A Week in Books · Advanced Review Copy · Afia Atakora · Book events · Books · fiction · Linn B. Halton · Literary Lowdown · Lucy Coleman · Michaël Uras · Sarah Vaughan

Sarah’s Vignettes Literary Lowdown – 23-29 March 2020

Welcome to this week’s round-up of book life at Sarah’s Vignettes.

How are you? I hope you are keeping safe and well. Have you found lots of great books to lose yourself in? Reading provides the perfect escape 🙂

Keep scrolling to get the lowdown on what’s been going on here at Sarah’s Vignettes, the books I’ve been adding to my shelves, and other bookish delights.

~ On my blog ~

Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman

On Thursday, I shared my review for Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman. This book gave me hope and warmed my heart. It’s the perfect escapist read.

~ On my calendar ~

My VLF
photo from My VLF Twitter page

Whilst we can’t go out and about to book events, we can still join them virtually.

Yesterday I dipped into the My VLF Crime/Thriller Book Festival to listen to an interview with author Sarah Vaughan and join the live Q&A afterwards. Sarah spoke about her upcoming novel Little Disasters (published by Simon & Schuster on April 2nd), her writing and research. She also treated us to a reading from Little Disasters. I was so captivated that I pre-ordered a copy straight away. I want to know how the story continues!

Sarah Vaughan
Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan

All author interviews from yesterday’s Crime/Thriller Boo Festival are available to view on-demand from My Virtual Literary Festival, along with interviews from past events. I would really recommend watching them.

It’s a good time to be accessing virtual book stuff. I’ve seen lots of authors and publishers putting on live events and chats. Check out your favourite authors and publishers social media pages to see if they are doing anything.

~ On my bookshelf ~

I’ve added 1 book to my bookshelf this week.

My Sardinian Summer by Michaël Uras

My Sardinian Summer is a translation from the French: La maison à droite de celle de ma grand-mère (literally translates as the house to the right of my grandmother’s). As a French speaker, I tend to stay away from reading books translated from French as I prefer to read the original. However, I really like the sound of this one and, at 208 pages, it will make a nice afternoon read.

My Sardinian Summer by Michael Uras

Giacomo is stuck in a funk he can’t shake – and a translation he can’t finish. When he’s summoned home to Sardinia, to say a final goodbye to his dying grandmother, he’s offered the perfect opportunity to escape.

On the noisy, sun-drenched island, Giacomo reconnects with long-lost friends and overbearing relatives, relives the childhood he once couldn’t wait to leave behind, and rediscovers new joie-de-vivre within him. Never mind that he’s making no progress on his translation. . .

When the time comes to leave once more, Giacomo wonders: has he fallen back in love with his home-island? Or has he been hiding from something which he needs the courage to return and confront?

But most importantly – is his grandma really as ill as she’s claiming to be?

~ On my bedside table ~

Conjure Women by Afia Atakora

I’m reading Conjure Women by Afia Atakora. I’ll be sharing my review here on April 18th.

Conjure Women by Afia Atakora

The pale-skinned, black-eyed baby is a bad omen. That’s one thing the people on the old plantation are sure of. The other is that Miss Rue – midwife, healer, crafter of curses – will know what to do.

But for once Rue doesn’t know. Times have changed since her mother Miss May Belle held the power to influence the life and death of her fellow slaves. Freedom has come. The master’s Big House lies in ruins. But this new world brings new dangers, and Rue’s old magic may be no match for them.

When sickness sweeps across her tight-knit community, Rue finds herself the focus of suspicion. What secrets does she keep amidst the charred remains of the Big House? Which spells has she conjured to threaten their children? And why is she so wary of the charismatic preacher man who promises to save them all?

Rue understands fear. It has shaped her life and her mother’s before her. And now she knows she must face her fears – and her ghosts – to find a new way forward for herself and her people.


What books have you been reading and buying this week? Let me know by leaving a reply in the box below.

Until next week, happy reading!

A Week in Books · Anstey Harris · Beth Morrey · Book events · Book Hauls · Books · Caroline Scott · Catherine Issac · Christina Pishiris · Holly Hepburn · Literary Lowdown · Lucy Coleman · Milly Johnson · Paige Toon · Santa Montefiore · Sara-Ella Ozbek · Sarah Butler

Sarah’s Vignettes Literary Lowdown ~ 9-15 March 2020

Welcome to this week’s round-up of book life at Sarah’s Vignettes.

Keep scrolling to get the lowdown on what’s been going on here at Sarah’s Vignettes, the books I’ve been adding to my shelves, and other bookish delights. I hope you find some books here to escape with.

~ On the blog ~

On Tuesday 3rd March, I went to Simon & Schuster’s Spring Blogger Evening. This was my first blogger event at Simon & Schuster and SJ and her team really know how to put on a showcase!

There were perfectly themed cupcakes, a quiz, flat lays, author pitches and Q&As, author 2 truths and one lie (what is said at a Blogger Evening, stays at a Blogger Evening!), and good merchandise. We got to hang out with the authors, get our proofs signed and mingle. This week I wrote a blog post about the evening, the authors and their books.


Jack & Bet by Sarah Butler

On Wednesday, I shared my review of Jack & Bet by Sarah Butler. is a heartwarming story with kindness at it’s core and I am glad that I got a chance to read it.

~ On my bookshelf ~

I’ve added 2 books to my book shelf this week.

SJ at Simon & Schuster sent us a link to download Paige Toon’s upcoming novel: The Minute I Saw You . It’s not out until May 14th so I feel privileged to already have a copy to read and review.

The Minute I Saw You by Paige Toon

Some people believe that it’s possible to fall in love simply by gazing into another person’s eyes . . .

When Hannah and Sonny meet, a spark ignites that is hard to ignore and impossible to forget. Weeks later, their paths cross again, but Sonny appears distant and reluctant to meet Hannah’s eye. It soon transpires that Sonny is at a crossroads. He’s committed to making serious life changes – ones that can’t and won’t include romance.

Hannah has her own reasons for wanting to keep their budding friendship platonic. Plus, she’s only in town temporarily, housesitting for her uncle. But as the summer hots up and the chemistry between them intensifies, Hannah and Sonny discover that there’s more to each other than meets the eye…


I’ve heard a lot of good things about Saving Missy by Beth Morrey so I could resist no longer when I went to the supermarket yesterday!

Saving Missy by Beth Morrey

Saving Missy by Beth Morrey

Missy Carmichael’s life has become small.

Grieving for a family she has lost or lost touch with, she’s haunted by the echoes of her footsteps in her empty home; the sound of the radio in the dark; the tick-tick-tick of the watching clock.

Spiky and defensive, Missy knows that her loneliness is all her own fault. She deserves no more than this; not after what she’s done. But a chance encounter in the park with two very different women opens the door to something new.

Another life beckons for Missy, if only she can be brave enough to grasp the opportunity. But seventy-nine is too late for a second chance. Isn’t it?

~ On my bedside table ~

Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman

I finished reading Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman last night and I’ll be sharing my review here on 27th March. Doesn’t that cover just make you smile?! 🙂

Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman

Is a change as good as a rest?

When married couple Fern and Aiden have a windfall, their reactions could not be more different. While Fern is content to pay off their mortgage and build a nest egg before starting a family, her husband is set on traveling the world.

Fern’s not much of a back-packer so, before she knows it, the idea of a ‘marriage gap year’ takes shape. And, as Aiden heads off to the wilds of Australia, Fern chooses the more restful Provence for her year out.

Set amidst the glorious French scenery, Château de Vernon offers a retreat from the hustle and bustle of normal life, and Fern agrees to help out in return for painting lessons from the owner – renowned, but rather troubled, painter Nico.

As their year unfolds in very different ways, will the time apart transform their marriage, or will it drive Fern and Aiden even further apart…

Let Lucy Coleman whisk you off on a heart-warming, sun-drenched and magical French adventure.


What books have you been reading and buying this week? Let me know by leaving a reply in the box below.

Until next week, happy reading!

Advanced Review Copy · Anstey Harris · Book events · Book Hauls · Books · Caroline Scott · Christina Pishiris · Holly Hepburn · Other Bookish Things · Paige Toon · Santa Montefiore · Sara-Ella Ozbek

Simon & Schuster Spring Blogger Evening 2020 ~ @simonschusterUK @TeamBATC #TeamBATC

Tuesday 3rd March started out as a normal day: I got up and went to work. Part way through the morning, I noticed that fellow book blogger Rachel Gilbey had tagged me in a tweet, drawing my attention to the fact that SJV, Brand Development Director at Simon & Schuster, had a couple of spaces open up on her Books and The City Spring Blogger Evening. Well, I jumped at the chance and thankfully a space was still available! 

This was my first blogger event at Simon & Schuster and SJ and her team really know how to put on a showcase! There were perfectly themed cupcakes (made by Restoration Cake), a quiz, flat lays, author pitches and Q&As, author 2 truths and one lie (what is said at a Blogger Evening, stays at a Blogger Evening!), and good merchandise. We got to hang out with the authors, get our proofs signed and mingle. Sometimes, the best days cannot be planned 😊 

Before I delve into the authors at the event and their books, I am going to side track for two minutes and explain a little about flat lays – yes, I heard some of you say earlier ‘what the hell are flat lays?!’.

A flat lay is a photo taken at a birds eye view of a collection of items laid out on a flat surface, with one item as the main focus whilst the others are decorative. Flat lays are a game changer, particularly for book photography. They have been around for a while but it’s only recently, since I’ve got more into bookstagramming – the book side of photo sharing app Instagram – that I’ve really taken notice of photo composition.

On Tuesday, the Simon & Schuster marketing team had laid out 7 flat lays for us, one for each book. They’d arranged lots of objects related to the book and placed the book in the middle. This was genius! The photos of the books below are from the flat lays. 

Now onto the books!! There are some fabulous books coming out this year from this magnificent seven.

Sara-Ella Ozbek

The High Moments by Sara-Ella Ozbeck

Up first was Sara-Ella Ozbek and her debut novel The High Moments, out on May 28, 2020. Sara-Ella read from the first few pages. It made me laugh and also made my eyes water. This is a book to watch!

Santa Montefiore

Santa Montefiore
Here and Now by Santa Montefiore

Next was No. 1 bestselling author Santa Montefiore and her upcoming novel Here and Now. This sounds like an emotional read but a heartwarming one too. It is a positive take on dementia and follows a community that comes together to capture memories for one of their own. It’s out on July 9, 2020.

Paige Toon

Paige Toon
The Minute I Saw You by Paige Toon

Then Sunday Times Bestselling Author Paige Toon told us about The Minute I Saw You, which is out on May 14, 2020. When Hannah and Sonny meet, it’s love at first sight. However, they are both trying to fight it for reasons us readers find out as we go along. This is going to be a curling up with a cuppa read.

Holly Hepburn

Holly Hepburn
Coming Home to Brightwater Bay by Holly Hepburn

Holly Hepburn, author of A Year at the Star and Sixpence, introduced Coming Home to Brightwater Bay, set on the Orkney Islands. It follows an author on her journey to find her writing mojo, a welcoming community and some love interests. We are promised a handsome viking!! Coming soon.

Christina Pishiris

Christina Pishiris
Love Songs for Sceptics

Christina and I had actually met the previous Saturday at RNA London Chapter meet-up. At Simon & Schuster, she spoke about her debut novel Love Songs for Sceptics and introduced us to Zoe, one of her main characters, through her own version of Reddit‘s ‘Am I the Asshole?’ . It’s out now in Kindle and due out in paperback in April 2020.

Caroline Scott

Caroline Scott
When I Come Home Again by Caroline Scott

Next, Caroline Scott introduced her second novel When I Come Home Again. Set in the aftermath of the First World War, a soldier has lost his memory and appeal goes out to try and find out his identity. Three women come forward claiming him as their own but who is telling the truth? I think it will be a powerful read. Watch out for this one hitting shelves in hardback from October 29, 2020.

Anstey Harris

Anstey Harris
Where We Belong by Anstey Harris

Last but not least and fresh from her RNA Award win for The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton the previous night, Anstey Harris read from her upcoming novel Where We Belong. It is about a mother and son who move into a museum for a summer and the secrets they uncover. It’s out in hardback on May 14, 2020.


Thank you to SJ and her BATC team for a wonderful evening and for the very generous goody bag. I feel like part of the gang now. I cannot wait for the next S&S event!! 

A Week in Books · Advanced Review Copy · Amelia Henley · Andi Osho · Anna bell · Blog Tours · Book events · Book Hauls · Books · Brian McGilloway · fiction · Jeffrey Archer · Jessica Ryn · Jo Piazza · Josie Lloyd · Libby Page · Literary Lowdown · Louise Hare · Nadine Matheson · Polly Crosby · Review Copy · Sairish Hussain · Stacey Halls · Tom Ellen

Sarah’s Vignettes Literary Lowdown ~ 27 January – 2 February 2020

Welcome to this week’s round-up of book life at Sarah’s Vignettes.

Keep scrolling to get the lowdown on what’s been going on here at Sarah’s Vignettes, the books I’ve been adding to my shelves, the upcoming novels I’ve been hearing about and other bookish delights.

~ On the blog ~

The 24-Hour Café by LIbby Page

On Friday, I shared my review of The 24-Hour Café by Libby Page. This book truly touched my heart.

~ On my calendar ~

HQ New Voices Fiction Showcase

On Wednesday evening, I went to the HQ New Voices Fiction Showcase. We heard from 15 authors about their upcoming novels and even got to take home the books we want to read and review. You can find out all about the evening and the books here.

~ On my bookshelf ~

I’ve added 7 books to my shelf this week.

I got a copy of Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer in my local WHSmith for £2! My mum said I would enjoy it so I will give it a go soon.

Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer

Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer

They had only one thing in common . . .

William Lowell Kane and Abel Rosnovski, one the son of a Boston millionaire, the other a penniless Polish immigrant – two men born on the same day on opposite sides of the world, their paths destined to cross in the ruthless struggle to build a fortune.

Kane and Abel is the marvellous story, spanning sixty years, of two powerful men linked by an all-consuming hatred, brought together by fate to save . . . and finally destroy . . . each other.


Thank you to Emily Glenister and The Dome Press for sending me a copy of The Last Crossing by Brian McGilloway ahead of the blog tour in April.

The Last Crossing by Brian McGilloway

Tony, Hugh and Karen thought they’d seen the last of each other thirty years ago. Half a lifetime has passed and memories have been buried. But when they are asked to reunite – to lay ghosts to rest for the good of the future – they all have their own reasons to agree. As they take the ferry from Northern Ireland to Scotland the past is brought in to terrible focus – some things are impossible to leave behind.

In The Last Crossing memory is unreliable, truth shifts and slips and the lingering legacy of the Troubles threatens the present once again.


At the Showcase on Wednesday, the lovely team at HQ let us take home the books we want to read and review. Whilst all of the books from the evening are in my write-up post, I’ve listed below the ones I picked up.

The Family Tree by Sairish Hussain

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

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

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…. 


The Illustrated Child by Polly Crosby

The Illustrated Child by Polly Crosby - cover to be revealed

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 truth.

The Illustrated Child is the unforgettable, beguiling debut from Polly Crosby.


All About Us by Tom Ellen

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.

~ On my bookshelf ~

The Foundling by Stacey Halls

I’m currently reading The Foundling by Stacey Halls. Watch out for my review this month.


What books have you been reading and buying this week? Let me know by leaving a reply in the box below.

Until next week, happy reading!

Amelia Henley · Andi Osho · Anna bell · Book events · Christine Pride · fiction · Helen Monks Takhar · Jessica Ryn · Jo Piazza · Josie Lloyd · Louise Hare · Nadine Matheson · Other Bookish Things · Philippa East · Polly Crosby · Sairish Hussain · Tabitha Webb · Tom Ellen

HQ New Voices Fiction Showcase 2020 ~ @HQstories #HQNewVoices

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.

HQ Authors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Illustrated Child by Polly Crosby - cover to be revealed

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 truth.

The Illustrated Child is the unforgettable, beguiling debut from Polly Crosby.


The Life We Almost Had by Amelia Henley

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

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

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

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!

We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza

Asking For A Friend by Andi Osho

Coming out in February 2021. Here’s a sneak peak:

Asking For A Friend by Andi Osho

The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson

Appearing on shelves in February 2021. Here’s a sneak peak:

The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson

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 🙂

A Week in Books · Advanced Review Copy · Blog Tours · Book events · Book Hauls · Book Post · Books · Crime · fiction · Glynis Peters · Laura Jane Williams · Libby Page · Literary Lowdown · Lucy Foley · Review Copy · Reviews · Rory Clements

Sarah’s Vignettes Literary Lowdown ~ 20 January – 26 January 2020

Welcome to this week’s round-up of book life at Sarah’s Vignettes.

Keep scrolling to get the lowdown on what’s been going on here at Sarah’s Vignettes, the books I’ve been adding to my shelves and other bookish delights.

~ On the blog ~

Hitler's Secret by Rory Clements

On Monday, I shared my review of Hitler’s Secret by Rory Clements. It’s a gritty, dark, historical spy thriller that took me on quite a journey. 

On Thursday, it was a pleasure to promote The Orphan Thief by Glynis Peters.

~ On my calendar ~

An Evening with Libby Page and Laura Jane Williams

On Thursday evening, I went with fellow book bloggers Meggy, Rachel and Karen to An Evening with Libby Page and Laura Jane Williams at Waterstones Piccadilly, London.

It was publication day for Libby Page’s latest novel The 24-Hour Café and she joined author Laura Jane Williams to celebrate it. It was a fun evening, hearing all about Libby’s inspiration for the story, her love of outdoor swimming and her writing.

~ On my bookshelf ~

I’ve added 2 books to my shelf this week.

At the event on Thursday, I took the chance to get a signed hardback copy of The 24-Hour Café . It looks lovely alongside my signed hardback of Libby’s debut novel, The Lido.

The 24-Hour Café by Libby Page

The 24-Hour Cafe by Libby Page

Welcome to the café that never sleeps. Day and night Stella’s Café opens its doors for the lonely and the lost, the morning people and the night owls. It is many things to many people but most of all it is a place where life can wait at the door. A place of small kindnesses. A place where anyone can be whoever they want, where everyone is always welcome.

Meet Hannah and Mona: best friends, waitresses, dreamers. They work at Stella’s but they dream of more, of leaving the café behind and making their own way in life.

Come inside and spend twenty-four hours at Stella’s Café; a day when Hannah and Mona’s friendship will be tested, when the community will come together and when lives will be changed…


The other book I added to my shelf this week is a hardback copy of The Guest List by Lucy Foley, out on 20th February. The lovely people at Harper Collins kindly sent me a copy to read ahead of the blog tour next month. I am so excited to read it. I loved The Hunting Party, Lucy’s debut, and The Guest List sounds just as good.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

On an island off the windswept Irish coast, guests gather for the wedding of the year – the marriage of Jules Keegan and Will Slater.
 
Old friends.
Past grudges.

 
Happy families.
Hidden jealousies.

 
Thirteen guests.
One body.

 
The wedding cake has barely been cut when one of the guests is found dead. And as a storm unleashes its fury on the island, everyone is trapped.

All have a secret. All have a motive.
One guest won’t leave this wedding alive . . .

~ On my bedside table ~

The 24-Hour Cafe by Libby Page

I’m currently reading The 24-Hour Café by Libby Page and can confirm it is good! Watch out for my review this Friday, 31 January.


What books have you been reading and buying this week? Let me know by leaving a reply in the box below.

Until next week, happy reading!