Racing cross-country pursued by danger, widow Lady Ellena Swein isn’t pleased to be taken back to her father’s castle. But with his knight Sir Braedan Leofric, also known as The Beast, as her captor, she has little choice! Ellena is surprised by his honourable and protective nature, even if she shouldn’t trust him. And when all seems to conspire against them, Braedan’s secret could either extinguish the spark between them or make it burn brighter.
I received a copy of this book from the author and Mills and Boon in return for an honest review.
An exciting romantic adventure, featuring a knight with a deadly reputation, and a widow. Braedan has pledged his allegiance to Ellena’s father, as he tries to restore his family’s reputation and estates. Ellena, clever and resourceful, saves her estate from ruin. She values her independence but must convince her father, who has plans for her remarriage.
Gentle romance fuses with adrenaline-pumping adventure and danger. Ellena begins to fall in love with the man behind the reputation. The forbidden love grows, when Braedan is drawn to Ellena by her courage and kindness. Passion and poignancy define this story as it reaches a climax, full of danger and despair. Thankfully, true love triumphs.
Ella Matthews lives and works in beautiful South Wales. When not thinking about handsome heroes she can be found walking along the coast with her husband and their two children (probably still thinking about heroes but at least pretending to be interested in everyone else).
*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.
In 19th century Europe the most deadly vampire-killing weapon ever devised is up for grabs – and both the Undead and the living will stop at nothing to possess it…
It’s a legend, a fairy story parents tell frightened children to make them sleep. Basium Lucis – Daylight’s Kiss – the fabled compound that recreates sunlight in a bottle, and incinerates bloodsucking monsters on contact.
Vampire hunter Anton Yoska doesn’t believe in its existence or the whispered rumours of its creation by Leonardo Da Vinci 250 years before.
But when a mysterious Hungarian arts dealer claims to have uncovered the long-lost formula, Anton’s cynicism is shaken to the core as he is tasked to procure the pyrotechnic marvel for the Vatican’s centuries-old battle with the vampire sect known as the Brethren.
In a desperate race to beat nosferatu forces intent on destroying the wonder weapon, and cold-blooded gangsters who desire the Alchemist’s most prized invention for their own aggrandisement and riches, Anton is caught in a maelstrom of double dealing and lies..
Traps loom at every turn, and nothing is what it appears, but acquiring the Basium Lucis is tMyhe least of the his problems – for the ferocious Modjeski vampire family want retribution for his slaughter of their clan chief a year before. And old flame and rival slayer, Nadia, has her own devious plans to thwart Anton’s quest.
As time runs out and predators circle, the beleaguered hunter realises he’s been tricked into a suicide mission. But Anton Yoska won’t go down without a fight – and he doesn’t care who he takes to Hell with him.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
It’s a while since I’ve stepped into the world of vampires and the paranormal. This story has rekindled my interest. Set in the nineteenth-century, it follows a quirky team of vampire hunters as they search for the Daylight Kiss. Pursued by the undead, and held to ransom by the Vatican, the hunters face danger and treachery, in a strange paranormal historical fantasy world.
This is the second in the Blood Riders series and is enjoyable as a standalone read. There is enough backstory to introduce the main characters, in the initial prologue. An engaging, exciting story, with intricate and vivid world-building, and vibrant and easy to visualise characters. Humour lightens the tension. There are some gory scenes, which are in keeping with the genre.
Paranormal adventure, an atmospheric historical setting, and memorable characters.
Jay Raven is the author of Gothic chillers and historical horror reminding readers that the past is a dangerous place to venture, full of monsters and murderous men. He blames his fascination with vampires, witches and werewolves on the Hammer Horror films he watched as a teenager, but living in a creepy old house on the edge of a 500-acre wood may have something to do with it.
If you would like to be informed of new releases, enjoy free short stories and access exclusive giveways and competitions, please subscribe to Jay’s monthly newsletter on his website at http://www.jayraven.com
Scotland, 1940: War rages across Europe, but Invermoray House is at peace. Until the night of Constance’s twenty-first birthday, when she’s the only person to see a Spitfire crash into the loch. Constance has been longing for adventure – but when she promises to keep the pilot hidden, what will it cost her?
2020: Kate arrives in the Highlands to turn Invermoray into a luxury bed-and-breakfast, only to find that the estate is more troubled than she’d imagined. But when Kate discovers the house has a murky history, with Constance McLay’s name struck from its records, she knows she can’t leave until the mystery is solved…
How will one promise change the fate of two women, decades apart?
Not having read the author’s debut novel, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I needn’t have worried.
This is engaging and easy to read. Full of drama, poignancy, risk and romance. Drawn into both stories from their first chapters, this timeslip novel has believable, easy to like characters, authentic historical detail, a beautiful setting, in a timeless story of forbidden love and desperate times.
There are secrets in both timelines and plots twist. I did work out the tragic historical twist but knowing, just increased the dramatic irony and suspense.
If you’re looking for a story to sweep you away to a different place and time, this is it.
Seven stories, seven whispers into the ears of life: A Yi’s unexpected twists of crime burst from the everyday, with glimpses of romance distorted by the weaknesses of human motive. A Yi employs his forensic skills to offer a series of portraits of modern life, both uniquely Chinese, and universal in their themes. His years as a police officer serve him well as he teases the truth from simple observation, now brought into the English language in a masterful translation by Alex Woodend. The stories include Two Lives, Attic, Spring, Bach, Predator.
I received a copy of this book from Flame Tree Press in return for an honest review.
A collection of literary fiction short stories, set in China and translated from Chinese. The collection focuses on crime and darker aspects of life and love. The unique and well-written stories explore Chinese society and the complexity of its individuals.
Crime features in most of the stories. The author’s knowledge of forensic science colours many of the stories, which are often explicit and graphic. Descriptions of violence and its results make some of the stories closer to horror fiction, but the underlying theme is, what people as individuals and en masse are capable of, given the right provocation.
The stories give the reader a sense of life in China. Like all short stories, some are easier to relate to than others, but if you are looking for something different, and can accept graphic descriptions, this is worth reading.
A Yi (author) is a celebrated Chinese writer living in Beijing. He worked as a police officer before becoming editor-in- chief of Chutzpah, an avant garde literary magazine. He is the author of several collections of short stories and has published fiction in Granta and the Guardian. In 2010 he was shortlisted for the People’s Literature Top 20 Literary Giants of the Future. A Perfect Crime, his first book in English was published by Oneworld in 2015. He is noted for his unsentimental worldview, and challenging literary style.
Alex Woodend (Translator) is a writer/translator whose fascination with Spanish and Chinese began at Franklin & Marshall College. He continued his studies at Columbia University where he wrote his Masters on early post-Mao literature. Translator of The Captain Riley Adventures , Murder in Dragon City, and other works, he currently lives in New York.
The discovery of a woman close to death in a city basement sends Bucharest police officers Anton Iordan and Sorin Matache on a complex chase through the city as they seek to identify the victim. As they try to track down the would-be murderer, they find a macabre trail of missing women and they realise that this isn’t the first time the killer has struck. Iordan and Matache hit one dead end after another, until they decide they’ll have to take a chance that could prove deadly.
I received a copy of the book from Corylus Books in return for an honest review.
Finding the person who left a woman hanging from a pipe in a basement proves difficult for police detectives Jordan and Matache. The two detectives have a good working relationship, Jordan is a police commander, with a troublesome private life. Matahce is a talented, young chief inspector, living the good life.
The story is fast-paced and follows along police procedural lines. The setting in Romania, adds interest for the reader, as the forensic departments, and other aspects of the police investigative team are distinctive. There is a good cast of characters, with insights into the personal lives of the two main detectives. The characters are realistic, and the plot is well thought out. The reader investigates the crime alongside the detectives, finding out information when they do. This immersive quality makes it an enjoyable read.
Corylus Book is a new venture aiming to publish fiction translated into English. The people behind the company have very different backgrounds, but what brings us together is a deep appreciation of crime fiction and a strong interest in books from countries that so have been under-represented in English.
It took a while before it turned out that everyone’s thoughts had been on similar lines – that we wanted to take a chance on presenting some of the great European crime fiction that wouldn’t normally make its way into English. With a mixture of language, translation and other skills between the four of us, it seemed the logical next step to take.
The first Corylus books are a pair of Romanian crime novellas, Living Candles by Teodora Matei and Zodiac by Anamaria Ionescu.
There’s more to come in 2020 – starting with Romanian novelist’s Bogdan Teodorescu’s Sword, a powerful political thriller that has already been a bestseller in Romania and in its French translation. Sword will be available in May and will be followed later in the year by the first of two books by Icelandic crime writer Sólveig Pálsdóttir. The Fox will be available in the second half of this year, followed by Shackles in 2021.
And there’s more to come, with a novel by Bogdan Hrib set partly in Romania and partly in the north-east of England, a second novel from Teodora Matei, and we’re talking to more exciting writers from across Europe about what we can do together…
At a global tech gala hosted at the British Museum, scientistTobias Hawke is due to unveil an astonishing breakthrough. His AI system appears to have reached consciousness, making Hawke the leading light in his field.
But when terrorists storm the building, they don’t just leave chaos in their wake. They seize Hawke’s masterwork, sparking a chain reaction of explosive events which could end the world as we know it.
Michael North, ex-assassin and spy-for-hire, must find the killers and recover the AI. But he can’t do it alone. Hawke’s wife, Esme, and teenage hacker, Fangfang, have their own reasons to help complete North’s mission – and together they unravel a dark and deadly conspiracy which stretches right to the top of the British elite.
Can North survive long enough to uncover the whole truth? Or is it already too late for humanity?
I received a copy of this book from Head of Zeus via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Michael North attracts danger and violence. Living with a bullet in his head carries a death sentence, which makes him reckless about his future. With his quirky team, the only family he knows, he lives his life at a fast pace, with little regard for tomorrow.
This fast-paced political thriller has a conspiracy at its heart, with every twist deepening the deceit and increasing the menace. North and his team are diverse and easy to like. They have a great team dynamic, which provides a few lighter moments, to temper the tension.
Complex characters complement an addictive, contemporary, informed plot, which flows well and has an ending with impact.
I’M ALL EARS
Guest Post –Judith O’Reilly – Curse the Day
All sorts of people are ‘broadcasting’ at the minute, as if convinced by the prospect of their own imminent death that they have to say what they have to say, or face losing their chance forever.
I get that. There is nothing like the threat of your demise to focus attention on what you think and feel, what you’ve done and still have to do, on who you love and what you know, on what you can teach and what you can share with the wider world whether that’s keeping fit or making lunch or warning the world to stay at home.
At times like these, we ask ourselves did we make the mark we wanted to make? Is there still time to do more, to say more. Is there time to say everything that has to be said before it’s just too damn late?
In the writing business, we want to sell our books and through those books, we look to sell something of ourselves. We demand to be seen. We jump up and down to be heard. And social media has given us the way to star in our very own movies.
Yet even as I struggle to get to grips with some video conferencing app or other, even as I arrange Live panels in online festivals and tweet furiously about the thriller I’m launching, I question the on-line whirligig I’m caught up in – the Facebook videos and chatter, the podcasts and the Live launches.
And I wonder if everything that’s going on in the name of entertainment and distraction should shuffle to one side and make more room for Listening.
Because we can’t all talk at the same time. Some of us have to listen. And if we are all broadcasting, furiously determined to say what we have to say rather than take it to the grave with us, we cannot – any of us – be heard.
There is a quiet virtue to listening. There is a skill to it – an art. And I’d argue those who have been listening their entire lives, are probably more interesting that those who have been broadcasting.
Over the years, listeners have learnt to sift and analyse, spot half-truths and downright lies. They’ve learnt who makes noise and who has something worthwhile to say. Who can teach and who spreads light rather than casts shadows. Who to trust.
It’s soul destroying to have your words ignored. Not to be listened to. And, in work situations, plenty of women know exactly how that feels.
Equally, there’s something life enhancing in being listened to. Properly. Deeply. In being the focus of someone’s attention, and in feeling that, finally, you are truly seen, truly heard.
As a journalist as well as a writer, perhaps listening comes more naturally to me than to some. Perhaps I was born a listener. An only child, I certainly recognised early on that listening was both a duty and a privilege. If I sat quietly, I would learn who said what to whom and how they felt and what happened next. I would be amused. I would be privy to scandals of the past and to secrets of the heart.
So how exactly do you listen? How do you listen harder and more in a world which is so full of noise? How do you even make out what is worth listening to. What and who you want to hear more of? I would argue you have to make a conscious decision to make space for it in your life. That you remind yourself other things can wait a while, but not your child and not your partner and not your parents and not your friend. Because they need to be heard and to be heard someone has to be there to listen. Even more so at a time of crisis for all.
You put aside the chore or the phone. You meet their eye if you can. You don’t let your gaze roam if they are in the room with you, and if they aren’t (and they may not be today or over the months to come), you listen all the harder to what they are telling you. You focus. You concentrate. You allow them to move centre-stage and you focus the spotlight on them. They may need that. We all need that, especially when we’re fearful and with just cause. Moreover, sometimes what they’re saying is between the words, and that’s a whole other level of listening right there. And you don’t want to miss the unsaid. And I would say that the more you do it, the better you get at it.
We always know if someone is a good listener. And then the exchange becomes something meaningful because to talk to someone who listens involves trust. There is nothing more seductive and dangerous that someone who truly listens because we give up a part of ourselves when we are with them.
Above all know that being prepared to listen, giving someone else that gift – the gift of being heard, isn’t a way to silence ourselves. The listeners among us still have things to say. They just say it in a different way to most.
Judith O’Reilly is the author of Wife in the North, a top-three Sunday Times bestseller and BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, and The Year of Doing Good. Judith is a former senior journalist with The Sunday Times and a former political producer with BBC 2’s Newsnight and ITN’s Channel 4 News. Her first Michael North thriller, Killing State was set in Westminster and was praised by thriller writers around the globe.
Review Competition for Curse The Day from April 2nd 2020.
To be in with a chance to win a Kindle Fire. Submit proof of your review of Curse The Day on Amazon/iBooks/Kobo to firstname.lastname@example.org,
Terms and Conditons for Review Competition forCurse The Day from April 2nd 2020.
The promoter is: Head of Zeus Ltd whose registered office is at 5-8 Hardwick Street, London, N16 5UA.
The competition is open to residents of the United Kingdom aged 18 years or over except employees of Head of Zeus and their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation or judging of the competition.
There is no entry fee to enter this competition.
By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are via the Head of Zeus Twitter.
Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified.
Closing date for entry will be 30th April 2020. After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
The rules of the competition and how to enter are as follows:
Review either the eBook or hardback of Curse The Day by Judith O’Reilly and send proof of review to email@example.com. Accepted retailers include Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play and Waterstones.
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12. The prize is as follows: 1 Kindle Fire.
The prize is as stated and no cash or other alternatives will be offered.The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.
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Some people go looking for love. Others crash right into it.
Zara Khoury believes in love – so much so that she flies from Dubai to Liverpool to be with a man she barely knows. It’s a risk, but she’s certain that uprooting her life for Nick is the new start she needs.
Jim Glover is stuck. Since his Dad died, he’s put his dreams aside and stayed at home in Liverpool to care for his mum. Trapped in a dead-end job, he’s going nowhere – that is, until he gets a phone call that just might change his life..
Zara and Jim aren’t supposed to meet. But then fate steps in, and when their worlds – and cars! – collide, the real journey begins…
A gorgeous tale about taking risks and living life to the full.
I received a copy of this book from Avon Books UK in return for an honest review.
Zara is a true romantic, she is prepared to follow her heart, and does so, as she travels from Dubai to Liverpool. Jim’s life is put on hold when his father dies, but when his luck changes, will his life improve too? Jim and Zara ‘s paths should never cross, but they do, and the results are life-changing.
Both of these characters are easy to like, and when their dreams implode, easy to empathise too. The story flows well, with a cast of captivating characters and interesting settings. Friendship, family drama, humour and romance, make this an engaging read. What makes this special is the unpredictability of it, as fate plays cupid. The life journey is full of conflict, as dreams crash and reality sets in, but there is a plan and eventually, it gives everyone the result they deserve.