Well, you can’t say it hasn’t been a year for the history books.
In terms of publishing and keeping my self-publishing services busy, it’s been a bumper year for me and I’m proud of each and every one of the talented authors I helped throughout 2020.
Here’s a roundup of their brilliant books.
The Adventures of Irene Adler | Historical Fiction
This Russian author’s book was a real labour of love. After it was written then edited by a developmental editor, it landed on my desk for copy-editing to make any lost-in-translation tweaks before it hit the UK/US markets. And it was such a treat – not least because I love 19th Century novels and mysteries. The eloquent language, the historical setting, the unpredictable mysteries and the high society ways have all stayed with me long after finishing editing this book. It’s the long-awaited, original spin-off of the Sherlock Holmes book series. It lifts the veil of secrecy surrounding the story of the amazing woman who outwitted the famous Sherlock Holmes. A great mind and a great swindler, Irene Adler turned her energy and talent not to protecting the law, but to breaking it. Committing a crime has never been so effortless and playful.
If you love Sherlock Holmes you will LOVE THIS – you can check out the blurb in the link.
Michael J. Lowis, He Came From Another Universe | Historical Fiction
n February, I worked for the third time with author Michael J Lowis. His historical novel, He Came From Another Universe, is quite unlike anything he had previously written. As an academic, he authored over 60 journal articles and book chapters. His earlier works were non-fiction scholarly enquiries, but he then completed a memoir, an historical novel, and two books of anecdotes.
There are many mysteries surrounding the Egyptian pyramids.
- How were they built?
- Why were they built?
- What was their real purpose?
- Could they have some magical purpose or properties?
This historical novel takes the reader back over four thousand years, to a time just before the first pyramid was constructed. It remains faithful to what is known about events that occurred in that era, whilst fleshing out the narrative with imagined dialogue and characterisation. Pharaoh Djoser was leader of the united kingdom of Upper and Lower Egypt. He heard a voice whilst he was asleep, claiming to come from one of the gods from another universe. Was he dreaming, or could this be true?
Heather G. Watts, The Mystery of the Magic Mirror: A Digger & Biscuit Adventure | Children’s Fiction
Heather G. Watts made her debut as a children’s author with this fantastic book. Every fairy tale has a happy ever after. That’s how fairy tales work, right? After the magical Missy takes them home to Castle Adventum, Digger can’t wait to start exploring its tall towers and twisty corridors. When Biscuit disappears through a magic mirror, Digger knows he has to find her and bring her safely home. In this strange new place he finds himself in, Digger stumbles across some crazy and colourful characters who kindly offer to help – you may even recognise some of them. But when a roaring – crashing – thundering – bellowing – flying creature starts to interfere, Digger begins to wonder if he’ll ever bring Biscuit home and find his happy ever after. Find out if he does in this funny, exciting, action-packed chapter book about two lovable puppies and their adventure through the magic mirror.
Dr Thomas Abraham, East to West | A GP’s Memoir
East to West is a powerful and emotive narration of struggles, tragedy, treachery (during the darkest time of the author’s life) and a fight for justice.Born in India, the author’s childhood was moulded among the mist and midst of British plantations. After qualifying as a doctor, he worked in India for a few years, left for Africa and settled in the UK where he has devoted more than 35 years to his East Riding of Yorkshire community and the NHS. Working tirelessly throughout his medical career, he has listened to fellow human beings in their role as patients; not only to their stories of distress, unpleasant experiences and ailments, but also the pleasantries. Amongst these articulate and fascinating anecdotes relating to his memories as a GP, Dr Abraham also touches on some of his own personal tragedies. Having lost his young daughter unexpectedly, he was faced – shortly after his daughter’s funeral – with another life-changing bombshell. Two ‘colleagues’ tried to discredit his reputation. This led to a hearing in front of the General Medical Council. From his early years in India, his medical school memories, and a lifelong love of cricket (and Shakespeare) to settling in the UK, plunging into General Practice, winning national accolades and being cited as a ‘Role Model’ by the globally renowned British Medical Journal, there is so much to read in this thought-provoking book that everyone from the lay reader to medical professionals and memoir fanatics will find plenty to resonate with.
Vere Menzie, The Thing We Call ‘I’ | Self-Help / Personal Transformation
Have you ever asked yourself the questions ‘Who am I?’ ‘What is my life?’ Or somewhat more importantly ‘What is the true meaning of life?’ Then proceeded to procrastinate over these answers! Therefore, never fully able to formulate a reasonable response. Whether you’re teetering on the edge of a spiritual awakening, hungry for a deeper understanding of yourself and the world around you, or you’re keen to contemplate a philosophical take on life, death and the bits in between, you’ll glean an extraordinary amount of epiphanies in The Thing We Call ‘I’. So many, in fact, that you may never see the world (or indeed yourself) in the same light again. An intriguing insight into the nature of who we truly are. Your true self! Yes you really are enough.
Mario Panayi, Glimpses of Epic Greek Myths | Classical Fiction
Rich in characters and ill-fated storylines, Greek Myth tales have survived for thousands of years. And in this collection, the author draws on ancient dramas and characters to offer a truly fascinating glimpse at pivotal moments in their lives, transformations and deaths. As one would expect in such irresistible Greek tales, there are Gods and Goddesses, a gorgon, cyclopean children, a titan, kings, queens, princes and princesses, a prophetess, sea nymphs, gigantic monsters and warriors. What they get up to and who with will leave a lasting memory and test your moral compass. Epic tales of some of the lesser-known characters from the world of Greek Myth, and those shrouded in mystery, are now brought to life in an irresistibly entertaining and visual manner. Their personalities, motivations, sexual tensions and prowess, their true nature, and their interactions are literally laid bare – in more ways than one. Full of adult themes and scenes, some explicit in nature, Glimpses of Epic Greek Myths will either make you grateful for your calm life or force you to unlock and unleash your dark side. The choice is yours. 😉
Helen Pengelly, The Pepper Seed | Novel
An emotional tale of remarkable women and an unbreakable 200-year-old curse. No-nonsense, senior business reporter, Helena, likes to keep her family life private. But when her editor catches her staring at a photograph one day at work, she finds herself tasked with the most significant assignment of her journalist life. The photograph’s a happy one, full of smiling faces from the seven generations of her family. But behind the smiles lies a 200-year-old curse that none of the matriarchs has been able to break. And when the features editor discovers that since the turn of the 19th century, every woman in Helena’s family has given birth at the age of 15, she can’t resist the temptation to bring their haunting story to life. Naturally, Helena has reservations. She doesn’t even know some of the stories herself and assumes the facts will never be published. But when she broaches the subject of exposing the family’s historic laundry at her great-great-grandmother’s 106th birthday party the following day, she’s amazed by their reactions. As the generational tales emerge, Helena realises she isn’t the only one who’s intrigued.
Heather G. Watts, The Mystery of the Missing Christmas: A Digger and Biscuit Adventure | Children’s Fiction
“Santa, Santa go to sleep, Close your eyes and do not peep, Christmas time belongs to me, Unless those pups can set you free…”
It was only supposed to be a game of hide and seek, but Digger and Biscuit find themselves being chased by a growling – howling – prowling – scowling – get – out – of – here – now sound. On a quest to save Santa, and discover who has stolen Christmas, they meet friends old and new including a skiing snowman, a pantomime genie, singing penguins and a helpful robot. Wherever they go, it seems the Growly – Howler goes too. With Christmas getting closer, Digger and Biscuit are running out of time. (And snacks – which is really worrying Digger!) Join Digger and Biscuit on their quest to save Christmas with this exciting, funny, fur-raising twenty-five chapters of adventure leading to December 25th.
Michael J. Lowis & Michael E. Leonard, Two Mikes and Their 39 Stories | Short Stories
Two Mikes and Their 39 Stories is just what it says on the tin – a gallimaufry of tales embracing a variety of genres. Something for everyone to dip into when they have a few moments to spare.
About the Authors
Michael J. Lowis is the author of nine books prior to this latest joint venture. He is a retired academic who now enjoys the challenge of writing for the general reader. His earlier works were non-fiction scholarly enquiries, but he then completed a memoir, two historical novels, and two books of anecdotes. He likes to provide the reader with food for thought – Hmm; could this have really happened? His titles can be found on author.to/MichaelJLowis
Michael E. Leonard was born in Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire. He now lives in Northampton with Rosemary, his wife. Throughout his retirement, he has been in demand as a speaker raising funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care. Three years ago he joined a U3A Creative Writing Group and a Structured Writers’ Class specialising in Flash fiction and short stories. He is also a member of a Public Speaking and Storytelling group and of Northants Authors.
Trevor Rai, Try Walking in My Shoes | Humorous Fiction
Welcome to the real and complicated world of arranged marriage (with a difference). This is the author’s real experience … real dating stories … real life … real sex … and it’s not pretty. In this unique and often hilarious perspective on the dating game, the author combines his most intimate, lonely, brutal and raw experiences with first-hand advice on dating, how to meet the perfect partner and arrange marriage. He has become the ultimate dating guru! He knows all the tricks and put-downs. He knows when there’s no spark at all and he can sniff out a fake spark and ulterior motive from a million miles away. Never has an author with a disability written with such candidness on a subject that is at the heart of many cultures – yes, Trevor Rai is a pseudonym, do you think he’s crazy enough to write under his REAL name? Enjoy the 1990’s musical backdrop which accompanies each chapter and which the author has dedicated to each of the women he met on his journey. Enjoy the ride.
Darran Berry, From Imagination to Successful Product Launch | Non-fiction > Business Book
In these uncertain times, one of the best ways to future-proof your livelihood and business is to start and launch a side project. Digital courses, physical products, 1-2-1 services and books can all create a sustainable income and stop you worrying about losing your job. And in From Imagination to Successful Product Launch you’ll find everything you need to ensure you succeed, including:
- An easy-to-understand launch toolkit which navigates you from concept to executing your game plan.
- Insider secrets from a global marketing expert who has launched with huge success all over the world including The Big Five Construction Show in Dubai.
- A highly effective 4-step framework that you can tweak for every one of your future launches.
- Insights into setting up a social media planner so you can launch on each marketing platform with ease.
- The competitive advantage you need.
Mario Panayi, What Drink Are You? | Poetry
What do the beverages that you drink actually reveal about your personality? Do you drink tea and/or coffee? Perhaps a vodka or martini? Are you hip and trendy with a gin? Or maybe just a beer drinker?
This is a hilarious take on your characteristics just based on what you drink. Over 100 poems. Including allegory poems. Find out if you are boring and dull or sexy, hot and desirable. After reading this collection will you stick to your usual drink? Or will you change your drink? Hoping for a brand new and invigorating image?
Janine Green, Effective Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Case Management Principles: A Guide for Social Housing Providers | Non-Fiction/Specialist Book
Being an ASB officer is incredibly exciting and rewarding but it’s not always easy. An ASB officer’s role is often underestimated and little support is currently available. There are no entry requirements for the profession. Induction and training programmes are often lacking or all too brief. Often, new officers are handed a caseload and expected to muddle their way through. Whilst officers strive to do their best, a lack of base-level knowledge can result in poor practice and untimely and indecisive action, leading to cases being open much longer than necessary and harm to victims being prolonged. Experience of working with many organisations has also shown that those who provide the best ASB service have things in common: they understand exactly what ASB is, conduct thorough investigations, manage risk effectively, truly work in partnership with other agencies and use the complete toolkit when deciding on action.
The purpose of this book is to try to fill some of these gaps. It provides a comprehensive introduction to the five stages of ASB case management: report, investigation, action, monitor and close. It busts some of the common myths and misconceptions that prevent officers from progressing cases and resolving the problems. It is written in a user-friendly manner, using examples to illustrate key points. It would provide an excellent, off-the-shelf, introduction for anyone new to ASB, as well as a useful reference tool for more experienced officers. Whilst primarily tailored for officers tackling ASB in the social housing sector, much of the information contained would be equally useful for anyone managing private sector cases. It would also be useful for other partners who work with social housing providers and wish to know more about the work that they undertake.