Friday, 30 August 2019

Spotlight & Guest Post: Confessions Of A Traveler:The Observations Of Alien 597 by Clara L. Molina

Confessions of a Traveler: The Observations of Alien 597 by Clara L. Molina

Grotesque insect looking beasts, which burst out of your chest, and have acid for blood. Grey and short aliens with big eyes, who want to take over your mind, and they do horrible experiments with instruments that go up your anus. They’ve come to take over the world, and make you into a zombie or dinner. If they ever land in full view, they would either be worshiped and a new religion would form, or murdered immediately, and their ship parts sold to the highest bidder. Alien 597 read her report about aliens that humans had encountered. 

A short story about an alien visiting Earth.

Procrastination. It isn’t all bad
-How to make sure your procrastinating for the right reason.

Procrastination is purposeful, and writing and periods of nothing go hand in hand.

Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, Aldous Huxley, Kurt Vonnegut, Voltaire - these are all influential authors, that have at one time or another had writer’s block. A feeling of dread has come over every writer at one time or another, but all successful authors have lived through it, and lived to tell the tale.

Let me check Youtube, I need to put the dishes up, let me get up and put the right music on, there’s a sock on the floor, so let me fix the sock drawer. Yet time is slipping away, it’s called the dreaded procrastination, but do not dread. Learn from it.

What to do when you begin to procrastinate? You need to stop, and figure out why you are procrastinating. If your stopping to contemplate the wonders of the universe, then please, life is too short, do not deny yourself. Keep contemplating on this, it may even be good writing material later on. If your procrastinating at work, because you hate your job, well, the answer is obvious, your not passionate about your work.

What are you passionate about? Don’t fake your way into passion because everyone is doing it. Don’t punch into work, talk the talk, and act the act. You are what you think about when no one else is looking and seeing. If your not passionate about your work, then procrastination will be your friend forever.

What do you get for your time? You never get get it back, the hand is moving, but your getting nothing. If your passionate about what your doing, then you must repurpose procrastination. That’s right. Procrastinate with a purpose. Fill the void, and channel it toward your passion.

How do you do this? Ideas for writers come from everywhere - our experiences, our encounters with people and situations, a movie that moved us, and music that invoked heavy emotional feeling. When your stuck on a piece of writing, continue with the idea in your head, and use the world around you as a helping hand.

Ideas do not come out of being stuck in a hole, unless your writing about being stuck in a hole. Don’t see procrastination as the enemy, see it as a process, a means to an end. A contemplation about the universe, that could be a backdrop to a book. Your tire blowing out, and the frustration you felt, that you can now write in words so clearly for a character.

Make sure procrastination is pointed in the right direction, and get your compass aligned. Carry a notebook, and experience the world with purpose. A good book is on the horizon, and you have procrastination to thank for that.

As Henry David Thoreau said, “It’s not enough to be busy… The question is: what are we busy about?”

Amazon UK      Amazon US  

Clara L Molina writes Science Fiction books most of the time, dabbles in comic drawings occasionally, and writes to laugh at herself all the time. She has a computer science degree, but has been a lifelong writer. She currently lives in San Antonio, Texas, and enjoys fresh air and days where her hair is not frizzy.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

New Release Spotlight: More Than A Game by Ralph Robb

More Than A Game by Ralph Robb

Sabina Park Rangers is the first team of black players to reach the final of the Watney’s Challenge Cup. But coach Horace McIntosh has more selection problems than most. The First Division champions want to sign one of his best players – and right up until the day of the match he is uncertain that he will have a team for the biggest game in the club’s history because of arrests, a scam and an atmosphere of impending violence.

Awaiting links:

Amazon US     Amazon UK

With many people finding themselves on the unemployment list, frustrations ran high. When the police made an arrest of a prominent player, the community was split in their reaction to this.
Courtney Wright thought of himself as a ‘roots man’, a man who was proud of where he came from and who bucked the system, in every way he could. But the atmosphere around the town had become so poisonous following Devon Robinson’s arrest – and attitudes so polarised – that, as crazy as it seemed to him, he was in danger of being labelled a betrayer of his own people just because he played football. ‘Hol’ on,’ he said, ‘Sabina Park have jus reached the final, the first time a black team ever do it, we’re goin’ out there an’ provin’ somethin’.’
Provin wha’?’ snorted Oliver, ‘that black people are good at sport? Man, it time you made yourself aware. You think Laurie Cunningham, or Viv Anderson, pullin’ on an Englan’ shirt has done anythin’ for us? Did it get us a job? Did it stop the police makin’ up all sort-a false charges an’ oppressin’ black people? All them doin’ is givin’ white guys a chance to make monkey noises an’ fling banana an’ not take a beatin’ for such liberties.

Ralph Robb was born and raised in the industrial town of Wolverhampton, England, and now lives in Ontario, Canada with his wife, two cats and a dog. A proud father of four, Robb works as an engineering technician and loves rugby, martial arts and of course a good book. His world is balanced by his obsession with comic books, quality TV, global events and the great outdoors.

Twitter: @RalphSRobb

Book Birthday Blitz & Excerpt: A Wedding in Cornwall by Laura Briggs

A Wedding in Cornwall by Laura Briggs

It’s the career move of a lifetime, and Julianne can’t believe it’s hers: a position as an event planner at a country house in Cornwall, England, beginning with the wedding of a celebrity! If her old firm's senior planner back in the States hadn't fallen suddenly sick with the chicken pox, Julianne would never have found herself chosen for a life in one of England's most beautiful coastal counties, surrounded by rugged shores, quaint cottages, elegant gardens and a house to die for.

But life in Cornwall isn't exactly as Julianne imagined it. Her first bride-to-be is a resentful, petted snob, the groom is immature and bored, and the Cornish staff of Cliffs House has a difficult time believing that an event planner from a mid-level position can handle a wedding this big. And then there's a personal matter -- the handsome, sometimes charming, sometimes standoffish gardener Matthew Rose. He and Julianne have a strangely complicated relationship somewhere between friendship and attraction. But with a secret in his past, and a scheming bridesmaid plotting to have Matthew all to herself, will Julianne find a way to untangle her feelings and the problems of planning a perfect Cornish wedding?
Extract from A Wedding in Cornwall:
Thanks so much to Ellesea for letting me share with her readers as part of my book’s third birthday celebration! The first in a series of novellas about American event planner Julianne’s adventures ‘across the pond’, A Wedding in Cornwall includes an idyllic Cornish village, a beautiful manor house, and a gardener named Matthew who bears an uncanny resemblance to modern television’s Ross Poldark. In the following scene, Matthew and Julianne have just spent the day visiting The Lost Gardens of Heligan and are on their way back to the manor house when they decide to take a little detour.
I was feeling energized, not tired, even though the day had been a long one. I was a little disappointed when the road sign for Ceffylgwyn came into view through the windscreen. Maybe Matt sensed this, because he cleared his throat and looked at me.
"Would you like to see my home?" he asked. "Before I drive you back to the country house?"
"Of course I would," I answered. These past couple of weeks, I had been curious to know more about Matthew's 'reclusive hole' after listening to Gemma and Pippa's remarks. It could be anything from a shack in the woods to a crumbling gothic carriage house, I felt.
But it was none of these things. Matt turned onto a sleepy side street in the village, then parked outside a battered picket gate and fence surrounding a two story cottage covered in white lime wash aged grey in places from the wind, and a slate roof with grey-painted shutters bordering each of its windows. On the lower story, window boxes tumbled forth vinca and pea vines, covered in small summer flowers, while upstairs, I could see a chimney, oddly painted red, peeking from behind the house.
I was struck speechless for a moment, as I had been outside Cliffs House. This was a completely different world, this tiny cottage compared to Cliffs House's size and stateliness ... but there was something enchanting about it. Like something special was hidden in those walls, in the red chimney and the most crookedly-hung shutter on the second floor.
Of course, there were gardens — and maybe that was the source of the magic, Matthew's talent and dedication come to life. They wrapped around the whole cottage, tangled and wild, with plants almost as tall as me, and some so small and delicate they barely brushed against the toes of my shoes. Foxglove, hollyhocks, snapdragons, and delphiniums, mixed with asters and heaths, and tufts of the delicate lady's smock he had sent me, alongside tiny Cornish daisies.
I recognized a lot of these from a website on Cornish flowers I had visited, trying to learn more after accidentally trampling an endangered variety. Even without flowers, I could now spot familiar leaves among some of them, enough to guess what native and domestic flowers Matthew cultivated.
"There's a hothouse behind the cottage," he said, closing the rickety white gate behind us. "I had hoped for a place with a conservatory, but when I couldn't find one affordable, I simply built a greenhouse myself. There's a path along the side of the house — the right one, where the ivy is climbing up."
"The roses you sent me —" I began.
"I grew them," he said. "The roses are in the hothouse. A few antique climbers have the trellis back there ... but most of what you see around you does what it wants. I just helped it along a little."
Inside, the old parlor was furnished with mismatched things, both modern and antique, most of them looking as if they'd been rescued from junk shops or from abandonment on the curb as rubbish. Stuffing popped out of the arms of an old, comfortable club chair, while an antique dining one served as a makeshift side table next to one of Matt's many crowded bookshelves.
"This is my home," he said, pulling open a pair of worn plaid curtains covering the windows — Cornish tartan, I couldn't help but notice. "Where I spend what little time I'm not outdoors."
"You read a lot of books," I said, picking up one from the chair. A volume of poetry, one of English myths. "A folklore fan?" I held up the copy of Cornish Tales and Legends as I spoke.
"I'm a fan of local culture," he said. "And I don't do much reading, really. The books are deceptive." He smiled.
"Here's one in Cornish. You can read Cornish, too, can't you?" I said. "As well as you speak it?"
"If by that you mean 'not well,' then certainly," he said. He took the book from my hand and flipped through it, glancing at its pages as if trying to remember where he'd found it before. "I know a little, of course. The name of the house I could guess, for instance, based on a crude vocabulary of Cornish I've learned over time."
"The name of the gardens today?" I asked.
"Lowarth means 'garden,'" he said. "Heligan's from the Cornish word for 'willow tree.'"
"Willow Tree Gardens," I said. "I like it." I looked out the window, where the late afternoon sunshine played across the petals and leaves in the window boxes. "So what's the name of your garden?"
"It doesn't have a name," he said. "But the cottage is called Rosemoor."

Laura Briggs is the author of several feel-good romance reads, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller 'A Wedding in Cornwall'. She has a fondness for vintage style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she's not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, caring for her pets, gardening, and seeing the occasional movie or play.

Giveaway to Win one of 4 Fabulous A Wedding in Cornwall Prizes (Open Internationally)
1st Prize: A Demelza collectable Knitdark character doll (Open Internationally) - 1 winner
A wonderful keepsake for fans of all-things Poldark, this Demelza doll was made by Angela Blay, whose popular Knitdark creations have been featured on The Graham Norton Show. You can learn more about the Knitdarks at Angela's Twitter page @kwerkyknits as well as her Etsy shop at

2nd Prize A Kindle/Tablet case featuring cover art from the series A Wedding in Cornwall (Open Internationally) - 1 winner

A specially designed case for a Kindle or Tablet featuring cover art from the series A Wedding in Cornwall. The final product's size, image, texture, and colour will depend on the winner's device.

3rd Prize: A Paperback Copy of A Wedding in Cornwall: Books 1-6 (Open Internationally) - 1 winner

This winning paperback (non-signed) contains the novellas A Wedding in CornwallA Christmas in CornwallA Cottage in CornwallA Manor in CornwallA Bake Off in Cornwall, and A Castle in Cornwall.

4th Prize: A Paperback Copy of A Wedding in Cornwall: Books 7-12 (Open Internationally) - 1 winner

This winning paperback (non-signed) contains the novellas A Romance in CornwallA Star in CornwallA Sewing Circle in CornwallA Talent Show in CornwallAn American in Cornwall, and A Garden in Cornwall.

*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.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Spotlight & Review: The Lost Daughter by Sylvia Broady

The Lost Daughter by Sylvia Broady

Hull, 1930. A terrified woman runs through the dark, rain-lashed streets pursued by a man, desperate to reach the sanctuary of the local police station. Alice Goddard runs with one thing in her mind: her daughter. In her panic she is hit by a car at speed and rushed to hospital. When she awakes, she has no memory of who she is, but at night she dreams of being hunted by a man, and of a little girl.
As the weeks pass and her memories gradually resurface, Alice anxiously searches for her daughter, but no one is forthcoming about the girl’s whereabouts – even her own mother is evasive. Penniless and homeless, Alice must begin again and rebuild her life, never giving up hope that one day she will be reunited with her lost daughter.

A heart-wrenching story about a woman who lost her daughter and the determination to never give up searching for her.

After a car hits her, Alice Goddard regains consciousness but suffers from amnesia so can't recall any thoughts from before her accident despite experiencing vivid dreams about a man and a little girl. Over time, she regains her memory but after her long recovery and convalescence, her abusive husband has disappeared and so has her small daughter. Homeless and without means to support herself, she's given a lifeline and accepts a live-in position at Faith House, a home for fallen girls. However, as she rebuilds her life, she never gives up hope of finding her daughter, Daisy. 

It's the first time I've read a novel where I can fully relate and visualise the setting. Born and brought up in Hull, I'm very familiar with the area and places mentioned within the narrative, which added extra relatable interest for me. This coupled with a fascinating story full of heart-break and emotion gives a riveting insight into life during the depression and the second world war. 

I appreciate how the author included and stressed the devastation to Hull during Luftwaffe air raids during WWII and the resulting bomb damage to the city; a point only knew by those with local knowledge, thanks to the wartime press bias towards mostly reporting news about London. It helps to paint a more accurate picture of the effects of war for those in other parts of the country 

Now I've discovered Ms Broady, I'll definitely pick up other works by her. The Lost Daughter has it all; an intriguing plot, a romance, a lost child and a villain, plus a host of likeable secondary characters. It's the first time I've delved into a historical novel linked to my home city and it's certainly heightened my interest to seek out more such books both fiction and non-fiction.

***review copy generously received courtesy of the publisher Allison & Busby***

From 22nd – 29th August, The Lost Daughter will be at the bargain price of 99p.
Amazon UK      Amazon US  

Sylvia Broady was born in Kingston upon Hull and has lived in the area all her life, though she loves to travel the world. It wasn’t until she started to frequent her local library , after World War 2, that her relationship with literature truly began and her memories of war influence her writing, as does her home town. A member of the: RNA, HNS, S of A and Beverley Writers. She has had a varied career in childcare, the NHS and East Yorkshire Council Library Services, but is now a full-time writer. Plus volunteering as a Welcomer at Beverley Minster to visitors from around the world, and raising money for local charities by singing in the choir of the Beverley Singers, both bringing colour and enrichment to her imagination and to her passion for writing.

Twitter     Facebook     Website
Giveaway - Win 2 x paperback signed books of The Lost Daughter and The Yearning Heart (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.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Release Day Spotlight, Excerpt & Review: Butterfly in Frost by Sylvia Day

Title: Butterfly in Frost
Author: Sylvia Day
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance

Once, I would never have imagined myself here. But I’m settled now. In a place I love, in a home I renovated, spending time with new friends I adore, and working a job that fulfills me. I am reconciling the past and laying the groundwork for the future.
Then Garrett Frost moves in next door.
He’s obstinate and too bold, a raging force of nature that disrupts the careful order of my life. I recognize the ghosts that haunt him, the torment driving him. Garrett would be risky in any form, but wounded, he’s far more dangerous. I fear I’m too fragile for the storm raging inside him, too delicate to withstand the pain that buffets him. But he’s too determined…and too tempting.
And sometimes hope soars above even the iciest desolation.

Excerpt: Butterfly in Frost by Sylvia Day

Roxy bounces on her feet with excitement. “Les and Marge sold their house.”

I blink. “I didn’t know they were selling.”

She laughs and heads toward the front door. “That’s the thing. They weren’t.”

Wait, what?” I hurry after her as she steps outside.

I look to the right at my home, a lovingly restored butterfly-roofed midcentury, then on to the traditional house just beyond it that belongs—belonged—to Les and Marge. Including Roxy’s, all three of our homes have unique lots set between the homes that line the street and the Sound, affording us unhindered views of the water as well as exceptional privacy—all within a twenty-minute drive of the airport.

Roxy shortens the length of her stride to allow me to catch up, then glances over at me. “The day after you flew to New York, a Range Rover pulled into their driveway, and the guy inside offered them cash to close—and move out—in fourteen days.”

My step falters, and Minnie gets momentarily tangled in her leash. The dog shoots me what I would describe as an irritated look, then keeps trotting forward. “That’s crazy.”

Isn’t it? Les wouldn’t say how much the offer was, but I’m thinking it was huge.”

We march up the inclined driveway, my head tilted back to take in the houses scaling the hillside. Designed with big windows to maximize the view, the homes have a look of wide-eyed wonder. Our little stretch of the Sound used to be a secret, but with the housing boom taking over Seattle and Tacoma, we’ve been discovered. Many residences are undergoing major renovation to suit the tastes of new owners.

Reaching the road, we turn left. To the right is a dead end.

Well, if they’re happy,” I say, “I’m happy for them.”

They’re overwhelmed. It was a lot to happen all at once, but I think they’re happy with their decision.” Roxanne stops when Bella does, and we wait as the two dogs mark one of their usual spots on the gravel edging the asphalt. There are no curbs on the streets in our neighborhood and no sidewalks. Just beautiful lawns and a profusion of flowering shrubs.

We all tried prying information out of them,” she goes on, “but they weren’t sharing anything about the sale.” She gives me a sidelong glance. “But they did share a bit about the buyer.”

Why are you looking at me like that?”

Because Mike and I both think the buyer is someone famous. A film director maybe. Or an artist. Can you imagine? First Emily, a bestselling author. Then you, a reality-TV surgeon. Now this guy! Maybe we’re sitting on the new Malibu—beachside living without wildfires or state income tax!”

The mention of Roxy’s husband, Mike, coaxes an inner smile. A New York transplant like me, he adds a welcome touch of the life I left behind to the reality I’ve since created for myself—a reality that’s just been rocked by the loss of neighbors I like.

What are the clues you’re working with?” I ask, deciding to play along. If I’ve learned anything the past year, it’s to accept the things I cannot change. A tough task for a control freak like me.

Les pointed out to this guy that he hadn’t even seen the inside of the house. The guy said he didn’t need to. He knew already that ‘the light is perfect.’ I mean, who would say that? Gotta be someone who’s in visual arts, right?”

Maybe,” I agree tentatively, disquieted by the unexpected conversation. The road rises sharply before us, the incline steep enough to put a little burn in my thighs. “Doesn’t mean he’s famous, though.”

That’s the thing.” Her words carry a note of breathlessness. “Les wouldn’t give numbers, but he did say it was crazy the guy didn’t just buy that huge compound at the end of the street. That house is listed for three and a half million!”

My mind staggers at the thought. Les and Marge have—had—a beautiful home, but it’s not worth anywhere near that much.

I think I saw the buyer once through that big arched window in the living room,” Roxy goes on. “The blonde with him was a looker. Supermodel skinny with legs for days.”

I’m panting when we reach the top; Roxy, who hits a gym most days of the week, is not.

A quarter mile farther, there’s a street to the right leading to Dash Point. Beyond that and straight ahead, the road slopes back down and around until it’s at water level. Redondo Beach is there, as is Salty’s, a restaurant on stilts in the water with expansive views of Poverty Bay and beyond. I’m about to wax poetic about Salty’s seafood chowder when a runner dashes around the corner at a full sprint. His sudden appearance rattles me. A closer look makes me freeze midstride. My breath locks in my lungs.

There are too many things to register at once, so my mind attempts to absorb the whole man. Dressed only in black shorts and shoes, he is a visual feast of deeply tanned skin, intricate sleeves of tattooed art, and sweat-slicked, flexing musculature.

And his face. Sculpted. Square-jawed. Brutally, breathlessly handsome.

Roxy, now a few feet in front of me, gives a low whistle. “Hot damn.”

After overcoming a turbulent time in her life, Dr Teagan Ransom is content in her surroundings; a waterfront home she adores in a picturesque area of Seattle. With a job she loves, she couldn't be happier. That's until her next-door neighbours unexpectedly sell up after an offer they couldn't refuse and the new owner makes his presence known… 

Garrett Frost is a man on a mission and what he wants he gets... 

First a confession...this is my first Sylvia Day novel! 

Second confession...I had to read this book twice before writing this review because the twist at the end had me screaming expletives in a 'what the hell' way. 

Most of the frustration I had with this novel is due to how the protagonists, specifically, Teagan act and behave around each other. It definitely makes you scratch your head and think about what is going on in their heads. I also didn't connect with either of them in the same way as Garrett and Teagan didn't 'click' as a couple despite what we find out about them and the steamy scenes they share. 

The best part of the narrative is the twist because it definitely triggers a reaction and makes you think about what you've read to that point. In some way, it answers a couple the questions I was pondering along the way. It explains Garrett's full-on, 'I won't take no for an answer' possessive attitude towards Teagan and the speed at which they became a couple. However, it's Teagan's behaviour throughout which still remains a mystery. 

I didn't have any expectations before I read Butterfly in Frost, therefore, I'm neither super elated or disappointed with this novel. Fans of Ms Day will appreciate the mentions of Gideon and Eva Cross within the narrative.

***arc generously received courtesy of Montlake Romance via NetGalley***

Sylvia Day is the #1 New York Times, #1 USA Today, #1 Sunday Times, #1 Der Spiegel, and #1 international bestselling author of over twenty award-winning novels sold in more than forty countries. She is a #1 bestselling author in twenty-eight countries, with tens of millions of copies of her books in print. Visit the author at