The events that take place in The Mucklebury Sunstone are set, unsurprisingly, in and around Mucklebury, which is a quiet little village-town in the county of Dorsetshire in a particular England.
It’s a special place for lots of reasons.
The people who live there don’t take themselves too seriously and they will always (as long as your intentions are friendly, that is) welcome you with open arms. They will greet you with a cheerful 'good morning' and bid you au revoir with a bright and breezy 'toodlepip'. 'Goodbye' is reserved for people they would rather not see again.
It’s quirky and eccentric and endlessly surprising - that's the place as well as the inhabitants, or 'Muckleburians' as they like to refer to themselves.
And there is a secret place, with a secret stone, which has secret powers.
If you hadn't guessed already, that's the Sunstone bit of the title.
So that's the Mucklebury bit and the Sunstone bit all explained.
Now, you may have noticed that I said ‘a particular England’ but what I really mean is ‘a particular world’ because, and this might blow your mind, there are lots of them. Lots of worlds, that is.
Yes, I did say lots.
Have you ever wondered what might have happened if you turned left instead of right?
Most of the time the right-turn world exists for a short time, then gets joined up with left-turn world when you get to where you were going.
Just like if you take a different route to school than the one you usually do. You get to the school gates safely and the two worlds join together again.
But what if something big happens when you go one particular way that wouldn’t have happened if you went the other way?
Something life-changing, something important, something that alters your destiny.
Let’s take an example.
You go out on a bike ride through the woods where there are loads of paths and tracks and you bomb about, going left and right and right and left and then your front wheel hits a rabbit hole and you fly over the handlebars and land in a heap of hurt and pain.
You’ve only gone and broken your collarbone.
Now, the you that turned right instead of left a minute before your catastrophic crash never hit that rabbit hole, never broke your collarbone, wasn’t inspired by the care you got at hospital and never became a nurse as a result. You grew up and sold insurance instead and had a really boring and unfulfilling life.
As I said, most of the time these right and left-turn worlds only exist for a relatively short time, usually minutes, sometimes months or years, before events readjust and destinies get back on track. In our broken/not broken collarbone example you get so bored with the insurance job that you finally find your niche and become that nurse, so it all turned out nicely in the end.
But sometimes one of those worlds goes down such a different path, such a long time ago that they will never join up again and, actually, it would be a very bad idea if they did. In The Mucklebury Sunstone the megalomaniac, Ebeneezer Scourge, tries to force such a joining up and it's up to Everest Pearmain and his friends to try and stop it.
At the end of book, one of the characters comes up with a theory about all this, but it’s only a theory. They reckon all these different worlds are like thousands of tiny strands winding around each other to make one infinitely long time-rope.
They may be right, or they may be wrong, but it’s as good an explanation as any other I suppose.
Now all of this is pretty interesting but the really good bit is that there is.... well you'll have to read the book to see what the really good bit is.
Click here to read the first three chapters or click on the book cover to buy it straight away.
Go on, it'll be fun.