A young men's club devoted to standing on high parapets; a gambler who gets tips from his late wife; a boy hunting the streets of a strange town for his unknown father. These are among the matters at the heart of the worlds through which Alan Franks's exhilarating new novellas move. Linked by the traffic of lives between the north and the south of England through the pre-war years of the twentieth century to the present day, they sweep across a broad social canvas which veers between the dark and the dazzling. It takes in the haughty gibberish of a faded Oxford don, the hopes and despairs of a bypassed ship town and the survival of a lone house in the wreckage of Manchester. Against the backdrop of the 1992 general election, we meet the self-conscious Old Etonian Fabian and his love rival, the radical Bill Haycraft; on the eve of the millennium we encounter the sinister and ambitious Methodist Fazackerley; then, in a time just beyond the reach of our present one, we come face to face with the legacies of our own and the nation's past. The repercussions run like a bursting river into every domain from the private to the political, the marital to the musical. We have even found an ancestor piecing together the road to the Peterloo Massacre as its two hundredth anniversary draws near. The protests and betrayals of the Sixties are sounding quaint from here.
The year is 1937 and this is the story of David Denby, an eleven-year-old boy from East Yorkshire. As military and diplomatic tensions escalate in Europe, David Denby wins a scholarship to his local grammar school. He quickly settles in to school life – his teachers immediately recognising his natural, academic potential. Then, on the very day Britain finally declares war with Germany, personal tragedy strikes at the heart of David and his family.
Man Of The House spans the rest of David’s life – following him as he must abandon his academic ambition, take on new responsibilities and then as he conscripts in the final months of the war, and how all of these events overshadow and disrupt the simple life he longs for.
''Every single one of us has a story to tell.'' This story revolves around two girls of the same age with initially apparently very little in common characterwise, called Madeleine and Madison Moretti. One is an intelligent and hardworking medical doctor interested in clinical chemistry, the other seemingly a Japanese pop culture expert, and a manga, anime and gaming enthusiast with deep roots in the land of the rising sun where the cherry blossoms fall. The story is rich with interspersed cultural and comedic elements. Flipping seamlessly from Madeleine's medical drama to Madison's everyday life and her figurine and keychain collections, unexpected revelations are made. Moving from daily routines to illusions beyond the looking glass that transcend the mortal realm, to the vermillion gates of Inari, and the Coomassie's brilliant blue waters, even deeper secrets surface at the end. The girls touch upon the artefact called romantic love with its many shapes and guises, ranging from Tietz's fiancee, the unique allure of virtual characters, and a fateful chance meeting. Philosophical musing on what constitutes true `happiness' after a potentially fatal incident, and the strong thematic element of duality, blend in to make the story more intuitive and accessible. It incorporates suspense, and final realisations as to who Madison and Madeleine really were, or who they could have been, with depiction of chemical pathology through the eyes of a girl and references drawn from famous Japanese pop culture elements by a girl who's story could no longer be told.
Rose of September is penned by Oksana Verpakhovskaya, a practicing obstetrician-gynaecologist. It consists of eleven charming, true stories that will amaze and inspire you. They will help you to believe in the inexhaustible ability of human beings to maintain hope even when there seems to be no way out. The thoughts on a doctor’s role in her patients’ lives runs like a scarlet thread through each story.
Please see our news page to view Oksana signing her lovely book.
One of Ukrainian leading creative fashion designers Fedir Vozianov has kindly provided this glowing review
We all love stories. Regardless of where we live and which language speak we all love stories about people resembling ourselves, or those ones that do not resemble ourselves, or about people we wish to resemble, or about those ones we do not wish to resemble. In the book of Oksana Verpakhovskaya “The Rose of September” stories of various people are gathered. To be exact, relations of various people. The ideas of these stories are not the result of author phantasy, but the reflection of events happening in real life. The author, a professional doctor that meets many people in everyday life, influences their destinies and even exchanges places with her patients sometimes making them protagonists and leaving for herself the role of story-teller. This story-teller has one special feature. She once gave the Hippocritic oath. That is why feelings filling her true stories, the faith of her characters in themselves and in a miracle, anticipation of love regardless of the burden of external circumstances, give these stories the effect of magic cure. Cure from depression, unbelief and apathy!
It is 1898. The countdown to Britain’s war in South Africa has started, driven by national and international pressures. Newspapers, politicians, the public are being primed to advance and support what will become a foretaste of the horrors of later wars.
Two detectives are unintentionally drawn into the epicentre of a powerful conspiracy to shape the outcome of the coming conflict, producing personal pressures neither man could possibly imagine.
Based on actual events, the story takes the reader behind the scenes on both sides of the conflict in Britain and South Africa; into the streets and into the minds of the combatants; into the debates and arguments at the highest and lowest levels of society that echo down the years.
But the novel itself is the subject of investigation by intelligence agencies today. The story written alludes to some events and characters that should never have been publicised since the information is strictly confidential, protected by government policy. How has the author managed to access secret files to write her account of the war? How much further will she take the information she has?
Guy de la Moroz is a direct descendant of a Dutch mercenary who had come over with William the Conqueror. As magic often attracts magic, natural evolution has made Guy into the most powerful witch in the country and he had risen to be a Madge. By travelling the world, he had also become a shaman in many cultures including Aboriginal, Hindu, American Indian and Amara, Inca and Nazca from South America.
Guy lives on a seventy-two foot Big Woolwich ex-working narrow boat named The Wizard of Oz. His boat is also magical and often talks to Guy. His brown and white spaniel called Dorothy is his witch’s familiar. Although never married he has two children in the village of Coven, his adopted home. His relationship with the mothers of his two children and various lovers in the village only complicates his life.
Coven is a quiet little village in Shropshire until one day the vicar’s wife is killed on the village green in broad daylight; another murder soon follows which embroils Guy in a merry-go-round of jealousy, madness, revenge and passion as he uses his magical abilities to help solve the case.
With his hopes of marrying the girl he loved dashed, a heartbroken Jacob Faraday left England in the hope of finding a small group of islands. These islands Jacob knew to be inhabited by natives who had taken in and sheltered his oldest and best friend India Mason. The natives had thus, saved him from certain death with the use of a powerful medicine derived from plants that grew on their islands. Jake was keenly interested in obtaining this plant. He then planned to journey on to Jamaica to honour a promise he had made to old friends and help them in their endeavour to leave their old lives as privateers behind and earn an honest living, growing sugar cane on their own co-operative. However, unbeknown to Jake and India, the ship was harbouring a vengeful and deadly enemy aboard. As they set off they had no idea that the coming year would be fraught with risks and danger beyond their imagination, or that death was following in their wake. of marrying the girl he loved dashed, a heartbroken Jacob Faraday left England in the hope of finding a small group of islands. These islands Jacob knew to be inhabited by natives who had taken in and sheltered his oldest and best friend India Mason. The natives had thus, saved him from certain death with the use of a powerful medicine derived from plants that grew on their islands. Jake was keenly interested in obtaining this plant. He then planned to journey on to Jamaica to honour a promise he had made to old friends and help them in their endeavour to leave their old lives as privateers behind and earn an honest living, growing sugar cane on their own co-operative. However, unbeknown to Jake and India, the ship was harbouring a vengeful and deadly enemy aboard. As they set off they had no idea that the coming year would be fraught with risks and danger beyond their imagination, or that death was following in their wake.
This is the sequel to Trudie le Beau's first book The Throgmorton legacy, see below.
Churchwarden Christopher Jamieson has devoted himself tirelessly to St Benet’s Church and its Anglo-Catholic tradition. Single, lonely and prickly, he feels happier in the company of eighteenth century church architecture and beautiful vestments than in that of his colleagues. But the parish is struggling and, when the Church authorities plan a takeover by a hugely successful and popular Evangelical church, Christopher finds himself at odds with his upbringing, his associates, his fellow churchwarden, Caroline, and even his loyal and sympathetic friend, Max. As the takeover becomes more certain, his outlook on life becomes more bleak and desperate, until he takes a step that will change everything.
This delightful collection of short stories from the pen of Rosemary King will transport the reader into the immediate post-colonial world of Africa. To add to these tales, Rosemary has penned a generous number of stories from other parts of the world, especially the UK. She has been an observer of the human condition throughout her life and we are privileged to be given the opportunity to share in experiences that are both humorous and fascinating.
Ralph Waters, a successful, wealthy and gay Queen’s Counsel and, since May 2015, the elected Conservative Member of Parliament for the constituency of Pepynbridge Forest, spends most weekends in a rented cottage in the village of Pepynbridge, accompanied by his much younger partner, Pascal Legrand, a retired black African Top 14 French rugby union player. Ralph and Pascal’s request that Herbert Onion, Rector of Pepynbridge, should conduct their marriage in St Aidan’s Abbey and the knowledge that Ralph is promoting a Private Members’ Bill in Parliament to force the Church of England to permit same-gender marriage in church, unleash controversy in the village and further afield that challenges long-held assumptions about homosexuality and entrenched attitudes towards same-gender marriage; and puts at risk not only a livelihood, but a life as well.
The Portrait of Eve is a deep, profound and intense love story. As a novel it literally rivets the reader and brings to light hidden human aspects in the name of love and eroticism that escape the confines of the ordinary. James is undoubtedly playing with the psyche of the reader as he or she is engulfed in the same uncontrolled emotions as the protagonists.
A sad and tragic love story is certainly not uncommon, but the love story told through The Portrait of Eve is totally different. Jacques and Eve could be the people next door but experience situations far beyond the ordinary.
The story takes place in the two most romantic cities in Europe, Paris and Venice. You will be transported there as you enjoy and endure the happiness and anguish of Jacques and Eve.
The backdrop to Lizzie Steeples is Lancashire in the mid 20th century with a declining cotton industry. It is a story of multiple rapes and murders. It is also the story of a young woman, struggling in those hard times, to bring up three children.
Michael Yates describes the events preceding the tragic rape and murder of a young girl out to celebrate her 18th birthday. The police are then called to also investigate the murder of a man whose body is discovered twenty-four hours later in a disused mill. A young suspect is arrested and sent for trial but while he is in custody two more women are murdered and a third is badly beaten and raped, all in the same manner. The police uncover some startling evidence that confirms that there is another killer out there; nearer to home than anyone suspects? This is a thriller with many unexpected twists and turns, right up to the final chapter.
STIRRING THE WATERS is a gentle novel and includes many characters and locations. It follows the gradual disillusionment of an Anglican priest with his church and the mental torment that results from an enfolding story of middle-age love. It explores a number of complex entanglements between romance, genuine affection, lust and friendship. It graphically illustrates that these can exist just as easily in this unusual background as in what the reader might consider a more worldly location.
Jake Faraday lived a quiet life in the rural depths of Somerset until, at the age of thirteen, he was torn from his family and pressed into serving as a powder monkey on a Man of War There he witnessed the carnage of battle, murder, corruption and depravity. With a deadly enemy at his heels and nowhere to run fate took a hand bringing him salvation and a life that he could only ever have dreamed of...
It is 1912 and an unexpected visitor arrives from Berlin at the Manchester home of his uncle, Jacob Bergman. His name is Adolphus and his mysterious nocturnal absences, together with his almost fanatical loyalty to his Kaiser arouses the suspicions of his British cousin, Joseph.
The daughter of the house, Rachel, however, is more than a little impressed with the charming young German.
This is the story of the two branches of the Bergman family as the world descends into a war with terrifying consequences for the brave men and their loved ones, on either side of the conflict.
Who is the fine French gentleman who arrives at Amelie’s apartment in Paris as a potential buyer?
What terrible consequences will be visited on the young French lady as a result of his visit?
Then read how Adolphus and the other members of the Berlin branch of the Bergmann family, cope with the growing nightmare of Nazism culminating in the Second World War.
Pepynbridge is a large village in the East Midlands, with an abbey as its parish church needing £1million to repair its roof, but riven by disputes over its style of worship and with a dreadful track record of not hanging onto its rectors. Into this toxic mix, the Reverend Herbert Onion, a bachelor and gifted musician with strong views about worship, but nurturing a dark and potentially catastrophic secret, arrives as the new rector. As Pepynbridge struggles to accommodate the outsider, relationship storms break out that threaten not only Herbert Onion’s reputation and liberty, but the futures of others in the community as well.
Outwardly successful with everything life could offer at her fingertips, Amelia holds a dark secret. She is responsible for the death of her sister.
Like the author, she was raised in a cult and the psychological scars of her upbringing are evident from the very first page of this amazing and fascinating book.
At times, irreverent; at times, belligerent and most of the time, unsure, self-deprecating and fearful, funny and sometimes tragic, Amelia’s emotions and coping mechanisms, grew from a need to make sense of the world and of her past.
This book is written for a diverse readership. It seeks to introduce God in a different light, for those who would seek to mock, denigrate, disbelieve or have merely - given up hope; for those who would never in a million years pick up a self-help book or a book on spirituality and for those who would laugh at ‘new-ageism’ or the traditional teachings of the Bible. Then there are those who know they don’t need God; it also acknowledges and reflects their opinion fairly.
The aim is to achieve an entertaining path down a controversial subject, which hopefully may answer or at the very least attempt to fulfill inquisitive minds.
Striking scenery and accounts of characters past and present make a colourful and worthwhile read.
Our protagonist looks back with hindsight at the story that currently is still unfolding. Concern for the declining standards of their beloved sport; a group of skiers choose to shoulder the wheel of a project to turn around a dilemma caused by certain pitfalls. However, the truth revealed was that the more they strived for answers, the nearer they come to unveiling their own personal hidden traits as the boiling pot of working closer together simmered progressively. From the start there had always been a faithful friend in their midst, with his invaluable help, it had been his family’s attribute to be delivers of support. The group little realise how this will be turned around and their voluntary aid will be required, to present a far bigger story than their own.
After the success of his first book ‘Now It Begins’, Gary Markwick has ventured into the world of docu-fantasy, chronicling the life and times of his grandfather’s adventures in America, Canada and Europe.
The ‘Adventures of The Great Marlo and The Blue Pearl’ opens up a ‘Pandora’s Box’ of delights. Journey with ‘The Great Marlo’, Marko the Magician and the many friends and foes, experience the thrills and spills of life on the edge as well as the spiritual enlightenment that comes their way. This is a book like no other you have read before, part documentary, part fantasy it manages to mix the two in a sympathetic and bold manner that leaves the reader hanging out for more.
The story unfolds, as seen through the eyes of David – "The Great Marlo", who left his home in Edinburgh at the age of 12 to join a travelling circus where he met Marko a magician who tells him the story of ‘The Blue Pearl’.
Deep below the surface of Buddha's birthplace in Lumbini lies the sacred Buddha Stone, which holds the secret of the Blue Pearl! What is the secret that the Blue pearl possesses?
Filled with mysticism and intrigue the great adventure unfolds, covering the period from the late 1800’s to the 1960’s and crossing India, USA, Canada and Europe. We see truth and enlightenment on a spiritual journey revealed before our eyes.
David Galloway Lindsay later became well known as an escapologist (The British Houdini) a magician, a palmist, and a performer with mind reading skills. Working with his son Roy, and later on his daughter Georgina, he performed with the BBC and theatres around Great Britain, and some parts of the USA, going on to become famous as "The Great Marlo and Georgina".
In his debut novel, Back in the Frame, Jake Yardley has produced an intriguing tale about world snooker champion John Kelly.
From the trappings of fame and success achieved at a young age, Kelly suddenly finds his world collapsing around him through no fault of his own.
Jake demonstrates both sensitivity and insight as he tells of how his hero copes with the many difficulties, physical, professional and romantic, that litter his path.
There had always been Olivers living in Dalethorpe. In fact, the village had been founded nearly twelve hundred years ago by the family’s Viking ancestor, Karl Olafsen, and his Hebrew slave-girl wife, Rachel.
For much of the last two hundred years most of the residents of the village owed their livelihoods to the Oliver family, who were both the local squires and mill-owners. However, once they had established their other family home in the leafy London suburb of Hampstead, their influence was felt well beyond the boundaries of the small East-Lancashire village. The family was simultaneously privileged and popular, but nothing could protect them from the tragedy, family feud and romantic, political and business machinations that all but overwhelmed them.
All the elements are present for a remarkable family saga as Lionel’s story strides through many of the defining events from the 19th and 20th centuries and onwards to the present day, culminating in the recent expenses scandal at the Palace of Westminster.
Alongside all this runs the thread of the tantalising mystery of the sacred Viking Burial Mound at the end of their large garden and how its secrets would be drip-fed into the lives of this extraordinary family.
Andy Fine is a brilliant, unscrupulous young businessman.
He transforms his father’s Manchester based textile company into a huge corporation. He agonises about his sexual orientation. Andy’s arrogance eventually results in the loss of his job. Andy’s father, Rube, is blackmailed after the mysterious death of his mistress.
Andy meets New York banker Mario Franconi and becomes head of the London branch of Franconi’s bank. What is Franconi’s background? Why does the bank crash?
Valerie, Andy’s ex-wife, meets Charles, a religious Jew. They fall in love. Charles asks Valerie to convert to Judaism to marry him.
What secret is Valerie’s mother guarding? Will it affect her daughter’s life and happiness?
Andy is forced to sell his home. A mysterious lady arrives at the eleventh hour to make an unusual offer! Could this be his salvation?
A novel covering 500 years of Jewish, Irish & Spanish History…
Hidden Heritage spans 500 years of history. It is the story of two Spanish Jewish families, forced to flee their homeland in 1492.
It is also the tale of two families of Southern Irish shepherds. Learn how Spanish-Jewish Grandee-Jose Alvaro, came to be an ancestor of Irish UN soldier-Joseph Allbarrow who found himself in modern day Israel. Also learn of the holy scroll that survived the centuries.
Most of us know a Ray Taylor. He was a familiar figure in the more down-trodden town-centre pubs of the last two centuries. He would be perched on his usual stool at the end of the bar, chatting and joking with all and sundry. The landlord (and especially the landlady) would have been his bosom friend and he would have considered it his duty to support the hostelry come rain or shine. But in living this life, all else is sacrificed. So home for Ray is a cold lonely place.
Only his pub friendships survive as he erratically steers his life from one family and relationship disaster, to another. Ray has a certain native charm and is not unintelligent but in true Man o’ the World fashion, he eventually destroys and loses almost everything of meaning to him.
We are indebted to Graham Ashworth for penning this sometimes sad but always entertaining and humorous, life-story.
Pieter Deminey has used his vast experience as a doctor in South Africa to write this fascinating and thrilling story. However, this is certainly NOT a medical book. It is the story of one man, Oscar Brand, a conscript in Angola, who after a fairly disastrous start struggles hard to make something out of his life.
Like Oscar, Pieter is deeply religious and is saddened to be an observer of the moral and ethical decline of world standards. Oscar is typical of many people Pieter has encountered over the years. They are badly managed and forever misunderstood and are indeed fortunate if they have the faith to struggle against the worst excesses of our age.
The Story of Britain in the Grip of a Tyrant……….
NEW! Souls Apart is the story of Britain, just a few years from now, falling under the domination of one evil man. The novel starts many years previously by explaining the background of the two main characters; the tyrannical Colonel Sidney Charleston and his identical twin birth brother Jeremy Pearson; separated at birth it is left to Jeremy, a gentle man of God to become personally involved in the resistance to his brother’s evil regime. Much of the action takes place in 21st century Manchester and central London.
Iraq. In the middle of a sea of sand dunes, five friends whose hopes and ambitions have been cut short by society’s biggest lie, dive into the trepidation of a living desert.
After their graduation the five friends had gone their separate ways and lost sight of each other. Three of them left a hurting Baghdad behind while two of the friends stayed in Iraq. Tragic events, unfulfilled dreams and four years later they return to Baghdad, broken and seemingly aged by decades. In search of their lost innocence, they decide to take a trip together to the north of Iraq but instead fall into the hands of unscrupulous kidnappers. After a turbulent ride they find themselves in the middle of the unforgiving Iraqi desert and here the story of the five friends begins as their naked feet on hot sand connect them to the anguish of the silent desert.
If you thought it was only school children who were bullied, this book will come as an eye-opener to you. In a story inspired by true events, Tamara West, has addressed the topics of workplace bullying, sexism and racism with great sensitivity.
Rebecca is a charming, highly intelligent yet vulnerable Property Consultant. She works at Benton Price, a large multinational corporation but is treated appallingly by Derek, her immediate superior. Rebecca truly is a woman of valour as she places her own health at risk in her quest for justice. However, there are mysterious undercurrents at play in Benton Price that deny Rebecca her chance of fulfilling her potential while Derek’s devious tricks seem set to protect him from receiving his just desserts…