Day #2 of the #ThisLittleDarkPlace #blogtour – author A.S.Hatch (@andrewshatch) gets interrogated by #TWG! @serpentstail

Thank you so much to SerpentsTail for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘This Little Dark Place’ by A.S.Hatch. For my stop on the tour today, I have been given the opportunity to interrogate.. ahem, interview A.S.Hatch. Before you get yourself comfortable, here is a little bit more about the book, as well as the all important purchase link. Enjoy!

How well do you know your girlfriend?

How well do you know your lover?

How well do you know yourself?

Daniel and Victoria are together. They’re trying for a baby. Ruby is in prison, convicted of assault on an abusive partner.

But when Daniel joins a pen pal program for prisoners, he and Ruby make contact. At first the messages are polite, neutral – but soon they find themselves revealing more and more about themselves. Their deepest fears, their darkest desires.

And then, one day, Ruby comes to find Daniel. And now he must decide who to choose – and who to trust.

This Little Dark Place will be published on the 10th October and can be pre-ordered now from Amazon.

TWG talks to author A.S.Hatch.

TWG – Could you tell us a bit about you and your background before you began writing?

I grew up on the Fylde coast in Lancashire. My dad was a joiner and my mum was a civil servant. We weren’t a bookish family. I spent my childhood playing football and rollerblading in the street, and playing on my SNES (and later my N64). The first book I ever read was a collection of football themed short stories called See You at the Match by Margaret Joy. I remember falling in love with books before I fell in love with the stuff inside them, as in, the physical objects themselves. There was a book fair at my primary school one year. They transformed our assembly hall into a pop-up book shop (before pop-up shops were a thing) and I remember loving the smell of them, and the feel of their glossy covers and their heft. I bought Don’t Be Silly Mr Twiddle by Enid Blyton and didn’t read it for weeks. I just held it, looked at it.

TWG – Have you always wanted to become a published writer?

God no. I wanted to play right wing for United (don’t ask which United, there’s only one). And after that I wanted to be a newsreader. After that I wanted to be a frontman in a rock and roll band. After that I wanted to be a published writer. That particular epiphany arrived when I was 19 and so I’ve been trying to make it happen ever since. And here I am.

(TWG – from newsreader to frontman of a rock and roll band! You would have been good on Blue Peter!)

TWG – What made you decide to write your new novel?

Writing is a way of facing one’s fears. When you write a story, create a world, an alternate reality, you gain power over everything. You can obliterate things that scare you. I’m terrified of ending up in prison. I don’t have a criminal bone in my body, the fear is irrational, but it’s there. This novel enabled me to ‘tackle’ prison, sort of like when someone who’s afraid of snakes holds one in her hands to overcome her aversion. Beyond that, I’ve always been interested in writing an epistolary novel. I love the immediacy of the first-person voice. It provides a shortcut to emotion.

TWG – How hard was it to find the inspiration for your book?

I’m inspired by setting as much as plot. Like a dramatist, I think about the space in which a story can take place in, how to use it, how to maximise it for tension. So it wasn’t hard at all to find the inspiration for the book. Once I had the central relationships sketched out I simply pictured the streets, houses, beaches and woods of my childhood and allowed my mind to be carried through them. Then the plot just kind of revealed itself to me. This Little Dark Place could be talking about the central relationship or it could be talking about the literal place in which the story unfolds. Or it could be talking about a place in someone’s mind.

TWG – If you could pick a favourite character from your novel, who would it be and why?

That’s Easy. Ruby. She is the star of the book. The catalyst, the spur. Female characters, to me, are just far more interesting. In life too. Inscrutable is a better word. Perhaps that’s just because I’m a man. Do female authors feel the opposite? I’d wager not. The best people I know are all women. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

TWG – Did you ever regret writing a character into your story after it was published?

This is my debut novel so not yet. There aren’t any characters in This Little Dark Place that I’d like to go back and change. There aren’t any purely good or purely bad characters in any of my novels, because such people don’t exist in real life. Each character in TLDP is uniquely fallible. I’ve tried to make at least something about each of them – about their defects – relatable. I think everyone will find at least one character in the book that will make them reflect; that’s me!

TWG – Did you find yourself under any personal pressure for your debut novel to succeed and be liked by many?

Only insofar as I would like it to not be my last, as I have a lot of stories to tell. When I set out on this journey my sole aim was to be regarded by someone in the industry as talented. When the amazing Eve White signed me to her agency in 2016 I received that vindication. Everything that has come since almost feels like a bonus.

TWG – Time for a tough one, if you could choose any book that has already been published to be the author of, which one would you choose and why?

I think you’re asking which book would I have like to have written? The answer to that is Infinite Jest by David Foster-Wallace. A near thousand page epic about addiction and the pressure of talent and family and post-modern life that’s as tight and muscular in its prose as a ten page short story. An astonishing achievement. It’s also terribly moving. If a book is all brains and no heart I ain’t buying it.

TWG – What does your ‘writing space’ look like?

I have a £65 desk from Argos with barely enough space for my laptop and a little lamp tucked in the corner of the living room of my little flat in south east London, which I share with my fiancé. It’s quite challenging trying to write when the hairdryer’s going of a morning let me tell you.

TWG – Were there any authors you wanted to be like, when you were a child?

When I was a child I read people like Dick King-Smith and Roald Dahl and they seemed like old men to me. The fact that the books about which I was so mad were written by people barely registered. I just wanted to be Ryan Giggs.

(TWG – didn’t we all!!)

TWG – If you had to sum up your book to a stranger in five words, what would they be and why?

Dark, twisty tale of betrayal.
Why? Because I’m no good at describing my own work and I’m fairly confident that the hundreds of people who have read advance copies would describe it kind of like this.

TWG – What’s coming up next for you? Any exclusives?

I’ve just finished writing the follow up (not a sequel) to TLDP. Eve has read it and loved it (what a relief!) and I think people who like TLDP will get a real kick out of my new one. Watch this space.

TWG – One final question. What advice would you give to a writer that wants to be published? Any words of wisdom?

A slight variation on don’t stop believing…don’t stop writing. Practice really is everything. I don’t believe in innate ability, I believe in practice, whittling your stake into a sharp point. I believe in being humble about your work, accepting that there are some incredibly smart people out there whose ideas are worth listening to. When (not if) you get a rejection, keep writing. And when that gets rejected too, keep writing. Learn to recognise your shortcomings as a writer, and move on. Don’t flog a dead horse.
That’s quite a lot isn’t it? Ha.

(TWG – anyone else now have Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’ in their head?!? Wise words though, Andrew, thank you!)

Many thanks to A.S.Hatch for stopping by and answering my questions! Don’t forget that his debut novel, ‘This Little Dark Place’ will be published on the 10th October by SerpentsTail. Preorder your copy now!

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#BlogTour! #Review – The Second Chance Tea Shop by Fay Keenan (@FayKeenan) @Aria_Fiction

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Second chances, new loves and scrumptious cakes, in this heart-warming novel. Perfect for all fans of Fern Britton, Katie Fforde and Cathy Bramley.

Following the tragic death of her beloved husband, Anna Hemingway decides it’s time for a fresh start. So Anna and her three-year-old daughter Ellie move to a picture-perfect cottage in the beautiful village of Little Somerby, and when she takes over the running of the village tea shop, Ellie and Anna start to find happiness again.

But things get complicated when Matthew Carter, the owner of the local cider farm, enters their lives. Throughout a whirlwind year of village fetes and ancient wassails, love, laughter, apple pie and new memories, life slowly blossoms again. But when tragedy strikes and history seems to be repeating itself, Anna must find the strength to hold onto the new life she has built.

This beautiful, life-affirming debut novel marks the beginning of the Little Somerby series, and promises to make you smile, cry, reach for a cream tea, and long for a life in the perfect English countryside.

What does TWG think?

It’s TWG’s stop on Fay Kennan’s blog tour today! I hope you enjoy my review of her debut book, The Second Chance Tea Shop.

Okay, okay, I’ll hold my hands up; I have to admit that I did groan when I saw that this was yet another novel with yet another tea shop/café in the storyline. At least I admit it though, right? Seeing as this book is Fay Kennan’s debut novel (and the cover is a tad more-ish), I decided to put my teashop/café vendetta to one side and feed my curiosity by actually reading it. Yes, as soon as I saw the cover I was intrigued by it, definitely not going to lie about that. I was just throwing a little wobbly about the overuse of a particular setting.

Anyway, needed to get my little grumble out of the way before I started singing Fay Kennan’s book baby’s praises! I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Second Chance Tea Shop’ from start to finish! For a couple of seconds max, the thought of the storyline heading down the candyfloss route did enter my mind, when in actual fact, it was the complete opposite!

After the heart ache that Anna has been through recently, she decides that a fresh start with her daughter, Ellie, would be the ideal solution to regaining control of her life. Whilst the village of Little Somerby may be brand new to Ellie, it isn’t for Anna and as she starts settling into village life yet again, she ends up recognising A LOT more than she bargained for. Will Little Somerby give Anna the second chance at life which she desperately craves? Or could certain pasts end up colliding and ruin her fresh start before it’s even begun?

I have been wracking my brain trying to think of what Fay Keenan’s novel reminds me of; a multiple layered cake, that’s what it reminds me of! Don’t laugh, hear me out. By looking at the cake (the book) we would assume that it’s just a book about a little tea shop, yet by reading every chapter and going through each individual layer of the storyline and the character’s personalities, it was just like enjoying all of the different layers of a cake. Each layer contained different hurdles, different characters and different emotions, allowing us to surrender to the storyline and the magic between the words. Just like a multi-layered cake layers, no two layers, (or chapters), were the same and that is what made Fay Keenan’s book baby stand out for me.

As I said above, a lot of books at the moment are set in the oh-so-popular tea shop or café, which can make it harder for a brand new author to find a way of standing out amongst the crowd. What could ‘The Second Chance Tea Shop’ bring to the table that was completely unique? A bit like ‘what’s your tea shop got that mine aint got’, kinda thing. But you know what, ‘The Second Chance Tea Shop’ is unlike all of the other similar books in its market and I’ll tell you why.

Firstly, the main character has already built up a life previously which didn’t contain any premises involving mini sandwiches. Unfortunately her life got turned upside down in a devastating way.

Secondly, the tea shop featured in this novel is already an established business, which means that Anna isn’t doing her own version of ‘Changing Rooms’ on the building.

Thirdly, there is A LOT more to this storyline that meets the eye; complex characters, devastating secrets, village gossip, heart breaking secrets, and enough warmth to keep your own house warm over the winter. No joke. Emotional it may be at times yet the heart warming factor trumps any sadness and uncertainty.

Fourthly, the little tea shop is portrayed as a character within the book, instead of being the hub of the storyline. It’s a fantastic addition to an already brilliant storyline, instead of being the centre of attention.

Personally? This novel has got to be one of my most favourite tea shop books out there. It has been brilliantly written (hard to believe it’s a debut book to be honest!), nicely structured with just the right amount of contrasting characters.

‘The Second Chance Tea Shop’ is just like drinking the perfectly made cup of tea; warm enough, sweet enough, not too strong and not too weak. In other words; perfection.

Thank you Aria.

Buy now: Amazon // Kobo // iBooks // Googleplay

Author bio

Fay Keenan was born in Surrey and raised in Hampshire, before finally settling back
in the West Country. When Fay is not chasing her children around or writing, she
teaches English at a local secondary school. She lives with her husband of fourteen
years, two daughters, a cat, two chickens and a Weimaraner called Bertie in a village
in Somerset, which may or may not have provided the inspiration for Little Somerby.

Follow Fay:
Facebook: FayKeenanAuthor
Twitter: @FayKeenan
Instagram: @FayKeenan
Website: www.faykeenan.com

Make sure you pop into the tea shop as the tour continues with the bloggers below!

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#BlogTour! #Review of #PuzzleGirl by Rachael Featherstone (@WRITERachael) @AccentPress

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Love is a riddle waiting to be solved…

Clued-up career girl Cassy Brookes has life under control until one disastrous morning changes everything. When she finds herself stuck in a doctors surgery, a cryptic message left in a crossword magazine sends her on a search to find the mysterious puzzle-man behind it. Cassy is soon torn between tracking down her elusive dream guy, and outwitting her nightmare workmate, the devious Martin.

Facing a puzzling love-life, will she ever be able to fit the pieces together and discover the truth behind this enigmatic man?

What does TWG think?

Ever since Accent Press started posting the book cover on social media (to tease me) at the end of last year, Puzzle Girl had put itself on my radar. There was just something rather unique and exciting about a multi-coloured, puzzle piece tree and I wasn’t going to rest until I had read the book. As always, I’m true to my word and my excitement about #PuzzleGirl began to grow every time Accent Press posted anything about the book. I’m sure you can guess the look on my face when I got approached to review the book for the blog tour!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Puzzle Girl is a humorous, bonkers and unique story which shows that love can be found in the most unexpected places, as long as you have a bit of  two down and three across (not even a clue btw).
A fantastic, witty debut that resulted in me closing the book with a massive smile on my face. Absolutely loved it.

Thank you Accent Press!

Buy now from Amazon UK


#BlogTour! #Review – How to Mend a Broken Heart by Anna Mansell (@AnnaMansell) @bookouture

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Sorry to break your hearts ladies and gentlemen, but we have come to the end of the blog tour for Anna Mansell’s debut, How to Mend a Broken Heart! TWG isn’t the only one helping to close the tour, so make sure you check in with my blogging buddy, Laura Bambrey Books too. Seeing as I have broken your heart by being the bearer of bad news in regards to the tour, I SUPPOSE I had better tell you how to mend your broken heart eh?
Oh, I can’t. Anna Mansell has already done that so read my review and you can mend your own heart via the Amazon ‘to buy’ link at the bottom! Enjoy!

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Hello? Rhys Woods? I have a patient here I think you know. Yours is the only number in her diary…

When Rhys is called to the hospital to meet Susan, a woman he barely knows, he is compelled to help her. Still grieving the loss of his brother months earlier, Rhys knows all too well the feeling of loneliness.

There are years between them, but Rhys is the only person Susan will respond to, and when she asks him to bring her her most treasured possession, a book of fairytales, he is intrigued.

Hidden in the book is a clue to Susan’s past, and the painful regrets she carries with her. And as Rhys starts to unearth Susan’s secrets, he finds that his own grief begins to heal too…

Together, Susan and Rhys must learn to live again. Can they help each other to find happiness and finally mend their broken hearts?

How to Mend a Broken Heart is a heart-wrenching and absorbing story about second chances, forgiveness, and making every second count, perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes, Lucy Dillon and Miranda Dickinson.

What does TWG think?

I really do feel like a worn out record saying this, BUT, if you think the cover hints that the storyline is a candyfloss type of chic lit/romance novel where the ending signifies walking off into the sunset, stop right there. Now, I adore the cover as it’s simple, pretty, and very eye-catching in a very intriguing way. However, all you really need to focus on with the cover is the title and the author as this storyline contains more grit than the front cover could ever hold. By all means, admire the cover, but don’t let yourself get hung up over it or try to question what lies behind the cover. How to Mend a Broken Heart has a storyline which needs to be savoured word by word, line by line and page by page…

I had a little nose at some of the reviews which have already been posted on Goodreads, before I started writing my review and a lot of readers have the cover as a talking point. Just like many others, my first reaction to the novel was based on its cover and an assumption. But, as soon as I got stuck into Anna Mansell’s novel, I quickly realised how my initial reaction to the book could not have been further off the mark if I tried.

The novel introduces the three main characters, Kat, Rhys and Susan pretty early on in the storyline, even though it is quite clear that things aren’t quite as simple as they first seem. Kat is nursing her broken heart after being dumped by her long-term boyfriend. Rhys heart got completely smashed when his brother committed suicide. And then there is Susan, her heart has been broken for many, many years and she is stuck in her own emotional jail. Which one of the characters, if any, will be able to find the right key to free Susan from her turmoil?

As soon as someone says that they’ve had their heart-broken we automatically assume it’s to do with a relationship. I know I do. I mean, the only way you get your heart broken is when your partner dumps you, right? Completely WRONG. Before I read Anna Mansell’s novel, my mindset was the same as the above, yet the complexity of each character within the storyline, opened my eyes to the fact that a lot of things can break someone’s heart; such as suicide, any other death related circumstances or horrific events involving people you know, love or care about, just to name a few. Every human being will have their own trigger where their heart is concerned, just like Kat, Rhys and Susan. Three individual people with one big thing in common; they all have had their heart broken yet no-one else will understand their own personal pain.

This storyline had me pinned against the sofa with a little voice whispering in my ear, ‘don’t you even think about putting this book down!’. Even if I wanted to put it down (which I didn’t), I couldn’t tear myself away from the emotional orb I had found myself temporarily residing. Even though the book contains a lot of intense moments, it also contains many, many heart-warming and uplifting scenes; it was as though you were walking the journey with the characters and holding their hands for comfort. Does that make sense? I love how Anna Mansell has been able to acknowledge heartbreak in various different forms, highlighting the fact that everyone’s life journey is exactly that…their own. I truly believe that a lot of readers will be able to relate to the three main characters as they all have such a powerful presence within the storyline.

It really blows my mind that ‘How to Mend a Broken Heart’ is Anna Mansell’s debut novel, as she has such a distinctive writing style which automatically made me feel as though I already knew her. I could tell that Anna Mansell has poured her heart and soul into every single line of the book, as though she had published 123248347 books previously.

‘How to Mend a Broken Heart’ made me wear my heart on my sleeve (for an Ice Queen that is unheard of), due to its intense, emotional and raw situations. I cried whilst reading this, more than once, and I’m not ashamed in the slightest. Anna Mansell, if I could hug you right now I would, truly!

A spellbinding novel full of love, tears and heart ache, How to Mend a Broken Heart not only shows how the heart can be broken, it also shows how broken hearts are mended with the right love, care and attention. To you that ‘thing’ may be small, but to another person it may just be the one ‘thing’ they have been searching for to fix their broken heart. Don’t judge, just love. Absolutely fantastic novel, Anna Mansell has set the bar incredibly high with her outstanding debut novel, How to Mend a Broken Heart.

Thank you Bookouture.

Buy: Amazon UK // Amazon US

About the author.

Anna spent almost twenty years trying to shoehorn writing in to her career as a marketing manager for dance and theatre companies. Eventually, she did what you are not remotely supposed to do and walked away from an excellent job in order to try to become a published author. Three years, lots of tears and some slightly hairy bank balances later, she met Kirsty Greenwood and the rest, as they say, is history. Anna lives in Cornwall with her husband and two kids. She feels very fortunate!

#BlogTour! #Review – True Colours by @EllyRedding #Extract #Giveaway @brookcottagebks

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TWG would like to give a warm welcome to Elly Redding and her debut novel, True Colours, as this is the FIRST time Elly has appeared on TWG! How exciting! Well, this visit is an indirect one via her book, but that still counts though, right? To help me on my stop today I am joined by an enticing EXTRACT, giddy GIVEAWAY and of course my RAVISHING review; can’t complain with that!

To tickle your tastebuds, lets kick off with an extract of True Colours by Elly Redding, which is available to buy right now (links below):

“Go away,” she shouted frantically reassessing her options.
“I don’t really think you’re in a position to make demands, do you, trapped as you are?
Unless, of course, you’re thinking of taking up abseiling. In which case, may I advise restraint? You’re on the fourth floor. You’re afraid of heights and I’m not standing in the right place to catch you.”
Good. It would ruin the whole point of the exercise if he was. She didn’t tell him that though. Instead she suggested he make an appointment, that if he wanted to see her, he should do what everyone else did.
“But I’m not everyone else, am I? I’m the guy who’s still considering suing you for breach of contract.”
“Contract – what contract?”
“Your promise to marry me.”
“You bastard.” It was the first thing she could think of to say, but she thought it summed up the situation perfectly. “In which case, may I suggest you contact my lawyer? I think you’ll find I’ve a very strong case for a counter claim. Or has something conveniently slipped your memory? Let me give you a clue. She had an amazing pair of breasts.”

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Blurb.

Could you ever trust again – the man who broke your heart?

Kate Fenton thought she’d got the answer to that question all neatly sewn up. Ever since she went to Saul Preston’s London art gallery, a month before their wedding, and found him with his assistant – who looked as if she was in the middle of a game of strip poker.
Now, three years later, she’s no longer so sure. Saul’s back in her life with a new proposition – accompany him on a trip to Majorca as his interpreter. It’s an offer Kate can’t refuse, even though she knows she should. Successful and rich, he’s just the sort of client her translation company is trying to attract – even if he is her two-timing ex!
Saul’s never gone in for second chances. He’s never had the time, but he knows exactly what he’s doing when he suggests the trip to Kate. As gorgeous and infuriatingly easy to fall for as ever, he’s determined to rekindle their past. And he’s only got 3 days to do it…

What does TWG think?

‘True Colours’ could not have come at a better time. I had finished a book the night before and I was starting a brand new day with a brand new book. The thing was, I felt like utter shizmanizzle thanks to illnesses and I need to read a book that just let me…be. A book where no PHD or Oxford dictionary is needed. A book that literally does the talking for you and lets you soak up the storyline like a sponge; effortlessly. Just like Elly Redding’s ‘True Colours’.

Kate Fenton runs her own company which, of course, is brilliant. The not so brilliant thing is that her ex, Saul Preston, wants to hire her company for a job abroad. Sorry, sorry, not her company; her. Probably not the most daring thing for an ex to ask you to do, but it’s a BIT random considering they haven’t had any dealings with each other for many years and Kate isn’t exactly his number one fan after the whole gallery, breasts debacle.

I took to Kate’s character straight away as she is so energetic, rather naive yet such a warm character. Definitely one of a kind and most certainly relatable. After all, we have all hidden from our exes before, right?
The relationship that Saul and Kate have is a teensy bit predictable and it’s clear that they have some unresolved issues to try to move on from. I worked out where the storyline was heading, but, even though that part of the storyline was semi clear, it was all of the situations in between that surprised me the most.

Even though the predictability factor was there, it was still hidden under a mist of secrecy. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find a way of working out how to clear that mist. Well, except reading it of course, but you know what I mean. There seemed to be something that was being left unsaid but there were no clear pointers as to what it was; I LOVED that. I was hooked by the storyline anyway, but the added something something was such a genius addition. For me, that addition turned an otherwise predictable relationship into an unpredictable situation of sheer uniqueness and promise. It was different, it was quirky, it was humorous and it even brought a little warmth to my cheeks if you catch my drift!

. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, so much in fact that I read it in a couple of hours!
‘True Colours’ is THE ideal book to read if you just need to detach yourself from monotonous daily life and black and white personalities. Cleverly written with relatable and humorous situations, Elly Redding is an exciting author to watch for 2017. Never mind having a black and white personality when you can show your True Colours and live a little; just like Kate.

Thank you BrookCottageBooks & Elly.

Buy links:

Amazon UK // Amazon US

About the author.

Elly Redding was born in London but now lives in Bedfordshire with her husband.
Having originally written screenplays, her first novel, ‘True Colours’, won the Festival of Romance’s New Talent Award in 2014.
She enjoys tap dancing and watching the waves, although not necessarily at the same time!
She keeps in touch with her readers on Twitter – @ellyredding, and Facebook –
Website: ellyredding.com

Giveaway!!!


To be in with a chance of winning a e-copy of Elly Redding’s ‘True Colours’, follow the link to enter the giveaway. Good luck!
Click HERE to enter the giveaway!

#Review of Who Does He Think He Is? by @EmilyKerrWrites @crookedcatbooks #publicationday

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Blurb.

Lady Aurelia Osbourne-Lloyd has long wished her bank balance was as big as her name. But her home, Leydale Park, is more of a pile in a state than stately pile, and with her father off ‘finding himself’ in Thailand, it’s up to her to turn the family fortunes around by entertaining demanding tourists.

When – thanks to her father’s interference – a Hollywood production company chooses the estate as a location for a Regency movie, a whole new level of chaos enters Aurelia’s life. Her quiet days shattered and privacy non-existent, she has no choice but to go with the flow and let them take over.

Never mind the added distraction of dishy leading man, Xander Lord, who may have an ulterior motive for wanting to get close to her…

Can Aurelia keep her cool in light of all the upheaval?

What does TWG think?

I would like to start by saying a HUGE congratulations to Emily Kerr, as today is the publication day for her debut novel, ‘Why does he think he is?’! How exciting!
I noticed the cover of the book straight away as it began to do its rounds on Twitter a few weeks ago. OF COURSE I made a lot of noise about it. Who wouldn’t? I must have shouted really loudly as Emily contacted me asking if I would review her book! After I did a little dance around the living room in my Minnie Mouse pjs (don’t laugh), I got settled with her book.

Due to the little clues on the cover, there is a little bit of ‘lights, camera, ACTION’ going on in the storyline which gave me a few giggles along the way. What I didn’t expect though, was for the storyline to go from a Hollywood buzz to a stately home needing funds. I’m not complaining in the slightest as it was impressive seeing the storyline change so effortlessly. One moment we were being taken on a tour and surrounded by historical features, and the next we were seeing how the other half live on a film set! Honestly, you won’t be bored reading this book as there is so much going on. It’s the right amount of hustle and bustle for a book, if that makes sense?

Not only that, by golly is there a few colourful characters in this novel! I am not going to say who as that will spoil the surprise! Lets just say that they’re FABULOUS and hilarious and have a few things up their sleeves. The only thing that irked me was that I felt like a couple of the characters were lacking purpose. Don’t get me wrong, they seemed nice enough, but they just didn’t seem to be beneficial to the story. Again, I won’t say who they are as it is my personal opinion about the book and not a negative point towards the author.

‘Who Does He Think He Is?’ is a laugh out loud, warming tale that highlights the importance of the word ‘believe’. Emily has written such a timid main character who, thanks to path she has to walk down, learns to believe in what has been under her nose the whole time. It’s hard to believe that this is a debut novel so hats off to Emily Kerr and her book full of giggles.

Thank you Emily!

Who Does He Think He Is? is out NOW to buy from Amazon UK

#Tour! What Alice Knew By T.A.Cotterell (@TACotterell1) @penguinrandom @beckyh1712

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Day 6 sees the  blog tour bus for ‘What Alice Knew’ by T.A.Cotterell, stop here; TWG! As soon as this book came through my letterbox, my curiosity went through the roof. At that time, I couldn’t read the book straight away and had to make do with reading the very first page until I could wangle it into my list. Big mistake! Luckily I am sharing my review with you so you can find out why ;).

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Blurb.

Alice has a perfect life – a great job, happy kids, a wonderful husband. Until he goes missing one night; she receives a suspicious phone call; things don’t quite add up.

Alice needs to know what’s going on. But when she uncovers the truth she faces a brutal choice. And how can she be sure it is the truth?

Sometimes it’s better not to know.

What does TWG think?

Why was it a big mistake to read the first page, even though I knew I couldn’t read the book until I could wangle it on my list? Because, all I did after reading that very first page was think about the book, despite being occupied with others! It was a big mistake of mine because I wanted to keep on reading but I had to put it down! That’s all it took to hold my attention; one little page..

This review will probably be one of THE hardest reviews that I have ever had to write. Not because I don’t know what to write, I do;  but due to the complexity of the storyline, as well as interlaced circumstances, I need to be really careful not to give anything away. For me, ‘What Alice Knew’ has a pretty spot on blurb as it tells you a hint of information and that’s it. Nothing else. Not even any little pieces of information that might have you trying to work things out. All blurbs should be like this one because it allows you to find every vital thing out for yourself as you read.

As readers, we follow Alice’s life. As far as she was aware, her marriage and her lifestyle were perfect. Alice believed she knew her husband inside and out, and was even telling those close to her, how their relationship was solid and built on honesty. But is it? Is it really?

I’m going to be honest, ‘What Alice Knew’ had me rather frustrated! Just as I was trying to work out what Alice knew and where the story might be heading, the storyline got whacked with a curveball and I was left thinking ‘what the hell happened there?!’. Not a negative comment in the slightest as the author has obviously set out to make his readers think and question everything. That most definitely was the case with myself.

One piece of advice before you begin reading, switch off phones or put them to mute and make sure you do not have anything distracting you from reading. You will need to focus solely on T.A.Cotterell’s gritty writing. If you don’t, you might miss the slightest piece of information that may be needed later on the storyline. Plus, it’s a fantastic book so I don’t see why you wouldn’t focus your attention on it!

‘What Alice Knew’ had me hooked, completely gripped! The power and intensity of T.A.Cotterell’s words do not let up until you reach the end of the book. With such consistent writing, a gritty storyline and characters whose personalities change far quicker than a chameleon’s skin, you’re quite likely to end up under T.A.Cotterell’s spell. Incredibly clever, ‘What Alice Knew’ does not shout a debut novel. But guess what folks, it is. I am rather looking forward to what the author comes up with next!
A nail-biting, gripping page turner that will have you questioning everything you’ve ever known. Brilliant!

Huge thanks to Becky Hunter and Penguin Random House.

‘What Alice Knew’ by T.A.Cotterell will be released on Kindle on the 1st December 2016. You can pre-order it from Amazon UK | Amazon US
The paperback version will be published in April 2017 and is available to pre-order right NOW from Amazon UK

 

#Review! The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir – (@Lesley_Allen_) @BonnierZaffre #antibullyingmonth

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Blurb.

Biddy Weir is a quirky girl.

Abandoned by her mother as a baby, and with a father who’s not quite equipped for the challenges of modern parenting, Biddy lives in her own little world, happy to pass her time painting by the sea and watching the birds go by. That is, until she meets Alison Flemming.

Because there are a few things about Biddy that aren’t normal, you see. And Alison isn’t afraid to point them out to the world.

All of a sudden, Biddy’s quiet life is thrown into turmoil. If only there was someone to convince her that, actually, everyone’s a little bit weird . . .

A story of abuse and survival, of falling down and of starting again, and of one woman’s battle to learn to love herself for who she is, The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir is Lesley Allen’s startlingly honest debut novel.

What does TWG think?

I have had to psych myself to write this particular review due to the nature of the storyline and my own personal memories because of it. It takes a lot of strength to read a novel with contains such emotional situations, especially when those situations are still incredibly raw for the reader.

Meet Biddy Weir; a girl who is extremely content in her own company and enjoys the simple things in life. After all, that is all she has ever known her life to be. Seeing as Biddy was brought up by her father, the ‘basic’ female tasks had to be discussed with someone other than her father. She didn’t have a female role model. She didn’t have her mum. As soon as Alison Flemming came onto the school scene, Biddy’s life got turned upside down and suddenly her life and her thoughts became all too suffocating. The thing is, what exactly can you do when your normal is too abnormal for everyone else…

‘The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir’ has been published in paperback to coincide with National Anti-bullying Month. A subject that has thousands upon thousands of victims and not enough people doing anything about it. As soon as I realised what this book was about, I knew that I had to read it. I also knew that it would be extremely hard for me to do so. Why? Because, like many other people, I was bullied at school from the age of five until the age of thirteen. Lesley’s book has given me nod to write about my own bullying (which I will do later on in the week on here), and hopefully others will realise it is ok to speak out.

Biddy Weir’s life was made hellish all because of one girl and her ‘gang’. The outcome of every single attack on Biddy was jaw-dropping and incredibly numbing, I felt so sorry for her. There were times (most of the book), that I wanted to climb into the book and take her away from it all, try to keep her safe. But I couldn’t. Biddy couldn’t speak out. She needed someone to speak out for her, yet no-one would believe her because they all thought she was a ‘bit weird’. Everyone around her didn’t want to do the right thing and stick up for poor Biddy;  instead, they watched/joined in with the ring leader so that they could stay in the gang. I felt physically sick reading what Biddy was subjected to, as well as reading about the toll it took on poor Biddy’s mental state. Absolutely devastating that people get a kick out of physically and emotionally attacking others. How is that fun?

The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir contains a lot of hard to read events, most definitely, but the way Lesley Allen has written them is real. Lesley didn’t fluff it up or make the situations completely unrealistic and completely fixable. She made Biddy’s life into a powerful journey. A journey that we, as readers, took with her. A journey that will open readers eyes and minds to the devastating impacts that bullying has on a person, especially as some people believe the impacts to be short-term. More often than not, the effects of bullying can last, and, just like Biddy, the scars never truly fade.

I began reading this book with my eyes and mind fully open to the implications of such a devastating topic. What I didn’t realise was how beautifully and powerfully written this book would be. I don’t want to say that I loved this book due to the subject within the book, however, I did love the book due to the powerful, raw and emotional messages that Lesley Allen incorporated beautifully into it. During the last third of the book I felt like I was getting a pep talk, and not in a bad way. The colourful character that took charge in that third, came with such a strong voice. So strong in fact, I felt as though she was talking to me and having stern words with the demons. If all schools came with such a colourful and beautiful character as that one, the stigma that surrounds bullying would be abolished.

An emotional, powerful and beautifully written book about life, re-birth, bullying and learning how to love yourself, quirks and all.

Thank you BonnierZaffre.

A Lonely Life of Biddy Weir by Lesley Allen, published by Bonnier Zaffre, is available to buy now from Amazon UK

#Review! A Year Of Being Single by Fiona Collins (@FionaJaneBooks) @UKCarina

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Blurb.

Three friends. One year. Absolutely no men…

Imogen is supposed to be on the most romantic weekend of her life and instead she’s quickly realised that her current boyfriend definitely isn’t ‘The One’ and actually One Big Mistake.

Frankie is fed up. Fed up of her good-for-nothing husband and her four, unappreciative children. Well, they hardly notice her anyway, maybe it’s time to shake it up a little…

Grace thought she had the perfect life. Gorgeous little boy and perfect, hardworking husband. Or rather, she did, until she realised her husband was shagging his ‘work’.

These single ladies don’t need to put a ring on it…right?

What does TWG think?

I’ll be honest, as soon as I saw the title I thought to myself, ‘how hard can it be, being single for a year?’, after all, I have been single for OVER a year and I am owning that shizzmanizzle. However, I’m not Imogen, Frankie OR Grace. Three very different women with one main thing in common; they all have been surrounded by scumbag, male partners. A cheater, a lazy good for nothing and a ‘we are never, ever, getting back together’ type. To be honest, looking at the summary of the three men, you can see why the ladies think that the single will be for them!

Will all three ladies channel their inner Beyoncé and become ‘ALL THE SINGLE LADIES, PUT YOUR HANDS UP’?  Will they keep to their agreement and stay away from ‘what a man, what a man, what a might good man’? Only time will tell….

My first thoughts of Frankie’s lifestyle and her husband actually made me grit my teeth. I was surprised she put up with it for as long as she did as I got angry just be reading about it. Sheeeesh. That said, I found her far easier to gel with than the other two women. For me, Frankie came across more real and the most relatable character. I’m not saying that I disliked the other two characters, not at all, it just took me longer to warm up to their personalities.

Like many other reviewers, I thought that they would stay single for a whole year and reinstate the GIRL POWER. But, halfway through the book, I had absolutely no idea which way the storyline was headed. A few of the ladies choices left a lot to be desired and spoke volumes about their dedication to the infamous girl code. I mean, what did they expect living on the same street as each other, and all of them being as nosy as Norris Cole in Coronation Street!

TWG’s verdict? A refreshing take on the ‘typical’ chick lit storylines, with plenty of giggles thrown in for good measure. I enjoyed the bizarre choices in both men and lifestyles and the whole book kept me entertained the whole way through. A truly fabulous light read, perfect to cosy up with as the nights draw in.

A Year Of Being Single by Fiona Collins, published by Carina (HarperCollins), is available to buy from Amazon UK.


***COVER REVEAL*** Saving Sophie by Sam Carrington.

SQUEALLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!! She has only gone and done it!! Sam Carrington releases her debut novel ‘Saving Sophie’ on the 12th August 2016! A lot of people in the book world are routing for Sam (Hiya Book Connectors!) as she has been waiting for this moment for a while. Today I have the honour of sharing with you Sam’s cover of her new novel and all the details you will need to buy your own copy. You will really want to buy it once you have read the blurb (speaking from experience!).

Are you all ready for this? Drum roll please……

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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

Saving Sophie by Sam Carrington, published by Maze (Avon), is released on E-book 12th August 2016, and paperback 15th December 2016. You can pre-order your e-book copy now via Amazon UK.

To keep up to date with the latest book news from Sam Carrington herself, you can: Follow Sam on Twitter.

I don’t know about you, but I am SUPER excited to read this book! Good luck Sam (not that you’ll need it!)