The publishing world is focussing on the county as five new titles from Bedfordshire authors hit the book shelves.
l The Devil’s Ark by
This is the first novel from Bedford Modern School’s head of English, who struck a two-book deal with Headline.
Mr Bywater says the book is a tale about madness and obsession which interweaves fact and fiction, with an archaeological dig in Iraq in the late 1920s and touches upon Lilith, Adam’s first wife.”
The book’s narrator is Harry Ward, a character shaped by accounts of those driven mad by the Great War. He returns to Mesopotamia 12 years after the war where he is haunted by bloody visions when he joins an archaeological dig.
Mr Bywater said: “What I wanted to write, and read, is something like Indiana Jones meets The Woman in Black, as well as fusing the Hammer films with the horrors of war.”
He added the novel briefly made it to the top of the Amazon Horror list, beating Stephen King.
l Your Lives In Our Hands by Dr Jay
A retired hospital doctor from Biddenham recounts true-life stories from his 33-year career in the NHS.
While the names have been changed, the book features short biographies of the boy kicked by a pony, the lady who had an ectopic pregnancy, and some rather more bizarre cases.
The doctor hopes the book will provide the lay reader with an insight into the NHS but also inspire health professionals to “treat your patients with the compassion, the respect and the dignity they deserve”.
l A Wander Round The Coast Of Wales by Steve Plant
This first-time author was inspired to walk the Wales Coast Path to raise money for the MS Trust after finding out Wales is the first country in the world to have a continuous path around its entire coastline.
What followed is 300 pages of photos, folklore and tales from the trail, which he completed in 60 days.
l Cruise Ships: The Small Scale Fleet by Peter C. Smith
The second book in the Cruise Ships series from the Riseley-based marine expert gives a complete overview of the best ships which weigh in at less than 400,000 GT. Each colour profile includes external and interior views of the featured ship. Details of the design, building and service history of each vessel are provided with vital statistics of the ship and its facilities. This is a book of reference for maritime enthusiasts, would-be holiday cruisers and those who have been passengers.
l Take It Cool
by Jonathon Pinnock
The Bedfordshire-born author says “if you’re born with the name Pinnock, you are just two consonants away from disaster, and that proximity pretty much wipes out any chance you have of being cool”.
But then he finds out about Dennis Pinnock, the reggae singer who recorded more than 20 singles on a dozen different labels but never made it to a full-length album.
So who is this Dennis Pinnock guy? Is he still alive? Is he a big star somewhere? What is a black man of West Indian origin doing with that daft surname?
In the course of the search for Dennis Pinnock, Jonathon digs up some unpalatable truths about how his surname might have crossed the race boundary.