#extract · blog tour · book blogger

#BlogTour – Extract from #TheSeamstressOfWarsaw by Rebecca Mascull (@rebeccamascull @spellboundbks @zooloo2008)

Many thanks to Zoe and Spellbound Books for having me on Rebecca Mascull’s blog tour today, where I will be sharing an extract from her new novel, ‘The Seamstress of Warsaw’. But first, here is a little bit more about the book:

1940
London
A man learns a shocking truth about his past.
Warsaw
A mother writes a diary as the ghetto walls go up.
From the bombed streets of London, to occupied Warsaw, to the Polish forests bristling with partisans, will their paths cross?
Will their pasts be reconciled?
And will they survive the deadly assaults on their freedom and their lives?

THE SEAMSTRESS OF WARSAW is a tale of endurance and loss, family and blood, stories and histories, that questions the nature of who we are and where we are going, when the road ahead is burning.

Extract

It was a beautiful Saturday, hot sun and pure sky. At three o’clock, Daniel was cycling back from the library when the air-raid siren sounded. Most in the street ignored it. Then came the heavy hum of bombers. He saw a couple of plane spotters on the roof of the nearest building, pointing into the air and blasting on their whistles. The drone became a roar and the air itself trembled.

He heard voices call to each other and the mad barking of dogs. The planes came. Leaping dots of light thickened to black spots. Dark rows filled the sky, flying in straight lines. People in the street were saying, are they British? No, they’re German, someone said. Our boys fly in Vs. How did they get through, some asked? What’s happened to the RAF, the ack-ack guns? People were shaking their fists at them, one man brandished a penknife. People were just standing and staring, hardly anyone was running. There were over a hundred planes.

Bombs began to fall. Daniel actually saw them drop. People ran and scrambled for cover, behind or beneath or beside anything they could find – a milk cart, a doorway, a policeman – more for comfort than safety. Daniel threw his bike against a wall and bolted to a shelter, filled with men and women and kids and the hot, rank smell of sweat and panic. The children whimpered and wept and everyone flinched at the explosions and clanging fire bells. Once the walls shook, the children screamed and Daniel saw huge black spiders crawl out of the cracks. People talked, about the terror of the shelter getting bombed and of being buried alive. One man said, “If I get it, I hope I cop a nice clean hit and go out like a light.” This made the children cry more and the mothers scolded him. A man appeared at the door and sat down. He wiped his brow and covered his face with shaking hands. A woman tried to soothe him, others ignored him, turned away even, as if he would infect them with fear. He spoke: “This is it! No more Phoney War! The big attack. They’re saying it’ll be every night from now on.” The mothers shushed him. A girl cried and two boys whispered. They were in there for two hours. Silently Daniel swore, he’d never to go into a shelter again.

When the All Clear sounded, it was curious how quickly they all returned to normal. Filing out of the shelter, the men argued about politics and the women about what was for tea. In the street, there were masses of people going to and fro. The air felt hot to breathe. Daniel’s nose filled with the tang of cordite. The streets were a mess of soot, brick and broken glass. The sky was tinged with red, with billowing smoke blotting out the sun. The air was alive with sparks and everyone patted them out on their clothes. There were families with cars loading up offspring and bags and driving off at speed, and people were saying, “The docks are on fire!” One man said, “Why did the poor have to get it in the neck? Why didn’t they bomb bloody Mayfair?” He watched young people running about to see the fires, rushing towards the docks. He found his bike and dashed down there. A terrible inferno – the great dock warehouses consumed by flames flaring high in the sky, furious black and orange. Dozens of firemen were working their legs off.

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B099KWCPFS
Amazon UShttps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B099KWCPFS

#psychological · #Simon & Schuster · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review

#TheHeights by Louise Candlish (@louise_candlish @TeamBATC @JessBarratt88) #BlogTour #Review #Booktwt #thewritinggarnet

I am absolutely delighted to be sharing my thoughts on Louise Candlish’s latest novel, The Heights, as part of the blog tour. My thanks go to Jess and the Simon and Schuster team for asking me to be involved and for supplying a proof for me to read and review honestly.

He thinks he’s safe up there. But he’ll never be safe from you. 

The Heights is a tall, slender apartment building among the warehouses of Tower Bridge, its roof terrace so discreet you wouldn’t know it existed if you weren’t standing at the window of the flat directly opposite. But you are. And that’s when you see a man up there – a man you’d recognize anywhere. He’s older now and his appearance has subtly changed, but it’s definitely him. 

Which makes no sense at all since you know he has been dead for over two years.  You know this for a fact.  

Because you’re the one who killed him.  It’s time to confess what we did up there.

‘Kieran Watts has been dead for over two years when I see him standing on the roof of a building in Shad Thames…’

#CloseToTheEdge

What does The Writing Garnet think?

When I see people say that a book is ‘unputdownable’, I think to myself that they’re fibbing because surely you would put a book down to pee and what not. How could a book be read cover to cover without putting it down? My answer to that, after reading ‘The Heights’ and only putting it down once to grab a chocolate bar and then pick it up again, is ‘very easily’. Heck, my 2 second put down to grab an aero bar doesn’t even count as putting it down as the cover was still warm from my hands!

After I had finished reading the book that literally took me 2 hours to read, my daughter asked me how many stars I would give it, and, without missing a beat, a response of ‘five stars’ flew out of my mouth. There was no doubt in my mind at all as ‘The Heights’ had the marital uncertainty, the troublesome pasts of the main characters, secrets that were too damaging to reveal regardless of how long had passed. The story had thrill, it had a chase, suspense, characters which you just wanted to dislike yet weirdly liked and visa versa.

I loved the way the author let’s us see both sides of the situation from two characters point of view, allowing readers to work out on their own, indirectly, which was bad cop and which was good cop. Which character was the most trustworthy? Which character was seeing things clearer than the other? Which one wasn’t being honest with themselves? The storyline was a well crafted, well oiled piece of ‘machinery’ so to speak as it hopped from different events flawlessly, without missing a single beat or filling the storyline with unnecessary padding. Every single word in this book had its place and played a vital role in bringing ‘The Heights’ to life.

If you hadn’t guessed already, Louise Candlish’s novel blew my mind and reignited my love for reading. Its books like this, written by authors as talented as Candlish, that make me excited about the written word. If youre after a new book to read, I highly suggest you buy and devour this one as yes, it really is and un-putdownable read.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heights-Louise-Candlish/dp/1471183483

#psychological · #suspense · Amazon Pub · arc · blog tour

#ACutForACut by Carol Wyer (@carolewyer @AmazonPub @damppebbles) #DetectiveKateYoung #blogtour

Huge thanks to Emma from Damppebbles Blog Tours, for asking me to be involved in the latest tour for Carol Wyer. I’ve completely lost my reading mojo as of late, however it came back just enough to allow me to read ‘A Cut For A Cut’. Many thanks to the publisher for supplying me with an ARC. Hope you enjoy my review!

DI Kate Young can’t trust anybody. Not even herself.

In the bleak countryside around Blithfield Reservoir, a serial murderer and rapist is leaving a trail of bloodshed. His savage calling card: the word ‘MINE’ carved into each of his victims.

DI Kate Young struggles to get the case moving—even when one of the team’s own investigators is found dead in a dumpster. But Kate is battling her own demons. Obsessed with exposing Superintendent John Dickson and convinced there’s a conspiracy running deep in the force, she no longer knows who to trust. Kate’s crusade has already cost her dearly. What will she lose next?

When her stepsister spills a long-buried secret, Kate realises she’s found the missing link—now she must prove it before the killer strikes again. With enemies closing in on all sides, she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to bring them down. But time is running out, and Kate’s past has pushed her to the very edge. Can she stop herself from falling?

What does TWG think?

Luckily for DI Kate Young, she has determination on her side, because, to be quite frank with you all, she would be rather screwed without it! Kate Young is an interesting character who likes playing with fire….not literally of course as that would make her a pyromaniac and probably unsuitable for her current job. Just saying! Anyway, DI Young lands herself in hot water on multiple occassions, and ‘A Cut For A Cut’ is no different. Having been a fan of Carol’s novels for many years, and associating her books with humour, it isn’t often that I read one of Wyer’s novels and think to myself, ‘what the fried egg is she on’, I mean, I wouldn’t like to cross her down a dark alley knowing full well what she could be capable of doing thanks to her research for books like this!

Despite hardly picking up any books as of late, I was fully engrossed in the latest DI Kate Young novel. I thoroughly enjoyed trying to work out the truth behind the murders, and watching the team trying to put all the puzzle pieces together before yet another body was found. In all honesty, the entire novel took me on a much needed roller coaster ride….in more ways than one! I’m still curious as to what the hell goes through Carol Wyer’s head though, because DAMN that lady sure knows how to write some stomach churning stuff!

I can’t fault ‘A Cut For A Cut’ – it certainly does ‘cut’ it for me, that’s for sure! With more uncertainty than going on a roundabout in the park after eating, this novel kept me on my tippy toes until the very last page.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cut-Detective-Kate-Young-Book-ebook/dp/B08P1GWK3R/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=a+cut+for+a+cut&qid=1623309961&sr=8-2

#suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · contemporary fiction · historical fiction

#APostcardFromParis – Alex Brown (@alexbrownbooks @fictionpubteam @harperfiction) #review

Many thanks to the lovely Jen and the Harper Fiction team for asking me to be involved in Alex Brown’s blog tour for ‘A Postcard From Paris’. I am delighted to be hosting day two of the tour, sharing my review of this picturesque novel. Thanks to the publisher for also supplying me with an advanced copy.

Annie Lovell is keen to put the spark back into her life and when her elderly neighbour inherits an abandoned Parisian apartment she goes to Paris to discover more. Her curiosity takes an unexpected turn on discovering a bundle of secret diaries hidden within the walls, detailing the life of a young English woman, Beatrice Crawford, who volunteered in 1916 to nurse the soldiers in the fields of France.
 
Captivated by the romantic City of Light, Annie realises first appearances are not always as they seem. Following Beatrice’s journey from the Great War, through the Roaring Twenties and to a very different life in Nazi-occupied Paris, Annie must piece together the events from the past, if she is to fulfil the legacy that Beatrice left for her to find…

What does TWG think?

A book by Alex Brown which also contains historical elements? What’s not to love?

I adore losing myself in anything that Alex Brown has written, and this novel was no exception. There was quite a mysterious vibe to the story as main character, Annie Lovell, finds old diaries dating back to 1916 during the war in France. Having moved to a new country to add some variety to her life, Annie didn’t expect to become Miss Marple almost instantly, and neither did I for that matter. I was genuinely surprised by the direction the story took because of the diaries – which certainly was not a bad thing! Finding out about Beatrice and the volunteer work she was involved in, was both astounding and intriguing. I can’t even begin to imagine what Beatrice must have seen in those fields with the soldiers, nor can I even begin to imagine the pain and anguish that they must have felt in battle.

I thought that Alex Brown approached the historically emotional subject with extreme grace. It was evident just how much research the author put in to keep the events and descriptions as close to reality as possible. As a history lover, I appreciated the dedication from the author, but on the other side of the coin as a fiction lover, I also appreciated the way that Alex Brown incorporated facts alongside fiction without making them stand out like a sore thumb. I loved how seamless the entire thing was, and the flow of the story was on point. I was gutted to reach the end as I was captivated by every word I was reading.

Alex Brown exceeded my expectations with ‘A Postcard From Paris’, from the characterisation to the factual information, to the emotional turmoil to the sense of belonging. Everything worked and it blew me away. I would read it all over again in a heartbeat.

Purchase from Amazon.

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · contemporary fiction · lifestyle · Orion

#TheLittlestLibrary #PoppyAlexander @SarahWaights @orionbooks #blogtour #review


Many thanks to Ellen and Orion for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘The Littlest Library’ by Poppy Alexander, and for sending me an ARC of the book to review. Day 5 of the blog tour starts here, enjoy!



It’s only the beginning of her story…

Jess Metcalf is perfectly happy with her quiet, predictable life – it’s just the way she likes it. But when her beloved grandmother passes away and she loses her job at the local library, her life is turned upside-down.

Packing up her grandmother’s books, she moves to a tiny cottage in a charming country village. To her surprise, Jess finds herself the owner of an old red telephone box, too – and she soon turns it into the littlest library around!

It’s not long before the books are borrowed and begin to work their magic – somehow, they seem to be bringing the villagers together once more…

Maybe it’s finally time for Jess to follow her heart and find a place to call home?



What does TWG think?

You know when a story is going to be right up your alley when you realise that it’s about a library….and books. I mean, HELLOOOOOOOOO book god, whoever you are! Saying that, the excitement surrounding the library was short lived as, when Jess’ grandmother passed away, Jess not only loses a much loved family member, she also lost a job she adored. Losing one of those would be enough to knock someone for six, but losing both at the same time? It wasn’t really surprising that Jess began to find things tough and a bit unsure about what the future held for her. After deciding to relocate to a little village called Middlemass, Jess has the option to rebuild her life and start a new, and what a bundle of surprises where waiting for her!

I think that a lot of readers would be able to relate to Jess’ personality in one form or another because she comes across as such a genuine, free spirited person who wasn’t afraid of life when the going got tough. Of course Jess found things difficult, but she moved forward in her own way and her own time, and tried her best to do what was right for her, whatever that may’ve been.

Due to social media, I have seen multiple pictures of little libraries that people have made in specialist boxes, or utilised an old container to fill with books, and I love seeing those because it’s such a lovely idea to be able to bring communities closer together due to a shared love of books. I would love to do something like that near my house, but unfortunately the crime rate is quite high. Never say never though!

In terms of bringing communities together, Jess utilised a red telephone box, turning it into the new ‘go to’ place in the community – a little library. If you’re not an avid reader then the thought of coming together with a group of strangers over a storyline surrounding murder, or the latest comedy read etc, may sound like an extremely bonkers idea, however that person you find yourself speaking to about the book you’re just read may live on their own, have mental health issues etc, and by you chatting to them it may be the lifeline they never knew they needed. You just never know.

So yeah, I loved the premise behind this story and I simply adored the way that Poppy Alexander brought her little library to life, showcasing the power that books can have. Jess was such an addictive character to get to know, and is probably one of my most favourite characters I have read about so far this year. She just oozed courage, spirit and really was such a joy to read about.

Poppy Alexander is such a charismatic author who, when she tells a story, she TELLS that story as though it’s royalty. With every new book I read of hers, I feel like I’m being treated to the best of the best every single time. Honestly, she never disappoints and ‘The Littlest Library’ is proof of that tenfold. This is such a heartwarming, tender read which will make you giggle, smile, and leave your heart as though its just been wrapped up in a cosy little blanket. Divine.



‘The Littlest Library’ can be purchased now from Amazon.

#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger

Review – #TheWhispers by Heidi Perks (@HeidiPerksBooks @arrowpublishing @rachel90kennedy) #review #bookblogger #blogtour


Many thanks to Rachel and the Arrow Publishing team for asking me to take part in Heidi Perks’ blog tour for ‘The Whispers’, and for supplying me with an ARC to review. Today is day three of the blog tour, so let’s get on with it shall we?

A MISSING WIFE. FOUR FRIENDS. WHO IS TELLING THE TRUTH?

Anna Robinson hasn’t been seen since she went on a night out with her four closest friends.
She has a loving husband and a son she adores. Surely she wouldn’t abandon them and her perfect life. . .

But what has happened to her?

At the school gates, it’s not long before the rumours start. Anna’s oldest friend Grace is beside herself with worry – desperately searching for answers, and certain that someone is hiding the truth. 

With each day that passes, Anna’s life is under increasing threat. And a the pressure mounts, it won’t be long before something cracks. . .


What does TWG think?

Anna, for me, was a conundrum. Her personality didn’t seem to match up with her actions or the friendship group that she kept around her. I couldn’t work out whether she was trying to convince herself of things, or Nancy. Something wasn’t quite adding up with her at all. When Anna’s childhood friend came back on the scene, it was as though Anna’s ‘boat’ became a bit rocky and she was afraid of something, but what? Whatever it was, her good friend, Nancy, didn’t seem to want her becoming close with Grace again. Maybe Nancy was afraid of something unduly coming out? But what in Anna’s past would make Nancy uncertain?

It didn’t take long before a number of questions started to build up in my mind regarding Anna’s life, her mum friends, and the way she refused to delve into the past when it came to talking about her mum. I wanted the answers to those questions right there and then, however with a thriller, the truth is often drip fed to you, which can sometimes be a bit frustrating if you’re extremely impatient and just want to get to the bottom of everything (I can neither confirm nor deny whether that was me or not……ahem).

Lets be clear; Heidi Perks did her job of keeping the reader hooked, incredibly well. I was hooked and very invested in the lives of Anna and Grace. Probably too invested as I wanted to know every minute detail of their individual lives, but without making me sound all stalkerish, I’ll just leave it as merely ‘invested’. Even though the storyline was slow and steady with the pace, it was abundantly clear that, upon reaching the end of the novel, slow and steady wins the race because all of those loose ends were tied up nicely with a nice little bow. As for the intensity of the novel, something that is rather important for a thriller, it did take its time to build up. Again, it’s good that a novel does that so that readers are left wondering what if, giving them the nudge to keep turning the pages. However, I felt that the intensity took so long to slap me in the face that when it finally built up to the level that was needed for extreme ‘oomph’ factor, it was a bit bittersweet for me. I’m not saying that the storyline wasn’t intense, because it was, it just piqued a little bit too late in my opinion.

Overall, ‘The Whispers’ is an intriguing, insightful, cleverly written novel. I cannot fault Heidi Perks’ ability at creating a storyline that makes you so invested, you feel as though the book is taking over your life (in a good way). I really enjoyed reading ‘The Whispers’ and it’s a novel that I highly recommend you all nabbing a copy of!


‘The Whispers’ will be published in e-book on the 18th March and can be purchased here. If you prefer reading hardbacks, you can pre-order a copy now as it won’t be released until the 15th April.

#Harpercollins · #psychological · #Simon & Schuster · #suspense · arc · aria fiction · blog tour · bonnier zaffre · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · BOTBSPublicity · childrens books · ChocLitUK · contemporary fiction · Crime/thriller · Faber Books · HarperImpulse · headline books · historical fiction · HQ · HQDigitalUK · humour · lifestyle · Little Brown Books · medical · mills and boon · netgalley · Non Fiction · orenda · Orion · Panmacmillan · Police procedural · Quercus · real life · RNA · romance · Transworld/Penguin · Trapeze · womens fiction

The Writing Garnet turns 5! Happy birthday TWG! #blogger #blogbirthday #TWGTurns5 #Awardwinningblogger

The Writing Garnet is officially 5 years old TODAY! When I started my blog back in 2016, I never envisioned it turning out the way that it has. It never even crossed my mind that my blog could turn into a multi award winning blog (yes, multi), nor did it cross my mind that my review quotes would make their way into physical copies of books or even on the cover of some. Without blowing my own trumpet, I am unbelievably proud of all of that. At the very beginning, my blog was created as my way of saying thank you to authors for writing their books which has allowed me to escape via their words, when things in my personal life have been difficult. It wasn’t created as a popularity tool (because clearly I wouldn’t have lasted 5 minutes had that have been the case), nor was it created merely to get free things because, in all honesty, I had no idea that that was even a thing when I first started.

Over the last 5 years I have met a wide variety of authors, met fellow bloggers, other like minded bookish folk, and found myself involved in a world that went beyond just loving books. I had never really had that before. I had never been able to sit and discuss books with people who had read the same book as I, nor would I have ever found the confidence to cart myself off to events such as Edinburgh Book Festival, Aye Write in Glasgow, or even more intimate events such as meeting the Orenda gang in Edinburgh (to name a few), if it wasn’t for a select few of people who, after ‘meeting’ through the online book world, have gone on to becoming real life friends (Jen, Mandie, Kelly, Joanne, Lainy, DC to name a few). Not only that, despite not having met them in real life yet, I have come to know even more people who I consider to be friends now, who one day I would love to be able to give them a hug (COVID permitting, obvs – special shout out to Liz B for being as true as they come). If I named each and every one of the people who I called friends and who I would do anything for, I would be here a while and would no doubt miss someone off so, to put it simply, if we talk, I adore you. Simple as, and I thank you for your kindness and support over the last 5 years.

For me, the highlight so far has got to be meeting Sue Perkins and Tom Fletcher as those were the times where I unintentionally embarrassed my little girl with my high pitched squealing and trampoline bounces. I think I was fair excited……. Would I have been able to meet them had it not been for my blog? Honestly? Probably not as I never knew events like that existed until I became a blogger. I have so many other authors, bloggers, publicists etc, that I would love to meet and I have everything crossed that that will become a reality.

I know blogging isn’t all about stats, but for the first time in ages I had a quick nose at the stats of TWG. In the last 5 years TWG has had:

160,424 views.
84,689 visitors.
1837 blog posts have been posted.


Also, I even worked out roughly how many books I have read over that time…..1270!!! Ermmmmmmmm, say what?

As I may have mentioned previously, 2020 for TWG wasn’t the greatest as, putting it quite bluntly, I was treated like dirt via the bookish community (not all of you, just to clarify), and it hurt me so much that I ended up retreating because I didn’t know what else to do because, as I have also said many times, I’m not the most popular of people and I don’t fit into the tight knit groups. I suppose my face doesn’t fit, so I knew that regardless of what I said and what I did, I wouldn’t have been believed which is unfair and incredibly hurtful. Because of that, my posts within the last year have been few and far between, however I still have been ‘here’ from afar and still able to keep my feet in the door so to speak. Again, I want to thank those who have stood by me, supported me, and been true friends during that time and continue to do so. I see you.

I am super shocked that my little, multi award winning blog turns 5 today. Yes there have been some ups and downs and confidence knocks along the way, and yes, at times I bit off more than I can chew and left myself over stretched. However the joys of anything in life is that you can learn from your mistakes and realise where you went wrong or what needs to change. There is only me running this blog and, even though I like to think that I can do everything, I physically can’t….I just wish it hadn’t taken me 5 years to realise that! Well, in all fairness it’s probably taken me over 20 years to realise that as I recently turned 31 but y’know, semantics.

Creating The Writing Garnet was probably one of the best, on the spur decisions I have ever made and I just want to thank every single author, publisher and publicist who have sent me countless books over the years and trusted me to review your books. I want to thank the organisers of book events of their hard work and dedication in bringing likeminded bookish folk together. I also want to thank each and every person I have come to know and admire for being true to themselves and becoming good friends of mine. I have your backs – you are all awesome. Major shout out to my fellow bloggers, and anyone who is thinking about starting a blog – you’ve got this! Just remember it’s okay to say no….

On that note, happy birthday to TWG! Heres to another year full of weird and wonderful books, intriguing debuts, and a truck load of reviews.

TWG x

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · contemporary fiction · humour · lifestyle · romance · womens fiction

#MarriedAtFirstSwipe @FabFrosty @simonschusteruk @teambatc #review

Delighted to be joining the blog tour for ‘Married at First Swipe’ by Claire Frost. As always, thank you to Becca and the team at Simon & Schuster for inviting me to take part and sending a copy my way.

Hannah lives life on the edge. Never one to pass up on a new adventure, she has truly been living her best life. But once the adrenaline wears off, she wishes she had someone to spend the quieter moments with too. Learning that her best friend’s online dating business has taken a hit, she comes up with an idea that just might solve both of their problems…
 
Jess has been with her husband for twenty years. They have a stable marriage, great kids and run their own businesses. But what looks like a perfect life from the outside has its own problems within, and with her business on the brink Jess can’t help but wonder where the spark has gone in her life, and whether settling down is all it’s cracked up to be.
 
When Hannah embarks upon her latest scheme: finding a man using Jess’s dating app and meeting him for the first time at the altar, both women start to realise the grass isn’t always greener. Can Hannah help her friend save her failing business or will Jess stop her from making what could be the biggest mistake of her life?
 
In the modern tech-fuelled world of dating, is it possible to find true love?

What does TWG think?

I’m all for girl power and females supporting others, which is very handy as if the Spice Girls needed two new members, I am sure Hannah and Jess would fit the bill tenfold! Plus, its handy because this novel is full of girl power and strong women! Strong females come in all shapes and sizes. Some find their strength by letting their tears out, whilst others share their strength by using various different coping mechanisms. Or, if you’re anything like Hannah, you’ll find ‘strength’ in asking your best friend of over 20 years to find you the man you’re going to marry….on the day you’re going to get married.  

No, you didn’t read that wrong, Hannah wasn’t going to see or meet her new man until the day of the wedding! I mean REALLY, does anyone really trust someone THAT much? I don’t think i could have done that at all. One, I’m far too nosey. Two, I don’t even know my own dream type, let alone someone else working it out. And three, I dont even want to get married!

Anyway, as completely bonkers as this story is, for the reasons mentioned above, I could NOT wait to find out the details, and whether Hannah actually made it down the aisle, or what happened in the future. It really was such a ‘rub your hands together with glee because you’re about to get some gossip’ type of read, and I was in my element.

Even though Hannah’s love life was the center of attention, Jess’ marriage ended up showing cracks, highlighting the fact that whilst marriage is a wonderful thing for those who want it, its always a work in progress, regardless of how long you’re with the other person for. Even I found Tom, her husband, infuriating because he was a lazy little sphincter. But then again, did Jess have her expectations to high?

Overall I really enjoyed delving into the lives of Hannah and Jess, and I especially love G-Ma – what an absolute character!! At times, however, I did find the character dialogue between the main characters to be a little stilted in the fluidty, and I felt that sometimes the dialogue didn’t have as much oomph in it as the rest of the story had. With that being said, I really did appreciate the distraction that Married At First Swipe gave me, and I throughly enjoyed how fun and totally out there the storyline was – I definitely recommend it for readers who like to know every little detail about someone, as well as readers who like their stories to be outside the box!

Buy ‘Married At First Swipe’ from Amazon.

#suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · contemporary fiction · lifestyle

#MyMothersSecret by Julia Roberts (@JuliaRobertsTV) – TWG’s #review @bookouture

Thank you, Bookouture and Julia herself, for asking me to be involved in the blog tour of ‘My Mother’s Secret. You can read my thoughts on the book right after the blurb. Enjoy!

‘They told me he died, but I never believed them. I’d have known,’ she says, her voice little more than a whisper and her eyes searching mine. ‘A mother would know if her child died, wouldn’t she?’

The phone call comes in the middle of the night, rousing Danni from her safe, warm bed. The police have found her mother Diana wandering miles from her house, confused and lost. Danni races to her mother’s side – and as usual, Diana doesn’t seem to want her there. But when Danni finds out that her mother is seriously ill, she decides to put the past behind her, and care for her mother in the time they have left.

But as some of Diana’s memories are slipping away, others are forcing their way to the surface. One night she breaks down and reveals that before Danni was born, she had another baby who never got to see the world. Faced with her mother’s heartbreak, Danni vows to do everything she can to bring Diana some peace, hoping that it will mend their fractured relationship too.

Yet as Danni investigates the past, tracking down the aunt she’s never met and searching for her lost brother’s resting place, her good intentions have unexpected consequences as more truths emerge. And there’s one shocking revelation which could change Danni’s life forever. Are some secrets best left buried?

What does TWG think?

I’ll get straight to the point. This book broke me. It left me an emotional, vulnerable shell of a person and I am astounded at Julia Roberts’ talent at making that happen. It takes a lot to melt my exterior, but by golly ‘My Mother’s Secret’ turned me into a puddle.

A mother’s instinct is one of the most powerful tools a woman could ever possess. Despite the fact that Diana’s health was deteoriating and that time was of the essence, her instinct told her to trust them and what she has been believing all along; that her dear child never died.

I felt for Diana, dont get me wrong, but I felt so sorry for Danni because of how she ended up living in the shadow of a brother she had never even met, or never knew existed until now. She has so many questions yet her mother isn’t in a position to answer them all….its no wonder she ended up doing a bit of detective work, right?

This storyline reminded me of something so fragile. So precious. Something that requires delicate handling. The emotional scenes that took over the book were heart shattering snowflakes. You want to touch them, to look after them, yet they cannot be held. It broke me. Im not saying that that is a bad thing either because it takes talent to reduce me to a snivelling shell.

What i enjoyed most about this book was the power and strength of the characters and their actual storyline. It touched upon situations that aren’t really spoken about, and I felt that Roberts did her characters justice in the way she told their story.

If youre in the mood for a powerful, emotionally driven novel, then this is definitely the one for you.

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arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · contemporary fiction · romance

#TheMemoryKeeper by @JHaleauthor – @HarpethRoad first blog tour! #digitalpublisher #review

Hugest of thanks to Jenny Hale and Harpeth Road themselves, for inviting me to take part in the first ever blog tour for Harpeth Road, a new digital publisher who specialises in romantic fiction. It is an absolute honour to be involved!

Today is day two of the tour for ‘The Memory Keeper’ by Harpeth Road founder herself, Jenny Hale, and I have a review for you all. Before I get to my thoughts though, here is a little bit more about the book and the very gorgeous cover:

Hannah Townsend’s life is just as she’s always wanted it to be. She has the perfect job at a New York magazine, a small but elegant apartment in the upper west side, and an incredibly successful beau named Miles Monahan. This year, for her thirty-fifth birthday, she’s leaving the icy city sludge for sunshine! She’s got tickets for two to Barbados, and she’s all packed and meeting Miles at the airport for a week of cocktails, sandy beaches, and the music of steel drums. 

But her life is turned upside down in the span of that one morning. Hannah is rocked by the news that her beloved grandmother is very sick, and Hannah needs to come home to her small Tennessee town right away to be with her family and help run her gran’s dilapidated flower shop. It also means she has to face Ethan Wright, the best friend she’d left behind so many years ago. If that isn’t enough to deal with, she discovers her boyfriend is seeing someone else. 

With flights grounded and rental cars in great demand due to the winter snowstorm, she’s stranded at the airport. On her birthday, instead of waking up in a stylish beachfront hotel in Miles’s arms like she thought, she finds herself packed like sardines into a car, with two passengers, on a ride-share from LaGuardia Airport to her hometown of Franklin, Tennessee.

When everything seems to be going wrong, it’s the kindness of a handsome businessman from Hannah’s past named Liam McGuire that might just save her. But a new development that threatens Gran’s shop and secrets surrounding Liam could alter both their lives forever. 

What does TWG think?

Jenny Hale writes romantic fiction that flows like the smoothest and silkiest chocolate. In other words; her story telling is utterly divine.

‘The Memory Keeper’ tells a story of love, hope and realising that life doesn’t always go the way that you want it to. Hannah likes perfection. She likes everything just so, and when something comes along to threaten that peace she has worked so hard to keep, it unnerves her. Add a family member with health that is quickly depleting, Hannah is unsure about where her life is heading.

Romantic fiction comes with exactly that, a romance, and this book keeps readers on their toes with the love interest in the present AND the past. Dun dun dunnnnnnn!! There’s got to be a bit of history to come back in your life that rocks the boat! Poor Hannah doesn’t know whether she’s coming or going….in more ways than one!

I really enjoyed losing myself in this drama filled, loving, heartwarming read. I’ve been finding reading quite difficult just now, so when I find a book that keeps me hooked and takes me on a journey, I relish it like never before and I’m thankful to Jenny Hale and The Memory Keeper for being that book.

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