Aria Fiction

#BlogTour | The Last Day Of Winter by Shari Low #TheLastDayOfWinter #Review @sharilow @aria_fiction

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Hello everyone! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this mammoth blog tour for the gorgeous; The Last Day In Winter by Shari Low, I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you all, so sit back, grab your cuppa and your tissues and enjoy. 

About the Book

One December wedding. One runaway bride. One winter’s day to bring everyone together again.

Today is meant to be the happiest of Caro’s life. She’s finally going to say ‘I do’ to the man she loves, until her past comes back to haunt her.

Josie will do anything to keep this wedding on track, even if it requires tracking down a runaway bride, keeping the groom in the dark and appeasing a variety of family members.

Stacey has one last chance to tell the one that got away how she feels, she can only hope that he feels the same way.

Cammy just wants to call Caro his wife. He’s ready to settle down with her, she’s the one. But can he get her to realise that marriage doesn’t always end in sadness? That they could live happily-ever-after…

Perfect for fans of Isabelle Broom, Sarah Morgan and Amanda Prowse.

Links

Amazon / Kobo / iBooks / Google Play

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This was an emotional roller-coaster ride for sure, by the end I felt like completely drained. Have you ever read a book which you loved, but by the end you are not just feeling physically shattered but mentally exhausted. You feel as though you have run a marathon followed by a family funeral, This is one of those books, it is compulsive reading one that as soon as you start, it will keep you turning the pages right until that final page.

What I didn’t realise when I started this book, and it was only when I saw a post on Social Media, that this is actually the third book in the ‘Winter Day’ series, how can I not have known that? Not that it really mattered much, as this read as a stand-alone. I would never have thought there were previous instalments, now that I do know I will definitely be reading the previous two.

I have only recently discovered Shari Low’s work having only read one of her books before this, and I do have to say that I am completely in awe of her writing. She has a talent of taking the reader out of their warm, safe bubble and making them look at human life in its full glory. She writes from the heart and isn’t afraid to tackle to very emotionally fraught subjects that would give another author pause for thought and she does it with the utmost care and respect for the subject and the characters, I love that, her stories are intelligent and sympathetic, they are completely compelling to read and I am really looking forward to reading more from her.

I love how this is written, The Last Day of Winter is told over the course of a couple of days, and it is centre around the wedding of Caro and Cammy, what should be a Fairy-tale December wedding actually turns into something more profound, more shattering and complex, a day that none of the guests, the participants or the readers will be able to forget in a hurry. Caro you could say she is having second thoughts, her secret past and skeletons which she has conveniently hidden in the closet all soon raise their heads and make a grand appearance, which makes Caro wonder if she is doing the right thing, of this is truly what she wants and more then that if it is what the love of her life wants. Cameron (Cammy) wants nothing more than to marry the woman he loves and he will do all in his power to make that happen, only there are a few things not just Caro’s past that starts to stand in their way.

One of them just happens Stacey, old friend of both and she loves Cammy she wants him, she can’t face the fact that he is to marry another, but can she really ruin another woman’s big day and that of the man she says she loves or will she finally see that Cammy isn’t for her and find someone who truly sees her for the vibrant woman’s she is?

Then there is the wedding planner Josie who not only must handle the delicate and rather confused and complex wedding she has found herself planning, but she must sort out other people problems with a huge one hanging over her own head, she must brave the world with a smile and allow herself to be drawn into another’s mess for a short time, but is that the best thing for her to do when she has had the worst news anyone could receive?

As you can gather it is all an emotional train wreck, but each of the characters personal stories and heartache that they must eventually face is so beautifully written, some authors may go above and beyond with the angst and really push each of the characters’ troubles on the readers so it’s weighs heavy but not Ms Low, she has a real gift for centring the reader right in the middle of the story and taking them on a journey through love, friendship, family and heartache, with the utmost care and sensitivity to the subjects portrayed, this is a real winner, it’s an intelligent and brilliantly funny at times.

This is a fascinating look into the complex and sometimes catalyst relationships between family and friends, there are some harsh reminders that life doesn’t always play out as we would like it to and some exceedingly touching moments that will give you a moment to pause for thought about what you have just read.

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About the Author

Shari lives in Glasgow and writes a weekly opinion column and Book Club page for a well-known newspaper. She is married to a very laid-back guy and has two athletic teenage sons, who think she’s fairly embarrassing, except when they need a lift.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

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Blog Tour Schedule

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Follow Aria

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#BlogTour | The Christmas Calendar Girls by Samantha Tonge #TheChristmasCalenderGirls #Review @SamTongeWriter @aria_fiction

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Hello everyone! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this amazing blog tour for; The Christmas Calendar Girls by Samantha Tonge. Not only am I sharing my review of this gorgeous book, I also have an exclusive extract for you, so with out further ado, sit back, grab a cuppa and enjoy.

Christmas Calender Girls by Samantha Tonge

This Christmas fall in love with the town of Chesterwood…

Christmas is meant to be a time of giving, so with Chesterwood food bank under risk of closure Fern knows just what to do to save it. She’s going to get the town to create a living advent calendar.

Fern, and her best friends, call for help from the local community to bring this calendar to life. When Kit, the new man in town, offers his assistance Fern’s heart can’t help but skip a beat (or two).

As they grow ever closer, Fern must admit that Kit’s breaking down the barriers she built after the death of her husband. But his past is holding him back and Fern doesn’t know how to reach him. No matter how hard she tries.

In this town, Kit’s not the only one with secrets. Domestic goddess Cara is behaving oddly, burning meals in the oven and clothes whilst ironing, and Davina’s perfect children are causing trouble at school leaving her son, Jasper, desperately unhappy.

Can the Christmas Calendar Girls find a way to bring the community together in time to save the food bank, while still supporting their families and each other? Can Fern find love again with Kit?

This is a story about kindness and letting go of the past. It’s about looking out for your neighbours and about making every day feel like Christmas.

Amazon / Kobo / iBooks

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Exclusive Excerpt

Yes, things had changed. As Lily had grown, I enjoyed her arms round me instead of his. They were just strong enough to push me forwards in time when, now and again, I longed to jump back.

But all those little doors – twenty-four!’ I said brightly. ‘Even Cara will struggle with that, and we know there’s nothing she can’t make out of a toilet roll and a cereal box.’

Apart from a car that doesn’t cut out in weather this cold. Now if I could create one of those…’

Playfully I pushed her shoulder. Dear Cara was ever modest. She’d warmly introduced her eldest daughter, Hannah, that first day in the playground, then beckoned over Davina with her twins, Jasper and Arlo. I was dressed up for a meeting to interview someone about the latest feature I was writing. Davina was dressed up just because. In jeans and trainers, Cara made some comment about herself never being a yummy mummy. I told her she looked great but said being a chummy mummy counted for much more. We’d had to explain to the children that the word chum meant friend. Appropriately, Cara meant friend in Irish. Her great-grandparents had come over from Belfast and she’d often told stories of their legendary hospitality. She must have inherited it.

I’m just a little worried for those of us who aren’t so artsy,’ I said. ‘And what with me working full-time and Lily being more of an outdoors sort…’

We’ve thought about that.’ Davina put the coffee pot down onto the low gilt table.

That’s what worries me.’

Cara chuckled.

It would have been easy to write off the Parents’ Association at Birchfield Primary as a bunch of people who had too much time on their hands. But it wasn’t. Tease as we did, Davina did a lot of charity work and, having been an accountant, still did the books for her husband’s building firm. The other members were either single like me and held down jobs, or, like Cara, they were busy stay-at-home parents.

And then there was redundancy, illness, divorce, caring for elderly relatives…

Everyone had a story.

Simply navigating the day to day was tough enough. Limiting screen time. Encouraging reading. Trying to make fruits and vegetables sound as appealing as chicken nuggets…

Davina proceeded to explain how she would design and provide everyone with a template made out of cardboard, her sleek, naturally blonde ponytail waving cheerily from side to side as she spoke.

Just don’t tell John’s mum.’ Cara undid her hand-knitted cardigan, its swirling pattern mimicking her wavy bob. ‘Audrey has always bemoaned the fact that Christmas starts too early and is so commercial.’ She’d lowered her voice as if her mother-in-law’s hearing aids could pick up far-off conversations.

I studied the dark rims under her eyes, accentuated against the pale, freckled skin characteristic of redheads. Life for Cara had been hard since her widowed mother-in-law had moved in two months ago following a fall. Although, now she was getting better, Audrey seemed like such a help. She was always playing with the children and kept Cara company, what with my friend’s husband, John, working all hours.

Maybe she’s got a point,’ said Davina. She slipped off her shoes and tucked her feet under her bottom. ‘Being involved with the food bank has really made me grateful for the life I have with Max, Jasper and Arlo.’

That’s where I first met him. Kit. For just a few seconds I’d seen nothing but those warm chestnut eyes. The way they’d crinkled at the corners and made me feel like the only person in the room.

Volunteering there has made me think about all the money we waste without even realising it,’ continued Davina. ‘One man was telling me that sometimes he has to choose between buying toothpaste or deodorant.’

Imagine that,’ said Cara and shook her head.

So this Christmas I’ve told relatives we are to limit how much we spend on each other. Fifty pounds each should do it.’

Cara and I both looked affectionately at Davina. Her attempts at budgeting were like born chef Cara deigning to buy ready-to-bake cake mix – one of Davina and my staples. Or like me complaining about aeroplanes flying over my semi, which was probably one of the quietest on the small estate, compared to Cara’s terrace next to a drummer and Davina’s detached house serenaded by a nearby cockerel.

*Extract used with permission from Aria as apart of this blog tour!

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What a wonderfully inspiring and feel good book, that will fill your heart with both the spirit of Christmas and that of the spirit of human kindness and really shows the importance of community and friendship.

This is the first book I have read by Samantha Tonge, I have no idea how I have let this talented author pass me by for so long – its true I walk around with eyes shut – I can definitely say that this will not be the last of her work, I am now on the hunt for more. I loved how Samantha drew me into the lives of the three women who do take centre stage; Fern (whom the story is told through) Davina and Cara, each has their own pasts, own problems. I love the relationship between Fern, Cara and Davina; they are true best friends, who go through highs and lows together and have always got each other’s back when needed; this book really shows the importance of having a handful of close friends in your life is and how magical female solidarity is.

Christmas in Chesterwood can only mean one thing, and that is the annual school charity fundraising and this year is no different, they will be creating Advent Christmas Calendars which they hope will bring joy and festive cheer to their village, especially at this time as their food bank is in trouble and a the brink of closure which will be disastrous for the whole community.

Single mother and widower; Fern has moved the little village of Chesterwood, where she is hoping to start a whole new life with her precious daughter; Lily. The last few years have been hard on both Fern and her daughter after the heart-breaking death of her husband, but as she has settled into village life the pain of her loss has started to ebb with the help of her new life and her good friends Cara and Davina. As Fern starts to work within the food bank more and more, she meets mysterious and handsome Kit who opens her eyes to a part of society that she has never fully understood and as he does so she starts to think that maybe she can be happy and find love again.

Kit is a mystery, there is far more to him then we first think, yes there are skeletons in his past, things that he would rather not share with Fern, he has a suspicious element about him that made me both aware of him and curious to know more. But essentially I saw him as a good man who has tried to move on with his life and put his personal demons in the past where they belong.

What I really loved about this is just how real and relatable it is, with its diverse cast of characters, who all have their own story to tell, each having their own lives difficulties but the way that these woman band together to try and save a food bank really touched my heart. The fact that the central story line is all about the food bank really brought this beautiful story into reality, it really brought the subject of food banks and the plight o those who need to use them and their own stories into the spotlight and it does make you evaluate you own lifestyle and just how privileges most of us are.

I was completely taken with this book, even before I read it. The cover alone is the prettiest thing, it caught my eye and made me want to pick it up, then the story within the gorgeous cover is gorgeous, it is one of those stories will stay with you, you won’t look at Christmas in the same again, I can guarantee that it will make an impact on you. I have a real soft spot for little village stories, where it’s not just the main character’s quest for happiness we are following, but that of a handful of secondary characters too.

Overall this is a charming, joyful and very Chrsitmassy story that will warm your heart, the writing is passionate and strong, it flows and takes the reader on real festive journey or heartache and discovery, very highly reccomended!

This was a Arc copy via Netgalley which I voluntarily reviewed as apart of this blog tour, thank you Vikki.

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About The Author

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.
When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines. 
She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women’s fiction with publisher Canelo. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association romantic comedy award

Website / Twitter / Facebook

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Blog Tour Schedule

Do check out the other blogs which are participating in this blog tour.

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Follow Aria

Website / Twitter: @aria_fiction / Facebook: @ariafiction / Instagram: @ariafiction

#CoverReveal | The Last Day Of Winter by Shari Low #TheLastDayOfWinter @sharilow @aria_fiction

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Hello everyone! I am so excited to be sharing the very first and exclusive look at Shari Low’s up and coming book; The Last Day Of Winter and I have to tell you that this cover is just so pretty, it not only looks amazing but sounds it too, and I can’t wait to share it with you all, so go on take a peek for yourself…

About the Book

One December wedding. One runaway bride. One winter’s day to bring everyone together again.

Today is meant to be the happiest of Caro’s life. She’s finally going to say ‘I do’ to the man she loves, until her past comes back to haunt her.

Josie will do anything to keep this wedding on track, even if it requires tracking down a runaway bride, keeping the groom in the dark and appeasing a variety of family members.

Stacey has one last chance to tell the one that got away how she feels, she can only hope that he feels the same way.

Cammy just wants to call Caro his wife. He’s ready to settle down with her, she’s the one. But can he get her to realise that marriage doesn’t always end in sadness? That they could live happily-ever-after…

Perfect for fans of Isabelle Broom, Sarah Morgan and Amanda Prowse.

Pre-order Links

Amazon / Kobo / iBooks / Google Play

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Follow Aria

Website: www.ariafiction.com / Twitter: @aria_fiction / Facebook: @ariafiction / Instagram: @ariafiction

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About the Author

Shari lives in Glasgow and writes a weekly opinion column and Book Club page for a well-known newspaper. She is married to a very laid-back guy and has two athletic teenage sons, who think she’s fairly embarrassing, except when they need a lift.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

#CoverReveal | The Child From The Ash Pits by Chrissie Walsh #TheChildFromTheAshPits @aria_fiction @WalshChrissie

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Hello everyone! I am so excited to be sharing the very first and exclusive look at Chrissie Walsh’s up and coming book; The Child From The Ash Pits and I have to tell you that this cover is just so pretty, it not only looks amazing but sounds it too, and I can’t wait to share it with you all, so go on take a peek for yourself…

About the Book

In the aftermath of the General Strike, times are tough for coal miners and their families. Can little Cally break free from poverty, and forge a successful life for herself?

When Cally loses her beloved mum, she hopes her father will comfort and protect her. But instead she soon acquires a cruel and vengeful stepmother, and Cally begins to fear that she is on her own.

Through uncomfortable years in service, to a terrifying brush with the streets, through hard work and determination, Cally finally finds a place for herself. She even trusts enough in the future to create her own family, despite being so cruelly abandoned by her own.

At last in a place of peace and contentment, Cally has all she ever hoped for, but with World War 2 looming, how long can she hold on to the people she loves?

Taking us from 1926 all the way to end of the Second World War, Chrissie Walsh has written a heart-breaking tale of love and survival, perfect for fans of Dilly Court and Lyn Andrews.

Pre-order Links

Amazon / Kobo / Google Play

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Follow Aria

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About the Author

Born and raised in West Yorkshire, Chrissie trained to be a singer and cellist before becoming a teacher. When she married her trawler skipper husband, they moved to a little fishing village in N. Ireland. Chrissie is passionate about history and that passion and knowledge shine through in her writing. The Girl from the Mill is her debut novel.

Twitter / Amazon / Goodreads/ Facebook / Aria

#BlogTour : This Is Me by @ShariLow #Review #ThisIsMe @aria_fiction

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Hello everyone! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this amazing blog tour for; This is Me by Shari Low. Not only am I sharing my review of this gorgeous book, I also have an exclusive extract for you, so with out further ado, enjoy.

This is…Denise.

Married to Ray, her first and only love, Denise has never for one moment regretted putting the husband she idolised on a pedestal above everyone and everything else. But, after forty years of marriage, he is gone, leaving Denise to discover that their perfect marriage was fatally flawed. Now she faces a future alone, but first she must face the betrayals of the past.

This is…Claire.

The estranged daughter of Denise, the woman who put her husband before her children, Claire took the opposite path and devoted her life to raising her family, sacrificing her marriage along the way. With her teenage sons about to flee the nest, she realises she may have left it too late to find her own happy ever after.

This is the story of two women, both alone, both cautionary tales of one of motherhood’s biggest decisions.

Who is more important, your partner or your children? And what happens if you make the wrong choice?

Buy links: Amazon / Kobo / iBooks / Google Play

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Exclusive Excerpt

Of course she’d lost people before. Her parents. Ray’s parents. But in those cases, their houses had filled with family and friends who came to offer sympathies, to share the loss, to bring casseroles and bread and tales of the times they’d had with the person who’d passed. Mourning was a time for gathering, for coming together to celebrate a life and share the sorrow of a passing.

No one was knocking on her door.

No one had come in the week since she’d returned home from the hospital, bereft, clutching only his bloodstained clothes, his watch and his wedding ring.

She snatched up her phone again, the second glass of red wine making her bold, pushing her to take action, to find someone – anyone – to share this grief. She scrolled through her contacts. When was the last time she’d talked to her siblings? Five years ago? Ten? Had she really not spoken to anyone else in her family in all that time? Of course, they had so little in common, and hadn’t been close for years before that anyway.

No, she couldn’t call them now. What would be the point? So they’d feel obliged to come, to sit awkwardly in her kitchen, giving fake sympathy and platitudes about a guy they’d never particularly liked in the first place? No. Ray would hate that. He hadn’t liked them when he was alive, so he wasn’t going to want them there in death.

She flicked through more numbers on the screen, then stopped when one name brought on another flash of pain. Doug. Her son. She could hear Ray’s roar of rage if she called that number. It had been many years since she’d heard his voice, seen his face, but that was his loss. She knew that. Hadn’t she and Ray discussed it so many times? Claire and Doug had walked out of their lives for the same reasons. She didn’t even want to think about that now. Hadn’t Ray told her again and again that they weren’t worthy of her? Only Ray deserved her time and her love.

Numbers exhausted, she threw the handset on the bed, her eyes drawn to Ray’s mobile phone, which had been sitting on the charging dock on his bedside table since the morning she’d called the ambulance.

Reaching over, she picked it up, switched it on, then watched as the screen came to life with the image of the two of them, toasting each other with champagne on the deck of the Queen Mary 2 as it set sail from Southampton en route to New York just a few months ago. Their fortieth wedding anniversary. The captain hadn’t believed them, said she looked far too young to have been married that long.

She punched in the code to open the phone, realising it was the first time she’d ever done that. She’d seen Ray doing it so many times that she knew the code by heart, but he’d have been furious if she’d ever looked through his phone, so she never had.

She went to contacts, the names coming up in alphabetical order. Restaurants. Hotels. Car valet. Architects. The tradesmen who sub-contracted for him on bigger jobs. Joiners. Landscapers. Painters. Plumbers. X. Y. Z. The end.

Or not.

The ‘Z’ category was empty, but there was one number in the preceding group, identified with only a Y. That was it. Just Y. It was all Denise needed to identify who it belonged to. That woman. Her.

He’d kept that bitch’s number.

A guttural sob escaped her. A whole fucking set of contacts and there was not a single person she could call for comfort, for help, to listen to her pain, until the very last contact in his phone. Y. It was a cruel bastard irony. The only person who might have just a glimmer of understanding about how she was feeling right now. And it would be a cold day in hell before she made that call.

She quickly searched his messages and past calls for any contact with Y, but there was nothing. Small consolation. He still shouldn’t have saved that bloody number.

She tossed the phone across the bed, the thud as it hit the duvet breaking through her red mist of anger, then she picked up her wine again and climbed into bed, still fully clothed, hoping that the warmth of the duvet would make the shivering stop.

She reached over to Ray’s side and picked up the tie that she’d left there, wrapping it around her neck, desperate to have a part of him touching her.

How was she to live? What was she to actually do with her days? Her dreams had been their dreams. Her plans had been their plans. How was she to move forward on her own, to have a purpose in a life without him in it?

***

First confession time; I haven’t had the pleasure to read any of Shari Low’s work before, but from reading this one I will be reading more of her work in the future. I was fascinated by the sound of this and that was enough to draw me and want to read it and am I so pleased that I did, this is a hugely emotional and very poignant book that is so relative to our times and our lives.

This is Me is such a heart-warming story that so many women can relate to, it’s bursting with huge amounts of emotion. Its real and at times haunting, and it will certainly make you evaluate your own life and the choices you have made. It’s all about the two women; mother and daughter Denise and Claire and their choices in life; motherhood and relationships, the choices they have to make and the consequences that arises because of those decisions.

Denise has always put her husband; Ray first above all else, which did include her daughter Claire. Denise idolized her husband and when he passes she soon realises that her marriage was the idyllic haven she had always thought it to be. She sees that over the years her and daughter Claire have drifted further and further apart and they are at the stage that their relationship may never be fixed. Claire has always resented how her mother treated – or not treated her and she vowed that she would never be like that with her own children. She has always put her sons first, even at the cost of her own marriage but now they have flown the nest she starts to see that she has isolated herself and worries that she may missed her chance for happiness for herself.

This is a powerful, thought provoking read that so many can relate to in one way or another, it really focus on the estranged and fragile relationship between mother and daughter. Questions arise throughout that really make you think, and look at your own relationships through fresh eyes.

This is written through both Denise and Claire’s POV, you see both sides of the story and see the damage that has been caused on both sides. The question of who was in the right does pop up many times during the book, and to be honest I think both were wrong in ways, but This Is Me is one of those books that will open conversations and make people talk. The characters are perfectly written, they are real and relatable and I thoroughly enjoyed going on their personal journeys with them and when we find out what kind of man ray really was….well he was horrid!

There is sadness, tears, laughter, confusion, frustration, honestly you will go on a roller-coaster ride of emotions with this, the writing is so clear and vivid that you will feel every emotion as thought your are living it yourself.

Very highly recommended!

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About the Author

Shari Low is the No1 best-selling author of over 20 novels, including One Day In December, A Life Without You, The Story Of Our Life, With Or Without You and her latest release, Another Day In Winter. And because she likes to over-share toe-curling moments and hapless disasters, she is also the shameless mother behind a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. Once upon a time she met a guy, got engaged after a week, and twenty-something years later she lives near Glasgow with her husband, a labradoodle, and two teenagers who think she’s fairly embarrassing except when they need a lift. For all the latest news, visit her on Facebook, twitter, or at http://www.sharilow.com

Follow Shari : Website / Twitter: @ShariLow / Facebook: @sharilowbooks

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Blog Tour Schedule

Do have a look at the over great blogs on this tour.

Follow Aria : Website / Twitter: @aria_fiction / Facebook: @ariafiction / Instagram: @ariafiction

#CoverReveal : The Girl I Used To Know by Faith Hogan (@GerHogan) #TheGirlIUsedToKnow @aria_fiction

Posted on Updated on

Hello everyone! I am so excited to be sharing the very first and exclusive look at Faith Hogan’s up and coming book; the Girl I Used To Know and I have to tell you that this cover is just so pretty. But, you don’t want to hear me whittling on take a peek for yourself…

About the Book

The Girl I Used to Know by Faith Hogan

Two women. Two very different lives. One unexpected friendship.

Amanda King and Tess Cuffe are strangers who share the same Georgian house, but their lives couldn’t be more different.

Amanda seems to have the perfect life. But the reality is a soulless home, an unfaithful husband and a very lonely heart.

While Tess has spent a lifetime hiding and shutting her heart to love.

But if they can open up to one another, these two women may just learn that sometimes letting go is the first step to moving forward and new friendships can come from the most unlikely situations.

Perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond, Marian Keyes, Rowan Coleman and Veronica Henry.

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Buy Links:

Amazon / Kobo / Google Play / iBooks

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Follow Aria

Website: www.ariafiction.com / Twitter: @aria_fiction / Facebook: @ariafiction / Instagram: @ariafiction

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About the Author

Faith lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and two very fussy cats. She has an Hons Degree in English Literature and Psychology, has worked as a fashion model and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector.

Follow Faith: Twitter: @GerHogan / Facebook: @faithhoganauthor

#Review What Happened to us by Faith Hogan (@gerhogan) #Blogtour via @aria_fiction #Christmas #Romance #WhatHappenedToUs

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I have the great pleasure to share my review of What Happened to Us by Faith Hogan as apart of this mammoth month long blog tour via Aria Fiction.

A heart-warming story full of winter warmth and new beginnings. Perfect for the fans of Cecelia Ahern.

Carrie Nolan is devastated when she is dumped by Kevin Mulvey after more than a decade without even a backwards glance! On reflection, she has sacrificed her own long term happiness establishing their critically acclaimed Dublin restaurant and pandering to his excessive ego.

Meanwhile Kevin can’t believe his luck. Valentina, their new waitress is a stunner, the kind of girl that turns heads when she walks in a room and surprise, surprise she has chosen him! He is living the dream!

Carrie seeks solace from a circle of mismatched friends who need her as much as she needs them. Jane, who struggles to run the pub on the opposite side of the street, Luke, who has stopped drifting while his father settles in a nearby nursing home and Teddy, a dog who asks for nothing more than the chance to stay by Carrie’s side.

With Christmas just around the corner, all is not quite as it seems and a catastrophic sequence of events leads to the unthinkable…

How far do you need to fall before you learn the true value of family and friends? And is it ever too late to start again…

My View

This is a wonderful, sweet and thoughtful story that has a strong sense of love, friendship and family, it leaves the reader feeling immensely warm and cosy, plus hugely satisfied. This is the first I have read my Ms Hogan, really I have been missing out on something here, she is an exceptional story teller who has takes the reader on an emotional journey as we temporally walk in the shoes of her strong and kind heroine; Carrie.

Carrie, what an extraordinary woman, she really is sweetness and kindness incarnate, suddenly is told by her weasly boyfriend Kevin that after ten years in their relationship he is leaving her for another woman. But not just any woman, a twenty year old goddess and the new waitress at their restaurant “the Sea pear”. For ten years they have been happily plodding along, living together, working together and for him to suddenly come and not just break what they had together, but to smash it to smithereens and then to top it Carrie must work side by side with the wretch and his floozy as they parade around shoving their so called ‘love’ in her face. I got to say that Carrie is a much better woman then me, the fact that she didn’t throw a pan at him is a testament to her good nature.

But all is not so well in both camps, and with a few mishaps along the way we soon see just how amazing strong and resilient Carrie is and just how much of a useless waste of space, Kevin was. With the help of her two friends; June who works across the road in the pub, and stranger Luke who suddenly appears in her life both of her best friend have heartaches and not to mention woman best friend Carries little dog; Teddy who she finds in the street, who as we all know dogs can be valuable support when needed, with their continued help and support of her three companions Carries finds the strength to face the world alone.

This is brilliant, the characters are beautifully written – even the love to hate them Kevin and his strumpet Valentina, I love that word don’t you; Strumpet? 😉 Ms Hogan has got the character’s personalities perfectly , Kevin he is a useless wretch, he is the most pathetic man I have ever come across – I’m surprised he can get dressed himself and Valentina, well I’m going to say it again – strumpet! Carrie though, she really is a marvel Ms Hogan has written her perfectly, I love her resilience her spirit and her kindness and the friendship between June and Luke is both touching and real.

This is a book that you will sit down and curl up with again and again\, it is comforting and enjoyable and highly recommended and I am looking forward to reading more from Faith Hogan. The message I got from this was that with true friends by your side and with a kind heart no matter what you face you will win.

This was a ARC copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour,

What Happened To Us can be purchased from Amazon.

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About The Author

Faith was born in Ireland and currently lives there with her husband, four children and two fussy cats. She gained an Honors Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate from University College, Galway. She was a winner in the 2014

Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair- an international competition for emerging writers. When she’s not writing, she’s an enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger.

Website / Twitter: @gerhogan / Facebook: @faithhoganauthor / Amazon / Goodreads

About the book