#BlogBlitz! #Review – Snowy Nights at the Lonely Hearts Hotel by Karen King (@karen_king) @Bookouture

Happy publication day, Karen King! Pardon the late post but the internet gremlins decided to visit TWG today and stole it! I am delighted to be bringing you a review of Karen’s brand new novel, ‘Snowy Nights at the Lonely Hearts Hotel’ – many thanks to Bookouture for the blitz invite and ARC.

Snowy rooftops, mulled wine, and a hot single dad. Not the Christmas Saffy wished for… but maybe the one she needs?

Twenty-nine year old Saffron Baxter knew her holiday plans didn’t stand a chance the moment her sister called to say she was stuck abroad with no hope of being home before Christmas. Saffy would just have to abandon thoughts of wild festive parties in the city and head down to remote Cornwall.

Because every year her sister hosts a huge Christmas meal for all the single parents in her village. And Saffy knows it’d break her heart to let them down.

Arriving as snow starts to fall over the thatched cottages of the little harbour town of Port Breok, she meets Logan – the tall, fair-haired, blue-eyed, devoted single dad who lives next door, with his adorable daughter Chloe. At first she thinks he might help her make Christmas Day extra-memorable, but he just seems convinced she’ll never manage – that she’s just a party girl who doesn’t care about Christmas, or anyone’s feelings.

Maybe he’s right. After all – she doesn’t want to settle down, she’s only there for a few days… But she’s still determined to do her sister proud with gorgeous decorations, the most beautiful real tree – complete with extra twinkly lights, and delicious mince pies. To make it a Christmas everyone will remember, especially little Chloe. Even if, when the mistletoe comes down, she knows she’ll probably never see Logan again…

What does TWG think?

I’m not afraid to admit that I cried reading this, nor am I afraid to admit that I fell head over heels in love with Logan! And then there’s Chloe! Omg! The line she came out with regarding ‘sharing’ (tries not to give spoilers) had the tears falling from my eyes quicker than the snow falling in this book!

Could the Lonely Hearts Hotel be the start of a brand new series? I hope so, I really do, and I’m not just saying that because of Logan! Okay yes, he was certainly my type on paper….pardon the pun, but there was a lot more to the story than his heroic, gentlemanly actions.

Saffy is a career girl. An independent, highly driven, party animal. But why has she chosen that route? Not that there is anything wrong with it of course, but could there be a reason why she refuses to let herself fall in love? There is a lot more to Saffy than I originally thought and whilst it would have been far too easy to side with her sister, Hannah, when it came to my opinion on her personality, it would have been wrong of me to judge the character on how others perceive her. Personally, I thought she was a brilliant, relatable character with a hilarious heart of gold. I would love to see more of her again in another book as she has so much more to offer what with the events at the Lonely Hearts Hotel!

‘Snowy Nights at the Lonely Hearts Hotel’ is a read that has something for everyone, whether it’s a character who is a single parent, a nutter of a pet, a community driven village, or even a child with a returning parent. I related to the single mum points, although I couldn’t help but wonder why people think of loneliness when it comes to single mums. But that’s just me!

My eyes may have been filled to the brim with tears and the sleeve of my top may have been wet, but my heart was the most roasty toasty it has ever been. Chloe borrowed my heart and kept it with her polar bear collection – she is one cracking, cracking child who fought the festivities to this book by the truckload.

A wonderful, snug as a bug read that was beautifully written from one heart to another – I absolutely loved it. This delightful, deliciously festive treat should be a ‘go to’ Christmas read from here on in…..just don’t forget about reading it on the other 364 days of the year. Phenomenal, truly phenomenal.

Buy now!

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#BlogTour! #Review – Snowflakes at Lavender Bay by Sarah Bennett (@sarahlou_writes) @HQDigitalUK

Happy publication day, Sarah Bennett! I have the honour of hosting the final stop on the blog tour. Many thanks to HQDigitalUK for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

The most wonderful time of the year…

Libby Stone has lived in Lavender Bay all her life. She loves the little seaside town and has big dreams to turn her father’s greasy old chippy into a dainty teashop – not that she’s told him yet!

Finding love isn’t easy amongst the cluster of coastal houses, but it’s not every day that someone quite as handsome and mysterious as Owen Coburn walks into the local pub.

And as the snowflakes begin to swirl on the promenade, Libby realises she’s falling for him. But Owen has been keeping a secret that could destroy everything

Book 1: Spring at Lavender Bay
Book 2: Summer at Lavender Bay
Book 3: Snowflakes at Lavender Bay

What does TWG think?

Today feels like quite a bittersweet day as whilst I am so excited for the latest instalment in the ‘Lavender Bay’ series, it’s unfortunately the third and final visit to a place which captured my heart.

All books in the ‘Lavender Bay’ series can be read as a stand-alone, however I would suggest reading the books in order as there are some situations in book three which were mentioned in book two and may be considered as a spoiler. Although saying that, you wouldn’t know that said situation was in book two unless you had already read it sooooo!!!

In this book, the storyline focuses on Libby Stone, and the chip shop at the heart of the community. I know that sounds daft, but those who live in a small village or town will know that chip shops/pubs/antique shops etc can be seen as a hub of the community. I mean, a chippy needs to know how the locals like their sausages battered, right? Whilst that is an important thing to know, Libby’s chip shop isn’t entirely the main focus of the story.

If you have read book two, you’ll already know of Owen Coburn – a man who had come to Lavender Bay to find his next business venture and ended up supporting Libby’s friend, Sam and his dream. That wasn’t all Owen Coburn was good for though, and everything becomes clear in book three. What I thought was very clever was how we were able to watch things unfold from another point of view, despite having seen it from yet another point of view previously. I’ll say one word – Land Rover!

I did feel for Libby as she seemed like such a tortured soul. She wanted to do right by her friends and family, yet wanted to grab her life by the chip butty without offending anyone. Not only that she seemed to struggle with her looks and thought that everyone viewed her as a ‘freak’. I guess I resonated with that as I, just like many others, have (and still do) felt like that many times and it’s quite heartbreaking.

I really didn’t want this series to end as all of the characters brought so much to the series and their individual books, closing the book felt as though I was saying goodbye to a group of people I had come to love and adore. Honestly, I could go on reading about Libby, Beth, Eliza, Sam, Jack, Owen, and of course Bastien, without getting bored. I am gutted!

‘Snowflakes at Lavender Bay’ is a life affirming, touching, and cosy read which was brilliantly and beautifully written, laced with Sarah Bennett’s trademark hilarity and ability to reach into her readers souls on such a deep level.

I would recommend this series in a heartbeat – it is everything I could have wished for in a book and more. Lavender Bay, it has been an absolute pleasure!

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – #MissMarley by the late, Vanessa LaFaye and Rebecca Mascull (@RebeccaMascull) @HQStories

This is beautifully bittersweet, and I am sure a lot of you will understand why. Devastatingly, Vanessa LaFaye passed away earlier this year, which meant that ‘Miss Marley’ was unfinished. To keep Vanessa’s legacy, Rebecca Mascull finished writing the novel which Vanessa lovingly started, resulting in the finished product of ‘Miss Marley’. Today I have the honour of sharing my review on publication day as part of the blog tour. Many thanks to HQStories for the ARC and allowing me to be involved in the tour. Here is my review:

Before A Christmas Carol there was… Miss Marley

A seasonal tale of kindness and goodwill

Orphans Clara and Jacob Marley live by their wits, scavenging for scraps in the poorest alleyways of London, in the shadow of the workhouse. Every night, Jake promises his little sister ‘tomorrow will be better’ and when the chance to escape poverty comes their way, he seizes it despite the terrible price.

And so Jacob Marley is set on a path that leads to his infamous partnership with Ebenezer Scrooge. As Jacob builds a fortress of wealth to keep the world out, only Clara can warn him of the hideous fate that awaits him if he refuses to let love and kindness into his heart…

What does TWG think?

‘A Christmas Carol’ is a classic piece of literature which I am sure a lot of people have either heard of and/or read. Whilst a lot of Dickens’ tale focuses on the man with a frozen heart, Ebenezer Scrooge, his right hand man, Jacob Marley, is still a poignant character in the tale. However, have you ever wondered about what went on in Jacob’s mind? How he became who he was? That’s where the delightful, ‘Miss Marley’ comes in, Jacob’s sister. A character who was specifically created for this book, thus being a beautifully written introduction to the festive tale we have all come to know and love.

‘Miss Marley’ tells the story of Jacob and Clara’s life on the streets and how Jacob became the man who many loved to hate. Whilst the siblings were indeed close growing up as they only had each other, life as adults made their relationship much more strained than they would have liked. Jacob Marley was so focused on his work, on trying to keep a roof over their heads, yet point blank refused to look at the bigger picture, despite the urges from his sister. They were both aware of the struggles that came with being poor, not knowing where their next meal came from, not knowing whether they would be killed in their sleep by a thief or the weather. So why did Jacob refuse to look at the situations of others? The situations that weren’t quite so dissimilar to his very own, instead making other people’s lives a lot harder – including his sisters.

‘Miss Marley’ is a beautiful, beautiful tale which has been written from the hearts of two incredible authors. Authors who have clearly researched Dickens and the Victorian era before embarking on their prequel to a classic tale. Reading this book was incredibly bittersweet due to the fact the original author had passed away before her book was out in the world. However, Rebecca Mascull seamlessly finished the story, making me feel as though I was reading a book by one author and not two. Mascull has done LaFaye incredibly proud by her enchanting storytelling, and by bringing ‘Miss Marley’ to life in the most memorable way possible.

Until now, I had never envisioned a prequel to ‘A Christmas Carol’, but now I can honestly say that ‘Miss Marley’ is an outstanding addition and something which the literary world never knew it needed. A truly fantastic story told by two hearts which became one.

Buy now!

#BlogBlitz! #Promo – Violet Souls by Abbey MacMunn (@abbeymacmunn) @RaRaResources

While searching for clues to her past, shy single mum, Bree Mills discovers a subculture of aliens
with supernatural abilities living on Earth.

And she’s one of them.

Finding herself hurled into a world of possibilities, it’s made more alluring by Quinn Taylor,
the violet-eyed Evoxian from her childhood dreams.

324-year-old Quinn knows his destiny is entwined with Bree’s, but before he can confess his love, he
must wait for her to sense the Akui, a mysterious force tied with ancient Evoxian law.

At a Cotswolds country manor, passions awaken and ignite a love more magical than the once-
Utopian planet, Evox. Then Fate delivers a cruel and heart-breaking blow when Bree is kidnapped by
a malicious alien who wants her and her power.

Will Quinn still love her when she’s faced with protecting her half-human daughter… whatever the
cost?

Buy:Amazon US // Amazon UK // Smashwords // iBooks // Kobo // Nook

About the author.

Abbey MacMunn writes paranormal and fantasy romance. She lives in Hampshire, UK, with her
husband and their four children.

When she’s not writing, she likes to watch films and TV shows – anything from rom-coms to
superheroes to science fiction movies. She is a proud member of the Romantic Novelists’
Association.

Links: Website // Twitter // Facebook // Pinterest // Goodreads // Instagram // 

#BlogTour! #Review – A Girl’s Best Friend by Jules Wake (@JulesWake) @LittleBookCafe

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I have the honour of kicking off the blog tour for ‘A Girl’s Best Friend’ by Jules Wake. Massive thanks to Millie from Little Brown UK for the blog tour invite and the ARC. This blog tour is to celebrate the paperback release of Jules’ novel – how exciting!!

juleswake

Welcome to your new cottage in the country – complete with grumpy vet, village gossip and a very muddy dog . . .

City girl Ella wants to take refuge in the country, lick her wounds and work out what she’s going to do with the rest of her life. She certainly doesn’t want to have a four-legged house guest or anything to do with village life. Unfortunately, the inhabitants of Wilsgrave have other ideas.

Settling in to her godmother’s house for a few months of R&R, Ella finds herself the reluctant babysitter of a badly behaved Labrador – and her plans of staying mainly indoors scuppered. But as she’s forced into wellies and into the village’s way of doing things, Ella meets people who make her think again about what she really wants out of life and love, starting with her new furry best friend . . .

What does TWG think?

The popular saying may be, ‘a dog is a mans best friend’, but they certainly haven’t met Ella and Tess yet!!

Having a dog of my own that is a Labrador…well, half of one, I couldn’t help but fall in love with Tess straight away. Plus, judging by Ella’s eventual reaction; neither could she!

Ella has escaped to familiar territory for a bit of time away to regroup, becoming the babysitter for a Labrador who lives in her own little bubble and knows how to switch her ears off when it suits. A typical dog really!

I loved how we got to meet Ella at her most vulnerable as it was like the more of the book I read, the more I was able to watch Ella’s wings unfold and grow before my very eyes. This is what I love about Jules Wake’s writing style – the fact she is able to create characters that her readers will be able to relate to in more ways than one.

Of course it wouldn’t be a romance novel without a dashing hunk to get your pulse racing! Although I have to say that I wasn’t a fan of Devon to begin with as I found him to be incredibly arrogant. Now, whether he was able to change my mind by the end of the book…well, I’ll let you decide that for yourself once you’ve read the book!

Once again Jules Wake has managed to make the setting of her storyline come to life with beautiful descriptions and vivid imagery, which fits in beautifully with Ella’s own story. Her feisty nature mixed in with a tear away, yet highly loveable Labrador, is a duet not to be meddled with. Those two mean business! Well….eventually.

‘A Girl’s Best Friend’ is such an uplifting, life affirming, laugh out loud read that will make even the darkest of days seem bright.

‘A Girl’s Best Friend’ is available now in e-book format, with the paperback to follow on the 6th September – Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review and #QandA – #PuzzleGirl by Rachael Featherstone (@WRITERachael) @DomePress


Massive congratulations to Rachael Featherstone as #PuzzleGirl is published by Dome Press in e-book, TODAY! Huge thank you to Emily for asking me to be involved in the blog tour for the republication of #PuzzleGirl so, to celebrate my kicking off the blog tour, I will be re-sharing my review from the first time around, as well as a Q and A with author, Rachael. Enjoy!

Love is a riddle waiting to be solved… Clued-up career girl Cassy Brookes
has life under control until one disastrous morning changes everything.
When she finds herself stuck in a doctor s surgery, a cryptic message left in

a crossword magazine sends her on a search to find the mysterious puzzle-
man behind it. Cassy is soon torn between tracking down her elusive

dream guy, and outwitting her nightmare workmate, the devious Martin.
Facing a puzzling love-life, will she ever be able to fit the pieces together
and discover the truth behind this enigmatic man?

What does TWG think?

Now, I’m not the cleverest person when it comes to completing puzzles, especially as Sudoku reminds me of trying to work out your BMI (awfully frustrating), but I was intrigued to see how puzzles were going to be made into a storyline. I thought that maybe I needed to go on a word search(sorry!) to find out, but I ended up having a few cross words with myself due to the constant brain teasers of the storyline! Sorry, I will stop now!

It all started by Cassy finding a puzzle book in a doctor’s surgery waiting room, working out and adapting a few clues (multiple times), whilst finding a mysterious replying puzzle man in the process. I can’t even get people I know talking to me, never mind a stranger responding to me via a puzzle book!! Cassy had a bee in her bonnet and was adamant that she would find out who her puzzle man was, however, the only way that she could do that was by finding multiple (bizarre) reasons to drop into the clinic to check the puzzle book. The bee in the bonnet became an obsession, and the obsession started taking over her life, her friendships and her work life. Thanks to a smidge of rivalry in the office, Cassy’s workplace was already taken over by a different kind of obsession…

At first, I found Cassy’s obsession with her puzzle man quite funny, especially as she was making herself look like an absolute fool every single time she made an excuse to go to the clinic. She let it rule every part of her life which made me feel like she had taken the whole excuse thing completely overboard, making it more about finding excuses as opposed to finding out who the mystery puzzle person was. Her rivalry with a work colleague was hilarious, even if I did think that she had created a completely different version of her rival in her head! Martin didn’t appear to be as big of an arrogant ogre as Cassy made him out to be, but her reactions to his antics were sometimes OVER dramatic that it was brilliant.

‘Puzzle Girl’ is the type of book that to believe it, you need to read it. There are so many unique, clever and utterly bonkers moments throughout the whole book which need to be ravished by your own imagination. There really is something truly hypnotizing about this book, I can’t even put my finger on exactly what it is but all I know is that it filled a large void. I have never, ever read a book like ‘Puzzle Girl’ and I have read  A LOT of books. Every character had a place in the book (even the grumpy receptionist!), not one of them gave off the vibe that they were just ‘there to fill up the storyline’. Obviously, some of the characters were more memorable than others, but they all brought something completely different to the overall feel of the book. For me, that added even more depth to an already puzzling storyline.

Seeing as I was so excited to read ‘Puzzle Girl’, I had everything crossed that my excitement wasn’t going to be short lived once I had begun reading it. I really had no need to worry as Rachael Featherstone’s book ticked each and every box for me, multiple times. Yes, some parts of the storyline, for me, were over exaggerated at points, but it didn’t ruin the book in any way. I just put those OTT situations down to Cassy’s individual personality. After all, she is definitely a unique cookie!

It’s hard to believe that ‘Puzzle Girl’ is Rachael Featherstone’s debut novel, as to read it you might think that she had a fair few novels under her belt. Instead, she just has puzzle pieces!

Puzzle Girl is a humorous, bonkers and unique story which shows that love can be found in the most unexpected places, as long as you have a bit of  two down and three across (not even a clue btw).

A fantastic, witty debut that resulted in me closing the book with a massive smile on my face. Absolutely loved it.

Buy now from Amazon

Q&A.

TWG – Could you tell us a bit about you and your background before you began
writing?
I’m a chocoholic and bookaholic who dreams about the invention of books whose
pages turn into chocolate after you’ve read them. I live in Hampshire with my
husband and our beautiful baby girl. Before I was a writer my life was very boring… I
grew up in Essex where I spent most of my time doing mathematical equations. I
went to Oxford to study maths and afterwards took a job in banking in London. Then
in 2012 my mum was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer and everything
changed.

TWG – Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes and no… Writing a book was on my “do before you die” list but I’d never thought
I’d be a writer writer. Maths was always my strongest subject at school and so I
naturally studied it at uni. But in my final year there, I opted to do an extended essay
which I focused on 18 th century women mathematicians. It was my favourite part of
my degree and I realised how much I enjoyed writing.

TWG – What made you decide to write your novel?
My mum’s diagnosis made me re-evaluate everything in my life. I quit my job so I
could make the most of the time we had left. My mum never gave up, she lived her
life to the full, travelling, campaigning, and embracing the power of positive thinking.
I was, and still am, in awe of her. It was seeing her bravery that gave me the
confidence to pick up the pen and write a novel.

TWG – How hard was it to find inspiration for Puzzle Girl?
I actually didn’t find it hard; the idea found me! Puzzle Girl’s premise of someone
replying to a message in a magazine at a doctor’s surgery came to me while sat in a
doctor’s waiting room with my mum as we waited to see her consultant. The exact
details of Cassy’s journey came to me more slowly as I worked on the book.

TWG – If you could pick a favourite character from your novel, who would it be and
why?
Dan. I think everyone needs a friend like Dan in their life. He’s funny, he’s kind, he’s
loyal and excellent eye candy.

TWG – Did you ever regret writing a character in to your story after it was published?
No. But… I did change who Puzzle-man really was during the editing process. Does
that count?

TWG – Did you find yourself under any personal pressure for your debut novel to
succeed and be liked by many?
I’ve always put myself under a lot of pressure to succeed but with Puzzle Girl that
pressure felt even more intense. There were a fair few raised eyebrows when I told 
people I was leaving my job to write a book, before I had a book deal, before I had an
agent, before I had even written the prologue… Having Puzzle Girl published was the
validation that I’d been right to take a risk and follow my dream. Having people
enjoy reading it is the icing on the cake.

TWG – Time for a tough one: if you could choose any book that has already been
published to be the author of, which one would you choose and why?
That is a tough one! But I think I’d have to say, P.S I Love You by Cecelia Ahern. For
me, everything about this book is perfect, from the concept to prose. It made me
cry, laugh, hope… I loved the letters. I felt like I was part of the story and the
characters lived on in my mind long after I read the final page.

TWG – What does your ‘writing space’ look like?
Whatever space I happen to be in when my little girl is taking a nap. A table in a
coffee shop that has space for a pram, a park bench in the shade, or in bed, with the
baby monitor propped up on the pillow next to me.

TWG – Were there any authors you wanted to be like, when you were a child?
J. K. Rowling because she’d seen Hogwarts.

TWG –  If you had to sum up your book to a stranger in five words, what would they be
and why?
Good question! I think I’d have to say… Cassy’s calamitous hunt for Puzzle-man. In
fact, Puzzle Girl, is about so much more than just finding the mysterious Puzzle-man,
but – just like my five-word summary – Cassy’s obsession causes her to ignore
everything else that’s going on around her, and if she’s not careful, it could cost her
more than she ever imagined.

TWG – What’s coming next for you? Any exclusives?
I am diving head-first into editing my next novel, another romantic comedy that I
have been working on with my agent. I can’t give too much away just yet, but I can
*exclusively* reveal that the main character is called… Freya. Watch this space!

TWG – One final question. What advice would you give to a writer that wants to get
published? Any words of wisdom?
Meet as many people from the industry as you can, be confident pitching your work
and be open to feedback. Writing festivals with agent/editor ones-to-ones are a
great way to do this.

Huge thank you to Rachael Featherstone for taking the time out from editing her second novel, to answer a few of my questions! I cannot wait to read it!

About the author.

Rachael Featherstone was born and raised in Woodford. Her path to writing was a little
unorthodox. After reading Mathematics at Oxford University, New College, Rachael went
to work in research.

When Rachael’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2012, Rachael decided to
take a chance, quit her job, and fulfill a lifetime ambition to write a novel. She went back to
university and completed a Masters in English Literature and had several short stories
published.

Rachael now lives in Hampshire with her husband and daughter.
Puzzle Girl will be published by the Dome Press in ebook on 2nd August 2018 and in
paperback in January 2019.

Social Media & Links

Twitter: @WRITERachael
Instagram: @rachael_featherstone
Facebook: @RachaelFeatherstoneAuthor
Website: www.writerachael.com

What a difference, a day makes – or in this case, the month of May! #MonthlyRoundUp #TopBook (@NoelleHarrison @bwpublishing)

The Writing Garnet's Book of the Month is......
It isn’t often that I do a monthly roundup, purely because I often forget. However, I felt the urge to do one for the month of May because I feel that I have to speak out about a few things, and what better way to do it than in a roundup post! #KillTwoBirdsWithOneStone

So, what happened in May?

The highlights!

– TWG was involved in 52 blog tours, the highest amount of blog tours in one month, ever!
– I met up with author, Mary-Jayne Baker, in Edinburgh for bookish chat.
– My TWG Facebook page  hit 1602 likes!
– I went over 5000 followers on Twitter, despite starting with around 100 or so when I started blogging two years ago.
– I found myself being quoted yet another book cover (thanks Bookouture!), as well as being quoted on Amazon itself!
– I received so many wonderful proof copies through the post, as well as being approved for other many awesome books on Netgalley. Big thank you to the publishers/publicists who have either sent me books or approved me. You’re all amazing!
– I have had many wonderful bookish chats with my fellow book buddies on social media – love you all!

There have been, I’m sure, many other highlights but it is quite difficult to remember them all when you make yourself do so! Like most things, there is always a downside:

The Lowlights.

May was the month where I was trolled on social media not once, but twice in the matter of one week. Now, despite being told that other people have had similar and just to ignore, for me that isn’t easy and I’ll tell you why. From the age of five, I was horrifically bullied, tormented for the hair on my arms to how I spoke, being pushed into brick walls to then having a metal sellotape holder slammed down on my knuckles. I was even told that I was fat day in, day out, where I ended up battling with anorexia and bulimia. Whilst I would love to say that the bullied ended quickly, it didn’t. For some, comments on social media are like water off a ducks back. But for me, when they come across as personal attacks, similar circumstances or not, I find them to be a trigger. It isn’t nice because it then sets off my mental health which in turn sets off my chronic illnesses. Thankfully I have drawn a line under that, but I just wanted to speak about that.

Another lowlight in May involved the entire blogging community and the idea of ‘paid reviews’. I won’t get into it again, but I am sick and tired of hard working bloggers getting thrown under the bus by people who can waltz in without giving a damn about integrity or hard work. I don’t charge for my book reviews, and I don’t intend on doing so. I review because I love books and because I feel that I am forever in authors debts for writing books which allow me to escape my daily hell. And yes, it is often hell.

Again, another one which involved the entire book blogging community was when it became known that someone was selling ARCs/proof copies on Ebay. The fact that it says somewhere on the proof ‘not to be resold or used for quotation’, is neither here nor there…..clearly. Seriously, receiving proof copies from publishers/publicists is an honour and I feel privileged to be able to receive some amazing books through my letter box. Would I then go on to sell them on Ebay? Like fuck would I. Respect is earned, not given. Respect isn’t an entitlement, it’s a privilege.

The following lowlight is a personal one for me and one which I have ummed and ahhed about saying. Those who know me personally, or those who have read my previous posts, will know that I am rather lacking in the ‘healthy’ area, with illnesses such as fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, joint hypermobility syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, IBS, anxiety and depression, under my belt. It’s bad enough dealing with all of that, but now, after years of battling with doctors who told me it was ‘all in my head’ and being looked at like I had two heads, I am now being treated for CFS otherwise known as ME. I was also put on a new medication, one which isn’t going to become my bestie anytime soon that’s for sure (amitriptyline). Coming to terms with yet another illness at the ripe ‘old’ age of 28 is heart-breaking, and once again I’m left feeling like I am grieving a part of me now gone. Although to be fair, I’m surprised that there is anything left of ‘me’ to grieve but y’know! I want to say a personal thank you to a person who has been checking in with my every few days despite going through their own issues, and that big thank you is for Abbie Rutherford – your friendship means a lot to me, thank you for being there for me <3.

Enough of the lowlights, lets talk books!

With 52 blog tours in one month, I got through quite a lot of books in May such as:

#Review – The Things We Need to Say by Rachel Burton (@bookish_yogi) @RaRaResources @HQDigitalUK

#BlogBlitz! #Review – One Summer in Rome by Samantha Tonge (@SamTongeWriter) @RaRaResources @HQDigitalUK

#BlogBlitz! #Review – What Holly’s Husband Did by Debbie Viggiano (@DebbieViggiano) @Bookouture

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Lead Me Home by CS Savage (@sarahsavage26) @BloodhoundBook

#BlogTour! #Review – The Wedding Date by Zara Stoneley (@ZaraStoneley) @RaRaResources @HarperImpulse

#BlogTour! #Review – #SunshineandSweetPeas in Nightingale Square by Heidi Swain (@Heidi_Swain) @simonschusteruk

& many, many more.

It is such an honour to be involved in the blog tours/blog blitzes for incredible books, so thank you to the publishers who invite me to take part!

If I did have to choose just one book from May, it would have to be ‘The Gravity of Love’ by Noelle Harrison. That book blew my mind like nothing before, plus I managed to make the author AND the publishing team cry with my review. I loved everything about the book and everything it stood for, and I am sure that you will too. In case you missed my review the first time round, you can read it again here:

#BlogTour! #Review – The Gravity of Love by Noelle Harrison (@NoelleHarrison) @bwpublishing

The Writing Garnet is going from strength to strength and I can only thank you all for supporting me along my journey, sharing my blog posts/tweets, inviting me on tours, and involving me in a community that sometimes I don’t feel worthy enough to be in. It is such a joy to be able to share my love of books with you all, so thank you <3.

What’s coming up in June?

As it stands, I have 40 blog tours in my diary for this month already. I expect that to go up when I realise that I have included all of the tours by forgetting to write some of them down (it happens, but I do post them on time!). We are on the 5th June and I will have taken part in 11 blog tours by the end of today. Insane, but amazing. I don’t have many other bookish plans for June at the moment, well, apart from the usual, but I am looking forward to reading some fabulous books!

Lots of love and books,

TWG x

#BlogTour! #Review – The Chosen Ones by Carol Wyer (@Carolewyer) @Bookouture

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The sun may be shining for people north of the border, but thanks to Carol Wyer and ‘The Chosen Ones’, things are about to become chilly. I would like to say a huge congratulations to Carol as it’s also her publication day! I am delighted to be helping her and Bookouture celebrate this special day by being one of the bloggers to kick off the blog tour. As always, big thank you to Bookouture for the tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

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On a hot summer’s morning, a young father is found murdered in a cornfield, outside the quiet town of Colton. Tied to a post, arms spread wide; Detective Robyn Carter is reminded of the crucifixion, and she knows she’s looking for a killer with a twisted sense of right and wrong.

The victim’s girlfriend is devastated, unable to fathom how she will tell her sick little boy. Still reeling from her own loss, Robyn vows she will find the killer – no matter what.

But then a local doctor – a popular woman with a young family of her own – is found dead outside her surgery. There are similarities between her and the first body and Robyn must take another look at the picture-postcard town, where no one has any enemies.

Can Robyn untangle the hidden web of secrets, lies, and smouldering grudges, at the heart of this close-knit community, before another life is lost?

What does TWG think?

I literally only finished (well, and started) reading ‘The Chosen Ones’ last night – I am still in shock!

Firstly, if you’ve been reading the ‘Robyn Carter’ series from the beginning, you’ll be well aware that poor old Robyn has been in a bit of a pickle (through no fault of her own I must add) and, throughout the duration of the story, it becomes even clearer that the sticky situation isn’t going to be disappearing anytime soon. Let’s just say that the author has made it perfectly clear that that is the case, especially as she seems to have taken a few hints from the soap Eastenders ;).

Secondly, if you are about to settle down to read ‘The Chosen Ones’, I suggest you mute all phones, pop a status on Facebook telling everyone to leave you alone as they’re not your chosen ones, and ensure you have absolutely NOTHING to distract you. I mean it. It’s lucky that I can read fast otherwise the poor pooch would be sitting with crossed paws for a while! (reader, he didn’t)

Thirdly, I am going to be mean here as I usually give my own thoughts on characters and so on, whilst reading a book and this time I am not going to. You’ll just have to go and buy it!

My thoughts on the overall book are all positive. Not just positive, extremely positive (wellllll, apart from the bit where such and such happened, reminding me that I am NOT PATIENT IN THE SLIGHTEST). Vague much?

Seriously though, ‘The Chosen Ones’, in my eyes, is Carol Wyer’s best book in the series. The level of intensity was through the roof, and the bucket of grit was just overflowing, making Carol Wyer’s writing go from strength to strength as the story progressed. I really do think that Robyn Carter has come into her own in this instalment, which I absolutely loved as I got to see her in yet another light.

‘The Chosen Ones’ had me in its jaws from the word GO, keeping me on my toes until the very end. For once, I actually managed to work out whodunnit before I was told, but despite that, the truth still shocked me to the core as there was more to the situation that met the eye. Such a fantastic, nail-biting, and severely intense read which starved me of oxygen due to the constant shockers.

I cannot recommend ‘The Chosen Ones’ more if I tried, but do trust me when I say that Carol Wyer has gone above and beyond where her latest novel is concerned, and she does NOT disappoint in any way shape or form.

Buy now!

About the author.

Carol E. Wyer, who also writes as Carol Wyer, is an award-winning author whose humorous books take a light-hearted look at getting older and encourage others to age disgracefully. In 2017 she moved to the “dark side” and embarked on a series of thrillers. The first, gripping Little Girl Lost, shot to the #2 best-selling spot on Kindle #9 best-selling audiobook on Audible, and was also a USA Today top 150 best-seller.

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 the Huffington Post.

To learn more about Carol, go to www.carolwyer.co.uk or follow Carol on Twitter: @carolewyer. Carol blogs at www.grumpyoldmenopause.com which featured in The Mail on Sunday

#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

#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:

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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/