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Monday, 28 May 2012

On White Horse Hill

Some of you may have noticed the jigsaw-like pieces littering the blog over the past few weeks. I can now unveil the jacket of a new Poetry book by local author, poet, cartoonist and all round character, John S Curtis. Not only is he all round, he has a beard.

Here's the complete image from his book jacket. What's more, here's an example of his work.

The Lizard

Clinging to the rock motionless.
Damascened chisel head, tenacious and austere.
Artichoke scales glinting in the sun
Like the waves of the Attic sea.

He has the air of a dragon;
Rooted and pithy beneath his saracen mail.
Socrates would have seen his like
Among the olive groves, on stony hills.

The shade of Plato brushed these quiet slopes;
While through millennia of stridulating days,
Untouched by philosophy,
He basked; feeding on sapphire flies.

Slave boys, herding their goats under
Ceramic skies, once caught his fragile flashing tail;
Snapping like asparagus,
A raw and bloody squirming prize.

Between his random darts across
The burning face of time, the fine-sieved golden light
Prints his dapper shadow on parched stone;
Neat, contained and sudden in the sun.

The touch of his cool and burnished skin
Is like a slender finger in a smooth silk glove,
A thing of tactile emerald grace;
Dreaming of dark ancestral swamps.

Isn't he good! 

Book News 44

Our latest Book News is now in the shop containing our thoughts on The Iron Will of Shoeshine Cats by Hesh Kestin, Gods of Gotham by Lindsaye Faye, Geekhood by Andy Robb and The Mystery of Wickworth Manor by Elen Caldecott.

There's news of our next book signing - a double with Christopher Jory's Lost in Flames and Derek J Taylor's A Horse in the Bathroom.

A first for us is the inclusion of a piece of poetry. Local poet, cartoonist and character, John Curtis, has a new book of poems out called On White Horse Hill which contains many insightful poems on the Cotswold Landscape. I confess to not being particularly enthusiastic about poetry but I really enjoy John's work.

If you'd like to meet John, he is often in the shop on Tuesday and Friday mornings at about 11am. We wonder if enough people would be interested in a poetry reading by John, perhaps one evening at a cafe in Moreton-in-Marsh? Please let us know.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

French Kissing

I regret that I cannot report back on Diz White's signing (for Cotwolds Memoir) as I was off skiving for the day. At a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit, actually. However, I'm not here to report on that (though Gandalf and Saruman seemed to be on good terms again) but on a visit we received on Friday.

Via Twitter, we were introduced to a new author called Carla McKay. If you know the name it may be because she is a feature writer and book reviewer for The Daily Mail. She dropped in, on Friday, bringing with her, a copy of her book, The Folly of French Kissing.There's a hint on the blurb that readers of the Agatha Raisin titles might enjoy this read.

Nice to meet you Carla - next time the hot chocs are on you!

Monday, 14 May 2012

The Inheritance - Hobb and Lindholm

Recently arrived - a Robin Hobb and Megan Lindholm combination of short stories.

Any story by either author will be something special.

Hobb's Liveship Traders and Farseer trilogies have a huge fan base. I can highly recommend both them and The Reindeer People and Wolf's Brother by Megan Lindholm, particularly to those who have enjoyed the work of Jean M Auel (Clan of the Cave Bear etc).

Hobb's work can be read over and over and the two titles of Lindholm I have mentioned are memorable and an excellent intro into her work.

The new book, The Inheritance, takes its title from a Hobb story but the majority of the stories in the book are those by Lindholm.

Robin Hobb has a site which she runs more like a blog at while Megan Lindholm has a less illustrated site at

And before I get comments, yes, I know, both authors are one and the same person. (I know it - I'm not sure if they do!)


Here's another customer keen to make the acquaintance of the biscuit tin.

Oscar here is a Cockerpoo.

He better not 'cock a' or poo in the shop!

Sorry Oscar. Couldn't resist.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Diz signing

Suddenly our next book signing is almost upon us.

That's Saturday 19th May at 10.30 am when Diz White will be signing her new book - Cotswolds Memoir.

British born Diz divides her time between writing in the Cotswolds and an acting and writing career in Hollywood - credits include Star Trek and Bullshot in which she starred alongside Mel Smith and Billy Connolly and co-wrote.

In addition to her on-camera acting for television and film Diz has also performed voice over, narration and animation work for numerous television and film productions such as How to train your Dragon, Shrek, Titanic, Eragon, Frost-Nixon and many others.

What's my Name?

This little cutie dropped in one day last week and, of course, that's far to long for me to remember her name.

I do have one dog written down on a piece of paper but I'm fairly sure this is not Toby the Swedish Vallhund!

If the owners are looking in, perhaps you could e-mail us with a name?

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Interview - Jenny Wingfield

Terrific interview with Jenny Wingfield, author of The Homecoming of Samuel Lake on Advicetowriters site. Here's the link -


Thursday, 3 May 2012

Western writer strides in

Pleased to meet Western author, Gillian F. Taylor. (She's not up from Devon or Cornwall, I mean she writes Westerns).

Titles - The Judas Metal, Silver Express, Two Gun Trouble etc.

Find her on

It was nice to chat with her and her friend about books, models and roleplay games.

She's also the only person I know who has been on Mastermind!

Charlie and Tuppence

Here's Charlie and Tuppence.

Sorry about the white-eye.

Must learn to do something about it.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012


I'd hoped to have a good photo of 'dog on the blog' Dolly, but she wouldn't keep still for a second.

Call in again, Dolly, and you can have some more biscuits if you'll only stop wagging.

Or perhaps your owners can send a photo?

Setek's Calendars

It was great to receive a visit from Frank Setek who calls in, every year, with calendars showing views around the Cotswolds.
Here is Frank with his wife, the artist behind all these lovely watercolour paintings.
There can be few places in the UK that she hasn't painted.
Expect to see them on the shelves soon (the calendars, not Frank and his wife)
Our first 'poster' calendars are already in the shop.

Gods of Gotham - Corrections

I've just been double corrected on my recent Gods of Gotham review.

1. Her first 'solo' book was Dust and Shadow so Gods of Gotham is NOT a debut.

2. The authors name is Lyndsay Faye not Lindsay Faye.

I'm glad someone's watching - thanks Anon.