TWG’s #TopBooksof2017! @Bookouture @TeamBATC @Headlinepg @HQDigitalUK @AvonBooksUK @ChoclitUK

The Writing Garnet's
It’s that time of year again when most publishers, bloggers, readers, publicists, (you catch my drift) go through their ‘read’ books of the year, ready to compile a list of their most favourite books. A yearly ritual which sees ‘TBR’ piles growing even bigger, lists being compared, and readers finding new books they wouldn’t have dared to pick up until they read that particular list. A ritual where all the fabulous books us readers/bloggers have fallen in love with over the past year, get celebrated once again.

In lament terms, we get to gush. Having read a total of 318 books in 2017, I knew my #TopBooks list wasn’t going to be small. Have you SEEN the books published this year!? 2017 has been an outstanding year for books. So many debut authors have shone with their debut novels, whilst other authors many already love have upped their game with yet another novel. I have managed to get my list down to a Top 40 otherwise we would have been here until next year going through them, but, in all honesty, I could have happily put most of those 318 books on this list!

In absolutely NO particular order, here are TWG’s #TopBooksof2017!


1. A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson
(You can read my review here)
2. The Legacy of Lucy Harte by Emma Heatherington
(You can read my review here)
3. Before You Go by Clare Swatman
(You can read my review here)
4. Sister, Sister by Sue Fortin
(You can read my review here)
5. The Quiet Man by James Carol
(You can read my review here)
6. The Second Chance Tea Shop by Fay Kennan
(You can read my review here)
7. The Year of Saying Yes by Hannah Doyle
(I am still due a full review for all parts of this book – watch this space!)
8. Lost For Words by Stephanie Butland
(You can read my review here)
9. The Woman at Number 24 by Juliet Ashton
(You can read my review here)
10. The Wedding Girls by Kate Thompson.
(You can read my review here)

11. Blink by K.L.Slater
(You can read my review here)
12. A Time to Change by Callie Langridge
(You can read my review here)
13. The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan
(You can read my review here)
14. Too Damn Nice by Kathryn Freeman
(You can read my review here)
15. Another Woman’s Husband by Gill Paul
(You can read my review here)
16. The Law of Attraction by Roxie Cooper
(You can read my review here)
17. I’m Still Standing (previously titled ‘Reach For the Stars) by Colleen Coleman
(You can read my review here)
18. 37 Hours by J.F.Kirwan
(You can read my review here)
19. If You Could See Me Now by Keris Stainton
(You can read my review here)
20. Til The Dust Settles by Pat Young
(You can read my review here)

21. The Betrayed by Casey Kelleher
(You can read my review here)
22. The Detriment by David Videcette
(You can read my review here)
23. The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters by Jaimie Admans
(You can read my review here)
24. Skin Deep by Laura Wilkinson
(You can read my review here)
25. Trust Me by Angela Clarke
(You can read my review here)
26. Summer at the Dog and Duck by Jill Steeples
(You can read my review here)
27. Hot Mess by Lucy Vine
(You can read my review here)
28. It Started With a Tweet by Anna Bell
(You can read my review here)
29. A Little Christmas Faith by Kathryn Freeman
(You can read my review here)
30. A Little Luck, A Lot of Faith by Linn.B.Halton
(You can read my review here)

31. Dying Breath by Helen Phifer
(You can read my review here)
32. Dying Day by Stephen Edgar
(You can read my review here)
33. Scream Blue Murder by Tony.J.Forder
(You can read my review here)
34. The Little Clock House series (book 1&2) by Eve Devon
(Reviews can be found here and here)
35. Murder Game by Caroline Mitchell
(You can find my review here)
36. The Lost Child by Patricia Gibney
(You can find my review here)
37. The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen
(You can read my review here)
38. How To Be Champion by Sarah Millican
(I still need to write my review for this book – watch this space!)
39. Bad Sister by Sam Carrington
(You can read my review here)
40. The Other Mother by Judith Baker
(You can read my review here)

Phew! I’m knackered now! If any of the above books tickle your fancy, all purchase links can be found on the review link below each title. So many incredible books written by such fantastic authors – it has been an absolute honour to have been given ARC’s of a majority of the above books. I would like to say a huge thank you to:

Simon&Shuster // ChocLitUK // Harper Impulse // PanMacMillan // Bookouture // Aria
Headline // Bombshell Books/Bloodhound Books // HQDigitalUK // Faber Books 
Accent Press // Avon // Orion // Orenda & Bonnier Zaffre

for giving me the opportunity to read all of the above books. I would also like to thank all of the authors above for writing such jaw dropping and emotional reads! I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – this year has been a fantastic year for books and I want to extend another thank you to every author and publisher behind each and every one of the 318 books I have read this year. Just like many readers, I use books to escape and without you writing/publishing those books, I truly don’t think that I would be able to cope.

Whilst 2017 has blown me away, 2018 is set to be another brilliant year for books as well – my number one novel to watch out for in 2018 is ‘Anatomy of a Scandal’ by Sarah Vaughan which is due to be published on the 11th January 2018. I was very lucky to receive an ARC of this book before publication and you can read my review (as well as pre-order the book) by clicking here.

Did any of YOUR favourites pop up in my #TopBooksof2017? Let me know in the comments if any have, or whether you have decided to nab a few of these books for your own TBR piles!

2017, it has been a bookish pleasure. I cannot WAIT to see what 2018 brings in terms of books!


#CoverReveal! The Things We Need to Say – Rachel Burton @bookish_yogi @HQDigitalUK #comingsoon

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)
It’s like Christmas has come early this afternoon! Why? Because I have the absolute honour of sharing author of the outstanding novel, ‘The Many Colours of Us’, Rachel Burton’s upcoming book cover!!!! I am so excited about this book and, what’s even better, the cover is a beaut as well!

So, what can I tell you about this book? Well, it is looking to be published in e-book format in May 2018 by HQDigitalUK. Here is the blurb (please note that any of the information given in this post could be subject to change at any time):

Sometimes the things we never say are the most important.

Fran loves Will with all her heart. They had a whirlwind romance, a perfect marriage and a wonderful life. Until everything changed. Now Fran needs to find her way again and teaching a yoga retreat in Spain offers her just that. Leaving behind a broken marriage she has some very important decisions to make.

Will needs his wife, he needs her to open up to him if they’re to ever return to the way things once were. But he may have damaged any possibility he had of mending their relationship and now Fran is in Spain and Will is alone.

As both Fran and Will begin to let go of a life that could have been, fate may just find a way of bringing them back together.

Perfect for fans of Katie Marsh, Amanda Prowse and Sheila O’Flanagan

From the best-selling author of The Many Colours of Us comes an emotional story of grief, relationships and ultimately hope.

Coming May 2018.

I know, I know – doesn’t it sound incredible? I guess you want to see the book cover now, don’t you? I suppooooseeeeeeeee!!!!!!


‘The Things We Need to Say’ by Rachel Burton, is coming May 2018. You can pre-order your copy right now from Amazon UK

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

#BlogTour #Review – Sleigh Rides and Silver Bells at the Christmas Fair @Heidi_Swain @TeamBATC

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening,
In the lane, snow is glistening.
A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight,
Walking in a winter wonderland……

I reckon I am not the only one who sang that song after the read the title of this book, right?! It has been AGES since Heidi Swain last popped round to TWG for a visit. Sniff. But guess who’s come for a visit today!!! That’s right folks, Heidi Swain! With only 6 days until the big day itself, Heidi Swain is taking her ride in her very own sleigh as she goes and visits several bloggers about her latest festive treat, ‘Sleigh Rides and Silver Bells at the Christmas Fair’. Huge thanks to the team at Simon and Schuster and Books and the City, for personally inviting me to take part in this tour. I am absolutely delighted to be sharing my review with you all today:

The sparkling new Christmas novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author Heidi Swain!

When Anna takes on the role of companion to the owner of Wynthorpe Hall, on the outskirts of Wynbridge, she has no idea that her life is set to change beyond all recognition.

A confirmed ‘bah humbug’ when it comes to Christmas, Anna is amazed to find herself quickly immersed in the eccentric household, and when youngest son Jamie unexpectedly arrives home it soon becomes obvious that her personal feelings are going all out to compromise her professional persona.

Jamie, struggling to come to terms with life back in the Fens, makes a pact with Anna – she has to teach him to fall back in love with Wynthorpe Hall, while he helps her fall back in love with Christmas. But will it all prove too much for Anna, or can the family of Wynthorpe Hall warm her heart once and for all…?

Join Anna for a festive journey festooned with sleigh rides and silver bells and help her discover her happy-ever-after.

What does TWG think?

As a huge, huge fan of Heidi Swain and her books, I was over the moon to be asked to be involved in her blog tour for her second Christmas novel, as I actually have every single one of her books in paperback. I truly am fan girling right about now!

We are back in Wynbridge this festive season, as Anna finds herself there for a Christmas she would rather forget. Well, she would rather forget every single Christmas but, seeing as she got a job with a family who are able to make anything seem possible, whether Anna will actually be able to ignore the festivities this year remains to be seen.

I have such a soft spot for Wynbridge! It started off as a little village which nobody knew, yet in no time at all it has grown into a village which everyone is aware of and loves. It has been a pleasure to revisit the village after a little break away. I honestly don’t think I would get bored with that setting at all!

Poor Anna has had a rough time of it, but, just like most things, we are drip fed the information as the story progresses. When the truth of Anna’s past does eventually come out, it all came as such a shock as I wasn’t quite expecting it. Usually I find being drip fed information a bit annoying as I am too curious for my own good, but in situations like Anna’s, ‘drip fed’ is the way to go! The author kept me interested – I wanted to find out Anna’s story but the only way that I could do that, was to be patient and go with the flow of the story. Not that that was a hardship at all by the way! I mean, this book (and I probably have said it after every single Heidi Swain novel) really is the authors best book yet.

The entire storyline was jam-packed with secrets, colourful personalities, hilarious one liners, whilst also keeping family at the forefront of the storyline’s theme. Even though a couple of characters had stuffed things up for themselves, the family which Anna grew to be a part of, showed their strength by coming together as a family even when times were hard. It’s stories like this which make fixing every day situations seem a piece of cake.

Being totally honest, I did find myself getting quite emotional towards the end of the book as all the loose ends were getting tied up, sleigh bells were ringing, and memories were being brought to the present. Vague? I know, once you read the book you’ll see what I mean, but by golly it caught me! Not that I’m complaining by the way, I just didn’t expect to be overcome with such tender emotion. Heidi Swain really has outdone herself where this story is concerned, that’s for sure. There’s writing books from the heart, and then there’s writing books from the heart and believing in every single word on each and every page. This author has nailed the latter a million times over.

I adored how natural the relationships were. I adored how heart-warming the overall theme of the story was. I adored how beautifully the entire novel flowed. Would I change anything about this book? No, I would not. Although, I most definitely would love to be able to read it for the first time, every time.

‘Sleigh Bells and Silver Bells at the Christmas Fair’ is by far one of the most magical books I have read this Christmas, if not ever.

It is beautifully written, tenderly executed, and enchantingly memorable. An absolute delight to read, this book deserves a truck load more than five stars. A book to be treasured, a book to be devoured, ‘Sleigh Bells and Silver Bells at the Christmas Fair’ is a book to be loved, just like how you will feel once you reach the very end.


Buy now in paperback & E-book from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – Christmas at Carol’s by Julia Roberts (@JuliaRobertsTV) @rippedbooks

Delighted to welcome Julia Roberts back to TWG today as I review her Christmas novella,  ‘Christmas at Carol’s’, as part of a little blog tour. Julia’s book is published TODAY, happy publication day!! Huge thanks to Julia for personally asking me to be involved in her tour, as well as an ARC of her book. Here is my review:

An uplifting tale of people’s desire to help each other in the season of goodwill – a romantic comedy with a twist in the tale.

Carol fell in love with Wisteria Cottage the moment she laid eyes on it and moved in two weeks before Christmas hoping it would be start of a new more positive period in her life.

On her first night in her new home she discovers an old Christmas card to someone called Annie with a heart-breaking message inside from Jake.

Although she doesn’t know them, and despite being on a self-imposed dating break herself, Carol begins planning how she can bring them together, while her new neighbour, Sally, is attempting a bit of matchmaking of her own.

What does TWG think?

‘Christmas at Carol’s’ is perfect if you want a light-hearted, cosy, festive read to lose yourself in this Christmas. For such a short novel (it’s a novella), this story really does pack a punch.

Carol has decided to stand on her own two feet right before Christmas, in a house which requires a little bit more than elbow grease to shine brightly this festive season. Not only is Carol elbow deep in gloss and questionable paint colours, her new neighbour, Sally, seems to have taken her under her wing, whilst unfortunately trying to pair poor Carol up with her own turtle-dove. If that wasn’t enlightening enough, Carol’s new house seems to have a secret of its own. Who is Jake? Why is his heart-broken?

What a cosy little novel this is! If you’re not feeling Christmassy yet (and why should you with only a week until the day itself, ahem), I recommend you grab this novella, curl up on the sofa with a mince pie and a cuppa, and let the festivities in Julia Roberts novel, envelope you this Christmas.

Whilst this storyline didn’t blow me away as such, it did leave me wanting more despite keeping me thoroughly entertained from the very start. All of the characters seemed well developed, even in such a short space of time, and I am hoping that Carol will return in a full length novel at a later date, as I have a feeling that there is a lot more to her than we were able to discover.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Carol’s story, and I really do think that you will too.

A cosy, heart-warming and festive delight, perfect to lose yourself in this Christmas.

Huge thanks to the author.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – It Started With a Tweet by (@AnnaBell_writes) @bonnierzaffre @Emily_bookPR

As a HUGGGGEEEEEE fan of Anna Bell and her books, I am SO excited to be kicking off the week with my review of her latest novel, ‘It Started With a Tweet’, which is out in e-book now! Although, if you prefer the paperback variety, sit tight as it is set to be published on the 28th December! Huge thanks to Emily from Bonnier Zaffre for inviting me to take part in this blog tour, as well as an ARC of Anna Bell’s book. Here is my review:

Could YOU survive a digital detox?

Perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond and Sophie Kinsella, It Started With A Tweet is the hilarious new romantic comedy from the author of The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart.

‘Had me smiling from start to finish. It was a joy to read; smart, witty and completely fresh’ Cathy Bramley

Daisy Hobson lives her whole life online. But when her social media obsession causes her to make a catastrophic mistake at work, Daisy finds her life going into free-fall . . .

Her sister Rosie thinks she has the answer to all of Daisy’s problems – a digital detox in a remote cottage in Cumbria. Soon, too, Daisy meets a welcome distraction there in Jack, the rugged man-next-door.

But can Daisy, a London girl, ever really settle into life in a tiny, isolated village?

And, more importantly, can she survive without her phone?

What does TWG think?

Seeing as I have quite a dry, sarcastic sense of humour, it can take quite a lot to be able to make me laugh. I don’t mean a little titter, I mean a proper belly laugh. The sort which brings tears to your eyes, pain to your sides, and a grin bigger than a Cheshire cat’s.

Wanna know something shamazing?

Anna Bell had me belly laughing after a couple of pages. A COUPLE OF PAGES! I’m not even joking! The fact that I was able to laugh out loud in such a short space of time, made me incredibly excited to see what the rest of the story held. Let me tell you now, I was not disappointed, at all.

The author’s fantastic, dry and witty humour was evident for the entire duration of the book. It didn’t even falter once, nor did it show any sign of being a fluke – the humour was like another character altogether! Absolutely brilliant!

What I loved most about this book (aside from the humour), was how in tune with today’s society the storyline was. I mean, a lot of us, if not all of us, are glued to our phones or social media for a large proportion of the day. FOMO (fear of missing out) springs to mind! Heaven forbid we not check our phones for an hour -puts phone away-! With that in mind, I am pretty sure that a lot of people will be relating with Daisy whilst they’re reading this story. Although, I’m hoping that nobody has followed in her footsteps to a T by writing a boo boo on social media….the WRONG social media. I’m mean I know, but I snlaughed. Truth be told that if it happened to me, the chances of me laughing are incredibly slim, but I just couldn’t help myself. Such clever, clever writing.

I found the whole premise of ‘It Started With a Tweet’, incredibly witty and delightfully executed. The whole situation with the ‘digital detox’ was a genius idea, although I did think that Daisy’s sister was a little bit harsh to begin with haha. Saying that, whilst Rosie was an extremely tough character to warm to at first, I enjoyed watching her come out of her shell, revealing a character who not only had a heart of gold, she just wanted to be loved back.

There’s a lot of fun character’s to get to know in this book, some more memorable than others though I have to admit (I am saying nothing 😉 ). Don’t worry though, that isn’t a bad thing at all – once you read the book you’ll know exactly what I mean. Oh, and yes, I laughed at those parts as well!

Personally, I think that Anna Bell has outdone herself with her latest novel! Don’t get me wrong, I have loved reading the authors previous books, but ‘It Started With a Tweet’ has got to be my most favourite Anna Bell novel so far. Not only that, I think it’s her best book yet! I have everything crossed that Rosie’s character may pop up in another story later down the line, as I really do feel that she has a lot more to give.

This book is utter genius, a laugh out loud work of art from all angles. Witty, heart-warming, relatable and incredibly refreshing; Anna Bell has written a belter of a novel which will keep you grinning until the very last page. Full of insightful and tender moments regarding family ties and loyalty, ‘It Started With a Tweet’ covers all eventualities by highlighting the importance of paying attention to the things that are right under our noses – NOT social media.

If I could read this book for the first time, every time, I would be one incredibly happy lady. I am envious of every reader who gets to indulge in this book for the very first time!

I absolutely LOVED this book and I could not have wished for anything better where Anna Bell is concerned. A truly feel-good, hilarious, brilliant, and huggable read, ‘It Started With a Tweet’ really is a book to lose yourself in and savour every single moment.

This truly is the authors best book yet. Fantastic!

Thanks Bonnier Zaffre.

‘It Started With a Tweet’ can be bought now from Amazon in e-book, with the paperback following on the 28th December 2017.

#BlogBlitz #Review – Dating the IT Guy by Krysten Lindsay Hager (@KrystenLindsay) @NeverlandBT


Book Cover-10
Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator’s son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon’s world and it doesn’t help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren seems determined to get back into his life along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti. Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues.

Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses. Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you’re dating the it guy.

What does TWG think?

Being completely honest, the cover of the book is why I decided to say yes to reviewing this book today. Whilst I am quite a bit older than people in high school, I knew that I would need to open my mind and go back to my teenage years. Would I have picked this book based on the blurb alone? Probably not. Am I glad that I chose to read it? Surprisingly, yes.

I had an inkling that ‘Dating the IT Guy’ would be either hit or miss when it came to me liking the book. I don’t read that much YA, but when I do, I enjoy being able to not be an adult for the duration of the book. Adulthood is so serious, so when it comes to reading a book about high school boyfriends and friendship dramas, I welcome those situations with open arms as its much tamer than real life. Where were these sorts of books when I was growing up? We never had a book which held our hand when it came to a boyfriend/girlfriend cheating on us! Good on Krysten Lindsay Hager for putting that subject into her storyline to prepare YA’s for real (and highly unfortunate) situations.

I found this book to be pleasant enough. It didn’t blow me away yet I could appreciate the authors thought behind the storyline to a point. Personally, I do think that parts of the storyline come across as a little bit immature for high school students as it makes them appear whiney. That said, I still found the storyline enjoyable to a point and think that it is a good ‘in-between’ book for the younger generation, especially given the fact it covers the topic of confidence and self-esteem which, in my opinion, is an extremely important lesson for all ages.

Insightful, different, and pleasantly surprising, ‘Dating the IT Guy’ is a nice enough read which covers a lot of important themes.

Thanks NeverlandBT.

Purchase: Amazon // Barnes and Noble // iTunes // Kobo

Follow Krysten:

Website // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter // YouTube

Besides mining her teen years and humiliating moments for her novels, Krysten is also a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. Krysten writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2), and Dating the It Guy. Her debut novel, True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book and the Dayton Book Expo Best Sellers award. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Grand Blanc View, the Bellbrook Times and on Living Dayton.

#BlogTour! #Review – The Girl I Used To Know by Faith Hogan (@GerHogan) @Aria_Fiction

TGIUTK Blog tour banner
It feels like ages ago since I last welcomed this author to TWG, BUT, I am super excited to welcome Faith Hogan back to TWG once again as I review her brand new novel, ‘The Girl I Used To Know’ as part of the blog tour! Huge thanks to Aria for both the invite for the tour and the ARC. Here is my review:

Amanda King and Tess Cuffe are strangers who share the same Georgian house, but their lives couldn’t be more different.

Amanda seems to have it all, absolute perfection. She projects all the accoutrements of a lady who lunches. Sadly, the reality is a soulless home, an unfaithful husband and a very lonely heart.

By comparison, in the basement flat, unwanted tenant Tess has spent a lifetime hiding and shutting her heart to love.

It takes a bossy doctor, a handsome gardener, a pushy teenager and an abandoned cat to show these two women that sometimes letting go is the first step to moving forward and new friendships can come from the most unlikely situations.

What does TWG think?

Have you ever had an opinion about someone, despite not knowing their true personality?
Have you ever disregarded someone as a friend because a spouse, family member or friend, didn’t like them?
Have you ever been stuck in a rut so deep, you lost sight of who you truly were?
Have you ever thought ‘enough is enough’ and felt empowered to change all of the above?

Yes? Me too. Amanda and Tess too, funnily enough.

Tess Cuffe has always believed that her life was destined for stardom. However, even a well thought out idea doesn’t always go to plan and, instead of Tess rubbing shoulders with singers from all walks of life, she has spent many years being too afraid to live her own life.

And then there’s Amanda King. A woman who, from the outside, has everything she could ever dream of; an endless pot of gold in the bank, a pigeon pair (boy and a girl), and a life of luxury. Although is it REALLY a life of luxury? From spending her time painting, to being married and surrounding herself with two-faced, backstabbing people, Amanda starts to question her choices in life.

What a jam-packed, thought-provoking novel! We wouldn’t be human if we hadn’t spent a little time stuck in a rut at some point in our lifetime, right? It’s never too late to get ourselves out of that particular rut, but often we find that we need a little bit of help to do so, even if we aren’t aware of it at the time. As far as Tess Cuffe is concerned, Amanda King lives a life most people could only dream of and, as far as Amanda King’s husband is concerned, Tess Cuffe is a waste of space who is ruining the look of their house. Of course, just like the house, nothing is ever quite what it seems, is it?

Firstly, Amanda’s husband, Richard, needs his nether regions taken off. From the first moment he appeared in the storyline, I knew straight away that I would have an issue with the character. He just oozed arrogance and came across as the biggest end of a bell I have ever met. Seriously. A little piece of me felt sorry for Amanda, but then another piece of me felt a little bit miffed that she didn’t kick him from here to kingdom come. But I can say that, obviously, I’m not in the situation like Amanda is.

Secondly, I had a feeling that there was more to Tess Cuffe that met the eye. She really was like a diamond in the rough who just needed a little bit of TLC to realise that she does, in fact, deserve her spot on this Earth. I just wanted to give her a big hug and tell her that everything was okay. It was clear that this character had spent many, many years building a wall for herself, she had absolutely no idea how to act anymore.

Thirdly, Faith Hogan has written her best book yet. Fact. Even though I found the first couple of chapters a little on the slow side, I soon fell in love with the message which the author was able to put across via her characters. I guess I found it a little emotional because just like Amanda, I have spent years living in people’s shadows, being afraid to bring the real me out again in case it didn’t live up to other people’s expectations. Whilst part of me felt that Amanda should have told her husband where to go, I can fully appreciate how low her self-esteem was and having being ‘safe’ in a marriage for so many years, living the life that Richard wanted was all Amanda has ever known. From the outside looking in, it is far too easy to sit and judge a situation without knowing all of the facts, yet having a smidgen of faith in someone can mean more than you could ever realise. For Amanda, Tess was that faith. For Tess, Amanda and her daughter, Robyn, was that faith. They just had to make themselves known to each other.

I would be lying if I said that I didn’t find parts of this storyline a little emotional, because I did. I felt like each of the characters were talking to my soul, being that faith for me like they are to each other. I loved watching the characters find their wings and fly in a life which they believed in with every ounce of their being.

‘The Girl I Used To Know’ is a poignant, life affirming tale of faith, belief and being true to yourself. Taking that leap to say ‘you know what, I do believe in my self’ takes more courage than anyone could ever imagine, which from the bottom of my heart, I truly believe that Faith Hogan has conveyed with every ounce of her being. I adored this book and everything it stands for. Everyone needs a Tess and Amanda in their lives, and everyone needs to read this book as it truly is beautifully.

Faith Hogan’s best book ever, ‘The Girl I Used To Know’ is a beautifully written, heart-warming and touching novel which is guaranteed to stay in your heart for a very, very long time.

Thanks Aria.

Buy now: Amazon // Kobo // iBooks

About the author.

Faith Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway. She has worked as a fashion model, an event’s organiser and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector. She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.

Faith Hogan Contact:

Twitter (her favourite)
On Facebook:
Web Page.

#BlogTour! #Review – #AnatomyofaScandal by Sarah Vaughan (@Svaughanauthor) @simonschusterUK

I am beyond delighted to welcome author, Sarah Vaughan, to TWG today as I review her highly anticipated novel, ‘Anatomy of a Scandal’. Sarah Vaughan’s novel is set to be one of the biggest reads of 2018, which you can find that out for yourself when the book is published on the 11th January 2018. Huge thanks go to Simon Schuster & Jess Barratt for not only allowing me to read this book early, but for also inviting me to take part in the blog tour. Here is my review:

‘The best courtroom drama since Apple Tree Yard … sensational’ Clare Mackintosh

A high-profile marriage thrust into the spotlight. A wife, determined to keep her family safe, must face a prosecutor who believes justice has been a long time coming. A scandal that will rock Westminster. And the women caught at the heart of it.

Anatomy of a Scandal centres on a high-profile marriage that begins to unravel when the husband is accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is sure her husband, James, is innocent and desperately hopes to protect her precious family from the lies which might ruin them. Kate is the barrister who will prosecute the case – she is equally certain that James is guilty and determined he will pay for his crimes.

What does TWG think?

When a book has a lot of hype surrounding it on social media, I usually sit back and worry ever so slightly, multiple questions running through my mind.
‘Will this book live up to the hype?’ ‘Would I be the only one to dislike the book?’ ‘What IF I dislike the book, would people come after me holding burning torches?’.

I am sure that a lot of bookworms, like myself, have been known to think that and yes, I’ll be honest, those questions above did run through my mind when I saw Sarah Vaughan’s, ‘Anatomy of a Scandal’ in the spotlight on social media. But, despite my worries, I felt a large surge of intrigue build up inside of me. I just knew that I had to read this book before it made it into the big wide world. I needed to see for myself what this book was all about and, you know what? In my opinion, ‘Anatomy of a Scandal’ not only lives up to the hype, it also surpasses it a million times over. This book blew me away and left me wanting more. Never have I ever read a book which not only ticks every box surrounding modern-day society, it also ignited a fire in my belly which hadn’t been lit for many, many years.

Without giving too much away, ‘Anatomy of a Scandal’ has a theme which is highly in tune with society right now. Yes, certain parts of the theme make for uncomfortable reading, but seeing as this sort of thing happens to thousands upon thousands of people, I am certain that us readers feeling a smidge uncomfortable reading it, is nothing compared to what the people involved felt.

There’s a scandal in Westminster (shock). A person who has a high status and probably thousands of pounds in the bank, alongside a person whose life has been governed by certain eventualities. Who would they believe? A person with status, or a person who was being perceived in a certain way due to looks and lower status? Of course, not every single person can work in Westminster, can they?

I could relate to so much of this novel. I can’t say WHAT I related to as that would give the story away, but let’s just say that I related to the overall theme itself, especially how one character in particular felt.

To be perfectly honest, I think that Sarah Vaughan is incredibly brave for writing a book about a subject which is staring everyone straight in the face, knowing full well that it could bring some rather questionable comments to light. Not only that, I think that this author is inspirational for writing this book as well as, probably without even knowing it, she has become the voice of reason for many people in a similar situation due to what she has written her book about.

Sarah Vaughan has hit the (albeit sickening) nail on the head with ‘Anatomy of a Scandal’ because everything about this storyline screams reality. It doesn’t seem to matter what the truth is anymore, all that seems to matter is how much money people can throw at a situation, regardless of whether they’re in the wrong or not. Since when did honesty come with such a disgusting price tag?

I am going to put this out there and say that yes, ‘Anatomy of a Scandal’ is a guaranteed must read for 2018 and beyond. I absolutely loved every single thing about this storyline. It was addictive. Intriguing. Honest. Real. Hard hitting. Emotional. Raw. Gritty. This is a book that I would be prepared to walk around my town with in the freezing cold, shouting loud and proud whilst also demanding people to buy it. I’m being serious!

‘Anatomy of a Scandal’ is everything I could have wished for and more. The storyline flowed like a waterfall – perfectly and utterly beautifully. I’ll even go as far to say that Sarah Vaughan’s novel should be made into a T.V. drama without a doubt. This book really needs to be on everyone’s book shelves, in everyone’s minds, in everyone’s hearts. Just…everywhere.

I’ve said it once but I’ll say it again – this book blew me away in more ways than I could ever imagine. Just, wow. It goes to show that I adored this book if I am struggling to convey my thoughts!

A phenomenal, beautifully written, hard-hitting and poignant novel which will leave a mark not only on your mind, but also your soul. A novel which highlights what is wrong with this world and some of the people in it, whilst also highlighting the strength of a lot of people in this world and how they go through life despite being on the receiving end of devastating situations.

If you need a confidence boost – this book is for you. If you’re needing a reality check – this book is for you. If you’re needing a book to lose yourself in – this book is for you. I really can’t recommending ‘Anatomy of a Scandal’ enough. Everyone should go and pre-order this book right now because I’m telling you now, I am most definitely buying the hardback of this book when it’s released, because it is a book which everyone should put on their bookshelves with pride.

Out-flipping-standing. Sarah Vaughan is an author to watch in 2018.

Huge thanks to Simon and Schuster.

Pre-order right now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – 88 North by J.F.Kirwan (@kirwanjf) @HQDigitalUK @NeverlandBT

SO excited to be reviewing yet another J.F.Kirwan novel on my blog today! After surprising myself by being hooked on his previous novel, ’37 Hours’, I just knew I had to read the last book in the series. Huge thanks to HQDigitalUK for the ARC of ’88 North’, and thank you to NeverlandBT for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. Here is my review:

The deadliest kind of assassin is one who is already dying…

As the radiation poisoning that Nadia Laksheva was exposed to in Chernobyl takes hold of her body, she knows she has mere weeks to live. But Salamander, the terrorist who murdered her father and sister has a deadly new plan to ‘make the sky bleed’. Nadia is determined to stop him again, even if it is the last thing she ever does.

The only clue she has are the coordinates 88˚ North, a ridge in the Arctic right above one of the largest oil fields in the world, three thousand metres below the ice. If Salamander takes hold of the oil field, he could change the climate of the whole planet for generations to come…

But can Nadia stop him before her own time runs out?

The gripping third and final novel in J.F. Kirwan’s brilliant spy thriller series. Perfect for fans of Charles Cumming, Mark Dawson and Adam Brookes.

What does TWG think?

If you had told me a couple of years ago that I would be hooked on a spy thriller series, I would have laughed in your face. I have never really paid much attention to, nor had much interest in, spy novels. I’ve always thought of them as ‘boy novels’, stupidly. So, when I was approached to read J.F.Kirwan’s previous novel ’37 Hours’, my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to take a running leap out of my comfort zone, to read J.F.Kirwan’s novel. Of course I thought to myself, ‘nahhhhh, I won’t like it’, yet I was pleasantly surprised when I absolutely flipping loved it. Because of that, my excitement to read ’88 North’ was through the roof. Would Nadia complete what she set out to do? Would Salamander STILL rule the roost? So many questions, so little time. I would be lying if I said that my heart wasn’t in my mouth the entire time – because it was.

Once again J.F.Kirwan has written such a complex, intense and jaw dropping storyline, which makes talking about this book even more difficult as each event in the storyline is linked with another one, therefore not only would the chances of giving away one piece of information be extremely high, the chances of giving away multiple pieces of information are through the roof. I don’t wish to be the person who gives away an entire storyline, yet I would love to be able to shout about this book and say, ‘WHAT ABOUT THE PART WHEN…….’. Seriously.

Seeing as it had been a little while between reading the books in the series, it did take me a little while to get back into the swing of the storyline. That said, I guess you could read this book as a standalone. But in my personal opinion, I would advise you to grab the previous two books before you read this one just so that you can read all of the events in order, and so that you know each of the main characters back stories.

Reading ’88 North’ really was bittersweet as whilst I was super excited about delving into the book, I was gutted that as soon as I came to the last page, the series was now at an end. I didn’t want it to finish but I whole heartedly understand that Nadia’s story had to be left somewhere, and that carrying it on could weaken the overall feel of the storyline.

I’m not sure whether it was just me, but I found this storyline to contain a lot more gore than the previous book and, whilst I would usually shy away from that sort of thing, all of the blood and gore fit one hundred percent. In all honesty, I don’t think the storyline would have made such an impact on me if it contained no elements of gore. It needed all of that to bring Nadia’s story to life even more, as weird as that sounds but I’m hoping that that makes sense to a lot of you.

J.F.Kirwan has quickly become one of my all-time favourite authors with his dark, gritty, suspenseful and utterly incredibly storylines. If it wasn’t for this author, I don’t think that I would have dared to step outside of my comfort zone to read, and fall in love with (as weird as that sounds) with this spy thriller series. I could not put this book down and to be perfectly honest, I really didn’t want to either.

Jaw-droppingly brilliant, ’88 North’ is the icing on the cake where Nadia Laksheva is concerned. A brilliant finale to a phenomenal series, I would recommend this book, and the series, time and time again.


Huge thanks to HQDigitalUK.

Pre-order now from Amazon UK. (Released 14th December 2017)

Author Bio

J. F. Kirwan is the author of the Nadia Laksheva thriller series for HarperCollins. Having
worked in accident investigation and prevention in nuclear, offshore oil and gas and aviation sectors, he uses his experience of how accidents initially build slowly, then race towards a climax, to plot his novels. An instructor in both scuba diving and martial arts, he travels extensively all over the world, and loves to set his novels in exotic locations. He is also an insomniac who writes in the dead of night. His favourite authors include Lee Child, David Baldacci and Andy McNab.

Author links:

Website // Twitter // Facebook


To be in with a chance of winning  3, £10 Amazon gift cards (3 different winners) International, all you need to do is enter the giveaway here! Good luck!

#BlogBlitz! #Review – House of Christmas Secrets by @LyndaStacey @ChocLitUK @Brookcottagebks

HOCS copy
This year we’re just going to have a nice, normal Christmas…

Last year’s Christmas at Wrea Head Hall didn’t quite go to plan which is why Jess Croft is determined this festive season will be the one to remember, for the right reasons. And she has plenty of reasons to be hopeful, she’s going to marry the man of her dreams, Jack Stone, seven days after New Year’s Eve.

However, as family secrets are revealed in hidden letters and two unexpected guests turn up on the doorstep, Jess is left wondering whether her life will ever be the same again.

Can Jess and Jack still experience a peaceful festive season that they had imagined or are there some problems that even Christmas can’t fix?

What does TWG think?

In all honesty, I have no idea how to even begin with this review. I mean, there is SO much to this storyline from suspense to romance, to domestic situations to crime, I really don’t think that my words about this book would do it justice in the slightest. I will try my very best, but do expect a little vagueness as I don’t wish to undo the authors hard work by giving away her extraordinary storyline.

‘House of Christmas Secrets’ follows on from Lynda Stacey’s previous novel, ‘House of Secrets’ which was published last year. Seeing as I didn’t read the first book before I got stuck into this festive treat, I really do feel that ‘House of Christmas Secrets’ can be read perfectly well as a standalone. However, if you’re wanting to get more of a back story to certain characters, then you may wish to read the first book before starting this book. For me, I found that NOT reading ‘House of Secrets’ beforehand, allowed me to experience more shock when certain situations arose – especially when the author brought some of the characters past to light. I was stunned, emotional and absolutely gripped by the story which the author was drip feeding me. How could Jess and her family move on from such heartbreak and devastation? You would think that Christmas time brought out people’s kind-hearted nature and generosity, wouldn’t you? Well, certain characters in this book obviously couldn’t give a flying candy cane whether it was Christmas or not, as they only had their own interests at the forefront of their mind. Regardless of how much upset it brought to other people.

Obviously I don’t wish to give anything away, BUT, this storyline really did take me on a rollercoaster ride from start to finish. As I said above, the storyline incorporated romance alongside crime, domestic situations alongside heartbreak – and that’s just the obvious themes! I absolutely loved how ‘House of Christmas Secrets’ was able to take a snippet from most genres, mix them altogether with some rather unforgettable characters, to create one memorable and gut wrenching novel. Reading this book was a bit like having a picnic – you’re unsure as to what one thing you fancy to eat, but with multiple plates full to the brim of exciting treats, you would think it an absolute travesty not to try something from each plate. Why have one genre when you can have multiple?

I did find several parts of this storyline quite difficult to read as the situations were exceptionally heart-breaking and emotional. I really was a bag of nerves hoping that things ended well for a couple of the characters in particular. I had to remind myself to breath! Also, and I might be the only one to say this, but my golly Jack Stone annoyed me! It was like battling with a man-child! Incredibly selfish, he really got my back up!

Overall, ‘House of Christmas Secrets’ is an unexpected, heart-warmingly devastating novel which seemed to enjoy ripping out my heart, before carefully putting it back in like the hearts from Build-a-Bear. I absolutely adored this novel, and I am in awe at the authors skills for including so many jaw dropping themes, whilst also maintaining the high level of emotion, poignancy and intrigue.

Definitely recommend this book, although make sure you switch every phone off before you start reading so that nobody can disturb you. Trust me, you really don’t want to move your eyes off the page for a second.

Huge thanks to ChocLitUK & BrookCottageBKS.


House of Christmas Secrets 
House of Secrets 
Tell me no Secrets


Prize – 2 x signed copies of House of Secrets (UK & Ireland)

Enter the giveaway now!

About the author.

Lynda grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire,
Her own chaotic life story, along with varied career choices helps Lynda to create stories
of romantic suspense, with challenging and unpredictable plots, along with (as in all
romances) very happy endings.

Lynda joined the Romantic Novelist Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New
Writers Scheme and in 2015, her debut novel House of Secrets won the Choc Lit &
Whole Story Audiobooks Search for a Star competition.

She lives in a small rural hamlet near Doncaster, with her husband, Haydn, whom she’s
been happily married to for over 20 years.

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