New Year, New You? – Bryony Gordon

New Year, New You? – Bryony Gordon

Bryony Gordon, author of Eat, Drink, Run talks about her feelings on ‘new year, new you’.

It’s January 1st, and all you can hear are companies and brands reminding you of a ‘new year, new you’. Which makes me want to gag. I mean, excuse me:  What was so wrong with the OLD you? For a long time during my twenties and thirties, I compared myself to others – and it only made me sad. I was tormented by thin, happy, healthy people. I would see joggers whizzing around the streets in the early morning as I returned home from a night out, the self -loathing seeping in to my bones as their sap seemed to rise. I never dreamt I was a runner. I (am) a dawdler, a loafer, and a smoker. Until one day, I decided enough was enough. I didn’t want to think about what I couldn’t do – I wanted to think about what I could do. And so began my journey to self-acceptance. Last year, I ran all 26 miles of the London Marathon – in my underwear. For the record, it was my second marathon. And this new year, I’d urge you to do the same. You don’t have to run a marathon in your knickers, obviously. But every time you find yourself thinking you need to be a new version of you, stop yourself. And remember: this new year, you just need to be fearlessly, unapologetically you.

12 tips from Bryony Gordon on how to be the best version of yourself in 2019:

  1. Eat: a piece of cake every now and then – BUT don’t punish yourself for days afterwards.
  2. Drink: a glass of wine if you feel like one. Just maybe not 5 or 6.   
  3. Run: just once this January, and see how it goes
  4. Be: fearlessly and unapologetically YOU. Do not compare yourself to the person sitting next to you at work
  5. Dance: to a Beyonce to a dance work-out. Ditch the spin class if it’s not working for you
  6. Enjoy: A few sober evenings at home each week 
  7. Walk: If you can’t make it to the end of the race, walk. The most important thing is getting there in the first place.
  8. Reward: You and a girlfriend to a weekend away every now and then. But watch out for the wagon …
  9. Wear: A new pair of fun leopard print leggings to the gym. Lycra needn’t be boring
  10. Sleep: before 11pm at least 2 times a week 
  11. Join: A gang of like-minded people to share your problems with
  12. Accept: Your body and your mind, and never be ashamed of it

Find out how to achieve these things through Bryony’s hilarious and brave new memoir Eat, Drink, Run

Eat, Drink, Run

‘A courageous account that will inspire us all – bloody brilliant’ Fearne Cotton

‘An honest and damn funny book about daring to dream, about chafing and Vaseline, and running through the pain. I raced through it without getting a stitch’ Matt Haig

‘The woman who made talking about your thinking not just acceptable but imperative’ Daily Telegraph

Read an extract from The Sober Diaries by Clare Pooley

Read an extract from The Sober Diaries by Clare Pooley

Read an extract from Clare Pooley’s bravely honest and brilliantly comic account of how one mother gave up drinking and started living.

Clare Pooley is a Cambridge graduate and was a Managing Partner at one of the world’s biggest advertising agencies, and yet eighteen months ago she’d become an overweight, depressed, middle-aged mother of three who was drinking more than a bottle of wine a day, and spending her evenings Googling ‘Am I an alcoholic?’

In a desperate bid to turn her life around, she quit drinking and started a blog. She called it Mummy Was a Secret Drinker.

This book is the story of a year in Clare’s life: a year that started with her quitting booze having been drinking more than a bottle of wine every day. It sees her starting a hugely successful blog, then getting and beating breast cancer. By the end of the year she is booze free and cancer free, two stone lighter and with a life that is so much richer, healthier and more rewarding than ever before. Sober Diaries is an upbeat, funny and positive look at how to live life to the full.

Interwoven within Clare’s own very personal and frank story is research and advice, and answers to questions like:

How do I know if I’m drinking too much?
How will I cope at parties?
What do I say to friends and family?
How do I cope with cravings?
Will I lose weight?
What if my partner still drinks?

Read an extract here.

Buy The Sober Diaries in paperback now:

Real reader reviews:

‘This book has saved me.’ *****
‘It has been like a bible to me since giving up
alcohol.’ *****
‘It started a sober revolution for me.’ *****
‘Beautifully written, unsentimental, unflinching.’ *****
‘Clare has inspired me to radically rethink my
drinking.’ *****

Our January eBook deals!

Our January eBook deals!

Christmas might be well and truly over, but here at Bookends HQ we’ve tracked down a brilliant selection of 99p eBook deals – so you can treat yourself to a much-needed January pick-up!

Whether you’re looking for a fast-paced thriller to keep you gripped, or something more uplifting to chase away those January blues… we’ve got the eBook bargain for you!

Still Lives by Maria Hummel

‘Think a mix of Killing Eve and . . . one of those thrillers that keeps you up till 2am when you’ve a 6am alarm and you’re close to the mark’ Stylist

As the party of the year gets underway, celebrities and patrons pour into the Rocque Museum to see Kim Lord – L.A.’s artist of the moment – stabbed, strangled, shot, and beaten. It’s the opening night of Still Lives, Kim’s new collection of shockingly graphic self-portraits, in which she impersonates the victims of America’s most famous homicides, from Nicole Brown Simpson to the Black Dahlia.

The crowd eagerly await Kim’s arrival, but she fails to appear at the gala. Among those gathered is Maggie Richter, a museum editor whose ex, Greg Shaw Ferguson, is in a relationship with Kim. When Kim is declared officially missing, and Greg is arrested on suspicion of murder, Maggie is drawn into an investigation of her own, haunted by the thought that Kim has suffered the same terrible fate as the women in her paintings.

Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, Sharp Objects and Big Little Lies.

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

Meet the ‘Keeper of Lost Things’…

Once a celebrated author of short stories now in his twilight years, Anthony Peardew has spent half his life collecting lost objects, trying to atone for a promise broken many years before.

Realising he is running out of time, he leaves his house and all its lost treasures to his assistant Laura, the one person he can trust to fulfill his legacy and reunite the thousands of objects with their rightful owners.

But the final wishes of the ‘Keeper of Lost Things’ have unforeseen repercussions which trigger a most serendipitous series of encounters…

‘The first book I read in 2017and if another as good comes along in the next 12 months, I’ll eat my special gold reviewing spectacles’ Daily Mail

The Key by Kathryn Hughes

From the #1 bestselling author of The Letter, Kathryn Hughes, comes The Key, an unforgettable story of a heartbreaking secret that will stay with you for ever.

1956

It’s Ellen Crosby’s first day as a student nurse at Ambergate Hospital. When she meets a young woman admitted by her father, little does Ellen know that a choice she will make is to change both their lives for ever…

2006

Sarah is drawn to the now abandoned Ambergate. Whilst exploring the old corridors she discovers a suitcase belonging to a female patient who entered Ambergate fifty years earlier. The shocking contents, untouched for half a century, will lead Sarah to unravel a forgotten story of tragedy and lost love, and the chance to make an old wrong right . . .

Playing Away by Adele Parks

She’s playing with fire . . .

Connie Green’s life should be perfect. She’s married to gentle, loving Luke, has a good job and really fabulous friends. She thinks she can’t be happier.

But she’s just met John Harding.

Spectacularly unsuitable and overwhelmingly sexy, he’s about to destroy her peace of mind and her happily ever after, yet she just can’t seem to resist.

And to have any chance of clearing her head, Connie needs to get out of John’s bed…

The unforgettable debut novel from Adele Parks, author of the No. 1 eBook bestseller, The Stranger In My Home.
Playing Away is irresistible, unputdownable and the nearest thing you’ll get to an affair without actually having one…

The House At Chorlton by Prue Leith

The first installment of an epic multi-generational family saga by award-winning restaurateur Prue Leith.

A proud family. Snubbed by aristocratic neighbour Lord Frampton at a coming-of-age ball, Donald Oliver dreams of the day he’ll have his vengeance.

A wild daughter. Laura Oliver, beautiful and tempestuous, falls in love with Giovanni, an Italian ex-prisoner-of-war, now a humble cook. Disdaining her father’s snobbishness – and his wrath – the couple flee to London.

A desperate hope. Giovanni and Laura arrive to a city that has not yet re-awoken after the traumas of war. Facing destitution, only their love for one another and their dream of opening a restaurant business keeps them going.

From Cotswolds farmland to London fish markets, society ballrooms to icy gutters, this is a tale of prejudice and ambition, power and passion, and one couple’s struggle to overcome all obstacles and carve out a life of their own.

5 Resolutions for 2019 from Sophie Hannah, author of How to Hold a Grudge

5 Resolutions for 2019 from Sophie Hannah, author of How to Hold a Grudge

I love resolutions when they’re proper and meaningful and heartfelt. All of my five below are, but in previous years, I’ve cast about desperately for things to resolve to do, and it’s all been very much for form’s sake. One year, for example, my resolution was to take better care of my nails and wear nail varnish more often! I didn’t stick to this resolution because it didn’t really matter to me. I’m all in favour of meaningful resolutions, though and not only on New Year’s Eve. In fact, my sixth resolution would be to make resolutions from now on at any time of year, whenever I want to and feel the need to. Also, if I don’t stick to any of my resolutions, I’m not going to beat myself up about it at all. Life is emotionally draining and sometimes you need to  for example eat too much cheese and spend a day reading Twitter judgmentally. If I slip up, I’ll just try to get back on my resolution wagon the next day, without blaming myself for the lapse.

  1. I will sort out the way I work and live. For about the last five years, maybe longer, I’ve been insufficiently organised during the day time, and procrastinated too much or been too easily distracted, and this has meant that, in order to get all my work done on time, I’ve had to stay up till 2 am nearly every night. So, in 2019, I’m going to plan and use my time better, avoid distraction and procrastination, enforce my boundaries better (which means saying ‘no’ a lot more), and schedule more time for relaxing/sleeping/looking after myself. I will add to my schedule plenty of time for the things I love: seeing friends, swimming, deep-tissue aromatherapy massages, reading, watching musicals at the theatre, going on long walks with my dog, Brewster. I won’t allow myself to be swamped by work so that there’s no time left over for the things I most love doing.
  2. I will ruthlessly cull, sort and tidy every single inch of my house in Cambridge so that, by the end of the process, there is nothing in the house that I do not actively want or need. This is my project for January. By 1 Feb, my entire house will be a model of order and minimalism.
  3. I will eat and drink in the way that I have decided is The Best Way. (In case anyone is interested, this Way is the one invented by Brooke Castillo of The Life Coach School – I strongly recommended her books, articles and podcasts about eating and how to approach it/think about it.
  4. I will make a five-year plan of what I want to write/create between now and 2023. I have all the books I’d like to write and all the projects I’d like to create at some point rattling around in my head, but I haven’t yet had time to focus single-mindedly on them, or to choose which to do first, so I’m going to sit down, organise and prioritise.
  5. I’m going to continue, passionately and actively, to share the wisdom of The Grudge-Fold Path. ‘What is that?’ I hear you ask. Well, in 2018 I published my first self-help book, How to Hold a Grudge. I also launched a podcast with the same name. In both, I advance the theory that our grudges contain a power that, used correctly, can transform your life for the better and make the world a more just and compassionate place. Grudges can be great motivators and a powerful source of inspiration, as long as you manage them in the right way. Every single dictionary definition of the word ‘grudge’ is wrong, and I can prove it. Thanks to these incorrect definitions that we’ve had drummed into us, we’ve all bought into the belief that holding a grudge is an obstacle to forgiving someone and moving on, unburdened by past pain. In fact, the opposite is true: holding grudges in the right way allows us to forgive and move on faster and more easily. How often have you read a self-help book and thought, ‘Yes, that’s a great theory about how to be all Zen and enlightened no matter what, but I just know that here in the real world, I’m still going to lose my temper the next time someone treats me really appallingly’? I’ve thought that hundreds of times — which is what led me to create my own self-help program: The Grudge-Fold Path. Grudges can act like charms on a charm bracelet, protecting you and keeping you safe. They can act as a series of stepping stones, pointing you in the right life direction and reinforcing your highest values. So many people have not yet had a chance to learn how The Grudge-Fold Path can enhance their lives, and my mission for 2019 is to spread the word as much as I can!

Sophie’s latest book How to Hold a Grudge is out now!

5 New Year’s Resolutions from anti-guru Sarah Knight, author of Calm The F**k Down

5 New Year’s Resolutions from anti-guru Sarah Knight, author of Calm The F**k Down

It’s that time of year again where we’re promising to hit the gym, eat more salad and stay up-to-date with current affairs. But why make promises we know we’re going to break? To help ease the guilt, here’s our favourite anti-guru Sarah Knight, author of the No F**ks Given Guides, with some New Year’s Resolutions…

  1. Oh, did you think I was actually going to share my resolutions to get fitter, richer, or more adept at stand-up paddle boarding? I am not. I don’t believe in setting arbitrary goals at a random time of year—let alone shouting them to the public—only to likely fail in both public and private at something I was inspired to do merely out of cultural/societal pressure in the first place.
  2. That said, I would like to recover fully from the hand I broke in July, so I’m “resolving” to   use my heat pack twice a day and do some exercises that I found online. (It was broken by one of my adopted feral cats, a story that you can get in detail in the Epilogue of my new book Calm the F**k Down, should you so desire.)
  3. I also want to be able to fit into all my winter clothes by mid-January when I have to travel to London to promote the aforementioned book, so I should probably cut a few baguettes (per day) and bottles of wine (per week) out of the old diet between now and then. I’m a recovering anorexic and bulimic who no longer believes in deprivation for the sake of weight loss, but I also live in the Dominican Republic these days and only have one set of cold-weather clothes so I can’t afford to grow out of them. It’s a pickle.
  4. I need to work on my Spanish. Or should I say, Tengo que practicar mi Espanol.
  5. What else, what else? Ooh, here’s a good one—unoriginal but earnest—I’d like to read more books in 2019. I’m not going to give you a number (see: unrealistic goals at which I’ll probably fail), but there’s a metric ton of literature I didn’t get around to this year and that’s coming out next year that I’m more than happy to add to my TBR pile. CONSIDER ME RESOLVED.

Sarah’s new book Calm The F**k Down is out now!

My New Year’s resolutions – Olivia Beirne

My New Year’s resolutions – Olivia Beirne

If, like me, you’ve been wearing the same trousers (and by trousers, I mean pyjama bottoms) since Christmas Eve and you’re trying to peel yourself off the sofa from the mounds of Quality Street wrappers that have you welded to the cushions like a left-over Toffee Finger, you’ve probably done Christmas pretty bloody well. And is it still okay to eat a turkey sandwich days after Christmas Day, or should have I have bowl of cereal – even though I really want a hunk of yule log? Or should I just eat all three? (Yes). Until suddenly, with very little warning, it’s New Year’s Eve and you’re expected to get out of your pyjamas and squash into something with maximum sex appeal to prove that you are ready for the New Year.

I used to hate New Year. I hated the entire idea of forcing my post-Christmas body into a dress I ordered online (which, obviously, looks nothing like the model), pulling my feet from my slippers and into a pair of explicable high heels, and taming my hair down from its ‘messy bun’ (that term is used loosely) that I’ve been rocking since my hangover from the work Christmas party. I also hated the idea of New Year’s resolutions. It made me feel like the version of me I’d been parading for the past year wasn’t good enough, and that in order for me to enter this new, glittering year, I had to be richer, thinner, fitter and basically more successful in every way. Why can’t the current me stay as I am? Why do I have to improve myself every year? Also, what on earth is going to happen to me when I’m 80? Will I expect myself to be running Google out of the west wing of my castle, rocking a designer dress wrapped around my miraculously toned body *despite* the Camembert?

So, with that in mind and biscuit tin in hand, I changed my mind set for New Year. I don’t write a list of New Year’s resolutions anymore. I write myself a ‘to-do’ list of things that I want to experience this year.  As you may have guessed, I have spent the last year writing lists, but here are my top five:

1. Go to Disneyland (I know, I’m a child) 

2. Run 10k for The MS Society (if you know, you know) 

3. Learn how to cook (this one is quite important as I feel that the age of dinner parties is looming, and I don’t think I can serve Chicago Town pizza as a starter, main and dessert)

4. Go to Edinburgh Fringe Festival 

5. Read 1 book a month 

From now on, I will only put things on my ‘to-do’ list that I will enjoy doing, and bar the training for the 10k (lord help me), I think my five goals for 2019 sound quite fun. 

Happy New Year!

The List That Changed My Life

You can pre-order the paperback edition of my debut book, The List That Changed My Life, here!

All I want for Christmas is… we hear from Graham Norton, Cate Woods, Jo Thomas and Olivia Beirne about which books are on the top of their wish list

All I want for Christmas is… we hear from Graham Norton, Cate Woods, Jo Thomas and Olivia Beirne about which books are on the top of their wish list

Can you believe that it is Christmas Day TOMORROW?! In the final blog as part of our Bookends Christmas author series, we asked Graham Norton, Cate Woods, Jo Thomas and Olivia Beirne, which books would you most like to find under the tree on Christmas morning?

A Keeper Graham Norton

Graham Norton, author of A Keeper

I still haven’t got around to reading Kate Atkinson’s new book Transcription or Normal People by Sally Rooney. I’m also very excited by the prospect of a new novel from David Nicholls next year!

More Than a Feeling Cate Woods

Cate Woods, author of More Than a Feeling

One of my favourite books of the year was Uprooted by Naomi Novik, a bewitching fairytale-inspired novel with a fantastic, kick-ass heroine, so I can’t wait to read Novik’s next book, Spinning Silver.

A Winter Beneath the Stars

Jo Thomas, author of A Winter Beneath the Stars

Milly Johnson’s The Mother of all Christmases. I love Milly’s books and I know this will get me right in the Christmas mood. 

The List That Changed My Life by Olivia Beirne cover

Olivia Beirne, author of The List That Changed My Life

So I never usually ask for specific books, I ask my family members to pick me out something (which we all tend to do for each other). Last Christmas our house was like a library. Saying that, I am really desperate to read Libby Page’s The Lido, Joe Heap’s The Rules of Seeing and Emma Cooper’s The Songs of Us.

From all of us here at Team Bookends, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Graham Norton, Jill Mansell, Holly Bourne and Beth Good tell us which of their characters deserve a special Christmas gift!

Graham Norton, Jill Mansell, Holly Bourne and Beth Good tell us which of their characters deserve a special Christmas gift!

Christmas is just around the corner now, and we couldn’t be more excited for mulled wine, pigs in blankets, and lots of presents under the tree! 

To get us in the mood ahead of the big day, we’ve asked four more of our fantastic authors to tell us which of their characters deserve an extra-special Christmas gift this year, and what they would choose to give them…

A Keeper Graham Norton

Graham Norton, author of A Keeper

When Elizabeth was a little girl, I wish her mother Patricia had bought her a puppy, so that she would have felt less alone.

Jill Mansell, author of This Could Change Everything

Definitely Zillah, everyone’s favourite character from This Could Change Everything (and named after my own glamorous grandmother.) She’s eighty three, incredibly stylish and glamorous, and I’d love to buy her something wonderful. I’d get her a stunning violet hat with a wide brim and a swooping green and purple peacock feather at the side. And a Chanel lipstick in fuschia pink with velvet gloves to match.

How do you like me now cover

Holly Bourne, author of How Do You Like Me Now?

I’d get Dee one of those dummies which makes your baby look like it has a moustache. I’ve been waiting my whole life to see a baby have one of those moustache dummies. If I ever have a baby myself, that will be one of the major reasons I choose to have one. 

Winter Without You

Beth Good, author of Winter Without You

Lizzie from Winter Without You, one of my heroine’s besties, who’s a complete darling. She loves to dance about, but hardly has a penny to her name,so I would get her an iPod and load it with great pop songs!

Our pick of the best 99p eBooks this December

Our pick of the best 99p eBooks this December

Christmas is in full swing, and the madness is everywhere – we’re busy wrapping, roasting and stuffing everything in sight – but some down-time during the festive season is an absolute must! So make sure to bag yourself a 99p eBook bargain to relax with in the evenings. We’ve picked the absolute best of the bunch to make things easy for you…

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

A heartbreaking story of love and loss, based on a true story

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

Buy it now for 99p!

Darling Blue by Tracy Rees

A heartwarming tale of love, family and acceptance, Darling Blue is a simply gorgeous read…

In their townhouse in Richmond, Blue and her family are as happy and as close as can be – well, on the surface at least.

But with the arrival of a young, destitute woman hoping to escape her abusive husband, they must finally confront the rifts that keep them apart. When they welcome Delphine into their home – and their hearts – they think it’s for her benefit only. But what they don’t realise is that she will bring them together in ways they never thought possible.

Buy it now for 99p!

Our Child of the Stars by Stephen Cox

Molly and Gene Myers thought their marriage was beyond saving. Then they were granted a miracle.

Cory’s arrival has changed everything, and the Myers’ will do anything to keep him safe. Will this child bring them back together, or will his secret tear everything apart?

This magical and bewitching debut tells a remarkable story of warmth, tenacity and generosity of spirit, set against the backdrop of a fast-changing, terrifying decade.

Buy it now for 99p!

Driving Home for Christmas by Emma Hannigan

Christmas at Huntersbrook House has always been a family tradition – log fires, long walks through the snowy fields and evenings spent in the local pub. And this year the three grown-up Craig children are looking forward to the holidays more than ever. Pippa to escape her partying lifestyle and mounting debts in Dublin; Joey the demands of his gorgeous girlfriend who seems intent on coming between him and his family; and Lainey to forget about her controlling ex and his recent engagement to another woman.

But with the family livery yard in financial trouble, this Christmas could be the Craig family’s last at Huntersbrook as they face the prospect of selling the ancestral house. As the holiday season gets underway, the family need to come up with a way to save their home, and face the problems they’ve been running away from in Dublin. And what better place to figure things out than around the fire at Huntersbrook House?

Buy it now for 99p!

Eat, Drink, Run by Bryony Gordon

Bryony Gordon was not a runner. A loafer, a dawdler, a drinker, a smoker, yes. A runner, no. But, as she recovered from the emotional rollercoaster of opening up her life in her mental health memoir MAD GIRL, she realised that there were things that might actually help her: getting outside, moving her body and talking to others who found life occasionally challenging. As she ran, she started to shake off the limitations that had always held her back and she saw she had actually imposed them on herself. Why couldn’t she be a runner?

In April 2017, Bryony Gordon ran all 26.2 miles of the London Marathon. In Eat, Drink, Run, we join her as she trains for this daunting task and rises to the challenge one step at the time. Of course, on top of the aching muscles and blistered feet, there’s also the small matter of getting a certain royal to open up about his mental health. Through it all, Bryony shows us that extraordinary things can happen to everyone, no matter what life throws our way.

Buy it now for 99p!

The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper

If Melody hadn’t run out of de-icer that day, she would never have slipped and banged her head. She wouldn’t be left with a condition that makes her sing when she’s nervous. And she definitely wouldn’t have belted out the Arctic Monkeys’ ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’ in assembly at her son’s school.

If Dev hadn’t taken the kids to the zoo that day, then the accident wouldn’t have happened. He wouldn’t have left Flynn and Rose without a dad. Or shattered the love of his life’s heart.

But if they hadn’t seen the missing person report that day, they might never have taken the trip to Cornwall. And, in the last place they expected, discovered what it really means to be ‘Us’.

Buy it now for 99p!

The Man I Think I Know by Mike Gayle

Ever since The Incident, James DeWitt has stayed on the safe side.

Danny Allen is not on the safe side. He is more past the point of no return.

The past is about to catch up with both of them, and change their lives forever. But redemption can come in the most unlikely ways.

A powerful and bittersweet story of love and male friendship, this uplifting tale reminds us of the simple courage at the heart of every human being.

Buy it now for 99p!

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan

Once a spirited, independent woman with a rebellious streak, Masha’s life has been forever changed by a tragic event twelve years ago. Unable to let go of her grief, she finds comfort in her faithful canine companion Haizum, and peace in the quiet lanes of her town’s lido.

Then a chance encounter with two extraordinary women – the fabulous and wise Kitty Muriel, a seventy-something roller disco fanatic, and the mysterious Sally Red Shoes, a bag lady with a prodigious voice – opens up a new world of possibilities. But just as Masha dares to imagine the future, her past comes roaring back …

Ruth Hogan’s second novel introduces a cast of wonderful characters, both ordinary and charmingly eccentric, who lead us through a moving exploration of the joy of friendship and the simple human connections that make life worth living.

Buy it now for 99p!

The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth

The small suburb of Pleasant Court lives up to its name. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows their neighbours, and children play in the street.

Isabelle Heatherington doesn’t fit into this picture of family paradise.

But the mothers of Pleasant Court have their own secrets to hide. Like the reason behind Ange’s compulsion to control every aspect of her life. Or why Fran won’t let her sweet, gentle husband near her new baby. Or why, three years ago, Essie took her daughter to the park and returned home without her.

As their obsession with their new neighbour grows, the secrets of these three women begin to spread – and they’re about to find out that when you look at something too closely, you’ll find things you never wanted to see.

Buy it now for 99p!

Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting by Noel Janis-Norton

A revolutionary programme that gives you simple steps to take the daily battles out of parenting. These strategies can transform your relationship with your child in a short space of time and help bring the joy back into family life.

Full of examples and real stories from parents, this book gives you clear step-by-step guidance to achieve a happier home and more confident, considerate, and cooperative kids. 

Buy it now for 99p!

For more festive reads, check out our Christmas Gift Guide!

My Christmas – by Emily Gunnis, author of The Girl in The Letter

My Christmas – by Emily Gunnis, author of The Girl in The Letter

As I write this, I’m at a farm in Sussex with my girls, unable to feel my fingers, while they play and I frantically try and finish my second novel!  Looking back, it’s been an crazy, incredible year and one for which I am very very grateful.  Never in my wildest dreams did I believe The Girl in the Letter would be so warmly received by so many.  

I am so grateful for all the support I’ve had.  From the team at Headline,the wonderful bloggers who have posted about my book, the generous novelists who have given me quotes and for the wonderful reviews on Amazon.  From family and friends. Thank you all!

Looking forward I cannot wait to see what 2019 brings but Christmas and New Year is, obviously, a time for looking back.

A year ago, I was rushing around, trying to make Christmas perfect – totally oblivious to the fact that it was my mum’s last.  I would do anything to go back, stop rushing and just sit and be with her.  To talk and share memories and say all the things I never did.  Forget the presents and the food and the decorations and the efforts to keep up with it all.

For me this year Christmas is about people.  The house is still full of unpacked boxes from our move, I haven’t bought enough presents, or put up enough decorations, lunch will be from Marks and Spencers followed by a freezing muddy walk and wonky mince pies made by Ellie and Grace.  But I will be with my gorgeous family who hopefully won’t mind!  

And we will be toasting to this incredible year of change and raising a glass to Granny.  

As the wonderful J.K. Rowling put it:


‘Remember Christmas Day is, in the end, just a day.  It isn’t a test or a scorecard of you or your life,so be kind to yourself.’  

Merry Christmas everyone and hold your loved ones tight!  

Lots of love, Emily (author of The Girl inThe Letter) xx