Champagne D’Vyne is a celebrity socialite with a charmed life – and a mania for men, money and fame. Jane is a journalist with an ordinary life, plus love stress, work stress and a spare tyre that won’t go away. As their contrasting worlds become bizarrely intertwined, Jane realises that the blond, busty and blatantly ambitious Champagne will let nothing come between her and what she wants. Least of all Jane.
‘It is rare that comic novels live up to their titles, but Simply Divine is just that’
The Sunday Times
Bad Heir Day
Anna’s boyfriend Seb is impossibly handsome, impossibly rich and generally just impossible. When eventually he dumps her, she vows to give up men and throw herself into her career. Which is how she ends up personal assistant to Cassandra. The social climber from hell, Cassandra has a huge house in Kensington, a philandering rock star husband and the pawn of Satan for a son. So when desperate-to-escape Anna meets dashing Jamie, charming heir to a castle in Scotland, she can’t believe her luck. And she probably shouldn’t…
‘A romp of a novel. Holden writes with delicious verve and energy. Lie back and enjoy it’
Mail on Sunday
She hit the big time. But then it hit back.
Ruthless hack Belinda wants a rich and famous man. Her problem is her job; interviewing z-list celebs for a tabloid’s Tea Break slot means zero opportunity for megastar-bagging.
Unassuming Grace just wants a quiet life. Her problems include a matchmaking mother and a publishing job with the authors from hell.
Scheming Belinda finally finds fame while Grace has it thrust upon her in the shape of a handsome film star. But life among the A list is anything but easy for either of them.
‘A hilarious, touching romp through stardom, sex and addiction to celebrity’ Cosmopolitan
Azur Like It
Love in a hot climate. Cannes life be this Nice?
Kate, a journalist in a small northern town, is fed up with covering black pudding championships for the Slackmucklethwaite Mercury. But worse is to come. When evil tycoon Peter Hardstone takes over the paper, slashes budgets and sacks staff, Kate’s career hits an all-time low.
But gloom turns to glamour once Hardstone’s sexy son arrives to work on the Mercury. And when Kate’s sent with him to cover the glittering Cannes Film Festival, she can’t believe her luck. But it’s not all fun and games in the playground of the rich. Behind the glitz and sunshine lies a dark mystery that becomes Kate’s most challenging assignment yet.
‘Deliciously wicked and infectiously naughty’
From SW7 to rural heaven. A comedy of country manors.
Cash-strapped Rosie and her boyfriend Mark are city folk longing for a tiny country cottage. Rampantly nouveaux-riche Samantha and Guy are also searching for rustic bliss – a mansion with a mile-long drive and hot-and-cold running gardeners.
The village of Eight Mile Bottom seems quiet enough. Except for the nosy postman, farmer fatale, ex-Bond Girl and ghost with a knife in its back. And this is just the start of the thrills in the hills.
‘Delicious mayhem. With this updated version of Cold Comfort Farm, Holden has pulled it off again’
The Wives of Bath
The mother of all romantic comedies. A tale of yummy mummies with flat brown tummies
Four parents-to-be seem antenatally sorted. Flash Amanda and Hugo have booked a chic private clinic. Right-on Alice and Jake want whale-music and tree-hugging.
But nothing goes quite to plan. Amanda finds motherhood less glam than than the stars make it look while bringing up baby to eco-zealot standards sends Alice over the organic edge. Mix in bedhopping spouses, beastly bosses and bitchy nursery mothers and bring to the boil. Will nappiness bring happiness to anybody
‘Sly puns, sassy one-liners..infectious delight’
The School For Husbands
Sophie’s not happy with her husband…
Mark works late, never phones and leaves all the housework and childcare to her. She’s also sure he’s up to something with his sexy colleague. Things come to a head and she moves back to her parents. Her mother never liked Mark anyway.
Desperate to save his marriage, Mark enrols at the ‘school for Husbands’, a residential college offering specialist courses to transform pathetic partners into husbands from heaven. But will this be enough to win back Sophie? Especially now a rich old flame is after her…
‘Giggles galore in this lively romp’ OK
Darcy’s a struggling English rose actress when The Call comes from L.A. An Oscar-tastic director. A movie to make her famous. The hunkiest co-star in Hollywood. So why doesn’t she want to go?
‘When she’s good she’s very, very good and Beautiful People finds Holden on steroids. Unmissable.’
When romantic Mary meets Monty, handsome heir to a stately home, happiness seems assured. But as the mansion crumbles, passion wanes.
Banker’s wife Beth swaps Notting Hill for weekends at a bijou cottage. They might have paid over the asking price. But is that a reason for the locals not to like them?
Morag, especially. She’s the terror of the village and hates incomers, slug pellets and anyone between her and absolute power.
‘Up there with the best of Jilly Cooper’
A fabulously frothy tale set in the crazy world of contemporary art
Alice loves art but her gallery-owner boss Angelica is only interested in money. Bad-boy billionaire artist Zeb is mainly interested in sex. Shy-but-brilliant painter Dan scrapes a living holding village-hall drawing classes. Once bored rock chick Siobhan signs up, things get colourful. Will life for any of them ever be picture perfect? Or will they all make exhibitions of themselves?
Wendy Holden is a brilliant writer…great fun, filled with sparkling dialogue, witty asides and a fast-paced narrative. A real treat.’ Daily Mail
Angry with Britain: Zeb Spaw Exhibition Catalogue
A Right Royal Romantic Comedy
Scheming social-climber Alexa may be humbly born. But she’s a class-hopping cruise missile aimed at the very top of the gold-digging tree. Befriending feckless aristo Florrie, who has a black hole where her brain should be, means the grandest doors swing open. Soon, the prince of her dreams is in sight. But has Florrie’s mother, the formidable lady Annabel, rumbled what Alexa is up to?
‘Holden claims Jilly Cooper’s crown’
Woman & Home
Gifted And Talented
In the heart of an ancient university town, Diana is starting a new life as a gardener at Branston College, underneath the disconcerting gaze of dishy but remote Richard, the recently-widowed College Master.
A new term brings new students, among them It-Girl Amber, darling of the gossip columns and dead ringer for inclusion in the university’s notorious elite society. As lustful teenagers and crabby tutors run riot in Diana’s garden, can anything save her hard-won happiness? Let alone her herbaceous borders?
‘Smart, sharp and hugely entertaining’
Wild And Free
Wild & Free is the festival du jour. Everyone piles through its gates - and Cupid lies in wait to sprinkle a little midsummer madness on them all.
Teacher Ginnie is desperate to forget her crush on headmaster Mark, and hopes glamping might do the trick. But Mark is also heading for Wild & Free to reform his college band ... desperate not to be seen by anyone he knows.
Mark's bandmate James dreams of a festival blow-out with his son, Guy ... until his wife Victoria's ambition kills the dream. Now she and Guy are en route to Wild & Free instead but when Guy meets Shanna-Mae and falls for her earthy charms, Victoria is determined to snap Cupid's arrow.
Will the magic of the festival send them wild? Or set them free to find peace and love?
To see me talking about Gallery Girl, and also Wild and Free, click here
‘So funny and readable you worry about the calorie content’
The Sunday Times
When Nell is marooned at the altar, her feisty best friend Rachel says she’ll come with her on her honeymoon. Why waste a week in a posh country hotel?
So the duo, plus Rachel’s Agatha-Christie-obsessed small daughter, head for the beautiful Pemberton estate. Awaiting them is a cast of colourful characters. Including a mysterious writer on the run from his past…
As Nell stays on in the village and becomes entangled in the lives and hearts of the locals, she realises there might be a way to the rainbow’s end after all.
‘Holden writes with delicious verve and energy. Lie back and enjoy it.’
The Mail on Sunday
The art of launching a book
Gallery Girl was my tenth novel, a romp through the chucklesome world of contemporary art. My favourite character is sexy, naughty Zeb Spaw, the baddest art bad boy who ever picked up a paintbrush (and then put it straight back down because nailing knickers to chopping boards was so much easier and got him more headlines). Because I had such fun writing about him and the terrible works he produces, I decided to actually pretend to be him, do my own spoof contemporary art exhibition and mount it in a smart London gallery.
‘angry-with-britain’, as I called it, attracted a great deal of attention from the art world (’Hilarious’ The Daily Telegraph). You can see Zeb’s/my entire ’oeuvre’ on the here, just click the the exhibition catalogue to the left (written by my husband, who also did some of the artworks). Scroll down and enlarge on screen to get the full show. Highlights include ’Flash in the Pan’, a fierce critique of celebrity culture in the form of a gold-sprayed loo. ’Pants’ is a meditation on the human condition through the medium of a pair of large white Y fronts. ’Hunter Gatherer’ is a consideration of the shop-till-you-drop ethic expressed with abandoned shopping lists picked up from trolleys in the local Waitrose. Enjoy - and be angry!!
To see me talking about Gallery Girl, and also Wild and Free, click here
When Wendy Met Jilly
There’s a lot of love in the room as popular novelists Jilly Cooper and Wendy Holden meet. As Good Housekeeping’s Lucy Moore discovers, they have lots in common, despite being a generation apart.
GH: How would you describe what you write?
JILLY; Someone once said I was Barbara Cartland without the iron knickers! Wendy and I both like to make people laugh but we’re also journalists, so we take the subject by the throat.
WENDY; Exactly. It’s entertainment, but there has to be something at the core to keep you going.
GH: You both specialise in larger-than-life, colourful characters. How do you create them?
W: Inspiration can come from anywhere but particularly the papers, the glossies and celebrity magazines. Anywhere where people with over-the-top lifestyles are encouraged to say idiotic things.
J: Wendy’s writing is brilliant because she is so contemporary. Because I didn’t know her, I had a vision of her living right in the middle of Chelsea.
W: I wish! I live in the country and hardly see anyone..
J: I don’t see anyone for months!
W: I imagine you surrounded by an admiring coterie at all times!
J: No, just dogs and cats!
GH: You both invent marvellous names for characters – how do these come about?
J: I have to admit, I like beautiful people! Everybody says there are far too many in my books and the only thing I’ll say in my defence is look at Tolstoy and Homer. All their characters were delicious. I’m obsessed with heroism. Hengist was heroic but I really can’t decide whether or not to bring him back again.
W: Oh you should. I love him and his wife – she’s very rude. Under her chaste Jaeger knits, she’s red hot!
J: I like those sorts of women!
W: And you have to have at least one character who aspires to goodness. You can’t just have a comedic maelstrom where no one emerges with much credit. Jilly’s heroines are always fabulous too. They glow, and you’re desperate when you shut the book because they’re not in your life any more.
J: The world is very frightened at the moment and people take themselves very seriously. Women of Wendy’s and Emily’s age are thinking ’I’m bringing gorgeous children into the world and what future have they got?’ You need to try and cheer people up. That’s what we both want – to make people happy.
GH: Location is crucial to both your books. How do you decide where to set them?
W: For me it’s usually London or the north of England, as that’s what I know. But I would love to write a book set in Gloucestershire! I know it’s Jilly’s stamping ground but there’s such a lot going on. All those rockers, actors and celebrities. Jilly, you must see them hanging out all the time?
J: Never! But people can go on bus tours round Gloucestershire now past all our houses. I found out the other day that there’s even a ‘Jillywood’ tour. It’s rather bizarre, I must say…
By now the pair seem to have been friends for ever and have worked up a substantial appetite. They head off for lunch, arm in arm and still nattering. Don’t forget to put ‘they’re friends for life’ when you come to write about us!’ Jilly says to me. ‘And Wendy, darling, when are you coming to stay?’