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  Many authors have turned to writing after suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), creating beauty and peace while ‘struggling with a torn mind’, as Karl Tearney phrases it so eloquently in the introduction to his collection of poems, Second Life. A former pilot in the British Army Air Corp, Tearney joined up as … Continue readings

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  We’re huge fans of JD Robb’s Eve Dallas–Roarke futuristic crime series, especially as they just get better over time. Connections in Death builds on Dallas’ ever-growing family, seeing familiar and beloved characters go through extremely challenging and bloody times only to rise stronger than before. As always, Robb creates a fast-paced, detailed and carefully … Continue readings

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      The premise for Amy Lord’s debut novel The Disappeared is an attractive one – that reading the ‘wrong’ book, having the ‘wrong’ thoughts, can get you arrested. It’s an idea that’s been explored before very successfully in novels like Ray Bradbury’s wonderful Fahrenheit 451. In this incarnation, we’re in a dystopian Britain, … Continue readings

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  There’s a moment in Stephanie Butland’s The Woman in the Photograph, when protagonist Veronica Moon is remembering Leonie Barratt, a woman at the forefront of the women’s movement and the friend who changed her life. She says, ‘We let her down because we didn’t see that she was right. If we had listened to … Continue readings

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  As a former scriptwriter, Candy Denman is well versed in setting a scene quickly, as seen in popular dramas like The Bill and Heartbeat. Her books are no different, well drawn, tightly plotted and fast-paced. In #YouToo, the third outing for protagonist Dr Jocasta Hughes, we are immersed in her world from the very … Continue readings

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  It’s no surprise that Keep You Close, the new book from former FBI agent-turned-author Karen Cleveland, has been so highly anticipated. Need to Know, her debut novel, was a runaway success, going to auction, critically received on publication and optioned for the big screen. The central premise of this new novel is how far … Continue readings

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  Early on in Sarah Henstra’s The Red Word, protagonist Karen wakes up in ‘someone’s backyard’, wearing ‘boxer shorts, one turquoise jelly sandal’ and ‘no bra’. She tells Steph, the woman who finds her, that she’s had sex. ‘On purpose?’ Steph asks. ‘There was a frat party,’ she responds. The party was at GBC (Gamma … Continue readings

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  Tim Lott’s new novel, When We Were Rich, published today by Scribner, revisits the main characters of Whitbread-winner White City Blue. Opening just before the Millennium, in Blair’s Britain, we are reunited with Frankie Blue and old mates Nodge and Colin, with Diamond Tony lurking in the background. It ends in 2008, when the … Continue readings

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  We’re far too big for Italy. Big and white and blond, we barely fit around the table at the restaurant that evening. The furniture and interiors have been designed with trim little Italians in mind, not Dad and Håkon, both almost six feet four inches tall; not for such long arms and legs; not … Continue readings

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  Best-selling author Ali McNamara takes us away on deliciously entertaining adventures in her novels. In Secrets and Seashells at Rainbow Bay, her latest book, we follow single mother Amelia Harris and her young son Charlie as they embark on a veritable rags-to-riches journey, from borderline poverty to life in a medieval castle on the … Continue readings

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    Gordon Kerr’s new novel, The Partisan Heart, utilises the dual timeline and Second World War setting, both so popular at the moment. Moving between the war-torn northern Italy of 1944 and London and Italy of the late 1990s, the book is part thriller, part historical drama. The ‘now’ and ‘then’ intersect in the … Continue readings

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  We’re delighted to welcome writer CHARLIE LAIDLAW to The Literary Lounge. The author of two books, Charlie publishes his third, The Space Between Time, this month with Accent Press.     First of all, Charlie, thank you so much for joining us and for taking the time to answer our questions.     LS: … Continue readings

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  Rough Magic is the kind of book I devoured as a child, a rip-roaring, triumph-against-adversity adventure, set in a faraway, exotic locale, told by the real-life hero, who usually, 99 per cent of the time, was male. In this case, the hero of the story is actually a heroine … and, God, ain’t that … Continue readings

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  We read Felicity McLean’s very filmic debut novel, The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone, with Nick Cave’s Murder Ballads playing in the background. It somehow seemed fitting, as did Portishead’s Dummy, which followed. Set in a fictional rural location near Sydney, the novel centres on the disappearance of three sisters, Hannah, Cordelia and Ruth … Continue readings

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  I recently reread Elizabeth Smart’s classic By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept, which I first devoured as an eager teen and have come back to many times since. It resonated then, the language so beautiful, the emotion so raw. It still rates as one of my top books about love – … Continue readings

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