#Review! One Endless Summer by @LaurieEllingham @HQDigitalUK @HQStories

Laurie Ellingham

Three best friends.

Three continents.

Three months to live.

How long can you keep a secret?

Three best friends are embarking on an all-expenses paid trip of their dreams. The only catch? Every moment will be documented on film.

Lizzie’s battle with cancer is coming to an end, and now she’s ready to embrace adventure for the very first time. There are only three months, but it is Lizzie’s time to finally start living!

Jaddi is known for her stunning looks, flirtatious attitude and many conquests. But Jaddi has a secret and on this last trip together she needs to decide whether her best friends will ever know the real her.

Samantha has always been the ‘grown up’ of the group, the one with a five year plan. What Lizzie and Jaddi don’t know is that Sam is trapped, and her perfect life isn’t quite what it seems…

As they trek across the globe Lizzie, Jaddi and Samantha must come to terms with loss, love and trusting one another. But will it all be too late…

What does TWG think?

I know I keep saying this, BUT, I am so glad that I tend to avoid reading the blurbs of novels before I read them. I have just read the blurb for Laurie Ellingham’s book; if I had read it before I started reading, I would have been a tad miffed as it gives a little too much away for my liking. I chose this book to read because of the three sentences on the front cover; ‘Three best friends. Three continents. Three months to live.’. Those words (and the beautiful cover itself), were enough to make me go and buy this book for myself. Why? Because Laurie Ellingham has written the type of book that needs to be left to do the talking, it needs to speak for itself. The magic needs to be read in the moment…and not before.

‘One Endless Summer’ pulled me in by my heart-strings nion straight away; there was absolutely nothing I could do to prepare myself for any eventuality within the storyline. Lizzie, Jaddi and Samantha are three completely different women in terms of personalities and beliefs. One thinks with her heart, one thinks with her head and the other one leaves decisions to ‘fate’. I’m sure you can guess how problematic that would have been!

It didn’t take me long to focus on Lizzie’s story and everything else that went with it, including the camera man. Now, because my mind was focused on Lizzie’s hurdles, when another character was involved in a secretive situation, it completely caught me off guard. I had assumed that this storyline was going to centre around one circumstance in particular, so when the storyline spread its wings and took various different paths all at once, goosebumps covered my body from head to toe.

To be able to write a storyline containing several shocking situations involving most of the characters, as well as being able to maintain the high level of suspense and intensity, really does take a considerable amount of talent – Laurie Ellingham has done exactly that. Outstanding.

Throughout the entire novel it felt as though every time I turned the page, there was going to be even more shocking events, or rifts between characters, or something else utterly unexpected and bewildering. It most certainly kept my on my toes, but let’s just say that my emotions were becoming even more difficult to control.

As I said above, I assumed that this storyline was going to follow one path from start to finish, it didn’t; I am so, so glad that my assumption was incorrect as ‘One Endless Summer’ just kept on giving.

It’s incredibly difficult to write a vague review for a book that I adored, as all I want to do is go ‘OMG! Did you read the part where….’, and I can’t say anything along those lines.

All I can say really is that your own eyes need to read this mind-blowing, enchanting, heart-breaking, moving, spell-binding and emotional novel. I have never, EVER read a book like ‘One Endless Summer’; to be honest, I hope that I never read another book like it because it really is one of a kind. In my eyes, it’s going to take something completely flawless (of a similar genre) to be able to knock Laurie Ellingham’s book off my favourites list.

Words cannot describe how much I loved ‘One Endless Summer’, it really is THAT beautiful as well as thousands of other adjectives. Laurie Ellingham has blown my mind with this phenomenal storyline that’s for sure!

‘One Endless Summer’ is one of my MUST READ books of 2017 without a doubt. It’s also a book that will stay in my heart for a very, very long time.

Buy ‘One Endless Summer’ NOW!

#BlogTour! #Guestpost from ‘First Time Mums’ Club’ author @lucie_wheeler @HarperImpulse

First Time Mums Club

Today I have the honour of closing Lucie Wheeler’s FIRST EVER blog tour! If you missed any of the blog posts on the previous days, all of the bloggers who have taken part are listed above. I’m not biased or anything as I am a blogger myself, BUT, what a fabulous bunch of bloggers on this tour!! Don’t you agree? The excitement on social for Lucie Wheeler’s debut novel has been outstanding, I am truly blessed to be part of a fantastic group of bloggers for a truly inspirational author.
Today I have a guest post from the lady herself, Lucie Wheeler, but if you did miss my review of her debut novel ‘The First Time Mums’ Club’, you can check it out here: #BookReview! The First Time Mums’ Club by Lucie Wheeler (@lucie_wheeler) @HarperImpulse

My ideal writing environment.
by Lucie Wheeler

There are people who can write anywhere, and there are people who can only write in certain places. I think I fall in between. Generally, as a rule, I write in my office upstairs, which is the box room. I have my desk in there which I bought from Ikea, a steal at £40, a cube unit (also from Ikea) which stores anything and everything and a few filing cabinets for all the boring stuff. It is a room which I really wish I could spend some money on and jazz it up into a fantastic little writing room full of inspiring quotes and beautiful furniture… but that will have to wait. Right now, it serves its purpose and that’s what is important. So I generally do my writing in there. 

However, I also have my laptop which I can take with me anywhere I go and I can still write. Sometimes this is just downstairs on the sofa so that I can spend time with my family alongside writing or catching up with work emails. And sometimes this will be in my car, in the car park at gymnastics, whilst I wait for LO. I do occasionally venture into the garden too – but I get frustrated with the glare from the sun so it doesn’t happen often. 

So what do I need from a writing space? Whether I am in my office at home, or in the car, I need relative silence to function. I am not a writer who can listen to music and write. Sometimes I use music to get a ‘feel’ for a scene or try to encourage an emotion out of me so that I can write about it, but when it gets down to the nitty gritty of writing a story, I like it to be quiet. I like to let the story talk to me and run away with my imagination. Saying this, I can work with a little background noise. The TV is on at the moment and I can concentrate fine (unless something like The Great British Bake Off or The Apprentice is on!) I can also write in the library when I am at uni (because I have a lot to do and not a lot of time so sometimes my writing has to happen whilst at university) and the library isn’t silent. But… I can’t concentrate in a place like a coffee shop. I think because the talking there is closer to me and more in my personal space, whereas in the university library, it is a large space and the chatter tends to be a dull hum rather than an interesting conversation that I want to earwig in on – and let’s face it, we authors love an earwig on a conversation. It’s where half our material is inspired from! 

And I am definitely a straight-to-computer type of writer. I can’t do longhand. Whilst this is fine for notes, I simply cannot write fast enough. I like the speed of typing as the idea unfolds in my head and my hand doesn’t write fast enough. And when I try to do it, the words become illegible and it’s a waste of time. So for me, typing is the way forward. 

So there you have it. As long as I have a computer and fairly quiet surroundings, I can write pretty much anywhere. Although if we are talking about an absolute ideal writing environment – I wouldn’t say no to a balcony in a tropical climate with a cocktail and the sea to look at… who wants to take me?

Haha I don’t think many people will be disagreeing with Lucie on her dream writing location, would we? I certainly wouldn’t! It’s fun to see what an authors life is like BEHIND the book. Big thanks to Lucie Wheeler!

If you still haven’t been able to get your paws on a copy of ‘The First Time Mums’ Club’ yet, here are all the details of the book and the ‘to buy’ link:

Featured Image -- 20693

Meet Pippa…

After years of trying and a failed IVF attempt, Pippa is thrilled to see two little lines appear on a pregnancy test. Finally a precious baby to call her own. This is all Pippa has ever wanted…if only husband Jason could show just a little excitement.

Imogen…

A baby is the icing on the cake for Imogen and Alice – proof that their love for each other can overcome any obstacle. But when Imogen starts receiving malicious texts, it’s clear that not everyone is thrilled about the girls’ good news.

And Ellie…

A drunken one-night stand and Ellie’s life is ruined! Pregnant, jobless and the relationship with her best friend, Chris, over- forever. Because Chris just happens to be the father of Ellie’s baby…and potentially the love of her life!

For these first time mums the road to motherhood is bumpier than most!

Buy now from Amazon UK!

#Review! Invisible Women by Sarah Long @BonnierZaffre @Emily_BookPR #InvisibleWomen

invisible women

Isn’t it about time we talked about YOU?

Tessa, Sandra and Harriet have been best friends through first crushes, careers, marriage and the trials of motherhood. After twenty years of taking care of everyone else’s every need, they’ve found themselves hitting the big 5-0 and suddenly asking themselves: ‘what about me?!’

Sandra has a sordid secret, and Harriet is landed with her ailing mother-in-law. Tessa is looking for something to fill the gaping hole left by her youngest daughter’s departure for uni, where it seems she’s now engaged in all sorts of unsavoury activities, if Tessa’s obsessive late-night Facebook stalking is anything to go by.

When Tessa impulsively responds to an online message from an old flame, she soon finds herself waiting at Heathrow Airport for The One That Got Away.

But what will the plane from New York bring her? The man of her dreams, or a whole heap of trouble?

And could this be the long-awaited moment for Tessa to seize her life, for herself, with both hands?

What does TWG think?

One day, as I was feeling so downtrodden and incredibly invisible, I decided to find myself a new book to get stuck into. After less than a minutes worth of searching, a book appeared on my screen which couldn’t have been more apt if it had tried; Invisible Women. Coincidence or match made in heaven? I’m going to go with the latter! I really was in a funk of a mood, so to find a book which seemed to fit the bill with how I was feeling right at that very moment, I just knew I had to read it.

So I did.

Even before I had had time to settle myself into the storyline, the book had already thrown me a curveball which left me somewhat curious and somewhat impatient. I wanted to know what the monkeys was going on but seeing as the question mark loomed at the very start, I knew that I had a long wait to find out what was happening. Three women, three very different lives, yet all three ladies have one big thing in common; they are all about to hit the big FIVE-OH. Now, I’ve always known the age of mid-life crisis’ to be 40 (no offence to anyone 40 or over, just what I’ve seen about!). To see a storyline focus on the age of fifty and the realistic issues that could crop up at that time, well, it was like a little breath of fresh air and an eye-opener all in one go!

Sandra, Tess and Harriett have all reached the times in their lives where their children have flown the nest, they release that they can’t stop defying gravity for much longer and they think about all of the things that they SHOULD have done. No, no, no, I don’t mean going on a family vacation to a different country, or eating different food in a restaurant when your staple is always fish, chips and mushy peas. No. Things for them. Things that would make themselves happier, boost their confidence or actually make them feel….visible?

Whilst it may seem all to easy to just go and do things for yourself, when you have husbands like Tessa, Sandra and Harriett’s, the only thing that you’re likely to do for yourself is….er…..

Oh, my, god. All three men were absolute PIGS! One husband is like the spokesperson for selfishness and gluttony, another husband seems to have gotten muck in his eyes and forgets that his wife is indeed his wife, and not his maid, and the third one seems to have had his own issues but is now hell-bent on using the ‘woe is me’ card. Even.in.the.aftermath. Man flu doesn’t seem as bad now when you compare it to those three!!

There were times where I found the book to be a little slow, but, I actually think the storyline needed those slow moments to make the realism of the three situations more evident. Sarah Long hasn’t made all of the storyline bubbly, optimistic and cosy; she has made a lot of it modern, realistic and bulshy. I felt really sorry for one of the ladies as they were treated like absolute shizzmanizzle and I found myself getting rather irate. I say ‘rather’, I think I may have shouted at the book once or twice. I hope we weren’t meant to like the husbands in this book, because I can assure you that I did not!

‘Invisible Women’ is very cleverly written, witty and the underlying message throughout the storyline is a very important one. I was really hopeful that all three women would manage to find their callings in life, their happiness and their reason to keep going. At times I was urging them to just go for it but as an outsider, it was easy for me to sit here and say that.

Sarah Long is very witty in her dialogue and knows how to keep her readers enthralled by her words. Whilst ‘Invisible Women’ didn’t blow me away, it really was the tonic I needed when I felt low myself. Lots of giggles, powerful friendships and bucketfuls of determination, this book will really keep your attention from start to finish.

Thank you Bonnier Zaffre.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#EarlyReview of The Last Piece of My Heart – @PaigeToonAuthor @SimonSchusterUK @JessBarratt88

Paige Toon

When life feels like a puzzle, sometimes it’s the small pieces that make up the bigger picture… Join Bridget on a journey to put her world back together.

A successful travel journalist, Bridget has ambitions to turn her quirky relationship blog about the missing pieces of her heart into a book. But after a spate of rejections from publishers, she accepts an alternative proposition.

Nicole Dupré died leaving behind a bestselling novel and an incomplete sequel. Tasked with finishing the book, Bridget is thankful to have her foot in the publishing door, even if it means relocating to Cornwall for the summer and answering to Nicole’s grieving husband, Charlie

What does TWG think?

I was lucky enough to have been given a copy of Paige Toon’s new book, long before publication date. The only downside to that was how I ended up having multiple arguments with myself about it. They went something like this;

Me: AHHHHH read it already!!
Me: Nooo, I can’t read it yet, I need to savour it for as long as possible!
Me: But you need to read it!!
Me: Savour it!! It’s PAIGE TOON FOR GOODNESS SAKE
Me: READ IT BECAUSE IT IS PAIGE TOON!!!
Me: But then if I read it, I’ll end up finishing it!
Me: Well yes, that’s the whole point!

Soooooo, much to the annoyance of…me, I read it. Now, I say annoyance like I didn’t want to read it, when I would have done anything TO read this book. As you saw by the argument with myself (above), I just didn’t want to read it and then end up being disappointed because it had finished, meaning I would need to wait for another book (which I’m going to have to do anyway!!).
Right, if you’re a bookworm, you’ll understand what I’m trying to get at here, right? I hope so!

Anyway, I did attempt to savour this book, so much so that I ended up reading 60 odd percent in one day. Yeah, totally savouring it! Even if I wanted to, I could not have put it down. Whilst I struggled to gel with Bridget at first, I automatically clicked with the general feel of the storyline, and I couldn’t put my finger on why that was exactly. It just felt…magic. Does that make sense?

‘The Last Piece of My Heart’ really came into its own, in my opinion, when the setting changed to Cornwall. It felt like the entire feel of the storyline, as well as the strength of the characters and their emotions, became settled and I was able to really get comfortable with the book. It was also at that moment when my emotions began to get the better of me.

Why?

Because, one of the characters in particular grabbed a hold of my heart and wouldn’t let go. It sounds pretty daft now when I think about how emotional that one character made me, but I’m just being honest. I’m trying to be extremely vague and not say too much here as I guess it could be seen as an interlinked spoiler, BUT, the character I’m referring to was by far my favourite character in the book. Such a beautiful, beautiful character.
(If you read the book when it comes out, you’ll no doubt see who I’m on about!)

Charlie and Bridget’s relationship truly was a breath of fresh air. Their banter was on point and the way their personalities complimented each other, really did make for excellent reading. Paige Toon certainly knows how to create such loveable, memorable  characters that reel you into the heart of the storyline like long-lost friends.

I have been a HUGE fan of Toon’s work for many, many years and I have to say that ‘The Last Piece of My Heart’ is definitely her best book to date, and one of my most favourite books of all time. She just has that skill of making a storyline come to life as though you’re living in the pages with the characters; a comforting author I would say. Whilst this novel delved deeper into some rather emotional and raw topics, it also made me laugh out loud and end up with sore cheeks from smiling so much.

Toon’s brand new novel, in my eyes, is flawless. From the moment I began reading, until the moment the book unfortunately came to an end, I was addicted to Bridget, Charlie and Nicole’s life. I would say that Paige Toon had me at hello, but the book didn’t start like that! You catch my drift though I’m sure..

‘The Last Piece of My Heart’ is yet another of Paige’s books which I could sit and talk about for an age, but I can’t. I am absolutely devastated that the book had to come to an end, I didn’t want it to! I wanted to keep on reading and stay in the safe haven of Toon’s delightful and exhilarating words.

An addictive, heart warming, thought-provoking, and beautiful read from the incredibly talented, Paige Toon. The Last Piece of My Heart is an outstanding tale of love, loss and having the strength to make the most out of your life, no matter what the circumstances are.

Paige Toon and her brand new novel now have a piece of my heart, and you know what? I don’t want it back either because I will remember this phenomenal book for a very long time.

P.S. Welcome to my list of top books ever, Paige. This novel flew on there. Amazing, truly amazing.

Thank you S&S!

‘The Last Piece of My Heart’ by Paige Toon, will be published by Simon and Shuster on the 18th May 2017. You can ensure your copy is secure by preordering it via the links below (you’ll be mad not to, honestly):

Pre-order now from Amazon UK
Pre-order now from Amazon US

#CoverReveal! #TrustMe by Angela Clarke (@TheAngelaClarke) @AvonBooksUK

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

It feels like yesterday that I was helping to reveal Angela Clarke’s, ‘Watch Me’ book cover!  Oh how time flies! Angela Clarke is back with the third novel from her social media thriller series, how EXCITING!!! I am delighted to be able to share this with you this evening folks! Are you ready?

Are you steady?

No, come on, are you REALLY ready?

You sure?

Positive?

Angela Clarke
And, if that isn’t enough to make you want to pee a little with excitement; here is the blurb:

PUBLISHES IN EBOOK & PAPERBACK: 15th June 2017

What do you do if you witness a murder…but no-one believes you?


When Kate sees a horrific murder streamed live on her laptop, she calls the police in a state of shock. But when they arrive, the video has disappeared – and she can’t prove anything. Desperate to be believed, Kate tries to find out who the girl in the video could be – and who her killer is.


Freddie and Nas are working on a missing persons case, but tensions in the police force are running high and time is ticking. When Kate contacts them, they are the only ones to listen and they start to wonder – are the two cases connected?


Dark, gripping, and flawlessly paced, Trust Me is the brilliant third novel in the hugely popular social media murderer series.

Pre-order now!!!

Can you be patient for just over a month? Angela’s new book will be released in June!
(P.S. Don’t worry if you can’t be patient for it, I’m not either!!!)

#Review of Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon (@bryony_gordon) @headlinepg #MentalHealth

madgirl

THE NUMBER 1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER AND RICHARD & JUDY BOOK CLUB 2017 PICK

A new Sunday Times bestseller from Bryony Gordon, Telegraph columnist and author of the bestselling The Wrong Knickers. For readers who enjoyed Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive and Ruby Wax’s Sane New World, Mad Girl is a shocking, funny, unpredictable, heart-wrenching, raw and jaw-droppingly truthful celebration of life with mental illness.

‘I loved it. A brilliant fast and funny and frank look at something that absolutely needs to be talked about in this way’ Matt Haig

Bryony Gordon has OCD.

It’s the snake in her brain that has told her ever since she was a teenager that her world is about to come crashing down: that her family might die if she doesn’t repeat a phrase 5 times, or that she might have murdered someone and forgotten about it. It’s caused alopecia, bulimia, and drug dependency. And Bryony is sick of it. Keeping silent about her illness has given it a cachet it simply does not deserve, so here she shares her story with trademark wit and dazzling honesty.

A hugely successful columnist for the Telegraph, a bestselling author, and a happily married mother of an adorable daughter, Bryony has managed to laugh and live well while simultaneously grappling with her illness. Now it’s time for her to speak out. Writing with her characteristic warmth and dark humour, Bryony explores her relationship with her OCD and depression as only she can.

Mad Girl is a shocking, funny, unpredictable, heart-wrenching, raw and jaw-droppingly truthful celebration of life with mental illness.

What does TWG think?

As I’m sure you’re all aware of by now, if I review a book that is based on real life or personal experiences, my review style changes dramatically. After all, I can’t exactly start saying that the book has an ‘uneventful storyline’ if it’s about the author’s life, it’s not like they’re going to tweet me back and say ‘OH SOZ that my life wasn’t exciting enough for YOU’. I mean, REALLY?!

I bought ‘Mad Girl’ from my local Tesco as I had just popped in for a few necessities (some might say milk, some might say books), and I was at the point in my life where I was an absolute mess with constant bad news related to my health. I needed some help and clarification without being judged, that’s where ‘Mad Girl’ came in.

Bryony Gordon has really had her fair share of shitake; OCD, drugs, depression…you name it, she has probably been through it. ‘Mad Girl’ seemed to be Bryony’s chosen platform to open up about issues that are often seen as ‘taboo’, misunderstood and are frequently hidden away (not through choice). In her novel, Bryony explains just how she felt when she was faced with a trigger or a judgemental person, absolutely perfectly and I am in awe of how black and white that she vocalises those emotions.

‘Mad Girl’ struck a chord with me as I have had to battle similar things as Bryony, just like a lot of people no doubt. But, on a personal level, the novel made me return to a time in my past and face it. Let’s just say that I now consider Bryony Gordon to be my new therapist! Bloody cheap therapy though!

Bryony’s writing is incredibly honest, real and exactly what everyone needs to hear. She says it how it is. She doesn’t feel the need to apologise for her thoughts and feelings or troublesome moments, even though a lot of us feel like we have to apologise to others for being unwell. What I loved the most about this novel was how the author challenged that notion and made me feel as though she was rooting for every single person with a mental illness, whether she knew them or not. It was like she turned into a little angel to sit on our shoulders, spraffing profanities to the judgemental bar-stewards that crossed our paths, or the nasty individuals who tried to make it their mission to make us feel smaller than what we already are.

I am in awe at Bryony Gordon’s story, and the amount of hurdles that she has had to jump over so far in her life time. Not only that, she has brought those extremely difficult moments to light, for thousands of people to read and relate to. The amount of strength that that must have taken to do…

Just like many (if not all) of us, there are sure to have been moments when we have felt worthless, unloved and misunderstood; I know that I have, and thanks to depression, anxiety and five other chronic illnesses, it is a regular occurrence.

Bryony Gordon and ‘Mad Girl’ made me feel as though I had someone rooting for me and wanting me to succeed. That probably sounds stupid seeing as she has never spoken to me personally, yet her written words spoke to me in a way that I will never forget.

The world needs a lot more people like Bryony Gordon, and your bookshelf needs a copy of ‘Mad Girl’ on it. Such an honest, eye-opening and inspirational story of one woman’s journey of self discovery and celebration. Full of hilarious moments and on point truths, ‘Mad Girl’ sticks two fingers up to the word ‘taboo’, whilst also being your best friend in a book.

Bryony Gordon, you are an inspirational, hilarious bad ass. If Marvel don’t make you into a super hero then there is something SERIOUSLY wrong!!

Buy ‘Mad Girl’ now from Amazon UK
Buy ‘Mad Girl’ from Amazon US

#BookReview – Differently Normal by Tammy Robinson (@TammyRobinson76)

dnormal

Every family has its issues.

For Maddy, life is all about routine. It has to be, to keep her autistic sister happy and healthy. With just Maddy and her mother as Bee’s full time carers, there’s no time in Maddy’s life for complications like friends, let alone a boyfriend.

So when Bee joins a new Riding for the Disabled stable and they meet Albert, the last thing on Maddy’s mind is falling in love.

Some things, she’s about to learn, are outside of our control.

Albert has resigned himself to always being a disappointment to his strict father. When he meets Maddy, he gets a glimpse of what being part of a family can be like, and of the tremendous sacrifices that people will make for the ones that they love.

Differently Normal is a spellbinding story of love that will leave you breathless.

What does TWG think?

Author (whose success rate of making her readers cry is even higher than an episode of Greys Anatomy), Tammy Robinson, is back with yet another ‘totes emosh’ read. Whether you either finish reading her brand new novel and end up sobbing like a baby, or finish reading it with bone dry eyes, one thing is for certain; Differently Normal will reach out and steal your heart (obviously not literally, but you catch my drift).

For as long as Maddy can remember, day to day life has been governed by routine, and routine early. Even if the routine were to change through no fault of anyone’s, Maddy and her family would have to suffer the consequences and fix the situation before it escalated. Why? Well, Maddy’s life isn’t a case of ‘get up and get on with it’ as that is just an impossible request for her and her sister, Bee. Again, why? Bee has autism and life for her personally, has its own set of challenges. That’s even before you included the big, wide world’s challenges! Maddy would do absolutely ANYTHING for her sister and pretty much NOTHING for herself. If she were to be asked out her first answer would be ‘no’. If Maddy were to go out on her own or do something just for herself, she wouldn’t as she would worry about her sister. How unbelievably selfless.

I adored Bee; she was such a wonderful character to read about, so full of life and….herself. I honestly don’t think that I have enough words to explain how Maddy’s persona caught me, she truly is an outstanding person. If the world had more people like Maddy it would be a million times better. Fact.

As the storyline progressed, we saw Maddy loosen the ties on her life and live (to a point), thanks to a gentleman named, Albert. I found it quite troubling to read about his life as it was so raw yet incredibly common, which is such a shame. People’s lives shouldn’t be like that.

At times I wondered where my tears were, I couldn’t work out why my face was still dry and tears weren’t streaming down my face like a waterfall. But then it hit me. Tammy’s Robinson’s novels don’t HAVE to make you cry, they just INTEND to make you reach deep within your heart; and feel. Just….feel. The storyline moved me in a way I can’t even begin to describe, but, most importantly, it made me stop and think about the true meaning of what I was actually reading. Autism isn’t just a made up condition that is fixed by a couple of placebo’s and a hot toddy. No, it’s real life! It affects REAL LIFE people and their families. I couldn’t cry because if I did it would be like I was feeling sorry for Bee, or feeling sad for Maddy. But I didn’t, and I don’t. Why would you feel sorry for someone who knows no different? Why would you feel sad for a girl who was doing right by her sister?

So no, there was no sadness in my eyes from their situation, just copious amounts of admiration for their family. As for Albert’s situation, maybe I should have cried there too but I became numb. Differently Normal took me by surprise and had me feeling different things which I don’t often feel the need express; until now. I am in awe at the storyline, especially the strength of each individual family that finds themselves in a similar predicament as Maddy, and Bee. I am in awe at the authors deliverance of such a complex, real, and extremely unpredictable storyline; it certainly made me open my eyes.

Differently Normal is a storyline that will catch you unaware and will no doubt have you feeling emotions that are usually hidden under lock and key, waiting for the right moment to make themselves known.

A truly inspiring story which showcases just how misunderstood, yet beautifully challenging, autism can be.

mesmerisng, heart warming and a beautiful read from the author of real emotion, Tammy Robinson.

Thank you TBC Review.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy from Amazon US

#BookReview! The First Time Mums’ Club by Lucie Wheeler (@lucie_wheeler) @HarperImpulse

lw

A gorgeous, heartwarming debut for fans of Giovanna Fletcher, Paige Toon and The Unmumsy Mum!

Meet Pippa…

After years of trying and a failed IVF attempt, Pippa is thrilled to see two little lines appear on a pregnancy test. Finally a precious baby to call her own. This is all Pippa has ever wanted…if only husband Jason could show just a little excitement.

Imogen…

A baby is the icing on the cake for Imogen and Alice – proof that their love for each other can overcome any obstacle. But when Imogen starts receiving malicious texts, it’s clear that not everyone is thrilled about the girls’ good news.

And Ellie…

A drunken one-night stand and Ellie’s life is ruined! Pregnant, jobless and the relationship with her best friend, Chris, over- forever. Because Chris just happens to be the father of Ellie’s baby…and potentially the love of her life!

For these first time mums the road to motherhood is bumpier than most!

What does TWG think?

If I wasn’t broody before I read this novel, I sure as hell am now!!! Waiting for Lucie Wheeler’s book to land amongst the blogger community was quite similar to the last month of pregnancy; long and couldn’t come quick enough! The thing is though folks, I am rather disappointed. You know when you wait an absolute age for something whilst getting more and more excited as each day passes, the day finally arrives and you end up feeling ‘OH’, ever get that? I am at that point, so I am rather disappointed.

I mean, WHY THE MATERNITY DID THE BOOK HAVE TO END?!?!?! Nobody told me that it would end…I wasn’t prepared for the story to finish and be left sitting there. -cries eyes out- I WANTED TO STAY WITH IMOGENNNNNNNN, WAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Ohhhhhhh, sorry, did you think I was going to say that I was disappointed with the book? Er hell no! Being a mummy myself I was able to relate to a lot of the storyline, especially Ellie’s situation (to a point). Pippa, Imogen and Ellie all have babies on the brain, after all, all three ladies are expecting! At first the ladies are complete strangers yet they are all drawn to a certain café. Well, seeing as it’s Ellie’s sister who owns the café it would be a bit tricky for her not to be drawn to it…

Each lady has their own individual story; Pippa is married to husband Jason and after a failed attempt at IVF, they’re FINALLY going to be parents, Imogen is married to wife Alice and despite all of the hurdles their relationship has had to jump over, they are about to complete their family with a baby of their very own. Oh, and finally, there is Ellie who is probably the least maternal woman of the group, yet ta-daaaa she is about to become a mummy after a drunken sha….shenanigan left her eating for two. And you know what? They’re all unbelievably fabulous!

If you’re a pregnant, first time mum and are currently experiencing feelings such as the ones mentioned in this storyline, or if you have already had your baby(ies), you’ll know that finding out you’re pregnant has got to be one of the most phenomenal yet terrifying experiences. Yes, even if the pregnancy is planned! Lucie Wheeler has captured those fears, apprehension and sheer enjoyment, in every part of her storyline absolutely magnificently. A lot of people may think that pregnancy and impending parenthood will be a vision of white roses and bouncing rabbits (well, that was how you got there), when in reality it’s not always like that. Lucie Wheeler has taken the topic of pregnancy, laid it bare and written about it in such a black and white manner; aka realistically. Take Ellie for example; as soon as she found out she was pregnant she felt as though her whole world had nose-dived, yet that is quite a common reaction to pregnancy, especially if unplanned!

Falling pregnant isn’t a case of wham, bam, thank you mam and a baby is made. No. Some women may need additional help or may be classed as high risk, so their feelings are going to be completely different to women who do fall pregnant on the first sniff of the Sea Man. What really impressed me with the entire storyline was how nearly every avenue was explored; fertility issues, same-sex marriage, single parent, rocky marriage and so on. Hand on heart, how many storylines do you know of that cover all of the above in one sitting?

Even though I adored every character (bar one), I resonated more with Imogen’s personality and beliefs. She became my ‘go to’ character very quickly and it was her labour that caught me more than the others. Daft eh? On a very personal level what with being considered ‘higher risk’, just like Imogen I’ve always know that I wanted to be a mummy; her fears and levels of uncertainty was as though I was watching a video of myself pregnant. Maybe that’s why I found her to be my ‘go to’ character, I don’t know.

For me, ‘The First Time Mums’ Club’ was such a flawless representation of motherhood, even where the labour was concerned! I could go on and on about Lucie Wheeler’s book all night, it really is THAT good. But I won’t though!

It is incredibly rare to read a storyline which not only captures your heart, your soul and your ovaries, it also leaves you feeling a level of fulfilment that you have never, ever felt before; just like The First Time Mums’ Club. I cannot put into words how much I adored every word and every feeling that this storyline contained; every single thing was…perfection.
Personally, ‘The First Time Mums’ Club’ had the right amount of giggles, the right amount of solidarity and girl power, the right ratio of serious to light-hearted moments, and even the right way of showing all first time mums (and mums in general) that it’s more than okay to not have everything together ALL of the time.

Lucie Wheeler’s debut novel, ‘The First Time Mums’ Club’ is such an outstanding and beautifully written tale about motherhood and friendship; I cannot tell you how much I LOVED reading this belter of a book. I was absolutely devastated to reach the end of such an empowering and fantastic book, so much so I am debating whether to read it for a second time already!

Phenomenal debut novel from the inspirational, Lucie Wheeler. It’s safe to say that ‘The First Time Mums’ Club’ is ranking in TWG’s Top 5 books of 2017 so far; roll on book two!!

Thank you HarperImpulse!

‘The First Time Mums’ Club’ will be published by HarperImpulse on the 5th May 2017 – you can pre-order the novel now from Amazon UK.

 

A little heads up on why I ‘disappeared’ for a week, as well as special thanks to a few folk.

noteI have a lot to say in this blog post, but I will aim to condense and attempt to ramble much less than usual. However, if I fail miserably, please accept my apology now and know that I tried my hardest, but I’m a rambler!

Little over a week ago I decided to take a take a step back from social media whilst I went to visit a very good friend of mine, after 14 years. You’re probably thinking ‘ooo big deal’, BUT, there was a reason why I decided to coincide my social media break with my break away. Well, if I’m being honest, the decision was only half mine. You see, for the last four or so months I have been on the receiving end of cyber bullying and my tolerance level had been smashed to smithereens. Not only that, it brought back horrendous memories of the bullying I endured as a child. Memories that I already hold the scars for to this day and really didn’t want to have surfaced once again. But they did. After weeks of constant bad news from the doctors and issues with my house, a break away could not have come at a better time, it was just a shame about social media.

Before I went away I scheduled all of my book reviews to go live whilst I was away which probably made it look like I was still about. I need to say a MASSIVE thank you to every single one of you who shared, liked, commented, tweeted and so on, my blog posts whilst I was away. The response to each review posted was incredible and it means a lot that you were all willing to keep sharing them for me. I also want to say sorry to all of you as I haven’t done any blog post sharing, but rest assured I will be playing catch up so if you find your notifications creeping up, you know it’s me.

As I mentioned above, I have been on the receiving end of cyber bullying and it started to make me resent everything I had worked my butt off for. The belittling comments, snidey posts, immature posts from people who should know better and a lot more that only a selected few know. It hurt, and it still does hurt, I’m not going to lie. No-one should be bullied whether it’s in person or online, it really is diabolical.

Whilst I was MIA I had one, very special lady message me to ensure that I was okay as I hadn’t been active online. That gesture itself made me well up as nobody has ever really done that for me, and it meant a lot that my presence was missed. Lucie Wheeler, you are a truly wonderful, inspirational and kind-hearted lady, and from the bottom of my heart I thank you for being there for me this week and every time before. You were (and are) the person I knew I could trust to message when I was feeling concerned, knowing full well you wouldn’t judge and just be the friend and support network you obviously knew that I needed. You truly are worth your weight in gold and I love you lots, thank you <3.

So yes, I am back. I received over 1,500 e-mails in the last week so if you have sent me an e-mail and I haven’t replied yet, sit tight and I will get to you. Thank you all again for the shares and fingers crossed the bully leaves me alone. Much love to you all <3.

#Tour! #Review: The Cows – Dawn O’Porter (@hotpatooties) @fictionpubteam #Dontfollowtheherd

dawnoporter

Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. I cannot believe I am about to type the following sentence; today it’s TWG’s stop on Dawn O’Porter’s blog tour for her new book, ‘The Cows’!

Let me just let that sink in a moment…Dawn O’Porter is on TWG. THE Dawn O’Porter….can somebody pinch me please?! SQUEAL!! Can you tell I’m excited?! Huge thanks to the lovely Emilie from HarperFiction for giving me a stop on the tour! Anyway, lets get this tour stop started then shall we?

dawnoporter1Fearlessly frank and funny, the debut adult novel from Dawn O’Porter needs to be talked about.

COW [n.]
/kaʊ/

A piece of meat; born to breed; past its sell-by-date; one of the herd.

Women don’t have to fall into a stereotype.

Tara, Cam and Stella are strangers living their own lives as best they can – though when society’s screaming you should live life one way, it can be hard to like what you see in the mirror.

When an extraordinary event ties invisible bonds of friendship between them, one woman’s catastrophe becomes another’s inspiration, and a life lesson to all.

Sometimes it’s ok not to follow the herd.

The Cows is a powerful novel about three women – judging each other, but also themselves. In all the noise of modern life, they need to find their own voice.

What does TWG think?

Dawn O’Porter’s sought after novel, The Cows, has arrived!! Dawn’s book has been on my radar since late last year, so I was beyond thrilled when I was able to get my grubby mitts on a copy, shut out the big wide world and ignore everyone and everything for the duration of the novel. And you know what? I did just that!

Three completely different women; each with such individual life-styles, yet their paths manage to cross in the most unusual way.

Tara; a working mum who battles ‘working mumma guilt’ thanks to her male colleagues, as well as copious amounts of sexual frustration (in no way linked FYI). Oh! & she constantly battles the aftermath after a certain train incident. Ahhhh!
Cam; a misunderstood blogger who is all for women’s rights. She uses her blog as a platform to try to inform the world that maybe, just maybe, not all women want to have children. Who would have thought it!
Lastly, Stella; a woman whose personal life has gone from bad to worse in no time at all, and now her future seems to be taking the dreaded path of uncertainty. Stella is near the point of no return and to be honest, she’s a bit of a mess.

A lot of men say that females are incredibly difficult to understand. Maybe we are, but seeing as both genders are built-in completely different ways, it doesn’t take a scientist to work out that females are going to be wired differently than males. Saying that, should we constantly have to explain our actions and our choices to them, and anyone else, if they don’t fit into the box that society has allocated us? No, we shouldn’t and visa versa. Can you imagine 30 million females + in the UK explaining every single choice they made? I can’t, which is why I was over the moon to see that Dawn O’Porter had voluntarily become the voice for millions of women via her novel.

Dawn’s three characters cover just some of the issues that can arise on a daily basis, where females are concerned. Working mum, mum life, mummy guilt, social media highs and lows, choosing not to have children, and so much more. I have seen other people saying that the concept of the novel is far too busy and has too much content. My response to that is; ehhhhhhh no. Why? Because for starters its three different lifestyles and three different women. The issues discussed in the novel isn’t just one character choosing the short straw and having to deal with everything I mentioned, and more. Secondly, it is probably quite rare to come across a female who has just one situation to contend with; having multiple issues in the one novel is more realistic otherwise we could have ended up with ‘The Cows – Part One’, and so on
Thirdly, this book is severely kick ass and whilst some of the characters choices are quite questionable (although hilarious), nobody can fault Dawn O’Porter for taking taboo and often misunderstood topics, laying them bare and owning them.

This storyline has everything you could ever wish for in a book as it contains very colourful language, shameless situations and copious amounts of nitty-gritty honesty. Did I have a favourite character? No I didn’t. Did I dislike any of the characters? No. However, I disliked a few of the paths that the ladies chose to go down. Don’t get me wrong when we get caught up in an emotionally charged situation or two, our logical thinking goes out the window and we charge into things like a bull in a china shop; I just thought about those choices based on the decisions that I would make in the same instance.

As for favouritism, all of the ladies had something rather special about them and unfortunately I was able to relate to one of them in particular. I say ‘unfortunately’ due to what the character faced in the storyline but I was fortunate to be able to relate to them on a personal level.

Dawn O’Porter has written such an emotionally charged and high energy storyline, which highlights the importance of living your life the way YOU choose to without feeling guilty for making a different decision to those around you. The storyline also highlights the true extent of peer pressure and what can happened if someone is unable to fight against it. I absolutely loved this book from start to finish as the honesty and power made me feel like I could combat anything, as long as I believed in myself and my decisions.

I laughed, I raged and yes, I even cried whilst reading ‘The Cows’. ‘The Cows’ is what the book world has been waiting for. ‘The Cows’ is what the female population has been waiting for. ‘The Cows’ is what I, TWG, have been waiting for.

A truly outstanding, intense, emotional and honest novel from the incredible voice, Dawn O’Porter. I will be recommending this novel until the cows come home…literally. And you know what else? #Dontfollowtheherd has just become my new mantra and it SHOULD be YOURS too.

Dawn O’Porter, you’re an absolute legend, please can you bring out a handbag sized book of ‘O’Porter’ wisdom? The world needs more of you and so do I (not in a stalker way obvs).

Thank you SO much HarperFiction!

Buy NOW from Amazon UK.
Buy NOW from Amazon US

dawnoporter2(picture credit: David Loftus)