#BlogTour! #Review – Love, Lies and Wedding Cake by Sue Watson (@SueWatsonwriter) @Bookouture

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Happy publication day to Sue Watson and ‘Love, Lies and Wedding Cake’! I am absolutely delighted to be hosting one of my all-time favourite authors on my blog today, on her own very special day. Big thanks to Bookouture for the blitz invite and my ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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An absolutely hilarious, laugh-‘til-you-cry, romantic comedy about how life never quite goes to plan…

Faye is in crisis. You wouldn’t know it, because of the big fat smile on her face, but inside, she’s one step away from nuclear meltdown. And she shouldn’t be. Dan is the man of her dreams. And he’s just asked her to marry him.

But Faye’s been down the marriage road before and it ended up with her having Ryan Gosling fantasies while her ex-husband obsessed about the plumbing. Faye and Dan, on the other hand, have been living their lives to the fullest, travelling around the world, having sex under the stars… They’ve never argued about unrolling socks before putting them in the laundry.

Besides, even if she wanted to say yes, how could she move to the other side of the world? Because marrying Dan would mean living in Australia. Beautiful, warm and a gazillion miles from Faye’s daughter, Emma, a single mum with her own crazy little girl who both need Faye every single day. Leaving them – even for someone who makes her as happy as Dan – simply isn’t an option. 

Dan is offering Faye everything she ever wanted. So why does she feel like she’s about to lose it all?

What does TWG think?

‘Love, Lies and Wedding Cake’ is the sequel to Sue Watson’s previous novel, ‘Love, Lies and Lemon Cake’. I had hoped that I would have read the first book before reading the second book, however that wasn’t the case. Luckily it didn’t make much difference as I was able to read this book perfectly well on its own.

Faye is as happy as pig in……cough. She has a wonderful daughter, a sassy granddaughter, and is the girlfriend of an Australian hunk (a toy-boy fyi). What more could a forty something woman want? When Faye finds out that her boyfriend, Dan, has to go back home to Australia, she feels her heart shatter into a million pieces. Dan tells her that it’s about time she lived her own life, instead of living her daughter’s. But can she really go half way around the world without her two girls with her?

Can I just say that Faye’s granddaughter is absolutely hilarious!! Someone get that girl her own novel! What a sassy, strong willed toddler who, incidentally, reminded me of my  own little girl. Gotta love them though, eh!

As daft as this sounds, ‘Love, Lies and Wedding Cake’ came at the right time as lately I have been struggling to do things for myself, because I am so busy doing things for other people. Just like Faye. It’s after you see it in black and white from a different perspective, that things start to make sense. Faye struggled with her own conscience of trying to be the perfect mum/granddaughter, whilst also wanting to finally live her life with her boyfriend. It was as though she was damned by any decision that she made, yet the only person who was going to suffer in the long run was herself.

This storyline really did hit home on a personal level, making me quite emotional in the process, making me feel as though my own personal feelings were being validated by a fictional character. I could see where Dan was coming from to a certain extent, yet the way he ended up phrasing it to Faye made him come across like a donkey hat.

Sue Watson’s delivery of both a hilarious and heart-warming read was, as always, totally flawless. The ratio between serious and snort-your-drink-out-of-your-nose moments was brilliantly defined, moulding well together to create an all round, perfect and huggable read.

Faye, courtesy of Sue Watson, made me remember that whilst we are often intent on splitting ourselves between 3855738 people, the person who we need to ensure is happy and fulfilled more often than anyone else – is ourselves. Faye highlighted that that was easier said than done, yet she also highlighted how important it was to do, before you end up hitting fifty and realising that you have actually done nothing for yourself. Gives you food for thought really, doesn’t it? Or cake….

‘Love, Lies and Wedding Cake’ fulfilled me from the tips of my fingers to the tips of my toes, wrapping me up in a blanket with its cosy and touching moments. Sue Watson’s novel could not have come at a better time for me to read, and I feel like now, thanks to copious amounts of cake and a sassy granddaughter of Faye’s, I can allow myself to snort drink out of my nose in laughter if I choose to do so…for me.

Beautifully written, I’m torn between choosing this book or choosing a cake – that is how much I loved this book**

** Ps, the book won seeing as it contains cake ;).

Buy now!

About the author.

Sue Watson was a journalist then a TV Producer at the BBC until she realised that instead of working, she could stay at home, and write about exciting things like foreign travel and cake!

So far Sue’s written twelve books, and some have been translated into Italian, German and Portuguese (she’s big in Brazil!) Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Worcestershire where her days are spent baking (and eating) lots of cake, while making big life decisions about whether to have Caramel Chew Chew or Salted Caramel ice cream while watching ‘My 600lb Life,’ on the sofa. 

For more info visit Sue’s website; http://www.suewatsonbooks.com/

Sue would love to meet you on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/suewatsonbooks

Follow Sue on Twitter @suewatsonwriter

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#BlogBlitz! #Review – Last Goodbye by Arlene Hunt (@arlenehunt) @Bookouture

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Happy publication day to Arlene Hunt and ‘Last Goodbye’. Huge thanks, as always, to Bookouture for the blitz invite, as well as the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

AH

You’re young. You’re in love. You’re in terrible danger …

‘The woman’s body lay on the bed, hair fanned out in a golden halo, blue eyes open. On the table stood an unmistakable sign: a bouquet of bright yellow roses…’

On a freezing January morning, a young couple is found dead in their cottage in the quiet Dublin suburbs. When Detective Eli Quinn arrives at the scene his stomach drops. It’s the second double homicide in as many months where the killer has left a bunch of yellow roses.

Tucked between the thorns is a little card, with an image of a broken heart. There’s no doubt the killer is trying to send a message, but what do the flowers mean? And can Eli figure out the killer’s motive, before they strike again?

What does TWG think?

Wow, wow, wow, wow, and WOW! ‘Last Goodbye’ had me in its clutches from the very first page, drawing me in like a cold drink on a summer’s day before I even had time to think. I didn’t just read Arlene Hunt’s novel, I devoured it (I think reading 37% of the novel in less than an hour is testament to that, don’t you think?).

There was just something rather special about this book and, despite finishing it 24 hours ago, I still haven’t been able to put my finger on what that is. It just is an exceptionally special novel which made me feel as though I was under investigation, never mind the fact that a killer was at large of course! My hands felt obstructed, my forehead was damp, and my arms were covered in goosebumps – if that is not proof of a brilliant read, I have no idea what is.

Thank goodness for being single is all I can say after reading this! A killer was drawn to couples in ‘love’. They were drawn to females, and they were drawn to killing for their own personal gain. Well, the dead person ended up being given flowers but I don’t suppose that counts seeing as they’re dead, but y’know!

I could tell straight away that Detective Quinn was a man to watch. Not because he was underhanded, but because he seemed to know a lot more than he was willing to divulge. Intrigued? I was! Having taken the newest recruit, Malloy, under his wing, Quinn is determined to show Malloy a few tricks of the trade. However, seeing as Malloy is a force to be reckoned with herself, personalities looked like they were going to clash sooner rather than later.

I would love to be able to talk about the part that shocked me the most, but seeing as it would be a humongous spoiler, I will refrain from doing so. All I will say is, once you begin this book, do not stop reading as the best is yet to come. Seriously! ‘Last Goodbye’ started with a bite, yet finished with a gash.

For me, Arlene Hunt ticked every single box and I have a feeling that this book is just the start of a fantastic series. I cannot WAIT to sink my teeth into book two if it’s anything as brilliant as this one is.

Shocking, thrilling, fast paced, and extremely addictive, ‘Last Goodbye’ will leave you wishing you had to do anything else but say goodbye.

Buy now!

About the author.

Arlene spent her childhood with ‘my nose buried in a book’.  She was a fierce debate-captain in school and her love of language was bound to lead her to writing. Alongside being an author, she writes, edits and reviews briefs for radio.

Arlene is married with one daughter and lives with a crotchety one-eyed cat named Binkley and a German Shepherd named Archer, who is not at all crotchety.

 Author Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/arlenehuntauthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/arlenehunt

Website: http://arlenehunt.com/

#BlogBlitz! #Review – The Murder List by Chris Merritt (@DrCJMerritt) @Bookouture

The Murder List - Blog Tour
Are you on ‘The Murder List’? I’m on the blogger list! I am thrilled to be taking part in the second, and final day of Chris Merritt’s blog blitz for ‘The Murder List’. Huge thanks to Bookouture for the blitz invite!

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The lifeless body sat, hands bound, silver tape over his mouth. Patches of blood had soaked into the cheap carpet around him. Zac had spent years gaining scientific insight into the mind: human motivation and behaviour. And this scene wasn’t right…

It’s been five years since Detective Zac Boateng’s daughter was murdered and her killer was never found. Now Zac is back working for the Metropolitan Police and is more determined than ever to bring the city’s killers to justice.

When a man is found brutally murdered in a rundown south London shop, all fingers point to the highly intelligent and manipulative Darian Wallace. Two years ago, the victim helped send him to prison. And he’s just been released.

Still grieving, Zac knows it will take everything he’s got to catch this dangerously clever killer. But just as he feels he’s getting closer, he realises all is not quite as it seems and he makes a devastating personal discovery.

Zac has a choice to make – risk letting this killer escape or watch his daughter’s murderer get away again…

What does TWG think?

When Zac Boateng’s daughter took her last breath right in front of his very own eyes, the Detective’s life changed. How can you move on from losing your child? How can you move on from the death of your child if the murderer hadn’t been caught? Zac wants justice for his daughter but, seeing as he has the investigations file at his fingertips, Zac is very close to playing with fire. Does he take a closer look into the unsolved murder of his daughter? Or does he accept the fact that it has been five years and the chances of catching the killer now, would be rather slim?

This is a debut novel. I repeat, this is a debut novel! I want to know why Chris Merritt hasn’t written a book before now! ‘The Murder List’ is the first part in a brand new series, and already I am having withdrawal symptoms. I want the next book now!!

I will admit that this storyline gave me the heebie jeebies, but oh my gosh was it a belter! Incredibly dark, intense, and full of spine tingling moments, ‘The Murder List’ held me hostage from the very first page until the last. Even if I wanted to move my eyes away, I couldn’t. As soon as I had read the prologue, I knew that I was in this for long haul.

What I loved about Zac’s character was how real he came across. Yes he was a detective, but he still showed that he had feelings and that he wasn’t afraid to display them. It was quite refreshing, especially as some of the other characters were rather unhinged and weirdly addictive. Nobody can sit there and say that the author hasn’t incorporated all walks of life into his storyline, that’s for sure!!

‘The Murder List’ is definitely a rollercoaster of a read, having the ability to leave me breathless on more than one occasion. I cannot get over the strength of this storyline and the way in which the author executed it. If this is how Chris Merritt writes his DEBUT novel, we are going to be in for a treat with the other books in the series!!

Buy now!

About the author.

Chris Merritt is a Clinical Psychologist and former diplomat based in London, who has been writing on psychology since 2010. In 2014 he decided to combine his passion for writing with his love of crime fiction, and eventually came up with The Murder List, his debut novel. He currently works on a mental health research project at King’s College London, and part-time as a psychologist in the NHS. When not working or writing, he loves climbing and basketball, and dreams of one day being able to work from home enough to own a whippet.

 Author Social Media Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrCJMerritt

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17558172.Chris_Merritt

 

#BlogTour! #Review – The Pact by S.E.Lynes (@SELynesAuthor) @Bookouture

The Pact - Blog tour
Excited to be one of the bloggers kicking off S.E.Lynes’ blog tour today for ‘The Pact’. As always, thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite, as well as the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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You made a promise to your sister. It could destroy your daughter.

The Daughter 
15-year-old Rosie lies in hospital fighting for her life. She’s trying to tell her mother what happened to her, and how she got there, but she can’t speak the words out loud. 

The Mother
Rosie’s mother Toni has a secret. She had a traumatic childhood, and she and her sister Bridget made each other a promise thirty years ago: that they could never speak the truth about what they went through as children, and that they would protect each other without asking for help from others, no matter what…

Rosie was Toni’s second chance to get things right: a happy, talented girl with her whole life ahead of her. Having lost her husband in a tragic accident, Toni has dedicated her life to keeping Rosie safe from harm. 

But Rosie has plans that her mother doesn’t know about. She has dreams and ambitions – of love, of a career, of a life beyond the sheltered existence that her mother has created for her. But the secrets Rosie has been keeping have now put her life in danger. 

The Pact
In order to save Rosie, Toni may have to break her lifelong promise to her sister… and open doors to her past she hoped would remain closed forever.

What does TWG think?

Have you ever read a book and thought to yourself; ‘YES! THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR FROM THIS AUTHOR!’? Because I have, and it was this exact book which made those thoughts enter my mind like a great, big foghorn.

As parents, our children are our world. The lengths we would go to, to protect them are utterly insane. I’m sure that a lot of parents reading this review right now are probably sitting there, nodding their heads in agreement. Right? But what has all of this, got to do with S.E.Lynes’ new book? Easy….

I would love to be able to sit here and write my opinion on every single eventuality within this book, but, sorry to disappoint, I am not that mean. I urge every single one of you to go onto to Amazon right now, purchase this book, and be prepared to ignore the world whilst you sit and read this. I’m not even joking. Never in a million years have I read a book which made me stagger my breathing, reaching a point several percent later, where I seriously needed to get a rather large intake of breath.

‘The Pact’ is severely twisted as S.E.Lynes has the knack to remove logical thinking from the  brains of her readers. I didn’t know what to believe, or who to believe. I didn’t know who to trust. Could I even trust the author or was she one of the bad guys as well? WHO WAS THE BAD GUY? Was there even a bad guy? Every page I read, a truck load more questions dropped into my lap. Is Rosie being a ‘typical teenager’? Is Toni being an overprotective mum? Are any of the characters who they say they are? I DON’T KNOW!

All I know is that ‘The Pact’ is an absolutely, flipping compelling read which ignited a fire in my belly from the very first page. S.E.Lynes took me on a journey I will never forget, that’s for sure.

I’ll say it again, this book is twisted. Psychologically twisted. Am I complaining? Am I heck! I cannot believe how well crafted each individual character in the storyline was! I was blown away by how their personalities fit in with the overall theme of the book, whilst still allowing the reader to form their own opinion of each characters decisions, making each person show various sides to their personalities in such an incredible manner.

Personally, I cannot fault this book at all – I have been waiting for the author to bring a book like this to the table, and by golly did she bring it!

Seriously, this book needs to come with a free oxygen mask or something, or reminders that readers need to breathe!!

Such a highly charged, spine tingling, fast paced novel which brought me out in such a cold sweat, I thought I was coming down with the flu. Absolutely phenomenal.

Buy now!

About the author.

After graduating from Leeds University, S E Lynes lived in London before moving to Aberdeen to be with her husband. In Aberdeen, she worked as a producer at BBC Radio Scotland before moving with her husband and two young children to Rome. There, she began to write while her children attended nursery. After the birth of her third child and upon her return to the UK, she gained an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University. She now combines writing with lecturing at Richmond Adult Community College and bringing up her three children. She lives in Teddington. 
 

#BlogBlitz! #Review – The Broken by Casey Kelleher (@CaseyKelleher) @Bookouture

The Broken Blog Tour
Happy publication day, Casey Kelleher!! I am so excited to be bringing you my review of Casey’s brand new novel, ‘The Broken’, as part of her blog blitz today. Big thank you to Bookouture for the blog tour invite, as well as the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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They took her dad, but she won’t let them take her.

Nancy Byrne was the apple of her daddy’s eye. He might have been one of the most-feared gangsters in London, yet Jimmy Byrne idolised his little Nancy. But now Jimmy is dead, gunned down in cold blood – and Nancy vows to avenge his death.

She’s only twenty years old, but as the new head of the ruthless Byrne gang, running a lucrative world of drugs, sex and violence, she’s in over her head. Keeping her family together while her beloved grandma falls apart and her brother Daniel goes off the rails forces Nancy to grow up – fast.

But while Nancy takes the men on at their own game, there’s a greater danger hiding on the dark streets. Jimmy’s killer is on her trail – and will stop at nothing to shut her up.

Blood might be thicker than water, but soon, Nancy realises she can’t trust anyone. Not even her own family.

Especially her own family.

What does TWG think?

What I want to know is how an author so innocent looking, can write such jaw-droppingly twisted novels?! Personally, I would hate to get on the wrong side of Casey Kelleher, because I have no doubts in my mind that she would put me in her book, not letting me get away with murder…and then some.

‘The Broken’, thankfully, didn’t break me but I did spend time wondering if my jaw was going to ever pick itself up off the floor, or whether I was going to have to get used to walking around with my gob wide open and my jaw hanging low. Seriously.

I am in awe at Casey Kelleher’s talents. Yes her storylines are gritty and highly chilling, but she writes them in such a way which makes you become addicted to the intense gore and the twisted characters. Many times whilst reading ‘The Broken’, I found myself thinking ‘holy shizzle that’s ugh –  WHAT HAPPENS NOW?!?’. I was quite shocked with my own response to this book, that’s for sure. I’m certainly not complaining though – this book is brilliant!!

The entire storyline was full of grit, with the characters each digging themselves much larger holes as the story progresses. I didn’t have a clue who was going to be in the firing line, and because I was so fixated on the overall book, I didn’t want to spend time trying to find out as I was happy to let the story take its own course.

Nancy, despite often being an absolute female dog, was such a vibrant character to read about. I loved how determined she came across, refusing to let the ‘issue’ of her gender stop her from doing her job. She took no prisoners and she let everyone know who was boss. I also think the author wrote Nancy’s personality really well because we were able to see a different side of her to the one she showed at work.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Broken’! It took me a little while to come down off the high from the intense and chilling storyline I had just been reading. Again, I’m not complaining – the entire novel was worth the goosebumps, slight nausea and raised heart rate!

Fast paced, addictive, and most definitely one to read – ‘The Broken’ will test your reactions in a way you never thought possible. Brilliant!

Buy now!

About the author.

Born in Cuckfield, West Sussex, Casey Kelleher grew up as an avid reader and a huge fan of author Martina Cole. 

Whilst working as a beauty therapist and bringing up her three children together with her husband, Casey penned her debut novel Rotten to the Core. Its success meant that she could give up her day job and concentrate on writing full time. 

She has since published Rise and Fall, Heartless, Bad Blood, The Taken, The Promise, The Betrayed and her latest release The Broken is due for publication on the 22nd February 2018.

www.caseykelleher.co.uk

www.facebook.com/officialcaseykelleher

http://caseykelleher.wordpress.com

Twitter: @caseykelleher

#BlogTour! #Review – The Silent Children by Carol Wyer (@carolewyer) @Bookouture

The Silent Children - Blog Tour

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The boy studied the bruise turning yellow at the base of his neck. With quick fingers his mother tightened his tie, and pulled his collar high above it. Her eyes alone said, We will not speak of this

Years later, a man is found shot dead in a local park. On his phone is a draft text: I can’t keep this secret any longer. The recipient is unnamed.

Detective Robyn Carter knows this secret is the key to the case, but his friends and family don’t offer any clues, and all her team have to go on is a size-ten footprint. 

Then a nurse is found in a pool of blood at the bottom of her staircase, and a seemingly insignificant detail in her friend’s statement makes Robyn wonder: are the two bodies connected, and has the killer only just begun?

When another body confirms Robyn’s worst fears, she realises she’s in a race against time to stop the killer before they strike again. But just as she thinks she’s closing in, one of her own team goes missing.

Buried in the past is a terrible injustice. Can Robyn uncover the truth before another life is lost?

What does TWG think?

DC Robyn Carter is back as she finds herself in the middle of an investigation which doesn’t seem to be tiring anytime soon. So many secrets yet nobody willing to speak up. Who has a hold over them? Why are they keeping quiet? What on Earth happened to trigger these turn of events? DC Robyn Carter is determined to get to the bottom of such a complex mystery, but if she thinks he investigation is going to be sorted quickly then she has another thing coming.

I’m not going to lie, several parts of this storyline were incredibly hard-hitting and difficult to read, yet they took the overall vibe of the storyline up several notches (despite covering my arms in goosebumps). Once again Carol Wyer has brought her readers straight into the hustle and bustle of the storyline as though they have been there the whole time. I thought the addition of a children’s book was very clever as it kept the theme of the story up to date and modern.

I thought that the entire storyline was severely gripping and highly intense – I couldn’t turn the pages quick enough! I so badly wanted to find out who the ring leader of the spiralling events was! There were times where I did feel as though several situations throughout the book dragged on for a little bit too long though, even though I could understand how complex the investigation was, I still wanted the point to be made.

The star of the show where this book is concerned is in the last couple of chapters. I won’t give anything away by explaining more than that, but for me, I felt that those chapters was were the true grit had hidden itself. I am really hoping that Robyn Carter comes back for another story as I truly feel that this character has a lot more to give.

A fast paced, suspenseful and extremely shocking read which will keep you guessing until the very end. Cleverly written and in keeping with modern-day society, Carol Wyer has crafted such a spine-tingling storyline, full of many multi-dimensional and memorable characters. I cannot wait to find out what is in store for her next. A cracking read!

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author: 
Carol E. Wyer is an award-winning author whose humorous books take a light-hearted look at getting older and encourage others to age disgracefully. More recently she has chosen to write for the “dark side” and embarked on a series of thrillers, starting with the gripping best-seller, Little Girl Lost.

Her book Grumpy Old Menopause won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction 2015.

Carol has been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ‘Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Ageing Disgracefully’ and on BBC Breakfast television. She has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’ featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and writes regularly for The Huffington Post.

Carol is a signed author with Bookouture and Delancey Press.

To learn more about Carol, go to www.carolwyer.co.uk or follow Carol on Twitter: @carolewyer. 

#BlogTour! #Review – It Had To Be You by Keris Stainton (@Keris) @Bookouture

It Had to be You - Blog Tour
Happy publication day, Keris Stainton!! ‘It Had To Be You’ is released today by Bookouture and I am delighted to be kicking off the blog tour with a review. I hope you enjoy reading my review just as much as I enjoyed reading this book. Thanks Bookouture for both the blog tour invite, and the ARC of the book.

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Twenty-five-year-old Bea is a hopeless romantic with a hopeless love life – until now. New beau Dan ticks all the boxes: he’s good-looking, kind and thoughtful. The complete opposite of Bea’s ex, who once threw her out in the middle of the night when she was ill so she didn’t disrupt his sleep.

So when her friends point out that she and Dan don’t have fireworks, Bea ignores them. Dan is the whole package. And yet Bea can’t stop comparing him to her best friend Henry… Because Dan doesn’t get Bea’s jokes. Or like books. Or make her laugh until she can’t breathe. Or become speechless when Bea puts on her favourite black dress for a night out… 

As time goes on, Bea can’t shift the feeling that something just isn’t right. On paper Dan is the perfect man. But in reality… Will Bea be brave enough to ask for more from life – and get the fireworks she deserves?

What does TWG think?

Oh my goodness me this book could not have come at a better time!! Have you ever felt so down, that all you wanted to do was laugh? No, I don’t mean a little snigger at a rubbish Christmas joke. I mean a proper belly laugh, tears rolling down cheeks, sides hurting type laughter. You know the sort I mean? Well, I have to admit that I have been in an absolute funk of a mood lately due to various reasons – all I wanted to do was feel carefree by laughing.

By golly that happened! I hadn’t even finished reading the first chapter when I began snorting like a pig with laughter. Seriously! I thought Keri Stainton’s previous novel was hilarious but this is even funnier!

Bea is a closed box type of character as she has gone through life on the safe route, as opposed to travelling 90mph in the fast lane. Nothing wrong with that, obviously, but Bea is at the age where she feels like she is missing out on things due to her guarded nature, especially seeing as most of her friends are doing grown up things and she is stuck in dreamland…

Considering this book has a lot of characters to keep up with, I surprised myself by being able to follow each individual characters life without getting too confused! I know, right?! I think it helped that all of the characters personalities were SO different, it was easy to remember who was who and what they were all about. I absolutely LOVED Freya! She is the most hilarious character I have come across in a long time. Everything about her is brilliant and if I reckon if she were a real life person, the queue to be her best friend would be never-ending. Freya just has that….vibe. She truly has grabbed life by the, in her case, breasts, and isn’t afraid to travel down the fast lane. Absolutely brilliant.

Now, I did like Bea. She came across as such a warm-hearted character and to be honest, I found myself relating to her a little bit. Especially as, just like Bea, I struggle to see things which are right in front of me.

‘It Had To Be You’ truly is the modern-day ‘My Best Friends Wedding’, without the wedding. A lot of readers will be able to relate to the storyline in its entirety due to how close to real life it is. Not only that, I am sure a lot of readers will also be able to relate to at least one of the characters, if not more. Hell, I genuinely think that men should read this book as Keris Stainton seems to have catered for the entire population. Not all women’s/contemporary fiction is for the ladies, gents!

What hit home a lot for me was the underlying message about things being right in front of you the whole time. We are all known to make life a lot difficult for ourselves by choosing to go down the complex path in search of happiness, completely bypassing the one thing that has made us happy the entire time, ignoring it because it has always been there. We all do it, and we will continue to do so. However, on a personal level ‘It Had To Be You’ has made me think about my own choices in life and how I seem to over think things instead of just….being.

I really could not have loved this book even more if I tried. From start to finish I was in hysterics with a heart so warm, I’m surprised that nobody tried to roast marshmallows off it. Keris Stainton is an author who fills me with such joy every time I read one of her books. I really think that every one of you should go and buy her book now because really, it is THAT good.

Such a feel good, side-splitting, thought-provoking and relatable read which will leave you feeling hugged from the inside out. Absolutely hilarious and brilliant written, Keris Stainton has quickly become one of my all-time favourite authors with her genius writing.

Thank you Keris Stainton for making me laugh like I have never laughed before.

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author: 

Keris lives in Lancashire with her husband and two sons. She’s written a bunch of books for young adults and children, and is obsessed with Twitter, tea, and 1D.

www.keris-stainton.com

#BlogBlitz! #Review – The Other Mother by J.A.Baker (@thewriterjude) @Bloodhoundbook

BLOG BLITZ (1) (1)
I am so excited to be kicking of J.A.Baker’s blog blitz today for her new release, ‘The Other Mother’. This book had me on the edge of my seat – I cannot wait to share my review with you all. Big thanks to Sarah from Bloodhound Books for the tour invite as well as the ARC.

J.A. Baker - The Other Mother_cover_high res
Three troubled women. One deadly secret.

Lissy and her daughter, Rosie, live a quiet life in Yorkshire, however when events at Rosie’s school come to light, their peaceful existence is shattered.
Meanwhile, middle-aged women Erica and Beverley appear to have perfect lives but behind closed doors things are not as they seem.
All three women are tied together by a dark past that goes back to their school days. A child was murdered and one of the women is to blame.
But is the person responsible for the child’s death the same person who was blamed for it all those years ago?
As secrets from their past begin to surface it becomes clear that someone has revenge in their sights…

What does TWG think?

Holy mother of cheeseballs!!!! This book!!!!

I’ve got to be honest, at first I wasn’t too sure. I couldn’t seem to get myself comfortable in the storyline, whilst also finding myself frowning at the words on the page. Luckily that feeling didn’t last for too long as, in no time at all, I was reeled into the past, trying to work out the identities of multiple characters in the book. I was determined to find out what exactly happened all those years ago.

I can’t even surmise this book like I usually would, as I would unintentionally give something away!

‘The Other Mother’ is a story told from different viewpoints. Three main characters, three extremely complex situations, all with only one thing in common. The past. As I’ve said many times before, my detective skills are shocking. Well, it’s either that or the author is a brilliant storyteller and knows how to keep their readers guessing, and/or looking in the wrong direction. I’ll go with the latter as J.A.Baker is most certainly that type of author.

There were moments during the book where I couldn’t help but think ‘what the f……’, or ‘omg that poor…..’, or ‘what the HELL are they playing at?’. I felt empathy towards a couple of the characters in one scene, yet in the same breath I started to feel anger towards their actions as well. I couldn’t keep up with how quickly my reactions were changing in relation to this storyline. I truly was on high alert, AND on the edge of my seat for a good majority of the novel.

I would read this book all over again if I could! But, seeing as I know what happens, I don’t think a second reading would be as impressive, therefore I am extremely jealous of everyone who is going to be reading this book for the very first time!!!

‘The Other Mother’ is an intense, whirlwind of a book which I just could not put down. With fantastic storytelling from author, J.A.Baker, this book has enough oomph and guts to send shivers up your spine, goosebumps on your arms, whilst also leaving your mind in a complete and utter head funk. I could not have wished for anything better where ‘The Other Mother’ was concerned.

I am waiting with bated breath for another J.A.Baker novel – this author has definitely found a fan for life.

You have to go and buy this book. I really can’t recommend it enough!

Thanks BloodHoundBooks.

‘The Other Mother’ by J.A.Baker is released today and can be bought now from Amazon UK.

Author Bio:
 

Born in Middlesbrough too many years ago to mention, J. A. Baker developed a deep appreciation of literature and reading from a young age after being introduced to it by her parents. Weekly visits to the library were the norm and after being handed a collection of Edgar Allen Poe stories by her father, her love for the darker side of fiction slowly grew. She is an avid reader of all books but is drawn in particular, to psychological thrillers.

After many rejections (too many to mention!) her debut novel, Undercurrent, was published by Bloodhound Books in March 2017 and made it into the top 100 Amazon chart in both the UK and Canada. She is currently putting the finishing touches to her third novel and working on her fourth one.

J. A. Baker has four grown up children and lives in a village on the outskirts of Darlington with her husband Richard, and Theo, their barking mad dog.

Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/thewriterjude/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/thewriterjude

My website – http://www.jabakerauthor.co.uk/

Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/J.A.-Baker/e/B06XSNWB4T/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1505332991&sr=8-1

#BlogBlast! #Review – Dying Breath by Helen Phifer (@HelenPhifer1) @Bookouture

Dying Breath - Blog Tour
Happy publication day to Helen Phifer, author of the amazing ‘Dying Breath’! I am SO excited about this book as it really did blow my mind! Speaking of which, it’s super handy that I get to share my review of ‘Dying Breath’ today as part of Helen Phifer’s Blog Blast, eh! As always, huge thanks to Bookouture for the blast invite and the ARC of the book. I hope you enjoy my review:

Dying-Breath-Kindle

Take a breath. Pray it’s not your last.

Just a few months after a terrifying case that nearly took her life, Detective Lucy Harwin is back with her squad in the coastal town of Brooklyn Bay – and this time, she’s faced with a case more horrifying than anything she’s encountered.

Along with her partner, Detective Mattie Jackson, Lucy is investigating what appears to be a vicious but isolated murder; a woman found bludgeoned to death on a lonely patch of wasteland. 

But when a second victim is discovered strangled in an alleyway, then a young family shot in their own home, Lucy and the team must face the unthinkable reality – a killer is walking the streets of their quiet coastal town. 

While Lucy and the team try to find the link between these seemingly unconnected murders, they uncover a disturbing truth – these murders are replicating those carried out by infamous serial killers. 

Lucy must get to the killer before he strikes again. But he’s got his sights on her, and is getting ever closer… Can she save herself, before she becomes the final piece in his twisted game?

What does TWG think?

Oh my GOD!!!!! How the heck did I miss the first book in this series?! More importantly…WHY DID I MISS THE FIRST BOOK IN THIS SERIES! Luckily ‘Dying Breath’ can be read perfectly fine as a standalone, it just means that I now have another book making its way onto my TBR pile as I type. Yes, I did just buy the first book! I might even need to set an alarm on my phone so that I don’t miss the next book!

Can you tell that I absolutely fudging loved this book?! If you haven’t got Detective Lucy Harwin on your radar already, you must rectify that immediately! I’m assuming the first novel contained more of Lucy’s history, as it was clear from the onset in this book that Lucy has had a bit go a difficult time of late. Seeing as I had no idea what Lucy’s past entailed, I was intrigued to see what she was going to be like when it came to investigations. Would Lucy make her past known? Was the past going to hinder her work? Either way, I couldn’t wait to find out more.

‘Dying Breath’ has the type of storyline which requires careful reviewing to ensure that no spoilers are accidentally given. I realise I do say that a lot where this genre is concerned, but it’s true. I wouldn’t want to give away anything, nor do I wish to ruin the authors hard work, hence why I may end up being vague. This storyline is incredibly complex and fast paced. Each piece of information in the book is entwined with another piece, whether it’s a character’s personality trait, a piece of information regarding the investigation, or even something which could go unnoticed to the ‘untrained’ eye as it were. Never has the phrase ‘the smaller things matter the most’, been more accurate.

Honestly? I had absolutely no idea what to expect with ‘Dying Breath’, nor did I have any idea what the book was about before I started reading it as I don’t read blurbs. I just knew from the cover and the title of the book that I wanted to read it. Gut instinct. Seriously, one of the best decisions I have ever made. No joke.

By far one of the best books I have ever read, ‘Dying Breath’ literally took my breath away more than once. Ever had a moment where you’ve been far too engrossed in something that you realise you’ve been holding your breath? Yeah, me too – WHILST I WAS READING THIS! There was a certain part of the storyline which literally made my mouth hang wide open, gasp, and then cover my mouth with my hand in shock. Oh, and holding my breath. Y’know, just incase I didn’t feel shocked enough. I couldn’t believe my eyes and oh my god I still can’t. How did I not see it coming? I am SO glad that I didn’t see it coming, but after reading the book I wondered whether I had missed something to reach the same conclusion.

I could not recommend this book more if I tried! Helen Phifer has written an absolute BELTER of a book – I couldn’t put it down! (To be honest, I didn’t want to either!). There was nothing about this book I didn’t like, yet there was everything about the book I absolutely flipping loved. ‘Dying Breath’ really is a jaw dropping, spine tingling, and intense storyline which takes you on a rollercoaster ride the entire time.

Full of suspense, high intensity and some of the most well-defined characters I have ever come across in a book, I would use my ‘Dying Breath’ to tell you to go and get a copy of Helen Phifer’s novel right now.

F’awesome. I cannot WAIT to read the next instalment.

Thanks so much Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

Author Bio:

Helen Phifer lives in a small town called Barrow-in-Furness with her husband and five children.

Helen has always loved writing and reading. Her love of horror films and novels is legendary. Helen adores reading books which make the hair on the back of her neck stand on end. Unable to find enough scary stories to read she decided to write her own. 

Helen’s debut novel ‘The Ghost House’ was published by Carina UK in October 2013 and went on to become a best seller along with the rest of the Annie Graham series. The Secrets of the Shadows, The Forgotten Cottage, The Lake House, The Girls in the Woods and The Face Behind the Mask.

The Good Sisters is a standalone horror story which will scare the pants off you or so her lovely readers have told her. It scared Helen when she was writing it so she pretty much agrees with them.

March 2017 saw the release of psychological thriller Dark House (previously called The Lost Children), book 1 in the Detective Inspector Lucy Harwin series. Book 2 – Dying Breath is due for release in Nov 2017.

Author Social Media Links:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Helenphifer1

Instagram:    https://www.instagram.com/helenphifer

Twitter:       https://twitter.com/helenphifer1

Website:     https://www.helenphifer.com

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Snowflakes, Iced Cakes & Second Chances by @SueWatsonWriter @Bookouture

Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances - Blog Tour
I am SO excited to be reviewing Sue Watson’s novel; ‘Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances’, for Bookouture as part of the blog blitz. Sue Watson is one of my all-time favourite authors, so I am absolutely thrilled to be involved in this blog blitz. Here is my review:

Snowflakes-Iced-Cakes-and-Second-Chances-Kindle
Escape to the cosy little village of Appledore for hot chocolate with extra marshmallows and a second chance at love. Will this Christmas prove that miracles really can happen?

A year after she separated from her husband, Gianni, on Christmas day, Chloe’s heart is finally on the mend as she unpacks the decorations for her first ever festive holiday alone. That is, until the phone rings…

It’s the manager of Gianni’s new seaside restaurant in Appledore, begging for Chloe’s help. Equally famous for his gold-leaf Christmas puddings and his explosive temper, Gianni has been really stirring up a sensation with the locals – and not in a good way! It’s the last thing she wants to do, but Chloe knows she is the only one that can help.

As pans fly and the temperature in the kitchen rises, Chloe’s calming influence and magic touch might just get critics back on side in time to save the restaurant from sinking like a sad soufflé. 

But as Chloe’s eyes meet Gianni’s as they tussle over a plate of turkey tartlets, could there also be a chance for new romance on the menu? 

A laugh-out-loud festive treat that will give you the tingle of freshly hung tinsel. Perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan, Abby Clements and Debbie Johnson.

What does TWG think?

We are back in Appledore, ready to meet some new faces! As a lover of Christmas, Chloe has always spent the festive season morphing into a Christmas tree decoration, or becoming Mariah Carey’s unofficial backing singer when the Christmas tunes come on. This year however, Chloe has a higher chance of putting on her Bridget Jones underwear, caking her face in a coal face mask whilst singing Elvis’, ‘It’ll Be Lonely This Christmas’, than relishing in the Christmas spirit like previous years.

Until the storyline chooses to divulge its secrets, us readers are none the wiser as to why Chloe’s festive plans have changed. All we know is that there was a man and now there isn’t. I don’t mean to knock a person when they’re down, but it’s pretty clear from the onset that Chloe is in a terrible state. It’s as though she’s missing her je ne sais quoi. Although to be fair, if I was in Chloe’s shoes I’d be making my way to the nearest Gregg’s and stocking up on mince pies! Priorities, obviously!

As the storyline progresses, the author allows us an insight into Chloe’s past and how she met the man who is no longer in reaching distance. Whilst some parts are obviously sad if you’re the romantic sort, other parts are highly hilarious. I mean, that Chloe is proper feisty when it comes to moving her puddings!! There were multiple occasions whilst I was reading this book, where I found myself proper belly laughing and laughing out loud. Needless to say, my four year old gave me MY look in response. Spoilsport. Did it stop me snorting? Did it heck. Fast forward several pages and I’m doing it again. Sue Watson just tickles me every single time. I love it!

I reckon some readers may find Gianni to be a bit of a turkey. I however, found him to be a bit of a Christmas pudding; palatable and intense, with room for growth. I couldn’t stomach Gianni Christmas pudding in huge doses, I’ll admit, but there was just something about that man who made me think ‘hmmmmm, let me pull your cracker’. Mind out of the gutter….I think.

It’s safe to say that I loved every single part of Sue Watson’s latest treat. From start to finish my attention was piqued, my taste buds were teased – ready to lose myself in Sue Watson’s delectable words. What I loved most about this book was how I was able to watch Chloe grow. At the start of the book she seemed quite low, yet the more I read, the more I saw her blossom into such a fantastic character. Chloe ended her story a completely different person to the one I met at the beginning. Personally, the way that Sue Watson was able to make a character grow and blossom before my very eyes – takes extreme talent and dedication to her characters. It’s very clear that Sue Watson wrote this novel from the heart, whilst also spending time carefully crafting her main character to appear realistic, relatable, but more importantly; loveable.

For me, the author has ticked every single box and then some. Hell, she even ticked some I didn’t even know existed! Yes this book had me in hysterics, but the storyline also made me stop and think about the choices we make in life. Just like Chloe we often find ourselves in a predicament with no light at the end of the tunnel, where choices made during this time are ones we are more likely to regret. Sometimes there is only one solution for a situation at that given time. And yes, sometimes you have to take that solution even though it might end up being the wrong one for you long-term. The message that resonated with me the most was the one about taking chances even through the fear. Fear makes us second guess everything, yet fear also makes us strive for that certain thing even more – even if we are unaware of it at the time. I have gone away and thought long and hard about several things within this storyline. Let’s just say that inspiration can come from the most unlikeliest of places.

Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances is a laugh out loud, mouth-watering and highly addictive read from the exceptional, Sue Watson. Full of giggles, food to tickle your taste buds, and situation to keep your mind busy; Sue Watson’s latest novel is one of my most favourite books this author has written. I realise I say this every.single.time, BUT, I really have no idea how Sue Watson manages to knock the holly off the ivy with every new book she writes.

Outstanding, magical and one of the cosiest books I’ve read this year; Sue Watson has done it once again. Absolutely brilliant. If I could give this book more than 5 stars I would, it’s worthy of millions more.

Huge thanks to Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK  

Buy now from Amazon US

Author Bio:

 Sue Watson was a journalist then a TV Producer at the BBC until she realised that instead of working, she could stay at home, make stuff up and sell it! 

So far Sue’s written ten books, and some have been translated into Italian and Portuguese (she’s big in Brazil!) Originally from Manchester, she now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Worcestershire where her days are spent baking (and eating) lots of cake, while making big life decisions about whether to have Caramel Chew Chew or Salted Caramel ice cream while watching ‘The Biggest Loser USA,’ on TV. 

 Author Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/suewatsonbooks

Twitter: @suewatsonwriter

Instagram: suewatsonbooks

Website: http://www.suewatsonbooks.com/