179: Signed pre-publication proof copy of ESSIE FOX’s novel The Somnambulist

ITEM: Signed pre-publication proof copy of debut novelist ESSIE FOX’s gothic Victorian mystery: THE SOMNAMBULIST. Essie will dedicate and sign a pre-publication proof copy with any personalised message the bidder desires – so long as it’s decent!

DETAILS: The Somnambulist won’t be published until May 26th, but the back cover blurb will say something like this:

“Some secrets are better left buried…”

When seventeen-year old Phoebe Turner visits Wilton’s Music Hall to watch her Aunt Cissy performing on stage, she risks the wrath of her mother Maud who marches with the Hallelujah Army, campaigning for all London theatres to close. While there, Phoebe is drawn to a stranger, the enigmatic Nathaniel Samuels who heralds dramatic change in the lives of all three women. And, when forced to accept the position of companion to Nathaniel’s reclusive wife, Phoebe leaves her life in London’s East End for Dinwood Court in Herefordshire – a house that may well be haunted and which holds the darkest of truths.

In a gloriously gothic debut, Essie Fox weaves a spellbinding tale of guilt and deception, regret and lost love.

Katherine Webb, author of The Legacy, last year’s favourite title on Channel 4’s TV Book Club reviewed THE SOMNAMBULIST as: ‘Vividly compelling, dark and dazzling.’

http://www.essiefox.com/

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176: US copies of MY BEST FRIEND’S GIRL and MARSHMALLOWS FOR BREAKFAST by Dorothy Koomson + THE WOMAN HE LOVED BEFORE (UK version) (5 of 5)

ITEM: US copies of MY BEST FRIEND’S GIRL and MARSHMALLOWS FOR BREAKFAST – these books have the US cover art so are rare in the UK plus a signed copy of THE WOMAN HE LOVED BEFORE (UK version).

DETAILS:
My Best Friend’s Girl – What would you do for the friend who broke your heart? Best friends Kamryn Matika and Adele Brannon thought nothing could come between them – until Adele did the unthinkable and slept with Kamryn’s fiance, Nate. Worse still, she got pregnant and had his child. When Kamryn discovered the truth about their betrayal she vowed never to see any of them again. Two years later, Kamryn receives a letter from Adele asking her to visit her in hospital. Adele is dying and begs Kamryn to adopt her daughter, Tegan. With a great job and a hectic social life, the last thing Kamryn needs is a five year old to disrupt things. Especially not one who reminds her of Nate. But with no one else to take care of Tegan and Adele fading fast, does she have any other choice? So begins a difficult journey that leads Kamryn towards forgiveness, love, responsibility and, ultimately, a better understanding of herself.

Marshmallows for Breakfast – When Kendra Tamale returns to England from Australia she rents a room from Kyle, a divorced father of two, and begins a new job. She’s looking forward to a fresh start and simple life. Kyle’s five-year-old twins, Summer and Jaxon, have other ideas and quickly adopt Kendra as their new mother – mainly because she lets them eat marshmallows for breakfast. Kendra eventually becomes a part of their lives, even though she’s hiding a painful secret that makes her keep everyone – especially children – at arm’s length. Then Kendra bumps into the man who shares her awful secret, and things fall apart: she can’t sleep, she can’t eat, she’s suspended from work, and the kids are taken away by their mother. The only way to fix things is to confess to the terrible mistake she made all those years ago. But that’s something she swore never to do…


174: Character name in NAOMI ALDERMAN’s new novel DOCTOR WHO: BORROWED TIME

ITEM: Character name in NAOMI ALDERMAN’s new novel DOCTOR WHO: BORROWED TIME. Whoever wins will have their name appear in the novel as someone who has done a *very unwise deal* with some aliens…

DETAILS: Bank worker Andrew Brown is literally living on Borrowed Time. He’s made a deal with the mysterious Mr Symington and Mr Blenkinsop. He may have a lot of time now but he also has a lot of trouble. Fortunately, the Doctor, Amy and Rory have gone undercover at the bank and are on-hand to help before Symington and Blenkinsop cash in on their investment.

BIO: Naomi Alderman’s first novel, Disobedience, was published in ten languages; it was read on BBC radio’s Book at Bedtime and won the Orange Award for New Writers. In 2007, she was named Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, and one of Waterstones’ 25 Writers for the Future. Penguin published her second novel,The Lessons in April 2010.


173: US copies of MY BEST FRIEND’S GIRL and MARSHMALLOWS FOR BREAKFAST plus THE WOMAN HE LOVED BEFORE (UK version) by Dorothy Koomson (4 of 5)

ITEM: US copies of MY BEST FRIEND’S GIRL and MARSHMALLOWS FOR BREAKFAST – these books have the US cover art so are rare in the UK. Plus a signed copy of THE WOMAN HE LOVED BEFORE (UK version).

DETAILS:
My Best Friend’s Girl – What would you do for the friend who broke your heart? Best friends Kamryn Matika and Adele Brannon thought nothing could come between them – until Adele did the unthinkable and slept with Kamryn’s fiance, Nate. Worse still, she got pregnant and had his child. When Kamryn discovered the truth about their betrayal she vowed never to see any of them again. Two years later, Kamryn receives a letter from Adele asking her to visit her in hospital. Adele is dying and begs Kamryn to adopt her daughter, Tegan. With a great job and a hectic social life, the last thing Kamryn needs is a five year old to disrupt things. Especially not one who reminds her of Nate. But with no one else to take care of Tegan and Adele fading fast, does she have any other choice? So begins a difficult journey that leads Kamryn towards forgiveness, love, responsibility and, ultimately, a better understanding of herself.

Marshmallows for Breakfast – When Kendra Tamale returns to England from Australia she rents a room from Kyle, a divorced father of two, and begins a new job. She’s looking forward to a fresh start and simple life. Kyle’s five-year-old twins, Summer and Jaxon, have other ideas and quickly adopt Kendra as their new mother – mainly because she lets them eat marshmallows for breakfast. Kendra eventually becomes a part of their lives, even though she’s hiding a painful secret that makes her keep everyone – especially children – at arm’s length. Then Kendra bumps into the man who shares her awful secret, and things fall apart: she can’t sleep, she can’t eat, she’s suspended from work, and the kids are taken away by their mother. The only way to fix things is to confess to the terrible mistake she made all those years ago. But that’s something she swore never to do…


170: Frank and fearless 1000-word critique by KATIE FFORDE

ITEM: A frank and fearless critique of 1000 words of your novel by best-selling romantic novelist, KATIE FFORDE.

BIO: Katie Fforde has lived in Stroud for more than twenty years. She didn’t start writing until she had moved there and had the third of her three children.

Her early married life was spent on the water, either at sea with her husband, or with him running a narrow-boat hotel. From there they moved to Wales, where they had two children, an Irish Wolfhound, two cats and five hens and narrowly avoided keeping goats. Leaving behind the hens, they moved to Stroud where they had another baby, and have lived ever since.

Most of her experiences — however minor — tend to end up in her books, as she hates wasting anything. Nowadays, however, she has to turn to research more and more as she’s running out of things in her own life to write about.

While her hobbies include housework and ironing, she has little time for them, as she is too busy with the important things in life like gardening, shopping and watching television.

http://www.katiefforde.com/


168: ANOTHER MAN’S LIFE and THE ACCIDENTAL FATHER by Greg Williams

ITEM: A copy of Greg William’s two most recent books, ANOTHER MAN’S LIFE and THE ACCIDENTAL FATHER.

DETAILS:
Another Man’s Life – Tom is married with two kids. After losing two jobs in as many years, Tom is now a house-husband. Tom is having mid-life crisis at 37. Sean, his twin, owns his own business, wears handmade suits, belongs to the right clubs and has reservations at the right restaurants. Sean is the embodiment of successful man. Sean craves stability and domestic bliss. Sean fantasises about packed lunches and playgrounds. Sean is having a mid-life crisis at 37. Tom dreams of a day when his shirt is not dripping with his children’s vomit or food. The brothers decide to use the trick of their birth to live each other’s fantasies; to live another man’s life for two weeks. The only rule: keep Tom’s wife, Sara, out of it and do the swap when she is away. But, of course, things are never quite so simple. Sara returns early, Tom discovers all is not so well with Sean’s hugely successful business and Sean is developing a serious crush on another mum at the school gates. The lie begins to founder and the truth of what these brothers really want begins to emerge.

The Accidental Father – Alex Taylor is a lucky man. He has a large house in the London suburbs, a well-paid job and a beautiful wife. On the surface everything is rosy. But it isn’t. He is bored by his job as the chief accountant at a small chain of travel agents, has a love/hate marriage, and drinks more than he should. He and his wife Amanda, who’s an estate agent, communicate by leaving each other notes stuck to the refrigerator door. They only have sex when they’re drunk. They have no children. He dreams of leaving his job to open a coffee shop. But then his world changes. A solicitor tells him that he’s been left something in an ex-girlfriends will – a daughter, Caitlin. A daughter he never knew he had and who has no other relatives. On the same day he discovers that his wife is sleeping with his boss. Suddenly he is alone with a massive new responsibility. And part of the deal with social services is that Caitlin is going into ‘a stable family environment’. So he hires Erica, a single Mum whom Caitlin takes a liking to. He gives up his job and starts to set -up the coffee shop that he has always dreamed of running – with Caitlin alongside him. But his new life is not easy. How will Alex dodge social services, form a relationship with Caitlin – a thirteen-year-old stranger – and somehow find it within himself to put down new roots and rebuild his life from scratch?


UPDATED 167: Signed/personally dedicated copy of THE LAST LETTER FROM YOUR LOVER by Jojo Moyes + two signed books

ITEM: Signed/personally dedicated copy of THE LAST LETTER FROM YOUR LOVER by Jojo Moyes plus two other signed books from Jojo’s backlist – winner’s choice.

DETAILS: When journalist Ellie looks through her newspaper’s archives for a story, she doesn’t think she’ll find anything of interest. Instead she discovers a letter from 1960, written by a man asking his lover to leave her husband – and Ellie is caught up in the intrigue of a past love affair. Despite, or perhaps because of her own romantic entanglements with a married man.

In 1960, Jennifer wakes up in hospital after a car accident. She can’t remember anything – her husband, her friends, who she used to be. And then, when she returns home, she uncovers a hidden letter, and begins to remember the lover she was willing to risk everything for.

Ellie and Jennifer’s stories of passion, adultery and loss are wound together in this richly emotive novel – interspersed with real ‘last letters’.