The Road to Alexander by Jennifer Macaire @jennifermacaire @rararesources #review

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Road To Alexander by Jenny Macaire as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. My thanks to Rachel for the invite and to Jennifer for my e-copy of this book.

Synopsis:

What do you do when the past becomes your future?

The year is 2089, and time-travelling journalist Ashley Riveraine gets a once in a lifetime opportunity to interview her childhood hero, Alexander the Great. She expects to come out with an award-winning article, but doesn’t count on Fate intervening.

Alexander mistakes Ashley for Persephone, goddess of the dead, and kidnaps her, stranding her in his own time. Being stuck 3000 years in the past with the man of her dreams wouldn’t be so bad if the scientists of the Time Institute hadn’t threatened to erase Ashley from existence if she changes history.

Ashley must now walk a tightrope, caught up in the cataclysmic events of the time, knowing what the future holds for the people she comes to love but powerless to do anything to influence it.

Join Ashley on her hilarious, bumpy journey into the past as she discovers where her place in history truly is…

Purchase  Link – Click Here

My Thoughts:

This is the story of Ashley and how she travels back in time to meet one of her heroes, Alexander the Great, to interview him. Alexander unwittingly prevents Ashley from returning back to her time and she is left stranded in history and decides to embrace the predicament in which she finds herself.

Now I did wonder how I would get on this story, time travel and ancient history. I really should not wonder when it comes to reading as this author did an absolutely cracking job with the story and completely won me over. I will mention that the author stated in her notes at the end, that she has moved somethings and people around to help with her story. I am aware of something from the days of Alexander but I am not au fait with much of it so I just enjoyed the story as the author saw it.

I would definitely say this is a historical romance as well as being a historical fiction read. It is about two people from very different times, backgrounds, interests, and experiences. The author has managed to inject some humorous aspects into the story that had me smirking, Ashley uses phrases and words that would not have been around at that time, and it gets some of the historical characters scratching their heads. For them, it adds to the mystery behind who or what they believe her to be.

I really liked the way a lot of historical facts has been mixed in with the fiction it made reading details much more interesting. Essentially turning a list of dates, people and places into something a lot lighter reading. There are mentions of battles, gods, religion, philosophy and the beliefs of the time. There is so much from the daily life, health, hygiene pretty much everything you would expect and a lot I didn’t even think about.

While Ashley is the main part of the story, her focus is on Alexander, the man, and the legendary historical figure. By the end of the story, I realised that this author really knows her stuff and has an obvious love of this time period, as it really does show in her writing. I came away knowing so much more than when I started this book, that is a big bonus for me.

I did mention it had a romantic aspect to it. Ashley initially is a little aloof and comes across as cold, where as Alexander is definitely a hot blooded male… thats all I am saying at this point, it does make for some very interesting reading! As the story develops Ashley then seems to thaw a little and others start to see a change in her, she becomes more emotionally engaged.

This is the first book in a series and I cannot wait to see what comes next. This is a really good book and one that I think would definitely appeal to readers of historical fiction and romance readers. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

Jennifer Macaire is an American living in Paris. She likes to read, eat chocolate, and plays a mean game of golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St Peter and Paul High School in St Thomas and moved to NYC where she modelled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories

Social Media Links –

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Godlefe’s Cuckoo by Bill Todd @williamjtodd #damppebblesblogtours #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Godlefe’s Cuckoo by Bill Todd as part of the Blog Tour with Emma at #damppebblestours My thanks to Emma for the invite and also to Bill for my e-copy of his book.

Synopsis:

Danny Lancaster has been missing since the fishing boat exploded. Police are closing their inquiry but Wanda Lovejoy continues her campaign to find the truth. An evil man kept alive by machines nurses a corrosive hate. As drugs and disease pull his dying mind apart he throws his crime empire into a scorched earth quest to find one man. If Danny Lancaster isn’t dead he soon will be.

Purchase link – Amazon UKAmazon US

My Thoughts:

This is set around Brighton and provides a dramatic backdrop to an action-packed read. A book with a fair sized cast of characters with individual roles that you will soon come to recognise as the story unfurls and the how’s and why’s of each character becomes more obvious.

A good amount of concentration was required by me and my so very tired brain when I started this book. The author really does lay down the groundwork for this book well, it involves the characters and describes various aspects of who they are, what they do. Any connections to each other are tenuous at best and it is not until the second half of the book that the author gradually starts pulling these connections together. This builds up a real sense of intrigue and initially caught me unawares until I realised the style of the writing.

The chapters are quick and flit between the characters, this was actually really good for me as it meant I was able to remember them,  rather than focusing on one then moving on. I did find the first half slower paced, but as I had mentioned being tired, but then suddenly the author seemed to kick up a gear, or my brain felt slightly better and awake. The vagaries and groundwork of the first half started to come together and things started to add up and it really did turn into a fast action riddled read. It is at this point I realised how important the groundwork was in the first half. 

I am not going into the plot as the synopsis does a great job in a very small space of a few lines. These few lines do give a sense of what to expect, drugs, evil man, missing person, search for the truth with a threat of death. The plot involves all of the above and then some. It had me hooked and turned an already interesting and intriguing good read into a great action read.

This is a book that I think readers of crime, thriller and mystery books would really enjoy. Even though it is part of a series it can definitely be read as a stand-alone, although I am intrigued by Danny Lancaster and I am looking to get the earlier books to discover more about him and what makes him tick. It is one I would happily recommend.

About the Author:

Bill with grandson Theo

I’m a journalist and travel writer who has visited more than 40 countries from the white wastes of Arctic Finland to the ancient deserts of Namibia. Love a good wilderness. I received the Ed Lacy travel award in 2007.
I’ve written six crime thrillers featuring soldier-turned-investigator Danny Lancaster and was startled and delighted to be voted one of the 100 best crime authors in the WH Smith readers’ poll in 2015. I’ve also written three short factual military histories. I live to write although keyboard time has been cut lately with the arrival of grandson Theo.

Author links: 

Twitter – FacebookWebsite Instagram Amazon Author Page

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Dig Two Graves by Keith Nixon @knntom @BOTBSPublicity #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Dig Two Graves by Keith Nixon as part of the Blog Tour with Sarah Book On The Brightside Publicity. My huge thanks to Sarah for the invite and to Keith for my e-copy of his book. This is the first in a new series and is one I am looking forward to reading more of.

Synopsis:

Was it suicide … or murder? Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray is driven to discover the truth. Whatever the personal cost.

When teenager Nick Buckingham tumbles from the fifth floor of an apartment block, Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray answers the call with a sick feeling in his stomach. The victim was just a kid, sixteen years old. And the exact age the detective’s son was, the son Gray has not seen since he went missing at a funfair ten years ago. Each case involving children haunts Gray with the reminder that his son may still be out there – or worse, dead. The seemingly open and shut case of suicide twists into a darker discovery. Buckingham and Gray have never met, so why is Gray’s number on the dead teenager’s mobile phone?

Gray begins to unravel a murky world of abuse, lies, and corruption. And when the body of Reverend David Hill is found shot to death in the vestry of Gray’sold church, Gray wonders how far the depravity stretches and who might be next. Nothing seems connected, and yet there is one common thread: Detective SergeantSolomon Gray, himself. As the bodies pile up, Gray must face his own demons and his son’s abduction. 

Crippled by loss Gray takes the first step on the long road of redemption. But is the killer closer to home than he realised?

Set in the once grand town of Margate in the south of England, the now broken and depressed seaside resort becomes its own character in this dark police suspense thriller, perfect for fans of Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, and PeterJames.

Dig Two Graves is the first in the Solomon Gray series. Pick it up now to discover whether Gray finds his son in this thrilling new crime series. 

My Thoughts:

D.S Solomon Gray (Sol) is a copper with a hauntingly dark past. After the disappearance of his son, who has never been found, his wifes’ death and his daughter who he no longer has no contact with, he is a man with many demons. A new case involving a young boy brings his past back to the forefront of his thoughts once again, especially as the boy would be a similar age to his own son.

This is one of those gritty police procedural reads, it is set in Margate and as the case developed I gradually got to discover Sol’s past. He really is a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders, and this new case really adds to the weight that is bearing down him. Sol has never given up his search for his son, he his own search is his own private mission that he is traveling. 

The chapters for this book are quick and this means that the pacing of the story is quite a good one to keep me turning the pages. It also means that Sol’s past and present cases are given in quick succession and details are intersected with each other. 

The plot itself caught me unawares as I am not a reader who pays attention to the synopsis before I start the book. When I started I thought it would be a more straightforward police procedural, instead what I actually got was a deeper and more intense read the further I got into the story. This revelation really kept me hooked and took me on routes I didn’t expect and I basically read this in one sitting.

This is a book for lovers of dark, gritty, crime thriller readers and is the first in a new series. A book I would definitely recommend and look I forward to following the series.

See further books in the Solomon Gray series.

Dig Two Graves (Solomon Gray 1)  from Amazon

Burn The Evidence (Solomon Gray 2) from Amazon

Beg For Mercy (Solomon Gary 3) from Amazon

About the Author:

Keith Nixon is a British born writer of crime and historical fiction novels. Originally, he trained as a chemist, but Keith is now in a senior sales role for a high-tech business. Keith currently lives with his family in the North West of England.

 Readers can connect with Keith on various social media platforms:

 Website –  Twitter –  Facebook –  Blog

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Tangled Vines by Megan Mayfair @mayfairmegan @rararesources #BookReview

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Tangled Vines by Megan Mayfair as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. May huge thanks to Rachel for the invite and to Megan for my e-copy of her book.

Synopsis:

Amelia O’Sullivan is a photographer who has always viewed herself through the wrong lens. When her marriage publicly crashed around her, she flees to the safety of her aunt’s country property to pick up the pieces. Can she adjust her focus to what she really wants from her life? 

Born into a wealthy and powerful family, Frederick Doyle may seem like a man who has it all, but behind the scenes, a bitter business feud threatens an irrevocable family split. As he fights for control of the winery he’d built from the ground up, he finds a supportive ally in Amelia and becomes increasingly beguiled by her creative spirit. 

Jill McMahon is a successful novelist suffering from writer’s block over her latest manuscript. Finding her niece, Amelia, at her door, reminds her of the bonds of family, but in seeing Amelia andFrederick’s relationship grow, a long-forgotten and painful secret threatens tore-surface. 

Can Amelia, Frederick, and Jill untangle themselves from their pasts or will history simply repeat itself? 

PurchaseLink  – Here

My Thoughts:

I usually start a my thoughts with a bit of my own synopsis, but this time I am not as I would pretty much duplicate what it says so I will go straight into what I thought.

This is set in Australia and is a wonderful read that captured my attention from the outset and held right the way through until the end. The story is about three key characters and how they know or come to know each other. It is a story about their lives, their worries, their loves, and losses. Decisions that need to be made for their own individual future need to be made and they all seem to have come to a crossroads in their lives and they have to decide what, who and where their possible and potential happiness lies. The story is about finding an inner strength and confidence in making their decisions to move towards starting the next chapter in their lives and, it is not going to be plain sailing. Important decisions are not easily made.

Even thought there are some heartbreaking revelations, the author has not dwelt too much on them. The story has a pacing that keeps the story moving forward as I followed the characters on their uncertain futures while still dealing with ongoing grief and worries. 

There are various friends, family and colleagues that accompany the main characters and they each have their part to play in the story. I soon worked out who I liked and didn’t and I am sure you will have similar views.

As I mentioned earlier, the past has a part in this story and it plays out very well, and the author dealt with some aspects very well, one in particular was the anxiety that one of the characters has to deal with, for me this was a key trait of this character and it gave an insight into the reactions, emotions and also the personality of said character.

This is a story I really enjoyed, I found myself wondering as to how things would pan out as nothing was clear cut. Nothing was guaranteed to follow a certain pattern and this added a good deal of  subtle dramatic suspense. This is a romance that is not overly romantic which sounds a really odd thing to say. What I mean is that there is a romantic thread, but it is also about family, life, experiences, disappointments and new beginnings as I followed three people dealing with major decisions that could have implications for their futures and goals.

A story that would appeal to romance and also general fiction readers and is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

Megan’sstories are about families, intrigue and love. Every book contains a bit of humour and a lot of heart.

Megan lives in Melbourne with her husband and three children and has a background in public relations and higher education.

She drinks far too much coffee and has an addiction to buying scarves. She interviews with other authors for her blog series, Espresso Tales, and loves a bit of #bookstagram.

Her debut novel, The Things We Leave Unsaid, was released by Crooked Cat Books in 2018. Tangled Vines is her second novel.

Social Media Links – Instagram – Facebook – Twitter – Website


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Hellbound Anthology by David McCaffrey @daveymac1975 @BOTBSPublicity #MakeoverCoverReveal

CoverReveal

Today I am delighted to be taking part in a makeover cover reveal for the Hellbound Trilogy by David McCaffrey as part of the Blog Tour with Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity. I must get around to reading my copies of these books, I have bought them all and now need to find the time to read…

Let’s see what the books are all about first…

Hellbound:

Between Heaven and Hell lies the soul of a killer.

Award-winning author, David McCaffrey, brings you a serial killer like no other.

Obadiah Stark aka The Tally Man, is executed at ADX Absolom, his death sentence watched by the world’s media, victim relatives and one investigative reporter, Joe O Connell.
Penning an account of Stark’s personal history and subsequent crimes in the hope of determining what makes the sociopathic mind tick, Joe discovers inconsistencies which cause him to investigate Stark’s execution.
While this is happening in the real world, Stark awakens to an afterlife where he has a wife and daughter bound to his childhood hometown. Following his natural predatory instinct, Obadiah proceeds to torment the town, committing multiple murders before being gunned down by the police. He awakens to find that everything has reset, with no one recalling his murderous spree.
A reality where he is forced to submit to emotions he has never experienced before… and with them, a poisonous dose of morality.


In Extremis:

  1. Whitechapel. Think you know the story? You don’t know Jack…
    James Maybrick had secured his legacy as the most infamous serial killer of all time…his diary would one day shock the world.

    Thomas Quinn wants revenge…his actions will give birth to an organisation of unspeakable power.

    Together, they unwittingly set in motion a plan that will one day lead to the serial killer, Obadiah Stark.

    Stark became The Tally Man.

    They were The Brethren.

    Maybrick is known to history by another name…


Nameless:

‘There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men
long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.’
Ernest Hemingway

One serial killer terrified the world. Imagine what an army of them could do…

A cult member is arrested at the scene of a brutal murder. She will only speak to former crime reporter, Joe O’Connell.

Joe’s obsession with Obadiah Stark a.k.a The Tally Man cost him everything.

He is about to learn that Stark’s message did not end with his death.

They believe in what The Tally Man stood for.

They believe in what The Tally Man did.

But he was one, and they are many.

Once they have you, they will never let you go…


About the Author:

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David McCaffrey was born in Middlesbrough, raised in West Sussex and now lives in Redcar. He worked in the NHS for many years, his last position being Lead Nurse in Infection

Prevention and Control at James Cook University Hospital.

He started writing following the birth of his first son and in 2010 was accepted onto the writing coach programme run by Steve Alten, international bestselling author of Meg and The Mayan Prophecy. Hellbound was the result and the rest, as they say, is history (cliche, cliche).

Though psychological thrillers are his raison d’etre, David is also an activist for bullying and harassment in the NHS. His book, ‘Do No Harm: Bullying and Harassment in the NHS’

went to Number One in the Nursing and White Collar Crime categories of Amazon Kindle charts in November 2018 and was the Number One bestselling book in the U.S Amazon

Kindle charts for more than three weeks in the Issues, Trends and Roles category. David is a proud supporter and donator to the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation which tackles

bullying across the board, from schools to the workplace. He had the honour of being invited to speak at the Standup Foundation’s Inaugural Conference in November 2018.

Half of all profits from ‘Do No Harm’ go to the Ben Cohen Foundation.

David lives with his wife Kelly, has a Jakey, a Liam (a.k.a Gruffy) and a Cole (a.k.a Baby Moo Man) They also have an Obi… who’s the dog.

He decided to go back and revisit his first three titles in the Hellbound Anthology for many reasons; the main ones being to correct mistakes in there from the first time around, to expand upon the storylines where original ideas were edited out (nothing major, but small sections that he always loved) and to completely redesign the covers to make them look more like the series they were always intended to be.

Whether he has accomplished any of the above, he shall willingly leave up to you, dear readers.

Links: Twitter


Now for to share the new makeover cover for this amazing sounding trilogy…

HellShadow 3Name

The Lingering by SJI Holliday @SJIHolliday @OrendaBooks @annecater #BookReview

The Lingering front FINAL

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for The Lingering by SJI Holliday as part of the Blog Tour with Anne at Random Things Tours and also Orenda Books. A huge thank you to Anne for the invite and to Orenda for my copy.

Synopsis:

Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history

When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…

At once an unnerving locked-room mystery, a chilling thriller and a dark and superbly wrought ghost story, The Lingering is an exceptionally plotted, terrifying and tantalisingly twisted novel by one of the most exciting authors in the genre.

Purchase your own copy from Amazon UK

My thoughts:

Ali and Jack arrive at Rosalind House, a former psychiatric facility and now a commune for those wanting a fresh, slower paced, quiet and calmer lifestyle. Things at Rosalind is idyllic sounding until the arrival of the newcomers. In an atmospheric setting with an unsettling past history, this is a story with a good deal of psychological suspense.

I have seen some wonderful reviews for this book and, as you can imagine, I was eager to read this book. Things seem okay as I joined Ali and Jack, there is a sense of their apprehension at leaving their old lives behind. I felt that their hope for their new fresh start was tinged with scepticism as they meet the other residents. I did wonder why two professionals would choose such an isolated and complete change to their lifestyle. By the end of the book, I could completely understand why and my wonderings were definitely laid to rest.

From the start, this book developed into a story with a mystery. This mystery gradually grew and evolved as the suspense and that gnawing, haunting feeling grew. What I didn’t expect was the many “bloody ‘ell” and ” Oh! That’s good” that left my mouth along the way. This is a story that turned my initial perceptions of some of the characters on its head, I love this when an author keeps me on my toes like this.

The story is told from the perspective of mainly Ali and Angela. Angela is a fellow resident along with another chapter contributor Smeaton. Scattered through the book are diary entries, these I absolutely loved as they gave an insight into the House when it was still in use as a psychiatric facility. It gave a chilling glimpse into the treatments and problems from days gone past.

These quick chapters gave me a chance to really get to know the characters, their motives… yes there are motives, there are also disasters and chilling turns of event that made for wonderful and addictive reading.

A story that had such an idyllic and simplistic sounding lifestyle change that turns into something very sinister. A disturbing, haunting, psychological, suspense-filled mystery,

A brilliant read and one I would highly recommend.

About the Author:

Susi author photo.jpg

S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday is a pharmaceutical statistician by day and a crime and horror fan by night. Her short stories have been published in many places and she was shortlisted for the inaugural CWA Margery Allingham prize with her story ‘Home from Home’, which was published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in spring 2017. She is the bestselling author of the creepy and claustrophobic Banktoun trilogy (Black Wood, Willow Walk and The Damselfly) featuring the much-loved Sergeant Davie Gray, and has dabbled in festive crime with the critically acclaimed The Deaths of December. Her latest psychological thriller is modern gothic with more than a hint of the supernatural, which she loved writing due to her fascination and fear of ghosts. She is proud to be one of The Slice Girls has been described by David Mark as ‘Dark as a smoker’s lung.’ She divides her time between Edinburgh and London and you will find her at crime-fiction events in the UK and abroad.

Follow Susi on Twitter or her Website

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Mavis and Dot by Angela Petch @Angela_Petch @rararesources #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Mavis and Dot by Angela Petch as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. My thanks to Rachel for the invite and also to Angela for my e-copy of this book. All profits from the sale of the books will go towards research into the cure for cancer.

Synopsis:

Mavis and Dot

A warm slice of life, funny, feel-good, yet poignant. Introducing two eccentric ladies who form an unlikely friendship.Meet Mavis and Dot – two colourful, retired ladies who live in Worthington-on-Sea, where there are charity shops galore. Apart from bargain hunting, they manage to tangle themselves in escapades involving illegal immigrants, night clubs, nude modelling, errant toupees and more. And then there’s Mal, the lovable dog who nobody else wants. A gently humorous, often side-splitting, heart-warming snapshot of two memorable characters with past secrets and passions. Escape for a couple of hours into this snapshot of a faded, British seaside town. You’ll laugh and cry but probably laugh more.”This book is quirky and individual, and has great pathos…[it] will resonate with a lot of readers.” Gill Kaye – Editor of Ingenu(e). Written with a light touch in memory of a dear friend who passed away from ovarian cancer, Angela Petch’s seaside tale is a departure from her successful Tuscan novels.

All profits from the sale of the books will go towards research into the cure for cancer.

Purchase Links Amazon UKAmazon US

My Thoughts:

Mavis and Dot are initially strangers and very different in character. They meet by chance at a local Bridge evening and it marks the start of a friendship. Along the way they meet a real variety of wonderful other characters, again each of these are very different, but they all have one common thread…loneliness.

I followed Mavis and Dot as the rummaged their way through charity shops and bargain baskets and it started to give me a glimpse into what makes them tick.

Their quirkiness or rather their individuality is something that really stood out for me along with their moral compass, that not everyone has had the same chances as both Mavis and Dot. A couple of women who take a breather from their shopping in the various and numerous cafes, tea rooms, chippies and coffee shops, giving a chance to get to know them a little better. Both of these women definitely make the most of what they have and deal with events and opportunities along the way.

They meet up and make their own friends and gradually of family-like bonds are developed. Something that came to me as I read is that neither women are the stereotypes that can often be associated with this age group. They are not judgmental and are open-minded and approachable in a friendly and genuine way. Something that many could definitely learn from.

This has story has humour and heart, life and relationships and above all friendship. It is a book I would recommend to readers of general fiction and I would love to think that this could be the start of a series.

About the Author:

Mavis and Dot Author Photo.jpg

Author Bio

A prize-winning author, Angela Petch lives half the year in West Sussex and the summer months in a remote valley in the Tuscan Apennines. She recently signed a two-book deal with Bookouture for her Tuscan novels and “Mavis and Dot” is a temporary departure from her usual genre. She has travelled all her life: born in Germany, she spent six years as a child living in Rome, worked in Amsterdam after finishing her degree in Italian, moved to Italy for her job, then to Tanzania for three years. Her head is full of stories and she always carries a pen and note-book to capture more ideas.

In May 2017, Angela Petch won PRIMA’S monthly short story competition and recently had a dozen stories published by The People’s Friend magazine.

“Mavis and Dot” was written in memory of a dear friend who lost her battle with ovarian cancer. All profits from sales of the book will go towards research into a cure for cancer.

Follow Angela on FacebookTwitterBlog

TUSCAN NOVELS

“Tuscan Roots” (to be reissued by Bookouture in 2019) Amazon UK

“Now and Then in Tuscany” – Amazon UK

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The Merest Loss by Steven Neil @stevenneil12 @rararesources #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my review today for The Merest Loss by Steven Neil as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. My huge thanks to Rachel for the invite and also to Steven for a copy of his book.

Synopsis:

The Merest Loss

A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English
hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.

When Harriet Howard becomes Louis Napoleon’s mistress and financial backer and appears at his side in Paris in 1848, it is as if she has emerged from nowhere. How did the English daughter of a Norfolk boot-maker meet the future Emperor? Who is the mysterious Nicholas Sly and what is his hold over Harriet?

Can Harriet meet her obligations and return to her former life and the man she left behind? What is her involvement with British Government secret services? Can Harriet’s friend, jockey Tom Olliver, help her son Martin solve his own mystery: the identity of his father?

The central character is Harriet Howard and the action takes place between 1836 and 1873. The plot centers on Harriet’s relationships with Louis Napoleon and famous Grand National winning jockey, Jem Mason. The backdrop to the action includes significant characters from the age, including Lord Palmerston, Queen Victoria and the Duke of Grafton, as well as Emperor Napoleon III. The worlds of horse racing, hunting and government provide the scope for rural settings to contrast with the city scenes of London and Paris and for racing skulduggery to vie with political chicanery.

The Merest Loss is historical fiction with a twist. It’s pacy and exciting with captivating characters and a distinctive narrative voice.

Purchase Links Amazon UKAmazon USIndependent Author Network

My Thoughts:

This is a historical fiction set in the mid-1800’s. Harriet Howard was a bit of a handful growing up, something that definitely continued into adulthood, to say the least. A woman who finds herself in an impossible situation working for the British Government.

This for me came across as a very well researched story that mixes backroom deals that have implications both in Britain and France, with the corruption and “Gentlemen’s Agreements” of those in a position of authority and power. Harriet finds herself in the midst of this and is suitably positioned to set the wheels in motion for the benefit of politicians.

Into this story is one of the racing world, courtesy of Harriet’s friend Tom and her lover Jem. Here again, the author either has an interest/knowledge of or has researched excellently the details. So many little facts and snippets have been intertwined within the story, and this for me was only interesting and informative, as well as great reading.

The historical content of the story was really well done and I found it engaging, though on the odd occasion I did think that some of the details were given a little quick and just fell off the pacing and feel of the story.

The author has done a wonderful job with this story and it left me wanting to know more, and a trip around the internet for further reading was in order. This book introduced me to a lady I had previously know nothing about and I came away wanting to know more. For me, this is a big bonus, and it shows that the author has definitely engaged my attention for me to spend time on further reading.

The story of Harriet and also the people she met shows a woman who played her part, made the best she could out of an impossible situation. It showed that she was the leading lady she always wanted to be, but not in the way she imagined, a lady that was very much misunderstood and maligned by many, and one I now have a lot of respect for.

This is a really good read and one that would definitely appeal to readers of Historical Fiction, Historical Romance in the mid-1800’s, set in Britain and France. A book that would interest many and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

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Author Bio – Steven Neil has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the Open University and an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. In his working life, he has been a bookmaker’s clerk, management tutor, management consultant, bloodstock agent, and racehorse breeder. He is married and lives in rural Northamptonshire.

Social Media Links – Facebook and Twitter

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Divided We Stand by Rachel McLean @rararesources #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Divided We Stand by Rachel Mclean as part of the blog tour with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. This is the third and final installment in The Division Bell Trilogy. My thanks to Rachel for the invite onto all three tours and also the author fo re-copies of her books.

Synopsis:

Britain is a country under surveillance. Neighbours spy on neighbours. Schools enforce loyalty to the state. And children are encouraged to inform on their parents.

Disgraced MP Jennifer Sinclair has earned her freedom but returns home to find everything changed.

Rita Gurumurthy has been sent to a high security prison. When a sympathetic guard helps her escape she becomes a fugitive, forced to go into hiding.

To reunite her family and win freedom for her son and her friend, Jennifer must challenge her old colleague and rival, the new Prime Minister Catherine Moore.

Will Catherine listen to reason and remove the country from its yoke of fear and suspicion? Or will Jennifer have to reveal the secret only she knows about Catherine, and risk plunging the country into turmoil?

Purchase Link:-  Amazon UK –  Amazon US

My Thoughts:

This is the final book in The Division Bell Trilogy. This is also a trilogy that really should be read in order.  The Trilogy itself is set a few years in the future and the government has been active in segregating people, turning them against each other. Racism is rife and sets people of all races against each other in a big brother, whistleblower style surveillance system. The author has created a series that is quite chilling in some of its realism.

Jennifer is a disgraced Mp, she has finally been released from the British Values Centre, a place where its “patients” are brainwashed into the correct and more acceptable way of thinking. For Jennifer however, there are those that are aware of corruption and the many miscarriages of justice and are willing to help.

The culmination of this trilogy shows a country that has been held by fear gradually coming to its own realisation. The initial herding mentality that has gone on has now passed and people are starting to make little steps towards making a stand. The fear that authorities can come into your home and remove what and who they want, whenever they want is realism that many feel and don’t like. It is this and the sense of mis-justice that drives people for a change. This final book is like a political game of chess or cat and mouse.

I have enjoyed all the books in this trilogy. I like the dystopian, Big Brother, Orwellian style to it. This trilogy worked well for me, and I think it was due to it only just being set in the future, we have Brexit as an ever-present theme in all media outlets, racism and segregation are things that do still happen, peoples values and ideals are changing. I think it is the present climate that adds to this book.

If you are reader who likes political, big brother style dystopia, or a reader of general fiction then this is a trilogy I would recommend.

About the Author:

rachel mclean

I’m Rachel McLean and I write thrillers and speculative fiction.

I’m told that the world wants upbeat, cheerful stories – well, I’m sorry but I can’t help. My stories have an uncanny habit of predicting future events (and not the good ones). They’re inspired by my work at the Environment Agency and the Labour Party and explore issues like climate change, Islamophobia, the refugee crisis and sexism in high places. All with a focus on how these impact individual people and families.

You can find out more about my writing, get access to deals and exclusive stories or become part of my advance reader team by joining my book club at rachelmclean.com/bookclub.

Social Media Links –  Twitter –  Facebook –  Instagram

 

 

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Strand of Faith by Rachel J Bonner @RachelJBonner1 @rararesources #Giveaway #BookReview

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Today I am delighted to be sharing my review of Strand of Faith by Rachel J Bonner as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. Many thanks to Rachel for the invite to the tour and also to the author for my e-copy of this book.

Synopsis:

When the choice is between love and life, how can anyone decide?

A girl and a monk, both with extraordinary mental powers, have compelling reasons not to fall in love.  But those from whom they expect support are manipulating them both because their choices will have consequences for the rest of the world.

After a stormy youth, Brother Prospero has found comfort and fulfilment in the monastery.  That is, until he discovers something that forces him to reconsider his whole vocation.  To follow his heart, he’ll have to face his demons again, outside the security of the monastery. Is it worth the risk?  Can he beat them this time? Or will they finally destroy him?

Orphaned and mistreated, Leonie has found sanctuary and safety at the abbey.  All she wants is to learn how to manage her unusual abilities so that she is not a danger to those around her.  When she comes into contact with Prospero everything threatens to spiral out of her control.  Whether she leaves or whether she stays, how can she possibly avoid destroying – yet again – those she has come to care about? 

Abbot Gabriel is faced with an impossible choice.  He can do nothing and watch the world descend into war.  Or he can manipulate events and ensure peace – at the cost of two lives that he is responsible for.  He knows what he has to do but is he strong enough to sacrifice those he loves?

Purchase Links – Amazon UK – Books 2 Read

My Thoughts:

Leonie is taken under the wing of Abbot Gabriel, she has certain mental abilities and strengths that leave some to be very wary of her. With the tutelage and guidance at the Abbey she finds she is more able to manage her powers. Brother Prospero found his way to the Abbey years before, a troubled man who has found peace after taking orders. For both Leonie and Prospero they have found a sanctuary, they have also found each other, a connection that troubles both.

This is the start of a series that is a fantasy, romance. It combines people with various mental abilities such as telekinesis and telepathy as well as taking orders and following God. Though there is a religious presence I thought it was well balanced and not preachy.

The stories and backgrounds from the main characters was interesting and the way they found their own individual routes to the Abby was explained to a point. It is essentially a romance story but one that is reluctant to blossom. A self-imposed unwillingness to enter into a relationship, that is until the two main characters meet. This then puts the proverbial spanner in the works as individual beliefs and ideals are explored. It has that suspense of will they or won’t they as they become friends and support for each other.

There are a few things going on in the background of the main story, some have been teased out and others I assume will be explained in further books. I found myself quickly caught up in the story and liked the different abilities, this gave an air of magic. An interesting story that is a quickish read. Ideal for readers of fantasy and romance readers. I would recommend this one.

About the Author:

Rachel J Bonner is the author of the four book Choices and Consequences series, the first of which, Strand of Faith, is due out in November 2018.

Getting a degree in engineering, followed by a career in accountancy is probably not a conventional path to becoming an author, particularly in paranormal romance.  Rachel says that, although accountancy isn’t anything like as boring as everyone thinks, writing is a lot more fun.  When not writing, she can be found walking in the beautiful countryside near where she lives, which has influenced much of the scenery in her books, or shooting things with her local archery club.  Target shooting only, honest.  Nothing to worry about.

She also enjoys swimming, eating chocolate chip cookies and growing aromatic herbs, especially thyme and rosemary.  It’s no coincidence that her heroine likes the same things.

You can find out more about her books and sign up for Rachel’s newsletters at HERE or follow her on Twitter

Giveaway

Giveaway -Win a signed paperback copy of Strand of Faith, a set of bookmarks (3 styles plus a business card) featuring the cover art, and a canvas print (40cm by 30cm) of the original cover art. Open Internationally

*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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

*****ENTER HERE*****

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