The Witchs Bargain: Penny and John and One-Eyed Zach and the Witch in the House on Postmans Hack

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Do not we old ladies remember the picayune dolls of our childhood? The wooden jointed dolls, the funny little things we had to play with, every feature, even hair and yellow earrings, painted on little, smooth bullet heads. They could be made to sit down and to crook their arms, but no ingenuity could make them stand a-loney. How we loved those little wooden dolls! We do not see a pauper child, not even a poor little blackie, with a picayune doll nowadays.

We had no fears about the eyes and hair of our picayunes. The picayune, whose memory I invoke, was a Spanish coin, generally worn pretty thin and often having a small hole in it. I remember my ambition was to accumulate enough picayunes to string on a thread for an ornament. It is unnecessary to say that in those thrifty days my ambition was not gratified. I would like to have a picayune to add to my very limited collection of relics. They flourished at the same era and have together vanished from our homes and shops.

Joseph Street, while we and the Grimshaws and Beins lived in rented houses near by. We used to laugh over the littleness of the thing. A quart of shrimp for a picayune was cheap and tempting, but none of us cared to buy of our rich neighbor. The climax came when an umbrella went the rounds for inspection. It was for raffle! Now, umbrellas, like pocket handkerchiefs, are always useful and never go out of fashion. With one accord, we declined chances in the umbrella.

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I feel I am, for the fun of the thing, dragging forth a few skeletons from closets, but I do not ticket them, so no harm is done. In fact, if I ever knew, I have long since forgotten the name to tack onto the umbrella skeleton. I would scorn to ticket the skeleton of that frugal and thrifty madame. There are no more umbrellas for a picayunish skeleton to raffle, no more such delicious sweets for the madame to stack into picayune piles, and, alack-a-day! I love the old way; however, I do not practise it. If my grandchildren were to see the little wooden piggin brought me on a tray after breakfast, and see me wash the silver and glass they would think grandma has surely lost her mind.

That purely domestic housewifely habit lasted long after my mother had passed away. It still is the vogue in many a New England household, but no doubt is among the lost virtues South. When I was a young lady and occasionally oh, happy times! Slocomb and her aged mother, dear old Mrs.

Cox, who tremblingly loved to help, pass the tea things through their own delicate hands every morning. So it was at Mrs. Though we had ever so many servants, our family being a large one, my semi-invalid mother, who rarely left her home and never made visits, did a thousand little household duties that are now, even in families where only one or two servants are kept, entirely ignored by the ladies of the house. After a dinner party or an evening entertainment, and my father was hospitably inclined — much beyond his means — my mother passed all the silver, glass and china through her own delicate fingers, and we did not, as I recall after all this lapse of years, have anything of superlative value.

It was not a matter of thrift or economy on her part, but a matter of course; everybody did the same. After a visit to a New England family several years ago I was telling a Creole friend of the lovely old India china that had been in daily use over three generations. They had calico gowns that a splash of water could not ruin. Household furniture — I go back full seventy years — was simple and easily cared for. The first carpet I ever saw woven in one piece, like all the rugs so plentiful now and that was at a much later date was on the parlor floor of the Goodman house, on Toulouse Street, the home so full of bright young girls I so loved to visit.

There was no concern to take away carpets to be cleaned and stored in the summer. Carpets were taken to some vacant lot and well beaten. The neutral green on Canal Street, green and weedy it was, too, was a grand place to shake carpets; no offense given if one carried them beyond Claiborne Street where were no pretentious houses.

Then those carpets were thickly strewn with tobacco leaves, rolled up and stored in the garret, if you had one. Every house did not boast of that convenience. Curtains were not satin damask. At the Mint when Joe Kennedy was superintendent, and his family were fashionable people, their parlor curtains were some red cotton stuff, probably what is known as turkey red; there was a white and red-figured border; they were looped over gilt rods meant to look like spears and muskets, in deference, I suppose, to the military side of that government building, for there were sentinels and guards stationed around about that gave the whole concern a most imposing and military air.

They were thought rather novel and stylish. There were no madras, no Irish point, no Nottingham curtains even, so one did not have a large variety to choose from. People had candelabras, and some elaborate affairs — they called them girandoles — to hold candles; they had heavy crystal drops that tinkled and scintillated and were prismatic and on the whole were rather fine. The candles in those gorgeous stands and an oil lamp on the inevitable center-table were supposed to furnish abundance of light for any occasion.

When my sister dressed for a function she had two candles to dress by so did I ten years later! Two candles without shades — nobody had heard of shades — were sufficient for an ordinary tea table. I was a grown girl, fresh from school, when I saw the first gaslight in a private house, at Mrs. Charles Street. People sewed, embroidered, read and wrote and played chess evenings by candlelight, and except a few near-sighted people and the aged no one used glasses.

There was not an oculist a specialist, I mean in the whole city. Every woman had to sew. Imagine the fine hand-sewing on shirt bosoms, collars and cuffs. What a time there was when the boys grew to tailor-cut pantaloons! Cut by a tailor, sewed at home, what a to-do there was when Charley had his first tailcoat; he could not sit on the tails, they were too short, so he made an uproar. The goods fell short, and I had to have a black, low neck, short-sleeve waist.

In vain I was told it was velvet and ever so stylish and becoming. I knew better. However, that abbreviated dress and those abbreviated tails did duty at the dancing school. We will go upstairs now and take a look at the ponderous four-poster bed, with its awful tester top, that covered it like a flat roof. That tester was ornamented with a wall paper stuff, a wreath of impossible red and yellow roses, big as saucers, stamped on it, and four strands of same roses reaching to the four corners of the monstrosity.

The idea of lying, with a raging fever or a splitting headache, under such a canopy! I hear a rumor that furniture covered with horsehair cloth is about to come to the fore again.

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Everybody in my early day had black haircloth furniture; maybe that was one reason red curtains were preferred, for furniture covered with black haircloth was fearfully funereal. However, as no moth devoured it, dust did not rest on its slick, shiny surface, and it lasted forever, it had its advantages. Every household possessed a haircloth sofa, with a couple of hard, round pillows of the same, the one too slippery to nap on and the others regular break-necks.

My stars! Of course, every house had a storeroom, called pantry, to hold supplies. It was lined with shelves, but the only light and air was afforded by a half-moon aperture cut into a heavy batten door. We had wire safes on the back porch and a zinc-lined box for the ice — nothing else — wrapped in a gray blanket, gray, I presume, on the same principle we children preferred pink cocoanut cakes — they kept clean longer than the white! Ice was in general use but very expensive. It was brought by ship from the North, in hogsheads. For the kitchen there were open fireplaces with a pot hanging from a crane, skillets and spiders.

By and by an enterprising housewife ventured on a cook stove. I have a letter written by one such, slated in New Orleans in , in which she descants on the wonders achieved by her stove. There was no bric-a-brac, few pictures, nothing ornamental in the parlors. One house I remember well had a Bunker Hill monument, made, I guess, of stucco, and stuck all over with gay seashells; it was perhaps 25 or 30 inches high; it made a most commanding appearance on the center-table.

When my sister made a tiresomely long call at that house it amused me to try to count the shells. Jimmie Dick was a bachelor, and lived on Canal Street, near Carondelet or Baronne, and had a charming spinster niece keeping house for him, who was so shocked when she saw the figures mounted on pedestals they were glaring white marble and only a trifle under life size that she immediately made slips of brown holland and enveloped them, leaving only the heads exposed! I never went to that house but the one time when we surprised her in the act of robing her visitors!

I speak of houses that I visited with my grown sister. It was not comme il faut for a young lady to be seen too frequently on the street or to make calls alone. Mother was an invalid and made no visits. Father accompanied sister on ceremonious occasions. I was pressed into service when no one else was available. I feel I am going way back beyond the recollection of my readers, but some of the grandmothers, too old, mayhap, to do their own reading, can recall just such a life, a life that will never be lived again. I T is hard to realize while we are surrounded by so many housekeeping conveniences what an amount of time, energy, and, above all, knowledge of the craft were necessary to the giving of a reception seventy years ago, when every preparation had to be made in the house and under the watchful supervision of the chatelaine.

There were no chefs to be hired, nor caterers to be summoned, not even a postman to deliver invitations. This complicated mode of delivering invitations prevailed into the fifties. All sugar except the crude brown, direct from plantations, was in cone-shaped loaves as hard as a stone and weighing several pounds each.

These well- wrapped loaves were kept hung like hams in a smokehouse from the closet ceiling. They had to be cut into chips by aid of carving knife and hammer, then pounded and rolled until reduced to powder, before that necessary ingredient was ready for use. There were no fruit extracts, no essences for seasoning, no baking powder to make a half-beaten cake rise, no ground spices, no seedless raisins, no washed?

Ice cream was seasoned by boiling a whole vanilla bean in the milk; it was frozen in a huge cylinder without any inside fixtures to stir the mixture; it was whirled in the ice tub by hand — and a stout one at that — and required at least one hour, constant labor, to freeze the cream. Pink jelly was colored with a drop or two of cochineal, yellow, doctored with lemon, and a beautiful pale green, colored with the strained juice of scalded spinach.

These varieties were served in various attractive shapes; and all, even the green, were delicious. I remember a Mrs. Cuban fruits were scarce in those days, and highly prized. There were no awnings to be used in bad weather; no camp chairs for the invited guests if all came, and all wanted to sit down at the same time; no waterproofs for them to come in; no rubbers to protect feet from rain-soaked sidewalks; no street cars; no public conveyances that people ever hired for such occasions; no private carriages to bump you over rough cobblestones.

So, there you are! Lamar, of the Republic of Texas, and Gen. Sam Houston of the Texas army! If he was escorted by Texas warships! I never knew. With his imposing uniform and a huge gilt star on his breast, a sword at his side, and a rather fierce mustache mustaches were little worn then , he looked as if he were capable of doing mighty deeds of daring, for the enterprising new republic on our border. He was accompanied by his aide, a callow youth, also in resplendent attire, a sword so long and unwieldy he was continually tripping, and therefore too embarrassingly incommoded to circulate among the ladies.

He was Lieut. Fairfax Grey. His sister was the wife of Temple Doswell, and many of her descendants are identified with New Orleans to-day. Clay, grand, serene, homely and affable; also Gen. Gaines in his inevitable uniform. We had also a jolly itinerant Irish preacher, I think of the Methodist persuasion, whom my father had met at country camp meetings. His call was to travel, and incidentally preach where the harvest was ripe. He was father of John L. Moffitt of Confederate fame, and a very attractive daughter became the wife of President Lamar.

There was dance music — a piano only — but the room was too crowded for more than one attempt at a quadrille. The notabilities, army, navy and State, did not indulge in such frivolity. Life was too serious with them. These functions generally began at 8 and terminated before the proverbial small hours. Everybody who was anybody was out of town, at country mansions to flourish with the rich, or to old homesteads to see their folks. Nobody walking the streets, no shops were open. Those of us who had no rich friends with country mansions, or no old homesteads to welcome us, remained gloomily at home, with shades down, servants off for the day, not even a basket for cards tied to the doorknob.

It is out of fashion, or, rather, the fashion has descended from parlor to kitchen. All the fathers and grandfathers, in their newest rig, stick in hand, trotted or hobbled around, making the only calls they made from year to year. No one cared to be the very first then, any more than now. That was chiefly designed for the beaux. Those varied refreshments, which every caller was expected to at least taste, often worked havoc on the young and spry, to say nothing of the halt and lame.

There were no flower decorations. Those cornucopias, very slim and pointed, containing about a spoonful of French confections, were made of stiff, shiny paper, gaudily colored miniatures of impossible French damsels ornamenting them. I have not seen one of those pretty trifles for sixty years. It was quite the style for a swain to send his Dulcinea a cornet in the early morning. If the Dulcinea did not happen to receive as many as she wanted, she could buy a few more. One liked to be a Belle! She enjoyed looking through the open window, onto the broad, unshaded street, watching an endless procession of callers.

There were rows of fashionable residences in Canal Street to be visited, and the darting in and out of open doors, as though on earnest business bent, was a sight. The men of that day wore skin-tight pantaloons we did not call them trousers , often made of light-colored materials. I clearly remember a pea green pair that my brother wore, flickering like a chameleon in and out of open street doors. Those tight-fitting pantaloons were drawn taut over the shoe, a strong leather strap extending under the foot buckled the garment down good and tight, giving the wearer as mincing a gait as the girl in the present- day hobble skirt.

The narrow clawhammer coat with tails that hung almost to the knees behind and were scarcely visible in front, had to have the corner of a white handkerchief flutter from the tail pocket. Military men like Gen. Gaines he was in his zenith at that date and all such who could sport a military record wore stiff stocks about their long necks. Those stocks made the necks appear abnormally long. They were made of buckram or sheet iron? The stocks must have been very trying to the wearers, for they could not turn their heads when they were buckled up, and, like the little boy with the broad collar, could not spit over them.

However, they did impart a military air of rigidity and stiffness, as though on dress parade all the time. I remember Major Waters had a bald spot on the top of his head and two long strands of sandy hair on each side which he carefully gathered up over the bald spot and secured in place by the aid of a side comb!

I used to wish the comb would fall out, to see what the major would do, for I was convinced he could not bend his head over that stiff, formidable stock. My father was in the same battle, but being only seventeen he did not win a title. And Major Messiah! All the men wore tall silk hats that shone like patent leather. Those hats have not been banished so long ago that all of us have forgotten their monstrosity, still to be seen now and then in old daguerreotypes or cartes de visite. They flocked in pairs to do their visiting. It would be a Mardi Gras nowadays to see one of those old-time processions.

They are long gone. Their sons, the beaux of that day, quietly graduated from the eggnog to the sideboard, become even older men than their fathers, are gone, too. I remember a very original, entertaining beau of those days saying eggnog was good enough for him, and when he felt he was arriving at the brandy-straight age he meant to kill himself.

How would he know when the time for hari-kari came? Not so many years ago I heard of him hobbling on crutches. Not only his nose, but his legs were spongy, but he gave no indication that life was not as dear to him as in his salad days. So the great day of the year wore on. After the house doors were closed at the flirt of the last clawhammer coat tail, cards were counted and comments made as to who had called and who had failed to put in appearance, the wreck of glasses, cake and tray removed, and it was as tired a set of ladies to go to bed as of men to be put into bed. The bon tons gradually relinquished the hospitable and friendly custom of years.

Ladies suspended tiny card receivers on the doorknob, and retired behind closed blinds. Those of the old friends of tottering steps and walking sticks, always the last to relinquish a loved habit, wearily dropped cards into the little basket and passed on to the next closed door. It was late in the fifties when the first movement was made to more commodious and less crowded locations on Canal Street, and Olympe, the fashionable modiste, was the venturesome pioneer.

None but those in mourning wore black; even the men wore blue or bottle green coats, gay flowered vests and tan- colored pantaloons. There were no show windows, no dressed and draped wax figures to tempt the passerby. Madame was all French and dealt only in French importations. Frey was on Chartres Street. I call to mind a visite of thinnest muslin, heavily embroidered no Hamburg or machine embroidery in those days , lined with blue silk, blue cords and tassels for a finish. It was worn by a belle of the forties, and Mme.

Frey claimed to have imported it. The madame was not French. She had a figure no French woman would have submitted to, a fog-horn voice and a well-defined mustache, but her taste was the best and her dictum in her specialty was final. The fashionable milliner was Olympe. Her specialty was imported chapeaux.

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She did not — ostensibly, at least — make or even trim chapeaux. No one had seen it; it was yours! It fit to a merveille! It was an inspiration! And so Mme. X had her special bonnet sent home in a fancy box by the hand of a dainty grisette. Olympe was the first of her class to make a specialty of delivering the goods.

Madame a-shopping went followed by a servant to bring home the packages. Gloves, one button only, were light colored, pink, lavender, lemon, rarely white; and for ordinary wear bottle green gloves were considered very comme il faut. Our shopping trip would be incomplete if we failed to call on an old Scotch couple who had a lace store under Col. The store had a door and a window, and the nice old parties who had such a prodigious Scotch brogue one would scarcely understand them, could, by a little skill, entertain three customers at one and the same time.

If one extra shopper appeared, Mr. Syme disappeared, leaving the old lady to attend to business. She was almost blind from cataract, a canny old soul and not anyways blind to business advantages. I am pleased to add they retired after a few busy years quite well-to-do.

There was Seibricht, on Royal Street, a furniture dealer, and still further down Royal Seignoret, in the same lucrative business, for I do not recall they had any competitors. Memory does not go beyond the time when Hyde and Goodrich were not the jewelers; and Loveille, on the corner of Customhouse and Royal, the grocer, for all foreign wines, cheeses, etc.

Never do I see such Parmesan as we got from Loveille in my early days. Billy McKean, as the irreverent called him, was a picture of Pickwick, and a clever, kindly old man was he. There was a round table in the rear of his shop, where one found a comfortable chair and a few books to browse over. McKean told me. As I turn the pages of my book of memories not only the names but the very faces of these shopkeepers of seventy years ago come to me, all smiles and winning ways, and way back I fly to my pantalette and pigtail days, so happy in these dreams that will never be reality to any place or people.

There were no restaurants, no lunch counters, no tea rooms, and bless their dear hearts, who started it! The old shellroad was a long drive, Bayou St. John on one side, swamps on the other, green with rushes and palmetto, clothed with gay flowers of the swamp flag. The road terminated at Lake Pontchartrain, and there the restful piazza and well-served dinner refreshed the inner woman. I am speaking of the gentler sex. No doubt there were myriads of cabarets and eating places for men on pleasure or business bent.

Then there was Carrollton Garden I think it is dead and buried now. There was a short railroad leading to Carrollton; one could see open fields and grazing cattle from the car windows as one crept along. Except a still shorter railroad to the Lake, connecting with the Lake boats, I think the rural road to Carrollton was the only one leading out of the city. The Carrollton hotel, like the Lake one, was all verandas.

I never knew of any guest staying there, even one night, but there was a dear little garden and lots of summer houses and pagodas, covered with jasmines and honeysuckle vines. One could get lemonade or orgeat or orange flower syrup, and return to the city with a great bouquet of monthly roses, to show one had been on an excursion. A great monthly rose hedge, true to its name, always in bloom, surrounded the premises.

To see a monthly rose now is to see old Carrollton gardens in the forties. There were no single seats for ladies, only four-seated boxes. Except the two stage boxes, which were more ample, and also afforded sly glimpses towards the wings and flies, all were planned for four occupants. Also, all were subscribed for by the season. There was also a row of latticed boxes in the rear of the dress circle, usually occupied by persons in mourning, or the dear old messieurs et mesdames , who were not chaperoning a mademoiselle. One stage box belonged, by right of long-continued possession, to Mr.

Cuthbert Bullitt. The opposite box was la loge des lions , and no less than a dozen lions wandered in and out of it during an evening. The box was only five dollars a night, and pater-familias certainly could afford that! Think of five dollars for four seats at the most fashionable Opera House in the land then, and compare it with five dollars for one seat in the topmost gallery of the most fashionable house in the land to-day. Can one wonder we old people who sit by our fire and pay the bills wag our heads and talk of the degenerate times?

Toilets in our day were simple, too. No need of jeweled stomachers, ropes of priceless pearls or diamond tiaras to embellish those Creole ladies, many of whom were direct descendants of French nobles; not a few could claim a drop of even royal blood. Who were the beaux? And where are they now? If any are living they are too old to hobble into the pit and sit beside the old, bald men. A large Broadway firm in New York attempted that way of conducting a lunch counter and had such a tremendous patronage that it promptly failed.

As I said, we walked. There were no street cars, no buses and precious few people had carriages to ride in. Monday morning Mme. Anne Street. Casimir was assistant in a barber shop near the French Market, but such were the gallery gods Sunday nights, and no mean critics were they. Our nights were Tuesday and Saturday. Society loves a bit of gossip, and we had a delightful dish of it about this time, furnished us by a denizen of Canal Street.

The pew door was opened wide and a gesture accompanied it, which the common-looking somebody did not fail to comprehend. She promptly rose and retired into the aisle; a seat was offered her nearer the door of the church, which she graciously accepted. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu had asked for a seat in that pew, as she bore a letter of introduction to its occupant.

This incident gave us great merriment, for the inhospitable Englishman had been boasting of the coming of Lady Mary. I introduce it here, for it has a moral which gives a Sunday school flavor to my opera reminiscences. Now they have all gone where they are happily singing, I hope, even better than Rosa de Vries, and where there are no doors to the pews. T HE pendulum is swinging. Now, in view of the return to favor of landscape wall papers, some elegant, expensive and striking specimens rise in my memory, and clamor to be once more displayed to the public.

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I vividly remember a decorated wall at a school under the charge of a superannuated Episcopal clergyman. There were Diana and her nymphs quite modestly wrapped in floating draperies on one side the room, and opposite, was Aurora in her chariot, driving her team of doves. They were up in the dawning sky, and below was such greenery as I presume old Mrs. Ward thought belonged to the period of gods and goddesses, but it was strangely like the bushes and trees in her own back yard.

Various other figures were floating or languishing about The colors, on the whole, were not brilliant; in fact, artistically subdued. That bit of mural adornment was a curiosity to all. I, a little child, thought it most wonderful, and it was. Years after the two old people had joined the immortals, I had occasion to call at the house. It was a great disappointment to find the parlor wall covered with stiff paper, representing slabs of white marble marble, of all things, in that dingy red-brick house!

Aurora and Diana, and perhaps Calypso, for I imagine the scope was sufficiently extensive to comprise such a picturesque immortal, were buried under simulated marble.

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A weatherbeaten portrait of Major Morgan in full uniform hung right over the spot where Aurora drove her fluttering birds. I looked at the desecration in dismay, when the voice of old black mammy was heard. The whirligig of time has doubtless whirled them away to some obscure closet or garret, where, with faces turned to the wall, they await a time when there will be a general cleaning up or tearing down — then where? Sic transit! That was very gay and brilliant, somewhat after the Watteau style, swains playing on impossible instruments to beauties in various listening attitudes; lambs gamboling in the distance, birds flying about amid lovely foliage, horsemen on galloping steeds with extraordinary trappings.

How I did love that wall! The new house that rose over the ashes was aptly called Whitehall. It was all white, inside and out, broad, dead white walls, grand balconies all around the mansion dead white; white steps led to the lawn, and the trees surrounding had their trunks white washed as high as could be reached by a long pole and a brush.

All the old portraits and some awful prints it was long before the chromo era were fished out of closets and other hiding places and hung about on the white walls. One old man with a tremendously long neck and a stiff black stock to help hold up his head, and a fierce look, had a pair of eyes that looked like great daubs of ink. His portrait decorated the parlor. There was no broad, high ceilinged hall to ornament with startling figures that seemed to jump at you.

Whole processions wended their way to impossible temples, wedding processions, palanquins, and all that; funeral processions dwindled away to a mere point in the distance, all becomingly solemn, until some of the irrepressible Patrick children, with black pencil, or charcoal, or ink, put pipes into all the mouths and clouds of smoke therefrom spotted the landscape.

Moral suasion was the discipline of the Patrick children, so that freak was not probably followed by afterclaps, but the Chinese were promptly marched off, and the inevitable white walls were the result. Family portraits came forth to brighten the room. One notable one that superseded the Chinese wall paper was a full-length portrait of Gov.

She was a vision of beauty, in full evening dress. He was a dashing, improvident genius, and many of his portraits were executed to cancel debts. At one time he designed and had made for my husband, in settlement for a loan, a handsome silver lidded bowl with alcohol lamp beneath.

At John C. A square hall, which was a favorite lounging place for everybody, had wall paper delineating scenes from India. Women walked toward the Ganges river, smilingly tripping along with huge water jars on their shoulders, in full view of another woman descending the steps of a temple, with a naked baby, poised aloft, to be thrown into the sacred Ganges. A crocodile ruffled the blue very blue waters, with jaws distended, ready to complete the sacrifice.

That sacred river seemed to course all around the hall, for on another side were a number of bathers, who appeared to be utterly oblivious of their vicinity to the mother and babe, not to mention the awful crocodile. The culmination of landscape wall paper must have been reached in the Minor plantation dwelling in Ascension parish. It was after that style of mural decoration was of the past, that I visited the Minors. The hall was broad and long, adorned with real jungle scenes from India.

A great tiger jumped out of dense thickets toward savages, who were fleeing in terror. Tall trees reached to the ceiling, with gaudily striped boa constrictors wound around their trunks; hissing snakes peered out of jungles; birds of gay plumage, paroquets, parrots, peacocks everywhere, some way up, almost out of sight in the greenery; monkeys swung from limb to limb; ourang-outangs, and lots of almost naked, dark-skinned natives wandered about. To cap the climax, right close to the steps one had to mount to the story above was a lair of ferocious lions!

I spent hours studying that astonishing wall paper, and I applauded Mrs. Old portraits and any kind of inartistic picture or print were brought forth to gratify the eye unaccustomed to such monotony. So they come and are appreciated, those images of loved ones. So they often go, and are despised by those who follow us, and who, perchance, never knew the original. Now the questions arise, will landscape wall papers really return?

And in their pristine splendor? Surely the scope in brilliancy and variety could not be excelled. The limit was reached almost seventy years ago, and naturally I was a child then comes as vividly to my mind as the counterfeit face of my ancestor with eyes following me all around the room. I have just been reading of a fashionable wedding where the bride and her attendants carried flat bouquets with lace paper frills.

Later the porte bouquets were abandoned, but the stiff little posies, in their lacy frills, remained. James Pollock had a fund of such rare flowers to draw from, for though the Pollock home down on Royal street was the simplest of old Creole houses, flush on the street, only two steps from the banquette leading into a modest parlor, there was a tiny parterre in the rear, a vision of the most choice collection of plants. Still those camellias, Grand Dukes and violets thrived and bloomed, and delighted the heart of any girl to whom James, the best dancer in society, sent them in one of those tight little bouquets on the eve of a dance.

I have to-day a much larger parterre in my backyard, open to sun and rain and wind, but no amount of coddling brings anything better than dock-weed and tie-grass. I leave it to the climate of my own sunny Southland to explain the problem. The porte bouquet will no doubt come in time. Last Christmas what should my granddaughter receive but a mob cap of gold lace!

Every woman when she arrived at middle age, and some who found them becoming at an earlier age, wore caps. My mother was considered very tasty and expert at cap-trimming. Mechlin lace one rarely sees it now was considered the fashionable cap lace. Remember cotton laces and Italian laces and machine-made laces were not in existence in those days, neither were Hamburg embroideries and Nottingham curtains, two awful products of to-day; and a thousand other make- believes, cheap and tawdry now.

The net foundation was fitted to the wooden head, the lace was attached in folds and frills, and little pink rosebuds or some other tiny flower scattered tastefully here and there. Behold a dress cap! One can imagine the care and taste and time and thought consumed in its manufacture. And how the old lady must have appeared when in full dress!

Many of those dames wore little bunches of black curls to enhance the effect, those tight, stiff little curls that looked like they had been wound on a slate-pencil. Dear Mrs. Leonard Matthews always wore the black curls. Even a few years after the war I met the sweet old lady, curls and all, jet black, tight little curls, and she looked scarcely older than in my earliest recollection of her. Well, I must return to cap trimmings to tell of a bride. She must have been in the neighborhood of seventy, for she made what her friends called a suitable match with a widower long past that age.

They came to the St. Charles Hotel on a kind of honeymoon trip. She decorated her head, oh, ye cherubim and seraphim! I, who revel in a towering white pompadour, have just had the present of a soft silk cap, with frills and bows. I presume it will be useful on the breezy piazzas of the mountains a week hence; but it looks to me now that the caps of our mothers and grandmothers are on the march hitherward.

Who knows but they may be useful yet? Nobody had dreamed even of machine-made ruchings any more than of vehicles that run all over the streets without the aid of horses.

  • The Weapon to Beat Depression: In 4 Easy Steps.
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  • Feasting and Fasting: Canadas Heritage Celebrations;
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  • We made our frills of lawn, neatly gathered on to a band, and what is more, they had to be fluted with hot irons. How queer it is, when we recall to mind the images of people so long absent that they are almost forgotten, the image presents itself, emphasized by some peculiarity of dress or speech. When I think of Dr. Now, every Biddy in the kitchen and every little darky one sees wandering around wears handsomer frills than Susanna and I ever dreamed of.

    Parasols had heavy fringes; so, to show to advantage, they were carried upside down, the ferule end fitted with a ring to be, like the bouquet holders, hung from the finger. My sister had a blue parasol, with pink fringe, that I thought too beautiful for words. How I should laugh at it now! Black, heelless slippers, with narrow black ribbons, wound over the instep, and crossed and recrossed from ankle, way up, over white stockings, were the style; it was a pretty fashion. I was only a looker-on. When I mentioned slippers I recalled that hotel hop, for Mme.

    Le Vert wore a pink silk dress and pink satin slippers, all laced up and tied up with broad pink ribbons. Nobody had ever seen the like before. Walton, her mother, was on hand, and hopped, too, just as spry a hop as any young girl. I contrived to sidle along and keep near to Mme. Le Vert, for I was as fascinated as any one of her numerous beaux. Le Vert, by the way, had just started on a trip to Europe for his health. Going to Europe then was like taking a trip to Mars now. I heard Mme. Le Vert talking to four different swains in four different languages.

    I believe she considered her linguistic versatility her strong point. She surely was a most remarkable woman. She was as tender and sweet to me, a very plain, simple, unattractive girl, as to her swellest friends. One does not easily forget such an episode of early life. I never met Mme. Le Vert after that autumn. I will not moralize or sermonize over these reminiscences. They are all of the dead past. Both fashions and people are gone. It was made to Mrs. Slocomb, in her library. There followed many amusing particulars, audible to us, in the adjoining room, but we were discreet young girls; perhaps that was one reason we were among the very few invited to the wedding, which so quickly followed the engagement that it was a complete surprise to the whole community.

    Sixty years ago only Catholics went to the sanctuary for a wedding ceremony. Protestant weddings were home affairs, necessarily confined to family and nearest friends. Houses being limited in space, company was limited in number. The idea of having a grand reception to announce a marriage engagement, to which everybody who is anybody is invited, was unheard of. We did things on a very different scale sixty years ago! I had not even heard the name of Mr. There were already six married daughters, with hosts of children , at that time in the Longer family, so there could have been little room on such an occasion for outsiders, even if their presence had been desired.

    Wedding presents were not made, either. The first time we saw a display of wedding gifts, how surprised we were, and how we wondered as to how it happened! There were not many, nor were they expensive, so for ever so long I could have given the list and the names of the donors. Dear Maria Shute, who, as I remember, was the bridesmaid, presented a pearl- handled paper cutter! That article might have escaped my memory, along with the others, but years after that wedding I met Maria, then Mrs.

    Babcock, and we talked of it all, and had a merry laugh over the paper cutter. Fifty-eight years ago, when I married, I was surprised by a solitary wedding present, a napkin ring! From the most unexpected source it came. The giver is long since dead and gone; dead and gone also is the napkin ring. At the wedding of Caroline Hennen to Mr. Muir, the first I ever attended, there were not a dozen guests, but the rooms were filled, indeed the Hennen family easily filled one of them.

    At this wedding we met Mr. William Babcock from New York, a forty-niner en route to California this was in The following day I went with him to call on and introduce him to his young cousin, an intimate friend of mine he was desirous of meeting. She was of that handsome family of Smiths, a niece of Mrs. More than fifty years after I saw their children and grandchildren in California. Some of us must remember genial, gossipy Mrs. Garnet Duncant, the bon vivant, so bright, so fat and so entertaining? She it was who called one day sixty years ago to tell us Amelia Zacharie had married her invalid cousin, and sailed away with him.

    Those two are the only cases I recall of wedding trips, and both were permanent trips, for there was no intention of a return to New Orleans of either couple. It was the fashion for the newly-mated to remain quietly in the home nest, until one of their very own be made ready for their reception. Pollock swept in late, full of apologies.

    His sister Mana had married that evening and he was detained. The only other wedding trip I can chronicle was one where the bridegroom went alone. Do you remember what an excitement there was, years ago, when a wealthy young man disappeared from the side of his bride the morning after the wedding? There were no wires or wireless then to facilitate the hunt, undertaken with frantic haste, and continuing two mortally anxious weeks. He was eventually discovered, in a semi-conscious, dazed condition, on a wharfboat at Baton Rouge, or some such river town. It was twenty years after this second disappearance that the courts pronounced him dead, and the widow permitted to administer on the estate.

    In those days old maids were rare. Every girl, so to say, married. The few exceptions served to emphasize the rarity of an unmated female. Divorces were so rare when I was young that they were practically unknown in polite circles. I know of cases, and you would know of them, too, if I mentioned names, where men sent their erring or cast-off wives, not to Coventry, but to Paris, and made them stay there. One such died in Paris lately at the age of ninety-five, who was packed off, under a cloud of suspicion.

    There was no divorce, no open scandal. She simply went and stayed! He simply stayed! Last winter I was invited to a view sounds like a picture exhibit! I was stunnned with amazement! A large room filled to overflowing with glass, china, silver, mirrors, everything a body could require, and a vast array of utterly useless articles!

    My gracious! All that banished for stunning simplicity. Not so, however, the costumes and entertainments, which are becoming, so it seems to a near-sighted old lady, more and more luxurious. Perhaps this extreme we all dote on extremes of simplicity will come to take the place of many other equally absurd extremes of the present day. Qui vivra verra. W E missed the train! We had eighteen miles to make, and if the Belle Creole had made the run we would have been all right, but the Belle Creole was not a flier; it had no time for arrivals or departures; it just jogged along at its own good will, answering every call, running all sorts of antics up and down the river.

    Dick started out to see what he could do. I sat on the dirty porch, looking through November china trees towards the river. Is there anything more depressing than a view of china trees in November? The pretty, fragrant, blue flowers long gone, and the mocking birds nobody ever heard of English sparrows then! The train we had missed, the dear old Belle Creole always missed, was a kind of private affair. The whole outfit, about twenty miles of track, the lumbering cars, the antiquated engines, and I think, too, the scattering woods that supplied the fuel were all the private property of the McGehees.

    The McGehees had a cotton factory in the neighborhood of Woodville, twenty miles from the river. Ladies going back and forth and gentlemen of leisure used their own conveyance, a turtle-back affair that was entered by a row of steps. The man had a mended look, too, but he was sober, and for a good, round sum agreed to take us to Laurel Hill. Laurel Hill, where we proposed to go, was a post office station, about ten miles from Woodville and four miles across country.

    We meandered along, tired and out of all patience. At the date of this tramp I was a little girl and not given to moralizing. It was long after dark, and there was no one to tell us the story of the high water but a negro man, who was shutting up the one door of the building. There was nothing left us but to go to the nearest plantation house and ask for lodgings.

    The tired horses and the sleepy driver made slow work. There was a gate and an opening, but the house was pitch dark, every door closed and everybody apparently asleep. The nags were willing to stand, unhitched, beside the fence; not an automobile or flying machine could have scared them; they were asleep, too.

    After much knocking and calling at what seemed to be the door of entrance, an old gentleman, candle in hand and very scantily dressed, demanded to know what was wanted. Come right in. I was awfully tired and awfully sleepy, and I began to think our lodgings were to be parlor chairs, long before the dining room door was opened, and the genial old gentleman, in night shirt and trousers, led the way to the table.

    It would take me back forty years to see a cook roused at midnight, to prepare such a meal. I presume she even took herself to the roost and caught her young chicken by the legs and wrung its neck before she reached the newly-made fire. Major Haile knew we had not broken our fast at the town hotel.

    I sent to see about the condition of the creek; it goes down about as fast as it rises. When you are rested my carriage is at your disposal. Your driver was not used to these roads, but mine knows every crossing in the creek. The wedding house we found in commotion. There were no caterers or experts even in New Orleans in The wedding supper was in process of preparation, under the superintendence of a noted old cakemaker from Woodville, nine miles off.

    Everybody was busy; only General McCausland, the dear old master of the house, was quietly seated by his parlor window, a very old man, but a soldier withal, who could rise to emergencies when required. I drew up a chair and explained our delay, and told him how grandly hospitable his neighbor was.

    The two old men were the last remaining ones of their company of the battle of New Orleans. Their homes were in payment from the Government for their services. The dear old gentlemen said they were neither general nor major; they were simple soldiers who had discharged their services and accepted their pay. Both the men were Irish, both poor boys. They worked hard, soon exhausted the old red soil of their neighborhood.

    Time flew; neighbors had arrived, the table was spread in the long back porch. The guests, many of them, lived miles and miles away, in common country roads, often through dense woods — a long drive under best circumstances, a perilous one at night, everybody waiting, everybody in a hurry, everybody getting tired and fretful. It was long after the appointed time, and the New Orleans preacher had missed the train! Old Dilsey in the kitchen was mad because her pig was getting too brown; Elfey in the porch worrying that her ice cream was waiting too long; ladies in the parlor trying to kill time; men wandering around the front yard in restless groups.

    Carriages had been to the depot; no appearance of Mr. Jahleel Woodbridge, the New Orleans minister. He was endeared to the family, had been for years their minister at Woodville. Bride, in all her regal attire, upstairs in tears; no Presbyterian preacher nearer than ten miles away. So we waited and waited. At last the General sent for his especial groom, ordered him to take the buggy and go four miles through the woods, where there was a Methodist itinerant, and tell him to come without delay to marry the couple.

    The accommodating preacher came, just as he was. He had been plowing his field, and his wife off to see a sick child, had carried the keys with her. He could not even get a clean handkerchief, but he came in his workaday suit. The company hastily assembled. The kindly man was scarce gone when Mr. Jahleel Woodbridge arrived in a coach, most astonishingly like the one we had used the previous day. Only a year or two later the hospitable Major passed away; shortly after the General followed him, and the dear old homes have passed away also from the face of the earth.

    D O not think I mean to imply the belles and beaux of which I am about to speak were forty years old, but they had their butterfly existence in the year Some, no doubt, fluttered around before, and a few after that date, but they all were of that era of simple life that, alas!

    Miss Ellen Johnson, who became later the wife of William B. Warren Stone, wore the most beautiful curls — wore them long after that style ceased to be haut ton. The long pointed waist, chuck full of real, hard, stiff whalebones all the whalebones must have been used up then; nobody can find one now , corset also whaleboned to the limit, laced at the back and with literally a board up the front, at least three inches wide — a real board, apple tree wood preferred, hard and stiff and unyielding. Ladies so girded up walked and stood and sat, too, like drum majors; no round, stooping shoulders; one just had to stand straight, with an apple tree board as a constant reminder.

    I used even to hear that in cases where the poise had a tendency to lapse it was not unusual for the victim to wear the corset night and day. The tournure of was buried in such oblivion that it requires one to be almost eighty years old to drag it forth and display its hideousness, explain its construction. The ends, however, tapered to points, which met and were secured in front of the waist. Over this awful precipice the full gathered dress skirt fell in rippling cascades. Good-by, tchuny! I am sure you will never resurrect.

    Your reign was disastrous to taste. You lived one short decade; without a mourner when you departed. Can it be possible they are back on the counters masquerading under another name? Nor do I see tarletans of that date. It required a whole piece or bolt of that goods for a dress. It had to have at least three skirts, one over the other, to give the diaphanous effect. Such sweet, simple dresses they were, too. Miss Mary Jane Matthews, a belle of the forties, wore a pink tarletan, trimmed with wreaths of small white roses, that was an inspiration.

    One very striking one comes to mind, gold colored, garnished with red hollyhocks! I think some Western girl must have sported that; it was scarcely simple enough for Creole taste. Emma Shields was a noted beauty. I recall a plaster bust of Queen Victoria, idealized beyond all reason or recognition, one of my brothers kept on a shelf in his room.

    He adored it because he saw a resemblance to beautiful Emma Shields. She, poor girl, married unfortunately, and dropped suddenly out of sight. Peter Anderson? Tall and thin and angular he imagined he looked like Henry Clay, and he was of similar build , dressed in what was known as moleskin, a tan-colored goods looking strangely like rough-finished kid, the trousers so skin-tight and so firmly strapped under the shoe that he had to assume a sitting posture with considerable deliberation and care.

    Here comes Adolphus Hamilton, a quiet eligible, more known in business than in social circles, but the far- seeing mammas kept an eye on him, he was such a bon parti. One fine day he surprised these mammas by arriving with his bride from a trip to Natchez. Henry Hollister, too, was a business man who made few social calls, but was in evidence at all the dances. A few years ago I met his daughter at a summer resort. She was prodigiously amused that papa, now hobbling about with a gouty foot and stout cane, ever could have been a dancing beau.

    George W. Kendall went off one fine day, to what he proposed would be a kind of picnic, in the wilds of Western Texas. His Santa Fe expedition spun out a longer and more varied experience than he contemplated, of which his graphic account, now unhappily out of print, is most entertaining.

    He married in France, and in Texas during the war we met him, after a lapse of many years. He had founded the town of New Braunfels, near San Antonio, and retired, full of years, and full of interest in the rough life around him, so different from the New Orleans of his earlier days and the Paris of his gayer ones. The Miltenberger brothers were never old. My body, my enemy : my thirteen year battle with anorexia nervosa Claire Beeken Claire Beeken first went to hospital with an eating disorder aged For over decade she locked herself into a vicious cycle of starvation, laxative abuse, binge-eating and vomiting, attempted suicide and periods in a psychiatric hospital.

    This graphically honest, deeply-affecting, and darkly funny account of Claire's illness tells the story of an ordinary girl from Luton living life with rare intensity. He's just not that into you : the no-excuses truth to understanding guys Greg Behrendt Based on an episode of Sex and the City, offers a lighthearted, no-nonsense look at dead-end relationships, with advice for letting go and moving on. Pretty in punk: 25 punk, rock, and goth knitting projects Alyce Benevides Pretty in Punk salutes counterculture fashion with 25 entirely original designs inspired by fashion icons Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano, and punk legends.

    Blood royal Vanora Bennett Catherine de Valois, daughter of the French king, is born in troubled times. Catherine is married off to Henry V as part of a treaty honouring his victory over France, and is destined to be a trophy wife. Within two years she is widowed, and mother of the future King of England and France. The sons of Adam Harry Bingham An epic tale of brothers divided, family rivalry, fortunes lost and won, set against the background of the early days of the oil industry.

    Two boys are raised as brothers and are the best of friends until a tragic misunderstanding occurs. Now they become the bitterest of rivals. Thornton are famous fighter pilots together in World War I. Willard returns to a hero's welcome in America and launches a film career. Abe just wants to fly — and he has no rich family to support him.

    The baby diaries Sam Binnie A few weeks after Kiki and Thom return from honeymoon, Kiki finds there's a noticeable absence. One pregnancy test later, Kiki's breaking the "good news" Thom: Wow. We're so - Edwardian. Checkmate Malorie Blackman Can the future ever erase the past? Rose has a Cross mother and a Nought father in a society where the pale-skinned Noughts are treated as inferiors and those with dual heritage face a life-long battle against deep-rooted prejudices. But Callie Rose knows the truth. Her boyfriend Tobey is worried about his own future. A nought boy at an exclusive school Tobey hopes to keep out of trouble, go to university, get a good job and leave the dangerous streets of his childhood behind.

    The Witch's Bargain: Penny and John and One-Eyed Zach and the Witch in the House on Postman's Hack

    Knife edge Malorie Blackman Following on from "Noughts and Crosses", Sephy is struggling to raise her mixed-race child in an apartheid society and to make her mark as a singer in a society prejudiced against Crosses like her. But when her daughter finds out about her parentage, she must reassess her identity. Callum is from the despised group of Noughts, Sephy belongs to the elite Crosses.

    Their childhood friendship turns to first love, but is threatened when strict racial and sexual taboos lead those around them to violent acts with tragic consequences. Shadow in Serenity Terri Blackstock Carny Sullivan, suspicious about suave, handsome Logan Brisco and his charming ways, is drawn to him, despite her best intentions and her determination to expose his plans for her quiet Texas town. You look awfully like the Queen: wit and wisdom from the House of Windsor Thomas Blaikie A beautifully illustrated collection of amusing and affectionate stories from inside the royal family.

    Taken as a whole they reflect the contradictory roles we like royalty to fulfil: unworldly and impossibly regal or engagingly domesticated and just like us, or camp, worldly and outrageous. The blind eye Georgia Blain Silas is haunted by the vision of a luminous, surreal garden on the outskirts of Port Tremaine, a desolate country town. In this garden lives Constance, as beautiful as the morning and as blind as the night. They say Constance can see the truth at the heart of things to which others are blind — but where does truth begin and blindness end?

    Candelo Georgia Blain It's the seventies and Ursula's mother takes foster boy, Mitchell, away with them on a summer holiday. Charismatic, charming and troubled, Mitchell's brief time with them alters who they are — forever. Years later, when she hears of Mitchell's death, Ursula is forced to confront heartbreaking truths about herself and her family.

    Closed for winter Georgia Blain Twenty years have passed since that day on the jetty, but it is only now that Elise has found the strength to go back and face the events of her past. She begins to unravel all that has been tying her up, picking through that day, piece by piece, from beginning to end. Closed for Winter is a gripping novel that will haunt you to the very end, and a powerful, positive story about the pain of letting go. Her life is instantly changed, and she gives up everything to be with him and to follow his faith. This is a story of mothers and daughters, of the pain of losing a child, in ways both common and unexpected.

    The secret lives of men Georgia Blain In these haunting stories, Georgia Blain explores human nature in all its richness: our motivations, our desires and our shortcomings. An exceptional collection by one of Australia's leading writers. Women of a dangerous age Fanny Blake This is a warm novel about women, relationships and why it's never too late to change. To celebrate her new-found freedom, Lou travels to India, where, in front of the Taj Mahal, she befriends Ali.

    As Lou and Ali put their pasts behind them, they start to discover new possibilities for life and for love, until the shocking realisation that they have far more in common than they thought. Thoroughly researched and beautifully photographed, this book includes failsafe recipes for more than cakes, scones, biscuits and pastries as well as delectable creams and icings and jams. Let's bring back : an encyclopedia of forgotten-yet-delightful chic, useful, curious, and otherwise commendable things from times gone by Lesley M. Blume Collects terms of memorable items from eras gone by that are widely no longer in use, including white gloves, calling cards, parasols, and steamer trunks.

    Temptation Dermot Bolger A marriage and a family reach breaking point on an annual holiday in the loveliest hotel in Ireland. Paddington Michael Bond Bringing together three favourite novels about Paddington, the beloved, classic bear from Darkest Peru. Well-preserved : recipes and techniques for putting up small batches of seasonal foods Eugenia Bone Offers information on canning and preserving foods using traditional and new low-tech methods, along with recipes that feature preserved foods.

    Blind to the bones Stephen Booth As far as the parents of missing student Emma Renshaw are concerned, their daughter is alive — which doesn't help DS Diane Fry in her efforts to re-open the case. DC Ben Cooper's attempts to solve the recent killings come up against an equally impenetrable barrier in the shape of the Oxley family. Pantheon Sam Bourne Oxford, James Zennor, a brilliant young don, is rowing alone on a bright July morning cursing himself for the wound that has branded him unfit for duty in the war against Hitler.

    He returns home to discover his wife Florence has vanished, along with their young son no doubt in despair at his dark moods and shattered body. Now, a man deemed too damaged to fight in the war must save not only his family, but his country too. Broke : who killed the middle classes? David Boyle If you thought being middle-class meant your own home, something set aside for the kids and a comfortable retirement — think again. Shadow on the crown Patricia Bracewell Marrying the much-older king of England in the year , sixteen-year-old Emma of Normandy is surrounded by a treacherous court and regarded as a threat by her husband before drawing on her wits to gain a few friends and protect her station.

    Everything to gain Barbara Taylor Bradford Mallory Keswick, a woman who has it all and loses everything to tragedy, desperately struggles to conquer despair and take charge of her own destiny. Love in another town Barbara Taylor Bradford Jake and Maggie, each fleeing a failed marriage, meet and fall in love, but their pasts provide obstacles. Secrets from the past Barbara Taylor Bradford Talented war photographer Serena Stone tackles her father's huge legacy of iconic photographs while writing his biography.

    It is among these images that Serena stumbles across photos that turn her world upside down. Her rise is marked by dazzling performances and a carefully concealed, yet undeniably ruthless, determination to succeed. Katherine irrevocably changes the lives of her closest friends and never looks back until she needs the one thing they alone can give her — forgiveness. The groundwater diaries : trials, tributaries and tall stories from beneath the streets of London Tim Bradford A surreal view of London's hidden waterways. Since the mid 19th century, most of the tributaries of the River Thames have been buried beneath concrete and brick.

    Tim Bradford invites you to take a walk with him along the routes of these forgotten rivers. It's the height of the jazz age and Evie O'Neill has arrived just in time to make the most of the higher hems and lower morals. But then young women start turning up dead and Evie's psychic abilities lead her to suspect that an old evil may have resurfaced. The first in a blockbuster series featuring sassy girls, hot guys, and a wild ride into a whole lot of trouble.

    When she is unfairly dismissed, Lucy is forced to take a job in a seedy nightclub — something nice girls just don't do, and is soon caught up in London's criminal underbelly. Coronation day Kay Brellend The residents of the tough streets around Islington are heartbroken at the death of George the VI but having a young Queen on the throne isn't the only change that they can expect. The toughest street in London, Campbell Road, is due for demolition. One of the last residents remaining, Matilda Kiever, born and bred on the street, remembers many things about the past, not least what really happened to Christopher Wild's mum, Pamela.

    The family Kay Brellend Jimmy Wild saunters around the streets of Campbell Road, and among the people he used to terrorise. Even though the years have passed, he's still a tyrant. How can young Faye make a life for herself and carve a future for young siblings? Who is this aged woman that Jimmy Wild has come back to see? And can a romance between Faye and Rob blossom amidst a family at War? Casper Candlewacks in the claws of crime Ivan Brett Most villages have an idiot but Casper's village is full of them.

    So being bright makes poor Casper something of an outsider. An infamous cat burglar has struck in the village of Corne-on-the-Kobb, stealing a precious jewelled sword and kidnapping Casper's baby sister. Armed only with his wits, an egg-boiling lie-detecting machine and his best friend Lamp, can Casper rescue his sister and save the day? The daylight war Peter V. Brett Humanity is fighting back. Although the night still belongs to the demons that arise as the sun sets, new wards and weapons are giving those willing to fight in the darkness a chance to retaliate against their core-spawned enemies.

    But, as humanity is about to learn, not all monsters are confined to the dark. The painted man ; and, The desert spear Peter V. Brett The painted man. Eleven-year-old Arlen lives with his parents near the isolated hamlet of Tibbet's Brook. As dusk falls upon Arlen's world, mist rises from the ground promising a violent death to any foolish enough to brave the coming darkness; for hungry demons materialize from the vapours impatient to feed. Each year, the Carew sisters embark on the yearly trip down to Cornwall for the summer holidays. When an old face reappears on the scene, years of simmering resentments reach boiling point.

    Otter chaos! Michael Broad The otterly bonkers Brown family are hugely excited, as today's the day they move to their new home. But when they get there they find the beastly Black family have got there first. This riverbank isn't big enough for the both of them, so there's only one thing for it: war.

    Well, not real war. Otters are more into playing than fighting. Allanon's quest Terry Brooks The once-Druid Brona, seduced by his pursuit of dark magic, was forever transformed into the Warlock Lord--whose evil would be the downfall of the Four Lands and the death of the Races. Against him, the Elven King Jerle Shannara wielded the fabled sword that bore his surname and triumphed.

    Or so it was believed. But though the Dark Lord was driven out … he was not destroyed. The weapons master's choice Terry Brooks His extraordinary--and deadly--skills have earned Garet Jax renown and infamy as the man called the Weapons Master. Rootless, solitary, and endlessly sought after, he roams the Four Lands, loyal to none but himself … and whomever can afford his services as warrior, assassin, and avenger for hire.

    Georgie is thrown into disarray when Carrington's is plunged into a recession-busting makeover, cueing the arrival of femme fatale Maxine, who wields the axe in her immaculately-manicured hands. And when hot newcomer Tom arrives, who may or may not be the best thing since sliced bread, Georgie must decide where her loyalties really lie.

    Brunstetter Join Meredith and Luke Stoltzfus, an Amish couple who are faced with the greatest challenge of their young lives. Set mainly in London and Brighton, this is the story of the next 54 years of Alexander's life. Flying leap : stories Judy Budnitz Tales of fantasy and black humour. In Guilt, a family persuades a man to donate his heart to his dying mother in return for all the sacrifices she made for him, while in Dog Days a man convinces some people he is a dog and they feed him until a food shortage develops, whereupon he becomes a candidate for a meal.

    If I told you once Judy Budnitz A family saga featuring three generations of women who have the same problem with their daughter as their mother had with them. It begins with a teenage Jewish girl who flees the pogroms of Eastern Europe for America. Losing the last 5 kg : simple steps to get the body you want Susie Burrell Perhaps one of the main reasons that so many of us carry an extra 5kg is that it is actually very easy to put on and live with. But when push comes to shove, if we set our minds to it, it is also quite easy to lose 5kg and be rid of the burden!

    Idiopathy Sam Byers This bitterly humorous debut is a novel of love, narcissism, and ailing cattle. Both scathing invective on a self-obsessed generation and moving account of love and loneliness, 'Idiopathy' skewers everything from militant environmentalists to self-help quackery and announces the arrival of a savagely funny talent. Overbite Meg Cabot Now working for the Palatine Guard--a secret demon-hunting unit of the Vatican--Meena Harper tries to win over her co-workers as well as her new partner Alaric Wolf while investigating a young priest recently assigned to the case.

    Cape storm Rachel Caine Weather Warden Joanne Baldwin and her new husband, the Djinn David, are running from a malevolent hurricane bent on destroying her. Joined by an army of fellow Wardens and Djinn onboard a hijacked luxury liner, Joanne has lured the storm into furious pursuit. But even their combined magic may not be enough to stop it-nor the power-mad ex-Weather Warden controlling it … Chill factor Rachel Caine Joanne Baldwin, a Weather Warden who enjoys fast living, tries to save the world from Kevin, a teenager who's creating chaos with a powerful Djinn, by surrendering her own Djinn and possibly her life while trying to discern who is friend or foe.

    Firestorm Rachel Caine An ancient agreement between the Djinn and the Wardens has been broken, and the furious Djinn, slaves to the Wardens for millennia, are now free of mortal control. Joanne realizes that the natural disasters they've combated for so long were merely symptoms of restless Mother Nature fidgeting in her sleep. Now she's waking up and she's angry. Unfortunately, Joanne's pre-marital bliss is ended by a devastating earthquake in Florida. And she can't ask David and his kind for assistance. Because the cause of the quake is unlike anything Joanne has ever encountered — and a power even the Djinn cannot perceive.

    Reborn as a Djinn, she senses something sinister entering earth's atmosphere-something that makes tomorrow's forecast look deadly. Usually, all it takes is a wave of her hand to tame the most violent weather. But now, she's trying to outrun another kind of storm: accusations of corruption and murder. So, she's resorting to the very human tactic of running for her life. Thin air Rachel Caine After preventing Mother Earth from destroying the planet, weather warden Joanne Baldwin loses her memories at the hands of a vengeful djinn and, finding her tenuous grip on life slipping fast, must recover her identity before she disappears into thin air.

    Total eclipse Rachel Caine Weather Warden Joanne Baldwin and Djinn David, who have been stripped of their powers, must stop a poisonous substance from destabilizing the entire balance of power and destroying the magic that keeps the world alive. Windfall Rachel Caine TV weather girl and former Weather Warden Joanne Baldwin, dealing with a vengeful cop, her divorced sister, her new beau, and a supernatural civil war, must choose between saving her abilities or saving humanity when the agreement between the Wardens and the Djinn crumbles. Navy, is hired by Alexander Banebridge, or "Bane," a man who equally attracts and aggravates her, to translate a seemingly innocuous collection of European documents, and finds herself in the middle of a secret war against some of the most dangerous criminals on the East Coast.

    The lady of Bolton Hill Elizabeth Camden Female journalists are rare in , but American-born Clara Endicott has finally made a name for herself with her provocative articles championing London's poor. When the backlash from her work forces a return home to Baltimore, Clara finds herself face-to-face with a childhood sweetheart who is no longer the impoverished factory worker she once knew.

    The rose of Winslow Street Elizabeth Camden The last thing Libby Sawyer and her father expected upon their return from their summer home was to find strangers inhabiting a house that had been in their family for twenty years. Widower Michael Dobrescu brought his family from Romania to the town of Colden, Massachusetts, with a singular purpose: to claim the house willed to his father.

    Since neither party has any intention of giving up their claim, a fierce legal battle ensues between the two families. This is where I am Karen Campbell Glasgow. A city of colour and contrast. A place where two worlds collide — and are changed forever. When the Scottish Refugee Council assigns Deborah Maxwell to act as Somali refugee Abdi's new mentor, the two are drawn into an awkward friendship. They must spend a year together, meeting once a month in a different part of Glasgow.

    A recipe for life Antonio Carluccio Antonio Carluccio is a larger-than-life character who, over his year career, has inspired thousands of people with his no-fuss Italian cooking and passion for good food and wine. But behind the famous name is a man whose life has been full of unexpected twists and turns, joy and sadness, love and loss. Art at the speed of life : motivation and inspiration for making mixed-media art every day Pam Carriker Insightful and inventive mixed-media artist Pam Carriker takes you on a journey to find your own inspiration and creativity, showing you just how easy it is to make beautiful, personal art every day.

    Pam Carriker offers real-life solutions to help you in your search for creative freedom. Boomer and me : a memoir of motherhood and Asperger's Jo Case Between juggling work, joint custody and the ordinary demands of motherhood, Jo tries to work out why her son Leo aka Boomer is finding it hard to fit in. This is the bittersweet story of a twenty-first-century family, and why being different isn't a disability — it just takes some getting used to.

    The elite Kiera Cass Sixteen-year-old America Singer is one of only six girls still competing in the Selection — but before she can fight to win Prince Maxon and the Illean crown, she must decide where her own heart truly lies. Pony passion Harriet Castor As Lyndz and her friends work on a school project about transportation used during the Victorian era, Lyndz struggles to overcome a fear of ponies after breaking her arm during a practice with one at the local stables.

    My Antonia Willa Cather After the death of his parents, Jim is sent to live with his grandparents on the Nebraska plains. By chance on that same train is a bright-eyed girl, Antonia, who will become his neighbour and lifelong friend. Her family has emigrated from Bohemia to start a new life farming but soon lose their money and must work had just to survive.

    Through it all, Antonia retains her natural pride and free spirit. As the two try to rekindle their friendship and youthful success, they drive around Pittsburgh collecting disasters. The School for Good and Evil Soman Chainani Sophie, the most beautiful girl in town, has always dreamed of her place at the School for Good while her friend Agatha, with her dark disposition seems destined for the School for Evil.

    But when the two are kidnapped they find their fortunes reversed. She's desperate to escape the run-down, pokey council house she shares with her overbearing family, but at 14 years old she has nowhere to go. When Stephanie meets East End wide-boy Barry, his cockney charm and quick tongue soon have her head over heels in love. Falling to pieces Vannetta Chapman Coming together to organize an on-line quilt auction, two women--one Amish, one English--find their alliance moving beyond the short-term business venture after the town's newspaper editor is murdered and an unexpected prime suspect is identified.

    Papillon Henri Charriere Papillon is the greatest escape story of all time--and it's all true. This chronicles Henri Charriere's life in gripping detail from his nine escape attempts from penal colonies in French Guyana to his sanctuary in Venezuela in Charriere candidly and vividly portrays himself and his fellow prisoners, the horrors of confinement in an open cage, the nightmare of a dungeon that floods at high tide, and the hope that helped him survive. And now…survival expert. In this handy pocket-sized book, Ruby will give you the lowdown on how to survive a bunch of tricky situations.

    So long as you keep a cool head, buster, you can make it out of there alive. Mateship with birds Alec H. Chisholm Ninety years on, A. Chisholm's classic Mateship with birds is still as fresh and inspirational as an early-morning walk in the bush, the air resounding with birdsong. This is not just a book for bird-lovers. His style of writing and the historical photographs accompanying his text provide a gentle record of a period that already feels like 'the old days'.

    When things fall apart Pema Chodron How can we go on living 'when things fall apart', when we are overcome by pain, fear, and anxiety? Pema Chodron's answer to that question contains some spectacularly good news: there is a fundamental happiness readily available to each one of us, no matter how difficult things seem to be. How will you measure your life?

    Clayton M. Christensen After beating a heart attack, advanced-stage cancer and a stroke in three successive years, the world-renowned innovation expert and author of one of the best selling and most influential business books of all time — The Innovator's Dilemma — Clayton M. Christensen delivered a short but powerful speech to the Harvard Business School graduating class. True Brews Emma Christensen The blood-stained pavement Agatha Christie Joyce Lempiere tells of an incident that occurred five years ago when she was painting a picture of the front of an inn, including details of wet bathing suits drying on the balcony of Denis and Margery Dacre, when she realised she had included blood stains on the pavement.

    A few days later Margery is found dead, having drowned, and the Club are called to solve the mystery. The blue geranium Agatha Christie The Blue Geranium is told in flashback, as Miss Marple implores her friend Sir Henry to intervene to prevent the wrong man from being hanged for the murders of his wife and mistress. Mary Mead, hopes to cheer up Miss Marple as she recovers from the flu with a little story.

    The tale revolves around the return of the prodigal son of Major Laxton, the devilishly handsome Harry Laxton. Davenheim, a wealthy financier, leaves his home to mail a letter, then fails to return. The story fills the newspapers and intrigues Hercule Poirot, who challenges Inspector Japp with the claim that he can solve the case before the police, and without leaving his flat. The four suspects Agatha Christie A classic Agatha Christie short story, available individually for the first time as an ebook.

    A retired spy breaks his neck after a fall and dies. The death is no accident and Sir Henry wants Miss Marple's help to analyse the evidence and find out which of the four suspects is guilty. The house of lurking death Agatha Christie Throwing on an almost convincing French accent, Tommy is determined to act the Great Detective Hanaud to his and Tuppence's latest, lovely client.

    Miss Hargreaves has recently received a box of chocolates from nobody knows who, and, due to her dislike of chocolates, was the only one to not fall afoul of the arsenic-spiked treats. Miss Marple tells a story Agatha Christie A classic Agatha Christie short story, available individually for the first time as an ebook.

    A man is accused of stabbing his wife in the chest. Only he and a chambermaid are suspects and the evidence against him seems infallible. In a desperate attempt to save his life, he comes to Miss Marple to help prove his innocence. The mystery of the blue jar Agatha Christie Every morning at the same hour on the golf course, Jack Hartington hears mysterious cries for help coming from a cottage. Believing that the cries for help are from the late Mrs. Turner, the former resident of the cottage, Jack hires a psychic investigator to spend a night in the house, a night which proves to have startling results.

    The pearl of price Agatha Christie Holidaying in Jordan, Parker Pyne is pulled into the love affairs of a young lady when her pearl earring goes missing. All of the travelling companions are immediately searched without success. But it is not the value of the missing jewel that concerns the young lady. The perfect maid Agatha Christie When Miss Marple's maid asks her to intervene in the delicate problem of her rather opinionated cousin Gladys, she is a little hesitant to see that much can be done. Poor Gladys believes herself to be accused of stealing and hiding a precious brooch belonging to her employers, the rather reserved Misses Skinner.

    The Tuesday Night Club Agatha Christie After a supper of canned lobster and a dessert of canned trifle, three people become ill and Mrs Jones is found dead. Although a bought of botulism is suspected, the Tuesday Night Club is keen to investigate further. The veiled lady Agatha Christie A classic Agatha Christie short story, available individually for the first time as an ebook. Frustrated with a lack of challenging cases, Poirot is given an opportunity to flirt with the other side of the law.

    A young lady, soon to be married, is being blackmailed and pleads for his help. Poirot employs some dubious methods to bring the blackmailer to justice. For her pleasure Kyoko Church Imagine an average guy with a wife, a job, average house, average car, average sex life. Well, not exactly. He has a secret he finds so embarrassing that he never talks to anyone about it.

    And then one day he meets her. Traditional Molvanian baby names : with meanings, derivations and probable pronunciations Santo Cilauro Molvania is just north of Bulgaria and downwind from Chernobyl. The funniest book about baby names you will ever read: every name available from European republic Molvania, birthplace of the polka and whooping cough. Here she tells the story behind the headlines, and takes us behind the scenes of a fast-changing industry.

    She arrives back in Lancaster County for Christmas. Is it too late for a miracle? A life of joy Amy Clipston Eighteen-year-old Lindsay Bedford is struggling to figure out where she belongs, in the Amish community of Bird-in-Hand or in the 'English' world like her older sister? A place of peace Amy Clipston Miriam Lapp, who left the Amish community of Bird-in-Hand three years ago, is heartbroken when her sister calls to reveal that her mother has died suddenly. Travelling home to Pennsylvania, she is forced to face the heartache from her past, including her rift from her family and the breakup of her engagement with Timothy Kauffman.

    A promise of hope Amy Clipston When Sarah Troyer tragically loses her husband Peter, she is left to raise infant twins alone. Overwhelmed and grieving, she lives with her parents in the Amish community of Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania. Sarah is taken completely by surprise when a stranger arrives claiming connections to Peter's past. A season of love Amy Clipston Lizzie Anne and Samuel have decided to get married, and Lindsay is about to be baptized in the Amish faith and is courting Matthew. While Katie Kauffman is happy for her friends who seem to have settled their futures, she is also finding herself something of a fifth wheel.

    The childhood of Jesus J. Coetzee David is a small boy who comes by boat across the ocean to a new country. He has been separated from his parents, and has lost the piece of paper that would have explained everything. On the boat a stranger named Simon takes it upon himself to look after the boy. This beautiful and surprising fable is about childhood, about destiny, about being an outsider. Success seems assured; until he meets Clara, a bewitching orphan living in the mansion of her late guardian, alone but for the attentions of the lawyer who controls the estate.

    Pretty girl thirteen Liz Coley Sixteen-year-old Angie finds herself in her neighbourhood with no recollection of her abduction or the three years that have passed since, until alternate personalities start telling her their stories through letters and recordings. Amanda's wedding Jenny Colgan Meet Melanie Pepper, a spirited twenty-something who lives in the scruffy end of South London, works at the world's most boring job, and spends her time lusting after a sexy, commitment-phobic, pop-star wannabe in leather trousers. Join her and her best friend, Fran, in the treacherous trenches of today's singles scene as they cope with Amanda-envy.

    Looking for Andrew McCarthy Jenny Colgan Now that Ellie is 30, she has to admit that things haven't quite turned out way she had anticipated. When did horrible flats, difficult relationships and meaningless jobs take over? And where is Andrew McCarthy now? Ellie is determined to get her idol to unravel some of life's great mysteries. Where have all the boys gone? Jenny Colgan While Katie's glad it's not a man's world any more, she'd be quite pleased if there were more men in it - or at least single ones, anyway.

    More likely to get murdered than married, according to gleeful media reports, Katie resigns herself to the fact there's no sex in the city and heads for the hills - or the Scottish highlands, to be precise. Working wonders Jenny Colgan Arthur thinks he's just another ordinary guy of 31, getting up in the morning to face another ordinary day in an ordinary town. But today there's something different about Arthur, as in the course of the day he defenestrates a photocopier and wrestles his Lynx-scented boss Ross for his job.

    House of secrets Chris Columbus House of secrets follows three siblings and their family as they are forced to move to a mysterious new house in San Francisco and end up embarking on a journey to retrieve a dark book of untold power. And she wants to get rid of it — fast!

    Tom Mackenzie is on the verge of losing his job. He needs one hell of a story if he hopes to secure his future in journalism. And his luck may have just come in. The runaway actress Victoria Connelly When the stresses of being an A-list actress get too much for her, Connie Gordon decides to escape to a tiny Scottish village. But swapping the Hollywood Hills for the Highlands of Scotland doesn't make for the easiest of transitions, and when she meets local playwright Alastair McInnes, who's sworn he'll never become involved with another actress again, sparks fly.

    Wish you were here Victoria Connelly A week on the sunny Greek island of Kethos is just what Alice Archer needs, even if she has to put up with her difficult sister. When Alice meets Milo, a handsome gardener at the Villa Argenti, for the first time she suddenly feels beautiful, alluring and confident. But is it just holiday magic? But when Becky discovers an old photo of her mum in hospital clutching a baby, twelve years before Becky was born, Becky becomes haunted by the thought that her mum is keeping something from her.

    But when a chance meeting reveals their two families used to be close, Bee and Lizzie's new friendship is pushed to the limit by the shocking secret that forced their families apart. This is the way Gavin Corbett Fearing that he has reignited an ancient feud between the two halves of his family, Anthony Sonaghan hides out in an old tenement house in Dublin until his roguish uncle Arthur, who is on the run, arrives on his doorstep, bringing with him a world of trouble. For Richard Sharpe it is the worst winter he can remember. He has lost command to a man who could buy the promotion Sharpe covets.

    The Salamanca Campaign, June and July This time his enemy is just one man — the ruthless Colonel Leroux. Sharpe's mission is to safeguard El Mirador, a spy whose network of agents is vital to British victory. Richard Sharpe and the Defence of Portugal, Christmas Newly promoted, Major Richard Sharpe is given the task of rescuing a group of well-born women, held hostage high in the mountains by a rabble of deserters. Bone ash sky Katerina Cosgrove When Anoush Pakradounian steps off the boat and feels Levantine heat on her cheek like a caress, she thinks she knows where she's going: she thinks she knows who's right and who's wrong.

    Yet nothing about her family's past is black and white. Jobless and down to her last dime, Ellie Moore hears about a position with the Pinkerton Detective Agency and believes it's the perfect change to put her acting skills and costumes to use. The beachcomber Josephine Cox This is the story of Kitty Wilson and Tom Arnold, two people each with a dream, each lonely in different ways, and just when everything seems to be coming right for them, fate steps in to turn their worlds upside down. The broken man Josephine Cox Sometimes a damaged child becomes a broken man. One particular afternoon, when Adam is his last drop of the day, bus driver Jake decides to accompany him along the darkening wood land to his house, never suspecting that as they chat innocently, in the house at the end of the track a terrible tragedy is unfolding which will change Adam's life forever.

    The journey Josephine Cox A deeply moving and powerful tale of love and courage and a sacrifice no man should be asked to make. Ben Morris comes to the aid of Lucy Baker and her daughter Mary, intrigued by the story that lies behind their frequent visits to the local graveyard. Live the dream Josephine Cox Handsome, wealthy and charismatic, Luke Hammond should have the world at his feet.

    Instead he is immersed in a double tragedy. His only respite is his respectable everyday life as owner of Hammonds' factory is the precious time he spends each week painting. Scott of the Antarctic : a life of courage and tragedy in the extreme south David Crane This is the definitive biography of Captain Scott — the pivotal figure in pre-First World War Antarctic exploration. Crane's illustrated book re-examines the courage and tragedy of Scott's expedition and reasserts his position in the pantheon of British heroes.

    Exceptionally hard-working, with an instinctive understanding of animals and a natural aptitude for farming, Alice is determined to justify her grandfather's faith in her. But will the arrival of stockman Jeremy, a good-looking larrikin with a bad boy reputation, throw her and the path of Redstone Station off track The crow Alison Croggon After a brief reunion with his lost sister Maered, who continues to pursue her dangerous destiny in the frozen North, orphaned Hem is sent south to Turbansk for safety but, as the armies of the Dark overrun the city, he flees with his mentor Saliman, his white crow, Irc, and the orphan girl Zelika to join the resistance forces of the Light and finally learn his role in his sister's quest.

    The gift Alison Croggon Maerad is a slave in a desperate and unforgiving settlement, taken there as a child when her family is destroyed in war. She is unaware that she possesses a powerful gift, a gift that marks her as a member of the School of Pellinor. It is only when she is discovered by Cadvan that her true heritage and extraordinary destiny unfolds. The riddle Alison Croggon The further translation of a manuscript from the lost civilization of Edil-Amarandah which chronicles the experiences of sixteen-year-old Maerad, a gifted Bard, as she seeks the answer to the Riddle of the Treesong and continues to battle the Dark forces.

    The singing Alison Croggon The bard Maerad and her brother Hem hold the key to the mysterious Singing, and each of them must overcome terrible obstacles before they can unite and together unlock the Tree of Song, release the music of the Elidhu, and defeat the Nameless One. Rule Jay Crownover Opposites in every way … except the one that matters. Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won't listen.

    To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess-and his dead twin brother's girl. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love … or each other. When he reappears hoping for a reconciliation, he has only begun to shed light on his shadowy past before being killed by an unidentified assailant.

    Typhoon Charles Cumming Hong Kong, , a few months before the handover. When a mysterious stranger, claiming to have information about a defection, is arrested by a border patrol, Lennox, first to interrogate him, sees a chance to make his reputation. But the stakes are higher than Joe Lennox could ever imagine. The hours Michael Cunningham Michael Cunningham, widely praised as one of the most gifted writers of his generation, draws inventively on the life and work of Virginia Woolf to tell the story of a group of contemporary characters struggling with the conflicting claims of love and inheritance, hope and despair.

    Four seasons ; year of Italian food Manuela Darling-Gansser- From glittering palazzos to humble seaside bars, from the derelict and forgotten islands to thriving vineyards, Manuela Darling-Gansser's journey across Italy reveals authentic recipes and long-held food traditions. Digger Field, world champion maybe Damian Davis A hilarious and irreverent tale of growing up in the suburbs.

    Digger Field has a dream. This summer, he is going to become the champion rock skimmer of the world. Nothing is going to stop him. Not his dropkick brother. Not his archenemy. Not even that weird guy who looks like a gangster. Two very different lives. One future together that will change history. Was Wallis Simpson really the monster the royal family perported her to be? Or was she an extraordinary woman who led an unimaginable life? A dramatic novel, that crosses continents and provides a unique insight into one of history's most charismatic and multi-faceted women.

    Adventures of a sea hunter : in search of famous shipwrecks James P Delgado As a "Sea Hunter" and host, with novelist Clive Cussler, for the new National Geographic International television series, join Delgado as the team searches for, discovers and explores, among others, the wrecks of RMS Carpathia, the ship that rescued Titanic's survivors; Mary Celeste, the infamous "ghost ship" found sailing alone without a soul aboard, and wreck of the USS Mississinewa, the first ship sunk by a Japanese "suicide submarine" in WWII.

    Jason Prosper is eighteen and on his way to Bellingham Academy, a school known for giving difficult privileged students a second chance. At Bellingham, Jason joins the sailing team, and meets a compelling young woman called Aidan. One day Aidan's body is discovered washed up on shore. The secrets Jason dredges up will change him forever. Spice kitchen Ragini Dey Delve into the decadent world of Spice Kitchen, a beautifully crafted cookbook containing fresh and simple regional recipes from India.

    These recipes celebrate the traditional and modern dishes that have made India the incredible food nation of today. An Australian soap star is playing in Leicester? The girls go in search? As told by Luc Landahoya who tries to work out where he's going. There are plenty of good-natured laughs in this story - Columbus was convinced he was sailing to China and Japan. He was also convinced he was travelling to a land of untold riches but took along cheap glass beads and worthless trinkets as gifts. The lost diary of Montezuma's soothsayer Clive Dickinson Montezuma — last Emperor of the Aztecs — lived in a palace and was deemed so holy that he never put his feet on the ground!

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    • His soothsayer or priest was naturally with him every day — from his worship to the Sun God, to his death at the hands of his own people following their defeat by Cortes and the Spaniards. His diary reveals the truth about a powerful emperor and a once mighty empire. Never surrender Michael Dobbs This is a novel of four crucial weeks in which Churchill and Hitler faced each other in a battle of wills. At its end, Hitler was at the gates of Paris and master of all he surveyed.

      But Churchill had already broken him on the most crucial battlefield of all, the battlefield of the mind. The calligrapher Edward Docx After a romantic double-booking ends in disaster, Jasper decides to concentrate on his work, a manuscript collection of poetry by another great lover, John Donne. One day he spots a girl he can't ignore. Little does he suspect that he has finally met his match. Moron to moron Tom Doig Uncrossable rivers! Hospitable nomads! Rabid dogs! Marijuana fields! Hailstone flashfloods! Maidens on horseback! Underpants wrestling!

      Toxic mountain-top lakes! Stupid westerners! And the mountain-biking so much biking your arse will hurt just reading it. John Silver had never killed a man. Until now, charisma, sheer size and, when all else failed, a powerful pair of fists, had been enough to see off his enemies. But on a smouldering deck off the coast of Madagascar, his shipmates dead or dying all around him, his cutlass has just claimed the lives of six pirates.

      A Brighter Fear Kerry Drewery A dream of lights Kerry Drewery Yoora is a teenage girl living in North Korea, dreaming of the lights of foreign cities while eking out a miserable existence in a rural northern village. But then she makes a mistake: she falls in love with someone far removed from her social class. When tongues start to wag, her father is executed and she is taken to a prison camp in the mountains. MILA 2. He is cursed by Jacques de Molay and the curse continues for 13 generations. The new king, Louis of Navarre, is weak and his wife, Marguerite de Bourgogne, will go to jail because of adultery and be strangled on Charles X's order.

      A fictional account of a turbulent time in French history. Daphne Du Maurier and her sisters : the hidden lives of Piffy, Bird and Bing Jane Dunn Celebrated novelist Daphne Du Maurier and her sisters, eclipsed by her fame, are revealed in all their surprising complexity in this riveting new biography.

      When Captain Flint was still a good man Nick Dybek Follows the experiences of a youth whose family and island community entirely depend on the king crab trade that constantly risks his father's life, a situation that is further threatened by a new fleet owner's intentions of selling away the island's livelihood. Is this actually my life? Rae Earl Thirteen year-old Hattie Moore doesn't actually know who her dad is — but that's the least of her problems. Her unbelievably annoying older brother is threatening to reveal to the world everything embarrassing that has ever happened to her.

      She has a mum who just doesn't get her or why she might want to find out about her real dad and a gran who who may be texting rude jokes to just about everyone in the world ever. But tell me, what's so wrong about craving more than one lover? Rather than committing to a single lover, Lyssa has an arrangement that allows her to play with a whole host of characters.

      Sweet damage James Elward When Tim Ellison finds a cheap room to rent in the perfect location in Sydney it looks like a huge stroke of luck. In fact the room comes with a condition, and the owner of the house is unfriendly and withdrawn. When strange and terrifying things start happening in the house at night, Tim wonders if taking the room is a mistake.

      The future history of the Arctic Charles Emmerson The author leads readers … through the landscape, history, literature and politics of the North, from the wrongheaded theories of the ancients to diplomatic intrigues on the Arctic's borderlands, the brutality of the Soviet gulag archipelago, and the region's emergence as a strategically important source of energy. Encounters Barbara Erskine These short stories illustrate Barbara Erskine's extraordinary talent for capturing the spirit of a place and drawing us into the hearts and minds of her characters.

      There are humour, thrills and sentiment in this delightful collection. Mockingbird Kathryn Erskine Ten-year-old Caitlin, who has Asperger's Syndrome, struggles to understand emotions, show empathy, and make friends at school, while at home she seeks closure by working on a project with her father. The virgin suicides Jeffrey Eugenides The story of five sisters who all commit suicide in the same year. Trying to fathom events two decades later, one of the boys who used to spy on them recreates the fateful year, from the youngest's first plunge into her own bloodbath, to the final field day of the national press.

      Waiting for sunrise Eva Marie Everson In this satisfying story set in beautiful Cedar Key, a woman learns that moving forward into the future requires making peace with her past. Borders of the heart Chris Fabry Desperate to escape haunting memories, J. Jessup travels from Nashville to Tucson and volunteers on an organic farm.

      But when an early morning ride along the fence line leads him to a beautiful young woman named Maria, near death in the desert, his heart pulls him in another direction. The background and odd behaviour of the family provoke the continued attention of the social services who finally remove the boy from his home. Saving him from despair, Latin tutor Thomas Marius forms an intense relationship with the boy. Olivia Fane's novel explores modern attitudes to love in all its forms and the dark side of its obsession with paedophilia and child abuse.

      Grossopedia : the gruesome, disgusting, and absolutely vile : a startling collection of repulsive trivia you won't want to know Rachel Federman Loaded with hundreds of disgusting, repulsive, gruesome, and loathsome facts, this is by far the foulest collection of trivia around. With gross-out facts about animals, the human body, the environment, cultures around the world, and the nasties of your very own home, you won't be able to stop reading.

      Test your dog : the dog IQ test : is your dog an undiscovered genius? Rachel Federman The perfect book for dog lovers everywhere — is your dog king-of-the-hill or run of the mill! The love-charm of bombs Lara Feigel When the first bombs fell on London in August , the city was transformed overnight into a battlefront. For most Londoners, the sirens, guns, planes and bombs heralded gruelling nights of sleeplessness, fear and loss.

      But for Graham Greene and some of his contemporaries, this was a bizarrely euphoric time when London became the setting for intense love affairs and surreal beauty. A Crown Imperilled Raymond E. Feist Exile's Return Raymond E. Feist Honoured Enemy Raymond E. Feist Jimmy the Hand Raymond E. Feist King of Foxes Raymond E. Feist Murder in Lamut Raymond E.