Tuesday 26 September 2023

#Blogtour The Sunshine Club by Dee MacDonald

It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour The Sunshine Club by Dee MacDonald.

About the Author

Aged 18, Dee arrived in London from Scotland and typed her way round the West End for a couple of years before joining BOAC (forerunner of British Airways) in Passenger Services for 2 years and then as a stewardess for 8 years. She has worked in Market Research, Sales and at the Thames TV Studios when they had the franchise.

Dee has since relocated to Cornwall, where she spent 10 years running B&Bs, and only began writing when she was over 70! Follow @DMacDonaldAuth on X (the artist formerly known as Twitter)

About the book

Eve, Nessa and Molly are all in their seventies. Over the years, they’ve laughed and cried and they’ve been by each others’ sides as colleagues, flatmates and mothers. And they’ve grown old disgracefully together in their golden years…

But all good things must come to an end. As one of their trio takes her final journey, a very large glass is raised to fun, frolics and – most importantly – friendships.

Throwing their walking sticks to the wind, the glamorous grannies take a trip down memory lane and reminisce about the highlights of their shared decades – their lovely old London flat, that fateful trip to Italy and the many holidays they had together, brimming with sun, sand and sangria!

And as an old secret unravels, they learn that love, forgiveness and second chances are possible whatever age you are. And that laughter really is the best medicine…

A laugh-out-loud, inspiring and joyously uplifting novel about love, friendship and making the most of second chances! The perfect feel-good novel for fans of Cathy Hopkins, Dawn French and Judy Leigh.


My mother meets up with a group of her school friends from an all-girls school every few months and the mid-70s aged ladies reminisce about their youth and the memories they have in common - it's a whole vibe. Much like this book, a feel good story about women who share core memories of their youth and their formative years.

Three young women thrown together by chance and circumstance begin similar journeys and yet they couldn't be more different. Together the learn from each other, which I think is something they least expect, and become support systems. There are reasons why decades later they can still come together and celebrate the individuals paths they have taken. The tears, the laughter, the mistakes and mishaps, and learning moments.

For me the core essence of the book is about the endurance of female friendships, even when the paths they have taken are sometimes strewn with secrets, scandals and memories best left in the past. How do they move on from mistakes or secrets without fraying the strong core they built? I guess that's the mystery most of us want to unravel, even in the case of the Sunshine Club.

It's a lovely story that plenty of readers will be able to relate to in one way or the other, whether they see themselves or a someone they know in the pages. It's easy to forget that beyond the person of many decades is a life lived, connections made and friendships forged.

Buy The Sunshine Club at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: Bookouture pub date 25 Sept. 2023. Buy at Amazon com.

Tuesday 12 September 2023

#Blogtour The Raging Storm by Ann Cleeves

 It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour The Raging Storm by Ann Cleeves.

About the Author

Ann Cleeves is the author of more than thirty-five critically acclaimed novels, and in 2017 was awarded the highest accolade in crime writing, the CWA Diamond Dagger. She is the creator of popular detectives Vera Stanhope, Jimmy Perez and Matthew Venn, who can be found on television in ITV’s Vera, BBC One’s Shetland and ITV's The Long Call respectively. The TV series and the books they are based on have become international sensations, capturing the minds of millions worldwide. 

Ann worked as a probation officer, bird observatory cook and auxiliary coastguard before she started writing. She is a member of ‘Murder Squad’, working with other British northern writers to promote crime fiction. Ann also spends her time advocating for reading to improve health and wellbeing and supporting access to books. In 2021 her Reading for Wellbeing project launched with local authorities across the North East, and in 2022 she was awarded an OBE for her services to reading and libraries. She lives in Northumberland where the Vera books are set. Follow @AnnCleeves on Twitter.

About the book

Detective Matthew Venn returns in The Raging Storm, the next captivating novel in the Two Rivers series from Ann Cleeves, the number one bestselling author and creator of Vera and Shetland.

When Jem Rosco – sailor, adventurer and local legend – blows into town in the middle of an autumn gale, the residents of Greystone, Devon, are delighted to have a celebrity in their midst. The residents think nothing of it when Rosco disappears again; that’s the sort of man he is.

Until the lifeboat is launched to a hoax call-out during a raging storm and his body is found in a dinghy, anchored off Scully Cove, a place with legends of its own.

This is an uncomfortable case for DI Matthew Venn. He came to the remote village as a child, its community populated by the Barum Brethren that he parted ways with, so when superstition and rumour mix and another body is found in the cove, Matthew soon finds his judgement clouded.

As the stormy winds howl and the village is cut off, Venn and his team start their investigation, little realizing their own lives might be in danger. . . 


Jem Rosco has returned home - a place where he can find peace from the world and await a certain person. Nobody knows who is he waiting for, in fact it's become a bit of a mystery to the people in the community. The kind of mystery that keeps them invested, keeps them waiting and watching. Who is Jem waiting for and why? Only a few weeks later he is dead and he leaves more questions behind, especially about who might have wanted to kill him.

Matthew Venn and his team are called in to investigate, and it soon becomes clear that a community that appears quite innocent on the surface, does in fact have plenty to hide. Venn knows that personally, his own experiences have left suspicions and scars. His memories shed a completely different light on the matter.

There is a hint of Christie floating on the waves, the way the sense of evil lurks in the background and the plot itself plays out. I can't get too specific, because it would give the game away. Needless to say there is more to this story and each and every person than meets the eye.

I'd love to see this on the screen with a strong ensemble cast fighting to outshine the atmospheric surroundings, as trademark Cleeves leaves her stamp with another memorable and riveting read.

Buy The Raging Storm at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Pan Macmillan; pub date 31st August 2023, priced £20.00 H/B. Buy at Amazon com.

Monday 11 September 2023

#Blogtour The Wolf Hunt by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen


It' s a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour The Wolf Hunt by Ayelet Gundar- Goshen, translated by Sondra Silverstone.

About the Author

Ayelet Gundar-Goshen was born in Israel in 1982 and holds an MA in Clinical Psychology from Tel Aviv University. Her film scripts have won prizes at international festivals, including the Berlin Today Award and the New York City Short Film Festival Award. Her debut novel, One Night, Markovitch, won the Sapir Prize in 2013 for best debut and is being translated into five languages.

The Wolf Hunt by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen was translated by Sondra Silverston.

About the book

Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, the award-winning author of Waking Lions and Liar, returns with a powerfully compelling novel about a mother who begins to suspect her teenage son of committing a terrible crime

Lilach seems to have it all: a beautiful home in the heart of Silicon Valley, a community of other Israeli immigrants, a happy marriage and a close relationship with her teenage son, Adam. But when aa local synagogue is brutally attacked, her shy, reclusive son is compelled to join a self-defence class taught by a former Israeli Special Forces officer. Then a Black teenager dies at a house party, and rumours begin to circulate that Adam and his new friends might have been involved.

As scrutiny begins to invade Lilach's peaceful home, and her family's stability is threatened, will are her own fears be the greatest danger of all?


Excellent read, and it's layered in such a way that no matter which corner you turn there will always be a problem, societal expectation or nuanced interaction waiting to be unpicked. 

Adam is an introvert who keeps to himself, something his parents are keen to mend, hence forcing him to attend a party for his fellow students. Little do they all know that a death at said party will be the beginning of an invasive search for answers about the death of a young man, and whether Adam has anything to do with it.

I admired the way the author went about creating the scenario between Adam and Jamal. Both young boys who carry the weight of generational trauma on their shoulders, which is so deeply entrenched it's difficult to see them in opposite roles in this case. I think that was done intentionally to draw attention to the fact that white washed world pits the minorities, the oppressed and the targeted against each other. In fact the underlying reminder between the two would be antisemitism and propaganda that grows like a toxic fungi between the two groups they come from.

Then there is the question of radicalisation and the realisation that it isn't just a problem in certain cultures or religions - it is a tactic and method of manipulation that is used to recruit the young, the vulnerable and the lost, regardless of race, culture and faith.

The question of the past worn as an identity that automatically weaves itself into an invisible shield against the hatred, the hunt and the centuries old scapegoating of certain cultures and people of specific faith. In the end it always appears to be an us and them situation, ergo a self-fulfilling prophecy with a very real journey.

It's a fantastic piece of literary fiction, which simultaneously manages to be a political, societal and personal exploration of identity, self and just how well we know those around us. I really enjoyed the read, perhaps more so because the author didn't feel the need to give us all the answers. Why? Because deep down we already know the answers, right?

Buy The Wolf Hunt at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Pushkin Press; pub date 31 Aug. 2023. Buy at Amazon com. Buy via Pushkin Press.

Thursday 7 September 2023

#Blogtour Counting Lost Stars by Kim Van Alkemade

It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour Counting Lost Stars by Kim van Alkemade.

About the Author

Kim van Alkemade is the New York Times bestselling author of the historical novels Orphan #8 and Bachelor Girl. Born in Manhattan, she grew up in New Jersey and went to college in Wisconsin, where she earned a Ph.D. in English. For many years, she was a professor at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. Now a full-time writer, she resides in Saratoga Springs, New York, with her partner, their two rescue dogs, and three feisty backyard chickens.

About the book

New York Times bestselling author of Orphan #8, Kim van Alkemade returns with a gripping and poignant historical saga in which an unmarried college student who’s given up her baby for adoption helps a Dutch Holocaust survivor search for his lost mother. 

1960, New York City: College student Rita Klein is a pioneering woman in the new field of computer programming—until she unexpectedly becomes pregnant. At the Hudson Home for Unwed Mothers, social workers pressure her into surrendering her baby for adoption. Rita is struggling to get on with her life when she meets Jacob Nassy, a charming yet troubled man from the Netherlands who is traumatized by his childhood experience of being separated from his mother during the Holocaust. When Rita learns that Hitler’s Final Solution was organized using Hollerith punch-card computers, she sets out to find the answers that will help Jacob heal. 

1941, The Hague: Cornelia Vogel is working as a punch-card operator at the Ministry of Information when a census of Holland’s population is ordered by the Germans. After the Ministry acquires a Hollerith computer made in America, Cornelia is tasked with translating its instructions from English into Dutch. She seeks help from her fascinating Jewish neighbour, Leah Blom, an unconventional young woman whose mother was born in New York. When Cornelia learns the census is being used to persecute Holland’s Jews, she risks everything to help Leah escape.

After Rita uncovers a connection between Cornelia Vogel and Jacob’s mother, long-buried secrets come to light. Will shocking revelations tear them apart, or will learning the truth about the past enable Rita and Jacob to face the future together?


The story switches between Rita and her numbness at the rejection she is experiencing and the loss, after being forced to give birth and then hand the baby over to strangers. In another timeline a few decades earlier we meet Cornelia, who is drawn into the machination of data collection and its deadly impact on the Jewish population. How do the two lives become connected when both women live in different times and countries, what do they have in common?

One question rears its head quite often, when discussing the Holocaust. People ask why is this particular atrocity worse than other genocides ect. Not that there should be any comparisons drawn when it comes to the murder of innocent people - the question is rather why the Holocaust stands out as a constant reminder of what humans are capable of doing to their fellow humans. My answer is always: the level of planning, the profit margin in a constant comparison to the end goal, the machinery of vast collaboration and the minutiae of the execution of said plans.

The author captures exactly that element of the Holocaust, which I find one of the most inhumane facts of its entirety. The documentation, the structure and evidence of their crimes that they didn't manage to destroy, is quite frankly horrifying. The Hollerith machines were used to collect and process data, specifically in WW2 to collect Census data, which was used to identify and find their victims. Then further used to trace, track in camps - evidenced in certain camps, assumed in others.

I enjoyed the way the author brought characters with the generational trauma of the Holocaust into the story and combined it with characters living with the trauma of forced birth, which is a topic that has once again become a reality for many women in the 21st century. The grandchildren of the millions of children taken from unmarried girls and women, before contraception and abortion were legal legislative options, are now returning to the dark ages of control over women.

It's an excellent read and also an informative one from an historical perspective. The story never loses sight of the tragedy, regardless of whether it is on a personal level or on a global level. The two levels inevitably become the tie that binds.

Buy Counting Lost Stars at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏:  WmMorrowPB; pub date 31 Aug. 2023. Buy at Amazon com.

Saturday 2 September 2023

#Blogtour Her Convenient Vow To The Billionaire by Jane Holland

It's my turn on the Blogtour Her Convenient Vow To The Billionaire by Jane Holland

About the Author    (Author image credit: Anna Rybacka)

Jane Holland grew up in a house of writers. Her mother was bestselling Mills & Boon author Charlotte Lamb, her sister also penned romances, and her father was a journalist and biographer. Small wonder she became a writer herself! Starting off in poetry, historical fiction and thrillers, she's now proud to be following in her mother's footsteps writing romance for Harlequin. A mum of five, she loves tramping the Cornish coast, and often writes with a cat on her lap. Follow @janeholland1 on Twitter

About the book

From reunion to wearing his ring! - When Rafael offers to hand over the orphanage if Sabrina becomes his convenient bride, she scoffs! She’s still healing from the heartbreak of their last passionate encounter, and marrying him will test her every limit. But as long-buried secrets are unveiled Sabrina has no choice but to trust him...


Sabrina and Rafael are meant to be or at least meant to connect in a way that will leave a lasting mark on the both of them. It also made Sabrina create a boundary she is unwilling to navigate again, but her emotions and her past have become a bargaining chip for Rafael. The question is whether it is in her best interest to open the door just a little bit for him...again?

If there is such a thing as a legacy romance author, then this author would fill the criteria and they do it with the right amount of passion and love for the genre and the readers. In fact there is an old Boons flavour to the characters and story. The over-exaggerated and heightened sense of emotions in combination with a storyline that can take elements from factual truth, but never quite forgets that at the core there is a reader to pull in and entertain, to devastate or make them happy for a while.

The push-pull-push chaotic dance of attraction, desire and the inner driver that screams for love and comfort combined with that very basic need for recognition - it creates a constant battle between the two main characters. The past and hidden trauma flows into the strong attraction that connected them in the first place and somewhere along the line it becomes difficult to see beyond the desire that pulses steadily and grows with intensity as the the story evolves.

Buy Her Convenient Vow to The Billionaire at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Mills & Boon Modern pub date 31 Aug. 2023. Buy at Amazon com.

Click the link to Enter the Giveaway below to Win a paperback copy of Her Convenient Vow To The Billionaire (US or UK only) 


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

Friday 1 September 2023

#Blogtour The Fighter of Auschwitz by Erik Brouwer

It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour The Fighter of Auschwitz by Erik Brouwer.

About the Author

Erik Brouwer is a Dutch sports journalist and the author of eight historical non-fiction titles on topics as diverse as Argentine football and the actress Jetta Goudal. Spartacus, his book about Jewish Olympic athletes at the start of the Second World War, won the Nico Scheepmaker award for sports books in 2009.

About the book

In 1943, the Dutch champion boxer, Leen Sanders, was sent to Auschwitz. His wife and children were put to death while he was sent 'to the left' with the others who were fit enough for labour. Recognised by an SS officer, he was earmarked for a 'privileged' post in the kitchens in exchange for weekly boxing matches for the entertainment of the Nazi guards. From there, he enacted his resistance to their limitless cruelty.

With great risk and danger to his own life, Leen stole, concealed and smuggled food and clothing from SS nursing units for years to alleviate the unbearable suffering of the prisoners in need. He also regularly supplied extra food to the Dutch women in Dr. Mengele's experiment, Block 10. To his fellow Jews in the camp, he acted as a rescuer, leader and role model, defending them even on their bitter death march to Dachau towards the end of the war.

A story of astonishing resilience and compassion, The Fighter of Auschwitz is a testament to the endurance of humanity in the face of extraordinary evil.


This is the story of Leen Sanders - the husband, the father, the boxer, the survivor and the fighter. The story of pain, loss and then drawing incredible strength to endure hell and with small acts of bravery, kindness and selflessness to help himself and others survive.

One of the saddest moments is the end of Leen's story. The fighter fought till the end for what was rightfully his - in fact the post-war ongoing damage and crimes committed upon the victims and survivors is devastating on another level. It wasn't enough to try and extinguish, in the aftermath there was no real justice and the reception the survivors received was one of disdain. No guilt, no apologies, just more injustice.

That Leen won his battle went unnoticed by him in the end, but perhaps he found some release from his private madness and rightful rage living in his Alzheimer induced pre-war reality. One can only hope he was able to forget the horror and atrocities for some moments, whilst the world should remember him for his endurance, strength and determination to survive and above all help others to do so too.

The author writes in what I would call I more factual journalistic style, which might not appeal to readers who prefer a more entertaining style. I found that it created a more realistic experience of the story - it's easy to forget we are talking about real people who experienced events we can't even begin to comprehend - a direct parallel drawn between the writing voice, the facts and the experiences. The author has made sure Leen will be remembered, that his footprint in history will never fade.

Buy The Fighter of Auschwitz by Erik Brouwer at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Cassell; pub date August 17th 2023 | £8.99 | Paperback. Buy at Amazon com.