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Grace put out her hand, almost touching the mirror. Her image did the same.
'There's another world in there.'
'We could float in and out of it.'
Deep in a Derbyshire valley live two girls, twins, so alike they seem like one person, even their family can't tell them apart. But tragedy is waiting.
When the valley is sold to be flooded for a huge dam, the villagers are forced to leave their homes. Deep secrets are uncovered. New characters enter their lives and desires, love and grief come to the surface.
Dyed-in-the-wool country girl Kate Webster seems not to have a care in the world: playing hard, drinking even harder, she tells herself that she will worry about the consequences later. But there is one consequence she cannot escape: the result of a wild dare she undertook when she was nineteen, her little daughter, Nell.
Now she seems hell-bent on self-destruction: fighting with her father over the future of their farm after the death of her mother and his remarriage, refusing to reveal the identity of Nell's father, while remaining in love with him, and all too often neglecting Nell herself, while she parties the night away.
But destiny is about to take a hand and stop Kate dead in her tracks. As in all Rachael Treasure's novels, tragedy and violence are only ever a heartbeat away. And back into her life, too, is about to walk the father of her child. How can she ever admit the truth to him?
Published: 2 Apr 2009
Colin Tudge's The Secret Life of Trees: How they Live and Why they Matter explores the hidden role of trees in our everyday lives - and how our future survival depends on them.
What is a tree? As this celebration of the trees shows, they are our countryside; our ancestors descended from them; they gave us air to breathe. Yet while the stories of trees are as plentiful as leaves in a forest, they are rarely told.
Here, Colin Tudge travels from his own back garden round the world to explore the beauty, variety and ingenuity of trees everywhere: from how they live so long to how they talk to each other and why they came to exist in the first place. Lyrical and evocative, this book will make everyone fall in love with the trees around them.
'A love-letter to trees'
'One of those books you want everyone to have already read'
'Wonderful, invaluable and timely. Tudge is as illuminating a guide as one could wish for'
'Everyone interested in the natural world will enjoy The Secret Life of Trees. I found myself reading out whole chunks to friends'
The Times Books of the Year
Colin Tudge started his first tree nursery in his garden aged 11, marking his life-long interest in trees. Always interested in plants and animals, he studied zoology at Cambridge and then began writing about science, first as features editor at the New Scientist and then as a documentary maker for the BBC. Now a full-time writer, he is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London and visiting Research Fellow at the Centre of Philosophy at the London School of Economics. His books include The Variety of Life and So Shall We Reap.
'Though most of my life seems to have been spent on the banks of lakes and rivers, I have always been drawn to the sea . . .'
Through twenty-two casts, Britain's best-known freshwater fisherman quits land in favour of the sea. There, he discovers the many pleasures of the coast: wild shores, unpredictable waves, the violent collision of the elements, and, of course, fish that glisten and dart beneath a never-still surface.
From childhood remembrances of saltwater escapades to more recent discoveries, Chris Yates brings the sea and its many wonders to scintillating life.
Christopher Drew (Author), Sherry Sontag (Author)Veteran investigative journalist Sherry Sontag and award-winning New York Times reporter Christopher Drew finally reveal the exciting, epic story of adventure, ingenuity, courage and disaster beneath the sea. Blind Man's Bluff shows for the first time how the American Navy sent submarines wired with self-destruct charges into the heart of Soviet seas to tap crucial underwater telephone cables. Sontag and Drew unveil new evidence that the Navy's own negligence might have been responsible for the loss of the USS Scorpion, a submarine that disappeared, all hands lost, thirty years ago. They disclose for the first time details of the bitter war between the CIA and the Navy and how it threatened to sabotage one of America's most important undersea missions. They tell the complete story of the audacious attempt to steal a Soviet submarine with the help of eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes, and how it was doomed from the start. And Sontag and Drew reveal how the Navy used the comforting notion of deep-sea rescue vehicles to hide operations that were more James Bond than Jacques Cousteau. Stretching from the years immediately after World War II to the present-day spy operations of the Clinton Administration, Blind Man's Bluff reads like a spy thriller, but with one important difference - everything in it is true.
Published: 3 Aug 2000
Clive Cussler's Black Wind is the eighteenth Dirk Pitt adventure, and a masterclass in adventure writing.
In the dark, final days of World War Two, two submarines set out from Japan bearing a deadly virus destined for US cities. But neither boat was heard of again...
Present day: NUMA Special Projects Director Dirk Pitt rescues a team of scientists from a deadly cloud of poison gas in the North West Pacific. Discovering that this was no natural phenomenon, Pitt is quickly on the hunt for a pair of lost WWII submarines and their deadly cargo. But he soon learns that he's not the only one searching for the virus: a sinister group of very able terrorists are aiming to relaunch the attack on the US some sixty years later. With time running out, only Dirk Pitt and the NUMA team stand between evil forces and a terrifying assault on America's west coast ...
With pulse-pounding suspense and jaw-dropping action on almost every page, Black Wind is a Clive Cussler story that no adventure junkie dare miss. Black Wind is the eighteenth of Clive Cussler's bestselling Dirk Pitt novels - the series that also includes Sahara and, his first novel, Mayday - co-authored with his son Dirk Cussler, in which our hero races against a terrorist organisation to prevent a biological attack on the US.
Praise for Clive Cussler:
'No holds barred adventure ... a souped-up treat' Daily Mirror
'Frightening and full of suspense ... unquestionably entertaining' Daily Express
Barbara's father was a sadistic man at the best of times - his idea of fun was to kill the family dog by tying it to the back of his car and driving off. Also for kicks, he took his children out on to the lake and held them under until they were gasping for their lives.
He sexually assaulted Barbara from a young age, often when the rest of the family were in the house. He repeatedly threatened to kill her, and made two very serious attempts. During the final attempt, as he was raping and choking her, Barbara made a vow - if she survived, she would come forward and get justice against her father ...
Without Hope is a powerful and inspiring true story of a girl who finally found the inner strength to escape her brutal childhood.
you are Luka, a twelve-year-old boy who has to save the life of the storyteller father you adore.
you have two loyal companions by your side: a bear called Dog who can sing and a dog called Bear who can dance.
you must now embark on a journey through the Magic World to steal the Fire of Life, a seemingly impossible and exceedingly dangerous task...
With Haroun and the Sea of Stories Salman Rushdie proved that he is one of the best contemporary writers of fables, and it proved to be one of his most popular books with readers of all ages. While Haroun was written as a gift for his first son, Luka and the Fire of Life, the story of Haroun's younger brother, is a gift for his second son on his twelfth birthday. Lyrical, rich with word-play, and with the narrative tension of the classic quest stories, this is Salman Rushdie at his very best.
Published: 7 Jul 2011
From a writer praised by Junot Díaz as 'the fire, in my opinion, and the light', a mesmerizing novel that follows one woman's rise from circus rider to courtesan to world-renowned star
Lilliet Berne is a sensation of the Paris Opera, a legendary soprano with every accolade except an original role. When one is finally offered to her, she realizes with alarm that the libretto is based on a hidden piece of her past.
Only four could have betrayed her: one is dead, one loves her still, one wants only to own her. And one, she hopes, never thinks of her at all.
As Lilliet mines her memories for clues, she recalls her life as an orphan who left the American frontier for Europe and was swept up into the glitzy, gritty world of Second Empire Paris. In order to survive, she transformed herself from circus rider to courtesan, from empress's maid to stage ingénue,all the while weaving a web of passion and intrigue. Will the truth secure Lillet's fate - or destroy her with the secrets it reveals?
Fifteen years in the writing, The Queen of the Night is a literary tour de force that is also ferociously readable. A blazing tale of lust, ambition, betrayal and revenge, it will captivate readers right up to its final electrifying denouement.
'Epic, gorgeous, haunting' Hanya Yanagihara, Man Booker shortlisted author of A Little Life
'Astonishing' Karen Russell, New York Times best-selling author of Swamplandia
'Luminous' J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times best-selling author of Maine
'Glittering' Wall Street Journal
'Lush and sweeping' Publishers Weekly
'Plotted like a fine embroidery' NPR
'Completely engrossing' Library Journal, STARRED
'Richly researched, ornately plotted' Kirkus, STARRED
'Dramatic, audacious and extravagant' Chicago Review of Books
ALEXANDER CHEE won a Whiting Award for his first novel, Edinburgh, and is a recipient of the NEA Fellowship in Fiction and residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Ledig House, and Civitella Ranieri. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Tin House, Slate, and NPR, among others, and he is a Contributing Editor at The New Republic. He lives in New York City.
The day Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison opened the Whistle Stop Cafe, the town took a turn for the better. It was the Depression and that cafe was a home from home for many of us. You could get eggs, grits, bacon, ham, coffee and a smile for 25 cents. Ruth was just the sweetest girl you ever met. And Idgie? She was a character, all right. You never saw anyone so headstrong. But how anybody could have thought she murdered that man is beyond me.
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is a mouth-watering tale of love, laughter and mystery. It will lift your spirits and above all it'll remind you of the secret to life: friends.
WINNER OF THE 2014 THWAITES WAINWRIGHT PRIZE
In the past, Hugh Thomson has written acclaimed books about Peru, Mexico and the Indian Himalaya. Now he returns to the most exotic and foreign country of them all – his own.
Walking right across England, along ancient trackways and green grass roads, Hugh explores the way the country was and the way it is today: the legends, literature and natural world that define us, and the undercurrent of regret running throughout our history; what he calls ‘the unicorn disappearing into the trees’.
From coast-to-coast and through the heart of the countryside, he shows how older,forgotten cultures like the Celts, Saxons and Vikings lie much closer to the surface than we may think. It is a journey enriched and partly told by the characters he meets along the way. By taking it, Hugh casts unexpected light – and humour – on the way we live now.
Abused, unloved and alone. Can't Anyone Help Me? is the shocking true story by Toni Maguire.
Jackie was an unwanted child. So unwanted that her mother regularly left Jackie at her uncle's house. Which was when the nightmare started. For when his wife went out, her uncle's friends came round. He had a Special Room. In it Jackie was tied up and molested, beaten, burnt by cigarettes and urinated on. Sometimes other children were brought along. Jackie got to know the Special Room intimately.
Jackie could never bring herself to tell her mother. She ended up in a home for disturbed children. She ran away, and a life of homelessness, drugs, prostitution and psychiatric wards followed.
Eventually, Jackie sought help. But could she turn her life around? Would her evil uncle and his Special Room haunt her forever?
Can't Anyone Help Me? by Toni Maguire is the inspirational story of struggle and survival against all odds as one young woman attempts to put her torturous past behind her and make a future for herself.
Toni Maguire is the author of four bestselling books: Don't Tell Mummy, When Daddy Comes Home, Nobody Came and Helpless.
Peter Kilby's tells his affecting but inspiring true story in Never Call Me Mummy Again.
Peter was just a toddler when his mother tragically died, trying to abort a child they simply couldn't support. When his father swiftly replaced her with his mistress, Peter made the mistake of calling her 'Mummy'. Dragged outside, trampled on and shouted at, Peter never made that mistake again.
Peter tried time and time again to flee the terrible abuse that dominated his childhood, his hands held against burning stoves, being thrown from a window and even his small feet nailed to the floorboards to prevent his running away. In Never Call Me Mummy Again, the heartbreaking yet ultimately uplifting memoir, Peter Kilby tells of how he finally escaped the stepmother from hell.
Peter Kilby's unique and moving story was picked up when he entered Penguin's hugely successful life-story competition with Saga Magazine.
'I squeezed through the narrow gap and out into the hallway and I stood for a moment, unable to decide where to go. Should I make a dash for the kitchen, where my mother would be swigging from a bottle? Or should I run upstairs and try to find somewhere to hide? It was a choice I didn't really need to make, because there was no escape'
Anna Lowe grows up on the doorsteps of pubs, waiting for her mum to come out. Having to give up her bedroom to her mother's drunken friends. And regularly calling out the ambulance, after finding her mother unconscious and covered in vomit.
But it is when they move in with her mother's boyfriend Carl that things take the ugliest turn. Not only is he violent with her mother, but he also sexually abuses Anna from the age of six - destroying any semblance of normal childhood she had left.
Wake Up, Mummy is the heartbreaking true story of a little girl who eventually found the courage to break free from the past.
The Waverley Grange Country Hotel: where even the most innocent can submit to their deepest desires…
After spying her neighbours having a kinky rendez-vous in their back garden, Annie Conroy is intrigued, and decides to check in to the hotel well known for its erotic and alluring guests.
Under the stern but playful eye of exotic Master Valentino, Annie quickly discovers the hidden depths of her own sensuality, and surrenders herself to his power games. But dare she give her heart to a man who only answers to ‘Master’…?
Give in to temptation with Suite Seventeen, an erotic romance from Portia Da Costa, the Sunday Times bestselling author of In Too Deep
The Pleasures of Winter is a steamy erotic story of romantic obsession and explosive sexual chemistry for fans of Fifty Shades of Grey and Bared to You.
When reporter Abbie Marshall needs to escape Honduras, a private jet carrying a Hollywood A-lister is her only way out. She has a ride home with Irish actor Jack Winter - notorious womanizer and all round bad boy. Abbie is shaken to the core by Winter's blazing beauty and provocative mind.
After the plane's nose-dive into the remote rainforest forces them to fight for survival, Abbie catches tantalizing glimpses of the complicated man behind the image. And the more she sees of him, the more he touches some primal part of her that she is determined to suppress. But after a devastating encounter with Winter's shadow side, Abbie's detachment is shattered.
On returning to normal life, Abbie cannot forget what happened, nor ignore the shocking rumours about the star's private life. Her struggle to make sense of her torment leads straight back to Winter, who is just as obsessed by her. But if they are to have a relationship, Abbie knows she must embrace his hidden desires ... and accept her own.
No longer caring about anything but their intoxicating love affair, Abbie is drawn deeper into the dark heart of Winter - and the secret that threatens to destroy everything ...
'Evie Hunter' is actually two Irish authors who discovered a mutual love of erotic fiction when doing a creative writing workshop two years ago. They are delighted the rest of the world has caught up with them. Before writing The Pleasures of Winter, their first full-length novel, they co-wrote a number of BDSM-themed novellas.
Published: 1 Nov 2012
'It ranks with The Stepford Wives and Gone Girl as a terrifying look at what it really means to say "I do"' Joseph Finder, bestselling author of The Switch
It's the perfect wedding gift.
Newlyweds Jake and Alice are offered membership of a club which promises members will never divorce.
Signing The Pact seems the ideal start to their marriage.
Until one of them breaks the rules.
Because The Pact is for life.
And its members will go to any lengths to ensure nobody leaves . . .
Praise for The Marriage Pact:
'A brilliant premise . . . tautly plotted and deftly written' J.P. Delaney, bestselling author of The Girl Before
'Beware. This book will keep you up all night, while making you second guess everything you know and everyone you've ever loved' Lisa Gardner, bestselling author of Right Behind You
'Gripping, thought-provoking and irresistible' Dean Koontz, bestselling author of The Silent Corner
In the sleepy English village of Midwich, a mysterious silver object appears and all the inhabitants fall unconscious. A day later the object is gone and everyone awakens unharmed – except that all the women in the village are discovered to be pregnant.
The resultant children of Midwich do not belong to their parents: all are blonde, all are golden eyed. They grow up too fast and their minds exhibit frightening abilities that give them control over others and brings them into conflict with the villagers just as a chilling realisation dawns on the world outside . . .
The Midwich Cuckoos is the classic tale of aliens in our midst, exploring how we respond when confronted by those who are innately superior to us in every conceivable way.
It started with fireballs raining down from the sky and crashing into the oceans’ deeps. Then ships began sinking mysteriously and later ‘sea tanks’ emerged from the deeps to claim people . . .
For journalists Mike and Phyllis Watson, what at first appears to be a curiosity becomes a global calamity. Helpless, they watch as humanity struggles to survive now that water – one of the compounds upon which life depends – is turned against them. Finally, sea levels begin their inexorable rise . . .
The Kraken Wakes is a brilliant novel of how humankind responds to the threat of its own extinction and, ultimately, asks what we are prepared to do in order to survive.
The six stories in Consider Her Ways: And Others, the second collecton of John Wyndham's short tales, continue his exploration of the science fiction staple - what if?
In the title story we are introduced to a world where all the men have been killed by a virus and women continue to survive in a strict caste system - bottom of the heap are the mothers. In others we meet the man who accidentally summons a devil and then has to find a way of getting rid of him without losing his immortal soul, as well as the woman who, thanks to an experiment in time, discovers why her lover abandoned her.
'Wyndham writes strongly and has a gift for bizarre plots' Guardian
'One of the few authors whose compulsive readability is a compliment to the intelligence' Spectator
John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Benyon Harris was born in 1903, the son of a barrister. He tried a number of careers including farming, law, commercial art and advertising, and started writing short stories, intended for sale, in 1925. From 1930 to 1939 he wrote short stories of various kinds under different names, almost exclusively for American publications, while also writing detective novels. During the war he was in the Civil Service and then the Army. In 1946 he went back to writing stories for publication in the USA and decided to try a modified form of science fiction, a form he called 'logical fantasy'. As John Wyndham he wrote The Day of the Triffids, The Kraken Wakes, The Chrysalids, The Midwich Cuckoos (filmed as Village of the Damned), The Seeds of Time, Trouble with Lichen, The Outward Urge, Consider Her Ways and Others, Web and Chocky. John Wyndham died in March 1969.