LITTLE SUNS by acclaimed South African writer Zakes Mda has won the country’s Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize 2017. The prize seeks to showcase “writing of rare style and imagination, stories that chose the personal over the political, and themes that are fresh and provocative.” This is the second time that Zakes Mda has won this premier national prize, having won the inaugural award in 2001 for HEART OF REDNESS.

The Barry Ronge Fiction Prize was decided by a judging panel consisting of radio personality Africa Melane and Love Books founder Kate Rogan, chaired by journalist and author, Rehana Rossouw. The judges said that LITTLE SUNS was a “novel of rich, magical African imagery.” They applauded Mda for “bringing history to glorious life, in writing that is unique to him.” ‘Zakes Mda is on song with this book,” said one judge, “it brings people from our past gorgeously to life.’

You can read the full text of Zakes’ Mda’s powerful acceptance speech here about the important role of fiction in finding truth and fighting corruption: “The truth of fiction can give context and shed new insights on the stories unearthed by your investigative reporting. It gives them longevity and digestibility. Fiction is even more essential in this age when shamelessness and impunity among the ruling elite and ‘corruption fatigue’ in the populace are leading South Africa to perdition.”

LITTLE SUNS begins in 1903. A lame and frail Malangana – 'Little Suns' – searches for his beloved Mthwakazi after many lonely years spent in exile. Mthwakazi was the young woman he had fallen in love with twenty years earlier, before the assassination of Magistrate Hamilton Hope began a war that ripped the two of them apart.

Intertwined with Malangana's story is the account of Hope – a colonial magistrate who, in the late nineteenth century, was undermining the local kingdoms of the Eastern Cape in order to bring them under the control of the British. It was he who wanted to coerce Malangana’s king and his people, the amaMpondomise, into joining his battle – a scheme Malangana’s conscience could not allow. Based on real historical events – after these frontier wars were quelled, Zakes Mda’s own ancestors were exiled to Lesotho – Mda has drawn on published accounts and the oral stories of family members and local praise poets, woven together with his uniquely vigorous prose, historical insight and humour.

Umuzi published in Southern Africa, and Jacaranda Books will publish on their Global Classics list in 2018.

The Barry Ronge Fiction Prize is awarded as part of the Sunday Times Literary Awards and along with its twin prize, the Alan Paton Award for Non-Fiction, is one of South Africa’s most prestigious prizes. The winner goes home with R100,000. Other shortlisted books included Kopano Matlwa's PERIOD PAIN and Yewande Omotoso's THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR.

Zakes Mda is one of South Africa’s pre-eminent writers, and many of his era-defining plays and novels are hailed as classics of the literary canon. He divides his time between South Africa and the U.S., working as a professor of Creative Writing at Ohio University, director of the Southern African Multimedia AIDS Trust in Sophiatown, and dramaturge at the Market Theatre, Johannesburg. He is a patron of the Etisalat Prize.

Visit Zakes' website. 

Zakes on Twitter.

Praise for Zakes Mda:

‘The great South African novelist of his generation, a writer rich in both imagination and ironic political attitude.’ The Philadelphia Inquirer

 ‘A voice for which one should feel not only affection but admiration’ – New York Times

‘It’s a different kind of South African literature, a South African magical realism …I can’t wait to read more’. Barbara Kingsolver on WAYS OF DYING

‘In novel after novel, Zakes Mda seems to have cultivated a mode of writing in which the realistic and the magical co-exist with unruffled ease.’ – Harry Garuba, Independent

'Zakes Mda is among the most acclaimed exponents of a new artistic freedom. His fiction has a beguiling lyricism and humour.' – Maya Jaggi, The Guardian


The highly-anticipated fifth book in the Campbell & Carter series hits shelves in bookshops across the UK today, 29 June. Set in the Cotswold village of Weston Saint Ambrose, Inspector Jess Campbell and Superintendent Ian Carter are faced with another gripping murder mystery to solve!

Carl Finch is a desperate man who needs money urgently. Cut out of his stepfather's will, he is heavily in debt and unless he can persuade his stepsister Hattie to bail him out, he'll be in even more trouble. Hattie's husband Guy has never liked Carl and wants his wife's inheritance for his own use, so Hattie agrees to meet Carl in secret to discuss his predicament.

Little does she realise that when she arrives at their meeting point in Crooked Man Wood she'll find Carl's dead body...

Ann Granger has also just signed a new two book deal with Headline for a brand new Inspector Ben Ross mystery and another new Campbell and Carter mystery, this time featuring the return of her beloved detectives Mitchell and Markby.

Ann Granger is also the author of the internationally acclaimed Mitchell and Markby and Fran Varady detective series. Entering the Top 5 of the German bestseller list with each novel, she has also contributed to several short story volumes, licensed internationally. Headline has published 29 of her crime novels, and the Campbell and Carter series is published in five languages.

Ann Granger has lived in cities all over the world, since for many years she worked for the Foreign Office and received postings to British embassies as far apart as Munich and Lusaka. She is now permanently based in Oxfordshire.

Visit Ann Granger's website 

Follow Ann on Twitter

Praise for Ann Granger

‘Characterisation, as ever with Granger, is sharp and astringent’ — The Times

‘The plot is neat and ingenious, the characters rounded and touchingly credible ... a pleasure to read’ — Ham and High

‘The reader can expect a treat. Lively, different and fun’ — Yorkshire Post

‘She is on to another winner’ — Birmingham Post

‘Ann Granger has shown she can sustain a series… it's worth investing.’ — Rich Westwood, EuroCrime

‘You can always count on Ann Granger! …Those craving for some nice, English crime-entertainment will be served well.’ — Kölner Express

‘One of the most reliable practitioners of the crime fiction genre.’ — Good Book Guide


Sheila O’Flanagan’s wonderful new novel WHAT HAPPENED THAT NIGHT, published on 1st June by Headline in hardback and trade paperback, went straight to #2 in the Irish bestseller charts, only narrowly beaten by Paula Hawkins by just a handful of copies. Four weeks after publication it’s still holding strong at #2, while the paperback of her previous title THE MISSING WIFE is also riding high in the charts.

THE MISSING WIFE currently dominates the Kindle list at #1, while the paperback was still in the Top Ten charts three months after its publication on 9th March, breaking the author’s record for number of consecutive weeks in the bestseller chart before. It will be published in the US in February 2018 by Grand Central, and rights have been sold in the Czech Republic, Russia, Estonia and Germany.

Read Sheila O’Flanagan’s fascinating piece in The Irish Times about the research and writing for WHAT HAPPENED THAT NIGHT.

Sheila O’Flanagan is the award-winning author of over twenty novels, including MY MOTHER’S SECRET, IF YOU WERE ME, ALL FOR YOU (winner of the Irish Popular Fiction Book of the Year Award) and BAD BEHAVIOUR, as well as the bestselling short story collections DESTINATIONS, CONNECTIONS and A SEASON TO REMEMBER.

In 2016 Hodder Children’s Books published THE CRYSTAL RUN, her first book for younger readers. The paperback came out in May 2017, with the follow-up THE CRYSTAL RUN: SHIELD OF LIES due in 2018.

Sheila was awarded the prestigious Irish Tatler Woman of the Year Award in 2003, and currently lives in Dublin with her husband. Her books have sold over 6.5 million copies in English alone.

See more on Sheila’s website.

Follow Sheila on Twitter


‘A fabulous tale with refreshingly inspiring heroines ***** (5 stars)’ – Sarah Hughes, Heat


‘Another first class bestseller. I read the book in one sitting as it was so enjoyable, full of romance and kept you riveted until the last page. A must for all Sheila's fans.’ – Woman's Way

‘A smart and twisty yarn.’ – Heat

‘O'Flanagan's lightness of touch and gentle characterisations have produced another fine read; an ideal addition to that summer holiday.’ – Sunday Express

‘A lovely book that will keep you guessing right up until the end.’ – Bella

‘Insightful, witty and full of fun... This is touching, tense and clever writing.’ – Irish Independent

‘This GONE GIRL-esque novel will have you gripped until the very end ****.’ – Look

‘Must-read’ – Daily Express




Andy Briggs’ comedy feature film SUPERVIZED, directed by Steve Barron, has begun shooting this week. The film follows a group of former internationally renowned superheroes who are living out their twilight years in a retirement home in Ireland. Lead cast attached includes Tom Berenger (Inception, Training Day), Beau Bridges (Bloodline, Masters of Sex), and Louis Gossett Jr. (The Good Fight, Extant).

Director Steve Barron is an award winning Irish film director, film producer and music video director. Credits include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), Coneheads (1993) and the innovative music videos for a-ha's "Take on Me" and Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean".

Andy has extensive experience working on multinational co-productions and has worked in comics, books, TV, film and transmedia projects. He has written 20 books and graphic novels published in the UK and around the world, and his latest four book series, THE INVENTORY (Scholastic books) was published 2016, with two more out in 2017. He wrote and Executive Produced LEGENDARY, a  successful independent UK/Chinese co-production. In 2017 his latest feature, CROWHURST, will be released, and WAR WOLF is due to start shooting in the second quarter of 2017.

EXQUISITE, Sarah Stovell’s ‘expertly crafted’ thriller debut, published today by Orenda

Sarah Stovell’s ‘powerful and assured’ debut thriller, EXQUISITE, is published in paperback today by Orenda books. It is also available on audiobook from WF Howes, narrated by Katie Scarfe. Sarah will be celebrating the launch at Cogito Books in Hexham at 7.30pm tonight.

The book is already generating huge amounts of praise. It is a Lovereading book of the month, with Shelley Fallows writing: ‘I was completely swept up in the brilliance of Sarah’s carefully constructed plot that had me constantly questioning the outcome and eagerly turning the page… It was a chilling read, expertly crafted and difficult to put down.’ The Sunday Times Crime Club also called it ‘a remarkable debut in the crowded psychological thriller field, written with great sureness of touch and tone — it already feels like a summer bestseller’ in a starred review.

Bo Luxton has it all - a loving family, a beautiful home in the Lake District, and a clutch of bestselling books to her name. Enter Alice Dark, an aspiring writer who is drifting through life, with a series of dead-end jobs and a freeloading boyfriend. When they meet at a writers' retreat, the chemistry is instant, and a sinister relationship develops ... Or does it?

Breathlessly pacey, taut and terrifying, EXQUISITE is a startlingly original and unbalancing psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the very last page.

The EXQUISITE book tour began on 1st June and runs for 38 days with almost 80 blogs involved - see the poster below to catch up with its journey!

Rights are sold in Germany, France and Sweden.

Sarah Stovell was born in 1977 and spent most of her life in the Home Counties before a season working in a remote North Yorkshire youth hostel made her realise she was a northerner at heart. She now lives in Northumberland with her partner and two children and is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Lincoln University.

Praise for EXQUISITE:

‘EXQUISITE is a powerful and assured debut thriller. Slickly claustrophobic and delicately wrought this arch story of obsessive forbidden love taken to the extreme will have you squirming in your seat even as you're driven to turn the next page. A must-read for 2017’ — Sarah Pinborough, author of BEHIND HER EYES

‘I bloody loved it. So clever, so beautifully written, such brilliant characterisation and THAT ENDING! This book is going to be MASSIVE! It has all the special little things that make it stand out from other psychological thrillers and it had my tummy in knots. I'm going to be shouting about this one for a long time. Definitely in my top reads for 2017’ — Lisa Hall, author of BETWEEN YOU AND ME

‘A perfect literary thriller. A moving, gripping story told in beautiful prose. The twists keep coming until the very last page. I loved this book.’ — Erin Kelly, author of THE POISON TREE

‘Sarah Stovell writes beautifully. In her latest novel she combines that skill with a thrilling dramatic narrative. Exquisite in every way.’ — Essie Fox, author of THE SOMNAMBULIST

‘Whip-smart, lushly written and truly page-turning. I loved EXQUISITE, from the misleading simplicity of the premise and right down through all the dark depths of the she said/she said narrative. Sarah Stovell is a thrilling talent’ — Holly Seddon, author of TRY NOT TO BREATHE

‘Beautifully written and perfectly twisted, I was sucked deeply into the intertwined worlds of Alice and Bo and found myself reading through my fingers, compelled yet terrified at what the outcome might be ... And that ending. Just wow. There could not be a better title for this book’ — S J I Holliday, author of the BANKTOUN series

 ‘Addictive, terrifying and beautifully written, EXQUISITE is up there with the best psychological thrillers I’ve ever read. Fucking awesome’ — Chris Whitaker, author of TALL OAKS

 ‘Beautifully written, atmospheric and sexy, EXQUISITE is a satisfying psychological thriller with real class' — Cass Green, author of THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR