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You are not yet permitted, reader, to know the the secrets of The Quick.

For now, please make do with following -

You will travel to Victorian England, and there, in the wilds of Yorkshire, you will meet brother and sister alone in the world, a pair bound by tragedy. You will, in time, enter the rooms of London’s mysterious Aegolius Club – a society of the richest, most ambitious men in England. And at some point, we cannot say when, a trapdoor will open, the contours of reality will change, and the secrets of The Quick will reveal themselves.

In her first novel, Lauren Owen has created an utterly beguiling fantastical world. As emotionally involving as it is suspenseful, The Quick will establish her as one of contemporary fiction’s most dazzling talents, as early readers can already testify.

About the author

Lauren Owen is twenty-eight years old and grew up in the grounds of an old country house in Yorkshire. Her first attempts at writing a teenager were Harry Potter fan fictions. She is an Oxford graduate, holds an MA in Victorian Literature, is completing a PHD on Gothic writing and fan culture, and is the recipient of the Curtis Brown Prize for best writer on the UEA creative writing programme.  The Quick is her first novel.

A sly and glittering addition to the literature of the macabre. As soon as you have breathed with relief, much worse horrors begin.

A major debut adventure from the most gifted of a new generation of British writers.


Hardback Published 03rd April 2014

Published by Jonathan Cape








Introducing an unforgettable family who are trying to work out how to carry on when their world has been blown apart.

The story is about

Ian used to think that his life had been disappointingly easy, compared to the pioneers. He had a happy marriage, four children, a satisfactory job and, for just over a year, he has served the church in his role as Bishop of the local congregation, an enormous responsibility. And then Issy died. Now his wife Claire, won’t get out of their dead daughter’s bottom bunk and she won’t speak. Claire doesn’t want a blessing or a sympathy card and she’s got nothing to say to the lord. She just wants to be left alone and sad. Ian doesn’t know what to do to make things better. Zippy and Alma are trying to combine living with grieving and being Mormons with teenagers. Only seven-year-old Jacob has a plan. He knows that his faith is bigger than a mustard seed, it’s at least as big as a toffee bonbon, maybe bigger. It’s clear that if he wants Issy back, it’s up to him to perform a resurrection miracle. The story opens up Footprints in the sand November. The story is about the church that is all about families with sunday clothes with holy words and best manners.  Some of the other characters you meet along the way Sister Cambell, Sister Valentine, Sister Anderson and Sister Stevens.  A song for Issy Bradley is about meditation, doubt and faith and longed for miracles. What to expect from some of the chapters Diabolical sins, The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away, September, Happy is the man who has put his trust in the Lord.  I personally did not enjoy this book which is very rare for me not to be able to get into a book.. But I hope that may other readers will enjoy this book.








Would you dare to be different?

Times have changed, but some people are still full of hate.

Six months ago Eve’s sister Rosie, died after an unprovoked attack. Eve can not imagine life without her. Six months ago Anthony witnessed a vicious assault. He did nothing to stop it.

Six months ago horror happened. Now Eve and Anthony meet and find it happening all over again.

In 2007 Sophie Lancaster was murdered just for looking different and simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sophie and her partner Rob were viciously attacked in Stubbylee Park, Bacup, Lancashire because of the way they looked and dressed.

Inspired by Sophie’s death HATE is a hard-hitting real-life thriller about friendship, courage, loss and forgiveness and the right that we all have to stand up against prejudice and to believe in who we are.

Alan Gibbson is a millon-copy-selling full-time writer and a visiting speaker and lecturer at schools, colleges and literary events nationwide, including the major book festivals. He lives in Liverpool with his wife and they have four grown up children. He travels globally and is known the length and breadth of the country for his high-profile campaign for the book and school visits.

Visit Alan’s website at or read his blog at

Paperback published by Indigo 10th April 2014

my review

Alan Gibbons novel Hate is inspired by a true story. Hate is a fiction story. The attack on the character Rosie, is based on a real attack. Alan Gibbons came to write this story of Hate after meeting Sylvia Lancaster at a teachers conference. Sylvia told the audience how her daughter, Sophie and her partner Rob both died after a savage attack in Stubbylee Park, Bacup, Lancashire 24th August 2007.Hate is a heartbreaking good story. Eve’s sister, died after an unprovoked attack on her. With a dark gripping twist Anthony is the new boy who has moved from his previous home town to start a new life with his mum near Manchester road where Eve and her best friend live. A storm is brewing as Anthony is the new boy in Eves class. But Anthony is no stranger to Eve she knows he was there the night her sister Rosie was attacked. There is no escape for Anthony from Eve, she has suffered heartbreak and her family have had a lot to cope with their pain and anger that their daughter Rosie was taken away from them through a savage attack. Eve has a crazy plan in store for Anthony. Although attacks are rare it does send chills down you when you hear about People of all ages and from all walks of life who are viciously attacked. You think times have changed, but some people are still so full of hate. The novel Hate is a solid page turner. I recommend Hate by Alan Gibbons to all readers and book groups as there are some questions at the back of the book that can be discussed. The book Hate is a story about love, loss, hate and we see a family sharing their experience of loss. There is forgiveness and standing up against prejudice and believing in who we are. A great novel not to be missed.
My review can be found on Amazon, Good reads, Mums net and Waterstones.









A terrified, frozen child is found close to death on an icy Cape Town mountainside.  But no-one reported her missing. Where does she come from?. Who does she belong to?. Profile Dr Claire Hart is baffled but when a young woman disappears,  Clare sees a frightening pattern beginning to emerge.

Rosa gifted but troubled  young cellist,  and her grandfather is at his wit’s end. Why did she walk out of her music school that day?. Where has she gone now?.

As winter tightens its grip, Clare must find Rosa and unravel her secrets all the while carrying a secret of her own.

Margie Orford was born in London and grew up in Namibia Soth Africa. Margie now lives in Cape Town.

Visit Margie at and find her on twitter@margieorford

Published by head of zenus.

My review

I am new to Margie Orford writing. I love to explore new authors. For me Water Music is a unputdownable thriller that sits right at the top of tree. I can see that Margie cares deeply about all of her characters. It is easy to believe every character and every scene. Spinning into the story, Cassie takes a nice canter on her horse through Bridle Path in Cape Town. The Bridle Path is rarely used in summer and never used in winter. As Cassie is riding through Bridle Path disaster takes a toll as the wind tore a sheet of plastic from under a tree Cassie’s horse reared and Cassie came tumbling of her horse. When Cassie came to she could see a little tiny white foot, pulling the plastic of the foot shocked Cassie finds a little white girl with bruises and matted black hair she looked a so she was only three years old. Cassie phones for the mountain men to come and rescue them. The mountain, Dr Clare hart and the police arrive to take the little girl to hospital. Everyone is in the dark to who this little belongs to. The search is on to find the mother of this poor little girl who has been abandoned. Mean while a gifted girl name Rosa has gone missing from her music school-leaving her grandfather at wit’s end. So much to explore is this harrowing brilliant novel. I highly recommend Water Music by Margie Orford as this is a first class suspense novel. I hope that many readers will enjoy reading Water Music as much as I have. Review by







As darkness falls on the M25, the flow of traffic comes to a hault. Time passes. More time passes.  Then more. Drivers switch of their engines, then get out of their cars. And so the story begins…

In this bold, state-of-the-nation novel,Jake Wallis Simons brings together characters from all walks of life and explores what happens when lives collide on the M25.

published by polygon.

My review

This is without question the most engaging British novel that I have read. I would like to thank Jake Wallis Simons for delivering such a wonderful knockout unusual unputdownable novel. The adventure is so completely different from any other fiction novel that I have ever read. Lets face it we have all been in traffic jams at some point in our lives. I could not bare to think if we had to stop over night in our cars until the traffic jam eased. Jam flings into a traffic jam on the M25 with everyone coming to a grisly halt. Travelers turn off their engines. people get out of their cars from of all shapes, sizes and colours. Tensions start to fill the agitated drivers. No one can see what is happening why they have come to a stand still. People come up with all different sorts of statements. No one knows the truth. As time passes by hours by hours the pressure is mounting with couples and friends in their cars. More bickering developes as travelers are getting hungry and thirsty. With a waitrose delivery van in the traffic jam everyone zooms in on him in hope of food and something to eat. Everyone in the traffic jam on the M25 has been somewhere and on their way home without any supplies of food and water. But the last thing anyone thinks of is that you could be stuck in a traffic jam on the motorway. I highly recommend the book Jam it is faultless from the very first page. Jam is available to buy from April 3rd 2014 and readers can buy this book from Polygon or Amazon. I hope that you all enjoy Jam by Jake Wallis Simons as much as I have.
Jake Wallis Simons is a Sunday Telegraph features writer and columnist. He is the author of three novels including the award winning The English German Girl [2011]. He lives in London.







St Andrews, 1583. The young King James VI is confined at Falkland Palace, plotting his escape. Dissension rages between Kirk and Crown, the King and his lord enterprises, and between the separate factions of the church. In St Andrews Castle, a bishop in decline plays out his darkest fantasies, while Hew and his friend Giles investigate the true source of his sickness, uncovering corruption at his heart.  The death of a young soldier, implicating Hew’s sister and Gile’s wife Meg, leads Hew to an astonishing discovery, and towards his blackest hour, his fortunes inextricable from those of James himself. This is  the fourth Hew Cullan mystery.

Also available by Shirley McKay

Hue and Cry [ the first Hew Cullan Mystery ]

Time & Tide [ the second Hew Cullan mystery]

Fate & Fortune [ the third in the Hew Cullan mystery series ]

Friend & Foe is the fourth Hew Cullan mystery published 6th May 2014 Published by Polygon

My review

A gripping mystery that holds the reader to the very last page, and a marvellous portrait of St Andrews in the sixteenth century. I am amazed how ordinary people’s name are in this book.  On the first page there is a wonderful map of St Andrews Castle Ground Floor c1583 and a map of St Andrews Town Plan c1583. At the back of the book there are some pages with names of characters that have been based on real people and a glossary of old Scots words.

This is the fourth Hew Cullan mystery and with each book, Shirley McKay’s series gets stronger. Meticulously researched, and with real sense of the time without sounding dated, the Hew Cullan mysteries are fast-paced thrillers perfect for all fans of CJ Sansom, Hilary Mantel and Cadfael.

Shirley McKay was born in Tynemouth but now lives with her family in Fife.  She went on to study English and Linguistics at the University of St Andrews before attending Durham University for postgraduate study in Romantic and Seventeenth-Century prose.




How do you solve a mystery when you can’t remember the clues.?

Maud is forgetful. She makes a cup of tea and doesn’t remember to drink it. She goes to the shops and forgets why she went. Back home she  finds the place horribly unrecognizable Just like sometimes she thinks her daughter Helen is a stranger.

But there’s one thing Maud is sure of her friend Elizabeth is missing. The note in her pocket tells her so.And no matter who tells her to stop going on about it, to leave it alone, to shut up, Maud will get to the bottom of it.

Because somewhere in Maud’s damaged mind lies the answer to an unsolved seventy-year-old mystery. One everyone has forgotten about. Everyone except Maud.

The thing is I try to be systematic, try to write everything down. Elizabeth is missing and I must do something to find out what happened. But I’m so muddled I can’t be sure about when I last saw her or what I discovered. I’ve phoned and there’s no answer. I haven’t seen her, I think. She hasn’t been here and I haven’t been there. What next? I suppose I should go to the house. Search for clues. And whatever I find I will write it down. I must put pens in my handbag now. The thing is to be systematic. I’ve written that down for.

My review

Maud can’t remember a lot of things, but she knows her friend Elizabeth is missing.

For Maud the only way to remember things is to write them down. It appears that for Maud, Elizabeth is the only friend she has left. It is very sad for Maud as all Maud’s other friends are in homes or in graves. Maud knows the day is thursday and she usually visits her friend Elizabeth on a Thursday, but there is one small problem they don’t seem to have made any arrangements and Elizabeth has not phoned Maud. If Elizabeth had of phoned Maud, she would have written it down what time Maud would be going to see her friend as Maud writes everything down. There are bits of paper all over the house that is called paper memory.  Maud writes down her shopping list, telephone numbers and appointments. So if Elizabeth had phoned Maud she would have a note, but there is a note  tucked into Maud’s sleeve that says No word from Elizabeth. Now Maud has this horrible feeling that something has happened to her friend. Maud remembers that something was on the news about an old woman. Something unpleasant. And now Elizabeth has disappeared. This story of Elizabeth Is Missing holds some wonderful writing. I was totally blown away the original of its narration.  The rollercoaster of Maud forgetting things and having to write them down I thought was rather emotional. Another brilliant novel published by penguin.


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