Category Archives: News

Frozen Assets

Frozen Assets is a new title for my alter ego … Edward Yeoman.

Set against a background of British life in the 1970s. It is an uplifting tale of a young man making the most of every opportunity to take a step forward. To make more of himself. To bend life to his advantage. All without doing down those around him.

This is the story of a ‘Good-Guy’ making good!

Why Frozen Assets? At the time, the British were not allowed to take money out of the country. Your UK assets were frozen, unless you could find away to unfreeze them! Maybe helping someone will repay in real assets!

I am enjoying the feel of sunshine on my back. I am lying on a towel spread out on a sandy beach in Menorca. I decide to turn over before I burn. It is fabulous being warm, without layer upon layer of clothing.

For over two years, I had worked in the Arctic North. Norway to be precise, north of the city of Tromso; one of the most hostile environments in the world. Permanent darkness, from mid – November to mid – January. Cold; between October and April it seldom gets above freezing and it can get down to minus eighteen degrees Celsius. The nearest city was Soviet Murmansk. It wasn’t as if you could just pop over the border for a few days of R and R.

What had inspired me to spend a whole year in that hellhole? Money, filthy lucre, cash, the wherewithal to be able to afford to be lying on this beach today. To be able to watch some hippy chicks scrambling over the rocks across the little inlet and playing in the sea without a care in the world and even fewer clothes. That wasn’t about to happen if I had stayed in England.

The Girl with a Ginger Cat

Something a little different from my usual subjects … don’t worry, all the tradition Ted Bun stuff is there, just not as prominent as in some of my other stories.

As author Michael Beyer put it

This story (The Girl with a Ginger Cat) is among Ted Bun’s best. Witty, charming, funny at all the right moments, this magical tale of a young witch learning about her powers, her secret origin, and her biological family all around her twenty-first birthday wastes no time in building a world where human witches are pitted against the evil Fey world of fairies, elves, and unicorns. It is a magic-wielding comedy that offers a little bit of romance, a little bit of suspense … and a whole lot of fun. I highly recommend this book.

The thing about Nanami was that until Freddy, the ginger cat, found her in the car park of an out-of-town supermarket, on her twenty-first birthday nobody knew where she was. She had been lost. Her mother had fled a few hours before her baby was expected. All her people knew for certain was that she had been born while her mother was on the run. They had found her mother’s body, mutilated and tortured, a week later. Of Nanami, there was not a single trace.

A new genre, something a little different …

Is it #NaturistFiction? … Maybe.

Is it teen fiction … it could be

So what is it about?

The story starts with a 21 year old girl..

Then a little magical realism gets stirred in to the mix . Witches, Dragons, Elves Faeries and Unicorns that sort of thing … Oh, and we mustn’t forget Freddy the Ginger Cat!

Available on Kindle, including Kindle Unlimited and as a Paperback. I hope you enjoy reading this slight departure from my normal output

A NEW Format!

A new Crooke and Loch story escaped into the rainforest …. the first time I have ever published in three formats, the e-book, the paperback and the new baby a hard cover format edition.

There are two problems with the hard cover version. One for me, the other is for you.

My problem is with the set up. All my paperbacks are in the 8 x 5 inch layout beloved of major publishers of paperbacks such as Penguin. The closest available from the ‘Zon for their hardback format is 8.5 x 5.5! That means a separate Word manuscript for each. Not hard to do but a pain.

The other issue that comes with the change of template size … is the need for a size new cover. To add to the pain there it has to have much wider safety margins. “No problem!” just resize the images.

Nope, you need them to fit in the guide lines.

No problem Amazon have templates!

Yes, but at the minute they are for the paperback formats and sizes and don’t fit, as you are told in an overnight e-mail. Ages spent creating, uploading and adjusting to get the right; dimensions, content in the right place and getting rid of the stuff on the standard templates.

So after hours of labour … here it is …

The downside for you the customer … the rather hefty price compared with the e-book. Three pints rather than some change from one.

Then again, it will take longer to ingest than the drinks … even after the bars, pubs and clubs are re-opened

D-Day for ruth

D-Day for Ruth

Ruth is a young woman, she is on the verge of her divorce from a controlling husband. She sees her divorce as a liberation, her D-Day! The day she regains her freedom. A day worth celebrating. A day for sticking two fingers up at her soon-to-be absolute ex!

Her first decision is how to mark all three days in one action.

The story of D-Day for Ruth was inspired by the cover image (used with kind permission) by @nudismnu.

I had asked on Twitter for a cover image for the next NBL Solutions story. This missed the brief by a considerable margin. Melody is a lady of a certain age and generous proportions. Ruth in the image is much too slim, young and agile. The image needed a different story. This is it!

Once again I found myself writing in a female voice, something I feel comfortable doing. I’ve not been criticised for my tone or phrasing by a female (yet). I read several segments of this as a work in progress to the Creative Writing Group (thank goodness for Zoom!) and the lady authors all managed to empathise with Ruth!

D-Day for Ruth is a Novelette, 10 000 words long. Amazon included it as a 90-minute read. Which makes it ideal for a day’s commute, a flight, while ignoring the TV News or just lounging around the pool!

New For November

Two new publications for November in the Year of the Great Plague .

The first new book to get published is brand new tale about Melody, the NBL.

Problems in the Pyrenees

Publishing 1st November 2020

Melody is on an early summer holiday on the Mediterranean coast of France, when she gets a call from her ‘Head of Research’. They have a new set of problems to solve, just a few kilometers away in the foothills of the Pyrenees.

Generous with her time, the generously proportioned Problem Solver swings into action.

Problems in the Pyrenees

Read more Problems in the Pyrenees

The other November publication is an old favourite.

The Uncovered Policeman: The Whole Story

Rags, The Uncovered Policeman finally gets the collection treatment, all twelve (Yes! 12) of the mainline stories from the Uncovered Policeman (the original novella) through to A New Home in the Sun in a single paperback volume.

There wasn’t room in the binding for the short stories!

even so, the collection turns out to be quite a tome; 330 000 words, 655 A4 pages and weighing in at almost 2kg.

All for little more than the price of the series in Kindle e-book format!

The Whole Story joins The Uncovered Policeman: Secret Casebooks in November, in time for Christmas. Sadly it wont be available in the Bookstore because the shipping costs are outrageous.

Books for 02 – 2020

The Names of the Dead

Kevin Wignall

Book of the month, even if it is slightly flawed.

James Wesley, Wes, was a CIA operative, he was sent to jail when his team fouled up an operation and the wrong people got killed. He is towards the end of his sentence when his ex-wife has been killed in a terrorist attack in Spain. He also discovers that his young son, Ethan, is missing. But Wes didn’t know he had a son.

Given early release, Wes is picked up from his jail by the CIA. He escapes with his life and runs … desperate to find safety and his son.

He is helped by the men he left in prison and the orphan of a Yugoslav Warlord, who had died in the prison days earlier.

Maybe the CIA are a little late getting on his trail but that would ruin the story, flawed but not fatally.

A tense thriller.

5 Stars

The Baby Werewolf

Michael Beyer

Michal Beyer turns the attention of the Norwal Pirates on discrimination on grounds of visual difference. The Baby Werewolf is real, except he is not a werewolf. He is a boy with a difference. Once the Pirates understand this they are well on the way to solving several murders in a tale with more than a little mayhem.

The story bounds along at great pace, always keeping one foot in reality while everything else runs wild. Real young adult material

4 Stars

The Boy… Forever

Michael Beyer

Another great story from Norwall, this one gets wild with Chinese Vampire Magicians and a boy called Icarus Jones.

Icky is immortal, trapped in the body of a ten-year-old but immortal. His latest attempt at suicide brings him to Norwall. Followed by a cast of misfits, the dragon child, a general who is of great antiquity.

The Norwall Pirates become involved … well they would.

Young adult fantasy … at it’s best. Raising questions of right and wrong as it goes.

4 stars

The Ship That Rocked the World: How Radio Caroline Defied the Establishment…

by Tom Lodge (author), Steven Van Zandt (foreword)

Tom Lodge was a highly respected broadcaster in the early days of Radio Caroline. The man largely responsible for creating the success that Caroline became.

The book is limited to the Authors time and personal point of view of events – an autobiography – and, as such, a very different book to Ray Clarke’s biography of the radio station .

The writing is generally simple, interesting and engaging. It does however get a little repetitive.

A chalk and cheese job but if I had to choose … I’d go for Ray Clarke’s bigger picture.

3 Stars

Copper City Slag (Copper City Chronicles Book 2)

by Otha Foster (author)

Eric’s family decided to move back to Copper City after his father, a minister, has a crisis of faith. A teenager on the very edge of sexual awakening, Eric is torn apart from his almost girlfriend.

Arriving in Copper City, the place where his parents grew up, he soon finds himself embroiled with Alicia Martin, sex siren and trouble causer. The girl his parents and Aunt have warned him to stay away from .. Almost fitting the British slang ‘Slag’ but then …

Why have his parents told him to stay away from Alicia? Why is there bad blood between Eric’s father and Coach Martin? With the police involved, Eric talks to the Press, in the form of Bill Clark (the hero of Fifth Sun) owner of the Copper City Chronicle.

This is a convoluted story of family relationships and attempted murder, just a little to far fetched for me.

3 Stars

Who Told You That You Were Naked (Copper City Chronicles Book 3)

by Otha Foster (author)

A stronger story than Copper City Slag. It contains a real killing, that occurs on the day Eric Carvin is doing work experience with Bill Clark at the Copper City Chronicle. A prostitute is killed and Eric wants to get to the bottom of the story even if the police and sheriff are not.

A foster child known to PK, Eric’s little sister, knows may have clues to the back story of the dead girl.

Meanwhile, Eric is fast falling in love.

A pacy, well written story, well worth pushing through the slag for!

4 Stars

The Case of the Erotic Equestrian (Miles Grant)

by Jack Dearborn (author), Ellen Dearborn (editor)

Now too rich to have to work, Miles takes the odd case to keep himself busy. Out of the blue his wife’s family have a case for him, someone is leading their daughter astray . Miles and the family take a road trip to help out. Miles quickly discovers what is going on … then what is the solution? Miles doesn’t want to give advice!

A light fluffy tale, a harmless poolside read.

3 Stars

Last Day

Luanne Rice

A strange book, a who dunnit that isn’t really interested in who dunnit.

The writing is beautifully observed, little details abound. The research into the art and artists is detailed and described in detail.

It starts so well, a murder described so vividly the electricity sparks and crackles off the page. The brutality, the violence and the pain for the people finding the body of a loved one. Then it loses pace,

The assorted relationships are all convoluted twisted and unsatisfactory. The detective, Connor Reid, is obsessed by the victim and her sister, after having released them from captivity that was part of a crime that killed their mother. Late in the book he wonders if he has been stalking them … yes! On the other side of the coin, he is blissfully unaware that the victim had other relationships, visited certain places and … I don’t want to get into plot spoilers.

Detective Reid also appears to be left alone by his bosses, no pressure, no other cases, to take months to deliver an arrest.

The main problem with the pace though is backstory, lots of backstory, the same backstory, repeated several times. So much well observed and beautifully detailed in the writing; signifying very little.

Nice writing style, plot and editing need work

3 Stars

Divergence: A group of naked girls interrupts a kayaking trip

by P.A. Choi (author)

Boys go canoeing , beginner falls out and is rescued by naked girls …

Not Classified

Sunny Mates and Murders: A Chinese Cozy Mystery (A Raina Sun Mystery Book 5)

Anne R. Tan

Everything goes wrong Raina … except it doesn’t. Everything seems to work out for our heroine. Not my cup of tea … abandoned at about 50%

Not Classified

Books for January 20

Slim to None

Jenny Gardiner

Abbie is the Restaurant Critic for the New York Sentinel and she has the body to go with it, after a life time of indulging in the finest food available. So much so she is no longer able to go ‘undercover.’ The restaurants know her and she is starting to get special treatment!

As a result, she is replaced by Barry and demoted to a once a week column until she loses some of her identifying weight.

Why is she so addicted to food? Her Grandmother, Gigi, who taught her to cook to keep her away from her warring parents? Her parents? Social pressure?

Supported, sometimes indirectly, by the males in her life she sets about rebuilding herself.

A pleasant read, however I found the detailed recipes that ended many chapters an affectation that cost the book a whole star and her girlfriend, Jess just disappearing…

4 Stars – 1 for the cookery lessons.   

Love Lost in Time

Cathie Dunn

The stories of two women living centuries apart, but through the actions of others, in the same region of France.

It is apparent from the very beginning that both of the women are trapped. Only one has the power to set them both free and she doesn’t know it.

The older story set in the time of Charlemagne offers a tale of blood, violence, and feuding. The heroine, although loved by father and her future husband, is treated as a chattel battered to please the King. Forced into an arranged marriage to man she hardly knows sent across the country from Vaulun to the citadel of Carcassonne to marry the Count.

The other contemporary woman, Madie, has been left a house by her estranged. Francophile, mother. Not that she wants to keep it, do it up and sell it; get back to Newcastle and her life as an academic, that’s her plan. Her mother it transpires had other ideas. Trapped in the house, she finds herself the focus of attention from the locals, in more ways than one.

Then there is the mystery of her father …

Although she is best known as a writer of historical romance, the story set in contemporary time is an elegantly written and realistic romance.

5 Stars

Time to Time

Paul Kater

Paul Kater his written a delightful piece of time travel fiction. The main character Cordelia Brown used to (or is it, she will?) work for a company that makes time machines. Until, it all goes to pot one day and she escapes in an unfinished time machine. When we meet her she is building a new life in the past, has a boyfriend in a different country but in contemporary time.
All is going well until, agents from her time appear and … the rest you will have to read for yourself.
A fun uplifting tale, cleverly plotted.

5 Stars

The Real Story Of The Boat That Rocked

Ray Clarke

The story of Radio Caroline, written by someone who was there, for part of it. A well written book sprinkled with dozens of amusing, scary and totally mundane anecdotes collected from former DJs, the Owners, office workers and supporters of Britain’s first commercial radio station.

The book covers the heady early days of the Station in the 1960 through the low times, the shipwrecks being impounded, to the modern day.

Radio Caroline still transmits to the East of England, 24 hours a day- everyday,  on the medium wave and to the rest of the world via DAB and the Internet. They use the Radio Caroline ship, the Ross Revenge (a record breaking trawler before she became a broadcast ship) for a monthly broadcast under the guise of Radio Caroline North.

The book is illustrated with a selection of photographs, many of which unless you are a transmitter-mast nerd, look much the same.

I found it to be an interesting read.

4 stars

Soulfarm

David Toft

Two worlds are suddenly linked, ours and one where the Church has developed mental powers. Powers that they need tortured souls to sustain. Guess who’s souls they are after.

A Murder and a spate of disappearances bring Detective Chief Inspector Seamus Brogan to a remote part of the countryside outside Dublin. Where he finds himself driving off the road, literally the road has disappeared. He has crossed into the other world.

Can he save himself, the rather attractive woman who was with him and the rest of our world?

A cleverly constructed tale. I enjoyed turning the pages.

4 Star

A Friend in Need

Elizabeth M. Hurst

A second story set in the same village and involving characters we met in Siren Spirit.

Once again we have a well written and engaging story of spirits trapped in a place beyond their time, while people try to deal with the issues in their own lives.

The representation of Selena’s depressive illness and behaviour is one of the best I have encountered in fiction.  

A likeable story, a good fireside read for a cold winter’s evening … or maybe on a sun lounger by the pool.

4 Stars

A Wife and a Bisexual Husband

Martin Brant

A novel, written in a woman’s voice, about her coming to terms with her husband’s admission that he is bisexual. Not only is he bisexual he is also impotent, which of course brings, Kate, the wife’s sexuality into play.

This is a patchy exploration of the doubts and uncertainties Kate experiences along the way to her new life. Some of her internal conversation repeats several times, others are almost glossed over. While in her life she struggles with some small steps and at other times she makes huge bounds almost without thought.

For the patchy nature.

3 Stars

Who Kills a Nudist

Paul Whybrow

A complex story of interwoven crimes in the English county of Cornwall, a spiritual home of smuggling of all types.

The trigger for the tale is the death of rather gentle pensioner, a man who was found naked in the sea. He had been sexually assaulted and violently killed. (That is about it for nudists as far as this story is concerned!)

Enter Detective Chief Inspector Neil Kettle, a man with enough on his plate already. Widower of 3 years, his only real friend his father-in-law who was also a heroic thief taker in his days in the police.

A plot that has more elements than the periodic table (not really but it is a busy story) the Cornish Detective could be a series to follow.

4 stars

A Village by the River

Martin Brant

A story from the Nudist Series that Marin Brant has created.

Jonathon, a born hiking enthusiast, decides to abandon his damp, clingy clothes, one afternoon when out hiking and has an epiphany.

The rest of the book concerns his relationship with Patricia, a girl he encounters while on a naked ramble and trying to get his friend Timothy, to join him.

A very American book, many of the cultural references … factory dormitories, for instance, are outside of British experience. So learnt something as well as enjoying a gentle stroll through Americana with out my clothes.

4 Stars

December ’19 Reads

A bunch of unrelated books (except 2 by Michael Beyers) that might tempt you

Sky Diving Naked: A Murder of Crows

Michael Gunner

Set in the Australian outback. A light easy read tale of hitmen taking out people stupid enough to steal from a drug dealer. The police remain at a loss

If you have a couple of hours to kill … Enjoy

3 Stars

Siege and Sacrifice (Numina Book 3)

Charlie N. Holmberg

A difficult read, to start with. The series has been much darker and Ms Holmberg’s lightness of touch is less evident. The two main characters are rather flat the rest of the cast are completely two dimensional – apart from a  scene near the end of the book which saves the whole project.

That said this book is the most compelling of the three-book series. The narrative finally comes to life and the (sketchy) characters fall in line to deliver a gripping finale a few chapters from the wind down end of the book.

If you are a fan of Charlie N. Holmberg’s other works… The series awaits

If you are stuck on book two… Siege and Sacrifice is worth reading on for

If you are thinking about it … Start with the first book and if you love it,  it is worth continuing if you don’t click don’t bother.

4Stars

One O’Rabbie’s Bairns

James Gault

A very funny story once you get into the Scottish argot used throughout.

I am a Suverner, I can do cockney if you need me to, however I made sense of the entire story.

Set in 2030. Brexit has happened. IndyRef2 has happened and a thriving Scotland has re-joined the EU.

Willie Kemp, Minister (not his real title) of Finance, decides to prepare his autobiography with the help of an English journalist  …

Very funny

4 Stars

Snow Babies

Michael Beyer

Michael Beyer says this is the best book he has written, I’m not sure I agree with him.

Point number one: Even though the covers might suggest this is a book for children, it is very definitely a book for adults, that is safe for children to read.

It is a very well plotted and written story. Once again, we find ourselves in the Iowa of town Norwell. While the Norwell Pirates, members of the famous softball team, feature in this story, other than Valerie, they take the back seat to the adults this time.

Set before ‘Sing Sad Songs’ which I reviewed last month, Snow Babies tells the story of the arrival in Norwell of four orphans, a witch, a social worker and a man called Catbird. Oh yes and a rather severe snowstorm, probably the worst in living memory.

Having assembled the ingredients, mix well season with a few deaths and …

A very good read.

Beyer’s best? Maybe, but I still think ‘Recipes for Gingerbread Children’ (reviewed in May) might just have the edge… read both and decide for yourself.

Another great story!

4 Stars

A Beginner’s Guide to Free Fall

Andy Abramowitz

An absorbing and well written tale in which nothing much happens but I couldn’t stop reading.

Davis almost has it all, good job he enjoys, loving wife, a daughter he dotes on and a sister that worships him. Then in a matter of hours it had all gone, except his sister.

Alone in a squalid bachelor flat he has to rebuild his life. He does get help from his sister and a couple of other unlikely sources.

I am glad I picked this story the Kindle Firsts list … a lovely read.

Book of the month

5 Stars

The Bicycle Wheel Genius

Michael Beyer

Another outing for the Norwall Pirates, several years further on from the Snow Babies. Former leader Mary is long gone, Valerie is handing over leadership just as the new tale starts.

A mad scientist, a mad (psychotic) killer, killer humanoid robots, a government out of control, aliens, time travel, sexual realignment and the rest of the population of Norwall.

A fun story, although at one point there are too many characters with names beginning with D … and once or twice it becomes a little difficult to follow the narrative. No, you don’t lose the thread it just a bit tangled, then it is that type of non-linear story.

Did I mention the Rabbit called Milles?

4 Stars

Book Reviews November ’19

Wow another month dashed by … a few more books read, most of them well worth reading!!

Sing Sad Songs

Michael Beyer

What a sad song, a sad young man and yet he brings so much joy to a dysfunctional Norwall family.

Arriving as an orphan, his French family wiped out in a car accident Francois brings something special to his Uncles Family and his new adopted brother, Billy.

He is accepted as one of the Norwall Pirates, a softball team and investigators of weird crimes. Rapidly a relationship between Francois and Valerie, a fellow Pirate, develops … all looks wonderful until the Teddy Bear Killer hits town. Even allowing for the strange dreams and the clowns …. had I mentioned the clowns? Or the dreams?

Weird and Wonderful 5 Stars

The Secret Chapter (The Invisible Library series)

Genevieve Cogman

Another fun instalment in the adventures of Irene the librarian and book redistributor and her sidekick the elegant dragon Kai. This time they need to deceive the man who leads the gang formed to steal the picture that … It makes more sense the way Genevieve Cogman has written it. Even if you got bogged down mid-series it is well worthwhile reading this little gem!

Weird and wonderous 5 stars

The Human Trials: And the Thrill of Being Watched

Ava Lee Mosley

Ava, got into a conversation with me on Twitter, I said I’d read one of her erotic stories. I touch of mild sexploitation, other wise a gentle, consensual sex story. Not badly written, No surprises. No problem. No excitement.

Nothing to get excited about 3Stars

The Church of the Undressed: Paradise Regained

Theo Theodora

A rather lacklustre priest’s wife inherits a run-down naturist resort, with a few wacky members. We going to sell it, her husband decides. Then she has a revelation, God’s work is best done naked. A new church starts. The new church attracts lots of on line coverage and the attentions of the police.

Liberally sprinkled with biblical quotations the story treads that fine line between titillating fiction and worthy polemic and generally manages to keep its balance.

I am not sure who the target audience for this book is, the naturists know this already and the unconverted are unlikely to start the story.

A pleasant enough read.

Well written Well balanced and Well … 4Stars

The Salt Path

Raynor Winn

An absorbing and almost overwhelming story of a couple beset with problems. Just little things, his health is failing, being made homeless, bankrupt, jobless … easy stuff really (NOT!). With nowhere else to go decide to walk the Salt Path, around the coast of Cornwall, rough camping. There only means of support, Social security of about £50 a fortnight.

The book describes their painful adaptation to their new lifestyle, acceptance and finally … read it and find out. The writing is sometimes a little self-indulgent, but the narrative thread was sufficiently strong to pull me through these rare patches.

The best non-fiction I have read this year.

Compelling … 5 Stars

Return of Uncovered Policeman

Yes the Uncovered Policeman, Rags, is set to return in a new adventure! LIVE, LOVE and LAUGH is the eleventh story in the series featuring the unclad copper.

The new story is released on Thursday 21st November 2019. The Kindle edition is available for pre-order on Amazon from …. NOW!!

The paperback is already available to purchase on the Amazon website. Whoo – Hoo!

The front cover of Live, Love and Laugh
The return of the Uncovered Policeman

Rags is back with a new adventure set, in part, on the island of New Albion. A place created by Wallace Greensage for “Who Is This Naked Lady?: And What Have They Done With My Wife?

Rags finds himself surrounded by strong, caring and supportive women; most of them strongly influenced by Bea. All wanting the very best for a man they all view as someone very special, Bea’s influence at work again?

If you remember how he left the after party following the final, farewell performance of the Unknown Twins. How he returned to his hotel and he sat and talked the night away. Then you might have an idea where this story starts.

If you don’t, well, this might be a good time to read or re-read The Uncovered Policeman: The Long Road!