Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Giveaway, Romance, Romance -Dark and Steamy

Our Little Secret Rachael Stewart 5*#Review @rach_b52 @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks @rararesources #MillsandBoonDare #BookBlitz #BookReview #Tuscany #Romance #OurLittleSecret #MondayBlogs #giveaway #ebook

A little secret sexy fun
Under the Tuscan sun!

It’s her best mate’s wedding week – and Faye Davenport is celebrating with a skinny dip under the Tuscan moon. Except she’s not alone. The sexy Italian dish is Rafael Perez – her mate’s off-limits older brother. But now it’s too late. This illicit, irresistible fire is already out of control…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Romance, Tuscany and a wedding, all three are guaranteed in this sizzling hot romantic adventure for Faye and Rafael. Faye knows her best friend’s older brother Rafael should be off-limits, but the chemistry is too explosive to ignore, so she grabs a little forbidden fun, not realising what a life-changing experience it would be.

The couple’s emotional commitment keeps pace with their passion. This connection and the Italian setting makes this story so romantic. Both protagonists are likeable and drawn together by their love of the bride, Rafael’s sister, and Faye’s best friend.

Passionate secrets make this an enjoyable sensual romance in vibrant Tuscany.

Rachael Stewart

Rachael Stewart adores conjuring up stories for the readers of Harlequin Mills & Boon and Deep Desires Press, with tales varying from the heartwarmingly romantic to the wildly erotic.

She’s been writing since she could put pen to paper as the stacks of scrawled on A4 sheets in her loft will attest to, and the lovingly bound short stories that her father would run off at work and proudly share out with his colleagues. Thinking it was a pipe dream to be published one day, she pursued a sensible career in business but she was really play-acting, achieving the appropriate degree and spending many years in the corporate world where she never truly belonged. Always happiest when she was sat at her laptop in the quiet hours tapping out a story or two. And so here she is, a published author, her full-time pleasure, a dream come true.

A Welsh lass at heart, she now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and three children, and if she’s not glued to her laptop, she’s wrapped up in them or enjoying the great outdoors seeking out inspiration.

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Giveaway to Win an e-copy of Our Little Secret Rachael Stewart (Open INT)

Click on this 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 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 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, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Giveaway, Mystery, Thriller

Incognito Michael Winson @michaelwinson4 3*#Review @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #BookTour #CrimeFiction #Conspiracy #Thriller #Detective #Mystery #Incognito

Betrayal deserves vengeance….Redemption needs sacrifice 

Still reeling from leading a disastrous raid, SO15 anti-terror officer Lisa Reid is grateful for an easy assignment this time out; identify and bring in a target thought to have information on a fugitive cell leader

There is no such thing as a routine job for Lisa though, and a devastating chain of events quickly plunges her, and her partner Will, into a dangerous game of cat and mouse with thousands of lives hanging in the balance

As the scale of the threat is revealed, and the body count starts to rise, the pair have to make choices that could cost their partnership, if not their lives. But one of them has a deadly agenda all of their own, and as the man that’s been pulling all the strings steps out of the shadows to choreograph his masterpiece, that could end up costing a lot more…..

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is essentially a good thriller with a contemporary edge and believable characters.

The plot appears to rely on actual events rather more than is comfortable to read, which may be upsetting for some. Lisa, the main protagonist, is an interesting character, a little stereotypical, but there is lots of potential for character development, as the series progresses.

The author achieves a good balance of characterisation whilst moving the story forward effectively. I would like to see Lisa’s character develop in a believable way and more originality in the plot.

Michael Winson

I am a proud Dad to 4 strong and bright boys of whom I’m immensely proud. I live in Northamptonshire with my beautiful wife Lisa, the inspiration for the lead character in my first book Incognito.

In my day job I work in financial services, a ‘Fixer’ of sorts I deal with everything from phone routing through to in-depth data analysis and customer engagement strategy. Exciting I know!

It was on one of the more tedious commutes into central London that the kernel of an idea came to me. With some nurturing, this idea grew to become my first book, INCOGNITO.

I’ve always wanted to try my hand at writing. I always felt that I could do it and I’m not one to back away from anything so, once I had the idea formed, I took a week off work, locked myself out of the way of the kids and got to it. That was the base done, then it was just months of edits and re-edits, countless knock-backs from agents and publishers (rite of passage, I’m telling myself) and eventually I was happy to publish what you can see here.

I’ve learned more from self-publishing than I could’ve ever hoped, and the next books in this series, and the ones to follow that are already niggling at me, will be all the better for it.

I don’t expect my life to change as a result of writing my first book, but I love the idea of someone other than me enjoying something that I’ve created, and so far the reviews and feedback have been great.

Giveaway on Twitter by Love Books Tours for an Audiobook copy of Incognito

Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Giveaway, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance

The Maiden and the Mercenary Nicola Locke 4*#Review @NicoleLockeNews @MillsandBoonHistorical @HarlequinBooks @rararesources #harlequinhistorical #BlogBlitz #BookReview #MillsandBoonHistorical #HistoricalRomance #LoversandLegends #MondayBlogs #Giveaway

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

My Thoughts…

This medieval romance is part of the Lovers and Legends series. The romance between a serving girl and a mercenary masquerading as a servant is a forbidden romance trope and is full of adventure, danger and passion.

The lighthearted romance between two individuals with hidden agendas, but a common purpose counters the malevolence underlying the story. Their romance is intense, passionate and secretive. The plot contains intrigue and the threat of being found out, as Louve and Biedeluue indulge their attraction whilst trying to achieve their necessary missions.

The author creates a believable sense of history and a disturbing ethos which changes with the whim of the evil lord. The characters are flawed and relatable, and the romance is the flame that carries them through.

Giveaway to Win a £20 / $20 Amazon Gift Card

(Open Internationally)

*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.

Nicole Locke

Nicole first discovered romance novels hidden in her grandmother’s closet. Convinced that hidden books must be better, Nicole greedily read them. It was only natural she should start writing them (but now not so secretly).

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Giveaway, Suspense

A Conspiracy of Silence Anna Legat 5*#Review @LegatWriter @AccentPress #DIGillianMarsh #CrimeFiction #Detective #Wiltshire #PublicationDay #AConspiracyofSilence #BookReview #BlogTour @rararesources #Giveaway

When a body is found in the grounds of a prestigious Wiltshire private school, DI Gillian Marsh takes on the case. The young groundsman, Bradley Watson, has been shot dead, pierced through the heart with an arrow.

As the investigation gathers pace, DI Marsh is frustrated to find the Whalehurst staff and students united in silence. This scandal must not taint their reputation. But when Gillian discovers pictures of missing Whalehurst pupil, fifteen-year-old Rachel Snyder, on Bradley’s dead body – photos taken on the night she disappeared, and he was murdered – the link between the two is undeniable.

But what is Whalehurst refusing to reveal? And does Gillian have what it takes to bring about justice?

Amazon UK Amazon

I received a copy of this book from Headline Accent via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Two different points of view draw the reader into the characters’ lives from the first page. There are hints of what is to come for both characters, and the reader is aware of a tenuous connection but nothing more. The story’s development stems from these characters and their motivations.

Two investigations demand the attention of DI Gillian Marsh, the missing person case overseen by her detective sergeant, and the murder which is hers to solve. DI Gillian Marsh is a believable character with flaws and insight, which make her a realistic investigator. There is a good balance of the detective’s personal life and the police procedural. The characters are authentic, but many are unlikeable.

Solving the cases means breaking the wall of silence surrounding them, and DI Marsh and her team are ultimately successful in this.

Anna Legat

Anna Legat is a Wiltshire-based author, best known for her DI Gillian Marsh murder mystery series. A globe-trotter and Jack-of-all-trades, Anna has been an attorney, legal adviser, a silver-service waitress, a school teacher and a librarian. She read law at the University of South Africa and Warsaw University, then gained teaching qualifications in New Zealand. She has lived in far-flung places all over the world where she delighted in people-watching and collecting precious life experiences for her stories. Anna writes, reads, lives and breathes books and can no longer tell the difference between fact and fiction.

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Giveaway

to Win a DI Marsh Series Mug, and the first four books in the Series

(UK Only)

DI Marsh Series  First four books – Swimming with Sharks, Nothing to Lose, Thicker than Blood and Sandman.

Click on this Giveaway Link to Enter

*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 despatch or delivery of the prize.

Posted in Author Guest Post, Blog Tour, Character Interview, Giveaway, Novella, Romance

Heart and the City Cecilia Fyre #BlogTour #GuestPost #CharacterInterview #Giveaway #LoveMedicine #Romance @CeciliaFyre @rararesources #RachelsRandomResources #HeartandtheCity

British doctor Lea Holm has come to New York to work in her chosen field of emergency medicine. She loves her new life in this exciting city and can’t wait to get started with her research project. The last thing she needs are distractions.

But then she meets famous actor Ricco Como in her building – a distraction if ever there was one. He’s gorgeous and sweet, and there’s an immediate connection between them. Lea tries to resist temptation, but when he comes to her for help dealing with his steadily worsening migraine she can’t turn away from his plight.

As Ricco’s health takes a turn for the worse, their lives become more and more entwined. But can their growing attraction withstand the strain of his ill health, and can he let Lea be more than just his doctor?

**This novella series contains detailed descriptions of long-term health conditions, cheating and a bereavement.**

The series is set in New York City and was written before COVID-19. It makes no reference to recent events.

Amazon UK

Character Interview with Dr Lea Holm By Cecilia Fyre

We had the rare opportunity to catch up with Dr Lea Holm, the new girlfriend of actor Ricco Como. Lea is a doctor at Bellevue Hospital. She’s originally from London, England.

Hi Lea, thanks for agreeing to talk to us. I don’t think you’ve given many interviews like this so far?

No, this is my first, actually. I’m quite nervous.

No need, we won’t ask you anything incriminating. [Lea laughs nervously.] Now, do you want to tell us a little about yourself?

Let’s see. There isn’t much to tell. I recently moved to New York, from London. I work in an ER in the city, and as a researcher on a pain study. That’s why I came to Bellevue Hospital in the first place, to work on that study.

Is this your first time living in Manhattan?

I don’t actually live in Manhattan now, I moved to Queens. This city is insanely expensive, even worse than London! [laughs] My little flat is cute, but even out there it’s expensive. But yes, to answer your question. I’ve never lived in the States before.

So, let’s get to the juicy details, the questions our readers are eagerly awaiting: How did you and Ricco meet?

Well, when I first moved to New York I did live in Manhattan. I knew someone who knew someone who wanted a lodger for a few months. That guy lives in Ricco’s building, and I met Ricco in the hall one day.

Was it love at first sight?

Not really. We had coffee soon afterwards, though. So I guess we at least liked each other.

What is it like being with someone famous? Is it harder than dating normal people?

Oh yeah! [laughs again] It’s a lot harder, because so many people are interested in Ricco’s private life. So we kind of try to stay out of the spotlight, you know? But it’s also hard for other reasons. He works really long hours, and is often away for work. And I work long hours too. So we don’t always see each other as much as we’d like.

I bet that sucks especially. Being with a guy like Ricco and not being able to see him much?

I’m used to people who are passionate about their work. Doctors are like that as well, so we have that in common, which helps, I think. And when we do get to spend time together it’s really special. We try and make the most of it.

Okay, let’s do a few quick-fire questions to close off the interview. One word answers only!

Fire away!

Is Ricco a good kisser?

Yes!

Who does the dishes, he or you?

The dishwasher! [she claps her hand to her mouth] Sorry that’s two words.

Are you messy or neat?

Ricco – neat. Me – not!

Who gets to choose the TV station, or the Netflix show to watch?

Me! Always, always me! [laughs]

And that’s the end of the interview. Thank you so much for taking the time for us, and all the best to you two!

Thank you! And it was my pleasure!

Here’s an extract from Heart and the City

Heart and the City (Love Medicine Book 1)

© 2020, Cecilia Fyre

Chapter 1

Lea stepped out of the elevator and heard a weird, humming sound. No, not humming. Purring. Looking around her she spotted a black cat in the crevice under a nearby radiator.

“Hey, who’re you?” she murmured.

Big, green cat eyes stared at her out of the gloom, the jet-black body obscured in the shadows.

“Are you running away?” She crouched down and held out a hand. For a moment the cat looked like it was going to hiss at her. But then it slunk over, belly close to the marble floor. It was still purring.

Truth be told, Lea wasn’t really a cat person. She preferred dogs. Or maybe, in the tiny New York apartments, a cockatiel would be nice. Though this kitty was pretty cute. Its coat was fluffy, and it was a little on the chubby side. Well cared for, certainly. Of course, it would be, in this swanky Little Italy apartment building where the cheapest unit cost well over three million dollars. And whoever the cat belonged to was probably looking for it. So Lea braced herself and picked it up.

The elevator servicing the apartments on this floor was hidden away in a nook at the end of the hallway. As Lea stepped out from that little space now, the cat hanging relaxed in her arms, the door at the opposite end of the hallway opened. A man peered through it. “Carl? Man, if you slipped out, I’ll…sh*t…oh.”

He spotted Lea and opened the door wider. She felt foolish asking since he had pretty much confirmed it. “He yours?” She nodded at the cat in her arms, who had wriggled onto his back, head lolling, looking at her with those weird, slitted eyes.

“Yeah, he is,” the man said. “Little f**ker… sorry.”

She hid her smile as the color rose in his face. “Did he give you the slip?”

He nodded. Lea walked the length of the hallway, taking the opportunity to study him. Brown hair to just over his ears, tousled and standing up in places like he’d just woken up. His eyes were very blue, slightly slanted, and returning her gaze openly. Nice cheekbones that gave his features a certain finesse. He had boyish good looks that could only be helpful in his line of work. He wore a black T-shirt and grey sweatpants, and despite his handsome face, his smile was a little shy and very ordinary. Lea already knew who he was.

Despite what she might have said to Carmine about not caring for the famous people living in his building, now that she found herself face to face with one her heart jumped in her chest and her hands that were still clasping the cat began to sweat.

When she reached him, she held out her arms, uncertain of what to do. He smiled again, then disentangled the furry creature from his cozy spot.

“Thanks a lot.”

Lea returned his smile. “No problem.”

He wrestled for a moment with the cat, who was trying to crawl onto his shoulder. Once the cat had settled, looking very much at home, he extended his hand. “I’m Ricco.”

Lea was about to say, I know, but then decided against it. She shook his hand. “I’m Lea. Nice to meet you.”

Ricco gestured behind himself. “D’you wanna come in for a coffee? Thanks to you my afternoon won’t be wasted looking for this monster now.” He patted the animal, who purred.

Lea shook her head. She could’ve kicked herself. “I’m sorry, I can’t. My shift starts in less than an hour.” She glanced at her watch. She’d rushed out to run some errands she’d forgotten about all week and was running late now.

“Oh, okay… maybe another time.” He seemed disappointed, but Lea found that hard to believe. Why’d he care one way or another?

She banished the cynicism. “Definitely.”

Ricco was still looking at her, and the intensity of his gaze made Lea feel uneasy. He seemed to notice and lowered his eyes, retreating into his doorway. Lea turned to retrace her steps to the door furthest from his.

“See you later,” he said. Lea glanced around and he gave her a one-handed wave. She waved back and began to dig in her bag for the house keys. His door fell shut. Lea inserted her key into her own door, then stopped and glanced back down the corridor. Her heartbeat rather fast and her hands shook. She couldn’t understand why that should be so. She’d never cared a fig about celebrities.

Cecilia Fyre is the pen name of a romance author trying out something new.

She likes sunny, crisp autumn days. Cups of hot cocoa with little marshmallows floating on top. The roaring of the sea. Laughing until your face hurts. The silence when you curl up with a good book. 

Her stories are about people. Some of them are strange, some think they’re boring. They all have secrets, they’re all scared sometimes. Cecilia writes about life, about love. About how hard it is to do it right. Usually, there’s a happy ending, or at least there might be one, someday.

​But life’s not all sunshine and roses, and that’s why Cecilia tells her stories.

In the real world, Cecilia lives in England.

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Giveaway – (Open INT)

Win 2 x A Complete set of all 5 novellas in the

Love Medicine series, in an ebook format.

The five novellas are: Book 1 – Heart and the City Book 2 – Unexpected Truth Book 3 – Been There Before Book 4 – Wish The Pain Away Book 5 – A Thousand Little Pieces

*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, Friendship, Giveaway, Historical Romance, Paranormal, Romance

On A Falling Tide Georgia Hill 5* #Review @georgiawrites @BLKDOGBooks @rararesources #timeslip #Victorian #women #romance #Friendship #FamilyDrama #Ancestry #LymeRegis #Dorset #BlogTour #BookReview #jurassiccoast

Two women. Connected by heartbreak, separated in time. Can Charity save the man she loves, or will Lydia’s vengeful spirit prove too strong?

Two haunting love stories and a hundred and fifty-year-old curse …

When the beloved grandfather who brought her up dies, Charity is left struggling to cope. Alone and rootless, she’s drawn to the sleepy fishing village of Beaumouth near Lyme Regis and begins to research her family tree. A chance encounter with attractive boat-builder Matt sparks a chain of mysterious and unsettling events and leads Charity to uncover the story of a young girl who lived in the village over a hundred years before.

In 1863 all Lydia Pavey wants to do is follow in Mary Anning’s footsteps and become a ‘fossilist.’ Instead, she is being forced into marriage to a man she barely knows.

Charity’s obsession with Lydia becomes all-consuming and she risks losing everything. With a longed-for family tantalisingly in reach, will Charity find the happy ever after she’s yearned for and, most importantly, can she save the man she loves?

Amazon UK Amazon Black Dog Publishing

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

My Thoughts…

If you are torn between reading contemporary romance and historical fiction this lovely, gothic-inspired story gives you both. Charity bereaved, after losing her final family member, the grandfather who raised her, is struggling with her mental health, and her feelings of self -worth.

Needing to escape her old life to aid her healing, she visits the Jurassic coast. Somewhere her grandfather said they had family connections, although he would never visit the area. Drawn by the cliffs she has a serendipitous meeting with Dolly, the Springer Spaniel and Matt, the attraction is instant, even though he is rescuing her from a muddy situation.

The story follows Charity’s life in Lyme and Beaumont and is filled with authentic, complex characters, who draw her into their community and make her feel part of something. There are conflicts with Saskia, and indecision and fear over her growing feeling for Matt.

Interwoven, with this contemporary tale, is a strange, sad and sinister encounter with a woman on the beach. Charity’s research into her ancestry, reveals information about the mysterious woman. Charity is drawn into another world. Her mental health makes her questions, whether this is a delusion. It threatens her growing attachment with Matt, but she is hypnotised by its power and cannot stop it even with it puts her in danger.

The timeslip into Victorian times is realistic, given the fragility of Charity’s mental health, and her crippling grief. The folklore about a ghost near the cliffs gives credence to her experiences. The stories are woven together so well, one informs the other, and introduces powerful conflict.

Atmospheric, poignant and menacing, it builds to the climax. This story’s haunting, gothic quality, fuses perfectly with an engaging conflict-ridden contemporary romance. The ending is a lovely conclusion to a very enjoyable story.

Georgia Hill

Georgia Hill writes best-selling romcoms and historical fiction with romance at the heart. Although she writes in two genres, they have more in common than you might think; she puts serious issues into her romcoms and lots of humour into her historical novels. She lives by the sea in the south west of England with her two beloved dogs – a spaniel and a delinquent cockapoo puppy, her husband (also beloved and not at all delinquent) and a ghost called Zoe. She loves Jane Austen, elephants, Belgian chocolate (all donations gratefully received) and Strictly Come Dancing. Her stories come from everywhere and anything, so be careful what you tell her as you may end up in a book. She also finds inspiration in the folklore and history of the many places in which she’s lived. To put it politely, she’s had a portfolio career having worked in the theatre, for a charity and as a teacher and educational consultant before giving in and finally acknowledging that making up things was what she really wanted to do. She has a nasty addiction to moving house but is trying to overcome this. After one house move too many, she lost all her notebooks and decided to stop talking about writing and actually do some. She’s been happily creating believably flawed heroines, intriguing men and page-turning stories ever since.

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Giveaway to Win PBs of On a Falling Tide and While I was Waiting. (Open to UK & Ireland)

Click on Giveaway Link To Enter

*Terms and Conditions –UK & Ireland 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, Contemporary Fiction, Giveaway, Guest post

Surviving Me Jo Johnson #GuestPost #BookSpotlight #JoJohnson @rararesources #Life #MentalHealth #Men #Society #Giveaway

Deceit has a certain allure when your life doesn’t match up to the ideal of what it means to be a modern man.

Tom’s lost his job and now he’s been labelled ‘spermless’. He doesn’t exactly feel like a modern man, although his double life helps. Yet when his secret identity threatens to unravel, he starts to lose the plot and comes perilously close to the edge.

All the while Adam has his own duplicity, albeit for very different reasons, reasons which will blow the family’s future out of the water.

If they can’t be honest with themselves, and everyone else, then things are going to get a whole lot more complicated.

This book tackles hard issues such as male depression, dysfunctional families and degenerative diseases in an honest, life-affirming and often humorous way. It focuses particularly on the challenges of being male in today’s world and explores how our silence on these big issues can help push men to the brink.

Goodreads

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Everybody hurts – Guest Post – Jo Johnson

In my debut novel “Surviving Me” my main character Tom Cleary is hurting. He’s experiencing feelings of loss, guilt, anxiety and sadness. Instead of acknowledging his pain, he ignores and buries his painful feelings, he withdraws from others and uses alcohol in an attempt to drown his sorrows.

The R.E.M. song tells us, ‘Everybody hurts sometimes’. I don’t think many would argue with that.

However good life is, there will be times this week when you’ve experienced emotional pain. Whenever we do something meaningful, it gives us pain as well as pleasure.

Writing this blog feels positive, I hope it helps someone but I feel anxious it is boring, guilty that I should be at home and frustrated that the table I’m working on is making my neck hurt.

Unless you live on a desert island you’ll know even the best relationships bring disappointment, frustration, conflict, grief, fear, anxiety, anger, sadness and guilt.

Given the amount of experience we have with emotional pain, we should be great at dealing with it but most of us are not.

Often, when we are hurting, we inflict further hurt on ourselves.

The most recent research makes it clear that self-compassion helps.

Self-compassion involves acknowledging your own emotional pain and responding with compassion and care. This means treating yourself with the same warmth and kindness that you’d show to someone else.

Here is a little test.

When a friend is hurting, would you?

  • -Tell them to stop whining, to man up.
  • -call them boring, pathetic or stupid.
  • -encourage them to isolate themselves, stay in, keep quiet.
  • -make them self-harm by drinking or eating too much, make them starve or dehydrate.

Now ask yourself these questions.

What do you do to yourself when you are hurting?

What do you say to yourself when you are hurting?

How do you say it?

I bet you are a good friend. Are you as good to yourself? If not, here are a few starter steps:-

1. Acknowledge you are hurting, simply say or write, I’m sad, hurting or feeling ashamed.

2. Notice where in your body you feel this pain. Draw it out on the outline of a body. Colour in where it hurts.

3. Write down the thoughts that are taunting you. For example, you might write or say, “I’m noticing painful feelings of rejection” or “I’m noticing thoughts about being a loser” or “I’m noticing sadness and anxiety”.

4. Then ask yourself, what do I need? How might I treat my friend? Perhaps you could have a warm bath, enjoy a walk or spend time with people who care.

Self-compassion doesn’t get rid of our pain but it changes the way we manage it and makes us less likely hurt ourselves further. Our default is to try and stop emotional pain by distraction or another behaviour. The most common are excessive or restrictive eating, substance misuse, over work, blaming others, searching the internet or using social media. Notice what you are doing, ask yourself if the behaviours will help you in the long term. Would you suggest the behaviour to a friend in pain?

‘’Surviving Me” tackles hard issues such as depression, male suicide and degenerative disease. It focuses particularly on the challenges of being male in today’s world and explores how our silence on these big issues can help push men to the brink.

Follow this link to read 120 reviews or to purchase the book on Amazon:

Amazon UK

Jo Johnson is a clinical psychologist specialising in neurological disorders and mind health.

I’m very excited that my debut novel ‘Surviving Me’ is due to be published on the 14 November. The novel is about male minds and what pushes a regular man to the edge. The novel combines all the themes I can write about with authenticity.

I qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1992 and initially worked with people with learning disabilities before moving into the field of neurology in 1996. I worked in the NHS until 2008 when i left to write and explore new projects.

I now work as an independent clinical psychologist in West Sussex.

Jo speaks and writes for several national neurology charities including Headway and the MS Trust. Client and family related publications include, “Talking to your kids about MS”, “My mum makes the best cakes” and “Shrinking the Smirch”. 

In the last few years Jo has been offering psychological intervention using the acceptance and commitment therapeutic model (ACT) which is the most up to date version of CBT. She is now using THE ACT model in a range of organisations such as the police to help employees protect their minds in order to avoid symptoms of stress and work related burnout.

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Giveaway to Win two signed copies of Surviving Me &  five Surviving Me fridge magnets  (Open INT)

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1st Prize – 2 winners each winning a signed copy of Surviving Me

5 Runners Up – each winning a Surviving Me Fridge Magnet

*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 Blitz, Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read, Free Book, Friendship, Giveaway, Holiday Romance, Novella, Romance

Christmas at the Chateau Lorraine Wilson 4*#Review @Romanceminx @0neMoreChapter_ #Festive #Christmas #Romance #Dogs #France #Novella #BlogBlitz @rararesources #BookReview #Giveaway #AFrenchEscape #RachelsRandomResources #FreeBook

#ChristmasattheChateau

A Christmas she’ll remember forever…

Poppy is looking forward to spending her first Christmas in France at her boyfriend, Leo’s, Château. And as the snow falls softly around the dramatic castle, Poppy can’t think of anything more magical.

There are new traditions to discover, a cosy Christmas market to explore and best of all, a promise of secret treasure hunt from gorgeous Leo. Only family pressure and uncertainty about her future in France can threaten to cast a shadow over the holiday.

When the treasure hunt takes an unexpected turn Poppy knows for sure this is one Christmas she’ll remember forever.

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I received a copy of this book from One More Chapter in return for an honest review.

MyThoughts…

A charming sequel to Poppy’s Place in the Sun, its almost Christmas, and Poppy is looking forward to Christmas at the Chateau with Leo. Poppy is in love and suffering from all the insecurities that go with that state of mind. Her emails with her friend keep her positive, which is just as well as her mother is less than supportive.

There are lovely animals in this story, which provide humour and sentimental moments. The story is incredibly romantic and manages to tell a lovely festive tale in a few pages. This allows the reader to experience a Christmas story, in a short time, which makes it perfect for the commute to work, or when you have an hour or so to spare.

I have read most of this author’s books, which always have lovely settings, strong romance, and often an animal or two to complete the treat, this one is no exception and is a perfect festive read.

Lorraine Wilson writes flirty, feel-good fiction for One More Chapter – a Harper Collins imprint – and is unashamedly fond of happy endings. She loves hearing from readers and feels incredibly grateful to be doing the job she always dreamt of.

She splits her time between the South of France and Cambridgeshire and is usually either writing or reading while being sat on, walked over or barked at by one of her growing band of rescue dogs.

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Giveaway to Win Signed a paperback copy of ‘Poppy’s Place in the Sun’ (1st book in the ‘A French Escape‘ series), hand-embroidered makeup bag (made by the author) and some artisanal French chocolates (Open INT)

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the 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 Book Spotlight, Giveaway

All Over You – Ayden K. Morgen – Excerpt – Blog Tour

Welcome to my tour stop on the All Over You Blog Tour! Today, Ayden has a brand new excerpt and teasers for us!

Close woman portrait with the world reflected in her eyes.

Poppy - Blurb

 Ivy Kendall’s only plan for her life was to teach, but then it all fell apart…

When Rory Clark disappears from UCLA after a lengthy online relationship with a “catfish” pretending to be Ivy, the sassy former model turned kindergarten teacher is forced to dive headfirst into the mystery in order to clear her name. The catfishing phenomenon meets good, old-fashioned police work when Cameron Lewis, a bossy San Francisco detective with a dominant streak, offers to help her uncover the awful truth about her stolen identity and Rory’s disappearance.

They’ve barely scratched the surface when Ivy is charged with a murder she swears she didn’t commit.

As the evidence against her piles up and the intense attraction between her and Cameron deepens, Ivy wants nothing more than to lean on the tattooed detective. He’s already seen her at her worse. Now she has to find the courage to trust him with her heart. But how can she when she’s terrified doing so will ruin his career?

Her greatest fear becomes reality when the ugly truth is revealed and their lives come tumbling down around them.

Betrayed by the one person she never suspected, Ivy makes a reckless decision that puts her in the sights of a murderer and jeopardizes Cameron’s career. He will do whatever it takes to save the woman he loves…even if that means becoming a killer himself.

Will he be able to reach her before it’s too late, or will Rory’s catfish take more than just one life?

All Over You is a completely standalone sister novel to the All Falls Down duo, intended for readers 18+

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Poppy - Excerpt

 I’m between sets when Erin slips into Mitch’s around eleven, her hair hanging in ringlets down her back. She’s in a flirty black dress paired with a jean jacket and cowboy boots. And she is definitely wearing her good bra if the cleavage she’s sporting is any indication. A few appreciative gazes follow her as she slides into the corner booth across from me, but she doesn’t notice.

“Sorry,” she says. “I had to run errands and I lost track of time. Getting anywhere in this city on a Friday night is a pain in the ass. Are you going to finish these?” She point at my cheese fries, and then reaches out and snags one, popping it into her mouth before I can answer. I push them toward her, too full to eat anything else. “Nice crowd,” she says, her gaze darting around the room before she turns back to me. She pops another cheese fry into her mouth. “Any hotties tonight?”

“The guy in the back.” I shift my gaze in his direction, subtly pointing him out to her. He’s in the very back corner of the bar, sitting in a dark booth by himself, nursing a beer. He’s been there all night, staring at me. I haven’t been able to get a good look at him, but what I have seen? Damn.  With  dark hair, deep golden skin, and a day’s worth of scruff on his face, he’s gorgeous. Bold  tattoos peek from beneath the arms of the simple black tee he’s wearing. He’s big, powerful, his jeans and tee stretching over the muscles they encase. If anyone in the bar fits the hottie bill, it’s him.

“Damn,” Erin says, licking her lips.

“He’s been staring at me all night,” I grumble, not sure if I’m more irritated or turned on. And that’s a mystery in and of itself. Since when did complete strangers make heat pool low in my stomach? Apparently since Tall, Dark and Brooding walked into the bar and parked his fine ass in the corner.

“Of course he has.” Erin rolls her eyes. “You look hot.”

“Thanks.” My jet black hair is up in an intricate braid, and I’m wearing just enough makeup to make my green eyes pop, but my dress is shorter and tighter than I usually wear. I love the way the slinky material feels against my skin. The top is a halter with the bottom barely reaching mid-thigh. The dark purple color seems to shimmer under the lights of the stage. I love the way it looks.

 “Hey.” Erin grabs Mitch by the hand as he starts to pass by.

 “What’s up, doll?” he asks, winking at her. Mitch is an incurable flirt. He’s also old enough to be her father, but that’s never stopped him. In the year I’ve known him, he’s never lacked for female companionship either, so clearly the whole charming rogue thing is working for him.

“The guy in the back. Who is he?”

 Mitch turns to look over his shoulder, his light eyes narrowing on the mystery man.”Don’t know. Why?” He turns those eyes on me, crossing his arms over his muscular chest. “Is he bothering you?”

“No,” I wave him off before he can get all protective. Staring isn’t a crime. I don’t want the guy tossed out because he’s a little too focused on me. “He’s
fine.”

 “You sure?”

“Promise.” I shoot Mitch a grin before my gaze darts back to the guy. He’s watching me again, and our eyes meet. He doesn’t look away, instead boldly
holding my gaze. Screw it. Two can plan this game. Crossing my arms over my chest, I tip my chin up and narrow my eyes, glaring at him. The corners of his lips lift in a subtle smirk, almost like he knows I’m silently calling him out and is challenging me. I arch a brow, ignoring the little thrill that zings through me at the gleam in his eyes. God, those eyes. They’re  penetrating, captivating. I’ve never seen such dark gray eyes before, and it’s hot. He is hot, scorching.The way he watches me with that cocky smirk on his face is dominating. He’s in charge, and he knows it. I think my body does too. Heat races through me, my nipples hardening. A bead of sweat rolls down the back of my neck as I clench and unclench my fingers. I’m dying to shift around beneath the weight of his gaze to relieve the ache between my thighs. The tip of his tongue peeks out from between his lips, and he narrows his eyes at me. He’s no longer challenging me to look away first, he’s demanding it. Every line of his body screams that command. Heat rolls over me in a wave. Every inch of me burns white hot at the way he’s focusing on me, drawing me in…silently demanding I submit. I drop my gaze to the table, my heart racing. What the hell?  I take a deep breath and then another. My face is burning hot, probably flushed bright red. When I finally gather the nerve to peek up at him again, it’s to see him striding toward the doors, his jeans hugging that fine ass just right. My attention stays glued to him until the door swings closed behind him. He doesn’t look back.

“The hell was that?” Erin asks, tossing a coaster at me.I startle when it lands against my chest, and then blush. 

“That was him offering to strip her naked and f**k her on the table,” Mitch says. My blush deepens.

“Think she would have let him?” Erin teases, grinning at me.

“F**k yeah, she would have.” Mitch throws his head back and laughs loudly when I groan. 

“I hate both of you,” I mutter, rolling my eyes. Though secretly…I think they’re probably right.

 

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Author Bio 2016- 2

Ayden lives in the heart of Arkansas with her childhood sweetheart/husband of twelve years, and their five furry minions. When not writing, she spends her time hiking, reading, volunteering, causing mischief, and building a Spork army. Ayden graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Forensic
Psychology in 2009 before going on to complete her graduate degree in CJ and Law. She currently puts her education to use in the social services and CJ field. 
Ayden also writes Young and New Adult fantasy under the penname A.K. Morgen.

Links 2016-2

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Posted in Giveaway, Giveaway, Newsletter, The Dangerous Gift

The Dangerous Gift -Goodreads Giveaway

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I’m  giving  away  a paperback copy of The Dangerous Gift. 

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The Dangerous Gift by Jane Hunt

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by Jane Hunt

Giveaway ends April 30, 2016.

 

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