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Two articles about Boonkie in the Community by Lendy Swartbooi-Thobejane



Old grandfather rhyme has an ear for a story...

BUDDING AUTHOR: Bryan George, 86, has just written his first book, Fifteen Easy Tales and Strange Stories. Leyland grandfather is celebrating a first – writing a book at 86!  Retired businessman Bryan George, from Ulnes Walton, says that becoming an author with his book Fifteen Easy Tales and Strange Stories is proof that age is no barrier to following your dreams. The book's 15 stories include tales from everyday life to supernatural events and have been derived from the author's time abroad and travelling in the UK. "They were all written after retirement while living here at my home," he said.
Byran George's book is available on www.amazon.co.uk at the price of £7.99. Published by Diadem Books.

Read more about Bryan George on the RNID website. Click here.

This news item appeared in the Lancashire Evening News

A new book by a one-time World War fighter pilot, Richard Swale, has just been published under the imprint of Diadem Books, titled Watch the wall, My Darling. The book is not about the World War or about flying fighter aircraft, however—but about smuggling! As Michael Williams says in a recent review of the book (in the Cornwall Guardian Country) puts it: ‘Richard is…the author of a book called Watch The Wall, My Darling, a tale based loosely on his great, great, great grandfathers, John Andrew and James Law, two smugglers who worked the North Yorkshire coast. …A fascinating cocktail of fact and fiction, it is a page-turner about men and their loyal women who survived as “Free Traders,” a theme striking an affinity with many Cornish readers—in tune with smuggling stories around the jagged coastline of Guardian Country.’ 

 The Guardian Country reviewer goes on to discuss in some detail the wartime experiences of our author, who flew against the Germans in Italy and Greece, flying Beaufighters. (Read more here.)

Beth Richards publishes her seventh book!

Charles Muller, CEO of Diadem Books, travelled down to Clowne, in Derbyshire, in August 2009 to be with author Beth Richards on the occasion of the publication of her seventh book: Darkness to Light. The occasion might be described as worthy of a lifetime achievement award! The new book, sub-titled 'Further Enlightening Poetry and Prose', brings together the latest collection of Beth's poems and prose pieces, and the front cover appropriately features her latest oil painting of a lighthouse, one of her favourite subjects, for like a lighthouse, her writing projects new light on many aspects of the human dilemma. As she says, "My aim in this book of poems and prose is to reach out to a number of readers – therefore I’ve written about many different subjects, which will almost certainly touch the hearts of many.  Maybe some of the subjects will even help someone with a similar problem in his or her life to find a solution – a form of self-help!" The book has now gone live and can be purchased from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all major on-line bookstores, including Tesco's where, as they say, "Every little bit helps!" The book is published under the new imprint of Diadem Books.

Diadem Books now publishes under its own imprint.

In July 2008 Diadem Books published the first two books, The Nowhere Man and Journey Towards Himself by Roy Holland, under its own imprint of Diadem Books. Prior to this, for eight years, Diadem Books partnered with the Print on Demand Publisher iUniverse, in Nebraska, USA, during which time over 200 books were published, all of which can still be found in this website. The books published by Diadem Books will be of a high quality, both paperback and hardcover, and as before, the books will be available in all on-line bookstores like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, including Tesco! All will have their own unique ISBN number and will be searchable through Google. As before, the publishing package will include all necessary editing at no extra cost.






The launch of Elizabeth Nel’s book on Winston Churchill at the Churchill Museum, Cabinet War Rooms in Whitehall, in February 2008, was a great success, thanks to the enthusiasm and energy of Celia Murray, who did all the hard work for the occasion and, in fact, made the event possible. As she herself said, it was graced with “wonderful people, excellent speeches and superb Nederburg top wines”, and Celia Murray finished off the event with a toast to Elizabeth Nel (with glasses of Amarula, which the late author used to enjoy diluted with milk). I am very indebted to Celia for organising the event, and a particular pleasure for me was being able to meet many of the Diadem Book authors for the first time!  I asked Celia to write a few paragraphs about the event, and her report is given here in full. I am indebted to her, too, for the photographs. —Charles Muller, Diadem Books.


Lady Soames, daughter of Winston Churchill, who answered questions on her father
at the launch of Elizabeth Nel's book Winston Churchill by his Personal Secretary

The Story of an amazing book launch in honour of Mrs. Elizabeth Nel - to read the full report by Celia Murray, click here.

AUTHOR Nick Armbrister with his book.
Picture by the Waltham Forest Guardian

FORMER Counthill School pupil Nick Armbrister promises everything from fantasy and horror to war in his latest book.

The writer describes “A Nation in Flames” as a series of short stories based around extreme situations.

He draws inspiration from his own experiences, the news and media and explained: “It’s of an adult nature about a range of topics. It’s got stories from horror to warfare to fantasy.”

It is the third book by the 36-year-old factory worker who started writing in 1996 and moved from Oldham to London in 2005.

“I like music but I am a failed musician so I thought I would give writing a go because I find it interesting,” explained Nick, who now lives in Chingford.

“A Nation in Flames”, like his two previous poetry anthologies, is self-published and reflects his interests which include Gothic culture, aircraft, history, science fiction, fantasy, tattoos and other cultures,

He writes in the evening and at weekends and his fourth book will be published in November, while he is also working on a novel.

Girlfriend Xochitl (24) lives with the couple’s 10-month-old son, Alex, at her mother’s house in Chigwell, and Nick added: “My ambition is to write full-time, to have my own writing business and to have a home for my family.

“Because things are so expensive in London we live apart even though we are a family.”

“A Nation in Flames” is available on the web from Nick’s myspace site, www.myspace.com/nickspoetrybooks, or Amazon. It can also be ordered from W H Smith.      


Nick Armbrister on 209radio Cambridge 105fm. 209radio.co.uk Cassies rock show.

The second volume of contemporary poetry (Skeward Images) on various subjects from poet/writer Nick Armbrister recently appeared, and a few photos from the book launch can be seen here. The following review by D J Tyrer appeared in The Supplement:

"This is Nick Armbrister’s second volume of poetry. A regular contributor to our titles, his poetry will likely be familiar to many readers. This collection ranges from the darkness of Racist Attack to the pleasures of Scotland. Saddam and the chaos in Iraq inspire two poems, Nick’s life and unwillingness to conform many more. Perhaps the most touching is Spitfire Bride, a tale of stillborn hope in the heart of a lost pilot’s lover. As ever, Nick writes with skill and passion, whatever themes he tackles. If you are a fan of his poetry then you will want to buy this book."

Nick likes to write simple poems that convey his emotions and thoughts first hand, to be shared with his readers and audience. Music, life, aviation, gothic culture, and more besides, inspire his poetry in which he dares to bare his heart, soul and mind—in brittle, startling poems that touch the raw nerves of life, yet a life that throbs with positive energy. As one reviewer put it, he “sees the dark underbelly of the world but counterpoints it with hope and warnings about falling into the same traps” (D. J. Tyrer in The Supplement).

Why Daddy Why?

July 3rd, 2006

a review by Jessica-Lee Bowman

 Many people like to read about other people’s lives even if it’s a sad story. If you are one of those people who enjoy books like, A Child Called “It”, Why Daddy Why by Emelia Dion Hardy would be a great book for you to read. This book is similar to, A Child Called “It”. It is about a father who abuses a young girl and her siblings. This book talks about losing a mother and having to live with pain every day. I recommend this book to many people to show how bad it is to be abused and if you know anyone who is getting abused to tell someone to help them get out of that situation. This is a true life book that states events from Emelia’s life and the troubles her father put her whole family through. Reading books like this will give you a whole new perspective on how people live and find it is wrong to abuse other people.

Appeared in The Rampage

'Tunnel tiger' turns author to

travel down memory lane

By Calum Macleod

Published:  03 August, 2007 in the Inverness Courier


A review of TIGERS UNDER THE TURF by Bert Scorgie

BERT Scorgie has always been a worker. By his calculation, over the course of his working life he has had some 56 jobs, including one he stuck with for 16 years.

So when a heart attack seven years ago brought a premature end to his working life at the age of 62, he was never going to remain idle.

Having worked with computers before his retirement, Bert invested in a new computer which he describes as his pride and joy, and put it to use.

After writing fiction based on his own childhood in the north east, which was accidentally erased from his computer and which he is now in the process of re-writing, Bert then set to work on his own life story, which has just been published under the title "Tigers Under the Turf."

Bert, of Drynie Avenue in Hilton, was also inspired to write about his life by his concerns about Iraq. War has cast a shadow over Bert's own life. His father, who served with the Gordon Highlanders on India's North-West Frontier and in Palestine in the pre-war years, was killed in France in 1940 before his son had a chance to remember him.

"My father was one of those told 'don't move until you are relieved' and they never were relieved. There were 40 of them killed in one day," Bert said.

"My mother was left with nothing. They were living in married quarters in Aldershot and when my father was killed my mother was sent home to Scotland with what she had in her suitcase."

Moving between relations and jobs, Bert's mother eventually found employment as housekeeper to a crofter near the village of Gamrie in Banffshire.

"I must have been about four when my mother remarried," Bert said.

"A step-father's not a substitute for your real father, but he gave me a home and never treated me any different from any of my stepbrothers."

Writing about his childhood for the book, Bert said he came to realise that much of it was now history which might not be recorded anywhere else.

"I remember coming home — it must have been 1943 — we heard this plane spluttering and looked up and saw it gliding in. We thought it was going to hit us, but it landed 30 yards away," Bert said.

"The pilot opened up the canopy and climbed out on the wing. He said he was sorry and hoped he hadn't frightened us much and asked where the nearest telephone was."

When Bert was 10, his stepfather gave up the croft and moved from farm to farm as a hired hand and Bert travelled with him until he was old enough to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who had been a drum major with the Gordons in World War One, and enlisted as a boy soldier in the regiment on 5th January 1953. But his military career was to last just 18 months before he broke his leg on an assault course and was discharged as medically unfit.

His short time in the army did make a lasting impression, however, and Bert went on to join the Infantry Boys and Junior Leaders Association and through its website is in contact with people around the world, including a prison governor in the US and a man who runs an adventure school in Australia.

"When I was discharged it was one of the most devastating periods of my life," Bert said.

"Going from a room with 29 other guys, I went to work where it was just a man and myself and he didn't even speak to me. At the age of 16-and-a-half, I was too old to get an apprenticeship so I couldn't do anything other than the most boring jobs."

After a four month stint on a pig farm, Bert eventually found his first job on the hydro-schemes at Aultguish.

"I started off illegal," Bert confessed.

"I was 17 and you needed to be 18 to be in the camp. My stepbrother was there and when they asked what year you were born I was 1937, but my brother said '36. Every day I worked there I lived in terror that I was going to be found out."

However, his secret remained safe for five weeks until severe winter weather forced the closure of the camp.

The post-war programme of road building also provided Bert with employment, working on roads in the west Highlands and Skye.

Bert Scorgie with his book 'Tigers Under The Turf'. Phil Downie 01463 831249

"The road from Balmacara through to Kyle, I drilled every inch of that one," Bert said.

"I also worked on the Invermoriston/Glengarry road. That was 15 miles built complete though virgin territory. That was some job. It was straight in line with the Atlantic and see when the wind was blowing... But it was a good job and the weather was just something you had to put up with."

Bert returned to the hydro-schemes and in 1958 became a tunnel miner, the tunnel tigers who gave his book its title.

"It was the best paid job on the site — the worst, but the best paid," he explained.

"For an 80 hour week you would go home with £27 clear after tax and bonuses. That was for 12 hours work every day. Once you went far enough underground, you didn't get out again until you had finished your shift.

"There was no health and safety in those days either. We had helmets and that was about it. The conditions we worked in wouldn't be allowed today. I injured a young man one night myself. I opened the end of the compressed air pipe and there was a pebble in it. It shot out like a bullet into the side of his head and burst his eardrum."

If moving from job to job was part of Bert's life, then his home matched his peripatetic working life. He and wife Jess, with whom he will celebrate their golden wedding anniversary in December, spent 12 years living in a caravan as far south as Corby in Northamptonshire and as far north as Ullapool, raising both their daughters in the caravan until an insurance pay out to Jess allowed the couple to buy their first flat in May Court in Inverness in 1964. They have lived in the city ever since.

Bert, who says he was always looking for a job where he could use his brain rather than his back, was among the beneficiaries of the 1970s oil boom and in 1972 at the age of 35, the man who was too old for an apprenticeship at 16 began training as a welder at McDermott's fabrication yard at Ardersier.

"I never thought I would get that opportunity," Bert said.

"I spent the next 27 years in oil related work. On the welding side I got up as far as group manager, but due to ill health I had to give up that job and started at the bottom of the ladder again, this time in quality control."

After 16 years at Ardersier, by which time he was chief fabrication inspector with Ardersier, Bert left to go freelance, working offshore and on in the UK and Europe.

Then on 4th July 2000, Bert suffered a heart attack.

"That was the end of my working days, at least for full time employment," he said. "I just wasn't fit for it."

Even so, Bert still works, carrying out occasional gardening duties and has had time to devote to other interests, including his grandchildren and great granddaughter and becoming associated with the Normandy Veterans Association, taking photographs and videos of their reunions and memorial trips to Europe.

It was on the first of these that Bert was able to visit his father's grave at the war cemetery in Longueval almost 50 years after his father was killed in action, an experience which Bert says made him feel there was no longer something missing in his life, a life he has been able to take a fresh look at in writing his autobiography.

"I enjoyed writing it. It brought back a lot of memories. You can't write down everything, but what I can say is that everything in there is true," he said.

* "Tigers Under the Turf" by Bert Scorgie is published by iUniverse Books, through Diadem Books, priced £9.


A review by Sarah Foster of Dorothy Lewis' two books appeared in The Northern Echo on the 20th March, 2007:
She's been a teacher and a healer, now as she nears her 80th birthday, Dorothy Lewis is writing books. She talks to Women's Editor Sarah Foster about her interest in the spiritual and how she's trying to pave the way to greater happiness in old age

'Arriving at Dorothy Lewsis's house, in a small village just outside Richmond, I find I've slightly missed the boat. The book I'd gone along to chat about, Ageless Spirit, is no longer Dorothy's latest and as we settle at her table, her Yorkshire terrier at our feet, she starts discussing Edrin's Quest, the fourth to issue from her pen. A work of fiction, it marks a definite departure. "It's a children's story for children from ten to 100," says the 79-year-old. "It's fiction and it's like a layered sweet with toffee on the top and chocolate underneath. It's about a boy who lives in a company of warlocks and he has to complete a quest before his 13th birthday so he can be accepted by the council. He learns to use his intuition, that he has to stop and be still. He also learns about healing and used magic all the time."  It may have shades of Harry Potter, but Edrin's Quest is not designed to be a simple children's story. What Dorothy hopes is that the book will take its readers on a kind of spiritual journey. If this seems fanciful, it's pretty clear it's not a whim. In fact, this premise has become the central purpose of her life...' Extract from The Northern Echo, 20 March 2007.


This interesting piece of news, or 'experiment' (from the Australian writers' magazine Australian Author), which shows the likelihood of your masterpiece being recognized for what it is, was sent to me by Australian author Filton Hebbard:

An old trick…

but it keeps working… The list of distinguished authors or prize-winning books passed over or rejected after submission to contemporary editors and publishers just keeps growing, and now includes V. S. Naipaul’s In A Free State and Stanley Middleton’s Holiday , both earlier winners of the Booker Prize. In a London Sunday Times experiment reporters ‘tested’ 20 British publishers and literary agents by sending them typed copies of the first chapters of these books. Authors’ and characters’ names were changed in the usual way of this sort of ambush, so that the works appeared to have come from unknowns. Every submission was rejected, the only glimmer of hope coming from one agent who said they would like a few more chapters....

Copying the Sunday Times, The Weekend Australian in May sent an extract from Nobel prize-winning author Patrick White’s novel The Eye of the Storm to various Australian publishers and agents. Result? Not a single submission brought any joy. Is this an indictment of modern publishing and agenting, where editorial insight and the ability to spot talent have eroded dramatically? Or merely what you might expect in a world with too many prospective authors and mss., bombarding too few overloaded publishers and agents? Or is/was White just no good...? Reader, you decide!

- from Australian Author magazine, April 2006.

The writings of Poet and Author Beth Winchcombe featured in Clowne Enterprise (Issue 3, May 2006), the Newsletter of the Bizfizz Programme in Clowne:

Boffin Philip Bladon's scientific reference book hits the press! 

This dictionary provides information for everyone; trivia and scrabble buffs can enrich their vocabulary; symbologists and symbolists can ponder over the character sizes. Students, especially those studying science, will find this dictionary a valuable reference book throughout their careers.



Review in It's Fate, Issue 3, April 2006:

Eileen writes her book Spiritual Food for Thought merely as a medium—a channel for her spiritual guide Silas to impart basic information that we in this often misguided world need to know. If Silas, through Eileen, succeeds in reaching out to just one person, then this whole project will have been worthwhile. With its wisdom and revelations from one who lived before, this book is proof of a world beyond the grave.








Where Birds Flock Together!
The launch of Bellbolttoms and Blackouts, by Louisa Jenkins, about the time when she was a Wren serving in Scotland during the second world war, took place at the Thistle Hotel in Edinburgh on Saturday, 19th February, 2005. Dr Charles Muller, of Diadem Books, was privileged to give the introductory address, and it was gratifying to see so many present who eagerly queued up to purchase signed copies of the book (around seventy copies were sold during the two-hour launch). The occasion, indeed, was living history, for there were many ex-Wrens present. Dr Muller drew attention to the author's sparkling style and disarming sense of humour with which she recalls her very human (and amusing, sometimes hilarious!) experiences of being a Wren. But the book is also a significant record of history, for it tells us many things so many people don't know—that the Americans, for instance, were in fact secretly present in Scotland (in a civilian capacity) in preparation for their involvement long before the official announcement of their entry into the War; and also, how many realise that 'Blackouts' do not necessarily refer to the heavy material used to black out the light from windows, but to a certain garment of a Wren's underwear? Dr Muller concluded: "Louisa's first book (The Tree that Grew in St James Square, launched last year) belongs to Edinburgh, but this book belongs to the world"—for the Wrens surely played a significant role in ensuring the values of freedom and democracy, not only for Scotland and the UK, but for the world. 

Charles Muller, of Diadem Books, addresses the Wrens


Click here for an article on Rudi Kratschmer and Jill Martin's book which appeared in the Sheffield Star on Saturday 29 Jan 2005, by journalist Fiona Firth. The headlines read: "He fled Czechoslovakia to escape the Nazis and eventually forged a successful career as an engineer in Sheffield. Now Rudi Kratschmer has told his remarkable story in a new book." Jill Martin adds: "Since the article appeared, we have had several phone calls from people who knew Rudi and who would like a copy of the book, and also a call from a lady in Sheffield who has never met him but believes in the importance of telling such histories; it's been lovely to get such a response."

Book from beyond the grave...  Eileen Babb's bookis unusual in that its co-author has been dead for almost a century. Eileen Babb's Spiritual Food for Thought was reviewed and the author interviewed by Mike Buckingham, whose report appeared in the South Wales Argus on Wednesday, January 19, 2005. Some of the photographs that appeared with the article are reproduced here. The photo on the left shows Eileen, who is a medium, consulting her crystal. The photo on the right shows Eileen with her dreamcatcher. Caption: "Psychic Gift: Eileen Babb has written a book for a spirit called Silas."

Eileen and husband Colin with a white hawk dreamcatcher.

Final frontier for sci-fi fan

A science fiction fanatic from Swindon has had his first novel published! Read the full report from the Evening Advertiser: click on the report!

New release: Cry Havoc by Toby Bishop, MBE.  
Toby Bishop, MBE, is a retired mercenary, formerly of the Royal Military Police. The following review appeared in The Royal Military Police Journal, August 2004:

You can imagine your editor's surprise when sent a book to review written by a friend and former Corps officer. In fact not just a book, but a novel! New novelist, Toby Bishop, known to most as Roy, has written a tale of derring do in Africa. Its sub-title says much of the author and the book: "A trip to Hell for a group of ageing mercenaries who should have known better." The fiction is based on a mercenary operation in Mozambique. The story is spiced with scenes of horror and violence and is told with humour. In fact, the sort of story that one would expect from a former soldier and told in a language we can all relate to. Roy, a former Major RMP, having joined the Corps in 1956, was commissioned from the ranks in 1977. He left the Army in 1986 and worked in Ghana and on contract in other African countries. He says he has now given up his wanderings and has settled back into life in Kent. 


Louisa Jenkins’ autobiographical book The Tree that Grew in St James Square, was held in Edinburgh at the King James Thistle Hotel on 4th September, 2004 . Charles Muller of Diadem Books travelled from the Highlands to Edinburgh for the occasion by train, and it was well worth the trouble! Louisa is 82, a very slender, tall, elegant woman, and was dressed immaculately in a long black dress with pearls—a lovely woman with an angelic smile. She is the only surviving member of her family that constitutes the “family tree” that grew in St James Square , now a hyper-modern shopping complex in lieu of the old tenement buildings and apartments where many working folk lived in the thirties and the war years. Her husband Tom (six years younger than Louisa—she calls him her “toy boy”) and their son Llewellyn were present, plus an enormous amount of interested relatives and visitors! Llwelleyn is an IT man and he had rigged up a huge screen linked to his computer, displaying the book’s cover, followed by a slide-show presentation of the pictures in the book and a movie of old-time Edinburgh with background hit songs from the thirties.

 The cheese and wine presentation was in a large reception room of the hotel and it was crowded!  Charles Muller sat next to Louisa and volunteered an impromptu speech, recalling many of the funny and sad parts of the book, saying that it read like a novel and that one very quickly felt part of this wonderful family with its old-time values and lived through the history it enfolded. (There was the risqué detail of the ‘magic’ ointment Louisa had bought by mail order when she was thirteen—“You’ll have to read the book to find out what that’s all about!”; the information about “auld teabread” & “coo-s paps” (everyone nodded and smiled knowingly) and the historical verisimilitude, about Mrs Simpson, for instance, who was thought to be “a fascinatingly dangerous woman”.) He challenged anyone to read the moving account of Louisa’s sister’s Teeny’s death (she died at 22 of consumption) with a dry eye.

Louisa had ordered one hundred books which thankfully had arrived in time, three days before. Then came the book signings, and the queue stretched around the room. “We should have ordered two hundred!” Tom, Louisa’s husband, said.


The launch of They Kill Bears by Lee Vernon took place in Luxembourg at the 'Chapter 1' bookshop on 19th June 2004. The launch of David Robinson's guide to Luxembourg (An Expat's Life, Luxembourg & The White Rose) was also launched on Saturday 19th June at the English Shop in Limpertsburg between 11 am and 2 pm, and between 3 pm to 5 pm at the White Rose pub in the Rue Dicks, in Luxembourg. 

Charles Muller, of Diadem Books, was able to attend the launch of An Expat's Life in Luxembourg where he was royally entertained by the author and his friends, some of whom came as far afield as London and Holland. By clicking on the pictures below (by Rob Biekmann) more scenes from the day of the launch can be seen.

Swindon writers' group 'Penpushers' held a seminar (June 5th, 2004, St Andrew's Hall, Walcot, Swindon, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at which experts gave talks about everything from how to find an agent to self-publication. Among them was Diadem Books author Jean Morley whose historical romance Talley Girl has been recently released. Jean Morley is seen here displaying both her novels Black Pearls and Talley Girl in a news article that appeared in the Wiltshire News.





Working with the Dead  by Josephine Price Powell 

A must for those with an interest in Death. Working with the Dead provides a readable and true account of the author’s encounters with Death, before and after she became an embalmer. Without a doubt this sometimes humorous, yet sensitive and caring approach to death and embalming, will keep the reader gripped on every page. Anecdotes from her personal life and experience make the book engrossing, sad and sometimes funny—but it is not for the faint hearted.

Working with the Dead opens doors to modern embalming and caring for the dead in a way that is easily understood by those wishing to follow the art. Make yourself comfortable, lock the door, and…prepare to be surprised...

Frank Binns makes his debut in Luxembourg as a crime writer. The launch of his novel An Odyssey of Murder received full coverage in the February 2004 edition of the Luxembourg journal "352":

A double success!Diadem Books visits Florida.  Editor Charles Muller, of Diadem Books, visited Florida in early December where he was the guest of author Lisa Ammerman and her husband Terry Henderson. Lisa is the author of two excellent literary novels, Love in a Nutbag (published in 2001) and Hunger Hill (just published), and is presently working on a new groundbreaking novel, Death by Cucumber. Terry Henderson, a talented writer and a former BBC engineer, will be working on a refreshingly different, if startling documentary guide to Florida, especially for the expat.  The visit to Florida was a 'nutbag' experience. (Read Love in a Nutbag and 'nutbag' is guaranteed to become a household word; indeed, Lisa's innovative us of language will enrich the reader's vocabulary!)   See more photographs from the Florida visit!

Launch of Diana Button's novel in Luxembourg - an unqualified success!

Well done Diana!Diana Button recently launched her novel Marrying It All which was published through Diadem Books in September. The booksigning at the Chapter1 bookstore in Luxembourg was a great success, readers standing in line to have their copies signed while three readers, Charles Muller of Diadem Books included, read passages from the novel. Over 130 copies were sold in just over two hours, the bookstore having to remains open after hours to cater for the stragglers! The Luxembourg National Cultural Radio Station (100,7) presented an excellent review (in English); Diana was interviewed on Luxembourg ARA city radio as well as on private TV (Tango TV), and the book and pictures have featured in the English-speaking newspapers and the English online website www.station.lu. The National Centre for Literature has purchased copies and the National Library will catalogue it.  See potographs from the book launch

Helen Cardwell (24), of Waltham Rise (Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire), has hit the local press with her female "Harry Potter" novel! She started writing when she was just six years old, and now her first book, Amber Janusson: Protector of the Magic Lands, has been published. "When it arrived I felt like I had wandered into a dream. It was unbelievable, I was acting like a lunatic, jumping up and down." Her heroine Amber is from a long line of witches, and is destined to save the human world and the magic lands. She has been inspired by fairytales, myths and the work of CS Lewis. The scenery around Alnwick inspired the author. Helen has been visiting north Northumberland for a decade and says the magic, beauty and mystery of the area persuaded her to put pen to paper. Alnwick is of course no stranger to magic with the castle used in the first two Harry Potter films.

See news report in the Lochaber News, October 4, 2003: 
"Book Speaks Volumes of Mick's Determination."  

Stroke victim tells story of his fight for recovery.

Emma Hardy writes of new author Susannah George: "Her story is worthy of the pages of a novel and that is exactly what Susannah has drawn inspiration from in her first book, True Colours, which goes on sale in the Cambridge branch of Heffers on Trinity Street in September."

From the Cambridge Evening News, August 27, 2003. Extract from the Editorial Opinion:

Inspirational book shows way forward
AUTHOR Susannah George is an inspiration to us all.
    Although the book she has written is a novel, she has drawn on her own experiences for the storyline for True Colours.
    As a schoolgirl Susannah, like many young people, was bullied by fellow pupils.
    Because of her unhappiness, she developed a hatred for school and stopped eating. She got thinner and thinner and became anorexic.
    When she was started at a new school Susannah was given counselling but found this did not work for her and instead battled her way through her problems with the help of her family.
    Susannah's determination and approach shows that there is a way through the problems that often beset our teenagers. 

Encounters with many famous people!
How to mingle with the rich and famous!
Read the announcement in the CP Press, Wednesday, December 18, 2002: click here.

Bruce with train robber Buster Edwards

With Norman Wisdom

With Peter O' Toole

Author Emelia Hardy makes headlines with her new book 
Why Daddy, Why?

Booksigning at Stroudwater Books, Sept 14

From the Berlin Reporter, June 26, 2002, by Sara Young Knox:
hundreds now soldOn Saturday, June 22, Emelia Dion Hardy signed copies of her autobiographical book "Why Daddy, Why?" at Gill Park in downtown Berlin from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"I want this book to reach out to people," she said in an interview earlier this spring. "I want," she continued, "to let people know 'You can go on.'"

Though when she sat down to write this book the words flowed easily, the life from which they sprang was anything but easy. The daughter of a father who was quick to find fault with his children and his wife, quick to use his physical force against them, Hardy  endured a long separation from her mother who'd fled in fear of her life.

Several years ago Hardy, whose father, Gerarld Dion owned the Columbia Hotel when she was growing up, began experiencing anxiety attacks. She was in a new job, having been laid off after 25 years at a factory in southern New Hampshire, and felt that God had something in store for her but questioned whether dying shoes was it. She also began having flashbacks, seeing the same scene over and over again.

One day, while listening to a radio call-in show, she heard the advice that would be her salvation. "Write it down on a piece of paper," the radio host counseled the caller.

Hardy sat down and wrote a few paragraphs, then went out and bought a typewriter. She also prayed.

"My hand wouldn't stop for two months," she said. Though the writing was emotionally taxing, she kept at it. "God let me feel everything, so I was able to describe it word for word. I feel blessed as I was able to write down all these things."

When she finished the book she went on the Internet and searched for publishers. She found Charles Mullar, who edited the book which was then published by Writers Club Press.

"If it weren't for him," she said, "I would not have gone through with it. He's the one who talked me into going on."

Of that early part of her life - the book begins when she is five - she said it was "awful, a nightmare." No one, she said, was supposed to find out what was going on, about the physical abuse that came from a closed fist or belt strap, or the psychological abuse. Her father constantly accused her mother of being unfaithful, denying that he was the father of the children she bore him.

The book is not all darkness, though. There are acts of kindness that stand out in stark relief against the daily abuse Hardy and her siblings suffered. A border at the hotel buys her brother, Jerry, a new bike. Another border carves miniature furniture for Hardy. A nun at the convent in Gorham to which she and her older sister, Cecile, are sent, provides her with a new dress. The physical manifestations of these simple acts of kindness are destroyed by the meanness of others - her father hocks the bike and smashes the delicate furniture, another nun gives the dress to a different girl - but the meanness can't destroy Hardy's spirituality, her deep faith in God.

The world in which Hardy, her mother and siblings, suffered abuse has changed. Though many still suffer in silence behind closed doors, teachers, nurses and doctors are required to report any suspected abuse. And those who fear for their lives can escape to the shelter of a safe house. There will always be abusers, but now the abused don't need to remain victims.

In the Berlin/Gorham area victims can call Response to Sexual & Domestic Violence at 1-800-852-3388 or 752-5679. This is a 24-hour crisis line for information and advocacy around family violence and sexual abuse/assault.

Hardy's book, which chronicles other trials and tribulations in her life, is available at Wunderland Books in Gorham and on line at amazon.com.              

From the Berlin Reporter--On Saturday Emelia Dion Hardy held a booksigning  in Gill Park in downtown Berlin N.H. Shown left to right is the author; her mother Irene Letourneau, her sister Cecile Smith, and cousin Arthur (Junior) Dion, having his copy of her book signed. From the Berlin Daily Sun--Emelia Dion Hardy displays her book with her mother Irene Letorneau (center), and sister Cecile (right) at Hardy's book signing Saturday, Main Street. This was Hardy's first published book, which she began just a year ago. The Berlin native, who now lives in Dover, NH, plans to write children's books. 'Why Daddy, Why?' is now available at Barnes and Noble as well as Amazon