Everyday Kindness Anthology edited by L.J.Ross

Everyday Kindness Anthology edited by L.J.Ross

In honour of the first anniversary of its publication, I present my guide to every story in the wonderful Everyday Kindness Anthology edited by L.J.Ross. All proceeds go to the homelessness and housing charity Shelter.

You’ll find all sorts in these stories: crime, romance, nostalgia, neighbours, ghosts and lots more in a variety of styles from heart-warming to gritty, humorous to literary.

Jackals by Adam Hamdy – A gritty story of life on the streets stateside and an unexpected kindness.

Snap by Alex Smith – A harassed mum learns something from her eldest daughter.

An Unexpected Visitor by Alison Stockham – Lauren is a neighbour on an early-morning mission.

Planting Out by Anne O’Leary – Paul and his mam drive out in atrocious weather for an important appointment.

A Wave of Love by Barbara Copperthwaite – A gentle story of kindness with a nod to lockdown.

The Perfect Match by Caroline Mitchel – A story from the viewpoint of a female riot squad officer in the Metropolitan Police. She observes the selfless and dangerous work of a volunteer street helper, Millie.

Kindness is Magic by Chris McDonald – A bullied 8-year-old boy learns that kindness can be not only magic but reciprocated.

Imagination Avenue – C.L. Taylor’s quirky story reminds us how we often outgrow the togetherness of childhood.

When Angels are Near by Casey Kelleher – After his beloved grandmother’s death, Franky shows kindness to his grieving mother.

Do the Research by C.K. McDonnell – Two in-your-face and well-drawn characters give kindness a topical and satirical spin.

The Birth of Goody Merryman by Claire Sheehy – The author gives her series character Detective Lizzie Marsh a new outing in this topical story about acceptance. (Details of another story featuring Lizzie are here.)

A Fine Pair of Shoes by Clare Flynn – The Great Exhibition of 1851 is the setting for a perfect act of kindness.

The Big Burn Book by Darren O’Sullivan – Life in a care home takes an unexpected turn for Joy when new resident Maggie moves in.

A Mother’s Gift by David Leadbeater – A heart-breaking story of losing and giving.

Christmas Ginger by Debbie Young – Can a snowed-in Christmas make a former jet-setting journalist find something worth staying at home for?

The Best Laid Plans by Deborah Carr – Emma tries to make amends for her father’s shady deals.

Detention by Emma Robinson – Anyone who’s ever been inside a secondary school classroom, especially if they’ve taught in one, will relate to this great story.

Next Door by Graham Brack – Young Sylvie develops an enduring friendship with her elderly next-door neighbour.

A Packet of Kindness by Hannah Lynn – Typical teen Oliver doles out his own brand of kindness.

Goodbye, Wendy by Heather Martin – Joe is a café owner with time for everyone.

A Festive Tale by Holly Martin – Cora feels lonely in her new flat in London. It takes a winter’s night and a stray dog to melt the ice with her neighbours – in more ways than one.

An Unghost Story by Ian Sainsbury – A story within a story. At a book club meeting Rachel recounts her recurring dream.

Counting the Cost by Imogen Clark – A small boy shows his mum the difference between appearing to be kind and actually being it.

The Lord’s Work by James Gilbert – One snowy night loneliness leads to drunkenness and then to kindness.

Kind is in the Mind by Jane Corry – A neat story that shows how acts of kindness can dovetail.

Nothing Much To Look At by J.D. Kirk – A great act of kindness develops out of the sale and purchase of a second-hand car.

The Big Issue by Jean Gill – You could call this a shaggy dog story, a lovely one.

Georgia Green by J.J. Marsh – A delightful story that features a bookshop.

Snow Day by Judith O’Reilly – Crotchety Virginia observes her neighbourhood through her parlour window.

Another Woman’s Shoes by Kelly Clayton – A new neighbour gets off to a terrible start with the woman across the road. It’s hard to patch up a relationship after a broken ankle but not impossible…

Someone To Talk To, Somewhere To Go by Kim Nash – A growing friendship between two strong but very different women.

Love is Love by Leah Mercer – A powerful tale of love, bereavement and the kindness of strangers.

The Boy in the Green Jacket by Liz Fenwick – An ice rink is where this protagonist learns to live again.

The Liar by L.J. Ross – A warm-hearted tale of learning to overcome loneliness.

The Light Room by Louise Beech – Mother/child relations explored through the lens of a wedding photographer.

Henry’s Hope by Louise Jensen – A moving story of anger and forgiveness.

Six Steps by Louise Mumford – A superb character study of an elderly widower who grudgingly learns to live again.

The Piece of Paper that Changed a Life by Malcolm Hollingdrake – Set in Bradford in 1960, a crime story with a hint of kindness.

The Jar of Ideas by Marcia Woolf – Ilse learns about imagination from Grandma Lotte.

Looking Towards the Future by Marcie Steele – If only Laura can get over losing Sam, she might be able to go out running again. Rob seems keen to become her running partner…

Two Chickens for Laura Long Arms by Mark Stay – A war-time story about mourning and water sprites. Clever and heart-warming.

Waiting for the West Wind by Natasha Bache – A bewitching tale set in Shropshire.

The Haunted Shopping Trolley by Nick Jackson – This story features supermarket workers during the first pandemic lockdown. And it’s got a ghost in it. Perfect.

What We See in the Shadows by Nick Quantrill – This atmospheric story features Nick’s series character Joe Geraghty, a private eye who plies his trade in Hull.

To Infinity and Beyond by Nicky Black – A delightful story told from the viewpoint of an unusual narrator and Toy Story superfan.

Broken Wing by Patricia Gibney – A touching tale about a girl, her grandmother and an injured bird.

One Morning in the Life of Hasan D by Rachel Sargeant – I hope you like my character, Hasan, who shows that even in the darkest times, small acts of kindness shine a light.

Shep’s Mate by Rob Parker – A dramatic night for a small boy at the pub with his dad. Brilliant and unexpected.

Unforgettable by Rob Scragg – A gentle story of love shining through bereavement.

Chrysanthemums by S.E. Lynes – A beautifully recounted episode from the main character’s childhood in Rome.

Svarverkjær by Shelley Day – The tale of an old, abandoned house and the flora and fauna that grow up around it.

A Postbox Attached to the Gate by Sophie Hannah – Ever wondered what estate agents got up to in lockdown? Maybe this mystery will give a clue.

The Perfect Present by Victoria Connelly – A woman searches for the ideal gift for her sister.

The Collector of Memories by Victoria Cooke – A man facing a bleak future is helped by a stranger.

The Reservoir by Will Dean – Tom gets a break from his home life when a kindly relative takes him fishing.


Everyday Kindness Anthology edited by L.J.Ross is also available as an audio book with some big name actors and voice artists narrating the stories. I’m thrilled and a little star-struck that my story is read by actor Raj Ghatak!

By Rachel Sargeant

Rachel Sargeant is a British author. Under the name Rae Sargeant, she writes the Gleveham Killers Suspense series, published by Hobeck Books. The first title is Her Deadly Friend. Her titles as Rachel Sargeant, with HarperCollins, are: The Roommates, a psychological thriller set in a university during freshers' week; The Good Teacher, a detective mystery, featuring DC Pippa “Agatha” Adams, and The Perfect Neighbours, a psychological thriller set in Germany. Rachel grew up in Lincolnshire, studied at Aberystwyth University, spent several years living in Germany and now lives in Gloucestershire with her family. She holds a PhD from the University of Birmingham.

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