Four Fantastic Books for 2023

Published by Sam Ruddock on

Story Machine is thrilled to announce the Fantastic Four: 4 brilliant new books that we are publishing in 2023.

The original dress for Kathleen

There are three works of fiction –  including an American road trip odyssey written by a priest in the Church of England, a novella that blows the spy thriller genre to pieces and creates a feminist masterpiece from the rubble, and the sequel to Sally-Anne Lomas’s brilliant Live Like Your Head’s On Fire. Finishing off the quartet is Heather Richardson’s astonishing fragmentory celebration of the life of her aunt, Kathleen, whose life was cut tragically short aged just 14. It was originally stitched into the fabric of a dress and is published here for the first time. 

Together they mark an exciting new phase in our celebration of brilliant new writing. They are the first time we’ve offered a money-saving, early access, signed by the author, subscription service to our readers. You’ll be able to get the books delivered to your door at least one month before publication, and save yourself money in the process.

As always, our books are being printed in line with our Planet Positive Promise by Seacourt, a global leader in environmentally sustainable printing. We’re thrilled to be working with our brilliant distributers Inpress to make sure each book is available in bookshops online and across the UK.

Publisher Sam Ruddock says:

I’m proud and excited for each of these four books. We believe in them, and can’t wait to shepherd them into the world where they can make friends and change lives. Each of them excited me when I first read them, and they continue to excite me every time I return to them. I can’t wait for you to discover them, too.

Meet our Fantastic Four for 2023

Jacket designed by Natty Peterkin

Bradington Bay by Alaric Mark Lewis

Described as ‘heart breaking and then heart mending’ by Carlos Dews, Bradington Bay is Homeric in scope, suffused with the adventurous energy of Jack Kerouac, and the intimacy of James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room. It tells the story of middle-aged Edward Bradington, and the road trip he takes to return to the house he grew up in, and the man he might once have been. Early readers have described it as ‘the love-child of Cheever and Updike. Its godparents are Edmund White and Alice Hoffman.’

Alaric Mark Lewis has been a piano bar performer, bartender, waiter, film critic, teacher, wedding singer, pizza maker, Benedictine monk, and writer in the US, Italy, Spain, and the UK. He has written four books on the spirituality of loss and illness, but Bradington Bay is his first novel.

Bradington Bay is published in paperback and ebook on 8th June 2023

Jacket designed by Natty Peterkin

Love Like Your Heart’s On Fire by Sally-Anne Lomas

The much anticipated sequel to her 2021 debut, Love Like Your Heart’s On Fire sees Sally-Anne Lomas continue Pen Flowers adventures in dance. She is now 16, and she’s angry. She’s furious about climate injustice and social inequality, her parents’ separation, and her own lonely single existence. The only thing that makes life worth living is dancing. And with that she plans to change the world.

It is a celebration of the power of art to drive change, and a page-turning story of teenage dreams and devastation. Sally-Anne Lomas’s Fire Trilogy is destined to become a must-read for everyone who wants to live life with passion and make the world a better place.

Love Like Your Heart’s On Fire published in paperback and ebook on 4th July 2023

Jacket designed by Natty Peterkin

Lines and Shadows by Sarah Bower

It is 1960. The height of the Cold War. Maths prodigy Ginny Matlock is appointed to be the first woman computer at a secretive nuclear testing facility off the East Anglian coast. She quickly finds, in this landscape of endless skies and shifting shorelines, that nothing is what it seems.

Sarah Bower’s brilliant novella blows the spy thriller genre to pieces and creates a feminist masterpiece from what is left of the rubble. A swirling mystery in which mathematical proof is always just out of reach. Lines and Shadows is the strange lovechild between Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent and John Le Carre.

Lines and Shadows is published in paperback and ebook on 6th August 2023

Jacket designed by Natty Peterkin

A Dress for Kathleen by Heather Richardson

‘Every family has shadow people, the ones who slipped out of the story too soon, leaving a blank space where they should have been. In my father’s family that person was his sister Kathleen.’

So begins Heather Richardson’s astonishing fragmentary celebration of her aunt, Kathleen, who died when she was just 14. A Dress For Kathleen is a labour of love from niece to the aunt she never met. Every sentence sparkles. Heather Richardson’s masterpiece is a poetic portrait in prose.

A Dress for Kathleen is published in paperback and ebook on 7th September 2023.

Pre-order and Subscribe

These fantastic four books are available to pre-order today. You can purchase them individually by clicking on the links above. Or you can save money and subscribe to all four books and save a packet of cash, too.

As a Story Machine 2023 subscriber you will save money and get exclusive benefits.

  • 4 books for just £44 (RRP £56), plus a free bonus book: Writer by JM Burgoyne.
  • Each book signed by the author
  • Receive each book at least 1 month before they will be in the shops.
  • Free P&P – usually £3.30 per book

What’s more, you’ll be supporting planet positive publishing and helping us to keep supporting and publishing exciting new writing.

Categories: Books


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