#BlogTour! #Review of Nobody’s Girl by Tania Crosse (@TaniaCrosse) @Aria_Fiction

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Day three of Tania Crosse’s blog tour is with me, TWG! I have a review of Tania Crosse’s new novel, Nobody’s Girl, on my blog today and I hope you enjoy it! Make sure you keep following the rest of the blog tour via the hosts above.

Nobody's Girl cover
A compelling story that tingles with drama, tension and an overwhelming sense of love. Perfect for the fans of Jo Cox and Rosie Goodwin.

The boom years immediately after the Great War bring nothing but happiness for wealthy industrialist Wigmore Stratfield-Whyte and his wife Clarissa – until tragedy robs them of their greatest treasure.

Many years later, an horrific fatal accident brings young Meg Chandler, a spirited farmer’s daughter, into their lives. Meg wants nothing to do with them, but Clarissa is drawn irresistibly towards the bereaved girl and will move heaven and earth to help her. Will Meg allow Clarissa into her own shattered life, and can the two share a future happiness together? And will Meg’s new acquaintances bring her the contentment she craves – or seek to destroy her?

Set in the Kent countryside in the years leading up to the Second World War, this compelling saga tingles with drama, tension and an overwhelming sense of love.

What does TWG think?

Oh.My.Word! ‘Nobody’s Girl’ really isn’t the easiest book to read. I had read about a chapter when I became choked with silent emotion, and I had to pause, put the book down and try to reassemble my thoughts. Now, what’ve I’ve just said isn’t a negative thing at all, especially how I said that it wasn’t an easy book to read. In terms of language usage and storyline organisation, it WAS an easy book to read; in terms of the theme of that first chapter, no, it wasn’t an easy book to read. With other books I have read, we usually get a meet a greet type feeling at the beginning of the book, being eased into the storyline gently and completely unaware as to what may be around the corner (or, the next page). However, ‘Nobody’s Girl’ didn’t really do that, before I had even learnt the ins and outs of the main characters I had been caught off guard in such a heart-wrenching way. I so badly wanted to cry, but I couldn’t because the emotion was far too raw. Does that make sense? Sometimes you can read something in a book which upsets you drastically, to the point you’re stunned into silent emotion. It was that.

As I mentioned before, I had to put the book down and go do something else which didn’t require any of my emotions. But, the more I tried to calm my emotions, the more I struggled to forget the novel. I felt as though I was abandoning the characters by pausing the book. How stupid does that sound, but it’s true.

When I decided to pick the book back up, I needed to keep my emotions in check otherwise the book was going to take me an age to read, and that’s not TWG. ‘Nobody’s Girl’ is set in the years between the Great War and World War II, straight away it was as though I had stepped back in time due to the use of ‘motor vehicle’, for example. Those slight word variations throughout the novel may be overlooked by many readers, but it was brilliant to see the author use the language from the time in which her book was set. ‘Nobody’s Girl’ starts off with two main characters, Wigmore and Clarissa Stratfield-Whyte; and it didn’t seem too long before another character main character was added. Sigh. I just wish it was under better circumstances.

Meg Chandler, a character who I would give anything to talk about right now. A character who, unfortunately, I cannot say too much about due to spoilers. A character who, just like the characters at the start of the book, managed to stir up the silent emotion I had been trying to hide for most of the book. Every emotion, action, and description about Meg’s situation was written to the point I thought I was watching everything from the sidelines. The pain. The moment of being unable to do anything; I have no words about how a large portion of the storyline made me feel. Saying that I became emotional would be an incredible understatement, I mean, who wouldn’t get emotional over the entire novel?

Tania Crosse created firework situations for several of the characters, and they were all written with such poise, sincerity, devastation, yet undeniable beauty. Yes, I could no longer understand my own thoughts and feelings whilst finishing this book, but the authors story telling had me absolutely spellbound.

‘Nobody’s Girl’ was full to the brim of heart-wrenching moments; sometimes it felt as though the beginning of the book started off the domino effect for the rest of the book. It got to a point where I was reading so fast because I was so worried someone else in the book was going to end up emotional, or more sparks were going to fly. This book really was cut throat.

On one hand, Nobody’s Girl kept me on the edge of my seat with emotions even I couldn’t understand, but on the other hand, Nobody’s Girl gave me hope, a sense of belonging, a reason to love and the lesson in learning how to BE loved.

This book is by far the most intense, and emotive novel I have read so far this year. Tania Crosse has blown me away and I am still trying to work out how to put my feet back on the ground. I will not forget Nobody’s Girl in a hurry, Meg will always be the girl in my heart.

Absolutely outstanding.

Thanks Aria.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2nGEvsv

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2njgrdZ

iBooks: http://apple.co/2o0Szcn

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2o0WFRK

 

‘Lizzie’s Daughters’ by Rosie Clarke (@AnneHerries) #Blogtour! #Extract @aria_fiction

Day 2 of Rosie Clarke’s blog tour for her new book, ‘Lizzie’s Daughters’! As part of the tour, I have an extract from the book to share with you. Enjoy!

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LONDON 1958. Lizzie Larch battles to keep her daughters safe and out of harm’s reach. Perfect for the fans of Nadine Dorries and Lyn Andrews.

Lizzie adores her beautiful and clever daughters and will do anything for them. Both possess a wonderful creative flair, but have fiercely different characters. Betty, the eldest is head strong like Lizzie’s first husband whilst Francie is talented and easily influenced.

When Betty runs away after an argument with Sebastian, heartbreak and worry descend on the family. At great risk to her health Lizzie finds herself pregnant but is determined to give Sebastian the son they craved. Sebastian meanwhile is plunged into a dangerous overseas mission using his old contacts to track Betty to Paris and to the lair of the rogue that seduced her?

Consumed with guilt can Sebastian right the wrongs of the past and finally unite his family and friends?

Links to buy

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jvg4rA

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2jaxKff

iBooks: http://apple.co/2jmxtDS

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2jzdalR

Get The Workshop Girls series here: http://amzn.to/2nwLwHT

Extract from ‘Lizzie’s Daughters’ by Rosie Clarke.

Sebastian looked at Marianne Gutiere and felt the pain of his failure strike him. He’d promised he would find Gretchen for his friend’s wife, but although he’d visited ten orphanages in West Germany,  that they had thought might have some knowledge of the girl, he’d drawn a blank.

‘She wasn’t there?’ Marianne asked, tears glistening in her eyes. ‘It’s a hopeless task, isn’t it? She would be eighteen now and I’m not sure I would know her, because she was only six years old when I left. When I escaped from Eastern Germany after the war, Karl promised he would follow with her the next day… but they arrested him and she was taken somewhere to a children’s home; he was told she would be quite safe. Karl was able to send only one letter, but he was sure that she would be cared for… ’ her voice caught on a sob.

‘I’m so sorry,’ Sebastian said and touched her hand in sympathy. ‘You know that Karl and I were very close before the war. I wanted him to get out before it started but he had a good job at the University in Berlin and he didn’t believe that Hitler would kill the Jews, even though he was stripping them of money, property and dignity…’

‘Did anyone believe it?’ Marianne asked sadly. ‘We none of us expected what happened, but Karl was right; his work was necessary to our masters and they kept us  as hostages to ensure he worked for them –  and so we lived, but when the war was over Karl sent me away. I was carrying another child. I begged to take Gretchen with me, but he said if we all went it might arouse suspicions and we weren’t sure about the Russians then. We thought they might be our friends. Neither of us thought they would accuse him of war crimes and execute him…’

‘Karl was a decent man and a brilliant physicist. Whatever the Nazis made him do I know he wasn’t a criminal by choice, Marianne.  Whatever he did was to keep you safe and I shall not condemn him – but you were innocent of any crime and so is Gretchen, and I promise I will find her, Marianne.’

‘But you’ve been searching for three years, ever since I first spoke to you – just before I got that letter to say that she was in an orphanage and alive…’

‘It was a such a pity that whoever sent it didn’t sign it,’ Sebastian said. ‘Had they done so we might have got more information – as it is, we just have to keep looking.’ 

‘I know there were so many displaced children after the war,’ Marianne said regretfully. ‘I wrote to everyone I could contact; some replied but no one knew where Gretchen had been taken. I should’ve come to you sooner, but I might never have had the courage had we not met by chance on that railway station in Western Germany and you recognised me…’

‘It was meant to be,’ he said.  ‘I’m glad you asked for my help. I intend to do all I can for you, and not just for Karl’s sake.’

‘I’m not the only one you’ve helped, am I?’

‘It’s something I can’t talk about, even to you,’ he said and frowned. ‘We have a different kind of enemy these days. Lives depend on secrecy, and not even my wife knows what I do when I’m away… you should understand the political situation out there better than anyone.’

‘I do, of course, and I shan’t ask. I know you love your wife very much and sometimes I feel guilty for taking up so much of your time.’

‘Lizzie knows I love her.’ Sebastian stood up and glanced at his watch. ‘I must leave I’m afraid. I’m so sorry not to have better news, but I have many friends who have contacts both in Germany and in other countries where Gretchen might have gone and I shall go on looking until we discover something… one way or the other…’

‘You are so kind, but your family need you. I must not ask too much of you…’

‘Karl would have done the same in my place. I could not leave you alone in Germany, Marianne. It took a while to arrange passports and permissions, but I got you here to London and I’ll find you a better job than waitressing – and I’ll do my best to find Gretchen.’ He frowned. ‘You need some decent clothes – no, I know you can’t afford them, but I can. I’m going to take you to the shop of a friend of mine. She will give me a discount and I’ll make sure you have what you need to look the part when you apply for a job.’

‘You’ve done so much already. I can’t let you do this…’

‘I want to help – and I feel bad that I let you down again. Let me do this one small thing, please?’

‘Thank you,’ she said with quiet dignity and Sebastian left the flat he’d rented for her when she first came to England two years earlier. He’d hoped then that she would soon have her daughter with her, but his efforts had so far been in vain. He might have to talk to someone who could help, though he was reluctant to involve Jack and the department, because it would only draw him deeper into their arms when he knew it was time for him to think of his own life and his family…

As he walked from the building and hailed a passing taxi, Sebastian thought about what he’d learned from his inquiries in Western Germany – the things he hadn’t told Marianne. He believed that if Gretchen was still alive she was in East Berlin and it was notoriously difficult to trace children who’d been separated from their parents during the troubled time just after the end of the war; some were placed in orphanages in the Russian sector, others had simply disappeared. The child would be a young woman now. If she’d imbibed the anti-West doctrine that had undoubtedly been fed her these past years since the Cold War had started to escalate, she might not want to come to England to meet her mother and if she hadn’t… it would still be very difficult to get her out. The Russians had no intention of letting the East Germans escape to the West in large numbers– and there were unbelievable rumours about what they were planning to prevent it.

Author bio

Rosie Clarke was born in Swindon, but moved to Ely in Cambridgeshire at the age of nine. Married at eighteen, she ran her own hairdressing business for many years. Rosie started writing in 1976, combining this with helping her husband run his antique shop. She loves to write for her own enjoyment and to give pleasure to her millions of fans. Rosie was the well-deserved winner of the 2004 RNA Romance Award and the Betty Neels Trophy.

Visit Rosie Clarke’s website


If you wish to follow the rest of the blog tour, the details for the rest of the tour hosts are below:

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Follow Aria

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Facebook: @ariafiction

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

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#BlogTour! #Review – Always and Forever by Sian O’Gorman (@msogorman) @Aria_Fiction

Day two of the blog tour is here!! Delighted to be today’s stop on Sian O’Gorman’s blog tour for her brand new book, Always and Forever. I only feels like yesterday that I was revealing the book cover for her and Aria Fiction! My word, how time has flown! Sian’s novel has intrigued me from the moment I laid eyes on the cover, which makes me even more glad to be able to share my review with you!! Enjoy!

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How can you find yourself again, when you can’t face what you’ve lost?

Joanna Woulfe is looking to get her life back on track after her husband John leaves their family home. Once a high-flying PR Director, Jo now looks after her son Harry and seeks support only from her mother Marietta and her best friend Nicole. But Nicole’s own marriage is facing its greatest ever crisis, and Marietta, too, is distracted by the reappearance of an old flame, ex-Showband-singer and lothario Patrick Realta.

Soon Jo enrols with a colourful local amateur dramatics group and begins a flirtation with the handsome young Ronan Forest. But is she really ready to move on from her old life – and from her years of marriage to John? And what was it that happened three years ago that sent the couple into free-fall?

Before long Jo will realise that is only by looking back that she will ever truly be able to move forward…

What does TWG think?

I’m not going to lie, I had absolutely no idea what to except with this book. Personally, the cover gave nothing away, and seeing as I don’t read blurbs, I began the book without even a hint of information.

By golly wasn’t I glad about that…

I am SO glad that the cover didn’t give anything way! The entire storyline was full of surprise, after surprise, after shock; if you think you’re getting a light-hearted novel due to the colourful cover, think again. Don’t get me wrong, the storyline was hilarious and had some rather questionable (but brilliant) characters for even more entertainment. However, a lot of the plot was deep and meaningful as well. There were times where I struggled to keep up with the ongoing dramas and shocking situations as there was a lot of information to take in. Not only that, as soon as I was able to digest one shocker, another one took its place almost immediately! Before you start thinking that I am stating negatives here, I’m not. Having a storyline which contains drama, shocking situations and even hilarity, can be quite rare. If done ‘correctly’ it can be a wonderful read.

Thankfully, I thought O’Gorman nailed it. There seemed to be the right amount of everything (except maybe a smidge too much info all at once). O’Gorman’s book is definitely one to keep you busy, that’s for sure!

I didn’t really quite know what to make of Joanna and John’s relationship; to be honest, neither did they! Joanna’s mother proved to be quite a fiery character and completely different to her daughter! Joanna’s best friend, Nicole, also had a little bit of a situation going on and whilst I probably shouldn’t have laughed at times, I couldn’t help myself! Somewhat OTT but enjoyable nonetheless. I did feel sorry for Nicole though I must say; I’m curious to hear other people’s opinions on her situation so once you buy the book and read it, come back and let me know what your thoughts are (without spoilers).

‘Always and Forever’ really is a book that keeps on giving right until the very end. One moment you might be laughing, the next moment you might be thinking ‘what the…’, and then you may even end up shocked. It’s safe to say that storyline really does contain such a wide variety of emotional situations. Sian O’Gorman has put her own spin on a realistic situation (marital issues) by modernising it and making it a storyline to remember.

Yes, there was a lot for me to take in, and yes some of the situations were a tad OTT. BUT, ‘Always and Forever’ made me laugh, and it gave me an escape which I so desperately needed because of its uniqueness.

A mixture of everything, a storyline to remember, as well as giggles aplenty; ‘Always and Forever’ is the ideal pick me up on a day when you need it the most.

Thanks Aria Fiction.

Amazon // Kobo // iBooks // Google Play

Sian’s previous novel, FRIENDS LIKE US is out now.

Author bio

Siân was born in Ireland, is an RTÉ radio producer and lives in the seaside suburb of Dalkey, Dublin with her seven-nearly-eight-year-old daughter, Ruby.

Follow Sian

www.sianogorman.com

Twitter: @msogorman

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#BlogTour! #Review of Last Witness by Carys Jones (@CarysJauthor) @aria_fiction

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Amanda Thorne is on a mission to avenge her husband. Restoring his honour and protecting his legacy will be dangerous, but she will not rest until all those who have hurt her loved-ones have been dealt with. 

Her only option is to go undercover in the murky world of the gang kingpin McAllister. So, with her loyal companion Shane by her side, she heads back to Scotland to finish what they started. 

McAllister’s world is one of seedy nightclubs, drug deals and beautiful women, but he is a hard man to get close to. As Amanda gets deeper and deeper into his dangerous world, what secrets from the past will come back to haunt her, and will she be able to protect the last witness from the truth? 

A compelling, heart-stopping thriller which you won’t be able to put down…

What does TWG think?

I couldn’t wait to begin this one! I had seen Cars’ previous novel doing the rounds on social media when it was published, didn’t read it at the time but I do remember thinking to myself that I really did need to get my hands on her novel! I obviously didn’t take my own advice and ended up not reading her first novel and went diving into the second book, completely unawares; major fail.

‘Last Witness’ is the sequel to ‘Wrong Number’, SO, it would be extremely beneficial for you to read the first book BEFORE you begin ‘Last Witness’. Please don’t do what I did, even though I genuinely had no idea that the books follow one one another which meant that I spent a lot of the book going ‘errrrrr, what did I miss?’. I must admit, I was pretty disappointed. However, from the last quarter of the storyline to the very end, I was able to sink my teeth into the unravelling plot and really get a feel for Amanda Thorne’s edgy personality. She really is a feisty little minx isn’t she!

If I were to review this novel overall, excluding the initial confusion and sequel issues, I would confidently say that this storyline has one gritty, and dark plot with some rather questionable (yet intense) characters to go with it. I could see where Amanda was coming from in terms of being a woman scorned and wanting to stand up for what she believed in! I would hate to ever get on the wrong side of her or those close to her, that’s for sure!

Carys Jones’ suspenseful and dark writing style really caught me off guard (in a good way), as I really didn’t have a clue what to expect as she was a completely new author for me. In my opinion, Jones knows how to grab the reader in ‘Last Witness’ because of the intense storyline and manipulative characters, whilst also keeping the plot line believable and not over the top. However, due to spending most of the book feeling as though I was missing out on vital information, I couldn’t seem to gel with the lacking progression within the storyline as much as I would have liked.

Based on the suspenseful circumstances and heart pounding moments of the last quarter of the novel, I really did enjoy what I read; it really does hold a lot of promise. I am looking forward to her next release as I find her writing style intriguing and full of grit. Can’t complain at that really, can you!

Thank you Aria.

Buy links

Amazon // Kobo // iBooks // Google Play

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#BlogTour! #Review of ‘Lost and Found’ by Danielle Ryan @aria_fiction #Italy #bookblogger

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Can true love prevail when the real and online worlds collide?

Perfect for the fans of Miranda Dickenson and Paige Toon.

Melissa Riva works in Milan as a university researcher. After buying an iPad at
auction, she finds it contains files belonging to its previous owner.
Fascinated by the beautiful photographs of romantic landscapes and views of the
city, she starts her search for the previous owner. Locating him through Facebook,
Melissa can’t resist contacting him.
Melissa and Riccardo begin chatting online. Both of them becoming increasingly
dependent on this strange relationship, though acutely aware that it’s only likely to remain a virtual one.
But when real life bursts in on their digital world, they can’t resist revealing their
true feelings…

What does TWG think?

‘Lost and Found’ could not get any further into the 21st Century if it tried! I mean really, a lost iPad, auctioned iPad, male character & a female character chatting over Facebook; I’m just waiting for the virtual relationship to form! Oh, wait….it already did.

In this day and age, a lot of time is spent chatting to people on social media, engaging in harmless banter and lusting over a vast number of photographs posted. No, I don’t mean THOSE kinds of photos, eeeesh, get your mind out of the gutter! Melissa was taken aback by some rather impressive scenic photographs; making it her mission to find the face behind the photo. Oh she found the face alright, even if the gentleman did seem to be the proud owner of multiple faces…

If I am about to read a book written by an author I haven’t heard of before, nine times out of ten I take a peek at the reviews on Goodreads beforehand. I don’t read them in-depth, merely skim reading to get a feel for the author; ‘Lost and Found’ was no different. I’ll be honest, after reading the book for myself, the lack of sparkle on the ratings and the rather comme ci, comme Ça reviews I had spotted before I began reading rather surprised me! Don’t get me wrong, some of the phrases used in the sex scenes made my toes curl in embarrassment! If you’re going to describe something of the sexual nature, using the proper terminology would be advantageous, especially as I didn’t realise female genitalia was called ‘the sex’. My bugbear!

Now I have that out of the way, I can now say that I rather enjoyed this rather modern and brave version of a love story. I say ‘brave’ because some cynics reading the novel may think of Melissa and Riccardo’s situation as completely unrealistic, whereas the ‘happily ever after’ type readers may be on Amazon buying their wedding hat before the novel even finished. To put it in another way, I felt that Danielle Ryan was very brave and bold to put such an outlandish, (yet possible relatable), situation in the core of her storyline. It’s bound to be the main talking point of the storyline, and if it isn’t I want to know why! I’m not the most romantic person on this planet, I fully admit that! So yes, I did think the two characters relationship to be a little bit ‘realllyyyyyy?’ at times, but that didn’t stop me enjoying seeing how the events unfolded, nor did it stop me eagerness to find out the outcome. Does the boy get the girl? Or does the girl tell the boy to go and do one?

I really enjoy reading novels set in Italy which have been written by Italian authors as I consider them to be my guilty pleasure! The way an Italian author can describe their own country in their own storyline, is such a beautiful thing to read. Instead of describing Italy like a travel brochure, Danielle Ryan described Milan in such a vivid and incredible way, it was as though the buildings became familiar and every scent was bottled up ready to be smelt again. You really need to know a country to be able to write it into a storyline so flawlessly, and obviously Danielle Ryan knows her own country!

I’ll be honest, ‘Lost and Found’ didn’t give me that firework feel, however, it was a rather enjoyable and humorous tale that kept me entertained the whole way through. The storyline wasn’t heavy, the characters didn’t require an additional pair of hands to sort out their lives (the reader), and the overall plot didn’t need TOO much of my brain power. In all fairness, it was a light-hearted, pleasant, and fun trip to Italy, which took my mind off my own troubles for a little while. Can’t really argue with that now, can you?

Thanks Aria.


Author bio

Danielle Ryan was born in Como, Italy and has a degree in both Economics and
Communication Sciences. She writes with a passion and devotes every free minute
of her day to her work. Danielle is a bestselling author in Italy. Her debut
novel Finding You reached no. 1 on Italian Amazon.

Thank you Aria Fiction for inviting me on Danielle Ryan’s blog tour, you can follow the rest of the tour via the details in the picture below:

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#BlogTour! #Review – A Life Without You by Shari Low (@sharilow) @Aria_Fiction

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Touching, funny, and bittersweet, this is a story that will make you laugh, cry, and call your best friend to tell her you love her.

Dee and Jen have been best friends since their days of teenage crushes, bad 90’s make-up and huge hair.

They’ve passed every milestone of their lives together and now in their thirties own a successful boutique, sharing a bond that is as strong as the closest of sisters.

Until one day everything changes.

Dee is gone, killed by a reckless driver, leaving Jen to face the harsh reality of a world without her.

Jen vows to honour Dee’s dreams and take care of everything and everyone she loved.

Until she realises that sometimes the only way forward is to let go of the past.

What does TWG think?

Dee and Jen’s friendship was one of a kind; the storyline made that extremely clear from the very beginning. Witnessing how close they were, even for such a short space of time, was such a joy to see. But out of the blue, a nervous feeling started to come over me and as I hadn’t read the blurb beforehand, I had no idea what I was nervous about as I didn’t know what would happen. Just as I was trying to ignore the nervous feeling….

BAM!

All of a sudden, the storyline felt like it was unfolding in slow motion. The sheer horror, the pain, the distressing circumstances; every little detail was written with precision and intense clarity. I could see the event unfolding in my head. I could hear the screams. I could hear the sound of Jen’s heart breaking into millions of pieces. I wanted to cry but I couldn’t; I was numb.

Those events will forever be etched in my mind as they were so vivid! What a mighty good way to start the novel though, eh! If I could go through such a range of emotions in a chapter or two, then my hopes would be soaring for the rest of the storyline. Considering that Shari Low began the novel with such a belter of situation, she managed to keep the momentum going through the rest of the novel. Of course I was a bit concerned that the following chapters wouldn’t live up to what I read first, but I needn’t have worried.

My heart went out to Jen, and Dee’s family as reading about the aftermath was quite emotional and extremely heart breaking. It must have been quite a difficult subject to write about, yet Shari Low kept it realistic without adding any unnecessary outlandish features. Very sensitively written. It made a change to read a storyline containing the topic of death, whose characters didn’t just ‘get over it’ the next day. I really did appreciate how realistic the grieving time-frame was written into the storyline, as well as lightly touching upon individual characters grief.

The more that the storyline unfolded, the more skeletons came out of the closet which made for rather entertaining reading. Well, it also meant that I got rather annoyed with a character or two, but you can’t have everything though haha.

I have seen Shari Low’s novels on Amazon previously, but they have always been under the ‘oh I must read that soon’ heading. I am really glad that I got an AriaAddict kick up my tooshmanoosh to read one of her books; Shari is a phenomenal story-teller!

Shari’s words seemed effortlessly written, and flawlessly projected through such a heart-warming, emotional and intense storyline. If that’s not a description of a literary genius and an outstanding novel, then I have no idea what is.

From the bottom of my heart, ‘A Life Without You’ is a truly beautiful read which showcases Shari Low’s incredible literary talent, as well as her ability to trickle emotion through each and every chapter like a mini waterfall. Outstanding.

Thanks Aria.

Buy now from Amazon UK

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
Twitter: @ShariLow

To find out what the other bloggers on the tour are saying about Shari Low’s novel, you can find out who is hosting the next few stops, below:

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#BlogTour! #Review of The Trophy Taker by Sarah Flint (@SarahFlint19) @Aria_Fiction

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He’s watching, waiting… and counting. The next gripping serial killer read in the DC ‘Charlie’ Stafford series, from the bestselling author of Mummy’s Favourite. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons.

He keeps each one floating in formaldehyde to stop them from rotting. Each finger denotes a victim, tortured and butchered, their heart ripped out and discarded, replaced instead by symbols of their treachery. He sits alone admiring his trophies weekly; each and everyone of them guilty in his eyes. And now more must pay.

But who or what links the victims?

DC ‘Charlie’ Stafford is already investigating a series of escalating racist attacks and it now seems she has a vicious serial killer on her patch. With no leads and time running out, the team at Lambeth are at near breaking point.

Something has to give… and all the while he’s watching, waiting… and counting.

What does TWG think?

New author to add to my collection as well as a new female DC protagonist, not bad going really is it?! ‘The Trophy Taker’ is the second book in the DC Stafford series and it can be read as a standalone. The first book in the series, ‘Mummy’s Favourite’ doesn’t NEED to be read before you begin this book, but if you want to read it first then by all means knock yourself out (not literally please!).

What an opening! The prologue truly set the scene for the rest of the storyline with its vivid and rather gruesome  descriptions of the killers antics, and whilst it made me stomach churn my curiosity won the fight. However, nothing could ever have prepared me for the rest of the storyline.

Whilst I don’t have much experience in crime thrillers, the investigations described in this novel were extremely eventful and very high energy, which gave the storyline momentum. The storyline didn’t seem to be lacking in horrific circumstances at all which is obviously what needed to happen at that moment, however, I found that several parts of the storyline went over my line of comfort. It’s nothing against the author by the way, as she has fulfilled her mission in being able to get a reaction out of me with her words alone. And yes, even though I found parts of the book to be rather uncomfortable, the entire storyline was really well written.

There were also many moments where I struggled to differentiate between reality and fiction, as Sarah Flint gorey and realistic descriptions managed to make her book come to life, as well as being able to stand out from the crowd.

It’s clear that Sarah Flint knows her stuff due to her own policing background, which luckily for us, she has been able to bring her knowledge back to life in such a memorable and dynamic way.

Police procedural/crime thriller novels and I, will never be the best of friends as I am too much of a wuss. However, whether this genre is my favourite or not, the true star of the novel is Sarah Flint herself and her intriguing, gritty and genius style of writing.

Sarah Flint is an exceptional author who certainly knows how to captivate her readers with her intense storylines and edgy characters; this book really did keep me on my toes.

Thanks Aria & Netgalley.

About the author

With a Metropolitan Police career spanning 35 years Sarah has spent her adulthood
surrounded by victims, criminals and police officers. She continues to work and lives
in London with her partner and has three older daughters.

Links to buy
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2lBuZFM

Follow Sarah Flint
Facebook: @SarahFlintBooks
Twitter: @SarahFlint19

There are other stops on the blog tour to keep your thriller radars at bay, make sure you take a peek at the stops! All the details are below:

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Follow Aria
Facebook: @ariafiction
Twitter: @aria_fiction
Instagram: @ariafiction
Sign up to the Aria newsletter: http://bit.ly/2jQxVtV

#BlogTour! #Review – The Second Chance Tea Shop by Fay Keenan (@FayKeenan) @Aria_Fiction

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Second chances, new loves and scrumptious cakes, in this heart-warming novel. Perfect for all fans of Fern Britton, Katie Fforde and Cathy Bramley.

Following the tragic death of her beloved husband, Anna Hemingway decides it’s time for a fresh start. So Anna and her three-year-old daughter Ellie move to a picture-perfect cottage in the beautiful village of Little Somerby, and when she takes over the running of the village tea shop, Ellie and Anna start to find happiness again.

But things get complicated when Matthew Carter, the owner of the local cider farm, enters their lives. Throughout a whirlwind year of village fetes and ancient wassails, love, laughter, apple pie and new memories, life slowly blossoms again. But when tragedy strikes and history seems to be repeating itself, Anna must find the strength to hold onto the new life she has built.

This beautiful, life-affirming debut novel marks the beginning of the Little Somerby series, and promises to make you smile, cry, reach for a cream tea, and long for a life in the perfect English countryside.

What does TWG think?

It’s TWG’s stop on Fay Kennan’s blog tour today! I hope you enjoy my review of her debut book, The Second Chance Tea Shop.

Okay, okay, I’ll hold my hands up; I have to admit that I did groan when I saw that this was yet another novel with yet another tea shop/café in the storyline. At least I admit it though, right? Seeing as this book is Fay Kennan’s debut novel (and the cover is a tad more-ish), I decided to put my teashop/café vendetta to one side and feed my curiosity by actually reading it. Yes, as soon as I saw the cover I was intrigued by it, definitely not going to lie about that. I was just throwing a little wobbly about the overuse of a particular setting.

Anyway, needed to get my little grumble out of the way before I started singing Fay Kennan’s book baby’s praises! I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Second Chance Tea Shop’ from start to finish! For a couple of seconds max, the thought of the storyline heading down the candyfloss route did enter my mind, when in actual fact, it was the complete opposite!

After the heart ache that Anna has been through recently, she decides that a fresh start with her daughter, Ellie, would be the ideal solution to regaining control of her life. Whilst the village of Little Somerby may be brand new to Ellie, it isn’t for Anna and as she starts settling into village life yet again, she ends up recognising A LOT more than she bargained for. Will Little Somerby give Anna the second chance at life which she desperately craves? Or could certain pasts end up colliding and ruin her fresh start before it’s even begun?

I have been wracking my brain trying to think of what Fay Keenan’s novel reminds me of; a multiple layered cake, that’s what it reminds me of! Don’t laugh, hear me out. By looking at the cake (the book) we would assume that it’s just a book about a little tea shop, yet by reading every chapter and going through each individual layer of the storyline and the character’s personalities, it was just like enjoying all of the different layers of a cake. Each layer contained different hurdles, different characters and different emotions, allowing us to surrender to the storyline and the magic between the words. Just like a multi-layered cake layers, no two layers, (or chapters), were the same and that is what made Fay Keenan’s book baby stand out for me.

As I said above, a lot of books at the moment are set in the oh-so-popular tea shop or café, which can make it harder for a brand new author to find a way of standing out amongst the crowd. What could ‘The Second Chance Tea Shop’ bring to the table that was completely unique? A bit like ‘what’s your tea shop got that mine aint got’, kinda thing. But you know what, ‘The Second Chance Tea Shop’ is unlike all of the other similar books in its market and I’ll tell you why.

Firstly, the main character has already built up a life previously which didn’t contain any premises involving mini sandwiches. Unfortunately her life got turned upside down in a devastating way.

Secondly, the tea shop featured in this novel is already an established business, which means that Anna isn’t doing her own version of ‘Changing Rooms’ on the building.

Thirdly, there is A LOT more to this storyline that meets the eye; complex characters, devastating secrets, village gossip, heart breaking secrets, and enough warmth to keep your own house warm over the winter. No joke. Emotional it may be at times yet the heart warming factor trumps any sadness and uncertainty.

Fourthly, the little tea shop is portrayed as a character within the book, instead of being the hub of the storyline. It’s a fantastic addition to an already brilliant storyline, instead of being the centre of attention.

Personally? This novel has got to be one of my most favourite tea shop books out there. It has been brilliantly written (hard to believe it’s a debut book to be honest!), nicely structured with just the right amount of contrasting characters.

‘The Second Chance Tea Shop’ is just like drinking the perfectly made cup of tea; warm enough, sweet enough, not too strong and not too weak. In other words; perfection.

Thank you Aria.

Buy now: Amazon // Kobo // iBooks // Googleplay

Author bio

Fay Keenan was born in Surrey and raised in Hampshire, before finally settling back
in the West Country. When Fay is not chasing her children around or writing, she
teaches English at a local secondary school. She lives with her husband of fourteen
years, two daughters, a cat, two chickens and a Weimaraner called Bertie in a village
in Somerset, which may or may not have provided the inspiration for Little Somerby.

Follow Fay:
Facebook: FayKeenanAuthor
Twitter: @FayKeenan
Instagram: @FayKeenan
Website: www.faykeenan.com

Make sure you pop into the tea shop as the tour continues with the bloggers below!

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#BlogTour! #Review – A Knightsbridge Scandal by Anita Davison (@AnitaSDavison) @Aria_Fiction

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It’s Monday, brand new week which means brand new tour! Aria have given me the honour of kicking off yet another blog tour for them! This is why I LOVE Mondays (even though I’m not on tour for Aria for a few weeks after this one. Sniff).
On my stop today I will be bringing you a review of Anita Davison’s new book, A Knightsbridge Scandal, which was published by Aria Fiction on the 1st March 2017. Hope you enjoy!

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1903 London is bustling and glamorous. With troubling secrets simmering and worrying signs of war Flora Maguire must solve a deadly mystery which leads right to the heart of the corridors of power.

Flora Maguire has escaped the country to enjoy some time in fashionable Knightsbridge, London. Extravagant shops, exuberant theatres and decadent restaurants mean 1903’s London is a thrilling adventure, but there are dark secrets threatening from the continent.

When the body of a London socialite, and leading light of the burgeoning women’s movement, is found outside The Grenadier public house, Flora can’t resist investigating.

Mysterious letters are discovered in the victim’s belongings, strange links to the foreign office and why do the clues keep coming back to the assassination of a Baltic king?

As Flora closes in on the killer, it soon becomes clear she is no longer safe in London, but will her husband Bunny be able to get to her before it’s too late?

What does TWG think?

I was really looking forward to starting Anita Davison’s latest novel, A Knightsbridge Scandal, as she was a brand new author for me to sink my teeth into in regards to her work. I had heard of her, well, seen her books on Amazon, but my love for historical fiction wasn’t as deep back then as it is now.

Set in 1903, London; A Knightsbridge Scandal brought to light the issues that women were up against back in the day;  such as the suffragette movement.  The movement was only just beginning to get the word out about their organisation and their beliefs; and, as this storyline shows, A LOT of people (mainly males) were completely against the entire thing. Because of that, women’s safety became a rather touchy subject and also rather dangerous. Again, just like this storyline describes, there is always a scandal when you least expect it. Especially if, like Flora, you’re meant to be having a little city break and the definition of ‘seeing the sights’ is completely different to what you originally thought….

Recently I have been reading a lot more historical fiction novels than ever before as I am a HUGE history buff (not many people know that), which meant my excitement for this novel was at a high. Early 1900’s, London and a lot of history, what’s not to like?
I need to be honest. It took me a little while to be able to get into this storyline and find something to sink my teeth into to keep me interested. The first couple of chapters seemed to ponder along at their own pace with a couple of sparklers alongside them, instead of a firework moment. Does that make sense? I struggled to find ‘the thing’ at first, and I so badly wanted to! I’m not usually one to give up on a book for a trivial reason, so I kept reading with my fingers crossed.

Did someone say SCANDAL?! Why helllooooooo there! The little ‘something’ I needed to reel me into the storyline properly, arrived with glittery paper and a huge bow (well, not really but you know what I mean). Flora was SUCH an inquisitive soul, completely unable to keep her nose out of things that didn’t concern her. But you know what? I’m SOOOO glad that she was like that because I got to follow her journey of investigation, as well as learning more about an early 1900’s London. From that moment I just knew that the book and I would be A-Okay.

Flora’s mother in law, SHEEEEEESH!!!! What WAS that woman on? Both Bunny and his mother got on my nerves something chronic, no wonder Flora wanted to get a bit of excitement into a life and what a way to do it! Of course she managed to land herself in a bit of hot water, Flora was delving into a situation that she really should be steering clear of. That said, it was an exciting read with my detective skills failing me once again!

Anita Davison filled the storyline with one of my most favourite historical moments, The Suffragette Movement, and her brilliant descriptions made the movement come to life before my very own eyes.

Even though I was slightly unsure of the novel at the beginning, Anita’s delightful writing style, historical knowledge and infectious bouts of excitement throughout, really did change my mind. It was as though something in the storyline just clicked.

Entertaining, secretive and incredibly interesting, A Knightsbridge Scandal is an ideal read to lounge on the sofa and step back in time with.

Thank you Aria.

Links to buy
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2kbPt2U

Book 1 – Flora’s Secret is out now:
Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/2cJhzSn
Book 2 – Betrayal at Cleeve Abbey is out now
Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/2edQSnv
Follow Aria
Facebook: @ariafiction
Twitter: @aria_fiction
Instagram: @ariafiction
Sign up to the Aria newsletter: http://bit.ly/2jQxVtV

About the author.

Anita’s earlier novels are set in 17 th Century England, with a family saga set in Exeter
during the Monmouth Rebellion and a biographical novel about Elizabeth Murray
during the English Civil War in Surrey. Her fascination with the revival of cosy
mysteries made her turn to the early 1900’s for inspiration where she found Flora
Maguire lurking. The series of five novels was taken up for publication by Aria
Fiction, a digital imprint of Head of Zeus Publishing.

Murder on the Minneapolis is available here [http://tinyurl.com/z2ly6lm] and
Murder at Cleeve Abbey can be pre-ordered here. [http://tinyurl.com/zkqhx37]
Twitter – @AnitaSDavison

Happy birthday to me! TWG turns ONE! #happybirthdayTWG #bookblogger #authors #firstbirthday

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AHHHHHHHHH!! Happy birthday to TWG! One year ago today, 15th March 2016, my first ever blog post was published. I even remember which one it was too – The woman who upped and left – Review. I didn’t even think anyone would read my reviews, let alone be following me a year down the line. It has been a surreal year for TWG and I have loved every single moment of it. Well, most of it!

This last year I have:

– Created a signed book collection of 35 books, containing novels from authors such as Lindsey Kelk, Jodi Picoult, Carol Wyer, Paige Toon, Sophie Kinsella, Michelle Visage, David Videcette, Mary-Jane Riley, Liane Moriarty, Sue Moorcroft, Sue Watson, Sam Carrington, Louise Jensen, Tilly Tennant, Sue Fortin, Jan Brigden, Laura James, Marcie Steele, Holly Martin, Sarah Morgan, Elli Darkins, Eva Jordan, Lisa Jewell, Cathy Bramley, Mhairi McFarlane, Susan Gander, Rosie Blake, Heidi Swain, Milly Johnson, Jennifer Bohnet, and Rebecca Raisin.

Huge thank you to the authors who have sent me those signed books as a competition prize or for another reason, thank you to the publishers, and thank you to the authors for signing those books so that they were available to buy. I feel extremely lucky and I will forever be grateful.

– Became friends with most of those authors above, AND MORE. A year ago I was in dream world when it came to authors tweeting me back. A year later, I am still in dream world when they do that and have to pinch myself when I am in conversation with them. Am I dreaming?

– Found some truly loyal bloggers to build brilliant friendships with. I also am so thankful to Joanne R for taking me under her wing at the very beginning, making sure that I wasn’t on my own in a huge group.

– Huge thank you to Anita Chapman for letting me know about Book connectors FB group! Without you, I don’t think I would have known anything about it.

– Received books to review from publishers and authors I have admired for many, many years. Every time I get book post it feels like it’s my birthday all over again. Thank you to Accent Press for being the first publisher to put me on their blogger list, and a huge thank you to all of the other publishers who continue to bless me with bookpost and book related things. Living the dream.

– This last year I also met Jodi Picoult. Another author who I have admired for many years and made me catch my breath when I met her, with fellow blogger Dee. Amazing experience.

There are so, SO many highlights from this past year, I couldn’t begin to list them all. I have been on several hundred blog tours, taken part in multiple cover reveals, been lucky enough to interview Jenny Colgan, Ali McNamara, Carol Wyer, Cathy Bramley, Andi Michael, Tilly Tennant and many, many more. My interviews are no longer called ‘interviews’, some authors know of them as interrogations! A fellow blogger, Lorraine, let me know that I was now the ‘blogger who made authors cry’ (in a good way), with my reviews. I don’t set out to do that (honestly)! A special thank you needs to go to Carol Wyer and Kim Nash. When I first started blogging, I had no idea about most things yet Carol became such a good friend in such a short space of time, becoming the support network and confidante that I treasured, and I still do. Carol stood by my side and championed me and TWG from the very beginning, and she still does to this day. I will always be grateful for your kind words and support Carol, you truly are one of kind. As for Kim Nash, you were the first publisher I ever spoke to directly (well, over e-mail) and we built a good friendship from that moment. Plus, you had copious amounts of patience with me when I kept pestering you! Thank you for believing in me now and today.

This last year has seen me read a total of 214 books (so far), with 154 books being from 2016 and 60 being my current total. I have been lucky enough to try so many new authors and fall in love with genres I never thought I would see myself reading. I have been made to feel included to various book groups on FB and this whole year has seen my blog posts being shared far and wide by bloggers. BLOGGERS, thank you for always sharing my posts, championing my reviews and being such stars. You are all incredibly wonderful and it’s a pleasure to become your friends. You all know who you are!

This year has also seen an article of mine get published on mental health and illness website, The Mighty. Within 2 weeks it had been shared over 3000 times. You can find my article here. I also have had one of my quotes published on the back of a paperback, with another one (or two) to be expected further on in the year. I have also found my quotes on publishers publicity pictures, and yes, a year later the feeling is still surreal with every new one. Thank you.

This post could go on forever, as there are so many people I would like to thank for helping my dream get on its way to becoming a reality. Reading books is my only respite from the hell of daily life and for that reason, I will forever be in authors debt for writing those books that allow me to travel to France, New York etc, or allow me to ‘work’ in various different places without having to worry about my P45!

Ever since I was a little girl, I have wanted to write and be involved in books/writing some way or another. I’m involved in books thanks to my blog. I just need someone to give me that break to change my life, and allow me to work freelance as a writer/publicist etc. It’s getting to a point now where the chances of me working outside are slim. Fingers crossed that 2017 allows me to get even closer to getting that job. Thank you all for following my blog, supporting me, reading my posts and just being you.

Lots of love,

TWG x

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