ESCAPE TO THE COUNTRY narrated by Claire Storey
Leah is accused of a crime she didn’t commit. Dumped by Adam, the man she planned to marry, she escapes to Aunt Jayne’s smallholding in the Kent village of Winkleigh Marsh. Heartbroken and homeless, she strives to clear her name and deal with her emotions.
Jayne treats Leah’s unhappiness with herbal remedies, cowslip wine and common sense in equal measure. In return Leah works hard for the delicious home-cooked meals they share. She wrestles with sheep, breaks nails and gets stuck in the mud – learning as much about herself as she does about farming. Soon Leah is happy milking cows, mucking out pigs and falling halfway in love with Duncan, a dishy tractor driver.
Back in London, steps are being taken to investigate what’s happened to the missing money. It looks as though the real embezzler must soon be unmasked and Leah will have to choose between resuming her old life or starting a new one.
That’s when her problems really start.
PAINT ME A PICTURE narrated by Deborah Keeting
Mavis Forthright carefully rehearses her jump from Portsmouth’s Round Tower. She’s existed for over five decades. Lived hardly at all. Will end her misery with a few second’s fall into the cold sea. Except she’s not quite ready to die. A half day’s delay to try a bacon sandwich from the cafe won’t matter; Mother’s no longer there to disapprove.
She delays another day to lend Janice a book. Then a week to use her new paints. A month. Until the end of term. Mavis makes new plans: to live, to create paintings full of emotion, perhaps even make friends.
As if to balance her survival a number of people connected to Mavis die. At first that doesn’t matter. They’re people she dislikes. Mavis continues painting, tending her garden, feeding the birds and keeping her home properly clean, without additional concern. Then people who’ve been kind to Mavis are killed or injured. That shouldn’t happen.
Why are people dying? Is it because of charming Norman who’s back from her past, or is that strange boy Jake her mistaken guardian angel? Perhaps Mavis herself is to blame. She must learn the truth, stop the deaths and protect those she’s learned to care about before she can enjoy the new life she’s making for herself.
COFFEE & CAKE narrated by Dawn Lewis
We eat and drink for more than mere survival. Food comforts and reassures, connects us with others. A mug of coffee wakes us up in the morning. A cup of tea can calm us down.
Cakes are great for celebrations, birthdays in particular. Making one specially for someone shows how much we care. The same applies to learning to make their favourite dish, or passing on your signature recipe.
The food and drink choices we make expose aspects of our personality. What we give to others, and the care we take when doing so, can be even more revealing.
Sharing food helps build, or repair, relationships. It creates and recreates traditions and brings back memories – if that’s what we want.
Whether you prefer unsweetened black coffee, or milky tea, rich sponge cake or something savoury, this collection of 25 stories provides the perfect snack.
Short stories you can listen to for free…