blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: My Lies, Your Lies – Susan Lewis*

His life was destroyed by a lie. Her life will be ruined by the truth.

Joely tells other people’s secrets for a living. As a ghost writer, she’s used to scandal – but this just might be her strangest assignment yet. Freda has never told her story to anyone before. But now she’s ready to set the record straight and to right a wrong that’s haunted her for forty years. Freda’s memoir begins with a 15-year-old girl falling madly in love with her teacher. As the story unravels, Joely is spun deeper into a world of secrets and lies.

Susan Lewis is the internationally bestselling author of over forty books across the genres of family drama, thriller, suspense and crime, including the Sunday Times bestseller One Minute Later and her most recent novel Home Truths. Susan’s novels have sold nearly three million copies in the UK alone. She is also the author of Just One More Day and One Day at a Time, the moving memoirs of her childhood in Bristol during the 1960s. Susan has previously worked as a secretary in news and current affairs before training as a production assistant working on light entertainment and drama. She’s had homes in Hollywood and the South of France, but now lives in Gloucestershire with husband James, two stepsons and dogs.

My thoughts:

This was a clever, twisting story. What seemed to be one thing turned out to be another. Sometimes the truth isn’t quite what you think.

The story Joely is transcribing turns out to be only one side of the story, and when the tension ratchets up and tragedy seems to loom, Lewis does a bait and switch on the reader and goes somewhere completely different.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Girl in the White Dress*

The Girl in the White Dress is quite simply unforgettable and unputdownable.

It is based on true story .

Every Family has secrets.

Imagine discovering you were guilty of something you can’t remember.

1974 A family from London take a trip of a lifetime to the Caribbean aboard the cruise liner Oriana.

2005 The Peak District. Following the death of his wife , Paul finds a menu card from the Oriana covered in personal messages from the ghosts of his childhood.

One particular address catches his eye , and memories are stirred as he begins to dream about a girl in a white dress.Gradually with his mothers help he starts to unravel the identity of a long forgotten childhood sweetheart, and the disturbing truth about an incident that took place in their cabin.

Something that would implicate his whole family, a Pandoras box of lies and deceit.Paul never saw the girl again after the cruise .

Their shared guilt had remained hidden for 30 years.

That was until today…

It is a remarkable true story about loss and grief, and one persons quest for the truth. Sometimes in life things happen to us that are beyond our control; you don’t need to believe in ghosts or the supernatural, just believe in the Universe and the threads of random chance that link us all together.

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Paul Barrell is a keen sportsman, and has skied all over the world. He is a serial entrepreneur and has owned restaurants, wine companies and is passionate about food and wine. He came to writing later than most, and writes about real events and people that have shaped his life. His first book Postcards from Pimlico is currently being turned into a screenplay for TV. He now lives in the Surrey Hills with his wife and rescue dog Lottie.

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My thoughts:

This was a fascinating story of memory and the things that haunt us, even if we can’t name them.

Paul and his daughter move to Cheshire following his wife’s death; among their possessions he finds a menu card from a cruise his family took when he was 13. Among the names scribbled on the back is a local address. Paul’s vague memories of the trip draw him down memory lane and he looks for the girl in the white dress who starts to haunt his dreams.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Breaker – Annemarie Allan*

An environmental disaster. An undersea adventure.

Tom and Beth are not happy when they move to Scotland and find themselves facing a rainy, windswept beach, a house that’s falling to pieces, and a school full of strangers.

But when an oil tanker crashes into the Bass Rock, their small seaside town is shaken to its core and Tom and Beth suddenly find themselves in a race to rescue the local sea life and save their new community from environmental catastrophe…

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Annemarie Allan’s first published novel, Hox, won the 2007 Kelpies Prize and was shortlisted for both the Scottish Children’s Book of the Year and the Heart of Hawick book awards. Her third novel, Ushig, a fantasy based on Scottish myths and legends, was shortlisted for the 2011 Essex Children’s Book Award.

She writes for both adults and children and her novels and short stories range from fantasy and science fiction to historical and contemporary fiction, taking their inspiration from the landscape and culture of Scotland, both past and present. Annemarie lives in Prestonpans, near Edinburgh.

My thoughts:

This was a thought provoking read, set on the Scottish coastline, an oil tanker runs aground and threatens the wildlife, Tom and Beth join forces with the eccentric Professor MacBlain and his secret weapon Gaia, to stop the spill.

Growing up I remember seeing the images of birds and fish caught in oil spills and being horrified at the loss of marine life. The oceans are uniquely vulnerable to humanity’s mess and slowly we’re choking them with pollution and plastic.

This is a timely and important novel, written in a light hearted style but with a vitally important message at its heart.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Rebel With a Cupcake – Anna Mainwaring*

Jesobel Jones is bold and beautiful. The daughter of a hand model and a washed-up rock star, she sees no need to apologise for her rambling house, her imperfect family, her single status … or her weight. Jess makes her own cupcakes and she eats them, too. That is, until Own Clothes Day when a wardrobe malfunction leaves Jess exposed, and a mean girl calling her the one thing that’s never bothered her before: fat.

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Anna Mainwaring read ‘The Lord of the Rings’ at the age of seven and hasn’t stop reading since. After studying English at university, she took the bizarre decision to follow a career in corporate banking. This made her sad so she left, went travelling and trained to be a teacher. When not teaching, writing or hiding from her children in the study, Anna can be found in bookshops, cafes or walking slowly up big hills.

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My thoughts:

Jess is certainly a girl I can empathise with, I was the “big girl” all through high school, the one who made jokes about my love of food to cover up how unhappy I was, but unlike me Jess figures it all out very swiftly. You can bake cakes and work out, you can have curves and kiss cute boys.

With the help of her friends and the support of her somewhat dysfunctional family, Jess is going to be The Rebel with a Cupcake!

This was a fun read with real heart.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The F*ck It List – John Niven*

You are dying. Who do you kill?

Set in a near-future America, an America that has borne two terms of Trump Presidency and is now in the first term of Donald’s daughter as president, Frank Brill, a retired small-town newspaper editor, lives in a world where the populist policies Trump is currently so keen to pursue have been a reality for some years and are getting even more extreme – an erosion of abortion rights, less and less gun control, xenophobic immigration policies.

Frank, a good man, has just been given a terminal diagnosis. Rather than compile a bucket list of all the things he’s ever wanted to do in his life, he instead has at the ready his ‘fuck-it list’. Because Frank has had to endure more than his fair share of personal misfortune. And he has the names of those who are to blame for the tragedies that have befallen him.

But eventually, as he becomes more accustomed to dishing out cold revenge and the stakes get higher and higher, and with a rogue county sheriff on his tail, there only remains one name left at the bottom of his fuck-it list.

John Niven was born in Irvine, Ayrshire. He is the author of the novella Music from the Big Pink and the novels Kill Your Friends, The Amateurs, The Second Coming, Cold Hands, Straight White Male, The Sunshine Cruise Company, No Good Deed and Kill ‘Em All.

My thoughts:

This is a strange book, set in near future America where Ivanka Trump is President and life is horrible for many people, Frank Brill decides to take revenge on the five men who he feels wronged him and his family over the years.

It’s a jarring read, where you find yourself feeling sorry for a serial killer on his cross country mission before the cancer kills him.

Dark and unsettling, with a vision of the future I really hope doesn’t come to pass.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: My Pear Shaped Life – Carmel Harrington*

Meet Greta.

She’s funny.

She’s flawed.

She’s hiding so much behind her big smile she’s forgotten who she is.

But Greta is about to discover that the key to being happy is…being you.

Greta Gale has played the part of the funny fat one her entire life, hiding her insecurities behind a big smile. But size doesn’t matter when you can laugh at yourself, right? Until Greta realises she’s the only one not laughing. And deep down, she’s not sure if she’ll ever laugh again. But with her world feeling like it’s falling down around her, Greta is about to discover she’s stronger than she feels. And that sometimes the best moments in life come when it’s all gone a bit pearshaped…

Carmel Harrington is an internationally published novelist from Co. Wexford, where she lives with her family. She has published seven novels and been shortlisted twice (2016 & 2017) for an Irish Book Award. Her books have captured the hearts of readers worldwide and are published in eight languages to date. She is co-founder of The Inspiration Project and was Chair of Wexford Literary Festival from 2015 – 2018.

My thoughts:

This was a charming, sweet, funny read. The cast of characters are relatable and realistic, I really like Greta and Billie. Uncle Ray was a total sweetheart too.

Funnily enough my Nan’s maiden name is Gale so I felt some kinship with Greta and her love of The Wizard of Oz.

A book with a lot of heart, it reminds you that while life can be tough and there are struggles ahead, you have to do your best to live your best life.


*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Fallout – Rebecca Thornton*

At the school gates, there’s no such thing as yesterday’s news . . .

When Liza’s little boy has an accident at the local health club, it’s all anyone can talk about.

Was nobody watching him?

Where was his mother?

Who’s to blame?

The rumours, the finger-pointing, the whispers – they’re everywhere. And Liza’s best friend, Sarah, desperately needs it to stop. Because Sarah was there when it happened. It was all her fault.

And if she’s caught out on the lie, everything will fall apart.

Rebecca Thornton is an alumna of the Faber Academy Writing A Novel course, where she was tutored by Esther Freud and Tim Lott. Her writing has been published in The Guardian, You Magazine, Daily Mail, Prospect Magazine and The Sunday People amongst others. She has reported from the Middle East, Kosovo and the UK. She now lives in West London with her husband and two children. The Fallout is her third novel.

My thoughts:

This is a story about guilt, secrets, gossip and why we should be honest with our friends.

Sarah ties herself in knots trying to do the right thing without admitting her own mistake, all the time convinced its someone else’s fault really.

The women at the centre of the story go round in circles, never fully knowing the others, never fully understanding the lives and pain hidden behind the facade of middle class success.


*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.