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Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse by Nina Schick: a must-read

About the book

“In writing this book, it is my modest aim to help you understand how dangerous and untrustworthy our information ecosystem has become, and how its harms extend far beyond politics – even into our private and intimate life. It is my hope that this understanding can help us come together to bolster our defences and start fighting back. As a society, we need to be better at building resilience to the Infocalypse. Understanding what is happening is the first step.” Nina Schick

In Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse, Nina Schick warns us urgently of the impending information overload (known as the ‘Infocalypse’) and explains the dangerous political consequences of this Infocalypse, both in terms of national security and what it means for public trust in politics. Deep Fakes have been around for less than three years, to silence and for revenge and fraud. Government, business and society are completely unprepared.

Schick also unveils what it means for us as individuals, how Deep Fakes will be used to intimidate and to silence, for revenge and fraud, and how unprepared governments and tech companies are.

The malicious use of Deep Fakes is not only a real threat for democracy but they take the manipulation of voters to new levels. With the impending US election, and with vast amounts of money being spent of social media, it is expected that Deep Fakes will become a huge story later this year…

AI generated fake content is here for good, and we will have to figure how to navigate a world where seeing is no longer believing.

 

My review

This is a fascinating yet chilling book written by an extremely knowledgeable person. I’d describe her as an expert in misinformation, but that might be misleading! Ms Schick is a top expert about misinformation, so we couldn’t be learning about this worrying subject from a more qualified person.

We live in a post-truth society, post-truth being defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”. Hence it’s also the age of meaningless three- or four-word slogans, bluster and cheating.

It’s not a great age to live in, most definitely not one to proud of, and it seems the worse is yet to come. We’re becoming increasingly familiar, unfortunately, with the blatant faking aka lying by governments, particularly the English-speaking ones, but it’s likely more and more sectors will follow suit. That is inevitably what happens when the people who should be setting the highest example fail to do so.

Nina Schick presents her findings and understanding in a clear, concise way. What she’s saying is pretty horrific but she doesn’t sensationalise it anyway, just backs up her claims and calmly moves on to the next point.

All is not lost, even though this phenomenon maybe here forever, although personally I think anything that’s based on dishonesty is unsustainable in the long term. Truth will out, as they say, even though it can take its time. But my optimism is simply based on emotion, whereas Ms Schick is writing from experience. The author makes us aware of the very serious problem, but also suggests how to approach it so that it doesn’t completely overwhelm us and leave us hiding under the bed covers. Personally I’m starting to feel less defeated by the ghastliness of Brexit having read her book.

‘Deep Fakes and the Infocalpyse’ makes for an informative, unnerving and necessary read.

 

About the author

As a political advisor to select technology firms, Schick is at the forefront of trends emerging from the worlds of data science, machine learning and AI. In Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse, Schick tells us what we need to do to prepare and protect ourselves. “Too often we build the cool technology and ignore what bad guys can do with it before we start playing catch-up. But when it comes to Deep Fakes, we urgently need to be on the front foot.”

Nina Schick is a political commentator, advisor and public speaker, specialising in how technology is reshaping politics in the 21st century.

Most recently, her work has seen her focusing on the evolution of disinformation, and the fallout generated by election interference in the US (and around the world) since 2016. Nina has advised global leaders including Joe Biden and Anders Fogh Rasmussen (the former Secretary General of NATO), through her research on next-generation disinformation and AI-generated deep fakes. She has also worked at the heart of historic campaigns, including on the presidential campaign, the Brexit referendum and with Emmanuel Macron. Half German and half Nepalese, she speaks seven languages and holds degrees from Cambridge University and University College London. She divides her time between London, Berlin and Kathmandu.

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Landing by Moonlight by Ciji Ware

Ciji Ware

on tour

March 2-13

with

Landing by Moonlight

 

Landing By Moonlight:
A Novel Of WWII

(Romantic thriller/Historical novel)

Release date: October 15, 2019
at Lion’s Paw Publishing

476 pages

Website | Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

Based on the lives of a small group of American women secret agents working for British intelligence parachuting into France to help the Resistance during WW II.

The year is 1942, and American secret agent Catherine Thornton has no idea whether she will be dropped behind enemy lines in an inflatable raft launched from a submarine or be flung through the moonlit sky from a low-flying British Halifax. Either way, the young embassy wife and erstwhile journalist knows there’s always the chance she’ll be picked off by German sharpshooters, although nothing in her imagination prepares her for the trial-by-fire to come.

Only she understands why she volunteered for such “unwomanly warfare” and the secret reasons she joined a handful of female American spies destined to risk her gilded life on French soil–yet former Vichy diplomat Henri Leblanc, code name Claude Foret, thinks he knows the answers.

As Catherine’s missions grow more harrowing each day, and she fears she’s fallen in love with a captured fellow agent, the German SS begin to close in on the world of Madame “Colette Durand” and her Résistance network embedded in coastal cities along the French Riviera—an exposure that could threaten the Allied victory itself.

And hanging in the air like a half-opened parachute is the life-or-death question: Who is the betrayer and who will be betrayed in this, their finest hour?

 

MY REVIEW

This book is thoroughly enjoyable for many reasons. The enjoyment encompasses plenty of breath-holding moments because our heroine walks on a knife edge in her role as secret agent. It’s hard for we readers to be as calmly confident as she always appears to be that things will go to plan, more or less. Catherine is determined, initially almost exuberant in her commitment to her role, but always professional. She loves life, has a sassy streak, but when push comes to shove she’s courageous, loyal and resourceful.

The author creates the wartime atmosphere brilliantly. Her fascination with history and particularly this pivotal time in the twentieth century is obvious. There are so many details lurking in the background adding richness but never becoming overwhelming, from mentions of clothes, food, transport and so on of the time. Most of all, the mentality of the period comes through – how people got through each day when truly horrific things could happen at any moment. How ordinary people were so brave, so heroic, which carries extra poignancy when read in contemporary Britain where certain politicians hide in fridges to avoid journalists, never mind armed enemies. But I digress a little…

This novel is exciting and engrossing. Every character we meet is convincing and rounded, every setting atmospheric, every event carefully choreographed and contributing to such a wonderfully crafted whole. You experience many different emotions as you read.

It’s a book that stays with you long after you’ve finished reading it and throws a new perspective on the wartime period.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Landing by Moonlight - Ciji Ware

Ciji Ware
is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author
of twelve works of historical and contemporary fiction,
two of nonfiction,
and was short-listed for the Willa [Cather] Literary Award
for Historical Fiction in 2012.
A graduate of Harvard University in History,
she is an Emmy-award winning television producer,
a Dupont awardee for investigative journalism,
and an American Bar Association winner
of a Silver Gavel for her magazine work.
For eighteen years, she was a broadcaster and commentator for KABC Radio/TV in Los Angeles.
A recipient of Harvard’s prestigious Alumni Award in 2004,
Ware was the first woman graduate of the university
to serve as President of the Harvard Alumni Association, Worldwide.
Ware and her husband, Tony Cook, live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Follow the author on Facebook, Pinterest, and Amazon.
Visit her website

Buy the book:
paperback and ebook available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ibook/Apple, and Kobo.
***

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or on any other book blog participating in this tour.
Visit/Follow the participating blogs on Facebook/Twitter,
as listed in the entry form below, and win more entry points!

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

Tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour
will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open to all
5 winners will receive a copy of this book

***

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AND A GUEST-POST

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From Thailand With Love by Camilla Isley

All Logan has to do is to get the gold and get the girl. Easy, right?

Travel photographer Winter Knowles and archaeology professor Logan Spencer dislike each other at first sight. Stuck together on a wild island, these two unwilling teammates will bicker and banter their way through a laugh-packed treasure hunt.

After years of searching, a new mapping technology has given Logan a clue to the location of the legendary Lost City of Gold. A discovery that could make his career. So the last thing he needs on this life-changing expedition is for his team to get distracted by a pair of long legs.

When Winter accepted the assignment on a tropical island she didn’t sign up for a brooding team leader who’d clearly prefer to run a boys-only club. Never one to back down from a challenge, Winter is ready to show him she’s no damsel in distress.

But when a treasure like no other is uncovered and ruthless enemies will want to keep it for themselves, it’ll be up to the two of them to save the day. Left alone to fight in the jungle, they will soon discover their lives might not be the only thing at stake—their hearts could be too.

Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.

A fun read packed with danger, action, romance, and comedy.

From Thailand with Love is part of a series of interconnected romantic comedies but can be read as a standalone novel as all the other books in the First Comes Love series.

 

My review

We’ve all come across people to whom we’ve taken an instant dislike, but fortunately it’s not too often that we’ve found ourselves having to work closely with them, as do Winter and Logan in this story. So long as this is happening to someone else, this scenario is scintillating! There’s so much tension and gritted-teeth just-about-tolerance to enjoy.

Both characters are wonderful. We get to see their sides of the story as the viewpoint in the novel switches between the two. That’s always a clever way to dig a little deeper under the skin. Both develop and as we learn more about them, and they about each other, then they become more than engaging. They become engrossing.

The setting of the book is original, and also very atmospheric. Plenty happens to keep us on the edge of our seats in this brisk-paced, quick fire romantic mystery. It’s great fun to read and helps you escape from the winter greyness outdoors!

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon http://smarturl.it/FTWL

Apple Books https://books.apple.com/us/book/from-thailand-with-love/id1479292065

B&N https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/from-thailand-with-love-camilla-isley/1133420733?ean=2940163330850

Kobo http://www.kobobooks.com/search/search.html?q=9788887269383

Google Play https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=-NytDwAAQBAJ

 

Author Bio

Camilla is an engineer turned writer after she quit her job to follow her husband on an adventure abroad.

She’s a cat lover, coffee addict, and shoe hoarder. Besides writing, she loves reading—duh!—cooking, watching bad TV, and going to the movies—popcorn, please. She’s a bit of a foodie, nothing too serious. A keen traveler, Camilla knows mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem, and she doesn’t want to starve all those frog princes out there, but she could really live without them.

 

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/camillaisley/

https://twitter.com/camillaisley

https://www.instagram.com/camillaisley/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14135080.Camilla_Isley

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/camilla-isley

https://www.pinterest.com/camillaisley/

 

Giveaway to Win a From Thailand With Love Tote Bag (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.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494351/

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Christmas at Wynter House by Emily Harvale: so much to enjoy

Synopsis

After a frosty welcome, things soon heat up at Wynter House.

Neva Grey is looking forward to spending a quiet Christmas with her family in the cosy cottage they’ve rented in the picture-postcard village of Wyntersleap. Nestled between rolling hills and a gently burbling river, it’s going to be idyllic.

Except it’s not. Torrential rain causes the river to burst its banks and the quaint little village isn’t quite so cosy with water lapping at the doors. Add to that a power cut and a sudden blizzard and Christmas is looking bleak … until gorgeous Adam Wynter invites them all to Wynter House.

Although not everyone is happy to share the ancestral home. Adam’s elder brother, Rafe is less than pleased. Their grandmother, Olivia extends a grudging welcome. And for Carruthers, the oddly arrogant butler, unexpected guests are a Christmas surprise he could do without. Especially one as troublesome as Neva’s eight-year-old niece.

But something’s not quite right at Wynter House. What is Rafe intent on hiding behind the locked doors of the old barn? And what really happened to his first wife? It’s a good thing Neva has a sense of humour. She’s going to need it this Christmas at Wynter House.

This is book one in the Wyntersleap series but it can be read as a standalone. The Wyntersleap series is interlinked with the Merriment Bay series and several characters appear in both series.

 

My review

This is a lovely, entertaining novel, which is exactly what you’d expect from this talented and prolific author.

As always we meet wonderful characters, some of whom get on some of whom don’t so that’s there tension, friendships, dislike and romance. We’re pulled into the families that we meet and get to know them well. Alongside them we face problems and find solutions, and deal one way or another with what life insists on throwing in their direction. They’re resourceful and fascinating. It’s hard to say goodbye at the end of the book.

Emily Harvale’s settings are unique and beautifully portrayed. Wynter House in Wyntersleap is a fantastic location, and richly festive in this story. It really gets you into a Christmassy mood.

There’s so much to enjoy in this super book. See for yourselves!

 

Purchase Link – mybook.to/WynterHouse

Author Bio

Emily writes novels, novellas and short stories about friendship, family and falling in love. She loves a happy ending but knows that life doesn’t always go to plan. Her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily loves to connect with her readers and has a readers’ group in which many have become good friends. To catch up with Emily, find out about the group, or connect with her on social media, go to her website at www.emilyharvale.com.

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now writes full-time. She’s a member of the SoA and the RWA, an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. When not writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both. Emily has two mischievous rescue cats that like to sprawl across her keyboard, regardless of whether Emily is typing on it, or not.

Social Media Links – https://www.facebook.com/emilyharvalewriter

https://www.twitter.com/emilyharvale

https://www.instagram.com/emilyharvale

Giveaway to Win Christmas at Wynter House themed cushion (size 18 x 18 inches) a Wrendale Designs Christmas shopping pad and a Yankee Candle tealight holder and Winter Glow tealight (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.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494295/

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Henry’s Tale by David Pipe: entertaining, uplifting and definitely different!

Henry Ford, the cutest Border terrier puppy, lives with his papa Alan and mama Jenny. Alan loves his job, playing golf and above all, Henry. Jenny loves designer clothes, handbags and shoes. She doesn’t love Henry. When Jenny insists on a week of high life on Majorca, Henry’s world takes a nosedive.

An attempted dognap and a traumatic stay in the veterinary clinic leave Henry a sad and confused puppy. Desperately lonely he sets off on an adventure with his friend Bully, a streetwise Essex bulldog, where he meets the beautiful Paula and for the first time experiences the heartbreak of puppy love.

Back at home, his mama and papa’s marriage is on the rocks – will Alan agree to Jenny’s ultimatum? Will he choose Jenny or Henry?

My review

Talking animals tend to be so closely associated with entertainment for children – books, films etc – that it’s most certainly not an easy task to produce a book for adults narrated by a dog. David Pipe succeeds triumphantly. He uses this literary device to great effect in a totally suitable way for adults. There’s subtlety, nuances, elements of self-discovery and development, and even a little bit of adult dog content!

Henry makes for a good narrator, and he interacts in an entertaining and interesting way with a variety of fellow canines and humans, both pleasant and unpleasant. He has some rather stressful adventures but takes it all in his stride, and the ending is definitely the one we want for him. This is a fun novel, but some serious issues are touched on, which just adds to its texture and persuasiveness.

I don’t think you even need to be a dog-lover particularly to enjoy this story. It’s a tale for anyone who’s looking for something that’s entertaining, ultimately uplifting and definitely a bit different.

Purchase Link

About the author 

David Pipe was born in 1949 in a small Essex village. He attended a local grammar school then the University of Hull where he took a B.Sc in chemistry. He worked in the pharmaceutical industry in England and South Africa before studying for a PhD in organic chemistry at Imperial College. After spells at universities in Geneva and Mulhouse he joined the oil industry in Germany where, aged 53, he gratefully took a redundancy package. Following a period of self-employment he wound down his business, eventually giving it up to scratch the writing itch which has produced Sacrificing Starlight, a timely reminder of the risks our children face and Henry’s Tale, where ghostwriting for his furry friend he describes the emotional growth of a puppy on the rollercoaster of life, compressed into a few weeks because puppies learn faster than their staff.

 

When he’s not writing David spends his time travelling, reading, swimming and jogging. He is married and lives in Hamburg with his wife and their Border terrier Henry.

Note from me: there should be more graphics but I’m currently unable to download them as our internet is playing up today! And just to mention this is a blog tour organised by the awesome Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources. 

I’ll add the other pictures just as soon as technology permits!

 

Social Media Links –

Twitter @dfpwriter

FB https://www.facebook.com/DavidPipeBooks/

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Cover reveal for ‘Coming Home to Merriment Bay’ by Emily Harvale

Another exciting cover reveal for you for the new book from a wonderful author.

Coming Home to Merriment Bay – Part One: A Reunion

Part One: A Reunion

Merriment Bay series

After eighteen years apart, reclusive Cat Devon still recognises her mum’s handwriting. Plucking up the courage to open the letter, its contents send Cat racing to Merriment Bay, the seaside village where she grew up.

On arrival, Cat and her teenage daughter, Kyra are shocked to find the situation is worse than expected. But despite everything, Cat considers herself to be an optimist at heart and Kyra takes after her. Looking on the bright side may not improve the situation, but it definitely can’t make it worse.

When clearing out the house that, even now, Cat fondly thinks of as home, she stumbles upon more than just memories in the battered leather trunk in Granny Viola’s bedroom. She discovers a faded photo of an RAF pilot, a pile of unopened letters, and a mystery waiting to be solved. Who is the man in the – clearly treasured – photo? Cat didn’t know her grandad. Could this be him? A man even her mum never met.

Cat and Kyra are intent on finding out. But that’s not all Cat’s determined to do. It’s time she came to terms with the issues in her past, and made peace with her mum and her gran. All the while avoiding bumping into the one man she never quite got over … and keeping a few secrets of her own.

 

And here’s that cover!

 

Follow Emily Harvale on Amazon to hear when this book is available to pre-order

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Emily-Harvale/e/B007BKQ1SW?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2&qid=1567730313&sr=1-2

 

Or sign up to the Emily Harvale Reader’s Club to hear more Coming Home to Merriment Bay series including when it’s available to purchase

https://www.emilyharvale.com/newsletter

 

 

Author Bio

Emily writes novels, novellas and short stories about friendship, family and falling in love. She loves a happy ending but knows that life doesn’t always go to plan. Her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily loves to connect with her readers and has a readers’ group in which many have become good friends. To catch up with Emily, find out about the group, or connect with her on social media, go to her website at www.emilyharvale.com.

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now writes full-time. She’s a member of the SoA and the RWA, an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. When not writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both. Emily has two mischievous rescue cats that like to sprawl across her keyboard, regardless of whether Emily is typing on it, or not.

 

Social Media Links –  https://www.facebook.com/emilyharvalewriter

https://www.twitter.com/emilyharvale

https://www.instagram.com/emilyharvale

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The Dog-Walking Club by Liz Hinds: uplifting and moving

 

The Dog-walking Club

Every dog walk brings new drama into the lives of these dogs and their people. A supermarket shelf-stacker, a stay-at-home dad, an elderly widow and a freelance photographer sound an unlikely bunch of friends but they have one thing in common: they all walk their dogs in Beauville Park at roughly the same time each morning.

And that’s enough for Angela, bored organiser without a cause, to get them together to form the Dog-walking Club.For Jock the Scottie, Benji the spaniel, Pixie the boxer, Mitzi the poodle and Bassett the … all sorts, walking each day with their friends is a dream come true. And it changes the lives of widowed Sybil who’s spent a lifetime hiding her secret sorrow, hopeless-with-women Jon who’s wandering almost unwittingly into an affair, freelance photographer Jemma who is at every wedding but her own, and Maggi who is frantically trying to save money to visit her family in Australia.

And for long-suffering Angela a nasty shock turns into a new start in disguise for her and her husband – and their love life.

 

 My review

This is a really delightful book: it’s uplifting, moving and friendly. That may sound an odd adjective to use but it is. It exudes such a sense of comradeship, loyalty and caring for others that it really warms the cockles of your heart! There’s humour, some suspense, things to think about and a wonderful story to enjoy within the pages.

We meet a wide variety of characters, both human and canine, in the book. Each is unique with their strengths and weaknesses, and all have something to contribute although that’s not always recognised by those around them.

This somewhat unlikely group are organised into a dog-walking club by Angela, who is the key person I think, although they become such a tight-knit team that they’re all indispensable. We really get to know each person well and we’re willing them on to get to grips with the assorted issues that face them and grab life with both hands.

Reading this novel is as therapeutic as going for a nice long walk with a dog!

 

 Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dog-walking-Club-Liz-Hinds/dp/1729286054

US – https://www.amazon.com/Dog-walking-Club-Liz-Hinds/dp/1729286054

 

Author Bio –

I’m a golden-retriever-loving granny, who enjoys walking by the sea or in the woods, who eats too much chocolate and gets over-excited when the Welsh team plays rugby.

 

Writing-wise, I am an experienced freelance writer – published in The Guardian, Christian Herald and various other magazines and newspapers – with an MA in Creative Writing (Trinity College, University of Wales). My short stories have been published in Cambrensis (the now sadly-defunct short story magazine of Wales) as well as in several anthologies including Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe (Parthian) and Catwomen from Hell (Honno). I am also the author of several non-fiction books published by Hodder & Stoughton, Scripture Union and Kevin Mayhew.

 

I have self-published two novels, This Time Last Year, and The Dog-walking Club.

 

I enjoy speaking about my writing to various gatherings and the media, and am an active blogger, facebooker and tweeter.

 

My everyday blog: www.liz-and-harvey.blogspot.com

 

My writing blog: http://notanotherwannabewriter.blogspot.com/

 

Social Media Links –

 

Facebook  @LizHinds99

 

Twitter @Liz_Hinds99

 

Pinterest Not Another Wannabe Writer

 

Giveaway to Win a set of reusable beeswax wraps, three metal straws with a carrying pouch and cleaner, and a face wipe, all in pretty doggy fabric (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.

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494249/?

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Every Dog Has His Day by Chloe Grace: an imaginative escapade

 

Synopsis

They say every dog has his day.

Well, today I’ve certainly had mine.

Hey, I’m Albertus Eagle and it turns out I’m an unwitting pet detective. I haven’t always been such a successful legal beagle, but when I’m confronted with a case that is so personal I can’t ignore it, I discover I have a passion for finding those who don’t want to be found.

Cleo the cat. Well, she came along for the ride too.

So, sure I’ve had my day today, but not in the sense of being past my prime. To the contrary, the fun is just starting. And I am buzzing with a new purpose, mixed with a tiny amount of vindictive elation.

Why?

Because, I’ve not only found myself a new home after the untimely demise of my previous owner, but I’ve also made amends with the cat. It turns out she’s not that bad, really.

On top of that though, and this is what really sends shivers racing all the way down my spine to my paws, is that we’ve fingered a killer.

How?

Because you humans, you underestimate us animals. And while you go about your business ignoring our very existence, the cat and I are listening and taking notes.

This is the first full length novel in the Albertus Eagle detective beagle series of animal cozy mysteries, starring Albertus Eagle, and his two sidekicks, Cleo the cat and Bella Schuhmann, the smart human who actually understands him. In this wonderful full length book packed with humour and satire, we see the world of murder and intrigue set up through the eyes of a loyal dog turned amateur sleuth.

 

My review

Well, this is certainly a book with a difference! It’s a lively cosy mystery with a dog as the sleuth. In the cosy genre, there’s generally a dog or other pet animal in the mix somewhere, but they don’t often take centre stage. Albertus, or Albie for short, is our hero.

We generally associate talking animals with children’s literature or films, but when done well, as in this book, such characters are successful when aimed at an adult audience. There’s a tongue in cheek tone, but also some very sharp, to-the-point observations about our less-than-perfect human ways. Our canine companions don’t miss much, it seems.

They may have four paws, in most cases, but the characters we meet are rounded and convincing and with very distinct personalities. They’re a talented bunch too. Cleo the cat and Albie make for a formidable crime-fighting team. The plot is clever and interesting, and will keep you guessing to the end.

If you like a lively read from a whole new perspective, then this book will brighten your day. It certainly did mine!

 

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07NP9VVXK

US  – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NP9VVXK  

Author Bio – Chloe Grace is the cozy mystery pen name for romantic mystery author, Karen Botha. While she doesn’t understand animals quite as well as Bella in the Albertus Eagle Detective Beagle cozy mysteries, she does chat along to her rescue dog, Shadow, pretty much all day.

And she’s sure that he chats back.

Chloe lives with Shadow and her hubby in a small outpost of London city—funnily enough it’s a little like where Bella and Albie live. As a family they like to go on walks in the local woods and throw a tennis ball until their respective arms ache, which is usually before Shadow shows any hint of exhaustion.

While her first romance novels were inspired by true life events, the Albertus Eagle series are complete imagination – although her conversations with Shadow can’t be ignored.

Social Media Links –

SIGN UP FOR MAILING LIST – https://dl.bookfunnel.com/jgeib0362x
VISIT HER WEBSITE – http://www.karenbotha.com/meet-karen/chloe-grace-cozy-mysteries/
FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/ChloeGraceMysteries/?modal=admin_todo_tour
INSTAGRAM – https://www.instagram.com/karenbothaauthor

This tour has been organised by Rachel’s Random Resources. I’m unable to load all the tour-related graphics and author pic due to who knows what reason, but I’m still working on it!

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Time of Lies by Douglas Board: worryingly possible!

Synopsis

In 2020 the United Kingdom elects its own Donald Trump.

Bob Grant, former football hooligan, now the charismatic leader of the Britain’s Great party, has swept to power on a populist tide. With his itchy finger hovering over the nuclear trigger, Bob presides over a brave new Britain where armed drones fill the skies, ex-bankers and foreigners are vilified, and the Millwall football chant ‘No one likes us, we don’t care’ has become an unofficial national anthem.

Meanwhile, Bob’s under-achieving, Guardian-reading brother Zack gets a tap on the shoulder from a shady Whitehall mandarin. A daring plot is afoot to defy the will of the people and unseat the increasingly unstable PM. Can Zack stop his brother before he launches a nuclear strike on Belgium? And just what is ACERBIC, Britain’s most closely-guarded military secret?

A darkly comic political thriller, Time of Lies is also a terrifyingly believable portrait of an alternative Britain. It couldn’t happen here… could it?

 

My review

A Time of Lies makes for a very timely read as the Brexit insanity endures. It’s clever political satire, and, given recent events in the UK, seems all too worryingly possible.

You need to keep your wits about you reading the book. The author has us jumping around between different narrators, which makes for extra exciting and lively reading. We step alternately into the shoes of our good guy, our bad guy and an impartial narrator. This means we get different perspectives on the various and increasingly frantic and extreme events.

There’s lot of wry humour, sharp observation and some gentle and well-deserved savagery. The pace is lively to the point of rollicking and it’s a very entertaining and enticing read.

 

Purchase Links:

30% off with discount code BLOGTOURLIES http://eye-books.com/books/time-of-lies

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Time-Lies-Douglas-Board-ebook/dp/B07199TZQ5

US – https://www.amazon.com/Time-Lies-Douglas-Board-ebook/dp/B07199TZQ5

Promotional Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvExzv39qs8&t=37s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqBwnl4rtk8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_clB5pM7Gbw&t=48s

Author Bio

Douglas Board is the author of the campus satire MBA (Lightning Books, 2015), which asked why so much of the business world is Managed By Arseholes. Time of Lies, his second novel, is a timely exploration of the collapse of democracy.

Born in Hong Kong, he has degrees from Cambridge and Harvard and worked for the UK Treasury and then as a headhunter. He has also had a distinguished career in public life, serving as treasurer of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and chairing the British Refugee Council.

As well as writing fiction, he is the author of two applied research books on leadership, which was the subject of his doctorate. He is currently a senior visiting fellow at the Cass Business School in London. He and his wife Tricia Sibbons live in London and Johannesburg.

Social Media Links

Twitter: @BoardWryter

https://douglasboard.com/home/

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The Ghost of Hollow House by Linda Stratmann: entertaining and enjoyable

Synopsis

Mina Scarletti is invited to ancient Hollow House to investigate reports of ghostly occurrences.

A determined sceptic, Mina’s main concern is for Kitty, whose health appears to be dramatically sinking under the strain of all that is going on.

With the help of her trusted adviser, Dr Hamid, and her lively friend, Nell, Mina must get to the heart of the mystery.

Have the maids merely been frightening themselves with tales of the macabre? Is there a rational explanation for what is being reported?

Or will Mina be forced to admit to the presence of a ghost in Hollow House?

 

My review

This book is part of the Mina Scarletti Mystery Series, one that I wish I’d discovered earlier since this novel is absolutely delightful. It works as a standalone but I’ve no doubt there will be added richness if you follow the series from the start.

The book is set in the Victorian era and that’s obvious at once from the clever use of language. Both the way the characters speak and the author’s own narrative reflect this, but never overdo it! An air of genteelness comes over well, and there’s also a hint of frustration on the part of the female characters who are rather constrained by their times. Our heroine Mina is also constrained physically by her scoliosis, but, as with the social mores of the time, this doesn’t affect her sharp mind and intelligence.

Kitty, a friend of a friend of Mina’s, has recently married and gone to live in Hollow House with her new, much older husband Mr Honeyacre. However, there are strange goings-on and whilst Kitty is largely sceptical, her servants are becoming worked up over the presence of ghosts. Mina has a track record in routing out fake spiritual mediums, and so she’s the ideal person to visit and work out what’s actually happening.

And she does, and it’s all thoroughly entertaining! Mina is also a novelist writing under the male pseudonym of Robert Neil, so we get to see not only Mina but also Robert at work. His version of events is a little different from what Mina experiences. This clever touch adds even more sparkle to this lively, interesting and very enjoyable cosy mystery. Definitely one to read.

Published by Sapere Books. Available at http://getbook.at/HollowHouse