#TheMotherofAllChristmases by @MillyJohnson #12daysofChristmas #BlogTour #Review @TeamBATC @ed_pr

On the 11th day of Christmas TWG gave to me; ‘The Mother of all Christmases’ courtesy of TeamBATC…..and EdPr. Can you tell I am excited? Today it’s my turn to host Milly Johnson as part of the blog tour! Many thanks to EdPr for the blog tour invite and review copy. Here is my review:

Eve Glace – co-owner of the theme park Winterworld – is having a baby and her due date is a perfectly timed 25th December. And she’s decided that she and her husband Jacques should renew their wedding vows with all the pomp that was missing the first time. But growing problems at Winterworld keep distracting them … 

Annie Pandoro and her husband Joe own a small Christmas cracker factory, and are well set up and happy together despite life never blessing them with a much-wanted child. But when Annie finds that the changes happening to her body aren’t typical of the menopause but pregnancy, her joy is uncontainable. 

Palma Collins has agreed to act as a surrogate, hoping the money will get her out of the gutter in which she finds herself. But when the couple she is helping split up, is she going to be left carrying a baby she never intended to keep?

Annie, Palma and Eve all meet at the ‘Christmas Pudding Club’, a new directive started by a forward-thinking young doctor to help mums-to-be mingle and share their pregnancy journeys. Will this group help each other to find love, contentment and peace as Christmas approaches?

What does TWG think?

Milly Johnson can do no wrong – I have no idea how she manages to produce storylines that manage to melt my ice cold heart, but she does and she does it good!!

‘The Christmas Pudding Club’ was genius!! What a clever, non invasive way for Christmas mums to come together without feeling as though they’re forced….like other mother and baby groups. Eve, Palma and Annie have a busy festive season ahead of them in more ways than one. Firstly, the ladies couldn’t be more different if they tried. Secondly, their road to motherhood wasn’t exactly without roadworks, and thirdly, they all have other things going on in their lives as well as their impending new addition.

Milly Johnson has captured each character beautifully, bringing their different personalities together as though it was the most natural thing in the world. Every time I read a novel by this author, I feel as though I’m coming home to my ‘safe place’ due to the cosy feeling I get each and every time. ‘The Mother of all Christmases’ was no different and, even though the storyline consisted of many laugh out loud, sarcastic moments, the overall storyline itself wasn’t without the hurdles of thought provoking situations.

Palma’s situation got right under my skin and I couldn’t help but empathise. I think I found myself being taken under Annie’s wing more than the others, whereas Eve was a tough nut to crack.

‘The Mother of all Christmases’ is such a lovely, heart warming read which opens many doors at once, allowing readers to escape into the wonderful world of Milly Johnson and her puddings. Brilliant!

Buy now!

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#12DaysofChristmas #BlogTour! #Review – Part time Working Mummy by Rachaele Hambleton (@PTWMummy) @TrapezeBooks @tr4cyf3nt0n

On the 11th day of Christmas TWG gave to me, a review of ‘Part Time Working Mummy’! I am so pleased to be involved in the #12DaysofChristmas blog tour – many thanks to Tracy Fenton for the tour invite, and thank you to Trapeze Books for the review copy. Here is my review:

Want to know the truth about what life is like as a mum and step-mum with a chaotic patchwork family?

This book is everything I’ve been through that’s made me who I am, plus the lessons I’ve learned from many mistakes. I hope that it will make you laugh as well as give you strength to keep going when times get tough. After all, we are all in this together…
Rachaele, aka Part-Time Working Mummy

Hundreds of thousands of fans flock to the PTWM page online and now, in this book, Rachaele shares her behind-the-scenes experiences with single parenthood, unexpected pregnancy, domestic violence, relationships, bullying and much more – spreading kindness amidst the crazinessalong the way!

What does TWG think?

Some of you may have already heard of ‘Part time Working Mummy’ AKA Rachael’s Hambleton, especially if you follow her life on Facebook and other social media. For those who aren’t aware, Rachaele is an avid supporter for mental health and domestic abuse charities, as well as being an extremely popular parent blogger and mum/wife/step-mum. Her honest approach to life as a parent has given her just under 500,000 followers on Facebook. How amazing is that?

Now, I’m sure that there are people out there who are probably wondering ‘what makes her so special?’. Not a negative thing to ask after all, we are inquisitive human beings. My answer to that is this: the fact that she owns her bad choices and realises that several of her decisions in the past have been monumental eff ups, whilst also being a domestic abuse warrior, mental health advocate, massive supporter of multiple charities linked to the above, a mum to three daughters and a step-mum to two boys, makes me think ‘okay, this lady has balls of steel and a story to tell which a lot of us could learn from’.

Hence her blog and now her book. When I fell pregnant, all I saw on social media was how perfect the mum life was, as though getting covered in baby shit wasn’t the norm…when it is. PTWM (Part time Working mummy) isn’t saying that being a mum can’t be perfect because it can be your own sense of perfect. However, what she is saying is that becoming a parent is something which needs to be approached with eyes open and no rose tinted glasses. As mums (and dads), we often feel like we can conquer the world one nappy at a time whilst also balancing a cup of tea on our arses as we do the downward dog yoga pose – when in reality we can’t. After all, who wants a burnt foof?

PTWM highlights the hurdles she jumped over, face planted into, and barely made as she became a mum for the first, second and third time, whilst also dealing with horrific domestic abuse and body issues. So yes, even though I laughed my backside off reading this book, a lot of PTWM’s experiences hit home because she doesn’t mollycoddle it or pretend it never happened. Instead she says it how it happened, admits her faults and tries to put several taboo situations in the spotlight to gain the awareness and support it so desperately needs.

I’m going to talk personally a second – I was a victim of domestic abuse, and for 10 years of my early life I was the child who witnessed the devastation of domestic abuse and alcoholism first hand. It really is something you think only happens to ‘other people’ when it happens to you, and being a child and hearing your mum screaming due to the abuse, and being the one to creep downstairs to wipe the tears from your mums eyes at the age of 6 – it stays with you. Okay, like PTWM says on more than one occasion in the book, people automatically wonder why the victim doesn’t leave and, even though it is far too easy for us to sit there and judge a situation we aren’t in ourselves as every situation is different, the reality is a tough pill to swallow.

PTWM, in my eyes, is exceptionally brave to be to open and honest about her past. I’m not saying that she should be ashamed of it because she shouldn’t, but again, like she said herself in her book, putting yourself out there is daunting because there will always be people who will be nasty heffers, even towards the most broken of people.

As well as talking about her past, PTWM explores the hurdles of becoming a patchwork family and just how stressful being a ‘step’ parent can be. Social media can make things look a lot easier than they seem, and I think it’s brilliant that PTWM has decided to share the lows along with the high by being realistic and certainly relatable.

I am in awe of just how much PTWM does for other people, whether they are a parent or not. I will admit that, at times, I did wonder how her experiences made her more clued up on things than other people, and that was wrong of me to think that because she doesn’t once say that she’s perfect in this book. She says that she is human and that she makes mistakes. She says that her life has been extremely difficult and that she was at breaking point, yet she also states how being a mum is the most rewarding thing she has ever done. So it’s not the case of PTWM trying to show that she’s ‘better than everyone else’ because it’s very clear that she still suffers with effects of her past. Instead it’s a case of being open and honest about heart wrenching situations, in the hope that one person may find the strength in her words to walk through the tunnel in their own lives. Nobody can really fault the PTWM for that now, can they?

PTWM – A Patchwork life, is an inspirational, raw and extremely poignant memoir that is guaranteed to make you react in multiple ways. I am in awe at Rachaele and everything she has come through, and I think the way she has put pen to paper by putting her story on the table, was incredible and extremely brave. When I grow up I’ve decided I want to be like PTWM ;).

Buy now!

About the author.

Rachaele Hambleton, aka Part-Time Working Mummy, is one of the most popular personalities in the parenting blogosphere. She is a full time mum to three daughters, step-mum to two boys and is recently married to her ‘bird-boy’ Josh. Her successful blog documents the highs and lows of life as a family of seven… with two dogs and two guinea pigs thrown in for good measure. As well as blogging and bringing up 5 tiny humans, Rachaele fights hard for awareness and funds for domestic abuse and other charities. 

facebook/PartTimeWorkingMummy
Instagram: @PTWMUMMY
Twitter: @PTWMUMMY

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

I am delighted to be taking part in the one day blog blitz for Lauren Westwood and ‘Moonlight on the Thames’. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blitz invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

Christmas is a joyous time, but not everyone is merry and bright. 

Nicola is a rising star at the top of the corporate ladder, but her personal life is a disaster. Her office affair has lost its allure, and the last thing she wants to think about is Christmas. A night of cancelled trains and festive Christmas carols at Waterloo Station is just about the last straw… 

Dmitri loves conducting his pop-up choir during the festive season, meeting people, and spreading joy and cheer around London. But he carries deep secrets from his past that robbed him of his dream to become a concert pianist. 

Can their hearts and souls be unlocked by music and moonlight and will they discover the healing power of love?

What does TWG think?

If there was such a thing as a ‘mic drop’ for books, then this would warrant it ten times over. What a powerful, powerful read this is.

If you are as career minded as Nicola, it wouldn’t be too difficult to find yourself wrapped up in clients as opposed to being wrapped up in, erm, presents. Once upon a tome, Nicola loved Christmas but then life happened and an unfortunate incident left her wishing the festive season away before it had even begun. Can you blame her? No you can’t, not once it becomes clear why she dislikes Christmas, however her outlook to begin with was incredibly narrow minded. I was going to say that her reactions were borderline offensive, but she genuinely didn’t realise that people’s lives weren’t as rosy as hers because, well, she was too involved in her own self made issues.

Dmitri is a flawed and highly complex man whose journey was a touching one to watch flourish. Just like Nicola, he has his own demons to fight and the scars to go with them and, whether it’s right or wrong, he had become bitter and uncertain.

Watching Nicola’s and Dmitri’s journeys come to life was both heartwarming and quite emotional. Lauren Westwood has created characters with such beautiful souls, I couldn’t help but fall head over heels in love with their story and everything it stood for. Westwood is such a stunning and magnetic storyteller, her words do more than just jump off the page, they ensure that the reader is looking at every inch of the bigger picture to highlight the importance of thinking of others. Especially at Christmas.

Yes, this book is festive, has glistening lights and carols by the bucket load, but ‘Moonlight on the Thames’ is more than the joys of Christmas; it’s about the sadness of Christmas, the festive reflections, the ability to trust again, seeing life through somebody else’s eyes. Making the moment count. You know? It’s about the things which cannot be bought, just taught and learnt.

‘Moonlight on the Thames’ blew me away and left my soul cosy by the fire. Lauren Westwood is a phenomenal author and this book definitely showcases her beautiful way with words – I adored it.

Buy now!

About the author.

 Lauren Westwood writes romantic women’s fiction, and is also an award-winning children’s writer. Originally from California, she now lives in England in a pernickety old house built in 1602, with her partner and three daughters. facebook: @Lwestwoodbooks; twitter: @lwestwoodwriter; web: http://www.laurenwestwoodwriter.com; instagram: @lwestwoodwriter; Goodreads: Lauren Westwood

Giveaway!

 Win 2 x Signed copies of Moonlight On The Thames (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter the giveaway now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin by Helen Rolfe (@helenjrolfe) @rararesources

Apologies for how late in the day this is, because of internet issues the most of November, I’ve only just been able to read this book and have literally just finished it. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

Do you believe in Christmas Miracles?

Holly is looking for a change and even though not everyone agrees with her career choices, she’s determined there’s more to this life than the long hours she works as an editor in New York City. What she doesn’t expect is to meet Mitch, a recluse who’s hiding more than she realises. 

Mitch does all he can to avoid human contact, spending his days in the little log cabin out in the woods behind Inglenook Falls where he owns a Christmas tree farm, so when Holly falls into his life, he’s not sure how to react. All he knows is that something needs to change if he ever wants to get his life back on track. 

Along with friends Cleo and Darcy, Holly is determined to bring joy back to Mitch’s life, but will he appreciate their interference? And when a business proposition throws everything up in the air, will it do more harm than good and ruin lives forever? 

Both Holly and Mitch must learn that on the surface people aren’t always what they seem…but if you dig a little deeper, they can take you by surprise.

What does TWG think?

My namesake is baaacckkk!! Not even joking – there’s a character called ‘Kaisha’ in this book and I LOVE it! This character appeared for the first time in a previous book in the series, so my excitement certainly piqued when I saw her make a comeback in this one.

I adore Helen Rolfe’s novels as they’re always so tenderly written and full of such warmth; ‘Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin’ was no different, although I will have to admit that I did struggle with elements of the book.

Whilst the storyline was very poignant regarding first impressions, assumptions, and looking further than a persons exterior, for me there was a lot of information given without many decisions of where it should go. I enjoyed reading about Holly’s journey, especially where Mitch was concerned, but I did feel as though it was missing a bit of magic that usually comes along with this author’s style.

Don’t get me wrong at all, I thought that the message within the storyline itself, is one that a lot of people should take heed of sooner rather than later, and I loved seeing different characters popping up from previous books in the series. I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy the book because I did – I cannot fault Helen Rolfe on her huggable writing style and the way she brings communities together with minimal effort.

For me personally, I needed that extra spark that was all. However, ‘Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin’ still is such a powerful and tender novel which highlights the true meaning of Christmas absolutely beautifully. It was such a joy to be wrapped up in Helen Rolfe’s magnetic words once again.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Buy now from Amazon US

About the author.

 Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community. Characters often face challenges and must fight to overcome them, but above all, Helen’s stories always have a happy ending. 

Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.

Social Media Links – 

https://www.facebook.com/helenjrolfewriter

https://twitter.com/HJRolfe

www.helenjrolfe.com

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/helen-j-rolfe

#BlogTour! #Review – #25DaysTilChristmas by Poppy Alexander (@SarahWaights) @OrionBooks

Usually I am not a fan of odd numbers, however for one day only I am getting all excited! Huge, huge thank you to Orion for asking me to take part in this fabulous blog tour, and of course for the ARC. Here is my review of ’25 Days til Christmas’ by Poppy Alexander:

Christmas is a time to get together… 

Kate Thompson used to love Christmas. But that was before her husband went away with the army and didn’t come home. Now she can hardly stand the festive season.

But Kate knows there is more to life than this, and her son Jack needs a Christmas to remember. What she needs is a Christmas miracle, and if there isn’t one on its way, she’ll just have to make her own.

So begins Kate’s advent countdown to the best Christmas ever. She has it all planned out, but you can’t plan for the unexpected, and when her life starts to unravel can her friends and the community around her help her save Christmas for all of them…?

What does TWG think?

‘What is your Christmas wish this year?’ – when I saw that question on the back of a postcard, I racked my brain trying to think of something dazzling, when in fact my ACTUAL Christmas wish seemed a bit selfish as I would love my body to be pain free on Christmas Day. If only. I asked my 5 year old the same question and her answer was ‘to actually meet Father Christmas’. I know – why do kids have the best answers to everything? So, with Christmas on my mind, meeting a main character who would like nothing more than to go to sleep on Christmas Eve and wake up on the 26th, was definitely a wake up call.

Why did Kate dislike Christmas? She sold Christmas trees for a living (well, kinda). In hindsight, maybe that’s why she wasn’t exactly feeling jovial. Of course the real reason comes out eventually and my goodness I felt like I was winded. How on earth must Kate and her little boy, Jack, feel? Not only that, the other main character in the book, Daniel, was trying to keep is head above water on an emotional level, as he tried to find his new purpose in life after losing his reason to live so to speak.

With my heartstrings being tugged on with some great force from the get go, I had absolutely no idea how I was going to get through the rest of the book. I’m not complaining at all, don’t get me wrong! The author was very generous with her writing as this storyline was certainly one that just kept on giving! It was as though I was opening my own little advent calendar every time I turned the page!!

I’m trying very hard not to spill any spoilers in my review, and yes it’s bloody difficult as all I want to do is shout about the storyline. Especially little Jacks situation. All I will say on that front is that I am sure a lot of readers will be able to relate to the unfortunate situation the poor boy and Kate got put in. It was tough to read and just like Kate, my ‘mama bear’ instinct came out, even though he wasn’t my child nor real. I thought that Poppy Alexander was brilliant in writing that particular theme into her storyline in a way that is going to shock people.

I did feel for Kate big time – would that woman ever catch a break? I wanted to give her a big cuddle and help her, but alas I couldn’t.

I adored the festivities throughout the story as they helped to highlight the fact that everyone celebrates Christmas in their own ways, and that the meaning of Christmas is different with every person you ask. Not everyone has money to spend on gifts at Christmas, yet they create memories in other ways and, on the other hand, some people can afford to splash out at Christmas – either way, as long as the important people in your life are happy, why should anyone judge someone else on how much or how little they spend, who they spend it with, or whether they actually celebrate the day or not?

As the book neared the end, a massive lump formed in my throat because it really was magical book to read. I tried my best not to cry but I was so overcome with emotion for Daniel, Kate, Jack, and Noel, the tears just kept on falling.

’25 Days til Christmas’ is a beautiful, beautiful story which had my heart under its Christmas tree from the very beginning. I loved how every little detail in the book was an important part of the storyline. I loved being a part of the magic and the incredible hidden messages throughout. I loved being able to laugh one minute, turn into a lion the next minute, and then bawl like a baby the next. I have been on a journey with ’25 Days til Christmas’ and I absolutely LOVED every single moment of it.

Honestly, wow – this is the creme de la creme of Christmas books and definitely one of my top books of the year. I don’t think I can find enough adjectives to describe how much I adored this book, so I urge you all to grab yourself a copy now and just trust me when I say that this is a definite must read.

Wholeheartedly one of the best books I think I have ever read, ’25 Days til Christmas’ puts the jingle back in ‘Jingle Bells’ and will light up more hearts than the lights on the Christmas tree in NYC. Stunning!!!!

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Not Just For Christmas by Natalie Cox (@NatCoxWrites) @orionbooks @AlainnaGeorgiou

Another publication day review, this time it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas for Natalie Cox and ‘Not Just For Christmas’. Huge thanks to Orion for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

Charlie hates the holidays, and this year is shaping up to be her worst yuletide ever. Her boyfriend has left her for his personal trainer, her flat is out of bounds after a gas leak, and her mother has gone to spend Christmas in Melbourne with her fifth husband. Finding herself single, mildly concussed and temporarily homeless, Charlie hesitantly agrees to dust off her wellies and spend the festive season in Devon, looking after Cosy Canine Cottages, her cousin Jez’s dog-care centre. 

However, her plans for a quiet rural Christmas with only the four-legged friends for company are dashed as soon as she meets Malcolm the deaf Great Dane, Hugo, his gorgeous (but engaged) owner, and Cal, the undeniably attractive but unbearably haughty and patronising local vet…

What does TWG think?

Omg this book had me in hysterics!!! A non-dog lover ends up looking after a very pregnant pooch, a deaf Great Dane, several other dogs and a couple of other animals – what could possibly go wrong!!! First of all, if you aren’t a fan of dogs, why would you offer to care for more than one of them? Nothing like throwing yourself in the deep end!! I don’t mean this to sound deafest (is that even a word?!), but I struggled to imagine a dead Great Dane. Maybe it’s because they are such massive dogs, I don’t know, but this one was certainly a sweetheart that’s for sure!

I was a little unsure of Charlie at first. I know she had a bit of a rubbish start to the festive season, but the way she came across sometimes was a little bit irritating and, as mean as this sounds, I was rather happy to see the vet give her a taste of her own medicine. Pardon the pun. I’m not saying that she deserved to be treated like rubbish, because nobody really does (welllllllllll), I just found her to be a little bit selfish. Well, selfish and hilarious! What a combination! She irritated me sometimes yet had me laughing like a seal on helium! How is that even possible?! Don’t worry though, my opinion of her changed big time by the end of the book, going from finding her irritating to finding her a bundle of energy.

‘Not Just For Christmas’ is full of such vibrant and colourful characters, and yes, the animals are included! I loved how fun the storyline was yet it also had a hint of serious topics throughout, highlighting the important fact that animals aren’t just for Christmas as well as several other relatable themes.

Natalie Cox has such an addictive writing style which is not only humorous, it’s also heartfelt. I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Not Just For Christmas’ and I just adored meeting Malcolm – what a gentle giant he is! A flirty, fun, and fabulous read – the perfect escape!

Buy now!

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

Happy publication day, Anna Mansell! I am delighted to be one of the bloggers kicking off the blog tour today, many thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part and for the ARC! Here is my review of ‘I Wanted To Tell You’:

‘Sometimes I think that if I’d found a way to talk, we’d be together now…’

When Helen finds a bundle of unsent love letters, tied with a red ribbon, and signed only ‘the love you wished I could be’, she wonders who they could belong to.

The same day, however, her husband Alex announces he’s leaving. She’d believed their love would last a lifetime, but now he’s gone and she hadn’t even realised there was anything wrong.

Desperate to understand, Helen doesn’t know where to look for answers. But the letters keep drawing her back. As she reads the words of loneliness, loss and regret, something in them helps her start to make sense of it all… Even as she realises someone has been keeping heart-breaking secrets.

But who do the letters belong to? Can the sender ever be reunited with the one they love, or is it too late? And when Helen finds out the truth about Alex, can she find it in her heart to forgive him, or will he never be the love she wished he could be?

What does TWG think?

Oh, Anna Mansell, what have you done to me?!

What a fabulous bunch of characters in this book! Helen finds herself in a bit of a sticky situation in her marriage, completely unaware of the demons her husband, Alex, is trying to fight. Whereas, Geoff, is trying his hardest to fight battles for both himself and his wife. I’m trying to be careful with spoilers here, so of course there is a lot more to each of the characters lives than the above.

Have you ever been the type of person to sit and write your feelings down, hoping they make a lot more sense written down than in your head? Many of you are probably nodding your head right now! I’ve never been good at expressing my own feelings yet someone in this book seemed to be pretty good at it. Funny how we are all different, isn’t it?

I was so pleased that Helen found comfort in someone elses written feelings at a time she needed them the most – I had no idea how her situation with Alex was going to pan out, but the emotional element of it regarding mental health was very powerful and very relatable.

Geoff and Connie, wow, what a storyline written from the heart, and what a relationship to aspire to! I was captivated by their relationship, but the situation they had unfortunately found themselves in was utterly heartbreaking. I didn’t just read about two characters where Geoff and Connie were concerned, I felt like I had found long lost family. I will hold my hands up and say that I cried – I’m not ashamed to admit it! I don’t think that I would have been able to stop the tears from falling even if I tried. Their connection is a beautiful gift to be discovered – relish in it!

‘I Wanted To Tell You’ is a thought provoking, insanely beautiful and poignant read which left me with half a heart broken, and half a heart filled with a joy. Anna Mansell has delivered in every sense of the word, and I am sure that she has made a very important person proud.

I am jealous of every person who gets to read this book for the first time and discover the beauty which lay beneath each of the characters barriers, whilst also being part of a powerful and beautifully written story of love, life, loss, and strength.

Buy now!

About the author.

Anna had a brush with ‘fame’ as a magician’s assistant back in 1977. She later decided that being sawn in half by her magical performing father, at barely 6 months old, was too submissive a role. She vowed to channel the trauma in to something much more pro-actively creative. Having failed at acting, singing and professional murder mystery parties (she was ALWAYs the one to die!), she fell to something much more solitary: writing. How To Mend a Broken Heart was her first novel and her life was not on the line in order to write that or her second: The Lost Wife. Anna lives on a dairy farm in Cornwall with her two children, her husband, and her ex-racing greyhound, Olive Dog.

#Review -#EveryColourOfYou by Amelia Mandeville (@AmeliaMandev) @LittleBrownUK @MidasPR

I will probably end up sounding like a worn out record no doubt, but I must apologise for the delay in posting my review of this book. Due to several weeks of internet issues and me nearly losing my shizzlemannizzle with the company, I now have a backlog of books to both read and review because of the Wi-Fi issues. It may take me a few days to get up to speed so please do bear with me and once again, I’m very sorry!

Here is my review of Amelia Mandeville’s ‘Every Colour of You’. Many thanks to Midas Pr for asking me to be involved in the blog tour, and huge thanks to Sphere for the ARC.

We had a story – short, but not a simple one. I couldn’t stay here and explain it all to you. If you really want to know, you’ll have to take time out of your day. You’ll have to read it…

Zoe’s life is full of colour. A fan of impromptu yoga, inspirational quotes and experimenting with hair dye, she’s on a mission to make the most of each and every day – even if she is currently spending most of her time behind a checkout till.

Then she meets Tristan. The rumour is that since his dad died, Tristan’s life has fallen apart. No one has seen him for months. But now he’s reappeared, does that mean he’s back to ‘normal’?

Zoe soon realises Tristan is struggling with a sadness that she can’t possibly understand and becomes determined to bring a world of colour back into his life. But the harder she tries, the more she realises it’s something she can’t fix – and in trying to put him back together, a part of her is beginning to fall apart. . .

What does TWG think?

Two people, two different lifestyles, two different outlooks on life – pretty standard, right? Wrong. As we go about our daily chores, ensuring our children/pets are fed, ensuring that our smalls are washed, our stomachs are full, and our lives are fulfilled, we often don’t think about whether Jo Bloggs crossing the street is feeling blue. Or whether Mrs Robinson who works in the local shop is feeling a bit green. Or whether the child who sits on their own in the local park every lunch time, is sitting there with a massive black cloud over their head. But is it our ‘job’ to wonder about other people’s colours?

Zoe reminded me of a Unicorn – someone who wasn’t afraid to show the world who she was, regardless of whether her colours were everyone’s cup of tea. She didn’t care as they were HER colours and that was WHO she was.

On the other side of the colour spectrum sat, Tristan. Whilst it may be a slight understatement to say that it was clear that Tristan was feeling a bit ‘blue’, his character was so relatable, I couldn’t help but tear up. The poor soul couldn’t understand his own feelings. He thought he was abnormal. He thought nobody wanted him around because he didn’t believe he was worth something. How many of us have sat there and thought that? -holds own hand up-. The important thing to admit is that he IS ‘normal’ (whatever that is), and feeling what he was feeling isn’t abnormal if that’s how he feels. Who has the right to dictate how someone reacts to a situation, or whether something hurts them? Nobody does.

Even though Zoe was a very, very colourful character, her life wasn’t without issue. She had issues, just like the rest of us, but her outlook on life was completely different due to her situation. Again, I was able to relate to Zoe as well and the fact that she came out with, ‘why does hidden pain get pushed aside because it isn’t as visible as someone who has hurt their body?’ (or words to that effect, not a direct quote). Oh how she hit the nail on the head! It’s right though, isn’t it? Why does mental health get people running away because they can’t see the persons pain? Just like invisible illnesses. And anyway, why should hidden pain be treated any different to a pain that is visible on a body like a broken limb or such? It shouldn’t! I’m sure Amelia Mandeville felt this when she wrote the book, but it is so easy for us to sit here and say that, yet people still require the prompts to sit there and change their perception of mental health.

Zoe was the type of person who wanted to live life to the full because she knew it was something precious – and good on her! Tristan was the type of person who struggled to straighten out his emotions and went about his day unsure about his place on this Earth – again, good on him. If that’s how they both felt!

Amelia Mandeville hit the nail on the head more than once in this book. Her attention to detail was first class, and it was evident that the theme of the storyline was written straight from her heart. I mean come on, you can’t bull….shizzle your way through this sort of stuff. You either have had to live it directly, or been there indirectly to appreciate just how emotional and solitary mental health turbulence can be.

‘Every Colour Of You’ was very, very hard-hitting and extremely powerful. It’s about time that a book was written about mental health in such a blunt manner as this book was. I’m not saying that people need to be shocked into understanding a situation, but it certainly can help the penny to drop if a subject is approached in a different way. This was the ‘different way’ – I wish I could give the author a huge to say thank you, daft eh?

The most important thing I got out of #EveryColourOfYou was that everyone person on this planet has different colours to their personalities, with some people having colours which shine brighter than others. It doesn’t mean those people with brighter colours are any more important than those who have a pallet of darker colours, it just means that a different person has their own little rainbow. Some days your own colours may dull a little, and some days your colours may shine bright like a diamond – but they’re yours, ALL YOURS. And you know what? If someone doesn’t like your colours, what does it matter?

#EveryColourOfYou is a fantastically written, emotionally poignant, and highly relatable read which left me covered in goosebumps and feeling accepted for the first time in a long time. Whether you have been directly or indirectly affected by mental health issues, I urge everyone to pop this book onto their Christmas lists, shopping lists, ‘just because’ lists.

Phenomenal beyond belief – let’s be proud of our colours.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – A Little Christmas Charm by Kathryn Freeman (@kathrynfreeman1) @rararesources @choclituk

Hurrah for being able to read fast! If you aren’t aware by now, I adore Kathryn Freeman’s novels and this one was no different. I am delighted to be sharing my review of ‘A Little Christmas Charm’ as part of the blog tour today, many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and thank you to the publisher for the ARC. Here is my review:

Would you swap sea and sunshine for tinsel and turkey?


Gabby Sanderson is used to being let down – even at Christmas. Which is why she’s happy to skip the festive season completely in favour of a plane ticket and sunnier climes.

But this Christmas could be different, because this time she might not be spending it alone. Can Owen Cooper charm Gabby into loving Christmas in the same way he’s charmed his way into her life, or is he just another person who’ll end up disappointing her?

What does TWG think?

That’s it, I’m done!!!! I think I’ve found ‘The One’! I’m not even joking! Okay, there is a teeny tiny problem though – he is two dimensional and, erm, not real. Well, he was certainly real in my mind!! Is it me or is it hot in here?!?!

If you have read this book already, you’ll know exactly what I’m on about. However, if this is still on your TBR pile (it should be), stop shaking your head at me and just trust me! Owen Cooper is going to be sending a lot of readers in their own boat of dreams!!!

And helloooooooooo, I felt like I was reading a book about myself! Gabby is me! Pfft, aside from the Mr Cooper obvious, but aside from that I related to that character SO much! Poor Gabby has trust issues due to her mother – her childhood was a never ending reel of disappointment which has unfortunately led to problems in her adulthood. Hardly surprising really though (you’ll see what I mean when you read it). It was such a shame to see Gabby so broken, yet her emotions were things I saw a lot of in myself. That was pretty hard going, I shan’t lie.

Owen Cooper hasn’t had it easy either, and it was nice to read a book with a male character that wasn’t afraid to show his vulnerable side. ‘A Little Christmas Charm’ might have the ladies swooning, but there is a lot to the book which I thought even male readers will be able to relate to and enjoy.

I loved how the author brought ‘dysfunctional families’ into the spotlight! Not every household has a mum, dad and children. Families come in all different shapes and sizes what with step families, half siblings, adopted families, and even the families that are made up of people you love rather than people who share the same DNA. It’s a shame that people think families should be a certain way, so I adored what Kathryn Freeman did with her characters in this story, that’s for sure!!

Watching Gabby flourish was definitely a highlight for me (again, aside from the obvious!!), and I felt that the entire storyline worked from the humour to the choice of Christmas decorations, to the choice of confectionary and drunken one liners. Seriously – this book had everything I could have wanted and I was absolutely gutted when it came to an end!

‘A Little Christmas Charm’ isn’t just full of a LITTLE charm, it’s full of so much charm, poor Santa would need another sleigh to carry it all. A hot under the collar, laugh out loud, uplifting, heartwarming, and utterly amazing book – I will be recommending this book until I am blue in the face! Make sure you ask Santa for this one – I absolutely loved it!!

Buy now!

About the author.

A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero. 

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

Social Media Links 

Website:  http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/kathrynfreeman

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KathrynFreeman1

Giveaway – Win a paperback copy of A Little Christmas Faith by Kathryn Freeman (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter the giveaway 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!