The synopsis of the most-anticipated release of of 2009 - Marian Keyes' The Brightest Star in the Sky - is finally out there. "At 66 Star Street in Dublin, someone is watching over the lives of the people living in its flats. But no one is aware of it - yet. One of them is ready to take the plunge and fall in love; another is torn between two very different lovers. For some, secrets they want to stay buried will come to light and for others, the unveiling of those secrets will have tragic consequences. Fate is on its way to Star Street, bringing with it love and tragedy, friendship and heartbreak, and the power to change their lives in the most unexpected of ways . . . " It's out in October.
With the book trade announcing that Irish author Melissa Hill has signed on with Hodder & Stoughton for a four-book deal, the cover of her next novel, Please Forgive Me, has been released. It's the story of Leonie, who uncovers a series of mysterious love letters, all signed off with the same three words "Please forgive me". She sets off to find out who wrote them, and who they were written for. But in doing so, Leonie may just have to resolve some forgiveness issues of her own. It's out in October.
Post Grad, starring Alexis Bledel (Lena in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) is due for an August release but you can read the movie tie-in novel by Emily Cassel first. The post-grad is Ryden Malby who aims to move to LA to land her dream job in publishing. But her nemesis Jessica - the prettiest, smartest, most ambitious girl at school - steals her perfect job. Ryden's forced to move back to her childhood home in the Valley and live with her eccentric family. Faced with a growing stack of rejected job applications, it may be time to come up with a new plan. The book is out in June.
Niamh Greene talks about her latest novel, Letters to a Love Rat, her demented housewife and dreams.
Twenty years ago, Nina, Meredith and Annie were part of a feminist gospel choir. Now the trio are hitting the road again, travelling north from Melbourne to Byron Bay to attend the wedding of Meredith's daughter. Their home for the next two weeks is a motorhome, with Elvis emblazoned on the side. Nina, the overweight wife of a footy legend and mother of three sons, is desperate for some female bonding - if only she could stop acting like a mother hen. Divorced homewares shop owner Meredith is wondering if her perfectly elegant life is perhaps a bit empty; while single real estate agent Annie has been drowning her sorrows in drink. With a catty choirmate, hairy union officials and feral pigs to contend with, their unforgettable roadtrip makes for one feel-good read.
Fern thinks a wedding should be the next step but boyfriend Adam just won't go down on one knee. Then a chance meeting with Scottie Taylor leads to the pop star proposing to her in front of a sell-out crowd at Wembley Stadium. Soon Fern is living the celebrity dream in LA, with a wedding planner on hand. But why is this modern-day Cinderella homesick for a rented two-bedroom flat in Clapham? And how does she know whether love is telling the truth?
Adele Parks is touring South Africa in June to launch the book at the Cape Town Book Fair.
Sisters-in-Law, by Nina Bell, is about three women who all have one other thing in common - they're hiding something. Its synopsis says: "It's not easy being part of the high-achieving Fox family: the expectations and demands of their husbands and children; the jealousies and rivalries; and the endless Sunday lunches where everything feels like a competition. So when mysterious Sasha enters their lives, bloodied from the battlefield of a painful divorce, buried frustrations rush to the surface. Why is Kate's husband Jonny working so late at the office, and how will she cope at home alone? Can army-wife Helen trust Jago to come back to her next time, or is he drawn by temptations in a foreign field? And will Simon's explosive secret blow Miranda's marriage apart once and for all? Three sisters-in-law. One devastating divorcee. Whose husband is about to play with fire?" Bell, a Kent-based author, made her debut with last year's release, The Inheritance, about three sisters fighting for their father's estate. Sisters-in-Law is out in August.
Authors of The Nanny Diaries, Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, have targeted reality shows with their latest novel, The Real Real. High school senior Jesse O'Rourke becomes an unwitting reality TV star when XTV descends on her Hamptons school to set up its cameras. When Jesse is picked for the "documentary", she reluctantly decides it's worth it for the college tuition money on offer. All she has to do is trade her best friend for the glam clique she's studiously avoided, her privacy for a 24/7 mike, and her sense of right and wrong for "what sells on camera". But at least her crush has also made the cast.
The Importance of Being Emma - a modern retelling of Jane Austen's Emma - is the first in Juliet Archer's new series aiming to bring the great author's work into this century. Handsome and rich Mark Knightley is used to women falling at his feet. Except Emma Woodhouse, who he's known all his life. But when Mark returns from India to take over his family food business, he finds himself drawn to Emma, who's involved in marketing. While Mark struggles to keep his feelings in check, Emma - fresh from her matchmaking success - is busy with her campaign to find Mr Right for her ditzy PA, Harriet. And when the mysterious Flynn Churchill - the man of Emma's dreams - turns up, how could she have eyes for anyone else? Archer's next novel in her Jane Austen in the 21st Century series is Persuade Me, based on Persuasion. It features a thoroughly modern Anna Elliot, while Captain Frederick Wentworth has become scientist Dr Rick Wentworth.
Kristina Riggle's Real Life & Liars examines a family as they are faced by crisis. Mother Mira has just been diagnosed with breast cancer and has decided not to fight it. But her children come home to Michigan for her 35th wedding anniversary with their own problems. Katya suspects her workaholic husband is having an affair, Ivan's songwriting aspirations are fading and Irina walks in with her surprise groom. It's out in June. Riggle, a former newspaper journalist, is one of The Debutante Ball authors.
Which authors who have proved themselves time and again are we most keen to read this year? Check out our Top 10 of 2009 must-reads from the established authors.
Elin Hilderbrand's latest novel, The Castaways, takes us back to the island of Nantucket for a tale about eight friends who call themselves the Castaways. With a cloud hanging over their marriage, Greg and Tess, pillars of their close-knit community and parents of twins, are killed when their boat capsizes during an anniversary sail. As summer approaches and the island mourns their loss, nothing can prepare their closest friends for what will be revealed. The story is told from the perspective of Tess' cousin Andrea and her husband, police chief Ed; Phoebe, who is already mourning the loss of her twin brother, and her rich realtor husband Addison; and Delilah and her husband Jeffrey. It's out from July.
Sisters Pam Burks and Lorraine Campbell, whose debut under the name Ellie Campbell was How to Survive Your Sisters, have turned the focus of their second novel to friendship. The four main characters in When Good Friends Go Bad are Jen, Georgina, Meg and Rowan, whose friendship ended over a childish prank. A reunion dinner more than a decade later didn't go to plan when organiser Rowan never showed, Georgina's secret was revealed, Meg behaved outrageously, and Jen finally decided it was time to move on. Now it's 10 years later and in the midst of her divorce, Jen receives a desperate call from Meg. She wants her and Georgina to help her track down Rowan. But none of them even begin to imagine the extent to which their loyalties will be tested as their past finally catches up with them. It's out in July.
When 24-year-old Taylor lands a job as second assistant to studio hotshot Iris Whitaker, she thinks she's on her way to making it big in Hollywood. But the catty first assistant Kylie is out to make life difficult for the Ohio transplant. Luckily her boss' teenager daughter, Quinn, has some timely advice, suggesting that Taylor follows her high school rules to be queen bee, such as fake it till you make it and make one cool friend. But when Taylor is directed to steal Kylie's boyfriend, something happens that's not in the game plan - she falls for the guy.
The first titles in Zoey Dean's The A-List: Hollywood Royalty series are also being released later this year.
Irish actress Amy Huberman's first novel Hello, Heartbreak is about 27-year-old Izzy who is dealing with the end of her relationship. Starting with public humiliation (that infamous blow-up with her ex Cian and his new squeeze Brenda), and taking in rebound sex and a night in a police cell along the way, Izzy is trying to put the cheating love-rat behind her. She is also fed up with her role as general dogsbody at a film company. But getting dumped may be the best thing to happen to her. Hello, Heartbreak is out in July. Huberman plays Daisy O'Callaghan on TV show The Clinic and is engaged to the Irish rugby captain Brian O'Driscoll.
The death of her adoptive mother and the double christening of her sisters' children gets Holly Bennett wondering about motherhood for herself. She's been with steady boyfriend Murdo for a few years but isn't sure he's the one. The advertising exec is also taking a break from her real life, living in her family home and working with her best friend at the post office. Holly hires a private investigator, ex-cop Phil, to look for her biological mother. All she knows is she was left on the steps of a hospital 30 years ago. A blanket, a confirmation necklace and an envelope are clues enough to take the pair to the Isle of Man - and perhaps into their own romance. Every so often I read a book where I think the last few pages must have fallen out. This ending certainly leaves you hanging - and if you're hoping to find out all about Holly's origins you will be disappointed. (And since Holly shares the surname of the main character in Barnes' previous novel Special Delivery, I even began wondering if there was a link I missed that would explain all.)
Ready to put your feet up for another read about the glamorous Hamptons in summer? Hamptons regular Jodi Della Femina has co-written By Invitation Only with Sheri McInnis. After several setbacks in Manhattan, Toni Fratelli is moving home to East Hampton. She has to help her father run his Italian restaurant, start up her own catering company, and be maid of honour at her best friend's wedding. But the groom's mother, a New York socialite, has no intention of letting him marry a local girl, while the bride is being wooed by a group of snooty bridesmaids. Meanwhile the biggest caterer in the Hamptons is trying to run her fledgling business out of town. Then Toni finds love in a sexy surfer called Chris but there's more to him than meets the eye. Della Femina, like her character, has worked in her father's landmark East Hampton restaurant. She is the author of Hampton's guidebook, Jodi's Shortcuts, and helped start one of the local newspapers. McInnis is the author of Devil May Care about an aspiring actress who sees fluke accidents befall anyone who stands in her way.
Marian Keyes' This Charming Man has taken out one of the prizes at this year's Irish Book Awards ceremony in Dublin. Her book about a politician and his connection to four women won the Irish Popular Fiction Book of the Year, beating several other chick lit authors including Cecelia Ahern and Cathy Kelly. Keyes' next novel, This Brightest Star in the Sky, is out in October.
If you still love your chick lit to be about shoes, then you might want to consider Penny Espinoza's Sophi's Shoe Fetish. This self-published book is about Texan Sophi Miller, who has loved fashionable shoes ever since she was a little girl. She seems set on a path of becoming a shoe designer until a tragic loss throws her aspirations way off course. She regains her passion for fashion while on a college trip to Paris and is inspired to change her name and image. She now seems ready to take on the world but first she must decide whether to take a chance on love - with a charming Frenchman.
Karen Quinn's The Sister Diaries is centred around three sisters. Amanda is a high-flyer in the Manhattan real estate market but lives alone. Former Prada executive Serena is an over-the-top, stay-at-home mum. And Laura, who has spent the past six years caring for their dying mother, is now trying to relaunch her abandoned music career. Emotions explode when it is revealed that their mother left everything to Serena and the women journey to East Hampton to find out why.
Florida author Bridget Asher (aka Julianna Baggott), who scored a lot of attention last year with My Husband's Sweethearts, is about to release her next novel, The Pretend Wife. Gwen has a safe marriage with Peter. But then her former college boyfriend Elliot asks her to pretend to be his wife for a weekend to help fulfill his dying mother's last wish. Gwen agrees - with Peter's support. After all, what harm can come out of one weekend? But as Gwen is drawn into Elliot's family circle, she starts questioning about what life would have been like with the one who got away. It's out in June. My Husband's Sweethearts, about a woman who calls up her dying husband's exes, is just about to come out in paperback and has been optioned for the big screen.
The WAGS' World series, by Anonymous, is about 16-year-old Amy Thornton and her 18-year-old footballer boyfriend who is signed up for a premiership league club. In Playing the Game, Amy can't wait to leave Yorkshire and spend the summer with Damien in London. But her dreams of a blissful reunion are shattered when Damien spends all of his time out on the pitch and partying in nightclubs. In the sequel Knowing the Score, things turn nasty when a fellow WAG threatens to blackmail Amy.
Katie Fforde fans have another book to watch out for mid-year with the release of the author's 15th title, Love Letters. With the bookshop where she works about to close, Laura Horsley agrees to help organise a literary festival. But an innocent mistake leads the festival committee to believe that she is a friend of Dermot Flynn, the author at the top of their wish-list. So she heads off to Ireland to meet her reclusive literary hero.
Financial analyst Jamie Lynn Braziel has used her own experiences as a single woman to inspire her self-published novel Declaring Spinsterhood. Emma Bailey is 30, single and sick of her family nagging her to get married. With her cheating ex trying to woo her again, Emma has decided that being single has its rewards. Then Emma realises that she's fallen in love with her best friend, but he's with someone else. Braziel, from Texas, has taken part in NaNoWriMo (the National Novel Writing Month project).
Lauren Conrad, from MTV TV shows Laguna Beach and The Hills, is about to release her first teen novel about a 19-year-old girl called Jane who moves to LA and ends up on a popular unscripted series. L.A. Candy, the first in a trilogy, is out in June. Conrad writes on her blog: "The books will be loosely inspired by my own experience and are definitely influenced by my own life. Some of the characters may symbolize people in my life, but it is in no way calling anyone out."
Did you know? Britney Spears' rider for her British tour in June has been leaked and included among the items the singer must have in her hotel room are "topical chick lit novels".
Jill Amy Rosenblatt follows up her debut novel Project Jennifer with a novel about three friends. In For Better or Worse, Emily has just become part of a New York power couple with her marriage to hedge fund wizard Parker. She would love nothing more than to see her friends settled down with soulmates of their own. But bridesmaid Elizabeth still hasn't recovered from being jilted at the altar, while Karen fears she's destined to repeat her parents' disastrous marriage. As Emily plays matchmaker, she must ultimately confront the dark side of her own marriage. It's out in July.
This is the diary of Susie Hunt, a scatty stay-at-home mother to Katie and Jack. The Dublin housewife is obsessed with celebrity gossip, drinking Starbucks coffee, watching Oprah and Dr Phil, and hiding all her undone housework from her mother-in-law. Susie's facing an exhausting, trying year. Not only has she a massive princess birthday party to organise and a son to entice to sleep through the night, she's worried about the dwindling romance in her marriage after husband Joe gets her a Thigh Master for Christmas. Meanwhile he's working all hours going for a promotion, and has a gorgeous new assistant Becky. Susie's also trying not to feel intimidated by Eco-mother or guilty about her flirtation with Lone Father at mother-and-toddler group. Perfect as a hilarious antidote to your own at-home days from hell.
This sequel, again in diary format, picks up from where the first book left off so you should really read them in order. This year Susie's desperate to befriend the new celebrity mum at the school gates, Angelica Law, wife of an American actor. She's also keeping up with the (pre-divorced) Richies with her new country retreat and trying to avoid being revealed as the desperate housewife in Lone Father's new raunchy novel. Meanwhile husband Joe is reassessing his life after a near-death experience, her brother-in-law is finally coming out and she's been roped in to be her best friend Louise's birth partner. Plus with her nest now empty for a few hours with Jack at playschool, Susie's thinking about returning to the workforce. Maybe her A-lister friend Angelica can help her score a glamorous TV job.
Watch out for our upcoming interview with Niamh Greene.
British playwright Jim Cartwright's Supermarket Supermodel tracks a young check-out chick's rise to fame on the catwalks. Northern lass Linda is working the checkouts in Safeshop when a customer Rafe hands her his card, asking if she's ever considered modelling. She then transforms into Crystalline, a model who travels first-class to shoots around the world, staying in five-star hotels. But it seems that she is destined to soon crash and burn. Watch out for the guest cameo from Jackie Collins. Cartwright's best-known play, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, was made into the Little Voice movie starring Jane Horrocks.
Dan Begley's Ms Taken Identity, has a great catchphrase: "His mind is from Mars but his pen is from Venus." PhD candidate Mitch Samuel's literary masterpiece has been rejected - again. Then he views a chance encounter with the queen of women's fiction - Katharine Longwell - as his opportunity for literary riches. She is soon offering to help his (imaginary) female cousin get her chick-lit novel published. So now Mitch needs to write the manuscript fast. To help him get in touch with his feminine side, under an alias he tries a ballroom dancing class attended by his roommate's sister Marie. Soon he finds himself hooked not only on dancing but Marie as well - and she has no idea who he really is or why he's there. Ms Taken Identity is the Missouri-based author's first novel and will be out in June. His other claim to fame is being an extra in a movie with Gerard Butler!
New Mexican chef Vanessa keeps falling for married men - although at the time she doesn't know they're already taken. When the latest wife tries to run her down with a mini-van, Vanessa decides to take a vow of celibacy and figure out why she keeps making bad choices. But then her friends introduce her to good-looking, well-mannered Kevin. But just when her guard goes down, the red flag goes up: Kevin, of course, is married. But could there be an innocent explanation?
TV scriptwriter Veronica Henry's latest novel Marriage and Other Games is about girl-about-town Charlotte who flees to Exmoor after her husband is jailed for fraud. Yet despite the slower pace of life, she finds she's not the only person whose life is in turmoil. There's Sebastian, bad boy of the British art scene, determined to drink the local pub dry. Fitch is finding it hard to keep up with his high-spirited wife Hayley's outrageous demands. And recently divorced Penny is determined to have more fun second time around. Meanwhile can Charlotte find it in her heart to forgive her husband?
Three women move with their families to Hopetoun, a remote town in Western Australia, as a new nickel mine gets underway. Melbourne nightclub manager Jasmine has turned down her dream hotel job to go west with her husband Tom, the recruitment supervisor, but hopes the slower pace of living will enable her to fall pregnant. Corporate wife and mother Miranda has packed up her London life to follow her husband Mark, the boss of the new mine. She hopes that this new start will enable her to find something useful to do. And Brigid is fleeing the oppressive heat of the Pilbara, in WA's north, to give her kids the chance to live with their father, Jack, instead of only seeing the fly-in, fly-out worker every three weeks. She is hoping that his huge wage will tame the monster credit card debt built up by his big spending habits. The women are among about 400 new families arriving in the town, under the unwelcoming watch of the long-term locals. They take over the local cafe, naming it Boomtown Cafe and witness the effects the resources boom has on this small town - and their own relationships. This scores an extra point for bringing the story to Chicklit Club's home State.
We chat to Fran Cusworth about her time in Hopetoun.
Samantha Wilde's This Little Mommy Stayed Home is the latest novel about the wonders and terrors of new motherhood. Joy McGuire has hardly changed her sweatpants since her baby son was born. With a work-obsessed husband and his impossible mother, and her own mother being too busy planning her fourth wedding, Joy's a woman on the brink. Then she meets up with her old college boyfriend at their 10-year reunion. It must be the lack of sleep, because Joy is starting to think she might have ended up with the wrong man. Mother of two Wilde is a yoga teacher and minister who lives in Massachusetts.
Did you know? Fresh from her Logies hosting gig at Australian TV's night of nights, Gretel Killeen has written what she terms a "gleefully exaggerated memoir" about mid-life crisis. The Night My Bum Dropped is out in June.
The story revolves around a cast of characters who live in an apartment building in New York's Upper East Side. Eve and Ed Gallagher have moved over from England for his job and Eve's finding herself a bit lost without her friends, family and own job. But she finds some comfort in her friendship with elderly neighbour Violet and starts thinking now might be the time to have a baby. There's marriage problems lurking for some of the other residents, including Kimberley, who is an over-anxious mother to her IVF child Avery and is unaware her husband has his eye on the married woman across the hall, Rachael. But maybe there's also romance in the air as wealthy layabout Jackson Grayling III (aka Trip) finally gets off the couch to pursue fitness fanatic Emily. And shy librarian Charlotte is head over heels in love with one of the Cuban doormen. Warning: This one comes with a tearjerker alert.
To mark Mother's Day this month, here's a couple of new releases from the mommy bloggers.
Christine Coppa's memoir Rattled! details her experiences of becoming a single mother. At 26, her life was going as planned, working as a magazine assistant in New York. Then she finds she is pregnant, and the guy she's been dating only for a few months decides to bail. Soon she's trading Manhattan for the suburbs, skinny jeans for sweatpants, and all-nighters with the girls for 3am feedings with baby JD. Coppa writes the Storked! blog on www.glamour.com.
Former Mormon Heather B. Armstrong has turned her dooce blog into a book entitled It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita. It synopsis says: "Heather Armstrong gave up a lot of things when she and her husband, Jon, decided to have a baby: beer, small boobs, free time - and antidepressants. The 18 months that followed were filled with anxiety, constipation, nacho cheese Doritos, and an unconditional love that threatened to make her heart explode. Still, as baby Leta grew and her husband, Jon, returned to work, Heather faced lonely days, sleepless nights and endless screaming that sometimes made her wish she'd never become a mother." Armstrong then took the brave step of committing herself for a short stay in a mental illness ward to help overcome her postnatal depression. Armstrong is currently expecting another child.
Tales From a Honeymoon Hotel is the third book in Essex author Olivia Ryan's trilogy of tales about major milestones in women's lives. All the novels have different characters - the first was about a hen's night, the second a wedding. This time we end up in Croatia. Childhood sweethearts Gemma and Andy have come to the island of Korcula for the perfect honeymoon after their perfect wedding. And Hotel Angelo, overlooking a beautiful little harbour, is the perfect place for honeymooners. They soon meet other newlyweds, including the strangely matched Jo and Mark, and older couple Ruby and Harold. All three couples realise that an immediate happy-ever-after is not always guaranteed, but that true love is worth fighting for. It's out in July.
Romantic Times' 2008 Reviewers' Choice Award winners have been announced at the annual Booklovers convention, this year in Orlando, Florida. Lisa Daily won the Chicklit category for Fifteen Minutes of Shame - her debut novel about a dating expert who discovers her husband's cheating ways while being interviewed on the Today show. Other winners included: The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen (Women's Fiction); Accidentally Yours by Susan Mallery (Contemporary Romance) and Undead and Unworthy by MaryJanice Davidson (Paranormal Fiction).
In Valerie Joyner's Hollyhood - a novel that takes a behind-the-scenes look at a television show - playing by the rules won't get you far. Its synopsis says: "For Tyrone Hart, making it to the top in Hollywood isn't nearly as hard as staying there. Especially when you've got a hit television show that's somehow on the brink of extinction. Your stars are a talented comedic actor with less than funny timing, and an actress incapable of loving anyone but herself. When your leads are willing to use anyone or anything to get to the top, where do you turn? As far as Ty is concerned, he can't even turn to friends or family. His best friend Maxwell is a Zen-influenced writer with a dangerous habit, and his girlfriend Sasha is a marriage-hungry lover with a passion for women. Hollywood is the land of dreams and opportunity, but whoever said that has never been to HollyHood, where the only dreams are the ones you create for yourself." Joyner, who lives in New York, has worked on TV shows including The Jamie Foxx Show and In Living Color.
Valentine is Rebecca Farnworth's first novel under her own name although she has ghostwritten books for celebrity Katie Price. The Brighton-based author says on her website: "I wanted to capture what it was like to be a late-twenty year old living in London, trying to make it as an actress, who has made some bad decisions in her love life, and who at times suffers from low esteem, but isn't a moany why me type . . . She gets things wrong but I think she gets the important things right, though she may need to step away from the peanut butter." After years of failed auditions, it seems Valentine Fleming's only chance of landing a starring role is leading a theatre group for a group of disinterested teenagers. So when she gets a call from her agent telling her she has a part in a play with a sexy leading man, she thinks she's finally got her lucky break. But then she learns a shocking truth that someone very close to her has kept from her. Meanwhile the new man in her life gives her a taste of the heady life of star-studded, red carpet premieres. Valentine is out later this month.
Single gal Katherine Bing's Singleholic looks at the dating game from the perspective of a mixed-race, 30-year-old character living in London. Teacher Sarah is dumped by her Muslim boyfriend. Fed up with being alone again, she gives herself one year to find a man with the help of friends Georgina, a happily married blonde, and Jacquie, a single black diva. As she embarks on a multicultural dating spree, the important questions are pondered: Who is better to marry? Who is better in bed? And who has the biggest package? The Singleholic Sarah column based on the book now appears in Life in Colour listings magazine. New Zealand-born Bing is a teacher in London.
Alice Love comes to after hitting her head in the gym - to discover that she's lost 10 years of memories. Instead of being 29 and pregnant with her first child, she finds she's a 39-year-old mother of three. Instead of being madly in love with her husband Nick, they are in the process of getting divorced and their do-me-up house is now all done up. And somewhere along the past decade it seems as if she's had a personality transplant - why is her relationship with her sister so strained, why is she the queen bee of school activities, and what on earth was she doing at the gym in the first place? As her memories slowly resurface, including the role a woman called Gina played in her life, Alice is wondering whether she took a wrong turn somewhere. With twists and turns that will bring out both the smiles and the tears, plus a totally satisfying ending, this is one book you won't forget in a hurry.
Creating quite a buzz in book circles is the latest novel about the American college admission process, simply titled Admission. Written by Jean Hanff Korelitz, a former admissions officer at Princeton, it's about a 30-something Princeton admissions officer who puts her career on the line by backing a teenager who doesn't quite fit the Ivy League mould. On a scouting trip to New England, Portia meets up with a former acquaintance from her college days as well as the 17-year-old potential student, Jeremiah. These encounters force Portia to face a long-buried secret.
A. Melissa Senate's Questions to Ask Before Marrying sees twins Ruby and Stella take to the road to find the one-night stand who got Stella pregnant.
The Fabulous Baker Twins, Sage and Rose, are from Zoey Dean's How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls (which has been made into TV series Privileged). Yale graduate Megan is hired to help the Palm Beach heiresses get into college.
Eileen Rendahl's Un-Veiled is a humorous book about twins called Ginger and Cinnamon who work together in their hairdressing salon. Their business takes off when they help a former classmate - now a popular actress - get ready for her wedding.
If you want a story written by twins, then try Turning Tables, by Rose and Heather MacDowell. It's about a woman who takes a job as a waitress after being let go by her firm.
Trick My Heart But Don't Mess With My Truck, by Luann McLane, sees Candy return to her Kentucky hometown, to find the locals blame her for ending her twin sister Sarah's engagement.
In Louise Douglas' The Love of My Life, Olivia elopes with Luca but ends up having an affair with his married twin brother. The story in In Stereo Where Available, by Becky Anderson, revolves around twins Phoebe and Madison, while Anna McPartlin's The Truth Will Out focuses on Harri and her twin brother George. Then there's The Twins of Tribeca, by Rachel Pine, about a girl who goes to work for movie mogul twin brothers.
If you don't mind mystery stories, a Jennifer Colt series (it starts with The Butcher of Beverly Hills) features identical twin sisters, Kerry and Terry, with completely different personalities. The red-heads work as private investigators and get around town on a hot pink Harley.
Or if you'd prefer a story about a mother of twins, Tess Stimson's latest release The Cradle Snatcher sees Clare hires a nanny after giving birth to twins.
And one final mention - this one is actually about triplets but it's a great book - is Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty.
Got a question about chick lit books? and we'll try our best to answer it (questions may be edited for space and clarity reasons).
Bridie Clark's upcoming novel The Overnight Socialite was originally known as I Think She's Got It. It's a modern retelling of the Pygmalion story about "transformation and unlikely love" set in Manhattan. The Weinstein Company optioned it for film and TV rights back in 2007. At that time, the plot was promoted as being about "a shy, young Midwesterner named Lucy Ellis who is transformed into a sophisticated socialite by Wyatt Hayes, a dashing but arrogant man-about-town who is convinced he can turn anyone - even the most awkward wallflower - into this year's IT girl." Clark made a name for herself with her debut novel Because She Can, a sort of The Devil Wears Prada of the book publishing industry. The Overnight Socialite is due out in December.
Magazine editor Helen Woodley is about to take Australian Life weekly and is pinning her hopes on a new series about bachelor farmers looking for love. Soon the replies from lovelorn men of the land come flooding in. There's Greg, who has had to take over the cane fields from his sick father but would prefer to be crafting jewellery. Cattleman Peter thinks the girl showing up on the mail plane is here to be a nanny to his two children. Winemaker Leigh is after a good man after her fiance dumped her. And horse breeder Matt is unaware that his daughter sent in his profile - but Helen may well keep him to herself. For those dreaming of hooking up with a rugged Australian bushman, read on for warnings about getting lost in the outback, raging bushfires and facing wild animals. A cute, easy read with perhaps just a little too much corn.
True Love and Other Disasters, the latest release from Rachel Gibson, is about a widow called Faith who is left a stash of cash and her husband's beloved ice-hockey team in his will. But Chinooks club captain Ty Savage is furious about this former playmate of the year taking over the reins. But Ty discovers there's far more to Faith than beauty and billions. But falling in love with her - that would be a disaster.
Did you know? Amy Sohn, who wrote a guide to Sex and the City and writes the Diary of a Recessionista column for Grazia, has a new novel out later this year. Prospect Park West is set around characters from that part of Brooklyn.
In Irish author Mary Malone's Never Tear Us Apart, Vicky and Ariel work side by side each day without knowing what's really going on in each other's lives. Vicky believes her husband is cheating on her, so plots a dangerous course of revenge. As the line dividing reality and paranoia blurs, the voices in her head threaten to push her one step too far. For Ariel, deceiving her boss was never part of her plan. But even after being accused of gross incompetence, she cannot tell him the bizarre truth. Why should he believe her when the one person she always relies on has shut the door firmly in her face?
Lauren Lipton follows up her debut novel It's About Your Husband with a book about two strangers who fall in love and marry - but not in that order. Mating Rituals of the North American WASP sees Peggy wake up after a hens' night in Las Vegas to find herself married to a stranger. But when Peggy heads to her new husband's hometown in Connecticut to sign the annulment papers, she finds Luke's great aunt Abigail is not keen for him to divorce. So she makes a deal - if they stay married for a year, Abigail will let them sell the family estate and split the proceeds. (For those who come from countries without swarms of WASPs, it stands for White, Anglo-Saxon Protestant, often a member of the American upper classes.)
Did you know? Novelist and wannabe British MP Louise Bagshawe is visiting Australia the first week of May to promote her latest release Passion, about "heroes, heartbreak and hitmen". It's her first trip Down Under.
When Fran's best friend Alison - who's dying of cancer - asks her for a favour she can hardly refuse. She wants Fran to help her husband, Adam, find a new wife and mother for their young daughter Erin. But what Fran doesn't expect when she logs on to an internet dating site is to find a photo of her own husband, Max, staring back. Unable to confront him directly, she sends him a message posing as "Sassy" and they arrange to meet. But her plan quickly goes awry. A promising debut, which would have scored higher if every plot development wasn't so predictable.
Shannon Hale's The Actor and the Housewife is about Becky, a pregnant Mormon mother from Utah, who meets hunky married actor Felix in LA while finalising the deal on her first script. Despite their different backgrounds, they become firm friends. It explores the sort of When Harry Met Sally territory of whether people of the opposite sex can be best friends without any sex. Also from Utah, Hale is best known for her young adult novels such as the Princess Academy. Her first adult title was the 2007 release Austenland.
At school Allie was the pretty blonde one and her mousy best friend Olivia was the smart one. Then a vicious rumour ended their friendship. Now, on the eve of their 20th high school reunion, temp worker Allie finds herself newly single, a little chubby and feeling old while magazine beauty editor Olivia is successful but lonely. They come together after learning that a mutual friend is about to marry a cosmetically enhanced Ms Wrong.
The Late, Lamented Molly Marx, by Sally Koslow, is the tale of a 35-year-old New Yorker who dies a suspicious death. Even in the afterlife, Molly isn't sure what happened to her. But she finds she can still keep tabs on those she left behind, such as her young daughter Annabel; philandering plastic surgeon husband Barry, quirky twin sister Lucy, controlling mother-in-law Kitty and best friend Brie. While her loved ones try to determine whether her death was an accident, suicide or murder, Molly relives her precious moments and mistakes. Koslow's previous novel, Little Pink Slips, was about the magazine world. The Late, Lamented Molly Marx is out in May.
Which books released over the last few years are already on their way to becoming chick lit classics? We take a look at a few making their way into our Top 100.
Sports journalist Alison Kervin's tongue-in-cheek The WAG's Diary introduces us to footballer's wife Tracie Martin who idolises Posh Spice and knows everything there is to know about being a WAG. From wearing knicker-revealing skirts to sporting orange tans, Tracie writes a handbook for the next generation of WAGs. Tracie later heads to LA with husband Dean in the sequel A WAG Abroad.
Debbie Carbin's outstanding debut Thanks for Nothing, Nick Maxwell sees her self-centred, fairly immature character Rachel fall pregnant after a brief affair with work colleague Nick. And the first person she tells is a stranger whose mobile phone she found. Hector becomes an important stabiliser in her life as the 25-year-old decides whether she's ready to bring a baby into the world - and does a lot of growing up in the process.
Ashlyn is the woman you're gonna call if you suspect your partner is cheating in Jessica Brody's The Fidelity Files. Ashlyn works as a fidelity inspector, hired by suspicious wives to check if their partners are capable of cheating. Ashlyn's real name is Jennifer Hunter, and her family and friends think she's an investment banker. But it looks like her secret life will be exposed when a friend hires her to test her fiance and an angry husband is out for revenge. The story, which has been optioned for a TV series, will continue later this year in the sequel Love Under Cover.
Forget About It, by Caprice Crane, perhaps ushered in the chick lit trend for memory loss themes. Her character Jordan Landau has such an unhappy life that when she sustains head injuries in a bike accident, it gives her the perfect opportunity to start over. Faking amnesia, she can stop being such a pushover and start living a truly memorable life. With only one of her best friends in the know, Jordan weaves a web of deception as she takes revenge on those who have wronged her. But then karma hits Jordan and she has to start over for real.
Make your own suggestions for the Ultimate 100 Chicklit Collection by emailing us.
Jo Gilroy doesn't want a man in her life, apart from her son Alfie. She had her heart broken when Alfie's father, Richard, left them on his son's first birthday. Now Jo is returning to work part-time as a reporter at a Manchester TV station and Richard is not only her new boss but he's dating the gorgeous weather girl, Tricia. Believing Jo no longer has her career at the top of her priorities, Richard keeps assigning her to the And Finally stories, those light, fluffy ones at the end of the news. Then Jo and Alfie meet Dan the balloon man at a kids' Christmas function - and maybe he is just the kind of guy who can break through her objections to falling in love again. In fact, Dan's back story of his distressing home life, told through flashbacks, is one of the highlights.
A trip to India partly inspired Deborah Wright's new release, The Celebrity Mother. With former girl band member Karina West's reputation in the gutter, she needs to do something to get back in the public eye. And what better way to do that, than do a Madonna or an Angelina, and adopt a child from a less fortunate country. Her adoption of 10-year-old Devika puts her back on the front page - but neither of them realise they are starting a journey that will change their lives forever. Wright's last novel was The History of Lucy's Love Life in 10.5 Chapters.
Kat's favourite activity is shopping. But when she discovers that husband Griff has a secret bank account, she begins to wonder whether he's preparing for divorce. So Kat decides it's time for her to start saving too. But she soon becomes obsessed with saving money and joins a group called the Penny Pinchers Club. But perhaps some hardship can lead to happiness.
The title, One Girl and 3 Guys, pretty much sums up the relationship dynamics explored in Maria Lewis' first novel. Jess never imagined that ending one relationship would be the beginning of a battle for her affections by three guys. There's Bobby, the long-term boyfriend who doesn't want to call it a day. Gary has had his eye on Jess for a long time and isn't about to let the fact that he has a fiancee spoil his chances either. Then, there's Tyrone, who overcomes his shyness to make a play for her.
Claire Cook got into the habit of walking 10,000 steps a day while writing her latest novel The Wildwater Walking Club. It's about three women who realise it's time for them to get moving. For Noreen, she's hoping her redundancy package will give her a chance to figure out what she wants to do with the rest of her life. And the first step - she grabs a new pair of sneakers and starts to walk. Soon she's joined by her neighbour, Tess, a teacher who has fallen out with her college-bound daughter; and Rosie, who felt it was her duty to move to her parents' lavender farm after her mother died. These Wildwater women find that life can take them in some new and surprising directions.
Wondering what Marian Keyes' next book, The Brightest Star in the Sky, is about? The best clue so far has come from her webchat with fans through Waterstone's Bookclub. She explains that the new book is an ensemble piece, with a cast of dozens. "It's set in a house in Dublin which has been converted into four flats and at the beginning of the novel a 'presence' arrives. I know this sounds maybe whimsical or esoteric or whatever, but actually the presence is something very real and no one yet has guessed what it is. They think it's Death or a ghost, but it's none of those things. So the lives of the inhabitants are lived out and the story starts on Day 61 and counts down daily, heading for Day Zero when it becomes clear what is going to happen. It's a hopeful, uplifting read. I've given it to some trusted people to read and everyone without fail has said that it's their favourite of all my books." The Brightest Star in the Sky is due out in October.
Demented Housewife author Niamh Greene's latest release, Letters to a Love Rat, is about three women who have been betrayed by love rat Charlie but find different ways to cope. One is advised by her therapist to pour out her feelings in letters he'll never see. Another acts as if nothing is wrong in her perfect life while the third creates a blog to tell the world her problems under a secret identity. But will the love rat learn his lesson?
Not sure where to start with your reading program of 2009 chick lit novels? Maybe the best place is with our Top 10 must-reads from the big-name authors.
The blog Peas on Toast, by South African Laurian Clemence, has been turned into a humorous novel about "hook-ups, break-ups, stuff-ups and cover-ups". Peas is a typical Jo'burg 20-something girl who works as a food writer. When her long-term boyfriend, Anthony, dumps her, she begins a journey as a newfound singleton, aided by flamboyant Italian flatmate Julia, an eccentric father, new-age mother and copious amounts of alcohol. The title Mushy Peas on Toast was inspired by a meal dished up by Clemence's father.
Swearing, drinking, sexual harassment, drug abuse, stress and backstabbing - we must have entered a commercial TV station . . . Single mum Rosie is director of publicity at Network Six, the same position the author held for a year at Channel 9. When newspaper journalist Rosie went along to interview the legendary network chief, Keith Norman, she never dreamed she'd walk away with what seemed like a dream job. But having to have two mobiles switched on 24/7 to deal with the network's scandals is starting to take its toll. Especially since newly appointed newsreader Graham Hunt can't keep his pants zipped or his nose clean. Besides coping the daily, soul-destroying abuse from the very un-PC boys' club of executives, Rosie is barely seeing her four-year-old son Leon. She drops him off sick at day-care, she misses his birthday party, and even when she seems to have a few moments to spare she's found out shopping or sharing a spliff with her best friend, Lou. Many insiders have tried over the past few years but we're still waiting for a decent book about network TV.
Erica Orloff's Freudian Slip is being promoted as a romantic comedy between heaven and hell. When shock jock Julian Shaw is fatally shot by a crazed fan, instead of seeing a white light and a long tunnel, he meets Gus, his guide. He's given an assignment to help Kate, who's one very lovesick, depressed woman, to sort out her life back on earth. Orloff is the author of Do They Wear High Heels in Heaven and Diary of a Blues Goddess.
Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke talk about their debut novel, I'll Have Who She's Having, their two-decade friendship and being Facebook addicts.
Inspired by a friend's indecision about whether to leave a job, Libby Malin's Fire Me begins with Anne so fed up with her 9-5 Washington office job that's she planning to hand in her resignation and take off to a new job in California. But once she learns that her boss Mitch - a former romantic interest - needs to lay someone off by the end of the day, with a severance package attached, she engages in a campaign to be the one who gets fired. The author (Loves Me, Loves Me Not) also writes teen mysteries under the name Libby Sternberg.
Here's some of the 2009 releases inspired by the original chick lit author . . .
In Beth Pattillo's Jane Austen Ruined My Life, American college professor Emma Grant loses her belief in Austen's happily-ever-afters when she loses her husband (definitely more Wickham than Darcy) and her professional credibility. She heads to England after a woman contacts her, claiming to be in possession of a stash of unpublished Austen letters. But before Mrs Parrot will hand over the letters she sends Emma on a series of Austen-related tasks. On the way Emma meets up with her former friend Adam and embarks on her own romantic adventure.
Marilyn Brant's According to Jane is about a modern woman who receives romantic advice from the ghost of Jane Austen, who takes up residence in her mind. Jane's sensible, witty advice guides Ellie through the hell of adolescence and beyond. Years and boyfriends come and go but Jane's counsel on the subject of Sam Blaine, the cute bad boy, is quite insistent: He is your Mr Wickham - stay away. But is Jane's advice foolproof or does she still have something to learn about love? According to Jane is out in October.
Laurie Viera Rigler's Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict saw modern-day Courtney Stone enter the world of Jane Austen's era. The sequel Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict, which is out in June, tells the parallel story of Jane Mansfield, a gentleman's daughter from Regency England who awakens in Courtney's LA life. As the synopsis says: "For Jane, the modern world is not wholly disagreeable. Her apartment may be smaller than a dressing closet, but it is fitted up with lights that burn without candles, machines that wash bodies and clothes, and a glossy rectangle in which tiny people perform scenes from her favorite book, Pride and Prejudice. Granted, if she wants to travel she may have to drive a formidable metal carriage, but she may do so without a chaperone. And oh, what places she goes! Public assemblies that pulsate with pounding music. Unbound hair and unrestricted clothing. The freedom to say what she wants when she wants - even to men without a proper introduction." But strange memories and her attraction to Wes makes her wonder if she'd be better off in her own time.
Helena Treadwell thinks she's getting her life back on track after divorcing her control freak husband, Leonard. She and son Freddie have settled into her hometown of Castleford, where she works as a radio presenter. But then Helena unexpectedly loses her job and Leonard announces that not only does he want Freddie to attend a private boarding school, he's also decided to move to Castleford to set up home with his new woman.
From Kerry Reichs, the author of one of the Chicklit Club's favourite books for 2008, comes The Good Luck Girl - a coming-of-age tale about a young American woman. Maeve may spend unhealthy amounts of time on Facebook and watching reality TV, but she is tired of being labelled irresponsible. Determined to make her own luck, she embarks on a cross-country trip to LA to catch up with an old friend and find a more glamorous job. But she gets stranded in Arizona. It is here, alone and in the middle of nowhere, that Maeve finally faces up to the reality of her past. It's out in June.
When Natalie asks her boyfriend, Michael, whether it's time they move in together, he instead tells her he "needs space" and promptly gets himself a new girlfriend. To help her get back into the swing of single life, one of Natalie's friends takes her speed-dating where she meets, Guy, who is getting over a marriage break-up. He is the perfect guy to accompany her to her best friend's wedding, since Michael will be there with his new partner. Natalie admits to her new friend that night that she has just lost her lawyer job after it is revealed she lied about a previous conviction. So when Guy, a Roman historian, offers her a rent-free stay at his Rome apartment, the cash-strapped Natalie takes up his offer. And so Natalie begins to emerge from the ruins of her life amid the ruins of the historic city.
Marisa Heath, former contestant on Britain's Next Top Model, has drawn on her experiences as a model for her novel Perfect Image. Her heroine, Katrina, is trying to make it as a model in Paris. She's about to cut her losses and head back to London when she's asked out by movie heart-throb Dominic Cayley. Even though she knows his girlfriends never last longer than a few dates, she is happy to be whisked off to glamorous weekends in Monaco, and showered in expensive jewels and designer clothes. Heath is now involved in politics. Perfect Image is out in June.
So the long-awaited cover and synopsis of Sophie Kinsella's 2009 release Twenties Girl have been released and it seems the popular author is taking a walk on the paranormal side. The synopsis says: "Lara has always had an overactive imagination. Now she wonders if she is losing her mind. Normal 20-something girls just don't get visited by ghosts! But inexplicably, the spirit of Lara's great-aunt Sadie - in the form of a bold, demanding Charleston-dancing girl - has appeared to make one last request: Lara must track down a missing necklace Sadie simply can't rest without. Lara's got enough problems of her own. Her start-up company is floundering, her best friend and business partner has run off to Goa, and she's just been dumped by the love of her life. But as Lara spends time with Sadie, life becomes more glamorous, she dresses in beautiful vintage frocks and their treasure hunt turns into something intriguing and romantic. Could Sadie's ghost be the answer to Lara's problems and can two girls from different times end up learning something special from each other?" Twenties Girl is out from July.
British TV presenter Penny Smith has written the follow-up novel to last year's Coming Up Next - possibly one of the year's most disappointing books. In After the Break, Katie Fisher nearly has her life back in order. She's recovered from her humiliating dismissal from breakfast TV show Hello Britain!, and is dating a gorgeous TV producer. But her dream job as a chat show host has come to an end and there doesn't seem to be much work around for a 40-something woman. The sequel is out in June.
How far would you go to get the life you want? That's the question posed by Sarra Manning's first adult release, Unsticky, being touted as Pretty Woman set in 21st century London. Grace Reeves is in serious debt. So when Vaughn - an older, wealthy art dealer - appears, she decides there's no harm in being this sugar daddy's arm candy. But in return for thousands of pounds a month in gifts, clothes and cash, she finds herself at his beck and call. Where should she draw the line between acting as the trophy girlfriend and selling herself for money? Magazine journalist Manning also writes teen fiction such as the Diary of a Crush and Fashionistas series.
Katie Price (aka British celebrity Jordan) has done the glamour model (Angel) and singer (Crystal). This time she's introducing us to a sassy businesswoman in her latest novel, Sapphire. Sapphire Rose doesn't believe in relationships - not since she caught her husband in bed with another woman. Instead she puts all her passion into running her own business - a high-end lingerie and hen weekend company. Then she meets a charming businessman who seems more than a match for Sapphire. But when things go badly wrong at a soap star's hen party, Sapphire faces front page headlines all of her own. Suddenly her business is in jeopardy and her well-controlled private life is falling apart. Sapphire is out in July.
Burlesque showgirl Immodesty Blaize is releasing her debut novel, Tease, in May. It's about - yes, you guessed it - a burlesque showgirl called Tiger Starr. As the synopsis says: "Tiger's life is a whirlwind of glamour, diamonds, celebrity parties and more than her fair share of suitors. She seems to finally have it all. But though she may have the talents to bring any man - or woman - to their knees, Tiger never lets her friends or lovers get too close. Only now, she's finally ready to take a chance on love...But beneath all the glitz and the feathers, she's hiding more than her modesty. As she prepares for the most important show of her life, it seems somebody is intent on exposing the dark secrets of her carefully guarded past." The follow-up, Strip, is due in 2010.
Did you know? Tilly Bagshawe's next novel, Mistress of the Game, is the sequel to Sidney Sheldon's critically acclaimed bestseller from 1982, Master of the Game. Sheldon died in 2007. His novel follows the life of 90-year-old entrepreneur Kate Blackwell, and focuses on the building of her father's multinational corporation from the diamond fields of Africa to corporate America. Bagshawe's story picks up straight after and follows the Blackwell family from the 80s through to the present day. It's out in August.
The 2009 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance shortlist has been announced, with six books making the list. They are: The Importance Of Being Emma by Juliet Archer; A Winter's Tale by Trisha Ashley; Bridesmaids by Jane Costello; The Secret Shopper's Revenge by Kate Harrison; Recipe For Disaster by Miriam Morrison; and The Marriage Bureau For Rich People by Farahad Zama. The winner will be announced in London on June 10.
Did you know? Mills and Boon has launched a social networking site this month. Similar to Facebook, it will allow users to create a profile and make friends (like sexy sheikhs and dashing doctors). They can also write blogs, take part in forums and reading challenges, and review its books. Head to their website for details.
Leonie Fox takes us into the sex-fuelled world of exclusive country club St Benedict's.
There's never a dull moment at exclusive country club St Benedict's. Its members include light-fingered Keeley who dates an Italian footballer despite not being able to speak a word of Italian; predatory widow Marianne who's always on the lookout for a man; Laura who's married to playboy pro golfer Sam; and American Cindy, who has just moved in and is looking for friends and homes to decorate. Then there's its staff such as demanding French chef Xavier who is married to Sam's caddie Ali, pro shop staffers Jeff, Ace and Dylan who deal in more than just designer shirts, and masseuse Astrid who likes to instil discipline in her clients. When reclusive injured racing car driver Jackson who once dated Laura moves into the neighbourhood, things heat up even more. For those who like raunchy reads.
This continues the risque shenanigans at St Benedict's when the four main characters are joined by Amber, a Bride of Wildenstein-like plastic surgery junkie who's in the midst of a nasty divorce from Egyptian art collector Daniel; and teenage hotpant-wearing golfer Taylor who's attracted fellow pro golfer Sam's still wandering eyes. Cindy is hired to redesign Amber's mansion; Laura finds she hates her newborn son Tiger; Keeley's latest footballer boyfriend is keen to try swinging; and Marianne is trying to get her hands on the local reverend.
London-based author Lola Jaye explores the bonds of sisterhood in her latest release, While You Were Dreaming. Lena has always kept her two sisters Millie and Cara in check. Beautiful but lazy Millie needs to pull herself together and get a job but is constantly distracted by men. Cara runs a successful bar with her adoring boyfriend Ade. He can't wait to start a family but Cara isn't ready. When Lena is involved in an accident, her sisters rush to her side and discover their sister has kept a few secrets. It's out in May.
Rumours abound that Kenny's department store is in financial strife. Owner David Kenny certainly seems to be preoccupied. The story centres around four women linked by the Irish store - David's wife, Ingrid, a TV presenter; their daughter's flatmate Natalie, who struggles with not knowing anything about her late mother; store employee Charlie who has a dysfunctional relationship with her feminist mother; and free-spirited and mystical Star Bluesome, who supplies tapestries to the store and knows secrets about them all. It's very character driven like all Kelly's books with a few unexpected plot developments but perhaps not her most focused effort.
New York's Page 6 gossip columnist Paula Froelich has penned a novel, Mercury in Retrograde, about three successful New York women who move into the same Soho apartment building. Newspaper reporter Penelope Mercury is close to being promoted to her dream job of covering the courts when a disastrous day sees her fired. Meanwhile, high-living fashion magazine editor Lena "Lipstick Carcrash" Lippencrass has to confront reality when her parents cut off her cash flow because she won't work for the family business. And workaholic lawyer Dana Gluck is hoping a baby will fix her marriage problems but instead her husband dumps her for a younger model. When the women move into the same apartment building they discover that having their carefully planned lives fall apart might be the best thing that could have happened to them. Mercury in Retrograde is out in June. Froelich has previously published a non-fiction book, It! Nine Secrets of the Rich and Famous That'll Take You to the Top.
Emma Hannigan explores a touching medical dilemma in her debut Designer Genes. Married mother of two Emily learns that she could be the carrier of the BrCA1 gene, which means she has a high chance of getting breast and ovarian cancer. She decides to fight back but can her marriage survive the aftershock? The news also rocks Emily's friend Susie and makes her reassess her high-flying, self-sufficient lifestyle. Hannigan wrote this book after having a double mastectomy and her ovaries removed because she was a BrCA1 gene carrier.
Charlotte Grey is hovering between life and death in a coma when she realises that she's made a mess of her life. When she is offered the chance to go back to Earth as a guardian angel, she jumps at it. Only problem is she has to watch over James Kane, the faithless guy she's just wasted five years dating. Maybe this is her shot at making life hell on earth for her ex.
Personal assistant to the movie star Charlie Edwards, the heroine of Kim Gruenenfelder's 2005 novel A Total Waste of Makeup, is back in a new release this month. Misery Loves Cabernet sees Charlie moving into a love nest with photographer Jordan. But her movie star boss Drew Stanton is causing havoc on his new set, while her eccentric family is descending upon LA for the holiday season. Then Jordan heads off to a shoot in Paris, and Charlie is drawn back to an old crush, Drew's new producer, Liam.
So this is the cover of Jennifer Weiner's new novel, Best Friends Forever. It's about two women, Addie and Valerie, who were best friends during school but then had a big falling out. Now they get back together on the eve of their high school reunion when a terrified Val shows up at Addie's door, saying that something terrible has happened. It's out in July.