My name is Herpyllis. I’m an unremarkable woman, but I’ve known remarkable men and women and lived through extraordinary times in exceptional places...
So begins this story of a life shaped and marked by two men who are still household names: Alexander the Great and Aristotle.
349BC: After the slaughter of her family and destruction of her city by the Macedonians, Herpyllis is taken to their capital, where the Queen becomes her second mother and Alexander her first love. It is a man’s world with new gods, but the women practise the ancient rites of the Great Goddess, held in secrecy and forbidden to men on pain of death.
A tale of passions, mayhem and pagan rites in the idyllic countryside
When yuppies Mitchell and Jocasta Dever move into Yew Tree cottage in the Hampshire village of Itchen Prior they fondly imagine they’ll be starting a new life of bucolic bliss in a rural idyll. In fact, things don’t exactly turn out like that. What they ﬁnd is a seething pit of incest, sexual jealousy, paganism, exploitation, sharp business practices, feudalism and murder.
A Place in the Country - whose galaxy of characters includes Sherborne St John, the lord of the manor and his scheming wife, Gwendolyn, who keeps her stable hand, Crux Easton, as a sex slave; Jed Smith, exploitative garden centre owner who uses the Bosnian student Jagoda Doboj and her friends as cheap illegal labour, and the deeply dubious Warren family - is a novel that takes a hilarious, jaunty, and also often moving and disturbing look at a rural idyll that is anything but.
‘I knew this girl, you see. A sort of a friend. No one thought she really mattered much, but that turned out to be a mistake. Because she blew a hole through my life – and the lives of everyone I knew.’
Anna’s found the perfect friend in Zoe: she’s cool, she’s smart, she’s goth, she’s gorgeous. If only geeky Kerry would stop hanging around and cramping their style. They’d like to get rid of her. But they should be careful what they wish for...
The Misper by best-selling crime and children’s writer Bea Davenport is a gripping story of obsessive friendships, jealousies, bullying – and the consequences of your actions.
This first collection of poems introduces Bridget Nolan’s deeply moving, wonderfully evocative, verbally inventive and highly varied voice. From the title poem ‘A Walk With Charles Dickens’, which makes you feel that Bridget really met him, to her beautiful ode ‘Romney Marsh’, and dozens of poems that stir the emotions first one way, then another, this collection is completely unforgettable. Inspired by Nature, Love and human vulnerability, folly and yearning, Bridget brings her beloved Kent alive for readers everywhere. She also explores the effects of grief following a deeply personal loss.
The poems are accompanied by personal notes, sharing the writer’s thoughts and reasoning behind individual poems.
Smart and sexy divorcee Lucy Shaw, Shaw by name but unsure by nature, wants to find something – or someone – to bring her lasting happiness. But she keeps looking in all the wrong places: including the chocolate aisle of her local supermarket, the occasional bottle of vodka and her complex and troubled past, and she finds she loses more than she gains – a husband, her patience, her enormous boobs and her dignity for starters.
Hampered by her tendency always to want what she hasn’t got and an apparent inability to let go of the past, will Lucy ever find her elusive happy-ever-after? This witty, amusing, highly entertaining and fast-paced novel is sure to make you feel Lucy’s dilemma, and warm your heart.
Bribed with 500 euros, seventeen-year-old Caylin agrees to go with her parents on a package holiday to Tuscany. She soon regrets her decision, leaves Mum and Dad behind at the hotel and hitchhikes alone to the city of Siena in search of something more exciting.
But Caylin‘s big adventure in Siena soon gets scary and dangerous when she meets a girl, Lula, who brands her a thief, which leads to Caylin being ostracised by her new best friend, Stefania. Meanwhile, unknown to Caylin, twenty-one-year-old Joe has volunteered to leave the holiday group to search for her and make sure she’s safe, or at least that‘s his story anyway! Caylin makes two dramatic discoveries, one about Joe and the other about Lula. Caylin’s adventure starts to spiral out of control, until love intervenes to give her the chance of a new life.
The kingdom of Culrain may have outlawed magic, but when Lex‘s best friend, Princess Mera, tells him that they must journey to the fabled Skara Brae to bring back magic, Lex knows it’s his destiny to go. But destiny doesn‘t come easily, and Lex will have to face many trials on his way, including the Brethren of Peace: an organisation devoted to destroying all magic. Could Lex be magic’s last hope?
Heera Watson is like any ordinary fifteen-year-old girl... not! Torn between the British way of life and her Indian heritage, she‘s the target of catty comments at school in Birmingham from Laura Foster, the ’It‘ girl at St Claire’s, and her gang. Heera is constantly pressured at school to look and dress in certain ways, but all she has ever wanted is to be herself. Her journey to becoming the person she really wants to be starts when she finds three sacred crystals in a safe at home. This discovery puts thousands of lives in danger, and catapults Heera into a mind-blowing quest through the magical kingdom of Fallowmere. There, forging new friendships with people and creatures she never imagined could exist, Heera bravely confronts deadly challenges to save her loved ones from the devious Dark King, who will stop at nothing to carry out his evil schemes. Heera Watson and the Rise of the Dark King is a wonderfully imaginative tale of courage, friendship, battle and what it means to face your true destiny.
Is losing your virginity just a simple matter, and is dying something we all take for granted? How many levels of crime are there and don’t we all transgress in varying degrees? Is learning all to do with understanding how much we don’t know?
Anna sets off in her youthful enthusiasm to explore beyond her cosmopolitan background, and in the complexity of rural England uncovers some startling truths about herself and the people she cares about.
This lyrically written, powerful novel from an author with a deep understanding of the wellsprings of emotion, will fascinate you, and warm your heart.
Shamila is a Muslim student at Marseille University at a time when the city is under threat from terrorism. Ethnic tensions are rising. Then one day while jogging, she meets a fellow student, Victor. It is the beginning of a friendship that rapidly grows into something more. But Victor is not a Muslim and her family don’t approve. What happens next will plunge them both into danger and change their lives forever. This is a tense, page-turner of a novel and could not be more topical, given current events.
Mark Jones, a twenty-three-year-old supermarket worker in Herne Bay, doesn’t have a lot going for him. He’s earning the minimum wage, is still living with his parents, and his favourite hobby is PlayStation.
But one evening after work, he eats a packet of crisps on the cliff top and watches the sun go down over the Thames estuary. When he throws the empty packet into a litter bin, a gust of wind suddenly blows the packet away. He has no idea how completely this chance event will change his life.
The Crisp Packet is one of the most original novels you’ll ever read. It tells the story of Mark’s odyssey into life and the accidental mayhem he causes before he finally finds true love with a woman who’s even more unusual than he is. The Crisp Packet is bizarre, funny, disturbing, thought-provoking, and highly entertaining. Meet Mark Jones, a hero of our times!
Meet Ivana (‘call me Vanny’) Jones, a sexy, beautiful, warm-hearted professional chess-player. She has a problem: she’s only attracted to guys who can beat her… so what’s she to do when a chess amateur, the Russian billionaire Boris Bogolyubov, proposes marriage?
Not only that, but as Vanny tries to achieve her lifelong dream of becoming a chess grandmaster, she develops a crush on Norwegian sex-god Sven while also falling for a stunning and adoring Frenchwoman.
Meanwhile, Vanny’s hoping a revolutionary new drug treatment will save her best friend Charlotte’s life.
Set in London, Monaco, Budapest, Helsinki, Odessa, New York… and Leicester, this sparkily written, passionate, emotional and entertaining novel will rock your boat… even if you’ve never shouted ‘Checkmate!’
Two completely unrelated young Londoners - Hamila Rashid, a black, ex-Somalian refugee living in the UK - and Tony Hammond-Jones, a white, middle-class bishop’s son from rural Hertfordshire - begin having recurring dreams featuring each other. When they finally manage to meet, they slowly realise that they share a destiny that has the potential to change the world forever.
Set in the turbulent year 1984, during the Miners’ Strike and under the shadow of IRA terrorism, A Loaded Gun takes place against the background of a Britain torn by conflict, its first woman prime minister being determined to re-shape the nation in her own image, which is closer to the vision of the hero, sports centre director Steve, than that of his lover, English literature lecturer Helena. More than one gun is fired in this energetic, pacy love story and political thriller.
Europe is on the brink of war and a precariously neutral Lisbon is teeming with British, German and Portuguese spies. In this uneasy atmosphere of espionage and political intrigue, Father Michael Harrington, a professor at an ancient college for the education of English clergy, is about to embark on the biggest adventure of his life: a passionate affair with Dona Elisabete, a stunning, free-living outspoken Portugese socialite.
Dona Elisabete challenges him in every way and leads him into increasing conflict with his vocation, and his king and country.
The Barque of Bulleyn is a thrilling story of adventure, gun-running, piracy, political intrigue and betrayal, with passion and love along the way. It is based on events that occurred between April and July 1574, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The novel is primarily about the author’s ancestor, Robert Isted of Hastings: the captain of the Barque of Bulleyn, a ship of war that he had purchased from the Navy Royal.
When he was a boy, K. C. Isted’s father took him to Hastings and told him that the family was descended from pirates and smugglers. K. C. Isted never forgot this. Years later, when researching his family history, he discovered the full story. The Barque of Bulleyn is a result of that research.
What drives a man to burn down his house - the home he shared with his wife and children? Michael Gaines is that man. Brought to the end of his tether by a seemingly unsympathetic bank, he’s lost his business, his home and, for now, his wife and children after they walk out on him.
Yet everything may not be what it seems. Stuck in prison, and with the help of his career criminal cellmate, Michael slowly starts to understand what has really happened. He’s been deliberately targeted by an envious business rival who not only wants to steal Michael’s business but has also set his eyes on Michael’s beautiful wife, Hannah.
Gaines, his life collapsing around him, resolves to take revenge…
Auctioning babies makes sense, at least that’s what Market World thinks. After all the baby goes to someone who can give it a good start in life, and the baby’s parents get a return for their pain and trouble.
But for Ed and Matt, the Baby Auction sums up everything that’s wrong with a society based on profit. Then one day Matt rescues a drowning child and they face the question: can love and compassion overcome the harsh laws of Market World?
When Michael Stanton goes to work one day and doesn’t come back, everyone – friends, family and the police – thinks his pregnant girlfriend Jill should accept he’s left her. After all, he’s done it before.
But Jill just won’t believe that Michael would walk away from her and their unborn child. Increasingly desperate and alone, she’s determined to find him.
Just where is Michael?
What Jill doesn’t know is that his beautiful ex, Anna, wants him back, and won’t take no for an answer. And it isn’t just him she wants…
In a maze of captivity, sexual tension and dark desire, Michael battles with his feelings. Does he really want his normal life back, or could there be a future with the woman who terrifies, controls and fascinates him?
Baby is a compelling, sexy, disturbing and unforgettable thriller.
Heaven and Hell is a stunningly original, erotic and immensely thought-provoking novel about a Jewish journalist, Michael Cohen, sent by a London news agency to uncover secret plans to rebuild the Temple on Mount Zion, Jerusalem, next to the Mosque on the Dome of the Rock. Tempted by women and fascinated by them following a disturbing childhood experience, Cohen undergoes a spiritual crisis that leads to his conversion to Christianity, accusations of proselytising to the Jews, a spell in a mental hospital and a climactic spiritual salvation.
In seventeenth-century London, thirteen years after the plague and twelve years after the Great Fire, the restoration of King Charles II has dulled the memory of Cromwell’s puritan rule, yet fear and suspicion are rife. Religious turmoil is rarely far from tipping the scales into hysteria.
Elizabeth Cellier, a bold and outspoken midwife, regularly visits Newgate Prison to distribute alms to victims of religious persecution. There she falls in with the charming Captain Willoughby, a debtor, whom she enlists to gather information about crimes against prisoners, so she might involve herself in petitioning the king in their name.
‘’Tis a plot, Madam, of the direst sort.’ With these whispered words Willoughby draws Elizabeth unwittingly into the infamous Popish Plot and soon not even the fearful warnings of her husband, Pierre, can loosen her bond with it.
This is the extraordinary true story of one woman ahead of her time and her fight against prejudice and injustice.
Written with charm and humour, Mary Essinger‘s page-turning memoir takes the reader on a highly entertaining journey from her pre-war life of spirited poverty in a Leicestershire village to a career as a lecturer in Spoken English, novelist and stand-up comedian. With a sharp eye for tragedy and a warm appreciation for joy, Mary recounts her wartime life and subsequent life as a dress designer in the economic boom conditions of the 1950s and falling in love with a German Jewish refugee who clicked his heels when he met her family. It’s all here, in Mary, Quite Contrary.