October the 16th, 1789 ‘I shall never forget that day. I shall never forget the decision I made. I was seventeen and so ill prepared for life that I hardly knew how to dress myself, let alone how to board a mail coach or purchase a loaf of bread. When I fled my home at Melmouth Park, I left those who both loved and hated me behind. I threw myself upon the world, dear reader – and see what trouble has come of that. Do read my tale closely, for the warnings of your mamma and your governess were correct; there is much to be learned from a woman of my sort. I fell for every snare and trick of fate, so that you might not. My tale is not for the faint of heart - the prude, the high-minded and moral are likely to take offence, so prepare yourself. You have heard the lies and slander from others. Prepare now to hear the truth’. Set during a period of revolution and turmoil, Mistress of My Fate is the first book in the series, The Confessions of Henrietta Lightfoot. In her candid and eye-brow raising memoirs, Henrietta reminisces about her youth and seeks to set the record straight about the events that shaped her into the woman she became.
The Emperor's Gold
July 1805: Napoleon's army masses across the Channel - Britain is within hours of invasion and defeat. Only one thing stands in the way - an obscure govenement bureau of murky origins and shadowy purpose: The Comptrollerate General for Scrutiny and Survey. Behind the clash of fleets and armies, there lies a secret world of intrigue, deception, treachery and violence - which is precisely why the Comptrollerate exists. Into the feverish environment comes a dead man.
Pulled half-drowned from a shipwreck, his past erased, Tom Roscarrock is put to work for the Comptrollerate-General and thrown into a bewildering world of political intrigue and violence. In France, a plan is underway to shatter the last of England's stability. In England, the man who recruited Roscarrock has disappeared, his agents keep turning up dead, and reports of a secret French fleet are panicking the authorities. His life in danger and his motives increasingly suspect, Roscarrock must pursue the complex conspiracy across England and then into the heart of Napoleon's France, there to confront the greatest mystery of all...
The Transformation of Bartholomew Fotuno
Bartholomew Fortuno, the World’s Thinnest Man, believes that his unusual body is a gift. Hired by none other than P.T. Barnum to work at his spectacular American Museum—a modern marvel of macabre displays, breathtaking theatrical performances, and live performances by Barnum’s cast of freaks and oddities—Fortuno has reached the pinnacle of his career. But after a decade of solid performance, he finds his sense of self, and his contentment within the walls of the Museum, flagging.
When a carriage pulls up outside the Museum in the dead of night, bearing Barnum and a mysterious veiled woman—rumored to be a new performer— Fortuno’s curiosity is piqued. And when Barnum asks Fortuno to follow her and report back on her whereabouts, his world is turned upside-down. Why is Barnum so obsessed with this woman? Who is she, really? And why has she taken such a hold of the hearts of those around her?
Set in the New York of 1865, a time when carriages rattled down cobblestone streets, raucous bordellos near the docks thrived, and the country was mourning the death of President Lincoln, The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno is a moving novel about human appetites and longings. With pitch-perfect prose, Ellen Bryson explores what it means to be profoundly unique—and the power of love to transcend even the greatest divisions.