Jude & Bliss

In the Victorian era, for many young women, going into domestic service was a significant source of employment where they found suitable work but with extended hours for a reasonable salary, receiving free accommodation as well as enjoying the perks and prestige of working for the aristocracy or other members of the upper or middle-classes.

As a matter of course, employers had a moral obligation, but one without a legal requirement to ensure their servants were kept clean, healthy and well-nourished. However, for one poor girl, that, unfortunately, was not the case.

In 1896, Jude Rogers, a wide-eyed but vulnerable sixteen-year-old from Woking, Surrey, secures a position as a domestic servant at a large terraced house in Half Moon Street, near London's Piccadilly. Following a brief settling-in period, she quickly realises everything is not quite as it seems. As time moves ruthlessly forward, what happens next is almost beyond comprehension. Jude finds herself in the most impossible of situations and finally succumbs to the pure evil dealt out by her employer.

This story is NOT for the faint-hearted!  

ISBN: 979-8550129265 - First published 2020 by PublishNation

Available to buy now at Amazon   The Book Depository

£10.99 Paperback - £2.99 Kindle (232 pages)

Note: Prices may vary depending on the distributor. (Amazon.co.uk prices are shown above.)

What people are saying...


A message re: Jude & Bliss, from the iconic Rock/Pop singer and actress, Toyah Willcox

 
"This book is set in Victorian Surrey and London. The detail in the writing makes you feel very transported back into the era, the descriptions of my hometown of Knaphill and Woking are of the same quality as they were in 'The Asylum Soul' giving you a real feel for the era and area. This book gripped me from the first page, a tragic tale, with many twists and shocking revelations. If you are a fan of mystery and intrigue, this book does not disappoint. Another great gripping novel from Mal Foster!"  -
 Emma Foy

"Awesome! - If you love historical fiction, then you'll love Mal Foster's new book, 'Jude & Bliss.' - Lara McNamee, Radio Woking.

"Just finished reading 'Jude & Bliss', a great read!. All Mal Foster's books are excellent reads!" - Simon Brown

“Great job.  Just finished Jude and Bliss. Great book. Wish you all the best with your writing.” – Gwen Bailey


"This is the second book I've read of Mal Foster's, and I've discovered he has a real knack for bringing his characters to life. I am looking forward to reading the rest of his books. What a heart-wrenching story. If you like such tales depicting the Victorian era, read on. Mal describes personalities and details with lovely sensitivity, making the book a pleasure to read. I love feeling that my imagination is entwined with the storyline. Thank you." - Lesley Smith.

"Thank you for writing such a wonderful novel!" - Lelita Baldock, (author & blogger)

"In ‘Jude & Bliss’, Mal Foster has created an atmospheric world, that avid readers of historical fiction will want to return to again and again. A wonderfully creative novel, rich in character and setting." - Brenda Jackson (Editor)

"His (Mal Foster's) best book yet!" - Jude Browne

"A great author and excellent storyteller. I couldn't put this book down." - Amazon Review

"Oh my God, I'm hooked... Well done Mal Foster!" - Paula Wilkinson 

"Excellent book. Very well written and such a tragic story. I have read all Mal Foster's books and I think he writes very well. I look forward to the next one." - Joan Calder

"A captivating read with an exceptionally well-written plot." - Naveen Joshi

"A brilliant book!" - Paul Jackman

“I’m halfway through ‘Jude and Bliss’ by Mal Foster. Great read, Well done, Mal, looking forward to finishing it.” – John Campbell

"It's a decent read!" - Martin Durrad

"I have just finished reading 'Jude and bliss; it was so good I couldn't put it down." - Helen Naughton

"A must-read! - I loved this book! Keeps you guessing right until the end and I learnt a lot about life in Victorian times in my very own hometown!" - Amazon Review

"I loved this book and 'The Asylum Soul'. Great reads!" - Kim Porter 

"Well done with your new book, Jude & Bliss." - Jon Davis, Woking News & Mail

"Jude & Bliss will break your heart and uncover raw emotion. You will find yourself thinking about the characters long after you have finished reading the last page." - Fiona Browne

"Just finished reading the book and really enjoyed it. Love the cover too." - Zoe Hatfield

"Mal Foster has delivered yet another storyline that keeps you gripped to the very end. If you like historical novels I would highly recommend this book. Loved it, such a good read." - Jane Johnson

"... an amazing book!" - Maddie (Bookblogger)

“I took Jude & Bliss on holiday and read it in a day in a half. Great read!” – Phil Stubbs.

"I love all Mal Foster's books. I am reading Jude & Bliss now and already I'm hooked. I'm impressed. Well done, for another great read!" - Margaret Crate 

"Incredible." - Morgan Wright, Animator and author.

"A great read with a strong plot, great dialogue, and remarkable emotions." - All Author website.

"Jude & Bliss by Mal Foster is a novel you don't want to miss. Fabulous!" - Mary Anne Yarde

"I'm really enjoying Jude & Bliss." - Sue Stocker

"I recommend it. A very good read, couldn't put it down until I'd finished it." - J.S.

"Great read, keeps you hooked to the very end. A very can't put it down book. Loved it, can't wait for the next one!" - Pat Leeming

"Brilliant!" - Maureen Boultwood

"I got the book on Tuesday (19 01 21) and read it within two days. It's a very good read. Already looking forward to the next one. Well done!" - Jeannette Sale-Smith

"A great book!" - Nancy Car

"Loved the book, very readable, got me in the story from page one. Such twists and turns for resolution." - Margaret Gregory

"A very interesting, well-written, and suspenseful read." - Mady Joshi 

"From the very start, the main characters felt very real and as I continued reading I felt all the emotions with every page I turned. Another great book! Already looking forward to this author's next." - Janette Prowse

"Smashing book, I loved it!" - Ivy West

“Congratulations on ‘Jude & Bliss.’ You really are becoming quite a famous author!” - Thirza Morris

“I read this book in less than two days. Totally immersive and, indeed a very tragic tale. The Victorian Old Bailey trial of Scarlett Moynihan was a real treat in a book that has many little twists and turns. Superbly written by an author who deserves much greater recognition. Well done, Mal Foster!” – Jess Newman

"I love reading novels about the Victorian era, thanks, Mal Foster." - Alicia Mills




JUDE & BLISS ~ PRESS CUTS













Woking News & Mail - January 2022


Mal’s fourth novel was inspired by a real-life story.


A Knaphill author’s latest book, Jude & Bliss, has received glowing reviews... “I’ve been sitting on the concept of writingJude & Blisssince the summer of 1994 when I first discovered the real-life tale of a young girl from Surrey who was tragically wronged by her employer towards the end of the 19th century,” Mal said, “It somehow stuck, so much so that this was the novel, I was always going to write.”


Readers have certainly taken to the story, which has attracted a series of five-star reviews on Amazon. “The feedback has been brilliant,” Mal added.


Jude & Blissrelates to the experience of Jude Rogers, a wide-eyed but vulnerable 16-year-old who, in 1896, secures a position in domestic service at a large house in Half Moon Street, near Piccadilly, in London. After a brief settling-in period, she quickly realises everything is not as it seems.


“In the synopsis, I did say that the story is not for the faint-hearted, but that’s really because of the descriptions of the autopsy,” Mal said. “It is not a spoiler to say that there is a death in the book.”


“I spent a lot of time reading through reports of Victorian autopsies, and they were so graphic, I had to tone them down for the book. Research is important to me, and I enjoy that part of the process.”


Mal has drawn widely on local events and locations for his previous novels, including Brookwood Hospital, for his first novel,The Asylum Soul,published in 2015.


Previously, he had concentrated on poetry. A talent he had discovered before having to leave school at 15 to support his single mother and younger brother.


He soon had his poetry published, although the greatest accolade came in 2007 when his most widely read poem,The Wedding, was published in the Australian Secondary School’s anthologyPoetry Unlocked, which was part of the country’s English Literature exam curriculum for that year.


“I always thought that was quite amusing, considering I left school without any formal qualifications,” Mal said.


(Reproduced: Courtesy Woking News & Mail)



Writing Magazine


March 2021


"Some authors will tell you, there is no better feeling than receiving the proof copy of a new novel, particularly during these challenging times when many people are struggling to keep their mental health, and indeed their lives and livelihoods intact," says author Mal Foster.


"When the proof copy of my fourth book, Jude & Bliss was delivered, it was with a sense of pride and fulfilment that I gleefully accepted it from a rather bemused postman who would never have understood the reason for my excitement.


I’d been sitting on the concept of writing Jude & Bliss ever since the summer of 1994 when I first discovered the harrowing account of a young girl from Surrey who had travelled to London towards the end of the 19th century to enter domestic service. The story somehow stuck, and I was inspired. This was the Victorian tragedy I knew I was always going to write."


In 1896, Jude Rogers, a wide-eyed but vulnerable sixteen-year-old, from Woking, Surrey, secures a position as a domestic servant at a large terraced house in Half Moon Street, near London's Piccadilly. Following a brief settling-in period, she quickly realises everything is not quite as it seems. As time moves ruthlessly forward, what happens next is almost beyond comprehension. Jude finds herself in the most impossible of situations and finally succumbs to the pure evil dealt out by her employer. "I should add, this book is not for the faint-hearted."


"When meeting readers, book bloggers, and indeed fellow authors, the conversation often leads to a character in one of my novels. In all my books, the characters are important to me and I like to introduce them as identifiable and colourful souls without being too over descriptive. Fortunately, the feedback is usually positive, and this makes the whole writing and publishing experience worthwhile. Proof, if needed, amidst all this gloom of contagion, global stress and uncertainty, there is a certain therapy in writing."


(Reproduced - Courtesy: Writing Magazine)



R&A (Round & About) Magazine #2


February 2021


A good story can take root in the most unusual way. And the seed for Mal Foster’s latest book was planted back in 1994, thanks to the lady running a Surrey Museum stand at the annual Bisley Fayre.


“It was a very informed conversation about this young local girl who was tragically wronged by her employer towards the end of the 19th century,” Mal tells me. “The story stuck, so much so that this was the novel I always going to write.”


Jude & Blissis Mal’s fourth novel, inspired by this real-life tragedy which ultimately contributed for calls of national reform to help protect young women and girls working in domestic service.


“The death of Emily Jane Popejoy in 1896 was chilling in itself,” adds Mal. “It’s a sad tale.”


Jude & Blissis set In 1896 and tells the story of Jude Rogers, a wide-eyed but vulnerable 16-year-old who secures a position as a domestic servant at a large terraced house in Half Moon Street, near London’s Piccadilly.


Following a brief settling-in period, she quickly realises everything is not quite as it seems. Jude finds herself in the most impossible of situations and finally succumbs to the pure evil dealt out by her employer... This book is not for the fainthearted!


Who is Mal’s favourite author? “Leonard Cohen. I have always been enthralled by his novel TheFavourite Game, which I have read more than once."


What advice would Mal give anyone reading this who wants to write their own book? “If you have an idea, stick with it and persevere,” he advises, “Become your own protagonist as if you were playing that person on stage or in a film. You will find your other characters will form themselves and help build the very essence of your book.”


An established and award-winning poet and former local journalist, Mal was born in 1956 and has lived in Woking since the late 1980s. He loves the area’s rich history, adding: “When you dig deep, you will find it fascinating... My favourite haunt has to be the Garibaldi pub in Knaphill. Always good food and drink and excellent service.”


Jude & Bliss is available in paperback and Kindle formats from Amazon.co.uk. And other online outlets. It can also be ordered from all good bookshops. ISBN 979-8550129265.


For more information about Mal & his other books, please visit malfoster.co.uk


(Reproduced: Courtesy Liz Nicholls, Round & About Magazine)



R&A (Round & About) Magazine


January 2021


Sometimes a true crime, especially one set within earshot of our own neighbourhood really stays with you. That’s what happened to Woking author, Mal Foster, whose fourth novel Jude & Bliss isout now.

Set towards the end of the Victorian era, it tells of a wide-eyed 16-year-old Jude Rogers who secures a position as a domestic servant at a large terraced house in Half Moon Street, near London’s Piccadilly.


“I’ve been sitting on the concept of this book since the summer of 1994 when I first discovered the real-life story,” he tells me. “The story stuck, so this was the novel I was always going to write.”


Watch this space for a longer article in a future edition.


(Above taken from Editorial by Liz Nicholls)



Knaphill Magazine


November 2020


Knaphill-based author Mal Foster has just completed his fourth book Jude & Blisswhich is scheduled for publication at the end of November. Readers may remember his debut novel, The Asylum Soul set at Brookwood Hospital which has gone on to receive many accolades including scores of five-star ratings and reviews on Amazon, Goodreads and elsewhere. It has also been a big hit with local readers on social media, with Mal hoping his new historical novel will do the same.


In a recent interview on Radio Woking’s Breakfast with Lara Show, Mal shared his hopes for the new book. However, with his feet firmly on the ground, he has no illusions. “If I were in this for the money, I would be extremely disappointed. However, if just a few people read and enjoy my work, then the whole journey through to publication has been worth it,” he said.


Jude & Bliss is set towards the end of the Victorian era and tells the heartbreaking story of a young girl who lived in Knaphill. In 1896, Jude Rogers, a wide-eyed but vulnerable sixteen-year-old, secures a position as a domestic servant at a large, terraced house on Half Moon Street, near London's Piccadilly. Following a brief settling-in period, she quickly realises everything is not quite as it seems. As time moves ruthlessly forward, what happens next is almost beyond comprehension. Jude finds herself in the most impossible of situations and finally succumbs to the pure evil dealt out by her employer.


Mal has lived at his present address in Knaphill since 1993, although his ties with the village go back much further. His other novels are Fly Back and Purify and An Invisible Nemesis.


Mal’s books can be found for sale worldwide on Amazon and from many other outlets across the internet. You can also find out moreabout his work from his website at www.malfoster.co.uk


(Reproduced courtesy: Sue Stocker, My Knaphill, village magazine)


 

Jude & Bliss 2021 Virtual Book Blog Tour
04 February ~ 8 April

Jude & Bliss 2021 Virtual Book Blog Tour
04 February ~ 8 April

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