#BlogTour! #Review – A Long Way From Home by Cathy Glass (@CathyGlassUK) @HarperNonFic @RosieMargesson

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It is such an honour to be taking part in yet another one of Cathy Glass’ blog tours – thank you to the team at HarperNonFic for the blog tour invite, it really does mean the world to me! Unfortunately, we have reached the end of the blog tour and it gives me great pleasure to close the tour with my review of Cathy Glass’ brand new novel, ‘A Long Way From Home’.

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The true story of 2 year-old Anna, abandoned by her natural parents, left alone in a neglected orphanage.

Elaine and Ian had travelled half way round the world to adopt little Anna. She couldn’t have been more wanted, loved and cherished. So why was she now in foster care and living with me? It didn’t make sense.

Until I learned what had happened. …

Dressed only in nappies and ragged T-shirts the children were incarcerated in their cots. Their large eyes stared out blankly from emaciated faces. Some were obviously disabled, others not, but all were badly undernourished. Flies circled around the broken ceiling fans and buzzed against the grids covering the windows. The only toys were a few balls and a handful of building bricks, but no child played with them. The silence was deafening and unnatural. Not one of the thirty or so infants cried, let alone spoke.

What does TWG think?

Just like every other Cathy Glass novel, what is written is a true story with all of the important details (names, places etc) changed to protect the identity of those involved. If you think that you’re going to be reading a novel that tells you what you want to hear when it comes to adoption – think again. Whilst Cathy Glass does state multiple times throughout that adoption is fantastic, and how many adoptions are completed with no issues whatsoever, there are situations where adoption becomes the polar opposite to what you had originally thought. Unfortunately, this story is one of them.

Elaine and Ian were a couple who were determined to have a family of their own. You can’t really fault them for that now, can you? After going through all of the legal documentation, dotting their I’s and crossing their T’s, the couple chose to adopt outside of the UK. Naively, I had absolutely no idea that children were left to suffer in such neglected conditions due to the high level of poverty in various countries. Was this an eye-opener? Most definitely. By page 6 of the book, a lump had already formed in my throat – if children can go through such heartbreaking times, I can read the book until the end. The lump in my throat was nothing compared to what those children had to endure.

Elaine and Ian believed that they were doing the right thing by adopting out of the UK, potentially saving a child from a bleak future if they were to be left in the orphanage. Judging by the couples reactions to what they saw that day, I truly believe that their eyes were opened as well. I think that they knew things were bad overseas, but I don’t think that they were quite expecting what they saw with their very own eyes. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t expecting it either. Obviously, adoption overseas comes with a lot of barriers, with the most important one being language – would the staff in the orphanage understand what the couple were trying to say? Would the child they were going to adopt, learn to understand this new funny language? It isn’t as easy as filling out a few forms, ticking a few boxes and then going to pick up your new child like you were going to pick up a click and collect order from your local Argos. There is so much involved and what really opened my eyes, was the fact that bringing your new addition to the family home is just the tip of the iceberg.

When the storyline changed to Cathy’s viewpoint, my heart sank as I knew what was going to happen, but I couldn’t believe it. I think my heart broke for the child and everyone involved. I applaud Cathy for what she did with Anna and how she managed to turn a questionable situation into something more manageable. That said, part of me felt quite deflated in regards to the adoptive parents. Granted I wasn’t in their situation, nor was I there to witness Anna’s personality, but I couldn’t quite understand their reaction to an older Anna. Here was a child, screaming out to be loved in the only way she knew how, with her new mummy looking at her like a blank piece of paper. I am not judging the parents because like I say, I wasn’t in their situation so I cannot form an opinion on how they acted. However, I can form an opinion from what I read and I would be lying if I said it didn’t catch me, because it did.

‘A Long Way From Home’ really opened my eyes to the side of adoption which people fail to mention. Yes it broke my heart, and yes I found it quite difficult to read, but I needed to be educated about that sort of thing and I am glad that Cathy Glass was the person to do that. As a huge fan of this author for many years, Cathy Glass’ work never fails to let me down, nor does any new release make me less inclined to read another of her books – in fact, with every book I read of hers, I have to go and buy a new one straight away just so that I can get into the mindset of children who find themselves in a situation no child should ever be in.

This book is heart-wrenching, I’m not going to lie, but it is also beautifully written and something which everyone needs to learn about. Not everything is all sunshine and roses, but with Cathy Glass supporting children, I really do think that she is a special type of angel.

Buy now from Amazon

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#BlogTour! #Review – The Mother’s Secret by Clare Swatman (@ClareSwatman) @Panmacmillan @Rosiewilsreads

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Having fallen head over heels in love with Clare Swatman’s debut novel, ‘Before You Go’, I am delighted to be sharing my review of the authors much awaited second novel, ‘The Mother’s Secret’, which will be published by PanMacmillan on the 22nd February. Huge thanks to the publisher for the blog tour invite as well as the ARC of the book. Here is my review as part of the blog tour:

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The Mother’s Secret is a powerful story about family, secrets and devastating lies

Love keeps us together

Sisters Kate and Georgie have always shared a close bond. While Kate enjoyed the freedoms of youth, Georgie remained at home. But now Georgie is grown up, it’s time she started exploring.

Love can tear us apart

Their mother Jan loves her daughters with all her heart. So what if she kept them out of sight when they were young? She just cared for them so much. She wanted to protect them.

What if your life was based on a lie?

Maybe there was another reason for Jan’s protective behaviour? If they ventured too far afield, it might destroy the facade of their childhood. This family’s about to discover that while lies can cause pain, the truth could destroy them all.

What does TWG think?

We all expect our mothers to tell us the truth no matter what, right? We also put our faith into them from the moment we entered this world, relying on them to guide us and help us blossom as we grow up. But what if you found out that your entire life had been a lie? What if you found out that your mother had been keeping a secret from you all of your life? What if everything you’ve always known, ends up revealing that in actual fact, you’ve known absolutely nothing?

It doesn’t bear thinking about really, does it? I mean, our mothers wouldn’t do that to us….would they?

It feels like I’ve been waiting AGES for Clare Swatman to release her second novel, especially seeing as her debut was one of my top reads of 2017 – how was she going to top that?! Reader, she topped it in a completely different way. Whilst both books are exceptional stories, they are also written completely differently which means that comparing them would be highly unfair. I have fallen in love with both books for various reasons, and by golly Clare Swatman certainly does NOT disappoint with her highly anticipated second novel.

I am genuinely surprised that my heart is now in one piece, given the amount of times it broke in two whilst reading this book! Even though it was pretty clear from the onset where the storyline was heading, including what the big ‘dun dun dun’ moment was that was going to be revealed in due course, it didn’t change my opinion of the book at all. It soon became clear that whilst the heartbreak was made clear early on, the author wrote the book in such a way which was guaranteed to make the reader wish the heartbreak wasn’t true at all. It was as though the entire situation had a big question mark looming overhead – was it true? Or was one of the sisters making a mountain out of a molehill?

I had no idea what to think or what to believe. If the situation ended up being true after all, why did it happen? What reason did they have to go to such lengths to cause long-lasting devastation? I was surprised at a couple of the character’s reactions when the truth came out because of how lenient their response appeared. I even asked myself whether I would respond in the same way if I were in their shoes and, to be perfectly honest, whilst my gut and heart says ‘no’, my mind is saying something completely different.

‘The Mother’s Secret’ has such a high level of complexity throughout the entire storyline, lasting until the very last page. Each individual character had its place within the book, adding another dimension to an already colourful storyline with their vivacious personalities. Unfortunately, those vivacious personalities didn’t last long, though I saw it as a positive as I was able to see an alternative side to the character, finding out a little bit more about what made them tick. For me, the change in the characters meant that I was able to see them as realistic, two-dimensional characters instead of one with a chip on their shoulder. I knew Clare Swatman could write her characters well, but goodness me – this author has really outdone herself.

I absolutely loved this book, even with its shocking, devastating and emotional scenes, it still managed to warm my heart in a way I had never thought possible. ‘The Mother’s Secret’ may be based around one big event, but it also contains a lot of themes which I believe multiple readers will be able to relate to and find comfort in. I really don’t wish to divulge what those themes are in fear of spoilers, so please do trust me.

‘The Mother’s Secret’ opened my eyes to a world of endless possibilities, showing me how to get to the sunshine through the rain. My emotions were tested, my strength was challenged, yet my trust in Clare Swatman’s writing grew even more.

This author can write that’s for sure; she certainly proves that with this heart-wrenching, beautifully written, thought-provoking and absolutely stunning novel about life, loss, lies, trust, and forgiveness, teaching her readers that whilst not everything is ever as it seems, a flower can blossom even during a storm.

Probably one of the best books I have read so far this year, I am in awe at Clare Swatman’s literary skills and the way in which she not only writes to feed the mind, she also writes to feed the soul.

Devastatingly beautiful – I urge each and every one of you to read this book.

Pre-order now.

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

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Apologies for how late in the day this is, BUT, I am super excited to be closing Luke Allnutt’s blog tour for ‘We Own The Sky’ today. Here is my review:

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A story about love, loss and finding hope – against all odds.

Rob Coates can’t believe his luck. There is Anna, his incredible wife, and most precious of all, Jack, their son, who makes every day an extraordinary adventure. Rob feels like he’s won the lottery of life. Or rather – he did. Until the day it all changes when Anna becomes convinced there is something wrong with Jack.

Now Rob sleepwalks through his days, unable to bridge the gulf that separates him from his wife, his son and the business of living. But he’s determined to come to terms with what’s happened-and find a way back to life, and forgiveness.

We Own the Sky will resonate with anyone who has ever suffered loss or experienced great love. Luke Allnutt shows that the journey from hope to despair and back is never as simple as we think, and that even the most thoroughly broken heart can learn to beat again

What does TWG think?

How far would you go to save the one you love?
What if there was no guarantee of anyone being saved, how far would you go then?
Now, if you were told that a situation was out of your hands, would you try to find an alternative route, or would you accept the inevitable?

Three rather easy questions….but are they really that easy?

Rob and his wife, Anna, have had their lives turned upside down. Both handling the situation in completely different ways, and both having different opinions on which route should be taken. But is there a correct route to go down in circumstances like these? To be perfectly honest, it doesn’t bear thinking about, yet families DO have to think about it as it’s real life. People like Rob and Anna are all over the world, trying to come to terms with circumstances which you always think would never happen to you, and why wouldn’t you think that?

It’s quite clear that the storyline is incredibly complex, seeing as my review is incredible vague and so is the blurb. Even though I had an inkling where the storyline was heading, I crossed my fingers in hope that I was wrong. I had been told before reading ‘We Own The Sky’, that there would be truck loads of tears shed – did I believe them? No, I didn’t. In actual fact I started thinking that nothing in this book would make me cry. Boy how wrong was I….

There was a point during the book where, after reading one particular sentence, my heart broke in two and the flood gates opened. I have never, EVER cried at a book like I cried at this one. It wasn’t your usual ugly crying, or snot induced crying (lovely). No. I was absolutely heartbroken which made the tears just fall out of my eyes like a waterfall. Having become invested in the storyline and its powerful characters, I found the emotion a lot harder to absorb as I felt like part of me had been lost. Never mind the fact that I was in no way involved in the storyline – I still felt like a close friend. I know that sounds daft, but once you read this book you might understand where I was coming from.

‘We Own The Sky’ describes every loved ones nightmare….and then some. There were times where I felt like I couldn’t carry on reading, that it was too hard to bear, but if I had done that, I probably would have felt like I had let down the characters. I mean, if you’re in that situation yourself you can’t really sit there and say ‘SOZ, I can’t cope, I’m giving up. Call me when it’s all done’. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of people will think that I’m sure!

Not only was the storyline heartbreakingly beautiful, the information I read about the author was heartbreaking in itself. I have absolutely no idea how the author managed to write this book considering the theme was incredibly close to Luke Allnutt personally, but he did and I am in awe. What an absolute superstar this author is, and what a phenomenal author he is as well.

‘We Own The Sky’ absolutely blew me away and became the shining star in my own sky at night. This book reminded me that even when times are hard and you have no idea where to turn, there is always, ALWAYS someone willing to be your shoulder to cry on. Whether that is in human contact, or online forums – it doesn’t matter. All that matters is someone being present. This book also highlighted the lengths in which people would go to if someone they love were in danger, even if some of those lengths were incredibly stupid…

‘We Own The Sky’ reminded me that in difficult situations, we often become someone we don’t like due to defence mechanisms and, no matter how much you try to fight it, you’re always going to do something you would rather forget. Luke Allnutt showed the importance of going through the motions because, if you can’t go through the grief, guilt, depressive state, alcoholic tendencies etc, you won’t be able to come out the other side with your heart covered in Elastoplast. Those steps are vital and it isn’t until they’re told to you in black and white, that that message is drummed into your mind.

A heartbreakingly beautiful, well written, emotional, delicate, and highly poignant novel from an author whose own life was in somebody else’s hands, and yet he owned it. Just like he, you, I, and we….own the sky.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Spring at Lavender Bay by Sarah Bennett (@Sarahlou_writes) @HQDigitalUK @NeverlandBT

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Sarah Bennett is back with a brand new serial, and I am delighted to be sharing my review of the first book in the series, ‘Spring at Lavender Bay’. Big thank you to the publisher and the author for the ARC, and thank you to NeverlandBT for the blog tour invite. Here is my review:

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A season for change…?

Beth Reynolds loved growing up close to Eleanor’s Emporium – a bric-a- brac shop full of wonders on Lavender Bay. Devastated to learn that Eleanor has died, she returns home from London immediately and is shocked to discover that the elderly lady has left the shop to her!

Vowing to restore it to its former glory, she only intends to stay until the end of the season. Although the longer she spends in the colourful seaside town, the more she falls back in love with everything she left behind…and quite possibly, with her best friend Eliza’s older brother, local chef Sam Barnes!

Why didn’t she notice he was quite this gorgeous before? And will their spring fling be enough to convince her to stay?

Don’t miss Spring at Lavender Bay, the first book in the enchanting Lavender Bay trilogy!

Book 1: Spring at Lavender Bay
Book 2: Summer at Lavender Bay
Book 3: Snowflakes at Lavender Bay

What does TWG think?

After falling in love with the authors first serial (and not just because it contained the word ‘Butterfly’), I had absolutely no idea how she was going to trump that serial. I mean really, if you’ve read the ‘Butterfly Cove’ series, you’ll know fine well what I’m talking about. Whilst I knew deep down that Sarah Bennett would not disappoint, I felt like I was cheating on the characters of the previous series. I think I have a problem – I struggled to let them go!

After giving myself a pep talk and telling myself that the previous bunch of characters would be happy that I’ve moved on, knowing that I would never forget them (ahem), I snuggled down in bed with ‘Spring at Lavender Bay’, excited to see what waited for me beyond the front cover…

Oh Sarah Bennett, what have you done to me woman!!!! I knew it all along that this author wouldn’t disappoint with her new book, after all she never disappoints me with any of the books she produces, but reading about Beth’s new venture made me feel like I was coming home. How? I have absolutely no idea, but it did. I cannot explain it. I really wish I could. All I know is that Sarah Bennett is an absolute genius.

Poor Beth Reynolds was merely going through the motions in her day to day life. Feeling as though she had the weight on her shoulders, Beth’s day gets a lot worse when she finds out someone she knew has passed away. From then on, everything else that was bothering her seemed unimportant and frivolous. Life is far too short to be working with a twonkwomble, right?

What I loved most about Beth was how real she was. She didn’t pretend to be something she wasn’t which, considering the amount of rubbish she had gone through in such a short space of time, is highly commendable. I adored the community spirit which seemed to engulf the storyline from the get go, holding Beth up when things became too much for her to handle (or when she decided to give up after a short amount of time). Even though I could understand why she felt like giving up, the way she went about it really irked me as it was like she was slapping all of the people who went out of their way to help her, round their faces. I’m probably going to sound a little mean here, but I found her to be a little selfish because of that. That said, I still absolutely loved her as she was hilarious and, like I said above, real.

The storyline itself is full of hilarious anecdotes, heart-warming situations, and enough love to warm every single person’s hearts ten times over. Yes it was pretty clear where a certain situation was heading, but weirdly enough, it didn’t bother me as it just fit with the vibe of the book and everything the storyline stood for. A match made in heaven if you will.

‘Spring at Lavender Bay’ highlights the importance of not giving up, regardless of how hard things are. It also highlights the importance of bouncing back, even after you have given up. If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right. If you really want something, you’ll walk through fire and rain to do it. Plus, more importantly, it made me realise that there is always someone there for you – the one’s who really love you will always be by your side, regardless of the time.

Sarah Bennett’s new book brought many smiles to my face, made me giggle like a little child, and brought tears to my eyes due to sadness and warmth. This new series has started off with a bang and, in al honesty, it truly is the start of something incredibly special.

Delightful, touching, beautiful, and the hug in a book I so desperately needed, Sarah Bennett has written a story which will be there for you in your time of need. A story which will hug you from the inside out, reminding you that even books can be there for you when you need someone to care. A story which will make you realise that showing negative emotion is in no way a bad thing, so why hide it? I wish I could bottle up the feeling this book gave me, just so that I could hold onto it forever. Especially when I’m feeling lonely.

This is…..beautiful.

Amazon UK // Amazon Audio Book // Kobo // iBooks // Google Play

About the author.

Sarah Bennett has been reading for as long as she can remember. Raised in a family of
bookworms, her love affair with books of all genres has culminated in the ultimate Happy Ever After – getting to write her own stories to share with others.

Born and raised in a military family, she is happily married to her own Officer (who is
sometimes even A Gentleman). Home is wherever he lays his hat, and life has taught them both that the best family is the one you create from friends as well as relatives.
When not reading or writing, Sarah is a devotee of afternoon naps and sailing the high seas, but only on vessels large enough to accommodate a casino and a choice of restaurants.

Sarah is the author of the Butterfly Cove trilogy, published by HQ Digital UK.
Her new series is set in the beautiful seaside town of Lavender Bay, and will follow the lives of three best friends – Beth, Eliza and Libby.

Twitter // Facebook

Giveaway!!

To be in with a chance of winning this amazing bundle of goodies; Kindle Fire 7, Room Diffuser & L’Occitne Hand Cream Set, all you need to do is enter the giveaway via the link below. Good luck!!

Please note that this giveaway is UK Only

Enter the giveaway now!!

#BlogTour! #Review – A Year of New Adventures by Maddie Please (@MaddiePlease1) @AvonBooksUK

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This afternoon I am delighted to bring you my review of Maddie Please’s brand new novel, ‘A Year of New Adventures’. Big thank you to AvonBooks for the blog tour invite and the ARC.

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It’s time for Billie Summers to have an adventure … but it might not be exactly what she expected.

Billie Summers has always been quite content in her little cottage in the Cotswolds, sure half the house hasn’t been renovated, but what’s the point when it’s only her! Working part-time at her uncle’s bookshop and planning 3-4 writer retreats with her best friend allows her to pay the bills. What more could anyone want?

That is until Oliver Forest, the bad boy of the book world, turns up to one of her retreats and points out that Billie hasn’t done anything very adventurous. Couple that with her best friend falling head over heels and beginning to drift away from their Friday night wine and dinner plans, Billie is starting to wonder if it isn’t time she take control of her life.

So she starts a list: get fitted (properly) for a bra, fix up rest of house, find a ‘career’ and well, get a tattoo … Her life might just get the makeover it needs, too bad irritating and far-too-attractive for his own good, Oliver keeps showing up …

Because sometimes you need an adventure!

What does TWG think?

I’m just going to get straight to the point – no need to beat around the bush now is there?

At the moment it takes a lot to make me smile. Now, before you go thinking that I am like a certain farmyard animal of the moooooooody variety, it takes a lot to make me smile because of many, many things. So, when I find myself with a massive grin on my face upon finishing a book, it’s safe to say that that particular storyline was something special. Yes, ‘A Year of New Adventures’ really is that ‘special something‘.

From getting to know Billie’s hilarious and addictive personality, to watching another farmyard animal of the mooooday variety attempt to take on someone with Billie’s personality. That alone was worth reading the book for, I mean come on! You don’t get on the wrong side of someone like Billie – she would eat you for breakfast!! (Once she’s cooked you first of course!).

Oliver Forest came across as the typical, self obsessed male who thought his poo didn’t stink, alongside having opinions which, according to Mr ‘I Have No Manners’, were far more important than those of the people around him. Yes, I did think to myself on more than one occasion, ‘what an absolute twonk’. However, I gave him another chance because I’m such a nosy reader, and left his memorable personality try to win me over.

I saw a lot of myself in Billie, and at times, that was quite difficult to read. I admired her get up and go, yet I felt sad because of the way she viewed herself, deeming herself unworthy of happiness just like everybody else. Along the way it was made clear that Billie thought a lot about what other people thought of her, yet wasn’t able to take into consideration what she loved about her own self, despite being willing to make changes due to other people’s comments. That made me sad. Why? Because we all know someone like that, even if it’s ourselves, but to read it black and white hits home a lot harder than just thinking about it whilst you brush your teeth.

I absolutely loved everything about this book – it made me laugh, made me smile, ignited a fire in my belly which I thought had been put out a long time ago, whilst also making me believe.

If I could give this book more than 5 stars I would, and not just because it made me laugh, but because it gave me hope that through the rain, the sun is always bound to shine.

A beautiful, heartfelt and touching novel – I recommend this to everyone and anyone who wishes to have their face aching through smiling. Just fantastic.

Available in e-book now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – #IfIFall by Ella Harper (@Ella_Harper) @canelo_co

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Two years ago I read my first Ella Harper novel before I was even a blogger! Fast forward two years and I am now on the blog tour for one of my most favourite authors. It is an absolute honour to share my review of ‘If I Fall’ by Ella Harper, today, as part of the blog tour organised by publisher Canelo. Big thank you to Canelo for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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I’m really sorry for what I’m about to do…

It’s fifteen years since graduation, and Connie, Jonas, JJ and Layla have managed to remain close despite the odds. They’ve supported each other, but are some things too big for friendship?

Connie is desperate to maintain the veneer of perfect family life.

Jonas is feeling the pressure at work.

Layla’s career is unravelling thanks to her ill mother

JJ’s past is catching up with him.

When they stumble and fall, who will be there to catch them?

What does TWG think?

I really don’t think my review will do this book justice in the slightest, I really don’t. Whatever I write, really wouldn’t showcase the storyline in the way that it needs to be showcased. Seriously. I will try my very best to get my thoughts across but trust me on this; you NEED to read this book, like right now.

Four friends. Four different personalities. Four completely different lives. Fifteen years are a long time for someone who you once knew, to become someone you no longer know. These four friends really do highlight the saying of ‘nobody knows what happens behind closed doors’. Just because you’re a best friend to somebody, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you know every single thing about them. What if they’re too ashamed to tell you their deepest, darkest secret? What if they’re holding something back because they have absolutely no idea how to deal with? What if they think their problem is theirs and theirs alone, despite knowing that their friends are there for them if needed?

Are they REALLY there for them?

Without going into too much detail; Connie, Jonas, JJ, and Layla have gone through so much together. Marriages. Births. Deaths. Health concerns. Family issues. You name it, they have probably given one another their shoulder to cry on. Yet, each of the four characters are going through such difficult times which they attempt to deal with on their own. Obviously, without telling you what happens in the book, you’re probably sitting there a bit confused as you have no idea what I am talking about. However, please do trust me (again) when I say that you need to read this book – everything will become much clearer.

If a heart was physically able to break multiple times in the space of 400 or so book pages, you’ll be able to see how much this book affected me. My heart genuinely felt like it was constantly breaking. Not for all of the characters though, there was character in particular which I’m sorry to say, I couldn’t muster up any empathy or sympathy towards. Yes, this character was going through a difficult time, but in all honesty, does that excuse actions which lead to devastating results? Personally, no. No it doesn’t.

Whilst reading ‘If I Fall’, I remember struggling to breath as I was so upset for one character. I wanted to scream ‘NOOOOO’ out loud because of another character. I found tears pricking my eyes alongside an urge to hug yet another one of the characters. I found myself blubbering because of the emotional journey the author took me on with every single one of her characters, what they dealt with, as well as the repercussions of every single of their actions. My heart broke because a younger character saw something that they will never be able to rid their mind of. My heart broke because their innocence was taken away from them far too early. A lot of the characters pasts struck a chord with me which made this even more of an emotional read.

Even though the storyline was full of heart-breaking situations, emotional tales and gut-wrenching events, ‘If I Fall’ absolutely blew me away with its extremely powerful storyline. I have absolutely no idea how the author managed to write such an emotive read, whilst also delivering it absolutely flawlessly.

Full of devastation, emotion, heart-warming moments, belief and strength, ‘If I Fall’ is definitely a top contender for a top book of 2018, whilst also jumping its way into my ‘most favourite books of all time’ list.

I absolutely cannot recommend this enough, but I would advise you to keep the tissues beside you just in case.

Such a beautifully heart-breaking novel, written with such poise, strength and power; If I Fall is a read which needs to be devoured by every single person. If you were to do one thing for me today, it would be to buy this book and read it, before the time comes when you need to ask yourself; ‘who would be there for me If I Fall?’.

Amazon UK // Kobo UK // GoogleBooks UK // Apple Books UK

Author Bio:

Ella Harper learned foreign languages, and imagined she might eventually get a glamorous job speaking French. After climbing her way up the banking ladder, Ella started idly mapping out the beginnings of a novel on an old laptop. When she realised her characters were more real to her than dividends and corporate actions ever could be, she left her job to become a writer.

#BlogTour! #Review – #BelieveInMe by Susan Lewis (@susandlewis) @arrowpublishing

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Please note that my twitter handle is actually @Kaishajayneh.

‘Believe in Me’ by Susan Lewis is due to be published on the 25th January.

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Leanne and her teenage daughter Abby have recently been forced to move from London back to Kesterley-on-Sea, to Ash Morley Farm where Leanne grew up. Leanne’s husband Jack, Abby’s father, killed himself over a year ago, and the pair is still reeling from the shock waves caused by the tragedy.

Also living at Ash Morley farm is Leanne’s mother Wilkie, who is a rock for everyone, and family friend Klaudia and her two children. Klaudia has to face the backlash of the xenophobic feeling post the Brexit vote and is on tenterhooks to hear whether she and her children will be sent home to Poland.

Hoping to move forward and mend the wounds her family has suffered, Leanne decides to foster a child. And when she’s told that Daniel’s father is in prison for murder, she hardly bats an eyelid. But as Daniel becomes integrated into the family, Leanne starts asking herself questions about his father’s conviction. Is he really guilty? With the help of friend and ex-detective Andee Lawrence, Leanne sets out to right the wrongs of the past.

What does TWG think?

Have you ever sat and watched a soap on T.V, wondering what it would be like if it got made into a book? Or even a movie? As weird as this might sound, I have and, funnily enough, ‘Believe in Me’ really is the book version of a soap opera. By the way – I mean that in a good way!

This book has a storyline which is jam-packed with drama, politics, family issues, secrets….you name it, it has it. Due to the fact ‘Believe in Me’ contains the topic of ‘Brexit’,   it makes the overall storyline extremely current. Not only that, ‘seeing’ people go through the aftermath of the Brexit vote is incredibly eye-opening and rather emotional. Even if you aren’t clued up on politics or are one of those people who doesn’t actually care, the strength of emotions carried by the characters in this book, really is enough to move mountains. If Sky News doesn’t make you sit up and take notice, Klaudia certainly will.

Despite the emotive and harsh reality type themes, I loved how complex and more-ish ‘Believe in Me’ was to read. I couldn’t help but gel with the majority of the characters as, even though they have personalities which are extremely colourful, each character comes across real and relatable.

I did find some parts of the book to be a little long-winded and quite heavy but, apart from that, I really did enjoy this book and I am looking forward to reading more from Susan Lewis in the future.

Thanks Penguin Random House.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – #Appetite by Anita Cassidy (@AnitaCassidy76) @RedDoorBooks

Appetite blogtour poster

How’s your appetite this morning?

It’s TWG’s turn on Anita Cassidy’s blog tour for ‘Appetite’, a novel which highlights the fact that every single person as an appetite for something. Thank you to RedDoorBooks for the blog tour invite, and for sending an ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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Because everyone hungers for something…

Food and Sex: two appetites the modern world stimulates, but also the ones we are expected to keep under control. But what happens when we don’t?

Embarking on an affair, lonely wife and mother Naomi blossoms sexually in a false spring while David, the fattest boy at the local comprehensive and best friend of her son, struggles to overcome bullying and the apathy of his divorced mother.

David finally starts to learn about the mechanisms of appetite through a science project set by his intelligent but jaded teacher, Matthew. David’s brave efforts to change himself open Matthew’s eyes to his activist girlfriend’s dangerous plans to blow up VitSip, a local energy-drink company where Naomi works.

At the mercy of their appetites, this exciting debut novel shows that some hungers can never be satisfied…

What does TWG think?

When you have a book cover with a bright pink lolly on the front alongside the words, ‘Appetite’, I dare any one of you not to be intrigued by it. Those two reasons alone made me want to read this book something chronic. I wanted to sink my teeth into Anita Cassidy’s debut novel. Did Anita Cassidy’s ‘Appetite’ fulfil MY appetite? To be perfectly honest, I’m still sitting on the fence with my answer. That said, the very important themes which the author discusses throughout the entire novel certainly gave me a lot of food for thought…

Food, bullying, divorce, sexual needs…..what more could you want from a book? ‘Appetite’ reminded me of a three course meal; the slow burning starter, just enough to tickle your fancy, the deep and meaningful main course which keeps you wanting more yet satisfies a certain amount of that ravishing hunger, and lastly, the tantalising dessert which is often a guilty pleasure and full of things you wouldn’t normally eat and/or enjoy. Catch my drift?

Even though there were parts of this novel which made me go ‘errrrrrrr, what?!’, I was able to relate to the storyline surrounding the topics of bullying and self-awareness. I am so glad that the author included such complex topics into her storyline, exploring them in such a black and white manner like the harsh reality that they are.

Whilst I still felt a bit hungry after reading ‘Appetite’, I still was able to appreciate exactly what the author was trying to do with her characters and the parts they played in tell the story of hunger, and how every single person yearns for something in one way or another. As the story is told via three different viewpoints, I found myself enjoying certain characters stories as opposed to all of them. In all honesty, I didn’t seem to gel with them all together as one complete story because they were all so different and in my opinion, quite mismatched in terms of the flow.

That said, I was thoroughly entertained with ‘Appetite’ as, even though it didn’t whet my appetite as much as I would have liked, I was still incredibly impressed with the authors ‘ballsy’ writing and the fact that she has thought ‘stuff it’ to society.

A very cleverly written, eye-opening novel which will either satisfy your hunger or give you food for thought with this unique portrayal of everything society isn’t.

‘Appetite’ can be bought now from Amazon

#Review – How to be Happy by Eva Woods (@inkstainsclaire) @littlebookcafe

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The smallest things can make the biggest difference.

Annie has been sad for so long that she’s forgotten how to be any other way. Until she meets Polly.

Polly is everything that Annie is not. She’s colourful, joyful, happy. Because if recent events have taught Polly anything, it’s that your time is too short to waste a single day.

Polly has one hundred days to help Annie find happiness. Annie’s convinced it’s impossible, but so is saying no to Polly. And on an unforgettable journey, Annie begins to realise that maybe, just maybe, there’s still colour to be found in the world.

But then it becomes clear that Polly’s about to need her new friend more than ever…and Annie will have to decide once and for all whether letting others in is a risk worth taking.

What does TWG think?

Oh for goodness sake! Does anyone know a plumber…for eyes, as my eyes seem to have sprung a leak. No, I’m being serious. If you’re needing proof just take a look at my pillow!   It’s still damp (yes, it was a big leak, ahem).

Polly, Polly Polly – whatever will we do with you!

I bet my very last chocolate chip cookie (brave!) that there will be a lot of readers relating to Annie and, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be singing ‘Annie are you okay, are you okay Annie?’.

Poor Annie has had a heart-breaking time of it, but the nitty-gritty details don’t start becoming clear until further on in the book. Of course we get to know a little bit about what has happened to Annie and, to be perfectly honest, you probably could work out the rest of it yourself. Regardless of how Annie’s past becomes clear to you, it doesn’t make it any less heart-breaking. If anything, it probably made my heart break all over again, each time Annie delved into her past. You can’t forget things like this in a hurry.

On the off-chance, Annie meets a lady who seems to be determined to show people how to wear orange, red, bright purple….and cowboy boots, ALL at the same time. I know, I know – aren’t you jealous?! In all seriousness, Polly does a little bit more than that. ‘Little’ being a huge understatement. Polly turns out to be a lady whose shoes nobody will ever fill.

You’ve probably heard of the ‘100 Happy days’ tag on social media, yes? Well author, Eva Woods, has incorporated that hashtag into her storyline, giving it the attention it deserves in one small swoop. We all get days where being happy ends up being such a mammoth task. We all go through things which make us think ‘will I ever be happy again’ and, you know what? That is life and that is totally fine. However, whats special about this storyline and the characters in it, is how every chapter shows you how the little things in life really do make a difference. Obviously it won’t fix the problem, but for those ten minutes (or however long it takes to do something that makes you happy), you get to find the true meaning of happiness in such a simple task. If you’re all for spring cleaning and decide that cleaning your windows will make you happy – who is anyone to judge? If you think that laying on the sofa reading a book will make you happy – GO FOR IT! Everyone finds happiness in different things and ‘How to be Happy’ highlights that in such a beautiful, beautiful manner.

Not only that, this book highlights how important it is to just ‘be’, that it is perfectly okay to feel sad and feel like you can’t go on. For one an author has written a storyline which hasn’t made ‘sadness’ into a ‘must not do’ kind of thing, and for that I take my hat off to her.

There was nothing about this book I didn’t like, but Polly stole the show ten times over. I have never met a character with such presence, colourful nature, and a heart of gold  like Polly. I don’t think I will be forgetting this character in a hurry either. Why would I want to?

Yes, this book is extremely emotional and yes, the storyline covers topics which are very, very difficult to read. But you know what? Eva Woods hasn’t written anything in her book which life itself doesn’t cover. Can you close your life? No. Can you forget about a situation in the blink of an eye? No. You have to keep moving whether you like it or not, just like Annie and Polly. Through the tears, through the laughter, and through the endless nights of pain, these two characters found the type of strength that can only be found from deep within, but they never knew it existed if it wasn’t for what they had to go through beforehand.

I related to Annie a lot, even if I hadn’t gone through the same things as her. She has the type of personality which will become a voice for readers who are too afraid, too ashamed, or even too scared to speak up about certain things. That in itself is like MasterCard – PRICELESS.

‘How to be Happy’ is a book which just keeps on giving, every time you turn the page. It’s a book which is guaranteed to make you laugh, make you cry, probably make you think ‘you’re talking rubbish’, whilst also making you think ‘hang on, you might be onto something here’. A little bit of everything in one place; and they say the little things in life are the most important.

There is a lot of this storyline that I will be taking away with me and using to give the well needed kick up the youknowwhat. There is also a lot of this book which will forever be held in my heart.

‘How to be Happy’ is one of the most beautiful books I think I have ever read as it has taught me a very important lesson – to live.

From the bottom of my heart I thank the author for writing such an enchanting, beautiful and mesmerising read. A read which has become one of my most favourite books of all time. A book which made my eyes spring a leak. A book which I will remember for a long time to come. A book which teaches you life lessons in the most jaw-droppingly beautiful way.

Absolutely beautiful, I cannot recommend this book enough. You just have to go and grab yourself a copy right now.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour #Review – The Long Walk Back – Rachel Dove @WriterDove @HQDigitalUK @brookcottagebks

The Long Walk Back Tour Banner

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Does everyone deserve a second chance?

As an army trauma surgeon Kate knows how to keep her cool in the most high
pressure of situations. Although back at home in England her marriage is falling
apart, out in the desert she’s happy knowing that she’s saving lives.

Until she meets Cooper. It’s up to Kate to make a split-second decision to save
Cooper’s life. Yet Cooper doesn’t want to be saved. Can Kate convince him to
give his life a second chance even though its turning out dramatically different
from how he planned?

What does TWG think?

What an opening!! The first couple of pages of this novel had me absolutely gripped. Will they survive or won’t they? How would they come back from the devastating situation they witnessed? Only time would tell, but it was going to be a rollercoaster ride of a journey, whichever way it went.

It was pretty clear from the onset that the storyline was going to be highly emotive – I just didn’t expect it to be THAT emotional. ‘The Long Walk Back’ covers a variety of topics, always giving you something to sink your teeth into when you turn the page. Obviously I can’t discuss my thoughts on the plot too much, as that would result in spoilers!

I have to admit though, there were times when I could not stand Kate. I found a lot of her actions to be extremely selfish and self-centred, especially given the nature of her circumstances. Whilst I realise that people react in different ways during troublesome times, I found Kate’s reactions to be jaw dropping. And not in a good way. On the other side of the coin though, there were times where I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her journey, hoping for the best outcome for her current situation. Kate had gone through so much in such a short space of time, I’m not disputing that at all, I just wish she didn’t make me go ‘hmmmmm’ a lot of times, that’s all.

As for Cooper, well, I think the author hit the nail on the head regarding his character traits, especially how he reacted to a certain life changing event. His heart always seemed to be in the right place which, whilst was so lovely to read, I felt it was wasted on Kate. God I sound nasty don’t I haha. Just to clarify, these are my opinions of the characters and not my opinion of the authors writing. I treat characters in books like real  people!

Overall, I really did enjoy reading ‘The Long Walk Back’ as it was so refreshing to read a storyline which laid a lot of ‘taboo’ subjects bare, showing readers that there are people in the real world who deal with things like the characters in the book. It was realistic, relatable and of course, emotionally charged. I absolutely love Rachel Dove’s writing style as she always seems to get into the heart of her characters, ensuring that they deliver the storyline to the highest level. Once again, I do think that the author has delivered on that, and I feel that Rachel Dove should be exceptionally proud of the rock solid storyline she has created.

Emotional, heart-warming, and most definitely eye-opening; ‘The Long Walk Back’ will make you look at your life in a completely different way, changing your mindset from just ‘being’ to ‘living’.

Huge thanks HQDigitalUK.

Amazon UK // Kobo // Barnes and Noble 

Extract.

Kate was in a real mood; Trevor could tell from the way she pounded across the tent to him.
He was doing his rounds, and they had had a good night. A good night here was when they still had the same number alive as the day before. A great day was when there were no casualties at all, but Trevor was hard pushed to remember many days like that.
‘Who’s upset you? Neil whingeing about doing the dishwasher again, is he?’ Trevor asked, and immediately regretted cracking the joke when the icicles from Kate’s frosty glare jabbed him in the chest.
‘Captain Cooper thinks he is hilarious. I’m just waiting for him to call me ‘toots’ and slap me on the behind,’ Kate said, seething. Trevor checked the vitals on his sleeping patient, and satisfied, made notes on his chart.
‘So he’s awake? That’s amazing! How is he doing?’
‘Oh he’s doing just fine, for a male chauvinist pig.’
Kate,’ Trevor admonished, trying not to laugh at her furious expression. ‘How are his vitals?’
Kate pursed her lips, taking a breath to focus on the job. ‘He’s stable, the chest drain is
working well. I’m still concerned about his leg though. He has limited blood flow to the area, and I’m worried about sepsis.’
Trevor nodded sadly. ‘So he will probably lose the leg, if we try to keep him alive.’ He
rubbed at his temples. ‘Not told him any of this, have you?’
Kate shook her head. ‘I told him you would explain on this morning’s ward round. I wanted to go through everything again, monitor him closely for as long as we safely can before we make a decision.’
Trevor looked at her, his face unreadable. ‘It may not be our decision, it’s up to him.’
Kate looked nonplussed. ‘The evac chopper is coming in two days. At present, he’s too
unstable to move. We need to get him home then, leg or no leg. A decision between losing a limb and dying is not a great thing to have thrust at you, granted – but he wants to live,
surely?’
Trevor placed the chart at the foot of the bed and started to walk towards the next patient, issuing medication instructions to the nurse as he walked.
‘Kate,’ he began in a tone he might have used to tell his child that Father Christmas wasn’t real. ‘I have worked on men like Captain Cooper since this whole nightmare started. These are army men to the core. Sometimes going home means no family, no buddies, no job, and a lifetime of relying on other people. They are proud, and sometimes, to them, the reality is worse than death. Don’t take anything for granted when it comes to patient wishes.’
‘A boy died yesterday, to save these men. Surely that’s reason enough to want to live?’
Kate ran her fingers through her hair, suddenly feeling tired all over again.
‘Cooper knows that. Better than most, probably. It’s still his decision, he has to live with it. Understood?’ Trevor spoke firmly now.
Kate opened her mouth to argue, but she thought better of it. She respected her mentor,
always had, and she didn’t want to argue. Not when the fact that life was so short and
precious was evident in every face, every feature she saw over here. ‘Understood.’

Giveaway!!

To be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of ‘The Long Walk Back by Rachel Dove’, enter the giveaway by clicking the link below. Open internationally.

Enter the giveaway here!

About the author.

I am a wife, mother of two boys, perpetual student, avid reader and writer of words. I sometimes sleep, always have eye bags and dream of retiring to a big white house in Cornwall, with 2 shaggy dogs, drinking wine on my seafront balcony whilst creating works of romantic fiction. All done with immaculate make up and floaty dresses.
In the meantime I nearly always remember to brush my hair, seldom have time to look in a mirror and write many, many to-do lists.

My first solo novel, Crossing Life Lines is out now in Kindle and paperback format. Look out for my horror shorts, published through Bayou Brew Publishing: The House of Sugar Blood, August 2013 and Uni Assassin, out now, and my short story, Mallow Girl, out now.
In July 2015, I won the Prima magazine and Mills & Boon Flirty Fiction Competition, with my entry, The Chic Boutique on Baker Street, out now in e-book and paperback, and the follow-up novel in the series, The Flower Shop on Foxley Street.

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