#BlogTour! #Review – Too Close To Breathe by Olivia Kiernan (@LivKiernan) @Riverrunbooks @Annecater

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Today I am joined by debut author, Olivia Kiernan, and her debut novel ‘Too Close To Breathe’. I am delighted to be reviewing this book as part of the blog tour, so a big thank you to the publisher for the ARC, and Anne Cater for the blog tour invite.

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TOO SOON TO SEE

Polished. Professional. Perfect. Dead. Respected scientist Dr Eleanor Costello is found hanged in her immaculate home: the scene the very picture of a suicide.

TOO LATE TO HIDE

DCS Frankie Sheehan is handed the case, and almost immediately spots foul play. Sheehan, a trained profiler, is seeking a murderer with a talent for death.

TOO CLOSE TO BREATHE

As Frankie strives to paint a picture of the killer, and their victim, she starts to sense they are part of a larger, darker canvas, on which the lines between the two blur.

What does TWG think?

I was really impressed by the complexity of ‘Too Close To Breathe’ as it is the authors debut novel, as well as being the first book in a new series. It didn’t come across like a debut novel at all – I mean, the storyline was well thought out and seemed to have the strength behind it of an author who had been churning out books for years.

‘Too Close To Breathe’ wasn’t what I call a ‘fast paced’ novel, not that I’m complaining of course! Well, I did struggle to begin with because certain situations to do with Frankie were being dragged out a little bit too long for my liking but, even though my mind was urging the storyline to get to the point, there is a reason why it is slow paced, and there is a reason why the readers get drip fed pieces of information.

If you’re expecting a rollercoaster ride of a read which leaves gasping for air – I wouldn’t point you in the direction of this book. However, if you’re after a book which gets under your skin, drip feeds you information at a teasing pace, makes your mind writhe with pressure and uncertainty, AND completely funks up your head – I would recommend this book time and time again.

Frankie’s colleagues are concerned about her ‘sanity’ and stress levels after she became a victim in an incident not so long ago. Unfortunately for Frankie, she then starts to suffer with PTSD but she still remains determined to do her job to the best of her ability. Her professionalism is soon put to the test when her team investigate several cases which show sign of similarity towards the case Frankie would love to be able to forget.

Frankie’s situation isn’t a unique one, but because of how ‘real’ she comes across in the story, her likeable factor went up several notches in my eyes. clichés maybe, but Frankie is an extremely complex character who I cannot wait to get to know more about.

‘Too Close To Breathe’ is full of dodgy characters and I couldn’t help but point my finger towards the majority of them in relation to the investigations. They were all rather shifty! What were they hiding? Because of that, trying to work out who the culprit was ended up being a lot harder than anticipated. Not that I am any good at trying to work out whodunnit, but still. Olivia Kiernan did keep me guessing until the very end, and I have to say that I was rather shocked when the truth came out! It’s pretty clear that the author loved putting red herrings into her storyline, trying to keep her readers on their toes, as it worked!

The fact that this book wasn’t fast paced didn’t ruin anything for me, in fact, it actually gripped me to the storyline a lot more. I did find the constant dead ends a bit annoying, but I think that was to do with my overall impatience more than anything as I was eager to find out the hows, why’s and wherefore’s.

A cracking debut novel, and a very promising start to a brand new series. Olivia Kiernan certainly has wet my appetite for the next book!

Buy now from Amazon

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

Which books are REAL books?-2
I feel like I’m stuck on repeat where this topic is concerned, yet STILL people continue to offend hundreds of authors, and readers, out there with comments such as ‘e-books aren’t real books’. How aren’t they real? An author spends the same amount if time writing a book whether it’s published in e-book, paperback, hardback or on a slate -eye roll-, so why do people continue to say that other formats of books aren’t real?

Let me ask you this….

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

Think about it.

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

Well you should.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#BlogTour! #Review – The Love Factory by Elaine Proctor (@ElaineProctor2) @QuercusBooks

Thank you to Quercus for the blog tour invite, as well as an ARC of Elaine Proctor’s ‘The Love Factory’. Today, for my stop on the blog, I will be sharing my review of Elaine’s new novel. Enjoy!

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You can control want, but desire controls you

A smart, sexy, witty novel about love and desire, and how losing everything can sometimes be the best thing that ever happened to you

Anna is a writer whose small but perfectly formed novels sell zip. When she falls on hard times and tries her hand at erotic fiction, she faces an uncomfortable truth. Though she’s a wife and mother of two, her stories fail to fly because she’s never experienced true sexual desire. Even her Sicilian grandmother – wearer of diamante sunglasses and knock-off Louis Vuitton – knows more than she does about true passion.

A romance-writing workshop doesn’t help, so Anna turns to her friends for inspiration. As secrets and desires are revealed, Anna discovers more about the people close to her than she ever knew. When Cordelia, a romance-writing classmate, suggests she borrows an alter ego to banish her inhibitions, a new world opens up to Anna and The Love Factory – a group of writers penning ever more successful sexy stories – is born.

And yet Anna knows that she can’t rely on borrowed passion and an alter ego forever. For her tales to truly sizzle, she needs to find a proper love of her own.

What does TWG think?

‘The Love Factory’ is one of the most unique books I have read so far this year. Set around the concept of erotic fiction and being true to your own sexual desires, Elaine Proctor has told a story which I truly believe a lot of people are afraid to tell themselves. After all, who wants to openly admit that they have never experience true, burning desires when it comes to delving between the sheets? Or, on the other side of the coin, how do we know that those who are too quick to spill the secrets of their nightly antics, aren’t merely creating their own fictional world to keep up with what society believes women should have experienced?

I wasn’t entirely fussed on the first half of this book, because I couldn’t see what the author was trying to achieve to begin with. For me, there seemed to be a lot of ‘filling out’, with no true understanding of where the storyline was heading, or what Anna’s true intentions were. All I could understand was how unhappy Anna was and, until the latter half of the book where everything clicked, I unfortunately saw Anna as such a whinging soul.

Some people might say, ‘why didn’t you give up with the book there and then?’ and, whilst that is a valid question, there was a part of me deep down, that knew the storyline was going to come into its own with everything becoming a lot clearer. I needed to persevere with the book so that I could find out what the authors true intentions were, as well as attempting to understand Anna’s true personality.

Thankfully, my patience paid off as, like I said above, everything started to click in the second half of the book. It was as though the author became more comfortable in her own offerings, enabling her characters to shine with the confidence Proctor brought to the table subconsciously.

‘The Love Factory’ is extremely sexually oriented, but not in a seedy way. The theme was written in a way which was able to highlight a woman’s fantasies, without coming across as too sordid. Don’t get me wrong, the fiction which Anna and her friends wrote certainly made the air around me blue, but if writing fictional characters helped Anna realise that there was more to life than laying underneath her partner like a sack of spuds, who am I to argue?

‘The Love Factory’ isn’t a quick read as it requires readers to think outside the box and walk alongside the characters as they blossom whilst the storyline progresses. All the characters in this book are from all walks of life, with completely different beliefs to everyday situations. Personally, I loved the variation where the characters were concerned as it opened my eyes to how things are portrayed in different countries, or in different belief systems. Plus, with Anna being friends with such colourful people, friendships became a lot more firework like which, in turn, made for a very entertaining read.

I have to say that, despite my earlier reservations of ‘The Love Factory’, I did end up enjoying this book in the end. It’s pretty clear that a lot of heart and soul went into writing this book, and I really do hope that people read this with an open mind, taking in the message which the author is trying to convey. I saw that message to be ‘Be true to yourself, your beliefs, your fantasies, and don’t stop trying until you have the life you want. No matter what.’

If I can unleash that sort of message from such a complex and intense read, I think the author has done her job tenfold.

‘The Love Factory’ will be released on the 22nd March. You can pre-order your copy now from Amazon

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

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I am thrilled to be today’s stop on Holly Cave’s blog tour for ‘The Memory Chamber’. I really wasn’t sure about this book at first, but I am so glad I persevered! Huge thanks to Quercus Books for the blog tour invite, as well as the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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YOU ARE GOING TO DIE.
YOU CAN PRESERVE A HANDFUL OF SPECIAL MEMORIES FOR EVER.
WHICH ONES WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

True death is a thing of the past. Now you can spend the rest of eternity re-living your happiest memories: that first kiss, falling in love, the birth of your children, enjoyed on loop for ever and ever.

Isobel is a Heaven Architect, and she helps dying people create afterlives from these memories. So when she falls for Jarek, one of her terminal – and married – clients, she knows that while she cannot save him, she can create the most beautiful of heavens, just for him.

But when Jarek’s wife is found dead, Isobel uncovers a darker side of the world she works within, and she can trust no one with what she finds…

What does TWG think?

‘The Memory Chamber’ is a read which was so far out of my comfort zone, I honestly felt like I was on a different planet at times! Whilst I am all for psychological thrillers and crime, I have never really been a fan of science fiction, finding them far too outlandish for my tastes. However, Holly Cave’s new novel not only includes themes of a thrilling nature, it also includes themes which had a hint of Matrix versus Men in Black running through them. Like I said right at the beginning of this review, I wasn’t sure about ‘The Memory Chamber’ to start with because of the science involved. But, let me just say that I am so, SO glad that I decided to persevere with the book, stepping outside of my comfort zone to read something totally different. I would definitely recommend reading something you would never have picked up before – you might end up liking it!

I didn’t just LIKE ‘The Memory Chamber’, no. I absolutely loved it! Yes, I know, I surprised myself!! First of all, you have a main character who is a ‘Heaven Architect’, creating an afterlife for people with their memories and a good use of technology. You want a yellow, Bumblebee type Transformer car in your memories? Call Isobel. You want a selected few people to join you in your afterlife? No problem – Isobel can do that! Of course there are a lot of rules and permissions need to be granted, making the entire thing of a personally created afterlife, seem the norm. For the characters of this book, it is the norm. But that isn’t the be all end all of this book!

‘The Memory Chamber’ has such a jam-packed storyline, exploring clients personally built heavens, as well as finding out the true meaning of hell. Well, Isobel does anyway. As the storyline progresses, Isobel’s life becomes extremely difficult. If she thought her job was a matter of life and death before, she has absolutely no idea what she is about to be faced with.

I loved how the storyline was able to switch between the fluffy heaven, and the ever so dark ‘hell’, as it took me on a rollercoaster ride which was so unique, I couldn’t help but be addicted to every single page I was reading.

Yes this book is highly unusual, and yes, the storyline has a lot of themes which, written anywhere else, would seem incredibly outlandish and utterly bonkers – but it works, it really does. If you were to ask me what I disliked about this book, I would answer you with ‘absolutely nothing’, and I’m being completely honest. I could not put this book down, reading it in one sitting and feeling like I had lost my right arm when I had finished reading it.

Holly Cave turned my world upside down with her highly compelling, addictive and brilliant story telling. Reading ‘The Memory Chamber’ made me feel as though I was looking down on the Earth and everyone in it – a feeling which I have never experienced before whilst reading a book. This book blew my mind and left me wanting a truck load more, I honestly cannot recommend this enough.

Such a unique, thrilling, eye-opening, and brilliant book which will test your perseverance like never before. Bloomin’ brilliant!

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

#Newsflash – Joanna Bolouri is about to ‘Relight My Fire’! You won’t want to miss THIS! (@scribbles78 @AlainnaGeorgiou @QuercusBooks)

catexcited

-hyperventilates-.

Right, you guys know how much I LOVE Joanna Bolouri’s books, right? I mean, I needed to buy a subscription for Tena Lady that time I was on the blog tour for her (yes, I was that excited!). So, when the lovely Alainna from Quercus Books got in contact about a new Joanna Bolouri novel, I think unintentionally invited dogs round to my house as my squeals were that high-pitched. Seriously, Tena lady and a dog party – living the life of Riley!

Anyway, the whole reason we are here today, aka Valentines Day, is because I have some UTTERLYAMAZING MUCHBETTERTHANVALENTINESDAY new book news! Throw away the Dairy Box; this is FAR better (well, just put them away and keep them until March…).

SQUEAL!!

Because I haven’t quite got the vocabulary for writing this post without squealing and such, I shall let something else do the talking. I am super honoured to present Joanna Bolouri’s upcoming new novel….

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RELIGHT MY FIREEEEEEE,
YOUR BOOK IS MY ONLY DESIREEEEE
RELIGHT MY FIREEEEEE
CAUSE I NEEEEEEEDDDDD
THIS BOOK!!!

That’s right folks! 31st May 2018 is the paperback publication for ‘Relight My Fire’ by the phenomenal, Joanna Bolouri!! The book will also be published in e-book format in March but, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be buying it in both formats! Here is some more information about Joanna’s book, as well as the all important pre-order links:

9781786488589

Phoebe and Oliver are stuck in a rut.

With a five year old daughter and demanding jobs, it’s not hard to see why the spark has gone.

Not one for giving up, Phoebe creates a sexy wishlist: a jar where they can ask the other for anythingthey’ve ever wanted in bed – or out of it.

But with distractions aplenty – such as, why do all her past lovers think now is a good time to make a reappearance? And, she may be wrong, but is Oli keeping something from her? – will they be able to relight the fire in the bedroom?

From mix tapes to ‘sex jars’, this is the naughtiest rom com you will ever read. From the bestselling author of The List.

Joanna Bolouri is bringing sexy back, us book bloggers and readers dunno how to act……

To pre-order ‘Relight My Fire’ in e-book format, click here! (Published 1st March 2018)
To pre-order ‘Relight My Fire’ in paperback format, click here! (Published 31st May 2018)

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

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I am SO, SO, SO excited to be sharing my review of Jo Spain’s highly anticipated novel, ‘The Confession’ (out in e-book now, hardcover 25/01, paperback 9/08), as part of the blog tour! I hope you enjoy reading my review as much as I enjoyed reading the book. Huge thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and a huge thank you to Quercus books for the ARC. Here is my review:

jo spain
SOMETIMES PEOPLE ARE NOT ALL THEY SEEM…
SOMETIMES THE TRUTH HIDES A SECRET…
SOMETIMES A CONFESSION IS THE BEGINNING… NOT THE END

Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear. It looks like Harry’s many sins – corruption, greed, betrayal – have finally caught up with him.

An hour later the intruder, JP Carney, hands himself in, confessing to the assault. The police have a victim, a suspect in custody and an eye-witness account, but Julie remains troubled.

Has Carney’s surrender really been driven by a guilty conscience or is this confession the first calculated move in a deadly game?

What does TWG think?

Can I get away with just writing ‘OMG JUST GO AND BUY THIS BOOK LIKE, RIGHT NOW!’ as my review?

No?

Such a spoilsport!

Fine!

If you have ever sat there questioning prologues, or thinking that they’re a waste of time, then you clearly haven’t read this type of prologue! ‘The Confession’ has one of the most powerful prologues I think I have ever read, as it pulls readers into the storyline by telling them what happened, right at the very start. Now you’re probably thinking ‘what’s the point in telling us the ‘ending’ before we have even begun the beginning?’. Of course that is a good question, but what if I told you that the beginning to an end wasn’t even the end? What if I told you that there is always more to a situation that meets the eye. Sounds self-explanatory really, doesn’t it? Trust me, I thought that too, but that was before I had even scratched the surface of ‘The Confession’.

Highly publicised businessman, Harry McNamara, finds himself watching his life flash before his eyes after a man casually enters his home one evening, laughing himself on a man who has always deemed himself to be ‘untouchable’. Who is this man? What need did he have to enter a strangers house and beat them to a pulp in front of his wife? I confess, I didn’t have the answers to those questions either, yet all I knew was that the truth wasn’t going to be pretty…

If I were to tell you that I was on the edge of my seat whilst reading this book, it would be the truth but highly predictable. If I were to tell you that my heart decided to go on an early camping trip in my mouth, that would also be the truth and also predictable of me to say so.

I have to confess something else though, seeing as this book is about confessions…..

I have never, ever read a book which was able to charge my brain with excitement, whilst also making me feel as though I was mentally and physically involved in the fictional situation. I have never read a book which, if anyone dared to disturb me whilst reading it, made me feel as though I could turn into a serial killer at any moment (book lovers, you’ll know what I mean when I say that…I wouldn’t really but y’know).

Cliche but true; I was hooked line and sinker by every single page of ‘The Confession’, thus making me mentally unprepared for the book to end. There were moments where I felt like I knew what had happened, but then as soon as the character viewpoint changed and the story was told via a different character, it didn’t take me long to completely change my mind. When the truth finally came out my jaw dropped. I had led myself to believe certain things due to how they were told in the story, yet I hadn’t begun to think about any of the other ‘what if’s’ because they weren’t made out to be a ‘big deal’ so to speak (well, from my eyes anyway).

Another confession…but I didn’t feel sorry for Harry at all, for reason which will become evident the further you read. That said, everyone will interpret ‘The Confession’ differently. Who knows, you might find yourself sympathising with Harry’s situation. You might also find yourself reaching the truth before other people, and that doesn’t matter. You want to know why? Because the truth has already been told…

‘The Confession’ is a phenomenal, powerful and highly addictive read – I honestly have never read a book like this and if I’m being perfectly honest, I don’t think I ever will again. Jo Spain has written such a complex, dark and severely questionable storyline which will leave you questioning absolutely anything. If you thought a toddler asked a lot of questions, you just wait! You’ll find yourself asking so many questions that a toddler’s list of daily ‘why’s? will be nothing compared to yours.

This book has taken a high jump into the list my most favourite books ever and, despite still only being January, ‘The Confession’ is a top contender for my most favourite books of 2018. Jo Spain has blown me away and I am absolutely devastated that ‘The Confession’ had to come to an end.

I cannot recommend this book enough, you really will not be disappointed. THIS is the sort of book which I have been waiting for an author to write.

Absolutely outstanding.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! Review – I’ll Keep You Safe by Peter May (@authorpetermay) @quercusfiction

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Niamh and Ruairidh Macfarlane co-own the Hebridean company Ranish Tweed. On a business trip to Paris to promote their luxury brand, Niamh learns of Ruairidh’s affair, and then looks on as he and his lover are killed by a car bomb. She returns home to Lewis, bereft.

Niamh begins to look back on her life with Ruairidh, desperate to identify anyone who may have held a grudge against him. The French police, meanwhile, have ruled out terrorism, and ruled in murder – and sent Detective Sylvie Braque to shadow their prime suspect: Niamh.

As one woman works back through her memories, and the other moves forward with her investigation, the two draw ever closer to a deadly enemy with their own, murderous, designs.

What does TWG think?

I am actually quite ashamed with myself – how on Earth have I not read a Peter May novel before?! I was drawn to this book a lot, not only because of it being by a ‘new author’ for me, but because the cover creeped the hell out of me!

Because there is A LOT happening in this book, my review will be quite vague so not to give any of the storyline away. However, I will be honest and say that I did find myself sitting on the fence a lot with what I was reading. Each of the characters names seemed to melt into one another as there was just so many to keep tabs on! Don’t get me wrong, the characters themselves were memorable, it’s just trying to remember who was who was not. Of course, Niamh was the most memorable character of them all and rightly so (you’ll see what I mean when you read the book).

I did think it was clever how the author’s settings changed along the way, giving his readers an insight to three very well-known countries in the world. Personally, the way in which the storyline flowed seamlessly between those setting changes really made me see the book in a different light.

All in all, despite my slight confusion and sitting on the fence, I did find myself enjoying the complex and thrilling storyline the more of it I read. I’m glad I decided to read a Peter May novel for the first time, and I am glad that my curiosity took over so that I could sit back and enjoy the ride which this author had taken me on.

Certainly different, but I am looking forward to reading another Peter May novel in the future.

Thanks MidasPR.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#TWGGetsTalking – How to tell the difference between being nasty & being constructive #reviews

Twg gets talking
You should all know by now that I like to talk, ESPECIALLY when I am passionate about something and believe that it needs to be spoken about.

Once again, opinions have been thrust into the limelight and definitions have been questioned. Before I explain further, I’m just going to paste the Oxford dictionary definitions of two words; nasty, and constructive.

Nasty: very bad, or unpleasant.
(definition of unpleasant is: Causing discomfort, unhappiness, or revulsion; disagreeable.)

Constructive: Having or intended to have a useful or beneficial purpose.

constructive

Two completely different word with extremely clear definitions, yet people are still getting confused by the two words.

Why?

As a reviewer, I have always been made aware that authors (or anyone who gets critiqued) tend to appreciate CONSTRUCTIVE reviews as opposed to NASTY reviews. With both types of reviews your opinion is given – that is NOT the issue. After all, every person on this Earth is entitled to their opinion. We are allowed to dislike something. We are allowed to express our dislike of something. We are allowed to jump for joy about something. What the issue is, however, is the WAY those points are put across.

Believe me, I open my trap before my brain connects sometimes, ending up with goodness knows what flying out of my mouth. But when it comes to reviews, I am extremely careful about how I voice my opinion.

For example; ‘Omg I hated that book, it was absolutely shit, the author bored me to tears.’

What’s wrong with that sentence?

Okay, so, the example above is someones opinion. They’re entitled to that. Answer me this; was it constructive, or nasty?

If you said that the example was a constructive comment: seriously? How does saying that a book was ‘shit’, come across as beneficial to the author?
It doesn’t.

It’s rude and it’s nasty. Imagine if you cooked a meal for a group of people and someone came up to you afterwards and said that they thought your cooking was absolutely vile, would you benefit from that?

To turn the above example into a constructive opinion, here’s an example:
‘Personally, this book wasn’t really my cup of tea as I couldn’t quite gel with the storyline. I felt that it came across as quite over the top and unrealistic, which in turn made me switch off.’

The different between the two examples is substantial. The example above still highlights your dislike, yet it also explains WHY you felt that way. It’s also not personally attacking the person who wrote the book, whilst still keeping your opinion entitlement intact.

Whilst authors are painfully aware that their books could end up with negative reviews and their book babies critiqued, it doesn’t mean that just because they have put something in the public eye, that they should expect nasty comments or personal attacks.

YES, they have written something which will get critiqued.
YES, everyones opinion does differ.
YES, readers are entitled to dislike their book.

Just DON’T be nasty about it!

In book clubs, you’re going to have the perfect opportunity to talk about various books whether it’s an online or offline. But, do you think that it’s respectful to openly blast and author and their book, in an online book club which they could be a member of?
Yes or no?

No it’s not!!! Go ahead and state your opinion about a book, but if you’re going to sit there and say that a book is so bad and how you wanted to ‘light a match under it’; that’s not stating your opinion, it’s called being nasty.

As we hear all the time, not everyone will like the same book. Well duh! I fully admit that I have read a book and disliked it. But instead of reviewing it nastily, I gave it a constructive review as there will always be something in a book that you’ll like. I explained what I didn’t like about the book, I also explained WHY I didn’t like those parts, how it made me feel, and so on. I also explained what I DID like about the book. I still managed to express my opinion on the book, without insulting a human being with feelings in the process.

So, if you’re ever in an online book group where the admin have asked you to talk about books in a constructive manner; respectfully do it. They aren’t taking away your freedom of speech. They aren’t banishing you from stating your opinion. They are just asking you to express your opinion respectfully and constructively. Authors have feelings too.

It really isn’t that difficult to do..

#BlogTour! #Review – One Summer in Tuscany by Domenica De Rosa @ellygriffiths @QuercusFiction

One Summer in Tuscany blog tour poster

tuscany
Rivalries and romance in a Tuscan paradise. A relaxing writers’ retreat? If only! Perfect holiday reading from Domenica de Rosa, author of the bestselling Dr Ruth Galloway series under the name Elly Griffiths. Previously published as SUMMER SCHOOL.

Patricia Wilson’s carefully composed ads for the writers’ retreat she runs at her thirteenth-century Italian castle promise so much. But while the splendour of their surroundings and chef Aldo’s melanzane never fail to wow the guests, huge maintenance bills and bad news from the bank threaten to close Patricia down. It’s make or break time for the Castello.

Each of her seven aspiring authors arrives with the inevitable baggage alongside their unpublished manuscripts. But this August something is different, and soon lifelong spinster Mary is riding on the back of Aldo’s vespa, and smouldering odd-job man Fabio has set more than one heart racing.

As temperatures rise, the writers gossip, flirt and gently polish their prose by the pool. But with ghosts, scorpions, and some unexpected visitors to contend with, one thing’s for sure: neither the Castello, nor Patricia, has ever seen a summer like this.

What does TWG think?

Set in Italy, ‘One Summer in Tuscany’ is an ideal book to take with you on your holidays, lay on the sun lounger and just relax. With a not to strenuous storyline, this novel allows you to go with the flow without being too heavy, or too complicated.

Be prepared for a lot of characters to come your way though! Although, with a beautiful setting such as Italy, I don’t think the prospect of multiple characters will annoy you too much!

What I found endearing about ‘One Summer in Tuscany’, was the fact that it was set in a writers retreat, as well as Italy. I have only come across that particular setting once or twice before, so it made a nice change to be able to watch the storyline unfold in a writers retreat. For me, it gave the novel more of a unique feel. Not only that, the chef, Aldo, was able to make my mouth water with a minimal amount of effort! Out of the gutter…please.

Whilst I am all for a calm storyline, I do enjoy a bit of bite. Something to sink my teeth into. Something to keep my interest. Don’t get me wrong, I was entertained by ‘One Summer in Tuscany’, I just needed a bit more…oomph to the overall storyline. I felt that the characters were well written and realistically developed. The setting was beautifully described, I just wanted to pack my suitcase and go live there. THAT’s how realistically written it was. The storyline was full of bounce in terms of happiness, without anything majorly traumatic.

Overall, it was a lovely, lovely read. I just wish it had that little bit extra. I cannot fault the author on the feel of the book though, that’s for sure!

Thanks Quercus.

Buy now from Amazon UK (Paperback follows 29th June)

#BlogTour! #Extract – #SweetAfterDeath – Valentina Giambanco (@vm_giambanco) @QuercusBooks

sweet after death

In the dead of winter Homicide Detective Alice Madison is sent to the remote town of Ludlow, Washington, to investigate an unspeakable crime.

Together with her partner Detective Sergeant Kevin Brown and crime scene investigator Amy Sorensen, Madison must first understand the killer’s motives…but the dark mountains that surround Ludlow know how to keep their secrets and that the human heart is wilder than any beast’s.

As the killer strikes again Madison and her team are under siege. And as they become targets Madison realises that in the freezing woods around the pretty town a cunning evil has been waiting for her.

Extract.

Prologue

The woods pressed into the town from all sides. The bite of land that had been scooped out of the wilderness by the original residents was barely visible from above during the day,and at night – when the only lights were a few scattered street lamps – it was all but gone. The deer raised its snout, sniffed the cold night air and took a couple of steps. It paused by the line of trees and waited. Somewhere much higher up on the mountain the winds howled and shook the firs for what they were worth, but in the hollow of the valley the town of Ludlow lay silent and still. The deer ambled into the middle of the empty road and three others followed it out of the shadows. They made no sound as they padded on the veil of snow and their reflections crossed the windows of the shuttered stores on Main Street.

The town stirred in its sleep but it did not wake: a dog barked from inside a house, a porch light – triggered by a faulty motion sensor – came on and went off in one of the timber-frame homes, and one of the town’s three traffic lights ticked and flickered from red to green to marshal the nonexistent 3 a.m. traffic. And yet, tucked away in an alley, a thin shadow tracked the progress of the deer and matched them step for step. They didn’t pick up its scent because it smelled of forest and dead leaves, and they didn’t hear any footsteps because it made no sound as it wove between the houses. The deer followed a familiar route that would lead them to the woods at the other end of Main Street, and it wasn’t until they had almost reached their destination that they caught the ugly scent. It was a few hundred yards away yet sharp enough to startle them. For an instant they froze and then, one after the other, they bounded out of sight. The acrid smoke spread through Main Street, reaching into the alleys and the backstreets, under the doors and into the gaps of the old window-frames. But the car burning bright by the crossroads would not be discovered until morning, and by then the thin shadow was long gone.

A few miles away Samuel shifted his weight on the thin mattress and listened out for birdsong: he couldn’t hear any, and it could only mean that it was still pitch black outside. He sighed and tried to grasp the tail of a half-remembered dream. Something had woken him up, though, and it took him a moment for the notion to sink small, keen teeth into his mind – dulled, as it was, by sleep and the warm cocoon of his blankets. Then a rough hand grabbed his shoulder and Samuel flinched and understood. He sat up without a sound, eyes peering through the gloom. The bedroom – such as it was – was plain, with pallets for beds and a wooden stove in the corner. Embers from last night’s fire lit the bundles of blankets lying on the other pallets, and a cold draft found Samuel as soon as he threw off the covers.

He didn’t have much time, and he knew it. His heart had begun to race and his mouth was a tight line as he pulled on his boots and snatched his satchel from the side of the bed. The tip of the boy’s finger brushed against his good-luck charm, hidden in the folds of the satchel, and he felt a crackle of pleasure. Two minutes later, Samuel walked out into the night and the door closed softly behind him. He looked up: the sky was low with heavy clouds, and he could almost taste the snow that was about to fall. He ran across the clearing and straight into the forest. He knew each tree and boulder and rock, and the dusting of white on the ground showed him the way. They had always called him ‘Mouse’ because he was small for his age – fifteen years old the previous November – small and fast. He needed all the speed and cunning he could muster now. Speed, cunning and the spirit of the mountain on his side. He was three hundred yards away when the bell clanged and shattered the silence. They would be waking up then, rushing and scrambling after their things, and when the door opened to the night they would fall out and come after him.

And God forbid they should catch him. The black raven feather in the boy’s satchel would have to work hard to keep him safe.

Sweet After Death by Valentina Giambanco will be published by Quercus on the 15th June 2017. The book can be pre-ordered now from: Amazon UK

Sweet After Death Blog Tour Poster