Songs of Love and War. The stunning new novel of love and secrets from th...


DIRTYFeast your Hungry Eyes on this beautiful cover. One thing is for sure… nobody will be putting this baby in the corner… I’ve never felt this way before about a book cover, in fact I can’t get enough of it and this could be lo-o-ove.

Had enough yet? I could make Dirty Dancing references all day. I’m having the time of my life

Anyway… yes, I promise that’s the last of it… please help us celebrate this wonderful cover by sharing it far and wide!

Part three of this tremendous new series by Holly Hepburn is an absolute cracker. We return to the picturesque seaside town of Polwhipple in Cornwall to find a big ‘closed for refurbishment’ sign hanging on the doors of our favourite little picture house. Where, I hear you ask, will we be watching Dirty Dancing then? Well… you’ll have to read it to find out!

Gina pulls out all the stops yet again to keep everyone interested in the Palace’s future, with a helping hand from the gorgeous Ben Pascoe of course. I can’t wait for everyone else to read it so I can talk about all the drama that unfolds… Go! Pre-order it now, if you haven’t already, otherwise I’ll be forced to throw more movie references at you!


Hygges and Kisses 01We are delighted to announce that we’re publishing the perfect novel for readers everywhere who are embracing the Danish art of hygge – we give you Hygge and Kisses by Clara Christensen, the first warm, wise and romantic hygge novel, coming in #DigitalOriginals eBook on 21st September!

Bo, 26, has always been careful, cautious. However, she’s just been made redundant and her life plan is beginning to unravel. Before she starts immediately applying for other jobs in a panic, her friend Kirsten persuades her to take a holiday, to visit Kirsten’s mother’s house in North Jutland, a part of Denmark Bo is ashamed to admit she has never heard of.

‘What’s the weather going to be like?’ she asks Kirsten hopefully, scrolling her cursor over the budget airlines webpage. ‘Terrible,’ Kirsten replies, ‘London is positively Mediterranean by comparison, and of course it’s November so it’ll be dark seventeen hours a day. But no one goes to Denmark to get a tan. You need a change of scene and to blow away the cobwebs, and trust me, Skagen will do that. Besides, the summerhouse is cosy whatever the weather, and you never know who else will be around.’

A few clicks later and there is no going back. And Bo’s life plan is about to be entirely rewritten.

Curl up under a blanket, light some candles and turn off the phone – immerse yourself in a feel-good treat and feel your worries drift away …

We are very excited about this novel, so stand by for more news coming your way soon …


FINISHED JACKETI am delighted to unveil to bee-you-ti-ful cover for The Woman at Number 24 by one of our favourite people ever, Juliet Ashton – a novel about five families, with five very different lives, who all share the same building (that’s right, no 24).

Up in her flat in the eaves of the house is newly divorced Sarah – her heartbreak compounded by the fact that her ex-husband now lives one floor below with his new wife. The happiness floats up through the floorboards, taunting her.

A child psychologist, Sarah has picked up great sadness from the little girl, Una, who lives three floors below with her careworn mother. But is Sarah emotionally equipped to help them?

Spring brings new tenants and Jane and Tom’s zest for life revives the house. The air fizzes with potential – except for elderly Mavis, tucked away in the basement, holding the world at bay. But even she’s about to find out that she can’t hide forever.

Love, rivalry and secrets – all under one seemingly ordinary roof ….

But this is no ordinary novel – it’s an absolute corker! Guaranteed to make you laugh and cry, we can’t wait for you to read it in April.


Any day that involves finally revealing the jacket for the new novel from a bestselling author, is a good day – so it gives me all the feels to share with you the cover of The Queen of Wishful Thinking hardback edition from Milly Johnson!

Queen of Wishful Thinking HB

And just look at the beautiful illustration on the back….

Queen of Wishful Thinking dog

Here’s the blurb to whet your appetite:

When Lewis Harley has a health scare in his early forties, he takes it as a wake-up call. So he and his  wife Charlotte leave behind life in the fast lane and Lewis opens the antique shop he has dreamed of. Bonnie Brookland was brought up in the antiques trade and now works for the man who bought out her father’s business, but she isn’t happy there. So when she walks into Lew’s shop, she knows this is the place for her.

As Bonnie and Lew start to work together, they soon realise that there is more to their relationship than either thought. But Bonnie is trapped in an unhappy marriage, and Lew and Charlotte have more problems than they care to admit. Each has secrets in their past which are about to be uncovered. Can they find the happiness they both deserve?

The Queen of Wishful Thinking will be published as a Library Hardback edition on 9th March, with the paperback following on 4th May.


As some of you may remember, in May 2015, after a particularly cocktail-heavy night out with a couple of friends, I begged one of them to send me the second draft of a manuscript she had written for her German publisher.  Having read all of her previous books, I knew the words, written in her own unique style, would be right up my boulevard – so much so, I immediately forwarded it on to some of the rest of the Team for their secret-manuscript reading pleasure, with a note that simply said ‘enjoy!’.

Two colleagues immediately put down whatever it was they were already reading, and by the end of that week we were all all enjoying a marvelous water cooler moment, discussing just how much we LOVED the German Book.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t really just mean ‘enjoy!’ when I sent it to them.  What I meant was ‘I’ve been in love with this woman’s words for over 10 years.  I’m proud and honoured to call her my friend.  She’s funny, kind and clever.  I would LOVE it if we could be her publisher…’

So, having taken the bull firmly by the horns, the next step was an Editorial Eye.  Not just any old Editorial Eye.  I’m talking The Red Pen of Doom Queen, Editorial Director and Head Honcho here at #digitaloriginals, Clare Hey.

Forty-eight tense hours later, it was a resounding YES from She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed.

But it didn’t stop there, my friends.   Oh no.  There are a hundred processes and systems and stages to go through before a book goes from ‘secret manuscript’ to ‘acquired’.  It takes time.  And passion.  And vision.  And planning…

The German Book went through ninety-nine of these processes and systems and stages, and before long I’m in bits. Total complete bits. Might my dream actually be about to come true? Holy moly…

Fast forward four more months and Simon & Schuster, BooksAndTheCity, #digitaloriginals, Clare Hey and I were giddy to announce that the title of the German Book was These Days of Ours, the author was my BFF Juliet Ashton, and we published in e-book  on March 1st, with the paperback out on 7th April…. and now we’ve released a brand new jacket for the eBook edition – LOOK!!!

these days of ours - new cover


Santangelo cover photocropped

Thank you to our friends at Grosvenor House Hotel who kindly audio recorded the Jackie Collins Literati event on 8th September 2015 – Jackie’s last public appearance.  Do have a listen.  As you would imagine, she was warm, wise and witty.  Everyone here at Books and the City is devastated by her loss. We will miss her every day.


masterclassOn Saturday 15th November 2014 we held our very first (but hopefully not our last!) Creative Writing Masterclass here at Books and the City HQ, aimed specifically at writers of commercial women’s fiction.  The day was split into two, with morning one-to-one sessions with editors Jo Dickinson and Clare Hey and afternoon panels for a wider audience with uber literary agent Lizzy Kremer, bestselling author Milly JohnsonPeter Saxton (Publisher Liaison Manager at Waterstones Head Office), Isabelle Broom (Book Reviewer at Heat Magazine) and Lindsey Mooney (Content Lead UK & Ireland  from Kobo).

We all had a fabulous time, our Panel Sessions were brilliant – with some cracking hints, tips and advice from the very best in the business, all topped off with fizz and cake at the end of the day.  Perfect.  Here are just a few of my favourite snaps from the day…






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GET READY FOR #DigitalOriginals #ONEDAY – 15th July 2016
2016/06/15  |  Features  |  Comments are off

What do Andy Jones, Heidi Swain, Holly Hepburn, Juliet Ashton and Penny Parkes have in common.  All lovely people?  Natch.  All smart?  Totes.  And funny?  Yes, YES.  All writers?  Absolutely.  All five publishing/published under our #DigitalOriginals programme? BOOM! So here’s the news… for the third year running (on 15th July), we are throwing away, ripping up, laughing …