New Books: A Slow Fall and Pfeffles and Piffles

A Slow Fall by Mark Ayling

Alistair Duncan is nearly killed and it’s unclear this is an accident or deliberate attempt on his life. He returns from hospital to find his girlfriend has thrown him out and he takes refuge with Jon, a War Gaming loner with perceptive insight into people. Ally’s ex-wife goes missing and he is framed for her murder by a struggling painter with no talent who is having an affair with both Ally’s girlfriend and ex-wife. Meanwhile an Asian policeman suffering from a terminal condition and his female partner get caught up in these people lives which reaches a murderous conclusion.

There are ambiguous and unfulfilled relationships between the characters and all to a greater or lesser extent are living in a society they cannot fully participate in. The major themes are of being displaced and marginalised, of racism and the mediocrity of those included.

About the Author:

Mark Ayling lives and works in central London. Authors who have influenced his writing include Elmore Leonard, J G Ballard, Albert Camus, Philip K. Dick, Cormac McCarthy, Charles Bukowski and William Boyd. Mark previously published two other novels entitled Lying Down with Dogs and Dead Men Float and aims to carry on writing and producing quirky, thought-provoking novels. 

Excerpt from the book:

“High up on the cliff, a man with an arm like a piglet squinted through his telescopic sight. In front of him, a book of handwritten poems had fallen open at the page Uncle Cyril and Auntie Phyllis were Swingers. The scanning crosshairs momentarily paused to watch the seagulls leave muddy imprints as primitive as bow and arrow etchings on a cave wall.

Ally flicked at the red spot with ever more urgent motions, yet each time it rode serenely over his strokes and the contempt on Maggie’s face was obvious. The hat and scarf he’d carefully arranged that morning to keep the wind off his chest, now made him feel trapped and unable to breathe.

Suddenly there was the sound of a stone thudding into mud. Except it wasn’t a stone. Maggie stumbled and her bag fell to the floor spilling the shells she had painstakingly collected. A crimson worm emerged from her nose; it was the same colour as her lipstick. She dropped to her knees. Ally couldn’t work out what was going on. Should he get help? But there wasn’t anyone around, just the sand that circled ever more frantically. As her eyes locked with his, he glimpsed deep within them dark roiling waves like the oceans of a fading planet on which the last solitary creature was dying alone.”

“A Slow Fall”can be ordered from in paperback at:

or downloaded in e-book format from at:

Press/Media Contact:

Literary Agent: The Inspira Group
Contact: Darin Jewell, Managing Director
Tel. 0208 292 5163


Pfeffles and Piffles


The government of Boris Johnson represented a new low in British politics. Written during the final phase of an administration destined to fail, ‘Boris Johnson Pfeffles and Piffles’ describes what happened and when. Recalled are the false promises and self-serving arguments of a government that will be remembered by many for its corruption and incompetence.

‘Boris Johnson Pfeffles and Piffles’ is more than an almanac that insists we should not forget. Connections are made between long lasting underachievement of the UK economy, the Johnson fiasco and the increasingly gloomy prospects for the future. Combining humour and belligerent analysis, ‘Boris Johnson Pfeffles and Piffles’ digs into the hard to credit chaos created by myopic and irresponsible politicians.

Author Howard Jackson is a proud Jeremiah slugger. With a wide grin and a few chuckles, he takes his two fists and assaults with relish the supposedly invisible hand of neoliberalism.

About the Author:

Howard Jackson was born on Merseyside and has spent most of his life in Liverpool. He has had thirteen other books which have been published by Red Rattle Books including Treat Me Nice, Innocent Mosquitoes, No Money Honey, Nightmares Ahead, Choke Bay, Horror Pickers, Mean And Dark, Nightmares And Lying Rogues, Light Work, No Tall Heels To Tango, Offended Shadows, Long After This and Go Break Bad.

Excerpt from the book:

“The defenders of Pfeffel and his witless cronies say that it was unreasonable to have expected an operational plan to combat Covid.  Well, Singapore had one, and it worked because they have had far fewer Covid deaths.  The plan they used was created by British civil servants and health officials.  Pfeffel and his mates dumped that plan.  And now, despite high rates of infection and stubborn death rates from Covid, they are abandoning all Covid restrictions and preventative processes.  Liberated from tiresome responsibility and taking advantage of a gaze deflected by the conflict in Ukraine, Pfeffel will resort to his libertarian dream of herd immunity.  He will be assisted by the somewhat nutty Ayn Rand devotee Sajid Javid.  On 27/2/2020 a Sage meeting predicted that 80% of the UK Population would be infected with Covid, 54m people.  Sage predicted that of these 1% would die, that is over half a million people.  This was the nightmare scenario that the British government found acceptable.  The lockdowns and furloughs arrived in Britain after it became clear that other countries were taking action to reduce the number of Covid deaths and support their economies.  The impulse to vaccinate against Covid produced initial success but it only happened because the government had to do something to mitigate the chaos they had created.  I may no longer be infected with Covid but, like many, I am tired, tired of these clowns.”

BORIS JOHNSON – PFEFFLES AND PIFFLES by Howard Jackson is available from bookshops & online in the UK, Europe, USA and Australia and in paperback from Amazon at:

and in e-book format from Amazon at:

For info. about Red Rattle Books, see:

Press/Media Contact Details:

Howard Jackson
Managing Director
Red Rattle Books

New Releases: Chattering at School and The Renegade

Chattering at School

The poems in this collection include fun narratives on the surface, while containing learning and teaching moments as the poems unfold. The book has lovely illustrations and is full of moral lessons.

The introduction to Chattering at School: Nature poems for children explains that these poems were written by a schoolboy aged 11 to 18 (1951-58) during his annual summer holiday visits to his grandmother on her small farm in Ireland. She had been his carer and guardian from the time of the German Blitz of London where he was born, and lived with her until the war ended in 1945. He then returned to his unknown parents, who had been unable to visit him in Ireland from the UK during the war.

Over 60 years later, the author of these poems – Edward Forde Hickey – discovered them (his own schoolboy attempts at writing poetry) lying in the attic and felt they were worth recording publicly.

About the Author

Edward Forde Hickey is a retired Headteacher and has written eight books to date, each with an element of folk culture.

Edward lives in Kent with his wife. They have three sons. During the years 1962 until 1998, he taught in inner city primary schools (laterally as a headteacher for 18 years). In early life, he was a pop star with Decca records (see ‘Eddie Hickey/Lady May’) and later sang with the Glenside Ceilidhe Band in The Galtymore Dancehall, Cricklewood (1965/1975).

Born of Irish parents during the Blitz of London, he spent his first five years of life nurtured and moulded by his grandmother in the foothills above Dolla, near Nenagh in County Tipperary. His grandmother is and always was his inspiration; she had a natural gift with words.

Edward has always been interested in folklore and the Irish past (its music, dance and literature). He was a champion Irish step-dancer. He taught and adjudicated it, even as far afield as in Australia, before dedicating himself to research into hillside communities in north Tipperary, from where he brought back tapes of original songs for The English Folk Dance and Song Society.

He keeps a small farm in the foothills of north Tipperary and visits it often.


“This collection of poems about the natural world will stimulate children’s imagination and hopefully inspire them to get to know more about their environment and protect it. It should have wide general appeal for children of all ages; both for parents to read to young children and for older children to read themselves.” – Darin & Aimee Jewell

“Edward has a lovely style where he effortlessly combines the world of history, folklore and fiction. He manages to switch from humour to sadness and takes the reader willingly along with him.” – M. G. Darmody, Tipperary Studies Centre

“Chattering at School” by Edward Forde Hickey is currently available in paperback from Amazon at:

This poetry collection is also available to download in e-book format from Amazon at:

Press/Media Contact Details:

Grosvenor House Publishing
Tel. 0208 339 6060


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New Release: Project Nowhere by Lucienne LeBeau

Preparation for desolation is the goal of one group of six scientists. Yet as they brave the cold and isolation of Antarctica, they face an unseen enemy that feeds off fear. An experiment-turned-trial that pits humankind against its greatest fears, who will survive to tell the tale?

About the Author:

Lucienne LeBeau is the author of the Silver Hollow trilogy as well as short stories and twisted fiction. Her background in mental health counselling has allowed her to experience life from both sides of the couch. She specializes in cosmic horror and bent realities.  Her other books include “The Walking Doctor”, “Dubbs House”, “Now Entering Silver Hollow” and “Mercy Hospital”.




5.0 out of 5 stars  Trapped in frozen isolation with nowhere to hide
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 November 2022

“This is a gripping horror novel. It’s really well-written.

It takes place in the vast white remoteness of Antarctica where a group of scientists engage in an experiment which goes horribly wrong. There’s no place to escape, no place to run.

It reminded me of a movie I saw decades ago called “The Thing” which takes place in a research site in Antarctica.

Loved it! I would recommend this suspenseful thriller to others, and I think it would also make a good move.

I’ll probably read a few other novels by this author as well to see if they’re as good as this one.”

5.0 out of 5 stars

“This is a fiction piece that suits the genre of horror/thriller nicely with bits of comedic relief. The overall plot is compelling and I was left with several questions at the end, which I think is brilliant as it leaves the possibility for a sequel and/or it leaves it up to the mind of the reader to decide what they think was going on. If we assume this world and this creature are factual then the events are believable…

I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a good thriller or horror genre as well as anyone that is okay being left with more questions than answers at the end.”

“Project Nowhere” by Lucienne LeBeau is available in paperback from Amazon at:

The e-book version can also be downloaded from Amazon at:


Press/Media Contact Details:

Darin Jewell (literary agent & publicist for Lucienne LeBeau)
Managing Director, The Inspira Group Literary Agency
Tel. 0208 292 5163

New Release: Irritating the Silver Lining by Dave Kurley

They say every cloud has a silver lining.

This book of poems and photographs is the result of IRRITATING THE SILVER LINING with the grit of Dave Kurley’s imagination for the last couple of years. In here you will find a veritable downpour of little pearls, perfectly formed. There is love of many different kinds. Misplaced anger. Grief and loss. Musings on anxiety and depression. The pandemic (inevitably). And there is open-mouthed wonder at the nature that surrounds us. Oh, and some of it’s pretty funny, too.

Dave Kurley is constantly amazed by the fact he was born in Sheffield in 1962. He has been, at various times, an actor, a dry stone waller, a civil servant, a stand-up comedian, a sales rep, a singer, a pub manager, a playwright, a call centre operative and a podcaster. This list is neither exhaustive nor complete. Currently, he is a prize-winning poet and a conversational English tutor. These things are subject to change.

He is equally amazed that these days he lives in central Portugal, with his lovely wife Alison (this is not subject to change), and a lot of sunshine and butterflies. He enjoys performing his poetry, both live and online. You’ll find him in Kurleybobs’ Poetry Corner on Instagram or Facebook. Say hello when you get there. He’d like that.

About the author

Dave Kurley wrote the lyrics for all but one song for the band New Model Soldier, who existed from 1980 to 1983 and then reappeared in 2015 for a year or so. You can find their stuff on Spotify, if you fancy it. He wrote a play called Your Great Interest which was performed by the Crucible Youth Theatre in Sheffield in 1984. He worked with the Croydon Youth Theatre in the late 1990s to devise two plays, one called Seven and the other called Us. His wife Alison and he co-wrote and co-presented a podcast called Proper English, aimed at helping intermediate level English language learners. He found his poetic muse during the pandemic, and since the beginning of 2021, he has been writing a poem every day.

IRRITATING THE SILVER LINING is his first book of poetry.

Excerpt from “Irritating the Silver Lining”

“Seeding inchoate clouds
Until they darken and bloat
Become pleasingly plump plums
Salting the cumulonimbus
Until the contents calcify
And can no longer remain aloft
Irritating the silver lining
Until the sky weeps mother’s pearls

Perfectly perfect, unblemished spheres
Precious hail for eager, grasping fingers
To pluck for punnets
From shattered windshields
Concave bonnets
And flayed allotments
After the beautiful glistening downpour.”

“Irritating the Silver Lining” by Dave Kurley is currently available in paperback (ISBN #978-1803694276)

Available through all good booksellers including Amazon, Waterstones and Barnes & Noble

For interview, comment and information about this book of poetry from New Generation Publishing, email: or call 01234 711 956

New Release: Hugo and Daddy’s School Adventures by Ric Hart

This is the fifth and final book in the ‘Hugo and Daddy’ series and it marks a major milestone for author Ric Hart who started the series following the birth of his son Hugo, shortly followed by the sad death of Hugo’s mummy Jade. This episode sees Hugo starting primary school and Ric could not be prouder… “To see Hugo starting primary school felt like a million miles away four years ago, but I did it, I got here, and I’m proud of every step.”

The book shares the journey of Daddy taking Hugo to school for his first day at primary school and sees them turning what can be quite an overwhelming experience for children into something to embrace with confidence. Ric sees his books as a way of turning negative trauma into positive magic for Hugo and hopes that, when he grows older, Hugo will see how Daddy turned those tragic years into something beautiful for him.

Ric says to Hugo: “I hope you enjoy our latest and final adventure. Who knows what the future will bring, but I’m embracing it with love, joy and inner peace with our wonderful boy, Hugo Jaden Hart.”

About the Author

Ric Hart, who lost his wife, Jade, shortly after she gave birth to their son, Hugo, has become a respected book author. Within a year of losing Jade, Ric ran a marathon in her memory. He then turned to writing children’s books and poetry at the start of the pandemic in 2020 to help him work through his grief. Over the last two years, Ric has published four children’s bereavement books which form the ‘Hugo and Daddy’ series. His fifth and final children’s book entitled Hugo and Daddy’s School Adventures is now available to pre-order before the publication date of 1st September 2022.

Now four years of age, Hugo is starting primary school in Misterton, England in September. Ric is very excited launching his final children’s book as it marks a milestone for him and for Hugo. The net proceeds from this book will be donated to Misterton Primary School.

Ric says, “I’ve left a legacy for Jade, myself, and also for Hugo to carry forward throughout his life and I’m so proud of that. I know my journey through writing will spark strength, confidence, and hope throughout Hugo’s life. One day whenever he’s lost, worried, unsure, I hope what I did will inspire him to become an amazing person as he grows older.”

Ric decided all his books would help special charities: Way – widowed and young – benefited from his autobiography Pupy Love, written in lockdown in 2020. The bereavement charity, Cruse, benefited from his first children’s book Hugo and Daddy’s Night-time adventures, which become a top seller on Amazon within its first six months of launch, remaining in the top 50 bestsellers for months. The Children’s Bereavement Centre in Newark, England benefited from Ric’s next two books, Hugo and Daddy’s Superhero Adventures and Hugo and Daddy’s Thailand Adventures

“Hugo and Daddy’s School Adventures” by Ric Hart will be available in paperback from all major book retailer from 1st September 2022 including Amazon:

and The Book Depository:

as well as Waterstones:

Press/Media Contact Details

Grosvenor House Publishing
Tel. 020 8339 6060