THE NOTEBOOK NICHOLAS SPARKSo

THE NOTEBOOK BY NICHOLAS SPARKS

PAPERBACK PUBLISHED BY SPHERE

ONCE AGAIN, JUST AS I DO EVERY DAY I BEGIN TO READ THE NOTEBOOK ALOUD

I want all of you, forever, and me, every day.

Noah Calhoun has returned from the war and, in an attempt to escape the ghosts of battle, he sets his mind and his body to restoring an old plantation home to its former beauty.

But, he is haunted by memories of the beautiful girl he met there years before. A girl who stole his heart at the funfair, whose parents didn’t approve a girl he wrote to every day for a year.

When Allie Hamilton shows up on his doorstep, exactly as he has held her in his memory for all these years, Noah has one last chance to win her back. Only this time, it’s not just her parents in the way Allie is engaged and she’s not a woman to go back on her promise.

MY REVIEW

I love reading Nicholas Sparks books and watching his films, including I have seen The Notebook film with Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling and now read this exclusive new edition too, that this month Sphere are publishing this beautiful new edition to mark the 25th anniversary of Nicholas Sparks classic and enduring love story. What a gorgeous way to celebrate Nicholas Sparks The Notebook, I absolutely love the cover with the gold edge. I’m so happy the Notebook has been released as it’s celebrating 25 years of the world’s favourite love story. This special edition of The notebook has an exclusive interview with the author, it’s about the real-life couple who inspired the story and why he changed their story a little. If you haven’t read The Return then you’re in for a treat as at the end of the story The Notebook , there is the prologue and chapter one, of The Return. Another bonus is there is a picture and the blurb of every book Nicholas Sparks has written.

FROM PAGE 6

Ghost

It was early October 1946, and Noah Calhoun watched the fading sun sink lower from the wrap around porch of his plantation- style home. He liked to sit here in the evenings, especially after working hard all day, and let his thoughts wander without conscious direction. It was how he relaxed, a routine he’d learned from his father.

He especially liked to look at the trees and their reflections in the river. North Carolina trees are beautiful in deep autumn: greens, yellows, reds, oranges, every shade in between. The dazzling colours glow with the sun, and for the hundredth time, Noah Calhoun wondered if the original owners of the house had spent their evenings thinking the same things.

The house was built in 1772, making it one of the oldest, as well as largest, homes in New Bern . Originally it was the main house on a working plantation, and he had bought it right after the war ended and had spent the last eleven months and a small fortune repairing it.

ABOUT AUTHOR NICHOLAS SPARKS

With over 105 million copies of his books sold, Nicholas Sparks is one of the world’s most beloved storytellers. His novels include thirteen number one New York Times bestsellers. All Nicholas Sparks’ books have been international bestsellers and have been translated into more than fifty languages. Eleven of his novels have been adapted into major films – The Longest Ride, The Best of Me, Safe Haven, The Lucky One, The Last Song, Dear John, Nights in Rodanthe, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook and The Choice. 

For all the latest news from Nicholas Sparks, sign up for his e-Newsletter at http://www.nicholassparks.com, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @NicholasSparks.

Before She Disappeared Lisa Gardner

Above my proof copy

THE PUBLICATION PAPERBACK BEFORE SHE DISAPPEARED

PAPERBACK PUBLISHED BY CENTURY

Frankie Elkin spends her life doing what no one else will do: searching for missing people the world has stopped looking for.

When the police have given up, when the public no longer remembers, when the media has never paid attention, Frankie gets to work.

A new case brings Frankie to Mattapan, a Boston neighbourhood with a bad reputation. She is searching for Angelique Badeau, a Haitian teenager who vanished from her high school months earlier.

But when Frankie starts asking questions, she hits resistance from the Boston PD and from Angelique‘s wary family.

And soon she realises that the next person to go missing might be her.

The list of books by Lisa Gardner

MY REVIEW

Unfortunately my Twitter account was totally wrong for the blog tour, so I decided not to do this book as part of the blog tour, therefore I have uploaded several pages of chapter one from my proof copy as part of my review as an extract.

PART OF CHAPTER ONE ( THE FIRST SEVEN PAGES )

ABOUT AUTHOR LISA GARDNER

For her first standalone novel in over a decade, Lisa Gardner’s curiosity was piqued by a BBC article she read about the incredible civilians who dedicate their lives to solving missing cold cases. After exploring more about this amazing group of Internet detectives and amateur P.Is, Lisa was inspired to write about a woman dedicating her life to finding missing people that the police and media too soon forget about. She was also drawn back to her old stomping ground to Boston where she lived for four years in the 90s and spent several weeks exploring the innercity neighbourhood of Mattapan and it’s uniquely Haitian culture. As with all her novels, Lisa conducted extensive interviews with law enforcement, including a former Superintendent Chief of the Boston Police Force to discover how someone can simply disappear in modern day Boston.

About the Author

At the tender age of twentyseven Lisa Gardner became an overnight success with the publication of her first thriller, The Perfect Husband. Launching to the top of the New York Times bestseller list, Lisa has since become an international bestseller of over including the #NYT bestselling series, the FBI Profiler series, the Detective D.D Warren series and the Tessa Leoni series, she has had four books adapted into TV movies: At The Midnight Hour, The Perfect Husband, The Survivors Club and Hide, and has also made personal appearances on TruTV and CNN.

Her novel, The Neighbour, won the Best Hardcover Novel from the International Thriller Writers and the Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle in France. She was also recognised with the Daphne du Maurier Award in 2000 for The Other Daughter. Lisa received the Silver Bullet Award from the International Thriller Writers in 2017 for her work on behalf of at-risk children and the Humane Society. For further information about Lisa Gardner.

visit: https://www.lisagardner.com/

My Two Sisters Michael C Richards

MY TWO SISTERS BY MICHAEL C RICHARDS AUTHOR AND BROTHER

PAPERBACK PUBLISHED BY SEREPHINA PRESS 7TH DECEMBER 2020

THEIR ENERGY STILL FLOWS

Is there life after death ?

Five years ago, I was declared clinically dead on the island of Mallorca. Doctors had given up all hope of my life continuing. My twin sister, who died during our childbirth, had different thoughts about that statement and it was she who saved me. It became clear that her presence had been with me all my life, always watching over me, but in my ignorance and my fight for survival in a harsh but loving environment, I’d not acknowledged her.

The sudden discovery that I also had an older sister is something I initially could not handle or believe. I had to search out proof of her existence for myself. My intense passion is to find out everything I can about her and her life. The unanswered question looms: Is she still alive ?

I do not intend to sensationalise either my twin’s presence nor the life of my older sister. Some of the facts, and I stress that word – facts – will leave many people questioning their own existence in this world.

Is there Life after Death ? YOU must decide.

MY REVIEW

Michael has written this book to unashamedly try to understand what has happened in his sixty – four years of his life. The story starts on the day he was born and the day his twin sister died. Michael was aware of something from an early age, but he never realised up until now how much his twin sister helped him through his sixty – four years of his life. It appears that Michael didn’t acknowledge his sisters presence until 2015.

I believe this must be a twin thing for Micheal even though his twin had died he could still feel her presence. That brings me to this it’s a twin bond that twins naturally have they often know what the other twin will say, and say sentences together like the famous twins, Mary – Kate and Ashley Oslen often do. Or there are cases of when a twins that lead a separate life and meet up with their twin in the same outfit, or a twin may know her twin is ill.

As Micheal was a twin although she died at birth Michael could still feel her presence, there’s part in this book that has been documented Hallucinations or Reality. There’s also the fact that he only found out about the presence of his older sister after it’s publication which was an enormous shock to his system. So now I know why this book is titled my two sisters, one twin and one older sister will all be explained in this book.

The first book in the trilogy is a special edition introduction book, written firstly for Michael‘s family, to help them understand his experience and his new, paranormal life and abilities. It deals with certain areas of his story that question his upbringing and the complexity of his father and mother’s lives after the Second World War and their determination to survive.Micheal neardeath incident on the island of Mallorca features in his previous book.

PART OF CHAPTER Mary’s presence in my life – 2019

This does need explaining and is not straightforward. I feel I am not clever enough to do justice to the description of Mary’s presence but I will relay my thoughts. I feel her energyit’s like warm water washing around inside you. She can use that energy to hold you, to energise you, to display her feelings. She cannot talk, so she communicates by thought. It has been frustrating trying to communicate this way. I feel she has lost her temper with me on occasions, because my head was cluttered with too many thoughts and I was asking and replying to her questions before she had finished what she wanted to communicate.

ABOUT NEW AUTHOR MICHAEL C RICHARDS

Michael C. Richards was brought up in a two-bedroom council house in Whitchurch, a small village just outside Cardiff which has now been swallowed up by the city itself. After a stint babysitting Shirley Bassey in return for pie and chips as a youngster, Michael started his working life alongside fellow dockers at the infamous Tiger Bay in Cardiff. He was seen as management material from an early age, meaning he could sort out the shop floor before a major brawl or a full-scale riot broke out. 

Having survived Tiger Bay, he landed a job in London when the docks went on a three-day week and ditched the hammer and chisels for a computer. His main skills came to the fore when he, along with his wife Patricia, started Richards Gray from the back bedroom of his house. 

Michael, through his love of sport, and in particular rugby, was a member of Henley Rugby Club. The club became a great source for recruiting staff, and of the first twenty staff employed they were all related to the Rugby club in some way. Be they players, wives, partners – they all enjoyed the same spirit of comradeship associated with sport. Michael is now Chairman of Conveyancing Data with his son a leading Director on the board.

In semi-retirement, Michael has started putting pen to paper and has become an author. Michael lives near Henley-On-Thames with Patricia. He has two children and over the last ten years he and Patricia have been blessed with five great grandchildren and two rare breed pigs.

Sins of Fathers Michael Emmett

SINS OF FATHERS BY MICHAEL EMMETT

HARDBACK PUBLISHED BY HARPERINSPIRE

Michael’s father a career criminal and contemporary of the famous Krays was a wayward role model. Soon Michael’s criminal activities were funding a reckless lifestyle of drugs, sex, and violence.

But the high couldn’t last. In 1993 both men were arrested for their involvement in a £13- million smuggling operation. Michael was sentenced to twelve years, serving time in the same prison as his dad.

Inside HM Exeter, Michael found something he had never expected answers. A chance encounter in the prison chapel led to an experience that would shake the foundations of his life.

MY REVIEW

Sins of Fathers is a true story Growing up Michael wanted nothing more than to follow in his dad’s footsteps and join the family business. Aged 18, he did just that and entered into the glamorous, dangerous world of organised crime.

The story takes us through the of trauma and transformation, one man’s search for redemption, and the struggle to because the father he never had.

Now he wants a spectacular break from a dark criminal past and what happened to him throughout his childhood is heartbreaking.

I took gulps of air reading Sins of Fathers it made me cry. And I have to say how very brave of Michael to open up and talk about all the crimes he committed.

The arrest of Michael Emmett’s is painful read, it’s like a scene from a movie only this is a real tragic day with armed police and pistols.

I feel really sorry for Michael as he didn’t have the best of families, which once again made me feel very sorry for Michael. I won’t say what his father was like or his what his fathers family were like as I would love you all to read this book and find more about Michael.

And little did Michael know that one day he would be sent to prison sharing the same cell as his dad.

Remarkable while in prison Michael found a love for a religious faith, which his speech for the lord comes across throughout this remarkable book.

After reading this book I do 100% recommended it and it definitely needs to be a top bestseller.

I would like to thank Harper Collins at Inspire for sending me this book to read and review.

Even part of the acknowledgement by Michael Emmett made gave me tears in my eyes.

MICHAEL EMMETT’S ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The memories from my childhood to present day are full of fun, laughter, tears, and distress. I feel honoured to have had my mother, Jean, stand by my side to the day she went home. I also feel honoured to be able to explain the gifts and the curse that my dear dad Brian gave to me.

I would like to thank my sister Karen for always being there. You made our family proud. I’m sorry if my actions spilled over your life, but you showed true courage, love and wisdom in dealing with it. ……

ABOUT MICHAEL EMMETT

The Tea Gardens Fiona McIntosh

THE TEA GARDENS BY FIONA MCINTOSH

PAPERBACK PUBLISHED BY ARROW 7TH JANUARY 2021

England, 1932: Dr Fenwick has little interest in marriage, until a reunion with an old friend blossoms into something more. But Isla is determined to fulfil a long-held promise to practice medicine in India. With her fiancée’s blessings she sails to Calcutta to set up a midwifery-clinic promising to return within a year.

There, Isla does her best to navigate a complex new world, and forms a deep connection with one of her colleagues against all better instincts.

When a desperate rescue mission to save the one person who needs her the most takes her into the foothills of the Himalayas, Isla will be asked to pay the ultimate price for her passion.

MY REVIEW

A life-changing journey and a heart-wrenching choice.

The Tea Gardens is an unforgettable historical romance. It’s a sweeping, epic love story that follows one woman’s journey from the cobbled streets of Brighton to the foothills of the Himalayan mountains. What is to look forward to is a passionate love affair with an impossible choice. All Dinah Jefferies and Lucinda Riley will love reading The Tea Garden by Fiona McIntosh. I would like to thank Penguin random house for sending me a copy of The Tea Gardens to read and review.

PART OF THE PROLOGUE

I didn’t dare look at the palm of my hand for fear of seeing the bruising arc patterns of fingernails from the clenching of my fist moments earlier. Was it despair ? Jealousy? Or was it plain shock to gaze upon him again, to feel his skin against my ungloved hand once more ? Oh, dear heavens, I had to hide! I could not unravel now, after all this time having kept our secret so tightly wound inside. Find a quiet spot, I urged. Act your normal calm.

ABOUT AUTHOR FIONA MCINTOSH

Fiona McIntosh is an international bestselling author of novels for adults and children.

Originally from Brighton, Fiona McIntosh moved to Australia in her teens and went on to co- found an award-winning travel magazine with her husband, which they ran for fifteen years while raising their twin sons.

She now roams the world researching and drawing inspiration for her novels, and runs series of highly respected fiction masterclasses. She calls South Australia home.

The Silent Patient Alex Michaelides

THE SILENT PATIENT BY ALEX MICHAELIDES

PAPERBACK PUBLISHED BY ORION BOOKS

I bought my own book from The Works 3 for £5

Alicia Berenson lived a seemingly perfect life until one day six years ago.

When she shot her husband in the head five times.

Since then she hasn’t spoken a single word.

It’s time to find out why.

PART OF THE PROLOGUE

Alicia Berenson’s Diary

14th July

I don’t know why I’m writing this.

That’s not true. Maybe I do know, and just don’t want to admit it to myself.

I don’t even know what to call it this thing I’m writing. It feels a little pretentious to call it a diary. It’s not like I have anything to say. Anne Frank kept a diary, or Samuel Pepys not someone like me. Calling it a journal sounds to academic, somehow. As if I should write in it every day, and I don’t want to if it becomes a chore, I’ll never keep it up.

Maybe I’ll call it nothing. An unnamed something that I occasionally write in. I like that better. Once you name something, it stops you seeing all of it, or why it matters. You focus on the word which is the tiniest part, really, the tip of an iceberg. I’ve never been that comfortable with words I always think in pictures, express myself with images so I’d never have started writing this, if it weren’t for Gabriel.

I’ve been feeling depressed lately about a few things. I thought I was doing a good job of hiding it, but he noticed of course he did, he notices everything.

ABOUT AUTHOR ALEX MICHAELIDES

Alex Michaelides was born and raised in Cyprus. He has an M.A. in English literature from Trinity College, Cambridge University, and an M.A. in screenwriting from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. The Silent Patient was his first novel and was the biggest-selling debut in the world in 2019. It spent more than a year on the New York Times bestseller list and sold in a record-breaking forty-nine countries. Alex lives in London.

Blood Orange Harriet Tyce

BLOOD ORANGE BY HARRIET TYCE

PAPERBACK PUBLISHED BY HEADLINE 12TH DECEMBER 2019

I bought my own book for The Works 3 for £5

Alison has it all. A loving family and a career on the rise she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems.

PART OF CHAPTER 1

The October sky lies grey above me and my wheelie bag’s heavy but I wait for the bus and count my blessings. The trial is finished, kicked out at half- time after a legal argument on the basis on insufficient evidence. It’s always pleasing to get one up on the prosecution and my client’s over the moon. And the biggest plus of it all, it’s Friday. Weekend. Home time. I’ve been planning for this I’m doing things differently tonight. One drink, two at the most, then I’m off. The bus pulls up and I make my way back over the Thames.

Once I arrive at the chambers, I go straight to the clerk’s room and wait for them to notice me admits the ringing phones and whir of photocopier. At last Mark looks up.

‘Evening Miss’ I say. ‘The solicitor called they’re well pleased you got that robbery kicked out.’

‘Thanks Mark, I say. The ID evidence was crap. I’m glad it’s done, though.’

‘Good result. Nothing for Monday, but this has come in for you.’ He gestures down to a slim pile of papers sitting on his desk, tied together with pink tape. It doesn’t look very impressive.

‘That’s great. Thank you. What is it ?

‘A murder. And you’re leading it’, he says, handling the papers over with a wink.

ABOUT AUTHOR HARRIET TYCE

Harriet Tyce was born and grew up in Edinburgh. She graduated from the University of Oxford in 1994 with a degree in English Literature before gaining legal qualifications. She worked as a criminal barrister for ten years, leaving after the birth of her first child. She completed an MA in Creative Writing – Crime Fiction at UEA where she wrote Blood Orange, which is her first novel.

Meet me in London Georgia Toffolo

MEET ME IN LONDON BY GEORGIA TAFFOLO

PAPERBACK PUBLISHED BY MILLS AND BOON 15TH OCTOBER 2020

Falling in love was never part of the deal.

Aspiring vintage clothes designer Victoria Scott dreams of one day opening her own boutique. But these aspirations are under threat from the new department store opening at the end of her road. She needs a Christmas miracle, but one is not forthcoming.

Oliver Russell’s Christmas is not looking very festive right now. The opening of his family’s new London department store is behind schedule, and his interfering, if well- meaning, mother is pressing him to settle down. He needs a diversion. Something to keep his mother from meddling while he focuses on business.

When Oliver meets Victoria, he offers a proposition pretend to be his fiancée at the opening of his store and he will give Victoria the opportunity to showcase her designs. Only soon his fake relationship starts to feel very real. But when secrets in Victoria’s past are exposed, will Oliver walk away, or will they both follow their hearts and find what neither knew they were looking for?

MY REVIEW

I absolutely loved this story from the very first page until the last. All of us women love clothes, which made me fall in love with Victoria Scott’s dream and idea of having her own boutique. And then there is Oliver’s mother who wants her son to have a girlfriend to Christmas dinner, which every mother of course wants her son to settle down. It’s such a beautiful story I have to very highly recommend reading Meet Me in London.

PART OF CHAPTER ONE

Oliver Russell could wrangle a wayward balance sheet back into the black, take failing stores apart and breathe new life into them, make difficult calls on staffing and personal issues, make his shareholders happy and very rich. But he had never managed to curb his mother’s meddling in his private life.

Some things were just impossible.

Earth to Oliver. This is your mother asking about your Christmas Day plans. Will I set an extra place at the dinner table ? Hint hint. Your mother xx

Sitting on a stool at the bar in the upmarket wine bar. The landing, Oliver groaned as he interpreted the hint as yet another badly veiled attempt to discover his relationship status. Great one, Mum. Way to put pressure on a guy.

Could this week get any worse ? He threw his mobile into the sticky, beer stained counter, gripped the tumbler in front of him and took a sip of a much needed fifteen- year – old Scotch.

As the honey- coloured syrup oozed down his throat and hit his stomach with a warming buzz he silently counted all the ways things had gone wrong in such a small space of time.

First mistake allowing his mother to believe he was finally settling down when in reality his love life could only be described as non existent. And now having to think up all the ways he could appease his parents over the holidays without going quietly insane.

PART OF CHAPTER TWO

There was nothing better, Victoria mused as she sipped her takeaway coffee and felt the late autumn sun gently warm her back than mooching in Portobello market on a rare afternoon off.

Sure, she loved working in Chelsea, with its neat white terrace, and feeling of grandeur from the myriad high end houses and guarded foreign embassies. She loved the sense of history from the three- hundred- year- old red-brick Chelsea hospital. Loved the new and old of chain- store shops rubbing shoulders with quirky clothing stores, the sometimes daring offbeat clothes choices. The shock factor and yet the reassuring solidarity of it all. Chelsea was her place. Her fit. She felt as if she was destined to have a shop right there. Had almost had one. But now she was back to square one with the plan. Thanks to Peter.

No. She wasn’t going to ruin this lovely day with memories of plans gone awry. She was simply going to make new ones and put them into action instead. Starting today, by focusing on her designs and growing her vintage- inspired portfolio.

And while Victoria loved working and renting in Chelsea, she also adored exploring the shopping in Portobello market. A more earthy, gritty place with its diverse stores, hippy buzz and exotic smells of cuisines from around the world. To her.

ABOUT GEORGIA TOFFOLO

Georgia Toffolo is a broadcaster and British media personality. Meet Me In London is her first book of her quarter. It is her second and her first fiction novel. She lives in South West London with her dog Monty.

NOW YOU SEE HER JAMES PATTERSON

NOW YOU SEE HER BY JAMES PATTERSON

PAPERBACK PUBLISHED BY ARROW BOOKS

To save her own life, Nina Bloom vanished. Now, to rescue an innocent man, she confronts the killer she thought she had escaped forever.

A successful lawyer and loving mother, Nina Bloom would do anything to protect the life she built in New York including lying to everyone, even her daughter, about her past.

Nina’s secret began eighteen years ago. She has a carefree existence in Key West, a handsome police officer husband, and a baby on the way. But Nina’s world is shattered when she unearths a terrible secret that causes her to run for her life and change her identity.

Now, years later, when an innocent man is framed for murder, Nina knows she must return to Florida and confront the evil she fled.

MY REVIEW

I read this book a long time ago and it’s been sitting in my book case for years. For me personally this is my favourite James Patterson book. At the time of reading this thriller it was the The Sunday Times number one bestseller. For anyone who likes really short chapters, then this book you will suit you. To show you how short each chapter is I have done the whole of chapter 8.

CHAPTER 8

WHO DO YOU want me to talk to first? Your mom and dad? Officer Fournier said, making eye contact for the first time in the rearview.

He really was easy to look at. Not pretty and dark like Alex. His paler , more angular, badass white man sort of handsome. His eyes were strikingly light, almost silver blue.

They’re both dead, I said

Officer Fournier let out a sigh, You don’t want me to lie to me Jeanine, he said sternly. I think you understand your situation here. You really don’t want to make this worse for yourself.

It’s true I said, sounding calm and sober suddenly. My dad was a Maryland state trooper. He was killed in a line of duty roadblock car crash in 1982. I have his prayer card in my wallet. My mom died last year.

Officer Fournier went to my wallet. He turned all the way around a moment later, suddenly much less imposing, with my dad’s prayer card in his hand.

How’d your mom die? he said

She committed suicide. I said. I realized it was the first time I’d ever said it out loud.

Wow. That’s rough, Officer Fournier said, sounding almost sympathetic as he absorbed that. Any brothers or Sisters?

I shook my head.

Whose Cameron?

My boyfriend’s. He’s back at our hotel. I said.

I sat there for a second.

Having sex with my best friend. I added quietly.

Office Fournier shook his head as he looked back at the biker.

Wow, the blue eyed cop said. You all partying, and he cheats on you, so you took his car. I see.

The man had a dog. It ran out in front of the car, I said quietly. I was trying to swerve out of the way of the dog, and I went into a skid. I guess I was going to fast so I started to spin, and then the man was just there.

I lost it again. I folded like a lawn chair as I started crying.

After about a minute, I wiped my wet face on my thigh. When I sat up, Officer Fournier was staring at me in the rearview mirror with a look I couldn’t quite read in his pale eyes.

We held eye contact for a long, startling electric beat. I guess it was a strange time to feel attraction to someone, but there it was. I couldn’t look away. He cut away first, tapping my dad’s prayer card to his chin.

What if ? he said after a moment.

I had my own what ifs going through my head right at that moment. Like, what if I hadn’t had jell O shots for lunch ? What if I hadn’t taken Alex’s car ? What if I’d never been born ?

That’s when the Officer suddenly opened his door and got out. Then there was a snap and a click and the door beside me opened, too.

I’m making a judgment call here, he said as he undid my cuffs. Get back to your car and get out of here. Go back to school Jeanine. This never happened.

ABOUT AUTHOR JAMES PATTERSON

JAMES PATTERSON is one of the best-known and biggest-selling writers of all time. His books have sold in excess of 375 million copies worldwide. He is the author of some of the most popular series of the past two decades – the Alex Cross, Women’s Murder Club, Detective Michael Bennett and Private novels – and he has written many other number one bestsellers including romance novels and stand-alone thrillers.

James is passionate about encouraging children to read. Inspired by his own son who was a reluctant reader, he also writes a range of books for young readers including the Middle School, I Funny, Treasure Hunters, Dog Diaries and Max Einstein series. James has donated millions in grants to independent bookshops and has been the most borrowed author of adult fiction in UK libraries for the past eleven years in a row. He lives in Florida with his wife and son.

Starling Days Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

Picture of my proof copy

PUBLISHED PAPERBACK BY SCEPTRE 11TH JULY 2O19

Mina is staring over the edge of the George Washington Bridge when a patrol car drives up. She tries to convince the officers she’s not about to jump but they don’t believe her. Her husband, Oscar is called to pick her up.

Oscar hopes that leaving New York for a few months will give Mina space to heal. They travel to London, to an apartment wall papered with indigo eye birds, to meet Oscar’s oldest friends, to a canal and blooming flower market.

Mina a classicist, searchers for solutions to her failing mental health using mythological women but instead finds a beam of light in a living woman. While she explores what this means Oscar is called back to the US by his father and the distance between them forces them to decide what matters most.

August

She wasn’t expecting the bridge to shudder. It was too big for trembling. Cars hissed from New York to New Jersey over its wide back. That August had not been hot, 96 Fahrenheit hot. Heat softened the dollar bills and clung to the quarters and the dimes that passed from sticky hand to sticky hand.

It was the night and the air had cooled but humidity still hung in a red fog in Mina’s lungs. Wind galloped over the Hudson, pummelling the city with airy hooves. The bridge shifted, the pylons swayed, and Mina closed her eyes to better feel her bones judder. Even her teeth shook. The day’s sweat shivered between her bare shoulder blades. The tank felt too thin, and the down on her arms rose.

She took a step forward along the bridge. The tender spots between her big and index toes were sore from too many days in flip flops. She took the sandals off. They swung from her fingers as she walked. Under her feet, the rough cement was warm. She wondered about the people driving their shadowy cars. Were they leaving over air conditioned offices, or bars cooled by the thwack of ceiling fans? Where they going home to empty condos, or daughters tucked under dinosaur quilts?

The bridge was decked out in blue lights, like a Christmas tree, like those monochrome ones shopping malls put up. Still, it was beautiful. Mina readied her phone to take a picture. She watched the granulated night appear onscreen. Perhaps her hands wobbled, because the photo was a blur. It was nothing to send Oscar. But she wasn’t sure it was a good idea to send him pictures. Not tonight.

ABOUT AUTHOR ROWAN HISAYO BUCHANAN

Rowan Hisaya Buchanan’s first novel Harmless Like You won the Author’s Club First Novel Award, a Betty Trask award and was shortlisted for the Desmond Elliot prize. In the USA it was a New York Times Editors Choice and an NPR 2017 Great Read. Buchanan’s work has appeared in Granta, the Guardian and the Paris Review among other places.