#BlogTour Lady Edith’s Lonely Heart by Audrey Harrison

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Lady Edith’s Lonely Heart.

About the Author

Amazon Uk Kindle Storyteller Competition Finalist 2018!

Audrey was born about two hundred years too late. She wants to belong to a time when men were men and women were dressed in gowns and could float, simper and sigh.

In the real world she has always longed to write, writing a full manuscript when she was fourteen years old. Work, marriage and children got in the way as they do and it was only when an event at work landed her in hospital that she decided to take stock. One Voluntary Redundancy later, she found that the words and characters came to the forefront and the writing began in earnest.

So, although at home more these days, the housework is still neglected and meals are still late on the table, but she has an understanding family, who usually shake their heads at her and sigh. That is a sign of understanding, isn’t it?

About the book

A dashing tale of romance from a bestselling author of Regency Romance.

She is under pressure to find a husband she doesn’t want. He keeps to the fringes of society because of family constraints. Will the written word be enough to bring two lost souls together?

Lady Edith Longdon is an heiress, in danger of being classed a spinster, and disillusioned with the fops, dandies, and fortune hunters surrounding her in society. Deciding it’s time to take her future into her own hands, she devises a foolproof way of finding someone she can love. She’s convinced nothing could go wrong…

Lord Ralph Pensby, overwhelmed by a sense of obligation, and with no one he can turn to, is adrift from those around him…

Two people drawn together, both on a journey which will affect them in ways they could never have foreseen. Secret correspondence, mistrust and confusion, not to mention cads of the highest order, make this novel a fast-paced, heart-warming story, with appealing characters and a strong sense of time and place.

Perfect for lovers of all things Regency.

Review

Edith counts as a spinster, even at her young age, time is running out for her when it comes to finding a suitable match. The only thing she has in her favour, according to society, is the fact she comes with her own fortune, which in the case of a marriage would belong to her husband.

So she decides to help her own cause by writing an ad – a bit like an old-fashioned dating profile. The result is a range of unsuitable, inappropriate and irrational answers to her letter. There is one however who appears to shine through, someone who opens up his heart completely in his letters to her.

Perhaps the solution to her problem is closer than she thinks, although it’s hard to find someone who will love her when her own family hasn’t got her best interests at heart.

I’m glad the author references it herself, because this definitely has the feel of an old-fashioned You’ve got Mail. Instead of electronic messages Edith and her paramour use the medium of a newspaper. It gives them the chance to say things they wouldn’t say face to face. To reveal their inner feelings and fears, emotions society wouldn’t allow them to voice.

It’s a story for readers who love a bit of Regency romance – all flushed cheeks, swishing fans and fluttering eyelashes. Harrison gives her readers the right amount of indignant outrage and heartache without wading into the genre of bodice-rippers or breathless rompy-pompy. It has the same comfortable feel of a contemporary romance read.

Buy Lady Edith’s Lonely Heart at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Word-Keeper by Veronica del Valle

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Word-Keeper by Veronica del Valle.About the Author

Veronica Del Valle grew up in Argentina, but life eventually led her to live in London, the city that was her home for many years.

Veronica’s always had a fondness for words, language and the magic of storytelling. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University.

Veronica currently lives in Buenos Aires with her husband, Ale, and her daughter, Tomiko. She teaches creative writing at Universidad de San Andres and is a contributing editor and writer for one of Argentina’s leading news organizations.

When she’s not writing or teaching, she’s either a) meditating or b) enjoying life with her family (which, in a way, is another beautiful way to meditate). The Word Keeper is the first novel she’s written.

Follow Veronica del Valle on Instagramon Amazonon Goodreads, Visit veronicadelvallebooks.comBuy The Word-Keeper

About the book

What would happen if words disappeared forever?

Set in a whimsical town called Inkwell, a place with an ancient secret history, this fairytale-like adventure will uncover the key to the power hidden within words.

The Word-Keeper is a tale about a savvy bookmark named Ben that unwillingly becomes an evil imp with only one objective: follow the orders of his master and destroy the words that live inside books.

Only one girl can stop him. Her name is Florence Ibbot. She is eleven years old, oddly eloquent and a quiet observer of the world. But above all, Florence is a keen logophile and is willing to sacrifice everything to protect the words.

She sets out to discover who is behind all this. The journey will take her to the origins of writing and inspiration. But she’ll also have to face the most treacherous adversary, Zyler, a ruthless sorceress whose sole mission is to ruin one of humankind’s most precious possessions: the gift of language.

As the final battle approaches, Florence will have to learn how to wield words instead of the sword. Is Florence brave enough to become who she was born to be?

Review

This is one of those books that captures the magic of reading. It allows readers, both young and old, to wander around in the fantastical and reach for those rare moments of beauty that connect us all.

Florence is counting the days until she can visit her beloved grandparent in Inkwell. He runs a book store, which suits his granddaughter just fine, because she loves to emerge herself into words and books. Inkwell is a place unto itself quite unusual and filled with magic.

‘There’s always the perfect book for the perfect time’ – del Valle speaks from my heart with this sentiment. It’s something I apply to the books I read and the material I watch (television, films ect). ‘Have you watched so and so?’ – ‘No, I have to be in the right frame of mind to watch that.’

It sounds like such a peculiar thing to say when it comes to books. How will you know if it is the perfect read until you have read it? Books often fit like a comfortable piece of clothing or feel like the warmth of the sun on your skin. They bring comfort, excitement, mystery and they open up so many doors to worlds you can’t wait to explore.

In that sense the author absolutely has managed to describe the world and love of words when it comes to bookworms, and of course how Florence feels about the universe of words that come together to become something solid enough to grasp onto.

The journey to Inkwell and through all the different places on the map is a little one-two-three and lacks depth or follow through, but that is balanced out by the creativity and storyline – save language and the world of words.

Also a shout out for Ben the bookmark, such a wonderful idea. It really is a lovely story.

Buy The Word-Keeper at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Silverwood Books: pub date 29 May 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Killing Them with Kindness by Andy Paulcroft

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Killing Them with Kindness by Andy Paulcroft.

Enter the Giveaway – to Win a signed copy of Killing Them With Kindness (Open INT)About the Author

Andy Paulcroft grew up in Weston-super-Mare, and his love of books started when he borrowed his sister’s copy of Five Run Away Together and exaggerated a minor illness in order to finish reading it. He has since worked as a chef in France, Switzerland, Corsica and the North Highlands of Scotland before settling as a catering manager at a boarding school in Dorset.

After many years of writing two to three chapters of a book before discarding it, he finally published his first novel Postcards From Another Life – in December 2017. The wonderful feeling of completing a novel was only surpassed by receiving a positive reaction from people who had read it. He retired from catering and recently published his second novel Killing Them With Kindness. He is now working on his third book.

Follow @AndyPaulcroft on Twitter, on Facebookon Amazonon Goodreads, Buy Killing Them with Kindness

About the book

Deirdre Cossette is the self appointed carer for the elderly on The Avenue and all of her friends have stories to tell. Margery, whose comfortable life was destroyed by a knock on the door. Stan, who made a mistake as a young footballer which cost him his friends and his self-respect. Marina, whose slim and stylish figure hides a terrible secret from the summer of Live Aid. And, Oliver and Archie, who have survived everything from post war homophobia to a family tragedy – and they have done it together.

Deirdre believes that everyone should have a choice. If they want to live on a diet of cakes, drink the alcoholic equivalent of a small hydrotherapy pool, or take on a toy boy lover in spite of a dodgy heart, Deirdre believes it is their right to do so. If they remember her in their wills afterwards, that’s not her fault, is it? However, not everyone agrees with her. When disgruntled relatives from the present meet up with disgruntled ghosts from her past, Deirdre discovers the cost of being kind.

Review

I think Deirdre and I are on the same page when it comes to enjoying life. What’s the point of doing everything you can to achieve the 21st century version of immortality if you get no pleasure from the methodology. Healthy, skinny, non-smokers drop dead suddenly too. And when is a long life too long? When you take the way Western societies treat the elderly into consideration I wonder if living in isolation and/or in the care of strangers is something worth living for.

You might as well break rules and have a little fun or you could end up wondering whether you had a life well-lived?

What a wonderful woman, eh? Unless the whole point of leading the elderly to break the rules and enjoy life is because there is something in it for Deidre. A small matter of inheriting everything they own perhaps? That would put a different slant on things, right?

I found it a little disjointed and was confused until I got the gist of where Paulcroft was going with it. Sometimes the characters and all the relatives were a bit like a bizarre game of memory.

Although the story has moments of humour at the core the author shines a light on some important social issues like alcoholism, depression and the elderly in our societies. Unlike other cultures there is a lack of reverence and the younger generations are taught to move out and move on to build their own family pods. The elderly often find themselves in positions of vulnerability and isolated from society. Not exactly a raving recommendation for the Western world where the old end up in expensive and often inadequate care facilities.

It’s a mystery mixed with humour and an often biting commentary on life as we know it.

Buy Killing Them with Kindness at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon.

Enter the Giveaway – to Win a signed copy of Killing Them With Kindness (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 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 Where We Belong by Shann McPherson

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Where We Belong by Shann McPherson.

About the Author

With big dreams of being a published author since she was an eleven-year-old girl writing Beverly Hills 90210 fan fiction before fan fiction was even a thing, Shann McPherson has been writing angsty, contemporary romances for most of her thirty-something years.

Living in sunny Queensland, Australia, when she’s not writing Shann enjoys making memories with her husband and cheeky toddler son, drinking wine, and singing completely off-key to One Direction’s entire discography.

Follow @Shann_McPherson on Twitter, on Amazonon Facebookon InstagramBuy Where We Belong

About the book

When Alice ‘Murph’ Murphy’s beloved mother died, she promised to keep the family bakery in Graceville, Georgia afloat—even if it meant letting her high-school sweetheart, Nash Harris, go. For years, Murph has been biding her time, waiting for Nash to come back for her.

So when he strolls into Piece O’ Cake, Murph’s heart skips a beat—until he hands her an invitation to his wedding… There are painful secrets in both their pasts that only the two of them share, and Murph can’t bear the thought of Nash belonging to someone else.

There’s only one thing Murph can think of to do: fake a relationship with local bar owner and old friend Harley Shaw to remind Nash of what he’s losing, and win him back for good.

Nash is Murph’s best friend, a vivid reminder of her childhood and all the things she’s lost—but the more time Murph and Harley spend together, the more the lines between real and pretend begin to blur. Can Murph choose between the one who got away and the one who never left—and heal her aching heart?

Review

Alice is ecstatic to see her first love Nash right there in front of her. Has he finally realised what he left behind? Err, nope. He is there to invite her to his wedding. He has found his Mrs Right and wants Alice to be a part of the celebrations.

She isn’t going to just accept the new status quo and starts meddling in the happiness of the wedded couple to be. Her ‘pranks’ make her look like a tiny psycho and often end up punishing the wrong person, especially when she spontaneously decides to cast Harley in the role of her boyfriend. It creates friction between the three tight friends.

To be completely frank Alice doesn’t always come off in a great way. It’s sometimes hard to feel empathy for someone who whines about not succeeding in life the way they wanted to because their mother had the audacity to become terminally ill. How dare she stop Alice from being with her one true love. Yeh, that didn’t always gel well for me.

That vibe comes and goes as Alice aka Murph is caught between her first love and the man who always had her back. She has to leave the past behind and figure out which one is her future – if either of the two fits that description at all.

It’s a turbulent romcom with a focus on loyalty and friendship. This very much has the feel of the popular My Best Friend’s Wedding. McPherson creates the same kind of emotional turbulence, which is combined with humour and compelling characters. It’s a feel good read where the reader is routing for the main character, even when the character has completely given up.

Buy Where We Belong at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Digital; pub date 21 Feb. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Wild Spinning Girls by Carol Lovekin

Today it’s also a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Wild Spinning Girls by Carol Lovekin.

About the Author

arol Lovekin is the author of three novels published by Honno, the Welsh Women’s Press. She writes about mother/daughter relationships, family dynamics & her stories are rooted in the Welsh landscape. They touch on the Welsh Gothic & its most powerful motif: the ghost.

Her first novel, Ghostbird (2016) was a Waterstones Wales and Welsh Independent Bookshops Book of the Month, a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2016 & in the same year was longlisted for the Not the Booker Prize. Snow Sisters (2017), her second novel, was chosen by the Welsh Books Council as their October Book of the Month (for independent shops.) Her third novel, Wild Spinning Girls is published today.

Follow @carollovekin on Twitter, on Goodreads, Visit carollovekinauthor.comBuy Wild Spinning Girls

About the book

If it wasn’t haunted before she came to live there, after she died, Ty’r Cwmwl made room for her ghost. She brought magic with her.

And the house, having held its breath for years, knew it. Ida Llewellyn loses her job and her parents in the space of a few weeks and, thrown completely off course, she sets out for the Welsh house her father has left her. Ty’r Cwmwl is not at all welcoming despite the fact it looks inhabited, as if someone just left..

It is being cared for as a shrine by the daughter of the last tenant. Determined to scare off her old home’s new landlord, Heather Esyllt Morgan sides with the birds who terrify Ida and plots to evict her. The two girls battle with suspicion and fear before discovering that the secrets harboured by their thoughtless parents have grown rotten with time. Their broken hearts will only mend once they cast off the house and its history, and let go of the keepsakes that they treasure like childhood dreams.

Review

Inheriting a house in an isolated area in Wales is one thing, inheriting a house that comes with a built-in ghost and a slightly crazy young girl with a key for every door, is quite another. At first Ida thinks it is amusing and swipes the constant presence of Heather away like she is swatting a fly, but when Heather appears determined to frighten and threaten her – Ida’s resolution to stay and make the place her home starts to waver.

Ida is torn between being annoyed at the constant intrusion into her life and worrying about the young girl who at this point is worse than a squatter. Heather insists Ida can’t move or change anything let alone touch anything that belonged to her mother. Her sense of loss and grief is palpable. It makes her erratic and often volatile.

Where Heather is comfortable with the quirkyness of the house and surrounding countryside, Ida feels threatened and is often scared by the odd things that happen in the house. Pretty sure the birds have been watching Hitchcock. Just saying.

It’s magical realism and literary fiction with a pinch of women’s empowerment. Lovekin, who tells a great tale by the way, reminds us how important it is to support instead of judge and ignore. To listen instead of assume, because sometimes the hardest exterior hides the most frightened of hearts.

It’s a lovely read. A breath of the unknown – witchcraft, energy and an aura of something watching and controlling the fate of others.

Buy Wild Spinning Girls at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Honno Welsh Women’S Press: pub date 20 Feb. 2020. Buy at Amazon com. 

 

#BlogTour Hattie goes to Hollywood by Caroline James

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Hattie goes to Hollywood by Caroline James.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win a cuddly Drake toy! (Open INT)

Be in with a chance to win Drake, Hattie’s faithful pet duck! Tall Drake & Handsome – A gorgeous soft toy who will be your friend for life.About the Author

Best-selling author of women’s fiction, Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry, a subject that often features in her novels. She is based in the UK but has a great fondness for travel and escapes whenever she can. A public speaker, which includes talks and lectures on cruise ships world-wide, Caroline is also a consultant and food writer.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association, the Society of Women’s Writer’s & Journalists and the Society of Authors and writes articles and short stories, contributing to many publications. In her spare time, Caroline can be found trekking up a mountain or relaxing with her head in a book and hand in a box of chocolates.

About the book

A Cumbrian Village…Three suicides…A red-hot summer…

Join super-sleuth Hattie as tempers and temperatures rise in the Cumbrian village of Hollywood. With mischief and shenanigans aplenty, will Hattie discover the truth?

A funny and intriguing mystery – the first in a new series by Caroline James

When recently bereaved Hattie Mulberry inherits her aunt’s dilapidated cottage in the village of Hollywood in Cumbria, she envisages a quiet life. But retired hotelier Hattie is bored and when her neighbour asks her to investigate a suspicious suicide, Hattie’s career takes a new direction and H&H Investigations is born. During the hottest summer for years, Hattie discovers there have been three recent suicides in Hollywood and she determines to find out why. Temperatures rise as she throws herself into village life and, with mischief and shenanigans aplenty, Hattie has her work cut out. But will she establish the truth?

Review

When Hattie inherits a rundown cottage in the village of Hollywood she pictures a life filled with restoring the place she intends to live in. A quiet life, with no trouble and certainly not with any pesky ducks. Little does she know she is about to embark on a whole new career.

Whilst playing at amateur sleuthing Hattie finds one coincidence too many and starts, with a little prompt from her neighbour, to investigate a series of suicides. Is it a case of copycat suicides or is there something more nefarious going on in the background.

Simultaneously Hattie is living her best life when it comes to a wee bit of hanky-panky and pinch of romance, and of course let’s not forget the feathered friend she makes when she throws him a piece of stale bread. Err, just be clear, she isn’t having a romance with the duck.

It reminded me of Agatha Raisin, but with less of an uppity attitude, more rumpy pumpy and really solid duck humour. Let’s just acknowledge the duck as a major character, because he has some great scenes and entrances. In fact he gives Hattie a run for her money when it comes to being the main character.

It’s a cosy crime with a romcom feel to it. James combines elements of multiple genres to create a funny and easygoing read. The kind of read that makes people wonder why the reader is smirking or gives an occasional snort of laughter. James does what she set out to do by pulling the reader in and entertaining them with a good read.

Buy Hattie Goes to Hollywood at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: The Publish Hub Ltd, pub date 14 Feb. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.


Enter the Giveaway to Win a cuddly Drake toy! (Open INT)

Be in with a chance to win Drake, Hattie’s faithful pet duck! Tall Drake & Handsome – A gorgeous soft toy who will be your friend for life.

 

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

#BlogTour The Dark Side of the Mind by Kerry Daynes

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Dark Side of the Mind by Kerry Daynes.About the Author

Kerry Daynes is a Consultant and Forensic Psychologist, speaker and media commentator. For over twenty years her average week has involved working with everything from stressed-out parents to serial killers and she is a sought-after court-appointed expert witness. Kerry regularly appears on international television networks and in the media; she was ‘The Profiler’ over three series of Discovery’s top-rated ‘Faking It’ documentaries.

Kerry is Patron of the National Centre for Domestic Violence and Talking2Minds. She is an advocate for better conversations about mental distress and alternatives to the culture of psychological ‘disorder’. Kerry lives in Cheshire with two huge dogs and yes, she is a proud natural ginger.

About the book

Welcome to the world of the forensic psychologist, where the people you meet are wildly unpredictable and often frightening. The job: to delve into the psyche of convicted men and women to try to understand what lies behind their often brutal actions.

Follow in the footsteps of Kerry Daynes, one of the most sought-after forensic psychologists in the business and consultant on major police investigations. Kerry’s job has taken her to the cells of maximum-security prisons, police interview rooms, the wards of secure hospitals and the witness box of the court room. Her work has helped solve a cold case, convict the guilty and prevent a vicious attack.

Spending every moment of your life staring into the darker side of life comes with a price. Kerry’s frank memoir gives an unforgettable insight into the personal and professional dangers in store for a female psychologist working with some of the most disturbing men and women.

Review

In the first chapter Daynes talks about a questionnaire she had to put to convicted sex offenders at the beginning of her career. A long questionnaire about the victims reactions to each type of action or practice ( assault). A shockingly misogynistic attempt at placing blame on the victims – all in the name of science and the attempt to understand the predator better.

Nowadays one can take a step back and recognise that the questions, especially whilst being asked them by a woman – potential prey, as the opportunity to delve into and enjoy their deviancy with an audience to watch them do so. Very much the result of being part of a patriarchal society, where man dictates that certain responses lead to specific outcomes for the victims, as opposed to the deviant being held accountable. Much like the common stereotypical tropes such as: you wore a tight dress, you walked home alone, you smiled at him, ergo you deserved it and are to blame for the assault.

It’s one thing to know that society is ruled in favour of a certain gender, and that women get the short end of the stick when it comes to justice, pay, treatment by others in general, it’s quite another when you read examples of this lack of equality. I’ve been there and done that. My ex was guilty of so many things, but a male dominant court favoured him, regardless of what he said or did. I think my rudest awakening was when he manipulated a female member of the team to believe his schtick and I was deemed to be arrogant and to blame for everything for having the sheer gall to educate myself.

Luckily for me I got back up every time I was knocked down, but it taught me some important lessons. One of which is that anyone in the mental health profession is fallible, capable of human error and only as capable as the theory they have learnt. Theory doesn’t prepare you for reality or give you the advantage of actual experience. The feeling of being disenfranchised and disillusioned is worse when the misogyny is perpetrated by members of your own gender.

That element of honesty is what makes this book a great read – not the fascinating experiences and the way Daynes has made her mark in her field of expertise, but the way she lets readers partake in her most vulnerable moments.

There is also an attempt to address the way society views both sides. There is no them and us – there is just us. Much like we now view the majority of experimental horrors to ‘cure’ mental health and deviancy in the last few centuries, as harmful and the work of quacks. In future the evolved (hopefully) communities of science and medicine may think the same of 20/21st century diagnostic approaches, and find a more inclusive way forward with less labels and better comprehension.

I digress – mainly because it is a fascinating book I could talk or write about for hours (I know, poor you). I highly recommend you take a gander at the dark side.

Buy The Dark Side of the Mind at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Endeavour; pub date 20 Feb. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.