Archive for July, 2019

Dead and Talking by Des Burkinshaw

July 12, 2019 - 5:35 am No Comments

Here is my review for Dead and Talking and at the end there is a competition to win a copy of this book.

Dead & Talking

If a ghost appeared from nowhere, rescued you from suicide and then ordered you to start solving crimes to help dead people, what would you do? When it happens to Porter Norton, he just wants to put his head in his hands and have nothing to do with it. But now he has to atone for the family curse that has seen all the men die at their own hands for five generations. The Gliss, the sarcastic spirit that rescues him, says he can now and see and hear the Dead – if he’s close to their remains. Porter has to use his unwelcome gift to clear up past injustices. Or else. Forced to investigate the murder of a WW1 British Tommy executed for spying in 1917, he begins to suspect the case has links to his own family history. Along the way, Porter enlists the help of a bickering group of misfits, who struggle to stay involved – because only fools believe in the supernatural, don’t they? Full of pop culture references, banter and twists, the story takes us from present-day London and Flanders to scenes from World War 1. As Porter, The Gliss, and friends, get deeper into the explosive case, they discover their own lives and sanity are at stake. An evil from WW1 pursues them all.

Dead and Talking by Des Burkinshaw

Published by magnificent! on 10th March 2019

358 pages

After I read the blurb, I knew I had to read this book, I was intrigued, a main character who could see a ghost like creature and hear the final words of the dead.

Porter Norton was having a major life changing crisis, he was in the process of losing his job, his foster mom was seriously ill, he had a love/hate relationship with his sister and his family had a curse. Following Porter as he was trying to put right the injustices of the deceased, was a unique story to me. Thanks to The Gliss, Porter had been given an unusual gift, where he could hear the final thoughts of the dead, and by following clues enable them to rest in peace.  Tasked with helping these people to atone for his family sins, his 1st mission was to help Private Max Cartwright who in WW1 was shot as a spy. Whilst he was investigating, he hooked up with a sceptic ghost hunter Feng Tian, who with his eccentricity made a great sidekick.

The mystery of Private Max Cartwright and what really happened had me hooked, as I was reading the story, I felt that I was with Porter as he was investigating. Running throughout were the stories of Max Cartwright and Porter’s great grandfather Harry Norton, and with the help of Harry’s diaries, Porter’s research notes and the soldier’s story, we get to find out what really happened. Reading their story showed just how bad the soldiers’ life was in the trenches of Ypres.

Even after I have finished this book, I am still remembering certain scenes and giggling to myself.  All I will say is the ambulance scenes. The story was well researched and had a perfect blend of paranormal and humour. Some of the scenes have a dark subject matter again showing how brutal the war was. As I got into the story I read it fairly quickly and before I knew it I had finished it.

This is a new to me author and I hope I don’t have to wait too long to read more about Porter and The Gliss.  

Purchase Links:

US –

UK –

Author Bio –

Born in the middle of the Summer of Love on a pre-fab council estate in Luton, teenage bitterness and a chance viewing of the Watergate movie, All the President’s Men, made him vow to become a journalist and bring down the government. 

First he had to pay for his journalism course, so he became a civil servant. Literally the day he had enough for his fees, he packed it in.
Twelve years on from watching the film, he was a journalist at The Times and had a big hand in bringing down John Major’s government. News ambitions sated, he packed that in too. 

Several years of working for Channel 4, ITV and the BBC as a senior producer saw him working across the world, but he eventually got fed up with asking bands how the new album was coming along, and packed it in. 

He set up his own production company magnificent! in 2002 and simultaneously worked on the BBC Live Events team for another 10 years. But then six years of work on the Olympics came along, so he packed the BBC in. Again. 

Des has jammed with many of his heroes from Paul McCartney to Brian Wilson, Queen to Nancy Sinatra. He has interviewed many A-listers, including David Bowie, Michael Caine, John Cleese and even Noam Chomsky. 

He has directed/produced a fairly long list of people – Muse, Coldplay, Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, produced BBC3’s Glastonbury coverage for a couple of years, made films about leprosy in India, comedy shorts with Miranda Hart and Lenny Henry and played guitar for Chas and Dave at the Hackney Empire. 

He has made 300+ short films for the Queen, MI5, the BBC, Sky, Discovery, EMI, the British Academy and dozens of authorities, charities and private sector firms. His most recent publication was a series of interviews with leading academics like Mary Beard on the state of the humanities which was published as a standalone magazine by the British Academy.

Fed up with travelling and determined to be a half-decent dad, he now works in London as often as he can. He runs the Young Directors Film School making movies with young people and is about to head up the Digital Film and Video MA at Tileyard. An avid musician and producer, he releases his third album as Romano Chorizo (he plays drums, bass, piano, guitar and really bad sax). 

He hates to be pigeon-holed, thinks creativity is a learned state of mind and wishes they would teach people memory and learning techniques at school. 

Dead & Talking is his first novel, the first in a series of Porter & The Gliss investigations.

Social Media Links –, facebook as Des Burkinshaw   

Giveaway to Win 3 x Signed Copies of Dead & Talking (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.

SLOW DRiP: by Gary Polisano

July 11, 2019 - 5:34 am No Comments


When a beautiful and highly intuitive small town police detective is presented with a third related murder, she tries to follow conventional police procedure, while the teenage boy who discovered the body possess clues of his own that may lead directly to the killer, a mysterious figure with seemingly advanced medical knowledge who like to torture his victims in a particular sick manner.  Clues and taunts left by the killer along with the knowledge held by the teenager, cause the three characters to intersect in a dangerous game of cat and mouse.

SLOW DRiP: by Gary Polisano

Published on 21st January 2019

301 pages

From the opening page, you are met by the killer’s work, the victim is tortured to death and left for someone to find them. With not much to go on Detective Tina Patterson, is up against it, not only does she want to get a dangerous killer off the street but her boss doesn’t like that she is good at her job.  

Starting off with a kill, I knew exactly what I was getting into and devoured this book, reading it fairly quickly. Tina Patterson was good at her job and learnt to trust her instinct, so when she got help from an unlikely source, she eagerly took it. However, the story followed 3 characters, enabling you to follow the story from a different POV. As you follow Tina as she is on the hunt for the killer, you are also following the killer as he stakes his prey and goes in for the kill, adding to the story was Jeff a teenager, who got involved in the case after finding one of the victims.    

This story flowed fairly quickly as you wonder whether Tina as more and more clues are revealed is going to catch the killer. I enjoyed reading how Tina’s mind worked and how she went about eliminating suspects. The involvement of Jeff was a surprise and the reasons behind his help were unexpected. The story was explained in details which helps you follow the story with ease, my only niggle was the amount of detail that the baseball games went into, but that was probably me not understanding how the game was played. However, this did not stop me enjoying the story and it did enforce the struggle Jeff was having.

This was a good thriller and if you are looking for a new thriller series, then look no further. I hope it won’t be long for the next one in the series to be released.

Amazon  US

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24Symbols                                                                    —first-in-a-series-of-heart-racing-thrillers?id=3036174

Author Bio –

Originally from Los Angeles, California, earning an MBA in Business Management. Now, relocated to Northern Utah, Gary Polisano is a baseball fanatic and avid golfer.  He currently works in the medical field of pain/spine management.  SLOW DRiP is the FIRST in a murder/mystery series with an overtone of the paranormal.

Social Media Links –


Twitter – @polisanoj

Instagram – garypolisano

LinkedIn – Gary Polisano

Facebook – gary j. Polisano – author

Storytellers by Bjørn Larssen

July 10, 2019 - 5:21 am 1 Comment

In celebration of this blog tour there is a competition at the end of this page


In March 1920 Icelandic days are short and cold, but the nights are long. For most, on those nights, funny, sad, and dramatic stories are told around the fire. But there is nothing dramatic about Gunnar, a hermit blacksmith who barely manages to make ends meet. He knows nobody will remember him – they already don’t. All he wants is peace, the company of his animals, and a steady supply of his medication. Sometimes he wonders what it would feel like to have a story of his own. He’s about to find out.

Sigurd – a man with a plan, a broken ankle, and shocking amounts of money – won’t talk about himself, but is happy to tell a story that just might get Gunnar killed. The blacksmith’s other “friends” are just as eager to write him into stories of their own – from Brynhildur who wants to fix Gunnar, then marry him, his doctor who is on the precipice of calling for an intervention, The Conservative Women of Iceland who want to rehabilitate Gunnar’s “heathen ways” – even the wretched elf has plans for the blacksmith.

As his defenses begin to crumble, Gunnar decides that perhaps his life is due for a change – on his own terms. But can he avoid the endings others have in mind for him, and forge his own?

Storytellers by Bjørn Larssen

Published by josephtailor on 28th March 2019

608 pages

When a stranger turns up injured at Gunner’s place, a story is told to wile away the hours. Gunnar was a hermit, a blacksmith by trade who spent the majority of his time with just the company of his dog. From page one I was hooked, I took an instant liking to Gunner and as his story continued I did start to feel sorry for him as all he wanted was a simple life without the threat of nosy villagers.

Set in Iceland, the author draws on the tradition of storytelling and as you read this book, you are fortunate to read two stories instead of one. The story alternates between the present as you follow Gunner, struggling with his own health, whilst having to put up with an unwanted guest and the past as Sigurd’s tells a tale of young love. Whilst the stories run parallel with each other, there was no confusion, each story was labelled clearly and I found myself wanting to know more about Juana and Arnar.

This story was beautifully written, the scenic descriptions made the cold land of Iceland sound so beautiful and magical. One of my favourite scenes was when Juana saw the Northern lights for the first time. There was a mystery running throughout the story, which I can honestly say I did not work out until it was all revealed. Whilst the story starts off at a steady pace, the pace quickens as more is found out about Sigurd and I knew that I had to finish this book before I went to sleep. This book will bring out various emotions and even when it was a life or death situation, there was still some comedy moments which broke up the tension.

I still cannot believe that this is a debut novel and I will definitely look out for more from this author.

Author Bio

Bjørn Larssen was made in Poland. He is mostly located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, except for his heart which he lost in Iceland. Born in 1977, he self-published his first graphic novel at the age of seven in a limited edition of one. Since then his short stories and essays were published in Rita Baum Art Magazine, Writer Unboxed, Inaczej Magazine),,, and Holandia Expat Magazine. He is a member of Alliance of Independent Authors and Writer Unboxed.

Bjørn has a Master of Science degree in mathematics, worked as a graphic designer, a model, and a blacksmith. He used to speak eight languages (currently down to two and a half). His hobbies include sitting by open fires, dressing like an extra from Vikings, installing operating systems, and dreaming about living in a log cabin in the north of Iceland, even though he hates being cold. He has only met an elf once. So far.

Social Media Links

Giveaway to Win 5 x copies of “Iceland: Making Memories” (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.

The Sentinel’s Alliance by Suzanne Rogerson

July 6, 2019 - 6:34 am 2 Comments

The Sentinel’s Alliance

As the island of Kalaya and its people recover from civil war, a new threat surfaces. Invaders from the island of Elkena hunt the seas, butchering those who possess magic. Their scar-faced captain seeks the Fire Mage who it has been foretold will kill him and Tei and her people are in his warpath.

Tei and a band of Kalayans travel to Stone Haven, the home of their new allies, planning to restore magic to the dead island. But the Stone Haven Council have abhorred magic since their people were massacred by Elkenan invaders twenty years before. Commander Farrell must persuade his people to accept magic again, but his plans expose them to their biggest fear and he risks leading Tei and her people into danger, and jeopardising the safety of both their islands.

Under Farrell’s guidance treaties are forged, but is the newly formed Silent Sea Alliance enough to defeat the invaders and stop their bloodthirsty quest to destroy magic forever?

The Sentinel’s Alliance by Suzanne Rogerson

Published 6th July 2019

475 pages

Now Rathnor is gone, the island of Kalaya is slowly healing. Commander Farrell is going home back to Stone Haven, but unbeknown to them all, a new threat is waiting for them on the seas.

I have been eagerly waiting for this book, having read the first two in the series, I was really invested in the lives of the residents of Kalaya and Stone Haven and it was good to get back to them, to find out how everyone’s lives had changed after the battle.

Whilst Tei and Brogan still had major roles to play, the majority of the story was centered round Commander Farrell and his conviction to improve the lives of the Stone Haven residents. As the story takes you to Stone Haven, you learn more about the struggles that they have had to overcome and you understand why Farrell is so passionate about his cause. However, he is not the only one who wants to change things for the better and you can see what dilemmas Callisa has to overcome without putting the lives of others at risk and there were times that I felt sorry for her as whilst everyone loved her, she was lonely.

As more and more characters are introduced, we get to learn more about their lives and I enjoyed finding out more about Nadan and how Rathnor ruined his life.

This story was a steadier pace than the Sentinel’s Reign as we follow Farrell, Tei and Brogan as they try and form a union with all the islands. However, whilst I was reading it, I felt there was something brewing in the background ready to upset the unity and how right I was. Captain Jaconn had an unhealthy fixation with the mysterious Fire mage, in the same way as Captain Ahab had with Moby Dick. He was an evil man who wanted to eradicate magic.

As I was reading this story, I thought I knew where this story was going, but there were a few surprises that I did not see coming and I did spend time just sitting in amazement at what I had just read.

This series has been a great read and I have enjoyed watching all the characters grow and adapt to whatever was thrown at them. Whilst at the moment, this is the final book in the series, I was pleased to read the author’s notes at the back of the book and I would love to read more about the Silent Seas and to learn more about some of the characters.

Purchase Link: The Sentinel’s Alliance

To celebrate publication day, all three books of the Silent Sea Chronicles series are 99p today!

The Lost Sentinel #1 Silent Sea Chronicles

The Sentinel’s Reign #2 Silent Sea Chronicles

Author Bio –

Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.

She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.

Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of all she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

Social Media Links –






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Seventeen by Suzanne Lowe

July 4, 2019 - 5:30 am 2 Comments


Imagine a world where everything you grew up with is gone. No adults, no internet, no rules.

The world is facing the deadliest virus ever known.

When the KV17 virus kills everyone above the age of seventeen, life becomes a battle of survival for the children left behind. Seeking to escape the escalating violence in the city, two sisters, Lexi and Hadley flee to the Australian outback. Finding sanctuary in the small town of Jasper’s Bay, they soon realise it is far from safe, as a gang of lawless teenagers terrorise the town.

Caught in a bitter feud leading to betrayal, deceit and murder, the girls must quickly uncover who their enemies are, and who they can trust.

In a world drastically changed from everything they once knew; can the sisters and children of Jasper’s Bay learn to adapt? Can they maintain control of their town, and protect it from those who would destroy it?

Book One in the YA Seventeen Series

Winner of the New Apple YA horror/Sci-Fi award

Seventeen by Suzanne Lowe

Published by Silvergum Publishing (2nd edition) on 1st July 2019

374 pages

Whilst it was a long time ago that I was a teenager, I still remember that I thought that I could fend for myself and I think that teenagers today still think the same, but what if it became a reality. When KV17 killed all the adults, it was left to the children to survive.

Following Lexi and younger Hadley as they try and survive after their parents had died was riveting. Lexi was 16 and whilst she was sensible, she had to learn the hard way to survive and having to look after her younger sister, gave her a purpose to find somewhere safe for them.

The author had a way of setting the scene and as you follow them on their journey to Jasper’s Bay. You have a full understanding of what Lexi and the rest of the children are up against and as a mom I wanted them to survive. Like in any dystopian world, not everyone is nice and in this story, we have Broc, a sadistic bully, who with his little group was terrorizing Jasper’s Bay. Although that is not their only problem and you soon find out why Seventeen is an important age.

The children’s backstories help explain what sort of upbringing they had. Throughout the whole story, you live their emotions and there were times that I forgot they were children. Whilst it was Lexi and Hadley’s story Jasper’s Bay had some great characters and some of my favourites were the children on the farm, even without their parents they were still doing the right thing for the farm.

As I found this book so compelling, I finished it really quick, and even whilst I was reading this, I kept thinking if my own 2 teenagers could survive without me and whilst I would have no worries with my daughter, I think after reading this I will give my son some extra cooking lessons.

This is a perfect book for teenagers and adults alike who wish to start a new dystopian series and I am looking forward to Rage which is out in September   

Purchasing Link

Author Bio: Suzanne was born in Perth Western Australia and as a young adult grew up in the small country town of Tom Price situated in the outback of Western Australia. Her current home is in Perth with her husband, two daughters and cat Abby. ​

Suzanne has a Bachelor of Science Degree, majoring in Sports Science. Her interests include watching movies, particularly sci- fi, travelling, photography and reading. She also enjoys going to the occasional comic book convention! 

Like the young women in her stories, Suzanne has had the opportunity to experience many exciting adventures in her life so far including being part of the Australian Army Reserves, climbing to Mt Everest base camp, descending into one of the pyramids at Giza in Egypt, flying in a hot air balloon over the Valley of the Kings, parachuting from a plane at 12000 feet in York and sitting on the edge of an active volcano on Tanna island in Vanuatu.

Suzanne is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Australian Society of Authors.

Her published works include;

Seventeen, Book One in the Seventeen Series. A YA dystopian adventure story set in Australia. Winner of the New Apple E-book awards in YA horror and Sci-Fi

Rage, Book Two in the Seventeen Series. A YA dystopian adventure story set in Australia. Available August 2019

The Pirate Princess and the Golden Locket, a pirate adventure story for middle grade children

Suzanne’s author website is

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