Here’s my pick of forthcoming publications. These are titles appearing in hardback/paperback for the first time. In some cases the eBook might already be available. All titles are based on the listings found in The Bookseller, so I’m not working from a list of all titles being published. This harks back to my library days when the arrival of the biannual The Bookseller heralded a weekend of filling in reservation cards for my forthcoming reading.
Just a reminder I don’t see any advance copies, my choices are based on the blurb, gut instinct and what takes my fancy at the time. Also in keeping with my support for the #RespectRomFic campaign I’ve added a Romance category. This might be hit and miss as to whether I categorise correctly but hope it helps.
(NB This post features Affiliate links from which I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases)
Historical (I tend to take this as pre 1960’s ie not in my lifetime!)
Crime, Thriller & Mystery
Broken Light by Joanne Harris
Have you ever felt invisible?
Bernie Moon has given her life to other people: her husband, her son, her friends (who are these days, mostly online). At nineteen she was full of dreams and ambitions; now almost fifty, and going through the menopause, she’s fading, fast. Heartbroken and hormonal, she often feels like she’s losing her mind.
But when a young woman is murdered in a local park, it sparks a series of childhood memories in Bernie and with them, a talent that has lain dormant most of her adult life.
She promised herself she’d never think of it again. When she was a teenager, it almost destroyed her. But now she’s older, could it be the power she’s been missing?
Could it be the chance to, finally, make them look?
Don’t Look Back by Jo Spain
For one week, everything in Luke Miller’s life is perfect. Surprised with a belated honeymoon by his wife, Rose, he’s had seven days with her in a Caribbean paradise. It’s more than he ever thought he’d deserve.
But as they pack their bags, Rose breaks down, confessing that on the day they left London, a violent man from her past tracked her down and broke into their home. He wasn’t expecting her to fight back. And, in her terror, Rose killed him. Now there’s a dead body in Luke’s apartment, and only one person he can think to turn to.
Mickey Sheils never expected to hear from Luke again, not after he disappeared the first time. Luke knows Mickey can’t deny a woman who needs help, so she promises she’ll deal with things – she’ll make sure Rose doesn’t have to keep running.
But it turns out, some lies are too big to run from.
The Vanishing of Class 3B by Jackie Kabler
One spring morning, a bus full of children and their teachers from a Cotswolds primary school head off on a much-anticipated day trip.
But as night falls and the well-heeled parents – one or two of them famous, as well as wealthy – wait at the school to collect their weary offspring, it soon becomes clear that something has gone very wrong.
The children and their teachers simply do not come back.
What’s happened doesn’t seem possible.
How can an entire class of children simply vanish?
The Lost Wife by Georgina Lees
You always underestimated me and I always overestimated you.
Maybe that was our problem.
A woman and a child arrive at a cottage in the Peak District in the dead of night.
Alone. Desperate. Hunted.
She knows they’re coming for her. It’s only a matter of time.
Because her husband kept a secret from her. Until he was ready to destroy her.
Now, it’s her turn.
The Making of Another Motion Picture Masterpiece by Tom Hanks
A wildly ambitious story of the making of a colossal, star-studded, multimillion-dollar superhero action film, and the humble comic book that inspired it all.
Spanning 80 years of a changing America and culminating in the opening of the film, we meet a colourful cast of characters including a troubled soldier returning from war, a young boy with an artistic gift, an inspired and eccentric director, a pompous film star on the rise, a tireless production assistant and countless film crew members that together create Hollywood magic.
Funny, touching, and wonderfully thought-provoking, The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece offers an insider’s take on the momentous efforts it takes to make a film. At once a reflection on America’s past and present, on the world of show business and the real world we all live in.
The Cassandra Complex by Holly Smale
Cassandra Penelope Dankworth is a creature of habit.
She likes what she likes (museums, jumpsuits, her boyfriend Will) and strongly dislikes what she doesn’t (mess, change, her boss drinking out of her mug). Her life runs in a pleasing, predictable order. Until now.
She’s just been dumped.
She’s just been fired.
Her local café has run out of banana muffins.
Then, something truly unexpected happens: Cassie discovers she can go back and change the past.
Now, Cassie should be able to find a way to fix the life she accidentally obliterated. And with time on her side, how hard can it be…?
Call Time by Steve Jones
Bob Bloomfield is, in the words of his best friend’s wife, a ‘selfish, arrogant a*sehole’, who hasn’t spent a great deal of time making friends in his 49 years on earth.
But what if he could change? What if Bob could stop the very thing that has made him the man he is, the death of his younger brother, Tom in 1986.
If he could save Tom, could he save himself?
. . . And what if all it took was a phone call – to his childhood self?
Where Do I Go From Here by India Rigg
Life was telling her no. Now it’s time to say yes.
Seffy’s ripping up the to-do list she’s lived by her whole adult life. The world is telling her she needs to find a husband, get a promotion, and start a family. Her social media is wall-to-wall engagement and new baby pictures, but none of them are hers – and she’s tired of trying.
But don’t feel sorry for Seffy. She’s booked a one-way plane ticket and it’s finally time to put herself first. With a new to-do list, she plans to join the mile-high club, meet a hot stranger and try magic mushrooms – all before she’s thirty.
With the whole world at her feet, where does she go from here?
The Three of Us by Ore Agbaje-Williams
A nice house, a carefree life, a doting husband, a best friend who never leaves your side. What more could you ask for? There’s just one problem: your husband and best friend love you, but they hate each other.
Set over a single day, husband, wife and best friend Temi toe the lines of compromise and betrayal. Told in three parts, three people’s lives, and their visions of themselves and one another begin to slowly unravel, until a startling discovery throws everyone’s integrity into question.
The Mess We’re In by Annie Macmanus
I’m a Londoner now. I’m a voice in the noise. I’m ready.
It’s the turn of the millennium and, landing in London with nothing but her CD collection and demo tape, Orla Quinn moves into a squalid Kilburn house with her best mate and a band called Shiva.
Orla wants to make music, but juggling two jobs and partying every night isn’t helping. Back in Ireland her parents’ marriage has crumbled, she’s not speaking to her father, and her mother and sister are drinking too much.
While Orla’s own dreams seem to be going nowhere, Shiva are on the brink of something big. But as the hype around the band intensifies, so does the hedonism, and relationships in the house are growing strained.
This is the story of a young woman thrashing through life, trying to find home in a strange new place. It’s also a story about music: how it can break you down and build you back up again, and how to find your rhythm when all you hear is noise.
Western Lane by Chetna Maroo
Eleven-year-old Gopi has been playing squash since she was old enough to hold a racket. When her mother dies, her father enlists her in a quietly brutal training regimen, and the game becomes her world. Slowly, she grows apart from her sisters. Her life is reduced to the sport, guided by its rhythms: the serve, the volley, the drive, the shot and its echo.
But on the court, she is not alone. She is with her pa. She is with Ged, a thirteen-year-old boy with his own formidable talent. She is with the players who have come before her. She is in awe.
This Family by Kate Sawyer
It is my dearest wish, that after so long apart, I am able to bring this family together for my wedding day.
This house. This family.
Mary has raised a family in this house. Watched her children play and laugh and bicker in this house. Today she is getting married in this house, with all her family in attendance.
The wedding celebrations have brought fractured family together for the first time in years: there’s Phoebe and her husband Michael, children in tow. The young and sensitive Rosie, with her new partner. Irene, Mary’s ex-mother-in-law. Even Emma, Mary’s eldest, is back for the wedding – despite being at odds with everyone else.
Set over the course of an English summer’s day but punctuated with memories from the past forty years of love and loss, hope and joy, heartbreak and grief, this is the story of a family. Told by a chorus of characters, it is an exploration of the small moments that bring us to where we are, the changes that are brought about by time, and what, despite everything, stays the same.
Pearl by Sian Hughes
Marianne is eight years old when her mother goes missing. Left behind with her baby brother and grieving father in a ramshackle house on the edge of a small village, she clings to the fragmented memories of her mother’s love; the smell of fresh herbs, the games they played, and the songs and stories of her childhood.
As time passes, Marianne struggles to adjust, fixated on her mother’s disappearance and the secrets she’s sure her father is keeping from her. Discovering a medieval poem called Pearl and trusting in its promise of consolation, Marianne sets out to make a visual illustration of it, a task that she returns to over and over but somehow never manages to complete.
Tormented by an unmarked gravestone in an abandoned chapel and the tidal pull of the river, her childhood home begins to crumble as the past leads her down a path of self-destruction. But can art heal Marianne? And will her own future as a mother help her find peace?
The Ghost Theatre by Mat Osman
TO LOVE IS TO FALL . . .
On a rooftop in Elizabethan London two worlds collide. Shay is a messenger-girl and trainer of hawks who sees the future in the patterns of birds. Nonesuch is the dark star of the city’s fabled child theatre scene, as famous as royalty yet lowly as a beggar.
Together they create The Ghost Theatre: a troupe staging magical plays in London’s hidden corners. As their hallucinatory performances incite rebellion among the city’s outcasts, the pair’s relationship sparks and burns against a backdrop of the plague and a London in flames. Their growing fame sweeps them up into the black web of the Elizabethan court, where Shay and Nonesuch discover that if they fly too high, a fall is sure to come…
The Secret Shore by Liz Fenwick
As one of the Navy’s most skilled mapmakers, Merry knows the very lives of men far away depend on her work in the War Office.
But when a family crisis draws her back to her beloved Cornwall, Merry finds herself working alongside an enigmatic American officer on secret operations spanning the rugged coasts of Cornwall and Brittany which she knows so well.
But not everything is as clear as the maps she draws. As rumours and suspicion swirl around her family, Merry is increasingly drawn to Jake, despite the defences she’s built around her heart. It’s a dangerous time to fall in love when there is everything to lose as the tides of war are rising…
The Girl with the Red Hair by Buzzy Jackson
You’re nineteen years old. The war has stolen your future and your country is under siege. The people you love are no longer safe.
Will you stand aside as the menace of Nazi evil tightens its grip on your homeland? Or do you unleash your fury, joining forces with your enemies’ enemies, plotting to strike?
Because if not you, then who?
You’re drawn deep into a web of plots, disguises and assassinations. The Resistance trained you for this. You flash your enemies a smile and beckon them closer.
Little do they know you’ve grown used to the weight of a gun in your hand.
Soon, they will all know your name . . .
Henry VIII : The Heart and the Crown by Alison Weir
A second son, not born to rule, becomes a man, and a king…
In grand royal palaces, Prince Harry grows up dreaming of knights and chivalry – and the golden age of kings that awaits his older brother. But Arthur’s untimely death sees Harry crowned King Henry of England.
As his power and influence extends, so commences a lifelong battle between head and heart, love and duty. Henry rules by divine right, yet his prayers for a son go unanswered.
The great future of the Tudor dynasty depends on an heir. And the crown weighs heavy on a king with all but his one true desire.
Music in the Dark by Sally Magnusson
Jamesina Ross is long finished with men. But one night a stranger seeking lodgings knocks on the door of her tenement flat. He doesn’t recognise her, but she remembers him at once. Not that she plans to mention it. She has no intention of trusting anyone enough to let herself be vulnerable again.
A lifetime ago Jamesina Ross was bent on becoming a writer. She had a facility with words. She made up songs about the Highland glen where she lived and the kin who had worked that land for generations. When her community was threatened with eviction, she gave voice to that too. The women stood together, defiant and determined, but Jamesina’s music was no match for one of the most brutal confrontations of the Highland Clearances.
Jamesina has borne the disfigurements of that day ever since, on her face and inside her head. It marked the end of a life of promise and the beginning of a very different one. Her lodger thinks that if she would only dare to open the past, she might have the chance of a future.
Charlie, Love and Cliches by Ella Maise
Charlie might work at her dad’s company but that doesn’t make her life easy. She’s the kind of person who always goes the extra mile for a client, remembers colleagues’ birthdays and arranges the cake. And yet her dad still favours her sister.
So Charlie shouldn’t be surprised when her dad brings someone in to manage her and the team. But what does surprise her is that the new boss is her guy.
The man who she went out with years ago and could never stop thinking about. Charlie wants to hide under the desk… but then she realises she doesn’t have to.
Because William doesn’t seem to remember her at all.
The Problem with Perfect by Philip William Stover
When style is everything, will Ethan learn that true beauty is on the inside?
Chase Myles can throw together a swinging dinner party or redecorate an entire townhouse with jaw-dropping elegance. Followers scroll his Insta and see effortless workouts, exotic travel, and an adoring boyfriend. The world believes Chase is a style icon. The world is mistaken.
Ethan Wells is actually the one who knows what to wear, what to eat and how to do it but he’s happy staying behind the scenes producing their hit LGBTQ show Myles of Style. When Chase walks off set just before the Pride live TV show that will make or break Ethan’s career, Ethan thinks it’s just another tantrum… until Chase’s Instagram shows him partying hard in Abu Dhabi.
Out of options, Ethan drives up to rural New York to convince Chase’s estranged twin, Beau, to pass him off as Chase for a week, but Ethan finds a hairy, rugged mountain man who couldn’t be more different from his social butterfly, influencer brother.
Can Ethan transform Beau into the star of the show and fool his bosses and Chase’s followers? And when Beau turns out to be kind, romantic and everything that Chase is not, does he really want Chase back, anyway?
Between Us by Mhairi McFarlane
When Joe and Roisin join their group of friends for a weekend away, it’s a triple celebration – a birthday, an engagement and the launch of Joe’s new crime drama on TV.
But when Roisin sees secrets she shared with Joe play out on the TV screen, she knows that between us means nothing at all.
Roisin finds herself searching for clues to the truth – about her life, their history, and the man she thought she loved. And it’s then that Roisin finds the most unexpected plot twist of them all. Among those same old friends, there’s a surprising potential for new beginnings . . .
So that’s all for this week.
Starting Annie Macmannus today and next up Jo Spain. Finished Henry VIII last Fri!! For once I’m not too far behind 😊
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Woohoo – you’re on a roll! They all sound cracking reads which I’ve added to my track list. Sadly can’t afford to buy everything at full price. Enjoy your reading! PS I’ll be in Clonakilty in June if there’s any possibility of a meet up somewhere? xx
Oh 🤞🤞DM me. Wouldn’t that be so cool 😊 xx
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I’ll be in touch nearer the time, it would be lovely to meet you 🤞xx