Beatrice Holloway

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Cartoon Covers – don’t assume…

The jury is still out, as far as I’m concerned, about the role a cover plays in whether a book is bought or not. Is it the cover, is it the title or something else? By all accounts, it’s 50-50. The impact of blurbs, reviews and word of mouth seems to be more settled. Whilst blurbs were important in years gone by, todya they have often deteriorated into telling the story or being purely a range of quotes by well-known names. Reviews, whilst they still seem to be popular to write and be read seem to have very little impact generally speaking on whether a book is bought or not. That, I suppose links with word of mouth – by far the best way to get people to buy a book. Being a subject specialist reader (in my other life) where topic determines whether or not I invest in a book, I rely on recommendations by a few trusted people and more often than not, a footnote…

Onto cartoons – again, not everyone’s cup of tea, as they say. But a good means to convey a message, often belying a more serious topic. See what you think of these books by TSL authors… history, poetry, limericks, humour, and political parody all feature in this collection.

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Dogs, Cats and Horses

You either love animals or you don’t… and of those who love animals, some have a preference for a particular kind or breed.
Here at TSL, we don’t discern… as seen in our collection of books about, or which feature, these fluffy creatures.

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National Poetry Day – did you miss it?

28 September is designated National Poetry Day – at least in the UK. At TSL, we don’t see one day as a special day – all days are special, so below are the our authors who also write poetry. TSL doesn’t specalise in poetry but we do have some poetry either as part of a collection or to support a charity.

Playwright and author Barbara Towell has a book of poetry Patchworks.
Kat Francois and Robbie Cheadle also publish poetry, albeit not through TSL.

To purchase a book, click on the image below:

first published 5 October 2017, updated 2024

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Growing pains

Good Books which deal with growing pains are actually quite rare, I think. But here are a few which have had an impact on me:

Leslie Tate – Heaven’s Rage
Louisa May Alcott – Little Women

There are a few more lighter reads such as:
And I would even go so far as to add Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven to this list.
Beatrice Holloway‘s tales about Rhys and life on a canal boat would also fit this bill.

Both Percy’s Quest by Barbara Follows
and the George and Flora series by Rachel Haywood deal with growing up issues through the lives of animals.

Growing up of a different kind is tackled in Illumination by Mavis Patcher. This is a story of two androids learning how to be human.
Gideon Master’s characters in his Lucifer’s Child trilogy (not recommended for anyone under 18 years old) have to learn to deal with new worlds and states of being.

first published 8 May 2017, updated 2024

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Horses and donkeys

In days gone by, horses and donkeys were important for transport. Today in many rural settings, they can still be found performing similar functions whilst in more affluent areas, horses are a hobby and income earner through racing. They feature in fiction and non-fiction books alike. Here’s a sample of what horses featuring on covers by TSL authors:

Three books concern the Anglo-Boer or South African war on 1899-1902, two of which are non-fiction: British Military Chaplaincy and Religion in South Africa 1899-1902 and Practically Over. The third is a novel by Robberta Eaton Cheadle, A Ghost and His Gold.

Two others are children’s books – a working horse features in Towing Path Tales while The Amorous Adventures of Big Ben, a Shire horse, tells of a horse all alone in a field, his work done, finding love.

Family are the Friends you Choose is an autobiography by Marthe Kiley-Worthington who forms relationships with animals, and horses in particular, that are close to human. Ever heard of a horse in a kitchen and watching television?
Another autobiography is that by Ray Wooster, My 30’s and 40’s Childhood featuring his toy horse. Ray goes on to write about horses in his A Boy’s War Journal, a novel set in and post-World War 2 London.

Finally, John Samson’s A Donkey called Oddsock, a novel, set somewhere in Africa, tells of a donkey’s journey as he and his young master try to avoid being recruited as child soldiers.

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Beatrice Holloway appreciation

Beatrice Holloway

Beatrice Holloway joined TSL in its early-ish days. Some of her books had already been published but for various reasons, they were unable to re-issue. TSL therefore undertook to re-publish her work. The first books were about the adventures of Rhys, a young lad growing up in Wales. These stories captured much of the experience Beatrice’s husband John had told her about his childood. Since the re-issue of the first three Rhys books, Beatrice has gone on to write a range of other Rhys books – going to high school and more recently getting a girl friend.
Between these, TSL also re-published Beatrice’s Tow Path series – three books about life on a canal or narrow boat. For a good number of years, Beatrice was the official story-teller of the Hertfordshire Narrow Boat Association. She could be found on board most weekends telling historical stories to the young people on board.
As another string to her writing repertoire, Beatrice also has a number of plays published, including a collection for young people.
These all encapsulate Beatrice’s life as a teacher, guiding young people through life using stories and the creative process.
Despite getting on in years, Beatrice has continued to write, expanding her horizons. A non-fiction book on Christmas, the myths, feasts and other aspects of the season being discussed. This short book which has been well-received is an imsightful and informative read. A collection of pieces, short stories and excerpts, some previously published, others not, takes the reader on a writer’s journey – an interesting read, if not enthralling. Most recently, short stories (Duke’s Heartbreak and other stories) and a collection of poetry (The Promise), some of which won awards in local publications. These two publications are Beatrice in top form.
However, it’s her three novels that stand out most for me – they differ widely from each other, take a quirky look at life and stimulate the brain. I fully recommend A Man from the North East, Elusive Destiny and Archie’s Children. Some of the themes in these novels resonate in her scripts (historical – From Commoner to Coronet; family relations – Connie’s Lovely Boy; other worldy – A certain Monday, Governed by Magpies).
Through all these publications, Beatrice has remained a pillar of calm and a source of balanced perspective – not only to me but a number of TSL authors who either were already with TSL or who came to TSL because of her. Long may our relationship continue – I have much still to learn from this remarkable lady – who, by the way, also dabbles with art.

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Fiction – a platform for challenging topics

Fiction can be a handy tool for tackling issues that are hard-hitting. For example:

Right of Possession (Naomi Young-Rodas) – dealing with an abusive partner.
Archie’s Children (Beatrice Holloway) – a criminal father returns to stay with his adult children.
A little piece for mother (Barbara Towell) – the impact of a holocaust survivor on her daughter growing up in London.
Become the Wind (Alexander Crombie) – dealing with blind people.
So Long Henry Bear (Alexander Crombie) – prisoner of war survivor’s guilt.
The Eye of the Clown (Alexander Crombie) – responses to physical disfigurement.

And if you prefer non-fiction, these might be of interest: