Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Romance, New Books, Regency Romance

Cinderella and the Scarred Viscount Sarah Mallory 5*#Review @SarahMRomance @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #HarlequinHistorical #RegencyRomance #MillsandBoonHistorical #BookReview #BlogTour @rararesources #fairytale #CinderellaandtheScarredViscount

An imperfect proposal…

But a perfect match?

Major James Rossington, Viscount Austerfield, survived Waterloo, but can he survive the Season as London’s most eligible bachelor? Convinced his battle scars make him unlovable, and to escape Society’s matchmakers, Ross proposes a wedding in name only to shy, sensible Carenza Bettridge. Liberated from her cruel stepmother and bullying half-sisters, she blossoms into a confident, altogether desirable woman. He promised Carenza a convenient marriage, but inconveniently finds himself wanting more…

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

My Thoughts…

Ross is a Waterloo hero looking for a suitable wife. He lives with mental and physical scars of the infamous battle. Carenza’s life is reminiscent of Cinderella. The couple’s marriage of convenience is the result of a tentative friendship. The romantic possibilities increase with proximity. This is a lovely romantic Regency fairytale, complete with wicked relatives and an unexpectedly evil antagonist.

Carenza and Ross both have emotional scarring, but it’s rewarding to see their emotional connection grow as their scars begin to fade. There is simmering passion and gentle humour amidst the angst and self-recrimination in this engaging classical Regency romance. It has a spectacular finale with a sinister twist and a magical fairytale ending.

Sarah Mallory

Sarah Mallory is an award-winning author who has published more than 30 historical romances with Harlequin Mills & Boon. She loves history, especially the Georgian and Regency. She won the prestigious RoNA Rose Award from the Romantic Novelists Association in 2012 and 2013. Sarah also writes romantic historical adventures as Melinda Hammond. Sarah lived for many years on the Yorkshire Pennines, taking inspiration from the wild and rugged moors. Then in 2018 she fell in love with Scotland and ran away to live on the rugged North West Coast, which is proving even more inspiring.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Childrens Books, Motivational, New Books, Parenting and Famlies

My First Animal Moves Darryl Edwards 4* Review @FitnessExplorer #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources #Motivational #Exercise #Movement #Fun #Animals #MondayBlogs #MyFirstAnimalMoves

Nathan loves to play, but he loves his video games more.

Can a trip to Animal Moves land convince him there’s more fun outdoors? Best-selling author and speaker Darryl Edwards has created this fun adventure inspired by his passion for encouraging kids to move in an ever-increasing sedentary environment.

Discover the joys of animal moves with your little cubs in this first book of movement. Join Nathan and his cute, but the sometimes lazy, dog as they crawl, jump and balance their way through the animal kingdom re-enacting moves designed to emphasise fun. It’s all in this exercise for kids book that focuses on family fun boredom busters.

HELPING KIDS MOVE AND GETTING KIDS OFF SCREENS THROUGH FUN ANIMAL PLAY

  • Do you want to make physical activity for kids fun?
  •  Are you looking for ways to help your children develop strength, coordination and balance?
  • Do your children love learning about animals?
  •  Are you worried about too much TV and screen time?
  • ✓ Do you want to teach young children about the importance of physical activity?
  • ✓ Would you like easy and fun fitness games to include in your day?

My First Animal Moves is your answer. Play along together, keeping everyone healthier and happier, promoting physical, mental and emotional well-being. You’ll all release more mood-enhancing hormones as a result, which help you feel good every day.

It’s written by professional movement coach and award-winning author Darryl Edwards who is best known for his groundbreaking TED Talk “Why working out isn’t working out“, viewed over a million times worldwide. My First Animal Moves distils the ideas in his bestselling Animal Moves book and Animal Moves Fitness Decks into a colourful picture book for children.

A Children’s Book to Encourage Kids and Their Guardians to Move More, Sit Less and Decrease Screen Time.

This unique story takes a different stance from many popular titles in this arena, with a fun activity that encourages children’s active play while aiming to get families moving and reading together. It takes the humour and colour in kids’ yoga books to a whole new energy level with active play for the entire family.

Get My First Animal Moves to help your family thrive through movement today.

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

My Thoughts…

The concept behind this vibrant picture book of encouraging children to move more and sit in front of screens less is motivational. Nathan and Lola are engaging characters, and the animals they meet are lovely too. The animal moves are simple to stimulate conversation and development. Children and parents are inspired to exercise together and have fun finding new animal moves.

This book is a fun introduction to movement for young children and their parents.

Darryl Edwards

Darryl Edwards is a Movement Coach, author of the best-selling books “Animal Moves” and “My First Animal Moves”, and a thought leader in the area of creativity and innovation in fitness and health. 

Darryl developed the Primal Play Method™ to inspire others to make physical activity fun while getting healthier and more robust in the process. 

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Giveaway to Win a Signed Copy of My First Animal Moves plus an Animal Moves Fitness Deck for juniors (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the giveaway link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then 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 be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for the despatch or delivery of the prize.

Posted in Blog Tour, Guest post, New Books

Blue Running Lori Ann Stephens #GuestPost #BlogTour @lorifromtexas @midaspr @moonflowerbooks #ComingofAge #Thriller #literaryfiction #Texas #urban #BlueRunning

In the new Republic of Texas, open-carry gun ownership is mandatory, fundamentalist religion is the norm, violent motorcycle gangs terrorise the towns, the police are corrupted, and vigilantes guard the Wall that keeps people out and in. It is in this setting that Bluebonnet Andrews has grown up in the small town of Blessing with her alcoholic deputy father, her mother had fled the country just before Texas’ borders were closed to the rest of the world.

When a firearm accident kills Blue’s best friend, the Texas Rangers accuse her of murder. The penalty for murder is death, regardless of your age. Terrified, Blue goes on the run. In this journey away from the only home she has ever known, Blue joins up with a Latin American teenager named Jet, who is also on the run. Blue’s vague plans of crossing the border and finding her mother are galvanized by Jet’s situation: the 16-year-old is pregnant. She needs to cross the Wall into America, where abortion is still legal. But is freedom of choice worth dying for?

Blue Running addresses issues of feminism, nationalism, women’s rights, racial injustice, immigration, and gun ownership, framed through the intimate tale of two young women from different backgrounds reacting to the system. Underlying these surface issues are their own personal struggles: histories of abandonment, abuse, sexual assault, racism, and individual agency.

Lori Stephens is a massive new talent in the literary fiction thriller scene. Her writing is sparse, fearless, and real. Blue Running pulls no punches. A fast-paced, page-turning, chilling book that looks unflinchingly at what the future could hold, Blue Running is unforgettable and important. This is her first book to be published in the UK.

Guest Post: Writing Forgiveness By Lori Ann Stephens

It’s been a year. I live in Texas, where it’s not unusual to be stopped dead in your tracks by an astonishing pink and gold sunset or a melodramatic moon. But under this wide Texas sky, I’ve been stopped dead in my tracks by some equally astonishing headlines. It seems that the pandemic wasn’t quite shocking enough for our Texas legislators. From the “heartbeat law” abortion ban to the new gun law that allows adults without a permit or training to openly carry a gun, millions of Texans feel a blend of betrayal, anger, and trepidation. Over the past few weeks (because 2021 isn’t over yet, and it wants to deliver one final punch), a growing number of conservative groups have pressured school administrations to ban – and even burn – books that don’t align with their personal (religious) ideologies. It’s not surprising that most of the books are written by or about the minority and LGBTQ experience. It’s easy to get angry and demonize those who want to restrict freedom of expression, limit others’ civil rights, and endanger lives with intolerant ideologies.

How do writers write under such heavy emotional burdens of recent headlines? It’s easy to turn those forces into antagonists, to cast them as the evil characters in stories and watch them wreak havoc and suffer the consequences. But then you get cardboard stock characters who are two-dimensional and unrewarding for readers. I’ve found that writing about oppressive situations (and oppressive people) helps me better understand what it means to be human. I try to create complex characters who are flawed, but I also have to remind myself that even the deeply flawed antagonists are grappling with insurmountable fear or anger. And that fear or anger can be 1) infectious, and 2) calamitous.

From the initial drafting process of Blue Running, I knew that my main character, a naïve girl named Bluebonnet, would suffer from an unhealthy home environment. Her father, whom she calls “Daw,” is an alcoholic who slipped into depression and addiction after his wife left the Republic of Texas when borders closed. Daw loves Blue, but his addiction chips away at his ability to empathize with Blue’s increasingly dire situation. He’s guided by his fear that his daughter will turn out like her mother. And his bigotry has poisoned his critical thinking: he bases his beliefs and his reason on gut feelings. I guess that creating Daw was my way of exploring my frustration with the increasing number of people who spread disinformation, who think compassion is for the weak, and who force narrow ideologies onto others’ private lives.

In the end, as a writer, I needed to find forgiveness for Daw so that I could write him as a three-dimensional character. I needed to be reminded that he was a human capable of love, even if the other parts of him did not add up to love for humanity. In the process, I found that humans, like ideologies, are messy and boggling and complex, but love (yes, it’s cheesy and clichéd) love and empathy could mend a lot of the messes we’ve made.

Lori Ann Stephens

Lori Ann Stephens is an award-winning author whose American published novels include Novalee and the Spider Secret, Some Act of Vision, and Song of the Orange Moons. Her short stories have appeared in Glimmer Train Stories and other literary presses. She is also the winner of The Chicago Tribune’s “Nelson Algren Awards.” A lifelong Texan, she’s seen the best and worst of her home state and has come to the conclusion that Texans are truly fabulous at heart. She teaches creative writing and critical reasoning at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

“Having grown up in Texas, I’ve experienced the threat of various freedoms, a fundamentalist past, and the paradox of living in “the Friendly State.” It is both terribly friendly and deeply terrifying. In creating Blue Andrews, I wanted to peel back the layers of my own childhood, rife with hope and the naïve perceptions of right and wrong and justice. Of course, Blue is a product of a patriarchal and racist system, but she’s also sceptical and curious—always watching and listening and figuring out her world. Beyond our state borders, I’ve also seen my world become more xenophobic and less compassionate, and this is my response. I don’t know that it’s an activist or political response, but this girl certainly must face her own demons as well as the demons that far-right politics have unleashed. At heart, it’s a tale of humanity.”

“I began writing the novel in 2018, after I started mentally collecting snippets of heated conversations about gun rights. Usually it was the Second Amendment defenders who were worked up to a heightened state of pathos, which is much more common now than the stoic Texan of the past. I straddle two worlds – the world of my gun-toting brother who lives in the countryside and encounters rattlesnakes and wild boars on a regular basis, and the world of my university colleagues who live in the city and overwhelmingly support stronger gun control laws.”

Author of Blue Running – Lori Ann Stephens

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Cozy Mystery, Friendship, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Snow Falls Over Sunnybrook, Little Duck Pond Café Rosie Green 5*#Review @Rosie_Green88 @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #romcom #Festive #cosymystery #LittleDuckPondCafe #ThursdayThoughts #SnowFallsOverSunnybrook

The chance to spend a night ghost-hunting alone with Hudson Holmes at Brambleberry Manor seems like a dream come true for Ruby Watkiss. Maybe, she thinks, this is their chance to get closer? But when mysterious goings-on start happening which have nothing to do with the spirit world, the pair are catapulted off on another sleuthing adventure. And as the snow starts to fall and emotions are rising at the Little Duck Pond Cafe, Ruby is faced with a double challenge. Can she be braver than she’s ever been, in order to rescue something very close to her heart? And can she convince Hudson that Christmas really can be the most wonderful time of the year?

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

My Thoughts…

The third cosy mystery featuring Ruby and Hudson starts at Halloween and leads to the intrepid pair of amateur sleuths spending the night in a supposed haunted room. Ruby is hoping for romance, but Hudson seems intent on avoiding the passion simmering between them. A mystery van leads to a real-life investigation that puts Ruby in danger and has the reader on tenterhooks.

There are appearances from other familiar characters in the Little Duck Pond Cafe to please regular readers as Ruby and Hudson’s potential romance experiences conflict and misunderstandings. The reader is absorbed in both cosy mystery and romantic comedy elements with a delightful festive ending.

Another perfect slice of life at the Little Duck Pond Cafe.

Rosie’s series of novellas is centred around life in a village cafe. The latest, ‘The Wedding Cake Wish’, is out now. Look out for more Little Duck Pond Café tales in 2022, including ‘Chocolate Cake for Breakfast’ and ‘Christmas in June’.

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Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Giveaway, Romance, Travel

Beauty And The Reclusive Millionaire Rachael Stewart 5*#Review @rach_b52 @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks @rararesources #MillsandBoonTrueLove #BookBlitz #BookReview #Romance #BeautyAndTheReclusiveMillionaire #giveaway

An unforgettable Greek escape…

with the man she never forgot! 

A-list actress Catherine Wilde has it all, but behind closed doors, she is fighting personal battles. So the chance to escape to the private Greek island of her best friend’s brother, Alaric, offers the tranquillity she craves. Except seeing Alaric again sets her heart rate soaring. Life might have changed him, but he can still make her feel alive—and when the torch she once held for him reignites, it’s impossible to ignore!

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite fairytales, and this author gives the reader a contemporary slant on the original, brimming with drama, emotion and romance. Catherine and Alaric are both likeable protagonists who are lacking in self-worth. They need each other to realise they seek a love that completes them.

Their emotional connection is strong from the beginning, rooted in childhoods spent together. Both have suffered losses that have left them emotionally bereft. The conflicts between them are numerous, but their chemistry and history make romance inevitable. The passion reflects their emotional commitment, and the ending is romantic.

Rachael Stewart

Rachael Stewart adores conjuring up stories, from heartwarmingly romantic to wildly erotic. She’s been writing since she could put pen to paper as the stacks of scrawled-on pages in her loft will attest to. A Welsh lass at heart, she now lives in Yorkshire with her very own hero and three awesome kids, and if she’s not tapping out a story, she’s wrapped up in them or enjoying the great outdoors.

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Prize

Giveaway to Win a prize including 3 Rachael Stewart Paperbacks,

Heart Post Its and more (Open INT)

Prize Contains –

3 x paperbacks:

  • Tempted by the Tycoon’s Proposal
  • Surprise Reunion with His Cinderella
  • Beauty And The Reclusive Millionaire

And:

  • Cute Sloth Coffee Cup Place Mat
  • Novelty Pen
  • Heart Post-Its

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the giveaway link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then 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 be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for the despatch or delivery of the prize.