#BlogTour! #Review – If He Wakes by Zoe Lea (@zoeleawriter) @canelo_co

If He Wakes Final Blog Tour Banner
Ohhhhhhhhhhh my goodness! I apologise for yet another late post but I am so excited to be sharing my review of Zoe Lea’s ‘If He Wakes’ as part of the blog tour. Huge thanks to Canelo for the blog tour invite and the ARC.

If He Wakes Cover
You can always trust your best friend… can’t you?

When Rachel discovers a Twitter message arranging a romantic liaison she assumes her
husband is having an affair, and follows him. What she witnesses is so much worse: a hit
and run using his car.

Meanwhile, Rachel’s friend and business partner Suzie is increasingly worried about her
fiance, who’s not been in touch for days. When Suzie learns of huge debts racked up in her name she fears he has run out on her, but then the threatening calls start and she thinks something terrible has happened.

Rachel and Suzie are both about to learn shocking things about the men they love, worse
than they could ever imagine… Can their friendship survive?

What does TWG think?

It isn’t often the I read a book, get to 36% of the way in and think to myself, ‘this book has 5 stars written all over it’. But, I did and IT did! Of course it meant that the rest of the book had a lot to live up to, to match with the strong 36% I had already read. And you know what? Reader, it did!

Oh my goodness me! Rachel thought everything in her life was going swimmingly. She had started a new business with a new friend, her family seemed happy enough, with nothing that she couldn’t fix if she needed to. However, Rachel’s bubble burst far too quickly when she found some messages that weren’t for her own eyes. Was her husband having an affair? It was time for Rachel to go incognito…

Not that she could go incognito when she ended up unintentionally witnessing something that she rather wished she didn’t! Something that was going to change her life , and the lives of her loved ones…

‘If He Wakes’ blew my mind! What a fantastic, high energy, demanding, and twisted read which kept my eyes glued to the pages until the very end. I didn’t want to pull my eyes away, even if I could have done, I wouldn’t have! The storyline had me hooked straight away, especially as everything wasn’t what it seemed, yet due to the way Rachel was reacting, even I started to question what I had read. Did I misinterpret what had happened? Did I miss a bit out? Did my imagination get the better of me and add additional words to Zoe Lea’s storyline?

It wasn’t only Rachel who seemed to draw the short straw in the ‘see who’s life sucks the most’, her friend Suzie even got in on the action! I have to admit that the parts of the storyline which had Suzie are the forefront, were incredibly hard to read due to the theme they contained. That said, it was eye-opening because things like that do actually happen in real life. Shamefully. I thought the way the author incorporated it all into one big storyline was impressive, intense and extremely hard-hitting. There were moments where I did feel slightly uncomfortable, but I felt that I had to continue in the hope that who deserved it, got their comeuppance by the end of the book.

Zoe Lea has written an outstanding novel which is guaranteed to squeeze every breath out of your body like a popped balloon. With dark themes throughout, the storyline gripped hold of my wrists for the entire duration, glueing my eyes to each and every page the author had written. I cannot believe that this is Zoe Lea’s debut novel!!

I really cannot recommend this book enough and I cannot WAIT to read more from this author if ‘If He Wakes’ is anything to go by!

Buy now from Amazon.
Buy now from iBooks.

About the author.

Zoe Lea lives in the Lake District with her husband, their two children, three dogs and
peregrine falcons. She has previously worked as a teacher, photographer and freelance
journalist and is a writer in the day and a reader by night. If He Wakes is her debut novel.

Advertisements

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

Forever at Conwenna Cove Blog Tour (1)
It’s day three of Darcie Boleyn’s blog tour for #ForeverAtConwennaCove and the tour bus stops with me, TWG! Hosting Darcie and her books is always a pleasure, but today this is a very bittersweet post as it is the last book in the Conwenna Cove series. Pass the tissues, this could get emotional! Big thanks to Canelo for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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

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

What does TWG think?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buy now!

Author Bio:

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

#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?

#BlogTour! #Review – #SunshineAndSecrets by Daisy James (@DaisyJamesBooks) @Canelo_co

Sunshine & Secrets Blog Tour Banner (2)
Apologies for my late posting, however, I am delighted to be reviewing Daisy James’ latest novel, ‘Sunshine & Secrets’ on the blog today! Huge thanks to Canelo for the blog tour invite, as well as the ARC.

dj
When newly heartbroken, michelin-starred chef Millie Harper is offered a job overseeing the setup of The Paradise Cookery School she jumps at the opportunity. Leaving London and her memories of heartbreak behind she hops on a plane to the hilltop cocoa plantation in St Lucia.

But this beautiful island break might be more work than she’d expected…. With only two
weeks to have the kitchen installed, cocoa pods going missing from the plantation and the notoriously relaxed island workmen to contend with, she’s going to need some help. Gruff but charming estate manager Zach Baxter, is only too happy to offer his opinions. As the two clash heads can they remain focussed on the job in hand and get the cookery school finished in time?

Pack your bags and jump right into the sun and secrets of The Paradise Cookery
School.

What does TWG think?

What a fab start to a brand new series! I couldn’t help but lose myself in ‘Sunshine & Secrets’ straight away – the storyline was so appealing, whetting my appetite as much as a big slice of cake.

Millie really annoyed me at first because she came across as such a wet blanket, making some of the other characters seem more of a main character than she was. Millie did end up changing my opinion a little bit towards the end, but I really do hope she finds more inner strength as the series progresses.

Aside from that, I thoroughly enjoyed Zach and Millie’s banter! It kept making me laugh out loud, making the vibe of the storyline even more relaxed than before. I thought the story was very well paced, full of the right amount of drama, laughter, and diversity to keep my attention until the very end.

My only big issue with ‘Sunshine & Secrets’ was the fact that it had to end! I was so getting into what was happening with the cookery school and learning more about Zach, when the book decided to end – how rude!! I cannot wait to read the next instalment of this series, and I really do feel that Daisy James has started her new serial off with a bang or, in Millie’s case, several dozen cupcakes!

Such a cosy, relaxing and colourful story to tickle your taste buds, whet your appetite, and get you prepared for even more tantalising recipes as the series progresses. Love it!

Buy now from Amazon UK

About the author.

Daisy James is a Yorkshire girl transplanted to the north east of England. She loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. When not scribbling away in her summerhouse, she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something pink and fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.

Twitter // Facebook

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

The Writing Garnet-5
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!

coverquote
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 – #Dark Game by Rachel Lynch (@r_lynchcrime) @canelo_co

thumbnail_dark-game-blog-tour-banner-4
Oh my goodness, isn’t it cold?!

Of course it is, just look at the chilling read I have for you this evening!! I am thrilled to share my review of ‘Dark Game’ by Rachel Lynch as part of the blog tour. What a book!! Big thank you to Canelo for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

51it3gkuzal

After a scandal forces DI Kelly Porter out of the Met, she returns to her home turf in the Lake District. Crimes in the Cumbrian constabulary tend to be of the minor sort, but Kelly begins work on a cold case that shocked the local community – the abduction and brutal murder of ten-year-old Lottie Davies.

Meanwhile, Kelly is also investigating two seemingly straightforward crimes: a case involving an illegal immigrant, and a robbery following the death of local businessman Colin Day. But evidence comes to light that reveals a web of criminal activity beyond anything Kelly imagined. Behind the veneer of sleepy, touristy towns lies a dark and dangerous underworld. As Kelly threatens to expose those with much to lose, she risks paying the ultimate price to get to the truth…

What does TWG think?

I have been waiting to read a book which not only contains crime, but is predominantly police procedural based – I’m sure you can guess how excited I was to read ‘Dark Game’! Rachel Lynch’s book really does live up to it’s not so bright title as yes, the storyline is exceptionally dark. If you’re easily offended, then I suggest not reading this book as the author has incorporated a lot of shocking events into a relatively small space and, whilst I was absolutely hooked from the get go, some readers may find the theme a bit too twisted.

Not me, obviously! That said, if you had mentioned this book to me a couple of years ago –  I would have raised my eyebrow at you and told you not to be so daft (I was a wuss!). Now when I get asked to read dark, crime books such as this one, I jump at the chance whilst also holding on tight as I know it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Kelly is determined to do her best in her new role in the Lake District. After working in the busy Met, Kelly is used to fast paced, tough criminal activity and, even though she has adjusted her mindset to accommodate the pace change, Kelly has no option but to give it her best shot. Oh, she certainly does that alright!!

Clearly I do not want to give anything away as that would be just pointless, so, all I will say is that this storyline is one that just keeps on giving, even when you think everything has slowed down. It hasn’t; the story is just taking a couple of second breather. Basically, keep your attention on the events in this book otherwise you literally will blink and miss something vital. I know I did….once or twice!

I did find some of the themes covered in ‘Dark Game’ exceptionally hard to read, but, it is what it is and unfortunately things like this happen in real life. Even though there were times where I thought to myself ‘what on Earth was that?!’, I refused to put the book down as I was enthralled by Kelly’s confident persona, as well as the gritty and chilling storyline. As far as I was concerned it was a winning combination – I fluffing loved this book (yes that sounds weird considering what it contains, but y’know!!).

‘Dark Game’ is dark, twisted, shocking, chilling, gritty, and exceptionally fast paced. I would love to give this book more than five stars, however, I am not magic by any means but at least the thought was there!

Absolutely brilliant and very, very cleverly written, ‘Dark Game’ will knock your socks off time and time again!

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – #IfIFall by Ella Harper (@Ella_Harper) @canelo_co

If I Fall Blog Header
Two years ago I read my first Ella Harper novel before I was even a blogger! Fast forward two years and I am now on the blog tour for one of my most favourite authors. It is an absolute honour to share my review of ‘If I Fall’ by Ella Harper, today, as part of the blog tour organised by publisher Canelo. Big thank you to Canelo for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

37640593
I’m really sorry for what I’m about to do…

It’s fifteen years since graduation, and Connie, Jonas, JJ and Layla have managed to remain close despite the odds. They’ve supported each other, but are some things too big for friendship?

Connie is desperate to maintain the veneer of perfect family life.

Jonas is feeling the pressure at work.

Layla’s career is unravelling thanks to her ill mother

JJ’s past is catching up with him.

When they stumble and fall, who will be there to catch them?

What does TWG think?

I really don’t think my review will do this book justice in the slightest, I really don’t. Whatever I write, really wouldn’t showcase the storyline in the way that it needs to be showcased. Seriously. I will try my very best to get my thoughts across but trust me on this; you NEED to read this book, like right now.

Four friends. Four different personalities. Four completely different lives. Fifteen years are a long time for someone who you once knew, to become someone you no longer know. These four friends really do highlight the saying of ‘nobody knows what happens behind closed doors’. Just because you’re a best friend to somebody, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you know every single thing about them. What if they’re too ashamed to tell you their deepest, darkest secret? What if they’re holding something back because they have absolutely no idea how to deal with? What if they think their problem is theirs and theirs alone, despite knowing that their friends are there for them if needed?

Are they REALLY there for them?

Without going into too much detail; Connie, Jonas, JJ, and Layla have gone through so much together. Marriages. Births. Deaths. Health concerns. Family issues. You name it, they have probably given one another their shoulder to cry on. Yet, each of the four characters are going through such difficult times which they attempt to deal with on their own. Obviously, without telling you what happens in the book, you’re probably sitting there a bit confused as you have no idea what I am talking about. However, please do trust me (again) when I say that you need to read this book – everything will become much clearer.

If a heart was physically able to break multiple times in the space of 400 or so book pages, you’ll be able to see how much this book affected me. My heart genuinely felt like it was constantly breaking. Not for all of the characters though, there was character in particular which I’m sorry to say, I couldn’t muster up any empathy or sympathy towards. Yes, this character was going through a difficult time, but in all honesty, does that excuse actions which lead to devastating results? Personally, no. No it doesn’t.

Whilst reading ‘If I Fall’, I remember struggling to breath as I was so upset for one character. I wanted to scream ‘NOOOOO’ out loud because of another character. I found tears pricking my eyes alongside an urge to hug yet another one of the characters. I found myself blubbering because of the emotional journey the author took me on with every single one of her characters, what they dealt with, as well as the repercussions of every single of their actions. My heart broke because a younger character saw something that they will never be able to rid their mind of. My heart broke because their innocence was taken away from them far too early. A lot of the characters pasts struck a chord with me which made this even more of an emotional read.

Even though the storyline was full of heart-breaking situations, emotional tales and gut-wrenching events, ‘If I Fall’ absolutely blew me away with its extremely powerful storyline. I have absolutely no idea how the author managed to write such an emotive read, whilst also delivering it absolutely flawlessly.

Full of devastation, emotion, heart-warming moments, belief and strength, ‘If I Fall’ is definitely a top contender for a top book of 2018, whilst also jumping its way into my ‘most favourite books of all time’ list.

I absolutely cannot recommend this enough, but I would advise you to keep the tissues beside you just in case.

Such a beautifully heart-breaking novel, written with such poise, strength and power; If I Fall is a read which needs to be devoured by every single person. If you were to do one thing for me today, it would be to buy this book and read it, before the time comes when you need to ask yourself; ‘who would be there for me If I Fall?’.

Amazon UK // Kobo UK // GoogleBooks UK // Apple Books UK

Author Bio:

Ella Harper learned foreign languages, and imagined she might eventually get a glamorous job speaking French. After climbing her way up the banking ladder, Ella started idly mapping out the beginnings of a novel on an old laptop. When she realised her characters were more real to her than dividends and corporate actions ever could be, she left her job to become a writer.

#BlogTour! #Review – Dreaming of Florence by T.A.Williams (@TAWilliamsBooks) @canelo_co

Dreaming of Florence Blog Tour banner (4)
First up on the blog today is my review of T.A.Williams’ dreamy novel, ‘Dreaming of Florence’. I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour today – huge thanks to Canelo for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

TAW

When Debbie Waterson’s bicycle crashes into handsome doctor Pierluigi, she wonders if her luck has changed. Determinedly single after ending a long relationship, at last, a man worth bumping into!

Inspired to visit Florence, she soon runs headlong into that old foe: reality. But is Pierluigi the man of her dreams? Then there’s her booze obsessed boss, his forbidding secretary and her noisy inconsiderate neighbours. But could her luck be about to change? Will she find love after all?

What does TWG think?

I have never been to Italy before and, to be perfectly honest, I only have google images to see what the incredibly popular holiday destination looks like. However, after being transported to Italy via T.A.Williams’ delectable storytelling, I felt like I was taking steps around Italy with every turn of the page. Obviously I would love to see the country for myself, but, seeing as this author brought the country alive with his storyline, I would quite happily settle with books like this for the near future.

The phrase ‘falling head over heels’ where romance is concerned has never been more apt, especially seeing as Debbie Waterson managed to do that in front of a doctor. Well, she crashed into him when she was on her bike; same thing though, right?

I gelled with Debbie’s character from the get go. Her feistiness with a hint of naivety was a breath of fresh air as it made Debbie come across more likeable. Plus, she made me giggle a few times as well which always helps!

Debbie has always dreamt of going to Florence but, because of job and the lack of never-ending funds, Debbie had to put her dream on hold. As soon as a chance to fulfil her dream arises, Debbie is filled with nerves – what if the reality of Florence doesn’t match up with her dreams?

I really don’t want to give anything away, so please do excuse my vagueness! That said, Debbie’s adventure in this book makes excellent reading, as it highlights the importance of going after your dreams and living in the moment instead of just….being. Despite Debbie’s character starting off a little bit shy, it was great to see her come out of her shell when she realised the world was her oyster and other people needed her help.

‘Dreaming of Florence’, despite being fiction, gave me a well needed kick up the rear and made me realise that my dreams won’t come true unless I actually go and do something about them.

Once again T.A.Williams has brought beauty to readers doorsteps, courtesy of his delightful new book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Debbie’s journey and I am sure you will too.

Enchanting, heart-warming and beautifully written, ‘Dreaming of Florence’ is the book which will turn a blue January into a majestic January.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – Christmas at Conwenna Cove by Darcie Boleyn (@DarcieBoleyn) @canelo_co

Christmas at Conwenna Cove Blog Tour Banner (2)
As I am sure you’re aware of by now, I am a HUGE fan of Darcie Boleyn’s novels, so of course I jumped at the chance of being part of her latest blog tour for her new release; ‘Christmas at Conwenna Cove’, which was published by Canelo on the 9th October. I am delighted to be hosting today’s stop on the blog tour alongside a truly good blogging friend of mine; Rae Reads. Make sure you check out her blog post as well. Today for my post I am honoured to be sharing my review with you all. Huge thanks to Ellie Pilcher for inviting me on this blog tour!

darcie

A heartwarming, romantic and Christmassy novel set in the gorgeous Cornish village of Conwenna Cove.

When Grace Phillips travels to Conwenna Cove to help her parents move there 30 years after their honeymoon in the village, she sees why they fell in love with the place. The festive decorations, carols in the air and constant supply of delicious mince pies certainly make it hard to leave. Grace soon meets local vet Oli Davenport and initially finds him rude, but learning about his passion for animals and how much he cares for his two kids helps Grace to see a softer side to Oli.

It’s been two years since Oli lost his wife to cancer. Though he loves eleven-year-old Amy and five-year-old Tom more than anything it’s hard to be mum and dad. He has no interest in romance until he crosses paths with beautiful and kind-hearted Grace. The sparks fly but both Oli and Grace are holding onto fear about letting someone into their heart.

As the snow falls and Christmas wishes come true can Conwenna Cove work its magic and help Grace and Oli find the happiness they both deserve?

What does TWG think?

To be perfectly honest, I don’t think that there has ever been a Darcie Boleyn novel that I ended up not liking. Don’t get me wrong, I have liked some storylines more than others, but I still loved them regardless. With that in the back of my mind, I of course had my fingers crossed that ‘Christmas at Conwenna Cove’ would follow suit. The burning question is; did it?

If you’re already familiar with Darcie Boleyn’s novels, you’ll be well aware that this book sees us visit Conwenna Cove for the second time this year. Even though ‘Christmas at Conwenna Cove’ is the second book in the series, it can be read as a standalone with absolutely no issues. However, my advice would be to still buy the first book; ‘Summer at Conwenna Cove’ anyway as it is a fantastic book. Win win really, eh?

Oli Davenport has fantastic bedside manner when it comes to his patients, but if you’re not moo-ing, baa-ing, meow-ing, squeak-ing, woof-ing, or anything similar, Oli Davenport probably wouldn’t be getting a gold star for his customer service skills anytime soon. Just like visitor to Conwenna Cove, Grace, finds out. If there was a winner for the rudest person in the village, THEN Oli would receive his gold star, but seeing as he continues to rub humans up the wrong way, he has more chance of ending up alone. However, what a lot of the newbies don’t realise, Oli Davenport hasn’t exactly had a smooth ride over the past few years. Not only did he lose his wife to cancer, his two children also lost their mum. Only the really mean-spirited people wouldn’t soften at that….right?

Just like Darcie Boleyn’s previous novels, I was pulled into the storyline almost straight away. It didn’t take me too long to get re-acquainted with Conwenna Cove either, even though we were meeting new faces. Conwenna Cove has held a special place in my heart after reading the first instalment and, once again, the beautiful setting and loveable characters made Conwenna Cove become one of my all-time favourite settings in a book. Hats off to the author for being able to bring that sparkle with her into ‘Christmas at Conwenna Cove’, absolutely flawlessly.

I don’t want to give anything about the storyline away (of course), but please do trust me when I say that this book needs to be put on your TBR without fail. Not only does the storyline contain festivities and excitement, it also contains heart-warming moments and eye-opening situations whilst also highlighting the true meaning of family, friendships and of course; Christmas.

Beautiful beyond belief, touching and absolutely perfect; Darcie Boleyn has done it once again! Full of memorable characters, sparkling situations and an endless supply of magic; ‘Christmas at Conwenna Cove’ is the perfect addition to anyone’s bookshelf, any time of the year. I wish I could read this book for the first time, every time. Absolutely fantastic.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – The Woolly Hat Knitting Club by Poppy Dolan (@poppydwriter) @canelo_co

The Woolly Hat Blog Tour Banner (4)
What perfect weather for wearing a woolly hat! Good to know our author is keeping herself nice and toasty whist visiting all the blogs on the blog tour, that’s for sure! Speaking of which – I have the pleasure of hosting Poppy Dolan and ‘The Woolly Hat Knitting Club’ as we go into day two of the tour! Huge thanks to Canelo for asking me to be involved in the blog tour – here is my review:

woolly hat

Finding happiness one stitch at a time

When Dee Blackthorn’s brother, JP, breaks both wrists not only is he in need of a helping hand – or two – but the knitting shop he owns can’t function. Sisterly duties take Dee away from her demanding job and she is unceremoniously fired amidst rumours of inappropriate behaviour. Dee is certain that her hot-shot nemesis, Ben, is behind it all but has no proof.

When Dee bumps into an old friend who is new mum to a premature baby she convinces JP to enlist his knitting pals to make lots of tiny woolly hats. Then Ben turns up denying involvement in Dee’s sacking and she ropes him into helping the knitting cause.
But before long Dee’s good intentions backfire and she risks losing her friends, her family and Ben, who’s turned out to be not so bad after all…

A feel-good romantic comedy about learning what life is really all about, The Woolly Hat Knitting Club is perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Tilly Tennant and Carole Matthews.

What does TWG think?

TWG and knitting do not go hand in hand. I’m more likely to tie myself in a knot with the wool instead of knitting with it (and no, not in the kinky way either). I used to knit…a very long time ago, but I expected one of those Jean Greenhowe doll patterns to be completed a lot quicker than it actually was. Granted I was eight, but that’s not the point. As an avid reader, I have only read one other book which has knitting as its theme…surprisingly! As soon as I saw Poppy Dolan’s new novel I was rather eager to let myself loose into the knowledge of, er, purl stitch and such. Well, that and it looked so much fun.

To be perfectly honest, I really didn’t know what I was expecting ‘The Woolly Hat Knitting Club’ to entail (apart from the obvious), yet I was still rather surprised when the ‘drama’ bells rang within the storyline after several pages. I rubbed my hands together with glee thinking that I was in for a bumpy ride….and it was two broken wrists. TWO BROKEN WRISTS. I never knew knitting was such a dangerous sport! I jest….kinda. I will probably sound mean now, but as soon as the two broken wrists became part of the storyline in great detail, I couldn’t help but giggle. I could just imagine two arms stuck out like a snowman. Let me just say that if it happened to me, I wouldn’t be laughing, but it was just the way it was described in the storyline that made me chuckle.

Whilst I hoped I would laugh, I never expected to feel tears prick my eyes when the storyline went from jokey, to incredibly serious. Reader, it gave me all the feels and I’m not even joking. Two words – premature babies. That’s all I’m saying (it’s in the blurb so I won’t get told off). For me personally, the direction in which the storyline took after the emotional scene made the entire novel go up several notches. Instead of it just being about knitting and broken wrists; the storyline started to have meaning and incredible depth.

Now, as I admitted at the start of this novel – I am not a knitter. However, after reading about the woolly hats for premature babies, I have decided to re-learn how to knit and get some premature baby hats knitted for my local area. That whole situation hit home for many, many personal reasons and thanks to Poppy Dolan, I am actually going to give something back. Without the author’s important message in her storyline, I wouldn’t have been given the kick up the backside.

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Woolly Hat Knitting Club’ as it was cleverly written and so unique. That said, I couldn’t really work out what the issue with Dee was later on in the book, I didn’t see an issue in her actions so I became a little confused by her brothers reactions. Maybe that’s just me I don’t know!

The highlight of Poppy Dolan’s novel (aside from the hats), was the 90’s references. I laughed out loud to several of the band names, even re-reading a previous page to see whether what I read was actually what I read! Absolutely brilliant.

All in all, ‘The Woolly Hat Knitting Club’ is a feel good novel which is guaranteed to make you giggle, whilst also preparing you for world dominance – knitting style. A perfect paced read from start to finish; Poppy Dolan has written a storyline with a heart of gold and never-ending hugs. The perfect pick me up book.

Thanks Canelo,

Buy now from Amazon UK

Author Bio:

Poppy Dolan is in her mid thirties and lives in Berkshire with her husband. She's a near- obsessive baker and a keen crafter, so on a typical weekend can be found moving between the haberdashery and kitchenware floors of a department store, adding to her birthday wish list. She has written three novels: The Bad Boyfriends Bootcamp, There’s More to Life than Cupcakes and most recently The Bluebell Bunting Society. The Bad Boyfriends Bootcamp made it into the Amazon top 100 bestseller chart, so clearly someone other than her mum must have read it. She’s currently working on her fourth novel – it’s about friends, siblings and crafty things – and drinking far too much tea.

You can get in touch with Poppy on Twitter @poppydwriter and on Facebook at
PoppyDolanBooks. She doesn’t bite. Unless you are a dark chocolate digestive.