After my mammoth posting last week I thought I’d be good this week , but the best laid plans … There were some great freebies, excellent bargains and my book twin over at Short Book and Scribes introduced me to the Archer and Baines novels of Dave Sivers so as a birthday treat to myself I bought the series! So here goes, these are my additions this week.
The Blood Detective by Dan Waddell (99p)
As dawn breaks over London, the body of a young man is discovered in a Notting Hill churchyard. The killer has left DCI Grant Foster and his team a grisly, cryptic clue. It’s not until the clue is handed to Nigel Barnes, a specialist in compiling family trees, that the full message becomes spine-chillingly clear. It leads Barnes back more than one hundred years – to the victim of a demented Victorian serial killer. When a second body is discovered Foster needs Barnes’s skills more than ever. The murderer’s clues appear to run along the tangled bloodlines that lie between 1879 and now. And if Barnes is right, the killing spree has only just begun . . .
The Lady’s Slipper by Deborah Swift (FREE)When English artist Alice Ibbetson discovers a rare orchid, the lady’s-slipper, she is captivated by its beauty and fragility. It is the last surviving specimen and she wants to paint it and tend it for future generations.But she is not the only one who wants the flower – a herbalist wants it for its medicinal properties, and a ruthless landowner hopes that, like the tulip craze, it might restore his ailing fortunes. And pitted against them all is Richard Wheeler, the handsome man of new-found faith, whose searing honesty causes more danger than any deceit.Soon Alice finds herself caught up in a web of danger, treachery and unexpected passion.
The Book of Lost & Found by Lucy Foley (99p)
LONDON, 1986: Bequeathed an old portrait by her grandmother, Kate Darling begins to unpick the tapestry of her family’s secret history in a journey that takes her to Corsica, Paris and back to the heady days of the Roaring Twenties where it all began.
PARIS, 1939: Alice Eversley and Thomas Stafford meet once again in the City of Light. Tom is now a world-famous artist, Alice is much-changed too – bruised from the events of the last decade. Perhaps they can lose themselves in the love story that ignited by a moonlit lake all those years ago?
But sometimes there’s no place for happy endings – and there’s no hiding from the shadow of war . . .
Eden Burning by Deirdre Quiery (98p)
Tom listened to Mrs McLaughlin’s brogues briskly clump across the marble floor towards the exit at the back of the Church. When the wooden door thumped closed, he looked around the Church to make sure that he was alone, then heaved himself to his feet, opened the Confessional, blessed himself, and in the darkness whispered to Father Anthony, ‘Father, get me a gun’.
Northern Ireland, 1972. On the Crumlin Road, Belfast, the violent sectarian Troubles have forced Tom Martin to take drastic measures to protect his family. Across the divide William McManus pursues his own particular bloody code, murdering for a cause. Yet both men have underestimated the power of love and an individuals belief in right and wrong, a belief that will shake the lives of both families with a greater impact than any bomb blast. This is a compelling, challenging story of conflict between and within families driven by religion, belief, loyalty and love. In a world deeply riven by division, how can any individual transcend the seemingly inevitable violence of their very existence?
Night Market by Daniel Pembrey (£2.61 bought for 99p)
When Henk van der Pol is asked by the Justice Minister to infiltrate a team investigating an online child exploitation network, he can hardly say no – he’s at the mercy of prominent government figures in The Hague. But he soon realises the case is far more complex than he was led to believe… Picking up from where The Harbour Master ended, this new investigation sees Detective Van der Pol once again put his life on the line as he wades the murky waters between right and wrong in his search for justice.
Sometimes, to catch the bad guys, you have to think like one. . .
A year in the Life of the Yorkshire Shepherdess by Amanda Owen (99p)
From bestselling author Amanda Owen come more tales of life at Ravenseat, the remote Yorkshire hill farm she shares with husband Clive, eight children and 1,000 sheep. In A Year in the Life of the Yorkshire Shepherdess she describes the age-old cycles of a farming year and the constant challenges the family faces, from being cut off in winter to tending their flock on some of Yorkshire’s highest, bleakest moors – land so inaccessible that in places it can only be reached on foot.
Writing with her trademark warmth and humour, Amanda takes us into her life as nine-year-old Miles gets his first flock, Reuben takes up the flugelhorn and she gives birth to a new baby girl. She is touched by the epic two-day journey of a mother sheep determined to find her lamb and gives a new home to an ageing and neglected horse. Meanwhile Clive is almost arrested on a midnight stakeout to catch a sheep-worrying dog and becomes the object of affection for a randy young bull. Funny, poignant and charming, A Year in the Life of the Yorkshire Shepherdess is a must for anyone interested in the countryside and those who farm it.
Embers of Home by Janice Walker (£1.99 bought when FREE)
Tara North is living the dream. Almost. Her new life in the idyllic small mountain town of Big Spruce, Washington is thriving, and she has found real love at last with striking Native American Shasta King. But something valuable is missing: her loyal, crazy, New York friends, Giselle and Simon.
When a new business venture provides an exciting opportunity for Giselle to join her, and an unexpected, melodramatic reaction from Simon brings all three friends back together again, Tara feels complete once more. Just when things seem to be coming together, an unidentified body is discovered. Shasta becomes the prime suspect, and suddenly becomes a target for someone with a score to settle: but why is he being framed, and what do the powerful Buchanan family really want in Big Spruce?
As the battle for valuable reservation land pits Shasta and his family against a powerful syndicate, a visitor from Shasta’s past has her own agenda, one which threatens Tara’s new-found happiness. And when Tara’s rival and Shasta’s adversary join forces it can only mean trouble. In the past promises had been made and broken. Can anyone be trusted to keep their word, or will revenge make that an impossible task?
Through the Barricades by Denise Deegan (£2.40 bought when FREE)
‘Make a difference in the world,’ are the last words Maggie Gilligan’s father ever says to her. They form a legacy that she carries in her heart, years later when, at the age of fifteen, she tries to better the lives of Dublin’s largely forgotten poor.
‘Don’t go getting distracted, now,’ is what Daniel Healy’s father says to him after seeing him talking to the same Maggie Gilligan. Daniel is more than distracted. He is intrigued. Never has he met anyone as dismissive, argumentative… as downright infuriating.
A dare from Maggie is all it takes. Daniel volunteers at a food kitchen. There, his eyes are opened to the plight of the poor. It is 1913 and Dublin’s striking workers have been locked out of their jobs. Their families are going hungry. Daniel and Maggie do what they can. Soon, however, Maggie realises that the only way to make a difference is to take up arms.
The story of Maggie and Daniel is one of friendship, love, war and revolution, of two people who are prepared to sacrifice their lives: Maggie for her country, Daniel for Maggie. Their mutual sacrifices put them on opposite sides of a revolution. Can their love survive?
The Seasiders by A J Griffiths-Jones (99p bought when FREE)
This seaside town holds more secrets than you could ever imagine.
Grace & Dick Thomas are the proud owners of the Sandybank Guest House, a pristine & popular establishment set in a prime location overlooking the beach. Tourists come and go all year round, taking advantage of the beautiful setting and their host’s wonderful culinary skills.
However, it is the permanent residents of this pretty coastal town who cause net curtains to flutter and tongues to wag, with their myriad of secrets and tales to be told. Caught up in their midst, the Thomases live their lives regardless, checking guests in and checking guests out.
But who holds the biggest secret of all?
The Return of Norah Wells by Virginia MacGregor (99p)
One family. Two mothers. Which one will they choose? A moving family drama perfect for fans of Dorothy Koomson, Harriet Evans and Lisa Jewell.
One ordinary morning, Norah Wells walked out of her house on Willoughby Street and never looked back. Six years later, she returns to the home she left only to find another woman in her place. Fay held Norah’s family together after she disappeared, she shares a bed with Norah’s husband and Norah’s youngest daughter calls Fay ‘Mummy’.
Now that Norah has returned, everyone has questions. Where has she been? Why did she leave? And why is she back? As each member of the family tries to find the answers they need, they must also face up to the most pressing question of all – what happens to The Mother Who Stayed when The Mother Who Left comes back?
Powerful, emotional and perceptive, The Return of Norah Wells is a novel about what it takes to hold a family together and what you’re willing to sacrifice for the ones you love.
*Originally published with the title The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells*
Hidden Chapters by Mary Grand (99p)
Catrin survives by denying her past. Her marriage is in crisis. She has devoted herself for eighteen years to bringing up her adopted Deaf daughter, Bethan. She is unaware that her life is about to be shattered by the appearance of the woman she has been told is dead, Bethan’s birth mother, Elizabeth. Catrin is devastated. How will Bethan react? Why has Elizabeth hidden away all these years?
Slowly and painfully, Catrin is forced to examine the web of lies and secrets from her past, the unexplained death of her ‘golden brother’, the truths about her alcoholic mother and the relationships she has now with her father and husband.
Chloe’s Rescue Mission by Rosie Dean (FREE)
Will Scottish leisure tycoon help Chloe save her family’s crumbling theatre?
Can she resist his notorious charms?
And just how much exposure will satisfy the paparazzi’s lust for headlines?
Chloe is about to find out…
The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan (99p)
There are many reasons to bake: to feed; to create; to impress; to nourish; to define ourselves; and, sometimes, it has to be said, to perfect. But often we bake to fill a hunger that would be better filled by a simple gesture from a dear one. We bake to love and be loved.
In 1966, Kathleen Eaden, cookery writer and wife of a supermarket magnate, published The Art of Baking, her guide to nurturing a family by creating the most exquisite pastries, biscuits and cakes.
Now, five amateur bakers are competing to become the New Mrs Eaden. There’s Jenny, facing an empty nest now her family has flown; Claire, who has sacrificed her dreams for her daughter; Mike, trying to parent his two kids after his wife’s death; Vicki, who has dropped everything to be at home with her baby boy; and Karen, perfect Karen, who knows what it’s like to have nothing and is determined her façade shouldn’t slip.
As unlikely alliances are forged and secrets rise to the surface, making the choicest choux bun seems the least of the contestants’ problems. For they will learn – as Mrs Eaden did before them – that while perfection is possible in the kitchen, it’s very much harder in life.
The Second Chance Tea Shop by Fay Keenan (FREE)
Following the tragic death of her beloved husband, Anna Hemingway decides it’s time for a fresh start. So Anna and her three-year-old daughter Ellie move to a picture-perfect cottage in the beautiful village of Little Somerby, and when she takes over the running of the village tea shop, Ellie and Anna start to find happiness again.
But things get complicated when Matthew Carter, the owner of the local cider farm, enters their lives. Throughout a whirlwind year of village fetes and ancient wassails, love, laughter, apple pie and new memories, life slowly blossoms again. But when tragedy strikes and history seems to be repeating itself, Anna must find the strength to hold onto the new life she has built.
How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern (FREE)
Adam Basil and Christine Rose are thrown together late one night: Christine is crossing the Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin; Adam is poised, threatening to jump.
Adam is desperate – but Christine makes a crazy deal with him. His birthday is looming and she bets him that before then she can show him life is worth living .
Against the ticking of the clock, the two of them embark on wild escapades, grand romantic gestures and some unlikely late-night outings. Slowly, Christine thinks Adam is starting to fall back in love with his life. But is that all that’s happening?
Sunset in Central Park by Sarah Morgan (FREE)
After witnessing the fallout of her parent’s divorce, love has never been a priority for garden designer Frankie Cole. The only man in her life is her friend Matt–but that’s strictly platonic. If only she found it easier to ignore the way he makes her heart race…
Matt Walker has loved Frankie for years but, has always played it cool. Until he uncovers new depths to the girl he’s known forever, and doesn’t want to wait a moment longer.
Matt knows Frankie has secrets and has buried them deep, but can he persuade her to kiss him under the Manhattan sunset?
The Scars beneath the Soul by Dave Sivers (99p)
A VIOLENT DEATH… In a quiet market town in Buckinghamshire, a brutal killer strikes, shattering any illusions Detective Inspector Lizzie Archer might have had about her new patch in Aylesbury Vale being a sleepy hollow.
NEW SCARS… Disfigured in the line of duty, Archer has transferred in from the Met, hoping to make a fresh start in her life and her career. The last thing she needs is an awkward colleague, but that is what she seems to find in Detective Sergeant Dan Baines.
OLD SCARS… Baines bears scars of his own, the kind that cannot be seen. Eleven years ago, his family fell victim to a serial killer, and recently his life has fallen into fresh turmoil. Haunted by dreams and visions of his still-missing son, and confused by feelings for his murdered wife’s identical twin sister, he finds himself resenting a new boss who knows nothing about the area.
HOW MANY MORE VICTIMS? But the killer shows no sign of stopping and with no obvious connection between the victims and the body count rising daily, Archer and Baines must put aside their differences and work together if they are to stop a maniac whose appetite for slaughter seemingly knows no bounds.
Dead in Deep Water by Dave Sivers (99p)
TWO DEATHS… When a teenage Olympic swimming hopeful is found drowned in a water-filled disused quarry in Buckinghamshire, it looks as if fears that the local swimming hole was an accident waiting to happen have been fulfilled in the worst possible way.
A few days later, a small-time thief turns up on an allotments site a few miles away, his head bashed in with a spade. Thefts from Aylesbury Vale allotments have been rife, and now it seems that an elderly vigilante may have made good on his threats to take matters into his own hands.
NO EASY ANSWERS… But murder is never simple. As Detective Inspector Lizzie Archer and Detective Sergeant Dan Baines investigate, they realise that neither case quite adds up. The truth, and the motive behind each death, is much darker than they could have imagined.
And some people will go to any lengths to make sure the truth stays buried.
Evil Unseen by Dave Sivars (99p)
EVEN THE DEAD HAVE THEIR SECRETS
A reformed teenage gang leader is gunned down in cold blood and an angry DS Dan Baines, who knew the victim well, reckons he knows who is responsible. But his boss, DI Lizzie Archer, wants to know the identity of the mystery man who died with him – and whether he was intended victim or innocent bystander.
When an officer from the National Crime Agency turns up and declares the case off limits to Archer and her team, its clear that there is more going on than meets the eye. Several conflicting agendas are in play and the body count is rising.
And Archer and Baines realise that the only people they can truly trust are each other.
The Blood that Binds by Dave Sivers (£1.99)
SOMETIMES THE PAST IS BEST LEFT ALONE
The quiet Buckinghamshire village of Houghton is reeling. Soon after twelve year old Leanne Richards is killed by a hit and run driver, the two classmates who were with her that night disappear, one by one.
Jade and Becky said they couldn’t identify the car or the driver. Does someone want to make sure it stays that way? Or are other, darker motives in play?
As DI Lizzie Archer and DS Dan Baines search for the truth, buried pasts and secret loves begin to reveal themselves. But is time running out for the girls? Or is it already too late?
The Depressed Backpacker … Camino by Benjamin Vickers (FREE)
This is my account of recovering from a depression caused by life events. My recovery occurred during a six-week backpacking trip along the Camino de Santiago – a popular pilgrimage and hiking route that extends 750 kilometres across the north of Spain.
The environment of the Camino is like a toolkit for the mind, offering peaceful introspection, unique social interactions, measurable daily achievements and frequent new experiences. This book journals both my hike and my recovery, and will hopefully be of benefit to people with depression or social anxiety.
Please note there is some (a lot of) strong language.