Friday 12 May 2017

BLOG TOUR: The Other Side - Kaylor Ward

As we have come to expect with the wonderful Brook Cottage Books tours, I've got a fabulous post for you today, with an excerpt, my review and an AMAZING giveaway at the end of the post where you could win the below goody basket.  If you're the lucky winner, you could be reading The Other Side on your new kindle fire, whilst drinking a glass of wine from your gorgeous glass and wearing your fabulous new scarf.  Good luck!

So how about a little extract to whet your appetite before I tell you what I thought of The Other Side?

The door shut with a cold, hard slam sending harsh metallic echoes around her. Her eyes shot warily from left to right as she raked her fingers through her hair and tried to make sense of her situation. She was in a cell. She had asked them not to lock her in, but they hadn’t paid her any attention. Where there had been a face a few seconds ago, there was now a slammed metal door with peeling grey paint showing the cracking blue paint beneath. She hated confined spaces. They told her there was a buzzer if she needed anything. Needed anything?
Panic welled in her chest, her throat and her brain as the grey walls and the naked single white light closed around her. Breathe...breathe...slow...down... This was not the place for a panic attack. Not here, not today. She was alone. She had to get through this. Focus...focus... Think yourself somewhere else.
She thought of her daughters, their smiles and their joy. She lay on the hard thin plastic mattress on the concrete bed, and pulled a thin blue blanket over her head to block out the light, to block out the room, and to block out now.

So after that intriguing prologue, let's see what I though of The Other Side.

Genre: Contemporary Fiction
(Jodi Picoult meets Clare Makintosh)
Release Date: 14th May 2017
Publisher: Parker Press Publishing
Lauren is locked in a cell. She knows she shouldn’t be there.
When Lauren and Rick are left an allotment they embark on a lifestyle change that is supposed to bring their step-family closer together. They embrace the chance for a slice of the good life, fresh air and family times together. Lauren and Rick are in love and happy but sometimes their past issues surface. For Lauren it’s the affair that her first husband had before he left her. For Rick it’s the children he was alienated from and forced to leave behind seven years ago.
One day a new family move into a cottage behind the allotment. That day changes everything. That day they start falling apart. 

What did I think?

What a surprise this book turned out to be.  I thought I was going to be reading a bit of a no-brainer book about a married couple who decided to do a bit of allotment  gardening, but I couldn't have been more wrong.  Yes, there is a married couple who have an allotment but dip beneath the surface and you find that not everything in the garden is rosy.

Lauren and Rick have both been hurt in the past so they are thankful that they have found each other.  Lauren's first husband had an affair, leaving her with her two girls, whilst Rick's ex-wife turned his children against him and he wasn't allowed to see them again. When they are gifted an allotment out of the blue, Lauren didn't expect Rick to spend so much time there, but it isn't just the gardening that has captured his attention...

Rick thinks that he is burying his thoughts and hiding his feelings but as he grows increasingly distant Lauren begins to suspect that he is having an affair.  Lauren even follows the woman that she suspects her husband to be cheating with and sees her arrive at Rick's workplace.  Lauren has been there before though, and is fearful of confronting Rick in case she doesn't like what she uncovers and is left alone again.  Lauren has no idea what is going on in Rick's mind and, as my jaw dropped at the end, clearly neither did I.

A completely unexpected gem of a book by Kaylor Ward, the characters were so well developed that I felt as if I knew them personally. I loved Lauren's close relationship with her sister and the business that they run together, Puffin Island, being not just any old clothes shop but an emporium of makeovers.  There is laughter and there are tears as Lauren deals with the trials and tribulations of her sister, Kate, and her friend, Beth, whilst wondering what is going on in her own marriage and trying not to have her head turned by local attractive bar owner, Jack.  Rick's predicament was excellently portrayed as he tried to hide his feelings from Lauren, whilst inadvertently spinning a web of lies and leading Lauren to jump to conclusions.  There are indeed always two sides to every story, although Kaylor Ward has discovered the secret third side to the story in The Other Side.

The Other Side is so surprisingly multifaceted that I can't think of a better way to describe it than an absolute gem of a book.  Kaylor Ward has taken the contemporary fiction genre by storm by writing something so outstanding and I am delighted to see that she plans a follow up to Lauren's story - Side by Side.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend The Other Side - it's so much more than I ever expected from the beautiful calm and tranquil cover which belies the tempestuous storm that is brewing inside.

My rating:


About the author:

Kaylor Ward, originally from London, now lives in South Wales. She worked for many years as a management consultant and trainer, writing part-time until her first book was published under the name, Michaela Weaver (Manic Mondays). She has studied creative writing at Masters level, and in addition to her writing she is a qualified Writing Coach. Michaela is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, and a reader for their New Writers' Scheme. Michaela writes cross genre contemporary fiction with psychological twists often about the darker side of family and domestic life.

Twitter: @kaylorward


Kindle Fire!
Lolita Wine Glass from Jack’s wine bar
Bottle of vino from Jack’s
Scarf from Puffin Island
AND, AS IF THAT WASN’T ENOUGH………….There’s a free 6 week novel writing course for everyone run by Kaylor Ward herself! Here’s the link to access it!

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