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The Writing Garnet turns 5! Happy birthday TWG! #blogger #blogbirthday #TWGTurns5 #Awardwinningblogger

The Writing Garnet is officially 5 years old TODAY! When I started my blog back in 2016, I never envisioned it turning out the way that it has. It never even crossed my mind that my blog could turn into a multi award winning blog (yes, multi), nor did it cross my mind that my review quotes would make their way into physical copies of books or even on the cover of some. Without blowing my own trumpet, I am unbelievably proud of all of that. At the very beginning, my blog was created as my way of saying thank you to authors for writing their books which has allowed me to escape via their words, when things in my personal life have been difficult. It wasn’t created as a popularity tool (because clearly I wouldn’t have lasted 5 minutes had that have been the case), nor was it created merely to get free things because, in all honesty, I had no idea that that was even a thing when I first started.

Over the last 5 years I have met a wide variety of authors, met fellow bloggers, other like minded bookish folk, and found myself involved in a world that went beyond just loving books. I had never really had that before. I had never been able to sit and discuss books with people who had read the same book as I, nor would I have ever found the confidence to cart myself off to events such as Edinburgh Book Festival, Aye Write in Glasgow, or even more intimate events such as meeting the Orenda gang in Edinburgh (to name a few), if it wasn’t for a select few of people who, after ‘meeting’ through the online book world, have gone on to becoming real life friends (Jen, Mandie, Kelly, Joanne, Lainy, DC to name a few). Not only that, despite not having met them in real life yet, I have come to know even more people who I consider to be friends now, who one day I would love to be able to give them a hug (COVID permitting, obvs – special shout out to Liz B for being as true as they come). If I named each and every one of the people who I called friends and who I would do anything for, I would be here a while and would no doubt miss someone off so, to put it simply, if we talk, I adore you. Simple as, and I thank you for your kindness and support over the last 5 years.

For me, the highlight so far has got to be meeting Sue Perkins and Tom Fletcher as those were the times where I unintentionally embarrassed my little girl with my high pitched squealing and trampoline bounces. I think I was fair excited……. Would I have been able to meet them had it not been for my blog? Honestly? Probably not as I never knew events like that existed until I became a blogger. I have so many other authors, bloggers, publicists etc, that I would love to meet and I have everything crossed that that will become a reality.

I know blogging isn’t all about stats, but for the first time in ages I had a quick nose at the stats of TWG. In the last 5 years TWG has had:

160,424 views.
84,689 visitors.
1837 blog posts have been posted.


Also, I even worked out roughly how many books I have read over that time…..1270!!! Ermmmmmmmm, say what?

As I may have mentioned previously, 2020 for TWG wasn’t the greatest as, putting it quite bluntly, I was treated like dirt via the bookish community (not all of you, just to clarify), and it hurt me so much that I ended up retreating because I didn’t know what else to do because, as I have also said many times, I’m not the most popular of people and I don’t fit into the tight knit groups. I suppose my face doesn’t fit, so I knew that regardless of what I said and what I did, I wouldn’t have been believed which is unfair and incredibly hurtful. Because of that, my posts within the last year have been few and far between, however I still have been ‘here’ from afar and still able to keep my feet in the door so to speak. Again, I want to thank those who have stood by me, supported me, and been true friends during that time and continue to do so. I see you.

I am super shocked that my little, multi award winning blog turns 5 today. Yes there have been some ups and downs and confidence knocks along the way, and yes, at times I bit off more than I can chew and left myself over stretched. However the joys of anything in life is that you can learn from your mistakes and realise where you went wrong or what needs to change. There is only me running this blog and, even though I like to think that I can do everything, I physically can’t….I just wish it hadn’t taken me 5 years to realise that! Well, in all fairness it’s probably taken me over 20 years to realise that as I recently turned 31 but y’know, semantics.

Creating The Writing Garnet was probably one of the best, on the spur decisions I have ever made and I just want to thank every single author, publisher and publicist who have sent me countless books over the years and trusted me to review your books. I want to thank the organisers of book events of their hard work and dedication in bringing likeminded bookish folk together. I also want to thank each and every person I have come to know and admire for being true to themselves and becoming good friends of mine. I have your backs – you are all awesome. Major shout out to my fellow bloggers, and anyone who is thinking about starting a blog – you’ve got this! Just remember it’s okay to say no….

On that note, happy birthday to TWG! Heres to another year full of weird and wonderful books, intriguing debuts, and a truck load of reviews.

TWG x

#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · Crime/thriller · netgalley · Police procedural

#PromisesInTheDark by @DKHood_Author @Bookouture #review

Happy publication day to D.K.Hood and ‘Promises In The Dark’! I am delighted to be kicking of the blog tour today – many thanks to Bookouture for having me.

The young girl pushes against the backseat of the family sedan, fighting to free herself from the crude ties restricting her hands and feet. As the car speeds towards the edge of town, she looks back at her family home, and watches in horror as it is suddenly engulfed in a mass of flames. Trembling with fear, she turns towards the driver and hears only laughter. She knows that the worst is yet to come…

Detective Jenna Alton surveys the charred remains of the large suburban home, stopping to pause at the three lifeless bodies of the Woods family. Jenna knows she’s looking for a serial killer, but her priority is finding the missing teenage daughter last seen on the night of the inferno.

Days later, Sophie Wood’s body is discovered floating in a shallow pool of crystal-clear water—known locally as Dead Man’s Drop—but Jenna still doesn’t know who would target the quiet family in such a brutal attack.

Delving into the family’s past, she makes a shocking discovery—a link between the killer and someone connected to her deputy David Kane. If Jenna is right and the killer is back and seeking revenge, then she must act fast to keep her deputy safe.

When another girl is taken, Jenna and David follow the trail into a network of underground caves on the outskirts of town. With little time before the killer claims his next victim, they race into the pitch-black tunnels, unsure whether they have just walked into the killer’s trap. Can they find the girl in time and escape the caves without the killer chasing them down?

What does TWG think?

One of, if not THE most disturbing book of the series so far! Which is saying something considering the things that Kane and Alton have come across in the 9 previous books.

A story that starts off with young children being the bait, indirectly speaking, always puts the fear of christ up me. Not that I’m saying should a child be used as bait later on in the book then I’ll be okay with it, not at all. I just find themes like that enough to make my jaw drop further, and a nervous energy crawl up my body far quicker than if I had read it in the middle. That’s exactly what happened here. The prologue plants the seed and ties the roots of the storyline in knots, making it hard for the reader to leave it alone regardless of how nervy you have begun to feel. Honestly, it was brilliantly written and definitely set the scene for the rest of the book.

Once again Kane and Alton have their work cut out for them. Their murderer hasn’t made things very easy for them, despite leaving a ‘trail’ of dead bodies in his wake. Whoever this person is is clearly dangerous and doesn’t think much of other living things. Just another thing that kept me hooked!

I was very disturbed by the storyline, but without sounding weird, I didnt find that a negative thing because what else would you expect from a thriller? Teddy bears and picnics? No. D.K.Hood may have her characters having picnics, but she would also have a dead body stuffed in the bear! (Just to clarify, that isn’t what happens in this book!)

As I may have said once or twice, I was truly glued to this novel and the way the characters developed over time. It may be the tenth book in the series, yet Kane and Alton never fail to surprise me.

Yet another dark, devious, and utterly transfixing novel from an author who is outstanding at holding her readers hostage with her words.

Buy now.

#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book of the month · Book Review · BOTBSPublicity · lifestyle · netgalley · Non Fiction · real life

#TheBoyBetween by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley (@MrsAmandaProwse) @BOTBSPublicity #mentalhealthawareness #depression

Before I go any further I just want to say sorry to Amanda, Josiah and Sarah for the delay in posting my review, and thank you to Sarah and Netgalley for the ARC.

Bestselling novelist Amanda Prowse knew how to resolve a fictional family crisis. But then her son came to her with a real one…

Josiah was nineteen with the world at his feet when things changed. Without warning, the new university student’s mental health deteriorated to the point that he planned his own death. His mother, bestselling author Amanda Prowse, found herself grappling for ways to help him, with no clear sense of where that could be found. This is the book they wish had been there for them during those dark times.

Josiah’s situation is not unusual: the statistics on student mental health are terrifying. And he was not the only one suffering; his family was also hijacked by his illness, watching him struggle and fearing the day he might succeed in taking his life.

In this book, Josiah and Amanda hope to give a voice to those who suffer, and to show them that help can be found. It is Josiah’s raw, at times bleak, sometimes humorous, but always honest account of what it is like to live with depression. It is Amanda’s heart-rending account of her pain at watching him suffer, speaking from the heart about a mother’s love for her child.

For anyone with depression and anyone who loves someone with depression, Amanda and Josiah have a clear message—you are not alone, and there is hope.

What does TWG think?

Firstly, having the courage to openly discuss a time in your life where you felt suicide was the only option, with complete strangers and in the form of a book, is such a brave thing to do. I take my hat off to Josiah for choosing to put awareness above everything else. Its not an easy thing to do at all. I don’t know you, but I’m proud of you.

Secondly, Amanda….its hard enough being a parent, let alone being a parent who has to watch from the sidelines whilst her child goes through a situation only they can get themself out of. I cannot even begin to imagine how hard it must have been to go through that with Josiah, or the toll it took on your own mental health. Not only that, the courage it must have taken you openly dissect and ‘admit’ where you felt you went wrong as a parent, and to talk about such a heartbreaking time in your life. Your strength astounds me and I am so proud of you.

Depression is STILL seen as a taboo thing because you cannot see what is broken so, if you cannot see what is broken then nothing must be broken…..right? Completely and utterly wrong. In the book Josiah stated that he wished he had broken his arm or his leg because then he and others could see what was broken and what was needed to fix it. With depression or other mental illnesses, it isn’t a case of one thing fixes all.

How do I know this? Because like millions of other people, and like Josiah himself, I have depression and I also have a form of EDS too (hEDS in fact). As soon as I read about that diagnosis, my breath caught in my throat because I could relate to him on yet another level. I wanted to shout into the book that Josiah wasn’t alone because I could, and can, empathise with him.

This isn’t an easy read by any means. Its raw. Its hard hitting. Its emotional. Its dark. But above all else, its honest. Choosing to openly admit you were close to suicide, and choosing to talk about extremely personal things in order to bring awareness to the topic, is, as I’ve already said, such a brave thing to do. Unfortunately it can also bring a lot of judgement which, whilst its part of human nature to comment on the situations of the world and his wife, we have no right to do so as each and every one of us are different. Each and every one of us react to things in a different way, and what upsets one person may not upset another.

For example; in her chapters, Amanda spoke about how she felt she had let her son down with her parenting. Personally, I feel that she acted from the heart and in a way only a mumma bear knows how. I don’t think that she did anything wrong as a parent, because she was only acting out of love and fear. But Amanda does/did think those things. Is she wrong to feel like that? Hell no. Is my opinion wrong? No. Im an outsider looking in, there’s a huge difference.

Josiah’s story is a very relatable one and I would love to say that it’s unique in the fact that it doesn’t happen very often, but it does. What doesn’t happen very often is someone being so open about it instead of choosing to act like everything was all fluffy clouds and rainbows.

The honesty throughout this book, from both Amanda and Josiah, was incredibly moving and at times shook me to the core because I understood. Now me saying that isn’t taking the onus off them, not at all.

I am so proud of Amanda and Josiah for their strength and courage as they wrote this book together. It is such an important topic to discuss, more so as a one size doesn’t fit all and different things work for different people. I want to thank them both for sharing their stories with the world, and I wish I could hug them both. However my ramblings will have to do!

I cannot recommend this book enough. Its beautifully harrowing, tenderly heartbreaking, but poignant and severely honest. Its a little ray of hope when the skies turn grey. Its the one shining star in the night sky to help you on your way. Its a ‘friend’ when you feel like you have absolutely no one to turn to.

Buy now.

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · contemporary fiction · lifestyle · netgalley · RNA · romance · womens fiction

#TheMissingPiece by Catherine Miller (@Katylittlelady) @bookouture

Broken Heart Syndrome: A sudden and acute form of heart failure, brought on by emotional or physical distress..

After years of studying cardiac medicine, thirty-one-year-old Keisha knows the heart inside out. She knows the average heartrate for each age group, she can name every valve, and she can tell you exactly how much blood it pumps daily.

The one thing she doesn’t know is how to fall in love. And nor does she want to. The secret her tattoo covers is a reminder that the best way to protect a heart is to never let it feel in the first place…

Seventy-nine-year-old Clive is Subject Five in Keisha’s latest research project. He’s been in love since he was seventeen, ever since he met Nancy at a tea dance. But last night, his beloved wife was killed. Suddenly, he has no one to waltz with. He has woken up in hospital, a widower diagnosed with Broken Heart Syndrome.

These strangers, brought together by a broken heart, must face up to the truth of their pasts. Can Clive teach his new friend that until you’ve loved, you haven’t lived? And can Keisha help him see that it’s never too late for a second chance?

What does TWG think?

Omg I was all excited at first after spotting the main characters name, thinking that my name was being used!!!! Spoiler…its not as I’m Kaisha, not Keisha. Gutted! And no, they’re not pronounced the same either! Trying not to read it as my own name was definitely a task and a half I must say ha!

Keisha is a very reserved character who is severely set in her ways. Her own little quirks (like continuously checking her pulse) are what makes her who she is, but not many people understand her because of it. Honestly, she doesn’t even understand herself half the time!!

After the loss of a loved one, Keisha’s life changed and she was left feeling as though she was the cause and so, because of that, Keisha put that energy into her work to try and help others such as Clive or, as he is affectionately known; Subject number 5. No, not mambo number 5….SUBJECT number 5.

Poor Clive hasn’t had it easy and he fights a daily battle with his memory. I felt for him but I was so pleased that Keisha and nurse George refused to give up on him, even when he wanted to give up on himself.

I thought this book was such a cute, heartwarming novel which took on a voice I hadn’t really heard/read before. I thought the storyline was so unique and so interesting, my attention didn’t falter from the book at all.

Whilst I didnt cry or find the book overly emotional, I did love how touching it was and how every character had multiple layers to their personalities, as I felt as though I was constantly surprised by a new revelation instead of knowing everything straight away.

Its evidently clear that a lot of love and attention has gone into creating this story by the author, and I believe that she has done herself and her characters exceptionally proud by bringing their story to life in such a tender and warming manner.

Overall this was an enlightening, thoughtful read which warmed that ice cold heart of mine.

(Many thanks to Bookouture for the ARC)

Buy now.

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · contemporary fiction · lifestyle · netgalley · womens fiction

#TheHouseatMagpieCove by Kennedy Kerr @KennedyKerr5 @bookouture

Many thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and for the ARC.

The Cornish beach house creaked in the salty sea wind and, from the weathered wooden porch, Mara watched a lone magpie circle above. It was silly to think that her mother’s spirit was still with her, but Mara felt as if there was something keeping her here. A secret that needed to be told…

When Mara Hughes inherits her late mother’s tumbledown beach house overlooking the bright, sandy sweep of Magpie Cove, it couldn’t have come at a worse time. With her marriage on the rocks and her husband threatening to take the family home, the beach house – with all the bittersweet memories it holds – might be the thing that finally sends Mara’s world crashing down around her. She tells herself she’ll only spend a few days there: sell it and move on to rebuilding her life.

When Mara arrives, the house is in a worse state than she feared – holes in the bedroom ceiling, birds’ nests in the attic and the beautiful, wrap-around porch on the brink of collapse… but she loves it anyway. With all its history it feels like the last link to her late mother and, determined to do whatever it takes to keep it in the family, Mara strikes a deal with local handyman – and town heartthrob – Brian Oakley to save the crumbling cottage from ruin.

But when a box of unopened old letters arrives on her new doorstep – a bequest from her mother’s will – Mara’s resolve to save the beach house will be tested to the limit. Because Mara’s mother’s perfect childhood in Magpie Cove was forever spoiled by one haunting day in July, and the letters contain a secret about her family that Mara can scarcely believe to be true…

What does TWG think?

I really needed a book like this to fall in my lap as it was such a perfect distraction during such difficult times.

Its been a while since I was last transported to Cornwall and, whilst I’ve ‘travelled’ there multiple times via various different stories, I genuinely missed reading about idyllic and picturesque scenes. Was definitely better than reading my four walls!

Mara’s heartache is evident from the get go. She could fight against it all she wanted, however the more she fought, the stronger her emotions became. That said, i don’t think a box full of letters helped matters either!

I really felt myself getting lost in the storyline and Mara’s past, and I loved how the transition from reality to fiction was so very well done. Hats off to the author, Kennedy Kerr, for that as that is an incredible talent to have.

I really enjoyed getting to know Mara and, even though there was a lot of emotional situations in the story, I still felt that it was a really uplifting and humbling novel. Such a pleasure to read.

Buy now.

#suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · contemporary fiction · lifestyle · netgalley · RNA · romance · womens fiction

#MyHusbandsDaughter by Emma Robinson @EmmaRobinsonUK @Bookouture

Many thanks, as always to Bookouture for the tour invite and ARC.

It is just past ten o’clock on a cold Friday evening when Rebecca and her husband Jack’s doorbell rings. Outside is a woman who introduces herself as Jack’s ex-girlfriend Cara. And she’s holding the hand of a shivering, blue-eyed, four-year-old girl. Who she claims is Jack’s daughter.
Rebecca is shocked to discover he has a child from his last relationship – even one he hadn’t known about. Because becoming parents isn’t part of their life plan. They like children, but they also love their freedom and spending time together uninterrupted; the way that, if they wanted to, they could travel the world at a moment’s notice.
But Cara needs them. Because Cara has a devastating secret that she can’t tell anyone yet. Not even her daughter. A secret with the power to change all of their lives.
A secret that will ultimately mean Rebecca has to ask herself – could she find it in herself to welcome her husband’s child into her home, and into her heart?

What does TWG think?

Oh for goodness sake, Emma Robinson, did you have to go and switch on the water works? I mean, really?!

I’ve been crying a lot recently, so when I decided to pick up a book thought it was going to be a light hearted, Peppa Pig type book that I had chosen (no, wait, that mardy pig makes me cry too!). Then I realised I needed to read Emma Robinson’s novel and straight away knew that any hopes of furry beings having picnics were to stay where they belonged; on my daughters bookshelf. Instead of a Teddy bear picnic I had tension. I had suspense. I had emotion so fraught that I was scared it was going to slice my heart in two.

This book is black and white proof as to why Robinson is a published author, and there is no denying that her characterisation and realistic storylines make for excellent and dramatic reading.

The main topic of this read is a tough pill to swallow, however it is beautifully done in every sense of the word. I know I am being exceptionally vague by not delving into specific parts of the book or giving too much away, and thats because I don’t want to ruin the experience of this novel for anyone else. My only advice to you all would be to grab the tissues before you start reading, mute the phones, and buckle up for a ride you’ll never forget.

Buy now

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · contemporary fiction · humour · netgalley · romance · womens fiction

#IfEverydayWasChristmas by Donna Ashcroft @donnashc @Bookouture #TisTheSeasonToBeJolly

Thank you, as always, to Bookouture for the tour invite and ARC. Here is my review of Donna Ashcroft’s newest novel, ‘If Every Day Was Christmas’.

Snow is falling, fires are crackling merrily, and Lockton tradition has everyone hanging a promise they’re determined to keep this Christmas on the tree in the village square…

Meg Scott has promised to make a success of her first solo Christmas. She runs a year-round Christmas shop in the little Scottish village, and is a fan of all things mulled, sparkly and festive. So when her warring family shows up on her doorstep, ready to spread discord and tension, Meg is determined not to let them ruin her favourite time of the year.

Meanwhile, Christmas-hating Tom Riley-Clark has been called to the Highlands to help his old friend at The Apple Cross Inn. He’s ready to work hard and has no time for mince pies, tinsel or hanging a promise on the tree: the thought of every day being Christmas is his worst nightmare, and you wouldn’t catch him dead buying a bauble. So everyone is surprised when Christmas-loving Meg and grinch Tom start to get cozy under the mistletoe.

But Tom has a big secret about his past, and in a small town like Lockton it’s hard to keep anything hidden for long. Will everything fall apart when Meg discovers who he really is? The pair are about to learn the hard way that some promises are impossible to keep…

What does TWG think?

Oh I wish it could be Christmas, every day….!!!!

Can you imagine it? Would you want it to be Christmas every single day? I wouldn’t, I think it would lose its sparkle! How about if you had a shop that was Christmas themed, so even in the height of summer when people are wandering around with money tucked into their sweaty bikini bottoms/swimming trunks, a shop would be selling snow themed ornaments. Every day would feel like Christmas then, wouldn’t it?

If you’ve ever struggled with ways to describe the festive season, then I suggest you study this book. If, after reading this, people STILL don’t quite get Christmas, then I will eat my hat!

Meg reminded me of Meg Ryan’s character in ‘Youve Got Mail’ – did anyone else think the same? Shes such a warm hearted, free spirited character who definitely has some oomph about her!

I’ve really been struggling with books of late, however I really was in my element with this as Donna Ashcroft never disappoints with her from the heart story telling. I’ve said this once before (or maybe more times than that), however I will happily say it again; Donna Ashcroft really is the Mrs Claus of fiction.

As always, the balance between romance, humour, and the ‘hook’, was absolutely spot on, giving me a little bit of everything whilst also leaving out nothing.

I, hand on heart, cannot fault this novel! Instead of wishing it could be Christmas every day, I cant help but wonder what it would be like If I Read Donna Ashcroft’s Novels Every Day!

A timeless, warm and homely read.

Buy now.

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · contemporary fiction · lifestyle · netgalley · womens fiction

#WhatWeLeaveBehind by Anna Mansell @AnnaMansell @Bookouture

Many thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in Anna Mansell’s blog tour for ‘What We Leave Behind’, and for the ARC.




Imagine you get home one day… and waiting for you on your doorstep is a gift.

It is wrapped beautifully, and inside is a notebook, its pages empty. There is no message.

But its sender has a story to tell.

About a secret. About the little girl you once were. About everything you know about your family.

The gifts keep arriving. But when tragedy strikes – leaving your beloved only daughter fighting for her life – the person who has been sending the gifts will have no choice but to come forward. And to finally tell the truth…


What does TWG think?

I really don’t know how Anna Mansell does it! Once again she has taken feelings and emotions, and given them an identity of their own. I cannot fault the delivery of the storyline one iota, and I was blown away by how genuine Poppy and Lisa’s relationship was. It really made me think of the relationship that I have with my own daughter.

The premise of the storyline isn’t straight forward, and there are a lot of skeletons making their way out of the closets for the characters, which made for intense reading at times.

I am still in awe at just how talented Anna Mansell is – I loved this heartwarming, hopeful and beautiful read that showcased the power of relationships, strength, and the ability to believe.

If you don’t believe me then let the story speak for itself. You really won’t regret it.

Buy now.

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · contemporary fiction · lifestyle · netgalley · romance · womens fiction

#AYearAtAppleyardFarm by Emma Davies @EmDaviesAuthor @bookouture

Thank you to Bookouture for supplying me with an advanced copy to review today.

Down a winding lane lined with strawberry trees and wildflowers lies Appleyard Farm, a beautiful orchard in the English countryside. And in a little farmhouse in the furthest corner, a young woman has a difficult decision to make…

Life on Appleyard Farm is all Freya Sherbourne has ever known. Having spent her childhood playing in the emerald green meadows and berry picking until sunset, Freya intends to call the farmhouse home forever. But when her father suddenly passes away and Appleyard Farm goes up for sale, Freya’s world comes crashing down.

Holding back the tears, she starts packing boxes while waiting for a buyer. Now the river no longer sparkles, and the apples taste a little less sweet. Until Freya learns the exciting news that her best friends Merry and Willow are moving nearby to open a local shop. And when someone from her past re-emerges, handsomer than ever and offering to mend the cracks in her broken heart, Freya’s eyes begin to twinkle once again.

But falling in love is scary, especially when you don’t know what the future holds. And when Freya discovers that her new love has been keeping a secret, one that threatens both their fragile relationship and the farm, she risks losing everything.

With the clock ticking, will Freya choose to follow her heart or save the farm? Or can she find a way to do both?

A Year at Appleyard Farm was previously published as four short stories: Merry Mistletoe, Spring Fever, Gooseberry Fool, and Blackberry Way.

What does TWG think?

Its books like this one which makes me feel so honoured to have the gift of reading. Its books like this which just highlights why Emma Davies is one of my all-time favourite authors. Its books like this which give me hope, allow me to escape, and help prove that, despite uncertain times and uncertain measures, life can be pretty darn good if you just…..live.

Freya is learning how to run Appleyard Farm without her dad. Things haven’t been the same since he passed away and her confidence and self belief have hit rock bottom.

Merry found herself chasing a new dream whilst also chasing newly found motherhood and newly found paintings. Oh, and not only that, she moved house and put her dream into reality.

Willow was too scared to hope incase life threw her a curveball….or ten. Afterall, it did throw her husband one which could have potentially lost them everything. Thankfully Willow wasn’t afraid of hard work.

This novel isn’t just about three ladies battling with their confidence. In fact, the males featured in the story do their own fair share of questioning their own motives. Truth be told, the book is about empowerment. Picking each other up. Supporting dreams. Being that shoulder to cry on. Holding down the fort at a moments notice. Coming together as a community, choosing to put their own lives at risk to save villagers livelihoods. Giving each other hope.

‘A Year at Appleyard Farm’ is the perfect escapism. The ideal pick me up. A guardian angel in book form. Its three therapists disguised as characters, that you didn’t even know you needed. Its a reminder that hard times aren’t forever.

This novel is Emma Davies through and through, and then some. I just loved how in tune she was with her characters and her storyline, especially the way that she spoke her truth and told the story from her heart. The storyline was beautifully written and an absolute joy to read – if you read just one book this year, please make it ‘A Year at Appleyard Farm’. You won’t regret it.

Buy now.

#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · Crime/thriller · netgalley

#SaveHerSoul @LisaLRegan @Bookouture #review

Thank you, as always, to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in Lisa Regan’s blog tour for ‘Save Her Soul’, and for supplying me with an ARC.

Josie flinches as she takes in the faded blue sports jacket wrapped around the girl they just pulled from the water. Josie knew someone who’d once owned that jacket. He had died in her arms five years ago.

Heavy rain pours on the small town of Denton causing the riverbanks to break and the body of a young girl to float quietly to the surface. With no crime scene to examine, the odds are against Detective Josie Quinn and her team. Mercifully, the victim’s body is perfectly preserved, right down to the baseball patch on the jacket she was wearing. Josie can’t hide her devastation—her dead ex-husband, Ray, owned one just like it.

Following the trail back to her high school, Josie identifies the girl as Beverly Urban, a troubled student rumored to have been dating Ray before she left town for good. It looks like a tragic accident until the autopsy reveals a bullet in her head and the heart-breaking secret she was keeping.

Josie visits the salon where Beverly’s mother used to work, believing she was at the heart of a terrible scandal around the time her daughter’s life was taken. With the Denton wives remaining tight-lipped, Josie’s only hope is a secret meet-up with a terrified woman willing to talk. But she is murdered moments before giving Josie crucial information. It’s clear that someone is prepared to keep on killing to stop the truth from getting out.

Digging deep into memories of her own past with Ray is the only advantage Josie has on this twisted killer… but at what cost?

What does TWG think?

Josie has been dealing with the loss of ex husband, Ray, for the last five years and, just when she thought that she was able to process the grief a lot easier than before, memories of Ray as a living human being come back to slap her in the face with a vengeance. Its crazy how one item of clothing can open the flood gates, isn’t it?

Josie Quinn, when will you finally get some good luck?! I do feel like this character was born with a short straw, as bad luck seems to find its way to her quicker than anyone else. That said, if she did have good luck, then there wouldn’t be much of a story! Not that I’m relishing in her misfortunes of course!

I did enjoy ‘Save Her Soul’ and the way in which the storyline kept me on my toes. I couldnt help but think of many questions relating to Ray and the body that was found. It took a little while things to make sense, naturally, but i was so intrigued I just wanted to find out straight away!

Whilst I understand the need to bring up previous books in the series to ensure that the series remained seamless, i did feel as though the rehashing was a bit too frequent and seemed to take up a large portion of the story which should have been kept for the new storyline.

Just like other Lisa Regan novels, the suspense is second to none and the character development was very well thought out. As a huge Regan fan, ‘Save Her Soul’ definitely ticked my boxes – I really cannot complain.

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