Monday, May 27, 2013

Meet Author Peter Maughan

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Friday May 31- Sunday June 2 be sure to pick up your complimentary copy of our featured authors' book 
"The Cuckoos of Batch Magna." Click here
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Hidden Earth Series Volume 1 Maycly the Trilogy. . .  
. . .all three parts / ebooks are only .99 cents each now through June 30!
Download the entire trilogy for under $3 on Amazon!!! Click here

Welcome everyone! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and visit with us here on the JLB Creatives Blog. If you're not already a follower, we'd like to personally invite you to become one of the 300+ who are already enjoying the weekly posts and features here on the JLBC blog. 

OK - are you ready to meet this week's featured author? Cool! Then let's get started. I have the pleasure of introducing you to. . .

Author Peter Maughan

When Sir Humphrey Miles Pinkerton Strange, 8th baronet and huntin’ shooting’ and fishin’ squire of the village of Batch Magna in the Welsh Marches, departs this world for the Upper House (as he had long vaguely thought of it, where God no doubt presides in ermine over a Heaven as reassuringly familiar as White’s or Boodle’s), what’s left of his decaying estate  passes, through the ancient law of entailment, to distant relative Humph, an amiable, overweight short-order cook from the Bronx.

Sir Humphrey Franklin T Strange, 9th baronet and squire of Batch Magna, as Humph now most remarkably finds himself to be, is persuaded by his Uncle Frank, a small time Wall Street broker with an eye on the big time, to make a killing by turning the sleepy backwater into a theme-park image of rural England – a vacation paradise for free-spending US millionaires.

But while the village pub and shop, with the lure of the dollar in their eyes, put out the Stars and Stripes in welcome, the tenants of the estate’s dilapidated houseboats are above any consideration of filthy lucre and stand their ground for tradition’s sake … and because they consider eviction notices not to be cricket.

Each disgruntled faction sees the other as the unwelcome cuckoo in the family nest.

So, led by randy pulp-crime writer Phineas Cook, and Lt-Commander James Cunningham DSO, DSC and Bar, RN (ret) – a man with a glass eye for each day of the week, painted with scenes from famous British naval victories and landscapes that speak of England – the motley crew run up the Union Jack and battle ensign and prepare to engage.

But this is Batch Magna, a place where anything might happen. And does …

An excerpt
“The Cuckoos of Batch Magna”
by Peter Maughan

The scene in which Phineas Cook, off the Cluny Belle houseboat, walks the hills of the valley shortly before the eviction notices arrive, and looks down at his home as if seeing it for the first time – or the last.

…  The small black and white farms of the valley among orchards, and the houses and half-timbered cottages of Batch Magna, a Marcher village, the cross of St George, flown from the Steamer Inn, a riposte to the red dragon of Wales above the door of the Pughs’ post office and shop. The cricket field and pavilion behind the churchyard, and the great, immemorial yew, the centuries in its vast girth corseted with rusting iron bands, shading a church which bore in its nave the marks of Norman chisels, and among its gravestones a sundial which told the time in Jerusalem.
And the tall, star-shaped chimneys and gabled black and white timbers of Batch Hall, home to the Strange family for over four hundred years, set with Elizabethan ornateness in what was left of its park, its lawns, under horse chestnuts heavy with bloom, running down to the Cluny. And the castle, a fortress once against border incursions and the forces of Cromwell, open now to Welsh rain and rabbits, the archers’ loopholes in the ruined towers blinded with creeper, its red sandstone turning to coral in the sun.
The forgotten country, this part of the Marches had been called. A country largely ignored by the rest of the world, apart from a trickle of tourists on their way to somewhere else, and the odd company rep who had taken the wrong turning, in a place with need for few road signs. A valley lost among its ancient wooded hillsides and winding high-banked lanes, on a road to nowhere in particular.
Phineas had arrived there by accident, after taking a wrong turning himself, when on a road to nowhere in particular. Falling into the valley, as he came to see it, like Alice, and five years later was still there.
He thought occasionally, in a vague sort of way, about moving on, getting back to what he vaguely thought of as the real world. But there never seemed to be any particular hurry to do so.
And that of course was the trouble with the river, as he’d had occasion to point out before, to himself and to others, sparing no one. Whether boating up and down it, or simply sitting on it, there never seemed to be any particular hurry to do anything.
Well, now he had the feeling that all that was about to change. That now, with the General no longer at the wheel, they stood exposed to more unsettled weather. That the real world, which had always been over there somewhere, beyond the blue hills, was perhaps about to come to them.
He whistled for Sikes, busy putting up a few panicking pheasants and the smell of wild garlic as he blundered through the undergrowth after the scent of fox or badger.
They had walked this wood together in all the seasons. In autumn, when it ran like a damp fire through the trees, and in weather that had shrivelled Sikes’s testicles as he padded warily through undergrowth crackling with ice or got himself buried in snowdrifts along the rides. The winter bareness like a ruin now in early summer, overgrown with new growth, letting in the sun and with the sound of birdsong up under its roof.
The sunlight lay among the drifts of bluebells and red campion, and reached with long slender fingers deep into the wood, where the new grass and ferns were tender in the shade between trees. And above him, high in the green and golden heart of an oak, a blackcap opened in sudden song. The sweet, poignantly brief notes flung, carelessly, on the morning air like a handful of bright coin.

We certainly hope you enjoyed discovering the talent of this amazing author, Peter Maughan.

Below are some links where you will find more about Peter and his work. Please be sure to visit the links, and better yet purchase a book ;-)




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Until next week - stay casual, live life to the fullest, and have a piece of chocolate for me!
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