#BlogTour! #Review – #LouisandLouise by Julie Cohen (@Julie_Cohen) @OrionBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n


I am delighted to be reviewing Julie Cohen’s latest novel, ‘Louis & Louise’ for my stop on the blog tour today. Many thanks to Tracy Fenton for the blog tour invite, and thanks to Orion for the ARC. Here is my review:

If you could look at one life in two different ways, what would you see?
Louis and Louise are separated by a single moment in time, a strike of chance that decided their future. The day they were born is when their story began.

In one, Louis David Alder is born a male.
In the other, Louise Dawn Alder is born a female.

Louis and Louise are the same in many ways – they have the same best friends, the same parents, the same dream of being a writer and leaving their hometown in Maine as soon as they can. But because of their gender, everything looks different. Certain things will happen in their lives to shape them, hurt them, build them back up again. But what will bring them back home?

What does TWG think?

I’ll be honest, i wasn’t sure what to expect with this novel and, as weird as this sounds, i hadn’t really sat and thought about gender in a complex manner before. I mean, i know what gender is, obviously, but i hadn’t paid too much attention to the differences in society. I’m not saying i havent’t done that because of ignorance on my part, it’s simply because i haven’t had the need to. Until now.

‘Louis & Louise’ highlights the differences in how society sees gender, as well as how the two genders are potrayed socially in groups. Not only that, this book highlights how Louis and Louise’s individual actions affect those around them from a physical and emotional point of view. Julie Cohen has constructed her novel in an incredibly clever way which makes her readers think without even being aware. This story is about the same life being told twice – how does Louis’ life differ from Louise’s? Most importantly, WHY should it differ? Surely both genders should be able to do the same things with prejudice, like playing football, watching romantic comedies, to name a couple of examples.Why should people assume that just because someone is a girl, that they shouldn’t play football and should only wear pink? And why should males be told that they need to be ‘macho’ and not show emotion, purely because of their gender?

‘Louis & Louise’ is such a one of a kind, powerful read which has been written with intense emotion and dry humour. Like i’ve already said, I really didn’t know what to expect but i am bowled over by just how magical and thought provoking this novel was to read. I may not have had any expectations beforehand but, thanks to Julie Cohen’s iconic novel, this novel is definitely going to stay with me for a long time to come.

Insightful, eye-opening, emotional and beautifully written, ‘Louis & Louise’ has put itself on the map in a variety of ways. I really did enjoy this!!

Buy now from Amazon UK

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#BlogTour! #Review – To Catch a Killer by Emma Kavanagh (@EmmaLK) @OrionBooks @AlainnaGeorgiou #ToCatchAKiller

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Day three of the #ToCatchAKiller blog tour is here, and I am delighted to be sharing my review with you all for my stop on the tour. Many thanks to Alainna and Orion for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

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I’ve been watching you DS Alice Parr.

I saw you trying to save the poor young woman you found in the park.

The woman I tried to kill.

I’ve been waiting for you to find her family. To find someone who cares about her.

But you can’t can you?

You’ve never had a case like this.

I know everything about you. You know nothing about me.

Even though I’m the man you’re looking for.

And you will never catch me…

What does TWG think?

Where do I even begin?! There’s a killer on the loose. The thing is, the police know WHO he is….ish, but they have no idea where he is or how they keep missing him. One minute he’s in the vicinity they want, and then the next he has disappeared into thin air. Will DS Alice Parr, and the rest of the team, finally get their hands on their man?

I really wasn’t sure of this book to begin with as I felt like I had just walked into the middle of someone else’s thoughts, missing the vital first half. Should I have been aware of anything before I began reading? It felt like it, but I don’t think so…now anyway. The thing is, ‘To Catch A Killer’ is hugely psychologically based, and the fact that readers are deeply rooted into Alice Parr’s brain throughout the duration of the blog, makes the storyline one of the most complex and intense books I think I have ever read. I’m not complaining at all – it just took a little bit of getting used to.

Once I was a little more familiar with Parr’s train of thought, I was able to sink my teeth further into the storyline and get stuck into the nitty-gritty. By golly there were a lot of them!!

I had never picked up an Emma Kavanagh novel before now, so I really had no idea what to expect in terms of the writing style or the way in which the author approached certain things. Now, having read ‘To Catch A Killer’, I can guarantee that it will not be the only book I delve into from this author.

The storyline was fast paced and highly complex in both a confusing, and suspenseful way. It just goes to show that over thinking is the devil, and that sometimes things are, more often than not, stuck under your very nose, with the realisation hitting far too late.

DS Parr is one intriguing character, I have to admit. Her approach to work is rather interesting, although it’s clear that she struggles to keep the emotional aspect away from her job. I can’t blame her really, although in that line of work, if you became emotional during every single case, you’d end up being off work with stress.

All in all I thought ‘To Catch A Killer’ was a psychological work of art, and the way Kavanagh thought outside of the box with her dynamic and multi-layered storyline was pretty outstanding. This book kept me guessing until the very last page and had me gasping in shock at the truth. That said, whilst the truth is revealed to an extent, the storyline does end on an Eastenders dun dun dun….moment, so be prepared to be slightly frustrated! For me, this is what a thriller should be all about. Okay, yes, I was confused at times, but the fact I couldn’t put the book down just goes to show that the storyline held me hostage and, as weird as this sounds, I would quite happily be held hostage by Emma Kavanagh again!

Buy now!

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

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

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

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

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

Ready? Let’s go!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you next year, folks!!

Kaisha x

TWG’s Top SIX #ChristmasReads of 2018! (@SarahWaights @Donnashc @Karen_King @SarahMorgan_ @RebeccaMascull) @Bookouture @OrionBooks @HQStories

Wow! How on Earth are we at the end of 2018 already? This has been an exceptional year for books and, although that is obviously excellent to hear, it has made my job of narrowing my favourite reads down, MUCH harder! Usually I would bung it all in one post, however, I felt that this year I would do something different and put my favourite festive reads in one post.

So, are you ready?

In no particular order, three of my top festive reads of 2018 are:

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Snowy Nights at the Lonely Hearts Hotel by Karen King (@karen_king) @Bookouture

https://thewritinggarnet.wordpress.com/2018/11/01/blogtour-review-missmarley-by-the-late-vanessa-lafaye-and-rebecca-mascull-rebeccamascull-hqstories/#respond

#Review – The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan (@SarahMorgan_) @HQStories

I adored all three of the above books, each ticking off various different boxes in their own right. Now, there were three other festive reads which blew me away as well, and seeing as I cannot choose just ONE as my absolute favourite Christmas book of 2018, I’m being greedy and choosing all three.

Here are my most favourite Christmas books of 2018:

Just like the previous three, you can read my thoughts of my top three here:

#BlogTour! #Review – I’m Glad I Found You This Christmas by C.P.Ward (@imgladifoundyo1) @rararesources

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

https://thewritinggarnet.wordpress.com/2018/10/06/blogtour-review-the-little-christmas-teashop-of-second-chances-by-donna-ashcroft-donnashc-bookouture/

Have you read any of the Christmas books mentioned? If so, what did you think? If you haven’t, these books can be read any time of the year, they are just brilliant!

Thank you to the authors for writing such fabulous reads, and thank you to the publishers/publicists and blog tour organisers for allowing me to read them!

#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 – 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 See Through You by Daisy McNally (@daisy_mcnally) @AlainnaGeorgiou @orionbooks

I am so very sorry for the delay in getting this blog post up. It was meant to be part of the blog tour but for the last two weeks I have had, and still have, issues with my internet. I’m trying to clear the backlog of blog tour posts as quickly as I can, so do bear with me. However, I am delighted to be sharing my review (finally) of Daisy McNally’s, ‘I See Through You’. Many thanks to Alainna Georgiou from Orion Books for the blog tour invite and ARC.


It started with a lie . . .

Skye has finally met someone she can trust. A holiday romance, of all things. But you know when something real comes along, when it’s meant to be. Don’t you? A week after returning home, and Johnny has disappeared. He hasn’t called or returned her messages.

Then, with the easiest of lies, Skye finds a way back in to Johnny’s life – and to the people in it. When she makes an unlikely friend, they realise that Johnny is telling lies of his own. So will the two women find a way to bring him down – or each other?

It ended with the truth.

What does TWG think?

What a marmite book! I don’t mean that rudely at all, especially seeing as I am a huge fan of marmite, however, I really did struggle to get into this book at the beginning as I couldn’t make head nor tail of what exactly Skye was trying to achieve. Not only that, I couldn’t work out what her fixation was with Johnny! Granted I haven’t exactly had a holiday romance myself so I am unsure of the protocol where such things are concerned, but aren’t holiday romances just that?

Anyway, after I told my brain to broaden it’s horizon’s and read the rest of the storyline with an open mind, I was pleasantly surprised to find that for a book I wasn’t struck on to start with, ended up being one that I was highly addicted to. Funny how things change isn’t it?

Skye is very manipulative yet has the vibe of someone who has their heart in the right place. Weird putting the two together I know, but that’s just how it was. Her heart had been trodden on and she had been let down – I can see why she had the mindset that she did where Johnny was concerned…to a point. What shocked me was the psychologically damaging vibe she had as thought she was intent on ruining his life in revenge. Was she throwing her teddy out of the pram because a man didn’t respond to her after their holiday fling? Or was Johnny in the wrong for leading her on and involving her in a twisted set up?

Reader, I have to say that I am on the fence – I can’t answer those questions despite having read the book myself. Usually having unanswered questions at the end of a book annoys me, but the whole addictive personalities of the characters, the intricate psychological elements, as well as the ‘did she or didn’t she?’/’did he or didn’t he?’, kept me enthralled and had me hooked line and sinker.

Daisy McNally is a unique story teller, I’ll give her that, but wow she doesn’t half make it work in her favour!! I didn’t see through the characters in this book but I fell in love with the authors detailed and twisted storytelling, that’s for sure!

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – Christmas at the Beach Hut by Veronica Henry (@Veronica_Henry) @RebeccaGray @OrionBooks

I nearly bit Rebecca Gray’s hand off (not literally!!) when she asked me to be involved in the blog tour for Veronica Henry’s upcoming novel, ‘Christmas at the Beach Hut’! I fangirl Veronica Henry every time she likes a tweet of mine/replies to me – can you guess that I am a HUGEEEEE fan? Thought so! Today I am super excited to be sharing my review of ‘Christmas at the Beach Hut’ which is set to be released on the 15th November. Many thanks to Orion for the ARC and the blog tour invite. Here is my review:

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Everyone adores Christmas . . .

Especially Lizzy Kingham. But this year, she is feeling unloved and underappreciated by her family. The present-buying, decorating and food shopping have all been left to her. So she wonders … what would happen if she ran away and left them to it?

Lizzy heads to her favourite place: a beach hut on the golden sands of Everdene. There she meets an unlikely collection of new friends, all running away from something. But the spirit of Christmas gets under Lizzy’s skin: soon the fairy lights are twinkling and the scent of mulled wine mingles with the sea air.

Back at Pepperpot Cottage, her family are desperate to find her. For Christmas isn’t Christmas without Lizzy. Can they track her down in time and convince her she means the world to them, every day of the year?

What does TWG think?

If you’re already a fan of Veronica Henry’s novels, you’ll be aware of her previous novels involving a beach hut. Whilst this latest addition to the beach hut family is indeed a relation, you do not need to read the previous books, ‘The Beach Hut’ and ‘The Beach Hut Next Door’ before tucking into this festive delight. That said, I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to read the books in order or just because, as I have never read a book by this author that I didn’t like.

Anyway, back to Christmas. I know, can you believe it’s nearly upon us? Lizzie can’t, what with being made redundant several days before the big day itself, AND getting a last-minute glitter bomb being dumped on her well thought out Christmas plan. I mean come on, don’t people realise that Christmas Day takes 364 days of planning? Every year, Lizzie loves to decorate the Christmas tree with her family, tucking into a piping hot meal and twerking to ‘The Snowman’ (maybe that’s just me…), but this year things don’t quite go to plan. Maybe Lizzie is asking for too much by wanting all of her family to get involved in the family tradition. Maybe her family are looking through their rose-tinted glasses and expect Christmas to fall down the chimney like Saint Nick himself. I don’t know. Either way, Lizzie is a bit miffed and she’s had enough.

Lizzie has some baubles, I’ll give her that! How many women would drop things for Christmas just like that? Actually don’t answer that!! Not only is Lizzie’s Christmas not going to plan, her new-found friends Harley, Leanne, and Jack, aren’t exactly feeling the Christmas spirit either. I won’t delve into the nitty gritty details, but lets just say that there are a few touching stories coming out of the mouths of the other characters.

Even though all of the characters have descended on the beach hut to get away from a traditional Christmas, I couldn’t help but feel the Christmas cheer from where I was sitting. Isn’t that what it’s all about; eating good food, being surrounded by friends and family old and new? If so, Lizzie and her new crew ticked every single box! Whilst I couldn’t imagine not being at home for Christmas Day myself, I felt a slight pang of jealousy. Everything just seemed to care free, relaxing and how it should be.

I thought the way in which Veronica Henry incorporated feelings of depression and anxiety into her storyline was brilliantly done, and something a lot of people will be able to relate with whether its due to Christmas, menopause, or something else in their lives. As someone who suffers with depression and anxiety myself due to chronic illnesses, I welcomed the topic as it highlighted just how much stigma shouldn’t be attached to it, as well as showing that even though someone is sitting there with a massive smile on their face or getting on with things like usual, it doesn’t always mean that everything is hunky dory. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not up to their loved ones to notice a change in their behaviour, however, it certainly makes a difference if people just stopped to take a moment to think about someone other than themselves as people with depression or anxiety will not go and ask for support.

‘Christmas at the Beach Hut’ is a story that is not only laced with poignancy and rawness due to the topics it highlights via Lizzie and other characters, it’s also a story that is laced with oodles of festive cheer and warmth. Put it this way, if this book came with an additional festive treat, I would be shouting loudly for a tinsel blanket (only softer). Why? Because ‘Christmas at the Beach Hut’ is sparkly, one of a kind, cosy, and incredibly touching. A novel which glistens from every direction and fills hearts with joy every time it’s looked at.

I absolutely loved every inch of ‘Christmas at the Beach Hut’ and, having already read double figures worth of Christmas novels so far, I have to say that Veronica Henry’s novel is my favourite Christmas book of 2018. The warmth, the community spirit, the festivities, the heart-warming topics, the wonderful characters – just everything. I loved it all. A perfect, perfect read this Christmas and for the other 364 days of the year – outstanding!

‘Christmas at the Beach Hut’ will be published on the 15th November but can be pre-ordered now from Amazon – I urge you all to pre-order or put it on your Christmas lists!!

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheInsider by Mari Hannah (@mariwriter) @orionbooks @orion_crime

Happy publication day to, Mari Hannah, and The Insider! I am delighted to be able to share my review today as part of the blog tour. Apologies for the late post but I’ve not long finished read it! Huge thanks to, Alainna, and the team at Orion for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

‘It was the news they had all been dreading, confirmation of a fourth victim.’

When the body of a young woman is found by a Northumberland railway line, it’s a baptism of fire for the Murder Investigation Team’s newest detective duo: DCI David Stone and DS Frankie Oliver.

The case is tough by anyone’s standards, but Stone is convinced that there’s a leak in his team – someone is giving the killer a head start on the investigation. Until he finds out who, Stone can only trust his partner.

But Frankie is struggling with her own past. And she isn’t the only one being driven by a personal vendetta. The killer is targeting these women for a reason. And his next target is close to home…

What does TWG think?

Just to be clear, ‘The Insider’ is book two in the ‘Stone and Oliver’ series but I felt that it read pretty well as a stand-alone. That said, if you are wanting to know more about Stone and Oliver then I would suggest reading book one first. I didn’t do that and, even though the main storyline didn’t require having read the series from the beginning, I think I would have understood just how the two main characters ticked if I had.

Right, now the T’s & C’s of the book are out of the way, so to speak, I can now say how ‘OMG!!!’ ‘The Insider’ is! Gritty. Intense. Addictive. Suspenseful. Eery. Everything I could have wanted in one place. I haven’t read a Mari Hannah novel before, despite having one of her books on my forever toppling ‘TBR’ pile! That will swiftly change though as, after reading this novel, I cannot believe I didn’t get to this author before now.

Wow!

A new detective duo, four murders, and a snitch. Not only do Stone and Oliver have multiple skeletons in their closets, their work life is contributing to the cobwebs as they try in vain to capture the imbecile who is intent on ruining people’s lives. Why those four victims in particular? Who on the team is opening their mouths wider than a Venus fly trap? Will Stone and Oliver find the culprit before they snare their next victim?

With every new event and every new chapter, questions bombarded my mind trying to work out who was behind the murders. I loved the anticipation behind the entire storyline, and I loved how much bite the vibe of the book had.

‘The Insider’ had an opening which carried an almighty hook, propelling my excitement for the rest of the book into overdrive. For me, the pace of the book was delicious – not too slow, not too fast; just right. Everything just worked.

Okay, I’ll admit that Stone and Oliver’s working relationship made my eyebrow raise a few times, yet I couldn’t imagine Stone partnered up with anyone else. Especially not Dunne!

All in all, ‘The Insider’ is a perfectly rounded, deliciously gritty, gripping novel which kept me hooked and left me reeling. After reading this, I have definitely found a new ‘go to’ author, that’s for sure!!

Buy now!

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

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Inadvertent cross-dressing
Attempted murder
Jail break
A waltz at a funeral
A hernia the size of Guernsey

Heartbreaking and darkly comic, these are the moments that litter the messy road from cared-for to carer, a journey that Robyn Hollingworth finds herself on when she’s only twenty-five years old.

Leaving London to return home to rural South Wales, Robyn finds that it’s her old life – same teddy bears resting on her pillow, their bodies tucked under the duvet; same view of the garages behind which she’d had her first cigarette and first kiss – but so much has changed.

Her dad, the proud, charmingly intelligent, self-made man who made people laugh, is in the grip of early onset Alzheimer’s. His brilliant mind, which saw him building power stations and literally bringing light into the lives of others, has succumbed to darkness.

As Robyn settles back in the rhythms of life in the rain-soaked vast Welsh valleys, she keeps a diary charting her journey as the dad she knew disappears before her eyes. Lyrical, poignant and with flashes of brilliant humour, My Mad Dad explores how in helping others we can heal ourselves.

‘At some point the cared for become the carers…this isn’t a shame and it isn’t a tragedy and it isn’t a chore. It is an honour. To be able to return the gift of love that someone bestows upon you is a gift in itself. This is a story of caring…’

*Thank you to Netgalley and Trapeze for the ARC which I have reviewed voluntarily*

What does TWG think?

I’ll be honest (when am I not?); I have no idea where to start with my review of ‘My Mad Dad’. I’m not struggling with my words because I disliked the book, not at all. In fact I feel the complete opposite – I adored it. Move over Catwoman, Batwoman and whoever else Marvel have womanised, there’s a new superhero in town, and she goes by the name of SuperRobynHollingworth!! I’m not even exaggerating. ‘My Mad Dad’ moved me to tears more than once. I would have done anything to give Robyn a big, big hug. Not to make her feel bad or anything, but the tears weren’t dripping out of my eyes because of the type of sadness you feel when you stub your toe or you watch a video on Facebook with a dog in it, they were water falling out of my eyes because I was utterly heartbroken and it wasn’t even me going through it.

When it comes to reviewing non-fiction/memoir type novels, I always say that I will review the book purely based on the content as non-fiction books can be written in a different manner to fictional novels. However, I am breaking my rule with this book as I thought the way Robyn told her story was incredible. Not only did she manage to convey her thoughts in a structured manner, ensuring that her readers aren’t confused by any medical jargon throughout the book, but she also wrote it as though she was sitting with one person and talking to them face to face. There were no airs and graces, no pregnant pauses or fake emotion, Robyn seemed to keep it real.

‘My Mad Dad’ tells the story of Robyn’s dads diagnosis with Alzheimer’s and how that one word changed not only his life, but his family’s as well. Whilst that topic is the main focus of this book, Robyn has also written about many other emotional events around the time of the diagnosis. I won’t give anything away, but I wasn’t prepared at all for my eyes were digesting. How one person can not only deal with caring for her father, but also come to terms with the permanent disappearance of something or someone else, is astounding. There were times throughout the book where Robyn admitted that this wasn’t what she signed up for at the age of twenty five, whilst also making it clear that she found it incredibly difficult at times, yet she still did what she did out of love for her family. What caught me a lot was how Robyn didn’t believe just how incredibly special she is, stating that a lot of other people’s lives are worse than hers, or that people go through worse things than her. Of course, everyone thinks that when they’re dealing with tough events because it becomes a barrier for what emotions we have left, yet if you look at the bigger picture on that thought, it’s clear that we end up devaluing our own actions when in fact we have been to hell and back. That is what I thought about what Robyn said. Maybe it’s because I am an outsider looking in at her past, seeing things that only someone who isn’t directly involved in the situation can see, I don’t know. What I do know is, is that Robyn went through utter hell, emotionally and physically, as she watched her beloved father disappear before her very eyes. Gone were his sarcastic one liners and high intelligence, instead being replaced by a man who was no longer sure of anything, even his own daughter.

I know that I have mentioned how Robyn went through hell, many times, but please don’t think that I am disregarding her other family members who endured severe pain at the time too. I cannot even begin to imagine how her father felt as he watched himself fall into an uncertain state. Or how Robyn’s mother felt when she ended up enduring her own fair share of heartache and devastation. Or even Robyn’s brother, the only person at that time who knew what Robyn was thinking, without even saying anything, fighting his own grief yet still protecting his sister. I mean, just wow.

‘My Mad Dad’ is a raw, poignant, emotional, inspirational, and relatable read which completely blew my mind in every direction. Even whilst writing scenes which would bring a stone to tears, Robyn was still able to find a piece of humour to hold onto. I sometimes felt bad that I was creased with laughter despite sobbing my heart out five minutes previous. Robyn has an incredible way of getting her message across as though it’s the most natural thing in the world. Because it is. This is her message, this is her life and having seen the devastation first hand, this is natural to Robyn.


I cried like a baby in the foetus position, laughed like a hyena, and increased my knowledge a lot quicker reading this book than if I had consulted my best bud, Google. Personally, ‘My Mad Dad’ is a book which I think every single person on this planet should read, even if they haven’t been directly affected by Alzheimer’s.

I need to stop rabbiting on now as I feel like the waterfall is ready to get going again. I will leave you with this though; sometimes in life we find ourselves in a dark tunnel without any light to guide our way and, contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t matter how long we stay in that tunnel or whether we get told that we ‘should be out of it by now’, as long as we manage to find the way at some point, we are winning at life without even realising it. And, Robyn Hollingworth is winning a life for having the courage to get her thoughts out on paper, even if they weren’t all rainbows and sunbeams. She is an inspiration in every form possible, and this book is truly outstanding.

Buy now from Amazon