On this site are all my books that are in print — novels, anthologies, memoirs. Magpies Nest Publishing (free postage UK) has published ALL my books in the UK. Dare Empire previously published all my novels but now Storm Moon Press is taking over The Dark Mirror and Turquoise Morning Press is now publishing my other four novels. Each publisher sells from site and through major on-line bookstores.
I am one of nine authors for this anthology. I also did the drawings and published the book through Magpies Nest Publishing. The list of contents and first pages can be seen on the Magpies Nest Publishing site. The list of authors are as follows:
Gladys Hobson is a designer, turned teacher, now novelist — in her her own name, and as Angela Ashley and Richard L Gray http://www.magpiesnestpublishing.co.uk
Bob Taylor is a retired Yorkshire miner with a passion for poetry, literature ... and karaoke! For a sample of his book The Primrose Path and other poems, visit http://www.magpiesnestpublishing.co.uk
Ann Dunning is a retired nurse who delights in creating verse to express her life's experiences.
Les Floyd, a freethinker living in Carlisle, works as a freelance journalist. You can view his work and ideas at http://www.floydpublishing.com
Geoff Nelder works as a writer and editor. Links to his novels and story samples inhabit http://www.geoffnelder.com
John Sales is an ex-army Yorkshireman who, when not away on business, enjoys writing fiction accompanied by a glass and a good cigar. Join him at http://johnssales.tripod.com
John A. Silkstone, retired from the army after 25 years, took up writing and runs a creative writing group. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/longfordwriters edits their magazine. For information on his book of military anecdotes, Email: email@example.com
Roy Scott, a business coach and mentor, relaxes by expressing his feelings and imagination through verse and short stories.
Taylor West has enjoyed writing since childhood, and for a number of years was valued as a columnist (Diane West) on the Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express.
When Phones Were Immobile and Lived in Red Boxes (RED BOXES) An illustrated book of childhood memories 1939-1953
When I was young, having few toys or books, I lived largely in a world of my own imagination. I would turn cornflowers into fairies by giving them matchstick arms and legs. I would decorate a cow-pat with sticks and wild flowers and think of it as the birthday cake I never had. (It was not eaten!). We had concerts in an attic - winding up the old gramophone and dancing to ballet music. I rarely went more than a few miles from home. Holidays were for the well-off. We were terribly ignorant and naive but we were free to be children. This book is a peek into a different world - a world of innocent childhood and where dreams can sometimes come true.
Chapter one Schooldays: sewage, sex, sport and school dinners
Chapter two No NHS!
Chapter three Of God and bananas
Chapter four Of war and play
Chapter five Innocent youth or just plain daft!
Chapter six Family affairs
Chapter seven I want to be a designer
Chapter eight Moving on to where I started!
Chapter nine Boys!
Chapter ten You shall go to the ball!
Conclusion The beginning of the new
This little book is a trip down memory lane. Just dip into its pages. If you think it quite unbelievable what we thought and did in those days, believe me, we would have laughed at the very idea of men on the moon and a handy in your pocket! As for sex, that was as hush-hush as state secrets. But, delve into these pages and all will be revealed!
This book is presently out of print. The new extended edition is now available. The first edition sold one to ten copies at a time. Copies were passed around families. Read the first two chapters and reviews
at Magpies Nest Publishing.
All the stories have Cumbrian settings, although some are imaginary based on actual places and events. Mystery and imagination: humour and horror, love and hate, joy and sorrow, poignancy and lust. Passions run deep wherever you live, Characters may be recognised as known persons even though they are plucked from the author’s imagination, which has been nurtured by a lifetime of observation of human characteristics — especially those little foibles seldom admitted to. Each tale has an interesting introduction to the setting, or what it was that inspired the story.
Review by Geoff Nelder (Award Winning author of numerous works — latest novel, Exit, Pursued by a Bee) ‘Don’t be fooled by the writings of Gladys Hobson. She appears like a harmless mature woman and so you settle one afternoon to relax into her stories. Then in goes the hot poker and you find the goings on in Ulverston, ignited passion, and Cumbrian emotions. The wicked are saved by pseudonyms, the innocent by their ignorance. This collection is a jigsaw of zeal and a genuine feel for landscape.’
The book (as all my books) can be ordered from Waterstones or any good bookshop. Or straight from Magpies Nest Publishing. No postage UK but a part postage charge elsewhere to cover extra cost.
This book could well have a banner of "Sex and the Over Sixties," or "A granny in search of an orgasm," or maybe "How to keep love alive and kicking."
About the story:
“You see, Alice, everyone’s at it these days. Young folk do it openly but if we oldies did that in public they’d take us off and put us in care!”
After watching late night television, Alice realises what has always been missing from her love life. Her hubby, Roger, has benefited from forty-five years of satisfaction, time for her to experience an orgasmic encounter. First attempts to change things meet with failure. Roger’s friend, debonair Tony Bradshaw, steps into Alice’s life and is determined to alleviate her problem.
Shocked, dismayed and humiliated by Alice’s expectations of a loftier sex life, Roger turns to Tony for advice. But when Roger puts his new knowledge into practice, he does so in his usual ham-fisted way of doing things — he gets a kick out of it but Alice is left with the pain! Will Tony be allowed to succeed where Roger has failed?
Blazing Embers has splendid reviews but I rather like what Aretha Renia (Goodreads) said to me more casually (when, after reading the review she did of my book, I asked her what she enjoyed most in the story). She wrote this:
"Hi! I just loved Alice's encounters with Tony, but I would have to say that the part where she went shopping for "knickers" was my favorite. I also got so frustrated with Roger as she was trying so hard to seduce him. LOL From time to time, I forgot that I was reading a book and started to talk to the characters. LOL. It really is a great book. I also liked the parts describing when she first met Roger. There is so much realism in your writing. I could picture everything as if I were watching it or even a part of it"
Also one by Diane West:
Blazing Embers is a must for all ages. My copy has been passed around and read so many times, by various age groups, that I’ve lost count. That’s the best compliment for any book. My copy looks very tired and worn now, but that means it’s given a lot of pleasure and made a lot of people smile. What better purpose for a good book!
And another by Andrew O'Hara:
Wow. I don't say that often. Ms. Ashley's writing is quite good indeed. There's such a wistful, genuine quality to her style that it's hard not to be drawn in right away. Unpretentious — so nice to see that in writing once in a great while. Very unique, and very charming.
Everything about my early life can be found in my illustrated book of childhood memories: When Phones Were Immobile and Lived in RED BOXES. Read the first two chapters at: www.magpiesnestpublishing.co.uk
I also have my novels and anthologies on that site.
I trained as a dress designer. Later turned to teaching. Took early retirement to train for church ministry. For the last eight years a full time writer. Personal experiences and settings tend to pop up in my stories!
All my academic qualifications have been achieved in my middle and later years — as happened with most working-class achievers of my generation.
I try to keep a sense of humour in all aspects of life. I can laugh at myself and at oldie jokes. But I wish the media would put less emphasis on faculties lost in old age (cause for laughter) and more on the wisdom gained. We old biddies do know a thing or two!