#CoverReveal! #IWillFindYou by Daniela Sacerdoti (@Danisacerdoti) @Bookish_Becky @Headlinepg

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)
I am delighted to be bringing you a STUNNING cover reveal this afternoon! I was incredibly honoured to have been asked by Becky Hunter from Headline, to help reveal the new cover of Daniela Sacerdoti’s brand new novel, ‘I Will Find You’. Thanks so much for asking me!

Here we go!!

I WIll Find You TPB final

Daniela Sacerdoti is adored by over 1 million readers. Set on the mysterious Seal Island, this is a beautiful, heartrending and gripping novel, perfect for those who loved The Time Traveller’s Wifeand The Notebook. ‘A treat for fans of Jodi Picoult or Dorothy Koomson’ Daily Express on Keep Me Safe

When her mother dies, heartbroken Cora seeks solace on a remote Scottish island. Alone in a crumbling cottage inaccessible at high tide, she discovers the stones have their secrets. Nearly three hundred years ago, a young woman sought shelter here, also racked with sorrow. As Cora unravels a haunting story of love and loss, she realises the past may hold the key to her own future happiness…

Oh my goodness – isn’t it stunning? I want to know why she’s running away! What gave her cause to run away? I cannot wait to find out – this book sounds like an absolute corker. Hopefully I won’t have to wait too long to find out!!

‘I Will Find You’ is due to be published in e-book on the 17th May, with the paperback following on the 29th November. If you want to ensure your copy of either formats, you can do so by pre-ordering Daniela Sacerdoti’s book right now from Amazon.

Whilst you go and do that, I’m going to swoon at the cover for a little bit longer!!

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

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#BlogTour! #Review – #TheToymakers by Robert Dinsdale (@Robert_Dinsdale) @EburyPublishing

The Toy Makers Blog Tour poster
I am delighted to bring you my review of Robert Dinsdale’s magical novel, ‘The Toymakers’. Thank you to Ebury for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

Cover Image
The Emporium opens with the first frost of winter. It is the same every year. Across the city, when children wake to see ferns of white stretched across their windows, or walk to school to hear ice crackling underfoot, the whispers begin: the Emporium is open! Christmas is coming, and the goose is getting fat…

It is 1917, and London has spent years in the shadow of the First World War. In the heart of Mayfair, though, there is a place of hope. A place where children’s dreams can come true, where the impossible becomes possible – that place is Papa Jack’s Toy Emporium.

For years Papa Jack has created and sold his famous magical toys: hobby horses, patchwork dogs and bears that seem alive, toy boxes bigger on the inside than out, ‘instant trees’ that sprout from boxes, tin soldiers that can fight battles on their own. Now his sons, Kaspar and Emil, are just old enough to join the family trade. Into this family comes a young Cathy Wray – homeless and vulnerable. The Emporium takes her in, makes her one of its own. But Cathy is about to discover that while all toy shops are places of wonder, only one is truly magical..

What does TWG think?

Do you believe in magic?

No, I don’t mean the ‘saw you in half’ or making a dove appear, type of magic. I mean the magic of childhood. The magic of walking into a toy shop and feeling your jaw drop as your eyes focused on the rows and rows of beautiful, colourful and enchanting toys which you just HAD to have. THAT magic.

So, I’ll ask you again. Do you believe in magic?

Unfortunately it did take me a while to get into this throws of the storyline. Maybe it was because I wasn’t in a good mood when I started it, I don’t know. I just found it to be a bit on the slow side. To be honest, I will blame myself for that because if you’re in a bad mood at the start of a new book, you’re hardly going to be able to enjoy the true essence behind the story.

Once I switched off from the outside world and found my inner child, the magic behind the Emporium started to shine through. I was able to appreciate the story and how the toys came to life. I was able to appreciate why Cathy was there and the hold brothers, Kaspar and Emil had over her. Personally, I felt that the love triangle didn’t need to be there as I really do think that the storyline would have held its own with his focus being on Papa Jack’s Toy Emporium. But that’s just me, obviously.

Robert Dinsdale certainly is such an enigmatic writer, with his passion shining through like a beacon. Over thinking this storyline is a no go. You need to let go of your own thoughts before even starting this book so that you can appreciate what the author was trying to do. ‘The Toymakers’ isn’t the sort of book which you can just pick up and fly through like other books – you need to take your time reading it, appreciating the magic, appreciating Papa Jack’s story, otherwise what is the point?

I did enjoy reading ‘The Toymakers’, but I feel that I would benefit from reading the book for a second time as I don’t think I appreciated the book enough from my own point of view. Plus, I have a valid excuse to lose myself in the magic of toys again, what’s not to like? The historic feel in this novel, seeing as it is set in the 1900’s, really caught my eye and made me travel back in time to where everything began. Personally, the magic and the history is what made this book for me.

It’s clear that this author knows his craft and how to deliver it – I was blown away by the magical concept and being able to feel like a child again. That in itself is priceless.

Beautiful, enchanting and utterly addictive – what’s not to like?

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #GuestPost from author of ‘In Love and War’ @LizTrenow @Panmacmillan

In Love and War blog tour graphic
Closing Liz Trenow’s blog tour today is me, TWG! Big thank you PanMacmillan for the blog tour invite! It’s a pleasure to be alongside some truly wonderful bloggers, for a smashing author.

I am delighted to bring you a written piece from the lady herself, Liz Trenow. Enjoy!
(oh, and if you wanted to buy her new book, all the details will be after the guest post. Shhhh)

My writing day
by
Liz Trenow

 I write in the mornings when my mind is freshest – usually starting around 8.30ish and continuing till my stomach rumbles for lunch. In the afternoon my imagination seems to close down so then I do research, admin, replying to emails, blogging and, when I’ve got to that stage, proof reading.

I always write in my study, a small room at the front of the house where there are not too many distractions! Out of the window are trees and birds which sometimes distract me, as well as the comings and goings in the front drive. I also keep the door open so I can hear what is going on in the rest of the house. 

 I usually spend twenty minutes or so checking social media and answering emails. This helps me, mentally, to ‘clear the decks’ and gives me permission, somehow, to open the novel. But I don’t start writing new material right away. At least a hour is spent editing and if necessary rewriting the passage I was working on the previous day, easing myself back into the heads of my characters and the trajectory of the plot. Unlike other writers who talk about keeping card indexes on each character I’m lazy about keeping records so frequently have to track back to make sure these are consistent.  

The hardest part is avoiding a soggy middle. At some point I usually experience what Ian Rankin describes as ‘the fear’ when I am some way into the novel. That is when you start to think you are writing complete rubbish that will never get published, and even if it did, that reviewers would slate and readers hate. You just have to work your way through it and hold faith that it will come right in time. 

The other difficult moment, for me, is when I reach the end of the first draft. By this time I’ve lost any perspective on the novel, about whether it is good or bad, which bits work and which don’t. So I try to leave it for a week or so, then print it out and read in another room, straight through, without making any pencil edits if possible. At that point I quite often find myself in despair once more at the amount of work that I think is needed to make it work. However, once I get going on the edits, I begin to enjoy it once more.

Writing a novel is a huge task. It requires months or even years of solitary confinement, and families must be very tolerant of your divided attention. But I love it, and wouldn’t want any other kind of job.

If you have ever wondered what Liz Trenow’s writing day looked like, well, now you know! I must apologise as the guest post stated that there was a photo, however it did not appear after the download.

Here is the all important information about Liz’s new book, ‘In Love and War’, which was published on the 25th January.

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Three women, once enemies. Their secrets will unite them.

The First World War is over. The war-torn area of Flanders near Ypres is no longer home to troops, but groups of tourists. Controversial battlefield tourism now brings hundreds of people to the area, all desperate to witness first-hand where their loved ones fell.

At the Hotel de la Paix in the small village of Hoppestadt, three women arrive, searching for traces of the men they have loved and lost.

Ruby is just twenty-one, a shy Englishwoman looking for the grave of her husband. Alice is only a little older but brimming with confidence; she has travelled all the way from America, convinced her brother is in fact still alive. Then there’s Martha, and her son Otto, who are not all they seem to be . . .

The three women in Liz Trenow’s In Love and War may have very different backgrounds, but they are united in their search for reconciliation: to resolve themselves to what the war took from them, but also to what life might still promise for the future . . .

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 – The Runaway Children by Sandy Taylor (@SandyTaylorAuth) @Bookouture

The Runaway Children - Blog Tour
Stepping back in time today as I review Sandy Taylor’s latest novel, ‘The Runaway Children’, for the last stop on the blog tour! Huge thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite, as well as the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

The-Runaway-Children-Kindle
London, 1942: Thirteen-year-old Nell and five-year-old Olive are being sent away from the devastation of the East End. They are leaving the terror of the Blitz and nights spent shivering in air raid shelters behind them, but will the strangers they are billeted with be kind and loving, or are there different hardships ahead?
 
As the sisters struggle to adjust to life as evacuees, they soon discover that living in the countryside isn’t always idyllic. Nell misses her mother and brothers more than anything but she has to stay strong for Olive. Then, when little Olive’s safety is threatened by a boy on a farm, Nell has to make a decision that will change their lives forever…
 
They must run from danger and try to find their way home.
 
Together the two girls hold each other’s hands as they begin their perilous journey across bombed-out Britain. But when Nell falls ill, can she still protect her little sister from the war raging around them? And will they ever be reunited from the family they’ve been torn from?

What does TWG think?

Wow. I struggled to read this book, I’m not going to lie. No, I don’t mean that I struggled to read it because of how it was written, or that I struggled reading it due to any other negative reason. Not at all. I struggled reading ‘The Runaway Children’ because of how emotive and poignant the storyline was. We are taught at school about how things were during the war and, whilst those pieces of information are still quite difficult to digest, a lot of the time it doesn’t seem to work its way to our core. We either shrug it off because ‘it doesn’t affect us’, or we have no idea how to approach history itself. With Sandy Taylor’s novel, that is where everything changed for me personally. I have always loved history, but for the duration of this book, I was able to see things from a completely different point of view. Gone were the historical dates which everyone had to learn just because. Sandy Taylor wrote a story about what happened to people. Whilst the storyline itself is fictional, a lot of it is based on history, after all, children DID have to get evacuated during the war. ‘The Runaway Children’ is a story which is guaranteed to grab hold of your heart and not let it go.

Set in London during the early 1940’s, two sisters are being sent away from the devastation which the war has caused to their beloved city. Why? For safety of course. The opposition didn’t want to throw bombs down in a middle of an empty field, they wanted to attack cities full of monuments and thousands of people. So they did. Unfortunately for Nell, Olive and thousands of other children, London was no longer a safe place to live and their only hope of staying safe would be to leave. Poor Nell has the task of being in charge of her little sister come rain or shine. Okay, for many of us, that would seem like an okay thing to do. For Nell however, the responsibility was extremely large, especially when they found themselves moving from pillar to post on more than one occasion.

It’s not that I was ignorant when it came to learning about evacuees, I just hadn’t had a reason to delve into that period of history to a level which Sandy Taylor has in this story. And, because of that, the entire storyline hit home on a completely unexpected level. I’m not sure whether it was my motherly instincts or the fact that I am indeed human with my own set of emotions, but ‘The Runaway Children’ gave me the feels. It really was like reading a book which made you happy one moment, angry the next, and then realising your face is sodden with tears. How do I know this? Because it happened.

Sandy Taylor has taken a memorable, historical event, and laid it bare to make all of her readers sit up and listen. It certainly made me sit up and listen, that’s for sure! I was absolutely blown away by the intense level of emotion, mixed with the poignancy only a story of this calibre could bring. I shouldn’t sit here and say that I loved this book because of what it contained, however, I really did love this book because it reached my soul in a way I could never really describe. This story highlighted the fact that the little things in life are important, and there is no use wasting your time on stupid things when there are far more important people (and things) to concerned yourself with.

The characters in this book are inspiration beyond belief, and have taught me so much in such a short space of time. ‘The Runaway Children’ is one of the best historical fiction/saga novels I have ever read. You really would be a fool not to grab a copy and travel back in time with Nell and Olive. For me, Olive stole the show and her innocence made the rest of the storyline shine bright like a diamond (whilst also making me laugh out loud more than once).

Written absolutely beautiful and straight from the heart, ‘The Runaway Children’ will forever have a place in my heart alongside Nell, Olive, and Ms Timony. A delightful, heart-warming story from start to finish.

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author: 
Sandy Taylor grew up on a council estate near Brighton. There were no books in the house, so Sandy’s love of the written word was nurtured in the little local library. Leaving school at fifteen, Sandy worked in a series of factories before landing a job at Butlins in Minehead. This career change led her to becoming a singer, a stand up comic and eventually a playwright and novelist.


#BlogBlitz! #Review – A Matter of Love and Death – Caron Albright @carmenratdke1 @Bombshellpub

@bombshellpub@CarmenRadtke1
This evening on my blog, I have a review of ‘A Matter of Love and Death’ as part of the blog blitz for Bombshell Books. Huge thanks to Sarah Hardy for the blog blitz invite, as well as the ARC. Here is my review:

Caron Albright - A Matter of Love and Death_cover_1

Adelaide, 1931. Telephone switchboard operator Frances’ life is difficult as sole provider for her mother and adopted uncle. But it’s thrown into turmoil when she overhears a suspicious conversation on the phone, planning a murder.
If a life is at risk, she should tell the police; but that would mean breaking her confidentiality clause and would cost her the job. And practical Frances, not prone to flights of fancy, soon begins to doubt the evidence of her own ears – it was a very bad line, after all…
She decides to put it behind her, a task helped by the arrival of their new lodger, Phil. Phil takes her to a night club, where she meets charming but slightly dangerous club owner Jack. Jack’s no angel – prohibition is in force, and what’s a nightclub without champagne? But he’s a good man, and when Frances’ earlier fears resurface she knows that he’s the person to confide in.
Frances and Jack’s hunt for the truth puts them in grave danger, and soon enough Frances will learn that some things are a matter of love and death…

What does TWG think?

Oh I just LOVE that cover!! So retro and so in-keeping with the overall theme of the book. Set in the 1930’s in Adelaide, Australia, Frances has the world and its wife upon her shoulders as she does everything she can to keep a roof over her mother and Uncle Sal’s head. Seeing as her job as a switchboard operator requires keeping any information heard from the callers, extremely confidential, Frances finds herself in a bit of a situation when she overhears something she would have rather have not heard. Does she risk losing her job by telling her boss what she heard? Or does she forget about it and pretend she never heard a thing?

It wasn’t until after I finished reading this book that I noticed it was being dubbed a mystery novel. Personally, I didn’t find that the storyline was overly mysterious and, even though it contained multiple ‘hush hush’ situations, ‘A Matter of Love and Death’ didn’t make me wonder who had done anything as I didn’t get the mysterious vibe at all. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the book, because I really did. I just don’t feel that the term ‘mystery’ is the right description for this book, but that is of course my own personal opinion. I did wonder whether I had missed anything though, as I couldn’t grab that particular vibe. I’m not sure whether I should be disappointed that I didn’t see this book like that, or whether I should just enjoy the book for how I interpreted it.

For me, ‘A Matter of Love and Death’ was touching, heart-warming and severely nostalgic. I’m really not a romantic at heart, but I felt that the storyline had a romantic feel to it, even if the main characters weren’t pursuing anything.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed most of Caron Albright’s novel. I did feel as though there were several storyline gaps along the way which, at the time, confused me a tad as I felt like something vital was missing. However, I enjoyed the 1930’s vibe and feeling as though I had travelled back in time from the comfort of my own home.

A unique, nostalgic and touching novel – mystery, romance or thriller, regardless of the genre, this book is guaranteed to be enjoyed by many.

Thanks BombshellPub.

Buy now from Amazon UK

About the author.

Caron Albright fell in love with books as soon as she could read and never grew out of it. With one foot firmly planted in Fictionland ever since, she is moving from one adventure to the next (strictly on the paper of course).
She loves capers with feisty heroines, dashing heroes with a dangerous edge and thrilling locations and would gladly explore the world for the sake of research – preferably while tap-dancing, with a champagne glass in her hand.
Instead she spends her time in front of her keyboard, sipping herbal tea.
When she feels the need for a change, she switches to coffee and writing crime novels under the name Carmen Radtke.
Links:
 

#BlogBlitz! #Review – The Liverpool Girls by Pam Howes (@PamHowes1) @Bookouture

The Liverpool Girls - Blog Tour
Happy publication day Pam Howes! Whilst today is obviously a day for bookish celebration, it’s also a bittersweet day for readers who have been following Pam’s Liverpool saga series from the beginning. Why? Because, unfortunately, ‘The Liverpool Girls’ is the last book in the series! If, like me, you have read all three books in order, you’ll probably agree that us readers have been on one hell of a ride with each and every character. Some more memorable than others! I am honoured to be one of the blogs kicking off today’s blog blitz with my review. Huge congratulations Pam!

The-Liverpool-Girls-Kindle
It’s 1966 and in Liverpool two sisters are about to have their lives turned upside down…

Sisters Carol and Jackie haven’t had the easiest of childhoods, but as they grow up and begin their own lives both hope for happier times ahead. Stylish Carol works in Lewis’s department store, while Jackie dreams of drama school, and a career on the stage.

But the sisters are heartbroken when they discover they have been dating the same man, and an unexpected pregnancy causes a rift between them. Parents Dora and Joe must overcome their past hurts and help their daughters, despite the meddling of Joe’s second wife Ivy.

As the sisters’ troubles spiral and difficult decisions must be made, can the family pull together – or will Jackie and Carol’s sisterly bond be destroyed forever?

What does TWG think?

We are back in Liverpool for the third and final time, as we catch up with Dora and her family in the last instalment of the Liverpool Trilogy. I cannot believe how quick this series has zoomed by, nor can I believe how much all of the characters have grown. Having read the series from book one, it’s been fun watching certain characters grow throughout the years, as if us readers were going through their highs and lows with them at the time. Quite surreal to be honest as some of the characters in this series have lived out their lives before our very eyes.

Dora is our main character once again as we find out what has happened since book two.  Put it this way – A LOT has happened since we left the family and, whilst I’m not surprised that certain situations have come to a head, I really was hoping that I was going to meet Ivy again. But I did. Even though I thought that Ivy’s character was going to rub me up the wrong way yet again, I actually found that another character took that particular crown away from her. Don’t worry though, Ivy was her usual, delightful (ahem) self and still bugged me, yet someone else bugged me even more.

Because I don’t want to give anything away, all I’m going to say is that ONE of Dora’s daughters got my back up on more than one occasion. Once you read the book for yourself, you may think the same, or you may think differently. Who knows! I’m intrigued to see how people fair with this particular character though, I have to say.

In regards to the overall storyline, I really did enjoy catching up with the characters again, but I did find some parts of the storyline to be a little slow burning and lacking in oomph. However, there were parts of the storyline, namely where Carol was concerned, where the pace was on point and the grit made it such an intense read. For me, the story seemed to to and fro between gritty and slow burning, as opposed to Pam Howes’ previous books of being pure intensity. Again, that is just a personal preference.

I am quite sad to see this series come to an end as I would loved to find out what happened to a couple of the characters later down the line. I did thoroughly enjoy the majority of ‘The Liverpool Girls’, especially as the author has made Dora go from strength to strength as a character. Dora really was the star of the show and I really do think that Pam Howes has done a phenomenal job in building her character, whilst also maintaining Dora’s personality across all three books.

Poignant, thought-provoking and definitely memorable, ‘The Liverpool Girls’ is bound to take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions as you follow Dora and Joe’s life during the late sixties. Full of brilliant history from the sixties, Pam Howes has written yet another touching novel.

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author: 

Pam Howes was born in Cheshire. She is a retired Interior Designer who began writing seriously in the mid nineties. The idea for her first novel, set in the sixties, was inspired by her time as a teenager, working in a local record store and hanging around with musicians who frequented the business. That first novel evolved into a series set in the fictional town of Pickford, based on her home town of Stockport. Three Steps to Heaven; ‘Til I Kissed You; Always On My Mind; Not Fade Away, and That’ll Be The Day, follow the lives and loves through the decades of fictional Rock’n’Roll band The Raiders. Pam is a big fan of sixties music and it’s this love that compelled her to write the series. A stand-alone true-life romance, Fast Movin’ Train, set in the nineties, was published in early 2012. A new series of Fairground Romances, set in the sixties, begins with Cathy’s Clown, to be followed by Ruby Tuesday early 2016. Pam is mum to three adult daughters, grandma to seven assorted grandchildren, and roadie to one musician partner. She still lives in Cheshire and is currently involved in raising awareness of her home-town’s musical heritage with campaigns to have Blue Plaques erected on the walls of local clubs, The Manor Lounge and The Sinking Ship, where the likes of The Walker Brother’s, The Who and Jimi Hendrix played; now closed, but still firmly in the hearts of Stockport’s recycled teenagers.  

Pam recently signed a contract with the award winning publisher Bookouture and the first novel in her new trilogy, The Lost Daughter of Liverpool, will be on sale in February 2017

All books are available in Kindle format, paperback, and Fast Movin’ Train is also available as an audio book. 

Follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pam-Howes-Author/260328010709267 

And Twitter @PamHowes1

#BlogTour! #Review – A Winter Love Song by Rita Bradshaw @panmacmillan @ed_pr

Blog Tour Artwork for A Winter Love Song

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A Winter Love Song is a heartwarming and moving story of survival and love from bestselling author Rita Bradshaw.

Bonnie Lindsay is born into a travelling fair community in the north-east in 1918, and when her mother dies just months later, Bonnie’s beloved father becomes everything to her. Then at the tender age of ten years old, disaster strikes. Heartbroken, Bonnie’s left at the mercy of her embittered grandmother and her lecherous step-grandfather.

Five years later, the events of one terrible night cause Bonnie to flee to London where she starts to earn her living as a singer. She changes her name and cuts all links with the past.

Time passes. Bonnie falls in love, but just when she dares to hope for a rosy future, WW2 is declared. She does her bit for the war effort, singing for the troops and travelling to Burma to boost morale, but heartache and pain are just around the corner, and she begins to ask herself if she will ever find happiness again?

What does TWG think?

Without sounding too macabre, I absolutely love read a saga which is set during war time. Obviously I don’t find other people’s misfortune entertaining at all, it’s just the whole vibe of a wartime setting mixed with fictional characters and fictional stories, all inspired by a real life situation, makes me feel as though I can sink my teeth into the storyline without too much of an issue. I have always been fascinated with history so to then mix an interest of mine into novel reading – I’m sure you can see why I get so excited about this genre!

Anyway, back to the book.

Bonnie has had her own fair share of heartache over the years. Not only did Bonnie lose her mother at a young age, she was then faced with the devastating situation of then losing her last remaining parent. Nobody understood Bonnie like her father did. Nobody wanted to understand Bonnie. Instead, she’s left misunderstood with a knee-jerk reaction to flee. Will Bonnie ever get her happy every after? Will Bonnie finally be loved for who she is and everything she stands for?

I felt so sorry for Bonnie as it was like she constantly got the short end of the stick. Everywhere she turned there seemed to be something bad about to happen, or she would end up faced with memories of the bad times past. I had my fingers crossed that she would find true happiness, but without sounding too pessimistic, I wasn’t entirely convinced that she would. I felt that Bonnie was exceptionally hard on herself in a lot of ways, which unfortunately made it harder for me to gel with her as a character as I couldn’t find a way to get through to her.

As the story progresses we see Bonnie’s life take a very different turn, although the feeling of sadness was waiting around every corner, ready to strike again.

I felt that the historic nature of the storyline shone through really well, which in turn made me able to see various characters in very different lights.

I am being really vague with this review as the storyline is rather complex and I would hate to give anything away. Even though I felt that the complexity was definitely a positive, I did find myself becoming a little bogged down by the overall heaviness of the novel itself. Don’t get me wrong ‘A Winter Love Song’ really is a lovely read, but the fact I had trouble keeping up with every situation in the book meant that I couldn’t enjoy the storyline as much as I would have liked.

Overall I did enjoy ‘A Winter Love Song’ – it ignited multiple emotions from deep within whilst also keeping the historic element poignant all the way through.

Thanks Pacmacmillan.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt (@ikillnovel) @TinderPress

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Excited to be today’s stop on Sarah Schmidt’s blog tour for the paperback release of ‘See What I Have Done’. Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour, and thank you to the publisher for a copy of the book. Here is my review:

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Just after 11am on 4th August 1892, the bodies of Andrew and Abby Borden are discovered. He’s found on the sitting room sofa, she upstairs on the bedroom floor, both murdered with an axe.

It is younger daughter Lizzie who is first on the scene, so it is Lizzie who the police first question, but there are others in the household with stories to tell: older sister Emma, Irish maid Bridget, the girls’ Uncle John, and a boy who knows more than anyone realises.

In a dazzlingly original and chilling reimagining of this most notorious of unsolved mysteries, Sarah Schmidt opens the door to the Borden home and leads us into its murkiest corners, where jealousies, slow-brewed rivalries and the darkest of thoughts reside.

What does TWG think?

I have been wanting to read Sarah Schmidt’s, ‘See What I Have Done’, from the first moment I saw it doing the rounds on social media back in May. Yes, it has been on my TBR pile that long! One thing I also noticed at the time was just how varied each readers opinions were. Of course, that made me even more curious to get stuck in.

Using events of a real life situation as inspiration, Sarah Schmidt has taken facts from the historic ‘Lizzie Borden’ case in 1892, and has put a personal spin on the storyline itself. Wikipedia states that Lizzie Borden was acquitted for the murders of Andrew and Abby Borden, but who DID kill Lizzie’s parents? Still an unsolved case 125 years later, a lot of people seem to reach their own conclusions on the double murder. Sarah Schmidt however, had her own ideas about what really went on that day, thus being the inspiration for this novel.

I have to admit; I hadn’t heard of Lizzie Borden until the day I picked up ‘See What I Have Done’. I had to spend a little while trawling through Google so that I had a rough idea of the situation itself. Not that I didn’t trust the authors factual knowledge, don’t get me wrong, but when it comes to historical based novels, I like to ensure I have some of the facts clear in my own head before I proceed.

I finished reading ‘See What I Have Done’ about ten minutes before I started writing this review as I wanted to keep everything fresh in my mind. I really don’t know where my mind is with this book after all. I loved the authors literary skills and story telling – it was clear that Sarah Schmidt had done her research whilst also ensuring that she incorporated fiction alongside the facts to keep the reader interested. For me, the authors skills were the star of the show. I cannot fault the way in which the storyline was executed overall.

However, I found the content of the storyline incredibly difficult to gel with. Although, I guess having a theme of murder in a storyline isn’t going to make you reaching for the party poppers, but you know what I mean (I hope). I really wanted to fall in love with this book, especially given the fact that historical fiction is one of my go to genres. But there was just something about the book which left me feeling as though I was missing something. What, I have no idea. I did fall in love with the authors words themselves though, does that count?!

Whilst ‘See What I Have Done’ didn’t meet my expectations, the authors story telling and fantastic writing talent made the book come alive. Sarah Schmidt is exceptionally talented at her craft and I am rather looking forward to what she puts her pen to next.

Thanks Tinder Press.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – December Girl by Nicola Cassidy (@LadyNicci) @BombshellBooks

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Molly Thomas is a feisty, independent soul, born on the Winter Solstice. At every stage of her life she has faced troubles. As a young woman her family are evicted from their home at Christmas. Molly swears vengeance on the jealous neighbour and land agent responsible, Flann Montgomery. Then in 1896 her baby son is taken from his pram. Molly searches the streets for Oliver. The police are called but her baby is gone. Why does trouble seem to follow Molly? And will she ever find out what happened to her child?

December Girl is a tale of family bonds, love, revenge and murder.

What does TWG think?

I have absolutely no idea how I am going to get my opinion of ‘December Girl’ from my head onto this page, without sounding like a tool. Now, I finished Nicola Cassidy’s novel a couple of days ago, yet it is still setting up camp in my head.

I have to be honest; there were times whilst reading the book where I felt like putting it down and not picking it back up again, due to several situations within the storyline which came out of the blue, leaving me quite speechless and feeling a bit uncomfortable. The storyline was raw and brutally shocking. I didn’t know whether I felt uncomfortable for myself, or whether I was feeling uncomfortable for the fictional character.

Please be aware that my honesty above is in no way nasty, I just felt like I had to be honest and explain how I felt whilst reading the book. I’m sure you can guess by now that I didn’t put the book down and stop reading it – especially seeing as I am writing a review for it!

Despite the earlier feelings of ‘running’, the addictiveness of the storyline meant that I was unable to stop reading the book until I reached the end and had found out what had happened. It was as though the authors words had handcuffed me to the book, the characters and the overall vibe of ‘December Girl’. Yes there were nauseating moments, brutal moments, and severely emotional moments throughout this book, yet without those, I truly don’t think that “December Girl’ would have ended up being as strong as it was. There was always something happening, something shocking to render me speechless or prick my eyes with tears. Molly’s mindset took over every single thing about this book and there were times where I didn’t know whether to sympathise, empathise, or feel slightly annoyed towards her. Put it this way, Molly Thomas certainly isn’t a force to be reckoned with and, despite what that character endured, I am incredibly surprised that she didn’t give up the ghost at the time.

‘December Girl’ took me miles and miles out of my comfort zone, I’m not going to lie. Do I regret reading it? Hell no. Do I wish I had stopped reading it? Hell no!! At the end of the day, my emotions got the better of me which caused my initial reaction at first. I could empathise with Molly. I could understand, and I feel that the author’s way of laying such a heart-breaking topic out in black and white was shockingly genius. It made me take notice. It made me think about every single word in front of me, wondering whether there was more to Molly’s words at the time.

Nicola Cassidy, quite clearly, is a brilliant, brilliant story-teller, writing words which have the depth to stay by you for a very long time after reading them. I am so glad that I didn’t stop reading the book as I would have missed out on the closure, as well as the rest of the devastatingly beautiful story of ‘December Girl’.

Raw, shocking, emotional and highly addictive, ‘December Girl’ will leave you in such a trance, it might even be December when you wake. The themes throughout the novel may be uncomfortable, yet the underlying message is worth its weight in gold.

Thanks BombshellBooks.

December Girl will be published on the 26th October 2017, but is available to pre-order now from Amazon UK

About the author.

Nicola Cassidy is a writer and blogger from Co. Louth, Ireland. She started
her writing career early, entering short story competitions, penning protest
letters to magazines and making up characters in her head. These
scribblings saw her place in a number of competitions as a child and
encouraged by her English teachers, she chose to study journalism at
Dublin City University.

While working in political PR and marketing, Nicola studied a series of
advanced creative writing courses atthe Irish Writers’ Centre and set up a
lifestyle and literary blog at http://www.LadyNicci.com, which was nominated in
the Ireland Blog Awards in 2015 and 2016.

During her maternity leave for her first daughter, Nicola set about
researching and writing a historical fiction novel, December Girl, inspired
by true events and setin the mystical and ancient Boyne Valley, famed for
its stone age passage tombs, nearto where she grew up.

Nicola signed with US based Trace Literary Agency in 2016. December Girl
was picked up by Betsy Reavley at UK digital publisher Bombshell Books
in June 2017 and will be published 26 October 2017.

She is an avid reader, inspired by the likes of Anais Nin, Joan Didion and
Jessie Burton and is currently working on her second novel, also inspired
by true events. She lives with her husband and two young daughters in
Termonfeckin, Co. Louth.

www.nicolacassidy.com

www.facebook.com/ladynicciblog