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While I Was Sleeping By Dani Atkins

While I Was Sleeping‘While I Was Sleeping’ is the latest heartbreaking book by Dani Atkins.

What if someone else was living your happy ever after?
When Maddie wakes up in a hospital bed, she can’t remember anything about what happened to her or what has changed.
She just remembers she was about to be married and had everything to look forward to.
But it seems life has become a lot more complicated while she has been asleep.

This book was released mid 2018, but I ended up leaving it until December until I read this tearjerker and I can wholeheartedly understand why a lot of people had this book as one of their favourite reads of 2018.

It’s powerful and emotional from the very beginning and really pulls the reader in. The story is seen through the narrative of two women Maddie and Chloe.

The story starts just as Maddie is preparing to pay her bills for her wedding. She’s excited that she’s about to marry the love of her life, as well as carrying their first baby. But, fate is against the young couple, as Maddie is struck by a car leaving her in a coma. When Maddie eventually wakes from her coma, her life is far from she ever imagined. Six years later, she wakes up and Ryan is married to another woman.

Heartbroken that her happily ever after didn’t come to life, Maddie has to adjust to a new life and heal after being in a coma for so long.

Chloe, is Ryan’s wife and for years has felt that she has lived in Maddie’s shadow and worries now that Maddie is out from the coma, that Ryan’s old feelings will return.

Dual narratives to the story give a lovely insight to the characters, as both women struggle with the strange situation and learn to adapt as well as realise that neither of them is the enemy and begin to form a tentative friendship. It’s difficult to go into too much detail with this book as you could easily reveal a spoiler.

A tearjerker from the first page, this story is beautifully written and is an emotional tale that does make for heart-breaking and bittersweet reading. Tender and warm from the start, ‘While I Was Sleeping’, is a story of new beginnings, love and friendship that should come with an emotional warning!

You can buy While I Was Sleeping from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

My Thoughts Exactly By Lily Allen

My Thoughts Exactly ‘My Thoughts Exactly’ is Lily Allen’s autobiography.

So, this is me. Lily Allen.
I am a woman.
I am a mother.
I was a wife.
I drink.
I have taken drugs.
I have loved and been let down.
I am a success and a failure.
I am a songwriter.
I am a singer.
I am all these things and more.

When women share their stories, loudly and clearly and honestly, things begin to change – for the better.

I’m not the biggest fan of Lily Allen. I’ve never bought any of her music but I did see her at Oxygen one year and enjoyed bopping along to her hit song, ‘It’s Not Fair’.

I was curious to read her autobiography, as I heard much talk of the content and I was wondering what made her do the things that people mentioned. So, I spent most of Christmas with my head in the book, absorbed in her world and finding out what made her the woman that she has become today.

This book is a honest reflection of growing up in the limelight, as well as struggles with mental health. From an early age, Lily explained her struggles with security as both her parents were either away working or socialising so Lily spent most of her time being pushed from pillar to post. She speaks candidly about her journey to becoming a pop star and the trials that she faced along the way, the pressures of the paparazzi, social media as well the struggles of maintaining relationships in the public eye.

Her wit and charm radiates from the page and her words occasionally make for poignant and reactive reading, as she speaks honestly about her battles with drink and drugs as well as her breakdowns, and she approaches some of the harder topics in a lighter tone as if to lessen the blow for the reader.

‘My Thoughts Exactly’ is a blunt and emotional eye opening account of the pressure of being one of England’s most influential singers. Riddled with drama and darkness, this book is an explosive insight into the pressures of being a young woman in a celebrity world and the problems that she faced when she was at her most successful.

You can buy My Thoughts Exactly from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Noireland Is Back

Noireland International Crime Festival, Belfast

Noireland made its debut in 2017, bringing a plethora of crime authors from around the world together to inform and inspire crime lovers and aspiring authors about their writing journeys.

Good news for crime fans, as the festival returns again this year and has an amazing lineup that has promised to be bigger, better and deadlier than ever.

The festival will take place from on 8-10th March and authors announced for the event include, writer of the television series, ‘Vera’ Anne Cleeves, Stuart McBride and Sarah Vaughan, to name but a few.

For a list of authors and how to get tickets to the event, go to Noireland.com

Merry Christmas From Handwritten Girl

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Christmas is nearly upon us and I’ve found myself writing my annual sign off instead of wrapping presents that are still in their bags. Last minute as always!

Before I sign off, I would like to say a huge thank you to all the lovely publishers and authors who introduced me to some of the most wonderful books this year, from intense thrillers to happy romances, there’s something for everyone to curl up with during the cold winter nights.

Most importantly, thank you to the readers of the website for taking the time to read a review, tweet, Favourite or Like a post, your support is appreciated tremendously. I hope you all have a safe and relaxing Christmas and receive loads of treats from Santa Claus, especially books as there are some great ones out there.

Have a Happy New Year and I shall see you in 2019.

My 12 Books Of 2018

My 12 Books Of 2018

I’ve been extremely fortunate to have read some fantastic books this year, including some cracker debuts. So if you’re looking for book inspiration for Christmas ideas for yourselves or for that special someone in your life, then I would highly recommend these books, as they made me laugh, cry and keep me on the edge of my seat throughout 2018.

I’ve included my reviews of the books, to give you an idea of what I loved about them.

‘The Importance Of Being Aisling’ by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen
‘Roar’ by Cecelia Ahern
‘I invited Her In’ by Adele Parks
‘You Let Me In’ by Lucy Clarke
‘One Day In December’ by Josie Silver
‘One In A Million’ by Lindsey Kelk
‘Watching You’ by Lisa Jewell
‘Five Years From Now’ by Paige Toon
‘The Man I Think I Know’ by Mike Gayle
‘Almost Love’ by Louise O’Neill
‘Our House’ by Louise Candlish
‘Faking Friends’ by Jane Fallon

Happy reading!