Hobnob Press

Fiction ~ new for 2022

Blow-Ins, a novel by Crysse Morrison

It's the end of the 20th century and Blair's England is thriving - especially in the affluent south. And where could be a more delightful place to settle than the South-West, with the mellow elegance of Bath and the rural vista of its rivers, woods, and fields? People have owned and worked this land throughout centuries, before planes or pesticides, but to the migrant 'blow-ins' it's a peaceful backwater: internet entrepreneurs, ex-hippy wanderers, nature-loving city-dwellers, they've blown here like tumbleweed to follow their dreams in this painterly paradise. But life is not like art... May 2022, 267pp, paperback, £9.95, ISBN 978-1-914407-33-8

Two Blackberry Lane, a novel by Alison Clink

Six people with unconnected lives all make the same house in Blackberry Lane their home. From newly-wed Peggy with her film-star looks who lives in Two Blackberry Lane just after the end of World War Two, through the decades to reflective poetess, Chloe, whose family convert the property in the twenty-first century. Six stories of love, loss, hopes and dreams, jealousy, greed and the occasional strawberry flan. These compelling characters play out their lives within the walls of this cottage in the deepest Somerset countryside. But are their histories linked in more ways than they will ever know? May 2022, 289pp, paperback, £10.95, ISBN 978-1-914407-24-6

Fatal August, by Sue Boddington

Novel set in Wiltshire against the febrile atmosphere of the Civil Wars, which describes a wealth of local characters, their relationships and divided loyalties. Published by Hobnob for the author, formerly librarian of Calne, who is well known in the local literary scene. April 2022, 358pp, paperback, £8.95, ISBN 978-1-914407-35-2

Fiction ~ new for 2021

Déjà Lu: collected stories of Crysse Morrison

This collection of 37 stories, on themes ranging through love and loss, betrayal, passion and the complexity of human relationships between lovers and family members, has been selected from the author's long career of writing short stories. Most have been previously published in magazines or edited collections, or been presented on radio or as live readings. The author is a Frome based poet, novelist, dramatist and critic. August 2021, 197pp, paperback, £8.95, ISBN 978-1-914407-10-9.

The Gorge, by Annette Burkitt

Historical novel set in Somerset and Dorset in the 10th century, sequel to the author's Flesh and Bones (2017). King Athelstan is dead. Long live the new king, Edmund, his half-brother. The cobbled-together nation of England must react to the challenges of the times: threats from Northumbria and Ireland, resentment from Mercia, pressure from a Church flexing its powerful Catholic muscles. Reformation is in the air. The House of Wessex is weakened by a cliff-top promise and suffers a shocking assassination. Was it intended or was it provoked? This story of Wessex in the mid-tenth century is set in the landscape of Shaftesbury, Frome, and Cheddar. Drawing on historical and archaeological sources, it attempts to put flesh on the bones of early medieval England, illuminating the pre-conquest period and revealing its chief protagonists. September 2021, 380pp, illustrated paperback, £12.95, ISBN 978-1-914407-18-5.

Sweet Medicine, by Sue Boddington

Spring 1860 in a lonely corner of Montana, four people are seeking fulfilment in their lives and some form of healing for troubled minds. Bear Claw, the Cheyenne warrior, whose mother was the daughter of a Jewish pedlar, is searching for a way to reconcile his life as a Cheyenne with his promise to his mother to honour the traditions of her people. Ben Barnett, the youngest son of a Wiltshire squire has emigrated with his young wife Frances in the hope of finding a cure for his depression and restless spirit in the challenge of a pioneering life. Frances however, longs for a more secure, civilised life with her relatives in Boston. Lothar Klein dreams of becoming a rich man and being accepted in the upper ranks of European society and has travelled from Germany believing he will find gold in America. When the lives of these four people intersect a chain of events is set in motion that reaches a dramatic conclusion.

            The story is set against the background of the dangers and hardships of living in an untamed landscape and the often fraught relationship between the white settlers and the native population, but also how an individual friendship can transcend differences in race and culture. The life and traditions of the Cheyenne are portrayed in detail at a time when the Plains tribes still had the freedom to live in their own way before they were swept aside by the irresistible force of the believers in Manifest Destiny. 2021, 276pp, paperback, £8.95, ISBN 978-1-914407-08-6

Struck Off, by John Killah

A gripping comic novel of our times. Set in a busy market town, it follows the dramatic story of Eaun Wright, a well-liked trial lawyer and partner in a local solicitors’ practice, as his business, marriage, and reputation are all unexpectedly and dramatically trashed within 24 hours and he embarks on an audacious plan for revenge and redemption. Set in the immediate future, Struck Off savagely dissects our crumbling criminal justice system as well as providing incisive reflection about what is actually now happening to traditional country life, invaded as it now is by city incomers bringing new money and new values. With a mix of prescient social relevance and witty dramatic fiction, Struck Off navigates a rapidly changing landscape involving gangsters and honest police officers, daffodil fairs and a Roman orgy, acid baths and a very dead badger, before a surprising international twist at the end of this fast-moving narrative – as well as lifting the lid on what the Honorary Secretary got up to in the hot tub. . .November 2021, 310pp, paperback, £10.95, ISBN 978-1-914407-15-4

Fiction ~ 2020 titles

The Price of Bread, by Crysse Morrison

Frome-based novelist, poet and blogger Crysse Morrison takes us back fifty years to a world far-removed from the Somerset of her previous Hobnob title, the acclaimed Frome Unzipped. In her novel it’s the winter of 1970 and Northern Ireland is smouldering with the unresolved hostilities of its ancient sectarian tribes, with Belfast a hotbed for trouble. In the heart of the city, Lee and her partner and friends ignore sectarian labels, and Lee still trusts in her hippy mantra ‘all you need is love’ –  but the streets are increasingly dangerous, especially with two young children and more immediate challenges like how to beat the cold and the rising price of bread. When threats are scrawled on their back wall, and as sandbags and barricades block the streets, ‘love’ is becoming a precious and elusive commodity…

July 2020, 200pp, paperback, £8.95, ISBN 978-906978-85-3.

The Complete Adventures of Henry Chalk, Pedestrian Tourist, by Nick Cowen

The fictional tours of Henry Chalk in 1807-8, told in a series of letters to his uncle in the style of a pedestrian tourist. With danger snapping at his heels our hero stumbles upon the founding fathers of archaeology who are intent on opening every prominent burial mound in the Stonehenge landscape. Love and mystery entwine the young walker like an ever-tightening creeper as he explores the sunken lanes and glaring chalklands. And as the young hero puts pen to paper to record his adventures, his own story unfolds, whilst a shocking denouement awaits. First published by Hobnob between 2005 and 2013 in three parts, the trilogy is now brought together in a single volume, with additional drawings by the author and biographies and explanations of the real characters encountered by our hero.

July 2020, 512pp, line drawings, £14.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-89-1.

The Thegn’s Creed, by Sue Boddington

Sue’s second historical novel. It tells the story of two brothers, thegns from the Saxon aristocracy, struggling to come to terms with the upheaval of their world and maintain their status as freemen on their ancestral land. Their fortunes are played out against a backdrop of 11th Century Wiltshire village life and the seasonal round of agricultural toil in an England still full of tension between Saxon and Norman.

July 2020, 284pp, paperback, £8.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-88-4.

Dissenters: Conscience and Corruption in 17th-century Frome, a novel by Liz Hutchinson

In the 1660s English society experiences religious, social and industrial upheavals. Throughout the land, thousands of Puritan clergy are expelled from their churches and homes, dissenting congregations suffer repression by the magistrates and meet illegally. In Frome, Somerset, a family is impoverished and drawn into a smuggling gang. The changing times offer new opportunities – some less reputable than others – and violence is often the first response to those who enforce the law. The town’s flourishing woollen industry allows some to build fortunes, especially the more unscrupulous developers. But for others, the threat of poverty, starvation or the gallows is always present . . .

May 2020, 274pp, paperback, £10.95, ISBN 978-906978-83-9.

Fiction ~ older titles

Biographical Memoirs of Extraordinary Painters, by William Beckford, new edition with introduction and notes by Robert J. Gemmett

William Beckford (1760-1844) a fabulously wealthy and extravagant dilettante figure, is remembered for his strange oriental Gothic novel, Vathek, and for his architectural follies, Fonthill Abbey in Wiltshire and Beckford’s Tower in Bath. Biographical Memoirs, originally published in 1780, was his first book. It reveals his extensive knowledge of art as a critic and connoisseur and his satirical talent as a novelist. Through the vehicle of a satire reminiscent of Voltaire, he criticizes the excesses of schools of painting, particularly the Dutch and Flemish, to minute detail and empty virtuosity, while his extended parody of prominent biographies of artists, fostered by such writers as Vasari and Horace Walpole, becomes an incisive commentary on the history of art and art criticism to the end of the 18th century. Robert Gemmett, Professor Emeritus of English, State University of New York, is the author of numerous books and articles of Beckford’s life and works. February 2018, 120 pages, illustrations, hardback, £14.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-52-5.



Flesh and Bones, of Frome Selwood and Wessex, by Annette Burkitt

It is the year 934. A winter court of King Athelstan of Wessex is being held at Frome in Somerset, a market town in the forest of Selwood. The church of St John the Baptist, the Saxon monastery founded by St Aldhelm and the nearby royal palace are the settings for the court’s continuing attempts to merge British and Saxon kingdoms into a single nation. In the relic room of the monastery a clerk, Nonna, delves into the deep past of the local landscape and the Britons of the former kingdom of Dumnonia. Britons and Saxons, Heaven and Hell, relics and reliquaries, jealousy and intrigue, fiction and fact are woven into a story of Wessex in the 10th century. Based upon original documentation, secondary sources and recent historical thought, Flesh builds a fictional story on a synthesis of the Bones of archaeology, history, folklore and place-name research. It aims to bridge the gap between the academic and the general reader, for whom the Dark Ages are still, sadly, just that. December 2017, 388 pages, with author’s illustrations, paperback, £12.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-50-1.





Trust Harrison, by Nick Cowen.

With retirement beckoning on the near horizon, recession weary public rights of way officer Victor Wayland has the Friday afternoon of his working life disrupted by the appearance of the uninvited Harrison, a young and streetwise volunteer. The local authority is on its knees, but can the blank-faced and enigmatic Harrison really be the saviour of our public rights of way, and what is it about Harrison and dogs? Trust Harrison is a tale of both hopelessness and hope; a call to arms and damnation by fiscal austerity. Surprising and insightful, this first volume is only the beginning

of the journey; the first leg, the foothills . . . setting off. Familiar to Hobnob readers from his spoof trilogy describing the adventures of an antiquarian pedestrian, Nick Cowen has set his latest novel in the present day, and Hobnob has enjoyed publishing it for him. 217pp, paperback, £7.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-34-1.

NOTE: This title is not sold by me, but I can put the author in touch with potential purchasers.






Fathoming the Universe, by Sue Boddington.

Novel set in Elizabethan Wiltshire, which describes the eventful life of a scholar and adventurer, who took part in an expedition to the American coast and found a wife, a force of nature. Now read on . . . Published by Hobnob for the author, formerly librarian of Calne, who is well known in the local literary scene. 2016, 397pp paperback, £7.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-36-5.

NOTE: This title is not sold by me, but I can put the author in touch with potential purchasers.



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