Sunday, 21 July 2019

#BlogTour The Kompromat Kill by Michael Jenkins

Today its also my turn on the BlogTour The Kompromat Kill by Michael Jenkins.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win 5 copies of The Kompromat Kill (Open INT)
About the Author
I started climbing at 13, survived being lost in Snowdonia at 14, nearly drowned at 15, and then joined the Army at 16. Risk and adventure was built into my DNA and I feel very fortunate to have served the majority of my working career as an intelligence officer within Defence Intelligence, and as an explosive ordnance disposal officer and military surveyor within the Corps of Royal Engineers.

I was privileged to serve for twenty-eight years in the British Army as a soldier and officer, rising through the ranks to complete my service as a major. I served across the globe on numerous military operations as well as extensive travel and adventure on many major mountaineering and exploration expeditions that I led or was involved in.

I was awarded the Geographic Medal by the Royal Geographical Society for mountain exploration in 2003 and served on the screening committee of the Mount Everest Foundation charity for many years. It was humbling after so many years of service when I was awarded the MBE for services to counter-terrorism in 2007.

The Failsafe Query is my debut novel, with The Kompromat Kill, my second.

Follow @FailSafeQuery on Twitter, and FailSafeThrillers on Facebook, on Goodreads, Visit michaeljenkins.orgBuy The Kompromat Kill

About the book
They were preparing for decades – now it’s time to take them down.

When a British Diplomat is kidnapped in the heart of London, followed by a brutal double-assassination in Chelsea, MI5 braces for the threat of deep sleeper cells coming alive.

Hiding overseas with a price on his head, Sean Richardson is tasked to lead a deniable operation to hunt down and recruit an international model and spy. Moving across Asia Minor and Europe, Sean embarks on a dangerous journey tracking an Iranian spy ring who hold the keys to a set of consequences the British Intelligence Services would rather not entertain.

As Sean investigates deeper, he uncovers dark secrets from his past and a complex web of espionage spun from the hand of a global master spy. As he inches closer to the truth, the rules of the game change – and the nerve-wracking fate of many lives sits in his hands…….……..

This is the second book in the Sean Richardson series, fast-paced action spy thrillers.
I really like the way Jenkins swoops in with the first chapter and then flies right back out again. I was genuinely surprised, but no worries the beginning drives the rest of the story in a low-key way to the very end.

An important part of the story is the way Sean, who has followed in the footsteps of his mother, comes to terms with the fate of his mother. It's a well-balanced plot of closure and closet, backdoor and raincoat spies. Neither overshadows the other, which makes for a more compelling story in my opinion. As a reader you can enjoy the more emotional moments, whilst simultaneously indulging in the cut-throat and ruthless spy game.

It's an intriguing espionage thriller. Jenkins captures the bold audacity of spy warfare over many decades and the victims that fall prey to the machinations of secrets and missions. Think Spooks with an international flair with a cold war mystique.

Jenkins is honing his craft. There is a clear difference between this second book in comparison to the first. Aside from that I also wonder how much of Sean is based on what the author has experienced himself. Its probably the reason the character is balanced, despite being a live action hero.

I also wouldn't mind if Jenkins returned to the scene of the crime and East Berlin. Pehaps even back to what comes before the end of the first chapter.

Buy The Kompromat Kill by Michael Jenkins at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Failsafe Thrillers; pub date 19 Jun. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win 5 copies of The Kompromat Kill (Open INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway *Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.*

Friday, 19 July 2019

#BlogTour The Fragility of Bodies by Sergio Olguin

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour The Fragility of Bodies by Sergio Olguin. It's urban crime with a flair of literary fiction.
About the Author
Sergio Olguín was born in Buenos Aires in 1967 and was a journalist before turning to fiction. Olguín has won a number of awards, among others the Premio Tusquets 2009 for his novel Oscura monótona sangre (“Dark Monotonous Blood“) His books have been translated into German, French and Italian. The Fragility of Bodies is his first novel to be translated into English.

The translator Miranda France is the author of two acclaimed volumes of travel writing: Don Quixote's Delusions and Bad Times in Buenos Aires. She has also written the novels Hill Farm and The Day Before the Fire and translated much Latin American fiction, including Claudia Piñeiro’s novels for Bitter Lemon Press.

Follow @olguinserg on Twitter, on Goodreads,
Buy The Fragility of Bodies 

About the book
When she hears about the suicide of a local train driver who has jumped off the roof of a block of flats, leaving a suicide note confessing to four mortal ‘accidents’ on the train tracks, she decides to investigate. For the police the case is closed (suicide is suicide), for Veronica it is the beginning of a journey that takes her into an unfamiliar world of grinding poverty, junkie infested neighborhoods, and train drivers on commuter lines haunted by the memory of bodies hit at speed by their locomotives in the middle of the night.

Aided by a train driver informant, a junkie in rehab and two street kids willing to risk everything for a can of Coke, she uncovers a group of men involved in betting on working-class youngsters convinced to play Russian roulette by standing in front of fast-coming trains to see who endures the longest. With bodies of children crushed under tons of steel, those of adults yielding to relentless desire, the resolution of the investigation reveals the deep bonds which unite desire and death.

What makes this such an interesting read is the simplicity of the crime. Something so banal it could be a kids joke or a game, but with a little criminality it becomes something sinister instead of senseless and stupid.

Veronica stumbles upon the whiff of a story; a man who commits suicide purports to be a killer. He could no longer live with the guilt. Veronica becomes curious about what is really going on, starts to investigate and finds out more than she was prepared for.

Aside from the plot, I think Olguin gives an insight into the world of the men and women who have to cope with driving a killing machine, which often does just that. Sometimes it is accidental, sometimes it is just the circumstances and often it's on purpose. The why is irrelevant when death stands on the tracks and waits for the impact. The why is also irrelevant when it comes to the sound and the end result.

Olguin writes with a keen sense of reality. The readers get a great feel for the surroundings, the limitations of certain economic situations and the people trapped in them. The desperation and yet simultaneously the joy at the small things in life. This is especially evident when it comes to the children. The joy of being able to buy sweets, snacks or a can of coke. There is a certain carefree feeling about them, despite the seriousness of the situation. The kind of feeling only children can embrace with such a bold attitude and enjoy with limitless abandonment.

It's urban crime with a flair of literary fiction. Fair dues to the translator, but I would really love to read this in the original language.

Buy The Fragility of Bodies at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press: pub date 11 July 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Bitter Lemon.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

#BlogTour The Stranger's Guide to Talliston by John Tarrow

Technically it was my turn on the Blogtour on the 16th, but moving house and reading and preparing the completely wrong book and post got in the way of that, so here we are today instead.
About the Author
John Tarrow is a novelist, poet, storyteller and award-winning writer. His fascination with folk and faerie tales has taken him around the world, gathering threads of story and legend to weave into his own mythologies: hiss extensive studies in Lakota Sioux and Druidic traditions offer readers stories resonant with magic, folklore and the wonder of the natural world. he pent twenty-five years transforming a three-bedroom, semi-detached, ex council house in Essex into the world famous Talliston House and Gardens.
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Buy The Stranger's Guide to Talliston

About the book
Abandoned and alone, thirteen-year-old Joe's world is shattered when he enters a deserted council house and becomes trapped within a labyrinth protecting the last magical places on earth. There, Joe discovers a book charting this immense no-man's land, without time or place.

Its thirteen doors each leading to a different realm. Hunted by sinister foes the boy is forced ever deeper into both the maze and the mystery of his missing parents. What will he find at the labyrinth's centre, and can it reunite him with the family he so desperately needs?

Crossing through diverse landscapes from Victorian Britain to fifties New Orleans The Stranger's Guide to Talliston is inspired by the internationally famous nd gardens dubbed 'Britains's Most Extraordinary Home' by the Sunday Times. It is a classic YA tale of adventure that introduced readers to an otherworld hiding in plain sight, cloaked in magic and steeped in imagined history. Yet beyond its fearsome huntsmen and battling magicians dwells the secret that lies within all of us -the power to live extraordinary lives.

This is a YA read, but I would also recommend it for older children who are advanced readers. It's Pullman with shades of Pratchett, and if your child reads either of those authors then they will enjoy this.

I love the fact this is based on a real house and gardens. What if Enid Blyton's Magic Faraway Tree came to life and became an actual place to visit, that's what this book is like. The Talliston House and Gardens are magical and full of imagination, it's only right that an author should try to capture some of that magic.

Joe's life is full of rules, fear and anxiety, even more so since his parents just abandoned him one day. Now he lives by himself avoiding human contact and trying to follow the rules he has been taught. At some point he has no choice but to wander out into the world to stay alive. On his travels he comes across an aggressive teenager, who in turn introduces him to Talliston.

A world of doors, places, secrets and magic. Whole worlds within a single house, but what a house it is. Full of darkness and moments of light. Joe learns to trust in himself and focus on his abilities and strengths.

It's an intricate, fascinating and ambitious YA fantasy. I can understand wanting everything in one story or book, however the sheer magnitude of ideas and worlds probably needed more depth and page space. A series of books perhaps or this one and then a series of books with a focus on a different area each time.

Please note that the hardcopy is an especially beautiful book and as if that wasn't enough at the very back of the book there is a special gift for the reader. The kind of gift that would make you sever a page at the back (it's says you have to), although that is absolute sacrilege to a bookworm.

Buy The Stranger's Guide to Talliston at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for an other retailer. Publisher: Unbound; pub date 11 July 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Unbound.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

#BlogTour Don't Tell Teacher by Suzy K. Quinn

Today it's my turn on the Blogtour Don't Tell Teacher by Suzy K. Quinn. It's an intriguing psychological thriller with a doozy of a twist.

About the Author
Suzy K Quinn is a British fiction author, and writes in three different genres: psychological thriller, comedy and romance.

She was first published by Hachette in 2010 with her debut novel Glass Geishas (now Night Girls), then self-published a romance series, the Ivy Lessons, which became an international bestseller and a #1 Kindle romance bestseller in the US and UK.

After her second daughter was born in 2013, she self-published the Bad Mother's Diary series, which also went on to become a #1 Kindle romantic comedy bestseller.

Suzy K Quinn's novels have been translated into 7 languages and her books have sold over ¾ million copies worldwide.

Suzy lives in Wivenhoe, Essex, with her husband Demi and two daughters, and travels to Mexico every year to write and study Mayan story telling. Suzy loves her family, friends and readers, but when pushed to add more to the list, she also loves travelling, food and alcohol.

Follow @SuzyKQuinn on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit
Buy Don't Tell Teacher

About the book
School should have been the safest place…

For Lizzie Riley, switching her six-year-old son Tom to the local academy school marks a fresh start, post-divorce. With its excellent reputation, Lizzie knows it’ll be a safe space away from home.

But there's something strange happening at school. Parents are forbidden from entering the grounds, and there are bars across the classroom windows.

Why is Tom coming home exhausted, unable to remember his day? What are the strange marks on his arm? And why do the children seem afraid to talk?

Lizzie is descending into every parent’s worst nightmare: her little boy is in danger. But will she be able to protect him before it’s too late?
Bites tongue. Tells brain not to let the cat out of the bag. What a deliciously twisted plot, my my my Suzy Q.

There are so many elements to this story and all of them are worthy of a natter. At the core of this psychological thriller is abuse. Abuse from every angle. Taking the overburdened system to task and showing the weaknesses of said system.

Lizzie and Tom live in constant fear of her ex. She keeps the both of them hidden away to stay safe, which doesn't appear to make a difference to her ex mother-in-law or her own mother for that matter. Her own mother is a sandwich short of a dramatic and narcissistic picnic.

If that wasn't enough to deal with, with the fact Tom has secured a place at a great school, is negated by the strange security procedures and the odd behaviour Tom has been showing lately.

Kate and Tessa are perfect examples of why social workers have a high rate of burnout. The responsibility of so many lives lays in their hands. One small mistake or oversight can lead to a fatal mistake. There aren't enough social workers to deal with the many children and young people in the system, and that's only counting the ones that they know about.

Kate finds it difficult to navigate the increasing pressure of such an important job. Her gut and professional decisions are often second guessed by Tessa, which makes it harder to help anyone. It's time she learnt to be assertive and to go with her gut feeling.

I was in two minds about the plot towards the end, perhaps because it felt like letting the majority of abusers go with a slap on the wrist. However on reflection I think it's important to shine on a light on these types of scenarios, I can't go into it in too much detail without giving away too much.

Kudos to Quinn for showing the inadequacies of the social care system, the loopholes children fall through and the pressure and danger both groups are subjected to. It's an intriguing psychological thriller with a doozy of a twist.

Buy Don't Tell Teacher at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; 11 July 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

#BlogTour The Dead Wife by Sue Fortin

It's my turn on the BlogTour The Dead Wife by Sue Fortin. It's a murder mystery come psych thriller.
About the Author
Sue Fortin is an award-winning USA Today and an Amazon best-selling author, an international bestseller and has reached #1 in the Amazon UK Kindle chart. Sue writes mystery, suspense and romance, sometimes combining all three.

Sue was born in Hertfordshire but had a nomadic childhood, moving often with her family, before eventually settling in West Sussex where she now lives with her husband, children and grandchildren.

Follow @suefortin1 on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, on Goodreads, Visit
Buy The Dead Wife

About the book
Police have ruled out suspicious circumstances in the investigation into the death of Elizabeth Sinclair, wife of charismatic entrepreneur Harry Sinclair, found drowned in the lake of the family’s holiday park.
It’s been two years since the Sinclair case closed but when reporter Steph Durham receives a tipoff that could give her the scoop of the year, she’s drawn deeper and deeper into the secretive Sinclair family.
Elizabeth’s death wasn’t a tragic accident. And the truth will come at a deadly price…

It's not exactly in the remit of her genre of journalism to investigate accidental deaths or go undercover for that matter, but Steph is rather gung-ho about the idea. Giving a desperate woman a little hope or some final answers might just be the way to get her name known in the world of journalism.

In a way the mother and daughter relationships are mirrored, but at the same time there is a role reversal. In each mother and daughter duo there is one person with a less than stellar relationship to the truth, regardless of whether that be due to coercion or the need to manipulate and succeed.

It means that the other, in this imbalanced scenario, hasn't got all the information they need to create a true picture of their parent or daughter. Instead they believe what they know to be true. Information based on their own experiences and emotions, no matter how misguided or wrong that may be.
Perhaps that is why Steph is drawn to the woman driven by grief and a need to uncover the truth.

Aside from the connection to her own mother and the fact the fastidious police officer may have somehow been complacent or negligent about what happened to Elizabeth. Maybe that's why Steph is so eager to investigate the accidental death of a young woman with so much going for her.

It's a psychological thriller with a driven main character. A mother who is convinced that something happened to her daughter and she won't stop until she has the proof. Steph may come out on the other side with a little less hunger for the perfect storm of a story though. Sometimes it's best to let sleeping dogs lie.

Fortin gives readers a run for their money with this murder mystery come psych thriller.

Buy The Dead Wife at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HarperCollins; pub date 12 July 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Monday, 15 July 2019

#BlogTour The Awakening Aten by Aidan K. Morrissey

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour The Awakening Aten by Aidan K. Morrissey.
About the Author
"I am of Irish heritage and was the first member of my immediate family to be born outside of Ireland. My professional life has caused me to travel the world. I am now looking forward to settling in the North East of England, to concentrate on writing.

A graduate in Law from Leicester University, after working for some years in a commercial environment, I qualified as a Solicitor in 1981. My career developed in an unusual way and I have lived and worked at various times in Italy, Brazil, the United States, India and Germany.

I have always had a love and fascination for history. A holiday in Egypt sparked a particular passion for Ancient Egypt, especially the latter part of the 18th Dynasty. A history, which Pharaoh Horemeb (Djeser-Kheperu-Ra circa 1319-1292 BCE) tried to destroy and which only came to light following the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922.

‘The Awakening Aten’ is the culmination of many years of research.
I have built up a substantial collection of academic books and novels on Ancient Egypt, its customs, traditions and daily life. I am fortunate to have been able to visit all of the major museums containing artefacts from Egypt throughout the world, as well as spending months in Egypt itself studying the funereal valleys and other sites. All of this supplemented by internet research.

This novel is the first in a plannned five book series, looking at the fictional lives of real people through a period of major political and religious change, spanning approximately 130 years.
My hobbies are reading, which I enjoy as much as I do writing, and taking bracing walks along the North East Coast and in the Northumberland Hills."

Buy The Awakening Aten

About the book
The Awakening Aten envelops the reader in an Egypt of whispers and fears, of webs within webs, deceit upon deceit. Its themes of murder, intrigue, political and religious conflict, corruption, tomb robbing, war and executions are set against a background of fundamental ideological change.
Ancient Egypt is seen through the eyes of two families; one royal, the other commoner.

Yuya, whose tomb is in the Valley of the Kings, is a foreigner who rises from slavery to become Regent to an infant Pharaoh and thus, the most powerful man in the world’s wealthiest empire. His children and descendants will remain at the very heart of the country’s destiny. Kha is a tomb painter and builder who experiences both the despair of imprisonment and the horror of war. As Overseer of the King’s Works he restores the Great Sphinx, and inscribes the ‘Dream Stela’ placed between its paws, still visible today. Through tragic and deathly events his family and that of Yuya become entwined.

This is the fictional tale of real people, whose possessions and artefacts can be seen in museums throughout the world. It gives a voice to those people, inspired by their personal items, buried with them 3,000 years ago.

This is the first book in the Aten series.
There is no doubt that Eygptian history is fascinating, perhaps more so because the life and times of their Kings is worthy of an HBO series - it's just that dramatic.

In the awakening the reader follows the paths of Yuya and Kha, and their different perspectives and experiences. One who rises to shape Eygptian history, as do his descendants. The other shapes the way the future will see the Egyptians.

The history we glean information from artefacts, statues and tombs, they teach us what lives they lead and how they died. It's fair to say the modern world is still amazed by the architecture, culture and history of these advanced people.

I think the strength of this story is that the majority of the characters are based on fact and that the author shows dedication to the historical events and facts as we know them.

Historical fiction can be a tough one. For me there has to be a good balance between fact and fiction. If not, the fiction becomes too far-fetched or it's hard to differentiate between the two. You can tell a cracking story and educate at the same time, but without being too academic. Luckily Morrissey doesn't do that.

However the writing needs to be less stinted, the dialogues more realistic and less predictable and the characters need more depth.

On a more positive note there are so many facts and historical tidbits to take away from this read. The author knows his stuff.
Morrissey just needs to find the balance and his own way of being able to share the breadth of his knowledge in a way that draws more readers in. I'm sure that he is able to do so.

It's historical fiction, a footstep inside the door of the great and intricate world of the Eygptians.

Buy The Awakening Aten at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Troubador Publishing; pub date 21 May 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Troubador.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

#BlogTour Rosebrook Chronicles The Hidden Stories by Helen J. Christmas

Today it's time to kick-off the BlogTour Rosebrook Chronicles The Hidden Stories by Helen J. Christmas.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win a signed copy of Rosebrook Chronicles (UK Only)
About the Author
Helen J. Christmas lives on the south coast with her husband. With a love of writing since childhood, she wrote her decade spanning thriller series, Same Face Different Place, Between 2011 and 2017. This five-book mystery suspense series explores British culture and social history from the 70s to the 90s. Inspired by the Bronte sisters in 2016, Helen decided she wanted to develop her writing skills by compiling a book of character-driven short stories. In 2018 she completed Rosebrook Chronicles (The Hidden Stories), a unique novel which gives extra background information to her series.

The 16th Century cottage in which Helen lives with her husband (restored in 1991) provides endless inspiration for writing, something she fits around her family and social life. Helen is a self employed web designer and works from home with her husband, Peter, and she enjoys blogging, country walks, photography and cookery.

Follow @SFDPBeginnings on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Instagram, on Facebook, Visit, Same face Different Place Visions book 2 on Pinterest, Follow Rosebrook Chronicles on Pinterest,
Buy Rosebrook Chronicles The Hidden Stories

About the book
This series of interwoven stories follows the lives of three abused teenagers, desperate to battle past traumas, pursue their dreams, find love and re-establish broken family ties.

London 1960. Robin is hypnotised by a dazzling moon and it sets him on a quest to seek a better life. Fearful of his future, he puts his trust in the wrong person, clueless of the trap he is falling into.

Dublin 1968. Two Irish orphans are separated by the Church. Six year old Bess panics at the thought of being sent to London. An English family want to adopt her but if only it didn’t mean abandoning her elder brother…
Peter meanwhile, has never forgotten her. Fighting to survive in a brutal orphanage, he risks a dangerous escape to reach the mainland and with the law on his tail, he heads for the Capital to find her.

It is not until the 1970s, the lives of the characters intersect. Struggling to cope in a harsh world, how do their experiences shape them into the adults they become and who among them will be believed?

One politician vows to introduce reforms to protect children. But when his only son is bullied at school, alleged to have committed suicide, he knows there is a lot more tunnelling to do if he is to unearth the evil embedded in society.

With snippets of social history from the 70s to the 90s, this book explores the hidden lives of three ordinary citizens.

These victims never had a voice.
I wrote this book in order to give them one.

The hidden stories are exactly that, the untold stories of teenagers who have fallen prey to a society that turned their back on them. Now as adults they have to navigate the repercussions of their trauma and try to reconnect bonds that were torn apart.

In essence these stories are about the children and young people who fall into the black holes of an inadequate system. Inadequate due to the job stopping at the door, children being counted as statistics rather than human beings, and all of them having no real voice. That's what their representatives are for, to give them a voice, and yet sadly that doesn't seem to be case in the majority of cases.

Looking back on these same issues in the pre Children's Act era and before specific legislation was put into place to try and cover every way to keep children safe, well it was a chaotic system with plenty of victims. For every children's home, orphanage or church related crime against children that have been revealed there are many more that remain unspoken.

Saying all that, the author wants us to hear those silenced voices, but what this story is really about is what happens after the abuse. How does the child or young person deal with the aftermath, the psychological and physical scars? How are their lives defined by those moments of fear, pain, blame and the memories?

It's an emotional and heart-wrenching contemporary read. It's important to give voices to the silent, perhaps more so because the trauma becomes magnified when the silence goes beyond what is healthy for that individual. Kudos to Christmas for that.

Buy Rosebrook Chronicles The Hidden Stories at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.
Watch the book trailer for Rosebrook Chronicles

Enter the Giveaway below to Win a signed copy of Rosebrook Chronicles (UK Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.*