the best way to address some of the key moments was to release a collection of short stories. And The HAVOC Files: Loose Ends is the result!

The anthology will feature stories focusing on various regular characters seen through the original sixteen-book run of Lethbridge-Stewart, including such popular characters as Bill Bishop, Harold Chorley, Owain Lethbridge-Stewart, Dylan Lethbridge-Stewart, Rhys Rubery, Samson Ware and, of course, the lead characters Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart and Anne Travers.

The HAVOC Files: Loose Ends will be, initially, only available in limited edition and is up for pre-order now.

Candy Jar is also reprinting a short-run of The HAVOC Files 2, which can be found via their website.

Short Story Competition


Following the success of the first Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition, Candy Jar is having a second round with another competition. As with the first one, it will be open to previously unpublished writers, although this time it will be open to those both in and outside the UK.

Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell, says:
We had a great response when we announced the Short Story Collection and because of its success I am very excited to be doing it all over again. This time we want to give other characters a chance in the spotlight. What about Anne, Bill, or even newly created characters from our Lethbridge-Stewart spin-off, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries? With this collection we are giving fans the chance to really explore, and I can’t wait to see what response we get!
Andy adds:
This time Shaun and I will be running the competition, casting our expert eyes over the entries. And as the stories will exist outside of the canon of our ranges, we encourage all contenders to embrace their creativity and take our characters into entirely unexpected areas. As long as they are true to the characters depicted in our ranges, you can put them into almost any situation. The only true limit is the imagination!

The winning entry will receive a Kindle Fire and Lethbridge-Stewart or The Lucy Wilson Mysteries publishing deal. All shortlisted entries will be published in The Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Collection Vol 2.

The winner of the first short story competition was announced earlier this year as Sean Alexander from Holyhead, north Wales with his story, Boys Don’t Cry. Following the competition, Sean is now working with Andy Frankham-Allen on a new Lethbridge-Stewart novel for the 2019/2020 range.

With the opportunity to secure a publishing deal through entering the brand-new writing competition, and a much wider scope for creativity, this is an exciting opportunity for any writer or fan of the Lethbridge-Stewart world.

The entry fee is £5. To enter visit the Candy Jar website.

Please include:
Your name, age, email, address and telephone number.

Submissions can be entered until the end of November 2018.

Submission guidelines for the Lethbridge-Stewart South Wales Short Story Competition:
  • Maximum of 3000 words.
  • This competition is open to anybody who has never been published before, whether you’re a fan of Doctor Who and Lethbridge-Stewart or not. We’re looking for stories that utilise any character from the Lethbridge-Stewart and The Lucy Wilson Mysteries range of books (list of Lethbridge-Stewart characters here). It is not necessary to fit within the timeline; these stories are out of the canon of the series, so feel free to let your imagination run wild!
  • A selection of free short stories will be sent to any applicant on request, should you need to see our characters in action.
  • Our license is with the Haisman Literary Estate only, therefore you CAN use any character from the Doctor Who serials The Abominable Snowmen, The Web of Fear and The Dominators, or any original character found Candy Jar Books’ Lethbridge-Stewart and The Lucy Wilson Mysteries series (except characters from Doctor Who that appeared in the ranges under express permission).
  • You can NOT use any other Doctor Who characters or monsters.
  • You can NOT use UNIT or any associated characters.
  • Any entries that feature a Doctor Who character not owned by the Haisman Literary Estate will be instantly disqualified, with no refund.




Lethbridge-Stewart: Fear of the WebBookmark and Share

Saturday, 8 September 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the second book in their The Laughing Gnome series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels, this time focussing on Dame Anne Bishop (née Travers):

Lethbridge-Stewart: Fear of the Web (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Laughing Gnome: Fear of the Web
Written by Alyson Leeds
Cover by Martin Baines


Dame Anne Bishop learned a long time ago that for every fixed point in time, this a fracture point, an event that is susceptible to catastrophic changes in the timeline. And when she is catapulted back in time, she discovers first hand that February 1969 is one such point.

Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart is on manoeuvres with the Scots Guards in Libya. Only, he’s about to receive a call from his old commanding officer, Colonel Spencer Pemberton. A call that will drag him to London, and set him on a direct course for destiny!

The London Event, the trap set for the Doctor by the Great Intelligence, changed the course of human history, and for Anne Travers it set into place a series of events that would see the death of her father barely a year later.

Now, waking up in the body of a woman she barely knows, Dame Anne is faced with the idea that perhaps she can change things – not enough to damage the timeline, but enough to save her father.

Future and past are set to collide, which could have irrevocable consequences for the timeline...

The book is written by first-time novelist, Alyson Leeds, who contributed a short story to 2017’s The HAVOC Files 4; she explains being called on to contribute:
I was quite stunned to be asked if I would write a book as part of the upcoming 50th Anniversary series. It was both an exciting and fairly intimidating prospect, having never written a novel before, but I knew it was an opportunity I didn’t want to pass up. The scenario that Andy gave me was too interesting to refuse.

Range Editor, Andy Frankham-Allen, explains:
Alyson’s short story needed very little work, and since then I’ve called upon her military knowledge for other books, so it was an easy call to invite her to join the line-up for The Laughing Gnome. For someone who’s done little professional prose writing, she turns in a very solid piece of work, which is every editor’s dream. As we are celebrating fifty years of the Brigadier, it was forgone conclusion that we would go back to the beginning, his first appearance in Doctor Who – The Web of Fear, as written by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln. Like all the authors for this range, I gave Alyson the basic premise; put Dame Anne into the missing two weeks mentioned in The Web of Fear – during a small briefing scene between Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart, Captain Knight and the Doctor – and finally show just what did happen when the mist started spreading across London, and add to that the idea that Dame Anne will be faced with the notion that she could, theoretically, changed things to ensure her father is never possessed by the Great Intelligence! Alyson jumped at the chance, and soon had an outline ready to go.

Alyson talks about her approach to developing the idea:
The London Event, indeed The Web of Fear, was the making of Lethbridge-Stewart, but was never just his story. There’s an awful lot that goes on off camera there; the slow advance of the mist and Web, the escalation of the crisis, and the total evacuation of London – no mean feat! Introducing an older, experienced Anne who has known both joy and loss over the years into that scenario presented some interesting questions. After everything she’s been through with HAVOC, you would think Anne would know better than to try and change the past; but when faced with the chance to save a loved one from a truly horrible fate, who’s to say to what lengths she might go? It also presented a chance to explore a little further the relationship between the Travers family and the Silversteins. I always felt bad for Mr Silverstein, getting bumped off simply for being unlucky enough to own the Yeti, and revisiting this point in time allowed me to touch on the repercussions that his death would have on those closest to him.

The cover is by Martin Baines, whose work was previously featured on the covers of 2016’s Times Squared, and 2017’s The Dreamer’s Lament:
The Web of Fear is rightly regarded one of the gems of Doctor Who in the ’60s. It’s brilliantly written and well directed and has aged very well. When Candy Jar asked me to illustrate a cover depicting another story set during the same period I was really thrilled, especially when they asked me to show London deserted and covered in web (which was not seen in the original story but mentioned). It took a number of roughs to do justice to the idea, but when I saw some images of London in smog I knew the direction to take.

The Laughing Gnome: Fear of the Web is available for pre-order now from Candy Jar Books and is due to be released at the end of September.




Lethbridge Stewart: Scary MonstersBookmark and Share

Saturday, 11 August 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: Scary Monsters (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books have announced the next chapter in the adventures of Lethbridge-Stewart, Anne Travers, Bill Bishop and the men and women of the Fifth Operational Corps:

Lethbridge-Stewart: Scary Monsters
Written by Simon A Forward
Cover by Richard Young


1981: London, a bomb detonates in a London pub and Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart is among the injured. Moscow, a hijacked plane sits on the airport runway and Major Grigoriy Bugayev leads the assault against the six gunmen holding the passengers hostage.

These are the triggers that set the two military men on an international manhunt. Their investigations converge and uncover a group of terrorists whose roots reach back to sinister Cold War experiments, and something that was unearthed in ancient ruins in the New Mexico desert by one Sophia Montilla… and Anne Travers.

Terror is a contagion. It means to spread. And humanity is set on doing everything in its power to help it...


Published at the end of August 2018, Scary Monsters opens the new Lethbridge-Stewart series of six-book celebrating fifty years of the Brigadier. And with it comes a brand-new look for the range.

The new design was the brain child of head of publishing Shaun Russell and Will Brooks, known for his work on Titan Comics’ Doctor Who range, as well merchandise for the latest series of Doctor Who. Shaun says:
Andy (Frankham-Allen, range editor) and I have been discussing rebranding the books for some time now, and it seemed the anniversary range was the perfect time. New cover design, new logo, and I knew just the man for the job. We had worked with Will previously. His covers for Philip Martin’s Gangsters and Peter George’s Pattern of Death were outstanding, and we knew he would create the right look for us. And he didn’t disappoint!

The artwork for Scary Monsters is by Lethbridge-Stewart artist Richard Young. He says:
This is my ninth cover for the Lethbridge-Stewart books, but the first one I've done as the lead book, so the stakes were raised for this. It's also the first cover to feature the Brig. I'd been pushing to feature him on a cover for years, and with this being the fiftieth anniversary of the character it felt like the time was right.

Andy Frankham-Allen explains the umbrella-title, The Laughing Gnome:
We took our cue from Life on Mars and its sequel series, Ashes to Ashes, and opted for another David Bowie title for our very first time travel series of books. But we didn’t want it just be a title – we decided that we’d make the Laughing Gnome an integral part of the story, the catalyst for our heroes’ adventures in time. I don’t wish to give away the conceit of the series, but the basic premise is thus: Sir Alistair is nearing the end of his life and has just buried another old friend. Feeling out of sorts, he is somewhat surprised to find himself in 1981. Some mysterious force has pulled him backwards in time, into his own past, an adventure he has only vague memories of! As the series progresses we discover that both Anne Travers and her husband, and popular series regular, Bill Bishop, have also been dragged through time. But why? What, or who, is behind it?”

The first book in the series, Scary Monsters, is by Simon A Forward, who penned the 2016 Lethbridge-Stewart novel, Blood of Atlantis:
To be asked once to write for the Lethbridge-Stewart range is fortunate. To be asked twice seems like - what are they thinking? Letting me loose to play with these favourite characters again. Madness. Initially, I thought, well okay, but only if the right idea struck. And the next day the right idea struck me. To make life more challenging, this time it was more than merely contributing to a range. For the Brigadier's big anniversary year, Candy Jar outlined an ambitious arc to frame these adventures.
Scary Monsters also forms something of a sequel to Blood of Atlantis, with the return of popular character Grigoriy Bugayev and Señora Sophia Montilla. But Simon is keen to stress there’s more to it than that:
This is more than your average jaunt down memory lane and it's about much more than introspection and reflection. My book sees the Brigadier and friends confronting terrorism in an international thriller that, while rooted in the past - and in the Doctor Who universe - should carry some resonance in the 21st century. And not just for the Brigadier.

Scary Monsters is now available for pre-order from Candy Jar Books. The book also forms part of any existing subscriptions to the range.




Lethbridge-Stewart: Short-Story competition winner announcedBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 17 July 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the winner of their recent Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition.

Lethbridge-Stewart short story competition winner Sean Alexander (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce the winner of the Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition. The winning story, Boys Don’t Cry, is written by Sean Alexander from Holyhead, north Wales.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, says:
Sean has written a touching and heartfelt short story. His take on the Brig was unique amongst the entries. His story is set at Brendon School where the Brig has to uncover the truth about an awful tragedy.

Andy Frankham-Allen, range editor of the Lethbridge-Stewart series of books, agrees:
Boy’s Don’t Cry is a wonderful little tale of life in Brendon, and we picked it because it showed a great understanding of the Brigadier, as well as the author displaying a knack for writing great prose. Add to that, the setting is one we’ve wanted to further explore in the main range, so as part of the winning prize, I’ll be working with Sean Alexander on developing another tale of Brendon School which will serve as a back-door pilot for a possible new range of novellas.

Sean Alexander says:
In true Doctor Who producer style, I'm surprised and delighted to be chosen as the winner of Candy Jar's short story competition! Opportunities like this are few and far between, so my heartfelt thanks to Shaun and Andy for selecting me. I look forward to our collaboration on a brand new Lethbridge-Stewart novella later in the year. Splendid fellows, both of them!


Lethbridge-Stewart: Short Story Collection (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The book also features eight other exclusive short stories featuring Lethbridge-Stewart at various stages in his life. This is a chance for fans to see the Brigadier like they’ve never seen him before!

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

All royalties 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.

The book can be pre-ordered via the Candy Jar Books website.




Due to public demand, Candy Jar Books will be producing a very limited print run of The HAVOC Files 1, which can ordered via their website.