Showcase #2: "Summertime Blues" by Phil Jones

Let me introduce you to Phil Jones. I wouldn't be so bold as to call him my friend – what I know of him makes me guess that he treasures friendship as much as I do and that the word “friend” still has a profound meaning that goes further than the one implied by Zuckerberg and Co. But let me call him a very friendly presence (which sounds way better than “a www-acquaintance”) in my writing life. I “met” him on the Literature Network Forums or LitNet, where we LitNetters (some would say “LitNutters”) know him better by his nick “hillwalker”. 

Only recently have I discovered that Phil has published a collection of short stories (for Kindle) on amazon: “Summertime Blues - TheCollection”. I immediately connected and purchased a copy. And didn't regret it for a moment.

The book:
It starts with the title story “Summertime Blues”, set in the sixties somewhere in the British countryside. It's summer, and 15-year-old Billy stays together with his younger sister at his granny's. One day, he stumbles upon Suzie, a glamorous, fickle young woman with a story, who seems to spend her days lounging in her front garden, drinking Vodka and mourning her wild past. As their friendship takes its course, Billy begins to fall in love with her. But every holiday has an end, and soon the boy has to leave. The next time he comes back to his granny's, he discovers things are not always what they seem… Let me tell you at once: I really enjoyed this story very much. There's a passage where Suzie and Billy get to “know” each other better (I won't give away more - you have to read it!) which is a pure gem, very intense and translating accurately how a teenage boy might got through such a scene. Of course, I didn't like the ending as often happens with good stories. Romantic me always hopes that everything'll turn out fine; even when reading Stefan Zweig's “Marie Antoinette” – and we all know how she ended up! –, I prayed the queen would survive. So I was gagging for Billy and Suzie to marry and be happy ever after, yet they… but hush! I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise!

The second story, “The Brocken Spectre”, relating Great War veteran Edwin's hiking accident in the Highlands, is somewhat more foreseeable as to how it'll end yet not an ounce less enjoyable. Great descriptions and dialogues make for a very good story. Phil knows how to apply "show not tell".

Now, the third story “Harry's Last Case” is my second-favourite after the title story. It made me giggle a lot. The tale of Private Investigator Harry Carson's improbable case entrusted by the randy widow Dolores Boyd (my, is she a character!) turns out a perfect example of Phil's wry humour and of his skills when it comes to writing funny dialogue. 

There are ten other stories to discover plus four pieces of flash fiction. Not only is this a wonderful read for your own Christmas holidays but a wonderful gift for your friends, too. Available on amazon.com (and all the other amazon outlets of course) for only $3.48 (including VAT).

About the author:
Ex-teacher and contracts manager, Phil Jones, was brought up in a tiny Welsh-speaking community. His guidebook to Snowdonia '80 Hills' was published in 2010. Since then he escaped to the North Western corner of Scotland where he divides his time between writing and wandering the hills. His novel 'DreamGirl' recently won the Red Telephone Young Adult novel of 2011 and is due for publication summer 2013.


Showcase #1: "Maggie's Child" by Glynis Smy

You've met her before in this space some months ago, and now she's back! Author of "Ripper, My Love", my dear friend Glynis Smy is celebrating the launch of her second novel today. "Maggie’s Child" has been born into the world of ebook and paperback.

When farmer’s wife Maggie Sawbury gives birth to her fifth child, the only one that has lived and the result of an extra-marital affair, she is heartbroken and desperate. Maggie knows her joyless life with a bully of a husband is not one a child should endure, and she leaves the baby at the roadside to be found by passers-by.

Her money-driven husband announces he has found her another job in the village of Redgrave, aside from the many tasks she has on Windtop farm. He is totally unaware the position comes with a secret. One that frightens and yet brings joy to Maggie. She is to become wet-nurse to her abandoned child.

Love, and the possibility of incest, threaten to open old wounds, and Maggie has several decisions to make. However, will they be the right ones? If she tells all she knows, it will bring about the destruction of three families. Equally, her silence could be just as destructive. She shares her secret with another, the result changes her life, and a death brings with it more secrets. Will Maggie stay or will she walk away and find the love she craves?

 The ebook will be available at a Christmas - New Year price of 99c via Amazon, (and other Amazon outlets around the world).

Want to win a paperback copy?

If you can tell Glynis the name of the prostitute friend in her novel, "Ripper, My Love", you will be put into a draw for a prize copy of "Maggie’s Child" in paperback format. The email address you need to send the answer to can be found in the sidebar of, NEW BOOK BLOGGER.

Glynis Smy, (nee Honeycombe), was born and raised in the coastal town of Dovercourt, near Harwich, in the county of Essex, England.

She married her school sweetheart, Peter, in 1979 and they produced three amazing children, Darren, Nicola, and Emma. The long hours of a nursing career, and running two pharmacies ended in 2005, when she and her husband moved from the UK to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

Glynis spends her time writing historical novels, poetry and various other projects. When she is not tapping at the keyboard she makes greeting cards to sell for charity, or enjoys a spot of cross-stitch on the back porch. Failing that, she and friends sit chewing the fat over a glass of village wine.

To purchase "Ripper, My Love" in various formats: Books by Glynis Smy

Meet and Tweet with Glynis ... Ghunibee
Facebook Page: Glynis Smy
Author Blog: Glynis Smy

In her book launch package, Glynis added, "Thanks go out to Talli Roland, Len Lambert, Jen Moon and Dieter Moitzi for their support with this novel. Also to all those who are hosting the launch event." You're welcome, dear Glynis, and I wish you the bestest of luck for this new "baby" of yours! I for one know already what I'm going to treat me to for Christmas…