#BlogTour! #Review – #OMGWACA by Sarah Breen (@SarahJaybee) & Emer McLySaght (@EmerTheScreamer) @MichaelJBooks @JennyPlatt90

Complete Aisling Blog Tour
I am delighted to be hosting today’s stop on the ‘Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling’ blog tour! Big thank you to Jenny Platt from Michael Joseph for the blog tour invite, as well as the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

Oh My God What a Complete Aisling
Ever been a small town girl trying to make a life in the big city?

Meet twenty-something Aisling – that’s pronounced Ashling – she can barely boil an egg let alone figure out what night bus to catch home.

But she’s got a job in the big city, a flat and a boyfriend. She has an umbrella for rainy days, an electric blanket for cold nights and keeps her kitten heels firmly on the ground.

Until the day she accidentally ditches her only slightly useless boyfriend John. And finds herself in a spot of bother at work.

Is it time to pack up and go back to the sticks?
Or can Aisling fix the mess she’s made?
What’s a Complete Aisling to do?

What does TWG think?

Before I got asked to read ‘Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling’, I had seen the cover of this book all over social media, with many people tweeting such positive things about the story. Honestly? Whilst the title intrigued me, I couldn’t help but wonder if the book had been hyped up. Would it live up to said hype? Thankfully I was given the chance to find out. Of course I hoped that I would find it as fabulous as other people had, I mean, who wouldn’t want that?

Keeping an open mind, I began to read the book. Personally, I found that the first few chapters were rather slow, which meant that it took me a little while to get into the storyline and enjoy it for what it is, rather than perceiving it as a story about a woman who was incredibly particular about the minor details in life, whilst also getting her wrists slapped by her ‘Mammy’.

I couldn’t have been more overjoyed when the storyline started to pick up, becoming more gritty and addictive the more of the story I read. Aisling became a lot more likeable and a lot more relatable, the more I found out about her, but she just didn’t seem to fit the age bracket that the authors had given her. The way she acted came across rather immature for a late twenty-something woman. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a similar age and there are times I still come across as immature, but seeing as the storyline had more of a mature outlook on life and certain situations, Aisling’s immaturity became more prominent. I have to say though, she was quite funny and I had warmed to her by the end of the book, I’m not gonna lie!

Set in Ireland and written by Irish authors, the story is full of Irish phrases, sayings, places and goodness what else. If you’re not Irish, you might find all of the sayings a little bewildering at first! I loved how the authors have written a story so true to their roots – it was so refreshing to read a book with Irish expressions in it, as opposed to being written by an Irish but having no Irish similarities in the writing.

Hand on heart, even though it did take me a little while to get into the storyline, I did end up thoroughly enjoying this book. It is utterly bonkers, and the characters are utterly bonkers, yet it just works. The storyline, however, isn’t just full of hilarity, it also has a few heartwarming and serious situations mixed in for good measure. I say ‘good measure’, they weren’t good as they were quite sad to read, but it weirdly added a good depth to the storyline and allowed me to see Aisling in a completely different light.

I am so happy that I got the chance to delve into the world of Aisling and the ‘Aisling’s’, a phrase which I had never heard until reading this book (I’m so tempted to try to use it in everyday life!), as it was such a unique book to read which demanded my attention in such a memorable and hilarious manner.

I’ve said it once, but I’ll say it again. This book is so bonkers, it’s brilliant. Such a fun, modern and unique read which I will be remembering for a long while to come.

Buy now

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#BlogTour! #Review – Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson @DoubleDayUK @AnneCater @TransworldBooks

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I have the honour of kicking off another blog tour today, this time it’s for ‘Meet Me At The Museum’ by Anne Youngson. Thank you to Anne Cater for the tour invite, as well as the ARC. ‘Meet Me At The Museum’ will be published on the 17th May by DoubledayUK.

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Sometimes it takes a stranger to really know who you are..

When Tina Hopgood writes a letter of regret to a man she has never met, she doesn’t expect a reply.
When Anders Larsen, a lonely museum curator, answers it, nor does he.

They’re both searching for something, they just don’t know it yet.  Anders has lost his wife, along with his hopes and dreams for the future. Tina is trapped in a marriage she doesn’t remember choosing.

Slowly their correspondence blossoms as they bare their souls to each other with stories of joy, anguish and discovery. But then Tina’s letters suddenly cease, and Anders is thrown into despair.

Can their unexpected friendship survive?

What does TWG think?

You know, I don’t think I have ever read a book before that was written in the same format as this one! Instead of being set out in the way we all know, Anne Youngson has set her debut novel out in a completely different way – by using letters!

No, no, I don’t mean letters that make up words, because that would be pretty obvious. Actual written letters, you know, the conversing type…before e-mails were invented and stamps didn’t cost nearly a pound. Those letters!

With history as the basis of this novel and the letters, Tina Hopgood decided to write a letter to a museum curator in Denmark (her reasons become known further in the book). Unfortunately, the recipient had passed away and instead, the current curator of the museum replied to her letter. As they say, ‘and the rest is history’.

The letters between Tina and Danish man, Anders, set the scene for the overall novel, with both characters comparing lifestyles in the letters as Tina lives in Bury St.Edmunds, and Anders lives in Denmark. Neither characters had any idea that one simple letter could end up changing their lives..

I appreciated the emotion in the letters, as well as the honesty, lifestyle differences, and snippets of history. For me, those were the highlights of the novel. I did struggle with how the book was set out as I kept waiting for the novel to change into a story as opposed to letters. Of course the letters themselves told a story, but it wasn’t really an obvious story. I was half expecting Tina to meet Anders at the museum to coincide with the title, but that particular lightbulb remained off.

Even though this book wasn’t my cup of tea, I thought the author wrote the content of the letters absolutely beautifully, making the characters jump off the page due to how much I had found out about them in such a short space of time. I enjoyed the historic feel to the novel, that’s for sure.

Overall, I thought that ‘Meet Me At The Museum’ was an intense, different and thought-provoking read. If you’re after something out of your comfort zone, I am sure that this will tick the box.

Pre-order now (published 17th May)

About the author.

ANNE YOUNGSON worked for many years in senior management
in the car industry before embarking on a creative career as a writer. She has supported many charities in governance roles, including Chair of the Writers in Prison Network, which provided residencies in prisons for writers. She lives in Oxfordshire and is married with two children and three grandchildren to date. MEET ME AT THE MUSEUM is her debut novel, which is due to be published around the world.

#BlogTour! #Review – #BrightIdeasBookstore by Matthew Sullivan @arrowpublishing

Bright Ideas Bookstore Blog Tour Banner
Welcome to a brand new week on TWG, and what better way to kick start a Monday than with the start of a brand new blog tour! I have the pleasure of kicking off the blog tour to  celebrate the paperback release of Matthew Sullivan’s ‘Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore’. Big thanks to Penguin Books for the blog tour invite, as well as a copy of the book. Here is my review:

Bright Ideas Bookstore Jacket
What do you do when the life you’ve carefully built for yourself comes apart?

Lydia Smith lives a quiet life, spent in the company of her colleagues and customers at the bookstore where she works. But when Joey Molina, a young and mysterious regular, hangs himself in the bookstore and leaves Lydia secret messages hidden in the pages of his books, her world starts to unravel.

Why did Joey do it?

What did he know?

And what does it have to do with Lydia?

What does TWG think?

I heard so much about ‘Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore’ when the e-book was released last year. It was a book that just kept popping up on all of my social media channels so when I got the e-mail about reviewing it for the blog tour, I jumped at the chance to see what all of the fuss was about. So many differing opinions, I couldn’t help but be intrigued!

‘Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore’ has been dubbed a ‘thriller’, but, even though the storyline involved some rather chilling elements, I couldn’t work out why it had been dubbed that. Mystery? Perhaps. Literary fiction? Most definitely. Thriller? I’m not too sure. Genre aside, the book has an intriguing storyline which will draw you in, allowing you to match your emotions to the characters you get to know.

Even though I read the book a little while ago, I am still having to allow my brain to digest the words my eyes came into contact with. Why? Honestly, I can’t seem to put my finger on the reason for that, all I know is that it is not a negative one.

Personally, the pace of ‘Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore’ wasn’t as fast paced as I thought it was going to be, but it did seem to work with the overall premise of the book instead.

Matthew Sullivan writes in a way that is both moving and memorable, allowing readers to create vivid imagery with his cleverly crafted descriptions throughout the storyline. Whilst the concept didn’t blow me away, the author’s style of writing did. Despite his words actually being two-dimensional due to being written on a page, his delivery turned those words into three-dimensional intensity. A very well written novel. I look forward to reading more from Matthew Sullivan in the future.

Buy now from Amazon

#Review – My Husband the Strange by Rebecca Done (@writerbex) @MichaelJBooks

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What you would do if your husband became another person overnight?

When Molly married Alex Frazer, she knew it was for ever. Theirs would be the perfect future.

In sickness and in health.

However, after a night out with his twin brother, Graeme, a terrible injury leaves Alex with permanent brain damage. In a single moment the man she married is transformed into someone new. Someone who has forgotten how to love her. And someone Molly isn’t sure she can ever love again.

Till death do us part.

The Alex she married no longer exists. Even with Graeme willing to help, Molly isn’t sure that she can go on. How can she stay married to a man she doesn’t know? Should she let the future she dreamed of slip through her fingers? And what really happened on the night that turned her husband into a stranger?

What does TWG think?

Shameful apology! I read this book just after it came out, yet it has taken me until now to finally leave a review. Apologies to the author and the publisher, but I got there eventually!!

‘My Husband The Stranger’ is proof that life can change just like that. Molly had found her lobster. She had married her true love, a man she adored with every ounce of her being. Then, one day, both Molly’s and Alex’s life changed for the worst. The man who she promised to love in sickness and in health had been taken from her, with a man who looked like her husband yet didn’t act like him, swap places with him. Molly’s happy ending is now an uncertain one.

I would be lying if I said that this book was an easy read, because it isn’t. Far from it in fact. The theme of the storyline is dramatic, heart-wrenching and quite emotional, leaving room for the reader to form their own opinion on the choices that they would make if they were to find themselves in Molly’s situation. What would I do? Honestly, I have absolutely no idea and I probably would never be able to answer that unless I found myself in that situation. Molly thought she had the perfect relationship and loved her husband dearly, however when that man had an accident, she began to question her own motive for staying. Alex was definitely a changed man and Rebecca Done emphasised that point in the latter half of the novel. He wasn’t the man who Molly fell in love with, but he didn’t do this to himself did he, so why wouldn’t she stick by him?

My heart went out to both Alex and Molly as they were both dealing with such life changing circumstances, trying to find a way to move forward either as a unit, or on their own. I have to admit that I found a lot of the storyline a bit predictable and not at all shocking in the ‘twisty’ sense of the word. That said, I thought ‘My Husband The Stranger’ was emotionally charged and very raw, with the split narrative working well to hone in on the important elements of the overall storyline. I suggest keeping an open mind with this book as, if you’re anything like me, your outlook on life will change a lot right up until you close the book. Thought-provoking and very intense, Rebecca Done certainly gave me food for thought.

Buy now!

#TWGDiscusses – Please STOP saying that e-books aren’t REAL books – it’s offensive! #authors #publishers #ebooks #paperbacks #lovebooks

Which books are REAL books?-2
I feel like I’m stuck on repeat where this topic is concerned, yet STILL people continue to offend hundreds of authors, and readers, out there with comments such as ‘e-books aren’t real books’. How aren’t they real? An author spends the same amount if time writing a book whether it’s published in e-book, paperback, hardback or on a slate -eye roll-, so why do people continue to say that other formats of books aren’t real?

Let me ask you this….

You know those ‘friends’ you’ve made online yet haven’t currently met offline, would you say that they weren’t ‘real friends’ because they were made online? Probably not, so why is it okay to say that a book, published in a digital format, isn’t as real as those friends you have made using technology?

Think about it.

Authors can spend anything from a few months to a few years, perfecting their manuscript ready for publication, going through various steps such as multiple edits, restructures and so forth – it’s not like they wake up one morning, sit at their computer for an hour and produce a book. It takes time and a lot of patience. Once that manuscript is given to their publisher, it’s then digitalised and printed. Yes, contrary to popular belief, the same manuscript is used for a digital book AND a print book. Who would have thought it?! Obviously with a paperback/hardback you are physically turning the pages and holding the book with two hands, yet with a kindle you’re holding it differently and using one finger to change a page. BUT, have you thought about the different types of readers that are out there in the world? No?

Well you should.

Some readers can’t hold paperbacks/hardbacks due to illnesses.
Some readers can’t read books full stop because they’re blind and rely on audio.
Some readers are chronically ill and they require various different options, depending on their pain on that particular day.
Some readers have various different reasons as to why they would choose one format over another.

All of the above have one thing in common – they all want to read!!

I’ll be honest with you here. Several years ago I would have given you a filthy look if you had said about reading an e-book, but after realising that I was missing out on such fabulous books, I decided to give it a go. Not only that, several years ago I became a lot more ill and holding things for a long period of time was becoming impossible. E-books helped me to feel ‘normal’ and read books just like everyone else, on days where I felt like I couldn’t do anything like everyone else.

I appreciate that not everyone likes e-books and that they prefer paperbacks/hardbacks – that is totally fine! But what isn’t okay is when people say that they prefer ‘real’ books which is insinuating that a digital version of an authors book, is in fact fake. Can’t you see how offensive that is to the author? Just because a book is digitalised instead of being printed on paper, it doesn’t make it any less of a book!

Those ‘real book’ comments are not only offensive to the author who has written them, it’s also offensive to a reader reading them as if the 100 kindle books read last year shouldn’t be included in their Goodreads challenge because they’re ‘not real’. And yes, someone has said that before. If you don’t like e-books, fine! If you don’t like paperbacks, that’s also fine!

But please, please, please STOP saying that e-books aren’t real when they’re as real as the money you paid for them.

Oh, and as those comments are being made on a DIGITAL website, I can’t help but think ‘well isn’t that ironic’. Put your nose where it belongs, remove your snobbery and let people read the books they choose, in the format that they choose without offending a truck load of people in the process.

ALL books are real.
Instead of bashing people with the stupid ‘they aren’t real books’ comments, be happy that people are actually reading and supporting authors in any way they can. Surely that is more important than your snobbery?

#Review – Hetty’s Farmhouse Bakery by Cathy Bramley (@CathyBramley) @TransworldBooks

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Thirty-two-year-old Hetty Greengrass is the star around which the rest of her family orbits. Marriage, motherhood and helping Dan run Sunnybank Farm have certainlykept her hands full for the last twelve years. But when her daughter Poppy has to choose her inspiration for a school project and picks her aunt, not her mum, Hetty is left full of self-doubt.

Hetty’s always been generous with her time and until now, her biggest talent – baking deliciously moreish shortcrust pastry pies – has been limited to charity work and the village fete. But taking part in a competition run by Cumbria’s Finest to find the very best produce from the region might be just the thing to make her daughter proud . . . and reclaim something for herself.

Except that life isn’t as simple as producing the perfect pie. Changing the status quo isn’t easy – and with cracks appearing in her marriage and shocking secrets coming to light, Hetty must decide where her priorities really lie . . .

What does TWG think?

**Huge thank you to Transworld Books and Cathy Bramley for picking me as a winner for an early proof copy!**

I STUPIDLY decided to read ‘Hetty’s Farmhouse Bakery’ when I was hungry. Seriously, could I have BEEN more stupid? I wouldn’t advise it at all, although to be fair, you’ll probably end up hungry after reading about all of the delectable treats anyway!!

Hetty Greengrass has been living in other people’s shadows for as long as she can remember, with people only really knowing her as ‘Poppy’s mum’ or ‘Dan’s partner’, and not a person in her own right. Hetty wants to do something for herself and to be perfectly honest, it’s not really too much to ask is it?

Dan’s reaction to Hetty’s new venture and having to step away from the farm for a couple of days, really got under my skin! Such a selfish response! I urged him to be a little more supportive, after all, hasn’t Hetty been supporting Dan for all of this time? Isn’t that what being partners is all about?

It was such a lovely thing to see Hetty go from a reserved, unconfident woman, to a self-assured, confident, woman on a mission as the storyline progressed. She took her idea and ran with it marathon style! Weirdly, I felt quite proud of her actually as it was such a big deal for Hetty to step out of all that she has known for the last twelve years, to embark on her own solo venture, giving herself something to be proud of. She showed that she could do it. She showed that she was determined.

Now, ‘Hetty’s Farmhouse Bakery’ doesn’t just tell a story about the obvious. In fact, there is a lot more to the book that meets the eye. When certain things became clear later on down the line, I think my jaw became unhinged as it dropped right down to my knees in shock. I mean, where the hell did that come from?! Definitely a game changer where this book was concerned, that’s for sure!!

Having been a fan of Cathy Bramley for a long time and loving every single book she has written, I thoroughly enjoyed curling up with her latest offering, with my fingers crossed that it would live up to my expectations. It didn’t. It went above and beyond and became my most favourite book Cathy Bramley has ever written. I don’t know what it was, but I felt like the energy from the authors writing was completely different this time round, and the vibe seemed to reach my soul a lot quicker than previous novels. Maybe it was because I found myself relating to certain aspects of this book a lot more, or maybe it was because the author has gone from strength to strength with every book she writes. Who knows. All I know is that Cathy Bramley has written a book which I devoured in one sitting, wanting seconds straight away.

I loved how the storyline had humour alongside serious moments especially, as it gave the storyline such a varied dynamic which meant that the serious situations became more gritty. Because of that, I found that the shock factor was a lot stronger as they just seemed to come out of nowhere with one character being in hysterics one moment, to then having a gritty moment directly after. I really did love the ups and downs of Hetty and Dan’s lives, even if I was going for the whole ‘girl power’ thing and sticking by Hetty!

really has outdone herself with her newest novel, putting the book straight into my ‘most favourite books ever’ list.

‘Hetty’s Farmhouse Bakery’ is such a more-ish, addictive, cosy, and soulful read which seemed to highlight Cathy Bramley’s outstanding literary talent in a way I never knew was possible. Tantalising, gritty and extremely heart-warming, ‘Hetty’s Farmhouse Bakery’ is guaranteed to leave you without a soggy bottom, and a heart full of warmth. Incredible book, Cathy Bramley has certainly outdone herself where this book is concerned – I can’t help but see it as one of my most favourite books of all time!!

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – #HouseofHopesandDreams by Trisha Ashley (@TrishaAshley) @TransworldBooks @PoppyStimpson

The House of Hopes and Dreams blog tour
It is such an honour to be closing the #HouseofHopesandDreams blog tour today! Thank you to Poppy and Transworld Books for the ARC, and thank you to Trisha for wanting me on the blog tour! Here is my review:

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The new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling Trisha Ashley will more than satisfy romantic comedy fans. And it also contains recipes!

When Carey Revell unexpectedly becomes the heir to Mossby, his family’s ancestral home, it’s rather a mixed blessing. The house is large but rundown and comes with a pair of resentful relatives who can’t be asked to leave.
Still, newly dumped by his girlfriend and also from his job as a TV interior designer, Carey needs somewhere to lick his wounds. And Mossby would be perfect for a renovation show. He already knows someone who could restore the stained glass windows in the older part of the house…

Angel Arrowsmith has spent the last ten years happily working and living with her artist mentor and partner. But suddenly bereaved, she finds herself heartbroken, without a home or a livelihood. Life will never be the same again – until old friend Carey Revell comes to the rescue.

They move in to Mossby with high hopes. But the house has a secret at its heart: an old legend concerning one of the famous windows. Will all their dreams for happiness be shattered? Or can Carey and Angel find a way to make this house a home?

Heart-warming, witty and quirkily original, Trisha Ashley’s THE HOUSE OF HOPES AND DREAMS will delight both old fans and new readers alike.

What does TWG think?

Oh this book is amazing!! As soon as the story begins, we are shoved straight into the deep end when Carey finds himself in a situation he never thought he would be in….well, two of them! That was it, I was hooked, how could you not be? A character finds out a piece of information which is likely to change his life, yet you know fine well it will rub people up the wrong way – surely that is bound to get anyone wanting more?

‘The House of Hopes and Dreams’ follows the lives of Angel and Carey, both attempting to rebuild their lives after a bout of unfortunate events, hoping that their future will be drama free sooner rather than later. Of course that isn’t what happens, but I couldn’t really fault them for the positive outlook!

My heart went out to Angel. What a devastating situation to be in, and what a cockerel Nat is! I won’t say too much about that character apart from the fact that they are an absolute bumwipe! Even though I was glad that Angel had someone to lean on, I couldn’t help but feel devastated for her. Nobody should ever be treated the way that she was treated, ever!

I couldn’t stop myself from falling in love with ‘The House of Hopes and Dreams’. The storyline captured my heart as soon as Mossby because the main feature of the story, enabling me to think about my own hopes and dreams for the future. Every turn of the page had me feeling as though I was getting hugged from the inside out, mostly down to the amount of love the majority of the characters showed each other, as well as the overall cosy feel of the storyline.

Trisha Ashley’s latest book contains oodles of romance, several ounces of friendship, a pound of mystery, as well as a pinch of salty characters – a recipe which made for a perfect read with no soggy bottom.

As far as I am concerned, this is Trisha Ashley’s best book yet, and I feel she has outdone herself with her strong and feisty heroine, her ‘one to watch’ hero, as well as her incredible story telling which goes from strength to strength with every book.

A heart-warming, cosy, and perfectly ‘baked’ read that will leave you feeling like a cat who has got the cream. Or, in Fang’s case, a dog who has got the ankle.

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheFriend by Dorothy Koomson (@DorothyKoomson) @arrowpublishing @PenguinRHUK

The Friend Blog Tour Banner
It gives me great pleasure to share my review of Dorothy Koomson’s ‘The Friend’, with you all tonight as part of the blog tour! Massive thank you to Arrow Publishing & Penguin Random House for the blog tour invite and a copy of the book. Here is my review:

The Friend Jacket Image
What secrets would you kill to keep?

After her husband’s big promotion, Cece Solarin arrives in
Brighton with their three children, ready to start afresh. But their
new neighbourhood has a deadly secret.

Three weeks earlier, Yvonne, a very popular parent, was almost murdered in the grounds of the local school – the same school where Cece has unwittingly enrolled her children.

Already anxious about making friends when the parents seem so cliquey, Cece is now also worried about her children’s safety. By chance she meets Maxie, Anaya and Hazel, three very different school mothers who make her feel welcome and reassure her about her new life.

That is until Cece discovers the police believe one of her new friends tried to kill Yvonne. Reluctant to spy on her friends but determined to discover the truth, Cece must uncover the potential murderer before they strike again . .

What does TWG think?

Oh my goodness me, what a book!! Have you ever read a book which pulled you in, made you laugh, filled your eyes with grit, and had you wanting more, ALL within a few chapters? I HAVE, I HAVE!!!! ‘The Friend’ was that kind of book – I’m not even joking!

For me, Dorothy Koomson’s latest release had everything I could ever dream of in a book. There was mystery, romance, drama, crime, friendship woes, marriage woes..the lot. ‘The Friend’ follows the life of a group of mums who are all joined together by one person – Yvonne. When the new girl in town, Cece, starts to see cracks appearing in their friendships, it doesn’t take her long to realise that those cracks will soon become gigantic holes and people aren’t going to like what they see. One of the women is holding a card very close to their chest, but is it the card Cece needs to find to get to the bottom of their friendship woes?

I read this book in one sitting, I just refused to put it down. It really is that good! There was so much storyline waiting for me to sink my teeth into it, I felt like I was being spoiled (in a good way) by the author. All four main characters have such varied personalities, my opinion of them kept changing the more the story progressed. One moment I was siding with one of the ladies, and the next moment I found myself going against her and siding with a different one. I had no idea who to believe. To be perfectly honest, I could see why Cece didn’t want to get involved in the situation.

During the last part of the storyline things started to heat up and ends started to get tied – I was on the edge of my seat with anticipation. Were my thoughts correct, or was I completely off the mark? Whilst reading ‘The Friend’, I had conjured up a good amount of questions and I was on a high waiting for them to get answered in the conclusion. That said, I felt as though there was more to the story regarding the ending. I’m hoping that there is more to the story as I have now got a rather large question mark looming over one of the characters heads. Fingers crossed Dorothy Koomson brings that character back to life in another story!

As soon as I finished reading ‘The Friend’, I sighed with contentment, and then went onto Amazon to find the authors previous releases! Dorothy Koomson has made a fan for life due to her incredible story telling and her ability to pull her readers in with such minimal effort.

A truly outstanding, gripping, thrilling read – my only irk about this book was that it had to end! Dorothy Koomson has written such a cleverly crafted, addictive storyline which absolutely blew my mind. I cannot recommend this book enough and, whilst I’m not one for reading books more than once in such a short space of time, I’m going to break my own rules and read this book again as soon as possible. Absolutely outstanding!

Buy now in paperback from Amazon UK
Buy now in e-book from Amazon UK

About the author.

Dorothy Koomson is the author of twelve novels including That Girl From Nowhere, The Chocolate Run, The Woman He Loved Before, The Ice Cream Girls and My Best Friend’s Girl. While writing The Friend she took up, in the name of research, knitting and cocktail mixing – two things that are oddly compatible. Give it a try.

#TheFriend

www.dorothykoomson.co.uk

#QuickReads! #LaunchDay2018 – #Review – Cut Off by @MarkBillingham and Clean Break by @MsTamarCohen @readingagency @ed_pr

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Quick Reads – the books which may be small, yet they pack a punch at only £1. So, what’s the catch? There isn’t one. Aside from the fact Quick Reads are that; quick, they actually serve an important purpose.

Here is some more information about Quick Reads and how they could help someone you know.
(Information taken from Quick Reads Press Release with permission)

Quick Reads was founded by Baroness Gail Rebuck DBE in 2006 to provide shorter, easier to read, accessible fiction for less confident adult readers. Now in its 12 th year, the programme has distributed over 4.8 million books since it was launched and introduced hundreds of thousands of new readers each year to the joys and benefits of reading.

One in six adults in the UK struggles with reading, whilst one in three does not read for
pleasure; Quick Reads are designed to break down the barriers that prevent people from picking up a book. 95% of literacy practitioners report that using Quick Reads has been effective at raising learners’ confidence in reading, whilst 91% say that the books have been effective at improving readers’ literacy skills.

Isn’t it amazing what just £1 can do? 2018 sees the release of six new Quick Reads written by; Dorothy Koomson, Tammy Cohen, Kit De Waal, Vaseem Khan, Mark Billingham, and last but not leas, Fern Britton. When the ReadingAgency got in touch asking me to promote these books on their publication day (today woo!!), I jumped at the chance. I think these books are absolutely fantastic, especially if they can help someone read, or even fall in love with reading. Despite being an avid reader myself, I sat and read two of these books and I absolutely loved them. So you see, whilst they play a vital role in helping adults read, they also are the light-bites of the book world. What more could you ask for?

Today I am sharing my reviews of two Quick Reads titles; Clean Break by Tammy Cohen, and Cut Off by Mark Billingham. Don’t fret though, I don’t do spoilers in my other reviews, so I won’t start now.

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Step into a thrilling Quick Read from number one bestselling crime fiction author Mark Billingham.

It’s the moment we all fear: losing our phone, leaving us cut off from family and friends. But, for Louise, losing hers in a local café takes her somewhere much darker.

After many hours of panic, Louise is relieved when someone gets in touch offering to return the phone. From then on she is impatient to get back to normal life.

But when they meet on the beach, Louise realises you should be careful what you wish for…

If you enjoyed Cut Off, try Love Like Blood, the latest novel in the series starring Mark Billingham’s detective hero, DI Tom Thorne.

What does TWG think?

What an absolute rollercoaster ride! ‘Cut Off’ grabbed my attention straight away with its focus on mobile phones. You know, the item that nobody leaves a room without, heaven forbid even leaving their home without it. I admit, I am glued to my phone, and the way in which Mark Billingham told his story sent shivers down my spine. Imagine if what happened to Louise, happened to you? How freaky!

For such a compact story, ‘Cut Off’ really does pack a punch, keeping the high level of intensity until the very last page. I was slightly disappointed with the ending as I was so hooked on the storyline, I felt that there were still some loose ends needing tied up. However, I would certainly recommend this if you enjoy your intense and chilling reads, or if you just want to try something new.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Mark Billingham (Cut Off, Little Brown):
Mark Billingham has twice won the Theakston’s Old Peculier Award for Crime Novel of the Year, and has also won the Sherlock Award for the Best Detective created by a British writer. All of his novels featuring Detective Inspector Tom Thorne have been Sunday Times bestsellers. Sleepyhead and Scaredy Cat were made into a hit TV series on Sky 1 starring David Morrissey as Thorne. A new series based on the novels In The Dark and Time Of Death was broadcast on BBC 1 in 2017. Mark lives in north London with his wife and two children.

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Marriage is complicated, especially for Kate. Her husband Jack has a temper on him, and has been an absent father for years. Kate knows it’s time for a divorce. The trouble is, Jack refuses. And now that he has found out Kate has met another man, his jealous rages escalate. Can Kate rid herself of her jealous husband before it’s too late?

What does TWG think?

Right, I know people say that nobody knows what happens behind closed doors, or don’t judge someone’s story until you know all of the facts, BUT, whilst they are extremely valid points, I am about to go against one because I am a reviewer (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it).

What planet is Kate on? You either want something or you don’t. You don’t dangle the carrot in front of the horse and then moan because he grabs it! I mean, come on! Kate obviously had her reasons as to why she reached the decision she did, which of course is fair enough. On the other side of the coin, I can see WHY she reached that decision to a point (all becomes clear as the story goes on) and, whilst I don’t condone Jack’s behaviour, I did feel a teeny bit sorry for him.

My opinion did change though, as I’m sure you’ll find out when you read it. ‘Clean Break’ had my jaw dropping to the floor on multiple occasions, as well as ensuring every single hair on my arms stood to attention for the duration of the book. It’s not that this book is chilling as such, it is incredibly intense and psychologically shocking. I am extremely impressed at how much the author has made this book deliver in such a small amount of pages. Amazing story telling once again from Tammy Cohen. Highly recommend.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Tammy Cohen (Clean Break, Transworld):
Tammy Cohen (who previously wrote under her formal name Tamar Cohen) has a growing backlist of acclaimed novels of domestic noir including: The Mistress’s Revenge, The War of the Wives, and Someone Else’s Wedding. Her break-out psychological suspense thriller was The Broken, followed by Dying for Christmas, First One Missing and When She Was Bad. She lives in North London with her partner and three (nearly) grown children, plus one badly behaved dog.

About The Reading Agency:
The Reading Agency is the leading charity inspiring people of all ages and all backgrounds to read for pleasure and empowerment. Working with our partners, our aim is to make reading accessible to everyone. The Reading Agency is funded by the Arts Council.  www.readingagency.org.uk

For more information on all of the other titles in the Quick Reads 2018 collection, titles are available from today on Amazon and all good bookshops.

#BlogTour! #Review – The Child by Fiona Barton (@figbarton) @TransworldBooks

The Child PB blog tour poster 1

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When a paragraph in an evening newspaper reveals a decades-old tragedy, most readers barely give it a glance. But for three strangers it’s impossible to ignore.

For one woman, it’s a reminder of the worst thing that ever happened to her.

For another, it reveals the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered.

And for the third, a journalist, it’s the first clue in a hunt to uncover the truth.

The Child’s story will be told.

What does TWG think?

Having not read Fiona Barton’s debut novel, The Widow, I had absolutely no idea what to expect with this book and this author. It’s always the same though, isn’t it, when you try an author for the first time. I had seen so much about this book on social media when the e-book came out earlier in the year, I instantly placed it on my radar, hoping that I would get round to reading it eventually. Thankfully the paperback version of ‘The Child’ is due for release very soon, it gave me the well needed keep up the youknowwhat to FINALLY see what all the fuss was about. That’s another thing. This book had A LOT of people talking and, whilst that is a brilliant thing, I had everything crossed that it wouldn’t be another book that had been hyped up in the media….

Honestly?

To begin with I did side with the ‘hyped up’ opinion of this storyline. However, after sticking with the storyline and digesting it in my own individual way, I soon found out that Fiona Barton’s clever story telling, had made its way under my skin for a nap. I had to read more. I had to find out about the child. I had to find out what REALLY happened. What I didn’t expect, however, was the journey to the truth to be as dark and twisted as it was. Not that I’m complaining obviously, it was full of grit!

Personally, the high level of intensity was the star of the show and without it, I really don’t think I would have been hooked as much. I mean, even though the storyline was rather complex, I did find parts of it a little bit samey, as if I had heard it all before. That said, due to the way in which the author executed the storyline, I was able to appreciate the authors skills on their own.

Whilst ‘The Child’ didn’t blow me away as such, it certainly had me hooked due to the brilliant writing from Fiona Barton. This book made me bite, so for that reason I can’t wait to see what this author brings out next.

Thanks TransworldBooks.

Buy now from Amazon UK