Jeanne Gask is guest of honour in Calais

Nell and the GirlsJeanne Gask, author of the heartwarming memoir Nell and the Girls, paid a visit to Calais by invitation from the Calais Tourism Office. Jeanne travelled by Eurostar with her daughter and journalist, Marina Gask.
Whilst visiting Calais Jeanne attended a book signing at a local book shop called Librarie du Port – where the book is now in stock – and also attended a press conference. Jeanne was overwhelmed by the welcome and interest shown by the locals and the French press. It soon became apparent that Jeanne’s recounting of her experience of WWII in occupied France was not particularly well known in Calais.
The French press were very interested in hearing Jeanne’s experiences about the rounding up in 1940 of British nationals who were then taken to the Polish border, an account that was unfamiliar to them.
Jeanne’s father, Tom Sarginson was interred along with P G Wodehouse and you can read more about Tom in this wonderful account of his life:
If you haven’t yet purchased your copy of Nell and the Girls then please click here for purchasing options and more information about the book and the author.

Our new Princess Charlotte shares her name with one of the most beloved heirs to the British throne

CharlotteWe recently asked one of our historical novelists, Laura Purcell, to write a short piece about the naming of our new princess, and how she shares the name with one of the most beloved heirs to the British throne.

Princess Charlotte of Wales was born on the morning of 7 January 1796, following a ‘terrible hard’ labour. Her birth was much anticipated; despite raising a family of fifteen with his faithful consort, another Charlotte, George III had yet to become grandfather to a legitimate child. He was delighted with the arrival of this little girl, who secured the succession as third in line to the throne. ‘If the Prince of Wales is blessed with such a daughter as mine are to me, he will be a very happy man indeed,’ he wrote.

But all was not as it seemed. Princess Charlotte had arrived in the midst of a failing marriage. Her mother, Caroline, was living a life of slow humiliation. Her indifferent looks and coarse manners had estranged her from Charlotte’s father, who now paraded a mistress before her. Not that the Prince of Wales was without his own troubles. He had illegally married a Catholic widow before Caroline, and the birth of his first child caused a crisis of conscience. He spent the night of Charlotte’s birth writing a wild and passionate Will – one suspects under the influence of much alcohol. In this strange document, he made it very clear that he wanted his new daughter to be protected from what he saw as the evil influence of his wife.

To read Laura’s complete blog post please visit her website here.

Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 10.58.11Laura’s next historical novel, Mistress of the Court, will be released on the 4th August 2015.

“Ms Purcell’s knowledge of the intimate life of the Hanoverians is stunning, and in this novel she has brought a remarkable, and unappreciated heroine to gritty, heart-breaking life.” Anita Seymour, author of Royalist Rebel

“Laura Purcell is a wonderful storyteller, and Mistress of the Court a fabulous Georgian read!” Lucinda Brant, NY Times bestselling author of Georgian romances and mysteries

For more information, or to order your copy, please click here.

Heartwarming memoir is released on the 70th anniversary of the end of WW2

Nell and the GirlsTeddington Waterstones will be hosting a private launch party for author Jeanne Gask this coming Thursday 7th May. Nell and the Girls is a remarkable, dramatic and heartwarming true story of a family told from the viewpoint of young Jeanne Sarginson, later Gask.

The book launch and publication day coincide with the 70th anniversary of the end of WW2 in Europe, making this a very fitting and special event.

Jeanne will also be back in the Teddington store on Saturday 9th May for a book signing event from 11am. Jeanne was born in Calais, France but now lives in Teddington. Nell and the Girls is her story of her family’s wartime experience while trapped in occupied France from 1940–1944.

For more information about Nell and the Girls, or to order your copy, please click here for more details.

Myrmidon acquires an unofficial guide to an award-winning TV series

sherlock-2Myrmidon has acquired Investigating Sherlock, an unofficial guide to the award-winning BBC TV series, from literary agent Bill Hanna of Acacia House acting for ECW Press of Canada. Myrmidon acquired English language rights for UK, Europe and the Commonwealth to the guide book by bestselling author Nikki Stafford, which examines each episode through in-depth and fun analysis, exploring the character development and cataloging every subtle reference to the original stories. 

This is a real, ultimate fans’ guide,” said Kate Nash, director at Myrmidon who acquired the title. “Investigating Sherlock is more than just trivia. There’s no other book on the market that considers Sherlock as a phenomenon and puts the BBC TV series into context. Included are biographies of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as well as Arthur Conan Doyle, and interviews with Sherlockian experts.”

Myrmidon will publish Investigating Sherlock in paperback on 2nd September 2015 with an RRP of £9.99.

Historical fiction: Blood, dung — and galloping bravery


CartographerFrom biblical feuding to dashing cavalrymen, Antonia Senior of The Times guides readers through March’s best historical fiction. Our very own author, P.S. Duffy and her novel The Cartographer of No Man’s Land feature in this wonderful write up with the following review:

Subject matter does not come much bleaker than the First World War and debut Canadian novelist PS Duffy tackles it with confidence. In The Cartographer of No Man’s Land, Angus MacGrath is a sailor from Nova Scotia who enlists in a quixotic attempt to find his missing brother-in-law, Ebbin. Angus is reassured that he will be employed behind the lines as a cartographer. Instead, he is dispatched to the front and the Battle of Arras. At home, his teenage son Simon, grapples with his father’s absence and the rising hostility towards his pacifist grandfather and his German teacher, Mr Heist.

Snag Harbour, Nova Scotia, echoes with a hollow patriotism while Angus and his fellow Canadians fight to gain control of Vimy Ridge. There is a disconnected madness at the heart of the fighting. The relationships between the men and the incoherence of battle are reminiscent of Karl Marlantes’ seminal Vietnam novel, Matterhorn. The fate of Ebbin is cleverly done, but horribly effective. If the rest of the novel feels unsubstantial, particularly Angus’s relationship with a French woman, it is only because the central horror is so vividly executed.

To read more about March’s best historical fiction then please visit The Times website here.

To find out more about this novel, to read an extract or to purchase your copy, please click here.

Breaking Bad to get full UK TV run

Wanna CookCult US drama Breaking Bad is to be broadcast in full on UK terrestrial television for the first time.

The critically acclaimed series Breaking Bad concluded in 2013. It won five Primetime Emmys last year, including best drama series and best actor for Bryan Cranston.

Whether you’re looking forward to watching the series again, or you’re trying it for the first time, you’ll definitely need the complete, unofficial companion Wanna Cook?.

To read more about this guide, or to order your copy, please click here.

To read the full BBC report please visit the website here.

A conversation with Wayzata Reads featured author P.S. Duffy

Neuroscience and World War I

P.S. DuffyIt’s not every day you come across a writer like P.S. Duffy. Aside from gaining critical acclaim for her debut novel, “The Cartographer of No Man’s Land,” Duffy’s likely the sole name at the center of a Venn diagram of people who’ve authored both a graduate-level textbook in neuroscience and a fiction novel set during World War I. It’s safe to say that “multifaceted” is a world that would fit within the “special skills” section of the Minnesota author’s resume.

“The Cartographer of No Man’s Land,” which tells the story of a father at war and a son coming of age at home without him, was selected as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. It was also a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, an international award that recognizes the power of literature to foster peace. The book has been published in Britain, Taiwan, Canada and will soon be out in Hebrew in Israel.

Fortunately for Wayzata readers, fans of Duffy won’t have to travel far to hear more about her career-shifting piece of literature. The author is getting ready to leave her Rochester home and travel north to lead Wayzata in the second-annual Wayzata Reads community book club discussion Thursday, Feb. 26, at Wayzata Library and city hall. Cartographer

The novel was selected by Wayzata’s former longstanding bookstore, The Bookcase, and the event was organized by the City of Wayzata, Friends of the Wayzata Library and the Wayzata Chamber of Commerce. A pre-presentation book discussion is 1 p.m. at Wayzata Library, followed in the evening by a 7 p.m. author presentation in the Community Room at Wayzata City Hall.

Between Duffy’s scientific research and thinking about her next novel, which the author has decided to keep mum about, she found time to talk with the Sun Sailor about her inspiration for the book, the research that went into it and how it feels it be making a return trip to Wayzata.

This article was first published in the Sun Sailor by Jason Jenkins on 

To read the full article, including a Q&A with the author, please click here.

Myrmidon author visits the world’s ‘most humane prison’

HarmattanGavin Weston, author of Harmattan, Writer-in-Residence at HMP Magilligan and editor of the prison magazine TIME IN recently visited the world’s ‘most humane prison’ at Halden in Norway. During the visit he met and interviewed prisoners who were receiving professional training as journalists, musicians, chefs and artists, as well as a jury of young inmates who were serving as judges for an international multimedia project for prisons organised by the PriMedia partnership.

In March, Gavin plans to visit the notorious Buca prison, in Gavin WestonIzmir, Turkey, where he will represent the Prison Arts Foundation and help prisoners establish an e-journal.

You can learn more about these projects by following Gavin on Twitter: @WestonOfTinTown







Mural at Halden prison by Norwegian artist Dolk

Tim Murgatroyd will be celebrating the 2015 Chinese New Year at Sheffield City Hall

Sheffield Chinese New Year 2015: Monday 16th February at Sheffield City Hall

Tim MurgatroydTim Murgatroyd will be one of the speakers at this year’s Chinese New Year celebrations held at Sheffield City Hall. There will be events on throughout the day and will finish with a spectacular evening performance.

The Sheffield Chinese New Year celebration 2015 will be hosted yet again in the beautiful grade II listed building of the Sheffield City Hall, situated in the heart of  Sheffield city centre. A flavour of Chinese culture and authenticity will be promised at this year’s Chinese New Year celebration!

The evening will include traditional Chinese dance and music with glittering authentic costumes throughout the show. The performance also includes the highly visual and artistic Dragon Dance, specialist Chinese performers soaring all the way from China to perform, plus much more to be announced very soon!

After Tim’s event he will be signing copies of his Chinese trilogy in the City Hall Ballroom from 4pm.

Celebrate 2015 Year of the Sheep

Sheffield Chinese New Year Show

China Land of Wonders

4.00pm – 6.45pm Pre-Show in the City Hall Ballroom

7.00pm – 8.30pm Irwin Mitchell Oval Hall Main Performance

For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit the Sheffield City Hall website: