An Evening Of Travel Food and Award Winning Authors

Roof Top Book Club: An evening of travel, food and award-winning authors...

Beth Eynon

21 Aug 2015

Headliner Beth reports on the first fabulous Roof Top Book Club event.

‘One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.’

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

Never were truer words said!  And never was there a more delectable assortment of authors to discuss food and travel than bestsellers Tasmina Perry, Stella Newman and Jo Thomas at the inaugural Bookends Rooftop Book Club.

After sipping champagne cocktails, (the answer to the question ‘Peach or raspberry bellini?’ always being ‘Yes’), I surveyed my surroundings. The roof terrace of Carmelite House, Hachette HQ, is mightily impressive. With views stretching from Tower Bridge, to the Shard, up to the London Eye and beyond, it was the perfect place for industry insiders and keen book fans alike to meet their favourite authors.

With the room simmering with excitement, we gathered in front of the authors, budding writers keen to hear their writing secrets. For THE OYSTER CATCHER and her most recent novel, THE OLIVE BRANCH, Jo starts with place, digging into the particular delicacies of an area before trying to find her characters amongst them. Setting is so important to Jo that when she writes, she has to isolate herself in her car, although for her latest novel she upgraded to a campervan! Stella, meanwhile, creates her central heroic character and then draws the story around her. For THE DISH, she wanted a protagonist who was ‘feisty and sharp’; someone to clash with the macho swagger of the many male food critics writing today. However, Tasmina declared that we should be asking those around us about their lives, as ‘they have the most incredible stories’. Her latest bestseller, THE PROPOSAL, was inspired by a trip to a museum and a conversation with her aunt, rendered delightful by her gorgeous modern writing.

As a book fanatic, events like these are the highlight of my calendar. I love the chance to connect with authors I love, and meet fellow bloggers and readers passionate about female authors and their writing.  Where else could you learn that to research for THE DISH, Stella went to Paris for the day just to sample as many croissants as she could? Or that while travelling in Georgia, Tasmina found her dream home: the Savannah College of Art and Design?

To end the evening, each author gave a one sentence pitch of their books.

Read Jo’s THE OLIVE BRANCH if you want ‘the feeling of belonging if you are lost’.

Check out Stella’s THE DISH if you like the sound of ‘emotional depth and lots of pastries’.

And pre-order Tasmina’s THE LAST KISS GOODBYE as ‘Mum cried and said “This is your best one yet”… And mothers know best’.

Up on the roof we were treated to a taste of intelligent female characters, heartbreaking secrets, and exotic locations. That certainly sounds like a potent recipe for a bestseller or three…

Headline VIPs on the roof top!

 THE DISH and THE OLIVE BRANCH are available now from Headline Review.

THE LAST KISS GOODBYE is on sale 10th September.

The next Rooftop Book Club event is on 16th September, celebrating the 10th anniversary of Victoria Hislop’s THE ISLAND. Follow @RooftopBookClub and @TeamBookends for regular updates on all your favourite authors!

Headline Review

The Dish

By Stella Newman

The Dish by Stella Newman is the new novel from the much-loved author of Pear Shaped and Leftovers. This is a warm, passionate novel that will delight fans of Jill Mansell and Mhairi McFarlane and leave you happy and hungry in equal measure.

Love is on the menu. With a side order of lies.

When Laura Parker first crosses forks with Adam Bayley, she's only after one thing: his custard doughnut. But when she takes a closer look she sees a talented, handsome man who outshines the string of jokers she's been dating.

There's just one problem. Adam's job means Laura has to keep her job as restaurant critic for The Dish, a secret. Tricky for someone who prides herself on honesty.

Can the truth be put on ice long enough for love to flourish?

And how can you expect your boyfriend to be honest if you're not quite telling the truth yourself?

Stella Newman. Fiction has never tasted so good.

I absolutely loved itTHE DISH combines our two dearest loves: food and romanceThanks to Stella Newman's foodie background, Laura's passion for food somersaults off the page and into your mouth ... Well written, readable - like a delicious petit four, The Dish leaves you wanting moreA funny page-turner

Must Have... The Dish will make you hungry for more

With really likeable characters, a witty turn of phrase, moments of real poignancy and, of course, mouthwatering details of food, it's rather delicious

Deliciously good stuff!

The story is dotted with genuine warmth and humour, making their romance all the more real and enjoyable. Using email interactions between the main characters is just one way author Stella Newman provides neat, interesting twists on the chick-lit genre. It's a truly satisfying read

This book will leave you happy and hungry in equal doses!

Hugely entertainingA slice of commercial women's fiction heaven that'll leave you happy and hungry in equal measure. Fiction has never tasted so good.Stella Newman studied English at Sussex University, then went on to work in advertising, at the BBC and then as a professional food taster. She is now a full time writer, based in London and has written three novels: Pear Shaped, Leftovers and The Foodie's Guide to Falling in Love, as well as the festive e-short story, A Pear Shaped Christmas. She blogs about restaurants, food and writing at and you can follow her on twitter @stellanewman.Stella's previous novels PEAR SHAPED and LEFTOVERS have together sold over 175,000 ebooks to dateAs a former food tester for Marks & Spencer, Stella has a distinct foodie USP and is well connected with several high profile chefs.Her popular food blog has had over 60,000 hits to date.Backed by an innovative online campaign that will promote an ongoing programme of giveaways, polls, competitions and foodie partnershipsMajor women's magazine review and feature coverage anticipated
Headline Review

The Last Kiss Goodbye

By Tasmina Perry

A spellbinding tale of love, loss and long-buried secrets from the Sunday Times bestselling author. If you loved spending A Week in Paris with Rachel Hore or taking the Last Voyage of the Valentina with Santa Montefiore, you will adore this unforgettable novel.

Everyone remembers their first kiss. But what about the last?

1961. Journalist Rosamund Bailey is ready to change the world. When she meets explorer and man about town Dominic Blake, she realises she has found the love of her life. Just as happiness is in their grasp, the worst happens, and their future is snatched away.

2014. Deep in the vaults of a museum, archivist Abby Gordon stumbles upon a breathtaking find. A faded photograph of a man saying goodbye to the woman he loves. Looking for a way to escape her own heartache, Abby becomes obsessed with the story, little realising that behind the image frozen in time lies a secret altogether more extraordinary.

Another note-perfect read from Tasmina PerryRomance, adventure, mystery...(a) beautifully written and engaging taleWith political intrigue and sweeping romance, this is a compelling readA great story about lost love, exploration and long-buried secrets... A perfect rainy Sunday readImpressiveSet in both the '60s and the present day, this book will keep you hooked as its secrets are revealed. A great story by a great writerIrresistible escapismHer best yet... Beautifully written and the romance is subtle but so moving. I think it will be hard to read without feeling a little pull at the heart stringsUnputdownable... Tasmina Perry keeps you riveted to her books and when you finish one it stays with you for a long time...All-consuming love, buried secrets and beautiful locations... A satisfying read with twists and turns and an old-fashioned love story at its heartA gorgeous...story of secrets, love and betrayal... a great romantic novel to take on holidayWhat a story! I was transported not just via locations but through many different emotions... A twisting and turning story of hope, secrets and a changing worldA lovely emotional read with an intriguing story at its heart... love, passion, deception, mystery and suspense. I finished reading it with tears in my eyesRomance, mystery...a pacey novel with themes of secrecy, seduction and how far one will go to for love...The novel has plenty of twists and intrigue...heartbreaking romance...captivatingThis sweeping love story will whisk you away from the streets of London to St. Petersburg in Russia, the wild, windswept coast of Ireland and the hot and humid Amazon jungle in search of the truth behind the photoSunday Times Top Ten bestseller Tasmina Perry does what she does best in this irresistibly intriguing, sophisticated and heartrending read, transporting the reader to Paris, London and St Petersburg and sweeping them up in a story of romance, mystery and secrets.TASMINA PERRY is a Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling author. She left a career in law to enter the world of women's magazine publishing, going on to become an award-winning writer and contributor to titles such as Elle, Glamour and Marie Claire. In 2004 she launched her own travel and fashion magazine, Jaunt, and was editing InStyle magazine when she left the industry to write books full time. Her novels have been published in seventeen countries. Tasmina lives with her husband and son in London, where she is at work on her next novel.Solus feature and review coverage is guaranteed for Tasmina across the women's magazinesAuthor events at publicationTargeted partnership activity will tie in with growth in Tasmina Perry's social media profileTasmina Perry's novels have sold over half-a-million copies through the TCM
Headline Review

The Olive Branch

By Jo Thomas

Escape to Italy with The Olive Branch - the irresistible new novel from Jo Thomas, author of ebook bestseller The Oyster Catcher. 'I loved it!' Katie Fforde

You can buy almost anything online these days. For Ruthie Collins, it was an Italian farmhouse.

Yet as she battles with a territorial goat and torrential rain just to get through the door of her new Italian home, the words of Ed, her ex, are ringing in her ears. She is daft, impetuous and irresponsible.

But Ruthie is determined to turn things around and live the dream.

First, though, she must win over her fiery neighbour, Marco Bellanouvo, and his family... Then there's the small matter of running an olive farm. As the seasons change and new roots are put down, olives and romance might just flourish in the warmth of the Mediterranean sun.

Jo Thomas takes you there.

Readers adore Jo Thomas's novels:

'Romantic and funny, this is a great addition to any bookshelf' Sun

'Warm and witty . . . Well worth a read' Carole Matthews

'Sun, good food and romance, what more could you want?' Heat

'Warm, funny, romantic with a terrific sense of place. I loved it!' Katie Fforde

'Set in a beautiful landscape with lovable characters, it's a lovely story and a real page-turner' Candis Magazine

'A perfect pearl of a story. I loved it' Milly Johnson

'Best read with a glass of Prosecco. Salute!' Bella

'Perfect for those who dream of a new life in the sun!' My Weekly

Romantic and funny, this is a great addition to any bookshelfWarm, funny, romantic with a terrific sense of place. I loved it!Sun, good food and romance, what more could you want?Set in a beautiful landscape with lovable characters, it's a lovely story and a real page-turnerA perfect pearl of a story. I loved itBest read with a glass of Prosecco. Salute!Perfect for those who dream of a new life in the sun!This is just a beautiful story . . . a great book to curl up withIt is escapism at its bestLots of twists and turns along the way and a couple of huge surprises, go ahead and treat yourselfA world you long to live in with characters you loveFrom the author of runaway Kindle bestseller THE OYSTER CATCHER comes a brand-new novel set in the olive groves of Italy - warm, romantic and perfect for fans of Carole Matthews and Milly JohnsonJo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 2's The Steve Wright Show. In 2013 Jo won the RNA Katie Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller in ebook and was awarded the 2014 RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best Ebook Award. Jo lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband and three children.Jo's debut novel, THE OYSTER CATCHER, has been a Kindle bestseller since the start of the year, selling over 110,000 copies in the first five months of publicationJo Thomas writes warm, romantic and irresistible novels featuring heroines who are engaging and utterly relatable. It is clear to see why so many Amazon readers have taken Jo to their heartsEach of Jo's novels focus on a different location and food specific to the area (e.g. oysters and Galway, olives and Southern Italy) which Jo conveys with a wonderful immediacy that makes you feel as if you're thereJo won the 2013 RNA Katie Fforde Bursary, and she is well connected within the women's fiction communityHeadline has ambitious plans to launch Jo with an impressive campaign that will bring her to an even wider readership