book blogger · Bookouture · cover reveal

#CoverReveal! Time to reveal Louise Jensen’s brand new cover! Ready? @fab_fiction @Bookouture

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

I am so, SO excited about this cover reveal!
I adore Louise Jensen’s novels, she is such a brilliant author.
Today, alongside many other fabulous bloggers, I have the pleasure of helping Bookouture to reveal the cover of Louise Jensen’s upcoming novel.
Unfortunately, you do need to wait until September, BUT, her books are most definitely worth the wait. If you don’t believe me, check out this beauty;



THE SURROGATE by Louise Jensen

‘You know that feeling? When you want something so badly, you almost feel you’d kill for it?’ 

Be careful what you wish for…

Kat and her husband Nick have tried everything to become parents, and are on the point of giving up. Then a chance encounter with Kat’s childhood friend Lisa gives Kat and Nick one last chance to achieve their dream.

But Kat and Lisa’s history hides dark secrets.

And there is more to Lisa than meets the eye.

As dangerous cracks start to appear in Kat’s perfect picture of happily-ever-after, she realises that she must face her fear of the past to save her family…

From the no. 1 bestselling author of The Sister and The Gift, this is an unputdownable psychological thriller which asks how far we will go to create our perfect family.

EEEEEEE!!!!! This sounds rather intriguing and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy! If, like me, you cannot wait and want to ensure your get a copy, you can pre-order ‘The Surrogate’ over on Amazon now:

Pre-order – Amazon UK
Pre-order – Amazon US

About the author

Louise Jensen always wanted to be Enid Blyton when she grew up, and when that didn’t happen she got a ‘proper’ job instead.

Several years ago an accident left Louise with a disability and she began writing once again, to distract her from her pain and compromised mobility. But writing turned out to be more than just a good distraction. Louise loves creating exciting worlds, dark characters, and twisted plots.

Louise lives in Northamptonshire with her husband, sons, a puppy and a rather naughty cat, and also teaches mindfulness.

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

#Harpercollins · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · contemporary fiction · HQDigitalUK

#Tour! Chateau of Happily Ever Afters – Jaimie Admans @be_the_spark @NeverlandBT @HQDigitalUK

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JA Book Cover
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?

Escape to beautiful France this summer with this uplifting romantic comedy. Perfect for fans of Kat French, Caroline Roberts, and Holly Martin.

What does TWG think?

Do I reallllyyyyyyy need to write a proper review for this book? If length didn’t matter (out of the gutter pur-lease), this would be my review:


No, seriously, that would honestly be my review! I mean, what else could I say? ;). Fine. FINE. I will be an adult and write it properly. PFFTTTTTT.

I absolutely adored this book! Everything was written to perfection, the storyline had a good rhythm to it, and the characters were absolutely hilarious.

Wendy Clayton was given a lifeline. Unfortunately, someone else lost their life for her, and a handsome stranger, to make use of that lifeline. Due to Wendy’s past, trusting men didn’t come naturally. In fact, it didn’t come at all, and seeing as she had found herself in a situation with a man she didn’t even know, her trust issues became even more of a problem. Especially when there seemed to be a lot of money involved.

The ‘stranger’ in question, Julian, seemed to make every head turn wherever he walked. Or, in Wendy’s case, whenever he stood still. At first their relationship was a little bit strained, they seemed to enjoy riling each other up by pushing buttons they never knew existed. Let’s just say that bedtime in the Château made me laugh out loud. Julian is absolutely brilliant. The way he handled certain situations was brilliantly written and I could not stop laughing. I have to say though, his antics at bedtime were something I would have done to annoy somebody. Most definitely.

I also adored Wendy! Her quick wit was highly entertaining to read, and she made tears stream down my face with laughter when she decided to name the weeds. Hand on heart, the weeds in my garden now share the same name. No lie.

The whole ‘happily ever after’ situation, even though predictable, was written in such a unique way. It was as though the author wanted the characters to realise the truth behind their happily ever after, instead of it being forced. Really clever and incredibly romantic.

There is absolutely nothing about this book that I would change…well…except that it had to end. But, y’know! I loved every single thing about the setting, the characters, the humour, the romance, the characters back story; EVERYTHING! Honestly! I hated nada!

Jaimie Admans’ novel has everything I could want from a book, 100%. It has snort inducing humour. Ingenious wit. Eye-candy male lead. Fiery female lead. Memorable situations. Brilliant back story. A secretive, yet beautiful place for the characters to live. I saw Wendy and Julian grow. I saw Julian realise his true potential. I saw Wendy realise her baggage was becoming a nuisance. I saw new characters being added to the storyline and becoming a well love addition. I saw things blossom. I saw things fall. I just loved….everything. I am being totally serious.

When it comes to contemporary/women’s fiction, Jaimie Admans’ novel ticks all of my boxes, and then some. This book was such a joy to read, I was absolutely devastated when it finished. I know I keep going on about how much this book made me laugh, but that’s because it did. It also made me feel extremely happy whilst I was reading it, and I am so grateful to the author for writing such an outstanding storyline that was able to do that.

If I could give ‘The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters’ more than five stars I would, it certainly deserves them! The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters blew my mind in so many ways, it truly is such an exceptional, heart-warming, cosy, gigglefest of a read, which has been written in such an enchanting and addictive way.

The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters is in my top three books EVER, and without a doubt my most favourite book of 2017 so far.

Thanks so much to HQDigitalUK/Jaimie Admans & NeverlandBT.

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

Will also be available from all other ebook retailers.


Jaimie is a 32-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, watching horror movies, and drinking tea, although she’s seriously considering marrying her coffee machine. She loves autumn and winter, and singing songs from musicals despite the fact she’s got the voice of a dying hyena. She hates spiders, hot weather, and cheese & onion crisps. She spends far too much time on Twitter and owns too many pairs of boots.

She will never have time to read all the books she wants to read.

She is the author of chick-lit romantic comedies The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters and Kismetology, and she has also written young-adult romantic comedies Afterlife Academy, Not Pretty Enough, and North Pole Reform School.

Author links:


JA Giveaway Photo
To be in with a chance of winning a French-themed stationery goodie bag, filled with:

1 x Paperchase Paris notebook and pen

1 x The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters notebook

1 x little Eiffel Tower model

1 x Eiffel Tower bookmark

1 x The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters magnet

1 x Signed postcard

Click the following link to enter, good luck!
Enter the giveaway!

#Simon & Schuster · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · contemporary fiction

#BlogTour! #Review – Practice Makes Perfect by Penny Parkes @CotswoldPenny @simonschusterUK

Penny Parkes

‘If dishy doctors, cute dogs, hilarious OAPs and idyllic country settings are your thing, you’re in for a treat with this second novel set at a GP practice in the village of Larkford. Funny, moving, romantic and full of characters you’ll love – it’s perfect in every way’ Heat

The Practice at Larkford has suddenly been thrust under the spotlight – and its nomination as a ‘NHS Model Surgery’ is causing the team major headaches. Dr Holly Graham should be basking in the glow of her new romance with fellow doctor, Taffy – but she is worried that the team is prioritising plaudits over patients, and her favourite resident, the irreverent and entertaining Elsie, is facing a difficult diagnosis. Add to that the chaos of family life and the strain is starting to show.

Dr Dishy Dan Carter’s obsession with work is masking unhappiness elsewhere – he can’t persuade girlfriend Julia to settle down. It’s only as Julia’s mother comes to stay that he realizes what she has been hiding for so long. Alice Walker joins the team like a breath of fresh air and her assistance dog Coco quickly wins everyone round – which is just as well, because Coco and Alice will soon need some help of their own. Can they pull together and become the Dream Team that the NHS obviously thinks they are?

Out of Practice won the Romantic Comedy of the Year category of the RNA Awards.

What does TWG think?

I am absolutely delighted to be today’s stop on Penny Parkes’ blog tour for her new novel, ‘Practice Makes Perfect’! Huge thanks to the oh-so-lovely, Jess Barrett from S&S for inviting me on the tour! Such an honour.

For the last year or so, I have seen Penny Parkes’ name everywhere. Whenever I hopped onto Amazon a thumbnail of her book, Out of Practice, made itself known. Yet, despite that, I put her novel on the forever growing ‘to be read pile’, adamant that I would get round to reading it. Shamefully, I didn’t. However, Ms.Parkes’ name kept cropping up. I saw reviews for her first book, social media posts; I was too busy fangirling the author instead of reading her work. Well, that was until Jess Barrett contacted me and I managed to make my three-year old come running into the kitchen with my squeals. The author says that ‘Practice Makes Perfect’, and after reading her new novel, I whole heartedly agree.


Because this was THE perfect time to fall under Penny Parkes’ literary spell, without any other books coming between me, and page numero uno. If you like the thought of a dishy doctor, a cute four-legged friend, as well as the ‘shouldn’t do that’ of a doctor’s surgery, ‘Practice Makes Perfect’ will be right up your street.

If you haven’t read the first book in the Larkford Series, ‘Out of Practice’ – don’t fret. I haven’t and I found that I was able to slot into the lifestyle of the characters extremely easily, without feeling like I was missing out on any vital pieces of information which could hinder my enjoyment of this book.

This storyline is FULL of drama, drama and more drama! Who doesn’t like drama? Dan Carter and his girlfriend, Julia, seemed to be having a spot of bother, whilst the other doctors in the surgery were competing against four-legged friend, Coco, for attention. Not only does the storyline contain drama from the medical team, their patients were giving them a run for their money. After the practice was thrust into the spotlight, stress levels were raised and goal posts were moved. One moment the doctors were well aware of what their roles consisted of, the next moment they were unsure of every single detail in their lives. Personally, I LOVED watching everything unfold. I couldn’t foresee what was going to happen, at all. I just knew that I was looking forward to the rollercoaster ride.

For me, the characters of ‘Practice Makes Perfect’ is what made this storyline come to life. Their individual personalities and unique stories, in my eyes, gave the story an incredible amount of depth, as well as holding onto the relatable factor that a lot of readers look out for. As a person who should have their own seat in their local doctors surgery, I found it quite refreshing to read a novel from the ‘other side’ – the doctor side. Plus, this book has given me something humorous to think of the next time I have to venture to my surgery for even more tests. I mean, how could you not think of a certain dishy doctor, and an unhinged personality that is good ol’ Elsie? Would it be bad of me if I said that I wanted my doctor to be Taffy?

Penny Parkes’ latest novel is the type of book you need to invest time into. At 559 pages long, ‘Practice Makes Perfect’ is a hunk-a-chunk of burning love…and then some. It is, quite possibly, the longest contemporary fiction type novel I have ever read. Can I let you into a little secret? It’s also one of my most favourite as well. Yes, really.

I just love the down to earth vibe that the book gives off. The bubbly, three-dimensional characters who were able to make me sides hurt from laughing. The firecracker, Elsie, who I will remember for a very, very long time due to her unbelievably personality. All of that, plus a storyline that kept on giving – I mean, how could I not rate this highly? Of course, none of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the brains behind it, Penny Parkes. In such a short space of time, this author managed to turn the characters into ‘friends’, rather than just a name for the readers remember. I giggled. I snlaughed. I gasped. I awwww-ed. I said ‘what on earth’ more times than I care to admit. AND I wanted to give the author a hug after the tying of the loose ends.

TWG’s verdict? Enough talking, go and buy it. If an author can turn this Ice Queen into a warm, fuzzy mess – it’s definitely a winning book.

Thanks Simon and Schuster.

Buy now from Amazon UK

The blog tour isn’t over yet, so make sure you stop by the bloggers listed on the graphic below:


Practice Makes Perfect Blog Tour

blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · Crime/thriller · netgalley

#BlogTour! #Review – Guilty by Laura Elliot (@Elliot_Laura) @Bookouture


It begins with a phone call. It ends with a missing child.

On a warm summer’s morning, thirteen-year-old school girl Constance Lawson is reported missing.

A few days later, Constance’s uncle, Karl Lawson, suddenly finds himself swept up in a media frenzy created by journalist Amanda Bowe implying that he is the prime suspect.

Six years later …

Karl’s life is in ruins. His marriage is over, his family destroyed. But the woman who took everything away from him is thriving. With a successful career, husband and a gorgeous baby boy, Amanda’s world is complete. Until the day she receives a phone call and in a heartbeat, she is plunged into every mother’s worst nightmare.

An utterly compelling psychological thriller that will keep you guessing to the very last page. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl and Sarah A. Denzil’s Silent Child.

What does TWG think?

-holds head in hands- this is one of those books where you sit, staring at your computer for ages, attempting to write a review about it, but you end up failing miserably. As much as I would love the words to write themselves, my mind isn’t that clever. However, this does mean that due to the nature of the storyline and the fact that it could be spoiler central, I will need to be annoyingly vague.

I finished reading ‘Guilty’ last week, yet it has managed to keep my nerves frayed ever since. There was just something about this storyline that got under my skin, but I have no idea what it was exactly.

A teenager is missing. A journalist is all over it like a bad smell. A family is at their wit’s end, wondering where their daughter is. An uncle is being put in the spotlight, alongside the relationship with his thirteen year old niece.

I found the whole missing child/family relationship under fire, extremely difficult to read. Extremely difficult. Whilst I was aware that the entire situation was an integral part of the storyline, I struggled. Don’t get me wrong, the author had completely nailed the situation, as well as writing it extremely realistically. My issue wasn’t with the book, it was my own personal reaction to it.

As the storyline settled into itself, more nail-biting situations cropped up, and the media stuck their noses in every single time. Of course, that is their job! Even though their involvement could be quite raw to read, it was incredibly eye-opening to witness the lengths that journalists go to in order to get a story. It was crazy. I was aware that the media can spin stories, but I didn’t know the full extent.

Because ‘Guilty’ is split into various parts, it was quite easy to turn myself off from one main circumstance, to allow myself to engage in the brand new one without too much confusion. The storyline flowed well, and the author combined the parts without leaving any major loose ends. Bonus.

Being honest, this storyline wasn’t for me as it brought up too many bad memories. However, because that it is my own personal reaction to the storyline and not the work of the author, I still think that Laura Elliot has done a brilliant job with this book.
Because the author still managed to get a reaction out of me! The storyline was gritty, nail-biting and raw, and the characters were very well-developed. I genuinely cannot fault the author at all! ‘Guilty’ has done the job of a psychological thriller, big time. Instead of keeping the intensity on an even keel throughout the novel, it just continued to grow, raising my blood pressure with every turn of the page.

A very well written, intense and jaw dropping novel – if you can hack the pace and like your heart beating rather fast, you will adore this book!

Thanks Bookouture,

UK 🇬🇧
US 🇺🇸


blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · childrens books · On location · Quercus

#BlogTour! #Review – One Summer in Tuscany by Domenica De Rosa @ellygriffiths @QuercusFiction

One Summer in Tuscany blog tour poster

Rivalries and romance in a Tuscan paradise. A relaxing writers’ retreat? If only! Perfect holiday reading from Domenica de Rosa, author of the bestselling Dr Ruth Galloway series under the name Elly Griffiths. Previously published as SUMMER SCHOOL.

Patricia Wilson’s carefully composed ads for the writers’ retreat she runs at her thirteenth-century Italian castle promise so much. But while the splendour of their surroundings and chef Aldo’s melanzane never fail to wow the guests, huge maintenance bills and bad news from the bank threaten to close Patricia down. It’s make or break time for the Castello.

Each of her seven aspiring authors arrives with the inevitable baggage alongside their unpublished manuscripts. But this August something is different, and soon lifelong spinster Mary is riding on the back of Aldo’s vespa, and smouldering odd-job man Fabio has set more than one heart racing.

As temperatures rise, the writers gossip, flirt and gently polish their prose by the pool. But with ghosts, scorpions, and some unexpected visitors to contend with, one thing’s for sure: neither the Castello, nor Patricia, has ever seen a summer like this.

What does TWG think?

Set in Italy, ‘One Summer in Tuscany’ is an ideal book to take with you on your holidays, lay on the sun lounger and just relax. With a not to strenuous storyline, this novel allows you to go with the flow without being too heavy, or too complicated.

Be prepared for a lot of characters to come your way though! Although, with a beautiful setting such as Italy, I don’t think the prospect of multiple characters will annoy you too much!

What I found endearing about ‘One Summer in Tuscany’, was the fact that it was set in a writers retreat, as well as Italy. I have only come across that particular setting once or twice before, so it made a nice change to be able to watch the storyline unfold in a writers retreat. For me, it gave the novel more of a unique feel. Not only that, the chef, Aldo, was able to make my mouth water with a minimal amount of effort! Out of the gutter…please.

Whilst I am all for a calm storyline, I do enjoy a bit of bite. Something to sink my teeth into. Something to keep my interest. Don’t get me wrong, I was entertained by ‘One Summer in Tuscany’, I just needed a bit more…oomph to the overall storyline. I felt that the characters were well written and realistically developed. The setting was beautifully described, I just wanted to pack my suitcase and go live there. THAT’s how realistically written it was. The storyline was full of bounce in terms of happiness, without anything majorly traumatic.

Overall, it was a lovely, lovely read. I just wish it had that little bit extra. I cannot fault the author on the feel of the book though, that’s for sure!

Thanks Quercus.

Buy now from Amazon UK (Paperback follows 29th June)

blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · contemporary fiction · netgalley

#BlogTour! #Review – Curves, Kisses & Chocolate Ice-cream by @SueWatsonwriter @Bookouture


Dani’s on a mission to get her life back on track by the end of the summer. Running, rowing, aerobics and more, but perhaps all she needs are sweet treats and a second chance?

Ten years ago, Dani fled Appledore with a broken-heart and a suitcase full of shattered dreams. Only now is she brave enough to put her past behind her and return for a summer selling homemade ice cream and getting fit by doing sit-ups by the sea.

But the new-look cafe is filled with old memories of Jude, her teenage sweetheart-turned-sour. She thinks of him every time she swirls warm sauce onto a ‘chocolate-bockaglory’ and even with the help of Chris, her gorgeous personal trainer, the urge to break her diet is everywhere she turns.

When Jude makes an appearance at the cafe on the eve of Dani’s birthday party, history threatens to repeat itself. Is Dani strong enough to say no? And is the love she’s been longing for much closer than she thinks?

A truly delicious, laugh-out-loud beach read that’s guaranteed to melt your heart. Perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond, Abby Clements and Debbie Johnson.

What does TWG think?

Sue Watson is back with book two in the ‘Ice-cream Cafe Series’! ‘Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice-cream’ may be book two in the series, but it can quite easily be read as a standalone, so don’t worry if you haven’t managed to read the first book beforehand. However, book one is a brilliant book so I do recommend reading that one anyway!

I say this every time I review a Sue Watson novel, but, this novel really was written from the heart. We follow the life of main character, Dani, who is still trying to mend a broken heart after all this time. Some people suggest getting under a guy to get over one, however, Dani decided that she was going to find a friend in all things sugar instead. Unfortunately for Dani, her relationship with sugar became strained, and her self-esteem plummeted, there was only one thing for her to do – lose weight. After several embarrassing attempts in the gym, Dani drove home with a plan….and a man of the personal trainer variety. Word on the street was that he was quite hot…

Dani is such a big-hearted, bubbly type of character who is incredibly easy to warm to. I reckon a lot of readers will be able to relate to her due to the weight issues, as well as the self-esteem issues. Even though those two issues are often emotionally draining, I found that I was able to like Dani a lot more because she came across as ‘real’. It was as though she took on the role of being ‘the voice of many’. Although, I am sure a lot of readers would be extremely envious at the prospect of having ice-cream at their fingertips.

Watching Dani grow, for me, was the highlight of the storyline. I was able to watch her come out of her shell, grow into her personality, and finally be able to learn the skin she was in. The personal trainer helped though, I must admit.

Out of the Ice-Cream Cafe series so far, ‘Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice-cream’ is my favourite. Whilst ‘Ella’s Ice-cream Summer’ was a fantastic novel to read, I found this second book a lot more heart-warming in terms of the relatability factor. It had the type of storyline that screamed ‘HUG ME’, with a hint of ‘please don’t pinch my ice-cream’. Not only that, the entire storyline was filled with such dry and fun humour, it’s pretty clear that the author has put her own personality in the storyline via her wit.

I have no idea (like always) how Sue Watson does it, but she continues to blow my mind with each and every storyline that she produces. Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice-cream is yet another outstanding, humorous, heart-warming and memorable read, from the cosy author we have all come to love and adore, Sue Watson.

I totally think Sue Watson should get an ice-cream named after her in the next book…just saying..

Thanks Bookouture.

UK 🇬🇧 
US 🇺🇸

Big thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in Sue Watson’s blog tour. The tour isn’t over yet, and if you wish to follow it, all of the bloggers involved are on the graphic below:

sue watson

#extract · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · historical fiction · lifestyle

#BlogTour! #Review & #Extract – The Mothers of Lovely Lane by @NadineDorries @HoZ_Books

From the bestselling author of The Angels of Lovely Lane, The Four Streets and Ruby Flynn.

Noleen Delaney is one of an army of night cleaners at St Angelus hospital in Liverpool. Since her husband was injured in the war, she has supported her five children. With help from her eldest, Bryan – a porter’s lad – the family just about gets by.

When Finn, her youngest, passes the eleven plus exam, Noleen feels faint. Allowing Finn to attend the grammar will stretch her purse too far.

When Bryan steps in to help, the results rock the St Angelus community. As the nurses of Lovely Lane near their final exams, Noleen will find herself tested, and her heart broken. Just how far can a mother’s love stretch?

What does TWG think?

I don’t think I had ever read a Nadine Dorries book before this one. I had heard of the author and I was aware of her literary success, but still I hadn’t picked up one of her books. Shameful. Utterly shameful. 
Because ‘The Mothers of Lovely Lane’ is book number three of the ‘lovely lane’ series, I was a bit anxious about reading it just incase I should have read the previous books beforehand. Luckily there didn’t seem to be an issue, which meant that I was able to enjoy the storyline without feeling like I was missing something important. That said, there were a lot of characters to keep track of, and just like any other storyline with a lot of people, I did end up confused. Not that hard to do, to be honest!

Recently, sagas and historical fiction novels have been high on my list of favourite genres due to the complexity of knowledge that just oozes from every page. Reading ‘The Mothers of Lovely Lane’ made me feel as though I was constantly learning something due to the fantastic attention to detail, and the level of historical knowledge.

Set in Liverpool just after the war, ‘The Mothers of Lovely Lane’ is mostly  centred around the national health service, and the various changes surrounding the health care during the war and after. I found those parts quite hard to read as they were so raw and incredibly poignant. When you sit back and think about it, it’s crazy to think that our country was once like that. It really hit home. Just by reading the book, it made me realise exactly how difficult and emotional those times were.

On the other side of the coin, I was moved by the level of community spirit within this novel. I have never, ever, seen anything like it. It really made me quite emotional that the characters went to such lengths to protect their own, and support who they loved. Absolutely incredible.

Hats off to Nadine Dorries for creating such an incredible main character in Noleen. When you read this book, you’ll see exactly what I mean, but, hand on heart, Noleen is the type of person who would walk around naked just to ensure her children had clothes. Even now, days after finishing the book, Noleen still has a hold over me. If you have someone in your life like Noleen, treasure them.

Such a heart-breaking, poignant, and emotional read which will no doubt stay in your heart for a very, very long time. Wow.

Thanks HoZ.

Buy now from Amazon UK


‘There’s a change, Lorraine. Is there any reason why you spend more time in the Delaneys’ kitchen these days than you do in your own?’ 

Lorraine had the good grace to blush. ‘Mam, Mary is my best friend, that’s why I go there. She has to help her mam a lot with all they have going on and her mam working nights.’ 

‘Don’t give me that, Lorraine. I gave birth to you, I know you. I think your attraction down at the Delaney house has more to do with their Bryan than your mate Mary.’ 

 ‘Mam!’ Lorraine almost shouted. ‘Don’t say that so little Stan can hear.’ 

Maisie wrung out her dishcloth and began clearing away the detritus of the Tanner breakfast table. She piled the bowls in the sink then took a packet of cigarettes out of her apron pocket. It might only be eight thirty but her hair was neat – hard from six days’ application of Get Set hairspray – and her lipstick fully applied. ‘Don’t be daft, love, I won’t. But I am right, aren’t I?’ 

She leant her back against the range and, tipping her cigarette packet upside down, tapped the bottom until one fell out. She lit it on the ame from the pilot light. Blowing the smoke upwards, she said, ‘Look, love, all I would say is take care. You are only young. Bryan has a lot of responsibilities and he is keen to get on. I don’t want you to be having a broken heart.’ She blew her smoke into the air. 

Lorraine placed her school books into her wicker basket. ‘Do you like him though, Mam?’ 

‘Lorraine, I’ve changed his nappy and wiped his nose enough times, of course I like him. I like all the kids around here. We are really just one big family. It’s not that. You are still at school and he is working now, up at the hospital, and he has his da to look after. I just don’t want you to go getting hurt, that’s all. Have you told Mary?’ 

Lorraine nodded. 

‘Well, love, if I can give you any advice, it is this, never let a fella know you fancy him. Even one who pushed your pram when you were in it.’ 

‘Oh, God, he didn’t, did he, Mam?’ 

‘Of course he did. We used to put you and Mary next to each other and send Bryan off to push you up and down Vince 

Street so we could get the washing done. Play hard to get, it’s the only way.’ Maisie turned back to the sink to ick her ash down the plug hole and looked out of the window. ‘Oh, here we go, your hairband is walking up the path. I bet little Stan swapped it for little Finn’s comic. Now let’s see what a good mate Mary Delaney is.’ 

Lorraine looked up from her basket and out of the kitchen window, into the back yard. ‘Stanley!’ she screamed at the top of her voice, as Mary Delaney walked in through the back gate, proudly wearing Lorraine’s hairband.

Mothers of Lovely Lane blog tour (1)

#Harpercollins · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · contemporary fiction · weekly wrap up

#BlogTour! #Review – #SecondChanceCafe – Lilly Bartlett @MicheleGormanUK @HarperImpulse

The Second Chance Cafe blog tour graphic
New week, new blog tour, and what a blog tour it is! Just look at all those fabulous names! It was such an honour to receive the e-mail asking me to be involved in the blog tour, for one of THE most talked about books so far this year. Thank you Michele Gorman! I am delighted to be sharing my review of ‘The Second Chance Cafe in Carlton Square’ by Lilly Bartlett. Enjoy!

Second Chance Cafe UK small

One chance isn’t always enough…

Everyone expects great things from Emma Billings, but when her future gets derailed by an unexpected turn of events, she realizes that getting back on track means traveling in a different direction.

She finds that new path in the closed-down pub on Carlton Square. Summoning every ounce of ingenuity, and with the help of her friends and family, she opens the Second Chance Café. The charity training business is meant to keep vulnerable kids off the streets and (hopefully) away from the Metropolitan Police, and her new employees are full of ideas, enthusiasm … and trouble. They’ll need as much TLC as the customers they’re serving.

This ragtag group of chancers have to make a go of a business they know nothing about, and they do get some expert help from an Italian who’s in love with the espresso machine and a professional sandwich whisperer who reads auras, but not everyone is happy to see the café open. Their milk keeps disappearing and someone is canceling the cake orders, but it’s when someone commits bloomicide on all their window boxes that Emma realizes things are serious. Can the café survive when NIMBY neighbors and the rival café owner join forces to close them down? Or will Emma’s dreams fall as flat as the cakes they’re serving?

What does TWG think?

‘The Second Chance Cafe’ is book two from the ‘Carlton Square’ series. Whilst this book can be read as a standalone to a point, I would recommend reading the first book (The Big Little Wedding in Carlton Square) beforehand, to give yourself a bit of a head start character wise. That’s exactly what I did and I must admit, I am glad that I started with book one before reading this one, as I was able to enjoy the whole storyline without worrying that I wouldn’t be able to follow the characters lives. Not only that, book one is amazing (review to come this week), so it’s a bit of a win-win situation really!

Emma Billings wants to make a difference. She’s well aware that a lot of people aren’t lucky enough to receive a second chance in life, due to assumption after assumption, judgements after judgements. Emma knows what it’s like to be near the bottom of the ladder so to speak, so if she can make a difference, she sure as hell is going to try.

That, and a load of information that you’ll only find out once you have read the book, is how The Second Chance Cafe was born. Unfortunately, not everyone is enthusiastic about Emma’s charitable idea. Judgemental much?

I am truly surprised that I managed to finish this novel in one piece! I cannot even begin to count how many times I snorted like a pig, squealed like a hyena, and created a waterfall in my own house; all by laughing! I’m sexy and I know it….

I LOVED how the vibe of the storyline was just so relaxed. Obviously, there were a few jumped up characters who were looking to cause trouble, but even with those characters the author still managed to make me chuckle with her sarcastic, yet realistic, humour.

On several occasions my heart went out to Emma. Her man needed a mighty good shake!! Yes, vague once again, so go and buy the book! I’m sorry, but Daniel did annoy me once or twice, but there we go!

In my opinion, The Second Chance Cafe is the ideal book to lose yourself in. My only slight irk was that I wished Emma’s backbone made an entrance a lot sooner. Whilst she is such a fantastic character to read about, and has such a different life in comparison to book one, I felt as though she had lost a bit of her sparkle. But that’s just me.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to ‘The Second Chance Cafe’. I loved seeing certain characters come out of their shells and grow into their personalities. I thought the humour was on point. Whilst many of the characters had me in hysterics, it was lovely to come across characters who, whilst happy to laugh, just wanted to be loved. If the vibe of this novel can be bottled, I bags first dibs. There is something rather special about the Carlton Square series, I am rather looking forward to what else appears.

Thanks Harper Impulse and Michele Gorman.

Lilly Bartlett Bio

Lilly Bartlett’s cosy romcoms are full of warmth, quirky characters and guaranteed happily-ever-afters.

Lilly is the pen-name of Sunday Times and USA Today best-selling author, Michele Gorman, who writes best friend-girl power comedies under her own name.

Accent Press · book blogger · cover reveal · Crime/thriller

#CoverReveal! #WhiteSilence by Jodi Taylor (@authorjoditaylo) @AccentPress

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)
Some of you may recognise the authors name already. Why? Because she has already penned a couple of novels in a completely different genre; time travel. Today, Jodi Taylor will be revealing the new cover for her upcoming book, and several bloggers are on hand to help (like me!). Now, poor Jodi Taylor is incredibly nervous, not only is she revealing her brand new cover, she is also revealing her brand new genre! Excited?

It is such an honour to be helping this lovely lady to reveal her cover. Let’s try and calm her nerves by giving her lots of love and support, right? Who knows, we may end up being put into her book if we don’t…after all…


No, Jodi Taylor isn’t bringing MJ back…although….

Cover anyone?

*The first instalment in the new, gripping supernatural thriller series from international bestselling author, Jodi Taylor* 

“I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what I am.” 

Elizabeth Cage is a child when she discovers that there are things in this world that only she can see. But she doesn’t want to see them and she definitely doesn’t want them to see her.

What is a curse to Elizabeth is a gift to others – a very valuable gift they want to control.

 When her husband dies, Elizabeth’s world descends into a nightmare. But as she tries to piece her life back together, she discovers that not everything is as it seems.

Alone in a strange and frightening world, she’s a vulnerable target to forces beyond her control. 

And she knows that she can’t trust anyone…

White Silence is a twisty supernatural thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat.


That’s right folks, Jodi Taylor has joined thriller side, aka the dark side!!

#WhiteSilence e-book is set to be published on 21/09/2017, and the paperback is set to follow in Spring 2018. With an intriguing blurb like this one, I’m not sure if I can wait until September, can you?

Don’t forget to let me know what you think! Does this sound like your type of book?

If so, you can pre-order it right now from: Amazon!

I know the book title is ‘White Silence’, but lets not give the author white silence with this reveal!

Big thanks to Accent Press for asking me to be involved in this cover reveal, and good luck to Jodi Taylor on her new genre! I cannot wait to get my hands on this bad boy!

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

#Harpercollins · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · contemporary fiction · HQDigitalUK · netgalley · On location

#BlogTour! #Review – Under a Tuscan Sky by @KarenAldous_ @NeverlandBT @HQDigitalUK

Karen Aldous Schedule Graphic

Under a Tuscan Sky 01-02
Escape to Tuscany this summer with Karen Aldous’s brilliantly uplifting read. Perfect for fans of Erica James and Cathy Kelly.

A summer she’ll never forget… 

When Olivia Montague’s grandmother passes away, she decides it’s finally time to make some changes in her own life. So she breaks up with her ‘going nowhere’ boyfriend and embarks on a journey to her Nonna’s home in Tuscany.

Until now, Olivia has always believed that she’s incapable of love, after being abandoned by her parents as a baby. But with each day spent at the gorgeous villa nestled in the rolling Italian hills, she feels her heart begin to flutter…

And when handsome antiques dealer Hugh St. James arrives on the scene, she realises things might be about to change forever!

What does TWG think?

I really need to give Olivia Montague a big round of applause! GIRL POWER!! Nothing like a sassy, confident, independent woman to get a storyline going, right? I genuinely thought to myself ‘wowza, she could teach me a thing or two!’. I admired the characters flair 100%, as it was great to see a character taking charge of their own life. 

The way that Olivia was portrayed at the start was youthful, she was described as such a bubbly sort of person with such a young sounding ideology. I honestly thought she was in her late twenties/early thirties! Some of her choices were a bit questionable, I’ll admit. So, when I found out that Olivia was a lot older than she came across as; my whole opinion of her changed. Olivia’s personality didn’t seem consistent to the age that she was given. Don’t get me wrong, I know that age is irrelevant as it’s only a number, but for me, Olivia was being portrayed as one character, yet acting like someone different. I hoped that in the latter part of the storyline, Olivia would have grown into her personality and become a teeny bit more consistent.

Did she? YES! I thoroughly enjoyed the second half of the novel as the storyline had warmed up, inconsistencies seemed to have disappeared, and things start becoming beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, me and Olivia weren’t bosom buddies and I couldn’t quite warm to her, yet her antics made me laugh.

I have never been to Tuscany, yet after reading Karen Aldous’ descriptions, I felt as though I was right there, soaking up the sunshine and gazing at the spectacular views. If I’m honest, the authors portrayal of Tuscany and the surrounding areas, were my favourite parts of the book. It was as though I had been put under a spell, such a surreal feeling.

As for Olivia’s love life, it seems to be the main focus of the story (apart from Tuscany itself, naturally). She dumped one boyfriend because there was no spark, but then she meets an OTT Italian, Alberto, who wants to give her anything and everything…right there and then. If a guy came onto me like that in a plane, two seconds after meeting him, I would have gone ‘uhhhhh BUHBYE’, yet Olivia was completely infatuated! Her reaction to Alberto, was quite surprising I’m not going to lie, but I couldn’t help but giggle. I would have loved to get inside her head and find out what on Earth goes through it! As the story progresses, Olivia meets guy number three. I really liked Hugh! He came across as such a gentleman, I just wanted to give him a big cuddle and a slice of battenburg cake, whilst letting him talk to me about his family history! Sooooo cute!

Despite my opinion of Olivia, her antics kept me thoroughly entertained, and somewhat agog, throughout the entire novel. I cannot fault the author on her enchanting writing style, and beautiful descriptions. I could tell that those moments were written from the heart.

Under a Tuscan Sky is ideal for a summer holiday read as it isn’t too heavy, too complex, nor does it require much sussing out. Instead it’s a lighthearted, romantic novel, which is set in such a mesmerising and beautiful country.

Thanks HQ Digital/NeverlandBT.

Buy: Amazon

About Karen Aldous:
Karen Aldous enjoys village life on the edge of the north-downs in Kent with easy access to the buzz of London. Not only does she love the passive pleasures of reading and writing, she also craves the more active pursuits with her family and friends such as walking, cycling and skiing especially when they involve food and wine!

Karen gets much of her inspiration from her travels and if she had to choose, France, Greece, Switzerland, Italy and the USA would be her favourites. However, wherever she goes, she discovers a new character emerges in ‘Karen’s World’. She likes to write about strong independent women who can direct their own lives – but struggle to control them! And, of course there’s always a gorgeous hunk or two!



Giveaway (UK Only) 

1st prize: £10 Amazon voucher, eCopy of Under a Tuscan Sky & a signed notebook

2nd & 3rd prize: eCopy of Under a Tuscan Sky & a signed notebook

Under a Tuscan Sky Giveaway Notebooks