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Hidden Talents [Paperback]

Erica James
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Book Description

17 Jun 2004

Dulcie Ballantyne knows that creative writers' groups attract an unlikely mix of people, so when she starts up Hidden Talents, she is well prepared for the assortment of people she is bringing together.

Beth King is facing empty-nest syndrome as her only son, Nathan, leaves home for university. Jack Solomon, a local estate agent, is having trouble coming to terms with the shock of his wife leaving him for his best friend. Jaz Rafferty is an intensely private seventeen-year-old girl who writes to escape her large, boisterous family. Victor Blackmore is a know-it-all, who claims to be writing the blockbuster novel every publisher will be clamouring for.

What they all have in common is a need to escape, as well as a desire to keep their lives as private as possible. As they grow more confident in their writing skills, friendships develop, and gradually they come to realise that a little openness isn't necessarily a bad thing.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; New edition edition (17 Jun 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752849573
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752849577
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 13 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 954,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

With an insatiable appetite for other people's business, Erica James will readily strike up conversation with strangers in the hope of unearthing a useful gem for her writing. She finds it the best way to write authentic characters for her novels, although her two grown-up sons claim they will never recover from a childhood spent in a perpetual state of embarrassment at their mother's compulsion.

The author of thirteen bestselling novels, including Gardens of Delight which won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award, and her recent Sunday Times top ten bestseller, It's the Little Things, Erica now divides her time between Cheshire and Lake Como in Italy, where she now strikes up conversation with unsuspecting Italians.

Product Description


MEDIA 'beautifully executed' Sarah Broadhurst, The Bookseller Review in Juneissue of WOMAN & HOME and PRIMA. WOMAN ALIVE (Christian magazine) interviewed Erica in June issue and an interview also appeared in the LINCOLNSHIRE ECHO to pre-advertise the event at Ottakar's. Reviewed in KNUTSFORD GUARDIAN and LANCASHIRE EVENING TELEGRAPH EVENTSErica has visited several bookshops tocoincide with publication. Ottakar's, Lincoln and Ottakar's Wilmslow were both attended by about 35 people. Lincoln sold 36 copies of Hidden Talents, Wilmslow 22 copies. Erica also visited WHSmith's in Lincoln to sign stock. Her event at Ottakar's Crewe was also a success. The Summer Reading evening with Adele Geras, Rebecca Shaw and Sarah Harrison at Ottakar's, Stafford was unfortunately cancelled due to problems with the venue but as tickets sales were very strong we will be re-scheduling. Erica also attended the Hull Literary Lunch in April

Book Description

Bestselling author Erica James explores the stories of a potent mix of characters who meet at a creative writers' group.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Dulcie Ballantyne had made a lifelong habit of not making a drama of the unexpected: for sixty-three years silver linings had been her stock in trade. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully crafted story 14 Aug 2003
Erica James weaves her 5 central characters together beautifully in Hidden Talents.Brought together to form a weekly writers group, we are drawn into the lives of these people. Jack, the recently divorced Estate Agent. Beth, widowed mother of a teenage son. Jaz, 17 and writing to escape her chaotic family. Strange and eccentric Victor. Dulcie, 63 leads the group, but has a hidden secret of her own. These well written, plausable characters come to life so well you feel they are part of your life too.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must read 19 Oct 2002
By A Customer
As with all of Erica's books you feel as if you are actually one of the characters in the book itself. I literally could not put this book down and became so involved with all the characters even becoming to like the highly opinionated Victor. The story delved through very different lives and loves, showing how many of us easily judge others without knowing the full story. An absolute must read, can't wait until Erica brings out another.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that could inspire others 7 Dec 2002
By A Customer
This book is extremely entertaining, it covers a range of subjects that will make you laugh out loud or make you feel sad for the characters. Erica James takes you through a rollercoaster of emotions with all her characters.
Hidden Talents is a book that can make you forget all others, with its humour and interesting plot.
I would recommend it to anyone who likes to read romantic commedies.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden Talents 19 April 2004
By A Customer
Once again this author has managed to keep me enthralled and wanting to read just one more chapter! The whole storyline is believable and very life like. I enjoyed this whole story and am keen to read another.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This Autor is deffinatly one of my favourites & this book was of her usual high standards, full of fun & romance, alovely storyline & enticing characters.

Erica James did a brilliant job of bringing together many characters of different ages & backgrounds & helped them to find common ground, confidence in themselves & gain a lasting bond with eachother, which was proved throughout the book.

This book could of become slightly confussing with its many main characters - each with their own lives & problems - but this was not the case I enjoyed getting into the minds of each character & seeing the same events occasionally replayed with different view points.

You are also able to see certain situations from a more simpathetic perspective, for example an affair where you want the mistress to keep the man!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just brilliant! 1 Sep 2003
By A Customer
Not often have I come across a book I was so totally hooked on. A very well written book with down to earth characters experiencing love and loss - surperbly written and an inspiration to all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read 30 Oct 2004
Not being a great fan of romance, I took an interest in this book purely because I'd just joined a writing group at the time. However I really enjoyed the whole story. Great charecters running along five great storylines that weave into each other that form one great read. More please Ms James.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden Talents 25 Sep 2003
I am nearing the end of Hidden Talents and am finding it one of Erica's best yet. Fantastic storyline with characters you can relate to. Cant wait for the next one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
fab fab writer. Can't put the book down
Published 12 days ago by Cagsey.
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
I did not receive the book hidden talents by erica james but got a book by Jeffrey archer
Published 2 months ago by andrew rhodes
5.0 out of 5 stars go Erica
As usual Erica James has enthralled me from the beginning of the story! A most enjoyable story which I have found hard to take breaks from.
Published 6 months ago by Mr. Christopher D. Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars One of her best
I had forgotten I had read this before, but enjoyed it just as much the second time. You get involved in each character and just want to find out what happens to them. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mrs MV Sharples
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Again Erica James has written with care and great thought about difficult subjects. The more you read you can feel yourself being pulled into the story as if you actually were in... Read more
Published 7 months ago by christine y
5.0 out of 5 stars A tribute to recognising value in all kinds of people.
As always, Erica James lures you into a world of "ordinary" people from different backgrounds who find what makes them different and what they have in common despite... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mrs. C. Abbiss
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable read
I found the characters very likable and the story of ordinary people using their writing skills inspirational. I always enjoy Erica James' books
Published 10 months ago by marea
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book.
I have become engrossed with the characters in this story. The different characters are quite diverse and interesting. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Denise Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars A sensitive and brilliant read
I loved this from beginning to end. The characters were interesting to follow and the novel had the right balance of joy and sorrow mixed. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Amazing
Full of unexpected twists and turns. This is such a good story that I began to want to write a book myself. I love it!
Published 17 months ago by Miss NL Starks
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