The Applejacks Reunion Concert DVD

December 31st, 2010 by Alex 16 comments »

the_applejacks_reunion_concert_DVD_coverBuy the official Live DVD of 60′s band The Applejacks – Reunion Concert filmed in Dec 2010.

buy-now

If, like me, you remember the swinging 60s, you will recall long hot summers; that first kiss; falling in love for the first time, maybe. And you will remember Rock & Roll, the phenomenon that changed the attitude of young people throughout the world.

You might remember a 60′s pop group named The Applejacks, whose top ten single ‘Tell Me When’ rocketed into the charts and who practised in St Mary’s Church, which figures a lot in Splinters the novel. In December 2010 The Applejacks reformed for a one-off reunion concert – as a big fan, I took the initiative to hire a film maker to video the reunion concert; and you can now buy a very special DVD of The Applejacks reunion concert, here on my website.

*Video:the applejacks reunion concert - itv news report dec 2010

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A W.I. Evening With Tony Sheppard

January 18th, 2011 by Alex No comments »

Hi, folks.

I will be back on the road in 2011:

‘An Evening With Tony Sheppard’ is scheduled for March 16th 2011 for the Perry Beeches section of the Women’s Institute, so if you fancy tea and a natter the venue is the Family Room, rear of St Mathew’s Church, Aldridge Road Great Barr B44 8RB, time 7.30 for 8pm.

My friend and colleague, Fiona Joseph is sharing the evening with me. Flo, a graduate of the National Academy of Writing diploma course at Birmingham City University, won the ‘2009 Prize for Fiction’ and her fascinating biography of Beatrice Cadbury, (1884-1976), who gave up her fortune to help those less fortunate when in her thirties, will be released in the autumn.

Update – Spring 2010

March 31st, 2010 by Alex No comments »

‘Hi, folks. Easter is here already, and the year seems to be racing away. It was a long hard winter, but the birds are chirping away in Birmingham England with a rare joy, and splashes of colour, the yellow of daffodils and the white and pink of blossom all serve to refresh one’s spirit. The best part for me, however, is that the chilblains which hamper me every winter, a legacy from my dear departed mother, have disappeared as quickly as they came last October.

Also, it is expected that the President of the Methodist Conference will tell the Church of England General Synod that the Methodist Church is ‘prepared to go out of existence’. This comes as no surprise as congregations have been diminishing in churches all over the country at a steady rate for many years. Another symptom of an increasingly apathetic and self-indulgent society, I feel. But all is far from lost, and the presumed re-integration of Methodists into the Church of England will only strengthen the position of Christians. I do not yet know what will happen to J.M.A., the Methodist children’s charity to whom a donation is made from sales of Splinters, but I will keep you updated.

Supporting my local childrens charity

September 3rd, 2009 by Alex No comments »

At least £1 from the sale of each Splinters paperback or eBook is donated to J.M.A. - The Junior Mission for All which collects for two UK Methodist Church charities -  the Fund  for Home Mission and The World Mission Fund.

JMA is unusual in as much as it is the children of the congregation that do the collecting, with the proceeds going to help those less fortunate than themselves. Here’s how I found out about JMA…

While enjoying an after-service cup of tea at my local church I noticed posters advertising the work of J.M.A. “What a great initiative” I thought. “The collection process teaches the children to help other people, and maybe sometime in the future a person in a far away country who received the benefit, might remember the kindness. I’ll support that by giving a donation from my book sales…”

It was Wednesday July 6th 2005:  Being early for my appointment with Isabella Self, Chairwoman of Birmingham Writers, at the Central Library in Chamberlain Square, I sat on the top step of the man-made amphi-theatre behind the Council House watching people of many nationalities criss-cross the piazza below me.

High on the rear of the Council House, a huge television screen was showing the news.

“And now we go to London for the result of its bid to hold the 2012 Olympics,” the presenter said.

I thought the news that the 30th Olympiad would be held in England was wonderful, and deserved. Here I was in the heart of England, the mother country who opens her arms to any person who would come to work and build a better life.

Next morning, many innocent people were murdered when extremists detonated bombs in buses in London.

Like most people, I wandered about in a daze for the rest of the week. Then, on Sunday morning I felt the need to go to church. I chose Acocks Green Methodist Church, which is near my home.

People of all ages and colours came to church that morning: Families sat together; couples came, some elderly and supporting each other; lone figures entered, and by the time the service began the church was virtually full. The minister did not mention the atrocity, except indirectly when asking the congregation to pray for the families of the deceased. Then, it was time for Holy Communion.

The alter-rail soon filled with kneeling people. A queue formed in the aisles, and I knew when looking at their grim faces that the bombers would never win. The air seemed to fill with energy, and I was overwhelmed by a feeling of shared purpose as one by one the congregation stepped forward to receive the bread and the wine. It was as if by taking the place of the person before them they were demonstrating their commitment to defend their way of life.

“They’ll bury their dead,” I thought. “Not with bitterness, but with sadness. They won’t seek revenge, not because they’ll forgive, but because it is not in their nature to give in to intimidation. They’ll carry on, no matter what the cost, until they win.”

I then discovered the posters advertising the work of the J.M.A. Charity.

Tony Sheppard, August 2009

Thank you for supporting this worthy cause.

You can find out more about the Fund for Home Mission here; and The World Mission Fund here. They are registered under Statutory Instrument SI2002/1598 and the UK’s Methodist Church has charity status.

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Splinters 2nd Edition

July 13th, 2009 by Alex No comments »

Following immensely positive feedback and encouragement, writer Tony Sheppard produced an enhanced 2nd edition of ‘Splinters‘ in the Summer of 2009. Splinters was first published by Troubador in 2006.

Splinters is a thought-provoking, adult thriller/fantasy, about how the souls and memories of the dead are returned to earth via a bolt of lighting that strikes the great oak tree. The splinters one by one transfer these memories into the souls of the living … changing their lives forever.

It leads us to question hedonistic “live now, pay later” lifestyles. It’s a compelling book about people… with true-to-life characters… stories within a story… a saga of true love, greed, murder and political intrigue unfolds… can be read on many levels.

Put everything on hold… this is a real page turner.