Our first launch season of the year is just… about… winding… down. It's been a mad whirl but they've been a brilliant string of events this month.

We had a wonderfully intimate and focused double launch for Charles Bennett's delectable collection of landscape poetry, Cloud River, and Stephanie Percival's mind-expanding novella, The Matter, in Northampton at the start of the month — a double-header, as it was also Jan's daughter, Tamsyn's birthday ☺.

Next up, in quick succession, we had packed-out launches for Carole Strachan's utterly unputdownable second novel, A Song of Thyme and Willow, and Helen May William's moving debut collection, Catstrawe (our thanks to Mick and Sian for the hospitality on that trip ☺).

A stately drive across country to pick up the train at Abergavenny, the day after Helen's launch, and Jan was back in Cardiff for the jamboree launch, at Cardiff Open Space/Cardiff Central Library, of Kate North's off-centre short story collection, Punch and Gareth Davies's very funny slice-of-life debut novel, Humans, Being (which is going down a storm in Czech Republic — find out why both are so popular by partaking of our Cardiff Confidential special on these two). In case you didn't make that one, we have photographic evidence below …

So, time for a rest? Not likely — as I write this, Jan is blazing a trail across the north of England: launching the final part of Tracey Iceton's monumental Celtic Colours Trilogy, White Leaves of Peace, at Drake The Bookshop, in Stockton-on-Tees (Tracey has promised pictures, so watch out for a future blog on that launch — another Standing Room Only, by all accounts), Sarah Connell's Elliot-esque debut novel, Whenever in Wakefield (not a single copy of the book left on the table after that one — sold right out). To round off the season, David Underdown's second collection, A Sense of North is being launched in The Bookcase, Hebden Bridge, on Tuesday, 30 April — be there if you can.

Great launches, great first launch season of the year. We're not quite ready for the summer break though — Mark Fitzgerald (Downburst), Hugh Dunkerely (Kin) and Lizzie Fincham (Green Figs & Blue Jazz) will all be reading at West Greenwich Library on Tuesday, 25 June … a bumper evening and a great way to round off the season. Don't miss!

Kate and Gareth answering questions
Kate standing, reading to the audience
Gareth standing, holding up a copy of his book
A table with copies of the two books for sale

Our thanks to Gareth's sister and nephews for the launch photos.