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Extracts

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Local Gone Missing

There was something buzzing. A fly.

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Stone Town

He shouldn’t have brought them here.

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The League of Gentlewomen Witches

Charlotte could listen no more in silence. For several minutes now a young man at the teahouse counter had been abusing a waiter with language that pierced her soul.

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The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels

There was no possibility of walking to the library that day. Morning rain had blanched the air, and Miss Darlington feared that if Cecilia ventured out she would develop a cough and be dead within the week.

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Wrong Place, Wrong Time

Jen is glad of the clocks going back tonight. A gained hour, extra time, to be spent pretending she isn’t waiting up for her son.

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Meredith, Alone

I’ve got six minutes to walk to the train station, plenty of time if I wear my flat boots.

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Sixty-Seven Days

My fifteenth birthday is stinging with a blistering heatwave. Balloons and streamers are dangling off the clothesline, motionless.

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The Lion

Pausanias took a deep breath, feeling calm spread through him.

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Everything I Know About Love

For some, the sound that defined their adolescence was the joyful shrieks of their siblings playing in the garden.

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Book of Night

Charlie’s ugly Crocs stuck to the mats on the floor behind the bar, making a sticky, squelching sound.

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Dark Vector

Jun Chu stood on the deck of a three-masted junk given the auspicious name Silken Dragon.

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Diddly Squat

For more than twenty years I have written about cars in the Sunday Times.

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Gathering Storms

Lisa arrived in Southbend in mid-November on a day of gathering storms, when the air dripped with humidity and the huge grey-white cumulus clouds were piled like soapsuds above the line of timber fronting the banks of the Rainsford River.

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James Patterson: The Stories of My Life

My writing career unofficially began at McLean Hospital, the psychiatric affiliate of Harvard Medical School in Belmont, Massachusetts.

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One Night on the Island

‘You genuinely want to send me to a remote island to marry myself?’

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The Swimmers

The pool is located deep underground, in a large cavernous chamber many feet beneath the streets of our town.

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Zadie Ma and the Dog Who Chased the Moon

The day she turned eleven was the day Zadie Ma discovered her superpower.

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The Palace Papers

They chose Valentine’s Day 2005 as the date to release the engagement news and Camilla’s new title of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall bestowed by the Queen.

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