5 January 2018
Mark Stibbe: “I love it when a plan comes together”:
10 September 2019
Press Release: King of Hearts, a novel by Mark Stibbe
The world has been waiting for a Christmas story to sit alongside A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. King of Hearts, by ‘acclaimed Christian author Mark Stibbe’ (New York Times) is a contender. Like A Christmas Carol, and It’s a Wonderful Life, this story tells of one man who loses his senses and loses his way. Jake Graystone is weary. Weary of his mundane job as a college Maths lecturer. Weary of the financial demands of trying to provide for his two sons, one of whom has special needs. Weary of a marriage that has lost its lustre. Weary of his house and neighbourhood. Weary of his less than wonderful life.
Then, a chance meeting with an old friend called Pete – now wealthy beyond anything Jake can imagine for himself – opens a world of online and tournament Poker games which Jake finds irresistible. Before long, he is a problem gambler, addicted to winning money to improve his drab, grey life. Jake’s unusual ability to assess probabilities, coupled with his unique gift for reading peoples’ body language, gives him an edge and soon he is raking in the cash. Until, that is, his wife Sally – a psychologist – confronts him.
Jake, furious, storms out on Christmas Eve and heads north for what he calls Casino City. There he becomes an overnight success as a poker champion known as The Monk – so much so, that he forgets his family and the life he’s left behind. Cut off from his home and his emotions, Jake underestimates his nemesis, a poker champion called The Undertaker, who works for an underground Mafia boss. Jake loses everything in a heads-
up, Christmas Eve tournament, one year exactly after leaving home.
In one dreadful night, he loses everything and becomes a fugitive from the Mafia. The stakes get higher and higher for Jake as he becomes a man of the streets, living in the shadows, hiding from the predator who’s hunting him, befriending only a few whom he comes to trust - a German Shepherd called Sandy and a young homeless girl called Christine. What will it take to tilt Jake? Will he, like Ebenezer Scrooge and George Bailey, have a wake-up call? King of Hearts is a raw and brutal story illustrating the catastrophic consequences of
gambling addiction. In the UK today, where a huge and growing number are gambling regularly, Jake’s story is a cautionary tale, warning of the dangers of this dark and damaging addiction – on that is proving increasingly and disturbingly destructive for young people.
But all is not lost.
And nor is Jake.
With a redemptive arc reminiscent of It’s a Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life, Jake’s story is accompanied everywhere by the rumour of angels.
As he heads home on a third Christmas Eve, what will Jake find?
King of Hearts is very much a tale for our times and is published as a paperback and eBook
by MD Publishing.
It is priced at £8.99 (ISBN 978-1910786390)
Requests for review copies, photographs, interviews and further information about Mark can be made to Malcolm Down
The Fate of Kings
Official Blog Tour,
4-8 December 2017
Mark writes a guest post for 'Linda's Book Bag':
A review of The Fate of Kings on the lisareadsbooks blog:
Mark talks to blogger Poppy Coburn about migrating from nonfiction to fiction:
1 December 2017
The Sorted Podcast: Mark talks to Steve Legg about his new book, The Fate of Kings:
29 November 2017
Mark Stibbe writes about why he believes female readers will enjoy about The Fate of Kings:
3 November 2017
Fate of Kings book review by Liz Robinson at LoveReading:
13 November 2017
The official book launch for The Fate of Kings was held in LIBRARY, Covent Garden.
Below are some photos for the event:
3 September 2017
Trans World Radio interview: (for full access, signing up will be required.)
19 August 2017
Credo Times article: (for full access, signing up will be required.)
Boarded-up Emotions - Home at Last: Freedom from Boarding School Pain (Rev edn)
Accord magazine article for Home at Last: Summer 2017
1 August 2017
Mark Stibbe's book, Home at Last, charges up the charts on Amazon to 114 in the list for ALL books!
1 August 2017
Mark Stibbe talking with Vanessa Feltz about Home at Last on the Jeremy Vine Show, BBC Radio 2, 1:08pm.
Sorted Magazine article for Home at Last
Press Release: Family bonding is more important than loveless boarding
Boarding schools are 'orphanages for the privileged' which all too often create people driven to succeed at work but who fail to engage emotionally at home. That's the view expressed by Mark Stibbe in his new book, Home at Last. Mark says that, for many people, the journey from private boarding school education to political, civic and military leadership is a troubled one. "Children sent away at an early age are forced to adapt far too early to the rigours and challenges of life away from their family," he argues, "and people who have risen to leadership have often suffered the trauma of abandonment and, in some cases, abuse."
Mark was sent away to boarding school at the age of eight by his adoptive parents. On his first night away he received the first of four beatings in his first two weeks. The trauma of abandonment and abuse was to scar Mark’s life until his fifties, when divorce forced him to deal with what he calls his ‘boarded heart’. Now, in his ground breaking book, Home At Last, he argues that there are many wounded people just like him; men and women who suffer throughout their lives with what he calls ‘homesick souls’. “There seems to be a prevailing view among some parts of society that boarding school creates great leaders, when, in fact, it appears to most of us those leaders fail to fully connect with the world around them. This is particularly highlighted when political leadership campaigns are centre stage in the news.”
And Mark argues that “more and more people in public life are telling us that boarding school had a detrimental effect on their childhood. Many who went themselves choose not to send their children. Family bonding before loveless and lonely boarding would seem to be their main concern.” Home At Last is split into two parts. The first part looks at the cycle of pain created by the boarding school wound. This involves four deep impacts to the soul: desertion, deprivation, disengagement and dependency. The second part, the cycle of healing, embraces the four stages of the healing journey: revelation, restoration, reconnection and recovery. Inspiration for Mark’s ‘healing’ came from an unlikely source.
“Scrooge is one of Dickens’ best-known, even infamous characters. There’s a very short and much ignored scene where Scrooge sees himself at boarding school - a solitary and neglected child. “In later life, Scrooge becomes a dysfunctional figure, disliked and unable to come to terms with his own failings. To find redemption, he has to undergo a journey involving three spirits. “Dickens understood the orphan heart of the child and what needs to happen to adults so they can experience their ‘Christmas Day’ every day. Once you understand the pain of Scrooge’s early schooldays and how emotionally and relationally damaged it made him, you can begin to understand the man,” he adds. Mark says that there’s been huge interest shown in the book in the run up to publication - from former boarding school pupils, from their relatives and others who have witnessed the pain people carry because of their experiences.
Mark is also running a webinar series that deals with the issues raised in his book, which is published in paperback and eBook by Malcolm Down Publishing on July 19th and is priced at £8.99 (ISBN 978-1-910786-41-3)
This press release has been prepared and distributed by Epic on behalf of Malcolm Down Publishing by Epic Communications Group.
Requests for review copies, photographs, interviews and further information about Mark can be made to either Irene Tobin or Simon Brian at Epic on 0116 269 7419, or by email to Irene@weareepic.co.uk