#BlogTour! #Review – It’s Not You It’s Him by Sophie Ranald (@SophieRanald) @Bookouture

Next up on TWG is a review of Sophie Ranald’s, ‘It’s Not You It’s Him’. Many thanks to Bookouture for having me on board.

New Year’s Eve. The most overrated night of the year, right? I have to get through a night of enforced fun, drink all the prosecco and talk about new beginnings. But I don’t want new beginnings. I want my old beginning back.

It’s been ten days, two hours and forty-three minutes since Tansy got dumped. Two heartbreaking weeks since Renzo, who made her weak at the knees and dizzy with excitement, found out Tansy’s secret – and ended it on the spot.

Since then, she’s spent every evening scrolling through their old photos, drunk texted him twenty-six times (he stopped reading after five), and lost count of how many packets of Kleenex she’s cried her way through.

That’s where Operation Get Renzo Back comes in. She ropes in a new wing-woman, maxes out her credit card and accidentally-on-purpose bumps into him at every opportunity. Oh, and she finds a fake boyfriend, as you do…

But while she’s busy pretending, Tansy’s plan is thrown a major curveball. She has to learn the hard way that it’s not her, it’s him – and that sometimes, a break-up can end up being the making of you.

What does TWG think?

Oh this is mega LOL, and yes, I did just say that!!!

Despite being slow to really get going, ‘It’s Not You It’s Him’ had me giggling into my cuppa. Now, Tansy had got her priorities royally screwed up and that made her a bit like nails on a chalkboard at times. Yes, she annoyed me at first! I did warm to her though as the story progressed and I actually ended up finding her quite endearing. I know. I know. Who would have thought it?

I really enjoyed the uplifting a girl poweresque type storyline – this is definitely a read that will put a smile on your face for many different reasons.

Sophie Ranald had me feeling the lurve and wanting a complete fashion overhaul one minute, to then having me giggling at the brilliantly poised humour.

A cracking read!

Buy now!

About the author.

Sophie Ranald is the youngest of five sisters. She was born in Zimbabwe and lived in South Africa until an acute case of itchy feet brought her to London in her mid-20s. As an editor for a customer publishing agency, Sophie developed her fiction-writing skills describing holidays to places she’d never visited.

In 2011, she decided to disregard all the good advice given to aspiring novelists and attempt to write full-time. After one false start, It Would Be Wrong to Steal My Sister’s Boyfriend (Wouldn’t It?) seemed to write itself. Her second, third and fourth novels followed, and The Truth About Gemma Grey was released in summer 2017. Sophie also writes for magazines and online about food, fashion, finance and running. She lives in south-east London with her amazing partner Hopi and Purrs, their adorable little cat.

To find out about Sophie’s forthcoming releases and get access to free books and special offers, sign up to her newsletter at sophieranald.com

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#BlogTour! #Review – One Last Greek Summer by Mandy Baggot (@MandyBaggot) @Aria_Fiction

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Next up is a summery read by an author who knows Greece like the back of hand, Mandy Baggot! I am delighted to be today’s stop on the blog tour for ‘One Last Greek Summer’. Many thanks to Aria Fiction for inviting me to take part. Here is my review:

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Beth Martin is 31, newly divorced and wondering just what life holds for her…

Best-friend, Heidi, is adamant that all the answers lie in Corfu – the island where the girls partied away their youth. So cue a trip to a sun-drenched Greek island, ouzo cocktails, a trip down memory lane… and Alex Hallas, the man Beth has never quite forgotten.

As they dance under the stars, the sand beneath their toes, old feelings begin to resurface and Beth might just have a chance to take back her life. If they can learn to love the people they’ve become…

What does TWG think?

Snigger. Mandy Baggot really is a sort, isn’t she? I mean, nobody else can pull of a storyline that threatens to turn the air blue without being too in your face! Snigger.

If you’re a fan of Greece, you will be in your element with this book. I will admit that I have never stepped foot onto Greek soil, however due to the incredible attention to detail of the Island, I genuinely felt as though I was visiting Corfu myself.

Just like Mandy Baggot’s other novels, romance plays a large part in the storyline and is written effortlessly as though anyone can hop onto a plane to Corfu and find themselves a partner just like that!

Beth and Heidi are such fun characters – I thoroughly enjoyed following their holiday of a lifetime. Alex, as well, was another memorable character due to his relatable traits and family issues.

I can’t really fault Mandy Baggot’s story telling at all – she writes with such joy that it ends up being infectious and I always end up finishing one of her books with a huge smile on my face.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Something To Live For by Richard Roper (@RichardRoper) @OrionBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

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It’s another busy day here at TWG, and first up is my review of Richard Roper’s ‘Something To Live For’. Many thanks to Tracy Fenton and Orion for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

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Sometimes you have to risk everything to find your something…

All Andrew wants is to be normal. He has the perfect wife and 2.4 children waiting at home for him after a long day. At least, that’s what he’s told people.

The truth is, his life isn’t exactly as people think and his little white lie is about to catch up with him.

Because in all Andrew’s efforts to fit in, he’s forgotten one important thing: how to really live. And maybe, it’s about time for him to start.

What does TWG think?

You’re bound to have seen the hashtag #FindYourSomething on Twitter over the last few weeks, but if you haven’t, that particular hashtag refers to the all important message within Richard Roper’s new novel, ‘Something To Live For’. We all know that it is far too easy to go through life in a daze, merely going through the motions out of habit. But what would we say if someone pulled us aside and asked us about our life? Would we be able to answer honestly and say that our life isn’t fulfilling us? Or would we lie and say that our lives are perfect when its not?

Why is there a lot of stigma attached to being honest about being unhappy in your life? Why must people pretend that everything is hunky-dory?

Well, to Andrew, having the ‘perfect life’ and ‘perfect family’ is what is expected of him. He thinks that to be ‘normal’, he needs to be married with a pigeon pair, socialise weekly, and be exactly where he wants to be at a forty-something man. By pretending to have the perfect life, Andrew has forgotten to do something extremely important. He’s forgotten to live.

I know, I know. Sounds such a simple thing to do, doesn’t it?

Andrew has a job which made me stop and think to myself, ‘omg, people actually have to do that?!’. Yes, in simple terms Andrew works for a company which strives to put relatives in touch with a deceased next of kin. Albeit too late to rebuild any bridges admittedly, but there’s something pretty eye-opening about it because if Andrew and his colleagues didn’t find the all important next of kin, the deceased will be buried in what’s known as a ‘paupers grave’, with nobody likely to be at the funeral. It’s a shame.

I have seen so many people fall in love with Richard Roper’s novel, and I can see exactly why they have. I will admit that I probably didn’t fall in love with it as much as other readers have, yet I was able to appreciate the importance behind the authors words, especially about living your life before its too late.

Richard Roper has written an incredibly profound and poignant novel which took me on a journey I wasn’t expecting to go on at the age of 29. I’m glad that I was able to embark on the journey of perspective and self discovery, as I would have hated reaching Andrew’s age and feeling as though I had no more path left to walk on, or be too afraid of changing habits I had spent so long perfecting.

‘Something To Live For’ is a very fulfilling and emotive read, guaranteed to stop you in your tracks and take a good hard look at your life and what you want from it. There’s too much force being put on trying to fit in, when instead we should all be loved for who we are. However, we need to learn to love ourselves first. If you can’t ‘find your something’, at least be your own ‘something to live for’.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – 99 Days With You by Catherine Miller (@Katylittlelady) @Bookouture

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Second Bookouture blog tour post of the day is for ’99 Days With You’ by Catherine Miller – congratulations on your publication day! Many thanks, once again, to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and chance to read. Here is my review:

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Sometimes the end is the start of forever…

Emma and Nathan couldn’t be more different. But when they meet in a hospital waiting room, to the sound of a ticking clock and surrounded by faded magazines, they are both terrified, nervous and alone. And they have one fatal thing in common…

Emma lives a quiet life. She looks after her disabled mother. She lives vicariously through the well-thumbed pages and cracked spines of her beloved books.

Nathan spends his days fifteen thousand feet above the ground, soaring through the air, stomach somersaulting, as a sky diving instructor. After a lifetime of having a recurring dream that he would die at twenty-seven, he treats every day like it’s his last.

As fate throws Emma and Nathan together, everything is about to change.

Emma has never been kissed, or tasted champagne, or travelled abroad. Nathan has never fallen in love, worn odd socks, or grown a sunflower from a seed.

Emma and Nathan vow never to waste an hour, knowing that goodbye could come all too soon. But as they lose their hearts to one another against all the odds, have they found each other too late?

What does TWG think?

It’s the little things in life which count the most, aren’t they? Feeling the sand between your toes for the very first time. A bar of chocolate being bought for you just because. A little note left on your pillow. Spending 5 minutes outside just dancing in the rain. Little things to one person can end up being massive things for others, and the two people who cement that fact sublimely are Emma and Nathan.

Emma and Nathan meet by chance. An unfortunate, heart-breaking chance which involves an illness which many of us know the devastation of. Cancer. Love has no limit, yet for these two characters, everything now has a limit. I couldn’t get over Emma and Nathan’s approach to their emotional news. Both people handled it in completely different ways, highlighting the differences between how things can be perceived from one person to another. They may have one thing in common, yet the way it affects each of them couldn’t be more different.

Watching the relationship blossom between Emma and Nathan was simply breathtaking. It was intimate. Profound. And of course, incredibly emotional as I ‘watched’ their lives come together from diagnosis.

’99 Days With You’ has a very important message attached to it about living life to the full, to the best of our abilities, and making every little moment in our lives count. Including those all important little ones.

Catherine Miller, in my opinion, takes a subject which a lot of people are weary of, pulls it back to its bare bones and rebuilds it with her incredible storytelling, and eyeopening emotion a way that leaves me lost for words and breathless. I was spellbound by the sheer beauty of ’99 Days With You’ and the atmospheric portrayal of life itself.

Go and hug your loved ones. Hug yourself. Buy that pair of shoes. Buy this book – nobody wants to be the most rich bitch in the cemetery who regrets a single thing.

Buy now!

About the author.

When Catherine Miller became a mum to twins, she decided her hands weren’t full enough so wrote a novel with every spare moment she managed to find. By the time the twins were two, Catherine had a two-book deal with Carina UK. There is a possibility she has aged remarkably in that time. Her debut novel, Waiting For You, came out in March 2016.

Catherine was a NHS physiotherapist, but for health reasons (Uveitis and Sarcoidosis) she retired early from this career. As she loved her physiotherapy job, she decided if she couldn’t do that she would pursue her writing dream. It took a few years and a couple of babies, but in 2015 she won the Katie Fforde bursary, was a finalist in the London Book Fair Write Stuff Competition and highly commended in Woman magazine’s writing competition. Soon afterwards she signed with Carina. Soon after that, she collapsed in a heap and was eventually revived by chocolate.

Since then she’s had four novels published and hasn’t found a week that didn’t require revival by chocolate. She is one eighth of The Romaniacs – a group of writing friends who’ve supported each other since meeting through The Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme.

#BlogTour! #Review – To the Stars and Back by Camilla Isley (@CamillaIsley) @RaRaResources

Second RaRaResources blog tour of the day is for a review of ‘To the Stars and Back’ by Camilla Isley. Many thanks to Rachel for the blog tour invite and ARC.

When Hollywood’s sexiest bachelor meets the girl next door their relationship doesn’t follow the script…

On-screen, Christian Slade is America’s favorite heartthrob. Off-screen, letting romance into his life isn’t as easy. The women he dates all seem to want a piece of his glamorous life rather than his heart, and trust doesn’t come easy for him.

Then along comes Lana. A beautiful rocket scientist who’s also sweet, smart, sexy, and has absolutely no idea who he is. But what will happen when she finds out?

Will their worlds prove too far apart or could love really be like in the movies?

What does TWG think?

What would you do if the guy you started dating was in fact a top Hollywood actor, but he didn’t tell you? Would you be mad? Would you feel deceived? Lana, after being betrayed by her best friend, found herself in that exact position and she doesn’t quite know how she feels about it.

Like, Lana is an engineer, not someone who spends her time keeping up to date with the latest fashion trends, or has money to burn like Christian Slade does. Two people, two completely different lifestyles. Chalk and cheese or a match made in heaven?

This was such a fun story to read, and one I was able to lose myself in very quickly. The premise of the book isn’t too taxing, and the pace is ideal if you’re just wanting a book to cruise along with, without the addition of too emotional events and what not.

I love how Camilla Isley has included characters from other books in the series so seamlessly, as if they were meant to be there all along. Don’t be panicking though – this book is part of a series but each book can be read as a standalone with no issues.

If you’re into highly romantic, boy meets girl type of novels, ‘To the Stars and Back’ would be right up your street. I’m not a romantic, yet I could still appreciate the attention to detail in the characters relationships and how their lives came together throughout the book.

Another fun, humourous, and enjoyable read from the very more-ish, Camilla Isley.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Confetti at the Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green (@Rosie_Green1988) @RaRaResources

TWG is back visiting the Little Duck Pond cafe today, huge thanks to RaRaResources and the author for having me! Here is my review of Rosie Green’s latest installment to her serial:

Wedding fever is in the air in the village of Sunnybrook.

With Ellie and Zak’s Big Day on the horizon, the sun is shining brightly on the Little Duck Pond Cafe community. But when dark clouds begin to roll in from more than one direction, several close relationships look to be under threat.

Will the wedding of the year actually take place at all?

What does TWG think?

I was NOT expecting to be getting into a tizzy whilst visiting the Little Duck Pond Cafe. Not at all! But I did and, whilst I would love to sit and have a natter about what made me stressed up to the eyeballs, it may be considered a spoiler. It literally came from nowhere and certainly put the characters to a test regarding their relationships and best laid plans.

‘Confetti at the Little Duck Pond Cafe’ IS part of a series, and I wholeheartedly recommend that you do read the books in order so that you are more aware of how the characters got where they are now, who they are, and why they are (if they are) involved in any ruckus’ with anyone else.

I love this series, especially as it just gets better and better with every new story. I must admit that I found Ellie quite annoying this time around as she just seemed in a rush to tick boxes regarding her wedding without thinking about the logistics behind it, especially seeing as other people were involved and it wasn’t all about Ellie. For someone who has always taken time to think about her actions and how they affected others, she couldn’t have been further from that person if she tried.

That said, the story wasn’t all romance and confetti, there was a lot more to this novella than I had anticipated and I thought that it did the book wonders in terms of depth and atmosphere.

Rosie Green, once again, has left me with a massive smile on my face thanks to this heartwarming and more-ish addition to the Little Duck Pond Cafe series. A wonderful, wonderful story which was an pleasure to devour.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – The Perfect Moment by Alix Kelso (@AlixKelsoAuthor) @RaRaResources

I am super excited to be kicking off Alix Kelso’s blog tour today, I really hope it will be THE perfect moment for her….

Sorry, I’ll get my coat. Anyway, thank you to Rachel, as always, for the blog tour invite and to the author for the ARC. Here is my review:

Is there ever a perfect moment to begin again in life?

Ever since tragedy threw her life into turmoil, Laura has taken refuge at her waitressing job inValentino’s restaurant in Glasgow’s leafy Fairhill. Serving lattes and lunch specials means she’s toobusy to think about all she lost, or the dreams she was forced to abandon. So when her beloved boss announces she’s selling the business, Laura is devastated.

Hatching a plan to set her up with the local pub owner, Laura hopes the two of them will make a connection that might just change her mind. Recovering from betrayal and heartbreak, Bruce is also in hiding from the world, and working in his uncle’s pub while he wonders how to restart his life. When Laura asks for help with her matchmaking scheme, he finds himself unable to refuse.

She has a smile he can’t resist, no matter how much he wants to.But as their plan is set in motion, the matchmakers begin falling for each other. Yet Laura thinks she’s happy with her dull boyfriend, and Bruce won’t risk another broken heart. As the future of Valentino’s hangs in the balance, can these two lost and lonely people find the perfect moment tostart their lives again together?

What does TWG think?

Oooo watch out book world, theres a new rom-com writer on the block!!!

This book didn’t really tick my boxes to begin with if I’m honest. I couldn’t grab onto the waist of the storyline like a guy grabs the waist of his missus, however I was very hopeful that that would change.

It may have taken a few ‘dates’ for me and the book to get acclimatised, but when we did, I flew through the pages like nobodies business. What a warm hearted, uplifting and more-ish book this is!

Laura has had her own fair share of tragedy. To be honest, most of the characters in this book have been affected by some sort of tragedy in their life, and I think that’s why I found a lot of the characters endearing because they were real. They had been on the receiving end of life changing situations. Their heartbreak was realistic and would actually happen to John-Boy across the street.

I am not a romantic. Some people may call me a cynic. However, I have now decided, after reading ‘The Perfect Moment’, that my own perfect man would be someone who knew what was on my most favourite pjs. Just like Bruce. I mean, it’s important information!!!!

‘The Perfect Moment’ really did deliver in humour and tenderness, and I closed the book feeling rather annoyed because I wanted more. I adored the heart and the addictiveness of Alix Kelso’s story telling. I CANNOT WAIT to delve into another ‘Fairhill’ novel if ‘The Perfect Moment’ is anything to go by! Loved it!

Buy now from Amazon UK

Buy now from Amazon US

#BlogTour! #Review – #SummerAtTheKindnessCafe by Victoria Walters (@Vicky_Walters) @TeamBATC @AnneCater @SimonSchusterUK

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Next up on the blog this afternoon is my review of ‘Summer at the Kindness Cafe’ by Victoria Walters. Happy publication day! Many thanks to Anne for the blog tour invite, and huge thanks to the publisher for the ARC (and the Brew)!!

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Welcome to Brew, a cafe where kindness is almost as important as coffee… almost!

Abbie has fled London and the humiliation of not being able to make rent after being made redundant. Her sister, Louise, unlucky in love, has thrown herself into her career at the local hospital. And Eszter, who has travelled from Hungary with her daughter Zoe, is hoping to fulfil her husband’s dying wish: to reunite his family.

This summer, three very different women are inspired by the random acts of kindness written up on the Kindness Board at Brew, and decide to make a pact to be kinder to others and to themselves.

Can a little bit of kindness really change your life? Eszter, Abbie and Louise are about to find out!

**Summer at the Kindness Cafe was previously published
as a four-part serial titled Random Acts of Kindness.
This is the complete story in one package.**

What does TWG think?

I’m just going to chuck this straight out there – what a breath of fresh air this book is! I have never, ever, rooted for three characters as much as I did Abbie, Louise, and Eszter! I really wanted them all to have their happily ever afters, I was even half tempted to do a Joey Tribianni and step into the book instead of a map!

All three ladies have their own story to tell, each of which are explored as the storyline progresses, and all three women have fled to Littlewood to restart their lives. Thanks to a ‘Kindness Board’ in local cafe, Brew, their lives take an interesting turn which allows them to revaluate their fears and attempt to make a decision that will change their lives forever.

Putting it like that, I guess it sounds pretty dramatic! It isn’t, not really. I mean, Abbie has ventured to Littlewood to see her sister, Louise, after being made redundant (there’s more to that story!), Louise arrived few years prior after a relationship breakdown, and Eszter brought her daughter, Zoe, to the little village from Hungary…of all places, to fulfil one last wish. Could they BE any more chalk and cheese? I think that’s why I thought they worked brilliantly together. Each woman had their own way of doing things, and brought different wisdom to the table whenever it was needed. I loved their diversity and the fact that wanted to go all out to help people they barely knew, just because. No hidden agenda. No guilt attached. Nothing. They were kind because, guess what? THEY WANTED TO! I know, people seem to think that being kind is hard!

I ADORED this book! I loved how infectious the authors determination to be kind was, and I just loved how satisfying the entire book was. If you feel as though you are needing a pick me up, or if you feel like you’ve misplaced your reasons to get up and go, I highly recommend reading this book to help you put things in perspective. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not going to tell you how to live your life or tell you the answers to your questions – it’s not a Magic 8 ball, however the story really does have its own magical powers in the sense it makes you look at situations from a different angle. Instead of sitting and worrying about looking like a ‘lumpy sausage’ in a dress, just go and get a new one. It sounds very simple, but when you’re in amongst things and are struggling to think logically, you just don’t find the answers to things as quickly as you usually would.

‘Summer at the Kindness Cafe’ also had a wonderful character who had me in hysterics and left me clapping my hands in glee; Ben. What a wonderful, wonderful addition to an already beautiful book. He is brilliant and definitely worth its weight in gold!

As I said, I cannot recommend this uplifting, joyous, poignant and utterly divine book which will open your eyes to different paths on journeys you may embark on. Victoria Walters brings happiness and warmth to this poignant and heartwarming novel, in the most unique and unforgettable way. Such a joy to read – I’m envious of anyone and everyone who gets to read it for the very first time!

Buy now from Amazon.

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheSundayGirl by #PipDrysdale @SimonschusterUK @AnneCater

Last up on the blog today is something a bit dark and devious, my review of ‘The Sunday Girl’ by Pip Drysdale. Many thanks to Anne for the blog tour invite, also thank you to Jess and the Simon & Schuster team for the ARC.

Some love affairs change you forever. Someone comes into your orbit and swivels you on your axis, like the wind working on a rooftop weather vane. And when they leave, as the wind always does, you are different; you have a new direction. And it’s not always north.’

Any woman who’s ever been involved with a bad, bad man and been dumped will understand what it feels like to be broken, broken-hearted and bent on revenge.
Taylor Bishop is hurt, angry and wants to destroy Angus Hollingsworth in the way he destroyed her: ‘Insidiously. Irreparably. Like a puzzle he’d slowly dissembled … stolen a couple of pieces from, and then discarded, knowing that nobody would ever be able to put it back together ever again.’
So Taylor consults The Art of War and makes a plan. Then she takes the next irrevocable step – one that will change her life forever.

What does TWG think?

‘The Sunday Girl’ has a very dark premise to it, one which some may find quite unbelievable. However, the topic of revenge via social media in regards to personal videos etc, is actually a lot more ‘popular’ than people realise. I don’t mean ‘popular’ in the sense that it’s going to the new craze, I just mean that it happens a lot more than people realise.

Taylor is broken hearted. She has split up with her boyfriend Angus, and doesn’t quite know what to do with herself. Angus on the other hand, has many ideas of his own, one of which he has turned into a reality rather quickly. Once Taylor realises what her ex-boyfriend has done, revenge seems to be the only comeuppance she can think of. But if a person is capable to stoop so low as to try and ruin another person’s life, is it wise to try and give them a taste of their own medicine yourself?

Taylor is a unique character, one I didn’t really warm to as her personality made me eyeroll more often than not. That said, I did feel for her due to the situation she found herself in. Angus really didn’t do himself any favours!

I thought ‘The Sunday Girl’ was such an addictive, compulsive, and gritty read which had narcissism at its core in a relatable manner. The pace was on par with the vibe of the book, and the level of suspense, alongside the dark notions of revenge, was just bang on. Pip Drysdale’s book may not have been what I was expecting, but I really enjoyed it and cannot wait to see what else Drysdale has to offer!

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – #StillStanding by Natalie Queiroz (@natqleigh) @AnneCater @jblakebooks

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It is an honour to host such an incredible, incredible woman on my blog today. Natalie’s story is one which, despite the fact that it shouldn’t have happened in the first place, will leave you bereft. Many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour, and for the ARC of Natalie’s memoir, ‘Still Standing’. Here is my review:

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Natalie Queiroz was eight months pregnant when she was stabbed by her partner in the most vicious attack imaginable. 

In the space of nine minutes, and in broad daylight, Natalie was stabbed twenty-four times with a carving knife.

She suffered horrific wounds to her lungs, liver, stomach and uterus, whilst the knife missed her baby by a margin of two millimetres  before the arteries in her wrists were methodically severed by the hooded attacker she finally realised was her partner and the father of her unborn child. 

After heroic intervention by passers-by and police, the attack was brought to an end, but her ordeal was not over. An air ambulance rescue was launched, and against all medical odds, Natalie and her baby survived – but not without life-changing physical and emotional damage. 

Still Standing is the story of one life-shattering event – what came before that fateful day, what happened on it, and how one woman and her baby survived to rebuild and heal together after it. At once a shocking story of evil, manipulation and violence, and a truly moving reminder that a life can be pieced back together, no matter how bad the damage, this book will empower and inspire anyone who has ever faced true adversity to rise up and stand tall.

What does TWG think?

I have been thinking about how best to write my review, all day. How on EARTH can you form coherent words about an incident which left 2 people for dead. Wait, hang on, how on EARTH does someone carry out the attack that leaves 2 people for dead, one being their own flesh and blood!!!! If I was asked, in person, as part of a random chat, about my thoughts of ‘Still Standing’, the amount of swear words I would use would turn the air blue. However, seeing as this is my own blog and I will be putting the review on Amazon, no swear words will be in this at all. Shame.

Natalie was stabbed 24 times. 24 TIMES! Not only that, she was 8 months pregnant and the attacker stabbed her in the stomach as well. Not only THAT, the attacker was someone incredibly close to Natalie. Someone which helped to create the baby that they nearly killed. Sick isn’t it?

I have no idea how this woman is, pardon the pun, still standing. I would love to say that she is strong, and whilst I wholeheartedly believe that, I am angry for her because she shouldn’t have HAD to be strong – she shouldn’t have been attacked anyway! It is, just like Natalie says in the book, very easy to sit here and commend her on the way she got through the attack, because she did get through it and it is amazing. However, like I just said, she had no other bloomin’ option BUT to get through it! She didn’t get through it for herself. She got through it for her babies, the two that had already been born and the one that was fighting for its life inside her. Natalie HAD to put on a brave face because she had children to look after despite being severely injured by an absolute cactus. Again, I have absolutely no idea how she managed to do it, but holy moly she did and what an unbeliever woman she is.

‘Still Standing’ goes back to the day which Natalie would no doubt love to forget – the day she saw her life flash before her very eyes. The day her baby was born early. The day her life changed drastically both in terms of her physical looks, and her emotions. Natalie describes the attack in incredible detail, as though you’re watching it happen in front of you. She describes her feelings at that time, what went through her mind when the paramedics were with her, what went through her head when she woke up in hospital hoping that everything was a dream. It’s heartbreaking to read, and yet I wasn’t even the one going through what she did!

The attack didn’t just affect Natalie, it also affected her two eldest children because of course, she is their mummy and they were old enough to be aware of certain things. I am so, so pleased that the bystanders were recognised for assisting Natalie that day, as were the emergency services involved. What an incredible bunch they are. A lot of people snipe about our NHS but without it, there’s a slim chance that Natalie and her bubba would have survived.

This memoir is incredibly emotional. It’s gritty. It’s eye-opening. It highlights the lengths which people can go to to manipulate a situation. ‘Still Standing’ doesn’t just focus on the day of the attack, it also focuses on the aftermath and how Natalie begun to get her life back little by little, as well as the emotional turmoil she had to face at the hands of a downright selfish person.

As I’ve already said many times, Natalie didn’t have a choice BUT to survive that day. She could have easily given up. It’s a massive shame that her strength is coming to light due to what she went through, because I am sure she was an incredibly strong person beforehand. That said, in my eyes, Natalie Queiroz is a superhero. What a moving, emotional, raw and poignant piece of writing this is. When I grow up, can I please be like Natalie? I’ll make my own cape…!

Still Standing will be published on the 13th June. Pre-order now!

About the author.

Natalie Queiroz is the survivor of one of the most appallingly brutal attacks imaginable. After being stabbed two dozen times by her partner when she was eight months pregnant, she has rebuilt her life and inspired people the length and breadth of the country with her courage and refusal to be bowed by her trauma.
Alongside a successful full-time career, she has since become a motivational speaker and, through various feats of endurance and daring, raised thousands of pounds for the Midlands Air Ambulance charity she owes her life to.