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We’ll donate £1 from every copy of The Labyrinth Year bought directly from us to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), an international medical charity delivering emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters or exclusion from healthcare.

The Labyrinth Year

The Mullins Family Saga, Book 2

‘You gave him those girls.
What’s he giving you?’

Jenny’s heart is in genetic research. Max is everyone’s idea of the caring family doctor. There are new horizons offering wonderful opportunities, and there are birth family loyalties… And then there are the kids… Can these two young professionals rely on their values to guide them? Is life a deluding maze, or a purposeful labyrinth?
In this sequel to Baby, Baby, Max and Jenny struggle with the pressures of work and family life.

‘A sparkling and keenly observed story from a writer who dares to look closely at the society around her. Once again Mari is prepared to tackle complex subjects with clarity, sensitivity and courage’

Bridget Plass, author of The Apple of his Eye

Readan extract

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Baby Baby

The Mullins Family Saga, Book 1

‘Don’t let them seduce you—you were raised on enlightenment thought’

On her interview day at Cambridge, autumn 1984, Jenny Guthrie meets a delightful third year medical student, Max Mullins. They fall almost instantly into a relationship.

But Jenny and Max soon discover they’re dogged by a clash of cultures, veiled by their shared training in science: his is structured, family-based; hers is liberal, open-ended, blended. Re-united four years later, in strange circumstances, researching Jenny’s  hippy step-sister’s abnormal stillborn baby bonds them together after a painful split-up; but can they overcome the ingrained prejudices of their birth communities to make a future together?

Ebook£2.59 Readan extract

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Lighter Reads

View our latest booklets and short publications:

Live Lose Learn

A collection of poems looking back over the years with some thoughts on family, friendships, and maturity from a female perspective

Most of the poems are from 1998-2016, and the collection was first compiled for use at the Hawkesbury Literary Festival in April 2016. The poems reflect on relationships within the family, with a friend loved and lost, with humour as well as sensitivity. And on some of the classic Christmas and Easter related stories from a more realistic angle of the women involved. These include ‘The Magus’ Wife’s Tale’ in homage to, or criticism of, T.S. Eliot’s well known ‘Journey of the Magi’.

Price £7.50 (+ £1.50 p&p)

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The Wisdom of Yakob the Elder, by ‘Philologus’, illustrated by Ceri Leeder

Stories for 21st century people from the words of a 1st century master

Can a teacher from the first century AD have anything to say to us in the twenty-first? The author of The Wisdom of Yakob the Elder believes he can, and has written this collection of five short stories to bring his words to life. They are based on a document called The Letter of James, which dates back to the beginnings of Christianity at a time when it was a Messianic sect of Judaism and its author, St James (or, as his name was originally, Yakob), was the leader of the foundation community in Jerusalem. 

The Letter shows many signs of having been written very early — its simplicity suggests that it is earlier than the letters of St Paul with their complex theology, and its imagery has much in common with that of Jesus’s parables in the Gospels. Such a family likeness is to be expected if St James/Yakob, was, as tradition states, Jesus’s brother.

The Letter is full of practical wisdom, delivered with the clarity and forthrightness of a prophet. It is especially striking that James seems to embed rudimentary dialogues and stories within his teaching, almost a mirror image of Christ’s method of expressing his teaching in the form of stories.

The Wisdom of Yakob the Elder draws out some of these tiny narratives, weaving them into a five-episode tale featuring a fictional character named Sophron. He is imagined to be an associate of Yakob and fellow leader of the community, zealous and well-meaning, but having some way to go in the elements of Christian discipleship. In the course of each story he learns about inclusiveness (Rich Man, Poor Man), what religion really means (Faith and Works), ambition and success (Moth and Rust), goals and prejudices (Desire and Slander), and moral failure and tribulation (Trial and Redemption).

The stories are fictionally expanded, but the advice and guidance that Yakob gives Sophron is taken word for word from the text of the Letter, delivered with humour and ultimate kindness under a superficial gruffness. The book is illustrated by a set of original and striking drawings by Ceri Leeder, a fine artist based in North Wales.

The book is intended as a gateway into the teaching of St James for both those who profess the Christian faith and others who are interested in seeing what it has to say on some fundamental issues of modern life. Questions for thought and discussion are added at the end.

A Note from Mari Howard: A thoughful re-working of a text giving context, imagination, and gentle humour to bring alive some snippets of ‘ancient wisdom’. It’s been a pleasure to work with Philologus and with our lovely talented artist and designer, who together brought style to even this smallest book.

The book costs £5 and can be obtained from Hodge Publishing.
E-mail your request to:, quoting ‘Wisdom of Yakob the Elder, Book Request’

Life in Art and Practice

Stories from my Younger Self

Mysterious stories for fireside reading, written towards the end of the 20th century, and featuring ambition, deception, despair, longing, and dreaming…the magical in the ordinary, confronting reality and human relationships sideways, with question What if?

Publishing 14 February 2022, Paperback, price £6.99 

Now available for pre-orders from this Website… (e-mail: 

Praise for Life in Art and Practice: Stories from my Younger Self by Mari Howard

“Written with the visual acuity of a painter and the insight of a sociologist, Mari Howard’s tales of the human condition are also filled with compassion” (Debbie Young, founder of the independent Hawkesbury Upton Literary Festival, ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLI) , author and blogger)

“In ‘Appletime’, Mari Howard confronts the reader with a contemporary problem in modern medicine. And within this framework she gently weaves enchantment, back and forth: fragments of Creation and Foundation myths, redemption and magic. We are lulled into dreaminess and hit by the realities of modern life all at the same time.” (Ceri Leeder, artist, illustrator, & ex-art teacher, from Wales)

“Mari Howard has a gift. A fabulous read that will haunt you long after you have put the book down.” (Rachel Lawston, book designer & children’s author)

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