#BlogTour Hunter’s Force by Val Penny

Today it’s my turn on the Blogtour Hunter’s Force by Val PennyEnter the Giveaway below to Win a mobi or PDF of Hunter’s Force by Val Penny (Open INT)

About the Author

Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University.

She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels. Her crime novels, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ Hunter’s Revenge and Hunter’s Force are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by Crooked Cat Books. The fourth book in the series, Hunter’s Blood, follows shortly.

Follow @valeriepenny on Twitter, on Facebookon Amazonon GoodreadsFollow the Friends of Hunter Wilson and Edinburgh Crime Mysteries,Visit authorvalpenny.com

About the book

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature. Can DI Hunter Wilson keep Edinburgh safe when he is the hunted?

Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson is woken in the early hours of the morning by a call from his son. Cameron’s flatmate was murdered. Why would anybody want to kill a young woman recently arrived in the city?

Hunter must call in the new Major Incident Team (MIT) to lead the investigation due to the reorganisation of police services. Hunter’s ability to be involved, however, is put in severe doubt when someone from his past decides to take revenge on him. He goes missing, and his team have no idea where to look for him. Who would want to stop Hunter in his tracks?

Meanwhile, Hunter’s team must work closely with the MIT, with or without him, to solve the murder in this taut crime thriller.

Review

What would you do if you came home and found your roommate, albeit one you never agreed to have in your apartment in the first place, brutally murdered? Common sense would dictate the need to call the police, right? Or would you call your father Detective Inspector Hunter? Well, you can guess what Cameron decides to do.

Everything points towards him having something to with her murder. She is in his apartment, he was the last one to see her, and yet the person who said she could live there somehow has no recollection of doing so. That’s quite a conundrum.

Simultaneously someone has their sights set on getting rid of Hunter, which of course begs the question whether putting Cameron in the frame for a vicious murder has anything to do with a personal vendetta.

I think without intending to Penny actually creates a kind of locked room scenario, but without the locked room. When the least likely suspect is actually the most guilty person in the room.

It’s a police procedural with a mob vibe, crime solved by an almost vigilante force, Hunter’s Force. Penny keeps it moving, sometimes so fast you have to retrace your own reading footprint. It’s violent, gritty and the motive is brutal.

Buy Hunter’s Force (The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries #3) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Crooked Cat Books; pub date 3 Mar. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Buy Hunter’s Chase (The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries #1) at Amazon Uk or Amazon com

Buy Hunter’s Revenge (The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries #2) at Amazon Uk or Amazon com

Enter the Giveaway to Win a mobi or PDF of Hunter’s Force by Val Penny (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*

#PublicationDayPush The Wife’s Revenge by Deirdre Palmer

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the Publication day Push for The Wife’s Revenge by Deirdre PalmerAbout the Author

I live in Brighton with my husband and a tabby cat called Chester. After a career in public sector admin, most recently at the University of Brighton, it was time to stop dreaming about being a writer and actually do something about it!  Fast forward to the present, and now I’m both traditionally published and self-published, with five women’s fiction novels under my own name, and five ‘cosy’ reads, writing as Zara Thorne.  I’ve also published a book of short stories, most of which were previously published in The People’s Friend magazine. ‘The Wife’s Revenge’ is my first foray into the psychological suspense genre.

Follow @DLPalmer_Writer onTwitter, on Facebook, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit deirdrepalmer.comBuy The Wife’s Revenge

About the book

Sometimes the lie is safer than the truth.

Fran made the biggest mistake of her life when she had an affair with Ben. Both families live in the village of Oakheart; their children are friends. Fran’s guilt shadows her days. But it’s no more than she deserves, or is it? At least she’s managed to protect her husband, Hector, from the harsh truth. But for how long?

Tessa has left her troubles in the past and now has the perfect life. Ben might have his faults, but his life has not been easy. They need each other, and Tessa will do whatever it takes to eliminate any threats to her marriage. Threats from women like Fran.

A cliff overlooks a disused chalk-pit. The locals call it High Heaven. It’s a place of secrets. And it’s where Oakheart newcomer Maria died. When Fran discovers a link between Maria and Ben, disturbing questions arise to which she has no way of knowing the answers.

Faced with an ultimatum from Tessa, time is running out for Fran. She’s scared, every minute of every day. But where does the real danger lie?

Review

From the outside Fran has a great marriage, three beautiful children and a wonderful life. But this is Fran now and not then. Not so long ago Fran was so happy with her life that she needed to seek more pleasure outside of her marriage. Pleasure with Tessa’s husband. That’s right with someone else’s husband.

Tessa isn’t blind to all the carnal shenanigans though. In fact she knows exactly when Ben starts to look elsewhere and stray. He can look and he can play for a while, but as soon as it gets serious Tessa has to take steps to ensure her family doesn’t fall apart. Even if that means doing the absolute worst and unthinkable.

Palmer keeps the reader guessing when it comes to a question of guilt, because there are quite a few characters who appear to have a screw loose or are sailing close to the precipice of disturbed. Tessa is the classic jealous wife with vengeance on her mind and hatred in her heart. Ben seems to have some sociopathic tendencies he is hiding well, because he performs daily as the perfect and caring husband, and yet there is a dark and insidious side to his character.

The author plays with the different levels of culpability and guilt. How each character deals with it or not as the case may be. Humans are fallible – there is no such thing as perfection.

It’s a riveting psychological thriller, a story with multiple layers of guilt and accountability. Palmer writes a gripping story. The kind that reels you in and keeps you on the hook until the last page.

Buy The Wife’s Revenge at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Crooked Cat/Darkstroke books; pub date 22 Oct. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Heathcliff: The Unanswered Questions Finally Answered? by Sue Barnard

Today it’s the Blog Blitz for Heathcliff by Sue Barnard. A filling in the blanks spaces of Heathcliff.

Enter the Giveaway to Win a signed copy of Heathcliff (UK Only)

About the Author

Sue Barnard is a British novelist, editor and award-winning poet whose family background is far stranger than any work of fiction. She would write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.

Sue was born in North Wales but has spent most of her life in and around Manchester. She speaks French like a Belgian, German like a schoolgirl, and Italian and Portuguese like an Englishwoman abroad.

Her mind is so warped that she has appeared on BBC TV’s Only Connect quiz show, and she has also compiled questions for BBC Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz. This once caused one of her sons to describe her as “professionally weird.” The label has stuck.

Sue’s first novel, The Ghostly Father (a new take on the traditional story of Romeo & Juliet), was officially released on St Valentine’s Day 2014.  Since then she has produced five more novels: Nice Girls Don’t (2014), The Unkindest Cut of All (2015), Never on Saturday (2017), Heathcliff (2018), and Finding Nina (2019).

Sue now lives in Cheshire, UK, with her extremely patient husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings.

Follow @AuthorSusanB on Twitteron Facebook, on Instagram, on Amazon, RNA, Visit broad-thoughts-from-a-home.blogspot.com

It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now…”

Cathy’s immortal words from Wuthering Heights change Heathcliff’s life.  At just seventeen years of age, heartbroken and penniless, he runs away to face an unknown future.

Three years later, he returns – much improved in manners, appearance and prosperity.

But what happened during those years? How could he have made his fortune, from nothing? Who might his parents have been? And what fate turned him into literature’s most famous anti-hero?

For almost two centuries, these questions have remained unanswered.

Until now…Review

I think readers who come to this read completely Wuthering Heights free have an advantage. They can experience this and the characters without any preconceived ideas. Those who have read the book are perhaps too tied to the characters they know.

I’m going to go out on a limb here with what is probably going to be an unpopular opinion. Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke. Whilst I can enjoy someone being inspired by literature and by infamous characters, it’s not easy to do them justice and infuse them with a new interpretation. I think the trick is to perhaps tell the hidden stories, which the author does in a way by exploring the three years Heathcliff disappeared, but in a way that leaves the rest of the original story as intact as possible.

So, here’s the thing, the essence of Heathcliff is the powerful relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff. It is grounded in obsession, passion and an almost mystical connection to the surroundings. That is at the core of a pretty normal story of jealousy and a woman caught between two men.

When you start to imagine how the spaces and holes in time may have been occupied or add your own thoughts about the characters to the mix then it becomes an entirely different story. That in itself isn’t a bad thing per se, but the draw and the magic of the initial piece disappear.

The character of Heathcliff is no longer the face of tragedy, pain and longing as he listens for her call. Instead Barnard presents us with a more jaded and cruel version of the man. A man defined by his years among more hardened individuals and with an eye on revenge.

I liked the idea of filling in the blanks with correspondence. Answering some of the nagging questions with words from the characters themselves, however perhaps some aspects of the characters and the read are supposed to remain a mystery.

Buy Heathcliff: The Unanswered Questions Finally Answered? at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Crooked Cat Books; pub date 30 July 2018. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway to Win a signed copy of Heathcliff (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.*

#BlogTour The Refuge by Jo Fenton

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Refuge by Jo Fenton. This is the second book in The Abbey series and also the second book of this two book blog tour. It’s a dark psychological thriller set in the aftermath of the disassembly of a religious sect. A fast-paced sometimes disturbing read.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win 3 x E-copies of The Brotherhood and The Refuge (Open Internationally)About the Author

Jo Fenton grew up in Hertfordshire. She devoured books from an early age, particularly enjoying adventure books, school stories and fantasy. She wanted to be a scientist from aged six after being given a wonderful book titled “Science Can Be Fun”. At eleven, she discovered Agatha Christie and Georgette Heyer, and now has an eclectic and much loved book collection cluttering her home office.

Jo combines an exciting career in Clinical Research with an equally exciting but very different career as a writer of psychological thrillers.

When not working, she runs (very slowly), and chats to lots of people. She lives in Manchester with her husband, two sons, a Corgi and a tankful of tropical fish. She is an active and enthusiastic member of two writing groups and a reading group.

Follow @jl_fenton on Twitter, on Facebook, Visit jofenton137.com

Buy The Refuge

About the book

Following the death of The Brotherhood’s charismatic but sinister leader, Dominic, Melissa and her husband Mark resolve to turn the Abbey into a refuge for victims of domestic abuse. But when Melissa’s long-lost sister, Jess, turns up at the Abbey, new complications arise.

The Abbey residents welcome the new arrival but find it hard to cope with the after-effects of her past. As Jess struggles to come to terms with what she’s been through, her sudden freedom brings unforeseen difficulties. The appearance of a stalker – who bears a striking resemblance to the man who kept her prisoner for nine years – leads to serious problems for Jess.

Meanwhile, Mark also finds that his past is coming back to haunt him. When a mother and daughter venture from the Abbey into the local town for a shopping trip, there are dreadful consequences.

A build-up of tension, a poorly baby and a well-planned trap lead Mel, Jess and their family into a terrifying situation.

Can Jess overcome the traumas of her past to rescue her sister?

Review

I’m sure this can be read as a standalone novel, however I do think reading the first book in the series puts everything into more perspective, especially because previous characters and events feature heavily in this one. This book starts where The Brotherhood left off, with Melissa reunited with her baby and with Mark.

Her sister, who has been missing since she was child, has escaped her captors. She is reunited with her sister at the abbey, which is in the process of being turned into a refuge for victims of  domestic violence. Very apt considering the terrible crimes the members and leader of the sect committed.

Jess has a lot of trauma to overcome. Being held captive and both experiencing and seeing the depravity some people are capable of, well it’s no wonder she needs time to adapt. It certainly doesn’t help when someone turns up at her supposedly safe haven, someone who looks a lot like her captor. What are the chances of that happening?

It’s a dark psychological thriller set in the aftermath of the disassembly of a religious sect. A fast-paced sometimes disturbing read.

This sequel follows on from the basic storyline and characters of the first book, which means there are bound to be certain similarities. I do think Fenton needs to move beyond the basic structure of this premise. The sexual harassment, crimes against women and rape tropes become repetitive or overdone the second time round. There needs to be a slight element of freshness.

Buy The Refuge at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Crooked Cat Books; pub date 28 May 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway to Win 3 x E-copies of The Brotherhood and The Refuge (Open Internationally)

Click here to Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. 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 Brotherhood by Jo Fenton

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Brotherhood by Jo Fenton. It’s the first book of this two book blog tour. It’s a psychological thriller, a crime story in a dark manipulative setting.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win 3 x E-copies of The Brotherhood and The Refuge (Open Internationally).About the Author

Jo Fenton grew up in Hertfordshire. She devoured books from an early age, particularly enjoying adventure books, school stories and fantasy. She wanted to be a scientist from aged six after being given a wonderful book titled “Science Can Be Fun”. At eleven, she discovered Agatha Christie and Georgette Heyer, and now has an eclectic and much loved book collection cluttering her home office.

Jo combines an exciting career in Clinical Research with an equally exciting but very different career as a writer of psychological thrillers.

When not working, she runs (very slowly), and chats to lots of people. She lives in Manchester with her husband, two sons, a Corgi and a tankful of tropical fish. She is an active and enthusiastic member of two writing groups and a reading group.

Follow @jl_fenton on Twitter, on Facebook, Visit jofenton137.com

Buy The Brotherhood

About the book

When a young woman becomes pregnant in a religious sect, how far will she go to escape the abusive leader and save the people she loves?

The Brotherhood – safe haven or prison?

After her parents’ sudden death, a grieving Melissa falls back on her faith and into the welcoming arms of a religious sect. Captivated by their leader, Dominic, she leaves her old life behind and moves to the countryside to join them.

But life in The Brotherhood is not as safe as it first appeared. When engineer Mark joins The Brotherhood, Melissa finds herself conflicted between her growing feelings for him and her crush on Dominic. With their leader’s initial encouragement, Melissa and Mark grow close.

But as her haven becomes a prison, Melissa’s newfound happiness is destroyed by Dominic’s jealousy. How can she escape and save the ones she loves?

Review

I have an intense dislike for people who purport to be the voice through which God speaks, and even more so for cults who target and manipulate the lost and the vulnerable. Regardless of whether they are out to take their money, control them or convince them that have a special connection to God.

Fenton uses that particular scenario to play with in this story.

The main character, Melissa, is grieving and completely vulnerable to the attention Dominic is showering upon her. It’s not really a surprise when she lets him convince her to heal in a safe place. Except that safe space turns out to be everything but safe.

It’s a hard read at times, perhaps more so because the people within the cult are controlled so easily. Basic human rights and needs are thrown out the window in an attempt to please the Messiah. Seriously, someone calling themselves the Messiah – that should be a huge alarm bell for anyone.

Abuse and torture go hand in hand with what is considered the norm in regards to punishment behind the doors of the sanctum of the brotherhood. The sexual abuse, the rapes and plenty of other heinous crimes aren’t perceived as such, because hey the Messiah said so and he makes the rules.

It’s a psychological thriller, a crime story in a dark manipulative setting. It should be a warning, despite the fictional setting and story. These types of cults and manipulative leaders do exist and they do pull masses of people in by playing on their weaknesses and their need to belong and be safe.

Buy The Brotherhood at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Crooked Cat Books; pub date 25 July 2018. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway to Win 3 x E-copies of The Brotherhood and The Refuge (Open Internationally)

Click here to Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. 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 Rough and Deadly by Paula Williams

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Rough and Deadly by Paula Williams. It’s a cosy mystery with a lot of snark and a cast of delightfully eccentric and colourful characters.

About the Author

Paula Williams is living her dream. She’s written all her life – her earliest efforts involved blackmailing her unfortunate younger brothers into appearing in her plays and pageants. But it’s only in recent years that she discovered to her surprise that people with better judgement than her brothers actually liked what she wrote and were prepared to pay her for it.

Now, she writes every day in a lovely, book-lined study in her home in Somerset, where she lives with her husband and a handsome but not always obedient rescue Dalmatian called Duke. She started out writing fiction for women’s magazines (and still does) but has recently branched out into longer fiction. She also writes a monthly column, Ideas Store, for the writers’ magazines, Writers’ Forum.

But, as with the best of dreams, she worries that one day she’s going to wake up and find she still has to bully her brothers into reading ‘the play what she wrote’.

Follow @paulawilliams44 on Twitter, on Facebook, on Goodreads, Visit paulawilliamswriter.co.uk  and paulawilliamswriter.wordpress.com

Buy Rough and Deadly

About the book

Everyone knows Abe Compton’s Headbender cider is as rough as a cider can get. But is it deadly?

When self-styled ‘lady of the manor’, Margot Duckett-Trimble, announces she wouldn’t be seen dead drinking the stuff, who could have foreseen that, only a few days later, she’d be found, face down, in a vat of it?

Kat Latcham’s no stranger to murder. Indeed, the once ‘sleepy’ Somerset village of Much Winchmoor is fast gaining a reputation as the murder capital of the West Country and is ‘as sleepy as a kid on Christmas Eve’ when it’s discovered there’s a murderer running loose in the community again.

Kat has known Abe all her life, and she is sure that, although he had motive, he didn’t kill Margot. But as she investigates, the murderer strikes again. And the closer Kat gets to finding out who the real killer is, the closer to danger she becomes.

This second Much Winchmoor mystery is once again spiked with humour and sprinkled with romance – plus a cast of colourful characters, including a manic little dog called Prescott whose bite is definitely worse than his bark.

Review

This is the second book in the Much Winchmoor mystery series. Think Midsomer Murders or Agatha Raisin. I haven’t read the first, but didn’t feel as if I needed to, this can absolutely be read as a standalone novel.

Kat Latcham has got herself a reputation for snooping around and solving crimes, so it’s no surprise when she puts herself right in the middle of the suspicious death of a local woman. There are plenty of suspects floating around because the victim was the worst kind of snob. Her death isn’t a surprise, but the main suspect certainly is. Kat wants to prove his innocence and it’s the perfect opportunity to convince the local rag she writes for to give her a permanent position.

She can’t afford to be picky seeing as she is a grown woman who has had to move back in with her parents. Back in her old room with no money, a lot of debt and no real job per se. To make it worse her only form of transport is the bike she used as a teenager. It’s fair to say she has no street cred in her village.

This is definitely the type of read you want to grab when you need a break from the more tense, violent and graphic crime reads. The combination of humour, crime and a wee bit of romance creates a rather amusing and pleasant read.

It’s a cosy mystery with a lot of snark and a cast of delightfully eccentric and colourful characters. For me the real indicator of a good read, as it will be for other readers, is whether I would go out and buy more books by the author. In this case I definitely would, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Williams to readers of this genre.

Buy Rough and Deadly at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Crooked Cat Books; pub date 30 April 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Cultivating a Fuji by Miriam Drori

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Cultivating a Fuji by Miriam Drori. It’s a contemporary read with a focus on mental health.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win copies of Neither Here No There and Social Anxiety Revealed (Open Internationally)

About the Author

Miriam Drori has decided she’s in the fifth and best stage of her life, and she’s hoping it’ll last for ever. It’s the one in which she’s happiest and most settled and finally free to do what she wants. Miriam lives in a delightful house and garden in Jerusalem with her lovely husband and one of three children. She enjoys frequent trips around the world. She dances, hikes, reads and listens to music. And she’s realised that social anxiety is here to stay, so she might as well make friends with it. On top of that, she has moved away from computer programming and technical writing (although both of those provided interest in previous stages) and now spends her time editing and writing fiction.

Neither Here Nor There (currently unavailable), a romance with a difference set in Jerusalem, was published in 2014. The Women Friends, co-written with Emma Rose Millar, is a series of novellas based on the famous painting by Gustav Klimt. Social Anxiety Revealed (non-fiction) provides a comprehensive description of social anxiety from many different viewpoints. Cultivating a Fuji takes the social anxiety theme into fiction, using humour to season a poignant story.

About the book

Convinced that his imperfect, solitary existence is the best it will ever be, Martin unexpectedly finds himself being sent to represent his company in Japan. His colleagues think it’s a joke; his bosses are certain he will fail. What does Martin think? He simply does what he’s told. That’s how he’s survived up to now – by hiding his feelings.

Amazingly, in the land of strange rituals, sweet and juicy apples, and too much saké, Martin flourishes and achieves the impossible. But that’s only the beginning. Keeping up the momentum for change proves futile. So, too, is a return to what he had before. Is there a way forward, or should he put an end to the search now?

Gradually, as you’ll see when Martin looks back from near the end of his journey, life improves. There’s even a woman, Fiona, who brings her own baggage to the relationship, but brightens Martin’s days. And just when you think there can be no more surprises, another one pops up.

Throughout his life, people have laughed at ‘weirdo’ Martin; and you, as you read, will have plenty of opportunity to laugh, too. Go ahead, laugh away, but you’ll find that there’s also a serious side to all this…

Review

Drori approaches the topic of social anxiety from the perspective of an outsider, someone living without anxiety, which is an interesting way to go about it. Instead of the perspective of the person suffering from life defining anxiety, in this case the main character Martin, describing how it has impacted and changed his life. As a reader you get a very accurate, and certainly uncomfortable, goldfish bowl experience of Martin’s life.

I wonder if the author decided to approach it this way in an attempt to get more readers or people to relate, and in doing so have a better understanding of social anxiety and how our actions can have an impact on the lives of others.

Will the bully recognise themselves as the pupil, student, colleague or family member? Will the person who is frustrated by the seemingly odd habits, restrictions and fears of their fellow human, read and understand how our expectations of societal norms can become an insurmountable burden to someone living with anxiety?

It’s a contemporary read with a focus on mental health. Social Anxiety Disorder is one of the most common mental disorders of our day and age, and yet there are still too many misconceptions surrounding it. There is no room for the word shyness in a world where batting away concerns about someone with such a blasé attitude no longer has a place in our society.

I think the way Drori went about this was thought provoking. It’s a stage with Martin smack bang in the middle with a spotlight on him. His outer world, in the form of every person and event that has caused, formed and fuelled his anxiety, stands around him in a circle. They exchange information about him over his head, as it applies to Martin, but more importantly how it relates to their conscience and epiphanies. Outside of that ring are the readers, as we judge and hopefully gain better comprehension of the subject.

Buy Cultivating a Fuji at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Crooked Cat Books; pub date 15 May 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway to Win copies of Neither Here No There and Social Anxiety Revealed  (Open Internationally)

Click here to Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. 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 Suspects by Katharine Johnson

It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Suspects by Katharine Johnson. It’s a suspense thriller with aspects of a psychological thriller.

Enter the Giveaway to Win copies of The Suspects and The Silence (Open Internationally) 1st Prize – signed paperback of The Suspects,  2nd Prize audiobook of The Silence – any regionAbout the Author

Katharine Johnson was born in Bristol and now lives in Berkshire. She’s worked as a journalist on lots of magazines and has written a history book about Windsor. When not writing you’ll usually find her with a book in one hand and a coffee in the other, restoring a house in Italy, walking her spaniel or playing netball (although not usually at the same time.)

Follow @kjohnsonwrites on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, on Pinterest, BookBub, Goodreads, Visit katyjohnsonblog.wordpress.com

Buy The Suspects

About the book

Shallow Grave meets The Secret History in this quirky psychological thriller.

Bristol, 1988. Five young graduates on the threshold of their careers buy a house together in order to get a foot on the property ladder before prices spiral out of their reach. But it soon becomes the house share from hell.

After their New Year’s Eve party, they discover a body – and it’s clear they’ll be the first suspects. As each of them has a good reason from their past not to trust the police, they come up with a solution – one which forces them into a life of secrets and lies. But can they trust each other?

Review

The story starts somewhere towards the end of a series of events set off by the death of a stranger. A close-knit group of friends, who own and live in the same house, are at the funeral of a friend. Then the reader is taken back in time to before everything spiralled out of control.

They are an unusual bunch of people, probably only brought together through their common denominator career, and the need to find appropriate accommodation.

I really disliked Imogen’s boyfriend and the way the others let him walk all over them. Whether it was the plots for house domination or just turning up and letting himself in as if he owned the place. He was indicative of the lack of respect and trust they all have for each other, which also means the only reason they cooperate is to save their own skins.

My main contention with the plot is that the house became a main character, to the point of swallowing up the main storyline. There was just way too much kerfuffle and dialogue surrounding ownership, mortgage payments and the house as leverage. Yes, I understand the leverage is an important factor in who does what for whom and why, but my point still stands.

It’s a suspense thriller with aspects of a psychological thriller. Johnson combines the flighty irresponsibility and impulsiveness of youth with the ruthless machinations of criminals hiding within their group. The question of course is what will drive each one of them to cross boundaries and commit crimes they can never come back from. Towards the end it becomes clear just how selfish and ruthless each one of them has become.

The beginning starts out with a nice little killer vibe, and it descends into a crime mystery with heavy emphasis on the relationships between the housemates.

Buy The Suspects at Amazon Uk (ecopy) or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Crooked Cat Books; pub date 10 May 2019. Paperback available March 2019. Buy at Amazon com.


Enter the Giveaway to Win copies of The Suspects and The Silence (Open Internationally) 1st Prize – signed paperback of The Suspects, 2nd Prize audiobook of The Silence – any region

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. 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 Worth of a Penny by Jess B. Moore

Today it’s the BlogTour The Worth of a Penny by Jess B. Moore. It’s contemporary romance fiction. It says it on the cover, it’s a sweet romance, however it is also a story with a strong voice. About the Author

Jess B Moore is a writer of love stories. When she’s not writing, she’s busy mothering her talented and stubborn children, reading obscene numbers of books, and knitting scarves she’ll likely never finish.

Jess lives in small town North Carolina with her bluegrass obsessed family. She takes too many pictures of her cats, thinking the Internet loves them as much as she does. She is a firm believer of swapping stories over coffee or wine, and that there should always be dark chocolate involved.

Her novels combine her interests in family, music, and small towns into thoughtful tales of growing up and falling in love.

Follow @authorjessb on Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook, Visit jessbmoore.com

Buy The Worth of a Penny

About the book

Sweetheart Penelope Davies is what her daddy calls gullible, right after he told her she was stupid and worthless. With her cheek red from being slapped by him, and her heart trampled by a worthless boyfriend, she packs up and follows her half-brother to Fox River, North Carolina, in need of a fresh start.

Dominic MacKenna is the youngest of five brothers, the friendly one with a killer smile and easy laugh. His brothers are all grown up, and one by one they’re flying the nest, leaving him out of sorts and unsure of his place. Who is he if not the youngest MacKenna?

Penny falls in with the MacKenna brothers, welcomed in as family, and offered the kind of love and support she never knew existed. With a new job and a lot of determination, she is finding out what she’s capable of. The last thing she needs now is to fall in love with the most notorious flirt in town.

Dominic falls for the sweet strong girl with a penchant for random facts and quirky homemade dresses. All he wants is to show Penny how wonderful she is, how smart and funny, and how desired and loved—even if he has to do it as her friend.

Review

Despite the fact that this is a sweet romance which develops over period of time as Penny and Dom become friends and build upon their relationship, the author also inserts really important topics into the story. She gives the reader the sweet, the cute and the first blush of young love with hard-hitting issues like abuse, controlling behaviour, malicious rumours and abortion.

Sounds like a whole load of heavy, right? Far from it, because Moore doesn’t let the more serious topics drown out the budding relationship between Dom and Penny. What she does do successfully is shine a light on how sharp tongues, factless opinions spread like wildfire and have the ability to destroy and manipulate lives.

The most interesting element in this story is the way the concept of abortion is bandied about like the taboo it still is. The stigma that comes with it when a young woman is connected to the act itself. The way a young man uses the word to destroy or sully her reputation.

The real question here is why having an abortion should be viewed as such an atrocious act that the woman is perceived as a sinner, harlot, murderer or a person not worthy of association. That my friends is the real issue and the reality of the 21st century, despite our shouting from the rooftops how evolved we are as species – this is concrete proof that many minds have never left the dark ages.

It’s contemporary romance fiction. It says it on the cover, it’s a sweet romance, however it is also a story with a strong voice. A voice advocating for women’s rights and yet at the same time acknowledging the other side of the argument. The reader gets the romance between the shy and insecure Penny and the considerate and caring Dom with a subtle layer of current political and interpersonal conflicts.

Buy The Worth of a Penny (Fox River Romance #3) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Crooked Cat Books pub date 29 Mar. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Cursed Serpent by Columbkill Noonan

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Barnabas Tew and The Case of the Cursed Serpent by Columbkill Noonan. Noonan combines history and mythology almost seamlessly with this time-travelling, era and culture skipping end of the world saving Victorian duo.

About the Author

Columbkill Noonan is the author of the bestselling “Barnabas Tew” series, which features the bumbling-yet-lovable Victorian detective Barnabas and his trusty sidekick, Wilfred. Columbkill combines her love of mythology and her affinity for period fiction to craft unique cozy mysteries that will leave you guessing (and chuckling!) till the very end.

About the book

Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Cursed Serpent

“For Queen, for Country, and for….Uncle Rabbit?”

Just when Barnabas and Wilfred thought the world was safe at last, along comes a new threat: the Mayan Lords of Death have hatched a plan to overthrow the natural order of things, involving a cursed serpent god, two untrustworthy sets of twins, and a dead bunny that must be resuscitated at all costs. Only Barnabas and Wilfred can possibly unravel the convoluted plot, but they face danger after danger as they attempt to do so. If they fail, up will be down and down will be up, and the evil Lords of Death will take over the heavens.

Do Barnabas and Wilfred have the courage, skill (and luck!) to save the world yet again?

Review

This is the third book in the Barnabas Tew series. It can be read as a standalone novel, however due to the complexity of the Tew premise I would suggest reading the others or the first in the series, especially because this one starts out with the main characters already in the middle of trouble.

Barnabas and Wilfred end up in the middle of the Mayan civilisation, in a room with a woman who has a snake on her head. Or is the snake a hat? Is the snake part of the hat? So many philosophical chicken or egg questions.

Needless to say the appearance of two Victorian gentlemen in the middle of a bunch of Mayan gods an demons makes for an interesting combination. Barnabas and Wilfred start out trying to instil their own sense of normality on the people and gods around them. They have no time for names and titles embedded in cultural appreciation, so first up is changing them to something more simplistic like Smith, Jones or man number 1.

In a kind of time-space continuum plot the Victorian tag-team has to ensure Uncle Rabbit is reawakened to keep the natural order of things in place. Without Rabbit there is no room to renew and evolve, there is only the same every day over and over again.

It has shades of Gaiman with a strong focus on the Mayan culture and mythology. There is correlation between the macabre games and the sacrificial aspect. In fact Noonan combines history and mythology almost seamlessly with this time-travelling, era and culture skipping end of the world saving Victorian duo.

It’s hard to fit into one particular genre and is definitely a series for readers who like to mix it up a little.

Buy Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Cursed Serpent at Amazon UkPublisher: Crooked Cat Books; pub date 2 April 2019. Buy at Amazon com.