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Looking to try something new? Check out our Debuts of the Month selection. You never know, one might become your favourite new author and a special discovery!
March 2010 Debut of the Month. As colourful as the country of which she writes, Trinidad and Tobago; as lusty as her protagonist, Celia, a girl who cannot see how she attracts men and suffers for the sex appeal she exudes. There is a lyrical lilt to the prose that sings through as Celia tries to make a life for herself. A lovely book. Comparison: James Scudamore (The Amnesia Clinic), Mari Strachan (The Earth Hums in B flat), Gaile Parkin (Baking Cakes in Kigali).
January 2013 Debut of the Month and eBook of the Month. This is a remarkable debut novel, vivid and evocative and perfectly capturing the troubled lives of a group of super privileged teens in the Reagan era. One reviewer in the US called it a ‘distant cousin of the Great Gatsby’ and this stylish novel will have great appeal for fans of American fiction in the vein of The Secret History by Donna Tartt.
February 2009 Debut of the Month. A sweeping family drama crossing three generations of women from the second world war through to the present day. Great characters, intriguing plot lines and plenty of romance.
Unashamedly romantic stuff. Becca is setting up men with the brides of their dreams, all in the most discreet and subtle manner of course, then suddenly finds herself with a female client, Sam, who wants Becca to find a groom for her. Fed up with the dating scene herself, Becca agrees but soon finds maybe she is not so fed up with men as she thought. Romantic and funny, treat yourself.Comparison: Chris Manby, Kate Harrison, Sophie Kinsella.
April 2017 Debut of the Month. A clever, convincing, and unexpected tale. 13 year old Julie Whitaker was kidnapped from her bedroom eight years ago, her sister, mother and father, have been unable to move past that dreadful night, however a shock wave hits, blasting them all back into the present. Different names head up the chapters, different tales are told, only Mum speaks in the first person, creating a direct connection to her thoughts and feelings. Amy Gentry writes with a devious pen, things aren’t necessarily hidden, yet a cage of acceptance and preconception bends emotions and rattles ideas, just what is the truth? Even if you expect some of what is hurtling towards you, the writing still ensures that surprises lie in wait, ready to stop you in your tracks. Compelling and achingly satisfying, ‘Good As Gone’ thoroughly provokes, and flings endings and beginnings on their head. ~ Liz Robinson
A murder-mystery with some nice twists and although the final one is easily guessable, it was satisfying discovering that I was right. See what you think. Clara, our reclusive heroine, enjoys her work preparing the dead for their loved ones and families to view. She is still haunted by memories of an unidentified and horribly murdered child whom she prepared a few years ago. The crime was never solved and the death of an apparently innocent man now reopens the case. What ensues has echoes of The Lovely Bones to it. Atmospheric and dark, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable read and a highly accomplished first novel. Comparison: Alice Sebold, Jodi Picoult, Kim Edwards.
Shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2011. Ten years after 9/11, this dazzling, kaleidoscopic novel reimagines its aftermath. A jury gathers in Manhattan to select a memorial for the victims of a devastating terrorist attack. Their fraught deliberations complete, the jurors open the envelope containing the anonymous winner's name - and discover he is an American Muslim. Instantly they are cast into roiling debate about the claims of grief, the ambiguities of art, and the meaning of Islam. Their conflicted response is only a preamble to the country's. The memorial's designer is an enigmatic, ambitious architect named Mohammad Khan. His fiercest defender on the jury is its sole widow, the self-possessed and mediagenic Claire Burwell. But when the news of his selection leaks to the press, she finds herself under pressure from outraged family members and in collision with hungry journalists, wary activists, opportunistic politicians, fellow jurors, and Khan himself - as unknowable as he is gifted. In the fight for both advantage and their ideals, all will bring the emotional weight of their own histories to bear on the urgent question of how to remember, and understand, a national tragedy.
February 2015 Debut of the Month. A quite slow-moving tale of some old folk in Russia which may not be action-packed but it is certainly observation packed. Set about twenty years ago it is frequently damning of the country. Once glorious buildings are now damp, run-down and cold and anyone with any power (that includes the railway booking clerk) is mean and nasty. Bureaucracy is everywhere, queues, corruption and bribery abound. In this bleak work we meet an old lady, her stray three-legged dog Boroda, her best friend of some forty years, an ancient admirer, a sweet lively woman and the evil dog catcher! Both dog and admirer get caught and the ladies jump to the rescue. A gentle tale with bags of charm. How this novel came to be published is also a heartwarming tale. It was submitted to the publisher HarperCollins without an agent, during an 'open submission' period in April 2013. The author, Andrea Bennett, had previously submitted her manuscript to a dozen agents without luck before hearing of HarperCollins’s open submission period. It was then picked up from among those manuscripts submitted and eventually published in February 2015.
March 2016 Debut of the Month and eBook of the Month. ‘Three In A Bed’ is a fast moving, immensely enjoyable and riveting tale set during the summer of 2014 when the phone hacking scandal was front page news. Romping through the heady and fascinating world of newspapers, this work of fiction focuses on the people behind the headlines. Sam runs a Sunday newspaper and is ready to splash the details of a sordid affair all over the front page, however all is not as it seems, as the plot thickens and tension increases, danger lurks just around the corner. Every change of day is heralded by actual newspaper headlines, not just an eyebrow raising and amusing aside, they are a reminder of the power of words and what it is that sells newspapers. It feels as though Andrew Croker has intimate knowledge of this arena, he throws you right into the middle of the gobsmacking action and keeps you there. This is a thrilling and believable tale, set in what feels like a very, very real world. ~ Liz Robinson Unbound is not a traditional publishing house but is a new way to connect authors and readers. Authors present a pitch, you pledge, and when the goal is reached the book is published. It's really that simple. Three in a Bed is one of these ever-growing number of titles and in addition has been selected by the Lovereading editorial experts for review on Lovereading.co.uk. Why not check out Unbound now and see if there are any titles you would like to pledge your interest to - unbound.co.uk/books/three-in-a-bed. A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'By the time you reach the end of Andrew Croker’s brilliant debut thriller, you wonder why there aren’t whole shelves of novels featuring tabloid journalists. Sam Plummer, the embattled editor of a post-Leveson red-top, smashes the negative stereotypes. He’s a genuine hero: resourceful, smart and full of self-deprecating humour and we can’t help but cheer him on as he rediscovers – despite the surrounding murk and sleaze – a fierce commitment to nailing the truth. Delivering a whip-smart and frequently hilarious confection of stings, spies, honey traps and Costa criminals, Croker plays a blinder, taking the news headlines and transforming them into a sophisticated and deeply satisfying page-turner.' ~ John Mitchinson, Unbound
July 2009 Debut of the Month. James Bond and Jason Bourne better hope they don’t meet ex Royal Navy intelligence officer David Trevellyan, the new character created by Birmingham born novelist Andrew Grant, as they would be in serious trouble. But if you like reading explosive edge of the seat action adventure then you will be happy you found him. This is a rocket ride of a thriller and it’s only a debut!
One of our Books of the Year 2016. Shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Fiction and Breakthrough Author Awards 2016. May 2016 Debut of the Month. Winner of Book of the Year at the British Book Industry Awards 2016. Winner of the Costa First Novel Award 2015. Perhaps it's the sheets of rain which fall continuously on The Loney, that " wild and useless length of English coastline", a "strange nowhere between the Wyre and the Lune where Hanny and I went every Easter time with Mummer, Farther, Mr and Mrs Belderboss and Father Wilfred, the parish priest", but I've not read so chilling a horror novel for years. The setting for an Easter-time Catholic pilgrimage for Andrew Michael Hurley's teenage narrator, his mentally handicapped brother and a motley collection of parishioners, the dread builds slowly but inexorably, as strange movements from creepy locals start to intrude on the religious retreat, and it becomes clear that while some might be looking "for God in the emerging springtime", others are on the trail of something entirely different. A truly eerie, captivating read, as mysterious and disturbing as its foggy, wet, bleak location. Masterfully pulled off. ~ Alison Flood One of our Books of the Year 2015. "The Loney is not just good. It's great... an amazing piece of fiction." Stephen King Costa Judges' comment: “We all agreed this book is as close to the perfect first novel as you can get.”
This is a delicious book! I loved every minute of its magical story-telling and found it difficult to put down. Andrew Nicoll succeeds in creating a vivid and atmospheric portrayal of the town of Dot, in an unspecified part of the Baltic, where the mayor, Tibo Krovic is in love with his secretary, Mrs. Agathe Stopak. The reader becomes totally involved in these two characters’ lives. Agathe has suffered the anguish of the death of her baby, and the subsequent rejection of her husband. Tibo Krovic nurses a secret passion for Agathe which in turn delights and torments him. Their developing relationship is full of complications, misunderstandings, humour, pain and pleasure. The story is deeply human and emotionally strikes a chord but it also has flights of fantasy and magic which create a fable-like atmosphere. A gem of a novel and a real pleasure to read. It is the author’s first, but I hope there will be more!
Fabulous First-time Fiction
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