On Wednesday, I was lucky to be invited to an evening showcasing authors and their novels being published by HQ, Harper Collins in 2020.
15 authors had 60-seconds to pitch their story to a bunch of journalists, bloggers and authors. We heard a little about each book, the inspiration behind the stories, and why we should read them.
Let me tell you there are some great books coming out this year and we even got a sneak preview of three coming out in February 2021.
Afterwards, I got to chat with the authors, the HQ team and catch up with my fellow bloggers over drinks and canapés.
I came away with proof copies of several of the books from the night and I cannot wait to get started on them. I will of course share my thoughts with you on here and on my social media channels.
Keep scrolling to find out about the books we got to hear about. As can happen with previews, not all of the covers will be the final versions.
Little White Lies by Philippa East
She only looked away for a second…
Anne White only looked away for a second, but that’s all it took to lose sight of her young daughter.
But seven years later, Abigail is found.
And as Anne struggles to connect with her teenage daughter, she begins to question how much Abigail remembers about the day she disappeared…
The Family Tree by Sairish Hussain
Your roots can always lead you home…
Amjad cradles his baby daughter in the middle of the night. He has no time to mourn his wife’s death. Saahil and Zahra, his two small children, are relying on him. Amjad vows to love and protect them always.
Years later, Saahil and his best friend, Ehsan, have finished university and are celebrating with friends. But when the night turns dangerous, its devastating effects will ripple through the years to come.
Zahra’s world is alight with politics and activism. But she is now her father’s only source of comfort, and worries she’ll never have time for her own aspirations. Life has taken her small family in different directions – will they ever find their way back to each other?
The Family Tree is the moving story of a British Muslim family full of love, laughter and resilience as well as all the faults, mistakes and stubborn loyalties which make us human.
This Lovely City by Louise Hare
The drinks are flowing. The music’s playing. But the party can’t last.
London, 1950. With the Blitz over and London still rebuilding after the war, jazz musician Lawrie Matthews has answered England’s call for help. Arriving from Jamaica aboard the Empire Windrush, he’s taken a tiny room in south London lodgings, and has fallen in love with the girl next door.
Touring Soho’s music halls by night, pacing the streets as a postman by day, Lawrie has poured his heart into his new home — and it’s alive with possibility. Until one morning, while crossing a misty common, he makes a terrible discovery.
As the local community rallies, fingers of blame are pointed at those who had recently been welcomed with open arms. And before long, London’s newest arrivals become the prime suspects in a tragedy which threatens to tear the city apart. Immersive, poignant, and utterly compelling, Louise Hare’s debut examines the complexities of love and belonging, and teaches us that even in the face of anger and fear, there is always hope.
The Extraordinary Hope of Dawn Brightside by Jessica Ryn
She’s always looking on the bright side…
Dawn Elisabeth Brightside has been running from her past for twenty-two years and two months, precisely.
So when she is offered a bed in St Jude’s Hostel for the Homeless, it means so much more than just a roof over her head.
But with St Jude’s threatened with closure, Dawn worries that everything is about to crumble around her all over again.
Perhaps, with a little help from her new friends, she can find a way to save this light in the darkness?
And maybe, just maybe, Dawn will finally have a place to call home….
Precious You by Helen Monks Takhar
She has your job. Now she wants your life.
Trusting you was my first mistake…
At first Katherine dismisses her early-twenties intern as a millennial ‘snowflake’: soft, entitled, moralistic. But Lily’s youth and beauty remind Katherine of everything she once was, and she soon finds herself obsessively drawn to her new colleague.
But is Katherine simply jealous of Lily’s potential – or does she sense that her intern has a dark hidden agenda? A disturbing picture begins to emerge of two women who are not what they seem – and who are desperate enough to do anything to come out on top.
As their rivalry deepens and with their backs against the wall, the consequences are about to turn deadly…
Explosive and provocative, with shocking twists at every turn, Precious You is an addictive, revenge-fuelled thriller for our age.
The Cancer Ladies Running Club by Josie Lloyd
Sometimes we find friendship in the most unexpected of places…
When Keira receives her breast cancer diagnosis she doesn’t want to have to tell her children or her husband Tom, and she doesn’t want to step back from work. She doesn’t want to sit in a hospital and stare mortality in the face, nor be part of a group of fellow cancer patients. Cancer is not her club.
But, as she is forced to accept everything must change and her health becomes something she can’t rely on, Keira finds herself embracing running. Hot, sweaty running in the company of a group of brilliant, funny women each going through treatment.
One step at a time Keira is going to reclaim something. Her family, her business, her life.
Moving and uplifting, this is a novel about love, family and the power of finding your tribe.
The Illustrated Child by Polly Crosby
Romilly lives in a ramshackle house with her eccentric artist father and her cat, Monty. She knows little about her past – but she knows that she is loved.
When her father finds fame with a series of children’s books starring her as the main character, everything changes: exotic foods appear on the table, her father appears on TV, and strangers appear at their door, convinced the books contain clues leading to a precious prize.
But as time passes, Romilly’s father becomes increasingly suspicious of the outside world until, before her eyes, he begins to disappear altogether. With no-one else to help, Romilly turns to the secrets her father has hidden in his illustrated books – realising that his treasure hunt doesn’t lead to gold, but to something far more precious…
The Illustrated Child is the unforgettable, beguiling debut from Polly Crosby.
The Life We Almost Had by Amelia Henley
What if you had a second chance at first love?
Anna and Adam meet when they are both recovering from heartbreaks of their own. Their connection is almost instant and they fall into the most passionate love affair of their lives.
Years later, the passion has faded and they have lost each other. Anna is beginning to wonder if they are meant to be forever after all when something happens that changes everything. Now, Anna is determined to find a way back to Adam, but the price she’ll have to pay is considerable. So she must decide: is a second chance at first love is worth the sacrifice?
A beautiful and emotional love story that asks, what if you had the chance for a ‘do over’ with your first love? Perfect for fans of The Man Who Didn’t Call and Miss You.
We Just Clicked by Anna Bell
A fabulously funny, feel-good novel that will make you laugh until you cry, for anyone who’s ever presented a perfectly-filtered life online to hide the unglamorous reality.
Izzy Brown has always dreamed of being an Instagram influencer. So when her colleague and fellow Instagrammer Luke suggests they ‘fake date’ to boost their profiles, Izzy says yes – against her better judgement.
Now Izzy’s profile tells the story of a confident, glamorous thirty-something with the perfect boyfriend, and her follower numbers are shooting upwards. So what if Izzy can’t stop bickering with Luke, his habit of checking his quiff in every single mirror is driving her insane, and behind the scenes she’s hiding a secret heartache? Everyone tells a few fibs on social media, right?
But when Izzy runs into Aidan, the mysterious stranger who saved her the day her world fell apart two years ago, major sparks start to fly between them. Izzy’s sure she can have the online success she’s always dreamed of, whilst continuing to fall in love – and heal her heart – in real life. After all, Aidan doesn’t use social media… what could possibly go wrong?
If you loved Sophie Kinsella’s My Not-So Perfect Life, Laura Jane Williams’ Our Stop or Sophie Ranald’s Sorry Not Sorry, you will fall head over heels for this touching and hilarious new novel from Anna Bell, the bestselling author of The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart.
No Regrets by Tabitha Webb
You only regret the things you don’t do, right?
Stella is having a bad week. A bad year, maybe. She loves her young boys, really she does, but her glittering career feels like a lifetime ago and she can’t even remember the last time she had sex.
Ana has already had sex three times today. It was good enough. Better than most. Not the best though – he was long gone, and probably bad news anyway. She just can’t help thinking, what if?
Dixie knows her dating life needs a spring clean. She’s reset her age (again), uploaded some new pictures, but certainly isn’t looking for Mr Right – nothing good ever comes from getting attached!
Maybe it’s time the three friends shake things up a little, before it’s too late…
All About Us by Tom Ellen
One moment in time can change your life forever…
Ben’s always loved the holidays but with his marriage to Daphne on the rocks, this year they’re missing their usual magic. So when his old flame Alice gets back in touch, Ben can’t help wonder: did he make the right choice all those years ago?
Yet everything changes on Christmas Eve when a twinkly-eyed stranger sells Ben a mysterious watch, the hands frozen at one minute to midnight. Opening his eyes the next morning, Ben is astonished to find that he has been catapulted back to 5th December 2005: the day he first kissed Daphne, leaving Alice behind.
Now Ben must make the biggest decision of his life, all over again. But this time around, will he finally find the courage to follow his heart?
All About Us is a deeply moving novel about love, loss and heartbreak — and how, with the help of a little magic, it’s never too late to find the one you’ve been searching for.
We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza
This book is so new that it isn’t even online yet!
Asking For A Friend by Andi Osho
Coming out in February 2021. Here’s a sneak peak:
The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson
Appearing on shelves in February 2021. Here’s a sneak peak:
Well I think it is safe to say that 2020 is going to be a great reading year. Thank you to HQ for inviting me and for letting me come home with copies of the books.
Are there any books here that you’d like to read? Let me know in the comments below 🙂