FINDING NEW VOICES
DEFINING NEW GENRES
When two eligible and attractive men are vying for your heart, it should be the perfect dilemma…
Audrey Fox has been dumped by her unreliable fiancé Nick Byrne just days before the wedding. Heartbroken and confused, the last thing she expects when she jumps on a plane to convalesce in Cyprus is romance. But a chance meeting with handsome entrepreneur and father-of-one Daniel Taylor weaves her into a dating game she’s not sure she’s ready for.
Audrey’s life is thrown into further turmoil when she discovers on her return to London that Nick has been involved in a serious motorcycle accident that’s left him in intensive care. Distraught yet determined to look to the future, Audrey must make a decision – follow her heart or listen to well-meaning advice from family and friends? Because sometimes, no matter what, it’s the people that we love who can hurt us the most…
“This is a fabulous novel about love, life, friendship, families – and shoes. It’s a long road home from Heartbreak Hotel, but Audrey’s journey is a fascinating one. Why did Nick call off his wedding to Audrey (named after her mother’s heroine Audrey Hepburn) at the very last minute? Contemporary novelist Kelly Florentia gradually unravels the mysteries of their tangled relationship and the reasoning behind Nick’s bizarre behaviour. Nick says he’s not ready for marriage, but it can’t be just that – can it? After all, he and Audrey have been together for eight years already and he knows how much she’s been looking forward to the big day. What does Audrey’s friend Louise know about Nick? What is Louise not telling?
As for Daniel – he comes into the story nice and early and the reader is encouraged to wonder about him. What game is he playing and why does he seem so keen on Audrey? He sounds rather delicious. But, after her experiences with Nick, will Audrey ever be ready for a new relationship? Does she actually want one – even with a man who knows her shoe size?
The present tense, first person narrative keeps the reader involved with the heroine and totally engaged with her story. There are plenty of cliffhangers which encourage the reader to turn the pages. As always, Kelly is perceptive, funny, forgiving and kind when she’s writing about families and their foibles. Do parents ever stop being parents? Do children ever grow up?
The story is set in London, Cyprus and Paris, and Kelly took me there, making me feel the warmth of the sun on my face as I relaxed in a Greek taverna, the excitement of being in cosmopolitan Paris, and the buzz of London.
This is a five star read.”
Writing MagazineRead More
1992, and Ben Tallis is coming to terms with the recent death of his father. His ability to cope isn’t helped by the fact he’s secretly in love with one of his best friends. At least keeping a daily journal helps him make sense of events, and he believes it’s the perfect preparation for his plan to one day become a successful journalist. 2012 and Ben has achieved his career ambition – he’s a highly respected journalist and is engaged to a hardworking and ambitious lawyer. But this seemingly ‘perfect’ relationship is fraught with problems. Ben mentions in passing to his editor he has received an invitation to a 20 year school reunion but doesn’t want to go. His editor however smells a great feature article and insists Ben returns home, faces his past – including his secret teenage yearning – and writes a feature on how much we change, and yet in so many ways stay the same. As Ben reluctantly re-engages with his past he soon comes to realise that we can never run from the truth…or who we truly are.
Gothard is a sharp-eyed chronicler of the modern world and his second novel sees him take this talent to a new level. He deftly describes people as overwhelmed curators of their own ambitions, competing, loving and bickering with one another amidst the shifting scenery of postmodern life. Trying to make sense of their past and their identity in a world that treats both as a Pick ‘N’ Mix. This novel ripples with heart-warming nostalgia, for a time when Nirvana and Rick Astley dominated the airwaves like they were equals. This wonderful novel exquisitely teases out the million dollar question – how do we make a success of our life? –Guy Mankowski, bestselling author of Letters from Yelena, The Intimates and An Honest Deceit.Read More
Alex is stuck. Stuck in Essex. Stuck in his childhood home. Stuck in a job he hates. The relationship he’d been counting on all these years has finally fallen apart. He’s run out of things to hope for.
Anxious, uncertain and totally sober, Alex is dragged to the Outer Hebrides by his long-suffering friend, James. Somewhere between the mountains and the sea, Alex is desperate to find something to ignite a spark of life in him again. Through castles, ceilidhs, bothies, lochs, vast beaches and tiny boats, chance meetings and old friends, Alex has to learn that maybe taking responsibility doesn’t mean the end of feeling free.Read More
When Ben and Juliette’s young daughter dies in a tragic accident on a school trip, they begin searching for answers. But will they ever know the truth? What was the role of the teacher on the trip – and are the rumours about his past true? As Ben and Juliette search for the truth and the pressure rises, their own secrets and motivations are revealed….
An Honest Deceit is an intelligent and gripping contemporary psychological thriller that questions not just the motives of others, but the real reasons for discovering the truth.
With An Honest Deceit, Guy Mankowski has invented a new sub-genre in crime fiction. This novel would satisfy even the most discerning reader. I was hooked. I loved it.
Ruth Dugdall, bestselling author of The Sacrificial Man and Nowhere Girl
A mesmerising observation of speaking truth to power. Reminded me of Murakami. Mankowski writes characters that are painfully human and fallible. I finished it in one night.
Hanna Jameson, author of Something You Are and Girl Seven
Guy Mankowski is a great writer. Great in the sense that he is unafraid to tackle a multiplicity of themes, genres and characters. I have read all of his novels and a lot of his short stories and I am consistently entranced with his ability (and a bit jealous that he’s so damn good) – his prose style is lyrical, direct and carefully allows the reader into the story at a pace which makes you want to keep turning the pages, not an easy thing to do at all. An Honest Deceit is yet another tangent from Mankowski. The characters and story are not what I expected, I WANT to tell you what happens – I WANT to reveal details. I loved this book so much I asked my wife to read it and am still asking her each day how far she’s got! The intimacy in the dialogue, the moments that make you stop and read a particular sentence again create an experience you feel you are a part of. I really want to talk to someone about this book – like dissecting a film scene by scene. This is Mankowski’s best novel yet. A book of emotional intelligence. A courageous leap forward in characterisation. A book that confirms what I’ve known for ages. He is one of the best young writers in the UK.
Daniel Gothard, bestselling author of Simon saysRead More
Sometimes growing up is seeing someone else’s side of the story. Four stories. One truth. Whom do you believe?
Callum has a family secret. Yasmine wants to know it. Juliette thinks nobody knows hers. All Ruby wants is to reinvent herself.
They are brought together by circumstance, torn apart by misunderstanding. As new relationships are forged and confidences are broken, each person’s version of events is coloured by their background, beliefs and prejudices. And so the ingredients are in place for a year shaped by lust, betrayal, and violence…
Lost in Static is the gripping debut from author Christina Philippou. Whom will you trust?
Lost in Static has already received some fantastic reviews:
What a powerful read Lost in Static is. It opens dramatically and we find ourselves drawn into the events leading to this point throughout the narrative. I found the experience of reading Lost in Static a bit like eating a millefeuille slice as there were so many layers to it. (Linda’s Book Bag)
Kept thinking about the characters even when I was away from the book and couldn’t wait to come back to it to read more. A really intelligent and intuitive first novel from the author. (Mrs Bloggs’ Books)
The beauty of it is we actually begin to see into the minds of these young people and a myriad of friends, how they generally spend their days, what they are thinking, how friendships are formed but just as quickly wrenched apart by betrayal. It is absolutely fascinating and addictive reading. (Ali the Dragonslayer)
The author has done a brilliant job of keeping the reader in a state of suspense until the plot starts unravelling (Mychestnutreadingtree)
Considering there were four main characters, I am seriously impressed with the character development in this book. It felt like I was at University with them. These characters stay with you long after you reach the brilliant ending. (Many Books Many Lives)
[Lost in Static] just seems to offer just that little something more and is truly unique. I’d struggle to compare it to anything else – it’s THAT good that it really stood out on its own for me. I adored Christina’s writing; it was so easy to read and the way in which she brings her characters to life is fantastic. (Bookaholic Holly)
Not only does Christina tackle a multi-narrative structure for this her debut novel, but how well she executes it and the switches between narrators remain seamless throughout. (Poppy Peacock Pens )
The author has done a magnificent job of telling one story from the point of view of four different protagonists while still keeping the story flowing and holding the readers interest. (The Haphazardous Hippo)
I loved the flavour of this one – the author has a beautiful turn of phrase that just immerses you into the tale, it is a realistic and compelling snapshot of university life – often the very first sense of freedom you get as you grow into the adult you become. (Liz Loves Books)
The characters really grab the reader’s attention and it is hard not to get so wrapped up in what is going on in their lives. I actually felt like I was at uni with them and experiencing all they were going through. A suspenseful and gripping debut by an author who is without a doubt one to watch out for. (bytheletterbookreviews)
This is an incredibly well-crafted story which is gripping and enthralling, when I read this I was sucked into it and the time just disappeared. (Bookloverwormblog)
I loved the way this book is written… It was a very refreshing and enjoyable read. Fast paced and full of suspense. Very cleverly written. (Chat About Books)
I have to say that I was gripped until the very end. But what really intrigued me was the way in which these four characters told their version of events, one story, but each completely different. This is the real joy of this book. (Brew and Books Review)
It’s cleverly done… Never assume you know what someone is thinking! (Vikbat)
Philippou has to convince us not only of her ability to write authentically from four points of view, but also of her ability to write from a male perspective as well as a female one. And convince us she does. There is no doubt Philippou can write. (BiblioManiac)Read More
‘When she sent that text, all our lives changed for ever…’
51 year old Tori Williams’ life implodes when she sends a text while driving on the M62 motorway and allegedly causes the horrific crash in which three people die. Public and press are baying for her blood, but Tori is no wallflower and refuses to buckle under their pressure or be a pariah in society. Instead, she sets about saving the nation. But can she save Etta, the woman who saved her life? Or will Etta’s secret be her downfall?
This incredibly topical and contemporary morality tale appeals across generations and will find favour with fans of authors such as Liane Moriarty, Marian Keyes and Kathryn Croft.Read More
‘A promise of relentless energy, noise, a lot of madness and probably a lot of drugs, which luckily is exactly what Simon Wan delivers. Bar the drugs’ –RANKIN (the photographer)
‘He goes way beyond passion’ –Fearne Cotton, television and radio presenter
‘I said he should write a book, and he did’ –Eva Pope, actress
‘The big boy with the big bike standing over me had heard I couldn’t feel pain because my Dad was from Hong Kong. I had some kind of invincible power. He’d heard that I really liked hanging out with girls, Chinese burns didn’t work on me, pulling my hair was pointless and if you bit me you’d get soy sauce in your mouth. If I was in his shoes, I admit I’d have been curious as well. Whichever way you looked at it I was going to have to play kiss chase later. The cute brunette girl with the orange walkman knew it, the third prettiest netball player knew it, even the dinner ladies knew it. There was going to be a fight.’
Such is the life of our hero as he negotiates the triple threat of trying to becoming a cheese ball superstar, finding his cartoon princess, and bringing her home for a perfect Christmas roast potato. It’s a life tale of comic disasters, sex (lots of weird sex), relationship nightmares and discovering your nakedness in a world full of people wearing the same old clothes. Honest, warm, funny and very hip, this is David Nicholls with the tears, the pain and the naughty bits put brazenly on display for the world to see.
I thought she looked French. She had a certain swish about her that made me feel funny in my guts. The other boys in my class said they wouldn’t go near her because she’s young and won’t know what to do. I wonder what they thought we should be doing at thirteen years old in the 80’s. The options were yo-yo’s, skateboards, neon laces or Police Academy. Or there was the park. The park after school. I got teased by so many of my friends because I’d want to walk home with girls. The boys wanted to talk about football or fight. I hated football and they were always scared that my secret Chinese mixed blood would equal martial arts death if they messed with me so it was boring and they all smelled musty after a day running around chasing balls.
The young man holding her hand had only allowed me one single frame of existence. It must have been a strong grip. A secret grip of a young man who knows he is about to lose something incredible. I had stolen one single frame of existence and that was all I needed. In that one frame I saw the most beautiful smile I have ever seen. It was as if every single cell in her body was beaming. That single frame was a stolen moment. In that moment she told me her whole life story, what she loved, what she hated, who she wanted to be and that she would fall in love with me the instant I found her again. That single stolen frame of existence was all I needed to be one hundred percent certain that this girl would one day be my wife. I had to find her. My life depended on it.
We wandered around the city chewing sunglasses, following smoke trails and hiding our giggles until it was night. Time flies when you’re flying. In a blink we were standing in front of a boarded up carousel in the centre of the city. A loosely tied rope our only barrier into an unknown realm of firetrucks and one seat jumbo jets. We had to get in. The street lights shone just bright enough through the thin tarpaulin. The world outside forgot it existed. Everything glittered. The diamond shaped bulbs that lined every surface were singing to us. We crammed our bums into any seat that could take it and we became rulers of the secret fun fair, the King and Queen of the merry go round. We knew we couldn’t stay forever. Surely, someone would be coming soon to evict us and put end to our acid adventure so we decided to escape. Summoning the courage to leave and saying goodbye to our favourite funny cars we ran out, tarpaulin flapping behind us. We both stopped dead. We were trapped in a beam of light.
I was a heart broken cheesy rave MC who wanted to be an even cheesier pop star. I decided that flying solo for a while could be good. Get my head down, make the connections. Life was more important then girls, kissing and even love. All love did was fuck you up. I became as jaded as my lucky rabbit. I scoffed at couples. I squeezed my sauce at every pretty girl that had chips to offer and I was greedy. My attitude towards life was “Eat Me”. I was Bart Simpson. I was loose mouthed, annoying, a skateboarder and yellow.Read More
Steven Berkoff has never been one to shy away from a controversial subject –Daisy Bowie Sell, Time Out
Surely publishing the novel will expose Berkoff to everyone, critics and all? ‘Oh yes, once it’s out there, let them all read it. It’s just a little foible of mine because I wanted to write a rude book. So I thought, why not write something, have no fear? Just be free. It doesn’t matter if people loathe you or hate you or find you disgusting; it doesn’t matter.’ –Evening Standard
Once read..never forgotten. I finished it a week ago and my mind is still vibrating with its impact. A rare achievement in these days of spoon-fed mass-appeal common denominator dross..Berkoff hits full pelt..and the world is richer for it –Claire Meadows, poet and founder of After Nyne
John is an actor. He is a man. A man who wants. A man who needs. A man who takes. And he takes from those who always expect him to give. To give them love, loyalty, affection – to give them his soul, his loyalty, his life. Why can’t they just let him thrive? Why can’t they understand the desires and passions that drive him? Why is he a man alone? John has crossed the line from performance to reality, from stage to street, from imagination to visceral breath – and he needs to wrest control before all is lost. Challenging themes that haunt the Berkoff canon are ever-present in this startling novel: his luxurious verbosity; his counterpoint of crude street patter and elegiac proclamation; sex wars; class wars; dislocation and abandonment of love in a thankless and unyielding world. This is a powerful, divisive and brutally honest novel that will inspire, enrage and provoke – and live on long after the final word.Read More
1973, and New Yorker Faith Anderson arrives in England, alone and heavily pregnant. Faith hopes to make a new life for herself and provide a future filled with opportunity for her unborn son. 2003 and Dan has grown distant from his mother, and is a disappointment to himself. Unable to kick-start the stalled nature of his existence, Dan spends his days working in a run-down bookshop, setting the world to rights with his colleague Fiona. At weekends he is often found alone in nightclubs, surrounded by people and life but unable to make a connection with anything he deems important. It takes the arrival of a mysterious and enigmatic stranger to rip Dan from his lethargy; but who is this man and what is his agenda? As truths are dragged into the light and secrets revealed, lives are changed forever. And both Dan and Faith recognise there can be no future without embracing the lessons of the past.Read More
‘Gothard brilliantly captures real-life moral quandaries with sharp, incisive characters that bristle amongst an urban landscape. His cast love and loathe with equal passion, each trying to make a shifting world fit to their shifting demands. Gothard portrays the unease of postmodern living with a surgical eye for detail in this gripping book. Vibrant and witty, ‘Simon Says’ is a must-read novel by a writer with a sharp eye and an even sharper tongue.’
Simon Templar was named after a suave and heroic man of action, but he seems to lack the finer points of his namesake. Slightly hapless, occasionally hopeless, and prone to being chased by angry strangers, he is the everyman who doesn’t fit. When his drunken father-in-law divulges a shocking truth about the love of Simon’s life and takes away his one chance at happiness, it seems the world will always kick him where it hurts. Yet in the aftermath of this revelation Simon is determined to rebuild his life, hopes and dreams. Or at least have a life, hopes and dreams. With the support of his best buddy Sean, and embracing a dating frenzy that would put a lothario to shame (albeit a not particularly successful lothario), Simon goes on a journey of self-discovery. Can he learn to trust again, and finally understand the true meaning of love?
In the best traditions of Richard Curtis and David Nicholls, Simon says is a wonderful bittersweet comedy of love, life and longing, and the perfect read for any rom-com fan.
Tess Rosa Ruiz is a powerful new voice on the American literary scene, redolent of Kerouac and Rollins in a battle of words. Freefall into Us is a compelling collection of unique poetry and prose that provides an emotional mosaic of the path of relationships. This is a raw and visceral insight into how women and men desire, need, want – and ultimately love each other – in the most beautiful, passionate and honest ways.
The carefully structured flow of poetry and short stories provides the reader with a constantly challenging and engaging snapshot of humanity, leading them through different stages of desire, sex, lust, obsession and passion in adult relationships. These are the feelings we have all felt, but are often afraid to voice. Freefall into the words and perhaps, just perhaps, you’ll recognise a piece of you.
“Boooooom! Reading Tess Rosa Ruiz’s words sends you hurtling headlong into her world of raw emotion and pinpoint human detail. The reader resides in the same room as the characters and events, experiencing every nuance of the unfolding dramas. Rosa Ruiz’s style is stripped down to the emotive essentials and delivers the real deal – it’s happening now! Fast! Urgent! Cutting! And then the bombshell hits, and the reader is greater, richer and rewarded with deep insight into the pain, anguish and joy of the very real characters.
This is a rollercoaster of a read from a no-nonsense writer who is unafraid to use words to strip her characters naked and bare before the reader, adeptly identifying the emotions that drive us. Tess Rosa Ruiz is clearly a writer to watch – follow the shine and be dazzled. ”
Martin Skate, bestselling author of The Spike Collection
“Provocative stories that are earthy, sensual and compelling along with prose that makes you think. Tess Rosa Ruiz is a writer worth watching”
Paul LaRosa, Emmy-Award winning writer and producer
“Tess Rosa Ruiz grabs you by the scruff of your neck and the back of your belt and flings you into her world. A world full of fabulous imagery, combined with all the drama you can stand.”
Louis Romano, Novelist & Poet
“Tess Rosa Ruiz delivers a powerful and vivid collection of masterfully woven tales that will stay with you long after you have read the final word. She is an explosive and provocative new talent who blurs the line between fantasy and reality in ways that many hope for but few achieve. Ignore her literary prowess at your own risk.”
Ian Lowell, author of Son of Sam Was My Catcher and Other Bronx Tales
“Close of Play is a wonderful English drama, combining moments that are touching with others that are laugh-out-loud funny.”
John Challis, ‘Boycie’ from Only Fools & Horses and The Green Green Grass
“I stood, entranced, holding the card as I re-read it and gently traced my forefinger over the signature, enchanted at receiving such a rare gift. For a brief, beautiful moment I imagined being there with her, walking on the bleak sandy beach, shaking the sand out of our walking boots and tidying our tousled hair. The sensation disappeared rapidly and all I had was the card, which I placed on the mantelpiece.”
Brian Clarke has an ordered life, a life of village cricket, solid principles, and careful interaction with those around him. He is resolutely fending off advancing middle-age with a straight bat, determined to defend his wicket against life’s occasional fast balls. Then he meets Elizabeth – a gentle, caring, genuinely selfless soul who is a glowing bloom amongst the ordered hedgerows of his existence. As Elizabeth demands Brian’s interest…and breathes hope into his heart…he must reassess his self-defined role as the lone batsmen and fight to find the courage to fall in love. Or risk losing her forever.
Close of Play is a thoughtful, funny, beautifully honest story of love and manners. It’s a tale of missed opportunities and a chance at redemption – and the fear of opening our hearts to another when we think we’ve forgotten how to love.
“I loved this. As with Outside Edge, it’s not just the cricket, it’s old life itself. Will happily commend Close of Play heartily. Howzat?” -Robert Daws, actor
“A refreshing romance; gentle, insightful and very heartwarming. The novel deals with very real people, full of flaws and foibles and combines this with a lyrical style that moves between poetic and comic in turn. I have to confess, I am not a cricket fan, but found the cricket element engaging and actually quite illuminating- who knew sedate cricketers felt like that in bat! This was a thoughtful, feel good read, perfect for a summer’s read on the grass (hopefully with a glass of Pimms!).” – P.K.Church
“I found Close of Play by P.J. Whiteley an absolute delight – such an understated and decorous review of a jolly good, well written book; quintessentially English in an understated way; don’t you know. If you didn’t know small English country towns, if you didn’t know of English eccentrics, country folk, village idiots, the range of pubs they love or avoid, or should avoid, if you didn’t know cricket, especially cricket clubs, first, second and third teams (who play away, always), and how serious cricket is, you will still love this tale as it paints a captivating picture of a myriad of characters all recognisable as absolutely English in their stiff upper lip views, as varied in their bias as much as their intransigence, and their rules of life, sporting etiquette, social manners, and how to court a woman, or not, as the case may be. I leaned into you for a kiss. Did you, I thought you were falling over…the humour is simply to die for darling. I am a city man, generally unnerved in the countryside, especially when faced with ‘good’ English country folk and their manners, but I love cricket and felt safe in Whitley’s expert hands; I could lie back and think of England and enjoy the kaleidoscope of characters in this novel, and their stories. Even if you were an American and had no inkling of cricket, this would be a good introduction to a game that can last forever, a lifetime in some instances, and where you play in a team can often define who you are, or what your nickname says who you are. And then there are the womenfolk and the extended families; not there to watch the grass grow but fully formed characters, most certainly not looking on from the boundary. Close of Play is a love story of a repressed couple, both approaching middle age with their own unique fears, and for their own completely different reasons have emotional baggage to sort; Elizabeth surprises at every turn and is a contrast to what many would call the dullard life of Brian, or is it Colin (Cowdrey), he’s good with the quicks, don’t you know. Elizabeth and Brian are two ‘jolly’ good chalk and cheese souls, both scared in their own way and for different reasons, swimming their lonely lives in the choppy waters of entrenched social moirés, each with their role to play, each with mysteries to reveal, and as these come to light you feel they will not, should not, under any circumstances, be together, but, there is the yearning behind the facade, the cunningly disguised need to be together; oh the pain, it is exquisite. And the ending is as surprising as it is heart warming, and as an inveterate weeping man, I enjoyed shedding more than one tear as I avoided eye contact in my corner of the pavilion. Whatever your usual tastes in books, I recommend wholeheartedly Close of Play, as engaging as it is enchanting, the characters all playing their parts and described in a tantalising way that suggests we may see more of this part of the countryside; treated to more voyeuristic insights into English country life. For me, I would like to hear more of Godfrey, the Vicar who is nervous of revealing just how clever he is, and his lack of appreciating a good nickname, and now, I cannot go into a church without first assessing if the aisle will take spin, or be good for pace; cricket is not a game, it is a way of life…it’s not the winning that counts, nor the taking part, it’s the making fun of everyone…Owzat; who said that?” – Pete Adams, Author of the Kind Hearts and Martinets series
“I love the way Alcina shows how the key protagonists are altruistic and yet deeply flawed. It reminded me of the famous St Augustine quote, “Lord, let me be pure but not yet.” She does a marvellous job with this conundrum.” – Deirdre Quiery
Tiago’s had enough of corporate life. He’s going to be a saint.
Ruthless and rich, a seal-pup cute young Turk of the trading floor, he’s got killer plans to restore global economic justice that will get him a harp to set off his Tom Ford suit.
But lovesick Tiago can’t get started until he’s convinced urbane art dealer Raphael Davide they’d make a fantastic power couple.
Raphael’s a slave to beauty with his own designs on the undeserving rich – but his suave exterior belies a brittle heart. His bluestocking sister Clara and her husband Rob would lay down their lives to protect him. And Raphael’s reluctant ex, cracked rocket scientist Tomas Paul Gosele, may know enough about Tiago’s grubby past to blow everything sky high.
Our hero needs friends he can trust. Good job his new neighbour Amelia Postthridge seems a nice enough girl, as gene stackers go. But Amelia’s an apple-obsessed tadpole torturer who prefers trees to people – and she’ll chew up Tiago and spit out the pips to achieve her own plans.
Beauty, Love and Justice is Alcina Faraday’s compelling debut tale of love, ambition, honesty and deceit and is available NOW!
BOOK REVIEW – “BEAUTY, LOVE & JUSTICE” – ALCINA FARADAY
By Deirdre Quiery
Alcina Faraday is a scientist and business woman who, with her novel “Beauty, Love and Justice” invites the reader to sink into a world of paradox where culture and debauchery are sides of a single coin. The novel describes the complexity of the search innate within the human psyche to know what is beauty, to find true love and to act with justice to restore harmony in a world shaken, flawed and distorted by inequality.
These great themes are explored through the searching for love by the principal characters – Rafael, an artist and, Tiago a trader on the floor of the seedy world of business. As the world shakes from the aftershock of the global crisis of 2008, Alcina through her characters is visceral in her ability to convey the emptiness of a world which puts profit and self-centred gain ahead of our potential for beauty, love and justice. I particularly liked the scene when Tiago brings Rafael to his Office beside the trading floor and Alcina captures the depression of people caught in a world of making money and where in doing so, they have lost their souls. Small touches like the debris of an Office environment, the shabbiness where people spend most of their lives is a powerful in contrast against a world which is beautiful.
I love the way Alcina shows how the key protagonists are altruistic and yet deeply flawed. It reminded me of the famous St Augustine quote, “Lord, let me be pure but not yet.” She does a marvellous job with this conundrum. Tiago in particular is convincing in his high ideals for love and beauty yet his difficulty in extracting himself from a world of sensual desire and dissipation. The image which came to my mind was one of a fly being attracted to a sticky fly trap. Once its legs have landed on that roll of sticky paper – how difficult it is for it to be once again free.
I found Rafael’s anger realistic. Alcina through her characters and plot, raises awareness in the reader’s mind of how easily the best intentions for justice become derailed by self-righteousness and anger. There is ugliness in anger which is the opposite of what her characters aspire to in their pursuit of beauty. This is one of the key strengths in the novel – Alcina’s ability to enter into a world of paradox which I really enjoyed. The reader finds themselves asking “What is beauty?” Is it the beauty of body or mind? Rafael’s looks are fading. Tiago’s will also with time. Is there a beauty which goes beyond physical beauty and is eternal? What does it look like? What is love? How does it relate to sexual desire? How does human love differ from Divine love and desire?
Alcina finds a golden thread which spins Tiago, Rafael, Thomas Paul, Clara and Rob into a web of relationships which connect to what is most human in us and also to what is most Divine. I felt the call of the ancient Greeks asking us not to forget the depths of our human heritage our capacity for beauty, love and justice, bouncing off the greed and corruption of a trading floor.
Looking forward to the sequel!
Being Someone is a life story, a love story, a human story.
James has fallen through life, plotting a course of least resistance, taking each day as it comes and waiting for that indefinable ‘something’ to turn up, to give his story meaning. His journey lacks one vital element – a fellow traveller.
Then he meets Lainey. Confident. Beautiful. Captivating. And James rewrites himself to win her heart. Lainey gives James a reason to grow, paints a bright future, promises the happy ending he has sought so keenly. But when we discover we can live the greatest story of all, are we able to share the pages with someone else?
Being Someone is an emotive tale of love, of self-discovery and adventure – a story of the eternal search for happiness in another, without ultimately losing ourselves.
This is the ideal new read for YOUR book club – recommend it now!! We have a special download for all book club members. We think Being Someone is the perfect choice for your book club, so much so that we’ve put together a few questions to get you started in your Being Someone discussions. Download the pdf for your exclusive questions. Being Someonebookclubquestions
The book was launched at an event at Clerkenwell Gallery, and was covered by Tatler in the Bystander section.Read More
STOP PRESS!! You can now enjoy a short film of the launch of Influence and discover why it is such a unique thriller – and why Urbane thought it as such an important novel to publish.
We are delighted to launch groundbreaking new thriller Influence by Nottingham-based author Chris Parker.
Influence kills…Influence is the greatest force on earth. Influence equals power, the power to affect people and events. The most powerful people alive have the greatest influence. And they can use it for good or bad. Marcus Kline is the world’s leading authority on communication and influence. He can tell what you are thinking. He can see inside you. He can step inside your mind.
In global demand as a consultant, Marcus Kline shares his expertise with world leaders, corporate giants and global media stars. Confident, self- assured and controlling, Marcus revels in his unparalleled skill.
Yet when a series of murder victims bear the horrific hallmarks of an intelligent and remorseless serial killer, Detective Inspector Peter Jones turns to Marcus for help – and everything changes.
As the killer sets a deadly pace, the invisible, irresistible and terrifying power of influence threatens friendships, reputations, and lives. When events appear to implicate the great Marcus Kline himself, everyone learns that the worst pain isn’t physical…
Set in contemporary Nottingham, Influence introduces readers to Marcus Kline, confident, and arrogant, communications consultant and expert who is about to discover that not every situation can be analysed and controlled. Somewhere between Derren Brown in full control mode, and Tim Roth’s Dr Cal Lightman in Lie to Me, is Marcus Kline a potential victim – or a sadistic and clever killer? Will you like Marcus? Will you hate him? You’ll very likely do both, and you’ll be influenced every step of the way, just like those in Marcus’s life.
At a time when we are increasingly driven by the power of communication, and the implications of persuasiveness, this is a timely, topical and frightening journey through the evil that influence can truly do.
The book is supported by a unique and exciting website at marcuskline.co.ukRead More
Last night I was breaking all the rules, making up new ones.
Me, a wild bunch of one, trailing a blaze of glory, saying, yes, tonight, I’m living on a prayer. I was winging it, squaring off with fate, dialling my date with destiny, letting my ego write the cheques, going eye to eye, punch for punch, drink for drink with the ruffian that is life.
And when I was done, there was no need to look back in anger, because when I was done I couldn’t look back at all.
Meet Samuel Grant. He’s trying to work a few things out.
Remember that time when Twitter sounded like an insult, no one had a Facebook page, and Britney Spears still looked innocent in pig tails?
Remember to Breathe is a rom-com trip set to a retro beat, for anyone who’s ever partied like it was 1999. And woken to realise that the last tequila was unwise.
Remember to Breathe invites you to enjoy the highs and lowly lows of Samuel Grant’s life as he ushers in the new century in his own inimitable style. Join Samuel as he feels the rhythm of London’s pulse, and often finds he dances with two left feet.
Do you want to meet Samuel Grant? You might even like him. Here are what we’re lovingly calling our favourite ‘Samuel’s’ – pearls of wisdom on just about any subject:
It was the tequila that did it. Tequila is spiteful, two-faced, sweet as pie when you’re saying hi, paying your monies and throwing ‘em back, but nasty in a metal fangs kind of way when last night’s fun-lovin’ fast-forwards into next day’s buggering regret. I tell you, Tequila is unwise.
It’s like everyone’s occupying their usual temporal plain, and then there’s Me, Outer Limiting, tingling away, a slight flush-on, occupying a dimension just out of synch with everyone else. I wonder, could I walk through people if I tried? Shall I give it a go?
Man, I would so love to introduce the smell of napalm on a Monday. Such a shame I can’t order in the jets, put All These Feckers out of their unrealised misery. Venue: Meeting Room 9, and instead of Agent Orange, just a serious ordering of Brutal Truth: Mondays are one seventh of my life. If it is bollocks on which the world turns, I fear we may have reached a point where perhaps we are all just spinning in the void, riding this one big revolving testicle.
Friday’s “Working Lunch” is at The Avenue on St James’s Street. It’s a bit like eating in an art installation, a White-Out affair that tries for a So-Serious NYC feel, but is occupied by Daddy’s Girls wearing pashmina’s and too many Pin Stripes worn by too many people called Hugo.
There’s a bit of Samuel Grant in all of us – find out how much by taking the Samuel Grant questionnaire now and win your very own copy of the book.
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