2021 Author Showcase – The Story So Far…
I recently reflected on the books I’ve worked on in the first half of this year and I couldn’t believe how many there were. What a start to 2021! I’m so grateful that I’ve had such a busy six months here at self-publishing central! And I want to say a big thank you and dedicate a celebratory blog to all the self-published authors who have trusted me to bring their books to life in 2021. There are already another 14 booked in for the rest of the year so if you’re nearing the end of writing your book, don’t leave it until you’re finished to get in touch. It’s easier to book your slot now than to have you wait another two or three months once you’re ready to publish.
Working with such an array of fiction and non-fiction writers really is a pleasure. I learn so much from each and every book I work on and I’m delighted to be able to recommend them all. So if you’re looking for a few good holiday reads, look no further. So without further ado, let me share these fantastic books with you – all of which can be bought in paperback and Kindle formats from Amazon – and several are currently free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. Click the image if you’d like to find out more about Kindle Unlimited.
Trevor was recommended to me and I was delighted to help him make his author debut. His first novel, For a Few Pennies More, has been very well received (and it’s currently free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers / July 2021). He already had the sequel waiting in the wings and so a few weeks after the publication of book one, For a Few Quid More graced the shelves of the Amazon bookstore.
For a Few Pennies More … Set in 1960/70’s England, this humorous, real-life drama, follows the bittersweet exploits of Charles Henry who left school in 1959 without any formal qualifications – leaving him scratching to earn pennies. Being a savvy, hard-working fella, however, he soon establishes himself as a builder and takes on small mundane jobs that earn him a few pennies more. Building up his colourful gang of loyal trades, [who are always up for a laugh] Charley then takes on the larger nightmare projects that other builders run away from. The most testing of all – which takes over his life – is Arthur Bainbridge’s motel. As far as Bainbridge is concerned, it’s business as usual while Charley and the boys demolish more than half of the existing buildings, before building 30 new bedrooms, all with en-suite facilities. It seems that the only one who can control the eccentric motel owner is his fire-spitting dragon of a wife. Then there’s Mr Wolfe, who goes to an auction to buy a fairytale dream, but bags himself a property of extreme nightmares instead! Cue Charley and the boys who are tasked with extending and restoring the derelict 300-year-old Walnut cottage. However, before it is even remotely habitable, Mr Wolfe causes absolute bedlam when he moves into the cottage, together with his very sexy and flirtatious wife Jane, their teenage daughter Samantha, and a large ferocious looking dog called Satan!
For a Few Quid More … Set in 1980/90’s England, this humorously engaging account, being the sequel to the amusing book, For A Few Pennies More, continues with Charley’s first-ever meeting with a very pompous bank manager. After being made to feel like a vagrant after a bowl of soup and a bed for the night, Charley asked him to fund his first speculative building project of six luxury Tudor-style houses! Charley was soon on a roll, going from strength to strength, building and winning major housing awards. After twenty long years of struggling, he had finally made it! But then, like a bad dream, the bubble burst. Bank interest rates hit a massive 15% triggering the onset of early 1990’s recession. The pound plummeted! Mortgages dried up! And the whole building industry just collapsed like a pack of cards, leaving Charley paying double poll tax on each of the ten new houses that he couldn’t even give away! With no light at the end of the dark depressing tunnel, the future was looking very bleak. But then Charley didn’t want to just roll over and give up. Risking everything, he purchased an enormous semi-derelict 400-year-old listed building with outline planning approval to convert into eight luxury flats. Rumour had it that the building was haunted by some troubled mysterious being or other, which in turn, led to a hilarious conversion for Charley and the boys on site!
This is actually Mario’s seventh book that I’ve published for him. And how timely too. I mean, has there been a better time to write about politics?! We’ve been working together since 2018 and his commitment to writing and publishing his high-quality prose and poetry books never fails to amaze me. We are currently working on another book with a further three in the pipeline for 2021/22. He really is a dedicated writer.
If ever there was a perfect subject for poetry it’s politics. Welcome to this satirical, entertaining, humorous, explosive, and highly observational collection of poems to while away the hours. From its origins in Greek Myth and Cleopatra’s untimely demise in 30BC to the tumultuous 21st centuries shenanigans, topples from grace, bad decisions, corruption, affairs, scandals and soap operas that continue to occupy our newspapers, gossip columns and TV sets around the globe. Be reminded of the Fat Cats, the Greedy Guts, the Big Wigs, the Unmentionables, and the ludicrous legacies they’ve left (and would rather forget). This heady mix of power and politics has something to make everyone smile, fume, and ponder all the cringe-worthy headlines we’d rather forget, including:
The Prescott punch
The Incredible Sulk
The Dancing Queen
The Duck House
That eye test … And that’s before we start on the rest of the world!
Another excellent and timely subject here from Dr Gareth Palmer (menshouldtalk.com). Although Gareth has published a number of academic works previously this is his first book to share his extensive knowledge and experience. Unlike other books in this self-help/mental health genre, Men Should Talk is based on what works. The author has drawn on his 12 years of experience as a Manchester-based therapist working with men from all walks of life to create this one-of-a-kind book. His practical model of the self demonstrates how you have developed relationships with your body, other people, your thinking and your emotions – four fundamental relationships which are unconscious reactions to your environment.
In this comprehensive, easy-to-read book Gareth Palmer shares:
* valuable examples of men who have tentatively begun therapy with feelings of shame and guilt and emerged happier and more balanced
* real insights into why men suffer from anxiety and depression (and exercises to help overcome these conditions)
* expert advice on how to move away from the compulsions that drive men towards a more easeful and authentic way of living
* and much more.
Once you understand how you have become the way you are, you can begin to make those all-important, life-enhancing changes.
Back in April 2020, I presented a webinar to Jericho Writers about self-publishing and Larry was one of several authors to contact me for self-publishing help that same evening. Lovely Larry and his wife Kay are fascinating people and live over in the US. We had a couple of Zoom sessions to talk about the book and get the details just right, and it’s wonderful to be able to work with people from all over the world. Hoodwinked: Uncovering Our Fundamental Superstitions is right up my street and if you’re interested in all things alternative, then I can highly recommend it.
One day in 1974, the author had an experience which forever changed the way he looked at life. And now he has gone through that door, he can never go back. Join him on his search for a deeper understanding of what it is to be a human being, the truth about our belief system, the stories we’ve been hoodwinked into believing, and how, by uncovering our fundamental superstitions we can all, ultimately, open that door too. For seekers of truth and those who want to live authentically, reimagine the physical world and its emotional universe, and embrace the endless possibilities just waiting to be tapped into. It’s time to step out of our own way, and delve into the real, fundamental truths of our lives.
Claire Goff – Truth Be Told
Claire is another 2021 self-published/indie author who made her exciting debut this year (and found me via the webinar too). Her book has already received many 5* reviews and the feedback is fantastic. It’s an explosive story, I must say, so if you’re looking for a holiday read that’s going to keep you utterly gripped, then I’d definitely recommend Truth Be Told.
Thirty-year-old Kate Andrews is council estate born and bred. She’s a single, lonely, sex-deprived mother who lives for her daughter, Sadie. Kate’s also the street’s Agony Aunt who dreams of her own happy ever after. Fat chance of that, though, when her prince charming is very much taken. So for now she’ll continue to clean toilets, take care of her family, avoid the local drama and keep her nose clean. But when something terrible happens, Kate’s calm but mundane existence is turned on its head overnight. Her life becomes an overcrowded, drama-infused, chaotic, blood-stained, soap opera and she’s pushed to the brink.
The sweetest of lies or the bitter truth? Which one would you choose?
Thanks to another one of my happy authors, Elizabeth approached me when she was ready to self-publish her book on Amazon. And if you’re a newly qualified osteopath, you should really get your hands on this book.
Elizabeth Curphey is a highly experienced osteopath, NLP practitioner and multi-disciplinary practice owner. This book is a must-have for anyone embarking on their exciting new career as an osteopath. Filled with real-life examples of what being an osteopath is like and insights into the tricky early years of clinical practice, you’ll discover how to:
•Think like a business owner while maintaining integrity •Smash the interview process •Be the best associate for your principal •Become an amazing, in-demand practitioner •Deal with tricky situations and difficult patients •Set up your business with speed and efficiency
Every copy of the book comes with FREE downloadable business resources to get your osteo business up and running with speed and efficiency. So whether you’re a new graduate fresh out of uni or you qualified a few years ago and are looking to take your business to the next level, you’ll find heaps of valuable information and insights in this practical book to help you not just survive but also thrive.
Alan Whittaker – Thirteen Broken Biscuits: Stay Strong, Stay Positive, Never Stop Believing and Never Give Up
Alan is another author who found me from the self-publishing webinar I presented in April 2021. And if anyone deserved to write their memoir, it’s Alan.
If you love real-life, emotional, humorous and moving inspirational stories, look no further than Thirteen Broken Biscuits! Born into poverty in the early 1950s in Manchester, the author’s childhood was tough to say the least. The family survived on Dad’s small earnings but when he tragically passed away when the author was just thirteen years old, leaving behind a pregnant wife and eleven children, their struggles escalated. At sixteen, he signed up to the Merchant Navy and his love affair with the sea began. He travelled the world, almost started a new life in New Zealand (before the police caught up with him) and broadened his horizons more than he would ever have dared to dream of in his dark schooldays.
Fifty-plus years on, he has overcome many adversities. From working in the offshore industry in the North Sea to setting up his own successful businesses, gaining a photography degree and a Master’s in Creative Writing (despite being diagnosed with severe dyslexia) and becoming a frontline worker battling COVID-19 since 2020, he shares a plethora of stories in this funny, heart-breaking, emotional and entertaining autobiography.
I’m delighted that I got to work with Mike on this top-quality thriller, and looking forward to working with him on the second book later in the year.
THE FIRST BOOK IN THE OMEGA FILES QUARTET …A shocking political thriller inspired by true events – the tragic murder of six innocent Jesuit priests in El Salvador on 16th November 1989 – a murder that echoed around the world…
CONSUELA FLORES is damaged. Though her wounds are well hidden, they sometimes emerge to drag her to a place she never wants to visit again. Having fled for her life from El Salvador, she trailed through the US, France and Britain before finding safety and work in St Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Church in London. FATHER JOHN DOYLE, the devout priest at St Mary’s makes Consuela feel secure after years of turmoil, and they grow close as they work on the ‘Mission to the Homeless’. When he meets SENOR ADOLFO GUZMAN at the church, however, Consuela sees him arrive. Memories of death, torture and loss consume her as the sanctuary of the church is snatched away from her. When Father Doyle discovers why Consuela fears for her life, the evil truth about Guzman, and the tragic murders of six Jesuit priests at Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas in San Salvador, on 16th November 1989, a murder that echoed around the world, he is determined to make the right decision. Will he find the courage to stay true to his heart? Will Consuela give way to the desperate feelings of revenge that consume her?
Find out in this gripping, disturbing political novel which explores a strong woman’s rage and her quest for revenge, forbidden love and a tortured romance, a gay priest who finds love and an explosive story where love triumphs over religion.
You know you’re getting on a bit when your college friend gets in touch to ask if you can help publish her grown-up daughter’s first book! Anyway, I was thrilled to get my hands on Topsy’s Milk. Everything from the story to the illustrations to the important message the author shares, makes this book a wonderful buy for any parent/grandparent/adult who wants to support their child’s vegan lifestyle.
For babies and children aged 1 to 5 (and their vegan mummies and daddies) who love to read beautifully illustrated, colourful rhyming stories with a strong message. Topsy is a baby cow, who can’t understand why all of her farm animal friends keep asking for her mummy’s milk. Topsy tries to explain to her friends that they have their own mummies to provide them with milk and that her mummy’s milk is only supposed to be for her. Eventually, the other farm animals understand that their own mummies produce milk that’s just as good and that we shouldn’t eat/ drink from other animals/ by causing others harm.
Mark approached me after being recommended by a colleague and it was a pleasure to work on his book, I’m [Not] a Leader. Again, it’s been very well received and I’m sure it will be the catalyst to inspire many readers onto their own leadership journeys.
Foreword by Lord Dr Michael Hastings of Scarisbrick, CBE, Chancellor of Regent’s University London. Are YOU holding yourself back as a leader? Then this book is for you. I’m Not a Leader has been written to challenge anyone who does not think they are a leader or could ever be one. Leadership is principally a choice and numerous opportunities are waiting for someone just like you to step into the role. This book is also a great resource to use if you are already leading and are looking to inspire others to start leading. Leadership is neither a destination to be reached nor a badge of honour to be worn. It is not even a skill to be learned on a course. More fundamentally, it is an attitude of commitment to having a positive influence on others. Growing as a leader involves embarking on a journey; a journey that will be different for every person. There will be twists and turns on the way – leadership is seldom easy – but it is an adventure that brings great satisfaction and opportunity for personal growth.
Imagine a world full of leaders. Leaders who are truly full of leadership, rather than being full of themselves. Imagine a world full of leaders who choose to serve rather than be served. Imagine the impact you could have!
Lawrence Helliwell – The Crash Team
Thanks to one of my previous happy clients, Lawrence Helliwell asked for my help to self-publish The Crash Team. And I loved every minute of it. What a fantastic story – and a highly recommended holiday read too.
Tom, Sid and Dave are just three ordinary doctors, facing the everyday prospect of being struck off. All three are broken in varying ways. Tom is an alcoholic, Sid’s wife despises him and Dave has become a sex addict. It seems a very long time since they all took the Hippocratic Oath. Tom and Dave hail from industrial Northern towns in England whereas Sid’s journey starts amongst the lush, green lands of Southern India, where duty and family expectation dictate his direction of travel. Their sudden downfalls begin with a bang, but is there another motive lurking behind in the shadows?
There follows a bittersweet tale of outrageous acts, medical mayhem, political intrigue, and personal disasters, set amidst the sunshine of a Spanish holiday island. Join them on their rollercoaster ride from beautiful India and overcast England to the bright sunshine of Tenerife. Will they career off the edge or find redemption along the way? And what do a cheeky Cockney, a biker barmaid and a foul-mouthed parrot have in common? A shocking tale of the life, misadventures and friendship of three unlikely “heroes”. Would you trust them if your life depended on it? Stand well back. They’re now charging…..!
This is a truly inspirational spiritual memoir that will not fail to touch you. Tayo’s story is, at times, difficult to read, given the situations she found herself in, but her determination to keep going is remarkable and her belief in striving for success knows no bounds.
Heart of Fire A Pathway to Freedom is the author’s inspirational story of how, despite the odds stacked against her, this woman of colour, and now barrister, has overcome so much to get to where she is today. Shared with dignity, honesty and an intensity that will touch your heart, mind and soul, this is an unforgettable memoir that will remain with you long after the final page is turned. From a young age, her relationship with God has kept her grounded and secure. This unshakable faith, some divine intervention (which is beyond logical explanation), and her tenacious spirit have carried her through some extremely tough situations – from being abused and bullied to abandoned and neglected by those she should have been able to trust. The author’s life has been far from ordinary and this moving account shares how she has not just survived but thrived. Both personally and professionally, she has learnt how to face life head-on, dealt with abuse, handled tragedy, and forgiven her betrayers. Some of the events in this book will shock you to the core. Sadly, they continue to be a reality for many people right now. If the author can inspire, motivate, and reassure just one reader that there is always hope and they can turn their life around, regardless of their start, then her book will have fulfilled its mission.
As well as insights into the author’s personal life, Heart of Fire also provides antidotes to many of life’s problems and touches on mental health, and the holistic approach to mind, body and spirit. There is light to be found among the darkness.
There is love all around us despite the turmoil of the world. God is still working on behalf of people’s lives. Only by having more love, compassion, awareness and tolerance for each other on our life journey can we find inner strength and peace.
Another fascinating, gripping memoir here from Ann Callander. This really will keep you hooked from start to finish. It was such a pleasure working with Ann and bringing this book to life. I know it had been a long time in the making, and a lifelong dream to become an author.
Born during WW2, rejected at birth, advertised in a local newspaper and fostered at six days old, I enjoyed a happy early childhood until I returned to live with my abusive and narcissistic mother. Set during the 1940s and 50s my story portrays a rural way of life that has changed beyond recognition, yet the personal problems of children living in dysfunctional families remain the same. Rural life, just after the war, was an eclectic mixture of fascinating characters; tramps, pedlars, knife grinders, pot menders, Romany gypsies and rat catchers, all of whom told a story of their time. Tales told of the great city of London by Uncle Charlie, who visited yearly resplendent in brightly coloured waistcoat and bow tie, alongside interactions with a variety of rural characters, helped me dream of a time when I could travel and perhaps find a ‘real family.’
Michael Sclater – When You Come to Us, Bring Music: The Story of How the World’s Most Successful Company Reinvented Capitalism
Michael first contacted me in 2020 and I helped him to publish his first book, A Manual to Cure Yourself of Depression. About 300 years ago an economic experiment began, called Capitalism. It made a lot of people better off. But then it just carried on. Eventually, it carried on to energetically and profitably destroy the climate, wildlife, the environment, cultures, communities, society and all but the very rich. It was against this background that one of the leading figures in the City of London entered into a period of personal crisis. After a long and often painful journey, he instigated (together with his colleagues) a fundamental change in the intellectual foundations for what businesses do, what they are for and how they work. He has even changed our basic ideas about what being meaningfully ‘busy’ actually means. As a result, the company he leads is now widely recognised as the world’s most influential and successful business. The story of how these extraordinary events took place is related by Djalal, the car park attendant whose job included parking Sir Jeremy Jameson’s car each morning. He appears to have played a mysterious role in all the events that took place.
This is an enjoyable story but also deadly serious. It describes one route in which humanity might desist from destroying both nature and itself.
Pelvic Partnership – PGP is Treatable
Another book that arrived in my inbox thanks to a recommendation. I love recommendations! This time it’s something totally different and very helpful from The Pelvic Partnership.
If you’re experiencing pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PGP), or you care for someone who is, this booklet is for you. Formerly known as SPD, PGP can affect one in five women, often starting during your pregnancy and can continue after your baby is born. The main symptom of PGP is severe pain, especially when walking, climbing stairs and turning in bed. If left untreated, the pain can become a long-term problem, leading to physical immobility and affecting your mental health and emotional wellbeing. The good news is that PGP can be treated. Most women make a full recovery after receiving the right help in the form of hands-on manual therapy, such as physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractic. This booklet offers practical suggestions and realistic solutions to help you manage your PGP, including: diagnosis and treatment options, how to plan for giving birth and managing PGP postnatally, tried-and-tested ideas to make daily life more comfortable, guidance from experts caring for women with PGP and the latest research findings.
This booklet was written by the members of the Pelvic Partnership, a national charity established in 2003 to provide support and information to women experiencing PGP, their families and carers.