Staying in with Sara-Jade Virtue

books and the city

I’ve spent many a wonderful evening out with Sara-Jade Virtue – or @BookMinxSJV – at Books and the City blogger events, so I’m thrilled she agreed to stay in with me today. In a change to the usual format of staying in with authors, S J is a sales director at Simon and Schuster and I thought it would be fun to put her on the spot.

If you’re an author or someone working in the publishing industry who’d also like to stay in with me to tell me about one of your books, please click here for more details.

Staying in with Sara-Jade Virtue

Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag SJ. Which book have you brought along to share with us and why?

When Linda kindly asked if I’d like to join in with her Staying In feature, my biggest anxiety was around which book, if I can only bring one book, would I bring….I mean come ON!  How on earth could I possibly pick just one book to share…when there are literally hundreds of books that are guaranteed to make a perfect night in.  Books for when you need a really good laugh, books for when you want to cry your eyes out.  Books guaranteed to shock, to astound, to make you feel all the feels…  never before has the phrase ‘so many books, so little time’ felt so appropriate.

And then I thought, OK Virtue, get a grip, let’s be clever here.  Like most book lovers, I have a Top 10 Laminated List.   A #desertislandreads of my all time favourite novels. VERY occasionally I review it, and a new book gets added and then I spend hours agonizing over which book will need to be culled off the list.  My latest list has been knocking around since October 2015 so is definitely due an update – and this feature was the kick up the backside I needed to do just that.

Hollywood husbands

So, where to start?  Hollywood Husbands will ALWAYS be my all-time favourite novel by JC,  just thinking about Since I Don’t Have You has me in tears, The Reluctant Landlady still makes me laugh as much as it makes me cry, the complex layers of emotion within The Truth About Melody Browne still blows my mind, The Last Letter From Your Lover is still one of the most romantic novels I’ve ever read, there is NOTHING to not love about The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, and Twenties Girl and If You Could See Me Now are both ABSOLUTELY brilliant and deserve their place on ANY book lovers list.  So what now?  There is only one thing for it, to BEG Linda to let me bring 10 novels…

(Hmm. Seeing as it’s you and you’ve provided me with so many wonderful books to read over the three years I’ve been blogging I will allow 10 books just this once. I’m currently reading You, Me, Everything from one of your goody bags and I LOVE it!)

You Me Everything

What can we expect from an evening in with your 10 book choices?

Each novel on my list offers something different.  A light smattering of sex, some scandal, multi layered relationships, love, deep happiness, deep unhappiness, lots of fun, loss, twists, turns and even a little magic – so you can expect buckets of laughter and tears with each of the novels on my list.

(And that’s the joy of reading S J. A book can provide every emotion going.)

What else have you brought along and why?


I know buns.  I know booze.  I know the fine art of cozy and snuggly.  So I’ve brought some iced fingers, perhaps a cupcake or 7, even a box of simple glazed Krispy Kremes.  I’ve also brought some gin, including some of my own #HouseOfVirtueGin infused with rosemary, pink peppercorns and coriander seeds.  I’ve brought a slanket or two and a candle or three.  Oh, and I’ve also got the hoots and the chuckles and a side order of lolz – if that’s what the joy people still call fun these days?

(I think we can! I wonder why it is that I wasn’t surprised you brought gin?)

Thanks so much for agreeing to stay in with me Sara-Jade and for sharing your 10 books with us all. Now – pass that gin bottle!

About Sara-Jade Virtue


Sara-Jade Virtue is Special Sales Director at publishers Simon and Schuster. She is also Brand Director for commercial fiction with Books and the City. Inordinately fond of gin, buns and her cat Pepper, S J works tirelessly with bloggers and authors to share book love wherever she can.


You can follow Sara-Jade on Twitter @BookMinxSJV  (and I really think you should). You can also find out more about Simon and Schuster’s books here and visit the Books and the City website here.

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