The Handmaid’s Tale v Bad Faith (via 1984)

We see this as a relay – complete with dystopian baton-passing – more than as a straight race. After all, Margaret Attwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale came many years before Gillian Phillip‘s Bad Faith; and 1984 well before both. The theocratic premises are similar. In Bad Faith, there is a Putinesque collusion between the political leader and the One…

Darkest Thoughts: A taste of things to come

Gordon Brown’s stylish Craig McIntyre road-trip thriller rips along. It combines intrigue, action, sparky dialogue and the alarmingly possible. And that ‘alarmingly possible’ verges on probable given the twists and turns in American politics over the last few months. So we thought you might like a taster. Here’s the prologue + chapter 1. Enjoy. (Note that it’s a…

New & improved PENANCE

If washing powders can be ‘new and improved’, why not book covers? We’ve tweaked this one for the reprint. But now, if you hold it to the window, it’ll be so white that it’s blue… Did that ever make sense to anyone?

Penance #1 in Amazon chart

      Great excitement at Strident towers… We’ve just heard that the ebook of Theresa Talbot‘s Penance is the #1 Best Seller on Amazon’s Religious Mystery chart! Congratulations, Theresa! You deserve to celebrate your success with a seat on a BBC sofa after that! (John Beattie, looking on, would appear to agree.)

PENANCE in The Irish Times

We were excited to see The Irish Times covering the background to Theresa Talbot’s sparky crime novel Penance today. Ask most people and they’ll assume that all Magdalene Laundries were a) in Ireland and b) Catholic-run. Not so. Thus their headline – A Magdalene laundry that was neither Irish nor Catholic, and novel it inspired

Bad Faith – life imitating fiction?

We’ve always loved the cover of this book – have a good look at what’s in the trees and you’ll see why. But what’s inside the cover is what really counts, and it’s one of the best dystopian novels we’ve read. The comes from the state-backed One Church that dominates politics in the book’s parallel…

Amy ♥s Kirkland’s #WeirdYA

Oh no she doesn’t! Oh yes she does! (Well, it’s that time of year, isn’t it.) And good on Amy. We love it too. We’re talking book blogger Amy Powis here. She’s listed North of Porter by The Master of Oddness, Kirkland Ciccone, in her Top 10 reads of 2015. Kirkland and Porter are up…

Knife crime

There’s been quite a bit in the media recently about knife crime, including this BBC report and of course the tragic events at Cults Academy near Aberdeen. It’s a problem that’s not going away, despite groups like Break The Chain working hard to help turn things around. Books can’t single-handedly solve the problem. But perhaps they can be part of the…

‘I swear this book isn’t my autobiography’

That’s Kirkland Ciccone‘s response to this great Bookwitch review of his new YA novel North of Porter. Has the Bookwitch got Kirkland sussed? For, like her, we’ve seen Kirkland carrying just the sort of D&G bag that protagonist Porter Minter cherishes. Though we haven’t seen Kirkland doing so since he finished writing the book. Was he merely…

The first Penace reviews

When crime writer Michael J Malone writes a review it’s worth paying attention – he knows his stuff. And he’s just penned one here about Penance by Theresa Talbot. Don’t forget, you can read the first couple of chapters of Penance here.

PENANCE – read chapters 1&2 for free

Nip over to Books From Scotland‘s Caledonia Noir issue and you’ll be able to read the first 2 chapters of Theresa Talbot‘s controversial new sociological crime novel Penance. Enjoy! And you’ll shortly be able to read an interview with Theresa, with insights into how the book came about. Watch this space!


      Look what we saw for the first time today. (No, not the sun.)                     Straight out of the box…and looking good for Friday’s launch at Waterstones in Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street. (6.30pm, 2 Oct.)  

Kirkland Ciccone’s ‘Teen Titles’ interview

We’re big fans of the Teen Titles review magazine, and they’ve very kindly allowed us to reproduce this hilarious interview with The Supreme Master of Weirdness , a.k.a. Kirkland Ciccone. Teen Titles Kirkland Ciccone interview There are so many quotable lines. Our particular favourite involves Tracy Beaker, but then there’s the one about the cow… There’s also…

Daily Record praise for Conjuring The Infinite

Kirkland Ciccone‘s debut novel Conjuring The Infinite has been lauded in the Daily Record newspaper, with the reviewer concluding, ‘I thoroughly enjoyed it and will recommend it to all my friends.’ We love it too. If Janne Teller‘s Nothing,or Gillian Philip‘s Bad Faith are your cuppa, Conjuring The Infinite will be right up your street.…

The big reveal: Conjuring The Infinite

We gave the cover of Kirkland Ciccone’s Conjuring The Infinite it’s first outing yesterday. We love the intricate artwork by Lawrence Mann and thought we’d share it with you. Look closely: the title is full of clues about the novel. And what a novel this is. Stylish and full of surprises. We think you’ll love…