Monday, 22 July 2019

Spotlight & Review: Smile Of The Stowaway by Tony Bassett



Smile Of The Stowaway by Tony Bassett


A married couple, a stranger from far away and a murder that rocks their lives. Desperate to reach England, a bedraggled immigrant clings precariously beneath a couple's motor home as they cross the Channel. Once holidaymakers Bob and Anne overcome their shock at his discovery and their initial reservations, they welcome the friendly stranger into their home in defiance of the law. But their trust is stretched to the limit when the police accuse the smiling twenty-three-year-old of a gruesome murder. Could this man from six thousand miles away be guilty? Or is the real killer still out there? Former national newspaper journalist Tony Bassett tells how Anne turns detective, battling against a mountain of circumstantial evidence and police bungling to discover the truth. This gripping first novel concerning a death in a remote Kentish country cottage is packed with mystery, suspense and occasional touches of humour.
Amazon UK      Amazon US 

A thought-provoking beginning...what would you do if an asylum seeker appeared on your drive after stowing away under your motor-home after returning from France? For Bob and Anne, it's a reality as Yusuf Osman makes his unexpected appearance on their driveway.

I always enjoy fictional books which challenge the reader's mind and this is such a novel. It provokes you into thinking about the decisions Bob and Anne make and whether in a similar situation you would do the same as them. There's a fine line between doing what your head tells you what you should do against what a compassionate heart wants. In this case, compassion wins only for it to backfire, but does it?

Told from Bob's point of view he gives a different perspective to the dilemma he and his wife encounter after deciding to aid the foreign stowaway. I fully related to Anne's concerns about how their assisting Yusuf could impact their safety. Additionally, how it changes the dynamics of their relationship too. Yet, it's Yusuf's murder charge, plunging his life into chaos which overshadows everything else as they begin to seek out the truth to prove his innocence.

The author has written an even-paced crime novel, set against a delightful rural setting of the fictional villages of Chasehurst and Chivingden, Kent. The narrative is relevant by today's standards by portraying a realistic scenario. When neighbour Stephen Rigden's dies mysteriously it's not surprising an outsider like Yusuf would be a 'man of interest' to the investigation. After all, trying to pin the blame on an illegal alien is just too easy, right? Wrong in this time but it isn't long before a shocking murder occurs. With circumstantial evidence stacked against him,
is the man who risked his life fleeing Eritrea capable of such a crime?

Many twists and turns keep the readers focus
ed on the intriguing narrative, and like any 'who's done it,' the revealing of the villain brings a satisfying and poignant conclusion leaving the reader wondering 'what now' for the smiling stowaway?

***review copy received courtesy of the publisher via Rachel's Random Resources*** 
Tony Bassett, who was born in West Kent, grew up wanting to be a writer from the age of nine when he edited a school magazine. After attending Hull University where he won a `Time-Life' magazine student journalism award, he spent six years working as a journalist in Sidcup, Worcester and Cardiff before moving to Fleet Street. Tony spent 37 years working for the national press, mainly for the `Sunday People' where he worked both for the newsdesk and the investigations department. He helped cover the Jeremy Thorpe trial for the `Evening Standard', broke the news in the `Sun' of Bill Wyman's plans to marry Mandy Smith and found evidence for the `Sunday People' of Rod Stewart's secret love child. On one occasion, while working for `The People', he took an escaped gangster back to prison. His first book, `Smile Of The Stowaway', is one of four crime novels Tony has written over the past three years. He has five grown-up children and eleven grandchildren. He lives in South East London with his partner, Lin.
Twitter: @tonybassett1
Giveaway to Win 6 x PB copies of Smile of the Stowaway (Open INT)
*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.

Friday, 19 July 2019

Upcoming New Release: One Fine Duke by Lenora Bell


Title: One Fine Duke
Author: Lenora Bell
ISBN: 9780062692504
Price: $7.99
On-Sale Date: 7/23/19


USA Today bestselling author Lenora Bell returns with her third book in the sexy School for Dukes series.

Ready.
Raised in the countryside by her overprotective uncle, Miss Mina Penny’s dream of a triumphant London season is finally here. She determined her perfect match long ago: Rafe Bentley, the wickedest rake of them all. There’s only one very large, very unyielding obstacle: Rafe’s brother Drew, the reclusive Duke of Thorndon.
Aim.
This was supposed to be simple. Duke goes to London. Duke selects suitable bride. Love match? Not a chance. But when Drew meets Mina, she complicates everything. How can a lady armed with such beauty and brains fall for his irresponsible degenerate of a brother? Drew vows to save her from heartbreak and ruin, no matter the cost.
Desire!
But Mina is no damsel in distress. She’s daring, intuitive, passionate…and halfway to melting Drew’s cold heart. And although Mina thought she knew exactly what she wanted, one breathtakingly seductive kiss from Drew changes everything. Now Mina must decide between long-held dreams and dangerous new desires. Could her true destiny lie in the arms of a duke?



There he is, Wilhelmina,” Grizzy whispered, staring reverently across the crowded ballroom. “The Duke of Thorndon.”
Holy hell he’s handsome, thought Mina.
Jaw-dropping-on-the-floor handsome. Drool-on-your-lace-fichu handsome.
Distract her from her plan with his brother, handsome.
Her uncle had been right. Thorndon was a fine figure of a man. Objectively speaking, the finest she’d ever beheld.
Tall as a doorframe, with a face hewn from the same granite as the rugged Cornish coastline.
A face rendered seductive by contrasts: sharp cheekbones and curved, sensuous lips. Gleaming ebony hair brushed his collar. His eyes were a light, gold-tinged brown—the only warm thing about him.
He owned this ballroom. Literally. And he owned everyone in it by dint of his oversized presence and the cold, unsmiling arrogance scrawled across his face.
He didn’t even follow the dictates of fashion, preferring plain black attire to the white pantaloons and gaily-colored waistcoats of the other gentlemen.
Why should he follow the dictates of fashion? Everyone should follow him.
When you’re introduced to Thorndon, pray speak as seldom as possible,” Grizzy whispered. “Attempt to appear biddable and do try to recall my decorum lessons. Remember, no one in London knows anything about you, thank the Lord.”
Mina had seen several polished, elegant young ladies staring at her, nudging each other and whispering. She was an outsider, a usurper, her proper place in the social hierarchy not yet established.
They needn’t worry. She had no designs upon their prize duke. And she was about as unpolished as a debutante could be—as rough as an un-sanded plank. If anyone touched her they might get splinters.
She longed to shed her country skin swiftly and emerge as the sophisticated social butterfly her mother had been. But she knew that it would take time, observation, and experimentation.
Her first flirtatious conversation, first kiss, first taste of brandy, first adventure…it was all ahead of her.
She couldn’t wait to taste it all.

Lenora Bell is a USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of historical romances. A teacher with an MFA in Creative Writing, Lenora has lived and worked on five continents. She currently lives in New Zealand with her carpenter husband and two tiger-striped rescue kitties. She loves hearing from readers! Sign up for her mailing list to hear about new books, sales, and giveaways.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

New Release Spotlight & Guest Post: The Kompromat Kill by Michael Jenkins



The Kompromat Kill by Michael Jenkins

The Kompromat Kill – Geo-Politick, Treachery, and Mystery
The novel draws together an array of themes that range from current day geo-politics, the corridors of power in Whitehall, right through to the gritty espionage scenes that take place in varying geographical locations around the globe immersing the reader in the mystery and treachery of deniable intelligence operations. It was huge fun to plot and write, but what exactly are those golden threads throughout the book?
Well, the golden thread was all about the rising tensions between the USA and Iran and the plications on the western world. The story fuses the geo-politick, espionage, and treachery taking place amongst the mysterious geographic locations and settings that the novel takes place in – it links the inner sanctums of British secret intelligence taking place in London, with the overseas ground operations that Sean (the main character) was undertaking with his team that he brought together. It was great fun to write. But it did require some careful thought on both the story arc and the reader experience. I wanted to be able to take the reader on a journey of how geo-politics of the day has consequences and impact on the main character. An interesting thread of the story for me was how far the Iranians might go to unleash their state sponsored terror arms across the globe, especially when backed into a corner by the US.
The primary antagonist, Nadege, was a great character to build and put into action. She is driven by revenge, and a loyalty to her mother country – trained from a young age to be an assassin and spy. Her story arc is a journey I thoroughly enjoyed writing – a conflicted woman, a capable spy, but continually under the spell of her middle eastern master who has groomed her to inflict a terrorist incident of mammoth proportions and a magnitude way beyond her normal life of bedding and recruiting western politicians, diplomats and scientists.
So, as the story takes its journey, we have two intelligence officers about to collide and clash. Sean is tasked to recruit Nadege, a mission that fills him with dread and fear, never mind him thinking that his handler, Jack, has lost the plot giving him such a mission that Sean feels will surely fail. Sean is dispatched with some style by Jack to Asia Minor to recruit Nadege and the fireworks begin. Sean always feels wary that he is being used as a pawn for bigger things, and he never quite knows what Jack’s deeper motives are – all he knows is that he is expendable as a deniable operator, and he knows that one day, British Intelligence will throw him to the wolves with out a care. His relationship with Jack is always great to write, and there is a deep respect between them, although Jack never quite knows if Sean will tow the line or go off piste, creating never ending nervous anxiety for him – can he keep control of the bigger mission with the maverick nature of Sean?
The story arc begins as one of current day reflection – reflection for the reader on the history of Iran seeking to achieve one of its most potent strategic aims – building a nuclear bomb and becoming a nuclear state. The here and now is brought into sharp focus when the US pull out of the nuclear deal they had agreed with Iran, and so begins the Iranian backlash as they mobilise their sleeper agents and begin a series of assassinations and establish bomb making factories across Europe. Sean doesn’t know it, but he holds the key to gathering intelligence on being able to take these cells down – and Jack puts his head on the block and his career, to achieve just that.
Sean’s forays to achieve his mission take us across Asia Minor, Istanbul, Armenia, France, Suffolk and London. Sean is a man with a love of history and art – and he revels being amongst the wildernesses, mountainscapes, vistas, and people of Asia Minor. But he is now carrying his traumas at their peak. It’s during the mission that he hears news of a dark episode from his past and one that causes him great consternation – and a new mission to kill based on betrayal and revenge. Thus, both he and Nadege are driven by similar motivations and that provides a trajectory for a huge crescendo with the fall out playing a pivotal part of the story.
Of course, the story wouldn’t be the thriller it is, without the conflicts Sean faces. They are bad enough in their own right as he needs to succeed on the mission to deny the evil intent of a number of antagonists, plus he needs to earn the right to take his life back again and rid the price on his head from the Russian intelligence services. To add fuel to fire, the nod of the story back to the cold war, provides an anxiety for Sean that he needs to neuter and put to bed. He needs the odd drink to help him on his way…..
Sean’s route to success and contentment is blocked by many disturbing and hidden facets that he didn’t know were in play. It seems an almost impossible mission. And just as you thought it couldn’t be any worse, along comes a standoff that needs Sean to make the right decision.
Just as all seems lost, Sean senses an opportunity…….

They were preparing for decades – now it’s time to take them down.

When a British Diplomat is kidnapped in the heart of London, followed by a brutal double-assassination in Chelsea, MI5 braces for the threat of deep sleeper cells coming alive.

Hiding overseas with a price on his head, Sean Richardson is tasked to lead a deniable operation to hunt down and recruit an international model and spy. Moving across Asia Minor and Europe, Sean embarks on a dangerous journey tracking an Iranian spy ring who hold the keys to a set of consequences the British Intelligence Services would rather not entertain.

As Sean investigates deeper, he uncovers dark secrets from his past and a complex web of espionage spun from the hand of a global master spy. As he inches closer to the truth, the rules of the game change – and the nerve-wracking fate of many lives sits in his hands…….……..

Tense, absorbing, and insightful, The Kompromat Kill is a gripping thriller leaving
you breathless at the pace of intrigue, cleverly unravelled in a dramatic finale.
Amazon UK      Amazon US 

I started climbing at 13, survived being lost in Snowdonia at 14, nearly drowned at 15, and then joined the Army at 16. Risk and adventure was built into my DNA and I feel very fortunate to have served the majority of my working career as an intelligence officer within Defence Intelligence, and as an explosive ordnance disposal officer and military surveyor within the Corps of Royal Engineers.

I was privileged to serve for twenty-eight years in the British Army as a soldier and officer, rising through the ranks to complete my service as a major. I served across the globe on numerous military operations as well as extensive travel and adventure on many major mountaineering and exploration expeditions that I led or was involved in.

I was awarded the Geographic Medal by the Royal Geographical Society for mountain exploration in 2003 and served on the screening committee of the Mount Everest Foundation charity for many years. It was humbling after so many years of service when I was awarded the MBE for services to counter-terrorism in 2007.

The Failsafe Query is my debut novel, with The Kompromat Kill, my second.  

Giveaway to Win 5 copies of The Kompromat Kill (Open INT)
*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.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

New Release Spotlight: Rosebrook Chronicles, The Hidden Stories by Helen J Christmas




Rosebrook Chronicles The Hidden Stories by Helen J. Christmas

This series of interwoven stories follows the lives of three abused teenagers, desperate to battle past traumas, pursue their dreams, find love and re-establish broken family ties. 

London 1960. Robin is hypnotised by a dazzling moon and it sets him on a quest to seek a better life. Fearful of his future, he puts his trust in the wrong person, clueless of the trap he is falling into.

Dublin 1968. Two Irish orphans are separated by the Church. Six year old Bess panics at the thought of being sent to London. An English family want to adopt her but if only it didn’t mean abandoning her elder brother… 
Peter meanwhile, has never forgotten her. Fighting to survive in a brutal orphanage, he risks a dangerous escape to reach the mainland and with the law on his tail, he heads for the Capital to find her.

It is not until the 1970s, the lives of the characters intersect. Struggling to cope in a harsh world, how do their experiences shape them into the adults they become and who among them will be believed?

One politician vows to introduce reforms to protect children. But when his only son is bullied at school, alleged to have committed suicide, he knows there is a lot more tunnelling to do if he is to unearth the evil embedded in society.

With snippets of social history from the 70s to the 90s, this book explores the hidden lives of three ordinary citizens.

These victims never had a voice. 
I wrote this book in order to give them one.





Helen J. Christmas lives on the south coast with her husband. With a love of writing since childhood, she wrote her decade spanning thriller series, Same Face Different Place, Between 2011 and 2017. This five-book mystery suspense series explores British culture and social history from the 70s to the 90s. Inspired by the Bronte sisters in 2016, Helen decided she wanted to develop her writing skills by compiling a book of character-driven short stories. In 2018 she completed Rosebrook Chronicles (The Hidden Stories), a unique novel which gives extra background information to her series. The 16th Century cottage in which Helen lives with her husband (restored in 1991) provides endless inspiration for writing, something she fits around her family and social life. Helen is a self employed web designer and works from home with her husband, Peter, and she enjoys blogging, country walks, photography and cookery.

Giveaway to Win a signed copy of Rosebrook Chronicles (UK Only)*Terms and Conditions –UK 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.

Monday, 15 July 2019

Release Day Spotlight: I Will Follow Him by Holly Tierney-Bedord


I Will Follow Him by Holly Tierney-Bedord

A bachelor party on a cruise ship. What could go wrong?

When private detective Francie is hired to spy on a groom-to-be as he and his bachelor party set sail for the Caribbean, she thinks she's landed herself a week of paid vacation. Between lounging in the sun and sipping margaritas, she just needs to--best case scenario--report back that he's on the up and up, or--the unfortunate, more likely scenario--snap a few photos of her target in compromising positions, buy a box of sympathy chocolates for her client, and then collect her pay along with a nice golden suntan.

Blame it on the island breezes or the alcohol, but within hours of setting sail, Francie's leisurely vacation gets complicated when she starts making careless mistakes. Like accidentally becoming friends with the groom and falling for his best man.

Can she get herself and her mission back on track, or has she blown her cover and possibly even her career?

Amazon UK       Amazon US 

Holly Tierney-Bedord is the author of over twenty books including Kindle Unlimited All-Star winner Sweet Hollow Women.


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Oceanic Dreams Series
Set sail for love and laughs aboard the Oceanic Aphrodite.
This series of stand-alone romantic comedy novellas releases throughout the summer of 2019.
To learn about the contributing authors and each book, watch our trailer, here: https://oceanicdreamsbooks.com/series-trailer/ and visit our website, here: https://oceanicdreamsbooks.com/


The Oceanic Dreams series is a collection of romantic comedy novellas by eight award-
winning, bestselling, and critically acclaimed authors from around the globe.


Giveaway to Win a $10 Starbucks card (Open to US Only)
*Terms and Conditions –US 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.

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Double Cover Reveal: The Emerald Tablet Series by J.M. Hart.



The Emerald Tablet Omnibus Edition; three books in one.
Shaun can’t shake the deep anger over his mother’s death. But when his father’s desperate actions release parasitic hell-beasts upon the world, he has a much bigger fight on his hands.
Kevin hoped his country would be immune to the pandemic turning everyday people into psychopaths. But as his horror grows, an incredible new power could be the only thing that prevents Earth’s destruction.
Sophia is terrified of God’s plan for her. Plagued by visions of planetary devastation, she prays she can reach her allies in time to save humanity.
As doomsday approaches, can the teens accept their destiny in time to protect their world?
The Emerald Tablet: Omnibus is three books of dark speculative fiction in one. If you like brave teenage heroes, intriguing mystical connections, and apocalyptic international settings, then you’ll love JM Hart’s incredible collection.
Buy The Emerald Tablet to unlock the adventure today!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QH8KWDZ  Reduced price for a limited time: $4.99 ebook only on Amazon
Convergence
As doomsday approaches, can the teens accept their destiny in time to protect their world?

Seven special teens. A deadly ancient evil. Can they combine their unique powers and halt the infection before humanity is obliterated?

Shaun is dying. The plane’s engine is failing.  Kevin must open a portal to catch the falling plane and save Shaun's life.

Sophia is terrified of God’s plan for her. Plagued by visions of planetary devastation, she prays Shaun and Kevin can reach her in time to save humanity.

Convergence book three in The Emerald Tablet Series





For a limited time only book one, of the trilogy Shadows of Doubt is only $1.00 on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K69DXG4

JM Hart was born in Sydney, Australia and has been a storyteller from a young age, with a particular interest in horror and things that go bump in the night.  Favorite authors include Stephen King, Clive Barker, Dean Koontz, to name but a few.  After being told at the age of 11 that writing about dead bodies and newlyweds dying in a plane crash was unbecoming, JM’s life was instead directed towards bookkeeping and finance.
For the next twenty years, immersed in a point-of-sale advertising company, JM occasionally wrote advertising blurbs, learnt how to ride a motorcycle, taught color physiology to spiritual mediums, meditation and relaxation, studied Religions, Kabbalah, tarot cards, astrology, creative and professional writing, philosophy and volunteered at palliative care, and worked on the local church newsletter – not quite the appropriate outlet for a writer interested in the supernatural. And she became a grandmother.