Related to: 'Mad Joy'

Constable

Tommy Glover's Sketch of Heaven

Jane Bailey
Authors:
Jane Bailey

When Kitty Green returns to the Gloucestershire school where she was once a child evacuee during World World II, she discovers that it is to be rehoused on the premises of the old boys' home Heaven House. At the time Kitty had been inseparable from one of its inmates, Tommy Glover, and so she begins to reminisce . . .In 1944 eight-year-old Kitty is placed in Sheepcote village with a cold, unhappy couple, Joyce and Jack Shepherd, who find her Cockney chirpiness repugnant. They also have problems of their own: 'Aunty' Joyce nurses a phobia against germs while 'Uncle' Jack seeks solace from his frigid wife in the pages of the Bible. Neither Joyce nor Jack approve of Kitty's friendship with Tommy, and even seem to nurse a mysterious hatred of him. Starved of affection herself, Kitty soon befriends all outsiders in the village she sees as missing home or longing for love: American airmen, gypsies, German POWs, orphans, and above all, her beloved Tommy. In the end, it is her relentless curiosity that slowly transforms the lives of the strangely unhappy Joyce and Jack. But it is only when a long-buried secret is finally exposed that the lives of nearly everybody in the village are changed forever.

Amanda Quick

Amanda Quick is a pseudonym for Jayne Ann Krentz, the author of forty NEW YORK TIMES bestsellers under various pen names; more than twenty-five million copies of her books are in print. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Visit her at www.krentz-quick.com

Ben Fergusson

Ben Fergusson's debut novel The Spring of Kasper Meier, was selected for Waterstones Book Club, WH Smith Fresh Talent and the BBC Radio 2 Book Club. It was longlisted for the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award 2015 and shortlisted for The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award 2015. It won the 2015 Betty Trask Prize for an outstanding debut novel by a writer under 35 and the HWA Debut Crown 2015 for the best historical fiction debut of the year.

Claire Evans

Claire Evans is an established business specialist in the UK television industry. After finishing her law degree, she qualified as an accountant, but realising her mistake quickly ran away to work at the National Theatre before finally landing a job at the BBC. Once there, she rose through the ranks to head up operations and business affairs across the TV commissioning teams. In drama, she led the BBC's commercial relationships with the Independent production sector and a wide range of international co-producers and distributors. She left the BBC in 2013 to pursue her writing career. Since then she has advised a number of drama and film production companies, most recently working on The Honourable Woman and Doctor Foster. She is also now the Chief Operating Officer at Two Brothers Pictures Ltd, the company set up by Harry and Jack Williams, the creators of The Missing.

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles is the author of the hugely popular Morland Dynasty novels, which have captivated and enthralled readers for decades. She is also the author of the contemporary Bill Slider mystery series, as well as her new series, War at Home, which is an epic family drama set against the backdrop of World War I. Cynthia's passions are music, wine, horses, architecture and the English countryside.

E. S. Thomson

E. S. Thomson's work has been longlisted for the CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger, and shortlisted for the Saltire Prize, the Scottish Arts Council First Book Award and the William McIlvanney Crime Book of the Year Award. She has a PhD in the social history of medicine, and tries to fit as much medical history into her books as possible. She works as a university lecturer by day, and writes by night. Elaine lives in Edinburgh with her two sons.

Eloisa James

A NEW YORK TIMES bestseller many times over, Eloisa James lives in New York City, where she is a Shakespeare professor (with an M.Phil. from Oxford). She is also the mother of two children and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight.

Frances Brody

Frances Brody is the author of ten mysteries featuring Kate Shackleton as well as many stories and plays for BBC Radio, scripts for television and three sagas, one of which won the HarperCollins Elizabeth Elgin Award. A Woman Unknown was short-listed for the Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her stage plays have been toured by several theatre companies and produced at Manchester Library Theatre, the Gate and Nottingham Playhouse. Jehad was nominated for a Time Out Award.Frances lived in New York for a time before studying at Ruskin College, Oxford, and reading English Literature and History at York University. She has taught in colleges, and on writing courses for the Arvon Foundation.

Grace Burrowes

Grace Burrowes grew up in central Pennsylvania and is the sixth out of seven children. She discovered romance novels when in junior high (back when there was such a thing), and has been reading them voraciously ever since. Grace has a bachelor's degree in political science, a bachelor of music in music history, (both from Pennsylvania State University); a master's degree in conflict transformation from Eastern Mennonite University; and a juris doctor from the National Law Center at the George Washington University.Grace writes Georgian, Regency, Scottish Victorian, and contemporary romances in both novella and novel lengths. She's a member of Romance Writers of America, and enjoys giving workshops and speaking at writers' conferences. She also loves to hear from her readers, and can be reached through her website, graceburrowes.com.

Hannah Dennison

Hannah Dennison was born and raised in Hampshire but moved to Los Angeles to pursue screenwriting more than two decades ago. She has been an obituary reporter, antique dealer, private jet flight attendant and Hollywood story analyst. Hannah writes the Honeychurch Hall Mystery Series and Vicky Hill Mystery Series, both of which are set in the wilds of the English countryside. She currently divides her time between California and the West Country.www.hannahdennison.com

Janet Fitch

Janet Fitch's first novel, White Oleander, a #1 bestseller and Oprah's Book Club selection, has been translated into 24 languages and was made into a feature film. Her most recent novel, Paint It Black, hit bestseller lists across the country and has also been made into a film. She lives in Los Angeles.

Jessica Fellowes

Jessica Fellowes is an author, journalist and public speaker, best known for her work as author of five official companion books to Downton Abbey, various of which have hit the New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller lists. Former deputy editor of Country Life and columnist on the Mail on Sunday, she has written for publications including the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, The Sunday Times and The Lady. Jessica has spoken at events across the UK and US, and has made numerous appearances on radio and television. She lives happily in London and Oxfordshire with her family, an energetic Labradoodle and two chickens.

Jilly Bond

JILLY BOND has recorded over 300 audiobooks and won four Audiofile Earphones Awards. She also regularly appears on stage, and has appeared at the National Theatre in "Island", at the Birmingham Repertory in "Jump!", Manchester Lowry in "Transmissions", the English Theatre of Hamburg in "Othello" and "Mrs Warren's Profession" and on the Edinburgh and London Fringes, including at the Finborough as human-rights lawyer Fethiye Cetin in "I Wish to Die Singing" which won the Best Play UK Studio Theatre Awards. She has recorded over 100 radio plays for the BBC, as well as playing Bridget in "The Archers", and TV work has includedDr Greene in "Doctors", Dr Jannatie in "Judge John Deed" and roles in "Comedy Nation", "People Like Us", "My Hero" & "Alastair McGowan's Big Impression".

Joanna Courtney

My first literary accolade was a creative writing prize at primary school and from that point on I wanted to be a novelist. I was always reading as a child and often made up stories for my brother and sister on long car journeys. I was also a huge Enid Blyton fan and by ten I was writing my own (doubtless terrible) boarding school novels. Perhaps inevitably, I took my degree in English literature and it was at Cambridge, specialising in medieval literature, that I first discovered what has become a true passion for ancient history. I took a sidestep after university to work in a wonderful textiles factory in Lancashire - a move that led me to my lovely husband, but didn't satisfy my yearning to write. Married and living in Derbyshire, however, I took up my pen again in the sparse hours available between raising my two stepchildren and two more of my own. At that hectic time I primarily wrote shorter fiction and had well over 200 stories and serials published in women's magazines. With the older two left home, however, and the younger two at secondary school, my time has opened up and it's been a joy to fill it by writing historical novels. I find ancient history absolutely fascinating and was delighted when, in the course of research for my Queens of the Conquest trilogy, I came across mentions of King Macbeth and, more importantly, his wife. I was intrigued to learn that they had been real rulers who ruled Scotland wisely and well for about fifteen years. These were not the cruel, frantic, half-mad characters of Shakespeare's wonderful play. I had to know more.Further research unveiled other great Shakespearean women lurking in the wings (where women in the 'dark ages' are so often consigned). History from these times is sparse but it is there when you mine deep enough and I was able to dig out some gems: Hamlet was a real Danish king in around 600 AD, with Ofelia as his consort and shield-maiden; Lear was a Midland's warleader around 450BC and his daughter Cordelia a Boudicca-style warrior princess. These, then, were stories that had to be told.Dearly as I love Shakespeare, I knew that these three amazing women had to be freed from the shackles of his brilliant but restrictive narratives and allowed into the world as they truly were. Blood Queen, the first in the Shakespeare's Queens trilogy will be published by Piatkus in September 2018, with Fire Queen and Iron Queen to follow. Feel free to contact me via twitter - @joannacourtney1, facebook - joannacourtneyauthor, or my website - www.joannacourtney.com

Katy Sobey

Katy Sobey BiographyKaty is from Bristol and trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.Theatre includes: Orpheus & Eurydice (Insane Root, Suspension Bridge Vaults), Rocky: A HorrorShow (The Wardrobe Theatre), The Woodlanders (Hammerpuzzle/Cheltenham Everyman), Othello(Stafford Gatehouse), Here Be Monsters (UK Tour), Hot Air (Tobacco Factory Theatre/MyrtleTheatre Co.), King John (Hammerpuzzle/The Egg), A Midsummer Night's Dream (UK Tour), Flood(Bike Shed Theatre), Sleeping Beauty and Aladdin (Little Wolf/Loughborough Town Hall), EarlyDoors (Edinburgh Festival) and The Taming of the Shrew (Sam Wanamaker Festival, The Globe).Katy has appeared in several radio plays for BBC Radio 4, including Tess In Winter, The All-Clear,The Shining Heart and Writing the Century: The Dock. She has also featured in multiple episodesof Poetry Please with Roger McGough.On television, Katy has appeared on BBC 1's daytime drama, The Indian Doctor.Katy has recorded numerous audiobooks and is a featured artist on Audible UK's Narrator'sGreatest Hits. She is the voice of the popular young adult series, Geek Girl.

Kerry Greenwood

KERRY GREENWOOD is the author of more than forty novels and six non-fiction titles, and the editor of two collections. Phryne Fisher is her most successful series to date - there are currently 18 in the series. She lives in Australia with a registered wizard.

Lenora Bell

Lenora Bell grew up in a tiny town in Alaska with no streetlights, no movie theater, but a very well-endowed library.A graduate of Portland State University's MFA in Creative Writing program, she has lived and taught English on five continents. Lenora currently shares a cabin in Switzerland with her husband and two naughty tiger-striped kitties.

Linnea Hartsuyker

Linnea Hartsuyker is a graduate of NYU's Fiction MFA program and Cornell University's Engineering school, and has been researching the rise and reign of Harald Fairhair since she first discovered she was descended from him at the age of seventeen, when her family traced its ancestry back through 1200 years of Swedish and Norwegian church records. Since then she has read extensively of Icelandic sagas, kayaked and skied the fjordland settings for this novel, and even become proficient in lifting Husafjell stones, as the Vikings did to become stronger.

Lisa Kleypas

Lisa Kleypas is the author of numerous historical romance novels. In 1985, she was named Miss Massachusetts and competed in the Miss America pageant. After graduating from Wellesley College she published her first novel at twenty-one. Lisa is married and has two children. Visit her at www.lisakleypas.com

Mary Balogh

Mary Balogh is a New York Times bestselling author. A former teacher, she grew up in Wales and now lives in Canada. Visit her at www.marybalogh.com