Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Battle Ground by Rachel Churcher






Title: Battle Ground
Series: Book 1 of the five-book Battle Ground series
Author: Rachel Churcher
Genre: YA Near-future UK-based political dystopia
Publication Date: 25th July 2019



Sixteen-year-old Bex Ellman has been drafted into an army she doesn't support and a cause she doesn't believe in. Her plan is to keep her head down, and keep herself and her friends safe – until she witnesses an atrocity she can't ignore, and a government conspiracy that threatens lives all over the UK. With her loyalties challenged, Bex must decide who to fight for – and who to leave behind.

The Battle Ground series is set in a dystopian near-future UK, after Brexit and Scottish independence.



My Review:

I enjoyed this first book of this new series. A dystopian story set in the not too distant future of the UK. It's aimed at Young Adults, but perfectly suitable for older readers too.

Bex Ellman and her friend, Dan are conscripted into the army, while their other friend Margie has disappeared along with a teacher to join the 'terrorists'. As recruits Bex, Dan and other teens are put through a harrowing training regime, merely to be shown off to the public to prove that they are safe from attack.

With propaganda, misinformation and rumour it's difficult for the teens to decide what the truth is and whos side they should be on.

The characters are well-rounded and most have a back story which helps you get to know them. They're not perfect, they're flawed and make mistakes like all teenagers.

The story moved along at a good pace and in today's climate the plotline was plausible and believable! I look forward to reading the second book of the series.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.)




Author Bio:

Rachel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.

She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends – but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.

Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if she’s allowed to bring her books.



Press Release:

What would an isolationist post-Brexit UK be like to live in? That’s the question posed by a new Young Adult novel, Battle Ground, published on July 25th by Taller Books.

Battle Ground follows sixteen-year-old Bex Ellman as she is drafted into an army she doesn't support and a cause she doesn't believe in. Her plan is to keep her head down, and keep herself and her friends safe – until she witnesses an atrocity she can't ignore, and a government conspiracy that threatens lives all over the UK. With her loyalties challenged, Bex must decide who to fight for – and who to leave behind.

Author Rachel Churcher extrapolates the arguments and debates surrounding our exit from the EU, and presents a dystopian near-future view of the country. In Battle Ground, Brexit leads to Scottish Independence, and to civil unrest. In an effort to protect the population, the government introduces strict anti-terrorism laws, and creates a branch of the Army dedicated to public safety. Sixteen-year-olds are conscripted into the Recruit Training Service to be a visible armed presence at events and on the streets.

In an echo of recent events in Sudan, the civilian internet is disabled, and mobile phone networks are switched off. Eventually the army is given emergency powers, and the right to vote is suspended. The slide into totalitarian isolationism is described in flashbacks, while Bex and her friends resign themselves to lives of military training and armed patrols.

As one of the characters explains, these measures were never imposed on the population. People voted for safety at the cost of their democratic rights. “The government made sure the people were entertained, and most of them didn’t even notice the changes, until one day they woke up and they couldn’t vote.”

For the author, a background in human geography and a lifelong love of Science Fiction meant that an extrapolation of the arguments over Brexit was the obvious way to work through her frustration with the campaign, with voter apathy, and with the decision to leave.

“I believe we are stronger in partnership with our neighbours, and like many Remainers, I didn’t see Brexit coming. It made me think about what else we could end up endorsing, and allowing, in this country. Government propaganda, outright lies, and an assumption that a Remain majority was guaranteed all contributed to the Brexit victory. I don’t want that to happen again, and I hope that Battle Ground will act as what David Brin calls a ‘self-preventing prophecy’. I want readers to think about what they will allow their governments to do, and how they might influence future decisions. I want the Battle Ground series to be a wake-up call to anyone who thinks that they can’t change things by voting.”

Battle Ground was launched at YALC, the London Young Adult Literary Convention, on July 25th.





Tuesday, 30 July 2019

A Divided Mind by M.Billiter



Title: A Divided Mind
Author: M.Billiter
Genre: Domestic Thriller
Publication Date: July 27, 2019
ASIN: B07R7MPV7


What if the only friend you have isn’t real?

When the voices in his head begin to make sense, high school senior Branson Kovac turns to the one friend he’s still got… only to discover he’s not really there.

AmazonB&NKoboiBooksBooks2Read

Excerpt:

      I was identifying the other parts of Kermit’s anatomy when tick boy tapped me again on the shoulder.

      “What?” I glared at him and he backed away. That sudden jolt of anger triggered the shadow people. I shook my head, but it was still there. I saw a shadow of a person pick up the scalpel and attack tick boy with exact precision, cutting him across the throat. The only color I could see was red.



About the Author:

M. Billiter is the alter ego of contemporary, award-winning romance author, Mary Billliter.

After writing more than a dozen love stories, she is exploring the other side. Best known for her emotional honesty, Mary doesn't write about well-adjusted people, but rather the wounds in life.

M. Billiter writes with clarity and raw emotion to explore difficult subjects and issues close to her heart.





RABT Book Tours & PR




Monday, 29 July 2019

13 Steps to the Cellar by Teresa Mathews



Title: 13 Steps to the Cellar
Author: Teresa Mathews
Genre: Mystery
Publication Date: September 4, 2019
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing


Thirteen Steps to the Cellar. They were steep; they were narrow—but was a fall down them enough to have caused the twenty-seven deep lacerations to her aunt’s head?

Callie Harris travels from her home in Alabama to her aunt’s former mansion in Maine to unravel the haunting forty-year-old mystery of Dr. Laverne Harris Doss’ brutal death.

Why wasn’t a murder weapon found? Was her uncle justly convicted of the killing? Was his mistress involved? Or was the murderer the bearded stranger rumored to have arrived by train that night?

In the charming town of Richmond, located on the banks of Maine’s historic Kennebec River, Callie uncovers the community’s darkest secrets—a botched police investigation, a betrayed widow’s lie, a dead woman’s blackmail, and a wealthy philanthropist’s shame. The web of intrigue extends far beyond her suspicions and its connection to her personal story pierces Callie to her core.


Pre-order
AmazonB&NKoboSmashwordsTirgearr



About the Author:

Teresa Mathews is a graduate of The University of South Alabama. She’s a member of the Mobile Writers Guild and serves on the Board of Directors for the Alabama Nursery and Landscape Association.

An avid gardener and artist, she has multiple book covers to her credit. Several years ago after visiting the site of her real-life aunt’s murder, Teresa discovered a third passion–storytelling. Although inspired by an actual tragedy, Thirteen Steps to the Cellar is fiction.

Raised on the Gulf Coast, Teresa, her husband, and son now live on a farm with a second home on the sparkling white sands of Fort Morgan, Alabama. This is her first novel.





RABT Book Tours & PR

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Scouse Gothic (Book 1) ‘The Pool of Life..and Death’

by Ian McKinney




Title: ‘The Pool of Life..and Death’
Series: Scouse Gothic Book 1
Author: Ian McKinney
Genre: Horror/Thriller
Publication Date: 2015


Melville wakes with a pounding headache – there had been too many hangovers recently, but this felt different. What had he been drinking last night? Then he remembered – it was blood.

Enter the bizarre world of Scouse Gothic where a reluctant vampire mourns a lost love and his past lives, where a retired ‘hitman’ plans one more killing and dreams of food, and a mother sets out to avenge her son’s murder, and, meanwhile, a grieving husband is visited by an angry angel.

Set in present day Liverpool, vampires and mortals co-exist, unaware of each other’s secrets and that their past and present are inextricably linked.

But as their lives converge, who will be expected to atone for past sins?




My Review:

An unusual and compelling read.

Scouse Gothic has a wonderful cast of believable and flawed characters, whos seemingly individual tales become seamlessly, and cleverly, interwoven. Amongst this party of oddballs, are vampires (not your typical vamps), criminals, humans and an angel disguised as a pigeon... or is that last one a figment of someone's imagination?

An atmospheric story that brings the Liverpool setting, past and present, to life, with a superb mix of revenge, love, hate, history, light & dark humour, and much more.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.)




Author Bio:

Ian was born and bred in Liverpool but left for university in the 1980’s when the city appeared to be in a terminal decline. After qualifying he worked in London and Essex before finally settling in Shropshire with his wife and daughter.

However a set of circumstances meant that he returned to live in the city once more. What he found was a modern vibrant city. The derelict buildings from his youth had been restored and repurposed. A dock was now a tourist attraction, a church was now a night club, a gaol now a hotel.

It was then that he had the idea for Melville a vampire who had known the city in its prime and had now returned to it. Initially the story of Melville was written as a short story, but the more Ian explored the city the more he realised there were many more tales to tell than just Melville’s. That was when the idea for Scouse Gothic was born.

The first book ‘A Pool of Life ..and Death’ , was very well received and has now been followed by a further two books. Ian continues to spend his time between Liverpool and Shropshire and is currently working on two further projects.




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



Friday, 26 July 2019

Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel


Title: Manipulated Lives
Author: H.A. Leuschel
Genre: Psychological, Literary Fiction
Publication Date: 8th June 2016


Five compelling true-to-life stories each highlighting a narcissist’s manipulative mind games

Narcissists are everywhere.

They can be witty, charming and highly charismatic.

Anyone can be their target.

At first their devious, calculating mind games can be hard to spot because they are masters of disguise, but then they revert to their true self of being controlling and angry in private. Their main aim: to dominate and use others to satisfy their needs, with a complete lack of compassion and empathy for their victim.

All stories highlight to what extent narcissistic abuse can distort lives and threaten our self-worth yet ultimately, also send a positive message that once the narcissist is unmasked, the victims can at last break free.




Author Bio:

Helene Andrea Leuschel grew up in Belgium where she gained a Licentiate in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She now lives with her husband and two children in Portugal and recently acquired a Master of Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind. When she is not writing, Helene works as a freelance journalist and teaches Yoga.





Giveaway to Win a Paperback copy of Manipulated Lives (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.




Thursday, 25 July 2019

Chosen by Sloane Murphy



Title: Chosen
Series: Blackwater Academy Book 2
Author: Sloane Murphy
Genre: YA / NA crossover Paranormal Romance
Trope: Academy Romance / Love Triangle / Suspense
Release Date: Coming October 2019
Cover Design: Vixen Designs 


Surviving high school, one secret at a time…


After everything that happened, all I wanted was to go to the Academy, and maybe, just for once, get to be normal.

But now my secret is out, with repercussions I could never have dreamed of and I can’t trust anyone.
Even the ones I thought I could.

With whispers of murder still in the air, and lines between friend and foe becoming blurry, the shadows that were once my closest ally, could just be my own personal nightmare.


Pre -Order links:




Author Bio:

Sloane Murphy is the author of the best selling series, The Immortal Chronicles, as well as a range of other paranormal and young adult romance.

Sloane lives in Peterborough, England, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for cheesy YA Films, cupcakes and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much hot chocolate, and watches an ungodly amount of Netflix. When she's not busy writing, she can be found exploring the world with her husband and chocolate Labrador.




Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Eye For Eye by JK Franko

Title: Eye For Eye
Series: Talion #1
Author: JK Franko
Genre: Crime & Mystery
Publication Date: June 22nd 2019
Publisher: Talion Publishing
Number of Pages: 400
ISBN: 1999318803 (ISBN13: 9781999318802)



Roy and Susie are on a skiing holiday, trying to take a break from the constant reminders of their daughter, tragically killed by a careless driver. Out of the blue they meet Deb and Tom, another couple with a tragic past and a shocking proposal to put things right.

As the bodies accumulate, secrets are revealed and alliances crumble. Ultimate survival depends on following the rules for a perfect murder. And the first rule is… leave no singing bones.




Excerpt:



When I try to piece together how this whole mess began, a part of me thinks it may have started over thirty years ago. At least the seeds were planted that far back, in the early 1980s. What happened then, at that summer camp in Texas, set the stage for everything that was to come.

Odd, how something so remote in time and geography continues to impact me here, today.

Sometimes I try to imagine her, how she felt—that eleven year-old girl—as she ran, stumbling and tripping through the woods that night. I try to put myself in her shoes. When I do, I wonder if she was frightened.

Did she understand the consequences of what she’d gotten herself into? I imagine it felt otherworldly to her, like a dream. But not a good dream. No, one of the bad ones—the ones that make your heart machine-gun as you try to outrun some dark thing that’s chasing you. But the faster you try to run, the slower you go, your legs feeling leaden, clumsy, useless.

Panic sets in. Tears of frustration form. Fear takes hold and won’t let go. You open your mouth to scream but realize, to your horror, that you’re paralyzed. It’s not that you can’t scream; you can’t even breathe. Not a dream—a nightmare.

Then again, all that may simply be my imagination. It could just be me projecting what I might have felt onto Joan. Maybe she wasn’t scared at all.

True, it was dark out. The night smelled of rain, but there was no lightning, only the far-off rumble of thunder hinting at a distant storm. There were no trail lights, no visibility but for the moon peeking out intermittently from behind a patchwork of clouds. But, Joan had been down this trail before. She was running toward the main cabin.

She had been at Camp Willow for almost two full weeks. She had been up and down that trail at least ten times a day, every day. Of course, that was during the day, and always with her buddy, or a camp counselor (the children called them troop leaders). Joan had never been on the trail at night. And never alone.

Maybe I imagine Joan was scared because, as an adult, I believe that she should have been. I would have been terrified.













"New twist on strangers on a train"
~ The Sunday Times




Author Bio:

J.K. Franko was born and raised in Texas. His Cuban-American parents agreed there were only three acceptable options for a male child: doctor, lawyer, and architect. After a disastrous first year of college pre-Med, he ended up getting a BA in philosophy (not acceptable), then he went to law school (salvaging the family name) and spent many years climbing the big law firm ladder. After ten years, he decided that law and family life weren’t compatible. He went back to school where he got an MBA and pursued a Ph.D. He left law for corporate America, with long stints in Europe and Asia.

His passion was always to be a writer. After publishing a number of non-fiction works, thousands of hours writing, and seven or eight abandoned fictional works over the course of eighteen years, EYE FOR EYE became his first published novel.

J.K. Franko now lives with his wife and children in Florida.



This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JK Franko. There will be 6 winners. Two (2) winners will each win (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. Two (2) winners will each win a signed copy of EYE FOR EYE by JK Franko (Open to U.S. addresses only) and Two (2) winners will each win a Knife set (Open to U.S. addresses only). The giveaway begins on July 22, 2019 and runs through September 22, 2019. Void where prohibited.


On Tour July 22 - September 20, 2019

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!






Get More Great Reads at


Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Pharaoh's Star by Olivia Hardy Ray


Title: Pharaoh's Star
Author: Olivia Hardy Ray
Genre: Science Fiction, mystery, fantasy
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Chattercreek


The mystery that unfolds on a dark, eerie back road in upstate New York sends Nick Dowling on a frantic quest to understand his past. What he discovers about himself slowly drives him toward madness. Where does the truth unfold, in mystery or in the dream? Is truth the illusion he can't embrace? Just who is Nick Dowling?

AmazonB&NKoboiBooks

Excerpt:

Suddenly he noticed lights, as if coming from a house. Thinking he might finally be off Fox Hollow Road and onto something that would take him into town, he breathed a sigh of relief. 

"Shit," he said, as he got closer to the house. "Looks like a frigging dead-end." 


He slapped his hand on the steering wheel. He decided to knock on the door and ask for directions as he stopped the jeep near the driveway. It was quiet, desolate. He took a deep breath and confronted his fear. "Get hold of yourself, man," he said. 


Nick stared back at the farmhouse. It was familiar, which was not unusual. At every turn in upstate New York there was a farmhouse. 


"A compelling sight," he said. 


The house was stately and white. Lace curtains moved with the wind, like the porch swing. He could hear the creak. The house stood against the night in shades of grey, like an old postcard photograph picked up at a flea market. Nick could see bicycles lying on the grass. A dog lifted his head from the porch and stared at him. Nick felt strangely nostalgic. 


He'd assumed years ago that he'd been raised in Phoenicia, New York, because that's what it said on the hotel register when he checked out of the room he'd awoken in, with no memory at all of how he had gotten there. Phoenicia, New York, was another small town within biking distance. He must have been on a lot of country roads in his childhood, staring at houses just like this one. He never went to Phoenicia, though, it was too frightening to confront a past he couldn't recall, but he'd insisted on buying a second house in New Kingston after finding the town on a Google search for vacation homes. Had he subliminally chosen to be near Phoenicia? 


He didn't have any answers, perhaps he never would. Perhaps he didn't want them. As he stared at the house, it drew him in, engulfing him in a black and white fantasy, like an old film. He couldn't have any connection at all to this farmhouse. New Kingston wasn't written on the hotel register. 


Nick stared at the house for several more minutes before the image faded, simply drifted off into the night, leaving behind a phantasmal mist. Nick drifted into the ebbing image, falling into a mindless stupor, as if inebriated. 


"God," he cried out. "What the hell is happening to me?" 


He struggled to escape the blank plateau into which he had fallen, but he couldn't. It was as if his thoughts were being gripped by a distant hand. He suddenly felt floated right up to a shadowy shape in the sky. 


"Leave me alone!" he shouted. 


His head fell sharply to his shoulder, an action that seemed to come from somewhere else, another person―another body. 


"Stress can cause people to black out," Jenna once told him. 


"Yes, of course, that's it―stress," Nick whispered. He looked back at the house again. The noise returned, overbearingly loud―the drill into concrete...deafening. 


Quickly switching the radio back on to fight the noise, he thought about screaming out for help. The sound hovered above him, precariously close. 


He turned the radio up louder. Nothing but static―Damn. 


The noise continued...threatening to use its power...devour him. It was directly over his head, so very close. He felt lifted by it, lifted up to someplace far, as far as space. 


"This is madness," he whispered. "This is impossible." 


He had spent his entire adulthood distracted by the ordinary pressures of survival. He never considered himself particularly introspective, not much caring to delve into the remnants of feelings hidden beneath the debris of inconsequential information―feelings his wife insisted were vital links to his mental well-being. Nick never questioned his life after waking up in a Chelsea hotel with no past. He walked out into the city and survived. Surviving took up all his time, owned his thoughts. He didn't need to know the rest, the forgotten past. The only choices he needed to make were the ones he faced in his profession as a circulation vice president for a major New York newspaper. It took twenty years, but he finally had an executive's salary. 


He didn't want to know his inner life. The dreams he had over the years had been too disturbing to probe―images of violent anger, blood everywhere he looked, murders he could not explain. 


"My inner life is uneventful and average," he'd told Jenna when they first met. "I can't devote much time thinking about it." 


And then, years later, new torment, new dreams...monsters haunted his sleep, metaphors for himself, he surmised. 


No, Nick did not want to find his past or obsess on any uncomfortable emotions, especially not with his dreams, blood on his hands, a dead child at his feet...a battered woman. 


"Am I insane?" He looked out into the night and shook his head. "Am I?" 


He wiped his eyes with the back of his hand. He switched the radio back off and listened for the quiet stillness of night to return, soft and melodic. He listened until all he heard was the wind. 


As he stared back at the old farmhouse tears came into his eyes. He suddenly wanted to leap from the car and run to the front door, as if he belonged there, behind the majesty of its silent repose. 


I'm home. Mom! I'm home, he wanted to shout. 


His eyes blinked as the lights in the farmhouse flickered. He switched the radio back on. He needed the music to ground him, but the static had returned with an irritating repetition. He tried to find a clear station. He was agitated. He wanted to get the hell out of there. He knew that by now the only general store in town would be closed and he'd have to deal with the supermarket for a lousy quart of milk. He hated the supermarket: big, cold places...so why the hell can't I get off this damn road and make it to the goddamn general store? 


"Shit," he said, switching off the radio altogether. 


The lights from the house flickered again, as if an electrical storm was passing over, but the night was clear. Nick backed the jeep up, deciding he would leave the way he had come in...no need to ask for directions. As his breathing returned to normal, he was grateful for its steady rhythm. He was making rational decisions like his old self. It had all been imagination, just imagination. 


As Nick backed up the jeep, he noticed a man at the window of the old house peering through a torn shade. 


"What the hell happened to the lace?" He whispered as he stared in awe at the tattered blind. He quickly thought of his wife and the look in her large dark eyes as she gave him that half parted smile and suggested therapy. How the hell would he ever explain any of this to her? 


He sat quietly. His eyes drifted back to the house. He looked quickly for the dog. All he saw was a tired old porch―empty...no porch swing. No dog. 


"Shadows playing tricks," he said. The oblique shape in the sky expanded and lowered itself closer to the Earth.




About the Author:


Olivia Hardy Ray is the pen name for Vera Jane Cook, who is the author of Dancing Backward in Paradise, 2007 winner of the Indie Excellence Award for notable new fiction and an Eric Hoffer Award for publishing excellence, also in 2007. Dancing Backward in Paradise received a 5 Star Review from ForeWord Clarion. The Story of Sassy Sweetwater was a finalist for the ForeWord Clarion Book of the Year Award and the recipient of a five star review from ForeWord Clarion. Where the Wildflowers Grow was her third southern fiction novel and is receiving 5 star reviews from Amazon.com. Her latest southern fiction novel just released is Pleasant Day. Her woman’s fiction novel is Lies a River Deep and the soon to be released ‘Kismet’.

Under her pen name she is also the author of Annabel Horton, Lost Witch of Salem, and Pharaoh's Star. The sequel to Annabel Horton, Lost Witch of Salem is Annabel Horton and the Black Witch of Pau. That novel will be released this summer.

Jane, as she is called by friends and family, writes in the genres she loves: southern fiction, women's fiction, mystery and fantasy paranormal fiction. She lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her spouse, her Basenji/Chihuahua mix, Roxie, her Dachshund, Karly, her Chihuahua, Peanut, and her two pussycats, Sassy and Sweetie Pie.






RABT Book Tours & PR


Sunday, 21 July 2019

The Kompromat Kill by Michael Jenkins


Title: The Kompromat Kill
Series: Sean Richardson Book 2
Author: Michael Jenkins
Genre: Spy Thriller
Publication Date: 19th June 2018


They were preparing for decades – now it’s time to take them down.

When a British Diplomat is kidnapped in the heart of London, followed by a brutal double-assassination in Chelsea, MI5 braces for the threat of deep sleeper cells coming alive.

Hiding overseas with a price on his head, Sean Richardson is tasked to lead a deniable operation to hunt down and recruit an international model and spy. Moving across Asia Minor and Europe, Sean embarks on a dangerous journey tracking an Iranian spy ring who hold the keys to a set of consequences the British Intelligence Services would rather not entertain.

As Sean investigates deeper, he uncovers dark secrets from his past and a complex web of espionage spun from the hand of a global master spy. As he inches closer to the truth, the rules of the game change – and the nerve-wracking fate of many lives sits in his hands…….……..


Tense, absorbing, and insightful, The Kompromat Kill is a gripping thriller leaving you breathless at the pace of intrigue, cleverly unravelled in a dramatic finale.


Excerpt:

This is a crucial scene that sets the backstory to the novel, and the mission that Sean, the main character, will ultimately be tasked by Jack to undertake. Jack, the head of counter terrorist operations for MI5, begins to explain to the Director of MI5, what he had unravelled at a murder scene that took place in Chelsea the night before. The scene shows the emotion of D and the real concerns that Iranian state sponsored terrorists had mobilised, and were now committing their first assassinations on the UK mainland. The scene leads to Jack setting a plot to flush out an international model and spy….. An Iranian by the name of Nadege.

The Court was D’s very own cabal of hand-picked officers who ran the office and its much larger intelligence fusion centre located out of the city, together with a set of core staff who ran what D called his own active-measures campaigns around the globe. It employed a mixture of freelance ex-intelligence officers in the UK, as well as veteran special forces operators and a mix of former MI6 and MI5 specialists, all highly vetted and sworn to keep The Court’s operations fully secret. 

‘Jack, good to see you. Sit down my boy. Did you put the Old Bill straight on all this?’ D asked, standing behind a 1970s vintage President desk that was empty except for a large ink blotter and two pens standing to attention in a wooden stand. His half-moon glasses sat at the edge of the curved desk, with a light blue swivel chair contributing nicely to the vibrant colours of the room. 


Jack sat on a pale green seat opposite the desk, a battered and beaten high-back chair, its arms now decaying from D’s guests gripping them and fiddling with its material. 


‘What have we got then?’


‘A vicious attack. Definitely Iranian and a professional hit.’


‘Jesus Christ,’ D remarked, slumping into his seat and giving the underside of his desk a fierce kick. ‘The Home Secretary’s going to be chuffed to bollocks with all this happening on our patch. It’s bad enough with the Russians running riot. Now this.’


Jack sat forward to show D a photograph on his phone, which he placed on the desk. ‘I think its Department 15 that’s been activated. What I saw today had all the hallmarks of an MOIS assassination with a bit of Nizari ideology thrown in.’


D grabbed his glasses and took a look. ‘By fuck Jack. This is brutal. Nizaris you say?’ 


Jack took a few moments to explain that Department 15 of the Iranian MOIS were a 

team of brutal regime enforcers who, like the ancient Nizaris, carry out assassinations abroad. He explained that victims of MOIS assassins tend to be Iranian dissidents who pose a threat to the regime or key opponents of the regime. The murders carried out are brutal, designed to instil fear into the hearts of any dissenter brave enough to speak out against the regime, and some of the victims of these hit squads had died in the most barbaric way.

D tutted and ran a hand across his chin. ‘Iranian assassins. Sleepers waking. Russian chemical attacks and cyber-attacks. All on my bloody turf Jack. Now a missing diplomat to boot as well.’ There was a pause while D pinched his nose before bloating his suited posture like a kangaroo puffing out its chest. ‘Bloody hell Jack. We’re in the shit here you know.’
















Author Bio:

I started climbing at 13, survived being lost in Snowdonia at 14, nearly drowned at 15, and then joined the Army at 16. Risk and adventure was built into my DNA and I feel very fortunate to have served the majority of my working career as an intelligence officer within Defence Intelligence, and as an explosive ordnance disposal officer and military surveyor within the Corps of Royal Engineers.

I was privileged to serve for twenty-eight years in the British Army as a soldier and officer, rising through the ranks to complete my service as a major. I served across the globe on numerous military operations as well as extensive travel and adventure on many major mountaineering and exploration expeditions that I led or was involved in.

I was awarded the Geographic Medal by the Royal Geographical Society for mountain exploration in 2003 and served on the screening committee of the Mount Everest Foundation charity for many years. It was humbling after so many years of service when I was awarded the MBE for services to counter-terrorism in 2007.

The Failsafe Query is my debut novel, with The Kompromat Kill, my second.





*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.



Friday, 19 July 2019

Rosebrook Chronicles The Hidden Stories by Helen J. Christmas


Title: Rosebrook Chronicles The Hidden Stories
Author: Helen J. Christmas
Genre: Literary Fiction, Social History/Domestic Noir, Suspense
Publication Date: July 2019



This series of interwoven stories follows the lives of three abused teenagers, desperate to battle past traumas, pursue their dreams, find love and re-establish broken family ties. 

London 1960. Robin is hypnotised by a dazzling moon and it sets him on a quest to seek a better life. Fearful of his future, he puts his trust in the wrong person, clueless of the trap he is falling into.

Dublin 1968. Two Irish orphans are separated by the Church. Six year old Bess panics at the thought of being sent to London. An English family want to adopt her but if only it didn’t mean abandoning her elder brother…
Peter meanwhile, has never forgotten her. Fighting to survive in a brutal orphanage, he risks a dangerous escape to reach the mainland and with the law on his tail, he heads for the Capital to find her.

It is not until the 1970s, the lives of the characters intersect. Struggling to cope in a harsh world, how do their experiences shape them into the adults they become and who among them will be believed?

One politician vows to introduce reforms to protect children. But when his only son is bullied at school, alleged to have committed suicide, he knows there is a lot more tunnelling to do if he is to unearth the evil embedded in society.

With snippets of social history from the 70s to the 90s, this book explores the hidden lives of three ordinary citizens.

These victims never had a voice.
I wrote this book in order to give them one.








Author Bio:

Helen J. Christmas lives on the south coast with her husband. With a love of writing since childhood, she wrote her decade spanning thriller series, Same Face Different Place, Between 2011 and 2017. This five-book mystery suspense series explores British culture and social history from the 70s to the 90s. Inspired by the Bronte sisters in 2016, Helen decided she wanted to develop her writing skills by compiling a book of character-driven short stories. In 2018 she completed Rosebrook Chronicles (The Hidden Stories), a unique novel which gives extra background information to her series. The 16th Century cottage in which Helen lives with her husband (restored in 1991) provides endless inspiration for writing, something she fits around her family and social life. Helen is a self employed web designer and works from home with her husband, Peter, and she enjoys blogging, country walks, photography and cookery.



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




Thursday, 18 July 2019

Dead & Talking by Des Burkinshaw


Title: Dead & Talking
Series: A Porter & The Gliss Investigation
Author: Des Burkinshaw
Genre: Supernatural Mystery
Publication Date: 9th July 2019


If a ghost appeared from nowhere, rescued you from suicide and then ordered you to start solving crimes to help dead people, what would you do?

When it happens to Porter Norton, he just wants to put his head in his hands and have nothing to do with it. But now he has to atone for the family curse that has seen all the men die at their own hands for five generations.

The Gliss, the sarcastic spirit that rescues him, says he can now and see and hear the Dead - if he’s close to their remains. Porter has to use his unwelcome gift to clear up past injustices. Or else.

Forced to investigate the murder of a WW1 British Tommy executed for spying in 1917, he begins to suspect the case has links to his own family history. Along the way, Porter enlists the help of a bickering group of misfits, who struggle to stay involved - because only fools believe in the supernatural, don’t they?

Full of pop culture references, banter and twists, the story takes us from present-day London and Flanders to scenes from World War 1. As Porter, The Gliss, and friends, get deeper into the explosive case, they discover their own lives and sanity are at stake. An evil from WW1 pursues them all.



My Review:

An original and humorous, supernatural mystery.

Porter Norton is saved from a suicide attempt by The Gliss, who tells him he can now hear the voices of the dead and gives him the task of solving past crimes to help bring about justice.

Porter must turn detective and is joined in his debut investigation, into crimes committed during World War One, by a number of quirky individuals. The characters, including The Gliss, are well fleshed out, and the new friendships formed between them are believable.

The story isn't all fun and adventure, there are some dark and moving moments, especially the scenes written from the trenches of  WWI. It is, however, a fast-paced and riveting book that kept me interested.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.)




Author Bio:

Born in the middle of the Summer of Love on a pre-fab council estate in Luton, teenage bitterness and a chance viewing of the Watergate movie, All the President’s Men, made him vow to become a journalist and bring down the government.

First he had to pay for his journalism course, so he became a civil servant. Literally the day he had enough for his fees, he packed it in.
Twelve years on from watching the film, he was a journalist at The Times and had a big hand in bringing down John Major’s government. News ambitions sated, he packed that in too.

Several years of working for Channel 4, ITV and the BBC as a senior producer saw him working across the world, but he eventually got fed up with asking bands how the new album was coming along, and packed it in.

He set up his own production company magnificent! in 2002 and simultaneously worked on the BBC Live Events team for another 10 years. But then six years of work on the Olympics came along, so he packed the BBC in. Again.

Des has jammed with many of his heroes from Paul McCartney to Brian Wilson, Queen to Nancy Sinatra. He has interviewed many A-listers, including David Bowie, Michael Caine, John Cleese and even Noam Chomsky.

He has directed/produced a fairly long list of people – Muse, Coldplay, Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, produced BBC3’s Glastonbury coverage for a couple of years, made films about leprosy in India, comedy shorts with Miranda Hart and Lenny Henry and played guitar for Chas and Dave at the Hackney Empire.

He has made 300+ short films for the Queen, MI5, the BBC, Sky, Discovery, EMI, the British Academy and dozens of authorities, charities and private sector firms. His most recent publication was a series of interviews with leading academics like Mary Beard on the state of the humanities which was published as a standalone magazine by the British Academy.

Fed up with travelling and determined to be a half-decent dad, he now works in London as often as he can. He runs the Young Directors Film School making movies with young people and is about to head up the Digital Film and Video MA at Tileyard. An avid musician and producer, he releases his third album as Romano Chorizo (he plays drums, bass, piano, guitar and really bad sax).

He hates to be pigeon-holed, thinks creativity is a learned state of mind and wishes they would teach people memory and learning techniques at school.

Dead & Talking is his first novel, the first in a series of Porter & The Gliss investigations.




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