Ellie and the Harp Maker

Perhaps I should have pointed out as well that this is not the middle of nowhere. Not at all. Exmoor is the most somewhere place that I know and my workshop is an extremely somewhere part of it.

Exmoor really is important in this story, almost like one of the characters, says Hazel Prior, the author of this charming book which was published last year. Hazel lives on Exmoor with her husband and a huge ginger cat. As well as writing, she works as a freelance harpist. Ellie and the Harp Maker is her first novel.


Here is the blurb for the book: 
MEET ELLIE. She’s perfectly happy with her home and her husband and her quiet life. Happy enough, anyway. Which is why she’s so surprised to find herself drawn to an extraordinary stranger who gives her a gift – and a fresh perspective.

MEET DAN. He thinks that all he needs is the time and space to carry on making harps in his isolated barn on the moor. But the last thing he expects is for Ellie to whirl into his life, bringing a string of surprises to his ordered existence.

Sometimes it takes a chance encounter to discover what your life can be . . .

This heart-warming, funny and quirky love story features . . .

86 plums

69 sandwiches

27 birch trees

a 17-step staircase


a pair of cherry-coloured socks

and a pheasant named Phineas.

The story of Ellie-the-Exmoor Housewife and Dan -the-Exmoor Harpmaker builds slowly and beautifully from a chance meeting when Ellie discovers a track and wanders down it. At the end is a barn, filled with beautiful harps and a rather beautiful man, Dan. A gentle man and a gentleman, hesitant, shy, creative. He gives Ellie a harp, which her husband makes her return, and from there the story develops into a blossoming romance. But she is married isn’t she, so how does she cope with her growing feelings? Will it be a happy ending? The journey to that ending is a joy to read.

We are soon giving away a signed copy of Ellie and the Harp Maker so watch this space and follow Hazel on Twitter @HazelPriorBooks

 “Prior’s lyricism feels like a warm song.”

~ The Washington Post

“How I loved this book! An uncommonly lovely story told with elegance, insight, and so much heart. Hazel Prior’s brilliant debut will delight.”

~Kristan Higgins, New York Times bestselling author.

“Wow, what a love story. Ellie and The Harp Maker is uplifting and full of heart, and I couldn’t put it down!”

~Jo Thomas, author.

“Hazel Prior’s writing is a lyrical delight.” 

~Phaedra Patrick, international bestselling author.


PS Since Ellie and the Harp Maker, Hazel has published another book: Away with the Penguins, which is a “heartwarming and uplifting” Richard & Judy Book Club 2020″.

An Audience with G. D. Abson, author or “Motherland”

G. D. Abson, author of “Motherland” will be at the Exmoor Store on 16 February 2019 from 2pm till 3pm.

Headshot of writer Garry Abson by Photographer Jonathan Bowcott

G.D. (alias Garry David) was born in County Durham and brought up on army bases in Germany and Singapore before returning to the UK. He developed a lifelong obsession with Russia after studying the revolution at school and Russian politics at university. He is the author of MOTHERLAND, the first in a series featuring Senior Investigator Natalya Ivanova battling crime, chauvinism and corruption in Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

 Motherland was shortlisted for a Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger, and this Summer the novel was a “Star Pick” in The Times/Sunday Times Crime Club.

This is what people had to say about the gripping crime thriller set in the dark heart of Putin’s Russia:

‘The dark heart of Putin’s Russia beneath the glitz of St Petersburg provides the heady setting for this excellent and gripping debut. Abson, who was shortlisted for a Crime Writers Debut Dagger for Motherland, is surely a name to watch. A Child 44 for Putin-land, this classy page-turner oozes with atmosphere.’ –David Young, bestselling author of STASI CHILD and STASI WOLF

‘Senior Detective Natalya Ivanova does for St Petersburg what Martin Cruz Smith s Arkady Renko did for Gorky Park… taut, fast-moving and compellingly believable.’ –Tom Callaghan, author of A KILLING WINTER

‘Gripping, authentic and fast-paced this is a fine thriller that will delight fans of Martin Cruz Smith.’ –William Ryan, author of THE HOLY THIEF and THE BLOODY MEADOW

ORDER YOUR TICKET HERE

Wild Herd Whispering: New book out about Exmoor Ponies

The latest book in Dawn Westcott’s series about Exmoor Ponies is now available, just in time for Christmas!

Wild Herd Whispering is about the incredible Exmoor ponies as they reveal their true natures through the world of herd energy and dynamics.

“Starting with the dramatic winter arrival from the moor of a tiny five week old wild-born foal who faces the bleakest future, it is the big herd at Holt Ball Farm that decides how she will survive and thrive. The book follows the adventures of the ponies, revealing characters and behaviours that take you on a heart-rending, thought-provoking and enriching journey of equine enlightenment. This is an opportunity to catch up with adorable orphan Monsieur Chapeau and his friends and majestic stallion Bear, as their lives evolve and entwine with the wild herds of Exmoor. It follows the endearing, exciting and at times perilous experiences of the ponies – including unwelcome night time adventures, the quest to find foals lost in the wilderness and an entire moorland herd in jeopardy. With an expanding herd and challenges to face, author Dawn Westcott looks to the ponies themselves for help and inspiration: they in turn respond in a way that offers magical insights into what is going on in their hearts and minds.
This book is an invaluable reference for people interested in better understanding and winning the trust and friendship of ponies. It also highlights the challenges of safeguarding the endangered Exmoor ponies of Exmoor National Park.”

You can order your copy here: Wild Herd Whispering: How the enigmatic Exmoor ponies reveal what is in their hearts and minds

The first two volumes in the series are: