#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 – The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer (@Kate_hamer) @FaberBooks

DF blog tour (2)
Thank you to Faber&Faber for the blog tour invite and a proof copy of the book. Here is my review:

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My name is Ruby. I live with Barbara and Mick. They’re not my real parents, but they tell me what to do, and what to say. I’m supposed to say that the bruises on my arms and the black eye came from falling down the stairs.

But there are things I won’t say. I won’t tell them I’m going to hunt for my real parents. I don’t say a word about Shadow, who sits on the stairs, or the Wasp Lady I saw on the way to bed.

I did tell Mick that I saw the woman in the buttercup dress, hanging upside down from her seat belt deep in the forest at the back of our house. I told him I saw death crawl out of her. He said he’d give me a medal for lying.

I wasn’t lying. I’m a hunter for lost souls and I’m going to be with my real family. And I’m not going to let Mick stop me.

What does TWG think?

Good golly!!! Where do I even begin?!

You’ve got to agree with me that the title of this book is extremely intriguing, right?! As soon as I received the e-mail alerting me to this book, I knew straight away that with a title like ‘The Doll Funeral’, the storyline wasn’t going to be all unicorns and rainbows. Well, not that it took much to work that out but you know what I mean.

As a new author for me to read, I was looking forward to seeing how Kate Hamer executed her words – especially seeing as this was the very first time I had heard of her!

Within the first couple of pages, it soon became clear that ‘The Doll Funeral’ was exceptionally dark and twisted. Ruby has been living a lie for so long and, seeing as she now knows the ‘truth’, Ruby decides enough is enough and attempts to find the light in her life.

Unfortunately for Ruby though, things aren’t quite that simple – especially given the fact that Ruby can see a lot more than she lets on. No, really…

I have to say that Kate Hamer certainly knows how to reel her readers in! Even when I found myself reading parts of the book through my fingers, it was the authors execution of the storyline which became an addiction. Being totally truthful, I found a lot of the story quite difficult to read in terms of its theme and overall presence. However, I fully appreciated the authors literary talent throughout the entire novel.

Despite not being a huge fan of paranormal experiences, I couldn’t help but be curious where Ruby was concerned.

‘The Doll Funeral’ is not for the faint hearted at all but, due to the authors incredible writing skills, I was able to engage with the storyline a lot more than I had originally thought. Very cleverly written.

Thanks FaberBooks.

Buy now from Amazon UK

TWG’s #TopBooksof2017! @Bookouture @TeamBATC @Headlinepg @HQDigitalUK @AvonBooksUK @ChoclitUK

The Writing Garnet's
It’s that time of year again when most publishers, bloggers, readers, publicists, (you catch my drift) go through their ‘read’ books of the year, ready to compile a list of their most favourite books. A yearly ritual which sees ‘TBR’ piles growing even bigger, lists being compared, and readers finding new books they wouldn’t have dared to pick up until they read that particular list. A ritual where all the fabulous books us readers/bloggers have fallen in love with over the past year, get celebrated once again.

In lament terms, we get to gush. Having read a total of 318 books in 2017, I knew my #TopBooks list wasn’t going to be small. Have you SEEN the books published this year!? 2017 has been an outstanding year for books. So many debut authors have shone with their debut novels, whilst other authors many already love have upped their game with yet another novel. I have managed to get my list down to a Top 40 otherwise we would have been here until next year going through them, but, in all honesty, I could have happily put most of those 318 books on this list!

In absolutely NO particular order, here are TWG’s #TopBooksof2017!

 

1. A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson
(You can read my review here)
2. The Legacy of Lucy Harte by Emma Heatherington
(You can read my review here)
3. Before You Go by Clare Swatman
(You can read my review here)
4. Sister, Sister by Sue Fortin
(You can read my review here)
5. The Quiet Man by James Carol
(You can read my review here)
6. The Second Chance Tea Shop by Fay Kennan
(You can read my review here)
7. The Year of Saying Yes by Hannah Doyle
(I am still due a full review for all parts of this book – watch this space!)
8. Lost For Words by Stephanie Butland
(You can read my review here)
9. The Woman at Number 24 by Juliet Ashton
(You can read my review here)
10. The Wedding Girls by Kate Thompson.
(You can read my review here)

11. Blink by K.L.Slater
(You can read my review here)
12. A Time to Change by Callie Langridge
(You can read my review here)
13. The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan
(You can read my review here)
14. Too Damn Nice by Kathryn Freeman
(You can read my review here)
15. Another Woman’s Husband by Gill Paul
(You can read my review here)
16. The Law of Attraction by Roxie Cooper
(You can read my review here)
17. I’m Still Standing (previously titled ‘Reach For the Stars) by Colleen Coleman
(You can read my review here)
18. 37 Hours by J.F.Kirwan
(You can read my review here)
19. If You Could See Me Now by Keris Stainton
(You can read my review here)
20. Til The Dust Settles by Pat Young
(You can read my review here)

21. The Betrayed by Casey Kelleher
(You can read my review here)
22. The Detriment by David Videcette
(You can read my review here)
23. The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters by Jaimie Admans
(You can read my review here)
24. Skin Deep by Laura Wilkinson
(You can read my review here)
25. Trust Me by Angela Clarke
(You can read my review here)
26. Summer at the Dog and Duck by Jill Steeples
(You can read my review here)
27. Hot Mess by Lucy Vine
(You can read my review here)
28. It Started With a Tweet by Anna Bell
(You can read my review here)
29. A Little Christmas Faith by Kathryn Freeman
(You can read my review here)
30. A Little Luck, A Lot of Faith by Linn.B.Halton
(You can read my review here)

31. Dying Breath by Helen Phifer
(You can read my review here)
32. Dying Day by Stephen Edgar
(You can read my review here)
33. Scream Blue Murder by Tony.J.Forder
(You can read my review here)
34. The Little Clock House series (book 1&2) by Eve Devon
(Reviews can be found here and here)
35. Murder Game by Caroline Mitchell
(You can find my review here)
36. The Lost Child by Patricia Gibney
(You can find my review here)
37. The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen
(You can read my review here)
38. How To Be Champion by Sarah Millican
(I still need to write my review for this book – watch this space!)
39. Bad Sister by Sam Carrington
(You can read my review here)
40. The Other Mother by Judith Baker
(You can read my review here)

Phew! I’m knackered now! If any of the above books tickle your fancy, all purchase links can be found on the review link below each title. So many incredible books written by such fantastic authors – it has been an absolute honour to have been given ARC’s of a majority of the above books. I would like to say a huge thank you to:

Simon&Shuster // ChocLitUK // Harper Impulse // PanMacMillan // Bookouture // Aria
Headline // Bombshell Books/Bloodhound Books // HQDigitalUK // Faber Books 
Accent Press // Avon // Orion // Orenda & Bonnier Zaffre

for giving me the opportunity to read all of the above books. I would also like to thank all of the authors above for writing such jaw dropping and emotional reads! I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – this year has been a fantastic year for books and I want to extend another thank you to every author and publisher behind each and every one of the 318 books I have read this year. Just like many readers, I use books to escape and without you writing/publishing those books, I truly don’t think that I would be able to cope.

Whilst 2017 has blown me away, 2018 is set to be another brilliant year for books as well – my number one novel to watch out for in 2018 is ‘Anatomy of a Scandal’ by Sarah Vaughan which is due to be published on the 11th January 2018. I was very lucky to receive an ARC of this book before publication and you can read my review (as well as pre-order the book) by clicking here.

Did any of YOUR favourites pop up in my #TopBooksof2017? Let me know in the comments if any have, or whether you have decided to nab a few of these books for your own TBR piles!

2017, it has been a bookish pleasure. I cannot WAIT to see what 2018 brings in terms of books!

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheLastPlaceYouLook by Kristen Lepionka @KMLwrites @faberbooks

The Last Place You Look - BLOG TOUR POSTER

The Last Place You Look
Sarah Cook, a beautiful blonde teenager disappeared fifteen years ago, the same night her parents were brutally murdered in their suburban Ohio home. Her boyfriend Brad Stockton – black and from the wrong side of the tracks – was convicted of the murders and sits on death row, though he always maintained his innocence. With his execution only weeks away, his devoted sister, insisting she has spotted Sarah at a local gas station, hires PI Roxane Weary to look again at the case.

Reeling from the recent death of her cop father, Roxane finds herself drawn to the story of Sarah’s vanishing act, especially when she thinks she’s linked Sarah’s disappearance to one of her father’s unsolved murder cases involving another teen girl. Despite her self-destructive tendencies, Roxane starts to hope that maybe she can save Brad’s life and her own.

With echoes of Sue Grafton, Dennis Lehane and the hit podcast Serial, The Last Place You Look is the gripping debut of both a bold new voice and character.

What does TWG think?

Despite being content knocking back countless shots of whiskey, Roxane Weary knows that her bank balance won’t exactly be jumping for joy. Luckily for Roxane an out of the blue phone call from a lady with a cheque book, seems to be enough to knock her backside into gear. For now.

A missing teenager. Her dead parents. A man on death row. His sister adamant that he’s innocent. Outlandish? Maybe so. Impossible to solve in two months? Who knows…

The story started with a character hangover and a missing person, but it didn’t take long for the storyline to turn incredibly twisted. Whilst PI Roxane Weary is ballsy and determined, I am genuinely surprised that she didn’t land herself in more trouble. She got herself into some scrapes, that’s for sure. But, I could see why she did. She was going with her gut instinct and in my eyes, that made up for the fact she chose not to use her noggin.

Having read multiple storylines which start off with a missing person just like this one, I really hoped that the story was going to be unique and not just be a case of hide and seek. Thankfully, the plot grew darker and darker with every chapter. Just when I thought that the case was nearly solved, something else came out of the woodwork and turned the investigation on its head.

I found it exceptionally easy to get lost in the storyline, mirroring the main characters frustrations in the investigation which resulted in a complete, and utter head funk. I didn’t know whether I was coming or going! There were so many police offers popping up sporadically, I couldn’t keep track! By the way, everything I’ve mentioned so far is all good as I was so invested in the book.

Most of the time I liked Roxane’s uniqueness, and her ‘I don’t give a f…’ attitude to regulations. However, I did find myself disliking the way she refused to take certain things seriously. There’s being laid back and then there’s being uninterested, and I found that Roxane was the latter. Don’t get me wrong, she was determined to get results and I praise her for that, but I felt that something was missing and I couldn’t quite put my finger on what.

Overall, ‘The Last Place You Look’ was a dark, and twisted story which managed to keep me on my toes. I thoroughly enjoyed the intensity of the plot as well as the rollercoaster ride of events. Such a promising debut from author, Kristen Lepionka, I am looking forward to seeing what she produces next.

Thanks Faber and Faber.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#TWGGetsTalking – How to tell the difference between being nasty & being constructive #reviews

Twg gets talking
You should all know by now that I like to talk, ESPECIALLY when I am passionate about something and believe that it needs to be spoken about.

Once again, opinions have been thrust into the limelight and definitions have been questioned. Before I explain further, I’m just going to paste the Oxford dictionary definitions of two words; nasty, and constructive.

Nasty: very bad, or unpleasant.
(definition of unpleasant is: Causing discomfort, unhappiness, or revulsion; disagreeable.)

Constructive: Having or intended to have a useful or beneficial purpose.

constructive

Two completely different word with extremely clear definitions, yet people are still getting confused by the two words.

Why?

As a reviewer, I have always been made aware that authors (or anyone who gets critiqued) tend to appreciate CONSTRUCTIVE reviews as opposed to NASTY reviews. With both types of reviews your opinion is given – that is NOT the issue. After all, every person on this Earth is entitled to their opinion. We are allowed to dislike something. We are allowed to express our dislike of something. We are allowed to jump for joy about something. What the issue is, however, is the WAY those points are put across.

Believe me, I open my trap before my brain connects sometimes, ending up with goodness knows what flying out of my mouth. But when it comes to reviews, I am extremely careful about how I voice my opinion.

For example; ‘Omg I hated that book, it was absolutely shit, the author bored me to tears.’

What’s wrong with that sentence?

Okay, so, the example above is someones opinion. They’re entitled to that. Answer me this; was it constructive, or nasty?

If you said that the example was a constructive comment: seriously? How does saying that a book was ‘shit’, come across as beneficial to the author?
It doesn’t.

It’s rude and it’s nasty. Imagine if you cooked a meal for a group of people and someone came up to you afterwards and said that they thought your cooking was absolutely vile, would you benefit from that?

To turn the above example into a constructive opinion, here’s an example:
‘Personally, this book wasn’t really my cup of tea as I couldn’t quite gel with the storyline. I felt that it came across as quite over the top and unrealistic, which in turn made me switch off.’

The different between the two examples is substantial. The example above still highlights your dislike, yet it also explains WHY you felt that way. It’s also not personally attacking the person who wrote the book, whilst still keeping your opinion entitlement intact.

Whilst authors are painfully aware that their books could end up with negative reviews and their book babies critiqued, it doesn’t mean that just because they have put something in the public eye, that they should expect nasty comments or personal attacks.

YES, they have written something which will get critiqued.
YES, everyones opinion does differ.
YES, readers are entitled to dislike their book.

Just DON’T be nasty about it!

In book clubs, you’re going to have the perfect opportunity to talk about various books whether it’s an online or offline. But, do you think that it’s respectful to openly blast and author and their book, in an online book club which they could be a member of?
Yes or no?

No it’s not!!! Go ahead and state your opinion about a book, but if you’re going to sit there and say that a book is so bad and how you wanted to ‘light a match under it’; that’s not stating your opinion, it’s called being nasty.

As we hear all the time, not everyone will like the same book. Well duh! I fully admit that I have read a book and disliked it. But instead of reviewing it nastily, I gave it a constructive review as there will always be something in a book that you’ll like. I explained what I didn’t like about the book, I also explained WHY I didn’t like those parts, how it made me feel, and so on. I also explained what I DID like about the book. I still managed to express my opinion on the book, without insulting a human being with feelings in the process.

So, if you’re ever in an online book group where the admin have asked you to talk about books in a constructive manner; respectfully do it. They aren’t taking away your freedom of speech. They aren’t banishing you from stating your opinion. They are just asking you to express your opinion respectfully and constructively. Authors have feelings too.

It really isn’t that difficult to do..

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheQuietMan by James Carol (@JamesCarolBooks) @faberbooks

thequietman
Eeek!!! I am beyond excited to be the second tour stop on James Carol’s blog tour for his new book, The Quiet Man, which is out on the 4th May (paperback, e-book 2nd May). Big, big thank you to FaberBooks (Lauren) for inviting me to be part of this blog tour, here’s to many more! I really do hope you enjoy reading my review!

thequietman1

In Vancouver, the wife of a millionaire is dead following an explosion in her own home.

Everyone thinks her husband is responsible, but former FBI profiler Jefferson Winter isn’t so sure. The method is too perfect; the lack of mistakes, uncanny. He’s seen a series of carefully orchestrated murders – once a year, on exactly the same day, a woman dies in a situation just like this one.

That date is fast approaching and Winter knows another victim has been selected. Can he identify the quiet man before he strikes again?

What does TWG think?

Oh.My.Goodness!!!! Where on Earth do I begin?! I started James’ novel at the weekend, and I also finished it at the weekend! If you follow me on social media you would have noticed how animated another blogger and I were about this book (HI CLAIRE! P.S her tour stop is Friday!). Before now, I had only heard of James Carol’s books and unfortunately never read one; what a fool. What a major, major fool I am. WHY HAVE I NOT READ ANY OF HIS BOOKS BEFORE!?!?! If you know the answer to that please….don’t tell me as I feel utterly ashamed of myself -rocks backwards and forwards-.

Let me just clear one thing up – ‘The Quiet Man’ IS from the ‘Jefferson Winter Thriller’ series, however, you can read this novel as a standalone as it doesn’t require any knowledge of the previous books to enjoy the plot. That said, if you’re anything like me, you’ll read ‘The Quiet Man’ and head straight onto Amazon to binge buy his other novels. Yes, yes, I did do that. Lets just say I have found a new favourite author (& series) thanks to this book. OH, EM, GEE!

Jefferson Winter is AMAZING! Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t like to get on the wrong side of him or bump into him down a dark alley, but oh, he really is a phenomenal lead character. Not only does he have a charismatic personality, he also has an authoritative air about him which he adds humour to, A LOT. I don’t mean ‘knock knock, who’s there?’ type funny, I mean dry, sarcastic humour that makes you laugh out loud and think ‘burn!’. Ooops, pardon the pun…

As much as I would love to scream and shout about how amazing and complex the plot is with snippets, I really do not want to land myself in hot water by giving away spoilers. The storyline IS incredibly complex and every piece of information is linked to something else, which increases the suspense level with every turn of the page. Absolutely brilliant. What amazed me the most was the high level of detail throughout the entire storyline as every part of the investigation had been meticulously thought through by the author. I could tell that this storyline was a labour of love instead of a rush against time.

‘The Quiet Man’ is such a gripping, intense, and fast paced read which took me prisoner from the very beginning. Carol’s bold and addictive writing style had me hanging onto every word he wrote and every mood he described, whilst also pulling me into the storyline as though I was seeing things with my very own eyes.

Honestly, I could gush about this book all day, it really was THAT fantastic. I loved the entire book; there was absolutely nothing that I felt could have been done differently. Usually I find books like this to be out of my comfort zone, but with ‘The Quiet Man’, I honestly don’t think that I could have felt MORE in my comfort zone.

If you’re looking for a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat, forget how to breathe, and feel as though time is on fast forward; then this book is for you. Without Faber Books alerting me to this phenomenal read, I probably would have missed out on finding my brand new favourite book and series, just like ‘The Quiet Man’ and Jefferson Winter have become.

A truly unputdownable novel, I honestly cannot recommend this book enough.

Thank you so much Faber Books.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US