Ooops a pretty bad month for acquisitions and by that you know I mean excessive and not that there was a paucity of good books. That said my total spend was still only £29.43 which is pretty good for what even for me was an impressive haul.
The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star by Vaseem Khan
The enchanting new Baby Ganesh Agency novel sees Inspector Chopra and his elephant sidekick investigating the dark side of Bollywood.
Mumbai thrives on extravagant spectacles and larger-than-life characters.
But even in the city of dreams, there is no guarantee of a happy ending.
Rising star and incorrigible playboy Vikram Verma has disappeared, leaving his latest film in jeopardy. Hired by Verma’s formidable mother to find him, Inspector Chopra and his sidekick, baby elephant Ganesha, embark on a journey deep into the world’s most flamboyant movie industry.
As they uncover feuding stars, failed investments and death threats, it seems that many people have a motive for wanting Verma out of the picture.
And yet, as Chopra has long suspected, in Bollywood the truth is often stranger than fiction…
The Tent, The Bucket and Me by Emma Kennedy
For the 70s child, summer holidays didn’t mean the joy of CentreParcs or the sophistication of a Tuscan villa. They meant being crammed into a car with Grandma and heading to the coast. With just a tent for a home and a bucket for the necessities, we would set off on new adventures each year stoically resolving to enjoy ourselves.
For Emma Kennedy, and her mum and dad, disaster always came along for the ride no matter where they went. Whether it was being swept away by a force ten gale on the Welsh coast or suffering copious amounts of food poisoning on a brave trip to the south of France, family holidays always left them battered and bruised.
But they never gave up. Emma’s memoir, The Tent, The Bucket and Me, is a painfully funny reminder of just what it was like to spend your summer holidays cold, damp but with sand between your toes.
Smash all the Windows by Jane Davis (on pre-order due 12th April)
For the families of the victims of the St Botolph and Old Billingsgate disaster, the undoing of a miscarriage of justice should be a cause for rejoicing. For more than thirteen years, the search for truth has eaten up everything. Marriages, families, health, careers and finances.
Finally, the coroner has ruled that the crowd did not contribute to their own deaths. Finally, now that lies have been unravelled and hypocrisies exposed, they can all get back to their lives.
If only it were that simple.
Tapping into the issues of the day, Davis delivers a highly charged work of metafiction, a compelling testament to the human condition and the healing power of art. Written with immediacy, style and an overwhelming sense of empathy, Smash all the Windows will be enjoyed by readers of How to Paint a Dead Man by Sarah Hall and How to be Both by Ali Smith.
The Devil Rides Out by Paul O’Grady
Birkenhead, 1973. The eighteen-year-old Paul O’Grady gets ready for a big Saturday night out on the town. New white T-shirt, freshly ironed jeans, looking good. As he bids farewell to his mum, who’s on the phone to his auntie, and wanders off down the street in a cloud of aftershave, he hears her familiar cry: ‘Oh, the devil rides out tonight, Annie. The devil rides out!’
The further adventures of Paul O’Grady – following on from the million-copy-selling At My Mother’s Knee- are, if anything, even more hilarious and outrageous than what has come before.To say that The Devil Rides Out is action-packed is an understatement. Its extraordinary cast of characters includes lords and ladies, the legendary Vera, a serial killer, more prostitutes than you can shake a stick at and drag queens of every shape and size. Wickedly funny, often moving, and searingly honest, Paul’s tales of the unexpected will make your jaw drop and your hair stand on end. And you’ll laugh like a drain. The Devil Rides Out is one hell of a read!
Villa of Secrets by Patricia Wilson
Rebecca Neumanner’s marriage is on the brink of collapse, as her desire to be a mother becomes an obsession. Then she receives news from her estranged family in Rhodes.
Called back to the beautiful Greek island of her birth, she realises how little she knows of the grandmother she has eluded for over a decade. Bubba has never spoken of the Nazi occupation during her youth, but there have always been whispers. What desperate measures did she take that terrible day in 1944 when her family was ripped apart? Can the rumour she had blood on her own hands really be true? But Bubba intends to take her secrets to the grave.
However, as Rebecca arrives on Rhodes, bringing the promise of new life, this broken family must come together. The time has come to tell the truth about the darkest of days . . .
A Forsaken Friend by Sue Featherstone & Susan Pape
No-one said friendship was easy.
Things can’t get much worse for Teri Meyer. If losing her job at the university and the regular allowance from her dad’s factory isn’t bad enough, now her ex-best friend has gone and stolen her ex-husband! Well, to hell with them all. A few weeks in the countryside at her brother’s smallholding should do the trick – and the gorgeous and god-like neighbour might help.
But then there’s Declan, not to mention Duck’s Arse back in Yorkshire…
It’s not as if Lee Harper set out to fall in love with her best friend’s ex-husband. But, for once, her love life is looking up – except for all the elephants in the room, not to mention Mammy’s opinion on her dating a twice-divorced man. Perhaps things aren’t as rosy as she first thought. And now with one family crisis after another, Lee’s juggling more roles – and emotions – than she ever imagined.
Maybe sharing her life with a man wasn’t such a grand idea.
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal
Every woman has a secret life…
When Nikki takes a creative writing job at her local temple, with visions of emancipating the women of the community she left behind as a self-important teenager, she’s shocked to discover a group of barely literate women who have no interest in her ideals.
Yet to her surprise, the white dupatta of the widow hides more than just their modesty – these are women who have spent their lives in the shadows of fathers, brothers and husbands; being dutiful, raising children and going to temple, but whose inner lives are as rich and fruitful as their untold stories. But as they begin to open up to each other about womanhood, sexuality, and the dark secrets within the community, Nikki realises that the illicit nature of the class may place them all in danger.
East meets west and tradition clashes with modernity in a thought-provoking cross-cultural novel that might make you look again at the women in your life…
Remarkable Things by Deidre Palmer
When Gus Albourne inherits Aunt Augusta’s cottage in the Sussex village of Hangburton, he finds himself with more than a property on his hands.
Why did Augusta make Gus, her adoptive nephew, her sole beneficiary, while his late brother, Robert, the natural son, was left out of the will? Robert’s widow, Elspeth, and disabled daughter, Jenny, are far more deserving than Gus, but when he tries to share the legacy with Elspeth, she refuses, hinting at a long-ago family feud involving Augusta.
It’s a mystery, one which Gus must solve in order to make amends for his aunt’s unfairness and help Elspeth. But an unexpected find in the cottage brings a new twist, leading him to the questionable story of his birth mother, Catherine.
With his own history fast unravelling before his eyes, the last thing Gus needs is a relationship, but when he meets Millie Hope it’s impossible to stay away. Millie feels the same about Gus, but until she finds her missing daughter, Karen, her life must stay on hold.
When Millie’s ex-husband dies, finding Karen becomes even more urgent. But there’s more than one barrier to the search. For a start, there’s Jack, Karen’s terrifying ex-boyfriend. And then there’s the reason Karen disappeared in the first place, which is less certain as time goes on.
Solving someone else’s problems seems a whole lot easier than solving your own, as Gus and Millie discover. But just as the curtain seems set to fall on their respective dramas, more shocks are in store, and Gus faces the hardest decision of his life.
Life’s a Beach and Then … by Julia Roberts
Holly Wilson has landed a dream job but there is one proviso… she must keep it secret, and that means telling lies. Holly hates telling lies.
Her latest assignment has brought her to the paradise island of Mauritius where she meets a British couple, Robert and Rosemary, who share a tragic secret of their own.
The moment they introduce Holly to handsome writer, Philippe, she begins to fall in love, something she hasn’t allowed herself to do for twenty years.
But Philippe has not been completely honest and when Holly stumbles across the truth, she feels totally betrayed.
The Wildflowers by Harriet Evans
Tony and Althea Wilde. Glamorous, argumentative … adulterous to the core.
They were my parents, actors known by everyone. They gave our lives love and colour in a house by the sea – the house that sheltered my orphaned father when he was a boy.
But the summer Mads arrived changed everything. She too had been abandoned and my father understood why. We Wildflowers took her in.
My father was my hero, he gave us a golden childhood, but the past was always going to catch up with him … it comes for us all, sooner or later.
This is my story. I am Cordelia Wilde. A singer without a voice. A daughter without a father. Let me take you inside.
The Lost Girl by Carol Drinkwater
Since her teenage daughter went missing four years ago, Kurtiz Ross has blamed and isolated herself. Until, out of the blue, Lizzie is sighted in Paris.
But within hours of her arrival, Kurtiz sees the City of Light plunged into terror.
Amid the fear and chaos, a hand reaches out. A sympathetic stranger offers to help a terrified mother find her daughter.
The other woman’s kindness – and her stories of her own love and loss in post-war Provence – shine unexpected light into the shadows.
The night may hold the answers to a mystery – but dare Kurtiz believe it could also bring a miracle?
My Grandfather’s Eyes by B.A. Spicer
·When Alex Crane stumbles upon an intriguing piece of family history, she is consumed by piecing together childhood memories which will ultimately redefine her place in the world.
Time to say Goodbye by S D Robertson
HOW DO YOU LEAVE THE PERSON YOU LOVE THE MOST?
Will Curtis’s six-year-old daughter, Ella, knows her father will never leave her. After all, he promised her so when her mother died. And he’s going to do everything he can to keep his word.
What Will doesn’t know is that the promise he made to his little girl might be harder to keep than he imagined. When he’s faced with an impossible decision, Will finds that the most obvious choice might not be the right one.
But the future is full of unexpected surprises. And father and daughter are about to embark on an unforgettable journey together . . .
Bear with Me by Jessica Redland
Jemma has the job of her dreams as curator for the children’s section of a museum in London. She spends each day surrounded by the one thing she’s absolutely passionate about: teddy bears. When boyfriend, Scott, shows a genuine interest in her passion instead of laughing at her for “playing with teddies all day”, she knows he’s a keeper.
Returning home to the North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitsborough Bay to celebrate her birthday, Jemma thinks she’s heading for her happy-ever-after when Scott unexpectedly proposes. So, a few days later, why isn’t he retuning her calls or responding to her texts?
Julie has always been a wonderful single mother to Jemma and her little brother, Sean. As owner of specialist teddy bear shop, Bear With Me, and the creative genius behind the successful range of Ju-Sea Bears, she inspires Jemma with her ability to balance a demanding career with home life. So why is the shop now in disarray and why is Sean so upset?
Sam thought he had his future all worked out. With a promising neurology career, a home, and a devoted fiancée, life was looking good. But now he’s all alone in a strange city, far from everyone and everything he cares about, struggling to rebuild the tatters of his life. Did he do the right thing by running away? What does the future hold and is he strong enough to face it?
Sometimes love finds us when we least expect it. But sometimes love leaves us, just as unexpectedly. When you’ve loved and lost, can you bear to let love in again?
The American Girl by Rachael English
Boston 1968. Rose Moroney is seventeen, smart, spirited – and pregnant. She wants to marry her boyfriend. Her ambitious parents have other plans. She is sent to Ireland, their birthplace, to deliver her daughter in a Mother and Baby home – and part with her against her will.
Dublin 2013. Martha Sheeran’s life has come undone. Her marriage is over, and her husband has moved on with unsettling speed. Under pressure from her teenage daughter, she starts looking for the woman who gave her up for adoption more than forty years before.
As her search leads her to the heart of long-buried family secrets, old flame Paudie Carmody – now a well-known broadcaster – re-enters the frame.
The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen
In 1944, British bomber pilot Hugo Langley parachuted from his stricken plane into the verdant fields of German-occupied Tuscany. Badly wounded, he found refuge in a ruined monastery and in the arms of Sofia Bartoli. But the love that kindled between them was shaken by an irreversible betrayal.
Nearly thirty years later, Hugo’s estranged daughter, Joanna, has returned home to the English countryside to arrange her father’s funeral. Among his personal effects is an unopened letter addressed to Sofia. In it is a startling revelation.
Still dealing with the emotional wounds of her own personal trauma, Joanna embarks on a healing journey to Tuscany to understand her father’s history—and maybe come to understand herself as well. Joanna soon discovers that some would prefer the past be left undisturbed, but she has come too far to let go of her father’s secrets now…
The Radium Girls by Kate Moore
Ordinary women in 1920s America.
All they wanted was the chance to shine.
Be careful what you wish for.
‘The first thing we asked was, “Does this stuff hurt you?” And they said, “No.” The company said that it wasn’t dangerous, that we didn’t need to be afraid.’
1917. As a war raged across the world, young American women flocked to work, painting watches, clocks and military dials with a special luminous substance made from radium. It was a fun job, lucrative and glamorous – the girls themselves shone brightly in the dark, covered head to toe in the dust from the paint. They were the radium girls.
As the years passed, the women began to suffer from mysterious and crippling illnesses. The very thing that had made them feel alive – their work – was in fact slowly killing them: they had been poisoned by the radium paint. Yet their employers denied all responsibility. And so, in the face of unimaginable suffering – in the face of death – these courageous women refused to accept their fate quietly, and instead became determined to fight for justice.
Drawing on previously unpublished sources – including diaries, letters and court transcripts, as well as original interviews with the women’s relatives – The Radium Girls is an intimate narrative account of an unforgettable true story. It is the powerful tale of a group of ordinary women from the Roaring Twenties, who themselves learned how to roar.
Under a Maltese Sky by Nicola Kearns
Being caught up in war is not what Ana Mellor expects when she lands in Malta to join her Wing-Commander father. In the midst of horror and destruction, the courage and resilience of the Maltese people is revealed as they struggle to survive. Ana falls in love but treachery intervenes with catastrophic consequences.
Meanwhile, disillusioned with Ireland’s fight for political independence, Ernie McGuill leaves home to join the British Army. Due to the outbreak of war he trains as a fighter pilot and is posted to Malta.It is against this background that the characters of Ana, Ernie and many others are interwoven in a story of betrayal and intrigue. This is not unravelled until generations later when two women make a journey to Malta – a journey that is to have astonishing consequences.
The Biscuit Girls by Hunter Davies
Ivy, Dulcie, Barbara, Ann, Dorothy and Jean all had different reasons for applying to work at Carr’s biscuits, but once they had put on their overalls and walked through the factory gates they discovered a community full of life, laughter and friendship.
To those who didn’t know, the biscuit factory that towered over Carlisle might look like just another slice of the industrial North, a noisy and chaotic place with workers trooping in and out at all hours. For the biscuit girls it was a place where they worked hard, but also where they gossiped, got into scrapes and made lifelong friends. Outside the factory walls there might be difficult husbands or demanding kids, and sometimes even heartbreak and tragedy, but they knew there would always be an escape from their troubles at Carr’s.
Some, like Barbara, only applied because she needed the extra cash, until things got a bit easier at home. Her supervisor cross examined her about who would be looking after the kids while she was at work, but let her have the job. Like many of the women who joined up ‘temporary’ Barbara went on to stay at Carrs for 32 years.
Beginning in the 1940s, these heartwarming and vividly-remembered stories have all been told by the women themselves to Hunter Davies.
Anglesey Blue by Dylan H Jones
It’s not the homecoming Detective Inspector Tudor Manx was expecting, but solving the case is just the start of his problems.
Recently transferred from the London Met to the North Wales Constabulary, Detective Inspector Tudor Manx has come to the Isle of Anglesey hoping for a quiet life.
But his hopes are dashed when a brutally mutilated body is found crucified to the bow of a fishing boat sending shockwaves through the peaceful community.
Manx’s faces pressure to solve the case quickly equipped with an inexperienced team.
Is the body a message or a premonition of more murders to come?
Adding to his mounting problems, Manx’s troubled past returns to haunt him. Manx left the island after the disappearance of his younger sister, Miriam; a cold case that still remains unsolved.
Can Manx solve the case before the body count rises?
How will he cope when he is forced to choose between his family and his duty as a police officer?
Still Dark by Alex Gray
New Year’s Eve should be a time for celebrating. But for Detective Superintendent William Lorimer, this is one night he will never forget…
Called to a house after gunshots are reported, the carnage Lorimer finds there leaves him traumatised and questioning his future with Police Scotland.
Meanwhile, the body count is rising on Glasgow’s streets. A number of known addicts are dying from accidental overdoses, but something’s not adding up. Where would the city’s poorest residents get hold of high-quality morphine?
As Lorimer struggles to return to duty, he spots a link between the deaths and a previous case involving the euthanasia of vulnerable patients. It seems the man responsible has resurfaced – and this time he’s got the backing of a dangerous criminal from Glasgow’s underworld.
Can Lorimer and his team get the killer off the streets for good before more innocent people die?
A Small Weeping by Alex Gray
When a murdered prostitute is found in a Glasgow train station, DCI Lorimer is perplexed by the ritualistic arrangement of her body. It isn’t long before there is another murder and he realises there’s no time to waste if he is to stop Glasgow’s latest serial killer.
A taut, suspense-filled thriller, A Small Weeping takes the reader on a gripping journey from the inner city to the wilds of the Scottish Isles, and far into the darkest depths of human nature.
The Cafe at Seashell Cove by Karen Clarke
Welcome to the Café at Seashell Cove, where you’ll find irresistible home-baked cakes, smiling friendly faces – and maybe even a second chance at love…
When Cassie Maitland needs a holiday from her glamorous but stressful job in event management, she escapes home to gorgeous Seashell Cove, where her family’s cosy café sits perched on the cliffs above sparkling waves and golden sand.
But a lot has changed while Cassie’s been away: her parents have transformed their tired café into a welcoming haven, her friends Meg and Tilly have whole new lives, and old flame Danny’s twinkling eyes and winning smile make Cassie feel even more flustered than they used to.
Keen to throw herself back into local life, Cassie starts to run themed events – including a not entirelysuccessful cat-café day, complete with dozens of felines. Luckily Danny is always around to lend a helping hand, and Cassie soon begins to wonder if her life in London was really all she made it out to be…
Could a new start in Seashell Cove be exactly what Cassie needs?
Bluethroat Morning by Jacqui Lofthouse – pre-order (due 22 May)
Alison Bliss, celebrity model and critically acclaimed writer, walks into the sea one ‘bluethroat morning’. In death she becomes a greater icon than in life, and the Norfolk village where she lived is soon a place of pilgrimage. Six years later her husband Harry, a schoolteacher, is still haunted by her suicide and faithful to her memory. Until he meets Helen and they fall in love.
Harry and Helen’s relationship initiates a return to the scene of Alison’s death where they meet ninety-eight year old Ern Higham, and a tale is revealed that has been generations in the making. As Harry pieces together a tragic history and finally confronts his own pain, he discovers that to truly move forward, first he must understand the past …
Goat in the Meze by Katerina Nikolas
A hapless American couple who are stranded in the bonkers backwater Greek village of Astakos are befuddled and bemused by the antics of the villagers who charm and outrage them with their quirky ways.
The elusive underwear thief is busy plundering the local washing lines hoping his identity will never be revealed, whilst the Pappas is up to his neck in nefarious schemes. Mail order Russian bride Masha is indulged by that old fool Vasilis in her passion for plastic surgery, and Stavroula plots to extricate herself from her marriage to the supposedly dead Toothless Tasos.
Not a day goes by in Astakos without deviousness and humour as part of the scenic backdrop.
The humorous antics of life in a fictional Greek village have the feel good factor to make you laugh-out-loud.
Poisoned Pen by Anthea Cohen
Shelbourne was a pretty little village, a place where everyone knew everyone else.
But, as would be expected, gossip was rife and little was left unknown. Especially when there were a bunch of older women who enjoyed a gossip or two over coffee mornings.
All particularly normal for a small village, but when someone starts to send notes in white envelopes, things take a more sinister turn. Was someone having a bit of fun? Were they just bored? Or was there more to these notes?
When Jane Fisk overhears her friends talking about her son, she is shocked. Is that what they thought about him? Just because he was forty and still living at home with her? Surely they knew that he was all she had left of a turbulent relationship.
Dorothy and Michaela, two friends living together, also receive a note that throws their long-term friendship into disarray. Hugh Ainsworth knows his wife wasn’t cut out for the parish life, but she was still with him, wasn’t she? And poor Carmen, the gossip hub of the village …
All it takes is a series of typed notes to send a calm village into a frenzy that would tarnish its reputation and change the lives of the residents forever.
The Little Italian Bakery by Valentina Cebeni – pre-order due 19 April
The scent of freshly baked biscuits, lemon and aniseed reminds Elettra of her mother’s kitchen. But her mother is in a coma, and the family bakery is failing. Elettra is distraught; she has many unanswered questions about her mother’s childhood – Edda was a secretive woman. The only clue is a family heirloom: a necklace inscribed with the name of an island.
Elettra buys a one-way ticket to that island, just off the coast of Sardinia. Once there, she discovers a community of women, each lost in their own way. They live in a crumbling convent, under threat from the local mayor and his new development plan. It is within the convent’s dark corridors and behind its secret doors that Elettra discovers a connection to her mother’s past. She also falls in love again: with friendship, baking and adventure.
In Strangers’ Houses by Elizabeth Mundy
There are some crimes you can’t sweep under the carpet…
Lena Szarka, a Hungarian cleaner working in London, knows all too well about cleaning up other people’s messes. When her friend Timea disappears, she suspects one of her clients is to blame. However, the police don’t share her suspicions and it is left to Lena to turn sleuth and find her friend.
Searching through their houses as she scrubs their floors, Lena desperately tries to find out what has happened. Only Cartwright, a police constable new to the job, believes that this will lead to the truth – and together they begin to uncover more of Islington’s seedy underbelly than they bargained for.
But Lena soon discovers it’s not just her clients who have secrets. And as she begins to unravel Timea’s past she starts to wonder if she really knew her friend at all.
Love at the Italian Lake by Darcie Boleyn
Sophia Bertoni discovers her boyfriend in bed with another woman, and realizes her life is going nowhere. Leaving her high-pressure job, she travels to Italy to stay with her grandmother while she figures out her next move.
When Sophia – quite literally – bumps into devastatingly handsome Joe Lancaster her plans are turned upside down. As the two realize they’re both spending the summer in the same town, a love affair seems on the cards.
But Sophia and Joe are both burdened by family secrets. Despite their attraction, will the sun set on Sophia and Joe’s romance – or will they find love at the Italian lake?
The Baobab Beach Retreat by Kate Frost
Tanzania. A place to be happy, to sleep uncovered with the sound of waves crashing to the shore. For Connie Stone, it’s a place to heal.
When Connie leaves behind a cheating husband and heartache in the UK for her aunt’s beach retreat, the last thing she wants is for her life to once again be complicated by men.
Yet when her past follows her to Tanzania, her time to heal is short-lived and a reckless decision shatters her hopes for a fresh start. An unexpected return to the UK reveals a long-hidden family secret that Connie has to deal with before she can decide the direction her life should take.
Getting over a broken heart was never going to be easy. Can Connie put the past to rest and find peace and love in a country far from home?
Too Clever by Half by Will North
The naked, maimed body found floating off the coast of Cornwall’s English Channel presents a vexing puzzle for Detective Inspector Morgan Davies and her Scene of Crimes Manager, Calum West. Post-mortem confirms the dead man’s wounds are evidence of torture, but without a name, a crime scene, or a motive, the detectives are stymied.
Two days later, a woman reports her partner, Archie Hansen, missing. A farmer and Druid, Archie had made a dangerous discovery he dared not share with anyone. Is he the anonymous floater?
Unraveling this mystery of betrayal, greed, and revenge will test the investigative skills and intuition of Davies and West as never before. With so little evidence, can they outsmart a wickedly clever killer?
The Beauty of Perhaps by Eryn Scott
Teacher required. Must have boat.
Twenty-eight year old Molly is a predictable, no surprises, plan ahead kind of girl, and the last person who should answer the ad for a teaching job on the remote Scottish island of Lilliebrae. She’s never been the type of adventurous spirit that would even consider such a radical change. And truthfully, she only took the job after her life in America went from bad to worse.
From day one on the island, Molly’s sure she’s not meant to stay. When a rugged journeyman arrives, things get even more complicated and she’s pushed even further outside her comfort zone. With his help, Molly works on finding the beauty of perhaps.
In this snapshot of modern day Scotland, Eryn Scott weaves one woman’s journey of self discovery with Scottish tradition and a sprinkling of windswept love.
Flip-Flops, Fiesta and Flamenco by Donna Hepburn
Abby and Lou have been BFF’s since the first day at Uni. Despite being opposites in both looks and personality they were drawn to each other, sharing a flat, dreams and a love of animals.
Through the ensuing years despite heartache and divorce, they remain as close as ever.
Abby would be the first to admit her life needs an injection of fun. Middle-aged, divorced and slightly overweight, she’s a mother/general dogsbody to two layabout sons, a pink-haired Amazonian on-off girlfriend and an incorrigible British Bulldog named Chester. Her lifelong dream of living in Spain’s glorious sunshine has been long forgotten or has it?
Lou was stuck in her own rut, never fully recovered from a tragedy in her past. A long list of online dating disasters had left her wondering if she will ever find love again. Her cool ice-maiden persona is shattered along with her cat’s eardrums when she wins £400,000 on an online bingo site. Could this be the answer to both their prayers?
Flip-Flops packed, they embark on their adventure, but it isn’t all sun and sangria. Warring pets, new neighbours, cooking experiments, scary wildlife and an escapee Donkey named Santos combine to make it an unforgettable Summer.
Can their friendship survive or will the Mediterranean dream become a nightmare?
Sometimes what you need is right there waiting for you…
Miss Moonshine’s Wonderful Emporium has stood in the pretty Yorkshire town of Haven Bridge for as long as anyone can remember. With her ever-changing stock, Miss Moonshine has a rare gift for providing exactly what her customers need: a fire opal necklace that provides a glimpse of a different life; a novel whose phantom doodler casts a spell over the reader; a music box whose song links love affairs across the generations. One thing is for certain: after visiting Miss Moonshine’s quirky shop, life is never the same again…
Nine romantic novelists from Yorkshire and Lancashire, including best-selling and award-winning authors, have joined together to create this collection of uplifting stories guaranteed to warm your heart. This intriguing mix of historical and contemporary romances will make you laugh, cry, and believe in the happy-ever-after.
Saints for all Occasions by Courtney Sullivan
Nora and Theresa Flynn are twenty-one and seventeen when they leave their small village in Ireland and journey to America. Nora is the responsible sister; she’s shy and serious and engaged to a man she isn’t sure that she loves. Theresa is gregarious; she is thrilled by their new life in Boston and besotted with the fashionable dresses and dance halls on Dudley Street. But when Theresa ends up pregnant, Nora is forced to come up with a plan – a decision with repercussions they are both far too young to understand.
Fifty years later, Nora is the matriarch of a big Catholic family with four grown children: John, a successful, if opportunistic, political consultant; Bridget, privately preparing to have a baby with her girlfriend; Brian, at loose ends after a failed baseball career; and Patrick, Nora’s favorite, the beautiful boy who gives her no end of heartache. Estranged from her sister and cut off from the world, Theresa is a cloistered nun, living in an abbey in rural Vermont. Until, after decades of silence, a sudden death forces Nora and Theresa to confront the choices they made so long ago.
The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
People aren’t sure what to make of Susan Green – family and colleagues find her prickly and hard to understand, but Susan makes perfect sense to herself, and that’s all she needs.
At 45, she thinks her life is perfect, as long as she avoids her feckless brother, Edward – a safe distance away in Birmingham. She has a London flat which is ideal for one; a job that suits her passion for logic; and a personal arrangement providing cultural and other, more intimate, benefits.
Yet suddenly faced with the loss of her mother and, implausibly, with the possibility of becoming a mother herself, Susan’s greatest fear is being realised: she is losing control.
When she discovers that her mother’s will inexplicably favours her brother, Susan sets out to prove that Edward and his equally feckless friend Rob somehow coerced this dubious outcome. But when problems closer to home become increasingly hard to ignore, she finds help in the most unlikely of places.
Eden’s Garden by Juliet Greenwood
Two women struggle with love, family duty, long-buried secrets and their own creative ambitions. But more than a hundred years ago Ann left a trail through London, Cornwall and Wales that leads Carys on a tantalising and increasingly shocking search for the truth.
What is the connection of the dilapidated north Wales estate, Plas Eden with her childhood sweetheart and her own family history, and what are the secrets of the statues in the garden?
Out of the Ashes by Vanessa Evetts
What would you do if you lost everyone you loved overnight?
How do you keep living when everything in you is screaming out in pain?
GRACE KINGSTON had it all. A passionate marriage, two gorgeous children and a career she loved until they were ripped from her life in a hit and run.
Thrust into a life she didn’t choose, she battles under the weight of her grief, and the conflicting desire to honour their memory. When she finds a handwritten bucket list in her son’s bedroom, she sells everything she owns and takes off on a quest that transforms her.
Conquering some of her greatest fears and insecurities, across three continents, Grace is faced with a decision. Does she keep living her life in survival mode, clinging to the memory of her husband and children, or does she release them from her tight grasp and build a new life without them?
What will it take to claim a life, filled to the brim with the passion and joy she desires? This raw, breathtaking story delves into the darkest places of grief and reveals the beauty that rises out of the ashes.
Inside the OBriens by Lisa Genova
Joe O’Brien is a Boston cop; his physical stamina and methodical mind have seen him through decades policing the city streets, while raising a family with his wife Rosie. When he starts making uncharacteristic errors, he attributes them to stress. Finally, he agrees to see a doctor and is handed a terrifying, unexpected diagnosis: Huntington’s disease.
Not only is Joe’s life set to change beyond recognition, but each of his four grown children has a fifty-fifty chance of inheriting the disease. Observing her potential future play out in his escalating symptoms, his pretty yoga teacher daughter Katie wrestles with how to make the most of the here and now, and how to care for her dad who is, inside, always an O’Brien.
The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye
Would your life unravel if someone you knew committed suicide? Theirs did.
Faye knows her heart still belongs to her first love, Jack. She also knows he might have moved on, but when she decides to track him down, nothing prepares her for the news that he’s taken his own life.
Faye is left wondering how to move forward – and whether or not Jack’s best friend Ethan will let her down again. And the news of Jack’s death ripples through the lives of her friends too.
Abbie finds herself questioning her marriage, and wondering if she was right to leave her first love behind. Poor Olivia is juggling her job and her boyfriend and trying to deal with a death of her own. And Jack’s death has hit Beth the hardest, even though she never knew him.
Is Beth about to take her own life too?
A Hundred Tiny Threads by Judith Barrow
It’s 1911 and Winifred Duffy is a determined young woman eager for new experiences, for a life beyond the grocer’s shop counter ruled over by her domineering mother.
The scars of Bill Howarth’s troubled childhood linger. The only light in his life comes from a chance encounter with Winifred, the girl he determines to make his wife.
Meeting her friend Honora’s silver-tongued brother turns Winifred’s heart upside down. But Honora and Conal disappear, after a suffrage rally turns into a riot, and abandoned Winifred has nowhere to turn but home.
The Great War intervenes, sending Bill abroad to be hardened in a furnace of carnage and loss. When he returns his dream is still of Winifred and the life they might have had… Back in Lancashire, worn down by work and the barbed comments of narrow-minded townsfolk, Winifred faces difficult choices in love and life.
We Were the Salt of the Sea by Roxanne Bouchard
As Montrealer Catherine Day sets foot in a remote fishing village and starts asking around about her birth mother, the body of a woman dredges up in a fisherman’s nets. Not just any woman, though: Marie Garant, an elusive, nomadic sailor and unbridled beauty who once tied many a man’s heart in knots. Detective Sergeant Joaquin Morales, newly drafted to the area from the suburbs of Montreal, barely has time to unpack his suitcase before he’s thrown into the deep end of the investigation. On Quebec’s outlying Gaspé Peninsula, the truth can be slippery, especially down on the fishermen’s wharves. Interviews drift into idle chit-chat, evidence floats off with the tide and the truth lingers in murky waters. It’s enough to make DS Morales reach straight for a large whisky…
Both a dark and consuming crime thriller and a lyrical, poetic ode to the sea, We Were the Salt of the Sea is a stunning, page-turning novel, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.
Purple Shroud by Susan Parry
The body of a man lies half-hidden in the purple heather, stabbed to death on the North York Moors. Detective Sergeants Nina Featherstone and Hazel Fuller set out to discover his identity and locate the mystery woman who accompanied him on the Coast to Coast Walk before disappearing without trace. When another body is found on a rifle range near Catterick, they begin to suspect a military connection.
While Mills assists with the forensic evidence, she remains preoccupied with another investigation – to discover who shot the red kite and left poisoned bait on the moor that nearly killed Earl.
El Camino de Santiago by Simon Green
*UPDATED FOR 2018 *
If you have ever wanted to hear about what it’s like to walk the Spanish pilgrimage ‘El Camino de Santiago’, about the preparations needed, the things to pack (and not to pack) and get real first-hand information quickly and easily, then you can now learn more through the experiences of a pilgrim who walked 220kms in 9 days.
Read the ‘secret diary’ documenting the thoughts and happenings, the people met and the events we found on the way to Santiago de Compostela.
Including lots of practical information learnt from day-to-day experience as well as post-walk thoughts from several weeks after returning home.
The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Cherry Radford – pre-order due 5 April
There’s someone out there, and an unforeseen, irresistible connection…
After the break-up of her marriage, Imogen escapes to her aunt’s converted lighthouse on Beachy Head. Writing for a tedious online magazine but hoping to start a novel, she wants to be alone until she finds an entrancing flamenco CD in her borrowed car and contacts the artist via Twitter. It turns out that actor-musician Santiago needs help with English, and is soon calling her profesora.
Through her window, the other lighthouse winks at her across the sea. The one where her father was a keeper, until he mysteriously drowned there in 1982. Her aunt is sending extracts from his diary, and Imogen is intrigued to learn that, like her and Santi, her father had a penfriend.
Meanwhile, despite their differences Imogen is surrounded by emotional and geographical barriers, Santi surrounded by family and land-locked Madrid their friendship develops. So, she reads, did her father’s but shocking revelations cause Imogen to question whether she ever really knew him.