#BlogTour! #Review & #Extract – Her Last Breath by @TracyBuchanan @AvonBooksUK

HLB Blog tour

Tracy Buchanan’s blog tour ends with me, TWG! I am delighted to be able to share my review of ‘Her Last Breath’ with you guys, alongside an extract from the book itself. Big thanks to Avon Books for inviting me on this fabulous tour!

Her Last Breath Cover
A girl has gone missing. You’ve never met her, but you’re to blame.

FROM THE #1 BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF MY SISTER’S SECRET AND NO TURNING BACK

Food writer Estelle Forster has the perfect life. And with her first book on the way, it’s about to get even better.

When Estelle hears about Poppy O’Farrell’s disappearance, she assumes the girl has simply run away. But Estelle’s world crumbles when she’s sent a photo of Poppy, along with a terrifying note: I’m watching you. I know everything about you.

Estelle has no idea who’s threatening her, or how she’s connected to the missing teen, but she thinks the answers lie in the coastal town she once called home, and the past she hoped was long behind her.

Estelle knows she must do everything to find Poppy. But how far will she go to hide the truth – that her
perfect life was the perfect lie?

Her Last Breath is an addictive, page-turning read that fans of Liane Moriarty and Claire Douglas will love.

What does TWG think?

I’m genuinely surprised that I didn’t end up using my last breath whilst reading Tracy Buchanan’s novel! Estelle Forster hasn’t exactly had a plain sailing life and, despite coming across as a clean, level-headed author, Estelle fears that her past will come back to haunt her and ruin the life that she has made for herself. When a teenager goes missing and Estelle receives a photo of the missing girl, her perfect image starts to unravel.

What impressed me most about ‘Her Last Breath’, was the amount of dead ends in the storyline! When events started unfolding, I felt pretty certain about a character who I thought was involved due to his behaviour throughout the storyline. However, my certainty was short-lived. I’m not going to lie, that happened on more than one occasion throughout the book.

I found it extremely difficult not to be engrossed by ‘Her Last Breath’ as the suspense level seemed to get raised in every chapter. I was eager to find out what Estelle’s story was and how she ended up receiving photographs of a missing girl. I thought that the lead up to the conclusion was incredibly intense, full of depth and brilliantly written. Without giving anything away, I didn’t see the conclusion coming…at all. I was shocked. I thought I had missed several red flags along the way, and maybe I did. But because I was focusing on other characters involvements, I wasn’t focusing on those involved in the conclusion. It’s kinda crazy how we interpret storylines differently, especially seeing as we focus on different parts and different situations in our own special way.

‘Her Last Breath’ had me hooked from the first page with its chronically addictive plot and intriguing characters. I could not believe what I was reading, I’m surprised I didn’t end up with paper cuts on my fingers due to my swift page turning!

Intense, addictive, and rather shocking, ‘Her Last Breath’ is such a fantastic and more-ish read written by the fantastic Tracy Buchanan.

Thanks Avon Books.

Buy now from Amazon UK

[Extract 14 from Chapter 6 pp. 48-49]

After they left, Estelle stayed where she was for a few moments, taking in some deep breaths. After all these years, today, that moment, she knew who her child was. Knew what she looked like. Knew what had become of her. Knew that she had run away from her seemingly perfect family. She blinked away tears and strode into the kitchen, getting her laptop out and searching for information on Poppy and her new family. They clearly had money: her father a TV presenter, her mother an interior designer. She learned they lived in a huge house overlooking Richmond Park. My God, they’d been living less than a half-hour train ride from each other! Poppy attended one of the UK’s top schools and was a keen hockey player. There were photos of Poppy with her father. A beach shot. Another of them walking through muddy puddles as they laughed. There was the dog again too, a golden Labrador puppy.

Poppy had a good life with a well-off family who could provide her with everything she needed. If anything came out of this, Estelle reassured herself, it was that she’d done the right thing giving her up for adoption. There was no way a fifteen-year- old Estelle could have offered the kind of perfect life the O’Farrells had. But, then, why had Poppy run away if it was all so perfect? She was a teenager, Estelle reasoned. Teenagers rebelled. Estelle knew that more than anyone. She’d return safe and sound soon, just like the police officers said.

But why the Polaroid photos, the messages?

#BlogTour #Review – Before You Were Mine – Em Muslin (@quaintrellem) @HQDigitalUK @NeverlandBT

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Sometimes hope has a way of changing everything…


Just hours after giving birth, Eli Bell is forced to give up her newborn baby daughter for adoption. Devastated, she tries desperately to rebuild her shattered life.
Then, over thirty years later, Eli catches sight of her daughter. And she knows that she must do everything to find a way back into her life. Even if it means lying…

While her husband Tommy must grow to accept his own part in the events of her early life, he can only try to save her before her obsession with the young woman ruins them both.

Don’t miss the breathtaking debut Before You Were Mine by Em Muslin! Perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult, Anne Tyler, Joyce Carol Oates.

What does TWG think?

99.9% of the time I don’t read blurbs – but for this book, I did. My interest in this storyline was piqued straight away. Why did Eli give her baby up for adoption? What has been happening in Eli’s life between giving the baby up, and an alleged sighting of her grown-up daughter?

At the age of fourteen, Eli Bell had no say in whether her baby was put up for adoption – none whatsoever. Ever since that day, Eli’s life hasn’t been the same. Her family look at her like she has three heads. Her mother acts like she would catch something if she were to look Eli in the eye. What a way to live!

In the weeks after that alleged sighting, Eli didn’t seem to want to rest until she saw her daughter again. Unfortunately, this meant that her relationship with her husband, Tommy, was put under immense strain.

I’m a bit undecided on where my feelings lay with ‘Before You Were Mine’, as I found it quite difficult to follow. So much was happening throughout the novel, yet it wasn’t clear enough to full understand. I felt like I kept missing bits! Having said that, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Em Muslin’s book since I finished it. All I wanted to do was get Eli’s character in front of me and probe her about the situation, but obviously I can’t. I could keep up with the bare bones of the storyline, but I wanted to be able to enjoy it fully, and I feel like I couldn’t due to the inconsistent flow.

On an emotional level, and as a mother, ‘Before You Were Mine’ attacked my ovaries, attempting to make me broody. It did, I was pretty overcome with emotion due to fourteen year old Eli’s situation. Definitely a tough few chapters to swallow, even though they were powerfully written.

Even though I couldn’t quite get into the flow, I cannot fault Em Muslin on her powerful portrayal of a mother’s love. The author, in my eyes, wrote those parts with such poise and dignity, whilst still keeping it real. Yes I found it emotional, but I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t my favourite part due to how the author has delivered such heart-breaking scenes.

I have a hunch that ‘Before You Were Mine’ could be seen as a ‘marmite’ novel; you either love it or you hate it. BUT, whilst I didn’t hate it (nowhere near) or fall in love with it, ‘Before You Were Mine’ still made its mark on my mind and in my heart. On that point alone, Em Muslin’s debut novel has done its job.
Flow? What Flow?

Thanks NeverlandBT.

Buy now

About the author.

Em muslin has worked in the film and television industry for over 20 years. She first fell in love with reading and writing after experiencing Judith Kerr’s When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. She hasn’t stopped devouring books ever since. 

She loves words that capture an experience or emotion in a singular form: her current favourite, describing herself, isnemophilist. 

Em’s writing career has included developing a script for a stage musical with Tina Turner, and writing a bitter-sweet comedy screenplay, Last Chance Saloon. 

Em’s writing focuses on the texture of domestic life, relationships, family and the pressures of social convention. Her characters are often fighting to become the hero of their own story, searching for hope, despite the adversities that life inevitably brings.

Giveaway!!

Giveaway is International
Prize: a £10 or $10 (depending on where the winner is from) Amazon giftcard.

To be in with a chance of winning, click here.

Good luck!

 

#BlogTour! #Review – Ice Lake by @JohnLenahan @killerreads

ICE LAKE Blog Tour Poster

ice lake
…WHERE EVERYBODY LIES. AND SOME PEOPLE KILL…

An electrifying debut crime novel and the first in a new series featuring psychologist Harry Cull. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, Mark Billingham and Peter May.

AN ABANDONED BODY
Deep in the woods of north-eastern Pennsylvania, the body of a man is found – shot three times, dumped under the trees where the local kids will find him.

A HAUNTED PSYCHOLOGIST
Psychologist Harry Cull, tormented by his past, arrives in the picturesque town of Ice Lake to help with the murder investigation. There he unravels a web of lies and deceit that leads to the dark heart of a community torn apart by fracking, drugs and murder.

A DESPERATE KILLER
It’s not long before the second corpse turns up, this time a lawyer left for dead in the forest, and Harry finds himself on the trail of a twisted killer – who will do anything to keep the town’s darkest secrets buried.

What does TWG think?

‘Ice Lake’ is the first book in the Harry Cull series, so not only was this a brand new series to get my teeth stuck into, it’s also written by an author I have had no literary dealings with before. Not a bad start really, eh?

The cover of ‘Ice Lake’ intrigued me something rotten, the colourful tone of it screams ‘read me’ but with an added ‘dun dun dun’. To say I was excited about reading this book would have been an understatement. I couldn’t wait to get stuck in!

Set in Pennsylvania, I had to try to re-train my brain as any novels I have read in the past with Pennsylvania in them were from my childhood and included vampires. It’s safe to say that ‘Ice Lake’ does not contain any vampires, but it does contain a murder or too. Same thing I guess!

Straight away this book starts with a murder, and it’s a big one. A local man has been killed – Harry Cull has been asked to arrive on scene and do a bit of Pennsylvanian Jeremy Kyle in the shape of lie detector tests. If I’m perfectly honest, it seems as though every person that Cull comes up against is trying to appear on his ‘liar’ list. The murder investigation didn’t seem to be as straight forward as Harry Cull would have liked, especially when a second body is found and drugs are entered into the mix.

My first impression of John Lenahan’s novel was completely different to what I actually thought when I read the book. For some reason my brain seemed confused by the cover and the actual content of the novel because of the difference. Although saying that, I can’t seem to be able to pinpoint EXACTLY what I found different; except the vibe that is. I’m not saying that in a bad way at all. It’s crazy how strong our first impressions can be when it comes to books.

All in all, ‘Ice Lake’ had me engrossed throughout the entire storyline, my mind was full of questions, and I seemed to spend a lot of the book on my toes. Whilst the book didn’t blow me away as such, there was enough promising content to keep my intrigue level peaked, as well as keeping me entertained.

A very promising start to a new book series, I’m looking forward to book number two!

Thanks Netgalley.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – Marked For Life by Emelie Schepp (@emelieschepp) @MidasPR @HQStories

marked for life
Today it is TWG’s turn to host a stop on Emelie Schepp’s blog tour for her new book, Marked For Life, which was published in paperback this year. Here is my review, enjoy!

markedforlife

WINNER OF THE SPECSAVERS READERS CHOICE AWARD 2016

In Lindö, on the Swedish coast, a man has been found brutally murdered in his own home.

The victim, Hans Juhlén, had no shortage of enemies. But the case stalls when a child’s handprint is found inches from where the dead man fell.

Hans Juhlén had no children.

Public prosecutor Jana Berzelius has perfected the art of maintaining a professional distance from her cases. But when the body of a small boy is found – and with him, the weapon that killed Juhlén – Jana’s impenetrability is tested to its limits.

The small body is a bleak reminder that Jana has her own secrets to hide. And if she is to keep them safe, she must find the perpetrator behind these crimes…before the police do.

What does TWG think?

I have always wondered what a Nordic crime novel would be like to read, after all, I have seen a lot of people raving about the particular genre for a while. Saying that, you would have thought it would have made me pick up a novel before now, wouldn’t you? In an ideal world, yes. But as bookworms know, seeing a range of books that you want to read and actually read them, are two completely different things. My TBR is currently taller than me (not hard)! I was uber glad when Midas PR contacted me about reading Emelie Schepp’s ‘Marked For Life’, as it gave me the well needed kick up the youknowwhat to commit to reading it.

I really didn’t know what to expect before I started reading this novel, all I knew was that I was extremely intrigued; I mean, have you actually seen that cover? Despite my original intrigue, I have to admit that I was a little bit apprehensive. I started ‘Marked For Life’ with literally no idea what I was letting myself in for, and seeing as others had raved about Nordic crime, I was hoping not to end up disappointment. Big ask I suppose, but sometimes it can’t be helped with certain novels and certain genres.

Emelie Schepp doesn’t ease us into the storyline slowly, instead she puts a high-profile, chilling murder, right near the start of the book. Nothing like keeping your reader’s attention eh! Fingers are pointing everywhere yet no-one seems to know anything. Well, until an important piece of information comes to light; a child sized handprint was found next to the dead body in the house. As far as the public prosecutor, Jane Berzelius, is aware, the people involved didn’t have any children. Who’s child’s handprint was it? What was it doing there?

Already I was glued to the storyline, I was waiting with bated breath to see how the plot was going to unfold. In such a short space of time I had already compiled a short list of questions in my mind, and I was so eager to find out the answers.

But all of a sudden the storyline turned even darker; the pint-sized owner of the hand print, a little boy, was found dead in a different location with the murder weapon next to him. As soon as I read that, a wave of nausea came over my body. I wasn’t expecting that piece of information to affect me as much as it did, I’ll be honest. It also turned the chill factor of the storyline up several notches.

‘Marked For Life’ continued to shock me due to the severely dark topics of child trafficking and rape. I’ll give the author her due, Emelie Schepp certainly knows how to get a reaction out of her readers! Whilst I found the plot quite uncomfortable to read, my eyes didn’t want to move from the page. Every page that I turned, the more uncomfortable I became. This book really is dark. So dark in fact, it’s almost pitch black.

Whilst the storyline managed to make me react in multiple ways, as well as keeping me glued to every single page, I didn’t quite find the characters memorable or likeable. I don’t know if it was due to the overall chill of the novel itself, but I couldn’t warm to any of the characters no matter how hard I tried.

‘Marked For Life’ kept my attention big time as the author certainly knows her stuff. But in all honesty, the more of the book I read, the more uncomfortable I felt. Unfortunately that feeling seemed to stay with me long after I had finished the novel. The plot, I’m sorry to say, was a bit too pitch black for my capabilities, although hats off to the author for managing to keep me engaged until the end.

Thanks Midas PR.

Available to 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..

#Tour! #Review – Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea by Jennifer Joyce @writer_jenn @HQDigitalUK

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The_Little_Bed_&_Breakfast_by_the_Sea_Jennifer_Joyce
Escape to the seaside this summer!

Mae loves running her little Bed & Breakfast, it’s the perfect place to raise her adorable four-year-old daughter! And no matter how persistently local vet, Alfie, chases her, she just doesn’t have time for men in her life.

Willow is busy building her dream home with her husband, Ethan, but with every month that passes she secretly worries that her happy ever after will never come true…

Melody only intended to stay in the bustling seaside town for a few days to capture the perfect photo. But when she meets Hugo – the charming man in the ice cream van – she decides to stay a little longer!

One thing is for sure, summer at the little Bed & Breakfast by the sea certainly has a few surprises in store…

What does TWG think?

Whilst reading a book, have you ever felt a sudden urge to shout out ‘YASSSS!!!’?

You have? Me too. Want to know why?

After reading Jennifer Joyce’s previous novel (and enjoying it), I felt like that particular story was missing something. What though, I had absolutely no idea. Seeing as I am familiar with the authors other books, I knew that she had it in her to go the extra mile with her storyline this time around. I had my fingers crossed that ‘The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea’, would be THE book to fill the ‘something missing’ hole.

I hadn’t even reached halfway through the book when the urge to shout ‘YASSSSSS!’, crept up on me. And so I did. As soon as I had shouted ‘YASSSSSSS!!!!’ out loud, I knew that Jennifer Joyce had done it. The author had filled that hole. The author had ticked all of the boxes that I knew she could tick with her books. In my eyes, Jennifer Joyce had done it; she had written the type of storyline that made me go ‘this is her best book yet’.

Three ladies, all with completely different back stories, yet they’re all searching for one thing; happiness.

There’s Mae; she runs a bed and breakfast whilst also juggling a four-year old, and a job in a bar. Super Woman springs to mind! Then there is Willow, who is married to Ethan and likes reinventing worn out items…as well as houses. Lastly, Melody, a determined young woman who tends to focus on things through a lens, rather than focusing on things outside it – in the moment.

Which lady did I relate to the most? Good question! I related to Mae due to the fact that she’s a single mum to a four-year old, and has been since the pee on the stick moment. But that said, I also found myself relating to Melody in more ways than one. Melody seemed to be afraid of letting go and doing things for herself; I’m like that too!
In all fairness, all three ladies brought something rather special to the storyline in their own individual ways. I loved how different they were, and how they had found each other when they needed someone the most. There’s girl power in a sassy and Spice Girl-ish way, and then there’s girl power in the empowering, physically being there kinda way. I know which one I would choose, do you?

Aside from the wonderful characters, ‘The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea’ has such a heart-warming and cosy storyline. I found it incredibly difficult not to fall in love with the seaside town whilst dreaming of being amongst such energetic and magnetic vibes. I cannot tell you the ins and outs of those vibes due to spoilers. However, trust me when I say that you really do need to go and grab a cuppa and some biccies, lay on the sofa with a blanket and this book, and just lose yourself in this enchanting story.

Full of laughter, smiles, and confidence, ‘The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea’ will remind YOU to BE in the moment rather than sitting on the outside. Absolutely lovely book, by far the best book that Jennifer Joyce has ever written.

Thanks to the author & HQ.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Bio and links:

Jennifer Joyce is a writer of romantic comedies who lives in Manchester with her husband and their two daughters. Her latest novel, The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea is out now. You can find out more about Jennifer and her books on:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jenniferjoycewrites

Twitter: www.twitter.com/writer_jenn

Instagram: www.instagram.com/writer_jenn

Blog: www.jenniferjoycewrites.co.uk

#CoverReveal! Are you a @ChristieJBarlow fan? You may want to look at this!! @HarperImpulse

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)
Waheyyyyy it’s cover reveal day!!!!

So, some of you may know of a certain author who has the same surname as a rather dashing pop star.

Some of you may also know of this author because she wears a shiny book crown whilst reviewing for Mama Life magazine.

Although, some of you may know her by her adventures! After all, she has had some misadventures as a playground mother (who hasn’t, right?!), her Kitty decided to go on a countryside dream (lucky Kitty), then her alter ego, Evie, had the bright idea of skipping a year and taking chances instead. This was all before taking the author too themselves off on a Christmas escape as someone called Lizzie! -breathes-. This woman never stops! She is even going on a cosy canal boat dream in August!

No, really, she is. She has also invited all of you guys too….you only need to bring your kindle and approximately £1.99 (subject to change). Who’s up for it?!?!

You ready?

You steady?

IT’S TIME TO REVEAL CHRISTIE BARLOW’S BRAND NEW BOOK COVER!!!!!

cB

SWOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNN!!!!!!!

I LOVE her books!!! This little beauty is ready to be pre-ordered now, so off you pop and pre-order it ready for your hollibobs!!

Pre-order now!!

 

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

#BlogTour! #Review – Meet Me at the Lighthouse by @MaryJayneBaker @HarperImpulse

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‘One of my top books of 2017… side-splittingly hilarious’ The Writing Garnet

’The day I turned 28, I bought a lighthouse and met the love of my life’

Bobbie Hannigan’s life in a cottage by the sea with her dog and her twin sister is perfectly fine … until she decides the logical thing is to buy a lighthouse and open a music venue with Ross Mason, the first boy she ever kissed.

Bobbie tries to be professional with Ross, but the happily-ever-after they’re working toward is too good to resist. That is until someone from his past crawls back to cause trouble. Can Bobbie look past the secrets Ross has been keeping from her? Or will the boy, the lighthouse, and the dream all slip away?

Escape to the Yorkshire coast this summer with this laugh out loud romantic comedy from Mary Jayne Baker!

What does TWG think?

FINALLY!!!!! I have been waiting AGES for Mary Jayne Baker’s new book to come out, and no, not just because I’m quoted on the cover. Although, that does help, obviously!

‘Meet Me at the Lighthouse’ is pure genius from start to finish. Not a page went by where I wasn’t snorting like pig, or wiping the tears off my face with the cuff of my sleeve. Yes folks, I could NOT stop laughing. You know how it goes when someone’s laugh is funnier than the joke itself? Well my laugh it pretty hilarious, but even MJB managed to blow that out of the water with her genius sense of humour.

The moment Bobbie Hannigan came face to face with the boy she first kissed, Ross, I didn’t know whether to sing ‘THIS SEX IS ON FIRE’ or ‘LET’S GET IT ON’. Seriously, the chemistry that they both had, was sizzling. I adore the fact that Mary Jayne Baker writes kick ass heroines, aka; ones that can stand on their own two feet without pining for a lovestick. There are so many books out there where the leading lady ends up resembling a red slush puppy, but MJB ensures her leading ladies are independent women with bucketfuls of sass.

This entire book is just unique and hilarious, right from page one. I mean, take the lighthouse for example; it plays a big part in the storyline and the author has incorporated it absolutely brilliantly, and in such a way that will get everyone talking. Well, or they might be looking at their freddo’s feeling as though they have been ripped off (what’s new there then!)!

If you’re already a fan of Mary Jayne Baker’s novels, you will know that she is able to get her readers hot under the collar in a matter of seconds; Meet Me at the Lighthouse is no exception! There are some rather sexy scenes in the storyline but they’re not written distastefully in the slightest. Put it this way, if the author can write a love scene with the correct terminology of a female’s anatomy, you’re on to a winner! What also helps, is that the characters involved in the love scene have incredible chemistry. It isn’t the cringey type of chemistry when there’s stroking of arms and gazing in each others eyes…all because the man pulled out your chair for you. No, the characters involved have the full shebang.

I could sit here and say how much I loved each individual character, but I can’t as it would spoil it for you. All I will say on the character front is that there are some rather memorable (and questionable) characters throughout the entire storyline, and they are all fabulous in their own ways.

For me, ‘Meet Me at the Lighthouse’ has everything I could ever want in a book. It has side-splitting humour, kick ass characters, a flawless plot, unique situations, and wit that is out of this world. Mary Jayne Baker is an author that just keeps on getting better and better, as she writes tales that are unique and memorable instead of ones that follow the crowd. The authors humour is unbelievable, it’s absolutely brilliant! I genuinely don’t think that I will ever stop laughing at her. Sorry, WITH her.

‘Meet Me at the Lighthouse’ made my sides hurt, my collar damp, as well as making me grin from ear to ear. This book is brilliant. It’s unique. It’s side-splittingly hilarious. It’s flawless. Mary Jayne Baker is an absolute genius. I absolutely adored this book; it truly is one of my top books of 2017 without a doubt. I cannot wait to read it over, and over, and over again. Hurry up with your new book please!!

Thanks so much to the author and HarperImpulse.

BUY NOW!!!

MJB

#BlogTour! #Review – #ThePostcard by @Fern_Britton @W6BookCafe @fictionpubteam

The Postcard blog tour banner
After growing up with Fern Britton as one half of the ITV ‘This Morning duo, I am incredibly honoured to be part of her blog tour for her new book, The Postcard. For my stop today I will be sharing my review of ‘The Postcard’. Big thanks to Harpercollins for inviting me to be involved in this blog tour!

the Postcard

The new witty and warm novel from the Sunday Times best-selling author and TV presenter, Fern Britton.

Secrets. Sisters. The summer that changed everything . . .

Life in the Cornish village of Pendruggan isn’t always picture perfect. Penny Leighton has never told anyone why she’s estranged from her mother and sister. For years she’s kept her family secrets locked away in her heart, but they’ve been quietly eating away at her. When an unwelcome visitor blows in, Penny is brought face to face with the past. And a postcard, tucked away in a long-hidden case, holds the truth that could change everything.

Young Ella has come back to the place where she spent a happy childhood with her grandmother. Now she’s here to search for everything missing in her life. Taken under Penny’s broken wing for the summer, the safe haven of Pendruggan feels like the place for a fresh start. Soon, however, Ella starts to wonder if perhaps her real legacy doesn’t lie in the past at all.

What does TWG think?

I need to confess something. I am actually quite disgusted with myself. Promise you won’t hold it against me?

-breathes-

Until ‘The Postcard’, I had never, ever picked up a Fern Britton novel. I don’t even have a good reason why either! It isn’t like she’s a brand new author either, I mean, at least five years of novels, and I still didn’t pick one up? I hope Fern Britton and Harpercollins forgive me, sniff.

‘The Postcard’ is set in the incredibly popular place of Cornwall, and I’ll be honest, I feel as though I could write my own book on Cornwall itself, due to how poular that particular setting is in the bookworld this year. Yes, there has been that many. However, the setting of ‘The Postcard’ didn’t bother me this time as it wasn’t the main focus of the storyline. Instead, it was a rather beautiful addition and the author had let the characters do the talking, as opposed to everything being centred around Cornwall. Don’t get me wrong, it does sound like a beautiful place! I loved how Fern Britton used the setting to add depth to her storyline instead of making it the main focus.

Penny Leighton’s life isn’t as calm and serene as she would have liked. I mean, whose is? New baby, busy husband, issues with work, as well as her well guarded past coming back to haunt her; it’s enough for anyone to deal with at one time, let alone a vicars wife! For me, Penny is the type of character that a lot of readers would be able to relate to in many ways. Not only does Penny deal with a lot of stresses at once, her life unfortunately decides to turn down the ‘misunderstood’ road. Fern Britton has handled Penny’s situation in such a sensitive yet realistic manner, including the reactions of those close to Penny, which were quite hard to read. I say hard, the were written well, but if, like me, you relate to Penny and her life, you might find the reactions of those close to her hard to read as well.

There are a lot of characters to keep tally of in this storyline, especially as it switches between a couple of them and you have to remember who’s who. For example, Ella. She’s come back to Pendruggan to savour her childhood memories, yet she quickly became a well-loved character of mine. Even though certain things regarding Ella, and her brother, irked me.

Before I began ‘The Postcard’, I had absolutely no idea what to expect as I hadn’t read one of Fern Britton’s novels before. I was rather excited as I have grown up with her on television, but I wasn’t sure whether her cosy personality would shine through the novel or not. I needn’t have worried though, the entire novel has the authors stamp on it; cosy and warm. Between the two ladies, Penny and Ella, I found myself more engrossed in Penny’s as it seemed that the storyline was more focused on her life, as well as her past. Without giving anything away regarding Penny’s past, let me just say that the unwelcome visitor annoyed me in many ways. So much so, I became rather emotional and defensive where Penny was concerned. How daft is that?

I thoroughly enjoy ‘The Postcard’, except for one part. After I finished reading the book I went scouring on Twitter to see if I could see anything about a next book. Luckily, I found what I was after, but, if I hadn’t, I would have been pretty miffed. Which part annoyed me? The ending. Thankfully there will be another book but when I had closed the book, I had no idea of that, so I have to admit that I was rather annoyed. Sorry!

Overall, I thought that Fern Britton’s novel was the perfect novel to cosy up with and escape into. I loved how there was more to the storyline than the cover seemed to suggest. All of the characters were very three-dimensional and extremely unique, each adding something rather special to the overall storyline. The setting, as you know, pleasantly surprised me and I will hold my hands up and say that. But, if I had to choose what I loved most about Fern Britton’s novel, it would have to be how relatable the storyline was. I became quite emotional at the poignancy of those parts, as they were written incredibly beautifully and realistically. They made me realise that it was okay to admit that you weren’t okay. They made me realise that faking happiness isn’t the answer. They also made me realise how fragile our hearts are, and how the smallest things can fix them in minutes.

Beautiful.

Big thanks to Harpercollins.

Buy now from Amazon UK

About the author.

Fern Britton is the highly acclaimed author of five Sunday Times bestselling novels: A Seaside Affair, The Holiday Home, Hidden Treasures, New Beginnings and A Good Catch. Her books are cherished for their warmth, wit and wisdom, and have won Fern legions of loyal readers. Fern is likely best known for her years co-presenting ITV’s flagship daytime show This Morning with Philip Schofield. An iconic presenter, she is also hugely popular for her earlier hits like Ready Steady Cook, and All Star Mr and Mrs, as well as being a much-loved contestant in 2012’s Strictly Come Dancing. She recently presented The Big Allotment Challenge for BBC2 in 2014 and again for its second series in 2015, as well as For What It’s Worth, an antiques-based quiz show on BBC1.

Fern lives with her husband, Phil Vickery, and her four children in Buckinghamshire and Cornwall.   To find out more, connect with her @Fern Britton and facebook.com/officialfernbritton.

#Tour! Chateau of Happily Ever Afters – Jaimie Admans @be_the_spark @NeverlandBT @HQDigitalUK

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Where dreams come true…?

Wendy Clayton stopped believing in fairy tales a long time ago. Instead, she has a ‘nice’ life. Nice job. Nice flat. Absolutely no men. Until her life is turned upside-down when her elderly neighbour, Eulalie, passes away and leaves her the Château of Happily Ever Afters!

But there’s a catch: she must share the sprawling French castle with Eulalie’s long-lost nephew, Julian. And no matter how gorgeous he is, or how easily she finds herself falling head over heels, Wendy needs to find a way to get rid of him…

Because surely happily ever afters don’t happen in real life?

Escape to beautiful France this summer with this uplifting romantic comedy. Perfect for fans of Kat French, Caroline Roberts, and Holly Martin.

What does TWG think?

Do I reallllyyyyyyy need to write a proper review for this book? If length didn’t matter (out of the gutter pur-lease), this would be my review:

OMG I LOVED THIS BOOK. OMG I LOVED THIS BOOK. OMG I LOVED THIS BOOK. The End.

No, seriously, that would honestly be my review! I mean, what else could I say? ;). Fine. FINE. I will be an adult and write it properly. PFFTTTTTT.

I absolutely adored this book! Everything was written to perfection, the storyline had a good rhythm to it, and the characters were absolutely hilarious.

Wendy Clayton was given a lifeline. Unfortunately, someone else lost their life for her, and a handsome stranger, to make use of that lifeline. Due to Wendy’s past, trusting men didn’t come naturally. In fact, it didn’t come at all, and seeing as she had found herself in a situation with a man she didn’t even know, her trust issues became even more of a problem. Especially when there seemed to be a lot of money involved.

The ‘stranger’ in question, Julian, seemed to make every head turn wherever he walked. Or, in Wendy’s case, whenever he stood still. At first their relationship was a little bit strained, they seemed to enjoy riling each other up by pushing buttons they never knew existed. Let’s just say that bedtime in the Château made me laugh out loud. Julian is absolutely brilliant. The way he handled certain situations was brilliantly written and I could not stop laughing. I have to say though, his antics at bedtime were something I would have done to annoy somebody. Most definitely.

I also adored Wendy! Her quick wit was highly entertaining to read, and she made tears stream down my face with laughter when she decided to name the weeds. Hand on heart, the weeds in my garden now share the same name. No lie.

The whole ‘happily ever after’ situation, even though predictable, was written in such a unique way. It was as though the author wanted the characters to realise the truth behind their happily ever after, instead of it being forced. Really clever and incredibly romantic.

There is absolutely nothing about this book that I would change…well…except that it had to end. But, y’know! I loved every single thing about the setting, the characters, the humour, the romance, the characters back story; EVERYTHING! Honestly! I hated nada!

Jaimie Admans’ novel has everything I could want from a book, 100%. It has snort inducing humour. Ingenious wit. Eye-candy male lead. Fiery female lead. Memorable situations. Brilliant back story. A secretive, yet beautiful place for the characters to live. I saw Wendy and Julian grow. I saw Julian realise his true potential. I saw Wendy realise her baggage was becoming a nuisance. I saw new characters being added to the storyline and becoming a well love addition. I saw things blossom. I saw things fall. I just loved….everything. I am being totally serious.

When it comes to contemporary/women’s fiction, Jaimie Admans’ novel ticks all of my boxes, and then some. This book was such a joy to read, I was absolutely devastated when it finished. I know I keep going on about how much this book made me laugh, but that’s because it did. It also made me feel extremely happy whilst I was reading it, and I am so grateful to the author for writing such an outstanding storyline that was able to do that.

If I could give ‘The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters’ more than five stars I would, it certainly deserves them! The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters blew my mind in so many ways, it truly is such an exceptional, heart-warming, cosy, gigglefest of a read, which has been written in such an enchanting and addictive way.

The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters is in my top three books EVER, and without a doubt my most favourite book of 2017 so far.

Thanks so much to HQDigitalUK/Jaimie Admans & NeverlandBT.

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06Y69QZGP

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y69QZGP

Will also be available from all other ebook retailers.

Bio:

Jaimie is a 32-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, watching horror movies, and drinking tea, although she’s seriously considering marrying her coffee machine. She loves autumn and winter, and singing songs from musicals despite the fact she’s got the voice of a dying hyena. She hates spiders, hot weather, and cheese & onion crisps. She spends far too much time on Twitter and owns too many pairs of boots.

She will never have time to read all the books she wants to read.

She is the author of chick-lit romantic comedies The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters and Kismetology, and she has also written young-adult romantic comedies Afterlife Academy, Not Pretty Enough, and North Pole Reform School.

Author links:

http://www.jaimieadmans.com
http://twitter.com/be_the_spark
http://facebook.com/jaimieadmansbooks

GIVEAWAY!

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To be in with a chance of winning a French-themed stationery goodie bag, filled with:

1 x Paperchase Paris notebook and pen

1 x The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters notebook

1 x little Eiffel Tower model

1 x Eiffel Tower bookmark

1 x The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters magnet

1 x Signed postcard

Click the following link to enter, good luck!
Enter the giveaway!