Monthly Archives: June 2015


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ableseacatsi_hardback_1471151832_72Able Seacat Simon – The Wartime Hero of the High Seas

Inspired by a true story, this is the fictional reimagining of ‘Able Seacat’ Simon’s adventures and heroics in WWII’s dangerous seas.

Simon is discovered in the Hong Kong docks in 1948 and smuggled on board the H.M.S Amethyst by a British sailor who takes pity on the malnourished kitten. The young cat quickly acclimates to his new water-borne home, establishing himself as the chief rat-catcher in residence while also winning the hearts of the entire crew.

Then the Amethyst is ordered to sail up the Yangtze to take over the guarding of the British Embassy, and tragedy strikes as the ship comes under fire from Communist guns. Many of the crew are killed and Simon is among those who are seriously wounded. Luckily, with the help of the ship’s doctor, the brave cat makes a full recovery and is soon spending time with the injured men in the sick bay, purring and keeping their spirits up. News of Simon’s heroism spreads and he becomes famous world-wide – but it is still a long journey back to England for both the crew and the plucky little cat known as ‘Able Seacat Simon’…

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l_mymam

Behind the notorious Hudson men who dominated the Canterbury Estate for over 30 years were the girls, and my mam Shirley. Whether marrying into or determined to escape from it, the third instalment of this gritty series recounts the incredible stories of the unflinching women behind the legendary Hudson family.

mymammm

The Canterbury Estate in Bradford during the ’50s and ’60s was a tight-knit community reared on poverty, crime and violence, and at the top of the heap were the infamous Hudson family. But it wasn’t just the boys who had a story to tell: from matriarch Annie, who gave birth to 13 children, to daughters Margaret and Eunice, who married up and out, each had a personality as indomitable as the last.

Then came Shirley Read, who was just 17 when she fell in love with Keith, one of the Hudson lads. To Shirley, the only child of affluent parents, the poverty of the unruly estate was as exciting as it was mysterious; newspapers for tablecloths, jam jars for cups, and, even by that time, no electricity. But it was a friendship forged with Annie and June, the younger Hudson sisters, that would teach Shirley not only to how to survive, Canterbury-style, but would also give her the strength to overcome an unexpected personal tragedy that would soon become a nightmare for women across the world…

Eye-opening and warm, this is the vivid account of the ‘Tucker’ girls; the resourceful women at the helm of a notorious Bradford family who will never be forgotten.

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myUncleCharlie

If you lived on the notorious Canterbury Estate in the ’40s and ’50s, then you knew there was one man you did not want to cross: Charlie Hudson. A solitary man, feared and respected by the gangsters of the time, Charlie was a boxer who never lost a fight, in or out of the ring – the most infamous of The Canterbury Warriors. My Uncle Charlie, the second title in the explosive series unravels a story of debauchery, crime and self-destruction. Charlie Hudson was a born leader.

myUncleCharlie

The eldest of eight brothers and four sisters and with a boxer for a father, fighting was in his blood. And as the young protege of local Italian gangster, Mr Cappovanni, Charlie not only learned to knock every opponent out, he also learned the tools of the crime and extortion trade well; emerging into adulthood in the middle of the war years as a natural heir: running cons, illegal books and a band of prostitutes. But when Charlie met Betty, a sweet, caring girl, he was determined to be a better man for her. He’d still deal with ‘business’ but no more would he bed his working girls, and the birth of their baby girl, Elizabeth, sealed it: he knew life could not get any better. But for a man who had only ever lived in the belly of the Canterbury Estate underworld, it could definitely get worse…

Gritty and engrossing, book two of the Hudson family saga delves deeper into history of the infamous Canterbury Warriors; the true story of one man’s ascendancy to power, and the tragedy that brought it all crashing down.

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l_ourvinnie

The infamous Canterbury Estate in Bradford, a hotbed of crime, drink and drugs, was a law unto itself in the ’70s. So when one of their own was wronged in any way, the community always had its own way of dealing with it.

 

ourvinnie

The first title in a series of gritty family sagas, Our Vinnie accounts the dramatic true story of a brother’s determination to avenge his younger sister’s rape. Josie was just 11 when her Vinnie, then 14, was taken away to a detention centre. Distraught by his absence and left alone with indifferent parents, when she escapes from one of their rows she naively enters the house of a neighbour, Melvin, who – horrifically – leads her upstairs and overpowers her.

Convinced by her friend Carol, Josie tells her sister Lyndsey about the rape but, with Vinnie out of the picture, Lyndsey uses the information for her own ends. When Vinnie returns, hardened by years inside the system, his outrage on discovering the truth is severe. And with new abuses continually coming to light, a cataclysmic series of violent events begins to spiral out of control…

Dramatic and shocking, Our Vinnie is an unbelievable page-turner, documenting a community forsaken by society, and one brother’s unrelenting determination to take justice into his own hands.

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