Monday, 29 June 2009

Forward to 'Valley of Shadows'

Written by Helen Armitage

I was thrilled to be asked to write the forward to 'Valley of Shadows.'
I enjoy a good fantasy and this really is an exciting read and not just for young teens, but also those of us for whom teenage years have long since past.
The writing is so descriptive, that as I followed Celia the main protagonist on her terrifying journey, I felt as though my emotions were on a roller coaster ride, as she struggled with the emotional and physical challenges that faced her.

This is an allegorical and mystical story with a strong moral overtone.
It is very evocative in its description of people and places.
They are so vivid they create virtual paintings in my minds eye.
When Celia arrives at Greyache House, the sinister sense of dark despair is overwhelmingly oppressive.

The way the author has tied in the start and end of the book is excellent. And as we expect in all good fantasy stories, in the end good triumphs over evil, despite the endeavours of a number of devilish foes in various guises and disguises.

Helen Armitage
Television Producer

Helen began her journalistic career at ITN. She worked for forty years in broadcasting and television, specializing in european politics.
With her work she has traveled widely around europe and beyond.

'Valley of Shadows'

Saturday, 27 June 2009

'Valley of Shadows' book cover.

It seems to have taken forever, but at last My book 'Valley of Shadows is published and available to purchase.
The cover is great, I just hope the actual story is enjoyed by those who read it.
When my sample copy fell onto the doormatt, and I ripped off the packaging and held my new baby in my hands, it was such a thrill. And yet at the same time I felt so sad, and could not stop myself from crying, I sobbed and I'm really not sure why.
The book was written to honour my dead sister Celia, killed by her husband in 2005, so was it some residue of grief? I don't know. And yet suddenly I feel strangely vulnerable and I can't seem to shake off this strange sadness. It's a struggle to explain how I feel, but I don't like it.
I can only pray that the book does well.

Saturday, 6 June 2009


Psalm 139 v 9:10 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, or settle on the far side of the sea. Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

This verse is a favourite of mine. I find it so reassuring. Where ever I go, what ever I do, God is aways with me. There is nowhere I can go that I am not in His presence. What a comfort.

I feel this scripture and my painting, go so well together. I hope if anyone looks at this, they will agree with me.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

'Valley of Shadows' book cover.

When I look at this painting, it's hard to believe how the designer of my book cover has changed it. The two pieces of art work are the same and yet so different. The book cover is hardly recognizable as this painting. But I love what he's done, the cover is so moody and atmospheric, it represents the book perfectly.
I painted this oil a number of years ago, and am quite sure it's owners will not recognize it in the book cover. I hope they won't be disappointed as it was so kind of them to let me borrow it.
I haven't seen the cover properly myself yet, I just hope I like the finished product, I'm sure I will, it's just there have been a few changes since I last saw it. However my publisher sounds happy with it, so I guess all is well.
It won't be long now and the book will be published, I can hardly wait. This proofing and editing business is so long and laborious. I just pray that soon it will be as perfect as we can get it, and that shortly I can hold the finished product in my hands, WOW!! A bit like having a baby, well, maybe not!
To see my first book 'Through a Glass Darkly' go to,

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

My Talented Publisher

On the 23rd of May my husband and I drove down to Cambridge. My publisher Richard was playing the part of Sgt Wilson in Dads Army.
When we arrived at his lovely cottage we all had some lunch together and then drove to the theatre.
All the cast were very good, but I have to say that Richard's portrayal of Sgt Wilson was excellent, and no I am not biased.
We had a great day the weather was lovely, and we even managed a quick walk by the river.
It was a most enjoyable day and one to remember.