Is it EVER okay to body shame?

Reblogging this post from two years ago. Still incredibly apt

The Writing Garnet

Do you think it’s ever okay to body shame somebody?

That is the question I would like you to keep in the back of your mind whilst you’re reading this post. But, starting from the beginning, what actually is body shaming? I asked four people (2 male/2 female), all different ages, to give me their opinion on what they would consider body shaming to be. Here is what they said:

Fraser: ‘I’d say anything that makes you feel uncomfortable with your own body. So comments about the way you look – shape, size, colour, even clothing. But also adverts that make you upset/anxious about how you look.’

Natasha: ‘I would class it as making anyone feel bad for the way they look, that could be for being fat, thin, tattoos or piercings, just anything that makes someone feel bad about their body.’

Nathan: ‘I feel body shaming means the judging of…

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#BlogBlitz! #Review – The Girl With No Name by Lisa Regan (@Lisalregan) @Bookouture

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I am SO, SO, SO excited to be able to share my review with you all today! I am literally bouncing in my seat as I type this bad boy! Huge thanks to Bookouture, as always, for the blitz invite, as well as the ARC of the book. Here is my review of Lisa Regan’s, ‘The Girl With No Name’. I hope I do the book justice!!

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Detective Josie Quinn is horrified when she’s called to the house of a mother who had her newborn baby snatched from her arms.

A woman caught fleeing the scene is Josie’s only lead, but when questioned it seems this mysterious girl doesn’t know who she is, where she’s from or why she is so terrified…

Is she a witness, a suspect, or the next victim?

As Josie digs deeper, a letter about a mix-up at a fertility clinic links the nameless girl and the missing child to a spate of killings across the county.

Josie is faced with an impossible decision: should she risk the life of one innocent child to save many others… or can she find another way?

What does TWG think?

HOLY FLIPPING CHEESEBALLS!!!!!! This book!!!!!!

I have no idea how my review is going to do the book justice! I’m half tempted to write my review as ‘OMG OMG OMG I F****** LOVED THIS BOOK!’. Whilst I cannot promise anything more eloquent than that, I will try my best to ensure that my review makes sense!

Josie Quinn has witnessed the aftermath of a mother’s worst nightmare – her child being taken. Luckily, in a roundabout way, the mother is unavoidably detained where the pain of her child going missing won’t be evident. Unfortunately for her though, she has to experience a lot of other pain at the hands of someone who has done a runner. Who in their right mind would do this to a mother? The investigation becomes a lot more complex as Josie’s personal life becomes part of it. Will Detective Quinn get to the bottom of the baby’s disappearance before another person is harmed? Or is she too late to save the baby?

There was a little bit of the storyline near the beginning which seemed, in my eyes, to have a bit missing. One moment Josie’s other half was left in the living room when she got called to go to work, and then the next he’s a wanted person. It honestly felt like those events happened in the same day, either way I was really confused.

That literally was the only irk I had with ‘The Girl With No Name’ and, seeing as the rest of the storyline completely blew me away ten times over, the irk became a lot less important the more of the book I read. Even I’m not that mean to knock a star off for a little crossed wires.

If you’re in the mood for a fast paced, untouchable, chilling and breathtaking novel, ‘The Girl With No Name’ is definitely for you. Hell, even if you want to try something new I would suggest reading this!!

The storyline is very cut throat and complex, with a lot of carefully woven webs hidden in the storyline for the reader when they least expect. I am so surprised that I didn’t end up fainting due to lack of oxygen to the brain – yes readers, I forgot to breathe as I was too busy dropping my jaw in shock at what my eyes had devoured.

What I loved most about this book was how intricately thought out each situation was with the individual characters. Instead of just writing one dicey scenario and including all of the characters in that, the author managed to make each circumstance unique whilst also matching it up to the overall theme of the story. I was flabbergasted by what I was reading and Lisa Regan deserves high praise for what she has achieved with this book, that’s for sure!

I have a feeling that I’m going to be shouting about this book for a very long time! With characters so memorable they get under your skin, alongside a storyline so complex it requires its own timeline of events, ‘The Girl With No Name’ is an extraordinary read which delivered in both suspense and the shock factor. I will recommend Lisa Regan’s novel as much as it deserves to be recommended – for a lifetime!

Buy now from Amazon
Buy now from iBooks

About the author.

Lisa Regan is an Amazon bestselling crime novelist.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University.  She is a member of Sisters In Crime, Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter. Find out more at her website: www.lisaregan.com

 Author Social Media Links:

 FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Lisa-Regan-189735444395923/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/Lisalregan

WEBSITE: www.lisaregan.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6443334.Lisa_Regan

#BlogBlitz! #Extract – Godsend by J.A.Marley (@jamarleybooks) @Bloodhoundbook

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This afternoon I have the pleasure of helping to kick off J.A.Marley’s blog blitz with an extract from his new novel, ‘Godsend’! Big thanks to BloodHoundBooks for the blitz invite! Do keep reading until after the extract where you will find the all important ‘to buy’ links!

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It has been eighteen months since Danny Felix pulled off the robbery of his life.  His plan brought London to a standstill, but at a heavy price.

Now, living a quiet life running a charter fishing business in the Florida Keys, Danny is trying to come to terms with the death and destruction he had unwittingly unleashed. However, the low profile is beginning to wear thin and he soon starts to crave the adrenalin rush of his former criminal ways. 

Little does he know that three very different women are about to enter his life and turn it upside-down. Soon Danny finds himself right back in the action.

But why has he been chosen? And does he have the appetite to pull off another job where the stakes are so lethally high?

Extract.
Godesend By J.A . Marley
Bloodhound Blog Tour Extract

1

 A Mini – Mart Adventure 

When the scruffy-looking kid pulled out the gun and pointed it at the chump on the other
side of the cash register, Danny Felix thought, Here we go.
He felt his heart stir, his stomach muscles flex and his balls tighten.
Danny couldn’t deny it. He was excited.
Here he was, in the presence of a stick-up merchant, waving a gun around like they’d
seen too many cheesy Jean-Claude Van Damme movies.
“Nobody muthafuggin move!”
Wild eyes sat atop a scarf wrapped in a hoodie, Old Navy sweats pulled high to the waist.
Filthy, worn-down Converse sneakers completed an overall look that screamed desperation and deprivation.
Danny could smell the funk of nerves, bravado and good old-fashioned fear emanating
from the would-be thief. It was a familiar smell, one that he had, undoubtedly, emitted
himself in his early career. He watched as the gun thrashed around. If he wasn’t mistaken, it was a replica. It looked like a World War One vintage revolver, a Webley Mark IV.

To Danny’s mind, anyone who possessed a genuine Webley wouldn’t need to knock off a
Tom Thumb mini-mart off Florida’s Highway One.
The bandit whipped the fake gun around for added effect, to make sure anyone present
would know this was the real deal. It caused Danny to flash back, a gun in his own hand, faces filled with terror, suddenly compliant. He had to drag his attention back to the here
and now. Danny was the only other customer in the shop.
The stoner kid behind the counter looked bored, resigned to having to stick around after
his shift to tell cops about a robbery they would, from his bitter experience, do jack shit
about. Danny swept the store with his eyes, his head not moving, his own familiarity with such events allowing him to clock where the closed-circuit cameras were positioned. They were usually all in the same type of spots. He was certain that they had caught an image of him as he entered through the door from the side, and the one behind the stoner’s head was probably making a movie star of both him and the stick-up merchant right now. But, still, Danny thought he could have a little fun.
“You’re making a right fucking mess of this.”
It was the smallest of movements, but Danny knew he had the thief’s attention because
they turned their left foot slightly towards the door.
“Shut yo face muthafugga, what kin’ of turnt accent be that? I’m the bitch pointing the
gun right atcha, so do as I say!”
Danny shrugged. Bitch? So, this is a bandita rather than a bandit. Danny adopted a look
of sympathy. “I would, but I can’t stand to see someone making such a pig’s ear out of a
blag that should be so simple.”

The filthy left sneaker twitched toward the door again. The eyes above the scarf widened
then hardened in almost the same instant.
“Look at this, yo’ punk ass bitch. See this. I’ll smoke yo’ ass all over this sto.”
“You’re about to fail, bandita. First, you’ve wasted time chatting to me, enough to allow Captain America here to reach under the counter and hit his store’s panic alarm. The local coppers are probably en route right now. Secondly, you haven’t covered the angles behind you in the aisles since you stormed in. You don’t know about the bloke who is about to crack you across the head with a baseball bat.”
She flinched, glancing over her shoulder enough for Danny to make his move. He closed
the distance between them in one sweep, gripping her gun hand, bending the wrist back
beyond its natural angle. He pivoted his hips onto one leg, his other sweeping away her feet just above the ankles. As she dropped, the gun fell. Danny simply extended his left hand, the satisfying heft of the replica revolver meeting his palm, while his right arm locked around her head, pulling her off the floor. He tucked her head into the crook of his arm as you would a football.
“See, you didn’t know if there was someone there for sure. Pig’s fucking ear. “
The girl thrashed about, trying to scratch and pull at Danny’s hair. He simply tightened his grip, denying her airways full capacity. Her fight soon waned.
Nearly limp, he lowered her to the floor.
“What you should have done, quick as you like, is march straight to the cashier. The gun
should have been practically down his throat whilst scanning the store to make sure that
there really was only the three of us in here. Then, demand the money, asking for it to be
done fast and, if needs be, pull the hammer back on the revolver to show you mean proper business.”
As he said it, Danny carried out the instructions.
Stoner Kid’s eyes were wide with his arms in the air. He almost reached down to pop the
cash register open until Danny gently shook his head at him. Bandita had pushed herself
into a sitting position, her breath coming in short rasps.

Danny continued: “Except you couldn’t pull the hammer back on the gun because it’s a
bleeding replica. And as for your accomplice? He or she is taking a month of Sundays to
work out you might be in trouble. I haven’t heard a squeal of tires yet, which means… three, two, one…”
On cue, the shop door flew open. Bandit number two entered like a whirlwind, with
another ancient-looking handgun being waved around.
The accomplice didn’t scan the scene either but came straight at Danny at speed.
Danny shifted his weight, matching the oncoming velocity of the attacker. They met
halfway. Danny put all his weight into a straight-arm punch. It arrowed onto the bridge of the accomplice’s nose. The explosion of blood was like a scene from a Rocky movie. And as suddenly as it had all kicked off, it was over. Danny turned to the stoner kid behind the counter.
“That… that was fucking cool, dude.” The stoner pushed his lank, greasy hair away from
his eyes. “Man, this is fun and games, but I’m the asshole who’s still gonna have to hang
around to answer dumb cop questions. Except…”
Danny couldn’t believe it as the kid slapped his own forehead. “Oh man, I forgot to push
the panic button…”
Danny cocked his head. By Danny’s assessment, the stoner kid probably had a brain that
was ten percent water and ninety percent THC. “What’s your name?”
“I’m Colt… Hi… What’s yours…?”

Danny strode to the door and flipped the ‘open’ sign to read ‘closed.’ “We can play this
one of two ways, Colt. You can go out back and call the Old Bill, the cops, and we can waste the rest of our evening talking to Bozo the Donut Eater, or you could go back there and erase the last hour of your CCTV and report a malfunction in the little log book you keep. You have one of those, right?” Colt nodded slowly.
“And, in turn, I will dispose of Bonnie and Clyde here for you, in a non-lethal, community- relations kind of way, and we can all go about our lives.”
“I dunno, man. I should really report this…”
Danny spread his arms wide, making a face like a cheesy De Niro in one of his later,
dreadful movies.
“You won’t hurt ’em, Mister…?”
“As God’s my judge, kid…”
Colt’s face warmed with a grin. He nodded his agreement.
“Okay, Colt. Give me your belt.” Danny was already taking off his own. Colt hesitated as if
to protest, but then obliged.
Danny secured the two would-be rip-off artists with the belts. Securing the late-arriving
accomplice, he was surprised to discover they were both female and white, despite the
attempts to sound ghetto tough. He grabbed a magic marker from a nearby shelf and
pocketed it.
“When I’m gone, Colt, park their car up in one of your furthest parking bays. Make sure
when you erase the CCTV that you erase all the cameras, even the one that covers the
forecourt. too. ”
Colt nodded again enthusiastically as they exited out into the parking lot.
Danny bundled the pair into the back cab of his pick-up truck. Colt watched, a question
hovering on his lips as Danny slid behind the wheel.
“You sure you won’t hurt ’em?”
“Promise.”
Danny reached inside his pocket, pulling out a hundred-dollar bill. “This should cover my
bottle of bourbon, the marker and the Funyuns, plus your belt, too, Colt…”
“Uh, okay… and hey, Mister… How’d you know their names were Bonnie and Clyde?”

Buy now.

About the author.

John A. Marley’s writing career started with a poem about two brothers who both liked sausages…their names were Butch and Dutch and his Primary School teacher Mr. Murray liked it so much it made the main noticeboard at the entrance to Holy Child Primary School in West Belfast.  A little older but none the wiser, he ended up as a film journalist in his native Northern Ireland, contributing to local newspapers, BBC Radio Ulster and latterly writing as the main film critic for the glossy magazine, Northern Woman.

John’s love of good stories came from the Irish predilection for telling a good yarn and the fact that there was nothing quite like sneaking away his Dad’s battered paperbacks to read even though he knew they were meant for adults and not kids. And so pulp fiction such as The Edge Westerns by George G. Gilman, the adventure novels of Alistair MacLean and the thrillers of Jack Higgins all served to whet his appetite for a good story told at pace.

These days, his reading tastes still focus on thrills, spills and good plot and he can’t walk by a James Lee Burke or an Elmore Leonard without pausing to read a few pages…even if it is in a busy bookshop. 

 John A. Marley is also a TV producer with a proven track record in creating and producing distinctive, original entertainment and factual programming and formats for both a UK and international audience. His eclectic portfolio of high-profile shows include Britain’s Ultimate Pilots: Inside the RAF, Britain’s Flying Past, Staraoke, Best of Friends, Skatoony, Noel’s House Party, Through the Keyhole, SMTV:Live/CD:UK, How Euro Are You? and live coverage of “The Oscars” with Barry Norman.

John runs his own production company Archie Productions which he launched in 2008. Prior to setting up his own indie, John enjoyed a wide and varied career in television will creative roles at Talent Television, Planet 24, Carlton Television and Walt Disney UK. John’s broadcast media career started in his native Northern Ireland as a radio host.

Godsend is the follow up to John’s debut novel, Standstill in which we first met master thief Danny Felix.

Links:

www.jamarley.com

@jamarleybooks

 

#BlogTour! #Review – Beautiful Liars by Isabel Ashdown (@IsabelAshdown) @Trapezebooks @orionbooks

Due to technology issues which became evident this morning, my post for this blog didn’t go live yesterday as it was supposed to. I apologise for my review being one day late, however, here it is now and happy e-book publication day to Isabel Ashdown. Big thanks to the publisher for the ARC of the book.

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Eighteen years ago Martha said goodbye to best friend Juliet on a moonlit London towpath.
The next morning Juliet’s bike was found abandoned at the waterside.
She was never seen again.

Nearly two decades later Martha is a TV celebrity, preparing to host a new crime show… and the first case will be that of missing student Juliet Sherman. After all these years Martha must reach out to old friends and try to piece together the final moments of Juliet’s life.

But what happens when your perfect friends turn out to be perfect strangers…?

What does TWG think?

I really did struggle to get into this book at first because the storyline veered off in so many different directions, trying to join them all together to make sense was rather tricky. Thankfully though, at around the halfway point, I became so engrossed in ‘Beautiful Liars’, I’m surprised my dog didn’t end up crossing his paws because I didn’t let him out into the garden!

Martha is determined to get to the bottom of what happened to one of her best friends, Juliet, many years ago. Could she really have disappeared off the face of the Earth? Could she still be alive and refuses to get in contact with her two best friends? Or has something a lot sinister gone on? So many questions with not many answers, of course I came to my own conclusion! It’s safe to say that I was very, very wrong, but at least I tried!

As Martha attempts to piece together what happened that night, a lot of skeletons jump out of the closet in her face, with some causing Martha a lot more problems than she bargained for.

It’s safe to say that ‘Beautiful Liars’ is an incredibly chilling and complex novel which is guaranteed to tie you up in knots until the very end. With a group of such colourful and questionable characters, it was difficult to distinguish between who was telling the truth, and who was lying. It seemed as though every characters cards were marked in their own individual ways. But why? Do they know what happened to Juliet? Or have they had to keep their own secrets hidden for all of these years, even though they’re irrelevant to Juliet’s case?

Once the story got going, I loved the rollercoaster ride it put me on and, believe it or not, I loved how the author managed to completely funk up my head by the time I had reached the end of the book. Oh em gee….that ending!!! Such a jaw-dropping conclusion to and twister of a storyline – ‘Beautiful Liars’ kept me glued to my seat the entire way through.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – The War Nurses by Lizzie Page (@LizziePagewrite) @Bookouture

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Today on TWG, we are stepping back in time as we revisit a moment in history which changed people’s lives in a split second. Wartime. I am delighted to be taking part in Lizzie Page’s blog tour for ‘The War Nurses and, as always, big thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite, as well as the ARC of the book.

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As war takes its toll, the love and care of two brave young nurses will become everything to the wounded soldiers they tend.

1914 – Two young nurses pledge to help the war effort: Mairi, a wholesome idealist hoping to leave behind her past and Elsie, a glamorous single mother with a weakness for handsome soldiers. Despite their differences, the pair become firm friends.

At the emergency medical shelter where they’re based, Elsie and Mairi work around the clock to treat wounded soldiers. It’s heart-breaking work and they are at constant risk from shelling, fire and disease. But there are also happier times… parties, trips and letters. And maybe even the possibility of love with an attractive officer in their care…

But as the war continues and the stress of duty threatens to pull the two women apart, will Elsie and Mairi’s special nurses’ bond be strong enough to see them through?

What does TWG think?

Oh I do love a historical novel! If you’re a history buff, you might recognise the names of the two main characters in this book, Mairi and Elsie. Or, as they also liked to be called, Mairi Chisholm and Elsie Knocker. Ring any bells?

I have to admit, whilst my knowledge of the Victoria era, Edward and Mrs Simpson (and others) is pretty decent, my knowledge of nurses who were on the frontline in the war, isn’t exactly 100 percent. Offhand, I had no idea who these two ladies were but, after a little bit of googling whilst I lost myself in Lizzie Page’s novel, I couldn’t quite believe what I was reading. The two main characters in ‘The War Nurses’ are based on real life human beings. Yes, that’s right. Mairi and Elsie actually existed! Whilst a lot of the story Lizzie Page has written is fictional, the dates, names and technical elements of the story are in fact factual. But, seeing as this author knows how to keep her readers guessing, if you’re anything like me you’ll be thinking that every single thing is fact and not fiction.

At first, there was something about Elsie I couldn’t quite seem to understand. I couldn’t put my finger on what that was, but something didn’t quite make sense where she was concerned. I hoped that, as the story unfolded, Elsie would start to make a bit of sense, but, just like everything else, it wasn’t a guarantee. I mean, how could it be? She was a nurse in the war time. Surely that’s enough to make anyone feel detached?

I warmed to Mairi’s personality straight away due to how naive and innocent she came across. I know that sounds daft but it’s true. Because of that, I felt like a proud parent watching her come out of her shell as she did her duty as a nurse in the war. Any obstacle she came across, she got through it. Of course she didn’t have any other option, that is for sure!

I was in my element reading ‘The War Nurses’, not only because of the theme of the book, but because of the way the author engaged her readers with her fabulous storytelling. Even if I wanted to (which I didn’t, just saying), I couldn’t put this book down. Reading about the raw details of war time events was quite emotional. People lost their lives to fight for their country. To fight for us. It certainly made me feel incredibly lucky and very humbled.

‘The War Nurses’ is a gritty, raw and touching novel which left me wanting more. I loved finding out about two iconic women and what they did for soldiers in battle. It was heart wrenching , I shan’t lie, but it was also beautifully written and wonderfully thought out.

If you love your history, you would love ‘The War Nurses’. This book severely got under my skin – I won’t be serving its eviction notice anytime soon because ‘The War Nurses’ deserves its place there. Such a wonderful, wonderful book. Loved it.

Buy now!

About the author.

Lizzie Page has always loved reading the adventures of women in the past so it seemed natural to write historical fiction. The War Nurses is the first in a trilogy inspired by some of the incredible women who served on the Western Front. She likes to think its a ‘fierce-friendship-story’ and hopes the series helps shine a light on the achievements and relationships of women in war, and that you find all the books entertaining and moving. 

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Dark Ice by Dave Stanton (@DanRenoNovels) @BloodHoundBook

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Happy publication day to Dave Stanton and ‘Dark Ice’! Thrilled, or should that say ‘chilled’, to be kicking off the blitz today with my review. Thank you to BloodHoundBooks for the blitz invite, as well as the ARC of the book.

Dave Stanton - Dark Ice_cover_high res

While skiing deep in Lake Tahoe’s backcountry, private detective Dan Reno finds the first naked body, buried under fresh snow. Reno’s contacted by the grieving father who wants to know who murdered his daughter and why?

How did the body end up in such a remote, mountainous location? The questions become murkier when a second body is found. Is there a serial killer stalking promiscuous young women in South Lake Tahoe? Or are the murders linked to a different criminal agenda?

Searching for answers, Reno is accosted by a gang of racist bikers with a score to settle. He also must deal with his pal, Cody Gibbons, who the police consider a suspect. The clues lead to the owner of a strip club and a womanizing police captain, but is either the killer?

The bikers up the ante, but are unaware that Cody Gibbons has Reno’s back at any cost. Meanwhile, the police won’t tolerate Reno’s continued involvement in the case. But Reno knows he’s getting close. And the most critical clue comes from the last person he’d suspect.

What does TWG think?

Ice ice baby – this author never disappoints! What a chilling, fast paced and severely addictive novel! I’m surprised I didn’t turn into an ice-cube what with all the chilling scenarios and all!! Sorry, I’ll stop with the ice anecdotes….

Once again, Dave Stanton writes about murder in an incredibly realistic manner, whilst also managing to engage the reader every step of the way. ‘Dark Ice’ is exceptionally dark, with gruesome elements merely being the tip of the iceberg (sorry!).

The only irk I had about this novel was the constant references to drugs. I understand that that is what Dan Reno and Cody are about, but for me, ‘Dark Ice’ seemed to contain more of that than the other novels. It didn’t put me off per se, it just made me go ‘hmmm’ once or twice.

I loved how Cody appeared on the scene when he was needed the most, especially given the nature of his character and how much he actually brings to the storyline itself. He has become a large part of the ‘Dan Reno’ series, even if his actions do leave a lot to be desired at times!

A ballsy, intense novel with more action in it than a scene of ‘Top Gun’!

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1960, Dave Stanton moved to Northern California in 1961. He attended San Jose State University and received a BA in journalism in 1983. Over the years, he worked as a bartender, newspaper advertising salesman, furniture mover, debt collector, and technology salesman. He has two children, Austin and Haley, and lives with his wife, Heidi, in San Jose, California.

Stanton is the author of six novels, all featuring private investigator Dan Reno and his ex-cop buddy, Cody Gibbons.

www.facebook.com/DanRenoNovels

#CoverReveal – The Weekend Spa Break by Anne John-Ligali (@AnneJohnLigali) @RaRaResources @BooksNAuthorsUK

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)
Did someone say cover reveal?

Uhhhhhhh YAH! You guys know how much TWG likes a cover reveal!

Anne John-Ligali is back with part two of her ‘Friendships Online Series’ with ‘The Weekend Spa Break’, and what a glitz-tastic cover it is!

The Weekend Spa Break CoverFriendships Online Series
Part Two

After finally meeting in person at the publishing party of the season, Constance and Estelle are determined not to let their friendship return to mere virtual champagne bottles and uploaded pictures of food.

It’s been a busy year, and Constance feels it’s time to reward herself with the spa break
Estelle gave her for Christmas. Naturally, Constance wouldn’t dream of taking anyone other than Estelle, and this will provide the perfect opportunity to bond with her new chum.

As the excited pair spend some quality time together, they realise it’s not just writing books they have in common, but something that goes much deeper. After a few Jacuzzi sessions, facials, pedicures, and a massage by sexy Senior Therapist, Julio, everything seems to be peachy until an unexpected visitor turns Constance’s weekend of bliss … on its head.

A two-day spa break.
Sparkling water on tap.
And the perfect massage.
But who’s rubbing who up the wrong way?

Oh isn’t it pretttyyyyyy?!?!

‘The Weekend Spa Break’ will be published on the 30th April. Pre-order your copy now from Amazon!

About the author.

Anne John-Ligali is a writer and the founder of Books and Authors UK, a popular website
featuring author interviews and book reviews.  She loves all things books: reading, writing, going to book events, and meeting other book lovers. She has written a series of short stories and is currently writing her first novel.

Anne has always loved stories and read many books as a child, including the entire Sweet Valley High and Caitlyn series.  Her interest in writing fiction came years later, when she began writing for pleasure in 2007.

Originally from Peterborough, Anne now lives in London. After moving to London, she
studied graphic design at the University of Arts and has held a number IT administration jobs in the city. Anne continues writing and aspires to write more women’s fiction books, a non- fiction book and several children’s books.

Social Media Links –

Author blog
Instagram
Author Twitter
Author FB

Books and Authors UK
Books and Authors UK Twitter
Books and Authors UK Facebook

#BlogTour! #Review – Body and Soul by John Harvey (@John_BHarvey) @WmHeinemann @Annecater

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I am delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for ‘Body and Soul’ by John Harvey, here on TWG today! Thank you to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and thank you to the publisher, William Heinemann, for the ARC. ‘Body and Soul’ will be published on the 19th April. Here is my review:

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From the master of British Crime Writing comes Frank Elder’s last case.

‘The heavy manacles around the girl’s wrists, perhaps not surprisingly, looked very much like the ones that had been found on the studio floor. For a moment, she had a vision of the chain to which they were attached being swung through the air, taking on force and speed before striking home.Then swung again.’

When his estranged daughter Katherine appears on his doorstep, ex-Detective Frank Elder knows that something is wrong.

Katherine has long been troubled, and Elder has always felt powerless to help her.

But now Katherine has begun to self-destruct.

The breakdown of her affair with a controversial artist has sent her into a tailspin which culminates in murder.

And as Elder struggles to protect his daughter and prove her innocence, the terrors of the past threaten them both once more …

What does TWG think?

Before reading ‘Body and Soul’, I had no idea who John Harvey was. I didn’t even realise that ‘Body and Soul’ was the second book in his ‘Frank Elder’ series either! However, after devouring this novel in pretty much one sitting, I am rather annoyed with myself for not finding this author sooner. What an addictive read this was! If, like me, you haven’t read the first book in the series, ‘Flesh and Blood’, do not panic as I thought ‘Body and Soul’ read perfectly well as a standalone. That said, it won’t harm your defence if you do choose to read the first book beforehand 😉 – I’ll definitely be purchasing it anyway!

Frank Elder is a rather complex character. He’s guarded. He’s unsure. Yet he knows how to get answers. Unfortunately for Elder, those answers come at a price. A price which his daughter, Katherine, already seems to have paid for. Or has she? With so much in life battling against Katherine, Elder is determined to help his daughter battle her demons and get her back on a healthier path before she completely self destructs, but someone is about to make Frank Elder’s life a misery…again.

‘Body and Soul’ for me, was, pardon the pun, an out-of-body experience. Before you start frowning at me, hear me out. This storyline is incredibly complex and highly addictive, with characters who seem to know a lot more than they’re letting on. Not only that, their choices leave a lot to be desired, shocking me to my very core. Half the time whilst reading ‘Body and Soul’, I felt as though I was an outsider looking in. Like I was looking down on everything that was happening, yet still being one hundred percent invested in every situation my eyes were landing on. It’s not often things make me speechless, but John Harvey has managed to do that with incredible ease.

Watching Katherine deteriorate before my very eyes was very difficult to read. At first I didn’t have all of the information as to why she was self destructing, but, as the author drip fed the information in his storyline, the puzzle pieces began to fit together and everything started to make sense. I was looking down on Katherine and her situation, wanting to save her from something and possibly nothing, even though my gut was telling me that the ‘war’ wasn’t quite over yet.

‘Body and Soul’ exceeded any expectations I had in my sub conscience. The strength of the overall storyline was outstanding and very well delivered, with cleverly crafted characters adding even more depth to an already ironclad story. At first the pace of the book was slow and, for the first time ever, I was so glad it started out that way as, by the time the storyline came to the nitty gritty situations, I was a lot more prepared for the unknown.

A brilliantly written and addictive novel that is full of enough shock worthy circumstances to make your hair stand to attention.

‘Body and Soul’ will be published on the 19th April but you can pre-order it now via Amazon.

#BlogTour! #Extract – A Grand Old Time by Judy Leigh (@JudyLeighWriter) @AvonBooksUK

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Judy Leigh is having ‘A Grand Old Time’ today! Not bad for a Monday at all! It’s my turn to host Judy and her new book today, as I share an extract from ‘A Grand Old Time’. Thank you to Avon for the blog tour invite, as well as a copy of the book.

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An uplifting, feelgood comedy that proves it’s never too late to have the time of your life.

Evie Gallagher is regretting her hasty move into a care home. She may be seventy-five and recently widowed, but she’s absolutely not dead yet. And so, one morning, Evie walks out of Sheldon Lodge and sets off on a Great Adventure across Europe.

But not everyone thinks Great Adventures are appropriate for women of Evie’s age, least of all her son Brendan and his wife Maura, who follow a trail of puzzling text messages to bring her home.

When they finally catch up with her, there are shocks in store . . . because while Brendan may have given up on life and love, Evie certainly has not.

Extract.

Evie was oblivious to the changes outside as the plane started its descent. Paul was asleep, his trout mouth puffing out air. Danny, noticing the plane’s trajectory, looked furtively at Evie to check she was calm and then began extolling the virtues of Steven Gerrard’s free kick and how his slip-up against Chelsea had cost him the Premiership title before he retired. Evie was smiling, but there was a whistling sensation in her ears and a nagging feeling that she might find her route out of Liverpool Airport a little difficult to negotiate.

‘I liked him, that John Lennon one,’ she mused. ‘It was a bloody shame they shot him.’
‘Whereabouts you going in Liverpool, Evie?’ Danny raised an eyebrow, pushing Paul upright, before his head flopped onto Danny’s shoulder.
‘I need to find myself a hotel for a few days. Can you recommend …?’
‘Yeh, no probs – we’ll get you a taxi to the city centre when we get out, won’t we, Paul?’
Paul continued to sleep, a snore rattling in his mouth. The wheels on the plane bumped against the runway; the brakes came on and Danny took up the conversation quickly. ‘So, you doing anything special in Liverpool, Evie? Besides shopping.’
Evie wasn’t sure. So she said, ‘Yes. I’m visiting my son.’
‘Oh? Does he live in Liverpool?’

She considered for a moment. ‘No, he’s meeting me there.’ She had drunk too much and suddenly mischief popped like a champagne cork in her head. ‘He’s a rock star.’
Danny looked directly at Evie. ‘A rock star? Anyone famous?’
Danny’s face loomed drunk and earnest. It was time for another small performance. Evie sat upright, stretched her arms and swept a hand through her hair. ‘Oh yes, my son’s quite famous. I’m sure you’ll have heard of him. He’s a singer and he plays with his band all over the world. He’s called Bono.’
Danny sat up straight, jerking Paul to a seated position. They stared at each other. Paul blinked and Danny poked him with his elbow and gave a little laugh.
‘Bloody hell, Paul,’ breathed Danny. ‘We just got drunk with Bono’s ma.

Buy now!

#BlogBlitz! #Review – The Holiday Cottage by the Sea by Holly Martin (@HollyMAuthor) @Bookouture

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Third and final day of the blog blitz and one of the stops is with me, TWG! I was a bit concerned about this book at first, seeing as it was yet another ‘by the sea’ novel, but Holly Martin did not disappoint at all. I am so excited to be sharing my review of ‘The Holiday Cottage by the Sea’ and, as always, big thank you to Bookouture for the ARC and the blitz invite. Here is my review:

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Escape to Sandcastle Bay, where you’ll discover a charming little seaside village brimming with heart-warming friendships, quirky characters and plenty of sunshine.

The perfect place to fall in love this summer…

Tori Graham is in need of a holiday. Trying to piece her heart back together after losing the love of her life, she escapes to Blossom Cottage, with its picturesque views of the sea. And plans to spend the summer in gorgeous Sandcastle Bay, where her best friend Melody Rosewood lives.

Tori’s not expecting her summer by the beach to be eventful, until she meets handsome and mysterious Aidan Jackson…

Aidan looks after the holiday cottage Tori is staying in. Healing from past hurts, he wants to avoid any further chance of heartache. But could this newcomer be the breath of fresh air he needs?

Finding herself embracing life in the coastal community, Tori starts to fall in love with Sandcastle Bay and its welcoming cast of residents. But that’s not all she begins to fall for, as Tori is swept away by Aidan’s genuine heart and mischievous sense of humour. The attraction between them is undeniable, but will a simple holiday romance be enough?

As Tori’s stay in Sandcastle Bay comes to an end she has a tough decision to make…. Has her heart found a new place to call home?

What does TWG think?

What a smile inducing book this is!! Even some of the characters and houses have such pretty names – just take a look at ‘Blossom Cottage’ and ‘Melody Rosewood’!

Personally, I found the theme of the storyline to be a little bit predictable in terms of the various situations which several characters found themselves in, which meant that I wasn’t overly surprised by the turn of events later on in the book. That said, Holly Martin has a unique way of telling a story and making her characters stand out and, thankfully, she didn’t disappoint at all. Predictable maybe, but the laughs and the vibe of the novel were in a league of their own which for me, made ‘The Holiday Cottage by the Sea’, stand out above the rest.

Isla’s situation was incredibly heartwarming and I couldn’t help but be touched at what she chose to do. It takes a bigger person to do what Isla did, but it was very clear that she made the right decision, even though it was probably one of the most emotional decisions she had ever made.

Tori’s entrance in Sandcastle Bay had me in hysterics! My first impression of her wasn’t a great one, but boy oh boy did she manage to change my mind! I went from thinking she was a jumped up, highly guarded character, to a character who has such a large heart and would do anything for anyone else. Her personality wowed me as the storyline went on, making her one of my most favourite Holly Martin characters. Well……Dobby too, but I’m sure that goes without saying!!

As for the dog names – I snorted!! Brilliant!!

What I love most about the way that Holly Martin writes, is how she manages to create romantic and sexual vibes for her characters without coming across seedy and embarrassing. There are no ‘panties’ where this author is concerned! Not that I’m saying she goes commando, just to clarify! She just doesn’t use the cringy word! I am not a romantic person by any means, but as I read the way in which this author described Tori’s relationship, I found myself believing in the romantic elements of this novel one hundred percent. I shan’t lie, several scenes got me a little bit hot under the collar, but it worked exceptionally well with the rest of the storyline.

Even though I knew which route the storyline was going to take, it didn’t put me off the book at all. I loved reading about such fun characters who made me laugh out loud more than once. Characters who made me feel as though I was catching up with a group of old friends after several years. Holly Martin captured the true essence of love and friendship with her story, thus making me extremely gutted when the book had to end.

What do you do when you click with someone despite knowing that your time together is limited? You do what Holly Martin taught me in ‘The Holiday Cottage by the Sea’ – you follow your heart and you do not give up, even when the going gets tough!

A truly hilarious read that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face, as well as giving you the urge to go berry picking in the middle of the night. Such a heart-warming read – I would be surprised if Elsa’s frozen exterior didn’t find itself melted after reading this! Simply delightful, the beast got his beauty – I loved this book!

Buy now!

About the author.

Holly lives in a little white cottage by the sea. She studied media at university which led to a very glitzy career as a hotel receptionist followed by an even more glamorous two years working in a bank. The moment that one of her colleagues received the much coveted carriage clock for fifteen years’ service was the moment when she knew she had to escape. She quit her job and returned to university to train to be a teacher. Three years later, she emerged wide eyed and terrified that she now had responsibility for the development of thirty young minds. She taught for four years and then escaped the classroom to teach history workshops, dressing up as a Viking one day and an Egyptian High Priestess the next. But the long journeys around the UK and many hours sat on the M25 gave her a lot of time to plan out her stories and she now writes full time, doing what she loves.

Holly has been writing for 8 years. She was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology. She won the Carina Valentine’s competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with her novel The Guestbook. She was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014. She is the bestselling author of 18 books.

Follow her on Twitter @HollyMAuthor