#BlogTour! #Extract – 11 Missed Calls by Elisabeth Carpenter (@LibbyCPT) @AvonBooksUK

11 Missed Calls Blog Tour FINAL
Today for my stop on the ’11 Missed Calls’ blog tour, I will be sharing an extract from Elisabeth Carpenter’s new book. Enjoy!

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Here are two things I know about my mother:
1. She had dark hair, like mine.
2. She wasn’t very happy at the end.

Anna has always believed that her mother, Debbie, died 30 years ago on the night she disappeared.

But when her father gets a strange note, she realises that she’s never been told the full story of what happened that night on the cliff.

Confused and upset, Anna turns to her husband Jack – but when she finds a love letter from another woman in his wallet, she realises there’s no-one left to help her, least of all her family.

And then a body is found…

Extract.

I grab my laptop and take it into the living room. I still don’t know what to say in my reply to Debbie. It is too important to just fire off a few words when I have a whole lifetime to write about. She won’t be expecting a message from me, but I doubt Monica or Dad have replied yet. They would have told me if they had, though I’m not sure of anything these days.

‘Just ask to meet,’ says Jack, reading my mind. ‘You don’t have to write an essay. If she is who she says she is, then you’ll find out soon enough.’

Perhaps it is as simple as that. There is a tiny part of me – self-preservation, again – that tells me not to give too much away in an email. She must earn the right to hear my news. The least she could do is meet me.

I click on the email forwarded by Dad. I already know her words off by heart, but I still read it. ‘The memories of shells and sweet things …’ No one else could know about that.

I type out the reply before I can think about it, and press send.

Buy now from Amazon

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#BlogTour! #Review – One Little Lie by Sam Carrington (@sam_carrington1) @AvonBooksUK


Sam Carrington is baaaaaack!! I could not be more excited to be sharing my review of Sam Carrington’s recently released novel, ‘One Little Lie’. Big thank you, as always, to Avon Books for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

‘I’m Alice. And my son is a murderer.’

Deborah’s son was killed four years ago.
Alice’s son is in prison for committing that crime.

Deborah would give anything to have her boy back, and Alice would do anything to right her son’s wrongs.

Driven by guilt and the need for redemption, Alice has started a support group for parents with troubled children. But as the network begins to grow, she soon finds out just how easy it is for one little lie to spiral out of control…

They call it mother’s intuition, but can you ever really know your own child?

What does TWG think?

Having devoured, loved, dreamt about, and shouted about Sam Carrington’s previous novels, I couldn’t contain my excitement when I heard that there was a third book on the horizon. Of course, Carrington unknowingly had to beat my expectations with this one which I can only assume would be a task, should she have been aware of that fact. In my eyes, Carrington shouldn’t have written two BRILLIANT novels for me to compare ‘One Little Lie’ to ;). Thankfully, and I am sure that the author will breathe a sigh of relief with this next sentence, she did not disappoint with ‘One Little Lie’ at all. Whilst I didn’t feel as though it was better than her previous novels, ‘Saving Sophie’ and ‘Bad Sister’, Carrington has still written a jaw dropping novel where this one is concerned!

Be prepared to read a story from different points of view, with each describing their own version of events each time. If you thought that you would know the truth, you have got quite a long wait ahead of you because hell, if psychologist, Connie Summers, struggled to decipher her clients hidden agenda’s, us readers would need to pick up on something very detailed.

There are a lot of characters featured in the storyline of ‘One Little Lie’, and whilst it did confuse me a little to begin with, once I got used to it I realised that every character was there for a reason. It also meant that the truth became a lot more jaded as the storyline went on because of the amount of characters that were involved in the situation, or were related to someone who was involved in the situation, and so on. Plus, if you add to that a couple of main characters who seemed intent on keeping something vital hidden, I would be lying if I said that I thought there was only ONE little lie.

Sam Carrington is very clever at teasing her readers and making them feel as though they’re onto a winner, before pulling out the carpet from underneath their feet. I’m not complaining at all, but you would think that after three books, I would be accustom to just how the author thinks, but I’m not! Far from it! In fact, I seem to be further away from that discovery with every new book Carrington releases.

I have to admit that I struggled to see things from Alice’s point of view, as I couldn’t grasp why she would go down the route that she did. Having said that, I think that Alice’s situation is one that people cannot really judge unless you’re in that predicament yourself. Same for Deborah to be honest, although I had more empathy towards that character, even if I did think that she was a bit of a dark horse. I couldn’t quite put my finger on why that was though!

Overall, Sam Carrington has delivered a cracking, psychologically twisted, engaging, and intense novel which had my brain close to popping like a balloon. Carrington’s story telling is one of a kind, and whilst I would love to know what goes through this authors mind at times, I just know that I would be scarred for life if she didn’t soften the blow by weaving her twisted concepts into her poor characters fictional lives. Highly recommended!

Buy now from Amazon!

#BlogTour! #Extract – The Lost Sister by Tracy Buchanan (@TracyBuchanan) @AvonBooksUK


It’s TWG’s turn on the blog tour for ‘The Lost Sister’ by Tracy Buchanan. Big thank you to Avon for the blog tour invite. Today I will be sharing an extract from the book, enjoy!

For the first time in your life, she is going to tell you the truth…

Then: A trip to the beach tore Becky’s world apart. It was the day her mother Selma met the mysterious man she went on to fall in love with, and leave her husband and child for.

Now: It’s been a decade since they last spoke, but Selma has just weeks to live. And she has something important to tell Becky – a secret she been hiding for many years. She had another daughter.

With the loss of her mother, Becky aches to find her sister. She knows she cannot move forward in her life without answers, but who can she really trust?

Extract.

Mike caught my eye. He was desperate for another. But I couldn’t think of anything worse, shuddering as I remembered that sticky, confusing, sick-infested time of Becky’s newborn months. The emotions. The tears. I adored Becky, my perfect one. It would be like going back to square one if I had another. Plus, there was the slight problem of Mike and I barely touching any more. Maybe that should have worried me, but the truth was, I didn’t want to touch or be touched. On the rare occasions when we did make love, I flinched then felt nothing, going through the motions as I turned my face away. I used to be so passionate, to love to hold and be held. But not any more.

I sighed, turning back to Julie. ‘We’ve been told we can’t,’ I whispered so Mike couldn’t overhear. The lie sent a thrill through me. ‘We don’t like to talk about it, especially Mike,’ I added with a grimace. Another touch of the arm. ‘You’re one of the only people I’ve told.’
‘I’m so sorry,’ Julie whispered back. I could see it mixed in with the empathy in her eyes, how pleased she was to be one of the privileged few to know.
‘But let’s not talk about that,’ I said, fanning my hand about. ‘Tell me about you.’
As Julie launched into the details of her problems with sore nipples, I slid my sunglasses back up to hide the fact I wasn’t really listening, my mind drifting off to the plot of my latest novel.

E-book is available to buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – Summer on the Little Cornish Isles: The Starfish Studio by Phillipa Ashley (@PhillipaAshley) @AvonBooksUK


I have never been more excited to review a book with Cornish/Cornwall in the title before, until now! I am so excited to be today’s stop on Phillipa Ashley’s blog tour for ‘Summer on the Little Cornish Isles: The Starfish Studio’. Big thank you to Avon Books for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

Poppy has always loved Cornwall – the crisp sea air, the welcoming community. So when her boyfriend Dan suggests they leave their office jobs and take over the Starfish Studio on the Isles of Scilly, Poppy doesn’t need asking twice.

But things don’t go to plan when Dan dumps her, weeks before they’re due to move. Determined not to give up, Poppy accepts the help of local photographer Jake, her landlord’s grandson. But Jake is distracted by a loss from his past.

Can they turn the crumbling gallery into a success in time for tourist season? And will a summer on the little Cornish Isles mend just the studio – or Poppy’s heart too?

What does TWG think?

-swoons- Why am I only starting to read this series now?! I think I have been hiding under a rock or something, because I see no other explanation as to why I haven’t read any of the ‘Cornish Isles’ series! This is book three!! At least I do prove that you don’t have to read the books in order and that they can be read perfectly well as a standalone. Hell, I didn’t even realise that this was a series until I looked on Amazon!

I absolutely devoured ‘Summer on the Little Cornish Isles: The Starfish Studio’ in a few hours, how could I not when the story was so enchanting, enticing and beautifully written? The moment Poppy stepped over the threshold into the Starfish Studio, it was like love at first sight. Not only did the beauty of the studio and its contents blow Poppy away, she was rather taken with the artist himself Several years later, Poppy finds herself stepping over the threshold of the studio again to start her new life. Whilst part of Poppy was hoping her new life would begin smoothly, she couldn’t have been prepared for what lie waiting for her. Her ex-boyfriend, Dan, might think that she wouldn’t be able to cope, but Poppy is made of strong stuff, a lot stronger than what people give her credit for…

Oh my goodness me, I’m just going to lay my cards straight on the table; I love, love, LOVED this book! What a beautiful, beautiful story which seemed to capture my heart and soul from the moment Poppy got off the boat. There was something so magical about her character and, even without knowing too much about her, I just knew that she was going to go up in my estimations the more of the story I read.

As for Jake, oh Jake…he’s a bit of a shattered soul bless him, I couldn’t help but laugh at his relationship with Leo! I am being vague on purpose as I don’t wish to give anything away, but please do trust me when I say that this is a story that needs to be given as much love as it will give its readers.

I was blown away by how free-spirited the story made me feel, hugging me from the inside out with every turn of the page. ‘Summer on the Little Cornish Isles: The Starfish Studio’ may come across as being Poppy and Jake orientated, but in actual fact that couldn’t be further from the truth as the author gives multiple characters their individual times in the spotlight. I really did love that as I was able to find out more about certain characters and how they became who they are today.

As I have already said, I love ‘Summer on the Little Cornish Isles: The Starfish Studio’, and I would read it all over again in a heartbeat! Such a heartfelt, touching, poignant, and mesmerising novel which will stay in my heart for a very, very long time.

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Extract – A Summer Scandal by Kat French (@KFrenchBooks) @AvonBooksUK

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Anyone fancy a scandal this summer? If you are, look no further as Kat French has you all sorted! Why? Because folks, her latest novel is aptly titled, ‘A Summer Scandal’, and I have the pleasure of sharing an extract from the book with you all today as part of the blog tour! Enjoy!

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Summer has never been so scandalous…

When Violet moves to Swallow Beach, she inherits a small Victorian pier with an empty arcade perched on the end of it, and falls in love immediately. She wants nothing more than to rejuvenate it and make it grand again – but how?

When she meets hunky Calvin, inspiration strikes. What if she turned the arcade into an adult-themed arcade full of artisan shops?

Not everyone in the town is happy with the idea, but Violet loves her arcade and business begins to boom. But as tensions worsen and the heat between her and Calvin begins to grow, life at Swallow Beach becomes tricky. Is it worth staying to ride out the storm? And can Violet find her own happy ending before the swallows fly south for the winter?

Sexy, sassy and full of heart, Kat French is back in a new summer sizzler.

Extract.

Following Barty through the back door, Violet found herself inside the ground-floor lobby, light and bright thanks to the many stained windows surrounding the front door and the freshly painted white woodwork on the gracefully sweeping staircase and two apartment doors, one either side of the tiled vestibule. Gold numbers on the doors declared them 1 and 2.
‘This is mine,’ Barty said, nodding towards number 1. ‘And that one belongs to Keris, my
granddaughter.’
Vi’s jaw dropped. ‘You live here?’
He threw his hands out. ‘So it would seem. Cup of mint tea?’
Vi narrowed her eyes. ‘That’s my favourite.’
Barty looked at her steadily, half smiling. ‘Who knew?’
You did, Violet felt like saying. ‘I better not,’ she said, instead. Glancing towards the staircase, her nerves kicked back in. ‘I better head on up.’ She stalled, jiggling the keys, excited and terrified at the same time. ‘Has anyone been up there recently, do you know?’
Barty shook his head. ‘Not that I’ve noticed.’ He touched his fingers against his fedora. ‘I’ll let you get on. You know where I am if you need me. Tap the door for mint tea.’
And with that he turned and opened his own door. Looking back at her as he stepped inside, he paused. ‘Do you want me to come up with you?’
Tempted as she was to say yes, Vi shook her head. This was something she needed to do alone.
‘Thanks, I think I’m okay.’
He looked at her for a couple of silent seconds, then nodded and closed his door. Violet stood still for a few moments, fighting the urge to knock on his door and tell him she’d changed her mind, she’d love a cup of mint tea and someone to hold her hand and come with her. All she knew about the apartment on the top floor was that her grandfather had paid a cleaning company to go in once a month, but that aside, no one with any actual connection to her family had set foot near the place in decades. It was empty. Waiting. For her? Suppressing the chill that ran down her spine, Violet put her best foot forward and set off up the wide, shallow stairs.

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allan (@ClaireAllan) @AvonBooksUK

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What would you do if you were the witness of an event which could change your life forever? I am delighted to be today’s stop on ‘Her Name Was Rose’ by Claire Allan! Big thank you to Avon Books for the blog tour invite, as well as the ARC. Here is my review:

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Her name was Rose. You watched her die. And her death has created a vacancy.

When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother – killing her instantly – she finds herself unable to move on.

And then she makes a decision she can never take back.

Because Rose had everything Emily had ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose’s husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother. Why couldn’t Emily fill that space?

But as Emily is about to discover, no one’s life is perfect … and not everything is as it seems.

What does TWG think?

Omg that first page!! I don’t think I have ever read a first page that hooked me as fast as this one did. Wow – it blew me away so much, I had very high hopes for the rest of the book, that’s for sure.

Emily finds herself being a witness to an event, completely unaware that it was going to end up dominating her life for quite a while. Should it have been her? What was the identity of the person whose life ended up being cut short? With no sign of the driver who ended a life much too early, the police have a difficult task ahead of them to find the culprit. But, the more into the victims life they dig, the more skeletons they find jumping out at them from the closet.

Claire Allan made Emily’s next steps very clear almost straight away. At first I couldn’t work out why we were delving into Emily’s mindset and quick decision-making from the get go, but once the storyline progressed, it became clear that it was a very, very clever move on the authors part. Whilst the ‘accident’ dominates a lot of the story, the author keeps her readers on their toes by introducing different paths for her characters to walk on, with some being not as closely linked to the accident as others.

The psychological element to ‘Her Name Was Rose’ was very well written, making my head ache (in a good way) as I tried to dissect certain pieces of information to try to work out the truth that was being concealed exceptionally well.

I don’t often pick up on things like this, however, I thought the use of shorter sentences was a brilliant addition as it kept me hooked, drip feeding me information as and when the author decided. I found myself becoming shocked a lot more due to how Claire Allan told her story, rather than having to digest long sentences with a lot of information. Very clever.

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Her Name Was Rose’. The pace was on point and the entire storyline was highly charged with intensity and suspense – I swear I have paper cuts on my hands from turning the pages of the book so quickly!

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Extract – The Mum Who’d Had Enough by Fiona Gibson (@FionaGibson) @AvonBooksUK

The mum who'd blog tour
Today I am delighted to be sharing an extract from Fiona Gibson’s new novel, ‘The Mum Who’d Had Enough’! This book IS on my TBR pile, so hopefully I will get to it soon for a review!

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After sixteen years of marriage, Nate and Sinead Turner have a nice life. They like their jobs, they like their house and they love their son Flynn. Yes, it’s a very nice life.

Or, at least Nate thinks so. Until, one morning, he wakes to find Sinead gone and a note lying on the kitchen table listing all the things he does wrong or doesn’t do at all.

Nate needs to show Sinead he can be a better husband – fast. But as he works through Sinead’s list, his life changes in unexpected ways. And he starts to wonder whether he wants them to go back to normal after all. Could there be more to life than nice?

Extract.

Your bloody record collection …

What the hell!? Okay, I have a lot, probably something like a thousand or more, I don’t know – I haven’t counted them since about 1992 – with a definite bias towards Bruce Springsteen, his influencers and contemporaries. However, they are neatly stored in alphabetical order. Is that it? Is she sick of being married to ‘the kind of man who alphabetises his albums’ (as I once heard her remark to her friend Michelle in a somewhat scathing tone, followed by gales of derisive laughter)? No – it can’t be that. No one could object to a superb collection housed on custom-built shelves …

Your terrible attempts at DIY …

… If I say so myself, I’m pretty handy with my Black and Decker Combi cordless drill! … and your blank refusal to get the professionals in.
Yes, to save us a fortune!
Handing me a wodge of tenners to buy my own Christmas present …

… I had no idea she was mad about that. I’d just assumed it was the most practical solution, given that I’d apparently ballsed it up on her last birthday with what she termed ‘that terrible skirt’ (i.e., the leopard print one I’d thought she’d look wonderful in).

Woolly boundaries re Flynn …

Ah, so now we’re getting to the nub of things: my ineffectiveness as a father. Clearly, I am a disaster as a human being— ‘Dad.’
I mean, what kind of boundaries is she talking about?
‘DAD!’

My head flicks round. ‘Flynn! Hi.’ I scrunch the note in my fist, like a teenager caught in class with an obscene drawing of his naked French teacher.

(c)FionaGibson2018

Buy now from Amazon!

 

#PublicationDayBlitz! #Review – Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay by Bella Osborne (@osborne_bella) @RaRaResources @AvonBooksUK

Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay
Happy publication day to Bella Osborne and ‘Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay’! I am delighted to be sharing my review of the complete novel, thank you to RaRaResources for asking me to take part, and thank you to Avon Books for the ARC. Here is my review:

Coming Home - Cover
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?

Daisy Wickens has got to be one of my most favourite characters – her feistiness and sass is such fun to read as, when finding herself in sticky situations, she doesn’t let emotion or vulnerability get in the way, instead using her fiery personality to get her through whatever she has to face. Yes, sometimes it can come across a little bit arrogant, especially when the person doesn’t have all the facts, however, whilst Daisy was indeed quite similar to a raging bull sometimes, she always admitted when she was wrong. Eventually….

‘Coming Home To Ottercombe Bay’ was such a fun book to read from the onset, as Bella Osborne’s writing pulled me into the storyline like a cosy blanket on a cold day. There was just something pretty special about the way in which the author delivered her story to her readers, and the way she gave her characters their distinct voices throughout the book. In other books with a lot of characters, just like this one, it can be a bit confusing to separate one character from another, especially if they’re from the same family as they’re not often given their own minds – ‘Coming Home To Ottercombe Bay’ was completely different as every character in this story had a place and a reason to be there. At first the reason isn’t clear, but the more of the story I read, the bigger the picture became and the more answers to unknown questions I received.

Obviously I don’t wish to give anything away, so I won’t tell you the reasons behind Daisy’s homecoming to Ottercombe Bay, however, I can tell you that you may end up taking a step back and looking at the minute details of your own life, before it’s too late. I’m not saying that this book has the power to give you the answers you need to get through your own personal hurdles, but it Bella Osborne’s words certainly have enough power to make you think about the decisions you make, as well as any repercussions.

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Coming Home To Ottercombe Bay’ as it was such a pleasure to read and kept me entertained from start to finish. I would have no qualms about shouting in the middle of town, that everyone needs to buy a copy of this book. No qualms at all. I cannot WAIT to read more from Bella Osborne!

Buy now from Amazon
Buy now from Kobo

About the author.

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel. She’s now written four romantic comedies and been shortlisted twice for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year.

Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you.
She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s dog. When not writing she’s usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.

For more about Bella, visit her website at http://www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on Twitter – @osborne_bella
Facebook – https://en-gb.facebook.com/BellaOsborneAuthor/

Giveaway!

Coming Home - Giveawy Prize
Giveaway – Win signed copies of It Started At Sunset Cottage and A Family Holiday (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or
delivery of the prize.

Enter the giveaway now!

#BlogTour! #Review – The Forgotten Guide to Happiness by Sophie Jenkins (@sophiejenkinsuk) @AvonBooksUK

TFGTH Blog Tour Banner
Evening TWGers! Hope you have all been enjoying the sunshine today! In keeping with the sunshine and happy things, I have the pleasure of hosting debut author, Sophie Jenkins, and her debut novel ‘The Forgotten Guide to Happiness’! Huge thanks, as always, to Avon Books for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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You can lose your memory, but you never forget how to love…

Lana Green has a talent for pushing people away. As a writer, she’s perfectly happy to be left alone with her books. But when she meets Jack Buchanan and Nancy Ellis Hall, Lana’s solitary life will change for ever.

Nancy has dementia, and social services believe this makes her vulnerable. But Lana can see the funny, brilliant woman underneath the illness.

As Lana and Jack struggle to keep Nancy out of a care home, Lana starts to question everything she ever thought mattered.

Because what’s the point in stories, if there is no one to share them with?

What does TWG think?

What a nifty little book this is! If you’re someone who has been pushing back getting started on their first book (like me), or someone who is struggling with their subsequent novels and need a little bit of a pick me up, then I reckon this book will knock the nail on the head for you. However, you don’t need to be in the midst of authory stuff to enjoy reading ‘The Forgotten Guide to Happiness’.

Lana Green seemed happy enough in her own little bubble, cranking out the words for her novel like nobodies business. Important word usage there; SEEMED. If Lana were to glance at her life as a shell without over thinking anything, she would probably say that she is the happiest she has ever been, had everything she wanted in life, and so on. But, Lana Green hadn’t met Nancy Ellis Hall – a lady who would end up changing Lana’s mindset on life. The annoying thing was – Lana had to get a bit stuck in the mud before she met the lady who would leave a mark. No pun intended (it’ll make sense if you read the book.)

Nancy is a breath of fresh air, a ray of sunshine, and is no doubt a lady who everyone will say their grandmothers are like. The medical profession say that Nancy has dementia, whereas the social services say that Nancy is vulnerable. What do I think? Well, I think that Nancy is a lady who just wants to live out the rest of her days feeling happy before she loses the ability to feel anything.

My positive opinion of Lana was lacking at first, as I found her to be a whiny woman who hadn’t got her own way. It was like she was adamant about throwing her teddy out of the pram without taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture. I know that heart-break comes in all different shapes and sizes, but seriously, ensuring that you have a roof over your head and food in your belly, is far more important than wondering whether your ex is getting his rocks off with a Swedish masseuse, right?!

Once Nancy and Jack appeared on the scene, Lana’s personality started to shine brighter and my opinion of her began to change for the better. Gone was the ‘woe is me’ outlook, instead being taken over by a ‘girls, just wanna have fuuuuuun’ attitude. There was no more of taking the wrong things seriously and wondering why she had found herself stuck in deep cow pats because of it. I suppose you could say that she, oh I don’t know, grew up? DOn’t get me wrong, I know that we all look at things in life in completely different ways as opposed to Mrs Jones down on Baker Street, but that wasn’t my issue with Lana. It was the way she acted as though she was the only person in the world to ever get hurt. You live and you learn though, don’t you.

‘The Forgotten Guide to Happiness’ is an absolute gem of a read, despite my ever changing opinion of Lana. I loved what Jack brought to the story with his definition of what a ‘hero’ should look like, and I adored the sass which Nancy contributed to the storyline – reader, I laughed out loud many times where Nancy was concerned!

Sophie Jenkins’ novel really was an enchanting, thought-provoking read which left me with a massive smile on my face. The storyline wasn’t too deep to make you feel as though you had to really think about the storyline, it was just right.

‘The Forgotten Guide to Happiness’ may have forgotten it’s guide, but its storyline and memorable characters aren’t something I am going to be forgetting anytime soon. If you’re wanting a book to cosy up with, then grab a cuppa tea and a bar of chocolate because this one is most definitely a book for you.

‘The Forgotten Guide to Happiness’ can be bought now in e-book from Amazon, with the paperback following on the 9th August.

What a difference, a day makes – or in this case, the month of May! #MonthlyRoundUp #TopBook (@NoelleHarrison @bwpublishing)

The Writing Garnet's Book of the Month is......
It isn’t often that I do a monthly roundup, purely because I often forget. However, I felt the urge to do one for the month of May because I feel that I have to speak out about a few things, and what better way to do it than in a roundup post! #KillTwoBirdsWithOneStone

So, what happened in May?

The highlights!

– TWG was involved in 52 blog tours, the highest amount of blog tours in one month, ever!
– I met up with author, Mary-Jayne Baker, in Edinburgh for bookish chat.
– My TWG Facebook page  hit 1602 likes!
– I went over 5000 followers on Twitter, despite starting with around 100 or so when I started blogging two years ago.
– I found myself being quoted yet another book cover (thanks Bookouture!), as well as being quoted on Amazon itself!
– I received so many wonderful proof copies through the post, as well as being approved for other many awesome books on Netgalley. Big thank you to the publishers/publicists who have either sent me books or approved me. You’re all amazing!
– I have had many wonderful bookish chats with my fellow book buddies on social media – love you all!

There have been, I’m sure, many other highlights but it is quite difficult to remember them all when you make yourself do so! Like most things, there is always a downside:

The Lowlights.

May was the month where I was trolled on social media not once, but twice in the matter of one week. Now, despite being told that other people have had similar and just to ignore, for me that isn’t easy and I’ll tell you why. From the age of five, I was horrifically bullied, tormented for the hair on my arms to how I spoke, being pushed into brick walls to then having a metal sellotape holder slammed down on my knuckles. I was even told that I was fat day in, day out, where I ended up battling with anorexia and bulimia. Whilst I would love to say that the bullied ended quickly, it didn’t. For some, comments on social media are like water off a ducks back. But for me, when they come across as personal attacks, similar circumstances or not, I find them to be a trigger. It isn’t nice because it then sets off my mental health which in turn sets off my chronic illnesses. Thankfully I have drawn a line under that, but I just wanted to speak about that.

Another lowlight in May involved the entire blogging community and the idea of ‘paid reviews’. I won’t get into it again, but I am sick and tired of hard working bloggers getting thrown under the bus by people who can waltz in without giving a damn about integrity or hard work. I don’t charge for my book reviews, and I don’t intend on doing so. I review because I love books and because I feel that I am forever in authors debts for writing books which allow me to escape my daily hell. And yes, it is often hell.

Again, another one which involved the entire book blogging community was when it became known that someone was selling ARCs/proof copies on Ebay. The fact that it says somewhere on the proof ‘not to be resold or used for quotation’, is neither here nor there…..clearly. Seriously, receiving proof copies from publishers/publicists is an honour and I feel privileged to be able to receive some amazing books through my letter box. Would I then go on to sell them on Ebay? Like fuck would I. Respect is earned, not given. Respect isn’t an entitlement, it’s a privilege.

The following lowlight is a personal one for me and one which I have ummed and ahhed about saying. Those who know me personally, or those who have read my previous posts, will know that I am rather lacking in the ‘healthy’ area, with illnesses such as fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, joint hypermobility syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, IBS, anxiety and depression, under my belt. It’s bad enough dealing with all of that, but now, after years of battling with doctors who told me it was ‘all in my head’ and being looked at like I had two heads, I am now being treated for CFS otherwise known as ME. I was also put on a new medication, one which isn’t going to become my bestie anytime soon that’s for sure (amitriptyline). Coming to terms with yet another illness at the ripe ‘old’ age of 28 is heart-breaking, and once again I’m left feeling like I am grieving a part of me now gone. Although to be fair, I’m surprised that there is anything left of ‘me’ to grieve but y’know! I want to say a personal thank you to a person who has been checking in with my every few days despite going through their own issues, and that big thank you is for Abbie Rutherford – your friendship means a lot to me, thank you for being there for me <3.

Enough of the lowlights, lets talk books!

With 52 blog tours in one month, I got through quite a lot of books in May such as:

#Review – The Things We Need to Say by Rachel Burton (@bookish_yogi) @RaRaResources @HQDigitalUK

#BlogBlitz! #Review – One Summer in Rome by Samantha Tonge (@SamTongeWriter) @RaRaResources @HQDigitalUK

#BlogBlitz! #Review – What Holly’s Husband Did by Debbie Viggiano (@DebbieViggiano) @Bookouture

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Lead Me Home by CS Savage (@sarahsavage26) @BloodhoundBook

#BlogTour! #Review – The Wedding Date by Zara Stoneley (@ZaraStoneley) @RaRaResources @HarperImpulse

#BlogTour! #Review – #SunshineandSweetPeas in Nightingale Square by Heidi Swain (@Heidi_Swain) @simonschusteruk

& many, many more.

It is such an honour to be involved in the blog tours/blog blitzes for incredible books, so thank you to the publishers who invite me to take part!

If I did have to choose just one book from May, it would have to be ‘The Gravity of Love’ by Noelle Harrison. That book blew my mind like nothing before, plus I managed to make the author AND the publishing team cry with my review. I loved everything about the book and everything it stood for, and I am sure that you will too. In case you missed my review the first time round, you can read it again here:

#BlogTour! #Review – The Gravity of Love by Noelle Harrison (@NoelleHarrison) @bwpublishing

The Writing Garnet is going from strength to strength and I can only thank you all for supporting me along my journey, sharing my blog posts/tweets, inviting me on tours, and involving me in a community that sometimes I don’t feel worthy enough to be in. It is such a joy to be able to share my love of books with you all, so thank you <3.

What’s coming up in June?

As it stands, I have 40 blog tours in my diary for this month already. I expect that to go up when I realise that I have included all of the tours by forgetting to write some of them down (it happens, but I do post them on time!). We are on the 5th June and I will have taken part in 11 blog tours by the end of today. Insane, but amazing. I don’t have many other bookish plans for June at the moment, well, apart from the usual, but I am looking forward to reading some fabulous books!

Lots of love and books,

TWG x