Secrets We Keep by Faith Hogan #BlogTour @Aria_Fiction @GerHogan

Today I am delighted to be on the blog tour for Faith Hogans second novel Secrets We Keep.


About this book…

Two distant relatives, drawn together in companionship are forced to confront their pasts and learn that some people are good at keeping secrets and some secrets are never meant to be kept.

A bittersweet story of love, loss and life. Perfect for the fans of Patricia Scanlan and Adele Parks.

The beautiful old Bath House in Ballytokeep has lain empty and abandoned for decades. For devoted pensioners Archie and Iris, it holds too many conflicting memories of their adolescent dalliances and tragic consequences – sometimes it’s better to leave the past where it belongs.

For highflying, top London divorce lawyer Kate Hunt, it’s a fresh start – maybe even her future. On a winter visit to see her estranged Aunt Iris she falls in love with the Bath House. Inspired, she moves to Ballytokeep leaving her past heartache 600 miles away – but can you ever escape your past or your destiny?

My review…

As soon as I saw the beautiful cover of this book, I knew it was one I had to read and thank goodness I did as I have now discovered a fabulous new writer. And Faith Hogan is definitely a name for everyone to look out for in the future as I have a feeling she is just going to increase in popularity. Here she used historical flashbacks to a huge success as she tells the tale of Kate who, very bravely, returns to her family in Ireland and changes her lifestyle for a more peaceful existence. But the past had a way of catching up with you when you least expect it, even if it’s not your secret that’s about to be uncovered.

I absolutely adored this book. It came to me at a time when I needed a warm and cosy read and chose this due to its promise of a mystery and its stunning front cover. I wanted to be swept away in into another world and this worked perfectly for me. The village that Kate relocates to sounded idyllic, a slower and more relaxed way of life that I’m sure most of us dream of running away to on our most stressful days. And the idea of The Bathhouse and tearoom made me practically pack a bag and jump on a plane to search it out! It’s my favourite daydream being able to live the lifestyle that lands on Kate’s all here.

I have always been a fan of the historic flashback and here it is used to great effect, telling the story of Kate’s grandmother and great Aunt and twisting it around Kate and Iris in the present day. Iris was a girl ahead of her time and I found her story heart breaking in places as her future would have been very different if she had been born years later. There was a real sense of time and place in those chapters as they flowed beautifully while keeping the reader in suspense about what had happened at the bathhouse and more importantly, why. Faith Hogan has created some warmly written characters here and used beautiful and atmospheric settings to enhance the chain of events that unravel.

I think the only character I didn’t take to was Todd. The chapters leading up to his own epiphany didn’t really make me warm to him like I had expected and I usually quite like a bad boy! So by the time his story merged with everyone else’s I really wasn’t sure where it would take him or even where I hoped it would take him.

I felt like I was leaving behind old friends when I finished this homey tale. This is a life affirming, relaxed and engrossing read from start to finish and I loved it. I can’t wait to see where Faith Hogan takes us from here and I will definitely be waiting patiently to find out.

Thank you to the author and Aria for my netgalley copy of Secrets We Keep.

Secrets We Keep: A bittersweet story of love, loss and life is published by Aria on 1st February 2017 and is available to purchase from Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

Faith Hogan

Faith Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honors Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate from University College, Galway. She has worked as a fashion model, an event’s organizer and in the intellectual disability sector.

Her debut novel ‘My Husbands Wives’ is a contemporary women’s fiction novel set in Dublin, published by Aria Fiction in 2016. Her second novel, ‘Secrets We Keep,’ is published in February 2017 – it has been included on the Netgalley ‘Hot List 2017,’ a list of books eagerly anticipated by the blogging and reading community.

She is currently working on her next novel. She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and a very fussy cat. She’s a writer, reader, enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger – except of course when it is raining!

She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.

You can find out more about Faith on her website

They All Fall Down by Cat Hogan #BlogTour #BookReview #GuestPost @Kittycathogan @PoolbegBooks

My path to publication and inspiration for the book-Guest Post by Cat Hogan

For me, a lifelong obsession with books was a good motivation to become an author. Every week without fail, my mother bought me a book. I couldn’t get enough of them. It’s always been like that. I was born into a home of book worms and I could read before I could walk. My nose was constantly in a book and when I finished reading my own pile, I would steal into my older brother’s room and pilfer from his coveted collection. Equally, writing has always meant something- Whether that came in the form of stories I wrote as a child or keeping an angst riddled diary as a teenager- it’s always been there. When I did the Law Degree, I realised how powerful words can be. One word, or the interpretation of that word can see very different consequences.
The love of stories and the wild imagination came from my parents of course, and in particular the perception I have in my head of my father, Pat, who worked all his life at sea. He started out in the Merchant Navy, and in 1964, joined the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL) where he worked aboard the Graunaile, until his sudden death in 2001.
Some of my earliest and fondest memories are of sitting outside at night, with a big old brass compass, identifying star constellations and listening to his stories of the high seas and swashbuckling adventure. In my little blonde head, I wanted the life of adventure, and that romantic view of the world. The sailors blood in me finds inspiration in the sea, the stars and lighthouses.
When I started writing the first novel- long before I thought about publishers or agents, I thought about the book cover. As a nod to Dad, all I wanted was a lighthouse to feature- hence the location: a fictional fishing village in Wexford. I was dipping in and out of the novel, trying to raise two small boys and work part-time in the hospitality industry- but something had to give. I had a compulsion to write and it was all I could think about. In December 2014, I quit my job and became a writer full time. My Business Studies Degree and a Law Degree gave me a good foundation to set up a business- to pay bills, I write content for business.
I thought I would be the next Marian Keyes (who doesn’t want to be the next MK), but my mind had other plans for me. The story is dark- a psychological thriller exploring the depths of flawed human nature, the thin line between love and obsession and the destructive nature of addiction. I finished it at the end of June 2015. I got my agent in August.
My agent sent the book out to submission and 5 publishing houses were interested. Poolbeg were the first to come back and offer me a two book deal, in November. This all happened within 5 months of me finishing the first draft. I chose Poolbeg because of their logo- I had my lighthouse after all.
The hard work started in February. I was dreading the editing process, and had visions of an editor in a garret with a big red pen, slashing my work to bits. That wasn’t the case. I enjoyed it- my editor is a genius and we worked really well together. I didn’t lose any of my characters, not a plot hole to be found and the monster I had built up in my head, never showed its face. I have a few bad habits she is knocking out of me and let’s not mention the war- commas.
They All Fall Down was published in July of this year. A couple of weeks later, I hit the Irish Times Best Seller list. That was a great moment and one I will hold onto for a while.
Now that Autumn is here and as the nights close in, my priority has shifted back to writing. As and from today, I am hiding away at my desk to get my second book written- another tale of darkness and deceit. The constant juggle of life, family and work, but I’m not complaining- I love every second of it!


About the book…

Ring-a-ring o’ rosie . . .
… Someone wants to play.
… Who’s not playing the game?
… Now Someone must pay.

Jen Harper likes to play it safe. She is settling into life on the outskirts of a sleepy fishing village with her little boy, Danny. Life by the sea – just how she wanted it.

When she meets Andy, she feels the time has come to put her baggage and the scars of the past behind her. Then she is introduced to Scott, Andy’s best friend, and is stung by his obvious disdain for her. Why is Scott so protective of his best friend? What is the dark secret that threatens all of them?

In her attempt to find answers, Jen must confront her demons and push her relationships to their limits. By digging up the past, she puts Danny and herself in danger. Will she succeed in uncovering the truth before they all fall down?

Raw and energetic, They All Fall Down is a fast-paced and addictive novel exploring the depths of flawed human nature, the thin line between love and obsession and the destructive nature of addiction.

My review…

There is a lovely buzz about this book at the moment and as I am always afraid of missing out on the next big thing, I was delighted to accept my review copy and dive in!

I love the nursery rhyme Ring O’Roses and have sung it to differing generations of children. It’s one that never seems to get old and I love the slightly dark edge that it has due to its well documented history. And it’s used to great effect here both on the cover and inside as well. This is such a twisted psychological thriller that it definitely lives up to that knot on the front cover as well. The first half introduces you to Jen and Danny and then slowly folded into the mix comes Andy which leads to Scott his best friend. Now Scott is not the sort of friend you would be happy with your boyfriend having. He’s the one you dread taking your boyfriend off into town as you just know he will try to lead him astray. Drink, drugs, women and conniving seem to come easily to him but he’s just being protective of his best friend isn’t he? I loved Jen (strangely enough my nickname for my daughter is Jennifer Juniper!) And I really felt quite protective of her due to things that had happened in her past. So it seems a match made in heaven when she gets together with her lodger Andy as he also comes with emotional baggage. The second half of the book takes on a very different pace to the first as Cat Hogan cranks up the tension and all the players start to come crashing down. It was compelling reading to get to the end and oh, what an end!

I just devoured this. It’s one of those books that you sit down to read and totally lose track of time as you are drawn into the murky waters of life by the sea where you never really know what goes on behind closed doors. It was atmospheric, dark and creepy with a threatening undercurrent throughout. I really enjoyed this and it is lovely to see Cat Hogan join the ranks of talented Irish authors debuting in 2016.

They All Fall Down is available to purchase now from Amazon UK


About the author…


Cat Hogan was born into a home of bookworms and within spitting distance of the sea. Her father, Pat, a lightship man, instilled in her a love of the sea and the stars. Her mother, Mag, taught her how to read before she could walk.

Writing, storytelling and a wild imagination is part of her DNA.The beautiful County Wexford, Ireland is home to Cat, her musician partner Dave, two beautiful sons Joey and Arthur, and her tomcat Jim Hawkins. There they live a life of storytelling, song and adventure. The other love of Cat’s life is food. A self-professed foodie, there is nothing she loves more than feeding a houseful of friends round her kitchen table.When she is not conjuring up imaginary friends, she can be found supporting local musicians and writers of which there is an abundance in her home town. One of her first endorsements for her novel is also her favourite and comes from fellow Wexfordian of Artemis Fowl fame.’If the Gone Girl met the Girl on the Train, they would have come up with They All Fall Down’ -Eoin Colfer.They All Fall Down is Cat’s debut novel.