#BlogTour! #Review – Summer Secrets at the Apple Blossom Deli by Portia MacIntosh (@PortiaMacIntosh) @HQDigitalUK

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Day three of the ‘Summer Secrets at the Apple Blossom Deli’ blog tour is with me, TWG! I adore Portia MacIntosh’s novels, so when I received the e-mail about this little beauty, I just knew that I had to read it. Did it disappoint? You’ll have to read my review to find out! Big thanks to HQ for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book.

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Lily Holmes is ready for a fresh start. And there’s no better place to begin again than the idyllic seaside town of Marram Bay.

All Lily wants to do is focus on making her new deli a success and ensuring her son’s happiness. Not the postcard creeping out of her handbag, and definitely not finding a new man in her life!

But this isn’t going to be as easy as she first thought. The town is in uproar about the city girl who’s dared to join them and she’s fighting a battle at every turn.

Perhaps with a little help from the gorgeous cider farmer next door, she may be able to win them over, but her past secrets threaten to ruin everything…

What does TWG think?

SISTERS ARE DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES. STANDING ON THEIR OWN TWO FEEEEEEET!

Ohhhhhh my goodness me – what a refreshing read this is! Being a single mum myself, of  course I am going to zoom in on those parts of the storyline, especially due to the way the author wrote them.

Many books I have recently which have featured a single mum or two, have made us single mums’ out to be whining, negative women who aren’t good role models to our children. This book however, did the complete opposite. Whilst I am incredibly proud to be a single mum, after reading Portia MacIntosh’s new book, I felt even more proud to be one. Not only did MacIntosh celebrate single mums with her main character, Lily, she also showed all the haters that bringing up a child on your own is something to be proud of in more ways than one. This author didn’t patronise us, nor did she make us out to be a negative thing. Instead, she embraced us by allowing her character to kick all of the haters bottoms. For that alone, I want to thank Portia MacIntosh for writing a story which shows single mums in a positive way – it’s refreshing to see an author thinking for themselves where this topic is concerned.

So, Lily wants a new start for reasons which aren’t clear to us readers at the start. Her son’s happiness is at the forefront of her mind, but so is being able to lock the door on the past. However, with the locals going out of their way to alienate Lily and Frankie from the town before they have even unpacked their belongings, Lily’s ‘fresh start’ looks to backfire before it has even properly begun. Even though Lily is determined to do things on her own without the help of a man, when her new neighbour comes to help her out, she knows it would be incredibly rude to say ‘thanks but no thanks’, especially when he is too hot to trot. The neighbour, not his llama (of course). 

It’s amazing how much animosity one deli can cause. Or is the animosity radiating from her new visitor who likes the water the ground with his self attached hose? Who knows!

Hand on heart, if you were to ask me to tell you one negative thing about this book, I couldn’t reply. It’s not that I’m afraid of saying negative things, it’s because I genuinely cannot think of anything negative to say. Portia MacIntosh really has outdone herself with the content of ‘Summer Secrets at the Apple Blossom Deli’. From start to finish I was  gripped by such a refreshingly brilliant storyline which just kept on given. Even though the storyline contained more laugh out loud moments than serious moments, the author still managed to give the more serious situations the same amount of attention. Portia MacIntosh is known to make me snort drink from my nose, but when the vibe of the storyline changed to accommodate a stressful situation for Lily, MacIntosh delivered the sombre moments with the gritty oomph that they rightly deserved. Okay, she did include some things which did make me laugh out loud and visualise things when, being perfectly honest, I would have preferred NOT to, but it all worked very well together and I cannot fault the delivery of the theme in any way shape or form.

I LOVED every single thing about this book, so much so I had to wipe a stray tear from my eye when I reached the end (er, I think it was a stray tear, either that or the sweat from the 37573838 degrees outside was dripping down my face). I have everything crossed that ‘Summer Secrets at the Apple Blossom Deli’ is the start of a brand new series, but if it’s not, I hope MacIntosh can feel MY LOOK radiating through this blog post as a ‘wtf, get on with it’. Although, seeing as my daughter loves the fact the author has included a Shopkin name in her title (apple blossom), I cannot wait to see what Shopkin name you’ll manage to put into the second book in the series – there had better be a second book!

Such a hilarious, unique, refreshingly brilliant, and addictive read which will tickle your taste buds more than Shirley Valentine like her ahems tickled until Friday. I urge you all to go and read this – you will be missing out on a beaut of a book if you don’t!

Buy now from Amazon!

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

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The Royal Wedding is nearly upon us, and what could be more apt than ‘The Wedding Date’ by Zara Stoneley! Even though I have already reviewed this book independently, I jumped at the chance to be involved in the blog tour organised by RaRaResources, by sharing my review for a second time. And, seeing as this book is ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS, I think it deserves being put in the spotlight multiple times.

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One ex.
One wedding.
One little white lie.

When Samantha Jenkins is asked to be the maid of honour at her best friend’s wedding, she couldn’t be happier. There are just three problems…

1) Sam’s ex-boyfriend, Liam, will be the best man.
2) His new girlfriend is pregnant.
3) Sam might have told people she has a new man when she doesn’t (see points 1 and 2 above)
So, Sam does the only sensible thing available to her… and hires a professional to do the job.

Actor Jake Porter is perfect for the role: single, gorgeous and cheap! Sam is certain it’s the perfect solution: no strings, no heartbreak and hopefully no chance of being found out.
But spending a week in the Scottish Highlands with Jake is harder than she imagined. He is the perfect boyfriend, charming, sexy and the hottest thing in a kilt since Outlander! And his dog Harry is quite possibly the cutest things Sam has ever seen!

As the wedding draws closer, Jake plays his part to perfection and everyone believes he is madly in love with Sam. The problem is, Sam’s not sure if Jake is acting anymore…

What does TWG think?

I have to admit that at first, I was a little bit wary about the concept of this book. I mean, we have all seen the film ‘The Wedding Date’ with Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney, right? Plus, having read multiple books with a wedding date at the forefront of its storyline, I couldn’t help but wonder what was going to be different about Zara Stoneley’s interpretation of the theme seeing as it has been done multiple times…

But, after reading ‘The Wedding Date’, I can honestly say that whilst the theme may be familiar, nobody has written it in the way that Zara Stoneley has. Ever. And I don’t think that they will either. There’s writing a story based on a popular theme, and then there’s writing a story based on a popular theme and owning it ten times over. Zara Stoneley is the latter and by golly did she own it!

Samantha has been asked to be the maid of honour at her best friends wedding. The wedding where her ex-boyfriend (the one who dumped her after dipping his wick in new wax before the old wax had even dried) was going to be the best man. Samantha’s knee-jerk reaction is to hide under the covers and ignore the invitation ever arrived, just so that she doesn’t have to come face to face with the man who thinks his derrière doesn’t smell after a bout of diarrhoea. But, because Sam has a conscience and a heart, she is determined to not let her best friend down on her wedding day. With no boyfriend, no date, no man in question, Sam has to think outside the box when it comes to wanting to shove her ex boyfriend inside a box. How? Well, you’d better read the book then, hadn’t you!!

Oh my goodness gracious me! This book!!!! I think I resembled a pig more often than not whilst I was reading Zara Stoneley’s latest offering! The amount of snorting that came out of me really didn’t sound healthy at all, especially when faced with a border collie whose personality is larger than life. Seriously, the dog is a legend and I want his bandana for my own dog!

Now, as a person who finds themselves checking into ‘Zara Stoneley Anonymous’ after each book, I cannot help but think that ‘The Wedding Date’ is her best book EVER. Seriously! The humour was absolutely brilliant, unforced, and totally in keeping with the overall vibe of the storyline. Not only that, the energy throughout the entire story was mind-blowing and highly contagious. So much so, I couldn’t help but feel like I could conquer anything, even if it meant looking like a prat whilst doing it. ‘The Wedding Date’ is Zara Stoneley’s most energetic book yet, and one which kept me with a humongous smile on my face the entire time.

Everything the characters got up to was unique, brilliantly written and full of hilarious one liners which ended up creating vivid (and hilarious) imagery in my mind. One word – horse. When you delve into this book for yourself, remember the word ‘horse’ and you’ll see what I mean!

Whilst I have to admit that the author may have adapted her writing style slightly with ‘The Wedding Date’, I for one am not complaining and think that the slight change has brought more energy and oomph to an already accomplished author. I would LOVE to see these characters back in another story, and I would love to see Harry settle down with a Mrs Harry to find out whether they dress their pups in bandana’s. It has GOT to happen!!

‘The Wedding Date’ blew me away and threw all of my misconceptions out of the window straight away. These bunch of characters are truly fantastic, with personalities you cannot help but gel with. Well, apart from the two characters which are total asshats!!

I want to stand on my soap box with brightly coloured pom poms and shout about this book for the entire world to hear – that is how much I loved this book! Honestly, what a fantastic, high energy, hilarious novel – ‘The Wedding Date’ is my most favourite book of 2018 so far, and even in my ‘top books of all time’ list. I have found my new book boyfriend in ‘Jake’ and nobody is pinching him!!! ‘The Wedding Date’ is the best date I have ever been on, and the one I will remember for a very long time…especially seeing as I will be re-reading this book until I know it word for word. Out-fudging-standing. Zara Stoneley, you legend!!!

Buy: Amazon // iBooks // Waterstones

About the author.

Born in a small village in Staffordshire, Zara Stoneley wanted to be James Herriot, a spy, or an author when she grew up. Writing novels means she can imagine she is all these things, and more! Zara’s bestselling novels include ‘The Holiday Swap’, ‘Summer with the Country Village Vet’, ‘Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage’ and the popular Tippermere series – ‘Stable Mates’, ‘Country Affairs’ and ‘Country Rivals’.
She lives in a Cheshire village with her family, a naughty cockapoo, and a very bossy cat, and loves spending time in sunny Spain.

Where you can find her-

Website // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

#BlogTour! #Review – #AFamilyRecipe by Veronica Henry (@veronica_henry) @orionbooks @Lauren_booksPR

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I am so excited to be hosting day two of the #AFamilyRecipe blog tour! Veronica Henry is one of my all-time favourite authors and it is such an honour to be involved in this blog tour. Huge thanks to the team at OrionBooks for the blog tour invite, and my ARC of the novel. Here is my review:

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What’s the secret ingredient to your happiness?

Laura Griffin is preparing for an empty nest. The thought of Number 11 Lark Hill falling silent – a home usually bustling with noise, people and the fragrant smells of something cooking on the Aga – seems impossible. Laura hopes it will mean more time for herself, and more time with her husband, Dom.

But when an exposed secret shakes their marriage, Laura suddenly feels as though her family is shrinking around her. Feeling lost, she turns to her greatest comfort: her grandmother’s recipe box, a treasured collection dating back to the Second World War. Everyone has always adored Laura’s jams and chutneys, piled their sandwiches high with her pickles . . . Inspired by a bit of the old Blitz spirit, Laura has an idea that gives her a fresh sense of purpose.

Full of fierce determination, Laura starts carving her own path. But even the bravest woman needs the people who love her. And now, they need her in return . . .

What does TWG think?

You know the feelings you get after eating your most favourite meal; contentment, cosy, happiness – I’m sure you know the ones I’m on about, and I’m sure many of you have felt like that in the past. Imagine those feelings for a moment, just so that they come to the forefront of your mind, now imagine reading a book which allowed you to feel those feelings all over again. What would you say to that?

‘A Family Recipe’ made me feel as though I had just eaten my most favourite meal in the entire world. I felt content. Delirious. Pretty much as though I was walking on cloud nine. Yet I also felt devastated because the book had ended and I didn’t want those feelings to disappear. Veronica Henry is an author who never fails to disappoint me and, after reading her previous novel, I genuinely though that she had written her best book yet, then. But now, after reading ‘A Family Recipe’, I’m not so sure.

Why?

Because ladies and gents, THIS book is Veronica Henry’s best book yet as it made me feel things I had never felt before. Set in the family home of Number 11 Lark Hill, ‘A Family Recipe’ switches between the present day and 1942 as the author takes us back to how it all began. I absolutely adored the historical feel to the story as I was able to resonate with the characters a lot more in the present day, having known their back story and how they became who they are today. I found the ‘stepping back in time’ moments rather emotional and severely eye-opening. I won’t go into detail as for why, but trust me when I say that those parts of the book were a little slice of heaven.

In the present day, main character, Laura, has reached a point in her life where uncertainty seems to be her main emotion. Her daughters are off living their lives and the ’empty nest’ feeling couldn’t be more strong. What does she do with her life now? Having not worked for a while, Laura’s options are slimmer than most but, after delving into the family recipe box, Laura finds herself baking an idea in her head.

Of course life isn’t that simple and, despite Laura working out what she could do with her children at university, her life took a dramatic turn. I just wanted to step into the book and give her a big hug when I read what had happened. Veronica Henry wrote that part brilliantly as we were able to see both sides of the story, even though a lot of readers (if you’re anything like me) will forge their own opinion on said events and might refuse to see the situation from both sides. I know at first I did!

‘A Family Recipe’ tickled my taste buds in more ways than I could ever imagine. The strong, addictive theme was an incredible basis for the storyline itself, pulling me further in with every turn of the page. I loved every single word, every single page, and absolutely every little thing about this book! Veronica Henry has delivered an outstanding and thought-provoking novel in such a flawless manner – I really do wish I could bottle the feelings this book gave me as I never want to let them go.

A vibrant, emotive, appetising, and joyous read from the incredibly talented, Veronica Henry. I couldn’t love this book even more if I tried and it is definitely the authors best book yet, and my most favourite book of all time. ‘A Family Recipe’ is everything I could have ever dreamed of for a book, and it has been an incredible honour to read. I cannot recommend this book enough.

‘A Family Recipe’ by Veronica Henry is due to be published on the 17th May and can be pre-ordered now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – Forever at Conwenna Cove by Darcie Boleyn (@darcieboleyn) @canelo_co

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It’s day three of Darcie Boleyn’s blog tour for #ForeverAtConwennaCove and the tour bus stops with me, TWG! Hosting Darcie and her books is always a pleasure, but today this is a very bittersweet post as it is the last book in the Conwenna Cove series. Pass the tissues, this could get emotional! Big thanks to Canelo for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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Following heartbreak, Zoe Russell found a haven in Conwenna Cove. As the owner of the village diner and a volunteer for the local greyhound sanctuary, she’s happy with her peaceful life. Local surfer Nate Bryson plans to leave Conwenna and see the world. He wants to shake off his reputation as a ladies man and start again somewhere new. Before departing, Nate decides to raise funds for the dog rescue home as a way of giving back to the community.

When Nate approaches Zoe to help with the charity event she sees there’s more to him than meets the eye. Nate can’t believe he’s failed to notice the kind and beautiful woman right before him. But can two such different people ever be together, especially if one of them is determined to leave?

What does TWG think?

If you have never read a Darcie Boleyn novel, or one of the books from her ‘Conwenna Cove’ series, you are seriously missing out. Whilst I truly feel that ‘Forever at Conwenna Cove’ is the best book in the series, I am absolutely devastated that the series has now come to an end. How am I going to cope without my dose of the greyhound sanctuary, or the blindsiding details of Conwenna Cove itself? I’m not even joking when I say that it will be very difficult to come to terms with the conclusion of this series and, to be perfectly honest, I don’t think I’m ready to admit defeat on this. I would love to see Zoe and Nate reappear in another story later down the line, I really would.

Zoe has had her own fair share of hardships over the years, so when she claps eyes on local surfer heart throb, Nate, she is instantly reminded of the man who broke her heart into smithereens. Whilst Zoe admits that it isn’t Nate’s fault that he reminds her of her past, she can’t help feeling a little bit nostalgic. Should she re-open her heart to a man who she barely knows, yet has managed to make the Earth move just by looking at her? Or should she remain guarded over her past and never let a man near her again, especially if they’re a surfer dude?

Zoe’s past doesn’t come to light until later on in the book which meant that my mind went into overdrive thinking, ‘omg did she kill someone?’. There is a lot of to-ing and fro-ing between Zoe and Nate, but the way their paths connect was such a joy to read and would make even the most unromantic person turn romantic in a heartbeat. Trust me, I am said person!

‘Forever at Conwenna Cove’ was everything I could have wished for in a storyline and more. I giggled until my sides hurt, I ‘awwwwww’ed’ so many times, my dog thought I was about to give him some love, and I smiled until my cheeks hurt. It is incredible when a book can make you feel happy, cosy and settled, all within a short space of time and honestly, books like that are incredible special. I always knew that Darcie Boleyn was a cut above the rest in terms of her delivery of her storylines and wonderfully crafted characters, but ‘Forever at Conwenna Cove’ proves that this author is a lot more special than I had originally thought.

Whilst I am incredibly sad that this series has come to an end, I now feel complete after being on such a beautiful journey with Darcie Boleyn and her characters. This book is perfection and perfection alone – thanks to Zoe and Nate, I now have faith that the light at the end of the tunnel will turn on.

By far Darcie Boleyn’s best novel yet – beautifully written, inspiring, memorable and definitely one to watch out for. Outstanding.

Buy now!

Author Bio:

Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and
movies, whether ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.

#BlogTour! #Review – #LittleBigMan by Katy Regan (@katyreganwrites) @panmacmillan @MantleBooks @ChablisPoulet

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It gives me great pleasure to welcome Katy Regan to TWG today as I review her latest novel, ‘Little Big Man’ as part of the blog tour. Big thanks to Katie James for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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Meet 10-year-old Zac – a boy on a mission – in Katy Regan’s new novel Little Big Man . . .

You can’t see the truth from the outside, that’s what I’ve worked out.

Ten-year-old Zac has never met his dad, who allegedly did a runner before he was born. But when his mum lets slip that he’s the only man she’s ever loved, Zac turns detective and, roping in his best friend, hatches a plan to find his father and give his mum the happy-ever-after she deserves. What he doesn’t realize, though, is that sometimes people have good reasons for disappearing . . .

Little Big Man is a story about family secrets and fierce, familial love. It’s about growing up and being accepted; grief and lies, and the damage they can do. Most of all though, it’s about a little boy determined to hunt down the truth; a boy who wants to give the Dad he’s never met a second chance to be a father – and his mum a second chance at love.

What does TWG think?

This review is going to be a personal one and, whilst I would usually apologise for that, this time I won’t because it relates so much to the story.

Have you ever wondered what life would be like if people told the truth?
Have you ever wondered what life would be like if, growing up in a single parent family, you instead grew up in a two parent family?

I have. All Zac has ever known is life with his mum, Grandad and Grandma. With his uncle and dad no longer on the scene, Zac can’t really miss what he hasn’t had. Or can he? With Zac at the age where inquisitiveness takes over from logic, all that little boy wants to do is make his mum happy again by trying to reunite his mum with a dad he’s been told that he has never met. What actually happened all those years ago? Where did Zac’s dad go and why will no-one tell him the truth?

I was three years old when my mum walked away from my dad, taking my brother and I with her, growing up with family members who refused to talk about my father and allowing me to believe that I was better off without him. Maybe I was, maybe I wasn’t – I wish I was given the chance to make that decision for myself instead of being fed pieces of information which later turned out to be a bunch of codswallop. I never got to find that out as, due to the lies I was told, I ended up hating my father and the time we spent together over the years was few and far between, with the last ever time I saw him being 2006 when I was 16. I couldn’t tell my family that I wanted to get to know my dad and spend time with him, because every time I did, hatred flew out of their mouths and I only had one side of the story. Unfortunately, I will spend the rest of my life wondering about the truth, wondering if my dad and I would ever have that ‘father daughter relationship’ I see so many others having, as 2 years ago my dad killed himself.

I related to Zac emotionally, keeping everything crossed that he will get the ending in life he so badly craves. I could see that his mum was doing the best that she could, but my heart broke into a thousand pieces when it came to light that Zac was suffering at the hands of some vile people. All I wanted to do was hold Zac and keep him safe from all the harm in his life, he deserved that. He deserved to be happy, but most importantly, he deserved the truth. Did his family really think so little of him if they weren’t prepared to tell him the truth?

Every family has secrets. Every family tells lies. Every family attempts to keep their loved ones safe from harm, even if it means doing the wrong thing. For a ten year old boy, Zac has such a wise head on young shoulders, taking the cards he had been dealt into his own hands to try to find out what happened, even if it meant upsetting the people who had been there for him his entire life.

‘Little Big Man’ is a gem just waiting to be discovered. A Pandora’s box of guilt, shame, secrets and lies, wrapped up in love, second chances, truths and strength. This is a book which just kept on giving, breaking my heart one moment, whilst sticking it back together with love the next. A story which brought my own hardship to light, yet allowing me to resonate with the main character on such a deep and memorable level. A story which highlighted the emotional sides to families and friendships, yet brought home the true values of those as well.

‘Little Big Man’ is a beautifully written, enchanting, and touching novel which seems to have found a permanent place in my heart. Katy Regan is an author with such majestic, literary skills that made me feel as though I was soaring through the sky on a cloud of hope. I am actually crying writing this review as it really has touched me very deeply. Whilst I can wish that no-one else will go through what Zac went through, I know deep down that he won’t be the first, nor will he be the last, yet his story will be imprinted in my mind, and my heart, for eternity.

This is a book that needs as much love given to it as it gives out to its readers. Love it, embrace it, cherish it and hold ‘Little Big Man’ close to your heart for it deserves it. It deserves it a lot.

Buy now!

#Review – The Wedding Date by Zara Stoneley (@ZaraStoneley) @HarperImpulse @LBAamanda

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One ex.

One wedding.
One little white lie.

When Samantha Jenkins is asked to be the maid of honour at her best friend’s wedding, she couldn’t be happier. There are just three problems…

1) Sam’s ex-boyfriend, Liam, will be the best man.
2) His new girlfriend is pregnant.
3) Sam might have told people she has a new man when she doesn’t (see points 1 and 2 above)

So, Sam does the only sensible thing available to her… and hires a professional to do the job.

Actor Jake Porter is perfect for the role: single, gorgeous and cheap! Sam is certain it’s the perfect solution: no strings, no heartbreak and hopefully no chance of being found out.

But spending a week in the Scottish Highlands with Jake is harder than she imagined. He is the perfect boyfriend, charming, sexy and the hottest thing in a kilt since Outlander! And his dog Harry is quite possibly the cutest things Sam has ever seen!

As the wedding draws closer, Jake plays his part to perfection and everyone believes he is madly in love with Sam. The problem is, Sam’s not sure if Jake is acting anymore…

What does TWG think?

I have to admit that at first, I was a little bit wary about the concept of this book. I mean,  we have all seen the film ‘The Wedding Date’ with Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney, right? Plus, having read multiple books with a wedding date at the forefront of its storyline, I couldn’t help but wonder what was going to be different about Zara Stoneley’s interpretation of the theme seeing as it has been done multiple times…

But, after reading ‘The Wedding Date’, I can honestly say that whilst the theme may be familiar, nobody has written it in the way that Zara Stoneley has. Ever. And I don’t think that they will either. There’s writing a story based on a popular theme, and then there’s writing a story based on a popular theme and owning it ten times over. Zara Stoneley is the latter and by golly did she own it!

Samantha has been asked to be the maid of honour at her best friends wedding. The wedding where her ex-boyfriend (the one who dumped her after dipping his wick in new wax before the old wax had even dried) was going to be the best man. Samantha’s knee-jerk reaction is to hide under the covers and ignore the invitation ever arrived, just so that she doesn’t have to come face to face with the man who thinks his derrière doesn’t smell after a bout of diarrhoea. But, because Sam has a conscience and a heart, she is determined to not let her best friend down on her wedding day. With no boyfriend, no date, no man in question, Sam has to think outside the box when it comes to wanting to shove her ex boyfriend inside a box. How? Well, you’d better read the book then, hadn’t you!!

Oh my goodness gracious me! This book!!!! I think I resembled a pig more often than not whilst I was reading Zara Stoneley’s latest offering! The amount of snorting that came out of me really didn’t sound healthy at all, especially when faced with a border collie whose personality is larger than life. Seriously, the dog is a legend and I want his bandana for my own dog!

Now, as a person who finds themselves checking into ‘Zara Stoneley Anonymous’ after each book, I cannot help but think that ‘The Wedding Date’ is her best book EVER. Seriously! The humour was absolutely brilliant, unforced, and totally in keeping with the overall vibe of the storyline. Not only that, the energy throughout the entire story was mind-blowing and highly contagious. So much so, I couldn’t help but feel like I could conquer anything, even if it meant looking like a prat whilst doing it. ‘The Wedding Date’ is Zara Stoneley’s most energetic book yet, and one which kept me with a humongous smile on my face the entire time.

Everything the characters got up to was unique, brilliantly written and full of hilarious one liners which ended up creating vivid (and hilarious) imagery in my mind. One word – horse. When you delve into this book for yourself, remember the word ‘horse’ and you’ll see what I mean!

Whilst I have to admit that the author may have adapted her writing style slightly with ‘The Wedding Date’, I for one am not complaining and think that the slight change has brought more energy and oomph to an already accomplished author. I would LOVE to see these characters back in another story, and I would love to see Harry settle down with a Mrs Harry to find out whether they dress their pups in bandana’s. It has GOT to happen!!

‘The Wedding Date’ blew me away and threw all of my misconceptions out of the window straight away. These bunch of characters are truly fantastic, with personalities you cannot help but gel with. Well, apart from the two characters which are total asshats!!

I want to stand on my soap box with brightly coloured pom poms and shout about this book for the entire world to hear – that is how much I loved this book! Honestly, what a fantastic, high energy, hilarious novel – ‘The Wedding Date’ is my most favourite book of 2018 so far, and even in my ‘top books of all time’ list. I have found my new book boyfriend in ‘Jake’ and nobody is pinching him!!! ‘The Wedding Date’ is the best date I have ever been on, and the one I will remember for a very long time…especially seeing as I will be re-reading this book until I know it word for word. Out-fudging-standing. Zara Stoneley, you legend!!!

‘The Wedding Date’ is due to be published on the 20th April but it can be pre-ordered now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – The Doll House by @Phoebe_A_Morgan @HQDigitalUK @HelenaSheffield

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I am beyond thrilled to be hosting day three of Phoebe Morgan’s blog tour for her debut novel, ‘The Doll House’, which was published on the 14th September by HQDigitalUK! Huge thanks to Helena Sheffield for personally selecting me to be involved in Phoebe’s blog tour, it is such an honour! I am delighted to share my review with you today, as well as a guest post from the lovely lady herself, Phoebe Morgan. Enjoy!!

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You never know who’s watching…

Corinne’s life might look perfect on the outside, but after three failed IVF attempts it’s her last chance to have a baby. And when she finds a tiny part of a doll house outside her flat, it feels as if it’s a sign.

But as more pieces begin to turn up, Corinne realises that they are far too familiar. Someone knows about the miniature rocking horse and the little doll with its red velvet dress. Someone has been inside her house…

How does the stranger know so much about her life? How long have they been watching? And what are they waiting for…?

A gripping debut psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming. Perfect for fans of I See You and The Widow.

What does TWG think?

You know when you REALLLYYYYYYYY want to read a book, but you leave it until the last-minute to finally read it just so you could savour every single detail, hoping it would be as good as you had envisioned, only to then read it in a few hours? Sound familiar? That was exactly what happened with Phoebe Morgan’s debut novel. No joke. I was sooooooo eager to grab a copy of the book so that I could finally read it, when what I actually did was leave it as long as possible because I wanted to savour the ‘first time reading a book’ for as long as humanly possible. If you call a couple of hours as long as possible then I did great!

Seriously folks, what a book!!!!!! I feel like crying because I am so jealous of everyone who gets to read it for the first time! How the hell is this a debut novel? Where has Phoebe Morgan been all my life? Why doesn’t she have her second book out already? WHEN CAN I READ MORE?! -wails-. I have never, EVER read a book like this one before and, if I’m perfectly honest, it’s going to take a lot to beat!

I’m not even going to outline my thoughts of the storyline in this review because I can’t without letting something slip. I may represent a female dog sometimes, but I’m not mean enough to write spoilers!

However, what I will say about the storyline is how gritty and complex it is. The amount of characters involved in the storyline is minimal, yet I still had absolutely no idea who was involved in what until the storyline got to that point. To be honest, I really don’t think that having minimal characters in a storyline is a bad thing. Yes the storyline needs to be extremely tight due to the lack of bodies to point the finger at, but in my opinion, if an author can write such a flawless storyline with a select few characters whilst also leaving me guessing, I can’t really see a reason to complain. Can you?

I just cannot believe how brilliant this book is! So many red herrings, wrong turns and questionable circumstances; I genuinely was on the edge of my seat with my eyes glued to the words on the page, trying to work out what on Earth everything meant. What was going to happen next. During the vital last chapters of the book, my dog selfishly decided he needed to have his midnight snack in the garden and, seeing as he can’t open the door for himself, I had to stop reading this book and let him out (there’s a point to this btw). What I didn’t expect was to walk into the garden, hear high-pitched wailing and then jump out of my skin as though there was someone behind me.

Note: DON’T ADULT WHEN YOU’RE READING THIS BOOK, YOU’LL END UP THINKING THE GARDEN GNOME IS ABOUT TO GET YOU. Or in my case, a daddy-long-legs and the pup’s tail. I know, I know….

I fluffing loved every single thing about this book! The pace was intense. The overall storyline was laced with so many unanswered questions. Each character seemed to have a question mark looming over their head from the get go, which meant that I ended up thinking everyone was guilty. The storyline was addictive. Gritty. Surreal. Shocking…everything you could want from a book.

Phoebe Morgan certainly is one to watch for the near future. Her writing style is unique and flawlessly presented, I really do believe that this author is going to spoil us with many more phenomenal books.

‘The Doll House’, ladies and gents, is EXACTLY how a psychological thriller should be written, and it is EXACTLY what the book world has been after without even knowing it.

2017 seems to be an exceptionally strong year where books are concerned, but I can safely say that when I write my ‘Top Books of 2017’ list at the end of the year, Phoebe Morgan’s ‘The Doll House’ will be flying high near the top, without a doubt.

Huge thanks to Phoebe Morgan and HQDigitalUK.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Before you go, I’ll leave you with a guest post from Phoebe Morgan, about how she chose which genre to write for!

What drew you to this genre?

My book actually had an interesting development and changed quite a bit through various drafts to the finished version that it is now – a process fuelled by a lot of coffee and late nights. My wonderful agent Camilla Wray was invaluable with this – she pulled out the darker suspense elements of the novel and helped me shape it into what it is today. I’d started off wanting to write about sisters – I don’t have a sister, I have two brothers – so I find that sisterly connection fascinating. I think there’s more opportunities for jealousy between sisters, because they’re more likely to have shared experiences, and I wanted to explore that with The Doll House.

The psychological thriller is a genre that has been booming for a while now, and it’s what I primarily love reading too so it made sense to write in that field. I knew I wanted to explore the idea of family and the secrets that lie within that nuclear unit, and I also wanted to make the reader think about memory. I think often our childhood memories can get distorted, and when we look back with new information we realise that things were maybe not quite as they seemed. That was the central point for starting this novel.
In my day job as an editor, I’m always watching market trends – checking the Amazon top 100 to see what people are reading, reading The Bookseller to hear about new acquisitions from other publishers (basically scouting out the competition!)

The psychological suspense genre is one that despite everyone’s initial scepticism has gone on to prove itself as a genre that just keeps on giving; there is still an appetite for these books and it’s all about pushing the boundaries of your novel to see if you can find a fresh take on the genre and surprise readers with something new. It is a popular
genre, but I think it’s popular for a reason and there’s room enough for everyone – as long as there are readers, that is! With The Doll House, I decided to make my central characters as likeable as possible – so that the reader is on their side when an external threat comes into play. The twist, though, is that the threat ends up being not quite as external as you’re led to believe – and the book really plays with those ideas of home, family and safety, which are not always what they seem…

#BlogTour! #Review – Meet Me at the Lighthouse by @MaryJayneBaker @HarperImpulse

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‘One of my top books of 2017… side-splittingly hilarious’ The Writing Garnet

’The day I turned 28, I bought a lighthouse and met the love of my life’

Bobbie Hannigan’s life in a cottage by the sea with her dog and her twin sister is perfectly fine … until she decides the logical thing is to buy a lighthouse and open a music venue with Ross Mason, the first boy she ever kissed.

Bobbie tries to be professional with Ross, but the happily-ever-after they’re working toward is too good to resist. That is until someone from his past crawls back to cause trouble. Can Bobbie look past the secrets Ross has been keeping from her? Or will the boy, the lighthouse, and the dream all slip away?

Escape to the Yorkshire coast this summer with this laugh out loud romantic comedy from Mary Jayne Baker!

What does TWG think?

FINALLY!!!!! I have been waiting AGES for Mary Jayne Baker’s new book to come out, and no, not just because I’m quoted on the cover. Although, that does help, obviously!

‘Meet Me at the Lighthouse’ is pure genius from start to finish. Not a page went by where I wasn’t snorting like pig, or wiping the tears off my face with the cuff of my sleeve. Yes folks, I could NOT stop laughing. You know how it goes when someone’s laugh is funnier than the joke itself? Well my laugh it pretty hilarious, but even MJB managed to blow that out of the water with her genius sense of humour.

The moment Bobbie Hannigan came face to face with the boy she first kissed, Ross, I didn’t know whether to sing ‘THIS SEX IS ON FIRE’ or ‘LET’S GET IT ON’. Seriously, the chemistry that they both had, was sizzling. I adore the fact that Mary Jayne Baker writes kick ass heroines, aka; ones that can stand on their own two feet without pining for a lovestick. There are so many books out there where the leading lady ends up resembling a red slush puppy, but MJB ensures her leading ladies are independent women with bucketfuls of sass.

This entire book is just unique and hilarious, right from page one. I mean, take the lighthouse for example; it plays a big part in the storyline and the author has incorporated it absolutely brilliantly, and in such a way that will get everyone talking. Well, or they might be looking at their freddo’s feeling as though they have been ripped off (what’s new there then!)!

If you’re already a fan of Mary Jayne Baker’s novels, you will know that she is able to get her readers hot under the collar in a matter of seconds; Meet Me at the Lighthouse is no exception! There are some rather sexy scenes in the storyline but they’re not written distastefully in the slightest. Put it this way, if the author can write a love scene with the correct terminology of a female’s anatomy, you’re on to a winner! What also helps, is that the characters involved in the love scene have incredible chemistry. It isn’t the cringey type of chemistry when there’s stroking of arms and gazing in each others eyes…all because the man pulled out your chair for you. No, the characters involved have the full shebang.

I could sit here and say how much I loved each individual character, but I can’t as it would spoil it for you. All I will say on the character front is that there are some rather memorable (and questionable) characters throughout the entire storyline, and they are all fabulous in their own ways.

For me, ‘Meet Me at the Lighthouse’ has everything I could ever want in a book. It has side-splitting humour, kick ass characters, a flawless plot, unique situations, and wit that is out of this world. Mary Jayne Baker is an author that just keeps on getting better and better, as she writes tales that are unique and memorable instead of ones that follow the crowd. The authors humour is unbelievable, it’s absolutely brilliant! I genuinely don’t think that I will ever stop laughing at her. Sorry, WITH her.

‘Meet Me at the Lighthouse’ made my sides hurt, my collar damp, as well as making me grin from ear to ear. This book is brilliant. It’s unique. It’s side-splittingly hilarious. It’s flawless. Mary Jayne Baker is an absolute genius. I absolutely adored this book; it truly is one of my top books of 2017 without a doubt. I cannot wait to read it over, and over, and over again. Hurry up with your new book please!!

Thanks so much to the author and HarperImpulse.

BUY NOW!!!

MJB

#Review – Hot Mess by Lucy Vine (@Lecv) @orionbooks @ElaineEgan_ #HotMess

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Hot Mess [n.] – someone attractive, who is often in disarray.

Have you ever shown up to Sunday brunch still smelling of Saturday night?
Chosen bed, Netflix and pizza over human contact?
Stayed in your mould-ridden flat because it’s cheap?

Meet your spirit animal, Ellie Knight.
Her life isn’t turning out exactly as she planned.
She hates her job, her friends are coupling up and settling down, and her flatmates are just plain weird.

Some people might say she’s a hot mess but who really has their sh*t together anyway? For fans of Fleabag and Girls, this is a fresh and funny coming-of-age story with a single-girl heroine that will speak to millennials everywhere.

What does TWG think?

OHMYGOD where has this book been all my life?!?! -puts back of hand to forehead dramatically-. I am over the moon that an author has taken one look at the ‘lovey dove sticking tongue down neck slurping bae’ type love stories, cleared them away like a totes dramatic clearing the desk scene in a Hollywood movie, and been all ‘just…no, time to get realistic!!’. Well, TECHNICALLY the author may not have done that, but in my mind she has (just to clarify before I get spanked).

I will reiterate; WHERE HAS THIS BOOK BEEN ALL MY LIFE?! Choosing to be single is the quickest way to get a bucket load of dirty looks, people don’t expect you to like your own company! Some folk just want to be selfish, get laid when they choose to and not when they get poked in the back with a morning love stick. Tell me, why is that so hard to believe?

Well ladies, times are about to change thanks to Lucy Vine and #HotMess! First of all let me just give you a little tip; don’t have a drink in your hand at the start of this book. Why? Because, (and trust me on this), you will no doubt laugh your booty off, end up spilling your drink onto your lap and watch it settle in the most unfortunate place. Yes,  you will look like you’ve done a little wee wee in your pants. Oh and yes, the first chapter (and the rest of the book tbh) is absolutely hilarious. I don’t mean ‘HAHA that’s funny’, I’m meaning full on snorting, tears streaming down your face, as well as realising that you have actual stomach muscles. It took me a while to stop laughing after that first chapter, even whilst cleaning up my fake piddle.

Ellie has had a few disastrous dates (understatement!). What makes it worse is how she doesn’t even WANT to be on the dating scene, but thanks to her best friends and the constant stream of pitying looks from all and sundry, she meets a few guys just to see if they can change her mind. If you hadn’t guessed it already, Ellie.Likes.Being.Single.
She doesn’t want to be tied down, but nobody seems to get that!

#HotMess is such a relatable read. Ellie’s antics will have readers covering their faces with embarrassment, laughing out loud, nodding in agreement, as well-being Ellie’s biggest cheerleaders. Not only that, the book contains several characters whose personalities are larger than life, and who are incredible to read about. Two words; Ellie’s dad. (Go and buy the book so you can find out what I’m on about!)

I absolutely loved everything about #HotMess! The humour was AMAZING. The storyline, in my opinion, is exactly what the book world has been missing. The relatable factor went above and beyond my expectations. The force of the girl-power was insane – fantastically written. Lucy Vine’s novel is like the modern-day Sex and the City, except the fact that there is only one woman and not four. See, modern day!!

If you’re the type of girl who would prefer to appear on Gladiators than Blind Date, #HotMess is your guardian angel. If you’re the type of girl who is all for the white picket fences, couple double denim, and pet names for each others private parts, then you’re going to see the side of the #singleladies in all its glory!

Laugh out loud hilarity from page one, through to page 304. #HotMess is filthy, fun, and effing fabulous, there is nothing about Lucy Vine’s book that I didn’t like. Honestly, this book is outstanding, I’m having withdrawal symptoms already. Roll on the next book from Lucy Vine, I want her as my new BFF! OHMGZ please -begs-.

Absolutely phenomenal. Hot Mess is the easiest 5 stars I have even given a book, even though it deserves the whole universe of stars!

One last thing, Hot Mess is 100% my MOST FAVOURITE BOOK EVERRRRRRR!!!!!
Go buy it, now!!!!!!

Buy right now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – The Gin Shack by Catherine Miller (@katylittlelady) @HQDigitalUK

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As most of you are aware (well, if you’ve been a fan of TWG since the beginning), I am a huge fan of Catherine Miller’s work. Her two previous novels are such thought-provoking, beautiful reads which still resonate with me to this day. When Catherine Miller personally asked me to be involved with the blog tour for her new book, The Gin Shack, I was completely taken aback. Not only that, the author wanted little ol’ me to kick off her blog tour….ON her publication day, what an incredible honour! Thank you Ms.Miller for giving me the honour of supporting you and your brand new book today.

Let me kick off this tour by wishing Catherine Miller a truly amazing HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!

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You’re never too old to try something new!

When octogenarian Olive Turner is persuaded by her son to move into a retirement home, she congratulates herself on finding the secret to an easy life: no washing up, cooking or cleaning. But Olive isn’t one for mindless bingo with her fellow residents, and before the first day is over she’s already hatching a plan to escape back to her beloved beach hut and indulge in her secret passion for a very good gin & tonic.

Before long Olive’s secret is out and turning into something wonderful and new. Only a select few are invited, but word spreads quickly about the weekly meetings of The Gin Shack Club. Soon everybody on the beach wants to become a gin connoisseur and join Olive on her journey to never being forced to grow older than you feel.

A journey of friendship, defiance and a quest for the perfect G&T.

What does TWG think?

Finding out that Catherine Miller’s third novel was going to be about gin, really did surprise me; especially as her previous two novels had quite a serious topic for the storyline. I was aware that the author wanted to try something new, but, as someone who isn’t allowed to drink alcohol, I wasn’t sure what to make of the concept.

However…..

It  didn’t matter whether I drank alcohol, liked alcohol, didn’t like alcohol, or fancied dressing up as a llama whilst necking several tequila, the storyline of ‘The Gin Shack’ was absolutely brilliant! To be honest, the entire novel was cleverly written – it blew any umm-ing and ahh-ing of out of the water.

Olive has reached a time in her life where her mind thinks she’s 20, but her body tells her that she’s eighty-wonderful. Unfortunately, Olive’s son is concerned about leaving her sharp mind and her weakening body alone to care for herself. As far as Olive is concerned, moving into a care home is going to be bliss; no cooking!! There is one major downside to that move; no free access to her beach hut…..

I fell in love with Olive’s character straight away, whilst at the same time disliking her son’s character. He annoyed me big time! As for Olive, I’m surprised her beach hut was able to accommodate her personality, it’s larger than life! I adored her cheeky and free-spirited side, aka the ‘not giving a f….’ side, she couldn’t give two hoots whether people liked what she got up to, all that mattered was whether Olive was happy. What exactly is wrong with that?

There is so much more to Catherine Miller’s latest novel than just gin, and it’s very moving.
There were times throughout the storyline where I felt incredibly sorry for Olive. All she wanted to do was keep her hobbies, it wasn’t really asking for much yet for Olive it was as though she had lost part of her. Aside from the fact that this book is mostly about gin, the storyline does have a back story to it and most of the characters are more than what they seem. You’ll find out when you read it!

I wish I could sit here and explain my views a little better, but if I did that I wouldn’t be too popular due to spoilers. Soooo it means that this review is quite tricky to write. Apologies!

Olive is the sort of person that everyone should have in their lives; she has sparkle, confidence, a big heart, as well as a touching back story which will no doubt make you have ‘something in your eye’. I love her to pieces.

In my eyes, Catherine Miller has done it yet again! She has written such a memorable, heart-warming, soul-searching, addictive and magical novel which warmed my body from the tips of my toes, to the top of my head. Catherine Miller’s enticing words made me giggle, sigh, and for the first time ever, make me feel as though I was ‘one of the gang’ (even though I don’t drink). To an outsider, a Gin Shack may seem to be a waste of time or pointless. But, to Olive, her friends, and now the readers of Miller’s brand new book, ‘The Gin Shack’ is THE book to read and losing yourself in. Yes it’s funny at times. Yes it’s bonkers at times. Yes there is copious amounts of gin. But you know what? I have never, ever felt more at home in a storyline as I have with Catherine Miller’s.

Such a fantastic, fun, and moving novel, perfect for reminding you of what is TRULY important in life (alongside gin). Out-gin-standing. The Gin Shack is my top hug in a book, book ever.

Catherine Miller is definitely an author to watch in 2017; phenomenal work as always.

Huge thanks to HQ Digital UK & Catherine Miller!

Buy ‘The Gin Shack’ by Catherine Miller, NOW!

This is only day ONE of the tour don’t forget, so make sure you follow the other folk on Catherine Miller’s tour! Apparently there is a World Gin Day? Who knew!!

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