#psychological · #Simon & Schuster · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review

#TheHeights by Louise Candlish (@louise_candlish @TeamBATC @JessBarratt88) #BlogTour #Review #Booktwt #thewritinggarnet

I am absolutely delighted to be sharing my thoughts on Louise Candlish’s latest novel, The Heights, as part of the blog tour. My thanks go to Jess and the Simon and Schuster team for asking me to be involved and for supplying a proof for me to read and review honestly.

He thinks he’s safe up there. But he’ll never be safe from you. 

The Heights is a tall, slender apartment building among the warehouses of Tower Bridge, its roof terrace so discreet you wouldn’t know it existed if you weren’t standing at the window of the flat directly opposite. But you are. And that’s when you see a man up there – a man you’d recognize anywhere. He’s older now and his appearance has subtly changed, but it’s definitely him. 

Which makes no sense at all since you know he has been dead for over two years.  You know this for a fact.  

Because you’re the one who killed him.  It’s time to confess what we did up there.

‘Kieran Watts has been dead for over two years when I see him standing on the roof of a building in Shad Thames…’

#CloseToTheEdge

What does The Writing Garnet think?

When I see people say that a book is ‘unputdownable’, I think to myself that they’re fibbing because surely you would put a book down to pee and what not. How could a book be read cover to cover without putting it down? My answer to that, after reading ‘The Heights’ and only putting it down once to grab a chocolate bar and then pick it up again, is ‘very easily’. Heck, my 2 second put down to grab an aero bar doesn’t even count as putting it down as the cover was still warm from my hands!

After I had finished reading the book that literally took me 2 hours to read, my daughter asked me how many stars I would give it, and, without missing a beat, a response of ‘five stars’ flew out of my mouth. There was no doubt in my mind at all as ‘The Heights’ had the marital uncertainty, the troublesome pasts of the main characters, secrets that were too damaging to reveal regardless of how long had passed. The story had thrill, it had a chase, suspense, characters which you just wanted to dislike yet weirdly liked and visa versa.

I loved the way the author let’s us see both sides of the situation from two characters point of view, allowing readers to work out on their own, indirectly, which was bad cop and which was good cop. Which character was the most trustworthy? Which character was seeing things clearer than the other? Which one wasn’t being honest with themselves? The storyline was a well crafted, well oiled piece of ‘machinery’ so to speak as it hopped from different events flawlessly, without missing a single beat or filling the storyline with unnecessary padding. Every single word in this book had its place and played a vital role in bringing ‘The Heights’ to life.

If you hadn’t guessed already, Louise Candlish’s novel blew my mind and reignited my love for reading. Its books like this, written by authors as talented as Candlish, that make me excited about the written word. If youre after a new book to read, I highly suggest you buy and devour this one as yes, it really is and un-putdownable read.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heights-Louise-Candlish/dp/1471183483

#psychological · #suspense · Amazon Pub · arc · blog tour

#ACutForACut by Carol Wyer (@carolewyer @AmazonPub @damppebbles) #DetectiveKateYoung #blogtour

Huge thanks to Emma from Damppebbles Blog Tours, for asking me to be involved in the latest tour for Carol Wyer. I’ve completely lost my reading mojo as of late, however it came back just enough to allow me to read ‘A Cut For A Cut’. Many thanks to the publisher for supplying me with an ARC. Hope you enjoy my review!

DI Kate Young can’t trust anybody. Not even herself.

In the bleak countryside around Blithfield Reservoir, a serial murderer and rapist is leaving a trail of bloodshed. His savage calling card: the word ‘MINE’ carved into each of his victims.

DI Kate Young struggles to get the case moving—even when one of the team’s own investigators is found dead in a dumpster. But Kate is battling her own demons. Obsessed with exposing Superintendent John Dickson and convinced there’s a conspiracy running deep in the force, she no longer knows who to trust. Kate’s crusade has already cost her dearly. What will she lose next?

When her stepsister spills a long-buried secret, Kate realises she’s found the missing link—now she must prove it before the killer strikes again. With enemies closing in on all sides, she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to bring them down. But time is running out, and Kate’s past has pushed her to the very edge. Can she stop herself from falling?

What does TWG think?

Luckily for DI Kate Young, she has determination on her side, because, to be quite frank with you all, she would be rather screwed without it! Kate Young is an interesting character who likes playing with fire….not literally of course as that would make her a pyromaniac and probably unsuitable for her current job. Just saying! Anyway, DI Young lands herself in hot water on multiple occassions, and ‘A Cut For A Cut’ is no different. Having been a fan of Carol’s novels for many years, and associating her books with humour, it isn’t often that I read one of Wyer’s novels and think to myself, ‘what the fried egg is she on’, I mean, I wouldn’t like to cross her down a dark alley knowing full well what she could be capable of doing thanks to her research for books like this!

Despite hardly picking up any books as of late, I was fully engrossed in the latest DI Kate Young novel. I thoroughly enjoyed trying to work out the truth behind the murders, and watching the team trying to put all the puzzle pieces together before yet another body was found. In all honesty, the entire novel took me on a much needed roller coaster ride….in more ways than one! I’m still curious as to what the hell goes through Carol Wyer’s head though, because DAMN that lady sure knows how to write some stomach churning stuff!

I can’t fault ‘A Cut For A Cut’ – it certainly does ‘cut’ it for me, that’s for sure! With more uncertainty than going on a roundabout in the park after eating, this novel kept me on my tippy toes until the very last page.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cut-Detective-Kate-Young-Book-ebook/dp/B08P1GWK3R/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=a+cut+for+a+cut&qid=1623309961&sr=8-2

book blogger

I was a child who witnessed domestic abuse… #domesticabuse #physicalabuse #emotionalabuse #childhood #lifelessons

When asked what my childhood was like, my response is positive, delving into snippets of the past and how my mum used to take me to ‘Wimpy’ for a teacake and tea. Gosh, remember ‘Wimpy’? That place started off my love of cups and saucers – I felt so grown up eating my two halves of toasted teacake with my perfectly coloured cup of tea with a saucer.

Or I would respond with how magical Christmases were, holding my mums hand to go down the stairs with my beloved teddy, Susie Bringnals (yes I named her that!) tucked under my arm. There would be times where I reminisced over my birthdays and how I would exclaim every.single.year about every.single.present, that it was something I had always ever wanted! I was a happy little girl on my 5th birthday with the little chalkboard that I had always wanted.

Talking about my childhood always put a smile on my face because I remembered little details like walking in on my dad in the bath, or recalling the outfit my mum wore on my 5th birthday when she was 30 (blue jeans and a white t shirt with an aztec style print in the middle, just FYI), or even being given a huge bag of cheese and onion crisps after leaving nursery, by mums friend Terri, because I screamed the place down and quite frankly wouldn’t shut up. I also remember the film that scared the absolute shit out of me, and to this day I cannot even watch it or look at thumbnails from it because I’m still scarred by the devil that is Edward Scissorhands. Sorry, want me to wait while you finish laughing? Done? Awesome. In my defence I was three! So yeah, my childhood was magical because of my mum, however if someone were to look at me right in the eye and ask, ‘Kaisha, how was your childhood really?’, my response would be the same as I’ve just said, however an additional sentence would be added…..

‘I was a child who witnessed domestic abuse, and lived through sexual abuse’.

During a time which spanned about ten years, I saw my mum different colours. Sometimes she was covered in so many bruises she looked black and blue, other times she had hints of green added to her skin due to older bruises changing colour. Nighttime was when it began, the tell tale sign that something was going to erupt was the clanging of the crockery, or the slamming of a drawer. Sometimes it went from 0-100 and all I could hear was my mum shouting ‘please don’t’, and her cries travelling up the stairs. There were times where I would be on the landing absolutely petrified, wondering if my mum was going to be killed, or hearing noises which made me scream down the stairs ‘MUMMYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!’. As soon as I knew the perpetrator had gone to bed, I would rush down the stairs to get to my mum, feeling sick at the thought of not knowing what I was going to see when I opened the door. I was a little girl mopping up my mums tears night after night, hugging her close, telling her that the events of that night were never her fault, falling asleep with her on the sofa only to then get up the next morning and do mine and my brothers packed lunch for school and head to a place where I was being beaten.

I was beaten up and bullied all throughout my school years, getting called fat which started two eating disorders, to getting bullied for having hair on my arms – SPOILER, I still have that hair!! And so, so much more. So, whilst all of that was going on personally and with my mum, the same person who made my mums life a living hell, also decided to sexually abuse me. What a lovely fellow he was! Sarcasm, he was a wanker and I’m glad he’s dead. JUST SAYING.

To this day, 20 years down the line, my mum still blames herself for what happened to me. Do I blame her? Do I heck! Not one iota and I never will blame her because it was not her fault. I still have flashbacks from those times, naturally, and the way I respond to situations isn’t sometimes ideal, but I can’t help that.

My mum has taught me many things over the years, such as how to bake, strength, courage, the ability to stand up for what’s right, but, most importantly, she’s taught me how to be myself.

So when someone asks me how my childhood was, I always say that I had a brilliant one because I did, its just that some fucker decided to piss on us along the way.

book blogger

#ListeningStill by @AnneGriffin_ @SceptreBooks #bookreview

It gives me great pleasure to host Anne Griffin and ‘Listening Still’ on my blog today, as I share a review for day two of the blog tour. Many thanks to the lovely, Kate, and the Sceptre Books team, for inviting me to take part and for supplying me with an advanced copy.

Jeanie Masterson has a gift: she can hear the recently dead and give voice to their final wishes and revelations. Inherited from her father, this gift has enabled the family undertakers to flourish in their small Irish town. Yet she has always been uneasy about censoring some of the dead’s last messages to the living. Unsure, too, about the choice she made when she left school seventeen years ago: to stay or leave for a new life in London with her charismatic teenage sweetheart.

So when Jeanie’s parents unexpectedly announce their plan to retire, she is jolted out of her limbo. In this captivating successor to her bestselling debut, Anne Griffin portrays a young woman who is torn between duty, a comfortable marriage and a role she both loves and hates and her last chance to break free, unaware she has not been alone in softening the truth for a long while.

What does TWG think?

‘Listening Still’, in my opinion, is a unique story which is centred around life in a family run undertakers in Ireland. To some, reading a book set in a funeral home might not be so unique, however for me, it really was which meant that I was able to find out more about the process after life and what not. With that in mind, I was not expecting the story to focus on Jeanie being able to hear the wishes of the deceased person in front of her. No, seriously, thats what she can do. Is it something that can be deemed farfetched? Oh most definitely. Do readers need to believe that its something that happens in reality? Most definitely not! All readers need to believe is that Jeanie is capable of doing so, and once you get past the ‘hang on a minute….’ uncertainty, you’ll open your mind to the beauty of the book.

How do I know this?

Well, I was just like that to begin with, but once I ran with the authors words and let myself be led by Jeanie’s gift, her relationship with her husband, her father etc, I allowed myself to be consumed by this poignant, tender story that was not just about life vs death, but was also about regrets and making every last second count. For me, probably the biggest lesson that this book taught me was the art of listening. To know something you have to feel it, but to feel it you need to listen.

Anne Griffin is such a descriptive, tender storytelling who, no pun intended, gave this book life, and I absolutely adored reading every single word of this novel. Truly a beautifully crafted, magnificent read.

Purchase from Amazon

book blogger

#Amalie – Blog Tour! #Extract @E_J_Wood @Zooloo2008 @QuestionPress #QuestionMarkPress #ZooLoosBookTours

Today I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for ‘Amalie’ by E.J.Wood, published by Question Mark Press. Many thanks to Zoe for inviting me to take part in the tour! If you have yet to read the book and fancy a little snippet to whet your appetite then look no further as I have JUST the thing for you!

But first, here is a little bit more about the book:

THEY MURDERED FAMILIES
THE FUHRER CANNOT PROTECT THEM NOW

It’s not wise to murder the family of a budding assassin. Created by Auschwitz, her skill is honed by revenge.

A very different type of serial killer is loose in 1950s Europe. In Britain, a Brotherhood of powerful men takes notice and enhances the expertise and artistry of a killer.

DCI John Owen was born to serve. Recruited by MI6, he tracks an accomplished executioner whose love of luxury and the arts is second only to the love of watching an early death come to those who truly deserve it.

Join the chase. Then ask yourself…
Can there ever be only one winner?

Extract

The toffs found it entertaining and dangerous all at the same time, hanging around with known criminals and being sworn at by the landlord regardless of who they were. The audacity of Paddy shocked his clients. He had no regard for his client’s status or wealth – he treated everyone the same.

It hadn’t been long since Belfast boy Peter Scott had robbed Sophia Loren, giving her what he described “what she deserved”, and he was still the talk of the tavern. Other customers joked that Scott would call himself a modern-day Robin Hood and would describe how he eluded capture by donning a new suit and creep into the homes of some of London’s richest.

Even if he were interrupted he’d shout, “It’s only me!” It meant he got away with his crimes. One of his victims was gambling club owner John Aspinall, of whom he recalled, “robbing that bastard Aspinall was one of my favourites”. He’d joke at the bar “I hear poor Sophia has been robbed” whilst pulling out a wad of cash.

Order now from Amazon.

#suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · contemporary fiction · historical fiction

#APostcardFromParis – Alex Brown (@alexbrownbooks @fictionpubteam @harperfiction) #review

Many thanks to the lovely Jen and the Harper Fiction team for asking me to be involved in Alex Brown’s blog tour for ‘A Postcard From Paris’. I am delighted to be hosting day two of the tour, sharing my review of this picturesque novel. Thanks to the publisher for also supplying me with an advanced copy.

Annie Lovell is keen to put the spark back into her life and when her elderly neighbour inherits an abandoned Parisian apartment she goes to Paris to discover more. Her curiosity takes an unexpected turn on discovering a bundle of secret diaries hidden within the walls, detailing the life of a young English woman, Beatrice Crawford, who volunteered in 1916 to nurse the soldiers in the fields of France.
 
Captivated by the romantic City of Light, Annie realises first appearances are not always as they seem. Following Beatrice’s journey from the Great War, through the Roaring Twenties and to a very different life in Nazi-occupied Paris, Annie must piece together the events from the past, if she is to fulfil the legacy that Beatrice left for her to find…

What does TWG think?

A book by Alex Brown which also contains historical elements? What’s not to love?

I adore losing myself in anything that Alex Brown has written, and this novel was no exception. There was quite a mysterious vibe to the story as main character, Annie Lovell, finds old diaries dating back to 1916 during the war in France. Having moved to a new country to add some variety to her life, Annie didn’t expect to become Miss Marple almost instantly, and neither did I for that matter. I was genuinely surprised by the direction the story took because of the diaries – which certainly was not a bad thing! Finding out about Beatrice and the volunteer work she was involved in, was both astounding and intriguing. I can’t even begin to imagine what Beatrice must have seen in those fields with the soldiers, nor can I even begin to imagine the pain and anguish that they must have felt in battle.

I thought that Alex Brown approached the historically emotional subject with extreme grace. It was evident just how much research the author put in to keep the events and descriptions as close to reality as possible. As a history lover, I appreciated the dedication from the author, but on the other side of the coin as a fiction lover, I also appreciated the way that Alex Brown incorporated facts alongside fiction without making them stand out like a sore thumb. I loved how seamless the entire thing was, and the flow of the story was on point. I was gutted to reach the end as I was captivated by every word I was reading.

Alex Brown exceeded my expectations with ‘A Postcard From Paris’, from the characterisation to the factual information, to the emotional turmoil to the sense of belonging. Everything worked and it blew me away. I would read it all over again in a heartbeat.

Purchase from Amazon.

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · contemporary fiction · lifestyle · Orion

#TheLittlestLibrary #PoppyAlexander @SarahWaights @orionbooks #blogtour #review


Many thanks to Ellen and Orion for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘The Littlest Library’ by Poppy Alexander, and for sending me an ARC of the book to review. Day 5 of the blog tour starts here, enjoy!



It’s only the beginning of her story…

Jess Metcalf is perfectly happy with her quiet, predictable life – it’s just the way she likes it. But when her beloved grandmother passes away and she loses her job at the local library, her life is turned upside-down.

Packing up her grandmother’s books, she moves to a tiny cottage in a charming country village. To her surprise, Jess finds herself the owner of an old red telephone box, too – and she soon turns it into the littlest library around!

It’s not long before the books are borrowed and begin to work their magic – somehow, they seem to be bringing the villagers together once more…

Maybe it’s finally time for Jess to follow her heart and find a place to call home?



What does TWG think?

You know when a story is going to be right up your alley when you realise that it’s about a library….and books. I mean, HELLOOOOOOOOO book god, whoever you are! Saying that, the excitement surrounding the library was short lived as, when Jess’ grandmother passed away, Jess not only loses a much loved family member, she also lost a job she adored. Losing one of those would be enough to knock someone for six, but losing both at the same time? It wasn’t really surprising that Jess began to find things tough and a bit unsure about what the future held for her. After deciding to relocate to a little village called Middlemass, Jess has the option to rebuild her life and start a new, and what a bundle of surprises where waiting for her!

I think that a lot of readers would be able to relate to Jess’ personality in one form or another because she comes across as such a genuine, free spirited person who wasn’t afraid of life when the going got tough. Of course Jess found things difficult, but she moved forward in her own way and her own time, and tried her best to do what was right for her, whatever that may’ve been.

Due to social media, I have seen multiple pictures of little libraries that people have made in specialist boxes, or utilised an old container to fill with books, and I love seeing those because it’s such a lovely idea to be able to bring communities closer together due to a shared love of books. I would love to do something like that near my house, but unfortunately the crime rate is quite high. Never say never though!

In terms of bringing communities together, Jess utilised a red telephone box, turning it into the new ‘go to’ place in the community – a little library. If you’re not an avid reader then the thought of coming together with a group of strangers over a storyline surrounding murder, or the latest comedy read etc, may sound like an extremely bonkers idea, however that person you find yourself speaking to about the book you’re just read may live on their own, have mental health issues etc, and by you chatting to them it may be the lifeline they never knew they needed. You just never know.

So yeah, I loved the premise behind this story and I simply adored the way that Poppy Alexander brought her little library to life, showcasing the power that books can have. Jess was such an addictive character to get to know, and is probably one of my most favourite characters I have read about so far this year. She just oozed courage, spirit and really was such a joy to read about.

Poppy Alexander is such a charismatic author who, when she tells a story, she TELLS that story as though it’s royalty. With every new book I read of hers, I feel like I’m being treated to the best of the best every single time. Honestly, she never disappoints and ‘The Littlest Library’ is proof of that tenfold. This is such a heartwarming, tender read which will make you giggle, smile, and leave your heart as though its just been wrapped up in a cosy little blanket. Divine.



‘The Littlest Library’ can be purchased now from Amazon.

#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger

Review – #TheWhispers by Heidi Perks (@HeidiPerksBooks @arrowpublishing @rachel90kennedy) #review #bookblogger #blogtour


Many thanks to Rachel and the Arrow Publishing team for asking me to take part in Heidi Perks’ blog tour for ‘The Whispers’, and for supplying me with an ARC to review. Today is day three of the blog tour, so let’s get on with it shall we?

A MISSING WIFE. FOUR FRIENDS. WHO IS TELLING THE TRUTH?

Anna Robinson hasn’t been seen since she went on a night out with her four closest friends.
She has a loving husband and a son she adores. Surely she wouldn’t abandon them and her perfect life. . .

But what has happened to her?

At the school gates, it’s not long before the rumours start. Anna’s oldest friend Grace is beside herself with worry – desperately searching for answers, and certain that someone is hiding the truth. 

With each day that passes, Anna’s life is under increasing threat. And a the pressure mounts, it won’t be long before something cracks. . .


What does TWG think?

Anna, for me, was a conundrum. Her personality didn’t seem to match up with her actions or the friendship group that she kept around her. I couldn’t work out whether she was trying to convince herself of things, or Nancy. Something wasn’t quite adding up with her at all. When Anna’s childhood friend came back on the scene, it was as though Anna’s ‘boat’ became a bit rocky and she was afraid of something, but what? Whatever it was, her good friend, Nancy, didn’t seem to want her becoming close with Grace again. Maybe Nancy was afraid of something unduly coming out? But what in Anna’s past would make Nancy uncertain?

It didn’t take long before a number of questions started to build up in my mind regarding Anna’s life, her mum friends, and the way she refused to delve into the past when it came to talking about her mum. I wanted the answers to those questions right there and then, however with a thriller, the truth is often drip fed to you, which can sometimes be a bit frustrating if you’re extremely impatient and just want to get to the bottom of everything (I can neither confirm nor deny whether that was me or not……ahem).

Lets be clear; Heidi Perks did her job of keeping the reader hooked, incredibly well. I was hooked and very invested in the lives of Anna and Grace. Probably too invested as I wanted to know every minute detail of their individual lives, but without making me sound all stalkerish, I’ll just leave it as merely ‘invested’. Even though the storyline was slow and steady with the pace, it was abundantly clear that, upon reaching the end of the novel, slow and steady wins the race because all of those loose ends were tied up nicely with a nice little bow. As for the intensity of the novel, something that is rather important for a thriller, it did take its time to build up. Again, it’s good that a novel does that so that readers are left wondering what if, giving them the nudge to keep turning the pages. However, I felt that the intensity took so long to slap me in the face that when it finally built up to the level that was needed for extreme ‘oomph’ factor, it was a bit bittersweet for me. I’m not saying that the storyline wasn’t intense, because it was, it just piqued a little bit too late in my opinion.

Overall, ‘The Whispers’ is an intriguing, insightful, cleverly written novel. I cannot fault Heidi Perks’ ability at creating a storyline that makes you so invested, you feel as though the book is taking over your life (in a good way). I really enjoyed reading ‘The Whispers’ and it’s a novel that I highly recommend you all nabbing a copy of!


‘The Whispers’ will be published in e-book on the 18th March and can be purchased here. If you prefer reading hardbacks, you can pre-order a copy now as it won’t be released until the 15th April.

#Avon · #Harpercollins · book blogger · Coming Soon · cover reveal · historical fiction

Cover Reveal – #CollectorsDaughter by Gill Paul (@GillPaulAuthor) #ComingSoon #PreorderNow #GillPaul #HistoricalFiction #CoverReveal



I am delighted to be bringing you another cover reveal this week, courtesy of the extremely talented Gill Paul. I have been a fan of this author for many years, and in my opinion, she has never written a book that I have disliked! To say that she is talented would be a huge understatement, so knowing that a new book is coming out in a few months makes me extremely, extremely excited. I cannot wait!

Here is the cover for Gill Paul’s upcoming novel, ‘The Collector’s Daughter’. Spoiler, it’s a stunner!



Bestselling author Gill Paul returns with a brilliant novel about Lady Evelyn Herbert, who grew up in Highclere Castle—the real Downton Abbey—and became the first person in modern times to enter the tomb of Ancient Egyptian king Tutankhamun. 

She is the daughter of the Earl of Carnarvon, brought up to make her society debut and follow it with a prestigious marriage. But popular and pretty Lady Evelyn Herbert has other ideas. First she falls for a man her mother doesn’t approve of, then she accompanies her father to Egypt, leaving behind the world of etiquette and chaperones to work alongside archeologist Howard Carter in the Valley of the Kings.

In November 1922 the extraordinary happens when they discover the burial place of Tutankhamun, packed full of gold and inconceivable riches. Eve is the first to crawl inside, the first person to see the treasures in three thousand years. She calls it the “greatest moment” of her life—but soon afterwards a string of tragedies leaves her world a darker, sadder place.

Newspapers claim it is “the curse of Tutankhamun.” Howard Carter says no rational person would entertain such nonsense. Fifty years later, an Egyptian academic comes asking questions about what really happened in the tomb in 1922. And that visit unleashes a new chain of events threatening Eve’s happy life, and making her wonder if there could be some truth behind the stories of an ancient curse.


The Collector’s Daughter is due to be released in the UK on the 30th September and can be pre-ordered now by clicking here.
The book is due to be published in the US on the 7th September and also can be pre-ordered now by clicking here.

Also, if you wish to be notified of Gill Paul’s further releases or any other news, you can sign up to her newsletter now!

Who else is excited for a new Gill Paul novel?! I cannot wait to read it!

#Harpercollins · #psychological · #Simon & Schuster · #suspense · arc · aria fiction · blog tour · bonnier zaffre · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · BOTBSPublicity · childrens books · ChocLitUK · contemporary fiction · Crime/thriller · Faber Books · HarperImpulse · headline books · historical fiction · HQ · HQDigitalUK · humour · lifestyle · Little Brown Books · medical · mills and boon · netgalley · Non Fiction · orenda · Orion · Panmacmillan · Police procedural · Quercus · real life · RNA · romance · Transworld/Penguin · Trapeze · womens fiction

The Writing Garnet turns 5! Happy birthday TWG! #blogger #blogbirthday #TWGTurns5 #Awardwinningblogger

The Writing Garnet is officially 5 years old TODAY! When I started my blog back in 2016, I never envisioned it turning out the way that it has. It never even crossed my mind that my blog could turn into a multi award winning blog (yes, multi), nor did it cross my mind that my review quotes would make their way into physical copies of books or even on the cover of some. Without blowing my own trumpet, I am unbelievably proud of all of that. At the very beginning, my blog was created as my way of saying thank you to authors for writing their books which has allowed me to escape via their words, when things in my personal life have been difficult. It wasn’t created as a popularity tool (because clearly I wouldn’t have lasted 5 minutes had that have been the case), nor was it created merely to get free things because, in all honesty, I had no idea that that was even a thing when I first started.

Over the last 5 years I have met a wide variety of authors, met fellow bloggers, other like minded bookish folk, and found myself involved in a world that went beyond just loving books. I had never really had that before. I had never been able to sit and discuss books with people who had read the same book as I, nor would I have ever found the confidence to cart myself off to events such as Edinburgh Book Festival, Aye Write in Glasgow, or even more intimate events such as meeting the Orenda gang in Edinburgh (to name a few), if it wasn’t for a select few of people who, after ‘meeting’ through the online book world, have gone on to becoming real life friends (Jen, Mandie, Kelly, Joanne, Lainy, DC to name a few). Not only that, despite not having met them in real life yet, I have come to know even more people who I consider to be friends now, who one day I would love to be able to give them a hug (COVID permitting, obvs – special shout out to Liz B for being as true as they come). If I named each and every one of the people who I called friends and who I would do anything for, I would be here a while and would no doubt miss someone off so, to put it simply, if we talk, I adore you. Simple as, and I thank you for your kindness and support over the last 5 years.

For me, the highlight so far has got to be meeting Sue Perkins and Tom Fletcher as those were the times where I unintentionally embarrassed my little girl with my high pitched squealing and trampoline bounces. I think I was fair excited……. Would I have been able to meet them had it not been for my blog? Honestly? Probably not as I never knew events like that existed until I became a blogger. I have so many other authors, bloggers, publicists etc, that I would love to meet and I have everything crossed that that will become a reality.

I know blogging isn’t all about stats, but for the first time in ages I had a quick nose at the stats of TWG. In the last 5 years TWG has had:

160,424 views.
84,689 visitors.
1837 blog posts have been posted.


Also, I even worked out roughly how many books I have read over that time…..1270!!! Ermmmmmmmm, say what?

As I may have mentioned previously, 2020 for TWG wasn’t the greatest as, putting it quite bluntly, I was treated like dirt via the bookish community (not all of you, just to clarify), and it hurt me so much that I ended up retreating because I didn’t know what else to do because, as I have also said many times, I’m not the most popular of people and I don’t fit into the tight knit groups. I suppose my face doesn’t fit, so I knew that regardless of what I said and what I did, I wouldn’t have been believed which is unfair and incredibly hurtful. Because of that, my posts within the last year have been few and far between, however I still have been ‘here’ from afar and still able to keep my feet in the door so to speak. Again, I want to thank those who have stood by me, supported me, and been true friends during that time and continue to do so. I see you.

I am super shocked that my little, multi award winning blog turns 5 today. Yes there have been some ups and downs and confidence knocks along the way, and yes, at times I bit off more than I can chew and left myself over stretched. However the joys of anything in life is that you can learn from your mistakes and realise where you went wrong or what needs to change. There is only me running this blog and, even though I like to think that I can do everything, I physically can’t….I just wish it hadn’t taken me 5 years to realise that! Well, in all fairness it’s probably taken me over 20 years to realise that as I recently turned 31 but y’know, semantics.

Creating The Writing Garnet was probably one of the best, on the spur decisions I have ever made and I just want to thank every single author, publisher and publicist who have sent me countless books over the years and trusted me to review your books. I want to thank the organisers of book events of their hard work and dedication in bringing likeminded bookish folk together. I also want to thank each and every person I have come to know and admire for being true to themselves and becoming good friends of mine. I have your backs – you are all awesome. Major shout out to my fellow bloggers, and anyone who is thinking about starting a blog – you’ve got this! Just remember it’s okay to say no….

On that note, happy birthday to TWG! Heres to another year full of weird and wonderful books, intriguing debuts, and a truck load of reviews.

TWG x