Last night I was privileged to attend a super event; Headline Books’ #NewVoices2019, at Carmelite House in London. Having read three of these brilliant books already I knew it was going to be a good evening but it surpassed my expectations. It was disappointing that Dominic Nolan couldn’t attend, but the other five authors more than made up for it!
Lovely Hannah Beckerman introduced our authors. I know Hannah won’t mind me saying that she has her own debut novel, If Only I could Tell You coming from Orion on 21st February, which is available for pre-order through these links and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a copy just as soon as I can.
If Only I Could Tell You
Audrey’s family has fallen apart. Her two grown-up daughters, Jess and Lily, are estranged, and her two teenage granddaughters have never been allowed to meet. A secret that echoes back thirty years has splintered the family in two, but is also the one thing keeping them connected.
As tensions reach breaking point, the irrevocable choice that one of them made all those years ago is about to surface. After years of secrets and silence, how can one broken family find their way back to each other?
After Hannah had interviewed our authors and we’d been given the opportunity to ask questions it was time to mingle, chat and enjoy a drink or two. It was lovely to meet Harriet Tyce, Richard Lumsden and Sarah Davis-Goff because I have so enjoyed their books. I’d have loved to meet Emily and Rhik directly too, but with a specific train to catch to transport me back to Lincolnshire I had to dash off. I didn’t even get chance to sign up to the Roof Top Book Club newsletter so I shall be chasing that up today.
Let me tell you a little bit about the books featured.
The #NewVoices2019 Books
Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce
Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…
Just one more night. Then I’ll end it.
Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.
I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.
Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.
I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.
But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….
The Girl in the Letter by Emily Gunnis
A heartbreaking letter. A girl locked away. A mystery to be solved.
1956. When Ivy Jenkins falls pregnant she is sent in disgrace to St Margaret’s, a dark, brooding house for unmarried mothers. Her baby is adopted against her will. Ivy will never leave.
Present day. Samantha Harper is a journalist desperate for a break. When she stumbles on a letter from the past, the contents shock and move her. The letter is from a young mother, begging to be rescued from St Margaret’s. Before it is too late.
Sam is pulled into the tragic story and discovers a spate of unexplained deaths surrounding the woman and her child. With St Margaret’s set for demolition, Sam has only hours to piece together a sixty-year-old mystery before the truth, which lies disturbingly close to home, is lost for ever…
Read her letter. Remember her story…
The Girl in the Letter is available for purchase through these links. I was delighted to come away with a copy of The Girl in the Letter in my goody bag.
I Never Said I Loved You by Rhik Samadder
So new (as Rhik hasn’t quite finished writing it fully so please don’t take this cover picture as the final version – I took it on my phone!) I don’t have other details to share except I Never Said I Loved You announces the arrival of a funny, raw and powerful new voice on the subject of depression, masculinity and coming-of-age.
A hilarious and deeply effective memoir from a man who opened up for the first time on an unlikely backpacking trip with his mother in Thailand …
(And my goodness does that sound an interesting place to start after what was said yesterday evening!)
Last Ones Left Alive by Sarah Davis-Goff
Remember your Just-In-Cases. Beware Tall Buildings. Watch Your Six
Raised by her mother and Maeve on Slanbeg, an island off the west coast of Ireland, Orpen has a childhood of love, rockpools and stories by the fireside. But the stories grow darker, and the training begins. Ireland has been devoured by a ravening menace known as the skrake, and though Slanbeg is safe for now, the women must always be ready to run, or to fight.
When Maeve is bitten, Orpen is faced with a dilemma: kill Maeve before her transformation is complete, or try to get help. So Orpen sets off, with Maeve in a wheelbarrow and her dog at her side, in the hope of finding other survivors, and a cure. It is a journey that will test Orpen to her limits, on which she will learn who she really is, who she really loves, and how to imagine a future in a world that ended before she was born.
Past Life by Dominic Nolan
Waking up beside the dead girl, she couldn’t remember anything.
Who she was. Who had taken her. How to escape.
Detective Abigail Boone has been missing for four days when she is finally found, confused and broken. Suffering retrograde amnesia, she is a stranger to her despairing husband and bewildered son.
Hopelessly lost in her own life, with no leads on her abduction, Boone’s only instinct is to revisit the case she was investigating when she vanished: the baffling disappearance of a young woman, Sarah Still.
Defying her family and the police, Boone obsessively follows a deadly trail to the darkest edges of human cruelty. But even if she finds Sarah, will Boone ever be the same again?
Past Life is available for pre-order here. I think it looks a corker.
The Six Loves of Billy Binns by Richard Lumsden
I remember my dreams but not where they start.
Further back, I recall some of yesterday and the day before that. Then everything goes into a haze.
Fragments of memories come looming back like red London buses in a pea-souper.
Time plays funny tricks these days.
I wait for the next memory. I wait and I wait.
At 117 years old, Billy Binns is the oldest man in Europe and he knows his time is almost up. But Billy has a final wish: he wants to remember what love feels like one last time. As he looks back at the relationships that have shaped his flawed life – and the events that shaped the century – he recalls a life full of hope, mistakes, heartbreak and, above all, love.
If you haven’t yet had the chance to read any of these you’re definitely missing out. There’s some wonderful reading to be had here.
I really enjoyed the New Voices Event. I’m looking forward to returning to Carmelite House for another event soon. They are always brilliant!