The Wicked Day
By Mary Stewart
Far from being the scourge of Arthur, his bastard son Mordred actually strives to resist Merlin's prophecy of doom. But he is thwarted by the schemes of his sorceress mother, Queen Morgause, who has brough him up to be her revenge incarnate, and by misunderstandings beyond his control.Prophecy triumphs, and the confrontation that is as fatal as it is inevitable is played out against the darkened walls of the city of Camelot.
Without a City Wall
By Melvyn Bragg
Disillusioned with his successful life in London, Richard Godwin moves to a remote Cumberland village in search of a more fulfilling existence. His arrival coincides with a birth of an illegitimate child to a local woman, binding her to a future she had hoped to escape. As these two outsiders struggle to come to terms with themselves - and each other - their passion, desperation and delight draw all those around them into conflict.
Woman of the Inner Sea
By Thomas Keneally
A young woman once told Thomas Keneally her life story. It was to lodge in his mind and haunt his imagination, becoming the kernel for this enthralling and emotive novel. It tells of a marriage that becomes a nightmare, of a distraught woman's flight, actual and symbolic, into the Australian interior, a story of pursuit, tragic accident and a final, strange catharsis.
By Nigel Tranter
Son of the doomed Mary Queen of Scots, raised to rule two countries, James was one of the oddest kings ever to ascent any throne. Neither noble nor heroic, he confounded those who despised him by being shrewd enough to reign for fifty-eight years, survive countless plots and never go to war.'A vastly entertaining addition to the historical novels of Scots author Nigel Tranter.' Glasgow Sunday Mail
By Freda Lightfoot
Lissa Turner seems to have everything: she's pretty and intelligent, has warm and devoted parents and a beautiful home in the Lake District. But Lissa's real mother her as a baby, and her feelings of confusion have persisted through the years.Secretly Lissa wants nothing more than to be loved and cherished. But her lack of faith in herself launches her into a disastrous marriage with sinister consequences ...WISHING WATER is an engaging tale set in the hauntingly beautiful hills of the Lake District. It is the story of a heroine who overcomes the emotional legacy of her troubled past and discovers the confidence to grasp happiness when it is offered.
By Fiona Walker
When Tash French's potty grandmother mistakes a Christmas cracker engagement ring for the genuine article, a wedding of astronomical proportions is planned. Swept away by everyone's enthusiasm, Tash and her partner, Niall, can do little but laugh and go along with it. After all, they had meant to marry all along, hadn't they?As the wedding plans escalate, however, Tash starts to have doubts. Niall, a rising acting star, is always working away from home, forgetting important dates and falling in love with his leading ladies, and her own eyes keep wandering to a roguish fellow event rider. Even if the Best Man wins, Tash looks likely to give away more than her hand in marriage - she may lose her head and heart as well ...
Waiting for Lindsay
By Moira Forsyth
On a hot July day, Lindsay Mathieson, confident, careless and thirteen years old, walks up the beach where she has played all her life, around the rocks and out of sight. She leaves behind her two younger brothers, and two cousins. She does not come back.Thirty years later, the events on that fateful day remain a mystery. Gradually the cousins are drawn back to the High House, where as children they played on that sunny beach. There they must come to terms not just with the past, but with their own fallibility, and an uncertain future.
By Rosamunde Pilcher
Elfrida Phipps loves her new life in the pretty Hampshire village. She has a tiny cottage, her faithful dog Horace and the friendship of the neighbouring Blundells - particularly Oscar - to ensure that her days include companionship as well as independence. But an unforeseen tragedy upsets Elfrida's tranquillity: Oscar's wife and daughter are killed in a terrible car crash and he finds himself homeless when his stepchildren claim their dead mother's inheritance. Oscar and Elfrida take refuge in a rambling house in Scotland which becomes a magnet for various waifs and strays who converge upon it, including an unhappy teenage girl. It could be a recipe for disaster. But somehow the Christmas season weaves its magical spell and for Elfrida and Oscar, in the evening of their lives, the winter solstice brings love and solace.
By Nicholas Blincoe
'Models are like white mice - they are cute, they all look identical, and they all sleep with each other.'Jamie and Louise Greenhalgh look more like twins than brother and sister. He is twenty and should be in college; she is twenty-three, a born diva and a desperately failing model. But as Louise drags him from Paris to Milan and back her career mysteriously re-ignites, and Jamie is suddenly the brother of Europe's most talked-about model. But then he learns what they are talking about...
Whispers on the Water
By Audrey Howard
Tomboy Grace Tooley meets Rupert Bradley when her eldest brother's sudden death forces her to take on burdens beyond her years. From then on, Grace gives her heart to her brother's wealthy friend, but he sees her as a mere girl and marries a woman from his own station in life.They meet again when the Great War has changed them both. Grace has suffered loss and pain and emerged as a strong, passionate woman. Rupert, nearly broken by the horrors he has endured, has been humiliated by the bride who once seemed so right for him, and he rejects Grace's love and any hope of future happiness. But Grace is determined to rediscover the spirit of the only boy she ever loved in the man who is ready to die.
The Well Of Lost Plots
By Jasper Fforde
Leaving Swindon behind her to hide out in the Well of Lost Plots (the place where all fiction is created), Thursday Next, Literary Detective and soon-to-be one parent family, ponders her next move from within an unpublished book of dubious merit entitled 'Caversham Heights'. Landen, her husband, is still eradicated, Aornis Hades is meddling with Thursday's memory, and Miss Havisham - when not sewing up plot-holes in 'Mill on the Floss' - is trying to break the land-speed record on the A409. But something is rotten in the state of Jurisfiction. Perkins is 'accidentally' eaten by the minotaur, and Snell succumbs to the Mispeling Vyrus. As a shadow looms over popular fiction, Thursday must keep her wits about her and discover not only what is going on, but also who she can trust to tell about it ... With grammasites, holesmiths, trainee characters, pagerunners, baby dodos and an adopted home scheduled for demolition, 'The Well of Lost Plots' is at once an addictively exciting adventure and an insight into how books are made, who makes them - and why there is no singular for 'scampi'. In the words of one critic: 'Don't ask. Just read it.'
What I Loved
By Siri Hustvedt
In 1975 art historian Leo Hertzberg discovers an extraordinary painting by an unknown artist in a New York gallery. He buys the work, tracks down its creator, Bill Weschler, and the two men embark on a life-long friendship. This is the story of their intense and troubled relationship, of the women in their lives and their work, of art and hysteria, love and seduction and their sons - born the same year but whose lives take very different paths.
By Jill Dawson
In 18th-century France, a child is captured in the forests near Aveyron where he seems to have been living wild for seven years. Now 12 years old, the Wild Boy is put on public display as a freak, and finally handed over to the ambitious, emotionally repressed Doctor Itard, who is charged with educating the boy, whom he names Victor, and trying to discover the secrets of his strange, secret life. But Victor soon becomes a pawn in the raging debate about nature vs nurture, and Itard's attempts to civilise him bear little fruit. Instead, Victor seems drawn to Mme Guerin, his motherly guardian - and to her vivacious daughter, Julie, who is herself falling for Itard as he struggles to understand both Victor and his own confused emotions. Giving a vivid sense of the Revolutionary period, the novel brings to life through the stories of three fascinating characters a mysterious case that resonates in the modern day preoccupation with autism.
Write Away: One Novelist's Approach To Fiction and the Writing Life
By Elizabeth George
Elizabeth George is one of the most successful writers of crime fiction in the world. Her twelve novels have appeared on bestseller lists in the UK, USA and Australia, and several of them have been dramatised by BBC Television as the Inspector Lynley Mysteries. She has also written a collection of short stories and edited a crime anthology.Now she shares this wealth of experience with would-be novelists, and with crime fiction fans. Drawing extensively on her own work, and that of other bestselling writers including Stephen King, Harper Lee, Dennis Lehane and many others, she illustrates her points about plotting, characterisation and technique with great clarity. She also includes extracts from her own Journals - the diaries she keeps as she writes each of her novels - and these give us an unprecedented insight into the creative mind, with all its highs and lows.
We'll Meet Again
By Hilary Green
Liverpool 1942. Seventeen-year-old Frankie Franconi falls in love with charismatic British officer Nick Harper as quickly and certainly as the bomb that falls on their shelter. He is impressed by her good looks and intelligence, and the fact that, like him, she speaks fluent Italian. When she insists on staying to help rescue others who have been trapped he realises that she has courage, too. He gives her a business card with a Baker Street address, and suggests she put her skills to good use. Within a month Frankie has joined the FANYs and started her training. Stationed first in England, then Africa and finally Italy, Frankie and her fellow recruits work tirelessly decoding messages from agents in the field by day, and enjoying the wartime parties at night. But when she signs the Official Secrets Act she has no idea of the danger, adventure and terrible choices that are in store.
The White Witch
By Elizabeth Goudge
The White Witch is a story set at the time of the beginning of the English Civil War and the men and women drawn into it on both sides. Robert Haslewood, the local squire turns puritan and follows his boyhood hero to war leaving his children and wife behind him. His cousin Froniga, half gypsy and the White Witch of the title, a wise woman with the power of healing lives in danger. Her gypsy cousins sometimes camp near her but will always move on. They have befriended Yomen, who conceals a grand past but is now a tinker and royalist spy. He loves the puritan Froniga. A journey man painter, Francis, delights in painting the Haslewood children while spying too for the royalist cause. Their lives entwine until the bloodiness of war forces them to be loyal to their side whatever their personal ties, threatening to destroy friendships and humanity and kindness in the process.
A Woman of Cairo
By Noel Barber
Son and daughter of diplomats in Cairo, the gentle Serena Pasha and Mark Holt are good-looking and privileged, growing up in a magical world of champagne breakfasts and midnight picnics at the pyramids. Their lives entwined since childhood, they grow ever closer as adults. Yet Serena's hand has been promised not to Mark, but to his brother, Greg.However, as the Second World War speeds closer to Cairo, a terrible accident gives these young lovers a second chance - and with this chance comes terrible dangers. Egypt is threatened not only by the German army but by nationalist forces within Cairo determined to end the British occupation at any cost. The country torn apart, and with enemies on all sides, Mark and Serena's love is tested to the limit.
What I Know
By Andrew Cowan
On the morning of his fortieth birthday, Mike Hannah wakes from a dream about the girl he loved twenty years earlier. Once an aspiring writer, he is now a private detective whose work and marriage have become routine, and he begins to wonder what might have been. Which leads him to wondering where his ex-girlfriend is now, and whether other people's lives are more exciting than his. Which leads him to spying on his own family, friends and neighbours. Which leads to some very unwelcome surprises...
Wild Mountain Thyme
By Rosamunde Pilcher
Victoria Bradshaw fell in love with London playwright Oliver Dobbs when she was just eighteen. But he left her and disappeared from her life. Now, years later, he is a widower standing on her doorstep with his two-year-old son in his arms. And Victoria is foolish enough to want to take him back. Their early spring journey to a castle in Scotland becomes an odyssey of emotional discovery . . . can they rekindle their love in the tranquil beauty of the countryside, or will Oliver's career dictate another course?
The Wyndham Case
By Jill Paton Walsh
The locked library of St Agatha's College, Cambridge houses an unrivalled, and according to certain scholars, deeply uninteresting collection of seventeenth century volumes.It also contains one dead student.Tragic and accidental, of course, even if malicious gossip hints that Philip Skellow had been engaged in stealing books rather than acquiring knowledge when he'd slipped, banged his head, and bled to death overnight.Only Imogen Quy, the college nurse, has her doubts - until another student is found, drowned in an ornamental fountain...