#BlogBlast! #Review – Dying Breath by Helen Phifer (@HelenPhifer1) @Bookouture

Dying Breath - Blog Tour
Happy publication day to Helen Phifer, author of the amazing ‘Dying Breath’! I am SO excited about this book as it really did blow my mind! Speaking of which, it’s super handy that I get to share my review of ‘Dying Breath’ today as part of Helen Phifer’s Blog Blast, eh! As always, huge thanks to Bookouture for the blast invite and the ARC of the book. I hope you enjoy my review:

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Take a breath. Pray it’s not your last.

Just a few months after a terrifying case that nearly took her life, Detective Lucy Harwin is back with her squad in the coastal town of Brooklyn Bay – and this time, she’s faced with a case more horrifying than anything she’s encountered.

Along with her partner, Detective Mattie Jackson, Lucy is investigating what appears to be a vicious but isolated murder; a woman found bludgeoned to death on a lonely patch of wasteland. 

But when a second victim is discovered strangled in an alleyway, then a young family shot in their own home, Lucy and the team must face the unthinkable reality – a killer is walking the streets of their quiet coastal town. 

While Lucy and the team try to find the link between these seemingly unconnected murders, they uncover a disturbing truth – these murders are replicating those carried out by infamous serial killers. 

Lucy must get to the killer before he strikes again. But he’s got his sights on her, and is getting ever closer… Can she save herself, before she becomes the final piece in his twisted game?

What does TWG think?

Oh my GOD!!!!! How the heck did I miss the first book in this series?! More importantly…WHY DID I MISS THE FIRST BOOK IN THIS SERIES! Luckily ‘Dying Breath’ can be read perfectly fine as a standalone, it just means that I now have another book making its way onto my TBR pile as I type. Yes, I did just buy the first book! I might even need to set an alarm on my phone so that I don’t miss the next book!

Can you tell that I absolutely fudging loved this book?! If you haven’t got Detective Lucy Harwin on your radar already, you must rectify that immediately! I’m assuming the first novel contained more of Lucy’s history, as it was clear from the onset in this book that Lucy has had a bit go a difficult time of late. Seeing as I had no idea what Lucy’s past entailed, I was intrigued to see what she was going to be like when it came to investigations. Would Lucy make her past known? Was the past going to hinder her work? Either way, I couldn’t wait to find out more.

‘Dying Breath’ has the type of storyline which requires careful reviewing to ensure that no spoilers are accidentally given. I realise I do say that a lot where this genre is concerned, but it’s true. I wouldn’t want to give away anything, nor do I wish to ruin the authors hard work, hence why I may end up being vague. This storyline is incredibly complex and fast paced. Each piece of information in the book is entwined with another piece, whether it’s a character’s personality trait, a piece of information regarding the investigation, or even something which could go unnoticed to the ‘untrained’ eye as it were. Never has the phrase ‘the smaller things matter the most’, been more accurate.

Honestly? I had absolutely no idea what to expect with ‘Dying Breath’, nor did I have any idea what the book was about before I started reading it as I don’t read blurbs. I just knew from the cover and the title of the book that I wanted to read it. Gut instinct. Seriously, one of the best decisions I have ever made. No joke.

By far one of the best books I have ever read, ‘Dying Breath’ literally took my breath away more than once. Ever had a moment where you’ve been far too engrossed in something that you realise you’ve been holding your breath? Yeah, me too – WHILST I WAS READING THIS! There was a certain part of the storyline which literally made my mouth hang wide open, gasp, and then cover my mouth with my hand in shock. Oh, and holding my breath. Y’know, just incase I didn’t feel shocked enough. I couldn’t believe my eyes and oh my god I still can’t. How did I not see it coming? I am SO glad that I didn’t see it coming, but after reading the book I wondered whether I had missed something to reach the same conclusion.

I could not recommend this book more if I tried! Helen Phifer has written an absolute BELTER of a book – I couldn’t put it down! (To be honest, I didn’t want to either!). There was nothing about this book I didn’t like, yet there was everything about the book I absolutely flipping loved. ‘Dying Breath’ really is a jaw dropping, spine tingling, and intense storyline which takes you on a rollercoaster ride the entire time.

Full of suspense, high intensity and some of the most well-defined characters I have ever come across in a book, I would use my ‘Dying Breath’ to tell you to go and get a copy of Helen Phifer’s novel right now.

F’awesome. I cannot WAIT to read the next instalment.

Thanks so much Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

Author Bio:

Helen Phifer lives in a small town called Barrow-in-Furness with her husband and five children.

Helen has always loved writing and reading. Her love of horror films and novels is legendary. Helen adores reading books which make the hair on the back of her neck stand on end. Unable to find enough scary stories to read she decided to write her own. 

Helen’s debut novel ‘The Ghost House’ was published by Carina UK in October 2013 and went on to become a best seller along with the rest of the Annie Graham series. The Secrets of the Shadows, The Forgotten Cottage, The Lake House, The Girls in the Woods and The Face Behind the Mask.

The Good Sisters is a standalone horror story which will scare the pants off you or so her lovely readers have told her. It scared Helen when she was writing it so she pretty much agrees with them.

March 2017 saw the release of psychological thriller Dark House (previously called The Lost Children), book 1 in the Detective Inspector Lucy Harwin series. Book 2 – Dying Breath is due for release in Nov 2017.

Author Social Media Links:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Helenphifer1

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

Twitter:       https://twitter.com/helenphifer1

Website:     https://www.helenphifer.com

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#BlogTour! #Review – Christmas Angels by Nadine Dorries (@NadineDorries) @HoZ_Books

Christmas Angels blog tour

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Christmas is the most harrowing time of year for the nurses of St Angelus Hospital.

A brilliant nurse secretly battling a fatal illness over Christmas… A starving baby boy abandoned in the freezing cold… A cruel, controlling mother, determined to block her daughter’s nursing career at all costs…

In the run up to Christmas, nurses Pammy and Beth are aiming to win the coveted national decorating competition for the St Angelus children’s ward, but drama after drama threatens to upset their plans.

Amid the hardship and poverty of 1950s Liverpool, only the humour and community spirit of nurses and patients will get the Angels through their toughest Christmas yet.

What does TWG think?

Christmas is a time for loved ones, sharing memories, as well as creating new ones. Unfortunately though, that isn’t always the case for everyone – as you will no doubt realise when you delve into ‘Christmas Angels’. With a storyline packed full to the brim with heartache, illnesses, abandonment, and extremely bitter family members, it’s a wonder how the author managed to turn all of those heartbreaking moments into the heart-warming, touching, poignant and memorable storyline that ‘Christmas Angels’ turned out to be. This is only my second novel by Nadine Dorries, but with such genuine warmth flying off the pages (aka the authors words), it feels as though I have been reading Dorries’ novels for a very long time.

Set in the 1950’s when the healthcare system was a lot different from today, ‘simple’ illnesses, by today’s standards, were a lot harder to treat meaning that people could be on the brink of losing a loved one. The nurses at St Angelus Hospital are working around the clock as they treat to treat all of the patients who come through their doors both physically, and emotionally. ‘Christmas Angels’ was set when the NHS was dipping its toe into the water and, contrary to popular belief, it’s a system which has come a long way in the last 60+ years and reading this book makes you appreciate the NHS that little bit more.

For me, the true highlight of this novel was the community spirit. As daft as this sounds, I am incredibly jealous of that as times have drastically changed and community spirit is severely lacking. I am so glad that authors like Nadine Dorries keep the community and fighting spirit alive in their novels. We really do need it.

I’m not going to lie, there storyline does contain a lot of heartache and emotional situations which for me, got a little bit too hard to digest at times because it chipped away at the ice around my heart until I had no more. I think I underestimated how emotional this novel was going to be so make sure you read this book with a huge box of tissues next to you.

Touching, moving and heartbreakingly beautiful, Nadine Dorries puts the spotlight on community spirit at Christmas time in the most humble and poignant manner, igniting the Christmassy spirit in readers everywhere – guaranteed.

Thanks HoZ.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – Mother by S.E.Lynes (@SELynesAuthor) @Bookouture

MOTHER - Blog tour
Happy publication day to S.E.Lynes! ‘Mother’ is published today by Bookouture and what a way to kick off publication day than a blog tour! I am delighted to be one of the blogs hosting S.E.Lynes today, alongside the lovely Sharon Bairden from ‘Chapter In My Life’! Huge thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite, as well as an ARC of the book. As the blog tour is only just beginning, make sure you follow the blogs listed above to ensure you’re kept up to date with all the goings on.

Mother-Kindle
How far would you go for the perfect family?

When Christopher Harris climbs into his family’s dusty attic, he finds a battered old suitcase containing a letter. Inside the letter is a secret; a secret about his mother that changes everything. 

Every mother loves their child. Every child deserves to be loved. But Christopher has grown up so lonely it hurts. 

Finally, Christopher thinks he has a chance at happiness. A happiness he will do anything to protect, whatever the cost…

An unputdownable thriller about the lies we tell and the secrets we keep, Mother will hold you breathless until the very last page and leave you reeling. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, The Sister and Apple Tree Yard.

What does TWG think?

I really have no idea where to start with this review to be honest! I still can’t quite decide whether I’m on the fence with it, or whether I am off the fence completely.

The prologue reeled me in big time. In such a short space of time the author had gotten my attention, peaked my interest and left me wanting more. Honestly, I couldn’t have wished for a better opening for this book.

Part of me was expecting the story to contain in the same vein, yet part of me was looking for something out of the ordinary. Y’know, a mixed bag type of thing. As I was reading the first chapter, I kept having to stop and check that I hadn’t accidentally missed a part of the book out – I was extremely confused! The story is being narrated by an unidentified person who is basically narrating Christopher’s life, including his feelings surrounding his newfound family bombshell. Whilst I found the bombshell theme incredibly interesting as it was set in the 1980’s when things were a lot different to how they are now, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit lost.

I thought the addition of the ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ was cleverly thought out, whilst also being combined exceptionally well with the fictional story S.E.Lynes has created. As the story progressed my confusion didn’t let up. I got the gist about the emotional values surrounding being a mother and so on, but I couldn’t seem to work the rest out. If I’m being honest, I wasn’t too worried that I couldn’t work things out at that moment because as I’m sure you already know, I am a big dunce when it comes to workout out the ifs, whys and hows when it to psychological thrillers/crime procedurals, or anything along those lines. At least I admit it, right?

Thankfully during the second half of the novel things began to make a little more sense and feeling shocked became a regular occurrence. For me, the element of surprise and grit was rather slow burning, yet it was written in such a mesmerising and clever manner.

As for the storyline itself, I appreciated the overall theme of the novel for sure, but I just couldn’t gel with how everything came together and the journey the storyline took from beginning to end. Don’t get me wrong the suspense element is extremely well crafted! The fact that I couldn’t work the book out is of my own doing and not the authors I’m sure!

S.E.Lynes is like a composer of the literary world. Her writing skills are enchanting and very addictive on their own – I reckon that this author could write a story about a cow eating grass in a field, and make it come alive with no qualms at all. She really does have an exceptional talent. Whilst the storyline and I, didn’t end up being best buddies, I am super excited to read more from this author. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about ‘Mother’ since I finished reading it – it certainly has left some sort of mark that’s for sure!

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author: 

After graduating from Leeds University, S E Lynes lived in London before moving to Aberdeen to be with her husband. In Aberdeen, she worked as a producer at BBC Radio Scotland before moving with her husband and two young children to Rome. There, she began to write while her children attended nursery. After the birth of her third child and upon her return to the UK, she gained an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University. She now combines writing with lecturing at Richmond Adult Community College and bringing up her three children. She lives in Teddington. Her first novel, Valentina, published by Blackbird Digital Books, came out in July 2016. Her follow up novel, Mother, is published by Bookouture.

#BlogTour #Review – The Little Church by the Sea by Liz Taylorson @taylorson_liz @BooksManatee

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The tour bus stops with me, TWG, today as I host day TWO of Liz Taylorson’s blog tour for ‘The Little Church by the Sea’! Huge thanks to Manatee for the blog tour invite, as well as an ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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Isolated and unwelcome in the picturesque seaside village of Rawscar, Reverend Cass Fordyce has lost her faith and her home. Christmas is coming, and she isn’t looking forward to it. Then she meets attractive local man Hal – twice divorced and with a reputation as a ladies’ man he’s everything that a celibate vicar like Cass should avoid… especially as Hal is hiding secrets of his own, including his past with the mysterious Anna.

Can Cass ever find her way in Rawscar? What secret does Hal have to hide? And is there ever such a thing as a truly fresh start?

What does TWG think?

I know that Cass Fordyce would be less than amused with what I am about to say, sorry! Honestly, this book reminded me of ‘The Vicar of Dibley’ one hundred percent. Not only does Reverend Cass Fordyce have a less than holy mouth – just like the Vicar of Dibley, she also has quite a few identical personality traits. If I didn’t know otherwise, I would have assumed that I was reading a book of Geraldine Granger herself. Although, Cass Fordyce doesn’t really like to be compared to the popular vicar. No idea why though, she’s fabulous!

I have to say that I was a little bit concerned at first as I am not a religious person at all, and I knew that I would struggle if the storyline was completely religious. Nothing against religion or those who are religious. It’s just isn’t for me. The storyline does contain a lot of religious references, especially as the main character is a reverend. That said, the religious aspects weren’t written in a ‘force down throat’ manner which meant that I was able to enjoy the story without feeling as though I was going to be sent for a coffee with the devil. It really was done in good taste.

I really did enjoy reading ‘The Little Church by the Sea’ as it made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion. I also loved how the Reverend showed us readers a different side to her personality – yes, Reverend’s do have lives outside of the church, who knew! I did find the romance parts a little unbelievable unfortunately – I reckon that those parts could have been extended a little bit so that it didn’t appear to be a rushed romance. Just my opinion.

However, the situation with Anna was a fantastic addition to the book and certainly made me sit up and take notice. Definitely a darker part to the book in comparison to the  other characters situations. Personally, it spiced things up and created a mysterious feel to the rest of the book.

Overall ‘The Little Church by the Sea’ was a laugh out loud, touching and poignant read about love, loss and finding your own happy ever after. Whilst this book didn’t blow me away, I was still able to appreciate the heart-felt storyline.

Thanks Manatee Books.

The Little Church by the Sea will be published on the 23rd November by Manatee Books. To pre-order your copy click here.

#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.

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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.

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#BlogTour! #Review – A Winter Love Song by Rita Bradshaw @panmacmillan @ed_pr

Blog Tour Artwork for A Winter Love Song

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A Winter Love Song is a heartwarming and moving story of survival and love from bestselling author Rita Bradshaw.

Bonnie Lindsay is born into a travelling fair community in the north-east in 1918, and when her mother dies just months later, Bonnie’s beloved father becomes everything to her. Then at the tender age of ten years old, disaster strikes. Heartbroken, Bonnie’s left at the mercy of her embittered grandmother and her lecherous step-grandfather.

Five years later, the events of one terrible night cause Bonnie to flee to London where she starts to earn her living as a singer. She changes her name and cuts all links with the past.

Time passes. Bonnie falls in love, but just when she dares to hope for a rosy future, WW2 is declared. She does her bit for the war effort, singing for the troops and travelling to Burma to boost morale, but heartache and pain are just around the corner, and she begins to ask herself if she will ever find happiness again?

What does TWG think?

Without sounding too macabre, I absolutely love read a saga which is set during war time. Obviously I don’t find other people’s misfortune entertaining at all, it’s just the whole vibe of a wartime setting mixed with fictional characters and fictional stories, all inspired by a real life situation, makes me feel as though I can sink my teeth into the storyline without too much of an issue. I have always been fascinated with history so to then mix an interest of mine into novel reading – I’m sure you can see why I get so excited about this genre!

Anyway, back to the book.

Bonnie has had her own fair share of heartache over the years. Not only did Bonnie lose her mother at a young age, she was then faced with the devastating situation of then losing her last remaining parent. Nobody understood Bonnie like her father did. Nobody wanted to understand Bonnie. Instead, she’s left misunderstood with a knee-jerk reaction to flee. Will Bonnie ever get her happy every after? Will Bonnie finally be loved for who she is and everything she stands for?

I felt so sorry for Bonnie as it was like she constantly got the short end of the stick. Everywhere she turned there seemed to be something bad about to happen, or she would end up faced with memories of the bad times past. I had my fingers crossed that she would find true happiness, but without sounding too pessimistic, I wasn’t entirely convinced that she would. I felt that Bonnie was exceptionally hard on herself in a lot of ways, which unfortunately made it harder for me to gel with her as a character as I couldn’t find a way to get through to her.

As the story progresses we see Bonnie’s life take a very different turn, although the feeling of sadness was waiting around every corner, ready to strike again.

I felt that the historic nature of the storyline shone through really well, which in turn made me able to see various characters in very different lights.

I am being really vague with this review as the storyline is rather complex and I would hate to give anything away. Even though I felt that the complexity was definitely a positive, I did find myself becoming a little bogged down by the overall heaviness of the novel itself. Don’t get me wrong ‘A Winter Love Song’ really is a lovely read, but the fact I had trouble keeping up with every situation in the book meant that I couldn’t enjoy the storyline as much as I would have liked.

Overall I did enjoy ‘A Winter Love Song’ – it ignited multiple emotions from deep within whilst also keeping the historic element poignant all the way through.

Thanks Pacmacmillan.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#Review – Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage – Zara Stoneley (@ZaraStoneley) @HarperImpulse

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Return to the charming little village of Langtry Meadows and cosy up by the fire with this gorgeous romance that will warm your heart…

As the lazy days of summer ebb away and the hedgerows fill with rich, plump blackberries, Lucy Jacobs couldn’t be happier. She’s feeling more and more at home in the small village of Langtry Meadows and has fallen in love with idyllic Jasmine cottage – not to mention gorgeous vet Charlie.

But just as Lucy is thinking about putting down roots like the blackberries that grow in her garden, Charlie’s ex returns and threatens to put a thorn in their perfect life…

What does TWG think?

So excited to be back in Langtry Meadows courtesy of Zara Stoneley! ‘Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage’ is the second book in ‘The Little Village on the Green’ series and, despite having read the first book back in May, I was able to slot back into the storyline with no issues what so ever. This book can be read as a standalone to a point, however I would recommend that you read the first book in the series, ‘Summer with the Country Village Vet’, so that you can fully appreciate the storyline and the characters of the second book. Plus, the first book is, in my opinion, Zara Stoneley’s best book yet. Win win don’t you think?

In the last book we left Lucy and Charlie with a huge question mark over their heads – would the authors newest book see the pair get a happy ending? Or will they have to endure yet another rocky road?

Above I said that the first book in the series was Zara Stoneley’s best book yet. I’m afraid I have to take that back. Why? Because folks, ‘Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage’ has now taken that accolade! I, hand on heart, cannot fault this book at all. My heart went out to little Maisie on multiple occasions! What a difficult situation for such a little person to be in! I really do think that Charlie handled the situation with such grace and dignity, despite the threats which followed from Maisie’s mother (not that she can really say a lot given what she went and done!). Whilst Charlie and Maisie’s situation made itself known within the storyline, it didn’t overpower the other characters in the book at all. In actual fact, it helped the other situations stand out.

I absolutely loved reading this book to find out what path Lucy’s life took, especially as she started her new job and we got to follow her daily life in the local school. Yes, I laughed out loud at several of the children’s one liners. Out the mouths of babes springs to mind!

The entire vibe of ‘Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage’ felt relaxing, calming and extremely cosy. Most of the time I didn’t feel as though I was reading a fictional novel, instead I felt like I was merely catching up with a bunch of good friends after a while of no contact. Honestly, how can anyone complain at that?

Despite laughing and having aching cheeks from smiling so much, there was a part of the book which made a lump form in my throat. I had a word with myself about not crying, but seconds later it all became clear that I didn’t even listen to myself as the tears started to flow. I wasn’t emotional because of sadness – I was emotional because my heart felt so much love towards certain characters and the situation that they had to face, and were facing after so many years. You really have got to be made of stone to not find that emotional. Trust me on that!

I say this every single time, but Zara Stoneley really does write magic with her fingertips. I have never read books from the same author which make me feel as though I’m getting a hug every single time. I have never read a book which makes me feel multiple emotions all at once, whilst still feeling hugged.

Full of laughter, drama and heart-warming moments you’ll never tire of, ‘Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage’ is one of the most huggable, loveable, and enchanting book I have read this year. If I could bottle up the feelings I get whilst reading a Zara Stoneley novel, purely to save for later when I’m needing a pick me up, I would.

Zara Stoneley, once again, has written a book from her very own heart, straight to ours. Such a beautifully written, powerful and majestic read – perfect to read over, and over, and over again.

Thanks Harper Impulse.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – The Stopping Place by Helen Slavin (@HelenSlavinBook) @IpsoBooks

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“Martha has responsibility for the book club and the author visits, and dresses like a gypsy. That’s not a criticism, by the way. She puts tones and shades together that make you feel you’ve been seeing the world in black and white all your life. In winter she’s velvet and raw silk and wool. Have you ever seen raw silk? Just the sight of her coming through the door each day makes you want to jump up and wave your arms. I’d love to dress like that.”

Ruby works at the library. Shelving, mainly. Not in the archive; that’s Mrs Atkinson’s magical white-gloved domain, where she stands watch over the historical photos and the special files of the lost boys who went to war. Ruby would like to work in the archive of course, but there’s only one pair of white gloves-and anyway Martha’s the one being groomed for greatness. Martha of the flamboyant bohemian style and russet-toned beauty. And the Affairs.

Ruby can see the appeal of the Affairs; the heat, the danger. Ruby sees a lot, loitering there behind Geography 910, enough to worry her. Maybe even enough to bring her out of hiding. And that could be a problem, because everyone has history-especially someone who’s trying to lose it.

Helen Slavin brought the afterlife to life in her funny, quirky first novel, The Extra Large Medium. With The Stopping Place she takes her delicious observational humour into darker and more mysterious territory, with the harrowing story of a woman whose past has made her try to become invisible.

What does TWG think?

Stepping out of my comfort zone once again with ‘The Stopping Place’ by Helen Slavin. Having not read (or heard of) Helen Slavin and her books, I was intrigued to see what awaited me beyond the front cover of ‘The Stopping Place’. Seeing as I’m not really one for reading blurbs, I went into this book ‘blind’ so to speak, my decision based on the cover of the book and the title alone.

What peaked my interest at the start of the book was how the storyline was set in a library. As nerdish as people may think, you cannot beat a book which is set in a library if you’re a bookworm. End of. There really is no better setting. However, when the storyline seemed to point in the direction of invisibility for the main character, I knew straight away that ‘The Stepping Place’ was a different style of book to what I’m used to. I continued reading as I didn’t want to give up purely on the basis of the storyline being ‘different’, that wouldn’t have been fair on the author at all.

The main character, Ruby,  seemed to play all of her cards close to her chest and, weirdly enough, I actually found myself becoming more and more intrigued by Ruby’s personality as well as the traits which were being kept hidden. What was Ruby hiding?

As the story went on, it became clear exactly what Ruby’s life was all about and whilst the author did write the story well, I have to admit that I spent a lot of time waiting for the ‘Big Bang’ part of the book to happen. And it didn’t.

There is a lot about ‘The Stopping Place’ which made me stop and listen, especially the way in which the author produced the storyline itself. Whilst this book didn’t blow me away, I can still appreciate the thought behind it, including the historic features which Ruby came into contact with.

Very different.

Thanks IpsoBooks.

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#BlogBlitz! #Review – Dying Day by Stephen Edger (@StephenEdger) @Bookouture

Dying Day Blog Tour
Delighted to be sharing my review today of Stephen Edger’s ‘Dying Day’ as part of the blog blitz on publication day! Congratulations to Stephen Edger and a huge thank you to Bookouture for the blog blitz invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

Dying-Day-Kindle
Some mistakes you live with. Others you die for…

When the body of a young woman is found in the boot of an abandoned car near the Southampton Docks, Detective Kate Matthews is ordered to stay well away from the scene.

Exactly a year ago, Amy, a junior detective on Kate’s team, was murdered when she was sent undercover to catch a serial killer targeting young girls. Kate never forgave herself for letting the killer slip through her fingers and her team are worried this coincidence might push her over the edge…

When another girl’s body is uncovered days later with similar bruising around the neck, Kate launches an investigation of her own, determined to connect new evidence to the old to catch this monster before more innocent lives are taken…

Mysterious sympathy cards sent to the victims’ families finally lead Kate to the twisted individual from her past. But if she’s found the killer, why does the body count keep rising?

What does TWG think?

Oh my goodness me, what a book!!!!! Detective Kate Matthews’ past has come back to bite her on the backside. She knows it. Her boss knows it, and because of that, he orders Kate to stay away from a new investigation for her own sake. Doers she listen? Does she heck and to be perfectly honest, you can’t really blame her as guilt really does override logical thinking. After all, she’s only human.

Despite not listening to her boss’s orders, Kate still goes ahead and tries to piece everything together. Is the investigation from the past linked with the newest murder, or is Kate wishful thinking? Something isn’t sitting right for the Detective and she is determined to get to the bottom of it, regardless of how much hot water she lands herself in.

Even though I could see where Kate’s boss was coming from, I loved how determined Kate Matthews was, even if she did end up playing with fire a lot of the time. For me, her determination made the storyline have fire in its belly. Armitage’s ignorance was annoying me and whilst I understood his hands were tied to a point, he still didn’t give Matthews a chance to talk properly and I found that a little bit arrogant. Although to be honest, because of the way he was acting throughout the storyline, part of me did suspect him!

When another body is found murdered in a similar way, Kate’s determination goes up yet another notch, but instead of it making her think logically, it ended up building her frustration. She knew deep down that all of the murders were linked and nobody was listening to her due to her connection with a previous investigation. I felt her frustration – Stephen Edger has done a brilliant job of making Kate’s character come alive in more ways than one. I really would be surprised if readers turned around and said that they couldn’t connect to Detective Matthews because in all honesty, Kate is the most relatable character in the entire book.

I had to admit defeat whilst reading ‘Dying Day’ as I just couldn’t seem to work out who had done what. I tried but once again, I failed. Please remind me NEVER to go for a job as a detective. I would be absolutely shocking! I didn’t suspect the actual person who had done it – my jaw hit the floor when it came to light!

I am so impressed by the strong storyline which Stephen Edger has written. Everything flowed flawlessly, and the red herrings were a very clever addition to an already complex storyline. ‘Dying Day’ is a fast paced, rollercoaster ride of suspense, intensity and truly genius writing from the outstanding Stephen Edger.

I absolutely loved this book and everything it stood for. I cannot wait to read more from this author! Highly recommended, ‘Dying Day’ is a book that needs to be devoured because once you ‘pop’, you really can’t stop. Absolutely brilliant.

Thanks Bookouture.

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Author bio.

Stephen Edger is a British crime writer, who has been writing since 2010. In that time he has written and published eleven novels, and five short stories. He writes mysteries and thrillers focused on crime.

Stephen was born in the north-east of England, grew up in London, but has lived in Southampton since attending university in the year 2000. Stephen works in the financial industry, and uses his insider knowledge to create the plots of his books. He also has a law degree, which gives him a good understanding of the inner workings of the UK justice system.

Stephen is married, and has two children, and two dogs. He is passionate about reading and writing, and cites Simon Kernick and John Grisham as major influences on his writing style.

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#BlogTour! #Review – A Winter’s Wish by Lynsey James @Lynsey1991 @HQDigitalUK @NeverlandBT

WINTERS WISH
And last but not least is my review of Lynsey James’ ‘A Winter’s Wish’, which is set to be published on the 22nd November. Huge thanks to NeverlandBT for the blog tour invite, and thank you for the ARC also. Here is my review:

35991479
Being pregnant with her ex-boyfriend’s baby is the last thing on Cleo Jones’s Christmas wish list.

Scott might have been the man of her dreams once upon a time, but things change and now Cleo faces a future as a single mum… Or does she?
Scott won’t let Cleo go through this alone; whatever their differences he’s vowed to be there, from antenatal classes to night feeds and nappy changing. The two agree to bring up their baby as friends – but as Cleo’s bump grows, so do their feelings for each other.
Cleo can’t be sure if it’s her heart of her hormones urging her to give Scott a second chance – but getting back together could be the best Christmas present of all!

What does TWG think?

Having LOVED Lynsey James’ previous book, ‘The Summer of Hopes and Dreams’, I was so excited to be able to re-visit Cleo and Scott. I was so looking forward to finding out what the pair had been up to in between books. Was Cleo finally happy? Had she reached a compromise with her demons?

Poor Cleo isn’t as happy as I thought she would have been. When we left her in the previous book, things seemed like they were starting to look up a bit for her, like she had finally gotten a break from all of the hard situations she had found herself in over the years. Before delving into ‘A Winter’s Wish’, I had everything crossed that I was going to fall in love with the book as much as I did the first. Unfortunately that wasn’t really the case.

Why? Because I felt that Cleo had come so far and grown up a lot in the first book, to then feeling that she had lost some of her maturity. Don’t get me wrong, Cleo’s heart was in the right place and I felt for her once again in regards to her own personal demons but when it came to light that Cleo was pregnant, that’s when I felt myself going a bit ‘hmmm’. Having had eating and confidence issues since the age of five, as well as finding it hard to come to terms with my body changing drastically, I found Cleo’s insight to be a little bit hard unbelievable. I do understand that writing a storyline involving pregnancy when you’ve not been pregnant yourself, can be extremely difficult – I’m not disputing that at all and I can tell that the author has worked extremely hard in regards to her research. But for me, the way that that part of the storyline was handled wasn’t my cup of tea and unfortunately it let the book down.

Aside from that, I did enjoy the majority of the storyline. ‘A Winter’s Wish’ really is a heart-warming, cosy read for romantics everywhere. Even though I couldn’t gel with a part of the book, I still found myself rooting for Cleo and Scott again and, as an unromantic person such as myself, even I was convinced by their love story. Lynsey James really has portrayed their love incredibly well and it actually made my heart soar.

A lovely and cosy second book in a series, Lynsey James has kept the romance level intact throughout both books by making her readers fall in love with Cleo and Scott all over again.

Thanks HQDigitalUK & NeverlandBT.

Pre-order now from Amazon UK

Author bio:

Lynsey James was born in Fife in 1991 and has been telling people how to spell her name
ever since. She’s an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. She started writing when she was really young and credits her lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with her love of telling stories. She used to write her own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of her family (in fact she’s sure she put Ross and Rachel together first!)

A careers adviser at school once told Lynsey writing wasn’t a “good option” and for a few years, she believed her. She tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When Lynsey left my job a couple of years ago, she started writing full-time while she looked for another one. As soon as she started working on her story, Lynsey fell in love and decided to finally pursue her dream. She haven’t looked back since.
When Lynsey’s not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she’s daydreaming about the day Dylan O’Brien FINALLY realises they’re meant to be together. It’ll happen one day…

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