As the Blitz destroys lives in Liverpool, three sisters are forced to make difficult choices to protect themselves and those they love.
When Nellie Callaghan marries her love in secret, it causes a rift in the family. But when the bombs drop on Liverpool grievances must be put aside as the people of the city are brought to despair. Nellie’s mother is killed and her sister Lottie is injured, while her other sister Babs runs away to join the WLA. It falls to Nellie to care for the family.
Despite the suffering that the war brings, it is trouble on the homefront that leads to further hardship for each of the sisters. Before the war is over, each of the Callaghans will have faced heartbreak and sacrifice. But amongst the sadness they will find some joy, and never giving up hope for a brighter future.
June Francis' sagas include Step by Step, A Dream To Share, When Clouds Go Rolling By, Tilly’s Story and Sunshine and Showers. She had her first novel published at forty and is married with three sons. She lives in Liverpool.
In Rita Bradshaw's Beneath a Frosty Moon, it’s 1940 and Britain is at war with Germany. For Cora Stubbs and her younger siblings this means being evacuated to the safety of the English countryside. But, little does Cora know that Hitler’s bombs are nothing compared to the danger she will face in her new home, and she is forced to grow up fast.
However, Cora is a fighter and she strives to carve a new life for herself and her siblings. Time passes, and in the midst of grief and loss she falls in love, but what other tragedies lie around the corner?
As womanhood beckons, can Cora ever escape her troubled past and the lost love who continues to haunt her dreams and cast shadows over her days?
Spring 1944, and the war shows no sign of stopping. In Hampshire, Elsie is desperate for a new start after her husband leaves her. When her friend Izzy, herself planning an escape from her abusive boyfriend, tells her about the wartime jobs going for women on the canal boats, she jumps at the chance.
Their new boss, Dorothy, is kind and fair, but it's clear she has a secret of her own. Their crew is completed by Tolly, searching for a new vocation now that her dream job has been snatched away. The work is hard, but together they pitch in, and through shared ups and downs they forge close friendships that will see them through the darkest times.
What none of them could have predicted is just how much working on the canals will change their lives. Could it really be that what started as a means of escape will end up giving each of them everything they ever wanted?
Blackpool's Angel - the first book in Maggie Mason's brand new Sandgronian trilogy - is OUT NOW.
Maggie Mason is the pen name of bestselling author Mary Wood.
Orphaned and destitute, will Grace find her own way in the world?
When Grace's Ma passes away and her Da's ship sinks with all hands, Grace is utterly alone in the world. She's sent to an orphanage in Blackpool, but the master has an eye for a pretty young lass. Grace won't be his victim, so she runs, destitute, into the night.
In Blackpool, she finds a home with the kindly Sheila and Peggy - and meets a lovely airman. But it's 1938, and war is on the horizon. Will Grace ever find the happiness and home she deserves?
Perfect for fans of Mary Wood, Kitty Neale, Val Wood and Nadine Dorries.
One of Real Simple's Best Historical Fiction novels of the year!
“The Gown is marvelous and moving, a vivid portrait of female self-reliance in a world racked by the cost of war.”--Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network
From the internationally bestselling author of Somewhere in France comes an enthralling historical novel about one of the most famous wedding dresses of the twentieth century—Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown—and the fascinating women who made it.
“Millions will welcome this joyous event as a flash of color on the long road we have to travel.”
—Sir Winston Churchill on the news of Princess Elizabeth’s forthcoming wedding
London, 1947: Besieged by the harshest winter in living memory, burdened by onerous shortages and rationing, the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation’s recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown.
Toronto, 2016: More than half a century later, Heather Mackenzie seeks to unravel the mystery of a set of embroidered flowers, a legacy from her late grandmother. How did her beloved Nan, a woman who never spoke of her old life in Britain, come to possess the priceless embroideries that so closely resemble the motifs on the stunning gown worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding almost seventy years before? And what was her Nan’s connection to the celebrated textile artist and holocaust survivor Miriam Dassin?
With The Gown, Jennifer Robson takes us inside the workrooms where one of the most famous wedding gowns in history was created. Balancing behind-the-scenes details with a sweeping portrait of a society left reeling by the calamitous costs of victory, she introduces readers to three unforgettable heroines, their points of view alternating and intersecting throughout its pages, whose lives are woven together by the pain of survival, the bonds of friendship, and the redemptive power of love.
Kitty has seen her fair share of tragedy and instead of thinking about romance, is determined to do her bit for King and country. Her life as a WREN means she is kept busy much of the time, but when Kitty finds herself stationed back home on Merseyside, she meets up again with Frank Feeny, the brave young officer who has always held a place in her heart.
Britain is on the verge of victory, but will Kitty embrace the future and learn to love again?
In the aftermath of the Great War, many are searching for a new life. But has Tilly missed her only chance for love?
Since the end of the First World War, the residents of Victoria Crescent have been slowly rebuilding their lives. For Tilly Moran, this means living under the watchful eye of her elder sister, Alice, while waiting to come of age. Unable to bear the restrictions placed upon her, Tilly flees to Liverpool for a fresh start.
As Tilly enters a new line of work she meets many interesting characters, and is charmed by Leonard Parker, a shipping entrepreneur. But when Tilly becomes involved in an investigation for a private detective agency she discovers that some of her new associates aren’t what they seem. Can Tilly’s dreams of love and independence come true, or will her luck run out?
Maureen Jackson is a prisoner of her father's blackmail. Three years earlier, she'd been hoping to marry Rory, the man of her dreams. However, after her mother's death, she was left to care for her overbearing father. Now Rory is back in London with a pregnant wife in tow to remind Maureen of the life that should have been hers.
As war threatens, Janet ashley hopes to marry her sweetheart Mike, but her father refuses to grant them his blessing. Defying his wishes, Janet finds herself pregnant and her mother Peggy is determined to hold her family together at all costs.
Will the girls of Mulberry Lane manage to snatch happiness before the darkness of World War II descends?
Order the next book in the series out JANUARY 2018 - A Wedding at Mulberry Lane.
Bridget has always been the one to take on the responsibility for looking after her family. With a drunken, violent mother, an unemployed brother who can't stay out of pub brawls and a wayward sister vulnerable to the smooth talk of shady men, it's hardly surprising when she falls for cheeky local lad, Ernie.
But when he breaks her heart, she is drawn to the kind figure of Joe, despite the bad boys of the criminal underworld who lurk in the shadows and seem to have him in their sights.
Bridget and Joe try hard to keep a hold on their livelihoods and to keep to the straight and narrow path, but misfortune dogs them and it seems that happiness is always just out of reach...
An orphaned young woman is overjoyed to find a family she never knew existed, but has to come to terms with their troubled history.
Since her parents died Clara O’Toole has lived with her grandmother, Bernie. When Bernie seeks an audience with a medium in the hope of reaching her son, Clara discovers her links to the Bennett family in Chester, and clues to the whereabouts of Bernie’s long-lost daughter.
Meanwhile, Alice Bennett is relieved to learn that her husband, Seb, is alive. However, her joy is short lived when she discovers the extent of his injuries. The family struggle to come to terms with Seb’s damaged body, and mind. As Clara spends more time with her newfound relatives, she finds hope for the future. But she has no idea that the family she is so glad to be part of are going to place her in grave danger...
'The Waiting Hours is a gem of a book, which will touch readers' hearts. Ellie Dean effortlessly evokes a sense of time and place, and revisits a fascinating part of wartime history in a story where strong women triumph over adversity, and it's never too late to find love.' Clare Harvey
'Ellie Dean’s loyal readers will be thrilled with this new novel.' Helen Carey
Slapton Sands, 1943
War has not been kind to Carol Porter. It took her husband and baby, and with them her heart. At last she’s found some peace, working as a land girl at Coombe Farm. But Carol’s sanctuary, the whole local area in fact, is about to be disrupted.
When Pauline Reilly hears Carol’s news she’s worried for her little sister. But as rumours about Slapton Sands reach Cliffehaven, Pauline can’t help be more concerned for her only surviving son. And despite her sister-in-law Peggy’s best efforts, nothing soothes Pauline’s fears.
As Carol prepares to face the impending upheaval alone her beloved mother, Dolly, swoops in to Slapton, and packing up Carol’s life presents unexpected opportunities for them both: Carol looks to her future while Dolly confronts a ghost from her past, and they both have a chance to mend their broken hearts.
The THIRTEENTH fabulous, heart-warming Second World War novel in Ellie Dean's bestselling Cliffehaven series (previously called the Beach View Boarding House series).
Ellie's next novel - With a Kiss and a Prayer - is available to pre-order now in paperback and ebook.
'An immensely satisfying and entertaining historical novel.' Frost Magazine
‘Touching, poignant and warm storytelling’ Hair Past a Freckle Blog
‘Saga fans will love The Waiting Hours and I would definitely recommend buying it as soon as possible’ Shaz’s Book Blog
‘I just could not put it down’ Ginger Book Geek
‘The characters feel real and authentic’ Anne Bonny Book Blog