Posted in Book Review, Friendship, Romance

Her Billionaire Protector Nina Singh 4*#Review @ninasinghauthor @MillsandBoon #Romance #MillsandBoonTrueLove #MillsandBoonInsiders #BookReview

He must protect her at all costs… Even from himself! Security company CEO Adam Steele cannot believe that beautiful, poised piano prodigy Ani Terrance is his new client. She’s nothing like the little sister of his best friend he remembers – and she’s tempting him with a sensuality that has him longing for more. Only she doesn’t know the darkness he struggles with… Can he risk letting the one woman he’s always wanted into his heart? 

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A gently paced friends to lovers/forbidden romance, with an original setting and sizzling chemistry between Ani and Adam.

The setting and background of this story take the reader to glamorous places. Ani, a concert pianist is giving a couple of solos concerts in Europe. The possibility she may have a stalker necessitates her overprotective brother calling in the best to protect her. That’s Adam, the CEO of an A list security firm and his best friend. Adam has always hidden his feelings for Ani, his best friends sister, but now she successful and stunning, and he is on close protection duty.

The chemistry created between the couple is conflicted but intense. They become emotionally involved quickly due to their past connection. Even though Adam knows he is overstepping professional boundaries, his attraction is too real to ignore. Ani has always loved Adam on some level. Now she wants a relationship with him. He resists for professional reasons and personal fears, but she knows what she wants.

The romance is gentle moving to passionate when they are close. This is a closed-door romance, but it doesn’t stop it being full of passion and seemingly insurmountable internal conflict.

A simple plot and glitzy setting, with a hint of danger, and an intense romance, the perfect escapist read.

Posted in Biography, Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Non-Fiction

18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of Frances Glessner Lee and the Invention of Modern Forensics Bruce Goldfarb 3*#Review @bruce_goldfarb @Octopus_Books #18TinyDeaths #ForensicScience #Biography #nonfiction #RandomThingsTours @annecater

For most of human history, sudden and unexpected deaths of a suspicious nature, when they were investigated at all, were examined by lay persons without any formal training. People often got away with murder. Modern forensic investigation originates with Frances Glessner Lee – a pivotal figure in police science.

Frances Glessner Lee (1878-1962), born a socialite to a wealthy and influential Chicago family, was never meant to have a career, let alone one steeped in death and depravity. Yet she became the mother of modern forensics and was instrumental in elevating homicide investigation to a scientific discipline.

Frances Glessner Lee learned forensic science under the tutelage of pioneering medical examiner Magrath – he told her about his cases, gave her access to the autopsy room to observe post-mortems and taught her about poisons and patterns of injury. A voracious reader too, Lee acquired and read books on criminology and forensic science – eventually establishing the largest library of legal medicine.

Lee went on to create The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death – a series of dollhouse-sized crime scene dioramas depicting the facts of actual cases in exquisitely detailed miniature – and perhaps the thing she is most famous for. Celebrated by artists, miniaturists and scientists, the Nutshell Studies are a singularly unusual collection. They were first used as a teaching tool in homicide seminars at Harvard Medical School in the 1930s, and then in 1945 the homicide seminar for police detectives that is the longest-running and still the highest-regarded training of its kind in America. Both of which were established by the pioneering Lee.

In 18 Tiny Deaths, Bruce Goldfarb weaves Lee’s remarkable story with the advances in forensics made in her lifetime to tell the tale of the birth of modern forensics.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Octopus Books in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This biography explores significant forensic science developments and Frances Glessner Lee’s role in them. Focusing predominately on North American forensic science, the book sets the scene by highlighting defects of the legal-medico and Coroner’s system, before the development of modern forensic science.

Details of Frances Glessner Lee’s ancestry, upbringing and life, show how remarkable her legacy is, at a time when women were sidelined by society. This is a biography of a notable woman, interwoven with developments in forensic science. For those who enjoy historical biographies, her life is intrinsically interesting. Frances’ interest in making miniature figures and pieces is documented, something which she later used for teaching purposes in forensic science.

Early developments in forensic science and crimes and the development of the medical examiner role and autopsy are explored through case studies and historical characters. Lee’s role in developing a department of legal medicine is documented in detail. As are the model scenes she creates, these are illustrated.

This is a factual, interesting biography, which will appeal to those, interested in the origins of, and players in, forensic science in North America.

Bruce Goldfarb

Bruce Goldfarb is the executive assistant to the Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Maryland, US, where the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death are housed. He gives conducted tours of the facility and is also a trained forensic investigator. He began his career as a paramedic before working as a journalist, reporting on medicine, science and health.

He collaborated with Susan Marks – the documentary filmmaker who produced the 2012 film about Frances Glessner Lee and the Nutshells titled Of Dolls and Murder.

Posted in Blog Blitz, Childrens Books, Motivational

Self-Confident Sandy by Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino & Illustrated by Sally Huss @SallyHuss #Bookbuzz #KidsBooks #BookTweet

Sandy was full of self-confidence. Where did it come from? She could do anything, but why? Ah, she had a special mantra that she used to explain herself. “” You may ask me why I can do anything I try… and the only answer can be: all these things are inside me!’ Yes, I can do most anything. Once I set my mind and heart to it, I find that there is nothing to it. Still, I keep my mantra handy,” explained Self-Confident Sandy!

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Sally Huss

Author/Illustrator Sally Huss creates children’s books to uplift the lives of children. She does this by giving them tools to overcome obstacles; by helping them value themselves and others; and by inspiring them to be the best that they can be. Her catalogue of books now exceeds 100.

“Bright and happy,” “light and whimsical” have been the catch phrases attached to the writings and art of Sally Huss for over 30 years. Sweet images dance across all of Sally’s creations, whether in the form of children’s books, paintings, wallpaper, ceramics, baby bibs, purses, clothing, or her King Features syndicated newspaper panel “Happy Musings.”

Sally is a graduate of USC with a degree in Fine Art and through the years has had 26 of her own licensed art galleries throughout the world. sallyhuss.com.

Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino is one of America’s foremost personal and corporate development consultants. She is the creator of The Best Ever You Network (or Best Ever You), a leading multimedia provider of lifestyle and self-help content. While participating in the Harvard Business School for Leadership program, Elizabeth serves as a Leadership Advisor for the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute.

In 2020 Elizabeth joined Sally Huss to create the best-selling children’s book A Lesson for Every Child: Learning About Food Allergies. Living with life-threatening food allergies for many years, Elizabeth added her personal experience and her expertise to the project. She also sits on several boards of organizations and foundations that bring awareness to this life-threatening condition.

Elizabeth is also the best-selling author of Percolate – Let Your Best Self Filter Through (Hay House Publishing). elizabethguarino.com.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Spotlight, Guest post, Romantic Comedy

A Train from Penzance to Paris Laura Briggs #GuestPost #ALittleHotelinCornwall #RomCom @PaperDollWrites @rararesources #RachelsRandomResources #Romance #Paris #Cornwall #PublicationDay

When Maisie accepts a celebrated author’s invitation to mentor her, she finds herself leaving Cornwall behind on train tracks bound for the glitter city of Paris. Instead of making beds and serving coffee at the Penmarrow hotel in Cornwall, she’s making notes on her manuscript while sitting in a French cafe, meeting famous writers at private dinner parties, and trying to ferret the secrets behind the author’s unfinished future novel.

It’s glamorous, it’s breathtaking … but it’s also an ocean channel away from the place that she loves, and, more importantly, the person to whom she just recently confessed her deepest feelings. Separated from Sidney by distance and circumstances, Maisie fears that their connection will be lost despite her words to him – and maybe because of those words, and the ones she didn’t allow him to say in return.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of things in her new life trying to distract her – the professional editor hired to critique her novel, the eager young literary agent who sees pie-in-the-sky potential for Maisie’s talent, but Maisie finds solace in the eclectic group of amateur writers into whose midst she finds herself by accident. Their critique and advice is fast becoming as important as the editors – maybe even more important than the published author Maisie believed held the keys to refining her skill.

But it’s missing Sidney that fills Maisie’s thoughts the most, along with her life back in Port Hewer, and she can’t stop wondering whether his feelings are the same as her own. His unspoken answer has become one of the most important pieces of her life, even as she struggles to match the pace of her new life and keep her dreams in sight. And when she unwittingly becomes privy to a seeming literary conspiracy, she must decide what to do in light of its truth – and decide what’s most important in her quest to become a professional writer.

Join Maisie in a whirlwind tour across two of the world’s greatest cities, filled with questions, dreams, and a chance for fame that she believed far beyond her grasp, as she discovers herself as a writer, and how to embrace an unexpected future on her own terms.

Amazon UK

Guest Post – Laura Briggs

Favorite Things About Writing ‘A Train From Penzance to Paris’:

A huge thank you to Jane for letting me drop by and chat about my latest book with everyone on her lovely book blog! It is the fifth installment in my series about aspiring author Maisie Clark, whose adventures working at a Cornish hotel by the sea have been filled with secrets, romance, and plenty of surprises along the way. This newest story is a bit different from the ones before it, taking Maisie to new locations with new acquaintances—but still lots of questions about her future as a writer, not to mention her romance with the charming Sidney Daniels back in Cornwall. With so many changes, yet so much still the same, I thought it might be fun to share a few of the reasons I enjoyed working on Maisie’s latest adventure, so here goes!

Part of the story takes place in Paris:

I was fortune enough to visit the City of Light with some friends a couple of years ago, and it was every bit as beautiful as it seems in the movies. Like Maisie, I was a bit dazzled by the chic atmosphere and historic landmarks (and the pastries were among the best I’ve eaten anywhere!). It was a wonderful experience that I hope crept its way into some of the descriptions of Maisie’s own impression of this gorgeous part of the globe—though, no doubt it still contains the many inaccuracies of a tourist’s attempts to capture the nuances of a place they’ve visited only once! Though I do hope it will at least whisk the reader away to a version of the city as colorful and glamorous as those found in classic films like Funny Face and Paris When it Sizzles, or the many popular chick lit reads about Parisian bookshops and quaint cafes!

A love of books and writing is a recurring theme:

And as a writer, I can definitely identify with Maisie’s excitement—as well as her hesitations—about plunging into the world of published works. It was fun to explore that side of her character more thoroughly and to show some of the challenges faced by those who purse the dream of sharing their work on the page. It was especially fun to explore the dynamics of the amateur writing group that Maisie becomes a part of on her visit to London. Their diverse backgrounds and writing styles take the budding novelist Maisie by surprise on more than once occasion as she gets to know these fellow artists who share the same hopes, reservations, and secret ambitions in their love for the craft.

The romance is kept in suspense:

Those familiar with my Cornish hotel series have probably come to expect the slow burn nature of Maisie’s relationship with the handsome and somewhat inscrutable Sidney Daniels. And although Sidney doesn’t factor into this newest story as a key player, he’s definitely in Maisie’s heart and thoughts the entire book. Her letters to him reveal her deepest dreams and fears about her writing quest yet, and even though the feelings between them are still unresolved, she has no doubt about his place in her heart—or those three all-important words she spoke to him the last time they shared a kiss right before she had to say goodbye. Whether or not her quest to fulfill her dreams has cost her a chance with him remains to be seen, but Maisie isn’t the type to give up where her heart is concerned, and readers can expect some much-anticipated romantic resolution when book six in the series makes its debut later this summer.

There’s a surprise twist at the end:

And that’s also something fans of the series are accustomed to, though I’m hoping they won’t even have an inkling what this one could turn out to be. It certainly knocks Maisie for a loop, so to speak, and readers can expect some drama and a little angst as Maisie’s fifth adventure reaches a somewhat unexpected conclusion.

If you haven’t yet read any of the books in A LITTLE HOTEL IN CORNWALL I do hope this will inspire you to check them out. Books one through five are now available in eBook format, with book six currently on pre-order at Amazon!

Laura Briggs

Laura Briggs is the author of several feel-good romance reads, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller ‘A Wedding in Cornwall’. She has a fondness for vintage style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, caring for her pets, gardening, and seeing the occasional movie or play.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Romantic Comedy

The Gift of Cockleberry Bay Nicola May 5*#Review – #TGOCB @NicolaMay1 #RomCom #CockleberryBay #Heartwarming #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources #RachelsRandomResources

From the author of the #1 BESTSELLING The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay

All of our favourite characters from Cockleberry Bay are back in this final, heart warming story in the series. Including Hot, Rosa Smith’s adorable dachshund and his new-born puppies.

Now successfully running the Cockleberry Café and wishing to start a family herself, Rosa feels the time is right to let her inherited Corner Shop go. However, her benefactor left one important legal proviso: that the shop cannot be sold, only passed on to somebody who really deserves it.

Rosa is torn. How can she make such a huge decision? And will it be the right one? Once the news gets out and goes public, untrustworthy newcomers appear in the Bay . . . their motives uncertain. With the revelation of more secrets from Rosa’s family heritage, a new journey of unpredictable and life-changing events begins to unfold.

The Gift of Cockleberry Bay concludes this phenomenally successful series in typically brisk and bolshy style and will delight the many thousands of Rosa’s fans

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

My Thoughts…

Another lovely slice of life in Cockleberry bay with Rosa, hot and friends. The story provides another testing time for Rosa, who never has life easy, but always makes the best of it. Rosa is the soul of the Cockleberry series. Big-hearted, but far from perfect and this adds to her charm.

This story, which concludes the series is full of humour, poignant moments and a thread of mystery. The authentic characters, draw you into their world and make you empathise. The plot is varied, perfectly complementing this character-driven story. If you’re looking for a book to escape with this Easter, this is will leave you, with memories of laughter and tears, and a lovely heartwarming feeling.
It can be read as a standalone, but don’t miss out on the whole series.

Nicola May

Nicola May lives in the UK, five miles from the Queen’s castle in Windsor, with her black-and-white rescue cat, Stan. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon and devouring cream teas.

Her bestselling The Corner Shop in Cockleberry, the 1st book in the Cockleberry Bay series, went to #1 on Amazon and stayed there for an unprecedented 6 weeks.

She classes her novels as ‘chicklit with a kick,’ writing about love, life and friendships in a real, not fluffy kind of way. She likes burgers, mince pies, clocks, birds, bubble baths and facials – but is not so keen on aubergines.

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Giveaway to Win a signed copy of The Gift of Cockleberry Bay

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Click on Giveaway Link to enter

*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 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 despatch or delivery of the prize.



Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Murder Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

Death in Smoke Barbara Elle 3* #Review @barbaraelleauth #TheCapeMysteries @LoveBooksGroup #Lovebookstours #Mystery #MurderMystery #cozymystery #psychological #Suspense #BookReview #BlogTour #WednesdayMotivation

She stumbled on a bloodied body buried in a snowbank. Will a cold case in Kansas lead her to the killer?

Against a canvas of crime and murder, artist and detective Leila Goodfriend investigates two brutal murders that happened a thousand miles—and decades apart. 

As she unravels the truth about these two violent killings, she tracks a trail of blood and revenge, littered with smoke screens and stone relics of a perilous past. From Cape Cod to a casino in Kansas, Leila has to trust her instincts. And her developing relationship with Detective John Grace is put to a new, dangerous test. 

Despite the detective’s warnings, Leila puts her life at risk, obsessed with proving her friend’s innocence, at least of murder. 

She exposes new suspects and clues, and in the end, reveals a dark, deadly secret from her own past.

Amazon UK

Goodreads

In her stunning debut thriller, Death In Vermilion (The Cape Mysteries Book 1), acclaimed author Barbara Elle paints a clever and twisted picture of women and sisters, whose lives are entwined by a brutal murder in a Cape Cod town. Who can you trust?

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

My Thoughts…

All the attributes of a murder mystery with the added dimension of psychological insight into the main protagonist. This story has a dramatic setting, eclectic characters, dry humour, and grisly murders. Leila, an artist, and amateur sleuth is a complex, relatable character.

Interesting twists enliven a simple, gently paced plot characterised by conflict and danger. This story is a fusion of cozy murder mystery and psychological suspense, character-driven, with a good sense of place and time.

Barbara Elle

Barbara Elle fell in love with books and writing at a young age, honing her writing chops as a copywriter at major publishers publishers and as a freelance journalist.

Growing up in Boston, but she became a New Yorker as an adult. Her writing draws on people and places she remembers, setting The Cape Mysteries on Cape Cod, a place of memories. 

Barbara Elle continues collecting characters and plots, often travelling the world with her touring musician husband, bass player and musical director for rock and roll icon Cyndi Lauper. In her travels, Barbara has explored Buddhist temples in Beijing, crypts in Vienna and Kabuki Theater in Tokyo.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime

#Payback Claire MacLeary 4* #Review @SarabandBooks @ClaireMacLeary @LoveBooksGroup #Lovebookstours #HarcusandLaird #CrimeFiction #BlogTour #BookReview

When police are called to a murder scene at the home of Aberdeen socialite Annabel Imray, they find themselves under pressure to get a conviction, and fast. Meanwhile, local PIs Wilma Harcus and Maggie Laird are at rock bottom, desperate for income. As Maggie contemplates replacing Wilma with an unpaid intern, an eccentric widow appoints them to search for her lost cat – and Wilma goes off-piste to negotiate a loan, with terrifying terms.  As the fear caused by a series of sinister break-ins escalates, Maggie blames the aggressive language in public discourse for inciting violent crime. But before long, she finds she is in the danger zone herself.

Will Wilma manage to save her?

Amazon UK Waterstones Saraband

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

My Thoughts…

Wilma Harcus and Maggie Laird are a private investigation team. As different, as it’s possible to be, the two women look out for each other, have a strong friendship and success rate. Despite, all of this the business is struggling and money is needed urgently. Maggie (the cautious, sensible one), thinks about selling her assets to keep meet the bills. Wilma, (the free spirit), goes for a less conventional and ultimately dangerous alternative, which has consequences for her friend.

This is the fourth book, in the Harcus and Laird series. It’s my first encounter, with the team and I find it, full of action, humour and solid investigation. Although the characters have history and previous cases are alluded to, it doesn’t detract from this story.

The characters are engaging and realistic. The story is cleverly plotted and the divergent investigations interweave to produce a strong ending.

Payback is enjoyable crime fiction, with a strong sense of place, humour and team dynamic.

Claire MacLeary

Claire MacLeary lived for many years in Aberdeen and St Andrews, but describes herself as “a feisty Glaswegian with a full life to draw on”. Following a career in business, she gained an MLitt with Distinction from the University of Dundee and her short stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies. She has appeared at Granite Noir, Noir at the Bar and other literary events. Claire’s debut novel,Cross Purpose, was longlisted for the prestigious McIlvanney Prize, Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award 2017, and Burnout was longlisted for the Hearst Big Book Award 2018.Runaway is her third novel and continues the Harcus & Laird series.