Wednesday 31 July 2019

#BlogTour Heathcliff: The Unanswered Questions Finally Answered? by Sue Barnard

Today it's the Blog Blitz for Heathcliff by Sue Barnard. A filling in the blanks spaces of Heathcliff.

Enter the Giveaway to Win a signed copy of Heathcliff (UK Only)
About the Author
Sue Barnard is a British novelist, editor and award-winning poet whose family background is far stranger than any work of fiction. She would write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.

Sue was born in North Wales but has spent most of her life in and around Manchester. She speaks French like a Belgian, German like a schoolgirl, and Italian and Portuguese like an Englishwoman abroad.

Her mind is so warped that she has appeared on BBC TV’s Only Connect quiz show, and she has also compiled questions for BBC Radio 4's fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz. This once caused one of her sons to describe her as "professionally weird." The label has stuck.

Sue’s first novel, The Ghostly Father (a new take on the traditional story of Romeo & Juliet), was officially released on St Valentine's Day 2014.  Since then she has produced five more novels: Nice Girls Don’t (2014), The Unkindest Cut of All (2015), Never on Saturday (2017), Heathcliff (2018), and Finding Nina (2019).

Sue now lives in Cheshire, UK, with her extremely patient husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings.

Follow @AuthorSusanB on Twitteron Facebook, on Instagram, on Amazon, RNA,
It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now…”
Cathy’s immortal words from Wuthering Heights change Heathcliff’s life.  At just seventeen years of age, heartbroken and penniless, he runs away to face an unknown future.
Three years later, he returns – much improved in manners, appearance and prosperity.
But what happened during those years? How could he have made his fortune, from nothing? Who might his parents have been? And what fate turned him into literature’s most famous anti-hero?
For almost two centuries, these questions have remained unanswered.
Until now…
I think readers who come to this read completely Wuthering Heights free have an advantage. They can experience this and the characters without any preconceived ideas. Those who have read the book are perhaps too tied to the characters they know.                                                    

I'm going to go out on a limb here with what is probably going to be an unpopular opinion. Don't fix it if it ain't broke. Whilst I can enjoy someone being inspired by literature and by infamous characters, it's not easy to do them justice and infuse them with a new interpretation. I think the trick is to perhaps tell the hidden stories, which the author does in a way by exploring the three years Heathcliff disappeared, but in a way that leaves the rest of the original story as intact as possible.

So, here's the thing, the essence of Heathcliff is the powerful relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff. It is grounded in obsession, passion and an almost mystical connection to the surroundings. That is at the core of a pretty normal story of jealousy and a woman caught between two men.

When you start to imagine how the spaces and holes in time may have been occupied or add your own thoughts about the characters to the mix then it becomes an entirely different story. That in itself isn't a bad thing per se, but the draw and the magic of the initial piece disappear.

The character of Heathcliff is no longer the face of tragedy, pain and longing as he listens for her call. Instead Barnard presents us with a more jaded and cruel version of the man. A man defined by his years among more hardened individuals and with an eye on revenge.

I liked the idea of filling in the blanks with correspondence. Answering some of the nagging questions with words from the characters themselves, however perhaps some aspects of the characters and the read are supposed to remain a mystery.

Buy Heathcliff: The Unanswered Questions Finally Answered? at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Crooked Cat Books; pub date 30 July 2018. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway to Win a signed copy of Heathcliff (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.*

Tuesday 30 July 2019

#BlogTour Nightingale Point by Luan Goldie

Today it's my pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Nightingale Point by Luan Goldie. Don't miss the fantastic

About the Author
Luan Goldie is a primary school teacher, and formerly a business journalist. She has written several short stories and is the winner of the Costa Short Story Award 2017 for her story 'Two Steak Bakes and Two Chelsea Buns'. She was also shortlisted for the London Short Story Prize in 2018 and the the Grazia/Orange First Chapter competition in 2012, and was chosen to take part in the Almasi League, an Arts Council funded mentorship programme for emerging writers of colour. Nightingale Point is her debut novel.

Follow @luangoldie on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Instagram, on AmazonBuy Nightingale Point

About the book
On an ordinary Saturday morning in 1996, the residents of Nightingale Point wake up to their normal lives and worries.

Mary has a secret life that no one knows about, not even Malachi and Tristan, the brothers she vowed to look after.

Malachi had to grow up too quickly. Between looking after Tristan and nursing a broken heart, he feels older than his twenty-one years.

Tristan wishes Malachi would stop pining for Pamela. No wonder he's falling in love with the wrong crowd, without Malachi to keep him straight.

Elvis is trying hard to remember the instructions his care worker gave him, but sometimes he gets confused and forgets things. Pamela wants to run back to Malachi but her over protective father has locked her in and there's no way out.

It's a day like no other, until something extraordinary happens. When the sun sets, Nightingale Point and its residents are irrevocable changed and somehow, through the darkness, they must find a way back to lightness, and back to each other.

Q&A with Luan Goldie
Before we get down to business (i.e. talking about your book) I would like to ask a set of questions I call 'Breaking the Ice.'

The last book you read? (Inquisitive bookworms would like to know) Lauren Groff’s collection of short stories Florida. It’s absolutely amazing. You can dip in and out. My only issue is that each one isn’t a full length novel or film.
I’m also lucky enough to have a proof of Sairish Hussain’s The Family Tree, so far it’s definitely one for reading at home unless you want to ugly cry on the tube!

The last movie you watched, which you felt left a mark (in your heart, soul, name it)? Always Be My Maybe. Look, I know rom-coms can be cheesy and naff, but this one is really well done. It’s cool, funny, nostalgic and cute. I genuinely wanted the on screen couple to be a couple in real life (I even wiki’d it after).

Writers or books who have inspired you to put pen to paper? Like most writers I’m also a huge reader. But when it comes to writers who actually make me want to write I’d have to say Zadie Smith is up there. I actually met her at an event on the same day I saw my hardback for the first time. I wanted to be cool when I spoke to her but instead I think I came off as some emotionally unstable fan-girl.

Which famous person (dead, alive, barely kicking) would you most like to meet? Hmm, some famous people are very disappointing in real life so I can’t really say. I remember meeting Busta Rhymes when I was a teenager and he was so rude. I was a ‘professional’ autograph hunter back then and most stars were so friendly (Lauryn Hill gave all her waiting fans roses once). But Busta shouted at us.

A famous declutterer a la Marie Kondo has decided to help you organise your home - you have to get rid of all but three of your books (the ones you have written yourself are exempt) which three would you pick and why? Jeffrey Eugenides- The Virgin Suicides- Because I like to pick it up, read at random points and marvel at how brilliant it is (it’s my all-time favourite novel). Nigella Lawson- Domestic Goddess- For photos of cake and lines like ‘Malibu is quite useful for baking’. I’ve had my copy since university and various people have annotated it with opinions on my baking. The word ‘inedible’ appears frequently.

Finally, Michael Rosen- We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, the first book I bought and read to my daughter.

All of the above questions are actually a pretty elaborate pysch evaluation disguised as random questions. Have no fear here come the real ones. Let’s talk about Nightingale Point.

I loved the approach. It’s bold, gritty and fresh. Live-action with an urban feel to it…

Tell us about your inspiration for this story.
My husband is Dutch, so we regularly go to Holland. One day we were driving around and a friend pointed out the Bijlmer and described it in a way that reminded me of where I grew up in East London. An area that was once ‘no go’ but was now gentrified. He then added ‘it’s where the crash happened’. He said this so casually that I couldn’t quite believe it and had to go home and look it up.

Your focus is on the characters, the interactions and the dialogue between them instead of the event, was that intentional? Definitely, because we’re dealing with a tragedy, so it had to be about the people rather than the event. I purposely stayed away from the bigger picture. I wanted readers to feel like the characters could be them, their friends or family. You wouldn’t be talking about the event then would you? You would be talking about the practicalities of what to do next.

The connection between Tristan and Elvis plays a pivotal role in this story, especially towards the end. The reaction and base nature of humans in a time of great confusion and trauma – is that what you want readers to take away from Tristan and Elvis? Friendship can be found in all sorts of places! I know they are an odd pairing but they both go through so much. They are also, on paper, the characters that don’t usually get much love in books, the single ginger man with learning disabilities and the anti-social, rapping black teenager. They both start of as stereotypes, almost caricatures, and then you stay with them while this terrible thing happens and see them come out the other end. A few early readers have requested a spin off with just these two, can you imagine?!

I really enjoyed the choice thrust upon Tristan regarding Malachi and Pamela. I can imagine many readers will wonder whether they would make the same choice. Is ignorance sometimes bliss? What you don’t know can’t hurt you kind of thing? Poor Tristan, he had a really tough decision to make. I don’t know if I would have done the same thing, but I understand why he did. For him it was his chance to do something right, to protect his older brother for once. Whether he was right or wrong, he understood he would have to live with this forever.

I was intrigued by the event and more so by the event you based it on (purposely not going into detail, so other readers can enjoy the element of surprise). Why this one? It is based on a real event, but when I talk about this event, which happened in Holland in the early 90s. Most people here in the UK don’t remember it and I guess unless it’s part of your national history you wouldn’t. It was such a tragic accident, really horrendous for all involved. It was also something that should never have occured, no one expects something like that to happen to them. So it makes you think doesn’t it? You feel like you never know what’s coming; you just can’t control anything, no matter how careful you are.

I think the story is carried completely on the strong linking of characters - a kind of six degrees of separation meets hyperlink cinema with multiple interrelated plots. Was this planned or did it happen spontaneously as you wrote the story? No, it was planned in great, painful, detail. I knew how everyone would be connected, but the logistics of it was a nightmare. I had diagrams of the block and where everyone was and at what point. I needed to make sure the timings worked, so that everyone was exactly where they needed to be at that pivotal point in the book. 

Thank you so much for answering my questions!

I loved the approach. It’s bold, gritty and fresh. Live-action with an urban feel to it. The author puts all the focus on the characters, the interactions and the dialogue between them instead of the event. The result is the feeling of the story taking place in a snowglobe or a vacuum without the outside penetrating the atmosphere.

Nothing exists bar the building, the people and the moments between all of the characters. It's non-linear with multiple storylines taking place simultaneously with characters linked to each story, which gives it a chain-link six degrees of separation feel to it.

I am purposely going to avoid talking about the event that takes place, because that is exactly how Goldie has structured the story. It happens on the periphery, which adds to the shell-shock atmosphere. Imagine the aftermath of a catastrophe. The seconds, minutes just after it happens. The silence, the dust and the disbelief. The moments before reality sets in and people begin to react.

It's based on a true event, which the majority of people won't remember or perhaps won't even realise that it happened. I remember. I lived on the German-Dutch border and wasn't that far away at the time. I had forgotten all about it until I read this.

Anyway I digress.

As I mentioned above, I really enjoyed the way the author told the story. It felt as if the most important and humane elements of our existence were brought to the table, albeit with small interactions and perhaps insignificant relationships. Those insignificant moments grow exponentially when the surroundings or circumstances change. That is the message at the crux of this book.

I came away from this read thinking about how a few moments of my time can influence my life and that of others, which in turn can lead to something more positive at another point in time. You just never know what is around the corner and who will be there in your darkest and most vulnerable moments.

It's a gritty contemporary urban novel. For a debut novel this is a cracking read and I am sure just the first of many for this author.

But Nightingale Point at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 25 July 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Battle Ground by Rachel Churcher

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Battle Ground by Rachel Churcher. It's an innovative YA read based on ongoing modern political changes.
About the Author
Rachel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.

She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends – but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.

Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if she’s allowed to bring her books.

Follow @Rachel_Churcher on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Facebook, on Instagram, on Taller Books,
Buy Battle Ground

About the book
Sixteen-year-old Bex Ellman has been drafted into an army she doesn't support and a cause she doesn't believe in. Her plan is to keep her head down, and keep herself and her friends safe – until she witnesses an atrocity she can't ignore, and a government conspiracy that threatens lives all over the UK. With her loyalties challenged, Bex must decide who to fight for – and who to leave behind.
The Battle Ground series is set in a dystopian near-future UK, after Brexit and Scottish independence.

'The Battle Ground series is set in a dystopian near-future UK, after Brexit and Scottish independence'

After reading the book this has got to be the most disturbing sentence I have read in relation to Brexit and Scottish independence. As if the outlook and situation weren't bleak enough already now I have to worry about the world after Brexit.

This really is worst case scenario, especially for the younger generations. It's the first book in this dystopian series and is suitable for YA and older readers.

I think the most interesting aspect of this book is how Churcher has taken the basis of a real viable fear and turned it into an entire storyline. What could be more frightening than the concept of our children being dragged into a vicious conflict. Being forced to choose between what is right for themselves and what is right for their country.

It feeds into this obsessive patriotic feeling that has often brought the masses together, but is now driving a wedge between everyone. The author plays into the whole idea of being manipulated by fake news, propaganda and a heavily influenced and edited information flow. Oh wait, that's the world we more or less already live in.

It's an innovative YA read based on ongoing modern political changes. It feeds the fear and apprehension, whilst showing us the determination of youth. The fight that swells within the young, who have to make a choice. Choose survival, choose themselves or choose what the upper echelon want you to choose. Not exactly an easy feat.

Buy Battle Ground (Battle Ground #1) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Taller Books; 18 July 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Taller Books.

Monday 29 July 2019

#BlogTour A Right Royal Face-Off by Simon Edge

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour A Right Royal Face-Off by Simon Edge. It's historical fiction infused with the critical and disillusioned voice of the present.

Enter the Giveaway to Win 5 x PB copies of A Right Royal Face-Off (UK Only)

Readers can order the book from the Lightning Books website at 50% off (with free UK p&p) if you enter this code at checkout – BLOGTOURFACE

About the Author
Simon Edge was born in Chester and read philosophy at Cambridge University.
He was editor of the pioneering London paper Capital Gay before becoming a gossip columnist on the Evening Standard and then a feature writer on the Daily Express, where he was also a theatre critic for many years.

He has an MA in Creative Writing from City University, London. His first novel, The Hopkins Conundrum, was longlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award. He lives in Suffolk.
Read more about Simon and his work at

Follow @simonjedge on Twitter, on Instagram, on Goodreads,
Buy A Right Royal Face-Off 

About the book
It is 1777, and England’s second-greatest portrait artist, Thomas Gainsborough, has a thriving practice a stone’s thrown from London’s royal palaces, while the press talks up his rivalry with Sir Joshua Reynolds, the pedantic theoretician who is the top dog of British portraiture.

Fonder of the low life than high society, Gainsborough loathes pandering to grand sitters, but he changes his tune when he is commissioned to paint King George III and his large family. In their final, most bitter competition, who will be chosen as court painter, Tom or Sir Joshua?

Meanwhile, two and a half centuries later, a badly damaged painting turns up on a downmarket antiques TV show being filmed in Suffolk. Could the monstrosity really be, as its eccentric owner claims, a Gainsborough? If so, who is the sitter? And why does he have donkey’s ears?

Mixing ancient and modern as he did in his acclaimed debut The Hopkins Conundrum, Simon Edge takes aim at fakery and pretension in this highly original celebration of one of our greatest artists.

The story alternates between the past and the present, with both being linked via the medium of art. In 1777 we are introduced to the petty and competitive world of portrait painting. During a time when it wasn't possible to capture an image in the blink of an eye and messages weren't passed from person to person within a matter of seconds. A time when the image of self on a canvas was considered an immense talent.

The story is told through three characters, who give the tale an air of a global stage with each of them vying for a moment in the spotlight. David, the young footman, gives us the perspective of the lower class. He writes regularly to his mother and tells her of his life and that of his master. It gives the other stories a little more perspective, especially that of Gainsborough.

Gainsborough invests a lot of time in a feud with a fellow painter and equally as much showing his disdain for the more popular element of his profession. It's commercialism 101. Some things never change - no matter how many centuries pass by. It's interesting how certain moral quandaries can be laid aside when recognition, fame and fortune are involved.

One of the most memorable moments was piglets do still-life, as only lively little piglets can do, with a lot of spunk and little concern for the artist. I think it's fair to say Gainsborough has his work cut out for him.

Edge writes with charm and a cheeky sense of humour. It's historical fiction infused with the critical and disillusioned voice of the present. It's an intriguing mixture of fact and fiction, never too much history to drown out the fictional story, but also enough to keep readers hooked.

Buy A Right Royal Face-Off at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Lightning Books; pub date 25 July 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Lightning Books.

Enter the Giveaway to Win 5 x PB copies of A Right Royal Face-Off (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.*

Sunday 28 July 2019

It's Paperback Publication Day for Appetite for Risk by Jack Leavers

It's Launch weekend for Appetite for Risk by Jack Leavers! Today is Paperback Publication Day for this fast-paced riveting action thriller.

Follow @jackleavers on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit
Buy Appetite for Risk

About the book
A fast-paced action thriller inspired by real events in the aftermath of the Iraq War.

With Saddam Hussein deposed and an entire country in need of rebuilding, former Royal Marine John Pierce hears the siren call of adventure and opportunity. His fledgling UK business is struggling to support his young family and he has connections in the Iraqi capital - fate seems to point one way.

In early 2004, Pierce rolls the dice when he jumps into a taxi in Jordan and heads for the turmoil of postwar Baghdad to grab a share of the reconstruction gold rush. But when Iraq spirals into the hell of a full-blown insurgency, he must rely on his wits and his local friends if he's to evade the rampant bloodshed.

As the action rolls across the blood-stained Iraqi landscape and embraces London's seedy underbelly, Pierce tangles with the authorities at home and finds himself thrust into the heart of British and American covert operations against Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Having set out with little more than ambitious goals and an appetite for risk, can a determined ex-bootneck survive the mounting chaos unscathed and succeed in hitting the jackpot?

I think I was somewhere between fascinated and thrown off by the way John has whole conversations with himself inside his head during the majority of the story. It's written in a constantly flowing and updating journalistic report kind of way, and appears to be an ongoing thought process.

At first John appears to be a man with no threads or connections. The perfect person to move between all parties without inviting too much interest or attracting any for that matter. Not a spy, a silent asset or a company man. He is just someone who will use his expertise and excellent gut instinct to navigate dangerous situations for people who would rather remain hidden.

It's very much a Jack Reacher kind of read, but with a more grounded family guy, who unfortunately appears to have a voracious appetite for dangerous situations. He is always smack bang in the middle of the action.

What Leavers does spectacularly well is to capture the tension between foreigners and the native inhabitants of Iraq. He doesn't sugar-coat the volatility, the mistrust or the disdain towards foreign nationals. He straight up gives it to the reader in a brusque manner. Look, this is what happens when the dissidents capture you. Your life has no meaning to them other than honour for relieving the world of an infidel.

It's a fast-paced riveting action thriller. The main character has a certain charm, which is directly linked to his need for speed and adventure.

Buy Appetite for Risk at Amazon Uk - Paperback - Kindle or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Book Guild Publishing Ltd; Paperback pub date 28 July 2019. Buy at Amazon com - Paperback - Kindle, Buy at Barnes&Noble.

#BlogTour The Closer I Get by Paul Burston

Today it's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Closer I Get by Paul Burston.

About the Author
Paul Burston is the author of five novels and the editor of two short story collections. His most recent novel The Black Path, was a WHSmith bestseller. His first novel, Shameless, was shortlisted for the State of Britain Award. His third novel, Lovers & Losers was shortlisted for a Stonewall Award. His
fourth, The Gay Divorcee, was optioned for television. He was a founding editor of Attitude magazine and has written for many publications including Guardian, Independent, Time Out, The Times and Sunday Times.

In March 2016, he was featured in the British Council’s #FiveFilms4Freedom Global List 2016, celebrating “33 visionary people who are promoting freedom, equality and LGBT rights around the world”. He is the founder and host of London’s award-winning LGBT+ literary salon Polari and founder and chair of The Polari First Book Prize for new writing and the newly announced Polari Prize.

Follow @PaulBurston on Twitter, on Goodreads, Visit
Buy The Closer I Get

About the book
Tom is a successful author, but for the first time in his life, he has writer ’s block. His main distraction is an online admirer, Evie, who simply won’t leave him alone. Evie is smart, well read and unstable; she lives with her sick father and her social media friendships are not only her escape, but everything she has. When she’s hit with a restraining order, her world collapses, whilst Tom is free to live his life again, and to concentrate on writing.

But things aren’t adding up. For Tom is also addicted to his online relationships, and when they take a darker, more menacing turn, he’s powerless to change things. Because maybe he needs Evie more than he’s letting on.
This is a he said, she said situation. A deep dive into the psyche of each character to establish who is telling the truth, but it would serve readers well to remember that there are three versions of the truth. Yours, theirs and somewhere in between is the actual truth.

Both Tom and Evie are unreliable narrators. It sort of puts the reader in the middle of these two right-fighters. Neither is friends with the word accountability and the reader has to navigate what they are told then try and determine where the truth lies. Or rather which version sounds most likely.

A lot of it leads back to something I wrote about a few weeks ago, that the public often believes  own the right to know everything about a person in the public eye. No detail is too small. No secret is safe.

Burston makes some very valid points about fandom. My answer, if asked whether I am a fan of someone is that I don't believe in the concept of being a fan. I can admire someone for their talent, an admiration shown through the acquisition of their work for instance, but being interested in someone to the point of fanaticism, well that's just not me. For others it can be a time consuming obsession, which can grow into something unhealthy and uncontrollable.

I thought there were hints that lit up the real perpetrator like luminous paint. The real question is whether the answer is that simple. Do we all carry a certain element of guilt when it comes to our interactions on social media? Feeding into the frenzy of sharing, connecting and interjecting ourselves into lives we wouldn't normally be part of.

It's a cleverly interwoven story of obsession, desire and misdirection. A psychological thriller with quite a few unexpected twists and turns in the story.

Buy The Closer I Get at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books; pub date 11 July 2019 - Paperback Orginal £8.99. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Orenda.

Friday 26 July 2019

#BlogTour The Summer House in Santorini by Samantha Parks

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour The Summer House in Santorini by Samantha Parks. It's a romance, women's fiction and a charming contemporary read.

About the Author
Samantha Parks is the pen name of Sam Gale. Her pen name comes from her late grandmother Velma Hobbs nee Parks, who was one of Sam's greatest role models. Sam was born in North Carolina but now resides in Bournemouth, UK with her husband Alex. She owns a successful marketing company and is enjoying her slow descent into "crazy plant lady" status.

Follow @samanthajgale on Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook, Visit

About the book
One summer in Greece will change everything…
Anna’s running away. From a failed relationship, a dead-end career and a complicated family life.
On the island of Santorini, with its picturesque villas, blue-tiled roofs, and the turquoise waters of the Aegean lapping at the white sand beaches, Anna inherits a less-than-picturesque summer house from her estranged father. As she rebuilds the house, she rebuilds her life, uncovering family secrets along the way that change everything. She starts to fall for her little slice of paradise, as well as for gorgeous, charming Nikos.

Will Anna lose her heart in more ways than one?

What's not to fall in love with in Santorini? Parks does a great job of setting the scene and surroundings in this lovely and heartfelt story.

Anna travels to the home of her absentee and deadbeat now deceased father to sort out the inheritance he left for Anna and her sister. A summer house, which is attached to the boundaries of the land of her grandparents. The houses and the people are unequivocally connected like invisible cords. Threads that are drawn through love and bonds.

As she discovers her love for the place and the people she also discovers some hard home truths about the tattered and destructive marriage of her parents. How she and her sister became the victims of their right fighting.

Parental alienation is a controversial topic, but also one that is getting more attention in the last few years. It destroys lives, childhoods and families. The majority of the time those relationships can't be fixed or salvaged. Luckily some manage to adjust and leave the past behind them to move forward with newly defined relationships.

This story shows the destruction, the pain and the gaping emotional holes that are the result of parental alienation. It's a beautiful emotional tale about love, coming to terms with the past and unresolved issues, and finding peace and happiness.

It's a romance, women's fiction and a charming contemporary read. Parks draws readers in with the essence of the people, the country, the food and the culture. Then in equal measures she mixes it together with the more tempered attitude of Brits abroad. The result is an enticing story, the perfect read for any time and in any place.

Buy The Summer House in Santorini at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: One More Chapter; pub date 7 Aug. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Thursday 25 July 2019

#BlogTour A Cornish Affair by Jo Lambert

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour A Cornish Affair by Jo Lambert. It's a contemporary read of romance, family strife and scandals galore.
About the Author
Jo Lambert lives on the eastern edge of Bath with her husband, one small grey feline called Mollie and a green MGB GT. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors.  She has been writing since 2008. Her first five books, a set of linked romantic sagas following the lives of several families in West Somerset, was followed in 2015 by Summer Moved On, a contemporary romance set in South Devon. A sequel, Watercolours in th Rain followed in 2017,
 In June 2018 Jo signed to Choc Lit and her debut A Cornish Affair, set in North Cornwall, has just been published. Jo is currently working on another coastal romance, this time set in South Cornwall.

When she isn't writing she reads and reviews. She also has an active blog.  Jo loves travel, red wine and rock music and she often takes the odd photograph or two.

Follow @Jolambertwriter on Twitter, on Facebook, Visit or jolambertbooks.comBuy A Cornish Affair

About the book
In the close-knit community of Carrenporth in Cornwall everyone knows everyone else’s business. Luke Carrack is only too aware of this. He’s been away for two years but nothing has changed – from the town gossips who can’t see past the scandal of his childhood, to the cold way he is treated by some of his so-called family.

The only person who seems to understand is local hotelier’s daughter Cat Trevelyan, although even Luke’s new friendship with her could set tongues wagging.

But Carrenporth is about to experience far bigger scandals than the return of Luke Carrack – and the secrets unearthed in the process will shake the sleepy seaside town to its core …

It's hard to say what this book doesn't cover, because it has everything from romance to death, scandal and family drama. In fact I am quite glad I don't live near any of them, because it sounds like a lot of hard work and heartbreak.

Luke is sort of like the illegitimate child that used to be kept hidden away. The dirty little secret everyone knows about and everyone treats with contempt. As a child it defines the way Luke thinks about family, especially considering the fact he has never felt part of one since the death of his mother.

It's refreshing that Cat sees beyond the secrets, the shame and the malicious treatment he endures and has endured over the years. She sees the man he has become. The man who is willing to look beyond the hurt of the past to move forward as a happier and more content man.

I think Selina deserves a line or two, mainly because she sure does get her fair share of slut-shaming, victim blaming and character assassination from nearly every character. Pretty sure if the shoe was on the other foot, the foot of the opposite gender of course, then it wouldn't be deemed of any importance. Poor Selina who dared to not be a virgin, to taste the occasional forbidden fruit. How dare she live with a carefree abandonment and enjoy her life. Just saying.

It's a contemporary read of romance, family strife and scandals galore. A story full of secrets, quirky characters and two people drawn together only to be pulled apart by circumstances.

Buy A Cornish Affair at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Ruby Fiction; pub date 18 Jun. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour About That Night by Elaine Bedell

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour About That Night by Elaine Bedell.

About the Author
Elaine Bedell was a BAFTA award-winning TV producer before becoming Controller of Entertainment at the BBC and Director of Entertainment & Comedy at ITV. She has commissioned and produced some of the UK’s most popular entertainment shows, including The X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing, Take Me Out, Britain’s Got Talent, The One Show, Top Gear and Saturday Night Takeaway. She lives in Hackney and has two children. She is currently Chief Executive of the Southbank Centre. About That Night is her first novel.

Follow @ElaineABedell on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon,
Buy About That Night
About the book
Sometimes it only takes one night to change everything…
Elizabeth Place might have been jilted on her wedding day one year ago, but at least she’s still got her brilliant job producing one of the biggest shows on TV!

But when larger-than-life TV host, Ricky Clough, dies live on air, her life is sent spinning out of control. And with foul play suspected, the spotlight is turned firmly on his colleagues – especially Hutch, the man desperate for Ricky’s job and whom Elizabeth is secretly dating.

As her world comes crashing down around her, Elizabeth realises that perhaps the only person she can really trust, is herself…8
Elisabeth has a difficult job. She has to wrangle a star with nothing but a sweet tongue. A star who has a penchant for insulting others and has now paid the ultimate price.

It's not a thriller per se, but rather a murder mystery written with the flair of a modern contemporary read. In fact it's almost as if two reads go hand in hand.

You have the death of the star of the show, which the reader is brought back to in intervals. At the same time we get to know Elisabeth, her relationships and the men in her life. The author retraces life all the way back to a specific night, which is somehow connected to Elisabeth and the victim. It's done in a way that makes the reader doubt there is any connection at all - but then we don't know the entire story.

I enjoyed the way Bedell went about it. It kind of keeps you on your toes. You aren't quite sure where the story is heading until you realise you sort of knew it all along.

The epiphany of Elisabeth, the moving forward and the quirky story that goes with the poor dead presenter. It comes together, albeit in a way that sometimes appears disjointed, when in actual fact it is part of a well structured plot.

Buy About That Night at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 11 July 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Wednesday 24 July 2019

#BlogTour Only the Lonely by Joanne Nicholson

Today it's not technically my turn on the BlogTour Only the Lonely by Joanne Nicholson because I missed it, however I am going to sneak my post in among the others for today.
About the Author
Joanne Nicholson is an Australian author who enjoys boating, exercising, reading, writing, music and spending quality time with family and friends.

Joanne’s career began in advertising and marketing. After a hiatus to raise her four children, she owned an indoor play centre, worked in property management and bookkeeping. Joanne gave these up to focus on her passion for writing.

She has published the contemporary women’s fiction novels: ‘Intuition’, ‘In Another Life’ and ‘Positive’, as well as a YA novel ‘Music Score’ and several short stories. Her latest novel is ‘Only the Lonely’.

About the book
After Tiffany is orphaned on the night of her 18th birthday, she discovers, as the sole heir to her parents’ estate, she has inherited a frozen embryo from when her parents did IVF to have her. Feeling lost, alone and longing for a sense of family, Tiffany can’t bring herself to destroy or donate the embryo. Instead, she decides to be impregnated with her biological twin.

A legal battle ensues over whether the embryo is a person or property and the ethics of whether it is acceptable to give birth to your own sibling.

Set in Australia, this contemporary fiction novel is full of emotion, dilemmas and unexpected friendships, as Tiffany forges a new life without her parents.

Tiffany has everything you can ask for. Two caring parents, great grades and a plan for the future. All of this comes tumbling to a halt when her parents are killed by a young drunk driver one night. She feels a deep hatred for the perpetrator and is convinced they need to spend their life in prison.

Her fragile state of mind fixates on the embryo left to her in the will. One last link to her parents and the closest genetic link she would have left, surely everyone can understand why she wants dirty nappies instead of creating a life and career for herself. I think in her grief her desperation and selfishness takes over the thought process.

Oh boy, this is definitely the kind of plot that will get people talking. It circles the boundaries of personal beliefs and ethical decisions, but first and foremost it involves a very controversial topic. It's also a question that keeps courts and lawyers in business. If you found out a loved one had left you a frozen embryo what would you do? Would you destroy it, give it to an infertile couple or have it implanted in yourself?

Yeh, those are big choices to make and none of them are simple and without implications. It would perhaps be a whole different kettle of fish if Tiffany were a slightly older woman struggling to conceive, however a very young woman with no fertility issues is a whole other ball game.

Leaving aside the ethical issues, the fact Tiffany is a young woman driven by grief and loneliness has to be the deciding factor. Her need to replicate a sense and feeling of family is the reason she wants to have her biological sibling. It is a selfish choice, albeit one driven by her feeling of being completely alone in the world.

It's a contemporary read. A read driven by ethics, the law and what each person considers to be the right choice for themselves. Although at this point I would point out the fact that pro-life is adverse to choice for the individual or the carrier, and yet in this case it suits the pro-lifer to have a choice.

Along with the question of punishment, guilt and redemption, this story about a girl and an embryo is one that will create discussion, and perhaps somewhere along the line perhaps even understanding for both points of view.

Buy Only the Lonely at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

Tuesday 23 July 2019

#BlogTour Secret Wishes and Summer Kisses on Lily Pond Lane by Emily Harvale

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Secret Wishes and Summer Kisses on Pond Lane by Emily Harvale.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win signed paperback of Secret Wishes and Summer Kisses, a pen, novelty sticky notes and a bookmark (Open INT)

About the Author
Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now spends her days writing... and chatting on social media. Emily is a Member of the SoA, a PAN member of the RWA and a Pro Member of ALLi. She's an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. Emily loves writing and her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily says, "I write about friendship, family and falling in love. I believe in happy endings." When she isn't writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies - and will do anything to avoid both.

Follow @emilyharvale on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Instagram, on Facebook,
Visit, Buy Secret Wishes and Summer Kisses...

About the book
Everyone’s got a secret wish in Little Pondale this summer.

Mia’s been exceptionally lucky since moving to Lily Pond Lane. But even on her honeymoon with the man of her dreams, she still has one remaining wish.

Ella wishes Gill would propose. But since Mia’s wedding something’s changed in their relationship. Now he’s spending time with newcomer, Tabbie Talbaine, Ella wishes Tabbie will leave as quickly as she arrived.

Tabbie wishes she hadn’t driven her car into a pond. But it could be the best thing that’s ever happened to her. When she discovers Hollywood heartthrob, Justin Lake’s staying in the village, getting an interview for her popular blog isn’t her only wish.

Bree was told she couldn't have a baby. Now she’s expecting twins and is simply wishing it all goes well.

And as for Hettie ... she wishes she could get her hands on an old map of the village. Because there’s something hidden in Little Pondale that Hettie Turner really wants to find.

The author really does deliver what's in the title. It really is a story full of trials and tribulations. Little Pondale is a lot like Midsomer Murders in a sense that everything seems to happen there and no matter which way you turn there is always a new quirky character to enjoy.

Unfortunately this is the last in the Lily Pond Lane series and I would recommend reading the rest, however they absolutely can all be read as standalone novels.

I especially enjoyed Aurelia. Her caustic and abrupt way of dealing with people and situations is only the first layer of a very complex multi-layered onion. There is so much more behind the off-putting exterior and attitude. A history soaked in suspicion, doubt and murder.

I suppose in a strange little way Aurelia teaches those around her to be more mindful of being swept up by general opinion and carried by the sound of voices wanting a specific outcome. It's fine to be imperfect you, even with all your flaws and worries.

Harvale writes with a tongue-in-cheek humour and has an eye for keeping her readers captivated with emotional plots and relatable characters.

It's an amusing contemporary read. It encompasses a range of situations and emotions, as the reader wanders from one life to another. It's a bit like looking in on old friends and making sure they are doing okay. You want to listen to all their problems and ensure everything is put right before you leave again.

Buy Secret Wishes and Summer Kisses on Lily Pond Lane at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Crescent Gate Publishing; pub date 24 Jun. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win signed paperback of Secret Wishes and Summer Kisses, a pen, novelty sticky notes and a bookmark (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.*

Sunday 21 July 2019

#BlogTour Wicked Girl by I.V. Olokita

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Wicked Girl by I.V. Olokita.

About the Author
I.V. Olokita has been providing medical care most of his life, specializing in management of medical aid to disaster areas all over the world. He also has a BA degree in logistics, and an MA degree in emergency and disaster situations management. He volunteers to rescue missions in disaster areas all over the world. I. V. Olokita is a happily married father of two adolescents and a foster father of five cats and two dogs.

Olokita's first book (in Hebrew), Ten Simple Rules, was published in 2014. It won an Israeli literary prize, and immediately made an online bestseller. The following year, another book by Olokita, The Executioner From The Silent Valley, made a local bestseller in Israel. In May 2016, his third novel, Wicked Girl, was published, to great success, and is now presented in English. Olokita's books are characterized by direct writing, twists and turns, requiring the reader to delve into and maintain vigilance from the beginning of the book to its surprising end.

About the book
"Even if a dog goes mad, it will always be a dog."

So said a small white sign hung on a wall in Birmingham Mental Institution Ward number 3. It had a black frame, written in a hand they were all well acquainted with. The letters had faded over time. In the end, among all the calligraphy in the frame, one could detect a blurred signature. It was mine.

John Wilcox is a young idler who loathes people except for young women. His destiny brought him near Birmingham Mental Institution during an earthquake. At that time Wilcox saves Elsie, an eccentric, half-deranged teenager. John pulls out every manipulation at his disposal to convince her that he is the right person to help her recover. Grey, Alessi's father, goes on a quest for his lost daughter. She, too, like her mother, was trying to escape him. And so, began the tragic story between prey, and it's supposed predator.

Wicked Girl is a psychological crime fiction, where a sequence of accidents generates cold-blooded, and blood-curdling actions. It is a fascinating combination of romance, tension, and humor, unpredictable to the very end. Presented in a clear, straightforward way, yet its plot is packed with wit, action, and surprises grabbing the reader's attention all the way to the last word.

I'm going to assume that this was written in the authors native language first and then translated into English. There doesn't seem to be a mention of a translator, so presumably the author did that himself. It's entirely possible that the essence of the story that the author wanted to convey hasn't quite hit the mark with the English version. However it's also possible that this would have been the end result anyway.

I found it hard to find a thread or thought process to connect with. Aside from being salacious, disjointed and confusing, it's also disturbing at times. It might be a case of not my cup of tea or not in the right frame of mind, but I am going to go with this plays off like something between a collection of assumptions on abuse and tropes that shouldn't be repeated, which starts with the title.

The insinuation of blame on the victim. The girl is wicked, naughty, ergo indecent and seductive. The suggestion being of blame because of the wickedness, which of course is victim blaming 101. The opposite side of the coin, which doesn't play into it in this case really is the perpetrator/s using exactly that thought process to take any accountability for their actions. Oh wait, they don't, because hey the girl is wicked.

The writing of a mind in meltdown - jumping from idea to inspiration and possibly encompassing some emotional baggage along the way. Perhaps this was the intent though. A kind of noir meets trash come performance art kind of vibe. Then again maybe it's not.

Buy Wicked Girl at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Book Depository.

#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.*