Sunday, February 14, 2016

Author Showcase Special Valentine's Day with Patrick Barrett.

 Every once in a while people enter your life, and enrich it. They touch a chord in you that needed touching. They cause you to smile, and sometimes shed a tear. I count myself privileged to have these two wonderful, crazy and loving people as friends. I may never meet them face-to-face, but that matters not. They have contributed to my life. I wanted to share the laughter, and the simple joy of loving that they express in everything they do. Please Meet Patrick and Paula Barrett.
Patrick and Paula Barrett.

 A Valentine's message from Patrick.

We would like to wish each other a Happy Valentine's Day and also all our friends the same. Our message to you all on this day is to look after and love your nearest and dearest. With Paula being wheelchair bound and myself suffering from cancer we find that any good we do for others comes back and makes our lives better. Remember to share problems and to try and see a bright side wherever possible. Above all, keep smiling and make life as good as you can for yourself and everyone around you all.

About Patrick the Author.

I am a sixty-five year old ex-coal miner with no writing training at all. I have written a series of comedy books set in a fictional valley, the first one is 'Shakespeare's Cuthbert.' The folk-lore of the valley says that the bard lived there as a teacher to the children at Mandrake Hall. Whilst he was there he wrote his first play entitled 'Cuthbert'. The play did not show Queen Elizabeth in a good light and there would be dire consequences if it came to light. The play has been hidden all theses years but the valley folk celebrate the connection by staging a Shakespearean play once a year. These are uniformly awful as the local residents have very little talent between them. A sudden influx of strangers arrives to look for the play, can the even stranger inhabitants stop them?

Each of the Cuthbert books has its own theme, but they all contain the larger than life characters from Shakespeare's Cuthbert.

Wild Wolf Publishing is my new publisher and the first nine books in the series are all available now as e-books and Shakespeare's Cuthbert is available too as an audio book. Please look out for the tenth book which will be available hopefully this year. I am currently undergoing cancer treatment, so there may be a delay. We are hoping that new paperback versions of all the books in the series will be available in the future too.

.Book 1 Shakespeare's Cuthbert..Purchase Here


 At the heart of this riotous laugh-a-paragraph farce that will delight members of amateur dramatic societies everywhere, lies a forgotten village in a remote valley where the 'real valley folk' live, including Cuthbert, the village undertaker, impressario of the shambolic annual theatre production, and holy fool; Margery, the local beauty and mother of the Mafia twins whose constant creative disruption provides a reliable source of hazard and misadventure; the anonymous milkman whose flashing teeth can fell a woman at fifty paces; Percy the gardener whose still waters run curiously if not necessarily deep; and the regulars at the Mandrake Arms who drink to remember, drink to forget as plots and plans flourish in their midst.

Suddenly into this by-water of rural oblivion bursts a band of newcomers who have taken up residence of the seigneurial Mandrake Hall – Henry, a prominent media reporter and his daughter who is more horse than her horse; Henry's brother, Ronald, an adventurer, a mercenary and a sometime crook; and the unreconstituted Captain and his much put-upon wife Elspeth.

What are these rank and unlikely outsiders doing in these obscure parts and what are they looking for as they vigorously comb the village and the extensive network of tunnels built beneath it? One clue is the persistent legend that the Bard himself, William Shakespeare, was once employed as a tutor up at the Hall (thus the annual village play) and that there might still be fragments of his early work – a fumbling politically-incorrect piece – waiting to be discovered. Fame and fortune may follow, but corpses will be dug up first. 

5 star Review of Shakespeare's Cuthbert.

 Rocky and Bullwinkle take on Monty Python 
Cuthbert is the town undertaker in a forgettable village where legend has it William Shakespeare may have misplaced one of his earlier works. For fans of Rocky and Bullwinkle, I promise this bring back Frostbite Falls with a delicious rush. Every line is a quotable gem. Cuthbert can't seem to do anything right and that's what saves his skin... repeatedly. He accidentally embalms his own jaw, he sees himself disappearing and reappearing like a nun on a zebra crossing, and the poor fellow is so neutral his reflection doesn't bother to show up.
Cuthbert is alone in a dark tunnel under the town: "Cuthbert advanced down the tunnel accompanied by a low moaning sound. It was unsettling, so he stopped doing it." If you enjoyed the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, you'll love Shakespeare's Cuthbert. Douglas Adams and then some. Highly Recommended.

Book 2 'How Mean is My Valley' Purchase Here


  They said Cuthbert would never make Act II, but ...

Last time around, Cuthbert was up against thieves infiltrating the Valley, planning to steal William Shakespeare's first - and, well, worst - works.

This time it is the forces of global exploitation and Big Business who have decided to march into lush pastures and by-waters nobody knew existed, even their inhabitants, and turn them into an out-of-town shopping centre and cinema multiplex.

Yes, folks, it is Cuthbert - one-time farmer, theatre impressario, and many-times undertaker - against the World, and somebody or something is going to get buried, under concrete or otherwise.

The Valley is under threat. Will the Valley rise again and become a mountain, or will the locals take it all sitting down, eat popcorn, and watch 'Die Messy 4'?

Book #2 in the Cuthbert Series

5 Star Review for Cuthbert How Mean is my Valley.

 Engaging with an underlying compassion

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As in the first of the Cuthbert series, the endearingly portrayed Percy and Cuthbert never failed to engage.

The description is very individual to the author, refreshing to read. I particularly liked it when
"Percy collapsed on his knees, panting like a ruptured steam boiler".

And yet, despite the light side of the characters, there is always the presence of an underlying compassion between them, warts 'n all. In places I thought Percy comical but he can be hurt, he can sulk, like a human, and Cuthbert understands.

The character's belief that William Shakespeare had "...worked at Mandrake Hall as a teacher" both tickled me and whetted my appetite to see how the rest of the storyline would unfold. 

 Book 3 'Tee For Two In The Valley' Purchase Here

 Trouble in the Valley continues as a reckless statement by Ronald Chisholm that women are genetically incapable of playing golf provokes Arkle, the woman more equine than a horse, to challenge, “Would you redundant hunter-gatherers care to challenge the weaker sex?”, and it becomes immediately apparent to the men present in the Mandrake Arms that with Cuthbert and Percy in the team, the men would probably lose a game of golf against the Valley’s resident crow or Blind Pugh the sheepdog, never mind against its formidable women.

As it’s too late for Ronald to retract his statement, and apology is beyond him, he blunders on, upping the ante with, ‘You name the prize, then,” before sinking all the men's hopes with, “And you can pick the teams.”

“Done,” declares Arkle, and surely they are unless they can come up with epic amounts of skulduggery, probably with the assistance of the ever-willing Village Mafia, to offset their evident and woeful lack of golfing skills. But the women have some plans of their own and have not the slightest intention of losing. And so this hilarious series, brimming with memorable characters and witty one-liners, continues …

Book #3 in the Cuthbert Series

5 Star review for Cuthbert Tea For Two in The Valley.

 Laughing Out Loud

I bought this book immediately I saw it. Hurray now for another great read. The characters are all there, Jasper, Henry, Ronald, Percy to name a few. The new interest rears up demons with Ronald's patronizing statement. Arkle raises her head - and it's war. This is amazing, and I am not going to say more as I don't want to put in spoilers. Suffice to say, I read it in two sittings. I wish I had taken my time as I am now waiting for the next. At least I can read it again and again.
Great plot, fast pace and strong structure all go to make Tee for Two another win for this talented author.
Highly recommended
 The Valley is a place populated with the eccentric and paranoid. In a continuous series of unfortunate misunderstandings, mixed communication and tomfoolery, Death Valley will have you smiling and laughing out loud.

Just when Cuthbert thinks life is becoming dull it turns out he's botched up burying people. Now he's being investigated just as an orchestra rolls into town. As always plans go awry, disasters abound, and a stranger with a horse-drawn hearse is plotting for plots of the dead.

This satirical installment of the Cuthbert series continues to entertain in endless silliness, the characters endearing, and your funny bone will be honed once again by Patrick Barrett's special brand of humour. 


 The Cuthbert series continues with hilarious shenanigans when a circus unexpectedly arrives in Cuthbert's yard. This unlocks a spellbinding plot to discover the missing gold reputed to be left to Cuthbert by his enigmatic Aunt Edith.

Soon the local council honcho, Marvin, gets an anonymous tip, and he sends the Drains workers to conduct maintenance and digs in a bid to reach the gold first. These men work in a fug and a fog, their funny antics and eccentricities enough to have you spilling tea in laughter.

The secret room is no longer secret, the book of secrets is mysteriously blank, and the search for the missing gold sees a hippo down tunnels, lost lions replaced, and Percy scaring the daylights out of the team operating in the dark.

Hold onto your hat, the madness continues.

5 Star Review for Cuthbert's Flying Circus

Highly recommended.

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
More constant laughs from this mythical valley with some of the strangest characters you could ever hope to meet. Highly recommended. 

 Book 6 Cuthbert Home on the Range Purchase Here

 Cuthbert’s Valley is abuzz when the ladies decide to take part in a cooking competition! Suddenly everyone makes the best pastry and everyone is suspicious of the other as secret recipes try and remain hush-hush.
When Arkle leaves a cube of pastry with Cuthbert to hide her secret formula, Cuthbert and Percy think they must heat it for her and pop it into the oven, with hilarious results. The upshot is tunnels of dough, two rampaging goats, the drains inspector and his team attempt a strange rescue, and the two men decide they may have licked this baking gig. Why can the men not take part, after all? They have the pastry; all they need are some exotic fillings … like four and twenty blackbirds.
Add to that a note in a wall with hieroglyphs that brings the ‘men in black’ and a concoction of dough that causes wrinkles to vanish, a live transmission from Cuthbert’s kitchen, and a true recipe awaits, one of absolute disaster! 

Book 7 Cuthbert 'Sledgehammer To Crack a Nut' Purchase Here

When little toy soldiers suddenly become men in costume upon a battlefield, Cuthbert's Valley is in trouble. The Great Dragon Droppings require a place to play the war game Sledgehammer, a place to build forts and throw stuff at each other.

Percy betrays his friends to play at soldiers and along the way discovers gold miners and a gold mine, and strikes a deal with the crow for the battle to come. Elspeth reveals her talent for espionage and Marjery is a warrior queen!

The inhabitants of Cuthbert's Valley will lose everything, including their homes, if they don't take a stand and fight off the Dragon Droppings. Bows and spears bristle from the parapet and bushes attack the enemy! Pastries are dangerous weapons and Winston is a lad who dances to his own rhythm.

Absolute mayhem ensues when the valley transforms into a Sledgehammer world.

Book 8 Cuthbert 'Nursing A Grudge' Purchase Here

 Just when the Valley residents think life is getting boring, Nurse Brenda shows up on her squeaky bicycle with syringes planted in her hair.

Cuthbert bears Nurse Brenda a grudge for past misdeeds, but this is one fanatical district nurse. When she sees the joker Percy with blue eyes and lips after he chewed on a pen, she goes into action. There is a terrible disease in the Valley; it turns its victims blue! Quarantine!

The Valley is soon pitted against a brigade of district nurses and nearby a new hospital prepares a containment facility.

Things are about to go to haywire, quite literally when a fence springs up around the Valley overnight. Hold onto your hospital beds! 

Book 9 Cuthbert 'A Fair Cop in The Valley' Purchase Here

 A police station in the Valley? Did anyone really believe constable
Beeching's reports of a massive crimewave?

The locals look on in awe as inevitable chaos prepares to spring.

So, a marvelous collection of books guaranteed to make you smile. Do yourself a favour, folks, try one of them, but be warned they are addictive.
Pop in and leave a comment. And from me, a very Happy Valentine's wish for each of you. x


  1. I love this showcase Sooz. Just perfect for today. You couldn't get a more loving couple. So many books Patrick and now I know what you do in the shed.

  2. Big smiles here. Thanks for popping in, Tee. I'm playing catch up with the books myself, and still have three to go. They are a delight to read. And yes, I believe Patrick and Paula are what Valentine's Day is all about.

  3. Thanks for posting this, Soooz. And thanks, Patrick for all your jokes and wonderful books. Keep on writing them! And thanks, Paula, for your support of Patrick and other writers, including me. You are so funny too! A perfect couple!

    1. Thanks so much,Gerry. I do get so much pleasure when I showcase writers I love reading, Including yourself. Huggage x


Please leave a comment/review on any of the stories/poems contributed.