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

The Writing Garnet-5
Happy birthday to TWG!!!! I cannot believe that my little blog turns two years old today, what a corker of a year it has been! When I started The Writing Garnet back in 2016, never in a million years did I think it would blow up like this, nor did I think I would win awards for my blog. I started my blog as a way of saying thank you to authors who continue to allow me to escape my every day hell with stories that make me laugh, make me cry, give me chills – you name it. I’m not even being dramatic when I say that off the blog, my life is a challenge. In this last year, my health has taken even more of a nosedive, with little things like standing up in a queue, starting to become impossible. But, aside from my daughter (obviously), the only other ‘thing’ that helps me keep going is my blog and the community which surrounds it.

In 2016, I was a newbie. I knew nobody yet everyone else knew somebody and, whilst there are still cliques around, I have the most supportive bloggers, publishers, publicists etc around me, I feel like I can do anything with these people beside me. This last year has seen friendships blossom even more so and I am so, SO grateful that I can call these people my friends. I just want to say a massive thank you to Lucy Vine, Katie Marsh, Darcie Boleyn, Jo Robertson, Clair Boor, Katherine Sunderland, Mary Jayne Baker, Vicki Dickinson, Jules Wake, Sarah Hardy, Anne Cater, Noelle Holten, Betsy Reavley, Isabelle Broom, SJV, JB, Linda Green, Sam Carrington, Mairead O’Driscoll Hearne, Nica Hawkins de Koenigswarter, and many, many more, for always having my back, giving me advice, supporting me and giving me a well needed pep talk when I feel like I’m about to give up. I also want to say a massive thank you to all of the publishers and publicists I work with on a day to day basis, for allowing me to read such wonderful books and embark on a journey with them and the author. I also want to say thank you to all of the bloggers who share my posts daily and who continue to make me laugh with their squirrel antics and goodness what else! Also, a big thank you to everyone else who continues to share my posts, like my posts on the facebook page/instagram, and supports me. All of you mean the world to me and I wouldn’t be here without your support. Thank you all for believing in me and being the light at the end of a dark tunnel. I will forever be grateful for your friendship.

So, what has happened this last year? Well, SO MUCH! I was crowned the winner of ‘Most Inspirational Blog’ at the 2017 Annual Blogger Bash Awards – thank you so much to everyone who voted for me! Such an honour!


I also turned into a mushy mess at the Edinburgh Book Festival where I got to meet one of my idols, Jenny Colgan (yes, I nearly cried). Jenny has been one of my favourite authors for as long as I can remember so it really was a dream come true to finally meet her, AND be quoted on a graphic in support of her new book!

Last year I also got to meet one of my blogger besties, Jo Robertson! You might know her as ‘MyChestnutReadingTree’, and my daughter now knows her as the person who plays Shopkins!

You know on book covers there is usually a quote from a best selling author? Yeah? Well, HarperImpulse and Mary Jayne Baker made my dream come true last year by putting my quote on the front of MJB’s book. Yes, ON THE FRONT!

Another highlight from the last year was getting an e-mail from a member of the RNA, stating that I was a nominee for ‘Media/Blog Star of the Year’ in the RNA Industry Awards. Yes, me. I had to double check the e-mail to check that they had sent it to the right person! Unfortunately I didn’t win, but it was still an honour to be nominated and then receive a ‘Runner up’ award – thank you so much.

The Writing Garnet seems to get busier and busier, the more time that passes and, whilst a lot of people think I’m bonkers for taking on over 40 blog tours a month (haha), I am in my element. I really do hope that this year is the year when all of my hard work pays off and I can find a job working from home – that really would be a dream come true.

Whilst all of the above are just highlights, there has been so many things which I am proud of – getting quoted on multiple graphics, having Fern Briton follow me on Twitter, winning multiple competitions via social media, receiving signed books in the post (as well as other amazing book post), and soooo much more. Sometimes I feel like I am dreaming, I really do. I really didn’t expect all of this when I first started my blog and, if I’m being perfectly honest, there are moments where I find that I don’t fit in with the community, and I worry that my words will never be enough, but my passion for books outweighs everything else and even though those worries continue to be there, I just think about how far I have come and why I started this blog in the first place.

Thank you for supporting me and TWG!!

You can ‘like’ my facebook page here!
You can ‘follow’ me on Instagram here!
Or you can ‘follow’ me on Twitter here!


#BlogTour! #Review – Bring Me Back by B.A.Paris (@BAParisAuthor) @HQStories #ForgetSleep

Not so long ago, I was incredibly lucky to win a proof of B.A.Paris’ new book from HQStories – thank you! I am delighted to be sharing my review with you all today as part of the blog tour:

Bring me back

The Disappearance
Twelve years ago Finn’s girlfriend disappeared.

The Suspicion
He told the police the truth about that night.
Just not quite the whole truth.

The Fear
Now Finn has moved on.
But his past won’t stay buried…

What does TWG think?

Holy cheeseballs!!!! I don’t think I put this book down from the moment I picked it up! Such an intense, complex read which left me in an absolute tizz – what a book!!

Finn’s girlfriend disappeared twelve years ago. One minute she was in the car, the next minute she was gone. Where did she go? With no body being found in those twelve years, Finn assumes she is dead. But is she? Seeing as that particular chapter hasn’t been properly closed, the uncertainty of her whereabouts is always at the back of Finn’s mind. If she is alive, why did she tell him? Why didn’t she come back? Did she love him as much as she said she did?

So many questions, so little answers. Despite having such a dark cloud hanging over his life, Finn has been able to find a new love in his life, but of course he can’t help thinking about his previous love. The one who disappeared into thin air….

The phrase ‘nothing is ever as it seems’ could not be more apt where this book is concerned. Whilst the storyline makes it clear at the beginning that Finn’s girlfriend disappeared, the author also made it clear that there was more to that disappearance. But what? Did Finn know more than he let on? My opinion of Finn kept changing. One minute I felt so sorry for him, the next I found myself becoming increasingly annoyed with his actions. I couldn’t stand the constant hot and cold that he was blowing, yet I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the bigger picture. I had to find out what happened to his girlfriend, even though I had absolutely no idea where to begin.

I have to keep this review incredibly vague as the storyline is such a complex, and highly entwined read which means that the slightest piece of information I could drop in this review, may end up being an unintentional spoiler.

‘Bring Me Back’ had me on the edge of my seat from the very first page. Not only was I able to lose myself in the fast paced storyline, I also ended up booming extremely invested in Finn’s personal life. My gut was telling me that there was more to him that meets the eye, what that was however, I had absolutely no idea until the truth literally made my jaw drop when I least expected it.

Such a rollercoaster ride of a read, ‘Bring Me Back’ is a book which needs to be devoured in one sitting, whilst everything around you is being ignored. I cannot fault this book at all – B.A.Paris is such a fantastic story teller, I cannot wait to read more from this author. But let me tell you now, she certainly has raised the bar extremely high for herself where this book is concerned! Fantastic!

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell (@MCampbellBooks) @HQStories

It’s Always the Husband…unless it’s the best friend.

Kate, Aubrey and Jenny are inseparable at college – friends who promised they’d always be there for each other.

But twenty years later, their friendship is about to take a deadly turn.

Kate married the gorgeous party boy, Aubrey married up, and Jenny married the boy next door, but when one of the friends dies in shocking circumstances, will everyone assume that it’s always the husband? Or could it be the best friend?

What does TWG think?

With a title and a tagline such as ‘It’s Always the Husband…unless it’s the best friend’, how on Earth are you just meant to walk past the book without picking it up? Yes, I hold my hands up and say that that is exactly the reason why I chose to read this book – because of the title. It intrigued me so much, I just had to find out whether it was in actual fact, always the husband. Or whether it was actually the best friend.

You’ll just have to read it to find out then, won’t you?

My opinion of the storyline kept changing the more of the book I read, ending up with me getting splinters in my backside from sitting on the fence. Personally, despite finding ‘It’s Always the Husband’ full of promise, I did find it to be a little slow. You know when you’re walking behind slow people in a supermarket and you’re silently willing them to move, whilst waving your arms about in frustration? I found the first part of the book to be a little bit like that. I was frustrated because the book had everything else it needed to be a gripping read, but the pace was all wrong.

That said, the pace did in fact pick up later on in the book and, whilst I appreciated that a lot, I still wished that it had picked up a lot sooner.

If I disregarded the pace of the book for one moment, and gave my opinion of the book without that, I would say that ‘It’s Always the Husband’ is incredibly addictive and highlights the lengths in which scorned women go to. I loved the strong presence of friendship especially. I did enjoy this book – trying to get to the bottom of the lies was such fun! I really did appreciate what the author was trying to do with her storyline and her characters, and whilst I do feel like she has achieved in getting her message across, it was the speed in which the dots were connected which I found hard to gauge.

All in all ‘It’s Always the Husband’ was a fun, exciting book to read. My only wish was that the pace and the delivery had a bit more guts to it.

I am looking forward to reading more from Michele Campbell, that’s for sure!

Thanks HQStories.

Buy now from Amazon UK


#BlogTour! #Review – East of Hounslow by @KhurrumRahman @HQStories

East of Hounslow Blog Tour
Apologies for my late in the day post, I have been laid up in bed for most of it! However, I’m here now and I am delighted to welcome author, Khurrum Rahman, and his debut novel ‘East of Hounslow’ which will be released in e-book on the 30th November. Huge thanks to HQStories for inviting me to take part in the blog tour, as well as an ARC of the book. Here is my review:


Meet Jay.
Small-time dealer.
Accidental jihadist.
The one man who can save us all?

Javid – call him Jay – is a dope dealer living in West London. He goes to mosque on Friday, and he’s just bought his pride and joy – a BMW. He lives with his mum, and life seems sweet.

But his world is about to turn upside-down. Because MI5 have been watching him, and they think he’s just the man they need for a delicate mission.

One thing’s for sure: now he’s a long way East of Hounslow, Jay’s life will never be the same again.

With the edgy humour of Four Lions and the pulse-racing tension of Nomad, East of Hounslow is the first in a series of thriller starring Jay Qasim.

What does TWG think?

For a debut novel by a debut author, ‘East of Hounslow’ certainly packs a punch!

Jay is a drug dealer who has, unfortunately, landed himself in a bit of a difficult situation which means his life is about to take on a teensy bit of turbulence. From losing things that weren’t really ‘his’, to then playing a modern version of ‘I Spy’, Jay realises that he has to up his maturity level extremely quickly. Gone are the days where his mum will bail him out…

I really didn’t know what to make of this book at first as I found myself laughing at situations which, if happened in reality, wouldn’t make anyone laugh. The author has managed to take his deep and meaningful theme and stripped it back, before sitting down to tell his ‘friends’ a story.

Some parts of the book were a little bit slow burning, but due to the humour and refreshing storytelling from Khurrum Rahman, ‘East of Hounslow’ really is a book worth sticking with. In amongst all of the humour and slapstick anecdotes, the author has also written in some quite eye-opening and emotive scenes where Jay is concerned. Before anyone says anything, I wasn’t sitting here with tears running down my face with sadness, but I could feel the emotion making itself known in each and every word as the author told his realistic and poignant story.

Truthfully, I still don’t know what to make of this book. The storyline seemed to have a little bit of everything, even if I did find myself feeling a little bit guilty for laughing so much. Because the author has generously given us a story with so many additions (such as humour, thriller, religion, drugs etc), I found myself getting a bit overwhelmed by it all.

That said, ‘East of Hounslow’ kept me thoroughly entertained from start to finish. I am in awe at the way the author has written this book and I am looking forward to seeing what he comes up with next.

Thanks HQStories.

Pre-order now from Amazon UK