New non fiction: English Cathedrals by Andrew Sanders

9780719816598English Cathedrals

England is blessed with many beautiful cathedrals, including the world-renowned Durham, with its geometrically carved pillars, Wells, with its astonishingly graceful scissor arch, and  the gloriously uplifting Ely and its octagonal tower. For a millennia and more, these and similar buildings have welcomed and inspired generations of believers with their beauty and grandeur.

This book is a highly readable account of the history of England’s  cathedrals, from Anglo-Saxon times to the present day. The author discusses their significance, from a time when faith was an integral part of everyday life to the present, more secular society. The author also discusses the developments in cathedral architecture  over the centuries and the English cathedral city.

The English Cathedrals is an accessible and handy guide to the greatest architectural and religious buildings in England.

Andrew Sanders is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Durham. His books include The Victorian Historical Novel (1978), Charles Dickens: Resurrectionist (1982), Dickens and the Spirit of the Age (1999), and The Short Oxford History of English Literature (1994). In 2011 Robert Hale Ltd published Andrew Sanders’ book Charles Dickens’s London.

Buy your copy of English Cathedrals here.

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New fiction titles

9780719818004Deadly Zeal by Jean Chapman

Ex-Met Inspector John Cannon and his partner Liz have a hectic life running a Lincolnshire pub. When a punter is murdered after a particularly raucous quiz night, a wealthy businessman is driven to seek Cannon’s help. Their life is turned upside down, and they embark on a precarious sea voyage to the frozen wastelands of northern Norway where they must evade the murderers and icy waters.

Jean Chapman began her writing career as a freelance journalist before going on to write fiction. Her books have been shortlisted for both the Scottish Book Trust Award and the RNA Major Award, and she is the three-time President of the Leicester Writer’s Club. Her previous books, including Both Sides of the Fence, A Watery Grave, and Deadly Serious, were all published by Robert Hale.

Buy your copy of Deadly Zeal here.

Kicking Over the Traces by Elizabeth Jackson9780719817588

When her mother dies in a wagon accident, Florence is left at the mercy of her mother’s husband. At the funeral, he reveals he is not her real father and abandons her. Left with nothing but the clothes she stands in and her mother’s red coat, Florence takes on farm work to make ends meet, but her fortunes change when she discovers money hidden in the coat’s lining. As she navigates across the North Yorkshire moors alone after being forced to leave the farm she had called home, Florence encounters friends and enemies, often disguised as each other.

Elizabeth Jackson is a writer and psychotherapist. She is married with two sons and has lived in North Yorkshire all her life. Her previous book Language of Thieves was published by Robert Hale in 2011.

Buy your copy of Kicking Over the Traces here.

9780719816000Living Dangerously by Dan Latus

When old friends Anne and Josh Steele ask Frank Doy to look after their son, Tom, Frank can’t say no. After a drink-driving incident that took the life of his friend, the victim’s gangster father wants Tom dead. Frank takes Tom to an isolated cottage in wintry Northumberland, but trouble follows. As the lonely village is held siege during a blizzard, Frank fights to keep his charge alive. In the process he unravels a story at odds with the Steeles’ version of events – of a business partnership turned sour, and a young man placed in jeopardy by family loyalty.

Dan Latus lives in Northumberland with his wife. He grew up in Teesside which has been the inspiration for many of his novels. His previous books include Never Look Back, Risky Mission, Out of the Night, and Death at South Gare.

Buy your copy of Living Dangerously here.

The Murder List by Roger Silverwood

The women of Bromersley live in fear that their names are on the murder list. Bodies keep turning up – women in their sixties, always in the same disturbing pose, with a cauliflower in their laps and rice in their mouths. Inspector Angel discovers a list with the murdered women’s names on, but clues and forensics lead nowhere, and although witnesses report an odd-looking woman wearing a sheepskin coat, no one can find her.
Then, in the middle of the night, Angel receives a phone call…

Son of a Yorkshire businessman, Roger Silverwood was educated in Gloucestershire before National Service. He later worked in the toy trade and as a copywriter in an advertising agency. Roger went into business with his wife as an antiques dealer before retiring in 1997.

Praise for the author

‘Solid plotting, unpretentious writing, thoroughly reliable entertainment’ – Morning Star

‘Silverwood combines a classic mystery plot with well-developed characters’ – Publishers Weekly

Buy your copy of The Murder List here.

The Winding Stair by Millie Vigor

A single red rose on her doorstep and anonymous calls have made Ginny a nervous wreck. Seeking peace and telling no one, she runs away, but a rose is delivered to the hideaway. She’s at breaking point when suddenly contact stops. Returning home, she befriends quiet librarian Curtis, but realizes too late that her trust is misplaced. At Curtis’s mercy, she’s reminded of the poem ‘The Spider and the Fly’. She has walked up the winding stair, but will she walk free, or will she perish like the fly?

Millie Vigor was born in Dorset and was educated at Ludwell village school. At fourteen she left to start work and she considers this the beginning of her real education. Throughout her many jobs; kitchenmaid, farm-worker, glove-maker, canteen cook and B&B landlady, she took note of what made people tick and of sights and sounds, and stored this all away to use in her writing. In addition to articles and short stories sold to various magazines, her autobiographical book Kippers for Breakfast was published in 2003. Her recent books No Skylarks Sing and Paying Davy Jones were published by Robert Hale. She lives in Taunton, Somerset with her constant companion, a cat called Harriet.

Praise for the author

‘If the definition of a good book is being well-written, easy to read and hard to put down then Catherine of Deepdale is very good indeed’ – Shetland Times

‘The author evokes the wild, desolate landscape of the islands so vividly that it made me want to visit’ – Historical Novels Review

Buy your copy of The Winding Stair here.

New non-fiction: Smithfield: Past, Present and Future by Alec Forshaw

9780719816581Smithfield: Past, Present and Future

Famed throughout the world for its meat market, the Smithfield area of London has a long and turbulent history. Originally a ‘smooth field’ lying just beyond the City wall, over the years Smithfield has seen riots, public executions and healing. From medieval times it became a centre of industry where tanners, slaughterers, glue-makers and dyers assembled. Largely untouched by either the Great Fire of 1666 or the 1940s Blitz, its streets preserve some of London’s most ancient institutions.

In Smithfield: Past and Present, over one hundred illustrations and photographs trace the development of the area from Roman times to the present. The book records the growth of the notorious cattle market, the gaiety of the Bartholomew Fair, the history of the palace of the Bishops of Ely, medieval tournaments, crime and punishment, and the bawdy life of Cock Lane, one of London’s earliest ‘red-light’ districts.

Written by an architect and former town planner, this third edition looks at the people, history and buildings in this vibrant part of London, and considers the inevitable impact of Crossrail.

Alec Forshaw has always been interested by buildings and places. His fascination for the history and character of London life has led to him writing a number of books on the subject. As a former Conservation Officer for the Borough of Islington, he is especially well qualified to produce this third edition of Smithfield: Past and Present.

Buy your copy of Smithfield: Past, Present and Future here.

New non-fiction: The Origins of English Surnames by Joslin Fiennes

9780719816529The Origins of English Surnames

Surnames carry the history of people in a very personal way. In England surnames were mostly established by the end of the fourteenth century – by ordinary people, for ordinary people. Uniquely, surnames describe medieval lives not captured by any other record. They tell us what these people did, where they went, what they noticed and give clues about their culture and memories.

This book examines the origins of English surnames, looking at: occupational names, locational names, or names that record places, nicknames  and personal names, names from the Continent and symbolic names.

Where genealogists and etymologists focus on single names, this book takes groups of names and explores what these say about the society that created them.

In The Origins of English Surnames you will find the English people at a key moment in history, revealing the way they spoke, the jokes they made,  and their memories of ancient cultures – all at a time when land-based feudalism was crumbling and people sought better lives.

Joslin Fiennes has an academic background in languages and economics, both of which inspired the idea of this book. She worked initially as a freelance writer in Africa before moving to the United States and becoming an economist, working on countries in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Since returning to the UK, Joslin has been a magistrate and school governor.

Buy your copy of The Origins of English Surnames here.

New non-fiction: The British Wildlife Year by Dominic Couzens

9780719811852The British Wildlife Year

In this unique book Dominic Couzens provides a precise record of what happens in the natural world in Britain for each week of the year.

What sets this book apart from other wildlife books is that it includes individual ‘diaries’ for all the common animals, from foxes, badgers and hedgehogs to blue tits and honey bees.

The book also covers aquatic life, from stickleback spawn to salmon, as well as plants, including the best time to pick blackberries. The author includes monthly highlights of what to look out for and where, including where to see the best wildlife events and displays.

From the best time to view the flowering of a bluebell wood to understanding the secretive ‘flower dance’ of bees, the book illustrates and explains the natural world around us. With tips and suggestions on places to visit and activities to take part in, this is an engaging book for all wildlife enthusiasts.

The British Wildlife Year is as absorbing and surprising as the wildlife that it describes.

Dominic Couzens is one of Britain’s best known writers on birds and wildlife. He has produced numerous books, including The Secret Lives of Garden Birds, Extreme Birds, The Secret Lives of Garden Wildlife and the travel memoir My Family and 50 Other Animals. His last book for Robert Hale was A Patch Made in Heaven (2012). He has often been involved in television programmes both as a consultant and on-screen, including BBC Autumnwatch, Snowwatch and The Animals’ Guide to Britain.

Buy your copy of The British Wildlife Year here.

New non-fiction: Mario Lanza: A Life in Pictures by Derek Mannering

9780719817991Mario Lanza: A Life in Pictures

Mario Lanza: A Life in Pictures is a stunning collection of photographs and illustrations that captures the fabulous and tumultuous times of the greatest romantic tenor of the twentieth century.

Compiled by acclaimed Lanza biographer Derek Mannering and drawing on exclusive photographs from the tenor’s closest friend, Terry Robinson, the book offers an unrivalled pictorial history of the tenor’s extraordinary life and career, from his childhood in Philadelphia, his first tentative steps towards a career in opera, the unexpected about-turn that led to his glory days in Hollywood, and on to his sudden and tragic death in Rome in 1959.

Complementing the rare photographs is Derek Mannering’s authoritative and compelling narrative together with personal comments by Terry Robinson throughout. The book concludes with an afterword by Mario Lanza’s daughter, Ellisa Lanza Bregman.

Few careers in show business have been as colourful or as controversial as Mario Lanza’s. Groomed for a professional life on the operatic stage, Lanza was instead waylaid by Hollywood where, in films like The Great Caruso, he thrilled movie-goers with his magnificent voice and dazzling personality. His films and recordings were highly influential in shaping the careers of countless young opera singers and to this day Lanza continues to be seen as the crossover artist supreme.

Derek Mannering was born in Dublin, Ireland, and currently lives in the USA. He is the author of Mario Lanza: Singing to the Gods, also published by Robert Hale.

Buy your copy of Mario Lanza: A Life in Pictures here.

New fiction (Buried River Press): Squeezed by David Atkinson

Squeezed CMYKSqueezed

If your wife organized a threesome for you on your honeymoon, what would you do?

Scott is shocked by his wife Hannah’s suggestion, but hesitantly agrees to go along with it. Back home, both feel a little guilty about their encounter with a Thai prostitute called Marilyn, but soon put it behind them when they discover Hannah is pregnant. They must both fight to keep their family together when Marilyn turns up on their doorstep, six months pregnant, and Scott comes to realize that in life there is often a price to pay for indiscretion. Squeezed is a story about family, and how sometimes we don’t appreciate what we’ve got until it’s gone.

David Atkinson

David Atkinson was born in Glasgow, but now enjoys a hectic life in Edinburgh with his wife and two young daughters. His adopted city provides him with much of his writing inspiration; enjoying particularly the areas of Portobello, Newhaven and Duddingston. His first novel Love Byte was also published by Robert Hale and has been shortlisted for the Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year Award 2015 by the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Find out more about David and his books by visiting www.davidatkinsonauthor.com

Praise for Love Byte

Shortlisted for the Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year Award 2015 by the Romantic Novelists’ Association

‘A story with laugh out loud moments, heart rending events and a nice easy flowing style’ –Trip Fiction

‘Anyone who likes their romance with a touch of realism and not too much syrup will adore this book’ –Read Reviewed

Buy your copy of Squeezed here.

New fiction (Buried River Press): Cicely’s Sovereign Secret by Sandra Heath Wilson

Cicely's Sovereign Secret CMYKCicely’s Sovereign Secret

Lancastrian King Henry VII has a dark secret, a secret that his Yorkist foe, Jack de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, is determined to discover. But Jack is killed by Henry’s uncle, Viscount Welles. For Lady Cicely Plantagenet, this is a double tragedy, because Jack is her adored cousin and passionate lover, and Jon Welles is her treasured husband.

Cicely is once again lured into danger and intrigue in the royal court and in the streets of London. She does not know who is truly a friend, and who is an enemy. Above all she does not know Henry’s secret, a matter so heinous it could topple him from the throne.

Sandra Heath Wilson

Sandra was born in South Wales, but spent a great deal of her childhood in Ulster and Germany. She has lived in Gloucestershire since marrying forty years ago. Her other books, also published by Robert Hale, include her Regency novels The Makeshift Marriage, Lady Jane’s Ribbons and Hide and Seek.

‘Cicely was really brought to life, with her heart and soul bursting from the pages.’ – Novelicious

‘Beautifully told, heart-wrenching at times, joyous at others…impeccable research coupled with outstanding detail and intense dialogue truly bring the 15th century alive in the reader’s mind.’ – Historical Novel Review

Buy your copy of Cicely’s Sovereign Secret here.

New fiction titles

9780719817403Avalon Castle by Rosemary Craddock

Avalon Castle is a disturbing place. Built by eccentric Ambrose
Blackwood, and inhabited by the rest of his extended dysfunctional
family, it holds some dark secrets. Rachel visits her half-sister in the Christmas of 1867, finding a house of family feuding, hauntings and disappearances. Ambrose and his brother Nikolas are unnerving hosts, and any chance of festivity is destroyed when a member of the household suddenly dies. Questions begin to pile up: who are the strange Blackwood family, and what skeletons are hiding in their vast Gothic house? With neighbour William Norton’s help, Rachel tries to prove her suspicions of foul play, and get out of the castle alive.

Rosemary Craddock was born in Staffordshire and has lived there
most of her life. She has been writing since childhood and has
published many novels, most of them set in the nineteenth century and
full of mystery, romance and intrigue. Her previous novel The
Lovegrove Hermit was published by Robert Hale in 2013.

Buy your copy of Avalon Castle here.

9780719817571Dark Powers by Raymond Haigh

In freeing a young girl from a secure children’s unit, special agent Samantha Quest is taking on the most powerful men in the country. The sixteen year-old girl has filmed an incident on her mobile phone which could bring down the government. The girl is Annushka Dvoskin, daughter of a powerful Russian oligarch. Unknown to Samantha, his enemies dispatch a team of hitmen to murder her and her charge. In this novel of wealth and corruption, the great and the privileged will do anything to protect their power. As the killers race to find the girls, Samantha and Annushka must outwit them.

Raymond Haigh was born in Doncaster where he went on to work in local government design departments. He is married with four children and seven grandchildren.

Buy your copy of Dark Powers here.

9780719817410Deep Waters by Ann Cliff

Industry in Yorkshire is booming and the cities are expanding.
Which of the rural valleys is doomed to be flooded next to quench
the cities’ thirst? Rachel Garnett is determined to fight against
engineer Roger Beckwith and his plans for a reservoir that will
engulf Firby valley. Firby Hall, where Rachel works, will be demolished when the reservoir is built. She convinces the owner not to sell, but when he dies, sole heir Guy Potts looks set to ruin Rachel’s careful work. Rachel must fight on, before her home is destroyed.

Ann Cliff was born in Yorkshire and brought up in a farming family.
Despite currently living in Australia, she writes frequently about
nineteenth century Yorkshire and her previous novels, which include
Summer by the Sea, Poacher’s Moon and Raven’s Gold, are also
published by Robert Hale.

Buy your copy of Deep Waters here.

9780719817052Moorland Mist by Gwen Kirkwood

Emma Greig has seen little of the world when she leaves school at
fourteen to become a maid at Bonnybrae Farm. The Sinclair family
in turn welcome and reject her: Maggie is kind and warm, and her
brothers Jim and William tease Emma. Mrs Sinclair, disturbed by
her children’s friendship with the maid, resolves to remind Emma of her place. When Emma and William form a close bond, unforeseen circumstances force Emma to be sent away, and William banished from the farm he loves. Will their connection be strong enough to reunite them?

Gwen Kirkwood was born, and educated, in Yorkshire but moved to
Scotland to work. After meeting her husband, a Scottish dairy farmer,
she has spent most of her adult life north of the Border. Gwen has
three children and six grandchildren. With a background in farming
she has also written many family sagas and also romantic fiction
novels. Another Home, Another Love, Darkest Before the Dawn and
Beyond Reason are also published by Robert Hale.

Buy your copy of Moorland Mist here.

New non-fiction: Marathon Training by Nikalas Cook

Marathon Training: Get to The Start Line Strong and Injury-Free

9780719817632

Each year, thousands of people are inspired to don their running shoes and take on the challenge of a marathon. But on the road to the finish line many marathon hopefuls fall by the wayside, struck down by injury. Largely to blame are plans that are too running intensive or that don’t prepare the body for running and ignore correct technique.

In this book, published for the first time in paperback, Nikalas Cook adopts a cross-training approach to running. Into his plan he incorporates functional strength training, complementary activities such as cycling and swimming, and only three focused running sessions per week to deliver you to the finish line 100% prepared and injury-free. In 28 weeks, you can go from being a complete non-runner, through your first 5k, 10k or half-marathon, and finally on to success in the full 26.2 miles of the marathon.

‘I decided to do the Marathon des Sables. Nik Cook trained me, and despite a long history of late nights, smoking and drinking, I don’t think I could have been better prepared. At the start line the other competitors laughed at me, but at the finish line some were conspicuously absent. Cook has a global, holistic and highly intelligent view of fitness. I revere him and am eternally grateful. He is, ‘The Man’.’ Kate Spicer, journalist & TV presenter

‘Nik’s balanced and varied approach meant I stayed injury-free throughout all of my training…  His technical knowledge of training methods, nutrition, motivation and human physiology is truly impressive.’ Ramez Sousou (Founder and co-CEO of TowerBrook Capital Partners)

Nikalas Cook

Nikalas Cook is a writer and coach who specializes in health, fitness, endurance and adventure sports. Having studied a postgraduate degree in Health and Exercise Science, he worked as a top personal trainer in London. As well as completing marathons, triathlons, ultra-marathons and other endurance challenges, he’s successfully trained clients to achieve their own endurance goals, including four successful Marathon des Sables (150-mile race in the Moroccan Sahara) clients.

Nikalas knows what constructing and implementing a safe and effective training plan involves, the kit needed, the nitty-gritty questions that always get asked and, most importantly, how to get you to the start line fit, strong and injury-free.

Buy your copy of Marathon Training here