#TWGDiscusses – Please STOP saying that e-books aren’t REAL books – it’s offensive! #authors #publishers #ebooks #paperbacks #lovebooks

Which books are REAL books?-2
I feel like I’m stuck on repeat where this topic is concerned, yet STILL people continue to offend hundreds of authors, and readers, out there with comments such as ‘e-books aren’t real books’. How aren’t they real? An author spends the same amount if time writing a book whether it’s published in e-book, paperback, hardback or on a slate -eye roll-, so why do people continue to say that other formats of books aren’t real?

Let me ask you this….

You know those ‘friends’ you’ve made online yet haven’t currently met offline, would you say that they weren’t ‘real friends’ because they were made online? Probably not, so why is it okay to say that a book, published in a digital format, isn’t as real as those friends you have made using technology?

Think about it.

Authors can spend anything from a few months to a few years, perfecting their manuscript ready for publication, going through various steps such as multiple edits, restructures and so forth – it’s not like they wake up one morning, sit at their computer for an hour and produce a book. It takes time and a lot of patience. Once that manuscript is given to their publisher, it’s then digitalised and printed. Yes, contrary to popular belief, the same manuscript is used for a digital book AND a print book. Who would have thought it?! Obviously with a paperback/hardback you are physically turning the pages and holding the book with two hands, yet with a kindle you’re holding it differently and using one finger to change a page. BUT, have you thought about the different types of readers that are out there in the world? No?

Well you should.

Some readers can’t hold paperbacks/hardbacks due to illnesses.
Some readers can’t read books full stop because they’re blind and rely on audio.
Some readers are chronically ill and they require various different options, depending on their pain on that particular day.
Some readers have various different reasons as to why they would choose one format over another.

All of the above have one thing in common – they all want to read!!

I’ll be honest with you here. Several years ago I would have given you a filthy look if you had said about reading an e-book, but after realising that I was missing out on such fabulous books, I decided to give it a go. Not only that, several years ago I became a lot more ill and holding things for a long period of time was becoming impossible. E-books helped me to feel ‘normal’ and read books just like everyone else, on days where I felt like I couldn’t do anything like everyone else.

I appreciate that not everyone likes e-books and that they prefer paperbacks/hardbacks – that is totally fine! But what isn’t okay is when people say that they prefer ‘real’ books which is insinuating that a digital version of an authors book, is in fact fake. Can’t you see how offensive that is to the author? Just because a book is digitalised instead of being printed on paper, it doesn’t make it any less of a book!

Those ‘real book’ comments are not only offensive to the author who has written them, it’s also offensive to a reader reading them as if the 100 kindle books read last year shouldn’t be included in their Goodreads challenge because they’re ‘not real’. And yes, someone has said that before. If you don’t like e-books, fine! If you don’t like paperbacks, that’s also fine!

But please, please, please STOP saying that e-books aren’t real when they’re as real as the money you paid for them.

Oh, and as those comments are being made on a DIGITAL website, I can’t help but think ‘well isn’t that ironic’. Put your nose where it belongs, remove your snobbery and let people read the books they choose, in the format that they choose without offending a truck load of people in the process.

ALL books are real.
Instead of bashing people with the stupid ‘they aren’t real books’ comments, be happy that people are actually reading and supporting authors in any way they can. Surely that is more important than your snobbery?

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#BlogTour! #Review – Your Move by Silvia Forrester (@SilviaForrester) @BrookCottageBks

Your Move Tour Banner

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Two women. Two dreams. One big lesson in love.

With a passion for people and property, nothing gives newbie estate agent Gemma Cole more pleasure than matching buyers with their ideal homes. After a nomadic childhood with her ditzy mum, Gemma longs for nothing more than a place she can call her own. But with one modest income and meagre savings, will she ever be able to make her own home-owning dream come true?

When Marcus, the new photographer, arrives at the estate agency, he’s the epitome of
laidback, festival chic. Sexy, laidback, festival chic. But Gemma dismisses him as another
commitment-phobic, eternal student, just like her ex. However, looks can be deceptive.
Marcus is reeling from a shocking family tragedy, one that’s left him as sole carer for an
eight-year- old boy, as well as his scruffy dog. Will Gemma revise her opinion of Marcus, and will he trust her enough to reveal his family’s painful past?

Pandora works at Perfect 10, a premier beauty and cosmetic clinic. Always effortlessly
glamorous – with model-looks, bucket loads of confidence and bulging designer wardrobes – she appears to have it all. But Pan also has a spiralling spending addiction, a string of failed relationships, and still lives at home with her mum. Aged thirty-three.
When her numerous credit cards are refused, Pan takes drastic action, and joins dating
website MillionaireMen.com. Will a super-wealthy guy be the answer to all Pan’s woes? And can she find one who’s sane, honest and not old enough to be her grandfather?

Your Move is a lively romantic comedy, charting the blossoming friendship between modern heroines Gemma and Pandora, as well as the amorous entanglements that crisscross both their lives.

What does TWG think?

Let me just get this bit out of the way first – I wasn’t overly enamoured with the first part of the book. For me the storyline came across a little stilted and even though the characters were very promising, I did feel like they weren’t showcasing their full personalities.

However, after the half way mark something just clicked. Gone was the stilted storyline, and gone where the characters who were hiding. Instead there was a storyline which made me laugh, had characters which oozed reliability, with an overall vibe of cosiness and modern day kick-bumming. I was so glad that I was able to watch the book reach its full potential as it had the bare bones there, that was what frustrated me to begin with!

Luckily that did change, and I found myself showing a bit of empathy towards Pandora (eventually), even though she wasn’t my most favourite character that’s for sure! The whole debacle with Humphrey’s house had me in hysterics – good on him!!! Even though I disliked Pandora at first, her situation is incredibly relatable and, if you take away the millionaire intentions, I am sure a lot of readers will be relieved to know that you can actually get out of a situation just like Pandora’s, just as long as you actually do it. Her heart was in the right place and I cannot fault her for that.

Overall ‘Your Move’ ended up being such a light-hearted, laugh out loud, modern read with elements of darkness and surprise floating in-between. This book has a character for everyone, with situations a lot of readers will be sitting there nodding at.

I am so glad that I persevered with this book as it turned out to be such a memorable and hug worthy read that I can honestly recommend.

Buy now from AMAZON UK
Buy now from AMAZON US

About the author.

Silvia was brought up in a seaside town on the south coast of England by her mother
and grandmother; she now lives in Kent. Silvia has two daughters, two
stepdaughters and three granddaughters. With an abundance of women and girls in
her life, it’s not surprising that female relationships, love, family and friendship are
frequently the focus of Silvia’s writing.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SilviaForresterAuthor/
Twitter: @SilviaForrester
Website: www.silviaforrester.com

Giveaway!

To be in with a chance of winning an e-copy of Silvia Forrester’s ‘Your Move’, enter the giveaway here! Good luck!

#TWGTurnsTwo! Happy 2nd birthday The Writing Garnet! #blogbirthday #blogaversary #blogger #TheWritingGarnet

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Happy birthday to TWG!!!! I cannot believe that my little blog turns two years old today, what a corker of a year it has been! When I started The Writing Garnet back in 2016, never in a million years did I think it would blow up like this, nor did I think I would win awards for my blog. I started my blog as a way of saying thank you to authors who continue to allow me to escape my every day hell with stories that make me laugh, make me cry, give me chills – you name it. I’m not even being dramatic when I say that off the blog, my life is a challenge. In this last year, my health has taken even more of a nosedive, with little things like standing up in a queue, starting to become impossible. But, aside from my daughter (obviously), the only other ‘thing’ that helps me keep going is my blog and the community which surrounds it.

In 2016, I was a newbie. I knew nobody yet everyone else knew somebody and, whilst there are still cliques around, I have the most supportive bloggers, publishers, publicists etc around me, I feel like I can do anything with these people beside me. This last year has seen friendships blossom even more so and I am so, SO grateful that I can call these people my friends. I just want to say a massive thank you to Lucy Vine, Katie Marsh, Darcie Boleyn, Jo Robertson, Clair Boor, Katherine Sunderland, Mary Jayne Baker, Vicki Dickinson, Jules Wake, Sarah Hardy, Anne Cater, Noelle Holten, Betsy Reavley, Isabelle Broom, SJV, JB, Linda Green, Sam Carrington, Mairead O’Driscoll Hearne, Nica Hawkins de Koenigswarter, and many, many more, for always having my back, giving me advice, supporting me and giving me a well needed pep talk when I feel like I’m about to give up. I also want to say a massive thank you to all of the publishers and publicists I work with on a day to day basis, for allowing me to read such wonderful books and embark on a journey with them and the author. I also want to say thank you to all of the bloggers who share my posts daily and who continue to make me laugh with their squirrel antics and goodness what else! Also, a big thank you to everyone else who continues to share my posts, like my posts on the facebook page/instagram, and supports me. All of you mean the world to me and I wouldn’t be here without your support. Thank you all for believing in me and being the light at the end of a dark tunnel. I will forever be grateful for your friendship.

So, what has happened this last year? Well, SO MUCH! I was crowned the winner of ‘Most Inspirational Blog’ at the 2017 Annual Blogger Bash Awards – thank you so much to everyone who voted for me! Such an honour!

inspirational

I also turned into a mushy mess at the Edinburgh Book Festival where I got to meet one of my idols, Jenny Colgan (yes, I nearly cried). Jenny has been one of my favourite authors for as long as I can remember so it really was a dream come true to finally meet her, AND be quoted on a graphic in support of her new book!

Last year I also got to meet one of my blogger besties, Jo Robertson! You might know her as ‘MyChestnutReadingTree’, and my daughter now knows her as the person who plays Shopkins!

Jopic
You know on book covers there is usually a quote from a best selling author? Yeah? Well, HarperImpulse and Mary Jayne Baker made my dream come true last year by putting my quote on the front of MJB’s book. Yes, ON THE FRONT!

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Another highlight from the last year was getting an e-mail from a member of the RNA, stating that I was a nominee for ‘Media/Blog Star of the Year’ in the RNA Industry Awards. Yes, me. I had to double check the e-mail to check that they had sent it to the right person! Unfortunately I didn’t win, but it was still an honour to be nominated and then receive a ‘Runner up’ award – thank you so much.

The Writing Garnet seems to get busier and busier, the more time that passes and, whilst a lot of people think I’m bonkers for taking on over 40 blog tours a month (haha), I am in my element. I really do hope that this year is the year when all of my hard work pays off and I can find a job working from home – that really would be a dream come true.

Whilst all of the above are just highlights, there has been so many things which I am proud of – getting quoted on multiple graphics, having Fern Briton follow me on Twitter, winning multiple competitions via social media, receiving signed books in the post (as well as other amazing book post), and soooo much more. Sometimes I feel like I am dreaming, I really do. I really didn’t expect all of this when I first started my blog and, if I’m being perfectly honest, there are moments where I find that I don’t fit in with the community, and I worry that my words will never be enough, but my passion for books outweighs everything else and even though those worries continue to be there, I just think about how far I have come and why I started this blog in the first place.

Thank you for supporting me and TWG!!

You can ‘like’ my facebook page here!
You can ‘follow’ me on Instagram here!
Or you can ‘follow’ me on Twitter here!

#BlogTour! #Review – The Single Girl’s Calendar by @ErinGreenAuthor @Brookcottagebks #Extract

The Single Girls Calendar Tour Banner
Today I have the pleasure of re-posting my review of Erin Green’s ‘The Single Girl’s Calendar’ for the blog tour hosted by BrookCottageBooks. Alongside my review I have an extract and a giveaway. Enjoy!

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A task a day to cure a broken heart.

Esmé Peel is approaching thirty with some trepidation, but hope in her heart. If she can just get her long-term boyfriend Andrew to propose, she will have ticked everything off her things to do by the time you’re 30′ list. She didn͛t reckon on finding another woman͛s earring in her bed however, and soon she finds herself single, homeless and in need of a new plan. Her best friend Carys gives her the perfect present – The Single Girl͛s Calendar – which has a different cure for heartbreak every day:

Day 1: Look and feel fabulous with a new hair style.

Day 2: Step out of your comfort zone and try something new.

Day 3: Reconnect with friends and enjoy!

Despite thinking it͛s a bit of a gimmick, Esmé hasn͛t got any better ideas, so she puts the plan into action. By the end of week one she has four new male housemates, and despite a broken heart she is determined to show Andrew she can do more than survive, she can thrive.

What does TWG think?

Esme has her own plan in life – get married, have children, and settle down. As far as she is concerned, anything other than those three means she has failed. Yes, I know, you’re probably sitting there rolling your eyes. I have to admit, I did think that Esme was a little high maintenance to begin with – it took me a little while to see the character for who she truly was underneath all of the military planning bravado. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having a plan in life – especially where your relationship is concerned. However, if the other person in the relationship doesn’t seem to be on the same page as you, you can’t really claim that you have failed when it wasn’t actually YOU. Whilst I appreciate that it is incredibly easy for me to say that, trying to convince Esme of that fact was a whole other ball game. So much so, her best friend gives her a gift that will either give her a well needed kick up the backside, or would give her a reason to hide herself underneath her duvet for the immediate future.

I thought the whole premise of the ‘single girl’s calendar’ was absolute genius. It was the thing which made the real Esme shine bright like a diamond, instead of coming across like a spoilt princess. I preferred the real Esme as she was a lot more relatable than the one we met at first. There were times where I thought Esme was off her rocker with the rash decisions she made, but in a weird way, I guess part of me found it be quite endearing. At least she was trying to fix her life, right?

‘The Single Girl’s’ calendar pleasantly surprised me! I thoroughly enjoyed this laugh out loud, relatable, heart-warming and addictive novel. It made me realise that if things don’t end up going to plan in your life, just put on your big girl pants and own the change like the diamond that you are. Well, until shops decide to sell a real life ‘single girl’s’ or ‘time to sort your life out’ calendar!

Definitely a fun-filled, memorable new novel from author Erin Green.

Links to Buy:Amazon // Kobo // iBooks

Extract.

Carys reached for Esmé’s hand and gently squeezed it.
‘So, what have you done all morning?’
‘Apart from visit cafes, I’ve walked around the city, stared in shop windows and had a
meltdown when I found myself in the crime section at Waterstones…’ Esmé coughed as a
wave of nausea lifted to her throat. ‘I felt fine until then. How many times has that store
saved my skin with his birthday presents or stocking fillers? Not anymore. Those days are gone.’
‘In that case, I have just the thing,’ announced Carys, releasing Esmé’s hand before
rummaging in the plastic bag beneath her chair. ‘Don’t laugh, but this actually helped me
through the break-up with Myles.’
‘I thought I helped you get through that.’
Carys raised her head mid-rummage, her corkscrew curls bouncing as she disagreed.
‘Nope! You know nothing about break-ups, Esmé. Seriously, your relationship has been
so long-term you haven’t a clue. But this…’ Carys lifted a pink boxed object onto the table
top. ‘This might help.’
‘What the hell?’ said Esmé, staring at the advent calendar styled object with its tiny
perforated doors.
‘It’s 100 per cent tack and it only cost a fiver but—’
‘Carys?’
‘Hear me out, Esmé… it’s worth a laugh if nothing else.’
‘Yeah, sure,’ said Esmé, lifting the calendar to read the blurb on the reverse.
Want a sassy new way to overcome a break-up? Or simply an opportunity to
focus on your life? The Single Girl’s Calendar is made for you! Behind every
door is a task that will help you focus on you, and you only! A whole month of
pampering, mindfulness activities, caring and sharing ideas which in just four
short weeks will have you feeling on top of the world! An insightful way to put a
spring back into your step as a strong, independent woman!
‘Are you serious?’
Carys nodded.

Giveaway!

Win an Erin Green Ceramic Mug! (UK only) x3

Enter now!

About the author.

Erin was born and raised in Warwickshire, where she resides with her husband. An avid reader since childhood, her imagination was instinctively drawn to creative writing as she grew older. Erin has two Hons degrees: BA English literature and another BSc Psychology – her previous careers have ranged from part-time waitress, the retail industry, fitness industry and education. She has an obsession about time, owns several tortoises and an infectious laugh!
Erin’s writes contemporary novels focusing on love, life and laughter. Erin is an active member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and was delighted to be awarded The Katie Fforde Bursary in 2017. An ideal day for Erin involves writing, people watching and drinking copious amounts of tea.

Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads Author Page // Instagram // Website

#BlogTour! #Review – Summer in San Remo by Evonne Wareham (@EvonneWareham) @BrookCottageBKS @ChocLitUK

Summer in San Remo Tour Banner(1)
What perfect timing to be able to lose yourself in a summery read, just when the snow is about to hit! I am delighted to welcome Evonne Wareham back to TWG as I review ‘Summer in San Remo’. Thank you, as always, to the publisher for a copy of the book, as well as BrookCottageBooks for the blog tour invite. Here is my review:

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Anything could happen when you spend summer in San Remo …

Running her busy concierge service usually keeps Cassie Travers fully occupied. But when a new client offers her the strangest commission she’s ever handled she suddenly finds herself on the cusp of an Italian adventure, with a man she thought she would never see again.

Jake McQuire has returned from the States to his family-run detective agency. When old flame Cassie appears in need of help with her mysterious client, who better than Jake to step in?

Events take the pair across Europe to a luxurious villa on the Italian Riviera. There, Cassie finds that the mystery she pursues pales into insignificance, when compared to another discovery made along the way …

What does TWG think?

There are days when life decides to throw you a big, stinking curveball, making your mood plummet quicker than your favourite sports team losing their game. There are also days when you’re able to pick up a book and lose yourself in the storyline, completely tuning out to everything outside of the fictional world you now inhabit. ‘Summer in San Remo’ is one of those books.

Just like many people, I use books to escape my daily hell. Not only was I able to escape said hell with Evonne Wareham’s novel, my mind was able to stop over thinking everything. How magic is that? I’m not even being dramatic!

Cassie Travers runs her own business doing ‘odd jobs’ for clients who either can’t find the time to do them, or they have no idea where to even begin. Her work load changes direction when a unique job comes in, causing Cassie to call for extra help outside of her business. Unfortunately, that was where Cassie’s past came back to bite her on the behind. That said, I think her past LITERALLY wanted to bite her on her behind…

I thought ‘Summer in San Remo’ was such a fun book to read, mixing a fast paced storyline with oodles of cracking one liners, touching situations, and a storyline which threatened to give me a sun tan from the pages alone. Oh if only!! Whilst the cover of this book highlights the summery feel, there really was a lot more to this book that meets the eye, a lot of which is found out over the course of the novel. What I’m trying to say is, if you’re unsure of this book due to the simplistic cover, still pick it up and give it a go – you will not be disappointed.

The perfect antidote for anyone in a foul mood, ‘Summer in San Remo’ is the book that will give you the respite your mind needs. Full of summer lovin’, picturesque setting, tons of drama, and characters who are incredibly fun, with a storyline that you’re able to lose yourself in. What more could you want?

Buy: Amazon UK // Amazon US // Apple // Kobo // Google // Nook

About the author.

Evonne Wareham was born in Barry on the South Wales coast, but spent most of her working life in London. Now home again in Wales she is studying for a PhD in History and writing romance.

She was a finalist in two reality writing contests in the United States and had a great time, even if she didn’t win. When not studying or writing, she loves to travel, go to the theatre, walk on the beach and sleep. She has won and been nominated for awards for her romantic suspense novels on both sides of the Atlantic, but Summer in San Remo is something different – a romantic comedy with a light dusting of crime – which is a change of pace from writing the dark scary stuff. She is a member of both the Crime Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, which means she gets to go to twice as many literary parties.

Author links: Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads // Blog // Website

#BlogTour! #Review – The French Adventure by Lucy Coleman (@LucyColemanAuth) @Aria_Fiction @BrookCottageBKS

French
Bit late to the party tonight, but it’s here now! I am super excited to be sharing my review of Lucy Coleman’s ‘The French Adventure’. Big thanks to BrookCottageBks for the blog tour invite, as well as the ARC. Here is my review:

The French Adventure
Suddenly unemployed and single, Anna escapes to her parents’ beautiful house in France for a much-needed recharge – and to work out what she wants to do next with her life now her carefully mapped out plan has gone out the window.

Anna gives herself 6 months to recuperate, all the while helping renovate her parents’ adjoining gites into picturesque B&Bs. But working alongside the ruggedly handsome Sam on the renovation project, she didn’t expect for life to take an unexpected, if not unwelcome, twist…

What does TWG think?

Right, I pride myself on being honest, so I need to lay my cards out on the table right here, right now. Personally, the beginning of this book grated on me, coming across as a bit too ‘Dear Diary’ for my liking. Now I’m not too sure whether that was the storyline, or whether it was the way the main character, Anna, came across, but it did make it a lot harder for me to completely gel with the storyline.

HOWEVER, at around the halfway mark, the authors writing style became more prominent, showcasing her true talent in all its glory. It was from that moment when I started to gel with the storyline and its characters, looking forward to what was coming up next. The ‘Dear Diary’ feeling had gone, and Anna came across as being more defined as a character. Please don’t think I’m being harsh by what I said above, I’m not at all. All of my comments in this review are solely based on my opinion and are in no way personally directed at the author…..and breathe!

When the storyline changed its location to France, I found myself becoming a lot more empathic to Anna and the situation she had found herself in. Of course I had a few choice words to say about the other ‘person’ in the equation, but I’ll let you find that out for yourself when you read it! I was so pleased to see her personality grow as the storyline went on, as it blossomed her confidence with made her seem a lot more likeable and a lot more ‘you know what, I see myself in her’.

Even though ‘The French Adventure’ does contain a romantic element, the story itself is a mixture of thought-provoking situations, dramatic scenes, and a good daffy of mystery. The romance didn’t overpower the gritty parts of the storyline, and the gritty parts didn’t overpower the romance. All in all, for me, I found the storyline to be rather well-balanced – I mean, it had everything you could want!

Despite not getting off to a good start with ‘The French Adventure’, I am so, SO glad that I listened to my gut an persevered with the book as I ended up thoroughly enjoying it, with my cheeks hurting due to a big beamer I had on my face. I loved how different the vibe of the story was, especially the uniqueness of the characters themselves and what the author got them doing. It wasn’t samey, it was completely refreshing.

Such a delightful, magnetic, enchanting and smile inducing read from the fabulously talented, Lucy Coleman. If you’re fed up with seeing snow every time you open the curtains in the morning, what better way to escape all of that than by going on ‘The French Adventure’ of a lifetime.

Buy now!

Excerpt.

The L Word
Two weeks today will be the first anniversary of our first real date. Being wined and
dined in a chic little French restaurant was a gigantic step forward; it signalled the
beginning of a new era in my relationship with Karl. Even though at least half of the
meal was spent talking about work, his intentions were clear – we were no longer
simply colleagues and romance was in the air.
Since then, Karl must have told me that he loves me more than a thousand times.
You might think I’m exaggerating, but I can assure you that’s not the case. He
usually manages to slip it into the conversation at least three times a day. The first
time he said the L word to me, it slid off his tongue so easily I could almost have
missed it. It wasn’t a staring into each other’s eyes moment of discovery, just a
casual ‘love you, babe’.
As the months rolled by, I pushed aside my growing fear that it was only a word to
him. Because it means so much more to me, I freeze whenever he tacks it onto a
sentence.
And, yes, I’m very aware that my air of disapproval does make me sound ungrateful
and undeserving. But it’s all about self-preservation, you see. I’ll never utter that
word again until I’m one hundred per cent certain that the man I’m saying it to
believes I’m their soul mate too – the perfect fit.
The last time I uttered the L word, was six years ago. It was to a guy I’d known since
childhood and the man I genuinely believed I would marry when the time was right.
He was handsome in a rugged way, fired up with ambition and exciting to be around.
Sadly, everyone we knew thought we were the perfect couple too, except the guy in
question, as it turned out…

About the author.

Lucy Coleman always knew that one day she would write, but first life took her on a
wonderful journey of self-discovery for which she is very grateful. Family life and two very diverse careers later she now spends most days glued to a keyboard, which she refers to as her personal quality time.

‘It’s only when you know who you are that you truly understand what makes you
happy – and writing about love, life and relationships makes me leap out of bed
every morning!’

If she isn’t online she’s either playing with the kids, whose imaginations seem to
know no bounds, or painting something. As a serial house mover together with her
lovely husband, there is always a new challenge to keep her occupied!
Lucy also writes under the name Linn B. Halton.

Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads Author Page // Website

Competition!

Prize
To be in with a chance of winning the French coffee set pictured above, all you need to do is click the link below. Good luck!

Please note that the giveaway is UK only!

Enter now!

#BlogTour #Review – The Long Walk Back – Rachel Dove @WriterDove @HQDigitalUK @brookcottagebks

The Long Walk Back Tour Banner

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Does everyone deserve a second chance?

As an army trauma surgeon Kate knows how to keep her cool in the most high
pressure of situations. Although back at home in England her marriage is falling
apart, out in the desert she’s happy knowing that she’s saving lives.

Until she meets Cooper. It’s up to Kate to make a split-second decision to save
Cooper’s life. Yet Cooper doesn’t want to be saved. Can Kate convince him to
give his life a second chance even though its turning out dramatically different
from how he planned?

What does TWG think?

What an opening!! The first couple of pages of this novel had me absolutely gripped. Will they survive or won’t they? How would they come back from the devastating situation they witnessed? Only time would tell, but it was going to be a rollercoaster ride of a journey, whichever way it went.

It was pretty clear from the onset that the storyline was going to be highly emotive – I just didn’t expect it to be THAT emotional. ‘The Long Walk Back’ covers a variety of topics, always giving you something to sink your teeth into when you turn the page. Obviously I can’t discuss my thoughts on the plot too much, as that would result in spoilers!

I have to admit though, there were times when I could not stand Kate. I found a lot of her actions to be extremely selfish and self-centred, especially given the nature of her circumstances. Whilst I realise that people react in different ways during troublesome times, I found Kate’s reactions to be jaw dropping. And not in a good way. On the other side of the coin though, there were times where I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her journey, hoping for the best outcome for her current situation. Kate had gone through so much in such a short space of time, I’m not disputing that at all, I just wish she didn’t make me go ‘hmmmmm’ a lot of times, that’s all.

As for Cooper, well, I think the author hit the nail on the head regarding his character traits, especially how he reacted to a certain life changing event. His heart always seemed to be in the right place which, whilst was so lovely to read, I felt it was wasted on Kate. God I sound nasty don’t I haha. Just to clarify, these are my opinions of the characters and not my opinion of the authors writing. I treat characters in books like real  people!

Overall, I really did enjoy reading ‘The Long Walk Back’ as it was so refreshing to read a storyline which laid a lot of ‘taboo’ subjects bare, showing readers that there are people in the real world who deal with things like the characters in the book. It was realistic, relatable and of course, emotionally charged. I absolutely love Rachel Dove’s writing style as she always seems to get into the heart of her characters, ensuring that they deliver the storyline to the highest level. Once again, I do think that the author has delivered on that, and I feel that Rachel Dove should be exceptionally proud of the rock solid storyline she has created.

Emotional, heart-warming, and most definitely eye-opening; ‘The Long Walk Back’ will make you look at your life in a completely different way, changing your mindset from just ‘being’ to ‘living’.

Huge thanks HQDigitalUK.

Amazon UK // Kobo // Barnes and Noble 

Extract.

Kate was in a real mood; Trevor could tell from the way she pounded across the tent to him.
He was doing his rounds, and they had had a good night. A good night here was when they still had the same number alive as the day before. A great day was when there were no casualties at all, but Trevor was hard pushed to remember many days like that.
‘Who’s upset you? Neil whingeing about doing the dishwasher again, is he?’ Trevor asked, and immediately regretted cracking the joke when the icicles from Kate’s frosty glare jabbed him in the chest.
‘Captain Cooper thinks he is hilarious. I’m just waiting for him to call me ‘toots’ and slap me on the behind,’ Kate said, seething. Trevor checked the vitals on his sleeping patient, and satisfied, made notes on his chart.
‘So he’s awake? That’s amazing! How is he doing?’
‘Oh he’s doing just fine, for a male chauvinist pig.’
Kate,’ Trevor admonished, trying not to laugh at her furious expression. ‘How are his vitals?’
Kate pursed her lips, taking a breath to focus on the job. ‘He’s stable, the chest drain is
working well. I’m still concerned about his leg though. He has limited blood flow to the area, and I’m worried about sepsis.’
Trevor nodded sadly. ‘So he will probably lose the leg, if we try to keep him alive.’ He
rubbed at his temples. ‘Not told him any of this, have you?’
Kate shook her head. ‘I told him you would explain on this morning’s ward round. I wanted to go through everything again, monitor him closely for as long as we safely can before we make a decision.’
Trevor looked at her, his face unreadable. ‘It may not be our decision, it’s up to him.’
Kate looked nonplussed. ‘The evac chopper is coming in two days. At present, he’s too
unstable to move. We need to get him home then, leg or no leg. A decision between losing a limb and dying is not a great thing to have thrust at you, granted – but he wants to live,
surely?’
Trevor placed the chart at the foot of the bed and started to walk towards the next patient, issuing medication instructions to the nurse as he walked.
‘Kate,’ he began in a tone he might have used to tell his child that Father Christmas wasn’t real. ‘I have worked on men like Captain Cooper since this whole nightmare started. These are army men to the core. Sometimes going home means no family, no buddies, no job, and a lifetime of relying on other people. They are proud, and sometimes, to them, the reality is worse than death. Don’t take anything for granted when it comes to patient wishes.’
‘A boy died yesterday, to save these men. Surely that’s reason enough to want to live?’
Kate ran her fingers through her hair, suddenly feeling tired all over again.
‘Cooper knows that. Better than most, probably. It’s still his decision, he has to live with it. Understood?’ Trevor spoke firmly now.
Kate opened her mouth to argue, but she thought better of it. She respected her mentor,
always had, and she didn’t want to argue. Not when the fact that life was so short and
precious was evident in every face, every feature she saw over here. ‘Understood.’

Giveaway!!

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About the author.

I am a wife, mother of two boys, perpetual student, avid reader and writer of words. I sometimes sleep, always have eye bags and dream of retiring to a big white house in Cornwall, with 2 shaggy dogs, drinking wine on my seafront balcony whilst creating works of romantic fiction. All done with immaculate make up and floaty dresses.
In the meantime I nearly always remember to brush my hair, seldom have time to look in a mirror and write many, many to-do lists.

My first solo novel, Crossing Life Lines is out now in Kindle and paperback format. Look out for my horror shorts, published through Bayou Brew Publishing: The House of Sugar Blood, August 2013 and Uni Assassin, out now, and my short story, Mallow Girl, out now.
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 e-book and paperback, and the follow-up novel in the series, The Flower Shop on Foxley Street.

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#BlogBlitz! #Review – House of Christmas Secrets by @LyndaStacey @ChocLitUK @Brookcottagebks

HOCS copy
This year we’re just going to have a nice, normal Christmas…

Last year’s Christmas at Wrea Head Hall didn’t quite go to plan which is why Jess Croft is determined this festive season will be the one to remember, for the right reasons. And she has plenty of reasons to be hopeful, she’s going to marry the man of her dreams, Jack Stone, seven days after New Year’s Eve.

However, as family secrets are revealed in hidden letters and two unexpected guests turn up on the doorstep, Jess is left wondering whether her life will ever be the same again.

Can Jess and Jack still experience a peaceful festive season that they had imagined or are there some problems that even Christmas can’t fix?

What does TWG think?

In all honesty, I have no idea how to even begin with this review. I mean, there is SO much to this storyline from suspense to romance, to domestic situations to crime, I really don’t think that my words about this book would do it justice in the slightest. I will try my very best, but do expect a little vagueness as I don’t wish to undo the authors hard work by giving away her extraordinary storyline.

‘House of Christmas Secrets’ follows on from Lynda Stacey’s previous novel, ‘House of Secrets’ which was published last year. Seeing as I didn’t read the first book before I got stuck into this festive treat, I really do feel that ‘House of Christmas Secrets’ can be read perfectly well as a standalone. However, if you’re wanting to get more of a back story to certain characters, then you may wish to read the first book before starting this book. For me, I found that NOT reading ‘House of Secrets’ beforehand, allowed me to experience more shock when certain situations arose – especially when the author brought some of the characters past to light. I was stunned, emotional and absolutely gripped by the story which the author was drip feeding me. How could Jess and her family move on from such heartbreak and devastation? You would think that Christmas time brought out people’s kind-hearted nature and generosity, wouldn’t you? Well, certain characters in this book obviously couldn’t give a flying candy cane whether it was Christmas or not, as they only had their own interests at the forefront of their mind. Regardless of how much upset it brought to other people.

Obviously I don’t wish to give anything away, BUT, this storyline really did take me on a rollercoaster ride from start to finish. As I said above, the storyline incorporated romance alongside crime, domestic situations alongside heartbreak – and that’s just the obvious themes! I absolutely loved how ‘House of Christmas Secrets’ was able to take a snippet from most genres, mix them altogether with some rather unforgettable characters, to create one memorable and gut wrenching novel. Reading this book was a bit like having a picnic – you’re unsure as to what one thing you fancy to eat, but with multiple plates full to the brim of exciting treats, you would think it an absolute travesty not to try something from each plate. Why have one genre when you can have multiple?

I did find several parts of this storyline quite difficult to read as the situations were exceptionally heart-breaking and emotional. I really was a bag of nerves hoping that things ended well for a couple of the characters in particular. I had to remind myself to breath! Also, and I might be the only one to say this, but my golly Jack Stone annoyed me! It was like battling with a man-child! Incredibly selfish, he really got my back up!

Overall, ‘House of Christmas Secrets’ is an unexpected, heart-warmingly devastating novel which seemed to enjoy ripping out my heart, before carefully putting it back in like the hearts from Build-a-Bear. I absolutely adored this novel, and I am in awe at the authors skills for including so many jaw dropping themes, whilst also maintaining the high level of emotion, poignancy and intrigue.

Definitely recommend this book, although make sure you switch every phone off before you start reading so that nobody can disturb you. Trust me, you really don’t want to move your eyes off the page for a second.

Huge thanks to ChocLitUK & BrookCottageBKS.

BUY LINKS

House of Christmas Secrets 
House of Secrets 
Tell me no Secrets

GIVEAWAY

Prize – 2 x signed copies of House of Secrets (UK & Ireland)

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About the author.

Lynda grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire,
Her own chaotic life story, along with varied career choices helps Lynda to create stories
of romantic suspense, with challenging and unpredictable plots, along with (as in all
romances) very happy endings.

Lynda joined the Romantic Novelist Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New
Writers Scheme and in 2015, her debut novel House of Secrets won the Choc Lit &
Whole Story Audiobooks Search for a Star competition.

She lives in a small rural hamlet near Doncaster, with her husband, Haydn, whom she’s
been happily married to for over 20 years.

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#BlogBlitz! #Review – What Happens at Christmas by @EvonneWareham @ChocLitUK @Brookcottagebks

What Happens at Christmas Tour Banner
This evening I am pleased to welcome Evonne Wareham to TWG for the very first time, as part of a book release blitz courtesy of BrookCottageBKs. Huge thanks to ChocLitUK for the ARC, and BrookCottageBKs for having me take part in this blitz. Here is my review:

WHAT HAPPENS AT CHRISTMAS_FRONT
Best-selling author Andrew Vitruvius knows that any publicity is good publicity. His agent tells him that often, so it must be true. In the run-up to Christmas, she excels herself – talking him into the craziest scheme yet: getting himself kidnapped, live on TV.

But when the plan goes ahead and Drew is unceremoniously thrown in the back of a van before being dragged to a hut in middle of the Brecon Beacons, it all starts to feel a little bit too real.

Meanwhile, not far away, Lori France and her four-year- old niece Misty are settling in to spend the holidays away after unexpected events leave them without a place to stay. Little do they know they’re about to make a shocking discovery and experience a Christmas they’re not likely to forget..

What does TWG think?

If you’re looking for a book which can cater for all of your bookish needs in one large swoop, look no further as Evonne Wareham has written a story which not only contains romance, it also contains a large about of suspense and grit. What more could you want?

What is even better is that ‘What Happens at Christmas’, if you haven’t worked it out already, is incredibly apt with this time of year as the story is set during the festive period. And no, before you start wondering, you’re not the only one who stresses out at this time of year. Take a look at Lori for example. She had a plan, was looking forward to her plan, but within seconds that plan had come unstuck thanks to an incredibly selfish family member. With Christmas looming and a house in disrepair, Lori has no home comforts around her and, funnily enough, neither does a Christmas guest who seems to have found himself in a rather sticky situation. Literally.

Hopefully I won’t sound like I’m being picky here, but there was something which I found rather confusing about this book. As the storyline was told from both Lori and Andrew’s viewpoints, I would have been able to enjoy the story more if those parts had been clearly set out and clearly labelled. Unfortunately they weren’t, which meant that it took me a little while to work out whose life I was on. Whilst it was clear that both characters lives are exceptionally different, the flow of the storyline became rather hindered by the confusion I felt when it took me most of a section to work out who I was reading. I appreciate that it might seem a minor detail to other people, but for me it does make a huge difference to my overall enjoyment of the novel.

That said, as soon as both characters paths crossed at about 35% of the way through, I was able to let myself go with the flow of the storyline a lot more. From that point on, I seemed to race through the pages, hooked on the situation which Andrew found himself in, as well as ensuring that Lori and her niece had the happy ending that they deserved. Personally, at 35% read, I felt that ‘What Happens at Christmas’ was in its element. The flow was lovely, the characters were intriguing, and the storyline was severely addictive. In my eyes, that was the important turning point for the storyline and I am SO glad that it had that moment.

As I said above, ‘What Happens at Christmas’ doesn’t just contain romance. It contains so much more – I was in shock during several events! Totally unexpected, whilst also being very cleverly written into the rest of the storyline.

Overall, this book had a jam-packed storyline which was completely unique. Evonne Wareham was able to take me on a roller coaster ride of journey, whilst still being able to make me go ‘awwwwww!!!!’ at the same time. Impressive!

A delightful, festive, addictive, and more-ish novel, which will bring suspense and romance together in the most unusual way. I thoroughly enjoyed this cosy treat.

Thanks ChocLitUK.

Amazon UK // Amazon US // Apple // Kobo // Google

About the author.

Evonne Wareham was born in Barry on the South Wales coast, but spent most of her working life in London. Now home again in Wales she is studying for a PhD in History and writing romance.

She was a finalist in two reality writing contests in the United States and had a great time, even if she didn’t win. When not studying or writing, she loves to travel, go to the theatre, walk on the beach and sleep. She has won and been nominated for awards for her romantic suspense novels on both sides of the Atlantic, and is now also writing romantic comedy with a light dusting of crime – which is a change of pace from writing the dark scary stuff. She is a member of both the Crime Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, which means she gets to go to twice as many literary parties.

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#Tour! #Review – Christmas at Bay Tree Cottage by @LinnBHalton @HarperImpulse @Brookcottagebks

Christmas at Bay Tree Cottage Tour Banner
Every time I’m on a tour for Linn.B.Halton I get SO excited! I love being able to share my thoughts on such Linn’s wonderful books, and this one is no exception. Here is my review of Linn.B.Halton’s festive treat – Christmas at Bay Tree Cottage.

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The countdown to Christmas is usually a magical time, but Elana James is fed up with living on a building site! The renovations on her beautiful cottage – like her heart – have been frozen in limbo ever since she was unexpectedly widowed.

Elana calls in a professional, Luke Stevenson, to help finish the cottage, so her little girl can send letters to Santa up the newly-repaired chimney. Luke’s kind, capable and sexy – but he’s also ten years younger than Elana. So why has her heart decided it’s finally time for a thaw?

What does TWG think?

SNIFF. SNIFF. SNIFF.

For those of you with children, you’ll understand how magical Christmas with young children can be, especially with those who believe in Santa. I’m sure a lot of parents can find the whole thing quite emotional when they see their children’s happy faces on Christmas morning, realising their ‘biggest wish of their life’ has come true by Santa bringing them ‘Pie Face’. Now, if you add a child who has lost one of her parents into the mix, the emotion within the storyline gets put on a totally new level. Coming from a person who has ‘Ice Queen’ as their nickname, even I melted at the contents of this novel. Seriously, you’ll have to be a person with no soul if you’re not at least a little bit moved by this book. Trust me.

Elana James’ life got turned upside down in the blink of an eye. In the aftermath of such unfortunate circumstances, Elana is left to bring up her little girl single-handedly, keep a roof over their heads (literally) with her career, as well as try to find the time to turn a DIY SOS disaster into a finally finished home. What Elana wasn’t prepared for was her new-found builder to be exceptionally easy on the eye and brilliant with her daughter. Surely it’s time to move on, right?

Elana’s situation caught me right in the feels. Although to be honest, if there wasn’t a child involved, I don’t think I would have been quite so emotional (I realise that makes me sound heartless but you’ll see what I mean when you read the book). I just couldn’t even begin to imagine what the James’ went through, especially now that Elana’s daughter is of an age where she wants answers. You can’t really blame her either. The whole debacle with the chimney left a golf ball sized lump in my throat for several hours after finishing this book. I mean….wow. Heart-wrenching yet totally relatable.

There were a couple of situations within Linn.B.Halton’s novel which shocked me at the time yet I couldn’t seem to work out why they were there. Don’t get me wrong, they didn’t seem to stick out like a sore thumb, but I thought that the neighbourly situation was a little bit….random whilst also coming to an abrupt stop. It didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the novel at all, I just wondered why, that was all.

I loved the warmth of the storyline with the mixture of loveable characters. I loved how the Christmas spirit was laid bare to begin with, yet built each bauble at a time throughout the novel. As for Elana’s life – I loved how relatable, realistic and genuine her story was as it made me connect to the main character a lot quicker. She didn’t seem to hide her emotions or pretend to be something that she’s not. Instead, Elana was determined to make the best of a bad situation whilst also trying to do the right thing by her little girl, even though she thought every decision she made was the wrong one.

Linn.B.Halton has, once again, taken a heart-wrenching, real-life situation and turned it into a thought-provoking, touching and emotional read. I really have no idea how this author manages to produce such truly wonderful books, but she does. This authors writing skills and story telling abilities are second to none, which makes every single book I read of hers an absolutely treasure to read. Linn.B.Halton most definitely has a fan for life in TWG for as long as she continues to produce such enchanting novels such as this one, and her entire back catalogue.

‘Christmas at Bay Tree Cottage’ is such a cosy and touching novel, which is probably going to play havoc with your emotions until the very last page.

Turn off your phone, grab the box of Kleenex and curl up in bed with this absolutely beautiful read – you’ll be a fool not to.

Magical.

Thanks HarperImpulse/BrookCottageBooks.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

Extract.

‘Mum, can we light the log fire tonight?’ Maya looks up at me with eager eyes.
‘I think we should wait until the weekend, darling. There isn’t really time to appreciate
it on a school night, is there? Besides, I’m not even sure whether there are any logs
left in the store. I promise to get it sorted as soon as I can.’
It was Niall’s job, sorting the fire. He would have booked the chimney sweep in early
autumn and had the logs all ready and waiting, stacked neatly against the back wall
of the garage. Ironically, last year I was much more organised. I suppose it was one
of my coping mechanisms during those raw, early weeks and months. Keep going;
keep doing something – anything, so I didn’t have to listen to what was in my head.
But I feel bad. Maya will remember that this time last year we spent every evening
huddled together on the sofa in front of the fire, reading. Hour upon hour we escaped
into alternative worlds inspired by some wonderful authors. Roald Dahl’s Matilda, E.
B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, and Maya’s favourite, Jill Murphy’s The Worst Witch, a
story of tenderness and triumph.
It was the very worst of times, but I focused on getting us through it one day at a
time. My gut instinct, immediately after the accident, had been to sell the cottage just
to escape that prevailing sense that something was missing. Niall was no longer
here and it would never, ever be the same again. But soon realisation dawned that
Maya needed a sense of continuity; the memories trapped within these walls were a
lifeline for her, although a cruelly painful reminder for me. In a way she feels her dad
is still here and I can’t take that away from her.

About the author.

Bristol-born Linn lives in the Forest of Dean, in the UK. She resides there with her
lovely husband and cat, Ziggy. She has been writing novels since 2009 and has
written short stories for a number of magazines. She is also known for her series of
‘Home by Design’ articles wearing her former interior designer hat.
“I’m a hopeless romantic, self-confessed chocaholic, and lover of coffee. For me, life
is about family, friends, and writing. Oh, and the occasional glass of White Grenache”
An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in
November 2015, Under The Stars also became a best-selling novel in November
2016. Linn’s novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the
eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance:
Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.
Linn writes chick lit, romantic comedy, women’s contemporary fiction and psychic
romance. Publishers include Harper Impulse, Choc Lit and Endeavour Press.

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