This is a fun and lively cosy mystery, with two Flapper sisters as our amateur sleuths.

Diana applies for a job as secretary for a group of ‘Owls’ – professors, who, every year go on a jaunt to further their studies in a particular area. This time round they’ve arrived in Fort Worth to discover more about its Wild West days. Against Diana’s better judgement, and thanks to her sister, Pamina, interfering, the professors end up at a very dodgy bar and witness a kidnapping. They all have to go on the run to avoid danger, but will they?

There’s the wonderful counterpoint between our two thoroughly modern misses, at least for the era of the book, and the old-fashioned, bemused professors. The modern world has left them behind, but one of the group, Adler Behr who’s a banker rather than an academic, is aware of the times and the changes it brings and doesn’t approve. A woman should be at home cooking and cleaning, not doing a man’s work by being a secretary. He and Diana apparently have nothing in common apart from dislike for each other, but these are two characters who develop during the story.

It’s an energetic read with lots of humour and sparkle and it really brings the period to vibrant life. The plot is exciting and well-devised, our characters are fascinating and all in all it’s a very enjoyable, entertaining novel.  

Buy the book at: https://amzn.to/2Vedo4z

Synopsis

Diana Woods, a thoroughly modern woman of the 1920s, is thrilled to begin a secretarial job helping visiting professors research the Wild West days of Fort Worth, Texas. Things heat up when she and two of the profs witness the speakeasy abduction of a prominent citizen and realize they could be next.
The group hits the road to escape danger, and the professors send Diana to safety in the hometown of their former student Adler Behr, a grouchy banker who has no use for modern women and whose temperament resembles his bear namesake.
As Diana schools Adler in the allure of her twentieth-century skills, danger is never far behind. Adler learns that his future lies in the hands of a woman who can do more than cook and darn socks, and Diana finds even a grumpy Behr has a softer side.

Synopsis

Customs & Excise are tracking a gang of cigar-smugglers who operate on the quiet Kent coast near Plummergen, home to retired art teacher Miss Emily Seeton. Their attempt at a midnight ambush goes wrong, and a man is found dead.

As Miss Seeton sketches the most notorious tomb in Plummergen churchyard – the one built for 19th-century smuggler Abraham Voller – she meets a young American tourist. He claims to be a descendant of the Voller family, but is he a truly innocent ancestor-hunter, or do smugglers inherit their trade?

When the school concert includes a performance of Kipling’s “A Smuggler’s Song” it begins to seem that everyone is at it … but we can rely on Miss Seeton to ensure that the police will get their man, and the smugglers’ dreams will go up in smoke!

Serene amidst every kind of skulduggery, this eccentric English spinster steps in where Scotland Yard stumbles, armed with nothing more than her sketchpad and umbrella.

My review

Many critics claim that authors such as Virginia Woolf, James Joyce or Sylvia Plath are the masters, or mistresses, of the ‘stream of consciousness’ narrative technique. Stream of consciousness is a way of  depicting the many and various thoughts and feelings that flit through someone’s mind. And whilst those authors I mentioned might be rather good at at, by far best of all is Hamilton Crane.

I’ve read quite a few Miss Seeton stories by now and I love how we hop in and out of our characters. We see the world from their points of view – and trust me, those are always totally unique. How all these original takes on events meld together is one of the many fascinating facets of these novels.

Watch The Wall, Miss Seeton joyously combines such disparate elements as twitchers, smugglers’ descendants, metal thieves, a school concert and good old customs and excise. Of course, not forgetting the local police force of and Miss Seeton, complete with umbrella and sketch pad.

The plot is clever and entertaining, and the whole book is alive with nonsense, quirkiness and wit. The writing is fresh and lively, whisking us along at a spanking pace. The characters we meet, well, they really are characters in every sense of the word! There isn’t one you’d call boring!

Fabulous story, absorbing and never a dull moment!

Buy the book at https://amzn.to/2BJRYFa

Synopsis

Don’t miss the new delightfully uplifting book from the author of A Recipe for Disaster!

A second chance at love…

When globe-trotting Emmy first fell for first-aider William on a freezing New Year’s Eve, she really believed that their love would go the distance.

 But when she returns to Australia, her letters start to go unanswered and her emails bounce back unread, Emmy decides it’s time to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and start afresh in London.

 So she’s shocked when William walks in on her very first day at her new job! Even worse, he’s hotter than ever. But why did he disappear for so long? What has he been hiding? And could this really be their second chance at falling in love…?

Perfect for fans of Carole Mathews, Mhairi McFarlane and Carrie Hope Fletcher.

Purchase Links:

PAPERBACK: http://bit.ly/2wCYmKS

AmazonUK: https://amzn.to/2otrlxi

AmazonUS: https://amzn.to/2MHzAEj

AmazonAU: https://amzn.to/2Pk2jvQ

BookDepository: http://bit.ly/2wCYmKS

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2BXdvv3

iTunes: https://apple.co/2Ptnsnu

My Review

This is a really delightful romcom, set in Edinburgh, Australia and London. Our heroine and hero are William and Emmy who meet during Hogmonay. They are instantly attracted to each other, but Emmy is about to return to the other side of the world and Wiliam has a new job in London to go to. They keep in touch for a while, and we share their correspondence, but it’s not easy keeping love going when you’re tens of thousands of miles apart. Their relationship begins to sag and then dies. 

Fate has a part to play and years later they meet up again in the UK. Both have new partners, but there’s something still sparking between them. What should they do? There are moments of tension and drama which work well against a generally easy-going background.

There are many lively characters in this book who make for great company. William and Emmy are very sympathetic in that they’re as human as we are, with flaws and foibles, but ultimately they mean well. They make mistakes, they’re funny and they’re endearing.

A very enjoyable, gentle romcom. 

Author bio

Belinda Missen is an award-winning and best-selling author, screenwriter, and freelance writer from Geelong, Australia. She lives with her car-obsessed, but wonderful husband, two loopy cats, and more books than she cares to count.

In late 2017, Belinda signed a six-book contract with HQDigitalUK (HarperCollins). A Recipe for Disaster was released in August 2018. An Impossible Thing Called Love appeared by magic in November 2018.

Social Media Links –

www.belindamissen.com

facebook.com/BelindaMissen

twitter.com/belinda_missen

Instagram @belinda_missen

Giveaway to Win 2 x PB copies of An Impossible Thing Called Love (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.

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Synopsis

You can’t out-run murder…

When Lucy Lewis landed herself a reporting job on an idyllic Thai island, she thought she’d found paradise.

But one day her dream turns into a nightmare…

A bomb goes off outside her hostel and there is more than one fatality.

Although the local paper she works for is mainly a tourist guide, the phone is soon ringing off the hook with people desperate to hear news of their loved ones.

Together with her editor, Steve Boyd, Lucy finds herself drawn into the investigation.

And things become more complicated when the dead body of someone connected to the paper washes up on the shore.

Was the bomb planted by terrorists? Are the two incidents connected?

Lucy finds herself running in circles as she desperately searches for the key to the mystery…

RUNNING IN CIRCLES is a thrilling international mystery set in Thailand: a private investigation featuring an exciting new female lead.

My review

Running in Circles is the perfect title for this book as it leaves you breathless! There is an awful lot of intrigue and action packed into its pages.

Lucy Lewis is an English journalist working in Thailand working on a weekly English-language paper. She and her editor, Steve Boyd, are battling to keep it going. They very quickly find themselves battling to discover who’s behind the fatal bomb blast near Lucy’s hostel. And then another body washes up. The mystery deepens and becomes very complex, but never complicated. The author aims to keeps us busy rather than overwhelm us with events and events are clear and easy to follow.

The backdrop of Thailand is woven into the story, with its exotic scenery and the many backpackers who come to discover the country and often themselves. The violent events seem completely at odds with the beauty of the place but as Lucy and Steve discover, if you start to scratch the surface then you begin to reveal a seedier side of life.  

Lucy and Steve aren’t perfect as investigators, or people. They both have some emotional baggage to cart around with them, and it’s their flawed human-ness that makes them so likeable and so successful as our protagonists. However, they are genuine, committed and do their best.

The plot is clever and certainly keeps us guessing, which is what we want in a thriller. There are clues for us to notice or miss, along with Lucy, and the denouement is both exciting and satisfying.

A very enjoyable read.

About the author

Claire Gray lives in the South Lakes with her husband and two small children. She studied Creative Writing at the Cumbria Institute of the Arts, which no longer exists, having been absorbed by the University of Cumbria. She graduated in 2006 and then went on to complete a journalism course at Darlington College.

That same year, she won a Northern Promise Award from New Writing North, and her work was featured in their anthology, entitled Ten Years On. Claire now works as a freelance copywriter and continues to write short stories, some of which have been published in magazines and online.

Recently, she has been guest editor for the prose section of SpeakEasy Magazine, which showcases Cumbrian writing. In 2015, she received editing advice from The Literary Consultancy through their Free Read scheme. They felt that her manuscript, Running in Circles, showed potential, and began approaching literary professionals on Claire’s behalf. Sapere Books published Running in Circles in 2019 and Claire is really excited to have published her first novel!  

Buy the book: https://amzn.to/2DZAh4M

The book is published by Sapere Books.

Follow the rest of the tour, and check back to see what other reviewers have to say about ‘Running in Circles’:

A Little Hotel in Cornwall

Struggling American waitress and aspiring novelist Maisie Clark dreams of becoming a full-time writer — even though in real life she’s just lost her chance at an exclusive writer’s mentorship program that would give her novel its big break. Desperate, she decides to take a chance and ask her favourite writer, a celebrated but reclusive English novelist, to help her find a second chance. 

When she receives the author’s reply in an envelope with a Cornish postmark, Maisie decides not to take the writer’s half-hearted ‘no’ for an answer. With nothing to lose, she takes off for the author’s last known location, a beautiful hotel on Cornwall’s western coast. But when the hotel mistakes her for the latest applicant for a maid’s position, Maisie finds herself given an opportunity too good to lose … and a chance for a summer adventure far bigger than she ever imagined.

Surrounded by breath-taking Cornwall and working in an elegant hotel, Maisie’s world becomes one of secret identities, quirky friends, and unintentional mishaps — and despite reminders of past relationship disasters, a certain handsome, charming local resident Sidney Daniels has her conflicted about her heart’s desires, too. 

Will Maisie find the chance she’s been waiting for — and a possible new romance — in her perfect Cornish summer?

Pre-order Link: https://amzn.to/2SKthmB

And here’s the cover…

Publication Date – 30th April 2019

Author Bio –

Laura Briggs is the author of several chick lit and romance stories, 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, caring for her pets, going to movies and plays, and trying new restaurants.

Social Media Links –

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PaperDollWrites

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/authorlaurabriggs/

Synopsis

From No.1 Private Detective to No.1 Suspect

A cryptic message from an old friend leads Joe Grabarz to an abandoned farmhouse in the middle of the South Downs. But Joe is too late, someone else has got there first: his friend is dead, and all the evidence points to him.

Ten years ago the farmhouse was the scene of three infamous murders when a young boy killed his mother, father, and little sister. Now an adult, he was released from prison with a new identity. Could he be involved? The farmhouse also sits on valuable land, fought over in a struggle between building houses and drilling for shale gas. But could it really be worth killing for? Whatever is going on, Joe knows one thing for sure: his friend’s murder is just a tiny part of it.

To bring the killer to justice Joe must dig up the past, and reckon with his own, because no matter how hard you work, it never goes away.

Purchase Link – https://tomtrott.com/inga

My review

Wow! This trilogy has been great from the start, and this last book provides a really polished and exciting finish to the series. The author’s books are always complex and intriguing, and this one is especially so.

Joe has had to deal with a few demons in the previous two books but now he really has to face his past head on, and it isn’t easy. There is a definite air of menace in this novel, more so than before. Brighton has always been intrinsic, and we’ve got to know it quite well. We’ve seen its seedier side, but here we discover new disturbing depths.

I shall miss Joe! I feel I’ve got to know his as well as he’ll allow us too over the series. He has many good qualities alongside the less pleasant ones that are essential for him be ‘hard boiled’ enough to do the job he does. He’s a fascinating, flawed character, and I’ve no doubt you’ll thoroughly enjoy his company too. You’ll certainly admire the work of a talented author, whose sharp observations and equally sharp but dry wit are always wonderful.

Author Bio – Born in Brighton, I went to school in here, worked many jobs here, and have never lived anywhere else. I first started writing at school, where I and a group of friends devised and performed comedy plays for assemblies, much to the amusement of our fellow pupils. The young ones would cheer (and the old ones would groan) as we stepped up onto the stage, the buzz was tangible. It has been with me ever since.

As an adult I have written a short comedy play that was performed at the Theatre Royal Brighton in May 2014 as part of the Brighton Festival; Daye’s Work, a television pilot for the local Brighton channel; and won the Empire Award (thriller category) in the 2015 New York Screenplay Contest. I published my first novel, You Can’t Make Old Friends, in 2016; my second, Choose Your Parents Wisely, in 2017, my third, The Benevolent Dictator, in 2018, and now my fourth, It Never Goes Away, in 2019. When I’m not writing books, I’m writing about writing, books, and film on Medium.

My inspirations as a writer come from a diverse range of storytellers, but I have a particular love for the works of Raymond Chandler, Agatha Christie, Joel & Ethan Coen, Arthur Conan-Doyle, Daphne du Maurier, Alfred Hitchcock, Bryan Fuller, Ira Levin, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Towne, JRR Tolkien, and many many more books and films beside. If you can’t find me, or I’m not answering my phone, I’m probably at the cinema.

Social Media Links – www.twitter.com/tjtrott, www.facebook.com/tomtrottbooks, www.tomtrott.com,

Keep up with the rest of the tour!

Synopsis

Nineteen-year-old year old Sean hasn’t seen his father since he was twelve. His mother has never really explained why. An argument with her leads to his moving to the other side of the country.

Martin, his father, has his life thrown into turmoil when the son he hasn’t seen in nearly eight years strolls back into his life immediately killing his dog and hospitalising his step-daughter.

The one thing they have in common is the friendship of a girl called Rhiannon.

Over the course of one summer Sean experiences sexual awakenings from all angles, discovers the fleeting nature of friendship and learns to cope with rejection.

Martin, meanwhile, struggles to reconnect with Sean while trying to delicately turn down the increasingly inappropriate advances of a girl he sees as a surrogate daughter and keep a struggling marriage alive.

Gap Years is an exploration of what it means to be a man in the 21st Century seen from two very different perspectives – neatly hidden inside a funny story about bicycles, guitars and unrequited love.

My review

This is another sharply satirical novel from this author about false expectations and the sub-optimal lot of humankind. Sean expects all will be well when he leaves his mum to move in with his father, despite not seeing him for eight or so years. If one parent proves to be a pain, the other will be fine, surely. Dad Martin is more clued up as he’s apprehensive about the arrangement, and, as it turns out, rightly so.

Sean comes across as a very convincing, confused teenager, still idealistic and under the impression that the world owes him a favour. He gradually comes to learn, to his surprise, this isn’t the case. And things aren’t helped by a decidedly mixed-up femme fatale sticking her oar in.

Both father and son develop and grow in the novel. They learn a lot about themselves and each other, not all good, but they manage to deal with it. It’s thus actually quiet a moving novel, although that edge of dark comedy one associates with Dave Holwill is always there.

It’s very much a novel for modern times with a dysfunctional family at its heart, full of good intentions but also teetering on a cliff edge. The writing sweeps you along through the chaos and is immensely entertaining. A quirky, absorbing read.

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gap-Years-Dave-Holwill-ebook/dp/B07MQFLDKX

 US – https://www.amazon.com/Gap-Years-Dave-Holwill-ebook/dp/B07MQFLDKX

Author bio

Dave Holwill was born in Guildford in 1977 and quickly decided that he preferred the Westcountry – moving to Devon in 1983 (with some input from his parents).
After an expensive (and possibly wasted) education there, he has worked variously as a postman, a framer, and a print department manager (though if you are the only person in the department then can you really be called a manager?) all whilst continuing to play in every kind of band imaginable on most instruments you can think of.
Gap Years is his third novel – following on the heels of Weekend Rockstars and The Craft Room, and he is currently working on the fourth (a folk horror set in his native mid-Devon) and a sequel to Weekend Rockstars.

Social Media Links –

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584279.Dave_Holwill

https://www.instagram.com/dave_holwill/

http://davedoesntwriteanythingever.blogspot.com/

http://daveholwill.com/

The Migraine Relief Plan: An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health

In The Migraine Relief Plan, certified health and wellness coach Stephanie Weaver outlines a new, step-by-step lifestyle approach to reducing migraine frequency and severity.

Using the latest research, her own migraine diagnosis, and extensive testing, Weaver has designed an accessible plan to help those living with migraine, headaches, or Meniere’s disease. Over the course of eight weeks, the plan gradually transitions readers into a healthier lifestyle, including key behaviors such as regular sleep, trigger-free eating, gentle exercise, and relaxation techniques. The book also collects resources—shopping lists, meal plans, symptom tracking charts, and kitchen-tested recipes for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner—to provide readers with the tools they need to be successful.

The Migraine Relief Plan encourages readers to eat within the guidelines while still helping them follow personal dietary choices, like vegan or Paleo, and navigate challenges, such as parties, work, and travel. A must-have resource for anyone who lives with head pain, this book will inspire you to rethink your attitude toward health and wellness.

Purchase Linkhttp://bit.ly/MRPlan

My review

I’ve also been prone to headaches so although not a migraine sufferer I was interested to see if there was advice that might apply to me. And there was – plenty! As a result of her health afflictions, the author has done extensive research into foods that might be complicit in contributing towards headaches of all types and intensities.

And more than just food, the author considers lifestyle. The whole book is intended to realign not only unhelpful eating habits, but also our general approach to health and well-being. I’ve made some tweaks to my lifestyle and am starting to see some benefits.

The 8-week plan is just the first stepping stone. The author offers further advice and goals to achieve for the following months and even years. Change won’t happen in five minutes – it’s a steady progression, that may falter occasionally but that’s OK because we’re all only human. The author herself had setbacks, but she gives advice on how to get back on track again.

The author is very upfront and approachable. She gives her own medical history, and always gives the impression of being in the room with us, chatting through ways we can improve our health, identify those headache triggers and organise ourselves and our food shopping a bit better.

There are loads of recipes and meal plans, and most of all encouragement to persevere at every turn. You really feel that the author has your best interests at heart. All in all, a helpful, interesting and inspiring book.    

Author Bio –

Stephanie Weaver, MPH, CWHC, is an author, blogger, and certified wellness and health coach. Her recipes have been featured in Cosmopolitan, Bon Appetit, Cooking Light, Parade, and more. She lives in San Diego, CA. 

Social Media Links –

Twitter.com/sweavermph

Instagram.com/sweavermph

It’s Never Too Late To Look Great by Maggie Cox

The book’s subtitle is ‘Style for the Young at Heart’, which is, of course, a nicer way of saying ‘for the over-fifties’!

It is easy to get complacent appearance-wise when you hit middle age. You tend to go for comfort and practicality over high fashion, or actually any fashion at all. In my case, with a very large smallholding and a carp fishing business, I generally live in scruffies and wellies. But when I started nipping into the tiny supermarket in our local small market town in these same scruffies, and even once in the wellies, I realised I was letting things go a bit too much.

Hence reading this book. I was a bit wary to start with, as what one person might consider highly fashionable, someone else would refuse to be seen dead in. However, I quickly realised that the author wants us to preserve our uniqueness, for us to relish what is ‘us’ about us, but merely to step out of the shadows and be seen. We’re too young to disappear into the background just yet.

At the heart of the book is the author’s idea of STAR qualities. The second of these, and for me the most crucial, is  ‘True to Yourself’, but I shan’t reveal the others. You’ll have to treat yourselves to this excellent book to find out! ‘True to yourself’ is about nurturing our personality in what we wear. We should go for things we feel comfortable in and in which we can be ourselves. I’ve attempted some ‘relooking’ in the past and failed, I realise now, because I was going for an image that just wasn’t me. The author tells us how to identify what our ‘thing’ is and build on it in fashionable and interesting ways. She takes us through all four of the STAR qualities, and advises us on how to pull all these aspects together and be proud to be seen.

We hear from fashion designers and snappy dressers in the book, and there are plenty of photos to inspire. The author points us firmly in the direction of where to find inspiration. There’s also a quick look at the fashion faux pas which are the author’s pet hats, and that’s fun. ‘Badly packed parachute’ and ‘wrinkly teenager’ are two of the looks not to go for!  

This is a clever and inspiring book from a lively and encouraging author. I’m taking her tips on board and promise faithfully that I shall never be seen in public in clothes that I milk llamas in (no, you didn’t read that wrong) or wear when chasing escaped piglets.

And should you need any more encouragement to read this book for yourself, then I must tell you that Maggie Cox reveals that Cleopatra is her no. 2 style icon. Now, how can you not want to hear more from this person! Mediu

The Hourglass by Liz Heron

Unbound

25 October 2018

ABOUT THE BOOK:   Spring 2000. Paul Geddes visits Venice to research the fin-de-siècle opera singer, Esme Maguire, seeking out a cache of papers held by Eva Forrest, the widow of a collector. What he reads begins in the 1680s, moving through the city s later history of Enlightenment and Revolution, describing a life stretched beyond human possibilities.

She travels across Europe to sing in Regency London and Edinburgh, then Belle Epoque Paris, always returning to Venice, its shadows and its luminosity, its changes and its permanence.

What would it be like to live for nearly 300 years, as an exceptional being who must renew herself time after time, as those she has loved age and die? Could this story be grounded in reality or be merely the product of an ageing woman s delusion, as Paul suspects.

Warily, Eva and Paul fall in love, their tentative emotions bringing them closer until, on a trip to the Dolomites, Eva s past catches up with her.

My review

It’s true that it’s often the simplest ideas that work the best. The idea of if not eternal life then at least a much elongated one is to be found in a lot of literature. But that’s not to denigrate this author’s talent since she uses this idea and gives it a unique and fascinating setting in the world of Italian opera. Thus a simple concept becomes a vibrant, hugely enjoyable novel.

I love it when I can take more than just a story away with me from a work of fiction. This book has given me plenty of ‘did you know’ material concerning opera, music and Venetian history to casually drop into conversations, or just to think ‘well, I never knew that’ about.

What it might be like to be immortal, the good and the bad of it, is given much focus and thoughtfully dealt with in the novel. Changing viewpoints in the narration keep the reader on their toes, and inject even more freshness into the story.

Beautiful, descriptive abounds from an author who has a sharp eye for detail and for the very ‘soul’ of a place. Her characters, both past and present, are also intriguing and carefully depicted and thus totally convincing.

There is much to enjoy and discover in this very interesting, complex novel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Liz Heron grew up in Scotland and studied at Glasgow University. After living in Paris, Madrid and Venice, she embarked on freelance life in London, contributing arts and literary journalism to Spare Rib, The New Statesman, The Listener, The Village Voice, New Society, The Guardian and many other publications. Her literary translations from French and Italian range from Georges Bataille and Giorgio Agamben to the novels of Paola Capriolo. Her own books include Truth, Dare or Promise, a compilation of essays on childhood, and Streets of Desire, an anthology of women’s 20th-century writing on the world’s great cities, both published by Virago, as was her short-story collection, A Red River (1996).

Liz began researching her novel, The Hourglass, during her second spell of life in Venice.

Her website is lizheron.co.uk

She writes a blog, mainly on film: lizheron.wordpress.com

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