Related to: 'Jill Mansell'

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Maybe This Time

Jill Mansell
Authors:
Jill Mansell

The deliciously uplifting new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author of THIS COULD CHANGE EVERYTHING and MEET ME AT BEACHCOMBER BAY. Not to be missed by readers of Lucy Diamond and Katie Fforde. When Mimi first visits her dad's new home in the Cotswolds, she falls in love with Goosebrook and the people who live there. (Well, maybe not snooty Henrietta, who lets Mimi walk miles in the rain rather than give her a lift.) There's Paddy, with his flashing eyes and seductive charm. Friendly and funny Lois makes Mimi laugh. And seriously gorgeous Cal is welcoming and charismatic. Though Mimi loves her city life and her career, she'd be very happy to return to Goosebrook if it means seeing more of him.Life is about to take some unexpected and shocking twists and turns. And Mimi's path and Cal's are set to cross again and again - but will it ever be the right time for both of them?The joy of Jill's novels:'The queen of witty, heart-warming, feel-good love stories' Red'A heartwarming treat from one of my favourite writers' Katie Fforde'Reading Jill is always such a joy!' Veronica Henry'Funny, bouncy, romantic and brilliantly written...A feel-good gem' ***** Heat'The sweetest love story of the year' Fabulous

Headline Review

This Could Change Everything

Jill Mansell
Authors:
Jill Mansell

The deliciously funny SUNDAY TIMES bestseller: perfect for summerOne little mistake and nothing will ever be the same again!On the one hand, if Essie hadn't written that letter - the one that only her best friend was meant to see - then she'd still be living like an actual proper grown-up, tucked up with Paul in his picture-perfect cottage, maybe even planning their wedding...On the other hand (if her true feelings hadn't accidentally taken the internet by storm, that is) she wouldn't have moved into the attic flat on the square. She would never have met Conor. Or got to know Lucas...And she wouldn't have found herself falling in love with someone she really, really shouldn't fall in love with... 'One of my favourite writers' Katie Fforde'The queen of witty, heart-warming, feel-good love stories' Red 'Reading Jill is always such a joy!' Veronica Henry'Jill Mansell just gets better and better' Heat ***** 'A fab, feel-good read' Prima'A page-turner' Look

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Chasing Christmas Eve: Heartbreaker Bay Book 4

Jill Shalvis
Authors:
Jill Shalvis

Chasing Christmas Eve is the fourth in New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis's Heartbreaker Bay series, featuring her trademark gift for humour, warmth and romance. Perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Debbie Macomber, Nora Roberts and Marie Force. Run for the hills temporarily. That's Colbie Albright's plan when she flees New York for San Francisco. Wrangling her crazy family by day and writing a bestselling YA fantasy series by night has taken its toll. In short, Colbie's so over it that she's under it. She's also under the waters of a historic San Francisco fountain within an hour of arrival. Fortunately, the guy who fishes Colbie out has her looking forward to Christmas among strangers. But she's pretty sure Spencer Baldwin won't be a stranger for long.Spence's commitment to hiding from the Ghosts of Relationships Past means he doesn't have to worry about the powerful - OK, crazy hot - chemistry he's got with Colbie. Just because she can laugh at anything, especially herself...just because she's gorgeous and a great listener...just because she gets Spence immediately doesn't mean he won't be able to let Colbie go. Does it?Now the clock's ticking for Colbie and Spence: Two weeks to cut loose. Two weeks to fall hard. Two weeks to figure out how to make this Christmas last a lifetime.Want more warm, funny romance? Check out the other Heartbreaker Bay novels starting with Sweet Little Lies, visit gorgeous Cedar Ridge, spellbinding Lucky Harbor or experience some Animal Magnetism in Sunshine, Idaho in Jill's other unforgettable series.

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Two Kitchens

Rachel Roddy
Authors:
Rachel Roddy

From the award-winning weekly Guardian Cook columnist and winner of the André Simon and Guild of Food Writers' Awards comes an Italian food book of sumptuous recipes, flavours and stories from Sicily and Rome.For the last twelve years, food-writer, cook and photographer Rachel Roddy has immersed herself in the culture of Roman cooking, but it was the flavours of the south that she and her Sicilian partner, Vincenzo, often craved. Eventually the chance arose to spend more time at his old family house in south-east Sicily, where Rachel embraced the country's traditional recipes and the stories behind them. In Two Kitchens Rachel celebrates the food and flavours of Rome and Sicily and shares over 120 of these simple, everyday dishes from her two distant but connected kitchens. From tomato and salted ricotta salad, caponata and baked Sicilian pasta to lemon crumble, honeyed peaches and almond and chocolate cake, they are the authentic Italian recipes that you will want to cook again and again until you've made them your own.'This is a recipe book that reflects the way I cook and eat: uncomplicated, direct and adaptable Italian family food that reflects the season. The two kitchens of the title are my kitchens in Rome and Sicily. In a sense, though, we could have called the book "many kitchens" as I invite you to make these recipes your own.' Rachel RoddyTwo Kitchens chapters: Vegetables and Herbs - Tomatoes; Aubergines; Peas; Broad Beans; Cauliflower; Potatoes; Onions; HerbsFruit and Nuts - Lemons; Peaches; Oranges; Grapes and Figs; AlmondsMeat, Fish and Dairy - Beef and pork; Chicken; White fish; Fresh anchovies and sardines; Eggs; RicottaStorecupboard - Chickpeas; Lentils; Preserved anchovies; Flour; BreadRachel's first book, Five Quarters: Recipes and Notes from a Kitchen in Rome, won the André Simon Food Book Award and the Guild of Food Writers' First Book Award in 2015.

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The Year of Saying Yes

Hannah Doyle
Authors:
Hannah Doyle

Welcome to Izzy's rollercoaster year of saying yes. Get ready for non-stop hilarity, unadulterated entertainment and the journey of a lifetime.THE YEAR OF SAYING YES was originally published as a four-part serial. This is the complete story!'Prepare yourself readers, you will be in hysterics in laughter until your belly hurts. I FREAKING LOVED THIS ... I feel like I have reunited with my old love. *happily sighs*' A Crave For Books Blog 'Move over Bridget Jones there's a new girl in town!' Goodreads reviewer 'Watch out Lindsey Kelk, someone is toppling you' Dreaming With Open Eyes Blog If you loved WHAT FRESH HELL and HOT MESS by Lucy Vine, IT STARTED WITH A TWEET by Anna Bell and PERFECT MATCH by Zoe May - THE YEAR OF SAYING YES will make you cry with laughter! Dear Readers, I hold my hands up: I'm stuck in a rut. For three years and counting I've been hopelessly in love with the same guy - and the closest we've ever got is a drunken arse grab (NB: this doesn't count). My favourite hobby is googling cats for spinsters and I'm sick of my shoestring salary that barely pays for my shoebox flat.I need a head-to-toe life makeover. Enter my 'Year of Saying Yes', which is where you come in. To help me sort out my sorry life, I need you to #DareIzzy. For the next 12 months I'll be saying 'yes' to your challenges, no matter how wild, adventurous or plain nuts they are. 'No' is not an option! Here goes... Wish me luck! I'm going to need it.Love, Izzy xHannah Doyle's THE YEAR OF SAYING YES will make you dirty-laugh, feel warm and fuzzy, and rediscover life's magic - all thanks to one little word: 'yes'. If you read and loved THE YEAR OF SAYING YES, her latest novel JUST MY TYPE is available to pre-order now! Readers love THE YEAR OF SAYING YES: 'A hilarious read' Bella magazine'The most excellent and humorous book I have read in a very long time' Dreaming With Open Eyes'I loved loved this book, it was fun, hilarious and witty' Escapades of a Bookworm'SO good ... full of laugh-out-loud moments' On My Bookshelf'A bundle of laughs' The Book Magnet'4% in, I was already laughing out loud and snorting ... the other 96% just kept getting better' The Writing Garnet'A fabulous and fun read' By The Letter Book Reviews'A hilarious, light hearted read' BrizzleLass Books'A breath of fresh air, that made me laugh and smile the whole way through... I will be telling anyone who will listen to me, just how great this story really is' Kelly's Book Corner 'Hannah Doyle's witty writing had me hook, line and sinker' Shaz's Book Blog'I highly encourage everyone to pick up this story' Alba In Bookland 'Ultimate beach read' Reveal magazine'This is a laugh out loud level of funny ... an all around fun book to read ' Rachel's Random Reads Blog'Prepare yourself readers you will be in hysterics in laughter until your belly hurts' A Crave For Books Blog

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The Year of Saying Yes Part 2

Hannah Doyle
Authors:
Hannah Doyle

THE YEAR OF SAYING YES was originally published as a four-part serialisation. This is the second part of Izzy's adventures in THE YEAR OF SAYING YES. The complete novel is also available to buy now.'Funny, modern and motivational, The Year of Saying Yes is the kick-up-the-backside feel-good read we all could do with! LOVED IT. #yessquad' Lisa DickensonTHE YEAR OF SAYING YES by Hannah Doyle will make you dirty-laugh, feel warm and fuzzy, and rediscover life's magic - all thanks to one little word: yes. Fans of Mhairi McFarlane's WHO'S THAT GIRL, Sophie Kinsella's MY NOT SO PERFECT LIFE, Anna Bell's THE BUCKET LIST TO MEND A BROKEN HEART and Joanna Bolouri's THE LIST, you're in for a real treat.Dear ReadersWelcome back! It's Izzy (or should I say New Izzy) reporting for duty. It's time for Part Two of my 'Year of Saying Yes'.Thanks to your amazing challenges and fabulous feedback, I've been up to all sorts over the past few months. Drumroll please... - I asked a total stranger for his number (what can I say, he was hot and wearing a pirate's hat)- I modelled for a life drawing class (yes, starkers!)- And somehow I performed on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury *gulp*All this gallivanting around means that the new, improved me is in full flow. And guess what? For the first time in forever I have an actual LOVE LIFE, with a real-life man! But in between the fun and frolics there's been a whole lot of #drama.Buckle up, guys, we're in for a bumpy ride...LoveIzzy xDon't miss the next dose of THE YEAR OF SAYING YES! In Part 3 Izzy faces her fears, becomes a culinary queen and reconnects with her frenemy.Everyone is loving THE YEAR OF SAYING YES: 'Hilarious' Bella magazine'The most excellent and humorous book I have read in a very long time' Dreaming With Open Eyes'Fun, hilarious and witty' Escapades of a Bookworm'SO good, so hilarious, so light-hearted and full of laugh-out-loud moments' On My Bookshelf'A bundle of laughs from the very first page' The Book Magnet'4% in, I was already laughing out loud and snorting ... the other 96% just kept getting better' The Writing Garnet'Fabulous and fun' By The Letter Book Reviews'A hilarious, light hearted read' BrizzleLass Books'A breath of fresh air, that made me laugh and smile the whole way through' Kelly's Book Corner 'Had me hook, line and sinker' Shaz's Book Blog'I highly encourage everyone to pick up this story (say yes to it!)' Alba In Bookland

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Sweet Little Lies: Heartbreaker Bay Book 1

Jill Shalvis
Authors:
Jill Shalvis

Sweet Little Lies is the first in New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis's Heartbreaker Bay series, featuring her trademark gift for humour, warmth and romance. Perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Debbie Macomber, Nora Roberts and Marie Force. What if you fall for the one guy you can't have? As the captain of a San Francisco Bay tour boat, Pru Harris can handle rough seas - the hard part is life on dry land. Especially when it comes to resisting her growing feelings for her new friend, Finn O'Riley. He's kind, he's gorgeous and he's Mr Right - for anybody but her.Pru has a particular reason for wanting Finn to find happiness and it's what she wishes for at the historic fountain that's supposed to grant her heart's desire. But things get tricky when it becomes clear that, when it comes to Pru, there's more than friendship on Finn's mind - because she's been keeping a secret that could change everything...Want more warm, funny romance? Visit gorgeous Cedar Ridge, spellbinding Lucky Harbor or experience some Animal Magnetism in Sunshine, Idaho in Jill's other unforgettable series.

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Five Quarters

Rachel Roddy
Authors:
Rachel Roddy

Rachel Roddy's Five Quarters won the Guild of Food Writers' First Book award and the André Simon Food Book award 2015.'Five Quarters stands out as particularly considered and evocative...Impeccably researched and transportive, it's a proper read, rather than a quick flick.' AA Gill, Sunday Times best cookbooks 2015'Of course I thought Rome was glorious, but I didn't want to stay. A month, three at most, then I'd take a train back to Sicily to finish the clockwise journey I'd interrupted, before moving even further southwards...'Instead, captivated by the exhilarating life of Testaccio, the wedge-shaped quarter of Rome that centres round the old slaughterhouse and the bustling food market, Rachel decided to rent a flat and live there. Thus began an Italian adventure that's turned into a brand new life. Five Quarters charts a year in Rachel's small kitchen, shopping, cooking, eating and writing, capturing a uniquely domestic picture of life in this vibrant, charismatic city. Combining Rachel's love of Italian food and cooking with a strong nostalgia for home and memories of growing up in England, this is a cookbook to read in bed as well as to use in the kitchen.Chapters:AntipastiSoup & PastaMeat & FishVegetablesDolci

Headline Review

Three Amazing Things About You

Jill Mansell
Authors:
Jill Mansell

From the No. 1 bestselling author of THE ONE YOU REALLY WANT comes a poignant romantic novel about a young woman whose time is running out. Not to be missed by readers of Jojo Moyes and Erica James.Jill Mansell's enchanting new novel will drive readers to seize life with both hands and make the most of every minute...Hallie has a secret. She's in love. He's perfect for her in every way, but he's seriously out of bounds. And her friends aren't going to help her because what they do know is that Hallie doesn't have long to live. Time is running out...Flo has a dilemma. She really likes Zander. But his scary sister won't be even faintly amused if she thinks Zander and Flo are becoming friends - let alone anything more.Tasha has a problem. Her new boyfriend is the adventurous type. And she's afraid one of his adventures will go badly wrong.THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU begins as Hallie goes on a journey. A donor has been found and she's about to be given new lungs. But whose?

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Full Blast (Full Series, Book 4)

Janet Evanovich, Charlotte Hughes
Authors:
Janet Evanovich, Charlotte Hughes

Treat yourself to FULL BLAST by Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes. Praise for the FULL series: 'A fine romance with plenty of kisses' Mirror; 'A wild mix of intrigue, sex and pyrotechnics' The Times Dating can be murder...Jamie Swift is facing the story of a lifetime that could make or break her. Someone from her newspaper's Lonely Heart's column has murdered a local woman. To find the killer, and save her newspaper, Jamie will have to call in mega-handsome millionaire genius Max Holt, who right now is still frustratingly far from becoming anything more than just her business partner. But the real problem isn't that Jamie wants to get closer to Max, it's that the killer wants to get closer to Jamie.

Headline Review

Thinking Of You

Jill Mansell
Authors:
Jill Mansell
Headline Review

Mixed Doubles

Jill Mansell
Authors:
Jill Mansell

Love is always just around the corner in a Jill Mansell novel - with a few surprises and a lot of humour on the way to happiness.New Year is looming and best friends Liza, Dulcie and Pru are making their resolutions. Liza wants to get married - she's never had any trouble hooking a man. The trouble is, she can never stay interested once she's got him. Dulcie thinks marriage sucks. Her husband, Patrick, may be gorgeous and charming, but the impulsive Dulcie needs more excitement in her life. She wants a divorce. Pru loves her roving husband, and she secretly enjoys the periods when he's making up for his outrageous behaviour. All she wants is to stay married. Liza, Dulcie and Pru have no idea what the New Year has in store - but Fate has some sneaky plans up her sleeve...

Headline Review

Head Over Heels

Jill Mansell
Authors:
Jill Mansell
Headline Review

Sheer Mischief

Jill Mansell
Authors:
Jill Mansell

An irresistible romantic comedy from bestselling author Jill Mansell about sisterly love and rivalry... If you enjoy the novels of Marian Keyes and Sophie Kinsella, you'll love SHEER MISCHIEF!It's not that Janey Sinclair isn't pleased to see her sister. It's just that being woken at seven by Maxine, complete with police escort, isn't quite how she'd planned to spend her Sunday. Even so Janey, who's just rebuilding her life after her husband disappeared, is delighted that her sister's back in the Cornish town where they grew up. When Maxine sets her sights on Guy Cassidy, an impossibly glamorous fashion photographer, Janey knows there's no limit to the mischief her sister will get up to in order to dispatch her rivals. But little do they know that the competition is a lot closer to home than they think...

Headline Review

Good at Games

Jill Mansell
Authors:
Jill Mansell
Headline Review

Perfect Timing

Jill Mansell
Authors:
Jill Mansell

From the bestselling author of THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU and THE ONE YOU REALLY WANT comes a sweet, funny tale of a romantic encounter that throws everything up in the air. Poppy Dunbar is out on her hen night when she meets Tom Kennedy. With his dark eyes and quirky smile, he could lure any girl off the straight and narrow, but what really draws Poppy to him is the feeling that she's known him all her life. She can't go through with the meeting they arrange - but she can't go through with the wedding either. Suddenly notorious as 'The Girl Who Jilted Rob Macbride', Poppy moves to London. Soon Poppy's installed in the bohemian household of Caspar French, a ravishingly good-looking young artist with a reputation for breaking hearts. But even in her colourful new home, Poppy can't get Tom off her mind. Until she's tracked him down, she'll never know if their meeting was destiny - or if the future holds something entirely different for her...

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Beat those January blues...

Emma Hannigan, author of THE SUMMMER GUEST and THE HEART OF WINTER : I would like to take this opportunity to wish all readers a very happy and healthy new year. As a nine times cancer survivor I am incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to embrace the next twelve months. I am so excited about my new book The Secrets We Share and I sincerely hope you will all enjoy it. May 2015 bring sunshine to your hearts and sparkles to your souls. Love and light, Emma Stephen Lloyd Jones, author of THE STRING DIARIES and WRITTEN IN THE BLOOD : Key challenges this year are to stop swearing so much and learn to play by ear Chopin's ‘Nocturne’ in E Flat Major (Op. 9, No. 2). Pretty tough, those two, especially in combination. Jill Mansell, author of THE UNPREDICTABLE CONSEQUENCES OF LOVE and THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU: Jill Mansell's New Year's Resolution. (To become a hare...) I spend my life envying other people for all sorts of reasons: that they are tall and thin... that they genuinely love exercise and aren't afraid to do it... that they have elegance and style and can travel long distances without getting all flustered and panicky... But nothing - NOTHING - inspires more envy than when I hear fellow writers say casually on social media, 'There, have just written five thousand words in two hours. Now off to have lunch with friends, followed by an afternoon of shopping - time for some fun!' Because they are hares and I am the tortoise. While they're out, gaily raising their Champagne glasses to each other and celebrating another sparkling chapter of their novel effortlessly done and dusted, I'm left at home like Cinderella, plodding my way through the next five hundred words, which will take me all day to write. So this is my resolution for 2015: I am going to stop procrastinating and endlessly distracting myself and whingeing to other people on Twitter that my writing is going so slowly. Instead I'm going to sit down and concentrate, and just get on and do it until it's done. Jo Thomas, author of THE OYSTER CATCHER : To be honest, I find it very hard to give anything up. If someone tells me I can't have it, I want it more! So I plan to do more of certain things. Eat more fruit. Walk more, because it's such good thinking time when I’m writing. The characters just start chatting amongst themselves and it's a great way to set myself up for a day’s work. And reading, of course. I love reading and I seem to end up squeezing in a bit of reading time at the end of the day before falling asleep. So I'm giving myself permission in 2015 to read more and enjoy! Paul Fraser Collard, author of THE DEVIL'S ASSASSIN and JACK LARK: ROGUE : 1) Learn how to use a semicolon properly. Word tells me that I need to consider revising the ones I do use and who am I to ignore such wise advice. 2) Accept that I have more than a few rogue grey hairs. Just For Men is no longer a viable option. 3) On at least one occasion prove to my sixteen-year-old son that I do really know better than he does. 4) Stop trying to convince my family that Opal Fruits (yes, Opal Fruits, not Starburst) count as one of my five-a-day. 5) Stop checking my Amazon sales ranking. No more. Never again. Or at least, not more than once or twice a day. Sarah Hilary, author of SOMEONE ELSE'S SKIN and NO OTHER DARKNESS : Every January, I arm myself with fresh Moleskine notebooks and pens, and with books and DVDs to stimulate my curiosity. As I get to work on book three, this year's arsenal includes Explore Everything by Bradley L. Garrett, Paranoia by Freeman and Freeman, and box-sets of True Detective, and The Mentalist. My chief resolutions (the same every year): to bury the past, and to live (and write) in the moment. Sierra Kincade, author of THE MASSEUSE and THE DISTRACTION : I resolve to live the kind of life that inspires me to write more books. Wait... I write naughty books. I mean, live a more adventurous life (in the bedroom). Wait. I mean, just get out of the house more. (Now that sounds even naughtier!) Sigh. I resolve to write more books. I resolve to eat more cake and feel less guilty. I also resolve to cry tears of pain at the gym following said cake. And I resolve to invest in a chocolate IV which will keep me blissfully caffeinated. And if that doesn't work, I resolve to just stay blissfully caffeinated. 2015 is going to be a great year. Barbara Nadel, author of BODY COUNT and LAND OF THE BLIND : In 2015 I've said I will say goodbye to some of my self-doubt – can't say goodbye to all of it or I won't be neurotic any more. But I will be asking for more. I want to have more fun with friends or chocolate or, preferably both. I'm only giving up celery. Professionally, I want to do a lot more publicity and public-speaking work and I want to write ever more challenging books. Apart from that, just world peace, more money for the NHS, and more public tolerance of eccentricity. If a woman wants to lie in her own bath in a wedding dress, that really is her business. And we should respect that. Nicola Doherty, author of IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME and the GIRLS ON TOUR series: Hello. My name is Nicola and I’m a New Year’s Resolution addict. I’ve made the same resolutions for probably the past five years. They tend to include running more, eating less sugar, lifting weights, doing more yoga, watching less TV and … flossing. This last one became so popular among my friends a few years ago that we joked about substituting flossing for drinks as a social engagement. (I also gave up alcohol for January once, but not any more: if there’s one month where you NEED a drink, it’s January). This year, I’m doing a slight variation on the usual. Inspired by this website, I looked at why my previous resolutions failed, and built in contingency plans. I’ve signed up for a half marathon on 22 March, so that I HAVE to run. I realised that the reason I never kept up my weights before is that it’s so boring. So I’ve started having a little flash disco at home every afternoon for ten minutes, just dancing with my weights aloft like Jane Fonda. Obviously I look nuts but I’m dancing on my own so it’s fine. And – most importantly – I’m marking every successful day in my calendar. Seven days in, it’s working – just seeing that tick on the calendar is enough to make me do it. It’s a pity I didn’t think of this five years ago, but there you go. People who love making resolutions don’t understand people who don’t. In my next book Girls on Tour, Maggie and Rachel get together for a ‘friendship date’ after first meeting on a skiing holiday. The date is very awkward and stilted initially – until the girls realise that they share a love of New Year’s resolutions and bond over their relentless drive for self-improvement. Maggie and Rachel both end up breaking most of their resolutions – except two: they’ve both resolved to make new friends and to travel more. And they do! Another thing I’ve learned: positive and fun resolutions are always easier to keep … Of course New Year’s Resolutions don’t always work. Otherwise we’d all be thin, fit, decluttered and fluent in Mandarin. But they still hold out a glittering promise – that one day we’ll overcome our limitations and become better, healthier, more productive versions of ourselves. I’m optimistic by nature, so I’ll continue to make my resolutions. And even if they just end up giving me a slightly healthier January, what’s wrong with that? Steven Dunne, author of THE UNQUIET GRAVE and A KILLING MOON : At my age the only important New Year's Resolution is to get healthier and stay that way. Less booze, less food and more exercise, the latter especially problematic for a writer. Career-wise it's simple. With A Killing Moon in 2015 I want to reach new readers and, in so doing, open up my previous novels for discovery to thriller lovers everywhere. Happy and healthy New Year to everyone.

Posted by Ben Hatch, Author

Blog: Down the Hatch

Daniela, our forager, meets us at our hotel. She’s tall and willowy with mesmeric upper class teeth, the front bottom two of which seem to slope slightly forward like an old-fashioned up and over garage door. She’s wearing brown furry boots, jogging bottoms and a gilet and bounces like a spaceman on the moon. On the drive to the foraging place Daniela tells us she’s also a body and mind therapist and that her boyfriend’s one of the country’s foremost experts on fungi. ‘Self-taught,’ she adds, meaning I’m thinking, ‘Lots of trips to the hospital to have his stomach pumped.’ It’s half-term, we’re in Devon and I don’t want to go foraging. Neither do the kids (Phoebe, 8 and Charlie, 6). It’s windy, cold, too early and I’d rather be eating breakfast back at the hotel. The buffet bangers are under a metal hood beside cooked tomatoes and mushrooms and the toast’s brought straight to the table. There’s no need to forage. But my wife Dinah wants to. Foraging is new, sustainable, cool and growing in popularity, and besides she has to write an article about it. We’re foraging in Sidmouth and, as Daniela scours the banks of the river Ford, the first edible plant she discovers is hogweed. It has a purple furry stem, smells like orange peel, is apparently the poor man’s asparagus and is not to be confused, she tells us, after we’ve eaten some, with giant hogweed that looks a lot like it but has photosensitive juice, which can cause burning of the skin, blisters and lifelong changes to skin colour. As we wait nervously for the potential third degree burns and permanent disfigurement, Daniela snaps off the top of a nettle in her gloved hand and fans it out for us like a bouquet of peonies. It’s great in nettle soup, abundant and our most overlooked salad leaf, she says, her eyes shining. Enthused, the kids sting themselves picking some and Dinah’s so mesmerised by Daniela she leans unwittingly forward to SNIFF the nettles and is stung on the tip of her nose. We move to the beach. It’s now so cold and windblown that Charlie, who hates his coat more than anything in the world, has not only put it on but voluntarily pulled his hood up. Daniela moves along the foot of the rocky cliff and, as the kids complain they want to go, and are periodically blown into the brambles, she finds sea radish, sea plantain, rock samphire and alexanders, although by now I’m dubious. We’ve no idea what anything is. She could be making it up – adding the word ‘sea’ to the front of ordinary vegetables. My knowledge of green things ends at rocket, and Dinah’s so un-outdoorsy she doesn’t even own a proper coat. And besides isn’t there a reason people don’t eat random plants? ‘So have you ever eaten anything poisonous?’ I ask Daniela, as we chew what she’s suspiciously claiming is sea spinach. ‘No,’ she says, picking up something that she seems to believe we’ll accept is actually called ox-eye-daisy or whoopsy-daisy or something like that, ‘but a forager friend of mine,’ she adds, ‘once ate hemlock water drop wart.’ ‘And what happened to him?’ I ask. ‘He went into a coma,’ says Daniela, matter-of-factly. ‘Oh!’ And I look at Dinah, who takes another defiant bite but quietly removes the plant from Phoebe and Charlie’s hands, I notice. ‘What's a coma?’ says Phoebe ‘It's when your heart gets out of control and you go to sleep for a few days and come close to death,’ says Daniela, breezily picking up something else. ‘Here try this. It’s Sea lettuce. No, hang on…’ She drops it, and picks something else. ‘This is Sea lettuce.’ ‘That's why it's best only to eat leaves that experts say is OK,’ I say to the kids. ‘But he was an expert,’ says Phoebe. ‘The simple lesson is never eat anything at all that looks like a flat leaf parsley plant,’ says Daniela. ‘And what do they look like?’ I ask, as Charlie reaches into the undergrowth to independently pick some furry looking leaf he immediately pops into his mouth, but my question’s swept away by the wind, as is Phoebe, who flounders in a clump of what? Sea turnips, sea swedes? sea parsnips? …who knows what this stuff is. Walking back to the car, Daniela tells us that a government minister once told a friend of hers that foraging would become more and more important as the banking system collapsed and currencies devalued and became worthless and people began scouring hedgerows to stay alive. As she says this she is childishly kicking a stone along the dirt path. ‘But that's unsubstantiated,’ she adds, to Dinah, who’s making notes, ‘So don't take it out of context.’ Back at the hotel we catch the end of breakfast. Leaving half an hour later, warm again and bloated with bacon, sausages, toast and egg, the world order still looks relatively intact, leaving me confident enough of our survival over the next 48 hours to abandon the now squashed looking fruits of our foraging labour in the bin.

Matt Dawson's Freebies XV

Being a top rugby player is a pretty good life. Not only do you get to compete in huge games in front of crowds of thousands, you also pick up some pretty cool freebies. Matt picks the best free stuff he's been given throughout his career.