Its Christmas time and I’m #ComingHomeToMerrimentBay for it!

Part three of ‘Coming Home to Merriment Bay’ is here and its beginning to look a bit like Christmas! Many thanks to Rachel for inviting me to take part in the blog tour today, and the ARC. Here is my review:

Cat and Kyra have finally traced the man in the photo they found in Viola’s trunk – thanks to Amias. But Bailey Mitchell lives thousands of miles away and is almost ninety-eight, so meeting him in person is never going to happen. Which is just as well. Exchanging Christmas cards and chatting on social media leads to revelations Cat had not expected.

At least Christmas is looking promising. It may be freezing outside but things have definitely thawed between Cat and her mum, Mary. They’re actually getting on, especially now that Mary is dating Jeremy Stone, the builder working on Viola’s house.

Cat’s also hopeful that Viola’s situation may improve. And when a surprise visitor brings more than just well wishes, Cat’s Christmas takes a delightful turn.

With the festivities in full swing, and snow falling on Merriment Bay, the future’s looking bright. Christmas is a time for miracles and Cat believes she may get one of her own this year if she’s prepared to put the past behind her and open her heart to Love once more.

What does TWG think?

I’ve said it once before and I’ll say it again – Cat is seriously not doing herself any favours AT ALL! At the start of the book I was beginning to feel like she had turned a corner, as though she was willing to open her mind to other points of view. However that didn’t last long at all. I know that she is stressed, what with Viola being in the hospital and wondering what those mystery letters are all about, but she cannot moan at Amias for blowing hot and cold if she is doing the exact same….in the hospital of all places!

The whole Jeremy situation is odd and, given the hoity toityness of Mary, I wasnt expecting her to be sucked in so easily! I’m still not so keen on her character as I just wish she would tell her daughter the truth. It’s no wonder that Cat has trust issues!

Part three answers some of the questions hanging from part two, yet also throws another bunchful of questions in the air again! I feel like there is more of Cat’s personality waiting to be discovered, and I am hoping that the series goes beyond four parts as I think the Devon family have a lot more secrets in their closets!

This is shaping up to be a very entertaining series, one which I seem to be investing in as though its reality TV – brilliant!

Buy now.

Well, with #LoveSongsForSceptics, I’m in my element!! @ChristinaPi @TeamBATC

This is a celebration with a difference. As soon as I saw the title of the book, I just had to get involved and, seeing as this isn’t a review based tour, my mind had to work overtime to find the right thing to add to this post. Basically, to celebrate the e-Book release of ‘Love Songs for Sceptics’ by Christina Pishiris, we were asked to share our favourite sceptical love songs with you all. Before I do, here is a bit more information about Christina’s book:

My brother’s getting married in a few weeks and asked for help picking a song for his first dance. I suggested Kiss’s ‘Love’s a Slap in the Face’.

It didn’t go down well.

When she was a teenager, Zoë Frixos fell in love with Simon Baxter, her best friend and the boy next door. But his family moved to America before she could tell him how she felt and, like a scratched record, she’s never quite moved on. Now, almost twenty years later, Simon is heading back to London, newly single and as charming as ever . . .
But as obstacles continue to get in her way – Simon’s perfect ex-girlfriend, her brother’s big(ish) fat(ish) Greek wedding, and an obnoxious publicist determined to run Zoë – Zoë begins to wonder whether, after all these years, she and Simon just aren’t meant to be.
What if, despite what all the songs and movies say, you’re first love isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be? What if, instead Zoë and Simon are forever destined to shuffle around their feelings for each other, never quite getting the steps right . . .

Buy now.

The song I chose is ‘Love Song’ by Sara Bareilles. The reason I chose this one was because it has such a stubborn background to it. Sara was asked by her boyfriend at the time, if she would write him a love song – she refused. She was also asked many times to write love songs by her producers – she refused.

Until she wrote a song about not wanting to write a love song! Plus, with lyrics such as ‘Blank stares at blank pages
No easy way to say this
You mean well, but you make this hard on me‘, I think it works pretty well as a sceptical love song, dont you?!

It’s getting hot in here!! #CoverReveal #HeatstrokeBook @BarkworthHazel @Headlinepg #comingsoon

Oh I am looking forward to reading ‘Heatstroke’! Thanks so much to Headline for asking me to take part in the cover reveal today! It’s an honour to be involved.

So, without further ado, here is the cover for ‘Heatstroke’ by Hazel Barkworth:

The summer burns with secrets…

It is too hot to sleep. To work. To be questioned time and again by the police.

At the beginning of a stifling, sultry summer, everything shifts irrevocably when Lily doesn’t come home one afternoon.

Rachel is Lily’s teacher. Her daughter Mia is Lily’s best friend. The girls are fifteen – almost women, still children.

As Rachel becomes increasingly fixated on Lily’s absence, she finds herself breaking fragile trusts and confronting impossible choices she never thought she’d face.

It wasn’t supposed to happen like this.

Intoxicating and compulsive, Heatstroke is a darkly gripping, thought-provoking novel of crossed boundaries, power and betrayal, that plays with expectations at every turn.

 

Is anyone else intrigued by this?! I cannot wait! I’m sorry to say that this book isnt being published until May 2020, but if you wish to preorder a copy you can do now via Amazon!

Are you a #WomanOnTheEdge? @SBaileyBooks @headlinepg @AnneCater

Many thanks to Anne Cater and Headline for the blog tour invite and ARC, here is my review of ‘Woman on the Edge’ by Samantha.M.Bailey:

A moment on the platform changes two lives for ever. But nothing is as it seems…

In a split second, Morgan’s life changes for ever. A stranger hands her a baby, then jumps in front of a train.

Morgan has never seen the woman before and she can’t understand what would cause a person to give away her child and take her own life.

When the police question Morgan, she discovers none of the witnesses can corroborate her version of events. And when they learn Morgan longs for a baby of her own, she becomes a suspect.

To prove her innocence, Morgan frantically tries to retrace the last days of the woman’s life. She begins to understand that Nicole Markham believed she and her baby were in danger. Now Morgan might be in danger, too.

Was Nicole a new mother struggling with paranoia?

Or is something much darker going on?

What does TWG think?

OMG!!! What on Earth did I read? I’m just going to come out and say it….

I fluffing loved this!!!

What would you do if a stranger approached you, handed you their baby and then proceeded to jump in front of a moving train? Well, apart from being in severe shock of course! Funnily enough, Morgan didn’t quite know what to do either, yet there she was, standing on the platform with someone else’s baby in her arms.

‘Woman on the Edge’ is a psychological mind funk! We know WHAT happened, yet we dont know WHY. We know WHO the lady on the platform is, yet we dont know the name of the stranger or why they chose to do what they did. Would we ever know the truth? Are we only being told what we want to know?

The plot of this book is a very uncomfortable read and, like many things in life, there is a lot more to the story that meets the eye. Set in the present day as well as a couple of weeks prior, ‘Woman on the Edge’ focuses on the emotional side of being a new parent, as well as highlighting how past decisions have a way of coming back to bite you on the backside if not dealt with properly.

I sped through this novel like a dog on heat! I wanted to find out the truth and attempt to understand what exactly happened on that day on the platform. I wasnt expecting to be taken on a journey where I was left questioning every detail including my own name, however I will definitely take that as a good thing as it shows that the author, and her storyline, got right under my skin.

This is such an addictive, psychologically brilliant, complex and compulsive read that had mu jaw unhinged from the get go. I loved how the author created many suspenseful situations, racking up the intensity as she went. Everything about this book worked and the only thing I can say bad about it, was the fact the darn thing had to end!

Love, love, love!!!

Buy now.

I can’t even begin to think about how emotional it would have been to see #TheChildOnPlatformOne @headlinepg @AnneCater @wordkindling #GillThompson

Many thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and thank you to Headline for the ARC. I am delighted to host day two of the blog tour for ‘The Child On Platform One’ by Gill Thompson.

Prague 1939. Young mother Eva has a secret from her past. When the Nazis invade, Eva knows the only way to keep her daughter Miriam safe is to send her away – even if it means never seeing her again. But when Eva is taken to a concentration camp, her secret is at risk of being exposed.

In London, Pamela volunteers to help find places for the Jewish children arrived from Europe. Befriending one unclaimed little girl, Pamela brings her home. It is only when her young son enlists in the RAF that Pamela realises how easily her own world could come crashing down.

What does TWG think?

Oh my heart!

I am a huge fan of historical fiction novels. I find the topic of history a very important subject to learn as, without it, our lives wouldn’t have been paved the same.

‘The Child on Platform One’ is emotionally draining in the most poignant and beautiful way. I cannot even begin to fathom how heartbreaking it would have been for Eva, to send her child away to keep her safe. She knew that she may never see her little girl again, yet she still made the selfless decision to put Miriam’s safety first. Pretty much what mothers do anyway, yet the thought of sending your child into the unknown, away from your own safe and loving arms, must have absolutely broken Eva.

Inspired by true events, this book highlights just how devastating life was for Jewish people, and the lengths that they went to to protect themselves and other children around them. Like I said above, I was emotionally drained by the end of this book, yet i had also learnt valuable things from a time where the only valuables people had was their love.

Gill Thompson is an incredible, incredible author who wrote with such power and passion. I really felt the underlying emotion from the author herself, and I appreciated the fact that this wouldn’t have been an easy one to write.

‘The Child On Platform One’ is what historical fiction is all about, as authors become the voice of the people who are no longer able to tell their story. Full of emotion, devastating situations, and powerful historic notions, Thompson’s novel spoke volumes and moved me from deep within. I cannot recommend it enough.

The e-Book is due to be published on the 1st December.

Pre-order now

Did anyone else hear #TheSoundOfHerVoice, or was I just hearing things? @OrionBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n @Nathan_B_Author

Huge thanks to Tracy Fenton for the blog tour invite, and Orion for the ARC. Here is my review of ‘The Sound of Her Voice’ by Nathan Blackwell.

Some murder cases you can’t forget. No matter how hard you try.

The body of a woman has been found on a pristine New Zealand beach – over a decade after she was murdered.

Detective Matt Buchanan of the Auckland Police is certain it carries all the hallmarks of an unsolved crime he investigated 12 years ago: when Samantha Coates walked out one day and never came home.

Re-opening the case, Buchanan begins to piece the terrible crimes together, setting into motion a chain of events that will force him to the darkest corners of society – and back into his deepest obsession . . .

What does TWG think?

Theres nothing like a gutsy police procedural to keep you on your toes when it gets dark at tea time!

A cold case is the heart of this storyline…quite ironic when you think about it as the book is set in New Zealand!

After a body is washed up on a local beach, similarities to a previous case put Detective Matt Buchanan in the top spot to re open a cold case, and investigate why the body appeared on the beach, and whether it was in fact related to said case.

With not much to go on at first, the storyline was a slow burner. Naturally! The more Buchanan delved into the investigations, the more the suspense ramped up and the more I became hooked.

It isnt often that I get to read books set in New Zealand, so ‘The Sound of Her Voice’ made a nice change.

I really enjoyed this one! I’m finding my review tough to write as I dont want to give anything away! The story is quite complex and nearly every situation has a way of linking back to the others, so too much information from me could drop a spoiler!

I was really impressed by what I read, and the elements of surprise and tension were absolutely bang on. I’m intrigued to see what else this author can do!

Buy now.

According to Poppy Alexander, there are #25DaysInDecember…who is changing the calendar? You or me? @orionbooks #blogtour @SarahWaights #review #Christmas

It is an absolute pleasure to be involved in the paperback blog tour for ’25 Days in December’ by Poppy Alexander. I was on the e-Book blog tour for this last year, yet my thoughts remain the same. This book is what Christmas is all about! Huge thanks to Orion for the ARC and for inviting me on the tour. Here is my review:

You can’t plan for the unexpected…

Kate Potter used to know what happiness felt like.

A few years ago, she was full of energy, excited by every possibility. But that was back when everything was different, before Kate’s husband went away with the army and didn’t come home. She can’t even remember what it felt like to be in love.

Then Kate meets Daniel. Recognising her loneliness reflected in his eyes, Kate vows to try and help bring him out of his shell. But as Kate plans to bring life back to Daniel, she might have stumbled on the secret to happiness…

Can one chance meeting change two lives?

What does TWG think?

‘What is your Christmas wish this year?’ – when I saw that question on the back of a postcard, I racked my brain trying to think of something dazzling, when in fact my ACTUAL Christmas wish seemed a bit selfish as I would love my body to be pain free on Christmas Day. If only. I asked my 5 year old the same question and her answer was ‘to actually meet Father Christmas’. I know – why do kids have the best answers to everything? So, with Christmas on my mind, meeting a main character who would like nothing more than to go to sleep on Christmas Eve and wake up on the 26th, was definitely a wake up call.

Why did Kate dislike Christmas? She sold Christmas trees for a living (well, kinda). In hindsight, maybe that’s why she wasn’t exactly feeling jovial. Of course the real reason comes out eventually and my goodness I felt like I was winded. How on earth must Kate and her little boy, Jack, feel? Not only that, the other main character in the book, Daniel, was trying to keep is head above water on an emotional level, as he tried to find his new purpose in life after losing his reason to live so to speak.

With my heartstrings being tugged on with some great force from the get go, I had absolutely no idea how I was going to get through the rest of the book. I’m not complaining at all, don’t get me wrong! The author was very generous with her writing as this storyline was certainly one that just kept on giving! It was as though I was opening my own little advent calendar every time I turned the page!!

I’m trying very hard not to spill any spoilers in my review, and yes it’s bloody difficult as all I want to do is shout about the storyline. Especially little Jacks situation. All I will say on that front is that I am sure a lot of readers will be able to relate to the unfortunate situation the poor boy and Kate got put in. It was tough to read and just like Kate, my ‘mama bear’ instinct came out, even though he wasn’t my child nor real. I thought that Poppy Alexander was brilliant in writing that particular theme into her storyline in a way that is going to shock people.

I did feel for Kate big time – would that woman ever catch a break? I wanted to give her a big cuddle and help her, but alas I couldn’t.

I adored the festivities throughout the story as they helped to highlight the fact that everyone celebrates Christmas in their own ways, and that the meaning of Christmas is different with every person you ask. Not everyone has money to spend on gifts at Christmas, yet they create memories in other ways and, on the other hand, some people can afford to splash out at Christmas – either way, as long as the important people in your life are happy, why should anyone judge someone else on how much or how little they spend, who they spend it with, or whether they actually celebrate the day or not?

As the book neared the end, a massive lump formed in my throat because it really was magical book to read. I tried my best not to cry but I was so overcome with emotion for Daniel, Kate, Jack, and Noel, the tears just kept on falling.

’25 Days til Christmas’ is a beautiful, beautiful story which had my heart under its Christmas tree from the very beginning. I loved how every little detail in the book was an important part of the storyline. I loved being a part of the magic and the incredible hidden messages throughout. I loved being able to laugh one minute, turn into a lion the next minute, and then bawl like a baby the next. I have been on a journey with ’25 Days til Christmas’ and I absolutely LOVED every single moment of it.

Honestly, wow – this is the creme de la creme of Christmas books and definitely one of my top books of the year. I don’t think I can find enough adjectives to describe how much I adored this book, so I urge you all to grab yourself a copy now and just trust me when I say that this is a definite must read.

Wholeheartedly one of the best books I think I have ever read, ’25 Days til Christmas’ puts the jingle back in ‘Jingle Bells’ and will light up more hearts than the lights on the Christmas tree in NYC. Stunning!!!!

The e-Book version of Poppy Alexander’s festive treat is out now, with the paperback following on the 28th November.

To purchase/pre-order click here.

Has anyone seen ‘My Christmas Fake Fiance’? I can’t find him! @RaRaResources @morningmayan #blogger #review

Third RaRaResources blog tour of the day, and fifth and final tour of the day! Many thanks to Rachel for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘My Christmas Fake Fiance’ by Linda West, and for the ARC. Here is my review:

Snowflakes are falling on Kissing Bridge Mountain, and Devlin is going home at last. But he can’t go home without a fiance, even if it has to be a fake one!

When he meets smalltown girl, Allie, who has a Christmas crisis of her own -they strike up a deal. Soon, the fickle snow flurries of fate send them down a destined road they never expected…

What does TWG think?

I’ll be honest. The whole ‘fake fiance/boyfriend/girlfriend’ thing has been done many, MANY times before, so for me the surprise element wasn’t really there. However, I have never read a version that has had me laughing out loud from the get go.

Seriously! Almost straight away I was giggling at Allie and her bambi on ice type personality! She was such a breath of fresh air, and was such an antidote to Devlin’s foul nature. A match made in heaven some might say!

With the amount of times I giggled, the predictability factor didn’t seem as important anymore. Yes, I could see what was coming, and yes, it was incredibly clear what the intentions of the characters were, yet Linda West very cleverly wrote her story in a way that enticed me and left me wanting popcorn like a good movie.

This book may be short, but it sure packs a punch with its lighthearted, laugh out loud, and cosy vibe. I throughly enjoyed escaping into a Linda West novel – it definitely wont be the last!

Buy now Amazon UK

Buy now Amazon US

On my radar for #2020 #TempleHouseVanishing by RachelDonohue #AmbassadorBookBuzz @LoveReadingUK @CorvusBooks #LoveReadingBookBuzz

I am very excited to be taking part in the Ambassador Book Buzz for LoveReadingUK today! Even though this post isn’t a review, I’m still sharing my thoughts in a different way because I havent read it yet, therefore creating buzz. Thank you to Corvus for my ARC!

So, before anything else, here is a bit more information about ‘The Temple House Vanishing’ by Rachel Donohue:

Power. Jealousy. Desire.

Twenty-five years ago, a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl and her charismatic teacher disappeared without trace…

When Louisa arrives at Temple House, an elite catholic boarding school, she quickly finds herself drawn to sophisticated fellow pupil Victoria and their young bohemian art teacher, Mr Lavelle. The three of them from a bond that seems to offer an escape from the repressive regime of the nuns who run the cloistered school. Until Louisa and Mr Lavelle suddenly disappear without trace.

Years later, a journalist with a childhood connection to Louisa determines to resolve the mystery. Her search for the truth will uncover a tragic, mercurial tale of suppressed desire and long-buried secrets. It will shatter lives and lay a lost soul to rest.

I am SO looking forward to this! ‘The Temple House Vanishing’ is one of my must read books for 2020, and already on Amazon it’s being dubbed as the ‘most sinister debut of 2020’. As I’m sure you’re all aware of by now, I go by book covers when choosing my next read. Now, the cover on Rachel Donohue’s book isn’t one that would usually excite me due to the simplicity of it, yet I am so intrigued by it. What do the leaves represent, if anything? Is the black background meant to represent the vibe of the book?

I dont usually do this, but i skim read the blurb too as my curiosity got the better of me. Thankfully it didn’t tell me too much, however it made me more intrigued! Theres a disappearance. There are secrets. Theres a journalist with an alleged link to one of the characters.

There are several questions running through my mind already, with the biggest one being a simple three letter word; WHY?

I am incredibly lucky to already have an advanced copy of ‘The Temple House Vanishing’ sitting in my pile of 2020 reads, and I have high hopes for this one! Watch this space!

‘The Temple House Vanishing’ will be published in February 2020, so you have a little time to wait to get your hands on a copy. That said, if you’re eager to pre-order this book, you can do so now via Amazon.

Who else is excited to read this? What other books are on your pile of reads for 2020? Let me know in the comments!

Oh my, I REALLY want to visit #DaisysChristmasGiftShop! @HannahPearl_1 @ChocLitUK @RaRaResources #blogtour #review

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Another RaRaResources blog tour for you all this afternoon, but this time its for something a little more festive. Many thanks to Rachel for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘Daisy’s Christmas Gift Shop’, and to ChocLitUK for the ARC. Here is my review on day two of the blog tour:

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Daisy Kirk is a sucker for a love story, which is why she opened up her gift shop –because there’s nothing that makes Daisy happier than when she’s helped a customer achieve their own ‘happily ever after’ by finding the perfect Christmas gift for their loved one.

And she absolutely does not just sell ‘soppy presents and frilly pants’ as her brother’s infuriating best friend, Eli, is so fond of suggesting. The sad fact is that whilst Daisy is helping others with their love lives, hers is non-existent.

But when unusual circumstances take Daisy and Eli on a road trip from London to rural Wales, will she finally get the happily ever after to her own Christmas love story?

What does TWG think?

What I was expecting was a festive read full of Christmas antics.

What I got was a festive read with Christmas antics, PLUS the characters being all James Bond with their spying and what not.

Sorry…..what?

I got really into this! I thought the gift shop idea was a unique idea, as it isn’t your average gift type shop and started the story on a good foot. It just goes to show that it really is the little things that make all of the difference, regardless of where you are in your life.

As I was enjoying the festive treats and banter between Daisy and her best friend, all of a sudden the storyline went from sleigh bells ringing to diamonds are forever when Daisy’s brother, Ben, seemed to disappear into thin air! Where on Earth that angle came from is beyond me! It was different, very different. Do I think that it worked well with the rest of the storyline? In all honesty, no, not really. I did feel as though I was reading an entirely different book to the one I was reading at the start. I understood the whole sibling closeness and the worry which came with Ben disappearing, however, I felt that the delivery of it and the jumping to conclusions on the boat was a little bit too farfetched. If the story had started off in a similar style, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid.

Romance is a big part of ‘Daisy’s Christmas Gift Shop’, and so is humour. For me, the humour parts stole the show and gave the story such a wonderful depth to it.

So yes, I did enjoy what I read, however I was also on the fence due to the other parts I’ve mentioned. This is a unique read, with a storyline a lot fuller than your roast on Sunday plate!

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US