• broken image

    Hot News

    5 star Pegasus to Paradise to be

    re-issued by Eden Park Publishing. Launch date 10 July 2020


    Eden Park design team - CEO Steve Hayward, author/designer Michael Tappenden, international illustrator Neil Breeden and animator Emma Windsor have reconsidered the design impact, slimmed down the content without reducing the book's grip and now offer this important and powerful work in e-book form.


    June 6th 1944. Ted Tappenden and an elite glider-borne force successfully attack and capture the vital Horsa and Pegasus Bridges in the first Allied assault of D-Day.

    Ted returns from the war apparently unscathed and a hero, but as he tries to ease himself back into mundane suburban life with the sweetheart of his pre-war youth, he is haunted by the terrors of battle. Domestic life is too is not without its threats.

    Florrie is relieved to have her Ted back, but like many of her neighbours, she sees a distance in her husband where once there was joy and passion. Neither husband nor wife can explain their suffering to anyone, least of all each other, and they soon find themselves inhabiting different worlds under the same roof.

    Based on the true life of Ted 'Ham and Jam' Tappenden, Pegasus to Paradise is an ode to both the extraordinary efforts of ordinary men and women during the Second World War and a moving portrait of trauma, survival and the power of love in post-war Britain.

    broken image
    broken image
  • Reviews

    broken image

    Title Text

    'Not for the fainthearted and those under the age of fifty'

    'Sure, the spark's still there but do we really want a relationship, now that we are in our seventies, have our own independence and after all that life has already thrown at us. And by whose rules? Certainly not those thrust upon us in our past. And what about the spectre of sex? Of old bodies and failing performance? And if we manage all of that, then there's the dark secrets that we have carefully hidden for all these years.'




    Kirkus Review. Posted online December 11 2020

    Reviews Issue January 15 2021

    Review Program Kirkus Indie


    'An ageing artist reconnects with an elderly muse in this December-December romance.'


    'Single and pushing 70, retired British art professor Alex James barely recognises the gray, wrinkled form that greets him whenever he looks in the mirror. One day, he glimpses an attractive, red-haired woman in a shop and recognises her as Samantha Reagan, a woman he knew and longed for 40 years ago, when she had a rich husband whom dabbled in the art scene. Now she's divorced and it turns out that she fancied him back then when he was an enfant terrible with flowing dark locks; she now considers he older version of Alex a silver fox. Alex woos Samantha with trips to the Georgia O'Keefe exhibit at London's Tate museum and with increasingly intimate sketching sessions that escalate to topless posing after her bath; thence to bed, which goes well despite performance glitches. Their appetites whetted, Samantha and Alex attend a ''tantra festival'' to hear lectures on the spiritual benefits of hourslong sex sessions. Alex duly experiments with new methods that culminate in Richter-scale climaxes: ''her body, unable to breath, incapable of coherent speech, lifted in rigid torment, waited, waited and then cried out savagely and strangely, body moving frantically against the thick air, breath gasping, legs shaking, like a drowning soul in a hot, heaving sea.'' Their carnal bliss is complicate by Alex's fear of commitment, which stems from his never having met two children whom he fathered out of wedlock and whose mother gave up for adoption. It's further complicated when a woman contacts him, claiming to be his long-lost daughter - a revelation that raises Samantha's suspicions and leads to buried secrets.


    Over the course of this novel, Tappenden, the author of Pegasus to Paradise (2013) crafts a cleareyed exploration of the less often explored topic of physical love among the aged that's bawdy and sometimes graphic but also psychologically nuanced. It probes Alex's and Samantha's sexual yearnings and their self-consciousness about their bodies. It also highlights the prickly wariness they have about opening their lives to each other and the conflict that causes when they also feel like lovestruck teenagers. Alex expresses hope and delight - he imagines himself as a latter-day Rhett Butler or a ''geriatric James Bond'' - but he also feels stripped of the self-possession that he thought his years had earned him. ''He felt like a naive little boy again. Shy, hapless, tongue-tied, hiding his ineptitude behind silly behaviour....You would have thought by now, he would feel comfortable enough to have a reasonable conversation with an attractive woman.''


    Tappenden writes in a luminous open prose style that's suffused with sensuality: ''She had certainly watched him stroking many items as if their feel revealed their beauty or history... and she knew she wanted him to stroke her in the same way, a way beyond mere touching.'' The result is an absorbing love story that feels like On Golden Pond as rewritten by D.H. Lawrence.


    A frankly erotic and delicately soulful saga about passion rekindled.




    broken image

    Title Text

    LoveReading review

    'I have been waiting to read this book for a long time, so long that I almost wrote it myself. Thank you Michael Tappenden for saving me the trouble and thank you 'A Long Dark Rainbow' for being a better read than I could ever have made of it. This is the story of Samantha and Alex, two septuagenarians, who meet each other again by chance after forty odd years and realise that things could have been a lot different in their lives. Both very damaged by their previous relationships, they contemplate trying again although with with serious concerns about the practicalities and fears surrounding self-image, physical capabilities and emotional adaptability. It follows their journey as they they define, explore and finally, with mutual support, openness and honesty, expand their boundaries, building a healing and fulfilling relationship. The writing is explicit without being gratuitous or offensive and displays a genuine understanding of how important and difficult human interactions are at any age but that, with advancing years, there are added dimensions that younger people might not appreciate.

    The author chose a quote from the Talmud to preface his work, which sets the tone completely and is very moving.. 'For the unlearned, old age is winter. For the learned, it is the season of harvest.'

    Readers of a mature age will find much here that will resonate and maybe inspire, whilst younger generations will hopefully see their elders in a different light.

    An enthralling read, thoroughly recommended.'

    Charlotte Walker reviewer LoveReading





    broken image

    Title Text

    A small tagline
    A sentence or two describing this item. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet.
    broken image

    Title Text

    A small tagline
    A sentence or two describing this item. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet.
  • About me

    I was born in the middle of an air-raid with my first yells competing with the sound of air-raid sirens and anti-aircraft fire. The fact that this occurred in Kent, in the strategically unimportant Garden of England, whose very name implied a certain bucolic gentleness, seemed lost on the Luftwaffe, who regularly deposited bombs, doodlebugs and burning aircraft onto it, when they were not enjoying themselves, machine-gunning cows, sheep, empty fields and the odd hop-picker. Somehow my father survived the war, despite both Allies and Axis laying considerable odds against that happening and so I had the good fortune of having been brought up by both of my parents but also with a brother, which of course, unfortunately, meant sharing.

    I spent a great deal of my childhood reading, which of course made Christmas and birthdays easy for my family. They simply had to get together and remember which book they hadn’t already bought me. I also spent my time listening to a radio (there was no television to begin with until Mrs A just up the road got one on Hire Purchase and the entire street queued patiently to have a look). The advantage of radio was that it both stimulated the imagination and allowed you to tune into a whole host of exotic places around the world, so developing a sense of adventure and curiosity (and geography).

    At the tender age of eleven plus, I passed what turned out to be a life changing exam and found myself complete with school cap, uniform, hymn book and a shiny new satchel in a 1950s grammar school where I was assaulted daily with lashings of schoolwork, discipline and rugger. The teachers wore gowns, carried canes (which they used whenever the mood took them) and the boys doffed their caps in the presence of their elders and betters. It was stultifyingly narrow, socially exclusive, but gave the few boys lucky enough to be there, an entrée into the academic world of the university and the professions. I had however discovered English Literature and the beauty of the English language. So, thank you for that school.


    BA(Hons) Graphic Design and Liberal Studies (first class honours)

    CNAA Post-graduate Certificate in Education


    So, accordingly, I left, post sixth form, academically successful, and began work with a gang of Irish labourers on a building site… and so my education really began. I was curious to join in with the real world (as the blisters on my hands soon indicated) and rapidly discovered that there, my ability to decline Latin verbs was of little value. But social skills, hard work and determination were. This was a world where you were regarded for who you were and not what you knew.

    It may have been that radio and all those exotic place names or the fact that my father had been something of a hero (amongst heroes) in WW2 (he had been one of the first Allied soldiers to crash-land behind enemy lines in a flimsy glider on the eve of D-Day, 1944) that convinced me to make my next move. By now, I had promoted myself from labourer to the role of gardener and junior grave-digger (as well as seasonal fruit and hop picker) and one lunchtime, found myself volunteering to join the Parachute Regiment of the British Army. I won’t bore you with the selection process, except to say that of my intake, sixty per cent failed to make it. So, I became a fully-fledged paratrooper, serving my country for a year in the mystical deserts of the Middle East and later in a rather bloody civil war in Cyprus. And, not only did I keep a diary, but I began to write. Write home… about a strange, mysterious and at times potentially life threatening world, whether from thirst or bullets. About the spiritual beauty and isolation of the desert and mountains, of the people and later of abject fear and hatred and terror. And my mother kept all my letters. Of course she did.


    1st Battalion Parachute Regiment. Served in Europe, Middle East and UN Peacekeeping Force, Cyprus (UNFICYP). Awarded UN medal and Cyprus 64 campaign medal.


    Three years later, I found myself in England again, a civilian, with the strange urge to settle down. I applied to a college, became an art student and then a graphic designer based in London. (Very exciting in the 1970s).


    Senior Designer, Royston Cooper Design Consultants.

    Design Consultant, Edco International.

    Managing Director, Zurcourt Group.


    Later, I took those skills and became a Course Leader and Principal Lecturer at the University for the Creative Arts, giving me the opportunity to pass on my knowledge and experiences to young people. (Also, more travelling, this time to exhort the advantages of the English University system in Europe, Africa, Far East). It was now, that I also first became involved in the professional process of writing by having research papers published. A very specialist form of writing but I can still remember the thrill.


    Course Leader, HND Graphic Design/Illustration.

    Industrial Researcher/DES.

    Member of Design Education Group/ Chartered Society of Designers.

    Curriculum Development and Operations Coordinator.

    Moderator for London Open College Network.

    The Language of Assessment. Published by Centre for Learning and Teaching in Art and Design (cltad). Presented at International Conference, Barcelona.


    Then, I took early retirement. Retrieved the bucket list that I had made out when I was eighteen, ticked them off - OK I wasn’t going to play football for England now – bought a saxophone ( a wonderful 1947 Buescher, with a case that when opened smelled of fags, mould, weed, sweat and passion) and decided to become a writer. That seemed to summarise everything I had ever done.


  • Ping me

  • Find me

    broken image


    broken image


    broken image


    broken image



  • Social Feed

    Check out my latest updates!

  • Contact Us

    Don't be afraid to reach out. You + us = awesome.