Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Mystery, Paranormal, Young Adult

Monkey Arkwright Rob Campbell 4*#Review @monkeyarkwright @rararesources #BookReview #BlogTour #mystery #ComingofAge #Teen #YoungAdult #WardensoftheBlackHeart#1

#MonkeyArkwright

Budding writer Lorna Bryson is struggling to come to terms with the recent death of her father when she meets Monkey Arkwright, the boy who loves to climb. The two strike up an immediate rapport and Monkey challenges her to write about him, claiming that he can show her things that are worth writing about.

True to his word, Lorna is catapulted into Monkey’s world of climbing and other adventures in the churches, woodlands and abandoned places in and around their home town of Culverton Beck.

When the two teenagers find an ancient coin in the woods, claims from potential owners soon flood in, including the mysterious Charles Gooch, who is adamant that the coin is his. But this is only the opening act in a much larger mystery that has its roots in some dark deeds that took place more than a century earlier.

Combining their talents, Lorna and Monkey set about fitting the pieces together in a tale of budding friendship, train-obsessed simpletons, the shadow of Napoleon and falling pianos.

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

A curious couple of youngsters are drawn together and into a strange and rather dark mystery, with supernatural elements. The characters in this book are complex and quirky, adding to their appeal, and allowing them to view events in a different light from the norm. The plot is detailed and fits together nicely, it is layered without appearing convoluted and is resolved well.

Both teenagers have sadness in their lives, and perhaps they see this similarity in each other and that’s what makes them friends. They both have strengths and weaknesses, but like all successful partnerships, together they are strong and successful.

An engaging, original mystery with wonderfully individual characters and interesting potential for further stories.

#RobCampbell

Rob Campbell was born in the blue half of Manchester.

He studied Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Manchester Polytechnic, gaining an honours degree, but the fact that he got a U in his Chemistry O-Level helps to keep him grounded.

Having had a belly full of capacitors and banana plugs, on graduation he transferred his skills to software engineering. He still writes code by day, but now he writes novels by night. Listing his pastimes in no particular order, he loves music, reading and holidays, but he is partial to the words and music of Bruce Springsteen.

His favourite authors are David Morrell, Joe Abercrombie, Scott Lynch & Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

He lives in Manchester with his wife and two daughters.

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Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Travel

A Horse Called Bicycle (The PoloDiaries #2) @roxana_valea 4* #Review #Travel #Polo #RomCom #Argentina #Romance #Sport #SelfRealisation #BlogBlitz #BookReview @rararesources #Journal #RachelsRandomResources

#AHorseCalledBicycle

Roxy found love . . . but is it enough? In the second instalment of the Polo Diaries series, polo player

Roxy goes back to Argentina a year after the events in Single in Buenos Aires, filled with dreams of settling down with the man she loves. This time, once again, Argentina is full of surprises and things are not what they appear to be. Or maybe they’re exactly what they’re meant to be, as a fortune-teller informs her.

Roxy takes a leap of faith and follows her dreams once again. She spends time at glamorous party venues of Buenos Aires and travels to the rough and wild pampas. Along the way, Roxy’s friends support and champion her quest for love, but when things get out of hand, Roxy realizes she needs to listen to her own inner voice and must make a hard choice. Two paths open in front of her, each one with far-reaching consequences. Which will she choose?

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

After her last trip to Argentina Roxy returns to the country, considerably more emotionally and physically damaged than on her previous trip. She wants her happily ever after, and to continue doing what she loves, but starts to question if it is the right thing for her, now?

Self-realisation is a key element of this second story, completing her to-do list on her previous visit didn’t fulfil her. Can she see that the answers to her happiness lie within? I empathised more with this damaged, yet mature woman, perhaps because I’m older and understood this Roxy more? This story is uplifting and held my interest throughout.

#RoxanaValea

Roxana Valea was born in Romania and lived in Italy, Switzerland, England and Argentina before settling in Spain. She has a BA in journalism and an MBA degree. She spent more than twenty years in the business world as an entrepreneur, manager and management consultant working for top companies like Apple, eBay, and Sony. She is also a Reiki Master and shamanic energy medicine practitioner.

As an author, Roxana writes books inspired by real events. Her memoir Through Dust and Dreams is a faithful account of a trip she took at the age of twenty-eight across Africa by car in the company of two strangers she met over the internet. Her following book, Personal Power: Mindfulness Techniques for the Corporate World is a nonfiction book filled with personal anecdotes from her consulting years. The Polo Diaries series is inspired by her experiences as a female polo player–travelling to Argentina, falling in love, and surviving the highs and lows of this dangerous sport.

Roxana lives with her husband in Mallorca, Spain, where she writes, coaches, and does energy therapies, but her first passion remains writing.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Romance, Travel

Single in Buenos Aires (The Polo Diaries, #1) Roxana Valea 3*#Review @roxana_valea #Travel #Polo #RomCom #Argentina #Romance #Sport #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources #Journal #RachelsRandomResources #FridayReads

Roxy plays polo… but dreams of love. Forty-one-year-old polo player Roxy arrives in Argentina with a to-do list that includes healing from a polo injury and falling in love with a handsome Argentine. From polo boots to tango shoes, the adrenaline of riding horses to glamorous after-game parties, Roxy learns to navigate this unfamiliar landscape with the help of new friends who teach her to take life as it comes. But will she find true love? Over three months in Buenos Aires, nothing goes according to plan, and yet, all the items on her list mysteriously get ticked off in the end. Just not the way she had imagined.

Fans of the Bridget Jones series will love the blend of humour, travel, and romantic comedy at the heart of Single in Buenos Aires, all topped off with the unforgettable flavour of life in one of the most sensual and passionate cities in the world.

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

An independent woman travels to Argentina, to experience everything it has to offer. A devotee of polo, she wants to recover from a sports injury to play again, whilst meeting her soulmate. She has a to-do list and sets about completing it in a forthright way, but life is never simple as she finds out.

Written in the form of a journal, this story’s originality wars with being repetitive. There are lots of references to Argentina’s culture, landscape, city and way of life, which are fascinating, but the protagonist lacks depth, despite spilling her thoughts into her journal, and is hard to empathise.

As a holiday read, and an informative guide on all things Argentinian, including their obsession and proficiency with polo, it is interesting.

#RoxanaValea

Roxana Valea was born in Romania and lived in Italy, Switzerland, England and Argentina before settling in Spain. She has a BA in journalism and an MBA degree. She spent more than twenty years in the business world as an entrepreneur, manager and management consultant working for top companies like Apple, eBay, and Sony. She is also a Reiki Master and shamanic energy medicine practitioner.

As an author, Roxana writes books inspired by real events. Her memoir Through Dust and Dreams is a faithful account of a trip she took at the age of twenty-eight across Africa by car in the company of two strangers she met over the internet. Her following book, Personal Power: Mindfulness Techniques for the Corporate World is a nonfiction book filled with personal anecdotes from her consulting years. The Polo Diaries series is inspired by her experiences as a female polo player–travelling to Argentina, falling in love, and surviving the highs and lows of this dangerous sport.

Roxana lives with her husband in Mallorca, Spain, where she writes, coaches, and does energy therapies, but her first passion remains writing.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Motivational

She Ran Away From Love Mawson 4*#Review @MawsonBear @OdysseyBooks @rararesources #PictureBook #Grownups #SelfHelp #BlogTour #Motivational #BookReview #SheRanAwayFromLove #FridayReads #RachelsRandomResources

#SheRanAwayFromLove

The Light of Love pours down on Frilly. It shines so brightly that she quails and runs away. Upset with herself for feeling scared, she wakes her good friend Mawson and pours out her confusions. She wants to learn how to be bold and is convinced that she can do this by going on a quest. With muddled help from Mawson, she sets off into the great Out There. But is a quest to find oneself really the answer?

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

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My Thoughts…

When I agreed to review this story, I thought it was a children’s picture book, although I did wonder at the title, which seemed an odd one for a child’s story. I enjoyed the themes considered, and the emotion conveyed but thought it was in many ways more appropriate to adults, or older children. Then, looking at the card that accompanied the book, I realised it is intended for adults or grownups.

The second in this series of picture books for grownups, it reads as a standalone. It explores the concept of, who you are, and of being true to yourself. Frilly Bear is scared by the idea of love because she doesn’t understand it. She is awed by the power it has over her. Frilly feels she doesn’t know who Frilly Bear is. Her physical quest to find herself is eventful, but not entirely productive. Frilly finds sharing her fears, and thoughts, with a sympathetic bear Mawson, far more rewarding. Acceptance of herself brings contentment.

The book uses charming and engaging photographs of Frilly, Mawson and friends to illustrate the story’s message. The text is simple, sometimes headings, or rhyming phrases. It complements the images and illustrates the quandary Frilly experiences, and the self-realisation she achieves.

Rather like a colouring book for adults, this book invites you to escape and explore adult issues in a blue sky childhood way of thinking. It is original, and refreshing, with a wide target audience.

#Mawson

Mawson, a big-hearted, soul searching teddy bear, is here to help. He is one of this bright world’s few Writer-Bears. He speaks about Being One’s Best in a world that is often baffling – and not only for bears. He is often muddled about things (well, he is a bear). But he is always confident that things are going to turn out All Right.

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