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The Writing Garnet turns 5! Happy birthday TWG! #blogger #blogbirthday #TWGTurns5 #Awardwinningblogger

The Writing Garnet is officially 5 years old TODAY! When I started my blog back in 2016, I never envisioned it turning out the way that it has. It never even crossed my mind that my blog could turn into a multi award winning blog (yes, multi), nor did it cross my mind that my review quotes would make their way into physical copies of books or even on the cover of some. Without blowing my own trumpet, I am unbelievably proud of all of that. At the very beginning, my blog was created as my way of saying thank you to authors for writing their books which has allowed me to escape via their words, when things in my personal life have been difficult. It wasn’t created as a popularity tool (because clearly I wouldn’t have lasted 5 minutes had that have been the case), nor was it created merely to get free things because, in all honesty, I had no idea that that was even a thing when I first started.

Over the last 5 years I have met a wide variety of authors, met fellow bloggers, other like minded bookish folk, and found myself involved in a world that went beyond just loving books. I had never really had that before. I had never been able to sit and discuss books with people who had read the same book as I, nor would I have ever found the confidence to cart myself off to events such as Edinburgh Book Festival, Aye Write in Glasgow, or even more intimate events such as meeting the Orenda gang in Edinburgh (to name a few), if it wasn’t for a select few of people who, after ‘meeting’ through the online book world, have gone on to becoming real life friends (Jen, Mandie, Kelly, Joanne, Lainy, DC to name a few). Not only that, despite not having met them in real life yet, I have come to know even more people who I consider to be friends now, who one day I would love to be able to give them a hug (COVID permitting, obvs – special shout out to Liz B for being as true as they come). If I named each and every one of the people who I called friends and who I would do anything for, I would be here a while and would no doubt miss someone off so, to put it simply, if we talk, I adore you. Simple as, and I thank you for your kindness and support over the last 5 years.

For me, the highlight so far has got to be meeting Sue Perkins and Tom Fletcher as those were the times where I unintentionally embarrassed my little girl with my high pitched squealing and trampoline bounces. I think I was fair excited……. Would I have been able to meet them had it not been for my blog? Honestly? Probably not as I never knew events like that existed until I became a blogger. I have so many other authors, bloggers, publicists etc, that I would love to meet and I have everything crossed that that will become a reality.

I know blogging isn’t all about stats, but for the first time in ages I had a quick nose at the stats of TWG. In the last 5 years TWG has had:

160,424 views.
84,689 visitors.
1837 blog posts have been posted.


Also, I even worked out roughly how many books I have read over that time…..1270!!! Ermmmmmmmm, say what?

As I may have mentioned previously, 2020 for TWG wasn’t the greatest as, putting it quite bluntly, I was treated like dirt via the bookish community (not all of you, just to clarify), and it hurt me so much that I ended up retreating because I didn’t know what else to do because, as I have also said many times, I’m not the most popular of people and I don’t fit into the tight knit groups. I suppose my face doesn’t fit, so I knew that regardless of what I said and what I did, I wouldn’t have been believed which is unfair and incredibly hurtful. Because of that, my posts within the last year have been few and far between, however I still have been ‘here’ from afar and still able to keep my feet in the door so to speak. Again, I want to thank those who have stood by me, supported me, and been true friends during that time and continue to do so. I see you.

I am super shocked that my little, multi award winning blog turns 5 today. Yes there have been some ups and downs and confidence knocks along the way, and yes, at times I bit off more than I can chew and left myself over stretched. However the joys of anything in life is that you can learn from your mistakes and realise where you went wrong or what needs to change. There is only me running this blog and, even though I like to think that I can do everything, I physically can’t….I just wish it hadn’t taken me 5 years to realise that! Well, in all fairness it’s probably taken me over 20 years to realise that as I recently turned 31 but y’know, semantics.

Creating The Writing Garnet was probably one of the best, on the spur decisions I have ever made and I just want to thank every single author, publisher and publicist who have sent me countless books over the years and trusted me to review your books. I want to thank the organisers of book events of their hard work and dedication in bringing likeminded bookish folk together. I also want to thank each and every person I have come to know and admire for being true to themselves and becoming good friends of mine. I have your backs – you are all awesome. Major shout out to my fellow bloggers, and anyone who is thinking about starting a blog – you’ve got this! Just remember it’s okay to say no….

On that note, happy birthday to TWG! Heres to another year full of weird and wonderful books, intriguing debuts, and a truck load of reviews.

TWG x

#psychological · #suspense · arc · book blogger · Book Review · Crime/thriller · medical · Transworld/Penguin

#Mine – Susi Fox (@writerdrfox) @MichaelJBooks #Review #bookblogger

After waking from an emergency caesarean, you’re dying to see your new baby. But when you’re introduced something is wrong.

This is not your child.

The nurses assure you that the baby is yours. 

Your husband believes them. And so does your father. 

But how can you be wrong? You’re a doctor. You know how easily mistakes are made.

When everyone is against you, do you trust your instincts? 

You know only one thing . . . 

You must find your baby.

(Many thanks to the publisher for the copy of ‘Mine’ received from Netgalley)

Time to catch up with a bit of blogmin! This book has been sitting on my ‘to review’ shelf for a very longer while, and it’s time I actually sat down to review it – enjoy!

What does TWG think?

Gosh, this was one of my biggest fears when I was pregnant with my little girl – that my baby would be taken somewhere and the wrong one delivered back to me. That sentence makes it sound as though something like this happens often, which I don’t think it does. However, it shouldn’t really be happening at all though should it? You put your faith into the system and the people who are there, in their field, delivering your baby, to give you the correct one back. I wouldn’t sound so judgey if I had gone into Argos to pick up my click and collect order, as those mistakes are easily made; two Holloways, or a similar looking address, you know, simple things. I would me a bit miffed if a stranger got my Russell Hobbs kettle instead of myself, a little mistake that is easily rectified. But my baby? My baby is no Russell Hobbs kettle, that’s for sure!

I’m going off kilter here, apologies. If you haven’t guessed already, the main theme surrounding ‘Mine’ is a new mother being adamant that she was given back the incorrect baby. She has a strong gut feeling that the baby in her arms is not the one she birthed, yet nobody believes her. Everybody thinks she’s going crazy, being unrealistic, causing problems for nothing. Is she right though? Has she been given the incorrect baby and, if so, where on Earth is her baby….and who on Earth has them?

It was pretty evident that the author had a medical history as the storyline contained a lot of medical words and situations which would only ring true if one had experienced them first hand. I think that Susi Fox’s history helped her in creating the suspenseful undertone to the storyline, and I felt that it gave the book the strength that a thriller would need to stand on its own.

There were a lot of moments where my eyebrows received very good workouts throughout the story, and I felt a little bit disheartened by just how outlandish the storyline seemed at times. I felt as though the author had veered a bit too far left at times which diminished a sense of credibility overall. That said, I enjoy novels that push the boundaries as long as they make them as realistic as humanly possible (unless it’s a genre that is known for its outlandish, unrealistic stories), and I think that ‘Mine’ does push the boundaries on several occasions rather well. I just think that at times it went a bit too far and left me thinking ‘ermmmmm, you what?’.

The undertone of the storyline is definitely thrilling and intense, and I couldn’t help but second guess things myself as I was reading the book which I truly grabbed with two hands.

Whilst my overall opinion on ‘Mine’ is on the fence, I did appreciate the attention to detail on the medical point of view, and the memorable, chilling events of the majority of the novel. This is definitely a unique read, one that was executed cleverly at times.

Purchase from Amazon.

#suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · contemporary fiction · lifestyle · netgalley · RNA · romance · Transworld/Penguin · womens fiction

#AWalkAlongTheBeach @debbiemacomber @arrowpublishing #review #bookblogger #DebbieMacomber

Thank you, Rachel and the Arrow Publishing team for inviting me to take part in Debbie Macomber’s blog tour, and for supplying me with an advanced copy. Today I have the honour of closing the tour with my review, enjoy!

Sisters Willa and Harper mean the world to each other.

Inseparable since the loss of their mother as teenagers, the Lakey sisters are perfect opposites. Quiet, demure Willa has always admired Harper’s sense of adventure. She enjoys her peaceful routine as a café owner in their coastal hometown of Oceanside.

When a handsome customer shows interest in Willa, Harper urges her sister to take a chance on love.

Then Harper receives crushing news that threatens to bring everything to a halt. Only by supporting each other will the sisters be able to face the trials to come. And though the time ahead may be tough, Willa and Harper will discover that the darkest times can lead to the most beautiful rewards.

What does TWG think?

I don’t even know how to bring my thoughts of this novel to the surface. To say I was emotionally blindesided by the storyline would be an understatement. To say that i was emotionally bereft by what I read, would also be an understatement. And, you guessed it, to say that i absolutely loved Debbie Macomber’s new novel would be an understatement.

Several chapters from the end of the book, my heart smashed into millions and millions of pieces. Emotion spilled from my eyes like a waterfall – I couldnt control the sobs that took over my body at that very moment. What a moving, poignant, thought provoking piece of writing.

If you’ve ever been affected by cancer, both first hand or via a loved one, then you will no doubt be able to resonate with Willa and the heartbreak that surrounds herself and her family. Debbie Macomber makes it clear at the beginning of the story that she has recently been affected by the tragic loss of a loved one, and i truly felt that loss through the power of her words. Strong words, such as those in this storyline, cannot be forged, nor can they be googled, they need to come from the heart of the author and that is exactly what happens here.

Cancer is a strong subject at the heart of ‘A Walk Along The Beach’, yet so is love and the hope at finding that special someone despite having had your heart broken in the past, whether that is at the hands of a two legged friend, or four.

Debbie Macomber is exceptionally talented, a force to be reckoned with, and one of the very few authors who have touched my soul so deeply that they left an imprint of substantial size.

‘A Walk Along The Beach’ needs to have its moment on the big screen for sure but, until that time, this novel needs to have its moment, multiple times, on people’s bookshelves and in readers hands. I absolutely cannot recommend this book enough – undeniably one of THE best books I have EVER read (and I’ve read a few!).

Buy now.

#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Crime/thriller · Transworld/Penguin

#ThreePerfectLiars @HeidiPerksBooks @arrowpublishing #blogtour #review

Many thanks to Rachel for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘Three Perfect Liars’ by Heidi Perks. Here is my review:

When a body is pulled out of an office fire, three women are first in line for questioning.

All of them have reasons for wanting revenge against the company’s CEO.

It could be Laura, who has returned to work to find that her maternity cover isn’t leaving. The CEO insists he’s doing what’s best for the company. Laura isn’t convinced he’s telling the truth.

Or there’s Mia. Brought in as temporary cover for Laura, she has quickly made herself indispensable – and popular with her colleagues. But if people knew why she was so desperate to keep her job, they might not welcome her so freely.

Then there’s Janie, wife to the CEO, who gave up her courtroom career to support her husband and his business. She has her own secret to protect – and will go to any length to keep it safe.

They never thought it would come to this.

What does TWG think?

Three women, three different version of events, but which one is lying?

This book completely blindsided me! Laura has gone back to work after having her little boy, Bobby, but finds her replacement, Mia, with her feet firmly under Laura’s desk. Whilst everyone is worshipping the ground that Mia walks on, Laura isnt at all convinced by the game shes playing and is adamant that Mia’s true colours will be shown.

I thought that Laura’s obsession with Mia completely took over the storyline. It was as though she was a dog with a bone, refusing to give it up. To a point I could see why as Mia’s character gave off a dishonest vibe, yet on the other hand i couldnt quite see why Laura didnt just let it go, especially since her priorities had changed due to becoming a mum.

‘Three Perfect Liars’ is told from Mia, Laura’s and Janie’s point of views, so not only do we get to follow Laura’s obsession with Mia, we get to know parts of Mia’s personality, as well as trying to find out what it is that has ruffled Janie’s feathers. These women are such a mixed bag in terms of their personalities, and is found their involvement with each other quite surprising.

Even though I felt that Laura’s obsession with Mia overshadowed the rest of the storyline a little, the more of the book I read, the more the storyline made sense and the pieces began to fit very nicely together. There is a intriguing question of ‘whodunnit’ hanging over the storyline, something which kept me on tenterhooks as it could have been anyone. I’m genuinely surprised that I didnt get papercuts on my hands because of the speed in which I turned the pages. Maybe I had found my own temporary obsession with Heidi Perks’ novel?

I loved the ‘edge of my seat’ suspense and the air of mystery which spoke volumes throughout the whole book. I felt that a lot of the characters were quite dislikeable, however I dont think having characters who were as nice as pie would work in the same way.

I thought that the author delivered the intensity brilliantly and, as I said at the start, I was completely blindsided by what materialised. In fact, the amount of shock I was in made the ending of the book feel a bit anticlimactic as I was ready to keep on reading to try and delve into the psychology behind the characters actions. I’m nosy, I admit it!

Psychologically brilliant, topical, and thrilling on many different levels – I highly recommend this belter of a book.

Pre-order now.

#suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · lifestyle · Transworld/Penguin

It’s good for your children to make friends…#LittleFriends in fact….but is it? @janeshemilt @MichaelJBooks

Many thanks to the Michael Joseph/Penguin team for inviting me to take part in Jane Shemilt’s blog tour for ‘Little Friends’, and for the ARC. Here is my review:

Their children are friends first. They hit it off immediately, as kids do.

So the parents are forced to get to know each other. But as they get closer, they start to take their eyes off their children.

And while they have been looking the other way, evil has crept in.

Every parent’s biggest nightmare is about to come true…

What does TWG think?

Eve is a laid back parent. A parent who doesnt give her children as many boundaries as what her husband, Eric, would like. With a daughter who has dyslexia, Eve gets a little tutor group going for other children on a Sunday. What started off as an innocent tutor group ended up turning into something much more sinister.

‘Little Friends’ is told from the voices of Eve, Melissa, and Grace, the mothers of the children in the story. The great thing about the book being told from different perspectives meant that as readers, we get to hear the story from various angles instead of it being one sided from just one particular character.

I found this book an incredibly unsettling and uncomfortable read, yet I was unable to tear my eyes away from the disaster that was unfolding before my very eyes. I would love to delve further into what I read, however due to spoilers I would be very afraid to do so incase I accidentally tripped up.

Jane Shmelit has crammed a lot of content into her book, covering topics such as marital problems, grief, dyslexia, parenting troubles, mental health, abuse…the lot. Weirdly enough, I didnt feel overwhelmed by how much content there was as everything slotted in well to the premise of the book.

Even though I felt as though my body was encased in a block of ice due to the chilling nature of the storyline, I flew through the novel in no more than three hours. It was so dark, so compelling, so gut wrenching….I felt like I wasnt able to continue yet my brain seemed to have other ideas.

I feel bad for saying that I throughly enjoyed this book due to what the story contained, however I was SO impressed by Jane Shmelit’s way with words and the realistic picture she painted with her characters and the journeys they embarked on.

As unsettling as this may have been, I was absolutely hooked and I have a strong feeling that readers will struggle to keep this novel from their minds. A moving, sinister, memorable domestic thriller – not for the faint hearted!

Buy now.

#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Crime/thriller · RandomThingsTours · Transworld/Penguin

#TheMemoryWood gives me the creeps!!!! @samlloydwrites @AnneCater @TransworldBooks

Once again, thank you to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and to Transworld Books for the ARC. Delighted to welcome debut author, Sam Lloyd, to TWG today with a review of his debut novel, ‘The Memory Wood’.

Elijah has lived in the Memory Wood for as long as he can remember. It’s the only home he’s ever known.

Elissa has only just arrived. And she’ll do everything she can to escape.

When Elijah stumbles across thirteen-year-old Elissa, in the woods where her abductor is hiding her, he refuses to alert the police. Because in his twelve years, Elijah has never had a proper friend. And he doesn’t want Elissa to leave.

Not only that, Elijah knows how this can end. After all, Elissa isn’t the first girl he’s found inside the Memory Wood.

As her abductor’s behaviour grows more erratic, Elissa realises that outwitting strange, lonely Elijah is her only hope of survival. Their cat-and-mouse game of deception and betrayal will determine both their fates, and whether either of them will ever leave the Memory Wood . . .

What does TWG think?

Errrrr, can someone please pass me the bog roll? I seem to have defecated in my Lee Cooper’s! Scared poopless springs to mind!!!! I like a good thrill as much as the next person, but sheesh! This ain’t no ‘Casper the friendly ghost’ type scare!

In my defence, I was pretty poorly whilst reading this, so maybe a little bit more vulnerable than normal. I mean, if anyone had shouted my name I think I would have jumped out of my skin, so to read a book which had a supernatural type vibe to it, alongside a dark and demonesque thriller vibe, it’s safe to say that I wanted Casper nearby!

I was incredibly impressed by the connectivity of the the storyline. The author had created such realistic paths between each character and their individual journeys in the story, whilst also maintaining the flow of the overall book. As a reader, I cant even begin to imagine just how difficult of a task that can be for authors, however Sam Lloyd really delivered.

I know I sounded like a bit of a wimp at the start of this review, but can I just say that the thrill and fear factor was so cleverly woven into the storyline, it soon became a case of ‘I dont want to look but I need to look’ in terms of turning the pages. It worked bloody well.

‘The Memory Wood’ is incredibly unique, incredibly chilling, and also incredibly clever. I am in shock that this is the work of a debut author and I absolutely cannot wait to see what other gems Sam Lloyd has up his sleeve if this is anything to go by!

Buy now

#suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · contemporary fiction · lifestyle · real life · Transworld/Penguin

You’ve got #ThreeHours…how would you use them? #ThreeHoursNovel @RosamundLupton @VikingBooksUK #review

I honestly doubt that my review of ‘Three Hours’ will do the book justice at all, but I will try my very best. Hugest of thanks to Viking for the tour invite and ARC.

Three hours is 180 minutes or 10,800 seconds.

It is a morning’s lessons, a dress rehearsal of Macbeth, a snowy trek through the woods.

It is an eternity waiting for news. Or a countdown to something terrible.

It is 180 minutes to discover who you will die for and what men will kill for.

In rural Somerset in the middle of a blizzard, the unthinkable happens: a school is under siege. Told from the point of view of the people at the heart of it, from the wounded headmaster in the library, unable to help his trapped pupils and staff, to teenage Hannah in love for the first time, to the parents gathering desperate for news, to the 16 year old Syrian refugee trying to rescue his little brother, to the police psychologist who must identify the gunmen, to the students taking refuge in the school theatre, all experience the most intense hours of their lives, where evil and terror are met by courage, love and redemption.

What does TWG think?

For someone who talks a lot, I’m struggling to find the words to express just how much ‘Three Hours’ blew my mind.

It isnt often that I have to stop reading a book for a few minutes every now and then, just so I could digest every emotion, every situation, and every single detail about the storyline. But that was the case with this book, and what a book it was.

‘Three Hours’ tells the story of a school community who are forced in a situation no-one should ever be in. Lives are at stake. Friendships are at stake. And all because of what? Racism? Bigots? Refugees? Psychopaths?

This story raised my blood pressure and stressed me out, yet given the nature of the book and what it was centred around, I would have been shocked if that hadn’t been the case.

Despite being a fictional story, Rosamund Lupton has referred to real life situations in her book which added to the authenticity and suspense, cementing the reality that people do indeed go through similar situations in their lives. They shouldn’t, and it made me feel quite emotional to see just how evil other people can be. Regardless of religion, skin colour, place of birth etc, they’re still humans and nobody should ever be made to feel anything but.

‘Three Hours’ is such a chilling, yet hauntingly beautiful read, and is one I will not be forgetting in a hurry. I feel bad saying that I loved the book as terror and gunmen dominated the essence of the book, however it was due to the topic and the way that Rosamund Lupton delivered it, which completely blew me away.

I cannot even begin to imagine the terror that refugees feel, nor can I imagine the fear that people must feel if they find themselves in amongst a siege. Even the thought of it sends shivers up and down my spine.

This is an absolutely breathtaking, chilling, raw and poignant novel that makes you sit up and take notice. Three hours may seem like a short amount of time, yet when you’re faced with a life or death situation, three hours can be a lifetime.

I am incredibly honoured that I got the chance to read a book that has ‘film rights’ written all over it, especially one as outstanding as ‘Three Hours’. This is, without a doubt, one of my all time favourite reads, and is one that I will be shouting about for a very long time to come.

Buy now

#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · lifestyle · RandomThingsTours · Transworld/Penguin

Nevermind who did I tell, #WhoDidYouTell?! @LesleyKara @TransworldBooks @AnneCater

Apologies for the delay in this post, suffering with migraines due to chronic illnesses. Huge thanks to both Alison Barrow and Anne Cater for your patience regarding the post, and of course for the tour invite itself. It’s a pleasure to be reviewing ‘Who Did You Tell?’ by Lesley Kara.

It’s been 192 days, seven hours and fifteen minutes since her last drink. Now Astrid is trying to turn her life around.

Having reluctantly moved back in with her mother, in a quiet seaside town away from the temptations and painful memories of her life before, Astrid is focusing on her recovery. She’s going to meetings. Confessing her misdeeds. Making amends to those she’s wronged.

But someone knows exactly what Astrid is running from. And they won’t stop until she learns that some mistakes can’t be corrected.

Some mistakes, you have to pay for . . .

What does TWG think?

Having grown up around an alcoholic and seen how alcohol can not only affect the person consuming it, but also those around them, the concept of Lesley Kara’s new book was one I had seen first hand. Despite that, following Astrid’s journey was unique in it’s own right, and the spotlight into the detrimental effects of alcoholism was one that needed to be shone. I thought that the author handled the subject sensitively, yet also maintained the authenticity of the topic with the development of Astrid’s personality and the way in which the overall storyline was crafted.

Whilst ‘Who did you tell?’ can be considered quite a slow burner, the attention to detail and powerful suspense made the slow pace seem quite irrelevant. They say that good things come to those who wait, and I believe that that phrase is very apt where this book is concerned. Astrid isn’t the type of character who you could surmise in a few words, nor is she one who you could ‘work out’ pretty much straight away. I found her complexity very intriguing, and the fact that her exterior peeled away to reveal her inner relatability, was quite endearing.

I thought that the execution of the novel was very well thought out, especially as the storyline still held onto the depth from Astrid’s life until the very end. Even though there were elements of this book which brought back memories and reignited hidden emotions, I still throughly enjoyed the craftsmanship of the novel in its entirety. A bloody powerful and thought provoking read.

Buy now.

#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Crime/thriller · Transworld/Penguin

#HoldYourTongue otherwise someone might hold it for you! @Deborah_Masson @TransworldBooks

Thank you SO much to Transworld Books for answering my pleas by inviting me on this blog tour, and for the ARC! I apologise for the lateness, but here is my review:

A brutal murder.

A young woman’s body is discovered with horrifying injuries, a recent newspaper cutting pinned to her clothing.

A detective with everything to prove.

This is her only chance to redeem herself.

A serial killer with nothing to lose.

He’s waited years, and his reign of terror has only just begun . . .

Introducing DI Eve Hunter, HOLD YOUR TONGUE is your new obsession.

What does TWG think?

Whenever I saw this book mentioned on social media, I became extremely jealous as I wanted to read it SO badly! Thankfully my pleas were answered and I was able to read a copy for the tour. Was it worth the wait?

OMG YES!!!!!!!!

The opening to ‘Hold Your Tongue’ is brutal, graphic, and weirdly made my eyes want to read more. I had a feeling that it was going to be a little TOO graphic for my liking, however it was a chance that I was willing to take.

DI Eve Hunter seems to have more people gunning for her than she does fighting her battles. I was very curious, wondering what on earth she could have done to get so many peoples backs up.

As the story progresses, the truth about Eve comes to light in dribs and drabs. She feels guilty. She feels incompetent. She feels as though she cannot forgive herself. Now, without giving anything away, I thought she was being too hard on herself yet I could understand why she felt like that. What I didn’t realise at the time, however, was that there was more to that particular story than I thought. Tons more.

If you’re squeamish then maybe this isnt the book for you, although the graphic parts are tastefully done and in keeping with the rest of the book. Pardon the pun….or not.

Now the thing about being rendered useless in this cold weather due to my illnesses, is that I can binge read and nobody can say anything. So I did….until I had reached the end of the book! I wasnt putting it down for anybody! Not even to pee!!!!

‘Hold Your Tongue’ completely exceeded my expectations. From start to finish the author reeled her readers in, like a spider taking her prey into a web. I was hooked by the ‘whys?’ of the story, especially when it came to the truth behind the culprits actions. I thought that Eve was such a complex character with more sides to her than a human actually needs, yet I found her weirdly relatable. Her personality worked with the other characters, and I dont think, as weird as this sounds, that the overall story would have worked if someone else was at the heart of the book instead of Eve.

What I loved most about Deborah Masson’s book was how she mixed fraught emotions alongside graphic and dark suspense. I thought the combination was sensational.

I really hope this is the first book of many that include DI Eve Hunter, as I truly believe she has more to tell us. The same as Cooper, Mearns and Ferguson.

‘Hold Your Tongue’ really is a spine tingling, dark, devious, intense read which really made me feel as though the cat had got my tongue! This is such an edge of your seat thriller, a truly sensational, jam packed read, written by an author who is definitely one to watch. I cannot WAIT to find out what Masson does next!

Available to purchase in e-Book format.

arc · blog tour · book blogger · christmas · humour · lifestyle · RandomThingsTours · RNA · romance · Transworld/Penguin · womens fiction

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

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

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

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

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

What does TWG think?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buy now.