#BlogTour! #Review – The Woolly Hat Knitting Club by Poppy Dolan (@poppydwriter) @canelo_co

The Woolly Hat Blog Tour Banner (4)
What perfect weather for wearing a woolly hat! Good to know our author is keeping herself nice and toasty whist visiting all the blogs on the blog tour, that’s for sure! Speaking of which – I have the pleasure of hosting Poppy Dolan and ‘The Woolly Hat Knitting Club’ as we go into day two of the tour! Huge thanks to Canelo for asking me to be involved in the blog tour – here is my review:

woolly hat

Finding happiness one stitch at a time

When Dee Blackthorn’s brother, JP, breaks both wrists not only is he in need of a helping hand – or two – but the knitting shop he owns can’t function. Sisterly duties take Dee away from her demanding job and she is unceremoniously fired amidst rumours of inappropriate behaviour. Dee is certain that her hot-shot nemesis, Ben, is behind it all but has no proof.

When Dee bumps into an old friend who is new mum to a premature baby she convinces JP to enlist his knitting pals to make lots of tiny woolly hats. Then Ben turns up denying involvement in Dee’s sacking and she ropes him into helping the knitting cause.
But before long Dee’s good intentions backfire and she risks losing her friends, her family and Ben, who’s turned out to be not so bad after all…

A feel-good romantic comedy about learning what life is really all about, The Woolly Hat Knitting Club is perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Tilly Tennant and Carole Matthews.

What does TWG think?

TWG and knitting do not go hand in hand. I’m more likely to tie myself in a knot with the wool instead of knitting with it (and no, not in the kinky way either). I used to knit…a very long time ago, but I expected one of those Jean Greenhowe doll patterns to be completed a lot quicker than it actually was. Granted I was eight, but that’s not the point. As an avid reader, I have only read one other book which has knitting as its theme…surprisingly! As soon as I saw Poppy Dolan’s new novel I was rather eager to let myself loose into the knowledge of, er, purl stitch and such. Well, that and it looked so much fun.

To be perfectly honest, I really didn’t know what I was expecting ‘The Woolly Hat Knitting Club’ to entail (apart from the obvious), yet I was still rather surprised when the ‘drama’ bells rang within the storyline after several pages. I rubbed my hands together with glee thinking that I was in for a bumpy ride….and it was two broken wrists. TWO BROKEN WRISTS. I never knew knitting was such a dangerous sport! I jest….kinda. I will probably sound mean now, but as soon as the two broken wrists became part of the storyline in great detail, I couldn’t help but giggle. I could just imagine two arms stuck out like a snowman. Let me just say that if it happened to me, I wouldn’t be laughing, but it was just the way it was described in the storyline that made me chuckle.

Whilst I hoped I would laugh, I never expected to feel tears prick my eyes when the storyline went from jokey, to incredibly serious. Reader, it gave me all the feels and I’m not even joking. Two words – premature babies. That’s all I’m saying (it’s in the blurb so I won’t get told off). For me personally, the direction in which the storyline took after the emotional scene made the entire novel go up several notches. Instead of it just being about knitting and broken wrists; the storyline started to have meaning and incredible depth.

Now, as I admitted at the start of this novel – I am not a knitter. However, after reading about the woolly hats for premature babies, I have decided to re-learn how to knit and get some premature baby hats knitted for my local area. That whole situation hit home for many, many personal reasons and thanks to Poppy Dolan, I am actually going to give something back. Without the author’s important message in her storyline, I wouldn’t have been given the kick up the backside.

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Woolly Hat Knitting Club’ as it was cleverly written and so unique. That said, I couldn’t really work out what the issue with Dee was later on in the book, I didn’t see an issue in her actions so I became a little confused by her brothers reactions. Maybe that’s just me I don’t know!

The highlight of Poppy Dolan’s novel (aside from the hats), was the 90’s references. I laughed out loud to several of the band names, even re-reading a previous page to see whether what I read was actually what I read! Absolutely brilliant.

All in all, ‘The Woolly Hat Knitting Club’ is a feel good novel which is guaranteed to make you giggle, whilst also preparing you for world dominance – knitting style. A perfect paced read from start to finish; Poppy Dolan has written a storyline with a heart of gold and never-ending hugs. The perfect pick me up book.

Thanks Canelo,

Buy now from Amazon UK

Author Bio:

Poppy Dolan is in her mid thirties and lives in Berkshire with her husband. She's a near- obsessive baker and a keen crafter, so on a typical weekend can be found moving between the haberdashery and kitchenware floors of a department store, adding to her birthday wish list. She has written three novels: The Bad Boyfriends Bootcamp, There’s More to Life than Cupcakes and most recently The Bluebell Bunting Society. The Bad Boyfriends Bootcamp made it into the Amazon top 100 bestseller chart, so clearly someone other than her mum must have read it. She’s currently working on her fourth novel – it’s about friends, siblings and crafty things – and drinking far too much tea.

You can get in touch with Poppy on Twitter @poppydwriter and on Facebook at
PoppyDolanBooks. She doesn’t bite. Unless you are a dark chocolate digestive.

Advertisements

#BlogTour! #Review – Christmas at Mistletoe Cove by Holly Martin (@HollyMAuthor) @Bookouture

Christmas at Mistletoe Cove - Blog Blitz
It’s time to get Christmassy with Holly Martin and her brand new festive treat; ‘Christmas at Mistletoe Cove’! I hope you enjoy reading my review as much as I enjoyed reading Holly’s book. Thanks so much to the author and Bookouture for having me involved in this blog blitz!

Christmas-at-Mistletoe-Cove-Kindle

Christmas has arrived at Hope Island, promising snowflakes, surprises and plenty of seasonal joy. So snuggle up and fall in love at Mistletoe Cove …

Growing up on Hope Island, Eden Lancaster always believed that if you wished hard enough for something, dreams really could come true. But Eden’s greatest wish is also her biggest secret: she has been completely in love with her childhood friend, the charming and attractive Dougie Harrison, for as long as she can remember. And he has no idea. 

When Dougie leaves his successful life in New York to return home to Hope Island for good, Eden can’t escape her feelings. Her heart is full of hope that her romantic dreams are finally, at long last, going to come true…

This Christmas could change everything. But can a lifelong friendship really turn into the perfect romance? And will Eden get the happily ever after she’s always wished for?

Christmas at Mistletoe Cove is like a warm hug on a cold winter’s day. The perfect treat this Christmas for fans of Debbie Johnson, Cathy Bramley and Miranda Dickinson.

What does TWG think?

I am absolutely delighted to be back in Hope Island alongside some truly wonderful and memorable characters, courtesy of author Holly Martin and the stars of this story. Having LOVED the authors previous novel; ‘Summer at Buttercup Beach’, where we were introduced to some of the characters who also reappear in this novel, I was so excited to find out what happened next with Dougie and Eden. Even though ‘Christmas at Mistletoe Cove’ has characters who have featured in Holly Martin’s previous novel, it is still a standalone which means it can be read on its own with no issue. Although saying that, my advice would be to read ‘Summer at Buttercup Beach’ before you read this one, just so you get to read another f’awesome storyline!

As a child, Eden used to be all rainbows, fairies and wishing on her birthday cake but, as she got older, that all changed. Gone was the girl who found magic in everything. Gone was the girl who believed in fulfilling dreams and making wishes after being hurt so badly. Eden had only ever wanted for one particular thing, yet due to her dip in self-confidence, Eden believed that it would never, ever happen. It’s funny how the things we want the most, are quite often right underneath our noses….

The thing about Holly Martin’s novels is that no matter how long passes between each book release, Martin manages to real you back in with her snort worthy humour and hot under the collar antics. It’s as though the author sees all of her readers as long-lost friends, especially as I seemed to fall in love with the storyline and the characters almost straight away.

I’m sure a lot of people are going ‘it’s only September, why are you reading a Christmas book now?’. Usually I would be asking folk the same question, however thanks to Holly Martin, this year I’m not. Why? Because whilst reading ‘Christmas at Mistletoe Cove’, I forgot that it was only September, that it was only Autumn, and that Halloween still hadn’t been yet. I’m not saying that because I have a bad memory, I’m saying that because everything about this storyline screamed; ‘READ ME AND FORGET EVERYTHING ELSE. I’M GOING TO HUG YOU UNTIL YOU HAVE FINISHED THE BOOK’. Soooooooo of course I did what I was told! I forgot everything else and allowed myself to be hugged by such an enchanting and loveable storyline.

I loved how I was able to slot back into the characters lifestyles, even though the storyline was from a different point of view as opposed to the previous book with similar characters. I adore Holly Martin’s cosy and comforting writing style as she never fails to deliver with her outstanding and relatable storylines, alongside some proper unsexy laughing. Think of a pig snorting, a sea-lion clapping, and a human bent over gasping for air and you’ll get a rough idea as to how I laughed whilst reading this book.

Dontcha wish that you had a laugh like mine…..DONTCHA.

‘Christmas at Mistletoe Cove’ is as cosy as laying under a blanket with a hot cuppa tea; it truly is a hug in a book. Prepare to fall in love with Mistletoe Cove and Holly Martin’s heart-warming words. Prepare to feel sad when it comes to saying ‘bye’ to a lot of fabulous characters. But, most importantly, be prepared to love this book with all of your heart. If an Ice Queen can do it, you can too.

Festive, fabulous and f’awesome; Holly Martin has delivered a belter of a book yet again.

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK 
 Buy now from Amazon US

Author Bio:

 Holly has been writing for 8 years. She was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology. She won the Carina Valentine’s competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with her novel The Guestbook. She was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014. She is the bestselling author of 18 books.

 Author Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hollymartinauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HollyMAuthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hollymartin_author/

Website: https://hollymartinwriter.wordpress.com/my-books/

 

#BlogTour! #Review – A Time To Change by Callie Langridge (@CLangridgewrite) @bombshellpub

BLOG TOUR
I am absolutely delighted to be one of the blogs hosting Callie Langridge today,  and her debut novel; ‘A Time To Change’, which was published by Bombshell Books on the 24th September. Usually I can write my thoughts about a book no bother, however this novel has left me tongue tied and possible incapable of making any sort of sense. So, if that ends up being the case, I apologise in advance and I hope you like my review regardless!

9781912175628
“I would rather love passionately for an hour than benignly for a lifetime.”

In a house full of history and secrets, the past will not stay where it belongs…

Lou has always loved Hill House, the derelict manor on the abandoned land near her home. As a child, the tragic history of its owners, the Mandevilles, inspired her dream to become a history teacher. But in her late twenties, and working in a shop to pay off student debts, life is passing her by.

That changes when a family disaster sends Lou’s life into a downward spiral and she seeks comfort in the ruined corridors of Hill House. The house transforms around her and Lou is transported back to Christmas 1913. Convinced she has been in an accident and is in a coma, Lou immerses herself in her Edwardian dream. With the Mandevilles oblivious to her true identity, Lou becomes their houseguest and befriends the eldest son, Captain Thomas Mandeville, a man she knows is destined to die in the First World War.

Lou feels more at home in the past than the present and when she realises the experience is real she sets out to do everything in her power to save her new friends.

Lou passes between 1913 and 2013, unearthing plots of murder and blackmail, which she must stop no matter the cost.

On her quest to save the Mandevilles by saving Thomas, Lou will face the hardest decision of her life. She will learn that love cannot be separated by a century.

What does TWG think?

I wish that there were enough adjectives in the Oxford dictionary to help me describe my thoughts about Callie Langridge’s debut novel. Now seeing as there are over 171k words currently in use in the Oxford dictionary, I am genuinely surprised that none of the adjectives seem to fit this book. Weird maybe, but it’s the truth. I could sit here and say that ‘A Time To Change’ is a ‘beautiful and enchanting read which is phenomenally written’ and, whilst that is the truth, it doesn’t seem complimentary enough. It doesn’t seem to fit the calibre of the storyline, even if it is the truth and I do mean it. Nothing I could write would ever seem enough for this storyline.

Why?

Because it took my breath away in a way I never thought was possible.
It took me under its spell, making everything else around me obsolete and worthless for the duration of the novel.
It filled my arms with copious amounts of goosebumps, whilst also pricking my eyes with unshed tears.
It broke my heart, then it fixed it again with good ol’ PVA glue before breaking it again in the most earth shattering and beautiful way.

Hell, if I can describe a heart-break as beautiful; Callie Langridge really and truly MUST have had me under her spell.

Like always I would love to sit here and have a conversation about the storyline, uncovering all the nooks and crannies, secrets and goodness knows what else – but I can’t because it wouldn’t be fair. For that reason alone, I’m not even going over the outline of the storyline again like I usually do. I just can’t, because this book needs to be read ‘blind’ as it were. You need to read this novel with your eyes open, heart protected, and the biggest box of tissues. If I chose to outline the storyline from my own personal view, it would be like me telling you how to the read the storyline in the same way as I had read it. You can’t.

I adored the unique angle for the storyline, so much so that it caught me off guard multiple times (don’t worry, I’m not complaining). Every single one of the characters were written with poise, grace, and incredible amounts of personality that even the not-so-nice characters came across a teeny bit nicer. Teeny bit….

I loved the historical feel that the author managed to create with her storyline and enchanting use of language. Everything just seemed to fit and when time frames needed to overlap, it was done with incredible precision, thus making the to-ing and fro-ing utterly seamless.

I can honestly say, hand on heart, that there is nothing about ‘A Time To Change’ which I dislike. From start to finish, Callie Langridge’s novel captured my heart, my soul; rendering me useless when it came to any form of adulting. The storyline isn’t all rainbows and moonbeams, yet even during the most tragic and heartbreaking parts of the storyline I felt as though I had something incredibly priceless in my hands; ‘A Time To Change’ itself.

I’m not going to lie, there did come a point in the storyline where the tears just fell out of my eyes and refused to evaporate, but you know what? As heartbreaking as that moment was, I wouldn’t change my reaction to it for the world.

‘A Time To Change’ is the most enchanting, heartbreakingly beautiful and soulful novel that I have read so far this year. Never have I ever read a book like it before, and never will I ever read a book like it again. Callie Langridge has an exceptional way with words as she manages to capture the true essence of each individual character, whilst also making the reader feel as though they’re the chosen ones.

A definite must read by an author to watch; ‘A Time To Change’ needs to be put under the spotlight by every single person. You need to feel the magic within ‘A Time To Change’ because, believe me, your world will feel a lot more nourished for doing so.

Stunning, absolutely stunning.

Thanks Bombshell Books.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Author Bio:

Callie was born and brought up in Berkshire. After a brief teenage spell in the depths of Lancashire, she moved back to London.

Having left school at 16, she studied drama before embarking on a career in marketing. This saw her work in music marketing in the heady days of Britpop in the nineties. She unleashed her creativity in the design of window displays and marketing campaigns for the leading music retailer. More recently she has followed her passion for social history and currently works in marketing for a national historical institution, promoting projects and running events.

On hitting her thirtieth birthday, she decided finally to take her A levels and gained A’s in English Literature and Language, and Film Studies – not bad when working full time! – and this spurred her on to take the first of many creative writing course. A few years later and she has had a number of short stories published and plays performed at theatres and venues across London.

Callie lives in London with her long-term partner and an ever-growing collection of antique curiosities.

Twitter: @CLangridgeWrite

Facebook: Callie Langridge  https://www.facebook.com/people/Callie-Langridge/100017408860162

 

#BlogTour! #Review – Reach for the Stars by Colleen Coleman (@collcolemanauth) @Bookouture

Reach-for-the-Stars-Blog-Tour
Absolutely delighted to be kicking off Colleen Coleman’s blog tour for her brand new book, ‘Reach for the Stars’, and on publication day! Huge thanks to Kim Nash for giving me this honour. I am thrilled to be sharing my review with you all today:

Reach-for-the-Stars-Kindle

When Evelyn Dooley married her high-school sweetheart, James, she thought she was set for life. Now she’s twenty-eight, single, and fleeing to Dublin from her hometown to avoid the gossip surrounding their break-up. And all because of a test-your-relationship board game.

This was not in her five-year plan.

Then a chance encounter with gorgeous musician Danny leads to an unlikely friendship, and soon the pair are running music nights together in one of the oldest pubs in Dublin. For the first time Evelyn is following her dreams rather than someone else’s – and sparks are beginning to fly between her and Danny…

But when her savings run out and home beckons, Evelyn has to choose. The safe, comfortable life she left behind, or a new adventure with Danny? Will Evelyn flee back to the familiarity of her ex, or reach for the stars and take a leap into the unknown?

A laugh-out-loud, feel-good story of friendship, second chances, and romance, perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Lindsey Kelk and Marian Keyes.

What does TWG think?

Having read, devoured, and loved Colleen Coleman’s debut novel, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, I really had no idea how the author was going to top that book going forward. But folks, she did and by golly did she do it well!!!

The thing I love about Colleen Coleman’s novels, is how she takes real life, relatable situations and turns them into storylines that will either make you nodding in agreement, or reaching for a second box of Kleenex. Some of you might be thinking ‘why would I cry at a situation I have already endured once or twice before?’ and, whilst that is a pretty valid question, my comeback to that would be ‘well, why wouldn’t you?’. Sometimes we find ourselves stuck in situations we can’t seem to find our way out from, and then Colleen Coleman comes along with characters just like us, who go through situations just like us, allowing us to see a different way of coming out of that dark situation unscathed.

Evelyn’s life hasn’t exactly gone to plan and, instead of staying to shut down the gossips, she flees the nest to try to make a clean break. What Evelyn didn’t account for however, was meeting a musician who was more likely to tinkle her ivories (or ovaries) by allowing her to see her life as sweet, sweet music instead of what it was; a failed marriage.

Have you ever watched or read ‘Ps. I Love You’ by Cecelia Ahern? If you have, part of this storyline might remind you of the musician character from the movie. Well, unless it’s just me, obviously! As soon as ‘Danny’ was introduced into the storyline, I couldn’t help but think of the musician in the film played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. If you have read this book, please put me out of my misery and say you thought the same!

Anyway, back to this book (sorry!).

I couldn’t help but let the tears fall out of my eyes whilst I was reading ‘Reach for the Stars’. There was something incredibly magical about each individual character within the book, the ever so heart-warming storyline which made me think about my own life, and a question which made me open my eyes; stay safe or reach for the stars? I just love how the author manages to incorporate such meaningful and eye-opening messages into each of her storylines, making me think outside the box instead of going down the same old route.

‘Reach for the Stars’ is everything I hoped for, and more. I was quite unsure as to how Colleen Coleman was going to beat her previous novel as it gave me all the feels, but she did. Coleman has managed to raise the bar even higher with this heart-warming and extremely touching novel which will make you look at life in a completely different way. I really have no idea how the author does it, but she manages to make me laugh and cry, whilst also making me feel as though I can conquer the world in my sleep, all at the same time. Not only does it require a talented author to be able to do that, it also requires an author with a heart of gold. Colleen Coleman ticks both boxes and more.

‘Reach for the Stars’ is an absolutely phenomenal read. From start to finish I was glued to Evelyn’s story and the chances she could take. I wanted her to be brave and reach for the stars. I wanted her to live her life for herself, and not for anybody else. Watching the character get to that point, however, made me crumble in the most beautiful way.

This book is everything I could have wished for in a storyline and, if I had to choose a book to live my life by; I would certainly have ‘Reach for the Stars’ as my life bible.

Touching, emotional, relatable, and absolutely beautiful, Colleen Coleman has done it yet again with this outstanding novel. Beautifully written and full of girl power, ‘Reach for the Stars’ is the book which everyone needs to read….now.

I truly cannot wait to see what the author comes up with next. If it’s anything like her previous novel and this novel, I am going to have to stock up on the Kleenex! Easiest five stars ever!

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK 
Buy now from Amazon US

Author Bio:

Colleen Coleman is an Irish-Canadian novelist. She is the winner of the much-coveted Novelicious Undiscovered People’s Choice Award launched to find the next ‘chick-lit star’. She spent over ten years working as a teacher of English and Philosophy before finally taking a deep breath, scrunching her eyes shut, putting her pen to paper and vowing not to lift it again until she wrote the words The End. As a result, her first novel was born. Colleen lives between London, Ireland and Cyprus with her very patient husband and very, very chatty twin daughters. Don’t Stop Me Now, her first book was released in March 2017. 

 Author Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CollColemanAuth

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CollColemanAuth

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/colleencoleman101/


#BlogTour! #Review – Cold Blood by Robert Brynzda (@RobertBryndza) @Bookouture

Cold-Blood-Kindle
She fell in love with a killer, now she’s one too.

The suitcase was badly rusted, and took Erika several attempts, but it yielded and
sagged open as she unzipped it. Nothing could prepare her for what she would
find inside…

When a battered suitcase containing the dismembered body of a young man washes up on the shore of the river Thames, Detective Erika Foster is shocked. She’s worked on some terrifying cases but never seen anything like this before. 
As Erika and her team set to work, she makes the link with another victim – the body of a young woman dumped in an identical suitcase two weeks ago. 
Erika quickly realises she’s on the trail of a serial killer who’s already made their next move. Yet just as Erika starts to make headway with the investigation, she is the victim of a brutal attack.

But nothing will stop Erika. As the body count rises, the twin daughters of her colleague Commander Marsh are abducted, and the stakes are higher than ever before. Can Erika save the lives of two innocent children before it’s too late? She’s running out of time and about to make a disturbing discovery…there’s more than one killer.

Brilliantly gripping, Cold Blood will have you hooked from the first page and
holding your breath to the heart-stopping and shocking ending.

What does TWG think?

Despite only finding Robert Bryndza’s ‘Detective Erika Foster’ novels rather recently, I could not wait to get stuck into the latest from Detective Foster. Even though I was pretty shocked by the graphic nature of Bryndza’s previous novel, ‘Last Breath’, nothing could have prepared me for what lay behind the cover of ‘Cold Blood’…

People usually associate suitcases with going on holiday, moving home, or storing seasonal clothes up in the loft. Not many people would associate a suitcase with a dismembered body, let’s be honest! However, coming across situations like that are all in a days work for Detective Erika Foster. After all, she is used to seeing multiple dead bodies. Whilst it’s still incredibly shocking, adult dead bodies Erika can cope with but, as soon as a child becomes involved in a life or death situation, that’s when Erika Foster realises she is in fact human after all.

I’m not going to lie, I was on edge for the duration of this novel. I honestly thought my heart was going to force through my chest wall with the way it was pounding. One dead body is gritty enough, but more than one? Geeeez!!! There was so much meat on the bones of the storyline, I was able to sink my teeth into it straight away. I didn’t have time to go ‘ew’ when certain situations arose as I was far too occupied with the killer, as well as everything else that surrounded the investigation.

I’ve said this before and I have no qualms saying it again; Detective Erika Foster is by far one of my most favourite Detectives to read about. Her sassy, fiery and black and white nature is perfect for the storylines in which Robert Brynzda creates.

I wish I could sit here and go ‘OMG LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE PART WHERE…..’, but I can’t. All I will say is make sure you aren’t eating or drinking whilst reading this book, because your attention is guaranteed to be on the storyline and NOT you drink. Don’t do what I did….please; I ended up not paying attention to my cup of tea, it fell and it looked like I had wet myself. Now if a book can stop me paying attention to my nightly cup of tea, it MUST be doing something right.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Robert Bryndza’s latest offering, and the pace was absolutely spot on considering how full the storyline actually was. However, there was a part of the book which I found rather uncomfortable to read as it involved children of a similar age to my daughter. Don’t get me wrong, the premise worked with the rest of the storyline for sure, I just personally found it a teeny bit hard to read.

That said, I didn’t need to come off the rollercoaster ride I was on from the start of the book because of it, I held on for dear life until the very end. And yes folks….what a conclusion.

Fast paced, thrilling and totally jaw dropping; Robert Bryndza has written yet another spine tingling novel which will leave your blood running cold for a very long time. Intense, uncomfortable, yet absolutely spot on; ‘Cold Blood’ is such a fantastic read, and so not perfect for reading before a blood pressure test. Seriously; it’s that good.

Thanks Bookouture.

Happy publication day Robert!

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Author Bio:

Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice. The
Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller is the first book in the Detective Erika
Foster series.

The Night Stalker, Dark Water and Last Breath are the second, third, and fourth books in
the series, and the fifth book, Cold Blood is now available to pre-order.
Robert’s books have sold over 2 million copies, and have been translated into 27
languages.

In addition to writing crime fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic
comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia.

Author Social Media Links:

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Website

Cold Blood - Blog Blitz

#BlogTour! #Review – One Day in December by Shari Low (@ShariLow) @Aria_Fiction

One Day in December BLOG TOUR BANNER (1)

9781786699008
By the stroke of midnight, a heart would be broken, a cruel truth revealed, a
devastating secret shared, and a love betrayed. Four lives would be changed
forever, One Day in December.

One morning in December…

Caro set off on a quest to find out if her relationship with her father had been based on a
lifetime of lies.

Lila decided today would be the day that she told her lover’s wife of their secret affair.

Cammy was on the way to pick up the ring for the surprise proposal to the woman he
loved.

And Bernadette vowed that this was the day she would walk away from her controlling
husband of 30 years and never look back.

One day, four lives on a collision course with destiny…

What does TWG think?

One thing I love about Shari Low’s novels is how she creates characters with relatable circumstances. The author doesn’t seem to think of a character and create its life based on an outlandish notion that would never happen in a million years – even if it is fictional. No, she creates her character with real life people in mind and, in my opinion, that makes Shari Low more relatable as an author. I get that some people read novels to escape from real life issues, but sometimes you just want to read a novel with a relatable storyline, just to see how someone else will cope in a situation similar to your own.

‘One Day in December’ is about four completely different people who’s lives become entwined in the strangest of ways. Caro; her gut instinct fears that her childhood wasn’t as it seemed. Lila; an Instagram addict who has one thing on the top of her agenda – herself. Cammy; a man who wears his heart on his sleeve and just wants to do the right thing. Bernadette; a woman who has been living in fear and resentment for far too long.

Reading ‘One Day in December’, my eyes were pricked with tears after the first couple of pages as the emotion that came tumbling out of such few words, was enough to melt a bit of my Ice Queen exterior. The further into the storyline I read, the clearer certain situations seemed to become. However, what I didn’t expect was the high level of intensity that seemed to come out of nowhere. This wasn’t a story about relationships being broken. No. It was a story about how things are not always what they seem. It was a story about learning to find true happiness and not being afraid to take that first step.

Despite the fact that ‘One Day in December’ contained some quite serious topics, Shari Low still managed to incorporate her brilliant humour alongside that. Yes this book is emotional, and yes it does stop and make you think. But, seeing as Shari Low is known for writing deep and meaningful storylines which will forever be imprinted in your mind, I wouldn’t expect anything less from this brilliant author.

‘One Day in December’ made me chuckle, whilst also opening my eyes to how social media focused we can be (if you use filters, you’ll be nodding your head round about now!). Not only that, the storyline moved me so much and made me stop and think about my own life, especially as I was able to relate to Caro’s situation a teeny bit.

I adore Shari Low’s novels and once again the author did not disappoint. Moving, intense, eye-opening and incredibly heart-warming; ‘One Day in December’ will leave you reaching for the tissues and a big bar of chocolate, whilst also warming your heart at the same time.

Thanks Aria Fiction & Netgalley.

Buy: Amazon // Kobo // iBooks // Google Play

About the author

Shari lives in Glasgow and writes a weekly opinion column and Book Club page for a
well-known newspaper. She is married to a very laid-back guy and has two athletic
teenage sons, who think she’s fairly embarrassing, except when they need a lift.

Follow Shari

Website: www.sharilow.com
Twitter: @ShariLow

#BlogTour! #Review – The Doll House by @Phoebe_A_Morgan @HQDigitalUK @HelenaSheffield

dollshouse1
I am beyond thrilled to be hosting day three of Phoebe Morgan’s blog tour for her debut novel, ‘The Doll House’, which was published on the 14th September by HQDigitalUK! Huge thanks to Helena Sheffield for personally selecting me to be involved in Phoebe’s blog tour, it is such an honour! I am delighted to share my review with you today, as well as a guest post from the lovely lady herself, Phoebe Morgan. Enjoy!!

dolls house
You never know who’s watching…

Corinne’s life might look perfect on the outside, but after three failed IVF attempts it’s her last chance to have a baby. And when she finds a tiny part of a doll house outside her flat, it feels as if it’s a sign.

But as more pieces begin to turn up, Corinne realises that they are far too familiar. Someone knows about the miniature rocking horse and the little doll with its red velvet dress. Someone has been inside her house…

How does the stranger know so much about her life? How long have they been watching? And what are they waiting for…?

A gripping debut psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming. Perfect for fans of I See You and The Widow.

What does TWG think?

You know when you REALLLYYYYYYYY want to read a book, but you leave it until the last-minute to finally read it just so you could savour every single detail, hoping it would be as good as you had envisioned, only to then read it in a few hours? Sound familiar? That was exactly what happened with Phoebe Morgan’s debut novel. No joke. I was sooooooo eager to grab a copy of the book so that I could finally read it, when what I actually did was leave it as long as possible because I wanted to savour the ‘first time reading a book’ for as long as humanly possible. If you call a couple of hours as long as possible then I did great!

Seriously folks, what a book!!!!!! I feel like crying because I am so jealous of everyone who gets to read it for the first time! How the hell is this a debut novel? Where has Phoebe Morgan been all my life? Why doesn’t she have her second book out already? WHEN CAN I READ MORE?! -wails-. I have never, EVER read a book like this one before and, if I’m perfectly honest, it’s going to take a lot to beat!

I’m not even going to outline my thoughts of the storyline in this review because I can’t without letting something slip. I may represent a female dog sometimes, but I’m not mean enough to write spoilers!

However, what I will say about the storyline is how gritty and complex it is. The amount of characters involved in the storyline is minimal, yet I still had absolutely no idea who was involved in what until the storyline got to that point. To be honest, I really don’t think that having minimal characters in a storyline is a bad thing. Yes the storyline needs to be extremely tight due to the lack of bodies to point the finger at, but in my opinion, if an author can write such a flawless storyline with a select few characters whilst also leaving me guessing, I can’t really see a reason to complain. Can you?

I just cannot believe how brilliant this book is! So many red herrings, wrong turns and questionable circumstances; I genuinely was on the edge of my seat with my eyes glued to the words on the page, trying to work out what on Earth everything meant. What was going to happen next. During the vital last chapters of the book, my dog selfishly decided he needed to have his midnight snack in the garden and, seeing as he can’t open the door for himself, I had to stop reading this book and let him out (there’s a point to this btw). What I didn’t expect was to walk into the garden, hear high-pitched wailing and then jump out of my skin as though there was someone behind me.

Note: DON’T ADULT WHEN YOU’RE READING THIS BOOK, YOU’LL END UP THINKING THE GARDEN GNOME IS ABOUT TO GET YOU. Or in my case, a daddy-long-legs and the pup’s tail. I know, I know….

I fluffing loved every single thing about this book! The pace was intense. The overall storyline was laced with so many unanswered questions. Each character seemed to have a question mark looming over their head from the get go, which meant that I ended up thinking everyone was guilty. The storyline was addictive. Gritty. Surreal. Shocking…everything you could want from a book.

Phoebe Morgan certainly is one to watch for the near future. Her writing style is unique and flawlessly presented, I really do believe that this author is going to spoil us with many more phenomenal books.

‘The Doll House’, ladies and gents, is EXACTLY how a psychological thriller should be written, and it is EXACTLY what the book world has been after without even knowing it.

2017 seems to be an exceptionally strong year where books are concerned, but I can safely say that when I write my ‘Top Books of 2017’ list at the end of the year, Phoebe Morgan’s ‘The Doll House’ will be flying high near the top, without a doubt.

Huge thanks to Phoebe Morgan and HQDigitalUK.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Before you go, I’ll leave you with a guest post from Phoebe Morgan, about how she chose which genre to write for!

What drew you to this genre?

My book actually had an interesting development and changed quite a bit through various drafts to the finished version that it is now – a process fuelled by a lot of coffee and late nights. My wonderful agent Camilla Wray was invaluable with this – she pulled out the darker suspense elements of the novel and helped me shape it into what it is today. I’d started off wanting to write about sisters – I don’t have a sister, I have two brothers – so I find that sisterly connection fascinating. I think there’s more opportunities for jealousy between sisters, because they’re more likely to have shared experiences, and I wanted to explore that with The Doll House.

The psychological thriller is a genre that has been booming for a while now, and it’s what I primarily love reading too so it made sense to write in that field. I knew I wanted to explore the idea of family and the secrets that lie within that nuclear unit, and I also wanted to make the reader think about memory. I think often our childhood memories can get distorted, and when we look back with new information we realise that things were maybe not quite as they seemed. That was the central point for starting this novel.
In my day job as an editor, I’m always watching market trends – checking the Amazon top 100 to see what people are reading, reading The Bookseller to hear about new acquisitions from other publishers (basically scouting out the competition!)

The psychological suspense genre is one that despite everyone’s initial scepticism has gone on to prove itself as a genre that just keeps on giving; there is still an appetite for these books and it’s all about pushing the boundaries of your novel to see if you can find a fresh take on the genre and surprise readers with something new. It is a popular
genre, but I think it’s popular for a reason and there’s room enough for everyone – as long as there are readers, that is! With The Doll House, I decided to make my central characters as likeable as possible – so that the reader is on their side when an external threat comes into play. The twist, though, is that the threat ends up being not quite as external as you’re led to believe – and the book really plays with those ideas of home, family and safety, which are not always what they seem…

#BlogTour! #Review – Too Damn Nice by @KathrynFreeman1 @BrookCottagebks @ChocLitUK

TooDamnNiceBanner

TDN_FRONT_RGB150dpiNice guys don’t kiss like that …

Do nice guys stand a chance?

Lizzie Donavue went from being the sister of his best friend to the girl Nick Templeton most wants to kiss. On her birthday, he finally summons up the courage to make his move. But it looks like Nick’s missed his chance when he discovers that Lizzie has been offered a modelling contract, which will take her away to the glamorous fashion scenes of New York and Los Angeles. Nick is forced to watch from the sidelines as the gawky teenager he knew is transformed into Elizabeth Donavue: top model and ultimate English rose pin-up, forever caught in a whirlwind of celebrity parties with the next up-and- coming Hollywood bad boy by her side.

But then Lizzie’s star-studded life comes crashing down around her, and a guy like Nick could be just what she needs. Will she take a chance on him? Or is he just too damn nice?

What does TWG think?

There is nothing more satisfying than starting a new book and finding out that you’re able to curl up on the sofa with it in sweet bliss after the first few pages. When I started reading Kathryn Freeman’s ‘Too Damn Nice’, I had had the day from hell. Majorly stressed. Majorly exhausted, and all I wanted to do was hide. So what did I do instead of hiding? I read ‘Too Damn Nice’. A few chapters in, I began to feel a lot calmer and a lot less stressed. How on Earth can a book be such an antidote?

Lizzie Donavue and Nick Templeton go way back. Having been her brothers best friend for many, many years; Nick has been able to watch Lizzie grow up over the years (without being stalkerish) and his heart seems to like what he sees. Unfortunately, life isn’t as plain sailing as ‘boy meets girl – fall in love – live happily ever after’. Of course we would be lying if we said we didn’t want it to happen that way! Instead, life took Lizzie to  the USA whilst Nick stayed in the UK. Two hearts breaking. Except…Lizzie hasn’t the foggiest that Nick is head over heels in love with her. Whoopsie.

Let me just get this out the way first – I have to admit that at the beginning of the book, my first thought was ‘here comes the predictable love storyline’. HOWEVER, that thought soon disappeared as quickly as it entered my head as Lizzie Donavue is in no way a modern day ‘Juliet’, and Nick isn’t really feeling the modern day ‘Romeo’. With two ballsy main characters and a a storyline with more twists than a game of Twister, it didn’t take long at all for ‘predictable love storyline’ to fly out of my head and never return. Don’t get me wrong, romance features quite heavily in ‘Too Damn Nice’, yet it wasn’t the predictable sort. Look just trust me on this, go and nab the book yourself and you’ll see what I mean!

Even though romance IS featured a lot in this novel, Kathryn Freeman has also managed to incorporate some rather emotional and serious topics into the overall storyline, thus making me go from ‘awwwwwwww!!!’ to ‘what the chocolate cupcake?!’ to ‘oh no -sniffs-‘. I’m not even exaggerating either. If you think that Kathryn Freeman’s latest novel is just ‘too damn nice’, then you will be pleasantly surprised by the ‘too damn brilliant’ storyline your eyes will devour. Promptly.

I felt as though I was on a constant rollercoaster of emotions and turbulent circumstances! One minute the storyline was going through the motions at a leisurely pace, watching the flowers bloom and the romance soar, and then the next minute the pace had fast forward to the fastest speed on a Sky+ box and everything was all happening at once! Was I complaining? Was I heck! It was brilliant!!!! So much to sink my teeth into, yet not TOO much to make my already stressed brain have a power cut.

The characters were three dimensional, each slotting into the storyline perfectly. The serious topic which the author wrote into the book is incredibly eye-opening and it should not be taken lightly. Put it this way, it might make you re-think certain things…
As for the emotional value of the novel; it wasn’t too mushy, but it was heartbreaking and I felt that the author did it justice. Considering the mood I was in beforehand, I was glad that the emotional circumstances didn’t take-over the entire storyline as such, it was more of a beautiful and welcomed addition to an already cosy read.

So, I began ‘Too Damn Nice’ in an absolutely horrific mood, and I ended ‘Too Damn Nice’ feeling as though I had just been given THE biggest hug, a bar of chocolate and was told ‘everything will be okay’. Seriously. I couldn’t have asked for a better book to read at that moment in time. Granted I would have also loved the bar of chocolate whilst I was reading it, but I can’t be too greedy…eh ChocLituk ;).

‘Too Damn Nice’ is such a huggable, loveable, beautifully written and highly addictive read, one I will be recommending for a very long time to come. I hadn’t read Kathryn Freeman’s novels before, but I am so pleased to have found an author who’s next novel is making me excited already….and I have absolutely no idea what it’s about or when it’s coming out.

Thanks Brookcottagebooks and Netgalley.

Buy: Amazon UK // Amazon US // Choc Lit

About the author.

A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero.

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to
buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads Author Page // Website

GIVEAWAY

A paperback copy of Before You (Open internationally)

51adsUedP2L

To enter: click here! Good luck!

#BlogTour! #Review – The Missing Girls by Carol Wyer (@carolewyer) @Bookouture

carolwyer1
One girl found dead. Another girl gone…

Long shadows danced on the tin walls. Inside the trunk lay Carrie Miller, wrapped in plastic, arms folded across her ribcage, lips sealed tight forever…

When a girl’s body is found at a Midlands storage unit, it is too decomposed for Detective Robyn Carter to read the signs left by the killer.

No one knows the woman in blue who rented the unit; her hire van can’t be traced. But as the leads run dry another body is uncovered. This time the killer’s distinctive mark is plain to see, and matching scratches on the first victim’s skeleton make Robyn suspect she’s searching for a serial-killer.

As Robyn closes in on the killer’s shocking hunting ground, another girl goes missing, and this time it’s someone close to her own heart.

Robyn can’t lose another loved one. Can she find the sickest individual she has ever faced, before it’s too late?

What does TWG think?

Usually my reviews consist of my interpretation of the storyline, whether I disliked any of the characters, which character(s) I adored…and so on. However, I am not going to do it that way today. Nope! I could spend ages doing a very detailed review, end up repeating myself, as well as trying my hardest not to give any of Carol Wyer’s hard work away. Not that I usually do, granted – but still.

So, what IS TWG going to say about ‘The Missing Girls’?

Easy;

THIS BOOK IS CAROL WYER’S BEST YET!!!! I have no idea how she does it, but she does and she completely nails it every single time. ‘The Missing Girls’ has such a gripping, intense, and highly shockable storyline which is set you make the hairs on your arms stand to attention for the entire duration. And yes, I am speaking from experience! Detective Robyn Carter has got to be one of my all-time favourite fictional Detectives because of her fiestiness obviously, but also the fact that she is relatable and, funnily enough, human!

Even though several parts of the storyline made me wish I hadn’t eaten my lunch beforehand, I JUST managed to keep my food where it belonged (safely in my stomach) whilst the storyline’s incredibility factor went up a notch because of that! Yes folks, the fact I felt incredibly nauseous made me enjoy the novel even more. I’m weird, I know.

This, ladies and gents, is how a book should be written. This, is exactly the type of book you should read when you want to feel so many things in such a space of time. Granted fear, nausea and shock aren’t the best feelings to have, but when you’re faced with a storyline as complex and gritty as Carol Wyer’s ‘The Missing Girls’, it is EXACTLY the reaction you need to have.

Carol Wyer is a phenomenal writer. If you don’t know that already, you are seriously missing out on some fantastic novels. I admit I was a bit apprehensive of the authors genre move to start with, but I really do think it’s the best move she could have made.

Absolutely flipping genius.

Thanks Bookouture

Buy now from Amazon UK

carolwyer

#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