The Peat Dead - shortlisted for the Bloody Scotland McIlvanney Prize, Scottish Crime Debut of the Year 2019 - skillfully captures the essence of island life and evocatively conveys a remarkable sense of place - The Peat Dead

The Peat Dead: Islay murder mystery shortlisted for Debut Scottish Crime Novel of the year

Allan Martin, author of The Peat Dead, a remarkably assured debut novel that skilfully captures the essence of Scottish island life, has been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize, 2019 Debut Scottish Crime Novel of the Year.

The Peat Dead is more than a crime story, shining a light on the nuances of island living and the impact that historical events still have in the 21st century.

A retired teacher and university lecturer, Allan says, 'I am thrilled to be shortlisted for such a prestigious prize. It is a great honour and something I could not have imagined when I started writing.'

Seonaid Francis, Editorial Director at ThunderPoint Publishing added, 'Allan Martin has crafted a gripping novel that draws on historic events and places them firmly in current times, and reminds us that the past affects us all. He is an author to watch and we strongly recommend people search out The Peat Dead'

Reviews of The Peat Dead

"A mystery so redolent of its island setting that you practically smell the peat and whisky on the pages." - Douglas Skelton

"This atmospheric crime novel set on Islay gripped me from the start. A book that shows decades-old crimes cast long shadows." - Sarah Ward

Press Release for Immediate Use

The New Frontier by Robin Lloyd-Jones; Published April 10th, 2019

The New Frontier: Inspirational interviews with remarkable people making incredible contributions to society in later life.

As the proportion of people over 65 in the UK increases, a better understanding of what underpins an active later life is becoming more important - to all of us.

In a series of interviews with remarkable people over 70, all of them nominated for the annual Times-Sternberg award,The New Frontier documents the impact of different influences over their lives and provides readers with a unique viewpoint on how important it is that we make, and are seen to make, a valuable contribution to society at all ages, especially older age.

Ranging from Dame Esther Rantzen, and her work in setting up Silverline, a helpline for the elderly, to John Lubbock, the founder of the Orchestra of St. John's, which tours the country providing music to families and children living with autism, the interviews confirm the importance of taking a positive view of old age and its possibilities, both for the individual and their community.

Compiled and edited by Robin Lloyd-Jones, a remarkable man himself, this collection of interviews brings together the stories of inspirational people who have made significant contributions to the benefit of society.

The Rt Hon Lord Hunt of Kings Heath PC, OBE says, 'The huge contribution that older people make to society is so well exampled in this excellent book. Each section is testimony to the ingenuity, and sheer determination of extraordinary people to contribute to society. It gives the lie to any idea that the older generations do not give back to society.'

Baroness Sally Greengross OBE adds, 'I welcome The New Frontier: Making a Difference in Later Life as a valuable supplement to and illustration of aspects of the work being done by the New Dynamics of Ageing (NDA) Programme, the most ambitious research programme on ageing ever undertaken in the UK.'

A proportion of the sale price of this book, amounting to 100% of the author's royalties, will be given to Age UK, a registered charity in England with charity number 1128267.

About the Author:

Eighty four year old Robin is an award-winning writer of novels, short stories, non-fiction and radio drama. He has lived in Scotland for most of his adult life. After a childhood spent in India and in the west country of England, he graduated from Cambridge University with an MA degree in Social Anthropology (1960). He was a teacher before being appointed director of Scotland's first curriculum development centre, then becoming an Education Adviser in Strathclyde Region. He took early retirement in 1989 to focus on writing.

From 1991-97 he was a part-time tutor in Creative Writing at Glasgow University and is a former president of The Scottish Association of Writers (1993-96) and of Scottish PEN (1997-2000). For 17 years he chaired Scottish PEN's Writers in Prison Committee (now renamed Writers at Risk), which campaigns on behalf of persecuted writers and champions freedom of expression, and he remains active in this field.

Robin now runs the Autumn Voices blog ( the aim of which is to encourage creativity in later life.

Apart from writing, his main interests are mountaineering, sea kayaking, photography and chess. More information can be found at his entry in Who's Who in Scotland. And at: Robin Lloyd-Jones

Press Release for Immediate Use

Mere by Carol Fenlon; Published June 21st, 2018

A chilling new novel set in rural Lancashire

When a long-standing farming family falls on hard times and leaves the fields it has cultivated for generations, to be replaced by idealistic incomers, the dark history of the land makes its presence felt on all their lives.

Set in the marshlands of rural west coast Lancashire, Carol Fenlon's hard hitting new novel portrays the damaging impact that land, its history, and the power it holds over people, can have on families and communities.

Carol Fenlon says, "I focus on place in my writing, and the power the landscapes, the history and the people within it have on their surroundings."

Seonaid Francis added, "Mere reflects on the impact the ghosts of history have on all of us, and how that shapes and sometimes destroys lives."

About Mere

"There's something about this place. It's going to destroy us if we don't get away."

Reclaimed from the bed of an ancient mere, drained by their forbears 150 years ago, New Cut Farm is home to the Askin family. Life is hard, but the land and its dark history is theirs, and up till now that has always been enough.

But Con Worrall can't make it pay. Pressured by his new wife following his mother's death, Con reluctantly sells up.

For Lynn Waters, New Cut Farm is the life she has always dreamed of, though her husband Dan has misgivings about the isolated farmhouse.

As Con's life disintegrates and Dan's unease increases, the past that is always there takes over and Lynn discovers the terrible hold that the land exerts over people - and the lengths to which they will go to keep it.

About Carol Fenlon

Carol Fenlon is a Lancashire novelist whose writing is heavily influenced by place. Her novels and short stories are set in the landscapes of West Lancashire where she lives but also feature the contexts of Liverpool and North Wales. Carol's first novel Consider The Lilies won the Impress Novel Prize in 2007 and many of her published short stories are to be found in the collections, Triple Death and Plotlands. When she is not writing fiction, Carol is a keen gardener and local historian.

Title Information:

ISBN: 978-1-910946-37-4 (Kindle)

ISBN: 978-1-910946-36-7 (Paperback)

Publication: June 21st 2018

Extent: 260 pp

Price (Kindle): £3.99/$4.99

Price (Paperback): £9.99/$12.99

Genre: General Fiction

Cover image for print: Click Here
Author image for print: Click Here
Advance Information sheet: Click Here

Press Release For Immediate Use (10/9/16)

The Bogeyman comes to life

Craig Watson, writer and award-winning journalist, brings the legend of the Bogeyman to life in his debut novel.

In 14th Century Scotland, amidst the wars of independence, hatred, murder and betrayal are commonplace. People are driven to extraordinary lengths to survive, whilst those with power exercise it with cruel pleasure.

Royal Prince Alexander Stewart, son of King Robert II and plagued by rumours of his illegitimacy, becomes infamous as the Wolf of Badenoch, while young Andrew Christie commits an unforgivable sin and lay Brother Brodie Affleck in the Restenneth Priory pieces together the mystery that links them all together.

From the horror of the times and the changing fortunes of the characters, the legend of the Bogeyman is born and Craig Watson cleverly weaves together the disparate lives of the characters into a compelling historical mystery that will keep you gripped throughout.

The Bogeyman Chronicles is based on genuine historical figures and events, as well as legend and folklore. It is a shadowy medieval mystery set in the period after William Wallace and Robert the Bruce and a historical reminder of Scotland's enduring constitutional struggle with itself and with England.

Craig Watson says, "As a journalist, with a keen interest in history and politics, I wanted to explore the concept of the 'bogeyman syndrome', the perceived and/or real fears and evils of political and royal rivalry, military intrigue, and the bitter competition between religious and academic scholars, through the history of ordinary people and those not usually featured in the portrayal of a country."

Seonaid Francis, Director of ThunderPoint Publishing writes, "With precise detail and poetic language, and without shying away from the impact of major historical events on the lives of ordinary people, Craig Watson has written an historical novel that brings to life 14th Century Scotland and the origins of a legend we have all grown up with. It is a political thriller, mystery novel and reminder of the consequences that the unrestrained exercise of power and influence can have on a country."

Title Information:

ISBN: 978-1-910946-11-4 (Kindle)
ISBN: 978-1-910946-10-7 (Paperback)
Publication: November 2016
Extent: 414 pp
Price (Kindle): £4.99/$4.99
Price (Paperback): £13.99/$19.99
Genre: Fiction - Historical; Thriller; Mystery
Cover images and author images are available HERE

Press Release For Immediate Use:

Changed Times (published April 27th, 2016): 1679 - The King, Covenantors, religion and rebellion

"...a remarkable and compelling debut novel" - Jan Fortune

How would you react when the safe world you have always known becomes dangerous, and everything you have been taught to believe in is suddenly treasonous?

In Changed Times Ethyl Smith eloquently and powerfully writes of the fear, violence and upheaval that spread across Scotland as the resistance movement, driven by the ordinary people of Scotland, opposed King Charles II's attempts to install himself as the infallible Monarch of the country.

Changed Times brings to life this notorious period of history that culminated in the invasion of Britain in 1688 by William of Orange, the consequences of which are still felt in Scotland and Ireland today.

Ethyl Smith says, "I have always liked stories, always admired a good storyteller, longed to become one. As a child I told my stories through pictures. Later as an illustrator I interpreted the words of others before daring to link my own words with my own pictures. In Changed Times I have worked to portray the images of turbulent 17th century Scottish lives in words, and give them their voice."

Seonaid Francis, Director of ThunderPoint Publishing writes, "Ethyl conveys the impact these traumatic events had on individual peoples' lives with clarity and insight, forcing the reader to consider how they would react when ideas and laws they fundamentally disagree with are being imposed on society."

Synopsis of Changed Times:

1679 - The Killing Times

Charles II is on the throne, the Episcopacy has been restored, and southern Scotland is in ferment.

The King is demanding superiority over all things spiritual and temporal and rebellious Ministers are being ousted from their parishes for refusing to bend the knee.

When John Steel steps in to help one such Minister in his home village of Lesmahagow he finds himself caught up in events that reverberate not just through the parish, but throughout the whole of southern Scotland.

From the Battle of Drumclog to the Battle of Bothwell Bridge, John's platoon of farmers and villagers find themselves in the heart of the action over that fateful summer where the people fight the King for their religion, their freedom, and their lives.

Set amid the tumult and intrigue of Scotland's Killing Times, John Steele's story powerfully reflects the changes that took place across 17th century Scotland, and stunningly brings this period of history to life.

Review by Jan Fortune:

Changed Times is a remarkable and compelling debut from an accomplished name to watch. A superb story with distinctive characters who are complex, and convincing; the novel is rich in research that renders it authentic whilst never becoming intrusive. It's a joy to read a historical novel with real dialect that is also easy to follow and always engaging. A narrative with huge scope and superb pacing, reading Changed Times will leave you impatient for the next two volumes in this evocative, moving and absorbing trilogy.

About the Author:

Ethyl Smith is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde Novel Writing course and the Stirling University MLitt Creative Writing course.

Smith has had numerous short stories published in a range of publications, including, Scottish Field, Spilling Ink, Stirling Collective Anthology, Mistaken Identities Anthology (edited by James Robertson) and Gutter Magazine. Ethyl is also winner of the Dragon's Pen for Mixing The Colours, from Glasgow Women's Library.

Ethyl has also been a finalist three times, and winner once, in the Dragons Pen competition, and a Finalist in the Wigtown Book Festival Short Story Competition.

Title Information:

ISBN: 978-1-910946-09-1 (Kindle)
ISBN: 978-1-910946-08-4 (Paperback)
Publication: April 27th 2016
Extent: 242 pp
Price (Kindle): £3.99/$4.99
Price (Paperback): £9.99/$13.99
Genre: Historical Fiction
Review copies are available on request:

Launch Event for The Birds That Never Flew by Margot McCuaig to be hosted by Sara Sheridan

Waterstones, Argyle Street, Glasgow on May 7th at 7pm. Free admission.

The Birds That Never Flew by Margot McCuaig was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize before it was published and subsequently longlisted for the 2014 Polari First Book Prize.

The second edition of this beautiful, moving and sometimes shocking novel will be launched at Waterstones, Argyle Street, Glasgow on May 7th at 7pm. Well-known Scottish author Sara Sheridan will host the event and introduce Margot.

Set in Glasgow The Birds That Never Flew has a strong sense of place and is full of 'gallus Glasgow patter'. The novel is a gripping story of two women fighting to reclaim their lives for the sake of their children, and their own sanity.

Seonaid Francis, Director of ThunderPoint Publishing said, "Margot McCuaig has crafted a daring, challenging and moving novel that has rightly drawn critical praise across the UK. The Birds That Never Flew will move you to tears and have you laugh out loud in turn, and this 2nd Edition is well deserved recognition for a talented writer."

What they say about The Birds That Never Flew:
'...dark, beautiful and moving, I wholeheartedly recommend' -
'Margot McCuaig writes novels that capture the spirit and thrill of crime solving, while transporting you into the pages to experience the real deal' -
'...a powerful and sometime shocking story of sexual abuse and domestic violence...' - Paul Ciddihy

Novel Description

'Have you got a light hen? I'm totally gaspin.'

Battered and bruised, Elizabeth has taken her daughter and left her abusive husband Patrick. Again. In the bleak and impersonal Glasgow housing office Elizabeth meets the provocatively intriguing drug addict Sadie, who is desperate to get her own life back on track too.

The two women forge a fierce and interdependent relationship as they try to rebuild their shattered lives, but despite their bold, and sometimes illegal attempts it seems impossible to escape from the abuse they have always known, and tragedy strikes.

More than a decade later Elizabeth has started to implement her perfect revenge - until a surreal Glaswegian Virgin Mary steps in with imperfect timing and a less than divine attitude to stick a spoke in the wheel of retribution.

Margot McCuaig Bio

Margot leads a busy life away from writing, being MD of mneTV where she works as a TV Executive, Scriptwriter and Documentary Filmmaker. She is also a mentor for the Womentoring Project, set up to provide mentoring by professional literary women to talented up and coming female writers.

Margot lives in the city of Glasgow and the home she built on Rathlin Island in County Antrim, Ireland.

Margot's Blog

Review Copies

Review copies are available on request. Please specify the publication or website where the review will appear and the preferred format of the review copy (paperback or ebook).

In The Shadow Of The Hill, by Helen Forbes

The first novel of Inverness author Helen Forbes will be released on October 29th 2014. In The Shadow Of The Hill, is a crime novel set in Inverness and Harris.

In The Shadow Of The Hill skilfully captures the intricacies and malevolence of the underbelly of Highland and Island life, bringing tragedy and vengeance to the magical beauty of the Outer Hebrides.

Helen Forbes is a civil litigation solicitor based Inverness, specialising in social welfare law. She has also lived and worked in Edinburgh, Fife, and the Outer Hebrides, where she edited Am Paipear, an award winning community newspaper.

Prior to studying law at the University of Edinburgh Helen was a veterinary nurse in Inverness and at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh.

A member of the Highland Literary Salon and the Edinburgh Writers' Club, Helen has previously had work published in Northwords Now and the Global Shorts Anthology. She has also had success in national and international writing competitions, having been commended by the Highland and Island Short Story Association, Neil Gunn Writing Competition and Scottish Association of Writers.

Seonaid Francis, Director of South Uist based ThunderPoint Publishing said, "This self-assured first novel from Helen Forbes evokes a wonderful sense of place from the highland city of Inverness to the islands of the Outer Hebrides, and carries the reader to a nail biting climax."

The Birds That Never Flew, longlisted for 2014 Polari First Book Prize

The Birds That Never Flew by Margot McCuaig has been longlisted for the 2014 Polari First Book Prize.

The Polari Prize longlist was announced at the Polari Literary Salon at the Southbank Centre in London on Tuesday 29th July.

Paul Burston, chair of the judges, said: "The judging panel had a tougher job than ever this year, thanks to the increased number and overall quality of submissions. This is reflected in the fact that we have a long list of 12 books, rather than the usual 10."

Seonaid Francis, Director of South Uist based ThunderPoint Publishing said, "Margot McCuaig is a new and vibrant voice in Scottish literature and The Birds That Never Flew will challenge and enthral readers. The longlisting of Margot for the Polari Prize is a well deserved recognition for this talented writer."

Toxic, by Jackie McLean

ThunderPoint is proud to announce the forthcoming publication of Toxic by Arbroath authpr JackIe McLean, scheduled for publication on November 20th.

Toxic is a crime thriller set in the Scottish University City of Dundee and nearby harbour town of Arbroath, which tensely follows the police investigation racing against time to trace an illegal shipment of the deadly chemical MIC, that devastated Bhopal in 1984.

Toxic was previously shortlisted for the Yeovil Literary Prize in 2011 and this emotional roller-coaster draws on the horrors of Bhopal and a desperate search for the lethal toxin, from the perspective of DI Donna Davenport who is struggling to hide a secret from police colleagues and get over the break-up with her partner.

McLean weaves the story of the desperate search for the lethal toxin around the competing pressures of political wrangling and the daily lives of the complex characters.

With this explosive novel Jackie McLean joins the exciting list of emerging fiction writers at ThunderPoint Publishing.

Jackie McLean, a former government economist and political lobbyist from Arbroath, has more recently run her own business in Glasgow. She is now working on a PhD, at Strathclyde University, in fisheries science.

Toxic was shortlisted for the Yeovil Literary Prize in 2011 and Jackie has also been longlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize.

Publishing Scotland

June 30th, 2014 - ThunderPoint Publishing is very pleased to now be a Publisher Member of Publishing Scotland.

A Good Death, by Helen Davis

ThunderPoint Publishing has signed Helen Davis and will publish her first novel, A Good Death, in February 2014.

In this darkly humorous novel four young women experience the strictures and freedoms of university life, becoming lifelong friends, despite their disparate backgrounds.

Davis deftly weaves the 1980's readjustment of British social boundaries into her novel as she transports the reader from coming of age student life in England, through adventure, death and life changing experiences in Peru, to a disastrous attempt at rediscovering lost youth and innocence, nearly thirty years too late.

Since moving to Scotland, Davis, author of Understanding Stuart Hall (the Sociologist and former editor of New Left Review who famously coined the term 'Thatcherism') has turned her attention to fiction. Her short story A Kind of Justice made the short-list for the 2012 OrkCrime Festival Crime Writing Competition, judged by bestselling crime writer Ann Cleeves.

Mule Train Review

Great review of Mule Train on the excellent Trip Fiction website - 'Stunningly captures the feel of Pakistan, from Karachi to the hills, an absolute must-read for anyone contemplating picking up their backpack and heading off! - Sam Goodson'.

Review Copies

Review copies are available on request. Please specify the publication or website where the review will appear and the preferred format of the review copy (paperback or ebook).