Her Pretty Bones – Carla Kovach

She’s just the girl he’s looking for…

A young woman falls from a van speeding down a quiet road. Battered and bruised, she turns her head to the person who comes to her aid. ‘Help her’, she whispers before her eyes close.

Days later, the body of another young girl is found in a shallow grave just a few miles away. The similarities between the two girls are startling – same age, same frail body, same shocking red hair.

As the town fears there’s a serial killer living amongst them, Detective Gina Harte must put aside her own struggles at home, and catch the killer before he finds another perfect girl.

 

 

My review

The book starts with a prologue that has you hooked straight away and I can assure you that this only is the start of a very winding road to the revelation of the plot.  But you will be rewarded at the end because it’s pretty heavy.

Needless to say that you are on the edge of your seat the whole time trying to figure out who is responsible for all that cruelness. At the same time you heart goes out to the girls and it’s very hard to understand how people can treat other people this way.

I certainly do not approve of the actions of the culprits. They often say the criminals have a sob story about their bad youth and try to use this as an excuse for their behaviour.  But on the other hand, I do believe the seed in planted in their youth and their actions often are a reaction to what they have been through. Adults, without a doubt, have a big influence on childrens’ minds with often devastating results …

I really like the structure of the story and the way we get to know DI Harte and her team better and better.

The writing style is very good and the mixture of emotions and suspense is perfect.

Do I still have to mention that I loved the book? I think it was already quite clear I did. 4 stars.

Thank you, Carla Kovach, Bookouture and Netgalley.

 

About the author

Carla started writing more seriously ten years ago after having flirted with musical theatre and occasional writing in her youth.

Since then she has written & produced several stage plays, has four self-published books, has acted in several independent films and is currently in the final stages of production of her feature horror film, Penny for the Guy.

She now writes full time as well as co-owning a film, photography & video production company located in the heart of Redditch town centre.

www.carlakovach.com

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The Road to Alexander – Jennifer Macaire

What do you do when the past becomes your future?

The year is 2089, and time-travelling journalist Ashley Riveraine gets a once in a lifetime opportunity to interview her childhood hero, Alexander the Great. She expects to come out with an award-winning article, but doesn’t count on Fate intervening.

Alexander mistakes Ashley for Persephone, goddess of the dead, and kidnaps her, stranding her in his own time. Being stuck 3000 years in the past with the man of her dreams wouldn’t be so bad if the scientists of the Time Institute hadn’t threatened to erase Ashley from existence if she changes history.

Ashley must now walk a tightrope, caught up in the cataclysmic events of the time, knowing what the future holds for the people she comes to love but powerless to do anything to influence it.

Join Ashley on her hilarious, bumpy journey into the past as she discovers where her place in history truly is…

 

 

Guest post

Today I am happy to share a guest post about where the idea for the book came from, but I also have an excerpt and she added a tasty recipe as well. Enjoy!

***

When they find out I wrote a book, the first thing people ask me is, “What’s it about?” When I tell them it’s about a modern woman who goes back in time to interview Alexander the Great and gets kidnapped by him thus stranded in 333 BC, they then want to know what gave me the idea. When I was 7 years old, my father gave me a book on Greek Myths. (This was before my Sunday schooling and first communion*.) He didn’t tell me it was fiction, so I started reading about the beginning of the world, the darkness, the light, Zeus, Hera, and all the gods and goddesses, and thought to myself “Cool!” My first gods were the Greek gods – and one of my favorite stories was the rapt of Persephone by the god of the Underworld, Hades.

When Ashley, a modern woman from the future, travels back in time and meets Alexander the Great, she has no idea what will happen. Alexander mistakes her for Persephone, goddess of the dead, and wrenches her from the blue light of the tractor-beam. It doesn’t help her that the beam had been set up under a pomegrenate tree, and that she had been kneeling on the ground crying a minute before because her interview had been such a dismal failure. Alexander sees her, realizes who she is, and decides to “save” her, thus condemning her to live in the past. She must learn to survive in a time with no decent shampoo, no teleport station, floating vid screen….she’s stuck in the past and she’s terrified – but she’s tough. Alexxander has pledged to protect her, but she has to contend with his other wives, his insane mother, his army generals – and someone who does not want her around.

The Road to Alexander is book I in the series (it has 7 books in it – all are written and the last one is slated for March 2019). The books can be read as stand alone, although the story is continuous. In books I – IV, Ashley follows Alexander’s army (cue about a year’s worth of research), then in book V, history as we know it become speculative – Ashley saves Alexander from death, they leave Babylon and strike out on their own. But now, druids have gotten wind of Ashley’s son, Paul, who should never have been born. According to their oracles, he can change the world, so they’ve sworn to capture him. (Cue lots of adventure!) At any rate, I had a wonderful time writing the series, and I hope readers have as much fun reading it.

***

Excerpt from The Road to Alexander:

Alexander brooded as we walked. Several times he made as if to speak, but each time he fell silent. At first, I wondered if he were thinking about the men he’d lost, and their families’ grief when the news arrived. Then I saw him looking at me out of the corners of his eyes, and I realized he was thinking about what Darius had said. I reached out and touched his arm lightly, meaning to comfort him, but he flinched. “All right, that does it!” I stopped in the middle of the path and folded my arms across my chest. “We have to talk about this. It will do no good for you to go on sulking.” He spun around and faced me, his eyes blazing. “Sulking? Sulking, am I?” “Yes.” I glared back at him, but I couldn’t stay angry long. My eyes softened. “Oh Alex, I’m sorry. I never should have said anything to Darius. It was a mistake, I admit. I regret it and I wish you had never made me do it.” “Made you do it? I made you do it?” His anger was terrible to behold. “I told you not to!” “You nodded!” I was furious. “You nodded your head like this!” “That means ‘no’!” He sputtered. “Everyone knows that!” “I forgot,” I said miserably. “I’m sorry. Where I come from that means ‘yes’.”

“Where do you come from?” I shook my head. “That means no, where I come from. And I can’t tell you.” We stared at each other. Alexander’s face was paler than usual, his forehead damp. “The gods are playing with us,” he said slowly. “Perhaps it’s true.” I couldn’t face him any more and I turned my head. “Oh, no, you don’t.” He took my chin and made me look into his eyes. “How do you know he will die by the hand of someone he trusts?” I shivered. I would have to tell him, and by doing so change the course of history. A sharp pain was starting in my toes and I wondered if it was the erasure that was beginning. In a moment I would disappear. Probably writhing in horrible pain. I glanced down, expecting to see my feet disappearing but no, it was just Alexander, standing on my foot. “You’re on my foot,” I said, pointing. He cursed and stepped backwards. “I need to know. Are you really an oracle?” I shook my head. “No, I’m not. I’ve never even seen an oracle, and I don’t know what they do, or how they act. When I was in the palace, all I could think of was my baby, and that Darius had kidnapped him. I was angry. I said something I regret. If it turns out to be true, we’ll talk about it then. Right now I’m just glad to be out of there and away from him.” “He was a great man,” said Alexander. “But you’re a greater one.” I touched his face and then pulled him towards me and kissed him. “And you’re the best kisser in the world. Who taught you?” He opened his mouth to speak then snapped it shut. “My mother was right. All women are sorceresses.” My mouth twitched. “For once, she was probably right.” I linked my arm through his, and he didn’t pull away. He was not convinced and was still angry, I could tell. He hadn’t forgiven me, and I knew it was only a matter of time before I’d have some serious explaining to do. Bleakly, I wondered what I could invent.

***

Thank you for having me on your blog – herewith is a recipe for lentil soup, the perfect Greek recipe for Alexander’s army dish – & don’t forget the garlic! (Serve with flat bread & a salad made of mixed greens.)

Ancient Greek Lentil Soup 1 lb lentils 8 cups broth (Use vegetable broth, but if you prefer you can use chicken broth – make sure it’s not too salty) 1 leek (or two or three – clean carefully and slice) 1 carrot, sliced (idem – if you want to add more carrots go ahead! You can throw in a parsnip or a yellow beet if you like!) 1 stalk celery, chopped 1 small onion, chopped 2 tbsp red wine vinegar 1 tbsp honey

olive oil salt and pepper 12 coriander seeds**

Rinse the lentils thoroughly, then put them into a pot with the broth to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender (about 45 min – 1 hr). Skim the top, add the vegetables, and simmer until cooked through. If the soup seems too watery, sieve some of the water out (or add cornstarch, although that didn’t exist back then!) Now add the vinegar and honey. Pour into serving bowls and add a good dollop of olive oil (about 2 tbsp per serving), sprinkling on coriander seeds and salt and pepper to taste. And don’t forget to count out exactly 12 coriander seeds!

(*I was eventually enrolled in Sunday school, where my confusion about hearing God was not named ‘Zeus’, and that Jesus was not one of Zeus’s many offspring, was immense!)

** Recipe from Meals and recipes from ancient Greece by Eugenia Salza Prina Ricotti ; translated by Ruth Anne Lotero, J. Paul Getty Museum, cop. 2007. Original title: L’ arte del convito nella grecia antica. – Rome : Erma di Bretschneider, 2005

Thank you, Jennifer Macaire and RachelsRandomResources.

 

About the author

Jennifer Macaire is an American living in Paris. She likes to read, eat chocolate, and plays a mean game of golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St Peter and Paul High School in St Thomas and moved to NYC where she modelled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories

Social Media Links – Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TimeforAlexander/ Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jennifermacaire/ twitter @jennifermacaire https://jennifermacaire.wordpress.com/

Perfect Match – Zoe May

Can you ever find true love online?

Sophia Jones is an expert in all things online dating: the best sites, how to write a decent bio, which questions to ask and the right type of photos to use. The only thing she’s not so great at? Picking the guys…

After sitting through yet another dreadful date with a man who isn’t quite what she expected, Sophia is just about ready to give up on the whole dating scene. But her flatmate, Kate, persuades her to give it one more chance, only this time she must create a profile describing her ‘perfect’ man.

Yes, he must look like Robert Pattinson and needs to own a multi-million pound business, but there are a couple of other deal breakers, too! So, when a guy comes along who ticks every box, surely there’s got to be a catch?

 

 

My review

Finding the perfect match is not easy for a lot of people. This is something Sophia has been having a great deal of problems with as well.  But why? Has she been looking in the wrong places or has she been focussing on the wrong things?

Of course you are always rating the looks of the person in front of you first and when there is not that zing straight away you often discard him/her almost as soon as you lay eyes on them.

Is this the right approach? Or you better off with a beautiful empty box or with a more plain looking one filled with heaps of things you dream of but you don’t take the time to unpack? They say ‘Don’t judge a book by it’s cover’. I think this does apply to more matters than books alone.

This story is about learning about yourself and changing your views on your future. It’s romantic, funny and a bit sad at the same time. The author has a lovely writing style that makes you fly through the story.

I really loved it and I am looking forward to read more books by this wonderful author. 5 stars.

Thank you, Zoe May and RachelsRandomResources.

 

About the author

Zoe May lives in south-east London and writes romantic comedies. Zoe has dreamt of being a novelist since she was a teenager. She moved to London in her early twenties and worked in journalism and copywriting before writing her debut novel, Perfect Match. Having experienced the London dating scene first hand, Zoe could not resist writing a novel about dating, since it seems to supply endless amounts of weird and wonderful material!

As well as writing, Zoe enjoys going to the theatre, walking her dog, painting and, of course, reading.

Zoe loves to hear from readers, you can contact her on Twitter and Instagram at: @zoe_writes

Social Media Links – Twitter: https://twitter.com/zoe_writes https://instagram.com/zoe_writes

Wicked Game – Jo Lambert

Fashion designer Thérèse D’Alesandro has recently moved into Westhead Manor with daughter Felicia and stepson Marco. Joining forces with neighbour Ella Benedict, she is about to open a bridal boutique at Ella’s exclusive wedding venue Lawns at Little Court.

Managing his father’s European restaurant chain, Marco has both the looks and charm to guarantee him any woman. Any woman, that is, except the one he wants: Ella’s niece Charlotte. Marco knows he should walk away as not only is she the most exasperating female he has ever encountered she’s currently in a relationship with rock star Christian Rosetti. But the chemistry between them is undeniable and sensing trouble brewing between Charlotte and the egotistical singer he is prepared to wait.

Charlotte’s cousin Lucy has discovered Christian’s guilty secrets – ones he has been keeping safely hidden from everyone. Determined to cause mischief and at the same time settle her own score with the arrogant star, she sets in motion a chain of events which eventually brings Marco and Charlotte together.

Thérèse’s husband Gianlucca has invited the granddaughter of an old friend to stay as a house guest while he undergoes heart surgery. Rossana Caravello is due to inherit the one of Italy’s premier vineyards on her twenty first birthday in September. Aware this would make an excellent addition to her husband’s international business portfolio, Thérèse plots to push the young heiress and her stepson together. Rossana is already besotted with Marco, but if the plan is to have any chance of success first she needs to get rid of Charlotte…

 

 

Promo Post

I hope you like what you see.

Thank you, Jo Lambert and RachelsRandomResources.

 

About the author

Jo Lambert lives on the eastern edge of Bath with her husband, one small grey feline called Mollie and a green MGB GT. She is the author of seven novels. The first five collectively known as the Little Court Series are saga/romances set in West Somerset. For book number six she ‘moved’ over the border into South Devon. Summer Moved On became the first of two linked contemporary romances. The second, Watercolours in the Rain was published in October 2016. In June 2018 Jo signed to Choc Lit and her eighth novel, The Boys of Summer, set in North Cornwall will be published in 2019 under their Ruby imprint. Jo is currently working on another coastal romance, this time set in South Cornwall. When she isn’t writing she reads and reviews. She also has an active blog. Jo loves travel, red wine and rock music and she often takes the odd photograph or two.

website: http://jolambertbooks.com blog: http://jolambertwriter.com Twitter: @jolambertwriter Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jolambert185

The Secret – Katharine Johnson

Love, Lies, and Betrayal in Wartime Italy. Two girls growing up in Mussolini’s Italy share a secret that has devastating consequences. Against a backdrop of fear, poverty and confusion during the Second World War, friendship is tested, and loyalties are divided until a chance encounter changes everything. Their lives diverge when beautiful, daring Martina marries and moves into Villa Leonida, the most prestigious house in their Tuscan mountain village, while plain, studious Irena trains to be a teacher. But neither marriage nor life at Villa Leonida are as Martina imagined. And as other people’s lives take on a new purpose, Irena finds herself left behind. Decades later, a tragedy at the villa coincides with the discovery of an abandoned baby, whose identity threatens to re-open old wounds among the next generation.

 

 

Promo post

I hope you like what you see.

Thank you, Katharine Johnson and RachelsRandomResources.

 

About the author

Katharine Johnson likes writing about ordinary people who through a character flaw or bad decision find themselves in extraordinary situations. She’s a journalist living in Berkshire, England with her family and springy spaniel. When she’s not writing you’ll find her exploring cities, visiting old houses, playing netball, eating cake or restoring her house in Italy which is nothing like Villa Leonida.

Social Media Links – https://www.facebook.com/Katharinejohnsonauthor/ https://twitter.com/@kjohnsonwrites https://katyjohnsonblog.wordpress.com/

Silent Suspect – Kerry Wilkinson

Eighteen-year-old Bex has been missing for months. The beautiful, tattooed teenager has had a troubled life, and Detective Jessica Daniel fears for the vulnerable girl. When she receives a mysterious phone call from Bex herself, whispering Jessica’s name, she knows something is very wrong.

Tracing the call to a lone phone box in a bleak seaside town, Jessica meets a man who claims to be able to help. But the next day, his body is found abandoned on the windswept beach, his throat slit. Jessica was the last person to see him alive.

Then the police find blood on Jessica’s car.

It’s clear to Jessica that someone must be framing her. Someone who knows her every move. When she finds a boy whose spider’s web tattoo exactly matches Bex’s, she becomes more desperate than ever for answers… but with the police growing more suspicious, Jessica has just seven days to find Bex before she becomes the prime suspect in a murder case.

With more than her career at stake, can Jessica clear her name and find Bex – before it’s too late for both of them?

 

 

My review

Three cheers for the author because he has done it again. I opened this book (I had been wanting to read it so badly since I last the previous part) and I was lost straight away. It felt like I had been given a slap on the back and I fell, head first into this brilliant story.

Events are piling up in this fast-paced book. You seem to be in a small canoe being dragged away with the current of this raging river. At the moment you think that last whirlpool will be the end of it, there is the rescue team to lead you to a peaceful pond. All’s well that ends well, right …

I just love this author. He has different series and each one seems to be written by someone else. This is a truely and utterly sign of a genious mind.

I am already looking forward to your next book. It does not matter of which series. I devoure them all with the same gusto. 5 stars, of course.

Thank you, Kerry Wilkinson, Bookouture and Netgalley.

About the author

Kerry Wilkinson is from the English county of Somerset but has spent far too long living in the north. It’s there that he’s picked up possibly made-up regional words like ‘barm’ and ‘ginnel’. He pretends to know what they mean.

He’s also been busy since turning thirty: his Jessica Daniel crime series has sold more than a million copies in the UK; he has written a fantasy-adventure trilogy for young adults; a second crime series featuring private investigator Andrew Hunter and the standalone thriller, Down Among The Dead Men.

The Talisman ( Molly’s Story) – Eliza J Scott

Molly’s dream of taking over her childhood home at Withrin Hill Farm with husband Pip and their three children has finally come true. And, as they settle into the stunning Georgian farmhouse, with their plans to diversify into glamping nicely taking shape, the family couldn’t be happier.

But tragedy suddenly strikes, and Molly’s world is turned upside down.

Heartbroken and devastated, she struggles to face each day. True to form, her fiercely loyal best friends, Kitty and Violet, rally round offering love and support, but Molly doesn’t think she’ll ever be able to smile again. Until the day a tall, dark stranger with twinkly eyes arrives…

Follow Molly’s story in book 2 of the Life on the Moors Series set in Lytell Stangdale, a picture-perfect village in the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors, where life is anything but quiet.

 

 

Cover reveal

I hope you like what you see.

Thank you, Eliza J. Scott and RachelsRandomResources.

 

About the author

Eliza lives in a 17th-century cottage on the edge of a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with her husband, their two daughters and two mischievous black Labradors. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book/glued to her Kindle or working in her garden. Eliza also enjoys bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off by a visit to a teashop where she can indulge in another two of her favourite things: tea and cake. Eliza is inspired by her beautiful surroundings and loves to write heart-warming stories with happy endings.

Social Media Links – Blog: Eliza J Scott – elizajscott.com Twitter: Eliza J Scott – @ElizaJScott1 Instagram: Eliza J Scott – @elizajscott Facebook: Eliza J Scott – @elizajscottauthor Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/ElizaJScott Bookbub: http://www.bookbub.com/authors/eliza-j-scott

The Ring of Gilly Wood – Ruth Banister

‘There he is,’ whispered Vixen. ‘It’s true then,’ said Buck Rabbit. ‘He’s just a small mole,’ said Doe Rabbit. ‘He’s not just a mole,’ said Vixen. A great queen loses a ring. Hundreds of years later a ring slips onto the paw of a young mole. The mole grows to be a wise and trusted leader of Gilly Wood and all the animals that live there. But a great threat is coming. Can one small mole save a whole valley? Mole sets out to do just that with friends he makes along the way and the strange thing on his paw…

 

 

Promo Post

I hope you like what you see. Enjoy!

Thank you, Ruth Banister and RachelsRandomResources.

 

About the author

Ruth was born on a hot August day on a farm in Sussex. Her English teacher once made her write a story about wasps after one landed on her during a lesson. She still hates wasps but she loves writing. Ruth now lives in Kent with her family and their strange dog. Website – http://www.ruthbanister.com

The Sinister Gathering – Diane Ezzard

Sophie attends a well-being retreat hoping to find herself, instead she finds a dead body.

Coming to the Scottish Highlands, she hopes to escape life and get in touch with her inner self. She wants to free herself from the anxieties that have gripped her for years.

Peace and harmony are advertised but what she discovers is anything but.

She is around women with other ideas. As she gets to know the strange bunch staying at Glenloch Hall, fights and arguments become the norm.

She should never have entered that fateful property.

She was looking for peace but found death.

 

 

My review

This is the 3rd book in the Sophie Brown series and it was totally different than the other 2.

Did I think it was better? Yes and no. Yes, because Sophie seems to have grown up and is made more intelligent by the author but that does not mean she does not do any not so intelligent things anymore. No, because for me this book had a lot less suspense in it.

I have to say that is was very, very slow paced. I don’t mind that at all if it suddenly picks up and drags you into a white water river and down some serious waterfalls. I am sorry to say that I can compare this story to a vulcano that emits a very small puff of smoke a every now and then without any sign of ever erupting.

I hate to not like a book, but this one was not my cup of tea. I am sure some people will love it, though. Bad books don’t exist. It’s only people’s tastes that differ. 3 stars.

Thank you, Diane Ezzard and RachelsRandomResources.

 

About the author

Manchester born Diane Ezzard writes emotionally charged psychological thrillers and mysteries about everyday people in seemingly ordinary circumstances until something goes badly wrong in their lives. Before taking early retirement to concentrate on her writing, she worked as a HR manager, a counsellor, owned a cafe and managed a charity. She now lives and writes in South East London close to her daughter and grandchildren.

Social Media Links – http://dezzardwriter.com/ https://www.facebook.com/dezzardwriter/ https://twitter.com/diane_ezzard

Murder in the Orchard – Betty Rowlands

A beautiful house nestles in an orchard, where a blackbird sings at dawn each morning from a branch laden with rosy fruit… but underneath the trees a body lies too still to be asleep.

Melissa Craig is struggling with her new novel, so when the invitation arrives to visit a nearby country house for some writing time, she decides a bit of peace and quiet is just what she needs. The house is everything she could have hoped for, even if the staff do seem rather unsettled…

She has barely unpacked when the owner of the house persuades Melissa to investigate some threatening notes he has received. But before she can do any digging, he is found murdered in his own orchard.

As she starts to probe further, Melissa realises that the dead man was universally disliked. Controlling, tight with money and nasty, he certainly made some enemies. But who could have hated him enough to resort to murder? His seemingly timid wife, the secretary with whom he previously had an affair or perhaps the gardener with an old secret? 

With the police looking for an outsider, Melissa is sure the murderer is close at hand. But can she prove it? And can she unmask the killer before they strike again?

 

 

My review

Already book six in this series and I am still not getting tired of it. On the contrary. In my opinion the stories are more and more interesting and this one really had me hooked.

Some people don’t like cozy mysteries because … well, yes I sometimes wonder because of what actually. But everybody is of course free to choose what they want to read. I certainly can thoroughly appreciate this genre.

The main character is getting stronger and stronger and this time she was almost a full time sleuth.

When I finished the previous book, I thought I had found my favourite one. I have to change my opinion. I liked this one even more. This was the one with the most surprising outcome and I do love that.

It will be hard to top this story, but I will keep you posted when I have finished number 7.

Overall a very good series with a very likeable sleuth.  5 stars.

Thank you, Betty Rowlands, Bookouture and Netgalley.

 

About the author

Betty Rowlands burst on to the crime scene by winning the Sunday Express / Veuve Clicquot Crime Short Story of the Year Competition. Her success continued with her nine highly acclaimed Melissa Craig mysteries. She is an active member of the Crime Writers’ Association and regularly gives talks and readings and serves on panels in crime writing conventions.