#CoverReveal! The Forget-Me-Not Flower Shop by Tracy Corbett (@Tracyacorbett) @AvonBooksUK

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Ahhhh I am loving these mid-week cover reveals!
Today I have the pleasure of helping to reveal the book cover for a brand new author. Now, if you’re like me and suffer from hay fever yet you are quite partial to a bouquet of flowers (or several)…from afar, then you’re going to love this.
You can enjoy flowers without the constant sneezing and having a nose like a tap, AND read a novel at the same time. Win win!!

Dun…dun….dun…….

Forget Me Not
The summer romance novel that everyone is talking about!

Evie runs a florist, The Forget-Me-Not Flower Shop. A new man is not what she needs, but can plumber Scott Castillo fix her boiler and thaw her heart too?

Scott is trying to balance paying the bills with caring for his sick mother and parenting his nephew, Ben, who at 18 is marrying his girlfriend Amy. Amy’s mum Patricia hides her husband David’s infidelity from their hopelessly romantic daughter. Patricia’s tennis partner Martin moans about his inability to satisfy his wife, Laura, who helps brides find their perfect dress for their dream wedding, despite her own marriage being a mess.

Who will fall in love, and who will fall apart? Will the budding romance between Evie and Scott flourish or wilt?

Ohhh look how prettyyyyyyyy!!!! I adore this cover, it’s so eye-catching! Although, judging by the blurb, it seems as though there is a lot more to the storyline that meets the eye. I (as always) cannot wait to get my hands on this book!

The Forget-Me-Not Flower Shop by Tracy Corbett, will be published by Avon Books in e-book on the 3rd July 2017.
You can pre-order your copy right now from Amazon UK.

What do you think of the cover? Let me know on Twitter!

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Last few days to nominate #TWG for MOST INSPIRATIONAL blog! #bloggerbash #bloggerawards

As I am sure most of you are aware at the moment, many of us bloggers are feeling the excitement of being nominated for an award in the Annual Blogger Bash awards. There are so many fabulous bloggers up for nomination throughout the ten categories, it is a really tough one to call, even for us bloggers!

Last year, two months after The Writing Garnet was born, my blog was up for nomination in these very awards for ‘Best Newcomer’. Even though I didn’t win, I was incredibly overwhelmed at being nominated so early on in my blogging journey. Fast forward a year and I have been nominated in the same awards for MOST INSPIRATIONAL blog. It is safe to say that I am truly honoured and flabbergasted at being nominated for such an amazing award. Before I ask nicely for a vote or two, I will tell you a little story.

Outside of the blogging world, my life consists of raising my soon-to-be-four year old daughter single-handedly, as well as fighting multiple daily battles due to my seven chronic illnesses. Yes. Seven. If I’m honest, I don’t see myself as an inspiration, so when other people tell me that they find me an inspiration it surprises me as I have never put myself under that heading before. Over the last year I have delved deep into my past and wrote completely honest posts regarding bullying/illnesses and so on. You can read the one that is still doing the rounds on social media, here: How @Lesley_Allen_ & Biddy Weir gave me courage to tell my own story – #BullyingAwarenessWeek.

Even though I don’t think that I do anything out of the ordinary, having people tell me that they find me an inspiration, has got to be one of the most touching compliments I have ever received. Knowing that my blog posts, or daily battles help to inspire people is incredibly rewarding, it means the absolute world to me that people have nominated me this award. I wish I could put into words how honoured and touched I am, but I can’t. I do know that if I win this award, I am going to be rather emotional haha!

nominated blog

Here is the important bit; if you can spare a couple of minutes to vote for me, The Writing Garnet, for the MOST INSPIRATIONAL blog in the Annual Blogger Bash Awards 2017, you can do so here: Vote Now!

Also, whilst you’re there, please take the time to vote for your favourite blogger in the other categories. Every single vote counts and there isn’t much time left to get those votes in. Thank you so much in advance if you do decide to vote for me, it really means a lot. More than words can say <3.

#BlogTour! #Review A Little of Chantelle Rose – Cristina Hodgson @HodgsonCristina @NeverlandBT

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At the age of twenty-four, Chantelle Rose has all a city girl can expect: a tiny bed-sit in South London, a lousy poorly-paid job, a tyrannical boss, and quite a few exes added to an ever-growing list.

Desperate for change, she becomes an extra in a seedy crime film. When that leads to the opportunity of a lifetime – a role to play with a million dollars to win and seemingly nothing to lose – she accepts without thinking twice. After all, what could possibly go wrong? In any event, she´ll earn enough to buy her dream home, set up her own business and never worry about money again.

And what about love? Two men have won her heart: Robbie – sultry, silent, mysterious; and Lionel – Hollywood heart-throb, charm, wealth, adventure.

But who can she trust? Who is bent on scaring her away, and why?

There seems to be more at stake than just her heart. Will a million dollars be worth it?

What does TWG think?


‘A Little of Chantelle Rose’ really is a welcome distraction from mundane life. Why? Because Chantelle is such a unique and utterly bonkers character, it was hard NOT to fall under her spell. Just like us, Chantelle has a so-so job, a boss who would look better alongside a dinosaur and multiple exes; but she wants more. She wants the excitement. The spontaneity. Now, if we wanted that we would go on an adventure holiday or tick something off our bucket lists; what does Chantelle do? She becomes an extra in a film and then a nude body double. As you do!

Even though, for me, a lot of the storyline was completely and utterly bonkers, bizarre and unusual, it still made me laugh due to how surreal the book had become. In a good way, I must add. Plus, Chantelle has such a bubbly, care-free personality which will make a lot of people green with envy.

I actually enjoyed reading most of this novel, even if it did have many ‘reallllyyyyyy?’ moments. What I did struggle to gel with was when the storyline took a different turn and became a little more serious. It didn’t seem to fit with Chantelle’s nature, nor the overall feel of the book. There were moments where the storyline seemed confused as to which way it wanted to head in terms of character dynamics and plot. But in all honesty, because I actually really enjoyed how far-fetched this novel was portrayed, the fact the storyline was confused over its identity didn’t bother me as much as it usually would have.

‘A Little of Chantelle Rose’ is a unique, debut novel which will keep you thoroughly entertained from start to finish!

Thanks NeverlandBT.

Buy: Amazon.com: Cristina Hodgson // Amazon.uk: Cristina Hodgson

GIVEAWAY!!!!!

To be in with a chance of winning ‘A Little of Chantelle Rose’ bookmarks and keyring, all you need to do is enter the giveaway HERE!
Good luck!

 

#BlogTour! #Review – Be My Killer by Richard Parker (@BookWalter) @Bookouture

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Eeeeee! I am one of the bloggers hosting today as part of Richard Parker’s blog tour for his new book, Be My Killer! I hope you enjoy my review! Big thanks to Kim from Bookouture for inviting me to be part of such a thrilling blog tour!

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You set the trap. Now you can’t escape.

When an online prank goes viral and triggers a spate of gruesome murders, documentary maker Hazel Salter watches in horror. But then Hazel’s childhood friend, Meredith Hickman, is the next victim and Hazel knows she has to find out what happened to her.

Is it one killer or more? Random acts of violence, or part of a bigger, twisted plan?

The police have no leads, but Hazel has a theory – one she’ll stop at nothing to prove – and she also has a film crew. She’ll make a documentary, catch the killer, and give Meredith justice.

Her stage is the abandoned amusement park where Meredith was found. 

Her cast are the family and friends the killer left behind. 

And her crew? They keep disappearing, one by one…

What does TWG think?

Oh my GOD! How on EARTH am I meant to review this one?! Before I started reading ‘Be My Killer’, I had already been made aware (as I don’t read blurbs) that the plot was incredibly gruesome. Me being me thought to myself, ‘yeah, right then. several murders, gruesome enough’. -laughs manically- yeahhhhhhhh, even a bog standard murder (if there is such a thing) would be seen as tame compared to this book.

I had always shied away from gruesome novels in the past –  due to the fact that I was a wuss. The slight sniff of a murder in a book, and I’d be sitting in the corner wondering if I was going to be the next one murdered. Dramatic much? Within the last year or so I have pulled up my big girl pants, picked up a book with a cover that made me go ‘ooooo’, and got stuck into the storyline regardless of whether there was one murder, a psycho, or a psychotic serial killer involved. So, when I had the opportunity to read Richard Parker’s new novel, Be My Killer, I grabbed it with both hands and got stuck in when it reached the top of my TBR pile.

Basically, Hazel Salter is either going to go hard, or go home as her documentaries have hit a brick wall, and money is starting to become an even bigger issue than before. Just when she thought the decision had been made for her, a news headline caught her eye; someone she knew from her childhood had been murdered. Who killed her? Why did they kill her? Who will be next?

It felt as though from the minute I started reading the novel, other murders came to light alongside questionable characters. There was no warning, no tannoy announcement, not even a killer inspired Baywatch theme tune to announce the intensity, and the shock factor of the situation. I got told it was gruesome….there’s gruesome and then there’s unbelievably bonkers gruesome. ‘Be My Killer’ is the latter. Whenever a murder happened or something freaky came to light, the situation was always described in extreme detail, adding a little bit more detail incase you didn’t quite conjure up an image in your head the first time. Yet, every time I came across those moments in the book, I read them with my teeth sinking further into my lip, nausea waiting in the sidelines just in case, my brow furrowed as in ‘what the….’, then all of a sudden thinking to myself ‘oh that is just eurgh….I MUST READ MORE. I MUST’.

Yes the plot was unbelievably gruesome, BUT, it was unbelievably amazing! The attention to detail throughout the entire novel was outstanding! Each shocking situation was written in such a way that, instead of having a rough idea of how people were murdered, the author took the time to describe every single thing about the way that they were killed, little details about the character at the time of the murder; the image that I was able to recreate in my mind wasn’t a typical 2D one. No. It felt like a three-dimensional, extremely vivid image that gave me the opportunity to see everything. To feel the chilling atmosphere. To feel (and see) the fear behind the characters eyes. Whilst I am in awe of Parker’s ability to write such mind-blowing situations in great detail, I am also a smidge scared as to how he knows how to do those things!! Sheeeesh!

I was hooked on this book right from the very beginning. Everything about this book screamed ‘utterly bonkers’, as well as ‘oh my fudging god I need more’. For me there was no in-between moment, the entire storyline was highly charged, severely intense and full of copious amounts of shocking and spine tingling moments.

I F-LOVED this book. An outstanding, toe curling, nausea inducing, gripping storyline which kept me guessing the whole way through. I have found a new favourite author in Richard Parker. He has definitely set the bar high for his next novel, that’s for sure!!!!

Thanks Bookouture!

Buy now:

UK http://amzn.to/2pkYw80 
US 
http://amzn.to/2ovDYKu

About the author

 Parker is an ex TV script writer, script editor and producer who now writes dark, stand alone thrillers. His first novel, Stop Me, was nominated for a Dagger Award.  The movie rights to his second, Scare Me, have been bought by Hollywood studio Relativity Media with screenplay completed by Wentworth ‘PRISON BREAK’ Miller and his third, Stalk Me, rode high in the US and UK Amazon charts.

www.richardjayparker.com

https://www.facebook.com/richard.jayparker.9

https://twitter.com/Bookwalter

#Review – Right Here Waiting For You by Rebecca Pugh (@RebeccaPAuthor) @HQDigitalUK

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We used to be best friends…

Magda used to be the girl everyone wanted to be – most likely to achieve her every wish. That is until suddenly her perfect life seems to be anything but!

Sophia has never regretted her life, sure it isn’t perfect, but being a single mum to a daughter she loves is pretty great. Perhaps she never moved away from home, or got to live out her dreams, but what she has right now isn’t so bad.

That is until an invitation to their school reunion arrives, throwing both their lives into a spin – because these two used to be friends and it might finally be time to face up to that one big mistake that happened all those years ago…

What does TWG think?

Rebecca Pugh is known for writing feel-good, romance novels (you only need to read her previous novels to confirm that!) and because I wanted something über light-hearted to curl up with, I couldn’t wait to get stuck into her latest book after reading a heavy storyline beforehand.

‘Right Here Waiting For You’ has a storyline which is pretty much centred around a ‘best friend’ style relationship. Magda and Sophia were, once upon a time, sisters from another mister, but due to growing up and making wrong choices, their friendship went from 100-0 in a flash.

Sophia is a single mother with her whole life dedicated to her daughter; some might say that she hasn’t lived her life as she didn’t move away like the others did, or make comments about her dreams having drastically changed. But then there’s Magda; married with a lifestyle to envy. However, are the lives of the two women as they seem? Or is there more to it that meets the eye?

Sophia and Magda’s friendship broke apart due to miscommunication and a sense of feeling betrayed. Sophia had her reasons as to why she felt hurt about the situation, yet Magda seems to see things differently.

I am going to sound like a right youknowwhat here, BUT, most of the novel was spent describing the rawness of the betrayal, Sophia’s emotions, and her black and white outlook at the situation; yet when the situation arose for the two women to come face to face, those emotions remained for all of five minutes and it was as though Sophia turned into a ‘yes person’. Before you start thinking I am a judgemental person who holds grudges (cough), let me explain; Sophia had her views and seemed to chisel them in stone, yet when she was able to have a conversation with Magda, Sophia’s views remained with such urgency I thought she was going to be all Peggy Mitchell-esque. What surprised me was the drastic change oh so suddenly. Don’t get me wrong, I know that its unhealthy to harbour grudges and moving forward is the mature thing to do, but bosom buddies two seconds after being at loggerheads?

For me, Sophia went from bulshy and black and white, to sickly nice and a yes person in such a short space of time. It was TOO nice. Like I said above, I don’t mean to come across  like a youknowwhat myself, but I really wanted to tell her to woman up and grab a pair of balls! I didn’t like the fact that Sophia lost her edge and her individuality towards the end. I would love to see her come back in another storyline with some fight, but that is just my opinion on the character, not on the author’s style of writing.

I enjoyed the overall concept of the novel as it covered such modern, and relatable topics which, in my opinion, a lot of readers of different ages will most likely be able to associate with. Rebecca Pugh’s light-hearted and unique sense of humour, gave the storyline the entertainment factor, making it a good book to sit and curl up with.

Even though the storyline didn’t blow me away, it warmed my heart and made me extremely envious of anyone with a best friend. I could definitely see what Pugh had set out to do with this novel, especially as the world is full of such hate and divide, the authors storyline tried to fill the world with happiness and life. I can’t really fault the author for writing a storyline with other people’s happiness at the forefront of her mind.

An entertaining and heart-warming novel, ideal for putting the smile back on your face.
Never mind ‘Right Here Waiting For You’, Pugh has delivered a ‘sunshine on a rainy day’ style novel.

Thanks HQ!

Right Here Waiting For You by Rebecca Pugh, will be available to download from the 31st May. You can pre-order your copy right now from Amazon.

#BlogTour! #Review – The Inheritance by Angie Coleman @Aria_Fiction

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What happens when you are forced to live and work with your worst enemy?

Twenty-four-year-old Ashley Morgan thinks her future is guaranteed when she takes over the reins of her family business. What could go wrong?

But when her father decides to give the job to Jamie Standley, his right-hand man, Ashley feels cheated and breaks off all ties with her father.

Three years later at the reading of her late father’s Will, she discovers to her horror that Jamie will continue to be director of Morgan & Hall, while she will only receive a small share in the business. But on one condition: that Ashley and Jamie work together and live under the same roof for a whole year…

Once again Ashley feels betrayed and cheated. To her, Jamie is an impostor and she is determined to make him pay. But forced cohabitation can sometimes have unpredictable consequences…

What does TWG think?

Ashley seems totally convinced that her father will ask her to take over his business. By ‘totally convinced’ I mean extremely cocky. Up until the very last moment, she believes that that job will be hers. Soooooo, I’m sure you can guess her surprise when her father DOESN’T give her the job.

Now, instead of having her moment of frustration and annoyance and just getting on with it, Ashley decides to cut all ties with her father. Then one day, Ashley comes face to face with the man who got the job and learns that both of them will have to live under the same roof as each other, for one whole year – all in the name of ‘inheritance money’.

Whilst this novel only took me a couple of hours to read, there were multiple moments where I just wanted to put the book down due to Ashley’s whining and constant tantrums. An adult having tantrums is really not a pretty sight. I could see WHY Ashley was frustrated at the start, don’t get me wrong, BUT, I couldn’t understand why she just had to throw her teddy out the pram ALL THE TIME!!! She seemed to find a problem with everything and anything; pardon my bluntness but I couldn’t stand her.

Jamie on the other hand (the man who got the job over her), seemed to have more likeable traits than Ashley, and he came across as quite a fun character. His humour was brilliant, and the amount of patience he has is absolutely incredible. For me, Jamie was the one that gave the storyline the sustenance, the likability factor, as well as managing to keep the storyline above water.

The love hate relationship between Ashley and Jamie was somewhat predictable, yet at times it was quite entertaining to read. During those moments was when I saw little snippets of Ashley’s personality that I actually liked; she was being nice, I just wish she showed more of that side of her personality.

Did I love this book? No, I didn’t. I liked the overall concept of the storyline and I really do think that it has a lot of promise.

Did I hate this book? Oddly enough, no, I didn’t. I was entertained, it was pleasant enough to read. For me, Ashley’s character is what let the book down. She really isn’t likeable, she seemed to annoy me more than anything else and I just couldn’t get over how ugly her tantrums were.

All in all ‘The Inheritance’ was pleasant, entertaining to a point, with an incredibly promising concept to the storyline.

Thanks Aria.

Links to buy

Amazon // Kobo // iBooks // Google Play

Follow Aria

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Facebook: @ariafiction

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

NetGalley: http://bit.ly/2lkKB0e

Sign up to the Aria newsletter: http://bit.ly/2jQxVtV

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#BlogTour! #Review – Just For the Holidays by @SueMoorcroft @AvonBooksUK #Extract

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Day 11 of Sue Moorcroft’s blog tour for ‘Just For the Holidays’, and the tour bus stops at TWG! It feels like yesterday that I was reviewing Sue Moorcroft’s previous novel, and now look! On my stop today I will be sharing my review of JFTH, as well as an extract of the book. Hope you enjoy!

jfthThe #1 bestselling author returns for summer! Grab your sun hat, a cool glass of wine, and the only book you need on holiday…

In theory, nothing could be better than a summer spent basking in the French sun. That is, until you add in three teenagers, two love interests, one divorcing couple, and a very unexpected pregnancy.

Admittedly, this isn’t exactly the relaxing holiday Leah Beaumont was hoping for – but it’s the one she’s got. With her sister Michele’s family falling apart at the seams, it’s up to Leah to pick up the pieces and try to hold them all together.

But with a handsome helicopter pilot staying next door, Leah can’t help but think she might have a few distractions of her own to deal with…

What does TWG think?

Ohhhhhh my goodness me! I have so much to say about several of the characters in this book, yet I can’t put the world to rights regarding them just in case I give anything away -cries-. Put it this way, I was so close to tearing my hair out in frustration with a couple of the characters attitudes along the way, I am genuinely surprised that I have any hair left!

Leah is the singleton queen, well, that’s what she has always believed! For many years she has told herself that she doesn’t want to be held back in life because of a shoddy past relationship, but as time went on, Leah became even more stuck in that rut. I guess if you keep telling yourself something, you’ll end up believing it, right?

Michele, Leah’s sister is the complete opposite in terms of personality and lifestyle; she has the family, the children, and a life she thinks her sister wants. Their relationship, at first, struck me as a typical sibling relationship. However, it didn’t take me long to take sides with Leah as Michele started to annoy me very early on in the storyline.

The sisters went on a family holiday together to France, an idyllic break away before Leah started her new job. Ha. Ha. Right then. Holiday schmoliday. There was so much family drama throughout the entire holiday, I think good ol’ Jezza Kyle would have had a field day if they went on his show! Due to her sister’s questionable choices, Leah finds herself keeping tabs on teenagers, a holiday home, and a rather fetching neighbour.

I felt sorry for Leah a lot of the time as she was left to take the brunt of her sisters actions, as well as dealing with a rather emotional teenager who just wanted her mum. Whilst I fully understand that families are there to support one another, I was so annoyed at the way Leah was being taken for granted. Even when Michele became more involved in the storyline, I still found myself disliking her as she appeared somewhat fake. Well, I did end up liking her for a very short while near the end of the book, I’ve got to give her that much at least!

Don’t be fooled by the word ‘holiday’ in the title, it isn’t a plain sailing type of book like a holiday is supposed to be like. Sue Moorcroft’s novel is actually quite intense and covers a wide range of relatable topics, such as divorce, teenage drama, sister feuds, bad choices, unplanned pregnancy, complex relationships, career choices, and so on. Pretty much the things a lot of us would deal with on a daily basis, yet this has the bonus of a mighty fine gentleman to tickle your taste buds. Or anywhere else that might take your fancy!

I am rather impressed with what Moorcroft has achieved with her latest novel, she’s been able to cover so much without losing any of the momentum, AND has created some rather questionable and marmite characters. I truly think that a lot of readers will be able to relate to this storyline on so many levels, they may see a bit of themselves in Leah, or even Michele for that matter.

I thoroughly enjoyed JFTH, especially Moorcroft’s stunning descriptions of France, it really did feel as though I was there. Beautifully written.

Overall, JFTH kept me thoroughly entertained from start to finish. Unfortunately I did find Michele far too selfish and overpowering in the storyline, so the overall vibe of the book was jaded a little bit. However, Leah’s brilliant sense of humour, the teenagers naivety and joy, the complex topics, as well as the scenery (both male eye-candy and France), really did make this a book to remember.

Yet another emotive read from the uber talented, Sue Moorcroft, this book is NOT Just For the Holidays…it’s for every single day.

Thank you Avon.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Extract.

The roomy kitchen was bright with colourful tiles and fabrics. Alister was attacking the shiny crust of a baguette and Leah realised guiltily that he must have been down to the boulangerie while she’d been lazing in the sun.

Natasha was already at the table, buttering chunks of bread, tutting as her knife made a hole, while Jordan stabbed at his phone with the intensity reserved by fifteen-year-olds for anything with a screen. ‘You’re coming kayaking with us, aren’t you?’ demanded Natasha.

‘Sounds fun.’ Leah washed her hands before opening the fridge in search of cheese and cold meats. She glanced at her brother-in-law. ‘Does Michele know kayaking’s on today’s schedule?’ It didn’t seem the obvious activity for a forty-three-year-old in the early stages of pregnancy.

Alister sawed energetically, his eyes fixed rigidly on the baguette through the lenses of his glasses. ‘Haven’t seen her this morning.’

‘I have,’ Natasha piped up. ‘She’s a bit under the weather so she’s going to stay here and rest. If the boats are two-person, can I be with you, Leah? Then it’ll be girls against boys.’

Jordan glanced up from his phone. ‘We’d spend all day waiting for you. It’ll be better if I go with Leah and you go with Dad.’

Natasha pointed an indignant butter knife. ‘I said Leah first. Just because Mum’s not here –’

‘Jordan, would you make the coffee, please?’ interrupted Alister, in his head-teacher voice that managed somehow to be both mild and authoritative. ‘Natasha, how many more slices?’

Leah followed Alister’s lead in distracting the kids from bickering. ‘We’ll take the advice of the hire staff regarding distribution of paddlers between kayaks, shall we?’ As they sat down at the refectory-style table and she sliced Munster cheese onto her bread Leah added, ‘I could eat so much of this that I wouldn’t fit in a kayak.’

Jordan grinned. ‘You do have the appetite of the average gorilla.’ The conversation loosened with laughter, though Leah’s thoughts were less than cheery.

Three days they’d been in Kirchhoffen. For two of them, Michele had managed to contrive that the family went out without her. So far nobody had openly questioned it but Leah knew the oddness of this behaviour wouldn’t bypass the kids for long.

When breakfast was over, she slipped out into the hall and up the wooden staircase, its open treads sweeping up between thick spindles to the first floor, then up again to the rooms tucked beneath the gabled roof. Michele and the children had rooms on the first floor; Alister had been allocated space at the top, where there was only his room and the games room.

By treading at the edges of each step Leah found she could glide almost silently to Michele’s quarters. Without ceremony, she thrust the door open.

Dressed only in pretty underclothes and a towel swathing her hair, Michele jumped guiltily, pressing a button on her phone. ‘Come in, won’t you?’ A yellow summer dress was laid out on top of her neatly made bed.

Leah closed the door behind her. ‘Do you need anything before we go out? Natasha says you’re under the weather.’

Michele lowered her voice. ‘You know I feel lumpy in the mornings.’ Her skin did look pale and waxy.

‘We can hang on until you feel well enough to come with us.’

Michelle belted on a blue robe and dropped her phone into its pocket. ‘I can’t go kayaking in my condition and I don’t want to tell the kids why yet.’ She unwound the towel and began to rub her hair.

‘We can do something less energetic.’

‘I’d hate to ruin things for them. I’ll put my feet up today, have a lovely dinner ready for when you come home, then spend the evening with the children.’ Michele began to brush her wet hair sleek against her head. She looked different without her curls. Harder.

Or was that just how she was, these days? Harder?

Although Michele picked up the hairdryer and paused, poised, as if to hint she had other things to do than chat, Leah meandered to the bedroom chair and plumped down into its depths. ‘It’s turned out to be a good thing that Alister’s here, with you having morning sickness. I know you wouldn’t have put on me to take the kids out all the time.’

Michele’s eyes glinted oddly. ‘Alister told me last night that I’m acting like a stranger so I suppose I might do anything. What do you think? Do you still know me?’

Leah’s sympathy warred with exasperation. ‘Of course I do. I just don’t really understand what’s going on with you.’

Blinking, Michele fidgeted with the hairdryer, dropping her gaze. ‘Maybe you should.’

Leah leaned forward and covered her sister’s hands to still her fretful movements. ‘But all our lives you’ve known what you wanted. To be a wife and mother with a home in a nice area and a sensible car to ferry your kids around in. Now you’re suddenly less cautious than I am.’

Michelle shrugged. ‘Your choices are just as carefully thought out as mine. It’s just that they’re all about how to avoid having kids or a husband who would stop you from indulging yourself with car races or stunt driving. Why shouldn’t I want my life to be all about me, sometimes?’

‘Because you gave that up to have children. Shell, even if you stop being Alister’s wife you can’t stop being a mother. You’re in a strange place but none of this is easy on Jordan and Natasha.’

Michele’s shoulders began to quake. ‘I know. I’m the worst mum in the world.’

Though aware she was being manipulated, Leah was unwilling to damn Michele’s hitherto conscientious parenting. ‘You’re absolutely not, or the kids wouldn’t be so keen to spend time with you.’ She jumped to her feet and assumed a bright tone and matching smile. ‘Look, take today for yourself. Put on your pretty dress and flake out in the garden. Read, paint your nails, snooze. There’s even a hot workman next door to watch. Then maybe you’ll be ready to go out with the family tomorrow.’

#BlogTour! The Cafe in #FirTreePark – Katey Lovell @Katey5678 @fictionpubteam @Harperimpulse

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I am incredibly honoured to be kicking off Katey Lovell’s blog tour for her brand new book, The Cafe in Fir Tree Park! Being asked by the author, personally, to take part in her blog tour, really made me feel all fuzzy. It truly means a lot to me when I get asked by publishers etc to be part of blog tours, but there is also something incredibly moving about being asked to take part in a tour by the author themselves.
Totes emosh.

As you can see on the blog tour banner (how stunning is that btw!!) above, there are some pretty shamazing bloggers taking part in this tour, including Harper Impulse themselves! All of the bloggers listed are incredible so please make sure you take a peak at their stops on the relevant dates!

On my stop today, I have a guest post from author of #FirTreePark, Katey Lovell, AND I will be reviewing her book TWG style! I hope you enjoy reading my review as much as I adored reading this book.

First up is the guest post where Katey Lovell describes the ‘second book’ difficulties.

‘The Difficult Second Book’

By Katey Lovell

Although I’d heard authors mention the challenges of penning their second novels, until I started writing The Café in Fir Tree Park I’d never given it much thought.  In my mind I’d done everything right in the planning stages, making detailed notes for months in a brand new notepad bought especially for the project.  I thought I was prepared, but when it came to writing the actual novel I struggled.  

Being honest, I more than struggled.  I reached 10,000 words and seriously considered telling Harper Impulse I couldn’t fulfil my contract.  Every word I’d written seemed disjointed.  The characters were new and their dialogue sounded clunky to my ears.  Whenever I spoke about the novel with friends, I referred to it as ‘the bloody park book’. 

It wasn’t that I didn’t have passion for the project, because I did.  The problem was, I’d lost all faith in my writing ability.  I’d forgotten novels don’t arrived fully formed. What I’d drafted wasn’t as polished as the finished manuscript for The Singalong Society for Singletons.  Of course it wasn’t! First drafts are messy and clunky.  There will be gaping plot holes, and inconsistencies, and the finish line of ‘THE END’ will seem unreachable at times.  That’s the process of creating a novel, but I’d somehow managed to erase it from my mind in the months between novel one and novel two.  It completely crushed my confidence.

By the time The Singalong Society for Singletons was released in October, I had seven weeks left until my deadline and half the novel to write.  Thankfully, with the help of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, which takes place in November) and a wonderful set of friends cheering me on, I wrote my heart out.  Lovely reviews for my first novel flooded in, and I believed I could do it again.  The characters came to life and I cared about their fates, which brought the heart back to what I was writing.  As a reader I’ve always been attracted to characters I can root for, and I’ve found that’s followed through to my writing too.  If I feel disconnected, it’s hard to find the motivation to sit down and write, but as soon as it all clicked, the excitement returned.  

The Café in Fir Tree Park took sweat and tears (no blood, thankfully), but I’m incredibly proud of the finished novel.  The pain it caused was necessary, because I believe it’s the best thing I’ve written.  I still get that unpleasant twisting in my stomach as I remember how overwhelmed I felt when writing it though.  The pressure I’d piled on myself was unreal!  

Funnily enough, although getting a first draft of my third novel Joe and Clara’s Christmas Countdown was a challenge, it was far less stressful overall.  Maybe I have learned lessons, after all…

Such an honest and insightful guest post, thank you Katey. Readers: the next time you consider posting online how ‘expensive’ an e-book is at 2.99, come back and read this. It takes months of hard work and dedication to get books written. Or, as Katey Lovell says; ‘sweat and tears’.

Read on for my review:

katey ftp

Maggie’s café is at the very heart of Fir Tree Park. Business is booming, her lemon drizzle is the stuff of legend, her children are happy and life is good. But she hasn’t had it easy. When her husband Clint was sent to prison, she had to raise Josh and Kelly alone. But Clint can’t hurt them now, and there’s no denying that Paolo, the Italian football coach she spies every weekend out on the green, is more than easy on the eye.

It may be summer outside, but a new arrival in Fir Tree Park sends an icy chill through the café…

What does TWG think?

Ever since I had the pleasure of reading Katey Lovell’s previous novel, The Singalong Society for Singletons, I was impatiently waiting for her new book to be released into the wild. Katey Lovell’s books are like a legal addiction; as soon as you finished one, you want another! No pressure of course…

Unfortunately, this beauty didn’t stay in my hands for too long as I struggled to put it down once I started reading. Maggie runs her own cafe in Fir Tree Park; a place where everyone can come to relax and eat multiple slices of her legendary lemon drizzle cake. Although most of the treats Maggie baked I wouldn’t say no to. Food porn alert! Mmmmmmm cake. Maggie’s life hasn’t always been as fluffy as her muffins, risen like her Victoria sponge cake, or soft and addictive like her cookies. In fact, her life has been as flat as a pancake. Well, by life I mean her self-esteem (or lack of), thanks to her wonderful husband, more affairs than a baker’s dozen and a prison sentence. Heart throb eh!

Part of me was expecting a calm, leisurely paced novel with more cake than Mr Kipling, so when I realised that Katey Lovell’s novel had more turbulent situations than a coffee, walnut and cinnamon cake had ingredients, I truly was pleasantly surprised.

There is a lot of character swapping throughout the novel, with different chapters being led by various main characters. Usually I find that sort of thing far too confusing, however, #FirTreePark needed the differences in character point of view. It worked incredibly well, I wasn’t at all confused, but most importantly, it tied all the turbulent circumstances together whilst creating another level of intensity.

I am a sucker for a bit of drama, especially when there are skeletons in the closet (as long as they don’t involve me); #FirTreePark has enough skeletons for everyone. I had no idea that the storyline would reach the conclusion that it did. In all honesty, it caught me off guard a bit because it came out of nowhere, and I loved it!

The Cafe in Fir Tree Park is, without a doubt, one of my most favourite books so far this year. All of the intense moments blew me away, the characters were written absolutely brilliantly and so three-dimensional, the setting was described in such a relaxing manner, AND the different character viewpoints meant multiple shocking revelations. What more could anyone want from a book?

Unbelievable! I adored this book from start to finish, it kept me on my toes and warmed the ice from around my heart. I am in awe at Katey Lovell’s literary skills and her outstanding story telling; The Cafe in Fir Tree Park came to life and so did the characters in it.

A flawless, intense, and mesmerising novel that is full of emotion, secrets, heart-warming moments, the true meaning of love and learning how to make the most of your life before it’s too late.
Life is too short to live with regrets, and life is too short to not read The Cafe in Fir Tree Park. You just have to…like right now. I’m being serious.

Fabulously flawless, written with perfection, a showstopper of a conclusion; pretty much like Maggie’s lemon drizzle cake. Wow!

Thanks SO much Harper Impulse.

Buy NOW from Amazon UK

#Review – Ten Birthdays by Kerry Wilkinson (@kerrywk) @Bookouture

Kerry W

There are going to be so many things I wish I could’ve told you in person, Poppy. I won’t get the chance to do that, so perhaps this is my only way…

It’s Poppy Kinsey’s birthday.

She should be blowing out candles and opening presents – but hers falls on the type of heart-wrenching, agonising anniversary she would far rather forget.

The worst day of them all. The day her mother died.

But this year is special because the person she misses most in the world has left her a set of letters, one for each of her next ten birthdays.

As Poppy opens them year by year, she discovers that no matter how tough life gets, her mum will always be by her side, guiding her along the way.

What does TWG think?

With a title of ‘Ten Birthdays’ and the tagline stating that it’s an emotional read, I was expecting an earth shattering, emotive, tear inducing book. That type of book isn’t what I got though…

Birthdays..the day for celebrating, creating memories, and stuffing your face with cake. Admit it, we have all been there! Unfortunately, birthdays for some people aren’t the happy and joyous occasion of their dreams. Take Poppy Kinsey for example. Her birthday is no longer a day for creating memories, instead it is a day for remembrance.

Why?

Poppy’s mum died on that day; so instead of counting down the days until her birthday, she’s faced with yet another year without her mum. Although, technically that isn’t quite so true. Poppy’s mum left her ten letters which were only to be opened on Poppy’s birthday for the next ten years. Cute eh? Whilst I could feel the poignancy of the letters standing to attention, I didn’t get that ‘quick I’m going to ugly cry’ moment. Her mum had died and left her letters, how the heck wasn’t I crying?

Ten Birthdays isn’t a long read at all. We get to brush over the characters personalities, leaping forward a year just when we were able to get to know them better. Personally I feel that the lack of in-depth detail hindered the emotion. It was as though we were skimming over the situation and we could have found out more about Poppy and her fathers lifestyle in the aftermath of her mother’s death.

That said, the entire storyline was raw and extremely poignant. The letters which Poppy received, were full of words of wisdom only a mother could give; a mothers touch if you will. It was the feeling of hope that managed to stir up some emotion from deep within; but it wasn’t the ugly crying, snot fest emotion. It was a heart-warming, thought-provoking and beautiful emotion. You know, the sort that is extremely hard to explain!

The concept of the storyline is certainly unique, but it really does warm the heart. For me, the downside of the novel was the lack of depth and detail, however, I adored the concept as it moved me in a way even I couldn’t explain. Pretty beautiful actually.

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#CoverReveal! The Summer of Second Chances by Maddie Please @AvonBooksUK #romcom #womenfiction

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Nothing like seeing ‘hump day’ in with a cover reveal! A mid-week cover reveal, oh my goodness; I know, I know, I spoil you. Well, it isn’t me really, it’s Avon!

As I am sure you’re aware by now, I seem to reveal the covers of books that I reallyreallyreallyREALLY want to read. The thing is, I don’t know it until the see the cover, and let me tell you; I REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY LIKE THIS!
(if you didn’t sing that to the tune of a Carly Rae Jepson song then I failed, miserably.)

3…

2…..

1…….

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Lottie is about to discover that even when you think you’ve lost everything, hope and romance can be just around the corner . . .

It takes time to build your life. To get into a long-term (albeit boring) relationship. To find a job (you don’t completely hate) and settle into a house (that isn’t falling down). Lottie might not be thrilled with the life she’s put together, but it’s the one she’s got.

So when, in the course of one terrible evening, it all comes crashing down around her, Lottie has a choice: give herself over to grief at being broke, single and completely lacking in prospects.

Or, brick by brick, build herself a new life. And this time, with a little help from new friends, a crumbling cottage and a handsome stranger, maybe she can make it the one she always wanted.

The Summer of Second Chances is an irresistibly funny read about never giving up, whatever the world throws at you. Perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan, Jane Costello and Christie Barlow.

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See what I mean!! Glancing at the blurb, it seems as though A LOT of us will be able to relate to the storyline of this novel and I for one, cannot wait to curl up on my sofa and put the world to rights with ‘The Summer of Second Chances’.

The Summer of Second Chances by Maddie Please will be published in e-book on the 17th July, with the paperback following in September. If this book tickles your fancy and you wish to pre-order it, you can do so via the link below:

Pre-order now!!