TWG’s #TopBooksof2017! @Bookouture @TeamBATC @Headlinepg @HQDigitalUK @AvonBooksUK @ChoclitUK

The Writing Garnet's
It’s that time of year again when most publishers, bloggers, readers, publicists, (you catch my drift) go through their ‘read’ books of the year, ready to compile a list of their most favourite books. A yearly ritual which sees ‘TBR’ piles growing even bigger, lists being compared, and readers finding new books they wouldn’t have dared to pick up until they read that particular list. A ritual where all the fabulous books us readers/bloggers have fallen in love with over the past year, get celebrated once again.

In lament terms, we get to gush. Having read a total of 318 books in 2017, I knew my #TopBooks list wasn’t going to be small. Have you SEEN the books published this year!? 2017 has been an outstanding year for books. So many debut authors have shone with their debut novels, whilst other authors many already love have upped their game with yet another novel. I have managed to get my list down to a Top 40 otherwise we would have been here until next year going through them, but, in all honesty, I could have happily put most of those 318 books on this list!

In absolutely NO particular order, here are TWG’s #TopBooksof2017!

 

1. A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson
(You can read my review here)
2. The Legacy of Lucy Harte by Emma Heatherington
(You can read my review here)
3. Before You Go by Clare Swatman
(You can read my review here)
4. Sister, Sister by Sue Fortin
(You can read my review here)
5. The Quiet Man by James Carol
(You can read my review here)
6. The Second Chance Tea Shop by Fay Kennan
(You can read my review here)
7. The Year of Saying Yes by Hannah Doyle
(I am still due a full review for all parts of this book – watch this space!)
8. Lost For Words by Stephanie Butland
(You can read my review here)
9. The Woman at Number 24 by Juliet Ashton
(You can read my review here)
10. The Wedding Girls by Kate Thompson.
(You can read my review here)

11. Blink by K.L.Slater
(You can read my review here)
12. A Time to Change by Callie Langridge
(You can read my review here)
13. The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan
(You can read my review here)
14. Too Damn Nice by Kathryn Freeman
(You can read my review here)
15. Another Woman’s Husband by Gill Paul
(You can read my review here)
16. The Law of Attraction by Roxie Cooper
(You can read my review here)
17. I’m Still Standing (previously titled ‘Reach For the Stars) by Colleen Coleman
(You can read my review here)
18. 37 Hours by J.F.Kirwan
(You can read my review here)
19. If You Could See Me Now by Keris Stainton
(You can read my review here)
20. Til The Dust Settles by Pat Young
(You can read my review here)

21. The Betrayed by Casey Kelleher
(You can read my review here)
22. The Detriment by David Videcette
(You can read my review here)
23. The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters by Jaimie Admans
(You can read my review here)
24. Skin Deep by Laura Wilkinson
(You can read my review here)
25. Trust Me by Angela Clarke
(You can read my review here)
26. Summer at the Dog and Duck by Jill Steeples
(You can read my review here)
27. Hot Mess by Lucy Vine
(You can read my review here)
28. It Started With a Tweet by Anna Bell
(You can read my review here)
29. A Little Christmas Faith by Kathryn Freeman
(You can read my review here)
30. A Little Luck, A Lot of Faith by Linn.B.Halton
(You can read my review here)

31. Dying Breath by Helen Phifer
(You can read my review here)
32. Dying Day by Stephen Edgar
(You can read my review here)
33. Scream Blue Murder by Tony.J.Forder
(You can read my review here)
34. The Little Clock House series (book 1&2) by Eve Devon
(Reviews can be found here and here)
35. Murder Game by Caroline Mitchell
(You can find my review here)
36. The Lost Child by Patricia Gibney
(You can find my review here)
37. The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen
(You can read my review here)
38. How To Be Champion by Sarah Millican
(I still need to write my review for this book – watch this space!)
39. Bad Sister by Sam Carrington
(You can read my review here)
40. The Other Mother by Judith Baker
(You can read my review here)

Phew! I’m knackered now! If any of the above books tickle your fancy, all purchase links can be found on the review link below each title. So many incredible books written by such fantastic authors – it has been an absolute honour to have been given ARC’s of a majority of the above books. I would like to say a huge thank you to:

Simon&Shuster // ChocLitUK // Harper Impulse // PanMacMillan // Bookouture // Aria
Headline // Bombshell Books/Bloodhound Books // HQDigitalUK // Faber Books 
Accent Press // Avon // Orion // Orenda & Bonnier Zaffre

for giving me the opportunity to read all of the above books. I would also like to thank all of the authors above for writing such jaw dropping and emotional reads! I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – this year has been a fantastic year for books and I want to extend another thank you to every author and publisher behind each and every one of the 318 books I have read this year. Just like many readers, I use books to escape and without you writing/publishing those books, I truly don’t think that I would be able to cope.

Whilst 2017 has blown me away, 2018 is set to be another brilliant year for books as well – my number one novel to watch out for in 2018 is ‘Anatomy of a Scandal’ by Sarah Vaughan which is due to be published on the 11th January 2018. I was very lucky to receive an ARC of this book before publication and you can read my review (as well as pre-order the book) by clicking here.

Did any of YOUR favourites pop up in my #TopBooksof2017? Let me know in the comments if any have, or whether you have decided to nab a few of these books for your own TBR piles!

2017, it has been a bookish pleasure. I cannot WAIT to see what 2018 brings in terms of books!

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#BlogTour! #Extract – Only One Woman by @Jane_Risdon & Christina Jones (@bucolicsfrolics)

Apologies for my post being late in the day, however, I am delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for ‘Only One Woman’ by Jane Risdon and Catherine Jones. For my post today I have an extract to share with you.

9781783757329_FC
Two women, one love story.

June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summer together they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.

December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.

As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?

Pre-order now from Amazon UK

Extract.

Renza’s Diary
May 24 th 1968 – late

What a flipping nightmare of an evening. I really thought I’d never get home in one piece.

Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. Someone up there hates me I’m sure.
If only Selina hadn’t lost her handbag at the Top Rank, I’d have caught the last bus back
from Reading and I would’ve been home on time. Instead I’d gone back with the others to look for it – thankfully it had been handed in at the cloakroom and nothing was missing.
Luckily I had just enough money for the train, which I’d had to run for. Selina’s dad took the others home in his brand new car as arranged, and there wasn’t room for me as well. I reckon he could’ve taken me but Yvette refused to let me sit on her lap in the front, in case I ripped her Mary Quant stockings. Sometimes I really want to do her a mischief.
They’ve got to do something about our local station, it’s just too creepy for words. Steam
from the train almost suffocated me as I crossed the bridge to the exit on the opposite
platform; all very ‘Brief Encounter’ I remember thinking, in an effort to stop my mind
wandering off into ‘Hitchcock-land.’ Talk about cough myself silly, and my eyes stung
something rotten as I tried to find my way in the pitch black; the two over-head lamps didn’t help much, they should do something about those flipping lights, I could’ve broken my neck, or even worse, tripped over in my new pink kitten heels and broken one of them.

I slowly took the steps down to the lane beside the station, glancing around me all the
while – I admit it, I was a little freaked out. It’s always deserted, and you can never be too
careful. Not long ago a dangerous prisoner escaped from the nearby asylum and hid in the waiting room for days before being recaptured. Hardly anyone uses the station since the cut- backs by that old idiot, Beeching, and the trains are a bit hit and miss since they messed with the timetable, so the convict was able to wait for his twisted ankle to mend without much danger of discovery. For all I knew, another Jack the Ripper could’ve be lurking in there waiting for me to pass, that’d just be my flaming luck.
I was in so much trouble. Forty minutes later than agreed. She’d never believe me about
the bag, but no other excuse came to mind as I walked down the lane. I was going to be so dead.

Oh God!

I had such a fright. Something or someone, made a noise behind me, so I stopped and
listened, but I really felt like running. Some sort of night creature, silly girl, I decided as I
walked on. But there it was again. Was someone behind me?
I turned and peered into the pitch dark – I’m still shaking as I write this. I told myself it
sounded like a hedgehog – had to be. Don’t panic, no-one comes down here at night I
reminded myself. Oh cripes, that lane, I hate it. Anyone could jump out to get you, seriously, I’ve often wondered, who’d hear you yell? No-one that’s who. There aren’t any lights or houses down there.
I must remember – next time the girls ask me to the Top Rank – to leave early and get the
bus on time. Next time, who am I kidding?
I’m going nuts – I hope no-one ever reads this, I’d die, but I started singing quietly to myself – I do that sometimes when I’m feeling a bit nervous – well seriously spooked actually. I turned on to the main road relieved no-one had grabbed me, and headed for our house.
That’s when I heard him…
‘What time do you think this is?’
Well, I nearly died of fright. I actually jumped. I couldn’t work out where the voice was
coming from. It seemed to echo all around me in the dimly lit street. Someone had followed me, that’s what I kept thinking. I hurried past the bus stop when I heard him again. What to do? Should I run? If I screamed, bringing Mum and half the village outside, Mrs Digby would just love that and if I got murdered, well, it didn’t bear thinking about. All this went through my brain at a rate of knots as I tried to work out where the voice was coming from. Would I make it to the gate? Bloody Selina and her stupid bag. I was going to die all because of her stupid bag.

Pre-order now from Amazon UK

The blog tour has only just begun so make sure you follow the blogs listed on the graphic below, if you wish to keep up to date with the tour.

oow blog tour

#BlogTour! #Review – Waking by Helen Richardson (@helen_r_writes) @AccentPress

waking-blog-tour

waking

There are dark corners in your mind that even you can’t get to. 

Anna Caldwell is terrified of falling asleep. A nightmare, her very own, will be there waiting for her. After sharing her bed with the same vision for fifteen years, she’s desperate to shake it. But it only holds on tighter.

Then Anna meets Jack. She’s drawn to the strange, alluring tension that she feels when she’s around him. It’s as though it’s meant to be. But creeping beneath the roots of their intimacy is darkness.

If you knew your dreams were trying to tell you something terrible, would you listen?

Waking is a dark and addictive read that will stay with you long after the final page. 

What does TWG think?

Hellooooooo intriguing cover!

Everyone at some point in their lives will say that they have had at least one nightmare. Just one. Can you imagine it? Waking up in a sweat, possibly screaming out loud. Feeling as though your nightmares are happening in real life. But, can you imagine that ONE nightmare turning into one every single night for over ten years? It sounds like a nightmare in itself! Unfortunately for Anna Caldwell, that is exactly what happens. She believes that her night visions are warning her of something. When she sees people in the street, it’s as though she has met them before yet she cannot remember where….or when.

I enjoyed the overall concept of Helen Richardson’s novel. The vivid nightmares and severe recognition of strangers is enough to make anyone question every day life. Based on that, I was extremely eager to find out what Anna’s nightmares meant. Why did she recognise Jack? What caused the nightmares? So many questions in such a short space of time. My fingers were crossed, hoping that the storyline would give me the answers my mind craved.

The way in which Anna’s dreams are pushed into the spotlight via her art gallery work, is quite clever. Unfortunately, as a person who sees art as being my daughters painted footprint on a piece of paper, those parts of the storyline went right over my head. I felt as though you were required to have some sort of interest in art to be able to relate and devour those parts of the storyline. For me, it didn’t really work. That said, I did feel that the author incorporated Anna’s nightmares into the storyline exceptionally well, even if I didn’t gel with the means of how it was written, I could still appreciate the way in which the author tied the events together.

I found it really interesting how deeply entwined our subconsciousness can be with our every day lives, and how our minds have the ability to protect ourselves from remembering certain things time and time again. I throughly enjoyed reading ‘Waking’ for that deeply insightful reason.

Even though I personally don’t see this novel as a ‘psychological thriller’ but more of a suspenseful romance, I fully appreciated the depth the author went to create such a suspenseful and intense novel. I was rather hooked on Anna Caldwell’s life and the lengths the character went to dissect her nightmares to get to the root cause. Personally, that was the highlight of the novel for me. I loved how raw certain parts of the storyline became and, for that reason alone, it is exactly why ‘Waking’ will be etched into my own subconscious for a very long time to come.

Thanks Accent Press.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #GuestPost from author of Woman in the Shadows; @CarolMcGrath @AccentPress

A powerful, evocative new novel by the critically acclaimed author of The Handfasted Wife, The Woman in the Shadows tells the rise of Thomas Cromwell, Tudor England's most powerful statesman, through the eyes of his wife Elizabeth.

When beautiful cloth merchant’s daughter Elizabeth Williams is widowed at the age of twenty-two, she is determined to make herself a success in the business she has learned from her father. But there are those who oppose a woman making her own way in the world, and soon Elizabeth realises she may have some powerful enemies – enemies who also know the truth about her late husband.

Security – and happiness – comes when Elizabeth is introduced to kindly, ambitious merchant turned lawyer, Thomas Cromwell. Their marriage is one based on mutual love and respect…but it isn’t always easy being the wife of an influential, headstrong man in Henry VIII’s London.

The city is filled with ruthless people and strange delights – and Elizabeth realises she must adjust to the life she has chosen…or risk losing e she has chosen…or risk losing everything.

Author Guest Post

Thank you for inviting me to speak about Elizabeth Cromwell and my experience writing about this little known Tudor woman.
Elizabeth Cromwell was the wife of one of Tudor England’s most famous statesmen, Thomas Cromwell who is recently immortalised in Hilary Mantel’s novels Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies. I was curious about a woman married to such a personage and wanted to bring her out of the shadows and give this Tudor wife and mother of three children, Anne, Grace and Gregory, her own story.

My first challenge was finding out what was known about her. There was not a lot. She had been married before to a Yeoman of the King’s Guard and was a widow. Her father was a cloth merchant and she had a sister, Joan, and a brother, Henry. It seems that Thomas Cromwell may have known the family as they all hailed from Putney. I don’t think Cromwell came from an impoverished background either as his father owned land and a fulling mill. He had a brewery and a blacksmith’s concern. Cromwell hailed from a middling sort of background, though he later claimed that his father was drunken and violent.

It is important to get into the mind-set of the period you are writing. It was not really about stepping into Elizabeth Cromwell’s shoes and inhabiting her. It was more about trying to see life and her world as she might have seen it. That is difficult for a twenty-first century writer looking back. I do believe people throughout history experience emotions in common but the way these are played out is different and an historical writer must pay attention to this. My challenge was to give Elizabeth a plausible story and to work out situations containing conflicts to engage a reader and draw reader into her character and her world. I had to research this world first and then conceal all that knowledge within the narrative and the way I constructed her personality and character. No one wants to read information dump.

Elizabeth was a widow. Widows during this period had a degree of legal and financial independence within a society controlled by men.  It might be a shock to us now to think of English women as commodities and, indeed, there were women who disliked the total control family and society exerted over their lives, but there were very few. Running their own households would afford a degree of freedom within the domestic sphere so, unless they wished to enter a convent, women aspired to marriage, accepting the protection of often much older men, or unfaithful young men. The idea was that love or at least respect would follow the marriage. Marriage was rarely romantic. However, a widow could choose her own second husband and I use that fact to make Elizabeth’s character appealing to the modern reader without her seeming too free. Her desire to marry Thomas Cromwell sets up conflict along with the fact that Elizabeth inherited a failing cloth business and wants to make it successful despite her father’s objections and his attempts to remarry her.
I knew that Thomas Cromwell was interested in the new learning known as Humanism– humanists were interested in interrogating the past through discussion and in new translations of old works by Latin and Greek writers, and that Thomas was also a ‘Renaissance Man’ who adored all things Italian and beautiful objects. There is indication that by around 1517 he was a realist who disliked reliquary and indulgences. He never remarried after Elizabeth’s death in 1528/29 and he was a family man. I think I can conclude that it may have been a solid marriage. All this made it easier for me to make Elizabeth, a Tudor woman accessible for today’s reader. I hope that when you read the book you will agree.

Huge thanks to Carol McGrath for the interesting and highly informative guest post! If you wish to purchase her nice, The Woman in the Shadows, you can do so Here!

About the author

Carol McGrath has an MA in Creative Writing from The Seamus Heaney Centre, Queens University Belfast, followed by an MPhil in Creative Writing from University of London. The Handfasted Wife, first in a trilogy about the royal women of 1066 was shortlisted for the RoNAs in 2014. The Swan-Daughter and The Betrothed Sister complete this best-selling trilogy. The Woman in the Shadows, a novel that considers Henry VIII’s statesman, Thomas Cromwell, through the eyes of Elizabeth his wife, will be published on August 4th, 2017. Carol is working on a new medieval Trilogy, The Rose Trilogy, set in the High Middle Ages.  It subject matter is three linked medieval queens, sometimes considered ‘She Wolves’. She speaks at events and conferences on the subject of medieval women, writing Historical Fiction, The Bayeux Tapestry, and Fabrics, Tapestry and Embroidery as incorporated into fiction. Carol was the co-ordinator of the Historical Novels Association Conference, Oxford in September 2016 and reviews for the HNS.  Find Carol on her website:
www.carolcmcgrath.co.uk.

#BlogTour! #Review – #IsMonogamyDead by @RosieWilby @AccentPress

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rosiewilby

In early 2013, comedian Rosie Wilby found herself at a crossroads with everything she’d ever believed about romantic relationships. When people asked, ‘who’s the love of your life?’ there was no simple answer. Did they mean her former flatmate who she’d experienced the most ecstatic, heady, yet ultimately doomed, fling with? Or did they mean the deep, lasting companionate partnerships that gave her a sense of belonging and family? Surely, most human beings need both. 

Mixing humour, heartache and science, Is Monogamy Dead? details Rosie’s very personal quest to find out why Western society is clinging to a concept that doesn’t work that well for some of us and is laden with ambiguous assumptions.

What does TWG think?

What an intriguing question; is monogamy dead? Do you think it is? What is the definition of cheating? Can you go through life just loving one person? What about when you enter into a relationship with another person, can’t you commit due to your commitment to your previous partner?

So many questions, so many answers. Whilst all of us will have different answers to such questions, author & comedienne, Rosie Wilby, sheds light with her opinion of relationships in her non-fiction book, ‘Is Monogamy Dead?’

Rosie Wilby’s honesty, and black and white approach to the her sexual orientation, as well as relationships themselves, is rather endearing. The topic of monogamy is an interesting, yet quite complex, subject which as a 27-year-old single female, still confuses the bejeezus out of me. Reading Rosie Wilby’s opinions of the subject made me feel as though I was less alone whilst battling with my confusion as she explored romantic relationships in great detail, whilst admitting that she too was confused by its entirety.

I have to be honest, the scientific element of this novel went over my head, whilst cementing the fact that ‘Is Monogamy Dead’ is a novel which requires a lot of dedication and minimal distractions. This isn’t a book that can be read as a ‘quick read’ – the subject is far too complex and detailed that attempting to sprint through to the end, could make your head go ‘boom!’. I was exceptionally glad that Rosie Wilby included her trademark humour alongside the technical wording as without it, I don’t think that I would have made it to the end of the book comfortably.

I am pretty certain that ‘Is Monogamy Dead?’ will get a lot of people conversing and debating about the subject in hand. However, in my opinion, monogamy is a subject that only a few people will wholeheartedly understand and, whilst Rosie Wilby’s novel didn’t change my level of understanding, I love the fact that she has put this topic out there for discussion instead of hiding it away in case the marshmallow man got offended.

‘Is Monogamy Dead?’ is bang on trend and perfect for the modern world right here, right now. Monogamy should be discussed. Relationships should be discussed. After all, if you’re about to embark on a romantic relationship, surely it’s better if you were both on the same page; monogamous or not?

Highly recommended, Rosie Wilby’s – Is Monogamy Dead? is refreshing, modern and totally engaging, as long as you read it with an open mind.

Thanks Accent Press.

Is Monogamy Dead? will be published on the 3rd August and you can pre-order your copy now from Amazon UK.

#TWGGetsTalking – How to tell the difference between being nasty & being constructive #reviews

Twg gets talking
You should all know by now that I like to talk, ESPECIALLY when I am passionate about something and believe that it needs to be spoken about.

Once again, opinions have been thrust into the limelight and definitions have been questioned. Before I explain further, I’m just going to paste the Oxford dictionary definitions of two words; nasty, and constructive.

Nasty: very bad, or unpleasant.
(definition of unpleasant is: Causing discomfort, unhappiness, or revulsion; disagreeable.)

Constructive: Having or intended to have a useful or beneficial purpose.

constructive

Two completely different word with extremely clear definitions, yet people are still getting confused by the two words.

Why?

As a reviewer, I have always been made aware that authors (or anyone who gets critiqued) tend to appreciate CONSTRUCTIVE reviews as opposed to NASTY reviews. With both types of reviews your opinion is given – that is NOT the issue. After all, every person on this Earth is entitled to their opinion. We are allowed to dislike something. We are allowed to express our dislike of something. We are allowed to jump for joy about something. What the issue is, however, is the WAY those points are put across.

Believe me, I open my trap before my brain connects sometimes, ending up with goodness knows what flying out of my mouth. But when it comes to reviews, I am extremely careful about how I voice my opinion.

For example; ‘Omg I hated that book, it was absolutely shit, the author bored me to tears.’

What’s wrong with that sentence?

Okay, so, the example above is someones opinion. They’re entitled to that. Answer me this; was it constructive, or nasty?

If you said that the example was a constructive comment: seriously? How does saying that a book was ‘shit’, come across as beneficial to the author?
It doesn’t.

It’s rude and it’s nasty. Imagine if you cooked a meal for a group of people and someone came up to you afterwards and said that they thought your cooking was absolutely vile, would you benefit from that?

To turn the above example into a constructive opinion, here’s an example:
‘Personally, this book wasn’t really my cup of tea as I couldn’t quite gel with the storyline. I felt that it came across as quite over the top and unrealistic, which in turn made me switch off.’

The different between the two examples is substantial. The example above still highlights your dislike, yet it also explains WHY you felt that way. It’s also not personally attacking the person who wrote the book, whilst still keeping your opinion entitlement intact.

Whilst authors are painfully aware that their books could end up with negative reviews and their book babies critiqued, it doesn’t mean that just because they have put something in the public eye, that they should expect nasty comments or personal attacks.

YES, they have written something which will get critiqued.
YES, everyones opinion does differ.
YES, readers are entitled to dislike their book.

Just DON’T be nasty about it!

In book clubs, you’re going to have the perfect opportunity to talk about various books whether it’s an online or offline. But, do you think that it’s respectful to openly blast and author and their book, in an online book club which they could be a member of?
Yes or no?

No it’s not!!! Go ahead and state your opinion about a book, but if you’re going to sit there and say that a book is so bad and how you wanted to ‘light a match under it’; that’s not stating your opinion, it’s called being nasty.

As we hear all the time, not everyone will like the same book. Well duh! I fully admit that I have read a book and disliked it. But instead of reviewing it nastily, I gave it a constructive review as there will always be something in a book that you’ll like. I explained what I didn’t like about the book, I also explained WHY I didn’t like those parts, how it made me feel, and so on. I also explained what I DID like about the book. I still managed to express my opinion on the book, without insulting a human being with feelings in the process.

So, if you’re ever in an online book group where the admin have asked you to talk about books in a constructive manner; respectfully do it. They aren’t taking away your freedom of speech. They aren’t banishing you from stating your opinion. They are just asking you to express your opinion respectfully and constructively. Authors have feelings too.

It really isn’t that difficult to do..

#CoverReveal! #WhiteSilence by Jodi Taylor (@authorjoditaylo) @AccentPress

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)
Some of you may recognise the authors name already. Why? Because she has already penned a couple of novels in a completely different genre; time travel. Today, Jodi Taylor will be revealing the new cover for her upcoming book, and several bloggers are on hand to help (like me!). Now, poor Jodi Taylor is incredibly nervous, not only is she revealing her brand new cover, she is also revealing her brand new genre! Excited?

It is such an honour to be helping this lovely lady to reveal her cover. Let’s try and calm her nerves by giving her lots of love and support, right? Who knows, we may end up being put into her book if we don’t…after all…

CAUSE THIS IS THRILLLLERRRRRRRRRRRRR!!! THRILLER NIGHTTTT.

No, Jodi Taylor isn’t bringing MJ back…although….

Cover anyone?

WHITE SILENCE kindle
*The first instalment in the new, gripping supernatural thriller series from international bestselling author, Jodi Taylor* 

“I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what I am.” 

Elizabeth Cage is a child when she discovers that there are things in this world that only she can see. But she doesn’t want to see them and she definitely doesn’t want them to see her.

What is a curse to Elizabeth is a gift to others – a very valuable gift they want to control.

 When her husband dies, Elizabeth’s world descends into a nightmare. But as she tries to piece her life back together, she discovers that not everything is as it seems.

Alone in a strange and frightening world, she’s a vulnerable target to forces beyond her control. 

And she knows that she can’t trust anyone…

White Silence is a twisty supernatural thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat.

DUN DUN DUNNNNNN!!!

That’s right folks, Jodi Taylor has joined thriller side, aka the dark side!!

#WhiteSilence e-book is set to be published on 21/09/2017, and the paperback is set to follow in Spring 2018. With an intriguing blurb like this one, I’m not sure if I can wait until September, can you?

Don’t forget to let me know what you think! Does this sound like your type of book?

If so, you can pre-order it right now from: Amazon!

I know the book title is ‘White Silence’, but lets not give the author white silence with this reveal!

Big thanks to Accent Press for asking me to be involved in this cover reveal, and good luck to Jodi Taylor on her new genre! I cannot wait to get my hands on this bad boy!

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

#BlogTour! #Review of Skin Deep by Laura Wilkinson (@ScorpioScribble) @AccentPress

SKIN DEEP FINAL COVER

It’s what’s inside that counts…

 Art student and former model Diana has always been admired for her beauty but what use are good looks when you want to shine for your talent? Insecure and desperate for inspiration, Diana needs a muse.

Facially disfigured four-year-old Cal lives a life largely hidden from the world. But he was born to be looked at and he needs love too. A chance encounter changes everything; Cal becomes Diana’s muse. But as Diana’s reputation develops and Cal grows up, their relationship implodes.

Both struggle to be accepted for what lies within.
Is it possible to find acceptance in a society where what’s on the outside counts for so much?

What does TWG think?

I am delighted to be today’s stop on, Laura Wilkinson’s, blog tour for ‘Skin Deep’. This book hit home in many ways and I really hope I am able to explain why, and how, in this review.

Do you remember, as a child, constantly being told that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, or ‘it’s what’s inside that counts’, or ‘beauty is only skin deep’? I remember getting told them SO many times. I would always ‘pfft’ every time I heard those phrases, especially ‘if someone is nasty about your looks, it’s because they are jealous’. Reaaalllyyy? Take a moment and think back to your childhood; were you ever told those phrases? If you’re a parent, do you ever tell those phrases to your children? Keep those thoughts in your mind for now…

Diana had a childhood of being pulled from pillar to post, pouting for all and sundry, and being on the receiving end of angry outbursts; she was a child model. Unfortunately, due to her rocky childhood, the emotional scars still run deep and her insecurity level has reached its maximum. Will Diana decide to channel her thoughts into her latest artwork? Or will history end up repeating itself?

After finding out what Diana endured as a child, I truly felt like she would become the best person to stand up for others in the same boat, or that she would be able to stand up for those whose looks make people gasp in disgust. I wanted her to stand with those people who had been ridiculed for what they look like, instead of being accepted for who they are.

When the Laura Wilkinson introduced character, Cal, to the storyline, my heart shattered into tiny pieces. Instead of a young boy being exactly that, young, the fickle people around him couldn’t (and didn’t want to) see anything other than their judgemental thoughts. Cal was born disfigured.

Right at the very start, I asked you to think about certain phrases and whether you  remember being told them as a child, or whether you tell your children (if you’re a parent) those phrases. I used to get told them growing up, and as a parent myself, I tell my three-year old daughter something similar; ‘it doesn’t matter what we look like, as long as we are happy and we are loved, that’s all that matters’. With all of that in mind, reading Cal and Diana’s journey was incredibly heart breaking, eye-opening, and unfortunately bang on. Society is extremely judgemental, and extremely unforgiving. If someone is deemed ‘different’, like Cal, people aren’t able to cope. They feel the need to either hide those human beings away, or parade them around like a popular animal in the zoo. Whether you have been brought up to love people for who they are, ‘Skin Deep’ will require a big bar of chocolate and a cosy blanket whilst you read it. Trust me. Now, if you have been brought up to believe that anyone with different looks are freaks, and that they deserve nasty comments; I can promise you that you will end up thanking Laura Wilkinson for opening your eyes and making you realise that just because skin is thick, it doesn’t mean it can take abuse.

‘Skin Deep’ had me feeling so many emotions, in such a short space of time. Whilst a lot of this storyline is quite difficult to read due to the subject it is centred around, ‘Skin Deep’ really is the type of novel you just have to finish, no matter what state you’re in. My opinion of Diana kept changing; one minute I felt sorry for her, the next minute she absolutely disgusted me. I can’t tell you my reasons for that as it will definitely give something away, but I will be intrigued to see what other think of her in particular.

Don’t get me wrong, ‘Skin Deep’ contained multiple questionable characters, and I would be here ages discussing each and every one of them, BUT, whilst there were some characters who will no doubt receive a visit from the karma police in due course, there were a couple of beautiful characters who were worth their weight in gold.

Laura Wilkinson’s novel should be given out in schools, as a reminder of how much words can actually hurt. ‘Skin Deep’ is such a work of art; a beautifully written novel which literally speaks for itself.
Heart-breaking yet poignant, heart-warming yet powerful, emotional yet eye-opening; ‘Skin Deep’ needs to be read by everyone, and anyone.
This truly is a book to be remembered.

Thanks Accent Press.

Buy now: Amazon // Waterstones // WHSmith

About Laura

Liverpool born, Laura is a taff at heart. She has published six novels for adults (two under a pseudonym) and numerous short stories, some of which have made the short lists of international competitions. Public Battles, Private Wars, was a Welsh Books Council Book of the month; Redemption Song was a Kindle top twenty. The Family Line is a family drama set in the near future, looking at identity and parenting. Her latest is Skin Deep. Alongside writing, Laura works as an editor & mentor for literary consultancies and runs workshops on aspects of craft. She’s spoken at festivals and events nationwide, including the Frome Festival, Gladfest, University of Kingston, The Women’s Library and Museum in Docklands. She lives in Brighton with her husband and sons.

Contact Laura Wilkinson:
Website // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram // Pinterest // Goodreads

 

Huge thanks to Accent Press for asking me to be involved in this blog tour, I am truly honoured to be part of the celebration for such a beautiful book. If you’re only just joining the blog tour, all of the previous bloggers, as well as the bloggers still to come, are all listed on the graphic below:

skin deep blog tour

#CoverReveal! Waking by Helen Richardson (@helen_r_writes) @AccentPress

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)
It’s c-c-c-c-over reveal time!!

Debut author, cover reveal and Accent Press – what’s NOT to like? The book cover I am about to show you, sounds ah-MAZING! Unfortunately we have to wait until September to get it -cries-, but it sure sounds worth the wait!

It is with great pleasure that I reveal to you……

Waking
Title: Waking
Author: Helen Richardson
Publication date: September 14th 2017
Publisher: Accent Press
ISBN: 9781786153449 (paperback) – 9781786153227 (ebook)

There are dark corners in your mind that even you can’t get to.

Anna Caldwell is terrified of falling asleep. A nightmare, her very own, will be there waiting for her. After sharing her bed with the same vision for fifteen years, she’s desperate to shake it. But it only holds on tighter.

Then Anna meets Jack. She’s drawn to the strange, alluring tension that she feels when she’s around him. It’s as though it’s meant to be. But creeping beneath the roots of their intimacy is darkness.

If you knew your dreams were trying to tell you something terrible, would you listen?

Helen Richardson is a producer for branded content and documentary productions. She lives in London. This is her first novel.

Pre-order link: PB http://amzn.to/2qYcQFe  EB: http://amzn.eu/8c5Wngz

Just want to say thank you to Accent Press for asking me to help reveal Helen Richardson’s book cover!

Does this book sound right up your street? Are you intrigued by the cover? Like always, let me know!!

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

#Review – The Deepest Cut by Natalie Flynn (@natalieflynn_) @AccentPress @AccentYA

natalie flynn

You haven’t said a single word since you ve been here. Is it on purpose? I tried to answer David but I couldn’t … my brain wanted to speak but my throat wouldn’t cooperate.

Adam blames himself for his best friend s death. After attempting suicide, he is put in the care of a local mental health facility. There, too traumatized to speak, he begins to write notebooks detailing the events leading up to Jake’s murder, trying to understand who is really responsible and cope with how needless it was as a petty argument spiralled out of control and peer pressure took hold.

Sad but unsentimental, this is a moving story of friendship and the aftermath of its destruction.

What does TWG think?

Big thank you to, Karen, from Accent Press for putting this book on my radar, and getting me involved in the #minitour today!

Every so often I like delving into a YA novel, sitting back and appreciating the unique storytelling of a YA author. ‘The Deepest Cut’ was no exception.

‘We never think it’s going to happen to us, do we?’

As human beings, we see things happening in the news and always think to ourselves that it won’t happen to us. The worrying thing is, we sound so confident with our declarations, completely oblivious that anything could happen to anyone, at anytime. But then again, as a teenager the last thing they’re going to do is sit down and work out the probability of getting knocked down by a car the next time they venture outside. Why WOULD something like that happen to a person of their age?

Adam and Jake have been best friends for as long as they can remember. Jake’s mum, Debbie, was like Adam’s second mum, and her house being Adam’s home away from home. Everywhere one lad went, the other one wasn’t too far behind. As the boys grew up, their group of two became a group of three, yet things weren’t always as hunky dory as they would have liked. One night, Adam and Debbie’s lives come crashing down when their boy, Jake, is murdered.

By the end of chapter one I was hooked. The attention to detail and the intensity that the outline of storyline contained within that first chapter, was enough to make me even more intrigued. The level of intrigue stayed with me throughout the entire novel, thanks to the uncertain atmosphere that seemed to linger on every page. As readers, we already know that Jake has been murdered, but what we don’t know is how or why. For me, the chapters leading up to the moment those questions get answered, made my heart pound, especially as we follow Adam’s heart-wrenching story.

Aside from the murderers (which I’m obviously not going to say), there was one character who made me rather angry; Adam’s dad. What a spineless man he is! Realistically thought out though, so that is a definite bonus!

‘The Deepest Cut’ is such an emotive read, but I was surprised to find myself unable to cry. It wasn’t due to the lack of emotion from the author, not at all! The thing was, this storyline ripped my heart apart and instead of bawling my eyes out, I became extremely numb and withdrawn. The numb feeling stayed with me a few hours after I had finished the book, too. Why was I numb? Because Adam’s story is incredibly heart-breaking. Not only is he dealing with grief, he’s also dealing with another loss, coping with change, AND having to deal with even more grief from way back when. The poor boy was so vulnerable, lost and in need of someone to hug him and tell him that everything was going to be okay, for once in his life.

‘The Deepest Cut’ covers several important topics such as murder, peer pressure, grief, mental health, and friendships. Natalie Flynn, via her characters, approaches the ways in which peer pressure can happen and the repercussions of that. And, as someone who has been on the receiving end of peer pressure to a detrimental effect, the author has hit the nail on the head in regards to this topic in her storyline. Even though Adam’s mental health situation is extremely emotional to read, it is also an incredibly important topic which requires the black and white approach, purely to get people to understand the aftermath of bad choices, and horrific circumstances.

As a woman who is much older than your average young adult reader, I found Natalie Flynn’s novel to be such a powerful, eye-opening and emotional read. I applaud the author for writing about multiple complex situations in such a sensitive manner, whilst also keeping it realistic and raw. I think that all YA’s and adults should read Natalie Flynn’s novel, as they might just learn a thing or two about mental health and its domino effect.

Thank you Accent Press.

Buy ‘The Deepest Cut’ by Natalie Flynn from Amazon UK, now!