The Cunning Woman’s Cup by Sue Hewitt. Thanks to Sue for providing an ebook for review.
When Alice McCleish’s gardener Brian unearths an object of great archaeological significance deep under the compost heap it is not only Alice who is affected. Her friendship with Margaret Allerton, retired Professor of Anthropology, as well as Alice’s family, friends and neighbours are all touched.
Alice and Margaret find themselves questioning long-held beliefs about the material and spiritual world that surrounds them. Both women find their lives transformed unalterably by their newfound companionship. Serendipity puts Alice’s nearest neighbour, the troubled Violet Turnbull, in touch with the enigmatic Avian Tyler, whose mystical ‘gift’ offers Violet a promise of liberation.
All the while an echoing voice from long, long ago hints at the history of the locality dominated by the standing stone circle that bestrides the skyline above the small community of Duddo. This harrowing story reveals the provenance of the artefacts found beneath that compost heap.
Little Girl Lost by Carol Wyer. A change of direction from Carol who normally writes contemporary women’s fiction. Now we get a chance to discover her dark side. On Kindle pre-order for 99p, due to be published 19 Jan 2017.
A perfect family hiding disturbing secrets. A killer who wants the truth to be told.
A teacher goes missing under suspicious circumstances.
A millionaire is murdered at a local reservoir.
For Detective Robyn Carter, there’s no obvious link between the men. But as she starts to delve into the cases, her investigations lead her to Abigail, perfect wife and mother to beautiful little Izzy. What was Abigail’s connection to the victims? And why is she receiving threatening messages from an anonymous number?
But as Robyn starts to inch closer to finding the killer, Izzy is abducted.
Unless Robyn gets to the twisted individual in time, a little girl will die …
Extraordinary People by Peter May (Free)
An old mystery.
As midnight strikes, a man desperately seeking sanctuary flees into a church. The next day, his sudden disappearance will make him famous throughout France.
A new science.
Forensic expert Enzo Macleod takes a wager to solve the seven most notorious French murders, armed with modern technology and a total disregard for the justice system.
A fresh trail.
Deep in the catacombs below the city, he unearths dark clues deliberately set – and as he draws closer to the killer, discovers that he is to be the next victim.
A Yorkshire Christmas by Kate Hewitt (Free)
Wealthy New York City girl Claire Lindell isn’t looking for a Christmas miracle or happiness when she abruptly decides to hole up for the holiday at her godmother’s cottage in a little Yorkshire village, and lick her wounds from a near disastrous romantic decision.
After her car skids into a snow bank, Claire may have accidently found her perfect Christmas and the family and love she’s craved when she offers Noah Bradford of Ayesgill Farm help to push the back end of one of his sheep out of the icy mud, even if she’s going to ruin a brand new pair of Prada boots during the rescue.
What’s a little leather when love’s on the line?
Before the Sunflowers by Ruth Silvestre (Free)
What’s a life without music…?
Ruth Silvestres’s childhood was marked by poverty – her mother counted out the budget in Oxo tins, whilst singing her daughters to sleep at night.
Now in her late eighties, Ruth looks back on her life from her holiday home in rural France, Belair.
Sitting with her son, she reflects on the changes that she experienced over the years.
Despite the outbreak of World War Two, Ruth heads to university and qualifies as a teacher, but what she really wants to do is sing.
Determined to follow her dream, she finds herself an agent who gets her work performing in cabarets, on cruise ships, and she eventually makes the big leap to the West End.
As Ruth tells her story, we hear of adventures about make-up lessons from Max Factor, being in the chorus of a West End show starring Juliet Prowse, and being called in to perform at the 11th hour, impressing the legendary Rodgers and Hammerstein with her performance.
But the greatest achievement in her life was still to come, in the form of her husband, Mike, and the life they shared together.
Yet even after losing her husband, and having two hip replacements, Ruth still has a boundless energy and enthusiasm to share her inspirational tale.
Filled with history and gentle memories of a time long gone, Before the Sunflowers pays homage to a beautiful life, filled with laughter, music, songs and love.
Fade to Dead by Tara Moore (Free)
A serial killer, The Director, is on the loose in South London. He’s snatching young women off the street to ‘act’ in his movies. He’s got a type: barely legal, blonde and beautiful.
Newly promoted DI Jessica Wideacre is tasked with heading up the investigation. But with few clues to go on and a rising body count, Jessica begins to fear she isn’t up to the job. Her boss is breathing down her neck. Her marriage is in jeopardy and the pressure is driving her to drink.
Meanwhile, The Director has another victim in his sights. He’s rolled out the red carpet, he’s got a killer script, and now he’s got his star. It’s a dream role…but who will die to get it?
Midnight in Montmartre by Chloe Emile (Free)
The clock struck midnight and Luc met Mia at the top of Montmartre.
Luc Deneuve thinks he is in love with Beth, the perfect woman. Until he meets Mia. What is he doing falling for an American who laughs too loud, speaks bad French, and has the wildest hair he’s ever seen?
Adopted at birth, Mia Golden just wants to find her long-lost sister in Paris. She comes all the way from Seattle in search of someone who shares her DNA, but instead she finds love in the form of a handsome Frenchman.
But Luc loves Beth, the most desired woman in Paris…so why can’t he stop thinking about Mia?
The Romanov Ransom by Anne Armstrong Thompson (Free)
When CIA agent Ward Grant is imprisoned by the Russians deep in the dreaded Lubyanka Prison, he fears he is a forgotten man.
With détente, however, the U.S. Government arranges an exchange to save Grant.
But the Russians will only release him if the United States finds and delivers the priceless imperial treasure that vanished during the Russian Revolution – the twelve Imperial Easter Eggs crafted by Faberge for the family of Czar Nicholas, each lavishly decorated with enamels and jewels, each worth a fortune.
Although their recovery seems unlikely, the CIA assigns agency veteran Henryk Kessel to find them.
He and his assistant, the beautiful Leslie Monroe, try to piece together the vanished past, combing the archives and museums of the world for a clue.
In a hunt that takes them from the elegant drawing rooms of Georgetown to the busy bars of Stockholm, they pursue their mission.
But it soon becomes evident that others, including the KGB, are on the same trail.
As suspicion grows that not all the Romanovs are dead, Leslie quickly becomes target as well as pursuer, while Ward’s life hangs in the balance.
Dark Mirrors by Siobhain Bunni (Free)
Esmée Myers, once an impassioned woman, is living a life where her only excitement is the laundry and the children. Her relationship with her husband leaves a lot to be desired, but she is content to focus on providing emotional stability and security for her two young children.
For her husband, Philip, she is no more than a housekeeper, childminder and cleaner, easy to betray but not so easy to fool . . .
When Esmée becomes convinced that Philip is having an affair, she secretly plans to leave him and set up a new home with the children. Finally making the break, she feels she can look forward to a bright and fulfilling future.
Then Philip disappears without trace, leaving only his car standing on a clifftop. Though no body is found, the police deduce he has committed suicide. Esmée, however, thinks otherwise.
What begins as a carefully planned escape from a maudlin and tedious relationship descends into something much darker as layer by layer Esmée strips back the last ten years of her life with a man it turns out she never really knew.
Where There’s a Will by Mary Malone (Free)
Inheritance – a sharp knife cutting through a family unit.
Kieran Dulhooly is shocked to discover he’s the sole beneficiary of his Aunt Polly’s will, inheriting her valuable West Cork home as well as a substantial amount of saving. But his windfall comes with a legal clause: he must live in the house for a period of 12 months before reviving rightful ownership. Kieran’s euphoria is short-lived, his aunt’s conditions stifling for her wanderlust nephew.
Waiting in the wings and next in line to inherit are Kieran’s sisters, Beth and Charlotte. Having already earmarked Polly’s money, financially distress Beth sets out on a course of destruction, determined to get her share – one way or another. In this, she has the full support of her mother Marian.
Will Kieran walk away from such an opportunity? Is settling in one place for a year beyond possible? Or will the spark he feels for the vulnerable girl next door prompt him to take a chance and accept Aunt Polly’s challenge?
Happily Ever After by Annett Holliday (Free)
It’s the 1970s in Dublin, and Ali O’Neill and Trisha Costello – best friends since forever – want nothing more than to dance the night away at the Grove disco. But soon both girls are falling in love for the first time, changing their lives dramatically.
As they approach their twenties, family tragedy and class snobbery threaten to overwhelm Ali, while Trisha struggles to break the mould and have fun. Desperate to escape, the best friends book their tickets and set off on an Australian adventure. But Trisha doesn’t expect to have to return home suddenly, and Ali finds herself stranded thousands of miles from home with a pressing problem.
But is there a chance the girls will live happily ever after?
Sometimes you have to go halfway round the world before you realise that the best things are on your doorstep.
Winter Flowers by Carol Coffey (Free)
When her dishevelled, eight-year-old nephew Luke comes knocking on her door in the middle of the night, Iris Fay knows her sister Hazel is in trouble again. This time, it is a house fire started by her drunken boyfriend Pete Doyle.
As Iris is drawn back into Hazel’s dysfunctional lifestyle, she is haunted by her own past and also by the childhood memories she has kept secret from her sister.
When Pete becomes an even greater threat to the family and her sons are placed in danger, Hazel realises she must turn her life around or else lose them. But then she stumbles on a pile of letters in her mother’s attic and their contents spiral her into an even darker place.
Meanwhile Iris, too, is confronted by her past when her former husband Mark suddenly comes back into her life, looking for answers.
Can the sisters face up to their memories and find the future they long for? Or will the secrets of their childhood continue to destroy them and those they hold dear?
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A young British diplomat and his wife have been posted to Athens. Hugh loves the life there but his spirited and unconventional wife, Evadne, finds it hard to fit in with the whirl of endless parties and socialising.
When Hugh is sent to Crete to sort out a problem, they stay in a rundown house owned by his family. His wife falls in love with the place and the people, and stays on when Hugh returns to his duties. As she tries to rebuild the ramshackle home, Evadne – known as Heavenly by the locals – makes firm friends with Anthi, a young woman from the village and Christo, the handsome and charismatic young builder.
But the dark clouds of war are gathering and the island will become a crucible of violence and bloodshed in the days to come. For Heavenly, her friends and family, it will be the greatest test they have ever known.