Fiction Sneak Peek: Jan. 27, 2018 issue

Illustration for story titled Daisy Turns Detective.

Ooh, don’t you love this dramatic illustration? It could stand as another Story Starter, couldn’t it? What do you imagine the story is about? In our Jan 27 issue, it goes with Katie Ashmore’s story Daisy Turns Detective, with a write-up that begins: “The discovery of a body….” Oo-er!

Isobel is on a skiing holiday in Snow Days by Brenda Storey. Now, given the choice of freezing on the slopes or snuggling up with a mug of hot chocolate, which would you choose?

From fun on the slopes to a father’s naturally protective instincts for his young daughter in Blackcurrant Jelly, a delicate story by Simon Whaley, illustrated by Jim Dewar.

We celebrate Burns Night – January 25 –  with a fun story by Joyce Begg. It’s titled The Best-Laid Schemes, which is a line from Robert Burns’ poem To A  Mouse: “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men, Gang aft agley.” If I translate “agley” for you, that it means awry, and tell you the story’s about a carefully planned Burns Supper – well, you maybe get the picture.

Forgiveness is the theme in Marianne Harman’s story Let It Be, illustrated by Jim Dewar. Were you at school with someone who you’d hate to meet now? So was Moira…

We have a very unusual story for you next. The Miracle Man by Ellie Edwards has mesmerised all of us here who’ve read it. I hope it has the same impact on you.

Opposites attract, but can they then be happy together? That’s Out Of Balance by Paula Williams, illustrated by Michael Thomas.


In Tales From Prospect House by Malcolm Welshman we have monkey business at the surgery.

In Riverside, meanwhile, Buster’s mini me is making himself at home and soothing bruised hearts. Aww…. You can’t miss our weekly soap by Glenda Young.


It’s part 2 of Mark Neilson’s engaging family story The Wooden Heart, illustrated by Helen Welsh. Stephen has an important decision to make and turns to Gabrielle. Illustration: Helen Welsh.

And it’s the third and final part of Return To Langrannoch by Joyce Begg. Luke is captivated – as was a reader whose letter we received this week, thanking Joyce Begg for brightening her day with this story. Isn’t that sweet of her? Joyce is dead chuffed. It was illustrated by Ruth Blair.

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.