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Quercus

Darling Blue

Tracy Rees
Authors:
Tracy Rees

A sweeping tale of love in the 1920s and a powerful story of reinvention, Darling Blue is a simply gorgeous read...Blue lives a charmed life. From her family's townhouse in Richmond, she lives a life of luxury and couldn't want for anything - well, on the surface at least. Then on the night of her twenty-first birthday her father makes a startling toast: he will give his daughter's hand to whichever man can capture her heart best in the form of a love letter. But Blue has other ideas and, unwilling to play at her father's bewildering games, she sets out on her own path to find her own destiny...'Tracy Rees writes from the heart' Kathryn Hughes, author of The Letter.

Quercus

Her Mother's Secret

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley
Quercus

Last Dance in Havana

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley
Quercus

The Eternal City

Domenica De Rosa
Authors:
Domenica De Rosa
Quercus

One Summer in Tuscany

Domenica De Rosa
Authors:
Domenica De Rosa
Quercus

The Hourglass

Tracy Rees
Authors:
Tracy Rees

'Atmospheric and elegantly written' Lucinda Riley. A moving novel about about finding love even after it seems too late and the healing power of a magical place by the sea.2014. Sensible 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. Teenager 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

The Little Theatre by the Sea

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley
Quercus

Florence Grace

Tracy Rees
Authors:
Tracy Rees
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
Quercus

Return to Mandalay

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley
Quercus

The Secret of Villa Serena

Domenica De Rosa
Authors:
Domenica De Rosa

A heartfelt, witty story of one woman's journey from heartbreak to adventure, full of gorgeous Italian flavour. 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

Bay of Secrets

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley
Quercus

Could It Be I'm Falling In Love?

Eleanor Prescott
Authors:
Eleanor Prescott

Quercus

The Villa

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley

THE #1 KINDLE BESTSELLER. An unforgettable story set off the sun-soaked coast of Sicily for fans of Dinah Jefferies, Veronica Henry and Santa Montefiore.When Tess Angel receives a solicitor's letter inviting her to claim her inheritance - the Villa Sirena, perched on a clifftop in Sicily - she is stunned. Her only link to the island is through her mother, Flavia, who left Sicily during World War II and cut all contact with her family. Initially resistant to Tess going back to her roots, Flavia realises the secrets from her past are about to be revealed and decides to try to explain her actions. Meanwhile, Tess' teenage daughter Ginny is stressed by college, by her blooming sexuality and filled with questions that she longs to ask her father, if only she knew where he was.

Quercus

Alice Brown's Lessons in the Curious Art of Dating

Eleanor Prescott
Authors:
Eleanor Prescott

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.