Blog-Tour Literature and Fiction Publication Day Romance Women's Fiction




‘Dear Ben, I can only write you this letter because I know you’ll never read it…’

When Jem writes to her ex Ben, it’s to explain everything. All the secrets she kept from him – from the little lies she’d sometimes tell about how new those shoes really were, or how many glasses of wine she’d had that evening… right up to The Big Thing that happened on the night that changed everything. But she never expects he will actually see what she’s written.

She is just writing because she thinks it will help to get the words out. Later, she resolves, she’ll burn the letter, and then the past will be in the past for good.

Because Jem is doing fine now. She’s busy: working, spending time with her best friend, and looking after her mother, who’s in remission from cancer. She’s even dating again and has just met a guy who she thinks she could actually fall for. At long last, Jem is really, definitely somewhere close to happy.

But her mum finds the letter and thinks she’s doing Jem a favour when she posts it to Ben. And Jem’s new, carefully rebuilt life begins to unravel in ways she could never have imagined. Then, when her mother gets ill again, she finds herself asking who has the key to her future. The man she’s falling in love with now? Or the man she loved before?

A heartbreaking, beautifully honest novel that will stay with readers long after they finish it. Perfect for fans of Diane Chamberlain, Amanda Prowse, and Susan Lewis.


This is such a wonderful book. It is an emotional rollercoaster which at times had me laughing and other times reaching for my tissues.

You fall into this story and immediately feel you are reading a story straight from the heart. Enthralling!

This review is being shared as part of the blog tour by Bookouture Annonymous!

My sincere thanks to BOOKOUTURE and NETGALLEY for the opportunity to read and review ‘THE MAN I LOVED BEFORE’ by ANNA MANSELL. 

All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway. 

All my reviews can be found on my blog


  • TITLE: The Man I Loved Before
  • AUTHOR: Anna Mansell
  • PUBLISHER: Bookouture
  • PUBLICATION DATE: 10 March 2020

REVIEW PUBLISHED (shared to the following sites on publication)


Anna Mansell

Anna had a brush with ‘fame’ as a magician’s assistant back in 1977. She later decided that being sawn in half by her magical performing father, at barely 6 months old, was too submissive a role. She vowed to channel the trauma into something much more pro-actively creative. Having failed at acting, singing and professional murder mystery parties (she was ALWAYS the one to die!), she fell to something much more solitary: writing. 

Anna lives on a dairy farm in Cornwall with her two children, her husband, and her ex-racing greyhound, Olive Dog.


Literature and Fiction Publication Day Romance Women's Fiction

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver




Lydia and Freddie. Freddie and Lydia. They’ve been together for almost a decade, and Lydia thinks their love is indestructible. 

But she’s wrong. Because on her 27th birthday, Freddie dies in a tragic accident.

So now it’s just Lydia, and all she wants to do is hide indoors and sob til her eyes fall out. But Lydia knows that Freddie would want her to live her life well. So, enlisting the help of his best friend and her sister Elle, she takes her first tentative steps into the world and starts to live – perhaps even to love – again.

But then something unbelievable happens, and Lydia gets another chance at her old life with Freddie. But what if there’s someone in her new life who wants her to stay?

A heart-breaking, uplifting story for fans of PS I Love You and Me Before You, this gorgeously romantic novel will make you laugh, cry and remind you of what a wonderful gift it is to love and to be loved.


I read, enjoyed, and loved Josie Silver’s debut novel ‘One Day in December’ and eagerly awaited the next book. This is it and it was worth waiting for!

As followers of my blog may know I don’t read the synopsis before the book and I am glad I didn’t with this one. I was shocked by the opening chapters and the tears were flowing for characters that I didn’t even know and had not bonded with – that’s what this author does with her words – be warned! Although Freddie dies at the start of the book we get to know him through the story and he is another lovely character from the mind of the lovely Josie Silver.

I felt completely drawn in and could’t put the book down. It was a book that I wanted to devour all at once, yet also didn’t want it to end. The writing is awesome – it is a gripping story which keeps you turning page after page. I highly recommend this book.

My sincere thanks to NETGALLEY and PENGUIN (UK) for the opportunity to read and review ‘THE TWO LIVES OF LYDIA BIRD’ by JOSIE SILVER ahead of publication day. 

All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway. 

All my reviews can be found on my blog


  • TITLE: The Two Lives of Lydia Bird
  • AUTHOR: Josie Silver
  • PUBLISHER: Penguin
  • PUBLICATION DATE: 5 March 2020



Josie Silver’s debut novel, One Day in December, was a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller and has been translated into more than twenty-five languages. Josie lives in a small town in the UK with her husband, their sons, and an ever-changing cast of animals.


Blog-Tour Literature and Fiction Women's Fiction




Looking back, I wish I could find my way back to that moment. I’d snatch it and hold onto it and live in it for the rest of my life, if I could. When Emily could still throw her arms around me. Oh God, just give me that moment, or one like it again. That’s all I want.

From the moment Emily was born, reaching out with her tiny little star-shaped hand towards her mother, blinking with long eyelashes over soft blue eyes, she became Rachel’s whole world.

But Rachel’s worst nightmare comes true when a rare auto-immune illness leaves five-year-old Emily in a coma the doctors say she may never come out of. And Rachel has to make a heartbreaking decision—one that her ex-husband, Emily’s dad James, doesn’t agree with.

Terrified she’s going to lose her daughter for good, Rachel knows she must find a way to keep the hope alive for Emily. But there is only one person she can turn to for help to convince James—his new wife, Eva.

As an unlikely but powerful friendship develops between the two women, both Rachel and Eva will have to ask themselves—what is truly the right choice for the tiny, fragile little girl who lies between them?

A beautiful story that will break your heart into a million pieces, perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult, Diane Chamberlain and Susan Lewis.


This is such a lovely book. It is full of emotion which at times can leave the reader feeling completely devastated whilst ensuring you keep reading and reading. I read it in a couple of sittings as I felt so gripped I couldn’t put it down and walk away. I am not a parent and I felt very strongly throughout, can only imagine how much deeper those feelings will be for someone who is a parent.

Kate Hewitt writes beautifully and takes the reader on an emotional heart-wrenching, mind-blowing journey. Have a box of tissues nearby, they are needed as much as the mug of tea and biscuits!

This review is being shared as part of the blog tour by Bookouture Annonymous!

My sincere thanks to BOOKOUTURE and NETGALLEY for the opportunity to read and review ‘A HOPE FOR EMILY’ by KATE HEWITT. 

All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway. 

All my reviews can be found on my blog


  • TITLE: A Hope for Emily
  • AUTHOR: Kate Hewitt
  • PUBLISHER: Bookouture
  • PUBLICATION DATE: 20 February 2020



Kate Hewitt

Kate Hewitt is the author of many romance and women’s fiction novels. A former New Yorker and now an American ex-pat, she lives in a small town on the Welsh border with her husband, five children, and their overly affectionate Golden Retriever. Whatever the genre, she enjoys telling stories that tackle real issues and touch people’s lives. 


Blog-Tour Literature and Fiction Romance Suspense Women's Fiction


TRANSWORLD DIGITAL (digital format)


Mother: a woman considered in relation to her child or children.

Wife: a woman considered in relation to her spouse.

Shouldn’t there be more?

Alison has built her life around her family. Every day she packs lunches, rushes to work, and breaks up her daughter’s squabbles. She’s bored, restless and hungry for some excitement.

Perhaps the charismatic Frank could be what she’s missing. But is Frank all he makes out to be? And what if a new, glamorous life isn’t quite what she needs?


I am excited to be involved in the blog tour for this witty, emotional lovely book. First glance at the cover and I knew I’d be hooked! The blurb caught my interest and as soon as I opened it up and started reading it was clear I was right – this was going to be a great read.

More Than A Mum is a beautifully written book which shines a spotlight on relationships – within the family and those friends we choose to surround ourselves with. This is an emotionally fuelled book – heartbreak and heartwarming, funny and fresh – it truly is a delight to read. It will make you think and leads to pondering questions, decisions and where you go from here…

I don’t have children but I do enjoy stories like this – where the mundane daily living is rocked, questions asked leading to decisions that need to be made.

The author has told an emotionally genuine tale whilst still being a funny and joyful read.

I found this book captivating, witty and an easy read and would happily recommend it. Don’t take my word for it, have a look at the other bloggers involved in this blog tour (see image below).

I would like to thank damppebbles for the opportunity to read and review and be part of this #blogtour for ‘MORE THAN A MUM’ by CHARLENE ALLCOTT.  

This review is being published today as part of the blog-tour by damppebbles.

All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway. 
All my reviews can be found on my blog


  • TITLE: More Than A Mum
  • AUTHOR: Charlene Allcott
  • PUBLISHER: (ebook) Transworld Digital (paperback) Corgi Paperback
  • PUBLICATION DATE: (ebook) 20 February 2020 (paperback) 5 March 2020
  • LENGTH: 356 pages



Charlene Allcott was born and raised in London and now lives in Brighton with her five-year-old son. Charlene Allcott works part-time with young people in a residential care home. She writes a parenting blog at MORE THAN A MUM is her second novel.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS – crime book blog


Let #damppebblesblogtours organise your next blog tour. For more information please see or for a no obligation quote please email 

I organise tours for all genres but I specialise in crime and thriller fiction as that’s where my passion lies. I have been a crime and thriller blogger for nearly 4 years now over at where I share my love of reading.

Many believe only brand new releases are eligible to be taken on tour. I believe that publishing your book is only the start and have organised tours for books which have been previously available for a number of years.

You have nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain:

#bookbloggers #Authors #indiepublishers #bookpromotion#writingcommmunity #blogtour 

Biography and True Accounts Blog-Tour death and bereavement Extract non-fiction

All About Heaven by David Oliver

My review of this book will follow later this month. Meanwhile I would like to share the following excerpt as part of the Love Books Tour.


Many people understand that, at the end of all things, Christ returns, God will create a new heaven and a new earth where those who have trusted in Christ will live with him forever. But what about those who have ‘passed on’ well before this? Where are they now? What does heaven look like? What will occupy us there?

When David Oliver faced the death of his son Joel, at the age of 38, following a short and brutal fight with cancer, he set about researching and writing this powerful short book on heaven and committed to write whatever he discovered.

Through a thorough examination of the relevant Bible texts, David provides us with a thrilling view of the future and a destiny well worth preparing for, which will enrich our vision and faith.


Heaven is a Stopover, Not the Final Destination

When I touched my dead son’s body for the very last time, I placed my cheek against his still slightly warm bearded cheek and allowed myself to feel the gentle warmth. In the yawning chasm of loss that was abruptly opening up before me, a question was already forming. Where is Joel now then? Is he unconscious or is he truly in heaven? Why did God take him now? Surely the answer to those questions and more must be found in, where he has gone and what he is doing there? 

We know that life after death, i.e. what happens immediately after we die is not all that there is. We could describe it by saying, there is a final destination and a stopover. I have travelled a good deal, often with my wife Gill, and one or more family members. On long-haul trips we often intentionally build in a stopover. The stopover often gets nearly as much attention – and there really are some great places to stopover – but you never forget that while this might be the best place you have visited so far, there is even better to come. 

Imagine if on a planned vacation you got the stopover and final destination confused. Confused about where exactly you’d be staying, confused about the culture, confused about what there is to do, confused about who would be there and confused about the sights and sounds, and even the precise location of where you were supposed to be. It’s a limited metaphor, I know, but instead of talking with joy, anticipation and thrill about both places, your conversations would be uncertain, muted, confused and lacklustre. It’s another one of those reasons why Christians talk little and think little about heaven.

So if, as we have suggested, the last breath here, the next breath somewhere else. Where exactly is that? There’s no better to starting point than the description of Jesus. On the cross, Jesus turned to one of the two thieves dying with him and said to him, ‘Today you will be with me in Paradise.’

People reporting positive near-death experiences often describe the place they glimpsed as being like a beautiful garden. For the Christian, as soon as the spirit is released from the body by death, it has direct access to the presence of the Lord. It is a beautiful garden-like place, and Paul says it is better by far than the best we have here. Alister McGrath explains:

The idea of a walled garden, enclosing a carefully cultivated area of exquisite plants and animals, was the most powerful symbol of paradise available to the human imagination, mingling the images of the beauty of nature with the orderliness of human construction . . . The whole of human history is thus enfolded in the subtle interplay of sorrow over a lost paradise, and the hope of its final restoration.
Just before he died, Roy Castle, described a vision he was having, standing in a most beautiful garden. He said it was indescribable because it was more beautiful than any garden he had seen on earth. He added, ‘I thought I was a gardener, but this gardener’s something else!


All About Heaven is available to purchase from David Oliver’s website –


David Oliver is the founder of Insight Marketing, an international trainer, speaker and author of 13 books in 29 languages, including ‘Work Prison or Place of Destiny?’
He is married to Gill and they live in Hampshire, England. 


Q and A with Stephen Scarcliffe

Raging – book 2 in The Chemical estate series

My review of both books in The Chemical Estate series will be published next week, however I am excited to be sharing this Q and A session to introduce this very talented author….

Hello Stephen and welcome to MoMoBookDiary blog.

First of all, Stephen, could you please tell us about your latest book, Raging.

Raging picks things up at the end of book 1 in The Chemical Estate series, Pure Angst. 

The Donaldson crime family has been split in two by a power struggle which has left Sean Donaldson and his father Davy out in the cold.

Heroin kingpin Dougie Donaldson continues to rule over the rough housing estate of Muirhouse Edinburgh, with his son George and trusted enforcer Gordon Trevor whilst making sure Sean and brother Davy stay in their boxes.

Billy Wright, the areas rising star is planning to exit the underworld in order to coincide with the pending birth of his first child with girlfriend Lyndsay. He is determined to provide his kid a better life than he was afforded growing up. Whilst making as much money from his flourishing ecstasy ring in the time he has left so that they have enough money to start anew, well away from Edinburgh’s ghettos. 

Things get complicated for all parties concerned when someone torches one of Dougie Donaldson’s taxis, with the finger of blame pointed firmly at Billy. What ensues is an escalating turf war that puts George at loggerheads with Billy and the rest of his childhood pals, as Billy’s escape plans are threatened.

Meanwhile, as the chaos unravels on the streets, Sean Donaldson plots from the shadows to shift the balance of power in Muirhouse by any means necessary, hellbent on revenge against uncle Dougie for the brutal events of book one that left his father Davy with two shattered hands and a metal knee. 

Where do you find the inspiration for your novels?

I often find inspiration from dark stories featuring troubled self-destructive protagonists plagued with inner demons. A lot of my inspiration comes from the experiences I had in my upbringing, and the characters I knew, much of which is channeled into my stories.

What advice would you give to someone considering taking the plunge and attempting to write their first novel?

Don’t be in a hurry to hit publish. Take your time, hone your manuscript, use the services of a literary consultant to ensure you are doing all the right things, and research the different publishing options available to ensure you choose the right option for you. 

If your book was made into a film or TV series who would you cast?

I like the idea of auditioning and casting authentic guys from the scheme speaking in proper Edinburgh dialect. That said, I have always thought Bob Carlyle would make a great Davy Donaldson. I also reckon Mark Bonnar who just played the lead in Guilt on BBC Scotland would be a shoe-in for the corrupt DCI Ronnie Slater. 

Who is your writing hero?

Charles Bukowski

Which book do you wish you had written?

The Devil of Nanking by Mo Hayder or Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh.

If you could have a dinner party and invite three other writers (living or dead), who would you invite?

Charles Bukowski, Roald Dahl, and Irvine Welsh.


A bloody turf war is raging between the shellsuit gangsters and the Donaldsons, while the family outcasts look to take advantage of the disorder on the streets…Who torched Dougie Donaldson’s taxi? Why are the bodies piling up in the high rises? Why is a scorned figure from the past poking his nose into everyone’s business?

As things escalate, Billy Wright is forced to question who is plotting against him as he is dragged even deeper into the world he is trying to escape.

George Donaldson is sucked into a bitter feud with childhood pals that forces him to answer serious doubts around his loyalties and Sean Donaldson schemes to shift the balance of power in Muirhouse, hellbent on revenge against the uncle who has frozen him out of the family drug business.

Will Billy fulfil the promise he made to girlfriend Lyndsay and leave the life of crime behind as fatherhood approaches?

Can George successfully defend his old man’s territory in the face of mounting adversity?

Is there any line Sean won’t cross in his quest for supremacy?

Raging is a gritty slice of 90s North Edinburgh crime noir, which forms the second of the Chemical Estate book series.


Stephen Scarcliffe

Introducing Stephen Scarcliffe…

Growing up around the north of Edinburgh where the Chemical Estate book series is set lends first-hand experience and authenticity to both the story and its characters. 

Around 14 years ago, and 4 pints (or more) down, I bumped into a certain Irvine Welsh in a pub in Edinburgh city centre. After giving him a copy of a short story I had written, I received a really encouraging email that spurred me on to write a novel. The process was extended somewhat by spending 10 years as the singer-songwriter for Edinburgh Alt-rock band The Number 9s, before opting to turn my main focus to writing. Two books in now with number 3 in development I hope to continue for many years to come. 

You can keep up to date with details of new releases and plenty more by signing up for my mailing list at You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.   


Literature and Fiction Publication Day Short Stories





When Stars Will Shine is a collection of short stories from your favourite authors who have come together to deliver you a Christmas read with a twist.

With true war tales that will break your heart, gritty Christmas crimes that will shake you to your core, and heart-warming tales of love lost and found, this anthology has something for everyone. And, with every penny made being sent to support our troops, you can rest assured that you’re helping our heroes, one page at a time.

From authors such as Louise Jensen, Graham Smith, Malcolm Hollingdrake, Lucy Cameron, Val Portelli, and Alex Kane, you are in for one heck of a ride!

When Stars Will Shine is the perfect Christmas gift for the bookworms in your life!


  • Fredrick Snellgrove, Private 23208 by Rob Ashman
  • Four Seasons by Robert Scragg
  • The Close Encounter by Gordon Bickerstaff
  • Believe by Mark Brownless
  • What Can Possibly Go Wrong? by Lucy Cameron
  • Mountain Dew by Paul T Campbell
  • The Art of War and Peace by John Carson
  • A Gift for Christmas by Kris Egleton
  • Free Time by Stewart Giles
  • Died of Wounds by Malcolm Hollingdrake
  • The Christmas Killer by Louise Jensen
  • The Village Hotel by Alex Kane
  • A Present of Presence by Hr Kemp
  • The Invitation by Billy McLaughlin
  • Brothers Forever by Paul Moore 
  • Girl in a Red Shirt by Owen Mullen 
  • Pivotal Moments by Anna Osborne
  • Uncle Christmas by Val Portelli
  • Time for a Barbeque by Carmen Radtke
  • Christmas Present by Lexi Rees
  • Inside Out by KA Richardson
  • Penance by Jane Risdon
  • New Year’s Resolution by Robert Scragg
  • Family Time by Graham Smith


This is a book for EVERYONE. There are so many short stories that I know there will be something for YOU…. The stories are mostly very short so can be read while taking a short break and a cuppa, whilst others are a bit longer and may require a biscuit or two – now there’s your excuse for a cuppa and a nibble so what’s stopping you?

This amazing book brings together some authors you may have read or heard about and puts them next to authors you may not know or would every find anywhere else but once you read them here you will be running off to find what else they have written. I discovered many new authors through reading this book and also the links I made whilst being involved in the pre-publication chats. Please check out below where I have tried to include links below to help you search for more information on each author included in the book.

The sub heading ‘ Helping our Heroes One Page at a Time’ gives a good indication that there will be stories of war, troops and of course the cover also indicates a Christmas theme. Yes there were several stories that did indeed cover these topics, then there were the others. Each author has their own style and has given us a piece of themselves in this book.

I was lucky enough to be given a proof copy of this book via one of the authors and was able to share word of the book way before it was finally published. I enjoyed reading each and every story – some had me in tears, others gave a warm cosy feeling inside. I admit I have a favourite but I am not sharing it but I would love to know which one you like best…. please drop a note below to let me know!

When Stars Will Shine is an awesome collection of short stories pulled together by the fabulous Emma Mitchell, and I am very happy to recommend for all readers.


Amazon 🇬🇧
Amazon 🇺🇸


I have been unable to share this review on Amazon and am repeatedly given this error message:

We apologize but Amazon is not accepting reviews on this product from this account. If you would like to contact us about this decision, please email

This is despite me purchasing the book in both ebook and paperback formats from two different Amazon accounts. I have again emailed to ask WHY? and am awaiting a response.


Authors if YOUR links below are wrong or incomplete please advise.
I could not find links for everyone, sorry, happy to update/amend as necessary.

Crime, Thriller and Mystery


The truth can be a dangerous thing…

*AVON Books UK


When a young boy falls from a balcony in a block of flats, DS Grace Allendale witnesses the shocking aftermath of the tragic event. But strangely, no one will admit to seeing anything – and the parents will only tell the police that it was an accident.

Determined to sort the truth from the lies, Grace is thrown into a case that takes her to the darkest corners of the criminal world – and strikes closer to home than she could have ever imagined…


The first DS Grace Allendale book (Hush Hush) was published in October 2018 with the second (Tick Tock) following in May 2019. Liar Liar is the third book of the series and the ebook is released next week with the paperback following in March.

Mel Sherratt is a well known author with a sharp imagination who can bring her vivid characters to life and create a heart-stopping story. I was instantly gripped by the twisty-turny plot ensuring I remained that way to the final page.

We have another masterpiece in suspense from this thrilling writer.

I couldn’t stop reading and was frustrated when ‘life’ needed me to put the book down – even if it was just to go make myself another cup of tea never mind cook dinner!! Luckily it was such a good fast read that I was able to finish it in a single day.

I judge a book by how much it grips me and this one certainly tops the charts.

It gave me goosebumps and I highly recommend this series.

My sincere thanks to AVON BOOKS UK and NETGALLEY for the opportunity to read and review ‘LIAR LIAR’ by Mel Sherratt. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway. All my reviews can be found on my blog


  • TITLE: Liar Liar
  • AUTHOR: Mel Sherratt
  • PUBLICATION DATE: 10 February 2020 (ebook) 19 March 2020 (paperback)
  • LENGTH: 368 pages


My review may not show on these sites until publication date


Mel Sherratt

Mel Sherratt is the author of thirteen crime novels, all of which have become bestsellers.

For the past four years, she has been named as one of her home town of Stoke-on-Trent’s top 100 influential people. She also works alongside the National Literary Trust as an ambassador on The Literary Project, to support their ongoing work in the city, aiming to raise literacy levels. 

Mel Sherratt lives in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with her husband and terrier, Dexter.


Crime, Thriller and Mystery Mystery Suspense

THE SECRET SISTER by KA Clarke & AJ Brittany

Can you trust a sister who is a stranger?

*HQ Digital


Ella Matthews has it all. A beautiful house, a charming husband and a precious baby daughter – her life has pretty much turned out exactly as she planned.

But when Ella’s mother tragically dies, her perfect life starts to crack. Her mother had been harbouring a life-long secret. Ella has a sister – an older sister – called Colleen.

Excited by the thought of no-longer being an only child, Ella can’t wait to find her.

But Colleen has a whirlwind past of her own. Desperate to escape her troubles, she is ready to go to any length to start afresh.

As their paths collide, someone is keeping secrets… and when Colleen mysteriously disappears without notice, Ella can’t help but question if she should have started looking for her at all…


This is domestic tale of suspense full of twists and turns. So many threads running, you won’t know who to trust, or what secrets were being kept.

The story was well written with a good plot although I felt it was a bit clunky in the middle.

I had not read anything by either of the authors involved in this book but I will look out for them in the future.

My sincere thanks to THE PIGEONHOLE for the opportunity to read and review ‘THE SECRET SISTER’ by KA Clarke and AJ Brittany. 

All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway. 
All my reviews can be found on my blog


  • TITLE: The Secret Sister
  • AUTHOR: KA Clarke and AJ Brittany
  • PUBLISHER: HQ Digital
  • PUBLICATION DATE: 10 January 2020
  • OBTAINED: ThePigeonhole



KAREN CLARKE lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and three grown-up children, where she writes romantic comedy novels and psychological suspense. When she’s not writing, she reads a lot, enjoys walking – which is good for plot-wrangling and ideas, watching Netflix, baking and eating cakes. And then more walking to work off the cakes.

AMANDA BRITTANY lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and two dogs. She is the bestselling author of Her Last Lie and Tell the Truth,and her third psychological thriller, Traces of Her,was published in October 2019. Her debut, Her Last Lie, has raised almost £8,000 so far for Cancer Research UK from her ebook royalties, in memory of her sister. When she’s not writing, Amanda loves reading, walking, travelling and going to the theatre.



THE PIGEONHOLE ( is a community of readers from around the world. Books are delivered in daily instalments (staves). The instalments are delivered to your Pigeonhole bookshelf on the IOS or Android app, or on a web reader.

The Pigeonhole is all about shared reading and has a dynamic commenting system which allows in-text discussion between readers. Post a comment and fellow readers will be able to respond. You can also choose to receive notifications when someone responds to your comment, or, additionally, whenever a comment is left in the book.

As you read you will see round purple icons at the edge of certain paragraphs – tap on these to reveal behind-the-scenes extra content!

Links are included at the end of the final stave which allow you to leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. The full book will be available on your Pigeonhole bookshelf for one month for you to read at your leisure.

Biography and True Accounts


The Diaries of a Prisoner

Atlantic Books



Welcome to Her Majesty’s Prison Service.

Like most people, documentary-maker Chris Atkins didn’t spend much time thinking about prisons. But after becoming embroiled in a dodgy scheme to fund his latest film, he was sent down for five years.

His new home would be HMP Wandsworth, one of the largest and most dysfunctional prisons in Europe.

With a cast of characters ranging from wily drug dealers to senior officials bent on endless reform, this powerful memoir uncovers the horrifying reality behind the locked gates.

Filled with dark humour and shocking stories, A Bit of a Stretch reveals why our creaking prison system is sorely costing us all.

Have you ever wondered… what it’s really like behind bars?


I read this book via Pigeonhole (see bottom of this post for details on Pigeonhole) and I am definitely getting into the way of reading a stave a day. This time I enjoyed the break between staves to consider what I had read each day.

This is a harrowing read in which Chris Atkins tells of his experience inside HMP Wandsworth. As a documentary maker he took to writing a journal as a way of passing the time in his cell.

There are many stories within this book which tell of others he encountered during his sentence. There are dark tales of self-harm and suicide. There are heartbreaking passages where prisoners are thrown in prison with no idea what to do next, how to cope with life inside whilst requiring assistance with their mental health more than anything else. There is humour in the book – more towards the end than the beginning which again shows how Chris had adjusted to his new life.

Many of the diary entries are shocking beyond belief and have changed the way I view life inside. Prisoners locked in their cells for 23 hours because of staff shortages? Drugs easier to obtain than paracetamol? From what I have read here I can now understand why some prisoners may go on to cause riots and I feel the public are never told the truth about what really starts a riot for instance.

I have so much to say on the issues raised in this book that I could type forever but there are many more questions than answers and I am still to work my way through all the footnotes which were very welcome. I have ordered a copy of this book and am awaiting on it arriving where I will be able to read through it again.

Final point, the epilogue lists the changes Chris would wish to introduce if he was given the opportunity to become justice secretary. It is clear from this that the immediate changes required are fundamental, straightforward and make good sense. We know there is no chance of him being appointed justice secretary. However, is there anyone in power who will read this book, take onboard what is being said and act on this information? I’m hopeful, yet doubtful. What is good to see is there has been a lot of talk regarding the release of this book on TV this week so maybe, just maybe….

I feel that this is a book which could change lives. It could be the start of something!

My sincere thanks to THE PIGEONHOLE for the opportunity to read and review ‘A BIT OF A STRETCH’ by CHRIS ATKINS. 

All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway. 
All my reviews can be found on my blog




Chris Atkins

Chris Atkins is best known as a documentary maker. His 2007 debut feature, Taking Liberties, was a Michael Moore inspired documentary castigating the Blair government for undermining civil liberties as part of the war against terror. The film played in dozens of cinemas across the UK, got very strong reviews and was nominated for a film BAFTA in 2008. Chris also wrote an accompanying book, also called Taking Liberties, which was published alongside the film.

His next film, Starsuckers, took aim at the celebrity-obsessed media. The documentary became famous for selling fake celebrity stories to the tabloids, engineering a reverse undercover sting on red top hacks, and secretly filming Max Clifford boasting about covering up his clients’ sexual indiscretions. The film made the front page of The Guardian two days running and faced down legal challenges from the News of The World, Clifford and Bob Geldof. The film premiered at the 2009 London Film Festival, was shown on Channel 4 several times and was screened to the Leveson Inquiry into press standards.

Chris has also made several notorious TV current affairs films. He spent most of 2011 undercover, secretly filming corrupt private detectives who were running a black market in private information, which became a Dispatches special for Channel 4 – Watching the Detectives. He made another Dispatches special in 2013 – Celebs Brands and Fake Fans – and tricked a slew of Coronation Street stars into plugging fake products on social media. This sting made the front of The Sun and The Mirror, leading ITV to threaten to sue Channel 4. Later that year Chris investigated bad practise in big charities for BBC Panorama, and revealed that Comic Relief was secretly investing millions in alcohol, arms and tobacco companies. The film kicked up a huge press storm, forcing Comic Relief to sell its “sin stocks” and got Chris his 3rd BAFTA nomination.

In 2015 Chris wrote and directed a fiction film imagining what would happen if UKIP actually won that year’s general election. “UKIP: The First 100 Days” was broadcast on Channel 4, and led to an incendiary reaction from UKIP supporters who lodged over 6000 complaints with Ofcom, making it one of the most complained-about TV dramas of all time.

In 2016 he was prosecuted for his involvement in an illegal tax scheme, which was used to fund his film Starsuckers. He was convicted in Southwark Crown court, along with several other defendants, and sentenced to five years imprisonment. He spent the first nine months of his sentence at HMP Wandsworth, and kept a detailed diary of his experiences. These have since been written up into a book, A Bit of a Stretch, which was the subject of a seven publisher bidding war when he was released in 2019. The book is due for publication on the 6th February 2020 and has already won praise from The Secret Barrister, Jon Snow, Mark Thomas and John Niven.

He is now back in North London working on a music documentary, and making a podcast series about prison life.



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