Thirty years of Kenya’s recent history unfold through the lives of Caroline, a privileged woman from the fertile highlands, and Charles Ondiek, a farm labourer with dreams of an Oxford education. Charles’s love for Teresa, daughter of a hated settler farmer, leads to a drama of psychological terror fuelled by Mau Mau oath administrator, Mwangi, who is held in detention for six years.
On his release, Mwangi forces Charles and Teresa apart, then turns his attention to Caroline. But she has inner resources, and joins with Charles to seek out a mysterious ancestral cave. Against the backdrop of Kenya’s beautiful but hostile desert, the curse is finally broken.
But when Caroline discovers the hidden reason for Mwangi’s hatred, she wonders if she’ll ever, really, belong in the country she loves.
As a publisher of predominantly full-length fiction, we always wanted to create a collection of short stories by our talented Crooked Cat authors – so here it is!
You will find twenty tantalising tasters from Crooked Cats from the UK and the US, all keen to showcase their writing skills with glimpses into their existing releases, or with something new altogether.
Twenty stories of historical and contemporary fiction, crime and drama, fantasy, humour and ghostly shenanigans. Murder. Love. Adventure. Gossip. Growing up. Scheming. Friendship – Crooked Cats’ Tales has it all!
Crooked Cat authors and their contributions:
Cocktail Hour by Pamela Kelt
A Rescue in Graphite by Maggie Secara
Once Again by KB Walker
The Pied Piper of Larus by Kathy Sharp
Her Visitors by Ailsa Abraham
White Rose by Carol Hedges
A Bright New Copper by Catriona King
Altared by Adele Elliott
Misgivings by Nancy Jardine
Saturday Fever by Sue Barnard
The Wanderer by T.E. Taylor
Sheffield Steel by Trevor Ripley
The Blue House by Carol Maginn
Processionary Penitents by Nik Morton
The Second Summer of Love by Michela O’Brien Young Loves by Jeff Gardiner
Cradle of Man by J.L. Bwye
Silken Knots by Frances di Plino
The Thread that Binds by Mark Patton
Boo! by David W Robinson
From the Bestselling Author of RUIN.
The ring of the emperor Diocletian was lost long ago. However, a modern-day Russian oligarch is willing to pay whatever it takes to find and own it. He has hired an expert, Daniel Taylor, to track it down in Rome. Meanwhile, another Englishman, another man, a very different Daniel Taylor, has arrived to enjoy a holiday in the Eternal City. Their identities are mistaken in the quest for the ring. As confusion mounts, and the stakes grow higher, their fates are increasingly entangled.
Four seventeen and eighteen year-olds from South London – Carol-Anne, Jeanette, Terry, and Mark – head to Brighton, intent on a weekend of seaside fun. Dancing, drinking, and sex are high on the agenda, and not necessarily in that order.
It’s the Swinging Sixties, and the world is changing fast. An exciting time, but a confusing one, too. Freedom is all very well, but brings with it endless worries and complications. Each of the teenagers has a secret; nobody is quite what they seem.
When she disappears on a night out, tensions begin to rise as the others struggle to work out what to do. They agree on two points: no parents, and no police.
But can they really handle the situation on their own?
In the midst of the chaos, one thing is certain: after the weekend, nothing will ever be the same again.
“A unique love story that is sensitively told.”
This sequel to Breath of Africa is a tender love story, completing the saga of Caroline and Charles and their respective families, against the backdrop of modern day Kenya.
Emily, an AIDS orphan, and Paul, Caroline’s son, are good friends, although Paul wishes it were more. The victim of a predatory stalker, Emily cannot respond to the natural urges of love, not even when Paul takes her to a remote dig in the southern desert and introduces her to his best friend Sam. Their mutual attraction is immediate, much to Paul’s disappointment.
Soon, Emily accompanies Sam on visits to the Kenya coast. She meets his family in a highland village, and, with Paul, becomes involved in a charity in the disastrous aftermath of the 2007 elections. Believing that people should learn to help themselves, she leaves her job in Nairobi to help raise the village from the ashes of destruction.
Nobody can understand Sam’s intense hatred for his father, who has reappeared after going missing for several years. The family conspire to bring about a reconciliation, but the result is precarious.
It is not until Emily has overcome her fears, and she and Sam announce their engagement, that the astonishing truth is finally revealed.
But will it shatter Emily’s newfound happiness?
The long-awaited sequel to the bestselling Black Eyed Boy
A year after driving away to begin their new life together as travelling gypsies, things are less than perfect for Emily and Dylan.
Although Emily has accepted the dark secret of the black-eyed clan, she cannot find the courage to make the transition herself, leaving her always on the outside.
A natural disaster sends Emily rushing back to her home town of Whitby, where her life is instantly turned upside down and she is left confused by her new feelings, especially when she spots a familiar face in the crowds. Emily and Dylan soon drift apart, and the void becomes wider by the day.
What will it take for Emily to realise what she stands to lose? And will it be too late? As she ponders her options, fate strikes. A stranger has discovered the secret of the black-eyed clan – and Emily finds herself in a dangerous and terrifying situation. The clock is ticking.
And only one black-eyed boy can save her.
‘But I’m a lonely, modern, strident feminist.’
Meet Melissa. Incurably Romantic. Mildly Amoral. Terminally Single.
From noisy pub to folk club, from broken heart to new start, follow Melissa’s journey from teenager to mother via the despicable decisions and massive mistakes of her early twenties. You’ll want to shake her, you’ll want to hug her, but most of all you’ll want to know how everything turns out.
A story about frog-kissing, bed-hopping, sliding off your lily-pad with embarrassment…and croaking with joy.
What reviewers say:
‘more refined chick-lit’
‘comparable to Jill Mansell and Jane Green in terms of plot and quality’
‘perceptive, evocative, and at times downright funny’
Blurb coming soon.
A raw story of hope and love, which addresses real life emotions and hits compromise head on.
“Do I do the right thing, or do I live while I still can?”
Ann is faced with a dilemma as she grapples with her sense of duty towards her ailing husband, Robert. She finds consolation in nature while walking in the hills of Sussex, but wrestles with her conscience when she enjoys yearned-for attention from a stranger, Duncan.
Peace of mind eludes her, until she returns full circle and discovers an age-old truth.
A tale of life and love from the author of the acclaimed Breath of Africa!
The calm before the storm.
The four guardians of the Isle of Larus have been enjoying quiet and comfortable lives, with nothing more than the occasional shipwreck to trouble them – but all that is about to change.
The Spirit of the Sea decides to send a series of alarming events to test and teach them, as well as providing himself with hours of entertainment at their expense.
For the first test, how will the guardians cope with the arrival of a fleet of completely impossible ships? Not too well at all, it would seem.
And that is just the beginning…