Related to: 'Sworn To Secrecy'

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Best Laid Plans

Mary Larkin

Belfast, the 1960s. When Tess Maguire and her best friend Agnes Quinn get free tickets to see the Rolling Stones, there is nothing that will stop them from going to the Ulster Hall, not even the disapproval of Tess's mother Alice. And though Alice's concerns about trouble are to prove right, for Tess and Agnes they have a silver lining. As the concert ends in panic and confusion, the girls are helped out by their very own pair of Jumping Jack Flashes - Jack Thompson and Tony Burke. To begin with, Tess is far keener on Jack than Agnes is on Tony. But after six, short, wonderful weeks, Jack suddenly stops contacting her. And when Tess pays his home a visit to find out the reason why, she soon discovers the shocking truth: Colette Burns, with her thick black hair and sultry looks, has captured his heart instead. Then Tess meets Dominic Sullivan, a Belfast boy who left Ireland for America many years earlier. Returning to his home city for a wedding, his good looks and sharp humour could be what Tess has been waiting for. But with Agnes interested in Dominic as well, their best laid plans might just become their worst-case scenario instead...

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Playing With Fire

Mary Larkin
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Painful Decisions

Mary Larkin

Life in 1920s Belfast is hard for the working class people, but the McGuigans are more fortunate than most. But when eldest son Johnnie shatters the family's peaceful existence with a shocking and unwelcome revelation, opinions become divided. And there are secrets in other quarters, too, when sister Louise discovers her boyfriend is hiding something - a secret so terrible it threatens their engagement. The once close-knit family are forced to make a series of painful decisions that will change all their lives for ever.

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Suspicious Minds

To her neighbours in Belfast, Maura Brady looks like she has it all - an attractive husband, a comfortable home and a gorgeous little boy, Danny. But behind closed doors, things are far from idyllic. Maura has long harboured doubts that her husband Adam only married her because he was quickly trying to mend a broken heart. Years ago, Adam's childhood sweetheart Evelyn suddenly left town to marry a rich, older man and left Adam shocked and shaken.But now that Evelyn has returned, as gorgeous and provocative as ever, can Adam keep his unresolved feelings for her in check? As Maura's suspicions grow, she turns to her good friend Francie for support - but will her own innocent feelings spill into something more with him? As the date of young Danny's birthday party draws near, the future of Adam and Maura's marriage hangs in the balance . . .

How My Dreams Came True

Inspiration for The Dressmaker

Read about Kate Alcott's inspiration for her novel, The Dressmaker

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Shades of Deceit

Mary Larkin
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The Dressmaker

Torn between her dreams and the truth, she was faced with an impossible choice . . . Tess, an aspiring seamstress, is stunned at her luck when the famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon hires her to be a personal maid on the Titanic's doomed voyage. When disaster strikes, Tess is one of the last people allowed on a lifeboat - her employer also survives. On dry land, savage rumours begin to circulate: did Lady Duff Gordon save herself at the expense of others?Tess's dream of becoming a skilled dressmaker is within her grasp but now she is faced with a terrible choice. Suddenly she finds herself torn between loyalty to the fiery woman who could help her realise her ambitions and the devastating truth that her mentor may not be all she seems.Authentic and honest, The Dressmaker is a compelling and vivid story that will have you holding your breath until the last page.*Shortlisted for the Goodreads Historical Novel Award*

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The Wasted Years

Mary Larkin

Rosaleen Magee is the catch of the pride of Belfast in pre-war years - and the envy of her friends. For her future is already assured as the fiancee of Joe Smith, a steady young man with a thriving business of his own. Whey then does Sean Devlin move her so, with his flashing blue eyes and dark good looks?The war throws everyone's lives into turmoil, as the men of Northern Ireland rally to the British cause. But for Rosaleen it heralds the return of Sean and the anguish of forbidden love...

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Ties Of Love And Hate

Mary Larkin
ATOM

The Dream Thief

Catherine Webb

London, 1865, and young Theresa Hatch (Tess, to her friends) receives a nast surprise late at night. When Horatio finds a young girl on his doorstep, passed out, dying - apparently poisoned - he's appalled. Investigations lead to Tess's old workhouse, but a surprise visit to that sorry establishment yields more questions than answers. Only one thing is clear: something very, very bad is happening to the children in the East End.There's a mystery to be solved, sending Lyle, Thomas, Tate and - naturally - Tess out into the wilds of east London and a certain former thief's old stamping grounds. What they find is terrifying: Tess's old crowd of artful dodgers and ace pickpockets are now wandering the streets like zombies, drooling in the workhouses or plain mad in the asylum. And it isn't just affecting Tess' old crowd; children all over the area are turning up with their memories in tatters and their minds all but gone. The only clue is a name, half-whispered in fear: Old Greybags.

Orbit

Playing With Fire

Piatkus

Sister

Rosamund Lupton

Nothing can break the bond between sisters ...When Beatrice gets a frantic call in the middle of Sunday lunch to say that her younger sister, Tess, is missing, she boards the first flight home to London. But as she learns about the circumstances surrounding her sister's disappearance, she is stunned to discover how little she actually knows of her sister's life - and unprepared for the terrifying truths she must now face.The police, Beatrice's fiance and even their mother accept they have lost Tess but Beatrice refuses to give up on her. So she embarks on a dangerous journey to discover the truth, no matter the cost.

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Camberwell Beauty

Jenny Eclair
Little, Brown US

The Secret Rescue

Cate Lineberry

The compelling untold story of a group of stranded U.S. Army nurses and medics fighting to escape Nazi-occupied Europe.When 26 Army nurses and medics - part of the 807th Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron-boarded a cargo plane for transport in November 1943, they never anticipated the crash landing in Nazi-occupied Albania that would lead to their months-long struggle for survival. A drama that captured the attention of the American public, the group and its flight crew dodged bullets and battled blinding winter storms as they climbed mountains and fought to survive, aided by courageous villagers who risked death at Nazi hands to help them.A mesmerizing tale of the courage and heroism of ordinary people, THE SECRET RESCUE tells not only a new story of struggle and endurance, but also one of the daring rescue attempts by clandestine American and British organizations amid the tumultuous landscape of the war.

Virago

A Glass Of Blessings

Barbara Pym

Wilmet Forsyth is well dressed, well looked after, suitably husbanded, good looking and fairly young - but very bored. Her husband Rodney, a handsome army major, is slightly balder and fatter than he once was. Wilmet would like to think she has changed rather less.Her interest wanders to the nearby Anglo-catholic church, where at last she can neglect her comfortable household in the more serious-minded company of three unmarried priests, and, of course, Piers Longridge, a man of an unfathomably different character altogether.

Piatkus

B is for Breast Cancer

Christine Hamill

'The day after I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was standing in the chemist with a basket in my hand, blinking back tears and thinking, "Now what does a breast cancer patient need?" All I could come up with was waterproof mascara. I put some in my basket and thought someone should write an alternative guide to breast cancer. Step one - buy waterproof mascara. You're going to need it. A few short months later, I found I was writing the guide myself. I sat in bed in between hospital appointments with my laptop, furiously, desperately trying to make sense of this alien world I had entered.'Written entirely while Christine Hamill was undergoing cancer treatment, this book is an honest and frank account of the emotional and physical impact of a cancer diagnosis. It is at turns funny, sad, angry and ultimately optimistic. Written without sentimentality, B is for Breast Cancer offers bite-size chunks of help and hope - a daily pep talk to anyone affected by the disease. It's packed full of the practical information that you really need.Read this book. It helps to know you are not alone.

Little, Brown US

Takeover

Charlie Savage

In 1789, the Founders devised a system of checks and balances to keep kingly powers out of the hands of presidents. But in the 1970s and 80s, a faction of Republicans, outraged by the weakening of the presidency after Watergate and Vietnam, abandoned the traditional conservative suspicion of concentrated government power. These men hatched a plot that would allow the White House to wield enormous powers, operating behind a veil of secrecy and unchecked by Congress or the courts.Today's administration is bringing this project to fruition. TAKEOVER reveals the machinations behind the headlines and lays bare a hidden agenda three decades in the making, one that links warrantless wiretapping and Bush's judicial nominees, torture and Cheney's energy task force, the faith-based initiative and the imprisonment of citizens without trial. It tells the story of how a group of true believers, led by Cheney, set out to establish near-monarchical executive powers that, in the words of one conservative critic, 'will lie around like a loaded weapon' for any future president.

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The Dreamland Chronicles

David Darlington

Could the US government - or some other unnamed entity - be hiding captured alien spacecraft brought on by a half-century of Cold War paranoia? Area 51, Dreamland, Groom Lake, the Ranch, the Box - all refer to the top-secret installation, located a hundred miles morth of Las Vegas, that has prompted these odd speculations. Built under the direction of the CIA in the early 1950s, the base served as the original test site for the U-2 spy plane and the Stealth fighter; in more recent years, interest has stemmed from sensational charges about UFOs. Lately, a daring guerrilla subculture has sprung up, aiming to explode the secrecy that surrounds this mysterious spot. David Darlington details the history, the legends and characters involved with Area 51, spinning a tale of intrigue that speaks volumes about our attitudes at the century's end.

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Meet Me At The Cupcake Café

Forever

Blame it on Texas

Christie Craig