#Review – The Summer of New Beginnings by Helen Rolfe (@HJRolfe) @RNATweets #tuesnews

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They say trouble comes in threes…

Headstrong and organised, Mia is a single mum who wants to fix the world – but the one thing she can’t fix is her family. Responsible older brother Will has fled Primrose Bay, unable to forgive and forget after the ultimate betrayal. And Jasmine, no longer the wayward baby sister, is determined to prove to her brother and sister that she’s just as capable as they are.

Together in the bay after years apart and a separation spanning three continents, it doesn’t take long for the siblings to clash when Mia calls everyone together in a family crisis. And with jealousy and resentment simmering between them, as well as faces from the past and new loves, the family ties could end up being severed forever.

Sometimes we need to lose ourselves in order to find each other again…

What does TWG think?

I would like to start by saying a MASSIVE congratulations to Helen Rolfe as today is the publication day for her seventh novel, The Summer of New Beginnings! It feels like yesterday that I was helping Helen reveal the cover of her new book, and now it’s available for all of you to buy! Luckily for me, I got to read this a week or so ago, although I now wish I could read it for the first time again..

If anyone can turn around and say that they get on with EVERY single member of their family, then my name is Snow White. Seriously though, we all have skeletons in our closets when it comes to the relationships we have with members of our families, but no matter what, there are just some family members that we would always bend over backwards to help. Regardless of how much they have annoyed us. Am I right? Obviously a lot of circumstances are excluded! If you’ve cut ties with a family member due to something more serious than them pinching a bag of your cheese and onion crisps, then what I just said is completely irrelevant, you catch my drift though, right?

Will, Mia and Jasmine are what I call ‘typical siblings’, however their feuds and frosty relationships seemed to have lasted a lot longer than anticipated. Especially seeing as they can’t be in the same room together without re-creating their own version of Jeremy Kyle. Yes, their rows are THAT bad according to each other. The thing is, one sibling thinks one thing, another one thinks something completely different, and the third one is a mini Tasmanian devil. Lets just say that Will, Mia and Jasmine have led completely different lives over the years, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the lack of communication. By communication I mean talking at a level that doesn’t require protective ear equipment.

Mia is the worrier of the family; as a single mum who had her daughter at a young age, Mia has spent so many years putting other people’s needs before her own and that has left her feeling lost. How can Mia calm down and be a bit selfish for once?

Will is the manly man. Having moved away when unsightly things hit the fan, Will has been living in his own bubble for more years than he cares to remember. What he doesn’t seem to realise though, is how his actions and bubble are hurting those around him. After all, he wouldn’t know that would he? Seeing as he refuses to acknowledge anything else but THAT….

Ahhhh Jasmine. No, not Princess Jasmine (although if she had half the chance, a flying carpet would be top of her ‘to buy’ list). Often as the youngest of the family, it is incredibly easy to get side lined and for family members to assume that, seeing as you’re young, you need siblings (well, one in particular), as a bodyguard. Assumptions…hmmm. I’ve always been told that if you assume, it makes an ass out of you and me. Who’d have thought it?

I think I pay WAYYY more attention to the individual characters than I should. It’s as though I dissect their personalities as the storyline unfolds. It’s a habit I’ll admit, but it’s one that won’t be changing any time soon! All three siblings had traits that annoyed the muffins out of me, I just wanted to shake them and help them see sense. Easy for an outsider to say that though, isn’t it? When Mia called her family back to the bay due to an out of character family crisis, I wasn’t prepared for the family war that had appeared. So many years had passed with each of them holding onto pent-up anger, misunderstandings and sheer stubbornness, that when they were all together in a confined space, everything came spilling out at lightening speed. Will and Jasmine were able to up sticks and move away from the Bay, but not Mia. Could she have gone if she really wanted to? I did wonder that, but as a single mum myself, waking up one morning and deciding that you’re going to start a life somewhere else, is severely outlandish.

I absolutely adored ‘The Summer of New Beginnings’ as it was incredibly realistic and relatable. Many of us will read the storyline and nod our heads to circumstances that unfold within the book, due to the similarity of our own lives. I have read many of Helen Rolfe’s novels and whilst she always manages to leave me pleasantly satisfied upon completion of every novel, ‘The Summer of New Beginnings’ hit home in a way that none of her previous novels have done before. Tackling a storyline which involves copious amounts of secrets, overlapping situations and bucketful’s of emotion, requires a lot of talent to be able to pull the storyline off, without losing any of the poignancy and overall concept. Helen Rolfe has that talent and she has pulled the storyline off with such ease and power; I truly am amazed at what she has managed to achieve with her new novel.

‘The Summer of New Beginnings’ is an outstanding portrayal of family life, as well as laying bare the secretive truths which often remain unknown behind close doors. This book is by far Helen Rolfe’s best book to date due to her refreshing, powerful and fantastically written storyline. It wasn’t all ‘he said, she said’ and arguments don’t get me wrong! No, it was also a book full of hope, trust and being aware of your own true feelings. When things get too much we often lash out at those who know us best, and that often includes us lashing out at ourselves. Thanks to the authors black and white tale of an imperfect lifestyle, ‘The Summer of New Beginnings’ highlights the importance of taking a step back and….breathing.

A truly outstanding novel, ‘The Summer of New Beginnings’ is my favourite book of Helen Rolfe’s so far. Fantastic! A well deserved 5*; if I could give it more stars I would!

Thanks so much Helen.

You too can get your hands on a copy of Helen Rolfe’s new novel right now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – Don’t Stop Me Now by Colleen Coleman (@CollColemanAuth) @Bookouture

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A hilarious feel good read about making lemonade when life gives you lemons, and finding the silver lining in every cloud.

Poppy Bloom planned to finish her PhD and walk straight into a job at her university. But here she is, unemployed, unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend, and living back at her mum’s in her vampire-themed childhood bedroom.

Not exactly what she was hoping for.

But when Poppy sets her mind to something, nothing can stand in her way. She scores herself an internship at the hottest radio station in town, joins a netball team, and renews her friendship with her oldest friend Leanne. Spending time with Leanne’s gorgeous twin Tom is just a bonus…

But life has a way of tripping you up when you least expect it, and Poppy soon has to decide where her priorities lie… With new friends, a new career and a new romance, can Poppy keep everyone happy, or is everything about to tumble down around her?

What does TWG think?

DON’T STOP ME NOWWWWW, CAUSE I’M HAVING SUCH A GOOD TIME, I’M HAVING BALLLLLLL. DON’T STOP ME, DON’T STOP ME OOOH OOOH OHHH.

Sorry, couldn’t resist, especially seeing as I have the pleasure of hosting today’s stop on Colleen Coleman’s blog tour for her brand new book, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’! Colleen’s book was published on the 22nd March 2017 by Bookouture, and it already has 21 FIVE star reviews (information correct as of 26/03/17)! Amazing. Here is my review of ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’.

The title of Colleen Coleman’s book intrigued me beyond belief as, despite the fact we know those four words from a well-known song, it made me curious to see what those words would mean in the storyline itself.

Seeing as I was in a really dark place before I began reading ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, I was really hopeful that the book would give me the escape I so desperately craved. As soon as I had finished the first chapter I knew for certain that it was going to be THE book for me.

Poppy Bloom has been working so hard to ensure that all her T’s were crossed and I’s were dotted, in regards to her studies at university. Poppy was adamant that she would end up leaving university with a ready made job and that her life was going to go exactly to plan. The thing is, we all know that life doesn’t always (if ever) go to plan and unluckily for Poppy, she got to find out that her plan was no more, right in front of an audience. Double burn. No job. No home. No boyfriend. No income. No plans. That’s enough to scare anyone really, isn’t it? Well, lets just say that Poppy’s buds BloomED. No, really…they did. Get your mind out of the gutter people!!

Some people may read this book and think that Poppy’s lifestyle ended up unrealistic and unachievable (yes, I’ve been nosing), and you know what? I’m not one of those people. Yes, the things that happen to Poppy on a positive level DID make me envious, but did I think that it was unrealistic for people like us? No I didn’t. If anything it gave me hope that good things DO actually happen to people, and going through a ton of bad things doesn’t automatically mean that you’re going to live a life of picking the short straw. Poppy left a life of organisation, a life where she had grown accustom to the ins and outs of her daily circumstances, a life where anything different meant that Poppy ticked it off as a ‘don’t like’ thing.

The moment Poppy had to think about what she wanted, what her choices meant for those closely linked to her, how it felt to have a group of trusting friends; was the moment, for me, that Poppy flourished. As a reader who was so invested in the storyline and the characters I could have probably had a cameo in the book, I felt like I saw another side to Poppy’s personality. Her humour was incredible and her heart was ginormous; she really is the type of character I would LOVE to have as a best friend!

I found the entire novel rather hilarious, so hilarious in fact that several giggles managed to escape at the most random moments. The storyline was so fun from the very start, and I was overjoyed to see that fun carry on right until the very end. It didn’t lose momentum at all. The levels of sarcasm from Poppy’s new/old-found friends was ON POINT. Several giggles and snorts escaped from my mouth at the moments, I have to be honest!

Before I started Colleen Coleman’s novel I had a feeling it was going to be a good book;  what I didn’t know though,  was exactly HOW good it was going to be. As the saying goes, it turned my ‘frown upside down’. I have never felt so much joy and fun the entire length of a novel, as I have this one. I can’t put my finger on exactly why that was, it just was…perfect.

‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ is THE book to read right now. It’s fun. It’s flirty. It’s sassy. It’s hilarious. It’s light. It’s real. Colleen’s words showed me that it is okay not to be okay, it’s okay to not have your shizzmanizzle together as long as you DO get it together. Colleen showed me that it’s okay to follow the right route for you, not the right route for everyone else. Most important, Colleen and Poppy (of course) showed me it doesn’t matter how rocky the road is, all that matters is whether you have the right people helping you over those rocks.

Never mind buying a self-help book when you can buy ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’. I absolutely adored this book, and I absolutely adored Poppy. If you need (hah, we all need books) a book to buy yourself, I highly recommend ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ as it is just what Doctor Bookouture and Doctor TWG ordered. Oh, and it just happens to be in amongst my favourite books ever.
Colleen Coleman; YOU’RE AMAZEBALLS.

Thanks to Bookouture.

Buy from Amazon UK
Buy from Amazon US

About the author
 
Colleen Coleman is an Irish-Canadian novelist. She is the winner of the much-coveted Novelicious Undiscovered People’s Choice Award launched to find the next ‘chick-lit star’. She spent over ten years working as a teacher of English and Philosophy before finally taking a deep breath, scrunching her eyes shut, putting her pen to paper and vowing not to lift it again until she wrote the words The End. As a result, her first novel was born. Colleen lives between London, Ireland and Cyprus with her very patient husband and very, very chatty twin daughters. Don’t Stop Me Now is her first book and will be released in March. 
Colleen Coleman’s Twitter

Make sure you follow the rest of the tour with these fabulous bloggers!!

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#Review! Perfect Mishap by Aimee Horton(@AimeeHorton) @V_Mpress

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Blurb.

When Dottie and her husband move to a tiny village, she’s excited to make new friends. But when the neighbours uncover a scandalous incident, all fingers point to Dottie… Can she clear her name before her reputation is permanently ruined?

In this humorous blend of chick lit and cozy mystery, you’ll be laughing right along with gin-drinking amateur sleuth Dottie. A delightfully funny romp!

What does TWG think?

I am rather angry with myself right now! ‘Perfect Mishap’ got revamped not so long ago (was previously titled Mothers Ruined), and I know that because I was one of the bloggers to reveal the brand new covers and titles. Bear in mind that that was a couple of months ago and I have only just gotten round to reading the first book in the Disaster Series. I mean, what the actual vodka martini! After stalking, sorry, following,  Aimee over on Twitter and Facebook since the reveal, I have learnt that she is indeed, HILARIOUS. Her status updates and posts are so real and relatable that they make a kid covered in sudocreme come across like an artist that needs a bath. If you don’t follow her, you need to.

Okay, back to the book. Due to the fact that I was well aware of her hilarity (and favouritism towards gin) well before I read the book, I kept my fingers crossed that she had put her humour into the story.

She did! I wasn’t expecting to snort like a pig whilst also laughing like a seal….two sentences in. I mean really, either I’m easily amused or she’s absolutely hilarious. I’m going to say both! I LOVED meeting Dottie! She even lives up to her name with her actions as well as having such a big heart. It is quite clear that Dottie’s everyday life is based on everyday people, and not the people who spend more time in Hollywood than in Parenthood (just a guess). I found that quite refreshing and I’ll be honest, I would have loved to find this book before I had had my little girl; One Born Every Minute has nothing on Dottie!

Every scenario, emotion and baby moment will no doubt have A LOT of readers nodding their heads to. Nothing in the book is sugar coated, it’s relatable and Aimee shows that its okay to look like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards after having a baby. That it’s okay to do things differently to anyone else. More importantly, Aimee shows that its okay to be YOU and laugh about things when they aren’t going how you thought they would (within reason).

‘Perfect Mishap’ is such a refreshing and hilarious read, I may even go as far to say that it’s like confidence in a book. Even when the storyline took an unexpected turn, it didn’t lose any of its flow or credibility. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this book, it is GENIUS! I cannot wait to get stuck into the next book in the series!

Perfect Mishap by Aimee Horton, published by Velvet Morning Press, is available to buy now from Amazon UK