#BlogTour! #Review – Let’s Make Pom Poms by Katie Scott (@bloggerkscott) @RaRaResources

Final blog tour of the day is for something a little bit different – pom poms! I am excited to be one of the bloggers closing Katie Scott’s blog tour today. Huge thanks, as always, to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

Fun and easy makes for all the family. Get crafty with pom poms with 15 easy to follow step by step guides. Make your own set of fluffy dice, sushi that looks good enough to eat and an everlasting Christmas tree as well as many other exciting projects.

What does TWG think?

It isn’t often that I review books like this, not because I don’t like them, but because they don’t crop up that often! I was hoping to try making some of the pom poms to go alongside my review, unfortunately I didn’t have time.

That said, the guides look very easy to follow, even for those who aren’t natural crafters. I remember making pom poms as a child so this book took me right back to my childhood!

What’s ideal about this book is that it looks like a perfect activity for children and families to get involved in, come rain or shine.

I cannot wait to show my little girl the quirkiness that is pom poms, thanks to Katie Scott’s fun little guide.

Buy now.

About the author.

Katie Scott is a craft and book blogger who lives in the county of Kent, UK. Living at home with her husband and infant daughter, Katie loves nothing more than long evenings in with a good book, a pile of crafting goodies and a very large pot of tea.
Let’s Make Pom Poms is her first crafting book.

Find more work from Katie Scott on her blog: https://www.bloomingfiction.co.uk

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#BlogTour! #Review – Finding Stevie by Cathy Glass (@CathyGlassUK) @HarperNonFic

I am a huge fan of Cathy Glass, so it gives me great pleasure to be today’s stop on the blog tour for her new release, ‘Finding Stevie’. Many thanks to Rosie and the team at HarperNonFic for the blog tour invite and review copy.

Finding Stevie is a dark and poignant true story that highlights the dangers lurking on online.

When Stevie’s social worker tells Cathy, an experienced foster carer, that Stevie, 14, is gender fluid she isn’t sure what that term means and looks it up.

Stevie, together with his younger brother and sister, have been brought up by their grandparents as their mother is in prison. But the grandparents can no longer cope with Stevie’s behaviour so they place him in care.

Stevie is exploring his gender identity, and like many young people he spends time online. Cathy warns him about the dangers of talking to strangers online and advises him how to stay safe. When his younger siblings tell their grandmother that they have a secret they can’t tell, Cathy is worried. However, nothing could have prepared her for the truth when Stevie finally breaks down and confesses what he’s done.

What does TWG think?

Wow – this book knocked me for six. Now, as a fully fledged Cathy Glass fan, I am well aware of just how emotional her books can be, yet nothing prepared me for what my eyes were going to digest in ‘Finding Stevie’.

Stevie has been put into care voluntarily, and it’s now Cathy’s job to guide the lost boy that he is. I say ‘lost’ because underneath of the bravado, Stevie is incredibly lost. He’s at a point in his life where he isn’t sure about his gender, identity, and doesn’t quite understand that his actions can have disastrous outcomes. That said, it angered me at times how Stevie just couldn’t see how much danger he had put his loved ones in. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that he may not have had the guidance regarding technology, like other teenagers, but he clearly knew his actions were wrong so why go through with it?

I’m not shaming at all as I do appreciate how much of a uncertain personality he was, which was heartbreaking to see. I wanted him to do well, and I wanted him to finally be comfortable in himself to be happy.

The undercurrent theme in this book really got under my skin and I won’t lie, I couldn’t shake the feeling of my skin crawling long after I had finished the book. With that in mind, it just goes to show how close to the bone and real Cathy’s stories are because, of you aren’t already aware, they are true stories and the fact that she was able to convey that on paper was utterly mind blowing.

I have never ‘seen’ Cathy lose her cool in any of the books I’ve read, yet my heart went out to her and her family because they couldn’t help but be affected by the choices that Stevie made.

Cathy Glass has written a book which makes you think just how difficult life can be if you don’t have the correct guidance. I admire Cathy for what she does and how much she gives to all of the children she fosters. Yes, ‘Finding Stevie’ played with my emotions and had me cuddling my daughter even tighter, but Cathy Glass has outdone herself once again with this eye opening, poignant, and heartbreaking read. Never mind Cathy giving others hugs, I want to give her one!!

Buy now!

#BirthdayBlitz! #Review – The Migraine Relief Plan by Stephanie Weaver (@sweavermph) @RaRaResources

Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blitz invite and review copy, here is my review:

The Migraine Relief Plan: An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health

In The Migraine Relief Plan, certified health and wellness coach Stephanie Weaver outlines a new, step-by-step lifestyle approach to reducing migraine frequency and severity.

Using the latest research, her own migraine diagnosis, and extensive testing, Weaver has designed an accessible plan to help those living with migraine, headaches, or Meniere’s disease. Over the course of eight weeks, the plan gradually transitions readers into a healthier lifestyle, including key behaviors such as regular sleep, trigger-free eating, gentle exercise, and relaxation techniques. The book also collects resources—shopping lists, meal plans, symptom tracking charts, and kitchen-tested recipes for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner—to provide readers with the tools they need to be successful.

The Migraine Relief Plan encourages readers to eat within the guidelines while still helping them follow personal dietary choices, like vegan or Paleo, and navigate challenges, such as parties, work, and travel. A must-have resource for anyone who lives with head pain, this book will inspire you to rethink your attitude toward health and wellness.

What does TWG think?

I, as well as thousands of other people, suffer with migraines on a regular basis. They’re often quite debilitating and, seeing as I suffer them alongside many other illnesses and symptoms, it can all get a bit too much to bear.

‘The Migraine Relief Plan’ is such a colourful and easy to follow book for those who wish to change their diet to see if it helps their head pain. I have been meaning to try the recipes in this book, but fatigue has run away with me. However there are a lot of recipes in this book which has given me much food for thought (pardon the pun), and I’m looking forward to trying a different route to reducing, and hopefully diminishing, my head pain.

Buy now

About the author.

Stephanie Weaver, MPH, CWHC, is an author, blogger, and certified wellness and health coach. Her recipes have been featured in Cosmopolitan, Bon Appetit, Cooking Light, Parade, and more. She lives in San Diego, CA. 

Social Media Links – 

https://www.facebook.com/stephanieweavermph

Twitter.com/sweavermph

Instagram.com/sweavermph

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

#12DaysofChristmas #BlogTour! #Review – Part time Working Mummy by Rachaele Hambleton (@PTWMummy) @TrapezeBooks @tr4cyf3nt0n

On the 11th day of Christmas TWG gave to me, a review of ‘Part Time Working Mummy’! I am so pleased to be involved in the #12DaysofChristmas blog tour – many thanks to Tracy Fenton for the tour invite, and thank you to Trapeze Books for the review copy. Here is my review:

Want to know the truth about what life is like as a mum and step-mum with a chaotic patchwork family?

This book is everything I’ve been through that’s made me who I am, plus the lessons I’ve learned from many mistakes. I hope that it will make you laugh as well as give you strength to keep going when times get tough. After all, we are all in this together…
Rachaele, aka Part-Time Working Mummy

Hundreds of thousands of fans flock to the PTWM page online and now, in this book, Rachaele shares her behind-the-scenes experiences with single parenthood, unexpected pregnancy, domestic violence, relationships, bullying and much more – spreading kindness amidst the crazinessalong the way!

What does TWG think?

Some of you may have already heard of ‘Part time Working Mummy’ AKA Rachael’s Hambleton, especially if you follow her life on Facebook and other social media. For those who aren’t aware, Rachaele is an avid supporter for mental health and domestic abuse charities, as well as being an extremely popular parent blogger and mum/wife/step-mum. Her honest approach to life as a parent has given her just under 500,000 followers on Facebook. How amazing is that?

Now, I’m sure that there are people out there who are probably wondering ‘what makes her so special?’. Not a negative thing to ask after all, we are inquisitive human beings. My answer to that is this: the fact that she owns her bad choices and realises that several of her decisions in the past have been monumental eff ups, whilst also being a domestic abuse warrior, mental health advocate, massive supporter of multiple charities linked to the above, a mum to three daughters and a step-mum to two boys, makes me think ‘okay, this lady has balls of steel and a story to tell which a lot of us could learn from’.

Hence her blog and now her book. When I fell pregnant, all I saw on social media was how perfect the mum life was, as though getting covered in baby shit wasn’t the norm…when it is. PTWM (Part time Working mummy) isn’t saying that being a mum can’t be perfect because it can be your own sense of perfect. However, what she is saying is that becoming a parent is something which needs to be approached with eyes open and no rose tinted glasses. As mums (and dads), we often feel like we can conquer the world one nappy at a time whilst also balancing a cup of tea on our arses as we do the downward dog yoga pose – when in reality we can’t. After all, who wants a burnt foof?

PTWM highlights the hurdles she jumped over, face planted into, and barely made as she became a mum for the first, second and third time, whilst also dealing with horrific domestic abuse and body issues. So yes, even though I laughed my backside off reading this book, a lot of PTWM’s experiences hit home because she doesn’t mollycoddle it or pretend it never happened. Instead she says it how it happened, admits her faults and tries to put several taboo situations in the spotlight to gain the awareness and support it so desperately needs.

I’m going to talk personally a second – I was a victim of domestic abuse, and for 10 years of my early life I was the child who witnessed the devastation of domestic abuse and alcoholism first hand. It really is something you think only happens to ‘other people’ when it happens to you, and being a child and hearing your mum screaming due to the abuse, and being the one to creep downstairs to wipe the tears from your mums eyes at the age of 6 – it stays with you. Okay, like PTWM says on more than one occasion in the book, people automatically wonder why the victim doesn’t leave and, even though it is far too easy for us to sit there and judge a situation we aren’t in ourselves as every situation is different, the reality is a tough pill to swallow.

PTWM, in my eyes, is exceptionally brave to be to open and honest about her past. I’m not saying that she should be ashamed of it because she shouldn’t, but again, like she said herself in her book, putting yourself out there is daunting because there will always be people who will be nasty heffers, even towards the most broken of people.

As well as talking about her past, PTWM explores the hurdles of becoming a patchwork family and just how stressful being a ‘step’ parent can be. Social media can make things look a lot easier than they seem, and I think it’s brilliant that PTWM has decided to share the lows along with the high by being realistic and certainly relatable.

I am in awe of just how much PTWM does for other people, whether they are a parent or not. I will admit that, at times, I did wonder how her experiences made her more clued up on things than other people, and that was wrong of me to think that because she doesn’t once say that she’s perfect in this book. She says that she is human and that she makes mistakes. She says that her life has been extremely difficult and that she was at breaking point, yet she also states how being a mum is the most rewarding thing she has ever done. So it’s not the case of PTWM trying to show that she’s ‘better than everyone else’ because it’s very clear that she still suffers with effects of her past. Instead it’s a case of being open and honest about heart wrenching situations, in the hope that one person may find the strength in her words to walk through the tunnel in their own lives. Nobody can really fault the PTWM for that now, can they?

PTWM – A Patchwork life, is an inspirational, raw and extremely poignant memoir that is guaranteed to make you react in multiple ways. I am in awe at Rachaele and everything she has come through, and I think the way she has put pen to paper by putting her story on the table, was incredible and extremely brave. When I grow up I’ve decided I want to be like PTWM ;).

Buy now!

About the author.

Rachaele Hambleton, aka Part-Time Working Mummy, is one of the most popular personalities in the parenting blogosphere. She is a full time mum to three daughters, step-mum to two boys and is recently married to her ‘bird-boy’ Josh. Her successful blog documents the highs and lows of life as a family of seven… with two dogs and two guinea pigs thrown in for good measure. As well as blogging and bringing up 5 tiny humans, Rachaele fights hard for awareness and funds for domestic abuse and other charities. 

facebook/PartTimeWorkingMummy
Instagram: @PTWMUMMY
Twitter: @PTWMUMMY

#BlogTour! #Review – Some Old Bloke by Robert Llewellyn (@bobbyllew) @unbounders @annecater

Apologies for another late post, but today was spent with mumma TWG so I’m catching up now! Tonight I am delighted to be reviewing ‘Some Old Bloke’ by Robert Llewellyn, as part of the blog tour. Many thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

When writer, comedian and Red Dwarf actor Robert Llewellyn’s son scrawled a picture of him at Christmas and titled it ‘Some Old Bloke’, Robert was cast deep into thought about life and what it means to be a bloke – and an old one at that. In this lighthearted, revealing and occasionally philosophical autobiography, we take a meandering route through Robert’s life and career: from the sensitive young boy at odds with his ex-military father, through his stint as a hippy and his years of arrested development in the world of fringe comedy, all the way up to the full-body medicals and hard-earned insights of middle age.

Whether he is waxing lyrical about fresh laundry, making an impassioned case for the importance of alternative energy or recounting a detailed history of the dogs in his life, Robert presents a refreshingly open and un-cynical look at the world at large and, of course, the joys of being a bloke.

What does TWG think?

I’m not a bloke, nor am I in the same age bracket, nor have I watched much of ‘Red Dwarf’ – with that in mind, I’m sure you’re probably wondering why I would read ‘Some Old Bloke’, right? Well weirdly enough, you don’t need to be a bloke to enjoy Robert Llewellyn witty book! Who would’ve thought it!

I thoroughly enjoyed Robert Llewellyn’s honest and hilarious portrayal of his life and life in general, plus the fact the book contained many eyebrow topics that would no doubt make a lot of people’s eyes go wide in terror. I on the other hand was in hysterics and felt that his delivery was incredibly refreshing.

Even though I haven’t watched many of the programs Robert has been associated with, it didn’t stop me from enjoying reading about his adventures, his misdemeanours, and his insight on a four legged animal. I may not not be an ‘old bloke’ but Robert Llewellyn is definitely ‘Some Old Bloke’ I loved getting to know.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Pawlife Guide: Dog Care at Home by Gina Harding (@pawlifeau) @rararesources

PawLife Guide Dog Care at Home Full Tour Banner

Something a little bit different for you all today! I am delighted to be on today’s stop on the blog tour for ‘Dog Care at Home’ by Gina Harding. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and review copy. Here is my review:

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DOG CARE AT HOME gives you the information you need to have a happy and healthy dog no matter what your dog’s current stage in life, in just 10 minutes a day. Over 200 hours of research including interviews with veterinarians and fellow dog owners around the world, Dog Care at Home is the all-in-one book to have at home, with six veterinarians that have contributed to this ultimate guide, rest assured you are in reliable hands.Inside you will discover:- Choosing the right breed- The basic steps of raising a puppy- What vaccinations are for and why your dog needs them- Travelling with your dog- How to perform CPR on your dog- Health and hygiene including dental care- Choosing the right veterinarian- When it’s time to say goodbye- And much more!PawLife’s Dog Care at Home is the answer for all your dog parenting needs in one comprehensive guide that ensures your dog lives a long, healthy and happy life.

What does TWG think?

Whether you have a dog currently, or you are looking to welcome a new four legged friend into your home, Gina Harding’s ‘Paw Life Guide’ has the information you need to ensure you are making the right decisions for you, your family, and your potential (or current) furry friend. As I already have a dog, I was already aware of a lot of information printed in this guide. However, you need to be aware that the author has written prices and processes based on she lives in Australia. Whilst a lot of the information is unlikely to differ, just ensure that you follow the processes required for your country or local authority, especially as prices differ due to exchange rate and veterinarians.

Aside from that, this guide is an informative starter read which would be ideal for someone thinking about welcoming a dog into their family. I do think that it was put together very well with the focus being on the animal in question as opposed to humans, but it didn’t flow as much as I would have liked it to.

I think beginner pet owners would benefit from Gina Harding’s book for sure, and I especially loved how the guide stipulates how important it is to pick up after your own dog in public places.

Buy now!

Author Bio

Gina is an enthusiastic dog lover, so much so that she founded her own dog blog business called PawLife, which has been awarded top 10 Australian Dog Blog. This wouldn’t be possible without her best friend Harley, who is a toy poodle mix. They are continually going on new adventures, testing out new squeaky toys.

Gina recently discovered her writing passion and wanted to create the ultimate guidebook that would support, educate and inspire pet parents and yet to be pet parents around the world. Gina and Harley are originally from Australia, where the weather is always beautiful. This is Gina’s first book and looks forward to writing many more to help fellow pet-parents; with her fur-baby Harley by her side.

Social Media Links

Facebook

Pinterest

Instagram

Website
Giveaway – Win a 12 Piece Dog Toy Starter Box from Zenify (Open Internationally)

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter the giveaway!

#BlogTour! #Review – #ALetterFromParis by Louisa Deasey (@LouisaDeasey) @ScribeUKBooks

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Second and final blog tour of the day is ‘A Letter From Paris’ by Louisa Deasey. Many thanks to Scribe for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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When Louisa Deasey receives a message from a French woman called Coralie, who has found a cachet of letters in an attic, written by Louisa’s father, neither woman can imagine the events it will set in motion.

The letters, dated 1949, detail a passionate affair between Louisa’s father, Denison, and Coralie’s grandmother, Michelle, in post-war London. They spark Louisa to find out more about her father, who died when she was six. From the seemingly simple question ‘Who was Denison Deasey?’ follows a trail of discovery that leads Louisa to the libraries of Melbourne and the streets of London, to the cafes and restaurants of Paris and a poet’s villa in the south of France. From her father’s secret service in World War II to his relationships with some of the most famous bohemian artists in post-war Europe, Louisa unearths a portrait of a fascinating man, both at the epicenter and the mercy of the social and political currents of his time.

A Letter from Paris is about the stories we tell ourselves, and the secrets the past can uncover. A compelling tale of inheritance and creativity, loss and reunion, it shows the power of the written word to cross the bridges of time.

What does TWG think?

Isn’t that book cover simply stunning?! I know we often get told ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, but I’m going to hold my hands up and say that the cover is the reason why I decided to read this book. I have never been to Paris , I want to though, and I love the simplistic Parisian element to the cover which made me want to visit the iconic city even more.

So, what do I think of the contents of the book? Well, ‘A Letter From Paris’ is completely different to anything I have ever read before. I have read memoirs (and loved them), yet there was something so unique about the style of this book. Maybe it’s because it was written by the daughter of the person, instead of the person themselves. Or, maybe it was because I had never read a memoir which seemed so together yet so broken. And no, I don’t mean that in a bad way.

Seeing as Louisa’s father passed away when she was just six years old, her memories of her father were quite jaded and the past became incredibly distant the more time went on. With no-one to talk to about her father, Louisa ended up resorting to a library in Melbourne where her research ended up knocking her for six emotionally. It soon became clear that Louisa was struggling with no knowing who her father truly was but, thanks to a Facebook message, her luck soon changed.

‘A Letter From Paris’ is an incredibly deep and meaningful read, which goes to great lengths to highlight just how far one person would go to uncover the truth. Louisa’s father had an incredibly complex life, and I must say that it was a great pleasure to read about a man who had served in the war. It was always an honour to accompany Louisa in the journey of self discovery as she attempted to find all of the missing puzzle pieces where her father was concerned, so that she could rest knowing exactly where and who she came from.

Whilst I did enjoy reading this moving book, I did find myself becoming a little bit overwhelmed by the journey as it was so intense and jam-packed with pieces of information. I know that is definitely a good thing when it comes to a book, but when its a non-fiction read, too much at once can be a little bit daunting which is what happened with me here. My issue.

All in all, I am so glad that I took a chance on this memoir based on my love of the cover. An enchanting, insightful and heartwarming read which just makes you realise how important the puzzle pieces of life are.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #review – Where Has Mummy Gone? by Cathy Glass (@CathyGlassUK) @RosieMargesson @HarperNonFic

Blog tour poster
As a massive fan of Cathy Glass’ novels, I was over the moon to be asked to take part in the blog by the lovely Rosie from HarperCollins. Thank you so much for having me, and thank you for the ARC. Here is my review:

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The true story of Melody, aged 8, the last of five siblings to be taken from her drug dependent single mother and brought into care.

When Cathy is told about Melody’s terrible childhood, she is sure she’s heard it all before. But it isn’t long before she feels there is more going on than she or the social services are aware of. Although Melody is angry at having to leave her mother, as many children coming into care are, she also worries about her obsessively – far more than is usual. Amanda, Melody’s mother, is also angry and takes it out on Cathy at contact, which again is something Cathy has experienced before. Yet there is a lost and vulnerable look about Amanda, and Cathy starts to see why Melody worries about her and feels she needs looking after.

When Amanda misses contact, it is assumed she has forgotten, but nothing could have been further from the truth…

What does TWG think?

I have read many novels written by this author, and each time I read them I have to mentally prepare myself for what might be waiting for me underneath the front cover. Now, some people might take that as a criticism, however, if you have read a ‘Cathy Glass’ novel before, you will be well aware that every one of her books is based on the true story of a child she has fostered. It doesn’t take a visit to Google to cement the fact that fostering can be very emotional to read about (and very emotional to actually do), and Melody’s story is no different. With a title of ‘Where Has Mummy Gone?’, I could hazard a guess that a child would be asking where their mummy had gone, but what I didn’t expect, however, was just how eye opening that innocent question was.

Where did her mummy go?

I warmed to Melody straight away, even though she came across a little aggressive. There was obviously something deep-rooted within her to feel like that, but again, nothing could have prepared me for the storyline that unfolded.

‘Where Has Mummy Gone?’ is such an emotionally charged, heart-breaking and raw novel which highlights drug dependency, as well as the very emotional and devastating life changes which children in care have to endure. Bear in mind that Melody is only eight years old. Yes, children can be taken into care at any age, but even so, eight is still a very young age to have to deal with what Melody did. She really is a little gem and I am sure that all of the people around her are extremely proud of her. I know I am and I haven’t even met her!

Don’t worry if you haven’t picked up a Cathy Glass novel before, or if you have never read a book with foster care as the core theme, as Cathy Glass keeps the language very simple without coming across as patronising. For example, if a social work term is used, Cathy Glass ensures that that term is explained as an ‘off the cuff’ sort of comment instead of making the reader feel like they should know what those terms mean. You aren’t supposed to. Plus, I think the way in which Cathy Glass explains things is probably ingrained in her due to her many years as a foster carer.

Obviously I don’t want to bad mouth the system as they’re there for a reason, however I couldn’t help feel frustrated at one of the social workers attitude to certain aspects of this book. I understand that they have a right of care to the child and have certain boxes to tick, but I just think this person in particular could have been a bit….how can I put this…compassionate.

Once again, Cathy Glass has blown me away with a poignant story about Melody’s life, allowing her readers to watch the little girl spread her wings and have a life that all children should have. I won’t lie, this is incredibly emotional and pulled at my heartstrings something chronic, even the parts which were focused on Melody’s mum, Amanda. I couldn’t help but feel very touched by her story and how that was concluded.

A beautiful, heartwarming, and devastatingly raw novel – I would recommend it in a heartbeat.

Buy now!

#BlogBlitz! #Guestpost from author of Chasing Black Gold, Robert Stone (@rstonecbg) @RaRaResources


It is a pleasure to welcome to TWG, author of ‘Chasing Black Gold’, Robert Stone! As part of the one day blog blitz, I have a guest post to share with you all today. But first, here is a little bit more information about Robert’s book, as well as the chance to win a signed copy of Robert’s book!


ROBERT STONE was a serial entrepreneur – an enterprising individual, mostly on the wrong
side of the law, who spent twenty-five years operating all over the world, before being
arrested in Switzerland as a result of an international manhunt led by an Organised Crime
Drug Enforcement Task Force. Over the course of his career, Stone earned and lost several
lifetimes’ worth of fortunes, went to prison on three continents, used dozens of aliases, saw
men die, and masterminded one of the biggest marijuana smuggling operations in criminal
history. Fuel smuggling in Africa, trading fuel with generals, rebels and businessman, was
both his career high and, ultimately, what brought him down.

Purchase from:

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Amazon UK
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Barnes and Noble
Amazon US

Giveaway!

Prize – Win 10 x signed copies of Chasing Black Gold (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the
Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all
valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all
entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is
used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of
the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for
fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for
despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter the giveaway!

Guest post from author, Robert Stone.

I’m currently working on Chasing Deep Gold. It is a nonfiction tale of my career in the Commercial Oil
Field Diving Industry and a prequel to Chasing Black Gold

When I was working The North Sea I ended up being mainly involved in Hyperbaric Welding. There
were only a few of us in the world certified to do it. Taylor Diving and Comex were the leaders in this
field.

Hyperbaric Welding is welding (mainly pipelines) in a dry atmosphere on the ocean floor. The dry
atmosphere was created by lowering a SPAR or Submersible Pipe Alignment Rig with a welding
habitat in the centre. The SPAR was maybe 60 foot long and 20 foot wide weighing in around 80 –
100 tons.

You were either replacing flanged connections, joining newly laid pipelines together or repairing
damaged sections of an existing pipeline.
Because pipe welding was extremely difficult and took years of experience to get it right the bosses
at Taylor decided they would train pipe welders from the lay barges how to dive. The logic was any
monkey could learn how to dive but it took a skilled man to weld pipe.
The first winter they taught the welders how to dive in a 30 foot deep tank in Belle Chase Louisiana.
Clear water- breathe in breathe out – wearing a helmet- easy peasy- what was all the fuss about?
They then were put in saturation at a special hyperbaric facility where the depth and the welding
could be simulated. This was slightly more difficult for them to get used to as living in a 7 foot
diameter 20 foot long chamber with 5 other guys for a couple of weeks takes some getting used to but
they did. Welding arcs behaved differently under pressure as well but they were experienced hands
and adapted to it.

Everything went well, the welding procedures were certified and we mobilized in The North Sea
early Spring to go do some tie-ins in The Ekofisk Field in Norway.
The Offshore Industry and the diving business in general is much different today than it was in the
1970’s. Today personnel work shift of 2 weeks on 2 weeks off or 2 weeks on 3 weeks off. Divers have
to have double time off so two weeks in saturation means four weeks off. Back then our contracts
were for a minimum of 4 months. Ask to leave before that you would lose your 10% bonus.
You went into sat and basically didn’t come out until the year was done. You could opt out if
weather was on or they were doing a crew change if you wanted but I never did. This particular year
I spent 210 days offshore straight with 207 of them in saturation. It was 72 days in (my longest sat) 1
day out, 69 days in, 2 days out and the next 66 in before de-mobilising in Rotterdam.
(In my diving career I spent a total of 2265 days in saturation. That is over 6 years in a small tank
with 8 other guys. No wonder the time I later spent in prison was such a doddle.)
The regular diving crew went into sat and prepared the job for the welder divers. We lined up the
pipes, broke the concrete weight coating off using sledge hammers. Busting concrete for 4 hours on
the ocean floor is hard work. They estimated we burned up 7-8000 calories per dive. We set the
SPAR and lowered the habitat over the pipes and sealed it off then blew it down with a breathable
atmosphere. In this case a mixture of O2 and Helium.

Now it was time for the welders to come in and go to work. 3 divers went into the decompression
lock and the 6 welder divers came in. I was in the first bell run. The outside bell lights had fused and
were not working so when we got to the bottom and equalised all these divers saw in the mist was a
cold black hole and told me no F’n way and refused to go out. We ended up going up and changing
out the team. Next guys said the same thing. What we had was a barge costing $500,000 USD / day
doing nothing.

We ended up going down, running a line over to the habitat and taking the guys one by one by hand
over to the habitat. Wouldn’t be allowed today as we had to leave the bell unattended. They
managed to get the welds done but that winter the company taught a few of us divers how to weld
pipe!