Jamie Martin: The Anomaly Crystal

Jamie Martin: The Anomaly Crystal

I’ve already had the pleasure to feature Lis McDermott, in her authorial capacity, in this Made in Wiltshire section of Born again Swindonian. And in this post, it’s my delight to feature Jamie Martin and his novel, The Anomaly Crystal.

Despite the fact that I’ve now got three non-fiction books, and this blog, well and truly under my belt, I am in awe of anyone that can write fiction. I have neither the imagination nor the staying power for that. And I’m not ‘just saying’ that. I know my limitations and fiction writing is it.

About Jamie’s Book – ISBN: 978-1-4990-9428-2

The Anomaly Crystal is described as an action-packed, science fiction, fantasy war story. This epic tale spans 200 years and is spun from the gripping issues of ancient sorcery and armed conflict upon a mysterious planet. 

If that’s not enough to whet your appetite, you’ll find an extract on Google books here: http://bit.ly/1FuRVHD

Says Jamie about his book


Say’s Jamie about his book: ‘I drew my inspiration for this novel from my own interest in the science fiction and fantasy genre – one that I enjoy a great deal in both film and book form.

I wanted to create my own story within the genre for others with the same interests. Besides which, I’d long harboured an ambition to write a book. That motivation and my passion sustained me the three years or so that it took for me to complete The Anomaly Crystal. You see what I mean about needing stickability?

The Anomaly Crystal is the first in a series. The novel’s storyline spans a period of approximately 200 years. It features a great war between the humans and a creature race that live upon a mysterious planet. Within this timeframe, a supernatural artefact called ‘the anomaly crystal‘ that releases elemental magic was created to affect the outcome of this war.’

Jamie Martin: The Anomaly Crystal - book cover

See a trailer for the novel here on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Nn_inO4Nkr8

The book is available in paperback and also in audio book form here on Xlibris.Com They say about the book:

‘The outcome from a destined great war between humans and creatures will be decided by the courage and emotions of a few honourable and worthy individuals. Raven is the last blood line descendent from the greatest wizard known as Grackle, and he has found himself living in a time of endless uncertainty, magic and sorcery between the humans and a terrifying creature race residing upon the mysterious Planet of Phoenix. Significant emotional elements, bravery, hatred and love are the fundamental factors for either the humans or the creatures surviving existence during this epic adventure.’

Where to buy Jamie’s Book

To order a copy of this novel, please see links below. Otherwise contact Jamie directly to receive a copy:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-anomaly-crystal-jamie-martin/1121505778

http://www.bookdepository.com/Anomaly-Crystal-Jamie-Martin/9781499094282

Jamie and the book on social media

Jamie has a Facebook page for the book here: https://www.facebook.com/theanomalycrystal

Correct Careers Coaching

To check Jamie out in his other life as Correct Career’s Coaching you can find that here.

Should you want to contact Jamie directly about his book you’ll find him on 07599 332178 and on Jamie@correctcareerscoaching.com

Happy reading!

A Good Man and a Brave Man

A Good Man and a Brave Man

Swindon Civic Voice seem to be something of a literary lot. Chair Angela Atkinson, aka Born again Swindonian, is now the author of three Swindon related books – the second of which – Swindon in 50 Buildings is out now. But she’s not on her own! Oh no. One of their trustees, Alan Gaunt, can also claim authorship as a a thing with his book, A Good Man and a Brave Man.

A Good Man and a Brave Man

‘This is not the story of a traditional hero in the mould of Nelson or Wellington but that of a village shepherd, a local man who did not come from the nobility or the ranks of the nation’s leaders but simply loved his family and died in the service of his country.’

Cecil Packer was a farm labourer, a factory worker, a shepherd and a devoted family man. Like so many others he went to France to fight for his country in the First World War and never returned. Cecil survived both the Gallipoli and Somme campaigns. So for his descendants, his death on the Western Front when his battalion was far from the front line was a mystery as well as a tragedy.

Alan Gaunt, whose wife Shirley is Cecil’s great-granddaughter, set about researching Cecil’s humble but interesting life and finally established the tragic circumstances of his accidental death in December 1916, aged 31.

Cecil Thomas Packer was born in 1885 in Minty, Wiltshire and grew up in Poole Keynes, Gloucestershire. He enlisted in 1915 in Cirencester and served with the 8thService Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment. He died on 13th December 1916 in Flanders.

he book is a moving account of a humble man who fought for King and Country, and will appeal to all those with an interest in military and social history; local historians (in Gloucestershire/Wiltshire) as well as anyone who wishes to research their own family history.

About the author

Author, Alan Gaunt was born in Salisbury (Wiltshire) and grew up in South Cerney(Gloucestershire). He was educated in Cirencester and, later, in Bushey (Herts). He is a retired Civil Servant. Alan is married (with two grown-up children) and lives in Swindon.

By the same author:

A QUIET AUTHORITY – George Gaunt: A life (2013 Mereo Books).

George Gaunt was a quiet and gentle man who served with honour in the Coldstream Guards. George became a respected publican in a Gloucestershire village, and the entire community mourned his early passing. Thirty years later, his son Alan learned that George had been married before and had two other children. Alan set off on a trail of enquiry to piece together a comprehensive and fascinating account of the father he had lost when he was only 13 years old. This book is the result of Alan’s research and tells the story of his father and how Alan learned about his half-brother.

See also by Alan: https://www.swindoncivicvoice.org.uk/2019/11/ron-spencer-cerneys-hero-policeman/

3D Printing – SED Developments

3D Printing – SED Developments

3D Printing: it’s older than you think

It might surprise you to know that 3D printing has been around since the 1980s. Yet it’s only been in recent years that the technology developed to the point where it allowed printing on a small scale. And with that, the explosion of 3D Printing into the home began. 

See also this post, Additive Manufacturing and how it all began.

What does this mean for you?

It means that we, as SED Developments, can offer you a 3D printing design service that works for you. The only limits on what we can design is that of your imagination. The free reign of creativity allowed by 3D printing has led us to creating, amongst other things:

  • Diddy dog-bone-shaped zip pulls for Hannah Dosanjh wash bags
  • A remote-controlled, model snow plough
  • Personalized key rings
  • Models of the Eiffel Tower 
  • And a badge for a 1930s vintage Vauxhall car – where it wasn’t possible to recreate the badge

    You have only to ask us. But, if you have a 3D printer tucked away at home that you’re not using to best advantage, we can help you produce designs so you can get it working for you.

Cookie cutters and more

Here at SED Developments we love baking. Our baked goods taste fab but aren’t, we’re happy to admit –not the prettiest. That’s why we provide the tools for all you talented creatives out there to do what you’re good at it.

We love design and innovation so there’s no run-of-the-mill, bog standard cookie cutters here. Oh no. Hence, we have a cow face (it’s moos to us too!), a poo emoji, a Christmas jumper and an outline of Africa. To name but some. 

In fact, we’ve got dozens of designs for every occasion. You can see a mere few of them in the gallery below and the rest are in our Ebay shop.

And we’ll create a cookie cutter just for you… send us a silhouette or outline of your desired shape (royalty free of course!) and we’ll print your cookie cutter.

Let’s create with SED Developments 3D Printing

So, if you have a cookie cutter design you want customising, or a creation you want either printing or designing, then let’s have a chat. Contact us on 01793 705380 or email us at jo@sed-developments.co.uk. We’re also on Facebook and Instagram, catch us there.

Last Orders – by John Stooke

Last Orders – by John Stooke

Wow! Yet another Swindon-related book. How fantastic. Hot on the heels of Swindon in 50 Buildings and the Ken White Bio/retrospective – both by me – and France Bevan’s recent book we have Last Orders by John Stooke.

John Stooke’s new book, Last Orders, is launching at Swindon Central Library at 11am on Saturday 19th October. You’ll be able to buy the book in the library shop after the launch.

About Last Orders

Last Orders is the result of four years of meticulous research by John – and hours spent writing in The Blunsdon Arms. Well it would have to be a pub where John worked wouldn’t it?

Supporting Charity

Some of the book’s proceeds are going to support Swindon Women’s Aid. The charity will receive a direct donation of £3 from each £10 selling price.

The book runs to 400 pages, includes 800 images and is an impressive heritage record of Swindon’s best known disappeared alehouses.

Natasha Moyles, spokesman for SWA said, “We at Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service are delighted to have been chosen as the beneficiary of this fascinating project. It is a continuing challenge to raise adequate funds for the essential work we do locally. Initiatives such as John’s enable us to continue to help more victims of domestic abuse within Swindon”

Other Events

John is giving a talk to Swindon Civic Voice on Thursday the 7th November – more information on that here: https://www.swindoncivicvoice.org.uk/2019/10/talk-john-stooke-last-orders/

The Swindon Civic Voice talk aside, John book sales and signings at:

  1. The Designer Outlet Centre: November 16th
  2. The West Swindon Centre: November 23rd
  3. STEAM Museum: November 30/31
  4. The Brunel Centre: December 8th
  5. The Old Town Co-op: December 14th

An ideal gift for the CAMRA and real ale lover methinks. And one that supports such a splendid cause.

Pink & Green Pop Up Shop

Pink & Green Pop Up Shop

Pink & Green Pop-Up Shop in Cheltenham’s Molton Brown store

This is lovely news from one of my favourite Swindon business Pink & Green. Later this month (September 2019) they are having a pop-shop event in Cheltenham’s branch of Molton Brown.

To explain: Some months ago now, on the networking circuit, Pink&Green met Sali Green, owner of the Iwork4UGlocs business directory. As they got to know Sali, they and their Pink&Green products, helped her with a skin condition.

Top: Before and after pictures of Sali Green. Bottom: Pink and Green One Balm.

Sali was so super delighted by the results that she felt inspired to start her own skincare range – with a little help from our friends at Pink&Green. In the end though, Sali decided she simply had not the time to give it the promotion it needed so decided instead to promote her skin rescuers.

Out of that promotion and support arose this exciting opportunity with Molton Brown to have a pop-up shop in their store on Cheltenham’s swish Promenade shopping area.

Molton Brown and their Pop-Up Shop Policy

Molton Brown – or this store at least – have a strategy of creating points of interest each week to draw people into the store. So, instead of being more or less unchanging week in and week out they create a sense of ‘Ooooh. What’s all that then?’ to shoppers rather than ‘Yep-seen that. Got that.’ Which is, if think about, rather insightful and enlightened.

They offer a generous amount of space in their store for local and/or artisan companies to display and promote their products. They’ve found this to be an arrangement of mutual benefit both to them and to the pop-up businesses. 

So, since Molton Brown don’t do facial skincare Sali suggested her friends at Pink&Green. Molton Brown then did what you’d expect them to do and checked them out on social media and the rest. Satisfied with what they found they decided they’d be happy to have the brand in their store.

The next stage then was for Pink&Green to meet up with their manager and assistant manager – Alison and Megan respectively – to discuss the idea.

The Outcome?

On 28th September 11 am to 4pm there’s a Pink and Green Pop-up Shop event in the Cheltenham Branch of Molton Brown.

Visit the store and enjoy an express facial with Lisa Maria, an ambassador for the brand. Enjoy a glass of fizz and enter a free raffle to win a Mandarin Cleanser and Frankincense moisturiser in a cotton drawstring bag. Plus, you’ll have the chance to sample their latest product: Hydrate and Renew Gel.

Read about the Pink&Green ethos here on their website. And explore their full facial skincare range here.

Pink&Green Organic Skincare

Pink&Green Organic Skincare

What I enjoy with these Made in Wiltshire features are the variety of topics and people I get to write about. I’ve thus far written about artists, a wood turner and a pen maker and a writer. 

In this post though I’m delighted to feature the lovely Carol Aplin, a Swindon-based maker of hand-made, organic and vegan-friendly skincare that goes under the brand of Pink&Green.


I’ve known Carol for a few years now. We met when we were both at the start of our business journeys and have gone on to become friends and mutual clients. By which I mean, Carol avails herself of my editorial services and I buy her stuff!

They are gorgeous products – and I’m really not ‘just’ saying that.

Product Placement

Pictured below are a couple of my all time fave Pink&Green products.

The best-selling, multi-purpose One Balm and the Frankincense luxury moisturizer. These and the divine facial exfoliator are my personal P&G staples though I do use several other products too.

The Pink&Green Ethos

Carol began her organic skincare company, back in 2014, after many years working as an holistic therapist. She explains on her website how, during time as a practising therapist, she taught her clients how important it is that they make time for themselves. To pay attention to their skin – to what it was telling them – and then to act upon that message.

Carol is steadfast in her belief that what you put on your skin should help you to both look and feel wonderful. She weaves that self-care ethos through her range of organic skin care products.

For those of you – and it’s more and more of us these days – that care about such things, Pink&Green products are formulated with natural ingredients that aren’t tested on animals.

But rather than me waffling on why don’t you listen to Carol herself talk about what she does and why? Here she talks about her ‘Ah-ha!’moment – how the Pink&Green brand came into being: https://youtu.be/k5qqZqmMCo4 

While on this one https://www.facebook.com/iwork4uglos/videos/1577266832318253/– Carol talks to/is interviewed by the owner of the business directory, IWork4UGlos about some of her products. 

Buy it online or see it at the salons

Carol sells her products to individuals via her online shop which you can browse here. There she has a multitude of fans such as myself. But, increasingly she is working with salons. 

Should you be a salon or spa owner – or you know a salon that you think should stock Pink&Green products find out the full details here.

Having run salons in the past, P&G are super aware of the challenges faced by salon owners. Which is why they don’t now, and will not, impose onerous conditions on you. Nor do they dictate to you how you should run your business. It is after all your business. As Carol says:

‘Every business is different. We listen to YOU and help YOU in a way that best suits YOU.’

If you want to know more about anything to do with Pink&Green then everything you need to know about making contact with them is right here on their website.

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