British author and parliamentary hopeful Louise Bagshawe is back in April with her latest release, Glitz. It's about four trust fund girls - haughty social climber Juno, her ditzy sister Athena and their cousins, IT Girl Diana and wannabe actress Venus - who are accustomed to living the high life, thanks to their rich, reclusive Uncle Clem. But when he summons them to his Seychelles mansion to announce his engagement to the very young Bai-Ling, the four girls know trouble's afoot. Can they stop the wedding or will they have to cope without their trust fund?
Kira Smythe never thought she'd end up back in her Texan hometown. But the high-powered attorney finds herself living back with her hippie parents and working in the local library. And a romance with the gorgeous new guy in town is threatened by her ability to communicate with the dead and by an unknown enemy who wants her dead. Havens is an entertainment journalist.
We all know chick lit and shopping go hand in hand. Kate Harrison's latest novel, The Secret Shopper's Revenge, takes readers into the world of the mystery shopper. New mother Emily wants revenge on the stick-thin assistants who laugh at her post-baby tummy and budget. But frumpiness has its advantages when you're wielding a secret camera - and sending the footage straight to head office. Store manager Sandie has a lifelong love of retail but when she's fitted up by an ambitious assistant, secret shopping is the only way to keep her passion alive. And glamourous widow Grazia can't leave behind the high life, despite her low bank balance. The more she's buying - and spying - the less time she has to mourn her previous life. They're Charlie's Shopping Angels, controlled by a mysterious figure who sends them on assignments. But when they're sent to stitch up a shop owned by Will, the angels begin to feel divided loyalties.
Popular chick lit author Chris Manby has written a book under the pseudonym Olivia Darling. Vintage is about three women who take on the male-dominated sparkling wine industry in the US, France and Britain. Madeleine Arsenault is determined to rescue the beloved family chateau and prove to her childhood enemy that she's got what it takes to run the most successful champagne house in France. Former supermodel Christina Morgan plans to turn her ex-husband's hobby Californian vineyard into a major player. And Kelly Elson doesn't have to be a chambermaid anymore once she inherits a vineyard.
Honor Palmer takes over the running of the family hotel Palmers in the Hamptons, seeking to restore its glamorous reputation. But there's a new boy in town, Lucas Ruiz, who has worked his way up from the grimy hotel laundries of Ibiza, and is now manager of a new boutique hotel. He's got no time for the faded traditions of Palmers - or the girl who's trying to save it. As Honor and Lucas prepare to go head to head to get the rich and famous checking in, blackmail, adultery and the dirtiest of dirty tricks are all in a day's work behind the scenes of the five-star facades.
British author Judy Astley's new book, Other People's Husbands, is out mid-year. Sue's mother told her that she shouldn't marry Conrad, a famous painter - that the 25-year age gap between them was too much. Now Conrad has decided that it would be good to die before he gets seriously old and so spends his time sorting out his chaotic life. Sue, teaching art at a local college, finds that she has plenty of male company - other people's husbands, ones she tells Conrad all about, who are just good friends to her. But there's one she doesn't get round to mentioning. Astley's 2007 release Laying the Ghost, about a woman seeking out her ex-boyfriend, has just come out in paperback.
Find out about Lisa Daily's novel Fifteen Minutes of Shame, her own first 15 minutes of fame and which celebrity couple she thinks may hit the skids.
Here's the first look at covers for Lauren Weisberger's new novel, Chasing Harry Winston, which mimics the high heel illustrations from her previous books. Its synopsis reads: 'How far would you go to change your life in a year? Emmy finds herself single for the first time in years. She vows to find a man on every continent for some pure no-strings-attached fun. Adriana is stunning and can have any man she desires. Yet she wants an eligible bachelor who'll slip a five-carat Harry Winston diamond on her finger. Leigh has a doting boyfriend that most girls would kill for. But when literary bad boy Jesse Chapman asks to work with her, she just can't refuse. Knocking back raspberry mojitos one night, the three friends make a pact - to change one thing in their lives by the end of the year.'
Elizabeth has always wanted an Italian husband and lots of rosy-cheeked bambini. The first item is ticked off, thanks to handsome Roberto, the second is proving a little harder to achieve. When Roberto loses his job and decides to leave London for Italy and the family business, Elizabeth hopes the different climate might boost her chances of conceiving. Except she hasn't counted on a wily mother-in-law, the language barrier nor the widening cracks in her marriage. Does she want a baby at any cost? And why is she suddenly craving the company of a sexy American tutor? Out in May.
Jenny Colgan will be back with another release later this year. Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend is about rich girl about town Sophie who is left to fend for herself on the mean streets of London after being embroiled in a scandalous affair. The synopsis says: 'Scraping a living as a cleaner in a photographic studio, living in a bedsit on the Old Kent Road, eating baked beans from the can - this is one spectacular fall from grace. On top of that, she is papped by photographers every time she leaves the flat, with her so-called friends laughing at her downfall. But stepping in to solve a crisis at the studio, Sophie discovers that she is also quite handy with a camera, and a new career behind the lens is born. But when she is hired as the photographer for a society wedding, Sophie is thrust back into her old lifestyle.'
If you're wanting to indulge your sweet tooth by reading about chocolate this Easter, here's some titles to whet your appetite. Or better still, grab a book and some chocolate . . .
Amber Salpone thinks in chocolate - talk to her for three minutes and she'll tell you what kind of chocolate you'd be. In fact, most days, if she was asked to choose between chocolate and relationships, there'd be no contest. At least chocolate has never let her down - unlike her family who has taught her to avoid conflict - and love - at all costs. So, when after a one-night stand, womaniser Greg Walterson announces she's the love of his life, the commitment-phobe's life goes into meltdown. For lovers of fully flavoured chick lit.
Bri Stone, a laid-back Californian beach chick, has it all: the man of her dreams and their surf-riding teenage son, a chocolate-loving best friend, a beach bungalow, and a job as a tour bus guide. But she has a few things she didn't ask for: a know-it-all friend, a snobby mother-in-law, and a Fabio-meets-Dilbert boss. And all three seem eager to share their suspicions about Bri's relationship with her husband, Douglas. When Bri finds evidence that he has grown tired of her carefree ways, she resolves to win him back by reinventing herself. Chock-ful of engaging characters with sprinklings of lessons of faith. Carobini's new novel, Truffles by the Sea, has just been released.
Sophie Katz has been recruited by a friend to spy on her strangely behaving, possibly two-timing, husband. When the hubby, a former FBI agent, is killed, the loveable would-be sleuth is plunged into a crazy world of campaign mudslinging, dirt-digging and cover-ups. Sophie enlists the help of her two-time sidekick and ex - P.I. Anatoly Darinsky. For those who devour mysteries with shavings of chick lit.
When her family chocolate shop display goes up in flames, Alex Martinelli meets firefighter Mike Simone. But Alex, an ER nurse with a passion for reading her daily horoscope, has several valid reasons not to get involved with Mike, including his connection to the man who stole her grandfather's secret chocolate recipe. Will Mike melt her heart? For those hankering after a sweet romance.
After yet another row with a bullying boyfriend, Lettie Howells is convinced to place a personal ad to cast the net wider than the ageing tourist traffic of Lyme Regis. From a motley crew of respondents she selects Doug Evans - a jolly but once-bitten hunk of a Welsh forester. Though her job sees her serving tea and cake in a seafront cafe, Lettie yearns to make more of her painting. Then a trip to Doug's hometown provides new canvases and a brush with fame, thanks to reality TV. Sink your teeth into this delicious dating comedy.
And don't forget Carole Matthews' series about The Chocolate Lovers' Club.
Meet Amy Appleton, author of the newly released The Bride Hunter, and find out how her matchmaking character would help Paul McCartney find a new wife.
Lisa Daily, TV dating expert, relationship columnist and author of advice book Stop Getting Dumped!, has her debut novel out this month, Fifteen Minutes of Shame. It's about what happens when dating guru Darby Vaughn finds out on live national TV that her husband is cheating. Not only is the most humiliating moment in her life splashed across every supermarket tabloid and celebrity gossip show, but her reputation as America's favourite love expert is shot. Her book sales stall, her publisher cancels the rest of her tour. If Darby takes her philandering husband back, she will be breaking her own most cardinal law of relationships (Never stay with a cheater!), and her career will be over. If she sticks to her own rules, she'll lose the only man she has ever truly loved. Head to Daily's website for a sneak peek at the first two chapters. If you live in the US, check out whether she's coming to your town on her 20-city tour over the next few months.
Watch out for our interview with Lisa Daily.
Beth Harbison has followed up her 2007 release Shoe Addicts Anonymous with a new book, Secrets of a Shoe Addict. When Loreen, Abbey and Tiffany chaperone their children to the Battle of the School Bands in Las Vegas, they have a night out they'll never forget. Loreen needs to come up with cash fast after hiring a male prostitute. Abbey, the pastor's wife, runs into an ex-boyfriend who wants her to pay up. And Tiffany does a bit too much shopping after downing one too many free margaritas. Tiffany's sister Sandra (from Shoe Addicts Anonymous) knows just how to make money fast as a phone sex operator and she's willing to teach them the tricks of the trade. It's out in June.
Lots of chick lit fans have been getting excited about news that a movie called Something Borrowed is about to go into production - eagerly picking out their cast suggestions for Rachel, Darcy and Dex. But the Jon Poll-directed movie is not based on the much-loved Emily Giffin novel. Instead it's a comedy about body-switching where a couple decide to get married after a whirlwind romance and one of their grandmothers puts a curse on them, causing them to switch bodies and go through their wedding weekend as the other.
Corporate executive Annie Fleming keeps her family and babysitter in line through extensive to-do lists. But when Annie loses her job, she finds everything isn't running so smoothly with her frequently travelling husband and 12-year-old daughter Charlotte. Determined to get Charlotte into an elite soccer team run by obsessive coach Winslow West, she soon discovers the soccer sidelines are even more cutthroat than a boardroom.
They say never judge a book by its cover. But we have, as we unveil our favourite chick lit covers from our Titles A-Z listings.
San Francisco therapist Holly Shumas is following up Five Things I Can't Live Without with Love & Other Natural Disasters about a woman who discovers that her seemingly devoted husband has been having an emotional affair. Does the fact that he's not having actual sex with someone else make it better or worse? It's due out in early 2009.
Did you know? Meg Cabot has announced that there'll be two more Heather Wells mysteries after Big Boned (aka Size Doesn't Matter). The as-yet-untitled books will be out next year.
Making Over Mr. Right is the third book in Judi McCoy's Zeus trilogy about three sister Muses from Mt Olympus sent down to Earth to use their gifts. This time it's Zoe's job as the Muse of Beauty to transform successful businessman Theo Maragos from computer nerd to hunk in time for a magazine interview. It would be so easy to fall for Theo, but the number one rule during Zoe's exile from Mt Olympus is don't fall in love, especially with a mortal.
On March 27, 2007, more than 500 women across the US kept a diary of their workday. The result is Water Cooler Diaries, Women Across America Share Their Day at Work. It features 35 full-day accounts and hundreds of highlights behind the scenes with women from a variety of backgrounds and careers, including an actress, fashion designer, celebrity chef, fast-food store manager, Avon lady, blogger, surgeon, mechanic, magician, life coach and boxing promoter. It is the third book in the This Day series from Joni B. Cole and B.K Rakhra.
From the pen of actress Heather Thomas (The Fall Guy) comes Trophies, which will be released in April. Marion Zane is the top Trophy - she's got a faithful husband, loyal girlfriends, queen-bee status over the best Hollywood charities and - best of all - no prenup. But when she champions building a trauma centre hospital, Marion breaks the unwritten code by stepping on another Trophy's charity turf. This woman joins forces with a powerful mystery partner to destroy Marion, who loses her dream life in one unforgivable humiliation. Abandoned by her husband, Marion goes to hilarious lengths to hide her newfound poverty from even her closest friends, living out of her luxury car and using Magic Marker for eyeliner as she raises hospital funding at five-star restaurants.
Billed as chick lit meets Fatal Attraction, Jules Asner's debut novel Whacked is a tale of revenge as crime show writer Dani Hale discovers that her director boyfriend Dave is cheating on her. As Asner says: '(Dani's) increasingly obsessive and paranoid behaviour in the wake of (his) betrayal leads her to cross the line between real life and the life and world of the characters she has created.' It's out in June. Asner is a former model and entertainment reporter and is married to director Steven Soderbergh.
Lexi Smart is having a crappy night. Her date is a no-show, she's the only staff member at her flooring company to miss out on the annual bonus and her new boots are too small - oh and tomorrow is her father's funeral. While trying to hail a taxi, she slips and bumps her head. But when she wakes up in a hospital bed, she actually discovers it's 2007 and she's got amnesia after a car accident. But in the three missing years of her life she's gained a millionaire husband, a glamorous wardrobe, a luxurious apartment and has become boss of her department. How on earth did she land this dream life? And why do her friends hate her and why does her husband's colleague insist they were having an affair? Kinsella has delivered another failsafe chick lit comedy - maybe not her most memorable but you'll still devour it as fast as you can.
Irish author Anna McPartlin (Pack Up the Moon, Apart from the Crowd) has just released a new book The Truth Will Out. Interior decorator Harri Ryan has always felt she never really belonged in her family, despite being close to her twin brother George. It's the second time Harri has tried to marry her fiance James, and the second time she's had a panic attack, ended up in hospital in her wedding dress and the celebrations have to be called off. Is there more to it than wedding nerves? And Harri's not the only one suffering a crisis - George and his partner Aidan are struggling, her friend Susan thinks her marriage is dead and friend Melissa wants to kill her hubby. George suspects there's something their parents aren't telling them. But in one week all will be revealed and their lives will change forever.
So Close is the story of Tertia Albertyn's struggle to become a mother. Tertia wanted a baby so desperately that she went through nine IVF sessions when three is usually as much as many people can take. During Tertia's four-year journey, everything that can go wrong does go wrong, including one particularly heartbreaking loss. But the story does have a happy ending - two in fact. Based on the South African's blog, the book is out in April.
Based on the Daily Telegraph column Posh But Poor, Harriet Carew is a mother of three and juggler of work, home and family. But while their friends flourish, the Carews are struggling - and sliding down the ladder of fortune and happiness. With husband Guy a writer, Harriet is torn between wanting to be at home more and the need to work longer hours to help pay the school fees. When her ex-boyfriend James turns up, successful and single, Harriet must make some tough decisions.
Chick lit's favourite receptionist Holly Denham is back, with an updated website and a new book to come. Read our email interview with her.
When Alexis Hall works up a debt bigger than her mortgage and her partner threatens to leave because of her out-of-control spending, she realises it's time to take drastic action. So, for one year, Hall sets out to buy nothing except the bare essentials. In the Red: The Diary of a Recovering Shopaholic details the Glasgow-based PR agent's battle to end her compulsion to buy designer shoes and handbags.
Did you know? Karyn Bosnak got herself out of US$20,000 debt by creating a website saveKaryn.com in 2002, where people could donate a small sum. Within 20 weeks the debt was gone and the book Save Karyn followed in 2003.
Kate never intended her rebound guy to fall in love with her. Keith was just the man who would help her feel good about herself while she got over one of the world's biggest bastards. However, after the initial shock of hearing herself agree to marry Keith, Kate reckons that for once she is doing the right thing. A future with a wonderful man who is kind, generous, great in bed, sure to be a model husband and father and who can put up with her big mad family is exactly what she wants. Right? But whatever her head might be telling her, she finds she can't stop her heart pushing her towards the most unsuitable man she could possibly fall for.
Perennial chick lit favourite Belinda Jones has a new book, Out of the Blue, out later this year. Its synopsis says: 'Twenty years ago Selena Smith saw Shirley Valentine and developed a chronic phobia of having a plate of chips and egg shoved in her lap by an ungrateful husband. Since then she's successfully avoided becoming one of suburbia's lost housewives by relentlessly travelling the world as an excursions rep on a luxury cruiseship. But with her 36th birthday approaching she finds herself experiencing a strange sensation - how can she be feeling homesick when she has no home? And why has she agreed to spend a week on a Greek island with one of the ship's most notorious womanisers?'
Initially too controversial to be published in Saudi Arabia, Girls of Riyadh, by Rajaa Al-Sanea, looks at the love lives and shopping habits of four rich women, Gamrah, Lamees, Michelle and Sadeem, in the Saudi capital. They may watch Hollywood blockbusters and carry miniature pedigree dogs in designer handbags, but they also have to deal with a society which is full of oppressions, particularly if you are a woman. Told through a series of emails sent by an unnamed narrator to an internet group list, the book deals with taboos such as premarital sex, alcohol consumption, homosexuality and infidelity. The book may have seen Al-Sanea receive death threats and a lawsuit but it has also reportedly inspired more Saudi women to take up writing. Last year when the book was translated for the US market, Al-Sanea was studying dentistry in Chicago.
Want to see how others bond (or not) with family members? Try some of these upcoming titles about mother-in-laws from hell and sibling rivalry.
Even though Maisie Grey has got rid of her mama's-boy husband, she's still stuck with the mother-in-law from hell, who as her teenage son Tommy's grandmother, refuses to exit the family stage gracefully. Maisie is trying to get her organising business off the ground while dating a man who still lives with his mother and employing a single mum locked in a custody battle. Maisie vows that when Tommy brings someone home, she will be empathetic and supportive. But then along comes September Silva, with her piercings, short skirts, black nail polish, and stay-out-all-night attitude, who's completely unsuitable for Tommy.
Courtney, Norah and Raine Cassel are as different as three sisters can be. Norah, the oldest, is a type-A obsessive who hasn't forgiven wild child Raine, the middle sister, for ruining her wedding day six years ago when she caused a scene and then took off with Matt, youngest sister Courtney's first love. With her own wedding looming, Courtney decides it's finally time to call a truce. Soon Courtney finds herself re-examining every choice she has made in the past six years - including the man she's about to marry - and the value of reconnecting with her sisters.
When The New Yorker photographs teenagers Daria, Polly and Amelia Heller, the granddaughters of a famous literary critic, so begins their life as It Girls. But with no parental guidance - their mother is a former beauty queen living vicariously through her daughters, and their father is nowhere to be found - the three find themselves easy prey for show business sharks. Skipping school and hitting A-list parties, the sisters are caught up in a whirlwind rise to fame that quickly spirals out of control and affects their neglected brother Philip. It's narrated in four parts, from the perspective of each sibling.
London-based author Holly McQueen has her first novel The Glamorous (Double) Life of Isabel Bookbinder out in May. For Isabel Bookbinder, there's no doubt about where she's headed. She wants to be a best-selling author living a glamorous life - only problem is she hasn't yet quite got around to putting pen to paper yet. But Isabel's not one to let a little thing like that stand in her way.
New from Irish author Roisin Meaney this month is The People Next Door about a group of neighbours on Miller's Avenue. When Yvonne in No. 7 joins an online dating website, she's looking for something more than friendship but after a series of disastrous encounters, decides to shut down her account. But is she shutting out her only chance of finding love? Next door at No. 8, Dan signs up for a cookery course, determined to move on after his wife deserted him. But as his interest in someone close to home simmers, will his fingers get burnt second time around? At No. 9, Kathryn is struggling to keep her marriage together despite the best efforts of her interfering mother-in-law. Kathryn wonders if she may never give her husband Justin what he wants.
Singer/actress Kerry Katona has a new novel out in April, The Footballer's Wife. Glamour model Charly Metcalfe is now a WAG having bagged premiership footballer Joel Baldy as her boyfriend. She lives in a million-pound penthouse, gets invited to the most glamorous parties, and Joel will buy her anything she wants. But behind closed doors, life as a footballer's other half isn't as perfect as it seems. Joel has a temper and when he and Charly argue, he lets his fists do the talking. Does she love him enough to marry him in spite of their troubles?
And if you can't get enough of WAGs, Alison Kervin's sequel to The WAG's Diary, WAGs Abroad, is out mid-year. It sees Tracie Martin, Luton Town FC's longest-serving WAG, leave England with husband Dean for the bright lights of LA. Will she finally get to meet her idol, Victoria Beckham?
Find out how a newspaper article about infidelity inspired Lucy Dawson to write His Other Lover.
From the author of Callgirl comes this book about making it as a madam. Fresh out of college, Peach is looking at a series of dead-end jobs until a stint as a brothel's receptionist changes her life for ever. Soon, Peach's own agency is the most successful in the city, and life is a whirl of exclusive parties and drug-fuelled orgies. But it's at a cost. Peach must protect these desperate girls from violent clients as well as the cops. Then Peach meets the love of her life and falls pregnant. She craves stability - but can she juggle a life in suburbia with the demands of her trade? Out in April.
West Australian journalist Liz Byrski, author of Belly Dancing for Beginners, is touring Australia to promote her latest book, Trip of a Lifetime. Parliamentarian Heather Delaney is shot in the shoulder outside her office. Struggling to return to work, she is haunted by questions about the shooting. Was it personal or political? Then along comes Heather's old flame, Ellis, who has abandoned his successful law career to reinvent himself as a life coach. But is he the best thing that's ever happened to Heather or the worst?
Touring in April is Toni Jordan, the Melbourne-based author whose debut novel Addition looks at the world through the eyes of an obsessive-compulsive woman who orders her world with numbers. For example, when Grace Vandenburg goes to the cafe, she always sits at the first available table, starting from the top left-hand corner and proceeding around the room and inwards in a clockwise direction. One day all the tables are full and a stranger invites her to sit with him. Grace just may be about to lose count of the number of ways she can fall in love.
See www.thebigbookclub.com.au for tour details.
Read all about it - all about the magazine world - in our Club Challenge for March.
Boned, by Anonymous, is set in a fictional Australian television network and written reportedly by someone in 'a senior position' in the industry. It traces the rise and fall of broadcast journalist Kate Corish from starry-eyed journalism graduate to host of a top-rating current affairs show. As she approaches her 40th birthday, management attempt to bone (or sack) her. Kate knows that her boss Mike Ripley is behind the campaign. But rather than just accept her fate, she decides to play the Machiavellian Ripley at his own game. For anyone outside Australia who hasn't heard of former Channel 9 boss Eddie McGuire and Today morning show host Jessica Rowe, you may not realise how close to the bone this premise comes to the actual events of 2006. Now the question is, just who is Anonymous? The book is due out from Penguin in June.
Fans of London receptionist Holly Denham and her website www.hollysinbox.com rejoice - a second novel is on its way. Holly emailed us to say: 'I wanted to let you know Holly's Inbox - Scandal in the City will be online from March 4 - in real time, and I really really hope you like it. This time you can catch it live - and see me at work as emails come and go from my inbox.' The book is due out in June and according to the synopsis, Holly's in love - really this time - and she's had a promotion. Her investment banking firm is merging with another firm and until someone is officially appointed to run the new reception team, Holly's in charge. Then one morning Holly opens her inbox to discover a nasty message . . . is it an office prank or something more sinister? For those of you yet to stumble upon the Holly phenomenon, her website was launched in February 2007, with thousands of visitors from all over the world logging on each day to read her emails. Keep reading for our rating of the first book.
And watch out for our special interview with Holly . . .
Holly Denham begins work as a receptionist at a London investment bank, and since she lied about her front-of-house experience, she's struggling just a bit. But luckily, the other receptionist Trish takes her under her wing and an old school 'friend' Jennie who works upstairs extends a welcoming arm. Told in email format, Holly navigates her new job and a new romance - with one of the company's vice presidents, James. Her work day is punctuated with daily emails to and from her best friends, Jason and Aisha, and her family, including her brother Charlie who's opening a nightclub, her parents who have moved to Spain and her granny who loves signing her up for online groups. But some secrets from Holly's past are about to be revealed. Be warned - this book is very addictive. Just don't let your boss catch you reading it.
The Wrong Sort of Wife?, the debut novel from Connecticut-based author Elise Chidley, is out in March. Lizzie Buckley has a life many women dream of - a gorgeous husband, wonderful home and beautiful three-year-old twins. But there's a snag. It's not that Lizzie has gone off marriage, as such. She's just gone off its intimate aspects and husband James doesn't understand her feelings. And when Lizzie hits 'send' on the wrong email, suddenly everything starts to unravel. Lizzie finds herself moving out and embarking on a totally different life - new house, new neighbours, no husband. Still mulling over her failed marriage, Lizzie can't help wondering whether she was ever good enough for gorgeous James. Or, as her mother-in-law suggests, was she just the wrong sort of wife?