March 2016 new releases – hot picks!

1 Mar

Here are my ten books to look out for this month:

Plumberry-Part-1-430x669The Plumberry School of Comfort Food Part One: Food, Glorious Food by Cathy Bramley (Transworld March 3rd)

I can’t wait for this to download onto my e-reader on Thursday – guaranteed to be another delicious read from Cathy!

Verity Bloom hasn’t been interested in cooking anything more complicated than the perfect fish finger sandwich, ever since she lost her best friend and baking companion two years ago.

But an opportunity to help a friend is about to land her right back in the heart of the kitchen! The Plumberry School of Comfort Food is due to open in a few weeks’ time and has rather gone off the boil. It needs the kind of great ideas that only Verity could cook up . . .

But as Verity tries to balance stirring up publicity, keeping their top chef sweet and soothing her aching heart, will her move to Plumberry prove to be a sheer delight . . . or a recipe for disaster?

Vigilante by Shelley Harris (W&N March 3rd )vigilante

I love the sound of this book – perfect reading for Mother’s Day on Sunday :-)

For Jenny Pepper, housewife, charity bookshop worker and mum to a stroppy teen, life has become a little boring. She was once an actress, but now spends every day tidying up after other people.

Then, on her way to a party one night, Jenny bravely steps in to save a woman in trouble. Suddenly her world is exciting again – and she’s a hero. As she starts patrolling the streets of her small town, she feels more alive than she has in years. But when a real villain appears, Jenny’s daughter is in danger. Will she tell the police what she knows or go it alone and risk losing everything?

VIGILANTE is about an ordinary woman stuck in a rut – and the extraordinary lengths she’ll go to recapture her life.

madwomanThe Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell (Quercus, March 3rd)

A must read for fans of books, literature and of course, the Bronte sisters – look out for my review on publication day!

Think you know Charlotte, Emily & Anne? Think again. Samantha Whipple is the last remaining descendent of the illustrious Brontë family, of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre fame. After losing her father, a brilliant author in his own right, it is up to Samantha to piece together the mysterious family inheritance lurking somewhere in her past – yet the only clues she has at her disposal are the Brontë’s own novels. With the aid of her handsome but inscrutable Oxford tutor, Samantha must repurpose the tools of literature to unearth an untold family legacy, and in the process, finds herself face to face with what may be literature’s greatest secret.

The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin (Macmillan Children’s Books, March 10th)the thing about jellyfish

This sounds like a wonderfully quirky and poignant read and what a beautiful cover.

It’s peculiar how no-words can be better than words. How silence can say more than noise, or a person’s absence can occupy even more space than their presence did.

Suzy is 12 when her best friend, Franny, drowns one summer at the beach. It takes two days for the news to reach Suzy, and it’s not something that she can accept: Franny has always been a strong swimmer, from the day they met in swim class when they were just 5. How can someone all of a sudden, just no longer be there?

Suzy realizes that they must have got it wrong: Franny didn’t just drown – she was stung by a poisonous jellyfish. This makes a lot more sense to Suzy’s logical mind than a random drowning – cause: a jellyfish sting; effect: death.

Suzy’s journey to acceptance is quiet – she resolves to either say something important, or say nothing at all. But it’s also bursting with bittersweet humour, heart-breaking honesty, big ideas and small details.

song-of-the-skylark-326Song of the Skylark by Erica James (Orion, 10th March)

This is Erica’s twentieth novel – look out for my stop on her special celebratory blog tour later in the month.

Lizzie has always had an unfortunate knack of attracting bad luck, but this time she’s hit the jackpot. Losing her heart to her boss leads to her losing her job, and with no money in the bank, Lizzie finds herself forced to move back home with her parents. When she reluctantly takes another job, she meets Mrs Dallimore, a seemingly ordinary elderly woman with an astonishing past . . .

Now in her nineties, Mrs Dallimore is also coming to terms with her situation. Old age is finally catching up with her. As she and Lizzie form the bond of unexpected friendship, Mrs Dallimore tells the story of a young girl who left America before the outbreak of World War Two and, in crossing an ocean, found herself embarking on a new life she couldn’t have imagined.

As Lizzie listens to Mrs Dallimore, she begins to realise that she’s not the only person to attract bad luck, and that sometimes life has a way of surprising you .

The Ship by Antonia Honeywell (W&N 10th March)the ship

I love the paperback cover for this book – it’s so striking and the premise has me very intrigued!

Welcome to London, but not as you know it. Oxford Street burned for three weeks; Regent’s Park has been bombed; the British Museum is occupied by those with nowhere else to go.

Lalla has grown up sheltered from the chaos, but now she’s sixteen, her father decides it’s time to use their escape route – a ship big enough to save five hundred people. Once on board, as day follows identical day, Lalla’s unease grows. Where are they going? What does her father really want? What is the price of salvation?

bucket listThe Bucket List To Mend A Broken Heart by Anna Bell (Zaffre Publishing, 10th March)

This sounds like such a fun romantic comedy read.

Abi’s barely left her bed since Joseph, the love of her life, dumped her, saying they were incompatible. When Joseph leaves a box of her possessions on her doorstep, she finds a bucket list of ten things she never knew he wanted to do. What better way to win him back than by completing the list, and proving they’re a perfect match? But there’s just one problem – or rather, ten. Abi’s not exactly the outdoorsy type, and she’s absolutely terrified of heights – not ideal for a list that includes climbing a mountain, cycling around the Isle of Wight and, last but not least, abseiling down the tallest building in town …Completing the list is going to need all Abi’s courage – and a lot of help from her friends. But as she heals her broken heart one task at a time, the newly confident Abi might just have a surprise in store …

A Girl’s Guide to Moving On by Debbie Macomber (Arrow, 10th March)moving on

A new Debbie Macomber book is always a treat and I’m looking forward to reading this one!

How do you move on after your life has fallen apart?

When Leanne and her daughter-in-law Nichole went through divorces at the same time, they compiled a list to help them move on from the heartbreak. Now, two years on, these unlikely best friends have managed to pick up the pieces, and love is on the cards for both of them.

Leanne’s friendship with Nikolai, one of her language students, has deepened into something more meaningful. And Nichole has finally allowed herself to trust a man again. Rocco is the complete opposite of her ex-husband, and though he’s a little rough around the edges, he has a heart of gold.

But just when it seems they’ve figured it all out, life throws up more challenges, putting their hard-won contentment at risk…

Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel by Jane Costello (Simon and Schuster, 24th March)

Dancing and moonlight and love and romance – I’m so looking forward to reading this book!

Learn to dance at The Moonlight Hotel, in the most romantic place in Britain…Beginners and singles welcome.

The Moonlight Hotel sits on the shore of England’s best-loved lake, Windermere, exuding vintage glamour. And in its ballroom weekly dance classes promise evenings filled with music, friends and fancy(ish) footwork.

When Lauren agrees to sign up, it’s because she loves the building so much; it holds the key to her most precious childhood memories and she always dreamed of dancing the night away under its roof. Even her newly single friends Cate and Emily aren’t going for the men, they’re going for the fun – although a little romance wouldn’t hurt …

Then comes the news that the hotel has been sold to a faceless budget chain, which has devastating plans in store. And the revelation that marks the start of a chain of events – both on and off the dance floor – that puts the strength of their friendship to the ultimate test …

The Last Queen of India by Michelle Moran (Quercus, 24th March)last queen

This sounds like just my sort of historical fiction!

1857, India.

At nineteen years old, Sita is the shining star of Queen Lakshmi of India’s imperial guard, having pledged herself to a life of celibacy in the name of protecting the young ruler.

When Sita agrees to train Lakshmi in the art of military combat, a close friendship develops between the two women. But trouble soon threatens – Lakshmi’s court is dangerously divided and rumours are rife that the country is at risk. Meanwhile, in London, advisors to Queen Victoria are looking to extend the power of the Commonwealth, and India is coveted as the next jewel in the imperial crown.

In the ensuing battle, will the bond between Lakshmi and Sita be broken for ever?

 

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