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Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Jane Bailey window

Nearly finished the Jane Bailey signing window. Large poster to come from David tomorrow. Difficult to see, as they are so small, but there are three WWII aircraft still fighting it out in there somewhere. They are on loan from The Toy Shop along the road from us. It's the most marvellous toyshop and they often kindly loan us props.
Don't forget the date folks - Saturday 10th July from 10am. Do come along. Remember, we have a special price on the day for her warm, involving novels set in the Cotswolds. We're also hoping that she'll spill some secrets about the characters in her books. Perhaps she'll allow details to go on our blog.

Says My Dog

That wheel-barrow had no business hiding,
Says my dog.
Immobile, certainly.
Silent, yes
But it glared!
At me!
It got my back up, I can tell you. So I stood and barked.
Did I!
He just walked off whistling.
It was appeasement that started the last lot!

Good company - Barney

Today it was Barney's turn. He had a legitimate reason to visit a bookshop as his owner is sister to author, Mike Walker. We still stock his 'Bad Company', an adventure story for teens that compares well with the popular Cherub series by Robert Muchamore.
Sorry about the 'green-eye' Barney - not sure how to get rid of it.


Yesterday, we had a visit from Toska. I guess he'd popped in for a biscuit as he's been trained to do. (Well, you never know. The owner might find a good book once they've been dragged in.)

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

An American at Green Knowe

An American customer today asked for an opinion on a few 'very English' books. Unfortunately, I was very busy and had little time to think. Even worse, one in the suggestion box was Children of Green Knowe and it was missing from our shelves. Lucy M. Boston's best Green Knowe story is reprinting(?)but I did locate a photo of the Manor at Hemingford Grey in Cambs which is really 'Green Knowe'. Stranger at Green Knowe, for which the author won the Carnegie Medal, is in stock. You can visit this amazing old house but contact Diana Boston first at Read a few of the Green Knowe books first and your visit will take you into Lucy's magical world.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Says My Dog

There's a place I know where the badgers live,
Says my dog.
He calls it a sett.
Silver halls and golden caverns of guttering candlelight where,
Midst chests of stolen jewels and magic talismen,
The badgers take indolent rest,
He says.
I've had my nose down them
And they're just holes!

Nina off duty

Many of our customers have asked after Nina who remains off ill. It may well have been that David and Tony were just too much in the end.
Get well soon Nina!

Justin Thyme leaflets to printers

At last, the final, final, final version of the Justin Thyme leaflet has winged its way through the ether to the printers. I calculate we have to hand 20 per day to lucky members of the public. A bit more of a challenge with Nina away.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Eliza's new blog

Just heard that Eliza, my all time favourite gorilla, has her own blog at

Says My Dog

Feathers are scary,
Says my dog.
Curiously, the very smallest are the worst.
Large one may flutter a little
But creep too close to the smallest and
Oh, ears and tail!
One sniff is all it takes
For it will pounce,
Silently -
But fiercely!

Jane Bailey - Mad Joy

Jane Bailey's second Cotswold novel, Mad Joy, is the equal of her first, Tommy Glover's Sketch of Heaven. They are both cleverly crafted with major and minor characters sympathetically created and both have charm and tension in equal measure. Mad Joy, however, has a kernel of truth about it, for is partially based on an event in her own family history.

Mad Joy starts between the wars and in it, a little girl runs into a wood and, two years later, runs out again, into the house of spinster Gracie. Where does she come from and what became of her in those two years? Gracie has no wish to delve as the truth might take little Joy away from her. Joy, herself, may have her own, deeply buried reasons for not examining her past. Full of this author's trade-mark humour and containing some of her most memorable characters, this novel builds slowly to a climax, hint by hint, as the aptly named Joy approaches adulthood and the secret of those two years and of her earlier life comes to light.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Says My Dog

There's a noise I don't much like,
Says my dog.
A hideous moaning which comes with the south wind
And always from the same place.
The front door.
The letter box, to be precise.
He says it's like a mad harmonica player.
I blame the postman!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Says my Dog

Pumpkins have an air of malevolence about them,
Says my dog.
They hide beneath the biggest leaves on the allotments and peer out, menacingly.
They are large and muscular.
While I have not seen their teeth,
I am sure
Pumpkins are perpetually preparing to pounce.

Jane Bailey - Tommy Glover's Sketch of Heaven

This is a charming Cotswold story, set during the war, by Cheltenham author, Jane Bailey. Kitty, young, back-street London girl, is evacuated to a Cotswold village and her 'forthright' (!) manner soon causes upheaval as she acts as a catalyst for change. Seemingly a simple tale, it is packed with memorable characters and interweaving themes.
You cannot fail to be moved, yet laugh out loud, when you read of Kitty's first experience of a Cotswold cream cake. When Kitty, so used to the mean patches of London sky, has her first view of an open Cotswold field, with its seemingly vast horizons, you may well be as moved as she is. With a little of Goodnight Mr. Tom and a great deal of humour, Tommy Glover’s Sketch of Heaven is a delight, from its culture clash beginning to its romantic ending, via an exposure of secrets that belie the idyllic beauty of the Cotswolds.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Says my Dog

Walks are the delight of my days
Says my dog.
I chase a ball
And rabbits and crows and foxes
And sniff.
He likes to walk too.
I have seen him look, with evident delight, at the towering clouds,
At a ribbon of flying geese,
At a butterfly.
Pointless I think but,
Ah, the smells!

Chapter 2000

Only in the shop for the last couple of hours today. A visit to Chapter 2000 in Leyton (Remember Me) Buzzard. Return with a van full of paperbacks and some great kids titles.

Thinking about opening another shop in Much Rambling, a few miles north of Bourton-on-the-Water. Chap over there has a place with reasonable rent.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Justin Thyme Leaflet

Perfecting our Justin Thyme leaflet (yet again). Then I'm off to bed. Haven't worked out how to display it on here yet but one side reads thus -

Justin Thyme by Panama Oxridge
Hardback at £12.99

Justin Thyme, the first book in a series, is like nothing you’ve read before. Though the name of the author is hidden, his ingenuity is obvious from the start - the book’s 'ambigram' jacket alone tells you that this is something special. The plot is a crazy tangle of larger-than-life characters such as the cook, whose misuse of the English language is hilarious, Burbage, the Shakespeare quoting parrot and Eliza, the computer literate gorilla.
Its hero is Justin Thyme, genius and self-made billionaire at thirteen years of age, who is building a time machine. His enemy, Agent X, is determined to steal the machine and is responsible for the kidnap of Justin’s mother. The plot charges toward the climax of the machine’s completion and his mother’s rescue. Will Justin be - just in time?
If that were all, this would still be an exciting and funny youngsters’ adventure, but it is so much more. The host of eccentric characters provide much humour but some of them may not be all they seem. This adds to the whodunit mix of clues, codes and red herrings as the reader joins Justin and his action girl sister, Robyn, in tracking down the traitor in the castle. Plus a great new puzzle web site at
The reading age is suggested as 9 to young teens but it is enjoyable for adult fans of puzzles or whodunits too and is perfect for bed time reading.
Justin Thyme was originally self-published but has now been taken up by children’s publisher, Inside Pocket. This new edition will be launched from Cotswold Bookstore on Saturday 11 Sept 2010. For a signed copy of this exciting new edition, 3 weeks before it is officially available, come along and meet this secretive author or tel. 01608 652666 or mail and we will send you one - POST FREE IN UK!

The (not quite) Longest Day

Wonderful comment from David. Typical Eyeore comment. 10am on 22 June and he's already got a glass half empty with, 'The days are getting shorter from now on.' You have to laugh, don't yer.

Nina back home after her op and complained that her stitches were put under great pressure when I mailed her with -

"Don't you worry about leaving David and I to it. We're doing just fine. Apart from the shop fire. And that business with the geese. And me forgetting to come in three days last week. And David insulting a young women(the police were very understanding about it). And that Amazon order for 26 copies of 'Tommy Glover's Sketch of Heaven' in Greek. And David working in the fish and chip shop for half an hour on Wednesday before he noticed."

She said that the funniest part was that it could all have been true!

Jane Bailey Posters

David hogged the computer most of today, Bashing in a nice order from Cotswold School. That meant I had no chance of entering anything in here. However, I did get round the countryside early on and put up posters for Jane Bailey's signing in both Blockley and Longborough shop.

Blockley is cluttered with any number of authors and seems to be Carsley, home of Agatha Raisin.
Orders from Berts and Gards early today. Like the look of 'I Think I Love You' by Alison Pearson. Will try to get used to this Bloggy thing and get a scan included tonight. Must get that scanner upstairs working. U/S for past three years!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Justin Thyme

Have to stop mucking about on this complex Blog thing and get on with producing finished leaflet for Justin Thyme. Input from the great man himself (Panama Oxridge) has to be taken into account.
So what happened to the previous post?
OK So comments are for other people. Still don't know how to change the time.
Just trying to get a handle on this Blog thingy.