Related to: 'Cathy Brett'

Headline

Everything Is Fine (And Other Lies I Tell Myself)

Cathy Brett
Authors:
Cathy Brett

Interwoven with tales of World War I, this is a story about growing up, moving on and the strength of a family.Things haven't been going so well for fifteen-year-old Esther Armstrong. With her brother Max - her closest ally - absent, she's forced to face everything alone, not least her parents' heated arguments. As the summer holidays stretch endlessly ahead, she's desperate for something, anything, to divert her attention. Then she finds some letters hidden in the walls of her family home, sent by a soldier to his sweetheart from the trenches of WWI. Esther is consumed by the mystery of these lovers - not very much older than herself - and what became of them. Perhaps in piecing together the jigsaw of someone else's life, Esther can work out how to reassemble her own, and how to make everything fine again...

Headline

The Flower Girls

Dee Williams
Authors:
Dee Williams
Headline

Ember Fury

Cathy Brett
Authors:
Cathy Brett

A sassy and entertaining illustrated debut from Cathy Brett Pyromania: A mental derangement, excitement or excessive enthusiasm for fire. Having celebrity parents isn't as hot as it sounds. Yes, there's money to burn, fame and some totally smoking guys...But when your dad's more interested in blazing a trail to the top of the charts than why you got kicked out of school, again, it can make you seriously angry. And if there's one thing Ember knows, it's that the smallest spark of anger can ignite a whole heap of trouble...

Headline

Verity Fibbs

Cathy Brett
Authors:
Cathy Brett
Headline

Scarlett Dedd

Cathy Brett
Authors:
Cathy Brett

You're dead Scarlett...Previously a poor taste jibe from school frenemies, now a statement of fact. Scarlett is absolutely mortified (in more ways than one) to discover that she's accidentally killed herself while trying to get out of a school trip. Even worse, she's taken her entire family with her.Life as a ghost is pretty dull - if only some of her friends were dead too...

Headline Review

The Red Carpet

Lavanya Sankaran
Authors:
Lavanya Sankaran

THE RED CARPET is a collection of stories as rich and absorbing as any novel. From traditional mothers trying to marry off their Westernised children to software billionaires, chauffeurs and the legacy of the Raj, Lavanya Sankaran's stories of Bangalore, India's Silicone Valley, are a pleasure from first to last.

Headline Review

Passion

Jude Morgan
Authors:
Jude Morgan

They were the Romantic generation, famous and infamous, and in their short, extraordinary lives, they left a legacy of glamorous and often shocking legend. In PASSION the interwoven lives and vivid personalities of Byron, Shelley and Keats are explored through the eyes of the women who knew and loved them - scandalously, intensely and sometimes tragically. From the salons of the Whig nobles and the penury and vitality of Grub Street, to the beauty and corruption of Venice and the carrion field of Waterloo, PASSION presents the Romantic generation in a new and dramatic light - actors in a stormy history that unleashed the energies of the modern world.

Tinder Press

Never Far From Nowhere

Andrea Levy
Authors:
Andrea Levy
Headline

A Little Badness

Josephine Cox
Authors:
Josephine Cox

TOUCH AND GO

The Sunday Times top ten bestseller Lisa Gardner's latest thriller, TOUCH AND GO, is out now in paperback. Here's an exclusive look at chapter one to whet your appetite...

CHAPTER SAMPLER

eBook of Month

Evil will follow you… Wherever you go. Can you find a way to hide? If you like Karen Rose, Katia Lief or Mary Burton you’ll love Debra Webb’s bestselling Faces of Evil series. Click below to read the first chapter of the third instalment, POWER, published for the first time in the UK this month.

POWER by Debra Webb

eBook of the month

Evil will follow you… Wherever you go. Can you find a way to hide? If you like Karen Rose, Katia Lief or Mary Burton you’ll love Debra Webb’s bestselling Faces of Evil series. Click below to read the first chapter of the third instalment, POWER, published for the first time in the UK this month.

The perfect place to write a novel

Blog: The Writing Shed

What's your commute like? Mine's not so bad. Out the back door, across the deck, down the steps, skip across the lawn on the railway sleeper stepping stones and I'm there. My name is Julia Crouch and I am a shed worker. About ten years ago, I was running a very busy graphic design/illustration business from one end of the attic bedroom I share with my actor husband. When he was home from tour he tended to work there too, writing plays in our bed at the other end. With three kids crammed into our tiny terraced house, there was nowhere else for us to go. But our bedroom was hardly a sanctuary from our busy lives. Instead it was a major part of it all. I had two desks in it (one for computer and gear, the other for dirty work - paint/pencil/charcoal/collage), an A3 printer and a giant plan chest. Every available surface was taken up with bits of paper, books and various other sorts of equipment. And then, from time to time, Tim was there, too, with all his work stuff as well. Something had to give. So, when I had a particularly good year, I decided to invest some of my profits in building a garden studio. I bought it from a company that specialises in what they call 'huts'. All we had to do was make a level concrete base and run out the electrics and, within a couple of days, the prefabricated office was up and standing, ready for me to move all my gear out of the house and down to the bottom of our small garden. With this quiet, leafy retreat, I found that not only had I bought myself actual space, I had also secured a place where my imagination could grow and flourish. Having been with my husband since we were at university, it was the first time since childhood that I had had a room all to myself. I furnished it exactly as I wanted, filling it only with things I wanted to be there. It was, quite literally, a room of my own, kept as tidy or as messy as I feel like, removed from the domestic pressures and distractions of the house and children, yet close enough to be present in case of disaster or need. It was precisely because of all this physical and mental space that, about six years ago, I started to write in earnest. I'd do my money-earning work, then, every day, I'd stay down in the shed and work for an hour or so on short stories and, later, my novels. When I got my book deal with Headline, I happily and quickly gave up the day job, then instantly set about reconfiguring my shed. The plan chest was exchanged with an artist friend for a woodcut and the dirty work table went off to Freecycle. The liberated space now houses a cushion-covered day bed. This is where I read and dream stuff up, although I generally have to write at my desk in my fancy back-friendly chair. I've got some great wireless speakers down here now, so I can fill the space with the background music I've found helps the words out like nothing else. The walls around my desk are decorated with a mixture of artworks and ephemera relating to my current work in progress – currently lots of Greek stuff, because my fourth novel is partly set on the island of Ikaria. And behind me there is a whole wall of books – novels to be read, research items, reference books and writing books. I do about eighty per cent of my writing down here now. Although I have a heater and the shed is well insulated, sometimes, when the weather is really freezing, I prefer to curl up in front of the living room woodburner to work. Other times I need a change of scene just to chivvy things along, so I go out and work in one of the many great little cafés we have here in Brighton. But, on a day like this, when the sun is bright, and the birds are doing their spring thing, there's nowhere better. I have the doors and windows open, paperweights holding everything down against the breeze, my two cats sleep in a spot of sunlight on the day bed, and Nick Cave sings God is in the House on the speakers. What more can a writer girl want, really?

By Clemency Burton-Hill

New York, New York

Being a freelance writer has its upsides and its down; but an indisputable up is the ability to choose one’s office daily. As I write, I am sitting in a small café on Hudson and Charles, spotted on a whim as I crossed over the street from Seventh Avenue. It boasts walls of exposed old brick and studiedly shabby wooden furniture; a vinyl record of jazz turns on a gramophone in the corner. October sunlight slants lazily across the street and slinks in through the café windows, gilding a wall of analogue photographs depicting the proprietor’s great-grandparents in curling sepia. It is late 2012; the New York headquarters of some of the twenty-first-century’s most cutting-edge technology companies are in the vicinity; but with this chipped mug of coffee in my hands here and that Charlie Parker LP spinning there, I could be occupying the sort of contemplative corner spot that any number of human characters in New York may have occupied before me. Other years, other faces, other times. People sometimes complain that Greenwich Village, like much in Manhattan, has “altered beyond recognition” and I’m sure in many ways it has – it is in the very nature of this town; the very name of this town, to enshrine the possibility of change. But I also know, I feel intuitively, that there is still in these streets the unwavering spirit of the old city, catering generously and eternally to the needs of those whose hearts are open, curious and yearning. There’s no place like this on earth. In other words, New York’s still got it. **** When I turned eighteen, I was given a subscription to the New Yorker for my birthday. A decade later, almost to the day, I moved to Manhattan and for the first few months I lived here, the simplest and most wondrous of the inestimable gifts this city bestows seemed to be this: that I could open those storied pages, flip to Goings On About Town, and, if I so desired, “go on about town”. I could read about a jazz gig, a book reading, a film opening, a symphony or rock concert, an opera, a play, a new restaurant and, bank balance permitting, experience it that same night. Back in my hometown of London – itself a city not without wonder – reading the Goings On section of the New Yorker became a weekly act of masochism, yielding predictable twists of almost palpable longing. To read about what was happening that same night across the Atlantic; to dream, to imagine, but to only be able to imagine – to not be in New York was sometimes too much to bear. Yet this is a city that has always been created by the imagination; a metropolis lovingly constructed in ink and paper and celluloid and dreams as much as it is by bricks and mortar, steel and glass. To borrow an insight from that master observer of New York, E. B. White, there are roughly three New Yorks: that of the natives, that of the commuters, and that of the settlers. That notion was true when White wrote “Here is New York” in 1948, and it strikes me as being resoundingly true today. Like him, I believe that the third New York will always be the most important, the most vital, because it is the one whose foundations are laid first in the minds of human beings born and living elsewhere – those for whom New York City is the ultimate destination. When the settler-dreamers hit the bedrock, having crossed bodies of water, been coughed up through tubes or tunnels or deposited by planes, it is up to them – to us – to turn those dreams into something resembling reality. And because New York has a unique capacity to absorb whatever is thrown at it and whomever arrives on its shores, they invariably do play their own unique part in shaping what happens next in the mighty pageant that is life here. Although, not always: New York also spits out more dejected and disappointed souls than any other city on earth. We transplanted “New Yorkers” must also live with the lurking shadow of that possibility every day. **** The music fades, the needle lifts, and a bearded barista with complicated tattoos on his forearms whom I’d wager lives in Brooklyn goes to flip the record to its B-Side. Which reminds me of a startling fact: the first jazz disc ever to be cut in the world was cut in New York. Ever in the world! It was Nick La Rocca’s Original Dixieland Jazz Band with “Livery Stable Blues”, in early 1917. But I plucked that particular “first” from the sky; really it’s not so startling – New York is a city of firsts. A city of human beings calmly doing things that will forever alter the direction of how those things can be done. From sculptors to subway contractors; from traders of sundries to traders of derivatives; from writers of music to writers of insurance to writers of code. Right now, I wonder, how many blocks am I from wonder? A short stroll in any direction and I might run into a movie crew shooting on a corner of Bleecker whose young director, as yet unknown, will win an Oscar next year; I might walk past an innocuous office building on Houston in which employees at a start-up whose name we’ve never heard of are busy inventing the next game-changing technology that we will soon all take for granted; I may glance at construction workers on a downtown skyscraper site whose silhouette will one day be a byword, a metaphor, a symbol for something the whole world understands – or maybe will just be a building so beautiful it makes people weep. This guy sitting next to me, meanwhile, tapping away on his laptop; for all I know he could be writing the world’s next Booker-winning novel. This is New York. Since arriving at this café, moreover, I have seen through these sunlit windows every sort of human face pass along Hudson Street. Even here, in this achingly well-heeled neighborhood where a brownstone townhouse around the corner on Perry is apparently on the market at fifteen million dollars (“What the hell – I’ll take two!”) I have seen faces old and young; faces black and brown and pink and white and many shades of grey. Faces beautiful and completely unmemorable; faces brimful of life; faces seemingly close to death. Perhaps these faces come from Puerto Rico, from Sierra Leone, from Mexico, England, Haiti, Cuba, Latvia, Kenya, Russia, Ireland or Italy. Perhaps from China, Tunisia, Wales, India, Jamaica, New Zealand, Greece or Poland. Perhaps they were born in a gleaming hospital uptown, or in a railroad apartment in an outer borough; perhaps they were born half way around the world. But here in New York they are. And as White memorably observed: “the collision and the intermingling of these millions of foreign-born people representing so many races and creeds make New York a permanent exhibit of the phenomenon of one world.” The phenomenon of one world. We know all this, of course. New York as a racial melting pot, a magnet for all comers, a global crucible of creativity: all of this has been said in myriad ways, by multitudes and over many years. But just as New York has every type of potential racial problem and for the most part enjoys a continuing and frankly miraculous city-wide tolerance, an “inviolate truce” between peoples, what astounds me is how the things we know about the city – the clichés and stereotypes, the myths and legends – go on being true, and indeed, get truer. Why? How? How do you work, New York? How are you even plausible? **** When you tell people you live in New York, I have found, reactions generally divide into those whose eyes widen with envy and those who wrinkle their brows in horror – or, worse, pity. “Oh no,” they shake their head, “I could never live there – so noisy, so dirty, so smelly. And why does everyone have to be so unbelievably rude?” There are also those who grumble that New York has somehow lost its character; been homogenised and commercialised and overrun by identical shops, adverts and tourists who genuinely appear to think queuing outside Abercrombie & Fitch a valid use of time. Well, yes. Surely Broadway has its grim bits; clearly one does well to avoid Times Square. Obviously you ignore the horse-and-cart guys in Central Park and of course you don’t eat at Olive Garden or wait forty-five minutes for a Magnolia Bakery cupcake. And of course New York is smelly and dirty and busy and crowded. If White thought in 1948 that “the normal frustrations of modern life are here multiplied and amplified” he would possibly be dismayed (but not surprised) to discover that more than half a century on there is still “not enough air and not enough light, and there is usually either too much heat or too little”. But in general, I believe, New York still has more life and curiosity and character in a single city block than even – dare I say it – London. And I’m a born and bred London girl who once suspected that if you were to cut my veins I would bleed the Thames. (I have also lived in Paris, and - hit me over the head with a baguette – I’m afraid that glorious capital does not compare either.) For more than three years, for example, my local Subway stop has been Grand Central. Rushing across the Main Concourse before I head underground to catch a train, I try always to look up at the ceiling and promise myself I will never, ever take such a sight for granted. When back in London, equally, I remind myself not to sigh in inevitable disappointment when I board the Piccadilly Line to go home. It’s a grossly unfair comparison, of course: how could poor old Hammersmith, my local Tube, ever hope to win against those majestic cathedral glories on 42nd Street? But that’s the point, isn’t it? **** In January 2012, the population of the entire New York City metropolitan area hit nineteen million people. It can be lonely here; sometimes unutterably so: a teeming place of human isolation and even desperation. By Grand Central Station I have indeed sat down and wept. But as White also captured brilliantly: “Although New York often imparts a feeling of great forlornness or forsakenness… you always feel that either by shifting your location ten blocks or by reducing your fortune by five dollars you can experience rejuvenation.” Reducing one’s fortune by five dollars here, by the way, remains the easiest damn thing in the world. Another cup of coffee at this very café, especially if accompanied by one of those artisanal sea-salt cookies they bake downstairs, will barely leave me change from twice that. In a doorway down the street, some wit has stuck a poster referencing the iconic slogan: I CAN’T AFFORD TO  NY. It has probably never been more difficult or more expensive to live in New York. Yet I and so many others would not be anywhere else in the world. Shifting my location, I will take my five bucks and get another coffee at some other place, ten blocks away, twenty, or who knows where. It doesn’t matter where I go: I open the door and the universe awaits. CLEMENCY BURTON-HIL, NEW YORK CITY, OCTOBER 2012

THE HEIST

Our ebook of the month is THE HEIST, the first adventure in an electrifying new series from Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg.

Author of the amazing One Week Girlfriend series

Behind the scenes with Monica Murphy

We love Drew and Fable’s story and the evolution of their romance in One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend. When did their story begin to take shape for you? Thank you! I love Drew + Fable too. The story began to actually take shape back in 2009 ― well, Fable took shape. I tried my hand at a YA idea with the main character named Fable Maguire. It didn’t pan out (quite frankly, it was terrible). But Fable stuck with me. Fast forward to late 2012 and (sort of a spoiler alert!) I saw a story on my local news about a young, pretty female teacher who was arrested for having sex with her 17-year-old male student. It got me thinking. When females are victims of this sort of thing, everyone’s appalled. When it happens to a male, a lot of the time he’s made out as a guy who just scored with an older woman. So I wanted to write a male victim and a strong female who comes along and saves him. You’ve written numerous romance books both as Monica Murphy and Karen Erickson ― did you find you approached writing a new adult romance differently? Yes! First of all, I’d never written in first-person point of view (POV) before so that was a challenge, but one I enjoyed immensely. I prefer writing in first-person POV now! Also, with a new adult title, all emotions are heightened. It’s a very dramatic time of our lives and everything has a newness, a freshness to it. First time away from home, first real job, first real love, and first chance to make major mistakes and have to fix them on your own. I wanted to capture that — as a writer, there’s a lot to play with during this time period. And with a new adult, it’s not just about the romantic relationship either. There’s so much more going on. Yes, the romance takes priority (and with Drew + Fable, how could it not, considering the situation they’ve thrown themselves into!) but there are other things happening. Family responsibilities, school, family trouble (ooh lots of trouble), jobs — it’s all an important part of their lives. We never imagined that the word ‘marshmallow’ could be so romantic! You made it so special for Drew and Fable ― what inspired you to pick this? It’s so random it’s almost embarrassing. I wrote OWG during the holiday season. I got to the part where Fable suggested they needed a “rescue” word to send or say to each other, and I paused. Glanced around my desk. Saw the box of caramel covered marshmallows (that I kept to myself for fear my children would eat them all) sitting there and thought...marshmallow. I never meant for it to become this THING. It’s so awesome. When Drew + Fable get married, they need a marshmallow wedding cake, right? *winks* Drew and Fable’s romance is powerfully moving ― were there particular parts of their story you found emotional to write? Yes, definitely. As I wrote OWG and got closer to the end, I kept thinking, should I go there? Should I take it there? I hesitated for a bit and then thought, I’m going for it. I’m so glad I did. I think it made the story that much more emotional. What Drew has to deal with is pretty difficult. My biggest fear was that he’d look like a wimp. So glad readers didn’t think he was one. And when I wrote the end of Second Chance Boyfriend, I burst into tears. Those two are buried so deep in my brain it’s sort of scary. It was hard to let them go. I still haven’t. They make plenty of appearances in both Three Broken Promises and Four Years Later, especially Fable. Have you always wanted to be a writer? What do you love most about your job? I’ve always been a reader and when I was in high school, I took journalism classes and was on the school newspaper. I became an intern at my local newspaper in college. So yes, I always wanted to be a writer. I discovered Jude Deveraux and Judith McNaught books during my teen years and I remember thinking, ooh I could do that. But then life got in the way for many years. Back in 2005, I was at home with my two youngest and I decided to try my hand at writing again. I was first published as Karen Erickson in 2006. I’ve been working hard ever since. I have the best job in the world. Where else can you work at home, be there for your kids when they need you and fall in love with a different guy multiple times a year, yet you’re not cheating on your husband (LOL)? Oh, and search the web for pictures of hot men and call it “research”? You can’t beat that! Do you have the most fun creating your heroes or your heroines? Do you have a favourite hero or heroine? It really depends on each book I write. Sometimes the hero speaks more to me and sometimes it’s the heroine. Lame answer, I’m sorry… My favourite hero and heroine? Why, Drew + Fable of course. Those two changed my entire career. I adore them. Who are the authors you read for pleasure? There are a ton of authors I read for pleasure. It would take me a month to list them all. But the one I read without fail? The one who I make sure and preorder so when I get the notice the book is on my Kindle, I drop everything to read her latest? Jill Shalvis. Ack, I love her books so much! What are your guilty pleasures? Chocolate, pedicures and purses. We are so excited to read Three Broken Promises and Four Years Later! Can you give us any hints of what you have planned for Jen and Colin and Owen and Chelsea? I’m excited for everyone to read TBP and FYL too! Okay, hints… Jen and Colin’s book is by far the sexiest of the series. I think it’s because they’re an older couple and Colin is rather demanding (heh heh). Owen and Chelsea’s book is the longest book of them all. Chelsea is the complete opposite of Fable and Jen. And Owen…Owen was a joy to write. I just turned the book in and I’m a little in love with him. Okay, I’m a lot in love with him. And we have to ask – will we get to see some more of Drew and Fable in books three and four?! As I mentioned, YES. Yes, Drew + Fable are all over books three and four. Especially Fable — she’s in the opening scene of TBP. She plays a huge part in Owen’s book because, well, she’s his sister. I hope readers will love those glimpses of D+F.

EVERY SECOND LOST

Our Ebook of the Month is Dylan Lawson's EVERY SECOND LOST. Gripping and mesmerising from the first to last page, this is a thriller to challenge the best from master storytellers Linwood Barclay and Harlan Coben. Here's an exclusive look at the prologue...

CHAPTER SAMPLER

ebook of the month

An exclusive extract featuring New York Times bestseller John Lescroart's most popular character, lawyer Dismas Hardy, in his most personal case so far.

Privacy Notice

Posted by Jack McDevitt, Author

Blog: Don't touch it, you'll break it

Anyone who’s conducted writing workshops has noticed a peculiar quality in the attendees. Most have been trying for years to launch a professional writing career. Many are close to giving up. Others doubt they could ever succeed...