Will you, like Team Bookends, be glued to the TV coverage of the Royal Wedding tomorrow? Want to add an extra interactive element? Look no further than your Bookends Royal Wedding bingo card. Download copies for your party to capture all the key (and not so key) moments!
Treat yourself to a new read (or two!) this weekend – for less money than you’d spend on a flat white!
The Honey Farm on the Hill by Jo Thomas (99p)
Sometimes you have to go back before you can move forwards…
One magical summer Nell fell in love in the mountains of Crete and her life changed for ever.
Eighteen years later, Nell is ready for a new beginning. When she sees a honey farm in the same hilltop town has lost its bees, the opportunity is impossible to resist. Welcomed back to Greece by the warm sun and aroma of wild thyme, Nell finds memories of her past at every turn. But much has changed since she’s been away.
As Nell throws herself into restoring the honey farm, she starts to unlock the truth of what happened all those years ago. She soon learns that the course of true love – just like Cretan honey – can be wild and sweet. And well worth the wait…
One Quiet Woman by Anna Jacobs (99p)
From the beloved and bestselling Anna Jacobs’ comes a new Lancashire-based saga.
1930, Lancashire: Leah Turner’s father has been killed in an accident at the laundry, and falls to her to become sole provider for her little sister. But women’s wages are half those of men and pawning the few belongings she has left will only keep their vicious rent collector at bay for a few weeks – so even if she finds a job, they’ll lose their home.
Out of the blue Charlie Willcox, the local pawnbroker, offers her a deal. His brother Jonah, an invalid since being gassed in the Great War, needs a wife. Charlie thinks Leah would be perfect for the job.
The idea of a marriage of convenience doesn’t please Leah, but she finds Jonah agreeable enough and moving with him to the pretty hamlet of Ellindale may be the only chance of a better life for her sister.
But other people have plans for the remote Pennine valley, and the two sisters find themselves facing danger in their new life with Jonah. Can the three of them ever look to a brighter future?
Relight My Fire by Joanna Bolouri (£1.99)
Another year of adventures in bed!
Phoebe and Oliver are stuck in a rut.
With a five year old daughter and demanding jobs, it’s not hard to see why the spark has gone.
Not one for giving up, Phoebe creates a sexy wishlist: a jar where they can ask the other for anything they’ve ever wanted in bed – or out of it.
But with distractions aplenty – such as, why do all her past lovers think now is a good time to make a reappearance? And, she may be wrong, but is Oli keeping something from her? – will they be able to relight the fire in the bedroom?
From mix tapes to ‘sex jars’, this is the naughtiest rom com you will ever read. From the bestselling author of THE LIST comes the longed-for follow-up to Phoebe and Oliver’s story.
A Winter Retreat at the Paris Cheese Shop
by Victoria Brownlee (99p)
Who needs love when you can eat cheese?
Heartbroken and on the cusp of turning 30, Ella decides to pack her bags and move to Paris, somewhere she had visited when she was a different, more adventurous person.
It’s on the streets of beautiful, romantic City of Light that she finds her heart’s true desire: cheese. For Ella, her local fromagerie becomes a safe haven and she finds herself being drawn back there day after day.
But in a strange city, being friendless and not able to speak the language, has she bitten off more than she can chew?
A heart-warming and joyful romance, for fans of Jenny Colgan, Lucy Diamond and Sophie Kinsella.
Springtime at Wildacre by Lucy Daniels (99p)
In the little village of Welford, flowers are blooming, the lambing season is underway… and love is in the air.
Mandy Hope is on cloud nine. Hope Meadows, the animal rescue and rehabilitation centre she founded, is going really well. And she’s growing ever closer to handsome villager Jimmy Marsh. What’s more, James Hunter, her best friend, is slowly learning to re-embrace life after facing tragedy.
But when an unexpected crisis causes Mandy to lose confidence in her veterinary skills, it’s a huge blow. If she can’t learn to forgive herself, then her relationship with Jimmy, and the future of Hope Meadows, may be in danger. It’ll take friendship, love, community spirit – and one elephant with very bad teeth – to remind Mandy and her fellow villagers that springtime in Yorkshire really is the most glorious time of the year.
My Mother’s Shadow by Nikola Scott (99p)
Addie thinks she knows everything about her mother. But when a stranger appears claiming to be her sister, she realises that her life so far has been a lie. But why?
- Sent to beautiful Hartland to be sheltered from her mother’s illness, Liz spends the summer with the wealthy Shaw family. They treat Liz as one of their own, but their influence could be dangerous…
Now. Addie believes she knows everything about her mother Elizabeth and their difficult relationship until her recent death. When a stranger appears claiming to be Addie’s sister, she is stunned. Is everything she’s been told about her early life a lie?
How can you find the truth about the past if the one person who could tell you is gone? Addie must go back to that golden summer her mother never spoke of…and the one night that changed a young girl’s life for ever.
The Key by Kathryn Hughes (£1.99)
Turn The Key and unlock the past…
It’s Ellen Crosby’s first day as a student nurse at Ambergate County Lunatic Asylum. When she meets a young woman committed by her father, and a pioneering physician keen to try out the various ‘cures’ for mental illness, little does Ellen know that a choice she will make is to change all their lives for ever…
Sarah is drawn to the abandoned Ambergate Asylum. Whilst exploring the old corridors she discovers a suitcase belonging to a female patient who was admitted fifty years earlier. The shocking contents lead Sarah to unravel a forgotten story of tragedy, lost love and an old wrong that only she may have the power to put right…
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate (£1.99)
Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals, in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country, Before We Were Yours is a riveting, wrenching and ultimately uplifting global bestseller.
‘It is impossible not to get swept up in this near-perfect novel’ Huffington Post
‘A tale of enduring power’ Paula McLain
Christina Hopkinson’s new novel, The Weekend Wives, is out in paperback this week. Three women find their lives unravelling as secrets emerge while their husbands work in far-flung places leaving them to fight on the home front. Here the author explains why the women’s homes and the way they look are so useful in finding a way into the characters and their states of mind.
Some authors have very precise ideas about their characters’ looks or how they might dress – you know those novels who describe in great detail the designer Christian Louboutins or the tawny locks of their protagonists.
While I know how my characters look to me, it’s not particularly well defined nor is it something that I’d feel I want to share with readers on the page. I’d rather there was something left to the imagination.
But as to how they decorate their homes… that’s a different matter. I know exactly how their homes look and feel, all of which helps me to develop their personalities more deeply. It’s almost as though I have to be able to sit on their sofas before I understand them.
In my second novel, The Pile of Stuff at the Bottom of the Stairs, the protagonist Mary feels frustrated by the dissonance between the chaos of her surroundings (messy house, young children, lazy husband) and the ordered life that she desires. She senses somehow that her house is a physical manifestation of her own failings as a modern woman, in the way that some people, I suppose, might feel ashamed to be caught without make-up.
Her nemesis, Mimi, has a vast and immaculate house, including a kitchen which is so minimalist that there aren’t even handles on the cabinets. It’s as though Mimi’s home represents a sort of purity to which Mary can only aspire.
The three women who make up The Weekend Wives of my latest novel all have issues that are in some ways connected to or reflected by the physical surroundings of their home.
Initially I found it hard to get into the skin of one of them, Sasha, who is being stalked by a woman from her husband’s past. Then I saw a converted chapel featured in a lifestyle magazine and being shown off to beautiful advantage by its owner. It was stunning – high ceilings, cashmere throws in bright colours, artworks placed casually yet perfectly. By being able to picture Sasha living there, surrounded by this loveliness, I could understand her decisions better. She’s quite a cool, self-contained character who pours warmth and joy into her home. It is the embodiment of the love she feels for her children and which makes her decision to ignore the cracks in her marriage and flaws in her husband more forgivable.
Tamsin, the second of the weekend wives, lives in a show home so devoid of warmth that the sofas still have their plastic protective covering. In her life, houses are not homes but ‘investments’. She, too, is a bit like a beautiful, expensive piece of furniture with her real self wrapped away in wipe-clean cling film.
The third of the trio is Emily, who has moved to a rural area with a craving for an idealised, idyllic life for her children – one that she’s read about in Enid Blyton books and which may never have existed, let alone now. As a consequence, her kitchen described as being almost like a stage set for the perfect country hearth – old-fashioned Roberts radio, oil-fired stove, cute dog and a jam jar filled with wild flowers. She needs to be able to dress the theatrical stage of her life in order to feel like she can convincingly play the part of the rural earth mother.
Maybe it’s trite to equate the interiors of my characters’ houses with the interiors of their souls, but I’m fascinated by what our surroundings reveal about us. Just don’t ask to have a nose around my house… I fear the insides of some cupboards would indicate a mind filled with chaos and disorder.
The Weekend Wives by Christina Hopkinson is available now in paperback