Friday, 21 September 2018

Strand of Faith by Rachel J Bonner



Title: Strand of Faith
Series: Choices and Consequences Book 1
Author: Rachel J Bonner
Genre: paranormal romance (psychic), coming of age, post-apocalyptic, fantasy
Publication Date: 15th November 2018


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?

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Author Bio:

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: 

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Thursday, 20 September 2018

The Devil to Pay by Jackie May


Title: The Devil to Pay
Series: Shayne Davies, #1)
Author: Jackie May
Genre: Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publication date: September 18th 2018


When it comes to talented new recruits at the Federal Underworld Agency, Nora Jacobs is only half the story…

The Devil to Pay is the first book in Jackie May’s companion series to Nora Jacobs, set in the same urban fantasy Detroit, sharing several supporting characters (hello, Nick Gorgeous), but with a new main character, Shayne Davies. This series can be enjoyed on its own, but readers of the Nora Jacobs books will be more familiar with the world and its characters.

As a fox shifter, Shayne Davies gets no respect in an underworld run by the fearsome and powerful—werewolves and vampires, sorcerers, demons, and mythical faerie creatures. Even at home, Shayne is still treated like the brat of the pack. Her mom constantly nags; her intended (but unwanted) mate ensures plenty of awkward silences, and Shayne is even expected to act submissive to the pack’s future alpha…a six year old.

Yeah. Time for Plan B.

All Shayne wants is to prove that she’s got what it takes to run with the big dogs, which is why she is constantly hounding Nick Gorgeous to make her an agent at the “Double D”, the Detroit Division of the FUA. That’s an easy “No” for Gorgeous, who keeps a strict “No Shayne Davies” policy. Well, never say never. When mysterious underworld criminals steal a load of bomb materials, the FUA picks up a messy case nobody wants to touch. It’s bad enough that a demon horde is involved, but now the annoying FBI has sent out an agent to babysit the investigation. To make matters worse, the notoriously uncooperative master vampire Henry Stadther has control over what may be the only key to breaking the case: a handsome human detective.

The whole thing’s a hopeless disaster.

So guess what, Shayne? You’re hired!




Author Bio:

Jackie May is a pseudonym for a husband and wife writing team. Josh and Kelly live in Phoenix, Arizona with their four children and their cat, Mr. Darcy. Jackie May is their only daughter. (And she keeps asking for her cut of the profits since we’re using her name.)




My Shayne Davies Playlist
Jackie May

The Devil to Pay is an urban fantasy detective story with a fox shifter protagonist named Shayne Davies. This playlist not only represents the music I listened to while writing the book, but also the personal music tastes of Shayne. If you were to jump in her car, you’d definitely hear all of these songs on full blast while cruising all over Detroit.

1. SHE’S GOT THE LOOK by Roxette – If The Devil to Pay were a movie, this song would play over the opening credits. We’d see images of Shayne driving at night, infiltrating club Underworld, navigating the back alleys of Detroit as a lone fox. Lots of night shots, neon signs, Shayne’s face in the window of her Pontiac, waving and cat-calling to friends on the street corner.

2. STIR IT UP by Patti LaBelle – Shayne likes Patti LaBelle because of her attitude and energy, not to mention the 80s sound. But I chose this particular song because of its connection to the movie Beverly Hills Cop. Besides featuring a Detroit setting, the film’s wise-cracking, often obnoxious hero Axel Foley (played by Eddie Murphy) is the original inspiration for Shayne Davies.

3. DARE ME by The Pointer Sisters – Because The Pointer Sisters is Shayne’s all-time favorite music group, and the attitude of the song reflects Shayne’s attitude for most of the story: “Go ahead, dare me!” In fact, I almost used Just Dare Me as the title of the book.

4. SHAKEDOWN by Bob Seger – Another one from Beverly Hills Cop, and the very first song I tagged for a playlist before writing The Devil to Pay. With these lyrics, this could definitely be Shayne’s theme song: “You can shake me for a while, but no matter what you do, I’m going to take you down. No matter where you hide, I’m coming after you.”

5. A GOOD RUN OF BAD LUCK by Clint Black – Okay, so this one might not make it onto Shayne’s personal playlist, being country and all (she’s definitely a Motown and 80’s girl), but I kept it in my writing lineup for two very good reasons: 1. It’s all about poker (Shayne’s favorite pastime), and this song actually contains the lyrics that inspired the title of the book: “If I’m bettin’ on a loser, I’m gonna have a devil to pay.” 2. This song is from the poker movie Maverick, and Mel Gibson’s hilarious but sexy portrayal of Brett Maverick, the swindling, adventurous poker pro, was another big inspiration for the character of Shayne Davies.

6. GET OUTTA MY DREAMS, GET INTO MY CAR by Billy Ocean – Besides being a great song for cruising the town (something Shayne does a lot), the title of this track actually describes the first “meet cute” between Shayne Davies and Detective Brenner.

7. SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE by Robert Palmer – This one’s easy. It’s 80’s, it describes Shayne’s outlook on hot guys, and because Shayne actually mentions this song in the book. Shayne might play this song while getting primped for a night at the club.

8. HEART AND SOUL by T’Pau – Shayne doesn’t really do slow, mushy ballads, so if you’re a guy at a club, and you want her to snuggle up close, simply request this song. She’ll be all over you.

9. RUBBERBAND MAN by The Spinners – Because the group’s other name is The Detroit Spinners! This song represents the whole genre of Motown music that Shayne loves so much. I couldn’t include it all, of course, so I picked one that seems iconic. If this song were to be playing when Shayne parked her car, she couldn’t bring herself to turn off the car until the song ended.

10. JUMP (FOR MY LOVE) by The Pointer Sisters – This entire playlist could have been songs from The Pointer Sisters, lol. But this song, in particular, is the epitome of classic Pointer Sisters, who somehow perfected the type of sound that could be both a love song and an action movie theme song. This track was definitely blaring through my headphones while writing every car chase in The Devil to Pay.

11. FREEWAY OF LOVE by Aretha Franklin – If The Devil to Pay were a movie, this would be the song playing over the end credits, during which we’d see bloopers of Shayne Davies giggling non-stop through everybody else’s lines, until Nick Gorgeous gets so fed up that he storms off the set, which, of course, only makes Shayne laugh harder.


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Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Three Bloody Pieces by Elizabeth Davies


Title: Three Bloody Pieces
Series: Caitlyn Book 1
Author: Elizabeth Davies


A dead king, a queen who is more than she seems, and a witch who uses the dark arts to entrap her.

Queen, widow, beggar – Lady Caitlyn is all three, and now she can add murderer to the list.
When death and treachery propel her south to Normandy, to seek sanctuary with the exiled Prince Alfred, visions of a woman with ancient eyes travel with her.

Herleva is a woman filled with ambition and greed. A woman who intends to be more than a commoner. A woman who gets what she wants by whatever means possible, even if she has to practice the dark arts to achieve her goals.
A woman who is a witch.

Caitlyn finds herself caught up in a magic which changes her very being. A magic which produces a king to change the lives of every man, woman, and child in England.

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Author Bio:

Elizabeth Davies is a paranormal author, whose books have a romantic flavour with more than a hint of suspense. And death. There's usually death...









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Raven's Eye by Author Adam Gowans



Ever since magic caused his mother's death, Ha-Neul, crown prince of Balhae, hates witches and the magic they wield. He has instituted harsh laws against all magic users.

Lisa is a young witch working undercover as a servant in his palace, hoping to gain freedom for her people. The last thing the two expect is to fall in love. But when Ha-Neul learns that Lisa is not only a witch, but the daughter of the Prince of Vires, land of witches, he banishes her. Distracted by heartbreak, he is caught off-guard by a military coup.

In hiding and on the run, Ha-Neul swallows his pride and travels with his siblings to Vires, planning to beg Lisa's aid, only to learn that she has mysteriously vanished.

Now his only hope in reclaiming his kingdom and reuniting with Lisa lies in the remote Northern Mountains, a country no one has ever penetrated and rumored home of a powerful magic source. There, Ha-Neul learns that a being powerful beyond comprehension has been carefully guiding his destiny. But if Ha-Neul can't let go of his hatred of all things magic, and accept the new path offered to him, it will mean the destruction of his entire world.


Excerpt:


 “Follow me. The wang wishes to speak with you.”
Lisa nodded, and they walked as fast as they could without appearing to rush. Neither of them spoke as they entered the palace and made their way to the wang’s suite, adrenaline sweeping through Lisa. When the elevator opened, Evan greeted them. He bowed to them and led the way to the door. He knocked twice and waited for an answer before opening it.
“Please go in, my lady,” he whispered in Common.
She went in and found the wang standing in front of her with a pleasant smile.
“Please sit, Princess,” he said in Common as well, indicating an armchair in the middle of the room while blatantly ignoring the astonishment on her face. They both sat, and he took a few moments to study her. “Do you love him?”
“Wh-what?”
“My oldest son, Geum Ha-Neul. Do you love him?”
“I apologize, Wang-Mama, I—”
“Don’t apologize—you shouldn’t apologize,” he said. “I should be apologizing.”
She looked at him with her mouth slightly agape as he genuinely seemed remorseful.
“I know who you are, Vasilisa Aleksandrsdöttir. I’ve known you your whole life.”
She sucked in a deep breath. He knew, yet he had still allowed her in the palace even though he had banished Rosalina. Lisa remembered her father saying he and the wang had attended school together as teenagers and interacted, but with his words, she now wondered if they had been friends.
“I’ve been hoping you could help change Ha-Neul’s mind about spellcasters,” the use of the correct term for witches surprised her for a moment, then she realized that his family situation would have allowed him to know the correct classifications for magic users, “which is why I personally placed you near my children from the very beginning of your employment and allowed you to become their nain. Then, when I learned about Ha-Neul’s feelings for you, I took full advantage.”
All of her interactions with the wang began to make sense. “That’s why you told me to tell him what I know about Vires, why you had me stay with him during the party.”
He nodded. “I, Geum Dong, Wang of Balhae, have done many things I am not proud of,” he paused, his eyes blinking rapidly, “especially toward my own people—your people—and I fired Rosalina when Ha-Neul found out about her situation.” He took in a ragged breath and slowly let it out. “It was all to appease my tortured son.”
“I assume you mean the incident that killed your wife?” she asked.
The wang nodded and wiped tears from his eyes for a few moments. When he seemed calm, he continued. “Ha-Neul needs to heal, and I believe you are the person to help him.”
“But—”
“No.” He lifted a hand. “No, please listen.” He leaned toward her, touching his fingertips together, pointing them at her. “I know your feelings no matter how hard you try to hide them. You know who sees past all the façade, don’t you? You know who is a clairvoyant.”
She nodded, not daring to speak the secret out loud.
“I want you to love him, and I want him to love you; however,” he became grave, “you must tell him who you really are, and soon.” His whole demeanor became kinder and more empathetic. “You know that, don’t you?”
“Yes,” she breathed out, tears forming. “Ha-Na and I talked about it last week.”
“Our families have kept your secret from him long enough. It’s time he knows the truth.” He watched her carefully until she nodded. “I know it will be hard for both of you, and I know you know that as well. It will be worse the longer you wait.”
“I know,” she breathed out.
He held out his hand and waited. She placed her hand in his, and he covered it with his other hand.
“No matter what happens, I want you to know that I am grateful for everything you have done for my family, Vasilisa,” he said. He patted her hand and withdrew his. “It is late. You have a long day ahead of you tomorrow, so you should go to bed.”
They both stood, and she bowed to him, and he bowed to her in return.
“Sleep well, Wang-Mama.”
She left the room to find Irene waiting, and all of the emotions she had held in check finally overwhelmed her. She collapsed into the outstretched arms of her aunt, who held her tightly and whispered comfort into her ear as her body trembled with silent sobs.




About The Author:

Adam Gowans is the youngest of five Air Force brats, out of which his siblings have voted him the weirdest. He loves anything that deals with stories, including movies, novels, television dramas, music, video games, manga/manhwa, and webtoons.

In his mid-twenties, he lived and taught English in South Korea for four years before returning to the States to live, like many LDS authors, in Utah.

His first novel is On Angelic Wings, which has a planned sequel, but the sequel will be released after two other novels that are calling for his attention.





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Tuesday, 18 September 2018

The Found Child by Jo Crow


Title: The Found Child
Author: Jo Crow
Genre: Thriller
Published by: Relay Publishing
Publication Date: September 4th 2018


One mother’s life can change in the blink of an eye—and there’s no going back.

Elaine’s worst fears become a reality when her beloved son Jakob is diagnosed with cancer. She needs to find a bone marrow donor, and time is running out. While awaiting test results from herself and her husband Nathan, she approaches his business partner, Roger—her ex-lover—to see if he could be a possible match. Instead, an even greater shock awaits: Jakob is not her biological son. For years, she has been raising someone else’s child.

The news threatens to send Elaine back to the pills that almost destroyed her life once before, pushing her already fragile mental state to the breaking point. As the family faces one crisis, a ghost from her past emerges to jeopardize everything she’s built. But is the threat real, or is it all in her mind? Elaine needs to stay strong for her son, but as her whole reality continues to unravel, she can’t trust anyone—not even herself.



Excerpt:

Prologue

Telling parents that the search for their missing infant had gone cold was a job that no one wanted. And honestly, Detective Aaronson had tried to pass it off to someone else—to his partner, Miller, and then to a uniform. Ultimately, though, the chief had put his boot down and pushed it back on Aaronson. He was the point man. He and Miller had worked the case together for a month before the leads dried up, but it had been Aaronson who had sat with the parents, talked to them on the phone, and kept them updated. 

He’d been the one to give them hope, so it followed that he should be the one to take it away… right?


They had agreed to meet him at the station. That seemed to be the best choice. No one wanted to get this kind of news in their own home—it would put a stain on the place that would never wash out. No, it was more professional to have the talk here in one of the small conference rooms. No decorations, no distractions, nothing to make the moment seem too casual. Only gray brick, white linoleum and a wooden table and chairs that were plain and utilitarian. Unemotional.


Now he sat across from them, steeling himself and trying to work up some moisture in his mouth. There was water, but they hadn’t poured a glass so he wasn’t about to. Both of them had dark circles under their bloodshot eyes, and a waxy pallor to their skin. They hadn’t slept in a month, he figured. He’d have put money on it. Hell, he could barely sleep when his teenager stayed out late with her friends on a weekend. And their child had been gone for more than a month. As a parent, he understood part of their pain. Just part of it. That’s what made this so damn difficult.


“We’re not closing the case,” he said, his tone as flat as he could manage. “But as of now, the leads—”


“You’re not looking anymore?” the mother asked. Fury filled her eyes, and loss. One of those was for him. 


“It’s only been a month,” the father said. “You can’t stop now. Please, our son is out there somewhere—we know it.”


“I can feel him,” she said. “You have to believe me, I can feel him here.” She clutched at her chest, at the threadbare, peach-colored sweater she wore. 


You have to keep it short, the chief had said. Keep it direct and then refer them to the counselor. That’s your job. 


Aaronson wondered if the chief had ever done this before. He imagined he’d had, but to make it seem so simple… Of course, there were regulations. He couldn’t be the counselor and the detective, and there were good reasons for that. “We will keep the case open,” he told them. “If any new leads come in, we’ll follow up on them.”


He meant it, too. But the truth that he knew, and that these two knew even if they didn’t want to believe it, was that after seventy-two hours, most of these cases were never solved. Every day after that windows closed, the likelihood of finding a child like theirs dropped exponentially until it plummeted to a fraction of a percent which itself really only represented the handful of miracle cases that had been resolved sometimes decades after a disappearance. 


“Please don’t do this,” the father begged. He took his wife’s hand, and they leaned into one another. “One more month. There was that woman—”

“At the moment, Andrea Williams has been cleared as a suspect,” Aaronson said. That poor woman’s life had been all but destroyed already. “We’ve been over her life with a fine-toothed comb. If new evidence emerges, we’ll look into it again, but I’m telling you that she’s not who we want.” 

“So, what do we do now?” the mother asked. “What do we do now that you’ve abandoned our boy? Abandoned us?”


Aaronson was so close to breaking. He stood from the table. “I swear to you both,” he said, the words bitter on his tongue, “that we will pursue any and every lead that comes across my desk. We’re not abandoning anyone. Alright?” And while it may have been technically true, it sure felt like a lie.


Nothing but contempt came from them, and he didn’t blame them at all. And he hated himself for what he had to say next. “There’s a counselor here. Doctor Amari. She’s a grief counselor, and it’s free to see her. I can send her in, but I have to leave you now. I’m sorry. Really, I am.”


They turned their faces from him. 


As he left, he closed the door gently even though he wanted to slam it hard enough to shatter the glass. He wasn’t even sure who to be angry with. Himself, mostly, he guessed, or the whole damn department. And Andrea-fucking-Williams, who had wasted their time from the beginning by lying to protect herself instead of telling them the truth about her record so that they could have moved on. 


He took only two steps before the mother wailed loudly behind him. The entire department went quiet. That sound was one they all knew. It was the sound of a woman who had lost the last shred of hope she’d had. The shred that he’d taken away from her.
That was the sound of a mother whose child had died. And, at this point, Aaronson had nothing to suggest it wasn’t true. 


He’d failed them.


Author Bio:

Jo Crow gave ten years of her life to the corporate world of finance, rising to be one of the youngest VPs around. She carved writing time into her commute to the city, but never shared her stories, assuming they were too dark for any publishing house. But when a nosy publishing exec read the initial pages of her latest story over her shoulder, his albeit unsolicited advice made her think twice.

A month later, she took the leap, quit her job, and sat down for weeks with pen to paper. The words for her first manuscript just flew from her. Now she spends her days reading and writing, dreaming up new ideas for domestic noir fans, and drawing from her own experiences in the cut-throat commercial sector.

Not one to look back, Jo is all in, and can’t wait for her next book to begin.



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Monday, 17 September 2018

Unexpected Hostage by Layla Stone


Title: Unexpected Hostage
Series: Unexpected, #1
Author: Layla Stone
Genre: Adult, Romance, Science Fiction
Publication date: September 9th 2018


Everyone says he’s dangerous.
Everyone is wrong.

My new cabin-mate is a telepath and the whole ship’s scared of him. I was too, for about three seconds. He’s quiet, but once I get him talking he’s the most fascinating man I’ve ever known. He shouldn’t be in that cage. He didn’t do anything wrong. But good thing he is, because I would love to snuggle down for a long night with a body like his.


Everyone thinks they’re safe.
Everyone is wrong.

My race is known for being peaceful, and I was too…until I was electrocuted, kidnapped, sold, and then put in a cage. I’ll get out of here soon, but while I plot my escape, I’ll enjoy my cabin-mate’s attention. She thinks she has figured me out. She’s not even close.

The ship is being attacked, a perfect diversion. There is only one problem…I want to take my cabin-mate with me.

Note to readers: This is a full length Sci-fi Romance Novel with action, adventure, adult humor and a steamy romance. Mature readers only.





Author Bio:

Layla Stone is an unapologetic romance junkie. As a self proclaimed Modern-Day Casanova of fictional men, she spins stories to create unique lovers with the plethora of races she's dreamed up.

Southern California is where she lives with her geeky husband and two rambunctious children.







Sunday, 16 September 2018

Hunter's Revenge by Val Penny



Title: Hunter's Revenge
Series: The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries #2
Author: Val Penny
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Publication Date: 9th September 2018
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books


Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: 
DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until his friend's death is revenged.


DI Hunter Wilson is called to the scene of a murder. He is shocked to find the victim is his friend and colleague, George Reinbold.

Who would want to harm the quiet, old man? Why was a book worth £23,000 delivered to him that morning? Why is the security in George's home so intense?

Hunter must investigate his friend’s past as well as the present to identify George’s killer.

When a new supply of cocaine from Peru floods HMP Edinburgh and the city, the courier leads Hunter to a criminal gang, but Hunter requires the help of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable, Sir Peter Myerscough, and local gangster, Ian Thomson, to make his case.

Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this taut crime thriller.



Excerpt:

Jamie Thomson meets his mother's lover Lenny The Lizard Pratt when he is going into the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh.

      Jamie was on his way back to The Western General Hospital. He had to get his arm checked to see if the pins were holding. It was irritating him that he couldn’t drive. Everything took so much longer when he had to use public transport. Still, he had now got the knack of buying a day pass on the buses and jumping on and off them just like the old folk did. It was all right for them; they got some kind of coffin-dodgers’ bus pass that got them free bus travel. It wasn’t fair that he had to pay for his ticket.
      As Jamie got off the bus, inside the hospital grounds, he started to look around to see exactly which way he should go. Then he caught sight of The Lizard walking up from the car park carrying a bunch of corner-shop flowers. Jamie got his bearings and walked away, head down, ignoring the bully who had overseen the breaking of his arm. It was his bowling arm. He might never throw a strike again, but at least he could lift a pint with the other one.
      But The Lizard must have spotted him, because he called out, “Jamie, young Jamie, good to see you. Your mam’ll be right pleased I’ve seen you out and about looking so well.”
      “Was she right pleased you broke my fuckin’ arm, ya bloody wanker, Lizard? Out of my way, or I’ll put this cast to good use and shove it down your throat.”
      “Now, that’s not a nice way to speak, is it lad? I had nothing to do with your poorly arm. If you recall, it was Brian Squires who did that. He has an uncontrollable temper.”
      “That’s not quite right though, is it, Lizard? You were there. You’re the boss and you ordered Squires what to do. We both know that Brian Squires couldn’t wipe his arse without being told what to do by you, Lizard. Why were you so worried about that old car, anyway?”
      “No reason, lad, no reason.”
      “Well, word on the street says it was blowing a snowstorm in that Volvo, and your name was all over it. If they’re right, that would explain a lot.”
      “Don’t believe all you hear, Jamie, lad. It might not be good for your health,” The Lizard sneered menacingly.
      “Piss off, Lizard.” Jamie nipped into the hospital and went straight to reception so The Lizard couldn’t follow him and punish him for his cheek.

***
      The Lizard growled after him, but did not follow Jamie. The lad was not worth any grief to him today, but he didn’t like the sound of that rumour the lad had heard.
      Lenny The Lizard turned into the Anne Ferguson Building and took the stairs up to Ward 51 He did his best to keep fit. His mother was receiving treatment for her heart, and that weakness might be hereditary. The Lizard had no desire to make an early exit from this world. He and Janice were having way too much fun, even if that did come at a high price. No wonder Ian Thomson had got into robbing banks; that woman was an expensive luxury.
      Every time he went to visit his mother, he was more and more impressed by the patience and dedication shown by the nurses. They had told him not to expect too much, but his mother thought she was on the mend. Who was he to disabuse her of that? The poor old bat looked so frail. He knew she wouldn’t be getting home any time soon. He knew that she wouldn’t get out of hospital until care could be put in place to allow her to continue to live at home. So he gave her the flowers, and pretended to listen to her grumble about the food, the draught from the window and the uncomfortable bed.



Author Bio:

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 ballet dancer or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels.

Her first crime novel, 'Hunter's Chase' set in Edinburgh, Scotland was published by Crooked Cat Books on 02.02.2018. The sequel, 'Hunter's Revenge' was published on 09.09.2018.





Saturday, 15 September 2018

The Craft Room by Dave Holwill

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Title: The Craft Room
Author: Dave Holwill
Genre: Crime Fiction / Black Comedy
Publication Date: 14th August 2017


Sylvia Blackwell is tired. Her grandchildren are being kept away from her, and the expected inheritance that might finally get her middle-aged son to move out has failed to materialise – thanks to her mother's cat. It is becoming increasingly difficult to remain composed. On a romantic clifftop walk for her 47th Wedding Anniversary, an unexpected opportunity leads to a momentous decision that will irretrievably change the course of her life.

The Craft Room is a darkly comic tale of sex, crepe paper, murder and knitting in a sleepy Devon town, with a 'truly original' premise and genuinely jaw-dropping moments.

What would you do if unexpectedly freed from bondage you never knew you were in? How would your children cope? How far would you go to protect them from an uncomfortable truth? You can only push a grandmother so far...


Author Bio:

Dave Holwill was born in Guildford in 1977 and quickly decided that he preferred the Westcountry – moving to Devon in 1983 (with some input from his parents).
After an expensive (and possibly wasted) education there, he has worked variously as a postman, a framer, and a print department manager (though if you are the only person in the department then can you really be called a manager?) all whilst continuing to play in every kind of band imaginable on most instruments you can think of.

His debut novel, Weekend Rockstars, was published in August 2016 to favourable reviews and his second The Craft Room (a very dark comedy concerning death through misadventure) came out in August 2017. He is currently in editing hell with the third.






Friday, 14 September 2018

The Kithseeker by M. K. Wiseman


Title: The Kithseeker
Series: The Bookminder Book 2
Author: M. K. Wiseman
Genre: YA historical fantasy
Publication Date: 21st August 2018

France, 1680

Liara's defense of the Wizard Nagarath has rendered Anisthe incantate--bereft of magick--but even this cannot guarantee her safety. Because the death of her father-in-magick would seal the girl's fate, necessity demands she and her wizard maintain a watchful eye on the war mage, while protecting her from his dark designs.

Anisthe has embarked on a journey across Europe, aided by his half-fey manservant with an agenda all his own. They search for a legendary mirror that contains the world's most powerful magick. Although the stuff of fairytales, the possibility of its existence compels Nagarath and Liara to seek the artifact themselves. Both know that should Anisthe lay claim to that power, Liara would be at his mercy and not even Nagarath could save her.

Thus, the pair find themselves at Versailles, surrounded by agents who ferret out magick users and destroy them. Uncertain who is friend and who is foe, with their rival on their heels, they must discover the mirror before Anisthe releases its evil, or worse, it lays claim to Liara's magick and brings doom upon them all.



Author Bio:

M. K. Wiseman has degrees in animation/video and library science – both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Today, her office is a clutter of storyboards and half-catalogued collections of too, too many books. (But, really, is there such a thing as too many books?) When she’s not mucking about with stories, she’s off playing brač or lying in a hammock in the backyard of her Cedarburg home that she shares with her endlessly patient husband.






Thursday, 13 September 2018

The Amber Maze by Christopher Bowden


Title: The Amber Maze
Author: Christopher Bowden
Genre: Literary mystery
Publication Date: 6th September 2018


While staying in a Dorset cottage, Hugh Mullion finds a mysterious key down the side of an antique chair. No one can say how long the key has been there or what it opens.

Hugh’s search for answers will unlock the secrets of the troubled life of a talented artist, destined to be hailed a neglected genius fifty years too late. And no secret is darker than that of The Amber Maze, from whose malign influence he never escaped.

The trail takes Hugh from Edwardian Oxfordshire to 1960s Camden Town, where the ghosts of the past are finally laid to rest.

Delicately crafted noir fiction at its best.




My Review:

The Amber Maze is an entertaining mystery which begins as the main character, Hugh Mullion, finds a key down the side of an old chair which appears in a cottage he is renting.
Hugh's obsession with finding what the key is for and who it belongs to leads to a tale of an unknown artist and his life. I found Hugh's determination to solve the mystery a bit strange but also fascinating.
This quick read kept me interested and entertained as it meandered along at a satisfying pace.



Author Bio:

Christopher Bowden lives in south London. The Amber Maze is the sixth of his colour-themed novels, which have been praised variously by Andrew Marr, Julian Fellowes, Sir Derek Jacobi, and Shena Mackay.













Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Dark Paradise by Gene Desrochers


Title: Dark Paradise
Series: A Caribbean Noir Murder Mystery (Boise Montague) (Volume 1)
Author: Gene Desrochers
Genre: Mystery


Boise Montague’s life in Los Angeles has fallen apart. After his wife dies, he returns to the tiny island where he grew up. Unfortunately, coming home doesn’t bring him the peace he’s looking for.

Things have changed drastically since his last visit. The island has moved on and so have the people he once knew. When Boise tries to find the one friend he thinks he can count on to be there for him, he’s confronted with another death. A murder. A murder that the police did not think important enough to investigate thoroughly.

Boise wants answers. He enlists a local reporter named Dana, who has theories of her own, to help him dig deeper.

With not much left to lose, a bone to pick with the justice system, and a relentless partner, Boise sets out to do what the police would not: solve the murder of Jeffrey Black.

The island of St. Thomas is a gleaming tropical paradise. Welcome to the Caribbean, where murder is as common as sunshine.



Author Bio:


Gene Desrochers hails from a dot in the Caribbean Sea called St. Thomas. He grew up with minimal supervision and free-roaming animals in a guesthouse that also served as a hospital during wartime. He has spent his life steadily migrating west, and now finds himself in Los Angeles with a beautiful wife, cats, and kids. After a lifetime of writing and telling short stories, he ventured into the deep end, publishing his first novel, Dark Paradise in 2018. If you ask, he will regale you with his Caribbean accent and tennis prowess.



Guest Post by Gene Desrochers:
Research in Fiction


         There’s a big emphasis on research in fiction nowadays. People enjoy tearing down a movie or book that does not have authentic, accurate portrayals of a city, a group of people, or a particular person who’s based on someone who actually existed. Why? If the story is good and the author chooses to abandon accuracy to create better dramatic tension or because she just could not find the information and wanted to complete the story in a timely manner, is there anything wrong with that? After all, a novel does not claim to be historically and factually accurate by its very nature.

         As a writer one struggles with this dilemma all the time. Many writers use research as a procrastination tool, since most writers also enjoy reading and learning, the research lets them do something they can claim furthers their writing goals, while not actually writing. The internet has exacerbated this matter, since information is endlessly at our fingertips and we can barrel down different tunnels as we “do research” online. What actually happens to me most of the time is I wind up starting out trying to find out what year a historic battle took place and before I know it I’m watching film analysis videos about The Matrix.

         It seems to me it’s more important to develop the theme and characters than to have every detail be factually accurate. Besides, most of our information is second or third or even fourth hand, so if you aren’t writing from your own personal knowledge or a primary source, who knows how accurate the information is. This is one of the reasons writing “what you know” can be the most rewarding. You pull from personal knowledge that not only has factual merit, but emotional weight no one else in the world can bring to that exact situation. The burgeoning memoir market suggests we have a thirst for first-hand accounts and perhaps is a reaction to all the talk (accurate or not) of fake news and disinformation prevalent on the internet.

         In my own writing, I often purposefully intermingle reality and fiction in order to bring an emotional or plot-driven truth to the forefront. For example, in Dark Paradise, Boise often patronizes a bar / restaurant on the waterfront of St. Thomas called The Greenhouse. That place existed in my youth. It’s where I said and essentially what I said, however, I have not even checked to see if it’s still in business today. I haven’t returned to St. Thomas since 2009, so if a reader said, “I’m going to St. Thomas and I’m going to The Greenhouse” because he read about it in my novel, well, good luck. I’m not even certain it’s still there, or if it looks anything like it does in the novel anymore. I set the story in 2015, but many things in the novel are gone, most notably, The West Indian Manner, was sold and torn down decades ago. On that property today there are ugly government buildings. I miss that landmark, so by including it in my story as a prominent location, it lives on. In reality, the government tore down a beautiful guesthouse with important historical significance. The St. Thomas in my stories will continue to have The West Indian Manner and other emotional truths from long ago intermingled with the stark reality of today. I hope for the fact-checkers out there, that’s an acceptable sacrifice to reach the emotional truth of fiction.

Giveaway 1 - Win a $25 Amazon e-gift Card

Post your photo with your e-book or hard copy of Dark Paradise on social media and share on Gene’s Facebook  Instagram  or Twitter page and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a $25 Amazon Gift Card to be awarded on Monday, September 24th


Giveaway 2Win 2 x Paperbacks and 2 x E-copies of Dark Paradise (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. The two paperbacks are only open to USA entries. 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 the right is reserved 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 be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time the data will be deleted. Rachel's Random Resources is not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.