Sunday 31 January 2021

#CoverReveal When's the Wedding by Olivia Spring

It's time to reveal the cover for When's the Wedding by Olivia Springs. Pub date 25th March 2021.

About the Author

Olivia Spring is a British, London-based writer of contemporary women’s fiction, sexy chick lit and romantic comedy. Her uplifting debut novel The Middle-Aged Virgin, which was released in July 2018, deals with being newly single in your thirties and beyond, dating, relationships, love, sex and living life to the full.

In addition to The Middle-Aged Virgin, Olivia has published four novels: The Middle-Aged Virgin in Italy, Love Offline, Losing My Inhibitions and Only When It’s Love. When’s The Wedding?, the hotly anticipated sequel to Only When It’s Love and Olivia’s sixth novel, will be published in March 2021.

When she’s not writing, Olivia can be found travelling to Italy to indulge in pasta, pizza and gelato and of course, seeking inspiration for her next book!

Follow @ospringauthor on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, on BookBub, Visit, Pre-order When's The Wedding

About the book

She’s found the perfect man. Will she get her perfect proposal?

Dog hotel marketing manager Alex has always dreamed of having a fairy-tale proposal: the glorious sunset, iconic backdrop and rose petals – the whole shebang. She’s found her Mr Right, and life with sexy paediatrician Miles is wonderful, except for one thing. Despite saying that he’s ready for marriage, Miles seems no closer to putting a ring on it.

After a romantic getaway to Paris ends in more disappointment and Alex receives news that sends her world into a spin, she decides that her dream proposal won’t just fall into her lap. So she hatches a plan. 

Although she’s convinced her methods will lead to Miles popping the question faster than she can say ‘I do’, Alex’s friends warn her it will end in disaster. But a little bit of hint dropping can’t hurt, right? 

Will Alex get her happily-ever-after, or is there a reason why Miles is dragging his feet?

Order this fun romantic comedy now and join Alex on her exciting adventures as she attempts to speed up the proposal process, with hilarious results!

When’s The Wedding? is the sequel to Only When It’s Love. It can also be read as a standalone novel.

Buy/Pre-Order When's the Wedding at Amazon Uk  or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

BlogTour To The Dark by Chris Nickson


It's the last day and my turn on the Blogtour To The Dark by Chris Nickson.

About the Author

Chris Nickson has published 28 novels, all historical crime, most of them set in Leeds, whose people and history are his passion. The Richard Nottingham series began things, taking place in the 1730s, followed by the Tom Harper novels, which begin in 1890 and have now moved to the 20th century. Between them, Lottie Armstrong, Urban Raven and Dan Markham cover Leeds from the 1920s to the 1950s.

The three books featuring thief-taker Simon Westow explore a changing Leeds, growing rapidly in the 1820s as industry – the factories and mills and belching chimneys – comes to dominate the town. The Hocus Girl, the second in the series, received starred reviews from Kirkus, which called it a “tour de force,” and Publishers Weekly, which declared “historical mysteries don’t get much better than this.’

Chris grew up in Leeds, but lived in the US for many years, making his living as a music journalist. He still reviews occasional releases, but his focus these days is fiction.

Follow @ChrisNickson2 on Twitteron Amazon, on Goodreads, Visit To The Dark

About the book

Thief-taker Simon Westow is drawn into a deadly puzzle when the melting snow reveals a dark secret in this gripping historical mystery, perfect for fans of Anne Perry and Charles Finch.

Leeds, 1822. The city is in the grip of winter, but the chill deepens for thief-taker Simon Westow and his young assistant, Jane, when the body of Laurence Poole, a petty local thief, emerges from the melting snow by the river at Flay Cross Mill.

A coded notebook found in Laurence's room mentions Charlie Harker, the most notorious fence in Leeds who's now running for his life, and the mysterious words: To the dark. What was Laurence hiding that caused his death? Simon's hunt for the truth pits him against some dangerous, powerful enemies who'll happily kill him in a heartbeat - if they can. (less)


This is the third book in the Simon Westlow Mystery series. It can be read as a standalone novel.

I'm not sure I had read the term thief-taker before, a private individual who captures criminals. I wonder what Sherlock would have thought at being called something so common, merely a thief-taker and not a sleuth, which is what Simon and his team are.

A local thief is found dead, in his possession a notebook with the mysterious words 'to the dark' written within, which means nothing to them. Simon has crossed paths with him before in his endeavours to retrieve stolen goods and is determined to solve this crime.

This author has a particular eye for detail when it comes to describing early 19th century Leeds. This enhances the feel of the historical read, because the atmosphere goes hand in hand with the well-developed characters. I think the strength lies within the way the crimes take an almost secondary place to the characters and their relationships, which is a different way of going about it.

It's a nineteenth century urban crime mystery - a modern crime in an old-fashioned era with a flair of the unknown woven throughout. A series with plenty of potential.

Buy To The Dark at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Severn House Publishers; pub date 1 Feb. 2021. Buy at Amazon com

Saturday 30 January 2021

#BlogTour Audiobook - Dear Lina by Jess Glaisher

It's an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for the Audiobook Dear Lina by Jess Glaisher, narrated by Amélie Roch and Dervla Kirwan, 

About the Author

Jess is a queer disabled feminist and activist, whose writing focusses on LGBTQ+ character representation, mental health visibility, and the lives of women. Her first short story ‘Destiny’ appears in the anthology (Re)Sisters: Stories of Rebel Girls, Revolution, Empowerment and Escape. Her work has also been featured in Novelty Magazine, Severine Lit, The Tiny Narrative, and on Dear Damsels, including their print anthology for 2019. 

She writes alongside a creative collective of women who met through the amazing Write Like a Grrrl course. She has written a TinyLetter about her mental health called The Stories I Tell Myself, as well as a blog about her experiences with endometriosis called Eight Years and Counting.

Follow @JGlaisher on Twitterjessglaisher_writer on Instagram, on Goodreads, Visit, Buy Dear Lina

About the book

 England is recognisable on the surface: the buildings are the same, there is still a government, the tube still runs through London. For Lina, however, the England she knew when she was little, when her mum was still around, has disappeared completely.

Arriving home one day to find her mum gone, Lina finds in her place a leather-bound notebook containing hundreds of pages of her mum’s handwriting: letters of advice and memories; all the things her mother would no longer have the chance to teach her. Through these pages, Lina learns that her mother, Eve, left in the middle of the night to avoid being arrested. The Government crackdown on immigrants meant that Eve either had to flee or risk the same fate as her friends; friends who were taken away from their homes and families, but never made it back to their country of birth.

Taking Eve’s advice, Lina leaves her life behind, and sets off on a journey north to Scotland to find freedom and, she hopes, her mother.


I hope this is released in book format, although there is a particular emotional element to hearing both characters speak to each other. I loved it. There is so much packed into this dystopian read, but in a subtle way, which means the reader may be paying attention to either woman and the oppressive structure of the time Lina lives in flows alongside like a bad dream.

The story is delivered by mother and daughter, as both narrate in turns. The mother speaking about the all the hopes and dreams she had and has for her daughter. The daughter as she tires of the Big Brother society, the inability to live and love as she pleases, and as her thirst for freedom grows stronger.

All that is left of her mother are memories and a notebook with thoughts her mothers wants her to acknowledge and hear. The mother who disappeared without a trace one day. Is she alive or is she a victim of the suffocating rules of the country they live in.

It's a scathing social commentary on our own times and yet takes place in a dystopian setting. A moving and harsh scenario that shines a light on the systemic racism, discrimination of the population, but predominantly of those considered to be inferior and different. Women fit into that category, non-whites fit into that category and any LGBTQ+ fit into that category, as do Lina and her mother.

This author is definitely one to watch out for in the future. The intuitive, intelligent and accurate portrayal of a futuristic society bogged down by the shortfalls of the one we live in today is a sharp tongued warning delivered with finesse. Excellent listening experience.

Buy Dear Lina at Audible Uk, at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

Listening Length - 9 hours and 7 minutes,  Author - Jess Glaisher, Narrator - Amélie Roch, Dervla Kirwan, Release Date - 03 December 2020, Publisher - Audible Studios, Program Type -Audiobook, Version - Unabridged, Language - English.

#BlogTour There's Only One Danny Garvey by David F. Ross

It's my turn on the BlogTour There's Only One Danny Garvey by David R. Ross. 

About the Author

David F. Ross was born in Glasgow in 1964 and has lived in Kilmarnock for over 30 years. He is a graduate of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art, an architect by day, and a hilarious social media commentator, author and enabler by night. His debut novel The Last Days of Disco was shortlisted for the Authors Club Best First Novel Award, and received exceptional critical acclaim, as did the other two books in the Disco Days Trilogy: The Rise & Fall of the Miraculous Vespas and The Man Who Loved Islands. David lives in Ayrshire.

Follow @dfr10 @OrendaBooks on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon,Visit, Buy There's Only One Danny Garvey

About the book

Danny Garvey was a sixteen-year old footballing prodigy. Professional clubs clamoured to sign him, and a glittering future beckoned. And yet, his early promise remained unfulfilled, and Danny is back home in the tiny village of Barshaw to manage the struggling junior team he once played for. What’s more, he’s hiding a secret about a tragic night, thirteen years earlier, that changed the course of several lives. There’s only one Danny Garvey, they once chanted … and that’s the problem.

A story of irrational hopes and fevered dreams – of unstoppable passion and unflinching commitment in the face of defeat – There’s Only One Danny Garvey is, above all, an unforgettable tale about finding hope and redemption in the most unexpected of places.


I think one of the most frequent comments you will read in the reviews for this book will be about the fact the majority of readers who aren't into football or have no prior knowledge of the subject, still found this a captivating read, despite all of the football. I would include myself in that group.

In between the running narrative of Danny's talent, and the use of said talent to escape the trauma and uncomfortable truths of his childhood and dysfunctional family, is an unsolved mystery that lingers over the town and the main character. Danny is forever connected with the disappearance of a young child - an experience that defines him.

The author gives this an authentic brash feel. The emotional tension is used like a sharp pointy weapon, which is poked intermittently at the main character in order to show his instability. Behind the eyes of the golden boy lurks the uncertainty of past trauma and struggle to understand why he always returns to the people who hurt him.

Without giving anything away the ending is nothing short of evil genius and indicative of the chaos, pain and turbulence throughout the read. It speaks more to what is actually going on inside Danny's head than any other previous situation. It's certainly an ambitious and unusual read.

Buy There's Only One Danny Garvey at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books pub date 21 Nov. 2020. Buy at Amazon com. Hive. Bookshop org. Waterstones.

Friday 29 January 2021

#BlogTour The Lazarus Child by Jay Raven

 Today it's my turn on the BlogTour The Lazarus Child by Jay Raven.

About the Author

Jay Raven is the author of Gothic chillers and historical horror reminding readers that the past is a dangerous place to venture, full of monsters and murderous men. He blames his fascination with vampires, witches and werewolves on the Hammer Horror films he watched as a teenager, but living in a creepy old house on the edge of a 500-acre wood may have something to do with it.

If you would like to be informed of new releases, enjoy free short stories and access exclusive giveaways and competitions, please subscribe to Jay's monthly newsletter on his website at

Follow @JayRavenAuthor on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazonon FacebookBuy The Lazarus Child

About the book

To save his missing daughter a distraught slayer must venture deep into the heart of darkness

Legendary vampire hunter Anton Yoska is on the edge, tormented by the rumour that the precious child he once thought dead is still alive and lost in a world of monsters.

One creature alone knows for sure what happened to Gretchen, but Terek Modjeski won’t divulge his secret - revelling in the twisted power over his long-time foe.

Despairing and drinking heavily, Anton stumbles from near disaster to near disaster as he puts his team in jeopardy, testing their friendship and loyalty to snapping point.

Only one diabolical solution is possible - to confront Terek in his maximum security cell and force the bloodsucker to end his game of cat and mouse. But making the cunning infernal talk will mean employing brutal methods that go against every code Anton has ever lived by, forcing him to become as much of a demon as the leeches he hunts.

Face to face with the evil, taunting vampire, the desperate slayer takes a decision that will change his destiny forever - sending him hurtling into danger to confront a terrifying truth about his lost child that risks not only his sanity but the future of mankind.


The last sentence... I mean really? It just conjures up all kind of images.

This is the third book in the Blood Riders series, it can be read as a standalone novel, however I would suggest reading the others to get the gist of the characters and their journey.

I think it's fair to share that the Anton we experience in this book is not the Anton we met in the first. Gone is the determination, the soul and the essence that separates him from the monsters he is slowly disintegrating into. He has become a liability to his team, a risk to himself and people are starting to perceive him differently.

The author shows the way his main character is slowly stripped of his humanity, as he navigates the pain and guilt he carries around with him. Each story shows how he inches towards the decline. It gives this supernatural story a bit of an edge. The hunter becomes what he both hates and fears the most.

This story has a load of potential, even three books in. I still maintain that the team element, and the characteristics and personalities of said team, is what drives this series. Not necessarily the sub-plots. Sometimes contemporary trumps niche from an audience perspective, which means the more speculative creativity can be hindered a wee bit. Open up the gates.

The Lazarus Child at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com

Thursday 28 January 2021

#BlogTour Trobairitz The Storyteller by Celia Micklefield


Today it's my turn and the last day on the BlogTour Trobairitz The Storyteller by Celia Micklefield.

About the Author

''After living in Languedoc for nine years I returned to Norfolk where I live surrounded by beautiful countryside and wildlife. I'm ageing faster than I used, but I've still got ambitions.

My website is where I write about reading, writing, living with CRPS and other things that take my fancy. Come and visit - the door is always open.

I'm on Twitter @cmicklefield. I have a Celia Micklefield Author page on FaceBook. Buy Trobairitz The Storyteller'

About the book

Trobairitz were female troubadours of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. They brought news and sang songs about love, tradition and the role of women in society.

Feisty truck driver, Weed, a twenty first century Trobairitz never gives personal details to other drivers. She avoids the intimacy of real friendship. 

Instead, she entertains the truckers by telling the story of ex-courtesan, seventy-six year old Catherine Joubert and the mysterious hold she has over young mayor, Henri-Claude Noilly and his grandfather.

Weed's themes are those of the original Trobairitz but these are the very subjects causing problems in her own life.


Weed is a woman in a so-called man's job, which is why she finds it hard to get recognition and respect. Friendship is hard to come by when you are dismissed because of your gender. Those problems are easily forgotten when she finally manages to make a connection here and there.

The weaver of tales, the wanderer who brings news and stories from afar and across the land. Most people believe there were only male Troubadours, but there were also women who wove stories and they are known as the Trobairitz.

The way the author spins the web of words and slowly draws the listener in, whilst giving us the more modern narrative of the read at the same time, was really interesting. As the story moves on - the how, why and craft of weaving a story is explained throughout the story of Weed. Her life, her problems, her doubts and her thoughts are used as the thread that binds.

It's a beautifully crafted and yet also a complex story - more contemporary literary fiction than anything else. I found it fascinating how the voice of the narrative changed as we are taken from present to fiction, despite the fact it was always the same person. You can feel the change, the buzz in the air and know the audience is leaning in to listen.

It's an intriguing concept of truth and fiction, of connection and rejection, and ultimately one that speaks to the magic and mysteries of verbal storytelling.

Buy Trobairitz The Storyteller at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; pub date 23 Nov. 2014. Buy at Amazon com.

Wednesday 27 January 2021

#BlogTour Love and Ohana Drama by Melissa Baldwin

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Love and Ohana Drama by Melissa Baldwin.

About the Author

Melissa Baldwin is a planner-obsessed Disney fan who still watches Beverly Hills 90210 reruns and General Hospital. 

She’s a wife, mother, and journal keeper, who finally decided to write the book she talked about for years. She took her dream to the next level, and is now an award-winning, bestselling author of nineteen Romantic Comedy and Cozy Mystery novels and novellas. Melissa writes about charming, ambitious, and real women, and she considers these leading ladies to be part of her tribe.

When she isn't deep in the writing zone, this multitasking master organizer keeps busy by spending time with her family, chauffeuring her daughter, traveling, attempting yoga poses, and going on rides at Disney World.

Follow @mpbaldwinauthor on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, on BookBub, on Amazon, on Goodreads, Visit, Buy Love and Ohana Drama

About the book

Love and Ohana Drama is a romantic comedy that explores the challenges of family dynamics and reminds readers that there is always hope for a second chance. Sometimes the most challenging situations bring the most happiness . . .

Twenty-something Cora Fletcher is a book-loving public relations executive who lives with her overly Zen best friend and attention-loving cat. Newly single and focusing on her exciting career, she feels like she’s in a good place. She's even been invited on an all-expenses-paid Hawaiian vacation! The only catch—it’s a family reunion . . . and her family can be a lot to handle.

Cora vows to not let that get in the way, but even before the family has boarded the plane, the ohana drama begins. As usual, there's the sister-in-law who is bent on causing friction, the self-centered cousins, and the aunt who loves to party a bit too much. Her mother has filled the itinerary with endless activities, and she's even invited Cora’s ex-boyfriend in an attempt to get them back together. Although she feels overwhelmed, Cora gets a blast from her past that could impact her life forever. This is one welcome reunion she did not expect . . .

Will Cora make it through a week of family togetherness? And will she be able to say aloha to someone she thought was out of her life forever?


Sounds like a great adventure, a dream come true even - the whole family on holiday together in Hawaii. Cora isn't exactly excited at the thought of spending her time with her closest relatives. Her mother panders to Cora's sister-in-law, despite the fact Cora doesn't like her. Indeed she appears to have inserted herself into the family as if she were one of them.

On top of that annoying fact her mother seems to think it's okay to mess with her love life, something she isn't aware of until a surprise guest turns up for the trip. Having to navigate the emotional waters of family dynamics, an ex-boyfriend and an old crush of hers - what on earth could possibly go wrong?

It's an entertaining romcom that readers will have no problem relating to. Don't we all have certain relatives we avoid and ever so helpful loved ones who think they know what's best for us. Combining the emotional dysfunction of family with a love story results in exactly the kind of read you'd expect.

Buy Love and Ohana Drama at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway to Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card (Open INT)

*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 be 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 26 January 2021

#BlogTour It Will Be Quick by Karl Drinkwater

Today it's an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour It Will Be Quick by Karl Drinkwater.

About the Author

Karl Drinkwater writes thrilling SF, suspenseful horror, and contemporary literary fiction. Whichever you pick you’ll find interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

Karl has lived in many places but now calls Scotland his home. He’s an ex-librarian with degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science. He also studied astrophysics for a year at university, surprising himself by winning a prize for “Outstanding Performance”. Karl is an active member of the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA), the Horror Writers Association (HWA), and the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi).

When he isn’t writing he loves guitars, exercise, computer and board games, nature, and vegan cake. Not necessarily in that order.

Follow @karldrinkwater on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazonon Facebookon Instagram, Visit, Buy It Will Be Quick

About the book

A single decision can save – or ruin – a life.

An opportunistic baby theft by a young woman in pain. Two strangers shipwrecked on a lifeless rock, unable to speak the same language. An isolated cycling holiday descends into terror. One woman seeks the courage to destroy her life. A miracle unites a community, and teenagers take a stand against hypocrisy.

Karl Drinkwater presents characters to root for – and characters to dread – in sixteen tales of humanity, endurance, and spirit.


This is a collection of sixteen contemporary short stories. Each story wanders into a different landscape of emotional confusion, distress and the pain of not being heard. Simultaneously there are also stories that shine a light on the manipulation and control by big tech, the fraught political scenery we are trying to navigate and often simply just the story of life in general.  

Obviously talking about each story would be a lot and leave nothing for potential readers to discover, however I will mention two of them.

Fire in the Hole - A tragic tale of desperation, mental health issues and how too many are falling through the cracks of the system. How perception is everything and misconceptions frame the way we view certain individuals.

SenSor OS is an incredibly clever tongue-in-cheek swipe at the stronghold technology has on us. We have literally become slaves to the variety of devices and screens we interact with each day. Certain software companies have made it impossible to make independent choices. Others manipulate politics and the law to steal and profit from the public domain. I loved this one by the way. 

Short stories aren't everyone's cup of tea, perhaps because it isn't as easy as it sounds to create something small with enough pull, drive and content to captivate like a full novel.

Whilst the ventures into Speculative Dystopian Sc-Fi by Drinkwater are intriguing reads, this book of short stories is much more indicative of the creative and versatile talent he harbours. Each story is a potential novel in the making, each character has a story worth telling. Each brief moment fulfills the satisfying expectation of a longer tale.

Buy It Will Be Quick at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Organic Apocalypse pub date 1 Nov. 2020. Buy at Amazon com. Hive. Bookshop org. Waterstones.

#BlogTour Audiobook - No Ceremony for the Dead: Stories from the Margins by Shane Dunphy

Today it's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for Book 3 in the Audiobook series Stories From the Margins - No Ceremony for the Dead by Shane Dunphy.

About the Author

Shane Dunphy was born in Brighton in 1973. A child protection worker for 15 years, he is the bestselling author of 16 books. His first nine titles dealt with his time on the frontline of social care work, and include the number one bestseller Wednesday’s Child. His series of crime novels (written under the name SA Dunphy) feature the emotionally damaged criminologist David Dunnigan. Stories From the Margins, his new series of True Crime books written for Audible, is critically acclaimed as well as being an audio-bestseller.

Follow @shanedunphy1 on Twitteron Facebookshanedunphyauthor.comBuy No Ceremony for the Dead: Stories from the Margins 

About the book

‘I know I has special needs. So does Stanley and Francis and Billy and Josh. People don’t listen to us, ’cause they thinks we’re thick in our heads.’

Charlie works at St Patrick’s residential home, where the walls are so thick no one can hear you cry. He’s asking child protection expert Shane Dunphy for help, before someone gets murdered. Charlie tells him of mistreatment, brutality and random cruelty, and now Maisie, his girlfriend, a resident at the home, has gone missing. When Shane finds out what has happened to Maisie, he knows he’s uncovered a world of trouble.

Shane works his connections and, together with the ingenuity of the care home residents, attempts to subvert and infiltrate the system and bring the guilty to justice.


In this third book of the Stories from the Margins series, which is part memoir and true crime, the author turns his attention on a story about St Patrick’s residential home. A place that purports to protect the vulnerable special needs adults it is supposed to be caring for. Instead it has become the hunting ground for an habitual abuser, a person who enjoys the power, pain and humiliation of his charges. 

After being approached by a vulnerable young man who has come looking for assistance from the man who helps those who are unable to help themselves. Shane believes Charlie's tale is enough to warrant a closer look into the accusations of abuse, what follows is the kind of truth that needs to be made public and the voiceless deserve to be heard loud and clear.

What I really enjoy about the way Dunphy approaches this series is the way he breaks up the listen with music and folklore, both of which give context and flavour to the story. The history on the way imperfect children were treated historically, which explains misconceptions and attitudes towards them. The chapter on the Changelings was especially interesting, albeit it very tragic.

Now this may seem to be an odd angle to work when it comes to true crime, however it turns the listen into a learning experience and an enjoyable one too. It also serves the purpose of being able to listen to the hard stuff by inserting breathers - music, folktales, historic crimes - intermittently throughout the audiobook.

The result is an invigorating encounter for the senses, a talent and style specific to this author, as he guides the listener with his dulcet tones and Irish lilt. Always an exceptionally enjoyable experience.

Buy No Ceremony for the Dead at Audible Uk, Amazon Uk, Published by Audible Studios - pub date 14 Jan 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

Listening Length - 8 hours and 19 minutes, Author - Shane Dunphy, Narrator - Shane Dunphy,  Release Date - 14 January 2021, Publisher - Audible Studios, Program Type - Audiobook, Version - Unabridged, Language - English.

Read my review of the Audiobook - The Bad Place: Stories From the Margins by Shane Dunphy.

Monday 25 January 2021

#BlogTour In Darkness, Shadows Breathe by Catherine Cavendish


Today it's my turn on the BlogTour In Darkness, Shadows Breathe by Catherine Cavendish.

About the Author

Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Cat is now the full-time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels and novellas. She lives with her long-suffering husband and black cat in a 260 year old haunted apartment in North Wales.

About the book

You’re next… Carol and Nessa are strangers but not for much longer. In a luxury apartment and in the walls of a modern hospital, the evil that was done continues to thrive. They are in the hands of an entity that knows no boundaries and crosses dimensions - bending and twisting time itself - and where danger waits in every shadow. 

The battle is on for their bodies and souls and the line between reality and nightmare is hard to define. Through it all, the words of Lydia Warren Carmody haunt them. But who was she? And why have Carol and Nessa been chosen? The answer lies deep in the darkness…


Carol and Nessa are two women who appear to have nothing in common except perhaps their suitability as a vessel. The opportunity to channel evil that is as deep as the ocean and as twisted as a pretzel should be welcomed right? Maybe not so much. It's an insidious ancient presence that is moved throughout the years by loyal acolytes, who find said vessels 

This time they might have been a little overeager on the vessel compatibility side of things though, and evil finds its path may not be as simple as it usually is. Both women experience the same advancement and invasion of evil differently, and ultimately through their own frame of references and memories - with the same result. 

For me this went into the more speculative fiction genre with an emphasis on the occult and spirituality. Very much a story that plays with time and the fact it isn't linear in this read. The horror and creepy vibe the author usually brings to the table was lost a little in the sheer magnitude of situations, emotions and storylines. I think it's best to leave the preconceived ideas about previous bodies of work behind and embrace the concept as is.

Given that this is quite a busy read I do want to mention how much I enjoyed the last few pages. Aside from leaving a door open for a possible sequel for certain characters, it was an almost poetic end for another. In fact I wonder if that venture into prose is something we can look forward to again, perhaps in another genre?

Buy In Darkness, Shadows Breathe at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Flame Tree Press; pub date 19 Jan. 2021. Buy at Amazon com. Hive. Bookshop org. Waterstones.

#BlogBlitz Trust Me by Candace Hutton

Today it's the Blog Blitz for Trust Me: A Manhattan Marriage Novella by Candace Hutton.

About the Author

Candace Hutton was born and raised on books. She spent a great deal of her teenage years in libraries and bookstores and still tries to sneak off to them as often as possible. Some of her other favorite things are coffee, puppies, and the smell of rain. You can connect with her on Twitter @authorcandace

About the book

Brooke Anderson never pictured herself as a divorcee at twenty-eight. But when she mentions getting a post-nup to her husband Garrett after one deliciously sex-filled year, he promptly serves her with divorce papers. Admittedly, she could’ve told him about how her father left her and her mother homeless when she was young, and how she’s never been wired to trust anyone. Especially those closest to her. Now, all she wants to do is avoid anywhere he might be so she won’t have to face him again.

 But she’s not the only one who can’t seem to trust.

 Garrett Call grew up with parents who married for money and wants no part of a life that puts material possessions above love. He reinvented himself in college, complete with a new last name so he couldn’t be tied to his family’s lucrative business. He never even told Brooke the truth. Admittedly, he could’ve handled the issue of a post-nup better with his ex-wife. Maybe he didn’t count on how much he was going to miss having her in his life. 

 When their best friends’ wedding forces the exes to see each other again, a dangerous man from Garrett’s world threatens Brooke’s life. And they realize the only way to save themselves is to finally learn to trust each other.


Brooke, and let's just be clear on one thing before we get started - she is often a maths problem short of any logic when it comes to her love life, has huge trust issues. Abandoned by her parent as a child and forced to watch her mother struggle to survive with her in tow, it's fair to say she has some mega baggage.

Her whirlwind marriage seemed to be going so well, especially in the bedroom department, until she started letting doubts creep in. What if Garrett leaves, what if she is left pregnant and alone, what if she ends up like her mother?

Doubts become certainty and she pushes him away after he refuses to get a post-nup, which means divorce asap. The only problem is she finds it difficult to forget about him and the attraction she feels for him. Every time she sees him she gets hot under the collar and the words one last time become an often used phrase.

This is a novella length read. A read that may get pulses beating and encourage the steamy side of word consumption. It's a complicated romance a la Mills/Boon Dare. 

Buy Trust Me at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com

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Friday 22 January 2021

#BlogTour The Shape of Darkness by Laura Purcell


Today its an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Shape of Darkness by Laura Purcell.

About the Author

Laura Purcell is a former bookseller and lives in Colchester with her husband and pet guinea pigs. Her first novel for Raven Books, The Silent Companions, was a Radio 2 and Zoe Ball ITV Book Club pick and was the winner of the WHSmith Thumping Good Read Award, while her subsequent books – The Corset and Bone China – established Laura as the queen of the sophisticated, and spooky, page-turner.

Follow @spookypurcell on Twitter, on Amazon, on Goodreads, Visit laurapurcell.comBuy The Shape of Darkness

About the book

As the age of the photograph dawns in Victorian Bath, silhouette artist Agnes is struggling to keep her business afloat. Still recovering from a serious illness herself, making enough money to support her elderly mother and her orphaned nephew Cedric has never been easy, but then one of her clients is murdered shortly after sitting for Agnes, and then another, and another... Why is the killer seemingly  targeting her business?

Desperately seeking an answer, Agnes approaches Pearl, a child spirit medium lodging in Bath with her older half-sister and her ailing father, hoping that if Pearl can make contact with those who died, they might reveal who killed them.

But Agnes and Pearl quickly discover that instead they may have opened the door to something that they can never put back...


Agnes keeps herself and her family afloat with her silhouette art. When one of her clients is murdered shortly after visiting her she thinks nothing of it other than the fact her work will go unpaid, but that is just the beginning. Then another client is killed.

Supported by her good friend Simon, who always seems to be there to keep her safe, she tries to take care of her nephew and mother, whilst removing the memories and reminders of her difficult sister. Drawn into the story are two sisters making money from the desperation of those who are grieving. One of those people is Agnes, she is eager to connect to those behind the veil. She wants the chance to speak to her lost love. The medium of choice is a young girl with a gift, however it all comes at a price. 

I really enjoyed the way the author combines an almost gothic ghostly vibe with a murder mystery, and this constant balancing act between reality and a dark world beyond life as we know it. The aspect of communication with the otherworldly throws up some interesting questions - is there something akin to the power to communicate with the dead, is it all just the hallucinatory ramblings of a woman in denial or is Agnes merely the pawn in a chess game.

It's a riveting read that keeps the reader engrossed until the end, which is what I've come to expect from this particular author.

Buy The Shape of Darkness at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Raven Books pub date 21 January 2021 | Hardback £12.99 | eBook £9.09 | Audio £21. Buy at Amazon com. Hive. Bookshop org. Waterstones.

Thursday 21 January 2021

#BlogTour One Chance: Surviving London's Gangs by Terroll Lewis

“It’d be easy for me to go back to my old life, but I know where that old life leads you. You’re either behind prison bars or six feet underground.” 

It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour One Chance: Surviving London's Gangs by Terroll Lewis

About the Author

Terroll Lewis is the founder of the Brixton Street Gym, a charity-based community gym that has gained a huge cult following in the short time that it has been around. He also founded the Block WorkOut Foundation — the charitable base that supports this amazing gym, making it accessible to everyone regardless of income — and The ManTalk, an online platform that promotes male positivity.

Terroll had been embroiled in some of the most serious street gang warfare even seen in London, leading a band of armed and dangerous young men through the streets of the city, a wild time that ended in him being accused of murder. He was eventually acquitted of the crime and proven innocent, but is thankful for his time in prison, as it enabled him to re-evaluate his life and come out a better man, the man he is today.

Terroll Lewis has been named an Evening Standard Next Generation Trailblazer as well as Men’s Health most inspirational black men of 2020.

Follow @TerrollLewis on Twitter, on GoodreadsBuy One Chance: Surviving London's Gangs

About the book

Born and raised on Brixton’s notorious Myatt’s Field and Angell Town estates, Terroll Lewis has lived a crazy life. Surrounded by gang culture from an early age, like so many other young inner-city people, he found it hard to resist the lifestyle.

By the time he was 15, he had already joined a gang, been stabbed, shot at, and was selling drugs. A chance to play professional football at Stevenage offered him a way out, but the short-term allure of a glamorous street life — the promise of girls, money, and cars — compared to the £50 a week he was being paid to play football, led Terroll back to South London and the notorious OC, or Organised Crime, gang. 

Violence and drug dealing were the norm in OC, and in 2009, aged 20, Terroll was accused of being involved in an extremely serious crime. After spending 11 months inside Thamesmead’s Belmarsh prison, he was acquitted of all charges and released back into mainstream society, which signalled the start of a new life.

Having used fitness, and callisthenic exercises in particular, as a coping mechanism while in prison, Terroll soon realised that there were other people like him who couldn’t pay for a gym membership, but still wanted to keep fit. Determined to spread the word further, he created a YouTube video demonstrating his workout regime. The views and messages quickly began rolling in, which encouraged Terroll to start conducting classes in local parks. As his client base grew, so did his ambition and self-belief. Leveraging his rapidly growing social media fame to reinforce his case, Terroll was granted a spot – a converted depot on Somerleyton Road in Brixton – to turn the newly titled Block Workout into a fully-fledged street gym.

Through Block Workout and Brixton Street Gym, Terroll is now able to give something back to the community he was raised in, offering young people an opportunity to follow a different road to the one he took during his adolescence — helping them to develop their minds as well as their bodies — and the chance to live a better life.

Not only is One Chance a truly authentic guide for the urban youth, steering them through the world we live in today – from education and relationships, to jail, social media and mental health issues – it also has the power to educate wider society on the experiences that this frequently demonised demographic face. Whichever form it takes, the aim of the book is to increase understanding on both sides, leading to a more harmonious, progressive, and positive society.


I think it's one thing knowing something and another to experience it, which is what flows through from the author to the reader in the strongest way possible in this read. It's unfathomable for the majority of us to accept there are certain areas in our first world country that resemble a war zone. A war zone where street law reigns supreme over any other laws.

For many being born into these areas is the first choice when it comes to roads taken and for the majority it is the beginning of a life full of minimal choices and prospects. That is the stark and brutal reality of certain demographics.

Terroll is one of those children, who experiences the violence before he is even born, and unfortunately goes on to live a life full of said violence. His walk through life is a thin tightrope leading past go and straight to prison. He credits his time in prison and the fight to prove his innocence with the epiphany of needing to try and find another path to walk upon.

Part of that choice was coupled with the determination to help others and give them the opportunities that he and others lacked. With Block Workout, Brixton Street Gym, and his courage to step outside of the box and stereotypes determined by society, he has managed to create a living legacy.

It's remarkable how he fights against the stereotypes, the systemic racism, the pressure to belong, and above all has the strength to take the hard road after being on the one society expects him resign himself to. It's a brutally honest and often shocking piece of work, which will remain with me for a long time. Kudos to Lewis.

Buy One Chance at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Ad Lib Publishers Ltd, pub date 21 Jan. 2021. Buy at Amazon com. Hive. Bookshop org. Waterstones.

Tuesday 19 January 2021

#BlogTour The Art of Dying by Ambrose Parry

'A gripping historical novel of medicine & murder from bestselling author Chris Brookmyre and consultant anaesthetist Dr Marisa Haetzman, set in nineteenth-century Edinburgh.'

 The Art of Dying by Ambrose Parry is historical crime fiction that blends fact and fiction perfectly to create a compelling read.

About the Author/s
Ambrose Parry is a pseudonym for a collaboration between Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman. The couple are married and live in Scotland. Chris Brookmyre is the international bestselling and multi-award-winning author of over twenty novels, including Black Widow, winner of both the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. 

Dr Marisa Haetzman is a consultant anaesthetist of twenty years’ experience, whose research for her Master’s degree in the History of Medicine uncovered the material upon which this novel was based. The Way of All Flesh is the first book in the series, The Art of Dying is the second in this historical crime series.

Follow @ambroseparry on Twitter, on Goodreadson AmazonBuy The Art of Dying

About the book

Edinburgh, 1849. Hordes of patients are dying all across the city, with doctors finding their remedies powerless. And a campaign seeks to paint Dr James Simpson, pioneer of medical chloroform, as a murderer.

Determined to clear Simpson’s name, his protégé Will Raven and former housemaid Sarah Fisher must plunge into Edinburgh’s deadliest streets and find out who or what is behind the deaths. Soon they discover that the cause of the deaths has evaded detection purely because it is so unthinkable.

This is the second book featuring Sarah Fisher and Will Raven. If you haven't read The Way of All Flesh I highly recommend it, however it is worth noting that both books can be read as standalone novels.

A few years have passed since Raven and Fisher solved their first crimes and went their separate ways. For some reason Raven seems to think swanning off to embark on a prestigious path of education for quite some time made time come to a complete standstill where Sarah is concerned. I truly believe he expected to find her still working as a housemaid for Dr Simpson.

Not that it isn't an assumption that wouldn't usually be true of a young woman in that era, however he seems to have forgotten just how ambitious Sarah is. In a way Raven is also guilty of adhering to the patriarchal systems and automatically presuming Sarah will not advance in her own endeavours to educate herself and become part of the medical establishment.

Sarah the housemaid is now Sarah the respectable wife of a man who supports her ambitions and thirst for knowledge. The fact Sarah isn't found pining and waiting awakens Raven to his feelings for her.

This time the two of them are caught up in a malicious campaign to ruin the career of a man they both respect. Little do they know that behind all the whispers something and someone more nefarious lurks.

It's historical crime fiction that blends fact and fiction perfectly to create a compelling read. Parry is right up there with Sansom and Perry, although I would argue that Parry focuses on medical crime of the time period and is less inclined to pull pure political machinations into the plot.

The series is entertaining and riveting, and at times also an intriguing learning experience, which is the best kind of historical fiction.

Buy The Art of Dying at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Canongate Books; pub date 29 Aug. 2019. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Bookshop org. Waterstones.

Read my review of The Way of All Flesh  Buy The Way of All Flesh

Monday 18 January 2021

#BlogTour The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood

It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood.

About the Author

Robert Thorogood is the creator of the hit BBC One TV series Death in Paradise, and he has written a series of spin-off novels featuring DI Richard Poole.

He was born in Colchester, Essex. When he was ten years old, he read his first proper novel - Agatha Christies Peril at End House - and he's been in love with the genre ever since.

He now lives in Marlow in Buckinghamshire with his wife, children and two whippets called Wally and Evie.

Follow @robthor on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Buy The Marlow Murder Club

About the book

To solve an impossible murder, you need an impossible hero…

Judith Potts is seventy-seven years old and blissfully happy. She lives on her own in a faded mansion just outside Marlow, there’s no man in her life to tell her what to do or how much whisky to drink, and to keep herself busy she sets crosswords for The Times newspaper.

One evening, while out swimming in the Thames, Judith witnesses a brutal murder. The local police don’t believe her story, so she decides to investigate for herself, and is soon joined in her quest by Suzie, a salt-of-the-earth dog-walker, and Becks, the prim and proper wife of the local Vicar. Together, they are the Marlow Murder Club.

When another body turns up, they realise they have a real-life serial killer on their hands. And the puzzle they set out to solve has become a trap from which they might never escape… 


Judith likes to enjoy her me time, which includes swimming in isolation and wandering where people least expect her to. On one of her excursions she hears shouting and then what sounds like a shot from her neighbours house. She believes someone was murdered, but the police think she is imagining things.

She decides to start sleuthing herself, because the police are clearly incompetent and don't have any common sense. One could say her sleuthing methods are a little like an elephant in a shop full of china. She ropes fellow minded individuals into her attempts to capture a killer and the Marlow Murder Club starts to develop.

This is written in typical Thorogood style. He seems to have a recipe for a very laidback and funny cosy mystery. It's exactly the right read when you want uncomplicated fun with a wee bit of murder thrown in for free. If this ever gets picked up for television they better get the casting right.

I hope this is the beginning of many encounters with this unusual club and I think I shall be channeling  Judith, especially the Judith we meet in at the start of the book. Buying a cape will be on the list of items I need to do. 

I'll end this review on this note - it takes one to know one.

Buy The Marlow Murder Club at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ pub date 7 Jan. 2021. Buy at Amazon com. Hive. Bookshop org. Waterstones

Tuesday 12 January 2021

#BlogTour The German Girl by Lily Graham

It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The German Girl by Lily Graham.

About the Author

Lily has been telling stories since she was a child, starting with her imaginary rabbit, Stephanus, and their adventures in the enchanted peach tree in her garden, which she envisioned as a magical portal to Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree. She’s never really got out of the habit of making things up, and still thinks of Stephanus rather fondly.

She lives with her husband and her English bulldog, Fudge, and brings her love for the sea and country-living to her fiction.

Follow @lilygrahambooks on Twitter, on Amazon, on Goodreads, Visit, on Facebook, Buy The German Girl

About the book

'Our parents were taken. And if we go home, the Nazis will take us too…’

Hamburg 1938. Fifteen-year-old Asta is hurrying home from school with her twin brother Jürgen. The mood in the city is tense – synagogues have been smashed with sledgehammers, and Asta is too frightened to laugh as she used to.

But when she and Jürgen are stopped in the street by a friend, her world implodes further. Her Jewish parents have been dragged into the streets by German soldiers and if she and Jürgen return to their house, they will be taken too.

Heartbroken at the loss of her parents, Asta knows they must flee. With her beloved brother, she must make the perilous journey across Germany and into Denmark to reach their only surviving relative, her aunt Trine, a woman they barely know.

Jammed into a truck with other refugees, Asta prays for a miracle to save herself and Jürgen. Crossing the border is a crime punishable by death, and what she and Jürgen must embark on a dangerous crossing on foot, through the snowy forest dividing Germany and Denmark. And when barking dogs and armed soldiers find Jürgen and Asta escapes, she must hold on to hope no matter what. One day she will find her twin, the other half of herself. Whatever the price she has to pay…


Ingrid has taken on the difficult care of her dementia ridden grandfather. He lives in isolation and dislikes the interference of others, which makes it hard for his loved ones to take care of him. He slips into the past more often now and whilst doing so he reveals memories his granddaughter is unaware of. A life he has kept hidden, heartbreak and pain that have made him seem irrational at times.

Jürgen and Asta live in Hamburg and are beginning to see the rumbles of hatred, racism and the forebodings of the worst time in history to come. Their parents however are like many others in a sense that they think everything will blow over and there will always be time to up and leave at a later date. Unfortunately waiting becomes a death sentence for many. 

Although the outcome may seem clear from the beginning of the story, Graham does a good job of giving readers something more than the presumption of what is to come. I think it's fair to say that the true reach of the Nazi regime before and during World War 2 is often forgotten and underestimated. Just how many countries they managed to invade and control, and how invasive their tentacles of evil were.

The story of Jürgen and Asta gives a voice to those forgotten invasions and the horror that people lived through, but many millions more died because of. It speaks to the trauma, the sacrifices and the incredulity of those involved at the destruction and malice behind the power of the Nazi regime.

It's a powerful piece of historical fiction. It represents the unspoken stories of many.

Buy The German Girl at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Bookouture pub date 12 Jan. 2021. Buy at Amazon comHive