The following are novels and humorous memoir or local history on Kindle or paperbacks sponsored by the British Arts Council. They promise a feel-good style and can be ordered at Waterstones but also here, with prices kept to the publishers' recommended minimum to support this non-profit-making venture. Forthcoming books are at the end.

To find out about a book or order one, click on the link* below each title  blurb. 

(These links also usually offer samples to read free.)




Beside The Still Waters -

This ninth Sam Stone investigates light thriller is also a stand-alone novel. It is set in the Lake District at Coniston, where the freelance writer and reporter has childhood and romantic memories. However, his hopes of a relaxing refuge after the pandemic are complicated by fresh passions - and the mystery of who killed his first love. The first chapters appear on our Chapter/Story page. The novel also has a spiritual under-current which may help raise readers' wellbeing in our emergence from the Covid crisis.

* To view the paperback edition click here.

 * For the Kindle edition click here.

The Golden Door -

The title and poetry lines on the cover of this new novel come from sonnet The New Colossus, on the Statue of Liberty. This book is a light thriller but also a romance. Its uplifting theme is of one man's struggle for redemption and happiness, whose discoveries and experience can help us all. Its page-turner of a plot touches on both the Covid-19 pandemic and today's plight of refugees. This is a stand-alone novel but also the eighth  in our popular Sam Stone investigates series.






 * To view the paperback edition, click here.

* For the Kindle edition, click here.



Cast The Last Stone -

THE seventh Sam Stone investigates thriller/romance is now available. Is this the last of our handsome hero? The Lancashire-based reporter's worst nightmares come alive as shattering blows endanger his hopes and dreams. A vicious election campaign darkens his Irish Sea coast of the Fylde, driving wedges between neighbours, bringing violence to its holiday resorts. The troubled but daring freelancer searches for answers in the corridors of power - but also in the dark underworld of organised crime, as life-or-death deadlines approach with love and romance as their victims.

* To view the paperback edition, click here.

* For the Kindle edition, click here. 

Borrowed Times -
(Beyond Three Score Years & 10) -

IS there life after 70? Of course, there is - perhaps the best period of all, veterans tell us, despite the extra risk from Coronavirus! Here are observations, encouragements, humour and, hopefully, a little sensible advice. There are also the stay-at-home saga and lessons of the Corvid-19 pandemic, including recent illustrated newspaper columns.

 * To view the Kindle edition, click here.

* For the paperback edition, click here.

The Lost Hero -

LOCAL bookseller Patrick Fermour sees his family business collapsing but has a rare opportunity to save it, on the other side of the world. However, as he leaves sedate St. Annes On Sea for the Middle and Far East, he becomes embroiled in a mystery and dramatic events which reverberate around the world. This thriller/romance is a tense page-turner but also uplifting in its depth and range.

* To view the Kindle edition click here.

* For the paperback edition click here.

Written In Stone -

THE sixth thriller/romance in the series, set variously on the Fylde, also in Anglesey and in and around Manchester's Chinatown. Has Stone met his match with the lovely but dangerous Zan-Zu? Then there is also the beautiful Welsh girl Cerys, whose name means Love. In this 'prequel' to the whole Stone series, our handsome but troubled hero is drawn into the mysterious and shocking deaths of friends from an apparently harmless supper club - the Pals.

* To view the Kindle edition, click here.

*For the paperback edition, click here

The Mystery of Mister Blues:

FIFTH in the Sam Stone Investigates series of light thrillers/romances. A sad, haunted figure stalks the Lancashire coastline, as freelance reporter Stone strives to solve a mystery dating back decades. It takes him to Paris, in the company of a glamorous new friend, and the romantic but dangerous world of the man carrying a lady's red hat box. A journey into others' past dramas makes him examine his own turbulent life. Will this also be the end of Stone's hopes of happiness with girlfriend Espie and her daughter Angelina, following a feared kidnap attempt?

* For the paperback edition, click here.

* For the Kindle edition, click here.

Wish You Were Here:

AN illustrated compilation of recent columns for The Gazette newspaper and also some early ones. PLUS additional thoughts, anecdotes and notes in between. It's an enjoyable, varied and light read you can dip in or out of, like a warm sea full of colourful characters.

* For Kindle edition, click here.

* For the paperback, click here.

Waiting For The Ferryman:

THIS fourth Sam Stone investigates book is set in picturesque, medieval town Conway, North Wales, along with the dramatic Sheep's Head Peninsula of County Cork, Ireland. As so often before, old friendships and beautiful women draw our handsome but troubled newsman and writer into a web of intrigue, death and deception which echoes up to the highest levels. This book is now available on Kindle and in paperback. First chapters can also be read on our Chapter/Story page.

* For Kindle edition, click here. 

*For the paperback edition, click here.

The Growing Older Book:

THIS is more muse than memoir and certainly not a textbook. Why teach what comes naturally? It just evolved, then matured in dark corners until ready for airing. Something to be savoured, when suitably mellow. As the blurb might have told you, from the foibles of youth to the final meaining of life - it's all there and told with humility, honesty and humour. As those American waiters annoyingly say, "Enjoy!" 

 See extracts on Memoir page.

* For the paperback edition, click here.

* For the Kindle edition, click here.

On the Dark Side:

THIRD investigation in the popular Sam Stone mysteries. Here our journalistic sleuth finds himself back on the Lancashire coast protecting those he loves, investigating what happens at night in the tourist parks - where fear now stalks the shadows of play areas.
See excerpts on our Story/Chapter page.

* For the Kindle edition, click here.

* For the paperback edition, click here.

Voyage of Discovery:

An unusual plunge into fantasy for the author. This decidedly adult adventure story has an unlikely romantic hero who finds a new, exciting life - though with a surprising metaphysical twist. However, the worldly action has all the earthly drama and magnificence of a galleon at full sail on the high seas. It will also be a journey of discovey for the reader.
See early chapters on our Story/Chapter page.

* For paperback copies click here.

* For Kindle edition, click here.

A Stone's Throw:

Sequel to A Cut Above, with freelance reporter Sam Stone investigating another mystery - this time where and why the girl he loves has gone missing, on the other side of the world. Set partly in Blackpool and Rural Fylde but also largely in the exotic, romantic but at times dangerous Philippines. A light thriller and romance with a spiritual flow.

* Link to Kindle edition, click here.

* For the paperback edition click here

Bright Lights & Pig Rustling 

A Seasoned Life Beside The Seaside

LATEST humorous memoir from Roy, reflecting many happy and eventful years on the Fylde coast where he settled after travelling the world through newspapers. The bright lights are those of Blackpool, when claiming to be Europe's premier resort; while the pig rustling happened amid the mist of sea frets on the hinterland where Mossags live. Roy introduces us to the diverse characters at his local, with a colourful parade of memorable people and places, past and present. Also featuring diversions into Ireland, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.

* For the paperback edition click here.

 * For Kindle edition click here.

A Cut Above

WHEN a famous comedian is found shot dead at his home, on the Lancashire coast, freelance reporter Sam Stone cannot accept it is suicide. He investigates and, with the help of police contacts, uncovers a veil of deceit surrounding his tragic friend. However, Stone's stubborn pursuit of the case begins to threaten first his livelihood and then his life, while also drawing him into a romantic turmoil. This light thriller is laced with humour and vivid local colour and characters. It will also keep you guessing until the final punchline.

* For the Kindle edition click here.

* For the paperback edition click here.

Only The Good News

AN autobiography - the humorous memoir of a worldly local reporter. Roy became a journalist after 'failing at everything else'. He worked on mainly local newspapers in villages and diverse towns around Britain, then cities here and abroad, especially Hong Kong and Sydney. Roy travelled the world in search of adventure and romance, only to discover humour and humility, then found love where he least expected. This uplifting, 450-page book of 100 short chapters is an amusing journey through life, around Britain then the globe, with a colourful cast of characters and exotic places.

* For the Kindle edition click here.

* For the paperback edition click here.

Coming Up Roses

BASED in Lytham on the Fylde coast, one of England's most sought after locations. This 'mature' mystery and romance has down-to-earth wit but also an uplifting theme of faith and honesty. Old rogue Arthur Knight is a retired businessman with glamorous secrets. His life is turned upside down when a sudden death in his apartments draws suspicion upon him. The female investigating officer forms an unexpected liaison with a young priest ministering to residents; while Arthur, who tackles life head on, begins to find another, better way . . .

* For paperback click here

* For Kindle click here.

Fifty Shades of Bass

THIS is a period novel based around the historic village of Great Marton and bustling resort Blackpool in the Victorian era and also the mid-1980s. It tells of two love affairs; the growth of a town and of two young, ambitious men separated by a century. Besides the seaside and its tumultuous history, there is a cast of local characters, famous and infamous, past and present; also much humour, and a mystery death with unfolding investigation. 

* For Kindle click here.

* For paperback click here.

A Punt Into Eden

- Developer Edward Brown faces disaster. To safeguard his family he must salvage a resort contract on the other side of the world. Once there, however, he finds a different perspective on life; an epic challenge, and romance as unexpected and powerful as the monsoon that sweeps all else aside. Set mainly in Sri Lanka, this 450-page novel transports us through emotional and spiritual lows and highs as we follow one man's search for success and fulfilment in a troubled earthly paradise.

* For Kindle, click here.

*For paperback click here.

*Or for U.S. Kindle/paperback click here.

A Brush With Murder
- Light thriller set in a picture-book village on Lancashire's Fylde coast. Unlikely hero Will Wakefield is a humble house painter but also a talented artist. He discovers that recent deaths at retirement flats are not all they seem. Meanwhile a tangle of romances emerge at the village tennis club, a cloud descends over the local animal rescue centre and a dating agency throws up unexpected results.

*Available on kindle, click here.

* Available in paperback, click here.

At Heaven's Gate
- Bill Winters is preparing to move into a retirement flat on Lancashire's coast with wife Bella. The retired writer is content with his life of ballroom dancing, bridge and cricket watching. However, memories unsettle him as he moves old keepsakes from the loft to a skip. Bill is also shaken by a friend's confession to him of a massacre by former British servicemen. When the friend is found dead his widow refuses to believe it is suicide and asks Bill to help her investigate. Bill and Bella meet the remaining two perpetrators of that massacre, one now living overseas and rich, the other an impoverished recluse in the Cumbrian fells. But could one of them have murdered Bill's friend? On a luxurious stay in the Lakes the worldly Bill discovers more than he expected on what is to be his final journey.

* For paperback, click here.

*For kindle click here.

Born Again Sinner

- A light thriller with humour and romance, based mainly in Manchester. Tough 1980s newsman George Reed is awoken after being frozen for 25 years in a medical experiment. As well as an aching body, his newfound conscience also pains him over past selfishness. With a fresh start and change of name, he tries to lead a worthier life. However, this digital, politically correct world is a different place with new challenges, dangers and passions for the former hellraiser.

* For paperback, click here.

* For kindle, click here.

The Last Ghosts

- Detective thriller in Hong Kong with humorous and romantic elements. A westerner (or 'white ghost' to the Chinese) is murdered in slums known as the City of Darkness. The incident stirs a public scandal as colonial rule ends. Veteran policeman Frank Tanker cannot accept an official investigation's results and allies himself with a seasoned newspaperman to find the truth. Their campaign depends upon help from a young newcomer, whose loyalty is torn between the two older men and a rising television starlet.

*Or for UK click here.

Romp & Circumstance (by Ed Black)

- A RACY, comic thriller and love story set in Hong Kong. Young planning officer Neil Beddows is soon out of his depth in colonial service. First his maid takes advantage of him then a series of other females, led by formidable tycoon Madame Ong. But when a retired colonel and the Governor himself get involved Neil finds himself in desperate straits. Who will prove to be his saviour or will his first tour end in disgrace? His avuncular boss is eager to help and there is also Neil's secret love - the rather haughty, horse riding daughter of an influential high court judge.

*For kindle click here.

* Or for U.S. click here.

Where Angels Tread

- Romance with a comic twist. Former Oxford don Jeffrey Love runs Goodbye, an obituary magazine. from his haunted Old Vicarage home in a Cheshire village. However, its success inspires an aggressive takeover from an American publisher whose secret agent is the beautiful Bonny Makepiece. While Jeffrey falls for Bonny, his tough backer "Old Nick" Grimley, a retired funeral director, is built of wilier stuff. Goodbye also wins unexpected support from China, and from beyond the grave - through the Old Vicarage's Victorian ghost the Rev. Josiah Merryman.

*Available in U.S. in paperback and kindle - click here.

*Or for UK click here.

Harry's Hand (by Ed Black)

- A Greek family tragedy unravels in Manhattan, where a young immigrant's ability to read hands holds the key to survival for the most powerful in the land. It is the 23rd birthday of Yannis who works in his Uncle Ari's New York taverna. However, his happiness is marred by frustration over a secret love and impatience with the old ways of those around his uncle. Everything changes when a mysterious patron introduces him to a sophisticated older woman. She holds connections to the very top - but also a deadly forecast in her palm.

*Available on kindle - click here.

* Or for U.S., click here.

Life of Bliss
- Humorous novel celebrating a fictional Fylde coast even better than the real thing. Well-travelled reporter Alfie Bliss is revelling in early retirement after leaving the Blackpool Bugle. From the upstairs "study" of his terraced home he relives past adventures, loves and scrapes via his "Tardis" - a laptop computer. While Alfie enjoys this new freedom, along with loving but long-suffering partner Becky (or She Who Knows), there are fears and doubts which lurk from the past and threaten their new life.

*Available in paperback - click here.

* For Kindle - click here.

In Search of Big Eileen

- Young government press officer Harry Wilde is in search of the good life way over yonder, in colonial Hong Kong, but becomes disillusioned. It's the late 1970s and he is dazzled by the Far East and its beguiling females. So why, when we meet him, is he taking a plunge from the stern of an outlying island ferry?
This humorous novella, which includes some spicy action from Thailand, is accompanied by three short stories: Adult Beginners, Advantage Love and The Chance Reunion.

* Available in paperback -click here.

*Also available on kindle - click here.

*Or for US, click here.

The Last Resort

- The best of past blogs with character portraits and anecdotes from Roy's childhood in Manchester to journalistic and other jobs round Britain. This easy-to-read, illustrated memoir includes travels across Europe and through the United States. The spin of a coin started a career that went from sleepy village newspapers to Fleet Street (well, for three weeks). Also, meet the Cleveleys mermaid who drove him across the seas to the Far East - and back again into the arms of She Who Knows.

*Available in paperback - click here.

*Also available on kindle, click here.

*Or for U.S., click here.

Saddle Up!

- A 38-PAGE 'local' history of Blackpool's oldest pub, charted through its colourful characters, past and present. This cartoon-illustrated guide also touches upon the atmosphere and past of the Saddle Inn's setting on the Fylde coast. Meet fly expert and jazz drummer Storming Norman; trumpet-playing, long-distance window cleaner Derek, and crafty ladies' man J.R. You'll also learn the best medicine for your large bowel! (This book can also be bought at the Saddle Inn.)

*Available in paperback - click here.

In the publishing pipeline . . .

 Front and back covers (below) of a 'lifestyle guide' with plenty of fizz!