The book spotlight today is on the wonderfully named novel Nice Girls Don't, by the super talented author
About the book....
Who knows what secrets lie hidden in your family’s past?
Southern England, 1982.
At 25, single, and under threat of redundancy from her job in a local library, Emily feels as though her life is going nowhere – until the day when Carl comes into the library asking for books about tracing family history.
Carl is baffled by a mystery about his late grandfather: why is the name by which Carl had always known him different from the name on his old passport?
Fascinated as much by Carl himself as by the puzzle he wants to solve, Emily tries to help him find the answers. As their relationship develops, their quest for the truth takes them along a complicated paper-trail which leads, eventually, to the battlefields of the Great War.
In the meantime, Emily discovers that her own family also has its fair share of secrets and lies. And old sins can still cast long shadows…
Can Emily finally lay the ghosts of the past to rest and look forward to a brighter future?
Read an extract:
Carl’s face became serious. “Look,” he went on awkwardly, “I’m really sorry about earlier.”
“When? What do you mean?”
“At lunchtime. When I put my foot in it.”
“What? Oh, that…” Emily smiled reassuringly. “Please, forget about that. As I said before, it doesn’t matter. And I’m sorry, too. I shouldn’t have been so abrupt with you. As it was, I wasn’t in the best frame of mind, so I probably sounded as though I was angry. And I wasn’t. Well, not with you, anyway.”
“Well, that’s a relief! But what was bothering you? Who were you angry with?”
“Not so much ‘who’ as ‘what’. I’m just worried about work, that’s all.”
Of course, it wasn’t all. Not by any means. But she could hardly tell him what was really bothering her – that his smile made her heart turn over, that the sound of his voice made her catch her breath, that he made her go weak at the knees just by looking at her, and that when his hand had come so close to hers just now, she had desperately wanted to reach out and grasp it and draw comfort from its strength and warmth. But of course, Nice Girls Don’t Do That.
About the author:
Sue Barnard was born in North Wales but has spent most of her life in and around Manchester. After graduating from Durham University, where she studied French and Italian, Sue got married then had a variety of office jobs before becoming a full-time parent. If she had her way, the phrase "non-working mother" would be banned from the English language.
Since then she has had a series of part-time jobs, including some work as a freelance copywriter. In parallel with this she took several courses in Creative Writing. Her writing achievements include winning the Writing Magazine New Subscribers Poetry Competition for 2013.
Sue has a mind which is sufficiently warped as to be capable of compiling questions for BBC Radio 4's fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz. This once caused one of her sons to describe her as "professionally weird." The label has stuck.
Sue joined the editorial team Crooked Cat Publishing in 2013. Her first novel, The Ghostly Father (a new take on the traditional story of Romeo & Juliet) was officially released on St Valentine's Day 2014. She’s still trying to get her head round the fact that people actually bought it, read it and enjoyed it.
When Sue isn’t writing, she enjoys travelling, reading, amateur dramatics, walking and gardening (she claims she’s had some of her best writing ideas when she’s been mowing the lawn). She is also very interested in Family History. Her own background is stranger than fiction; she'd write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.
Nice Girls Don’t, which is her second novel, is not that book.
Find out more about Sue: