Sunday, March 26, 2023

Sunday Snippet: Thames Valley Tales by Tim Walker #SundaySnippet #ShortStories #TheCoffeePotBookClub @timwalker1666 @cathiedunn

Thames Valley Tales

A Short Stories Collection

by Tim Walker


Publication Date: March 20th, 2023
Publisher: Independently published
Pages: 155
Genre: Anthology / Short Story Collection
Audiobook narrated by Richard James

Thames Valley Tales is a light-hearted yet thought-provoking collection of nine stories by Tim Walker.

These tales are based on the author’s experience of living in Thames Valley towns, and combine contemporary themes with the rich history and legends associated with an area stretching from the heart of rural England to London.

The collection includes The Goldfish Bowl, in which an unlikely friendship is struck between a pop star and an arms dealer in Goring-on-Thames; Maidenhead Thicket, where the ghost of legendary highwayman, Dick Turpin surprises a Council surveyor; The White Horse intrigue surrounding the dating of the famous chalk carving on the Berkshire Downs; Murder at Henley Regatta, a beguiling whodunit, and The Colnbrook Caper, a pacey crime thriller. Thames Valley Tales starts with The Grey Lady, a ghost story from the English Civil War, and features The Merry Women of Windsor in a whimsical updating of Shakespeare’s classic play. The Author’s Note explains the context and reasoning behind each story.

Thames Valley Tales oscillates from light-hearted to dark historical and at times humorous stories ideally suited to bedtime or holiday reading that will amuse, delight and, hopefully, inform the reader about the rich history of the Thames Valley as it winds 215 miles from the Gloucestershire countryside, past many towns and villages to London and out to the North Sea. The book also has a factual chapter and map of the Thames Valley showing the towns through which the 184-mile Thames Path passes. It’s a walk-through history and the natural beauty of England that will inspire and captivate.

Thames Valley Tales, second edition, is available in audiobook, Kindle e-book and paperback from Amazon worldwide, and can also be found on Kindle Unlimited.

The story: The Merry Women of Windsor is a whimsical update of the plot of Shakespeare’s play. A women’s keep fit group who regularly meet at Windsor Leisure Centre are mocked and sexually harassed by their egotistical trainer, Roger Faultstaff. The plucky and resourceful women come up with a plan to expose Roger as a sex pest and take him down a peg or two…

“To celebrate Midsummer’s Day, in the true pagan tradition, we’re going to hold a medieval-themed fancy dress party in Windsor Great Park. We’ll invite Roger and come up with some way to expose him as a sex pest. The Park doesn’t close to the public, due to its large area, so we’re able to meet in the western car park at nine in the evening. Then we can make our fancy-dress procession as the sun goes down to the old oak tree, damaged by lightening, where legend has it, Herne the Hunter hanged himself, before being re-born as a spirit, hunting across the night sky.”

A hush had fallen on the group, and Maggie saw that she had a captive audience. She decided to give them the full story, as she had recently researched it online. “Let me tell you about the legend of Herne the Hunter. It’s a folk tale dating back to the time of King Richard II, who lived at Windsor Castle and hunted in the Windsor Great Forest in the 1380s. The legend tells of a mighty hunter called Herne – his name means ‘Leader of the Wild Hunt’, a name associated with the Saxon god Woden.

“One day he was wounded by the antlers of a huge stag, whilst protecting the King. King Richard allowed him to keep the antlers of the slain stag as a trophy and further rewarded him for his bravery by appointing him Leader of the Hunt. However, the man who had healed Herne, out of jealousy, put a spell on him so that he lost his ability to track deer. This led to the King dismissing Herne from his service, and, in despair, he hanged himself from an old oak tree in the forest.” ...

Tim Walker

Tim Walker is an independent author living near Windsor in the UK. He grew up in Liverpool where he began his working life as a trainee reporter on a local newspaper. After graduating, he moved to London where he worked in the newspaper publishing industry for ten years before relocating to Zambia where, following a period of voluntary work with VSO, he set up his own marketing and publishing business. He returned to the UK in 2009.

His creative writing journey began in earnest in 2014, as a therapeutic activity whilst recovering from cancer treatment. He began writing an historical fiction series, A Light in the Dark Ages, inspired by a visit to the site of a former Roman town. The series connects the end of Roman Britain to elements of the Arthurian legend and is inspired by historical source material, presenting an imagined history of Britain in the fifth and early sixth centuries. 

Book one is Abandoned (second edition 2018); followed by Ambrosius: Last of the Romans (2017) and Uther’s Destiny (2018). The last two books in the series, Arthur Dux Bellorum (2019) and Arthur Rex Brittonum (2020) cover the life of an imaged historical King Arthur, and are both Coffee Pot Book Club recommended reads.

In 2021 he published a dual timeline historical novel, Guardians at the Wall. This was inspired by visits to Vindolanda and Corbridge at Hadrian’s Wall, and concerns the efforts of archaeologists to uncover evidence and build a narrative of the life of a Roman centurion in second century Britannia… and find his missing payroll chest.

Tim has also written three books of short stories, Thames Valley Tales (2015, second edition 2023), Postcards from London (2017) and Perverse (2020); a dystopian thriller, Devil Gate Dawn (2016); and three children’s books, co-authored with his daughter, Cathy – The Adventures of Charly Holmes (2017), Charly & the Superheroes (2018) and Charly in Space (2020).

He plans to re-work some stories in Postcards from London into London Tales, with the addition of new stories, for publication in 2024 in audiobook, Kindle and paperback.

Connect with Tim:
Website • Twitter • Facebook • Instagram 

No comments:

Post a Comment