Guess who’s back, back again…TWG is! Review of ‘Saving Sophie’ by Sam Carrington.

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Blurb.

A teenage girl is missing. Is your daughter involved, or is she next?
Your daughter is in danger. But can you trust her?
When Karen Finch’s seventeen-year-old daughter Sophie arrives home after a night out, drunk and accompanied by police officers, no one is smiling the morning after. But Sophie remembers nothing about how she got into such a state.
Twelve hours later, Sophie’s friend Amy has still not returned home. Then the body of a young woman is found.
Karen is sure that Sophie knows more than she is letting on. But Karen has her own demons to fight. She struggles to go beyond her own door without a panic attack.
As she becomes convinced that Sophie is not only involved but also in danger, Karen must confront her own anxieties to stop whoever killed one young girl moving on to another – Sophie.

What does TWG think?

Do you remember, last Wednesday, TWG being involved in the cover reveal for ‘Saving Sophie’? Remember me saying that I absolutely could NOT wait to read it? Well, I wasn’t lying. In fact, ‘Saving Sophie’ hopped, skipped, jumped and flew over all of  the other books in my TBR pile. I started reading it last night, and finished it today (thank you to Sam for giving me the ARC).

So what DID I think of the book? One word. WOW. ‘Saving Sophie’ is in the genre of ‘psychological thriller’ which I am sure you guessed by the blurb! Oh my, it definitely fits within that genre no bother!
Sophie went for a night out with her group of friends just like any other seventeen year old I would imagine. A night of fun, laughs and being able to remember everything the next day, you know, good memories…right? WRONG. Sophie arrived home in no fit state accompanied by police officers. Now there is drunk, and then there’s Sophie. Her mum,  Karen, has had her own fair share of issues in the past which have left her with a severe bout of anxiety and then some. The only thing she can rely on to calm her down is her trusty paper bag.
Karen had a feeling, a bad feeling, that there was more to Sophie’s situation than was being let on by her or Sophie’s friends. But what was it? Why did Karen have a sinking feeling about that night Sophie went out? Why couldn’t Sophie remember anything about what happened? If she couldn’t remember anything then she shouldn’t be feeling guilty….or should she?

To be honest, I think Avon Books should package every paperback copy of ‘Saving Sophie’ with its own paper bag. By golly you would need it! Every time Karen went to use her paper bag to calm herself down and regulate her breathing because of her anxiety, in my head I was going ‘SHARE IT!!!!’. But she wouldn’t share her bag :(. I’m pretty sure I spent most of the book feeling as though my heart was pounding out of my chest. I don’t think I even remember breathing much to be honest. I must have done, obviously.

I was absolutely hooked on every single word that was written. The whole book was laced with spine tingling tension which made goose bumps put up tents on my arms. I had no idea what the outcome would be, despite the fact that there were  a lot of situations happening that made me think ‘could it be?’. Sam Carrington has written the book from three characters eyes as it were; Karen’s, Sophie’s and the police. I thought that was a very bold move as sometimes when books go between character views, the storyline can get a bit lost and confusing. Lost and confusing are not the words that I would use to describe what Sam did, no way. Sensationally gripping, are the words that I am going to use. Seeing certain events unfold from a different characters perspective gave the book even more depth and I was able to see the situation from another side. Every story has two sides to it.I took a bit of time gelling with Sophie’s character. I found her to be quite a cold person (at first). It worked though!

At about 80% of the way through (Kindle), it was as if I wasn’t reading. I was moving the pages along on my kindle like you do flicking through an Argos book as a child, at Christmas. Extremely fast. I was in shock, my heart was pounding, I HAD to find out what had happened that night. I couldn’t put the book down, I didn’t WANT to put the book down. I couldn’t believe what was unfolding in front of my very eyes, I was actually shaking as I continued reading. Many times I felt as though Sam had pulled me into the book herself and made me a spectator.

‘Saving Sophie’ is a book that will leave you having to physically compose yourself after reading it. I was exhausted because of the emotions that I had felt whilst reading the book, all down to Sam Carrington’s mind-blowing writing.If you want to read a book that will make you question every little thing, make your mouth incredibly dry after leaving it wide open whilst reading, then this is the book for you. If you want to read a book that makes you sit on the edge of your chair, with arms covered in goosebumps, then this book is for you.

Gripping and chilling from the onset;  ‘Saving Sophie’ will have you anxiously spellbound. An unbelievable debut from Sam Carrington. I most certainly will be sleeping with the light on tonight! Incredible read, here’s to book two (you’ve set the bar high for yourself now Sam!).

‘Saving Sophie’ by Sam Carrington, published by Avon, is released in E-book format on the 12th August 2016 and can be pre-ordered HERE.
The paperback copy is set for release in December 2016 and can be pre-ordered HERE.

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#Blogtour – The Stepmother by Claire Seeber.

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The Blurb.

The perfect wife. A fairytale family. Don’t believe your eyes…

Jeanie and Matthew are a happily married couple who both have teenage children from previous relationships. No one said it would be easy to raise a blended family under one roof but Jeanie and Matthew are strong. They will make it work.
And whilst Jeanie’s step-daughter Scarlett rejects her, Jeanie will just have to try harder to win her over.

But Jeanie has a past. A terrible secret she thought she’d buried a long time ago. And now, it’s coming to the surface, threatening to destroy her new marriage.
Someone is playing a terrifying game on Jeanie and she must put a stop to it once and for all.
After all, a fairytale needs a happy ending…doesn’t it?

A compelling, dark and twisty psychological thriller.’

TWG’s Thoughts.

I am extremely honoured to have been asked by Bookouture publicity manager, Kim Nash, to be part of Claire’s tour! Thank you Kim!

Seriously, WHY is this the first book of Claire’s that I have read? Why didn’t I come across her books sooner?!
We all wish for our own fairytale ending don’t we? We meet a person, fall in love, get a cosy little house together, have children and everything is hunky dory….yes? But imagine this scenario; boy meets girl, girl has child and boy has two children, girl has a past and so does the boy, both pasts are unknown to the other person before marriage. That scenario is grounds for a fairytale ending as well, isn’t it? I mean, joining two ready-made families together to create one big happy family is going to have the standard everyday struggles. Children bickering, ex-partner’s showing up all the time, a house with a history, random rooms….you know, those sorts of struggles….

Before you start reading this book, clear your diary, unplug your phone and ignore life demands. Why? Because you cannot, under any circumstance, be disturbed whilst reading it. I’m saying that from experience as when I was reading it, I nearly let my family walk around the house in the buff as I wanted to keep reading instead of doing the washing!
‘The Stepmother’ had all my vitals raised. My heart was pounding, my breathing was erratic and I was absolutely HOOKED on every single word that Claire had written. Every single page had me wanting more. Reading the book felt like opening Mary Poppin’s bag. Never ending and kept on giving. A treasure chest if you will.

Usually I find in some books that the main character has the most depth and the other characters are memorable but not as complex. With this book, it wasn’t the case at all. Not only does the Jeanie have a past, a very complex past, every main character does too. I thought it was incredibly clever to have such a dark and mysterious book containing many characters with such depth.  I am in awe of Claire for how she has managed to write all of that without any flaws. There were no gaps in the story at all. Many times I found myself thinking I knew where the story was heading and who did what, but every single time I was wrong! As I read more of the book, other circumstances became more apparent and to me, it seemed as though enough clues were there to back up that particular circumstance. Things aren’t always as they seem…

This book had me in a constant state of shock; gasping became my knee jerk reaction, as did covering my mouth. I have never read a book that made me feel as though I would be missing out on vital information if I stopped reading, until this one. Don’t get me wrong, I began questioning myself and feeling like I was the one causing the trouble for Jeannie, but that just goes to show how captivated by the storyline I was!
I cannot fault this book at all, well, apart from the obvious fact that it had to end (how rude!). When I finished reading ‘The Stepmother’, I was physically exhausted by the ride I had just been on with Jeannie and her family. But then, shortly after, I began to grieve for the book that I had just read! I would have carried on reading it if I had the chance.

The Stepmother by Claire Seeber is an absolute MUST READ. Such a gripping story that will leave you guessing the whole way through. A book that keeps on giving. Just when you think it can’t get any better than it already is, oh it definitely does! I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book if you couldn’t tell that already. It is definitely my favourite book of 2016 SO FAR. Terrifyingly brilliant from start to finish.
I cannot wait to find out what Claire’s next book will be about!

Claire Seeber, you are a literary genius. I am in complete awe of your work as you have written a truly magnificent book. Thank you.

The Stepmother is available to buy right now from:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

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Claire Seeber’s TV career has seen her move from in front of the camera to behind it, and from MTV, to  chatshows, to documentaries. Her work has taken her all over the world, but home is in London with her partner and two children. Claire writes features for a range of broadsheets, last year began studying psychology, and has had four novels published by HarperCollins.

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