Posted in Blog Tour

A Summer to Remember by Victoria Cooke @victoriacooke10 @rararesources #bookreview #asummertoremember

Happy Thursday all!

Excited and delighted to share with you today my last summer read of the summer! The perfect way to end a fabulous summer reading season! Thanks once again to Rachel for my invitation to this tour!🍹

A Summer to Remember

Sam lives by the mantra that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.  

After the tragic loss of her husband, Sam built a new life around friends, her cat Coco and a career she loves. Fending off frequent set-ups and well-meaning advice to ‘move on’, Sam is resolutely happy being single.

But when Sam gets seconded to her firm’s Boston office for the summer, it is more than her career that is in for a shake-up. A spur of the moment decision to visit the idyllic beaches of Cape Cod could end up changing her life forever.

My Thoughts

Victoria Cook has written another engaging story that made me smile and swoon. Not going to lie I was a little disappointed to find out most of this story does not take place in the UK, but rather the US. Good news was it took place in Boston and that is all the way across the country from me and a place I’ve never been so I did get to travel with my read, just not as far as I was anticipating. Additionally the setting of the story was quite delightful and quaint. Such a heartwarming story filled with a tremendous amount of hope and heart. A book about starting over, moving on, and never giving up.

Sam lost her husband many years ago and for the most part she has moved on, just not in the romance department. But Sam is satisfied with her life, she is surrounded by good people and successful in her career. A three-month stent in Boston might just be the thing to push her career to the next level. But Boston is not everything she dreamed it to be. Sam was likable although sometimes she frustrated and confuse me. Ethan the rude/stranger/love interest was a good guy who I found quite lovable myself. Also loved all the secondary characters especially Barney and Harry. A fabulously fun story, the perfect way to end my summer of great reading.

This book in three emojis: 🍹 💁🏻‍♀️ 👫

Purchase Link – getbook.at/ASummerToRemember

Author Bio – Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016.

Her third novel, Who Needs Men Anyway? became a digital bestseller in 2018.

Social Media Links –

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16345710.Victoria_Cooke

https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaCookeAuthor/

https://www.instagram.com/victoriacookewriter/

Giveaway to Win A Summer to Remember by Victoria Cooke and Chocolates (UK Only)

*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.

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Posted in Blog Tour

The Nanny by Gilly MacMillan @wmmorrowbooks @harperaudio @tlcbooktours #bookreview #thenanny

Happy Wednesday everybody!

So excited to share with you today my review for this Erie and atmospheric story. Gilly MacMillan has sealed her status as an autoread for me with this book!🖤

My Thoughts

Sometimes the truth hurts so much, you’d rather hear the lie.

Gilly MacMillan has crafted a haunting and atmospheric story. An eerie tale threaded with Mystery with a strong Gothic feel. This was not a fast paced edge of your seat thriller full of twists and turns. This was a slow burn that completely transported me into the lives of these characters. I could feel the chill in the air and the goosebumps on my skin, I was right there in this big creepy house with Virginia, Jo, Hannah, and Ruby. The strength of this Book was in the storytelling, I was captivated from first word to last.

Jocelyn has not been home for years. But after the death of her husband she has to pack her and her daughter up leave California and head home to the UK. Jo’s return home forces her to face both her estranged mother and the abandonment of her nanny over 30 years ago. After the remains of a body are found in the lake on the family property and the missing nanny returns to town things start to both piece together and fall apart. The story is told from multiple perspectives and bounces between past and present. Neither Virginia or Hannah were tremendously likable, but as things were revealed I definitely saw the good in one of them more than the other. Jo was likable, but she was also very frustrating with how gullible she was. Ruby really was my favorite character in this book a flash of color in the midst of all the gloom. A beautifully told Gothic family Drama sprinkled with Mystery and a touch of thriller.

This book in three emojis: 🛶 🏚 🎨

🎧🎧🎧 Clare Corbett, Patience Tomlinson, and Ben Eliot narrate this audiobook. All three of them did a wonderful job of bringing these characters to life giving them each a unique voice. My only tiny complaint is that occasionally I got a little confused because they both did Virginia’s voice so differently. I can understand why this would be they probably did not record together, but sometimes I had to think twice and think oh this is the other narrator doing her voice because there was dialogue in both sections. I’m sure this is often the case, I just noticed it more in this book than I usually do.

*** Big thanks to William Morrow and Harper Audio for my copy of the book ***

About The Nanny

• Hardcover: 400 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (September 10, 2019)

The Nanny kept me in white-knuckled suspense until the very last page. Gilly Macmillan’s breakout thriller is a dark and twisted version of Downton Abbey gone very, very wrong.” — Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author

The New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew conjures a dark and unpredictable tale of family secrets that explores the lengths people will go to hurt one another.

When her beloved nanny, Hannah, left without a trace in the summer of 1988, seven-year-old Jocelyn Holt was devastated. Haunted by the loss, Jo grew up bitter and distant, and eventually left her parents and Lake Hall, their faded aristocratic home, behind.

Thirty years later, Jo returns to the house and is forced to confront her troubled relationship with her mother. But when human remains are accidentally uncovered in a lake on the estate, Jo begins to question everything she thought she knew.

Then an unexpected visitor knocks on the door and Jo’s world is destroyed again. Desperate to piece together the gaping holes in her memory, Jo must uncover who her nanny really was, why she left, and if she can trust her own mother…

In this compulsively readable tale of secrets, lies, and deception, Gilly Macmillan explores the darkest impulses and desires of the human heart. Diabolically clever, The Nanny reminds us that sometimes the truth hurts so much you’d rather hear the lie.

Social Media

Please use the hashtag #thenanny and tag @williammorrowbooks, @gillymacmillan, and @tlcbooktours.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo (c) 2018 Céline Nieszawer/Leextra

About Gilly Macmillan

Gilly Macmillan is the Edgar nominated and New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew, The Perfect Girl, Odd Child Out, I Know You Know, and The Nanny. She grew up in Swindon, Wiltshire and lived in Northern California in her late teens. She worked at The Burlington Magazine and the Hayward Gallery before starting a family. Since then she’s worked as a part-time lecturer in photography, and now writes full-time. She resides in Bristol, England.

Find out more about Gilly at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Posted in Blog Tour

In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree by Michael McLellan @mclellanbooks @rrbooktours1 #bookreview

Michael McLellan1

Today I have something a little different for you! This blog tour is for two amazing novels by author, Michael McLellan. I will be sharing my review of In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree, in addition to excerpts from both books and a giveaway to enter!

32886177In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree

Publication Date: April 26th, 2017

Genre: Historical Fiction

In 1865 a shadow hovers over the nation: the shadow lingers still…

Born into slavery, Henry’s young life is spent working in tobacco drying sheds on Missouri plantations. Freed at the onset of the Civil War, he’s alone, starving, and on the run from Confederate militiamen.

Five years later, Clara Hanfield, the daughter of a powerful New York shipping magnate, escapes her tyrannical father and travels west in pursuit of John Elliot, the man she loves. John, a U.S. Army lieutenant, was sent to the Dakota Territory where he discovers a government conspiracy to incite an all-out war with the Indians; a war meant to finally eliminate them as an obstacle to the westward expansion.

Henry finds himself caught in the middle.

Aided by Clara, John, and his native ally, Standing Elk, Henry must battle hatred, greed, and the ghosts of his past during this turbulent and troubling time in American history

My Thoughts

Michael McLellan has written a raw and emotional story about a dark but important time in our country‘s history. This book touches on both The atrocities of slavery and the abysmal treatment of Native Americans. It is a hard pill to swallow that there is so much hate running through our country‘s history, but I think it is important for us to acknowledge this and hopefully learn from it. Mr. McLellan is a brilliant storyteller who has woven together this compelling story that is simultaneously beautiful and ugly.

The book starts off with two seemingly separate storylines. Henry a freed slave who is heading towards the north to start his new life. John Elliot an army lieutenant who has been sent out west and soon learns of the governments plans to kill off the Indians. It is ultimately Standing Elk Who unites these characters as well as Clara John’s fiancé. Each one of these characters were so well drawn, so vivid, so substantial, and sympathetic. My heart broke and my hope sword for each of these characters. But I have to say Henry really tugged at my heart strings, his grief and despair were palpable. This book was so well researched, almost too realistic at times. The story does not paint a pretty picture, no punches are held. A well told character driven story about a vile time in our country’s past.

This book in three emojis: 🌳 ⛅️ 🎗

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

Emmet Dawson pulled the crumpled sheets of Henry and Eliza’s free papers from his coat and held them close to his face, squinting. “…Samuel Cromwell.” He held the papers out. “Can you read these?”

Henry averted his eyes. “No, sir,” he lied.

“No, of course you can’t. It’s not only near to impossible to teach a nigger to read but it’s also against the law—God’s and man’s.” He lowered the papers to his side. “These jayhawkers are burning and pillaging their way across our great state. They’re murdering innocent Missouri families in their sleep, then setting niggers loose on the land like a pestilence. That boy’s an orphan. His father, his mother, and his little baby sister were inside the house when it was set fire. They were unable to escape. We found their niggers a few miles away, riding their horses and leading their pigs just like they had the right to. We are at war, Henry. We are at war to save our families and our way of life.”

Emmet turned and looked at Bob. “Hang him with the others.”

Eliza let out an anguished wail and dropped to her knees where she began screaming hysterically. Henry tried to kneel down with her but Bob yanked the rope tight and wrapped it on his saddle horn. This left Henry standing at an awkward lean as he tried not to drag Eliza.

“What about the woman?” Bob asked.

Emmet Dawson looked down at Eliza appraisingly. “Shut her up and tie her to my wagon…and here,” he handed Bob the free papers. “Pin these to his shirt. There aren’t any free niggers in Missouri.” He gave Henry a final stony look then walked into the camp.

Available on Amazon

35618158American Flowers

Publication Date: July 7th, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Drama

*Triggers: Addiction, Abuse, Sexual Assault

Nineteen-year-old Chris Shafer and seventeen-year-old Allie Laughton came from similar backgrounds of neglect and indifference. Chris spent his childhood desperately trying to gain his alcoholic parents’ love. Allie was dragged through an ugly divorce before narrowly escaping being molested by her mother’s new boyfriend.

A chance meeting draws the two together and Allie is quickly caught up in Chris’ new-found lifestyle. Plagued by poor choices, Chris sets into motion a chain of events that drags them deeper into the murky world of meth. Ultimately pursued by both the police and Chris’ volatile tempered drug dealer, Chris and Allie are forced to confront their only real enemy: themselves.

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

“You’re poison to that girl. You do see that?”

“We love each other and don’t want to be apart.”

“What do you know about love?” Jan suddenly spat, leaning forward in the easy chair and staring angrily at Chris.

“You listen to me. The only truly unbreakable love is that of a parent for their child. All the other kinds of love, like the kind you and that beautiful young girl in there think you have is fragile and weak, and saddest of all, fleeting. That kind of love can be broken in an instant”—she snapped her arthritis twisted fingers for emphasis, making more of a dry papery sound than a snap. “It can be broken by the smallest of indiscretions, or nothing more than a few poorly chosen words. Mostly it’s just worn away over time like the banks of that creek out there. And it’ll happen so slowly that you never even feel more than a faint tickle at the back of your mind. Oh, it can burn as hot as blue blazes for a moment, but eventually it burns out and leaves something entirely different behind…like the bed of ashes in the bottom of a woodstove after the fire’s gone out. Some folks still insist on calling it love, but it isn’t, not really. It’s obligation, it’s responsibility, it’s apathy. Often it just becomes who you are…what you’re accustomed to. Sometimes it even becomes hate.

Available on Amazon!

giveaway gif

Click HERE for a chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

About the Author

Mike Author 1

Michael’s love of books began with Beverly Cleary’s The Mouse and the Motorcycle when he was seven-years-old. Later influenced by the works of John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, Stephen King, James Baldwin, and Cormac McCarthy, Michael developed his style of storytelling. A self-proclaimed blue-collar writer, he draws on his experiences and observations to bring relevant and compelling topics to life.

Michael lives in Northern California and when he’s not writing, he can usually be found wandering around the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges.

His body of work includes the 2014 novel After and Again, the 2015 novel American Flowers, and the 2017 novel, In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree, as well as various shorts and essays.

Michael McLellan | GoodreadsTwitter

Michael McLellan2

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours

Posted in Blog Tour

The Worst Couple in the World by Holly Tierney-Bedord @hollytierney @rararesources #bookreview #theworstcoupleintheworld

Happy Monday all!

Another week of fall and I am still waiting for cooler temperatures! Thrilled to share with you today my review for this fun little book! Thanks Rachel for my invitation to this tour!🍃

The Worst Couple in the World

No longer content to just be Snappigram sensations, folk hop singers Zeke and Angelique are ready to move up from coffee house performances to the big stage. With songs like “Uh Huh, Future Baby Mama” and “Don’t Worry About the Bills, Little Missus” there’s pretty much no way they can fail.

But if their musical career takes off, will it leave their love behind?

This satirical novella about an over-the-top fame hungry duo is for fans of David Sedaris and Don DeLillo.

My Thoughts

This was a #shortbutsweetstory full of #humorandheart !!! A satirical look at social media that will make you laugh and think twice before you make that next post. Zeke and Angelique are friends turned lovers turned bandmates who are consumed with being Instafamous (although in this book I guess it would be called Snappyfamous?). They are beyond concerned with their status on “Snappygram” Life is all about likes, followers, hashtags,and The brand. Zeke and Angelique‘s antics will make you cringe, roll your eyes, and laugh. This novella is the perfect little pick me up. I was simultaneously charmed and annoyed by these characters. The secondary characters were fantastic, the band/brand manager who wanted them to always stay “true to the brand” and the extended family members who added some levity to the story. Next time you’re looking for an entertaining quick read, I strongly encourage you to pick this one up!

This book and three emojis: 😂 🎼 🙄

Purchase Links

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07X3R74PS

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07X3R74PS

Author Bio – Holly Tierney-Bedord is the author of over twenty books ranging from serious women’s fiction to romantic comedies, domestic thrillers, humor, and cozy mysteries. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Social Media Links –

http://www.hollytierneybedord.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/hollyt

https://www.amazon.com/Holly-Tierney-Bedord/e/B00M3C9W3E

https://hollyrecommends.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/HollyRecommends/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6433388.Holly_Tierney_Bedord

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/holly-tierney-bedord

Giveaway to Win a $5 Starbucks Gift Card (Open to US Only)

*Terms and Conditions –US 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.

http://www.arafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494278/?

Posted in Blog Tour

His Secret Family by Ali Mercer @bookouture #bookreview #hissecretfamily

Happy Thursday everybody!

Excited to share with you today in my review for this family drama that definitely kept it real! Life is messy and these characters definitely knew that!

My Thoughts

Ali Mercer has written an honest and emotional story. This book is based on truth and will make you feel uncomfortable at times because it might hit a little too close to home. Life is messy, it is imperfect, and no one‘s intentions are always pure. This is the tale of two mothers, three daughters, and the lies and deceptions that bind them together.

The story is told from four different perspectives Paula, Jenny, Ava, and Ellie. Jenny is a single mother to Ava and Ellie. Paula is also a mother to Daisy who is on the autism spectrum. The book starts out with a bang and you know these two storylines are somehow connected, but you are not sure how. The layers are peeled, the lies are revealed, and the truth is laid bare. None of these characters were especially likable and the story involves a lot of ugly: infidelity, abandonment, addiction, and denial. But the story is also about family, healing, hope, and forgiveness. I really liked Ali Mercer’s storytelling it was smooth and addictive. My only tiny complaint with the book is it jumps forward 10 years and I really would have liked to know what all had been going on during that timespan, with one character in particular. An interesting family drama that kept it real.

This book in three emojis: 👩‍👧‍👧 🏡 🤰🏻

*** Big thanks to Bookouture for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

It’s a beautiful day for a wedding. White roses scent the air and the summer sunlight streams in. A spoon chimes against a champagne flute and the room falls silent. And there he is – my husband – getting to his feet to propose a toast. He’s still handsome. His new wife is next to him, gazing upwards, oblivious. 

I’m not supposed to be here. All these years in the same town and I had no idea until I saw his name on the seating plan. He lived with me, once. Loved me. Small-town memories are long, but the people in this room don’t want to remember.

They say the healing is in letting go, but after what he did, he needs to know we haven’t gone away just because he’s shut his eyes.

So I take Daisy by the hand and step forward from the shadows. He notices us and his eyes widen. The champagne glass falls from his hand and smashes. Then he sags forward, making a terrible sound – a sort of strangled scream…

A powerfully emotional novel with a dark secret at its heart. This family drama will keep you hooked until the very last page. Perfect for fans of The Silent Wife, Kate Hewitt and Jodi Picoult. 

About the Author

Ali decided she wanted to be a writer early on and wrote her first novel when she was at primary school. She did an English degree and spent her early twenties working in various jobs in journalism, including as a reporter for the showbusiness newspaper The Stage. She started writing fiction in earnest after getting married, moving out of London to the Oxfordshire market town of Abingdon and starting a family. She has two children, a daughter and a son who is autistic and was diagnosed when he was four years old. 
Ali is fascinated by families, their myths and secrets, and the forces that hold them together, split them up and (sometimes) bring them back together again. She always travels with tissues and a book and has been known to cry over a good story but is also a big fan of the hopeful ending. 

 

 

Author Social Media Links: 

For updates and pictures, follow Ali on Twitter (@AlisonLMercer) or Instagram (@alimercerwriter), or on her Facebook page (AliMercerwriter)

 

Let’s Connect

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Have a Beautiful day!🌻

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

The Third Daughter by Talia Carner @wmmorrowbooks @tlcbooktours #bookreview #thethirddaughter

Happy Wednesday all!

Excited to share my review with you today for this book that showcased a part of history I was not familiar with. That is the thing I enjoy most about historical fiction learning important things about the past.🌎

My Thoughts

Talia Carner has written a raw, heartbreaking, disturbing, and important story. One of the things I like most about historical fiction is it is an engaging and entertaining way to learn about our past. This book spotlights a part of history I was not previously aware of. Thousands of eastern European women at the turn of the 20th century being tricked into moving to South America where they will work as prostitutes anti-Semitism was prevalent in Eastern Europe and these young girls and their families were hopeful for a better life in the Americas. There is no way to paint this desolate situation in a good light, but this book handled it with a loving and gentle hand. This book was not always easy to read, but I believe it is so necessary because human trafficking is still going on. And these girl’s deserve to have their stories told.

Batya and her family are living a life of poverty in Russia. When a stranger approaches offering Batya a Life of riches filled with big mansions and society events The family feels as though this could be their way out. The only thing is that young Batya will move to Argentina on her own and in a couple years at the age of 16 she will marry this man. When Batya arrives in Argentina she realizes all the promises were falls and she finds herself in a life full of beatings, rape, and prostitution. Batya was such a sympathetic character my heart could not help but break for her. She was so strong, so determined, and so angry. I loved the bond she found with the other girls in the house and I admired how she never lost her desire to reunite with her family. She was also extremely resourceful eventually finding love and even becoming a well-known tango dancer. This was such an important story about a determined girl and her relentless fight for a better life.

This book in three emojis: 🌎 💃🏼 💪🏻

About The Third Daughter

• Paperback: 432 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (September 3, 2019)

“In The Third Daughter, Talia Carner ably illuminates a little-known piece of history: the sex trafficking of young women from Russia to South America in the late 19th century. Thoroughly researched and vividly rendered, this is an important and unforgettable story of exploitation and empowerment that will leave you both shaken and inspired.” —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris

The turn of the 20th century finds fourteen-year-old Batya in the Russian countryside, fleeing with her family endless pogroms. Desperate, her father leaps at the opportunity to marry Batya to a worldly, wealthy stranger who can guarantee his daughter an easy life and passage to America.

Feeling like a princess in a fairytale, Batya leaves her old life behind as she is whisked away to a new world. But soon she discovers that she’s entered a waking nightmare. Her new “husband” does indeed bring her to America: Buenos Aires, a vibrant, growing city in which prostitution is not only legal but deeply embedded in the culture. And now Batya is one of thousands of women tricked and sold into a brothel.

As the years pass, Batya forms deep bonds with her “sisters” in the house as well as some men who are both kind and cruel. Through it all, she holds onto one dream: to bring her family to America, where they will be safe from the anti-Semitism that plagues Russia. Just as Batya is becoming a known tango dancer,  she gets an unexpected but dangerous opportunity—to help bring down the criminal network that has enslaved so many young women and has been instrumental in developing Buenos Aires into   a major metropolis.

A powerful story of finding courage in the face of danger, and hope in the face of despair, The Third Daughter brings to life a dark period of Jewish history and gives a voice to victims whose truth deserves to finally be told.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo by Robbie Michaels

About Talia Carner

Talia Carner is the former publisher of Savvy Woman magazine and a lecturer at international women’s economic forums. This is her fifth novel.

Find out more about Talia at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Posted in Blog Tour

Ringed Fence by Zach Abrams @authorway @rararesources #bookpromo #ringedfence #guestpost

Ring Fenced

Sex. Money. Power. Control. Benjamin wants it all.

He is Bennie, a loving husband and father; Benjie, a beloved son. He climbs the ladder as Ben, a corporate banker, and rakes in money as a bestselling author. And when he wants to escape it all, Benjamin styles himself as Jamie — the lover of a beautiful musician.

His life, in a word, is perfect. But after years of keeping his separate personae a secret, cracks begin to appear in the façade.

When an unexpected series of events topples Benjamin’s carefully crafted world, his separate lives collide with dire consequences.

Purchase Links

http://geni.us/ringfenced

https://www.creativia.org/ring-fenced.html

Ring Fenced is on an Amazon Countdown Promotion – selling at 99c /99p from 11-15 Sept 2019

Author Bio –

Having the background of a successful career in commerce and finance, Zach Abrams has spent many years writing reports, letters and presentations and it’s only fairly recently he started writing novels. “It’s a more honourable type of fiction,” he declares.

Writer of the Alex Warren Murder Mystery series, set in Scotland, Zach has also written the psychological thriller ‘Ring Fenced’ and the financial thriller ‘Source’, as well as collaborating with Elly Grant on a book of short stories.

Zach is currently producing a non-fiction series to help small businesses -using the collective title ‘Mind Your Own Business’. The first, ‘So, You Think You Want to be a Landlord’ is already available.

Social Media Links –

Website : http://zachabrams.wix.com/zach-abrams

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Zach-Abrams-author-463346010364540/

Twitter: @authorway

Guest Post

Zach Abrams

guest post – Audio Killed the Bookmark

Although I’ve had cause to write reports and presentations throughout my working life, it’s only fairly recently that I’ve started writing fiction (if you don’t count some of the creative embellishments in my reports).

My wife is the author, Elly Grant and after observing how much enjoyment she received from her writing I was attracted to give it a try. I was pleased with my first attempts writing flash fiction and this gave me the bug.

My first venture into full length storytelling came when I had the idea of a character I wanted to write about. He was influenced by my business experience where I’d often seen (and personally experienced) situations of people having to play multiple roles in their working life requiring them to compartmentalise their different responsibilities and ‘ring fence’ each of them.

The idea I had for my character, Benjamin, was an extreme version of compartmentalisation. He was someone who used his intelligence, wealth and power to consciously ring fence the different aspects of his life, creating a separate personae for each, where he was careful to ensure they didn’t overlap or influence one other. One ‘life’ was time spent with his birth family, another with his wife and children, a third was his work life as director of a commercial bank, a fourth as a writer of pornographic literature and joint owner of the very successful company which published his material, and finally, a separate version of himself for time spent with his mistress.

At the start, I had no idea that the piece would end up as a novel. I devised his five different lives, and I started writing about him and how he functioned. I tried to put myself inside his head to imagine what he was experiencing. As I did, different plot lines developed although I truly didn’t know where it was going. It was as if the story was revealing itself to me as I was writing. [perhaps this was a sixth (hidden) persona Benjamin had, narrating books to authors.] Various adventure aspects developed when Benjamin’s wife confided in him that a former boyfriend of hers was trying to blackmail her, with photos he’d taken when they’d been in a relationship many years earlier. Benjamin uses resources from his other ‘lives’ to take ownership of the problem, seeking to administer his own version of justice. In doing so he creates cracks in the integrity of the ring fenced walls he’d so meticulously constructed. You’ll need to read the book to find out what happened next and how Benjamin and others dealt with the consequences.

After publishing Ring Fenced, I went on to write my Alex Warren series (four murder mystery books set in Glasgow) and my financial crime thriller Source. I’ve also written a non-fiction book– So, You Think You Want to be a Landlord; it’s a reader friendly guide book for people aspiring to be residential property landlords and the first of my planned self-help books in the series, Mind Your Own Business. It’s difficult to motivate myself to write non-fiction when exercising my imagination writing crime and thrillers is so much more fun.

Currently, I’m part way through writing a new book, with the working title, “133 Hours.” It’s a claustrophobic psychological thriller where, for the first time, I’m writing in the first person. I hope it may become available for publication in autumn 2019. After that, who knows?

Posted in Blog Tour

Life’s a Banquet by Robin Bennett @rararesources #guestpost #lifesabanquet

Life’s A Banquet

If life gives you lemons, add gin

 

Life’s a Banquet is the unofficial but essential ‘guide book’ to negotiating your way through life – through education, family life and business, to relationships, marriage, failure and rejection.

Aged 21, Robin Bennett was set to become a cavalry officer and aged 21 and a half, he found himself working as an assistant grave digger in South London – wondering where it had all gone wrong.

Determined to succeed, he went on and founded The Bennett Group, aged 23, and since then has gone on to start and run over a dozen successful businesses in a variety of areas from dog-sitting to cigars, translation to home tuition. In 2003, Robin was recognised in Who’s Who as one of the UK’s most successful business initiators. Catapulting readers through his colourful life and career, Robin Bennett’s memoir is an inspiring tale.

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lifes-Banquet-Robin-Bennett/dp/1912881683

US – https://www.amazon.com/Lifes-Banquet-Robin-Bennett/dp/1912881683

Robin Bennett lives in Henley on Thames, Oxon. He is an author and entrepreneur who has written several books for children and books on the swashbuckling world of business. His documentary, Fantastic Britain, about the British obsession with magic and folklore, won best foreign feature at the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards.

Robin says, “When the world seems to be precarious and cruel, remember that the game is to never give up – there’s everything to play for, and it will all be OK.”

Guest Post

Audio Killed the Bookmark

Cognitive language … or Gossip Theory

Along with about 18 million other people, I’m finally getting around to reading Harari’s book on the history of our species, Sapiens. If that sounds highbrow, keep in mind the book I’ve just finished was a Stephen King – Under the Dome, which is low-brow, even for him.

And talking about low brows, according to Sapiens, it turns out that we Europeans all have a bit of Homo Neanderthal in us (not that you’d call him that to his face) or Homo Erectus (even worse). The actual figure of what is non-Sapien in our DNA is between 1 and 4%, which explains why we spend between 1 and 4 % of our time on social networks watching videos of people injuring themselves in amusing ways.

Except it turns out that our dim-looking genetic cousins could not only rip us into small pieces with their bare hands but they were actually smarter than us. The first section of Harari’s excellent tome deals with the question of how Sapiens came to rule the world, allowing for the fact we are stupid and a bit weedy.

The theory is rather brilliant and completely plays to my prejudices, which is the only reason I’m writing about it now. In a nutshell, Sapiens gained the upper hand through team work facilitated by cognitive language. By that, he means we Sapiens took language beyond saying ‘Look, Ugg, danger!’ to ‘Last week, Ugg was eaten by a mammoth by the river. He is stupid.’ The first phrase is merely very basic factual information, no more sophisticated than a dog barking because it’s seen a postman. The second, however, has detailed information – on Ugg: it fixes place, time (in the past), cause of demise and his mental capacity; it also has important information for the well-being of the group, i.e., be careful about going down to the river, there’s hairy elephants about. There’s even a joke at someone else’s expense.

The someone else’s expense is vitally important and explains why Harari supposes we developed cognitive speech in the first place and also why we spend so much time on Facebook – and it is this: Sapiens are very nosey.

But gossiping and taking the piss out of our friends is his point. It is precisely our fascination in what our fellow humans get up to, however trivial, that enabled us to become the massively social creatures who worked as small teams of hunters, then larger groups that turned into villages.

However, beyond that, to be able to form the societies which made up cities, then countries … then empires and all in a hugely short space of time (about 30,000 years, which is a blink of an eye when you think how long it took us to get a decent fire lit), we needed something else.

We needed stories.

Myth and magic became cult, then formalised religion, shared anecdote became culture, then country. Religions have good stories to tell about where they come from and why they deserve our loyalty, countries have them and so do corporations (called brand) – in fact no successful human endeavour can do without them. Stories are what make us work together behind a common cause.

You can harness huge numbers of people you have never met behind a strong idea. Before that the only way to get people to follow you was to be known to them personally and have a really big club, so it was limited in number.

So, where next? Well, I’m only about 50 pages in, so who knows.

However, aside from telling me what I like to hear (that stories are vital) it also got me thinking about machines in general and AI specifically and machine translation, even more specifically. Inadvertently, I think Harari has essentially hit upon the reason why MT and AI will not take over – machines do not have imaginations and without that they lack the ability to grasp the abstract. It also means they cannot gang up on us and take over the world.

Yet.

Posted in Blog Tour

The Nobodies by Liza Palmer @flatironbooks #bookreview #thenobodies

Happy Monday all!

It is a long weekend in the US and I am so excited to have this Monday off! This was such a fun story full of the most unique and delightful characters!😍

My Thoughts

Liza Palmer has written a fun and clever tale that made me laugh. A feel-good story that left me wanting to turn up the 80s music and dance around the house. No this book is not set in the 80s, but there is a great scene in the book with an 80s party that is guaranteed to make you want to do the same! Joan was once a successful journalist, but now she’s out of a job and having little luck finding a new one. She is less than thrilled when she finally lands a job as a junior copywriter at a tech start up where all her coworkers are more than a decade younger than her, but hey it’s a job. Lucky for Joan she finds her niche with Thornton, Hani, and Elise. Soon this quad of friends/coworkers discovers that the company they are working for is not everything that it seems and an investigation ensues. Has Joan found her big story? Her way back into journalism? And at what cost?

The strength of the story for me was the characters and their relationships with one another. Not only did Joan have these fantastic coworkers, but she also had a great family and some amazing friends. The investigation (while interesting) took a backseat to everything else and mainly just moved the story forward. Honestly they could’ve been investigating anything, I just enjoyed seeing how they went about it alll. There was so much love, laughter, and camaraderie. There was also romance and love and not only with the obvious characters. An entertaining story that will put a smile on your face and the Moody Blues in your head.

This book in three emoji‘s: 🔍 💞 💻

*** thank you Flatiron for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

Liza Palmer‘s voice is fresh, exciting, and necessary. She’s a must-read author.” 
Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Daisy Jones & the Six
Wunderkind journalist Joan Dixon took an internship at the Los Angeles Times straight out of high school and never looked back. That is, until the newspaper business collapsed, leaving her to patch together soulless freelance gigs and live with her parents. Desperate to get back on her feet, Joan takes a job as a junior copywriter at the tech startup Bloom, where her bosses are all a decade younger and snacks and cans of fizzy water flow freely. But once a journalist, always a journalist. As Joan starts to poke beneath Bloom’s bright surface, she realizes that she may have accidentally stumbled onto the scoop of her lifetime. Is it worth risking everything for the sake of the story?

About the Author

Liza Palmer is the internationally bestselling author of Conversations with the Fat Girl and several other novels. An Emmy-nominated writer, she lives in Los Angeles and works for BuzzFeed. Like Joan in THE NOBODIES, she never went to college.

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Have a Beautiful day!🌻

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware @RuthWareWriter @PenguinUKBooks #BookReview #TheTurnOfTheKey #RuthWare

Hi Book Buddies,

You know when you get that book that you want everyone to read, and you’re like HERE READ THIS??
I have that book for you right now :O)

I’m ashamed to say that this is my first Ruth Ware book, however it will certainly NOT be my last!

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My Thoughts

🆃🅸🅲🅺  🆃🅾🅲🅺  🆃🅸🅲🅺  🆃🅾🅲🅺

Our story starts with a woman called Rowan Caine, who is writing a letter, from prison, to a solicitor, she is in prison for the murder of a child, that she swears she Did. Not. Commit!

So, what happened?

Rowan explains all in her letter.

While searching for something completely different on the internet, an advert catches Rowan’s eye, and she just can’t say no.

The advert is for a live-in Nanny, somewhere in the Scottish Highlands.

After reading the advert and picking her jaw off the floor after seeing the amazing salary that was being offered, Rowan applies for the job, has her interview and is promptly offered the position.

The house is stunning, a very old building that has now been given the modern treatment the house is now ‘Smart’, everything is connected wirelessly and can be accessed through a phone App, whether that be the lights, curtains, music, or even the cameras in each room!

Not long after being in the house, Rowan discovers things aren’t quite as picture perfect as they seem, things are…strange.

Noises and random things keep happening, and she’s getting a very creepy vibe from certain rooms in the house.

After chatting to a local, it turns out that Rowan is now the 4th girl this year to take up the Nanny position at Heatherbrae House, but why did the other girls leave?

A gloriously creepy, Gothic thriller that you will be invested in until the very last page!

🎧🎧

Narrated perfectly by Imogen church, who was just brilliantly cast for this role, her calming voice made the creepy parts even more creepy, her “Creek Creek Creek” will be burned in my eardrums for a long while 😲

Enjoy,

Vicci

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About The Book 

Amazon UK

Amazon US

When Rowan stumbles across the advert, it seems like too good an opportunity to miss: a live-in nanny position, with a very generous salary. And when she arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten by the luxurious ‘smart’ home fitted out with all modern conveniences by a picture-perfect family.
What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare – one that will end with a child dead and her in cell awaiting trial for murder.
She knows she’s made mistakes. But she’s not guilty – at least not of murder. Which means someone else is…

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Vicci