Real Life: Real Books #AuthorEvent #July5th




Seas of Snow                  Blind Side                   Ghost Variations

Kerensa JenningsJennie EnsorJessica Duchen


Harpenden Arms AL5 2TR


What happens when an author writes a psychological thriller based on real stories from the news or real events from history? 

What happens when an author writes a psychological thriller that also explores ethical and moral issues? 

How does a writer tread the line between creating a story that might be taboo, controversial, challenging but yet still unputdownable? 

Come along and hear three novelists talk about their books which do just this. Bring yourself, your friends or your whole book group to discover three books that are set to spark exciting discussions amongst any readers......

Blind Side

“Jennie Ensor’s writing is graceful, poetic, intelligent and captivating. She builds suspense brilliantly, and is a master at dialogue that communicates the accents and personalities of the characters. BLIND SIDE is a wonderful debut, an exciting story about three flawed and fascinating people living in dangerous times.” 

"this complex tale was an immensely satisfying read.” 

“If you enjoy a thriller with a number of themes running through the story, then Blind Side is one not to be missed.” 

It’s a powerful and engaging novel, thought-provoking and difficult to forget once you’ve reached the end.” 

Can you ever truly know someone? And what if you suspect the unthinkable? 

London, five months before 7/7. Georgie, a young woman wary of relationships after previous heartbreak, gives in and agrees to sleep with close friend Julian. She’s shocked when Julian reveals he’s loved her for a long time. 

But Georgie can’t resist her attraction to Nikolai, a Russian former soldier she meets in a pub. While Julian struggles to deal with her rejection, Georgie realises how deeply war-time incidents in Chechnya have affected Nikolai. She begins to suspect that the Russian is hiding something terrible from her. 

Then London is attacked... 

Blind Side explores love and friendship, guilt and betrayal, secrets and obsession. An explosive, debate-provoking thriller that confronts urgent issues of our times and contemplates some of our deepest fears. 

Seas of Snow
"A haunting tale of suspense and broken trust with a powerful and unexpected twist."

"The stunning execution of a story that is not for the faint-hearted really is quite something to behold. It is totally unique. ....the unpredictable nature of the denouement is the sort of thing that has the reader literally gasping out loud."

"Totally enthralling. Difficult, unpleasant, beautiful and kind."

"Oh, dear reader, you are for a shock, for this debut work will have you avidly turning page after page."

"Kerensa Jennings creates a world of promise, light and kindness juxtaposed with the darkness of villainy in a “Cannot put it down” style."

In 1950s England, six-year-old Gracie Scott lives with her Mam and next door to her best friend Billy; she has never known her Da. When her Uncle Joe moves in, his physical abuse of Gracie’s mother starts almost immediately. But when his attentions wander to Gracie, an even more sinister pattern of behavior begins. 

As Gracie grows older she finds solace and liberation in books, poetry, and her enduring friendship with Billy, with whom she escapes into the poetic fantasy worlds they create. But will fantasy be enough to save Gracie? Just how far will Uncle Joe’s psychopathic behavior go? 

The story weaves between these events and the visits Billy pays many years later to an old friend, confused and dying in a hospice. It is here that he is forced to revisit the events of the past. Seas of Snow is a haunting and psychological domestic drama with an unexpected twist and considerable emotional punch.

Ghost Variations

"Absolutley enthralling true story! I loved it and found it such a marvelously strange story. The mood is beautifully set with historical information woven in as the story unfolded. The narrative was a pleasure to read, Highly recommend it."

"Above all, it's a mystery and a love story and a vivid depiction of a woman who doesn't give up. Cracking story. Highly recommended."

"Ghost Variations is created from real people and true events which occurred during their lives; history dramatised into a rich and enchanting narrative."

"I loved this book. It's full of 1930s atmosphere, with detail and settings that reminded me of Sarah Waters' writing."

"Schumann's wonderful violin concerto has a tragic history unlike any other piece of music. In this splendid new novel Jessica Duchen manages to find the fine balance between facts and fiction. Her book reads like a thriller, yet it's also a tribute to great music and musicians." 

The strangest detective story in music, inspired by a true incident.

London, 1933. Dabbling in the once-fashionable "glass game" - a Ouija board - the famous Hungarian violinist Jelly d'Arányi is amazed to receive a message supposedly from the spirit of the great composer Robert Schumann, asking her to find and play his long-suppressed violin concerto. Jelly, formerly muse to many composers, hesitates to pursue this strange summons, eager to devote herself to charity concerts for the unemployed of the Depression. But soon her sister Adila and her friend Erik Palmstierna, both avid spiritualists, hear of the incident and the die is cast. Having lost the love of her life in World War I and now facing the death of another close friend, Jelly sets out to find not only a missing concerto, but also a form of redemption.

But news of the concerto's existence spreads to Berlin, where the manuscript is held, and the higher echelons of the Third Reich quickly conceive of a propaganda use for the work. Jelly, trapped in a race to the first performance, must confront forces that threaten her own state of mind.

Facing a world slipping into the insanity of fascism and war, a composer who suffered a terrible breakdown just after he wrote the concerto, and her own life and career sliding out of control, for Jelly saving the concerto comes to mean saving herself.

For further information about this event, reviews and blog posts by these authors please follow me on Twitter @KatherineSunde3 or check out my website If you would like to buy a ticket then please follow the link here

*Ticket price includes one free drink and entry to a raffle to win copies of the author's novels and other bookish treats

** all review quotes are taken from Amazon and Goodreads 


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