#Blogtour Total Control by Alex Shaw

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Total Control by Alex Shaw.

About the Author

Alex Shaw spent the second half of the 1990s in Kyiv, Ukraine running his own business consultancy before being head-hunted for a division of Siemens. The next few years saw him doing business for the company across the former USSR, the Middle East, and Africa. Most recently he has spent several years in Doha, Qatar.

Alex is an active member of the ITW (The International Thriller Writers organisation) and the CWA (the Crime Writers Association). He is the author of three international bestselling thriller series featuring Aidan Snow, Jack Tate and Sophie Racine, and the standalone ‘Delta Force Vampire’. His writing has also been published in several thriller anthologies.

Total Blackout was Shortlisted for the 2021 Wilbur  Smith Adventure Writing Prize – Best Published Novel.

Alex, his wife and their two sons divide their time between homes in Kyiv – Ukraine, Sussex – England and Doha – Qatar. Follow Alex on twitter: @alexshawhetman

About the book

The target doesn’t exist. – When cyber terrorist Fang Bao abruptly reappears after years in hiding, MI6 agent and former SAS trooper Jack Tate is sent to bring him in – but when Fang is assassinated by an unknown assailant, Tate realises he was only a pawn in a plot that threatens to put the whole world in danger.

The mission is impossible. – Now Tate has to uncover a lethal conspiracy that stretches all the way from Germany through the United States and into the dark heart of the jungle in Myanmar. As the enemy hunt down the owners of military secrets that would make them indestructible, Tate must race to identify not only their next target, but the enemy themselves.

The war is about to begin… Soon he learns the dark truth at the heart of the global conspiracy. The enemy doesn’t want to just assassinate a world leader; they want to make war – and Tate is the only one who can stop them.

Review

This is the third book in the Jack Tate series, which can all be read as standalone novels. This plot is a timely one I think. The necessity of the US and Uk having to work together to combat a common enemy. An insidious game of blame can and will decide the fate of many. A treacherous game of propaganda in the cyber arena. What better way to cause havoc than to present one scenario to fool the world, and in doing so create an explosive situation.

Influencing the outcomes, whilst creating the right kind of weaknesses to exploit. It’s the kind of plot that isn’t beyond the realms of reality, which is probably what makes it a good read.

It was interesting to see a Tate willing to take a risk and he was certainly teetering quite close to the edge when it comes to controlling his anger. I wonder if it is intentional – a way to show the burden of stress, the result of living a life on a lethal tightrope.

When I recommend books I have quite a few readers (often men) who look for a particular genre, which can be a bit niche. I’m glad I can add another author to the list of recommendations when it comes to this action thriller, with a military vibe. The author knows exactly how to pace the story and keep it rolling until the very end.

Buy Total Control at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : ‎HQ Digital, pub date 21 July 2022. Buy at Amazon comBuy via Harper Collins.

#BlogTour Outcast by Claire Voet

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour Outcast by Claire Voet.

About the Author

Claire Voet is an English author, born in Gosport across the shores of Portsmouth Harbour. Claire started writing in 2010 and has since then written a number of books to include The Ghost of Bluebell Cottage, The Other Daddy A World Away, Captain Hawkes, short story A Helping Hand, Echoes In The Mist and the Outcast series.

Claire demonstrates her love for history and also the supernatural in many of her spellbinding stories. As a commercial participator for the BBC Children in Need Appeal, Claire donates money from her book sales once a year. Visit clairevoet.com

About the book

In 1945 Molly Hazleton is heart broken when her fiancé doesn’t return from the war after being reported “missing in action.” So when Aunt Daphne comes to visit with news of having bought a 17th century manor house at auction in Scotland, Molly welcomes the opportunity to start afresh and help her aunt turn Aberdoch Manor into a hotel.

With a strange sense of déjà vu, Molly struggles to understand her connection with the property having never stepped foot inside of it or even Scotland for that matter. Ross McDaniel, the newly appointed gardener, knows more than he is letting on. And when he shows Molly an ancient yew tree named by the locals as the Ghost Tree, after touching it, Molly discovers a remarkable ability to vividly see and experience her own past life – a life of extreme danger and hardship on the road with the Jacobite in 1745, hunted by the Red Coats for crimes she hasn’t committed. She is also in love with a brave, Scot warrior, leader of the McDaniel clan who soon becomes her husband.

Stirring up forgotten memories and an uncontrollable yearning to be back with those she once loved, Molly is hopelessly torn between very different worlds, two hundred years apart! 

Review

The story begins in the past with a brief encounter and a connection created through common ground and self-preservation. It continues in the middle of the 20th century, as the Second World War comes to end. Families and loved ones, are simultaneously relieved and stricken with grief.

Molly is still reeling from her own personal loss, which is probably why she doesn’t think twice at leaving her family and life behind, and hitting the restart button. Moving to a manor house in Scotland sounds like an amazing adventure that will hopefully keep her mind off her grief. Little does she know that both the present and the past are waiting for her.

This is a dual timeline story, historical fiction with a wee bit of romance. At the core of it though, is essence of understanding when one door closes another one will appear and open eventually. This is not only the case when it comes to most things in life, but most certainly also when the door represents relationships and love. 

The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, the road taken isn’t as clear-cut anymore. I guess the next book is a must read then.

Buy Outcast at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Blossom Spring Publishing pub date 26 May 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Half-Life of Snails by Philippa Holloway

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Half-Life of Snails by Philippa Holloway.

About the Author

Philippa Holloway is a writer and senior lecturer at Staffordshire University, living in England but with her heart still at home in Wales. Her short fiction is published on four continents. 

She has won prizes in literary awards including the Fish Publishing Prize, The Scythe Prize, and the Writers & Artists Working Class Writer’s Prize. She is co-editor of the collection 100 Words of Solitude: Global Voices in Lockdown 2020 (Rare Swan Press). Follow @thejackdawspen on Twitter

About the book

Two sisters, two nuclear power stations, one child caught in the middle… When Helen, a self-taught prepper and single mother, leaves her young son Jack with her sister for a few days so she can visit Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone, they both know the situation will be tense. Helen opposes plans for a new power station on the coast of Anglesey that will take over the family’s farmland, and Jennifer works for the nuclear industry and welcomes the plans for the good of the economy. But blood is thicker than heavy water, and both want to reconnect somehow, with Jack perhaps the key to a new understanding of one another.

Yet while Helen is forced to face up to childhood traumas, and her worst fears regarding nuclear disaster, during a trip that sees her caught up in political violence and trapped in Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone during the 2014 Euromaidan revolution, Jennifer too must discover that even the smallest decision can have catastrophic and long-lasting effects, both within the nuclear industry, and within the home.

And Jack isn’t like other five-year olds… as they will both discover with devastating consequences.

Review

Living on the perimeter of a nuclear power station has driven the mindset of young mother Helen. It has made her more aware of her surroundings and of the repercussions and dangers in regard to said station. One could say her need to be safe and prepared for all situations has become an obsession. The kind of obsession that makes a trip to a disaster scene seem normal – to her at least. Leaving her son in the capable hands of her family.

The bond between Helen and her son is strong, tight to the point of suffocation. A mother who sees danger in every corner and has taught her young boy accordingly. A bond that becomes strained and anxieties are heightened, when the worst case scenario happens whilst the two are separated for the first time.

I don’t think this one will leave me, the type of read that exists in the back of your mind – a warning and a stark reminder. A reminder that mankind will never learn their lesson, that greed always supersedes common sense and the safety of those directly in the line of fire. 

Helen’s approach to raising her son as a prepper, thereby also causing segregation, isolation and a very insulated view of his surroundings – it’s contentious and neglectful. He is emotionally stunted and wary of anyone other than his mother, which makes him vulnerable. Or is Helen one step closer to the future than others, thereby creating a child able to survive under the direst of situations and circumstances.

This is the kind of book that resonates in the here and now, and equally has its place in history. It’s also one, I am sure, that will divide readers at times. More importantly it will generate conversations – hopefully. It’s a cracking and captivating read. 

Buy The Half-Life of Snails at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎ Parthian Books pub date 4 May 2022. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Parthian Books.

#BlogTour The Burning Question by Linda Regan

It’s a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour The Burning Question by Linda Regan.

About the Author

Linda Regan is the prolific writer of eight crime novels, as well as a celebrated actress of stage and screen. After winning a worldwide writing competition with her novel Behind You! (2006), Linda published seven more novels, including Passion Killers (2007) which was selected as a Sunday Observer pick of the year. Since then, she has written the immensely popular DI Johnson series (2015) and the DCI Banham series (2019).

In addition to her writing, Linda is a much-loved actress, known for her recurring role in the hit BBC sitcom Hi-De-Hi, and guest appearances in popular shows The Bill, Birds of a Feather, Doctors, and Holby City. Before joining the cast of Hi-De-Hi, Linda started out in a comedy dance troupe in her youth before going on to a lead role in the West End production of Tom Stoppard’s Dirty Linen. Playing such vivid and iconic characters throughout her career, has helped Linda to develop character focused stories that bring a uniquely immersive filmic quality to the page.

In addition to her acting, Linda uses her personal experiences to write her signature brand of “strong crime”. All of Linda’s novels are set in South London, where Linda writes with meticulous knowledge of the landscape where she grew up and currently lives with her husband, actor Brian Murphy. Follow @Linda_Regan on Twitter

About the book

DCI Paul Banham and DI Alison Grainger are back. This time they’re investigating the tragic death of a young woman, burnt in her home. When another identical arson attack is reported, Grainger and Banham are on the hunt for a link, unaware that the new trainee DC, Hannah Kemp, already knows the connection. She also knows that if she comes forward with the information, her own past will come to light, and she’ll potentially lose her job. But, if she doesn’t, more women will lose their lives. 

Hannah knows who they are, and she knows their attacker will stop at nothing to keep his ring of illegal prostitutes earning. Once he realises Hannah is now a police detective, she, too, will be in mortal danger. 

As the clock ticks against her own life, she must decide whether to stay quiet for the sake of her career, or risk everything she’s worked for to stop a ruthless killer once and for all.

Review

It’s a mid-series book, however it is absolutely readable as a standalone novel. DCI Paul Banham and DI Alison Grainger are investigating a fatal arson attack with multiple victims. It soon becomes evident that there was an intended victim and some collateral damage. Unfortunately the victim has a link to someone in the team, one she wants to keep buried for very good reasons.

It’s a balance between police procedural and cosy crime, the focus and the soft layer gives it a more comfortable feel. Despite the subject matter, which is a bit seedy and dark at times, it doesn’t have a brutal hardcore crime vibe. Nothing wrong with that, the author definitely puts an emphasis on the interpersonal scenes and situations.

Perhaps sometimes to the point of making the police procedural side less convincing, because the interpersonal relationships and interactions take precedence over procedure. Again, this is merely a matter of what kind of crime read you are looking for. 

The author definitely likes to muddy the waters when it comes to the rule of law and the areas in between black and white, but perhaps the whole intention is to present a set of flawed characters, because the reality is even the people upholding the law are just mere humans. 

Buy The Burning Question at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Headline Accent, pub date 12th May 2022 | Paperback Original – £9.99. Buy at Amazon comVia Headline.

#BlogTour #IWM Mailed Fist by John Foley

It’s my turn on the BlogTour Mailed Fist by John Foley, it’s another novel in the Wartime Classics series by the Imperial War Museum. Mailed Fist will cost £8.99. It is published by IWM and can be pre-ordered at their online shop here: Mailed-Fist-(IWM-Wartime-Classic)

Based on the author’s own experience with the British Army, Mailed Fist is reprinted in a new edition including an introduction from IWM, putting the work into historical context and shining a light on this fascinating experience of the Second World War.

About the Author

Major John Foley (1917–1974) was a British Army officer, author and broadcaster. He served in the British Army from 1936 until 1954 and attended the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and passed out from officer training in 1943. Subsequently, Foley became a troop commander in the 107th Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps (King’s Own).

He was awarded an MBE for his service with the unit during the North-West Europe campaign. He then became a military reporter and later worked in the Directorate of Public Relations at the War Office.

About the book

In April 1943, newly commissioned John Foley is posted to command Five Troop and their trusty Churchill tanks Avenger, Alert, and Angler – thus begins his initiation into the Royal Armoured Corps. Covering the trials of training, embarkation to France and battle experience through Normandy, the Netherlands, the Ardennes campaign and into Germany, Foley’s intimate and detailed account follows the fate of this group of men in the latter stages of the Second World War: If this book can be said to be a history of anything, it is a history of Five Troop. Not of the squadron, or of the regiment. 

If anybody wants to know what happened in other troops, or in other squadrons, it’s all recorded painstakingly in the War Diaries and lodged in a Records Office somewhere.

Review

To get the real gist of where Foley is coming from in this largely biographical and only lightly fictional story about Five Troop and his experiences with said troop, is the fact he doesn’t present it as an experience of the regiment or squadron. It’s more a band of brothers excerpt – one small moment of many between a few.

I think that in itself is indicative of what Foley wanted to share with his readers. The comprehension and acknowledgement of individuals in the vast numbers of participants. Small moments of brotherhood and bonding, of acceptance and survival.

One of the most poignant and prophetic sentences in the book is the author referencing the finishing touches being made to the atom bomb – ‘starting a chain reaction which hasn’t finished yet.’ He couldn’t have been more correct, we have lived in the shadow of this destructive invention and the consequences of its potential ever since. I think our current situation right now, dealing with a megalomaniacal dictator, who wouldn’t think twice about becoming a continuation of said chain reaction.

It’s a piece of war literature that has faded into the background, like many others of great importance – I can only commend the Imperial War Museum for reprinting and introducing all of these important works to new generations.

Buy Mailed Fist at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏:  Imperial War Museum pub date 21 April 2022. Buy at Imperial War Museum.

BlogTour The Book of Perilous Dishes by Doina Ruști

 It’s an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Book of Perilous Dishes by Doina Ruști.  Translated from the Romanian language by James Christian Brown.

About the Author

Doina Ruști  is one of Romania’s most successful writers of historical and speculative fiction. Known for the originality of her novels, Ruști is the recipient of many major Romanian awards, and her books have been translated into multiple languages, including Chinese and German to date. Ruști is known for exploring aspects of fantasy and the supernatural, as well as tackling darker themes such as political corruption. 

She says, “I live in Bucharest, the happiest city in the world, even its name says it (The City of Joy). In all my novels I write about Bucharest. If this city didn’t exist, maybe I wouldn’t be a writer.”

Follow @doinarusti on Twitter, Visit doinarusti.ro

About the Translator – James Christian Brown

‘I am originally from Scotland but have lived in Romania since 1993. I teach in the English Department of the University of Bucharest and translate Romanian books into English. My first book-length translation from Romanian to English was The Păltiniş Diary by Gabriel Liiceanu (2000). More recently I have translated Răzvan Petrescu’s collection of short stories Small Changes in Attitude (2011), the play Mihaela, The Tiger of Our Town by Gianina Cărbunariu (2016), the volume of philosophical talks About the World We Live In by Alexandru Dragomir (2017), and Doina Ruști’s novel The Book of Perilous Dishes (Neem Tree Press, 2022)’

About the book

Bucharest, 1798. – A slave-cook lives in Bucharest, sought after by everyone. His sublime cooking satisfies even the sophisticated tastes of the Prince, who lays claim to him, whisking him off to the Palace. However, no one knows that the cook has in his possession a witch’s recipe book, the Book of Perilous Dishes.

His food can bring about damaging sincerity, forgetfulness, the gift of prediction, or hysterical laughter. And the rightful owner of this book is fourteen-year-old Pâtca, an adolescent initiated in the occult arts. Pâtca comes to Bucharest, to her uncle Cuviosu Zăval, to recover this book, but she finds him dead, murdered, and the Book of Perilous Dishes has disappeared without a trace. All that Zăval has left her is a strange map…

Review

I am eternally grateful for translators who are at the top of their game and able to recreate a foreign language book, so readers from other countries can enjoy brilliant stories that would otherwise remain just beyond our grasp. In this case the translator has in-depth knowledge of language, history and the geographical areas, which absolutely helps to do this story by Ruști justice.

The book starts with an introduction by the translator, which includes the historical context and also why he made certain choices when it came to translating or not translating certain words. At the end of the book there is also the added bonus of a glossary and pronunciation guide.

Pâtca has been preparing for the day when she has to run to save her life – that day has come, it’s time to become who she was always intended to be. She is trained to evoke powers, she is a staunch proud carrier of a special bloodline. A bloodline that determines paths of power, time, space and air.

Her escape and story becomes linked with a man who has become a myth in itself, a cook who creates dishes with intent. Pâtca seeks out her uncle in search of the book containing these dishes, but the book is gone and she is drawn into the rings reverberating from the use of recipes that call upon more than just aptitude and taste.

It’s an intriguing combination of historical fiction and magical realism. It’s on of those books that keeps on giving, worth more than one read – and I don’t say that often. An incredibly intricate read narrated by the young Pâtca, who always seems to be in the midst of confusion, whilst simultaneously being convinced and driven by her birthright. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to read more by Ruști.

Buy The Book of Perilous Dishes at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other reason. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Neem Tree Press.

#BlogTour Sugar and Snails by Anne Goodwin

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Sugar and Snails by Anne Goodwin.
About the Author

Anne Goodwin writes entertaining fiction about identity, mental health and social justice. She is the author of three novels and a short story collection published by small independent press, Inspired Quill. Her debut novel, Sugar and Snails, was shortlisted for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize. Her new novel, Matilda Windsor Is Coming Home, is inspired by her previous incarnation as a clinical psychologist in a long-stay psychiatric hospital. Subscribers to her newsletter can download a free e-book of prize-winning short stories. 

Follow @Annecdotist on Twitter, Visit annegoodwin.weebly.com, @Annecdotist on Facebook, Instagram @authorannegoodwinAnne Goodwin’s YouTube channelAmazon author page: viewauthor.at/AnneGoodwin, Publisher Inspired Quill

About the book

At fifteen, she made a life-changing decision. Thirty years on, it’s time to make another. – When Diana escaped her misfit childhood, she thought she’d chosen the easier path. But the past lingers on, etched beneath her skin, and life won’t be worth living if her secret gets out.

As an adult, she’s kept other people at a distance… until Simon sweeps in on a cloud of promise and possibility. But his work is taking him to Cairo, the city that transformed her life. She’ll lose Simon if she doesn’t join him. She’ll lose herself if she does.

Sugar and Snails charts Diana’s unusual journey, revealing the scars from her fight to be true to herself. A triumphant mid-life coming-of-age story about bridging the gap between who we are and who we feel we ought to be.

Review

I was in two minds about the way to review this book. On one hand there’s an opportunity to discuss and go into detail, but on the other hand it’s also the kind of read that allows for the reader to discover the story at their own pace.

This is a story about identity, perception of identity and the way the world around us tries to fit us into preconceived notions and ready made boxes. It’s also about the inner struggle when the aforementioned leads to a battle of self.

The premise has unfortunately become an embittered battleground in the last few years with great division and warring sides, with little thought left to the reality of the confusion and pain of those in this duality.

I have to agree with the sentiment in the author’s note, if it had been written with both parents taking centre stage, the core and heart of this premise would have been non-existent. Writing it with Di at the wheel and steering the boat was much more intimate, frank and soul baring. It’s as if the reader is at the emotional core of memories, emotions and the duality of spirit and being.

It’s a really excellent piece of fiction, an exploration of a journey, of a life lived with expectations, hopes, and an unfinished jigsaw of self.

Buy Sugar and Snails at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Inspired Quill, pub date 23 July 2015. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Books2read. 

BlogTour Cold As Hell by by Lilja Sigurðardóttir,

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Cold As Hell by by Lilja Sigurðardóttir, translated by Quentin Bates.

‘With rights sold in 14 countries, Cold as Hell is the first in the riveting, atmospheric and beautifully plotted five-book series. An Áróra Investigation, from one of Iceland’s bestselling crime writers.’

About the Author

Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurðardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, with Snare, her English debut shortlisting for the CWA International Dagger and hitting bestseller lists worldwide. Trap soon followed suit, with the third in the trilogy Cage winning the Best Icelandic Crime Novel of the Year, and was a Guardian Book of the Year. 

Lilja’s standalone Betrayal, was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. Lilja is also an award-winning screenwriter in her native Iceland. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.

Follow @lilja1972  on Twitter, Visit liljawriter.com

About the book

Estranged sisters Áróra and Ísafold live in different countries, and are not on speaking terms. When their mother loses contact with Ísafold, Áróra reluctantly returns to Iceland to look for her. But she soon realizes that her sister isn’t avoiding her … she has disappeared, without a trace.

As she confronts Ísafold’s abusive, drug-dealing boyfriend Björn, and begins to probe her sister’s reclusive neighbours – who have their own reasons for staying out of sight – Áróra is drawn into an ever-darker web of intrigue and manipulation.

Baffled by the conflicting details of her sister’s life, and blinded by the shiveringly bright midnight sun of the Icelandic summer, Áróra enlists the help of police officer Daníel, to help her track her sister’s movements, and tail Björn. But she isn’t the only one watching…

Review

Historically Áróra and Ísafold have had a bit of a bumpy ride as sisters. They have become disconnected from each other, and yet old loyalties and the need to protect is never far from the surface. When Ísafold disappears Áróra feels she owes it to her big sister to help, despite the fact she has ignored her attempts in the past, and has repeatedly returned to a bad personal situation.

This book is the first in a new series, and it looks like it’s going to be a humdinger of a popular one. Whether intentionally or not the author has given this book a different style – it’s still Scandi noir, but it’s darker. There is an almost staccato like approach to the chapters and characters, and the main characters swim silently between black and white in the greyish areas of conscience and guilt.

Adding the almost anonymous quality of the perpetrator gives readers the sense of this could be me or you, which is also exactly what happens with the ethical aspect of the crime in this story. If you weigh the scales of punishment and justice – what would you do?

I think this is Sigurðardóttir’s best work so far. She’s risen above the expectations of the genre and given it what I believe to be her individual style writing voice, and I think it’s just the beginning. I am looking forward to where this series is going to take us.

Buy Cold As Hell at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books, pub date 28 October 2021 |  Paperback Original | £8.99. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Courage is Calling: Fortune Favors the Brave by Ryan Holiday

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Courage is Calling: Fortune Favors the Brave by Ryan Holiday. Courage is Calling will be the first in his highly anticipated four book series on the four Stoic virtues.

About the Author

Ryan Holiday is one of the world’s foremost writers on ancient philosophy and its place in everyday life. His books, including The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy, The Daily Stoic, and the #1 New York Times bestseller Stillness Is the Key have sold millions of copies and been translated into over 40 languages. He lives outside Austin, Texas, with his wife and two boys… and cows and donkeys and goats. Follow @RyanHoliday on Twitter, Visit ryanholiday.net

About the book

Fortune favours the bold. All great leaders of history have known this, and were successful because of the risks they dared to take. But today so many of us are paralysed by fear. 

Drawing on ancient Stoic wisdom and examples across history and around the world, Ryan Holiday shows why courage is so important, and how to cultivate it in our own lives. Courage is not simply physical bravery but also doing the right thing and standing up for what you believe; it’s creativity, generosity and perseverance. And it is the only way to live an extraordinary, fulfilled and effective life. 

Everything in life begins with courage. This book will equip you with the bravery to begin.

Review

The hardcopy of this book is small, compact and beautiful. The kind of book a bookworm collects, so the fact this is the first in a series of four is great news. Courage, Temperance, Justice and Wisdom. Beginning with Courage.

In a time and era where being courageous enough to swim against the current and not toe the line, especially when it usually means the possible loss of status, means and power – it’s not to be lightly dismissed. In a time where we have a term for people who fear to get involved when a crime is committed in front of them, the brave should be acknowledged and not pitied for the consequences of involvement.

Having spent many years talking philosophy, albeit many decades ago when I was younger and less cynical about life and the meaning of it, I group philosophers into certain groups. You have the bog standard historical figures you studied at school or uni, the academics who teach and debate, those who enjoy the thought process regardless of academic status, and the ones who distort the essence of philosophy for fame and financial gain. Sam Harris is one of the last.

Holiday takes the stoic virtue of courage and evaluates it from every angle, both historically and in our present situations. How do we react to acts of courage or treat the person who dares to act with boldness, whilst others don’t? Which emotions does it awaken in us, why do we differentiate when it comes to the why, when and where?

I really enjoyed this. It’s a riveting and engaging read, but it is also food for thought and conversation. In fact I need to think about who I can buy it for in order to discuss the content. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.

Buy Courage is Calling at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Profile Books; pub date 28 Sept. 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour Gloria by Katherine Shaw

It’s my turn on the BlogTour Gloria by Katherine Shaw.

About the Author

Katherine Shaw is a multi-genre writer and self-confessed nerd from Yorkshire in the United Kingdom, spending most of her time dreaming up new characters or playing D&D. She has a passion for telling the stories of underdogs who must rise up to defeat the hardships they have been dealt in life, often with a focus on female protagonists. She is currently working on her debut novel Gloria, a contemporary domestic thriller launching in September this year, alongside several short story projects that are in the works. You can find out more at her website katherineshawwrites.com, and she is always happy to chat on Twitter @katheroonyOn Instagramon Facebook.

About the book

For all intents and purposes, Gloria Harrison has the perfect life: a rich husband, a beautiful home, and all the free time she needs to work on her art. And yet, she is deeply unhappy. Initially resigned to be pushed around by her snobbish, manipulative husband, Greg, she discovers a shocking truth about him she simply cannot ignore, and has to get out.

As Gloria’s world unravels around her, she has to team up with friends new and old to escape not only her husband’s clutches, but also the country, even if that means giving up everything. 

Gloria must rediscover who she used to be and realise her true worth to finally free herself from Greg’s stranglehold forever, or risk losing the person she holds most dear in the world – her daughter.

Review

Aside from certain sub-plots, the most poignant one becomes clear quite early on in the book. The toxic nature of Gloria’s relationship with Greg. Her entire life – each and every decision and moment is influenced by her husband. Is she allowed to breathe? I don’t know, let’s ask Greg. He certainly has an opinion about the way she spends her days, the clothes she wears and how she moves forward in life.

When Gloria is given an opportunity to follow her heart in regards to her art and creativity. Initially she is overjoyed until Greg puts a ‘realistic’ perspective on her potential and whether anyone would be interested in anything she creates. The pattern of behaviour between the two of them is a flourishing flowerbed for the plot that evolves from this initial encounter with the characters.

The multiple threads are all good storylines, the combination is perhaps to the detriment of all of them. Perhaps make one a focus, especially when it comes the genre jumping. Not that you cant go from dark domestic thriller into something more speculative with an adjacent sideline of fluttering of romance. You can, but each individual great idea doesn’t come to fruition completely. It will be interesting to see where Shaw goes from here.

Buy Gloria at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher‏: ‎Arteminion Books pub date 8 Sept. 2021. Buy at Amazon comBarnes and NobleAppleKobo

Giveaway to Win a Signed Paperback of Gloria and more (Open to UK Only)

Click here to Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway 

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