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Category: Books


  Rugby Mania: A Quiz Book For Fans by Tomos Morse




The Rugby World Cup is nearly upon us and there’s no better time to put your rugby knowledge to the test . Rugby Mania , published by Gomer Press, is a fun, fact-filled quiz book for all fans. Topics range from the history of rugby to its record-breakers and its stars the world over, testing both general and anorak knowledge! Divided into handy sections, from kick-off to post-match, the book includes 80 quizzes off the pitch about those 80 minutes on it. The perfect companion on the bus to the match, half time, or even the pub, there is plenty here to keep supporters scratching their heads. Do you know in which year was the first ever Test between Australia and New Zealand played or the first ever player to reach 100 caps as captain? Or what about the first player to be shown a red card in the Rugby World Cup tournament or the first overseas coach of the British and Irish Lions? Find out the answers and much more between the covers of this handy quiz book.

 

Rugby Mania – A Quiz Book for Fans is available from all good bookshops and online retailers

For more information, visit www.gomer.co.uk

 

 



About the author

Tomos Morse is originally from Tonteg, near Pontypridd, and now lives in Cardiff with his wife and their three children. He is a producer with the BBC, and in his spare time, he’s a cinema and biography buff. But his favourite pastime is going down to Sardis Road to watch his beloved Pontypridd play.

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AmeriCymru spoke with Mari Griffith author of 'Root of the Tudor Rose'   BUY THE BOOK HERE

"Immensely readable and compelling…Highly recommended!" Alison Weir, bestselling author of The Six Wives of Henry VIII

“A stunning first novel…this new treatment of Catherine de Valois’ story will be a delight to lovers of historical fiction.” Bernard Knight CBE author of the ‘Crowner John’ historical mysteries



 


mari griffith book signing



AmeriCymru: Hi Mari and many thanks for agreeing to this interview.

Mari: My pleasure. It's good to have the opportunity to put the record straight about the origin of the Tudor dynasty which is the backdrop for my novel. English writers have had it their own way for too long because despite films, books and television series which would have you believe otherwise, the Tudors weren't an 'English' dynasty. Well, not entirely. Their roots are in France ... and in Wales. And not a lot of people know that!

AmeriCymru:  So what's the Welsh connection?

Mari: The original Tudor, the one who gave his name to the best-known royal dynasty in British history, was from Penmynydd in Anglesey. He was Owain ap Maredydd ap Tudur who Anglicised his patronymic Welsh name to become Owen Tudor. He was related either by blood or marriage to three of the ancient royal houses of Wales, the 'Uchelwyr' as they were known. He could claim descent from the families of Ednyfed Fychan (who was chief advisor or 'seneschal' to Prince Llywelyn ap Iorwerth), also to the Deheubarth dynasty of South Wales and the Powys dynasty. In fact, his grandmother's sister was Owain Glyndŵr's mother. Are you still with me?

AmeriCymru:  Yes, just about! So how was it that a young man from North Wales gave his name to this so-called 'English' dynasty?

Mari: Well, so many of his family had supported their kinsman Owain Glyndŵr in his heroic battle to save his people from the English invader, that they were naturally devastated by defeat. Then, with an astonishing degree of arrogance, the English king offered a 'pardon' to Glyndŵr's family which, when offered a second time, was finally accepted by Glyndŵr's son Maredydd who then went to London and entered the service of King Henry V, probably as a sergeant-at-arms. There's no written record to support my theory but I think it very likely that Owen had followed his cousin's example in going to London because he certainly went into the service of the English royal family, eventually becoming Clerk of the Wardrobe to Queen Catherine.

AmeriCymru:  That doesn't sound like very much of a job!

Mari: No, it doesn't, does it? But actually, it was. He would have been in charge of her seamstresses, laundresses and tiring women and would have dealt with suppliers like her cordwainer (Ed: Her who? MG: Her shoemaker). When Her Highness travelled, her Clerk of the Wardrobe would have been responsible for the safety of her jewellery, her personal cutlery and plate as well as her gowns, both formal and informal. And, of course, he would have overseen the accounting ledgers for all the expenditure involved. Quite a responsible job!

AmeriCymru:  But that doesn't found a dynasty, surely?

Mari: No, it doesn't. What happened was that King Henry V, in the interests of bringing France under English rule, had married the Princess Catherine de Valois, daughter of the French King Charles VI. Then, when King Henry died, Catherine was left a widow at the age of twenty. Her baby son inherited his father's title and became King Henry VI. He was just ten months old and needed all his mother's love and protection so, naturally, Catherine remained at the English court where she was regarded by many with deep suspicion simply because she was French and therefore not to be trusted. Very vulnerable, Catherine had few friends except one - her Clerk of the Wardrobe who was also an untrustworthy 'foreigner' to English eyes.

 

AmeriCymru:  Ah ... I'm beginning to see the connection!

Mari: You've got it! Yes, the two gravitated towards each other and became friends, ultimately falling in love and embarking on a clandestine affair which was enormously dangerous. Though Catherine was the Dowager Queen of England , she was little better than a kitchen wench in that she had been got with child by a servant! They had to keep it a secret at all costs, otherwise Catherine would be sent to a nunnery and Owen would almost certainly lose his head.

AmeriCymru:  Dramatic stuff! Have you always known the story? Were you a fan of history at school?

Mari: No, absolutely not. I was a complete dunce. I hated history in the way it was taught to me. It seemed to be little more than a string of boring facts and dates. If only I'd been told the stories behind the facts, I'd probably have loved it. But, no, I failed my History exam gloriously, not once but three times. I've come to History as a subject since I've retired and realised what an important part Wales and the Welsh played in British history of the 15th century. Certainly, many members of the Tudor dynasty would have had a good grasp of the Welsh language - Henry VII was brought up by his uncle, Jasper Tudor (one of Owen and Catherine's sons) in Pembroke Castle and, two generations later, the chief among the ladies in attendance on Queen Elizabeth I was a Welsh woman by the name of Blanche Parry. Yes, there were plenty of us around - and that's only the tip of the iceberg.

AmeriCymru:  So, given all these fascinating facts, might you be thinking about a sequel to this book, featuring any more of the Welsh Tudors? What's next for Mari Griffith?

Mari: Well, there is another book in the pipeline though it doesn't continue where this story leaves off, it's more an offshoot of it. The Duke of Gloucester persecuted poor Owen Tudor mercilessly and the next book is about his 'comeuppance'. The Duke's wife, the Duchess Eleanor, had an associate called Margery Jourdemayne who was strongly rumoured to be a witch. Not the broomstick-riding kind, more a village 'wise woman' with ideas above her station. But those who were of a mind to undermine the Duke's authority chose to do so by accusing his wife and her associates of treason and thus bringing him down by association. The sensational trial at which they were accused was the biggest cause célèbre of the fifteenth century and I'm in the final stages of committing it to paper.

AmeriCymru:   Well, good luck with that! Have you any final message for the readers and members of AmeriCymru?

Mari: Yes, of course - I really hope you enjoy reading Root of the Tudor Rose and I'd be delighted to hear your comments. As for the next book, it's to be called The Witch of Eye . It's already commissioned, again by Accent Press, and should be available early next year. And I promise that my friends at AmeriCymru will be among the first to know the publication date! In the meantime, I'll leave you with some links you might like to follow:

www.marigriffith.co.uk

www.accentpress.co.uk



Mari Griffith



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AmeriCymru:  How did this idea for the Swansea map come about?

Rose:  I’ve been involved in some international art collaborations with fellow artists Melanie Ezra and Alban Low; Melanie lives here in Swansea and Alban is from London. Alban approached Melanie and me to get involved with his idea to publish a group of 10 artist maps. We jumped at the chance because it’s so different to the normal tourist maps that get produced; this is about our feelings about Swansea, what we like about the place as citizens and artists. It’s a chance to do something different and focus on the things we think are important about the city.

AmeriCymru:  How did you and Melanie go about compiling it?

Rose:  First of all we met up to discuss the little idiosyncrasies that interested us around the city centre. Swansea is full of art, culture and history and we wanted to put in the things that fascinate us. We ended up with a huge list, far too many for the format. The next stage was to go through our existing artwork to see if we had images that would correspond in some way to the places we had chosen. Because of the timescale, we couldn’t realistically do new work and it’s an interesting process to use existing work for a different purpose.

Then we narrowed it down to 18 locations that can be walked easily across the city centre, taking in quirky and historical places as well as the seafront. Melanie took the lead on the layout of the visuals, while I researched facts about the places we chose to put on the map. We’re fine artists, not graphic designers so we decided not to get too bogged down with computer graphics packages and instead laid out the pictures and text onto a sketchbook around Melanie’s hand-drawn map, a bit like we’d work into our own sketchbooks or work boards anyway.

The map in progress



Once the map section was finalised, we put together the rest – the front cover, a biographical section on each of us and a final page giving a list of weblinks to many of the interesting sites we’d had to leave off.

AmeriCymru:  Care to tell us a little about the reaction to the map?

Rose:  The map was launched at an exhibition in London at Sunbury-on-Thames in 2015. There were loads of people there and a lot of maps sold. All the maps, a set of 10, were very well received. Since then, there have been a lot of Internet sales of the Swansea map, not just local but also from Australia and the USA where they’re a hit with ex-pats. The map seems very popular for birthday presents and wedding gifts and some parents have bought them for youngsters about to move to Swansea. It’s ridiculously cheap so it’s a quirky and affordable present to give and people seem to like our different insight.

Locally, there’s been a lot of interest because we’re showing people a new way to look at their city. Many locals didn’t realise what’s around them, you take what’s around you for granted and sometimes you need to see things through new eyes.

Melanie (left) and Rose at the launch of the map in London



AmeriCymru:  What is your favourite part of Swansea?

Rose:  Oh that’s a hard one. The map takes in Dragons, Doctor Who and the Da Vinci Code; street art, sand and Granny’s Custard; galleries, museums and allotments. And a castle! Swansea’s a great place but if I had to choose one part it would be the beach. I walk along it most days and even though it rains a lot, the climate is reasonably mild and the beach is fringed with palm trees! There are the remains of an ancient petrified forest when the tide is out with clay deposits that were originally used for the earliest Swansea potteries; it’s a fine, orange terracotta when it’s fired but black and sticky in its natural form. The clay dissolves into a sludge that we locals call ‘Granny’s Custard’, it squidges between your toes!

AmeriCymru:  Where can our readers go to purchase a copy of ’Swansea: On The Map: An Artist’s Walk’?

Rose:  It’s available directly from the publishers, Sampson Low Ltd…….
http://www.sampsonlow.com/

…. and from Amazon, here’s the link -
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Swansea-Artists-Walk-Melanie-Ezra/dp/1910578061/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1429604582&sr=1-2

And here are the technical details:

Published April 2015
ISBN 978-1-910578-06-3
A3 fold out map
Author – Melanie Ezra and Rose Davies
Editor – Alban Low, Melanie Ezra and Rose Davies
SLB0014

AmeriCymru:  Any final message for the readers and members of AmeriCymru?

Rose:  It’s great that so many people in the USA are interested in Wales and I hope this map motivates people to find out more about the area around Swansea. Melanie and I both publish daily blogs that feature life in Swansea as well as art and culture, so please feel free to drop by and visit us in the blogsphere. We’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

Rose Davies (Rosie Scribblah) is an artist and printmaker, scribbler and ageing headbanger. She works directly from life, carrying a sketchbook at all times looking for any opportunity to have a scribble. She works from her studio in Wales, UK where she lives with her husband and cats, who often feature in her drawings and blogs.

Blog:  https://scribblah.co.uk/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rosie-Scribblah-Printmaker-and-Scribbler/149442308432211?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
Twitter:  @RosieScribblah

Melanie Ezra is a UK-based fine artist who works using her own original photographs to create beautiful and intricate collages. She often works in series, providing visual responses to external stimuli such as literature, science, and music. She considers herself a specialist in the deconstruction of time and the extension of the moment.

Blog:  http://melanieezra.com/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/melanie.ezra?fref=ts
Twitter:  @melanieezra


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AmeriCymru spoke to author and freelance drama and comedy director Griff Rowland about his first book ''The Search For Mr Lloyd''. Griff has worked on shows such as Coronation Street, Wizards vs Aliens (Russell T Davies), Pobol y Cwm and Beryl, Cheryl a Meryl - isio Chwerthin with Tudur Owen. He began writing his novel in between projects. Spanning Bangor and London, the novel tells the tale of Mostyn Price, a young pigeon fancier whose prized bird goes missing during his first international race. The story is his search to find him. The Search For Mr. Lloyd

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AmeriCymru: Hi Griff and many thanks for agreeing to talk to AmeriCymru. After a distinguished career as a TV drama and comedy director what made you decide to take up writing?

Griff: I work as a freelance director and as I made the leap from documentary to drama, I had to take a risk and turn a few job offers down. Waiting for the right project to turn up meant I had to fill my time constructively. I''d been in between jobs years earlier when I was working in front of the camera (as a presenter on S4C) and when I had quiet periods, I''d either be knocking on employers doors or watching mindless daytime television programmes. This time, I thought I wouldn''t waste a day. I''d had this idea for a book and I always wanted to write but fear that I didn’t have a good enough idea, let alone be able to see it through to the end got in the way. So, one day an idea came to me when a friend of mine, who was rather a reckless driver nearly ran over a pigeon. It sounds daft, but I looked into it, and got engrossed in the research and learning about Pigeon Fancying. I became fascinated with racing pigeons and especially what became of those that never make it home. Most of them gripped by the claws of birds of prey, but others lose their unique homing instinct and if not found become undomesticated. I liked this as a metaphor and with some initial research the seeds of a novel began to germinate. I used my directing experience then to outline some structure - as I like to know where I’m going! – and began writing the story in between jobs, and I soon got lost in the world.

AmeriCymru: Your book is about one man''s search for as missing race pigeon. The birds disappearance is a defining moment in the life of the main character, Mostyn. What suggested this theme to you?

Griff: Two reasons: As a lad growing up in Bangor and who went to London as a student I had always been interested in the idea of ''gadael cartref''. Second, the idea for this book came to life when I learnt that a racing pigeon’s homing instinct can be befuddled. Mostyn’s pigeon, Mister Lloyd loses his way in life, if you like and this was an attractive metaphor for me. You see, a few years earlier Mostyn’s dad disappeared from his life. Not that he was a missing person, just that one day he walked out on them and Mostyn never sees him again. The grandfather (Taid) breeds racing pigeons and to help him focus on other things gave one to Mostyn to train. After his first international race, when Mostyn is eleven years old, the bird is a no show. Naturally this stirs in him all those unhappy memories. Not finding his missing racing pigeon is not an option and he refuses to believe it has been killed. And yet how do you go looking for a bird so undistinguishable as a pigeon? It’s an absurd idea, but Mostyn is determined. And eventually when school holidays allow, Mostyn Price sets off from his home in Bangor, Wales to go and find him.

AmeriCymru: We learn from the initial press release that the book was written "in between projects". How easy/difficult has it been to find time to work on a novel whilst maintaining your other career commitments?

Griff: It was fine when I was not working, hours would fly by and it gave me a working structure to my days. But when working on directing projects, It’d be nigh on impossible to do the two. Directing is all consuming and you live and breath it day and night. But I carried around with me a little notebook that I would use to jot anything down. I think going out to earn a living while you’re writing naturally slows down the timescale from start to finish. But if it’s something dear to you heart, you find the time!

AmeriCymru: How do you think your career in television has affected and influenced your writing?

Griff: It has been a great influence. I was definitely writing as if I was editing my own pitures in my head. I’d plan things out as if, I need to here next, there after that. In TV I tell stories through words and pictures. I have to paint pictures in my head to tell the crew what we ant to capture in order to tell the story to the audience. Obviously I found it physically different when writing, but you’re still painting a picture and telling a story with words. The other thing my experience in TV has taught me is to not be scared of being ruthless. When you’re in the cutting room, you have to let go of things, shots you loved are maybe not needed when viewing a show in its entirety. Things you’ve filmed are not needed in the flow of the story. So you have to learn to say, get rid of it! It’s taught me not to be so precious and so, on each reading of the manuscript I didn’t mind cutting things. In a way you had to still write it to be able to say you didn’t need it. It helped me think that deleting chapters was not a big deal. And as Mostyn Price ultimately has to learn to let go, so did I. Gone!

AmeriCymru: Are you planning to write more? Any new titles in the pipeline?

Griff: I would like to write more. I loved writing The Search for Mister Lloyd. I’m looking for my next idea, but until that comes, maybe I will start adapting the book into a script. Seems obvious, really!

AmeriCymru: Where can our readers go to purchase the book online?

Griff: The book can be downloaded on Kindle.

AmeriCymru: Any final message for the members and readers of AmeriCymru?

Griff: Not that this is a message - as such - but I may have come across some of your readers when I travelled around the States for a month filming a documentary series for BBC Wales called Star Spangled Dragon which traced the Welsh influence on the shaping of America. this wqas in 2002 and I met so many wonderful people; it was a trip ‘na’i byth anghofio! Diolch am y croeso! And of course when working on it I learned the George Washington quote, Good Welshmen make good Americans’. Fair point!

Interview by Ceri Shaw Email

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The Search For Mr Lloyd by Griff Rowland


By AmeriCymru, 2015-07-17




Born and brought up in Bangor and now living in Cardiff, Griff Rowland is a freelance drama and comedy director working on shows such as Coronation Street, Wizards vs Aliens (Russell T Davies), Pobol y Cwm and Beryl, Cheryl a Meryl - isio Chwerthin with Tudur Owen. He began writing his novel in between projects. Spanning Bangor and London, the novel tells the tale of Mostyn Price, a young pigeon fancier whose prized bird goes missing during his first international race. The story is his search to find him. The Search For Mr. Lloyd

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Mister Lloyd fails to return home from his first international race and much to the distress of Mostyn Price, a young pigeon fancier from north Wales. Devoured by a Falcon his grandfather presumes but Mostyn is hell bent on proving him wrong, determined to conquer his sense of loss, especially as his own dad also vanished a few years earlier.

Now nineteen and returning home to Bangor from a trip round Europe for a special occasion, Mostyn recalls the events of that fateful year which defined his life forever.

Cue a wild-card missing poster and an amateur search for a bird not many especially like let alone can tell apart. Yet it is this comic and preposterous premise that drives Mostyn in this bittersweet tale.

A mysterious tip-off suggests Mister Lloyd has landed in London and the search shifts to the metropolis where the eleven-year old hero finds himself increasingly isolated and in danger. But one man proves an unexpected ally. Maldwyn, a local handyman whose missing carrier pigeon did come home many moons ago, brings a glimmer of hope. Trouble is, he’s Mam’s new boyfriend and his presence threatens to fill someone else’s shoes: Dad’s.

Still, with Maldwyn, a local myth and a strange online chatroom ‘friend’ as his supporters, Mostyn embarks on the biggest risk of his life. But is it enough to bring Mister Lloyd home?

From the domesticated to the feral, Mostyn’s search for Mister Lloyd explores the tough-love lessons of leaving home and letting go, belonging, loss of innocence and the harsh reality of those who want to remain lost.

Inventive and eccentric, packed with drama and humour, this is a coming of age novel that will delight readers of all ages.

Kindle edition of The Search for Mister Lloyd is available to buy on Amazon

The Search For Mr Lloyd


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We are proud and pleased to announce that our good friend and AmeriCymru member  Ralph Jones has just published his fourth book:- Klondyke Tales: A History of the Dowlais RFC The book is a history of the Dowlais rugby football club and the people who made it.






A short excerpt -


Chwarae Teg,Teg Chwarae translated into English means fair play, play fair. This is the motto of Dowlais rugby football club a little club with big family values which nestles at the top of the Merthyr valley. The club was formed initially to play so called friendly games on Sunday mornings mostly against other local pub teams.They would spend a year or two wandering like rugby nomads from venue to venue before eventually settling at their now Fortess Klondyke home. Sid Hill put an advert in a local paper saying that a meeting would be held in the Slipper (Prince Llewellyn) public house where players who were interested in forming a rugby team in Dowlais were invited to attend. Games were to be played on Sunday mornings.


The book can be purchased from Amazon.com or via the Welsh American Bookstore




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On Thursday evening, 9 th of July, Manorbier Castle will host the launch of an exciting new children’s novel by local author Diane Doona – The Keeper’s Secret .

In the author’s first novel, the spectacular backdrop of the Pembrokeshire coast becomes the setting for a gripping adventure, and a moving story of recklessness, loyalty and courage.

When the publisher, Pont Books, contacted Manorbier Castle to discuss the possibility of arranging an event to celebrate the launch of the book, they were pleased to learn that Manorbier and the castle were such a prominent features in the book.

Speaking on behalf of the publishers, marketing officer Sioned Wyn says:-

“We are thrilled to be launching Diane Doona’s first novel at Manorbier Castle. It is wonderful to be able to host the event in one of the places that inspired Diane to write the book.”

Joe Jackson has to leave London with his father to go and live in remote west Wales. That’s not something he’s looking forward to, especially since Dad’s just not the same anymore.

But meeting a mysterious girl called M and Jasper Barrow, the keeper of the castle, changes Joe’s mind – and his life…

The book weaves in the relationship between father and son, loss and adapting to new surroundings, with a light touch – but it is all wrapped up in a contemporary adventure which draws on elements of history and fantasy to create an exciting story.

Diane originally wrote the story for her two daughters as a bedtime read and was inspired by the places she explored as a child – seashores, caves, cliffs and castles. She says:-

“I love this area – it’s full of beauty and a sense of mystery and discovery… I hope this book inspires the readers to visit the places which are a part of Joe and M’s story.”

 

The Keeper’s Secret is available from all good bookshops and online retailers

For more information, visit www.gomer.co.uk

 



About the author

Diane Doona is Pembrokeshire born and bred, and lives near Manorbier where her first novel is set. While her career has been as finance manager for a west Wales legal firm, she has always enjoyed history and writing, and has been a regular member of a writing group over the years. This has given her the experience to write this exciting novel for 8-11 year olds – which has been scrutinised carefully by the younger generation in her family for its enjoyment value and necessary sense of adventure and intrigue! Diane, a keen traveler, enjoys walking the Pembrokeshire coastal path around the spectacular coves near her home, with her dog for company. Little wonder that this landscape provides the backdrop for her novel.



Manorbier Castle South Wales


 

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AmeriCymru: Hi Alison. What can you tell us about your forthcoming book 'The Salt Maker's Year"?

Alison: It's a book about a family business through a year. We've often been asked to talk about what business and personal paths led us to creating Halen Môn and so this is a great way to do it. It'll be anecdotes and stories which we hope will encourage others down the entrepreneurial route, plus seasonal recipes to make great feasts to share with family and friends, all brought together with sumptuous photographs of our beautiful Anglesey sea and landscape.

AmeriCymru: You are funding production of this title in an unusual way. Care to tell us more?

Alison: It's an interesting way of fund raising that we've chosen. We invite people to pledge in advance for the book- digital copies are just £10 and do not attract any postage fees- and when enough people decide they want the book to go ahead, we publish it. We're already working on the photos, recipes and stories, and have held 3 feasts to 'limber up' for the real events later this year. It lets us talk to the readers of the book and they can play a real part in how it develops, interacting with the authors in The Shed and receiving regular updates.

AmeriCymru: How can people support you and what rewards are you offering?

Alison: The base level of support is £10 for a digital download, rising to the star reward of a trip to Anglesey on an 'innovators' day' on branding a small business and lunch with David and Alison, the owners and founders of Halen Môn for £1,000 and lots of books and salty hampers in-between.

AmeriCymru: Who are the authors?

Alison: David and Alison Lea-Wilson, founders and directors of Halen Môn. Married and working together for over 35 years, this is the third successful business they've started and run.

AmeriCymru: Care to tell us a little about Halen Mon, its history and products?

Alison: It's a family business founded in 1997 to resuscitate the lost art of sea salt making on Anglesey- Môn Mam Cymru. It's grown from being made in a saucepan on the kitchen AGA to moving into its own purpose-built Saltcote with a visitor centre and behind the scenes tours. It can be found in 20 countries, including the USA where its oak smoked Halen Môn flavours the top of President Obama's favourite butter caramels from Fran's Chocolates in Seattle.

AmeriCymru: Any final message for the readers and members of AmeriCymru?

Alison: Take a look at the video and let us know how you can support us- and if you have any questions we'd love to hear from you. Better still, drop in for a panad and a slice of our local bara brith when you're next visiting the Principality. Diolch o galon.

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Award-winning author, Wendy White, publishes  Three Cheers for Wales just as the Six Nations competition is due to kick off and, as the title suggests, there’s plenty of cheering for Wales!

Following on from the success of Welsh Cakes and Custard – which won the English Tir na n’Og award in 2014 – Emyr Rhys and Betsi Wyn are back…

With an offer of two spare tickets to the match and two spare seats on the minibus, Emyr and Da-cu excitedly grab their scarves and join their friends on the bus. But having arrived at the Millennium Stadium, Da-cu realises that he’s left mobile phone at home – how will they let Nain know where they are? With their eyes on the big screen and armed with plenty of daffodil hats, white card and a marker pen, they hope that the cameraman spot them!

Emyr and Da-cu’s adventure at the Millennium Stadium is one of five delightful stories about Emyr Rhys and Betsi Wyn. Other stories include getting stranded on Caldey Island, dressing up as a frog and a school trip to a Victorian school.The stories also celebrate the special bond between children and their grandparents as Mam-gu and Da-cu play very important roles in the adventures of their young grandchildren.

Published by Pont Books, exciting times – and funny moments – fill these five new stories for young readers, with illustrations by Helen Flook, reflecting the gentle humour of the text.

As a child growing up in Llanelli, Wendy loved spending time browsing the shelves at the local library and after graduating from Lampeter University, she worked as a library assis tant before training to become a teacher. Wendy has taught in primary schools in England and Wales and now lives in Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire with her husband and children.

 

Three Cheers for Wales is available from all good bookshops and online retailers.


For more information, please visit www.gomer.co.uk or visit the author’s website www.wendywhite.org.uk

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Totally Batty by Jenny Sullivan AmeriCymru spoke to Welsh author and novelist Jenny Sullivan about her new book Totally Batty and her plans for Christmas.  Jenny is the author of many children''s books including  Tirion''s Secret Journal  and  Full Moon  which won the prestigious Tir na n-Og  award  in 2006  and 2012 respectively. She is currently working on a series of historical novels based on  the life of Owain Glyndwr . Jenny was born in Cardiff and now lives in France. She travels to Wales to work with school students on a regular basis.

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Jenny Sullivan AmeriCymru: Hi Jenny and many thanks for agreeing to this interview. What can you tell us about your latest book ''Totally Batty''?

Jenny: I think it''s funnier that "Full Moon" and I like the title better, too. I wasn''t allowed my original title for "Full Moon" which was "As Mad As A Box Of Frogs" which was a pity, because "Full Moon" is the title of several other books that aren''t by me!

AmeriCymru: ''Totally Batty'' is the sequel to the Tir na n-Og Award-winning novel Full Moon. Care to tell us more about the earlier book?

Jenny: It''s about a (fairly) typical Welsh family living somewhere in the Welsh Valleys. The plot centres on Nia, whose Aunty, Gwen''s hobby is running a sort of underground railway (as in the Deep South during slavery) but for supernatural beings. When Gwen is mugged for her pension and winds up in hospital she asks Nia to go to her house and leave out some food for a visitor... Nia quickly discovers that the ragged boy she finds in her Aunt''s basement is actually a werewolf. The sub-plot concerns Nia''s sister Ceri, who has been discovered by an agent and has a new career as a TV star, and Nia''s Mam, who desperately wants to act but can''t. The family is as mad as a box of frogs and very Welsh. I had a lot of fun writing it and liked the characters too much to let them go. Which is why "Totally Batty" was written. This book may contain the only recorded case of vampire headlice. Think about it...

AmeriCymru: When last we spoke you were researching part three of your trilogy of novels based on the life of Owain Glyndwr, “Silver Fox ~ the long Amen” . How is the novel coming along?

Jenny: Slowly. I''ve only managed about 50 pages. It''s been one of those years. I seem to have been running as fast as I can just to stay in the same place. And of course Owain has to be researched so I don''t make any historical howlers.

AmeriCymru: Any other projects in the pipeline?

Jenny: A sequel to "The Great Cake Bake" (that came out in September), called " The Great Granny Hunt" and I''m sort of walking around a novel full of teenage angst, though teenage books are notoriously hard to sell. Apparently teenagers don''t read. Or so I''m told.

AmeriCymru: What will you be doing for Christmas this year?

Jenny: This is where I wear a great big smile. We''re going over to the UK to spend three days with my eldest daughter and her partner Art and my three Grandchildren, 8 year old Daisy, 6 year old Tove and The Boy, Dylan, who is 3, doesn''t know his own strength and has been known to knock me off my feet in his haste to get a cwtch. They''re in North Weald in Essex. Then we go on to Ealing in London to spend a couple of days with my middle daughter Tanith and her husband Daz, (who is recovering from a massive heart attack three years ago). I can''t wait and am getting what Tanith calls "silly and excited ". If only we could also see our youngest, Stephanie, too, but she''s living in Northern Ireland with her husband Conall and their two children Catrin and Joseph and we can''t be in two places simultaneously. Joe was born in January and I spent nearly three weeks over there on Granny duty, including taking over the night feeds. I was a wreck when I came home! I last saw them all together in July on holiday en famille in Fishguard, which was uncharacteristically sunny the whole time. Magical!

AmeriCymru: Any final message for the readers and members of AmeriCymru?

Jenny: Yes - I''m Patron of Reading to three primary schools in South Wales. This involves a visit to each at least once a year and a monthly newsletter from me to them all with news, projects, reading suggestions, challenges and competitions. If there''s someone involved with a U.S. school reading this, and would like me to be Patron to their school too, please get in touch. I can only manage one more school, so it will be first come, first served. I can''t promise an annual visit, however! I would like to love there to be a Welsh-American link and perhaps the schools themselves might develop links eventually.

My web page is The Magic Apostrophe page and most, if not all of my books (there are some that are contributions only) are listed on AmeriCymru


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