It's January of a new year and it's time for us to wipe the old slate clean and begin again with our search for new authors.
Readers, our first submissions are below. Simply click on the title to read the early chapters. If you would like to read more then please email me - firstname.lastname@example.org
The first day Lily Blake, student nurse, arrives in Outpatients, she wonders whether she has made the right decision to enrol on a nursing course. She is burdened by a secret guilt and a lost dream, but her eccentric outlook on life enables her to cope with the frustrations and boredom of the placement.
Christian Hepburn, a colorectal consultant surgeon at the same hospital, has his life nicely balanced until a tragic mistake acts as the catalyst which rocks his world. A patient dies: his marriage disintegrates, a claim for negligence is threatened, and his SHO kills himself. Christian finds consolation in a consuming love affair with Laura, the specialist stoma nurse.
Passions flare and mistakes leave tragic consequences, but the perpetual rhythm of the hospital continues, night and day. Lily realises she is moving away from her fellow student nurses to tread a lonely path into theatre, and realise at least part of her abandoned dream. Christian has found Lily an unexpected friend and ally in his troubles, and now plans to help her achieve her ambition in return.
Despite this, Lily is still alone, seemingly surrounded by loving couples. She convinces herself that her future plans are enough, but Christian and Laura inveigle her into helping an old friend, and it is then that she meets Marcus, an anaesthetist, who shares her quirky outlook on hospital life and medicine. Now, for the first time, Lily has met a man who complements and understands her.
Mallory is like any other 14 year old girl, she aspires to greater things. Her hopes and her dreams are as high as a mountain but her limitations are tenfold. She is not like most other girls but her story is not unusual either. Mallory has a big mane of blond hair and will make her feelings known in a big way. She has an enormous personality to match and not too much can supress her desire for life. However the day comes when Mallory learns that she may have to undergo major surgery and life begins to change. The dreams she has when she closes her eyes become nightmares and she can't help but feel that her sub-conscious thoughts are trying to tell her something. Based on a real life star human being, One True Adventure will take you to places you may not have known existed; one brave girl’s story that is not unheard of, but is packed with bravery, hormones, arguments, dreams, nightmares, love and hope.
Singapore, 1949. Miranda Lewis and her husband, Gerry, arrive three years after the Japanese Occupation has ended, to a state of political instability.
As Miranda adjusts to her new life, she struggles to fit in with the over-privileged and claustrophobic expatriate society she finds there. But, she harbours secrets, which catch up with her when she is accused of stealing her neighbour’s baby.
Determined to prove she is not the person everyone believes her to be, she volunteers at a local Mission Hospital. After serious rioting erupts across the island, Miranda’s presence at the Mission not only catapults her into the heart of the political and racial divide, it leads to a journey of self-discovery, which will challenge her to the core.
Do-Do and Ray Baker have run their fish and chip shop in Stockport for almost 20 years. No kids, plenty of chips though. The couple check their Lottery tickets every Saturday night after closing the chippie and on a wet, windy, night they win the Jackpot! Demands pour in. Like the Irish priest looking for donations (declined) asking, ‘Does the Lord not live in your house then?’and Do-Do responds, ‘No luv, we don’t take lodgers.’ An old lady turns up to kidnap Do-Do, and a fairgound visit sees Do-Do’s mum and sister stuck on top of the big wheel. Firemen finally appear after the ladies couldn’t find a long ladder anywhere. The couple take a Grand Tour that sees Do-Do legless after a Bangkok reflexology session and Ray piggy-backing her to their hotel. A flight from Phuket has them sitting next to a mini-skirted Thai ladyboy dancer whose activities have them gasping. Visiting a Siem Reap, Cambodia, failing orphanage sees the couple decide to help. The tour’s cancelled as they stay to get the place running properly. Various dramas ensue as a Christmas visit by relatives and friends brings drama and surprises.
Frederick has a psychotic condition. He hears voices, but through these voices, he’s able to explore life’s differences that take him back in time, seeing differently from the ordinary eye through dreams, voices, journeys, places and arrivals. Romance with the Dead is situated in the 90’s London in the East End.
Eric’s world fell apart the day his wife took her own life and that of their unborn child. He very quickly lost his job, his house and all hope. Living homeless, on the streets of Birmingham, he was approached and offered cash-in-hand in return for his labour. That’s how Eric found himself trafficked to a work gang in the sweltering heat of Southern Spain.
Rosie had to get away from her alcoholic mum with her stinking, infected legs. She is approached by a man on Brighton pier. He offers her cash to work for a swish nightclub in Europe. Within twenty-four hours, Rosie, along with two other girls, are locked inside a filthy brothel in Paris.
The stories of Eric and Rosie and their struggle for survival show the strength of desperate individuals and how they can overcome unscrupulous, evil people who are only too ready to take advantage.
John Hilliard’s government career has stalled, and his life seems rootless, when his uncle dies leaving him a house in a seaside town. Returning from London, and freed up from having to work all the hours God sent to make ends meet, he looks about for something to occupy his mind. Hilliard meets Ernest Quince, an administrator for the local hospital who arrived from Madras decades earlier, and Esther Nawrocki, a biology graduate looking for a new life.
Over the next few months, we move between their viewpoints and preoccupations: Hilliard’s discovery of new purpose in the restoration of a derelict Victorian pier; Ernest, struggling to understand a relationship which has gone disastrously wrong; and Esther in her quest to discover her place in the world.
‘Under the Rocket Line’ celebrates the cementing of friendship, and unexpected love, where the land meets the sea, and the discovery of community where previously there were only fragments. As the the pier nears completion they are faced by a catastrophe that will test their bonds to breaking point, and define the worth of everything they have worked for.
A chance encounter on the eve of 9/11 changes Sam's life, but two years later he betrays the violent hand that feeds him and flees to Barcelona. Alone in a foreign place, the money he has stolen affords him the opportunity to start a new life. The characters he meets there are unlike any other he knew before, but one of them will only draw him back into the kind of world he left behind, and the past has not stopped trying to catch up with him.
Charlotte, a lonely and awkward girl, with unhappily married parents, is befriended by Veronica, who is bold and passionate and doesn’t care what people think of her. Their very different homes are separated by the wasteland where they meet. Veronica is burdened with caring for her mother, Annie, who suffers from profound despair. When Annie is committed to an asylum, and Veronica finds her father having sex with his predatory housekeeper, she leaves home and moves into a derelict sports pavilion. Only Charlotte knows where she is. One day she tells Charlotte that she’s fallen in love with Charlotte’s father, and that he loves her in return. The next day she has gone, leaving Charlotte bereft, and the pavilion burnt to the ground.
Thirty years later, after the death of her father, Charlotte is compelled to make sense of the extraordinary summer that has haunted her life, and to begin the search for her lost friend.
It's 1937 and Larry is trapped in a disastrous marriage to the appalling Rosemary. Living in a land-locked small town, he's inexplicably obsessed with the sea. When he takes his family for a holiday in Great Yarmouth he's brought face to face with his own homosexuality; something he simply cannot accept. Back home, he channels all his energy and repressed desires into building a magnificent pub, The Dolphin, as an escape from the rest of his life. But any happiness he finds there is threatened by Rosemary's anger and humiliation as she seeks to destroy him.
In the austere post-war years, Larry's daughter, Joannie, struggles to keep The Dolphin going. It's a dreary existence, with long hours and hard work, made harder by Rosemary's refusal to step foot in the pub. Although she shares Larry's love for The Dolphin, since his death Joannie has been trapped there, by duty and a lack of any other options. But when she falls in love with a driver from the brewery, there is suddenly hope for a different future. Everything falls apart when she discovers first that she is pregnant, and then that he has two-timed her. Forced to find a strength she didn't know she had, she has to defy her terrifying mother and make a new life for herself.
In 1968, Lottie (Joannie's daughter) is content to run the family café in a fading seaside resort, knowing nothing of her mother's past. But when her beloved father, Bill, dies she is shocked to find out that her mother has lied to her and she isn't Bill's real daughter. More of Joannie's secrets come to light when she announces that she wants to sell the café and buy the now derelict Dolphin. Lottie is furious and even more so when, in an echo of the 1930s, circumstances force them to move there. But as the pub's strange beauty reveals itself she begins to understand the meaning it has for her family and that she can put the past to rest.
Holly Winslow is missing. Her parents insist she's a runaway, mixed up with the wrong crowd, but PI's daughter Noa isn't buying it. She's had a 'visitor' who has suggested otherwise. You see, Noa has a gift - she passes on messages to the living from the spirit world, and this is one message she must see delivered if she's to keep those closest to her in her life."
PERFECT is a modern fairy story exploring the themes of love and fear, and how a healthy balance of each is required to achieve happiness.
Arby Starbuck, a mega-rich intellectual loner, decides to save the Earth from destruction by creating a better human being. He travels the Universe in search of genetic material from other races to combine with the super-human DNA he has distilled from the best of the best on Earth. A random accident leads him to believe that Earth has been destroyed. When he reaches the conclusion that who or whatever is in charge of the Universe is incompetent, he adds the DNA he has collected from other species, and the superhuman DNA, to his own body in a quest to become the Perfect Being. The changes in Arby’s body and mind give birth to Kavak, a self-absorbed and suspicious individual intent on taking control of All That Is.
Just as Kavak is about ti die, he finds Planet Lilly and the Dungo, her 300 well-adjusted inhabitants. Kavak arrives on Planet Lilly as one Dungo – Remo - leaves for her first Adventure into the Great Unknown.
Have you ever looked at your life and wondered if you had taken a wrong turn?
Sister Helena starts to doubt the convent, Africa and all the whole duty she has pledged herself to. Is this something she chose? Or did her family push her to it?
When Sandra wakes up one day to find herself dressed in mum jeans with stains on with, the only remnants of her old self being a pair of La Perlas hardly worn at the bottom of her knicker drawer, she realises a well of anger in herself with a volcano at the bottom.
She is fucking angry. Angry at the other parents around her for giving up, angry at her husband for not telling her what’s happened and most of all, fucking angry with herself.
Alongside rediscovering her knickers, she bumps into her hot ex and the best sex of her life, Phil. Meeting Phil for Sandra is like an animal smelling blood. It triggers in her an awakening of her sexuality which she had tried to stuff down the side of the sofa with all the small toys.