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.



Friday, 12 July 2019

New Release Spotlight: The Secret - Violet's Story by Eliza J. Scott



The Secret – Violet’s Story by Eliza J. Scott

It’s been two years since glamorous and ambitious Violet Smith fell head-over-heels in love with blacksmith Jimby Fairfax, and moved back home to the North Yorkshire village of Lytell Stangdale to be with him.

Life couldn’t get much sweeter. Their romance is blooming and Romantique - the business she set up with Jimby’s sister Kitty, designing luxurious underwear and burlesque costumes with the odd wedding dress throw in - is thriving.

But on a romantic weekend break, a face from her past triggers a series of events which send Violet into turmoil. She finds herself with no alternative but to reveal a secret she’s buried deep for the past sixteen years. A secret she hasn’t shared with anyone, not even her best friends, Kitty and Molly, and they share everything.

With the revelation forcing a wedge between herself and Jimby, heartbroken Violet fears that he won’t ever be able to think of her in the same way again and won’t want anything more to do with her.

As ever, Kitty and Molly rally round, offering their advice and support but Vi is worried that keeping her secret was just a step too far for Jimby.

Will she succeed in showing him their love is strong enough to overcome it?

The Secret – Violet’s Story is book 3 in the Life on the Moors Series.

Amazon UK      Amazon US 

This is my third "Life on the Moors" novel as we head back to the delightful community of Lytell Stangdale. 

Secrets from the past come back to haunt Violet Smith at the very time she and Jimby Fairfax decide to make their relationship more permanent. A face from the past returns and re-opening long-buried memories. With a shattered dream and decisions to make, will the pair be able to find a way to their happily-ever-after? 

There may be trouble brewing in this small North Yorkshire community, but somehow they all manage to work through their daily troubles and strife with compassion, support and humour. The issues faced are relatable, as are the ways they are resolved. A new, gorgeous guy's introduced and I have a feeling we'll be hearing more about him soon...There is a miracle too and creates a perfect ending. 

On the surface, glamorous Vi and Jimby seem like the most unlikely couple. Certainly, Jimby isn't a stereotypical romantic hero, it's refreshing. Like the previous features couples in the series, they are likeable in the same way as friends are...people you trust and love. 

The strength of Ms Scott's writing is with the character's she's developed during this series and how they all work together as an ensemble. The dialogue is hilarious as the banter bounces between the protagonists and the secondary characters. The scenarios offer intrigue as well as daily life and the occasional mishap. The overall feeling is light, breezy and fun. 

Whether you've discovered the delights of this series already, or curious to read The Secret, this like the other novels can be read as standalone. However, I recommend reading Kitty and Molly's stories first to enhance the overall appeal for this delightful series set in a beautiful part of England. It's a friendly place you wished you were a part of, I know I am! 

***arc received courtesy of the publisher via Rachel's Random Resources***

Eliza lives in a 17th-century cottage on the edge of a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with her husband, their two daughters and two mischievous black Labradors. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book/glued to her Kindle or working in her garden. Eliza also enjoys bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off by a visit to a teashop where she can indulge in another two of her favourite things: tea and cake.

Eliza is inspired by her beautiful surroundings and loves to write heartwarming stories with happy endings.

Blog: Eliza J Scott - elizajscott.com
Twitter: Eliza J Scott – @ElizaJScott1
Instagram: Eliza J Scott - @elizajscott
Facebook: Eliza J Scott - @elizajscottauthor


Thursday, 11 July 2019

Release Day Review: The Secret Hours by Santa Montefiore



My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Enthralling, I fell head-first into this captivating, standalone fourth book in the Deverill Chronicles.

Bostonian Faye Langton has spent her life living and doing as others expect her to do; firstly as a daughter and now as a wife and mother. When her mother Arethusa Clayton dies, the reading of the will acts as a catalyst for Faye to embark on a journey to her Mom's homeland, Ireland. Knowing she will come up against opposition, Faye manages to convince her husband to let her go to Ballinakelly, to see if any of her Mom's family are still alive. On arrival, everything she thought she knew about Arethusa is a lie as she discovers secrets from the past, a large extended family she never knew existed as well as unlocking her own repressed passions and desires.

Written to reflect the past (early twentieth century) and the present (1961) we find out how and why Arethusa left her family in Ireland and moved to America without a backward glance. The missing elements are pieced together from extracts in a diary she bequeathed to her daughter, Faye. In Ireland, Faye's assisted by her newly found, lookalike cousin, Kitty Deverill and local 'Jack of all trades', Cormac O'Farrell. What they uncover is shocking however it allows both sides of the family to finally lay to rest the memory of the formidable Arethusa 'Tussy' Deverill.

Exquisitely written, the narrative blends together captivating stories, heightened with historical events of the time. Set against a stunning County Cork backdrop, it's easy to visualise the scenery of this South Eastern part of Ireland along with the character of the communities within. Together, they create a delightful, page-turning experience for the reader.

I picked up this title simply because it's written by Santa Montefiore. I've only read one book by her in the past and it left a lasting impression. This second time around, I'm filled with the same feeling of satisfaction and a longing to read more from this author, starting with the other novels in the Deverill Chronicles.

Whether you are familiar with the Deverill's or not, The Secret Hours is a wonderful way to escape and pass away many hours whether as a holiday read or curled up next to a fire.

***arc generously received courtesy of Simon and Schuster UK Fiction via NetGalley***

View all my reviews