#BlogTour! #Review – Arlette’s Story by Angela Barton (@AngeBarton) @RaRaResources

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How are we at the end of June already? Ending the month on a high, I am delighted to be sharing my review of ‘Arlette’s Story’ by Angela Barton. Big thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite!

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One woman’s struggle to fight back against the enemy in order to protect the ones she loves.

When Arlette Blaise sees a German plane fly over the family farm in 1940, she’s comforted by the fact that the occupying forces are far away in the north of the country. Surely the war will not reach her family in the idyllic French countryside near to the small town of Oradour-sur-Glane?

But then Saul Epstein, a young Jewish man driven from his home by the Nazis, arrives at the farm and Arlette begins to realise that her peaceful existence might be gone for good…

What does TWG think?

Given the nature of this storyline, part of me feels incredibly bad for sitting here and typing that I loved this book. How can someone love a storyline about a world war? Even though the contents of ‘Arlette’s Story’ is heart-breaking, eye-opening and very emotional, the way in which author, Angela Barton, delivered the story made me fall in love with the characters and the premise of the book. Not only that, I found myself becoming rather emotional at how many people put their lives on the line to save people like Arlette, and indeed, us.

Yes, this book is devastating in parts, but it is also bewitching and magnetic.
Yes, ‘Arlette’s Story’ describes the chaos of a world war in an eye-opening manner, yet it is also a beautiful representation of people coming together and supporting each other when they need it the most.

Angela Barton has written about a time where futures were uncertain with such poise, whilst also keeping in mind how sensitive of a subject this could be for multiple readers. I appreciated the emotional scenes as it made the story come alive. Obviously I wasn’t around during any of the world wars, yet due to my love of history, I loved how on point the entire storyline was without taking anything away from anyone who was actually involved in the devastating events.

‘Arlette’s Story’ moved me to tears, but thanks to Angela Barton’s insanely beautiful writing, I also felt like I was getting hugged from the inside out.

Buy now!

Arlettes Story - Giveaay - bodleian_hobbies_pastimes_notebook_cutoutGiveaway – Win a beautiful notebook (UK Only) 

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box
below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

About the author.

Angela Barton was born in London and grew up in Nottingham. She is married with three grown up children. Passionate about writing both contemporary and historical fiction, Angela loves researching for her books and is an avid reader. Having signed publishing contracts for three of her completed novels with Ruby Fiction, Angela is excited to be working alongside such a friendly and supportive publishing team. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and Nottingham Writers’ Studio.
Having recently moved to France, Angela (alongside her husband, Paul) is now a lavender farmer, creating products from the oil that’s distilled. Angela says she’s looking forward to spending more time writing in the company of her two spaniels while sitting on her veranda overlooking the breath-taking countryside of Charente.

Social Media Links –

Twitter // Facebook // Blog

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#BlogTour! #Review – No Reception by Maisie Porter (@eyeointment) @RaRaResources

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The second and final blog post for this evening is one where I have the honour of closing the tour for ‘No Reception’ by Maisie Porter. Big thank you to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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For hyper-successful wedding photographer and blogger, Zody Lee Swabler, anonymous death threats come with the territory. When warned by email not to continue booking jobs, she responds by accepting the next request that comes in.

When a strangely eager woman approaches her about the emails, she accepts the woman’s invitation to visit her home. So begins Helena Hoath’s elaborate plan to take over the life and profession of the photographer she wishes she could be.
And when Zody unleashes her own revenge scheme, she discovers that the unhinged woman may still have the wit to turn a successful photographer’s own talents against her.

Zody and Helena’s lives begin to intertwine in ways that neither could have foreseen…

What does TWG think?

This might sound daft, but I feel a little bit empathetic towards authors of novella’s, as they are well aware that although the story may be shorter, it has to pack a punch and do the job of a full length novel, a lot quicker. With that in mind, I do end up with high expectations for novella’s and I probably shouldn’t as it could end in disappointment.

I needn’t have worried as ‘No Reception’ left my mind in a head funk and my tail in a spin, with the feeling of ‘disappointment’ to be miles away on its own. What a cracking read this turned out to be!

‘No Reception’ led me into a flash sense of security from the moment I started reading. I had all of the characters sussed out. Well, let me rephrase that; I THOUGHT that I had all of the characters sussed out, but I didn’t. In fact, what I thought was going on was in fact NOT going on. And, you want to know what the frightening thing is? People do in fact, go through similar things to the characters in this book. I would hazard a guess that a lot of you have as well!

It was hard NOT to get swept up in the misery of the characters, whilst also being swept up in the thrilling and intense discovery of the conclusion and the overall storyline.

‘No Reception’ may be short, but it certainly was long enough to keep me on my toes the entire time!

Buy now!

Author Bio

Maisie Porter works as a professional photographer in Australia, with wide experience
covering weddings, though she has neither abducted nor been abducted by any competitors. No Reception is Maisie’s first novel.

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#BlogTour! #Review – The Island Villa by Lily Graham (@LilyGrahamBooks) @Bookouture

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Apologies for the late night post due to my dog in the vet today, so thank you to Bookouture for their patience and understanding. A huge congratulations to Lily Graham on the publication of ‘The Island Villa’, and thank you (again) to Bookouture for the blog tour invite, as well as the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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Marisal. A villa on a sleepy Spanish island. A place that time had forgotten. A place of long ago summers, sun-kissed memories and one terrible betrayal …

When Charlotte’s husband James tragically dies, he leaves her an unexpected gift – her grandmother’s beautiful villa, Marisal, on the Spanish island of Formentera.

As she begins to explore her new home, and heal her broken heart in the warm golden sunshine, Charlotte discovers that her grandmother Alba has been keeping secrets about her life on the island. Intrigued by her family’s hidden history, Charlotte uncovers a devastating love affair that put many lives at risk and two sisters torn apart by loss.

Can the heart-breaking truth of the island’s dark history finally be laid to rest? Or will the secrets of the past shake the new life and love that Charlotte is close to finding?

What does TWG think?

Oh my goodness me! I LOVE the change in direction that Lily Graham has taken  with her latest release!

At first I thought that ‘The Island Villa’ was just going to be about the villa that Charlotte’s husband bought her, but after reading several chapters I came to the conclusion that there was going to be a lot more to this storyline than I originally thought. Complaining? Hell no!

Charlotte knew that the villa was part of heritage, she just didn’t know why or how it got there. With James, her husband, sitting in an urn that follows Charlotte everywhere, she knows that he would have wanted her to move forward in life without him, however hard that may be.

Split between the past and present, ‘The Island Villa’ tells a story about a life once lived, and a life that needs to learn to live again, allowing Charlotte to realise that unearthing the truth to her heritage is the only way she is going to move forward without her husband.

I have been a huge fan of Lily Graham’s novels from the word go, with her majestic story telling taking me on journeys which filled me with love, joy, and belief. I had no concerns about ‘The Island Villa’ before I read it, because I knew that the author would deliver the story in her flawless, soulful and magnetic manner. What I didn’t expect, however, was the storyline to make me feel as though I was playing pass the parcel with myself, unwrapping multiple layers whilst reading such intensely thought-provoking chapters. My only question about the entire novel is; why on Earth did Lily Graham not change direction and include historical elements in her storylines with such strength as this one?

I thought that ‘The Island Villa’ was a beautiful, beautiful representation of finding life after loss, and being able to find the right key to unlock a part of you that you never knew existed until that moment. Every character in this book had their own story to tell, yet when they were all together they became a force to be reckoned with. I am in awe at how many finer, intimate details the author included in her references to the past, combining them with the truth in the present in such a seamless way.

‘The Island Villa’ allowed me to feel excitement from the tips of my toes, to the top of my head, and I cannot recommend this book enough. Full of beautiful descriptions and characters who will no doubt take your breath away, ‘The Island Villa’ is both heart-breaking and thought-provoking, whilst also filling me to the brim with joy. If this is the direction that Lily Graham has now chosen to go in with her future stories, I cannot wait to get my hands on her next book if this read is anything to go by. Outstanding.

Buy now!

About the author: 
Lily grew up in dusty Johannesburg, which gave her a longing for the sea that has never quite gone away; so much so that sometimes she’ll find sand grouting the teaspoons, and an ocean in a teacup. She lives now in the English countryside with her husband and her sweet, slobbering bulldog Fudge, and brings her love for the sea and country-living to her fiction.

#PublicationDayBlitz! #Review – Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay by Bella Osborne (@osborne_bella) @RaRaResources @AvonBooksUK

Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay
Happy publication day to Bella Osborne and ‘Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay’! I am delighted to be sharing my review of the complete novel, thank you to RaRaResources for asking me to take part, and thank you to Avon Books for the ARC. Here is my review:

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Daisy Wickens has returned to Ottercombe Bay, the picturesque Devon town where her mother died when she was a girl. She plans to leave as soon as her great uncle’s funeral is over, but Great Uncle Reg had other ideas. He’s left Daisy a significant inheritance – an old building in a state of disrepair, which could offer exciting possibilities, but to get it she must stay in Ottercombe Bay for twelve whole months.

With the help of a cast of quirky locals, a few gin cocktails and a black pug with plenty of attitude, Daisy might just turn this into something special. But can she ever hope to be happy among the ghosts of her past?

What does TWG think?

Daisy Wickens has got to be one of my most favourite characters – her feistiness and sass is such fun to read as, when finding herself in sticky situations, she doesn’t let emotion or vulnerability get in the way, instead using her fiery personality to get her through whatever she has to face. Yes, sometimes it can come across a little bit arrogant, especially when the person doesn’t have all the facts, however, whilst Daisy was indeed quite similar to a raging bull sometimes, she always admitted when she was wrong. Eventually….

‘Coming Home To Ottercombe Bay’ was such a fun book to read from the onset, as Bella Osborne’s writing pulled me into the storyline like a cosy blanket on a cold day. There was just something pretty special about the way in which the author delivered her story to her readers, and the way she gave her characters their distinct voices throughout the book. In other books with a lot of characters, just like this one, it can be a bit confusing to separate one character from another, especially if they’re from the same family as they’re not often given their own minds – ‘Coming Home To Ottercombe Bay’ was completely different as every character in this story had a place and a reason to be there. At first the reason isn’t clear, but the more of the story I read, the bigger the picture became and the more answers to unknown questions I received.

Obviously I don’t wish to give anything away, so I won’t tell you the reasons behind Daisy’s homecoming to Ottercombe Bay, however, I can tell you that you may end up taking a step back and looking at the minute details of your own life, before it’s too late. I’m not saying that this book has the power to give you the answers you need to get through your own personal hurdles, but it Bella Osborne’s words certainly have enough power to make you think about the decisions you make, as well as any repercussions.

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Coming Home To Ottercombe Bay’ as it was such a pleasure to read and kept me entertained from start to finish. I would have no qualms about shouting in the middle of town, that everyone needs to buy a copy of this book. No qualms at all. I cannot WAIT to read more from Bella Osborne!

Buy now from Amazon
Buy now from Kobo

About the author.

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel. She’s now written four romantic comedies and been shortlisted twice for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year.

Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you.
She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s dog. When not writing she’s usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.

For more about Bella, visit her website at http://www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on Twitter – @osborne_bella
Facebook – https://en-gb.facebook.com/BellaOsborneAuthor/

Giveaway!

Coming Home - Giveawy Prize
Giveaway – Win signed copies of It Started At Sunset Cottage and A Family Holiday (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or
delivery of the prize.

Enter the giveaway now!

#BlogBlitz! #Review – RIP Current by Amanda James (@akjames61) @BloodHoundbook

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Next up is my review for Amanda James and ‘RIP Current’! Thank you to BloodHoundBooks for the blog blitz invite, as well as the ARC of the book.

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DI Bryony Marshall has been on the tail of Kenny Ransom for two years. He’s involved in prostitution and trafficking, but there’s never been any real proof. To complicate matters further, Bryony’s best friend from childhood is his daughter Imogen.

 Bryony worries about admitting the fact that she is trying to put Imogen’s dad away, but unexpectedly, Imogen turns on her father and helps the police. Kenny finds out and swears he’ll get his revenge.

 Sick of being in the police force, Bryony visits her mother in Cornwall and considers starting a new life.

 While in Cornwall, Bryony saves the life of a man caught up in a rip current in the sea.

 But who is this stranger? And is Kenny really bent on revenge?

 Rip Current explores the relationships between families and friends and asks who can you ever really trust.

What does TWG think?

If you’re after a novel that is jam packed with drama, secrets and lies, you have come to the right place as ‘RIP Current’ ticks all of those boxes and more.

DI Bryony Marshall has her work cut out trying to put notorious bad boy, Kenny Ransom, in jail. After two years of coming close and falling at the last hurdle, Bryony knows thats he needs to nail him once and for all. Luckily his daughter, Imogen, doesn’t think much of family loyalty as she ends up helping Bryony in more ways than one. Of course things would be a lot simpler if they went to plan, but Bryony knows full well that shizzle can hit the fan at any point, especially when Kenny Ransom has eyes and ears in the most unusual places.

‘RIP Current’ is a really tense read. There was so much gritty drama to sink my teeth into, I couldn’t help but sit back and enjoy the rollercoaster ride I was about to embark on. Multiple times whilst reading this novel, I felt myself questioning every single characters motives, including Imogen’s, as I felt unable to trust any of them except Bryony. If you can imagine a room full of people with red question marks over their heads, you’ll see what constantly went around my head whilst reading ‘RIP Current’ – and no, that isn’t a bad thing! It was as though I had targeted the characters with ‘guilty until proven innocent’.

Even though I enjoyed the majority of this book, I couldn’t help but feel that the pace was a little bit too slow at certain points. When the hustle bustle and gritty events happened, the pace was on fire, but when there wasn’t much happening, I felt that the pace slowed right down, making me feel as though I was reading a completely different book.

However, one part in particular made my jaw drop in shock (no, I’m not telling which bit), and I thought that the author did a belter of a job dropping that bombshell when she did as it put the entire novel on a completely different level.

All in all, ‘RIP Current’ was an intense, jam packed novel which left me questioning the word ‘trust’ and everything it stood for. I am looking forward to reading more from this author, that’s for sure!

Buy now!

About the author.

Amanda has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her words would be published, given that she left school with no real qualifications of note apart from an A* in how to be a nuisance in class. Nevertheless, she returned to education when her daughter was five and eventually became a history teacher. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true when her first short story was published. Amanda has written many short stories and has six novels currently published.

Amanda grew up in Sheffield but now has realised her lifelong dream of living in Cornwall and her writing is inspired every day by the dramatic coastline near her home. She has sketched out many stories in her head while walking the cliff paths. Three of her mystery/suspense novels are set there, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Summer in Tintagel and the Behind the Lie. Rip Current is also set in Cornwall and will be published by Bloodhound Books in April 2018.

Amanda, known to many as Mandy, spends far more time than is good for her on social media and has turned procrastination to a fine art. She can also usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.

Amanda‘s blog – http://mandykjameswrites.blogspot.com/

Twitter – @akjames61

Facebook mandy.james.33

#BlogTour! #Review – The Photograph by Debbie Rix (@DebbieRix) @Bookouture

The Photograph - Blog Tour
Huge thank you to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in the blog blitz for Debbie Rix  and ‘The Photograph’, as well as the ARC of the book. I hope you enjoy reading my review just as much as I enjoyed reading it.

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Italy, 1958: Rachael is a young widow with a small child. After a lifetime of running for survival, of not knowing who to trust and where to call home, she finds herself in a place of safety. On a sun-drenched Italian island for one carefree summer the troubles of her past fade away and she falls in love. But will Rachael’s new-found happiness bring her further heartache?

England, 2017: Sophie has a handsome husband, a gorgeous house in the English countryside and a successful career as an anthropologist. But the one thing she longs for is a baby of her own. As she struggles to conceive, cracks begin to appear in her marriage. So Sophie throws herself into her work and tries to seek comfort in childhood memories of her beloved grandmother Rachael.

One afternoon, Sophie finds a forgotten letter and an exquisite silk bracelet hidden in Rachael’s old writing desk. Intrigued, she begins to unravel the extraordinary story of her grandmother’s past – and a secret that has the power to change everything…

The Photograph is an utterly beautiful and compelling story of love, loss and a family secret spanning generations.

What does TWG think?

I absolutely adore historical fiction, but reading ‘The Photograph’? Well, this is a book that was in a league of its own. Set in Italy in 1958 and England in 2017, ‘The Photograph’ tells a story about mother and widow, Rachael, and Sophie who would do anything to have her very own child, regardless of how much it will cost financially, and emotionally.

Rachael spends years trying to find a place where she and her young child can finally call home. Rachael has had to endure so much heartache in such a short space of time, making the parts of the storyline that are set in Italy in 1958, such heartbreaking yet beautiful sections to read. Sophie is only beginning to understand the meaning of heartbreak and how strong you have to be to get through it, yet is determined to take her mind off her sad times by getting on with her work and finding out pieces of information that would stay with her for a very long time.

I have read many split timeline style novels in my time, yet it isn’t often that I find a book in a similar format which, after reading the first part of the novel that was set in a different time, I found myself getting excited, wondering where the next setting and year would have in common with the previous. How were the characters linked? What heartache had Rachael endured? And, once the answers to those questions (and more) were found out, my excitement grew because I ended up in a position where I knew something that other characters didn’t. I knew what Sophie could end up facing, yet I was still in shock when the truth came to light.

Every chapter and every word regarding ‘The Photograph,’ screamed enchanting, majestic, and utterly enthralling. I honestly haven’t read a book of this calibre before, allowing myself to succumb to the magical undertone of the entire novel, and allowing the vibe of the storyline to get under my skin. Debbie Rix believed her characters lives, and she believed in the beauty and love behind the words her characters spoke – if she didn’t, ‘The Photograph’ wouldn’t have come across as beautiful as it did. And because of the way the author wrote this book, I ended up believing everything as well. I became so invested in Rachael and Sophie’s lives, that when it was time to go as the book had ended, I was utterly bereft, wishing that I could have stayed with the characters much longer.

‘The Photograph’ is a simply stunning read, which projects beauty in all directions due to the authors flawless and phenomenal story telling. I wish I could convey just how much this book warmed my heart and touched my soul, but there are not enough words that would ever do this book justice. The only thing that will convey it better than anything else, is the book itself.

Such a wonderful, wonderful read that I will be holding in my heart forever. It’s book like this which make me feel privileged to be a reader.

Buy now!

About the author.

Debbie Rix has written four novels, the latest of which – ‘The Photograph’ – will be published on June 27th 2018. The story crosses generations and continents as Sophie, desperate for a child of her own, uncovers the extraordinary secrets of her grandmother, Rachael, fifty years earlier.

Earlier this year Debbie was shortlisted for the RNA’s Historical Novel category for her third novel ‘The Silk Weaver’s Wife’ (pub: 19th July 2017) about a silk designer named Anastasia from Verona whose life is almost destroyed when she is forced into a marriage to a Venetian silk weaver. In the present day Millie visits an old villa near Verona and uncovers a lost painting. Who is the woman in the painting and how will her experiences affect Millie’s life?

Debbie‘s debut ‘The Girl with Emerald Eyes’, reached the No.1 spot in Amazon’s Italian category. Set amidst the world of medieval Italy, it explores the creation of the most famous building in the world – the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Her second novel – ‘Daughters of the Silk Road’ topped the historical fiction charts, reaching No.1 in Italian, Women’s fiction and Mystery, Thriller & Suspense and spent many weeks in the top 100 best selling lists. It follows the fortunes of a family of merchant explorers who bring a Ming vase back to Venice from China in 15th century. 

Debbie spends a lot of time in Italy and the setting of the novels reflects her knowledge and passion for the country. She lives in the Kent countryside with her journalist husband, children, sheep, chickens and cats. When not writing, she is usually to be found in the vegetable garden. She began her career with the BBC- initially as the news reader on Breakfast Time, thereafter appearing as a presenter and reporter on a variety of factual and light entertainment television series. She had a spell as an Agony Aunt, and has also written about gardens and gardening – one of her private passions.

#BlogTour! #Review – #MissingPieces by Laura Pearson (@LauraPAuthor) @AgoraBooksLDN

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Before I begin, can I just say a massive congratulations to all of the team at Agora Books. Judging by the strength of their first publication under their new name, I can tell that their future is definitely rosy.

I am ending the long list of blog tours with my final tour stop of the day, a review of ‘Missing Pieces’ by Laura Pearson. Big thank you to Lucy for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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What if the one thing that kept you together was breaking you apart?

All Linda wants to do is sleep. She won’t look at her husband. She can’t stand her daughter. And she doesn’t want to have this baby. Having this baby means moving on, and she just wants to go back to before. Before their family was torn apart, before the blame was placed.

Alienated by their own guilt and struggling to cope, the Sadler family unravels. They grow up, grow apart, never talking about their terrible secret.

That is until Linda’s daughter finds out she’s pregnant. Before she brings another Sadler into the world, Bea needs to know what happened twenty-five years ago. What did they keep from her? What happened that couldn’t be fixed?

A devastating mistake, a lifetime of consequences. How can you repair something broken if pieces are missing?

What does TWG think?

Can someone please pass me a pool ring, I think I’m drowning in my own tears! Or close enough. I was surprised that I had any moisture left in my body upon completion of ‘Missing Pieces’! Before you begin reading Laura Pearson’s novel, I highly recommend going to a cash and carry and stocking up on tissues, seeing as Kleenex didn’t get my memo on a subscription service… pfft ;).

When you hear the word, ‘loss’, what do you automatically think of? Losing your wallet? That’s a loss. Losing the remote control? Yet again, another loss. What about….losing weight? It’s a loss! However, whilst all of those are a form of loss, I am pretty certain that when a lot of you hear that word, you zoom straight into the word, ‘death’. Am I right? ‘Missing Pieces’ is a heartbreaking story about losing someone you love. Someone who will never be able to return to you. This is emotional. This is incredibly raw, and unfortunately, the loss that is described in this book is one that is a lot harder to digest. Especially if you can relate to the characters circumstances.

To help the readers understand the nitty gritty parts of ‘Missing Pieces’, Laura Pearson has written the story so that it switches between the past and the present, unearthing some pretty emotional themes throughout both timeframes.

Laura Pearson clearly has done her homework as she lays bare some very hard hitting topics throughout her novel. Whilst the theme of ‘loss’ is evident the entire way through, it is not the only theme that the author has given her characters to work with. I have to admit though, there were times where I was curled up in the foetus position, wondering when on Earth the family will catch a break. I had become so invested in each member of the Sadler family, the fine line between fact and fiction ended up being incredibly hazy.

I am flabbergasted by the strength of Laura Pearson’s words, and her ability to not only tell a story to her readers minds, she also manages to tell a story to their soul. I cannot believe that this is a debut novel, what a beautiful, beautiful tale of hurdles one family face, as well as the poignant and eye-opening aftermath that follows very precariously.

‘Missing Pieces’ is a gut-wrenching and highly emotional read and, whilst I enjoy people crying, I have to say that the tears shed with this novel are ones that need to be released in order to appreciate the beauty behind every missing piece.

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Extract from #FirstTODie by Alex Caan (@alexcaanwriter) @BonnierZaffre

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Told you it was a busy day on the blog today! Blog post number FIVE and I have the pleasure of sharing an extract from Alex Caan’s novel, ‘First To Die’. Big thank you to Bonnier Zaffre for the blog tour invite! This book is another one on my radar. I’m sure I will get round to it….I hope!

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SOMEWHERE IN THE CROWD IS A KILLER

Bonfire Night and St James’s Park is filled with thousands of Anonymous protesters in a stand-off with the police. When a cloaked, Guido Fawkes mask-wearing body is discovered the following morning, Kate Riley and Zain Harris from the Police Crime Commissioner’s office are called in.

The corpse has been eaten away by a potentially lethal and highly contagious virus. The autopsy reveals the victim was a senior civil servant, whose work in international development involved saving lives. Why would anyone want him dead?

THEY WILL STRIKE AGAIN

As the research team looking into the origins of the deadly virus scramble to discover an antidote, first one, then another pharmacist goes missing. Meanwhile, a dark truth starts to emerge about the murder victim: he was an aggressive man, whose bullying behaviour resulted in the suicide attempt of one of his former staff members.

AND TIME IS RUNNING OUT . . .

With thirty lives potentially at stake, Kate and Zain have their work cut out for them. Can they find the two missing pharmacists in time, or will they too end up dead?

Purchase now from Amazon!

Extract.

The day was cold, but there was no rain, just a light fog. Zain was waiting by the entrance to Westminster Cathedral, watching throngs of tourists go in and out of the building. It was a different time of day to the last time this meeting had taken place.
DCI Raymond Cross loped across the courtyard leading to the cathedral in easy
strides, covering the distance quickly. He had his panama hat on and his coat was hanging open. Zain walked towards him when he spotted him, and they shook hands, before moving past the cathedral into the heart of Belgravia.

‘How have you been, Zain?’
‘Great.’
‘That good?’
‘I’m fine. Sir.’
‘You don’t look it.’
‘It’s been a tough few days. You know what’s it like when you’re on the front line.
You get burned, quite literally in my case, tired, battered and function on adrenaline. I’m
under pressure.’
‘I get it. You’re wondering why I didn’t just tell you this by email?’
‘The thought had crossed my mind, sir.’
Zain had sent the directory link to Cross. He had the resources that would crack it a
lot more quickly than Zain or Michelle could. But he’d insisted on meeting in person to
deliver the results.
‘I wanted to see you,’ said Cross. ‘Is that so bad? After all we’ve been through
together?’
‘You make us sound like lovers, sir.’
‘The bonds we share are stronger, don’t you think? We really did risk life and death
for each other.’

‘Possibly. More for the country though.’
‘I don’t believe that, neither do you.’

He was right. When Zain had been a teenager on the brink of carrying out a suicide
mission, Cross had saved him. He had asked him to betray the cell he was part of, and instead work for the British government. What had followed was years of being bankrolled by the state. His Arabic studies at SOAS, his training in cyber-security, joining up with GCHQ and then ending up where Raymond Cross had always wanted him. In counter-terrorism, SO15, he put everything he had learned to its most effective use.
Until it all went horribly wrong. Zain had got back on track with Cross there to
support him. Those bonds were indelible, bonds that even family members couldn’t share.

Zain still hadn’t recovered fully. His time with Kate Riley was meant to be a form of
rehab, or some sort of golden goodbye: he wasn’t sure which. It hadn’t worked out like
either. He was convinced he would get hurt no matter who he worked for.

#BlogTour! Who fancies a Ruth Ware style #giveaway?! Look no further! (@RuthWareWriter) @VintageBooks

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To celebrate the imminent release of Ruth Ware’s upcoming novel, ‘The Death of Mrs Westaway’, I have a belter of a giveaway for you guys!

‘The Death of Mrs Westaway’ is on my forever growing TBR, so I hope I manage to grab a copy and get to it ASAP. However, in the meantime, if you fancy getting your hands on a SIGNED copy of ‘The Death of Mrs Westaway’, as well as a signed set of tarot cards, all you need to do is……

Wait…

As I’ll tell you how to enter the giveaway after I give you a bit more information about the book ;).

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‘The Death of Mrs Westaway is Ruth Ware’s best: a dark and dramatic thriller, part murder mystery, part family drama, altogether riveting’ AJ FINN, bestselling author of THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW

When Harriet Westaway receives an unexpected letter telling her she’s inherited a substantial bequest from her Cornish grandmother, it seems like the answer to her prayers. She owes money to a loan shark and the threats are getting increasingly aggressive: she needs to get her hands on some cash fast.

There’s just one problem – Hal’s real grandparents died more than twenty years ago. The letter has been sent to the wrong person. But Hal knows that the cold-reading techniques she’s honed as a seaside fortune teller could help her con her way to getting the money. If anyone has the skills to turn up at a stranger’s funeral and claim a bequest they’re not entitled to, it’s her.

Hal makes a choice that will change her life for ever. But once she embarks on her deception, there is no going back. She must keep going or risk losing everything, even her life…

The brand new psychological thriller from the Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in Cabin 10.

‘The Death of Mrs Westaway’ is set to be released on the 28th June, and you can pre-order your copy right now from Amazon!

Where was i….?

Oh yes, the giveaway!

If you fancy getting your hands on a signed copy of Ruth Ware’s novel AND signed set of tarot cards, all you need to do is RT the PINNED tweet over on my twitter HERE, and then follow me. Good luck!

Note: Make sure you do both otherwise it won’t be counted. Also, RT’s of other RT’s of my tweet will not be counted either, so please make sure that it is the PINNED tweet at the top of my profile! The giveaway closes on publication day, 28th June, at MIDNIGHT. Any RT’s after that time will not be counted. The winner will be tagged on Twitter once the giveaway has ended, where the winner will be asked to provide an address for their prize as well as permission for the address to be passed onto the publisher as the prize will come from them. Any address given will not be used for anything other than the Ruth Ware giveaway, only being given to the publisher with your permission. This giveaway is hosted by me, TWG, yet I have no control on the timeframe for the prize.

#BlogTour! #Review – The Date by Louise Jensen (@Fab_Fiction) @Bookouture

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Second blog tour of the day, and second blog tour for Bookouture! I am delighted to be one of the two stops hosting, Louise Jensen, and ‘The Date’ today. Once again, thank you to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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‘I know it as soon as I wake up and open my eyes… Something is wrong.’

Her Saturday night started normally. Recently separated from her husband, Ali has been persuaded by her friends to go on a date with a new man. She is ready, she is nervous, she is excited. She is about to take a step into her new future. By Sunday morning, Ali’s life is unrecognisable. She wakes, and she knows that something is wrong. She is home, she is alone, she is hurt and she has no memory of what happened to her.

Worse still, when she looks in the mirror, Ali doesn’t recognise the face staring back at her…

What does TWG think?

Oh….my…..goodness…me. OMG! Can I get away with just writing ‘OMG’ over and over again for my review? I don’t know what else I can say except, you guessed it, OMG.

I had never heard of Ali’s diagnosis before, and at first I thought my leg was being pulled. I had no idea that it was indeed a ‘thing’! I can’t even begin to imagine how scary it would be to live a life-like Ali, feeling as though every single person you meet is a stranger, regardless of whether you had met them before.

From start to finish, Louise Jensen has the intensity level on full blast, never faltering despite the hurdles Ali finds herself jumping over. In fact, it seemed that the more hurdles Ali did indeed face, the more intense the storyline became. To be honest, I thought it had reached its limit, but it didn’t take me long to realise that the intensity and suspense surrounding Louise Jensen’s characters, had absolutely no limit whatsoever. It just kept on giving.

Seeing as the author allows her readers to be on the same journey as Ali, it was incredible to watch her trying to piece her life back together, despite having only a few of the puzzle pieces left in her memory bank. I say incredible as in surreal, obviously I felt for her – she couldn’t remember a large portion of an evening and had found herself with more questions than answers. How scary is that?

The more of the book I read, the better picture I had created of who I thought was the culprit of Ali’s situation. Hmm, better doesn’t always mean correct. I couldn’t have been further from the truth if I tried! I was gobsmacked….literally. Yes, I slapped my hand to my gob in shock, and seeing as it seemed to take up residence around my mouth, I went to bed sporting a lovely sweaty face with a red mark around my chops. Classy!

I know that I read fast, but it honestly felt that I had just picked up the book to read when it reached its conclusion – honestly, it really is THAT type of read. You know, the one where you’re feeling as though you’re suspended in the air, dropping to the floor when you least expect it. Not that has actually happened to me, but I can guess what that would feel like seeing as my mind was racing with endless possibilities regarding Ali’s situation.

What a mind-blowing, phenomenally written, toe curling, spine tingling, and all round ‘OMG’ worthy, read this is. I knew that Louise Jensen was an outstanding writer after reading her previous novels, but after reading ‘The Date’? She has exceeded my expectations beyond belief. THIS is the addictive, gritty and highly suspenseful novel that I have been waiting for – OMG what a read. What a read, indeed.

Buy now!

About the author.

Louise Jensen is a Global No.1 Bestselling author of psychological thrillers The Sister, The Gift & The Surrogate. To date Louise has sold approaching a million books and her novels have been sold for translation to nineteen territories, as well as being featured on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestseller’s List. Louise was nominated for the Goodreads Debut Author of 2016 Award. 

Louise lives with her husband, children, madcap dog and a rather naughty cat in Northamptonshire. She loves to hear from readers and writers and can be found at www.louisejensen.co.uk, where she regularly blogs flash fiction and writing tips.