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Glasgow is a city teeming with immigrants, rich and poor, schemers and victims alike. And the McKennas, fresh from Ireland, have no intention of being victims. When Nolan McKenna and his sisters arrived unannounced on Cissie Cassidy's doorstep claiming to be her late husband's long-lost relatives, the lonely widow is all too willing to be taken in and trusting enough to help them find them a foothold in the city. While Nolan wields a shovel for twelve back-breaking hours a day, the beautiful, trusting Clare takes up with the wrong man instead of the collection agent who yearns to make her his bride. Sharp-witted and pretty, Evie is made of more ambitious stuff and uses her job behind the bar of the Harp of Erin to attract the attentions of Russell Blackstock, builder and land-speculator, who owns half the tenements on Clydeside - and plans to own still more. The worlds of the wealthy Blackstocks and the penniless McKennas are set on a collision course that will mean huge changes for them, and for the city they live in.
World War I ended well for the Franklins, prosperous Clydeside shipbuilders. But trouble is brewing behind their respectable facade. Lindsay Franklin McCulloch's brother-in-law has brought his rebellious teenage daughter Maeve from Ireland to stay with the Franklins. Maeve's mother caused nothing but grief and heartache for Lindsay and it seems that Maeve may do the same. Lindsay's husband, Forbes, is struggling to modernise the shipyard in spite of resistance from the rest of the family. But he is swept off his feet by wealthy and manipulative Stella Pickering who may, or may not, hold the key to his future. Meanwhile, Lindsay is torn between love and loyalty when handsome navy hero Lieutenant-Commander Geoffrey Paget unexpectedly walks back into her life to rekindle old flames and offer her a second chance at happiness. As the slump of the 1920s begins to bite on Clydeside, troubles both financial and personal invade all their lives. Once again Jessica Stirling has evoked a whole world at the moment when - for better or worse - it is about to change forever.
The Second World War hits home to a scattered East End family in new and unexpected ways in Jessica Stirling's stirring third novel about Britain under siege. Susan Cahill enjoys her job at the BBC until a bomb destroys the building and brings unwelcome responsibilities and an autocratic new boss, Walter Boscombe. He has no time for ambitious young women from Shadwell and seems determined to break Susan's spirit - and her heart. Breda Hooper, Susan's widowed sister-in-law, and her small son are rescued from the East End's shattered docklands by Danny, Susan's estranged husband. Settled in a shabby caravan in the Vale of Evesham, Breda soon finds herself entangled in village affairs in more ways than one, with only her quick wits, her new friends and the ever dependable Danny to keep her out of trouble. For Susan and Breda jeopardy comes not from the skies but in the terrible price each must pay for falling in love with men who are not all that they seem to be and who, even in the midst of all out war, will change their lives forever.
[From the dust jacket flaps. magnificent and powerful as its predecessor, The Hiring Fair, is the story of a Scottish mining family: their courageous lives, their passions, tragedies and triumphs. The mining village of Blacklaw, having weathered depressions, has expanded under the driving ambitions of the collier owner and his wife. Falling wages, however, have returned poverty to Blacklaw--and with it smouldering resentment at the owners' ruthless profiteering. For Mirrin and Tom Armstrong, life on their farm has been hard but satisfying. With four children to help with the work, all has been going well. But Tom's eyesight is failing ... the marriage and the farm's future become shaky. Mirrin must draw on all her courage to survive. In Edinburgh, Mirrin's brother, Drew Stalker has made it almost to the top of his profession: he is a highly respected advocate, and on the verge of becoming the youngest Queen's Counsel ever appointed. But scandal threatens to make a shambles of his career; Neil, his long-estranged, illegitimate son, is accused of murdering a constable during a bitter mining strike. Only Drew can save the young man's life--but at the risk of everything for which he has worked and dreamed. A riveting story of love, cruelty and ambition, THE DARK PASTURE is a towering achievement by a master storyteller, rich and authentic narrative about ordinary people and their not-so-ordinary lives. You will find the other highly readable, fascinating historical fiction volumes of the Stalker Trilogy, #1 The Spoiled Earth and #2 The Hiring Fair. The Mull Island Trilogy, more authentic historical fiction by Jessica Stirling is in the Bookshare collection. it concerns the lives and loves of rich and poor sheep and cattle farmers and land owners on two tiny islands in the Scottish Hebrides.
[From inside dust jacket flaps:] "Mayfair, Lambeth, Pimlico--from the joyous turmoil of Armistice Day, 1918, young Holly Beckman is drawn out of London's grey back streets into conflict with the rich, brilliant and corrupt members of Mayfair's Smart Set. Holly's job in Aspinall's Antique Shop is threatened when the owner James Aspinall dies. Aspinall, however, has trained the girl well. Acknowledging her flair and honesty, he bequeaths her a quarter share of the business on condition that it remains a going concern. Aspinall's charming but dissolute son David and his snobbish daughter Andrea furiously oppose Holly's inheritance. But Holly Beckman has been given a purpose in life and will not yield. Determination and skills as an antique dealer become prime weapons in a war of prejudice and distrust. Aided by her astute Russian grandfather, Tal Kirsanoff, Holly defies her father's drunken rages, her brother Ritchie's criminal intentions and every pitfall the Aspinalls lay for her to make the business a success. In a society tainted by the horrors of the Great War, hunger for pleasure and profit has become a dominating force. There is no room for pity and, it seems, no love without a price. Holly cannot resist David's easy charm and drifts into an affair with him. But it is Christopher Deems, a handsome war-scarred poet, who captures her heart and drives Holly to the most difficult decision she will ever have to make. She must choose between love and ambition, unaware that tragedy lies in wait for her down each shadowed path." Check for books 2 and 3 in this sweeping historical trilogy about life in post World War 1 London. #2 The Blue Evening Gone and #3 The Gates of Midnight. You will also find two more trilogies by Jessica Stirling, Stalker Trilogy about a mining family in Scotland including: #1 The Spoilt Earth, #2 The Hiring Fair and #3 The Dark Pasture, and the Isle of Mull trilogy comprised of #1 The Island Wife, #2 The Wind From The Hills and #3 The Strawberry season, about rural life on an island on the Scottish coast.
Sophy Richmond at 20 had beauty, breeding and an unpromising future. Her new step-mother's hostility drove her out into the world and gave her the opportunity to break away-- permanently. Accompanied by her ambitious governess, Miss Frampton, Sophy began to see something of the world, never suspecting that an early indiscretion with a dashing young hussar might be the very thing her scheming governess needed to make her life miserable. Her nine-month retreat from the social scene did not, however, prevent a wealthy man from proposing marriage, and Sophy's life suddenly seemed secure. From her comfortable surroundings and cozy existence, Sophy was protected from the seamy backstreets of Victorian London where baby-farming was a profitable venture and infants, cast aside by "respectable folk," were brutally mistreated. But when Miss Frampton's plot became evident, and idle gossip threatened to ruin Sophy's reputation, the young woman who had once cared only for life's delights was forced to examine her alternatives and make some fascinating choices. This romantic and colorful novel offers many surprises--Sophy's life in Victorian England and the solutions she finds to her problems will keep readers talking long after they have finished the book. There are three fascinating trilogies by Jessica Stirling in the Bookshare with more books by this masterful author of historic fiction, family sagas and romance. Look for The Beckman Saga, The Mull Island Trilogy and the Stalker Trilogy. More books by Jessica Stirling are on the way.
[From the Dust Jacket:) "In The Gates of Midnight, the third and final volume in the trilogy chronicling the story of Holly Beckman and her family, Jessica Stirling brings her highly acclaimed series to a brilliant and absorbing finale. The year is 1939, and Holly Beckman King finds herself suddenly facing a new and uncertain world. Her husband, Kennedy King, has died; her son Chris has recently joined the RAF; and England itself is entering a war more threatening than any it has faced before. And, for the first time in her life, Holly finds herself up against pressures and difficulties that might prove too great even for her legendary resourcefulness. in The Gates of Midnight, Jessica Stirling has written her best story yet, as she brings the fast-paced, tightly plotted drama of Holly Beckman, her brothers Maury and Ritchie, her son Chris, and the returning David Aspinall, to a stirring and masterful close." In addition to the Beckman Saga comprised of #1 The Deep Well At Noon and #2 The Blue Evening Gone, and the Stalker Trilogy containing #1 The Spoiled Earth, #2 The Hiring Fair, and #3 The Dark Pasture, Bookshare has the Isle of Mull trilogy comprised of: #1 The Island Wife, #2 The Wind From The Hills and #3 The Strawberry Season. More books by Jessica Stirling are on the way including the stand alone novels, Blessings in Disguise and The Dresden Finch.
This is the second book in the trilogy recounting the story of the Stalker's. Drew studies law in Edinburgh determined never to return to the poverty of his childhood. Mirrin, after her bitter experiences with Houston Lamont, owner of Blacklaw Colliery, soon has to decide whether to try her luck on the London music-hall stage or search for the man who could bring her happiness. Life was changing too for the Stalkers who remained in Blacklaw. After a bloody pit riot Houston Lamont joins his avaricious wife in an unholy alliance to drain every drop of profit out of the miners. Look for the other books in the Stalker trilogy, a sweeping historical family saga about life in Scotland in the 1870s in the Bookshare collection. They are: #1 The Spoiled Earth and #2 The Dark Pasture. These novels are authentic in detail and lavishly describe the rural and city landscapes and lives of the Scottish people in the lower, middle and wealthy classes as they seek sustenance, security, advancement, and fulfillment. You will find another trilogy by Jessica Stirling, The Isle of Mull Trilogy which are: #2 The Wind From the Hills and #3
On the beautiful island of Mull off Scotland's wild west coast, Vassie Campbell has scraped a precarious living by raising cattle on a small parcel of land that lies close to the sprawling estate of Fetternish. Her daughters, Innis, Biddy, and fey young sister Aileen, have known no other life than that of the farm. In the year of 1878, however, the arrival of the Baverstock brothers, the new owners of Fetternish, brings unwelcome change to the remote community. So do their wily manservant, Willy Naismith, and handsome young shepherd Michael Tarrant. Red-haired and sensual, Biddy is the first to attract Michael's attention as well as catching the eye of wealthy newcomer Austin Baverstock. But it is Innis, plain and solemn, who finally rebels against her sister's domination and the wishes of her fisherman father, and sets out to capture Michael for herself. Michael Tarrant is not all he seems, though, and the sisters' rivalry in love exposes a terrible secret that leads to heartache and tragedy and changes the lives of all around them forever. This is book #1 in Jessica Stirling's the Isle of Mull trilogy, rich with emotion and filled with details about life in the Scottish Hebrides islands at the end of the nineteenth century. If you enjoy historic fiction, family sagas, character-driven plots or romance, Look for #2 The Wind From the Hills and #3 The Strawberry Season, in the Bookshare collection.
A Dickensian novel of life in eighteenth-century Scotland chronicles the ordeal of a young mother on trial for murdering her own son. Claire, an orphan with an uncertain future working as a servant for wealthy, distant relatives, is unlucky in trusting a charming but deceitful ne'er do well. Loaded with historic details and complex characters, this suspenseful novel is a combination of historical fiction, romance and legal thriller. It's unsettling ending leaves the reader anxious to dive into the next installment, Shadows on the Shore.
Christine Summers is a pretty young teacher in a country school in the 1930s and the apple of more than one man's eye . Christine has no intention of sacrificing her independence to marry anyone, least of all Charley Noonan, the rough-tongued young farmer who has been pursuing her for years. When she meets lonely widower Alan Kelso, however, Christine finds herself falling in love. Alan has also caught the eye of pony breeder Beatty McCall. Passionate, experienced and unscrupulous, Beatty wants is willing to offer him more, it seems, than Christine can ever hope to match. But sometimes all it takes to fall in love is dancing to the Paradise Waltz ...Rich in tangled affections and intriguing characters, in THE PARADISE WALTZ Jessica Stirling captures all the pain and humour of life a small, gossip-ridden village in the time between two world wars when wireless and the cinema were changing everyone's ideas about romance.
Jessica Stirling is as accomplished at setting a scene as anyone writing today. From the opening chapter of this beautifully crafted sequel to Lantern for the Dark, Stirling seizes our attention while enveloping us in the sights, smells, and sounds of eighteenth-century Scotland. Shadows on the Shore is a novel of stunning detail, a rare work of historical fiction that succeeds in creating a genuine dramatic tension between the social and political upheaval of the eighteenth-century and the personal, psychological, and sexual plottings of its complex and devious characters. Thirteen years have passed since Frederick Striker abandoned Clare Kelso, leaving her to face, alone, the trial for their son's murder. Now a much stronger Clare must contend once again with that scheming rake, while attempting to fit together the puzzle of Frederick's relationship with the two other strangers who put ashore on the rocky coast of Ladybrook that stormy night--an Irish lass of striking beauty and an eccentric French scientist who has apparently allied himself with Striker. Shadows on the Shore is a masterful and thoroughly absorbing novel of near Dickensian scope. You will find a wealth of additional trilogies and stand alone novels by Jessica Stirling who describes the life of the rich and poor in the countrysides and cities of Scotland, Ireland, England and France in informative, stunning detail. Among her characters are the indolent and driven, innocent and world-weary, young and old, selfless and selfish, and all described lavishly. Look for: The Isle of Mull Trilogy including The Island Wife, The Wind From The Hills, and The Strawberry Season. The Stalker Trilogy including: The Spoiled Earth, The Hiring Fair and The Dark Pasture. The Beckman Saga including: The Deep Well at Noon, The Blue Evening Gone The Gates of Midnight. Others are: Treasures on Earth, Creature Comforts, Hearts of Gold, The Good Provider, The Asking Price, The Wise Child, The Welcome Light, A Lantern for the Dark, The Penny Wedding, The Marrying Kind, The Workhouse Girl, and The Drums of Time
An explosive and unforgettable story of love and war by the author of Sisters Three. The marriage of Sylvie and Gowry McCulloch was not made in heaven and has gone through difficult times. Settled now in Dublin, they have a daughter, Maeve, whom they both love dearly. Sylvie presides over the respectable Shamrock Hotel while Gowry is a driver for Flanagan's bus company. When Francis Hagarty explodes into their lives, however, everything changes for the worse. Fran is a journalist and gunrunner and hides a shipment of smuggled arms in the Shamrock. Gowry discovers them and, sensing danger, is furious. But Sylvie has already fallen in love with Fran and is soon swept into an illicit affair. Trapped in a tangle of subversion that he has resisted all his life, Gowry is forced to flee Dublin and become caught up in the war in Europe.
This novel, the first of a trilogy, is the magnificent saga of a family determined to survive. Blacklaw Colliery lay a half mile north of the small village of Blacklaw. A mile off, protected by a wealth of handsome oaks, Houston Lamont lived in a style befitting the mine owner. However nothing could protect him from the outcome of the massive explosion which wiped out a shift of 118 men. The pit disaster killed the Stalker menfolk but not their ambition. Alex Stalker's ambition of a better life for his only surviving son Drew fell on Kate: but it was to Mirrin, soft-shaped but as vital and stubborn as her father, to whom Kate turned for aid. Look for the other books in this trilogy about Scottish life in the late nineteenth century in the Bookshare collection. They are: #2 The Hiring Fair and #3 The Dark Pasture.
Since the dawn of time, the Isle of Mull, off the Scottish coast, has had to fend off ferocious winds and a ravenous ocean intent on swallowing the island whole. Roughened by ceaseless storms and chill, Mull remained a quiet community, set in its ways, with almost no fodder for town gossip, as the nineteenth century drew to a close. Until, that is, new blood moved in, setting the local Campbell sisters, Innis and Biddy, against each other in all-out war for the love of the same newcomer, Michael Tarrant. But just as the passage of time changes slightly the cragged hills of Mull, so does it soften hearts to reconciliation: the two sisters realize their bond is too thick for a man to sever. For Innis, marriage to Michael Tarrant turned out far from idyllic: he fled to seek life outside Mull, leaving Innis to raise their children. Biddy, too, has married, but still yearns for the happiness that has always slipped through her fingers. Although it has taken sixteen years for life to return to a semblance of what it was before the Tarrants arrived, something is still amiss. Then a pregnant woman's arrival on the island turns any countryside serenity on its head. Loathed by some, loved by others, and feared as an ill omen by still others, this Fay Ludlow embodies the changes due to fall upon Mull. The winds of change at her back will bring with them ghosts of a past buried too soon. This is book #3 in Jessica Stirling's the Isle of Mull trilogy, rich with emotion and filled with details about life in the Scottish Hebrides islands at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. If you enjoy historic fiction, family sagas, character-driven plots or romance, Look for #1 Island Wife and #2 The Wind From the Hills in the Bookshare Collection.
For Innis and Biddy, life has changed greatly from the days when they were poor crofters. Innis has found marriage to a handsome shepherd to be utterly different from what she expected. And Biddy has become quite accustomed to being a wealthy widow, aloof from both her past and her dead husband's family. Though the sisters' lives seem set, they are destined to change once more as their island moves half-willingly into a new era. [from inside flaps] "In her magnificent new novel Jessica Stirling continues the epic of love, greed, and betrayal that began in The Island Wife. For Innis and Biddy, daughters of the embittered Vassie Campbell, life has changed greatly from the days when they were poor tenant farmers. Innis, the mother of three young children, has found that marriage to handsome Michael Tarrant is utterly different from the idyll she expected. And Biddy has become only too accustomed to being a wealthy widow who keeps herself aloof from both the life she once knew and her dead husband's family. But though the sisters' lives seem set, they are destined to change once more. For Innis, a temptation to a better life may have come too late--and for Biddy, courted by an ardent new suitor, happiness may have come at last. Set against the background of an island that is being forced half-willingly into a new era, the story of the two different sisters and their very different longings is one of the most memorable Jessica Stirling stories yet." This is book #2 in Jessica Stirling's the Isle of Mull trilogy, rich with emotion and filled with details about life in the Scottish Hebrides islands at the end of the nintee4nth century. If you enjoy historic fiction, family sagas, character-driven plots or romance, Look for #1 Island Wife and #3 The Strawberry Season, in the Bookshare collection.
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