#BlogTour! #Review – The Lost Man by Jane Harper (@janeharperautho) @LittleBrownUK #TheLostMan

It’s day three of #TheLostMan blog tour! Today for my stop on the tour, I will be sharing my review of Jane Harper’s novel. Many thanks to the team at LittleBrownUK for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

He had started to remove his clothes as logic had deserted him, and his skin was cracked. Whatever had been going through Cameron’s mind when he was alive, he didn’t look peaceful in death.

Two brothers meet at the remote border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of the outback. In an isolated part of Australia, they are each other’s nearest neighbour, their homes hours apart.

They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old that no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron. The Bright family’s quiet existence is thrown into grief and anguish. 

Something had been troubling Cameron. Did he choose to walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects…

What does TWG think?

Jane Harper, for me, has always been one of those authors who you hear a lot about but you just never get the moment to grab a book to read….until now. Yes, until ‘The Lost Man’, I hadn’t picked up one of Jane Harper’s novels yet everyone was shouting about how good her writing was on social media. So, when I finally got the chance to join the ‘in crowd’ as it were, I knew I had to jump at it. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t apprehensive – what if I didn’t like it? What if I was the only one not to fall under Jane Harper’s spell? Obviously I wouldn’t know the answer to that until I had read the book….and now that I have, I can answer it.

I didn’t dislike it! In fact I was captivated by Jane Harper’s storytelling! It didn’t take me too long to work out where the title of the book fit with the storyline, however the truth behind the lost man doesn’t become clear until the last knockings. Frustrating? Yes and no. I totally appreciated why the author kept the pace as it was, and it would have been pointless to divulge the truth too early in the story, but at times I did find the pace too slow because there wasn’t always that hook for me to hold onto.

I thought that the character dynamics were very cleverly written, especially as their lives were intimately entwined with each other’s, whether they liked it or not.

Personally, I thought the latter portion of the book was what stole the show as it ticked the boxes for grit, intensity, and uncertainty, a lot easier than the rest of the book. So much so, I didn’t want the book to end. Saying that, I didn’t dislike the other parts of the book at all, I just felt like it was missing something.

Overall, ‘The Lost Man’ made me feel a bit like a lost woman at times, but I found the authors storytelling to be spellbinding and worth its weight in gold.

Buy now!

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#BlogTour! #Review – This Child of Ours by Sadie Pearse (@SadiePearse) @LittleBookCafe


Massive thank you to Millie Seaward from Little Brown Books for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘This Child of Ours’ by Sadie Pearse. I am delighted to have the opportunity to share my thoughts on this thought provoking book – here is my review:

You know what’s best for your child.
Don’t you?

Riley Pieterson is an adventurous girl with lots of questions. There’s plenty she doesn’t know yet; what a human brain looks like. All the constellations in the night sky. Why others can’t see her the way she sees herself.

When Riley confides in her parents – Sally and Theo – that she feels uncomfortable in her own skin, a chain of events begins that changes their lives forever. Sally wants to support her daughter by helping her be who she dreams of being. Theo resists; he thinks Riley is a seven-year-old child pushing boundaries. Both believe theirs is the only way to protect Riley and keep her safe.

With the wellbeing of their child at stake, Sally and Theo’s relationship is pushed to breaking point. To save their family, each of them must look deeply at who they really are.

What does TWG think?

‘This Child of Ours’ is an incredibly eye-opening and poignant novel which delves deeply into the topic of being comfortable in your own skin. Whilst the media reports on males and females being uncomfortable in the skin that they were born in, especially in the New Year, it is incredibly rare and often seen as ‘taboo’ if the media reports on a child not feeling right in the body that they were given. I’ve seen people say ‘how does a child know that they’re in the wrong body?’, and to be brutally honest, before I read ‘This Child of Ours’, I asked the same sort of question. Did Sadie Pearse’s majestic and beautifully written story enlighten me? Of course it did! Did it help me understand that just because we are born one way, it doesn’t mean it’s the RIGHT way? Honestly? Yes AND no. Now that isn’t me choosing to be ignorant about the subject, not at all. In fact, weirdly enough, it’s the complete opposite.

Riley bravely admits to her parents that she isn’t comfortable being a little girl. Her parents, her father especially, can’t help but think that it’s a ‘phase’, as though she’s decided she no longer wants to play with My Little Pony toys and wishes to play with Shopkins toys instead. But is it that simple? How do you know that your seven-year old isn’t just wanting to try a new thing? How do you KNOW that when your child comes to tell you that being a girl has her devastated, that she isn’t merely ‘throwing her teddies out of the pram’. She’s seven. But then on the other side of the coin, how can you brush something like that aside? Likening it to a phase that she will ‘grow out of’? Children put their trust in their parents to do right by them. They expect their parents to be on their side no matter what. ‘This Child of Ours’ highlights the importance of having someone on your side. Having someone to sit there and say ‘I believe you’. In this case, that person is Riley’s mum, Sally. Her dad on the other hand, Theo, is struggling to digest what his little girl has told him. Can you blame him? No, not really. But could I blame his actions further on in the story? Yes, I could. I know I shouldn’t judge a situation that I’m not in myself, and I guess I’m not really doing that, however I found the way that Theo reacted highly emotional. I couldn’t understand why he chose to do what he did, especially as he didn’t stop to think about how his choices would affect his daughter. Being a parent is difficult. We are often stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea when it comes to conflicting emotions between ourselves and our loved ones – but when a child is concerned, surely the adult has to be the bigger person? The child is looking for direction, is it fair if the adult palms off their concerns like it’s an odd job to fix on a Saturday morning after the football?

I could see where Theo was coming from – what Riley came out with IS a big deal, and her age was a big thing in the situation. I could understand his upset, confusion, and uncertainty about the future. However, I couldn’t help but feel angry with the way he was pointing the finger. It was heartbreaking to watch his daughter battle with her own, confusing emotions, as well as watching her father react to them in such a cutthroat manner. As for Sally, I felt that her approach was more level as she tried to find solutions to ensure her daughter’s happiness was their number one priority. Sally was confused by the situation, but she dealt with that by finding people to speak to and not by unintentionally blaming her daughter for something she couldn’t control.

I will be honest and say that I don’t understand how a young child can say that they wish to be a different gender to the one that they were born. I won’t go as far to say that I mirrored Theo in his views, because I don’t and didn’t. I just don’t understand. Maybe if I was in that situation myself my outlook would be different. I’m not saying that children CAN’T feel that way, because it’s clear that they can.

I thought that Sadie Pearse’s storytelling was incredibly honest and thought-provoking, both emotionally and mentally. Pearse has looked at the topic from every angle, incorporating multiple, real reactions to the subject in her story, highlighting the fact that yes, a lot of people are going to view things differently where something like this is concerned. I am glad that the author chose to tell the story from both a positive and negative viewpoint as its realistic. Not everyone is going to throw a party to celebrate the lifestyle change, and not everyone is going to feel as though their lives are being torn apart. ‘This Child of Ours’ explores the true reality of admitting to yourself that you aren’t comfortable in your own skin, alongside the true reality of just how people, even loved ones, can react to an admission like that.

I didn’t know what to expect before I started reading ‘This Child of Ours’, but I can honestly say that now, having read and digested the storyline, my life feels enriched by the beautiful story I was able to read. I had the chance to delve into a situation I couldn’t understand, in turn finding my eyes opening widely to the black and white notions of each character in the story. I may still struggle to understand the bigger picture, but the fact that I can empathise emotionally with the situation just goes to show how much of an impact this story has had on me.

A beautifully told, enriching, emotional and thought-provoking story which will stay in my heart for a very long time to come.

Buy now.

TWG’s #TopBooksOf2018! (@Bookouture @littlebookcafe @PanMacmillan @HarperImpulse @Headlinepg @TeamBATC @bwpublishing @MichaelJBooks @TransworldBooks @OrionBooks @AvonBooksUK @QuercusBooks @Aria_fiction) & more!

Oh my goodness me, what a PHENOMENAL year its been for books! I have had the pleasure of reading some truly amazing books this year, and whittling my 368 reads down to a selection of my favourites was incredibly difficult.

2018 has seen the growth of debut authors with debut novels, brilliant additions to intense series, and authors bringing out standalone novels which made me laugh out loud and my toes curl (clearly I mean two different genre’s…obviously!). Before I start sharing my favourite reads of 2018 with you all, let me just take this moment to say a MASSIVE thank you to all of the publishers who have sent me ARC’s in the post, approved me on Netgalley, asked me to be on blog tours – I am so honoured to work with every single one of you! Huge thank you to the publicists and blog tour organisers who also invite me to take part in some rather fabulous blog tours and who share my posts left right and centre, it is an absolute pleasure to work alongside you. Lastly, thank you SO much to all of the authors who continue to give me the escape and distraction I need from my everyday life with their incredible words – I am so excited to see what the new year brings for all of you. You are all amazing.

Actually, one last thing; thank you to all of my fellow bloggers for just being you and for supporting my posts, especially when I end up being on 6 blog tours in one day. Your support means the world to me and I cannot wait to follow your blogs again next year to see what fabulous reads have tickled your fancy.

So, let’s get to this list shall we? I’m cheating a little bit in my list as I have combined series as I couldn’t pick just one book from the series…so I chose them all. You’ll see what I mean when I get to it. This list is in no particular order, however when I get nearer the end, I will put a couple of the books in order to share my top read of 2018.

Ready? Let’s go!

#Review – The Endless Beach by @JennyColgan @littlebookcafe #TheEndlessBeach #publicationday

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

#BlogTour! #Review – #OnlyChild by Rhiannon Navin (@RhiannonNavin) @JessDuffyy @Panmacmillan

#BlogTour! #Review – The Little Wedding Island by Jaimie Admans (@Be_the_spark) @HQDigitalUK @NeverlandBT

#BlogTour! #Review – The Wedding Date by Zara Stoneley (@ZaraStoneley) @RaRaResources @HarperImpulse

#BlogTour! #Review – The Wildflowers by Harriet Evans (@HarrietEvans) @headlinepg @Annecater @Bookish_becky

#BlogBlitz! #Review – The Next Girl by Carla Kovach (@CKovachAuthor) @Bookouture

#Review – You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac (@CatherineIsaac_) @TeamBATC @SimonSchusterUK @BookMinxSJV

#BlogTour! #Review – #LittleBigMan by Katy Regan (@katyreganwrites) @panmacmillan @MantleBooks @ChablisPoulet

#BlogBlitz! #Review – One Way or Another by Colleen Coleman (@CollColemanAuth) @Bookouture

#BlogTour! #Review – The Gravity of Love by Noelle Harrison (@NoelleHarrison) @bwpublishing

#BlogBlitz! #Review – The Almost Wife by Jade Beer (@JadeBRIDES) @Bookouture

#BlogTour! #Review – The Island Villa by Lily Graham (@LilyGrahamBooks) @Bookouture

#BlogTour! #Review – No Further Questions by Gillian McAllister (@GillianMAuthor) @MichaelJBooks @JennyPlatt90

#BlogTour! #Review – #NowYouSeeHer by Heidi Perks (@HeidiPerksBooks) @arrowpublishing

#BlogTour! #Review – Oh Crumbs by Kathryn Freeman (@KathrynFreeman1) @ChocLitUK @RaRaResources

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheLightBetweenUs by Katie Khan (@Katie_Khan) @TransworldBooks @hannahlbright29 @AnneCater #RandomThingsTours

#BlogTour! #Review -Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard by Jo Thomas (@jo_thomas1) @AnneCater @HeadlinePG @Bookish_Becky @DavidHHeadley

#Review – My Mad Dad by Robyn Hollingworth (@MyMadDadStory) @trapezebooks @orionbooks

#BlogTour! #Review – In Bloom by C.J.Skuse (@CJSkuse) @HQStories

#BlogTour! #Review – Kiss of Death by Paul Finch (@paulfinchauthor) @AvonBooksUK #KissOfDeath

#BlogTour! #MiniReview – #WhileIWasSleeping by Dani Atkins (@AtkinsDani) @simonschusteruk @TeamBATC

#BlogTour! #Review – Snow Angel Cove by RaeAnne Thayne (@Raeannethayne) @MillsandBoon

#BlogTour! #Extract – Perfect Silence by Helen Fields (@Helen_Fields) @AvonBooksUK

I’ve popped one book here for Lisa Regan and D.K.Hood, but for me the entire series are absolutely brilliant and I urge you to buy them all!

#BlogTour! #Review – Her Final Confession by Lisa Regan (@lisalregan) @Bookouture

#BlogTour! #Review – The Crying Season by D.K.Hood (@dkhood_author) @Bookouture

#BlogTour! #Review -Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer (@kelrimmerwrites) @headlinepg @phoebe_swinburn @annecater

#BlogBlitz! #Review – The Last Lullaby by Carol Wyer (@carolewyer) @Bookouture

#BlogTour! #Review – The Lost Daughter by Gill Paul (@GillPaulauthor) @Headlinepg @annecater

Right, we are nearing the end now so here are my favourite reads of 2018 numbers 11-2 (in no order)

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

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

#Review – How to Walk Away by Katherine Center (@katherinecenter) @Panmacmillan @EllisKeene

#BlogTour! #Review – The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper (@ItsEmmaCooper) @HeadlinePG @AnneCater

#BlogTour! #Review – The Girl in the Letter by Emily Gunnis (@EmilyGunnis) @HeadlinePG @AnneCater @Phoebe_Swinburn

#BlogTour! #Review – This Could Change Everything by Jill Mansell (@JillMansell) @Headlinepg @AnneCater

#BlogTour! #Review – The Memory Chamber by Holly Cave (@HollyACave) @QuercusBooks #MemoryChamber

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheConfession by Jo Spain (@spainjoanne) @QuercusFiction @AnneCater @QuercusBooks

#BlogTour! #Review – I Give You My Heart by SarahJane Ford (@sjfordauthor) @RaRaResources

#BlogTour! #Review – #MakeOrBreak by Catherine Bennetto (@cathbennetto) @Simonschusteruk @TeamBATC

I just want to say a special mention to Sarah Vaughan’s ‘Anatomy of a Scandal’ – I read that book this time last year before it was released early 2018, and it’s a book I will forever be shouting about until I am blue in the face. I’ll even go as far to say that it is still a top book of mine a year after reading it. You can read my review here:

#BlogTour! #Review – #AnatomyofaScandal by Sarah Vaughan (@Svaughanauthor) @simonschusterUK

We have reached TWG’s Top Book of 2018!!!! I may be slightly cheating here as this book isn’t out until 1st February 2019, but due to the fact that I actually read this book this year, I felt that I was able to include it in my favourite reads of this year. I’m sure you’re wondering what that is……

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I haven’t written a review of this book yet as I am on the blog tour for it next year. However, ‘The Day We Met’ by Roxie Cooper completely blew my mind and left tears rolling down my cheeks like a homemade waterfall. Stephanie and Jamie are two, highly complex, emotional and brilliantly written characters, I cannot see how anyone wouldn’t fall in love with them like I did. For me this book was everything I could have hoped for and more.

I will do a full review on the blog tour next year, but if you fancy pre-ordering your copy now based on my views above, you can do so now here!

That’s it folks! TWG’s Top Books of 2018! How many have you read? How many are you going to read? Let me know in the comments and keep me posted! Thank you all so much for sticking with me for another year, here’s to yet another fantastic year for books.

See you next year, folks!!

Kaisha x

#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 – Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks (@nicholassparks) @LittleBrownUK @midaspr

It is an honour to be on the blog tour for an author who I have admired for years, Nicholas Sparks. Huge thanks to Midas for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review of ‘Every Breath’ which is due to be published on the 16th October:

Hope Anderson is at a crossroads. After six years with her boyfriend, she is no longer sure what she wants, and when her father becomes ill she heads to her family’s cottage at Sunset Beach in North Carolina to make some difficult decisions.

Tru Walls has been summoned across an ocean from where he was born and raised in Zimbabwe by a letter from a man claiming to be his father. In journeying to Sunset Beach, Tru hopes to unravel the mystery surrounding his mother’s life, but the letter will lead him in an unexpected direction. 

When these two strangers’ paths cross, their chance encounter sets in motion a heart-breaking story – one that will transcend decades, continents and the workings of fate. 

What does TWG think?

I have been a fan of Nicholas Sparks for as long as I can remember, with his older books such as ‘The Notebook’ and ‘A Walk to Remember’ being my ultimate favourites.

‘Every Breath’ tells the story of true love and soul mates, whilst also testing the characters to see how far they would go to cement their true happiness.

I actually found the storyline a little bit hard to follow at first as the intentions of the story weren’t exactly clear. I understood that a story had been found a the history of that story was one of a kind, but I couldn’t work out the why’s and how’s. I know that some storylines can take a while to pan out, but for me there wasn’t enough of a hook to get me excited about the rest of the book.

However, because my curiosity gets the better of me, I didn’t want to give up on the book and carried on reading with my fingers crossed. Sure enough, the storyline (in my eyes) had the lightbulb moment it requires to make me become invested in the characters lives. Yes, it was a lot later in the book, but I’m glad it happened!

Hope’s character is such a tender character to read about and I couldn’t help but root for her happiness. It was weird – she just had that aura about her and for me, she was my favourite character in the book.

Overall, Nicholas Sparks hasn’t lost his complex yet intricate way of story telling over the years, with his talent rearing it’s head in the storyline of ‘Every Breath’. I cannot fault the author on his romantic brilliance and his life affirming journey he took his characters on. Whilst the overall vibe of the storyline wasn’t totally my cup of tea, I still was able to appreciate the beauty of the characters stories, hoping that they would find their missing puzzle pieces with their ‘Every Breath’.

‘Every Breath’ will be published on the 16th October, but you can pre-order your copy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – A Girl’s Best Friend by Jules Wake (@JulesWake) @LittleBookCafe

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I have the honour of kicking off the blog tour for ‘A Girl’s Best Friend’ by Jules Wake. Massive thanks to Millie from Little Brown UK for the blog tour invite and the ARC. This blog tour is to celebrate the paperback release of Jules’ novel – how exciting!!

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Welcome to your new cottage in the country – complete with grumpy vet, village gossip and a very muddy dog . . .

City girl Ella wants to take refuge in the country, lick her wounds and work out what she’s going to do with the rest of her life. She certainly doesn’t want to have a four-legged house guest or anything to do with village life. Unfortunately, the inhabitants of Wilsgrave have other ideas.

Settling in to her godmother’s house for a few months of R&R, Ella finds herself the reluctant babysitter of a badly behaved Labrador – and her plans of staying mainly indoors scuppered. But as she’s forced into wellies and into the village’s way of doing things, Ella meets people who make her think again about what she really wants out of life and love, starting with her new furry best friend . . .

What does TWG think?

The popular saying may be, ‘a dog is a mans best friend’, but they certainly haven’t met Ella and Tess yet!!

Having a dog of my own that is a Labrador…well, half of one, I couldn’t help but fall in love with Tess straight away. Plus, judging by Ella’s eventual reaction; neither could she!

Ella has escaped to familiar territory for a bit of time away to regroup, becoming the babysitter for a Labrador who lives in her own little bubble and knows how to switch her ears off when it suits. A typical dog really!

I loved how we got to meet Ella at her most vulnerable as it was like the more of the book I read, the more I was able to watch Ella’s wings unfold and grow before my very eyes. This is what I love about Jules Wake’s writing style – the fact she is able to create characters that her readers will be able to relate to in more ways than one.

Of course it wouldn’t be a romance novel without a dashing hunk to get your pulse racing! Although I have to say that I wasn’t a fan of Devon to begin with as I found him to be incredibly arrogant. Now, whether he was able to change my mind by the end of the book…well, I’ll let you decide that for yourself once you’ve read the book!

Once again Jules Wake has managed to make the setting of her storyline come to life with beautiful descriptions and vivid imagery, which fits in beautifully with Ella’s own story. Her feisty nature mixed in with a tear away, yet highly loveable Labrador, is a duet not to be meddled with. Those two mean business! Well….eventually.

‘A Girl’s Best Friend’ is such an uplifting, life affirming, laugh out loud read that will make even the darkest of days seem bright.

‘A Girl’s Best Friend’ is available now in e-book format, with the paperback to follow on the 6th September – Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – Nineteen Letters by Jodi Perry (@JLPerryAuthor) @LittleBrownUK @littlebookcafe

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One day late, apologies! Should really pay more attention to the date when writing in my diary. However, better late than never is my review of ‘Nineteen Letters’ by Jodi Perry. Big thanks to Millie Seaward for the blog tour invite, as well as my copy of the book. Here is my review:

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Braxton

Nineteen. There’s something about that number; it not only brought us together, bonding us forever, it also played a hand in tearing us apart.

The nineteenth of January 1996. I’ll never forget it. It was the day we met. I was seven and she was six. It was the day she moved in next door, and the day I developed my first crush on a girl.

Exactly nineteen years later, all my dreams came true when she became my wife. She was the love of my life. My soul mate. My everything. The reason I looked forward to waking up every morning.

Then tragedy struck. Nineteen days after we married, she was in an accident that would change our lives forever. When she woke from her coma, she had no memory of me, of us, of the love we shared.

I was crushed. She was my air, and without her I couldn’t breathe.

The sparkle that once glistened her eyes when she looked at me was gone. To her, now, I was a stranger. I had not only lost my wife, I had lost my best friend.

But I refused to let this tragedy be the end of us. That’s when I started to write her letters, stories of our life. Of when we met. About the happier times, and everything we had experienced together.

What we had was far too beautiful to be forgotten.

What does TWG think?

19/01/96 was the date when everything changed for Jemma and Braxton. It was the day when they first clapped eyes on each other, both completely unawares to what lay ahead in their future. 19 years later, they became man and wife, but 19 days after that, Braxton lost the woman he fell in love with. The woman he married. His best friend. His one and only. His one true love. Jemma herself didn’t die that day, no, but her personality of the Jemma that Braxton once knew did die that day. It doesn’t really bear thinking about, does it?

The concept of ‘Nineteen Letters’ reminded me of the popular film, ‘The Vow’, starring Channing Tatum. I was as broken watching that film as I was reading this book, perhaps even more so where this book was concerned. My heart broke for the couple who had their whole life in front of them, but what Braxton did for his wife was one of the most beautiful things I have ever read.

‘Nineteen Letters’ is proof that love is unconditional and that marriage really is ‘until death do us part’. I’m not one for the whole marriage malarky, but Jemma and Braxton made me believe in it and everything it stood for.

Jodi Perry has written this book from both characters points of views, combining them both to create a showstopper of a read which makes you want to grab hold of your life and never let it go. I loved how raw and poignant the entire storyline was, and I especially loved how real the emotional was conveyed throughout.

‘Nineteen Letters’ is a book I won’t be forgetting in a hurry. ‘Nineteen Letters’ may have been the magic number for Jemma to fall in love again, but believe me when I say that you will fall in love with this book way before you get to number 19.

Buy now!

#TWGDiscusses – Please STOP saying that e-books aren’t REAL books – it’s offensive! #authors #publishers #ebooks #paperbacks #lovebooks

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I feel like I’m stuck on repeat where this topic is concerned, yet STILL people continue to offend hundreds of authors, and readers, out there with comments such as ‘e-books aren’t real books’. How aren’t they real? An author spends the same amount if time writing a book whether it’s published in e-book, paperback, hardback or on a slate -eye roll-, so why do people continue to say that other formats of books aren’t real?

Let me ask you this….

You know those ‘friends’ you’ve made online yet haven’t currently met offline, would you say that they weren’t ‘real friends’ because they were made online? Probably not, so why is it okay to say that a book, published in a digital format, isn’t as real as those friends you have made using technology?

Think about it.

Authors can spend anything from a few months to a few years, perfecting their manuscript ready for publication, going through various steps such as multiple edits, restructures and so forth – it’s not like they wake up one morning, sit at their computer for an hour and produce a book. It takes time and a lot of patience. Once that manuscript is given to their publisher, it’s then digitalised and printed. Yes, contrary to popular belief, the same manuscript is used for a digital book AND a print book. Who would have thought it?! Obviously with a paperback/hardback you are physically turning the pages and holding the book with two hands, yet with a kindle you’re holding it differently and using one finger to change a page. BUT, have you thought about the different types of readers that are out there in the world? No?

Well you should.

Some readers can’t hold paperbacks/hardbacks due to illnesses.
Some readers can’t read books full stop because they’re blind and rely on audio.
Some readers are chronically ill and they require various different options, depending on their pain on that particular day.
Some readers have various different reasons as to why they would choose one format over another.

All of the above have one thing in common – they all want to read!!

I’ll be honest with you here. Several years ago I would have given you a filthy look if you had said about reading an e-book, but after realising that I was missing out on such fabulous books, I decided to give it a go. Not only that, several years ago I became a lot more ill and holding things for a long period of time was becoming impossible. E-books helped me to feel ‘normal’ and read books just like everyone else, on days where I felt like I couldn’t do anything like everyone else.

I appreciate that not everyone likes e-books and that they prefer paperbacks/hardbacks – that is totally fine! But what isn’t okay is when people say that they prefer ‘real’ books which is insinuating that a digital version of an authors book, is in fact fake. Can’t you see how offensive that is to the author? Just because a book is digitalised instead of being printed on paper, it doesn’t make it any less of a book!

Those ‘real book’ comments are not only offensive to the author who has written them, it’s also offensive to a reader reading them as if the 100 kindle books read last year shouldn’t be included in their Goodreads challenge because they’re ‘not real’. And yes, someone has said that before. If you don’t like e-books, fine! If you don’t like paperbacks, that’s also fine!

But please, please, please STOP saying that e-books aren’t real when they’re as real as the money you paid for them.

Oh, and as those comments are being made on a DIGITAL website, I can’t help but think ‘well isn’t that ironic’. Put your nose where it belongs, remove your snobbery and let people read the books they choose, in the format that they choose without offending a truck load of people in the process.

ALL books are real.
Instead of bashing people with the stupid ‘they aren’t real books’ comments, be happy that people are actually reading and supporting authors in any way they can. Surely that is more important than your snobbery?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for supporting me and TWG!!

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

#QuickReads! #LaunchDay2018 – #Review – Cut Off by @MarkBillingham and Clean Break by @MsTamarCohen @readingagency @ed_pr

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Quick Reads – the books which may be small, yet they pack a punch at only £1. So, what’s the catch? There isn’t one. Aside from the fact Quick Reads are that; quick, they actually serve an important purpose.

Here is some more information about Quick Reads and how they could help someone you know.
(Information taken from Quick Reads Press Release with permission)

Quick Reads was founded by Baroness Gail Rebuck DBE in 2006 to provide shorter, easier to read, accessible fiction for less confident adult readers. Now in its 12 th year, the programme has distributed over 4.8 million books since it was launched and introduced hundreds of thousands of new readers each year to the joys and benefits of reading.

One in six adults in the UK struggles with reading, whilst one in three does not read for
pleasure; Quick Reads are designed to break down the barriers that prevent people from picking up a book. 95% of literacy practitioners report that using Quick Reads has been effective at raising learners’ confidence in reading, whilst 91% say that the books have been effective at improving readers’ literacy skills.

Isn’t it amazing what just £1 can do? 2018 sees the release of six new Quick Reads written by; Dorothy Koomson, Tammy Cohen, Kit De Waal, Vaseem Khan, Mark Billingham, and last but not leas, Fern Britton. When the ReadingAgency got in touch asking me to promote these books on their publication day (today woo!!), I jumped at the chance. I think these books are absolutely fantastic, especially if they can help someone read, or even fall in love with reading. Despite being an avid reader myself, I sat and read two of these books and I absolutely loved them. So you see, whilst they play a vital role in helping adults read, they also are the light-bites of the book world. What more could you ask for?

Today I am sharing my reviews of two Quick Reads titles; Clean Break by Tammy Cohen, and Cut Off by Mark Billingham. Don’t fret though, I don’t do spoilers in my other reviews, so I won’t start now.

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Step into a thrilling Quick Read from number one bestselling crime fiction author Mark Billingham.

It’s the moment we all fear: losing our phone, leaving us cut off from family and friends. But, for Louise, losing hers in a local café takes her somewhere much darker.

After many hours of panic, Louise is relieved when someone gets in touch offering to return the phone. From then on she is impatient to get back to normal life.

But when they meet on the beach, Louise realises you should be careful what you wish for…

If you enjoyed Cut Off, try Love Like Blood, the latest novel in the series starring Mark Billingham’s detective hero, DI Tom Thorne.

What does TWG think?

What an absolute rollercoaster ride! ‘Cut Off’ grabbed my attention straight away with its focus on mobile phones. You know, the item that nobody leaves a room without, heaven forbid even leaving their home without it. I admit, I am glued to my phone, and the way in which Mark Billingham told his story sent shivers down my spine. Imagine if what happened to Louise, happened to you? How freaky!

For such a compact story, ‘Cut Off’ really does pack a punch, keeping the high level of intensity until the very last page. I was slightly disappointed with the ending as I was so hooked on the storyline, I felt that there were still some loose ends needing tied up. However, I would certainly recommend this if you enjoy your intense and chilling reads, or if you just want to try something new.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Mark Billingham (Cut Off, Little Brown):
Mark Billingham has twice won the Theakston’s Old Peculier Award for Crime Novel of the Year, and has also won the Sherlock Award for the Best Detective created by a British writer. All of his novels featuring Detective Inspector Tom Thorne have been Sunday Times bestsellers. Sleepyhead and Scaredy Cat were made into a hit TV series on Sky 1 starring David Morrissey as Thorne. A new series based on the novels In The Dark and Time Of Death was broadcast on BBC 1 in 2017. Mark lives in north London with his wife and two children.

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Marriage is complicated, especially for Kate. Her husband Jack has a temper on him, and has been an absent father for years. Kate knows it’s time for a divorce. The trouble is, Jack refuses. And now that he has found out Kate has met another man, his jealous rages escalate. Can Kate rid herself of her jealous husband before it’s too late?

What does TWG think?

Right, I know people say that nobody knows what happens behind closed doors, or don’t judge someone’s story until you know all of the facts, BUT, whilst they are extremely valid points, I am about to go against one because I am a reviewer (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it).

What planet is Kate on? You either want something or you don’t. You don’t dangle the carrot in front of the horse and then moan because he grabs it! I mean, come on! Kate obviously had her reasons as to why she reached the decision she did, which of course is fair enough. On the other side of the coin, I can see WHY she reached that decision to a point (all becomes clear as the story goes on) and, whilst I don’t condone Jack’s behaviour, I did feel a teeny bit sorry for him.

My opinion did change though, as I’m sure you’ll find out when you read it. ‘Clean Break’ had my jaw dropping to the floor on multiple occasions, as well as ensuring every single hair on my arms stood to attention for the duration of the book. It’s not that this book is chilling as such, it is incredibly intense and psychologically shocking. I am extremely impressed at how much the author has made this book deliver in such a small amount of pages. Amazing story telling once again from Tammy Cohen. Highly recommend.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Tammy Cohen (Clean Break, Transworld):
Tammy Cohen (who previously wrote under her formal name Tamar Cohen) has a growing backlist of acclaimed novels of domestic noir including: The Mistress’s Revenge, The War of the Wives, and Someone Else’s Wedding. Her break-out psychological suspense thriller was The Broken, followed by Dying for Christmas, First One Missing and When She Was Bad. She lives in North London with her partner and three (nearly) grown children, plus one badly behaved dog.

About The Reading Agency:
The Reading Agency is the leading charity inspiring people of all ages and all backgrounds to read for pleasure and empowerment. Working with our partners, our aim is to make reading accessible to everyone. The Reading Agency is funded by the Arts Council.  www.readingagency.org.uk

For more information on all of the other titles in the Quick Reads 2018 collection, titles are available from today on Amazon and all good bookshops.