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Serene Maiden

Author: James G. Skinner
Binding: Paperback
ISBN: 978-8182531871
Pub. Date: 2013
Price: $21

First Edition: 2010, Second Edition 2013

Stan Bullock, shipping agent and part time Honorary British Consul in Galicia northwest Spain, returns from an annual Madrid consular conference to be confronted with the suicide of Donald Simmons, an English yachtsman whose body was found hanging from a ceiling lamp in a local hotel. After dealing with the police and examining magistrate who clear the case and confirm the cause of death, he arranges to meet the deceased next of kin and prepare the paperwork for the repatriation of the body. Three weeks later, Lieutenant Sergio Quiroga from the legal department of the Civil Guards in Corunna unexpectedly visits Stan at his office. He is convinced that Dons death was not as reported and may be linked to the Al Qaeda terrorist movement disguised as part of the Spanish drug trade in Galicia. The previous unresolved assassination of three separatist movement suspects in a small village in the area three years earlier could somehow be linked. He cannot prove the connection nor can he research for more evidence within his own channels so he asks Stan, with his contacts in the United Kingdom for help. Stan agrees and begins to use the diplomatic grapevine thus breaking major consular rules in doing so. Although the investigation leads to one of the main cocaine cartels in the United Kingdom, it is the terrorists that eventually threaten the characters careers and lives as the storyline reaches the climax just before the London bombings of 2005.Writen in a unique script style, it is rich with consular and other anecdotes as it delves into the sinister world of terrorism and its link with the European drug trade. 

The Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards is designed to promote excellence in independent publishing. Every book entered in our Awards is read by over fifteen readers and, consequently, the judging is very indepth. They look at:

EDITING Is there a flow to the text or is it a scratched record? Is it full of tiny/gigantic errors?

THEME Is the book current/interesting/original/exciting?

STYLE Is it a page-turner? The beginning grips you and the ending knocks you for six.


COVER AND ILLUSTRATIONS Eye-catching? Age appropriate? Do they add to the book?


Blow is a list of the runners-up and winners in the 2011 Wishing Shelf Awards:

CATEGORY 1 Pre-School Picture

WINNER A Monkey, A Mouse and a CPAP Machine, Marion Maz Mason, Steve B Mason, Kristina-Rose

SECOND Chloe’s Big Day Out, Rebecca Berg

THIRD Whizz! Bang! Whallop! Judith Morrison


CATEGORY 2 6 – 8 Year Olds

WINNER The Strange Affair of the Ethiopian Treasure Chest, Brian John, Boz Groden

SECOND A First Guide to Space Creatures, Faiz Kermani

THIRD The Ghostly Boy, Simon Pullman


CATEGORY 3 9 – 12 Year Olds

WINNER The Grimstone Galleries, Louise A Bruzon

SECOND Lost, Helen Smith

THIRD The Day I Stood Up to the School Bully, John K Wright


CATEGORY 4 Teenagers

WINNER Lodestone Book One: The Sea of Storms, Mark Whiteway

SECOND Red Bleeds the Jacaranda, R B Cheviot

THIRD Few Are Chosen, M T McGuire


CATEGORY 5 Adults (Fiction)

WINNER Unravelling, Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn

SECOND Armed and Ridiculou, A selection of short stories, Dedwydd Jones

THIRD (JOINT) Yes and PIgs Might Fly, Linda Louisa Dell

THIRD (JOINT)  Serene Maiden, James Skinner


CATEGORY 6 Adult (Non-Fiction)

WINNER I Fought Them All, The life and ring battles of Prize-fighting legend Tom Sharkey, Greg Lewis, Moira Sharkey

SECOND Revolve, Sineás Kent

THIRD Edgar A. Poe in Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance, Dedwydd Jones


All of the runners-up and winners in the 2011 Wishing Shelf Awards were deemed by our panel to be excellent and, subsequently, we thoroughly recommend them.

Billy Bob Buttons

The Wishing Shelf Awards





Author BIO
James G. Skinner

James G. Skinner is a retired world wide telecommunications executive and ex-Honorary British Consul in Spain. For the past twenty years he has lived in Vigo and has observed through the press the constant flow of drugs from Latin America into Europe via the coast of Galicia. Living in Spain has also given him an insight into the fight on terrorism, especially the Basque Separatist movement ETA.

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