#BlogTour! #Review – Sky’s The Limit by Janie Millman (@ChezCastillon) @DomePress


Final blog tour for today ‘Sky’s the Limit’ by Janie Millman. Huge thanks to Dome Press for the blog tour and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:


Sky is devastated when she finds that her husband is in love with someone else, even more that it is her oldest friend Nick. She has lost the two most important men in her life and can’t ever trust either of them again.

To escape, she goes alone on a dream trip to Marrakesh and meets Gail, on a mission to meet the father of her child, a man she loved but thought did not want her.

In Marrakesh, Sky and Gail both find unexpected joys – and surprises. For Sky these lead to France, to a beautiful chateau and a family whose relationships seem as complicated as her own.

What does TWG think?

If you’re after a read which has the ability to transport you overseas quicker than you can walk upstairs and put on your pyjama’s, ‘Sky’s the Limit’ will definitely be your cup of tea. Now, I have to admit that I am not very well-travelled at all. Well, unless you count fictionally because in that case I am VERY well-travelled! The only places I have been to are England and Scotland, and seeing as I have lived in both of those countries, there is nothing like keeping it close to home, eh! Life recently as been extremely horrendous so the fact that I was able to jet off to Marrakesh and France without worrying about money, packing and what not, was a very welcome distraction, and one which kept my soul working overtime.

I think soul’s work, don’t they? Oh well, they do now! Janie Millman is a new author for me, but just as her book title states, the ‘Sky’s the Limit’ where this author is concerned, that’s for sure! Personally, I felt the elements of self discovery in the storyline the most poignant and the ones I was able to relate to completely. Don’t get me wrong, ‘Sky’s the Limit’ was jam-packed with romance, intensity, fresh starts, and complicated relationships, and whilst they were all executed incredibly well, I couldn’t help but use the escapism and self discovery as antidotes for my own selfish reasons.

Janie Millman is a beautiful storyteller who is able to transport her readers in the blink of an eye. I did find the storyline a little bit difficult to get into at first, but once I became accustom to Millman’s unique storytelling and enchanting characters, I soon found myself becoming part of the furniture where this story was concerned.

An entertaining, enchanting, and thought-provoking novel, an ideal read for anytime, anywhere, anyone.

Buy from Amazon

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


I am so excited to be sharing my review of Emily Gunnis’ outstanding novel, ‘The Girl in the Letter’, which was published in e-book by Headline on the 1st August. Don’t despair if you’re more of a paperback lover, as the paperback is due to be released next year. It really is worth the wait! Many thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and thank you to Phoebe Swinburn for the ARC via Netgalley. Here is my review:


A heartbreaking letter. A girl locked away.  A mystery to be solved.

1956. When Ivy Jenkins falls pregnant she is sent in disgrace to St Margaret’s, a dark, brooding
house for unmarried mothers. Her baby is adopted against her will. Ivy will never leave.

Present day. Samantha Harper is a journalist desperate for a break. When she stumbles on a
letter from the past, the contents shock and move her. The letter is from a young mother,
begging to be rescued from St Margaret’s. Before it is too late. 
Sam is pulled into the tragic story and discovers a spate of unexplained deaths surrounding the
woman and her child. With St Margaret’s set for demolition, Sam has only hours to piece
together a sixty-year-old mystery before the truth, which lies disturbingly close to home, is lost for
ever…

Read her letter. Remember her story…

What does TWG think?

I am fully prepared for the fact that my review may not do the book justice at all, but I aim to give it my best shot.

-falls on the floor- If I could get away with a review merely stating, ‘OutFLIPPINGstanding – EVERYONE MUST BUY!’, I totally would. In fact, I couldn’t have summed it up better in four words if I had tried. Luckily (or unluckily, depends which way you look at it), I enjoy talking and I feel that ‘The Girl in the Letter’ deserves to be in the spotlight for as long as possible, sooooo, sorry to my four words, but even I know I’m going to need to do better.

Set in 1956 when mother and baby houses were around for unmarried mothers to cleanse their souls and deal with their ‘sins’, ‘The Girl in the Letter’ tells the emotional story of a young girl called Ivy, who had her path chosen for her against her will. Her life in St Margaret’s was very, very tough. She saw things that people her age and younger should never see, let alone have to deal with. But what could she do? The nuns were set in their ways, and their punishments were very severe – whichever way she looked at it, Ivy was well and truly screwed but, as always, she couldn’t help but hope for the best.

The majority of ‘The Girl in the Letter’ is set in the present day, as we follow the life of a journalist who is struggling to find the right balance between her work life, and her life with her daughter. However, without even realising it, something had been sitting under Samantha’s nose for a very long time. With her work hat on, Sam is determined to get to the bottom of the situation without thinking of the consequences. To be perfectly honest, I couldn’t help but wonder why she should think of the consequences when she didn’t know where the path would lead. How could Sam foresee the future? She couldn’t.

I finished ‘The Girl in the Letter’ in the early hours of this morning whilst trying to put my jaw back in its rightful position. I knew that my review would take some thinking about, yet despite having all day to formulate some sort of review, I am still struggling to get my opinion out in a way that makes perfect sense. I even demanded that my mother buy this book and, seeing as she isn’t much of a reader, i have to ensure that the books I demand her to read are ones that I feel cannot be missed. And this is certainly one of them.

Whilst the contents of ‘The Girl in the Letter’ makes for quite a hard-hitting, severely intense and emotive read, the entire storyline is written absolutely beautifully and does the theme justice. Emily Gunnis does state at the end of the book that the storyline is a work of fiction, with themes inspired by real life mother and child homes in Ireland. I think that because I knew that women actually endured living in those conditions, gave birth in those conditions, as well as being told that their unborn child was a sin, it hit home a lot more because it was real. I am in still in shock that conditions like these existed and, if the laws were to be the same now here in the UK and I were to think about my current situation as a single mum, I would be in the same position as the women mentioned in this book. Isn’t that scary?

I loved how ‘The Girl in the Letter’ had a historical feel to it, as well as a thick layer of something a lot grittier as it made the suspense level far more intense than I could have ever imagined.

Emily Gunnis’ literary skill blew me away and left me dumbfounded by its beauty. What an enchanting, heart-wrenching, beautifully written and intense read this is. This book gave me everything I could have ever wanted in a storyline, and then some. I fell in love with the story almost straight away and, whilst my heart shattered multiple times throughout, I still found myself loving ‘The Girl in the Letter’ and everything it stands for.

If I were to be asked to choose just ONE book that I think everyone should buy and read urgently, ‘The Girl in the Letter’ would fall from my lips (or my fingers) before the question had even been fully asked. I genuinely cannot recommend this enough, and I truly feel that everyone would be missing out on a diamond of a read if they didn’t get their hands on a copy.

By far one of my all time favourite novels, Emily Gunnis has swooped in as a new favourite author, and one who I will now be watching very, very closely for future releases. Incredible….absolutely incredible.

Buy now in e-book from Amazon

About the author.

Emily Gunnis previously worked in TV drama and lives in Brighton with her young family. She is
one of the four daughters of Sunday Times bestselling author Penny Vincenzi.

Follow her on Twitter @EmilyGunnis
Instagram @emilygunnis
and Facebook @emilygunnisauthor.

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


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


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

Purchase from:

The History Press
Amazon UK
Waterstones
Barnes and Noble
Amazon US

Giveaway!

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

Enter the giveaway!

Guest post from author, Robert Stone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheMiddleAgedVirgin by Olivia Spring (@ospringauthor)


Thank you so much to Olivia Spring for personally asking me to review her debut novel, ‘The Middle-Aged Virgin’, and for asking me to take part in the blog tour as well! I am delighted to be today’s stop on the tour, and to celebrate I have a review for you all. Enjoy!


If you’d just come out of a long-term relationship and hadn’t been intimate for ages, how well would you cope with dating and having sex again?

Sophia Huntingdon seems to have it all: a high-flying job running London’s coolest beauty PR agency, a lovely boyfriend and a dressing room filled with Louboutins.

But when tragedy strikes, Sophia realises that rather than living the dream, she’s actually an unhappy workaholic in a monotonous relationship, with zero personal life. Her lack of activity in the bedroom is so apparent that her best friend declares her a MARGIN, or Middle-Aged Virgin—a term used for adults who have experienced a drought so long that they can’t remember the last time they had sex.

Determined to transform her life whilst she’s still young enough to enjoy it, Sophia hatches a plan to work less, live more and embark on exciting adventures, including rediscovering the electrifying passion she’s been craving.

But after ending her fifteen-year relationship, how will Sophia, a self-confessed control freak handle navigating the unpredictable world of online dating?

If she does meet someone new, will she even remember what to do? And as an independent career woman, how much is Sophia really prepared to sacrifice for love?

What does TWG think?

Snigger! Cobwebs….dry spell….so many things in this book that I would associate with myself, and not spiders or the weather. ‘The Middle-Aged Virgin’ is absolutely bang on in terms of its references to modern-day society. I mean, the main character, Sophia, is worried that she is merely settling. She may have confidence where her work is concerned, but if you were to put her personal life in the spotlight, Sophia would melt like Olaf from Frozen! I must say that I am incredibly envious of Sophia’s shoe collection, especially the Louboutins – shoe goals right there!!

I can see why Sophia chose to end the relationship that she has had for most of her adult life, but I can also see why she chose to settle. Not that that makes it a nicer thing to do, because it doesn’t. Settling just because, is not fair on all the people involved, but because starting again comes with a lot of uncertainty and fear, settling becomes the safest option all round.

‘The Middle-Aged Virgin’ will certainly have a lot of readers nodding their heads in agreement at some of the things Sophia’s best friends, Roxy and Bella, come out with. That said, I couldn’t help but feel that some of the storyline was a little bit padded with information that wasn’t overly relevant to the bigger picture. Don’t get me wrong, it was lovely to find out more about Sophia and what made her tick, but there were times where I did feel as though the storyline was missing the point.

I’m not saying this book wasn’t enjoyable, because oh it was! It’s also absolutely hilarious! I just think that some things could have been a bit more defined, but obviously that is my opinion.

It wasn’t until I finished reading Olivia Spring’s debut, that I realised that the author had incorporated an important message into it – don’t settle for second best, grab life by the youknowwhats, and refuse to life your life the way that someone else wants you to. Live life for you. Eat the last cookie. Spend all day in your pyjama’s. Remove toxic relationships from your life. Embark on new challenges, even if it is taking the stairs instead of the lift. But, most importantly, never give up on the things that make you happy, and never keep hold of the things which don’t make you happy, any longer than absolutely necessary.

So yeah, Olivia Spring is a very wise author, and yes I got all of the above from reading ‘The Middle-Aged Virgin’! I am incredibly impressed by how the author incorporates such important topics into a laugh out loud, chilled and magnetic story, making her characters come to life in such a relatable and realistic manner. The main character may be forty, but I think that the scenarios written in this book would be great lessons for women and males of all ages.

A diverse, wise, poignant, and sniggerific novel which made me ensure that I kept my duster handy…you know, just in case!

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogBlitz! #Review – #ForgiveMeNot by Samantha Tonge (@SamTongeWriter) @Canelo_co @RaRaResources #PublicationDay


Congratulations to Samantha Tonge on the publication of her brand new novel, ‘Forgive Me Not’, which is published by Canelo TODAY! How exciting! For those who are already a fan of Samantha’s previous novels and are a little bit confused, don’t be, there is no need to be. This novel isn’t as romance led as her previous novels, yet it is still the Samantha Tonge we have all come to know and love – she has just chosen to write a novel that has taken a slightly different direction to what people might be ‘used’ to. Me, however, I am a huge fan of Samantha’s writing and I know that I will continue to read her books in whichever direction she chooses to write them.

I am delighted to be taking part in the publication day blitz for ‘Forgive Me Not’, huge thanks to RaRaResources for inviting me to do so, and thank you to Canelo for the ARC. Before I share my review, here is what is on the back of the book:

How far would you go to make amends?

When Emma fled her home at Foxglove Farm, she’d let down and hurt those who cared for her
most. But now, two years later, she’s ready to face up to her past; she’s ready to go back.
But Emma’s unannounced return causes more problems than she could have foreseen. The people
she knew and loved aren’t ready to forget, let alone forgive. And the one person she wants to
reconnect with the most, her mother, can’t remember who she is.

Just as Emma starts to rebuild trust, an uncovered family secret and a shocking past crime threaten
her newly forged future…

Sometimes simply saying sorry isn’t enough.

What does TWG think?

How many of you reading this, have made a mistake which later cost you the people you loved?
How many of you have found yourself stuck in a rut due to your own bad choices, have chosen to put yourself on the straight and narrow, yet people refuse to give you the benefit of the doubt?

Of course you have, we all have. We can’t all be perfect.

Emma has chosen to return to the place her life changed forever – her childhood home. Even though it took Emma a lot of guts to return to the ‘scene of the crime’ so to speak, she found herself underestimating her family’s reaction to her reappearance. Emma knows that she has made a lot of mistakes, she also knows that she has paid the price for every single one of them, but will her family see that she is being genuine? Or is it too little too late?

At first, Samantha Tonge keeps Emma’s mistakes under lock and key, building my curiosity every time I turned the page. What on Earth did she do for her family to turn their backs on her? Has she learnt from her mistakes, whatever they may be?

Emma’s story certainly made me sit up and take notice. At first, I couldn’t see much wrong with what she did, but as soon as the author went into detail about the bad decisions Emma made, my opinion changed and I could see why the outcome is what it is. That said, I couldn’t help but feel as though I was missing something as, instead of feeling as though I was reading a brand new novel with brand new characters, I felt as though I had walked into the storyline halfway through and couldn’t seem to work out why I felt as though I had missed out on a lot of things. Before anyone says anything, no, I didn’t begin the book halfway through, it just felt like that for me which was a bit of a shame.

However, I have to say that that was the only irk I had with the book! I loved how the authors change in direction was written from the heart, bringing the story to life on various different levels. Personally, I couldn’t really ask for more!. Samantha Tonge hasn’t just picked a theme from random and decided to write about it, she has chosen a theme which she knew needed to be written about to not only educate people, but to also make people take notice and think about their own decisions in life. I have to say that after reading ‘Forgive Me Not’, my opinion of one thing in particular has changed dramatically. Without giving anything away, I used to be like many of the characters in the book and look down my nose at people who had to set up camp where required, pretty much because I looked at it from a pessimistic and disbelieving angle. But now? Now I can’t help but look at them like one of us and, if I had to choose one important lesson to take away from this book, it would definitely have to be the vague lesson I just mentioned. How could it not be?

I will say one thing though, there were times where I felt that Emma was expecting far too much from her loved ones, yet there were times where I felt as though her loved ones were hearing her but refusing to listen. The phrase ‘I’m sorry’, is one of the most overused lines ever. Even though, as humans, we expect apologies, how many of us can truly say that we believe every single one of them? Saying that you’re sorry is all well and good, but for me it’s the actions that got alongside it is what I take more notice of. Reading ‘Forgive Me Not’ cemented the fact that I just can’t forget, but it has taught me the value of learning to forgive.

I am very proud of Samantha Tonge and this book, as I know it must have taken a lot to write a novel that is so close to home. It takes a lot of courage and determination to write something like this and personally, I think that the author has aced it.

A life-affirming, thought-provoking, emotional, and poignant novel which holds even more power than Iron Man himself. Such a pleasure to read.

Buy now from Amazon
Buy now from Kobo
Buy now from iBooks

About the author.

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK and her passion, second to spending time with her husband
and children, is writing. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad,
including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.

When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many
dozens of short stories to women’s magazines.

In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins
and in 2014, her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of
Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK
Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category.

Links

Twitter // Facebook // Website

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


It is an absolute honour to host Jill Mansell and her latest novel, ‘This Could Change Everything’, as part of the blog tour today. Jill has been one of my most favourite authors for such a while, I hope I do the book proud with my review. Big thank you to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and a big thank you to publishers, Headline, for the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

One little mistake and nothing will ever be the same again!

On the one hand, if Essie hadn’t written that letter – the one that only her best friend was meant to see – then she’d still be living like an actual proper grown-up, tucked up with Paul in his picture-perfect cottage, maybe even planning their wedding…

On the other hand (if her true feelings hadn’t accidentally taken the internet by storm, that is) she wouldn’t have moved into the attic flat on the square. She would never have met Conor. Or got to know Lucas…

And she wouldn’t have found herself falling in love with someone she really, really shouldn’t fall in love with…

What does TWG think?

I am just going to put this out here – ‘This Could Change Everything’ is my most favourite book of 2018 so far. What a phenomenally written, enchanting, and heart-warming read! Never in my life have I read anything like this before and, whilst I’m being perfectly honest, I really don’t think I will again for a while (well, until Jill Mansell publishes her next book!).

I have always been a reader who judges a book by its cover (sorry!), but on this occasion, the fact that it was a Jill Mansell novel was enough for me to think ‘OMG I NEED TO READ IT!’. The cover gives nothing away, with the title doing holding the weight of the storyline, and what a brilliant job it does. How could anyone not be intrigued by a title of, ‘This Could Change Everything’? WHAT could change everything? WHY would it change everything? And, more to the point, what exactly is ‘everything’? Thankfully after reading this outstanding book, I now have the answers to my questions. I may have started with copious amounts of curiosity, but now I feel as though my soul has been given a truly wonderful gift thanks to Jill Mansell’s storytelling.

Have you ever had a moment where your judgement has been clouded, you choose to do something which could backfire if it were to get into the wrong hands, yet you still do it anyway? Look, we are all human. I’d be more surprised if anyone sat there and shook their heads in answer to that questions. In the heat of the moment, a badly thought out decision is incredibly appealing. It’s not until logistics are added to it that things begin to look a bit less, how do I put this….exciting. Essie made a mistake like that, and now her ‘perfect’ life is threatening to fall apart around her. But is that honestly a bad thing? Was Essie just going with the flow because she wasn’t aware of her place in life? Or did she genuinely love her life the way that it was? Obviously, now that I have read the book I have my own thoughts on that. Don’t panic though, I won’t be divulging as there is a chance my opinions could be seen as a spoiler.

‘This Could Change Everything’ is such a multi-layered, three-dimensional, and emotional read – for once, I can’t even state who my favourite character is, nor can I state a character who I dislike as there was so many beautiful situations and characters to focus on, the less majestic ones didn’t stay in my mindset long enough to make too much of an impression. Well, there were definitely a couple of people who rubbed me up the wrong way and made my eyebrows shoot up to my hairline, but that’s neither here nor there ;).

You want to know something? I completely underestimated just how much I would fall in love with this book because for once, I allowed myself to surrender to the romanticism of a storyline and the romantic intentions of certain characters. I’ve always been the type of person who hides behind ‘I’m not a romantic person in the slightest’, because I get too embarrassed by lovey dovey feelings. However, Essie, Lucas, and Zillah, showed me that love can be shown in a multitude of formats, and it’s only embarrassing if you allow it to be. Take Zillah for example. A woman in her eighties who refused to let herself settle for second best where a man was concerned. Yes, she made many mistakes, and yes, she had to pay for them in the form of guilt, for many, many years. But now? Zillah shows just how beautiful love can be by embarking on a selfless journey which ends up filling other people’s hearts with utmost joy, all because she believes in love and happiness. Nothing embarrassing about that now, is there?

‘This Could Change Everything’ in its entirety, got under my skin on a level I have never experience before. I loved how the storyline started off calm, gradually building up to things the more characters Mansell introduced to her readers. Her storyline wasn’t just put together with her words in black and white, no. Jill Mansell wrote her story with such tender loving care, bringing her words to life with such magnetism, humour, and colourful characters. ‘This Could Change Everything’ is a book that is bang on the money, because it has certainly changed everything for me.

I love this book with all of my heart – it has everything I could want from a storyline, everything I didn’t realise I wanted, and everything in between. Jill Mansell is an outstanding author, but this is definitely her best book by far. I don’t often re-read books, but I will be re-reading this one time and time again. Out-flipping standing, powerful, and severely poignant – hello new favourite book!

Buy now from Amazon

About the author.

Jill Mansell is the author of over twenty Sunday Times bestsellers
including THE ONE YOU REALLY WANT, TO THE MOON AND BACK, YOU AND ME,
ALWAYS and MEET ME AT BEACHCOMBER BAY. TAKE A CHANCE ON ME won the
RNA’s Romantic Comedy Prize, and in 2015 the RNA presented Jill with an outstanding
achievement award.

Jill’s personal favourite amongst her novels is THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU,
which is about cystic fibrosis and organ donation; to her great delight, many people have
joined the organ donor register as a direct result of reading this novel.

Jill started writing fiction while working in the NHS, after she read a magazine article that
inspired her to join a local creative writing class. Her first book was published in 1991 and
she is now a full-time novelist. She is one of the few who still write their books by hand, like
a leftover from the dark ages. She lives in Bristol with her family.

Jill keeps in touch with her readers on Twitter – @JillMansell – and Facebook –
/OfficialJillMansell. You can also visit her website http://www.jillmansell.co.uk/.

#BlogTour! #Review – The Place We Called Home by Jenny Oliver (@JenOliverBooks) @HQStories


The third and final blog tour for today is for ‘The House We Called Home’ by Jenny Oliver! Thank you to HQStories for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

The house where Stella and her sister Amy grew up never changes – the red front door, the breath-taking view over the Cornish coast, her parents in their usual spots on the sofa. Except this summer, things feel a little different…

Stella’s father is nowhere to be seen, yet her mother – in suspiciously new Per Una jeans – seems curiously unfazed by his absence, and more eager to talk about her mysterious dog-walking buddy Mitch.

Stella’s sister Amy has returned home with a new boyfriend she can barely stand and a secret to hide, and Stella’s husband Jack has something he wants to get off his chest too. Even Frank Sinatra, the dog, has a guilty air about him.

This summer, change is in the air for the Whitethorns…

What does TWG think?

Well, I am sure that a lot of us, if not all of us, have been involved in heated family issues at some point in our lives! For the Whitethorns however, family disputes seem to be a rather regular occurrence, but they wouldn’t know that would they? Seeing as communication isn’t exactly their fortes!

I don’t know if it’s just me, but Jenny Oliver’s writing style seemed to be a bit different this time round. I’m not too sure if that’s because of the subject she was writing about, or whether her writing has changed direction, either way it did make me sit up and take notice. I guess part of me didn’t find this book to be as cosy as her other reads, which is why I probably noticed the change.

That said, the overall storyline is definitely full of hope and I thoroughly enjoyed the humour that was evident throughout the entire novel. I ADORED Sonny and the guy, Amy, had brought back home to meet her family. I thought that they were absolutely hilarious, especially the way that they lifted the storyline due to their carefree attitudes.

‘The House We Called Home’ is an enjoyable read which highlights a very important message regarding family disputes, relationships, and what to do with a drain cover. The theme of the book is one that needs to be given a lot of attention as there is a lot going on, but I don’t think that that is a bad thing at all. I loved the way that Jenny Oliver incorporated her trademark humour into a deep storyline, making me laugh like a seal more than once.

Jenny Oliver has a real knack in creating some rather memorable and hilarious characters, making her stories come to life quicker than a dog is able to pick up a piece of food that has fallen to the ground. ‘The House We Called Home’ is written in such a poignant manner, you may even wish to remodel your own house or your relationships after reading this book!

Enjoyable, hopeful and very touching, roll on the next book!

Buy now!

#BlogBlitz! #Review – The Summer Getaway by Tilly Tennant (@TillyTenWriter) @Bookouture


Happy publication day to Tilly Tennant and ‘The Summer Getaway’! I do enjoy taking part in a Tilly Tennant blog tour, and I am incredibly honoured to be kicking it off on publication day! As always, thank you to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:


Ashley Moon is all set for a dream holiday with her daughter in the glittering French Riviera. But nothing can prepare her for the shock of discovering who’s staying in the villa next door… 

Ashley Moon got much more than a suntan on her first ever foreign holiday; one whirlwind romance and nine months later she had a daughter, Molly.

Too heartbroken and proud to ever contact the father, Ashley made a decision to go it alone and raise her daughter herself. Fifteen hard and lonely years later, she finally has the chance to take Molly on her first ever holiday; a gorgeous, all-expenses-paid trip to the charming French resort of St. Raphael.

It is the perfect setting for a week of quality time together; they plan to cycle through the sun-drenched vineyards, lounge by the glistening pool and practise their French on friendly locals. And just when Ashley thought things couldn’t get any better, comes the news of a handsome new occupant in the villa next door.

But fate has other plans for Ashley. One look into her neighbour’s dark hazel eyes is all it takes to give her the shock of her life. Standing in front of her is Haydon, Molly’s long-lost father and the holiday fling she thought she’d never see again.

As the temperature on the Cote D’Azure steadily rises and Ashley and Haydon begin to spend more and more time together, will Ashley find the courage to tell him who she is – and more importantly, who Molly is?

What does TWG think?

Maybe it’s just me, but the vibe of ‘The Summer Getaway’ felt a bit different to Tilly Tennant’s usual style, and no I don’t mean that in a bad way! I have read, and enjoyed, a lot of the authors previous novels and whilst I do enjoy the romance involved in them, I did really enjoy the change of direction where ‘The Summer Getaway’ was concerned. For me, the storyline was very deep and given that the theme of fatherhood was quite prominent throughout, I couldn’t help but get a little emotional due to my own situation. Ashley is such a wonderful character to have at the core of the book, as she unknowingly became the backbone of the entire storyline which I loved. Single mums rock!

Tilly Tennant has highlighted just how turbulent relationships can be in families, extremely well. I mean, a lot of readers will be able to relate to at least one of the characters, that’s for sure! Whether they will be able to relate to the characters to find themselves on the receiving end of the family hardship, or whether they relate to one of the characters who stick their nose where it isn’t wanted, I have no idea. Curious, but unsure!

Whilst I did throughly enjoy reading ‘The Summer Getaway’, I did feel as though the storyline ended rather abruptly as we had been on a journey with some very colourful characters, looking into our crystal balls regarding their futures, and then all of a sudden it stopped. I know, I know, I’m greedy when it comes to Tilly Tennant’s writing, but surely that is a good thing that I didn’t want it to end? Maybe there is scope for some of the characters to return in another book later down the line? My fingers are crossed as I really would love to see how everything plays out for Ashley and Haydon, and of course the girls.

Every time I read a Tilly Tennant novel, my insides get a massive hug and thankfully, ‘The Summer Getaway’ was no different, hugging me from the inside out and giving me the feel-good, heartfelt vibe that Tilly Tennant is known for. This is the perfect escapism for any time of the year, not just Summer.

Buy now!

Author Bio:

Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by embarking on a degree in English and creative writing. She wrote a novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books before the rest of the world gets them.

Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was her debut novel; published in 2014 it was an Amazon bestseller in both the UK and Australia. In 2016 she signed to the hugely successful Bookouture and is currently working on her next Tilly Tennant novel. She also writes as Sharon Sant, where she explores the darker side of life, and Poppy Galbraith, where things get a little crazier.

Author Social Media Links

 FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/TillyTennant/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/TillyTenWriter

WEBSITE: www.tillytennant.com

#BlogTour! #Review – Happily Never After by Emma Robinson (@emmarobinsonuk) @Bookouture

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I am incredibly honoured to be one of the bloggers kicking off the ‘Happily Never After’ blog tour, today. I had the pleasure of reading an ARC of Emma Robinson’s new book (thanks Bookouture), so I delighted to be able to share my review with you all. Enjoy!

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She closed her eyes. Think with your head. Your heart can’t be trusted. Life is not a fairytale…

Rory doesn’t believe in love. She’s got far too many real problems to deal with. 

She’s just bought a tumbledown house. Her mother is generally behaving like a wicked witch, insisting on calling her Aurora, and generally interfering in her (admittedly pitiful lack of) love life. And her 16-year-old daughter has finally grown out of Disney princesses and discovered dating…

But Rory’s adamant that she doesn’t need saving. In fact, the only thing she’s wishing on a star for is a bit of practical help. However, when she meets a builder whose name is John Prince and who seems to be in the habit of rescuing her (right down to finding her lost shoe one evening) she might have to face a truth as uncomfortable as hobbling home barefoot – that maybe there’s something enchanted in the air.

Her mother, daughter and friends are convinced her prince has come, but Rory just wishes everyone could let it go. Especially when she hears a story that makes her question whether he is really the hero everyone thinks he is…

What does TWG think?

First of all, LOVING Rory’s daughter’s nickname, Belle, as that is my own daughter’s nickname! Great minds think alike!

Second of all, if I were to be made into a fictional character, Rory would be me to a T. I mean, our personalities were so similar, I had to double check that my house wasn’t bugged (FYI, clearly it wasn’t as that is OBVIOUSLY illegal….in case anyone didn’t get the joke). As far as Rory is concerned, the theme tune of her life echos the song by the Pussycat Dolls ‘I don’t Need A Man’, because guess what? SHE DOESN’T. A woman after my own heart. Many people see a single woman, or a single mum and automatically assume that they are in need of a man to put up a shelf, cut the grass, or put a pencil behind their ear and wave a screwdriver around like they know what they’re doing. Contrary to popular belief, not all women need a man. I know, shocking isn’t it? There are actually women who, oh I don’t know, are happy on their own and can cut their own grass! Rory is one of them, and I am too! Well, I assume that Rory can cut her own grass….

I couldn’t help but chuckle at the princess references regarding the names, as well as the fairytale reference where another character is concerned. I don’t believe in fairytales, yet I love reading them and would champion anyone who does believe in them or aim to get their fairytale happily ever after. I loved the way that Emma Robinson wrote her main character, as she couldn’t be further from a fairytale lifestyle if she tried – definitely a breath of fresh where I am concerned because if she chose to find the love of her life, it would be her own choice, and not because she ate a dodgy apple and fell asleep. Whilst some of Rory’s actions rival several Disney princesses own actions (yes, I laughed), I couldn’t help but admire Rory for standing by what she believed in both in her work life, and her personal life.

As for Belle – thankfully my own daughter isn’t at the teenage stage yet, but I must have lived under a rock when teenagers did what Belle did, because I sure as hell didn’t! I had the same outlook as Rory did when she thought about what her daughter was getting up to!

Joking aside, ‘Happily Never After’ struck several chords with me in terms of the single mum, single woman, and highly independent outlook. Whilst I do love reading a good romcom, I did think ‘omg about time!’ when the storyline progressed and I got to know Rory a bit more. It’s not often that single women/single mums are portrayed in a good light, so I am over the moon that Emma Robinson decided to do that.

I have to admit though (sorry), I wasn’t a fan of Susie and the way she went about things, pretty much acting like a bull in a china shop and refusing to listen to other people. Don’t get me wrong, she made me laugh, but she did become a little overbearing at times. Although to be fair, Rory should have said something…but that’s just my opinion!

‘Happily Never After’ is now my version of a fairytale as Rory is definitely a character to admire. Full of lots of laughs, smiles, and a shedload of ‘you can do it if you put your back into it’, Emma Robinson has shown that people’s fairy tales are individual to their circumstances and just because one person may want a Prince Charming and seven kids, another woman could find her ‘happily ever after’ on her own, or even much later on in life. I loved how the author put across the message that independence is a trait to be admired, and how forcing someone to do something that YOU want to do will not make them happy deep down. ‘Happily Never After’ is a brilliant example of happiness coming in different sizes, at different times, for different reasons. Because as long as you’re happy yourself, you have already found your happily ever after. Such a fab, laugh out loud, energetic, and enchanting read to lose yourself in any day of the week. Oh, and Emma Robinson is TOTALLY my fairy godmother after reading this. Obviously….can’t have a fairytale without one now, can we?

Buy now: Amazon // iBooks // Kobo

About the author.

Emma Robinson thinks of herself as one of the ‘Bridget Jones generation’ – who are now grown up and having children – and writes novels for women who feel the same.

She also has a blog, Motherhood for Slackers, which takes a humorous look at parenthood, and includes poems such as ‘Dear Teacher’ about her son starting school which has been shared around the world. Emma is an English teacher and lives in Essex with a patient husband and two children who are an endless source of material.

Website: www.motherhoodforslackers.com
Facebook: facebook.com/motherhoodforslackers
Twitter: @emmarobinsonuk
Instagram: emmarobinsonuk

#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