#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)

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*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 Welcome to the Heady Heights by David F. Ross

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Welcome to the Heady Heights by David F. Ross. It’s a sardonic, brusque contemporary piece of fiction, which is steeped in the harsh reality of the time period.

About the Author

David F. Ross was born in Glasgow in 1964 and has lived in Kilmarnock for over thirty years. He is a graduate of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art, an architect by day, and a hilarious social media commentator, author and enabler by night. His most prized possession is a signed Joe Strummer LP.

Since the publication of his debut novel The Last Days of Disco, he’s become something of a media celebrity in Scotland, with a signed copy of his book going for £500 at auction, and the German edition has not left the bestseller list since it was published.

Follow @dfr10 @OrendaBooks on Twitter, Visit davidfross.co.uk

Buy Welcome to the Heady Heights

About the book

It’s the year punk rock was born, Concorde entered commercial service and a tiny Romanian gymnast changed the sport forever…

Archie Blunt is a man with big ideas. He just needs a break for them to be realised. In a bizarre brush with the light entertainment business, Archie unwittingly saves the life of the UK’s top showbiz star, Hank ‘Heady’ Hendricks, and immediately seizes the opportunity to aim for the big time. With dreams of becoming a musical impresario, he creates a new singing group called The High Five with five unruly working-class kids from Glasgow’s East End. The plan? Make it to the final of Heady’s Saturday night talent show, where fame and fortune awaits…

But there’s a complication. Archie’s made a fairly major misstep in his pursuit of fame and fortune, and now a trail of irate Glaswegian bookies, corrupt politicians and a determined Scottish WPC are all on his tail…

Review

The caustic humour of the Scots, in particular of the Glaswegian brand of the people way up north, is a wee bit like a slightly burnt piece of toast with a slathering of marmite and no butter on it. You’ll either hate it or you’ll enjoy it in a way only a marmite lover can. The humorous element is therefore debatable depending on how you like it or comprehend the written accent and in-jokes.

I didn’t feel it had much of a funny pull to it, and it wasn’t really of great importance to the story as far as I was concerned. If I had to describe this story to someone I would do it from an entirely different angle.

Behind the wall of snark and feisty dialogue is an exploration of debauchery, fame, infamy, influence and power. Ross portrays this side of humanity against the stark contrast of the working man’s life and the dire statistics of mental health, and those in regards to the life expectancy of men in certain areas.

This is especially evident in Archie’s life as he struggles to deal with the deterioration of his father’s memory and mental health, whilst fearing loss of employment and simultaneously trying to make money by becoming famous. This is how he becomes involved in the shallow, disgusting world of Heady Heights.

As the criminal actions are rolled out in the background of the story, slowly piece by piece like a jigsaw puzzle. The reader is also introduced to WPC Barbara Sherman, the character who leads us to the more salacious habits of the corrupt so-called elite. She has to deal with the misogynistic nature of the police force and harassment being brushed off like a speck of dust on a shoulder.

It’s a sardonic, brusque contemporary piece of fiction, which is steeped in the harsh reality of the time period. It’s crime fiction hidden in a noirish, brash story of corruption and deviancy.

Buy Welcome to the Heady Heights at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books; pub date 1 Feb. 2019), Paperback release 21 March 2019, Ecopy pub date 1 Feb 2019.

#BlogTour The Good, The Bad and the Rugby by Mark Farrer

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Good The Bad and The Rugby by Mark Farrer. It’s dark humour meets dysfunctional family dynamics and a hidden crime.

Don’t forget to enter the Giveaway below to win 2 bookmarks featuring the covers of all four of Mark Farrer’s books. (UK Only)

About the Author

Mark was born in Liverpool, studied Computer Science at Hull University, then had a successful career in IT management in London and the South-East for twenty years before moving to Edinburgh in 2001. He continued working in IT until 2015 when he decided to retire from the rat race and focus on becoming a writer. He now spends half his time writing and the other half worrying why he is not yet making money from writing.

The Good, The Bad & The Rugby is Mark’s third comic novel featuring a morally righteous loner called Cullen. He also has a perma-free novella on Amazon, called Dirty Barry, which tells how Cullen and Big Paul first met. He is currently at work on a second novella, called Bronchial Billy.

Mark has three children, one at University, one on a gap year in Ghana, and one still at High School. He lives with his partner Claire, a photographer, near West Linton, in the Scottish Borders.

He likes: his Mini Cooper, songwriting, playing piano, vanilla panna cotta, The Beatles, woodburning stoves, wittertainment, Bill Bailey, #sadmanonatrain, fruit gums, Carl Hiaasen, The Wire, spicy food, Van Gogh, Lindsey Buckingham, oaked chardonnay, House MD, long walks, cinema, reading in bed, florentines, Only Connect, board games, Otis Lee Crenshaw, Budweiser, GBBO, India, cheese, David Armand’s mimes, bookshops, Scandi Noir, Diet Coke, The Economist, Blackadder, good sausages, Dickens, Helena Bonham-Carter (secret crush), the Times crossword, the song mmmbop, and pies.

And lists.

He dislikes: ITV, pinot grigio, tattoos, ballet, ready meals, rap, religion, clutter, artificial raspberry flavouring, marmite, jazz, under-powered showers, people who don’t look after their stuff, opera, sprouts, and waste.

And mashed potato. He really doesn’t like mashed potato.

Follow @mark_farrer, Amazon Author page, Visit markfarrer.com

Buy The Good, The Bad and the Rugby 

About the book

Getting to the truth. By trial… and eror error.

Cullen is on jury duty, and the sleepy Scottish town of Melrose is experiencing a rare crime wave: the famous Rugby Sevens trophy is stolen, a dead body is unearthed, there is a spate of petty arson, and someone drives a van into Gloria’s front room.

Why? And what is her husband doing every night up on Eildon hill?

In this hilarious crime romp, misguided loyalties, thwarted love, and unbelievable gullibility reach crisis point on the one day in the year when the world pays a visit to Melrose.

At the final whistle, Cullen will ensure that justice is done. Because sometimes twelve good men just isn’t enough.

Review

It’s dark humour, pub talk and locker room dialogue meets dysfunctional family dynamics, arson and a hidden crime. When I say dark, it leans more towards the crude side than sarcastic or ironic. The crudeness is often voiced in sexual explicitness. In particular when it comes to scenes involving Gloria, especially the whole Banana Girl thing.

The banana show is way more in your face, literally in your face at times, than the infamous ping pong ball extravaganza. People in the know will understand the reference.

The whole Derek, Gloria and Duffy triangle was tragic and a creepy level of misogynistic. Oh hey my swimming soldiers aren’t working so I need you to have sex with my wife indefinitely until one of your swimmers passes the finish line. No asking Gloria if she agrees with this arrangement mind you. She is expected to spread her legs and take it like a good little woman, which is why she feels as if her present has become her past again. The two men pretend to care, but in the end it is all about male ego.

Farrer spins together multiple storylines, which he brings together towards the end of the book. He also lets his readers know what happens to each of the characters afterwards. A little bit like a recap at the end of a reality show that shows what happened next.

For me it felt disjointed at times, but ultimately I think that may be the Farrer style, in out and shake it all about kind of thing. Whilst it wasn’t my cup of tea I am sure it will appeal to plenty of other readers.

Buy The Good, The Bad and the Rugby at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Published in eBook on 18th October 2018.

Buy The Good, the Bad and the Rugby at Amazon com

UK Only Giveaway:

For your chance to win 2 bookmarks featuring the covers of all four of Mark Farrer’s books, please click the following Rafflecopter link.  Please note this a UK only giveaway.  The 14 winners will be selected at random and your postal address will be passed onto Mark Farrer.  There is no cash alternative.  The giveaway ends of midnight (GMT) on 16th November 2018.  Any personal information stored by the Rafflecopter giveway will be deleted after the winners have been drawn. Good luck!

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Download Dirty Barry by Mark Farrer for FREE on Amazon Uk

#BlogTour Perfect Match by Zoe May

Today is my stop on the BlogTour for Perfect Match by Zoe May. Perfect Match is breezy light read with quite a few laughs. May doesn’t take herself too seriously and applies the same approach to her views on relationships and online dating. The result is an entertaining read.

Connect with Zoe May on Twitter:

Follow @zoe_writes @HQDigitalUK @HarperCollinsUK

Buy Perfect Match

About the book

Can you ever find true love online?

Sophia Jones is an expert in all things online dating: the best sites, how to write a decent bio, which questions to ask and the right type of photos to use. The only thing she’s not so great at? Picking the guys…

After sitting through yet another dreadful date with a man who isn’t quite what she expected, Sophia is just about ready to give up on the whole dating scene. But her flatmate, Kate, persuades her to give it one more chance, only this time she must create a profile describing her ‘perfect’ man.

Yes, he must look like Robert Pattinson and needs to own a multi-million pound business, but there are a couple of other deal breakers, too! So, when a guy comes along who ticks every box, surely there’s got to be a catch?

A laugh-out-loud romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Catherine Bennetto and Rosie Blake!

Review

There is a chapter in this book that had me in stitches, because it reminded me of a similar faux pas I once made, except mine was mistaking a small heated fluffy hand-towel for a dessert. I was crying tears of laughter when I read it.

What May hides really well in this humorous story is the serious question of our expectations vs reality when it comes to relationships and love, and if that wasn’t enough the author also takes a subtle pop at online dating. It has become the 21st century approach to meeting a potential mate. It has opened up opportunities, but it also brings certain safety concerns with it. Connecting with other people is now as easy as breathing air thanks to app, smartphones and technology in general.

Sophia has used nearly every website she can think of to find the right man. So far she has only met duds, bores and freaks. Then again she is extremely finicky. No one is handsome enough, rich enough, smart enough and certainly not entertaining enough for her.

In an act of desperation she writes a profile for yet another website with what can only be described as fantastical requests. In return she gets a lot of weird replies, but one of them is different, one of them matches the profile perfectly.

The moral of the story is you should never judge a book by its cover. Nothing could be more true in this case. As is the saying that you don’t want something or someone until somebody else has it and it is no longer available to you. Sophia definitely suffers from wanting what she can’t have and not wanting what she can have.

Perfect Match is a light-hearted rom-com with a frank take on 21st century dating and our inability to appreciate what we have, and to see what is often right under our noses. May entertains without losing sight of the point she is trying to make, and brings the serious tone when the story requires it. It isn’t often that a scene in a book makes me laugh out loud, so kudos to May for that.

Buy Perfect Match at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

147 Things by Jim Chapman

147 thingsIf I inherited anything from my father at all, because I damn sure didn’t get his maths genius gene, then it is a thirst for knowledge. I read a lot, and I acquire a lot of seemingly useless facts, tidbits or information.

You just never know when you’re going to need to know that penguins can jump up to three meters high or that it is illegal to hunt and kill camels in Arizona. Really? How many camels are there in Arizona that they need a law to protect them?

Essentially this is what 147 Things is about. A collection of odd facts connected via witty commentary. I don’t think I am going to get over the whole kangaroo fact, now every time I look at one I will be wondering about what is hidden in that pouch.

To be completely frank the concept of a book of random facts could be considered a wee bit boring after a while, and that exact thought crossed my mind just a few facts or chapters in. Then the book took a slightly different direction and became more personal. Specifically from Thing 19: Some people aren’t bad, they just do bad things, onwards.

The element, which I believe redeems the book, and makes it not only an entertaining read but also a heart-warming one, is the part of himself Chapman puts into the book.

He lets the reader take a close look at his memories and what is in his heart. He lets us in to take a snapshot of what has shaped him as a child and as a young man, and this is what makes this more than just a book about odd and interesting facts.

Buy 147 Things: My User’s Guide to the Universe, from Black Holes to Bellybuttons at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @jimchapman and @PanMacPublicity

Visit jimchapman.co.uk or his Youtube channel