Related to: 'Ernie's Ark'

December Book of the Month

Nikki and Damien continue in Take Me

I awake to an empty bed and the smell of frying bacon. I roll over to find my phone on the bedside table, then glance at the time. Not yet six. I groan and fall back among the pillows, but I don't really want to go back to sleep. What I want is Damien. I slide out of bed, then grab the tank top and yoga pants I'd left draped across a nearby armchair. I head barefoot out of the bedroom and move the short distance down the hall to the third-floor kitchen. We're standing in Damien's Malibu house, and the wall of windows that faces the ocean is wide open, the glass panels having been thrust aside to let in the breeze. The smell of the ocean mingles with the scent of breakfast and I breathe deep, realizing that I am content. Whatever demons had poked at me during the night, Damien effectively banished them. I glance toward the windows and out at the darkened Pacific. Waves glow white in the fading moonlight as they break upon the shore. There is beauty there, and part of me wants to walk to the balcony and stare out at the roiling, frothing water. But the siren call of the ocean is nothing compared to my desire to see Damien, and so I turn away from the windows and head straight to the kitchen. It is larger than the one in the condo I used to share with my best friend, Jamie, and it is not even the primary kitchen for this house. That is on the first floor, and could easily service a one-hundred-table restaurant. But this - the "small" kitchen - was installed as an adjunct to the open area that serves as a venue for entertaining, and since it is just down the hall from our bedroom, Damien and I have gotten into the habit of cooking our meals and eating in this cozier, more informal area. Usually we're joined by Lady Meow-Meow, the fluffy white cat I took custody over when Jamie moved out. I know Lady M misses Jamie, but she's also enjoying having the run of this huge house, and Gregory - the valet, butler, and all around house-running guy - spoils her rotten. Now I lean against the half wall that marks the break from hallway to kitchen. Damien is standing at the stove cooking an omelette as if he were nothing more than an ordinary guy. Except there is nothing ordinary about Damien Stark. He is grace and power, beauty and heat. He is exceptional, and he has captured me completely. At the moment, he is shirtless, and I cannot help the way my breath stutters as my eyes skim over the defined muscles of his back and his taut, strong arms. Damien's first fortune came not form business, but from his original career as a champion tennis player. Even now, years later, he has both the look and the power of an elite athlete. I let my gaze drift down appreciatively. He is wearing simple gray sweatpants that sit low on his narrow hips and cling to the curves of his perfectly toned ass. Like me, he is barefoot. He looks young and sexy and completely delicious. Yet despite his casual appearance, I can still see the executive. The powerful businessman who harnessed the world, who shifted it to his own liking and made a fortune in the process. He is strength and control. And I am humbled by the knowledge that I am what he values most of all, and that I will spend the rest of my life at his side. "You're staring," he says, his eyes still on the stove. I grin happily, like a child. "I enjoy looking at pretty things." He turns now, and his eyes rake over me, starting at my toes. "So do I," he says when his gaze reaches my face, and there is so much heat in his voice that my legs go weak and my body quivers with want. His mouth curves into a slow, sexy smile, and I am absolutely certain in that moment that I am going to melt. "You spoiled my surprise," he says, then nods toward the breakfast table where a tray sits with a glass bud vase displaying a single, red rose. "Breakfast in bed."

Headline Review

Any Bitter Thing

Monica Wood
Authors:
Monica Wood

ANY BITTER THING is a novel about how much we can and should forgive, by Monica Wood, the acclaimed author of THE ONE-IN-A-MILLION BOY. The perfect read for fans of Gail Honeyman's ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE and Joanna Cannon's THREE THINGS ABOUT ELSIE. 'If you liked THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES, try ANY BITTER THING' GlamourAfter surviving a near-fatal accident, thirty-year-old Lizzy Mitchell faces a long road to recovery. She remembers little about the days she spent in and out of consciousness, save for one thing: she saw her beloved deceased uncle, Father Mike, the man who raised her until she was nine, when she was abruptly sent away.Though her troubled marriage and broken body need tending, Lizzy knows she must uncover the details of her accident - and delve into the events of twenty years ago, when whispers and accusations forced a good man to give up the only family he had.What readers are saying about ANY BITTER THING:'Another great story with wonderful characters''This writer, with her exquisite prose, weaves a gripping and grace-filled story of redemption. I will go back to this amazing book again and again. It shines''A beautiful story. The characters take on a life of their own. Pure human emotion, well written, very touching'

Headline Review

My Only Story

Monica Wood
Authors:
Monica Wood

MY ONLY STORY is a moving, funny and bittersweet novel by Monica Wood, the acclaimed author of THE ONE-IN-A-MILLION BOY, sure to appeal to fans of Sarah Winman, Anne Tyler and Maggie O'Farrell. 'Wood's command of voice holds a reader all the way through to the last page' San Francisco Chronicle Rita Rosario has a gift, a way with people. She listens to them and really sees them for who they are - warts and all. Women, even men, come to Rita's beauty shop for perms, town gossip, and makeovers of their very lives.John Reed first appears to Rita in one of her dreams. When they meet at a town gathering a few days later, she immediately offers him a haircut, and a heart. As they share stories, Rita helps John fill a void by reconnecting him to his only family - a young niece he nearly lost in a heart-breaking tragedy.While inspiring John out of loneliness and into reconciliation, Rita begins to come to terms with events in her past... and discovers things about herself she never realised, including her own intimate role in John's unfolding story.What readers are saying about MY ONLY STORY:'Monica Wood is a beautiful writer and can convey complex emotions in the most beautiful and simple ways. The book stays with you long after you finish it, as do the characters''An enchanting book. Wood's mastery of the language creates beautiful, sometimes poetic prose. Her ability to express both human pain and human hope is very refreshing. This book is a treasure''One of the best kept secrets of the literary world'

Headline Review

Secret Language

Monica Wood
Authors:
Monica Wood
Headline Review

When We Were the Kennedys

Monica Wood
Authors:
Monica Wood

WHEN WE WERE THE KENNEDYS is a brilliant, award-winning memoir about the death of a father and the healing of a family, by Monica Wood, the acclaimed author of THE ONE-IN-A-MILLION BOY. Perfect for those who loved Cathy Rentzenbrink's THE LAST ACT OF LOVE or Helen Macdonald's H IS FOR HAWK. 'It's a pleasure to linger with her elegant prose, keen eye and grace of thought' Reader's Digest 'Intimate but expansive ... A tender memoir of a very different time' O, the Oprah Magazine 1963. The Wood family is much like their neighbours, all dependent on the fathers' wages from the local mill. But when Dad suddenly dies on his way to work one April morning, Mum and the four deeply connected Wood daughters are set adrift.And then, come November - the family still overwhelmed by grief, the country shocked by the assassination of President Kennedy - Mum announces an unprecedented family road trip. Inspired by the televised grace of Jackie Kennedy, herself a new widow with young children, Mum and her girls head to Washington, DC, to do some rescuing of their own. WHEN WE WERE THE KENNEDYS is a funny, moving and imaginative memoir about how one family and one country, each shocked by the unimaginable, find the strength to move on.What readers are saying about WHEN WE WERE THE KENNEDYS: 'A beautifully written, thought-provoking book''Filled with great love - of family, friends and the ability to bounce back even with many setbacks. Wood's words are so beautiful they literally lift off the pages''Compelling, profound, beautiful'

Headline Review

The One-in-a-Million Boy

Monica Wood
Authors:
Monica Wood

She may be 104 years old, but Ona Vitkus is on a mission and it's all because of THE ONE-IN-A-MILLION-BOY...Monica Wood's unforgettable novel about a boy in a million and the 104-year-old woman who saves his family is not to be missed by readers who loved THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY, ELIZABETH IS MISSING or THE SHOCK OF THE FALL. 'A lovely, quirky novel about misfits across generations' Daily Mail'A bittersweet story about finding friendship in the most unlikely of places' Good Housekeeping. The story of your life never starts at the beginning. Don't they teach you anything at school?So says 104-year-old Ona to the 11-year-old boy who's been sent to help her out every Saturday morning. As he refills the bird feeders and tidies the garden shed, Ona tells him about her long life, from first love to second chances. Soon she's confessing secrets she has kept hidden for decades.One Saturday, he doesn't show up. Ona starts to think he's not so special after all, but then his father Quinn arrives on her doorstep, determined to finish his son's good deed. The boy's mother is not so far behind. Ona is set to discover that even at her age the world can surprise you, and that sometimes sharing a loss is the only way to find yourself again.What readers are saying about ONE IN A MILLION BOY: 'Delightful, quirky and heart-warming''A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion''With heart-breaking and emotional moments intertwined with humour and love, THE ONE IN A MILLION BOY proves it's never too late to make new friends'

Headline Review

A Woman in a Million

Monica Wood
Authors:
Monica Wood

Andy McDermott

Andy McDermott is the bestselling author of the Nina Wilde & Eddie Chase adventure thrillers, which have been sold in over 30 countries and 20 languages. His debut novel, THE HUNT FOR ATLANTIS, was his first of several New York Times bestsellers. THE SPEAR OF ATLANTIS is the fourteenth book in the series, and he has also written the explosive spy thriller The Persona Protocol.A former journalist and movie critic, Andy is now a full-time novelist. Born in Halifax, he lives in Bournemouth with his partner and son.

Bernie McGill

Bernie McGill was born and raised in Northern Ireland and attended Queen's University, Belfast. Her first novel, The Butterfly Cabinet, was published by Headline Review in 2011. Bernie is also the author of Sleepwalkers, a collection of short fiction (shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize) and a contributor to three acclaimed anthologies of Irish women writers, The Long Gaze Back, The Glass Shore and Female Lines (New Island, 2015, 2016 & 2017). She has numerous theatre credits to her name. Bernie lives in Portstewart, Northern Ireland, with her family.

Brian Kimberling

Brian Kimberling was born and grew up in Indiana, where he was briefly employed as an ornithologist, a job that inspired his first book, SNAPPER. Before settling in the UK, he lived and worked in Prague, and drew on extensive experience teaching English in bars to create the character of Elliott in GOULASH. He now lives and works in Bath.

Claire McGowan

Claire McGowan grew up in a small village in Northern Ireland and now lives in London, where she runs an MA in creative writing at City University. THE KILLING HOUSE is Claire's seventh crime novel, and the sixth in the highly-acclaimed Paula Maguire series. She also writes women's fiction as Eva Woods.

Clemency Burton-Hill

Clemency Burton-Hill has been one of the UK's most prominent arts and music broadcasters for the past decade. As the host of BBC Radio 3's Breakfast Show she welcomed a new audience to classical music. Her television presenting work includes the BBC Proms and Young Musician of the Year, as well as numerous other music and arts programmes on radio, television and online. As a journalist her work has been published in every major UK publication, including the Economist, the Financial Times, Guardian, Observer and Independent. She is also the music columnist for BBC Culture. An award-winning violinist, Clemency has performed all over the world under leading conductors. She is the co-founder of Aurora Orchestra and a patron of the music and arts education charities The Choir of London Trust and Dramatic Need. She was appointed Creative Director of Music and Arts for New York Public Radio in September 2018 and she divides her time between London and New York.

Colette McBeth

Colette McBeth is the critically acclaimed author of psychological thrillers Precious Thing, The Life I Left Behind and An Act of Silence.Colette was a BBC TV News television correspondent for ten years, during which time she covered many major crime stories and worked out of Westminster as a political reporter.She lives on the South Coast with her husband and three children.Twitter @colettemcbethFacebook /colettemcbethauthorcolettemcbeth.co.uk

Daniela Sacerdoti

Daniela Sacerdoti is a phenomenon. Over one million copies of her novels have been sold in eBook, her debut novel WATCH OVER ME was the 8th bestselling Kindle book of all time in 2015 and she was also ranked as the 11th top-selling Kindle author. Daniela writes beautiful, haunting and bestselling fiction for adults (the Glen Avich series), young adults (the Sarah Midnight trilogy) and children. Her novels have been translated in twelve languages. Daniela was born and raised in Italy. She studied Classics, then lived in Scotland for fourteen years, where she married and taught in a primary school. Daniela's children's book Really Weird Removals.Com was shortlisted for the Scottish Children's Book Awards. She has also written for the BBC. Daniela, her husband and their two sons make their home in a tiny village in the Alps. To discover more about Daniela and her world, visit www.danielasacerdoti.com.

Dorothy Koomson

Dorothy Koomson is the award-winning author of 14 novels including the Sunday Times bestsellers My Best Friend's Girl, The Ice Cream Girls and Goodnight, Beautiful. Dorothy's novels have been translated into over 30 languages, and a TV adaptation based on The Ice Cream Girls was shown on ITV1 in 2013. After briefly living in Australia, Dorothy now lives in Brighton. The Brighton Mermaid is her most recent novel.

Emma Hannigan

Emma Hannigan is the No. 1 bestselling author of twelve novels including Letters to my Daughters, The Wedding Promise and The Perfect Gift. Her bestselling memoir, Talk to the Headscarf, was updated and revised as All To Live For: Fighting Cancer. Finding Hope. and was also a top ten bestseller.

G X Todd

G X Todd lives and works in the West Midlands. After completing a history degree at the University of Birmingham, she worked for public libraries for fifteen years, where she drove a 35-foot-long library van around the Black Country. She now spends her days living the dream: writing books while in her PJs.

Hannah Doyle

Hannah Doyle likes to write so much that she went to university twice just so that she could call putting pen to paper (well...finger to keyboard) her profession. She started out at a press agency in Bristol before skipping off to London to be a celebrity journalist. During the five years she spent at Reveal magazine and, for reasons unknown, Hannah became the go-to girl for interviewing male stars during scantily clad photo shoots. She now lives with her husband in Yorkshire where she writes for women's magazines, runs a blog and faffs about on Instagram. THE YEAR OF SAYING YES is her debut novel. Join Hannah online!Twitter: @HannahShowbizInstagram: @byhannahdoyleFacebook: /byHannahDoyleBlog: www.thisishannah.co.uk

Janet Evanovich

JANET EVANOVICH is the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum novels including Hardcore Twenty-Four and Turbo Twenty-Three; the Knight and Moon novels including Dangerous Minds, co-written with Phoef Sutton; the Fox & O'Hare series - The Heist, The Chase, The Job, The Scam and The Pursuit - co-written with Lee Goldberg; the Lizzy and Diesel novels including most recently Wicked Charms, co-written with Phoef Sutton. She has won several major crime fiction awards including the CWA John Creasey Award, Dilys Award and Silver Dagger.Janet's website can be found at www.evanovich.com. She is on Twitter - @janetevanovich - and Facebook - /JanetEvanovich.

Jen Williams

JEN WILLIAMS started writing about pirates and dragons as a young girl and hasn't ever stopped. Her short stories have featured in numerous anthologies and her debut novel, The Copper Promise, was published in 2014 to huge acclaim. Jen was nominated in the Best Newcomer category at the 2015 British Fantasy Awards and her following two novels, The Iron Ghost and The Silver Tide were both shortlisted for the British Fantasy Awards Novel of the Year. Jen lives in London with her partner and their cat.

Jenny Blackhurst

Jenny Blackhurst grew up in Shropshire where she still lives with her husband and children. Growing up she spent hours reading and talking about crime novels - writing her own seemed like natural progression. The Night She Died is Jenny's fourth novel.