Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Introducing the authors and speakers of the Llandeilo Christmas Book Fair Dec 9th: Sally Spedding

Sally Spedding, Author 001.jpg

This year's book fair will be a bit like a Mini Lit Fest with readings accompanying the book fair. Sally Spedding (no stranger to Llandeilo and its festivals) will be showcasing her books at the Horeb Chapel on the day of the book fair, Sat Dec 9th, but she will also be reading in the Red Cross Book Shop at 1:00 from “Behold a Pale Horse”.

This is a literary thriller, set mainly in docklands London and Collioure in Roussillon in 1983, with a tragic, historical backstory involving the purge of the Knights Templar in 1307. Clement and Catherine's new marriage is a sham, and her one, reckless false move will change their lives for ever.



frontcover_ver8_900.jpegSally Spedding’s carefully constructed novel successfully straddles time and space.  The mood becomes increasingly chilling as the two narratives relentlessly swirl together and create a turbulent gothic vortex into which the protagonists are irresistibly pulled.  The book explores the fragility of love and humanity as medieval Europe’s apocalyptic mindset gallops into the twentieth century with brutal and destructive consequences.  Having previously read Spedding’s The Yellowhammer’s Cradle I expected Behold A Pale Horse to be a thought-provoking journey into the macabre.  I was not disappointed and this book will appeal to readers who, like me, enjoy haunting thrillers in dystopian settings.

Reviewer: Dorothy Marshall-Gent  MYSTERY PEOPLE


Sally Spedding is the author of ten crime novels, also ‘Strangers Waiting,’ a short story collection and ‘How to Write a Chiller Thriller.’ Her latest crime chiller, ‘Behold a Pale Horse,’ set in France and London, is out now. Her backlist, ‘Wringland,’ Cloven,’ ‘A Night With No Stars,’ ‘Prey Silence ’ and ‘Come and be Killed’ will be published by Endeavour Press as paperbacks and e-bks. ‘Cut to the Bone’ (2015) has been optioned for film, and will be shot in Jamaica in 2018.
She is also an award-winning poet.


Friday, 27 October 2017

Introducing the authors and speakers of the Llandeilo Christmas Book Fair Dec 9th: Kate Glanville: Where I Write and How It Influences Me

Kate Glanville is a familiar face at this blog and at Llandeilo Literary Events. I'm delighted to announce that Kate will be reading from her wonderful novel "Stargazing" (click this link to a review of the novel) at Barr's Jewelry at 11:30 am.

I've asked Kate to write a little something for the blog and here is a post she wrote:

 Where I Write and How It Influences Me

When I started writing my first novel A Perfect Home (published by Penguin in the US 2012 and Accent Press in 2014) I took any opportunity to write, often writing long hand in a note book while I sat beside my youngest son's bed waiting for him to fall asleep at night or sitting in the car waiting for my older children to come out of school or standing at the cooker waiting for the fish fingers to come out of the oven for tea. So desperate was I to get the words onto paper I would get up at five am and write at the kitchen table willing three small children to stay asleep till at least six o'clock. Consequently I was usually exhausted, late to pick the children up from school, many fish fingers were burned and I was extremely thankful to early morning CBeebies for its ability to distract the children while I grappled with that last illusive sentence before the pre-school rush began. Not surprisingly A Perfect Home revolves around a woman with three children, trying to juggle, motherhood and work and feeling as though she’s failing at both!
By the time I started my second novel, Heartstones (published by Accent Press 2014) the children were a little bit more independent and I'd learned to type on my lap top using two fingers, usually sitting at my kitchen table or in the garden - Welsh weather permitting!

The kitchen became increasingly chaotic as the children grew older and, for a few years the weather got wetter so I decided to try writing in the converted pig sty that for ten years had been my pottery studio. I have been producing hand painted pottery for over twenty-five years; it was and still is my day job - though to write full time has always been my dream. I had moved to a larger purpose built pottery studio a few months previously, leaving the pigsty empty apart from one of my kilns. One wet afternoon, when the children were especially noisy, I took my laptop into my old shed. It was warm and cosy from the kiln and as I sat watching the rain fall onto the Brecon hills that surround my home I realised I had found the sort of peace and quiet I had been longing for every time I started to write.
So, for a few years, my old pottery studio became my writing shed. Maybe that is why Heartstones is set in a pottery studio and revolves around the tangled romances and family secrets of two potters a generation apart. My third novel Stargazing is partly set on a Welsh hill farm, not too dissimilar from the little farms I could see in the distance through my window. It has a Welsh character in it called Nesta who reminisces about the lush green landscape of her childhood and is really just describing the view from I used to look out on from my window!
Sadly I had to leave my pig-sty last year and the children and I have been renting a pretty cottage in a beautiful National Trust owned park. Its cosy rooms and gorgeous garden are very conducive to writing. From my window I look out over a deer park and across to the ruins of a medieval castle. We live next-door to an imposing Georgian manor house that is meant to be the most haunted National Trust property in Britain and we have a resident peacock called Perry – he lives in the garden and knocks at the back door with his beak to be fed!
I’m working on my fourth novel which, surprisingly, is not set in a Welsh castle or a haunted house but in The Dordogne! It revolves around an ex-1980’s pop-star who’s reclusive life is turned upside-down when financial problems force her to rent out her house to holiday makers. The story unfolds over the course of a week. As I recently read over the first draft I realised that the weather gets progressively hotter throughout the manuscript. I think I subconsciously wrote about the heat in an effort to get warm myself.
Though our cottage is idyllic, it has no central heating and the winter was very, very cold. I wrote huddled by the log fire, wearing several thermal vests and my coat and my hat. It was a comfort to write about a stiflingly hot French summer! Often I went to bed to write with my electric blanket on full heat – still wearing my thermal vests and coat and hat and tried to imagine I was writing on a sun filled terrace with a warm breeze blowing through my flimsy summer dress.

At last the winter is over and I’m slowly divesting myself of my many layers – just down to one thermal vest now. I’m putting the finishing touches to my French romance and I’ve even been writing in the garden. As I look around at the bluebells drifting in-between the trees and Perry displaying his magnificent tail, my thoughts keep turning to a new story; a story set in a pretty cottage in Wales, nestled between a big house and a castle, with deer at the end of the garden, a peacock on the patio and, maybe, even a few ghosts…..

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Introducing the authors of the Llandeilo Christmas Book Fair Dec 9th: JAMES MORGAN-JONES

JAMES MORGAN-JONES  will be showcasing his work at the Horeb Chapel on Dec 9th.

Here is a short BIOGRAPHY

James Morgan-Jones was born and brought up on the Essex/London borders. His mother was Welsh and his father from the East End. He trained as a professional actor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and worked for several years in the theatre. After a serious accident he retrained as a feline behaviourist and now lives in West Wales. He began writing seriously in 2008 after gaining an MA with Distinction from Trinity Saint David University in Carmarthen. In January 2016 he published his first collection of short stories, Lantern Light, writing as A J Morgan. He then embarked on The Glasswater Quintet, a series of supernatural mystery novels, linked by character and place but set in different decades, from the 1940s onwards. The first book in the series, On the Edge of Wild Water, was published in November 2016, with a second edition by Wordcatcher Publishing following in 2017. The second in the quintet, The Glass Citadel, was released by Wordcatcher in October 2017.

‘ON THE EDGE OF WILD WATER’ – the first book in THE GLASSWATER QUINTET sequence.
In the glass, reflected light reared like a burning ship. Whispered words, with the urgency of intercession, opened a laceration in her brain. On the livid tissues behind were drawn the cramped dimensions of a dark, musty room…’
In extremis, the future will feed on the past.
Bethan is in the grip of a serious eating disorder. Taken to her late grandmother’s cottage in West Wales in a last-ditch attempt to tackle her illness, there she is beset by unsettling visions. History and place exert a powerful hold on her fragile sense of self.  Driven on by the revelations of a Victorian minister’s journal, her vivid psychic connection with a troubled boy and the ambivalent, enigmatic sway of the visitant Lydia, Bethan is plunged into a one hundred and sixty year-old tragedy as the material world and the voices of the dead collide. The force of a past not yet assuaged is unleashed, compelling Bethan and her parents to confront a seemingly unstoppable catastrophe of their own.
‘On the Edge of Wild Water’ can be ordered directly from the publisher at Wordcatcher.com or from Amazon.

The second gripping installment of the Glasswater Quintet – coming soon.

In its frosted chambers everyone is alone.
An abducted psychic reads the cards to preserve her sanity. In another part of the country, struggling to keep his family from disintegration and to deflect the lethal attentions of an East End gang, Luke is forced to flee his home.
In the long hot summer of 1976, these two strangers are connected in a way neither of them understands. Yet, as mounting obsession and the pursuit of violent revenge send events spiralling out of control, it becomes clear that their lives depend on a mutually-powered drive to prevail.
The cards offer both a line of communication and a tantalizing hint at salvation: Luke and Paige need to rely not only on their wits but on symbiotic faith and vision. Can the intangible ever be strong enough to deliver them – and those closest to them – from the forces of destruction?

Friday, 20 October 2017

Introducing the authors and speakers of the Llandeilo Christmas Book Fair Dec 9th: "Sax Burglar Blues" by Robert Walton

This year's Christmas Book Fair will be just like a Mini-Literature-Festival all over Llandeilo. 
It gives me great pleasure  to introduce one of our authors and speakers: Robert Walton and his selection of poems: "Sax Burglar Blues"

On the day of the Book Fair, Dec 9th, Robert Walton will be showcasing his work at the Horeb Chapel  and at 1pm, he'll read a selection of poems at the Fountain Fine Art Gallery. His poems are about music, street life, family and natural creatures with strong feeling, wry humour and sharp observation. He'll also provide some soft acoustic musical accompaniment for one poem on thumb-piano and, naturally, a gentle blues on sax for the title poem.


Packed with memory, incident, observation, opinion, humour, outrage and elegy, Sax Burglar Blues is the new collection of poetry by Robert Walton. Winner of a Welsh Arts Council New Poet prize for his first book in 1978, a teaching career interrupted his true vocation, poetry. He resumed writing in the late 90s and initially worked with artists in other media: music, dance, storytelling, film and installation. 
Walton’s poetry has appeared widely in magazines and he has published a pamphlet, Waiting for the Wave. He is a founding member of the Bristol-based poetry performance group, The Spoke, who have appeared at festivals and events all over the South West. He has a PhD from Cardiff University where he also teaches Creative Writing to undergraduates.

“Bob Walton’s poems are lithe and limber, with touches of humour and wry internal rhymes. This is a world teeming with animals and plants and cars and jazz, be-bopping easily across the Severn from Bristol to Cardiff and back. It’s an upbeat collection, a celebration of being in the world, but there are plangent undertones, too, of loss and oblivion. These are poems which are accessible and fun, but which also demand to be returned to, re-read, and pondered over.”  – Professor Katie Gramich
“When you read Robert Walton’s poems you hear music! He delivers familiar moments sometimes in an unsettling rock’n’roll, sometimes in a reassuring steady beat – always with surprise, full of stabs and riffs, the froth of your Guinness, the drag on the fag of stories past played out with skill and exciting detail you can almost sing along to – dancing into pubs, forests, rivers, and even the mite’s eye view of a woodlouse.”  - Hilda Sheehan, Creative Director, Poetry Swindon

“A volume both elegiac and wry, lyrical and ironic, in which summoned presences and cryptic traces share space with life’s glut, plump in the palm – all conducted to the changing rhythms of jazz, blues and our precarious human pulse. “ – Damian Walford Davies


Robert Walton’s first collection, Workings (Gomer), won the Welsh Arts Council’s New Poet Award back in 1978. He stopped writing for twenty years but resumed in the late 90s, working with artists in music, dance, film and storytelling, recording a cd, Nomad ’64, with cult band Mopti. His chapbook, Waiting for the Wave (Pighog), appeared in 2012 and his long-awaited second collection, Sax Burglar Blues (Seren) has just been published. He recently completed his PhD, is a member of Bristol-based poetry workshop and performance group The Spoke, and teaches Creative Writing at Cardiff University.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Introducing the authors and talks at the Llandeilo Christmas Book Fair: December 9th: "Walking Wales: The Art Lover's Guide to Wye Valley Way" by Jacqueline Jeynes

This year's Christmas Book Fair will be just like a Mini-Literature-Festival all over Llandeilo.
It gives me great pleasure  to introduce one of our authors and speaker (12:00 at the Fountain Fine Art Gallery) 

Travel writer Dr Jacqueline Jaynes

On the day of our Book Fair, Sat Dec 9th, you will be able to find Jacqueline in the Horeb Chapel and at noon she'll be talking in the Fountain Fine ArtGallery about her book “Walking Wales: The Art Lovers Guide to the Wye Valley Way”. This is a wonderful book about images about places along the route from the National Library of Wales digital collections, ranging from 18th-20th century with well-known artists including Turner and David Cox.

Reviews: Art lovers guide to the Wye Valley 

What an ambitious undertaking, walking so far in such a short time and facing the best and worst that Welsh weather can provide and the odd bull! Magnificent; you painted a great mental picture. I mentally packed all the essential gear, turned my socks inside out and taken note of the walking tips. I sat comfortably in my armchair and travelled with you without a speck of rain or a blister! Congratulations you ‘two middle aged ladies’; is ‘Andalucía’ your next adventure? Alison

I am a great fan of road movies and travel writing, I like the subplots and the interweaving of parallel stories that unfold, you took me to familiar and unfamiliar places and I could hear you delivering your stories along the way.  I wanted to hear more snippets of discussions and conversations that undoubtedly would have arisen when two people share time together as well as the practicalities needed to undertake your mission. Alison – Aberystwyth University

Book has arrived, it looks fab! Nicky & Alistair

I am inspired to try [the walk] myself! Jane – Wye Valley Canoes

Thank you for sending your lovely book on the Wye Valley Walk. We have both enjoyed reading it through and following your adventures. Mike & Lesley, Myrtle Place Monmouth

Dr Jacqueline Jeynes

From Jacqueline's Amazon Biography:

Non-fiction is my speciality - although there may still be a novel in the background somewhere? - and covers a wide range of topics which generally seem a bit of an odd mix to people. First books published were on Health & Safety in small firms (with a revised version out soon) as I was working in this area, then art history as this is my passion. Working as secretary of Midlands Far East Prisoners of War (FEPOWs) group for 25 years led to my book on how they and their families coped, so social/WWII history. 

Oh yes, we made and sold Peg Looms so my book on peg loom weaving is one of the few existing titles that leads the beginner through the process. And finally, my travel writing and long-distance walks combined with the arts has led to my latest title on "Walking Wales: the Art Lover's Guide to Wye Valley Way". This has now started a new series so basically I am very busy for the next year or so with new titles.

Distance learning tutor wins Writer of the Year

Dr Jacqueline Jeynes
Aberystwyth University distance learning tutor, Dr Jacqueline Jeynes has been awarded “Writer of the Year” by Freelance Market News/The Writer’s Bureau.
Jacqueline won the award based on the writing of the distance learning History of Art courses for the School of Education and Lifelong Learning at the University, and has also become a travel journalist and advisor for Silver Travel Advisor aimed at the 50+ age group.
She has already been on three trips for them within the last year, visiting the land of the Magyar’s in Hungary, the lands of the Ancient Greeks in Thessaloniki, and just before Christmas she stayed in the Iberian Peninsula, travelling to the Algarve in Portugal.
This isn’t the first brush with success that Jacqueline has had, having been shortlisted for an innovation and sustainability award from the Universities Association for Lifelong Learning, for the development of the Distance Learning modules that she has written.
2015 looks to be another exciting year, as two new books by Jacqueline will be published in the summer on very different subjects.
The Forgotten Prisoners of War: FEPOWs and their families will be released to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII’s VJ Day on the 14th August.
The second, Walking Wales: an Artists View of the Wye Valley Way, is on a far more relaxing subject and based on a trek of 135 miles over 15 days. The book will include Jacqueline’s photographs plus art images from the National Library of Wales digital collection, and is the first of three in the Walking Wales series.
Explaining the difference in topic between the two books, Jaqueline said: “I have always enjoyed walking, especially the challenge of long distance treks. I’ve previously done one to Venezuela with YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association) and have also been to Cuba for the charity MIND, which was hard walking but had fantastic views.
“The other book is on a completely different topic, with the imposed publication deadline being because of VJ day’s anniversary in August 2015, so I’m hoping to publish it before then. My father was a prisoner of war in Japan, and I carried out research, partly in my role as secretary of the Midlands FEPOW’s group, on the families as little has been said about them.
“I had a short article published in Your History magazine about my father’s experiences between the ages of 18-21. All the research is being combined with contributions from families in the UK, Australia and Canada, although there are still opportunities to contribute further recollections before May.”

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Christmas Book Fair in Llandeilo to be held on Dec 9th

The next opportunity to meet authors, listen to their readings and get signed copies of their books will be on December 9th.

This time the Llandeilo Book Fair will be held in the Shire Hall and in the Horeb Chapel - bringing the authors right into the heart of town.

Y cyfle nesaf i gwrdd ag awduron, gwrando arnynt yn darllen a chael copïau o’u llyfrau wedi’u llofnodi bydd ar Ragfyr 9fed

Y tro hwn cynhelir Ffair Lyfrau Llandeilo yn Neuadd y Sir a Chapel Horeb – dod â’r awduron i galon y dref

Confirmed authors include familiar and new faces:
Mae’r awduron yn cynnwys wynebau cyfarwydd a newydd:

Kate Glanville, Cheryl Rees-Price, Anne Signol, Alex Martin, James Morgan, Rob Walton, Sam Smith, Colin Parsons, Graham Watkins, Christoph Fischer, Thompson Authors, Judith Arnopp, Angela Fish, David Lewis, Lisa Shambrook, Sarah Jane Butfield, Thorne Moore, William Scott Artus, Judith Barrow, Carol Ann Smith, Jacqueline Jeynes, Jo Hammond, Dafydd Wyn, Nicola Beechsquirrel, Carol Lovekin, JK Samuel, Sally Spedding, Charles Griffin, Kate Murray, Steve Adams, Will MacMillan Jones, Hilary Sheppard
as well as
Parthian Books, Cambria Publishing, Cyfoes and Thunderpoint Publishing.

Yn ogystal â
Llyfrau Parthian Books, Cwmni cyhoeddi Cambria, Cyfoes a Chwmni Cyhoeddi Thunderpoint

There'll be plenty of readings and events in businesses and locations all over town, making this a mini Lit Fest before Christmas. Due to popular demand we'll also have another book hunt.

For updates on the programme and the festival locations watch this space.

Bydd digon o ddarlleniadau a digwyddiadau mewn busnesau a lleoliadau ar draws y dref, felly bydd hon yn ŵyl fer cyn Nadolig. O ganlyniad i nifer helaeth o geisiadau a dderbyniwyd, cynhelir helfa lyfrau arall. .

I gael y wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am raglen a lleoliadau’r Ŵyl gwyliwch y safle hwn.