A Bit on the Side - Twelve remarkable stories by the master storyteller William Trevor 'Compassionate, poignant, even heart-rending. Almost perfect works of art by perhaps the greatest short story writer now working in English' Sunday Independent William Trevor is truly a Chekhov for our age. In these twelve stories, a waiter divulges a shocking life of crime to his ex-wife; a woman repeats the story of her parents' unstable marriage after a horrible tragedy; a schoolgirl regrets gossiping about the cuckolded man who tutors her; and, in the volume's title story, a middle-aged accountant offers his reasons for ending a love affair. At the heart of this stunning collection is Trevor's characteristic tenderness and unflinching eye for both the humanizing and dehumanizing aspects of modern urban and rural life. If you enjoyed The Story of Lucy Gault and Love and Summer, you will love this book. It will also be adored by readers of Colm Toibin, George Saunders and James Joyce. 'A treat ... each meditate[s] on the subject of love - adulterous, unspoken, clandestine, sometimes cruel. Whether set in rural Ireland or London, their pages whisper of relished secrets and dreams foolishly clung to' Mail on Sunday William Trevor was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork. He has written eighteen novels and novellas, and hundreds of short stories, for which he has won a number of prizes including the Hawthornden Prize, the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Award, the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and the David Cohen Literature Prize in recognition of a lifetime's literary achievement. In 2002 he was knighted for his services to literature. His books in Penguin are: After Rain; A Bit on the Side; Bodily Secrets; Cheating at Canasta; The Children of Dynmouth; The Collected Stories (Volumes One and Two); Death in Summer; Felicia's Journey; Fools of Fortune; The Hill Bachelors; Love and Summer; The Mark-2 Wife; Selected Stories; The Story of Lucy Gault and Two Lives.
Disaffected with his profession and city life, Jack Manning is seeking only contentment and the good life when he settles with Kate, his wife, on Barton Hill in remotest Shropshire. He finds himself instead cold-shouldered by a suspicious, rural community where news of his occupation (taxman) has preceded him, and where all around him are chasing a little bit on the side.Farmers are fiddling taxmen, husbands are cheating on wives, and in remote rustic distilleries Customs and Excise are robbed of their due. Only the eccentric vicar and the Gillans offer a welcome, but with their help, with Jack’s lucky identification for a villager of a signed first edition by Churchill, and his drunken anti-Revenue rant in the Shagger, the village pub, the Mannings win acceptance.Content to turn a blind eye to the local minor misdemeanours, Jack is, however, faced with the ultimate personal temptation when the local politician offers him a bribe to destroy evidence of his serious criminal tax fraud. Jack sees before him a unique and risk-free opportunity to enrich himself instead of the Treasury. The offer is tempting and substantial. Should he take the money and run, or is the whole operation too risky?Absorbed with this dilemma, Jack is blind to Kate’s discontent with their marriage, and eventually she leaves him with a revealing ‘Dear John’ letter. But nearby, in the sleepy town of Barlow, Jack will find the beautiful Josie waiting to pleasure and comfort him, and the provocatively erotic activities of the ‘frail ladies’ of Eastgate Villa to tax his professional skills.
Downing tools in the allotment where they have toiled for the last six years, Valerie and her husband Wolfram decide to cycle to Germany to visit his mother. Before they leave, Val's guide the Aztec Priest appears among the bean rows and tells her this will be a Vision Quest - and so it turns out to be, not least due to their involvement in Channel 4's 'Real Holiday Show'. In spite of the dangers they encounter on this trip they develop an appetite for foreign parts and embark on many subsequent cycling adventures, all of which turn out more or less disastrously. Travel with them as they ride through France, Italy and their beloved Black Forest - the stoic Val shouting instructions from behind as the hapless blind Wolf does his best to avoid hitting anything. Share their horrors and delights at the larger-than-life characters they meet abroad and the comradeship of their Asian neighbours on the allotments. A heartwarming and spiritual tale of two lives inextricably intertwined - until Fate intervened.
To be enjoyed after the first two My Granny Writes Erotica quickies. After a lengthy courtship, accidental erotic novelist, Betty Berry, is finally ready to cement her love to her beau, Ted. Mistakenly believing she’s found the ideal sophisticated setting for their romantic getaway, Betty books a night at the elusive Exotic Aristocrat Boutique. Oblivious to the scandal unfolding around her, Betty prepares for her night of passion, armed with her fluffy slippers and trusty dunking beaker. Betty is shocked when a former love interest arrives and stumbles upon a rubbery, twelve-inch, dildo under the bed. However, the tragic news he has to share threatens to blow the rubber dong right out of the water.
In the south of Scotland in the early 90s, five women have unresolved issues with their men. Against the backdrop of the commercial horse-riding world, the woman find friendship as well as jealousy, rivalry and bitchiness. Their relationships with their horses seem easy and therapeutic by comparison. Megan would like to be the envy of all her friends, with her high-flying, famous, desirable husband. But he's cheating on her, and her friends know even though she ignores the evidence under her nose. Annabel can't even indulge in prostrate grief over her lost mare because her husband needs her support after a failed love-affair. Sue, an ambitious horsewoman, finds her efforts to make a living and a career scuppered by her indolent, obsessively greedy husband. Stable-owners Mandy and Bridget are locked in an ancient quarrel of such viciousness it is likely to ruin at least one of them. While riding out their own problems, the ladies watch in gossipy fascination ass one of them heads for disaster.....
This handy little guide gives you 50 exercises to tone and strengthen your body from top to bottom (and back to front). While some of the exercises do require equipment you’re only likely to find at the gym (unless you’re a real fitness fanatic) there are plenty you can do in the comfort of your own home with little or no specialised equipment. The exercises here work best alongside a regular cardio program as most of them won’t help you get fit but will help you look leaner and be firmer. And don’t worry, you’re not going to end up looking like Arnie (unless you want to).
Jarold, aka, Jazz, is a typical sixteen year old boy. He lives at home with his two remarkably un-divorced parents, his holier-than-thou sister, and his overbearing grandmother. It's a life straight out of a TV show. Or so it seem The truth is that Jazz's life is anything but picture perfect. He's seeing a shrink because his mom and dad found out he's gay; his schoolmates torment him every day; and he keeps bumping into his high school teacher at a local gay bar. To make matters worse, his best friend, Al, keeps pulling him into trouble. Jazz knows he has to keep everything together, at least through finals, so he can get away from this life once and for all. But, in his haste to leave everything behind, he comes to find out that the only thing he can't escape is himself. Witty, sardonic, and incredibly funny, My Side of the Story is the perfectly rendered portrait of a precocious, troubled teenager faced with the awkward process of growing up and coming out.
A real hero to save her heart this Christmas… Being reunited with her childhood sweetheart is quite a surprise for pediatric consultant Jessica Rae. Especially as the boy she once knew is now a sinfully sexy, lifesaving firefighter! Even now, single dad Callum Kennedy still makes her heart go boom—something this grieving doctor thought never again possible…. For Callum and his gorgeous son, Drew, Jessica could be just what this heartbroken little family needs. And he'll do anything to convince her that he's just what she needs, too…starting with a heart-stopping Christmas kiss!