Fiction Preview: Special 242

Welcome to the fiction you’ll find ready to read in Special 242, on sale Wednesday, 3rd May.

Twenty Short Stories

Our opening story is Alyson Hilbourne’s “Through The Mill”. Set in 1820, it’s the story of Maggie, who works in the mill – where one day, disaster strikes…Artwork, Andre Leonard.

Vanessa loves her new, quiet home – until one day, the peace is disturbed! By Alison Carter. “Rise And Shine!” is illustrated by Ged Fay.

It’s “Springtime In Tuscany”, and Ria is on a much-needed holiday. But it doesn’t take long to realise that she’s already very well acquainted with one of her fellow holidaymakers…by Becca Robin, it’s illustrated by Mandy Dixon.

A stray grey leads to a bad hair day, in Eirin Thompson’s “True Colours”…

…while a sister’s advice is always just what’s needed, in Suzanne Ross Jones’ “What Hayley Did”. Artwork, Sarah Holliday.

Super Spring Reading

Dave and Fran are selling up, but saddened that all prospective buyers want to gut their beloved family home. Should they simply sell to the highest bidder? Wendy Janes’ “The Price Is Right” features artwork from Mandy Dixon.

Thea has moved to make a new start – but has she simply made a mistake? By Lauren Rebbeck, “Something Different” is illustrated by Helen Welsh.

Easy-going Jonah is inadvertently causing tension in his new workplace, in Teresa Ashby’s “The Look Of Love”…

…while back in 1965, Siobhan’s job in London is in danger if she can’t get the villagers on-side, in “Recipe For Success”. By Alison Carter, it’s illustrated by Pat Gregory.

Will ex-company heartthrob, Vick Vesey, turn up at the annual party? Find out in “You Must Be Joking”, by Christina Hollis.

Stories For Everyone

Is telling a white lie really that bad, or are some secrets best kept hidden? “Family Secrets” by Gwen Rollinson is illustrated by Kirk Houston.

Lisa gets to know a guy over the phone when placing orders for her home textiles company. Is it just the sound of his voice she likes, or is romance “Just A Call Away”? By Eirin Thompson, artwork from Ruth Blair.

Gwen works in an animal sanctuary, where she’s caring for nervous German Shepherd, Lewis. Will he find a forever home? “Seeking Sanctuary” is by Julia Douglas, and illustrated by Kirk Houston.

We’re in the 1980s for our next story, where Callie can have the pick of the boys. But who will she choose? “With Great Beauty” is by Alison Carter.

And our next story begins in the 1970s, where Elaine’s love of books seems set to shape her future. “Words Of Wisdom” by Charmaine Fletcher is illustrated by Pat Gregory (above).

Historical And Contemporary Fiction

Agnes is alarmed when she finds out the stained glass in her local church has vanished, in Becca Robin’s “See The Light”. Set in 1550, it’s illustrated by David Young.

There’s one person the family know they can rely on, so let’s “Leave It To Evie”! By Teresa Ashby, with an illustration from Jim Dewar.

Kate hears a voice she thought she’d never hear again, in Amanda Quinn’s “Timeless Advice”…

…while for Nevan, life’s simpler when you don’t have any distractions. “Single Minded” is by Eirin Thompson.

In our final story, Barbara and Patrick love their roles at the Abbey. But there’s a new Abbey Guardian in town! Teresa Ashby’s “Prior Commitments” features artwork by Ruth Blair.


Lucy Crichton

Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of 'Friend' fiction!