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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#CloseToTheEdge

What does The Writing Garnet think?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What does TWG think?

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

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

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

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

Purchase from Amazon.

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

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


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



It’s only the beginning of her story…

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

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

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

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



What does TWG think?

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

TWG x

#psychological · #suspense · arc · book blogger · Book Review · Crime/thriller · medical · Transworld/Penguin

#Mine – Susi Fox (@writerdrfox) @MichaelJBooks #Review #bookblogger

After waking from an emergency caesarean, you’re dying to see your new baby. But when you’re introduced something is wrong.

This is not your child.

The nurses assure you that the baby is yours. 

Your husband believes them. And so does your father. 

But how can you be wrong? You’re a doctor. You know how easily mistakes are made.

When everyone is against you, do you trust your instincts? 

You know only one thing . . . 

You must find your baby.

(Many thanks to the publisher for the copy of ‘Mine’ received from Netgalley)

Time to catch up with a bit of blogmin! This book has been sitting on my ‘to review’ shelf for a very longer while, and it’s time I actually sat down to review it – enjoy!

What does TWG think?

Gosh, this was one of my biggest fears when I was pregnant with my little girl – that my baby would be taken somewhere and the wrong one delivered back to me. That sentence makes it sound as though something like this happens often, which I don’t think it does. However, it shouldn’t really be happening at all though should it? You put your faith into the system and the people who are there, in their field, delivering your baby, to give you the correct one back. I wouldn’t sound so judgey if I had gone into Argos to pick up my click and collect order, as those mistakes are easily made; two Holloways, or a similar looking address, you know, simple things. I would me a bit miffed if a stranger got my Russell Hobbs kettle instead of myself, a little mistake that is easily rectified. But my baby? My baby is no Russell Hobbs kettle, that’s for sure!

I’m going off kilter here, apologies. If you haven’t guessed already, the main theme surrounding ‘Mine’ is a new mother being adamant that she was given back the incorrect baby. She has a strong gut feeling that the baby in her arms is not the one she birthed, yet nobody believes her. Everybody thinks she’s going crazy, being unrealistic, causing problems for nothing. Is she right though? Has she been given the incorrect baby and, if so, where on Earth is her baby….and who on Earth has them?

It was pretty evident that the author had a medical history as the storyline contained a lot of medical words and situations which would only ring true if one had experienced them first hand. I think that Susi Fox’s history helped her in creating the suspenseful undertone to the storyline, and I felt that it gave the book the strength that a thriller would need to stand on its own.

There were a lot of moments where my eyebrows received very good workouts throughout the story, and I felt a little bit disheartened by just how outlandish the storyline seemed at times. I felt as though the author had veered a bit too far left at times which diminished a sense of credibility overall. That said, I enjoy novels that push the boundaries as long as they make them as realistic as humanly possible (unless it’s a genre that is known for its outlandish, unrealistic stories), and I think that ‘Mine’ does push the boundaries on several occasions rather well. I just think that at times it went a bit too far and left me thinking ‘ermmmmm, you what?’.

The undertone of the storyline is definitely thrilling and intense, and I couldn’t help but second guess things myself as I was reading the book which I truly grabbed with two hands.

Whilst my overall opinion on ‘Mine’ is on the fence, I did appreciate the attention to detail on the medical point of view, and the memorable, chilling events of the majority of the novel. This is definitely a unique read, one that was executed cleverly at times.

Purchase from Amazon.

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

#MarriedAtFirstSwipe @FabFrosty @simonschusteruk @teambatc #review

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

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

What does TWG think?

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

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

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

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

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

Buy ‘Married At First Swipe’ from Amazon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What does TWG think?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Purchase from Amazon.

Purchase from Apple.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What does TWG think?

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

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

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

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

Purchase from Amazon.

Purchase from Kobo.

Purchase from Apple.

Purchase from Barnes and Noble.

#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · Crime/thriller · netgalley · Police procedural

#PromisesInTheDark by @DKHood_Author @Bookouture #review

Happy publication day to D.K.Hood and ‘Promises In The Dark’! I am delighted to be kicking of the blog tour today – many thanks to Bookouture for having me.

The young girl pushes against the backseat of the family sedan, fighting to free herself from the crude ties restricting her hands and feet. As the car speeds towards the edge of town, she looks back at her family home, and watches in horror as it is suddenly engulfed in a mass of flames. Trembling with fear, she turns towards the driver and hears only laughter. She knows that the worst is yet to come…

Detective Jenna Alton surveys the charred remains of the large suburban home, stopping to pause at the three lifeless bodies of the Woods family. Jenna knows she’s looking for a serial killer, but her priority is finding the missing teenage daughter last seen on the night of the inferno.

Days later, Sophie Wood’s body is discovered floating in a shallow pool of crystal-clear water—known locally as Dead Man’s Drop—but Jenna still doesn’t know who would target the quiet family in such a brutal attack.

Delving into the family’s past, she makes a shocking discovery—a link between the killer and someone connected to her deputy David Kane. If Jenna is right and the killer is back and seeking revenge, then she must act fast to keep her deputy safe.

When another girl is taken, Jenna and David follow the trail into a network of underground caves on the outskirts of town. With little time before the killer claims his next victim, they race into the pitch-black tunnels, unsure whether they have just walked into the killer’s trap. Can they find the girl in time and escape the caves without the killer chasing them down?

What does TWG think?

One of, if not THE most disturbing book of the series so far! Which is saying something considering the things that Kane and Alton have come across in the 9 previous books.

A story that starts off with young children being the bait, indirectly speaking, always puts the fear of christ up me. Not that I’m saying should a child be used as bait later on in the book then I’ll be okay with it, not at all. I just find themes like that enough to make my jaw drop further, and a nervous energy crawl up my body far quicker than if I had read it in the middle. That’s exactly what happened here. The prologue plants the seed and ties the roots of the storyline in knots, making it hard for the reader to leave it alone regardless of how nervy you have begun to feel. Honestly, it was brilliantly written and definitely set the scene for the rest of the book.

Once again Kane and Alton have their work cut out for them. Their murderer hasn’t made things very easy for them, despite leaving a ‘trail’ of dead bodies in his wake. Whoever this person is is clearly dangerous and doesn’t think much of other living things. Just another thing that kept me hooked!

I was very disturbed by the storyline, but without sounding weird, I didnt find that a negative thing because what else would you expect from a thriller? Teddy bears and picnics? No. D.K.Hood may have her characters having picnics, but she would also have a dead body stuffed in the bear! (Just to clarify, that isn’t what happens in this book!)

As I may have said once or twice, I was truly glued to this novel and the way the characters developed over time. It may be the tenth book in the series, yet Kane and Alton never fail to surprise me.

Yet another dark, devious, and utterly transfixing novel from an author who is outstanding at holding her readers hostage with her words.

Buy now.

#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book of the month · Book Review · BOTBSPublicity · lifestyle · netgalley · Non Fiction · real life

#TheBoyBetween by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley (@MrsAmandaProwse) @BOTBSPublicity #mentalhealthawareness #depression

Before I go any further I just want to say sorry to Amanda, Josiah and Sarah for the delay in posting my review, and thank you to Sarah and Netgalley for the ARC.

Bestselling novelist Amanda Prowse knew how to resolve a fictional family crisis. But then her son came to her with a real one…

Josiah was nineteen with the world at his feet when things changed. Without warning, the new university student’s mental health deteriorated to the point that he planned his own death. His mother, bestselling author Amanda Prowse, found herself grappling for ways to help him, with no clear sense of where that could be found. This is the book they wish had been there for them during those dark times.

Josiah’s situation is not unusual: the statistics on student mental health are terrifying. And he was not the only one suffering; his family was also hijacked by his illness, watching him struggle and fearing the day he might succeed in taking his life.

In this book, Josiah and Amanda hope to give a voice to those who suffer, and to show them that help can be found. It is Josiah’s raw, at times bleak, sometimes humorous, but always honest account of what it is like to live with depression. It is Amanda’s heart-rending account of her pain at watching him suffer, speaking from the heart about a mother’s love for her child.

For anyone with depression and anyone who loves someone with depression, Amanda and Josiah have a clear message—you are not alone, and there is hope.

What does TWG think?

Firstly, having the courage to openly discuss a time in your life where you felt suicide was the only option, with complete strangers and in the form of a book, is such a brave thing to do. I take my hat off to Josiah for choosing to put awareness above everything else. Its not an easy thing to do at all. I don’t know you, but I’m proud of you.

Secondly, Amanda….its hard enough being a parent, let alone being a parent who has to watch from the sidelines whilst her child goes through a situation only they can get themself out of. I cannot even begin to imagine how hard it must have been to go through that with Josiah, or the toll it took on your own mental health. Not only that, the courage it must have taken you openly dissect and ‘admit’ where you felt you went wrong as a parent, and to talk about such a heartbreaking time in your life. Your strength astounds me and I am so proud of you.

Depression is STILL seen as a taboo thing because you cannot see what is broken so, if you cannot see what is broken then nothing must be broken…..right? Completely and utterly wrong. In the book Josiah stated that he wished he had broken his arm or his leg because then he and others could see what was broken and what was needed to fix it. With depression or other mental illnesses, it isn’t a case of one thing fixes all.

How do I know this? Because like millions of other people, and like Josiah himself, I have depression and I also have a form of EDS too (hEDS in fact). As soon as I read about that diagnosis, my breath caught in my throat because I could relate to him on yet another level. I wanted to shout into the book that Josiah wasn’t alone because I could, and can, empathise with him.

This isn’t an easy read by any means. Its raw. Its hard hitting. Its emotional. Its dark. But above all else, its honest. Choosing to openly admit you were close to suicide, and choosing to talk about extremely personal things in order to bring awareness to the topic, is, as I’ve already said, such a brave thing to do. Unfortunately it can also bring a lot of judgement which, whilst its part of human nature to comment on the situations of the world and his wife, we have no right to do so as each and every one of us are different. Each and every one of us react to things in a different way, and what upsets one person may not upset another.

For example; in her chapters, Amanda spoke about how she felt she had let her son down with her parenting. Personally, I feel that she acted from the heart and in a way only a mumma bear knows how. I don’t think that she did anything wrong as a parent, because she was only acting out of love and fear. But Amanda does/did think those things. Is she wrong to feel like that? Hell no. Is my opinion wrong? No. Im an outsider looking in, there’s a huge difference.

Josiah’s story is a very relatable one and I would love to say that it’s unique in the fact that it doesn’t happen very often, but it does. What doesn’t happen very often is someone being so open about it instead of choosing to act like everything was all fluffy clouds and rainbows.

The honesty throughout this book, from both Amanda and Josiah, was incredibly moving and at times shook me to the core because I understood. Now me saying that isn’t taking the onus off them, not at all.

I am so proud of Amanda and Josiah for their strength and courage as they wrote this book together. It is such an important topic to discuss, more so as a one size doesn’t fit all and different things work for different people. I want to thank them both for sharing their stories with the world, and I wish I could hug them both. However my ramblings will have to do!

I cannot recommend this book enough. Its beautifully harrowing, tenderly heartbreaking, but poignant and severely honest. Its a little ray of hope when the skies turn grey. Its the one shining star in the night sky to help you on your way. Its a ‘friend’ when you feel like you have absolutely no one to turn to.

Buy now.