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BLOG TOUR: Searching for a Silver Lining by Miranda Dickinson

It's my birthday today!! What better way to celebrate than hosting a stop on the blog tour for Miranda Dickinson's latest book, Searching for a Silver Lining. Here's the idea behind the book:

Matilda Bell is left heartbroken when she falls out with her beloved grandfather just before he dies. Haunted by regret, she makes a promise that will soon change everything . . .
When spirited former singing star Reenie Silver enters her life, Mattie seizes the opportunity to make amends. Together, Mattie and Reenie embark on an incredible journey that will find lost friends, uncover secrets from the glamorous 1950s and put right a sixty-year wrong.

Touchingly funny, warm and life-affirming, this is a sparkling story of second chances. Perfect for fans of Cecelia Ahern, Searching for a Silver Lining will take you on a trip you'll never forget.

Miranda's books are simply brilliant and she is so enthusiastic about interacting with her readers, today she has kindly written a piece about what her hopes are for Searching for a Silver Lining:

Every author hopes the stories they write will resonate with readers. I’m no exception! I want my readers to have an absolute blast of a ride while reading Searching for a Silver Lining. I would love to make them laugh, cry, gasp and fall in love with the characters I’ve created. I think the hardest part of writing a book – apart from the actual physically demanding job of getting the story from my head to the paper – is letting it go when it’s finished. Trusting that this story will find its readers and that other people (most of whom I’ve never met) will take it to their hearts is the biggest challenge to me as a writer. I have no control over anyone else’s opinion, so the only thing I can do is to work hard to make my books the best they can be. I hope the story touches people who read it. Searching for a Silver Lining is about second chances and the power of forgiveness – even after a lifetime of hurt. It’s about the amazing places life can take you, if you’re willing to take the risk. I hope my book will make people laugh. Let’s face it, there hasn’t been much to laugh about in recent months. I think my readers deserve something warm and funny, touching and life-affirming to help combat the gloom we seem to be surrounded by right now. People often dismiss comedy as flippant and unimportant, but I think it’s essential to help us make sense of the world we live in. Lastly, I hope readers feel like I wrote this story just for them. Because I did. Thanks so much for reading this blog exclusive! For more, follow my Searching for a Silver Lining blog tour. I really hope you enjoy Mattie’s story!

Thank you to Miranda for writing this lovely piece, make sure you buy the book!!! I'm off to eat Birthday cake now! 


BOOK REVIEW: The Trouble with Henry and Zoe by Andy Jones

Henry and Zoe have more in common than they realise. For a start, they both have pasts they'd rather leave behind.
After jilting his childhood sweetheart on the eve of their wedding, Henry makes a break for London. He has no friends, no job, no home, no plan.
Zoe has great friends, two jobs, a new house, and a big scary plan. After a traumatic, life-changing event, she plans to leave London and spend a year travelling. Alone.
If Henry and Zoe had met one year ago, things might have worked out differently. But that's not the way life works. They meet seven months after their worlds have been turned upside down. And four months before Zoe is due to climb on a plane...

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 452

I have to admit that I may have done a little squeal when I received an email asking if I wanted to review Andy Jones' new book, The Trouble with Henry and Zoe. I was a huge fan of his highly successful first book, The Two of Us, so I was excited to see what he'd done next. I've said this before but for one reason or another, I do not read a lot of books by male authors so I'm always so pleased to find a male author whose work I really enjoy.
The Trouble with Henry and Zoe begins with Henry jilting his childhood sweetheart, April at the altar. Henry comes from a small town so when he runs out on April it becomes clear that he won't be able to return home for a while. He decamps to London where he works part time as a dentist. He knows it was the right thing not to marry April but he has no idea what he's going to do next.
Zoe's world has just been turned upside down. She too is in London, two jobs and a new house on which to pay the mortgage. But she has a plan; she would like to get as far away as possible. She is saving everything she can to go away travelling and nothing will change her mind.
When Henry and Zoe's worlds collide, neither of them are expecting it. So many questions arise, what if they had met earlier? What will happen when Zoe leaves? Can you love someone enough to let them go?
Again, Andy Jones has created two fantastic main characters. I very quickly cared deeply for Henry and Zoe but Henry was definitely my favourite. What he did to April was terrible but I felt sorry for him too. His parents made me a bit angry as it was difficult for them as they own a pub in the small town but I did feel that they could have stuck up for him a little more.
Zoe is a fab character too; she has suffered a terrible tragedy and her own emotions are so complex. Andy Jones' portrayal of her was incredibly honest, she could easily have been seen as a victim but she was far from that.
There is so much humour in the book too, I laughed out loud at several points and I think the author had the balance just right. I enjoyed the chapters being told from either Henry or Zoe's perspective; it allows the reader to get to know them very well but also, more importantly, what they think of each other.
The Trouble with Henry and Zoe is an emotive and touching read. As with Andy Jones' first book, I was impressed by his writing style and the characters he presents. If you've not read anything by this author yet then what are you waiting for?

Many thanks to Simon & Schuster for sending me a copy of this book to review. 


BOOK REVIEW: Saving Sophie by Sam Carrington

 A teenage girl is missing. Is you daughter involved, or is she next?
Your daughter is in danger. But can you trust her?
When Karen Finch's seventeen-year-old daughter Sophie arrives home after a night out, drunk and accompanied by police officers, no one is smiling the morning after. But Sophie remembers nothing about how she got in such a state.
Twelve hours later, Sophie's friend Amy has still not returned home. Then the body of a young woman is found.
Karen is sure that Sophie knows more than she is letting on. But Karen has her own demons to fight. She struggles to go beyond her own door without a panic attack.
As she becomes convinced that Sophie is not only involved but also in danger, Karen must confront her own anxieties  to stop whoever killed one young girl moving on to another- Sophie. 

Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 300

Saving Sophie by Sam Carrington is a gripping psychological thriller. Karen's daughter Sophie is brought home by police just after 10pm on a night out. Appearing drunk, she is very disorientated and has no recollection of how she became separated from her friends. The next day, Sophie still has no memory of the night before and now her friend Amy has not returned home. Karen knows there is more to the situation and deep down she knows that Sophie is in danger.
This book is very clever; the author plays on so many of your fears; your child being harmed; losing your memory; being followed, the list goes on. Added into this is the fact that Sophie's mum Karen suffers from Agoraphobia, she is completely terrified of leaving her own home. Her family have come to tolerate her problem but how can Karen help Sophie if she can't even get out of her own front door?
I felt that the book was well plotted and the author maintains a good pace. I read it in just over one day and the chapters are the perfect length for you to think 'I'll read just one more!'. There were a few plot lines that left me with questions almost as though there were some loose ends when the book finished.
Adding in Karen's condition gave the book a different feel to others in the genre. Normally a character will do some investigating on their own and then run off and save the victim but it was clear from the beginning that it wouldn't be so easy for Karen.
Saving Sophie will capture you from the first page. I highly recommend it plus it's only 99p to download on Kindle at the moment so you can't go wrong!

Many thanks to Helena from Harper Collins for sending me a copy of this book to review. 


BOOK REVIEW: Wildflower Bay by Rachel Lucas

Isla's got her dream job as head stylist at the most exclusive salon in Edinburgh. The fact that she's been so single-minded in her career, that she's forgotten to have a life has completely passed her by- until disaster strikes. Out of options, she heads to the remote island of Auchenmor to help out her aunt who is in desperate need of an extra pair of scissors at her salon.
A native to the island, Finn is thirty-five and reality has just hit him hard. His best friends are about to have a baby and everything is changing. When into his life walks Isla...

Publisher: Pan
Pages: 352

Rachel Lucas is a new author for me, I loved the cover for Wildflower Bay when it arrived and I couldn't wait to read it. It was only once I'd finished that I read that Rachel's two previous novels are set on the same island but don't worry if you've not read them either as this is very much a stand-alone book.
Isla is working as head stylist in one of Edinburgh's top salons when she suddenly has the day from hell. Finding herself with two months free time on her hands, Isla is feeling a little lost. Luckily, her Aunt Jessie asks her for help; she needs to go and stay with her daughter and Isla would be the perfect person to look after her hair salon while she's away. Isla is very much used to city life so the tiny island of Auchenmor is quite a shock and she is immediately counting down the days until she can return home.
Finn McArthur, a native of the island is also a little lost. Those closest to him seem to have everything sorted and are settling down but she just seems to be floundering. Then he bumps into Isls and starts to see the world a little differently.
Rachel Lucas has written a truly lovely book. Her writing is witty, inviting and comforting. The more I got to know Isla, the more I liked her. Her interactions with Finn are great and add a lovely, romantic element to the book. The setting was perfect, Rachel Lucas provides vivid descriptions of Auchenmor and it is an integral part of the story.
Wildflower Bay by Rachel Lucas does not disappoint, make sure you read it.

Many thanks to Pan for sending me a copy of the book to review.


BOOK REVIEW: The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells

April is on life-support and the only murder suspect. Noah is a reclusive ex-lawyer attempting to ignore his sadness and write crime novels. April is also the love of Noah's life, and though he has never recovered from her rejection, he returns to their hometown to prove April's innocence.
Meanwhile, Ella has her own secrets, but no one will listen to her. She is the same age that April was when Noah met her, and what Ella knows is key to finding the murderer.
Following the story of April and Noah's tragic and flawed relationship and Ella's determination to uncover the truth. Howells expertly knits together a web of secrets that has the reader guessing until the final chapter.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

The Beauty of the End was fantastic from start to finish.
Noah gets a call to say that his ex has tried to commit suicide and is now in hospital on life support. As if that isn't bad enough, their mutual friend informs him that April is also the main suspect in a murder case. Noah is now a writer but he trained as a lawyer . He does not believe April capable of hurting anyone let alone murder so he cannot sit back and do nothing. Noah has been obsessed and in love with April since school but she effectively rejected him. He has never recovered from the hurt yet he is still willing to do all he can to help her. Noah has to uncover what really happened; did April truly mean to take her own life and what has been happening in her life to lead her to becoming a convicted murderer?
Inbetween the chapters about April and Noah we meet Ella, she is clearly very troubled and we slowly discover how she comes into the story and the part she has to play. 
I was so impressed by Debbie Howells last book The Bones of You but I would say that The Beauty of the End is even better. It felt slightly darker and more complex. I had a very uneasy feeling throughout and didn't feel as though I could fully trust any of the characters.
Noah and April's past is so tangled and complicated. As we learn about their relationship you begin to understand why Noah is so troubled. Can he really help April though when he doesn't know everything about her?
The Beauty of the End is a fantastic psychological thriller; dark, complex and thought provoking. 

Many thanks to Maura Brickell for sending me a copy of the book to review.  


BOOK REVIEW: Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One small dog. It's just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong?
Sam and Clementine have wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there's anything they can count on, it's each other.
Clementine and Erika are each other's oldest friends. A single look between then can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbours, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don't hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid's larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite.
Two months later, it won't stop raining and Clementine and Sam can't stop asking themselves the question: what if we hadn't gone?

Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 432

I was so excited when I logged on to Netgalley and saw that the new Liane Moriarty novel was available to review. I think you always feel safe with this author as you know how good she is and Truly, Madly, Guilty did not disappoint.
We know at the start of the book that three couples, Erika and Oliver, Sam and Clementine and Tiffany and Vid attended a long summer barbecue with their children and whilst there something truly awful happened. There were times when I found it a  little annoying when 'what happened at the barbeque' was constantly alluded to but it was worth it when the big reveal happened.
The barbecue is the pivotal event that ties the three couples together but the book is about much more than that. Marriage, relationships, friendship, responsibility, loyalty, love, jealousy, parenting, ambition, and deceit are just a few of the topics covered in the book. As with all Liane Moriarty books, I was amazed by just how much she packs into the story. Each story line felt like it could have been a whole book itself yet it did not feel like they were not covered well.
I think this author is brilliant at exploring the ugly side of relationships. Most of us are lucky enough to be surrounded by people we love and who love us but it doesn't mean that it is all hearts and flowers. Moriarty shows the layers and complexities involved in most relationships and the way they influence our decisions in life.
Truly, Madly, Guilty is another great offering from this talented author and I highly recommend that you add this to your reading pile.

Many thanks to Penguin for allowing me to review this book via Netgalley.


BOOK REVIEW: Hungry for Love by Lucy Beresford

Jax is about to cancel her wedding to Jonty. On the day. By text. A scrumptious celebration of survival for anyone who's longed for love or felt unworthy of it. Hungry for Love will show you the importance of self-respect and that love can be found where you least expect it.

Publisher: Quartet Books
Pages: 242

Hungry for Love is a charming and funny read. It only took me a couple of days to finish and I think it would be a great book to pack in your suitcase if you have a holiday planned over the summer.
The opening chapter sees Jax cancelling her wedding by text, on the actual day. I loved that the author went straight into the thick of it as you are left wanting to know what has led Jax to make such a huge decision. Plus you have had no time to get to know the character before something very big happens so all of these leads you to want to read on in order to find out more.
The book follows Jax as she tries to get her life back on track. She is now free of her domineering ex but she still has her over-bearing mother to deal with. Jax's mother is Majella; a famous celebrity chef who Jax has a very difficult relationship with. Jax decides to teach herself to cook. With her mother's fame and notoriety she has a lot to live up to but the process shows her what she is really made of. With some love interests thrown in and many mouth-watering descriptions of food, you can't help but enjoy this story of one woman's quest to find out exactly who she wants to be.
This is the first book I have read by Lucy Beresford but I enjoyed her witty and entertaining writing style.
Hungry for Love is a feel good read that will leave you with a big smile on your face and a rumbling tummy!

Many thanks to Emma Daley for sending me a copy of this book to review, it is available to buy now. 


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