Apr 20, 2024

The latest edition of The Thursday Book Club was broadcast on 18th April 2024 at 2pm on Phonic FM. Joining host Jonathan Posner was Cathie Hartigan and Jason Mann. Click the names to find out more about them, and use the audio bar below to listen to the full show.



Jonathan interviewed Alison Huntingford, author and organiser of the South Hams Author Network.

Since the interview, Alison has also given us a heads up on some upcoming events she is involved with:

23rd April 10.30 – 11.30 am
Talk on the historical background to ‘dance a fearful jig’ at Budleigh Salterton library. Free entry and refreshments included.

25th April 12.00 – 2pm
Exploring your family history workshop at the Palace Theatre, Paignton. This is an ideal beginners guide to genealogy. Tickets £15

18th May, 10.30- 11 am
A short talk and readings (30 mins at 10.30am) plus Alison will be running a stall all day at the ‘authors convention’, Paignton Library. Free entry

10th June, 2pm
Alison will be giving a talk on her book, Dance A Fearful Jig. At the Tavistock Wharf, price tbc

19th June,.30pm
Alison will be giving a short reading (5 mins) from Dance A Fearful Jig, at First Draft Books, Bovey Tracey. Free entry.

There was also a discussion on:
Writing dialogue that rings true

In the News section, we announced lots of books by local authors:

1. Brixham Pirate Festival is the inspiration for a new tale of intrigue and skulduggery by local author, Abigail Yardimci. Abigail, who lives in the Devon harbour village, will be at this year’s event to launch her cosy crime novel to visitors to the popular event. Inspired by a chance comment by Abigail’s 12 year old son at the previous year’s festival, Murder at the Pirate Festival tells the story of a local girl who investigates the mysterious death of one of her friends while celebrating the pirate festival at the fictitious seaside town of Berryport. The book is released on 2nd May, while the official book launch takes place at Brixham Pirate Festival on the harbour Quay on 4th – 6th May, where Abigail will be meeting readers and signing first-edition copies of the book.

2. Exe on the Beach (Lockwood and Darrow Mysteries Book 6) by Suzy Bussell launches 25th July. When a celebrity chef from Exmouth mysteriously disappears, private investigators Lockwood and Darrow are discreetly enlisted to investigate, keeping a step ahead of the relentless press. Though the chef’s known mental health struggles hint at a possible explanation, as the duo delve deeper, they unearth a tangled web of secrets that suggest a far darker narrative.

3. Narcissus by Maria Donovan is in an anthology called Botanicals edited by Emma Timpany, with illustrations by Sarah Galerie. Like Maria, both are from the South West (although there are stories from around the world). It’s published by The History Press. The book came out on 4 April. There’s a launch on Thursday 2 May 6pm in the Falmouth Bookseller.

4. Kathleen by Amanda Jones was coincidentally launched during Storm Kathleen, and shows us a truly feisty woman in Kathleen. Living with disability is not easy. Staying alive with hope and joy as well as the pain is possible. A harsh life is yet beautiful, as the prose, poems and pictures show in this little volume. Available from the Bridgetown Café bookshop.

5. The Angel Downstairs, the seventh novel by Kathy Shuker, comes out on 26th April. It’s 1992 and Eric Dechansay is a successful artist living on the left bank of the Seine in Paris. He throws the best parties and tells the best stories. But when his past comes back to haunt him, where does the truth end and the lie begin? And then there’s the piano player. Who is he anyway? This poignant, suspenseful, sometimes funny and always compelling novel is the third of the Dechansay Bright mysteries, each of which is a standalone story. Available from most major online retailers in paperback and ebook. Kathy will be doing a book signing at the Harbour Bookshop, Kingsbridge on Saturday, 27th April from 11 to 12 o’clock and says she will happily chat about all things books!

6. This is not a new launch, but here’s a local memoir featuring secrets, scandal and survival by a South West author. Always in the Dark by Diane Harding is available on Amazon in eBook and paperback. Look out for an interview with Diane in the June issue of Somerset Life.

7. Here’s one that got missed last month (apologies). It’s Puffball Paradox by Chip Tolson which published on March 17th. It’s a tale of giant puffballs on Exmoor and in the mountains of Kyoto, Japan. We didn’t read out the full blurb on the show, but sufficient to say, it ends with the line… ‘Then the puffballs take their revenge…’

8. This one launched on 17th April. It’s Reunion Safari: A life-changing Holiday by Caro Ayre. This is an African Adventure. Sandra Harriman is planning a special safari for Martin’s friends who are coming to Ol Essakut Wildlife Conservancy for a 20th Reunion. A terrorist attack in Nairobi interferes with her plans as Martin goes off to cover the story.
The arriving guest all have secrets from their partners. Will these be revealed before they head home? Or will the behaviour of a troubled teenager spoil everything?

9. Sarah Scally’s book, It Started With a Shoe, launched on April 4th. It’s the second in a series called The Happy Wanderers – and apparently the radio play of the first book was played on Phonic back in 2014! Can Phoebe’s life get any worse? Single mum Phoebe Ellis is having a bad time; her boss is acting weirdly and now she’s been passed over for a promotion again. On top of that, her car is on its last legs, the credit card company is after a payment and she almost ruined her favourite shoes. On the plus side she has just met Mike, her ‘shoe saviour’ and together with the ‘Happy Wanderers’ Phoebe decides to uncover exactly what her boss is up to. But will she find out before everything crashes down around her?

10. Liz Shakespeare’s seventh book The Ordeal of Miss Lucy Jones (set in Devon) is being launched at the Plough Arts Centre in Torrington on April 25th.

Jason also read out details of upcoming Festivals:

  • Bournemouth Writing Festival – 26 to 28 April
  • Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye – May 23 to June 2
  • Cambridge Literary Festival (wonderful list of authors) – 17 to 21 April

Plus the deadlines for some big writing competitions coming up:

  • Bridport (May 31)
  • Bath (May 31)
  • I Am In Print (May 28)
  • Cheshire (May 1).

The next show will be on 16th May at 2pm UK time. Don’t forget to read the featured novel with us and let us know your thoughts. It’s Always in the Dark by Diane Harding.