OUT NOW: The Dance of Love by Angela Young

The Dance of LoveAngela Young is a graduate of Middlesex University’s MA in Creative Writing and her first novel, Speaking of Love, was published in 2008. The Dance of Love is her second novel. Angela lives and writes in south-west London.

The Dance of Love

The Dance of Love is a coming-of-age tale that
spans more than two decades of vast change.

Against a backdrop of high Edwardian luxury, Natalie Edwardes is poised on the brink of adulthood and, in an age when a woman’s destiny is decided by marriage, her beauty, wit and money would seem to guarantee her a glittering future. But, isolated by her father’s position as a self-made man, Natalie has never felt at ease in a society bound by a maze of conventions. Heart, for her, will always rule head, and so it seems that an encounter with a dashing yet gentle artist-soldier contains all the seeds of her life’s happiness.

The dance of Natalie’s life whirls her from the glittering ballrooms of London and the grand houses of Scotland and Devon, to the Scottish Highlands. But the strictures of polite society are far-reaching and Natalie’s happiness is abruptly snatched away. She is forced to compromise her romantic ideals and it is only when the tragedy of the Titanic touches
her life, years later, that she discovers what love really means and the heartrending choices it poses.

Buy your copy of The Dance of Love here

OUT NOW: Cicely’s Second King by Sandra Heath Wilson

9780719812613Sandra was born in South Wales, but spent a great deal of her childhood in Ulster and Germany. She has lived in Gloucestershire for over forty years. Published worldwide, her early books were set around the Wars of the Roses. Her other books, also published by Robert Hale, include her Regency
novels The Makeshift Marriage, Lady Jane’s Ribbons and Hide and Seek.

Cicely’s Second King

After the bloody death of her uncle and lover, the
Yorkist King Richard III, at Bosworth Field, Lady Cicely Plantagenet is grief-stricken, alone, and with child.

Clinging to Richard’s memory, and ensconced in the court of his Lancastrian successor – the dangerous, enigmatic Henry Tudor – Cicely faces a strange new England, where her bitter elder sister, Bess, is to be Henry’s queen.

And Henry is advancing, with a serpentine charm and lascivious determination, to lay claim to both Plantagenet sisters, threatening harm to her loved ones if Cicely resists. But Henry killed Richard, and poses a mortal threat to her secret son. How can it be
possible to find pleasure with this ruthless and relentless man?!

To buy Cicely’s Second King now, click here.

OUT NOW: Shades of Light by Ruth De Fraga Gomes

Shades of LightRuth De Fraga Gomes comes from a fashion background, but retrained whilst her children were small so that she could work from home. She continues to glean inspiration from fashion and indulges her passion for fabrics, trim and embellishment through the craft; some say she is actually a frustrated milliner as her shades often resemble glamorous hats!

These days, Ruth works on lampshade commissions and re-coverings from a small studio and teaches lampshade-making courses in colleges and creative workshops.

Shades of Light: Making Tailored Lampshades

Traditional lampshade-making has, for many years, been a sadly overlooked craft, as cheap to buy and readily available modern card shades have become the norm. However, with the resurgence of public interest in make-do and mend and home crafts, as well as the desire to find something unique in a homogenous sea of chain shops, traditional fabric lampshades are becoming more popular.

An invaluable practical reference guide, which includes both clear written instruction and helpful illustrations, this book explores the history of lampshade-making, its trends and design inspirations. It looks at the technical elements required, shows the techniques needed to make the shade properly in the traditional way and then explores more advanced techniques such as chiffon swathing and knife pleating. Once the reader has understood the potential of the hand-crafted shade, he or she can begin the design process, even using creative skills from other disciplines.

The great thing about lampshade-making is that it doesn’t require a large financial outlay and can involve a lot of reusing and recycling. Only a small work space is needed and there is little specialist equipment to buy. So if you want to create something beautiful, unique and practical but don’t have unlimited resources or a wealth of technical skills, this entertaining and satisfying home craft could be just what you’re looking for.

Shades of Light is available to buy here.

 

OUT NOW: Basic Watercolour by Charles Williams

Basic WatercolourAfter a long period living and working in that bustling artistic centre that is London’s East End, Charles Williams is now living in a vast, crumbling mansion in an obscure town in Kent, painting and writing, and teaching at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Williams’ work has been shown in public and commercial galleries in the UK and abroad, and his previous book, Basic Drawing: How To Draw What You See, reflects his deeper interest in enabling an appreciation of the practical side of the visual arts.

Basic Watercolour: How to Paint What You See by Charles Williams

Watercolour has an anomalous position in the visual arts. Its association with Victorian lady-amateurs, the (incorrect) idea that it is a fugitive medium and will fade over time, as well as the contradictory ideas that it is very difficult to use and that it is a beginner’s medium, mean that it has long been sidelined in favour of oil and acrylic paints. But ‘Watercolour’, a recent blockbuster show at the Tate Britain, and the contemporary interest in less conventional media point to a renewed interest in this underrated art-form.

Watercolour painting does have particular difficulties – it is transparent and therefore fairly unforgiving, for a start – but its advantages are huge. It is light and easy to carry the kit about, it is easy to clean and to prepare, it is unobtrusive, and a lot of the material you need you will already have around the house – a jam jar, water and don’t forget the most important item: toilet tissue!

Watercolour is also a great and constantly evolving challenge, and can be used in all sorts of ways. Within these pages a range of artists share their very diverse approaches to painting in watercolour, to give the reader an idea of how adaptable and enjoyable this medium really is.

Basic Watercolour: How to Paint What You See by Charles Williams is available to buy now

Basic Watercolour

Juxtabook reviews The Dance of Love by Angela Young

The Dance of Love Angela YoungJuxtabook describes The Dance of Love by Angela Young as ‘a delight from cover to cover, a bringer of pure pleasure’, adding that ‘this is a truly charming story, beautifully told’.

The review goes on to say that this ‘great treat’ will soon be working its way into ‘becoming a timeless classic’.

The full review can be found at Juxtabook.

To find out just what a Titanic struggle it was for Angela to write the book, check out her guest post here. Alternatively, you can find out more about Angela at her website.

The Dance of Love is available to pre-order now with our paperback imprint Buried River Press.

Angela Young Discusses the Titanic Struggle Behind The Dance of Love

The Dance of Love Angela YoungAngela Young is a graduate of Middlesex University’s MA in Creative Writing and is the author of two novels. In 1995, BBC Books published Angela’s 30,000-word ending to Edith Wharton’s last, unfinished novel, The Buccaneers, a story of love and marriage set among the British aristocracy and the American moneyed classes in late nineteenth-century England.

Speaking of Love is Angela’s first novel. It follows the relationship of a mother and daughter and what happens when people find it difficult to say the things that matter the most. It’s also a novel about hope and the restoration of trust and has been described as ‘beautifully written’ by Joanna Lumley, and ‘suffused with a love of storytelling and a warmth that makes it a pleasure to read’ by the Daily Mail.

Angela’s second novel, The Dance of Love, is a coming-of-age tale set in the same era as Downton Abbey. It spans two decades (1899-1919) of vast historical change and, through the joys and disappointments of its heroine, the beautiful, wealthy but independently minded Natalie Edwardes, it reveals the many faces of love.

Combining fact and fiction in THE DANCE of LOVE

When my agent, Heather Holden-Brown, suggested I write a novel about an ancestor of mine who survived the sinking of the Titanic, I enthusiastically agreed. I researched the era and, of course, the Titanic,but the writing proved difficult.

You’d think, wouldn’t you, that a character who was a wife and a mother, a daughter and a friend and a survivor of the Titanic, would provide the beating heart of a tragic, page-turning story. But, in my hands, she didn’t.

I tried different narrators. I tried beginning in the middle and at the end. I tried a modern frame story. I tried parallel stories. I began work in 2008 but by 2012 – the 100th anniversary of the tragic sinking – I still hadn’t written a story with a proper beating heart. By that time I’d worked with two editors, and with Heather, and they’d done their best to help me find the heart of the story. I’m sure other writers would’ve succeeded: the editors asked searching questions and made excellent suggestions. But I hadn’t succeeded so I sent the manuscript to The Literacy Consultancy and, in August 2012, Melissa Marshall wrote this:

At [the novel’s] heart is a complicated love story. But then it steers hugely off course with the Titanic episode. This is a massive story in itself and rather dilutes the impact, importance and credence of the main storyline, which is the story of unrequited love … . I would urge you to consider removing [the Titanic episode] from this story.

You’d think I’d cry when I read that, but I didn’t. I laughed with relief and recognition. I’d been trying to combine fact and fiction without realising – this is my first historical novel – that the two must be seamlessly interwoven and there must be synergy between them. I’d been trying to find a reason for my protagonist to board Titanic (my ancestor’s reason was quite mundane) rather than asking how the tragedy might affect the course of her life.

So … I made the Titanic story serve the complicated loved story (instead of dominating it) and when I realised my protagonist would make a brave and heart-rending decision as a direct result of the sinking (not as a result of being on board herself) I knew I’d found the heart of the story.

I’m delighted Buried River Press are publishing THE DANCE of LOVE on 31st July.

- Angela Young

[This piece first appeared, in a longer version, on Shiny New Books BookBuzz]

For more info, check out www.angela-young.co.uk

Lothian Life calls David Atkinson’s Love Byte ‘delightful’ and ‘quirky’

9781910208014Lothian Life have reviewed Edinburgh-based romantic comedy Love Byte by David Atkinson and are impressed by the balance the author strikes in this ‘quirky’ tale.

‘It’s not an easy course to follow, but David Atkinson gets the balance just right and has produced a delightful romantic comedy that will make great holiday reading.’

For the full review, check out Lothian Life.

Love Byte is available to buy now.

OUT NOW: Love Byte by David Atkinson

Love Byte by David AtkinsonDavid Atkinson was born in Glasgow, but now enjoys a hectic life in Edinburgh with his wife and two young daughters. He has previously been involved with repertory theatre, performing in various shows, and contributing to script and production work. Edinburgh, with its vibrant and energetic literary heritage and independent and quirky bookshops, provides his inspiration.

Love Byte by David Atkinson

If your dead wife emailed offering to find you a new girlfriend, what would you do?

Andy Hunter is a single father trying to balance the demands of a 2-year-old daughter, an interfering but well-meaning mother-in-law and a job he is always in danger of losing. So, when he receives a series of delayed emails from his late wife Lindsay telling him to date, it seems like a good idea.

With Lindsay’s emails spurring him on, Andy weaves a path of disharmony and chaos amongst his close friends and family, but soon discovers he is not cut out for modern dating.

Filled with laugh-out-loud situations and moments of soul-searching, this heart-warming, moving romantic comedy set in Edinburgh, is a bitter-sweet tale of second chances and self-discovery.

Love Byte by David Atkinson is available to buy now

OUT NOW: Teardrops in the Moon by Tania Crosse

Teardrops in the Moon by Tania CrosseTania Crosse was born in London, but, at a very young age, moved to Surrey where her love of the countryside took root. She did not have time to indulge her lifetime passion for writing stories until her family had grown up. Using her meticulous historical research and love of Dartmoor, she began penning her novels set in the area from Victorian times to the 1950s, all based closely on local history. Teardrops in the Moon is her tenth published novel.

Teardrops in the Moon by Tania Crosse

It is Sunday 28 June 1914 and Rose Warrington is celebrating her sixtieth birthday at the remote family home of Fencott Place on Dartmoor. Rose could not be happier, surrounded by her family and friends. But on that very same day, Archduke Ferdinand and his wife are assassinated in far-away Sarajevo, leading to the outbreak of The Great War. Rose’s spirited younger daughter, Marianne – having taken a vow of celibacy some years earlier – sees the war as an opportunity to prove herself as capable as any man.

The peace of Dartmoor behind her, she joins the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry as an ambulance driver in war torn France and it takes all her strength to face its horrors: there are tragedies lying in wait for those she loves, and her girlhood vow will be challenged and tested.

A powerful, dramatic and evocative story of love, courage, loss and the demon of revenge.

Teardrops in the Moon by Tania Crosse is available to buy now

Teardrops in the Moon by Tania Crosse