Whoops, must have forgot to turn the lights off as theres #TheLightInTheHallway @mrsamandaprowse @ed_pr @amazonpub

Many thanks to EdPr for the tour invite and ARC, here is my review of ‘The Light In The Hallway’ by Amanda Prowse:

When Nick’s wife Kerry falls ill and dies, he realises for the first time how fragile his happiness has always been, and how much he’s been taking his good life and wonderful family for granted. Now, he suddenly finds himself navigating parenthood alone, unsure how to deal with his own grief, let alone that of his teenage son, Olly.

In the depths of his heartbreak, Nick must find a way to navigate life that pleases his son, his in-laws, his family and his friends—while honouring what Kerry meant to them all. But when it comes to his own emotions, Nick doesn’t know where to begin. Kerry was his childhood sweetheart—but was she really the only one who could ever make him happy?

And in the aftermath of tragedy, can Nick and his son find themselves again?

What does TWG think?

You know, I dont think I have ever read an Amanda Prowse novel that I didn’t like. How one author can write every single novel with such grace, heart, and poise without wavering once is beyond me – I am in awe and ‘The Light In The Hallway’ is no different.

When you lose someone in your life, the grief can be quite overwhelming, especially when there are other emotions to take into consideration as well as your own. For Nick and Kerry, their futures have always been mapped out together, but what they didn’t take into consideration was what would happen should one of them die before the other. They obviously knew that they weren’t immortal, yet they never imagined living life without the other one by their side.

Until now.

Nick’s loss is heartbreaking, and it was clear that he would have loved to hide away from the world. However, he had a son who needed him. Other family who needed him. He couldn’t crumble could he? YES HE COULD. He was more than entitled to tear his hair out and grieve in a way that suited him! The thing is, because he knew that others required his warmth, his own emotions needed to be hidden away. It was as though he was stuck in limbo. He loved Kerry. He loved the life that they created together. So what happens now?

For me, the moral of the story was the importance of self care, self belief and self gratification. As the saying goes ‘you cant pour from an empty jug’, which means that without looking after yourself, you have nothing left to give to anyone else. I am the worst person to talk about this as I dont do self care, but in this review its do as I say, not as I do haha.

Nick wanted everyone else to be happy. He tried so hard to help them move forward in life after Kerry’s death, yet he was still stuck. How is that fair? Why is everyone else allowed to move forward and hes not?

‘The Light in the Hallway’ created so many questions in my mind, and had me second guessing life in general due to the way we, as humans, over complicate things when in actual fact, life isnt actually that complicated is it?

Amanda Prowse gives my brain a work out with every book of hers because they enable me to think outside the box. They enable me to think about emotions that I have tried to bury. They enable me to see different points of view that I would never have had the option to consider before. They enable me to be free from judgement and, most importantly, they enable me to believe.

Yes, this story is harrowing at times, and intense at others, yet it is always poignant and incredibly moving as we get to follow Nick on his own journey of self discovery. I know that, whenever I read an Amanda Prowse novel, that the light will always be on in my hallway, just as long as there is hope in the authors heart.

Beautiful.

Buy now.

#IWillMakeYouPay. Well, I won’t but @teresadriscoll might! @amazonpub @ed_pr

Apologies for how late in the day this is, but massive thank you to EdPr for the blog tour invite and ARC of Teresa Driscoll’s ‘I Will Make You Pay’. Here is my review:

Every Wednesday, like clockwork, the terror returns.

It seems like an ordinary Wednesday, until the phone rings. A mysterious caller with a chilling threat. Journalist Alice Henderson hangs up, ready to dismiss it as a hoax against the newspaper. But the next Wednesday, the stalker makes another move—and it becomes clear that this is all about Alice.

Someone wants her to suffer, but for what? Her articles have made her a popular local champion—could it be her past rather than her work that’s put her life in danger? Alice is determined not to give in to fear, but with the police investigation at a dead end, her boyfriend insists on hiring private investigator Matthew Hill.

With every passing Wednesday the warnings escalate, until it’s not only Alice but also her family in the stalker’s sights. As her tormentor closes in, can Alice uncover what she’s being punished for before the terrifying threats become an unthinkable reality?

What does TWG think?

Goodness me – what a shocker!! I stayed up until 1.47am (to be precise) to finish reading this book. At first I was a bit ‘uhhhhhh another typical psychological thriller’, however once I got into the story, I soon realised that ‘I Will Make You Pay’ wasn’t typical at all. In fact, I was gobsmacked by how evil people could be! To some, Alice may come across as a bit of a doormat, to me I thought that she was just rather unlucky. She wanted to see the best in people and refused to see how conniving some people could actually be. A little naive, perhaps, espcially given the fact that she was a journalist, but she didn’t exactly ask to be treated like dirt by people. I mean, why would anyone do that?

I loved how devious and addictive the storyline was, with dark events and shocking characters making the storyline even more disturbing than I originally anticipated.

Of course I felt sorry for Alice – her life was in turmoil and her mother was terminally ill. The fact that a human would use that against another human is sickening. It did make for a bloody good read though!!

‘I Will Make You Pay’ has revenge at the core of its storyline, as well as multiple shocking undertones. Teresa Driscoll wrote the story in such a way, it felt as though it was happening in real life. The devastation that Alice felt was so powerful, I couldn’t help but be moved by what she had endured in such a short space of time.

If you’re after a shocking, multi layered and devious read, I cannot recommend this enough. A cracking read!

‘I Will Make You Pay’ by Teresa Driscoll is out now, published by Thomas & Mercer, priced £8.99 in paperback original

Buy now.

Fiona Valpy is back with a fab new #book, #TheDressmakersGift..and #TWG #reviews it for the #blogtour! @AmazonPub @ed_pr @FionaValpy

Many thanks to EdPr for inviting me to take in the blog tour for Fiona Valpy’s STUNNING novel, ‘The Dressmaker’s Gift’, and for the ARC. I am delighted to be reviewing the book as part of the blog tour today!

From the bestselling author of The Beekeeper’s Promise comes a gripping story of three young women faced with impossible choices. How will history – and their families – judge them?

Paris, 1940. With the city occupied by the Nazis, three young seamstresses go about their normal lives as best they can. But all three are hiding secrets. War-scarred Mireille is fighting with the Resistance; Claire has been seduced by a German officer; and Vivienne’s involvement is something she can’t reveal to either of them.

Two generations later, Claire’s English granddaughter Harriet arrives in Paris, rootless and adrift, desperate to find a connection with her past. Living and working in the same building on the Rue Cardinale, she learns the truth about her grandmother – and herself – and unravels a family history that is darker and more painful than she ever imagined.

In wartime, the three seamstresses face impossible choices when their secret activities put them in grave danger. Brought together by loyalty, threatened by betrayal, can they survive history’s darkest era without being torn apart?

What does TWG think?

Ever since I finished reading this book the other morning (early hours to be exact), I knew that I was going to struggle writing my review. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the book, it was the fact that I was so emotionally invested in Harriett’s story, both past and present.

I am a huge fan of historical fiction, and after reading ‘The Dressmaker’s Gift’, my love for the genre was cemented even more. Set in Paris in 1940 and then in Germany several years later, Valpy’s novel tells the story of Harriett’s ancestor, Claire, and her friends as they’re faced with living life during the war. As well as being set in the past, the story is also set in the ‘present day’ of 2017, making it a dual timeline and quite complex read.

Harriett hasn’t had it easy after losing her mum to suicide. She has never felt as though she belonged anywhere and, after finding a photograph from 1940, she was determined to find out more about where she came from. The truth becomes clear over the duration of the book, something I certainly wasn’t ready for let alone Harriett!

I’m sure a lot of you are aware of concentration camp, Auschwitz, but are you aware of the other camps? I knew of some, but nothing in depth, however that definitely changed as I learnt about Flossenburg. My goodness, my blood ran cold. The events that were described in this book about that camp were chilling, didistressing and incredibly heartbreaking. I had no idea that the Gustapo went to such lengths, and my heart broke for Claire, Vivi, and everyone else involved.

History and family ties is what makes ‘The Dressmaker’s Gift’ what it is, yet Fiona Valpy’s fragile storytelling is what gave me a body covered in goosebumps and a heart haphazardly put back together with sellotape.

Witnessing the events from 1940 through the eyes of Claire and friends, was something I will never be able to forget. The things those women endured is what people actually went through, all because of one selfish and evil individual. Its disgraceful, disgusting, diabolical, but from the bottom of my heart (not that anyone involved would be able to read this), I want to say thank you to all the soldiers who fought for the good of the people, and thank you to everyone who lost their lives for our freedom today. I wish they hadn’t.

Sorry, went off on a tangent there but it needed to be said.

I absolutely adored ‘The Dressmaker’s Gift’ for both its beauty and its emotive undertone. Fiona Valpy is an exceptional author who has given those who can no longer speak, a voice and the ability to share the power of their wisdom.

I won’t lie, this book broke me and left me utterly speechless, yet I cannot recommend it enough. This is power at its finest, poignancy in all its beauty, and the history which makes time stand still all over again. A beautiful, powerful and emotive read – one of the best books I have ever read.

The Dressmaker’s Gift by Fiona Valpy is out now, published by Lake Union in paperback original and e-Book.

Buy now.