#Extract from #TheSecretMother by Shalini Boland (@ShaliniBoland) @Bookouture

Fans of Bookouture already know that when the team set their mind to something, by golly do they achieve it! I am super excited to be one (of many) bloggers helping to fill social media with Shalini Boland. Not literally of course – that would be mean!

Hmmmmmmm, how else could we do that…

Oh! I know! Extract from Shalini Boland’s upcoming novel #TheSecretMother perhaps?

Shalini Boland - Author Pic
What readers are saying about Shalini Boland:


‘Read in one sitting from 9pm last night until 2:15 am. I literally could not put it down!!!! The story line and the twists and the way it’s written just draws you in completely and you have to know where it’s going I couldn’t read fast enough… absolutely addictive and brilliant and an end I didn’t see coming. This is one book you have to read and it gets 5 huge stars from me!!!!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘What can I say? Just wow. I’m usually never surprised by an ending, but this one blew me away. I am totally in shock and think I’ll have a hangover from this book for a while. A great read that keeps you on your toes until the very last word.’ Stacey Harrell, Goodreads 

‘If anyone can have me reading until 2am and finishing a book in less than 48hrs in the school holidays it’s this author… massive five stars from me.’ Sarah Mackins, UK Crime Book Club, 5 stars

‘The ending of this book blew me out of the water, you won’t be able to put this down.’ For the Love of Books, 5 stars

‘The plot is gripping and once you’ve started reading, you have to keep on reading, you need to know how the story will end.’ Bits About Books, 5 Stars
 
… one of the most chilling reads of the year for me.’Ajoobacats Blog, 5 Stars

‘This book should come with a warning… make sure you have enough time to read it in one-sitting because as soon as you’ll pick it up, you won’t be able to put it down!’ Bookishly Ever After, 5 stars
 
‘This is a brilliant psychological thriller. In fact, it’s one of the best I’ve read. It is full of suspense and has more twists and turns than a fairground ride.’ Jackie Roche, UK Crime Book Club, 5 Stars

‘I thought I knew the direction this story was going go. Then the jaw dropping moment happened!… unputdownable!’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 Stars

‘Once again, Boland has managed to blow my mind with all the twists and turns… an outstanding explosive read!’ Mello and June, 5 Stars

‘Great book. I read it in less than 24 hours. I was unable to put it down. The story was fast paced and intriguing.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Pre-order ‘The Secret Mother’ now!

Amazon UK
Amazon US

EXTRACT!

THE SECRET MOTHER
By Shalini Boland

 Chapter One

The street lamps flicker, illuminating the grey pavement mottled with patches of dirty snow and slick black ice. Slushy puddles hug the kerb, cringing away from the hissing, splashing car tyres. It takes all my concentration to keep my balance. My hands would be warmer if I jammed them into my coat pockets, but I need them free to steady myself on walls, fences, tree trunks, lamp posts. I don’t want to fall. And yet would it really be so terrible if I slipped on the ice? Wet jeans, a bruised bum. Not the end of the world. There are worse things. Far worse things.

It’s Sunday: the last exhale of the week. That uncomfortable pause before Monday, when it all starts up again – this lonely pretence at life. Sunday has become a black dot on the horizon for me, growing larger each day. I’m relieved now it’s almost over and yet I’m already anticipating the next one. The day when I visit the cemetery and stand above their graves, staring at the grass and stone, talking to them both, wondering if they hear my inane chatter or if I’m simply talking into the empty wind. In burning sunlight, pouring rain, sub-zero temperatures or thick fog I stand there. Every week. I’ve never missed a Sunday yet.

Sleet spatters my face. Icy needles that make me blink and gasp. Finally, I turn off the high street into my narrow road, where it’s more sheltered and the wind less violent. A rainbow assortment of overflowing bins lines my route, waiting for collection tomorrow at some ungodly pre-dawn hour. I turn my face away from the windows where Christmas tree lights wink and blink, reminding me of happier Christmases. Before.

Almost home.

My little north London terraced house sits halfway along the road. Pushing open the rusted gate, I turn my face away from the neglected front garden with its discarded sweet wrappers and crisp packets blown in from the street, now wedged among long tussocks of grass and overgrown bushes. I thrust my frozen fingers into my bag until they finally close around a jagged set of keys. I’m glad to be home, to get out of the cold, and yet my body sags when I open the door and step into the dark silence of the hall, feeling the hollow of their absence.

At least it’s warm in here. I shrug off my coat, kick off my boots, dump my bag on the hall table and switch on the light, avoiding my sad reflection in the hall mirror. A glass of wine would be welcome about now. I glance at my watch – only 5.20. No. I’ll be good and make a hot chocolate instead.

Strangely, the door to the kitchen is closed. This strikes me as odd, as I always leave it open. Perhaps a gust of wind slammed it shut when I came in. I trudge to the end of the hall and stop. Through a gap in the bottom of the door I see that the light is on. Someone’s in there. I catch my breath, feel the world slow down for a moment before it speeds back up. Could I have a burglar in my house?

I cock my ear. A sound filters through. Humming. A child is humming a tune in my kitchen. But I don’t have a child. Not any more.

Slowly I pull down the handle and push the door, my body tensing. I hardly dare breathe.

Here before me sits a little boy with dark hair, wearing pale blue jeans and a green cable-knit jumper. A little boy aged about five or six, perched on a chair at my kitchen counter, humming a familiar tune. Head down, he is intent on his drawing, colouring pencils spread out around an A4 sheet of paper. A navy raincoat hangs neatly over the back of the chair.

He looks up as I enter the room, his chocolate-brown eyes wide. We stare at one another for a moment.

‘Are you my mummy?’ the little boy asks.

I bite my bottom lip, feel the ground shift. I grasp the counter top to steady myself. ‘Hello,’ I say, my heart suddenly swelling. ‘Hello. And who might you be?’

‘You know. I’m Harry,’ he replies. ‘Do you like my picture?’ He holds the sheet out in front of him, showing me his drawing of a little boy and a woman standing next to a train. ‘It’s not finished. I haven’t had time to colour it in properly,’ he explains.

‘It’s lovely, Harry. Is that you standing next to the train?’

‘Yes.’ He nods. ‘It’s you and me. I drew it for you because you’re my mummy.’

Am I hallucinating? Have I finally gone crazy? This beautiful little boy is calling me his mummy. And yet I don’t know him. I’ve never seen him before in my life. I close my eyes tight and then open them again. He’s still there, looking less confident now. His hopeful smile has faltered, slipping into a frown. His eyes are now a little too bright. I know that look – it’s the one that precedes tears.

‘Hey, Harry,’ I say with false jollity. ‘So you like trains, huh?’

His smile returns. ‘Steam trains are the best. Better than diesels.’ He scrunches up his face in disgust and blinks.

‘Did you come here on the train? To my house?’

‘No. We came on the bus. I wish we did come on the train, the bus was really slow. And it made me feel a bit sick.’ He lays the sheet of paper back on the counter.

‘And who did you come with?’ I ask.

‘The angel.’

I think I must have misheard him. ‘Who?’

‘The angel brought me here. She told me that you’re my mummy.’

‘The angel?’

He nods.

I glance around, suddenly aware that Harry might not be the only stranger in my house. ‘Is she here now?’ I ask in a whisper. ‘Is there someone else here with you?’

‘No, she’s gone. She told me to do some drawing and you’d be here soon.’

I relax my shoulders, relieved that there’s no one else in my home. But it still doesn’t help me solve the problem of who this little boy is. ‘How did you get into the house?’ I ask, nervously wondering if I might find a smashed window somewhere.

‘Through the front door, silly,’ he replies with a smile, rolling his eyes.

Through the front door? Did I leave it open somehow? I’m sure I would never have done that. What’s going on here? I should call someone. The authorities. The police. Somebody will be looking for this child. They will be frantic with worry. ‘Would you like a hot chocolate, Harry?’ I ask, keeping my voice as calm as possible. ‘I was going to make one for myself, so—’

‘Do you make it with milk?’ he interrupts. ‘Or with hot water? It’s definitely nicer with milk.’

I suppress a smile. ‘I agree, Harry. I always make it with milk.’

‘Okay. Yes, please,’ he replies. ‘Hot chocolate would be lovely.’

My heart squeezes at his politeness.

‘Shall I carry on colouring in my picture,’ he says, ‘or shall I help you? Because I’m really good at stirring in the chocolate.’

‘Well, that’s lucky,’ I reply, ‘because I’m terrible at stirring in the chocolate, so it’s a good thing you’re here to help me.’

He grins and slides off the stool.

What am I doing? I need to call the police right now. This child is missing from somewhere. But, oh God, just give me ten minutes with this sweet little boy who believes I’m his mother. Just a few moments of make-believe and then I’ll do the right thing. I reach out to touch his head and immediately snatch my hand back. What am I thinking? This boy has to go back to his real mother; she must be paralysed with worry.

He smiles up at me again and my chest constricts.

‘Okay,’ I say, taking a breath and blinking back any threat of tears. ‘We’ll do the chocolate in a minute. I’m just going to make a quick phone call in the hall, okay?’

‘Oh, okay.’

‘Carry on with your drawing for a little while. I won’t be long.’

He climbs back up onto the stool and selects a dark green pencil before resuming his colouring with a look of serious concentration. I turn away and pad out to the hall, where I retrieve my phone from my bag. But instead of dialling the police, I call another number. It rings twice.

‘Tess.’ The voice at the other end of the line is clipped, wary.

‘Hi, Scott. I need you to come over.’

‘What? Now?’

‘Yes. Please, it’s important.’

‘Tessa, I’m knackered, and it’s hideous out there. I’ve just sat down with a cup of tea. Can’t it wait till tomorrow?’

‘No.’ Standing by the hall table, I glimpse Harry through the doorway, the curls of his fringe flopping over one eye. Am I dreaming him?

‘What’s the matter?’ Scott says this the way he always says it. What he really means is, What’s the matter now? Because there’s always something the matter. I’m his damaged wife, who’s always having some new drama or make-believe crisis. Only this time he’ll see it’s something real, it’s something not of my making.

‘I can’t tell you over the phone, it’s too weird. You have to come over, see for yourself.’

His sigh comes long and hard down the phone. ‘Give me twenty minutes, okay?’

‘Okay. Thanks, Scott. Get here as soon as you can.’

My heart pounds, trying to make sense of what’s happening. That little boy in there says an angel brought him. He says I’m his mummy. But he’s not mine. So where on earth did he come from?

I take a breath and go back into the kitchen. The air is warm, welcoming, cosy. Nothing like the usual sterile atmosphere in here.

‘Can we make hot chocolate now?’ Harry looks up with shining eyes.

‘Of course. I’ll get the mugs and the chocolate. You open that drawer over there and pass me the smallest pan you can find.’

He eagerly does as I ask.

‘Harry,’ I say. ‘Where are your parents, your mummy and daddy?’

He stares at the pans in the drawer.

‘Harry?’ I prompt.

‘They’re not here,’ he replies. ‘Is this one small enough?’ He lifts out a stainless-steel milk pan and waves it in my direction.

‘Perfect.’ I nod and take it from him. ‘Can you tell me where you live?’

No reply.

‘Did you run away from home? Are you lost?’

‘No.’

‘But where’s your house or flat? The place you live? Is it here in Friern Barnet? In London? Close to my house?’

He scowls and looks down at the flagstone floor.

‘Do you have a last name?’ I ask as gently as I can.

He looks up at me, his chin jutting out. ‘No.’

I try again, crouching down so I’m on his level. ‘Harry, darling, what’s your mummy’s name?’

‘You’re my new mummy. I have to stay here now.’ His bottom lip quivers.

‘Okay, sweetie. Don’t worry. Let’s just make our drinks, shall we?’

He nods vigorously and sniffs.

I give his hand a squeeze and straighten up. I wish I hadn’t had to call Scott. And yet I need him to be here when I ring the police. I can’t deal with them on my own, not after what happened before. I’m dreading their arrival – the questions, the sideways glances, the implication that I might have done something wrong. I haven’t done anything wrong, though. Have I?

And Harry… he’ll be taken away. What if his parents have been abusive? What if he has to go into foster care? A thousand thoughts run through my mind, each worse than the one before. But it’s not my place to decide what happens to him. There’s nothing I can do about any of it, because he’s not mine.

I don’t have a child. Not any more.

 

Advertisements

#BlogTour! #Review – #InvisibleWomen by Sarah Long @bonnierzaffre

InvisibleWomen_TourCard
It’s my turn to host Sarah Long’s ‘Invisible Women’! Huge thanks to Bonnier Zaffre for asking me to be involved in the paperback blog tour!

invisible-women-gr
Tessa, Sandra and Harriet have been best friends through first crushes, careers, marriage and the trials of motherhood. After twenty years of taking care of everyone else’s every need, they’ve found themselves hitting the big 5-0 and suddenly asking themselves: ‘what about me?!’

Sandra has a sordid secret, and Harriet is landed with her ailing mother-in-law. Tessa is looking for something to fill the gaping hole left by her youngest daughter’s departure for uni, where it seems she’s now engaged in all sorts of unsavoury activities, if Tessa’s obsessive late-night Facebook stalking is anything to go by.

When Tessa impulsively responds to an online message from an old flame, she soon finds herself waiting at Heathrow Airport for The One That Got Away.

But what will the plane from New York bring her? The man of her dreams, or a whole heap of trouble?

And could this be the long-awaited moment for Tessa to seize her life, for herself, with both hands?

What does TWG think?

One day, as I was feeling so downtrodden and incredibly invisible, I decided to find myself a new book to get stuck into. After less than a minutes worth of searching, a book appeared on my screen which couldn’t have been more apt if it had tried; Invisible Women. Coincidence or match made in heaven? I’m going to go with the latter! I really was in a funk of a mood, so to find a book which seemed to fit the bill with how I was feeling right at that very moment, I just knew I had to read it.

So I did.

Even before I had had time to settle myself into the storyline, the book had already thrown me a curveball which left me somewhat curious and somewhat impatient. I wanted to know what the monkeys was going on but seeing as the question mark loomed at the very start, I knew that I had a long wait to find out what was happening. Three women, three very different lives, yet all three ladies have one big thing in common; they are all about to hit the big FIVE-OH. Now, I’ve always known the age of mid-life crisis’ to be 40 (no offence to anyone 40 or over, just what I’ve seen about!). To see a storyline focus on the age of fifty and the realistic issues that could crop up at that time, well, it was like a little breath of fresh air and an eye-opener all in one go!

Sandra, Tess and Harriett have all reached the times in their lives where their children have flown the nest, they release that they can’t stop defying gravity for much longer and they think about all of the things that they SHOULD have done. No, no, no, I don’t mean going on a family vacation to a different country, or eating different food in a restaurant when your staple is always fish, chips and mushy peas. No. Things for them. Things that would make themselves happier, boost their confidence or actually make them feel….visible?

Whilst it may seem all to easy to just go and do things for yourself, when you have husbands like Tessa, Sandra and Harriett’s, the only thing that you’re likely to do for yourself is….er…..

Oh, my, god. All three men were absolute PIGS! One husband is like the spokesperson for selfishness and gluttony, another husband seems to have gotten muck in his eyes and forgets that his wife is indeed his wife, and not his maid, and the third one seems to have had his own issues but is now hell-bent on using the ‘woe is me’ card. Even.in.the.aftermath. Man flu doesn’t seem as bad now when you compare it to those three!!

There were times where I found the book to be a little slow, but, I actually think the storyline needed those slow moments to make the realism of the three situations more evident. Sarah Long hasn’t made all of the storyline bubbly, optimistic and cosy; she has made a lot of it modern, realistic and bulshy. I felt really sorry for one of the ladies as they were treated like absolute shizzmanizzle and I found myself getting rather irate. I say ‘rather’, I think I may have shouted at the book once or twice. I hope we weren’t meant to like the husbands in this book, because I can assure you that I did not!

‘Invisible Women’ is very cleverly written, witty and the underlying message throughout the storyline is a very important one. I was really hopeful that all three women would manage to find their callings in life, their happiness and their reason to keep going. At times I was urging them to just go for it but as an outsider, it was easy for me to sit here and say that.

Sarah Long is very witty in her dialogue and knows how to keep her readers enthralled by her words. Whilst ‘Invisible Women’ didn’t blow me away, it really was the tonic I needed when I felt low myself. Lots of giggles, powerful friendships and bucketfuls of determination, this book will really keep your attention from start to finish.

Thank you Bonnier Zaffre.

Buy now from Amazon

About The Author:

Sarah Long worked in publishing before giving it all up to move to Paris with her husband and three children.

She is the author of And What Do You Do? and The Next Best Thing.
Following several years of the Parisian experience, she now lives back in London.

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Innocent Blood by Linda.S.Prather @jacodypress @Bloodhoundbook

BLOG BLITZ (6)
Apologies for my late in the day post, but here is my review of Linda.S.Prather’s, ‘Innocent Blood’, as part of BloodHoundBooks blog blitz. Enjoy!

INNOCENT 6 FINAL

Loki Redmond swore she’d never return to the reservation, but two missing hunters and the ancient Choctaw myth of Nalusa Falaya take her and her brother, Dadron, on a dangerous trek through the wilderness.

Meanwhile, her partner Jake Savior, heads to Tunica, Mississippi, to investigate the second mass killing by a Choctaw police officer.

Are the cases connected?

The only thing they know for sure is innocent blood has been shed, and unless they can find the source more are going to die.

What does TWG think?

‘Innocent Blood’ is book two in a series and, even though I had been made aware that this book was okay to be read as a standalone, I really do wish I had read the first book in the series beforehand. Whilst the author IS incredibly generous with her background information, I still felt as though I was missing some vital puzzle pieces as I went along. I still managed to read the book and enjoy it, but I couldn’t help but have that slight ‘lost’ feeling throughout. My personal recommendation would be to read these books in order.

Not only was this book a start of a brand new series for me, I was also reading a Linda.S.Prather novel for the very first time. I know, I know, where have I been. Trust me, I don’t quite understand how I hadn’t managed to read one before this! Not to worry though, at least I have now!

There’s a lot of history for Loki when it comes to the ‘reservation’, some of which is part of her, and some of which she would love to forget. But, seeing as she has to play big sister/parent duty to her two younger brothers, there is a high chance that Loki will be staring the ‘reservation’ in the face once again. Not only that, her partner Jake Savior has been sent on an assignment. A mass killing assignment. Nothing like putting yourself slap bang in the middle of the firing line, eh!

Out of Loki and Jake’s assignments, I found Jake’s a lot easier to follow. I felt like I was missing some rather important background information where Loki was concerned and, whilst I got stuck into the situation, I kept asking questions regarding Loki and her family ties.

Lost feeling aside, I found ‘Innocent Blood’ to be such an addictive and intense read. Both assignments were often nail-biting, I’m not going to lie! I loved how the author switched between the two as it built up the suspense for when we were able to return to those parts of the book. I must admit, the mass murder situation kept me guessing from start to finish. I literally had no idea how that was going to end, but it sure was fun waiting to find out!

‘Innocent Blood’ is a fast paced, rollercoaster ride of intensity. Piquing my interest from the very beginning, ‘Innocent Blood’ kept my gripped which resulted in me being unable to put the book down.

Thanks BloodHoundBooks.

Buy now from Amazon UK

About the author.

Linda S. Prather is the NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author of 8 novels including two legal thrillers, a paranormal FBI series, one romance, and her current series involving Loki Redmond, a Choctaw private investigator and Jake Savior, a former police officer. Linda lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband and grandchild, along with the “king” of the house, a Shitzu name Popcorn. Her latest release, Innocent Blood is her second in the Loki Redmond/Jake Savior series. In Linda’s own words: “This book is my favorite so far. My grandfather was a full-blooded Native American, and my mother half Native American. Prior to my marriage and children I studied Shamanism and developed a true love for nature. Studying the Choctaw history, customs, myths and religions was fascinating. Taking the facts I learned and weaving them into Loki’s story and her investigation into the disappearance of two hunters on the reservation was an emotional roller coaster for me. I found myself crying quite often.”

Links:

Website: linda@lindasprather.com – where you can join Linda’s email list and never miss a new release

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/linda.prather2
Twitter: @jacodypress

Blog: jacodypress.blogspot.com

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Christmas at Butterfly Cove – @sarahlou_writes @HQDigitalUK @NeverlandBT

Christmas Butterfly
Delighted to have author, Sarah Bennett, back on the blog today! Big thanks to NeverlandBT for inviting me to take part in the weekend blitz for ‘Christmas at Butterfly Cove’, even if it is bittersweet -sniffs-. Here is my review:

Book Cover-6
All she wants for Christmas…

When talented artist Nee Sutherland returns to Butterfly Cove for her sister’s wedding, it’s only a matter of time before she has to face her own bridegroom – Luke Spenser – the man she impulsively married, then left in the middle of the night.
Nee hasn’t picked up her paintbrushes in months, a part of her is broken. She knows Luke might never forgive her, leaving him was the biggest mistake of her life – but could coming home for Christmas be the best decision she’s ever made?
Maybe all she needs is a little Christmas miracle…

A delightfully feel-good festive romance, perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley, Rachael Lucas and Hilary Boyd.

What does TWG think?

Firstly, if you’re only just starting Sarah Bennett’s books, where on Earth have you been hiding?!
Secondly, if you’re starting Sarah Bennett’s trilogy with THIS book first – SERIOUSLY?!
Thirdly, yes, this book can be read as a standalone although I personally wouldn’t recommend it. Why? Because whilst this storyline has its own voice, a lot of the situations mentioned in this book won’t really make much sense if you haven’t read the previous two books beforehand.
Lastly, these books are fabulous and I am unbelievably devastated that we have reached the last book in the series. I apologise in advance if I start wailing. Wait, no I don’t 😉 ..

Ahhh the rather intriguing and secretive Nee is back in town, but why did she leave in the first place? Why did she get married then up and leave him whilst he was getting his beauty sleep? **

**If this man is anything like the way my mind has envisaged him due to the authors descriptive writing, he most certainly does NOT need his beauty sleep. Ever. Not in a million years. #Neeyou’reanumpty

It’s quite clear that there is way more to Nee that meets the eye, yet whether we will get to find out what secrets she is hiding – remains to be seen. If you’re anything like me, you’ll spend a good portion of the book trying to work out what Nee isn’t telling people. Again, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be waaayyyyyyy off when it comes to revealing all.

There’s a phrase in this book that has now made its home in my heart; ‘Lost – but never alone’. If I could have that phrase printed and placed on the wall right near my desk, it would remind me every single day that when times are hard and you might have lost your way, all you need to do is turn around and you won’t be on your own. There is always someone there whether it’s in physical form, or at the end of the phone. I’m not ashamed to admit that I got a bit teary when I read that line of the book, especially as I was reading the emotional scenes which prompted that line as well. For me, that line has become a magic line, and Sarah Bennett has become my fairy godmother. As weird as this sounds, I needed to hear that line at that moment in time.

Right now, all I want to do is grab a cuppa and sit and tell you every single thing about this book and this series. I want to be able to talk about it and go, ‘what did you think of the part when such and such….?’ or ‘omg did you think that was going to happen?’. But I’m not mean. It is extremely clear that the author has put her heart and soul in this storyline and I would be devastated if I (or anyone else) spoilt it with our big mouths.

‘Christmas at Butterfly Cove’ is a one of a kind novel. The characters are extremely complex yet full of warmth. The heart-breaking situations are executed realistically, ensuring the rawness of the events are captured completely. Whilst the storyline does contain an element of romance, the author has made her characters work hard for it which means that I was able to see relationships blossom over the duration of the novel instead of boy meets girl and wham, they’re pregnant. I loved how the serious and warm parts of the story were given equal airtime throughout as that meant the storyline was extremely well-balanced without feeling overwhelmed by grief, or emotional due to a long-awaited romance.

I am devastated that we have reached the final book in the series. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I adore all three books; especially this one. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to one of the most touching group of characters I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. I didn’t want to say goodbye to the two little cherubs who made my eyes leak quite frequently. I have become so invested in each of these characters lives, it’s as though I have come to know them personally as though they’re real people. I know they’re not…..before anyone starts laughing at me, but because of the way Sarah Bennett has written this book (and the others), she has made her characters and their lives appear real. As weird as this sounds, we have come through a lot together. By the way, can you imagine me telling this to a person who doesn’t read? Eeeeesh!!!

‘Christmas at Butterfly Cove’ filled my heart with joy, compassion and a truck load of emotion. This book also managed to leave me with a massive grin on my face when I reached the end (I think I had been smiling for a while before I realised – my cheeks hurt!).

If you’re wanting a book that can tug at the heart-strings, make you laugh out loud, and grin from ear to ear whilst reaching for another biscuit; this book is for you.
If you’re wanting a book that you can lose yourself in, feel as though you’re part of the fictional family whilst secretly wishing you genuinely were; this book is for you.
If you’re wanting a book that hugs you from the inside, leaves imprints in your mind whilst wishing you could read a book for the first time, every time; this book is for you.

I am severely jealous of every single reader who gets to read this book for the first time. I would do anything to be able to read this story for the first time, every time.

I absolutely loved this book, and I absolutely loved the series. Sarah Bennett is a wonder woman, a fairy godmother and a literary Queen, who has quickly become one of my all time favourite authors with her majestic and addictive reads. I cannot wait to get stuck into her new book series. If it’s anything like these, we are in for an absolute treat.

‘Christmas at Butterfly Cove’ needs to be devoured and loved. Trust me, the characters will love you back. You just watch.

Outstanding.

Thanks NeverlandBT & HQDigitalUK.

Book Links

Amazon UK  // Amazon US // Amazon CA // Amazon AU // Kobo // iBooks // Google Play

Author Bio

Sarah Bennett has been reading for as long as she can remember. Raised in a family of
bookworms, her love affair with books of all genres has culminated in the ultimate Happy Ever After – getting to write her own stories to share with others.

Born and raised in a military family, she is happily married to her own Officer (who is
sometimes even A Gentleman). Home is wherever he lays his hat, and life has taught them both that the best family is the one you create from friends as well as relatives.
When not reading or writing, Sarah is a devotee of afternoon naps and sailing the high seas, but only on vessels large enough to accommodate a casino and a choice of restaurants.

Sarah is the author of the Butterfly Cove trilogy, published by HQ Digital UK. You can also look forward to a new series coming in 2018, set in the beautiful seaside town of Lavender Bay.

Author Links.

Twitter
Facebook

Giveaway!!!!

1 winner

Prizes: £10 Amazon gift-card, butterfly necklace and butterfly journal

UK only

Enter the giveaway HERE! Good luck!

#BlogTour! #Review – The Accident by @DawnGoodwinAuthor @Aria_fiction

THE ACCIDENT blog tour

9781786699633

A tragic accident, an unbearable loss and a marriage in crisis – but who can she
trust or is she all alone? A gripping, debut psychological thriller that will keep you
hooked. Perfect for the fans of Paula Hawkins and S.J. Watson.

Veronica Pullman’s comfortable suburban life comes to a shuddering halt when her young daughter, Grace, tragically dies in a car accident.

Months later, unable to come to terms with her daughter’s death, detached from her husband and alienated from her friends and family, a chance encounter on a rainy street pushes her into an unlikely new friendship.

Scarlet is everything Veronica could’ve been: feisty, adventurous, unpredictable. But as she approaches what would have been Grace’s 10th birthday, it becomes clear to Veronica that the friendship she thought was saving her life could be costing her everything.

Consumed by grief and left questioning her own sanity, is there anyone she can really trust or is someone out to torment her as part of their twisted game?

What does TWG think?

Can I just start by saying that this book; ‘The Accident’, is Dawn Goodwin’s debut novel…DEBUT! Considering how well thought out the storyline was, the author came across as though she had been writing novels for a long time when in actual fact, it’s her first one!

Once again I need to be extremely careful with this review due to the amount of potential spoilers. There is a lot going on in this book – some expected, some not, but it certainly did its job by keeping me intrigued.

The theme of the storyline is based around something I found quite uncomfortable to read. Well crafted don’t get me wrong, but still uncomfortable. However as weird as this sounds, the author has used that theme to her advantage when it comes to setting the scene for the rest of the storyline.

There were moments where I was convinced I knew what was going to happen, but then there were moments where I hadn’t a clue what was going to happen. The mixture of both, whilst extremely confusing, kept me in suspense for the duration of the book. However, I did feel as though parts of the book were quite slow burning and lacking the oomph which the rest of the storyline possessed.

All in all, ‘The Accident’ kept me entertained most of the time, with the author creating a lot of well-timed suspense with their intriguing writing style. This book is certainly a promising start for novels in the future, and I am looking forward to seeing what this author brings out next!

Buy links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2xlkbky
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2toKRiq
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2tonJ3J
iBooks: http://apple.co/2yhH8C8

About the author

Dawn's career has spanned PR, advertising and publishing. Now, she loves to write
about the personalities hiding behind the masks, whether beautiful or ugly. Married,
she lives in London with her two daughters and a British bulldog called Geoffrey.

Follow Dawn
Facebook: @DGoodwinAuthor
Twitter: @DGoodwinAuthor

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Snowflakes, Iced Cakes & Second Chances by @SueWatsonWriter @Bookouture

Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances - Blog Tour
I am SO excited to be reviewing Sue Watson’s novel; ‘Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances’, for Bookouture as part of the blog blitz. Sue Watson is one of my all-time favourite authors, so I am absolutely thrilled to be involved in this blog blitz. Here is my review:

Snowflakes-Iced-Cakes-and-Second-Chances-Kindle
Escape to the cosy little village of Appledore for hot chocolate with extra marshmallows and a second chance at love. Will this Christmas prove that miracles really can happen?

A year after she separated from her husband, Gianni, on Christmas day, Chloe’s heart is finally on the mend as she unpacks the decorations for her first ever festive holiday alone. That is, until the phone rings…

It’s the manager of Gianni’s new seaside restaurant in Appledore, begging for Chloe’s help. Equally famous for his gold-leaf Christmas puddings and his explosive temper, Gianni has been really stirring up a sensation with the locals – and not in a good way! It’s the last thing she wants to do, but Chloe knows she is the only one that can help.

As pans fly and the temperature in the kitchen rises, Chloe’s calming influence and magic touch might just get critics back on side in time to save the restaurant from sinking like a sad soufflé. 

But as Chloe’s eyes meet Gianni’s as they tussle over a plate of turkey tartlets, could there also be a chance for new romance on the menu? 

A laugh-out-loud festive treat that will give you the tingle of freshly hung tinsel. Perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan, Abby Clements and Debbie Johnson.

What does TWG think?

We are back in Appledore, ready to meet some new faces! As a lover of Christmas, Chloe has always spent the festive season morphing into a Christmas tree decoration, or becoming Mariah Carey’s unofficial backing singer when the Christmas tunes come on. This year however, Chloe has a higher chance of putting on her Bridget Jones underwear, caking her face in a coal face mask whilst singing Elvis’, ‘It’ll Be Lonely This Christmas’, than relishing in the Christmas spirit like previous years.

Until the storyline chooses to divulge its secrets, us readers are none the wiser as to why Chloe’s festive plans have changed. All we know is that there was a man and now there isn’t. I don’t mean to knock a person when they’re down, but it’s pretty clear from the onset that Chloe is in a terrible state. It’s as though she’s missing her je ne sais quoi. Although to be fair, if I was in Chloe’s shoes I’d be making my way to the nearest Gregg’s and stocking up on mince pies! Priorities, obviously!

As the storyline progresses, the author allows us an insight into Chloe’s past and how she met the man who is no longer in reaching distance. Whilst some parts are obviously sad if you’re the romantic sort, other parts are highly hilarious. I mean, that Chloe is proper feisty when it comes to moving her puddings!! There were multiple occasions whilst I was reading this book, where I found myself proper belly laughing and laughing out loud. Needless to say, my four year old gave me MY look in response. Spoilsport. Did it stop me snorting? Did it heck. Fast forward several pages and I’m doing it again. Sue Watson just tickles me every single time. I love it!

I reckon some readers may find Gianni to be a bit of a turkey. I however, found him to be a bit of a Christmas pudding; palatable and intense, with room for growth. I couldn’t stomach Gianni Christmas pudding in huge doses, I’ll admit, but there was just something about that man who made me think ‘hmmmmm, let me pull your cracker’. Mind out of the gutter….I think.

It’s safe to say that I loved every single part of Sue Watson’s latest treat. From start to finish my attention was piqued, my taste buds were teased – ready to lose myself in Sue Watson’s delectable words. What I loved most about this book was how I was able to watch Chloe grow. At the start of the book she seemed quite low, yet the more I read, the more I saw her blossom into such a fantastic character. Chloe ended her story a completely different person to the one I met at the beginning. Personally, the way that Sue Watson was able to make a character grow and blossom before my very eyes – takes extreme talent and dedication to her characters. It’s very clear that Sue Watson wrote this novel from the heart, whilst also spending time carefully crafting her main character to appear realistic, relatable, but more importantly; loveable.

For me, the author has ticked every single box and then some. Hell, she even ticked some I didn’t even know existed! Yes this book had me in hysterics, but the storyline also made me stop and think about the choices we make in life. Just like Chloe we often find ourselves in a predicament with no light at the end of the tunnel, where choices made during this time are ones we are more likely to regret. Sometimes there is only one solution for a situation at that given time. And yes, sometimes you have to take that solution even though it might end up being the wrong one for you long-term. The message that resonated with me the most was the one about taking chances even through the fear. Fear makes us second guess everything, yet fear also makes us strive for that certain thing even more – even if we are unaware of it at the time. I have gone away and thought long and hard about several things within this storyline. Let’s just say that inspiration can come from the most unlikeliest of places.

Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances is a laugh out loud, mouth-watering and highly addictive read from the exceptional, Sue Watson. Full of giggles, food to tickle your taste buds, and situation to keep your mind busy; Sue Watson’s latest novel is one of my most favourite books this author has written. I realise I say this every.single.time, BUT, I really have no idea how Sue Watson manages to knock the holly off the ivy with every new book she writes.

Outstanding, magical and one of the cosiest books I’ve read this year; Sue Watson has done it once again. Absolutely brilliant. If I could give this book more than 5 stars I would, it’s worthy of millions more.

Huge thanks to Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK  

Buy now from Amazon US

Author Bio:

 Sue Watson was a journalist then a TV Producer at the BBC until she realised that instead of working, she could stay at home, make stuff up and sell it! 

So far Sue’s written ten books, and some have been translated into Italian and Portuguese (she’s big in Brazil!) Originally from Manchester, she now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Worcestershire where her days are spent baking (and eating) lots of cake, while making big life decisions about whether to have Caramel Chew Chew or Salted Caramel ice cream while watching ‘The Biggest Loser USA,’ on TV. 

 Author Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/suewatsonbooks

Twitter: @suewatsonwriter

Instagram: suewatsonbooks

Website: http://www.suewatsonbooks.com/

 

 

#BlogTour! #Review – The Visitors by Catherine Burns (@C_Burnzi) @Legend_Press

the visitors Blog Tour Banner jpeg

41xvKGdOOkL

Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother, John in a decaying Georgian townhouse on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her fifties who still sleeps with teddy bears, Marion does her best to shut out the shocking secret that John keeps in the cellar.

Until, suddenly, John has a heart attack and Marion is forced to go down to the cellar herself and face the gruesome truth that her brother has kept hidden.

As questions are asked and secrets unravel, maybe John isn’t the only one with a dark side.

What does TWG think?

With a tagline such as; ‘Can you escape the darkness within?’, I knew that unless I read the book, I would forever be wondering what that tagline meant. What darkness? Who needs to escape? Intrigued? You bet.

However, what I expected from the novel compared to what I actually read were two completely different things. I expected the storyline to be as punchy as the tagline on the front of the cover, but what I got was a carefully crafted, very well written novel, with a lot of creepy situations and complex characters added in for good measure.

Of course having a well thought out novel is a positive, especially if the writing is executed in a way which makes high-end literary readers sing from the rooftops. Because folks, ‘The Visitors’ IS beautifully written. So much so, I often found myself forgetting the genre I was reading. The authors words flew off the pages in their own little way – coming together in such a spellbinding manner, ready for the next part of the book.

I just couldn’t get a feel for the storyline itself as everything happened so slowly, I felt as though I was on a constant look-out for the nitty-gritty parts to show up. The authors words had promise. Hell, they even kept me reading the novel despite the slow burning storyline!

When the storyline DID get going, it felt a little bit too late. So much was squashed into, what I thought, was a short space of time and seemed to leave me with more questions than answers. Yet, thanks to the authors highly descriptive and majestic writing style, I ended up being creeped out on that alone.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy the novel, because I did. I wouldn’t have kept reading it otherwise. Catherine Burns is, quite clearly, a fantastic writer. She managed to keep my attention with her writing style and use of language. In my eyes, the way the author executed the novel’s shell, was the star of the book. As for the overall storyline however, it certainly has promise.

Thanks Legend Press.

Buy now.

#CoverReveal – The Little Church by the Sea by Liz Taylorson (@taylorson_liz) @BooksManatee

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)
Over here at TWG we LOVE cover reveals. It’s like sneaking a look at a Christmas present before Christmas Day. Oh dammit, have I just admitted I did that? -whistles-

New publishers Manatee Books are popping their TWG cherry today, how cool is that! I am delighted to be helping them to reveal a cover for one of their upcoming books. How exciting!

Without further ado…here is the lovely cover for ‘The Little Church by the Sea’ by Liz Taylorson!

thelittlechurchbythesea jpeg
Isolated and unwelcome in the picturesque seaside village of Rawscar, Reverend Cass Fordyce has lost her faith and her home. Christmas is coming, and she isn’t looking forward to it. Then she meets attractive local man Hal – twice divorced and with a reputation as a ladies’ man he’s everything that a celibate vicar like Cass should avoid… especially as Hal is hiding secrets of his own, including his past with the mysterious Anna.

Can Cass ever find her way in Rawscar? What secret does Hal have to hide? And is there ever such a thing as a truly fresh start?

This novel is due to be published by Manatee books on the 23rd November, but you can pre-order your copy right now from Amazon UK. Keep your eyes peeled for the blog tour in November as well. I must say, as this book is another ‘by the sea’ type novel, I am super intrigued to get stuck in!

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

#BlogTour! #Review – Christmas at the Log Fire Cabin by @_cathferguson @AvonBooksUK

Blog tour
Feeling all festive today with the Christmas reads! Huge thanks to Avon for inviting me to take part in Catherine Ferguson’s blog tour today! Here is my review:

catherine

Curl up by the fire this Christmas with the ebook bestseller Catherine Ferguson. 

When Poppy’s boyfriend Harrison proposes the week before Christmas and gives her twelve days to decide, she doesn’t know what to do. With the festive season in full swing, it’s make or break time for the couple and the clock is ticking…

Meanwhile, Poppy’s best friend Erin is desperate for the pair of them to fulfil their dream of setting up a dinner party catering company – and when an opportunity arises at a luxury log fire cabin, the girls take their chance to impress. But they hadn’t bargained on the owner of the cabin being quite so attractive – or having quite such a sexy voice.

As the twelve days tick on, will Poppy realise that Harrison is the one for her? Or will it be love in the lodge when the new year comes?

Lose yourself this Christmas in the new novel from the brilliant Catherine Ferguson, perfect for cosying up with by the fire.

What does TWG think?

-impulse buys a fire from Ebay-.

Jokes.

I didn’t really, even if it was incredibly tempting to! Please say that I’m not the only one either? Can I start this post by giving Catherine Ferguson’s novel some cover love?! Major swoon alert! It’s like Little House on the Prairie meets snow – what a perfect combination! Well, it would be if 1) I lived in a house like that, and 2) if the UK actually got snow round Christmas. Seeing as the chances of either of those happening anytime soon, I’m going to have to make do with my imagination skills and that book cover!

I’m sorry to say, my opinion of Poppy wasn’t great to begin with as I found her rather irritating and far too self-absorbed. Look, I know everyone can feel a little bit lost in their lives so they embark on a good ol’ journey of self discovery, I just couldn’t find the balance between Poppy’s journey and her…what’s the word….mannerisms. However, the more of the storyline I read, the more Poppy’s personality became a lot clearer and I found her growing up and blossoming before my very eyes. Luckily. I wasn’t sure whether I was going to like her in the end or not, but seeing as her life hasn’t exactly been all rose, I gave her the benefit of the doubt and kept my mind open until I had more of the storyline under my belt.

Putting the deep, serious notions aside; ‘Christmas at the Log Fire Cabin’ is a sly old fox! I never expected half of what I read in this book at all! There really is a lot more to the storyline that meets the eye, you just have to be a little patient in finding the gems. I also think that there is more to Erin that meets the eye as well. I hope she makes a reappearance in another book.

Overall, ‘Christmas at the Log Fire Cabin’ was cosy in places, thought-provoking in others,  and Christmassy in some. I have to say that this isn’t my favourite book of the authors, but that isn’t to say that I didn’t like it because I did. It just didn’t blow me away. That said, this book is a fantastic escape from every day routines, whilst also being the ideal read to snuggle up with under a blanket, wishing you had the log fire as well.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – Christmas at Conwenna Cove by Darcie Boleyn (@DarcieBoleyn) @canelo_co

Christmas at Conwenna Cove Blog Tour Banner (2)
As I am sure you’re aware of by now, I am a HUGE fan of Darcie Boleyn’s novels, so of course I jumped at the chance of being part of her latest blog tour for her new release; ‘Christmas at Conwenna Cove’, which was published by Canelo on the 9th October. I am delighted to be hosting today’s stop on the blog tour alongside a truly good blogging friend of mine; Rae Reads. Make sure you check out her blog post as well. Today for my post I am honoured to be sharing my review with you all. Huge thanks to Ellie Pilcher for inviting me on this blog tour!

darcie

A heartwarming, romantic and Christmassy novel set in the gorgeous Cornish village of Conwenna Cove.

When Grace Phillips travels to Conwenna Cove to help her parents move there 30 years after their honeymoon in the village, she sees why they fell in love with the place. The festive decorations, carols in the air and constant supply of delicious mince pies certainly make it hard to leave. Grace soon meets local vet Oli Davenport and initially finds him rude, but learning about his passion for animals and how much he cares for his two kids helps Grace to see a softer side to Oli.

It’s been two years since Oli lost his wife to cancer. Though he loves eleven-year-old Amy and five-year-old Tom more than anything it’s hard to be mum and dad. He has no interest in romance until he crosses paths with beautiful and kind-hearted Grace. The sparks fly but both Oli and Grace are holding onto fear about letting someone into their heart.

As the snow falls and Christmas wishes come true can Conwenna Cove work its magic and help Grace and Oli find the happiness they both deserve?

What does TWG think?

To be perfectly honest, I don’t think that there has ever been a Darcie Boleyn novel that I ended up not liking. Don’t get me wrong, I have liked some storylines more than others, but I still loved them regardless. With that in the back of my mind, I of course had my fingers crossed that ‘Christmas at Conwenna Cove’ would follow suit. The burning question is; did it?

If you’re already familiar with Darcie Boleyn’s novels, you’ll be well aware that this book sees us visit Conwenna Cove for the second time this year. Even though ‘Christmas at Conwenna Cove’ is the second book in the series, it can be read as a standalone with absolutely no issues. However, my advice would be to still buy the first book; ‘Summer at Conwenna Cove’ anyway as it is a fantastic book. Win win really, eh?

Oli Davenport has fantastic bedside manner when it comes to his patients, but if you’re not moo-ing, baa-ing, meow-ing, squeak-ing, woof-ing, or anything similar, Oli Davenport probably wouldn’t be getting a gold star for his customer service skills anytime soon. Just like visitor to Conwenna Cove, Grace, finds out. If there was a winner for the rudest person in the village, THEN Oli would receive his gold star, but seeing as he continues to rub humans up the wrong way, he has more chance of ending up alone. However, what a lot of the newbies don’t realise, Oli Davenport hasn’t exactly had a smooth ride over the past few years. Not only did he lose his wife to cancer, his two children also lost their mum. Only the really mean-spirited people wouldn’t soften at that….right?

Just like Darcie Boleyn’s previous novels, I was pulled into the storyline almost straight away. It didn’t take me too long to get re-acquainted with Conwenna Cove either, even though we were meeting new faces. Conwenna Cove has held a special place in my heart after reading the first instalment and, once again, the beautiful setting and loveable characters made Conwenna Cove become one of my all-time favourite settings in a book. Hats off to the author for being able to bring that sparkle with her into ‘Christmas at Conwenna Cove’, absolutely flawlessly.

I don’t want to give anything about the storyline away (of course), but please do trust me when I say that this book needs to be put on your TBR without fail. Not only does the storyline contain festivities and excitement, it also contains heart-warming moments and eye-opening situations whilst also highlighting the true meaning of family, friendships and of course; Christmas.

Beautiful beyond belief, touching and absolutely perfect; Darcie Boleyn has done it once again! Full of memorable characters, sparkling situations and an endless supply of magic; ‘Christmas at Conwenna Cove’ is the perfect addition to anyone’s bookshelf, any time of the year. I wish I could read this book for the first time, every time. Absolutely fantastic.

Buy now from Amazon UK