A little over a month ago, I received an invitation from Quercus Books to attend their Word-of-Mouth Bestsellers Evening, a night of wine, nibbles, and books, so many BOOKS! It was my first bookish event, and the most amazing evening. The ladies who work at Quercus are some of the loveliest women I’ve had the pleasure of meeting; I also met the author of Blackberry & Wild Rose, Sonia Velton, and I got to meet several bloggers and bookstagrammers, some I had been conversing online with for months, so it was lovely to meet them in person. As you all probably know by now, I met Beth from Bibliobeth – I’m far too awkward to turn up at one of these events alone, so I’m so glad I got to experience it all with Beth!
The Quercus headquarters are amazing, books everywhere, and when I reached the room where the event took place, I was blown away – the presentation, the thought that went into it, everything was fantastic! There were even two flat lay tables so bookstagrammers could do their thing – Quercus are setting the standard!
I took so many photos, but loads of them were blurry, maybe one too many limoncello cocktails! Although I have no excuse for the first photo I took, because that one was blurry and I hadn’t even had a drink yet, but picture The Lemon Tree Hotel on a table surrounded by lemons and limoncello cocktails, and let’s begin a journey through the night, in books!
THE LEMON TREE HOTEL by Rosanna Ley
The Lemon Tree Hotel is an enchanting, feel-good story about love, family secrets, and a little piece of heaven. Set in the beautiful village of Vernazza, the elegant Lemon Tree Hotel overlooking the Italian Rivera was once an old convent. This title is scheduled for release in March 2019, and you can read the full synopsis and pre-order the book on Amazon UK.
THE DOLLMAKER by Nina Allan
Stitch by stitch, Andrew Garvie makes exquisite dolls; letter by letter, Bramber Winters reveals her strange, sheltered life in an institution, and the terrible events that put her there as a child. Andrew knows what it is to be trapped; and as they knit closer together, he weaves a curious plan to rescue her. The Dollmaker is a love story between two very real, unusual people – it seems to have this dark fairytale edge to it, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy. I’m incredibly excited to read this one, and the finished cover is gorgeous! It is scheduled for publication in March 2019 by Quercus imprint, Riverrun, and is available to pre-order from Amazon UK.
THE NIGHT TIGER by Yangsze Choo
“They say a tiger that devours too many humans can take the form of a man and walk amongst us…”
A captivating and magical story set in 1930s Malaysia about a dancehall girl and an orphan boy who are brought together by a series of unexplained deaths and an old Chinese superstition about men who turn into tigers. The Night Tiger explores the rich world of servants and masters, ancient superstition and modern ambition, sibling rivalry and unexpected love. Woven through with Chinese folklore and a tantalizing mystery, this novel is a page-turner of the highest order.
Doesn’t that just sound amazing, so, so excited to read this one! It is scheduled for publication in February 2019 and is available to pre-order from Amazon UK. I love the display stand for this novel, you could even listen a snippet of the audiobook. And, again, a stunning cover. I had so much fun photographing this one for bookstagram, what d’ya think?
BLACKBERRY & WILD ROSE by Sonia Velton
Blackberry & Wild Rose is a rich historical novel, and Sonia’s debut, set among the Huguenot silk weavers of Spitalfields in the late 18th century. It was fantastic to meet Sonia, and I loved hearing her explain the inspiration behind her novel – Anna Maria Garthwaite – an English textile designer known for creating vivid floral designs for silk fabrics hand-woven in Spitalfields near London in the mid-18th century. Garthwaite was acknowledged as one of the premiere English designers of her day.
As someone who is familiar with Spitalfields as it is today, I’m so intrigued to see how Sonia portrays it in her novel, and I love the way Laura Purcell, author of The Silent Companions, described this novel “A sumptuous and moving debut. Velton weaves her tale with the threads of betrayal, thwarted dreams and good intentions gone awry.” Blackberry & Wild Rose is scheduled for publication in January 2019 and is available to pre-order from Amazon UK.
OUR CHILD OF THE STARS by Stephen Cox
Our Child of the Stars is the story of a lost child, the family who try to protect him, and the secret that refuses to stay hidden. This sounds like it could be quite an emotional read – Molly and Gene Myers had a happy marriage, but after a succession of miscarriages, their perfect relationship has frayed at the edges. Molly and Gene adopt a child pulled from the wreckage left behind after a meteor crashed to earth. The boy is barely alive, and in desperate need of a mother. Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, in times of creeping paranoia and dread, the whole world will soon be looking for this boy. The miracle that saved Molly and Gene’s marriage brings with it a secret that could tear the world apart . . .
Publishing in January 2019, from Quercus imprint – Jo Fletcher Books, this book is available to preorder from Amazon UK.
THE STRANGER DIARIES by Elly Griffiths
I know, by now, you’re probably getting hella annoyed that none of the above titles are available until next year, so here’s one that’s available next month! The Stranger Diaries is the chilling new standalone novel from Elly Griffiths, bestselling author of the Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries. A contemporary gothic thriller, centred around Clare Cassidy, who is no stranger to murder. As a literature teacher specialising in the Gothic writer RM Holland, Clare’s life and work collide tragically when one of her colleagues is found dead, a line from an RM Holland story by her body. Not knowing who to trust, and afraid that the killer is someone she knows, Clare confides her darkest suspicions and fears about the case to her journal. Then one day she notices some other writing in the diary. Writing that isn’t hers…
Publishing on the 1st of November, available to pre-order from Amazon UK.
THE CRIME CORNER
Imagine my delight when I saw this stand at the back of the room, calling out to crime fiction lovers!
BEAUTIFUL BAD by Annie Ward
Immediately, I was drawn to this title because I love its minimalist cover. An explosive and twisted psychological thriller, a perfect love story leads to the perfect crime. From the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas, sixteen years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of shocking crime. But what in this beautiful home has gone so terribly bad? Scheduled for publication in March 2019, you can pre-order this book on Amazon UK.
VILLAGE OF THE LOST GIRLS by Agustin Martinez
A breath-taking missing persons thriller set under the menacing peaks of the Pyrenees. As the cover says: Two went missing. One returned. The hunt for the other begins. Read the full synopsis, and pre-order this book from Amazon UK, it publishes January 2019.
DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS by Jo Spain
I’m going to give you the full synopsis for this one because it sounds brilliant! And it’s dubbed as being for fans of Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, which I loved! Dirty Little Secrets is scheduled to publish in February 2019, and is available to preorder from Amazon UK.
Death stalked the Vale.
In every corner, every whisper.
They just didn’t know it yet.
Six neighbours, six secrets, six reasons to want Olive Collins dead.
In the exclusive gated community of Withered Vale, people’s lives appear as perfect as their beautifully manicured lawns. Money, success, privilege – the residents have it all. Life is good.
There’s just one problem.
Olive Collins’ dead body has been rotting inside number four for the last three months. Her neighbours say they’re shocked at the discovery but nobody thought to check on her when she vanished from sight.
The police start to ask questions and the seemingly flawless facade begins to crack. Because, when it comes to Olive’s neighbours, it seems each of them has something to hide, something to lose and everything to gain from her death.
Introducing the most uplifting debut of 2019
THE FLATSHARE by Beth O’Leary
So, this display wins! Scheduled for publication in April 2019, The Flatshare is available to pre-order from Amazon UK. And this one gets a full synopsis too:
Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…
Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.
But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly-imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…
RETURN TO THE ITALIAN QUARTER and THE BOOK OF FORGOTTEN AUTHORS
These two titles were my ‘Blind Date with a Book’ picks! And here’s something that blew my mind – did you know that the author of Return to the Italian Quarter, Domenica De Rosa is a pen name for Elly Griffiths!!!!!! And how stunning is the cover of The Book of Forgotten Authors.
And if that wasn’t enough, I even got a cool tote bag to carry my books home in, okay I needed two totes bags! Quercus did offer to post them to me, but I couldn’t part with them once I held them in my hands, and with a tote on each shoulder, I went on my merry little way.
I’m so thankful, and grateful, to Quercus for inviting me to this event, it truly was a memorable night; one I have not stopped talking about since, and one I’ll continue to talk about as I read these books! I hope you’ve found, at least, a title or two that interests you, and keep your eyes peeled as these books hit the shelves in 2019!