*Shameless Plug* Malcolm Saville’s ‘Seven White Gates’

02 - Seven White Gates

Those of you who combine reading this blog with an interest in Malcolm Saville’s Lone Pine Club book series may be interested to know that, by popular demand, the inestimable GirlsGoneBy publishers are re-printing Seven White Gates, the second book of the series. All the superb GirlsGoneBy editions are long out of print now, and not all of them can be found on eBay. Even though I’ve got the set, I’m delighted to see at least one more coming back into print.

Those who are interested can order the book via this link. The book is currently at the printers and is anticipated to be delivered for distribution of orders on or about September 7. And the reason this is a Shameless Plug will be apparent to anyone who clicks on the link, as the book contains a New Introduction, written specially for this re-publication, by your humble blogger himself .

You can buy the book with a clear conscience, I don’t get a penny for it, and for reasons that I set out in my Introduction, this is a very strong book with an important theme for its original audience. The selfish element is that I have my eye on the posibility of writing New Introductions for other books in the series, but that depends on demand for more reprints, so naturally a swell of orders for Seven White Gates would be encouraging (mention that you want to see Not Scarlet But Gold re-appear, you’ll be doing me a favour).

But most of all, enjoy the book.


The Infinite Jukebox Book

Good morning all.

Over the last five years I’ve been adding posts about a variety of songs that, in many differing ways, I find significnt, whether that be musically, soocially or personally. The series hasrun under the title of The Infinite Jukebox.

Just last week, I posted the 100th such essay and, having reached that milestone, i decided to compile all the blogs into a book, which I have now published through lulu.com.

It’s nothing you haven’t read before, but if you were interested, and didn’t fancy picking through five years worth of posts to find these gems, you can now have these all in one place, by clicking on this link and paying a mere £6.99 and postage.

There’s even a picture of the cover to incite you.

The series will go on here and when I’ve racked up another 100 entries, I shall alert you to the chance of acquiring Volume 2. But that won’t be for awhile yet so you needn’t worry about me embarrassing you like this again any time soon.

Love Goes to Building on Sand: now available

People, Ladies and Gentlemen, for those of you not yet irretrievably bored by the whole thing, I am pleased to formally announce the publication of my latest novel, Love Goes to Building on Sand, a story with autobiographical roots but which has been thoroughly removed from its sources.

For those of you unaware of this project, it began with my decision, at the end of 2016, to finally transcribe a massive manuscript version of the story, written thirty years previously, in order to create a one-off private paperback for myself. The fictional version of the story absorbed me and I eventually decided to rewrite it: this is the result.

The book was supposed to be published in 2017, but a colleague who had volunteered to create a cover for me eventually was unable to carve the time out of a very busy schedule, and so I’ve done the work myself.

As always, I’ve published through Lulu.com, to which you can go to order a copy, those of you who are interested. Those who go via that route will discover I have thirteen books available (including two hardback omnibuses of trilogies), giving you multiple opportunities to entertain yourselves. Those however who are only interested in this specific book may wish to follow the link here.

Love Goes to Building on Sand is my first publication since 2011’s The Revenge of the Purple Puffin and has already done what I most wanted it to do: recharge my ability to write fiction. I am already deep into a sequel, which has virtually no autobiographical elements whatsoever, and I have four other books in different stages of incompleteness, all of which I plan to finish, given time.

You will, when appropriate, hear about these.

For now, feeling delighted to have once more fulfilled the purport of this blog’s title, I give you the book’s cover. Go out and buy, my lovelies!

Discounted Books – No, seriously (extended)

Just to let you all know that the 25% off offer at Lulu.com, by using the code TWODAY14, has been extended by another three days, allowing you to buy my books for a quarter of the price off for three days longer.

Don’t get complacent though, get in NOW! at http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?type=&keyWords=Martin+Crookall&x=13&y=6&sitesearch=lulu.com&q=

Discounted Books – No, seriously

People, after the farrago last time I tried to pass on to you a Lulu.com code to get my recently published The Revenge of the Purple Puffin (or any of my existing books) at a discount, this one works!

For the next two days, until 11.59pm on Thursday 14 August, you can get a 25% discount – yes, a full quarter – off the price of books via Lulu by using the code TWODAY25.

It only applies to print books so the e-book versions are unaffected, but to be honest at the prices I’m asking for those, you have to be paricularly shameless to want discounted prices on those.

Get in quick, be profligate. Here’s a link to your starter page.

Go crazy! Because I’m worth it.

Discounted Books – Not


This is a warning and an apology to anyone who tried to follow my recent post about a 15% discount of my latest novel, The Revenge of the Purple Puffin: many thanks to Alex who has alerted me that it doesn’t work (but who has bought the book anyway, cheers mate).

In case it was something I’d done differently on Puffin, I tried to apply it to one of the others, only to get the same response.

That seems to suggest that my books are neither Standard nor Premium, which I will check out as soon as I am able.

In the meantime, ignore my first post, though anyone who makes like Alex and buys it anyway will be my friend forever.

Discounted Books

Yes, it’s Shameless Plug again.

From now until the end of Monday 21 July, Lulu.com are offering 15% off the purchase price of my latest novel, The Revenge of the Purple Puffin (as purchasable via the following link – http://www.lulu.com/shop/martin-crookall/the-revenge-of-the-purple-puffin/paperback/product-21693281.html ). All you have to do is use the following Code at checkout – DOGDAYS14 – to claim your discount.

Indeed, you don’t have to restrict your buying to The Revenge of the Purple Puffin as it applies to everything I have written that’s available from Lulu.

Go mad, take the chance to grab a bargain, there are two trilogies out there that you can purchase whilst the cost is even righter than usual.

You know how happy it would make me…

New Rick Geary Kickstarter – The True Death of Billy the Kid

Billy the Kid

People, it’s time for another plug for one of my favourite graphic artists, the inimitable and unique Rick Geary, whose latest project is another Treasury of Murder hardback, this time pertaining to the death of the legendary outlaw, Billy the Kid.

For as little as $30 (including postage and packing for supporters outside the United States) you can support Geary’s new book AND guarantee yourself a pristine new signed copy, delivered to your door, complete with a unique bookplate and a personalised thank you postcard. If you want to pledge more, the rewards are higher: five pledgees with $500 to spare will have their likenesses appear as characters in the book!

The link to the project is here, and the target is $5,000 by 11 August.I’m already amongst the 10 backers who have pledged $285 at the minute I’m typing this.

You know Geary’s good – or if you don’t, this is the time to find out – and that this story will give you actual details and real history about the kid, his life and death. Cut through the myth, cut through the fantasy, read what actually happened.

This is Geary’s third Kickstarter, the third I’ve plugged here, and as the art has already been completed (except for you five lucky – and cash-rich) people, the funds will be going directly to printing, bindimg and delivery charges. Trust me, this is going to happen, and it WILL be good.

Kickstarter: Girl Genius Volume 13

It’s Kickstarter time again, and this time it’s for the latest Girl Genius collection, Volume 13 to be exact, Agatha Heterodyne and the Sleeping City.  Use the link to go to the Project and pledge!

Now, as cultured people with a broad appreciation of the finest arts and narratives, you undoubtedly know all that needs to be about Girl Genius, including the fact that it appears thrice weekly at the Studio Foglio site. This link takes you to page 1: just keep pressing next. For those who may be hazy upon the odd detail here or there, let me remind you that Girl Genius is the work of veteran sf artist Phil Foglio (pronounced ‘folio’) on art, Phil and wife Kaja Foglio on writing and Cheyenne Wright as colourist. It is an epic, sprawling, complex, hilarious story involved a cast of several dozen (including a talking cat), which is tecnically a historical document, issued by two Professors of Trans-Polygnostic University, concerning the life of the titular character, Agatha Heterodyne, Girl Genius.

The Foglios present their work as a Gaslamp Fantasy, placing it pretty near to the SF genre of Steampunk, but tons more dramatic and funny.

Volume 13 contains approx 180 pages of full-colour art, of ‘Adventure, Romance and Mad Science’. It completes Act 1 (of three) of the Girl Genius story, and believes me people, it ends on one helluva cliff-hanger!

Get in on this, because it’s good, and treat yourself.

Target is $55,000.00 by 2.00am (British Summer Time) on Saturday 3 May, and at the split second of writing this, £28,607.00 has been pledgedby 420 backers, myself included (there have been five new backers whilst I have been writing this sentence). You can pledge as much or as little as you decide, and there is a list of rewards given for each successive level. For a copy of the book itself with a signed bookplate and computer wallpaper, you need to pledge at least $30, plus additional p&p for backers outside the United States. And if the target isn’t met by the end-date, you pay nothing, though there’s not a lot of chance this will fail.

Be good people, back this venture. The book is reward in itself, without the little inner glow of being one of the Good People.

Because they’re there

I’ve just added a new link to the blogroll, for the benefit of those readers who come here for the Lake District pieces. Because they’re there is the blog of Alen McFadzean, former quarryman, ardent fellwalker and journalist for a local paper out Darlington way, who’s currently under Notice of Redundancy.

McEff is a quiet joy to read, a fund of stories, an ardent and much-travelled walker, and the kind of guy you’d share a pint with any day, and I’ve linked to his blog because, in the unlikly event of you not already having found it, I think you’ll enjoy a short-cut to a wealth of posts about not just the Lakes.

Tell him I sent you and he’ll probably say, “Who?…”