#BlogTour Daylight’s Deadly Kiss by Jay Raven

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Daylight’s Deadly Kiss 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 giveways and competitions, please subscribe to Jay’s monthly newsletter on his website at www.jayraven.com

Follow @JayRavenAuthor on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazonon FacebookBuy Daylight’s Deadly Kiss

About the book

Daylight’s Deadly Kiss – Blood Riders Book Two

In 19th century Europe the most deadly vampire-killing weapon ever devised is up for grabs – and both the Undead and the living will stop at nothing to possess it…

It’s a legend, a fairy story parents tell frightened children to make them sleep. Basium Lucis – Daylight’s Kiss – the fabled compound that recreates sunlight in a bottle, and incinerates bloodsucking monsters on contact.

Vampire hunter Anton Yoska doesn’t believe in its existence or the whispered rumours of its creation by Leonardo Da Vinci 250 years before.

But when a mysterious Hungarian arts dealer claims to have uncovered the long-lost formula, Anton’s cynicism is shaken to the core as he is tasked to procure the pyrotechnic marvel for the Vatican’s centuries-old battle with the vampire sect known as the Brethren.

In a desperate race to beat nosferatu forces intent on destroying the wonder weapon, and cold-blooded gangsters who desire the Alchemist’s most prized invention for their own aggrandisement and riches, Anton is caught in a maelstrom of double dealing and lies..

Traps loom at every turn, and nothing is what it appears, but acquiring the Basium Lucis is the least of the his problems  – for the ferocious Modjeski vampire family want retribution for his slaughter of their clan chief a year before. And old flame and rival slayer, Nadia, has her own devious plans to thwart Anton’s quest.

As time runs out and predators circle, the beleaguered hunter realises he’s been tricked into a suicide mission. But Anton Yoska won’t go down without a fight – and he doesn’t care who he takes to Hell with him.

Review

Anton Yoska and his merry band of oddbod vampire hunters, which includes a bloodthirsty bear who likes to rip vampires to shreds by the way, are back in this second book in the Blood Riders series. Both books can be read as standalone novels.

The team is drawn into a competitive deal to acquire something everyone knows as sunlight in a bottle. A compound that can extinguish the life of any daylight-fearing vampire. If it is real it is worth its weight in gold.

The Basium Lucis turns out to be more than just the stuff of fairytales and myths. It is an extremely efficient weapon that could equal the odds in the humans vs bloodsucking monsters fight. As a man stuck in the middle of both worlds Anton Yoska isn’t sure where he stands on this mythical weapon.

As if that wasn’t enough trouble to keep him occupied the Modjeski clan are back on the warpath and intent on getting revenge. Revenge in the form of death to Yoska and his team, preferably in a painful and bloody manner.

It’s a gothic supernatural fantasy, a team of extraordinary vampire hunters often with more luck than skill.

Raven weaves subliminal humour into this bloodthirsty read with this band of merry rogues. Quick retorts and genuine emotions, and of course the very unique way they battle the undead, is what makes this read both vicious and entertaining.

It’s a fast-paced read with a main character who often finds it difficult not to identify with both halves of his new self. He feels their pain and yet has no problem destroying them when the need arises. The Blood Riders are definitely an entertaining read.

Buy Daylight’s Deadly Kiss at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of To Snare a Witch by Jay Raven.

#BlogTour The Gift of Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Gift of Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win a signed copy of The Gift of Cockleberry Bay (Open INT)

About the Author

Nicola May lives in the UK, five miles from the Queen’s castle in Windsor, with her black-and-white rescue cat, Stan. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon and devouring cream teas.

Her bestselling The Corner Shop in Cockleberry, the 1st book in the Cockleberry Bay series, went to #1 on Amazon and stayed there for an unprecedented 6 weeks.

She classes her novels as ‘chicklit with a kick,’ writing about love, life and friendships in a real, not fluffy kind of way. She likes burgers, mince pies, clocks, birds, bubble baths and facials – but is not so keen on aubergines.

Follow @nicolamay1 on Twitter, on Facebookon Instagramon Goodreadson Amazon.Visit nicolamay.comBuy The Gift of Cockleberry Bay

About the book

From the author of the #1 Bestselling The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay

All of our favourite characters from Cockleberry Bay are back in this final, heart warming story in the series. Including Hot, Rosa Smith’s adorable dachshund and his new-born puppies.

Now successfully running the Cockleberry Café and wishing to start a family herself, Rosa feels the time is right to let her inherited Corner Shop go. However, her benefactor left one important legal proviso: that the shop cannot be sold, only passed on to somebody who really deserves it.

Rosa is torn. How can she make such a huge decision? And will it be the right one? Once the news gets out and goes public, untrustworthy newcomers appear in the Bay . . . their motives uncertain. With the revelation of more secrets from Rosa’s family heritage, a new journey of unpredictable and life-changing events begins to unfold.

The Gift of Cockleberry Bay concludes this phenomenally successful series in typically brisk and bolshy style and will delight the many thousands of Rosa’s fans.

Review

This is the third book in the Cockleberry Bay series. In this one Rosa is eager to move on from the past and enjoy her present and future with Josh. Now she has achieved a certain amount of success she wants to pass the gift of kindness on to others.

The Cockleberry Gift shop was gifted to her on the proviso that she can’t sell it for ten years. After turning it around and making it profitable she decides to not make the decision of the next worthy owner based on who she knows and what she knows about the person. So blind pick it is.

Meanwhile she is still trying to figure out the relationship with her newly discovered biological mother and is curious about her father. Her marriage is still wobbly at times, probably because she finds it difficult not to become enamoured by other men willing to pay her a little attention.

It’s a contemporary read, a chaotic story of love, friendship, insecurities and loyalty.

Sometimes less is more. I don’t think May could have squeezed more into this story even if she wanted to. So much that there wasn’t enough time to digest one thing before the next was on the table.

It’s an energetic read full of strong characters, the problems are bountiful and it starts off with a blast and ends the same way too.

Buy The Gift of Cockleberry Bay at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Lightning Books; pub date 1 April 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway to Win a signed copy of The Gift of Cockleberry Bay (Open INT)

Click here to Enter the 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 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.

#BlogTour All in Her Head by Nikki Smith

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour All in Her Head by Nikki Smith.About the Author

Nikki studied English Literature at University before pursuing a career in finance. She always had a passion for writing and in 2017 she applied for a Curtis Brown Creative writing course. Later that year she had a short story published and submitted the opening chapters of her novel to a competition where she won the opportunity to be mentored by the author Amanda Reynolds, and the rest was history.

About the book

A haunting and compelling book that shines a light on the darkest corners of the human psyche and makes us question our limits.

Alison is more alone than she’s ever been. She is convinced that her ex-husband Jack is following her. She is certain she recognises the strange woman who keeps approaching her in the canteen.

She knows she has a good reason to be afraid. She just can’t remember why. Then the mention of one name turns her life upside down. Alison feels like she’s losing her mind . . . but it could just lead her to the truth.

Review

Alison is something of a cowering mouse or so it appears. Hiding from her past life, specifically her husband Jack. She is frightened, especially when it turns out he knows where she is. The story of their marriage sets the tone for their actions, their reactions and eventually the truth as each person sees it.

It’s a domestic thriller with the pace and tension of a psychological thriller.

Smith creates this intriguing dual character storyline. One that suggests a certain narrative, which sets the readers on a specific path. As the story progresses the author gives us a revelation here and another there, which opens up an entirely different narrative.

It’s difficult to give this story its dues without giving a major detail away. Instead let’s just say the author does an excellent job of shining a light on an extremely dangerous and often misdiagnosed situation. It does however serve as an excellent setting for this tense read, which delivers the goods in the guise of a psychological thriller, but at the core it is an emotional and heartfelt story.

Smith is particularly good at evoking visceral reactions with intricate descriptions. She pokes and stirs to hook readers in. The misdirection sometimes creates a picture and image of a character and their background that is hard to shake once the story starts to reveal its secrets. It’s an engrossing read.

Buy All in Her Head at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orion Fiction; pub date 2nd April 2020 in Demy Hardback, eBook and Audio £12.99.

#BlogTour Summer of Reckoning by Marion Brunet

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Summer of Reckoning by Marion Brunet, translated by Katherine Gregor.

About the Author

Marion Brunet, born in 1976 in the Vaucluse, is a well known Young Adult author in France. Her YA novels have received over 30 prizes, including the 2017 UNICEF Prize for Youth Literature. Summer of Reckoning is her first novel written for adults and her first work to be translated into English.

About the translator:

Katherine Gregor lives in London and has recently translated works by Alexander Pushkin from the Russian and plays by Carlo Goldoni and Luigi Pirandello from the Italian.

Follow Marion Brunet on Amazonon Goodreads, Follow translator Katherine Gregor   @ScribeDoll on Twitter, Buy Summer of Reckoning

About the book

A psychological thriller set in the Luberon, a touristic French region that evokes holidays in magnificent pool adorned villas. For those who live there year-round, it often means stifling poverty and boredom. Two teenage sisters have grown up in a world where the main distractions are hatred of Arabs and booze. When Celine, 16, discovers she is pregnant and refuses to divulge her lover’s identity, her father embarks on a mission of revenge. A dark and upsetting account of an ailing society, filled with silent and murderous rage.

Brunet uses her tense and efficient novel to tell us a story of “people at sea, on a boat punctured just above the waterline, never far from a shipwreck”. No one describes better the poisonous claustrophobia of families trapped in small rural towns. She writes with a scalpel about couples, family, sexism, racism and poverty.

Review

This reminded me of the teenage exploration of sexuality in Smooth Talk (1985). When young girls float between childhood innocence and the magnetic pull of sexual exploration. No one story is alike, and yet in a way they are all the same.

When a father discovers his teenage daughter Celine is pregnant it sets off a series of events that, although destructive in nature they are also don’t leave much of an impact. That in itself speaks to the nature of what the author wants to portray. The absolute miniature cosmos of village or small-town rural life. The way life stagnates and threatens to suffocate those who are still in the throes of discovery and development, as opposed to those who have already resigned themselves to the stagnation.

The two sisters, Jo and Celine find themselves taking different paths. Celine has begun a road well-worn and travelled by others, whereas Jo still has the aspiration to reach beyond what others say she can reach for.

It’s literary fiction, a slow exploration of violence, birth, sexuality and a crime that slips into obscurity.

It’s fascinating how Brunet captures the differentiation of domestic and other violence. The way both perpetrator and victim perceive it as normal, ergo not worth mentioning or trying to stop. An acknowledgment that society will be just as reluctant to do so. In contradiction the violence during the crime is seen as necessary against a growing evil. One act weighs upon the conscience – the other is not worth another thought.

Brunet is also astute when it comes to the impact of false information fueled by racism, which in turn leads to misconceptions about fellow countrymen, who then become victims of vicious propaganda.

It’s a Kodak moment novel. A study of rural life, of poverty, racism and family.

Buy Summer of Reckoning at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press; pub date 12 March 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogBlitz The Warrior Knight and the Widow by Ella Matthews

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Warrior Knight and the Widow.

Enter the Giveaway to Win a Signed copy of The Warrior Knight and the Widow (Open INT)About the Author

Ella Matthews lives and works in beautiful South Wales. When not thinking about handsome heroes she can be found walking along the coast with her husband and their two children (probably still thinking about heroes but at least pretending to be interested in everyone else).

Follow @ellamattauthor on Twitter, on Facebookon Goodreadson AmazonBuy The Warrior Knight and the Widow

About the book

Protected by The Beast – Undone by the man

Racing cross-country pursued by danger, widow Lady Ellena Swein isn’t pleased to be taken back to her father’s castle. But with his knight Sir Braedan Leofric, also known as The Beast, as her captor, she has little choice! Ellena is surprised by his honourable and protective nature, even if she shouldn’t trust him. And when all seems to conspire against them, Braedan’s secret could either extinguish the spark between them or make it burn brighter.

Review

Sir Braedan Leofric, also known as the Beast, has been sent to escort Lady Ellena Swein back to her father. Her life and her honour are at risk. She has become the target for certain individuals who either want her dead or want her as a wife, because that means they get her property.

Ellena is determined to fight for her voice, despite everything being against her using it. As a woman she is just property used to secure land and truces via marriage. There is no respect from her father and there certainly wasn’t any from her cruel now dead husband. After running the Swein estate alone successfully for many years she expects her father to at least listen to her request to keep doing so. Little does she know that he has already made his own plans for her estate and life.

The two of them aren’t thrilled to be thrown together, but it’s fair to say that sometimes unusual circumstances make for unexpected relationships. Ellena is drawn to the man who is feared because of his reputation and Braedan feels an instinctive need to protect her.

It’s historical romance – a fast-paced story full of turmoil.

Matthews balances conflict, anger, violence, turmoil, attraction and love in equal measures, which gives her readers the kind of read they will enjoy. The natural attraction, the obstacles keeping them apart and the question whether they will succumb to the electricity pulling them together. It has all the ingredients a historical romance needs.

Buy The Warrior Knight and the Widow at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any retailer. Publisher: Mills & Boon Historical; pub date 19 Mar. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway to Win a Signed copy of The Warrior Knight and the Widow (Open INT)

Click here to Enter the 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 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.*

#BlogTour Arrowood and the Thames Corpses by Mick Finlay

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Arrowood and the Thames Corpses by Mick Finlay.

About the Author

Mick Finlay was born in Glasgow but left as a young boy, living in Canada and then England. Before becoming an academic, he ran a market stall on Portobello Road, and has worked as a tent-hand in a travelling circus, a butcher’s boy, a hotel porter, and in various jobs in the NHS and social services. He teaches in a Psychology Department, and has published research on political violence and persuasion, verbal and non-verbal communication, and disability. He now lives in Brighton with his family.

Follow @mickfinlay2 on Twitter, on Amazonon Goodreads,Visit mickfinlay.comBuy Arrowood and the Thames Corpses

About the book

South London, 1896. William Arrowood, Victorian London’s less salubrious private detective,is paid a visit by Captain Moon, the owner of a pleasure steamer moored on the Thames. He complains that someone has been damaging his boat, putting his business in jeopardy.

Arrowood and his trusty sidekick Barnett suspect professional jealousy, but when a string of skulls is retrieved from the river, it seems like even fouler play is afoot. It’s up to Arrowood and his trusty sidekick Barnett to solve the case, before any more corpses end up in the watery depths…

Review

One of the most amusing things about William Arrowood is his obsession with his nemesis Sherlock Holmes. According to Arrowood, Holmes is all about fame and money, and doesn’t mind taking the credit for crimes other people have solved. He is a thorn in Arrowood’s side.

Arrowood and Barnett are the crime-solving sleuths of the poor and disadvantaged – Sherlock and Watson are the sleuths of the rich and privileged. Lines are drawn in the dirt, as the barely scraping by duo is pitted against the master of propaganda. They aren’t really, but that narrative always sounds great when Arrowood is grumbling about it.

This time the two of them are tasked with finding out who is trying to destroy the business of a certain Captain Moon. Damaging his boat, trying to interfere with his ability to feed himself and his daughter. Small acts of vandalism become something more nefarious as things turn deadly.

It’s historical crime fiction set in Victorian London, in the midst of mayhem, murder and squalor.

I am happy to say that Finlay keeps stepping up his game – this book is even better than the last ones. This time the reader gets to delve deeper than ever into the characters past, emotions and what drives them. It opens up so many storylines for the future, and I am hoping there will be many more books. This is the kind of historical crime series that would play well on screen. Just saying. Either way this is great read.

Buy Arrowood and the Thames Corpses at Amazon UK  or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 2nd April 2020 -Paperback £8.99 – eBook £4.99 – Audio Download £12.99. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my reviews of Arrowood and The Murder Pit by Mick Finlay.

#BlogTour Code Name Hélène by Ariel Lawhon

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Code Name Hélène by Ariel Lawhon. The story is inspired by the gripping true story of World War 2 spy Nancy Wake.

About the Author

Ariel Lawhon, author of I Was Anastasia (2018), Flight of Dreams (2016) and The Wife, The Maid And The Mistress (2014), is a critically acclaimed writer of historical fiction. She lives with her family in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee.

Follow @ArielLawhon on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit ariellawhon.comBuy Code Name Hélène

About the book

In 1936, foreign correspondent, Nancy Wake, witnesses first-hand the terror of Hitler’s rise in Europe. No sooner has Nancy met, fallen in love with and agreed to marry French industrialist Henri Fiocca, than the Germans invade France and force her to take on her first code name of many. The Gestapo call her the White Mouse for her remarkable ability to evade capture when smuggling Allied soldiers across borders. She becomes Hélène when she leaves France to train in espionage with an elite special forces group in London. Then, when she returns to France, she is the deadly Madame Andrée. But the closer Frances gets to liberation, the more exposed Nancy – and the people she loves – will become.

Inspired by true wartime events, Code Name Hélène is a gripping and moving story of extraordinary courage, unfaltering resolve, remarkable sacrifice – and enduring love.

Review

This story is inspired by the gripping true story of World War 2 spy Nancy Wake. A nurse and journalist, who became a decorated heroine of the French Resistance and then later during the war a British S.O.E working with the French Resistance.

Her need to intervene and help in some way was driven by the events leading up to the Second World War. Witnessing first-hand the oppression, violence and torture of Jewish men and women in the streets, during the mid to late 30s, by the Brownshirts and their supporters, made her determined to do her part.

She certainly did that, and became infamous for evading those who tried to capture her. In fact she proved that her mission/s were more important than individual loyalties. Personal sacrifice was often necessary to keep many others safe, to be successful in the face of great opposition.

It’s historical war fiction based on a true story. A story about one of many brave men and women who tried to influence the course of history by doing their bit, knowing that capture would mean torture at the very least and almost certainly death.

Lawhon doesn’t bow to preconceived ideas and make Nancy something she wasn’t. She was a strong woman capable of making hard and ruthless decisions for the greater good, which is definitely the kind of woman she comes over as in her interviews. If the torture and death of one is necessary to save the lives of hundreds, thousands – perhaps even more – then that one death is justified. No matter who that person may be.

Buy Code Name Hélène at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Headline Review; pub date 31 Mar. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.