Fiction Sneak Peek: April 29, 2017 issue

A stunning story and illustration open this week’s issue. “The Fen Nightingale” by Kitty Lydia Dye is set in 1879 and it’s almost like one of our serials. It’s an absolutely charming, lyrical story about bird-watching, of all things.

Next is a Della Galton story, “The Fruit ‘n’ Veg Girl”, with a hero whose diet has vastly improved. Now, why could that be? Illustrated by Sarah Holliday.

Next story is by Wendy Clarke and was inspired by one of my Story Starter images, which is good to hear. It’s “Behind The Blue Door” and is a story of memories. Illustration also by Sarah.

Another beautiful, delicate illustration by Sarah accompanies “Only Words” by Emma Canning, a delicate, introspective story about a daughter and the father who abandoned her.

We pay another visit to Maxine’s Cat Café courtesy of Suzanne Ross Jones. This time, in “A Stranger At The Cat Café”, a bedraggled kitten comes calling. Everyone say Aawww…

Ever tied T’ai Chi? Irene’s giving it a go in Donald Lightwood’s “Gentle Exercise” and finds it does a lot more for her than she expected. Illustration: Ruth Blair.

“Dancing In The Moonlight” by Wendy Clarke is a mesmerising story about true love, illustrated by Helen Welsh.


Lucky for us it’s part 13 of Joyce Begg’s “On Wings Of Song”, and this week the choir hear themselves on CD. What do you think the verdict will be?

Meanwhile in “Riverside”, our unmissable soap by Glenda Young, it’s Beryl and Pearl to the rescue where the allotments are concerned. Hurrah!


We’re midway through both of our serials.

In another of our short competition-entry serials, this one “The Secret Of Elm House” by Katie Ashmore, Jess has good news for Dan – but who’s that he’s with? Illustration: Martin Baines.

And June Davies’s “The Warmsleys Of Pedlars Down”, is one of our classic period serials, where it seems a little jealousy can be a useful thing, since it encourages Jonas to make his move… Illustrated by Sailesh Thakrar.


Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.