The Healing Place

      Clare Nonhebel
The Healing Place

At 32, Franz Kane is owner-director of The Healing Place, appealing to an appreciative and ever-growing clientele seeking remedies for stress and formulae for fulfilment. The Healing Place has also been Franz’s escape from the past. But now, as one crisis after another challenges his own priorities, Franz has to decide whether it’s worth risking everything for the truth.THE HEALING PLACE Clare NonhebelSYNOPSISFranz Kane has invested time, money and energy into setting up The Healing Place, a state-of-the-art building with superb facilities, offering an impressive range of holistic therapies and mind-enriching courses to city-dwellers eager to escape the stresses of life.Running such an enterprise has stresses of its own, and not only lighter-hearted errors such as locating Primal Scream Therapy in the next room to Silent Meditation; some serious concerns are beginning to surface. Although Franz promotes inclusive acceptance of every person and every shade of belief, barring religion and obvious cults, there are few people he genuinely trusts. Now two of them - his girlfriend Ella and the psychic, Sharma, a mainstay of The Healing Place - have some challenging questions for Franz.Cracks are beginning to appear in the fabric of the building, and in the persona of Franz himself. He experiences first an outburst of rage against a local vicar, then fear of a sinister stranger who mirrors Franz's own dismissal of moral imperatives, and finally a near-violent impulse against Ella, newly pregnant with his baby.Despite Ella's and Sharma's warnings and encouragement, Franz clings to his image as 'the man with no yesterday,' avoiding every question about his past. But when Sharma takes time out from The Healing Place - in response to a request from local police to help find two kidnapped boys - circumstances begin to force Franz to face himself and his own history.When he makes a sudden decision to go to Ireland, he invites Ella to come with him, on the condition that she asks no questions of him. Trusting his integrity but struggling with fears for Franz and for the future of their unborn Ella begins to find some answers when they visit a convent nursing home where a frail and elderly Catholic priest is dying.But just as they both begin to uncover the past, the future is jeopardised: The Healing Place faces its own baptism of fire, apparently an arson attack by someone who wishes Franz harm.Sharma, who challenged Franz to stop pretending to accept every version of truth as equally valid and to confront his own beliefs and prejudices, is struggling to remain calm as he moves nearer to discovering what has happened to the abducted children. His own children, meanwhile, who had been taken abroad when their mother left him are returning home with an overwhelming need of their own - to be their father's main priority.Reviewing his own priorities, and more aware now of his motivation for founding The Healing Place, Franz has to confront the question of whether the remedies it offers are actually healing anyone.An unexpected source of enlightenment turns up in the form of childhood friend, Patrick, now working in London, who has been looking for Franz under his original name, and a young doctor, Jake. Their shared vision for a new project begins to absorb Franz as well, if he can learn to trust again and work with them as a team.Patrick, who grew up with Franz and knows his extraordinary history, and Ella who until recently only knew him in his recent role as director of The Healing Place, hold between them the key to Franz's own healing.But before they can all move forward, there are still two frightened children to be found, and in the process of standing in for Sharma in one of his classes, Franz begins to understand something of the strange path that Sharma himself has chosen and the hazards he is going through in tracing the abducted boys.At the same time, the vicar and the sinister figure both move into the spotlight and will each make their indelible imprint on the future of The Healing Place, on Franz and Ella and the generation to come.

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    Popcorn

      Clare Nonhebel
Popcorn

Foster child Soony has a sunny personality, learning difficulties, a tendency to swear like a trooper … and an imaginary friend called Popcorn. But is Popcorn imaginary? And if not, who is she?A childless couple knows that fostering a teenage girl with learning difficulties may pose certain challenges.Soony has a sunny personality, an affectionate nature and a tendency to swear like a trooper and behave unpredictably in public. She seems to be settling in well to her new life. Soony's social worker and the staff at her former care home are reassured that the placement is working well and that all three members of the new family are becoming attached to one another.However, June and Jim are becoming aware that there is a fourth member of the family - Soony's imaginary friend Popcorn.But is Popcorn imaginary?And if not, who is she?

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    Genius

      Clare Nonhebel
Genius

Three gifted children: boy genius Eldred, acrobat Lulubelle and disabled visionary Keith are all learning to survive in a world that puts pressure on them to be normal. But, beyond their unusualness, is there another link between them that nobody knows about?A story of ordinary uniqueness. Eldred Jones taught himself to read at the age of five. This would not have qualified him as a child genius, except for three significant facts: Eldred had spent all five years of his life in an oxygen tent, he had not spoken a single word since birth, and the book he was reading was a medical textbook.Three gifted children: boy genius Eldred, acrobat Lulubelle and disabled visionary Keith are all learning to survive in a world that expects them to be normal. Eldred’s parents, baffled by a child who dabbles in complex mathematical equations and designs potentially lucrative recycling systems, wish he could be more ordinary.Lulubelle’s ambition for stardom is compromised by having to be the adult in the relationship with her unpredictable mother. And Keith needs his family to accept that surgeons’ attempts to correct his physical disabilities may not be improving his life.Their stories weave in and out until the three of them finally meet. Despite their differences they find common ground in their unusualness and form a strong friendship.But, in the threads running through their life stories, is there a link between them that nobody knows about?

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