#BlogTour! #Review – Summer at the Little Cottage on the Hill by Emma Davies (@EmDaviesAuthor) @Bookouture

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Second blog tour of the day and it’s for Emma Davies and ‘Summer at the Little Cottage on the Hill’. As always I want to thank Bookouture for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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Take an endless stroll through wild meadows and breathe in the sweet aroma of flowers in full bloom. The first ever guest at the little cottage on the hill is looking for an escape, but her past is not far behind her…

Thirty-two-year-old ‘ice queen’ Isobel slams the cottage door and pulls the curtains shut. She has just six weeks to practise for a secret project that could save her career and no one must know she is here. 

When Tom, the local thatcher with eyes as blue and deep as the ocean, hears the sound of her violin on the breeze he feels a tug at his heart-strings that reminds him of happier times. Who is this mysterious new lodger, and why does she look so familiar? 

Desperate to find out more, Tom is devastated when Isobel refuses to enjoy everything the farm has to offer. He won’t give in, but just when it looks like Isobel is coming out of her shell, someone recognises her and the troubles from her past threaten to take away everything she has been working towards.

What does TWG think?

After a fabulous first book in the series, I was so eager to get stuck into the next instalment from Emma Davies, and what an instalment it was!

The very first paying  visitor to the cottage at Joy Acres farm was musician, Isobel. With her icy cold exterior and patience of a toddler, Isobel found it quite difficult to gel with the people on the farm. She didn’t want anyone to get close to her, yet the local thatcher completely disregarded that and made it his own personal mission to get her out and about. Of course that wasn’t as plain sailing as he had hoped it would be, but Tom wasn’t going to be giving up anytime soon, especially when he realises that he understands Isobel a lot more than she gives him credit for.

At first, Isobel has the type of personality that would make anyone run a mile, or, in our case, raise our eyebrows and think ‘what the….’. I did cut her a bit of slack though when it became clear that Isobel was struggling with several things. Could Tom get her to open up to him? Would he even be able to help her? And, if he could help her, would she even let him?

Seeing as Tom’s past includes coming face to face with the bottom of a pint glass, when he thinks he knows Isobel from somewhere, he isn’t sure whether it is mind playing tricks on him thanks to the drink, or whether he does actually know her. Maybe there’s a good reason for that?

Tom and Isobel both have a lot of skeletons in their closets, but it seemed that Joy Acres farm was doing what it was supposed to do by bringing everyone ‘joy’. My opinion of Isobel changed drastically the more I got to know her, with me feel quite empathetic towards her by the end of the book. She has had a tough time and thanks to seeing the light with her mother, I think Isobel realised just how far she has come.

When I finished reading ‘Summer at the Little Cottage on the Hill’, I sighed a contented sigh as, for characters who appear to be quite flawed, their journey to patching their flaws was such a beautiful thing to watch and be a part of. It was as though something just clicked, making me think to myself ‘you know what, maybe they will be okay’. I hadn’t quite realised how invested in the storyline I was until my mind conjured up those thoughts.

I adore Emma Davies’ story telling and her least novel is proof that this author is incredible at her craft. I loved watching people come together in the most unlikeliest of circumstances, and I loved being ‘involved’ in a fictional family who, instead of tearing each other down, they helped each other up every single day. It’s books like this which make me think that the world is actually an alright place to be, especially if it contains people like the ones in this book.

Yet another magnetic, enchanting, relatable, and beautiful read – never mind 5 stars, this book needs a bucket full of pixie dust!

Buy now!

About the author.

After a varied career, Emma Davies once worked for a design studio where she was asked to provide a fun and humorous (and not necessarily true) anecdote for their website. She wrote the following: ‘I am a bestselling novelist currently masquerading as a thirty something mother of three.’ Well the job in the design studio didn’t work out but she’s now a forty something mother of three and is happy to report the rest of her dream came true.

After many years as a finance manager she now writes full time, and is far happier playing with words than numbers. She lives with her husband, three children, and two guinea pigs in rural Shropshire where she writes in all the gaps in between real life. It’s a county she adores, her love of its beautiful people and landscapes providing endless inspiration for her books, and in fact the only thing that would make Shropshire more idyllic is if it were by the sea. 

Pop over to her website www.emmadaviesauthor.com where, amongst other things, you can read about her passion for Pringles and singing loudly in the car. You can also wave to her on twitter @EmDaviesAuthor or find her on Facebook

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#BlogTour! #Review – #SunshineandSweetPeas in Nightingale Square by Heidi Swain (@Heidi_Swain) @simonschusteruk

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I am over the moon to be welcoming back to TWG one of my all-time favourite authors, Heidi Swain! Today is a very special day as it is also Heidi’s publication day – how exciting! I have followed this series from the get go and I am delighted to be sharing my review of ‘Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square’ as part of the blog tour. Huge thanks to Harriett from Simon & Schuster for the blog tour invite and the ARC.

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Kate is on the run from her almost-divorced husband who is determined to have her back, and she has found the perfect place to hide… a little cottage on Nightingale Square in Norwich, far away from her old life in London. But the residents of Nightingale Square don’t take no for an answer, and Kate soon finds herself pulled into a friendship with Lisa, her bossy but lovely new neighbour.

Within a matter of days Kate is landed with the job of campaigning the council to turn the green into a community garden, meanwhile all the residents of Nightingale Square are horrified to discover that the Victorian mansion house on the other side of the square has been bought by developers. But when all hope is lost, the arrival of a handsome stranger is sure to turn things around! 

Heidi Swain is the perfect summer read – you’ll want to find your own green space, stretch out in the sun and dive into life at Nightingale Square.

What does TWG think?

Someone please get me the bus times for a trip to Wynbridge and Nightingale Square, please!!

Whilst this book isn’t set in Wynbridge like many of the other books in the series, several characters you may recognise, do pop up now and again as the story progresses. If you’re anything like me, you may find that you end up squealing with ‘OMG I KNOW THEM!!!!’. Obviously, you don’t KNOW them as such, but due to the fact that Heidi Swain allows her readers to feel as though they’re catching up with a bunch of good friends every time, it is quite difficult to not get excited when places like ‘The Cherry Tree Cafe’ or ‘Skylark Farm’ pop up with your newfound besties in tow.

Kate, oh Kate – she hasn’t had the nicest of times recently. She doesn’t even share the truth with us into later on in the book! Poor Kate’s marriage has taken a nosedive and, despite the fact that the break up wasn’t actually her fault, Kate can’t help but feel guilty for wanting something in her life that her husband didn’t. With a new home to settle into, Kate is determined to make a new life for herself away from the drama of her past. However, moving to such a small village has it’s downsides – everyone wants to know your business and if you tell one person, the rest of the residents will find out by the time you’ve closed your front door.

I couldn’t help but laugh when Kate’s new neighbour, Lisa, waltzed into her new home as though she had known Kate for years. Her intentions were good then, but I have to say Lisa’s character ended up getting on my wick as the story progressed. She seemed to go from being a genuinely nice neighbour, to someone who couldn’t see further than her own nose and believed that she was right about everything. Lisa may have meant well, but in my eyes her interfering became stagnant very, very quickly.

I absolutely ADORED the historical feel to #SunshineandSweetpeas! What a brilliant idea to focus on something so grand, bringing all of the residents in the village together to see if they could get to the bottom of the unsolved mystery involving a certain house. I was probably hooked on the book way before the history parts of the storyline, but I have to say that those parts cemented my love for the entire storyline right there and then.

Just like any other Heidi Swain novel, this book contains a character who catches everyone’s eye as well as their intrigue. Who is this man? Why is he here? What is his story? As an honorary resident of Nightingale Square, I couldn’t help but feel protective towards the other characters and the history which surrounds the square, so when the new character appeared my barriers went up as I didn’t want Kate to come to more harm. Daft I know, but true.

What I love most about Heidi Swain’s novels is the way she brings her characters to life, tying them all together with relatable situations her readers would no doubt find themselves relating to in various different ways. Every visit to Wynbridge and the surrounding areas, in my eyes, is like going back home to a place where you feel safest, content, loved and energised. A place where more people are your friends, and fewer people are your enemies. I have everything crossed that Heidi Swain continues to write books which branch off from Wynbridge as I would be incredibly devastated to see this series come to an end.

I cannot fault #SunshineandSweetpeas at all. From the very first moment I started reading, I knew I was going to fall in love with the characters and Nightingale Square – and I was right, I did. I love this book (and the series) so much, it actually makes me emotional and I have no idea why. This book is utter perfection, beautifully written, thought-provoking, endearing, and beyond loveable.

Heidi Swain is a truly, truly outstanding author who delivers her stories with such magnetism, grace, and bucketfuls of hugs, never failing to deliver. Absolutely outstanding – I want to read it all over again.

Buy now!

#BlogBlitz! #Review – If Fear Wins by Tony J Forder (@TonyJForder) @BloodHoundBook

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It’s my turn to host Tony.J.Forder today TWG as I review his latest novel, ‘If Fear Win’s. Thank you to Sarah from BloodHoundBooks for the blitz invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

grading IF FEAR WINS

When a torched body is found in a country lane, DI Bliss and Chandler are called in to investigate.

 The detectives are drawn towards recent missing person reports, and believe their victim will prove to be one of them. Bliss thinks he knows which, and fears the outcome if he is proven right.

 Soon the body is identified, and Bliss and Chandler discover evidence suggesting this murder might be a terrorist attack.

 Meanwhile, someone from Bliss’s past needs his help, and soon he is juggling his personal life with the demanding case. To make matters more complicated, MI5 and the Counter-Terrorist Unit are called in to help solve the case. But are they on the right track?

 Bliss and Chandler soon find themselves in a race against time, and this might just be their most challenging case yet…

What does TWG think?

Oh how Detective Bliss makes me laugh! To be honest with you, I probably shouldn’t say that because he deals with a lot of things that us civilians would run away from, but it’s the way he presents himself when dealing with the murders or colleagues he would love to murder himself, that is when I can’t help but laugh.

‘If Fear Wins’ is an incredibly intense read, especially seeing as it starts off with the discovery of a burnt body. Who wanted someone dead so badly that they chose to douse them in petrol and set them alight? What on Earth did the victim do to deserve that? I was flabbergasted by the incident and due to the authors rather descriptive writing, I felt as though I was seeing the burnt body with my own eyes. An image I have struggled to forget, that’s for sure!

Personally, I felt that there was a chunk of storyline in the middle which was incredibly slow to read. Bliss and his team were going round the houses with their investigation, using ‘could be’ scenarios as their way forward. Unfortunately that did make me struggle reading the book at times, because I felt that certain parts dragged on a little bit too much for my liking. That said, the majority of the storyline was very well written and full of oomph, making the slow parts not seem that much of a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

At one point, the MI5 and the Counter Terrorist Unit were involved in the investigation, there was a lot of complex material to try to get my head around. Yes, it was slightly confusing at times but it was so interesting. Tony J Forder could have easily taken on a lot more jargon than he did, yet he wrote the complex and intense scenes in such a way that even I could get the gist of the processes.

Whilst I do admit that ‘If Fear Wins’ had its ups and downs, I can honestly say that I did enjoy the novel, finding myself getting sucked into the investigation quicker than I can say ‘I love books’. Tony J Forder is an excellent story teller, executing his tales with precision, intensity and a lot of suspense.

This book cements my love of police procedurals – so much grit, intrigue, and roller coaster situations, how could I not like it?

Buy now!

About the author.

Tony J Forder is the author of the critically acclaimed crime thriller series featuring detectives Jimmy Bliss and Penny Chandler. The first two books, Bad to the Bone and The Scent of Guilt, will be joined in the series on 29 May 2018 by If Fear Wins.

Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books. This was intended to be a stand-alone novel, but Tony is now considering the possibility of a follow-up.

One book that will definitely see a sequel is Scream Blue Murder. This was published in November 2017, and received praise from many, including fellow authors Mason Cross, Matt Hilton and Anita Waller.

Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK.

 Links

Website: https://www.tonyjforder.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tonyjforder/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TonyJForder @TonyJForder

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16166122.Tony_J_Forder

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/tony+j+forder?_requestid=248936

Bloodhound Books: http://www.bloodhoundbooks.com/tony-forder

#CoverReveal! Summer at the Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green (@Rosie_Green1988) @RaRaResources

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)
Exciting – it’s cover reveal time!!!! As I am sure you’re all aware of by now, I am a huge fan of cover reveals and I get super excited about the covers I am revealing. This one is no different. It’s soooo pretty!!!!!

Are you ready to see it?

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Jaz Winters stuck a pin in a map and fled to the village of Sunnybrook, looking for a brand new life – and after a rocky start, it’s beginning to look as if she made the right decision. Her blossoming friendship with Ellie and Fen has seen her through some dark times, and she’s managed to land two jobs – waitress at The Little Duck Pond Café and working as a weekend tour guide at Brambleberry Manor, the country house that’s been in Fen’s family for generations.

Sure, life isn’t totally perfect. There’s the irritating know-it-all guy who keeps popping up on her manor tours, for a start. He seems determined to get under Jaz’s skin whether she likes it or not. But she supposes it’s a small price to pay for the relative peace she’s found, living in Sunnybrook. But just as Jaz is beginning to think rosier times are on the horizon, a shock encounter looks set to shatter her fragile happiness.

Will she be forced to flee from Sunnybrook and everyone she’s grown so fond of? Or will she find the strength to stand her ground and finally face up to the nightmares of the past?

This novella is part of a trilogy:
Spring at The Little Duck Pond Café
Summer at The Little Duck Pond Café
Winter at The Little Duck Pond Café


See what I mean? Isn’t it just divine!!

‘Summer at the Little Duck Pond Cafe’ will be published on the 18th June but is available to pre-order now from Amazon.

About the author.

Rosie Green has been scribbling stories ever since she was little. Back then they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by ‘the baddies’. Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all, unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.

Rosie’s brand new series of novellas is centred on life in a village café. Summer at The Little Duck Pond Café, published on 18 th June 2018, follows the first in the series, Spring at The Little Duck Pond Café.

Follow Rosie Green on Twitter

#BlogBlitz! #Review – What Holly’s Husband Did by Debbie Viggiano (@DebbieViggiano) @Bookouture

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Congratulations Debbie Viggiano and ‘What Holly’s Husband Did’! I am delighted to be one of the bloggers helping to kick off Debbie’s blog blitz on her publication day! Many thanks to Kim Nash from Bookouture for the blitz invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

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Holly Hart has been married for fifteen blissful years to hubby Alex. Well… if you don’t count last Christmas, when she accidentally found a load of flirty texts on Alex’s phone. But every marriage has its ups and downs and Alex had a perfectly reasonable explanation… so why can’t Holly forget what she saw? 

With the help of best friends Jeanie and Caro, as well as their handsome neighbour Jack, Holly resolves to settle her mind once and for all with a bit of sneaky detective work. So what if her husband isn’t exactly Brad Pitt? He’s hers, and if someone else is trying to steal him she wants to know who… But the truth is way more shocking than Holly ever anticipated. Can Holly, let alone her marriage, ever recover from what she discovers?

What does TWG think?

If you’re not following Debbie Viggiano on social media already, I suggest you do so right now! Before I read ‘What Holly’s Husband Did’, I had been stalking the author on social media, laughing out loud at the hilarious things she posted. I had everything crossed that Viggiano would project her own genuine humour into the storyline itself and honestly, I was not at all disappointed.

I don’t want to give anything away, but this story is absolutely hilarious, with the author using some of her personality traits for her own characters. There are no ‘oooops mustn’t say that’ moments as it was clear from the onset that Debbie Viggiano was going to write her story with no limitations. Take a look at Holly for example, a character who couldn’t give a monkeys whether she kept up with the Jones’ or not, highlighting the fact that people in relationships with children, do actually end up losing their shizzle!

Alongside Holly, ‘What Holly’s Husband Did’ was the home of such a mixed bag of characters who both made me laugh and annoy me at the same time. Holly and her friends don’t pretend that everything is hunk dory…well, they do at first, but in the grand scheme of things they don’t – if they wish to talk about positions or the lack of, they would do so to their heart’s content as if they’re merely talking about the whether. Seriously, that is genuinely how laid back and refreshing this story is.

Not only that, ‘What Holly’s Husband Did’ contains enough drama to rival all of the soap opera’s shown on TV in the UK at the moment, and by golly I wish I had had popcorn whilst I was reading it! There was so much drama, skeletons in closets, and shockers to keep me content until the very last page!

I love how the authors personality shines through the storyline as it cemented the laid back and relatable vibe overall. I also loved how every event in the book flowed, leaving me eager to turn the pages to find out what happened next. I am so pleased that I got the opportunity to read Debbie Viggiano’s newest release – I honestly don’t think I have laughed that much in ages. I’m surprised my neighbour didn’t come knocking, asking me if I had a pig in my house! (Yes, I snlaughed…..loudly).

Again, being very careful here for spoilers, the concluding chapters were absolutely fluffing hilarious and completely unexpected! I didn’t see it coming at all and, whilst it did appear to be utterly bonkers, it was also utterly brilliant and confirmed that ‘What Holly’s Husband Did’ is a book that I will be recommending for a very, very long time.

Snlaugh inducing and side splittingly hilarious, ‘What Holly’s Husband Did’ will have you begging for more, whilst also leaving you feeling bereft as you say t’ra to a truly brilliant and memorable novel.

Buy now!

About the author.

Prior to turning her attention to writing, Debbie Viggiano was, for more years than she cares to remember, a legal secretary. She lives with her Italian husband, a rescued puppy from Crete, and a very disgruntled cat. Occasionally her children return home from uni bringing her much joy…apart from their gifts of dirty laundry. 

Tweet @DebbieViggiano or look her up on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/debbie.viggiano.5

#BlogTour! #Review – The Gravity of Love by Noelle Harrison (@NoelleHarrison) @bwpublishing

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Late one for me tonight, apologies! I wish my reasoning was that I was sunbathing in the 23 degree heat and lost track of the time. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case and I have had a fall. However, I am here now and I am so excited to be sharing my review of Noelle Harrison’s ‘The Gravity of Love’. Big thank you to BWPublishing for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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Arizona, 1989

Joy Sheldon loves the plants that bloom in the desert but dreams too of the sea’s elemental wildness. Now, riven by terrible secrets, Joy embarks on a journey to seek her identity and to discover why the sea pulls at her heart.

London, 1967

Lewis Bell, a young graphic designer, is aiming for the big time if only he can keep his creative spark. But, as his talented girlfriend Marnie adds her own pressures, sixties Soho fast shows its darker side.

Ireland, 1989

Drawn together, Joy and Lewis fly across the Atlantic to the Irish coast. She’s in search of a lost mother; he’s looking for a lost love. They need to make peace with the past, themselves and others. But the truths they encounter will transform everyone’s lives forever.

Bold, intimate and joyful. This glorious novel tells an unforgettable story of love’s true gravity.

What does TWG think?

In the past I have been compared to an ice queen, whilst dubbing myself as the ‘most unromantic person on the planet’. After reading ‘The Gravity of Love’ however, I am not too sure whether I am 100% committed to my long standing nickname, and I’ll tell you why.

Set over two different timelines, featuring two different main characters, ‘The Gravity of Love’ had something special about it from the get go.

Joy Sheldon is struggling to live up to her name and isn’t quite finding the ‘joy’ in her life, especially after the passing of a well loved family member. For years, Joy has always seen herself as an outcast and, thanks to the passing of the family member, Joy’s life got turned upside down by just three words. According to Joy’s mother and husband, those three words mean diddly squat, but to Joy, those three words have unknowingly become the key to the truth about her life. Does Joy listen to her heart and search for the truth? Or should she just take the easy way out because her mother and husband disapprove?

The other main character is a gentleman called Lewis Bell. Most of his ‘getting to know him’ chapters are set in the swinging sixties where he is struggling to choose between becoming a famous graphic designer, and actually doing the right thing by someone close to him. From an outsiders point of view, it’s far too easy for us readers to make that decision when, as it later becomes clear, there is more to Lewis’ life that meets the eye, and it’s threatening to break his heart in two, all over again.

We are nearing the end of May and, with 163 books read so far this year, I am spoilt for choice in regards to my favourite book of the year so far. Well, I thought I was. This story captivated me almost straight away with its simplistic tales of love, and its complex tales of family heartache mixed in with the uncertainty of grabbing life, and the ‘what ifs’ that go along with it. Never have I ever, until now,  finished a book and sat hugging it to my chest because I didn’t want the spell to break as soon as I put the book down. But, due to Noelle Harrison’s enchanting and mesmerising story telling, I just could not help myself, feeling devastated that Joy and Lewis’ story had come to an end.

The way the two characters stories collided multiple times throughout the book, was simply outstanding and took my breath away. I always thought fate to be a load of tosh, but Lewis and Joy made me believe that fate was real, that true love is worth waiting for, and that the best things in life appear when you least expect it. Simplistic yet life changing – ‘The Gravity of Love’ is just that.

Reading ‘The Gravity of Love’ made me feel as though my body was being re-engerised, creating an image which was not only surreal, it was the most beautiful thing my mind has ever captured. Noelle Harrison told a story to my soul and my heart, a story which blew me away to the most special place I could ever imagine going.

‘The Gravity of Love’ is, hand on heart, my most favourite book of 2018, and probably my most favourite book of all time. I wish I could bottle the feelings I revealed whilst reading this book, yet I don’t think anyone could ever afford the price of them. This book is such an incredible, life affirming and heart-wrenching novel which made me feel, after 28 years of life on this planet, that I finally deserve to be here. I urge you all to get a copy of Noelle Harrison’s thought-provoking and ornamental read – you will NOT be disappointed.

Buy now!!

#BlogTour! #Review – Her Secret by Kelly Florentia (@KellyFlorentia) @Urbanebooks

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Following the events of No Way Back, Her Secret sees our
heroine, Audrey Fox, now married to Daniel. But Daniel’s grown
daughter Connie is still causing trouble in paradise and it is not
long before Audrey is neck deep in secrets and lies, and once
more searching for true love and happiness.

What does TWG think?

Don’t tell me off, but I have to be honest here and say that I STILL haven’t had chance to read the prequel to this novel, ‘No Way Back’. I know, I know – I will. Thankfully though, I found that ‘Her Secret’ was okay to read as a standalone if you’re happy enough going through the story without too much of a background. Kelly Florentia does bring her readers up to date in the sequel briefly, but I don’t think it would do you any harm at all if you read the books out of order (and no I’m not just saying that because I’ve done that!!).

The main things I got from reading ‘Her Secret’ was:

– Kelly Florentia knows how to keep her readers on a hook.
– Kelly Florentia knows how to keep her readers on a hook.

AND

– Kelly Florentia knows how to keep her readers on a hook.

I couldn’t keep up! The story starts very simply with a brief update on what went on before, where Audrey is now, and how she is finding things after the day which she would love to forget. It didn’t take too long for the author to drop her first seed into the story, making the reader question where the storyline was heading and who would be involved. Then, just when the reader catches up with the result of the first seed, Kelly Florentia goes and drops multiple other seeds, taking her readers on a journey that will either bring them to a dead end, leave them with more questions in their heads than answers, or it will bring them to the truth. Or, just like it did me, manage to take me on all of those journeys! The weird thing about the too-ing and fro-ing, was that it wasn’t confusing at all because the author cleverly made me feel as though I had worked out what was going to happen off my own accord without the well placed hints that gave no room for doubt.

I am incredibly impressed at the skill Kelly Florentia showcases with her outstanding storytelling. It wasn’t that this author tricked her readers or her readers were gullible, it was the fact that she didn’t let us into the secret. I was in the dark just as much as the other characters, even though I was given more information than Audrey. Clever. Very, very clever.

Some of the discussions between Audrey and Connie got right on my wick as they came across more soap drama, as opposed to being the drama which brings out our nosey streaks. I also struggled to believe Connie’s age, not because people aren’t allowed to have a young streak when they hit a certain age, but because she really did come across like she had a similar mindset to say, Jess, for example. I’m not viewing that as a negative by the way, it’s just that Connie’s personality didn’t match with the age she was given. Good on her if she can work with it, but it had me raising my eyebrows a couple of times.

I have to admit that ‘Her Secret’ is such a dark horse of a book, and if it ever came head to head with ‘Desperate Housewives’ on NBC, it would win hands down. I can’t get over how intricately detailed the entire storyline was, especially as the author managed to keep the strength of it the entire way through! I thought the characters were a memorable mixture (you can take that whichever way you like!), although I was siding with Audrey more than anyone else. Do NOT get me started on Connie, seriously. Handbags at dawn springs to mind!!

What shocked me the most, however, was the last third of the book and the way Kelly Florentia got her readers to think with their heads in one chapter, and then their hearts with another. The words were there in black and white, yet due to the way that the author wrote them, I especially conveyed the storyline completely differently. For example; if we thought with our hearts then we would think a certain character had got caught up in the shocking situation, or if we thought with our heads then we would end up thinking that the other character was involved. It will make more sense if you have read the book, but I hope you can make sense of what I am trying to put across!

Kelly Florentia has blown me away with her outstanding, high energy, rollercoaster ride of a read which left my head and my heart arguing on a street corner. I LOVE the ‘sisterhood’ vibe that stands out throughout the entire novel – Ms.Florentia has certainly done her ‘sisters’ proud with this brilliant novel. Trust me on that, it’s so good I read it in 3 hours tops!

Buy now!

About the author.

Kelly Florentia was born and bred in north London, where she
continues to live with her husband Joe. Her debut novel THE
MAGIC TOUCH was published in March 2016. TO TELL A TALE
OR TWO… is a collection of her short tales. Kelly has a keen
interest in health and fitness and has written many articles on
the subject. SMOOTH OPERATOR (published in January 2017) is
a collection of twenty of her favourite smoothie recipes. No
Way Back was published by Urbane in Sept 2017.

#BlogBlitz! #Review – The TV Detective by Simon Hall (@simonhallnews) @fahrenheitpress @damppebbles

TV Detective
It’s the fifth and final day of the blog blitz for ‘The Tv Detective’, and I will be reviewing the book as part of my stop on the blitz. Thank you to Damppebbles for the blog blitz invite and the ARC.

The TV Detective cover
Dan Groves is a television reporter newly assigned to the crime beat and not at all happy about it. Dan knows next nothing about police work or how to report on it so when he persuades Detective Chief Inspector Adam Breen to allow him to shadow a high-profile murder inquiry it seems like the perfect solution though it soon becomes clear some members of the police force have no intention of playing nice with the new boy.
With his first case Dan is dropped in at the deep-end. A man is killed in a lay-by with a blast through the heart from a shotgun. The victim is a notorious local businessman, Edward Bray, a man with so many enemies there are almost too many suspects for the police to eliminate.

As tensions rise between Dan and the police he comes close to being thrown off the case until the detectives realise that far from being a liability, Dan might actually be the key to tempting the murderer into a trap.

The TV Detective is the first book in a classic crime series from Simon Hall, who until recently was the BBC Crime Correspondent for the Devon and Cornwall area.

What does TWG think?

I have to say that the title of this book, ‘The TV Detective’, made my curiosity grow something rotten. I mean, how can someone be a TV detective? Is it simply a person sitting at home watching their TV, attempting to become a detective on their own half priced sofa from DFS? If the latter was the case, I wanted to know why I hadn’t been called up – we have all watched ‘The Bill’, we have had our training!

Of course I was wrong, it wasn’t about the latter at all. The book was about a TV reporter who had been given the chance to shadow police officers as they attempt to get to the bottom of a murder investigation. Suddenly my education from watching ‘The Bill’ didn’t seem to be enough…

If you’re new to the whole police procedural/crime genre, then this book would be the perfect starting point as the language and broken down movements were simplified enough for anyone to follow without getting confused. On the other hand, if you’re used to a more robust, twister type of crime/police procedural novel, then whilst ‘The TV Detective’ was a decent enough read, I found that the storyline didn’t have enough ‘ooooomph’ but too many explanations. Whilst it was incredibly interesting to follow an investigation as a newbie, it made the storyline appear very slow with a slight ‘teaching’ edge to it.

The investigation itself was intriguing and a tough nut to crack. The fact that a TV reporter was going in to see how it was done, was also intriguing and very cleverly written. However, the stuff in between padded out the story without giving me the all important hook, and keeping me that way.

There were moments where I smiled due to the authors clever writing for Detective Breen – wit and sarcasm make for excellent reading, especially when you’re supposed to be in serious mode! There were also moments where I thought how brilliant the storyline was. For me personally, there were a few times where I thought ‘oh’.

That said, Simon Hall is an exceptionally clever author, and his story was written in a very detailed and thought out manner. I don’t doubt for a second that this man knows what he is talking about, because he clearly does. ‘The TV Detective’ kept me entertained, with the last couple of chapters giving me that all important grit.

Buy now

About the author.

Simon Hall is an author and journalist.
He has been a broadcaster for twenty five years, mostly as a BBC Television and Radio News Correspondent, covering some of the biggest stories Britain has seen.
His books – the tvdetective series – are about a television reporter who covers crimes and gets so involved in the cases he helps the police to solve them. Seven have been published. Simon has also contributed articles and short stories to a range of newspapers and magazines, written plays, and even a pantomime.

Alongside his novels and stories, Simon is a tutor in media skills and creative writing, teaching at popular Writers’ Summer Schools such as Swanwick and Winchester, on cruise ships and overseas. Simon has also become sought after as a speaker, appearing at a variety of prestigious literary festivals. His talks combine an insight into his writing work, along with some extraordinary anecdotes from the life of a television reporter, including the now notorious story of What to do when you really need a dead otter.
Now 49 years old, he began a broadcasting career as a DJ on the radio and in nightclubs, then moved into radio and TV news. He worked in Europe, London, Ireland, and the south west of England, before settling in Cambridge.
Simon is married to Jess, Director of Libraries at the University of Cambridge, and has an adopted daughter, Niamh. She’s an army officer, which makes her father both very proud and very nervous.

Simon lectures on careers in the media at Cambridge University, and in schools and colleges. Amongst his proudest achievements, he includes the number of young people he has helped into jobs in broadcasting, and aspiring writers into publication.
As for his likes, Simon lists beer – he judges at real ale festivals – cycling the countryside, solving cryptic crosswords, composing curious Tweets (find him @thetvdetective ) and studying pop lyrics.

For more on Simon, see his website – www.thetvdetective.com

Simon’s Social Media:

Twitter // Amazon Author Page // Website

#BlogTour! #Review – Tell Me A Secret by Samantha Hayes (@samhayes) @Bookouture

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Happy publication day to Samantha Hayes and ‘Tell Me A Secret’! It’s no secret that I am one of the bloggers who have the pleasure of kicking off the blog tour today, and it’s also not a secret that I am reviewing the book! Huge thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

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Tell her all your secrets and she’ll tell you all her lies…

Everything in Lorna’s life runs like clockwork, from her 6 a.m. morning run to the strict 60-minute counselling sessions she gives. It’s the only way she can deal with the terrible secret she carries.

When a new client arrives for his first appointment, Lorna feels her perfect life unravel in a matter of seconds. It’s Andrew, the man she’s spent the last year desperately trying to forget. It seems he can’t forget her either…

Against her better judgement she anonymously contacts him on a dating site. Messaging him could mean the end of her marriage and her career, but she needs to know if his motives are genuine.

When Andrew is found dead in his home, grief quickly turns to fear when messages from him continue to arrive on Lorna’s phone. Somebody knows her secret and wants to use it to destroy everything she has.

Will she risk her family and her sanity to keep her secret? Will she risk her life…?

What does TWG think?

Having loved Samantha Hayes’ previous novel, ‘The Reunion’, I nearly wet my pants in excitement when I found out about her new release, ‘Tell Me A Secret’.

Let me just get this out of the way first – I wasn’t taken with the first half of the book as, for me personally, I struggled to grab hold of the grit and the oomph despite the author writing a storyline with a lot of rollercoasters in it. I appreciated the red herrings, the uncertain characters with their uncertain personalities, but for a while I did find myself waiting for things to start happening.

However, and yes, that is a big HOWEVER; just a little way after the halfway point things started to take off. ‘Tell Me A Secret’ seemed to go from 0-100 in a matter of seconds, making me react with an almighty gasp. I didn’t see THAT coming but by golly was it welcomed!

‘Tell Me A Secret’ is a book which is best to be read with your head in the sand. The author drip feeds her readers vital pieces of information as the storyline progresses, whilst also throwing in a bucketful of red herrings to keep her readers on their toes as well. Lorna is such a firecracker of a character – I honestly couldn’t keep up with her multiple personalities, but they did make for excellent reading in the latter half of the book.

I thought the suspense was written well with the author whacking it up a notch further into the book. For me, the last half of the book was outstanding as the pace was on point, the grit was overflowing, and the intense nature of the storyline was through the roof. Samantha Hayes is exceptional at writing complex, and intrusive characters who make their marks on readers in the most colourful of ways.

‘Tell Me A Secret’ and I may not have gotten off to the best of starts, but I am so pleased that I persevered as I ended up thoroughly enjoying this twister of a novel. It’s shocking, it’s memorable, it’s addictive – but shhhh, I’ve just told you a secret ;).

Buy now!

About the author.

Samantha Hayes grew up in Warwickshire, left school at sixteen, avoided university and took jobs ranging from private detective to barmaid to fruit picker and factory worker. She lived on a kibbutz, and spent time living in Australia and the USA, before finally becoming a crime-writer.

Her writing career began when she won a short story competition in 2003 and her ninth novel, THE REUNION, was published in February 2018. Her novels are family-based psychological thrillers, with the emphasis being on ‘real life fiction’. She focuses on current issues and sets out to make her readers ask, ‘What if this happened to me or my family?’ 

Tell Me A Secret is out now!

To find out more, visit her website www.samanthahayes.co.uk
Or connect with Samantha on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SamanthaHayesAuthor
And she’s on Twitter @samhayes

#BlogTour! #Review – The Chosen Ones by Carol Wyer (@Carolewyer) @Bookouture

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The sun may be shining for people north of the border, but thanks to Carol Wyer and ‘The Chosen Ones’, things are about to become chilly. I would like to say a huge congratulations to Carol as it’s also her publication day! I am delighted to be helping her and Bookouture celebrate this special day by being one of the bloggers to kick off the blog tour. As always, big thank you to Bookouture for the tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

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On a hot summer’s morning, a young father is found murdered in a cornfield, outside the quiet town of Colton. Tied to a post, arms spread wide; Detective Robyn Carter is reminded of the crucifixion, and she knows she’s looking for a killer with a twisted sense of right and wrong.

The victim’s girlfriend is devastated, unable to fathom how she will tell her sick little boy. Still reeling from her own loss, Robyn vows she will find the killer – no matter what.

But then a local doctor – a popular woman with a young family of her own – is found dead outside her surgery. There are similarities between her and the first body and Robyn must take another look at the picture-postcard town, where no one has any enemies.

Can Robyn untangle the hidden web of secrets, lies, and smouldering grudges, at the heart of this close-knit community, before another life is lost?

What does TWG think?

I literally only finished (well, and started) reading ‘The Chosen Ones’ last night – I am still in shock!

Firstly, if you’ve been reading the ‘Robyn Carter’ series from the beginning, you’ll be well aware that poor old Robyn has been in a bit of a pickle (through no fault of her own I must add) and, throughout the duration of the story, it becomes even clearer that the sticky situation isn’t going to be disappearing anytime soon. Let’s just say that the author has made it perfectly clear that that is the case, especially as she seems to have taken a few hints from the soap Eastenders ;).

Secondly, if you are about to settle down to read ‘The Chosen Ones’, I suggest you mute all phones, pop a status on Facebook telling everyone to leave you alone as they’re not your chosen ones, and ensure you have absolutely NOTHING to distract you. I mean it. It’s lucky that I can read fast otherwise the poor pooch would be sitting with crossed paws for a while! (reader, he didn’t)

Thirdly, I am going to be mean here as I usually give my own thoughts on characters and so on, whilst reading a book and this time I am not going to. You’ll just have to go and buy it!

My thoughts on the overall book are all positive. Not just positive, extremely positive (wellllll, apart from the bit where such and such happened, reminding me that I am NOT PATIENT IN THE SLIGHTEST). Vague much?

Seriously though, ‘The Chosen Ones’, in my eyes, is Carol Wyer’s best book in the series. The level of intensity was through the roof, and the bucket of grit was just overflowing, making Carol Wyer’s writing go from strength to strength as the story progressed. I really do think that Robyn Carter has come into her own in this instalment, which I absolutely loved as I got to see her in yet another light.

‘The Chosen Ones’ had me in its jaws from the word GO, keeping me on my toes until the very end. For once, I actually managed to work out whodunnit before I was told, but despite that, the truth still shocked me to the core as there was more to the situation that met the eye. Such a fantastic, nail-biting, and severely intense read which starved me of oxygen due to the constant shockers.

I cannot recommend ‘The Chosen Ones’ more if I tried, but do trust me when I say that Carol Wyer has gone above and beyond where her latest novel is concerned, and she does NOT disappoint in any way shape or form.

Buy now!

About the author.

Carol E. Wyer, who also writes as Carol Wyer, is an award-winning author whose humorous books take a light-hearted look at getting older and encourage others to age disgracefully. In 2017 she moved to the “dark side” and embarked on a series of thrillers. The first, gripping Little Girl Lost, shot to the #2 best-selling spot on Kindle #9 best-selling audiobook on Audible, and was also a USA Today top 150 best-seller.

Her book, Grumpy Old Menopause won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction 2015.

Carol has been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ‘Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Ageing Disgracefully’ and on BBC Breakfast television. She has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’ featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and the Huffington Post.

To learn more about Carol, go to www.carolwyer.co.uk or follow Carol on Twitter: @carolewyer. Carol blogs at www.grumpyoldmenopause.com which featured in The Mail on Sunday