#BlogBlitz! #Review – A Holiday to Remember by Susanne O’Leary (@susl) @Bookouture

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The next destination on the ‘A Holiday to Remember’ blog tour is TWG! Please have your passports and documentation ready for boarding! Big thank you to Bookouture for the invite to this world class destination, and for the upgrade to first class via the ARC. Here is my review, compliments of Captain TWG:

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A side-splittingly funny summer read about two best friends who decide to take a chance and travel the world, finding themselves – and finding love – along the way!

Until a few weeks ago, Leanne was a thirty-something who lived with her mother. And yes, she still slept under her Barbie bedspread.

Until recently, Maddy was married to a man whose golf club got more action than she did.

But not anymore.

Leanne and Maddy (and their miniature poodle Bridget) have packed their suitcases and bid goodbye to their dreary lives for the summer. After winding along Italy’s sun-dappled Adriatic Coast in a shiny red convertible, sailing around Croatia’s gorgeous Dalmatian Islands awaits them.

Days splashing around in sparkling turquoise waters and wine-fuelled nights under the stars are every girl’s dream. But with a devilishly handsome Italian on board, old flames to get over and holiday flings to contend with, there’s plenty of drama ahoy. One thing’s for certain, Leanne and Maddy’s trip promises to be a holiday to remember…

What does TWG think?

‘A Holiday to Remember’ is the long awaited sequel to Susanne O’Leary’s previous novel, ‘The Road Trip’, so I really do recommend reading the first book before you delve into this one. There is a lot of backstory to both Maddy and Leanne, and I feel that if you don’t have all of that then the rest of the story might not be appreciated in the way the author intended. Of course, that is just my opinion so if you’re not the type of person to do things in order, crack on with this book first! Both books are hilarious reads so you won’t be disappointed at all. Well, I don’t think so.

Maddy and Leanne are on the next part of their adventure as they take to the seas to appreciate the coast of Italy and Croatia in all of its glory. However, their holiday isn’t all sun, sea and……sexual endeavours, regardless of how much Leanne would want that to happen, especially when the communication between two of Leanne’s new found friends hits a wall and leaves Leanne wondering why on Earth she bothers with the opposite sex.

‘A Holiday to Remember’ is yet another fun-filled novel from Susanne O’Leary. I loved how we were able to pick back up with the characters as though we had only said good night, instead of seeming like the individual novel that it actually is. Very seamless – brilliant.

Maddy and Leanne’s endeavours had me laughing out loud and rolling my eyes more times than I care to admit, however, whilst the humour is brilliant, I felt that the previous novel was a little bit more funnier than ‘A Holiday to Remember’ and that is probably because there are a lot deeper situations going on this time round. I’m not saying that that is a bad thing by the way as I thought the intense elements were a brilliant addition to the author’s fantastic humour. There was a good balance, making me still feel as though I was reading a light-hearted book even when there were times I was reading anything but.

I would love to see Maddy and Leanne back again, as well as Bridget! Such a fun trio to read about, I don’t think I would ever get bored with their escapades!

Buy now!

About the author.

Susanne O’Leary is the bestselling author of fifteen novels, mainly in the romantic fiction genre. She has also written three crime novels and two in the historical fiction genre. She has been the wife of a diplomat (still is), a fitness teacher and a translator. She now writes full-time from either of two locations, a ramshackle house in County Tipperary, Ireland or a little cottage overlooking the Atlantic in Dingle, County Kerry. When she is not scaling the mountains of said counties (including MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, featured in Full Irish), or keeping fit in the local gym, she keeps writing, producing a book every six months.

Visit Susanne at her website or her blog. Find her on Facebook and on Twitter.

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#BlogTour! #Review – Strangers On A Bridge by Louise Mangos (@LouiseMangos) @HQDigitalUK

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Second blog tour for HQ today, this time I have the pleasure of closing the blog tour for Louise Mangos and ‘Strangers On A Bridge’. Big thanks to the team at HQ for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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She should never have saved him.

When Alice Reed goes on her regular morning jog in the peaceful Swiss Alps, she doesn’t expect to save a man from suicide. But she does. And it is her first mistake.

Adamant they have an instant connection, Manfred’s charming exterior grows darker and his obsession with Alice grows stronger.

In a country far from home, where the police don’t believe her, the locals don’t trust her and even her husband questions the truth about Manfred, Alice has nowhere to turn.

To what lengths will Alice go to protect herself and her family?

What does TWG think?

I really didn’t know what to think of the storyline at first. My opinion about Alice’s actions was surrounded by a big question mark as, whilst I thought it was admirable, I couldn’t help but wonder why she did it. Maybe it was her job which gave her the nudge to take that step towards a stranger? Maybe it was her own conscience which enable her to put one foot in front of the other towards a stranger? I don’t know. Personally, the concept of suicide is extremely cut throat due to my own dad committing suicide two years ago, and the fact that someone got saved from that was pretty surreal.  But honestly, how many of us would do that for a stranger? Our first instincts may be to say a big, fat yes, but would that outcome change if we were faced with that choice one day whilst we were minding our own business?

I expected the stranger’s reaction to be what it was, and I also had an inkling that they thought they were going to find their new BFF in Alice. However, what I didn’t foresee was the extent of the stranger’s actions – they seemed to go from nought to one hundred in the blink of an eye! I was very impressed by the intricate details that were woven flawlessly into the storyline, there were times where I even found myself thinking ‘errrrrrr come again?’. Unfortunately the stranger did in fact, come again, but the longer he had Alice in sight, the more determined the stranger seemed to become.

I probably shouldn’t say this, but the stranger’s personality intrigued me greatly as I just wanted to delve into his psyche to find out the root of his actions, that’s even if he knew them himself.

The more the story progressed, the more I became accustom to the rollercoaster ride that was Alice’s life. She became so…what’s the word…obsessed with the stranger, her logical thinking was well and truly clouded. Did she bring on the family rift herself? Or did she end up unknowingly becoming the person she tries to stop her clients from becoming?

I loved the psychological aspect to ‘Strangers On The Bridge’ as it is a subject that greatly interests me, so I was very engrossed in how the author managed to make that theme the forefront of her storyline as though she woke up one day and decided to have a blueberry muffin instead of a chocolate one. It was made out not to be a big deal, even though it most definitely WAS a big deal and for that, Louise Mangos’ goes up in my estimations dramatically.

Overall I thought that ‘Strangers On A Bridge’ was a gritty, engaging, and psychologically addictive debut novel, which was written in a way that made me sit up and take notice. Very, very promising – I am rather intrigued to see what Louise Mangos’ brings out next!

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – In Bloom by C.J.Skuse (@CJSkuse) @HQStories

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It may be raining in places but, thanks to C.J.Skuse, something is definitely ‘In Bloom’! Maybe a few sweet pea’s or something, I don’t know! Anyway, I am delighted to be reviewing ‘In Bloom’ as part of the blog tour organised by HQStories. Big thanks to the team for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

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If only they knew the real truth. It should be my face on those front pages. My headlines. I did those things, not him. I just want to stand on that doorstep and scream it: IT WAS ME. ME. ME. ME. ME!

Rhiannon Lewis has successfully fooled the world and framed her cheating fiancé Craig for the depraved and bloody killing spree she committed. She should be ecstatic that she’s free.

Except for one small problem. She’s pregnant with her ex lover’s child. The ex-lover she only recently chopped up and buried in her in-laws garden. And as much as Rhiannon wants to continue making her way through her kill lists, a small voice inside is trying to make her stop.

But can a killer’s urges ever really be curbed?

What does TWG think?

Don’t shout at me, but I read ‘In Bloom’ without reading the prequel to this, ‘Sweetpea’. I know, I know – I’m bad!  Thankfully I was able to read ‘In Bloom’ perfectly fine without reading the previous novel, however, I would recommend reading ‘Sweetpea’ as there were references to the flower in this book and I had no idea how or why Rhiannon was associated to them.

Having heard so much about ‘Sweetpea’, I was so excited to delve into C.J.Skuse’s latest novel. I didn’t really have any expectations in mind before I started reading, but even if I did, they would have been completely blown out of the water anyway!

I couldn’t help laughing out loud throughout the entire novel, and I couldn’t help feeling quite bad about my laughter considering the nature of the storyline! Please note – I wasn’t laughing at the theme’s, I was laughing at how Rhiannon was portrayed, her actions, as well as the stuff that flew out of her mouth. I would say that I have found a new favourite line, but I think that may be a spoiler. It does contain several ‘fs’, so I will leave it up to you to find that line in the book yourself. Put it this way, I was glad I put my cup of tea down before I turned the page otherwise I would have spat it out laughing!

‘In Bloom’ is blooming hilarious and it really shouldn’t be, but it is, and it works! Don’t get me wrong, the antics of several of the characters was very cut throat, gruesome, and rather, ermm……twisted, but the way in which C.J.Skuse delivered those actions in such a hilariously dark, gritty and fiery manner, made me feel less guilty for laughing at axe’s and things….

Like I said above, I had no expectations regarding ‘In Bloom’ at all. I had a feeling that I would need to read the book with an open mind after what I had seen on social media, so I did and, because of that, I was able to appreciate the storyline in its entirety without any preconceptions of the contents.

There were moments whilst reading this novel where I felt like I shouldn’t be liking it as it is everything that I’m not, however, that is also the reason why I really did enjoy ‘In Bloom’ as it IS unique. It IS memorable. It IS one of those books that you will either love or hate, bit like marmite and seeing as I love marmite, I am so thrilled that I ended up loving this book.

‘In Bloom’ is a novel that, if you had given it to me several years back, I would have said that it was completely out of my comfort zone. But now? I can honestly say that this is an outrageously hilarious, twisted, dark, shocking novel which left my sides aching with laughter and my mind going ‘what the begonia did I just read?!’.

I have everything crossed that Rhiannon comes back again as I have a feeling that her story is far from over!! What a book!

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – The Wedding Shop on Wexley St. by Rachel Dove (@writerdove) @HQDigitalUK @Brookcottagebks

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It gives me great pleasure to be kicking off the blog tour for ‘The Wedding Shop on Wexley St.’ by Rachel Dove! Many thanks to BrookCottageBooks for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:


Maria is ready to say ‘yes’ to the dress!

As owner of Happy Ever After, Maria Mallory is Westfield’s resident wedding planner,
spending her days making dreams come true for future brides.

Maria even has her own perfect day planned out too, she just needs to find the right man. So
when she falls in love with local celeb Darcy Burgess she can’t believe her luck – it was
finally her turn for her Happy Ever After. Or so she thought.

Jilted at the altar, Maria can’t believe that her fairytale ending hasn’t come true. She’s ready to
give up on love once and for all. But little does she know that once you stop looking for it,
love has a way of surprising you…

What does TWG think?

I may not be the marrying kind, but I can’t help loving books which revolve around wedding planners, bridal shops, wedding dresses etc. Weird, I know. ‘Say Yes To The Dress’ is even one of top programs that i’m most likely to binge watch!

Maria Mallory is the local wedding planner. A wedding planner who is about to say ‘I Do’ to the man of her dreams – who wouldn’t be excited about that? Getting married is all Maria has ever wanted but, unfortunately for her, her dream of becoming a ‘Mrs’ falls apart at the last hurdle. Men. Honestly. Darcy Burgess couldn’t be further from a ‘Mark Darcy’ if he tried!

Whilst Maria attempts to lick her wounds and work at the same time, ensuring that the wedding side of her business doesn’t fall flat on its face due to her being a jilted bride, Darcy seems to have come to his senses by removing himself from his mothers claws. Snigger.

Too little too late! What a dweeb!!!! Obviously I thought a lot stronger, I mean who wouldn’t? How can someone who claims to be madly in love with another person, then leave them hanging on what should have been one of the best days of their lives, only to then reappear when it suits them? A wombling cockerel, that’s who. A muffweed. A….you get the picture.

I loved how the story progressed, with Maria’s best friend, Cassie, being an absolute STAR of a character to read. Omg I haven’t laughed that much in ages! She honestly could not give a monkeys yet her heart was the size of a football pitch. People like that are extremely rare. Even Cassie got a piece of the action as well, even though the main portion of the storyline centred around Maria’s situation.

I also loved how relatable and real all of the characters were. Maria got herself into a sticky situation (pardon the pun), and whilst I feel that she should have been honest and put it out there at the beginning, I can see why she did what she did. To be honest, I don’t think anyone can judge Maria for what she did or what she didn’t do, as there were far worse decisions being made by some of the other characters in the book. Not naming any names…

Cassie’s character was incredibly relatable. She openly admitted that her outlook on relationships was rather dated, with her fear of commitment ruining things before they had even begun. I am so pleased that Rachel Dove chose to put Cassie at the centre…ish, of the storyline as I was able to see a completely different side to her.

‘The Wedding Shop on Wexley St’ surprised me on more than one level; I even found myself getting involved in the romance between the characters (I’m not the romantic type, honestly). I adored the humour that was laced throughout the storyline from start to finish, and I absolutely adored the vibe of the overall novel. Rachel Dove made her characters, especially Maria, incredibly strong, even when they found themselves sobbing their hearts out.

I thoroughly enjoyed every ruffle, every romantic notion, every laugh out loud situation, finding myself rather at home when Maria hugged the biscuit tin. I think I may have found myself in fictional form!

A huggable, humorous, relatable, heart-warming and thoughtful novel which will have you believing in anything romance, just as long as you have a biscuit tin. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

Buy now!

Extract.

Two hours later, Maria found herself in Harrogate, squeezed into the red dress, heels pinching her
feet, wondering why the hell she wasn’t sat on Cass’s couch eating ice cream and crying. She said the
same to Cass as they walked on tottering heels to the nearest trendy bar, Ice, in the wine bar and
posh eatery part of Harrogate’s city centre, which, coincidentally, butted up against the legal quarter
of Harrogate, and no doubt the two sides kept each other in business quite well too. Walking into Ice
with Cassie, it was hard to ignore the stares that her friend attracted. Cassie Welburn was, let’s face
it, sex on a twenty nine year old stick. She was always tanned thanks to her meticulous salon
treatments, plucked and shaped to perfection, and tonight, as usual, was dressed to kill. Even
Maria’s daring red dress looked tame in light of Cassie’s black and silver dress, slashed to the thigh,
combined with sparkly silver heels that make Cassie even taller than her just under six foot frame.
Maria blushed and nudged Cass’s elbow with her own.
“People are staring Cass” Cassie shrugged.
“Let them stare, girl. Don’t worry, I’ve got your back” Maria belatedly realised that tonight, thanks
to that ridiculous article, the stares may indeed be for her and not her glamorous friend. She cringed
inwardly, and planted a smile on her face. She took her friend by the arm, and pushing her boobs
out and her chin up, she headed to the bar. “Let’s get smashed” she declared.

About the author.

I am a writer and teacher, living in West Yorkshire with my husband, our two sons, and our furry
pets.

In July 2015, I won the Prima magazine and Mills & Boon Flirty Fiction Competition, with my
entry, The Chic Boutique on Baker Street, out now in ebook and paperback. The Flower Shop on
Foxley Street followed this in 2017 and both books hit the Amazon top 200. Chic Boutique got to
#2 in the rural life humour chart and is regularly in the top 100 of that chart.
I am the winner of the Writers Bureau Writer of the Year Award in 2016 and I have had work
published in the UK and overseas in various magazines.

My next book, The Long Walk Back, is out in January 2018 and I am currently writing the last
book in the Westfield series. My first book with Manatee Books, Nice Guys Finish Lonely, is out
in April 2018 in ebook and paperback. I love to write romantic fiction, both rom-com and harder
hitting women’s fiction.

I am also a post 16 teacher and am undertaking an MA in Creative Writing at Teesside
University.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelDoveauthor/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriterDove

Goodreads Author Page:
https://goo.gl/CPJkbr

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writerdove/
Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RachelDovewriter

Giveaway!

Prize – A signed spiral bound paperback of the book plus bookmarks

(open Internationally)

Enter the giveaway now!

#BlogTour! #Review -Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard by Jo Thomas (@jo_thomas1) @AnneCater @HeadlinePG @Bookish_Becky @DavidHHeadley

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I am so very excited to be today’s stop on the blog tour for ‘Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard’ by Jo Thomas. Big thank you to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and thank you to Headline for the ARC. Here is my review:

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It’s time for Beti Winter to dance to her own beat.

After three failed engagements Beti is in desperate need of a fresh start. What better place than the sun-drenched hills of southern Spain?

But it’s not all sangria and siestas. Beti finds work on an old Andalucian cherry farm where there are cherries to be picked, trees to be watered and her fiery boss, Antonio, to win over.

As the sun toasts her skin, Beti finds herself warming to the Spanish way of life. Embracing the art of flamenco, she discovers there is much to learn from the dance of passion. She just has to let loose and listen to the rhythm of her heart.

What does TWG think?

I started this book this morning (I know, cutting it fine), but fast forward 4 hours and I was sitting with the closed (and finished) book on my lap feeling as though I had been given a new lease of life.

Beti’s uncle and cousin have honed in on her for years, taking the Mickey out everything she has done (or not done) in her life so far. They seem to think that having three engagements, two of which ended up being failed, is something to laugh about. Even though, deep down, Beti knows that she shouldn’t take their comments to heart, she can’t help but feel her confidence getting chipped away with every knifey comment they send her way. Beti has had enough of living without enjoyment, and she ends up persuading her fiancé, Will, to uproot to Spain where her dream of owning a bar waits for her. Unfortunately, luck isn’t on Beti’s side and things don’t go to plan.

Oh my, what a gorgeous book this is! I did start and finish this book this morning, I was being totally serious with that comment! I couldn’t put the book down, and to be honest, I didn’t actually want it to leave my hands. I felt so sorry for Beti, but I was absolutely livid with Will. What sort of person does that?! I think he got off lightly, I really do. I know that Beti was determined to make her dream a reality and didn’t want to live in the past and, whilst that is certainly commendable, I couldn’t help but feel that Will didn’t get what he deserved at all. Maybe it’s because I am quite a fiery person that made me think he needed to pay for what he had done.

I have to admit that I am not a fan of cherries AT ALL, yet after reading Jo Thomas’ latest novel, I felt like I wanted to pick one up and eat it. How strange! I think the cherry farm got under my skin in more ways than one, as did other wonderful things in the little Spanish village.

Jo Thomas has such a beautiful way with words – I was blown away by her vivid descriptions, her tantalising way of bringing smells and food items to life, as well as her phenomenal characters. I can often be quite guarded when it comes to some characters, yet Beti, Miguel, Antonio, and Frank (to name a few) made ‘Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard’ such a rich, indulgent, life affirming novel which had me dusting off my own dreams in no time.

I know people say that it is quite easy to follow your dreams if you really want them, but Jo Thomas certainly proves that everyone is different, with some people struggling with their confidence to sit there and say ‘I will own my dreams’. Take a look at Beti. She went through personal heartbreak and professional hard graft, both which ended up taking a bit of time, all to reach her dreams without settling for less. There are people who cannot make their dreams become a reality because they don’t have the resources that some other people do, nor do they have the luck of others. Or maybe their face might not fit. I am one of those people, so finding a character like Beti which I ended up relating to, made me feel far less alone. That probably sounds incredibly daft, but Beti’s face didn’t fit. She didn’t know where she belonged. She knew what she wanted from her life, yet she couldn’t quite grasp it.

‘Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard’ put a massive smile on my face, fire in my belly, and hope in my heart during a time where I couldn’t have needed it more. I absolutely loved reading every page of this book, as well as learning a bit more about Spain.

A beautifully written, heart-felt, poignant, fiery and outstanding novel which will be staying in my heart for a very, very long time, guaranteed.

Buy now!

About the author.

Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC
Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 2’s The Steve Wright Show. In 2013 Jo
won the RNA Katie Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was
a runaway bestseller in ebook and was awarded the 2014 RNA Joan Hessayon
Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best Ebook Award. Jo lives in the Vale
of Glamorgan with her husband and three children.

#BlogBlitz! #Review – The Affair by Sheryl Browne (@SherylBrowne) @Bookouture


Day two of Sheryl Browne’s blog blitz is here!! I am trying my hardest not to pee in excitement as I get to share my review of ‘The Affair’. What an absolute BELTER of a book this is. Honestly, you won’t be disappointed! If you don’t believe me with that alone, you can read my review below. Big thanks to Bookouture for the blitz invite and the ARC.


The moment she opened her eyes, she knew everything had changed. The stale taste of alcohol; her uneasy stomach. She looked at her husband sleeping peacefully, and knew she would never tell anyone what happened last night.

You will think you know what happened to Alicia that night.

You will see a desperate wife, lying to her husband.

You will watch a charming lover, trying to win her back.

You will judge her, just like everyone else.

You will assume you know what happens next. But everything you think you know about the past, the relationships, what drives Alicia and her husband to lie… is wrong.

What does TWG think?

Seriously folks, what the FUDGE! Oh….my…actual…flipping…goodness! I just….HAH. Apologies, I will try to fill this review with proper sentences, honestly. I’m just struggling to get my head around what I have recently read. ‘The Affair’ isn’t a novel that will give you a bit of a headfunk then leave you to finish your cornflakes in peace. No. Completely the opposite in fact! Not only did my head seem content with going at the speed of light, every time I turned the page of the book, the storyline decided to take over my thoughts and if I didn’t sleep properly before now, I certainly didn’t last night!

Straight away the author drops a metaphoric bomb on the book. No joke. There’s no easing in the storyline, no holding your hand and preparing you for situations later on down the line. None of that. If you’re wanting a read which keeps you on the edge of your seat from the word ‘go’, turns your spine into a tingling mess, and completely rips your emotions apart, you certainly won’t go wrong with ‘The Affair’.

I was aware that Sheryl Browne was good at tearing me apart after reading her previous novel, but this one is a whole new ball game. It didn’t just tear me apart, it hung me out to dry and left me completely and utterly broken. I wish I was being overdramatic but I’m actually not. Browne has outdone herself with the intense depth, cleverly crafted storyline, and copious amounts of ‘what ifs’, ‘whodunit’, ‘whys’ and goodness knows what else. Having read a lot of psychological thrillers already this year, it is taking a lot to impress me. That said, Browne clearly had no problem whatsoever in impressing me with ‘The Affair’, and I am still blown away by the hard-hitting words my mind digested.

The only thing I would say as a slight irk, is that I found Alicia an extremely weak character, even when she was thrown into situations which required copious amounts of strength personally, as well as a lot of strength involving her family. However, it certainly helped matters that her character was supported by a very three dimensional, secretive and uncertain man, aka her husband. I say secretive not because of the fact he was hiding things, but more to do with the fact his emotions were kept under lock and key. Well, sometimes it felt as though his emotions were triple locked but lets not be pedantic!

It is abundantly clear that I absolutely loved ‘The Affair’ and, given the nature of the storyline itself, I probably shouldn’t have as it completely broke my heart as well – clearly the signs of a very, very, VERY good novel.

A twisty, dark, emotive, addictive, and utterly brilliant novel from Sheryl Browne. This author is one to watch and I intend to stalk her and her books in the nicest way possible….

Buy now!

About the author.

Sheryl Browne brings you powerful psychological thriller and contemporary fiction. Sheryl’s latest psychological thriller THE AFFAIR – the second of a three-book deal – comes to you from fabulous BOOKOUTURE. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and previously writing for award winning Choc Lit, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.

So why does Sheryl write in two genres? Quoting E. L. Doctorow, Sheryl says: “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights…” This she thinks sums up a writer’s journey, you never quite know where you are going until you get there. You might start with an outline, but a strong character will always divert from the plot. If Sheryl’s not sure where a character is going, she simply has to trust him to show her the way. Plus, according to one reviewer, she also has a scary insight into the mind of a psychopath. 

To find out more about Sheryl, go to www.sherylbrowne.com

#BlogTour! #Review – The Girl I Used to Be by Mary Torjussen (@MaryTorjussen) @AnneCater @HeadlinePG #RandomThingsTours

Day two of the blog tour for #TheGirlIUsedToBe, and I, TWG, have the honour of sharing my review of Mary Torjussen’s book. Big thank you, as always, to Anne from Random Things Tours for the blog tour invite, and huge thanks to publisher, Headline, for the review copy. Here is my review:

How can you hide your mistakes when you don’t know what they are?

Gemma Brogan needs a break from her life.

A work event looks the ideal chance to get away. And a friendly new client seems like the perfect gentleman when he joins Gemma for an innocent dinner . . .

But the next morning she has no memory of how the night ended and he has vanished into thin air.

Suddenly, Gemma is plunged into a twisted nightmare she can’t control. To protect her future, and her family, she will have to confront shocking secrets from her past – and the truth about the girl she used to be.

What does TWG think?

I am quite sure that a lot of you reading this review right now have had at least one hangover before, right? If that is the case, imagine feeling as though you have the proof something has happened, but without having the actual proof to cement it. I know, that sounds quite confusing doesn’t it? Lets look at it a different way. Imagine going out for a walk one day, you run into an old friend, have a bite to eat, and then come home not remembering half of the things you did that day, yet something is brought to your attention from that day out which you have no reason not to take as gospel. But do you? I have never had a hangover, but I do know that brain fog is quite similar and, whilst brain fog isn’t the case for main character, Gemma, there are a lot of things happening in the storyline which make Gemma’s life appear rather uncertain, and Gemma very untrustworthy.

Not remembering what you got up to is quite scary and, believe it or not, actually reading about someone who cannot remember what they got up to is scary as well. You think that, as readers, we would be privy to certain events throughout the storyline, but that isn’t the case here. I hadn’t the foggiest what happened that night apart from what the author wrote about, therefore as soon as Gemma’s journey became more uncertain, I found myself growing increasingly nervous because I kept thinking to myself, ‘did I miss a page out?’ and, ‘have I already forgotten what happened to Gemma?’. It made me quite anxious if I’m honest! Intriguingly anxious, yet also anxious in a rather uncomfortable manner as well.

I cannot fault Mary Torjussen’s story telling, nor can I fault the way in which she keeps her readers on tenterhooks all the way through the novel. Whilst I would usually use the word ‘creepy’ for novels which include ghosts and stalkers etc, I have to say that that word could not be more apt for ‘The Girl I Used To Be’. It’s creepy, it’s edgy, it’s very suspenseful, whilst also making you feel as though you have to second guess every conceivable thing in your own life as well as Gemma’s.

A twisty, suspenseful novel which was full of skeletons and bucketful’s of insecurities – I cannot help but be impressed by what I have read!

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – Sky’s The Limit by Janie Millman (@ChezCastillon) @DomePress


Final blog tour for today ‘Sky’s the Limit’ by Janie Millman. Huge thanks to Dome Press for the blog tour and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:


Sky is devastated when she finds that her husband is in love with someone else, even more that it is her oldest friend Nick. She has lost the two most important men in her life and can’t ever trust either of them again.

To escape, she goes alone on a dream trip to Marrakesh and meets Gail, on a mission to meet the father of her child, a man she loved but thought did not want her.

In Marrakesh, Sky and Gail both find unexpected joys – and surprises. For Sky these lead to France, to a beautiful chateau and a family whose relationships seem as complicated as her own.

What does TWG think?

If you’re after a read which has the ability to transport you overseas quicker than you can walk upstairs and put on your pyjama’s, ‘Sky’s the Limit’ will definitely be your cup of tea. Now, I have to admit that I am not very well-travelled at all. Well, unless you count fictionally because in that case I am VERY well-travelled! The only places I have been to are England and Scotland, and seeing as I have lived in both of those countries, there is nothing like keeping it close to home, eh! Life recently as been extremely horrendous so the fact that I was able to jet off to Marrakesh and France without worrying about money, packing and what not, was a very welcome distraction, and one which kept my soul working overtime.

I think soul’s work, don’t they? Oh well, they do now! Janie Millman is a new author for me, but just as her book title states, the ‘Sky’s the Limit’ where this author is concerned, that’s for sure! Personally, I felt the elements of self discovery in the storyline the most poignant and the ones I was able to relate to completely. Don’t get me wrong, ‘Sky’s the Limit’ was jam-packed with romance, intensity, fresh starts, and complicated relationships, and whilst they were all executed incredibly well, I couldn’t help but use the escapism and self discovery as antidotes for my own selfish reasons.

Janie Millman is a beautiful storyteller who is able to transport her readers in the blink of an eye. I did find the storyline a little bit difficult to get into at first, but once I became accustom to Millman’s unique storytelling and enchanting characters, I soon found myself becoming part of the furniture where this story was concerned.

An entertaining, enchanting, and thought-provoking novel, an ideal read for anytime, anywhere, anyone.

Buy from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – The Little Cornish Kitchen by Jane Linfoot (@JaneLinfoot) @HarperImpulse @RaRaResources


It’s the final day on the blog tour for Jane Linfoot and ‘The Little Cornish Kitchen’. Big thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and thank you to the author for my very own special copy of the book! Here is my review:


It’s time to come home to Cornwall

With an exciting new life in Paris, Clemmie Hamilton isn’t looking forward to heading home to the
picturesque but sleepy village of St Aidan, Cornwall. However, when she discovers that the cosy
apartment by the sea, which her grandmother left to her, is under threat from neighbour and
property developer, Charlie Hobson, Clemmie realises she can’t abandon her home in its time of
need.

With her childhood friends encouraging her, Clemmie decides to turn the apartment into ‘The Little
Cornish Kitchen’ – a boutique pop up pudding club raising money for the repairs to the building in an
effort to stop Charlie once and for all. But when Charlie and his easy charm won’t seem to go away,
everything soon becomes even messier than the state of Clemmie’s Cornish kitchen…

What does TWG think?

As soon as I spotted the cover of Jane Linfoot’s latest novel on social media, I just knew that I had to curl up and read it! Look at it, isn’t it beautiful?! It has been a week or so since I last took a trip to Cornwall in my pyjama’s, and despite having been to several trips to Cornwall in the fictional sense already this year, I was weirdly missing the rather popular setting!

Having loved Jane Linfoot’s previous wedding series, I had very high hopes for ‘The Little Cornish Kitchen’! I think I burst out laughing after just a few pages! One word – mermaids. Enough said. Obviously mermaids themselves aren’t hilarious, but the way in which Jane Linfoot incorporated the majestic sea creatures into her storyline was brilliant and very funny. See for yourself!

I did really enjoy this book, and I am so pleased that I was able to lose myself in another of Jane Linfoot’s addictive storylines. However, I found it very hard to relate to the main character and the storyline itself. I thought Clemmie’s personality was very fiery and made for such fun reading, but I couldn’t help feeling as though something was missing. For me, ‘The Little Cornish Kitchen’ had Jane Linfoot’s trademark humour, her loveable way of writing, as well as her clever way of incorporating humour and depth into multiple situations – I just wished that I could get into it as quickly as I did her previous books.

I loved the fact that this author made my stomach rumble, despite sweet treats not being my go to thing, and I thought that her creation of multiple diverse characters was very well thought out.

‘The Little Cornish Kitchen’ is a very tantalising, colourful, and laugh out loud read which will make you feel like channeling your inner Mazza Bezza….or Paul Hollywood. Just make sure you don’t leave a path for a dog….just saying!

Buy now from Amazon

About the author.

Jane Linfoot is a best selling author, who lives in a muddy cottage, up a steep hill in
Derbyshire, with her family, their pets, and an astonishing number of spiders. Although she loves
seeing cow noses over the garden wall, she’s happy she can walk to a supermarket.
Jane grew up in North Yorkshire where she spent a lot of her childhood avoiding horizontal gales
blowing off the sea, and wrote her first book by accident, while working as an architect, and
renovating country houses. While she loves to write feelgood books that let readers escape, she’s
always surprised to hear her stories make people laugh, admits to (occasionally) crying as she writes,
and credits her characters for creating their own story lines.

Jane’s garden would be less brambly if she wasn’t on Facebook and Twitter so often. On days when
she wants to be really scared, she rides a tandem.

Her latest books include a series of stand alone novels, based around a seaside wedding shop in
Cornwall. Cupcakes and Confetti – The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea, Sequins and Snowflakes –
Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop, and Bunting and Bouquets – Summer at the Little Wedding
Shop, and most recently, The Little Cornish Kitchen. These are all published by Harper Impulse, an
imprint of Harper Collins.

Follow Jane on Twitter @janelinfoot

Giveaway!

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

Enter the giveaway now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Little Pink Taxi by Marie Laval (@MarieLaval1) @ChocLitUK @RaRaResources


What fantastic transport for this blog tour! I am so excited to be taking a ride in the ‘Little Pink Taxi’ as I kick off the blog tour for Marie Laval! Huge thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and thank you to ChocLitUK for the copy. Here is my review:


Rosalie Heart is a well-known face in Irlwick – well, if you drive a bright pink taxi and your signature
style is a pink anorak, you’re going to draw a bit of attention! But Rosalie’s company Love Taxis is
more than just a gimmick – for many people in the remote Scottish village, it’s a lifeline.

Which is something that Marc Petersen will never understand. Marc’s ruthless approach to business
doesn’t extend to pink taxi companies running at a loss. When he arrives in Irlwick to see to a new
acquisition – Raventhorn, a rundown castle – it’s apparent he poses a threat to Rosalie’s entire
existence; not just her business, but her childhood home too.

On the face of it Marc and Rosalie should loathe each other, but what they didn’t count on was
somebody playing cupid …

What does TWG think?

Who wouldn’t be intrigued about a book with a pink car on the front?! I have to say that it was that car that made me want to read the book (I don’t read blurbs!). I have to say that at first, my opinion did echo Marc Peterson’s. I wasn’t sure whether Rosalie was a gimmick or not, however as the storyline progressed, I found myself warming to Rosalie’s life super quickly. Gone were my thoughts about the book being a gimmick – the storyline couldn’t be further from it if it tried!

Pardon my vagueness in this review, but seeing as ‘Little Pink Taxi’ is quite similar to a treasure trove, I want you to feel the same intense anticipation when you turn the pages, just like I did. There is a lot more to the story than just a pink taxi. In fact, the taxi is the true heart of the village and despite outsider, Marc Peterson’s, reservations on the little Scottish village, the castle he had just purchased, AND Rosalie’s business, he can’t help but be swept away by the community spirit. Well, not every villager is as welcoming as Rosalie and co are!

I’ve never been a believer in Caspar the ghost and friends, and despite this storyline having a few of Caspar’s distant relatives making themselves known, it didn’t put me off at all as it certainly gave the novel a unique bite. I ended up absolutely loving ‘Little Pink Taxi’ (no, not just because of the pink car!) as I was constantly surprised by character revelations, suspense, family secrets, romance, and oodles of determination. I felt as though it was my birthday every time I turned the page!

‘Little Pink Taxi’ is an intriguing, more-ish, loveable read which tugged at the heart-strings as many times as the power went out in Raventhorn castle (a lot, FYI!). I am so glad that I ignored my first impressions of the book as Marie Laval’s novel definitely turned out to be a one of a kind, fiery yet cosy read which I would read over again in a heartbeat.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author.

Originally from Lyon in France, Marie now lives in Lancashire with her family. She works full-time as
a modern languages teacher, and in her spare times loves writing romance and dreaming about
romantic heroes. She writes both historical and contemporary romance, and her historical romance
The Lion’s Embrace won the Gold Medal at the Global eBook Awards 2015 (category Historical
Romance). She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors. Her
native France, as well as her passion for history and research, very much influences her writing, and
all her novels have what she likes to call ‘a French twist’!

Social Media Links 
www.twitter.com/MarieLaval1
http://marielaval.blogspot.co.uk/