#WhatWeLeaveBehind by Anna Mansell @AnnaMansell @Bookouture

Many thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in Anna Mansell’s blog tour for ‘What We Leave Behind’, and for the ARC.




Imagine you get home one day… and waiting for you on your doorstep is a gift.

It is wrapped beautifully, and inside is a notebook, its pages empty. There is no message.

But its sender has a story to tell.

About a secret. About the little girl you once were. About everything you know about your family.

The gifts keep arriving. But when tragedy strikes – leaving your beloved only daughter fighting for her life – the person who has been sending the gifts will have no choice but to come forward. And to finally tell the truth…


What does TWG think?

I really don’t know how Anna Mansell does it! Once again she has taken feelings and emotions, and given them an identity of their own. I cannot fault the delivery of the storyline one iota, and I was blown away by how genuine Poppy and Lisa’s relationship was. It really made me think of the relationship that I have with my own daughter.

The premise of the storyline isn’t straight forward, and there are a lot of skeletons making their way out of the closets for the characters, which made for intense reading at times.

I am still in awe at just how talented Anna Mansell is – I loved this heartwarming, hopeful and beautiful read that showcased the power of relationships, strength, and the ability to believe.

If you don’t believe me then let the story speak for itself. You really won’t regret it.

Buy now.

#TheStolenLetter by Clara Benson @ClaraBooks @bookouture

Many thanks to Bookouture for the tour invite and ARC.

The longer her imprisonment went on, the more she cast her mind back to the stolen hours they had spent together. His love had blown in like an unexpected breath of warm summer air, giving her the promise of life and joy. But now they had been torn apart and she was tormented by the thought that they might never be reunited.
Italy, 1938: When Stella arrives in Florence, it’s love at first sight. She is wowed by the rolling hills dotted with olive trees, the buttermilk villas with shuttered windows and terracotta roofs that glow gloriously in the sunlight. Even the breeze holds the scent of freedom – freedom from England, where the shadow of her past haunted her.

Then there is Ted, an American journalist who is wild and mischievous, with an arrogance bordering on rude. Stella is infuriated by him – but she cannot deny the lure of the danger and excitement he promises.
But there is something dark under the bright surface of this beautiful country, with unspeakable tragedies just around the corner. When the Nazis take control of Italy, Stella and Ted – and whatever dreams the future held for them – are ripped apart. As bombs descend, destroying everything in their wake, there is nothing to do but sit in darkness, praying to see tomorrow.
And it seems that even in Italy, Stella’s past has found her. Somewhere in the winding streets of Florence there is a letter that could change the course of her fate. Unknown to her, it holds a secret with the power to rewrite her past, and everything she has been running away from. But will she live to find it? And with the odds stacked against her, will she ever see Ted again?

What does TWG think?

Novels set during wartime are my most favourite historical fiction to read, and thankfully Clara Benson kept that momentum going.

Set in Italy in 1938, Stella can’t help but be excited for her promising new life in her beautiful new surroundings. However, unfinished business has a way of catching up with people when they expect it to, and soon enough Stella’s new life takes a turn that looks set to be a lot darker than she anticipated.

Stella is such a memorable character to read about and get to know. I felt a lot of empathy towards her because of how she had to mature a lot faster than nature intended her to. I think she surprised herself, and the readers, by flourishing the way that she did. Whilst I applauded her strength and courage, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of loss for her and the roads she wasnt able to go down because of certain choices that were made.

‘The Stolen Letter’ really is a heartwarming read, one which reminded me so much of author Kathryn Hughes ‘The Letter’! If you’re after a well balanced, detailed and blossoming read, then I highly recommend you get a hold of this.

Buy now.

#ComingHomeToHopeStreet by #MarcieSteele @writermels @BOTBSPublicity


Many thanks to Sarah for inviting me to take part in the blog tour, and for supplying me with an ARC.

Step across the cobblestones, pull back the curtains and peek behind the doors in the second instalment of The Hope Street Series. Catch up with old friends and fall in love with new ones in a story of friendship, second chances and new beginnings. 

Livvy has no choice but to return to Hope Street, the childhood home she left over twenty years ago. Along with her sixteen-year-old daughter, Pip, she turns up on the doorstep, hoping for forgiveness from her sister.

Hannah thought she’d never see Livvy again. She’s overwhelmed with emotion but locks away her real feelings. How could Livvy stay away without any contact? And why has she come back now?

It isn’t long before the charm of the market town of Somerley begins to work its magic. Hannah is opening a book shop in the square, adjoining The Coffee Stop, and Livvy’s offer to help out brings the sisters closer together.

But when someone from Livvy’s past arrives unannounced too, he threatens everything she’s built up since her return. Can Livvy convince her sister, and her new friends, that her intentions to return were good ones? Or will her dreams of settling down and being happy again become nothing but a closed book?  


What does TWG think?

I’ll be honest, my reading mojo has flown out the window far faster than a fly who has ventured into the house. With that in mind, I really appreciated the light hearted story that Marcie Steele gave us, even though there were some deep routed issues nonetheless.

I thought that the storyline was full of hope, especially given the situation between the sisters, and i felt that a lot of readers may be able to relate to their family dynamics and how they approach their situation.

Livvy is such a lost soul. A misunderstood character who probably doesn’t even understand herself, let alone anyone else understanding her! Her heart was  most certainly in the right place, even if her head didn’t get the timing just right.

Even though my reading mojo has furloughed itself, I still really enjoyed Marcie’s heartwarming tale. This was such a joy to read.

Buy now.

#BabyGarnetTakeOver!! Check out the review of #PirateNellsTaleToTell by Eva, aged 7! @docherty_helen @ TDIllustration @midaspr @amberachoudhary @sourcebooks

Nell is finally a pirate!

And she has her trusty Pirate’s Almanac to help her sail the seas, even if the mean, greedy and ignorant Captain Gnash doesn’t like books on his ship. But when the journey gets rough and the captain is in trouble, it’s Nell and all her pirate knowledge that saves the day and leads them to the greatest buried treasure of all.



Hugest of thanks to Amber and Midas PR for inviting us to take part in the blog tour for such a fab little children’s book. Even though I know that I am perfectly capable of reviewing this myself (can i just add that it is a super fun, catchy read for all pirate children out there!), I decided to enlist the help of my own mini pirate; Baby Garnet, also known as Eva, my 7 year old daughter. Not only has she read the book word for word herself, she has also written her review all by herself too.

I really do think that both children and adults alike will be hooked on Nell’s adventure and the wonderful colourful pictures that the book contains. I’ll now hand my blog over to the Baby Garnet and I hope you enjoy reading her review as much as we enjoyed reading about Pirate Nell.



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Hi it is Eva here! I am doing a tour for this book ‘Pirate Nell’s Tale To Tell’ by Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty which they are also the author and illustrator of the ‘Snatchabook‘ (I have not read that yet so I would love to have a try and see if I like it). It is also a storybook adventure.

What I liked about the book is Nell – I think she is nice. What I didn’t like was Captain Gnash because he curled his lip at Nell. Gnash was not impressed about Nell’s almanac which I do not know what it is, but it is part of the book. I am not being rude about the book at all, I just don’t know what it is because I have not heard of almanac. Please say what it is if you know what it is. The publisher of the book is sourcebookskids (www.sourcebookskids.com)

Did you lot know that Nell always wanted to be part of the pirate crew? She was also full of hope! Please say if you lot got a copy of the book. I know it is a strange time right now, so I hope the book keeps you happy like it does for me. A big thank you to Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty for making ‘Pirate Nell’s Tale To Tell’, because it probably cheered us up a lot – I mean a lot! The book is for ages 4 and up, and was dedicated to Ruth, Rose and Kathie, and also for librarians everywhere.

I hope all of you lot loved my review and are keeping safe.

Lots of love the Baby Garnet.


Buy now from Amazon

#ForWhenImGone by Rebecca Ley @RebeccaHelenLey @orionbooks

Many thanks to the publisher for the review copy, and to Tracy for the tour invite.

Because there’s never enough time to say goodbye…

Sylvia knows that she’s running out of time. Very soon, she will exist only in the memories of those who loved her most and the pieces of her life she’s left behind.

So she begins to write her husband a handbook for when she’s gone, somewhere to capture the small moments of ordinary, precious happiness in their married lives. From raising their wild, loving son, to what to give their gentle daughter on her eighteenth birthday – it’s everything she should have told him before it was too late.

But Sylvia also has a secret, one that she’s saved until the very last pages. And it’s a moment in her past that could change everything…

What does TWG think?

So you’ve been told some devastating news. Dealt a hand of heartbreak that’s on countdown. What do you do? Wait, what WOULD you do? Spend as much time as you can with your loved ones before you’re taken? Create everlasting memories for those you have held in your heart for goodness knows how many years? Or do you write a book of what to do when you’re gone?

Sylvia did the latter. She created a book for her husband detailing present ideas, little anecdotes to help support him and their children as they grow up without her. I mean, looking to the future lives of your children, knowing that you’re not going to be around to see it? That’s got to hurt.

If, like me, you’re the sort of person who has ice around their heart, be prepared for that to melt and probably flood for the duration of this book. It well and truly broke me and hung me out to dry……yet it was done in the most sensational, poignant, detailed, beautiful manner that made me catch my breath.

The underlying tone of ‘For When I’m Gone’ is very serious as it discusses topics such as still birth and cancer, two very powerful and triggering topics. However on the other side of the coin, theyre two topics which still need their time in the spotlight so that other people can try to understand the devastating effects they can have on a person and everyone around them.

I feel bad saying that I loved this novel due to the emotional content, however i truly was bowled over by the delivery and the way in which the author took the time to create a story that not only taught people about cancer and grief, it also showcased the beauty of memories not being afraid of your own emotions.

Rebecca Ley has polished this novel so well, it is going to shine bright like a diamond for very long time to come. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if this managed to get onto the big screen. Honestly? It would wholeheartedly deserve it.

Buy now.

#AYearAtAppleyardFarm by Emma Davies @EmDaviesAuthor @bookouture

Thank you to Bookouture for supplying me with an advanced copy to review today.

Down a winding lane lined with strawberry trees and wildflowers lies Appleyard Farm, a beautiful orchard in the English countryside. And in a little farmhouse in the furthest corner, a young woman has a difficult decision to make…

Life on Appleyard Farm is all Freya Sherbourne has ever known. Having spent her childhood playing in the emerald green meadows and berry picking until sunset, Freya intends to call the farmhouse home forever. But when her father suddenly passes away and Appleyard Farm goes up for sale, Freya’s world comes crashing down.

Holding back the tears, she starts packing boxes while waiting for a buyer. Now the river no longer sparkles, and the apples taste a little less sweet. Until Freya learns the exciting news that her best friends Merry and Willow are moving nearby to open a local shop. And when someone from her past re-emerges, handsomer than ever and offering to mend the cracks in her broken heart, Freya’s eyes begin to twinkle once again.

But falling in love is scary, especially when you don’t know what the future holds. And when Freya discovers that her new love has been keeping a secret, one that threatens both their fragile relationship and the farm, she risks losing everything.

With the clock ticking, will Freya choose to follow her heart or save the farm? Or can she find a way to do both?

A Year at Appleyard Farm was previously published as four short stories: Merry Mistletoe, Spring Fever, Gooseberry Fool, and Blackberry Way.

What does TWG think?

Its books like this one which makes me feel so honoured to have the gift of reading. Its books like this which just highlights why Emma Davies is one of my all-time favourite authors. Its books like this which give me hope, allow me to escape, and help prove that, despite uncertain times and uncertain measures, life can be pretty darn good if you just…..live.

Freya is learning how to run Appleyard Farm without her dad. Things haven’t been the same since he passed away and her confidence and self belief have hit rock bottom.

Merry found herself chasing a new dream whilst also chasing newly found motherhood and newly found paintings. Oh, and not only that, she moved house and put her dream into reality.

Willow was too scared to hope incase life threw her a curveball….or ten. Afterall, it did throw her husband one which could have potentially lost them everything. Thankfully Willow wasn’t afraid of hard work.

This novel isn’t just about three ladies battling with their confidence. In fact, the males featured in the story do their own fair share of questioning their own motives. Truth be told, the book is about empowerment. Picking each other up. Supporting dreams. Being that shoulder to cry on. Holding down the fort at a moments notice. Coming together as a community, choosing to put their own lives at risk to save villagers livelihoods. Giving each other hope.

‘A Year at Appleyard Farm’ is the perfect escapism. The ideal pick me up. A guardian angel in book form. Its three therapists disguised as characters, that you didn’t even know you needed. Its a reminder that hard times aren’t forever.

This novel is Emma Davies through and through, and then some. I just loved how in tune she was with her characters and her storyline, especially the way that she spoke her truth and told the story from her heart. The storyline was beautifully written and an absolute joy to read – if you read just one book this year, please make it ‘A Year at Appleyard Farm’. You won’t regret it.

Buy now.

#ARuinedGirl – Kate Simants @katesboat @viperbooks #bookreview

Many thanks to Viper for the blog tour invite and review copy – here is my review for ‘A Ruined Girl’ by Kate Simants.

TWO BOYS LOVED HER.

BUT WHICH ONE KILLED HER?

On a dark night two years ago, teenagers Rob and Paige broke into a house. They beat and traumatised the occupants, then left, taking only a bracelet. No one knows why, not even Luke, Rob’s younger brother and Paige’s confidant. Paige disappeared after that night. And having spent her life in children’s homes and the foster system, no one cared enough to look for her.

Now Rob is out of prison, and probation officer Wren Reynolds has been tasked with his rehabilitation. But Wren has her own reasons for taking on Rob as a client. Convinced that Rob knows what happened to Paige, and hiding a lifetime of secrets from her heavily pregnant wife, Wren’s obsession with finding a missing girl may tear her family apart…

What does TWG think?

Oooooo this is dark!!! Complex relationships, complex storyline, and conflicting emotions made for one dark and disturbing read. Well, that and the fact that someone died but let’s not split hairs, shall we?

‘A Ruined Girl’ is definitely a case of ‘whodunnit’, as well as being the case of whether anyone is going to own up to their misdemeanours. That would be too easy though, so thankfully Wren Reynolds was on hand to try and slot all of the puzzle pieces together. Naturally a case as complex as Paige’s, ends up having a detrimental effect on Wren’s well being and her mental state becomes compromised as her obsession with finding out the truth explodes.

Like I said; dark! There is a lot of ooomph to ‘A Ruined Girl’ and I really appreciated the fact that Simants makes her readers work hard for the truth. She doesn’t hand it to us on a plate by making things obvious early on. Some things are definitely worth waiting for, and this was one of them!

A carefully constructed, complex, devious novel which made me catch my breath more than once. Uber impressed!

Buy now.