#BlogTour! #Review – The Cornish Escape by Lily Graham (@lilygrahambooks) @bookouture

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Get swept away along the beautiful Cornish coast, where a love story in a long forgotten diary has the power to change one woman’s life forever.

Victoria Langley’s world crumbles when her husband leaves, but she knows exactly where to go to mend her broken heart. The rugged shores of Cornwall will be her perfect sanctuary. 

In the quaint, little village of Tregollan, nestled in the sea cliffs, Victoria is drawn to Seafall Cottage, covered in vines and gracefully falling apart. Inside she finds a diary full of secrets, from 1905.

Victoria is determined to unravel the diary’s mystery, but the residents of Tregollan are tight-lipped about Tilly Asprey, the cottage’s last owner. Just as she reaches a dead end, Victoria meets Adam Waters, the lawyer handling the cottage’s sale. He’s handsome, charming, and has a missing piece of the puzzle.

Tilly’s diary tells a devastating love story that mirrors Victoria’s own. Can Victoria learn from Tilly’s mistakes, and give herself a second chance at love? Or is history doomed to repeat itself?

An unputdownable and gorgeously romantic read about lost love and new beginnings set in the green hills and rocky cliffs of the breath-taking Cornish coast.

What does TWG think?

I am SOOOOO excited to be kicking off the blog tour for the AMAZING Lily Graham, alongside the also fabulous, Linda from Books Of All Kinds! What a way to kick off the tour!! Today is doubly special as it’s also Lily’s publication day for her new book, The Cornish Escape (published by Bookouture), from all the readers and I, a HUGE congratulations Lily! Kicking off a blog tour for one of your favourite authors is incredibly nerve-wracking (and an honour), as you want to do them proud. So, if you see this post around social media today please do share it everywhere (and Linda’s) so that we can create a huge buzz for Lily and her book. Thank you!
I hope you enjoy my review of Lily’s brand new book, The Cornish Escape.

When things in our personal lives don’t go to plan, we often feel the need to flee. ‘Why run away from your problems?’ you might ask, but when your heart has been broken and a life you thought you knew very well was no more, why NOT flee? Change of scenery, time to think; what’s so wrong about that? Who are we to judge, we aren’t Victoria.

Victoria’s marriage had come to an abrupt end, and instead of staying around to deal with pitying looks and bad memories, she takes off to a small village in Cornwall, Tregollan. Victoria has bitten the bullet and started her life anew, but what happens now? Well, it seems as though Victoria is in the mind-set that her life cannot get any worse than it is now so she decides to use that to her advantage by thinking with her heart instead of her head. Yes, yes, I know. I held my head in my hands as well! Such a BOLD move to think with your heart when logistics tell you something completely different, after all, we have all done it, right? -reminds self to not think with my heart for the last piece of cake….-

You know, I have never read a book of Lily Graham’s that I didn’t enjoy, yet with every new book you begin to wonder how on Earth will the author top the last novel. I’m not going to lie, I did wonder that seeing as I had given Lily’s previous novels 5*’s each and I had my fingers crossed for her newest one.

When I began reading the novel I knew straight away that it wasn’t going to be like her others. ‘The Cornish Escape’ had a lot more grit and power attached to it from an independent character point of view, as opposed to an emotional overall storyline. Two rather different storyline examples yet both brilliant.

Yes my friends, Lily Graham has done it yet again. Not only has she created a main character who is sticking her two fingers up at heart ache, heart break…and her husband, Lily has turned that character into a sassy fireball who still wears her heart on her sleeve and isn’t afraid to think with it either.

As the storyline unfolds, Victoria unearths an old diary which had been written by a lady called, Tilly. A lady who, (after careful detective work by Victoria and her new friend), has had her own fair share of heart-break. Be warned, you may need a tissue or two (or the whole box). Tilly’s story is, wow, beautifully sad. Is that even a thing? I’m sure you know what I mean, I was mesmerised by the whole diary if I’m honest.

Putting Victoria’s and Tilly’s stories together to create a heart warming, waterfall of emotion, was an absolute genius idea. It was different, poignant and totally relatable. Not every story will have the candy floss vibe to it and if I’m honest, ‘The Cornish Escape’ did not require any additional bulking out by fluff of the candy floss nature. This storyline has the power behind it to stand tall and fly the flag for real life situations, with REAL emotional values.

Once again I cannot fault a single thing of Lily Graham’s novel; she has written an outstanding storyline which may even end up being a heart-broken woman’s mantra.

A beautiful novel written from a beautiful heart. Outstanding.

A cosy, heart warming and beautiful read which transports you to a majestic Cornwall, all by the turn of a page. In my eyes, Lily Graham can do no wrong; this is her best book yet (and all hers are fab!).

Thank you Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author

Lily has been telling stories since she was a child, starting with her imaginary rabbit, Stephanus, and their adventures in the enchanted peach tree in her garden, which she envisioned as a magical portal to Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree. She’s never really got out of the habit of making things up, and still thinks of Stephanus rather fondly.

She lives with her husband and her English bulldog, Fudge, and brings her love for the sea and country-living to her fiction.

https://www.facebook.com/LilyRoseGrahamAuthor
https://twitter.com/lilygrahambooks

Today was only the beginning! Make sure you follow the other bloggers on Lily Graham’s tour! Details below:

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#Review of #TheKickingtheBucketList by @CathyHopkins1 @fictionpubteam @W6BookCafe

bucketThe stunning debut for fans of Celia Imrie and Dawn French.

Meet the daughters of Iris Parker. Dee; sensitive and big-hearted; Rose uptight and controlled and Fleur the reckless free spirit.
At the reading of their mother’s will, the three estranged women are aghast to discover that their inheritance comes with strings attached. If they are to inherit her wealth, they must spend a series of weekends together over the course of a year and carry out their mother’s ‘bucket list’.

But one year doesn’t seem like nearly enough time for them to move past the decades-old layers of squabbles and misunderstandings. Can they grow up for once and see that Iris’ bucket list was about so much more than money…

What does TWG think?

I’ll be honest, this book wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I was expecting a storyline that was centred around the ‘typical’ bucket list and somewhat predictable. However, what I actually got was a novel that had me in absolute hysterics one moment, to then finding myself ugly crying the next, whilst also having some incredibly bold and unique characters thrown in for good measure. So you see, sometimes judging a book before you have even read it, can be a good thing. After all, we all like surprises, especially when they’re good ones like this!

Dee, Rose and Fleur were expecting a bog standard will reading. You know, letters from the deceased read out, inheritance (if any) spoken about and other wishes discussed, ending with a signature from all those involved. Snigger, that was NOT what they got. There was a condition attached to any inheritance money, as laid out via the deceased’s wishes. All three ladies have one thing in common; they have all lost their mother. The deceased, their mother, has one thing which trumps her daughters ten times over; she was their mother and she knew them better than they even knew themselves. Therefore, mummy knows best, right? Especially as the three sisters haven’t exactly been bosom buddies over the years…

Iris Parker is a L-E-G-E-N-D! Her last wish to her daughters via her will, had me in absolute hysterics! I totally envisaged all three daughters faces at the news. In any other circumstance; such as the sisters getting on really well, it probably wouldn’t have come as such a shock to them, nor would I have found it as funny. But, because they couldn’t stand the sight of one another and one of them really needed the money, Iris Parkers last wish was an absolute belter.

Obviously, I forged my own opinion of Fleur, Dee and Rose, I always do. At first, I disliked Rose with a passion. Her stuck up nature and arrogance riled me up the wrong way, I’m sorry to say. I adored Dee as I found her personality incredibly warm and soft natured, even though she was incredibly bouncy and energetic. As for Fleur, I kept changing my mind with her. One moment I liked her ‘company’ and found her humour to be quite similar to mine, yet the next moment I struggled to bond with her as she came across a bit self-centred and far to free and easy about a lot of things.

The weekends the sisters had to endure were a mixture of events, some being funny and some being rather thought-provoking. Despite the weekends being their mother’s ‘bucket list’, the three women couldn’t seem to open their eyes to what was directly in front of them, nor could they see further than the money. However, watching the sisters go on their journey of self discovery by reminiscing and trying new things, was such an emotional one. Even though the ladies refused to see further than the inheritance money at first; watching them get to the point where things started to make sense was an ingenious idea on the authors part. Without even realising it, their mother had given them an incredibly powerful gift which, unfortunately, they seem to realise far too late.

Because most of Cathy Hopkins’ book was light-hearted and turned the negative circumstances into positive ones, when the dynamic of the storyline completely changed my hand flew to my mouth and my eyes began to sting. You know what I mean, yeah? Think of this; you’re reading a storyline that seems to make you laugh more often than none, has such an important underlying message to it yet all of a sudden….WHAM. Every single thing you thought you understood, you no longer understand and it’s made you far more emotional than you thought it would. Does that make sense now? Good, because that’s what happened to me when I read the last third or so of the novel.

The last third of Cathy Hopkins’ novel also gave her characters a well needed kick up the backside, too! I hadn’t realised how invested in the storyline and the characters lives I was, until that moment. Dee, Fleur and Rose’s relationship finally decided to mosey on down the path that their mother clearly knew that it would, Iris just had no idea under what circumstances/weekend or event, that that would happen.

I bawled like a baby, no lie. I was absolutely devastated by the turn of events! I couldn’t keep a lid on it, AT ALL. Yes folks, it surprised me too. It was as though I was feeling their emotion first hand.
I LOVED ‘The Kicking the Bucket List’ from the moment I read about Iris’ last wish, right until the very end of the book. The attention to detail in regards to the sisters personalities, was unbelievable, I have never read a character like those before. Incredible realistic and more than just words on a piece of paper. Those ladies stole my heart (yes, even Rose), and I took their hidden message. There were highs and there were lows. Good times and bad times. Funny moments and absolutely hilarious, sexy snorting moments. And you know what? It was absolutely brilliant. Cathy Hopkins has written such a clever and unique storyline, putting a twist on the usual ‘bucket list’ by making it her own.

Don’t be like Dee, Rose and Fleur and leave things too late. Don’t break a close relationship thinking that you have all the time in the world to fix it again. You don’t. Go and do those things that you want to do before you end up being in Iris’ position. Although to be honest, Iris is an absolute genius. So is Cathy Hopkins, especially as she has written her own ‘Ten Steps to Happiness’ at the very end. Definitely worth a read.

Completely unexpected and surreal, Cathy Hopkins novel is definitely one of my most favourite books of 2017 so far.

Thank you Netgalley and HarperCollins.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! The Little Teashop of Broken Hearts by Jennifer Joyce (@writer_jenn) @HQDigitalUK

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New week means new blog tours and today I have the pleasure of kicking off Jennifer Joyce’s blog tour! Jennifer’s new novel, The Little Teashop of Broken Hearts, was published on the 8th February 2017 by HQ Digital. Here is my review for her book and make sure you follow the rest of the blogs on the tour!

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From fairy cakes to first dates!

Maddie Lamington’s dreams are crumbling around her. If she doesn’t come up with a plan to save her little teashop on Sweet Street soon, it might be too late…

So when she sees how the perfect apple crumble brings together her lonely father and faithful customer Birdie, inspiration strikes: she’ll set up a dating night involving all her sweetest bakes.

Luckily, seriously gorgeous Caleb is on hand to help sprinkle a little magic – and a lot of sugar! Could one night of scrumptious first dates fix Maddie’s heartbreak and save her beloved teashop, too?

What does TWG think?

When I first saw the cover and title for Jennifer’s book, I felt a sense of Deja vu and it took me a good while to work out why. But then, as I was trawling Amazon for more books (to add to my 42254456 (estimate) unread books on my TBR pile, I worked out why I got deja vu. The title is incredibly similar to a book that was published last year by a different author, but it really caught me off guard as I thought I had already read Jennifer’s book.

Maddie Lamington had a dream; a dream which was WAY bigger than her, but she was still going to try to achieve it. The thing is, whilst baking cakes are either a recipe for disaster or a recipe for a start, Maddie’s long-term dream doesn’t even come with a recipe. Lets hope her timings aren’t out and she doesn’t get a ‘soggy bottom’.

Firstly, excellent surname choice for Maddie! A very clever use of words! If you don’t know, lamingtons are a cake and Maddie makes cakes…
Whilst I am an absolute sucker for a decent cake and a good cuppa, I am finding the whole teashop/café settings a bit too over used. Don’t get me wrong, they are fantastic settings where chic lit’s are concerned; I just feel a bit full up of the same theme. Of course I don’t HAVE to read them, BUT seeing as many of my well liked authors are setting the scene in a café and writing them well, it’s a bit devil you do, devil you don’t. Yes, it’s popular, but so is cake.

Despite my slight irk with the theme (not the authors work fyi), I did enjoy this book overall. Putting cake and dates together was such a genius idea that was, indeed, thoroughly entertaining. Well, as well as tummy rumbling. Mine, not theirs.

There was a lot going on with most of the characters within the storyline and sometimes it was a bit ‘woah’, but looking back on the nature of the storyline and what had to unfold, the storyline needed those character dramatics to add more depth. A couple of the characters situations had me in hysterics and I thought (out loud); ‘you plonker’, because it was most definitely something I would have done! I’m not saying who’s as you need to find out for yourself so it has the right effect. So bonkers in such a light-hearted, fun way.

I really did enjoy the comforting vibe that Jennifer’s book gave me. The storyline gave off such a homely feel which made me feel warm and cosy the whole time I was reading it (apart from when I was salivating, but shhh).

Jennifer Joyce has put a unique twist on the popular teashop theme; and it works. The only thing about this novel that screams ‘samey’ is the title. The overall storyline screams ‘eat me & date me’, and yes, I’m talking about the cakes. It’s flirty, it’s fun, it’s refreshing but most importantly, you are able to eat as many cakes as you like without consuming any calories. Oh the beauty of stories.

The only thing that broke my heart about this book was that the cakes weren’t real. This is definitely a pick me up book on days where you feel as flat as a pancake as it will make you rise like a soufflé.

Thank you Jennifer/Netgalley/HQ Digital.

Buy ‘The Little Teashop of Broken Hearts’ now.

#Review – Turn Towards the Sun by Emma Davies (@Emdavies68) @RNATweets #publicationday

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Lizzie wants nothing more than to start over and put the past behind her. So when she is offered the chance to live and work at Rowan Hill, a beautiful country estate and bustling community of artists, it feels like a dream come true.

But soon after her arrival a series of accidents and misunderstandings begins to threaten the happiness and livelihoods of everyone at Rowan Hill. And when suspicion quickly falls on Lizzie, she discovers that the past is not so easily forgotten.

To keep the life she has just begun to build, Lizzie will have to race to uncover the truth before there are disastrous repercussions for everyone involved. In this heartwarming story of friendship, loss and love, the stakes are high but so are the rewards. If Lizzie can find a way to stay true to herself, she might have a chance at something she has always wanted: a place to call home.

What does TWG think?

There are moments in our lives where we just think ‘screw this, I’m worth more’ and finally unearth the courage to move on from the hurt; aiming to start a new life. There are also moments in our lives where we have to gloss over certain aspects of our pasts in fear of rejection and embarrassment; stopping us from turning towards the sun. Just ask Lizzie; she has a chance to make things better for herself at Rowan Hill, start fresh and be loved for the REAL Lizzie.
However, glossing over our pasts isn’t always as permanent as we would like; the cracks begin to show and you’re left with a decision which could change everything: gloss over it again on a whim, or strip it bare and do it properly.

I want to live at Rowan Hill, end of haha. Emma Davies didn’t just describe the location as a few trees with the odd flower and that it has a bunch of people making bits and bobs and eating cake. No, Emma Davies wrote about the tree as though it was significant and right outside my window. She described the locations noises in such a vivid way, I tilted my head to the side to see if I could hear those same noises. Every blade of grass, every flower petal and every pattern on the tablecloths were given meaning; an identity if you will. Does that make sense? Basically, she did a bit of an M&S advert through her book! Such wonderful, enchanting words which sent shivers down my spine.

As for the characters; there were a few that rubbed me up the wrong way throughout the storyline (not saying who as I don’t want to give anything away). I loved the diversity of them all as each character had its own individual personality and brought something to the table which another character didn’t.

In ‘Turn Towards the Sun’, circumstances aren’t always picnics in fields; things started to take a turn as trust, friendships and loyalty were all put to the test. How well do you truly know someone? Are things always best left unsaid?

The storyline had me laughing, smiling and even imagining Emma’s words being brought to life. That said, the storyline had me slightly teary, shocked and a bit heartbroken. I had become so invested in the characters lives and Rowan Hill that my emotions ended up being a fly on the wall character (in my mind I was IN the story). Incredible writing from the author without a shadow of a doubt.

Turn Towards the Sun is a tale of loyalty, fresh starts, truth and listening to your heart. A tale which will have you giggling one moment and a bit down the next. A tale which let you escape to the beautiful place that is; Rowan Hill.

An outstanding, poignant and heart warming novel from best-selling author, Emma Davies. Such an absolute joy to read.

Thank you Netgalley.

You too can visit Rowan Hill from the comfort of your own home (or wherever you choose to read it):
Buy ‘Turn Towards the Sun’ from Amazon UK
Buy ‘Turn Towards the Sun’ from Amazon US

#Review of Whatever Happened To Vicky Hope’s Back Up Man by @laurajanekemp @aria_fiction #Tour

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Blurb.

A tender, funny and haunting coming-of- age novel which asks if the past
can ever be part of your future.

Twenty-one and insecure, Vicky Hope comes up with a plan on the eve of travelling the world with her high flying friend, Kat Lloyd: if she isn’t married by the time she’s thirty, she’ll marry her geeky best mate Mikey Murphy.

Fast-forward eight-and-a-bit years, Vicky, now Vee wakes up on her thirtieth birthday in Brighton, expecting a proposal of marriage from her arty boyfriend Jez. Instead he tells her their relationship is over and she has no choice but to return to her parents’ home.

Devastated and alone in her childhood bedroom, she decides she has nothing to lose and tracks down her two old mates. With shock, she discovers Mikey, now Murphy, is a successful app designer driven by his tragic upbringing. Kat, or Kate, never made it – but she hides a devastating secret, which threatens the happiness of all three.

What does TWG think?

I would hang my head in shame seeing as I managed to worm my way onto this particular blog tour, but I’m not going to. Instead, I am going to get my pom poms out, sprinkle a bit of glitter and be honoured that I am able to help champion Laura Kemp’s latest novel. Be prepared though; this book takes you on a walk down memory lane and BOY does it feel good. It’s even better than a Tamagotchi (and that’s saying something).

Cover + title = one rather curious reader. How could anyone NOT be intrigued about a back up man? Ahhhhhh, oh to be 21 again! I say that like I’m in considerably older (I’m not, i’m nearly 27), but memories of our youth can always stir up a teensy bit of nostalgia. Well, unless you’re Vicky of course! A teensy bit is quite an understatement. You see, Vicky made a plan; a plan to have a back up man if she wasn’t married by the time she turned 30. No pressure, right? What Vicky didn’t really account for was life, and how fast that bad boy moved. She decided to see the world, be free, live a little, find her inner peace….and end up on her own. It is safe to say that Vicky’s fool-proof idea didn’t exactly go to plan.

Fast forward nine years where Vicky finds herself at a crossroad; make…or break?

Delving into Vicky’s youth had me in absolute hysterics! The reminiscing of childhood favourite items and go to things, made me put my head in my hands and forget how to breathe due to my oh so sexy, full-blown belly laughing. Laura managed to keep those all time favourite memories in their own little bubble, without tainting them in today’s world. In my eyes, Laura had reached legen-DARY status with that alone. Genius.

As I sunk my teeth into more of the storyline, it soon became clear that the novel had more to it than just laughter. The characters had depth, quirky personalities and most importantly, relatable emotion. I didn’t dislike any of them either, I just understood some of the characters more than others.

I’ll cut to the chase; I absolutely LOVED this book. There was just something rather special about the entire storyline and I cannot put my finger on exactly what that is, even after having weeks of letting it settle in my mind. It was just…unique. Fragile perhaps. Maybe even soulful. No, definitely soulful. Yes, the humour was off the chart; but so was the emotion, lifestyle turbulence of the characters and the ‘I cannot stop reading this book’ factor.

Laura Kemp has written such a down to earth, relatable and highly amusing read which takes hold of your soul, emotion and all of the cringey memories from your youth that you wanted to hide (but secretly think about). Absolutely brilliant read, I cannot recommend this book enough.

Thank you Aria & Netgalley.

Whatever Happen to Vicky Hope’s Back Up Man is available to buy now from the following:

Laura’s previous book, THE LATE BLOSSOMING OF FRANKIE GREEN is available
now:

About Laura Kemp.
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Laura lives in Penarth, Cardiff with her supportive husband, gorgeous son,
playful dog and ancient cat. Writing is compulsive to Laura. With 15 years
journalistic experience and several successful books to her name, writing is her
escape and her love.

Follow Laura