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Quercus

Villa Serena

Domenica De Rosa
Authors:
Domenica De Rosa

A gorgeous, sun-filled novel following one woman's journey from heartbreak to adventure, for fans of Santa Montefiore. An irresistible summer read that will transport you straight to Tuscany...Emily Robertson looks like the woman who has it all: the lovingly restored Tuscan farmhouse, the three beautiful children, the successful, attentive husband. But when her husband dumps her by text message, she has to face up to some stark home truths. How will Emily cope, stranded in the countryside with no man, no money, dodgy phrasebook Italian and a psychotic cleaner? Her eldest girl is out of her depth with the local seducer, her middle daughter is dangerously underweight, and her darling baby is fast becoming a brat. But soon Emily finds herself being drawn into the village of Monte Albano, and discovering a more genuine Italy, darker and more intriguing than she had ever imagined. She and her children are outsiders no more - and if she can get over a slightly embarrasing obsession with her youthful first love, an attractive stranger might be about to show her the time of her life...

Quercus

Her Mother's Secret

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley
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.(P)2017 WF Howes Ltd.

Quercus

One Summer in Tuscany

Domenica De Rosa
Authors:
Domenica De Rosa

Rivalries and romance in a Tuscan paradise. A relaxing writers' retreat? If only! Perfect holiday reading from Domenica de Rosa, author of the bestselling Dr Ruth Galloway series under the name Elly Griffiths. Previously published as SUMMER SCHOOL.Patricia Wilson's carefully composed ads for the writers' retreat she runs at her thirteenth-century Italian castle promise so much. But while the splendour of their surroundings and chef Aldo's melanzane never fail to wow the guests, huge maintenance bills and bad news from the bank threaten to close Patricia down. It's make or break time for the Castello.Each of her seven aspiring authors arrives with the inevitable baggage alongside their unpublished manuscripts. But this August something is different, and soon lifelong spinster Mary is riding on the back of Aldo's vespa, and smouldering odd-job man Fabio has set more than one heart racing.As temperatures rise, the writers gossip, flirt and gently polish their prose by the pool. But with ghosts, scorpions, and some unexpected visitors to contend with, one thing's for sure: neither the Castello, nor Patricia, has ever seen a summer like this.

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
Quercus

Florence Grace

Tracy Rees
Authors:
Tracy Rees
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
Heron Books

The Road to Rangoon

Lucy Cruickshanks
Authors:
Lucy Cruickshanks
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.

Quercus

Return to Mandalay

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley

Quercus

The Villa

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley
Quercus

Bay of Secrets

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley

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 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

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.

www.rosannaley.com

Rosanna's official website

Find out more information from Rosanna on upcoming events and the latest news on her books

Annabelle Thorpe

Annabelle Thorpe has been a travel and features journalist for fifteen years, writing for national print and online media. She currently works as a freelance, writing mostly for the Times, Telegraph and Guardian, alongside copywriting, non-fiction travel books and PR consultancy work for the National Trust. Alongside her journalism, Annabelle completed an MA in Contemporary History in September 2012 and is an alumna of Curtis Brown Creative. She lives in Angmering, West Sussex

Domenica De Rosa

Domenica de Rosa started her career working at the Bookseller, and went on to work in children's publishing, in publicity and in editorial. Under the name Elly Griffiths she is the author of the acclaimed and bestselling Dr Ruth Galloway series of mysteries, and the Stephens and Mephisto mysteries. Domenica is half-Italian and loves the Tuscan coast, although she mainly settles for Brighton, where she lives with her husband, their twins and their cat.