#BlogTour! #Extract – My Husband’s Lies by Caroline England (@CazEngland) @AvonBooksUK

My Husband's Lies Blog Tour Banner
Thrilled to be taking part in Caroline England’s blog tour today for ‘My Husband’s Lies’. I am gutted that I haven’t quite had the chance to read this book yet, but I am determined to rectify that as soon as I can. In the meantime, here is an extract from the book:

CTOTGb4F
Do you really know your friends?

On the afternoon of Nick and Lisa’s wedding, their close friend is found poised on a hotel window ledge, ready to jump.

As the shock hits their friendship group, they soon realise that none of them are being as honest with themselves – or with each other – as they think.

And there are secrets lurking that could destroy everything.

Buy now from Amazon

Extract.

Will Taylor opens his window and grins. ‘Careful, Danny Boy, might get a few drops of rain on your head and spoil the lovely locks. Then you’ll be banned from the wedding photographs, leaving just handsome me.’

Dan laughs. ‘Good try, William, but no contest. I’m so the best man,’ he replies.
Inhaling the briny tang in the air, Dan links arms with Geri and they slowly negotiate the gritty puddles in the car park. They are overtaken by Will and Penny and another man in a suit, his face hidden by a black umbrella. Dan steps into the dimly lit porch. The fusty smell strikes like a familiar soft slap. A blend of incense and aged parchment, taking him back. ‘Reminds me of when I was an altar boy. Every bloody time.’

Will shakes his umbrella and grins. ‘You were an altar boy? You’re joking, Dan. What about the opium of the masses? And the bloody rest. Think you owe me a few pints for all those pub rants I had to endure.’
Dan wonders why he mentioned it. ‘Strange but true. At primary school. Before we went to St Mark’s.’
‘Pretty boy with dark curls in a cassock? Yup, I can picture that.’ Will stretches his wide shoulders and wipes the drops of rain from his close-cropped brown hair. ‘It’s bloody freezing in here. Think we’re the first to arrive. Where the hell is Nick? His brother’s old Merc was right behind us when we left the hotel.’

Geri tucks a soft afro curl behind her ear and steps towards Penny. ‘Hi, Penny,’ she says, kissing her cheek. ‘You look nice; red is definitely your colour. Love the dress coat, bet it’s silk. I had intended to take off this ugly old thing, but …’
Penny blinks and shakes her head almost imperceptibly. ‘Maybe it’ll be warmer inside.’ Then after a moment, ‘Great hat; it suits you.’

Geri rubs her stomach. ‘Thanks, thought it would distract from, well, this,’ she replies with a happy grin.

Advertisements

#BlogTour! #Review – Shaken and Stirred (Ottercombe Bay Part 4) by Bella Osborne (@osborne_bella) @AvonBooksUK

Would like to apologise for the fact that my review is a day late. So very sorry! I am delighted to be sharing my review of Part 4 in Bella Osborne’s ‘Ottercombe Bay’ series. Huge thanks to Avon Books for the ARC and the tour invite.

image002-4

Escape to the Devon coast, with Part Four of a brand-new four-part serial from the author of Willow Cottage.

Daisy Wickens has returned to Ottercombe Bay, the picturesque Devon town where her mother died when she was a girl. She plans to leave as soon as her great uncle’s funeral is over, but Great Uncle Reg had other ideas. He’s left Daisy a significant inheritance – an old building in a state of disrepair, which could offer exciting possibilities, but to get it she must stay in Ottercombe Bay for twelve whole months.

With the help of a cast of quirky locals, a few gin cocktails and a black pug with plenty of attitude, Daisy might just turn this into something special. But can she ever hope to be happy among the ghosts of her past?

What does TWG think?

As I am sure you’re all aware of by now, this is the fourth instalment of a four-part serial, so therefore it would be beneficial to yourself if you read the previous three parts before you read this one, otherwise it won’t make sense and you’ll be lucking out on how Daisy got to where she is now.

Having being left dangling at the end of part three, I couldn’t wait to get stuck into ‘Shaken and Stirred’ to find out what happened with Daisy and the boat. Was it as iffy as her gut instinct said? Or was Daisy being far too naive and letting yet another man dupe her?

I’ve probably said this in every review I’ve written of the serial so far, BUT, hand on heart, I really feel as though the fourth novella is the best one of all four. Don’t get me wrong it’s also bittersweet because I knew the end was nigh, but I felt that Daisy finally came into her own rather than hiding behind her past mistakes and family history. We really have seen Daisy blossom from part one until now, literally like a flower (no pun intended). Tamsyn is as hilarious as ever, but just like Daisy, she has also grown as the story went on.

I loved how intense the concluding part of the story was as it allowed the storyline to take on a different sort of depth, without overshadowing Daisy’s time in Ottercombe Bay. The fact that there was a mix of everything in this book, really did make for such an enjoyable read and left me with a huge smile on my face.

I am sad that this serial has come to an end, but I am so looking forward to reading the series in its entirety when the full collection comes out at a later date.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Extract – Guilt by Amanda Robson (@AmandaRauthor) @AvonBooksUK

Banner Guilt
Anyone feeling full of guilt today after overindulging during the bank holiday weekend?
Today on TWG, I have an extract from Amanda Robson’s latest novel, ‘Guilt’. Thanks to Avon Books for the blog tour invite. I hope you enjoy the extract!

image002-3

Your sister. Her secret. The betrayal.

There is no bond greater than blood . . .

When the body of a woman is found stabbed to death, the blame falls to her twin sister. But who killed who? And which one is now the woman behind bars?

Zara and Miranda have always supported each other. But then Zara meets Seb, and everything changes. Handsome, charismatic and dangerous, Seb threatens to tear the sisters’ lives apart – but is he really the one to blame? Or are deeper resentments simmering beneath the surface that the sisters must face up to?

As the sisters’ relationship is stretched to the brink, a traumatic incident in Seb’s past begins to rear its head and soon all three are locked in a psychological battle that will leave someone dead. The question is, who?

Extract.

Relationships at our age are an emotional battle. Winners and losers. So much to play for. Sebastian must lose, and you must win, Zara. No other outcome is acceptable for your mental health.

Saturday morning. Sebastian is out jogging. You are washing your hair in the shower. I pad towards the kitchen to make coffee. I hear running water and humming. You always hum when you are happy. Pulsing water relaxes you. You’ve always loved moving water. You’ve always loved the sea.
All those walks, along Fisherman’s Path to the beach, almost every Saturday. From when we were small with Mother. For years when I came back at weekends.

I push my memories away.

Coffee in hand, I flop onto the sofa and start to drink, Saturday stretching relentlessly in front of me. Nowadays I never seem to know what to do with myself when I’m not at work. I think of you and Sebastian clinging together as you do on my sofa, like ivy, and panic rises inside me. Zara, can’t you see him for what he is?

Your purse is on the arm of the easy chair. You must have left it there last night and forgotten about it. Your small leather change purse. I put my coffee down and lean across to pick it up. Three cards, a few receipts, some loose change, and a twenty-pound note, rammed in. I remove the twenty-pound note, zip up the purse and slowly, slowly, tiptoe past the bathroom. The shower has stopped but I can still hear humming. Tiptoeing into my guest bedroom where you both live.

If that extract tickles your fancy, you can buy the bestseller for 99p on e-book, right now from Amazon.
(Price verified 8/05/18 and may be subject to change)

#BlogTour! #Review and #Extract – #TheFear by C.L.Taylor (@CallyTaylor) @AvonBooksUK

The Fear - Blog Tour Banner - Part 3
Over half way through the busiest day on TWG and I’m feeling a bit of #TheFear! Please say that I’m not the only one? Ohhhh wait, I’m not, Ronnie Turner is feeling #TheFear today too! Yes, we’re both hosting C.L.Taylor and her new novel on our blogs today. How exciting! Thank you to AvonBooks for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review, as well as a sneak peak from the book itself:

image002-2
Sometimes your first love won’t let you go…

 Lou Wandsworth is used to being headline news as, aged fourteen, she ran away to France with her 31-year-old teacher, Mike Hughes.

Now 32, Lou’s life is in tatters – and she resolves to return home to confront Mike for the damage he has caused. But she soon finds that Mike is unchanged, and is focussing his attention on 13-year-old Chloe Meadows.

Determined to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself, Lou decides to take matters into her own hands. But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as she tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that Lou could once again become his prey…

What does TWG think?

I have to say that the title of this book is incredibly apt for the storyline itself – it really is all about #TheFear. Not only that, the theme is incredibly relevant to today’s society and, whilst being such a difficult storyline to digest, it’s something that happens more often than people would like to admit. Thankfully for us, C.L.Taylor has written a story which puts us in the shoes of someone who ran away with a person in a position of power. A person who was 17 years their senior. A person who should have known better, yet refused to even think. Some might say that Lou was old enough to know better at fourteen, but honestly, was she really? Keep that question in your mind whilst you read C.L.Taylor’s latest novel – you might find your opinion changes once you reach the end of the book.

Right, obviously I don’t intend on giving anything away, even accidentally, so I will be as vague in this review as I can. After all, the author has worked incredibly hard on her book, it would be such a shame to ruin it with a thoughtless spoiler.

Starting off in the ‘present day’, we meet a 32 year old Lou who is about to return to the place where it all began. The storyline switches between now and then, allowing readers an insight to what actually happened when Lou was fourteen. If that wasn’t enough, the storyline even changes viewpoints as we meet other characters who may or may not play a part in Lou’s history. There is so much to #TheFear and hand on heart, it isn’t confusing at all, you just need to pay attention because not everything is as it seems.

For such a dark storyline, #TheFear just kept on giving with every turn of the page, I honestly couldn’t put the book down. Yes, some parts were difficult to digest, yet it made the book even more addictive. C.L.Taylor doesn’t ‘pussy foot’ around the theme of the story at all, instead she grabs it by ahems and lays it bare for all its worth, and why not! It isn’t written insensitively – it’s real, raw and no doubt relatable.

#TheFear should come with its own oxygen mask, or at least come with a noisy buzzer reminding you to actually erm…whats the word, BREATHE! I’ll be honest here, this book gave me the heeby jeebies, but ohmygod was it worth it!

C.L.Taylor is a phenomenal writer and she proves that once again with her latest dark, enticing, and severely hard-hitting new novel – I even devoured it in one sitting, I was that addicted!

A cleverly written, gritty, intense and utterly brilliant novel which will leave you on the edge of your seat. Or, if you’re anything like me, it’ll have you hanging off the edge of your seat and falling on the floor because you’re too busy reading the book to pay attention to how far your backside is off the sofa!

Buy now from Amazon

About the author:

C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and son. She started writing fiction in 2005 and her short stories have won several awards and have been published by a variety of literary and women’s magazines.

In 2014, The Bookseller named C.L. Taylor as one of the year’s Bestselling Adult Fiction Debut Authors for The Accident. The Lie and The Missing were Sunday Times top 10 bestsellers in paperback, and both books hit the #1 spot on the Kindle bestseller list. She has sold 1 million books to date.

Extract.

If the high street was scary then the park was worse. Tucked away from the road, the only light was the dull glow of the theatre but, as Chloe ventured further in, darkness wrapped her like a shroud.

She gripped her dead phone to her chest as she passed the abandoned swings and slides and then sprinted across a stretch of lawn. As she reached a dark clump of trees and bushes she dropped to her knees and began to crawl, brushing sharp branches, nettles and brambles away from her face. For a worrying couple of seconds she feared she was in the wrong place, it wasn’t the secret hideout she’d shared with her best friend Martha when they were eight, but the foliage gradually parted to reveal a small hollow, four foot high by four foot wide with a tree trunk in the centre. Finally hidden from the world, she started to cry.

#BlogTour! #Extract – A Grand Old Time by Judy Leigh (@JudyLeighWriter) @AvonBooksUK

A Grand Old Time - Blog Tour

Judy Leigh is having ‘A Grand Old Time’ today! Not bad for a Monday at all! It’s my turn to host Judy and her new book today, as I share an extract from ‘A Grand Old Time’. Thank you to Avon for the blog tour invite, as well as a copy of the book.

image002-2

An uplifting, feelgood comedy that proves it’s never too late to have the time of your life.

Evie Gallagher is regretting her hasty move into a care home. She may be seventy-five and recently widowed, but she’s absolutely not dead yet. And so, one morning, Evie walks out of Sheldon Lodge and sets off on a Great Adventure across Europe.

But not everyone thinks Great Adventures are appropriate for women of Evie’s age, least of all her son Brendan and his wife Maura, who follow a trail of puzzling text messages to bring her home.

When they finally catch up with her, there are shocks in store . . . because while Brendan may have given up on life and love, Evie certainly has not.

Extract.

Evie was oblivious to the changes outside as the plane started its descent. Paul was asleep, his trout mouth puffing out air. Danny, noticing the plane’s trajectory, looked furtively at Evie to check she was calm and then began extolling the virtues of Steven Gerrard’s free kick and how his slip-up against Chelsea had cost him the Premiership title before he retired. Evie was smiling, but there was a whistling sensation in her ears and a nagging feeling that she might find her route out of Liverpool Airport a little difficult to negotiate.

‘I liked him, that John Lennon one,’ she mused. ‘It was a bloody shame they shot him.’
‘Whereabouts you going in Liverpool, Evie?’ Danny raised an eyebrow, pushing Paul upright, before his head flopped onto Danny’s shoulder.
‘I need to find myself a hotel for a few days. Can you recommend …?’
‘Yeh, no probs – we’ll get you a taxi to the city centre when we get out, won’t we, Paul?’
Paul continued to sleep, a snore rattling in his mouth. The wheels on the plane bumped against the runway; the brakes came on and Danny took up the conversation quickly. ‘So, you doing anything special in Liverpool, Evie? Besides shopping.’
Evie wasn’t sure. So she said, ‘Yes. I’m visiting my son.’
‘Oh? Does he live in Liverpool?’

She considered for a moment. ‘No, he’s meeting me there.’ She had drunk too much and suddenly mischief popped like a champagne cork in her head. ‘He’s a rock star.’
Danny looked directly at Evie. ‘A rock star? Anyone famous?’
Danny’s face loomed drunk and earnest. It was time for another small performance. Evie sat upright, stretched her arms and swept a hand through her hair. ‘Oh yes, my son’s quite famous. I’m sure you’ll have heard of him. He’s a singer and he plays with his band all over the world. He’s called Bono.’
Danny sat up straight, jerking Paul to a seated position. They stared at each other. Paul blinked and Danny poked him with his elbow and gave a little laugh.
‘Bloody hell, Paul,’ breathed Danny. ‘We just got drunk with Bono’s ma.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Extract – The Rebel by Jaime Raven (@JaimeRaven1) @AvonBooksUK

The Rebel Blog Tour
I’m feeling all rebellious today! Are you a rebel, or are you THE REBEL?! I am delighted to be hosting Jaime Raven’s latest novel, ‘The Rebel’ today as part of the blog tour organised by Avon. Whilst I am not reviewing the book today, please don’t fret as it is on my TBR list where I’m sure a review will follow as soon as its read. I am however, excited to be sharing an extract from the book. Big thanks to Avon for the ARC and the blog tour invite!

image002

Sometimes you have to take the law into your own hands…

DI Laura Jefferson will do whatever it takes to bring down London’s most notorious crime boss. When her team receive a deadly threat – stop their investigation or the police and their families will be targeted – but they aren’t willing to back down…

Then the killings begin.

A new body is turns up every day, and with no leads, Laura knows she has to take action. Her family is innocent and she’ll stop at nothing to protect them.

When someone close to her is hurt, she’ll break every rule in the book to get vengeance.

Extract.

So the die was cast, and Roy Slack wondered how long it would be before the cops came knocking on his door. He was sure to be their prime suspect, but since there was no hard evidence linking him to the message all he had to do was deny knowing anything about it. Before sending the text, Danny had asked him if he was sure it was the road he wanted to go down.

‘I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life,’ he’d told him. ‘The bastards have got this coming. And it won’t be enough to kill a couple of detectives. I want to put the Met itself on the spot. I want the world to see what a useless bunch of tossers they really are. And this is the only way I can think of doing that in the time I have left.’
That conversation had taken place an hour ago. Now Slack and his eight top lieutenants were sat around the long table in the conference room above the pub in Rotherhithe. These were the men who effectively ran his businesses. They carried out his orders and were paid handsomely for their loyalty. There was a hierarchy of sorts and even an organisational chart. Danny Carver was second-in- command and had a roving remit.

The others oversaw different parts of the operation. Frank Piper took care of the drugs. Billy Lightfoot was in charge of the clubs and restaurants. Adam Clarke ran the brothels and protection rackets. Clive Miller looked after the warehouses – and so on.
Below them was a small army of enforcers, bean counters, lawyers, bent coppers and a bevy of corrupt local authority officials. Slack kicked off the meeting by telling them what they already knew – that they were now in the Old Bill’s line of fire.
Frank Piper voiced the concerns of all of them when he said, ‘After what’s happened to Fuller and the others we’re all worried, boss. The bastards are really gonna put the squeeze on us.’

Slack leaned forward, elbows on the table, and a spark of irritation flashed in his eyes.
‘There’s no need to get your bollocks in a twist, Frank,’ he said. ‘We’ve known for a while that this was coming and we’ve already put some measures in place to protect ourselves. You guys just have to keep your nerve and avoid making any stupid mistakes.’
He wasn’t going to tell Piper and the others what he planned to do and why. It’d serve no useful purpose. Unlike Danny they wouldn’t understand and they couldn’t be trusted not to turn against him when the killings began and the pressure really stacked up.

He didn’t care if they refused to believe that he wasn’t responsible. All he cared about now was using this opportunity to go out with a bang, and to punish the Old Bill for what they had done to him. It was why he was willing to shell out three million dollars to a Mexican drugs baron in order to get the job done. Throughout his life he’d been in conflict with the police. He blamed them for what happened to his Julie and the last straw came when they killed Terry Malone. It was the reason he hated them with every fibre of his being. And why he wanted to settle the score before it was too late.

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – Ottercombe Bay – Raising The Bar by Bella Osborne (@osborne_bella) @AvonBooksUK

Ottercombe Bay Part Three - Blog Tour
How are we on Part Three already?! I am delighted to be reviewing the next instalment of Bella Osborne’s serial, ‘Raising The Bar’ today as part of the blog tour. As always, thank you to Avon Books for the blog tour invite, as well as the ARC.

image002

Daisy Wickens has returned to Ottercombe Bay, the picturesque Devon town where her mother died when she was a girl. She plans to leave as soon as her great uncle’s funeral is over, but Great Uncle Reg had other ideas. He’s left Daisy a significant inheritance – an old building in a state of disrepair, which could offer exciting possibilities, but to get it she must stay in Ottercombe Bay for twelve whole months.

With the help of a cast of quirky locals, a few gin cocktails and a black pug with plenty of attitude, Daisy might just turn this into something special. But can she ever hope to be happy among the ghosts of her past?

What does TWG think?

We are ‘Raising The Bar’ with this next instalment from Ottercombe Bay! For someone who seemed completely against staying in Devon to live out her Great-Uncle’s last request, Daisy has taken to the town like a duck to water. Of course her stay hasn’t been without a few troubles, but Daisy seems to be making Ottercombe Bay her new home, whether she intended to or not.

I can’t devour these instalments quick enough! Rather bittersweet though I have to say as just when I get hooked, the novella ends and I am required to be patient for the next part! As soon as all four parts are published as one book, I will be ignoring everyone and reading them all from start to finish – you mark my words!

Despite reading several books in-between part two and three, I was able to slot back into Daisy’s situation and pick up where I left off the last time. Watching the railway bar come to life has been such a joy, even though Daisy is allowing herself to be a bit of a pushover when it comes to staff members! Grow a backbone girl! As for the predicament which Max has found himself in, what is it with people and not coming clean? Does he honestly think Daisy would have been okay with him lying to her? Obviously not!

Once again Bella Osborne has allowed me to lose myself in Daisy and co’s antics! With such engaging and addictive storytelling, Bella Osborne has created a very memorable storyline, with even more memorable characters. Even though I am grumpy about the cliff hanger ending to part three, it has made me even more excited to get my laughing gear around part four. I just don’t want to say goodbye to Ottercombe Bay and everything it stands for. Who knows, I may even shed a tear!

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – The Summer Theatre by the Sea by Tracy Corbett (@TracyACorbett) @AvonBooksUK #Extract

Blog Tour (4)
It may be a dreary start to a brand new week, but today I have the pleasure of reviewing a book with a cover that will bring some well needed sunshine to your Monday. For my stop on Tracy Corbett’s blog tour, not only will I be bringing you a review of ‘The Summer Theatre by the Sea’, I will also be treating you to a little extract from the book itself, just to whet your appetite. What more could you want on a Monday? As always, huge thanks to Avon for the blog tour invite, as well as the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

image001

A summer to remember…

Charlotte Saunders has always loved the buzz of city life. So, when she finds herself abruptly fired, dumped and forced to leave London to move in with her sister Lauren in Cornwall, she thinks the world is ending.

To keep herself busy in the quiet coastal town, Charlotte agrees to help the local drama club. Designing sets for their performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, just for the summer, while she figures out her next career move. But could days at the beach, new friends and a dashingly handsome doctor, change Charlotte’s mind? Suddenly Cornwall doesn’t look so boring after all…

What does TWG think?

I wasn’t too surprised to see that this book was set in Cornwall, although my eyes did roll a little bit! Just to clarify, I don’t have anything against Cornwall – I have never physically been there! Thanks to the wonders of fiction however, I have maybe visited Cornwall once to twice….it certainly is a popular setting for books these days, that’s for sure!

Thankfully, whilst the setting was a big deal for the overall storyline, it didn’t overshadow the characters at all which I loved as they stood out a lot more. They were allowed to shine in various different ways and I must say, I was thoroughly entertained! ‘The Summer Theatre by the Sea’ does contain a lot of characters so if you can keep up with a bit of character switching, you really would adore this book! Sisters, Charlotte and Lauren, could not be more different. Both live such different lifestyles, and both have incredibly different views on how to live their live. Having lost the closeness of their relationship over the years, the sisters now have a chance to re-build those bridges and make up for lost time. It’s just a shame that people had to get ‘hurt’ in order for them to realise what they needed to do…

I genuinely thought this book was going to be light, fluffy and picturesque. Whilst the author nailed the latter no bother, I couldn’t help but be surprised when the storyline engulfed me in such turbulence and emotion. I didn’t see it coming at all but I loved how the dynamic of the storyline changed over the course of the novel.

Being a single mum myself, I had my pom poms out for Lauren from the get go! My heart couldn’t have felt more sorry for her if it had tried – it was such a shame to see her in such a predicament, especially when pride had gotten in the way to stop her from becoming embarrassed. Asking for help isn’t a bad thing, but for Lauren, asking for help would have been the most disastrous thing she had ever done. I LOVED Flo and Freddie, they had me in hysterics more than once and, despite being a work of fiction, I thought that Lauren had done a fantastic job bringing up two grounded, charismatic and loveable children, all whilst dealing with a situation which ended up removing parts of her own personality. Tracy Corbett is a star in my eyes for the way she has portrayed a single mum and I really do thank her for that.

As for the rest of the book – there was so much happening! I won’t divulge details, but ‘The Summer Theatre by the Sea’ really does have something for everyone. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about many colourful characters such as Barney Hubble and Dusty! They may seem like two people who don’t fit in, but I can assure you that the story wouldn’t have been the same without either of them.

Tracy Corbett had me giggling, sighing and feeling emotional, all thanks to her joyful and impassioned storyline which, despite having many laugh out loud moments, ended up highlighting such an important message. You only get one chance at life, why spend it doing something you hate? Why spend it living your life for other people? Why spend it feeling guilty for making decisions based on your own circumstances, rather than going along with someone else’s choices because they prefer it? Many of the characters in this book stepped out of their comfort zones by attempting new things, changing their ways, or by finally listening to their own intuition.

It may have been a ‘Summer Theatre by the Sea’, but it was a story which resonated with me and made me think. Such an enjoyable, heartfelt and cosy read –  I highly recommend curling up with a cuppa, a bar of chocolate, and a dose of the ‘The Summer Theatre by the Sea’.

Buy now from Amazon

Extract.

Barney Hubble leant against the iron railings and drew in a breath of salty air as he watched a fishing boat drag its nets from the water. There was nothing remarkable about this particular Tuesday evening in May, and yet the sight of the water sparkling under the fading daylight and the rush of waves ebbing and flowing over the sandy beach below, was strangely hypnotic. How different his life was now compared to back in London.

For a start, he walked everywhere. He’d never walked anywhere in London, other than endlessly marching up and down hospital corridors. And he swam most days, relishing the battle of challenging riptides and the exhilaration of diving into freezing-cold water, feeling his skin contract beneath his wetsuit. He was also able to indulge in his passion for music. He didn’t earn much from his gigs, but he enjoyed it and it made him feel alive … unlike when he’d worked on the hospital wards and he’d felt permanently dead.

As a kid, he’d learnt both guitar and piano at school before progressing to singing in bands. He’d never ventured into acting before, but last summer his housemates had coerced him into joining the local amateur dramatics group. Despite his initial reluctance, he’d discovered that it was a great way to make new friends and ingrain himself into the local community. Something he hadn’t even known he’d wanted, and certainly something he’d never experienced in London.

His parents had never been big fans of hobbies. It was all work, work, work, for Henry and Alexa Hubble. A philosophy they’d tried to instil into their son. Not that he was against hard work, he just wanted more from life. Maybe it was selfish, but specialising was his parents’ dream, not his. He’d given med school his all, but nothing had prepared him for the relentless onslaught of being a junior doctor.

#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 and #Extract of ‘Love Among the Treetops’ by Catherine Ferguson (@_cathferguson) @AvonBooksUK

Love Among the Treetops - Blog Tour
Next up on TWG is a review of Catherine Ferguson’s ‘Love Among the Treetops’, as well as an extract from the book itself! Thank you as always to the lovely Sabah from Avon Books for the blog tour invite, as well as the ARC of the book!

image003-4
Can love flourish amongst the tree tops?

When pastry chef Twilight Wilson was a young girl, she would hide from school bullies up in the treehouse at the bottom of her garden in her family home in Sussex. It was her special place, and even as an adult she still loves it.

So when her family tell her they can’t afford to live there any more, Twilight is devastated. Not only will they lose their home – but the treehouse too!

She comes up with a plan to save the family home – she’ll start up a cafe in the treehouse! It’s a brilliant idea, and excitement builds as she starts planning the menus, with the help of Theo – a rather attractive man from the gym. But when former school bully Lucy finds out the plan, she starts plotting – and opens her own rival cafe in the village!

Can Twilight save her family home? Will her friendship with Theo ever be anything more? And who will win the cafe wars?

Catherine Ferguson is back in this hilarious, heart-warming read perfect for summer.

Extract.

Friday rolls around – the morning before Saturday’s big café opening – and I bound out of bed. Standing in the shower, I tick jobs off on a mental list. The cakes and scones need to be perfectly fresh, so I’ll be baking and icing all the cakes today, then getting up very early tomorrow morning to bake the three different flavours of scone. Adrenalin is already pouring through my system, making me feel nervous, excited, apprehensive and
ecstatic all at the same time. I can’t believe my dream of owning my own café is finally coming true! I suppose I always thought of it as just a lovely fantasy, but now circumstances have conspired to turn that dream into a reality.

I think of my parents and the excitement subsides. If only those circumstances didn’t involve my lovely dad’s fight for survival. A lump fills my throat. I need to phone Mum when I’ve got a minute, so they can feel involved in tomorrow’s big opening. I know Mum really wishes they could be here, but it just wouldn’t be wise for Dad to make the tiring and uncomfortable journey to Hart’s End. In any case, I don’t think the hospital would allow it.
Paloma comes over soon after eleven. When I open the door, she walks in sniffing the air
appreciatively. ‘I could smell the aroma of baking frenzy just walking up the garden path.’
We go straight into the kitchen, where my two Cherry Bakewells in the big, shiny new flan cases I bought are almost ready. I peer into the oven. They’re beautifully golden on top and I reckon they’re done, so I grab the pink gingham oven gloves Paloma presented me with yesterday and take them out. My brand-new mesh trays are lined up on the bench, ready to be laden with cooling bakes.

I go to my list and tick off ‘Cherry Bakewells’. So far, so good. I need to work steadily and methodically today and keep a cool head. Then, hopefully, I’ll be all prepared for tomorrow at ten a.m. Tomorrow at ten a.m.! It seems a long way off. I might actually expire with excitement before then! Before I start on the next bake, I grab the keys and we head over to the café to admire the work we did the previous afternoon.

Now that you have had extract to whet your appetite, it’s time to find out what TWG thinks!

What does TWG think?

I want to start this review by saying a massive thank you to the author for including a topic in her story which, to this day, still affects me, and it’s a topic which people still aren’t taking seriously. Bullying. I have known this authors books to be hilarious, so as soon as I realised that this book contained a rather stigmatic theme, I had absolutely no idea how she was going to pull it off without losing her trademark story telling, whilst also creating awareness for such a sensitive subject.

I needn’t have worried in the slightest because Catherine Ferguson not only pulled it off, she baked it perfectly.

Twilight’s dream for as long as she can remember, has been to own her own cafe by baking for a living. Due to the fact that her father is facing an uncertain future, Twilight has taken it upon herself to do what she can to keep the family cafe in the family where it belongs. Unfortunately for Twilight, a bully from her school days still lives in the village and, even though Twilight is fully aware that many years have passed, she can’t seem to forget what the school bully did to her.

On a personal level, this book was hard to read due to my own history with bullying, but I am so, SO glad that this subject is being put under people’s notice in hope that someone finally takes notice, and realises that bullying can ruin people’s lives.

As always, ‘Love Among the Treetops’ contains such wonderful humour which keeps the storyline on an even keel. Twilight is such a brilliant character who, whilst being quite naive, has a heart of gold (maybe even a little feisty!). I did feel sorry for her whilst I was reading the book, I just wanted to give her a big hug and tell her that she could do it.

I really did enjoy reading ‘Love Among the Treetops’ as it made me laugh, it made me smile, and it seemed to be the perfect antidote when I needed a little pick me up. I loved the fact that the book was an easy read as it allowed me to lose myself in it completely, feeling as though I was part of the storyline instead of an outsider looking in.

Cakes, laughter, cakes, friendship, fun, and cakes, what more could you want?

I truly think that this is an ideal book to curl up with when the skies are grey and you’re feeling blue as, when the book is finished, I can guarantee that you will be feeling as golden as a Victoria sponge cake – perfect amount of layers, right amount of bitterness in the jam, and just sweet enough.

Buy now from Amazon