Blog Tour Guest Post: Sardinian Sunday: How We Can All Be A Bit More Sardinian For The Week Ahead by Sara Alexander

Today I am delighted to be the final stop on the Under A Sardinian Sky blog tour and welcoming author Sara Alexander with a fantasticly delicious guest post.... Over to Sara

Sardinian Sunday: How can we be a bit more Sardinian for the week ahead?  

The Sardinian way of life is epitomized by a lack of urgency. For anything. Other than perhaps, convincing another that your mamma’s pasta sauce recipe is the definitive version. To illustrate let me recall our wedding celebration. The invitations stated that the ceremony would begin at 4.30pm. My family didn’t turn up till almost 6. Our British guests were stood in the mid afternoon sun from 3.30pm, with hats, of course.

The same goes for their food. Once you have mastered the art of allowing a dish to infuse and rest
before devouring you will have glimpsed a slice of Sardinian sagacity. Unless it’s pasta of course, which should be eaten immediately. Resist the temptation to cook the perfect amount. You are no Sardinian host if you don’t have several extra portions to go around. The simplest, and my personal favourite is gnochetti. Do not confuse with the Roman potato gnocchi. Gnochetti are like little pellets, indented along the edges. These little beauties take me right to my grandma’s kitchen every time.
Tip a couple of fists full of dried gnochetti per person or, if you can find them, malloreddus (similar but a bit longer), into plenty of salted simmering water. Whilst they’re cooking heat a smushed clove of garlic gently until it begins to soften in two tablespoons of olive oil. Add a bottle of passata, season well, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Stir in plenty of seasoning, a little sugar or nub of dark chocolate and, when it’s cooked through, tip in several fresh basil leaves, immediately turning off the heat. Allow to infuse. Resist the temptation to hurry. When the little gnochetti are cooked, drain and stir them into the sauce pan, coating every little nub with the sweet tomato. Be generous with some more grated pecorino.

I love aperitif time of day. Summon the spirit of Sardinia by pouring yourself a crisp glass of vermentino. Fill a platter with pecorino Sardo, a delicious hard cheese from sheep’s milk, cracked green marinated olives, thin slices of prosciutto and salami – as close to farm fresh as you can find and preferably one you can slice yourself for authenticity. Add sliced fresh crudités, radishes, carrots, chicory and you’re set for a lazy catch up with friends and family – both at the very heart of Sardinian life. Devote an entire afternoon to eating, arguing, and sipping espressos after your feast together. Take turns to tell stories, children too. They are very much to be seen and heard, and, expected to listen carefully to others. They are never fed earlier and sent away from the grown ups table. There is no such divide around a Sardinian table. I love witnessing this democracy trickle through an afternoon of feasting. If you can see a sliver of turquoise sea in your periphery and are lucky to capture a ray or two as well, you’re pretty much on the island already!

Under a Sardinian Sky by actress and author Sara Alexander is out 20th April (HQ, £7.99)   

Sometimes a family’s deepest silences hide the most important secrets.
Carmela disappeared from her Italian hometown long ago and is mentioned only in fragments and whispers. Mina has resisted prying, respectful of her family’s Sardinian reserve. But now, with her mother battling cancer, it’s time to learn the truth.

In 1952, Simius is a busy Sardinian town surrounded by fertile farms and orchards. Carmela Chirigoni, a farmer’s daughter and talented seamstress, is engaged to Franco, son of the area’s wealthiest family. Everyone agrees it’s a good match. But Carmela’s growing doubts about Franco’s possessiveness are magnified when she meets Captain Joe Kavanagh.

Joe, an American officer stationed at a local army base, is charismatic, intelligent, and married. Hired as his interpreter, Carmela resolves to ignore her feelings, knowing that any future together must bring upheaval and heartache to both families.

As Mina follows the threads of Carmela’s life to uncover her fate, she will discover a past still deeply alive in the present, revealing a story of hope, sacrifice, and extraordinary love. 

My Thoughts: 

Sara's guest post today gives an indication of what the experience of reading Under A Sardinian Sky is like. This isn't a gulp down, page turning race of a read. Rather a lovely, leisurely meander which will transport you to another place. It requires you to slow right down, take a deep breath and relax into it. It took me a little while to settle into at first, after reading some edgy, fast paced thrillers, but once I had and allowed myself a good couple of hours of uninterrupted, unhurried reading I became immersed. Sara's writing is incredibly descriptive and evocative, the beauty of Sardinia and the delicious descriptions of foods will make you yearn to be there. With a rich cast of vivacious and vivid characters and an illicit romance, Under A Sardinian Sky is incredibly evocative and atmospheric. This book is ideal for holidays or lazy Sunday afternoon reading. If you enjoy being transported to another place and evocative, descriptive prose then I think you'll like this.

About The Author 

Sara Alexander has worked extensively in the theatre, film and television industries, including roles
in much loved productions such as Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Doctor Who, and Franco Zeffirelli’s Sparrow.

Growing up in North West London, Sara attended Hampstead Comprehensive School, before going on to graduate the University of Bristol with a BA honours in Theatre, Film & Television, and Drama Studio London with a postgraduate diploma in acting.

She now returns to her Sardinian routes through the pages of her debut novel Under a Sardinian Sky.

Book Review: The Choice by Samantha King

What if you had to choose between your children? 


Madeleine lived for her children. She'd always believed she'd die for them, too. But on the morning of her twins' tenth birthday her love was put to the test when a killer knocked on their door and forced her to make a devastating choice: which child should live, and which should die - her son, or her daughter?


Madeleine stands silent on the periphery of her now fractured family, trying desperately to unravel why her world was so suddenly blown apart. But while everyday life continues around her, memories of everything leading up to that tragic day return in agonising flashes.

And that's when she realises her family's life still hangs terrifyingly in the balance...  

Published 20th April 2017 by Piatkus (UK) 

As a mother, I really can't think of anything more terrifying than being made to make a choice between which of my children should live or die. I mean, how do you even do that? It's easy to say I wouldn't do this or that, but really, in such a situation who the hell knows what we would do? It's beyond my own imagination.

The Choice tackles this dilemma, when on the day of her twins tenth birthday, a masked gunman forces their way into Maddie's home and demands she choose which of her twins should be spared. It's a shocking and brutal opening, leaving the reader in utter, heart-stopping, horror before switching to three months later, when a grieving, disorientated and mentally broken Maddie is trying to piece together what happened that day.

It quickly becomes apparent that not everything is as it seems, as through a series of flashbacks and dream like states, the reader becomes as disorientated and confused as the fragile Maddie. I thought the way Samantha King portrayed her seemingly tenuous grip on reality was superb. And then when the massive shocker of a twist came, it made it only more impressive. I seriously had not been expecting it at all. I had no bloody idea where this book was going. It was so crazily twisty and gripping, I got thumb ache from pressing the next page button on my kindle so quickly.

Samantha King's writing is extremely engaging and convincing, with the whole book written from Maddie's perspective. I could feel her confusion, fear and consuming guilt. Yet there's a niggling feeling of is it real? Who do we trust? trickling through this story and is maintained right until the end. The Choice is fascinating as it explores parental favouritism between siblings and the effect of resentment and envy into adulthood. But there are many other themes running throughout, covering some uncomfortable topics, all of which interconnect and build to result in a catastrophic result.  

If I had one tiny complaint, then I felt the ending seemed a bit rushed and maybe an epilogue chapter would have just rounded it off. That's just me though, I like closure! Other than that small niggle, I thought The Choice was excellent. It had me gripped from beginning to end and with twists at every turn, it was an adrenaline-fueled, heart-pumping roller coaster of a ride. If you're a fan of great psychological thrillers, then you won't be disappointed by this one.

(I read an advance ebook edition courtesy of the publisher and netgalley)

Book Review: He Said / She Said by Erin Kelly

Who do you believe?

In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura witnesses a brutal attack.

She and her boyfriend Kit call the police, and in that moment, it is not only the victim's life that is changed forever.

Fifteen years on, Laura and Kit live in fear.

And while Laura knows she was right to speak out, the events that follow have taught her that you can never see the whole picture: something - and someone - is always in the dark... 

Published April 20th 2017 by Hodder & Stoughton  

There is so much I want to say about this book - the themes it raises and the twists it takes make it perfect for long discussion. However, I also don't want to give anything away - because this book completely took a turn I wasn't expecting, coming like a bolt from the blue and leaving me slack jawed in disbelief and  how-the-hell-did-I not-see-that-coming astonishment. I wouldn't want to spoil that for anyone.

He Said / She Said begins with Laura and Kit, as in the blossoming stages of a new romance, they go to Cornwall to watch the Eclipse. Immediately Erin Kelly creates a feeling of intensity, enhanced by the atmospheric, heady environment and the phenomenon itself. I remember both Eclipses (1999 and 2015) which provide the back drop for this story, and while something that was only mildly interesting to me at the time, found it a fascinating and original driver for this book, being both beautiful and menacing, peaceful and dangerous in equal measures, with a different perspective depending on the place or angle you see it from.

This book tackles the extremely sensitive subject of sexual assault and both the attack itself and the following court case are traumatic, uncomfortable and shocking. It switches between what happened during the trial and its aftermath, and the present where Kit and Laura are in hiding, clearly traumatised and terrified. But what led them to this position? Erin Kelly cleverly leads the reader on a merry dance, subtlety planting seeds of doubt into your subconscious before landing that lightening bolt twist to throw it all back up in the air.

I'm not sure I'd say this was a pacey and fast read, it's far more subtle and clever than that. It is gripping though, especially from around half way through when I found myself completely drawn into this eerie, twisted story of half-truths, obsession, power and fear and the resulting catastrophic consequences. If I had to be nit picky, then I'd say I was less interested in Kit's present day chapters earlier on as they went into a bit more detail and science behind the Eclipse chaser aspect. Overall though, I'd say He Said / She Said is a sophisticated, thought provoking psychological thriller, which drips with atmospheric tension and bowls a twist to knock you over.

( I read an advanced ebook edition courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley)

Book Review: Lost For Words by Stephanie Butland

You can trust a book to keep your secret . . .

Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look closely, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are things she'll never show you.

Fifteen years ago Loveday lost all she knew and loved in one unspeakable night. Now, she finds refuge in the unique little York bookshop where she works.

Everything is about to change for Loveday. Someone knows about her past. Someone is trying to send her a message. And she can't hide any longer.

Lost for Words is a compelling, irresistible and heart-rending novel, with the emotional intensity of The Shock of the Fall and all the charm of The Little Paris Bookshop and 84 Charing Cross Road. 

Published by Bonnier Zaffre 20th April 2017 (UK) 

The second I spotted this book, I was in love and snapped it up at the first opportunity. I mean, the cover is just gorgeous for a start. But set in a book shop? A quirky character with an emotional story to tell? Yes Please! This book couldn't sound more up my street if it tried.

And oh, how I absolutely loved it. I haven't read anything by Stephanie Butland before, so her beautifully encompassing writing was new to me. I was completely drawn in from the beginning, loosing track of what was going on around me and completely involved in Loveday's story. Seriously, I can't remember the last time I cared for a fictional character as much as I did this one.

Loveday is prickly, introverted and prefers books to people. I related quite a bit with her if I'm honest. However, there's a darker side to this story which is revealed in one of three timelines alternating throughout (and each one cleverly distinguished with book genres) that allows the reader to understand why Loveday is the way she is now. The whole story, both present and past, is written so sincerely, it was impossible not to form an attachment to Loveday. By the end I felt I knew her inside out, she truly did get under my skin.

Lost For Words is Loveday's story, but it's supported by a cast of equally quirky and endearing characters. Archie, bookshop owner and boss is fantastic with his larger than life personality and outrageous stories. Yet you know that beneath the pompousness and grandeur, he has a kind, wise heart with a hidden perceptiveness. Nathan provides a romantic interest, yet this burgeoning relationship is tastefully written, sweet and tender. It's integral to the story without overshadowing it, and again something I completely got behind as a reader.

The bookshop setting is an absolutely perfect refuge for Loveday and book lovers the world over will love the quotes and nods to literature that litter the pages effortlessly. I love the way books are used by Loveday for protection, as she hides away and isolates herself but also the vehicle to her moving on and reconnecting with people again. Lost For Words is a journey, as Loveday faces her past and begins to look to the future. It's about a lost and lonely soul recognising that family and belonging can come in different forms and learning to like and accept herself again. Because Loveday is likable - she's real, she's flawed and she completely deserves a happy ending. Will she get it? Well, you'll just have to read it to find out. Lost For words is a gorgeous book. It made me laugh and cry, it's both heartbreaking and heartwarming, and it's sad yet filled with hope. And I guarantee you will fall in love with Loveday Cardew too.

(I read a proof copy courtesy of the Amazon Vine Program)

Book Review: Gone Without A Trace by Mary Torjussen

No one ever disappears completely...

You leave for work one morning.

Another day in your normal life.

Until you come home to discover that your boyfriend has gone.
His belongings have disappeared.
He hasn't been at work for weeks.
It's as if he never existed.

But that's not possible, is it?

And there is worse still to come.

Because just as you are searching for him
someone is also watching you. 

Published 23rd March by Headline (UK) 

I'm going to be straight up here, I have mixed feelings about this book. For seventy five percent of it I thought it was probably going to be quite disappointing. However, a huge twist that had completely evaded my suspicion was revealed that had me thinking "ooooh...clever!" and look back at what I had read in a completely different light.

The gist of this story is that high achieving Hannah - a strong, workaholic professional, comes home to find her boyfriend appears to have left her. Only he's literally wiped every trace of himself away. Every single belonging he owned has gone, but so has every photo, email and phone call record from Hannah's phone. Hannah's world crumbles and as her personal life falls apart, so does her professional life. And while at her most vulnerable, it seems that someone is playing mind games with her. Where has Matt gone, and who is it that just won't leave her alone?

So the premise is excellent. I really wanted to know where Matt had gone. Had he gone of his own free will or was something more sinister at play? Do any of the people closest to Hannah know anything? I had some ideas spinning about my head. They were wrong. The writing is very, very readable and easy to speed through and this combined with my intrigue at Matt's disappearance kept me reading at a speedy pace.

Where I found it problematic was that I just didn't find the characters convincing. I felt that Hannah was portrayed initially as a very strong and capable character, yet she folded immediately and became almost pathetic at times. I lost some sympathy for her and struggled to connect or relate with her. I also disliked the other characters, in particular her best friend Katie and struggled to understand this relationship at all. On the other hand, having now read the book fully, it makes more sense. I think the atmosphere that was being created in the first part of the book just didn't quite come across as well as it could have, meaning it lost some of it's intensity and build up to the big twist.

The twist when it did come was not what I'd been expecting at all, and actually is a really, really good one. It also tackles a subject that is not talked about enough, has stigma and shame attached to it and has a message that is important to get out there. I can't reveal it though - so you're going to have to trust me on this one and read it yourself! Gone Without A Trace would make a great TV drama I think, I can vividly see how it could play out.

I feel really conflicted summing this book up. There was a lot I liked. It's an easy, speedy read with an intriguing premise - ideal for holiday or lazy afternoon reading when you have a large chunk of time to spend reading. It has a twist that I have neither seen before or expected, and the final quarter of this book completely redeemed it for me and left me feeling glad that I'd spent the time reading it. I would absolutely read more by this author, as I really liked her engaging and pacey writing style. It's just a shame that I personally found it difficult to believe in or relate to any of the characters, which in turn had an effect on my overall enjoyment of it.

(I read a copy supplied by the publisher)

Blog Tour: Q&A with Felicity Everett - Author Of The People At Number 9 + Giveaway!

Today I'm thrilled to be hosting a blog tour stop for The People At Number 9 and welcoming author Felicity Everett to answer some of my questions. Plus, there's the opportunity for 3 UK winners to grab themselves a copy of this gripping book over on twitter. Read on for more info....

Hello Felicity, and welcome to Cosy Books. Could you tell us a bit about yourself ?

Hello. I’m a middle-aged empty-nester, originally from Manchester. After studying English Literature at Sussex University in the 80s (where I met my husband Adam), I worked in children’s publishing, where I caught the writing bug. I was lucky enough to get a job with a dynamic independent children’s publisher – Usborne, who trained their writers and editors in-house. Here I wrote twenty or so children’s books both fiction and non-fiction. Usborne was a family-friendly outfit, so I was able to continue my career whilst having my four kids. Eventually, however, domesticity won out and for a while I went freelance, publishing four more children’s books, before bowing to the inevitable and dropping out of the work of work altogether. In 2011 I dusted myself off again and, finding myself unemployable in any other capacity, decided I had nothing to lose and might as well have a crack at the adult novel I had always wanted to write.  The first one went in the bottom drawer and then in 2011, I published The Story of Us.  By the time it came out, Adam’s job had taken us to Melbourne, which was a massive change after 25 years in London. It took some getting used to, but in the end I loved my time in Australia and I used it well, writing The People at Number Nine while I was there.  We returned to the UK in 2014, moving to Gloucestershire, where we live in a country cottage in an idyllic spot, which, being an inveterate townie, I can’t help finding rather sinister!

The People At Number 9 is your latest adult novel, could you tell us what it's about in your own words?

The People at Number 9 is really a story of unrequited love, not between individuals, but between couples. Sara and Neil are happy-enough, jogging along in their suburban life, until a new family moves in next door and they glimpse a glamorous, Bohemian existence that makes their own seem hum-drum. They are surprised and flattered when Gav and Lou their new neighbours seem keen to make friends, but what starts out as a mutually supportive meeting of minds, degenerates into an exploitative and even corrupting relationship where heads are turned and lives turned upside down.  

When I read The People At Number 9, I felt the characters were so realistic that I could recognise them in people I knew myself! How do you go about creating such believable characters and are they based on people you know?

I’m glad you found the characters believable. The way I discover characters is through dialogue. If I can hear a character speak, they usually start to live for me and I can work out what they look like, where they live and so on. The central characters in The People at Number 9 are pretty familiar, but I wouldn’t say they were based on people I know (that would be too dull). Rather they share characteristics with a various people I have known. I have always had a bit of a weakness for ‘arty’ types, and from University onwards I’ve gravitated towards flamboyant, non-conformists, even though (or perhaps because) I am not like that at all myself. Sara is the character in the book whose circumstances and attitude most reflect my own, which is why I wrote it from her point of view but I didn’t realise until the end that in her own way she is just as selfish and even more foolish than the neighbours she is besotted with. I am always intrigued by the debate in fiction about whether characters need to be likeable. For me, what matters is that they are real.

The book explores an intense relationship between neighbours, which turns sour, where did the idea come from to write your book?

 The London street I lived on for twenty five years belied the cliché about the capital being a stand-offish and unfriendly place. It was a fantastic community, where the kids played out together, and the parents - some working, some not - socialised together. Sometimes that closeness could be a bit oppressive – there was that thing of everyone living in everyone else’s pockets. The idea for The People at Number Nine grew out of the gossip and gripes that flourish in that setting. It was a what if scenario- what if those people down the road were not just having a boring book club, but were… well I don’t want to spoil the story.

I started thinking about my neighbours...I live in a bubble and don't even know most of them, but I wondered what they think of me behind the curtains...So... How are YOUR neighbours?  And what kind of neighbour are you?

I could get in a lot of trouble here, couldn’t I? After 25 years in one place (a London Street very much like the one in The People at Number 9), the last eight years have found me in two very different communities – surburban Melbourne and rural Gloucestershire. I had fantastic neighbours in London – very friendly and supportive – everyone knew everyone else and the only downside was that at Christmas, we ended up repeating the same conversations over and over as we all turned up to the same get-togethers. No complaints really though, some of those neighbours have become lifelong friends. Melbourne was a hard nut to crack. We moved to quite a posh suburb where people were mostly out at work during the day. People were very polite, but not especially friendly  - they probably just had us down for the fly-by-night ex-pats we were. I made some wonderful friends in Melbourne, but they weren’t my neighbours. And now, living in rural Gloucestershire, in what is essentially a hamlet, I see more sheep than people. We just about know who our neighbours are and they are perfectly genial, but we hardly ever bump into them. 

As for what kind of neighbour I am – over-involved would probably be the way I would put it. Is that the same as nosey? I do like to get on with the people around me and to feel a sense of trust and community. But I suppose there’s also some truth in the adage good fences make good neighbours. You have to have boundaries. That’s where my character Sara comes to grief!

The People At Number 9 has a subtle darkness, in the ordinary and everyday, which simmers rather than explodes. Was this your intention when writing it?

That’s a lovely description. I don’t think it was my intention to write a dark novel – it just came out that way. Of course I knew the scenario was a doomed one, but for me there was also a lot of humour and pathos in the situation, as Sara’s pretensions get punctured and she finds out that all life choices come at a cost.  I have a great affection for my characters. I don’t think there are goodies and baddies in life, so I don’t think there should be in fiction. It’s more complicated, and more interesting than that.

You've previously written extensively for children – what made you switch to adult fiction and how different is writing for this market?

I loved writing children’s fiction and having four very different kids myself, all of whom loved books, I had a pretty good idea of what entertained them and made them laugh. As they grew up though, I found I had less and less time to devote to writing and eventually I stopped altogether. By the time I was ready to start again, my youngest was in secondary school, Y.A was exploding and I felt a bit out of touch. I had always wanted to try an adult novel, but never felt quite grown up enough to write one. It was now or never, so I enrolled in a creative writing course at Goldsmith’s University and gave it a go. After a few false starts I published my first novel, The Story of Us in 2011. 

I don’t think there’s such a big difference between writing for children and adults. Children are extremely discerning – they’ll see a hole in a plot quicker than an adult, they get subtle humour, they don’t like clichés. I think I’m a better writer for having written children’s fiction – you have to cut the waffle and you can’t get away with the sort of purple passages that can slip through into adult fiction if you’re not careful. I would say writing for children was the best apprenticeship I could have had and I wouldn’t mind doing more of it one day – maybe when I’ve got grandchildren! 

Most writers are readers this the case for yourself? Which authors and novels would you recommend as must reads?

Yes I am a lover of reading, especially fiction.  I have a pretty short attention span these days though, so whereas I used to plod on even if I wasn’t enjoying a book, now I give up and get on with the next one. As far as must-reads go, I love Jonathan Franzen, particularly Freedom. I am also a big fan of Colm Toibin and Anne Enright – their novels share an intensity and an interiority which I really enjoy and they write brilliantly about families. For me, a stand-out recent novel was Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout. I love short stories – Lorrie Moore’s are favourites, and I have discovered some wonderful new writers by listening to The New Yorker short story podcasts – check out The Prairie Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld.

As a non-writer, I'm always fascinated by the writing process...can you tell us about where you write and any rituals or routines you have to aid the creative process?

This one made me smile. When we moved to the country cottage we live in now, my dream was to have a writing shack in the garden with a wood-burner and a well-stacked book shelf. I would be so productive in there, I thought, writing away with the cows staring through the window and coffee brewing on the stove. We couldn’t afford it, so second best was a study. I insisted we get it kitted out with a sound-proof door and a nice desk in front of the window. I think since it’s been finished, I’ve written in there twice!  Something about going in and shutting the door, sitting down and staring at the blank screen really intimidates me. It is “writing’ and I don’t do that. So my writing happens in bed, when I’ve opened my laptop and mucked about on social media for a bit. That way it’s casual, non-committal – I can sneak up on it. If I’m lucky, I’ll have written half a chapter before I’ve noticed I’m working. It’s terrible for my back, but I’ve accepted now that it’s what I do. That’s my ritual. That and stopping when it’s not going well. I used to feel like such a slacker, bunking off for a walk or to the swimming pool, but the number of times I’ve cracked a scene, or a chapter or a plot point while my mind’s been in neutral, makes me realise what a useful strategy it actually is. Yes. It’s a strategy – not a cop-out! 

Finally, what are you working on next?

My next novel is a gothic psychodrama about a menopausal woman in an unhappy marriage who moves to the country. As she slowly loses her grip on reality, neither she nor the reader knows whether the malevolence around her is in the community, the landscape, her marriage or  her mind.  

Thank you Felicity for taking the time to answer my questions...I hope you enjoyed them! 

Thanks. I did!  

About The Book 

Have you met them yet, the new couple?

When Gav and Lou move into the house next door, Sara spends days plucking up courage to say hello. The neighbours are glamorous, chaotic and just a little eccentric. They make the rest of Sara's street seem dull by comparison.

When the hand of friendship is extended, Sara is delighted and flattered. Incredibly, Gav and Lou seem to see something in Sara and Neil that they admire too. In no time at all, the two couples are soulmates, sharing suppers, bottles of red wine and childcare, laughing and trading stories and secrets late into the night in one another's houses.

And the more time Sara spends with Gav and Lou, the more she longs to make changes in her own life. But those changes will come at a price. Soon Gav and Lou will be asking things they've no right to ask of their neighbours, with shattering consequences for all of them...

Have you met The People at Number 9? A dark and delicious novel about envy, longing and betrayal in the suburbs... 
Published 6th April by HQ Stories (UK)

Fancy reading The People At Number 9 for yourself? I have 3 copies to giveaway courtesy of the publisher. Just head over to twitter and follow me @vicki_cosybooks and Re-tweet my pinned tweet about the giveaway to enter 

Good Luck! 

Book Review: The Many Colours Of Us by Rachel Burton

My dearest daughter
This will be the last letter I write to you. I hope she will let you read this one. I hope she will let you ask questions and hear the story you need to hear. The story of you. And if she doesn’t I hope that one day you will get curious, wonder where you came from and come and find me.

Called to a lawyers office to be informed of an inheritance, Julia Simmonds, discovers she’s the secret love-child of the late, great artist Bruce Baldwin. With temperamental seventies supermodel Philadelphia Simmonds as a mother, Julia is used to drama, but is completely unprepared for the way her life is about to irrevocably change.

Bruce not only left Julia his house, but as she discovers, her father wrote to her. One letter every year of her life, urging Julia to learn from his mistakes.

It is finally time for Julia to dig deep into her mysterious past and take control of her future, but as more secrets and lies are uncovered, she must find the courage to follow her dreams… 
Published by HQ Digital 26th April 2017 

I make no secret of the fact that I'm an emotional reader, drawn to books that are likely to result in a lump in my throat and a quiet sniffle into a tissue (while my 12 year old exclaims "are you crying again?") and that's what attracted me to The Many Colours Of Us in the first place. It sounded like an emotional read, with letters from the past revealing a life changing secret. Just my cup of tea.

The story centers on main character, Julie. A woman in her early thirties and somewhat adrift having dated the same guy for a decade, without taking the next step of living together, working an office job she hates and renting the spare bedroom in her friends dilapidated house. But Julia's life is about to change - she's just discovered her father was a successful and respected artist and she's the sole heir of his entire estate.

So girl stuck in a rut, finds riches and all is well - right? Well, yes but not exactly, because The Many Colours Of Us has more depth than that, and the added touch of letters, wrote annually on Julia's birthday draw a more complex and human story of mistakes, regret and an innate fear of rejection. Her father's absence in her childhood is a case of leaving something so long, it's becomes almost impossible to know how to dare to change things. Bruce's letters provoked mixed feelings in me - anger, frustration and yet, some sympathy too.  Similarly, Julia's mum has acted in a credibly human way by being both selfish and selfless. There's blame on both sides and I couldn't help feel that someone at some point in the past just needed to bang the two of their heads together. Both being celebrities and famous though, I felt the people around them had probably pandered to them rather than been honest with them.

I really liked the character of Julia though, she's far nicer than I ever would've been - a genuinely warm, understanding and thoughtful person and it was easy to root for her. There's a real feeling of self discovery from this character, as she not only finds out about her father, but gains confidence in herself having been overshadowed by her glamorous mother. I also enjoyed the slowly simmering romance between herself and solicitor Edwin, which was tender rather than passionate.

With some more lighthearted moments - usually from Julia's mother, Philadelphia (who quite frankly wouldn't have looked out of place on the set of Ab Fab) and exuberant Italian cafe owner, Marco, The Many Colours Of Us was a delight to read. I read it on a lazy Sunday morning and it would be perfect for those times when all you want is a relaxing book to while away some hours peacefully. It had emotion, entertainment and romance with an interesting cast of characters and a plot that allowed the right amount of intrigue to keep me reading. I really enjoyed the time spent in Julia's world and left it feeling satisfied and hopeful for her future, and with a big smile on my face.

(I read an advance Ebook edition courtesy of Netgalley)

Rapid Fire Book Tag

Thanks to the lovely Dee of for tagging me in the rapid fire book tag! I've seen these about and thought they looked fun, so I'm pleased to have a go myself. So here we go ...

Ebooks or physical books?
I still prefer physical, nothing beats the feel of a new book. But I read both and really appreciate Ebooks these days as there's only a limit on how many real books I can actually house
Paperback or hardback?
Easy...Hardbacks. I LOVE Hardbacks and collect them.
Online or in-store book shopping?
Online. I just don't go into town shopping all that often. 
Trilogies or series?
Trilogies. More and I get bored
Heroes or villains?
Heroes! I like a good guy 
A book you want everyone to read?
Recently-I've been shouting about This Love by Dani Atkins a lot. 
Recommend an underrated book.
The Drowning Girl by Margaret Leroy. This would be so much more popular if it were released now (I read it 8 or 9 years ago)
The last book you finished?
The Many Colours of Us by Rachel Burton
Weirdest thing you used as a bookmark?
You know the price tags off clothes...those. Also, not bookmark, but those M&S plastic knicker pack bags with the pressy/clippy fastener make great kindle protectors on the beach (with the labels off of course!)
Used books, yes or no?
I don't mind. As long as they're good condition
Borrow or buy?
Characters or plot?
I'm an emotional reader. I enjoy feeling connected - so character. 
Long or short book?
Under 500 pages. 
Long or short chapters?
Short! So much more gripping!
Name the first three books you think of?
The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger  
The Binding Song by Elodie Harper
Dead Woman Walking by Sarah Bolton
Books that make you laugh or cry?
Cry. I am an emotional soul. 
Our world or fictional worlds?
These days - Our world. I do like a touch of magic now and then though. 
Audiobooks : yes or no? mind just wanders. 
Do you ever judge a book by its cover?
Always - sorry!
Book to movie or book to TV adaptation?
Probably TV. 
A movie or TV adaptation you preferred over the book?
I can't think of any. I don't actually watch much TV or films
Series or standalone?
Standalone. I like closure.   

So I'm tagging the following as I don't think they've done it? (or if you have or just don't want to- ignore me!) 

and anyone else who wants to do it! 

Discussion: Reviews and Ratings - Why I'm Mainly Taking The Positive Approach

I've been thinking about writing this post for a while, kind of a discussion/explanation of my approach to reviewing books and in particular less favorable or negative reviews. Then last night I noticed an email in my junk box from an author, whose book I'd reviewed on Amazon and had mainly liked, but had a couple of issues stopping me from really loving it. Now, I'm not looking for some sort of shit storm here or a blogger v author battle. The author was very polite, kind  and not at all aggressive - thanking me for my review (and I won't be divulging who the author was). It did make me feel a bit uncomfortable though. I've been worrying since that I may have upset someone and that in turn makes me feel awful. However, that's mixed with a conviction on my part that I also have to be honest and act with integrity. It's what I respect and admire in others, but also what I expect from myself.

I'm a very emotional person, and that reflects in my opinions and feelings towards books. This is a personal thing, I cry at things that leaves others staring at me in disbelief (Kids singing is a big one - not even my own! Thank god mine are both out of primary now and neither myself or my child have to suffer the embarrassment of my uncontrollable sobby face in assemblies) or I feel ridiculously smiley and warm and exuberant where others may just raise a small smile. Ok, so my stability is probably a whole different post and I'm risking getting off track here, but my point is to say that how I react to a book emotionally is what drives my enjoyment of a book, whether it is sadness or joyfulness. I'm not a literary expert and I'm not critically analyzing every word when I read. I just want a story that captures me, that I can connect with, that takes me away for a while, that makes me feel something.

And this brings me onto negative reviews. If you regularly follow my reviews, here or goodreads or some other place, you may notice that I tend to only write positive reviews these days. I don't rate books on the blog, because I kind of feel my opinion is enough to let people know if the book is for them or not and rating is so very, very subjective anyway. On sites where you have to leave a rating though, in 2017 and in 28 books read and rated I haven't given less than three stars. And three stars is a GOOD rating in my eyes. It means I liked a book enough to read it and recommend it.

This hasn't always been the case, and in the past I've written some fairly negative reviews. I've been blogging a long time on and off and in the early days I used to get a ridiculous amount of unsolicited book post, which I felt I HAD to read, even when I didn't like a book or would never have chosen it myself. Yes, it meant I discovered some gems I wouldn't have read otherwise, but often it meant I ploughed through books I didn't really want to read or wasn't enjoying. I don't do that now. I'm pretty confident in choosing books I'm likely to enjoy - I know my tastes and stick to them. But I'm also not afraid to just say a book isn't for me and not continue. So, yes, I've started books this year that I didn't like, but I moved on and I won't rate a book I didn't finish - it's unfair. I love reading, and to be honest, forcing my way through books I didn't like was a big factor in my stopping both reading and reviewing for a while. This is what I do for fun and I intend to keep it that way. There's not enough time to read all the books I will adore, let alone trudge through the ones I'm not.

So while I do tend to review books positively and mainly ones I've enjoyed nowadays, I also want to be honest. Not every single book can be amazing, faultless and a five star read, and there has to be some explanation and balance. I will point out anything I found problematic, but I will try my very best to do it as thoughtfully as possible. And it IS only my personal opinion. Something that mattered to me may not be an issue for others. I'll justify why I felt that way, but ultimately leave a reader to decide if this is something they can live with or not. I think I achieve this, and I'll continue to do so despite my slight discomfort when reading that email last night.  Oh, and if I were to come across a book I felt was offensive in anyway, I would absolutely call it out. I'm not afraid to say when something's bad or even to say I didn't particularly like something. I'm just more adept at recognising when a book isn't for me and calling time on it pretty early on these days.

So what about you? How do you approach reading and reviewing? Do you go into it with a critical eye? How do you feel about writing negative reviews and also, about those of us who mainly write positive reviews? I do wonder if the fact I appear to "love" every book makes my opinion less valid, but at the end of the day I'm not here for personal acclaim or to discover the next literary award winner. I'm here because I love books and love talking about books to others.

Book Review: Keep Me Safe by Daniela Sacerdoti

A lost girl shows a mother and her daughter their way home. Keep Me Safe is the much anticipated new novel from the author loved by over a million readers, Daniela Sacerdoti. Perfect for all fans of Nicholas Sparks and Cecelia Ahern. 'Heartwarming and mysterious with great atmosphere' Katie Fforde

When Anna's partner walks away from their relationship, she is shattered. But it is her little girl Ava who takes it hardest of all. The six year old falls silent for three days. When she does speak, her words are troubling. Ava wants to go home. To a place called Seal. To her other mother.

Anna knows to unravel the mystery she must find Seal and take Ava there. She hopes this tiny island will unlock her daughter's memories. But could it also offer a new life... and unexpected love... for Anna too? 

Published by Headline 6th March 2017 

I hadn't read anything by Daniela Sacerdoti before reading Keep Me Safe, and wasn't sure what to expect. So I was delighted to find that this books is a gorgeous mix of romance, emotion, mystery and a touch of magic.

The story centers around Anna and her daughter Ava following the sudden break up from her father. Ava begins asking for her other Mummy and describing a place she hasn't been. I am fascinated by stories of past lives and reincarnation, so immediately I was hooked.

As the mother and daughter journey to find the meaning behind Ava's memories, the book takes the reader to Seal, a beautiful, small Scottish island. Daniela's descriptions of this place were stunning - I wanted to be there myself and could feel the magic and beauty of the place in every word. I also loved the community of inhabitants we were introduced to and given a snippet of their own story. Keep Me Safe is the start of a series of books featuring Seal Island, and Sacerdoti has cleverly set the scene for future books, piquing my interest and creating an attachment to these characters.

This is also quite an emotional book, which left me brimming with tears several times. It involves a sad story of a tragic accident and the affects it has on those closest. I really loved Shuna and thought she was written beautifully, despite her grief she was strong, caring and capable - someone you would want looking out for you and a character I would truly like and admire as a real person. But it was Sorren who I really loved in this book and the romance between Anna and he was gorgeous. I'm not going to lie, he caused my own heart to flutter once or twice.

Keep Me Safe is pure emotional and mystical escapism. It isn't going to be everyone's taste - with hints of super-natural and magic realism and a strong romance theme, if you're looking for gritty and thrilling then this is not for you. I, however, loved it and found myself lost in this story for a few hours. I'll be searching out more of Daniela's work very soon.

(I read an advance proof copy courtesy of the publisher)

Blog Tour- Extract and Review: Close To Me by Amanda Reynolds

Today I am thrilled to host a stop on Amanda Reynolds blog tour to celebrate her debut novel, Close To Me.

Close To Me is a gripping debut psychological drama that will appeal to fans of Liane Moriarty's bestselling The Husband's Secret, Clare Mackintosh's I Let You Go, and Linda Green's While My Eyes Were Closed.

She can't remember the last year. Her husband wants to keep it that way.

When Jo Harding falls down the stairs at home, she wakes up in hospital with partial amnesia-she's lost a whole year of memories. A lot can happen in a year. Was Jo having an affair? Lying to her family? Starting a new life?

She can't remember what she did-or what happened the night she fell. But she's beginning to realise she might not be as good a wife and mother as she thought.  

Published by Headline - eBook 31st March / Paperback 27th July 2017

First of all, here's an extract to give you a taste of this fantastic book!

The barn feels bigger, the silence echoing around us, between us, from us. I leave Rob to bring in the emptied boxes and suitcases and go upstairs to change, pausing outside Fin’s room. The tidiness within is unsettling. ‘He hasn’t died,’ Sash had said when I’d rung her from the car. ‘He’s just gone to university.’ 
I pull the duvet from its cover, strip the sheet from the mattress and the pillowcases from the pillows, and although I’d intended to throw the washing straight in the laundry basket, I sit down on the empty bed, gathering the musty bedding around me to inhale Fin’s scent. 
‘He hasn’t died, Jo,’ Rob says, finding me there. He’s carrying a suitcase, now lightened of its load, just a few hours ago filled with the shirts and jeans I’d ironed. 
‘That was Sash’s line,’ I say, sitting up. ‘You two are so alike.’  
Rob lays a hand on my shoulder, the fingers reaching my collar bone, gently pressing in. I stand and hold him for a moment, his long arms wrapping around me, his head resting on top of mine. ‘Come on,’ he says. ‘We’re both tired.’ 
We make love, the day edging away as we comfort one another. Afterwards, Rob rolls away from me and I know he will fall asleep immediately so I nudge his back. He turns over to face me, but I can see little of his expression; the bedroom almost entirely devoid of light, just the green glow of the numbers on his alarm clock telling me it’s almost midnight. ‘What is it?’ he asks.  
‘Do you remember how we used to play that silly word game, before the kids were born?’ 
‘What game?’ he replies, his words slurred with impending sleep. 
‘If you had a super power what would it be?’ I say through the darkness. ‘Or if you were
going to kill me how would you do it?’ 
‘And you’ve thought about this already?’ he asks, the moonlight seeping around the corners of the blind to pick out his creased eyes, a faint smile. 
I tell him my super power would be time travel and he says he has no idea what his would be, although he’s clearly enjoying the game.  
‘And you’ve decided how you’re going to kill me?’ he asks, his interest piqued. 
‘I’d stab you.’ I laugh, reaching out to him, laying my hand on his bare chest. ‘With a kitchen knife.’ 
‘Yes, that’s good.’ He laughs too and squeezes my stabbing hand. ‘Hopefully death would be instantaneous, and we already have a knife block, so no preparation required.’ 
‘How would you kill me?’ I ask, leaning up on one elbow to wait for his response. 
He hesitates, then says, ‘I guess I’d strangle you with my bare hands.’ Then he grabs me and pulls me to him, both of us laughing.


Warning! Make sure you have a clear few hours when you begin this book. I don't know about other readers but I do this thing, between all the other stuff I need to do, where I'll say "I'll read 50 pages then I'll hoover the bedroom" or "30 pages then I'll make dinner". I wouldn't get anything else done otherwise if I didn't set these limits.

So, when starting Close To Me a few days ago, while having a break from attempting to tame my overgrown garden, I gave myself 50 pages. Well, when I checked to see how I was doing I was stunned to find I'd just devoured almost 100! Seriously, this book's pages turn themselves. Amanda Reynolds' writing just flows in a gripping and compelling stream, making for a very, very readable story.

The book is told in alternating chapters of the days following Jo's accident and the year leading up to it. It works so well, as the reader discovers what led to the breakdown of her family at the same time as Jo. You get to know Jo almost as she gets to know herself and I found I really connected to her and could relate to some of what she is experiencing in the early days before her fall. Jo is going through a time of change, her youngest child has just left home for university and she needs to redefine herself and purpose - something familiar to me as both my children begin to move on. But unlike myself, Jo is surrounded by manipulating people, taken advantage of by her husband, her kids and then others who sense her vulnerability. I loved the subtle development of her character right through the book, and by the end felt satisfied that this now strong and purposeful woman was going to be ok.

The subtle tension created in this book holds right through, with clever twists revealed at just the right moments, keeping me intrigued. Jo's memory loss ensures that the reader is kept guessing about what really lead to the night of the accident along with Jo herself, with clues and suggestions coming in flashbacks. But with sketchy memories and some confusion, how much can we believe of Jo herself? Is her husband Rob trying to protect her or manipulate her? I couldn't stop reading and had to know what was going on, frantically turning pages to fit in just a little bit more and ended up finishing it within a day.

Close To Me is not a heart pumping, edge of your seat thriller. The tension and twists are far more subtle than that. This is a dark story of a marriage and family gone stale, emotional abuse, manipulation and mistrust from those nearest. It's the story of a woman loosing herself even before she looses her memory and a journey of rediscovery and redefining as she finds the strength to gain control of her life . It is compulsive, one-more-chapter reading and I highly recommend it.

(I read an advance proof copy courtesy of the Amazon Vine Program)

About The Author

Amanda Reynolds teaches Creative Writing in Cheltenham, where she lives with her family.

Her past jobs have included selling clothes online and writing murder mystery games.

Close To Me is her debut novel.

Follow Amanda on Twitter: @amandareynoldsj

Blog Tour: An Interview With Hélene Fermont - Author Of We Never Said Goodbye

Today I'm welcoming Hélene Fermont as part of the blog tour for her second novel, We Never Said Goodbye

Hélene, welcome to Cosy Books. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? 

I was born in Sweden where I lived until I was in my teens.  

I'm a qualified teacher specialising in children with learning difficulties and a therapist mainly dealing with rehabilitation of children suffering with disabilities, mental and physical. I work in a team to support the entire family – my priority is to support people whose lives are turned upside down, who require assistance on a daily basis. 

My native city is Sweden's third largest city, Malmö, where I live and write for part of the year although I've lived and worked in London for over 20 years. 
Ever since I was very young, my parents instilled in me how important it is to read and learn about other parts of the world, cultures and way of life. I was introduced to literature and received books every birthday from the age of five onwards. Whenever I get the time to indulge and engage with other people's novels, I love to read and escape into another world filled with exciting characters and intriguing plots! 

A family friend entered my name into a national tv contest for young performers without my knowledge and I won. After that I was signed up with a record producer in Sweden's capital, Stockholm. I very much enjoyed that period of my life and performed all over Scandinavia and in Italy. Eventually, I decided I wanted to become a teacher and enrolled at university. I've fond memories of my brief musical career yet never regretted leaving it behind. 

Gosh, it's quite difficult to summarise my interests and life up to date! Everyone who knows me, know how fond I am of animals, music, the arts and outdoor living. Currently, I have a gorgeous rescue cat. Teddy is my constant companion when I write, in Malmö and London. I love spending time with him, family and friends and also enjoy time on my own between writing novels and working. 

We Never Said Goodbye is your latest novel, could you tell us what it's about in your own words? 

We Never Said Goodbye is about how people are shaped by their background, and how their actions reflect on themselves and those who cross their path. When the leading protagonist is abandoned by her husband on their 20th anniversary, hidden agendas and revelations are brought into the open and nothing is what it seemed. 

My novels deal with what makes people act in a certain way and the ability in everyone to transform and improve both their own and others’ lives. I believe everyone can change for the better and that whatever happened in the past can be overcome if people are willing to embrace a new way of life and deal with past experiences. 

My novel deals with relatable themes, such as love and friendship, bigotry, sexual orientation, abuse and losing one kind of life in exchange for another and the power everyone has to learn from experience. The characters and themes are identifiable and thought provoking. 

Predominantly, the novel introduces readers to characters whose lives are transformed for the better despite their past experiences and their journey to get the life they deserve. 

The book explores marriage and relationship breakdowns, a theme popular in domestic noir and psychological thrillers. Why do you think this is?  

Nowadays, everyone is expected to participate with everything on and off line. People long for a close relationship, communication face to face and seek role models to identify with. The Internet is great in many ways, yet lacks the personal touch and is all consuming. Watching and reading about identifiable characters and situations are so important in a society that expects everyone to subscribe to current trends and detach from reality on some level.

Louise is conflicted between her life in London and yearning to return to Malmö. Does this come from your personal experience? 

Partly. Sweden is my native country. It's where I spent my childhood and formative years. It's the place I grew up in and where part of my family live. It's where my late parents are buried and where I'm able to enjoy city life and the numerous parks and beaches, the best of everything. I love the scenery and nature which inspire me to write.  

I guess it's a different, slower pace of life that helps to recharge ' my batteries ' during part of the year.  

Equally, London's also where I've got my roots. I was born into an Anglo-Swedish family so enjoy both countries in different ways. The pace is faster in London but I like that as it gives me the best of both worlds! 

Scandinavian literature is very popular with UK readers. Why do you think this is and what sets it apart?  

I believe it's to do with the realistic, somewhat morally complex characterisations and narrative. Scandinavian people normally thrive on realistic descriptions and characters that we can relate with somehow. We're not as politically correct as British people and love nothing better than to have a good in depth conversation over coffee and Fika breaks! (Fika coffee breaks and friendly get togethers are an integral part of Swedish life). 

Most writers are readers. Is this the case with yourself? Which authors and novels would you recommend as must reads?  

Absolutely. Books are a big part of my life since I was very young and my parents gave them to me for birthdays. 

I always have a collection of books in my office and on my bedside table so I have the next read ready when I've completed a novel. It's when I get the time to engage with them without interruption. 

Gosh, I've so many favourite authors and books! 
Below are just a few you may wish to read. 

One of my consistent favourites is the wonderful Swedish poet and author Karin Boye. I've got her complete works and in particular love her poems Yes, Of Course It Hurts and The Best which I've highlighted in my debut novel Because of You and We Never Said Goodbye as they are heartfelt and relatable.  In my view, David McDuff's translations into English are the best and almost as good as the Swedish original writing. 

Hjalmar Söderberg: The Serious Game. 
The novel is set around 1900 and centres around two young people who fall in love, their subsequent relationship and disillusions. It's a classic and timeless story as the characters and events are just as relatable now as back then. 

Linda Ohlsson: Let Me Sing You Gentle Songs. 
The main characters are two women. One is young, the other is nearing the end of their life. Yet both experience the same things and have a surprising amount in common.  

As a non-writer I'm always fascinated by the writing process. Can you tell us about where you write and what aids the writing process? 

When I'm in Malmö, I write in our flat overlooking the Öresund Bridge and Denmark. It inspires me to write my novels, characterisations and plots as I feel close to the beautiful scenery, parks and beaches outside.  I start to write in the early morning hours, every day except Sundays which I spend with family and friends. I work 10 hours with regular breaks and my cat Teddy sits next to me most of the time, except when he reminds me it's time to feed and play with him and I always cycle or go for a walk in the beautiful surroundings outside our home to clear my brain and come up with new ideas and angles. 

In London, I write in my office as my home environment is quite busy with people coming and going most of the time! I'm equally inspired in London, but life is more hectic and I've many professional commitments so tend to work late nights and holidays when I'm there. What mainly aids the writing process is the encouragement I get from family and friends in both cities. 

And finally, what are you working on next?  

I've just completed my third novel His Guilty Secret which will be edited in the summer. I like to put aside my novels for a short period of time to enable me to read them with fresh eyes. 
Just like my debut and second novels, it centres around strong characters with their respective secrets and flaws and an exciting plot and narrative that fluctuates between Malmö, London and Paris. 

Thank you for taking the time to engage with We Never Said Goodbye! 
I hope you will enjoy reading my novel. 
With much love; Hélene. 

We Never Said Goodbye by Helene Fermont is out on 6th April (Fridhem, £9.99)  

Is it ever too late to start again?

When Louise is dumped by Mike on their twentieth wedding anniversary, she faces the daunting task of picking up the pieces of her life. She can either choose to persevere in her adopted hometown of London, bolstered by dear friends and the fashion business she loves, or return to her native Sweden alone. Can she find happiness with an old flame in a city she avoided for two decades? Or will her ex’s violent, criminal past haunt her forever?

 As Mike becomes increasingly unhinged, the choices Louise makes could prove fatal. Will she ever be able to say goodbye to the past and start afresh?

 Full of suspense and drama, We Never Said Goodbye explores the secrets and scandals we hide from loved ones, the enduring scars of abuse and the exhilarating feeling of falling in love again after heartbreak. With a dark and tangled ‘Scandi’ mood, this novel is ideal for fans of drama, romance and Scandi-inspired suspense novels. 

Hélene Fermont is an Anglo-Swedish author of contemporary women’s fiction with a psychological twist. We Never Said Goodbye is Hélene’s second novel, following on from her 2016 debut novel Because Of You.

 Hélene’s works feature a Scandinavian-British narrative and in-depth psychological characterisations inspired by her experience as a psychologist working with victims of abuse. Hélene lives both in Middlesex, UK and Malmö, Sweden.

 @helenefermont / helenefermont /

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