Welcome to my written words

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.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Dark Mirror... review by author/reviewer Sheila Deeth

The Dark Mirror

Gladys Hobson’s novel, The Dark Mirror, reminded me of the much-beloved Starbridge series by Susan Howatch. Paul Stringer’s parish is in the North of England, in Cumbria, rather than Starbridge’s fictional western counties. But his problems are just as real, and just as deeply rooted in that dichotomy where love meets law. The author portrays church, people and countryside very convincingly, with dialog that rings in the ears, accents as readable as they are audible, quiet village pub and sprawling church-yard filled with the scents and sounds of England. She also tackles the hard problems of the Church of England: homosexuality, the role of the Spirit, tradition vs modernity, age vs youth.

A long-time opponent of homosexuality, Paul finds his celibacy challenged when he finally falls in love. Led by circumstances or God to a new church, he’s ideally fitted to bring the divided congregation together. Social religion and true faith are nicely contrasted as Paul begins to make changes. But his path isn’t smooth. “It wasn’t even a proper bloody sermon!” grumbles traditionalist Kevin Raymond, while eager Rita gushes, “I felt the power of the Spirit present among us.”

Paul weaves a careful path, delighting in help, trying to guide without wounding, moving slowly towards that wonderful moment of “dancing in the aisles.” Meanwhile he suffers all the problems of a handsome single priest, all alone in that big vicarage, without the temptations. People talk—they just haven’t worked out yet what they might be talking about. Meanwhile there’s Nick, and love.

The relationship between Paul and Nick is nicely portrayed, with love that’s not just physical, faith that’s not just judgment and law, and hope that persists in believing in the power of prayer. A beautiful novel for anyone willing to wonder how the Church of England might cope, how love and law might be united, or just how an English village might react, years after the event, to a woman’s claim that her child was miraculously conceived, G.B. Hobson’s Dark Mirror holds a wise mirror up to prejudice and legalism, shedding light on some dark corners of the human condition.

Sheila Deeth... author of Black Widow and other works

Visit Sheila Deeth's blog
The Dark Mirror is now to be published by Storm Moon Press and will be available in March 2013.

And now a Review by Andrew O'Hara Author and editor (the Jimston Journal)

The Dark Mirror by G B Hobson

Gladys Hobson boldly explores the life of handsome Anglican priest Paul Stringer as he takes on an impoverished parish and pursues a loving affair—with a neighboring male priest. The author follows him as he struggles painfully with a commitment to his church and his desperate need for acceptance and companionship.

Although the two priests determine to keep their personal affair confidential, they learn that suspicions are quick to arise in this small community. Confused by the rebuffs of the parish’s most eligible bachelor, local women begin to grow increasingly suspicious of his often repeated vow of bachelorhood. Worse, the enmity of the church warden, the jealousy of a woman spurned and the sexual escapades of two teenage lovers in the chapel are twisted into a scandal that threatens to expose not only the relationship of the priests but destroy their many accomplishments in the church.

Smoothly, expertly written, the author captures the essence and conflict of human love and religion as they struggle to coexist in a judgmental world. Hobson reveals a church hierarchy attempting to compromise with a nervous reality, and walks the reader ever so beautifully through the torment of a young man deeply devoted to his vows and wanting fervently to serve his parish--with the support of a loving partner. As the story unfolds, however, his options grow more desperate and his torment ever more intense.

Hobson is a writer of the first class, able to build a story quickly and maintain excitement throughout the book. Her characters are full and multidimensional—at times, the reader is torn by compassion and empathy for one and then the other. Such is the making of a fine novel and a book well worth reading. It is unfortunate that books such as these, so worthy of recognition, go unheralded by the literary establishment. I, for one, give it “tens” across the board. Andrew F O'Hara

Sunday, July 24, 2011

What future is there for small and self publishers?

What future is there for small and self publishers?

Looking at the present situation of ridiculously cheap novels in circulation and, I might add they are well made paperbacks with good covers, it seems to me that small and self publishers are going to find it exceedingly difficult to get a foot in the door when it comes to selling books. With books by top authors — some of them with two stories — costing three for a fiver, an unknown cannot possibly compete with either traditional or POD books. The cost of printing small batches is just one thing. Discounts and shipping costs mean tiny profits, if any. And that is IF books can be sold. Established publishers can afford to invest thousands getting an author known but they are unlikely to take on new authors unless they look very promising indeed. Pulping thousands of unsold books is bad for business.

Of course authors can do much to get known themselves but few make the big time. Good editing and attractive covers can help but the book world is still full of hopefuls trying to sell books that may be very good but will never make the ‘known author’ gold standard! It has to be an exceptional book for a reader to pay the same as he can buy up to six books for. Another add-on cost for books are those that are printed or published abroad.

It could be that as eBooks become more popular, the self-publisher and small publisher will both get better sales with profits per book to equal (or almost equal?) those of large publishers. Of course there is nothing to equal the feel of that first book in your hand. And that giddy feeling when someone actually says ‘please will you sign my book?’ What a thrill and yet a feeling of wonder too, when people actually want to read what you have written, and even more so when they tell you how much they have enjoyed the book. At that moment does it really matter that your book is not reaching best seller status?

It is rather lovely when people tell you that they enjoyed your book so much that they have passed it on to friends who also passed it on to friends and family. Not good for sales but at least it is READ and giving people pleasure. Isn’t that the purpose of every book?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Smouldering Embers — ready to burst into life?

My latest novel is a complete rewrite of Blazing Embers written seven years ago. I have taken note of the advice given by a top publisher and also by a top literary agent's reader. They suggested I reduce the ages of the top characters so as to appeal to a wider range of readers. In actual fact I have found the novel already has an appeal to a wide range of book lovers, especially of the Baby Boomer age but maybe this change will indeed increase the book's popularity. Justin James of Dare Empire has done a splendid job of the cover design and formatting. However, since writing this post last year, Turquoise Morning Press has taken over the contract and the novel is from their website and Amazon. Visit either site for more details.
So if you fancy reading about a young-at-heart granny determined to experience that orgasm so far denied her (and her peeved hubby being educated by his best friend who would really prefer doing the job himself), now is the time to be enlightened about her circumstances and eventual progress.

Andy O'Hara said: 'Wow. I don't say that often. Ms. Hobson'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.'
Bob Taylor said: I've read all four of Hobson's books, and I find that she has a delicate touch when writing about human sexuality. I don't normally read 'love stories', but those that Hobson writes are really interesting from a man's point of view — especially when she explores the male psyche. It's just a little bit... scary... that a female should have that kind of knowledge. She's a very gifted and articulate lady.
From the book:
"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!"

Late night TV helps Alice realise what has been missing from her love life. Her hubby has benefited from forty years of satisfaction, time for her to experience an orgasmic encounter?

On TV chat shows, Silver-haired sex appears to cause great hilarity. WHY?
Mature lovemaking has much to offer: a lifetime of practice, plenty of time for preliminaries and, most of all, the freedom to have a good laugh when things go haywaire!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Books On The Move!

September 2012 UPDATE
My Trilogy (Awakening Love, Seduction, Checkmate) and Smouldering Embers (by G.B Hobson) previously published by Dare Empire, will now be published by Turquoise Morning Press and will be available soon

Last year I reported that I had signed contracts with Dare Empire to publish my trilogy worldwide as eBooks. They were then printed in paperback. All these books have now been signed over by Dare Empire to Turquoise Morning Press. The Dark Mirror has been signed up with Storm Moon Press.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Checkmate has its own blog site

Checkmate is set in one of the loveliest places in the UK — the Lakeland National Park and surrounding area within Cumbria. Mountains, fells, lakes, white-water rivers and and tumbling streams. Plus seascape magnificence of marinas, sand dunes, pebbly beaches, cliffs and ports. My brother (who lived in California for most of his life) described Cumbria as the best of the USA in miniature.
The characters of Checkmate may well be described as off-comers to the Lake District, but their presence makes an impact. Robert Watson's businesses bring prosperity into the area and provides locals with career prospects. His Stag Rock label incorporating its Lakeland logo, brings zest to Cumbria as a commercial base. Cumbria is alive and kicking and more than a setting for 'one man and his dog', or an obstacle course for climbers and cyclists, a backcloth for artists or a setting for poets and romantics, a play area for yachtsmen and boaters. By careful renovation old decrepit buildings have a new lease of life. So too with the Rogers family, when their plans reach fruition. These newcomers become creators of wealth within the rural—tourist scene.
Read the book and visit the area. Imagine June, Charles, Robert within ther given settings. Sense the erotic goings on under the trees by the lake. See the boat houses and imagine the various characters sailing their boats. Look at the old dolly-blue mill at Backbarrow (now a hotel) and see it as a vibrant office building for Watson's enterprises. Imagine, high above the old mill, his large renovated house overlooking the white-water river. Visit Barrow and see where Charles, David and Peter worked for a while before their plans finally reached fruition. The Barrow Shipyard buildings and cranes, and the channel dotted by boats are sights to behold. See the landscape that June painted before going back to full time designing. Imagine them all walking the hills and woodlands, and climbing the mountains. And see the sun go down over bay and sea.
Photographs of all these places are on the new sites dedicated to Checkmate and its gorgeous setting Lake District Saga — Checkmate and Lakeland Writer

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

When Phones Were Immobile and Lived in Red Boxes — a charming review

RED BOXES: Easy yet moving to read real stories, innocent yet powerful memories of growing up and living in England through 1939-80

I had been anticipating reading this account of Gladys Hobson's life, for not the least reason that she hails from England, my birthplace.

I was raised on stories of the British Depression era, War time, and post War era till the early sixties, told me by my parents. We emigrated to Australia in 1964 when I was barely 7 years of age, and I was always fascinated by the experiences my parents shared with me and my younger brother.

'When Phones Were Immobile and Lived in RED BOXES' was very easy to read, it made me laugh, it made me cry, it made think of my deceased mother very much, who I've missed greatly these past twenty one years. A lot of Ms Hobson's experiences were very much like my mother's, and I was especially struck by accounts of the fashion industry, because my mother's work, before she married my father, was in the retail side of fashion. Despite war time rationing being over, it was a struggle for her to find the materials for her wedding outfit; however, one of the tailors that Mum used to deal with hand made her a beautiful tweed suit and lace blouse as her wedding present – it was a worth a small fortune. This made Ms Hobson's account of her early career in the industry resonate with me rather nostalgically.

Thinking of the times when Ms Hobson was carving out her vocation in the fashion world, she would have needed to be quite a courageous woman; she, it should be noted, was raising her new family as well.

Even though poverty was a constant in the early part of her life, Ms Hobson's tenacious spirit saw her overcome the struggles that a lot of her fellow countrymen shared with her.

I would warmly recommend this book to anyone wanting to have an insight into this era in Britain, and the making of our current senior generation. There is a lot to admire about how they came through the challenges of their times; things that younger people today would not understand, and maybe not cope with should – let's hope not – such hard times return.
Janny Inkletter

The book can be purchased directly (immediate delivery) from Magpies Nest Publishing, and ordered from any good bookseller.

Read chapters at Magpies Nest Publishing, see the book's post on this author site.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Reviews are hotting up! Never mind the titles, feel the heat!

The Trilogy — Awakening Love, Seduction, Checkmate — now to be printed by Turquoise Morning Press
Reviews are hotting up! Never mind the titles, feel the heat!

In total the trilogy amounts to 385,600 words. Not a huge amount but trimmed by many edits and rewrites.

The main protagonists throughout the three books are June, Robert and Charles. But in the first book, Charles comes second to his brother Arthur in the marriage stakes. Robert is the cad (good old fashioned word that sounds just right — teeth clenching guttural!). He is utterly ruthless in matters of business and personal pursuits. And yet he has a magnetism that draws women like flies to sticky fly-paper.

When the story opens, June is a naïve teenager brought up by strict no-nonsense working class parents. She is set on becoming a top designer, not easy for a working lass in post-war Britain, but nothing will deter her efforts. That’s where Robert steps into the picture and the games begin.

The second book takes the reader 20 years on. Children both enhance and complicate June’s Life. This is the age of women’s lib and hot pants! June’s daughter and one of her sons are now among lead characters. Robert is ever the mesmerizing protagonist who unashamedly pursues his selfish goals. His way is eased by twists and turns as others unexpectedly step into centre frame. But the games are far from over.

The third book moves the setting from Britain’s industrial Midlands to England’s idyllic Lake District. Now, amid romantic and peaceful scenery, the pressure rises. Despite advancing middle years, June is back on form and Robert’s game-play takes a more sinister turn, involving the whole cast.

Below are reviews for the Designed For Love series — Desire (Awakening Love,), Seduction By Design and Checkmate.


“Few are able to write romantic fiction with the skill, ardour and sensitivity of Gladys Hobson. Gladys lays out her characters in such vivid colour, and her plots with such perfect timing that one can’t help but be swept up and carried along in her delightful tales. I have read three books by this author, and she never disappoints.”
Andrew F O’Hara: editor of
The Jimston Journal. Author of award-winning The Swan, Tales of the Sacramento Valley

Awakening Love (DESIRE)
Romantic fiction of a high standard. Gladys Hobson has written a splendid novel about a young woman coming of age in the late 1940s - falling in love, having to choose between different suitors, coping with her own emerging sexuality, and beginning to build a career. This is a story which will appeal strongly to all readers who remember their own early experiences.
Michael Allen (Grumpy Old Bookman)

Awakening Love
Young, attractive, and with a limitless future ahead of her, June has the world at her fingertips – and the chief subjects of her domain are the doting Arthur and his handsome younger brother, Charles. Both men desire to keep June for their own, and each has resolved within himself to woo her to the fullest extent possible in order to win her lasting affections. With such strapping, devoted menat her beckon call, how could life get any better for June? Enter Robert, June’s crafty boss and mentor. Ruthless and relentless when he sets his mind on something, his sights are set squarely on his delectable protégée, and he’ll allow nothing – and no one – to come between him and the desires of his heart.
In the complicated love quadrangle that ensues, June is forced to make some of the toughest decisions of her life…
Awakening Love is a tantalizing tale of love, desire, and self-discovery.
Through a vivid cast of characters who find themselves in all-too-real situations, Gladys Hobson treats the reader to a vicarious journey deep into the wistful logistics of the heart…
An engaging coming-of-age story of the thrilling highs – and crushing lows – of love, Awakening Love is a rewarding literary treat, and a welcome addition to the world of romance. Highly recommended for its inherent enlightening value and its boundless, timeless themes.
Tracy Moore

Desire is an excellent story, which grabs the reader’s attention and holds it from beginning to end. Full of surprises and twists. I can’t wait to read the next one!
Taylor West

DESIRE: The story of Awakening Love was never told so well.
Payton L. Inkletter's review of Gladys Hobson's steamy yet refined novel, 1st of a trilogy (visit Inkletter's new Review site)

Here is a novel, Desire, also published as Awakening Love, that I thoroughly enjoyed from an author, Gladys Hobson, who quickly pulled me into the lives of her characters, set in the restlessly reenergising world of post Second World War Britain.
It was easy to empathise, if not fall in love with, June Armstrong, a stunning and very young woman from humble beginnings who was determined to carve a career for herself, as well as establish an outlet for her astonishing creativity, in fashion design, and whose naivety regarding her great beauty and high-potency sex appeal quickly saw her the object of desire and more of several rich, charismatic, powerful – and some ruthless – men. That she wrestled with her own searing awakening sexual desires – the equal of her suitors – pitted against her moral sense, with chequered success, was not a surprise, but made excellent reading.
It quickly became obvious that this writer, surely, was weaving a tale of truth tantalisingly close to actual reality from those days, she tells it so well; only someone who has worked in the industry, fashioned the cloth, walked the corridors, and experienced much adoration of her own beauty and charisma is likely to be so convincing; alternatively, it would have to be someone who can marshal the visceral visions in her imagination to breathe and live on the written page.
Gladys Hobson had me admiring June's fiancé Arthur, while wanting to take to her boss, and later business associate, Rob, with a cricket bat to teach the bastard how not to treat women; I give Ms Hobson full marks for how her wordcraft got me so engrossed.
Explicit sexual encounters there are aplenty, yet painted with such taste and consummate restraint, that I would happily have let my early teenaged daughter read this book had I owned it then, to help her understand and anticipate the world of sexual promise and pitfalls out there in the big bad world.
I have an enhanced and valuable insight now to what the class conscious Britain of those times was like, as well as a quickening of my understanding of primal human nature, thanks to reading Desire. Also, it is a pleasure to read a book written by an author who has garnered much wisdom: their books are the better ones, the wisdom glistens from page after page, and only time and enlightened self-examination can bring such a harvest.
As a writer myself, there were gems aplenty that caught my eye and informed me among Ms Hobson's paragraphs. And try as I might to destroy my copy of this high quality book from AG Press, through some (inadvertent) very rough handling of mine involving gymnastics upon its spine, it stood up to the abuse and laughed at me, remaining robust and intact.
I commend the author for her remarkable achievement, and I will be reading the sequels.
Payton L. Inkletter

I've read all four of Gladys's books, including Desire, and I find that she has a delicate touch when writing about human sexuality. I don't normally read 'love stories', but those that Gladys writes are really interesting from a man's point of view — especially when she explores the male psyche. It's just a little bit... scary... that a female should have that kind of knowledge. She's a very gifted and articulate lady.
Bob Taylor: author of The Primrose Path and other poems.


"Seduction by Design" is a triumph. Entertaining, wild, erotic (sheesh :), and full of enough twists and turns to keep the reader engrossed. A great piece of reading, written with Gladys Hobson's very typical skill!
Andy O'Hara

Seduction By Design

I was keen to sink my teeth into this novel, 'Seduction by Design', Gladys Hobson's second in her 'Love By Design' series, because she had me hooked with her first, Awakening Love.
These are no ordinary romance novels. They are written by a mature age author, whose abundance of wisdom invests the chapters with a fragrance rare. A young person simply could not achieve this, and the gems of insight Ms Hobson scatters throughout her story delighted me.
As for the characters, my dislike of the arch bastard Robert Watson magnified in this instalment, while my love for the beautiful June Rogers nee Armstrong was tempered – Ms Hobson portrays just what a flawed woman she is despite her enormous and rare talent for couture design; and to make matters more arresting for me, I am tarred with many of the same brushstrokes as June, if I want to be honest.
Thus I was not only entertained by this engrossing tale, I was a tad convicted.
It is the early seventies, the setting having jumped a couple of decades from that of 'Desire', and my word how well Ms Hobson has integrated the plot from that instalment!
The thermostat regarding eroticism has been turned up a few notches in 'Seduction…', and that's saying something, and yet, as with her first, there is nothing dirty or obscene in her explicit portrayals, and I tip my hat to her for this achievement: sexually charged encounters aplenty, without impurity – trashy romance writers take notice!
Something rare for me: I was actually mesmerised in places as I consumed this believable story involving an assortment of characters that would exist in any big town and city. And as in my previous review, let me reiterate that, as a writer, I continued to be informed and educated regarding effective technique to convey and captivate.
Well done Ms Hobson, and when is the final novel, 'Checkmate', going to be finished for me to learn what happens to these characters, who have become such a part of my imagination?
Payton L. Inkletter (writer, thinker, humorist)


Seduction by Design

Here's a book that carries the reader right along in a smooth, continuous delight of romance, erotic adventure and well woven suspense. Author Gladys Hobson kicks right off with a bang, introducing us to the sensual June Rogers. A fashion designer by trade, June is grieving the death of her husband, Arthur, and begins to take readers on a tangled journey of love and hate with the attractive Charles and the ever despicable Robert--and is he ever!
Trite as that might sound, Hobson truly brings these three main characters (and a surrounding cast of delightful cast members) to vivid life in her "Seduction by Design." This book keeps the reader on one's toes as misfortunes lead to twisted plots and motives, and then to one misunderstanding after another that almost lead to tragedy and final heartbreak and yet, in the end -- well, the writer sums it up best as, "Deja vu," which you will have to find out by reading this delightful piece of work!
Gladys Hobson is a well practiced writer, spinning a tale smoothly and naturally. She is economical and yet she is capable of painting entire scenes and montages with dialogue, a quick glance, the sparkle of an eye or the dart of a smile so quickly that a reader doesn't even know it's happening. This is a rare talent and a delight.
"Seduction by Design" is good reading. It's flat-out entertaining, suspenseful, erotic, fun, and heartwarming!

Andrew O’Hara (editor of The Jimston Journal, author of prize-winning The Swan, Tales of the Sacramento Valley) lives in the USA and now runs the Badge Of Life.


Checkmate by Gladys Hobson

Gladys Hobson’s Checkmate is much more than a romance novel. It is a tour de force of the strengths and weaknesses between members of two powerful families. It is the English Lake District’s own Dallas only with more three-dimensional characters. The plot rotates around the conflict generated by Robert, whose sexual magnetism lures women and steers his business to the detriment of his arch-enemy. This reader felt an overwhelming desire to travel to Cumbria, find Robert and smash his face in. However, Gladys is too subtle to allow simple revenge. Instead the rogue is given a long leash... but suffer he does.
Although I mainly read and review science fiction and fantasy novels, the characters in Checkmate are so engaging you get to experience what each character thinks of each other: scheming men and women, the devoted and the deluded. Compelling reading.
As a romance novel, you’ll need asbestos gloves to read these fiery pages. It is far more than eroticism: it is a perceptive and insightful exploration of a family’s relationships, lusts and passions. In amongst the wily machinations there is humour. For example you’ll not keep a straight face reading a hilarious sex-in-a-car attempt.
Gladys Hobson is an experienced novelist and it shows in her masterful writing. Any reader of romance will be enriched by reading Checkmate, a must-read addition to their bookshelves.

Reviewed by Geoff Nelder: award-winning author and co-editor of Escape Velocity magazine.