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Ashington Author Lorna Windham Publishes Magical Book of Children’s Short Stories

A new children’s book set in Northumberland with illustrated stories of fairies, monsters and magical beasts is available to buy now.

Once Upon A Time in Northumberland is a collection of humorous short stories inspired by traditional, Northumberland folk tales such as Queen Mab’s Rothley Mill and Dancing Round the Hurl Stone as well as classic fairy tales such as The Little Match Girl, The Tin Soldier and The Princess and the Pea.  Award winning writer Lorna Windham said, “I wanted to create contemporary stories which would stand the test of time and featured Northumberlandia, the River Blyth and the Simonside Hills, landmarks that many children in the North East will recognise. I loved creating the quirky characters and giving each a predicament to solve, particularly when this touched on modern concerns about the environment and wildlife.”

In Once Upon A Time in Northumberland, Queen Mab, struggles to maintain harmony between the magical creatures who live in Enchanted Wood. Lorna said: “This is a kingdom where fairies fly, monsters stalk and wordragons roar. We discover unsettled honeybees, how, Groach, the queen’s half-sister, thinks her beauty is more important than kindness and how two red squirrels, Fluffcoat, and Brighteyes, are concerned about the dangers some humans cause.”

The book starts with the Lady of the North’s Tale where we learn about her childhood, the princes who wished to marry her and why her outline, the world’s biggest Earth art, can be seen at Northumberlandia’s country park. Other magical stories tell of Queen Mab’s thousandth birthday party and the arrival of an unexpected guest, one of King Roarie the Reiver’s crimes and his comeuppance, Cutty Soames, who regrets hiring troublesome troll, Honeydew Krump; Strawberry Parkin, a hapless apprentice tooth fairy in need of the queen’s help, Danny the Deurgar, and his answer to bullies and, Reggie Rabbit, who discovers playing games on his iPad will not teach him everything he needs to know.

As well as Once Upon A Time in Northumberland, Lorna has written three local history books, and three historical romances: The Jacobites’s Daughter, The Rebel and the Redcoat and The Jacobite Affair. Her poetry has been published in several anthologies. She is also a playwright and has co-written two audio plays with, Lily Moon, Rule 55 and 100 Not Out broadcast on Hive Radio. Lorna’s, commemorative play, The Tenth Bord was performed at St. Hilda’s Pithead, South Shields.  In 2008, she won the North Tyneside Short Story Competition with Spirit of the Age and her novel, Toby’s Secret was longlisted in the Times/ Chicken House Children’s Competition.

Lorna’s friend and multi-talented amateur artist, Delphine Blenkinsop, who lives in Northumberland, volunteered to create over 16 brilliant illustrations based on the book’s characters. Lorna and Delphine are members of The Hive Radio Storytellers who recorded  several of the characters’ voices. These could be accessed by using QR codes on Enchanted Cramlington’s successful Woodland Audio Trail at Northumberlandia during Jubilee Week. The trail was described by one member of the public as: “an amazing, magical adventure!” New trails will open in early summer and late autumn.

Once upon A Time in Northumberland is on sale for £7.99 at www.summerhillbooks.co.uk and local shops.