TWG’s #TopBooksOf2018! (@Bookouture @littlebookcafe @PanMacmillan @HarperImpulse @Headlinepg @TeamBATC @bwpublishing @MichaelJBooks @TransworldBooks @OrionBooks @AvonBooksUK @QuercusBooks @Aria_fiction) & more!

Oh my goodness me, what a PHENOMENAL year its been for books! I have had the pleasure of reading some truly amazing books this year, and whittling my 368 reads down to a selection of my favourites was incredibly difficult.

2018 has seen the growth of debut authors with debut novels, brilliant additions to intense series, and authors bringing out standalone novels which made me laugh out loud and my toes curl (clearly I mean two different genre’s…obviously!). Before I start sharing my favourite reads of 2018 with you all, let me just take this moment to say a MASSIVE thank you to all of the publishers who have sent me ARC’s in the post, approved me on Netgalley, asked me to be on blog tours – I am so honoured to work with every single one of you! Huge thank you to the publicists and blog tour organisers who also invite me to take part in some rather fabulous blog tours and who share my posts left right and centre, it is an absolute pleasure to work alongside you. Lastly, thank you SO much to all of the authors who continue to give me the escape and distraction I need from my everyday life with their incredible words – I am so excited to see what the new year brings for all of you. You are all amazing.

Actually, one last thing; thank you to all of my fellow bloggers for just being you and for supporting my posts, especially when I end up being on 6 blog tours in one day. Your support means the world to me and I cannot wait to follow your blogs again next year to see what fabulous reads have tickled your fancy.

So, let’s get to this list shall we? I’m cheating a little bit in my list as I have combined series as I couldn’t pick just one book from the series…so I chose them all. You’ll see what I mean when I get to it. This list is in no particular order, however when I get nearer the end, I will put a couple of the books in order to share my top read of 2018.

Ready? Let’s go!

#Review – The Endless Beach by @JennyColgan @littlebookcafe #TheEndlessBeach #publicationday

#BlogTour! #Review – #WeOwnTheSky by Luke Allnutt (@lukeallnutt) @TrapezeBooks

#BlogTour! #Review – #OnlyChild by Rhiannon Navin (@RhiannonNavin) @JessDuffyy @Panmacmillan

#BlogTour! #Review – The Little Wedding Island by Jaimie Admans (@Be_the_spark) @HQDigitalUK @NeverlandBT

#BlogTour! #Review – The Wedding Date by Zara Stoneley (@ZaraStoneley) @RaRaResources @HarperImpulse

#BlogTour! #Review – The Wildflowers by Harriet Evans (@HarrietEvans) @headlinepg @Annecater @Bookish_becky

#BlogBlitz! #Review – The Next Girl by Carla Kovach (@CKovachAuthor) @Bookouture

#Review – You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac (@CatherineIsaac_) @TeamBATC @SimonSchusterUK @BookMinxSJV

#BlogTour! #Review – #LittleBigMan by Katy Regan (@katyreganwrites) @panmacmillan @MantleBooks @ChablisPoulet

#BlogBlitz! #Review – One Way or Another by Colleen Coleman (@CollColemanAuth) @Bookouture

#BlogTour! #Review – The Gravity of Love by Noelle Harrison (@NoelleHarrison) @bwpublishing

#BlogBlitz! #Review – The Almost Wife by Jade Beer (@JadeBRIDES) @Bookouture

#BlogTour! #Review – The Island Villa by Lily Graham (@LilyGrahamBooks) @Bookouture

#BlogTour! #Review – No Further Questions by Gillian McAllister (@GillianMAuthor) @MichaelJBooks @JennyPlatt90

#BlogTour! #Review – #NowYouSeeHer by Heidi Perks (@HeidiPerksBooks) @arrowpublishing

#BlogTour! #Review – Oh Crumbs by Kathryn Freeman (@KathrynFreeman1) @ChocLitUK @RaRaResources

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheLightBetweenUs by Katie Khan (@Katie_Khan) @TransworldBooks @hannahlbright29 @AnneCater #RandomThingsTours

#BlogTour! #Review -Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard by Jo Thomas (@jo_thomas1) @AnneCater @HeadlinePG @Bookish_Becky @DavidHHeadley

#Review – My Mad Dad by Robyn Hollingworth (@MyMadDadStory) @trapezebooks @orionbooks

#BlogTour! #Review – In Bloom by C.J.Skuse (@CJSkuse) @HQStories

#BlogTour! #Review – Kiss of Death by Paul Finch (@paulfinchauthor) @AvonBooksUK #KissOfDeath

#BlogTour! #MiniReview – #WhileIWasSleeping by Dani Atkins (@AtkinsDani) @simonschusteruk @TeamBATC

#BlogTour! #Review – Snow Angel Cove by RaeAnne Thayne (@Raeannethayne) @MillsandBoon

#BlogTour! #Extract – Perfect Silence by Helen Fields (@Helen_Fields) @AvonBooksUK

I’ve popped one book here for Lisa Regan and D.K.Hood, but for me the entire series are absolutely brilliant and I urge you to buy them all!

#BlogTour! #Review – Her Final Confession by Lisa Regan (@lisalregan) @Bookouture

#BlogTour! #Review – The Crying Season by D.K.Hood (@dkhood_author) @Bookouture

#BlogTour! #Review -Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer (@kelrimmerwrites) @headlinepg @phoebe_swinburn @annecater

#BlogBlitz! #Review – The Last Lullaby by Carol Wyer (@carolewyer) @Bookouture

#BlogTour! #Review – The Lost Daughter by Gill Paul (@GillPaulauthor) @Headlinepg @annecater

Right, we are nearing the end now so here are my favourite reads of 2018 numbers 11-2 (in no order)

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Moonlight on the Thames by Lauren Westwood (@lwestwoodwriter) @aria_fiction @rararesources

#BlogTour! #Review – I Wanted To Tell You By Anna Mansell (@AnnaMansell) @Bookouture

#Review – How to Walk Away by Katherine Center (@katherinecenter) @Panmacmillan @EllisKeene

#BlogTour! #Review – The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper (@ItsEmmaCooper) @HeadlinePG @AnneCater

#BlogTour! #Review – The Girl in the Letter by Emily Gunnis (@EmilyGunnis) @HeadlinePG @AnneCater @Phoebe_Swinburn

#BlogTour! #Review – This Could Change Everything by Jill Mansell (@JillMansell) @Headlinepg @AnneCater

#BlogTour! #Review – The Memory Chamber by Holly Cave (@HollyACave) @QuercusBooks #MemoryChamber

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheConfession by Jo Spain (@spainjoanne) @QuercusFiction @AnneCater @QuercusBooks

#BlogTour! #Review – I Give You My Heart by SarahJane Ford (@sjfordauthor) @RaRaResources

#BlogTour! #Review – #MakeOrBreak by Catherine Bennetto (@cathbennetto) @Simonschusteruk @TeamBATC

I just want to say a special mention to Sarah Vaughan’s ‘Anatomy of a Scandal’ – I read that book this time last year before it was released early 2018, and it’s a book I will forever be shouting about until I am blue in the face. I’ll even go as far to say that it is still a top book of mine a year after reading it. You can read my review here:

#BlogTour! #Review – #AnatomyofaScandal by Sarah Vaughan (@Svaughanauthor) @simonschusterUK

We have reached TWG’s Top Book of 2018!!!! I may be slightly cheating here as this book isn’t out until 1st February 2019, but due to the fact that I actually read this book this year, I felt that I was able to include it in my favourite reads of this year. I’m sure you’re wondering what that is……

4194amC9ScL
I haven’t written a review of this book yet as I am on the blog tour for it next year. However, ‘The Day We Met’ by Roxie Cooper completely blew my mind and left tears rolling down my cheeks like a homemade waterfall. Stephanie and Jamie are two, highly complex, emotional and brilliantly written characters, I cannot see how anyone wouldn’t fall in love with them like I did. For me this book was everything I could have hoped for and more.

I will do a full review on the blog tour next year, but if you fancy pre-ordering your copy now based on my views above, you can do so now here!

That’s it folks! TWG’s Top Books of 2018! How many have you read? How many are you going to read? Let me know in the comments and keep me posted! Thank you all so much for sticking with me for another year, here’s to yet another fantastic year for books.

See you next year, folks!!

Kaisha x

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#BlogTour! #Review – A Winter Beneath the Stars by Jo Thomas (@jo_thomas01) @headlinepg @bookish_becky @AnneCater

I have just this moment finished reading ‘A Winter Beneath the Stars’, hence the blog post now! However many thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and thank you to Headline for the ARC. Here is my review:

On a courier trip to Tallfors, deep in Swedish Lapland, everything is going to plan. Halley has her bag, with two precious wedding rings inside for delivery… until she doesn’t.

The only way to save the wedding is to team up with mysterious reindeer herder Bjorn, the one person who can lead her across the snowy tundra to be reunited with her bag.

On a journey of a lifetime beneath the stars, with only the reindeer and a bad-tempered stranger for company beside the fire, Halley realises that she will need to confront her past heartaches in order to let the warmth of love in once more…

What does TWG think?

It was made clear from the onset that Halley had a story to tell. What that story entailed, however, was something the readers weren’t made aware of until later in the story. Now, there may be a few readers who would be able to read between the lines where Griff was concerned, but either way, the emotion behind Halley’s story is incredible strong, regardless of what point in the story it became clear for you personally.

As a courier, Halley’s job has taken her all over the world, embarking on adventures she would never have dreamed of before. Like the one in Sweden. After all, it’s not everyday you find yourself digging holes for the dogs now, is it?

I haven’t read many books set in Swedish Lapland, but I have to say that it was such a refreshing change. And no, I don’t mean because of the snow! It was just a unique experience following the journey of a reindeer herder – I can’t say I have ever felt the need to Google it before because, naively, I thought that there wouldn’t be much to it. Boy was I wrong, and wow what a lovely way of finding out about it. As daft as this sounds, I genuinely felt as though I was with Halley all the way, taking on the challenges with her, facing the fears which she had kept locked up for many years. Such a powerful experience for sure.

Jo Thomas is brilliant at telling stories – not only does she set the scene beautifully, she writes with such grace which allows her characters to flourish at their full potential, even when they emotions are being put under the spotlight.

‘A Winter Beneath the Stars’ is such a poignant and heartwarming novel, I didn’t know whether to laugh alongside the characters, or join them as they shed tears. Such a wonderfully written and eye-opening read – Jo Thomas has covered me in goosebumps once again. I loved it.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – The List That Changed My Life by Olivia Beirne (@olivia_beirne) @annecater @headlinepg

Apologies for the delay in posting this, internet issues have been the bane of my life and now I need to clear the backlog of posts whilst also reading to catch up. That said, I am delighted to welcome debut author, Olivia Beirne to TWG today as I review her first novel. Many thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and thank you to the publisher for the ARC. Here is my review:

Sometimes all you need is a little push…

When Georgia’s sister is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, she promises to do everything her older sibling can no longer do, resulting in a journey that will change her life forever…

Georgia loves wine, reality TV and sitting on the sofa after work. She does not love heights, looking at her bank account, going on dates, or activities that involve a sports bra. And she will never, ever take a risk.

That is, until her braver, bolder, big sister finds out that she won’t be able to tick off the things she wanted to do before turning thirty, and turns to Georgia to help her finish her list.

With the birthday just months away, Georgia suddenly has a deadline to learn to grab life with both hands. Could she be brave enough to take the leap, for her sister?

And how might her own life change if she did?

What does TWG think?

As a chronically ill x8 person, I emotionally welcome stories with chronic illnesses as the focus of the book. This is one of THOSE books and, despite MS not being one of my own illnesses, I still want to thank the author for putting a topic at the heart of her book to spread overall awareness of both the illness, and the way in which chronic illnesses can affect people.

Now, the idea surrounding a ‘bucket list’ in a book is one that has been doing the rounds in several books I’ve read this year. However, the concept has never been delivered in the way that it was in this book – yay to uniqueness!!!

For a lot of people, turning thirty is a big deal as it’s the age where people expect you to have done many things by. I know – why do we adapt our lives based on other people’s ideas as to how we should live? Why do we feel the need to compete with the Joneses so to speak? Answer – we are human. Georgia doesn’t feel as though she matches up to her big sister, Amy, yet Amy feels as though she isn’t as good as her little sister, especially after her recent diagnosis. Georgia can’t help but focus on all of the things she wishes she had, whereas Amy is grieving for the things that she can no longer do or is limited by. That said, both sisters are unaware that they are battling against their own sub-consciences whilst also unintentionally directing it at the other. Following?

I found the concept of this novel rather emotional because of my own personal battles with chronic illnesses. I thought that Olivia Beirne nailed the thought process to a T, highlighting the fact that grieving things you can no longer do, is actually a thing.

Whilst the topic of MS is very strong, there is a lot of humour and witty one liners that seemed to balance the rest of the book. Georgia had me in hysterics multiple times, and it was her personality and Amy’s strength which shone the brightest throughout the book.

Olivia Beirne is a very gifted writer! I have a feeling that this book was written from the heart because there were some things included in the story which I don’t think even Google would have been able to muster!

All in all, ‘The List Which Changed My Life’ gave me food for thought in more ways than one. I really did enjoy following Amy’s journey and I am delighted that chronically ill people are finally getting their time in the spotlight in a positive and realistic manner. I am so looking forward to reading more from this author!

Buy now!

#CoverReveal! ‘Just My Type’ by Hannah Doyle (@byhannahdoyle) @bookish_becky @headlinepg

I was asked by the fabulous, Becky Hunter, from Headline Books, to reveal the cover of Hannah Doyle’s upcoming novel. Of course I said yes!! I adored Hannah’s previous novel, ‘The Year of Saying Yes’, so it is an honour to have been asked!

‘Just My Type’ is due to be published by Headline in April 2019, but is available to pre-order right now from Amazon.

Are you ready for the cover?!??

JUST MY TYPE is the second novel from Hannah Doyle, author of the laugh-out-loud hit rom-com THE YEAR OF SAYING YES, perfect for fans of Love Island, What Fresh Hell by Lucy Vine, Anna Bell and Dolly Alderton’s Everything I Know About Love.

He’s my type on paper . . . but IRL?

Meet Jasmine.
– The quirky/cool photographer to a superstar blogger
– She’s going on a date with a SUPER hot guy on the London Eye tonight
– Best friend Mila is her wifey for life
– This millennial is #LivingHerBestLife

But fast-forward a few hours, and the reality isn’t quite so picture perfect. Jasmine hates her stuck-up blogger boss. She can barely afford rent in her stupid London flat. Her best friend seems to have all her sh*t together. Oh, and that date she was so excited about? She got dumped. On the London Eye. In the middle of a thunderstorm. With a bunch of tourists watching…

Best friend Mila decides that Jasmine needs a new ‘type on paper’, because Jasmine’s current criteria is so off that her dating history is one long line-up of fools. So Mila challenges Jasmine to look once, if not twice, at the guys who wouldn’t normally fit her ‘type’. With nothing to lose, Jasmine accepts. Maybe, just maybe, she’ll surprise herself.

I don’t know about you, but I am so very excited to get my hands on a copy of this! It sounds right up my street! I don’t like to wish time away but hurry up April!

#BlogTour! #Review -Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer (@kelrimmerwrites) @headlinepg @phoebe_swinburn @annecater

Before I let you go (1)

I did promise you all another Kelly Rimmer post and, even though I’m a bitter than I would have liked (sorry!), I am delighted to share my review of ‘Before I Let You Go’. Huge thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and Headline books for the proof copy. Here is my review:

 

Before I Let You Go Cover

As children, Lexie and Annie were incredibly close. Bonded by the death of their beloved father, they weathered the storms of life together. When Lexie leaves home to follow her dream, Annie is forced to turn to her leatherbound journal as the only place she can confide her deepest secrets and fears…

As adults, sisters Lexie and Annie could not be more different. Lexie is a successful doctor and happily engaged. Annie is an addict – a thief, a liar and unable to remain clean. When Annie’s newborn baby is in danger of being placed in foster care, Annie picks up the phone to beg her sister for help. Will Lexie agree to take in her young niece? And how will Annie survive, losing the only thing in her life worth living for?

 

What does TWG think?

Oh wow, Ms.Rimmer has done it again!! ‘Before I Let You Go’ is a devastating, eye-opening novel which made me feel things I had never thought before – and no, just to clarify, that isn’t a bad thing at all.

Annie and Lexie used to be extremely close before the big, wide world made its mark on them as human beings. Their earlier life was full of love from their mum and dad, as well as typical sibling rivalry. But, when one night changed their lives forever, the sisters knew that they needed to support each other even more, especially when a certain man walked through their door.

It’s clear that Annie’s past plays a big part in the outcome of her current life and the decisions she had made leading up to ‘now’, however the author doesn’t let us into the finer details all at once, instead being drip fed pieces of information as the storyline progressed. Whilst there was a part of me deep down which had a feeling about certain events once Lexie had left her childhood home, the black and white truth sent shivers up and down my spine. Annie is an addict and, seeing as she is living in a state where addictions whilst pregnant is a felony, her luck isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

It may seem as though the storyline is governed by Annie’s situation and bad decisions, yet Lexie’s character and her relationship with fiance, Sam, also get their fair share of the spotlight. Let me just say that people aren’t always as they seem – both Annie and Lexie prove that throughout the book.

‘Before I Let You Go’ has such a serious theme running through it, and once again Kelly Rimmer has shown just how versatile her story telling is as she highlights a topic which, whilst may be seen as ‘taboo’, is a subject which could be a lot more ‘popular’ than people may have thought. It was very easy for me to sit and judge Annie, even though I didn’t know her full story, purely because of her being an addict. It’s shameful on my part to an extent, but my reaction just proves that addiction is extremely serious illness and without knowing the full facts or how to deal with addiction, feigning ignorance will get us nowhere.

This book blew me away, and not just because of the addiction situation. There is a lot more to this book than that – I’m just refusing to give anything away! Kelly Rimmer is a phenomenal author who delivers storyline after storyline in such a majestic, poignant and seriously beautiful manner. I’m probably not conveying my opinions of the book properly, so please forgive me, just trust me when I say that the emotion in the storyline is raw, solid, yet incredibly tender. Feelings which magnified my whole experience of the book from start to finish, a book which I will NOT be forgetting in a hurry.

Spellbinding, heart breaking, and absolutely breath-taking, ‘Before I Let You Go’ will put relationships to the test, making even the simplest of decisions the hardest of them all. Outstanding!

 

Buy now from Amazon

#CoverReveal! ‘The Things We Cannot Say’ by Kelly Rimmer (@KelRimmerwrites) @headlinepg @Phoebe_Swinburn

Ohhhhh I’m so excited today!!!! I have been asked by the lovely, Phoebe Swinburn from Headline books, to help reveal the cover of Kelly Rimmer’s new novel, ‘The Things We Cannot Say’. I am a hugeeeeeee, HUGE fan of Kelly’s – it’s an honour to help out with the cover reveal, so thank you!!

It feels like a bit of a ‘Kelly Rimmer’ day on TWG today as you’ll never guess what….I will be sharing my review of Kelly’s latest novel ‘Before I Let You Go’ as part of the blog tour for the paperback release! Make sure you check back later!

However, back to the task in hand and the beautiful new cover! Are you ready for this? I cannot wait to get my hands on this beauty!!

See what I mean? But that’s not all, for all of you blurb loving folks out there, here is a little bit more information about this intriguing novel:

What would you sacrifice for love?
Inspired by the author’s family history, a searing page-turner of war, family secrets and a love to defy all odds.

World War Two
Alina and Tomasz are childhood sweethearts. The night before he leaves for college, Tomasz proposes marriage. But when their village falls to the Nazis, Alina doesn’t know if Tomasz is alive or dead.

Present day
When Alice’s cherished grandmother is hospitalised, a hidden box of mementoes reveals a tattered photo of a young man, a tiny leather shoe and a letter. Her grandmother begs Alice to return to Poland to see what became of those she held dearest. 

In Poland separated from her family, Alice begins to uncover the story her grandmother is so desperate to tell, and discovers a love that bloomed in the winter of 1942. As a painful family history comes to light, will the struggles of the past and present finally reach a heartbreaking resolution?

If you like the sound of ‘The Things We Cannot Say’, the e-book is set to be released in March 2019, with the paperback set to follow in October 2019. If you wish to pre-order your copy now you can do so here:

Pre-order now from Amazon UK

I am so looking to reading this! What do you think? Is it up your street? Are you a fan of Kelly Rimmer? If so, which book is your favourite? Let me know your thoughts on the cover in the comments!

Please note that publication dates are subject to change at the publishers discretion! To keep up to date with the latest news from Headline, you can follow them on twitter Here. Or, if you wish to have the latest news of all things Kelly Rimmer, you can follow her on twitter Here!

#BlogTour! #Review – The Lost Daughter by Gill Paul (@GillPaulauthor) @Headlinepg @annecater

Busy here on TWG today! First up is my review for the absolutely phenomenal new novel by Gill Paul, ‘The Lost Daughter’. Big thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and thank you to the publisher for my review copy. Here is my review:

A Russian princess. An extraordinary sacrifice. A captivating secret

From the author of The Secret Wife, a gripping journey through decades and across continents, of love, devastating loss and courage against all odds.

1918
With the country they once ruled turned against them, the future of Russia’s imperial family hangs in the balance. When middle daughter Maria Romanova captivates two of the guards, it will lead to a fateful choice between right and wrong.

Fifty-five years later . . .
Val rushes to her father’s side when she hears of his troubling end-of-life confession: ‘I didn’t want to kill her.’ As she unravels the secrets behind her mother’s disappearance when she was twelve years old, she finds herself caught up in one of the world’s greatest mysteries.

What does TWG think?

Omg I think I have just found my most favourite book of 2018!!!! Gill Paul is an incredibly intelligent and vivid storyteller who blurs the lines between fact and fiction. Put it this way, I struggled to work out what parts of the storyline were indeed fiction because, whilst I had heard of the ‘Romanov’s’ rather briefly, I didn’t know the ins and outs of the historical Russian family and knew that Gill Paul would do a better job than Google, at explaining what happened to the Romanov’s all those years ago.

I was completely bowled over by such a heart wrenching yet historically brilliant storyline, as it not only kept me glued to the book until 2.30am, I also couldn’t help but feel as though I was witnessing the 1918 events with my own eyes. It was as though I was there, feeling the emotion which set Maria Romanov apart from the rest. Feeling the pain as she witnessed the aftermath, the end of life as she knew it.

Wow – I wish I could convey my opinions of the book a lot better than what I am currently doing it, but please trust me when I say that ‘The Lost Daughter’ is a gem to be discovered. A gem which, regardless of how much it fades, will always manage to shine bright and beautiful and, if I were to be perfectly honest, I would rather have this type of gem in my hands than a shiny diamond.

I adored how the author switched between the multiple viewpoints as it was just so effortless and natural. There was no confusion on my part at all. In fact, Val’s story blended exceptionally well with Maria’s – I have genuinely never read anything like it.

I urge each and every one of you to sit and read ‘The Lost Daughter’ – it blew me away more times than one book has ever done before. My heart broke for Maria and her family, and I could only hope for the best where Val and Nicole were concerned. The storyline was incredibly hard hitting at times, because the author has used a lot of historical facts in her storyline where the Romanov’s are concerned, as well as the events during 1918 Russia. I still cannot believe that people endured those horrific conditions, watching their loved ones being taken from their families in the blink of an eye.

‘The Lost Daughter’ is an outstanding, breathtaking, powerful, and utterly poignant read which I know will stay with me for a very, very long time. Gill Paul was a favourite author of mine before I read this book, but I can safely say that she is now my go to author for anything historical. This really is my top book of 2018 without a doubt. Absolutely brilliant – I wish I could give it more than 5 stars!

Buy now!

About the author.

Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction, specialising in relatively recent history. Her new novel, Another Woman’s Husband, is about links you might not have been aware of between Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, and Diana, Princess of Wales. 

Gill’s other novels include The Secret Wife, published in 2016, about the romance between cavalry officer Dmitri Malama and Grand Duchess Tatiana, the second daughter of Russia’s last tsar, who first met in 1914. Women and Children First is about a young steward who works on the Titanic. The Affair was set in Rome in 1961–62 as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton fell in love while making Cleopatra. And No Place for a Lady is about two Victorian sisters who travel out to the Crimean War of 1854–56 and face challenges beyond anything they could have imagined.

Gill also writes historical non-fiction, including A History of Medicine in 50 Objects, and a series of Love Stories, each containing fourteen tales of real-life couples: how they met, why they fell for each other, and what happened in the end. Published around the world, this series includes Royal Love Stories, World War I Love Stories and Titanic Love Stories.

Gill was born in Glasgow and grew up there, apart from an eventful year at school in the US when she was ten. She studied Medicine at Glasgow University, then English Literature and History (she was a student for a long time), before moving to London to work in publishing. She started her own company producing books for publishers, along the way editing such luminaries as Griff Rhys Jones, John Suchet, John Julius Norwich, Ray Mears and Eartha Kitt. She also writes on health, nutrition and relationships.

Gill swims year-round in an open-air pond – “It’s good for you so long as it doesn’t kill you”– and is a devotee of Pilates. She also particularly enjoys travelling on what she calls “research trips” and attempting to match-make for friends.

WEBSITE : www.gillpaul.com

 

TWITTER : @GillPaulAUTHOR

 

#BlogTour! #Review – Friend of the Family by Tasmina Perry (@tasminaperry) @Headlinepg


Second blog tour for the day is for ‘Friend of the Family’ by Tasmina Perry. Many thanks to Headline for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

She thinks your life is perfect. She thinks you don’t deserve it.

Your job

Amy is more than happy to offer the daughter of an old friend work experience at her London magazine. Josie is young and ambitious. She just needs a foot in the door.

Your home

When Josie arrives, she swiftly makes herself indispensable at work and at home. And when childcare falls through before a long-awaited university reunion in Provence, it begins to look as if Josie may be staying longer than Amy had bargained for.

Your husband

In the heat of Provence, Josie’s presence starts to unsettle Amy, especially around her husband. As cracks begin to appear in Amy’s perfect life, she cannot shake the feeling that the family friend may not be a friend at all…

What does TWG think?

What I thoroughly enjoyed about this book, was how much of an ‘easy to read’ novel it was. I don’t mean that in a bad way at all, I mean that I was able to read the book without having to over think any parts of the storyline, especially as there are times where I just want to pick up a book and read it without my brain getting fried by the end of it. A major thumbs up from me in that sense, that’s for sure!

However, I did find this book to be a little predictable so whilst it was a care-free type of storyline, the surprise element wasn’t there.

I did enjoy the ‘how the other half live’ characters as I am a bit nosy and like to delve into other people’s lives. Don’t panic, I don’t stalk people! I have to say that ‘Friend of the Family’ reminded me a bit of ‘The Real Housewives of Cheshire’ meets ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’. Those programs are my guilty pleasure – I was thoroughly entertained by that element in the book.

I thought that the subject of ‘trust’ was a strong current in the book and certainly made me think about people who have come into my life and showed their true colours…eventually!!

All in all, ‘Friend of the Family’ was an entertaining, easy to read novel with characters you’re likely to dislike but can’t tear yourself away from.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper (@ItsEmmaCooper) @HeadlinePG @AnneCater

emmacooper
It’s my turn to host Emma Cooper and ‘The Songs of Us’ today! Thank you to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and many thanks to Headline for the ARC. Here is my review:

The Songs of Us Cover

If Melody hadn’t run out of de-icer that day, she would never have slipped and banged her head. She wouldn’t be left with a condition that makes her sing when she’s nervous. And she definitely wouldn’t have belted out the Arctic Monkeys’ ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’ in assembly at her son’s school.

If Dev hadn’t taken the kids to the zoo that day, then the accident wouldn’t have happened. He wouldn’t have left Flynn and Rose without a dad. Or shattered the love of his life’s heart.

But if they hadn’t seen the missing person report that day, they might never have taken the trip to Cornwall. And, in the last place they expected, discovered what it really means to be ‘Us’.

What does TWG think?

Can someone please pass me more tissues?

I’m not even joking! Oh my god. I finished reading ‘The Songs of Us’ late Sunday night, and I STILL am trying to fight the urge to burst into tears when I think about this book!

Okay, okay, I’ll admit that there were a lot of moments where I couldn’t stop myself from laughing out loud at Melody’s actions, with one quote having me bent over double in hysterics; ‘swerve to the left, swerve to the right’. Obviously it will make sense for those who have already read the book, but if you haven’t read it yet, go…..go!!!!

Before anyone thinks that I am being a nasty moo moo by what I said above about laughing at Melody’s actions, just hear me out. I wasn’t laughing at the fact that Melody had a condition a bit similar to Tourette’s, where she ended up singing in public spaces anytime she became stressed. Not at all, because a health condition isn’t funny. However, it was the songs at the right (or wrong) moment which were cleverly written into the storyline, making Melody who she was. Of course I felt for her when she ended up doing the dance moves to a song when she was in a ‘serious’ situation. I can’t even begin to imagine how that must have made her felt, but I thought she handled it brilliantly with great humour, which in turn made me feel as though I was allowed to laugh along with her, even though I felt bad. Does that make sense?

Whilst there was a lot of humour in the storyline, there was also a lot of heartache and devastation. I shan’t go into detail as that wouldn’t be fair on the author or the readers, but please do trust me when I say that ‘The Songs of Us’ is a tearjerker. Melody’s situation does govern a lot of the book, however, her children, Flynn and Rose, also have their own fair share of turbulence as they try to combat their own teenage emotions. I love how the storyline is told from several of the characters points of view, as I felt as though I  was able connect with them on a much deeper level as it was more of a ‘one to one’.

‘The Songs of Us’ left me sobbing my heart out. I’m not going to lie, I was absolutely devastated by the concluding part of the storyline, and no I don’t mean that in a negative way. It was as though I could feel my heart shattering into millions of pieces, the tears were just falling from my eyes. Emma Cooper has written an outstanding, powerful, devastatingly beautiful, heart wrenching, emotional, humorous, and utterly, utterly brilliant novel which has given me the biggest book hangover I have ever had in my life. Yes, I am exhausted from the amount of tears I shed, but holy cannoli was it worth it!

Honestly, what a diamond in a rough of a book this is and, despite having read 282 books already this year, ‘The Songs of Us’ has swooped into the sought after top spot of my most favourite books of 2018, and I don’t think it will be leaving anytime soon! I’d even go one better and say that this book is now an all-time favourite read of mine, ever!

This book truly deserves to be turned into a movie for the big screen, and the songs covered in the book need to be brought out as a soundtrack to Melody’s life, so that everyone can #beabitMelody when they feel as though their life is knocking them down.

Grab your tissues, turn off your phone and prepare yourself to be swept away by Emma Cooper’s incredibly moving, beautifully written novel – this is absolutely perfection (and yes, my eyes are STILL incredibly puffy!)

Buy now!

About the author.

Emma Cooper is a former teaching assistant, who lives in
Shropshire, with her partner and four children. Her spare time consists of writing novels, drinking wine and watching box-sets with her partner of twenty-four years, who still makes her smile every day.

Emma has always wanted to be a writer – ever since her childhood, she’s been inventing
characters (her favourite being her imaginary friend ‘Boot’) and is thrilled that she now gets to use this imagination to bring to life all of her creations.

The Songs of Us was inspired by Emma’s love of music and her ability to almost always
embarrass herself, and her children, in the most mundane of situations. She was so fascinated by the idea of combining the two, that she began to write Melody’s story. Working full-time with a large family meant that Emma had to steal snippets of ‘spare’ time from her already chaotic and disorganised life; the majority of her novel was written during her lunchtime in a tiny school office.

She never expected to fall so deeply in love with the King family and is overwhelmed that others feel the same. 

#BlogTour! #Review – The Summer of Secrets by Nikola Scott (@nikola_scott) @Headlinepg @AnneCater


Summer may be pretty much behind us, but are the secrets still under lock and key? I am excited to be day two on the blog tour for ‘Summer of Secrets’ by Nikola Scott. Big thanks, as always, to Anne Cater from RandomThingsTours for the blog tour invite, and thank you to Headline for the ARC. Here is my review:


August 1939

At peaceful Summerhill, orphaned Maddy hides from the world and the rumours of war. Then her
adored sister Georgina returns from a long trip with a new friend, the handsome Victor. Maddy
fears that Victor is not all he seems, but she has no idea just what kind of danger has come into
their lives…

Today

Chloe is newly pregnant. This should be a joyful time, but she is fearful for the future, despite her
husband’s devotion. When chance takes her to Summerhill, she’s drawn into the mystery of what
happened there decades before. And the past reaches out to touch her in ways that could
change everything…

What does TWG think?

I am, as a lot of you know, quite partial to a historical fiction novel. I love being able to step back in time to witness moments in history which can only be remembered by visuals or Wikipedia. Reading ‘Summer of Secrets’ allowed me to sneak a peek at a fictional, yet historically based, moment in time during World War ll where ‘uncertainty’ was the popular feeling amongst everyone at Summerhill and beyond.

It took me a little while to get into the swing of things as I found the pace to be a little bit slow, but once things started to pick up I found myself going with the flow rather nicely.

‘Summer of Secrets’ is set during World War ll in 1939 and the present, bringing characters from the past into the life of the main character in the present, Chloe. Chloe is trapped in a life she has been told that she wants, yet after getting a taste for the life she actually does want for herself, she realises that her husband has been manipulating Chloe’s journey for many years. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be JUST Chloe’s life he is intent on controlling.

In the parts of the story set in 1939, emotions are rife and secrets which have been kept hidden for many years, are threatening to escape after being prodded and poked by good ol’ revenge.

I was very impressed by how Nikola Scott brought the past into the present as it was done in such a seamless manner, as though the characters had been friends all this time. If I did have to choose between which parts I liked the best, the past or the present, I would have to say that the pace and the content of the present just swayed it for me as I loved the constant grit throughout those chapters. I’m not saying that I disliked the parts set in 1939, not at all, I just thought that those chapters had some unnecessary padding.

Overall, ‘Summer of Secrets’ kept me hooked and interested from start to finish, and I especially loved watching Chloe and Maddy’s gather the strength to stretch their wings in their own individual ways. Nikola Scott has a magical way of piecing her stories together, and I feel that she has done her characters proud with the way she has written their journeys in this book.

An emotionally charged, harrowing and majestic novel – ‘Summer of Secrets’, it has been a pleasure.

Buy now from Amazon

About the author.

Nikola Scott was born and raised in Germany and studied at
university there. Having been obsessed with books from a young age, Nikola moved to New York
City after her Master’s degree to begin her first job in book publishing, a career in which she
could fully indulge her love of fiction! 

She spent ten years working in publishing in New York and then in London, editing other
people’s books, before she decided to take the leap into becoming a full-time writer herself. 
She now lives in Frankfurt with her husband and two sons.

MY MOTHER’S SHADOW was published in 2017 to wonderful reviews. Her new novel
SUMMER OF SECRETS is coming in September 2018.

Please visit http://www.nikolascott.com/ for more information,
or find Nikola on Instagram @nikolascottauthor,
Twitter @nikola_scott and Facebook/NikolaScottAuthor.