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Your Muddy recommends must pack summer reads!

Looking for a perfect read for this summer? Whether you’re stay-cationing in Sussex or heading overseas, Cathy Hayward from Kemptown Bookshop in Brighton offers her pick of the best new titles for adults and children.

Historical fiction writer Cathy recently bought the award-winning indie bookshop in the heart of Kemptown that was founded in 1976 and sells swanky stationery, gifts and fine art prints as well as adult and children’s books – in fact it’s a total treasure trove.

Cathy aims to further develop the shop into a community hub with events to engage new and established readers, celebrate local authors and support underrepresented writers. 

‘I want the bookshop to be at the heart of the community, to be a place where people of all ages and backgrounds can meet and enjoy the written word whether that’s through books, listening to authors, open mic nights or developing their own writing,’ she said. ‘My love of reading – and writing –  has helped me through some difficult times, and I’m over the moon to be living out my childhood dream of owning my own bookshop.’ 

Cathy in fact grew up in Worthing and has lived in Brighton since 2011, after a career in journalism and PR, she became a published author last year with her debut novel The Girl in the Maze. She has since written a second novel and is working on a third, all three are partly set in Brighton. 

Cathy’s pick for your Summer reading list;-

Orphans of the Storm by Celia Imrie, £8.99

The story of the sinking of the legendary Titanic has inspired many books, but this latest by Sunday Times-bestselling author and national treasure Celia Imrie is one to pack for sure. It’s the story of a mother’s quest to find her children against all odds, set against the epic backdrop of the Titanic. Young, French seamstress Marcela is fed up with her cruel husband Michael and is determined to get custody of their two small boys. Meanwhile American socialite Margaret is returning home after a European tour. As the ship sets sale carrying two infants bearing false names, the paths of Margaret, Marcela and Michael will inevitably cross.

One Last Secret by Adele Parks, £14.99

For fans of domestic thriller comes a blistering novel about power, sex, money and revenge from Adele Parks – all set in a beautiful chateau in the south of France. Dora is a smart, stunning and discreet escort and Daniel has paid for her services before. All she has to do is go to the chateau and pretend to be his girlfriend. It will be her last job. But when Dora arrives in France, it quickly becomes obvious that nothing is what it seems. She finds herself face to face with a man she has never forgotten, the one man who really knows her. And as old secrets surface, it becomes terrifyingly apparent that one last secret could cost Dora her life. Perfect pool-side reading – just make sure you apply SPF before you start!

Psycho by the Sea by Lynne Truss, £8.99

It’s September in Brighton and the town is playing host to endless rain and villainy. A local gang member has disappeared while planning a huge heist; a violent criminal obsessed with hunting policemen has escaped Broadmoor and is rumoured to be on his way to the town; meanwhile an American researcher has been found dead in the local department store. It’s down to Constable Twitten to find out who’s behind these dastardly acts. Perfect if you’re holidaying in Brighton this year!

For children:

Reluctant Vampire Queen by Jo Simmons, £6.99

Geek Girl meets Buffy this brilliantly funny new teen series from bestselling author Jo Simmons is the must-read YA book this summer. Meet Mo Merrydrew – independent young woman, president of the debating society and reluctant vampire queen. Mo isn’t expecting to be asked to be ‘Vampire Queen of Great Britain’ when she’s cycling home from school one wet Tuesday but apparently, she is the Chosen One. Aside from being uncomfortable with the idea of unelected power (not very democratic), there’s the blood drinking to consider (Mo is a veggie!), and frankly it’s just not really the sort of role Mo’s looking for (she wants to aim for a real job in politics). But if you’re Vampire Queen, you probably don’t have to do PE any more, and when the dreamy Luca, a vampire familiar, turns up, it all suddenly starts to look a bit more appealing.

The Fire Cats of London by Anna Fargher, £7.99

The Fire Cats of London by is a breath-taking adventure which blazes through the historic streets of London like the Great Fire itself. Two wildcats Asta and Ash race against time to foil a dangerous plot that threatens the city and their family. The instantly engaging animal characters and fabulous illustrations from Sam Usher are a delight. Readers will immediately be drawn into their perilous and courageous antics in a story that never burns out. A stunning summer read for readers aged 8-11.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, £7.99

This is a perfect bedtime book introducing young readers aged 1-3 (or older), to the lives of extraordinary women, past and present, from around the world. A new adaptation of the best-selling book, it features artists and inventors, athletes and activists across its colourful inviting pages. From pilot Amelia Earhart to swimmer Yusra Mardini, the text is easy-to-read next to beautiful portraits. A perfect way to send your little one off to an inspired dreamland this summer.

Books recommended by Kemptown Bookshop, 91 St. George’s Road, Brighton BN2 1EE

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