#Review of A Life Without You by Katie Marsh (@marshisms) @HodderBooks @HodderPublicity

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Can you ever outrun the past?

It’s Zoe’s wedding day. She’s about to marry Jamie, the love of her life. Then a phone call comes out of the blue, with the news that her mum Gina has been arrested. Zoe must make an impossible decision: should she leave her own wedding to help?

Zoe hasn’t seen Gina for years, blaming her for the secret that she’s been running from ever since she was sixteen. Now, Gina is back in her life, but she’s very different to the mum Zoe remembers. Slowly but surely, Gina is losing her memory.

As she struggles to cope with Gina’s illness, can Zoe face up to the terrible events of years ago and find her way back to the people she loves?

A Life Without You is a stirring and poignant novel about the power of the past – and the possibilities of the future.

What does TWG think?

I need to apologise BIG TIME. I bought Katie’s book a while ago, it even made my ‘Top Books of 2016’ list (TWG’s Top 24 Books of 2016! @Bookouture @headlinepg @HQStories @canelo_co @littlebrownuk &more), BUT, what I didn’t do was write my review for it! I honestly thought that I had, but obviously I hadn’t. I am very sorry that you’re just getting my review now, Katie Marsh!

Mum…or soon to be husband, which one would you pick? No, I’m not saying that you need to play eeny meeny minee mo just for the sake of it. Let me ask that question in a different way; if you received a phone call which alerted you to a situation with a person (your mum)  you hadn’t seen for many years, whilst you were gearing up to get married to the love of your life, which one would you choose? Stay and get married? Or go and help a person who probably won’t want your help, yet…is your mum? Tough decision to make really, isn’t it?

Zoe hasn’t seen her mum, Gina, for a very long time. Unsure as to whether she would ever see Gina again, Zoe tried to get on with her life and move forward, except the call she received on her wedding day completely turned her whole world upside down…

My heart went out to Jamie for Zoe’s actions, and my heart went out to Zoe for Gina’s actions. I’ve seen a few reviews where the reader has said how walking out of a wedding is a ‘no-no’ and ‘unrealistic’, but I beg to differ. It is realistic but the chances of anyone stating that they have been jilted at the aisle is slim to nil. Not really THE conversation starter is it? As readers, we walk into the storyline partway through the characters lives, and we are unaware of their pasts, relationships with people and so forth. All we know is what they are doing when we open up the book, therefore we cannot really judge a character, in this case, Zoe, on their actions at the very start of a book as their reasons are still hidden within the book.

Zoe DID have her reasons and there was A LOT more to Gina than ‘just getting arrested’. Little did we know that Gina’s journey was heading down a harrowing path; I had no idea how harrowing it was going to be until it hit me. This review is quite hard to write because whilst I want to talk about the book, every situation is linked with a vital piece of information and I don’t think I would be too popular if I wrote this review with spoilers in!

‘A Life Without You’ absolutely blew me away, and at times it felt like my heart was being ripped out due to the emotion that was pouring from my eyes like a waterfall. The family dynamics within this book, despite being broken and rocky, are surprisingly strong and full of hidden courage. Gina’s battle was incredibly eye-opening yet incredibly devastating, Zoe and Lily (along with real life readers) must have felt so powerless as they watched their mother deteriorate before their very eyes, becoming a shadow that even Gina herself didn’t know. For me, the most powerful relationships within the storyline were Zoe, Lily’s and Gina’s, every other character played a part in their own ways, but those three ladies lives shook me to the core.

Katie’s ability to write a raw, poignant and emotionally charged storyline deserves an incredible amount of respect. The fact that she delved into a relatable and devastating illness with such poise and sensitivity, really showcased her writing talent, putting her in the ‘one of my favourite authors’ box.

A Life Without You is a storyline guaranteed to make you shed a tear or ten, whilst also filling your heart with love towards fictitious characters. This book also highlights the importance of trust, honesty and ensuring that you’re there for the ones you love, regardless of how hard it may be at the time. You need them and they need you. Reaching the end of Katie Marsh’s novel was a struggle as I couldn’t see the book properly through my tears.

An inspiring, thought-provoking and emotional read, whilst it broke my heart into pieces it also protected and comforted me whilst reading. Katie Marsh has delivered perfection with this novel, in my eyes anyway. An unbelievable author, and after reading this, one of my favourite authors of all time. Incredible. I just wish I could find the right words for my feelings towards this book..

Buy now from Amazon

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#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 of BLINK by K.L.Slater (@KimLSlater) @Bookouture #blink #ohmy

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Today is the last day of K.L.Slater’s blog tour for, Blink, and I have the honour of being one of two blogs to help close the tour! If you have missed any of the tour stops so far, all the blogs that were involved are stated in the picture above! For my stop today, I have a review of ‘Blink’ where you will find out whether I BLINKed and I missed it, or whether I BLINKed just once due to being super engrossed. Enjoy!

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What if the person you love most in the world was in terrible danger … because of you?

Three years ago, Toni’s five-year-old daughter Evie disappeared after leaving school. The police have never been able to find her. There were no witnesses, no CCTV, no trace.

But Toni believes her daughter is alive. And as she begins to silently piece together her memories, the full story of the past begins to reveal itself, and a devastating truth.

Toni’s mind is trapped in a world of silence, her only chance to save herself is to manage the impossible. She must find a way to make herself heard. She must find her daughter.

A compelling, gripping thriller with a breathtaking twist that will keep you awake until the early hours. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, Behind Closed Doors and The Sister.

What does TWG think?

OH.MY.GOD!!!! Have you ever been SO engrossed in a book that you end up reading it whilst you’re cooking the dinner, or sorting out the washing? Of course you have! Now, have you ever been unable to remove your hands from said book as you found it rather impossible to put down; toying with the possibility of getting a prison sentence if anyone DARED to disturb you reading THAT book, which in turn meant you just HAD to finish reading the book whilst you were eating your dinner? Let’s just say that there is a slight possibility that what I’ve just said, could have been my actions where Blink was concerned. Wait, scrap that. No COULD, no SLIGHT, it was me! Usually I would hang my head in shame/embarrassment, but not this time!

I had never read a book whilst eating my dinner before; until Blink came along. This is where reviews become truly difficult to write, when all you want to do is shout about the book and everything you loved about it, including all the ‘OMG WHAT ABOUT THE TIME….’ moments. But, I can’t do that today as it would be highly unfair seeing as you can buy ‘Blink’ for a mere 99p (here), and you can find out for yourself!

‘Blink’ is probably one of THE most intense novels I have ever read. From the get go there was a lot of uncertainty and nervousness where a few of the characters were concerned, with those situations playing out very slowly over the course of each chapter. It felt as though each character had something to hide as the vibes they were giving off, even from the beginning, were very sketchy.

Toni came across as such a defeatist in terms of actions and responses to other people’s opinions. It was a shame as I felt that she deserved a little bit of luck sent her way. As the storyline spread its wings, character personalities became a little bit clearer and I ended up being on high alert for little pieces of information which I thought sounded a bit suss.

We all do it with books like this; try to play detective and think that we can get one over on the book. I’m not going to lie, about 3/4’s of the way through I was just about to go ‘HAH I’VE GOT IT’ to my living, being a smidge over-confident, when I read a little bit more and ended up with egg on my face. Not literally obviously, but you know. I was WAYYYYY off the mark. At least I know not to apply to be a detective!

Seeing as I was a teeny bit aware of what the storyline is centred around (shock horror I read 1/3 of the blurb), I tried to ease myself into the storyline very gently just in case I couldn’t handle it. Yeahhhhh, I tried and failed after the first chapter. Once I had opened that baby on my kindle, there literally was no turning back. Stupidly I started reading it in the early hours of the morning and had to do preposterous things like try to sleep. I mean, WHO INVENTED SLEEP WHERE BOOKS ARE CONCERNED! The following day whenever I was cooking or faffing about my house, my kindle had to come with me so that I could read and end up NOT cooking or faffing about. I’m not even being over the top when I say all of that, as I was actually like that with this book!

‘Blink’ is an intense, hair-raising and gripping read which will have you falling off the edge of your seat in suspense. K.L.Slater’s writing is PHENOMENAL and she has laced every single word with copious amounts of grit and uncertainty, enough to warrant a rapid heartbeat and sweaty palms without being uncomfortable. I have never, ever, read a book before which has pulled me into its storyline by every hair on my body; until now. It gripped me, shocked me, made my heart pound, made my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth when it went dry and even caused my eyes to leak. For a book to do all of that, and more, it just goes to show what an absolute BELTER of a book it is, and how extraordinary the author is to be able to expose such intense reactions from just one reader.

A SUPERB, powerful and gut wrenching read that will have you on tender hooks the whole way through. ‘Blink’ is an outstanding and extraordinary read, full of everything you could ever want within a book. A must-read from TWG!

It is safe to say that ‘Blink’ has clawed its way into my top FIVE books of ALL TIME. Seriously, the author is a genius. Absolutely fantastic.

Thank you so much Bookouture.

GO & BUY ‘BLINK’ NOW!!

#BlogTour! Love Them & Leave Them by Sue Shepherd (@thatsueshepherd) @emmamitchellfpr #Review

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On his way home, Ed makes a split-second decision that changes the lives of all those who love him.

Six years on, Ed’s daughter, Jessie, is stuck in a job with no prospects, her dreams never fulfilled. It will take more than her unreliable boyfriend, Chris, and temperamental best friend, Coco, to give her the confidence to get her life back on track.

But what if Ed had made another decision? It could all have been so different …

Six years on, Ed’s daughter, Jessica, has a successful career, loving boyfriend, Nick, and a keen eye on her dream home. But when new clients, a temperamental Coco, and her unreliable boyfriend, Chris, walk into her life, Jessica’s perfect world soon starts to unravel.

Love Them and Leave Them is a story of love, families, friendship and a world of possibilities. Whichever decision Ed makes, the same people are destined to come into his daughter’s life, sometimes in delightfully different ways. And before they can look forward to the future, they will all have to deal with the mistakes of the past.

What does TWG think?

Wow, where do I begin? It took me a little while to work out what was happening as the storyline kept switching between times, which wasn’t as clear as I would have liked. However, once I realised it was like that I was able to envelope myself in the storyline.

This is yet another tough review to write as I need to be extremely careful about what I say in case the slightest sentence written, gives away anything vital!
I must admit though, the entire novel caught me off guard. I didn’t start reading with any expectations yet from start to finish, the storyline exceeded any expectations I would have had, or did have subconsciously. Does that make sense?

I was absolutely blown away by the powerful emotion that hid beneath Sue’s intense storyline. It really did make me think about how our decisions, regardless of how big or small, will affect someone or something in an irreversible way. Scary thought really isn’t it? Makes the question ‘could you pass the milk?’ not as simple as one once thought as you’re either going to annoy them by saying no, or you’re going to be pausing what you’re doing to say yes, in turn annoying yourself. Don’t get me wrong, the powerful storyline in this book is nothing compared to milk, but hopefully you get what I’m saying! The whole concept really did make me think and it was even harder to digest when you had different outcomes of those choices, unfolding in front of your very own eyes.

Whilst ‘Love Them & Leave Them’ is based, albeit loosely, around relationships, the novel stands out from similar rom com style books. This isn’t a book about the simple things in life, or whether the boy gets the girl. It’s a book about choices and what happens when you make a decision based on a whim. It’s a book about putting your trust and faith into people who have never given you reason to trust them before. It’s a book about thinking and learning how to do what is right for YOU when the situation calls for it. That said, it’s also a book about making decisions because you HAVE to and not because you WANT to.

‘Love Them & Leave Them’ filled me with so much raw emotion, I couldn’t even file my thoughts away as quickly as I would have liked to. The storyline made me think, it made me gasp, it made me laugh and yes, it even made me well up. BUT, Sue Shepherd’s book isn’t a plain sailing as the cover suggests that it is; it’s deep, raw and it just keeps giving.

The way the storyline was set out, the dimensions of the characters, even the possible outcomes of the circumstances in question; everything just….fit.

‘Love Them & Leave Them’ really blew me away with its quirkiness and powerful storyline, so much so, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I finished reading it.

Eye-opening, thoughtful and incredibly intense; ‘Love Them & Leave Them’ will stay with you for a very long time. As long as you remember to think…

Thank you Sue.

Buy now.

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#Review – A Song for Tomorrow by @alicepeterson1 @TeamBATC @simonschusterUK #cysticfibrosis

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Tom fell in love with Alice the moment he saw her. He realises that being with her will not be easy, but she is a force of nature, a burst of sunlight in his otherwise ordinary world. 
 
Some people might look at Alice and think she has everything, but Alice knows she is not like other women. Her life is complicated, unpredictable, difficult. Alice does not like pity. All she wants to do, has ever wanted to do, is sing.

Alice has been told not to follow her dreams. So has Tom. But when fate has already dealt a tough hand, it’s time to stop listening to everyone else and only follow their hearts.

What does TWG think?


This is by far the hardest review that I have written, to date. If you aren’t aware already, A Song for Tomorrow is inspired by the real life story, and journey, of UK-based singer and songwriter, Alice Martineau. Alice Martineau was born with cystic fibrosis, a genetic condition which causes the sufferers lungs to become clogged with mucus (and many, many other symptoms). Because cystic fibrosis is a progressive illness (gets worse over time), life expectancy can be, unfortunately, a lot shorter than average.

A Song for Tomorrow follows the journey of Alice, a cystic fibrosis sufferer from the moment that she was born. From the outside, Alice is deemed ‘well’ and ‘able bodied’, but she is far from ‘well’. One night, Alice managed to attract a man’s attention without even realising it. Spellbound by her beauty, Tom knew that he would never, ever, be able to forget ‘the girl from the gallery’.

Even though this book is inspired by a true story, the characters personality and actions are fictitious; but the journey of a sufferer isn’t. At the beginning of the storyline, we learn about the steps Alice has to take to keep the harsh comments at bay. You’re probably thinking ‘what harsh comments?’, yes? The thing is, Alice has an invisible illness; she cannot rush up and down the stairs due to her lungs so to save the huffing and puffing from not-so-polite people, Alice had to make her invisible illness….visible. When I read that part of the book, my heart nose dived and I froze mid-paragraph; why on earth SHOULD invisible illness sufferers be made to feel that way? Just like the author of this novel, Alice Peterson; I have an invisible illness, well 7 illnesses, and to see that ignorance in black and white really hit home. I’m also hoping it hits home to everyone else too.

Before I read ‘A Song for Tomorrow’, I had only heard of cystic fibrosis and I was completely clueless about the illness. I felt as though my eyes were opening wider and wider, with every sentence that I read as I had no idea of the heartache behind such a devastating illness. Alice Peterson took an inspirational true story and created a character who, despite having death looming over her head, is more kick ass than ALL of the Marvel superheroes. Alice’s determination, strength and focus on achieving her dreams was absolutely breath-taking to read. She had a dream, she knew the possibility of achieving that dream was slim yet she knew that if she didn’t go for it now, it could be too late. Such an inspiring and courageous main character, inspired by a truly courageous young woman.

I’m not going to lie, the storyline isn’t all rainbows and head stuck in the clouds, hiding from the inevitable, no. The storyline has a lot of gritty, raw and dark moments which highlights the heart wrenching situations that a cystic fibrosis sufferer faces daily. They’re REAL moments, real heartache; and a real eye opener.

I am absolutely flabbergasted by Alice Peterson’s outstanding portrayal of such an emotional, real life story. I wish I could put into words exactly how much this book moved me, but I know that none of my words would be the right ones. Why? Because there aren’t enough perfect words to say that the storyline is heart breakingly beautiful. Yes, my heart did break reading this for multiple reasons, some personal and some not.

But nothing, NOTHING can hide the fact that Alice Peterson has written a book which, in my eyes, is deserving of such poignant accolades in the industry. Her deliverance of a topic which needs to be spoken about yet seen as ‘taboo’, was sensitively written yet undeniably raw and powerful. Alice Peterson has kept Alice Martineau’s memory alive through the life of ‘Alice’; I am in awe of this incredible author.

A Song for Tomorrow is an emotional, heartbreaking novel which has been written absolutely beautifully. It is a novel which will have you giggling one moment, then sobbing your heart out the next. It is a novel which highlights the power behind true friendships, true love and learning to believe in yourself. It is also a novel that has put invisible illnesses (cystic fibrosis) on the table and laid them bare, reminding people who just because you cannot see IT, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
I will never, ever forget this book or the emotion that poured out of my eyes whilst reading it.

An extraordinary story of hope; as long as you have A Song for Tomorrow.

Huge thanks to Simon & Schuster and Team Books and the City.

Buy ‘A Song for Tomorrow’ by Alice Peterson from Amazon UK

To find out more about Alice Martineau’s story which inspired Alice Peterson to write this novel, go to: About Alice Martineau.

If you wish to listen to Alice’s music from her debut album, Daydreams, click HERE!

About the author.

Alice Peterson writes contemporary fiction with humour and compassion. Her novels always have the feel good factor, but she also aims to take the reader to a darker place where characters have to overcome adversity. This is partly due to Alice’s own life experience of living with Rheumatoid Arthritis, which she wrote about in her memoir Another Alice. She has written four novels: Monday to Friday Man, which has sold over 500,000 copies across all editions, Ten Years On, By My Side and One Step Closer to You, which won the Festival of Romance’s Best Romantic Read 2014.

Alice Peterson – Amazon Profile

#BlogTour – Before You Go by @clareswatman. #review @jessduffyy @panmacmillan

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Today it’s TWG’s stop on the blog tour for Clare Swatman and her new release; Before You Go! Clare’s novel was published in e-book by Panmacmillan in December 2016, however, the STUNNING hardback book is set to hit the shelves 9th February 2017! How exciting, I wonder who I need to flutter my eyelashes at to get a hardback version as well! Huge thanks to Panmacmillan for the beautiful ARC!

Without further ado, here is my review!

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Blurb.

Before You Go is powerful story of love and loss, by debut author Clare Swatman.

When Zoe’s husband Ed dies, her world caves in. But what if Zoe can get Ed back?

You find your soulmate . . .

Some people stare love in the face for years before they find it. Zoe and Ed fumbled their way into adulthood, both on different paths – but always in the same direction. Years later, having navigated dead-end jobs and chaotic house shares, romance finally blossoms. Their future together looks set . . .

Then the unthinkable happens.

One morning, on his way to work, Ed is knocked off his bike and dies. Now Zoe must find a way to survive. But she’s not ready to let go of the memories. How can she forget all of the happy times, their first kiss, everything they’d built together? Zoe decides she has to tell Ed all the things she never said.

Now it’s too late. Or is it?

What does TWG think?

Can I start by diverting your attention to the third and fourth from last words, on the very first sentence of the blurb; got it? Good, now keep those two words in your mind for now.

When I received my copy of the book with a distinctively different cover to the ones on sale (thanks Panmacmillan), time stood still. There I was sitting with a navy blue book on my lap, which featured gold embossed letters on the front as well as minimal amounts of information. Not only did the book look beautiful, it had already started to take me on a journey before I had even begun reading it. The clock on the front cover was ticking in my mind; time was of the essence but as for which character, I had absolutely no idea.

Due to the nature of the storyline, I am doing my review a little differently as usually I take time outlining the book with no spoilers, then proceed with my thoughts and feelings. Why am I doing it differently? Because, ‘Before You Go’ is a bit like a treasure map and a treasure chest combined; you need to read the book yourself to ensure that you have all of the map pieces in the correct order, without missing any vital pieces of information. Then, without even being aware, the storyline delivers a treasure chest full of eye-opening surprises, magic moments and enough gold to fill your heart with copious amounts of warmth and emotion. Outlining this book would be an insult to the authors enchanting work of art as it is a book that NEEDS to be devoured by your very own eyes, with your own imagination grabbing hold of every single glimmer of hope that is hidden within those black and white words.

At the start of this review I asked you to divert your attention to the third and fourth from last words, of the very first sentence of the blurb, remember? When I started the book, I didn’t read (or know) those two words that I just asked you to look at. Clare’s novel gave me goosebumps all over my body and filled me with emotion that, despite being weeks since I finishing the novel, still resonates with me now. ‘Debut author’ those two words say and ‘debut author’ are two words that I didn’t associate with Clare Swatman, not once. Her gritty, powerful yet delicate way of writing about such a harrowing yet undeniably heart warming storyline completely blew me away. If this is the work of a debut author, I absolutely cannot wait to the second novel from this author. It isn’t often that I have read a book by a debut author which has shown so much passion and has characters whose personalities literally jump off the page. For me, ‘Before You Go’ was such a flawless read from start to finish; I’m not even ashamed to say that I cried like a baby. ‘Before You Go’ is, without a doubt, a must read for 2017. You’ll be a fool if you didn’t put this beauty on your TBR pile right now.

Thank you Panmacmillan.

Before You Go by Clare Swatman is available for you to buy now in e-book format, with the hardback version following on the 9th February. You too can grab your copy now (or pre-order) from Amazon

#Review of The Legacy of Lucy Harte by Emma Heatherington (@emmalou13) @harperimpulse

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Blurb.

‘Sometimes time is all we have with the people we love. I ask you to slow down in life. To take your time, but don’t waste it….’

Maggie O’Hara knows better than most that life can change in a heartbeat. Eighteen years ago she was given the most precious gift- a second-hand heart, and a second chance at life.

Always thankful, Maggie has never forgotten Lucy Harte – the little girl who saved her life. But as Maggie’s own life begins to fall apart, and her heart is broken in love, she loses sight of everything she has to live for…

Until an unexpected letter changes Maggie’s life.

It seems Lucy’s final gift to Maggie is much more than the heart that beats inside her. It’s a legacy that Maggie must learn to live by, a promise to live, laugh, fall in love and heal her broken heart for good.

Because as the keeper of a borrowed heart, Maggie’s time is more precious than most. She must make every cherished second count…

What does TWG think?

Lets think about something rather important for a moment; heart transplants (also known as a new lease of life). But is it? The clock was ticking for Maggie’s life; she either gets a new heart and lives, or the chances of her dying become incredibly high. The thing is, someone else has to die to give her the heart and Maggie can’t let that thought (and guilt), go. How could Maggie ever repay the family of the girl who gave Maggie a new heart?
People live by mantras; Maggie lives by Lucy Harte.

The simplicity of the cover peaked my interest the moment that I saw it. I skimmed the blurb but didn’t want to find out too much before I started reading, as I knew that this book would take hold of my mind in more ways than one. What I never accounted for was the emotion that poured from my eyes as the storyline progressed.

In ‘The Legacy of Lucy Harte’, we follow Maggie’s life and how she learns to live with the grief behind the most precious (and priceless) gift that she has ever received. I can’t begin to imagine what emotions a donor recipient will have, or the thoughts that cross their minds in the aftermath. You’ve just been given a new lease of life yet how can you be happy knowing that someone had to die to give you a second chance at living? Given the fact that I have never gone through a situation like that, or been involved indirectly, the questions that I had whilst reading this book were answered thanks to Emma’s portrayal of Maggie. Emma has taken an incredibly sensitive and emotionally charged situation, written about it in such a raw and poignant manner, whilst still approaching the entire thing with such a delicate nature. The author and the storyline literally blew my mind.

As I was reading the novel, the hairs on my arms stood to attention with goosebumps camping out there too. It was as though I was getting a bolt of emotion through my fingertips as I held the book and digested the incredibly moving story. I am in awe at Emma H’s mind-blowing writing. Wow.

It is safe to say that the ending of the book broke my heart. My entire mind-set and emotions were so invested in the storyline and the characters that when things started taking a turn, my heart began to hurt. In such a short space of time I had gotten to know such powerful characters yet in one large swoop, the storyline knocked me off my feet. I was heartbroken and sobbing my heart out. But you know what? I wouldn’t have wanted any other reaction. Considering the nature of the book, I wanted to feel the emotion behind the words that the author wrote and I did.

Emma Heatherington is definitely an author to watch for 2017. Her smooth, gritty (yet easy-going) style of writing is going to make for even more outstanding reads if ‘The Legacy of Lucy Harte’ is anything to go by.
Full of emotion, poignancy and incredible characters, ‘The Legacy of Lucy Harte’ will have you dissecting your own life and finding emotions you never knew you had. Mind blowing and brilliant…just make sure you keep tissues by your side (just in case).

Thank you Harper Impulse.

The Legacy of Lucy Harte by Emma Heatherington, published by HarperImpulse will be released in e-book on the 6th January 2017 with the paperback following on the 12th January 2017. Both formats are available to pre-order right now from Amazon UK

Continuing publication day buzz, Kelly Rimmer(@KelRimmerWrites) gets interrogated! @Bookouture

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Nothing says ‘congratulations on your latest release’ better than an interrogation, does it? Glad you agree! Kelly Rimmer’s latest book; A Mother’s Confession, was published yesterday by Bookouture and you can find my review right here: Publication day #review! A Mother’s Confession by Kelly Rimmer (@KelRimmerWrites) @Bookouture.

As soon as I finished the book (in amongst my snotty, ugly crying), I had some questions that I was needing answered. Luckily, Kelly said yes to my request for an interrogation (no spoilers guaranteed):

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really do appreciate it. After reading ‘A Mothers Confession’, I just knew that I had to delve a little deeper as I am a curious little devil! Don’t worry; I’m good at interrogation so it will be spoiler free!



 TWG: Your newest novel, ‘A Mothers Confession’, has just been published, congratulations! If you could describe the book in a mere five words, which ones would they be?

I only need 3!

Perspective is everything 🙂 

TWG: What made you decide to write such a complex and intense storyline for ‘A Mothers Confession’, and how?!



I like to write about things that bewilder and scare me, and domestic violence fits that bill perfectly. So I started researching it, and as I read and listened and talked to people, Olivia and Ivy’s stories solidified in my mind. 

TWG: The book was written, in my opinion, with such a personal feel to it as if YOU (the author) could relate to the storyline personally. Is that the case with this book?



I always try to put myself deep into the character when I’m planning a story, so that’s exactly the end result I really try to achieve, thanks for saying that! There are always aspects of my experience in my books, but it’s usually the small things like the way conversations flow or aspects to a particular type of character’s behaviour.

TWG: Before I read the book I saw on social media that many people couldn’t stop crying as they were reading it. I’ll be honest, I got halfway and wondered why I hadn’t cried….YET (that soon changed). How emotional did you get while you were writing the book? Did you find yourself getting far too emotional and had to stop writing?



I do write emotional books, and I get insanely attached to my characters which is strange, given I know better than anyone that they aren’t real :),  but this was the first time I had to write the difficult scenes before I wrote the start of the story. I knew they were going to be too hard to write once I knew the characters inside out. I’m so glad I did that or we might still have a story stuck at 75%… 

TWG: A lot of important topics are covered within ‘A Mothers Confession’. Was that done intentionally?



Yes, I definitely set out to understand and then write about how some aspects of our culture contribute to family violence, and to explore the impact these behaviours have on survivors and even bystanders.

TWG:  As the storyline went on and I learnt more about the characters, it quickly became clear which character I disliked. When you thought up your characters, did you feel angry to any of them based on the life you had/were creating for them?



I know exactly which character you are referring to and yes!!! I kept trying to soften the characters to make them more likeable, but that really took away from the realism in the story. But in the writing of this book there were several incidents of me yelling at my screen!

TWG: The tears came thick and fast shortly after I wondered where they were, and I ended up having a book hangover for days afterwards. Did you find that once you had written the book you needed comforted yourself?



For the first time ever after a book, I took a few weeks’ downtime. I banned myself from reading anything heavy or intense and just took it easy. It’s all fiction, of course, but this was a really difficult book to write and I needed some recovery time emotionally myself.

TWG: How different is ‘A Mothers Confession’ to your other books, overall?

Well, I think readers who enjoyed this book would enjoy my others, but I have covered a wide variety of topics in them, from romance and illness in Me Without You, to forced adoption in The Secret Daughter, and the breakdown of a marriage in When I Lost You. 

TWG:  If you could choose one of your own books to be your favourite one, which one would it be and why?



I’ve loved writing them all but A Mother’s Confession is my favourite so far. I had such a clear vision for it from the outset, which is pretty rare for me. I think being a few books in, I had more confidence writing it and I knew where I needed to take it much earlier in the process. Plus the topic is just such an important one and one that’s not openly discussed in enough circles.

I really hope readers connect with the story the way I did :).

TWG: I mentioned above about book hangovers, which book have you read that has ended up giving YOU a book hangover, and why?



I am a die-hard Jodi Piccoult fan and I think I sobbed for half a day when I read My Sister’s Keeper. I kept crying long after I’d closed the book and even years later still think about it sometimes. It was the book that inspired me to write this genre, so I guess it’s given me a many year hangover!!

TWG: Because you do write such emotional and poignant books, do you find that you steer away from those types of books when choosing a book to read yourself?



I read anything and everything. I read a lot now that I’m writing full time too. I try to read at least one independently published book a month, a few from my genre, and something random. I have a few friends who write crime/thrillers and I keep trying to get into that genre but I’m such a huge, gigantic chicken, all it takes is a grizzly murder scene and I have to shut the book, so I’m not getting very far 😉

I also read a lot of non-fiction in doing my research.

TWG:  I ask this question to all of the authors that I have on my blog; what were your favourite books as a child? Who are your favourite authors now?



Heidi by Joanna Spiri – I SO loved that book when I was a child. I was also obsessed with Roald Dahl, and I think I read every Trixie Belden book at least twice!

These days I will immediately buy anything by Jodi Piccoult, Dianne Chamberlain or for very different genred but always brilliant storytelling, I adore Margaret Atwood. My Bookouture sisters Teresa Driscoll and Renita D’silva are amazing writers, too! 

TWG: If you weren’t an author, making me ugly cry, what do you think that you would be doing career wise?

I had a career in IT before this, most recently in business intelligence.

 I can’t remember making anyone ugly cry in my old job 😉

TWG: Lastly, seeing as I detest odd numbers and had to make it an even one; what is in store for you next? Is there another book coming out? Can you give TWG an exclusive? Tell me all!!





Haha, there is something in the works, I can’t give you an exclusive just yet but once I have some details you’ll be the first to know, promise! 🙂

Thank you so much to Kelly Rimmer for answering all of my questions, and apologies for interrogating you ;). I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer those questions, and out yourself as a gigantic chicken :D.

If you’re rather curious about A Mother’s Confession, you can buy yourself a copy of the book via Amazon UK | Amazon US.

If you feel the need to buy all of  Kelly’s previous books (just like I did), you can do so via:
Kelly’s Amazon Page UK | Kelly’s Amazon Page US

Publication day #review! A Mother’s Confession by Kelly Rimmer (@KelRimmerWrites) @Bookouture

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Blurb.

Olivia and David were the perfect couple with their whole lives in front of them. When beautiful baby daughter Zoe came along, their world seemed complete.

But now David is dead and Olivia’s world is in pieces. While she is consumed with grief, her mother-in-law Ivy is also mourning the loss of her son. Both women are hiding secrets about the man they loved. Secrets that have put the family in danger.

Something was very wrong in Olivia and David’s marriage. Can Olivia and Ivy break their silence and speak the truth? A mother should protect her child, whatever the cost…shouldn’t she?

What does TWG think?

Wow…just…wow. I really don’t think that my review will do this book justice in the slightest, but I will give it my best shot.

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Kelly Rimmer’s latest gem ‘A Mother’s Confession’, something about the cover and title made me rather drawn to it. I just needed to read it but I knew that I had to dodge the blurb of it beforehand. With books like this, I tend to steer away from the blurbs as I want to savour every little piece of information I come across, at the exact point of the book it fits in and not before. I knew nothing, yet all of my senses were on high alert. Well, I say I knew nothing, other readers had said on social media that they couldn’t stop crying and befriended Kleenex throughout the book.

The first few chapters of the book reminded me of a learning curve as we enter the storyline completely unaware of the characters history and their lives now. For most part of the book we walk in the footsteps of Olivia, we follow her life and are in close proximity of her emotions. That does change once or twice throughout the book as we get even closer to another character and puzzle pieces start to fit together. Or so I thought.

Halfway into the storyline I genuinely wondered why I hadn’t started to cry yet, especially after finding out that other people were overcome with emotion after reading it. Don’t get me wrong, my arms were covered in goosebumps as I became more and more shocked with the unfolding events, the edge of my sofa became my new spot also. I was literally on the edge of my seat whilst thinking to myself; ‘why aren’t I crying yet?’. I swiftly realised that I was numb as the storyline was exceptionally raw, poignant and certain events were black and white. Unfortunately, one of those hair-raising events resonated with me personally.

A few moments after I wondered where my tears were, they came, and they didn’t stop. I couldn’t believe what I had just read. I didn’t expect what I had just read. I sat on my chair, unable to move, screaming out loud ‘omg no’ to the storyline. I had no idea that I had even spoken out loud until my voice went hoarse. For a split second, I became Olivia; Kelly Rimmer’s writing sucked me into the book and made me swap places with the main character. If an author can do that with such ease, they become a literary genius.

Kelly Rimmer has written such an emotional, heart wrenching and powerful book, I am in awe at the way she has written such a devastatingly gripping storyline whilst keeping it extremely real. So real in fact, I wondered if Kelly Rimmer was speaking from experience. I finished this book a couple of weeks ago; it gave me THE biggest book hangover that I have ever had then, and it still has now. Kelly Rimmer has soared into my Top 5 list of favourite authors ever, thanks to her intense rollercoaster of excellence that is A Mother’s Confession.

Harrowingly brilliant and spellbinding, this is TWG’s MUST, MUST read of 2016.

Thank you Bookouture and happy publication day to the magnificent Kelly Rimmer!

A Mother’s Confession by Kelly Rimmer, published by Bookouture, is available to buy right NOW from Amazon UK

Review – ‘Take A Chance On Me’ by Carol Wyer (@carolewyer) @bookouture #publicationday

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Happy publication day Carol!!

Blurb.

When Charlie’s husband leaves after ten years of marriage, her spirits hit an all-time low. She just isn’t sure how to pick herself up again. So, best friend Mercedes makes it her mission to put a spring back in Charlie’s step with the perfect bucket list.

As Charlie takes a chance and bungee jumps and belly dances her way through an array of adventures, her love life also begins to look up and she’s soon enjoying a few dates as a newly single woman. She begins to realise that finding romance, might not be so hard, especially when you’ve got someone like journalist Jake who has an adorable little boy and is very easy on the eye.

But is Jake too good to be true? As Charlie’s challenges on the bucket list get bigger, so do her questions about Jake. Should she continue to hold out for the fairy-tale? Or should she take a chance on Jake and hope for a happy ending?

What does TWG think?

Author of one of my favourite books, Carol Wyer, is back with yet another memorable story. However, it is memorable for a completely different reason than ‘Life Swap’ is. Before I read ‘Take A Chance On Me’, I was told that it would be nothing like ‘Life Swap in terms of the emotion and the hidden message. I did think to myself ‘nahhhh, it IS a Carol Wyer book afterall’. Oh how naïve I was!

Meet Charlie, a broken-hearted woman who tries to find her calling in life…again. With the help of her best friend, Mercedes, Charlie attempts things that are completely out of her comfort zone, thanks to the pact that she made with Mercedes. Despite all of the thrills and excitement the pact gives Charlie, a piece of her jigsaw is still missing. Will Charlie find the missing puzzle piece and be able to fix what she can control? Or will Charlie’s loss be too much to handle and the puzzle will forever be incomplete?

I can’t even begin this review properly with a joke, I may finish it with one, but it wouldn’t be right to begin with. I mean, how could I be anything but serious when the first few pages of the book gave me goosebumps and made me gasp? As I mentioned previously, I got told that this book would have a completely different edge to it than ‘Life Swap’, I didn’t quite believe just how much of an edge that it would have. I will now hold my hands up and say that the person who told me about the edge, was absolutely correct. After all, the author knows better about what they have written, right? -whistles-

When it comes to light in the book that Charlie and Mercedes have made a pact, also known as a good old bucket list, I couldn’t wait to see what challenges Charlie was going to face. There is powerful message behind the bucket list, but it isn’t what you would usually think. I’m not one for writing spoilers in my reviews and as this review is no different regarding that, I urge you to read the book and find out for yourself.

The complexity of each character and their personalities is outstanding. Every character has been beautifully written into the story, along with their own troubles and heartbreak, making ‘Take A Chance On Me’ extremely memorable for more than one reason. Memorable AND relatable.

Whilst Charlie and Mercedes’ bucket list has its own hidden message, ‘Take A Chance On Me’ has more than one powerful message hidden within. The word powerful is an understatement if I’m honest, the whole storyline had such a hold on me. It felt as though the story had put bricks in my feet to keep me from moving and then crawled into my soul and set up camp for the duration of the book. There was something about Carol’s writing that moved me,  I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was.

Many times as I was reading, I had to sit back and soak up what I had just read. The storyline felt real, incredibly real, and it is completely clear that Carol has written ‘Take a Chance On Me’ straight from her heart. To write such moving situations must have taken a lot of strength; as all of those intense situations moved me to tears (more than once). How does one person deal with so much heartbreak in such a short space of time, yet still be able to pay it forward for those around her? Charlie is such a beautiful character for sure, but Carol Wyer is such a beautifully, talented author for creating such, wow, intense moments. Plus, Carol has added her trademark humour all throughout the novel, creating a pillow for the emotional moments. A bit like chocolate for a women’s monthly moment, or bubbles for a bath, or a kazoo for….anytime. You know, comforting things. Where is my kazoo Carol, did you pinch it?!

I will never be able to find the words to fully describe how ‘Take a Chance On Me’ has left its mark on me. There aren’t enough words to explain how many tears I shed at the end of this book. If I could have given Carol a hug whilst reading her incredible book, I would have. I needed to. I needed to be there for her characters through her. I’m tearing up now writing this as Carol’s words hit home, I related a lot to the personal limitations of a couple of her characters. I was not expected to feel as though I was reading about my life, not a characters.

‘Take a Chance On Me’ is a story about love, loss and finding the strength to move forward. A story about just going for it and trying to accept life’s limitations in the moment, no matter how hard it is. A story about letting go (and no, not Disney’s Frozen) and believing that YOU are worthy and that you are NOT defined by your heartache. ‘Take A Chance On Me’ oozes emotion from start to finish and I cannot recommend this book enough. Yes, I cried. Yes, I laughed. Yes, I cried some more. But I will tell you this, Carol Wyer is a literary genius with a heart of gold, ‘Take A Chance On Me’ is now in my Top 5 favourite books, ever.

No, don’t ‘Take A Chance On Me’, take a chance on Carol Wyer and her beautifully written, powerful and intense book that will have you reaching for the tissues multiple times. Magically moving, with added hilarity, this book is incredible.

Take A Chance On Me by Carol Wyer, published by Bookouture, is available to buy from today (23rd September) on Amazon UK