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Gil McNeil - book author

Gil McNeil is the author of the bestselling The Only Boy for Me, Stand By Your Man, In The Wee Small Hours and most recently Divas Don’t Knit. The Only Boy For Me has been made into a major ITV prime-time drama starring Helen Baxendale and was broadcast in 2007. Gil McNeil has edited five collections of stories with Sarah Brown, and is Director of the charity PiggyBankKids, which supports projects that create opportunities for children. She lives in Kent with her son and comes from a long line of champion knitters.

Gil McNeil is the author of books: The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club (Jo Mackenzie, #1), Needles and Pearls (Jo Mackenzie, #2), Knit One Pearl One (Jo Mackenzie, #3), A Good Year for the Roses, The Only Boy for Me, Stand by Your Man, In the Wee Small Hours, Divas Don't Knit, Beach Street Knitting Society (3 Book Series), Soul Providers: Writings by Single Parents

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Author Books

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Description
01
For every woman who has ever dreamed of starting over, or being a better mother, or just knitting a really nice scarf . . . When her husband dies in a car crash--not long after announcing he wants a divorce--Jo Mackenzie packs up her two rowdy boys and moves from London to a dilapidated villa in her seaside hometown. There, she takes over her beloved Gran's knitting shop--a quaint but out-of-date store in desperate need of a facelift. After a rough beginning, Jo soon finds comfort in a "Stitch and Bitch" group; a collection of quirky, lively women who share their stories, and their addiction to cake, with warmth and humor. As Jo starts to get the hang of single-parent life in a small town, she relies on her knitting group for support. The women meet every week at the shop on Beach Street and trade gossip and advice as freely as they do a new stitch. But when a new man enters Jo's life, and an A-list actress moves into the local mansion, the knitting club has even more trouble confining the conversation to knit one, purl two.

The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club is an uplifting, winning tale about the healing power of friendship and new beginnings. It's a charming novel that will delight all passionate knitters--and win over befuddled, would-be knitters, too.
02
The warm and witty sequel to The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club Slip one . . .
Two weddings and a year after her husband's funeral, Jo Mackenzie is finally starting to get the hang of being a single parent. The boys are thriving, the yarn shop is doing well--thanks to Jo's improvements--and she's just about keeping her head above water. Knit two together . . .
But a man from Jo's past and a new romance with the hunky local carpenter come along and make life a whole lot more interesting. Cast off . . .
Can Jo cope when things get really complicated? Because if knitting really does keep you sane when life starts to unravel, Jo's going to need much bigger needles.
03
It's been a busy few years since Jo Mackenzie lost her husband. Life has brought adventure, surprises, unexpected pleasures and, of course, lots of knitting.

Jo's seaside yarn shop, with a brand-new cafe, has taken off, keeping her busier than ever. And being a single mum to two boys and a headstrong toddler, Pearl, is just as exhausting and enchanting as she thought it would be. On top of all that, celebrity diva Grace has a secret, Jo's firecracker best friend, Ellen, is launching a new television series, and lovable but hapless Martin continues his oft-misguided attempts to woo Jo. Just when Jo thinks she has about all she can handle, Daniel, Pearl's globe-trotting dad, turns up out of the blue...

With a little help from her friends and her beloved Gran, Jo is building a new life for herself by the sea, stitch by stitch.

Warm and witty, Knit One Pearl One will delight new readers to the Beach Street series and give the legions of existing fans a chance to visit the British seaside again, without having to worry about the weather.
04
Life hasn't been a bed of roses for Londoner Molly Taylor lately. Newly divorced and struggling to find a new home and a way to support her three boys, she's stunned when her beloved Aunt Helena dies and leaves her Harrington Hall, a three-hundred-year-old manor house on the Devon coast, where Molly grew up. But does Molly really want to run a bed-and-breakfast in an old house where the only thing that doesn't need urgent attention is Aunt Helena's beautiful rose garden? Or care for Uncle Bertie, an eccentric former navy officer with a cliff-top cannon? Or Betty, his rude parrot that bites whomever annoys it? Yet Molly's best friend Lola is all for the plan. "My heart bleeds. Your very own beach, the beautiful house, and Helena's garden. All you have to do is grill a bit of bacon."

But with Molly's conniving brother running the family hotel nearby, the return of a high school flame with ulterior motives, and three sons whose idea of a new country life seems to involve vast quantities of mud, this is not going to be easy. And then Harrington Hall begins to work its magic, and the roses start to bloom...

Warm, witty, and chock-full of quintessential British charm, A GOOD YEAR FOR THE ROSES is a story for anyone who has ever dreamed of starting over...with or without bacon.

05
Single motherhood has never been so much fun.

Annie Baker's got it made-an idyllic life in the country, a part-time job in town as a freelance film producer, and a boy who's crazy about her. The only problem is, he's six years old. Featuring Annie as its frazzled but tireless heroine, Gil McNeil's endearing first novel turns chaos to poetry.

Annie doesn't remember what it feels like to be pulled in any less than seven directions at once, but that's the beauty of her life. It seems like everywhere she turns there's a crisis in the making and a man who needs fussing over--whether it's her son, Charlie, who will only eat sausages for breakfast; her high-maintenance director-boss Barney, who's constantly being attacked by his own espresso maker; the crew on her ad shoots, whose work ethics are controlled exclusively by their stomachs; or her work nemesis, Lawrence, who's simply out to get her fired. And then she meets Mack...

Funny, heartbreaking, truthful, and romantic, The Only Boy for Me is a stunning debut.
06
Imagine what might happen to Bridget Jones if she'd grown up a bit, got married, had a kid and still wasn't quite ready to give up her boozy nights out with the girls.
07
Life just keeps getting more complicated for Annie Baker. Her sister Lizzie's pregnant and wants Annie to be her birth-partner - she's planning an active labour, in water, with lots of candles and music. Her partner Matt isn't too sure, although he's bought some new swimming trunks just in case. Annie's friend Leila has got a new man, Tor, and she's getting heavily into yoga, while Kate from the village has somehow ended up having an affair with her own ex-husband. And as for the men in Annie's own life, it just gets worse. Her seven-year-old son Charlie is now officially Pagan, and desperate for his own pet pheasant. Boss Barney is building a bit of a reputation for TV commercials involving stunts, so if she's not lurching around the North Sea in a trawler, she's stuck up a crane. Then there's Uncle Monty, a retired mole-catcher who collects bric-a-brac, to keep an eye on. Eighty-three and a few sandwiches short of a picnic, Monty has threatened the Meals on Wheels lady with a shotgun and is refusing to leave the farm where he's lived all his life. just when Annie was beginning to think she might be able to cope without him For everyone who fell in love with Annie Baker and her Only Boy for Me, here's what happened next. And for anyone who's ever wondered how to combine motherhood, the country life and a career in town, and why pheasants make that weird clicking noise, this is essential reading.