Stations Memoir/True Crime New
A story of two murders, revenge and the dark secrets of neighbouring families
The book will chart my journey as I attempt to rescue from oblivion two unsolved murders in the Irish Border parish of Killeeshil in South Tyrone where I have lived for most of my life. The first, which took place in 1922, was the killing of an IRA man by his Catholic neighbours. My grandfather, who was eleven at the time, was arrested and detained by the police after they found a handkerchief covered in blood in his pocket. My grandfather was a junior member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, a politically moderate Catholic Nationalist organisation, which at the time was suspected of being behind the murder. Tensions were running high during the Civil War, and the murdered man had been blamed for inflaming the youth of the parish with his violent rhetoric and was accused of bringing grief to families. My grandfather claimed the blood was from a nose-bleed, and he was released without charge.
The toxic and half-buried trauma of the murder resurfaced in the parish sixty years later when an IRA gang (made up of our neighbours) held my family at gunpoint, hijacked our car and used it to murder a Protestant police officer (another neighbour). I was ten at the time, and to ensure my parents did not tip off the security forces when the IRA left, the gang leader, his ginger moustache poking out from under his balaclava, handed me a gold-coloured bullet. He warned me that the IRA would use it to shoot my father if he contacted the police before the appointed time. It was a small moment in the tumult of a mad day, but one I remember vividly. At first, I thought he wanted to shake my hand. A conscientious child, I accepted the bullet, and held it carefully until the IRA gang departed. I knew it carried an important message. I gave it to my mother who placed it in the kitchen cupboard, next to where she kept the milk money. Later that night the police took it away for forensic examination, and nobody said anything more about it.
Inspired by Javier Cercas' Soldiers of Salamis, my book will be a literary hunt for patterns and echoes of the unpalatable truth - the identities of the killers - as well as the tangled relationships between families and rival political factions within the Catholic community along the Irish Border. Using as its starting point the belief that the two crimes are somehow intertwined, the book will investigate the individual motives of the perpetrators, the stark choices they faced, and the web of comradeship, violence and betrayal that stretches across three generations of families. The book will also examine the bitter and controversial legacy of the IRA along the Border, a legacy which forced families into keeping secrets.
The opening sample chapter has me visiting Station Island, which, with its hazy rain and mists, is a great setting to start an investigation into the murky past of Northern Ireland. In the proceeding chapters (as yet unwritten), I will visit a series of funeral wakes in my home parish along the Irish Border, asking more questions and digging for the truth behind the two murders. Along the way, I will meet old school friends, former teachers, elderly neighbours and ex-IRA men, as well as a shadowy journalist, who is also probing for the truth. At some points in the narrative, reality and fiction will blur. The book will be a meditation on the silences and evasions that lie at the heart of a tightly knit community, as well as an exploration of the way in which stories are sometimes told to create illusions rather than keep the truth intact.
Anthony J Quinn is the critically acclaimed author of nine crime novels, including his debut Disappeared, which was a Daily Mail Crime Novel of the Year, and was picked by the Sunday Times as one of the Best Books of the Year. His work has been longlisted for the Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year and shortlisted for a Strand Literary Award in the US, as well as two Hennessy Irish Writing Awards. He teaches Creative Writing at Queen's University Belfast and is currently Writer-in-Residence for County Cavan, Ireland.
Author’s Home: Dungannon, N. Ireland World Rights
American Life in Opera Music New
and the Richard Tucker Music Foundation
Encounters with opera stars and winners of the Richard Tucker Award and Career Grants, and the Sara Tucker Study Grants
Following the mission and model of her Life in Opera (Amadeus Press, 2009), Necula proposes to continue the candid conversations with internationally-renowned opera stars about living and working in the opera world, but with a focus this time on American singers. The Richard Tucker Foundation has provided financial support, professional exposure, and performance opportunities to American singers for over forty years, through its annual Richard Tucker Award, Richard Tucker Career Grants, and Sara Tucker Study Grants. Over one hundred and seventy singers—among which are Renée Fleming, Joyce DiDonato, Lawrence Brownlee, Deborah Voigt, Richard Leech—have benefitted from the generosity of the Foundation. It is from this roster of award winners that she will select her interviewees, and the conversations will be exclusive to this book.
She will also highlight the changes that have taken place in the opera world in the past decade, since the publication of Life in Opera. Technology has exerted a major impact on the operatic art form, especially on singers and the development of their craft and careers. The “Live in HD” transmissions, satellite radio broadcasts, social media, live streaming, and an increasingly rapid pace of rehearsal, travel, performances, camera exposure, and other public appearances have redefined what it means to be a successful singer today. American singers bring a certain pragmatism to their operatic careers, and for the most part, eschew the stereotypical opera superstar antics. In today’s world, this no-nonsense approach has come to be highly appreciated, and it is important to underline the contributions that American singers have made to the business of opera, not only in the United States, but also globally.
Potential Interviewees include June Anderson, Dwayne Croft, Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, Deborah Voigt and thirty more:
Maria-Cristina Necula’s published work includes Life in Opera: Truth, Tempo and Soul (Amadeus Press, 2009); two translations: Molière’s The School for Wives (performed at Canterbury Christ Church University, U.K.) and Europe à la carte; two poetry chapbooks: The Bliss Delusion Tango and Shadows and Miracles; and over forty articles and interviews in Classical Singer Magazine, Das Opernglas, Studies in European Cinema, and Opera News. A classically trained singer, she has performed in the New York City area at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Florence Gould Hall, and the Westchester Broadway Theatre, among other venues. She has conducted presentations on opera at various conferences at The Graduate Center, CUNY, UCLA Southland, and for the Italian language program at the City College of New York. Maria-Cristina has recently completed her doctoral degree in the Comparative Literature Ph.D. program at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Fluent in six languages, she has also studied at the Sorbonne University in Paris, France, and the University of Vienna in Austria. She has obtained an M.A. in English Studies from Lehman College, CUNY, and a B.A. in Languages and Culture/Music from Purchase College, SUNY.
Author’s Home: White Plains, NY World Rights
#Survivor Self-help, Personal Development, Mental Health, MBS New
Leading expert in the field of trauma recovery and published author, Ann Bracken sets out a comprehensive, holistic and innovative approach to overcoming the damaging impact of abuse, whether emotional, sexual or physical. As someone who suffered childhood abuse herself, Bracken is also uniquely qualified in another very important way to bring the empathy, understanding and real sense of hope that only a fellow survivor can offer to others. In this book, she will dispense for the first time with the professional mantel of the psychotherapist to share her personal experiences and hard-won insights in an inspiring and hugely life-affirming way.
Ann Bracken has many years of experience as a specialist Fertility Counsellor/Coach and Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist. She qualified in Mind/Body Programme Training (specific to fertility support) with Dr Alice Domar, Associate Professor and specialist in Mind Body Medicine at Harvard University. Ann is also a teacher of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. She has worked at Ireland’s largest fertility clinic SIMS IVF as part of the worldwide Virtus Health Group. Ann also managed the fertility counselling service at the renowned Lister Fertility Clinic in London and has an online fertility coaching and counselling service. Her first book, Mind Body Baby, was published in 2016 by Yellow Kite.
Author’s Home: Wicklow Ireland World Rights
Yogi Mama: A Revolution in Mothering Parenting/MBS New
Mind, Body, Spirit and Science
What if our modern mainstream methods of caring for babies were proven to be potentially damaging? What if the cot, the pram, formula and feeding bottles were proven to be inferior to methods that best supported an infant's optimal brain development and lifelong mental and physical health?
Yogi Mama takes an in depth look at the history of our modern childcare practices, the latest science from world leading experts into why our mainstream methods can potentially cause harm and a detailed look into how our babies ideally should sleep, feed and be carried if they're to truly thrive in all realms of life.
A guide to conscious, more compassionate parenting, drawing on a wealth of recent scientific research which supports natural parenting methods, and shows that many of our mainstream modern practices are not necessarily in our babies’ best interests.
Joanna Parkin, 39, is a mother of one, and the founder of the London antenatal group, Yogi Mamas, which is devoted to preparing mind, body and spirit for motherhood and providing education on child development and conscious parenting practices.
As a UK leader for Attachment Parenting International, a member of the Association for Infant Mental Health UK (AIMH) and a partner of the charity, What About The Children (who are currently collaborating on the Yogimama App), Joanna has access to the very latest scientific research into child development and wellbeing, and is passionate about promoting more compassionate parenting practices in the belief that how we nurture our children during their first three years of life has an enormous impact on the type of adults these children become and their subsequent impact on society.
Author’s Home: London World Rights
A Little Treasury of Mindfulness MBS New
Tips and Techniques for Every Day
This new proposal from published author and mindfulness expert, Paddy Brosnan (This Works: How to Use Mindfulness to Calm the Hell Down and Just Be Happy, Hay House, 2018) is based on the idea of a ‘treasury’ of mindfulness. The image the author had was of someone opening a treasure chest and rummaging around to find whatever they might need at a given moment – and perhaps in the process, discovering a lot of other unexpected, delightful and useful ideas for living mindfully. A collection of simple yet precious resources which would enhance readers’ lives and add to the quality of their everyday experiences.
We envisage this as a little book of useful and engaging resources and tips which could serve as a kind of companion volume for readers of This Works and other key books in the field – for those new to mindfulness and those who have been practising for some time. We see it as a small-format, beautifully designed little volume, which could be carried in a pocket or handbag, to be dipped into at random moments during the day, to help readers bring mindfulness into their daily lives.
What distinguishes this proposal from other “little books” on mindfulness is that it is hands on, practical and very useful, providing 48 concise entries for modern living, in a short, gift-book format, presenting a ‘lighter’, ‘shorter-and-snappier’ approach to more in-depth books on mindfulness, such as This Works and other such titles currently on the market. We’d envisage one page per entry (see Content, below), with approx. 48 entries, plus very brief preliminary and concluding chapters on the ‘mechanics’ of mindfulness. So, approximately, 25 – 30k of text, and, ideally, each entry featuring one of four different mindfulness approaches, one illustration and an inspirational quote per page/entry
Paddy Brosnan is a mindfulness teacher and inspirational speaker. A committed Buddhist, he has practiced mindfulness for 14 years and has been teaching for over four years. Paddy was born in 1970 in County Kildare near Dublin. He worked as a radio presenter, a financial advisor to high net-worth clients all over Europe, and finally as a dog groomer, before experiencing a radical shift in the way he wanted to live his life. Around this time, he discovered the practice of mindfulness and it resonated with him immediately. After practicing mindfulness and working on developing his awareness for over a decade, Paddy has gone on to teach thousands of people in Ireland and internationally, through his workshops and retreats. He now lives in Meath, Ireland with his wife Faye and their two young sons.
Paddy’s first book, This Works: How to Use Mindfulness to Calm the Hell Down and Just Be Happy was published by Hay House in October 2018.
Author’s Home: Meath, Ireland World Rights
The Musical Offering Music New
Why the Musical Calling Matters
The Musical Offering is a meditation on the power of music and the pursuit of a musical life, providing a platform for musical activism in today’s world. Amidst profound shifts in cultural values and a rapidly changing musical landscape, the book affirms the values inherent in musical practice and why music is a performative form of social action.
Drawn in two parts consisting of nine chapters or movements, The Musical Offering reflects on the work of becoming a musician and how to define and sustain a personal practice (Part I – Practice), as well as ways to meaningfully position and assert a practice as activism in today’s world (Part II – Philosophy). Together, these form a new paradigm of “practice philosophy” for today’s musician.
Partly inspired by the ethos of texts from other disciplines such as Lewis Hyde’s The Gift, and Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit, The Musical Offering examines topics such as creativity, technique, and social responsibility through the particular lens of music. It delves into the human relationship with music, the vagaries of the music industry, and evolves post-Cagean sensibilities on the ecology of music, music as a form of environmental consciousness, music as an expression of love, and music as a spiritual practice.
The Musical Offering has a large, primary audience of both professional and amateur musicians, music teachers, and students – anyone who may have experienced and delved into musical pursuits. Yet it has an additional potential audience for those who simply love music as listeners or casual practitioners, as well as those who may find parallels with other creative and artistic pursuits.
John Kennedy is a widely-known and renowned conductor, composer, and musician. With a legacy of artistic leadership, fuelled by creativity and experimentalism, Kennedy has led acclaimed performances worldwide in opera, orchestral, dance, and new music, from New York’s Lincoln Center Festival, to the leading festivals of Europe and Asia. As the Resident Conductor and Director of Orchestral Activities for Spoleto Festival USA since 2011, Kennedy is acclaimed for his imaginative programming linking music of all eras, as well as illuminating performances of contemporary music. A prolific composer whose work has been hailed for its beauty, strangeness, and communicative capacity, Kennedy is a devoted agent of music as a living cultural force.
Author Home: Berkeley, California World Rights
MY BCRA Journey: Health/Cookery/Lifestyle
How my life-long passion for food helped me survive
This inspiring and incredibly uplifting part-memoir, part recipe book charts one woman’s quest to face up to – and face down – the genetic timebomb she has been handed, and recounts her battle to take control of her own health while continuing to look after her teenage children and her extended family as well as she always has.
In January 2016, Karyn Booth, a highly successful professional food stylist and a divorced mum of two teenage boys, received the devastating news that she carries the BCRA 2 gene mutation, meaning she has a high risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.
In one sense, the test result was not a complete shock – there was a history of cancer in Karyn’s family on her father’s side. Her paternal great grandmother, Mary had died from ovarian cancer; her grandmother, Joanie had been diagnosed with breast cancer in her late 40s, which, thankfully, she survived; one of Karyn’s aunts (her father’s eldest sister) had died of breast cancer. When Karyn’s aunt Sarah was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2003, it was recommended that all females within the family should contact a family history genetic clinic. Karyn and her sisters duly did this, and signed up to the annual screening programme which was on offer. However, they each decided to put off having the gene test, dreading the consequences of a positive BRCA result, which would include having to decide whether to have the radical risk-reducing surgery normally recommended.
When however, in 2013, the family learned that Karyn’s father had oesophageal cancer, her genetic consultant told her that she couldn’t bury her head in the sand any longer – she had to get the gene test done, and, if the result was positive, take the necessary action to spare the family circle any further heartache.
The positive BRCA 2 result was the beginning of a very tough journey for Karyn, and over the next few years, she faced a series of difficult challenges and life changes. She elected to have both risk-reducing surgeries in rapid succession – in April 2017, she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed; in June 2017 she had a double mastectomy. After the first procedure, she found herself plunged into early menopause. She had to see herself through the recovery process while trying to keep her working life on track and continue to be a caring mum to her two teenage sons. After the second procedure, she had to begin to deal with the psychological impact of losing both of her breasts, while having to negotiate key choices about further related surgery – which she now faces in the summer of 2018.
Throughout this process, Karyn was forced to reassess other, more general aspects of her lifestyle – including her diet, her relationship with food and her attitude to exercise. She also found herself questioning many things in her life on a profound level – including her close relationships and whether these were truly contributing to her health and well-being. ‘There is nothing quite like a good dose of fear to make you look deep into yourself, and ask questions you never thought you would. It’ll change you, but I suppose it’s up to you whether you allow this change to be a positive or a negative thing.’
Food has been a life-long passion for Karyn, from her days as a star catering student at The Ritz in London, where very early on, she was called upon to prepare an afternoon tea for the Royal family, to her current work as a food stylist at the top of her game, taking on assignments like recreating a medieval banquet for a key scene on Game of Thrones (where she worked on-set as chief food consultant for four seasons). Unsurprisingly, then, food has played a very important role at every stage of her BRCA journey. As Karyn puts it herself: ‘Food is such a vital part of my life that I can’t tell this story without including it and the way it helped me overcome the many challenges I’ve faced.’
When the genetic consultant told Karyn that for the sake of her health, it was crucial to reduce her weight dramatically, she was forced to acknowledge her own unhealthy eating habits and indeed her emotional relationship with food. And she was deeply embarrassed when she consulted a website about healthy eating recommended by her doctor, only to find that the recipes featured there were ones she had written herself when consulting for the Public Health Agency! By making simple yet effective changes, and without starving or depriving herself, Karyn would go on to lose five stone over the next few years.
What becomes clear in the telling of this story is that food is not just a professional passion for Karyn – above and beyond this, and far more importantly, it represents for her a way of expressing love for those she cares about. She will tell us how she helped her father recover from cancer by preparing delicious ‘mini portions’ of all his favourite dishes. She will describe how, as a way of showing her teenage sons that she was still there for them even while she recovered from the surgeries, she spent long days prior to her hospital stays, cooking and freezing healthy but delicious meals the boys could prepare for themselves with the flick of a microwave button. She will share mouth-watering recipes for the cakes, cookies and ‘the stickiest of sticky buns’ which she brings along to her weekly sessions with the Lagan Dragons (a Dragon boat team of women cancer survivors) and which they enjoy with steaming mugs of tea after a Saturday morning of furious rowing on Belfast’s river Lagan.
Karyn’s courage, her zest for life, her self-deprecating humour and her capacity for love will astound you; her passion for food and her ability to create mouth-watering yet nourishing recipes will delight you. Although cancer touches the lives of so many of us, you don’t have to be affected by it, either as an individual or within your family circle, to gain a great deal in the reading of this book – including the inspiration to change your life for the better, and a wealth of fantastic ideas for providing yourself and those you love with healthy, balanced and yet truly delicious meals.
Karyn Booth is a mum of two teenage boys, a freelance food stylist, home economist and cookery writer. Her work mainly involves creating food for film, television commercials, magazines and food packaging. She was the home economist and food stylist on Game of Thrones for four years. Other film work includes High Rise, Dracula Untold, Your Highness, Shooting for Socrates, The Wiper Times, Frankenstein Chronicles and My Mother and Other Strangers.
Karyn qualified as a chef from the Belfast College of Business Studies, and developed an eye for detail while working as a pastry chef in The Ritz Hotel in London. Passion, creative flair and ability to work under pressure led her to Roscoff in Belfast, where she worked with Paul Rankin. A decision to return to London was prompted by a job offer at The House of Albert Roux, and then followed by 18 months at Sir Terence Conran’s restaurant, Sartoria. Finally, she spent two years working with leading party caterer, Linda Artus, before returning to her native Belfast. Some of Linda’s well-known clients have included Mick Jagger, Lord Linley, the Spice Girls and Elton John.
Karyn has written recipes for Sainsbury’s, Lidl and the NI Livestock and Meat Commission, among many others, including a book for Forest Feast. Most recently she helped to found the Belfast Cookery School, where she runs two classes per month.
Author’s Home: Belfast, N. Ireland World Rights
Afraid of the Dark Mental Health/Parenting/Lifestyle
In May 2013, 39-year-old Jonny McCambridge had a beautiful wife and a newborn son, a top job in Northern Irish journalism and a very bright future in the media industry. Two months later, in the early hours of an August Sunday morning, an emergency doctor was offering him the choice of being forcibly sectioned, or of voluntarily accepting admission to the acute psychiatric ward of the local hospital – the euphemistically named ‘Ward 12’. How had Jonny’s seemingly perfect life so dramatically fallen apart?
After a brief few months of recovery and a premature return to work, he managed to struggle on for almost three years before his distress levels became critical again, and he was forced to confront the reality – that something, somewhere, had to give. In May 2017, Jonny made the decision to leave work, and abandon a career he’d been building for over 20 years, and look after his young son, James, full-time, as a ‘stay-at-home’ dad.
By turns poignant, heartbreakingly sad and side-achingly funny, this book charts one man’s journey through the struggles of mental illness and the challenges of new parenthood.
‘This is not a guidebook or a manual – about how to be a perfect parent or about how to heal yourself from depression; nor does it advocate walking away from a corporate existence in search of a deeper, simpler meaning to life. It is simply a series of things that happened to me. How I suffered a breakdown. How I overcame the terror of losing my freedom as a patient in a psychiatric ward. How I became the world's least likely blogger. How I dealt with trolls (who named me ‘The Little Snowflake’). How I somehow ended up in demand from broadcasters as an 'expert' on parenting. How I embraced alternative medicine. How I was told I might be the world's greatest psychic. How I ended up being investigated by social services as an unfit father. How I tried to build a new life. How in the darkest moments, I learnt to always find something to laugh about.’
Yet while the author does not claim to have the definitive answer to any of the challenges he faces, his story in the telling will deeply resonate with a very wide range of readers – young fathers, young mothers, and anyone, who deep down and perhaps unacknowledged even to themselves, feels ‘crushed by the responsibility of being a parent’; anyone who has ever suffered from anxiety, depression and low self-esteem; any of us who has ever questioned the ‘relentless path’ of the life our society has prescribed for us, and who sometimes wonders what on earth it’s all about.
Jonny McCambridge writes the way all really good journalists do – at a cracking pace, with an eye for pertinent detail and not a wasted word. His pithy, at times almost terse style belies the intensity of the experiences he relates; the economy of language reflects a complete lack of self-pity; and his dry, laconic humour only adds to the poignancy of the extreme emotional states he talks about.
Jonny McCambridge was born in Ballymena, Northern Ireland in 1974. After university, he trained as a journalist and worked in the NI media industry for almost two decades, holding a number of senior editorial positions, including at the Belfast Telegraph, among them security correspondent, news editor and deputy editor.
In 2016, Jonny gave up daily newspaper journalism to concentrate on looking after his son. He continues working as a journalist on a freelance basis, while also delivering media consultancy and communications training. He is a regular contributor on local and national radio as a commentator on parenting and social and mental health issues. In 2017 he launched the popular blog, What’s a Daddy For? He lives in Hillsborough, Northern Ireland, with his wife and young son.
Author’s Home: Hillsborough, N. Ireland World Rights
Morphine: The Blessing, The Curse Narrative Non-Fiction/Memoir
Author’s Home: Rostrevor, N. Ireland World Rights
Carsten Krieger Photography
Ireland's Food Year - A culinary journey
Ireland's Food Year will explore the food produced in Ireland through the seasons.
From the ubiquitous cattle and sheep, fruit and vegetables to the wild foods, the book will explore in words and photographs the best that Ireland has to offer.
Each chapter will be dedicated to one season and feature what is grown and what can be harvested during the season. In addition, a selection of seasonal recipes will feature in each chapter as well as tips for the private gardener,fruit and vegetable grower and smallholder.
Carsten Krieger is a landscape photographer based in Ireland. His first book was The Fertile Rock: Seasons in the Burren (Collins Press, 2006), which was followed by The West of Ireland(Collins Press, 2009). His next book, The Ireland’s Glorious Landscape, was published by O’Brien Press in Spring 2010 and was followed by The Wild Flowers of Ireland, published by Gill & Macmillan in Autumn 2010, Ireland’s Coast (O’Brien Press, 2012) and The Irish Wildlife Year (Gill & Macmillan, 2012). His latest book, Ireland'sWild Atlantic Way, was published by The O'Brien Press in 2015. His next two books, Ireland's Ancient East and Ireland's Beautiful North were published in 2017. Forthcoming are Ireland's Islands and The Shannon.
Author’s Home: County Clare, Ireland World Rights
101 Curling Excuses is available as a printed book and an e book in the USA, UK and Canada: Click here: 101 Curling Excuses
Author's Home: Toronto, Canada World Rights