Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves via NetGalley. Published 27 April
During the Second World War, Rene Hargreaves leaves her children with her aunt and boards a train without buying a return ticket, so sure is she that she never wants to see her husband again.
Instead she starts a new life as a Land Girl on Starlight Farm. She finds its owner Elsie Boston and her country ways strange at first, yet as their relationship develops they become inextricably dependent on each other, long after the war has ended. When their shared life is suddenly threatened by a visitor who comes to stay, and something that happens not long after, they must begin to fight a war of their own against not just their community, but the nation’s press, and the full force of the law.
Let the Light Shine by Nick Alexander (99p)
Penny and Victoria are about as different as two siblings can be, one with a smart London lifestyle, the other struggling to make ends meet.
But they are joined by more than blood, and their shared past is affecting the present more than they realise.
When events begin to tug at the fabric beneath which dark secrets are hidden, the resulting chaos threatens to tear the two families apart.
Could there be aspects of the past that youngest child Penny doesn’t remember?
Could the truth of Marge be more complex than the beloved mother the girls choose to perceive?
And could the true story of Christmas 1975 be the key to understanding Victoria, Marge, and much much more?
The Christmas Cottage by Patricia Dixon (99p)
The third novel by Patricia Dixon, sees a festive return to the tiny, French village of Pierre de Fontaine. Nestled in the sleepy hills and misty valleys of the Loire, it is time to re-visit old friends and spend Christmas with Rosie and Michel, Anna and Daniel and other characters from the past. Be transported to crisp, winter mornings and star filled, moonlit nights. Relax around a glowing, log fire and enjoy a taste of Noël in France as you are transported across the channel, to the story of The Christmas Cottage.
Connie loves Christmas and despite being rushed off her feet, relishes having her family there on the big day. However, this year things will be different. One by one, each of her three children announce that they will be away for the holidays and Connie is left with a dilemma. Should she put on a brave face and stay at home, alone? Could she grin and bear playing hostess to the remainder of her annoying, extended family? Or, perhaps she should just run for the hills.
Max is at a crossroads in his life. After coming to terms with the surprise ending of his marriage he has burnt himself out in an attempt to heal his broken heart. Too many one night stands and a near miss, fatal attraction episode has prompted him to take stock and re-evaluate where he goes from here. A spur of the moment decision, leads to a break in the Loire for Christmas where he plans to forget the past, recharge his batteries and make a fresh start in the New Year.
Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley (99p)
Companions come in all shapes and sizes.
Companionship lasts forever.
Ted + Lily
Enjoy long walks.
Watch films together.
Have been known to share a pizza.
Love each other fiercely.
Have been inseparable for 12 years.
But there is one more twist to come in this tail …
A January Killing by Paul Toolan (99p)
January, white frost, a pitch-black orchard.
The ancient ritual of ‘Wassailing’ begins with a torchlight procession and ends with shotguns being fired into the trees, to scare off ‘evil spirits’ and revive the apple blossom.
But not every shotgun fires blanks, and next day a dead body has blossomed in the orchard.
What is the killer’s motive? Why this victim? And who is sending anonymous letters to the villagers of Stockton Marsh, where Detective Inspector Batten’s own Sergeant lives?
Winter closes in, but murder does not stop with the dead – it tunnels into the living too, as Batten and Sergeant Ball discover. Will their own endangered lives and relationships ever be quite the same?
As snow descends, the police make ready. Until another body is found…
Paul Simon Lyrics 1964-2011 (50p in The Works)
Couldn’t resist this bargain when I saw it. Went to see the great man himself last November and one of the best concerts ever. His music that has accompanied me throughout my life and he’s still producing albums worthy of listening too.
The Baggy Trousered Misanthropist by Kelly Welles
Having suffered a traumatic childhood in which her parents deprived her of the fifteen to twenty books per week she required to sustain herself, at age seven Kelly Welles punished them by stealing reading material from their grown-up shelves. If her parents had been nuclear physicists, for example, or archaeologists, this act might have resulted in a precocity that ended with her being battered to death before puberty.
Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, given the alternate scenario outlined above), her father was too busy with engines to read a great deal and her mother was fascinated with true-crime and serial murders. The impact of such books on a malleable, childish psyche cannot be underestimated, but happily for British society she utilised the books she found to learn new words and to date has not exhibited any behaviour that has drawn attention from law enforcement agencies. Not that she’s prepared to discuss, anyway.
The baggytrouseredmisanthropist blog aggregates the musings of this ex-skater/riot grrl with a fondness for sport, politics, feminism, bad television and Robert Tressell’s famous book. With five years worth of content weighing down the internets and little to no interest in her astonishing debut novel ‘The Fear’, she decided to petulantly self-publish her essays as a fuck you to the publishing industry. Which will no doubt have them clamouring for her signature.
When she’s not starting passive aggressive rows with oblivious global industries, she writes hilarious observations about footballers for thefootballramble.com, unusualefforts.com and pretty much anyone who’ll pay her.