#BlogTour! #Review – #WhyMummyDoesntGiveA by Gill Sims (@whymummydrinks) @HarperNonFic

So, its TWG’s turn to host ‘Why Mummy Doesn’t Give A #*!?’ today. Many thanks to Lucy and the HarperNonFic team for the blog tour invite and ARC. I am delighted to share my review this evening.

Family begins with a capital eff.

I’m wondering how many more f*cking ‘phases’ I have to endure before my children become civilised and functioning members of society? It seems like people have been telling me ‘it’s just a phase!’ for the last fifteen bloody years. Not sleeping through the night is ‘just a phase.’ Potty training and the associated accidents ‘is just a phase’. The tantrums of the terrible twos are ‘just a phase’. The picky eating, the back chat, the obsessions. The toddler refusals to nap, the teenage inability to leave their beds before 1pm without a rocket being put up their arse. The endless singing of Frozen songs, the dabbing, the weeks where apparently making them wear pants was akin to child torture. All ‘just phases!’ When do the ‘phases’ end though? WHEN?

Mummy dreams of a quirky rural cottage with roses around the door and chatty chickens in the garden. Life, as ever, is not going quite as she planned. Paxo, Oxo and Bisto turn out to be highly rambunctious, rather than merely chatty, and the roses have jaggy thorns. Her precious moppets are now giant teenagers, and instead of wittering at her about who would win in a fight – a dragon badger or a ninja horse – they are Snapchatting the night away, stropping around the tiny cottage and communicating mainly in grunts – except when they are demanding Ellen provides taxi services in the small hours. And there is never, but never, any milk in the house. At least the one thing they can all agree on is that rescued Barry the Wolfdog may indeed be The Ugliest Dog in the World, but he is also the loveliest.

What does TWG think?

Parents of teenagers will be saluting Gill Sims after reading this. I, however, have decided to run away and hide until the teenage years are gone forever seeing as I have another 7 years until my daughter only reaches that stage!

I thought that I was a bloody awesome teenager, but maybe I was looking through rose tinted glasses and ended up being an absolute knob, I don’t know. I’m too afraid to ask my mum! I have no idea how Ellen didn’t run crying everytime Jane shouted that she hated her. I mean, I was even wounded and she wasn’t saying it to me!!

I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at the sheer bonkerness of this book, both due to the apt humour and eye opening honesty. Take Hannah for example – if you ever want to teach your children how to practice safe sex (alongside the obvious btw), just get them to read the parts where Hannah talks about pregnancy….

Hell. I’ve had a baby and even I was put off! I jest. I would love another one…but maybe I’m only saying that because I haven’t endured the teenage years. Isn’t it as much of a ‘Teenage Dream’ as Katy Perry shrieks?

Judgy and Barry were bloody brilliant. Never have I ever read a book where the dogs end up being the top notch characters in the book above the actual people. I think a petition should be started for the dogs to have their own spin off! That is if Jane can let Barry out of her room!

I really enjoyed this breath of fresh air, highly relatable read. The humour was second to none and the honesty was both humourous and poignant. Gill Sims may have spent a lot of time creating characters which seemed to have shouting matches with their kids 24/7, but she still managed to keep her readers grounded with the thought provoking parts about living life with no regrets, allowing yourself to change through choice and not because someone else made you, and to take time out to just breathe and be.

At first I thought that this book was going to be a constant stream of family wranglings and diva-ish tantrums, however it turned out to be an enlightening, giggle fest of a book…..alongside those family wranglings ;).

Buy now.

About the author.

Gill Sims is the author of the hugely successful parenting blog and Facebook site ‘Peter and Jane’. Her first book Why Mummy Drinks was the bestselling hardback fiction debut of 2017, spending over six months in the top ten of the Sunday Times Bestseller Charts, and was shortlisted for Debut Novel of the Year in the British Book Awards. Her second novel Why Mummy Swears spent seven weeks at number one in the Sunday Times Bestseller Charts, and 19 weeks in the top ten.

She lives in Scotland with her husband, two children and a recalcitrant Border Terrier, who rules the house.

Gill’s interests include drinking wine, wasting time on social media, trying and failing to capture her lost youth, and looking for the dog when he decides to go on one of his regular jaunts.

#BlogTour! #GuestPost from author of ‘A Walk in Wildflower Park’, Bella Osborne (@osborne_bella) @AvonBooksUK

Many thanks to Avon for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘A Walk in Wildflower Park’ by Bella Osborne. For my stop on the tour today, I am delighted to be sharing a guest post from the lady herself. However, before I do, here is a bit more about her new book and where you can buy it:

Life’s not always a walk in the park…

Anna thought she’d found The One – until he broke off their engagement exactly a year before their wedding day. Hoping new surroundings will do her the world of good, she moves in to a place of her own on the edge of gorgeous Wildflower Park.

With the help and friendship of her neighbour Sophie (a stressed-out mum whose children a regular source of newly-invented swear words and unidentifiable sticky surfaces), Anna quickly settles in and pledges to focus on her career, but a handsome new colleague seems determined to thwart her attempts at every turn. And when she receives a text from a mystery man, it looks as though an unlikely romance is on the horizon…

Is Anna about to be swept off her feet by someone she really shouldn’t be falling for? Or could this be the new start she needs and deserves?

Buy now from Amazon.

Guest post.

I run the risk of sounding very old when I say I spent a lot of my childhood outdoors but it’s true. I did and I loved it. These days we are more aware of the dangers and I think we have to try harder to find that same freedom for our children so that they don’t miss out on some wonderful experiences.

I was brought up on the coast so a lot of time was spent on the beach and in the sea but there was also a lot of rough space where we could roam and still be home in time for tea. Here we made dens, fought imaginary battles and played cricket until it was dark. We also were thrown up against nature and this was what I particularly enjoyed. I remember tracking the wild rabbits for hours – it was quite an expedition. We once found a fox’s den, which was incredibly exciting. We went back the next day and we’re a little alarmed to find the remains of a rabbit in kit form at the entrance. We took it as a warning and kept our distance after that.

We collected wildflowers, played hide and seek in the bushes and climbed trees. Tree climbing was my passion and a skill I was mightily proud of. My grandma used to complain that she couldn’t get a brush through my hair because I had brought home so much foliage in it but I didn’t care.

Whilst a lot of the rough ground I played on has now disappeared I think it puts more focus on the need for designated park and wildlife areas. I am lucky enough to live very close to one such area and I love that my daughter can experience some of the freedom I did – if not a more sanitized version. She’s not as proficient a tree climber but her ability to collect stuff in her hair is second to none.

#BlogTour! #Review – Summer at the Little French Cafe by Karen Clarke (@KarenClarke123) @Bookouture

thumbnail_Summer at the Little French Café - Blog Tour
Third and final blog tour of the day is for ‘Summer at the Little French Cafe’ by Karen Clarke. I am super excited to be sharing my review today as part of the tour! Many thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite, and the ARC. Here is my review:

thumbnail_Summer-at-the-Little-French-Cafe-Kindle

In the beautiful village of Chamillon lies the Café Belle Vie, where you’ll always find croissants and friends when you need them the most – and where Elle is hoping to uncover the truth about her past…

Thirty-year-old Elle Matheson has decided it’s finally time to find the mother who gave her up as a baby. With a faded postcard from the Café Belle Vie in hand – one of the very few things she has from her mother – she heads straight to the Île de Ré to begin her search.

With only the postcard and the ivory shawl she was wrapped in as clues, finding her mum is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, even with the help of friendly – and gorgeous – café-owner Charlie. And since Elle hasn’t exactly told her younger sister what she’s up to, the little white lies about where she is are starting to add up…

But Elle is really starting to feel at home on the beautiful island. The locals are welcoming, the café is homely, and Charlie is always there with a helping hand, a listening ear, and a pain au chocolat.

Is Elle about to discover not just where she came from – but where she belongs?

What does TWG think?

Oh my, what a delightful little book this is!!!! One minute I was opening my kindle to begin reading the book, and the next I saw that I had read 70% of it!! It’s safe to say that Karen Clarke’s ‘Little French Cafe’ had me hooked – it may have a very colourful cover, but the storyline has so much more to it than pretty colours.

Elle has never met her birth mother and now, due to the passing of her father, she embarks on the journey to France to try and find the parent that ‘got away’. However, Elle doesn’t know her mothers name, nor does she know her age. All Elle can go buy are the clues she found in her fathers things. But would they be enough? And, if Elle were to come face to face with her birth mother, would she have the courage to ask those all important questions?

Like I say, there is a A LOT more to this book than a French cafe, although the cafe does play a huge part in Elle’s journey. Take Dolly and Charlie for example, two people Elle first meets on French Soil – they are such eccentric (well, Dolly is) and warm characters, it would be incredibly difficult not to sit yourself under their wings for safety. I adored them, they really did make the story come alive.

My heart went out to Elle multiple times because the journey she had found herself on was one which was full of uncertainty. She had absolutely no idea whether she would come face to face with her birth mum, nor did she know whether her birth mum would even WANT to talk to her if they did manage to cross paths. I couldn’t even begin to imagine the emotions that were threatening to spill out of Elle – it was certainly emotional for an outsider to read though, that’s for sure.

Despite Elle’s emotional journey, her character had me in absolute hysterics. I thought I was accident prone! Elle put her own little spin on that! I loved getting to know her character, and laughing alongside her with her infectious humour. I felt the community spirit within Cafe Belle Vie tenfold, if only the place and the characters were real! I would move there in an instant!!

‘Summer at the Little French Cafe’ was an absolute joy to read, I honestly don’t think I could have devoured the book any quicker if I tried. I was actually quite bereft when the book came to an end as I could have read more about Elle and Charlie until the cows came home. Yeah…..I was invested!

Karen Clarke has done her characters proud with this book, and I feel that a lot of readers will be falling in love with her little French cafe, just like I have. A cosy, heart-warming novel that left me with a ginormous smile on my face.

Buy now from Amazon

About the author.

Karen Clarke writes romantic comedy novels. Her BEACHSIDE series is set in the fictional seaside town of Shipley and features recurring characters, but each book can be read as a standalone. She is currently working on a new, three-book series set in Devon. 

Karen has also written three romcoms with a paranormal twist, all available to download

When she’s not working on her novels, Karen writes short stories for women’s magazines and has had over three hundred published globally. Some of them can be read in her short story collection ‘BEHIND CLOSED DOORS…and other Tales with a Twist’ 

Karen lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and three grown-up children.

 

 Author Social Media Links:

Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads // Website

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheSpaceBetweenTime by Charlie Laidlaw (@claidlawauthor) @AccentPress @AnneCater

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Many thanks to Anne Cater and Accent Press for inviting me to take part in the blog tour (and for the ARC) for ‘The Space Between Time’ by Charlie Laidlaw, I am delighted to be able to share my review with you all today!

The Space FRONT COVER

There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth…

Emma Maria Rossini appears to be the luckiest girl in the world. She’s the daughter of a beautiful and loving mother, and her father is one of the most famous film actors of his generation. She’s also the granddaughter of a rather eccentric and obscure Italian astrophysicist.

But as her seemingly charmed life begins to unravel, and Emma experiences love and tragedy, she ultimately finds solace in her once-derided grandfather’s Theorem on the universe.

The Space Between Time is humorous and poignant and offers the metaphor that we are all connected, even to those we have loved and not quite lost.

What does TWG think?

This will no doubt be a tough review for me to write, for several reasons. Firstly, my opinion on the storyline changed multiple times throughout, with me unsure at first as to whether it was ‘for me’. Secondly, the concept of this book is incredibly intricate, and I’m not too sure if I can do the book justice with my thoughts. And lastly, ‘The Space Between Time’ ended up moving me in a way I don’t think even I, Little Miss Chatterbox, could explain.

So yes, I’ve admitted that I didn’t exactly ‘get on’ with the book at first, and I think that was because I felt that the story was a bit mismatched and kept jumping to different times and different events like a little grasshopper. I found it a little difficult to put all of the puzzle pieces in order, however once I stopped reading the novel like I read every other novel, things began to make sense. Charlie Laidlaw’s book needs to be read like the unique book that it is. It cannot be compared to any other. It cannot be read knowing the path the storyline might take. It cannot be rushed, nor can it be read with a one track mind. Honestly, I had to clear my thoughts as best as I could, take a deep breath and read this book as though I was looking at the bigger picture in life. Once I did that, well, my heart was taken on its own little journey.

What I loved about ‘The Space Between Time’ was how it was set in a place not far from me, one where I have actually lived; North Berwick! When the author was describing the seaside town, or taking one of his characters past The Scottish Seabird Centre, I could envision the route very clearly and it meant that I was able to feel more in tune with the setting as I had actually stepped foot there. I also got excited when the author mentioned Aberlady and Drem train station! Daft I know, but still. It’s the little things, eh?

Emma has a life most other children could only dream of, however what may look like a picture perfect life to the outside world, is actually completely different for someone actually living it. Yes, she may be the daughter of a famous actor. Yes, she may have a huge house, staff, and the ability to have everything she could ever want, yet what she wants the most, money simply cannot buy.

There is so much to this storyline than I had originally thought, and the fact that it centred around space, the universe, and everything else in between, was such an interesting (and often confusing) concept. Heck, even the thought of time itself made me stop and think. The topic of mental health is evident throughout, and I thought the author dealt with that topic, as well as the other hard-hitting subjects in the book, beautifully and sensitively. I could feel the emotion radiating from Emma’s character. I felt the panic oozing from her mother’s personality. I felt the hurt of a young woman in immense turmoil, deep within my soul in the latter portion of the book. Emma may have had the option to fill her life with beautiful things, multiple holidays abroad and so forth, yet when someone has lost their way, no amount of money or materialistic things would put them back on the correct path.

The thought of ‘time’ really got under my skin and it got me thinking. Whenever I go out somewhere, I am always aware of time. The time we need to get our train or bus home. Lunch time. Ensuring the dog is fed at his correct time. Every step is governed by it and, thanks to ‘The Space Between Time’, I realised that I never go out anywhere and simply…..be. I don’t saunter down the street being in the moment. I don’t think ‘oh we will eat when we eat, no rush’. And you know what? I don’t like it! Yes, routine and plans are important, but I had no idea just how much I was taking ‘time’ for granted until now.

‘The Space Between Time’ is such an eye-opening, highly charged read which takes the reader on a ‘one step at time’ type journey through life and loss, turmoil and joy, happiness and sadness. Even though the book covers a few heartbreaking topics, it still is such an uplifting and moving read. I surprised myself by how much I ended up loving ‘The Space Between Time’ – I really will not be forgetting this book anytime soon.

Buy now from Amazon.

#BlogTour! #Extract from Enemy at the Window by A.J.Waines (@ajwaines) @Bloodhoundbook

It is TWG’s turn to host A.J.Waines and ‘Enemy at the Window’ today, and for my stop on the tour I have an extract from the book. Before that however, is a little bit more about the novel, as well as the purchase link. Enjoy!

Someone knows what you did… and they’re watching you…

Daniel is living the dream with a devoted wife, perfect job and adorable toddler. Until out of the blue, his wife accuses him of having an affair and stabs him in a frenzied attack with a kitchen knife. As his wife is sectioned in a psychiatric ward, Daniel returns home from intensive care to find his precious world is inexorably falling apart:

Who is prowling around his house?

Why is someone sending threatening postcards?

And who is his son talking to in the dead of night?

As Daniel attempts to put his life back together, a merciless force just out of reach is unravelling it, bit by bit, until Daniel is plunged into his worst nightmare.

Buy now from Amazon

Extract.

When Sophie opened her eyes everything was wrong. Someone had tucked her into bed, but it wasn’t hers. She wasn’t in the right place. This wasn’t home.

The last thing she remembered was the sound of a police siren. Somebody further up the street must have had an accident or maybe it was coming from the television. She wasn’t sure. Before that, the childminder had let herself in and was holding her phone, looking horror-stricken. Then there had been a woman wearing green pulling at her arm. She looked like she’d just hopped out of a helicopter or been sky-diving.

What was Daniel doing lying there on the floor under the kitchen table like he’d fallen asleep? And who had spilt all the red paint?

She needed to get out of here; to start clearing it all up.

She struggled against the crisp white sheets. They were too tight. As if she was strapped down. Looking over to her right there was another bed, and then another next to that. Wait a minute – there are other people here. What’s going on?

The curtain on her left was pulled aside; the rings rattling along the pole like coins spilling from a fruit machine. A woman dressed in a blue uniform looked down on her.

‘How are you, Sophie?’

‘Where am I?’

The nurse smiled and held Sophie’s wrist as she focused on her watch. ‘Do I know you?’

Sophie read the name ‘Rose’ on her name tag, but it didn’t mean anything to her.

‘You’re in hospital – you’re safe.’

Rose leant over to plump up her pillows and Sophie flinched. ‘Don’t worry… no one is going to hurt you.’

‘This isn’t right. I’m not…’

‘Rest for now. There’s some juice on the table if you want it.’

Sophie narrowed her eyes. There was a persistent throbbing sound. Too loud. Trapped inside her head. Clanging and banging. She jerked from side to side to try to find the source. They’re trying to electrocute me. They’re trying to kill me. Her bones felt like they were on fire beneath her skin. She called out.

‘Help… help me!’

The same nurse returned to her side, looking inconvenienced.

‘What’s the matter?’ she said, her hands on her hips.

‘That noise? What are you doing to me?’

The nurse glanced at something above Sophie’s head and gave her the kind of smile reserved for someone who has already made too many claims on one’s patience.

‘It’s your heartbeat,’ she said. ‘It’s nothing to worry about.’

‘My heartbeat?’

‘Yes. You’re hearing the blood pumping inside your head, that’s all. It’s normal.’ The nurse turned, her soft soles squeaking on the linoleum.

It was starting to become clear. Daniel had told lies to make these people keep her here, so he could shack up with that slut he’s been seeing behind her back. She tried to rear up again, but her head hurt and things started to swim out of focus.

Her body shook uncontrollably and a burning sweat encased her, followed by a chill that made her teeth rattle. Oh God, I’m dying.

For a moment she wondered if she was in fact already dead and her body was making its journey towards an everlasting black hole. She tried to call out again, but nothing happened. No sound came out. She was locked inside the tomb of her own body. Then suddenly, as if a switch in her brain clicked off, she started to drift into a hazy calm.

Don’t panic… it’s only a dream… you’ll wake up in a minute.

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheLiesWeTell by Niki Mackay (@NikiMackayBooks) @OrionBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

Next up on TWG is a review of ‘The Lies We Tell’ by Niki Mackay. Many thanks to Tracy Fenton and Orion for the blog tour invite and ARC.

Miriam Jackson is a famous radio presenter. Married to a successful film director, she has created the perfect life for herself.

Then her daughter goes missing.

Miriam is desperate to find her before her husband finds out and her perfect life crumbles around her. So she calls the only person who can help: Private Investigator Madison Attallee, who has just solved the biggest case of her career.

Can Madison find Miriam’s daughter? And will Miriam share the truth about her past?

What does TWG think?

A kick ass, female protagonist with a speedy, thrilling storyline to boot – it’s safe to say that ‘The Lies We Tell’ ticked many of my boxes. And then some!

With a missing child at the heart of the storyline, Niki Mackay has written a dark tale that is both emotive and suspenseful. The dynamics between the characters made for a hard hitting read as well. I was torn between sitting on the edge of my seat, and wanting to pace the floor due to restlessness.

Such a punchy, addictive novel which had me addicted from the get go. Yes, I’m being vague, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll be devouring ‘The Lies We Tell’ to find out the truth, in a heartbeat. Fantastic read.

Buy now.

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Copycat by C.S.Barnes (@charleyblogs) @Bloodhoundbook

Many thanks to BloodHoundBooks for the blog blitz invite for ‘Copycat’ by C.S.Barnes. Here is my review:

When the body of a young woman, Jenni Grantham, is found abandoned, DI Melanie Watton and her team are called to investigate. It soon becomes apparent that the murder, the method and the appearance of the victim, is something they have seen before.

With the help of Medical Examiner George Waller, DI Watton uncovers the case history of Michael Richards – a local murderer who killed five women before turning himself in.

Further investigations reveal that Jenni was recently reported missing by her parents. And when Jenni’s personal effects are explored, shocking discoveries are made about the victim’s fascination with the original killings.

However, when the ME makes a surprise discovery, DI Watton realises that Jenni was perhaps not the only local with a fixation on these infamous killings.

With a copycat killer on the loose, the team know it is only a matter of time before another body is discovered. But when a second victim is found, the team find themselves questioning everything they thought they knew…

What does TWG think?

I really wasn’t sure on this book at first. Pardon the pun, seeing as the book is called ‘Copycat’, but I found the storyline to be a little bit samey.

That said, I enjoyed the thrilling aspects of the book and felt that they helped to make up for my earlier reservations. I enjoyed the authors attention to detail though and the way she gave her characters depth, especially the medical examiner. I thought George Waller was such a brilliant addition to the storyline.

Even though i felt that the storyline lacked uniqueness, I still enjoyed the way in which C.S.Barnes brought her characters to life, making ‘Copycat’ a twisty little read.

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Review – #YouToo by Candy Denman (@crimecandy) @crimescenebooks @AnneCater

It’s an honour to be kicking off Candy Denman’s blog tour today – thank you to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part and for the ARC. Here is my review of #YouToo:

A partner in a successful law firm in the seaside town of Hastings dies when his penchant for erotic auto-asphyxiation apparently goes too far. The head of the Crown Prosecution Service in E Sussex is photographed drunk and undressed at a well-known dogging location. A corporate lawyer in a city finance company is found drugged and drowned in his employer s swimming pool. What is the connection between these bizarre incidents and have they been deliberately set up?

Dr Jo Hughes is convinced that there is a connection, even if the police do not agree. As she searches for the reason behind the deaths and attacks, she begins to realise that there will be more, and that Detective Inspector Steve Miller may well be the next victim.

What does TWG think?

Oh this was BRILLIANT!!!! So much grit and suspense in one place – I was hooked!!!

It was Candy Denman’s novels which cemented my intrigue for forensics, and I must say that she has outdone herself with this latest installment, thus increasing my hunger for everything forensic even more.

There is a large portion of the novel which centres around the #metoo movement, but it’s done in a way which makes you sit up and take notice. Not that anyone should ignore that sort of thing, but you know what I mean….I hope!

Hughes and Miller are a very intriguing double act, one of which both irked me and kept me hooked. They’re both good at their jobs, don’t get me wrong, I just thought their priorities ended up becoming a little bit misguided at times. However, that didn’t stop me from enjoying the book in the slightest.

Like I said, #YouToo is a gripping and incredibly brutal read, yet I truly believe that its Candy Denman’s best book yet. If you’re after a thrilling, jaw dropping read, you will be in your element with #YouToo!

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Extract from #TheMummyBloggers by Hollie Wainwright (@hollycwain) @legend_press

Today I have the pleasure of sharing an extract from ‘The Mummy Bloggers’ by Holly Wainwright. Many thanks to Legend Press for the blog tour invite. Before that though, here is a little bit more about the book and the all important purchase link:

The Mummy Bloggers cover

Elle Campbell is a glossy, lycra-clad mum with washboard abs, a ten-year plan and a secret past.

Abi Black has quit sugar, moved to the country and is homeschooling her kids.

Leisel Adams slogs away at her office job each day before rushing home, steeped in guilt, to spend precious moments with her kids before bedtime.

All three share a label that they simultaneously relish and loathe: mummy blogger. And when they are nominated for an award with a hefty cash prize, the scene is set for a brutal and often hilarious battle for hearts, minds-and clicks. As the awards night gets closer, their lies get bigger, their stunts get crazier – and some mistakes from the past become harder and harder to hide.

Buy now!

Extract.

A #grateful day.

Ever had one of those days, Mummas, where you
realise that maybe, just maybe, you’re doing a good
job at this mothering thing after all? One of those
days where you can see all of the tiny sacrifices you
make for your family paying off?
I feel that way today. The sunlight is coming
in through my kitchen window. The washing up is
done, the laundry is folded away, the kitchen smells
of warm, comforting home cooking. It smells of love.
I have just finished baking some #healthytreats for
my family that I know will nourish them and make
them smile.
It’s one of those days when I’m so grateful that I
made the choice to stay at home and put my energy
into what matters. One of those days when I know
that making the effort to prepare healthy meals for
my boys was the right decision. It’s a day when I’m
so happy that I have been the one on the floor playing
trains with them.
It’s one of those days when I know that everything
I have been through, I have been through so I could
get to be right here today, in my beautiful home
with my three beautiful men. There’s nothing like
a #grateful day. I hope you’re having one, too. And
if today’s been tough, know that tomorrow can be
better #loveandlight

Elle snapped another selfie to go with her post. I am
grateful that my new lip filler has settled, she thought, but
didn’t type. I am grateful that Cate is getting paid to play trains with the boys. I’m grateful for Organic Annie’s home- delivery brownies. I’m grateful it’s not the day when Adrian’s girls come over to sulk at me. I’m grateful I am not Feral Abi.
‘Come on, boys, it’s bathtime!’ Elle called through the
kitchen door.

 

#BlogTour! #Review – #BringMeSunshine by Laura Kemp (@LauraJaneKemp) @OrionBooks

BMS-blog-tour-poster
Day two of the #BringMeSunshine blog tour is here! Seeing as the weather is pretty darn cold here, I am so excited for a little bit of sunshine, even if it is merely book form! Many thanks, as always, to Orion for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

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Charlotte Bold is nothing like her name – she is shy and timid and just wants a quiet life. When her job doing the traffic news on the radio in London is relocated to Sunshine FM in Mumbles, she jumps at the chance for a new start in Wales.

But when she arrives she discovers that she’s not there to do the travel news – she’s there to front the graveyard evening show. And she’s not sure she can do it.

Thrust into the limelight, she must find her voice and a way to cope. And soon she realises that she’s not the only person who finds life hard – out there her listeners are lonely too. And her show is the one keeping them going.

Can Charlotte seize the day and make the most of her new home? And will she be able to breathe new life into the tiny radio station too…?

What does TWG think?

I have no idea how I am going to do Laura Kemp’s novel justice with my review. I mean, really, the book literally does bring you sunshine, so my words saying how much I loved the story aren’t going to win against sunshine, now are they?

Well, I’ve said it already so I may as well cement the fact that yes, I did indeed LOVE ‘Bring Me Sunshine’, what with its uplifting storyline, flawed and fabulous characters, and humour which makes you channel your inner seal. Perfection? I think so!

Charlotte is one for planning. She likes to know what she’s doing pretty much all of the time, and if ‘routine’ could be her middle name, I really think that she would lap that up. Before anyone says anything, no, there isn’t anything wrong with wanting to live life by a strict plan. Nothing wrong with it all, however life itself doesn’t stick to a plan and is far to quick to throw hurdles any time it chooses. Just like it did to Charlotte’s life. She’s got the option to build a brand new life in sunny Wales, so why isn’t she over the moon?

Simple – it’s the fear of change, and the fear of trying something new in case her past comes back to bite her on the backside. Unfortunately for us readers, we don’t get the nitty gritty details on what happened in her past until much later on in the book, and we have to keep our opinions to ourselves (yeah right) in regards to her boyfriend, Jonny. Spoiler – he’s a cactus. Wales ends up being Charlotte’s saving grace in a way which completely blindsided her. She was adamant that Wales would be a waste of her time, and her new job at Sunshine FM would end before it had even begun, but once Charlotte began to believe in herself just a teeny bit, her life seemed to reward her in the best way possible; with confidence.

Whilst Charlotte’s life is the biggest focus of the storyline, there are two other characters which share the limelight of ‘main character’ with Ms.Bold; Delme, and Tina. Delme has his own skeletons in his closest, some of which make for quite an emotional read and, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t like Delme at first because of his arrogant bravado. However, it didn’t take long for me to realise that he was in fact, hiding behind that and wasn’t at all arrogant. He actually had quite a big heart and was willing to help anyone out. He was just afraid of being hurt. Can’t really fault him for that, eh?

And then there was Tina. Her story was very complex and contained a lot of heartache and emotion, yet watching her blossom throughout the book made me feel like a proud parent. I won’t delve into why her situation was so heartbreaking as it definitely is a spoiler, however it’s one which will make you think. Actually, all three of the main characters have stories which will stop you in your tracks, and no doubt look at the bigger picture of life.

We often get told, when sad or down, that we should take time out to do something for ourselves. A task that is so simple to say, yet one of the hardest things to actually do. That said, before reading ‘Bring Me Sunshine’, I took self care for granted because I felt selfish for doing something for myself instead of doing something for other people. Yet funnily enough, it seems to be the most underrated solution to rebuilding your confidence – by doing something for yourself, taking time out to try something new, doing something that YOU want to do, even if its just cooking a meal that you haven’t had in ages. Such a simple, simple thing.

I can guarantee that a lot of readers will find themselves relating to the characters in this book, whether it’s Charlotte, Delme, Tina, or even Leonie. Every single character in this book has their own story to tell, and it was such a joy to be able to learn from them. I loved being able to watch them spread their wings once they realise they deserve happiness in their lives. Again, something a lot of us take for granted because we don’t believe that we deserve anything.

‘Bring Me Sunshine’ does exactly what it says on the tin, so to speak. It brings sunshine to readers from the very first page, until the very end. I loved Laura Kemp’s wisdom and warmth which made the story come alive beautifully. Honestly, the humour throughout the book was hysterical, and the entire storyline made me feel as though I was being hugged from the inside out. I have no idea how Laura Kemp does this, but she fills my little heart with joy with each and every one of her stories. However, I have to say that she has raised the bar incredibly high with ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ and the way she gave her characters, and readers out there too afraid to speak up, the voice that they so desperately crave.

If you’re in need of a little sunshine in your life, you sure as hell would NOT go wrong with Laura Kemp’s ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ – a heartfelt, heartwarming, and picture perfect read which made my heart soar. Utterly divine.

Buy now!