Related to: 'A Countryman's Lot'

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The Luck Of A Countryman

Max Hardcastle
Authors:
Max Hardcastle

The enchanting sequel to A Countryman's Lot, which told the story of Max Hardcastle's move to the Yorkshire Dales and the richness of life as an antiques dealer, The Luck of a Countryman contains an array of eccentric characters and curious situations which are guaranteed to delight and amuse. Old favourites reappear in new -- and sometimes alarming -- situations. And a myriad of new personalities join in the ups and downs of life in the Dales. Life is not all plain sailing, but the Hardcastles join in wholeheartedly with the trials and triumphs that beset the peaceful village of Ramsthwaite. How will they ever shift Thievin' Jack's van from the pond? And will the wedding of the year go off smoothly?

Sphere

This Country Business

Max Hardcastle
Authors:
Max Hardcastle

Max and Vicky Hardcastle, newcomers to the beautiful Yorkshire village of Ramsthwaite, are finallly settled into their tumble-down old farm. But their new rural life doesn't always go to plan, for whether Max is plotting to get the better of rival antiques dealers or battling Elspeth the obstinate goat or restoring the burnished nether-regions of a Greek statue, every day seems to bring new excitement and intrigue. Meanwhile fellow villager Canary Mary finds romance, Long John gets a scorching surprise and local poacher Rabbit Joe devises a wily scheme to make a few bob on the races. And somehow Max ends up right in the middle of every incident!

Max Hardcastle

Max Hardcastle was born in the old West Riding of Yorkshire, just before the outbreak of the Second World War. He started collecting antiques at an early age, hoarding his treasures ? including a five-foot stuffed crocodile ? in a disused hen house, known ever after as the 'junk hut'. After National Service and a brief period working for an engineering company, Max and his family heard the call of the Yorkshire Dales, where they bought a cottage, hung out their sign ? Bullpen Antiques ? and made a happy living for many years. Max and his family now live in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, with two dogs, two ponies and an ever-fluctuating population of hens, ducks and pigeons. His only regret is that he no longer has contents of his treasured 'junk hut'.

The start of a magnificent new trilogy

An Extract from The Summer Queen

Overflowing with scandal, sex, triumph and tragedy. Read the first chapter of The Summer Queen, the gripping new novel from New York Times Bestseller, Elizabeth Chadwick.

Constable

Now Then Lad...

Mike Pannett
Authors:
Mike Pannett

A true-life Heartbeat for the twenty-first century. Yorkshireman Mike Pannett has just taken up a new posting as a local bobby in rural North Yorkshire. It's quite a change from the Met, where he dealt with riots on the capital's streets and drug gangs in Battersea, and found out what it was like to stare down the wrong end of a sawn-off shotgun. Now, instead of hunting down knife-wielding muggers, he's chasing runaway bullocks, holding up the Last Night of the Proms traffic to escort a lost mole across the road and combing the countryside for the villains who stole the Colonel's balls. Mike's first year on his new patch is told in seventeen chapters which interweave his escapades on the beat month by month together with his growing knowledge of a landscape that changes with the seasons and some snapshots from his off-duty life. Here is a wonderfully entertaining celebration of North Yorkshire, its breathtaking scenery and wide variety of characters and communities.

by Amanda Carlson

Full Blooded

Read the first chapter of Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson, the start of an exceptionally fast-paced and irresistibly sexy new urban fantasy trilogy!

C & R Crime

The Lovejoy Omnibus (Books 1-4)

Jonathan Gash
Authors:
Jonathan Gash

The Judas Pair Every antique dealer is a bit of a detective, following clues to find the trophies that pay the rent, but when Lovejoy takes on the job of tracking down a pair of duelling pistols so rare that he's not even sure actually exist, he needs all the instincts of a detective to pick his way through an unsolved crime. Along the way, he becomes convinced that the weapons do exist but that they have fallen into the hands of a vile murderer. Locating the ancient weapons seems like the least of his problems when Lovejoy then finds himself fighting for his life in a duel to the death! Gold From Gemini Lovejoy discovers how the lure of gold brings out the worst kind of treasure seeker when, broke as usual and earning a crust as an unlikely babysitter, he stumbles across the diaries of a painter that appear to point to the whereabouts of a fabled hoard of Roman gold coins. Lovejoy is tempted to dismiss the whole thing as a hoax, but vile threats and violent intimidation have a way of changing his mind. He sets out to unravel the clues in the diaries, with some particularly nasty characters dogging his every move. The Grail Tree Lovejoy has heard of more nutters who have claimed to be in possession of the one, true Holy Grail than he has had hot dinners. He's not too impressed with the eccentric clergyman making the latest claim - especially when the good vicar turns out to be one of the finest forgers Lovejoy has ever met. But when the vicar and his lady companion end up dead it becomes clear that someone else is after the old man's artefact. To solve the mystery and protect a precious piece of history, Lovejoy puts his life on the line and acquires a surprising new partner... Spend Game When Lovejoy witnesses a car crash that turns out to be a murder - with one of his oldest antique-dealer friends the victim - he sets out on a trail of revenge that leaves him pondering several bewildering questions. Why did his friend buy up a load of junk furniture? What did he want with an old doctor's bag? Why was his friend killed? Who was trying to kill Lovejoy and - most perplexing of all - what the hell is he doing potholing through underground tunnels dodging armed hit men?

Constable

Mr Key's Shorter Potted Brief, Brief Lives

Frank Key
Authors:
Frank Key

Wesley, Samuel (British clergyman and poet, 1662 - 1735). On Christmas Day 1716, Wesley was haunted by an apparition of a badger with no head. It was called Jeffrey. Frank writes: "It occurred to me that it would be a good idea to write a modern, updated version of John Aubrey's Brief Lives. But it further occurred to me that some books are unimproveable, and that in trying to follow in Aubrey's footsteps I would embarrass myself and become the butt of ridicule. The idea continued to nag at me, however, and eventually I decided the solution was to outdo Aubrey in brevity. My own Brief Lives would consist of a single, unadorned fact about each of my subjects. So the reader may not learn very much about the life of X or Y or Z, but they would be armed with one little nugget which might come in handy to chuck into a lull during the conversation at the kind of swish sophisticated cocktail party to which they no doubt get invited." Other entries include: Gibson, Willie (Irish, 2nd Baron Ashbourne, 1868 - 1942). An enthusiastic Gaelic nationalist, Gibson was rumoured to keep a tortoise in his sporran. Harmsworth, Alfred, Lord Northcliffe (British newspaper magnate, 1865 - 1922). One day at a seaside resort, Northcliffe wantonly struck down a seagull with his stick and beat it to death on the sand. Jansson, Tove (Finnish writer and illustrator, 1914 - 2001). When staying at her Finnish island retreat, it was Tove Jansson's practice to get out of bed at four o' clock in the morning and stand stock still, pretending to be a tree, while a squirrel ran up and down her frozen limbs. Lennon, John (British musician, 1940 - 1980). According to Bernard Levin (q.v.), "there is nothing wrong with John Lennon that could not be cured by standing him upside down and shaking him gently until whatever is inside his head falls out". Stein, Gertrude (American writer, 1874 - 1946). Stein liked to write while looking at cows. She and Alice B Toklas would drive around until they found a suitable spot, then Stein would sit on a campstool armed with pad and pencil, while Toklas coaxed a cow into her line of vision. Nixon, Richard Milhous (American politician and Potus, 1913 - 1994) Nixon's favourite pastime was mashing potatoes. Schubert, Franz (Austrian composer, 1797 - 1828). Upon his deathbed, Schubert's final wish was that someone would bring him some books by James Fenimore Cooper. Tippett, Michael (British composer, 1905 - 1998). Tippett called the refrigerator in his kitchen "Bernard Levin". Anderson, John Henry (British magician, 1814 - 1874). The first magician to pull a rabbit out of a hat, Anderson also did a trick which he described as "a Grand Ambidexterological Illusion with 12 Handkerchiefs, into which will be introduced the Enchanted Loaf and Learned Bottle, the Animated Orange and the Invisible Pigeon". Brooke, Charles (British, Rajah of Sarawak, 1829 - 1917). An austere character, Brooke deemed jam "effeminate" and replaced his glass eye with one taken from a stuffed albatross. Callaghan, James (British politician and Prime Minister, 1912 - 2005). When Tom Driberg married Ena Binfield in 1951, Callaghan gave them as a wedding present four ashtrays, two of which were broken. Russell, Ken (British film director, 1927 - 2011). According to Glenda Jackson, the only direction Russell ever gave to his actors was to say "It needs to be a bit more . urrrgh", or "a bit less hmmm".

Robinson

Mammoth Books presents Demonic Dreams

Christopher Fowler, Norman Partridge, Robert Shearman
Authors:
Christopher Fowler, Norman Partridge, Robert Shearman

Oh I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside - Christopher Fowler Christopher Fowler explains "'. . . Seaside' came about firstly because I was commissioned to write a story for the World Horror Convention souvenir book and, as the event was to take place in Brighton, it seemed logical to set a tale on the South coast of England. "I had written a fantasy novel, Calabash, some years earlier, hinting at the dark madness of such seaside towns, which are the antithesis of their Mediterranean counterparts. I thought of the depressing Morrissey song "Every Day is Like Sunday", which captures the awfulness of English resorts. "Coincidentally, Kim Newman and I were discussing the inherent creepiness of pantomime dames, and I decided it was time to give vent to my horror of these coastal pleasure domes. I wish I'd thought to include screaming gangs of hen-nighters as well. And I thought it was a nice touch to have everyone in the story telling the hero to 'fuck off' until he finally does." Featherweight - Robert Shearman "I don't like writing at home much," admits the author. "Home is a place for sleeping and eating and watching afternoon game shows on TV. There are too many distractions. So, years ago, I decided I'd only write first drafts in art galleries. "And the best of them all is the National Gallery, in London, a pigeon's throw from Nelson's Column. I can walk around there with my notebook, thinking up stories - and if I get bored, there are lots of expensive pictures to look at. Perfect. "A lot of those paintings, however, have angels in them. They're all over the place, wings raised, halos gleaming - perching on clouds, blowing trumpets, hovering around the Virgin Mary as if they're her strange naked childlike bodyguards. And I began to notice. That, whenever the writing is going well, the angels seemed happy, and would smile at me. And whenever the words weren't coming out right, when I felt sluggish, when I thought I'd rather take off and get myself a beer, they'd start to glare. "I wrote this story in the National Gallery. Accompanied by a lot of glaring angels. Enjoy." Lesser Demons - Norman Partridge "I was surprised to receive an invitation for S.T. Joshi's Black Wings," reveals Partridge, "an anthology of Lovecraftian fiction. Although I knew S.T. admired my work, I've never quite seen myself as a Mythos writer. "While I respect H.P. Lovecraft and his contribution to horror, I've never felt that his worldview (or maybe I should say universeview) meshed with mine. "In the end, that's what made the story work . . . at least for me. I concentrated on my differences with Lovecraft, and approached the material from a place where Jim Thompson would be more comfortable than HPL. And I'm delighted that so many people have enjoyed the tale - it was a lot of fun to write."

by Nora Roberts

The Witness: Chapter 1

Chapter One of Nora Roberts' thrilling romance, The Witness.

How To Books

How To Start and Run a Holiday Cottage Business (2nd Edition)

Gillean Sangster
Authors:
Gillean Sangster

Many people dream of buying a house in the country or near the coast, with outbuildings that can be converted into holiday lets; or of taking over an existing holiday cottage business. Gillean Sangster did it. She moved to Scotland with her husband where they started their own successful holiday cottage business. In this book, she tells you how you can do it too. Contents: Preface; 1. An Introduction; Part One: Setting up the business; 2. Are you ready?; 3. Identifying your guests; 4. Choosing your area; 5. Choosing your property; 6. Building and converting; 7. What you need to provide; 8. Designing, decorating and furnishing your property; 9. Sorting out the finance; 10. The National Tourist Boards; 11. Other quality assurance schemes; 12. Tourism organisations; Part Two: Making a success of your business; 13. Marketing and advertising; 14. Running the business; 15. Providing the service; 16. Keeping up standards; 17. Knowing the regulations; 18. Business matters; 19. Maintaining the momentum; Appendix; Index.

Right Way

Afternoon Tea

Sue Simkins
Authors:
Sue Simkins

This book contains a fascinating collection of delicious recipes for every kind of tea you could imagine, whether it is simple tea and biscuits, traditional afternoon tea, or a more substantial high tea for the children. You'll also find lots of ideas for special occasion teas such as children's parties and christenings. It includes Sandwiches and savouries Cakes, buns and scones Pastries and biscuits There is also an overview of all the different kinds of tea available to drink plus lemonade recipes for summer tea in the garden.

Robinson

Sugar-Free Baking

Sue Simkins
Authors:
Sue Simkins
New Harbinger

Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding

Fugen Neziroglu
Authors:
Fugen Neziroglu

Although the much-satirised image of a house overflowing with National Geographics and infested with cats may make us chuckle, the reality of compulsive hoarding is no laughing matter. Three compulsive hoarding experts team up in this book to provide the first research-based cognitive behavioural treatment plan to help compulsive hoarders learn to recognise the problem, understand the treatment options, and learn gently techniques to free themselves of this life-threatening disorder.

How To Books

Chickens, Ducks and Bees

Paul Peacock
Authors:
Paul Peacock
How To Books

The Urban Hen

Paul Peacock
Authors:
Paul Peacock
Sphere

No Going Back

Martin Kirby
Authors:
Martin Kirby

There's a sign hanging just inside the broad and battered front door of our ramshackle farmhouse that reads DEU VOS GUARD. On the day we bought our tiny patch of Catalonia a new friend who lives across the valley laughingly translated it as God Help You...' So begins Martin Kirby's candid, compelling and often comic account of how he and his wife, a typical British couple with two young children, give up their careers, home and stable life in England to move to a small rundown mountain farm in Catalonia and turn it into a viable small-holdings business. NO GOING BACK: Journey to Mother's Garden is an inspiring memoir and life-changing adventure in the tradition of Carol Drinkwater's THE OLIVE FARM and Frances Mayes' UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN.

Forever

Wild Cowboy Ways

Carolyn Brown
Authors:
Carolyn Brown

Allie Logan isn't the type to land a hot hunk of cowboy. Truth is, she's given up on dating since shedding her no-good ex. But the new owner of the most ramshackle ranch in Texas might just change her mind about that. He's six-foot-plus of tall, dark, and charming-the kind of guy who could make a girl throw caution to the wind . . . or the kind of guy who could break her heart. Blake Dawson hopes he can make Lucky Penny Ranch finally live up to its name, but the property needs a ton of work. Allie and her carpentry skills are his best shot at getting things in order. Besides the fact that her brown eyes and dangerous curves have him roped and tied. Now Blake only needs to convince her that a wild cowboy can be tamed by love-and she's just the one to do it . . .

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The Last Matchmaker

Willie Daly
Authors:
Willie Daly

For centuries, Irish matchmakers have performed a vital service, bringing people together in love and marriage. It is a mysterious art, and the very best matchmakers have an almost magical quality to them. Willie Daly, whose father and grandfather were matchmakers before him, is the most celebrated of them all. Each year his tiny home town of Lisdoonvarna (population 800) hosts a matchmaking festival that attracts 40,000 visitors from around the world. They all hope to meet Willie, 'the horse whisperer of matchmaking'. With his unique blend of intuition, quiet wisdom and a small drop of cunning, Willie has brought together hundreds of couples over the years. In The Last Matchmaker he recounts some of the best stories along with his own. The path to love can be heart-warming, hilarious, sometimes hair-raising - and Willie is the perfect guide. The Last Matchmaker is a fascinating journey into the world of matchmaking and a timely reminder that the search for love is the greatest quest of all. And should the reader be looking for love, Willie has some hard-learned, practical advice to share...

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One Girl And Her Dogs

Emma Gray
Authors:
Emma Gray

What happens when you swap 'I do' for pastures new? When twenty-three-year-old shepherdess Emma Gray breaks off her engagement, the chance to take over an isolated Northumberland farm seems just the fresh start she needs. But while the beautiful scenery certainly offers plenty of scope for contemplation, a night out with an eligible bachelor soon seems more remote than the farm itself. And once you add fugitive sheep and freak blizzards into the mix, Emma's dreams of a happy future at Fallowlees Farm quickly begin to fade. Throughout the long nights of lambing, the highs and lows of the local sheepdog trials and the day-to-day chores of maintaining a large, ramshackle farm, Emma's collies are her most loyal companions. With Bill, Fly, Roy and Alfie by her side, she'll never really be alone. Emma's remarkable first year at Fallowlees - the triumphs, the disasters, the heartbreak and the glimmer of romance on the horizon - is an inspiration for anyone who has ever dreamt of changing their life and starting all over again.