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Linda Finlay

Linda Finlay LINDA FINLAY trained as an Image Consultant and has an avid interest in people, especially the synergy between appearance and perception and the effect it can have on their self-esteem. She has always loved writing, her first success was winning a competition in the local paper in Surrey and she has had short stories published in women’s magazines. A move to the spectacular Devonshire coast combined with her passion for local history inspired her to write her first novel THE ROYAL LACEMAKER and she has now finished her fourth THE SEA SHELL GIRL

In order to better understand her heroine’s lives, Linda has undertaken the task of learning each of the west country crafts she has written about in her novels. She can now make the delicate pillow lace, fashion a bonnet with ribbons dyed to match, formulate perfume and knit a fisherman’s gansey or knit frock as they are known in parts of Cornwall and is eager to undertake her next challenge.

LATEST BOOK: ORPHANS & ANGELS to be published by Penguin on 18th MAY 2017 The second in the Red Cliffs Ragged School Series

Linda Finlay - Angels and Orphans When Solomon is orphaned after a fire at the family foundry, he is taken in by Sarah Sullivan, proprietress of Red Cliffs Ragged School in Torquay, an establishment that cares for abandoned children. Wracked by the guilty secret he cannot share, he is moody and unresponsive until feisty travelling mistress Sheena O’Sullivan breezes in and takes him under her wing. Generous hearted and full of fun, the children fall under her spell, as does the school master, Harry Higgins. As Sarah devotes more time to fund raising for the school and supporting the suffragist movement, Sheena is required to consult Harry on day to day matters regarding the children. Love blossoms between them and Sarah finds herself battling the green eyed monster she didn’t know she possessed. Just as Solomon seems to be settling and the girls are flourishing under her guidance, Sheena’s past comes back to haunt her with devastating effect.

Then the inspectors insist the school must close unless all the facilities are brought up to date. Can Sarah save her precious Red Cliffs and it’s pupils this time around? And will Harry be willing to set their differences aside and help her?

MONDAY’S CHILD The first in the Red Cliffs Ragged School Series

A little girl is found abandoned on a beach one chilly October morning, alone apart from her mother’s body cold beside her. Rendered silent by her traumatic experience, she is given the name Monday by the woman who finds her and takes her to the Red Cliffs Ragged School, a crumbling building perched on the cliffs overlooking Tor Bay.

Her saviour, twenty two year old Sarah Sullivan has also had a tough life, but finds her own second chance within its walls. Now she will do anything to help the mischievous, loveable children there, especially Monday whose continued silence tears at her heart.

But with Samuel’s health failing and his nephew Christian eager to inherit, the future of Red Cliffs is under threat. Sarah needs to fight. The children need her and surprisingly she finds she needs them too. Will she be able to save the school and protect the little girl she has come to love so much – the one she has named Monday’s child?

THE SEA SHELL GIRL Published by Penguin 19th May 2016

With her white-blond hair and blue eyes so different from the other Cornish villagers, Merry has never felt she fitted in. Her mother tells her she takes after her father, a man of the sea, who left their lives before she was born. Living with her mother and grandmother in a tiny cottage in the little close knit fishing community, she helps them eke out a living by making the local knit frocks and salting and packing the pilchards when they arrive. When the son of the fish factory declares his intention to marry her, she is horrified and determines to make an independent life for herself away from home.

When she is offered a job in a new store that is opening in Plymouth, it seems the answer to her prayers and Merry seizes the opportunity. With her talents recognised by the store’s proprietors, she is given new responsibilities and promotion and Merry is sure her life has changed for good. However, the wealthy Meredith family arrive at the store and everything she thought she knew seems about to unravel.

A FAMILY FOR CHRISTMAS Published by Penguin 19th November 2015

Eliza is just fourteen years old when she is forced out of her home one freezing winter’s night. Lost and alone, she struggles across the snowy moors of Exmoor before collapsing on the doorstep of the reclusive Fay, who with the help of Duncan the Druid, slowly nurses her back to health. Eliza falls in love with the wilderness of her surroundings, discovering an unexpected talent for making medicines and perfumes from the abundant local flowers.

Just when she's beginning to feel she belongs, Fay drops her bombshell. She has arranged for Eliza to take an apprenticeship with a master perfumer in Devonshire. Her parting gift is a little black bottle and the promise that if Eliza can discover the scent of the lingering scent, her future will be assured. Eliza is devastated, thinking that yet again she is no longer wanted. Although eager to learn the art of perfume making, her new position brings misery and when she discovers what her charming employer is really up to, she fears for her life and is forced to flee once more.

Determined to make a new life for herself, Eliza sets out to discover the flowers that comprise the scent in the black bottle. As she widens her search, she meets a handsome young man who invites her into his heart and home. Dare she hope for a happy ending – and a family for Christmas at last?

THE GIRL WITH THE RED RIBBON Published by Penguin 23rd April 2015

At just eight years old, Rowan is devastated when her mother dies. Working closely with her father on the family farm, where they carry out the practice of moon gardening, she continues the ancient rituals handed down by her mother to ensure a good harvest. Years later, her father remarries a scheming woman who makes it clear she doesn't see Rowan as part of the family and she finds herself facing a desolate future at an asylum on Dartmoor.

Drawing strength from her mother's cherished red ribbon of life, which she always wears around her wrist, she plots a daring escape. Finding work as an apprentice Milliner and Mantua Maker in an East Devon seaside town she discovers a natural talent for colour and detail that brings success beyond her wildest dreams. Then she falls in love with the handsome Preventative, Jack, but her past still casts a shadow over her happiness. Torn between her new life and the family she longs for, will she ever find a place to call home?


THE ROYAL LACEMAKER (published by Penguin October 2014)

17 year old Lily Rose scratches a meagre living making lace from her cottage in Devonshire and is responsible for her siblings following the death of their parents. Then opportunity beckons. Hundreds of miles away in London, Queen Victoria is preparing for her wedding. She will wear the most exquisite dress, bearing the famous Honiton lace. When Lily is selected to work on this top-secret commission, it is the answer to her prayers.

An expert lace maker and natural leader of women, there are those who want to see her fail, including Squire Clinsden who issues her with a terrible ultimatum – give up her job and go into service for him or the family will lose their home. Should she risk being subjected to his unwelcome advances or put her loved ones in danger? Torn between duty and dreams of a better life, Lily must battle the odds to ensure her family’s survival.

Bibliography

Orphans & Angels the second in the Red Cliffs Ragged School Series to be published by Penguin 18th May 2017

Monday’s Child the first in the Red Cliffs Ragged School Series Published by Penguin 20th October 2016

The Royal Lacemaker Published by Penguin 7th October 2014

The Girl With The Red Ribbon Published by Penguin 23rd April 2015

A Family For Christmas Published by Penguin 19th November 2015

Sea Shell Girl Published by Penguin 19th May 2016