Everybody Lies by Emily Cavanagh

This is an original, gripping tale about murder, truth and deception. The characters are forced to face up to, and question their reality when a young girl is found dead on the small-town island of Great Rock.

I enjoyed the multiple perspectives as these added extra dimensions to the story. I liked how all the characters who were given voices were women, though I didn’t often agree with their actions and choices! But then that was kind of original, too – to see women not just as ones who need to be saved, but also giving in to temptation and deception and causing issues for themselves.

This wasn’t as fast paced as my usual thriller read, but still a gripping read with some good twists overall.

⭐⭐⭐

Metamorphosis by Sara Madderson

This was an engaging, motivating and easy to follow book that aims to encourage the reader to make positive changes in their life and emerge a more responsible, empathetic and well rounded individual.

There were many key things I enjoyed about this book. I loved the use of the quotes, as I found them insightful and inspiring, and really made me think and reflect on my own personal choices and mindset.

I loved how I was easily able to link the writing to my past experiences, namely my treatment on “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy” which helped me to come out of some very dark moments. I could see the truth then, in what she said about how accepting responsibility and taking ownership would result in empowerment.

I also think she made some very important points about the role of family and the use of language within the family setting/home. She gave some interesting examples of how we can change our language and actions in order to re-shape our personal family culture.

This was very different to my usual read but I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it and taking the time to reflect on how much I limit myself through my language, thoughts and actions.

A great eye opening book that is easy to follow and read for anyone looking to grow and develop their consciousness and self reflection skills!

⭐⭐⭐⭐

When You Were Mine by Katie Hewitt

As the cover suggests, this book was absolutely beautiful and heart breaking. Beth is a single mum to complex, anxious, clingy Dylan. She is trying her best to keep things “normal” and safe for him, but she is struggling emotionally, financially and socially…

Can the solution suggested by the Department for Children and Families help her and Dylan get some more balance in their life?

The characters in this one are raw, their flawed but they’re also believable, honest and in many ways, likeable too. Beth’s realisation that her parenting style is influenced, or even, damaged by her past is one that resonates with me after reading about the psychology of parenting.

She feels mum guilt, and is struggling to juggle everything, but she is really trying. It was good to see her grow and come to terms with her issues.

There are many gripping, dramatic plot points that make this a real page turner. There is the occasional cliff hanger ending to a chapter, which is one of my favourite features of a book!

This has been a great read and I have really enjoyed it, though I have felt my heart twisting in my chest while seeing some of the heart breaking moments unfold!

My favourite quote comes at the end, and demonstrates Beth’s growth and wisdom:

“No matter how charmed someone’s life looks on the outside, on the inside everyone is messy and uncertain and afraid. Everyone needs help. Everyone holds possibility.”

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Everything is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray

I am very excited to be involved in this media trailer reveal for this gorgeous looking book! I hope you enjoy 😁

Everything is Beautiful

Sometimes it’s impossible to part with the things we love the most…

When Amy Ashton’s world came crashing down eleven years ago, she started a collection. Just a little collection, just a few keepsakes of happier times: some honeysuckle to remind herself of the boy she loved, a chipped china bird, an old terracotta pot . . . Things that others might throw away, but to Amy, represent a life that could have been.  

Now her house is overflowing with the objects she loves – soon there’ll be no room for Amy at all. But when a family move in next door, a chance discovery unearths a mystery long buried, and Amy’s carefully curated life begins to unravel. If she can find the courage to face her past, might the future she thought she’d lost still be hers for the taking? 

Perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant and The Keeper of Lost Things, this exquisitely told, uplifting novel shows us that however hopeless things might feel, beauty can be found in the most unexpected of places.

Pre-order Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Everything-Beautiful-Eleanor-Ray/dp/0349427437

US – https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Beautiful-Eleanor-Ray-ebook/dp/B087ZDNZM8/

Publication Date: 4th February 2021

Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfVtbrJZY2o&feature=youtu.be

Author Bio –

Eleanor Ray has an MA in English Literature from Edinburgh University and works in marketing. She lives in London with her husband and two young children.
Eleanor was inspired to write Everything is Beautiful by the objects her toddler collects and treasures – twigs, empty water bottles and wilting daisies. She is currently working on her next novel.

Social Media Links –

Twitter: @EleanorRayBooks
Facebook: @EleanorRayBooks
Instagram: @EleanorRayBooks

First Date by Sue Watson

I was drawn to this book by the cover, which has so much symbolism and intrigue, I just had to know what happened! I have also heard a lot about Sue Watson, but never read her books, and I cannot believe it’s taken me THIS long to discover this queen of psychological thriller.

Hannah is on the hunt for love. So is Alex. Their relationship seems too perfect. They are too similar. They are both career driven, ambitious, clever, and if the author’s descriptions are anything to go by – well matched in the looks department too. Are they a match made in heaven or is it all too good to be true?

Sue Watson creates a good mix of characters here, there are those who are presented as “normal” and those who appear creepy, crazy, maybe even dangerous…

I have loved following the narrative of this one and seeing the author’s complete skill and control over the plot, as she slowly but surely reveals the darker sides to the story.

The dialogue and drama keep this one fast paced, though you do feel like the details cannot be revealed quick enough as you’re hooked into Hannah’s story from the beginning!

I also feel like the ending could be used in the novel writing encyclopedia, under the heading: killer twists! I’ve read a lot of psychological fiction in my time and don’t think I’ve ever come across such a good twist at the end. Plus a cliffhanger! Oooh!

This is definitely a five star read and one of my top reads in this genre this year. I am definitely going to add more books by this author to my wishlist!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Home at Summer’s End by Alys Murray

This is my 2nd read by this author and I really like her style. When I read her books, I feel like I step back in time a little to a time when things were less complicated & can sit back, relax and enjoy a simple, sweet love story.

That’s not to say the books are without drama and intrigue, because there is definitely that layered amongst the chemistry and romance between the two main characters, Cole and Rose. It is a straightforward plan: They will pretend to be in love to keep their family and the wider media off their backs. What could possibly go wrong? But it does go wrong, and in the best possible way…

Once again, the characters are likeable, their backstories believable and their developing relationship is lovely to follow.

Another enjoyable and cute read from Alys Murray!

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Diary of a Prison Officer by Josie Channer

I knew from the description that this book would be one that pulled me in and tore me apart. This, of course, is a good thing for an emotionally driven, memoir loving reader like me.

The book is based on the journey and challenges faced by the fictional “Amber”, but based on the life and experiences of the writer. I enjoyed the use of the double time frame – you have the past tense diary of Amber as a prison officer, and the “present day” journey to Africa where she hopes to learn about her culture and reflects on her diary as she does so.

I have to admit I have a fascination with the British justice system, so I have seen many documentaries that cover all the shocking, despicable and terrifying things you would see in a prison. However, what really resonated with me in this story is the institutional racism faced by the prosin officers, and the shocking insight into a women’s prison.

I have to admit, rightly or wrongly, when I think of dangerous criminals, violence against others and especially dirty protests, I think of a man’s prison. This book reveals that that is a wrong assumption.

Something that can be hit or miss about diaries is the use of speech, but Josie uses it well to drive the narrative forward and highlight the realism of the topics discussed throughout.

This was a thoroughly thought provoking and gripping read, recommended for fans of crime and memoirs.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

My Husband’s Daughter by Emma Robinson

I was very much looking forward to reading this book, as domestic drama is my favourite genre. On the surface it seems an easy genre to dabble in – you take a situation from real life that is emotional or devastating, and describe it. However, I think it is very difficult to do this genre justice.

Emma Robinson is certainly a rising star of this genre. This book is well structured, and I particularly loved being able to see things from the points of view of the different characters.

The characters are real, raw and brave and the storyline is heartbreaking. There were many times I choked up with tears, and there were clever twists I didn’t see coming!

Rebecca goes on a real journey from a corporate, organised woman to a life of complete chaos when a little girl literally turns up on her doorstep. However, Rebecca faces the challenges with resilience, love and bravery, and it was lovely to see her journey.

I look forward to reading more by this author, and would definitely consider this a top read of 2020!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Parasite? Diary of a Landlord by The Secret Landlord

This book is a brutally honest, eye opening look at what it is like to be a landlord in 21st century Britain.

I loved the opening note – “If you’re easily offended, I’d stop reading now. If you want to hear the truth on the other side of the door, read on.” I was keen to read on, but I was shocked when I did.

I really felt a lot of empathy for the landlord in this book, which I suppose is the point of the diary form, but their stories really resonated with me.

The writer works hard to address and counteract the stereotypes associated with being a landlord, namely being a “parasite”.

I felt myself growing to like and respect the speaker, and also feeling a connection between what we do. I am a teacher; she is a landlord. But we are both public servants – both cogs in a wheel in a system that sometimes we don’t always agree with, but that we follow nonetheless. However, we are much more than that. We are human beings, with feelings and thoughts and families – and it was eye opening to see how much pressure/expectation/responsibility was put on the landlord in the stories she told.

I also think she makes some very good points about the system, and how it is unfairly favourable to the tenant, in many circumstances. Some of the tales are shocking, but what shines through is her dedication and skill in what she does.

I really feel that this book gives a voice to a section of our society who are discriminated because we don’t fully understand what it is they do. It gives you an opportunity to walk in a landlord’s shoes and see their point of view. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to fans of memoir/diary style non fiction who are looking for something a bit different and refreshing.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Christmas Swap by Sandy Barker

I’m very excited to be kicking off this blog tour! I was drawn to this book by the cover image, which is very eyecatching, depicting different settings. I was also intrigued by the blurb, which made the book sound very reminiscent of “The Holiday” film, which is one of my favourite festive films.

The book tells the story about three friends, who swap homes for Christmas in the name of adventure, fun and shaking things up a bit. However, each gets a little bit more than they bargained for…

I found this a refreshing take on chick lit- for a number of reasons. Firstly, the stories were told from three different perspectives – those of the 3 main characters – Chloe, Jules & Lucy. Secondly, I got to enjoy three very different but equally beautiful settings at Christmas. Finally, I actually came across some words I’ve never heard before! I like to think of myself as well read and having a wide vocabulary, and I’ve not learnt words from a book in a very long time, so that was very refreshing.

I enjoyed following the girls’ journeys and the male characters gave men a good name, which isn’t always the case in books like these! Each of them were loyal, helpful, caring and charming!

This book has really helped me escape reality at a time when I’ve really needed to do so & I’ve found it a refreshing, fun, original read. I’ve read a few chick lit Christmas books for this blogging season, and this one currently sits at the top of my list!

I’d highly recommend this book to any fans of chick lit authors such as Mary Jayne Baker, Portia Macintosh, Holly Martin and Rosie Green.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐