Devastated after being jilted by the boy next door, Ginny Loftin turns to writing in an attempt to rewrite their story with a better ending. But it is among the painters, musicians, actors and other writers she meets at a Fifth Avenue salon that she finds new purpose and a second chance at love. A richly told historical novel of family loyalties, loss and artistic desires.
'The creative sisterhood of Little Women, the social scandal of Edith Wharton and the courtship mishaps of Jane Austen... The Fifth Avenue Artists Society is a delightful, and at times touching, tale of Gilded Age society and creative ambition with an inspiring heroine.' New York Daily News
The Bronx, 1891. Virginia Loftin, the boldest of four artistic sisters in a family living in genteel poverty, knows what she wants most: to become a celebrated novelist despite her gender, and to marry Charlie, the boy next door and her first love.
When Charlie instead proposes to a woman from a wealthy family, Ginny is devastated; shutting out her family, she holes up in her room and turns their story into fiction, obsessively rewriting a better ending. Though she works with newfound intensity, literary success eludes her-until she attends an elite salon hosted at her brother's friend John Hopper's Fifth Avenue mansion. Among painters, musicians, actors, and writers, Ginny returns to herself, even blooming under the handsome, enigmatic John's increasingly romantic attentions.
But just as she and her siblings have become swept up in the society, Charlie throws himself back into her path, and Ginny learns that the salon's bright lights may be obscuring some dark shadows. Torn between two worlds that aren't quite as she'd imagined them, Ginny will realise how high the stakes are for her family, her writing, and her chance at love.
A transporting new historical novel from the acclaimed author of Woodsburner.
In late-eighteenth-century Ireland, accidental stargazer Caroline Ainsworth learns that her life is not what it seems when her father, Arthur, throws himself from his rooftop observatory. Caroline had often assisted her father with his observations, in pursuit of an unknown planet; when astronomer William Herschel discovered Uranus, Caroline could only watch helplessly as unremitting jealousy drove Arthur to madness. Now, gone blind from staring at the sun, he has chosen death over a darkened life.
Grief-stricken, Caroline abandons the vain search, leaves Ireland for London, and tries to forget her love for Finnegan O'Siodha, the tinkering blacksmith who was helping her father build a telescope larger than his rival's. But her father has left her more than the wreck of that unfinished instrument: his cryptic atlas holds the secret to finding a new world at the edge of the sky. As Caroline reluctantly resumes her father's work and confronts her own longings, Ireland is swept into rebellion, and Caroline and Finnegan are plunged into its violence.
This is a novel of the obsessions of the age: scientific inquiry, geographic discovery, political reformation, but above all, astronomy, the mapping of the solar system and beyond. It is a novel of the quest for knowledge and for human connection - rich, far-reaching, and unforgettable.
When a treacherous act of murder throws the western provinces into turmoil, Aurelius Castus is ordered to take command of the military forces on the Rhine. But he soon discovers that the frontier is a place where the boundaries between civilisation and barbarism, freedom and slavery, honour and treason have little meaning. At the very heart of the conflict are two vulnerable boys. One is Emperor Constantine's young heir, Crispus. The other is Castus's own beloved son, Sabinus. Only Castus stands between them and men who would kill them. With all that he loves in danger, Castus and a handful of loyal men must fight to defend the Roman Empire. But in the heat of battle, can he distinguish friend from enemy?
Roman Britain, AD 44. The land is far from tamed. A puppet king is doing little to calm the hatred of the native tribes.
Fighting is in Optio Horatius Figulus' blood. His Celtic ancestry gives him the toughness essential for survival. That toughness will be tested to the very limit when he is sent on a mission deep in hostile territory. And Figulus knows that, even utterly crushed in battle, their warriors routed and the Druids driven from their hill forts, the tribesmen of Britannia will sooner die than surrender.
Figulus fought alongside Macro and Cato in Simon Scarrow's bestselling Eagles of the Empire series. In Invader, he stands alone.
When twenty-two-year-old Olivia is coerced into marriage by the cruel Alistair Sheldon she leaves England for Egypt, his home and the land of her own childhood. Reluctant as she is to go with Alistair, it's in her new home that she finds happiness in surprising places: she is reunited with her long-estranged sister, Clara, and falls - impossibly and illicitly - in love with her husband's boarder, Captain Edward Bertram.
Then Clara is abducted from one of the busiest streets in the city. Olivia is told it's thieves after ransom money, but she's convinced there's more to it. As she sets out to discover what's happened to the sister she's only just begun to know, she falls deeper into the shadowy underworld of Alexandria, putting her own life, and her chance at a future with Edward, the only man she's ever loved, at risk. Because, determined as Olivia is to find Clara, there are others who will stop at nothing to conceal what's become of her . . .
Beneath a Burning Sky is a novel of secrets, betrayal and, above all else, love. Set against the heat and intrigue of colonial Alexandria, this beautiful and heart-wrenching story will take your breath away.
1796. Pearce and his wife Emily are in living in Bath, when Minister of War Henry Dundas turns up and suggests a second mission to the Vendee, this time as a liaison between the French emigres intending to land in Brittany and the British naval and military commanders who will accompany them. The proposed expedition looks promising and Pearce takes the bait. Once at sea, however, Pearce and his crew encounter a French fleet and an indecisive battle ensues off the Ile de Groix. Pearce, accompanied by his faithful Pelicans, must go ashore into dangerous territory to check the lay of the land, find the allies and seek to co-ordinate actions in a situation where the forces of the Republic are gathering to crush the rebels...
The body of a Vestal Virgin is dragged out of the River Tiber. A senator bleeds to death in his bath. As the authorities turn a blind eye, Hortensia, daughter of the capital's most celebrated orator, feels compelled to investigate a trail of murders that lead to the dark heart of Rome. Flying in the face of her husband's and father's attempts to protect her, rebelling against the constraints imposed upon her sex, she is drawn ever deeper into the corrupt underworld that lurks in the shadows cast by the city's all-powerful elite. When fires begin to rage in the slums and more key witnesses are silenced, only one man can save Hortensia from becoming the next victim of a conspiracy to destroy the Republic: Lucrio, the damaged ex-gladiator to whom she already owes her life. But will the secrets of his own tragic past threaten to subsume them both...
Based on one of the central figures from Tosca, Puccini's classic opera, Scarpia is a powerful story of love, lust and political intrigue set in Rome after the French Revolution
Man is a delicate mechanism... he can easily be set off course.
It is the late 18th century and a young Sicilian nobleman, Vitellio Scarpia, finds himself penniless and in disgrace on the streets of Rome. After leaving his home to pursue a military career, his impulsive and undisciplined nature has led to his expulsion from Spanish royal guard, and he must now seek his fortune in Italy; a fortune inseparably bound up with the ruler of the Eternal City, the Pope.
Scarpia enrols in the Papal army and becomes the lover of an alluring countess who introduces him into Roman society with its blend of religiosity, sophistication and intrigue. Half-enthralled, half-appalled, Scarpia enjoys the life of the decadent city, learning in due course that as an unsophisticated provincial he is no match for the worldliness of Rome.
Patronized by a powerful Cardinal, Scarpia is sent on a mission to Venice, where he encounters the beautiful, exquisitely gifted singer, Floria Tosca. As the armies of revolutionary France invade Italy, and war and revolution engulf the whole peninsula, the lives of the two become fatefully entwined.
Piers Paul Read brilliantly reimagines the infamous villain of Puccini's opera, Tosca, telling a story that shines a light into the dusty corridors of history and the dark corners of the human soul.
A literary sensation in Hungary, Gyorgy Spiro's Captivity is set in the tumultuous first century A.D., between the year of Christ's death and the outbreak of the Jewish War. It follows the adventures of the feeble-bodied, bookish Uri, a young Roman Jew. Frustrated with his hapless son, Uri's father sends the young man to the Holy Land to regain the family's prestige. In Jerusalem, Uri is imprisoned by Herod and meets two thieves and (perhaps) Jesus before their crucifixion. Later he has an awakening in cosmopolitan Alexandria, and then returns home to an unexpected inheritance.