#PublicationDay #Review – Undertow by Elizabeth Heathcote (@lizzieheathcote) @QuercusBooks

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A heart-pounding psychological thriller for fans of Disclaimer and Apple Tree Yard.

My husband’s lover. They said her death was a tragic accident. And I believed them . . . until now.

Carmen is happily married to Tom, a successful London lawyer and divorcee with three children. She is content to absorb the stresses of being a stepmother to teenagers and the stain of ‘second wife’. She knows she’ll always live in the shadow of another woman – not Tom’s first wife Jenny, who is resolutely polite and determinedly home-counties, but the lover that ended his first marriage: Zena. Zena who was shockingly beautiful. Zena who drowned swimming late one night.

But Carmen can overlook her husband’s dead mistress . . . until she starts to suspect that he might have been the person who killed her.

What does TWG think?

As soon as I spotted the cover of Undertow, my curiosity level went through the roof. Whose death was an accident? Why is there hair on the cover? What on EARTH does ‘undertow’ mean?
Those were just some of the questions that were going through my mind, even before I had opened the book. Questions which could only get answered by paying close attention to the storyline and the information it held. But, as soon as the story began, I ended up with even more questions than I started with and I couldn’t wait to see how the storyline was going to unfold.

Carmen was a tough character to warm to, yet she exuded a lot of warmth to those around her. It just wasn’t a vibe that lingered with her once she was on her own, and of course I wondered why. Did she feel as though she had to prove herself when it came to ex-wife, Jenny, and dead ex-girlfriend, Zena?

The further I got into the book, the more unsettled I became. I knew something wasn’t right, yet I had no idea what. There were signs, little pieces of information which were a long way off from being complete. Red herrings perhaps? For me, yes. However, due to the additional vibes from Carmen as the book went on, my own reactions ended up mirroring hers. Her shock became my shock, her fear became my fear; hell yeah I was on edge but it wasn’t the uncomfortable or disturbing sort. It was the unsettled, nervous, spine tingling on edge feeling.

Pardon my bluntness but I absolutely despised Tom and everything he stood for. He was such an arrogant and nasty piece of work, yet he most certainly made his presence known in the storyline. Even though I wished he swapped places with Zena, if ‘Undertow’ didn’t have a character with such skin crawling tendencies, I honestly don’t think it would have had the intense storyline that ‘Undertow’ ended up with. He was a vital character in terms of personality, but my golly he disgusted me in more ways than one.

‘Undertow’ reminded me of a pot of water on the stove to boil. At first the storyline simmered gently, the odd situation causing a few bubbles. Then, as the storyline unfolded and cans of worms were opened, the amount of bubbles multiplied and the intensity of the storyline boiled and reached its peak. With a vengeance. It was then, when the book hit boiling point, the turn of events caught me completely off guard, with a pounding heart. Did I expect those events? No, I didn’t because the author wrote each and every uncomfortable situation, extremely cleverly. The author seemed to have an idea what the readers first instincts may have been and to me, it felt as though she had worked the storyline to make sure the readers expected the unexpected. No first instincts, just teasers and the need to use your own brain power to decipher exactly what those teasers meant.

‘Undertow’ is a cleverly written, head-funk of a book that is full to the brim of uncertainty, intensity and enough turbulence to rival dinner with an ex. Full of shocking and hair-raising moments, you may end up finishing this book wondering if you can even trust yourself…

Looking forward to read Elizabeth Heathcote’s next book, after this!
Thank you Quercus!

Buy ‘Undertow’ from Amazon UK
Buy ‘Undertow’ from Amazon US 

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#Review – The Vets at Hope Green Part 1 by Sheila Norton @NortonSheilaann @EburyPublishing

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Blurb.

PART ONE of a heartwarming and inspiring story about living the simple life and the joy of animals. Perfect for fans of Appleby Farm, Ivy Lane and Alfie the Doorstep Cat

Working as a receptionist in a London vets, Sam is living far from her idea of a simple life. She’s always broke, rents a tiny flat, and is constantly arguing with her boyfriend. But the worst part is that her career is going nowhere. She wants to be a vet, but the most contact time with the animals she has is a quick hello when she books in their next appointment.

Something’s got to give, so when her parents suggest visiting her Nana Peggy in a small quiet picturesque village, she agrees, thinking a bit of R&R could do her good.

But rest and relaxation may not be the order of the day. Poor Nana Peggy’s lovely dog Rufus is unwell, and Sam can’t help but grow fond of him. With the help of Joe the local vet, a charming yet strangely distant man, Sam sets out on looking after him, despite her London life trying to call her back…

What does TWG think?

Ever been between books and fancied something light and cosy; which didn’t make you start questioning your IQ level? I’m sure you have! I most CERTAINLY have, this being one of those times. I had just finished a book that left me with goosebumps where goosebumps ideally should not be. I wanted a story which wrapped my mind in a soft blanket and fed me marshmallows, but it’s those types of books you’ll only know once you see the cover.
Sheila Norton’s book was THAT sort of books. I knew from the moment I laid eyes on the cover that it would be the book that I could cosy up with. Isn’t it amazing how you just know that a book is going to be just…right?

Of course, a part of me was concerned that my expectations were too high to begin with. But honestly? I needn’t have worried, at all.

Sam works as a receptionist for a city vets. The thing is, she doesn’t want to be a receptionist for the rest of life and is adamant that she wants to become a vet. The thing is, her boyfriend thinks that she is living in a dream world. A girl can dream though, right? Nana Peggy to the rescue! Well, Sam is hopeful. A change of scenery, a wise woman; just what the doctor (or vet) ordered..or is it?

I really did feel sorry for Sam at first as she oozed innocence and just wanted to be happy, but things seemed to be going from bad to worse for her. Seeing as ‘Escape to the Country’ is the first part to the Hope Green series, we only get to find out so much. The majority of the story consisted of background information and mainly getting to know Sam. It was such a comfortable read, so comfortable in fact it seemed to end far too quickly haha! I really am looking forward to seeing where Sam’s life is headed and getting to know more of the characters.

A very promising start to a highly intriguing serial. Definitely the cosy read I had hoped for!

Thank you Ebury Publishing!

The Vets at Hope Green Part One is available to buy now from Amazon 

#WatchMe as TWG kicks off @TheAngelaClarke #tour with an INCREDIBLE #giveaway!! @avonbooksuk

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Asking a blogger to kick off a blog tour is such an honourable task. Publishers/authors are putting their faith in that blogger to shout loud and proud and get the blog tour off to the best start that they can. See, honourable! Now, when I found out that I would be kicking off the blog tour for THE Angela Clarke and her much longed for new novel, ‘Watch Me’, my legs turned to jelly! Nervous much?

Angela’s tour is THE tour to watch right now, can you handle it? #AreYouWatching? Before I light up your screen with a star-studded giveaway (or two), I suppose I had better tell you a little bit about Angela’s new book which is published TODAY by Avon Books UK. You can get hold of your copy right now from Amazon UK.

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The body of a 15-year-old is found hours after she sends a desperate message to her friends. It looks like suicide, until a second girl disappears.

This time, the message is sent directly to the Metropolitan Police – and an officer’s younger sister is missing.

DS Nasreen Cudmore and journalist Freddie Venton will stop at nothing to find her. But whoever’s behind the notes is playing a deadly game of hide and seek – and the clock is ticking.

YOU HAVE 24 HOURS TO SAVE THE GIRL’S LIFE.
MAKE THEM COUNT.

If that blurb doesn’t pique your interest, I have no idea what will! Oh, wait….no, I take that back….

What would you say if TWG the book fairy told you that YOU could be in with a chance of winning a book…or two, one of those being ‘Watch Me’?

I have TWO giveaways for you to help celebrate the release of Angela Clarke’s ‘Watch Me’, courtesy of Angela herself, and some star-studded friends.

GIVEAWAY ONE

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(Prize: A signed copy of ‘Deep Down Dead’ by Steph Broadribb AND a copy of Angela Clarke’s ‘Watch Me’.)

Blurb of Deep Down Dead.

Lori Anderson is as tough as they come keeping her career as a Florida bounty hunter separate from her role as single mother to nine-year-old Dakota, who suffers from leukaemia. But when the hospital bills rack up, she has no choice but to take a job that will make her a fast buck, and that’s when things go wrong. The fugitive she’s chasing is JT, Lori’s former mentor – the man who taught her all she knows … the man who also knows the secrets of her murky past.

GIVEAWAY TWO

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(Prize: I LET YOU GO and I SEE YOU (both US versions) by Clare Mackintosh AND a copy of ‘Watch Me’ by Angela Clarke.)

 Two psychological thrillers from the Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author, Clare Mackintosh. I LET YOU GO follows a woman rebuilding her life after a fatal hit-and-run. I SEE YOU tells the story of a woman who finds her own photograph in the classifieds of a London newspaper, and sets out to find out why it’s there.

Fancy a chance at winning? OF COURSE YOU DO! Below is what you need to do to be in with a chance (pay attention to this bit):

OPEN TO UK RESIDENTS ONLY (sorry!)

♠ To be in with a chance of winning, hop over to MY twitter account @kaishajayneh and RT the PINNED tweet (if you don’t do this, you won’t be in with a chance, simples).

♠ Sharing this blog post as well as the giveaway details on Facebook is FABULOUS, however, shares on anything other than Twitter of the pinned tweet will not count.

♠ As there are two giveaways, I will choose one separate winner randomly for each giveaway and the winners details will be passed onto Avon Books UK.

♠ Even though Clare Mackintosh is offering the US versions of both of her books, both giveaways are only open to UK residents due to postage.

Happy with all of that? Good. I don’t know about you but I am rather excited and it’s only day one! Every day of the tour will see a brand new giveaway so make sure you keep your eyes peeled on Twitter & Facebook daily. This is NOT to be missed. Here are all the lovely bloggers who are taking part in this star-studded tour:

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Last but not least, have you ever fancied writing your own book? Well, the fabulous Angela Clarke has got a video that might just be up your street:

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How To Write A Book by Angela Clarke

HUGE thank you to Avon Books for allowing me to kick of the tour, and also a huge thank you to Steph Broadribb and Clare Mackintosh for being part of such a fabulous giveaway. Congratulations Angela, wishing you oodles of success with your new release, and the rest of the tour!

To keep up to date with Angela, Steph, Clare or Avon Books, make sure you follow them on twitter:

Follow Angela Clarke
Follow Steph
Follow Clare
Follow Avon Books UK

#AreYouWatching?

Publication #review of Sister Sister by Sue Fortin (@suefortin1) @HarperImpulse @TheRomaniacs

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Blurb.

Alice: Beautiful, kind, manipulative, liar.

Clare: Intelligent, loyal, paranoid, jealous.

Clare thinks Alice is a manipulative liar who is trying to steal her life.
Alice thinks Clare is jealous of her long-lost return and place in their family.

One of them is telling the truth. The other is a maniac.
Two sisters. One truth.

What does TWG think?

How on Earth do I review this book?! There have only been a couple of books that have completely taken over my mind whilst reading them (in a headfunk, fabulous kind of way); until now. Sue Fortin’s new release, ‘Sister Sister’ has become the latest book to leave me questioning EVERYTHING, including my name.

What would you do if a family member had just…vanished? ‘We will be back’ they said. Now, unless there was a million car back log on the M25 and all flights were cancelled indefinitely, you would pretty much expect them back, yes? After all, they did say…
Clare and her mother have an unfinished chapter in their life story. A chapter which can only be completed by one person; Alice. If only Alice was able to find her way back to the memories once known…

I finished ‘Sister Sister’ a couple of days ago and yet I STILL continue to mull over the storyline. From the get go, there is bucketful’s of juicy storyline to sink your teeth into, especially where the past is concerned. I had no idea what to expect, nor what route I felt the storyline would take as I kept reading. But, I’ll be honest; all thoughts of my surroundings and trying to do guess work with the storyline, vanished from my mind the more of the book I read. I had to surrender to the storyline very quickly as I began to lose my mind with the intense, white knuckle contents of ‘Sister Sister’.

Every single page felt like Pandora’s box. Every single chapter contained another hurdle for the characters. Every single word Sue wrote was laced with a hidden agenda. I could not stop reading; even though there were moments of ‘can I really continue?’. Not due to the likeability factor of the book, no! But, erm, because I was emotionally and physically exhausted by the rollercoaster I was on, even though I couldn’t get off it!

There is absolutely nothing that I can find fault with when it comes to ‘Sister Sister’. Nothing at all. I really did love how each character stood out and seemed to have their own place within the book; nobody was there to just ‘fill a gap’. I really do think that that helped keep the gritty momentum of the storyline.

‘Sister Sister’ completely messed up my head, had me looking over my shoulder and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. What a SUPERB book! Full of grit, rollercoaster moments and enough psychological imbalance to make a psychologist cry, ‘Sister Sister’ is definitely going to be a tough act to follow for the rest of 2017.

In my opinion, Sue Fortin stands out from a lot of people thanks to her latest release. Her way with words and incredible talent at creating such intense situations, is mind-blowing. Absolutely fantastic.
Unplug the house phone, put your mobile on silent and dedicate a few hours to Sue Fortin’s ‘Sister Sister’, interruption free. This is a book you DO NOT want to miss.

Even though we are only six days into 2017, ‘Sister Sister’ has set the bar high and is definitely one to watch.

Thank you HarperImpulse! Happy publication day Sue!!

Sister Sister by Sue Fortin, published by HarperImpulse is available to buy now in e-book from Amazon UK! Don’t fret though, if you’re more of a paperback reader, keep your eyes peeled for the 20th April! You can pre-order your paperback now from Amazon.

#Tour! #Review & #Excerpt of Midnight & Mistletoe by @jaxandwillsmum @LoveReadRomance

Absolutely thrilled to bring you a review AND an excerpt of Rebecca Raisin’s latest novella, ‘Midnight and Mistletoe’! This novella is the third (and last) book of the series and although they COULD be read as a standalone, you might find yourself a little confused if you haven’t read the previous books.

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Blurb.

Join Rebecca Raisin for the final festive part of the Cedarwood Lodge serial and see who might be kissing under the mistletoe…

Planning a New Years Eve Party might be the kind of event Clio Winters used to dream about organising, but when everything is feeling a bit up in the air, she has to hope that this New Years her wish really will come true.

Cedarwood Lodge is a delectable romance told in three parts – following Clio Winters journey back to her hometown of Evergreen. This is the final part in this feel-good romance serial.

What does TWG think?

Can’t believe that we are on the third and final part of the series, already! I have really enjoyed following Clio’s life and watching her grow before my very eyes with the previous books. I was rather hopeful that  ‘Midnight and Mistletoe’ would follow suit.

For Clio, there has always been ‘something’ up in the air when it came to her relationship with her mum. What that was though, Clio had absolutely no idea. Her mum wasn’t exactly volunteering the information either! Despite that, Clio put her head down and carried on doing what she does best; organising events. I have loved Clio’s feisty yet vulnerable nature from the get go, as she is just so loveable.

With this book, we get to find out the ‘elephant in the room’ as they say, and multiple things were uncovered. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting what was uncovered, however, because there had been such a long build up to the truth, I did find the end result a bit of an anti-climax. There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing between Clio and her friends in regards to her mothers situation, but the truth part was short and rapid in ending. Personally, I would have preferred the last part to get more attention. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy it; I just wanted more! I wanted to find out more about the characters AFTER certain events. Makes me wonder if Clio & Kai might be returning in 2017?!

Rebecca Raisin has once again created such loveable, warm and realistic characters. I really am in awe how every character she creates, even in her other books, jump out of the page and come alive. For me, that unbelievable talent is what makes Rebecca stand out from the rest.

Cedarwood Lodge has been a fantastic setting to visit and watch come alive with hustle and bustle, gold décor and copious amounts of food. I have loved this series and I really do hope we get to see Clio and Kai in the future. I am sure that they will have A LOT more to tell us; my fingers are crossed.

An uplifting, cosy ending to a truly fantastic series; I am incredibly sad to see the series end.

Thank you LRR, Rebecca and Netgalley!

Book Links: Amazon | Amazon UK | B&N | Google Play | Goodreads

Author Info:

 Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been published in various short story anthologies and in in fiction magazines, and is now focusing on writing romance. Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships, and most importantly believe in true love.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Read below for an excerpt from Midnight and Mistletoe!

Chapter One

The golden vocals of Frank Sinatra singing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas drifted upstairs to greet me. Feeling decidedly festive, I wrenched the bedcovers back and raced to the bay window. Outside, the frosty ground was blanketed by snow and the mountains in the distance slumbered under dense white. If you squinted you could make out tracks in the snow from Santa’s reindeers. OK, maybe not, but a girl could dream…

From downstairs came the rattle of cups, the shrieking of the kettle – someone was up and about and, from the scents wafting my way, baking something Christmassy.

Not wanting to miss a thing, I pulled on my robe and went to investigate. Even at thirty-three the joy of Christmas had never left me. Taking the stairs two at a time, I practically bounced into the warmth of the kitchen. Cruz had brewed a pot of gingerbread coffee and handed me a cup. The spicy ginger scent was synonymous with Christmas and gave me the desire to eat my bodyweight in baked goods – from gingerbread families to reindeer cookies, and as many of Aunt Bessie’s donuts as I could carry in two hands. After all, New Year’s resolutions were made for a reason, right?

“Thanks, and Merry Christmas, Cruz!”

“Merry Christmas, Clio. Nice PJs.” He raised a sardonic brow.

Staring down at my ensemble I couldn’t help but smirk. Isla and Micah had gifted us all kitschy Christmas-themed gifts. My pajamas were festooned with grinning red-nosed reindeers and merry mistletoe; the material was so vividly red they were blink inducing. Let’s just say you wouldn’t have missed me even if you were in the next town over. My dressing gown covered most of the garishness but not quite enough apparently.

“Right?” I laughed.

A moment later in walked Amory, wearing her gift from Isla and Micah. Flashing candy cane earrings and a matching headband.

“Aww you look so… Christmassy.” I grinned. I hadn’t seen Amory embrace the holidays with quite so much flamboyance so early in the morning before.

“Coffee.”

We laughed at Amory’s usual one word dawn greeting, her Grinch-like tone a total opposite to her flashing festive accessories. Even on Christmas morning she was unable to communicate until caffeine was pumping through her veins. I poured her a gingerbread coffee and she gulped it down, then held the cup out for another, which she sipped a little more gingerly.

I gave her the prerequisite three minutes to let it work its magic before saying: “Did you hear the sleigh bells last night?”

She rolled her eyes dramatically. “Is that some kind of euphemism? Because if you want to know about my sex life all you need to do is ask.”

A shocked giggle escaped me. “Amory!” Cruz turned away and did his best to appear busy, though I could see his shoulders shake with silent laughter.

“What? Isn’t that what you meant?” she grinned, the evil minx she was.

“No it isn’t! I meant actual sleigh bells! I think someone in town must have been marching around as Santa last night. Maybe we missed a Christmas parade or something.”

“Oh, my bad.” Her face was the picture of innocence but it was hard to concentrate when she had all manner of kitschy Christmas jewelry flashing from her head. “Of course something like that would be happening in a town like Evergreen, darling! There seems to be a festival for everything here.”

I smiled as I took a sip of coffee. Amory was right, Evergreen prided itself on having an event for every season. I’d missed the autumn food festival, but the switching on of the town lights and the ginormous Christmas tree had been truly spectacular. And before long, the spring flower festival would be here.

“And I see you’re wearing your gift,” Amory said, motioning to Cruz.

On top of Cruz’s head was a novelty chef’s hat announcing, No soggy bottoms this Christmas!

He grimaced. “Well, I figure I have three hundred and sixty-four days that I don’t have to wear it. And I only whipped it on when I heard footsteps and thought it might be Isla checking up on me.” With a grin, he pulled it off and threw it on the bench.

“Oh no, here comes Isla comes now!” Amory hissed. I darted a glance over my shoulder, sure Isla and Micah were elsewhere. They’d left in the early hours of this morning, after our Christmas Eve celebrations finally came to a close, in order to make it to Micah’s family Christmas.

Cruz’s eyes widened and he fumbled and cursed as he stuffed it back on.

“Just joking! Isla and Micah aren’t coming for breakfast today.”

He narrowed his eyes and clutched at his heart. “You’re evil. Pure evil.”

Amory laughed. “But you make it so easy!”

Cruz was the epitome of politeness and it was almost impossible for us not to play practical jokes or tease him mercilessly. He took it in good humor, and it made the busy days a little more fun.

“And,” I said, “Isla has spies, she’ll know if you’re not wearing your hat.”

Shaking his head, he donned the offending item, and said with a smile, “It’s a lovely hat. The best.”

“You’re a lucky man.” Amory stood to kiss him, and I felt a moment of pure joy for my friends. A few weeks ago it didn’t look like their love would last, they’d both envisioned different futures; Cruz sought the American dream: a house in the ‘burbs, kids, a nine-to-five job… and Amory wanted the exact opposite, and had no desire to have children, ever. After lots of back and forth they’d managed to compromise because they loved each other above all else, even if that meant sacrificing their own dreams. It gave me hope for my own love life… or lack thereof.

“You should see what Isla got for Micah’s parents. Bright Kermit green Christmas onesies. With matching slippers. They’ll certainly be warm, if nothing else.” Amory giggled.

I blamed Henrietta from the gift shop in town for encouraging Isla; still, when we’d given out presents the night before our laughter had turned into a fully-fledged cackle-fest as the gifts got sillier by the moment. When she produced a talking elf you could teach to speak, the night disintegrated into chaos with everyone wanting to take a turn, teaching the innocent elf some not-so-innocent phrases.

It had been an endless evening of laughter until Micah had presented Isla with her very own real life constellation that he’d named after her; we’d let out a collective aww, and the night ended on a sweet note with everyone loved up, and me dreaming of being loved up…

#Tour! Author @Marnie_Riches, talks about book series in a #pubday guest post! @HQStories

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There is no better way of starting this blog post, other than by a HUGE congratulations to author Marnie Riches! Today is the day that Marnie’s FOURTH book, ‘The Girl Who Had No Fear’, is released and available for you all to buy (more details further down). To help celebrate the fact that #GeorgeIsBack, HarperCollins have set up a blog tour!
Popping her TWG cherry, Marnie has written a guest post about writing a continuing series, hope you enjoy!

Three’s company, four’s a crowd? : Writing a Continuing Series by Marnie Riches

I’m lucky. I have a successful series with a wonderful cast of returning characters. It’s like playing God over your own private soap opera or, more appropriately, long-running TV crime drama. George McKenzie has evolved into a satisfyingly complex character in the course of four books, with an often entertaining extended family to bounce off or clash against.

One of the wonderful things about writing a series is that you have the space in which to allow your main character’s backstory to keep unspooling, revealing new surprises. Certainly, where George is concerned, I hope never to run out of character arc with which to frame an entire series. As her hidden past unravels, her future unfolds before us too, so the possibilities for story-telling continue. The same can be said for Van den Bergen. He too has all sorts of conflict and pain buried in the past. The past has a way of catching up with you and influencing how you behave on your day-to-day present, so I am lucky to be able to explore fraught and broken relationships that I had only hinted at in The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die – such as Van den Bergen’s relationship with his dying father, and George’s relationship with her own father – in subsequent George books.

But you have to keep things fresh, don’t you? Consequently, I’ve striven to shift some of the focus onto lesser characters in each book, so that we get to know people better. In The Girl Who Broke the Rules, we learn a great deal about Aunty Sharon, with whom George lodges for some of the year. In The Girl Who Walked in the Shadows, Marie, Van den Bergen’s IT specialist, plays a much more important role. In The Girl Who Had No Fear, Elvis, Van den Bergen’s sidekick junior detective is a key player when the stakes are raised, revealing much about his private life.

Each George novel has similar themes within it – family, sexuality and the effects of trafficking, for example. But though there are flashbacks to previous novels and George’s personal story continues, each instalment has a different, standalone main plot. And this is what keeps the series fresh, I hope. In The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die, the story was about an apparent suicide bomber. In The Girl Who Broke the Rules, George and Van den Bergen were on the hunt for a possible serial killer of trafficked people and sex workers. In The Girl Who Walked in the Shadows, the mystery revolved around two missing toddlers. Now, in The Girl Who Had No Fear, we’re dealing with another apparent serial killer of gay men – or is it?

Well, I don’t mind telling you that you’re in for a surprise, some sex, a lot of drug-taking and a trip to Central America in search of…well, not just the killer of six Dutch men! You’ll have to read it and tell me if I’ve managed to keep it fresh!

A big thank you to Marnie for writing the guest post and featuring on TWG. If you fancy nabbing a copy of Marnie’s latest book, all the important details are below:

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The fourth gripping thriller in the Georgina McKenzie series.

Amsterdam: a city where sex sells and drugs come easy. Four dead bodies have been pulled from the canals – and that number’s rising fast. Is a serial killer on the loose? Or are young clubbers falling prey to a lethal batch of crystal meth?

Chief Inspector Van den Bergen calls on criminologist Georgina McKenzie to help him solve this mystery. George goes deep undercover among the violent gangs of Central America. Working for the vicious head of a Mexican cartel, she must risk her own life to find the truth. With murder everywhere she turns, can George get people to talk before she is silenced for good?

Buy now from – Amazon UK

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

#Tour! Celebrations & Confetti by Rebecca Raisin (@jaxandwillsmum) @LoveReadRomance @UKCarina

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It’s finally here!!! I say finally, I didn’t write the book but I can imagine Rebecca being majorly excited right now! Why? Because today is the publication day for Part one of her brand new book series; Celebrations & Confetti!! Happy publication day to such a fantastic author, and a fantastic lady!
P.S. How gorgeous is that banner btw?!

Today I have the privilege of bringing you TWO Rebecca related things on this post; a review and a specially written guest post! Excited? Me too, let’s get this celebration started shall we? Someone bring the confetti…

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Blurb.

Part one in a feel-good romantic serial from bestselling author Rebecca Raisin!

Clio Winters is finally fulfilling her childhood dream of renovating the gorgeous old Cedarwood Lodge in Evergreen. Turning it into the perfect destination for big celebrations, weddings and parties has brought her back home, but Cedarwood Lodge is in need of a lot of tender loving care.
Perhaps all the work will be the perfect distraction from the real reason she had to leave her glamorous New York life behind. Will coming home be the best decision of her life… or her biggest regret?

Cedarwood Lodge is a delectable romance told in three parts – following Clio Winters journey back to her hometown of
Evergreen. This is Part One.

What does TWG think?

I haven’t read a book of Rebecca’s that I didn’t like, ever. Celebrations & Confetti is no exception. However, I would never use the word ‘like’ to describe my feelings of this book because I’m afraid to say, I didn’t like it…..

WAIT!!

I haven’t finished…..

It’s true, I didn’t like it because I absolutely, one hundred percent….LOVED IT! Although, I don’t think ‘love’ is even strong enough to describe my thoughts! Celebrations & Confetti captured my heart from the very beginning with its enticing nature, and comforting words. Every lick of paint or change in décor was described with incredible realism; I felt as though I was standing in the lodge watching the transformation through my very own eyes.

Clio has returned home to Evergreen leaving the glamorous life of New York City behind her, but why? Why leave NYC for a….lodge? Those are the questions that Clio knows her mum wants to ask her; if she ever saw her that is. Clio returning home should be a joyous occasion, especially when she is following her heart. But will everyone be on the same wavelength as her?

I was! Don’t get me wrong, you’ll learn a lot of information in part one that could make you feel differently towards Clio. Positive or negative, it makes for excellent reading and puts the storyline on a completely different level to the one I initially thought.

All of the characters within the book are very easy to gel with and their personalities are all incredibly memorable. So memorable that I couldn’t actually find a character that I disliked (that is rare). Two characters in particular that made my heart sing were Kai and Eva, one of the few subtle things within the storyline that made me stop and gather my thoughts.

Seeing as this is only part one, you are left with many unanswered questions. Whilst it might be frustrating for those that dislike books that come in parts, it is to be expected with a series and I love the fact that there is even more to find out in part two.

Rebecca writes with such warmth and emotion; all of her stories have felt like hugs in a book. I cannot fault Celebrations & Confetti at all, why would I want to? It is such a fantastic start to an already enticing book series and I for one cannot wait to read part 2. If it continues on the same line of brilliance as this one, we will be in for an absolute treat! See you soon Cedarwood Lodge!!

Thank you Rebecca & LRR!

To buy links:  Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay

Guest Post by Rebecca Raisin.

A big thanks to the Writing Garnet for having me here today! Kaisha posed the question: If you had the chance to make or break your life like Clio, how would you do it?

I love the idea of answering this so much, and nailing down one idea is hard! In Celebrations and Confetti at Cedarwood Lodge Clio’s perfect, big city, executive life ends suddenly, leaving her two choices, stay and bear it, or leave and follow her dreams a little earlier than she had planned…

If I was in the same predicament I’d definitely choose escape! With wanderlust in my veins I often have these grand plans, including packing up our house and moving to Bali for a year, writing on the run and home schooling our kids. This was our real life plan until a few things put paid to it! Still, I dream of exotic climes, and writing on the beach, my kids frolicking in the water, and us all learning a new language…

Even though that is off the cards for the moment it’s still a dream of mine! Just the idea of living simply, taking only one bag of clothes (and books!) really appeals to me. We collect so much stuff, and I’d much prefer to collect memories… especially while my children are young.
I love the idea of Bali because it’s close to home, and our families could easily visit, and we love the Balinese culture and its people. If not Bali, in a perfect world you’d find us in France, in a little village where I’d try so hard to befriend the locals, and pretend to be French! I adore the language, the way their accents sound like poetry, then there’s the food. I would be in foodie heaven and would hope that my walking adventures would counter the amount of calories I consume.

I’d also love to see Scotland, Greece, Italy – the list goes on. You never know what the future will bring. If I get the chance to pack up and whisk my family away for a year long adventure abroad I would do it in a heartbeat…

What would you do if you had the chance?

Huge thank you to Rebecca for writing such a fantastic guest post! If I had the chance to make or break my life without anything holding me back, I would pack up and go and start again. My dream has always been to go to Australia, unfortunately, health won’t let me do that. So, my ‘going’ will be to meet authors next year, that counts, right? Let me know what you would do via the comments!!

Author bio:

Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been published in various short story anthologies and in fiction magazines, and is now focusing on writing romance.
Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships, and most importantly believe in true love.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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It’s publication day for Melody Bittersweet and Kitty French answers five of TWG’s questions!

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Banner created by publishers Bookouture.

HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY KITTY FRENCH!!!!!

I am bouncing around the room with excitement, pretty similar to a toddler that has had sugar, yet I didn’t even write this book! You may have seen me mention this book once or twice. Missed it? Here’s a recap!
First of all I wrote a review for this fantastic book which can be found here: Book review of ‘Melody Bittersweet and The Girls Ghostbusting Agency’ by Kitty French.
Then, Kitty French’s book became TWG’s Book of the month for June:
It’s time to reveal TWG’s Book of the Month – June!!
TWG's BOTM

As it is Kitty’s day to celebrate this magnificant book, her publishers Bookouture – Kim Nash, allowed me five questions to ask Kitty. Now, I like to delve into the nitty gritty when I write questions for authors, so choosing just five was quite difficult!
Want to see what I asked? Of course you do!

TWG asks…Kitty French!
TWG: Kitty, how did you find the inspiration to create such a multi-dimensional character as Melody?
Unusually for me, Melody strolled into my head almost fully formed, complete with her name! I generally have to work quite hard to world build, but Melody and Co felt very real and vivid in my head from day one. Does that sound a bit weird? I feel like I know them really well and enjoy spending time with them, which I hope comes over on the page.

TWG: A lot of people may not believe in ghosts, nor have come across them. Why did you choose the subject of talking to and seeing ghosts? Was it a difficult topic to research?
Without wishing to sound like a cop out, again, Melody came to me with all of her quirks and foibles, so I had little choice but to write my first paranormal! I did research things to a degree, but I was also mindful that I wanted to keep the story as original as I could and for Melody and the other Bittersweet’s to have their own unique approach to all things ghostly. I found it quite daunting to get going, but once I’d established their basic world rules it became easier.

TWG: I have to ask, Parsnip, why didn’t you call the dog that? I was rather hopeful!!
Ah, Parsnip Bittersweet, or indeed Butternut Bittersweet! I did consider it, but Lestat just seemed perfect for that pesky pug – I’d read through hundreds of potential names for him and Lestat just made me laugh out loud in my office. He’s definitely one of my favourite characters in the book. 

TWG: Seeing as it’s the ‘Girls Ghostbusting Agency’, why was there a male employee? Not being sexist obviously, but it was a girls business ;).
Well, I can say this much – I hadn’t seen the trailer for the Ghostbuster’s movie at the time, and Artie is definitely no Chris Hemsworth! I just find his character so incredibly endearing, I’m not sure the dynamic would have worked quite as well if he’d been female. I know what you mean though about him being male. Let’s file it under artistic license. 🙂

TWG: I am going to be cheeky, what can we look forward to in terms of Melody? Aka, when will there be the next one?!?!?!
I’m writing the second book in the Melody Bittersweet series at the moment, and I can confirm that it’s every bit as crazy as book one! Expect a ghost circus, a lion tamer and his lion, a castle and a nun. Beyond that my lips are sealed!

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely cannot wait for the second book of the series. Going by what Kitty said in the last question, we are in for a treat yet again!

To nab your very own copy of ‘Melody Bittersweet and the Girls Ghostbusting Agency’ right NOW, click this link —>HERE<—. Oh and by the way, good ol’ life may try to distract you whilst you read the book, but don’t let it, you need to finish the book as soon as. I mean, why wait?

Huge congratulations again to Kitty French on her publication day, I hope you have an absolutely fantastic day. Also I would like to say congratulations to Bookouture for releasing yet another fantastic book!

‘Mr Sandman, bring me a dream..’ Author Helen Cox got her dream as it’s PUBLICATION DAY! *Blog Tour*

You heard right, it’s publication day today for Helen Cox and her debut novel ‘Milkshakes & Heartbreak at the Starlight Diner’! TWG would like to say a HUGE congratulations to Helen as I know how hard she has been working to get to this moment!

I am honoured to be kicking off Helen’s blog tour today, so let’s get started shall we? I don’t know about you, but I fancy a milkshake, in a diner, with a classic jukebox. Where can I find that I wonder…..

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‘Esther Knight is sharp, sarcastic – and hiding something. She waitresses at The Starlight Diner: a retro eatery where Fifties tunes stream out of the jukebox long into the night, and the tastiest milkshakes in New York are served.
Nobody at the diner knows why Esther left London for America – or why she repeatedly resists the charms of their newest regular, actor Jack Faber.
Esther is desperate to start a new life in the land of the free, but despite the warm welcome from the close-knit diner crowd, something from her past is holding her back. Can she ever learn to love and live again?
Milkshakes and Heartbreaks at the Starlight Diner is a witty, romantic, New York-inspired novel.’

Well that was rather handy wasn’t it? 😉
 To get your own milkshake fix at the Starlight Diner, whenever you want, head over to Amazon UK, and your copy will be with you quicker than a shake of a tail feather!

Helen Cox has written a guest post especially for us here at TWG. I suppose I had better stop rambling and hand you over to the lady herself!

My Book Deal Moment by Helen Cox.

It was mid-December and after six solid months of receiving rejection emails on an almost daily basis, I’d resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t going to land either an agent or a publishing deal by the close of 2015.
Yes, I’d poured my heart into that first novel and, yes, I’d had the same bright-eyed hope that all aspiring authors have that somebody would recognise what I was trying to ‘do’ with the story, but nobody had. So, it was time to stop moaning about it on my Twitter feed, binge on festive treats and start novel two in January.

Or so I thought.

Whilst I was on the phone to our Mam one December evening however, a life-changing email popped up in my inbox.
‘Mam!’ I interrupted her mid-monologue about the arrangements for Christmas dinner. ‘I’ve just had an email through from HarperCollins. They’re saying… they’re saying they want to publish my novel.’
Though I said the words out loud, something about that sentence didn’t sound right to me. For a moment there was only silence from the other end of the line and then Mam asked: ‘Are you sure it’s not a scam email?’

‘What?’ I shook my head but checked for any scam-like signs before replying: ‘No, Mam. It’s real. It’s definitely from HarperCollins.’
‘I can’t believe it.’ said Mam.
‘Thanks.’ I replied in the flattest of all possible tones. ‘Oh my God, they’re talking about publishing a Starlight Diner series!’
‘Have you got enough in your brain for that?’ Mam asked.
‘Yes Mother,’ I replied. Grateful that even if I did become blindingly famous off the back of my first novel my straight-talking Yorkshire parents would make sure I was kept well and truly down to earth.

‘Hang on,’ said Mam. ‘Your Dad’s just come in from work. Tell ‘im.’
There was a scuffling sound whilst the phone was handed over.
‘Hello? Hello?’ Dad said at last, checking their shilly-shallying hadn’t disconnected the call, a trick they’d managed on more than one occasion.
‘Hi Dad, I’ve just had an email from the publishers, HarperCollins. They’re saying they want to publish my novel.’
‘Are HarperCollins big like?’ Came Dad’s response.
‘Yes,’ I replied, deflated and slipping into full stroppy teenager mode at the age of thirty-four. ‘They’re like, one of the biggest publishers out there.’
‘Oh, well I’m ignorant,’ Dad admitted. ‘But that’s good news. Well done.’ 

How did this oh-so-glamorous moment happen if I didn’t even have an agent? Well, in short, by getting my manuscript in front of people who worked in publishing and believed in my writing. I was lucky enough to know Gigi Woolstencroft who once worked at HarperCollins. She read my manuscript and recommended it to Helena Sheffield at the Avon Books imprint who in turn believed in it enough to share it with commissioning editor Natasha Harding.

I thought, at best, I’d get a polite ‘thanks but no thanks’ email with perhaps some hints as to why my work was being rejected. Instead, I later found out that Helena had been taking my novel around the office saying ‘you have to read this, you just have to.’

Though there was only about a six month wait between finishing my first draft and securing a publishing contract, my experience shouldn’t be looked upon as an over-night success story. Yes, six months after I moved to writing fiction I was fortunate enough to have an offer of publication but those six months were preceded by a decade of working all hours to establish myself as a writer. I wrote for advertising companies, websites, blogs and newspapers. I even established my own film magazine which I edited for five years. I self-published a couple of non-fiction volumes and had a non-fiction book published by The History Press. Much of this was achieved alongside a full-time teaching job.

On top of that, the rejection process was tough, as I believe it is for any writer. Six months of daily rejection emails is still a lot of rejection to deal with. I’d experienced less rejection at school discos, and I was a 14 year-old Star Wars enthusiast who liked her food a bit more than she should.

Still, I kept showing my work to people because I believed in it and, based on the experience I’ve had, I’d encourage other aspiring authors to do the same. Maybe in the short-term all you’ll get is some feedback on your work. But if you act on that feedback, if you keep honing what you’ve written and keep submitting to contests, publishers and agents the likelihood is at some point your story will wind up on the desk of the right person. Dozens of agents read my work before Gigi, Helena and Natasha and if a book deal can happen for me this way, it can happen to anyone else just the same.

Thank you for such a great post! If you’re an aspiring writer or author, then this post is definitely one to keep in your mind.

You can keep up to date with Helen and her ‘Starlight Diner’ series via:
Facebook
Twitter

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