#BlogTour! #Review – Keep Her Silent by Theresa Talbot (@theresa_talbot) @Aria_Fiction


I am very excited to be taking part in the blog tour for Theresa Talbot’s latest novel, Keep Her Silent. Now before anyone says about the date, I do apologise that I am a day late with my review as my illnesses rendered me unable to move last night. However, the review is here now so thank you Aria Fiction for the blog tour invite and the ARC.


Ooonagh ONeil is back with another dark and chilling investigation

“Do that which is good and no evil shall touch you”

That was the note the so-called Raphael killer left on each of his victims. Everyone in Glasgow investigative journalist Oonagh O’Neil included remember the murder of three women in Glasgow which sent a wave of terror through the city. They also remember that he is still at large…

When the police investigation into the Raphael killings reopens, Oonagh is given a tip off that leads her straight to the heart of a complex and deadly cover-up. When history starts to repeat itself, it seems the killer is closer than she thinks. Could Oonagh be the next target…?

What does TWG think?

I am probably going to sound completely uneducated here, but until I had read ‘Keep Her Silent’, I had absolutely no idea about the blood scandal that went on in the seventies. Seeing as it literally was a world-wide scandal, I am rather shocked with myself for not knowing (okay, I wasn’t born then but still!). ‘Keep Her Silent’ may be predominantly fiction, but the author has used a real life, historical event in her storyline, which means that those parts of the book are based on true event that happened to real people. To be perfectly honest, that alone is shocking enough. I mean, I was absolutely gobsmacked by what the author was teaching me – how on Earth did it manage to stay under the radar for so long, and why hasn’t anyone got justice?

Aside from the blood element, ‘Keep Her Silent’ has a lot of things to keep readers interested! I won’t give anything away but Oonagh O’Neil is certainly a memorable and larger than life character, that’s for sure!

I adored the opening to ‘Keep Her Silent’! The seed was planted, the hook had done its job, and the seatbelt was secured ready to keep me safe on a ride of a lifetime. I’ll even go as far as saying that that opening was my favourite part of the book!

However (sorry!), I couldn’t help but feel as though the pace of the storyline dropped dramatically as the storyline progressed, before reaching its peak again towards the end. I thought that Theresa Talbot wrote about the scandal very well, being very clear and concise with all of the facts, whilst also keeping to the timeline of events. Very impressive. I also thought that the storyline contained such colourful characters who made the storyline weirdly entertaining. Whilst I enjoyed the overall premise of ‘Keep Her Silent’, I couldn’t help but feel as though there were too many pregnant pauses which were being padded out, even though the author was very clever at keeping her readers eyes glued to the page.

Overall, I found ‘Keep Her Silent’ to be an incredibly promising, interesting, and shocking read and, despite getting teased with little snippets of high intensity, I have everything crossed that Theresa Talbot goes even darker and full of more twists with her next novel – I’m looking forward to it!

Buy from Amazon // Kobo // iBooks

About the author.

Theresa Talbot is a BBC broadcaster and freelance producer. A former radio news editor, she also hosted The Beechgrove Potting Shed on BBC Radio Scotland, but for many she will be most familiar as the voice of the station’s Traffic & Travel. Late 2014 saw the publication of her first book, This Is What I Look Like, a humorous memoir covering everything from working with Andy Williams to rescuing chickens and discovering nuns hidden in gardens. She’s much in demand at book festivals, both as an author and as a chairperson.

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#CoverReveal! ‘A Way Back Home’ by Alison Sherlock (@AlisonSherlock) @Aria_ Fiction

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)
First cover reveal of the week! Big thanks to Aria Fiction for asking me to be involved in the cover reveal for Alison Sherlock’s upcoming novel, ‘A Way Back Home’. I think that this is a beautiful little cover, and I hope you will like it too.

Here is the cover as well as a little bit more about the book incase you’re a blurb reader:

ARIA_SHERLOCK_A WAY BACK HOME_E
After recent heartbreak, Skye Jackson finds herself homeless and on the road with
only a classic Airstream trailer to her name. A surprise inheritance of a rundown little
lodge in the grounds of beautiful Willow Tree Hall forces her to change her plans.
However there is a problem…

The lodge is co-owned by care-free, playboy Will Harris, who finds himself
unemployed after a recent tabloid scandal. Syke desperately wants a home to call
her own and needs to move on as quickly as possible. Will doesn’t want to stay at his
family home either to face the ghosts of his past. So they decide to put aside their
differences and renovate the cottage together.

But when a storm hits, Skye and Will are forced to stay on to ensure that an
important wedding goes ahead. Can Skye finally find a home of her own? Can Will
stop running from his past and help out his family when they need him the most?
The magic of winter at Willow Tree Hall is about to change everything …

See, didn’t I tell you it was pretty!!? I don’t know about you, but I am rather looking forward to reading this one!

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

#CoverReveal! ‘Another Day in Winter’ by Shari Low (@ShariLow) @Aria_Fiction #ChristmasInAugust


If you’ve been a fan of TWG since the beginning, you will be well aware of how excited I get doing cover reveals. Don’t worry – if you’re a new fan of TWG’s, you’ll be about to witness the cover reveal excitement for the first time! How exciting!!

I have been asked by Aria Fiction, to help reveal the cover of Shari Low’s upcoming novel, ‘Another Day in Winter’, to help celebrate their new feature #ChristmasInAugust. Before anyone turns up their nose at the ‘C’ word being mentioned, just be thankful it’s not the OTHER, more offensive ‘C’ word that I’m dropping. Plus, with only 18 weeks until the big, fat man with the bulging sack leaves presents for all of the good girls and boys, adults, and pets, we need to start talking about it sometime! Forward thinking folks, forward thinking.

So, I am so excited to be helping Aria Fiction to reveal this cover as Shari Low is one of my all-time favourite authors, and I even had the pleasure of giving her a big hug when I met her in person at an event in Glasgow (she’s even lovelier in person!!).

Who’s excited?
Got your fluffy socks ready?
Michael Buble Christmas album ready in the CD player?

Without further ado, here is the cover of ‘Another Day in Winter’!

One day, four lives, and a wintery web of secrets and lies. From the No1 bestselling
author of ONE DAY IN DECEMBER.

On a chilly morning in December… Forever friends Shauna and Lulu touch down at
Glasgow Airport on a quest to find answers from the past. George knows his time is
nearing the end, but is it too late to come to terms with his two greatest regrets? His
Grandson Tom uncovers a betrayal that rocks his world as he finally tracks down the
one that got away. And single mum Chrissie is ready to force her love-life out of
hibernation, but can anyone compare to the man who broke her heart?

After the success of the No1 best seller ONE DAY IN DECEMBER, comes the second
unmissable read in Shari Low’s Winter Day trilogy.

I love how this cover ties in nicely with Shari’s previous novels! So eye catching, bright and certainly festive with the white on blue. Looks like snow! If the cover and the blurb makes you feel all Christmassy (and intrigued) you can pre-order Shari’s new book now from:

Amazon // Kobo // iBooks

About the author.

Shari Low has published twenty novels over the last two decades. She also writes for
newspapers, magazines and television. Once upon a time, she got engaged to a guy
she’d known for a week, and twenty-something years later, they live in Glasgow with
their two teenage sons and a labradoodle.

Follow Shari

Website
Twitter: @ShariLow
Facebook: @sharilowbooks

I am so excited to read ‘Another Day in Winter’ and I hope you are too! Big thank you to Aria Fiction for giving me the honour to help them reveal the cover for Shari’s upcoming novel, which is due to be published in October!

#BlogTour! #Review – The Mistress of Pennington’s by Rachel Brimble (@RachelBrimble) @Aria_Fiction @BrookCottageBks

I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Rachel Brimble’s ‘The Mistress of Pennington’s’. Big thanks to BrookCottageBooks for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

1910 – A compelling tale of female empowerment in Bath’s leading department store.
Perfect for the fans of the TV series Mr Selfridge and The Paradise.

Elizabeth Pennington should be the rightful heir of Bath’s premier department store through her
enterprising schemes and dogged hard work. Her father, Edward Pennington, believes his
daughter lacks the business acumen to run his empire and is resolute a man will succeed him.
Determined to break from her father’s iron-clad hold and prove she is worthy of inheriting the
store, Elizabeth forms an unlikely alliance with ambitious and charismatic master glove-maker
Joseph Carter. United they forge forward to bring Pennington’s into a new decade, embracing
woman’s equality and progression whilst trying not to mix business and pleasure.

Can this dream team thwart Edward Pennington’s plans for the store? Or will Edward prove
himself an unshakeable force who will ultimately ruin both Elizabeth and Joseph?

What does TWG think?

I absolutely adore books like this! I have to say that this reminded me so much of the BBC drama, ‘Mr Selfridge’, and there were times where the storyline was incredibly similar to said drama, I found it difficult to separate the two. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the premise of ‘The Mistress of Pennington’s’. I found the entire storyline captivating and enticing, with certain characters personalities making me react in various different ways. Whilst I loved watching ‘Mr Selfridge’ and I did enjoy this book, what let it down for me was just how similar the book was to the drama.

However, I thought that Elizabeth Pennington was such a wonderful character to read about, with her determination becoming the star of the entire novel due to how inspirational it was. I couldn’t help but find myself becoming emotional in regards to her history and the disastrous choices of her father, Edward Pennington. I realise that it took a while before women were allowed to be heard in the work place and at home, but it definitely hit home reading about the differences in gender equality through this storyline. I am incredibly honoured that I now live in a time where equality is nowhere near as bad as it was, yet I cannot forget the history of our female ancestors and the challenges they faced trying to get their voices heard. I really did appreciate just how Rachel Brimble got that historical message across through her characters. Times are changing, but it is very important to keep that history alive.

Overall, ‘The Mistress of Pennington’s’ was right up my street due to the historical elements themselves. Rachel Brimble has captured the story brilliantly, and I think that women of the 1900’s would be pleased with how the author made their voices come alive with her words.

Buy now from Amazon UK // Buy now from Amazon US

Extract.

Her gentle study drifted to his mouth and back again. ‘Did you love her? The woman you
once worked with?’
Joseph stared, as disquiet whispered through him. ‘Why do you ask?’
‘I find it implausible that a man who holds women in such high regard has not known
what it means to love one. You have been in love. I see it in your eyes. Unfortunately for you,
they’re very revealing.’
He ran his gaze over her face and hair. Every sound muted. The amber glow of the few lit
candles danced over her skin, turning it pearlescent. ‘I was married. To a wonderful, caring
woman. A woman who worked beside my father and I every day after we were married.’
Her voice softened. ‘What happened to her?’
‘She died.’ He would tell her no more, the shame of his failure burned like acid in his
chest and he quickly stood, wanting the intensity to ease, her justified scrutiny to end. ‘Will
you try on a pair of gloves?’
He brushed past her and breathed deep as he approached a box of his finished gloves.
Lifting a pair of soft kid, perfectly stitched and the exact green of her eyes, the pale cream
stitching the colour of her skin.
When he turned and walked back to his bench, she had sat in his seat. She carefully
watched his approach, her eyes unreadable.

About the author.

Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Since
2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin
Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.
In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a brand new Edwardian series set
in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s releases in July 2018.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and
was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest.
When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English
countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads Author Page
Instagram
Blog
Website

GIVEAWAY

Prize£25/$25 Amazon Gift Certificate

Enter the giveaway now!

#BlogTour! #Extract – Escape to the Country by Alison Sherlock (@AlisonSherlock) @Aria_Fiction

Escape to the Country blog tour baner_preview
I am delighted to be today’s stop on Alison Sherlock’s blog tour for ‘Escape to the Country’. I am a bit annoyed with myself as I ended up getting to the ARC a bit late which meant that it was no longer available. However, I will be ensuring that I buy it to read as soon as I can. I do have an extract for you all to read though, enjoy!

9781786694935_preview

Journalist Eleanor McCartney leads a glamorous life in London exposing the sordid secrets of famous celebrities for Hot Gossip! magazine. But her perfect life is a sham. So when her world collapses, she has to reluctantly head home to her mum and friends in the quiet country village of Cranley.

Willow Tree Hall is still in the midst of extensive renovations under the careful eye of Eleanor’s best friend Annie and her fiancé, record producer and future Earl of Cranley, Sam Harris. With a recording studio now in the grounds of the estate, it should be the perfect place for global singing sensation Tom Kingsley to hang out.

But Tom is burnt out after a gruelling worldwide tour and is escaping the paparazzi after yet another scandal. Eleanor cannot believe her luck. A story on the world’s biggest superstar would be the ticket that gets her job and glamorous life back in London.

But soon both Eleanor and Tom begin to fall under the spell of Willow Tree Hall. Eleanor begins to wonder whether she can really betray his trust. And does she really want her old life back or is home really where the heart lies?

As a heatwave soars, friendships are made, truths are told and, with the help of a stray dog, perhaps love can be found as hearts are healed. By escaping to the country, maybe Eleanor and Tom have found their new beginning.

Extract.

Eleanor sank onto the ground, barely registering the wet grass soaking through her jeans. She couldn’t believe it. She had just lost her job. What was she going to do? What was she going to tell everyone back home in Cranley? Her Mum and best friends, Annie and Megan, actually believed in the fake lifestyle that she had created for them so many years a go. The fiction she had told them bore no resemblance to her real job.

They would all be horrified if they knew that she had been lying over and over to them. And now, at the end of so many wasted years, it turned out that her gut instinct had been right all along. That she wasn’t the big success in the city that she had pretended to be. That deep down beneath the expectations of her friends and family, she really was just a big, fat failure after all.

On the opposite side of the street, the front door opened to Tuesday Tavistock’s apartment just as a taxi drew up outside. Eleanor watched in a daze as Tuesday kissed 

an elegant woman on the cheek. They looked so alike it could only have been her mother. The tip-off had turned out to be nothing. Just like the rest of her career. Eleanor slowly became aware that she was still holding the rose, clutching the petals so hard that as she let go, they floated down to the sodden ground next to her, along with her dreams.

Whatever the future held, it was unlikely that her very own Superman was going to show up and rescue her. Tights, cape or otherwise.


Buy now!

About the author.

Alison Sherlock enjoyed reading and writing stories from an early age and gave up office life to follow her dream. Alison lives in Surrey with her husband and a daft golden retriever.

 

#BlogTour! #Extract – Secrets and Tea at Rosie Lee’s by Jane Lacey-Crane (@JaneLaceyCrane) @Aria_Fiction

Secrets and Tea at Rosie Lee's blog tour banner_preview
Today is my stop on the blog tour for Jane Lacey-Crane where I get to share an extract from the book! Enjoy!

ARIA_Lacey-Crane_SECRETS AND TEA AT ROSIE LEE'S_preview

Welcome to Rosie Lee’s cafe in the heart of the East End – where there’s not an avocado, slice of sour dough or double-shot no-foam soy milk caramel latte on the menu!

Rosie-Lee’s owner Abby is a woman without a plan….and her beloved little cafe is a business with a serious lack of customers. The Rosie Lee’s fry-up is legendary, but cooked breakfasts alone – however perfectly sizzled the bacon – aren’t going to pay the bills.

Fast approaching forty and fighting a serious case of empty nest syndrome, Abby realises it’s not just her menu that needs a makeover. And when Jack Chance, her The One That Got Away, saunters through the cafe doors and back into her life things definitely look set to change…

Abby has always believed a cup of strong builders tea makes everything better, but Jack’s reappearance is a complication even the trusty sausage sarnie can’t resolve….

Extract.

I looked back out to the café. It was true; business hadn’t been brisk. I had been hoping that a glowing review in the local paper might drum up a bit more trade, but there was no chance of that now. The development of the nearby market had been great for anyone in its immediate vicinity, but not for us.

We were just that little bit too far outside the ‘development zone’. It wasn’t just my café either – all the shops in this little forgotten corner of East London were struggling to stay afloat. I pushed those thoughts to the back of my mind. There’d be plenty of time to obsess about my failing business later, hopefully whilst relaxing in a hot bath with a glass or three of wine.

‘Are you sure you’ll be all right on your own?’

I didn’t want to take liberties; Flo might be mighty, but she was still seventy years old after all.

‘Positive. You’ve worked hard on all this.’

She gestured at the last batch of boxes I’d wrestled into my arms.

‘You deserve a few hours off.’

‘Okay. I might go and see if I can find a nice going-away present for Lucy.’

‘Lovely. Off you go, then, and I’ll see you in the morning. And tell Liz I said she got you cheap.’

I took the boxes and pushed my way through the back door. Flo was right of course; Liz had got me cheap, but she was my best friend. What was I supposed to do? She’d begged me to help her out after her other caterers had let her down; I wasn’t going to say no, was I?

Amazon // Kobo // Google Play // iBooks

About the author.

Born in London, Jane’s writing career began in cable TV, writing true crime documentaries. More recently, Jane has contributed to an anthology of short stories and written two weekly crime serials. When she’s not writing, Jane loves to read good books, binge watch TV boxsets and drink tea. And wine.

Twitter: @JaneLaceyCrane

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jane.crane.33

 

#TWGDiscusses – Please STOP saying that e-books aren’t REAL books – it’s offensive! #authors #publishers #ebooks #paperbacks #lovebooks

Which books are REAL books?-2
I feel like I’m stuck on repeat where this topic is concerned, yet STILL people continue to offend hundreds of authors, and readers, out there with comments such as ‘e-books aren’t real books’. How aren’t they real? An author spends the same amount if time writing a book whether it’s published in e-book, paperback, hardback or on a slate -eye roll-, so why do people continue to say that other formats of books aren’t real?

Let me ask you this….

You know those ‘friends’ you’ve made online yet haven’t currently met offline, would you say that they weren’t ‘real friends’ because they were made online? Probably not, so why is it okay to say that a book, published in a digital format, isn’t as real as those friends you have made using technology?

Think about it.

Authors can spend anything from a few months to a few years, perfecting their manuscript ready for publication, going through various steps such as multiple edits, restructures and so forth – it’s not like they wake up one morning, sit at their computer for an hour and produce a book. It takes time and a lot of patience. Once that manuscript is given to their publisher, it’s then digitalised and printed. Yes, contrary to popular belief, the same manuscript is used for a digital book AND a print book. Who would have thought it?! Obviously with a paperback/hardback you are physically turning the pages and holding the book with two hands, yet with a kindle you’re holding it differently and using one finger to change a page. BUT, have you thought about the different types of readers that are out there in the world? No?

Well you should.

Some readers can’t hold paperbacks/hardbacks due to illnesses.
Some readers can’t read books full stop because they’re blind and rely on audio.
Some readers are chronically ill and they require various different options, depending on their pain on that particular day.
Some readers have various different reasons as to why they would choose one format over another.

All of the above have one thing in common – they all want to read!!

I’ll be honest with you here. Several years ago I would have given you a filthy look if you had said about reading an e-book, but after realising that I was missing out on such fabulous books, I decided to give it a go. Not only that, several years ago I became a lot more ill and holding things for a long period of time was becoming impossible. E-books helped me to feel ‘normal’ and read books just like everyone else, on days where I felt like I couldn’t do anything like everyone else.

I appreciate that not everyone likes e-books and that they prefer paperbacks/hardbacks – that is totally fine! But what isn’t okay is when people say that they prefer ‘real’ books which is insinuating that a digital version of an authors book, is in fact fake. Can’t you see how offensive that is to the author? Just because a book is digitalised instead of being printed on paper, it doesn’t make it any less of a book!

Those ‘real book’ comments are not only offensive to the author who has written them, it’s also offensive to a reader reading them as if the 100 kindle books read last year shouldn’t be included in their Goodreads challenge because they’re ‘not real’. And yes, someone has said that before. If you don’t like e-books, fine! If you don’t like paperbacks, that’s also fine!

But please, please, please STOP saying that e-books aren’t real when they’re as real as the money you paid for them.

Oh, and as those comments are being made on a DIGITAL website, I can’t help but think ‘well isn’t that ironic’. Put your nose where it belongs, remove your snobbery and let people read the books they choose, in the format that they choose without offending a truck load of people in the process.

ALL books are real.
Instead of bashing people with the stupid ‘they aren’t real books’ comments, be happy that people are actually reading and supporting authors in any way they can. Surely that is more important than your snobbery?

#BlogTour! #Review – The Single Girl’s Calendar by @ErinGreenAuthor @Brookcottagebks #Extract

The Single Girls Calendar Tour Banner
Today I have the pleasure of re-posting my review of Erin Green’s ‘The Single Girl’s Calendar’ for the blog tour hosted by BrookCottageBooks. Alongside my review I have an extract and a giveaway. Enjoy!

ARIA_Green_The Single Girl's Calendar_E
A task a day to cure a broken heart.

Esmé Peel is approaching thirty with some trepidation, but hope in her heart. If she can just get her long-term boyfriend Andrew to propose, she will have ticked everything off her things to do by the time you’re 30′ list. She didn͛t reckon on finding another woman͛s earring in her bed however, and soon she finds herself single, homeless and in need of a new plan. Her best friend Carys gives her the perfect present – The Single Girl͛s Calendar – which has a different cure for heartbreak every day:

Day 1: Look and feel fabulous with a new hair style.

Day 2: Step out of your comfort zone and try something new.

Day 3: Reconnect with friends and enjoy!

Despite thinking it͛s a bit of a gimmick, Esmé hasn͛t got any better ideas, so she puts the plan into action. By the end of week one she has four new male housemates, and despite a broken heart she is determined to show Andrew she can do more than survive, she can thrive.

What does TWG think?

Esme has her own plan in life – get married, have children, and settle down. As far as she is concerned, anything other than those three means she has failed. Yes, I know, you’re probably sitting there rolling your eyes. I have to admit, I did think that Esme was a little high maintenance to begin with – it took me a little while to see the character for who she truly was underneath all of the military planning bravado. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having a plan in life – especially where your relationship is concerned. However, if the other person in the relationship doesn’t seem to be on the same page as you, you can’t really claim that you have failed when it wasn’t actually YOU. Whilst I appreciate that it is incredibly easy for me to say that, trying to convince Esme of that fact was a whole other ball game. So much so, her best friend gives her a gift that will either give her a well needed kick up the backside, or would give her a reason to hide herself underneath her duvet for the immediate future.

I thought the whole premise of the ‘single girl’s calendar’ was absolute genius. It was the thing which made the real Esme shine bright like a diamond, instead of coming across like a spoilt princess. I preferred the real Esme as she was a lot more relatable than the one we met at first. There were times where I thought Esme was off her rocker with the rash decisions she made, but in a weird way, I guess part of me found it be quite endearing. At least she was trying to fix her life, right?

‘The Single Girl’s’ calendar pleasantly surprised me! I thoroughly enjoyed this laugh out loud, relatable, heart-warming and addictive novel. It made me realise that if things don’t end up going to plan in your life, just put on your big girl pants and own the change like the diamond that you are. Well, until shops decide to sell a real life ‘single girl’s’ or ‘time to sort your life out’ calendar!

Definitely a fun-filled, memorable new novel from author Erin Green.

Links to Buy:Amazon // Kobo // iBooks

Extract.

Carys reached for Esmé’s hand and gently squeezed it.
‘So, what have you done all morning?’
‘Apart from visit cafes, I’ve walked around the city, stared in shop windows and had a
meltdown when I found myself in the crime section at Waterstones…’ Esmé coughed as a
wave of nausea lifted to her throat. ‘I felt fine until then. How many times has that store
saved my skin with his birthday presents or stocking fillers? Not anymore. Those days are gone.’
‘In that case, I have just the thing,’ announced Carys, releasing Esmé’s hand before
rummaging in the plastic bag beneath her chair. ‘Don’t laugh, but this actually helped me
through the break-up with Myles.’
‘I thought I helped you get through that.’
Carys raised her head mid-rummage, her corkscrew curls bouncing as she disagreed.
‘Nope! You know nothing about break-ups, Esmé. Seriously, your relationship has been
so long-term you haven’t a clue. But this…’ Carys lifted a pink boxed object onto the table
top. ‘This might help.’
‘What the hell?’ said Esmé, staring at the advent calendar styled object with its tiny
perforated doors.
‘It’s 100 per cent tack and it only cost a fiver but—’
‘Carys?’
‘Hear me out, Esmé… it’s worth a laugh if nothing else.’
‘Yeah, sure,’ said Esmé, lifting the calendar to read the blurb on the reverse.
Want a sassy new way to overcome a break-up? Or simply an opportunity to
focus on your life? The Single Girl’s Calendar is made for you! Behind every
door is a task that will help you focus on you, and you only! A whole month of
pampering, mindfulness activities, caring and sharing ideas which in just four
short weeks will have you feeling on top of the world! An insightful way to put a
spring back into your step as a strong, independent woman!
‘Are you serious?’
Carys nodded.

Giveaway!

Win an Erin Green Ceramic Mug! (UK only) x3

Enter now!

About the author.

Erin was born and raised in Warwickshire, where she resides with her husband. An avid reader since childhood, her imagination was instinctively drawn to creative writing as she grew older. Erin has two Hons degrees: BA English literature and another BSc Psychology – her previous careers have ranged from part-time waitress, the retail industry, fitness industry and education. She has an obsession about time, owns several tortoises and an infectious laugh!
Erin’s writes contemporary novels focusing on love, life and laughter. Erin is an active member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and was delighted to be awarded The Katie Fforde Bursary in 2017. An ideal day for Erin involves writing, people watching and drinking copious amounts of tea.

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

#BlogTour! #Extract – The Candle Factory Girl by Tania Crosse (@TaniaCrosse) @Aria_Fiction

The Candle Factory Girl blog tour_preview
Today I am delighted to be taking part in Tania Crosse’s blog tour for ‘The Candle Factory Girl’. Thank you to Aria Fiction for the blog tour invite. Here is an extract from Tania’s novel:

The Candle Factory Girl cover_preview

1930’s London – A backstreet saga full of hopes, dreams and the fight for survival.

Work at Price’s Candle Factory in Battersea is tedious for intelligent, seventeen-year-old Hillie Hardwick, but she knows she is lucky to have a job at all. Her home life is no better, as she constantly battles with her exacting and bullying father in order to protect her mother and five younger siblings from his abuse.

Her only solace is her loving relationship with the chaotic Parker family and her best friend, Gert Parker. When matters violently escalate for Hillie, smitten Jack-the-Lad Jimmy Baxter seems her only salvation.

But could this be the biggest mistake of her life, and should she be looking for protection nearer home?

A story that crackles with unease where courage and friendship are the only hope.

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

Extract.

Chapter One

A Friday Morning in June 1932

‘Blooming heck, Hillie! Can’t you wait for us?’
As she neared the corner of the street, Hilda Hardwick heard the hurrying footfall
of her lifelong friend scurrying up behind her, and she slowed her own step. She
turned round, and though she itched with exasperation, she couldn’t help but smile.
Gert was rushing towards her, pulling on her old, fraying cardigan over her work
dress as she went. Hillie could see that one of her hastily tied shoelaces had already
come undone and was threatening to trip her up. To complete the chaotic image,
Gert’s naturally frizzy auburn hair stood around her head in a blazing halo, flying
about her shoulders in a fiery cloud. She always reminded Hillie of one of the Titian
paintings they had admired together on a rare trip to the National Gallery in Trafalgar
Square. It was 1932 and members of the fairer sex had been cutting their hair short for
nearly two decades. However, these two factory girls from the backstreets of
London’s Battersea had yet to catch up with the fashion.
‘I have been waiting for you,’ Hillie chided, pulling her lips back into a displeased
line and resuming her brisk pace now that Gert had caught her up. ‘If I’d waited any
longer, it would’ve made me late for work and I wouldn’t want to risk the
consequences of that. And some of us can’t afford to catch the tram. And my dad’s
already… well…’ She pulled herself up short, knowing she’d said too much. So
instead she finished the sentence with, ‘Gone on ahead.’
Gert’s jaw dropped as she guessed what Hillie had nearly let slip. ‘Oh, Hillie, you
don’t mean…? ’Cos I kept you waiting?’
Hillie instinctively turned to her with a brief, wistful grimace as they half ran along
Battersea Park Road.
Gert caught her breath as she glimpsed the tell-tale pink hand mark on Hillie’s
cheek, and she flushed with remorse. ‘Oh, Hillie, I’m so sorry.’
‘It’s not your fault my dad’s like he is,’ Hillie mumbled under her breath.

But Gert obviously still felt guilty. ‘You shouldn’t have waited for us, not when
you know what he’s like.’
‘Someone’s got to stand up to him.’
Hillie said it quietly, but Gert knew there’d be no arguing. They’d had the same
discussion on umpteen occasions before. Harold Hardwick was a bully and there’d
never be any changing him.
Gert knew the story by heart.
‘Me and Hillie’s mum’d been friends for years,’ her mother had told her, so many
times that Gert could repeat it virtually word for word. ‘She was the timid little thing
from the grocers’ round the corner, and I was the big girl trusted to do the shopping
for me mum. Used to make Nell laugh, I did. Always said it should’ve been the other
way around. She should’ve had the posh name of Evangeline, not me! Anyway, the
years went by, and when things got tough for her and she married that Harold, I got
them the house on the street. 1914 it was, just as the war broke out. Nell found she
was preggers the same time as I did, and you two popped out within days of each
other, May the next year, 1915. Both of you girls, too, except that Hillie was Nell’s
first and I already had Kit.
‘So you two was friends from the cradle. Just learning to walk, the both of you,
when they brought in conscription. Your dad and Harold found themselves together in
the same Pals’ Regiment as they called them. Only Harold’d always been a bully,
keeping poor Nell under his thumb. But he was just what they was looking for in the
army, someone to keep order. So he quickly rose through the ranks to sergeant.
Inflicted his rigid discipline on every poor bugger what came under his command, so
your dad says. Never got a scratch on him. Mind you, you know your dad only got a
bit of shrapnel in his leg in all the two years they was in the trenches. Kept his head
down did your dad, and I was grateful for that. And when he came home, he was his
old, lovely self. But Harold, huh! Remained a sergeant ever since, even if he was back
on civvy street. If he was strict with poor Nell before the war – and with Hillie, too –
he’s been a blooming tyrant ever since.’
Gert released a bitter, desperate sigh. A tyrant and a bully were good ways to
describe her best friend’s dad! But as Hillie had grown up, instead of giving in to him
like her mum did – anything for a quiet life – she’d started challenging him. The
consequences of Harold’s resulting temper were often dire. Gert so often wished, as she did now, that Hillie would hold back, but no end of persuasion could change her
mind.

Author bio

Delaying her childhood dream of writing historical novels until her family had grown up, Tania eventually completed a series of published stories based on her beloved Dartmoor. She is now setting her future sagas in London and the south east.

Website: http://www.tania-crosse.co.uk/

Twitter: @TaniaCrosse

Facebook: @TaniaCrosseAuthor

 

#BlogTour! #Review – Finding Dreams by Lauren Westwood (@Lwestwoodwriter) @Aria_Fiction

FINDING DREAMS The Blog Tour banner (1)_preview
Today I am delighted to be kicking off Lauren Westwood’s blog tour for ‘Finding Dreams’. Thank you to Aria for the blog tour invite, as well as the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

Finding Dreams cover_preview

When Lizzie Green opens up her house to be used as a set for a film based on a bestselling romance novel, she has no idea how her life will change. A heartwarming story of love and second chances.

Lizzie Greene is about to lose everything when her husband suddenly dies and his debts come to light. To make ends meet she opens up her quirky old house to be used as a set for a film based on a bestselling romance novel. Her life and household are turned upside down when a whole cast of colourful characters enters her family’s lives: from an enigmatic author, a handsome location scout, a brooding director, to a heart-throb leading man, never mind her now ex-mother-in-law camped out in her drive. As Lizzie delves deeper into the film’s book, all is not as it seems.

Will her desire to save her house and unravel the secrets of the past lead to new love, or to mortal danger?

What does TWG think?

Oh my flipping goodness – what an opening!! As soon as I started to read the first chapter, I had no idea what was going to be in store for me as the story progressed. Lizzie had just been hit by one of the biggest curveballs in her life (and unfortunately, not the last either!). How is she going to move on with her life with two young children; a life which has been based on more lies than an episode of Jeremy Kyle? You would be made of ice if you didn’t at least show some empathy towards Lizzie and her situation!

I thoroughly enjoyed every single page of ‘Finding Dreams’, with some pages warming my heart a lot more than others. Lizzie’s two children are unbelievably cute. I just wanted to pick up the youngest and give him a big cuddle, so when Lizzie’s ex mother in law came back on the scene and started, in my opinion, sticking her nose in, my hackles went up and I found myself becoming extremely irate at what was coming out of her mouth in regards to that little boy. Maybe I was being over sensitive, or maybe it was because I had had similar comments made to me when my little girl was the same age. I don’t know. Either way, it got to me. I also thought she patronised Lizzie a lot too and, even though Lizzie seemed to be rather accommodating towards the end, I did feel like she was letting her ex MIL walk all over her without standing up for herself. I mean, Lizzie was perfectly capable to tell someone else that she wasn’t happy with something, why not tell the monster in law as well?

What I loved most about this book was how it had a little story within the fictional story itself. Confused? Don’t be! I spent a lot of timing wishing that Lauren Westwood would publish the novel within the novel, as her next book – I was rather hooked! It was so different and so engaging, I couldn’t help but be transfixed by what I was reading.

Having read Lauren Westwood’s previous novels (and loved them, obviously), I have to say that even though the author had set the bar incredibly high for herself, she blew the bar out of the water where this book was concerned. In my eyes, ‘Finding Dreams’ is Lauren Westwood’s book yet. Everything about the storyline was magnetic, majestic, and utterly moreish. Okay, the romance section was a little predictable, BUT, because the rest of the storyline was very strong and full of guts, thankfully it didn’t lower my opinion of the overall book.

I loved how the author chose a unique route with her book, how she didn’t get confused by the endless flow of characters, I do not know – how impressive!

‘Finding Dreams’ is full to the brim of everything anyone could ever want from a contemporary fiction novel, and more. A cleverly crafted storyline, rock solid characters, and enough drama to rival the biggest soap opera on T.V just now – seriously, what more could you want?

This book may be called ‘Finding Dreams’, but it is safe to say that I had found my dream book in this. Absolutely brilliant! Now, how is Ms.Westwood going to top this with her next novel? To be honest, I have a lot of faith that she will blow the bar out of the water once again.

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

About the author.

Lauren Westwood is also a prize winning debut YA novelist and a solicitor for a renewable energy company. Originally from California, she now lives in a rickety 400- year-old house in Surrey, with her partner Ian and their three young daughters.

Follow Lauren Westwood

Website:

laurenwestwoodwriter.com

Twitter: @Lwestwoodwriter

Facebook: Laurenwestwood