Uhoh! I’m #SnowedInAtThePractice! @CotswoldPenny @SimonschusterUK @AnneCater

Thank you Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and thank you to the publisher for the ARC of Penny Parke’s upcoming novel, ‘Snowed in at the Practice’. This book is set to be published by Simon & Schuster on the 14th November.

Larkford Surgery is the heart of a tightknit community in the Cotswolds, as well as a hotbed of drama, rivalry, resentment and romance – and that’s just the doctors …


Dr Holly Graham is finding life with two sets of twins exhausting. Even with husband Dr Taffy Jones and devoted friend Elsie by her side, she is completely outnumbered. Making the transition back to work will be no easy feat but a regular slot on Radio Larkford as their on-air doctor might be the perfect stepping stone, until an unexpected job offer changes everything.

Dr Alice Walker’s new canine clinic at Larkford Surgery with Coco, her assistance dog, has been a storming success. If only shipping her best friend, Dr Tilly Grainger, in from South America to cover for Holly had been such a smooth transition. It seems that Tilly isn’t finding life in the peaceful Cotswolds valley as rewarding as she’d hoped, and she is causing chaos …

What does TWG think?

Emotion? Check.

Heartwarming? Check.

Thought provoking? Check.

The perfect escapism? Double check!

What I love most about Penny Parkes’ novels is the way she captures the heart of her characters, whilst captivating her readers at the same time. In my eyes, that is a talent that you either have or you dont, and Parkes certainly has that talent!

Dr Holly Graham has swapped her scrubs and latex gloves, for nappies and dribbles. Holly loves being a mum and wouldn’t change it for the world, yet she cant help but miss her patients and the job she has temporarily left behind. Some people think that mothers cant have it all, yet Holly is determined to prove them all wrong.

Holly isnt the only one finding her feet, there is a new resident to the town who is finding it difficult to settle in and is worrying that she may have made the worst decision she has ever made.

In this story there is sunshine and rainbows mixed in with rain clouds and gales – you honestly get the best of both worlds in terms of uplifting storyline, and a storyline which makes your eyes close to leaking. The dynamics of the book were brilliant, and the variation between light and shade was incredible, as I felt that it kept me on my toes due to being unable to work out what to expect. I didn’t know what was going to be around the corner on the next page, and the fact that there were several characters with colourful personalities, made the element of surprise all the more addictive.

I thoroughly enjoyed the latest installment in the Larkford series. It was such a joy to lose myself in, and the festive frolics were an additional bonus in an already incredible read.

Heartwarming and memorable, ‘Snowed in at the Practice’ is THE perfect escapism for every single day of the year. I loved it.

Pre-order now.

Put the kettle on, I’m #ComingHomeToWinterIsland! @jo_thomas01 @AnneCater @headlinepg

I am delighted to welcome back, Jo Thomas, to TWG today as I review her latest novel, Coming Home to Winter Island. Many thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and many thanks to the publisher, Headline, for the ARC.

Do you need to find out where you’ve come from before you can know what the future holds?

Ruby’s singing career is on the verge of hitting the big time, when her voice breaks. Fearing her career is over, she signs up for a retreat in Tenerife to recover.

But an unexpected call from a stranger on a remote Scottish island takes her on a short trip to sort out some family business. It’s time to go and see the grandfather she’s never met.

City girl Ruby knows she will be happy to leave the windswept beaches behind as quickly as she can, especially as a years-old family rift means she knows she won’t be welcome at Teach Mhor.

But as she arrives at the big house overlooking the bay, she finds things are not as straightforward as she might have thought.

There’s an unexpected guest in the house and he’s not planning on going anywhere any time soon …

What does TWG think?

Absolutely beautiful – if emotion doesn’t make itself known in any shape of form throughout this book, I’d want to know why!

Ruby has a life plan. Wait, I’ll rephrase that…her boyfriend, Joe, has a life plan and Ruby just happens to be the one doing all of the hard grafting. I know, I know – it didn’t make much sense to me either, but what do I know?

Thanks to Ruby’s voice not working as well as she needs it to, what with her being a professional singer and everything, Ruby decides to take a break to Tenerife for some well deserved relaxation. However, due to an out of the blue phone call, Ruby’s plans are now scuppered and shes needed elsewhere. Personally, I thought she got more out of her visit to Scotland than Tenerife!

I loved how we got to know more about Ruby in Scotland. She seemed to fit into her grandfathers way of living, even if she had never met him before. I wasn’t entirely keen on the community though! I know that people are protective about newcomers, especially in a close knit community, but they didn’t do themselves much favours by coming across stuck up. Like I say, I can see why they were like it as their loyalties laid with Ruby’s grandfather, but then again, Ruby didn’t exactly help herself though!

As I said at the start, the storyline is full to the brim with such heartfelt and poignant emotion, I dont think I could have stopped the tears pricking my eyes if I had tried. It was so lovely to watch memories being reunited, families having their dreams come true, and legacies leaving their marks.

Coming Home to Winter Island, is the perfect read to lose yourself in, and escape to a realm that only Jo Thomas can create. This is a story that captures the true essence of dreams, and the powerful mark that memories can leave for multiple generations.

I loved visiting Winter Island, and I think that Jo Thomas has written yet another beautiful, inspiring novel that will leave it’s own mark on readers from all walks of life.

Buy now.

Did you get #TheChristmasInvitation? Trisha Ashley did! @trishaashley @annecater @TransworldBooks #blogtour #review

Many thanks to Anne for the blog tour invite, and thank you to Hayley for the ARC – I am excited to be reviewing Trisha Ashley’s new book today!

Meg is definitely not in the Christmas mood. She’s never gone in for tinsel, baubles and mistletoe, and right now she’s still getting over an illness. Yet when she’s invited to spend the run-up to Christmas in the snowy countryside, rather than dreary London, she can’t refuse.

Arriving at a warm and cosy family home in a small hilltop village, Meg soon begins to wonder what a proper Christmas might be like. But just as she’s beginning to settle in, she spots a familiar face. Lex.

Despite the festive cheer, Meg suddenly wants nothing more than to get as far away from him, and their past secrets, as she can. But if she stays, could this be the year she finally discovers the magic of Christmas…?

What does TWG think?

What I love most about Trisha Ashley, is the way she creates such unique characters who always seem to make their way into readers hearts. Meg was certainly one of those characters. She wasn’t perfect. She was a little rough around the edges. Some might say that Meg was ‘perfectly flawed’, and I would agree with that one hundred percent as she took those flaws and embraced them instead of trying to be something she wasn’t.

I really enjoyed the warmth of ‘The Christmas Invitation’ and the message it relayed to readers regarding the importance of community spirit, the importance of embracing situations one may find uncomfortable, as well as the importance of being true to who you are and what you believe in.

I will hold my hands up and say that i felt that the book was incredibly slow to get going, often going off on a tangent at times it didn’t feel overly necessary to the story. In all honesty, I did struggle with those parts because I just wanted to get back to the main part of the book, instead being sidelined by things that didn’t really fit in.

That said, I really warmed to Cara, and i found her hilarious personality an absolute joy to get to know. I loved how she made the story come alive with her ‘no bull’ attitude and genuine love for those she held dear.

Despite my earlier irks, I really enjoyed the festivities of the overall storyline, especially as I ended up finishing it with a massive smile on my face. Romance may be the spice of life for some, yet Trisha Ashley makes warmth, family, Christmas, and the sense of belonging, the spices of life in general and, to be perfectly honest, what more could you ask for?

A genuine, humble and heartwarming novel, ideal for those warm cosy nights of winter.

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Review – #BloodSong by Johana Gustawsson (@jogustawsson) @OrendaBooks @AnneCater

Happy paperback publication day to Johana Gustawsson and ‘Blood Song’, I am so pleased to be today’s stop on the blog tour! Many thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda for both the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

The action swings from London to Sweden, and then back into the past, to Franco’s Spain, as Roy & Castells hunt a monstrous killer … in the lastest instalment of Johana Gustawsson’s award-winning series

Spain, 1938:

The country is wracked by civil war, and as Valencia falls to Franco’s brutal dictatorship, Republican Therese witnesses the murders of her family. Captured and sent to the notorious Las Ventas women’s prison, Therese gives birth to a daughter who is forcibly taken from her.

Falkenberg, Sweden, 2016: A wealthy family is found savagely murdered in their luxurious home. Discovering that her parents have been slaughtered, Aliénor Lindbergh, a new recruit to the UK’s Scotland Yard, rushes back to Sweden and finds her hometown rocked by the massacre.

Profiler Emily Roy joins forces with Aliénor and soon finds herself on the trail of a monstrous and prolific killer. Little does she realise that this killer is about to change the life of her colleague, true-crime writer Alexis Castells. Joining forces once again, Roy and Castells’ investigation takes them from the Swedish fertility clinics of the present day back to the terror of Franco’s rule, and the horrifying events that took place in Spanish orphanages under its rule.

What does TWG think?

As ignorant as this may sound, I wasn’t aware of the atrocities that Spain dealt with in the late 1930’s….I am now though! I have absolutely no words! My heart broke for all of the people involved, for all of the people who lost their lives, and for those who lost their life and were forced to continue as a shell. ‘Blood Song’ isn’t a comfortable read at all, in fact I would go as far to say that it is a deeply uncomfortable and unsettling read, however my reaction was nothing compared to the pain of those living in Spain during Franco’s dictatorship.

‘Blood Song’ is a dual timeline novel as it switches between Spain in the past, and Sweden in the ‘present’ where Emily Roy and Alexis Castells find themselves with the task of finding the cold hearted culprit who murdered three people in their own home. Why were they killed? What secrets, if any, were they hiding?

The murder investigation angle of ‘Blood Song’ was so addictive! I loved being able to follow Emily Roy as she attempted to create a profile of the killer, or killers, based on the evidence left and they way they chose to murder. A profiler is such an underrated part of a police investgation, however I thought it was one of the most fascinating.

Emily Roy is an intriguing character, her personal guard is so far up, anyone would need a ladder should they attempt to get past it!

I really did enjoy the complexity of the storyline – I found the uncertainty incredibly intriguing whilst it also kept me on my toes. I did find the storyline to be a little confusing at times due to the way certain situations flitted from one another, making me concerned that I had missed something along the way. A little bit too staggered for me at times!

That said, I thought that Gustawsson dealt with the topics in the storyline phenomenally. The historical nature of the book, whilst being very dark, was written beautifully and I found myself becoming emotional at the fact that stories were being told and voices were being heard, even if the original victim wasn’t telling the story themselves.

A heartbreaking, suspenseful novel which combines historical fiction and crime in the most unique and eye-opening manner, ‘Blood Song’ is a truly unforgettable read.

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Review – #InTheAbsenceofMiracles by Michael J Malone (@michaeljmalone1) @OrendaBooks @AnneCater

Next up on TWG today is my review of ‘In The Absence of Miracles’ by Michael.J.Malone. Many thanks to Orenda and Anne for the blog tour invite and ARC.

John Docherty’s mother has just been taken into a nursing home following a massive stroke and she’s unlikely to be able to live independently again.

With no other option than to sell the family home, John sets about packing up everything in the house. In sifting through the detritus of his family’s past he’s forced to revisit, and revise his childhood.

For in a box, in the attic, he finds undeniable truth that he had a brother who disappeared when he himself was only a toddler. A brother no one ever mentioned. A brother he knew absolutely nothing about. A discovery that sets John on a journey from which he may never recover.

For sometimes in that space where memory should reside there is nothing but silence, smoke and ash. And in the absence of truth, in the absence of a miracle, we turn to prayer. And to violence.

What does TWG think?

Gosh, I don’t really know where to begin. ‘In The Absence of Miracles’ is such a unique story, one that is incredibly topical in todays society.

I would feel incredibly uncomfortable if I sat here and said that I loved this book because of the subject matter discussed, however, even though there were moments of discomfort on my part, I really enjoyed the way in which Michael J Malone delivered the story.

My opinions on the characters changed multiple times throughout the story as one moment I felt empathy towards John’s mother and anger towards John, and then the next moment those opinions reversed.

I was completely blindsided by the eventualities that were uncovered by John’s journey, many of which were difficult to read, yet the reality of said situations are difficult, distressing and often harrowing. Michael J Malone seemed to really get into the psyche of his characters which really made the emotional scenes come to life.

‘In The Absence of Miracles’ may be a dark, harrowing and destructive read, yet it is also a compelling, emotive, poignant and relatable story which describes the journey of locked away emotions, hidden agendas, as well as the miracle of learning how to protect yourself, even if you never realised you had to.

An incredible read that will stay with me for a long time to come.

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Review – #LivingMyBestLife by Claire Frost (@fabfrosty) @TeamBATC @AnneCater

It gives me great pleasure to welcome to TWG debut author, Claire Frost and her debut novel, ‘Living My Best Li(f)e. Many thanks to Team BATC for the ARC, and thank you to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. Here is my review:

Recently dumped by her boyfriend of ten years, Bell is struggling to move on with her life – and surrender the fleecy pyjamas she’s been living in since January. Haunted by #blessed on social media, she can’t help but compare her life to those she follows online, wondering where she is going wrong . . .

In the world of social media, Millie is the successful online influencer @mi_bestlife. But in real life she’s just a regular single mum trying to make ends meet, while fending off the younger competition and tenacious internet trolls. Her Instagram feed is far more #BestLie than #BestLife, and soon Millie begins to wish her life was more like her filters.

It isn’t until Bell and Millie’s paths cross that they begin to realise what they’re both missing. Can Millie prove to Bell that life online isn’t always what it appears to be? And in return, can Millie learn that she needs to start living for the moment and not for the likes?

What does TWG think?

Could this book BE any more apt?! How many of us have scrolled through social media, comparing the immaculate selfies with your bed head ones? Or what about the sheer happiness that oozes out of multiple faces on their Instagram grid, whilst you’re posting pictures of yourself looking bedazzled because your cat just threw up all over your child’s highchair, and your child chose that exact moment to reach for some food?

We have all been there. We are only humans after all so, ‘Living My Best Life’ is the story that is full of one liners that nobody ever dare say out loud. It’s the story which puts the human race under the spotlight, confirming that our insecurities are the norm and that faking our lives on Instagram isn’t frowned upon….to a point.

The hilarity throughout the story was impeccably timed. I loved the genuine humour and relatable factor of all of the characters, however Nick is an absolute end of a bell!!!! Seriously!!

It was refreshing to finally read a book that didn’t put single mums in a negative light, as though it’s something to be ashamed of. For that alone, thank you Claire Frost!

Usually when books are pre dubbed as ‘uplifting’, I find them to be anything but. However, i thought that ‘Living My Best Life’ really was the heartfelt and uplifting read that its being promoted as.

I am genuinely surprised that this is a debut novel, as the strength of the entire storyline has the calibre of an author who has been writing books for a long time. Bell and Millie’s friendship was an absolute joy to follow, and their journeys to self discovery was the antidote I never knew I needed.

A relatable, gigglefest, and heartwarming novel that is full of hope. I certainly was ‘Living My Best Life’ whilst reading this, that’s for sure! Loved it!!

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Review – Her Last Promise by Kathryn Hughes (@KHughesAuthor) @HeadlinePG @AnneCater

Apologies for the delay in posting my review today, I have been at Edinburgh Book Festival! Many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for Kathryn Hughes’ latest novel, ‘Her Last Promise’. Also, many thanks to Headline for the ARC. Here is my review:

Tara Richards was just a girl when she lost her mother. Years later when Tara receives a letter from a London solicitor its contents shake her to the core. Someone has left her a key to a safe deposit box. In the box lies an object that will change everything Tara thought she knew and lead her on a journey to deepest Spain in search of the answers that have haunted her for forty years.

Violet Skye regrets her decision to travel abroad leaving her young daughter behind. As the sun dips below the mountains, she reminds herself she is doing this for their future. Tonight, 4th June 1978, will be the start of a new life for them. This night will indeed change Violet’s destiny, in the most unexpected of ways…

What does TWG think?

Ever since I lost myself in Kathryn Hughes’, ‘The Letter’, I just knew that this was an author to watch and, after reading ‘Her Last Promise’, my opinion of the authors talent was cemented on a whole new level.

As far as I am concerned, Kathryn Hughes is the queen of historical fiction who also knows how to incorporate the dramatic realism, with the hint of broken family ties that readers have come to know and love.

‘Her Last Promise’ focuses on the devastating effect that harboured regret and guilt can have on one person and families alike.

The gentleness of Tara’s personality alongside Violet’s lack of confidence, could easily have been a recipe for disaster, yet their characters spoke volumes and made the story, and their own personal journeys, come to life beautifully.

I loved how Kathryn Hughes emphasised the importance of living life to the full as best as you are able, as well as highlighting the fact that a lot of people get scared when they are faced with life changing decisions, just like both Tara and Violet.

‘Her Last Promise’ is such a beautifully written and thought provoking novel which made the hair on my arms stand to attention due to the power of the written word.

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheGirlAtTheWindow by Rowan Coleman (@rowancoleman) @EburyPublishing @AnneCater

How are we in August already? This year is going crazy fast! To kick off a brand new month, I am absolutely delighted to be hosting Rowan Coleman and her stunning new novel, ‘The Girl At The Window’. Many thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and to the publisher for the ARC. Here is my review:

Ponden Hall is a centuries-old house on the Yorkshire moors, a magical place full of stories. It’s also where Trudy Heaton grew up. And where she ran away from…

Now, after the devastating loss of her husband, she is returning home with her young son, Will, who refuses to believe his father is dead.

While Trudy tries to do her best for her son, she must also attempt to build bridges with her eccentric mother. And then there is the Hall itself: fallen into disrepair but generations of lives and loves still echo in its shadows, sometimes even reaching out to the present…

What does TWG think?

Novels with ghostly additions aren’t really my forte, yet Rowan Coleman delivers that particular element in a way which made me feel as though they should have been there all along.

Family secrets and uncertain pasts are rife in this storyline from start to finish. Alongside the addition of fantasy and additive imagination, ‘The Girl at the Window’ quickly became one of the most compelling novels I have read so far this year.

Even though the historical parts of the story were quite haunting and deeply emotive, I was very moved by Trudy and Will’s story and the way in which their characters strengthened as the book progressed.

Rowan Coleman is a very unique story teller, and I loved how she made ‘The Girl at the Window’ come alive in a way only she knows how. This book was such a breathtaking and magnetic read. An absolute page turner.

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheJulyGirls by Phoebe Locke (@phoebe_locke) @HeadlinePG @AnneCater

Its TWG’s turn on the blog tour for ‘The July Girls’ by Phoebe Locke, author of ‘The Tall Man’. Huge thanks to Anne Cater and Headline for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

Every year, on the same night in July, a woman is taken from the streets of London; snatched by a killer who moves through the city like a ghost.

Addie has a secret. On the morning of her tenth birthday, four bombs were detonated across the capital. That night her dad came home covered in blood. She thought he was hurt in the attacks – but then her sister Jessie found a missing woman’s purse hidden in his room.

Jessie says they mustn’t tell. She says there’s nothing to worry about. But when she takes a job looking after the woman’s baby daughter, Addie starts to realise that her big sister doesn’t always tell her the whole story. And that the secrets they’re keeping may start costing lives . . .

What does TWG think?

-claps- YASSSSSS!!!!!! What a book!!!!! I couldn’t believe my eyes! Everything I thought was true, wasn’t, and everything I thought was a lie, was the truth. ‘The July Girls’ is brilliant at taking you under its wing very early on in the book. I actually struggled to put the book down, and before I knew it it was 1am and I had a mere 100 pages left to read!

The author, Phoebe Locke, very cleverly honed in on what a magpie does, yet it didn’t seem to hit home until the book nearly came to an end as all of the puzzle pieces leading up to the conclusion weren’t all there yet.

This book follows the life of Addie, Jessie, and a magpie. What do the three of them have in common? That is the big question. I chose to look past what was right in front of me the whole time, over complicating the storyline for myself. Was there a need to do that? Not in the slightest. Don’t overthink ‘The July Girls’ and just go with the flow, you’ll thank me later!!

I loved the chilling vibe to the book, and I thought that everything was combined brilliantly over the course of the books timeline. Honestly, this is a bloody brilliant book and I was hooked. Addie’s naivety gave the storyline a pinch of innocence, whilst also making all of the suspenseful situations all the more darker. The subject of ‘trust’ is prominent throughout the book, and I must say that that definitely made me think about family ties and whether you can trust those you are actually meant to trust because of who they are.

‘The July Girls’ is dark, devious, and darn right gripping. Whilst I enjoyed Phoebe Locke’s previous novel, the author has come up trumps with this book and has delivered an absolute blinder. I want to read it all over again!

‘The July Girls’ will be published in hardcover by Headline on the 25th July. Pre-order now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – #AHomeFromHome by Veronica Henry (@veronica_henry @Orionbooks @AnneCater

Next up on TWG is a delightful book from one of my all time favourite authors, Veronica Henry. Many thanks to Orion and Anne Cater for the blog tour invite and ARC. I hope you enjoy my review of ‘A Home From Home’!

Sunshine, cider and family secrets…

Dragonfly Farm has been a home and a haven for generations of Melchiors – arch rivals to the Culbones, the wealthy family who live on the other side of the river. Life there is dictated by the seasons and cider-making, and everyone falls under its spell.

For cousins Tabitha and Georgia, it has always been a home from home. When a tragedy befalls their beloved Great-Uncle Matthew, it seems the place where they’ve always belonged might now belong to them…

But the will reveals that a third of the farm has also been left to a Culbone. Gabriel has no idea why he’s been included, or what his connection to the farm – or the Melchiors – can be.

As the first apples start to fall for the cider harvest, will Dragonfly Farm begin to give up its secrets?

What does TWG think?

There is a reason why Veronica Henry is one of my all time favourite authors, and ‘A Home From Home’ is that very reason! Honestly, this is a home away from home read that delivered hope and beauty behind every word.

For as long as she can remember, Dragonfly Farm had been Tabitha’s home; a place where she felt safe. However one day, her life became a mismatched mess when a loved one passed away suddenly. Not only did Tabitha have grief to contend with, she also had the fear of whether she would end up losing her home.

Theres a lot of history behind Dragonfly Farm, and whilst some of it may be hearsay and what not, a lot of it has been kept a secret from those who were involved the most. Now we all know what secrets do to people, including families! I would have been surprised if the storyline didn’t contain fireworks!

Alongside Tabitha is her cousin, Georgia – literally chalk and cheese. One is fiery and very hot headed, yet the other is more logical. It was interesting to watch their two lives combine as they came together bound by their family ties and grief.

There are a lot of characters to keep an eye on in this storyline, especially as the book is dual timeline and visits the past with more characters. I did struggle to keep up with who was related to who, who dabbled with who, who was still alive and what not, but I think I got the gist of it! By the way, can I just say what AWESOME character names are in this book!!!!

I thought ‘A Home From Home’ was such a magical novel. I really didn’t want it to end and felt as though I had lost my right arm when it did! Veronica Henry, in my opinion, is the queen of comfort reads, and she certainly went above and beyond with her storyline this time round. I was spellbound by the family histories of the Melchiors and Culbones, and i fell in love with the cosy Dragonfly Farm that seemed to hold the key to eternal happiness.

Reading ‘A Home From Home’ is the perfect book to escape into and forget reality. I mean, who needs politics when you have characters like Plum and Gabriel? A truly wonderful, humble, and touching novel that lit up my light for the duration of the story. I adored it.

‘A Home From Home’ will be published on the 25th July. Pre-order now from Amazon.