Saturday, 18 May 2019

Cover Reveal: The First Lie by A.J.Park

The First Lie by A J Park

We’ve all had sleepless nights thinking about it.
You’re home alone. Someone breaks in.
In defending yourself, you end up killing the intruder.
Now you’re the one the police want.

That is the situation that criminal barrister Paul Reeve arrives home to find.
His wife Alice stands in the bedroom, clutching a bloodied letter opener in her shaking hand.

“What have you done, Alice?”
“I didn’t have a choice…”

We would all believe the person we love most.
But would we all make the same choice Paul and Alice make next…?

Waterstones     Amazon UK        Amazon US 

After studying literature, linguistics and Spanish at university, AJ Park trained as an English teacher and actor. He has edited magazines and taught English, Media Studies and Drama in secondary schools in England. He was also a competitive fencer for seven years.

Twitter @AJParkauthor
Facebook KarlVadaszffy

Friday, 17 May 2019

New Release Spotlight & Exclusive Excerpt: Cultivating A Fuji by Miriam Drori

Cultivating a Fuji by Miriam Drori

Convinced that his imperfect, solitary existence is the best it will ever be, Martin unexpectedly finds himself being sent to represent his company in Japan. His colleagues think it’s a joke; his bosses are certain he will fail. What does Martin think? He simply does what he’s told. That’s how he’s survived up to now – by hiding his feelings.
Amazingly, in the land of strange rituals, sweet and juicy apples, and too much saké, Martin flourishes and achieves the impossible. But that’s only the beginning. Keeping up the momentum for change proves futile. So, too, is a return to what he had before. Is there a way forward, or should he put an end to the search now?

Gradually, as you’ll see when Martin looks back from near the end of his journey, life improves. There’s even a woman, Fiona, who brings her own baggage to the relationship, but brightens Martin’s days. And just when you think there can be no more surprises, another one pops up.
Throughout his life, people have laughed at ‘weirdo’ Martin; and you, as you read, will have plenty of opportunity to laugh, too. Go ahead, laugh away, but you’ll find that there’s also a serious side to all this…

Bournemouth, 1977. We’ve heard about Martin, by being “flies on the wall” during private conversations, but this is our first encounter of him.
Sue tried not to look straight at the young man seated on the wooden chair beside her. Otherwise, he might start to read her thoughts, and that would be unfortunate. Because what she was thinking was: I’m talking to a complete and utter weirdo who doesn’t know how to behave in the simplest of situations, let alone on a business trip to a foreign land – a land where, she’d heard, protocol was given considerable attention. What she was supposed to be thinking was: this is an ordinary conversation with an ordinary employee who works in the same office as me, and who happens to be going on a work trip to Japan to demonstrate our product.
He was dressed in a suit and tie, like all the other men in the office, but the tie met the lapel of his jacket rather than going straight down to the join between the two parts, and the suit didn’t look right on him. Perhaps it was too tight for him. Or perhaps it was simply his posture on the chair – too rigid, too straight-backed, two feet on the floor. He stared down at the lino with those intense blue eyes, as if in horror at spotting a speck of dust. Of course, as soon as he opened his mouth to speak, the weirdness would become even more apparent. Come to think of it, why hadn’t he said anything yet? Sue had asked him a question. Hadn’t he heard?
“I said, do you have a passport?” Out of Martin’s view, Sue clenched her fists. She’d enunciated each word separately, as if she were talking to a young child, or to a retarded person. She must remember to talk normally.
“I… sorry… I have one but it’s not…”
“Is it out of date?”
“Yes, I think so.” Martin’s half-smile showed his relief at being helped out of a spot.
“When did you last use it?”
“When I was thirteen.”
“Then it must be out of date. So we have to get you an emergency passport. I’ll find out how, and I’ll get the form from the post office. Bring in your old passport tomorrow and get some passport photos taken, and I’ll help you fill in the form.”
“Thank you.”
“Do you know how to do passport photos?”
Typical. Why didn’t he explain how he was going to do it? Sue wanted to ask him, to make sure he knew what to do, but that wouldn’t go with pretending he was normal. Oh well. If he came tomorrow without the photos, she’d have to take him to the nearby photographer’s.
“I’ll also get plane tickets in your name, and change the hotel reservation. John will be in touch with the company in Japan to tell them about the change.”
Martin nodded. His eyes stared towards the general area of Sue but not directly at her. Since his head was pointing downwards slightly, this gave the impression that he was looking up at her, as a child would. His hands clutched the sides of the chair, raising his shoulders an inch or two. She was reminded of a smaller Sue facing the headmistress after a forgotten misdemeanour.
“Okay, you can go now.”
It was like releasing a catapult. Martin shot across the room and was gone in a second, despite needing three attempts to push down the door handle.
Sue’s eyes remained fixed on the closed door for a moment, at the spot where Martin had stood while tackling the handle. Slowly, she shook her head and sighed, and thought about popping into an employment agency that afternoon when she went to get the passport application form. There was one right next to the post office.

Miriam Drori has decided she’s in the fifth and best stage of her life, and she’s hoping it’ll last for ever. It’s the one in which she’s happiest and most settled and finally free to do what she wants. Miriam lives in a delightful house and garden in Jerusalem with her lovely husband and one of three children. She enjoys frequent trips around the world. She dances, hikes, reads and listens to music. And she’s realised that social anxiety is here to stay, so she might as well make friends with it. On top of that, she has moved away from computer programming and technical writing (although both of those provided interest in previous stages) and now spends her time editing and writing fiction. NEITHER HERE NOR THERE (currently unavailable), a romance with a difference set in Jerusalem, was published in 2014. THE WOMEN FRIENDS, co-written with Emma Rose Millar, is a series of novellas based on the famous painting by Gustav Klimt. SOCIAL ANXIETY REVEALED (non-fiction) provides a comprehensive description of social anxiety from many different viewpoints. CULTIVATING A FUJI takes the social anxiety theme into fiction, using humour to season a poignant story.
Giveaway to Win copies of Neither Here No There and Social Anxiety Revealed (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  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 passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for 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.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Spotlight: A Matter of Latitude by Isobel Blackthorn

A Matter of Latitude by Isobel Blackthorn

From the acclaimed author of The Drago Tree comes a riveting thriller about survival, revenge and long-hidden secrets.
When local Lanzarote anti-corruption activist, Celestino, is T-boned on a lonely stretch of road, he knows the collision was no accident.
Wounded and fearing for his life, he hides in an abandoned fishing village, waiting for a chance to make it home. Meanwhile his wife, English expat Paula, is distraught. Her pursuit of answers is deflected when her neighbor, troublesome retiree Shirley Mobad, co-opts Paula on her escapades around the Canary Islands.
Paula’s search for her husband quickly descends into mayhem, danger and intrigue. Before long, she realizes she’s being followed. She needs answers, and fast.
But where is Celestino, and will he ever make it back alive?
"A Matter of Latitude simmers with danger, betrayal and treachery, drawing the reader into the island’s history of shady dealings and uneasy relationships between natives, tourists and expats... Isobel Blackthorn has crafted an atmospheric and setting-rich novel with alluring lyrical style." – Sandi Wallace, award-winning crime fiction author

Amazon US      Amazon UK 
Isobel Blackthorn is a prolific novelist of original fiction across a range of genres, including psychological thrillers, gripping mysteries, captivating travel fiction and hilarious dark satire. 

Isobel holds a PhD in Western Esotericism for her ground-breaking study of the texts of Theosophist Alice A. Bailey. Her engagement with Alice Bailey's life and works has culminated in the biographical novel, The Unlikely Occultist. 

Isobel carries a lifelong passion for the Canary Islands, Spain, her former home. Many of her novels are set on the islands, including The Drago Tree, which was released in 2015 and is now in Spanish translation, Clarissa's Warning and A Matter of Latitude. These novels are setting rich and fall into the broad genre of travel fiction, and the novels are as much stories about the islands themselves as they are straight-ahead entertainment.

Isobel has led a rich and interesting life and her stories are as diverse as her experiences, the highs and lows, and the dramas. Some of her writing is dark, like the psychological thriller, Twerk, which is based on six years of research and first-hand accounts of dancers working in what are euphemistically called gentlemen's clubs. 

A life-long campaigner for social justice, Isobel has written, protested and leant her weight to a range of issues including family violence. A Londoner originally, Isobel currently lives near Melbourne, Australia.

Release Day Spotlight: Kit by S.R. Dyble

Title: Kit 
Author: S R Dyble 
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Romantic Comedy.
Series: Carson Brothers #1 

After her family was brutally murdered, Eve decided one thing.
Never to let anyone in.
To never love again.
That way, she wouldn't ever feel that hurt again.
For a year she'd done just that.
All that was about to change when Kit Carson, a cocky Australian boxer randomly enrolled onto her photography course at college and pushed his way into her life.
Kit was everything Eve hated about pretty boys.
Only, he wasn't a boy.
He was all man.
Despite her dislike for him, even she couldn't deny her curiosity.
Things were about to change drastically in Eve's life, and secrets were about to spill out.
All at the hands of Kit Carson.

S R Dyble is a writer, Mother and a DIY obsessor. 
She lives a short drive away from her home, the city of Hull in the UK. 
She enjoys using the cities unusual way of speaking in her books and laughing about it with her readers.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

New Release Spotlight & Review: Probably The Best Kiss In The World by Pernille Hughes

Probably the Best Kiss in the World by Pernille Hughes

Jen Attison likes her life Just So. But being fished out of a canal in Copenhagen by her knickers is definitely NOT on her to do list. From cinnamon swirls to a spontaneous night of laughter and fireworks, Jen’s city break with the girls takes a turn for the unexpected because of her gorgeous, mystery rescuer.
Back home, Jen faces a choice. A surprise proposal from her boyfriend, ‘boring’ Robert has offered Jen the safety net she always thought she wanted. But with the memories of her Danish adventure proving hard to forget, maybe it’s time for Jen to stop listening to her head and start following her heart…

It's øl-verwhelmingly one of my favourite books of the year.

Jen Attison's life is organised...just as she likes it even though she wouldn't have chosen her current job if she's been honest. Taking on the guardianship of her younger sister meant responsibility far beyond her years and personal sacrifice. Life has been tough. As a consequence, she's making the best of life in an easily predictable way. So when her long-term boyfriend surprises her by proposing, she accepts her fate. Only, her sister, Lydia and their friends have other plans...a premature 'hen-do' in Copenhagen and a mystery man none of them envisaged but overwhelmingly glad he showed up when he did.

Jen is a woman of our current times...micromanaging her hectic life and responsibilities by relying on phone apps, lists and spreadsheets. She's a control works for her but it also makes her dull and predictable. By stark contrast, her sister is a ray of positivity. Lydia, maybe the younger sister, but she's insightfully refreshing. They clash as siblings do but for once, it is Lydia who is the wise one, pointing out where her older sister is going wrong in her life. For the sisters, it is a long overdue turning point in their relationship, freeing them both to follow their passions in their own unique way.

I can wholeheartedly say is, I was one hundred per cent invested in Jen's Danish distraction. As a reader it wasn't difficult, to fall for this fine specimen of Nordic swoon-worthy masculinity. He oozed sincere charm in a too-good-to-be-true way. As a result, I was sure this novel would be a five-star read for me. However, I felt a bit let down after the end of chapter 31...not because of his dramatic departure but because he didn't re-appear again until chapter 38! I was distraught!

Stand out elements of the narrative are the author's ability to bring her protagonists to life enabling the reader to feel their emotions. Additionally, an integral piece is this novel is passion and Ms Hughes does a fantastic job of drawing these intense reactions from the characters in both a positive and negative way. The dialogue is witty, the humour is subtle...just as I like it. Then there're the contrasting backdrops...Copenhagen, small town, England and the fascinating insight into the craft beer industry. With the latter offering some useful tips.

Last but not least, I haven't read any novels by any of the authors mentioned in the blurb so I haven't a clue if this novel is a good comparison. What I can say is, the author is new to me and one I'll be looking out for again. Skål!

**Øl – beer (Danish & Norwegian), Skål – cheers (Danish & Norwegian)

***arc received courtesy of HarperImpulse via NetGalley***

Pernille Hughes is a RomCom author and mum, whose debut novel was SWEATPANTS AT TIFFANIE'S, soon to be followed by PROBABLY THE BEST KISS IN THE WORLD (April 2019). Previously her writing has been printed in The Sunday Times and the fabulous SUNLOUNGER summer anthologies. Find out about her new books at 

Pernille (pronounced Pernilla) studied Film & Literature at uni and took her first job in advertising, having been lured by the temptation of freebies, but left when Status Quo tickets was as good as it got. After a brief spell marketing Natural History films, she switched to working in Children's television which for a time meant living in actual Teletubbyland, sharing a photocopier with Laa-Laa.

Now, she lives in actual Buckinghamshire, sharing a photocopier with her husband and their four spawn. While the kids are at school she scoffs cake and writes RomCom stories in order to maintain a shred of sanity.