blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture

#BlogTour! #Review – Rome Is Where The Heart Is by Tilly Tennant (@TillyTenWriter) @Bookouture

tillyromeLook who’s back to see me on TWG!! This very talented lady is THE most featured author of TWG’s, to date, and I am absolutely thrilled to welcome her, Tilly Tennant, back to the blog! Via a review written by yours truly, we are able to take a little trip to Rome, as part of the blog tour for her latest novel; Rome Is Where The Heart Is. Thank you to Bookouture for the tour invitation!

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Can a holiday romance ever have a happy ending? Escape with Kate to the sun-drenched city of Rome where a love affair is just about to begin …

When Kate’s husband Matt dumps her on Friday 13th she decides enough is enough – it’s time for her to have some fun and so she hops on a plane to Rome. A week of grappa and gelato in pavement cafes under azure blue skies will be just what the doctor ordered.

What she doesn’t count on is meeting and falling for sexy policeman Alessandro. But the course of true love doesn’t run smoothly – Alessandro has five meddling sisters, a fearsome mama and a beautiful ex Orazia. They’re all certain that Kate is not the girl for him.

Can Kate and Alessandro’s love last the distance? Or will she return home with the one souvenir she doesn’t want – a broken heart …

Fall in love with the colourful cafes and the cobbled piazzas of Rome and follow Kate’s dreams and her heart in this enchanting escapist read. Perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Carol Matthews.

What does TWG think?

Errrrr and the award for the biggest testa di cazzo goes to…..!! WHO THE HELL DOES THAT?! It wasn’t WHAT Matt did (people are entitled to dump their partners if they see fit), it was the WAY he did it. Geez Louise, even I got angry and I wasn’t the one getting dumped! I think that Kate was perhaps a little too easy on him, but then I would say that haha.

I really didn’t know what to make of Kate, especially after the Matt incident outside the flat. Part of me was hoping that she would come out of her shell a bit more and become a bit more bulshy to the situations she didn’t agree with, instead of just sitting there and taking it. Yet, the other part of me was thinking that her ‘over the top of the head’ persona, may end up working in her favour. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t call it either way and I was looking forward to watching Kate’s journey in Rome.

Tilly Tennant taking us to Rome was an amazing experience. Okay, I didn’t experience it first hand (don’t be picky!), but as always, Tilly’s trademark ability of enveloping her readers in a hug via her words was evident from the very start. She really does have such a cosy writing style; even when she is making her characters do fun things whilst they’re drunk! Let’s just say that there were a lot of entertaining situations happening during Kate’s time in Rome, and not just for her either! Various interesting characters popped up on Kate’s holiday, some more interesting than others but all memorable in their own ways. Several things made Tilly’s novel stand out from the other novels I have read set in Rome, such as how Tilly didn’t describe a focal point or a monument as just being that, ‘a monument’. Every historic feature, every food course, every emotion of the city were described in such a beautiful and delicate way, and it completely blew me away.

There were a few moments within the storyline where I found myself disconnecting from what was going on, as I didn’t find Kate and Alessandro’s relationship that authentic. Now, I have never had a holiday romance so that may be why my heart wasn’t connecting to it fully. Or maybe it’s because I more ice queen than a soppy romantic….so I’ve been told haha!

Despite my reservations with Dr.Love (ahem), Tilly Tennant’s novel was perfect for me to lay on the sofa with, calm my thoughts, and escape.

‘Rome Is Where The Heart Is’ is a beautiful getaway for the mind, as well as being yet another relaxing and light-hearted read from the incredibly talented, Tilly Tennant.

Thank you Bookouture.

Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

About the author.

From a young age, Tilly Tennant was convinced that she was destined for the stage.  Once she realised she wasn’t actually very good at anything that would put her on the stage, she started to write stories instead. There were lots of terrible ones, like The Pet Rescue Gang (aged eight), which definitely should not see the light of day ever again. Thankfully, her debut novel, Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was not one of those, and since it hit the Amazon best seller lists she hasn’t looked back. Born in Dorset, she currently lives in Staffordshire with her husband, two daughters, three guitars, four ukuleles, two violins and a kazoo.

Author links:
www.tillytennant.com |
https://www.facebook.com/TillyTennant/ | https://twitter.com/TillyTenWriter

blog tour · book blogger · Book Review

#Tour! #Review – The Wedding Girls -Kate Thompson (@katethompson380) @panmacmillan @jessduffyy

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Welcome to day two of the blog tour for Kate Thompson and ‘The Wedding Girls’, published on the 9th March 2017 by PanMacmillan. Huge thank you to Jess Duffy and PanMacmillan for asking me to be involved in the tour for such a beautiful looking book! On my stop today, I have a book review of ‘The Wedding Girls’, I hope you enjoy!

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If a wedding marks the first day of the rest of your life, then the story starts with the dress.

It’s 1936 and the streets of London’s East End are grimy and brutal, but in one corner of Bethnal Green it is forever Hollywood . . .

Herbie Taylor’s photography studio is nestled in the heart of bustling Green Street. Tomboy Stella and troubled Winnie work in Herbie’s studio; their best friend and hopeless romantic Kitty works next door as an apprentice dressmaker. All life passes through the studio, wishing to capture that perfect moment in time.

Kitty works tirelessly to create magical bridal gowns, but with each stitch she wonders if she’ll ever get a chance to wear a white dress. Stella and Winnie sprinkle a dusting of Hollywood glamour over happy newly-weds, but secretly dream of escaping the East End . . .

Community is strong on Green Street, but can it stand the ultimate test? As clouds of war brew on the horizon, danger looms over the East End. Will the Wedding Girls find their happy ever afters, before it’s too late?

What does TWG think?

You are probably aware of the wedding programs circulating on the television, programs like ‘Say Yes To The Dress’ and ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’, yes? So many beautiful dresses and family traditions appear on the screen in such a short space of time, but HOW exactly did those things (wedding dresses/traditions), become such an important factor of a wedding day? How did those traditions begin? And there’s the photographs, the important memory of a wedding day…yet one of the most difficult to perfect…

The year is 1936, three years before World War II, but circumstances in London aren’t exactly rosy, yet the residents of Green Street pride themselves in solidarity through the hard times. In ‘The Wedding Girls’ we follow a group of best friends, Kitty, Stella and Winnie as they go about their lives working with wedding dresses and wedding photographs. Despite 1936 being eighteen years after the first world war, poverty is rife throughout the city and families are living in buildings where the word ‘inhabitable’ is a severe understatement. ‘Auntie’ wants to take a stand against their living conditions, especially since Kitty’s world has fallen down around her; but is ‘Auntie’s’ stand too late? All three girls want to do something with their lives, make a difference and be able to live without looking over their shoulders constantly. Little do they know that situations in Bethnal Green aren’t going to become rosy anytime soon.

Over the past few weeks, my love for historical romance/saga novels has increased dramatically; yet I still felt a deep hunger for a certain extra something within the books. I just had no idea what it was I wanted the book to tell me, until now. As soon as I began reading ‘The Wedding Girls’, I just knew that I was going to love it and putting the book down to do adult things wasn’t going to be an option. The cover of the novel may be all serene and beautiful, yet the storyline absolutely blew my mind, showing me that there was A LOT more to ‘The Wedding Girls’ than I originally thought. From a historical point of view, the entire novel kept feeding my knowledge and made me feel as though I was transported back to 1936 in reality. Every description of living arrangements became vivid imagery within my mind, opening my eyes to how much we take things for granted nowadays. I loved learning about the history behind wedding dresses and the wedding photography, it was interesting to see how popular traditions today, have travelled through times and how important they were back then.

If you’re thinking that this book is going to be as sparkly as Randy from Say Yes To The Dress, you need to think again. Whilst it’s sparkly in terms of beauty, the storyline contains enough depth to rival ‘How Deep is Your Love’ by the Bee Gee’s. It’s deep and incredibly moving. Kate Thompson has kept the historical events the gritty, gruesome, devastating moments that they were in 1936; and for that, I applaud her. Kate Thompson hasn’t shied away from those heart breaking moments where people lost lives and poverty was more than eating one meal as opposed to a usual three course meal. Instead the author has taken those memorable parts of our history, written about them in a way which a lot of readers will understand and digest, as well as giving us readers the opportunity to open our eyes to our own countries history. Where do you think some of the items we have now came from? Don’t get me wrong, some parts of this novel was quite shocking to read as it was pretty vivid and so heart breaking. But, saying that, it’s easy for me to say that now purely reading about it when, unlike thousands of other people, I wasn’t alive when people were getting killed for being….there.

From a fictitious point of view, I feel bad saying that I loved the storyline due to the emotional value that it contains, but, I did love it. It really is a book that just keeps on giving, especially as all of the main characters (not just the three girls), brought their own individuality to the novel in ways I had never seen before. ‘The Wedding Girls’ really did make me think. Yes, learning about where the wedding traditions came from and how brides just wanted one day to feel their most beautiful, was truly interesting and such a fascinating read. However, what really grabbed my attention was the community spirit that the residents of Green Street had. They all knew each other, helped each other and loved each other to their last breath. If one person required their help then the whole street would be out in force to support that one person. It didn’t matter whether the person was working or whether they were minding their children at home; they all came together. The community spirit within ‘The Wedding Girls’ puts our community to shame ten times over. In 1936 they only really had the clothes on their backs but they had each other, multiple skills and enough warmth in their hearts to keep themselves, and each other, warm.

I am in awe at Kate Thompson’s research skills, attention to detail and her strength to tell a gut wrenching story in such a black and white way, staying true to the thousands of men and women who stood up for themselves and what they believed in. Kate Thompson has written a mind-blowing, emotional, and powerful novel which is destined to say in your heart and mind for a very, very long time.

If I could hug the author right now, I would. I could carry on shouting about this novel for ages if you let me, but I know that I can’t do that, so you’ll just have to read it yourself.

Full of extremely poignant moments, emotional circumstances and heart warming friendships, The Wedding Girls is a book not to be missed. A phenomenal, eye-opening read about dangers from way back when, The Wedding Girls will fill your heart and soul with enough spirit so you too could feel like you’re indestructible.

This is by far one of my most favourite books ever and Kate Thompson, you are a literary genius. Truly.

Thank you so much Jess Duffy & Panmacmillan.

Buy ‘The Wedding Girls’ now from Amazon

blog tour · book blogger · Book Review

#Review – The Silent Wife by Kerry Fisher (@kerryfswayne) @bookouture #blogtour

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How the bookmark are we in March already!?! Cor blimey! Today is the last day of Kerry Fisher’s blog tour and what a cracker of a tour it has been, just LOOK at the bloggers which have been involved! I am a HUGE fan of Kerry Fisher’s books, so when Kim from Bookouture asked me to be part of Kerry’s blog tour, I nearly bit off her hand saying yes. I am absolutely thrilled to be one of the two blog stops today, helping to round-up a page turning tour, for a page turning author. I have the pleasure of sharing my review for ‘The Silent Wife’, with you today, I hope you enjoy it! Big thanks to Bookouture for putting my quote on the blog tour banner, extremely honoured!

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(*Previously titled The Secrets of Second Wives*)

Blurb.

Would you risk everything for the man you loved? Even if you knew he’d done something terrible?

A heart wrenching and gripping tale. I was hooked from the very first page.’ Write Escape

Lara’s life looks perfect on the surface. Gorgeous doting husband Massimo, sweet little son Sandro and the perfect home. Lara knows something about Massimo. Something she can’t tell anyone else or everything Massimo has worked so hard for will be destroyed: his job, their reputation, their son. This secret is keeping Lara a prisoner in her marriage.

Maggie is married to Massimo’s brother Nico and lives with him and her troubled stepdaughter. She knows all of Nico’s darkest secrets – or so she thinks. The one day she discovers a letter in the attic which reveals a shocking secret about Nico’s first wife Caitlin. Will Maggie set the record straight or keep silent to protect those she loves?

For a family held together by lies, the truth will come at a devastating price.

What does TWG think?

Having LOVED Kerry Fisher’s previous novel, ‘After the Lie’, I couldn’t contain my excitement when I found out about her new novel; I really could not wait to get stuck into it.  Kerry Fisher, for me, had set the bar really high with ‘After the Lie’ and part of me did wonder how she was going to top my reaction to that novel, with this storyline. By golly, she did it though. Oh.My.Word. WHAT A BOOK! The speed at which my heart was racing throughout the entire novel was concerning; I’m surprised I didn’t faint! There was no time for me to compose myself from the moment I started reading, well, unless I put the book down and who on earth would want to do that?

Have you ever spotted a family and based on impressions and basic information (job status, house etc), thought of them as a ‘perfect family’? We have all done it; if we don’t do it to Joe Bloggs down the street, we take celebrities lifestyles as perfect…from the outside anyway. Lara and Massimo are THAT type of family; husband with a good job, wife ‘manning’ the house and childcare arrangements, beautiful house and the lifestyle to rival the Beckhams. Oh how looks can be deceiving eh! Massimo’s brother, Nico, has a new wife and seeing as she hasn’t been involved with the families shortcomings or questionable ‘caring’, her opinions are a little less…conceited.

By Maggie entering the family via marriage to Nico, she has a lot to prove to an already established family with many skeletons in their closet; and nobody likes being the new girl. The storyline really got going after the second chapter; introductions to the characters had been made and questionable circumstances were being highlighted. To be honest, ‘questionable’ is a little bit of an understatement! The amount of hair-raising and sweaty palm (nice!) moments that this book contained is outstanding. No matter how hard I tried I could not get one step ahead of the storyline, I had absolutely no idea what the outcome was going to be.

When bits and pieces started to connect and the true depth of the storyline was revealed, my heart was pounding and I felt incredibly sick. So much was going through my mind (if I told you it’d be spoilers, obviously) since a couple of the characters wanted to raise various alarms and my hands felt as though they were tied, I couldn’t help, all I could do was…’watch’.

Maggie started off as the new girl and ended up becoming the ultimate heroine, a change in title that had me in tears and I have no idea why.

The Silent Wife is a novel that will keep you on your toes and on high alert, the entire way through. Reading Kerry Fisher’s new book will take you on a journey of fear and secrets, and will have emotions pouring out of you in various different ways, without you even realising it.

A compelling, chilling and heart pounding read which will take you on a rollercoaster ride you’ll never want to leave. Phenomenally written and undeniably powerful, Kerry Fisher has done it yet again; not only has ‘The Secret Wife’ become my favourite book of Kerry’s, it has also become one of my all time favourite books. absolutely outstanding, is there no end to this authors talents?! Next book please!!

Thank you Bookouture!

Buy ‘The Silent Wife’ by Kerry Fisher – Amazon

book blogger · cover reveal · real life

#CoverReveal! ‘It Started With A List’ by @LindseyPaley1 #ebook #bookboost #romcom

Whoop!!! Absolutely thrilled to be able to share with you yet another cover reveal! Today’s cover reveal is for the lovely Lindsey Paley and ‘It Started With A List’. Here is a little bit more about the book:

When life delivers lemons, make a list!

Even better, make three!

Becky Mathews is obsessed with making lists – she has a daily ‘To Do’ list, a Wish List and a meticulously researched Bucket List to end all lists. She loves to be organised and her favourite kind of day is when she can strike an item from one of her lists. But all her avid list-making has got her so far is an ex-husband and a tiny flat in Hammersmith. And now she’s lost her job!
Can Becky learn to ditch her lists and fly solo – without a safety net?

It Started With A List is a romantic comedy that will warm your heart and maybe deliver a few golden coins of happiness…

If you’re a fan of making lists AND romantic comedies, then this book might just be up your street! You ready to see the cover? Of course you are….

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Oh!! Isn’t it just a beauty?!

If you fancy getting your hands on a copy of this beautiful book, you can head to Amazon now! Enjoy!

book blogger · Book Review

#Review Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop @janelinfoot @RNAtweets #TuesNews @harperimpulse

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Blurb.

The snow is falling around Brides by the Sea, Cornwall’s cutest little wedding shop, and wedding dress designer Seraphina East is in her cosy studio designing exquisite dresses to make even the most demanding bride’s dreams come true.

Unless the bride is her big sister Alice of course. Saying that the two sisters don’t always see eye to eye is an understatement. Alice hasn’t even asked Sera to design her wedding dress. But when an absent groom and ill-fitting dress threaten to ruin Alice’s happiness let alone her big day, Sera’s determined to give her sister the winter wedding of her dreams – even if that means keeping not one but two irresistibly gorgeous best men under control…

Is Sera going to end up being the maid of dishonour…Or will repairing her frozen relationship with Alice be the icing on the wedding cake?

What does TWG think?

If you have ever been under the impression that weddings flow nicely without any glitches, Jane Linfoot’s book will change that impression in seconds! Where weddings are concerned, there is usually something quite not right. Well, in the brides eyes anyway. Every bride dreams of their perfect day and how it will all be plain sailing. In reality, a bridezilla swaps places with the bride and those in the wedding party end up mirroring a nodding dog! Wait…have I been watching too much ‘Say Yes To The Dress’ and ‘Bridezillas’?

I haven’t, honestly!
Sera designs wedding dresses, exquisite ones in fact. The thing is, her family doesn’t quite know that that is what she does for a living. The thing is, Sera’s sister, Alice, is getting married and it looks like Alice will NOT be wearing one of her sisters designs. The two sisters are like chalk and cheese; one goes with the flow yet the other one organises the coordinates of how to do just that. As soon as I realised how different the sisters were, I expected fireworks as Alice certainly knew her own mind. Not only that, she wasn’t afraid to let people know what she wanted, as well as making those around her cater to her ever whim. Alice’s juvenility bugged me a little bit as all I could see in my mind was a temper tantrum!

Jane’s description of the wedding shop was absolutely stunning. I have never walked into a wedding shop myself, but after reading ‘Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop’, I feel as though I have stepped over the threshold.

Deep down, I thought that ‘Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop’ was going to be a candyfloss type of book; rather fluffy and sweet. Most of it wasn’t! I was pleasantly surprised when the storyline took a different turn, as it left me wondering whether there would actually be a wedding! The wedding party’s antics had me giggling; absolutely hilarious! It was quite clear with the on point one liners, that Jane has a fabulous sense of humour; for me, that made the book come alive. Jane has passed her humour onto her characters which in turn gave them an exceptional amount of depth.

All of the characters had their own individual quirks and some of their mannerisms had me frowning, but I can honestly say that I loved each and every character in this book. Such a mixture of personalities.

I only have one critique about this book; I felt at times that the storyline became too fluffy and a bit difficult to gel with. However, as that is my own personal opinion and I have a nickname of being an Ice Queen, I wouldn’t read too much into that! I preferred the storyline when it had more substances to it (which it did end up with!).

Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop is a truly heart-warming, cosy, and beautiful book that you are just guaranteed to fall in love with.

Thank you Jane!

Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop is available to buy now from Amazon UK

book blogger · cover reveal · Uncategorized

#coverreveal! Secrets We Keep by Faith Hogan (@GerHogan) @Aria_Fiction

Two cover reveals in two days, how exciting!! Now, I am sure a lot of you have heard of this author and/or read her first novel; if you haven’t, you can find my review of her debut novel here: #Review! My Husband’s Wives by Faith Hogan (@GerHogan) @Aria_Fiction #AriaAddict.

Today I get to help reveal the cover of her next novel, Secrets We Keep, and it is a stunner!! Ready??

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Blurb
Two distant relatives, drawn together in companionship are forced to confront their pasts and learn that some people are good at keeping secrets and some secrets are never meant to be kept. A bittersweet story of love, loss and life. Perfect for the fans of Patricia Scanlan and Adele Parks.
The beautiful old Bath House in Ballytokeep has lain empty and abandoned for decades. For devoted pensioners Archie and Iris, it holds too many conflicting memories of their adolescent dalliances and tragic consequences – sometimes it’s better to leave the past where it belongs.
For highflying, top London divorce lawyer Kate Hunt, it’s a fresh start – maybe even her future. On a winter visit to see her estranged Aunt Iris she falls in love with the Bath House. Inspired, she moves to Ballytokeep leaving her past heartache 600 miles away – but can you ever escape your past or your destiny?

Cannot wait to read this, sounds and looks incredible! The Amazon link is below if you fancy pre-ordering it!!

Links to buy:

Amazon:
Kobo
iBooks
Google Play

About the author

Faith lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and two very fussy cats. She has an Hons Degree in English Literature and Psychology, has worked as a fashion model and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector.

Follow Faith Hogan

Facebook: @FaithHoganAuthor
Twitter: @GerHogan
Instagram: @FaithHoganAuthor
Website: http://www.faithhogan.com

book blogger · Book Review

#Review of The Gift by Louise Jensen (@Fab_fiction) @Bookouture #psychologicalthriller

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Blurb.

The perfect daughter. The perfect girlfriend. The perfect murder?

Jenna is given another shot at life when she receives a donor heart from a girl called Callie. Eternally grateful to Callie and her family, Jenna gets closer to them, but she soon discovers that Callie’s perfect family is hiding some very dark secrets …

Callie’s parents are grieving, yet Jenna knows they’re only telling her half the story. Where is Callie’s sister Sophie? She’s been ‘abroad’ since her sister’s death but something about her absence doesn’t add up. And when Jenna meets Callie’s boyfriend Nathan, she makes a shocking discovery.

Jenna knows that Callie didn’t die in an accident. But how did she die? Jenna is determined to discover the truth but it could cost her everything; her loved ones, her sanity, even her life.

What does TWG think?

Number 1 best selling author, Louise Jensen, is BACK! Earlier this year (July to be precise), Louise wowed readers and critics alike with her debut novel, The Sister, accumulating a whopping 702 5* reviews on Amazon UK (figure correct as of 14/12/16)! After the incredible success of ‘The Sister’, readers (including myself) were eagerly awaiting publication of her second novel, ‘The Gift’. Well ladies and gentleman, fear not as publication day is a mere TWO DAYS AWAY! Bookouture and Louise Jensen are all set to release our Christmas present this year on the 16th December, ‘The Gift’. Luckily for me, I was able to get my hands on this highly anticipated second novel before publication day, and wow what a book it is.
If you have ever had a book in your hand that you were rather eager to read, you will probably be able to resonate with what I am going to say next…
I cursed, well, as much as I could with a three year old. I’m just thankful she isn’t a mind-reader put it that way. I didn’t curse at the book. I cursed at the fact I had to be a grown up and do ADULT things, how unfair is that? I cursed at every day life being a pain in the, ahem, as all I wanted to do was READ THIS BLOOMIN BOOK!!!! Every spare moment I had (or had made spare on purpose), my nose was buried in Louise’s gripping and heart pounding words. I’m sure you have worked it out by now; yes, I was absolutely hooked…from the very first page too, no lie. Every word on the page was laced with hidden truths, secrets and copious amounts of fear. Never have I ever experience a storyline to pull me in, make me sweat and have me jumping around my house as though I was on a pogo stick, like ‘The Gift’.

Usually in my reviews I summarise the book in a very basic way; I’m not going to this time as you need to read it all yourself without anyone feeding you anything. Why? Well, why not? ‘The Gift’ has such a jam packed storyline with such prickly characters; it was exceptionally difficult to work out who was being genuine and who was not.  I read through the book feeling all smug with a ‘hah, I know what’s going to happen’ type attitude thinking that I KNEW. Put it this way, I didn’t know. Every single character took turns in wiping the smug look off my face, leaving me completely powerless to their actions, and the actions of the storyline. I surrendered to ‘The Gift’. I surrendered to Jenna’s beliefs. I surrendered to Louise Jensen’s trapping words. I couldn’t move and I couldn’t think about anything else except the storyline in front of me. Just, wow.

As well as the hair raising aspects of the novel, Louise Jensen has covered such an interesting subject within the storyline. that makes for excellent and mind-blowing reading. I had no idea that that particular topic even existed and I was absolutely fascinated by it. Top marks to Louise for incorporating that into the book as I am positive it’ll be a talking point fairly soon.

I am truly amazed at the work of art that is ‘The Gift’, as it is very cleverly written and completely exceeded my expectations; times ten. I could go on and on about how brilliant I think this book is, but there is only so many times that I can say ‘OMG I LOVE IT’, because I do. You just need to trust me on what I’ve said and go and pre-order it right now, you really do.

‘The Gift’ is literally a head-funk in a book, mixed with betrayal, skin prickling moments and enough intensity to leave you questioning everything; even your own name. It is definitely a book NOT to be missed.
Louise has outdone herself with this AMAZING book, it truly is outstanding on so many levels.
So outstanding in fact I would like to say that:

Louise Jensen’s ‘The Gift’ blew me away so much, it is officially…..

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Yep! ‘The Gift’ has jumped over A LOT of books and is sitting pretty at my most favourite psychological thriller of all time. Wow, just….wow.
(Louise, you can take the pic fyi).

Thank you Bookouture for giving me the opportunity.

‘The Gift’ by Louise Jensen will be released on the 16th December 2016. However, you can pre-order it right now from: Amazon UK

 

 

book blogger · Book Review

#Review of Christmas at The Little Knitting Box by @HJRolfe @RNATweets #tuesnews #RNA

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Blurb.

Christmas is coming and New York is in full swing for the snowy season. But at The Little Knitting Box in the West Village, things are about to change …

The Little Knitting Box has been in Cleo’s family for nearly four decades, and since she arrived fresh off the plane from the Cotswolds four years ago, Cleo has been doing a stellar job of running the store. But instead of an early Christmas card in the mail this year, she gets a letter that tips her world on its axis.
Dylan has had a tumultuous few years. His marriage broke down, his mother passed away and he’s been trying to pick up the pieces as a stay-at-home dad. All he wants this Christmas is to give his kids the home and stability they need. But when he meets Cleo at a party one night, he begins to see it’s not always so easy to move on and pick up the pieces, especially when his ex seems determined to win him back.
When the snow starts to fall in New York City, both Cleo and Dylan realise life is rarely so black and white and both of them have choices to make. Will Dylan follow his heart or his head? And will Cleo ever allow herself to be a part of another family when her own fell apart at the seams?

What does TWG think?

Have you ever fallen so in love with book that you feel a loss when it ends? Have you ever fallen so in love with a book that the entire thing just felt…right? I have. I was really excited to read Helen’s new book even before it was released (I will explain why shortly), so when I had the added bonus of falling in love with the storyline and the characters, I just knew I had to shout loud and proud about this one.

To Cleo, The Little Knitting Box is everything. It’s her safety net, her lifeline and the place where she can fill her heart with memories of her family as she works. Just as Cleo feels settled, something is about to threaten The Little Knitting Box’s livelihood..

One of the reasons why I was bouncing around like a lunatic before the book was released, was because Helen had created a character…with MY name! Oh yes folks, The Little Knitting Box has a character in it called Kaisha! Even though I knew my name would crop up, I still felt quite emotional seeing it in black and white. Absolutely surreal. I was already beginning to feel involved in Cleo’s life myself, then my character doppelgänger turned up and was also involved in Cleo’s life! Yes, the character has my name, but despite that, the way that she was written into the storyline with such feistiness and bolshiness, Kaisha quickly became one of my favourites.

As Helen was describing The Knitting Box interior with such attention to detail, I felt like I was walking around the shop myself. Every feature she described, I could see it. Every smell she described, I began to smell it. Everything. That may sound daft but it is true. Such beautiful descriptions of such memorable features; if this was an actual shop in my town, I would be living in it, mark my words!

The storyline goes between Cleo’s life, and Dylan’s life. Unfortunately, we meet Dylan at a very sad time in his life, and people around him seem to be using that to his advantage. His naivety was a little questionable at times, but it was a joy to see Dylan grow as a character throughout the book. By the end of the story, my opinion had changed as I had gotten to see a different side of him and get to know him much better. The only way that I can describe Dylan would be; ‘teddy bear’, you’ll see why in the story!

It’s not often I say this but I really would love to see this storyline carry on into another book. Whilst the ending wasn’t left unfinished, it still has been left with room to expand due to where the characters are in their lives at the end of the book. For me, the book just stopped. I wanted to know more and I am really hoping that Helen does make it into a series because it is such a beautiful book. Every single thing was…perfect. I felt like I was opening a present as I turned each page and read the magically words in front of me.

Christmas at The Little Knitting Box has gotten under my skin in ways I never thought were possible. I feel like have lost something due to finishing the book, crazy huh?
Helen Rolfe has written such a warm and cosy read, which will fill your heart with sheer joy from first page to the last. I ended the book feeling as though I had gained a lot of new friends, and there is no doubt in my mind that you will feel that too.

Beautiful, magical and incredibly moving; Christmas at The Little Knitting Box is a book that keeps on giving. Easily one of my favourite books, ever.

You too can buy a piece of Christmas magic from Amazon UK, enjoy!

blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · guest spotlight · real life

#Review & #Q+A for @lucy_dillon #AllIEverWanted #BlogTour! @HodderBooks @HodderPublicity

lucydillon-squeal-! I am unbelievably honoured, and thrilled to be on Lucy Dillon’s blog tour for her newest release, ‘All I Ever Wanted’! Seeing as today is the last stop on the tour (thank you Hodder Books for trusting me with this), not only am I bringing you a review, I was given the opportunity to interview Lucy. As you can tell, I am extremely excited about being involved with this, lets start shall we? First up is my review, enjoy!

lucydillon1Blurb.

Caitlin’s life is a mess. Her marriage to a man everyone else thinks is perfect has collapsed, along with her self-esteem, and breaking free seems the only option.

Nancy, her four-year-old daughter, used to talk all the time; in the car, at nursery, to her brother Joel. Then her parents split up. Her daddy moves out. And Nancy stops speaking.

Nancy’s Auntie Eva, recently widowed and feeling alone, apart from the companionship of two bewildered pugs, is facing a future without her husband or the dreams she gave up for him.

But when Eva agrees to host her niece and nephew once a fortnight, Caitlin and Eva are made to face the different truths about their marriages – and about what they both really want . . .

What does TWG think?

Being only four years old, Nancy has properly found her voice. She loves talking and singing everywhere and anywhere she can. But then one day, Nancy’s sweet little songs and sweet little voice are no longer heard. She has stopped speaking; nothing her mum, Caitlin, does can get her to talk, or sing. Can Caitlin and Patrick put their issues aside, and get to the bottom of the sudden silence with their daughter?

Despite the fact that most of the book revolves around Caitlin and Patrick’s troubles, the storyline also dives into Patrick’s sister, Eva’s life, giving us a bit of a breather from bad choices and one sided decisions! I know that I am not alone when I say this, but Caitlin and Patrick got my back up quite a few times whilst I was reading the book. Even though they were adamant that they knew where their priorities lay, it was very clear by their actions who they were truly thinking about; themselves. It did seem to take a while for the penny to drop with them both and for each of them to realise that when children are involved, things are based on their happiness and wellbeing foremost, not theirs.

Caitlin came across as a rather self-centered character. She wanted to be around her children yet her personal antics seemed to take over, lowering the order of her priorities. My heart went out to Nancy and her brother, Joel, on many occasions. Their life had just been turned upside down and were too young to fully understand why. I did get very involved in the storyline, I mean, how couldn’t I? It was a book that I just couldn’t put down, even if I wanted to.

I really did enjoy it when the storyline switched over to Eva and her life for a little bit, especially when we got to delve into her life a bit more! Put it this way, there seemed to be a lot of skeletons in Eva’s closets, some of which she didn’t know about! Eva’s character seemed to play a vital role in the storyline, one that I didn’t really see coming. She most definitely turned into the Fairy Godmother of the book in my eyes.

‘All I Ever Wanted’ is a story about the effects of separation foremost, trust and being true to yourself. The entire storyline covers A LOT of ground and can easily be associated with a treasure chest. Every single page had a special edge to it; whether it was in an emotional way or a situation was cleverly written, it just highlights the fact that Lucy Dillon has written a truly fantastic book. Yes, a couple of the characters were rather frustrating and got under my skin but hats off to Lucy for writing characters like that. I must admit, I did find the Nancy situation emotional, it tugged at my heartstrings and my maternal instinct came out.

A truly special, heart-warming book that will stay in your mind for a long while afterwards. Beautiful.

Thank you Hodder Books!

All I Ever Wanted by Lucy Dillon can be bought from Amazon

TWG Interviews Lucy Dillon!

Never in a million years did I ever think I would get the opportunity to interview THE Lucy Dillon. But I did! I think I interrogated her a little bit too, sorry Lucy haha!

Thank you Lucy for taking the time to answer my questions!

TWG:  You are an incredibly popular author, but, for those that aren’t overly familiar with your work, could you tell us a bit about your background please?

Hello! That’s a very nice way to start… 🙂 I’ve written seven novels, all set in the small town of Longhampton, All of them deal with love, secrets, families, losses, life, the therapeutic magic of a long walk and tea, and usually dogs.

TWG: The very first book of yours I bought was ‘A Hundred Pieces Of Me’, the title resonated with me before I had even begun reading. Out of all of your books, including your new one, which one can you relate to the most?

Probably A Hundred Pieces of Me: like Gina, and like most people, I’ve had to confront the ‘how long should I keep university birthday cards?’ dilemma – when I had my house renovated and had to put everything I owned into storage, and then unpack it, room by room, I realised a lot of my life was defined by ‘stuff’, and that it was about time to work out what was important, both in terms of physical possessions, and also dreams and memories I’d hoarded away too. It was hard to write, but quite cathartic!

TWG: Are there any of your books that you find quite difficult to write, in terms of emotion or intensity?

There are always at least a couple of chapters in every book that I find hard to write, but that’s how it should be: the moments when the characters are reaching deep into their own hearts to confront their fears or hopes should take the reader (and the writer!) to those places and make us feel that same emotion. I try to imagine how I would feel if I was in my character’s shoes – A Hundred Pieces of Me was particularly heartbreaking because while I was writing the final chapters, my mum, like Gina, was diagnosed with breast cancer, and it suddenly all became very real.

TWG: I am aware that your book catalogue is quite large, congratulations! Looking back through your catalogue of books, do you wish that you could have done anything different?

I’d probably change something about every book! I won’t say what though because then you’ll just read them and think, ‘Hmm, yes, maybe she should have done…’ But I would definitely have added a postscript to the end of One Small Act of Kindness to say, FIDO IS FINE. (Cryptic. But people who’ve read it will know!)

TWG: I could be clutching at straws here so do forgive me if I am, but, I have noticed that your book covers all have one thing in common, aside from your name obviously! They all have a ‘person’ on the front, is there a particular reason for that? Does the ‘person’ signify you, or am I like I said, clutching at straws?

I think that’s a great design decision from Hodder! I love the idea of the big sky and the small person – to me, it sums up both that feeling you sometimes have of being really small and vulnerable, and at the same time, the tremendous freedom that sweeps over you when you’ve faced up to your problems, and the world’s one big opportunity again.

TWG: What is your plan of action when it comes to starting a new book? Do you have a set way of preparing?

I make lots of notes, think about the characters, apply the idea of the Three Act Structure to my ideas… and then start writing and watch it all go out of the window.

TWG: I ask this question to all of the authors I am lucky enough to interview, purely because I’m nosy! What were your favourite books when you were a child?

I was – sorry, this makes me sound like a real nerd – a big fan of Greek and Roman mythology. I loved the creative madness of it all, particularly the punishments! From the age of about four, I read anything I could get my hands on, from Enid Blyton and Arthur Conan Doyle to plenty of stuff I shouldn’t have been able to get my hands on, like The Thorn Birds and Jilly Cooper.



 TWG: Could you see yourself writing a different genre? It seems as though a few authors change between two genres, is that something you would do?

I’d love to, but I’m not sure I could – my writing always seems to come out one way. But you never know! Sometimes you get an idea and it shapes everything else, so my cybercrime novel might make an appearance yet…

TWG: You have a new book coming out called ‘All I Ever Wanted’, massive congratulations to you. I was lucky enough to read an early copy and it is fantastically emotional. How did the storyline for the book come about? Was it a hard book to write?

I wanted to write a story about motherhood that everyone would be able to relate to in some way – whether it’s being a parent, with all the worries and delights that children bring into your life, or not being a parent, and having to deal with the way society regards childless women, as well as the feelings of regret or relief it might trigger inside. It was hard to balance everything up – obviously there’s no ‘right’ answer to any of those questions, and I didn’t want to make it seem as if I thought there was! – and the struggles both Caitlin and Eva go through the course of the book are quite emotional. And of course, Nancy’s story was pretty heartbreaking to write – I hate letting bad things happen to characters, but you know, you have to….

TWG: I am going to ask this question rather vaguely as to not give anything away to the readers, so hopefully you’ll know what I’m on about! But, little Nancy in the book will no doubt be a character who a lot of people will remember afterwards. Her situation is rather heart wrenching, where did the inspiration for her character begin?

From several places, but initially from watching small children interact with my dogs. My basset hounds were big, black, strong dogs – quite scary, you’d imagine, for children – but they were incredibly gentle with little ones, who always made a bee line for them. They seemed to ‘read’ each other’s body language instinctively, unlike adult humans with our often clumsy expressions. I wondered how it would be if someone who didn’t have much experience with children, but who’d spent many silent hours with her pugs, one of the most expressive breeds, might cope with a child who wouldn’t speak – and the trust that might build up without words. It’s hard to lie to a dog: they read us so well!

11. One last question; what are your plans for 2017? Can we look forward to more books? Any book events (Edinburgh cough)? Any exclusives?

I’m deep into my new book right now – exclusive reveal: it contains knitting! And family secrets! – and although I don’t have any specific plans for book events in Edinburgh, my boyfriend hails from the ice cream nirvana that is Largs, so I’ll doubtless be sneaking into the bookshops of Scotland to rearrange the stock before long.
And thank you for such interesting questions! I’m really glad you enjoyed the story, and for having me on the blog today. 🙂


Big
thank you to Lucy for answering my interrogation! I look forward to reading your next book!! I hope you all enjoyed reading the review and interview, thank you for popping by on the last stop of Lucy’s blog tour for ‘All I Ever Wanted’, published by HodderBooks!

book blogger · Book Review · Uncategorized

#Review! Holiday with the Mystery Italian by @EllieDarkins #HarlequinRomance @millsandboon

mi
Blurb.

Since the accident that paralyzed him, Italian tycoon Mauro Evans vowed to embrace life. So when he stars in a dating show for charity, picking prickly journalist Amber Harris as the winner to take on holiday is a challenge he can’t resist!

In Amber’s experience, relationships equal pain, so she’s determined to ignore her attraction to charismatic Mauro. But his bravery and strength threaten to tear down her defences, giving her a new Christmas dreamringing in the New Year with wedding bells!

What does TWG think?

First of all, happy publication day to Ellie Darkins! Holiday with the Mystery Italian is available in e-book from today!

You know when you were a youngster and you’d see books that you really wanted to read, but they were classed as ‘forbidden’ reads? By forbidden I mean…books that probably wouldn’t have been suitable for a six-year-old to read. Curiosity is bound to peak, naturally. However, it only recently dawned on me that I am no longer a six year old, and that those books are no longer ‘forbidden’. Wahey!! As soon as Ellie Darkins mentioned her book, I caved. I just had to finally get my hands on one of these books!

I will describe this book in one word; FIRECRACKER. Seriously, someone turn down the heat cos I’m about to melt!
Despite Mauro’s life limitations, he just wants to enjoy his life and embrace it as much as he can. He has the opportunity to be part of a dating show for charity and he gives himself a challenge with a fusspot named Amber. The thing is, Amber doesn’t want to give into temptation so the harder she fights against it, the stronger the lust bangs on her door…

He likes her and she likes him, what’s the problem? WELL, seeing as one of the characters is like a walking check list of things she doesn’t want or like in a man, it proves rather difficult to marry Mauro and Amber off.
Yes, I spent most of the book going ‘oh come on, get it onnnnn!’, because you know, that’s totally what us adults do, ahem. They both seemed to enjoy the chase, but Amber seemed to be more set in her ways than Mauro, and took a while to warm up to the concept of embracing life.

The storyline itself was fabulous, cosy setting, sizzling attraction yet oodles of emotion. I didn’t have any idea what to expect before I read this book, but it most certainly surprised me in such a positive way. Not only was the storyline cosy, it was also really well written. I thought that the two characters antics came across as very realistic, relatable and not at all farfetched.

Even thought this book was the first ever Harlequin Romance I had ever read, after reading Ellie Darkins’ beautiful and spine tingling writing, it most definitely will not be my last book from this genre. Wowza.

Thank you Ellie.

Holiday with the Mystery Italian by Ellie Darkins, is available to buy now from Amazon