FICTION

The Untold Story of WWI on both sides of the Channel

August 1914. The Ministry of War requisitions over a thousand iconic red double decker buses from the streets of London to act as troop transports, as ambulances and mobile lofts for carrier pigeons for the Western Front.

 All Change tells the untold story of WWI through the eyes of Ted Digby, a middle-aged bus driver who, on an impulse, signs up without telling his wife Norah or his daughter Ruby. With his still-red double decker, Ted swops his usual route from Euston Station to Shepherd’s Bush for a route to the battlefields. On the Western Front, Ted and Billy, his young, vulnerable co-driver, join a shell-shocked pigeon handler, an ex- London wheeler-dealer and a sadistic sergeant, Ted falling in love with Kitty, a frontline nurse. On the Home Front, Norah and Ruby find new challenges in their lives, including taking on jobs previously filled by the men now at the Front.  All their lives change forever. But who will thrive and survive? And will Ted’s reckless gamble pay off long-term?

I’ll not be chasing Huns with a 
rifle and bayonet, just driving troups to the Front. These
buses are strong, and they’re needed. Iron Horses, they are.
How else is the Army going to get the troups there? ‘

All Change is the best type of historical fiction and is difficult to put down.’ It’s a wonderful idea for a book. Daily Mail

All change review
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Buy it here from Waterstones
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Cover and chapter Illustrations by Hugh Ribbans.  www.hughribbans.com

 

COOKING THE BOOKS:
in progress

 

A Crime thriller in present day London. First of a trilogy featuring El as restaurant critic cum undercover agent in food crime.

El is an opinionated, ruthless restaurant critic on a London newspaper with a byline of Secret Excess and makes no secret of loathing foams, drizzles, jellies, glazes or froths. In her 40’s, she is unique as an anonymous media critic, and which adds a layer of mystery which Rob, her married editor and sometime lover, unashamedly promotes for increased readership. A mistress of disguises, El was once a chef and restaurateur and knows the business inside out. One day Rob takes El out of her comfort zone – she has good reasons for her secrecy – and introduces her to Zoe Chu, a young, overworked UK investigative food crime unit staffer who has hit the wall with an investigation. She needs some lateral thinking and strikes on a solution: recruit a restaurant pro. El becomes her undercover agent to track down horsemeat substituted as beef but it’s laced with banned steroids and other drugs as the slaughtered animals are knackered US racehorses. Now read on.

 

STALIN’S CZECH GUESTS

14 year old Flora’s safe, comfortable, predictable life in Canada is turned upside down when the family moves behind the Iron Curtain to Prague, the father to work at the Canadian Embassy in the 1950s.The date is at the height of Soviet clampdowns in Czechoslovakia during Stalin’s grip on the country, combined with western McCarthy-era Communism paranoia. Soon left to her own devices in the Czech capital due to her father’s work and her mother’s life-threatening illness, Flora inadvertently enters the world of spies. An avid Nancy Drew reader, she soon takes on the mantel of spy herself and becomes embroiled in escalating situations involving her parents, their housekeeper Dalibora, a planted mole, and new friend Petr, a 15-year-old Czech boy with a past, all main characters posing a danger for both Canadian and Czech outsiders.

Based on the author’s upbringing in Prague during this era, many of the events reflect an outsider’s life and experiences of the author. Flora and her family are some of the few Westerners in a land of fear, political show trials, food shortages and Soviet posturing which needs to be negotiated. Yet, the human spirit is largely the same throughout the world as Flora finds out. The usual stories written about this era are usually the reverse: people fleeing Iron Curtain countries, not moving to them.

 

How to Start and Run Your Own Restaurant: This book is full of up-to-date information for the aspiring or novice restaurateur, as well as those already in business and striving to meet customer expectations. It covers: * Business and financial planning * Getting planning permission * Planning, designing and equipping the kitchen and restaurant * Dealing with environmental health officers and their required standards * Choosing a name, marketing the business, getting into the guides * Planning the menu and choosing your suppliers You’ll find all you need to know for the day-to-day running of the restaurant plus tips from several experienced restaurateurs.
Reviews are here

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Starting & Running a Restaurant For Dummies offers aspiring restaurateurs advice and guidance on this highly competitive industry from attracting investors to your cause, to developing a food and beverages menu, to interior design and pricing issues to help you keep your business venture afloat and enjoyable at the same time. If you already own a restaurant, inside you’ll find unbeatable tips and advice to keep bringing in those customers. Read this book, and help make your dream a reality. “Starting & Running a Restaurant For Dummies” covers: basics of the restaurant business; researching the marketplace and deciding what kind of restaurant to run; writing a business plan and finding financing; choosing a location; legalities; composing a menu; setting up and hiring staff; buying and managing supplies; marketing your restaurant; and health and safety.
Reviews are here

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Starting and Running a Catering business: This clear, comprehensive, hands-on, idea-packed book covers: different types of catering businesses to consider; working from home or dedicated premises; your equipment and food supplies; getting to grips with finance and marketing your business; how to approach prospective clients and keep them; pricing your service; creating menus for weddings, corporate events, drinks and dinner parties, outside catering; and, how to handle staff and a healthy, safe food business.

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Planning  A Wedding Reception at Home: Alongside all the more general advice and tips you’ll find information on:

* Preparing a budget and getting quotations for the marquee or village hall.
* Choosing the menu, including a selection of sample menus.
* If you’re cooking yourself, how to prepare and shop for the chosen menus.
* Buying alcohol, planning the bar and finding staff to man it.
* How to hire equipment and gauge quantities of plates, cutlery, serving dishes, and tablecloths.
* How to find good staff and instruct them on their duties.
* Organising the music and ensuring sufficient electrical power.
* Planning the big tidy up afterwards!
Reviews are here

Buy it here from Amazon