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Monday, June 28, 2021

The Lockdown Tales by Alan Whelan - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hi, lovelies!!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Alan Whelan and his new book, “The Lockdown Tales,” here on FAB!!  For other stops on his Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Alan and to increase your chances of winning!!

Thanks for stopping by!!  Wishing you all lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!!

The Lockdown Tales

by Alan Whelan


GENRE: Fiction - Contemporary



Seven women and three men leave the city to avoid a pandemic. They isolate together in a local farm, where they pass the time working, flirting, eating, drinking, making music and above all telling stories. It happened in Florence in 1351, during the Plague, and gave us Boccaccio's Decameron.

Seven hundred years later, in Australia, it happens again. The stories are very different, but they're still bawdy, satirical, funny and sometimes sad, and they celebrate human cleverness, love, courage and imagination.



Check out what readers are saying about “The Lockdown Tales,” the newest book from Alan Whelan!!!

"Alan Whelan brings us a clever, sensual and sometimes poignant collection of stories that would make Boccaccio proud"

~ Tangea Tansley, author of A Question of Belonging

"An old frame for a sharp new snapshot of contemporary Australia"

~ Leigh Swinbourne, author of Shadow in the Forest



It was late and getting cold by the time Margo’s story was done. I reflected that she’d come a long way, in the three weeks she’d been here. She’d got close to Sue and Stuart, and they’d helped her believe that she could come back from Harry’s death.

Stuart and Danny pushed my barbecue back to the house, with Sue and Margo helping to keep it steady. This time it didn’t tip over.

Bran and Astrid stayed close to the fire, which had died down from a bonfire to a campfire. Jayleen and Bob stayed close. Bob had slept through most of the stories and was now awake, and enthralled by the night, the lake and the fire. I heard Astrid say, “The beast with three backs!” She punched Bran, amused.

He put his arm round her and drew her close. Bob climbed onto Astrid, so Jayleen took her place beside Bran, and he put his other arm round her. The night was cold. I had no idea if he really did want a threesome, but if he did I thought his chances were still close to zero.

Grace had relented after a stoned night of mostly ignoring Amelia. They walked back to the house together. I didn’t fancy Amelia’s chances much, either. But I knew that I’d make no declarations to Amelia unless her infatuation with Grace had been resolved and gone.

I collected empty bottles and put them in my pack. I probably missed some, but I’d check the ground in the morning. I shrugged the pack on and trudged back to the house.

When I reached the verandah I turned and took one last look at the fire and the lake. Astrid was kissing Bran, with intent, and Jayleen had snuggled in tight against his back. I wondered if I’d underestimated his chances. Though I still didn’t know if he had any threesome intentions. I decided it didn’t matter and I didn’t care, though no doubt it would mean a lot to them.

I shut the door behind me and went up to my bed.



Author Alan Whelan Talks About the Lockdown Tales

The cover of The Lockdown Tales tells readers a lot about the book, though it’s not all obvious at once. Here’s the cover:

It shows the book’s cast, the ten people whose paths you follow through the book, and who will gather each Friday to tell you stories. The first thing you notice, if you look at the back cover, is that this image is an updating of an older painting.

Here’s that nineteenth century painting, “A Tale from the Decameron”, by John Waterhouse.

The first thing the front and back cover images tell you is that we – humanity – have been here before. The Decameron, by Giovanni Boccaccio, is set in 1347, when the Black Death was sweeping through much of the world. It imagines seven women and three men getting out of the city to stay together in the country, where they dance, flirt, make music and above all tell each other stories.

The Lockdown Tales is set in 2020, where, in reaction to a different pandemic, seven women and three men leave the city to stay together in the country. The cover picture echoes the medieval scene, and shows the continuity between the two time periods.

The second thing the cover tells you, once you start to see the differences between the two images, is that things change. In the original painting the two people on the steps, with stories to tell, are men, and a line-up of women listen attentively while the men talk. In the 2020 picture the two story-tellers are women, and the group listening are more diverse, in gender and ethnicity.

Other changes are also telling. In the Waterhouse painting there’s a man and woman standing apart from the others, perhaps forming a romantic relationship. In the new picture there’s a couple, but it’s two women. The tractor by the wall, in 2020, emphasises that these people work on the farm to earn their keep. In 1347, the ten figures had servants, and did no work.

Note that the woman at the far left of the foreground group is picking flowers in 1347, while in 2020 she’s sneakily checking her cellphone.

The idea of using an updated version of the Waterhouse painting for the front cover was mine. But it was brought into reality by the Canadian artist “Floyd”. He often illustrates children’s books, and there was something in the freshness and innocence of his style that attracted me. He did a magnificent job, in this cover.

I love that image, and I’m very grateful to Floyd!

As for the book itself, it follows seven women and three men who leave their city in the early stages of Covid-19’s arrival and get together on a farm. I came to love and care about them as I wrote them, and I hope you will too.

Grace Chan is a Chinese student, in Sydney to work on a doctoral thesis on Chinese and Western attitudes to time.

Danny Darrock, a former policy adviser to the NSW Government, got fired for trying to tell a Cabinet Minister not to do something cruel and stupid.

Dr Margo Collona is in mourning for her younger brother, who died of Covid-19.

Bran O’Siodhachain survived a brutal case of Covid-19 but lost his girlfriend and his job.

Sue Pullar, a chemist, is worried about Margo’s mental health, and looks after her.

Stuart Pullar, an architect, is older than the other two men, and more practical. He also looks after Margo, and plays honky-tonk piano.

Astrid Flagstad used to organise parties for very rich people, in exotic parts of the world, before Covid-19 hit and travel stopped. She’s happy being unemployed and failing to learn the ukulele. Bran, she thinks, is nice.

Jayleen Harcourt is the mother of four old Bob. She had a supermarket check-out job, which left her terrified of catching Covid-19 and bringing it home. She agrees with Astrid, about Bran.

Amelia Appelstein is Grace’s doctoral supervisor, who finds herself attracted to her student.

Gail Haut owns the farm on which nine of her friends are staying. She is generous and observant. She is a little in love with Amelia, whose attention is elsewhere.

Each has a story to live and issues to resolve. And every Friday, they tell stories of their own: funny, sad, often bawdy, sometimes satirical, always unexpected and always very human.



Alan Whelan lives in the Blue Mountains of NSW, Australia. He’s been a political activist, mainly on homelessness, landlord-tenant issues and unemployment, and a public servant writing social policy for governments. He’s now a free-lance writer, editor and researcher.

His story, There Is, was short-listed for the Newcastle Short Story Award in June 2020, and appeared in their 2020 anthology. His story, Wilful Damage, won a Merit Prize in the TulipTree Publications (Colorado) September 2020 Short Story Competition, and appears in their anthology, Stories that Need to be Told. It was nominated by the publisher for the 2021 Pushcart Prize.

His book The Lockdown Tales, using Boccaccio’s Decameron framework to show people living with the Covid-19 lockdown, is now on sale in paperback and ebook.

His novels, Harris in Underland and Blood and Bone are soon to be sent to publishers. He is currently working on the sequel to The Lockdown Tales and will then complete the sequel to Harris in Underland.

Alan Whelan co-wrote the book, New Zealand Republic, and has had journalism and comment pieces published in The New Zealand Listener and every major New Zealand newspaper, plus The Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald.

He wrote two books for the NZ Government: Renting and You and How to Buy Your Own Home. His stories also appear in Stories of Hope, a 2020 anthology to raise funds for Australian bushfire victims, and other anthologies.

His website is alanwhelan.org. He tweets as @alannwhelan.

His phone number is +61 433 159 663. Enthusiastic acceptances and emphatic rejections, also thoughtful questions, are generally sent by email to alan@alanwhelan.org.







Phone Number:

+61 433 159 663



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Alan will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. Replies
    1. Rita ~ Totally agreed!! It's interesting to see how people spent their lockdown time... Some days I wished I had used the time more productively like learned a new language, mastered a new recipe, cleaned out the storage; instead of just binge watching a bunch of shows while indulging in crazy online shopping sprees and spending way too much time and money on game apps lol... Hiding out at a local farm in Australia sounds like an intriguing plan... Thanks for stopping and good luck in the giveaway!!! Hope you have a fabulous week!!! :)

  2. Alan ~ Good morning! Welcome to FAB! It is so great to have you here! Congrats on your intriguing new book and good luck on the book tour! :)