Shari Low

#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

Website: www.ariafiction.com / 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

#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?

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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.

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