A little heads up on why I ‘disappeared’ for a week, as well as special thanks to a few folk.

noteI have a lot to say in this blog post, but I will aim to condense and attempt to ramble much less than usual. However, if I fail miserably, please accept my apology now and know that I tried my hardest, but I’m a rambler!

Little over a week ago I decided to take a take a step back from social media whilst I went to visit a very good friend of mine, after 14 years. You’re probably thinking ‘ooo big deal’, BUT, there was a reason why I decided to coincide my social media break with my break away. Well, if I’m being honest, the decision was only half mine. You see, for the last four or so months I have been on the receiving end of cyber bullying and my tolerance level had been smashed to smithereens. Not only that, it brought back horrendous memories of the bullying I endured as a child. Memories that I already hold the scars for to this day and really didn’t want to have surfaced once again. But they did. After weeks of constant bad news from the doctors and issues with my house, a break away could not have come at a better time, it was just a shame about social media.

Before I went away I scheduled all of my book reviews to go live whilst I was away which probably made it look like I was still about. I need to say a MASSIVE thank you to every single one of you who shared, liked, commented, tweeted and so on, my blog posts whilst I was away. The response to each review posted was incredible and it means a lot that you were all willing to keep sharing them for me. I also want to say sorry to all of you as I haven’t done any blog post sharing, but rest assured I will be playing catch up so if you find your notifications creeping up, you know it’s me.

As I mentioned above, I have been on the receiving end of cyber bullying and it started to make me resent everything I had worked my butt off for. The belittling comments, snidey posts, immature posts from people who should know better and a lot more that only a selected few know. It hurt, and it still does hurt, I’m not going to lie. No-one should be bullied whether it’s in person or online, it really is diabolical.

Whilst I was MIA I had one, very special lady message me to ensure that I was okay as I hadn’t been active online. That gesture itself made me well up as nobody has ever really done that for me, and it meant a lot that my presence was missed. Lucie Wheeler, you are a truly wonderful, inspirational and kind-hearted lady, and from the bottom of my heart I thank you for being there for me this week and every time before. You were (and are) the person I knew I could trust to message when I was feeling concerned, knowing full well you wouldn’t judge and just be the friend and support network you obviously knew that I needed. You truly are worth your weight in gold and I love you lots, thank you <3.

So yes, I am back. I received over 1,500 e-mails in the last week so if you have sent me an e-mail and I haven’t replied yet, sit tight and I will get to you. Thank you all again for the shares and fingers crossed the bully leaves me alone. Much love to you all <3.

#CoverReveal! The Art of Fear by Pamela Crane @TAsTPublicity #PamelaCrane #giveaway

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

Huge thank you to Noelle from TAsTPublicity for asking me to be involved in this cover reveal! Thriller author, Pamela Crane, has a new book coming out in the not so distant future, how exciting! Of course we all know that a book cannot be released without a cover, that would be….absurd!! So here’s the deal; I reveal the cover to you and give you the opportunity to win a prize or two, how does that sound?

I know, AMAZING idea….shall I just get on with it?

It is my pleasure to reveal to you all today, the cover of ‘The Art of Fear’ by Pamela Crane!!

artoffear

Synopsis

A dead father, a sex-trafficked daughter, and a cunning killer hiding deadly talents in apparent suicide.

From award-winning author Pamela Crane comes a terrifying tale of small-town secrets and murder.

Ari Wilburn’s life ended long ago—the day she let her little sister die in a tragic accident.
Crippled with self-blame and resented by her parents, Ari stumbles through life…and into an unlikely clue that casts doubt on whether the death was accidental.

A psychological wreck, Ari joins a suicide support group where she meets Tina, a sex-
enslaved escapee who suspects foul play in her father’s death. In a pursuit of justice, Tina drags Ari into playing a dangerous game with the killer. Faced with a murderous wake-up call, and desperate to salve her conscience, Ari’s investigation fuels the killer’s desire to see her dead.

Will Ari find closure and stop a killer, or make those she loves suffer?

THAT COVER JUST GAVE ME GOOSEBUMPS!!!! Holy Schmoly! Will I be brave enough to read the novel? Only time will tell! How intense does that book sound by the way?! What a corker of a cover too, how exciting!!!

****GIVEAWAY****
Open Internationally!!

Up for grabs: ONE Amazon voucher (value is dependant on where you live) & 3 e-books.

To be in with a chance of winning all you need to do is send Noelle an e-mail (noelle.thickasthievespromo@gmail.com) as she is the giveaway picker! If you include ‘Pamela Crane Giveaway’ in the subject so she knows that you’re not just sending her an e-mail for a natter, that would be useful!

Good luck to you all!!

Author Bio
Pamela Crane is a professional juggler. Not the type of juggler who can toss flaming torches in the air, but a juggler of four kids, a writing addiction, a horse rescuer, and a book editor by trade. She lives on the edge (ask her Arabian horse about that—he’ll tell you all about their wild adventures while trying to train him!) and she writes on the edge. Her characters and plots are her escape from the real world of dirty diapers and cleaning horse stalls, and the masochist in her thrives off of hurting her characters to create an entertaining tale.
 
She is the author of several best-selling and award-winning thrillers. To pick up a copy of a FREE book and other prizes, or to find out more about her chaotic existence, visit her website at www.pamelacrane.com. 
LINKS

Praise for Foreword Book of the Year nominee The Admirer’s Secret:
‘Mea culpa, Ms. Crane… If you like a suspenseful thriller that completely shocks you with its plot twists, this is the one for you’

‘Engaging plot, relatable characters, credible motive, unique twist ending – it’s got all of the components I’m looking for in a captivating thriller’

#BlogTour! #Review – A Wedding in Italy by Tilly Tennant (@tillytenwriter) @Bookouture

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Sun, spaghetti and sparkling prosecco. When it comes to finding love, there’s no place like Rome…

Kate is living the dream with her gorgeous boyfriend Alessandro in his native city, but the reality is sometimes a little less romantic than she’d hoped. Every day in her new home is a fight against leaking pipes, her cantankerous landlord and her less-than-perfect grasp of the Italian lingo. 

All around her there is talk of weddings, but when a secret from her past is thrust out into the open, Kate must fight to prove to Alessandro’s Mamma – and the rest of his formidable family – that she truly is Italian marriage material. 

With the women in Alessandro’s life on a mission to break them apart, the cracks begin to show and Kate starts to question if Alessandro really is the man of her dreams. Can love and the city of romance conquer all, or is that just a fairy-tale?

Let Rome steal your heart this summer in this gorgeously romantic escapist read. Perfect for fans of Jo Thomas and Abby Clements.

What does TWG think?

Having read (and enjoyed) the first book of this series, ‘Rome is Where the Heart is’, I was rather intrigued to see what would be in store for book number two (this one in case you didn’t know 😉 ). I had to leave my character reservations from the previous novel in the past, and begin the latest novel severely unbiased. It was hard!

Kate wanted to be with the man that she fell in love with on her holiday; should she stay or should she go? Well, just like the saying goes, ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’! In Kate’s mind, her new life was going to be the romantic, stress free fresh start that she was desperately craving. In reality though? You’ll need to find out for yourself and read the book!

Even though I tried to keep an open mind where the characters were concerned, I found myself getting rather irked with the same ones, especially Alessandro. I know a lot of readers loved him, BUT, I found his controlling nature extremely over powering. It bugged me, I’m not going to lie. Saying that, it was lovely to see Kate’s personality blossom and her own individual confidence to start shining through.

I really did enjoy the punchy storyline and the dramatic feel to the entire novel. There was ALWAYS something going on for me to sink my teeth into, and I found myself constantly tapping my kindle screen to turn the pages as I was reading it that fast!

I have to say though, out of both of the books in the series so far, ‘A Wedding in Italy’ is my most favourite as it had a completely different vibe to it. For me, this book had more of a relaxed overall storyline, mixed in with more lifestyle drama and the gutsy friction; does that make sense? I’m all for a bit of girl power I must admit!

‘A Wedding in Italy’ made me go weak at the knees due to the beautifully written descriptions and character confidence. Kate really held her own in this storyline; it was wonderful to see her shine, it really was.

Tilly Tennant’s novel made me laugh, angry, as well as making me feel extremely overjoyed at being on yet another FABULOUS, Tilly Tennant book journey. I thoroughly enjoyed going back to Italy and being part of a beautiful journey of self discovery and true love. Such a lovely, lovely book.

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author

From a young age, Tilly Tennant was convinced that she was destined for the stage.  Once she realised she wasn’t actually very good at anything that would put her on the stage, she started to write stories instead. There were lots of terrible ones, like The Pet Rescue Gang (aged eight), which definitely should not see the light of day ever again. Thankfully, her debut novel, Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was not one of those, and since it hit the Amazon best seller lists she hasn’t looked back. Born in Dorset, she currently lives in Staffordshire with her husband, two daughters, three guitars, four ukuleles, two violins and a kazoo.
 
https://twitter.com/TillyTenWriter

That’s a wrap ladies and gents!! If you have missed any of the stops on Tilly Tennant’s blog tour, you can find the blog names of all the hosts on the picture below. Huge thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for inviting me on the tour!

tillyt

#BookReview – The Woman at Number 24 by Juliet Ashton (@Julietstories) @simonschusterUK

24

Meet the residents of number 24 in the warm, witty and wonderful new novel from bestselling author Juliet Ashton.

When your marriage falls apart, the last place you’d want your husband to move to is downstairs. Unfortunately for Sarah, up in the eaves at number 24, her ex-husband now lives one floor beneath her with his new wife. Their happiness floats up through the floorboards, taunting her.

A child psychologist, Sarah has picked up great sadness from the little girl, Una, who lives with her careworn mother three floors below, but is Sarah emotionally equipped to reach out?

The Spring brings a new couple to the house. Jane and Tom‘s zest for life revives the flagging spirits, and Sarah can’t deny the instant attraction to handsome Tom. Having seen at first hand what infidelity does to people, she’ll never act on it … but the air fizzes with potential. The sunshine doesn’t reach every corner of number 24, however. Elderly Mavis, tucked away in the basement, has kept the world at bay for decades. She’s about to find out that she can’t hide forever.

Juliet Ashton weaves a story of love, friendship and community that will move you to laughter and to tears.

Think Cold Feet meets David Nicholls, with a dash of the joy of Jill Mansell added for good measure.

What does TWG think?

When writing my reviews, I usually write my overall thoughts of the book towards the end, using the top half of the review as a suspenseful build up to my oh-so-important views ;). This time however, I cannot review it that way. I’ve tried, but I just cannot write the build up to my views. I need to air them straight away, a bit like ripping off a plaster. I apologise in advance, I really do….but I have to be honest…

OMG I BLOOMIN’ LOVED THIS BOOK!!! HELLO NEW FAVOURITE BOOK!!!!!

Oh em gee!!!! I adore Juliet Ashton and her alter egos, she is an incredibly talented author and I have never read a book of hers that I didn’t like. I just knew that her newest book, The Woman at Number 24, would be included in my loved list alongside the others.

The first main character we meet at the start of the book is Sarah, a child psychologist whose own life has taken a tumble, leaving her feel unsure of her own self-worth. Not only that, a certain ex-husband of hers is living in the flat below hers, swanning about in his own egotistical bubble. My views on the ex? He’s a doorbell-end. There are a lot of colourful main characters in the housing block and the arrival of Jane and Tom, make the characters of the T.V. show, ‘Rainbow’, seem completely bland. Seriously. Jane is a HOOT! She is so real and has such an unhinged mouth which makes for excellent (and hilarious) reading. Honestly, she became one of my favourite characters rather quickly.

Hiding away from everyone else was yet another character, Mavis. She reminded me of a ‘wild card’ as she seemed to be the odd one out, giving off such marmite vibes. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be changing your opinion on Mavis the whole way through. Do you like her? Do you hate her?

I have never come across a selection of mismatched characters such as these, before. The only way I can describe the overall house is by thinking of ‘Big Brother’, the T.V. show; although on an extremely loose basis (I said they were mismatched not completely barmy)! Each character (or miniature household) came with their own storyline and keeping up with several separate lifestyles wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I guess I expected to feel a little confused by the comings and goings, but I didn’t. In actual fact, I loved the complex storyline with the high energy situations, as well as the underlying hidden messages.

What really hit home for me with ‘The Woman at Number 24’, were the powerful and intense friendships and the lengths that the characters went to protect them. I guess it made me feel quite emotional as I have never had that kind of friendship before, yet each individual character ALWAYS thought of the ones that they held dear. If they didn’t seem them for a day or two, they would get worried and actively seek them out. If I went anywhere, would I be missed? Before I started reading this novel, my positivity about trust, friendships, and even feeling loved, was quite low. However, after I finished this novel, I found myself closing the book with a satisfied grin on my face and the feeling of hope surrounding me in a little bubble.

I am amazed that, despite the busy storyline and the multiple poignant situations, the storyline never lost its personality, nor was it stuck in limbo with any ‘blank’ moments.

‘The Woman at Number 24′ is a perfectly written, inspiring and heart warming novel which will leave you feeling like a puzzle; complete. Picture Mary Poppins’ never ending bag. Got that? Make that bag even bigger and you will have a clearer image of exactly how much Juliet Ashton’s novel kept on giving.

This book blew me away several times over. It made me incredibly emotional one moment and in hysterics the next. It opened my eyes to the true beauty of hope, true friendships and being loved for who you are.
More importantly, ‘The Woman at Number 24’ ended up being the puzzle piece that I didn’t even know was missing.
Outstanding and by far my most favourite book of 2017.

Huge thanks to Simon & Shuster.

Buy ‘The Woman at Number 24’ now from Amazon UK
Buy ‘The Woman at Number 24’ now from Amazon US

#CoverReveal! The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters by Jaimie Adman. @neverlandBT @HQDigitalUK

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

It’s cover reveal time!

I must admit, I’m pretty intrigued about this book! Luckily it is being published in the not so distant future; 7th June to be precise! It’s going to fly by, right?! Waiting for new books seems to require loooooooads of patience -taps foot-. Obviously a cover reveal is better than nothing, SO, I am rather excited to be sharing with you the rather delightful book cover for Jaimie Adman’s new book!!

The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters2-large

Where dreams come true…?

Wendy Clayton stopped believing in fairy tales a long time ago. Instead, she has a ‘nice’ life. Nice job. Nice flat. Absolutely no men. Until her life is turned upside-down when her elderly neighbour, Eulalie, passes away and leaves her the Château of Happily Ever Afters!

But there’s a catch: she must share the sprawling French castle with Eulalie’s long-lost nephew, Julian. And no matter how gorgeous he is, or how easily she finds herself falling head over heels, Wendy needs to find a way to get rid of him…

Because surely happily ever afters don’t happen in real life?

Helloooooo pretty book! If you’re just like me and patience for books is inexcusable, you can pre-order your copy right now:

Pre-order Jaimie Adman’s book HERE

#BlogTour! #Review – A Life Without You by Shari Low (@sharilow) @Aria_Fiction

shari

Touching, funny, and bittersweet, this is a story that will make you laugh, cry, and call your best friend to tell her you love her.

Dee and Jen have been best friends since their days of teenage crushes, bad 90’s make-up and huge hair.

They’ve passed every milestone of their lives together and now in their thirties own a successful boutique, sharing a bond that is as strong as the closest of sisters.

Until one day everything changes.

Dee is gone, killed by a reckless driver, leaving Jen to face the harsh reality of a world without her.

Jen vows to honour Dee’s dreams and take care of everything and everyone she loved.

Until she realises that sometimes the only way forward is to let go of the past.

What does TWG think?

Dee and Jen’s friendship was one of a kind; the storyline made that extremely clear from the very beginning. Witnessing how close they were, even for such a short space of time, was such a joy to see. But out of the blue, a nervous feeling started to come over me and as I hadn’t read the blurb beforehand, I had no idea what I was nervous about as I didn’t know what would happen. Just as I was trying to ignore the nervous feeling….

BAM!

All of a sudden, the storyline felt like it was unfolding in slow motion. The sheer horror, the pain, the distressing circumstances; every little detail was written with precision and intense clarity. I could see the event unfolding in my head. I could hear the screams. I could hear the sound of Jen’s heart breaking into millions of pieces. I wanted to cry but I couldn’t; I was numb.

Those events will forever be etched in my mind as they were so vivid! What a mighty good way to start the novel though, eh! If I could go through such a range of emotions in a chapter or two, then my hopes would be soaring for the rest of the storyline. Considering that Shari Low began the novel with such a belter of situation, she managed to keep the momentum going through the rest of the novel. Of course I was a bit concerned that the following chapters wouldn’t live up to what I read first, but I needn’t have worried.

My heart went out to Jen, and Dee’s family as reading about the aftermath was quite emotional and extremely heart breaking. It must have been quite a difficult subject to write about, yet Shari Low kept it realistic without adding any unnecessary outlandish features. Very sensitively written. It made a change to read a storyline containing the topic of death, whose characters didn’t just ‘get over it’ the next day. I really did appreciate how realistic the grieving time-frame was written into the storyline, as well as lightly touching upon individual characters grief.

The more that the storyline unfolded, the more skeletons came out of the closet which made for rather entertaining reading. Well, it also meant that I got rather annoyed with a character or two, but you can’t have everything though haha.

I have seen Shari Low’s novels on Amazon previously, but they have always been under the ‘oh I must read that soon’ heading. I am really glad that I got an AriaAddict kick up my tooshmanoosh to read one of her books; Shari is a phenomenal story-teller!

Shari’s words seemed effortlessly written, and flawlessly projected through such a heart-warming, emotional and intense storyline. If that’s not a description of a literary genius and an outstanding novel, then I have no idea what is.

From the bottom of my heart, ‘A Life Without You’ is a truly beautiful read which showcases Shari Low’s incredible literary talent, as well as her ability to trickle emotion through each and every chapter like a mini waterfall. Outstanding.

Thanks Aria.

Buy now from Amazon UK

About the author

Shari lives in Glasgow and writes a weekly opinion column and Book Club page for a
well-known newspaper. She is married to a very laid-back guy and has two athletic
teenage sons, who think she’s fairly embarrassing, except when they need a lift.

Follow Shari
Twitter: @ShariLow

To find out what the other bloggers on the tour are saying about Shari Low’s novel, you can find out who is hosting the next few stops, below:

shari1

 

#BlogTour! #Review & #Extract – The Married Girls by Diney Costeloe @HoZ_Books

diney

The war is over, but trouble is brewing…

Wynsdown, 1949. In the small Somerset village of Wynsdown, Charlotte Shepherd is happily married to farmer Billy. She arrived from Germany on the Kindertransport as a child during the war and now feels settled in her adopted home.

Meanwhile, the squire’s fighter pilot son, Felix, has returned to the village with a fiancée in tow. Daphne is beautiful, charming… and harbouring secrets. After meeting during the war, Felix knows some of Daphne’s past, but she has worked hard to conceal that which could unravel her carefully built life.

For Charlotte, too, a dangerous past is coming back in the shape of fellow refugee, bad boy Harry Black. Forever bound by their childhoods, Charlotte will always care for him, but Harry’s return disrupts the village quiet and it’s not long before gossip spreads.

The war may have ended, but for these girls, trouble is only just beginning.

What does TWG think?

Diney Costeleo has been on my ‘book radar’ for a while, especially seeing as I cannot seem to go onto Amazon without one of her books cropping up! I am a bit ashamed to say that I hadn’t managed to read any of her previous books before I read ‘The Married Girls’. Unfortunately that means that I had no idea that ‘The Married Girls’ would be better read once the first book in the series, The Girl With No Name, had been read..

Oh dear…

I have read many book serials and the majority of the books in those series have been okay to read as a standalone. However for me, ‘The Married Girls’ wasn’t one of those. I was super excited to begin Diney Costeleo’s novel as I was intrigued about her writing style and actual storylines. After all, EVERYONE has heard of Diney Costeleo surely?

Because I hadn’t started the series with the book one, I found myself struggling with a large chunk of the storyline as I felt as though I was walking into the middle a storyline, instead of beginning it. I tried my best to look beyond that and focus on the shell of storyline, which made the last part of the novel a bit easier to read over all.

If I ignore the fact that I was missing important information, I would be honest and say that on a whole, I DID enjoy the concept of the book due to its historical core. Also, I found the to-ing and fro-ing and the rollercoaster twists, extremely intriguing and they are what kept me the most entertained throughout.

Whilst reading ‘The Married Girls’, it became rather clear that Diney Costeleo knows her craft due to the impressive way in which she had created intense situations, complex personas and heartfelt circumstances.

Based on what I could piece together myself, I enjoyed ‘The Married Girls’ as it was a great chance to step back in time to a part of history I didn’t know much about. Reading this novel made a change from reading historical fiction books that had been written in similar eras with similar styles.

I really do wish that I had found out sooner about book two following on the story from book one as I couldn’t enjoy the novel as much as I would have liked to. However, this does mean that I will be going to read book one as soon as I can, AND I will also be picking another Diney Costeleo novel to read as the author certainly stands out from the crowd with her own unique style.

Thank you Head of Zeus.

Buy now from Amazon UK

To whet your appetite for the novel, is an extract from Diney Costeleo’s novel, ‘The Married Girls’.

the married girls
PG 37
Fred Jones was waiting at the station and he greeted Felix
with a smile.
‘Welcome home, Mr Felix, it’s been too long.’
Felix laughed. ‘Don’t you start, Fred. I’ll get enough of that
from my mother!’ He gestured to Daphne. ‘And this is my
fiancée, Miss Daphne Higgins.’
Fred touched his cap and said, ‘Howdy-do, miss,’ before
opening the door so that Felix could hand her into the car.
As they drove over the hill towards Wynsdown, Daphne
stared out of the window. The gorge through which the road
twisted and turned had enormously steep, craggy sides. Thin
vegetation clung to the rocks which towered upward against
the pale blue of an autumn sky. Eventually they emerged on to
the hill top and Daphne found herself gazing out across wide,
undulating country, bathed in sunlight. Hedges and moss-
covered stone walls marked off fields, patches of woodland
broke the skyline, and tucked in the sheltered folds of the
land, an occasional farmhouse or barn. The sun struck colour
from the hedgerows and the woodland glowed with autumn
reds and golds. For someone brought up in the crowded East
End of London, where the streets were narrow and houses
jostled each other for space, it all looked empty and bleak.
Sheep grazed the fields and a herd of cows was gathered at
a farm gate waiting for evening milking. Sheep and cows!
Where were all the inhabitants?

Fred and Felix were chatting, talking about people she’d
never heard of and as they finally turned into the village of
Wynsdown she was becoming more and more disheartened.
As Fred swung the car round the village green and into the
lane that led to the manor, she saw a small group standing
outside the pub, the Magpie, watching. One small child
waved and Felix waved back.

PG38
‘Who was that waving?’ she asked a little pettishly. She was
tired of Felix paying her no attention.
‘Haven’t a clue,’ laughed Felix cheerfully. ‘Probably wasn’t
born last time I was home. Who was it, Fred, the kid who
waved?’
‘That was little Johnny Shepherd, Billy Shepherd from
Charing Farm’s lad.’
‘Billy’s married?’
‘Yes, he married that Charlotte, what was a German
refugee.’ He turned in between some tall stone gateposts and
pulled up outside the manor house. ‘Now then, Mr Felix, here
we are.’ As the car crunched to a halt, the front door opened
and two Labradors erupted into the driveway, followed
a little more slowly by Felix’s parents, Peter and Marjorie
Bellinger. Daphne stared at them through the car window as
Felix jumped out to greet them. They stood side by side in the
doorway, waiting, as Felix, shooing the excited dogs away,
hurried across to them.
Major Bellinger looked all right, Daphne decided, tall and
soldier-straight, his white hair cut short and smoothed across
his head, a neat white moustache above his mouth. She could
see the likeness to Felix.

That’s how Felix’ll look when he’s old, she thought as he
shook hands with his son. He was dressed in grey trousers
and a navy-blue blazer over a white shirt and some sort of
regimental tie, navy-blue with red zigzags across it. He’ll be
all right, Daphne thought. She was sure she could win him
over, given a little time. Felix’s mother, though, was another
matter altogether. Daphne watched as Felix hugged her, not
at all sure she liked the look of her prospective mother-in-law.
She wore a coffee-coloured suit, with a straight skirt, fitted at
the waist. The jacket had a neat collar, buttoned down with
PG39

ornate metal buttons, and four matching buttons down the
front. Her lipstick was red, her nose powdered, her grey hair
permed into regimented curls.
Mutton dressed as lamb, thought Daphne as she pinned
a smile to her lips and taking Felix’s hand, eased her legs
elegantly out of the car.
‘Mother, Dad,’ Felix said, proudly leading her forward,
‘I’d like you to meet Daphne, my wife to be.’
‘Welcome to Wynsdown, my dear,’ Peter Bellinger said and
held out his hand.
‘Pleased to meet you, I’m sure,’ trilled Daphne as she shook
the proffered hand.
‘Daphne, welcome,’ said Marjorie, ‘we’re so glad you could
come. Come along in. You must be dying for a cup of tea.’
And Daphne followed her through the front door into the
house that, one day, could be her home.

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#BlogTour! #Review of ‘Blame’ by Paul Read (@paulreadauthor) @legend_press #Blame

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Not only do I get the honour of kicking off Paul Read’s blog tour (thanks Lucy!!), today is also Paul Read’s publication day woot!! ‘Blame’ is now available for you all to buy, congratulations Paul!
My stop today consists of a review, along with the all important ‘to buy’ link at the very end. Enjoy!

blame1

It is the summer of 1989 when Lucas witnesses an event that will tear his family apart. Over a decade later, his estranged father succumbs to a suspected heart attack.

Lucas shuns grief and escapes to New York with his colleague Mariana. However, a dark secret from his past threatens to re-emerge and destroy the burgeoning relationship before it has even begun.

When his father’s girlfriend fails to reappear after reporting his death, the true cause of his demise falls under scrutiny. And as the startling truth comes to light, Lucas must confront the fact that father and son may not have been so different after all.

What does TWG think?

I’ve got to be honest, I spent the first couple of chapters wondering what the hell was going on! There was a lot of half answered questions at first, so when the storyline introduced a new character or a new situation I had quite a collection of question marks camping out over my head. Yeah it did confuse me as I wanted to find out what happened and I wasn’t getting the answers quick enough! Oh by the way, I’m really not complaining at all! I was just getting very impatient due to my extreme curiosity!

This review could potentially be shorter than my other ones as most of the vital information is linked to pretty much everything! Basically, I can’t take the chance with spoilers!

‘Blame’ has such a complex and intense storyline which the main characters manage to add a completely different dimension to. We follow Lucas’ journey where we see him battle multiple demons (namely himself), as well as seeing the storyline return to another point in his life with even more questionable demons. There are a lot of colourful personalities who pop in and out of Lucas’ journey, some who make themselves more known than the others (and not in a good way).

Reading ‘Blame’ opened my eyes in more ways than one, to a whole new lifestyle I had never acknowledged before. Well, I have never had the need to acknowledge it before and from an outsiders point of view, I felt that it would be best to remove my own personal views from the equation and read the book with a very basic outlook.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book I must admit, even though some situations were quite difficult to read, Paul Read laid it all bare and wrote it very black and white. There was no fluffing, it was quite raw and…honest. One thing that did irk me about the overall storyline was how it kept building up, and building up, creating more suspense with every turn of the page and then….

I was hoping for a smidge more as I certainly thought that it was heading in that direction. Having said that, I still really enjoyed the novel nonetheless and nothing felt ruined for me, personally. There does seem to be scope for even more to the storyline so I have my fingers crossed for another book of a similar nature. Actually, I’d be happy with another book overall!

A very poignant, gritty and powerful read from start to finish, I highly recommend reading ‘Blame’ and I am really looking forward to seeing what Paul Read has up his sleeve for his next book!

Thanks Legend Press!

Buy ‘Blame’ by Paul Read, on Amazon UK

#Tour! #Review: The Cows – Dawn O’Porter (@hotpatooties) @fictionpubteam #Dontfollowtheherd

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Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. I cannot believe I am about to type the following sentence; today it’s TWG’s stop on Dawn O’Porter’s blog tour for her new book, ‘The Cows’!

Let me just let that sink in a moment…Dawn O’Porter is on TWG. THE Dawn O’Porter….can somebody pinch me please?! SQUEAL!! Can you tell I’m excited?! Huge thanks to the lovely Emilie from HarperFiction for giving me a stop on the tour! Anyway, lets get this tour stop started then shall we?

dawnoporter1Fearlessly frank and funny, the debut adult novel from Dawn O’Porter needs to be talked about.

COW [n.]
/kaʊ/

A piece of meat; born to breed; past its sell-by-date; one of the herd.

Women don’t have to fall into a stereotype.

Tara, Cam and Stella are strangers living their own lives as best they can – though when society’s screaming you should live life one way, it can be hard to like what you see in the mirror.

When an extraordinary event ties invisible bonds of friendship between them, one woman’s catastrophe becomes another’s inspiration, and a life lesson to all.

Sometimes it’s ok not to follow the herd.

The Cows is a powerful novel about three women – judging each other, but also themselves. In all the noise of modern life, they need to find their own voice.

What does TWG think?

Dawn O’Porter’s sought after novel, The Cows, has arrived!! Dawn’s book has been on my radar since late last year, so I was beyond thrilled when I was able to get my grubby mitts on a copy, shut out the big wide world and ignore everyone and everything for the duration of the novel. And you know what? I did just that!

Three completely different women; each with such individual life-styles, yet their paths manage to cross in the most unusual way.

Tara; a working mum who battles ‘working mumma guilt’ thanks to her male colleagues, as well as copious amounts of sexual frustration (in no way linked FYI). Oh! & she constantly battles the aftermath after a certain train incident. Ahhhh!
Cam; a misunderstood blogger who is all for women’s rights. She uses her blog as a platform to try to inform the world that maybe, just maybe, not all women want to have children. Who would have thought it!
Lastly, Stella; a woman whose personal life has gone from bad to worse in no time at all, and now her future seems to be taking the dreaded path of uncertainty. Stella is near the point of no return and to be honest, she’s a bit of a mess.

A lot of men say that females are incredibly difficult to understand. Maybe we are, but seeing as both genders are built-in completely different ways, it doesn’t take a scientist to work out that females are going to be wired differently than males. Saying that, should we constantly have to explain our actions and our choices to them, and anyone else, if they don’t fit into the box that society has allocated us? No, we shouldn’t and visa versa. Can you imagine 30 million females + in the UK explaining every single choice they made? I can’t, which is why I was over the moon to see that Dawn O’Porter had voluntarily become the voice for millions of women via her novel.

Dawn’s three characters cover just some of the issues that can arise on a daily basis, where females are concerned. Working mum, mum life, mummy guilt, social media highs and lows, choosing not to have children, and so much more. I have seen other people saying that the concept of the novel is far too busy and has too much content. My response to that is; ehhhhhhh no. Why? Because for starters its three different lifestyles and three different women. The issues discussed in the novel isn’t just one character choosing the short straw and having to deal with everything I mentioned, and more. Secondly, it is probably quite rare to come across a female who has just one situation to contend with; having multiple issues in the one novel is more realistic otherwise we could have ended up with ‘The Cows – Part One’, and so on
Thirdly, this book is severely kick ass and whilst some of the characters choices are quite questionable (although hilarious), nobody can fault Dawn O’Porter for taking taboo and often misunderstood topics, laying them bare and owning them.

This storyline has everything you could ever wish for in a book as it contains very colourful language, shameless situations and copious amounts of nitty-gritty honesty. Did I have a favourite character? No I didn’t. Did I dislike any of the characters? No. However, I disliked a few of the paths that the ladies chose to go down. Don’t get me wrong when we get caught up in an emotionally charged situation or two, our logical thinking goes out the window and we charge into things like a bull in a china shop; I just thought about those choices based on the decisions that I would make in the same instance.

As for favouritism, all of the ladies had something rather special about them and unfortunately I was able to relate to one of them in particular. I say ‘unfortunately’ due to what the character faced in the storyline but I was fortunate to be able to relate to them on a personal level.

Dawn O’Porter has written such an emotionally charged and high energy storyline, which highlights the importance of living your life the way YOU choose to without feeling guilty for making a different decision to those around you. The storyline also highlights the true extent of peer pressure and what can happened if someone is unable to fight against it. I absolutely loved this book from start to finish as the honesty and power made me feel like I could combat anything, as long as I believed in myself and my decisions.

I laughed, I raged and yes, I even cried whilst reading ‘The Cows’. ‘The Cows’ is what the book world has been waiting for. ‘The Cows’ is what the female population has been waiting for. ‘The Cows’ is what I, TWG, have been waiting for.

A truly outstanding, intense, emotional and honest novel from the incredible voice, Dawn O’Porter. I will be recommending this novel until the cows come home…literally. And you know what else? #Dontfollowtheherd has just become my new mantra and it SHOULD be YOURS too.

Dawn O’Porter, you’re an absolute legend, please can you bring out a handbag sized book of ‘O’Porter’ wisdom? The world needs more of you and so do I (not in a stalker way obvs).

Thank you SO much HarperFiction!

Buy NOW from Amazon UK.
Buy NOW from Amazon US

dawnoporter2(picture credit: David Loftus)

#BlogTour! #Review: The Beachside Flower Stall by Karen Clarke (@KarenClarke123) @Bookouture

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A heartening and uplifting read about lost love, true friendship, and blossoming romance. Perfect for fans of Cressida McLaughlin, Cathy Bramley, and Debbie Johnson.

Carrie Dashwood fled Dorset ten years ago when her best friend Megan stole her love, local heart-throb Tom. Now she’s back to help run her aunt Ruby’s flower stall in idyllic Shipley.

Trying to persuade herself that her feelings for Tom are in the past, Carrie plans to avoid him and Megan completely. But it’s not to be, because Ruby’s Blooms are arranging the flowers for Megan and Tom’s wedding.

Soon Carrie’s crawling under the stall to hide and accidentally inventing an imaginary boyfriend… But with the stall’s finances in jeopardy and Ruby needing her niece more than ever, Carrie has to keep her emotions in check.

With bouquets to arrange, family secrets to uncover, and Tom unavoidably a part of her life again, can Carrie keep her cool, save the stall, and find her very own happy ever after?

What does TWG think?

I am thrilled to be popping back to Beachside Bay for another visit, as today I have the pleasure of being one of the hosts on Karen Clarke’s blog tour! ‘The Beachside Flower Stall’ is book two from the Beachside Bay series with ‘The Beachside Sweet Shop’ being book one. You can find my review of that book right here: #BlogTour! #Review of The Beachside Sweet Shop by Karen Clarke (@karenclarke123) @bookouture.

What a book! Carrie Dashwood is back in her hometown after many, many years and, whilst a lot of things have changed, one thing in particular has remained the same over the years; her feelings for Tom. Whilst Carrie continues to brush those feelings under the carpet (or flower stall), she remains blissfully aware (for now) that her feelings for Tom will be making their presence known, as will Tom himself.

Considering Carrie’s working background, I didn’t know whether to laugh or hold my head in my hands when she went to work on the flower stall for her aunt. I’m not being nasty by giggling, but she really was completely out of her comfort zone there yet she handled it like a pro. Okay, the customers may have thought that their children could produce tidier bouquet’s than she did, but her ‘go with the flow’ work ethic and trying her hardest despite being a complete novice, relaxed the storyline and instantly made Carrie THE most relatable character.

I know that fiction is allowed to create ‘perfect’ characters who complete every job, or task like they’re dab hand at everything and anything. I get that, but sometimes it’s quite nice to come across a character who isn’t perfect at a new job at first and they don’t take to it like a duck to water. It makes them seem ‘one of us’, does that make sense? I think it’s safe to say that Carrie was my favourite character in book, that’s for sure. I found the other characters nice in their own ways, well, except one, and they all brought something different to the over all feel to the book.

I really fell for this storyline hook line and sinker because of its warmth and heartfelt layers, the entire novel gave me such a fuzzy feeling! Probably will explain how I managed to finish the novel in one day then…

When the storyline branched out, we were able to find out more about Ruby, Carrie’s aunt. Let’s just say that for several chapters my heart broke for her and I really did wish for her dream to become a reality. I kept my fingers crossed haha.

‘The Beachside Flower Stall’ is by far my most favourite book of the series! I loved how the overall feeling of the book was able to change dependant on each individual character, as it gave the storyline the edge. I did find a certain situation to be a touch on the predictable side which was a shame for all of 0.5 seconds, however, it didn’t ruin how I ended up feeling about the book as a whole.

A beautiful, touching storyline which will have you feeling fuzzy from your head to your toes, and possibly your shoulders and knees in between. I thoroughly enjoyed The Beachside Flower Stall, especially as I was able to enjoy flowers without sneezing due to hayfever! I’m looking forward to seeing what Karen Clarke brings out next.

Thanks Bookouture & Netgalley.

Buy: Amazon UK // Amazon US

About the author

After giving up her job as a library assistant, Karen now writes full-time. She’s had over 300 stories published in women’s magazines in the UK and abroad, and has written three paranormal romantic comedies, published by Little, Brown/Corsair. When she’s not writing she reads avidly, walks dogs at her local rescue centre, and is eagerly awaiting the next season of The Walking Dead. She lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and three grown-up children.

https://twitter.com/karenclarke123

The blog tour isn’t over yet folks! To see what other bloggers are saying about Karen Clarke’s new novel, check out the other stops on the blog tour! Details below:

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