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

Third and final day of Carol Wyer’s blog blitz is upon us, and I am delighted to be one of the three bloggers closing the blitz. Huge thanks to Bookouture for the blitz invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

Charlotte’s baby is safe. But is she?

When the body of mother Charlotte Brannon is discovered by her husband Adam, in their bedroom, Detective Natalie Ward is first on the scene. The killer has left a chilling calling card: The word ‘Why?’ written on the wall in blood. 

As Natalie begins to delve deeper into the couple’s lives, she discovers that Adam has a dark past he’s been hiding and she’s sure that the Brannon’s teenage babysitter Inge has secrets of her own.

Then another mother is murdered on her doorstep in front of her young son, the word ‘why’ scrawled on the wall next to her. 

All the key suspects have alibis and with her own marriage hanging by a thread, Natalie is struggling to stay focused on cracking her toughest case yet.

When a young woman and her baby disappear, a member of Natalie’s own team is put in terrible danger. Can Natalie stop this twisted serial killer and save one of her own before more families are torn apart forever?

What does TWG think?

Oh my -insert expletive beginning with F here- goodness!!!!!! What a book! OMG! I finished reading Carol Wyer’s latest literary brilliance in the early hours of the morning, and can I just say that I am extremely glad that I do not read blurbs! I only read the blurb after I had read the book and the things which had my jaw dropping, were written in it. Not all of them mind. So, if you trust my judgement on books, read this novel without reading the blurb.

Anyway, that’s my insight on that and is in no way a reflection of my opinion on the book at all.

I do say this a lot where Wyer’s books are concerned, but ‘The Last Lullaby’ is by far her best book yet. The intensity of the storyline was impeccable, along with the calculated brilliance of each individual character. If I know that there is a possibility of children being part of a thriller storyline, I am always filled with dread until I know that they’re not in the firing line so to speak – ‘The Last Lullaby’ was no different. My heart was in mouth from the onset. That sounds like I didn’t care about the victims in the book even though I did, but it’s children….you know?

I couldn’t get over how cleverly written the storyline was from start to finish – it was as though the book kept on giving shocking moments with every new chapter. Just like most police procedurals/thrillers, there is usually a few characters with fingers being pointed at them from the start, and the same happened here. I tried to look at the bigger picture but I couldn’t help but lean towards one character already in the firing line. Everything just seemed….convincing, if you catch my drift. They certainly didn’t help themselves against Natalie award though, that’s for sure!

I won’t say who I thought was ‘the one’ due to spoilers, but let’s just say that Wyer had me utterly convinced I was bang on the money…..until the moment I wasn’t. Geeeeez – did I see that coming? Did I fudge!!!! There was a point in the book where my heart rate quickened and my mouth became dry. Would they reach the bastard in time? Time wasn’t on Natalie Ward and her teams side and my legs were wiggling, urging them to move their backsides! It’s easy for me to say that, obviously, I’m not a police officer who has to follow procedure!

‘The Last Lullaby’ was absolutely brilliant – an ice cold, cut throat, highly intense read which made me lose my own capability of thinking clearly. The characters were chilling yet perfectly crafted and, whilst it feels weird to say this, even the ‘whodunnit dude’ was outstanding! Their actions weren’t, obviously, but the way Wyer created their mindset and thought process was incredible. I can’t even begin to imagine the extent of the research that went into creating that character and the situation they found themselves in.

What an absolute belter of a read this is – could someone point me in the direction of Carol Wyer Anonymous please as I’m addicted!!

Buy now!

About the author.

Carol E. Wyer, who also writes as Carol Wyer, is an award-winning author and stand up comedian who writes feel-good comedies and gripping thrillers.
Her book, Grumpy Old Menopause won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction 2015.

The DI Robyn Carter series has earned her acclaim as a crime writer and the first book in the series, Little Girl Lost, shot to the #2 best-selling spot on Kindle #9 best-selling audiobook on Audible, and was also a USA Today top 150 best-seller.

Carol has been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ”Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Ageing Disgracefully’ and on BBC Breakfast television. She has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’ featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and the Huffington Post.

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

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

Christmas is a time to get together… 

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

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

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

What does TWG think?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Cuckoo by Sophie Draper (@sophiedraper9) @AvonBooksUK #canyoukeepasecret

Apologies for how late in the day this post is, but I have literally just finished reading it thanks to internet issues! However, I am rather excited to be sharing my review of Sophie Draper’s ‘Cuckoo’ as part of the blog tour. Many thanks, as always, to Sabah and Avon for the blog tour invite and ARC.

There’s a stranger in your house…

When her stepmother dies unexpectedly, Caro returns to her childhood home in Derbyshire. She hadn’t seen Elizabeth in years, but the remote farmhouse offers refuge from a bad relationship, and a chance to start again.

But going through Elizabeth’s belongings unearths memories Caro would rather stay buried. In particular, the story her stepmother would tell her, about two little girls and the terrible thing they do.

As heavy snow traps Caro in the village, where her neighbours stare and whisper, Caro is forced to question why Elizabeth hated her so much, and what she was hiding. But does she really want to uncover the truth?

What does TWG think?

Let me just get this bit out of the way first – ‘Cuckoo’ was so far out of my comfort zone that it needed its own nest. But you know what? What a creepy and addictive read it was! I love being able to step outside of my comfort zone with my reading choices, especially when I end up rather enjoying the novel.

Ten out of ten to the prologue – it had me on tenterhooks straight away and I couldn’t wait to uncover the nitty gritty details behind it!

Caroline has gone back to the ‘family home’ after the death of her stepmother, Elizabeth. Her own personal life hasn’t taken the path she would have liked, and she welcomed being able to relieve the stress from her finances until she got back on her feet. Or so she thought. Being back in the place she once called home, ended up stirring up a lot of the past which Caroline thought had long been buried. No pun intended. You know how it is though. You end up forgetting things yet once you’re in the vicinity of the memory, everything comes flooding back…

I wasn’t too sure on the first few chapters after the prologue, as I was rather confused by all of the information given which didn’t seem to lead to anything in particular. I know that books like this need to start off slow, so that wasn’t my issue at all. It was simply the information overload in a short space of time before things started happening. Having said that, once the storyline did get rolling and things began to get twisty, snippets of the information previously given allowed me to have multiple lightbulb moments where things made sense. I just didn’t make sense of it at the time it was given.

‘Cuckoo’ is such an complex novel with a lot of mini storylines coming together to create one, big firebomb of a storyline. I have to say – it was cleverly done and certainly kept me on my toes. I genuinely didn’t see the conclusion coming at all and, like most readers, I had formed my own ending in my head because of the way I reacted to every situation in the book. I had my suspicions about some things, but the rest had my jaw dropping!

Sophie Draper has written such an atmospheric, twisted, and addictively intense novel which left me reeling in every sense of the word. I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘Cuckoo’, and I am so pleased that I decided to spread my wings and venture out of the nest!

Buy now!

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

It’s TWG’s turn to host ‘Her Final Confession’ by Lisa Regan today as part of the blog tour. Many thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

Watching her friend dragged away in handcuffs, Josie couldn’t believe for one second that Gretchen had killed that poor boy. Confession or not, someone else was involved. She would find out who…

When the body of a young student is found on the driveway of a local Denton home, a photograph pinned to his collar, Detective Josie Quinn is first on the scene. The house belongs to Gretchen Palmer, a dedicated member of Josie’s team, missing for the last twenty-four hours.

Working around the clock, Josie is stopped in her tracks when Gretchen hands herself in to the police. She knows that there’s no way Gretchen could ever be a killer, so why would she confess to a murder she didn’t commit? 

Digging deep into Gretchen’s secretive life, Josie uncovers a link between the boy, the photograph and a devastating case in Gretchen’s past. But just when Josie thinks she has it all figured out, the bodies of a young couple surface on the other side of town. Can Josie get to the truth in time to save her friend from a life in prison or certain death? 

What does TWG think?

I’m not going to even attempt to beat around the bush here – what an absolutely twisted, cutthroat and severely intense novel! I LOVED it!!! I am thankful that my doctors appointment was before finishing this book, because I certainly wouldn’t have been able to explain the high blood pressure – they probably wouldn’t have believed me either!

I have thoroughly enjoyed the previous novels in the ‘Josie Quinn’ series, but I have to say that ‘Her Final Confession’ is soaring above the rest!

There are unexplained deaths, multiple questions awaiting answers, guilty consciences, gut instincts waiting to be believed, as well as truck loads of lies and truths fighting to become the ‘one and only’. Gretchen is at the heart of Lisa Regan’s latest storyline, and not in a good way. If you’ve read the previous books you’ll know just how black and white Gretchen’s character is. However, her personality and traits certainly get tested in this book! Facts obviously play a large part in the way the story is processed, yet the author leaves room for the readers to interpret their own version of events. Who do you believe? Who do you want to believe?

Yes, ‘Her Final Confession’ is part of a series, but I believe that each book can be read as a stand-alone. That said, because I loved the books, I wholeheartedly recommend that you read the books in order so that you can enjoy the series from the very beginning.

I’ve said it once, but I’ll say it again – what a bloody brilliant book this is. My heart was in my mouth, my jaw was mopping the floor, and my legs were like jelly as though I had just stepped off a rollercoaster ride!

It’s gripping. It’s dark. It’s twisted. It’s addictive. It’s everything I could have wanted one book to contain. Lisa Regan has outdone herself – I cannot recommend ‘Her Final Confession’ enough!

Buy now!

About the author.

Lisa Regan is an Amazon bestselling crime novelist.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University.  She is a member of Sisters In Crime, Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter. Find out more at her website: www.lisaregan.com

 

 

#BlogTour! #Review – The Silent Dead by Graham Smith (@GrahamSmith1972) @Bookouture

Apologies for the day delay in posting this review, I have explained that due to internet issues I need to catch up on reading and reviewing books and will do so as quickly as I can. However, once again please do bear with me, especially as I have literally just finished reading this book due to being unable to download the book until recently due to said issues.

I am delighted to be on the blog tour for Graham Smith’s ‘The Silent Dead’, many thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part and the ARC. Here is my review:

He’d found an angel for his collection. But one angel at a time was never enough…

Detective Beth Young has just joined the Cumbrian major crimes team when a body is found posed in a ritualistic manner – arms spread and graceful wings attached – at a crumbling castle in the hills of the Lake District. 

The entire police force are on red alert. But Beth begins to feel she’s the only one who can follow the disturbing clues left by the twisted killer. Because she doesn’t think like everyone else. To Beth, crimes are puzzles she can solve. Even if real life is a little harder.

As more bodies are discovered in derelict stately homes across the Lake District, she knows she’s in a race against time.

But the killer is looking for another victim to add to his collection… Will Beth be able to save her? Or will he get there first?

What does TWG think?

Having only finished reading this book a few minutes before typing this review, my thoughts on the storyline are still incredibly fresh which I hope is a good thing! That said, because of the intense complexity of the novel, I hope I am able to get my opinion across without sounding like a woman who is fangirling a popular boyband!

Beth Young….or ‘Young Beth’ as she is known – a complex character with so many layers. Just when I thought I had her personality sussed, the storyline took a darker turn and I found myself in the dark once again. Her confidence and bulshy attitude made for excellent reading and, whilst it was evidently clear that she was very good at her job, I couldn’t help but feel as though we weren’t given much on her background or who she was outside of work.

Pardon the pun, ‘The Silent Dead’ is a slow burner of a read and that’s what makes the storyline a lot more intense and, I suppose some might say – gratifying. Sounds weird doesn’t it, calling this type of novel gratifying, yet the fact that the author teased his readers with minimal information at times allowed my thought process to become gripped by what may or may not happen.

I had no idea beforehand, how the storyline was going to conclude, and I felt that putting a name to the ‘whodunnit’ wasn’t as important as it usually is. I mean, we are given snippets of the persons psyche by the way they anonymously conduct themselves, yet it was more their actions which held a lot more importance than their identity. Well, that’s what I thought anyway.

‘The Silent Dead’ is a very, very cleverly written novel which grows in intensity as the story develops. I would have loved to learn a bit more about the main characters outside of their day job to make them feel a bit more ‘human’, nonetheless they were a very colourful bunch which made for excellent reading. Let’s just say that where ‘Dowdy’ is concerned, the phrase ‘never judge a book by its cover’ could not be more apt.

A psychologically intelligent, gripping and complex start to a brand new series – I’m looking forward to watching Beth Young’s personality develop in further books.

Buy now!

About the author.

Graham Smith is the bestselling author of four explosive crime thrillers in the Jake Boulder series, Watching the Bodies, The Kindred Killers, Past Echoes and Die Cold. Watching the Bodies spent over two weeks at number one in the Amazon UK chart and Amazon CA charts. Graham is also the author of the popular DI Harry Evans series and has collections of short stories and novellas. His latest novel – The Silent Dead is published by Bookouture and set in Cumbria / the Lake District, featuring DC Beth Young.

He is the proud father of a young son. As a time served joiner he has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since 2000 he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland. 

An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer for the well-respected review site Crimesquad.com since 2010.

When not working, his time is spent reading, writing and playing games with his son. He enjoys socialising and spending time with friends and family.

 

Author Social Media Links: 

 

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/grahamnsmithauthor/

TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/GrahamSmith1972

WEBSITE: https://grahamsmithauthor.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5446655.Graham_Smith?from_search=true

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

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

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

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

What does TWG think?

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

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

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

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

Buy now!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What does TWG think?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buy now!

About the author.

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

#BlogTour! #Review – The Liars Wife by Samantha Hayes (@samhayes) @Bookouture


I apologise for the delay in posting my review for this blog tour, however I have been having internet issues big time, whilst also trying to clear the backlog of posts from the past two weeks. Please do bear with me as the Internet still isn’t fixed (thank goodness for Tesco wi-fi!). Many thanks to Noelle from Bookouture for the blog tour invite and ARC, here is my review of Samantha Hayes’, ‘The Liars Wife’.

When Ella wakes up in hospital following a hit and run incident, she is scared and confused. Close to tears, her eyes fall on a get-well-soon card on the window sill and the nurse reassures her that her loving husband will be back soon.

But Ella has never been married… 

What does TWG think?

Ermmmmmm, where do I even begin with this one?! Part of me just wants to sit here with my mouth gaping open, yet the other part of me wants to shout out ‘OMFG WHAT THE F…….’! However I can’t really do either as 1) my mouth gaping open isn’t a pretty sight, and 2) you can’t really class either of the above as a review!

I am going to have to be so careful with my review here as the risk of spoilers is incredibly high. So, let me start by saying this…and I mean this is a lovely way and not at all negatively; THIS IS BLOOOOOOOOOOMING TWISTED! It is! I would love to be a fly on the wall in Samantha Hayes’ mind – can you just imagine what goes through the mind of this author when she comes out with storylines so disturbing as this? Again, weirdly I don’t mean that negatively! Usually the word ‘disturbing’ isn’t a positive thing, yet with authors who write books such as this one, it is indeed a compliment!

Ella hasn’t had an easy life, and, judging by the path her present and future is currently on, I can only assume that her life won’t be getting any easier anytime soon! At work, Ella keeps herself to herself – she has a routine, and she likes to stick to it. However, thanks to a ‘little’ accident, Ella’s routine goes completely out of the window and the life she once knew is now no more. Imagine a puppet. Bear with me here….

Are you imagining it? Right. Now Put a name to the puppet and call it Ella. Done? Good. Now, imagine that Ella’s life is being governed by someone/something which is do dark and disturbing, it’s enough to make Ella want to snip the puppet strings once and for all. Catch my drift? Ella cannot move without the puppet strings being controlled. Her life is no longer her own. Her decisions aren’t…you guessed it, hers. ‘So why can’t she remove herself from the situation?’, I hear you ask. Well, don’t you think that if it was as easy as that she would have done it already? It isn’t, and it’s a life or death situation.

I’ve said it once already (or maybe twice) but I’ll say it again – ‘The Liars Wife’ is the type of disturbing which makes your stomach roll yet you can’t take your eyes off the paper. It’s the type of read which is so gritty, you’ll end up making your own eyes gritty trying to stay up until goodness what time to finish reading it (trust me, I was that person). What a fast paced, thrilling, highly addictive, and turbulent read which left me gasping for air! Hand on heart, I have never read anything like this before, but Samantha Hayes has certainly set the bar incredibly high for herself with her next book! Geeeeeeez!!!

Buy now!

About the author.

Samantha Hayes grew up in Warwickshire, left school at sixteen, avoided university and took jobs ranging from private detective to barmaid to fruit picker and factory worker. She lived on a kibbutz, and spent time living in Australia and the USA, before finally becoming a crime-writer.

Her writing career began when she won a short story competition in 2003. Her novels are family-based psychological thrillers, with the emphasis being on ‘real life fiction’. She focuses on current issues and sets out to make her readers ask, ‘What if this happened to me or my family?’ 

The Liar’s Wife is out now!

To find out more, visit her website www.samanthahayes.co.uk
Or connect with Samantha on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SamanthaHayesAuthor
And she’s on Twitter @samhayes

#BlogBlitz! #Review – For Once in My Life by Colleen Coleman (@CollColemanAuth) @Bookouture

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Happy publication day, Colleen Coleman! #ForOnceInMyLife is available to buy as of TODAY! I am so excited to kick off the blog blitz today with my review. Many thanks to Bookouture for the blitz invite and ARC.

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Twenty-nine-year-old Lily Buckley planned to be happily married and in her dream job by now. Instead she’s been single since being left at the altar three years ago, and works at her local paper, writing about giant vegetables at the village fete and a dog who looks exactly like Chewbacca.

 Not quite what she was dreaming of.

 So when Lily’s given the opportunity to write her own column it’s exactly what she’s always wanted – except what she has to write about. She has to do one thing every week that scares her.

 With encouragement from sexy colleague – and adrenalin-junkie – Christopher, Lily agrees. From sky-diving to haunted houses, Lily is going to be pushed to her limit. But Lily is hiding something – the thing that she fears the most of all…

 Ever since her heart was broken Lily has been afraid of falling in love again. Will fear hold her back once more – or can Christopher help her to finally find happiness?

What does TWG think?

Move over Beyonce, there’s a new sassy lady in town!!

Lily has never felt….good enough. She’s never felt….worthy. She has never felt like she belongs. Ever since she had her heart smashed into a pulp, Lily decided to take the number 20 bus to ‘I’ll never fall in love again’. Some of you might be familiar with it. Hell, some of you might even be familiar with Lily’s feelings. Haven’t we all felt like that at one point in our lives? I certainly have! I’ve never felt good enough for anyone, I’ve never felt worthy, and recently thanks to my character being tarnished, I feel like I cannot be myself. Just like Lily. I’ll be honest – I didn’t want to relate to her. I didn’t want to find myself nodding along when she expressed her thoughts and feelings, purely because of the negativity that is shown towards people who don’t feel good enough. I’m sure you’ll understand if you have been in that position.

Anyway, sorry, I’m veering off a little. With no wedding to plan, no honeymoon to embark on, and no pitter patter of tiny feet coming her way, Lily threw herself into her job only to watch her safety net fall down around her. Well, do you honestly think that she would have let that happen?

For once in HER life, Lily embarks on tasks which scare the bejeezus out of her so that she can then write about it for her colomn. A work type bucket list if you will. Bonkers? Perhaps. Thought provoking? Definitely! I know and you know that Lily could have easily turned round and told her colleagues where to go, but she didn’t. She took their ideas, grabbed them by their youknowwhats and gave it her all despite being scared shizzleless. It was as though Lily was sticking two fingers up to the person who wronged her several years ago, by showing them that she didn’t need them in her life to actually live it. It’s one thing to sit there and think about doing adrenanlin inducing things, but it’s a completely different ball game to go and actually do them and to allow yourself to be proud of your own accomplishments.

At the start of the book, Lily was a very guarded and unsure type of character. A person who wanted her loved ones to be happy before she even made herself happy. A person who, deep down, knew she was worth more than she gave herself credit for, but had absolutely no idea how to believe it herself. But, by the time I reached the end of the story, I had watched Lily grow and flourish before my very own eyes and yes, I actually felt quite emotional watching that happen because I had had faith in her from the beginning.

Colleen Coleman doesn’t just write novels which make me snort attractively like a pig wearing a bow, nor does she just write books which are laced with copious amounts of sassy wit. No. She writes novels from the heart, speaking to her readers through relatable situations with relatable characters, and boy does she do it brilliantly.

‘For Once in My Life’ is a brilliant, life-affirming novel which is guaranteed to give you a kick up the toosh when it comes to having faith in yourself and what you deserve. I thought the whole concept with Christopher was very, very clever, and I loved how it all came together so naturally as though it was meant to happen all along.

I’ve said it already, but I’ll say it again; move over Beyonce!! Lily is about to steal your sassy crown! Wow – the sass alone is enough to re-ignite fire in bellies, that’s for sure!

Colleen Coleman never disappoints – in actual fact she gets better and better with every new release!

I loooooooooved it and everything it stood for. Poignant, hilarious, sassy, thoughtful, heart-warming – an all round belter of a book! Amazing!

Buy now!

About the author.

Colleen was born in Canada and raised in Ireland. She is the winner of the much-coveted Novelicious Undiscovered People’s Choice Award launched to find the next ‘chick-lit star’. 

She spent years teaching English and Philosophy before finally taking a deep breath, scrunching both eyes shut, putting her pen to paper and vowing not to lift it again until she wrote the words ‘the end’. As a result, her first novel, Don’t Stop Me Now was born. 

Colleen lives between London, Ireland and Cyprus with her very patient husband and very,very chatty twin daughters.

 Author Social Media Links:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/CollColemanAuth/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/CollColemanAuth

WEBSITE:  www.colleencolemanbooks.com

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Last Light by Helen Phifer (@helenphifer1) @Bookouture

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I genuinely didn’t think that I would read this in time due to wi-fi issues, but I have and with perfect timing!!! I am super excited, and somewhat freaked out, to share my review of Helen Phifer’s ‘Last Light’ as part of the blog blitz. Huge congratulations to Helen as today is also her publication day – woo!!! Many thanks to Bookouture for the blitz invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

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Lucy watches the pathologist leave, then turns to the nameless victim on the table. ‘I promise I will catch whoever did this to you,’ she whispers.

In charge of a new team, Detective Lucy Harwin is called out to attend the discovery of a woman’s body in an abandoned, crumbling church, and is quickly plunged into a case that will test her leadership skills to the limit.

With no leads except the crudely-fashioned crucifix the victim was displayed on, Lucy is at a complete loss. That is, until another body turns up: an elderly woman who devoted her life to the church.

Faced with a killer stalking the streets of her small coastal town, while also throwing herself into work to forget the love of her life, Lucy’s first case is turning into a nightmare.

Linking the killer to the church where her own teenage daughter volunteers, it seems the threat is quickly drawing closer to Lucy and those she loves.

Can she catch this monster and prevent a tragedy that will tear her world apart?

What does TWG think?

Wellllllll, I’m glad that my heart rate has calmed down enough to write this review! This book is creepy as…..f!!! And no, not in a bad way!

There’s nothing like being thrown in the deep end, something which Detective Lucy Harwin finds out rather quickly as she is called out on a job where a woman and a crucifix are having a close encounter. This time, yes, in a bad way! Will Lucy and her team find themselves dealing with a killer who is likely to strike again? When another body turns up in a similar state, the likelihood of the killer re-offending is incredibly high…but at what cost?

Lucy is clearly good at her job. She has the ballsy nature, the confidence to listen to her gut instinct, and the work ethic a lot of people would never be able to match. However, her personal life has collapsed around her and whilst I did feel sorry for her, I felt that her bitterness overshadowed her job at times, especially when her marriage and the murders had diddly squat to do with each other.

Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Last Light’, I did feel as though there were a couple of inconsistencies in the storyline. That said, they weren’t related to the main topic of the book and because the read was so fast paced, I was soon swept up by one thing or another.

‘Last Light’ is a very creepy, highly detailed read which I sped through in one sitting. I will admit that I saw the ending before it happened, but due to the red herrings and brilliant distractions in the story, the fact i worked out the ‘whodunnit’ long before the end didn’t bother me as much as i thought it would. Usually it would, but Helen Phifer is very clever at gripping her readers with unsavoury details!

An addictive, dark and twisted tale – creepy as hell but an awesome read!

Buy now!

About the author.

Helen Phifer lives in a small town called Barrow-in-Furness with her husband and five children.

Helen has always loved writing and reading. Her love of horror films and novels is legendary. Helen adores reading books which make the hair on the back of her neck stand on end. Unable to find enough scary stories to read she decided to write her own.

Author Social Media Links:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Helenphifer1

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/helenphifer

Twitter:      https://twitter.com/helenphifer1

Website:     https://www.helenphifer.com