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Monica Ali (Author) , Emma Fielding (Read by), Nicholas Farrell (Read by)
What if Princess Diana hadn't died?
Diana's life and marriage were fairy tale and nightmare. Adored by millions, in her personal life she suffered heartbreak and betrayal. Within a life of privilege, she frequently felt trapped and alone. Constrained by protocol and precedent, she refused to follow the rules.
Untold Story takes the life of the world's most famous woman as a point of departure, examining the past and imagining a future. The fictional princess who is the novel's heroine is at breaking point and, believing that the Establishment is plotting her assassination, she makes an irrevocable decision: to stage her own death and begin a new life under an assumed identity.
After a period of intense upheaval, Lydia (as she is known) settles in small town America and establishes a fragile peace. It is threatened by thoughts of what she has lost: not the glamour and glitz of royalty but that which is most precious - her children. She is, at least, safe in the knowledge - having altered her appearance and ten years after her 'death' - that her secret will never be uncovered.
But then a chance encounter with a member of the paparazzi robs her of that certainty. Will he recognize her? Should she flee or remain calm? Is there anyone she can trust and turn to, or will she inevitably be betrayed?
Untold Story is a novel about family and friendship, intrigue and obsession, the meaning of identity, and the peculiar calamity of fame.
Published: 7 Apr 2011
Jacqueline Briskin (Author) , Denica Fairman (Read by)
In the autumn of 1909, twelve months before the end of his three years of exile, Stephan Strakhov, a revolutionary of mysterious background, is returning to Russia. On board ship he meets a beautiful and vibrant young American woman, Marya Alexier, and saves her from what might have been a fatal accident. They fall deeply, abidingly in love.
Marya and her adored brother, Boris, are on their way to St Petersburg as guests of their only surviving relative, Count Ivan Paskevitch. Richer than the Tsar, a wordly man of keen intelligence and great passion, Paskevitch will stop at nothing to attain his desires. His magnificent Crimson Palace was built by his ancestors to house their most cherished possessions, and as Marya is showered with lavish gifts it gradually dawns on her that she become one of these valued treasures. Ignoring her emotions for Stephan, Paskevitch coerces her into becoming his mistress and eventually his wife. Marya is destined, or so it seems, for a life without love or happiness.
Set in the tumultuous years leading up to the Russian Revolution and the Civil War, The Crimson Palace is a sweeping novel of love and perilous intrigue, which endorses Jacqueline Briskin as one of our most successful international authors.
Published: 9 Jun 2011
Marcus Palliser (Author), Christian Rodska (Read by)It is 1702, and in the lawless Caribbean sea young Matthew Loftus determines to captain his ship by honest trade rather than piracy and plunder. But his crew lust after the spoils that the fast, well-armed Cornelius can win, and even his love, Abigail, doubts him. Encountering an old man who chants endless numbers and incantations, he learns of a secret almanac that advances the science of navigation. To redeem himself, Matthew embarks on the cause of solving the Longitude, the lack of which wrecks hundreds of ships and drowns thousands of seamen. But is it almanac what is seams? Can it really give a position fix at sea by sighting the moon against the stars? Pursued by unprincipled merchants, duplicitous privateers and the English Navy through the battles on the high seas and sinister perils on deserted tropical shores, Matthew struggles not only with navigational uncertainties but also with the venal motives fuelling commerce and war in the Caribbean. The passage is strewn with the reefs and shoals of treachery and falsehood, and beset by clashing currents of political trickery, patronage and ambition. Despite loss and in justice, through gales and sea battles, he sails his beloved schooner towards the great goal he has set himself.
Published: 7 Jul 2011
From bestselling novelist Marie Joseph - a collection of heartwarming, life-enchancing stories that show her at her very best.
In them Marie Joseph explores the many aspects of love as it was in the sixties and seventies - its nostalgia, tendernesses, pitfalls and moments of never-to-be-forgotten happiness.
Published: 4 Aug 2011
Magdalen Nabb (Author) , Bill Wallis (Read by)Olivia, an American-born model, married Count Ugo Brunamonti, a feckless, soon impoverished aristocrat. After his death, she supported her children by starting a fashion house which has prospered. When she is kidnapped, the crime is reported to Marshal Guarnaccia by her daughter, who may have been the intended victim. Kidnapping is almost a second business for the Sardinians nominally engaged in raising sheep in the Tuscan hills. They inhabit a vast wilderness where a victim can be hidden away forever, and where those searching for her will be quickly spotted. The government's official policy is not to permit the payment of ransom. But if the money isn't paid, the kidnappers cannot let their victim go free. It would set a bad example. In this case, Guarnaccia suspects another problem. Can it be that Olivia's children are unwilling to pay the ransom? Is this more than a random crime?
Ian Stewart (Author) , Jack Cohen (Author) , Terry Pratchett (Author) , Michael Fenton Stevens (Read by), Stephen Briggs (Read by)
In the 'fantasy' universe of the phenomenally bestselling Discworld series, everything runs on magic and common sense. The world is flat and million-to-one chances happen nine times out of ten. Our world seems different - it runs on rules, often rather strange ones. Science is our way of finding out what those rules are. The appeal of Discworld is that it mostly makes sense, in a way that particle physics does not. The Science of Discworld uses the magic of Discworld to illuminate the scientific rules that govern our world.
When a wizardly experiment goes adrift, the wizards of Unseen University find themselves with a pocket universe on their hands: Roundworld, where neither magic nor common sense seems to stand a chance against logic. The Universe, of course, is our own. And Roundworld is Earth. As the wizards watch their accidental creation grow, we follow the story of our universe from the primal singularity of the Big Bang to the Internet and beyond. Through this original Terry Pratchett story (with intervening chapters from Cohen and Stewart) we discover how puny and insignificant individual lives are against a cosmic backdrop of creation and disaster. Yet, paradoxically, we see how the richness of a universe based on rules, has led to a complex world and at least one species that tried to get a grip of what was going on.
Published: 3 May 2012
Adèle Geras (Author) , Susannah Harker (Read by)
A delightful short story collection with the Cats of Cuckoo Square quartet:
Blossom, a plump and contented cat, is horrified when six-year-old Prissy comes to stay with 'her' family. Suddenly there is nowhere she can go and doze without being disturbed, no place she can hide from Prissy. And when Prissy pulls her tail (no-one has done that since she was a little kitten!), Blossom makes up her mind: Prissy must go!
All she needs is a plan...
Life becomes very difficult for Perkins when Lexie decides she's going to do a picture of him for a 'Paint Your Pet' competition. He is very fond of his young owner, but really! All he asks for in life is a bit of peace and quiet...
However, to his surprise, Perkins finds that he too can be creative...
Geejay the Hero
Geejay - a striking ginger tom with a thirst for adventure - takes matters into his own paws when he discovers a little boy next door who isn't allowed to play outside because of his allergies...
Poor Callie feels totally ignored when a new baby arrives in the house. Even David - her special friend - pushes her away and no-one seems to appreciate the efforts she makes to welcome it. Even her carefully chosen gift (a dead bird) is greeted with horror rather than delight. And when she is banished to the kitchen, Callie sadly resolves that she is no longer wanted. She has no choice but to run away...
Published: 7 Jul 2011
Helen Dunwoodie (Author) , Vivien Heilbron (Read by)Lady Maisie might be just an eighteenth-century ghost but she is furious to discover that a middle-aged man is secretly writing a historical romantic novel about her two and a half centuries later. With a bit of unwitting help from twelve-year-old Rowan, she sets out to defend her reputation and make the author change his soppy, helpless heroine to reflect the noble and courageous character she really was when she was alive, in Bonnie Prince Charlie's time.
Published: 5 May 2011
Chetan Bhagat (Author) , Kulvinder Ghir (Read by)
A comedy of romance and crossed lines
Six friends are selling home appliances to the US from a call centre in India. Each one has an issue with love. Call agent Sam works right beside the girl who's just dumped him. He's dating someone he can't stand, just to get over her.
Esha is just short of becoming a model. Two inches, to be precise.
Vroom wants to change the world.
Radikha's trying to manage her mother-in-law, and hold down her job.
Tonight is Thanksgiving in America, and customers are queueing up to complain about white goods going wrong. On this night of a thousand phone calls, when life couldn't look more dismal, one unique caller gets on the line. And that call is going to change everything ...
A romantic comedy of six friends kicking against the system, against their boss, and against each other. Something's got to give ...