Ceri Shaw



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Category: Book News

unnamed.jpg “I don’t expect everyone to agree with everything in the book – it will be too radical for some, and for others it won’t be radical enough,” says author Llywelyn ap Gwilym about his new bilingual book,  Llyfr Du Cymru Fydd / The Black Book of the New Wales  (Y Lolfa), which is published this week. 

The organiser of the AUOB Cymru rallies which attracted thousands to pro-independence marches in Cardiff, Caernarfon and Merthyr pre Covid-19 has written his vision of an independent Wales. Llywelyn ap Gwilym, who is also on the Central Committee of YesCymru, said: 

“I’ve supported Welsh independence since I can remember, but without questioning why. Since the birth of my children and moving back to Wales, I’ve thought more deeply about the politics, economics and sociology behind it: I’ve thought more about the ‘why’. Whilst writing  The Black Book of the New Wales,  I started to think that perhaps I could encourage the discourse to develop.” 

The book is an exploration of what a future independent Wales could look like. It is written in the spirit of utopian thinking: its purpose is to question what is, and to envision what could be. Some of the ideas presented are a radical departure from the status quo, while others are becoming part of orthodox leftist thinking. Similarly, there are some precedents in terms of current or former organisations and institutions, others have only been trialled, while some have not yet existed. 

The book has been described as “an exciting blueprint for building a better society” by Dan Evans of Desolation Radio and Leanne Wood, Plaid Cymru has said, “For the Indy curious, this is a must-read.” 

The percentage of people in Wales supporting independence has almost tripled over the last six years from 12% in 2014 to 35% in 2020. The Welsh Independence movement is gathering momentum, with membership of YesCymru growing from 2,500 to 17,000 during 2020, and now gets regular attention in the UK media as well as further afield. 

“I hope that the book will help expand further discussions so that more people start sharing ideas on what our values are, what kind of society we want to live in, and how independence for Wales is the most realistic path in order to achieve these changes. It would be tragic to lose the chance to ensure a better future for all who call Wales home and, on winning independence, just to recreate the inequality and unjustness that’s rife in the UK.  The Black Book of New Wales  is my contribution to ensuring a better future.” 

The Black Book of the New Wales by Llywelyn ap Gwilym (£4.99, Y Lolfa) will be available by 1 st  March.

Praise for  The Black Book of the New Wales

“Concise, challenging, doable! There are radical ideas for the kind of Wales we can be, but we need independence, and independence of mind, to unlock that potential. It can’t come from Westminster. Better a Good Wales than a ‘Great’ Britain.”

Siôn T. Jobbins, YesCymru Chair

“… a cracking piece of work. Very clear thinking. Good, sound values base. I love the references you draw on – some of my favourites – Raymond Williams, Gramsci, Bookchin, Bell Hook, Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, the Preston stuff and Mondragon. And the way you bring all the thinking together… Your book outlines why it is not tenable for people in Wales to carry on as we are and offers an inclusive vision of real independence. For the Indy curious, this is a must-read.”

Leanne Wood, Plaid Cymru


“A small book with big ideas! A welcome addition to the independence debate.”

Cian Ciarán, musician (Super Furry Animals), composer and YesCymru Vice-Chair


“Llywelyn ap Gwilym’s The Black Book of the New Wales doesn’t claim to have all the answers, it weaves together an empowering series of concepts and initiatives that are ready and willing to form new institutions and structures.”

Ben Gwalchmai, Founder of Labour for an Independent Wales

“An exciting blueprint for building a better society.”

Dan Evans, Desolation Radio

“Llywelyn ap Gwilym’s  Llyfr Du  is an essential contribution to the vision that will liberate Wales from the decaying British state.”

Sam Coates, Undod

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A Message From North Wales

By Ceri Shaw, 2020-11-30


Hi from North Wales

I hope that you’re all keeping safe and well.

I’ve got a special offer to share with you – perfect for a few enjoyable hours.

Audible have given me codes that allow FREE downloads of the audio version of my Inspector Drake novels. The great thing is that you DON’T need to have a subscription to Audible to enjoy the audio books.

I only have a LIMITED number of codes and they are only for the US and the UK so if you’re in Canada or Australia or elsewhere my apologies.

Some of you may have taken up the offer of codes for   Brass in Pocket   the 1 st   Inspector Drake novel narrated by the super talented Richard Elfyn.

Now I’ve got FREE code for   Worse than Dead   the second Drake adventure. If you’d like one, then click on the link below.



I always enjoying hearing from my readers so do please get in touch.

Regards / Hwyl fawr

Stephen .

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Hi from Wales

I hope that you’re all keeping safe and well.

My thanks to everyone who has bought  Times Like These , the fourth Inspector Marco novel that was launched recently. I’m really pleased with the reviews and comments from readers.

“Stephen Puleston does for Cardiff what Rankin does for Edinburgh- uses a Capital city as a perfect backdrop to a series of gruesome murders. If you enjoy a good murder yarn you will love this book.”  5* Amazon review

This is a very intriguing read I really had no idea who was responsible and there are so many red herrings and dead ends. An absolutely gripping page-turner that will appeal to anyone who likes a good detective story.”  5* Amazon review

Grab your copy today by clicking this link.  Times Like These AMAZON .

Inspector Marco series

The lovely people at Book Bub are doing a promotion for  Speechless  the first Inspector Marco novel this weekend – it’s available for  99c/p . At the time I was writing the novel there was a lot of coverage in the press about human trafficking. A friend of mine mentioned a report by Amnesty containing the details of women and young girls trafficked into Wales – the numbers were shocking.

It gave me the basis of the theme to  Speechless . It would have been encouraging to report that things have improved but sadly that is not the case.

Special Prices

So as part of the BookBub promotion all the Inspector Marco novels are discounted to  £1.99/ $2.99  this weekend. If you haven’t read the novels then grab your copy using one of the clicks below.

Speechless – Amazon

Another Good Killing – Amazon

Somebody Told Me – Amazon

Do please tell your friends and anyone who might like these books. Click on the link at the bottom.

Here is the link to buy  Times Like These  again [also at £1.99 $2.99]

I always enjoying hearing from my readers so do please get in touch.

Regards / Hwyl fawr


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Hi from Wales

I hope that you’re all keeping safe and well in these uncertain and difficult times.

Times Like These, the fourth Inspector Marco novel was launched last week, and I’m really pleased with the reviews and comments from readers.

“At times I couldn’t turn the pages quick enough. ‘Times Like These’ is superbly written …” 5* Amazon review

“Mr Puleston has done it again and written a great well thought out book but also incorporated what is happening in the real world to help keep things feel real.”  5* Amazon review

Grab your copy today by clicking this link.  Times Like These AMAZON

Choosing the title

During May a cover version of the Foo Fighters song Times Like These reached number one in the charts. It was performed by the charity supergroup Live Lounge Allstars. Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters who wrote the song referred to the lyrics as - ‘they're about hope and love and compassion’.

The song title and the lyrics seemed to resonate with the difficulties we were all facing.

I’m a Foo Fighters fan and Times Like These is a great song so once I’d settled on the title I didn’t contemplate anything else.

Here is a link to the BBC website:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/ entertainment-arts-52499382

Cardiff – the capital of Wales

Detective Inspector Marco is based in Cardiff, the capital city of Wales.

The city’s history goes back to the Roman era. Since the end of the nineteenth century Cardiff’s success and prosperity were built on exporting coal from the South Wales valleys. The docks of the city brought in many people from all over the world creating a cosmopolitan and varied community.

I've added some photographs of Cardiff to a section about the city on my website –  Marco’s Cardiff.

Here is the link to buy  Times Like These  again

I always enjoying hearing from my readers so do please get in touch.

Regards / Hwyl fawr


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Hi, The fourth Inspector Marco novel  Times Like These  is launched today!

Grab your copy today by clicking this link.  Times Like These  AMAZON .

I'll probably have a quiet glass of something bubbly today and cross my fingers that the book will be a success.



Some of the background to  Times Like These .

After the last Inspector Drake novel I wanted to revisit Detective Inspector Marco, based in Cardiff.

When I started to plot the novel it was at the start of the Covid 19 lockdown and it got me thinking about setting a novel set in the period immediately after the easing of restrictions.  It would give me the chance of reflecting on how the pandemic had impacted on policing. And one of the issues raised in the news here in Wales was the impact of the restrictions on how the police deal with sexual and domestic violence, a problem the world over regrettably.

So I’m going to be sharing a bit about the background of the novel, where it is set and how I decided on the title in emails over the next few weeks so keep an eye out for them.

I hope you enjoy the novel.  Here is the link to buy the book  Times Like These  again

I always enjoying hearing from my readers so do please get in touch.

Regards / Hwyl fawr


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Beca a Catrin

By Ceri Shaw, 2019-02-21

beca a catrin.jpg

Beca a Catrin is now available on Amazon.

(The Welsh version of Reba and Katherine/Messy Hair Game)

Softcover * 36 pages * 8.5 x 8.5

There is also a corresponding coloring book.

Ages 3-7

ISBN: 9781945669385

Available on Amazon: Beca A Catrin

About the book:

Reba and Katherine are two sisters who learn a lesson about patience and forgiveness as their choice create more work for Grandma. The story provides opportunity for interesting discussion about consequences and decision-making. You can listen to a free English audio version on the website. The book contains both English and Welsh text.

Author Gail Gritts

Gail grew up deep in the heart of the Ozarks in Missouri, USA. Life led her to England where she and her husband Tom raised their own family of five. Today, while she still lives in England, she relishes the opportunity to keep the family tradition of storytelling, including the mishaps and adventures of Reba and Katherine, with her thirteen grandchildren. Gail has been a freelance writer for many years writing magazine articles and devotional materials. Messy Hair Game is the first in her series about Reba and Katherine.

Illustrator Javier Duarte

Javier is a Uruguayan illustrator. He specializes in profession illustrations, portraits, cartoons, comics and children’s books and is currently working as a freelance artist locally and internationally.

Translator Emily Stirrup

My name is Emily. I am eight years old and I love Messy Hair Game! I live in North Wales in a town called Colwyn Bay. My mom and dad are both Welsh and I go to a Welsh school. I had a great time translating the story for my friends. I hope you enjoy the story, too.

Website: www.truestorykeepsake.com  Email: truestorykeepsake@gmail.com

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Dyddiadur A5 Y Lolfa Bilingual Diary

By Ceri Shaw, 2018-07-10



Mae Dyddiadur newydd A5 Y Lolfa newydd gael ei gyhoeddi. Gellir ei archebu yma am £5.99 (& £2 cludiant os yw’r archeb yn llai na £10). Bydd ein dyddiaduron eraill yn cael eu cyhoeddi yn fuan.

Y Lolfa’s new A5 blilingual Diary has just been released. It can be ordered here for £5.99 (& £2 if your order is less than £10). Our other diaries will be available soon.



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New Welsh Reader 115

By Ceri Shaw, 2017-09-05


New Welsh Reader Autumn Edition (115)

Publication date: 1 September 2017

The autumn edition of New Welsh Reader includes exclusive extracts from entries to the New Welsh Writing Awards 2017: Aberystwyth University Prize for Memoir. First place winner Catherine Haines’ memoir gives an insight into a young woman’s experience of anorexia while at Oxford University. As the Cambridge Weight Plan spins out of control, a post-grad’s academic subject, ‘the mind-body problem’, goes through an existential phase to become ‘extraordinary morality’ rather than a mental health problem. Second-placed ‘The Case’ by MJ Oliver tells the story of Jim, an emigrant from England to Canada, as he awaits release from a progressive mental hospital and reconciliation with his baby daughter. He is in turns hopeful migrant, stowaway, farmer, thief, hobo, rough poet and ever-loving brother. Third-placed ‘People, Places and Things: A Life With the Cold War’ Adam Somerset paints a sweeping landscape of the Eastern Bloc as experienced through the eyes of a British backpacker. Beginning the Highly Commended entries, ‘The Red Circle’ by Maria Apichella is the story of daughter’s Pennsylvania road-trip with her Italian-American father. ‘On Shifting Sands’ by Liz Jones; a true tale of family rift and reconciliation, and finally ‘Boystown, SA’ by Robert and Amanda Oosthuizen, a story told by a husband to his writer-wife. Also included is an essay on spirituality and landscape in recent travel and poetry titles from Welsh publishers, covering Jim Perrin, Nathan Llywelyn Munday, Biddy Wells, David Lloyd Owen & the poetry of Ruth Bidgood.

POETRY FROM Rosie Garland, Charlie Bird, Ashleigh Davies, Ben Wilkinson, Meg Eden, Chris Emery, Manash Firaq Bhattacaejee and Michael Derrick Hudson.

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glyndwr call to arms.jpg The second installment of a new trilogy which tells the compelling story of the early years of Glyndŵr’s uprising is published this week.

Glyndŵr: To Arms! by the late Moelwyn Jones is an imaginary novel based on the real life and battles of Owain Glyndŵr. It follows the publishing of the bestselling  Glyndŵr - Son of Prophecy last Christmas.

The trilogy was completed before the author’s death in 2015.

Glyndŵr: To Arms! Offers a portrayal of the life of Wales’ revolutionary hero Owain Glyndŵr, resident bard and Glyndŵr confidant Gruffudd ap Caradog tells of a time at the beginning of the 1400s when a new spirit of Welsh pride was born; when the Welsh nobility put aside their differences to unite under the banner of the Red Dragon to seek justice and self-determination.

In a vivid and vibrant account of the first two decades of the 1400s, we hear of the adventures of master bard and master lover Iolo Goch, the brutal realities of medieval warfare learned at the hands of champion axeman Einion Fwyall, and of Gruffudd's impossible love for the wife of a leader he reveres above all others.

The third and final installment will follow early next year.

Author Moelwyn Jones was raised in Bancffosfelen, Carmarthenshire, and had a career as a Welsh teacher in Cardiff before joining the BBC as an Information Officer. He then became Head of Public Relations for Wales and the Marches Postal Board and following his retirement worked in the Welsh Assembly.

‘Moelwyn had a great interest in the history of Owain Glyndŵr,’ says Delyth Jones, Moelwyn’s wife. ‘He conducted extended research into Owain’s story. He was quite the hero to Moelwyn’.

The cover art was illustrated by Machynlleth based artist Teresa Jenellen.

Glyndŵr: To Arms! by Moelwyn Jones (£7.99, Y Lolfa) is available now

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lolian.jpg Y Lolfa publishers will begin their 50 th anniversary celebrations earlier than expected as they launch the private diaries of Y Lolfa founder and co-founder of Lol magazine, Robat Gruffudd, on Friday .

Lolian  is a collection of ‘eccentric and too honest’ personal diaries that Robat Gruffudd kept since the sixties. Written over the last fifty years, the diaries are published for the first time ever this year.

The diaries are published before the 50 th anniversary of Y Lolfa which will be celebrated next year. The book delves into the publishing world but Robat emphasises that this is not an autobiography nor the history of Y Lolfa per se.

‘We will be celebrating Y Lolfa’s birthday soon. Watch this space for news of a big party and a range of other events!’ says Robat.

The book is launched officially on Friday the 25 th of November at 8pm at the Llew Du (Black Lion) in Talybont. The academic Simon Brooks will be in conversation with the author followed by live music from Tecwyn Ifan.

The diaries include response to events and an ‘unofficial’ yet original portrait of life in Wales over the last fifty years.

The book contains a mixture of humours ancedotes, provoking comments and memories about the twists and turns working in the pubilshing industry and meetings with authors and beyond in Wales and in bars on the continent. As a language campaigner since his early years, Robat goes into detail about his work with Cymdeithas yr Iaith, Cymuned, Dyfodol i'r Iaith – and a campaign where he refused to speak English. Also discussed are the Trefechan bridge protest and the campaign to establish a daily Welsh newspaper, Y Byd .

Other stories include the arrest of him and his wife Enid under false suspicion that they had played a part in the burning of holiday homes in the 80s.

His Jewish and German background is also illustrated – as well as the prosecution suffered by his family in Germany, which was the basis of the successful book written by his brother Heini, A Haven from Hitler, which won Book of the Year (as Yr Erlid ). It includes an entry where Robat visits Ravensbrück concentration camp where his grandmother was murdered by the Nazis during the second world war.

‘There are funny stories about plenty of people here and that’s what I’m afraid of! What will they say when they see their names in print? But the diary form asks for complete honesty,’ says Robat, ‘If you’re not honest then what’s the point? Although I may leave the country for a month or two after publication!’

Lolian by Robat Gruffudd (£9.99, Y Lolfa) is available now.

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