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Quercus

Her Mother's Secret

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley

Escape to the heart of beautiful, sun-drenched Brittany with the bestselling author of The Villa and The Little Theatre by the Sea. The perfect treat for fans of Santa Montefiore and Veronica Henry.For many years Colette has avoided returning to her homeland - the beautiful island of Belle-Île-en-Mer in Southern Brittany - afraid to confront the painful memories she left behind. She is living on the Cornish coast when she hears about her mother Thea's failing health and realises that the time has come for her to go home. But can Colette ever forgive Thea for what she has done? Despite Colette's wariness, romantic Belle-Île still fascinates her. She takes on the running of her mother's flower shop and makes friends with Élodie from the Old Lighthouse where Thea once worked as a nanny and with the enigmatic Étienne who shares Colette's mixed feelings about the island. As Thea opens up to her for the first time, Colette finds herself softening and being drawn back into the landscape of her past. But can Belle-Île also be a part of her future?The ghosts of that past still linger. What happened all those years ago and how did it cause the rift between mother and daughter? It becomes clear that the beauty of Belle-Île hides a devastating family secret - one that Colette is determined to unravel at any cost.

Quercus

The Eternal City

Domenica De Rosa
Authors:
Domenica De Rosa

A heart-warming tale of sibling rivalry, secrets, love and death, steeped in local colour and noise and tender in its depiction of family at their worst, and at their best from Domenica de Rosa, author of the bestselling Dr Ruth Galloway series under the name Elly Griffiths. 'Witty and as light as a tiramisu but with tart insight on sibling rivalry' Nottingham Evening PostGaby, the youngest of the de Angelis sisters, always secretly knew she was her father Enzo's favourite; so when Enzo dies on the day her own daughter is born, her life is turned upside down. In the emotional aftermath of the funeral, it emerges that her father has asked that his ashes be taken back his native city, Rome. Suddenly, Gaby and her new family are thrown headfirst into the wider de Angelis clan, and all of their conflicting ideas and opinions. As the family journeys to Rome to say a final goodbye to Enzo, emotions run high; but none higher than Gaby's, as she comes face to face with the man she once thought she would marry, and is forced to question everything of which, until now, she was so sure.

Quercus

The Little Theatre by the Sea

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley

The bestselling author of THE VILLA returns with a gorgeous and evocative summer read about love and starting over'The perfect holiday companion' - Heat'It will make you want to jump on the first flight out to Sardinia' - Hello'Sun-soaked escapism' - Best**********Faye has just completed her degree in interior design when she finds herself jobless and boyfriend-less. While debating what to do next she receives a surprise phone call from her old college friend Charlotte who now lives in Sardinia and is married to Italian hotelier, Fabio.When Charlotte suggests that Faye relocate for a month to house-sit, Faye wonders if a summer break in sunny Sardinia might be the perfect way to recharge her batteries and think about her future. But then Charlotte tells Faye that there's something more behind the sudden invitation: her friends Marisa and Alessandro are looking for a designer to renovate a crumbling old theatre they own in the scenic village of Deriu. The idea certainly sounds appealing to Faye, but little does she know what she's letting herself in for if she accepts this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity . . .********SEE WHAT EVERYONE IS SAYING ABOUT ROSANNA LEY:'An impeccably researched and deftly written narrative that kept me hooked until the end' - Kathryn Hughes, bestselling author of The Letter 'Such a wealth of fascinating characters set in a glorious village in Sardinia' - Amazon reviewer'The ultimate feel-good read, perfect for fans of Santa Montefiore, Victoria Hislop and Leah Fleming' - Candis 'On so many levels a fantastic read' - Amazon reviewer'A fascinating story with engaging themes' - Dinah Jefferies, bestselling author of Before The Rains 'Warm, enthralling, one of my favourite authors' - Amazon reviewer

Quercus

The Hourglass

Tracy Rees
Authors:
Tracy Rees

'Tracy Rees writes from the heart' Kathryn Hughes, author of The Letter. Perfect for fans of The Keeper of Lost Things and The Villa in Italy.2014. Nora has always taken success for granted, until suddenly her life begins to fall apart. Troubled by anxiety and nightmares, she finds herself drawn to the sweeping beaches of Tenby, a place she's only been once before. Together with a local girl she rents a beautiful townhouse and slowly begins to settle in to her new life. But Tenby hides a secret, and Nora will soon discover that this little town by the sea has the power to heal even the most painful memories.1950. Chloe visits Tenby every summer. She stays with relatives, and spends the long, idyllic days on the beach. Every year is the same, until she meets a glamorous older boy and is instantly smitten. But on the night of their first date, Chloe comes to a realisation, the aftermath of which could haunt her forever.The Hourglass is a moving novel about finding love even after it seems too late and the healing power of a magical place by the sea.

Quercus

Last Dance in Havana

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley

'I loved the sultry sensuous feeling of being in Havana so much that reading about it makes me want to go there. A fascinating story with engaging themes' Dinah Jefferies, #1 bestselling author of The Tea Planter's WifeCuba, 1958. Elisa is only sixteen years old when she meets Duardo and she knows he's the love of her life from the moment they first dance the rumba together in downtown Havana. But Duardo is a rebel, determined to fight in Castro's army, and Elisa is forced to leave behind her homeland and rebuild her life in distant England. But how can she stop longing for the warmth of Havana, when the music of the rumba still calls to her?England, 2012. Grace has a troubled relationship with her father, whom she blames for her beloved mother's untimely death. And this year more than ever she could do with a shoulderto cry on - Grace's career is in flux, she isn't sure she wants the baby her husband is so desperate to have and, worst of all, she's begun to develop feelings for their best friend Theo. Theo is a Cuban born magician but even he can't make Grace's problems disappear. Is the passion Grace feels for Theo enough to risk her family's happiness?From bestselling author Rosanna Ley comes an exotic tale of love, family and friendship set between England and Cuba.

Quercus

The People We Were Before

Annabelle Thorpe
Authors:
Annabelle Thorpe

If war is madness, how can love survive?Yugoslavia, summer 1979. A new village. A new life. But eight-year-old Miro knows the real reason why his family moved from the inland city of Knin to the sunkissed village of Ljeta on the Dalmatian Coast, a tragedy he tries desperately to forget. The Ljeta years are happy ones, though, and when he marries his childhood sweetheart, and they have a baby daughter, it seems as though life is perfect. However, storm clouds are gathering above Yugoslavia.War breaks out, and one split-second decision destroys the life Miro has managed to build. Driven by anger and grief, he flees to Dubrovnik, plunging himself into the hard-bitten world of international war reporters.There begins a journey that will take him ever deeper into danger: from Dubrovnik, to Sarajevo, to the worst atrocities of war-torn Bosnia, Miro realises that even if he survives, there can be no way back to his earlier life. The war will change him, and everyone he loves, forever.

Heron Books

The Road to Rangoon

Lucy Cruickshanks
Authors:
Lucy Cruickshanks

In 1980s Burma, the British ambassador's son goes missing.Discovered in the north of the country, Michael Atwood is in imminent danger, trapped between sides fighting a bitter civil war and with no way of getting back to Rangoon. His best hope of salvation is to trust Thuza, a ruby smuggler who offers to help him escape.Beautiful and deeply scarred, Thuza has spent her entire life in a frontier town between rebel and government forces, never choosing a side but trying to make a living from both. For Thuza, the ambassador's son is her ticket out of poverty. For Than, an ambitious military officer, exploiting those caught up in the war offers an opportunity for promotion and distinction.But as all three learn to their cost, in this exotic, enigmatic and savage country, everyone has a price.This is a tale of ambition, salvation and hope that confirms Lucy Cruickshanks as a master storyteller.

Quercus

The Saffron Trail

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley

Once, there was a girl who loved saffron. She loved its secrets, its mystery, and best of all, she loved its hint of magic. After the death of her beloved mother, Nell travels from rural Cornwall to the colour and chaos of Marrakech. Her marriage may be on the rocks, but exploring the heady delights of Moroccan cuisine could help her fulfil her dream of opening her own restaurant. It's there she meets Amy - a young photographer trying to unravel the story behind her family's involvement in the Vietnam War. The two women develop a close friendship and discover a surprising connection between their own pasts. This connection will take Nell and Amy on a journey to find their own 'saffron trail' - from the labyrinthine medina and bustle of Moroccan bazaars all the way back home to Cornwall and to the heart of their families' origins.

Heron Books

The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being

Alice Roberts
Authors:
Alice Roberts
Quercus

Return to Mandalay

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley

Quercus

Bay of Secrets

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley
Quercus

The Villa

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley
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Rosanna Ley on landscape and creativity

What is the relationship between landscape and creativity? There are little hotspots all over the world to which groups of creative people are drawn. But why? Surely it’s not simply a question of contacts and existing artistic infrastructure – though clearly this helps. Is it something to do with landscape? And if some landscapes provoke more creative responses than others, which kind does it for you? In the west country of the UK we can do wild and bleak or cute and scenic. We get a lot of rain – but this is why the grass is always greener… There are more writers, musicians, potters, artists, weavers, sculptors and glass blowers here, than anywhere else in the UK. And tourists of all nationalities brave our English weather and come in their thousands to visit our galleries, exhibitions, mills, shops and craft centres. But what is it about the landscape that inspires creativity? Is it perhaps the sense of history? In ‘Bay of Secrets,’ artist Andres and his famous father are inspired by the landscape of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. It is ancient and volcanic, rather like a lunar landscape with rolling pink-brown hills, craters and giant sand dunes cradling turquoise lagoons studded by black rocky outcrops. Age can certainly give a landscape a vibe – Lyme Regis, Charmouth and the Jurassic Coast of Dorset have a sense of history which literally clings to the fossilized rocks, the cliffs and the beaches. Roman roads and ancient forts abound. In the novels of Thomas Hardy, Dorchester provides an artistic legacy too – of the writerly kind. When Andres comes to Dorset in ‘Bay’, he is equally inspired by the golden sandstone cliffs of West Bay – as recently featured in ITV’s crime drama ‘Broadchurch’. Following ‘Broadchurch,’ visitors (known locally as ‘Broadies’!) have flocked to West Bay to see for themselves those amazing, towering honey-bricked cliffs. Or is it perhaps the tranquillity of a natural landscape – be it coastal, woodland, upland or riverside – which appeals to the creative mind and feeds our desire to get back to nature and away from the noise, turmoil and stress of busy city life? Sometimes, walking along the vastness of Chesil Beach, you feel solitary, humble, affected by Nature. It’s liberating. There again, the drama of a steep gorge or a rocky headland can also be inspiring – as Sister Julia experiences in ‘Bay of Secrets’; the sea’s turbulence echoing her own inner turmoil. Her landscape on the Island has both complexity and emotional depth. She has a spiritual response to it; she imagines that it helps her to hear her God’s guidance and voice. Artists here in Dorset often talk about the quality of the light for painting. The rocks range from the orange sandstone of West Bay through to the Blue Lias of Lyme; where there is light there is always shadow. As for Fuerteventura… There is a late-afternoon light that tints the landscape with a deep yellow and turns the sand (and blonde hair!) an unearthly golden green. Whatever the personal response to landscape, it seems that this is a relationship and a dialogue between individual and place. Landscape brings out the creativity in us all. It encourages us to reflect, express ourselves and even to change our thinking. Landscape might offer a glimpse of memory and the past – as it does for Ruby in ‘Bay’ when she first sees the turquoise lagoon in Fuerteventura, otherwise known as the ‘Bay of Secrets’. It might even offer a glimpse of the future. I always felt I belonged to West Dorset. It’s my ‘soul home’. And I’m always happiest writing where there is a sea view. It may be in my local cafe in West Bay with the high bank of ginger pebbles and the waves right beside me, the harbour and the sandstone cliffs beyond. Or in Fuerteventura on the Playa de Castillo watching the surfers ride the wild waves. It might be a tranquil summer day or bleak mid-winter. The sea lets me dream – it does it for me every time. – Rosanna Ley

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Rosanna Ley's top tips for fiction writing

Rosanna Ley is the best selling author of The Villa, Bay of Secrets and the forthcomingReturn to Mandalay. She has worked as a creative tutor for over twelve years, leading workshops in the UK and abroad, and has completed an MA in creative writing. Her writing holidays and retreats take place in stunning locations in Italy and Spain. Rosanna has written numerous articles and stories for national magazines. When she is not travelling, Rosanna lives in West Dorset by the sea. www.rosannaley.co.uk ROSANNA’S TOP TIPS • Let the idea for your story compost while you indulge in free writing/ thought-storming/ day-dreaming/ going for long walks etc. Create a space for your story. • Switch off your phone and avoid Internet and social media for at least 3 hours a day to enable more writing time. • Don’t just write what you know – write what you want to explore and discover. • Get inside your characters’ heads by being there with them – as far as you are able. • Check that your dialogue sounds natural, isn’t written in speeches, is not too heavy on dialect and doesn’t include too many extravagant tags like ‘he enthused…’ • Remember – every scene should progress the story in some way. • Create characters who are believable, interesting, fully rounded and who don’t do impossible things. • Forget the word count and cut, cut, cut – especially the waffly and self-indulgent bits. Less is more. • Never forget that readers are intelligent. They do not have to have everything explained to them as if they were four years old. Have faith. • Read your work out loud to yourself and the dog or a willing partner. Not so much for feedback (esp from dog) but to listen to the rhythms of your writing and to spot slow pace, repetition and sag. • Listen to criticism. Take most of it on board. Don’t allow yourself to be destroyed by negativity. Re-work. Re-write. Persevere. • Remember that writing is work. And you’re on your own. But you can still have fun.

Rosanna Ley

Rosanna Ley works as a creative tutor and has written many articles and stories for national magazines. Her writing holidays and retreats take place in stunning locations in Spain and Italy. When she is not travelling, Rosanna lives in West Dorset by the sea.

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