Advanced Review Copy · Blog Tours · Books · Review Copy · Reviews · Ronnie Turner

Blog Tour: Review of Lies Between Us by Ronnie Turner (@Ronnie_Turner) @HQDigitalUK

I am thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Lies Between Us by fellow book blogger, Ronnie Turner. Thank you to Ronnie for inviting me and to HQ Digital for sending me a copy of the book via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Before I share my thoughts with you, here is what Lies Between Us is about.

~ Publisher’s Description ~

The past is always watching . . .

Three people, leading very different lives, are about to be brought together – with devastating consequences . . .

John has a perfect life, until the day his daughter goes missing.

Maisie cares for her patients, but hides her own traumatic past.

Miller should be an innocent child, but is obsessed with something he can’t have.

They all have something in common, though none of them know it – and the truth won’t stay hidden for long . . .

A gripping psychological thriller for fans of Clare Mackintosh, Shari Lapena and Lisa Jewell.

~ My thoughts ~

It is always a pleasure to see a fellow book blogger follow their dream and when Ronnie Turner announced that she had signed with HQ, Harper Collins, I was fighting for a chance to read her debut psychological thriller Lies Between Us – and what a debut it is!

Lies Between Us is a chilling, tense and calculated story of extreme obsession that will stay with you long after you’ve finished it. Ronnie Turner’s insightful reading as a blogger is evident here as the thriller is extremely well written and cleverly crafted. The plot is very ambitious for a debut author: told from 3 characters points of view at varying points in time with so many twists, turns, shocks and lies along the way. I did find the jumps between dates a bit confusing at first but it’s worth sticking with it as the story is superb.

The characterisation is accomplished, especially in Miller, the first character we meet. He is highly disturbing and really got under my skin. Some of the horrible activities he gets up to are unbearable to read and at one point, I wondered how far Ronnie Turner would go with his story. I even had to stop reading part way through and go back later, such was Miller’s effect. It was as though his every word jumped off of the page and played with my mind. He certainly had me looking over my shoulder. Even so, I found him the most intriguing character. His creepiness sets the tone for the entire book.

The second character we are introduced to is John. Married to Jules and a writer, we live with them through the hardest time of their lives when their daughter Bonnie goes missing. I wasn’t sure what to think of John and I even wondered if he was responsible for Bonnie’s disappearance. But that’s the skill in Ronnie Turner’s writing. She plays with your head. Just as you think you’ve worked it out, she takes you on a completely different path.

The third character is Maisie, a nurse in an ICU Department who has a few secrets of her own. It is interesting to see how she fits into the story.

All three character’s voices are so unique that I didn’t need to know who’s story I was reading when it was introduced, as I already knew.  I am not sure I’ve read a book where the voices are that distinct.

Lies Between Us is compelling, fast paced, and highly emotional from the beginning. The story’s denouement is one that I certainly didn’t see coming and it fitted perfectly.

I thoroughly enjoyed this brilliant debut and I would highly recommend it. I am so looking forward to seeing what Ronnie Turner comes up with next.

~ Where to find Lies Between Us ~

Lies Between Us was published as an e-book and audiobook by HQ Digital, Harper Collins on 1 October 2018 and is due to be published in paperback on 13 December 2018. It is available via the following links:

Goodreads            Amazon UK          Amazon US

~ About Ronnie Turner ~

Author Photo 2

Ronnie Turner grew up in Cornwall, the youngest in a large family.

At an early age, she discovered a love of literature and dreamed of being a published author. Ronnie now lives in Dorset with her family and three dogs. In her spare time, she reviews books on her blog and enjoys long walks on the coast. She is currently working on her second novel.

Find out more:

Twitter: @Ronnie_ _Turner

Facebook: @RonnieTurnerAuthor

Instagram: @ronnieturner8702

Website: www.ronnieturner.wordpress.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/RonnieTurner

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Advanced Review Copy · Blog Tours · Books · Nikola Scott · Review Copy · Reviews

Blog Tour: Review of Summer of Secrets by Nikola Scott (@nikola_scott) @headlinepg @annecater

I am pleased to share with you my review of Summer of Secrets by Nikola Scott.

Thank you to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to be part of the blog tour and for arranging for a proof copy of the book from Headline Review in return for an honest review.

Before I share my thoughts with you, here is what Summer of Secrets is about.

~ Publisher’s Description ~

August 1939

At peaceful Summerhill, orphaned Maddy hides from the world and the rumours of war. Then her adored sister Georgina returns from a long trip with a new friend, the handsome Victor. Maddy fears that Victor is not all he seems, but she has no idea just what kind of danger has come into their lives…

Today

Chloe is newly pregnant. This should be a joyful time, but she is fearful for the future, despite her husband’s devotion. When chance takes her to Summerhill, she’s drawn into the mystery of what happened there decades before. And the past reaches out to touch her in ways that could change everything…

~ My thoughts ~

Summer of Secrets is a story primarily about love. The love you have for your siblings; the love you have for your partner; the love you have for your parents; and what happens when this becomes destructive.

Set in a dual timeline, Summer of Secrets tells the story of sisters Maddie and Georgiana in the Summer of 1939. It is the eve of the outbreak of WW2 and Maddie is sheltered at their childhood home of Summerhill, on the idyllic Cornish coast. When Georgiana returns home from a trip to Europe, Maddie is thrilled as she thinks they can see the war through together. However, Georgiana returns accompanied by friends she has met along the way, and one friend in particular, Victor, is not all he seems. The historical story of Summer of Secrets is interesting as the two sisters reminisce and come to terms with their lives as they are. There are a few secrets along the way and one I definitely didn’t see coming. Maddie’ story is emotive and highly descriptive. However, it is the present day story which captured my attention more.

On the outside, Chloe has it all: a beautiful home, married to devoted doctor, Aidan, and has just discovered she is pregnant with their first child. This should be a happy time in her life. However, as we delve deeper into Chloe’s story, we learn that Aidan’s devotion is controlling and harmful. Nikola Scott writes this with such intensity that, at times, it feels suffocating to read. In fact, I found a couple of scenes between the couple quite tough to get through and I found myself wanting to jump into the pages and save Chloe. Chloe’s story is one that needs to be told and sadly it is one which isn’t spoken about enough. Hopefully, it will help at least one person.

For me, the story had a slow start but I think this was necessary to set the scene of both stories for when Maddie and Chloe meet. Then the pace really quickened and I became thoroughly immersed in the story. Chloe and Maddie’s relationship is special and based on an unspoken, mutual understanding and I loved it.

Summer of Secrets is a powerful, emotionally-charged novel and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

~ Where to find Summer of Secrets ~

Summer of Secrets was published by Headline Review on 6 September 2018 and is available via the following links:

Goodreads            Amazon UK          Amazon US

~ About Nikola Scott ~

Nikola Scott was born and raised in Germany and studied at university there. Having Nikola Scott Author picbeen obsessed with books from a young age, Nikola moved to New York City after her Master’s degree to begin her first job in book publishing, a career in which she could fully indulge her love of fiction!

She spent ten years working in publishing in New York and then in London, editing other people’s books, before she decided to take the leap into becoming a full-time writer herself.

She now lives in Frankfurt with her husband and two sons.

MY MOTHER’S SHADOW was published in 2017 to wonderful reviews. Her new novel SUMMER OF SECRETS is coming in September 2018.

Please visit http://www.nikolascott.com/ for more information, or find Nikola on Instagram @nikolascottauthor, Twitter @nikola_scott and Facebook /NikolaScottAuthor.

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Advanced Review Copy · Books · Fiona Harper · Recommended Reads · Review Copy · Reviews

Review: The Memory Collector by Fiona Harper (@FiHarper_Author) @HQStories @HarperCollinsUK

I am delighted to share with you my review of The Memory Collector by Fiona Harper.

Thank you to Fiona Harper for sending me a copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Before I share my thoughts with you, here is what The Memory Collector is about.

~ Publisher’s Description ~

Heather Lucas lives her life through other people’s memories.

Heather doesn’t want to remember her childhood, not when her mother’s extreme hoarding cast her family life into disarray.

For Heather’s mother, every possession was intimately connected to a memory, so when Heather uncovers a secret about her past that could reveal why her mother never let anything go, she knows there’s only one place she’ll find answers – behind the locked door of her spare room, where the remains of her mother’s hoard lie hidden.

As Heather uncovers both objects and memories, will the truth set her free? Or will she discover she’s more like her mother than she ever thought possible?

~ My thoughts ~

Why am I only just discovering the delights of Fiona Harper’s writing? Fiona’s last book, The Other Us, has been sitting unread on my shelf for a year. Well that will shortly change because if it is anything like The Memory Collector, it will be brilliant!

The Memory Collector is a powerful and poignant story about mental illness, love, loss, hope and moving on.

The story starts with a young girl, her memory of a trip to the seaside and a red coat. It is a troubled memory rather than one of a nice day out and the reader instantly knows something isn’t quite right. The story then switches to the present day and we meet Heather Lucas in a situation that both Heather and the reader knows she shouldn’t be in. I just wanted to jump into the page and stop her. It’s not until we read further on, that we understand why Heather is in this situation to begin with.

In The Memory Collector, Fiona Harper explores the issue of extreme hoarding and the life-long impact that this can have not only on the hoarder themselves, but also on those around them. Fiona Harper cleverly tells Heather’s story and the impact of her mother’s hoarding over two time frames: ‘Then’ which is Heather’s childhood up until she was 16 and ‘Now’, the present day. The ‘Then’ chapters are based around a particular object which was significant in her mother’s hoarding and tells the memory which goes with it.  The ‘Now’ chapters belong to Heather and her journey of coming to terms with how her upbringing has shaped who she is today and the choices she makes. It is hard hitting at times but touching and uplifting too.

The Memory Collector is a beautiful story, sensitively told and I am so pleased I got the chance to read it. I cannot wait to explore more of Fiona Harper’s work.

~ Where to find The Memory Collector ~

The Memory Collector will be published by HQ, Harper Collins on 6th September 2018 and is available via the following links:

Goodreads            Amazon UK          Amazon US

~ About Fiona Harper ~

As a child, Fiona was constantly teased for two things: having her nose in a book and living in a dream world. Things haven’t changed much since then, but at least she’s found a career that puts her runaway imagination to use!

Fiona HarperFiona’s first book was published in 2006 and she now has twenty-five published books under her belt. She started her career writing heartfelt but humorous romances for Mills & Boon, then went on to writing romantic comedies for Harlequin/Mira and now writes uplifting stories about love, life and relationships for HQ, part of Harper Collins. She is a previous winner of the Joan Hessayon New Writers’ Scheme Award, and her most recent book, The Other Us, won a Romantic Novel Award (RoNA) in 2018.

Fiona lives in London with her husband and two teenage daughters (oh, the drama in her house!), and she loves good books, good films and anything cinnamon flavoured. She also can’t help herself if a good tune comes on and she’s near a dance floor – you have been warned!

Find out more at https://fionaharper.com, follow Fiona on Twitter @FiHarper_Author  and visit her Facebook page @FionaHarperBooks

 

 

 

Books · Katherine Center · Recommended Reads · Review Copy · Reviews

Review: How to Walk Away by Katherine Center (@katherinecenter) @panmacmillan

I am delighted to share with you my review of How to Walk Away by Katherine Center.

Thank you to Ellis Keene at Pan Macmillan for sending me a copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Before I share my thoughts with you, here is what How to Walk Away is about.

~ Publisher’s Description ~

Maggie Jacobsen is just about to step into the bright future she’s worked so hard and so long for: her dream job, a fiancé she adores and the promise of a perfect life just around the corner. But on what should have been the happiest day of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in a single catastrophic moment.

In hospital Maggie is forced to confront the unthinkable. First there is her fiancé, Charlie, wallowing in self-pity while demanding forgiveness. Then there’s her sister Kit, who shows up after pulling a three-year vanishing act. Finally there’s Iain, her physical therapist, the one the nurses said was too tough for her. Iain, who won’t let her give in to her despair, who makes her cry, but also manages to make her laugh . . .

Maggie’s new life is nothing like she expected. But could it be more than she had ever dared hope for?

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center is an uplifting story of learning to live – and love – again.

~ My thoughts ~

Wow!! What a book!! How to Walk Away is one of the best books I have read this year and it absolutely blew me away. I don’t think there is anything I can say in this review that will do it the justice it deserves but I will do my best.

Firstly, I must mention how simple yet powerful the cover is. It really does sum up how fragile life is and how it can be turned upside down in an instant. As the blurb says, Maggie has it all: a dream job, a great fiancé, the promise of the perfect future ahead. One moment completely changes the course of Maggie’s life and How to Walk Away is the story of the aftermath of this incident and how it affects Maggie, her family and her fiancé.

When starting a new book, I give it 50 pages to draw me in and make me want to keep reading. Well, How to Walk Away captivated me from the first page and I arrived so quickly at page 50 because I did not want to put it down. I could have easily read it in one sitting. Katherine Center has a style of writing which made me feel so comfortable and at ease that I was right there in the story, accompanying Maggie on her journey.

In her novel, Katherine Center explores numerous emotions including love, sadness, grief, resilience, resentment, learning to be someone new, seeing the world and those around you differently. She does this in such a way that we, as readers, do not have time to linger in the feeling of the emotion before moving onto the next one, mirroring how Maggie is feeling them.

How to Walk Away is a wonderful, life-affirming book. I finished it with a heart full of joy and hope and the biggest smile on my face.

This quote from Nina George, author of The Little Paris Bookshop, on the back cover sums it up perfectly: ‘If you read just one book this year, read How to Walk Away.

~ Where to find How to Walk Away ~

How to Walk Away was published in the UK by Pan Macmillan on 9th August 2018 and is available at the following links:

Goodreads            Amazon UK          Amazon US

~ About Katherine Center ~

New York Times best-selling writer Katherine Center writes bittersweet comic novels Katherine Centerabout how we get back up after life has knocked us down. She writes about hope, and love, and how we hold onto life’s joys, even in the midst of all its hardship.  Katherine is the author of six novels, with more on the way. Her fourth novel, The Lost Husband, was recently optioned for a movie.

Find out more at http://katherinecenter.com/, follow Katherine on Twitter @katherinecenter  and visit her Facebook page @katherinecenterfans

 

 

 

Blog Tours · Books · Linn B. Halton · Reviews

Review & Giveaway: The Secrets of Villa Rosso by Linn B. Halton (@LinnBHalton) @HarperImpulse @rararesources

I am delighted to share with you my review of The Secrets of Villa Rosso by Linn B. Halton.

Thank you to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be part of the tour and for arranging an e-copy of the book from Harper Impulse in return for an honest review.

Before I share my thoughts with you, here is what The Secrets of Villa Rosso is about.

~ Publisher’s Description ~

Some places stay with you forever…

When Ellie Maddison is sent on a business trip to Southern Italy, she’s reminded why she loves her job – set amongst rolling vineyards and rich olive groves, the beautiful Villa Rosso is the perfect escape from her life back home. But what Ellie isn’t prepared for is the instant connection she feels to the estate’s director Max Jackson, or the secrets they share that are as intertwined as the rambling vines that cover Villa Rosso.

It’s not long before Ellie finds herself entangled in the history of the place, trying to understand the undeniable effect Max is having on her. As their relationship grows, what will Ellie discover about this idyllic villa and those who have walked through its doors?

What started as a simple work trip will change Ellie’s life forever.

~ My thoughts ~

Have you ever been to a place where you feel so comfortable with the surroundings and the people but yet it’s the first time you’ve ever been there? This is what happens to Ellie Maddison when she visits Villa Rosso and feels a deep, familiar connection with Max. Ellie has found her soul mate in her husband Josh and so we follow Ellie on her journey as she tries to deal with the lasting effects from her trip.

This is the first book by Linn B Halton I have read and it certainly won’t be my last. Through writing which flows effortlessly, I was transported from the very first word, into Ellie’s world and the descriptions of Italy and the interior design world are devine!

I thought the structure of the story worked really well. It begins with a party for Ellie and Josh’s nineteenth wedding anniversary, where Ellie sees something unsettling. It then goes back in time and Ellie takes us on her journey from the trip to Italy, the mystery which surrounds Villa Rosso, meeting Max and to her life when she returns to England.

The Secrets of Villa Rosso is Ellie’s story so is told solely from her point of view. I connected with her in a way I have never connected with a character before. Every thought. Every feeling. I was living Ellie’s experiences with her. When I had to put the book down because real life had to happen, I was left wondering how she was. Hats off to Linn B. Halton for writing which touched me in this way. Ellie also deeply feels things and this is mirrored in the strength and depth of the writing. It oozes off of every page.

Beautifully written and with a clever storyline, The Secrets of Villa Rosso is a story which I know will stay with me for a very long time. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to escape in a page-turner this Summer.

~ Where to find The Secrets of Villa Rosso ~

Goodreads            Amazon UK          Amazon US

~ Giveaway ~

Win a signed copy of The Secrets of Villa Rosso (Open Internationally)

To be in with the chance of winning this great prize, click here.

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Please note that Sarah’s Vignettes is not responsible for this giveaway. 

~ About Linn B Halton ~

From interior designer to author, Linn – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

The Secrets of Villa Rosso - LinnLinn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Harper Impulse (Harper Collins) and Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

Find out more and read chapter one from each of Linn & Lucy’s novels at http://linnbhalton.co.uk/, follow Linn on Twitter @LinnBHalton and @LucyColemanAuth , visit her Facebook page @LinnBHaltonAuthor and her Amazon author pages: Linn B. Halton and Lucy Coleman

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Advanced Review Copy · Blog Tours · Books · Claire Cock-Starkey · Non-Fiction

Blog Tour, Review & Extract: A Library Miscellany by Claire Cock-Starkey (@nonfictioness) @BodPublishing

I am delighted to be on the blog tour for A Library Miscellany. Thank you to Claire Cock-Starkey for asking me to be part of it and for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

I have an interesting extract to share with you about Book Thefts followed by my review. First, to whet your appetite, here’s what the book is about: Continue reading “Blog Tour, Review & Extract: A Library Miscellany by Claire Cock-Starkey (@nonfictioness) @BodPublishing”

Advanced Review Copy · Anthology · Blog Tours · Books · Crime · Short Stories

#BlogTour: CWA Anthology of Short Stories: Mystery Tour edited by @medwardsbooks @the_cwa @OrendaBooks #CWAMysteryTour

Today, I am delighted to be sharing with you my thoughts about the CWA Anthology of Short Stories: Mystery Tour. Thank you to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for asking me to take part in the tour and for sending me a copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Before I share my thoughts with you, here is what the anthology is about. Continue reading “#BlogTour: CWA Anthology of Short Stories: Mystery Tour edited by @medwardsbooks @the_cwa @OrendaBooks #CWAMysteryTour”