Alison Hughes – Life Expectancy
Sophie St. John’s grandmother, a world-renowned writer, may be as talented as she is rude, but Sophie is just Sophie: clumsy, emotional, and prone to outbursts.
When she stars in a class play based on her grandmother’s famous novel and then comes across an old legal case while doing research for homework, Sophie uncovers a profound, devastating, life-changing secret — a secret her parents have kept from her since birth.
Faced with a revelation that changes her entire future, Sophie must confront her dysfunctional family, ponder her life goals, and summon the courage to finally start living on her own terms.
Kate Boorman – The Heathens and the Dragon
Elodie works hard to keep a clean house for her master, take care of her little brother, and guard the secret pagan beliefs she was taught by the mother they recently lost. But the world around her is growing suspicious of paganism and violent toward non-Christians. When Crusaders arrive to arrest her kindly master, a Cathar, for heresy, he flees, and the orphans Elodie and Bertran try to follow his trail.
Armed only with meagre supplies and a few good stories, and accompanied—to Elodie’s dismay—by Bertran’s pet chicken, they head into the forest, where they soon become lost. Luckily, they stumble upon a penniless female troubadour, Joie, who has mysteriously left court life and appears eager to help them. To earn money and food, the trio improvises a spectacle involving storytelling, music, and a chicken-assisted magic trick. The crowd’s applause almost allows Elodie to forget that her dragon tale dishonours an origin story sacred to her mother.
When Joie’s own secrets emerge, Elodie is faced with a new dilemma. With Crusaders hovering and a voracious audience clamouring, Elodie realizes that, to save herself and Bertran, she’ll need to decide who to trust—and who to betray.