Letters to the Lost

Letters to the Lost. 1943, in the ruins of Blitzed London… Release Da...

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BIG FAT QUIZ OF THE YEAR 2017!

Here it is.  This is it.  The world famous (*) Big Fat Quiz/Word Search Of The Year Mash Up Combo Game 2017.  I know right?  First thing.  It’s JUST FOR FUN.  It’s JUST A GAME.  Of course, it’s wouldn’t be a @TeamBATC game unless there was a #WIN to go with it, so, yes, sure – every 100% correctly answered quiz we get back (just print it out and fill it in, no fancy widgets here I’m afraid) by noon on 15th December will go into the Big Hat of Chance and ONE name outta the hat will #WIN every single book featured here on the site in 2018.  However, this is mostly just for fun.  To test your memory, your mettle, your patience.  You can email me your finished word search at bookminx@simonandschuster.co.uk or post a hard copy to me at Simon & Schuster UK, 222 Grays Inn Road, London, WC1X 8HB.  Go on, have a go.  It’s a hoot.  All the answers are in the word search…..

(* NOT FAMOUS AT ALL)

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RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS PART 1 - COVER REVEAL!

Random Acts 1I am very excited to reveal the first in a series of stunning new covers for Random Acts of Kindness by the lovely Victoria Walters!

Earlier this year, we were thrilled to announce Vicky’s return to the S&S fold as our shiny new BATC author. We have since been working very hard together and Part One of #RandomActsOfKindness is our fantastic result.

Welcome to Littlewood, a small town community with a big heart. Abbie has fled London and the humiliation of not being able to make rent after being made redundant. Louise, seriously unlucky in love, has thrown herself into her career at the local hospital. And Eszter, who has travelled from Hungary with her daughter, Zoe, and hopes to reach out to the mother-in-law she never met while her husband was still alive…

This is a story about family, friendship and learning to love yourself, and it is jam-packed full of Vicky’s trademark sense of place and community, not forgetting the wonderful cast of completely loveable characters. It is sure to reaffirm your faith in human kindness.

Can a little bit of kindness really change your life? Pre-order now to find out…

 

THE SUNDAY LUNCH CLUB COVER REVEAL!

TSLCJuliet Ashton holds a very special place in the hearts of everyone at Team BATC and so we are delighted to reveal the gorgeous cover for her new novel, The Sunday Lunch Club. Isn’t it stunning?

Sunday lunch is a bit of an event in my house, and I suspect it is for many other people too. This beautifully written novel taps into this sense of family and friends coming together, sharing secrets, revealing dreams, bickering and, sometimes, falling apart.

Our heroine Anna shares lunch with a wonderful cast of characters – her ex-husband, her secret new lover, her ageing grandmother, her sister and her brother – and there are more secrets hidden around the table with them than they realise. These dramas are all revealed as the novel unfurls, and I guarantee you will be absolutely hooked, laughing and crying, until the very last page.

Juliet weaves a story of love, friendship and family that I think is Cold Feet meets David Nicholls, with a dash of the joy of Jill Mansell added for good measure.

The praise for Juliet’s last book, The Woman at Number 24, was absolutely wonderful, and this new novel will definitely not disappoint her existing fans, while engaging a whole new readership.

THE PERFECTLY IMPERFECT WOMAN COVER REVEAL!

‘Every time you discover a new Milly book, it’s like finding a pot of gold’ Heat

Perfectly Imperfect WomanWe’re absolutely delighted to reveal the title and cover for Milly’s new novel, coming in hardback in February! The Perfectly Imperfect Woman features a fabulous cast of characters, as you would expect from any Milly Johnson novel, and is guaranteed to make you laugh and cry and feel a warm glow in your heart.

Marnie Salt has made so many mistakes in her life that she fears she will never get on the right track. But when she ‘meets’ an old lady on a baking chatroom and begins confiding in her, little does she know how her life will change.

Arranging to see each other for lunch, Marnie finds discovers that Lilian is every bit as mad and delightful as she’d hoped – and that she owns a whole village in the Yorkshire Dales, which has been passed down through generations. And when Marnie needs a refuge after a crisis, she ups sticks and heads for Wychwell – a temporary measure, so she thinks.

But soon Marnie finds that Wychwell has claimed her as its own and she is duty bound not to leave. Even if what she has to do makes her as unpopular as a force 12 gale in a confetti factory! But everyone has imperfections, as Marnie comes to realise, and that is not such a bad thing – after all, your flaws are perfect for the heart that is meant to love you.

The Perfectly Imperfect Woman is the heart-warming and hilarious new novel from our queen of feel-good fiction – a novel of family, secrets, love and redemption … and broken hearts mended and made all the stronger for it.

We will be eating cheesecake for the rest of the week in celebration!

GIRLS ON TOUR AFTERNOON TEA!

Culture-Bite-logo-straplineThank you to everyone who came, our authors Dani AtkinsHeidi SwainHolly HepburnJuliet Ashton and Penny Parkes and to Lara and Sam from Hillingdon Libraries for arranging our fabulous #GirlsOnTour afternoon tea on Saturday at Haste Hill Golf Club, we had a wonderful time!

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JACKIE COLLINS

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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.

CREATIVE WRITING MASTERCLASS

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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YOU, ME, EVERYTHING….

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You + Me = Everything. When you are surrounded by love, you have nothing to fear.

You and me, we have history.
We have a child together.
We have kept secrets from each other for far too long.
This summer, in the beautiful hills of the Dordogne, it is time for everything to change.

You, Me, Everything is a heartfelt and unforgettable story about the lengths we are prepared to go to for those we love.

This is a story that will stay with the reader long after they have turned the last page.

It’s not every day that you get to reveal a book jacket that is SO perfect and SO beautiful that it takes your breath away…. but yesterday was one of those days.  You, Me, Everything is a very special novel, written by Catherine Isaac, the pseudonym of our  Sunday Times bestselling author Jane Costello.  This new novel will be published in the UK in hardback in April 2018 and you can read all about Catherine’s exciting journey over on her new website as well as in her new Features for us here at @TeamBATC HQ.

New jacket for The Wedding Speech by Isabelle Broom!

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RoNAs news!

We were SO excited to report that not one, but two of our fabulous authors were shortlisted on the 2017 Romantic Novel of the Year Awards (RoNAs), sponsored by those wonderful folk over at Goldsboro Books.

At a glittering ceremony in the Gladstone Library, One Whitehall Place, London SW1 on 13th March all the category winners, and the overall award – the prestigious Goldsboro Books Romantic Novel of the Year Award – were presented by Prue Leith.  It was only last year that our very own Iona Grey won the overall award, with her beautiful novel – Letters to the Lost, and Milly Johnson won the Romantic Comedy Category with Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe – so we were crossing our fingers and toes for another wonderful night!

The awards comprised seven categories – Contemporary Romantic Novel, Epic Romantic Novel, Historical Romantic Novel, Paranormal or Speculative Romantic Novel, Romantic Comedy Novel, the RoNA Rose Award (for shorter and category romance), and Young Adult Romantic Novel – with a range of authors shortlisted for each one.

The Contemporary Romantic Novel category was for mainstream romantic novels set post-1960 and includes genres such as chick lit and romantic suspense.

The Epic Romantic Novel category contains serious issues or themes, including gritty, multi-generational stories.

The Historical Romantic Novel category is for novels set in a period before 1960.

The Paranormal or Speculative Romance Novel category was for romantic novels that include elements beyond the range of scientific explanation, whether paranormal, fantasy, science fiction, time slip or worlds that include ghosts, vampires or creatures of legend.

The Romantic Comedy Novel was for consistently humorous or amusing novels and included our very own Penny Parkes.

The RoNA Rose Award recognised the best in category/series and shorter romance that focus on developing a love affair between the hero and heroine.

The Young Adult Romantic Novel featured protagonists who are teenagers or young adults, including our very own Paige Toon.
And we are delighted to announce that Penny Parkes triumphed in her category, winning the Romantic Comedy Novel for Out of Practice!

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GIRLS ON TOUR EVENT AT CHISWICK BOOK FESTIVAL

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On Saturday evening, 17th September 2016, Santa MontefiorePenny ParkesJane Costello and Juliet Ashton were joined by Isabelle Broom from Heat magazine for a very special Books and the City: Girls on Tour event at Chiswick Book Festival, and a wonderful time was had by all!!

With a glass of fizz to keep us going, our panel covered all manner of cracking questions such as ‘What does it take to be a modern woman?’, ‘Which women inspire you?’, most iconic female literary heroines, best things about being a writer,  ’What’s the best thing about being a modern women?’,  writing inspirations and even some nuggets of advice for aspiring writers, the event was frank, fun and fabulous!

Thank you so much to the team at Chiswick Book Festival, and especially Jo James for looking after us so well – we had a brilliant time!

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AFTERNOON TEA AT THE GREAT BARN WITH JANE COSTELLO, PAIGE TOON, JULIET ASHTON AND DANI ATKINS!

Hillingdon Libraries called it their ‘event of the season’ and we couldn’t agree more!  On 26th May 2016 we toured four of our authors for a very special #GirlsOnTour Literary Afternoon Tea at the beautiful and historic Great Barn in Ruislip, Middlesex – bestselling authors Jane CostelloPaige ToonJuliet Ashton and Dani Atkins were our VIP hosts for the afternoon, and joined our guests for a very indulgent tea provided by local bakery Honey Bees Cakes - with extra fizz on the side!

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JUST ANOTHER MANIC MONDAY…

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Last night, @TeamBATC uber’d it’s way down Whitehall way to take our seats at (lucky?) table number 14 at the Gladstone Library, One Whitehall Place, to attend  the star-studded annual #RoNAs (Romantic Novelists’ Association Awards) now sponsored by those fabulous chaps over at Goldsboro Books.

Imagine if you will, a beautiful library, steeped in history and packed to the rafters with 200 odd guests, nominated authors, members of the RNA, publishing bods and agents, sequined up to the eyeballs in their best gowns, with all the glamour and fizzing excitement of the Oscars, but with far less ego and Botox.

We were delighted to have the beautiful Isabelle Broom from Heat magazine as our guest, together with bestselling author Milly Johnson and debut author Iona Grey - each shortlisted for an award.

After a round of delicious nibbly savoury delights, pink fizz and pink cupcakes (natch), the event kicked off…

Oh my.  Let me tell you, I was giddy with anticipation – so god alone knows how all the nominated authors managed to keep a lid on it. I’d be running around screaming with a goat on my head.

In amongst the brilliant compering by Jane Wenham-Jones and guest presenting by the hilarious Fern Britton, the fizz fizzed, the laughter rang out loud and proud, and the warmth radiating from the room could have powered a small village for a week.  Let me tell you, the RNA is a very special Association and long may it continue.

Anyho. To cut a long story short, we were triumphant. Not only did Milly and Iona both win their category awards, for Romantic Comedy and Historical respectfully, but Letters to the Lost triumphed to win The Goldsboro Books Romantic Novel of the Year.  I KNOW!  Cue tears, hugging, tweeting a–go–go, proud mother moments for Editor of both novels, Queen of the Red Pen of Doom (and Delight!), Clare Hey and a giddy round of cheers!

Team BATC are incredibly proud and honoured to be the publishers of such a diverse and wonderful group of excellent authors, and whilst it goes without saying we love ALL our authors in equal measure, sometimes hearing a room full of less invested ladies whoop and cheer for our girls really does make the heart sing.  It really really does….

Here are a handful of my favourite snaps of the night….

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CULTURE BITE EVENT UPDATE

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On 30th and 31st October 2015, Clare Hey and I were delighted to bring 3 cracking events to the Hillingdon Library CultureBite Festival.

First up, on Friday night, we had an evening with Jane CostelloAndy Jones and Paige Toon, at Winston Churchill Theatre…

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Saturday lunchtime, we were delighted to be joined by Sandra HowardMilly Johnson and Iona Grey at The Great Barn for Afternoon Tea…

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And then on Saturday evening, we held a fabulous How To Write A Novel And Get It Published event at Uxbridge Library with bestselling authors Rachel Hore and Susan Elliot Wright in conversation  with  Clare Hey, Fiction Editorial Director here at Books and the City HQ….

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Thank you so much to all our authors, the team at Hillingdon Library for looking after us so well, especially Sam, Lara and Jo, and the wonderful audiences at each of the events for coming!

Afternoon Tea at the Grosvenor House Hotel with Milly Johnson

In June 2015 we invited a group of readers, bloggers and fans to celebrate the launch of the fabulous Milly Johnson novel - Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe - at our favourite London hotel, Grosvenor House.

Here are a couple of our favourite snaps from the day.

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Thank you to everyone who came, the lovely team at Grosvenor House Hotel who looked after everyone SO well, and Emma who kindly delayed her holiday to attend!

GIRLS ON TOUR WITH JANE COSTELLO, IONA GREY AND ANDY JONES

A fab time was had by all at Waterstones in April 2015, at our first ever Liverpool Girls on Tour event.  As ever our brilliant chair, Clare Hey, grilled the authors following a short reading from each of them from their novels - The Love ShackThe Two of Us and Letters to the Lost, with a Q&A session to top it all off.  Thank you so much to Waterstones for hosting, and Janes dad for filming this great video!

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RICHARD MADELEY AT GROSVENOR HOUSE HOTEL

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In October 2014 Grosvenor House Hotel played host to a #Literati event with the one and only Richard Madeley   A wonderful time was had by all, including our fabulous compère for the evening, Hannah Beckerman, The Croydon Massive Reading Group, Catriona the Fabulous Book Fiend and Sam Everett from Hillingdon Libraries.  Thanks to Lorna, Rosie and the brilliant team at Grosvenor House for looking after us all so well again and be sure to look out for details of more events at our favourite 5* London hotel coming soon…

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GLITTERATI EVENT REPORT

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In August 2014, we hosted a fabulous Girls on Tour event at our favourite 5* hotel bar – Red Bar – at Grosvenor House Hotel with bestselling authors Ali HarrisJane Costello and Paige Toon.  It was a brilliant night with lots of chat, fizz, cocktails, cupcakes, doughnuts and an awesome goody bag for everyone that attended.  We were also lucky enough to have our friends from Benefit Cosmetics on hand to give complimentary ’make-uppers’ to all guests and the wonderful Hannah Beckerman as our compère for the evening!  We are hoping to go back to Red Bar for another #Glitterati event in 2016, so will let you know as soon as we can!

GIRLS ON TOUR HITS WATERSTONES BIRMINGHAM

In June 2014 Girls on Tour visited Waterstones in Birmingham for a fabulous evening of book chat, cupcakes and pink fizz with Ali Harris, Milly Johnson and Paige Toon.  A wonderful time was had by all, so many thanks to everyone who came, our marvellous authors and the team at Waterstones for looking after us so well.  We look forward to announcing the date of the next event soon, so keep an eye out for details!

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AFTERNOON TEA WITH MELISSA HILL

In June 2014 we hosted a very special Afternoon Tea at BB Bakery in Covent Garden to celebrate the partnership between Melissa Hill’s paperback edition of A Gift To Remember and Bourjois.  The cakes were delicious, the pink fizz flowed, we talked about books and make-up all afternoon and our guests left with an exclusive goody bag!

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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 …