Our favourite eBook deals this June!

Our favourite eBook deals this June!

Lose yourself in some of our favourite eBooks… for just 99p each this June!

With beach-friendly books from authors like Chrissie Manby, Kathryn Hughes and Maria Hummel, you’re sure to find your next great read.

A Proper Family Holiday by Chrissie Manby

Could you survive a week-long holiday with your entire family?

Newly single magazine journalist Chelsea Benson can’t think of anything worse…

Your grubby small nephew torpedoing any chance of romance with the dishy guy you met on the plane…

Your eighty-five-year-old granddad chatting up ladies at the hotel bar…

Getting nothing but sarcastic comments from your older sister, who’s always been the family favourite…

And this is all before your parents drop their bombshell.

Is a week enough time for the Bensons to put their differences aside and have some fun? Or is this their last ever proper family holiday?

Heartwarming and funny, this is the perfect summer read for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk. And provides a great excuse for ignoring your annoying family members…

Summer at Hope Meadows by Lucy Daniels

Newly qualified vet Mandy Hope is leaving Leeds – and her boyfriend Simon – to return to the Yorkshire village she grew up in, where she’ll help out with animals of all shapes and sizes in her parents’ surgery.

But it’s not all plain sailing: Mandy clashes with gruff local Jimmy Marsh, and some of the villagers won’t accept a new vet. Meanwhile, Simon is determined that Mandy will rejoin him back in the city.

When tragedy strikes for her best friend James Hunter, and some neglected animals are discovered on a nearby farm, Mandy must prove herself. When it comes to being there for her friends – and protecting animals in need – she’s prepared to do whatever it takes…

This gorgeous and heartwarming novel, based on the globally bestselling Animal Ark series, is perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley and Katie Fforde.

Her Last Promise by Kathryn Hughes

A mysterious letter from Spain. A surprising new beginning…

Fall in love this summer with Her Last Promise, a gripping, heartwrenching story of how hope can blossom in the ruins of tragedy and of the redeeming power of love. From No. 1 bestselling author Kathryn Hughes.

Tara Richards was just a girl when she lost her mother. Years later when Tara receives a letter from a London solicitor its contents shake her to the core. Someone has left her a key to a safe deposit box. In the box lies an object that will change everything Tara thought she knew and lead her on a journey to deepest Spain in search of the answers that have haunted her for forty years.

Violet Skye regrets her decision to travel abroad leaving her young daughter behind. As the sun dips below the mountains, she reminds herself she is doing this for their future. Tonight, 4th June 1978, will be the start of a new life for them. This night will indeed change Violet’s destiny, in the most unexpected of ways…

The Pool House by Tasmina Perry

The heartpounding new novel from Sunday Times bestselling author Tasmina Perry will keep you on the edge of your seat. A must-read for everyone who’s been gripped by the The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances, J. P. Delaney’s The Girl Before. or who loved TV’s The Affair.

A Summer To Die For

To Jem Chapman, it’s the chance of a lifetime. An invitation to join a group in an exclusive Hamptons house-share, who could say no? But when she discovers what happened last summer, Jem can’t help but feel a chill.

A young woman was found drowned in the house’s pool. The housemates said Alice was troubled. She’d been drinking. She couldn’t swim…

A Secret To Kill For

As Jem gets to know her glamorous new housemates, she realises each has something to hide. What really happened last summer? And who would go to any lengths to keep a person quiet?

Still Lives by Maria Hummel

A REESE WITHERSPOON BOOK CLUB PICK

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.

Among those gathered is Maggie Richter, a museum editor whose ex, Greg Shaw Ferguson, is in a relationship with Kim. When Kim fails to appear at the party and is declared officially missing, Greg is arrested on suspicion of murder. Suddenly, Maggie finds herself 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.

Beyond the Wild River by Sarah Maine

Scotland, 1893. Nineteen-year-old Evelyn Ballantyre, the daughter of a wealthy landowner, has rarely strayed from her family’s estate in the Scottish Borders. She was once close to her philanthropist father, but his silence over what really happened on the day a poacher was shot on  estate  land has come between them.

An invitation to accompany her father to Canada is a chance for Evelyn to escape her limited existence.  But once there, on the wild and turbulent Nipigon river, she  is shocked to discover that their guide is James Douglas, Ballantyre’s former stable hand, and once her friend. He  disappeared the night of the murder, charged with the shooting.

Evelyn never believed that James was guilty – and her father’s role in the killing has always been mysterious.  What does he have to hide? In the wild landscape of a new world, far from the constraints of polite society,  the secrets and lies surrounding that  night are finally stripped away, with dramatic consequences.

Deliver Me by Karen Cole

THE NIGHT SHE DOESN’T REMEMBER WILL BE THE ONE SHE CAN’T FORGET

When Abby’s doctor tells her she’s two months pregnant she doesn’t believe him. She can’t be – she hasn’t had sex for over a year. But to her astonishment and dismay, multiple tests confirm it’s true.

Desperately searching for an explanation, Abby recalls New Year’s Day – the terrible hangover, the hole in her memory where the night before should have been and the inexplicable sense of unease – and realises that this baby must have been conceived at her best friend Danny’s NYE party.

Horrified that someone would have taken advantage of her intoxicated state, Abby enlists the help of Danny to find out which of the party guests assaulted her. But, when she starts to receive anonymous messages, it seems that while she has been looking into the father of her baby, someone has been watching her…

Just Like You by Alison Percival

A dark psychological thriller about break-ups, jealousy and obsession, from the winner of Psychologies‘ thriller writing competition. Perfect for fans of Louise Jensen and Karen Cole.

You’ve stolen her life. Now she’s going to take it back

Nicky can’t stop obsessing over Iain’s new girlfriend.

Isabel isn’t prepared for the online vitriol from rising star Iain’s obsessive fans. Is he being totally honest about his past?

As both women’s lives begin to unravel, they will realise that you can’t always get what you want, and sometimes, love can turn into obsession…

Love Audio Week

Love Audio Week

This week is Love Audio week and we’ve been celebrating the world of audio books. Team Bookends are huge audio book listeners! They’re perfect listening for your commute, for the multi-tasker who wants to read but has to make dinner and also because you can access them on most devices audio books are one of the most convenient ways to keep up with your reading pile!

Here are our top audio book recommendations to get you started!

Half a World Away by Mike Gayle

Strangers living worlds apart.
Strangers with nothing in common.
But it wasn’t always that way…

Kerry Hayes is a single mum, living on a tough south London estate. She provides for her son by cleaning houses she could never hope to afford. Taken into care as a child, Kerry cannot ever forget her past.

Noah Martineau is a successful barrister with a beautiful wife, daughter and home in fashionable Primrose Hill. Adopted as a child, Noah always looks forward, never back.

When Kerry reaches out to the sibling she lost on the day they were torn apart as children, she sets in motion a chain of events that will have life-changing consequences for them both.

 By turns funny and moving, Half a World Away is a story that will stay with you long after you read its powerfully emotional, heartbreaking final page.

You can download Half a World Away from Audible here.

Till the Cows Come Home by Sara Cox

Till the Cows Come Home is DJ and TV presenter Sara Cox’s wonderfully written, funny coming-of-age memoir of growing up in 1980s Lancashire.

The youngest of five siblings, Sara grew up on her father’s cattle farm surrounded by dogs, cows, horses, fields and lots of ‘cack’. The lanky kid sister – half girl, half forehead – a nuisance to the older kids, the farm was her very own dangerous adventure playground, ‘a Bolton version of Narnia’. 

Her writing conjures up a time of wagon rides and haymaking and agricultural shows,  alongside chain smoking pensioners, cabaret nights at the Conservative club and benign parenting. Sara’s love of family, of the animals and the people around them shines through on every page. Unforgettable characters are lovingly and expertly drawn bringing to life a time and place. 

You can download Till the Cows Come Home from Audible from here and from Apple books here.

Her Husband’s Mistake by Sheila O’Flanagan

Her Husband's Mistake

Should a woman be ready to forgive and forget to save her marriage? Roxy’s not so sure….

The riveting new novel from number one best-selling author Sheila O’Flanagan. Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes and Kerry Fisher.

When Roxy comes home unexpectedly one day to give her husband, Dave, a lovely surprise, it’s Roxy who gets shock of her life. And all she wants to do is run away.

Roxy knows she has to face up to what’s happened and decide: forgive and forget, or bring an end to a decade-long marriage. Surely the right thing is to get over it – that’s what Dave thinks. After all, it’s just one mistake….

But Roxy finds it’s not so simple. Especially when another secret starts to emerge. Her friends and family all know what they’d do – but they’re not Roxy….

Listen to an extract of Her Husband’s Mistake on Soundcloud.

You can download Her Husband’s Mistake from Audible here.

Her Last Promise by Kathryn Hughes

Her Last Promise

A mysterious letter from Spain. A surprising new beginning…

Fall in love this summer with Her Last Promise, a gripping, heart-rending story of how hope can blossom in the ruins of tragedy and of the redeeming power of love. From number one best-selling author Kathryn Hughes.

Tara Richards was just a girl when she lost her mother. Years later, when Tara receives a letter from a London solicitor, its contents shake her to the core. Someone has left her a key to a safe deposit box.

In the box lies an object that will change everything Tara thought she knew and lead her on a journey to deepest Spain in search of the answers that have haunted her for 40 years.  

Violet Skye regrets her decision to travel abroad leaving her young daughter behind. As the sun dips below the mountains, she reminds herself she is doing this for their future. Tonight, 4th June 1978, will be the start of a new life for them. This night will indeed change Violet’s destiny, in the most unexpected of ways….

You can download Her Last Promise from Audible here.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

The Flatshare

Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time. 

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…

You can download The Flatshare from Audible here.

The Lemon Tree Hotel by Rosanna Ley

A story about love, family secrets, and a little piece of heaven . . .

In the beautiful village of Vernazza, the Mazzone family have transformed an old convent overlooking the glamorous Italian Riviera into the elegant Lemon Tree Hotel. For Chiara, her daughter Elene and her granddaughter Isabella, the running of their hotel is the driving force in their lives. 

One day, two unexpected guests check in. The first, Dante, is a face from Chiara’s past, but what exactly happened between them all those years ago, Elene wonders. Meanwhile, Isabella is preoccupied with the second guest, a mysterious young man who seems to know a lot about the history of the old convent and the people who live there. Isabella is determined to find out his true intentions and discover the secret past of the Lemon Tree Hotel.

You can download The Lemon Tree Hotel from Audible here.

Friend of Bookends Angela recommends The Paper Wasp…

Friend of Bookends Angela recommends The Paper Wasp…

The summer is hotting up and if you’re searching for your summer reading recommendations look no further! The Paper Wasp by Lauren Acampora is an electrifying debut novel of two women’s friendship, a haunting obsession and twisted ambition, set against the feverish backdrop of contemporary Hollywood. A book that you’re guaranteed to get wrapped up in this summer!

Angela N

Abby and Elise are childhood friends – destined not to fit into their provincial small-town lives: Elise because she is destined to become a film star, and Abby due to her vivid imagination. Escape is easier for Elise, as she segues naturally into a life in Los Angeles. For Abby however, the path is much longer, more twisted and circuitous. Eventually the two women’s lives reconnect in LA, creating a stirring and complex story.

“Lauren Acampora’s prose is poetic, with descriptions and imagery akin to a fever-dream … the LA setting and first-person narrative of the intense Abby paint a vivid and at times almost stifling picture. ”

Once Abby reconnects with Elise and moves to LA, the reader is acutely aware that Abby’s intense attachment to Elise and the pair’s unconventional life will lead to less-than-favourable consequences.

“The slow burning and languid story Acampora weaves stretches this sense of foreboding to just the right length before the satisfyingly dark ending.”

I was pleasantly surprised by this book as I do not tend to enjoy more poetic prose, usually just wanting the author to ‘get on with it!’ It’s credit to Lauren Acampora that my interest level remained high for the duration of the book.

The Paper Wasp is out now – click here to buy!

The best books to gift this Father’s Day

The best books to gift this Father’s Day

With Father’s Day coming up, we’ve put together a list of 6 books we think would make the perfect gift for all Dads everywhere. Take a look below!

Man vs Toddler by Matt Coyne

More inept, more clueless and more exhausted than ever, the man behind the blogging phenomenon Man vs Baby is back with the latest instalment in his (and his son Charlie’s) journey through the chaos and comedy of parenting

In the follow-up to the critically acclaimed Sunday Times bestseller Dummy comes Man vs. Toddler – the story of what happens when your little one is transformed from an innocent bundle of joy into a creature that walks, talks… and craps in a plastic bucket in the middle of your living room.

Man vs Toddler exposes the lie that, that when it comes to parenting ‘it gets easier’. But it is just as honest, foul-mouthed and heart-warming as Matt’s first book, and will have you laughing and crying with recognition as he shares his observations and advice on everything from tantrums to the horrors of soft-play.

Buy Man vs. Toddler here!

The Quite Nice and Fairly Accurate Good Omens Script Book by Neil Gaiman

The Quite Nice and Fairly Accurate Good Omens Script Book contains much that is new and revelatory and even several scenes that are not actually in the final television series.

‘One of the most hotly anticipated TV shows of the year’ Independent

Neil Gaiman’s glorious reinvention of the iconic bestseller Good Omens is adapted from the internationally beloved novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman and is soon to be a massive new TV launch on Amazon Prime Video and the BBC. The series is written and show-run by Neil himself and stars David Tennant, Michael Sheen, Jon Hamm and Miranda Richardson, to name but a few.

Buy The Quite Nice and Fairly Accurate Good Omens Script Book here!

Dadlife by Simon Hooper

Sunday Times top ten bestseller Dadlife is real life parenting through the eyes of a modern day dad by Simon Hooper, aka Instagram’s Father of Daughters.

From uninitiated parents-to-be to those who know the ropes in families large or small, everyone will find something to relate to in Simon’s hilarious and chaotic tales of his own home life. His observations of being a father have delighted his hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram: before now dads are often the forgotten ones who carry the luggage, open stiff jars, take photos on holiday, fix broken bikes, go back to work, do the night feeds and make a mean beans on toast with melted cheese without so much as a pat on the back. All too often dads shrink into the background. But not in this book.

Dadlife is an incredibly funny yet emotionally heartfelt ode to modern family life.

Buy Dadlife here!

Blowing The Bloody Doors Off by Michael Caine

Hollywood legend and British national treasure Michael Caine shares the wisdom, stories, insight and skills that life has taught him in his remarkable career – and now his 85th year.

One of our best-loved actors, Michael Caine has starred in a huge range of films – from the classic British movies Alfie, Zulu and The Italian Job to the Hollywood blockbusting Dark Knight trilogy, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Hannah and Her Sisters and Cider House Rules. Caine has excelled in every kind of role with a skill that has made it look easy.

He knows what success takes – he has made it to the top of his profession from the toughest beginning. But, as he says: ‘Small parts can lead to big things. And if you keep doing things right, the stars will align when you least expect it.’  Now, in his 85th year, he wants to share everything he has learned. With brilliant new insight into his life and work and with his wonderful gift for story, this is Caine at his wise and entertaining best.

Buy Blowing the Bloody Doors Off here!

The Tour According to G: My Journey to the Yellow Jersey by Geraint Thomas

The inspirational inside story from the 2018 Tour de France and Sports Personality of the Year winner.

For years Geraint Thomas appeared blessed with extraordinary talent but jinxed at the greatest bike race in the world: twice an Olympic gold medallist on the track, Commonwealth champion, yet at the Tour de France a victim of crashes, bad luck and his willingness to sacrifice himself for his team-mates. 

In the summer of 2018, that curse was blown away in spectacular fashion – from the cobbles of the north and the iconic mountain climbs of the Alps to the brutal slopes of the Pyrenees and, finally, the Champs-Elysees in Paris. As a boy, G had run home from school on summer afternoons to watch the Tour on television. This July, across twenty-one stages and three weeks, and under constant attack from his rivals, he made the race his own.

With insight from the key characters around Geraint, this is the inside story of one of the most thrilling and heart-warming tales in sport. 

Not only can nice guys come first – they can win the biggest prize of all.

Buy The Tour According to G here!

SAS Italian Job: The Secret Mission to Storm a Forbidden Nazi Fortress by Damien Lewis

An impossible mission in wartime Italy: the next explosive bestseller from Damien Lewis.

In the hard-fought winter of 1944 the Allies advanced northwards through Italy, but stalled on the fearsome mountainous defences of the Gothic Line. Two men were parachuted in, in an effort to break the deadlock. Their mission: to penetrate deep into enemy territory and lay waste to the Germans’ impregnable headquarters.

At the eleventh hour mission commanders radioed for David ‘The Mad Piper’ Kilpatrick to be flown in, resplendent in his tartan kilt. They wanted this fearless war hero to lead the assault, piping Highland Laddie as he went – so leaving an indelible British signature to deter Nazi reprisals.

As the column of raiders formed up, there was shocking news. High command radioed through an order to stand down, having assessed the chances of success at little more than zero. But in defiance of orders, and come hell or high-water, they were going in.

Buy SAS Italian Job here!

The Travelling Book of Wonders

The Travelling Book of Wonders

Julien Sandrel’s upcoming book The Book of Wonders is a life-affirming and uplifting novel about Thelma and Louis. It’s always just been the two of the, Thelma and her beloved son, Louis.

But when Louis is involved in an accident, their lives are turned upside down, as Louis falls into a coma. Feeling lost without him by her side, Thelma finds Louis’ book of wonders – a bucket list of all the things he wants to accomplish in his life. She suddenly sees a way to feel close to him: she will fulfil Louis’ dreams, living them out for him, in the hope that it will inspire him to survive.

Inspired by this heart warming story about making every day count and finding joy in every moment of life, we decided to send our own Book of Wonders to book lovers and find out what would be on their bucket lists!

Our travelling Moleskine journal has been far and wide collecting the hopes and dream of book bloggers and each page is as beautiful as the last! Take a look below.

Thank you to all our wonderful book bloggers who took part and helped make our travelling Moleskine so beautiful! What would be on your bucket list?

The Book of Wonders is out now!

Her Last Promise, the new book from Kathryn Hughes it out now!

Her Last Promise, the new book from Kathryn Hughes it out now!

Get your kindles ready, as Kathryn Hughes is back with an uplifting, gripping and heart wrenching story of how hope can blossom in the ruins of tragedy and of the redeeming power of love.

A mysterious letter from Spain. A surprising new beginning…

Tara Richards was just a girl when she lost her mother. Years later when Tara receives a letter from a London solicitor its contents shake her to the core. Someone has left her a key to a safe deposit box. In the box lies an object that will change everything Tara thought she knew and lead her on a journey to deepest Spain in search of the answers that have haunted her for forty years.

Violet Skye regrets her decision to travel abroad leaving her young daughter behind. As the sun dips below the mountains, she reminds herself she is doing this for their future. Tonight, 4th June 1978, will be the start of a new life for them. This night will indeed change Violet’s destiny, in the most unexpected of ways…

What real readers are saying about Her Last Promise

‘Hope rises from despair and new beginnings are forged in the most extraordinary and unexpected way. Kathryn Hughes delves deeply into the heart and soul of her characters, making them totally relatable…like friends you really care for. My addiction to this novel was total and uncompromising *****’

‘Wonderful! First book I have read by Kathryn Hughes and will now read her previous stories. I loved it *****’

‘Another great story from Kathryn Hughes *****’

‘As always, a lovely story by Kathryn Hughes *****’

‘I really enjoyed this book, especially the nostalgic 1970’s descriptions ****’

And for a limited time only, you can get Kathryn’s new book for just 99p on Kindle! Get your copy of Her Last Promise here.

Read an exclusive extract of Love, Unscripted by Owen Nicholls!

Read an exclusive extract of Love, Unscripted by Owen Nicholls!

Owen Nicholls’ Love, Unscripted follows film projectionist Nick as he tries to understand the difference between love on the silver screen and love in real life. Perfect for fans of romcoms, David Nicholls and Nick Hornby.

‘Sometimes a book comes along and it feels dusted with magic – Love, Unscripted is one of those books. Nostalgic, tender and achingly cool’ Josie Silver, author of One Day in December 

‘A complete delight for film lovers (and lovers of love)’ Holly Bourne

For film projectionist Nick, love should mirror what he sees on the big screen. And when he falls for Ellie on the eve of the 2008 presidential election, it finally does.

For four blissful years, Nick loved Ellie as much as he loved his job splicing film reels together in the local cinema. Life seemed… picture-perfect.

But now it’s 2012, Ellie has moved out and Nick’s trying to figure out where it all went wrong.

With Ellie gone and his life far from the happy ending he imagined, Nick wonders if their romance could ever again be as perfect as the night they met.

Can love really be as it is in the movies?

Click here to read the first two chapters of Love, Unscripted

Love, Unscripted is out in ebook on 1st June and in hardback on 22nd August. Get your copy here.

Read an extract from ‘How Do You Like Me Now?’ by Holly Bourne!

Read an extract from ‘How Do You Like Me Now?’ by Holly Bourne!

Read an extract from How Do You Like Me Now?, the blisteringly funny, honest and fearless debut adult novel from bestselling author Holly Bourne.

Everyone wants to be Tori Bailey.

A straight-talking, bestselling author, she’s inspired millions of women around the world with her self-help memoir and uplifting posts online. What’s more, her perfect relationship with her long-term boyfriend is the envy of all their friends.

But Tori isn’t being honest.

While everyone around her is getting engaged and having babies, Tori’s boyfriend will barely look at her, let alone talk about marriage. And when her best friend Dee unexpectedly falls in love, suddenly Tori’s in danger of being left behind.

Tori’s built a career out of telling women how to live their best life, but is she brave enough to admit it’s not what she wants?

How Do You Like Me Now? is out today in paperback – get it now!

Our top choices for the bank holiday weekend!

Our top choices for the bank holiday weekend!

Here at Team Bookends, we’ve rounded up our top reading picks for the long May bank holiday weekend! What will you be reading?

Maybe This Time by Jill Mansell

‘This one has been on my to read pile all year and I can’t wait to finally have some free time this bank holiday weekend to fully immerse myself in the new Jill Mansell! The book follows Mimi as she encounters unexpected love…but is it meant to be?’
Ellie, Team Bookends

Buy Maybe This Time here!

FOUR by Andy Jones

‘My Bank Holiday pick is FOUR, the latest gripping novel from Andy Jones with a messy moral dilemma at its heart. The book follows three lifelong friends, Mike, Sally and Al – approaching their fortieth birthdays, each with their share of heartaches and regrets – who take a weekend trip to Brighton with Faye, Mike’s carefree, young girlfriend. A story of old loves, missed chances, and one reckless night with far-reaching consequences, this book will have you pining for a (hopefully less eventful!) getaway to the seaside this weekend.’
Amy, Team Bookends

Buy FOUR here!

Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts

‘There’s no better escapism than being swept up in this whirlwind of a novel and finding yourself in the land of Oz! Told from the perspective of the author L. Frank Baum’s intrepid wife Maud, this richly told story from Elizabeth Letts takes you backstage on one of the most famous movies ever made, and lifts the curtain on a tale of love, magic and one incredible woman. The perfect read to sweep you away this bank holiday!’
Hannah, Team Bookends

Buy Finding Dorothy here!

The Hideaway by Sheila O’Flanagan

‘The Hideaway is the PERFECT summer reading book – so why not start your summer this weekend? The Spanish location is truly escapist, as the novel sees Juno have a shocking and life-altering revelation. Juno might have run away from her secrets, but the past isn’t finished with her…’
Ellie, Team Bookends

Buy The Hideaway here!

The Lost Son by Prue Leith

‘Get inspired this weekend by Bake Off judge Prue Leith’s wonderful new novel The Lost Son. This story follows the Angelottis – a family of Italian cooks and restauranteurs, as they deal with the devastating consequences of the son given up for adoption during the war returning to the fold. Be enticed by the gorgeous foodie description, but stay for the heart warming family narrative. And with the long weekend at your fingertips, why not whip up a delicious Italian dish to work your way through as you devour the book!’
Hannah, Team Bookends

Buy The Lost Son here!

A Cure for Heartache by Mary Jane Grant

‘The other book I’ll be dipping into this Bank Holiday is A CURE FOR HEARTACHE, writer Mary Jane Grant’s uplifting book about moving forward and learning to live in the moment after her 25-year marriage came to an abrupt and painful end. From the bustling cafes of Camden and the pastel-coloured streets of Primrose Hill, to the sun soaked vineyards of the south of France, her journey leads her to rich new experiences that she could never have imagined in her old life. Beautifully told, this is a story about what happens when you embrace life, whatever it may bring, with surprising – and joyful – results. The perfect heartwarming read to get lost in this long weekend!’
Amy, Team Bookends

Buy A Cure for Heartache here!

Kelly Rimmer on writing in two genres: how writing my new contemporary romance series differed from writing my women’s fiction novels

Kelly Rimmer on writing in two genres: how writing my new contemporary romance series differed from writing my women’s fiction novels

If you’ve read any of my six previous novels, you probably know that I like to write emotional stories. They don’t always have the happiest of endings, although I do try to find something uplifting to land on over the last few pages! But the topics I have loved exploring over the last few years have been complex, difficult issues; things like domestic violence and forced adoption and drug addiction. My most recent book, The Things We Cannot Say, covers the joy and challenge of raising a child with autism, and tells the story of a young couple caught up in occupied Poland during World War Two! These books are incredibly research intensive and sometimes really difficult to write. I am putting my characters through hell, and some writing days for me literally are me sitting at the keyboard listening to emotional music while I type and sob. Even so, I love the way these books challenge me and make me think. I’ve learned so much about so many things as I wrote these books. My own opinions have been stretched and then changed and, although it might sound crazy to say, they forced me to empathise with people very different to me. Because of that, I feel like the way I love my fellow human beings has been deepened.

All that’s to say, I love my emotional fiction and I hope I’m lucky enough to write these kinds of books forever. But in 2016, I’d just written my book A Mother’s Confession (which is about domestic violence) and my book Before I Let You Go (which is about two sisters trying to navigate a complex legal situation after one is caught up in a drug addiction…while pregnant). I remember having coffee with a friend and she said to me something like ‘it must feel like you’ve been through both of these harrowing, life changing experiences at the same time’. Of course, fiction isn’t reality and I wasn’t quite that burnt out, but I suppose I was a little tired.

The problem is that I love writing. It’s my passion. My hobby. My favourite thing in the world to do (other than spending time with family and dogs, naturally). I felt like I needed a break from sitting at the keyboard sobbing, but I didn’t want to stop writing for any significant period of time.

I was pondering all of this when my friend shattered her ankle. It was an awful injury and she was trapped at home for months, basically immobile. I asked her what she was doing to fill her days and she told me she was reading romance novels. She was basically devouring them – dozens a week. Escaping into a world safe from the difficulties of her real life was saving her and I loved the idea that she’d found such solace in books. A few days later, I heard a podcast featuring romance novelist Kylie Scott. Kylie and I are both Australian and we happen to share our agent, and I was fascinated with her story. I bought one of her books…and by the end of the week, I’d read everything she’d ever written (except the zombie stuff. I’m terrified of zombies!).

It felt a bit like the answer to my ‘what to do now’ question had landed in my lap. A few years earlier, I had two characters pop into my mind, and I knew they didn’t belong in one of my women’s fiction stories. I decided I’d take Abby and Marcus, lifelong best friends, and try to give them a happy-ever-after. Their story absolutely poured out of me, and by the time I was halfway done, I’d already come up with ideas for their friends Paul and Isabel, and Jessica and Jake. The Start Up In the City series had been born.

It would be an understatement to say I loved writing these books. They are very different to my earlier novels – very modern, a bit steamy, and quite light-hearted. That’s not to say I don’t put these characters through hell, because sometimes I do. But these books will always end with our hero and heroine figuring it all out and finding a way to be together.

My women’s fiction novels are intended to entertain, but also to challenge and education and inspire. My contemporary romance novels will hopefully do all of that too, but they are intended to be a delicious escape from the challenges of the real world, and a reminder that in the end, love is everything we have.

Get your copy of The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer here!