#HouseOnCamdenSquare girls celebrates Halloween with an exclusive short story by @ALMichael_!

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BOO!!!!!!!!!
Did I make you jump?
No? Damn it.

The fang-tastic A.L.Michael has ventured into the Haunted House this Halloween; but, luckily for us, she has come out with more than cobwebs on her! Especially for us here at TWG, the ghoulish ladies from the #HouseOnCamdenSquare series (Goodbye Ruby Tuesday, Nice Day For A White Wedding & Be My Baby) have gotten into the Halloween spirit and author A.L.Michael has written all down in a short story. Hold onto your fancy dress costumes ladies and gentlemen because things are about to get….SPPPPPOOOOOOKKKKKKYYYYYYYY!

Halloween on Camden Square written for TWG
Copyright A.L.Michael (2016)

 

‘Babe, I’m getting old here,’ Chelsea rolled her eyes, adjusting her short white skirt.
Mollie looked at herself in the mirror, her long blonde curls tied back into two pigtails, a basket with a stuffed ‘Toto’ sitting at her feet. ‘Bet she’s been ready for ten minutes, she just wants to make an entrance.’
‘Hey! I heard that!’ Ruby called through the bathroom door, ‘Perfection takes time!’
‘The party will be over by the time we get there!’ Evie sighed, adding to her eyeliner.
‘You know, dressing up like a goth on Halloween when you already are one is really lacking in imagination,’ Chelsea said, sticking out her tongue.
‘And dressing up as a slutty nurse is….?’
‘In the spirit of the season, obviously.’Mollie laughed at the two of them, shaking her head. ‘Ruby, you might want to come out before the witch and the nurse get into it.’
‘Okay, prepare yourselves girls…’
Ruby threw the door open and posed, her red curls hidden under slick black dye, the wedding dress she wore covered in fake blood spatter, ripped and cut to show off her legs. Her eyes were red, and her throat looked slashed.
‘So, perfect right?’ She winked, disarming in the face of her costume.
‘Grotesque and wonderful,’ Mollie agreed, putting some delicate freckles on her skin.
‘So can we go and get bloody well pissed now?’

*** 

‘What is it with you and pirates?’ Mollie laughed as Killian walked in, plastic parrot sitting on his shoulder. She was stringing up pumpkin style halloween lanterns.
‘I should have lived at sea, argh,’ he made a face, flicking up his eye patch. ‘And what the bloody hell are you meant to be? A creature from the deep?’
Mollie look down from the ladder at her green top and leggings. ‘Oh, right.’ She reached over for her hat, green spikes coming from the top of her head. ‘I’m the scariest of all vegetables…I’m broccoli!’ She held out her hands in front of her, ‘Zombie broccoli! Made in a….laaaaaab!’
‘You wanna put a “please buy organic” sign on your back, just to get your point across?’ Evie laughed as she walked into the studio.

Killian and Mollie laughed as she walked up. Evie was wearing a smart two piece fitted suit, a white shirt, high heels and a pair of square framed glasses. Her huge wild curls were slicked back into a overly neat bun.
‘What the hell are you meant to be?’
‘Corporate consumer bollocks,’ Evie shrugged, grabbing a handful of popcorn from the side, ‘Duh.’
‘So the most scary thing you can think of on Halloween is working a normal job in an office?’
‘It’s like you don’t even know me,’ Evie laughed and kissed Killian. ‘How are we getting along ahead of the party?’
‘All systems go!’ Mollie nodded, ‘Ez is out with Jamie, finalising her excellent costume, apparently. When’s Chels getting here?’
‘She has stopped to buy booze,’ Evie said, ‘I said if she brought something posh, I was chucking her out.’
‘You think she’s still going to do a Chelsea special?’ Mollie grinned.
‘What’s that?’ Killian asked.
‘Chelsea always really enjoyed the part of Halloween where you could show off as much skin as possible, and no one could say shit about it,’ Evie said.
‘That’s hard to imagine.’
Evie laughed, ‘you don’t have to imagine, I have ALL the pictures from our teen halloweens, and I’ve had them blown up and placed around the studio!’

Chelsea arrived not long after, bursting through the door, holding up a box of blue WKDs. The others stood there in silence. It wasn’t every day a woman dressed in a unicorn onesie, complete with sparkly horn, burst into the room, holding bright blue booze and yelled, ‘It’s party time bitches!’

***

‘It’s party time bitches!’ Chelsea howled as they entered the party, hobbling along in her heels.
‘Aren’t you getting frostbite on your arse?’ Evie rolled her eyes, nudging her friend.
‘Drink more, keeps you warm,’ Chelsea replied, opening the door.
And once again, the most exciting party in Badgeley was a bunch of losers sitting on the floor in Nigel’s empty house. They looked up in shock, as if they’d never seen women before.
‘Is this not…the party?’ Mollie sighed, wincing with the embarrassment of it.
The poor boys’ eyes almost bulged out of their heads, and like zombies, they stumbled to their feet.
‘It is, it is the party!’ one said.
‘Stay, we’ve got beer!’

Nigel rolled his eyes and nudged Evie, ‘Everyone’s late – some of the Henley boys were setting off fireworks on the estate, and everyone went to watch when they got arrested. They’ll be here. Drink?’
Evie snorted and followed him through to the kitchen.
‘You don’t have to stay, I know it’s Night of the Living Geeks in here,’ Nigel grinned, handing her a beer.
‘Were you playing dungeons and dragons?’ She stuck out her tongue.
‘No, we were telling ghost stories.’
They went back into the living room, where the girls had since collapsed onto the floor, sitting in a circle. Ruby was lighting candles around them, and talking in a creepy voice.
‘We’re going to do a seance!’

Chelsea rolled her eyes and huffed. ‘One more thing the magical Ruby Montgomery can do! Hey, feel free to ask my nana where she hid that necklace she meant to give me.’
Ruby closed her eyes, rocked side to side, holding a finger to her temple, ‘Your mum sold it before she died.’
Chelsea shrugged, ‘Sounds about right.’
‘What is this bollocks, Rubes? Seriously.’
‘We used to do it in my foster home all the time,’ she shrugged, one shoulder jauntily raising as she grinned, fake blood running down her pale arms. ‘I’m gifted.’
A chill ran through the room, and the candles flickered.
‘See? The dead are on my side,’ Ruby whispered, grinning. 

*** 

‘My god, look at that one! Do you remember that year?’ Chelsea pointed at the picture, her with a blue tongue, tiny white nurse’s outfit askew.
‘The year of the dud party!’ Evie grinned, ‘poor Nigel and his D and D mates.’
‘Come on, some of them saw more of a woman that night with your outfit than they would for the next five years.’
‘Yes, okay, I was working through some stuff,’ Chelsea laughed, ‘And to be fair, I will never have a flat stomach like that ever again.’
‘Is that why….the full body fluffy suit? Or are you hiding a future baby unicorn in there?’ Evie wiggled her eyebrows.
‘Nice, Eves. Great way to ask if I’m pregnant. And no,’ Chelsea made a face, ‘It’s just really comfy and I’m done with having to make an effort this year!’

‘Anyway, I thought that halloween was nice!’ Mollie interjected, smiling at the photo, ‘that was the last one before Ruby left.’
‘And she freaked us out with her ghost stories and fake seance!’ Evie added, then paused, grinning. ‘I have an idea.’
‘What idea?’ A little voice came from across the room, where Esme was dressed as a giant felt pumpkin. When Mollie looked at her, she saw the long sleeves actually looked like hammers.
‘What’s that?’
Esme grinned, and banged on her costume with the palms of her hands.
‘I’m the smashing pumpkins!’ She waited, grinning, ‘They’re a band!’
‘Yes,’ Killian raised an eyebrow, ‘we know they’re a band…how do you know they’re a band?’
‘I’m an old soul,’ the little girl said simply, grinning up at her father. ‘Do you like Dad’s one? Evelyn helped us make them. He’s a rocky.’
‘Just Rocky, baby,’ Mollie grinned at how uncomfortable Jamie looked, wearing his shiny red silk boxing shorts, a plastic champions belt around his waist, and red gloves. And not much else.

‘Think we could turn the heating up?’ He said awkwardly, ‘I tried to put a towel around my neck, but apparently that spoiled the illusion.’ He looked at Esme. ‘Not that madam knows who Rocky is.’
‘He’s a man who gets beaten up a lot and wins stuff. Like you,’ Esme nodded seriously, ‘Now, what’s the idea?’
‘It’s a spooky test!’ Evie said, ‘A homage to Ruby.’
‘Don’t you think there’s enough homages to Ruby?’ Mollie sighed, ‘I mean, I love her, but if I have to see one more little girl dressed up as the undead version of our dead friend, I might scream.’
‘An honouring, then. You remember what she said?’ Evie smiled, lighting tealights around the room, and turning off the lights. They stood in silence for a moment, watching each other by flickering candlelight, unsure what would come next.
‘The dead are on her side, remember?’ Evie grinned, ‘Ruby? Babe, you always loved a big entrance, right? Wanna impress us from the other side?’
They waited for the briefest second, until a breeze picked up, and every single candle in the room went out.
Mollie screamed, Chelsea gasped, and by the time Jamie had hit the lights, Esme was grinning. ‘Awesome!’
The adults stood around, shaken.
‘I’d only been messing around…’ Evie whispered, looking paler than ever.

‘Guys,’ Chelsea walked across to the box of booze she’d dropped when she first arrived, ‘the tops have been taken off everyone of these WKDs…and one’s missing.’
She turned and grinned at them, ‘Bloody hell.’
‘Here’s to Ruby, the classiest ghost around,’ Evie laughed, holding up one of the bottles so they could cheers, the glass clinking so that it sounded, ever so faintly, like laughter.

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How fantastic was that! Thank you to the lovely A.L.Michael for writing the short story especially for my blog! Truly honoured. Unfortunately folks, you won’t be able to get your hands on that as it isn’t a book -growls-. Fear not though, A.L.Michael will be bringing the third and final #HouseOnCamdenSquare instalment to a Kindle near you, on the 7th November. I will just have to keep pestering her for more tales from Camden Square!

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#Promo Bloodie Bones by Lucienne Boyce (@LucienneWrite) #giveaway@BrookCottagebks

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Blurb.

Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery
Release Date: May 2016
Publisher: Silver Wood Books

“Parsons and tyrants friends take note. We have born your oppreshuns long enough.
We will have our parish rights or else Bloodie Bones will drink your blood.”
When Lord Oldfield encloses Barcombe Wood, depriving the people of their ancient
rights to gather food and fuel, the villagers retaliate with vandalism, arson and riot.
Then Lord Oldfield’s gamekeeper, Josh Castle, is murdered during a poaching raid.
Dan Foster, Bow Street Runner and amateur pugilist, is sent to investigate.
Dan’s job is to infiltrate the poaching gang and bring the killers to justice. But there’s
more to Castle’s death than at first sight appears. What is the secret of the
gamekeeper’s past and does it have any connection with his murder? What is Lord
Oldfield concealing? And did someone beside the poachers have a reason to want
Josh Castle dead?

As tensions in Barcombe build to a thrilling climax, Dan will need all his wits and his
fighting skills to stay alive and get to the truth.
Bloodie Bones is a finalist in the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016 (result to
be announced in September); was long listed for the M M Bennetts Award for
Historical Fiction 2016; and is approved by Awesome Indies.

BUY LINKS
Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery is available in paper back and as an
ebook.
Amazon UK | Amazon Kindle | Kobo | IBooks | Nook | Amazon US | SilverWood Books Online | Foyles Online | Wordery | Book Depository

About the author.

Lucienne Boyce writes historical fiction and non fiction. After gaining an MA in
English Literature (with Distinction) with the Open University in 2007, specialising in
eighteenth-century fiction, she published her first historical novel, To The Fair Land
(SilverWood Books, 2012), an eighteenth-century thriller set in Bristol and the South
Seas. Her second novel, Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery (SilverWood Books,
2015) is the first of the Dan Foster Mysteries and follows the fortunes of a Bow
Street Runner who is also an amateur pugilist. Bloodie Bones was joint winner of the
Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016, and was also long listed for the M M
Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction 2016.

In 2013, Lucienne published The Bristol Suffragettes (SilverWood Books), a history
of the suffragette movement in Bristol and the west country. She regularly gives talks
and leads walks about the suffragettes. She has contributed articles to various
publications, and also appeared on television and radio in connection with both her
fiction and non-fiction work.

Lucienne has recently joined the team of Bristol Radio BCfm’s Silver Sound show as
a presenter. She is on the steering committee of the West of England and South
Wales Women’s History Network, and is also a member of the Friends of the
Women’s Library, the Historical Novel Society, the Society of Authors, and the
Alliance of Independent Authors.
Lucienne is currently working on the second of the Dan Foster Mysteries, and a
biography of a married couple who were involved in the suffragette, socialist and
pacifist movements. She was born in Wolverhampton and now lives in Bristol, which
is the setting and inspiration for much of her work.

Twitter: @LucienneWrite
Goodreads Author Page:

Giveaway!!

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To be in with a chance of winning a paperback copy of the book (open internationally), you can enter the giveaway right –>HERE<–

Good luck!

#Review! Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan(@jennycolgan) @littlebookcafe

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Blurb.

Welcome back to Mount Polbearne! The new book from Top Ten bestseller Jenny Colgan is full of festive joy, warmth and the best hot chocolate you can imagine…

It’s Christmas in the Cornish coastal village of Mount Polbearne – a time for family, friends and feasting.

Polly Waterford loves running the Little Beach Street Bakery. She’s at her happiest when she’s creating delicious, doughy treats and the festive season always inspires her to bake and knead something extra special for the village residents. In fact, the only thing she loves more than her bakery is curling up with her gorgeous boyfriend, Huckle. She’s determined that this Christmas is going to be their best one yet, but life doesn’t always work out as planned…

When Polly’s best friend Kerensa turns up with a secret that threatens the life Polly and Huckle have built together, the future begins to look uncertain. And then a face from Polly’s past reappears and things become even more complicated. Polly can usually find solace in baking but she has a feeling that’s not going to be enough this time. Can she get things back on track so that everyone has a merry Christmas?

What does TWG think?

Jenny Colgan is back with yet another deliciously, tempting tale courtesy of the Little Beach Street Bakery! If you have read the previous books, you’ll know that luck isn’t always on Polly’s side but she tries to make the most of a bad bakers dozen regardless of how much dough gets thrown at her. Not only has Jenny Colgan brought us another instalment from the bakery, she has brought Neil the puffin with her too!

Christmas is one of the busiest times for Polly and her bakery and she is determined to take quality time out for herself, Huckle and…sleep. Unfortunately for Polly, her life (and those in it) seem to have other ideas. Lets hope Polly gets her Christmas and not firework night instead!

If you have been following my blog since the beginning (or know me rather well), you’ll know that I am a HUGE fan of Jenny’s books (major fangirl moment). There is a teeny downside to being such a huge fan though; all of her books automatically have the bar set high (even before I start reading them) because of how much I enjoyed her previous books. So, I curled up on the sofa with my kindle, crossed my fingers and hoped that I would love her latest book just as much…

Christmas at the Little Beach Street Bakery seemed to have a more serious tone to it than the previous books, not a bad thing either! It felt as though the storyline and the characters had grown with the times and we were dealing with situations full of raw and intense feelings.

I’m not going to lie, I was hooked from the very beginning! I loved the fact that we were able to see a different side of Polly and get to know her more outside of the bakery. Until now, I hadn’t quite realised how much of a sensitive wee soul she was as her guard has always been rather high. Don’t get me wrong, we have seen Polly’s vulnerable side throughout the story, but nothing compared to the way she is portrayed in this book. Polly is such a wonderful character to read about and Jenny has definitely showcased her personality in this instalment.

Christmas at the Little Beach Street Bakery had moments of going with the flow, moments of uncertainty, as well as moments that were completely unexpected. I think that’s why I found myself getting sucked into the book more and more, because of the jump from going with the flow to then being faced with a ‘omg what just happened’, type moment. Hats off to Jenny for being able to switch between those vital storyline moments with such ease, and without losing the readers focus.

The Beach Street Bakery books wouldn’t be the same without Neil the puffin, at all. He is such an amazing addition to the story and has given me multiple laugh out loud moments, as well as many ‘awwww!!!!’ moments. Never in a million years did I ever think that I would be awww-ing a puffin. You’ve got to though, it is Neil after all. He is legen-DARY!

What’s TWG’s verdict? Another fantastic book by the incredible Jenny Colgan! Christmas at the Little Beach Street Bakery has swiftly become my favourite of all the Beach Street Bakery series; with its suspense, intensity and comfort, it most definitely is a book that keeps on giving. Such a pleasure and joy to read, I was very disappointed that it had to end.
I love this book and I am sure you will too!

Thank you Little Brown Books UK!

Christmas at the Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan, published by Little Brown Books UK is available to buy now from Amazon UK | Amazon US


Bella’s Christmas Bake off by Sue Watson

Seeing as it’s Christmas soon, time to reboot one of my very first reviews on my blog!! Enjoy!!

The Writing Garnet

Bella’s Christmas Bake off by Sue Watson.
ISBN:1910751618
Published:20th October 2015byBookouture.
Available to buy on Amazon UK and Amazon US in Kindle and paperback format.

‘Bella Bradley is the queen of television baking – a national treasure. Her Christmas specials have been topping the ratings for years and her marriage to Peter ‘Silver Fox’ Bradley is the stuff of Hello magazine specials.
But this year things are going to be different.
For Amy Lane, Bella’s best friend from school, life hasn’t held quite the same sparkle. And when Amy’s husband walks out three weeks from Christmas, it seems their lives are further apart than ever.
Amy has watched Bella’s rise to fame fondly, despite the fact Bella was always a terrible cook. But when she realises that Bella’s latest Christmas book is made up entirely of Amy’s mother’s recipes, the gloves are off…
After winning a…

View original post 644 more words

Continuing publication day buzz, Kelly Rimmer(@KelRimmerWrites) gets interrogated! @Bookouture

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Nothing says ‘congratulations on your latest release’ better than an interrogation, does it? Glad you agree! Kelly Rimmer’s latest book; A Mother’s Confession, was published yesterday by Bookouture and you can find my review right here: Publication day #review! A Mother’s Confession by Kelly Rimmer (@KelRimmerWrites) @Bookouture.

As soon as I finished the book (in amongst my snotty, ugly crying), I had some questions that I was needing answered. Luckily, Kelly said yes to my request for an interrogation (no spoilers guaranteed):

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really do appreciate it. After reading ‘A Mothers Confession’, I just knew that I had to delve a little deeper as I am a curious little devil! Don’t worry; I’m good at interrogation so it will be spoiler free!



 TWG: Your newest novel, ‘A Mothers Confession’, has just been published, congratulations! If you could describe the book in a mere five words, which ones would they be?

I only need 3!

Perspective is everything 🙂 

TWG: What made you decide to write such a complex and intense storyline for ‘A Mothers Confession’, and how?!



I like to write about things that bewilder and scare me, and domestic violence fits that bill perfectly. So I started researching it, and as I read and listened and talked to people, Olivia and Ivy’s stories solidified in my mind. 

TWG: The book was written, in my opinion, with such a personal feel to it as if YOU (the author) could relate to the storyline personally. Is that the case with this book?



I always try to put myself deep into the character when I’m planning a story, so that’s exactly the end result I really try to achieve, thanks for saying that! There are always aspects of my experience in my books, but it’s usually the small things like the way conversations flow or aspects to a particular type of character’s behaviour.

TWG: Before I read the book I saw on social media that many people couldn’t stop crying as they were reading it. I’ll be honest, I got halfway and wondered why I hadn’t cried….YET (that soon changed). How emotional did you get while you were writing the book? Did you find yourself getting far too emotional and had to stop writing?



I do write emotional books, and I get insanely attached to my characters which is strange, given I know better than anyone that they aren’t real :),  but this was the first time I had to write the difficult scenes before I wrote the start of the story. I knew they were going to be too hard to write once I knew the characters inside out. I’m so glad I did that or we might still have a story stuck at 75%… 

TWG: A lot of important topics are covered within ‘A Mothers Confession’. Was that done intentionally?



Yes, I definitely set out to understand and then write about how some aspects of our culture contribute to family violence, and to explore the impact these behaviours have on survivors and even bystanders.

TWG:  As the storyline went on and I learnt more about the characters, it quickly became clear which character I disliked. When you thought up your characters, did you feel angry to any of them based on the life you had/were creating for them?



I know exactly which character you are referring to and yes!!! I kept trying to soften the characters to make them more likeable, but that really took away from the realism in the story. But in the writing of this book there were several incidents of me yelling at my screen!

TWG: The tears came thick and fast shortly after I wondered where they were, and I ended up having a book hangover for days afterwards. Did you find that once you had written the book you needed comforted yourself?



For the first time ever after a book, I took a few weeks’ downtime. I banned myself from reading anything heavy or intense and just took it easy. It’s all fiction, of course, but this was a really difficult book to write and I needed some recovery time emotionally myself.

TWG: How different is ‘A Mothers Confession’ to your other books, overall?

Well, I think readers who enjoyed this book would enjoy my others, but I have covered a wide variety of topics in them, from romance and illness in Me Without You, to forced adoption in The Secret Daughter, and the breakdown of a marriage in When I Lost You. 

TWG:  If you could choose one of your own books to be your favourite one, which one would it be and why?



I’ve loved writing them all but A Mother’s Confession is my favourite so far. I had such a clear vision for it from the outset, which is pretty rare for me. I think being a few books in, I had more confidence writing it and I knew where I needed to take it much earlier in the process. Plus the topic is just such an important one and one that’s not openly discussed in enough circles.

I really hope readers connect with the story the way I did :).

TWG: I mentioned above about book hangovers, which book have you read that has ended up giving YOU a book hangover, and why?



I am a die-hard Jodi Piccoult fan and I think I sobbed for half a day when I read My Sister’s Keeper. I kept crying long after I’d closed the book and even years later still think about it sometimes. It was the book that inspired me to write this genre, so I guess it’s given me a many year hangover!!

TWG: Because you do write such emotional and poignant books, do you find that you steer away from those types of books when choosing a book to read yourself?



I read anything and everything. I read a lot now that I’m writing full time too. I try to read at least one independently published book a month, a few from my genre, and something random. I have a few friends who write crime/thrillers and I keep trying to get into that genre but I’m such a huge, gigantic chicken, all it takes is a grizzly murder scene and I have to shut the book, so I’m not getting very far 😉

I also read a lot of non-fiction in doing my research.

TWG:  I ask this question to all of the authors that I have on my blog; what were your favourite books as a child? Who are your favourite authors now?



Heidi by Joanna Spiri – I SO loved that book when I was a child. I was also obsessed with Roald Dahl, and I think I read every Trixie Belden book at least twice!

These days I will immediately buy anything by Jodi Piccoult, Dianne Chamberlain or for very different genred but always brilliant storytelling, I adore Margaret Atwood. My Bookouture sisters Teresa Driscoll and Renita D’silva are amazing writers, too! 

TWG: If you weren’t an author, making me ugly cry, what do you think that you would be doing career wise?

I had a career in IT before this, most recently in business intelligence.

 I can’t remember making anyone ugly cry in my old job 😉

TWG: Lastly, seeing as I detest odd numbers and had to make it an even one; what is in store for you next? Is there another book coming out? Can you give TWG an exclusive? Tell me all!!





Haha, there is something in the works, I can’t give you an exclusive just yet but once I have some details you’ll be the first to know, promise! 🙂

Thank you so much to Kelly Rimmer for answering all of my questions, and apologies for interrogating you ;). I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer those questions, and out yourself as a gigantic chicken :D.

If you’re rather curious about A Mother’s Confession, you can buy yourself a copy of the book via Amazon UK | Amazon US.

If you feel the need to buy all of  Kelly’s previous books (just like I did), you can do so via:
Kelly’s Amazon Page UK | Kelly’s Amazon Page US

Publication day #review! A Mother’s Confession by Kelly Rimmer (@KelRimmerWrites) @Bookouture

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Blurb.

Olivia and David were the perfect couple with their whole lives in front of them. When beautiful baby daughter Zoe came along, their world seemed complete.

But now David is dead and Olivia’s world is in pieces. While she is consumed with grief, her mother-in-law Ivy is also mourning the loss of her son. Both women are hiding secrets about the man they loved. Secrets that have put the family in danger.

Something was very wrong in Olivia and David’s marriage. Can Olivia and Ivy break their silence and speak the truth? A mother should protect her child, whatever the cost…shouldn’t she?

What does TWG think?

Wow…just…wow. I really don’t think that my review will do this book justice in the slightest, but I will give it my best shot.

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Kelly Rimmer’s latest gem ‘A Mother’s Confession’, something about the cover and title made me rather drawn to it. I just needed to read it but I knew that I had to dodge the blurb of it beforehand. With books like this, I tend to steer away from the blurbs as I want to savour every little piece of information I come across, at the exact point of the book it fits in and not before. I knew nothing, yet all of my senses were on high alert. Well, I say I knew nothing, other readers had said on social media that they couldn’t stop crying and befriended Kleenex throughout the book.

The first few chapters of the book reminded me of a learning curve as we enter the storyline completely unaware of the characters history and their lives now. For most part of the book we walk in the footsteps of Olivia, we follow her life and are in close proximity of her emotions. That does change once or twice throughout the book as we get even closer to another character and puzzle pieces start to fit together. Or so I thought.

Halfway into the storyline I genuinely wondered why I hadn’t started to cry yet, especially after finding out that other people were overcome with emotion after reading it. Don’t get me wrong, my arms were covered in goosebumps as I became more and more shocked with the unfolding events, the edge of my sofa became my new spot also. I was literally on the edge of my seat whilst thinking to myself; ‘why aren’t I crying yet?’. I swiftly realised that I was numb as the storyline was exceptionally raw, poignant and certain events were black and white. Unfortunately, one of those hair-raising events resonated with me personally.

A few moments after I wondered where my tears were, they came, and they didn’t stop. I couldn’t believe what I had just read. I didn’t expect what I had just read. I sat on my chair, unable to move, screaming out loud ‘omg no’ to the storyline. I had no idea that I had even spoken out loud until my voice went hoarse. For a split second, I became Olivia; Kelly Rimmer’s writing sucked me into the book and made me swap places with the main character. If an author can do that with such ease, they become a literary genius.

Kelly Rimmer has written such an emotional, heart wrenching and powerful book, I am in awe at the way she has written such a devastatingly gripping storyline whilst keeping it extremely real. So real in fact, I wondered if Kelly Rimmer was speaking from experience. I finished this book a couple of weeks ago; it gave me THE biggest book hangover that I have ever had then, and it still has now. Kelly Rimmer has soared into my Top 5 list of favourite authors ever, thanks to her intense rollercoaster of excellence that is A Mother’s Confession.

Harrowingly brilliant and spellbinding, this is TWG’s MUST, MUST read of 2016.

Thank you Bookouture and happy publication day to the magnificent Kelly Rimmer!

A Mother’s Confession by Kelly Rimmer, published by Bookouture, is available to buy right NOW from Amazon UK

#Blogtour! #Review Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes – Lindsey Paley (@LindseyPaley1)@NeverlandBT

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Blurb.

When all-round buttercream princess, Millie Carter, becomes stranded at Craiglea Manor Cookery School, she believes her chance of enjoying a merry festive season is over.

The village of Aisford is Christmas-card perfect, but Millie hates it – she hates the snow, her freezing fingertips, and being forced to look like her Aunt Marjory in a mud-splattered wax jacket and wellies instead of her beloved shorts and sparkly sandals.

She plots her escape but ends up locking spatulas with the estate manager, Fergus McKenzie, who is forced to rescue her before she succumbs to a severe dose of hypothermia. Things start to improve with the arrival of handsome Sam Morgan, fresh from the beaches and rum shacks of the Caribbean.

Can Millie accept her fate? And will Aisford sprinkle some of its seasonal magic on her troubles?

Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes is a festive story of love and friendship and reaching for the buttercream icing and edible glitter when life gets tough.

What does TWG think?

My first impression of the book was ‘guilty pleasure’ as the cover is bold, breezy and rather cute! Plus there is cake, although that is not guilty…it’s just a pleasure! For me, the book felt like a three-tiered cake as the first tier was the general getting to know the characters and setting the scene. The second tier gave me several moments of confusion mixed in with ‘omg’ moments, and then back to feeling confused as things weren’t quite adding up. Finally, the third tier, a part of the book that I shall call the ‘unexpected tier’. I went from being wrapped up in my guilty pleasure vessel, eating cake and stroking the snow to being hit with a curveball in the storyline! Luckily, the curveball was soft so it didn’t hurt, but oh my goodness I wasn’t expecting it at all.

The third tier of the book completely changed my opinion of the storyline due to the unexpected turn of events, especially when there didn’t seem to be much information beforehand to hint about what was coming next. The characters in the book seemed to wander along nicely in their own little worlds, some missing a bit of oomph in their personalities, but nice all the same. That said, I think there is an awfully lot more to Millie yet to uncover, she seemed a very guarded soul in Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes, so I am quite looking forward to learning more about her.

TWG’s verdict? Even though I found the first two-thirds of the storyline to be a bit of a slow riser yet still quite enjoyable, the last third of the book packed a lot of punch and left me wanting more. A very witty and clever storyline that is full of snow, surprises and A LOT of sweet treats. Lindsey Paley has gone from being my guilty pleasure in a sweet way, to being my guilty pleasure in a shockingly fancy sort of way. Or, in a simpler way, she’s made me go from scones (yum) to a three-tiered chocolate cake with sprinkles. Completely unexpected and very enjoyable, roll on book two!

Thank you Neverland BT.

Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes by Lindsey Paley is book 1 of the Camille Carter series (6 in total). To get your oven mitts on one, head to Amazon UK | Amazon US.

Author Bio

Lindsey Paley is a Yorkshire girl and author of contemporary romance novels with page-turning plotlines and satisfying endings. When not scribbling away in her peppermint and cream writer’s retreat (shed) she loves baking cakes, enjoying a spot of afternoon tea with friends and taking long walks in the countryside. Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes is the first book in the Camille Carter series set in the beautiful Lake District and the Caribbean. The latest in the series is April Showers and Wedding Flowers and is out now.

Author Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lindsey.paley.9

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindseyPaley1


#Blogtour! Occupying Love by Marilyn Chapman (@MarilynChapma77) @BrookCottagebks #promo

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EXTRACT

‘So you’ve met the handsome new rector, you lucky girl.’ Maggie’s eyes twinkled.
‘What did you think of him?’
‘He’s good looking, I’ll give you that. I gather you haven’t been introduced?’
‘I’ve had the odd glimpse since he replaced old man Ozanne, but believe me,
tongues are wagging. Some folks say he’s a double agent put here by the Jerries, and
that he daubed “V for Victory” on the prison walls. Isn’t it exciting?’
‘Exciting he may be,’ Lydia kept her voice casual, ‘but he’s not really my type.’
‘You mean you fancy him?’
‘I mean nothing of the sort, Maggie. He’s a rector, not a movie star – don’t you
think of anything but the opposite sex?’
‘Not very often, to be frank. I think of food, of course, seeing as there’s never
enough to go round, and going out after the curfew, and being able to buy whatever I
like in the shops. What else is there to occupy my mind?’
‘You could help with the Sunday school at Torteval. The lady who leads it has gone
to England.’
‘Me? Help with the Sunday school? You do make me laugh. There’s hardly any kids
left on the island and those that are here wouldn’t gain much from me. Or much that
would do them any good. I think all that book-learning’s gone to your brain. You
need to relax a bit more.’ Maggie winked. ‘There’s a picture on at the Regal tonight.
Do you want to come with me?’
Lydia pulled a face. ‘It’s German, with English subtitles. Are you still sure you
want to go?’
‘You never know who you might meet.’
‘Oh, Maggie – you really are a hopeless case.’

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Blurb.

With the Nazis poised to invade Guernsey in 1940, feisty student Lydia Le Page returns from England on the day the island is devastated by the first bombing of the war on British soil. Trapped on the German occupied island, two men enter Lydia’s life: Martin Martell, the handsome but mysterious rector and Major Otto Kruger, the ruthless German Kommandant who falls under her spell.
When Martin disappears, Lydia discovers a secret from her past that threatens her future.
Will she be able to keep it from the enemy? And will she choose love or duty?
Occupying Love is a story of love, loss and the identity that makes us who we are.

Buy: Occupying Love | Baggy Pants and Bootees

Fancy a giveaway?

An ecopy of the book (open internationally)
A paperback copy of Baggy Pants and Bootes (UK only)


Enter here!

About the author.

I got my first break writing in a football magazine when I was 15 and have been writing ever since. An NCTJ qualified journalist, I spent my early years on the Blackpool Evening Gazette and Lytham St Annes Express in Lancashire. I then helped to set up a family PR and publishing company on the Fylde Coast and freelanced for national newspapers and
magazines, including Woman.
My debut novel Baggy Pants and Bootees was released as an e-book in February 2014 by a
small publishing house based in Britain and Germany. A time-slip novel set between World War Two and the ‘swinging sixties, it was published as a paperback in August 2014.
Born in Guernsey, I have always wanted to write a novel set in the Occupation of the Channel Islands, after hearing so many stories about life under German rule from my grandparents, whose home was requisitioned by the enemy. Occupying Love is the result.
After spending several years in the Midlands I now live in Lancashire with my husband of
45 years. We have two daughters and two granddaughters who we spend lots of time with.
A member of the Society of Authors and the Romantic Novelists’ Association I am currently working on a sequel to Baggy Pants and Bootees.

Author Links: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Google +

#Review! Miracle On 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan (@SarahMorgan_) @HQStories

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Blurb.

Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. Even if she is spending it alone housesitting a spectacular Fifth Avenue apartment. What she didn’t expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous–and mysterious–owner.

Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife’s death looming, he’s isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?

What does TWG think?

One thing that always makes me think of Christmas is the film ‘Miracle on 34th Street’, so when I saw that Sarah’s latest novel consisted of a title in the same vein, I couldn’t resist nabbing it to read. Plus, I ADORE Sarah’s books anyway so it was really a win-win situation before I had even begun.

Meet Eva, a Christmasaholic who loves nothing better than being amongst the festivities and ensuring everyone else is amongst them too, whether they like the season or not. Unfortunately for her, the owner of Eva’s latest job happens to be a tough cracker to pull and celebrating Christmas isn’t at the top of his to-do list. Will Eva be able to turn a 21st century Scrooge into a Christmas Elf, or will she have to admit defeat and realise not everybody wants to sing ‘Santa Baby’? It would be a miracle..

Oh my goodness, I LOVED this book!! Everything from the setting of the book to the decorations on the Christmas trees were written with incredible detail and filled with so much magic I started to think it was Christmas. I think Eva’s Christmas naivety put the book on another level because she oozed sass alongside it. In a few of the Christmas books I have read, I sometimes find that a few of the characters can be rather slushy. However, Eva was completely different. Yes, she had naivety when it came to Christmas and the assumption that everyone else should love it like she does, but my goodness that woman sure knows how to give as good as she gets. Such a firecracker! Eva has got to be one of my top favourite characters within a book, ever. Such a fantastic character to read about and get to know.

I did find some parts of the storyline to have the predictability factor but that didn’t bother me in the slightest as it still made for excellent reading despite that. Everything about ‘Miracle On 5th Avenue’ shouted Christmas as the storyline was very atmospheric and magical. I actually am starting to think that Sarah Morgan managed to put me under a spell with her words!

I must admit, I did get ever so slightly teary in the last half of the book when the storyline went in a different direction as, even though I had a strong inkling about the route the storyline was taking, I was still overcome with emotion.

Sarah Morgan has an incredible way with words and fills her stories with so much emotion, magic and enjoyment; how can you not feel on top of the world once you have finished one of her books? Miracle On 5th Avenue was such a joy to read and I felt slightly empty once I had finished reading it!

Such a magical and cosy read that will have you spellbound from the very first page. A definite must have and must read for this Christmas. Magnificent book!

Thank you HQ Stories!

Miracle On 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan, published by HQStories is available to buy now in both e-book and paperback from Amazon UK.

#Review! Marry Me Tomorrow by Carla Burgess (@MsBear123) @UKCarina

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Blurb.

Twelve days. Two gold rings. One BIG secret…

Emily needs a husband…fast. It’s just a few days until Christmas and to finally put a stop to her nagging mother’s matchmaking plans, Emily has convinced her that she’s already married!

And when her excited mum announces that she’s coming to stay, Emily can think of only one man to play the part: gorgeous ex-soldier, Sam. It’s the best part of her day, handing him a coffee every morning – but then, Emily never expected to offer him her hand in marriage, too…

All that’s left is for Sam to say ‘I do’ – it’s the perfect plan! So why then, do her ‘pretend’ feelings for Sam seem far too real?

What does TWG think?

When I first spotted this book on Carina’s Facebook account I just knew that I had to go and buy it. After all, with a title like ‘Marry Me Tomorrow’, how can anyone let that go by them without reading it?! Far too curious for my own good.

It’s Christmas time and that can only mean one thing: family time! It’s all well and good to see your family over Christmas; just as long as you haven’t told them that you have gotten married….

Oh, wait, it’s only Emily that does that isn’t it? Emily’s mum likes to think she is Cilla Black (may she rest in peace) and set her daughter up on dates; never mind the fact that she might actually be happy single! So, to make life ‘easier’ for herself, COUGH, Emily told her mum that she got married when she actually hadn’t. Where will Emily find a man who will willingly become her ‘husband’ over Christmas? Nothing says ‘marry me’ like a takeaway cup of Nescafe of a morning…

I’ll admit, I surrendered to this book and became its page mistress after reading the first couple of pages! I could NOT put it down. Even though I had an inkling of what Emily was up to, there was still a small part of me that thought she wouldn’t go through with it. If someone came up to me with a cup of coffee and asked me to do them a favour I would politely take the coffee and be miffed that they forgot the sugar! Never mind agreeing to Emily’s ‘genius’ idea (I wouldn’t by the way). Given the fact that I thought Emily’s idea was far from genius, it made me want to keep on reading. The absurdity and bizarreness of her offering made for excellent reading.

As more of the story unfolded I kept giggling because as readers, we were aware of the secret and her mum wasn’t, so ‘watching’ Emily and her beau trying to match their stories was absolutely hilarious. I thoroughly enjoyed the spontaneity of the storyline and all of the characters involved, well, bar one (but you’ll find out for yourself which one I’m on about!).

I haven’t come across a book that was cringy, bizarre and hilarious all at once, until now. One thing has left me quite shocked though; Marry Me Tomorrow is the first novel by debut author Carla Burgess. FIRST! I had absolutely no idea that this book was her first because of the way it was written. The storyline didn’t scream ‘debut’ one bit; instead, it felt as though Carla had been publishing books for a long time.

A fun, bizarre and unexpected read from debut author Carla Burgess. Marry Me Tomorrow ticked all my boxes and some. The perfect pick me up type book that has flown into my top books of 2016. Fantastic book, cannot wait to see what Carla brings out next!

Marry Me Tomorrow by Carla Burgess, published by Carina, is available to buy now from Amazon UK