Posts Tagged ‘Paranormal’

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:

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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.

The Immortal Muse by Mandy Jackson-Beverly

June 1, 2019 - 7:17 pm No Comments

The Immortal Muse by Mandy Jackson-Beverly

Published by Cricket Publishing on 31st March 2019

307 pages

Following on from The Devil and the Muse, the Allegiance are preparing for one final battle with Kenan. Not knowing when he will attack, they try and plan ahead. Gabriel and Coco are having issues due to Coco’s vision. To add to their problems, one of Dr Sabine Fiore’s colleagues witnessed a young girl commit suicide, watched over by a sinister stranger.

After you have read the earlier books in the series and have quite a few unanswered questions, The Immortal Muse tied up this series perfectly. As the majority of the characters are supernatural beings, they have lived a long life, so there is a lot more historical contents in the story and I loved being transported to another era. However, this does explain the reason why Kenan became so evil. The mystery of the young girl, enabled the team to investigate and even though they were busy trying to find ways to kill Kenan, it enforced the view that the Allegiance were for fighting for the good and whether the victims were immortal or mortal, they still were there for them.   

This read at a lot faster pace than the other two and I know I am strange but I enjoyed that not everything ran smoothly as it made it feel more intense. It also gives you a chance to know more about Gabriel. Whether the scenes were set in the past or in the modern world, it was well researched and descriptive, it felt that you were there. The love of art comes across as you can tell the author’s passion for this subject.

This was the final book in the series and whilst I am sorry to see it end, I thought that the ending was a perfect finish to the Creative series

The Devil and the Muse by Mandy Jackson-Beverly (book 2 in the Creative Series)

May 19, 2019 - 6:01 pm No Comments

The Devil and the Muse by Mandy Jackson-Beverly (Book2 in the Creative Series)

Published by Cricket Publishing on 12th June 2017

284 pages

The immediate threat is over and happy to live in Italy with Gabriel and her family, Coco is getting more comfortable with her gifts. But when a concerned friend and her paintings highlighted the plight of teenage girls, Coco knows that the Allegiance has got to step in. However, with the team have to split up to cover two missions, things go from bad to worse.

Due to the majority of the characters already known to us, the book seemed to flow a lot quicker and the story was fast paced. Whilst Coco still had a major role to play, the story concentrated on some of the other characters and we learn a lot more about Pelayo, an El Salvadoran vampire and Sabine, a doctor who fights for the vulnerable. Also helping the Allegiance was a vampire with a surprising background. Whilst the main mission concentrates on the missing girls, Prudence has her own mission and it gives us the chance to meet some of her ancestors and learn more about her life. Whilst we know that Kenan is behind the trouble, the story goes further to explain why he is the way his.   

Due to the nature of the subject matter, this story came across a lot darker than book 1, but this just helps enforce just what Coco and company are up against. As I mentioned it was a faster pace due to the fact there was always something going on. The art still played a big part in the story and the picturesque descriptions of the paintings enable you to imagine them as you are reading.

A good addition to this fantasy series and I am looking forward to reading The Immortal Muse which came out on 31st March 2019

A Secret Muse (The Creative Series Book 1) by Mandy Jackson-Beverly

May 19, 2019 - 11:53 am No Comments

A Secret Muse (The Creative Series Book 1) by Mandy Jackson-Beverly

Published by Cricket Publishing on 1st February 2016

300 pages

Coco Rhodes was happy with her life, an artist and teacher, she enjoyed her freedom. Her brother Chris was a member of a secret society The Allegiance, and whilst her family and friends were members, she wanted nothing to do with them. However, when her life was put in danger, she had no choice but to accept their protection. But could that be enough to save her from Kenan, one of the evilest vampires they have come across  

I liked Coco, she was happy to be herself, she was a free spirit, lost in her art and content with her own company. Even though her best friend and her brother were part of The Allegiance, she wanted nothing to do it, which showed how headstrong she was. Even after her accident, she was still stubborn and was literally forced into having additional protection. 

I enjoyed how the supernatural overlapped with the real world, regular humans were not aware that supernatural beings lived and worked with them. Only a few people knew about the Allegiance and this kept everyone safe. Due to the society being large, they’re quite a few characters in the story, but each one is relevant to the story and when we are introduced to them, parts of their backstory is revealed. As the story continues you soon come to realise how their lives interweave with each other and how they are connected in the future. There are various supernatural beings in this story, witches, vampires, to name but a few. All have an important role in the story.

This story was well researched and as some of the characters are vampires, the story spans over a long time period. Whilst I do not know anything about art, I enjoyed reading about the supernatural involvement used to create some of the most famous paintings. The scenic views of Italy and the places visited were described in fine detail and whether it is the 15th century or the modern day you feel like you are transported there. The pace would quicken with the action, making it more intense. The fight scenes were full on, but the characters would change from fighters to lovers in a few scenes, slowing the pace making it an enjoyable read.  

This is a book for adults and whether you are looking for those tall dark and brooding men or just a good fantasy read to start a new series than this is the story for you.  

Osgood As Gone: A Spectral Inspector Mystery (Book 1) by Cooper S Beckett

April 27, 2019 - 3:17 pm No Comments

Osgood As Gone: A Spectral Inspector Mystery (Book 1) by Cooper S Beckett

Published by Horror & Carnage Press on 22nd April 2019

356 pages

When a mysterious email turns up in Prudence Osgood’s inbox, is it a prank or will it be the start of something sinister? With the help of Zack, her partner in crime can she get back into the investigating.

Straight away I liked Prudence Osgood, she wasn’t little miss perfect and had to work for everything she accomplished. Having been injured in a car crash over 10 years ago, she was getting through the day with a mixture of alcohol and painkillers. She had a way of rubbing people up the wrong way, but underneath her cold exterior, she had a heart of gold and hated having to rely on others for help. As you read her story, you learn more about her big break up with the love of her life Audrey Frost and how it ruined both their careers. But when the case reveals information that would affect Audrey, Osgood puts the animosity behind her to involve Audrey and the longer they spend together, you can see their defences start to crumble.  Zach was the computer geek, having all the high tech gadgets, he was a whizz with search engines and knew people in the know, who could help them, although I did think he was a bit excited when he got to play with a record player.

The mystery was well plotted and even though there was a lot going on, secret messages, an aged rock band, vinyl records, missing people and mysterious messages, you can follow the plot with ease. The story is a steady pace until the last quarter of the book when you sense that Osgood is nearer to find out what is going on. The scenes are more intense and I found myself putting real life on hold to finish the story. As well as solving the mystery Osgood has quite graphic nightmares and through these, you learn just how horrific the car crash was and the closer Osgood comes to cracking the mystery, the more graphic the nightmare become.   

This book has it all, horror, a mystery, love and some laugh out loud moments usually down to Osgood’s quick wit. Finishing on a cliff-hanger, I hope I don’t have to wait long for some more of Osgood and I will be following this author closely to see when it is going to be published.