Book Reviews now accepted through The Book Escape E-zine. Please contact Jennifer at: with your blurb, release date, author name, and publisher. Thank you!

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Launch & A GIVEAWAY with Jenny Twist

All in the Mind Launches Next Monday!

Years ago I read about an experiment in an old people’s home where they recreated the environment of their youth, subjecting them to a regime of old films and newspapers, giving them the sort of food they ate then, etc. I can’t remember where I read this or what they were attempting to prove, but I do remember that one surprising result was that the subjects’ hair darkened.

I’ve had the idea lurking at the back of my mind ever since. What if you carried the experiment to its logical conclusion?

Last year I entered Nanowrimo for the first time (a competition to write a novel in a month) and this was the idea that resurfaced when I sat down at my computer. I have never written so fast and furiously in my life before. The story just poured onto the page.

I kept coming across gaps in my knowledge but followed Stephen King’s advice and just wrote it, intending to deal with all that later. When I picked it up again a few weeks later and got down to seriously working on it I found I had to do a lot of research on the Second World War. I knew a fair bit already from reading and television documentaries, as well as the experiences of my own parents, but I needed to know things like what branded goods they used, how the rationing system worked, etc.

I also realised, when one of my characters suddenly got completely out of hand and decided to return to India, that I was woefully ignorant of Indian culture. I knew some from reading, and I had studied a lot of Indian history at university, but I had no idea whether my knowledge would suffice for modern day India. The problem with something like that is you don’t know what it is you don’t know. I did not realise, for example, that a Hindu would be unlikely to understand Urdu. So I appealed on Twitter for experts on Hindu culture to read and correct it. I had four responses and checked all their comments with Google. Thank you, you wonderful people. You’ve saved me a lot of embarrassment. And thank God for Google. It’s saved me weeks of work.

My dear friend, Caroline, read the proofs when she was staying with me and suggested the idea for a cover. She painted the beautiful hands. They belong to her mother, Anne Ritson, to whom the book is dedicated. The photograph is of my own mother, May Thornton, who was a nurse at the end of the Second World War.

Then I got some of my long-suffering readers and fellow authors to read it in advance. Here are some of the things they said about it:

“Jenny Twist is an enormously talented story-weaver who just goes on getting better.  Fans of the wonderful novel, ‘Domingo’s Angel’ will not be disappointed with this latest offering from her.  It’s a sweet and haunting feel-good story which will immerse you totally in its fictional world and leave you feeling deeply satisfied.  Absolutely recommended.”

Lynette Sofras

“All in the Mind will take you on a mind trip, one from which you won't want to return. As always, Jenny Twist's fiction is an addictive treat that's tightly woven to draw the readers in and keep them there.”

Su Halfwerk
“This book moved me more than any other in recent memory, not because it was sad, although some scenes were very tragic, but because of the depth of emotion I felt for the characters, and the lasting love they share. I dare anyone to read this book and not be moved to tears of joy.”

Tara Fox Hall
All in the Mind by Jenny Twist is a most wonderful and heart-warming story.”

Chris Gardner
“And, yet it could happen, couldn't it? Jenny Twist has created a novel that will surprise and delight her readers.”

Catherine Kirby
Perhaps you would like to read it, too. If you would, leave a comment and one of you will win an e copy. I will also award an e copy of my short story, Away With the Fairies, to the winner and to 2 runners-up.


Tilly wakes up in the dark, alone and very frightened. She finds she is in a strange room inexplicably furnished in 1940s style. However did she get here? Has she somehow slipped into the past? Has she been kidnapped? Of one thing she is absolutely certain, she has never seen this place in her life before.

All in the Mind is a fascinating tale exploring the human capacity to overcome any obstacle, no matter how great, as long as you believe you can.

Tilly is part of an experiment working on a cure for Alzheimer's disease. She and most of the other patients taking part in the experiment seem to make a full recovery, but there is a strange side effect.

Tilly and her fellow experimental subjects appear to be getting younger.

Can the same experiment be repeated for Tilly's beloved husband so that he can recover from a stroke? Tilly thinks it can and she will move heaven and earth to make sure it happens.

A charming and thought-provoking story full of reminiscences of a bygone age, All in the Mind also deals with the dilemmas posed by new developments in a society whose culture is geared to the idea that the natural span of a human life is three-score years and ten.


Tilly was dreaming.

It was VE Day and they were dancing in the streets. All the lights were lit. She kept looking at them, not quite believing it.

She was dancing with Johnny, her head against his chest, exhilarated by his closeness and the knowledge that the war was over.

It was so real, the dream. She could feel the rough fabric of his greatcoat against her cheek, smell its particular aroma of damp wool and tobacco.

She felt the dream slipping away and tried to hold on to it, but it escaped her grasp and shifted seamlessly into memory.

They had danced late into the night. Long after the gates to the nurses' home were locked. Eventually, exhausted and intoxicated with the euphoria of the crowd, they had walked back to the nurses' home and he had given her a leg up to climb the wall.

And as she sat at the top of the wall, one leg on each side, getting ready to swing over to the other side, he had grasped her by the ankle and said, “Will you marry me, Tilly? As soon as I'm demobbed.”

She looked down at his face, illuminated by the one street lamp in the lane, one lock of hair hanging over his forehead, his expression earnest and pleading.

She said the first thing that came into her head. “You're supposed to get down on one knee.”

“OK,” he said, with a grin, and dropped down on one knee. Did he know? Did he know then what her answer would be?

“Tilly”... he began in a loud, theatrical voice.

“No, get up,” she whispered urgently. “Someone might hear.”

“Who cares? What are they going to do – sack you?”

She smiled back at him in the lamplight. “You fool!”

And she pulled her leg out of his grasp and dropped gracefully down to the grass on the other side.

“Well?” His head appeared over the top of the wall. “Will you?”

“Yes,” she whispered back to him. Then she picked up the skirts of her uniform and ran across the lawn towards the darkened building.

As she ran, she heard someone whistling the Wedding March, the sound fading as he reached the end of the lane and turned into the street.

Jenny Twist was born in York and brought up in the West Yorkshire mill town of Heckmondwike, the eldest grandchild of a huge extended family. 

She left school at fifteen and went to work in an asbestos factory. After working in various jobs, including bacon-packer and escapologist’s assistant, she returned to full-time education and did a BA in history at Manchester and post-graduate studies at Oxford.

She stayed in Oxford working as a recruitment consultant for many years and it was there that she met and married her husband, Vic.

In 2001 they retired and moved to Southern Spain where they live with their rather eccentric dog and cat

Her first book, Take One At Bedtime, was published in April 2011 and the second, Domingo’s Angel, was published in July 2011. Her novella, Doppelganger, was published in the anthology Curious Hearts in July 2011, Uncle Vernon, was published in Spellbound, in November 2011, Jamey and the Alien and Uncle Albert’s Christmas were published in Warm Christmas Wishes in December 2011, Mantequero was published in the anthology Winter Wonders in December 2011 and Away With the Fairies, her first self-published story, in September 2012.

Her new anthology, with Tara Fox Hall, Bedtime Shadows, a collection of spooky, speculative and romance stories, was published 24th September 2012.

Her new novel, All in the Mind, about an old woman who mysteriously begins to get younger, will be published 29th October 2012.

If you’d like a taste of Jenny’s stories without lashing out on a whole book, you can download Away With the Fairies for 99c from

You can follow Jenny on:
Or email her on

**   **   **   **   **   **   **   **   **   **   **   **   **   **   **   **   **
And, now it's GIVEAWAY TIME:
Jenny has generously offered a choice of her backlist to one lucky commenter. So, please leave a comment with your email address, and let Jenny know which book you'd like.
Easy peasy!
Jenny will announce her winner on Thursday October 25, 2012.
Best wishes,
~Author Jennifer Labelle~


  1. Hi Jenny, so glad to be here and visit with you. I just loved the article here and what a wonderful way to produce a cover for a book. I went down your book list and found three I would love to have so will let you pick one of the three if I was to win the contest. They are: Meant To Be; When Sparks Ignite and Flashed. Sue Leech, 1273 Strahan rd., New Columbia, PA 17856

    1. Hi Susan,

      I'd like to thank you for stopping by, and although I'm completely honored that you're interested in my (Jennifer Labelle's) work, this is a contest for Author Jenny Twist. Her backlist can be found by clicking on one of her author links in the post if you'd like to pick one of her fabulous books for a chance to win it.

      Best wishes,
      Jennifer Labelle

  2. Hi Jennifer & Jenny :)
    I love the blurb & excerpt for All In The Mind. The idea of treating Alzheimers with a side effect of growing younger is cool!

    If I win I'd like either Away with the Faeries or Bedtime Shadows.

    Mindy :)

  3. I would love to read your books. I love the cover of this book. They all sound very good.

  4. Thanks for the giveaway. Domingo's Angel would be great for me. I loved the post. There was so much there.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

    1. Hi Debby. So glad you like the look of Domingo's Angel. I'm so pleased that you've all taken the time to go to my website to check out the other books.
      Thanks so much

  5. Hi Mindy
    How nice to meet you, and what a lovely comment!

  6. Thanks, Tore. So pleased to meet you. Love your comment

  7. This sounds quite interesting. I have an aunt who has Alzheimer's and would be intrigued to read how authors write about it in fiction.

    1. Hi Julie
      I have no idea whether it would work in real life, but I DO think you can decide to be young or old and that maybe being persuaded to feel young would make you feel younger. My own dear Aunty Barabara had Alzheimer's, so I have an idea of what it must feel like.

  8. Winners:
    Ist Prize: Debby - e copies of All in the Mind, Away With the Fairies and Domingo's Angel
    Runners up: Mindy & Tore each get a copy of Away With the Fairies.


Labelle Books has put comments on moderation due to some recent SPAM.

Please be patient and keep the comments coming. Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to check in frequently. We've got giveaways on a weekly basis and tons of great talent to share.