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Quercus

Her Mother's Secret

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley

Escape to the heart of beautiful, sun-drenched Brittany with the bestselling author of The Villa and The Little Theatre by the Sea. The perfect treat for fans of Santa Montefiore and Veronica Henry.For most of her life Colette has avoided returning to her homeland - the beautiful island of Belle-Ile - afraid to confront the painful memories she left behind. She is living on the Cornish coast when she hears about her mother Thea's failing health and reluctantly she decides to return. But can Colette ever forgive Thea for what she has done?Despite Colette's wariness, romantic Belle-Ile, where her mother runs the local flower shop, still fascinates her and as Thea opens up to her for the first time, Colette finds herself softening and being drawn back into the landscape of her past. She meets Étienne, a tortured soul who shares her confused feelings towards the island, and a strong bond begins to develop between them.But the ghosts of the past still linger. What happened all those years ago and how did it cause the rift between mother and daughter? It becomes clear that the beauty of Belle-Ile hides a devastating family secret - one that Colette is determined to unravel at any cost.

Quercus

The Eternal City

Domenica De Rosa
Authors:
Domenica De Rosa
Quercus

The Little Theatre by the Sea

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley

The bestselling author of The Villa and The Saffron Trail returns with a gorgeous summer read about love and starting over - set in West Dorset and beautiful Sardinia. Perfect for fans of Santa Montefiore, Dinah Jefferies and Harriet Evans.Faye has just completed her degree in interior design when she finds herself jobless and boyfriend-less. While debating what to do next she receives a surprise phone call from her old college friend Charlotte who now lives in Sardinia and is married to Italian hotelier, Fabio.When Charlotte suggests that Faye relocate for a month to house-sit, Faye wonders if a summer break in sunny Sardinia might be the perfect way to recharge her batteries and think about her future. But then Charlotte tells Faye that there's something more behind the sudden invitation: her friends Marisa and Alessandro are looking for a designer to renovate a crumbling old theatre they own in the scenic village of Deriu. The idea certainly sounds appealing to Faye, but little does she know what she's letting herself in for if she accepts this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity . . .

Quercus

The People We Were Before

Annabelle Thorpe
Authors:
Annabelle Thorpe

If war is madness, how can love survive?Yugoslavia, summer 1979. A new village. A new life. But eight-year-old Miro knows the real reason why his family moved from the inland city of Knin to the sunkissed village of Ljeta on the Dalmatian Coast, a tragedy he tries desperately to forget. The Ljeta years are happy ones, though, and when he marries his childhood sweetheart, and they have a baby daughter, it seems as though life is perfect. However, storm clouds are gathering above Yugoslavia.War breaks out, and one split-second decision destroys the life Miro has managed to build. Driven by anger and grief, he flees to Dubrovnik, plunging himself into the hard-bitten world of international war reporters.There begins a journey that will take him ever deeper into danger: from Dubrovnik, to Sarajevo, to the worst atrocities of war-torn Bosnia, Miro realises that even if he survives, there can be no way back to his earlier life. The war will change him, and everyone he loves, forever.

Quercus

Last Dance in Havana

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley

'I loved the sultry sensuous feeling of being in Havana so much that reading about it makes me want to go there. A fascinating story with engaging themes' Dinah Jefferies, #1 bestselling author of The Tea Planter's WifeCuba, 1958. Elisa is only sixteen years old when she meets Duardo and she knows he's the love of her life from the moment they first dance the rumba together in downtown Havana. But Duardo is a rebel, determined to fight in Castro's army, and Elisa is forced to leave behind her homeland and rebuild her life in distant England. But how can she stop longing for the warmth of Havana, when the music of the rumba still calls to her?England, 2012. Grace has a troubled relationship with her father, whom she blames for her beloved mother's untimely death. And this year more than ever she could do with a shoulderto cry on - Grace's career is in flux, she isn't sure she wants the baby her husband is so desperate to have and, worst of all, she's begun to develop feelings for their best friend Theo. Theo is a Cuban born magician but even he can't make Grace's problems disappear. Is the passion Grace feels for Theo enough to risk her family's happiness?From bestselling author Rosanna Ley comes an exotic tale of love, family and friendship set between England and Cuba.

Heron Books

The Road to Rangoon

Lucy Cruickshanks
Authors:
Lucy Cruickshanks
Heron Books

The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being

Alice Roberts
Authors:
Alice Roberts
Quercus

The Saffron Trail

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley

Quercus

Return to Mandalay

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley

Quercus

Bay of Secrets

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley

Spain, 1939. Following the wishes of her parents to keep her safe during the war, a young girl, Julia, enters a convent in Barcelona. Looking for a way to maintain her links to the outside world, she volunteers to help in a maternity clinic. But worrying adoption practices in the clinic force Sister Julia to decide how far she will go to help those placed in her care. England, 2011. Six months after her parents' shocking death, 34-year-old journalist and jazz enthusiast Ruby Rae has finally found the strength to pack away their possessions and sell the family home. But as she does so, she unearths a devastating secret her parents, Vivien and Tom, had kept from her all her life.(P)2014 WF Howes Ltd

Quercus

The Villa

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley

THE #1 KINDLE BESTSELLER. An unforgettable story set off the sun-soaked coast of Sicily for fans of Dinah Jefferies, Veronica Henry and Santa Montefiore.When Tess Angel receives a solicitor's letter inviting her to claim her inheritance - the Villa Sirena, perched on a clifftop in Sicily - she is stunned. Her only link to the island is through her mother, Flavia, who left Sicily during World War II and cut all contact with her family. Initially resistant to Tess going back to her roots, Flavia realises the secrets from her past are about to be revealed and decides to try to explain her actions. Meanwhile, Tess' teenage daughter Ginny is stressed by college, by her blooming sexuality and filled with questions that she longs to ask her father, if only she knew where he was.

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Rosanna Ley on landscape and creativity

What is the relationship between landscape and creativity? There are little hotspots all over the world to which groups of creative people are drawn. But why? Surely it’s not simply a question of contacts and existing artistic infrastructure – though clearly this helps. Is it something to do with landscape? And if some landscapes provoke more creative responses than others, which kind does it for you? In the west country of the UK we can do wild and bleak or cute and scenic. We get a lot of rain – but this is why the grass is always greener… There are more writers, musicians, potters, artists, weavers, sculptors and glass blowers here, than anywhere else in the UK. And tourists of all nationalities brave our English weather and come in their thousands to visit our galleries, exhibitions, mills, shops and craft centres. But what is it about the landscape that inspires creativity? Is it perhaps the sense of history? In ‘Bay of Secrets,’ artist Andres and his famous father are inspired by the landscape of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. It is ancient and volcanic, rather like a lunar landscape with rolling pink-brown hills, craters and giant sand dunes cradling turquoise lagoons studded by black rocky outcrops. Age can certainly give a landscape a vibe – Lyme Regis, Charmouth and the Jurassic Coast of Dorset have a sense of history which literally clings to the fossilized rocks, the cliffs and the beaches. Roman roads and ancient forts abound. In the novels of Thomas Hardy, Dorchester provides an artistic legacy too – of the writerly kind. When Andres comes to Dorset in ‘Bay’, he is equally inspired by the golden sandstone cliffs of West Bay – as recently featured in ITV’s crime drama ‘Broadchurch’. Following ‘Broadchurch,’ visitors (known locally as ‘Broadies’!) have flocked to West Bay to see for themselves those amazing, towering honey-bricked cliffs. Or is it perhaps the tranquillity of a natural landscape – be it coastal, woodland, upland or riverside – which appeals to the creative mind and feeds our desire to get back to nature and away from the noise, turmoil and stress of busy city life? Sometimes, walking along the vastness of Chesil Beach, you feel solitary, humble, affected by Nature. It’s liberating. There again, the drama of a steep gorge or a rocky headland can also be inspiring – as Sister Julia experiences in ‘Bay of Secrets’; the sea’s turbulence echoing her own inner turmoil. Her landscape on the Island has both complexity and emotional depth. She has a spiritual response to it; she imagines that it helps her to hear her God’s guidance and voice. Artists here in Dorset often talk about the quality of the light for painting. The rocks range from the orange sandstone of West Bay through to the Blue Lias of Lyme; where there is light there is always shadow. As for Fuerteventura… There is a late-afternoon light that tints the landscape with a deep yellow and turns the sand (and blonde hair!) an unearthly golden green. Whatever the personal response to landscape, it seems that this is a relationship and a dialogue between individual and place. Landscape brings out the creativity in us all. It encourages us to reflect, express ourselves and even to change our thinking. Landscape might offer a glimpse of memory and the past – as it does for Ruby in ‘Bay’ when she first sees the turquoise lagoon in Fuerteventura, otherwise known as the ‘Bay of Secrets’. It might even offer a glimpse of the future. I always felt I belonged to West Dorset. It’s my ‘soul home’. And I’m always happiest writing where there is a sea view. It may be in my local cafe in West Bay with the high bank of ginger pebbles and the waves right beside me, the harbour and the sandstone cliffs beyond. Or in Fuerteventura on the Playa de Castillo watching the surfers ride the wild waves. It might be a tranquil summer day or bleak mid-winter. The sea lets me dream – it does it for me every time. – Rosanna Ley

Rosanna Ley's top tips for fiction writing

Rosanna Ley is the best selling author of The Villa, Bay of Secrets and the forthcomingReturn to Mandalay. She has worked as a creative tutor for over twelve years, leading workshops in the UK and abroad, and has completed an MA in creative writing. Her writing holidays and retreats take place in stunning locations in Italy and Spain. Rosanna has written numerous articles and stories for national magazines. When she is not travelling, Rosanna lives in West Dorset by the sea. www.rosannaley.co.uk ROSANNA’S TOP TIPS • Let the idea for your story compost while you indulge in free writing/ thought-storming/ day-dreaming/ going for long walks etc. Create a space for your story. • Switch off your phone and avoid Internet and social media for at least 3 hours a day to enable more writing time. • Don’t just write what you know – write what you want to explore and discover. • Get inside your characters’ heads by being there with them – as far as you are able. • Check that your dialogue sounds natural, isn’t written in speeches, is not too heavy on dialect and doesn’t include too many extravagant tags like ‘he enthused…’ • Remember – every scene should progress the story in some way. • Create characters who are believable, interesting, fully rounded and who don’t do impossible things. • Forget the word count and cut, cut, cut – especially the waffly and self-indulgent bits. Less is more. • Never forget that readers are intelligent. They do not have to have everything explained to them as if they were four years old. Have faith. • Read your work out loud to yourself and the dog or a willing partner. Not so much for feedback (esp from dog) but to listen to the rhythms of your writing and to spot slow pace, repetition and sag. • Listen to criticism. Take most of it on board. Don’t allow yourself to be destroyed by negativity. Re-work. Re-write. Persevere. • Remember that writing is work. And you’re on your own. But you can still have fun.

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Rosanna Ley

Rosanna Ley works as a creative tutor and has written many articles and stories for national magazines. Her writing holidays and retreats take place in stunning locations in Spain and Italy. When she is not travelling, Rosanna lives in West Dorset by the sea.

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05 Jul
The Crown Hotel, Harrogate

Theodore Zeldin at Harrogate Festival

12:30pm

Leading intellectual and philosopher Theodore Zeldin talks about his latest book, The Hidden Pleasures of Life, which focuses on the untapped potential to form relationships in today's world. In this age where it seems so hard to connect with others in any meaningful way, Zeldin argues that relating to others is not only possible, but is in fact the only way forwrad if we are to live fulfilled lives. Click here to find out more information about this event and how to purchase tickets.