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Rita Bradshaw was born in Northamptonshire, where she still lives today. At the age of sixteen she met her husband - whom she considers her soulmate - and they have two daughters and a son and four young grandchildren. In any spare moments she loves walking her dogs, reading, eating out and visiting the cinema and theatre, as well as being involved in her local church and animal welfare.
An only child, fifteen-year-old Angeline Stewart is heartbroken when her beloved parents are killed in a coaching accident and she is given into the care of her uncle. Naive and innocent, Angeline is easy prey for the handsome and ruthless Oswald Golding who is looking for a rich heiress to solve the money troubles his gambling and womanizing has caused. On her wedding night, Angeline enters a nightmare from which there is no awakening. Oswald proves to be more sadistic and violent than she could ever have imagined. On learning she is expecting a child, Angeline makes plans to run away and take her chances fending for herself and her baby. But then tragedy takes over ...
On her deathbed, Lucy Fallow's mother makes her twelve-year-old daughter promise to look after her four younger siblings and keep house for her father and two older brothers. When the Fallow menfolk lose their jobs they take work wherever they can. But it's not long before they are working on the wrong side of the law and under the watchful eye of Tom McKenzie. Meanwhile, through the hardship Lucy begins to form a relationship with Jacob McKenzie, the boy next door, and one evening they dance cheek to cheek in the moonlight and know that one day they will marry. However, as their love grows so does the resentment from Jacob's older brother Tom. He has had his eye on Lucy for years and has never understood why she doesn't fall for him like all the other girls her age. Now he knows why -- his brother already has her heart. What follows is a chain of heart-breaking events where Jacob and Lucy are torn from each other's arms. Will they ever dance in the Moonlight again ...?
From the top-ten bestselling author of One Snowy Night, Rita Bradshaw, comes The Winter Rose, a sweeping family saga set in the north of England. It's December 1902 and Rose O'Leary is looking forward to her baby girl's first Christmas. But then tragedy strikes: her husband dies at the shipyard where he works and within days his friend, Nathaniel, makes it plain he's determined to have her. Rose flees with her child, but soon finds the world is a cruel place for a beautiful woman with no protection. More tragedy ensues and yet, although she's bruised and broken, Rose is a fighter. Then, when she least expects it, love enters her life again, but she cannot escape her past and now it threatens not only her happiness but her very life. Will she ever find a safe haven?
From the top-ten bestselling author of One Snowy Night, Rita Bradshaw, comes The Storm Child, a sweeping family saga set during the run up to WW2 in the north-east of England. It's mid-winter, and in the throes of a fierce blizzard Elsie Redfern and her husband discover an unknown girl in their hay barn about to give birth. After the young mother dies, Elsie takes the infant in and raises her as her own daughter, her precious storm child. Gina grows into a beautiful little girl, but her safe haven turns out to be anything but. Torn away from her home and family, the child finds herself in a nightmare from which there's no waking, but despite her misery and bewilderment, Gina's determined to survive. Years pass. With womanhood comes the Second World War, along with more heartbreak, grief and betrayal. Then, a new but dangerous love beckons; can Gina ever escape the dark legacy of the storm child?
All she wants is a better life... Born in Sunderland's filthy, crime-ridden East End, Pearl Croft's childhood is desperately troubled. When her violent, drunken father is killed in a fight and Pearl's elder brothers are sent to prison, she is left to care for her baby brothers. Then Pearl's mother brings a 'client' to the house who has a penchant for little girls. Terrified and hurt, Pearl runs away from home and is found, feverish and near death, by Romany gypsies. But this is far from the end of her struggles. Years pass and as Pearl reaches womanhood she wonders if she will ever find happiness?
From the top-ten bestselling author of Beneath a Frosty Moon, Rita Bradshaw, comes One Snowy Night, a sweeping family saga set between the two world wars in the north-east of England. It's 1922 and the Depression is just beginning to rear its head in Britain, but Ruby Morgan is about to marry her childhood sweetheart and nothing can mar her happiness. Or so she thinks. An unimaginable betrayal by those she loves causes her to flee her home and family one snowy night. Crushed and heartbroken, Ruby vows that despite the odds stacked against her she will not only survive, but one day will show the ones she left behind that she's succeeded in making something of herself. Brave words, but the reality is far from easy. Dangers Ruby could never have foreseen and more tragedy threaten her new life, and love always seems just out of reach. Can a happy ending ever be hers?
From the top-ten bestselling author of Snowflakes in the Wind comes a heart-breaking saga set in WWII Britain. In Rita Bradshaw's Beneath a Frosty Moon, it's 1940 and Britain is at war with Germany. For Cora Stubbs and her younger siblings this means being evacuated to the safety of the English countryside. But little does Cora know that Hitler's bombs are nothing compared to the danger she will face in her new home, and she is forced to grow up fast. However, Cora is a fighter and she strives to carve out a new life for herself and her siblings. Time passes, and in the midst of grief and loss she falls in love, but what other tragedies lie around the corner? As womanhood beckons, can Cora ever escape her troubled past and the lost love who continues to haunt her dreams and cast shadows over her days?
A Winter Love Song is a heartwarming and moving story of survival and love from bestselling author Rita Bradshaw. Bonnie Lindsay is born into a travelling fair community in the north-east in 1918, and when her mother dies just months later, Bonnie's beloved father becomes everything to her. Then at the tender age of ten years old, disaster strikes. Heartbroken, Bonnie's left at the mercy of her embittered grandmother and her lecherous step-grandfather. Five years later, the events of one terrible night cause Bonnie to flee to London where she starts to earn her living as a singer. She changes her name and cuts all links with the past. Time passes. Bonnie falls in love, but just when she dares to hope for a rosy future, the Second World War is declared. She does her bit for the war effort, singing for the troops and travelling to Burma to boost morale, but heartache and pain are just around the corner, and she begins to ask herself if she will ever find happiness again?
Snowflakes in the Wind is a heartwarming story of triumph over adversity by Rita Bradshaw, author of the number one bestselling Dancing in the Moonlight. It's Christmas Eve 1920 when nine-year-old Abby Kirby's family is ripped apart by a terrible tragedy. Leaving everything she's ever known, Abby takes her younger brother and runs away to the tough existence of the Border farming community. Years pass. Abby becomes a beautiful young woman and falls in love, but her past haunts her, casting dark shadows. Furthermore, in the very place she's taken refuge is someone who wishes her harm. With her heart broken, Abby decides to make a new life as a nurse. When the Second World War breaks out, she volunteers as a QA nurse and is sent overseas. However, life takes another unexpected and dangerous turn when she becomes a prisoner of the Japanese. It is then that Abby realizes that whatever has gone before is nothing compared to what lies ahead . . .
Set in the tumultous times of World War II, The Colours of Love by Rita Bradshaw is a story of a capable and resourceful woman who proves that nothing is stronger than a mother's love. Can love survive when all is lost? England is at war, but nothing can dim land girl Esther Wynford's happiness at marrying the love of her life - fighter pilot Monty Grant. Their short honeymoon results in a baby, but on the birth of her daughter, Joy, Esther's world falls apart. Esther's dying mother confesses to a dark secret that she has kept to herself for twenty years: Esther is not her natural daughter but the result of an exchange of babies after her own child was stillborn. Esther's real mother was forced to give up her baby to an orphanage by her furious family who were incensed about the unsuitability of their daughter's lover, and Joy's birth makes the reason clear. Harshly rejected by Monty, and with the man Esther believed was her father breathing fire and damnation, she takes her precious baby and leaves everything and everyone she's ever known, determined to fend for herself and her child. But her fight is just beginning . . .
Each day brings a new beginning... Her mother's death in childbirth leaves Sophy Hutton at the mercy of her cruel aunt and uncle, and her childhood is brutal. At sixteen, Sophy learns the shocking truth behind her birth and escapes to London to pursue a career as an actress, determined to put the past behind her. But life for women at the turn of the century is fraught with danger and Sophy soon discovers the darker side to London's glamorous theatres. Young and innocent, she doesn't recognise the man who really loves her when he appears; instead she is charmed into marrying handsome actor Toby Shawe, a flawed and amoral individual. Then the heartache really begins...
A heartrending tale of two sisters and their quest for a place to belong, from much-loved author Rita Bradshaw. Lily and Sarah Brown's childhood is an unhappy one. Sarah escapes by marrying Ralph Turner, a Sunderland dock worker, but Lily doesn't trust Ralph - a dark volatile man with a hidden cruel streak. When he tries to seduce Lily on his wedding day, her worst fears are confirmed. Ralph's younger brother John is cut from a different cloth, though, and Lily is increasingly drawn to him. But just when Lily sees a future for them, a terrible incident destroys her happiness. Heartbroken, Lily agrees to accompany the family she works for as a nursemaid to New York. As Lily boards RMS Titanic little does she realise that her decision will change the course of her life for ever...
An utterly compelling,dramatic and heartbreaking love story. Following their father's death in a mining accident, sisters Eve, Mary and Nell journey to the Michaelmas fair at Gateshead to be put up for hire - it is that or face the workhouse. Eve, who has looked after her younger sisters since their mother's death, cannot bear the thought of them being separated so she is indebted to innkeeper, Caleb Travis, when he takes pity on her and agrees to hire them all. Over the years, Eve's gratitude towards him turns to love, but Caleb is blind to Eve's feelings as he is infatuated with Mary. It is to take many more years of heartache before he realises his mistake.
With the magic of Catherine Cookson, Rita Bradshaw once again enthrals us with her stunning new novel of love and survival. It's 1926 and the Depression is claiming its victims every day. Hannah and her mother Miriam, who have lived with Hannah's uncle and aunt since her father died, have never really been close. As Hannah develops into a beautiful girl, so Miriam's jealousy and resentment of her grows. At least Hannah can escape to spend time at her friend Naomi's, whose kind mother gives Hannah the affection she so lacks at home. And Hannah is not indifferent to Naomi's handsome, charming brother Joe. But when she is forced to flee her house and the unwanted attention of her uncle, it is the grave, taciturn Jake, Naomi's other brother, who shines through as Hannah's protector...
Hope's just a child when she's orphaned, and as she grows up her dream is always to have a family of her own. And so when she meets and falls in love with Daniel Fallow, son of a successful businessman, she's quick to accept his proposal of his marriage. His family, though, are against the match, and so the young couple marry in secret. Grudging acceptance follows, and as the Depression worsens Daniel is persuaded to join the family business, unaware of his father's dodgy dealings. Tragedy is just around the corner, and worse is to come when war is declared in 1939: as Daniel leaves to fight and her children are evacuated, Hope wonders if she will ever have all her family around her again...
It's 1939 and Abigail Vickers, enjoying her promising new job in an office, is overjoyed when she meets James Benson there and they both fall completely in love. But life for Abby is a constant struggle against her dominant and selfish mother, Nora, who is jealous of Abby's beauty and success. When war breaks out, all their lives change forever. In the furore of patriotism that follows, James signs up and Abby swears to wait for him, joining the land army to do her bit. But when Abby's father is involved in a dreadful accident, a terrible secret that Nora has been carrying for years is revealed, tearing the family apart. After receiving heartbreaking news of James, Abby begins to wonder if she will ever find happiness. Only time will tell if there are better days ahead...
It's 1925 and when Renee McDarmount marries Walter Sutton, Carrie McDarmount is delighted, for the two families have always been close - the children are all similar in age and their fathers work together in the local pit. But an incident on the eve of the wedding leaves Carrie pregnant and desperately ashamed of the secret she now carries. When Harry Sutton, who has always loved Carrie, discovers her plight, he volunteers to marry her and bring up the baby as his own. But their secret will inevitably come out in the end and there is much heartache ahead before Carrie can finally be happy and content with the man she loves.